Monday, April 26, 2010

DATE #9: Ice Cream Connoisseur

This guy is from Jersey, which normally I discard without a second glance, but I guess in the whole online process I overlooked his location without double checking. I mean, with all the profiles and questions and messages and crap in the world of online dating, how ca you keep track of every communication!?

This gentlemen is a IT guy who actually lives AND works in Jersey and came all the way into the city on a Monday night to have ice cream with me.

We had ice cream because he bragged about being an ice cream connoisseur. He also bragged about being named after the King, but he didn't have the presence of any King, Rock and Roll or any other.

We met at Red Mango on 14th street, yeah, the Frozen yogurt place - doesn't quite qualify as the best ice cream in town but...

He told me he'd be late, but arrived early and thus I was late. He made me feel bad about the 3 dollar tea he had to buy while he sat in wait. We got in line for frozen yogurt and received a wild tutorial from the guy behind the counter. He explain each flavor and the combinations possible with the millions of toppings.

King Connoisseur couldn't decide what he wanted. I ordered a small wild peach and green tea with raspberries and white chocolate chips. He ordered an extra large vanilla with strawberries. Vanilla with Strawberries! He was supposed to be the ice cream connoisseur!

We discussed the weather for 10 minutes, work for 12 minutes, apartment hunting in New York for 5 minutes and blackberry vs. iphone for about another 7 minutes. After these 35 minutes of terribly exciting conversation, we had a few moments of silence before we started discussing work conference calls...

I was done my ice cream, and oh! gosh! I need to get home to bed early because I have an early day tomorrow...

He invited me to join him and some friends for dinner and dancing (on a Monday!) but I kindly declined being as, we just spent an awful 40 minutes of lousy conversation over mediocre frozen yogurt...

And we said a polite goodnight.

But by the time I got home, I had 4 text messages:
"had a great time, so nice to meet you!"
"can't wait to see you again, you should have come out with me tonight"
"next time we'll go to dinner and dancing"
"have a good night & sweet dreams"

What did I do to deserve this?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

DATE #8: A First 2nd Date

After almost two months and 7 dates, I have made it to a second date, finally. Well, I guess that's an accomplishment...

This second date was perhaps nearly as good as my first with the Climber and probably should be considered one of the great dates you read about in Cosmo or something. But, you know there's a But coming...

We met in the early afternoon at Brooklyn Boulders to actually go rock climbing (well, rock climbing on a wall). He was late, by about twenty minutes, and I'd already paid for my gear. In the time I waited, I started to get annoyed that maybe I'd been stood up - as soon as I decided I was going to climb without him, he shows, a little too excited to see me.

After a quick refresher course on the ropes, I braved the wall first, trying to remember how to tie my knots so I wouldn't fall... The Climber, is well, a very savvy climber having worked in a climbing gym for some time and actually having climbed real mountains - but I made a pretty good go for the top of a 5.9 (on a scale of 5.5 to 6). We had some laughs as I relearned belaying and nearly killed my date trying to hold his weight on the ropes as he climbed faster than I could pull the rope taught.

We climbed for a couple of hours, he was constantly trying to get me to improve my technique and stop cursing every time I slipped from a hold (which was often). We made fun of the 8-year-olds who climbed like pros though it was more to make me feel better than to diss their abilities.

When we reached the point we could no longer feel our fingers, we decided to walk around the Slope and grab some dinner. Of course I hadn't thought to bring a change of clothes so although the Climber changed into clean slacks and a button down, I was trekking around in my climbing gear covered in chalk.

We walked around the Slope talking about why modern marriages don't work and a current NY Times article that included a research comparison of couples who married for love versus arranged marriages - the arranged marriages worked just as well, sometimes better...

Instead of a nice romantic Italian dinner, we went for burgers, fries and beer (I don't even like beer!) and talked about whether or not babies should be brought to bars (someone had a baby next to us in the bar, very strange).

All was going well - can you see any wrong here? You'd think climbing and dinner would be a long enough date but, no we decided to go for ices too!

Although the night was beginning to be chilly, we walked with our ices to the Prospect Park Pavilion Movie Theater and he bought two tickets for Hot Tub Time Machine. Never thought I'd see that.

The movie was hysterical, I laughed like a hyena and the Climber didn't seem to be bother by the fact I was the loudest in the theater, not that I cared. Of course he seemed more interested in trying to hold my hand and slip his arm around my shoulder all during the movie, very 10th grade.

After the movie, I was all set and ready to go home, I was only a few short blocks away... but the Climber wanted to go for drinks. I thought he was nuts, was 8 hours of my company long enough? I can hardly stand myself for that long, how could he?

As we walked towards the subway, I tried to be sweet and girlie and thank him for the lovely day. He tried to hold my hand and put his arm around me and kiss my face and suddenly I wasn't into him.

At the subway he tried to convince me again that we should go for drinks or maybe I should let him walk me all the way home. I kindly said no thanks, I'm a big girl. Then he tried to kiss me and it was like kissing the back of my hand, only my hand kisses better... I pulled away without trying to make it a big deal and he tried to pull me back. I did the whole fake cough thing and then pecked his cheek with a goodnight. I figured that was an easy let down... right?

The next day I followed up with a Thank you text, and well, didn't hear back.

It's not my fault if even after a great date I don't feel it, is it?
Plus side is I made it to a second date!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

DATE #7: Date or Job Interview?

It's one thing to set a coffee date for a Sunday afternoon where two perspective mates can connect over lattes without the stress of work, but its something else completely to plan to meet at 3pm in the middle of the work week. And something else to meet where Tribeca hits the Financial district and the coffee is hand brewed at $3.56 (for a small) and everyone around you is in a business suit having a business meeting...

This is where I met an entertainment lawyer, who maybe could afford not to use a credit card for the $3.56 small decaf, who was supposed to be my afternoon date. I say "supposed" because afterwards I had doubts as to whether or not I met with the right person.

So you get the picture of me and this lawyer meeting at a swanky Tribeca coffee shop full of business people. Granted, this guy wasn't wearing a suit but a stripped polo straight out of Harry Potter. His photo showed him thin with blond hair yet he was heavier with very dark hair. He was a little late so I bought myself a coffee to start and wait. He gave me this annoyed look/feeling that I bought coffee ahead of him and that maybe, right off the start, I wasn't what he was expecting either. I have to say though, I looked good - you can ask anyone.

We sat down and talked for a minute about the weird art on the coffee shop walls, about Tribeca and then the date started to feel like an interview - but I still don't know which one of us was up for what job.

Apparently he's not a working lawyer at the moment, though he said he's "gone out on his own" and wants to work with the movie biz, maybe. So I told him about the movie biz and all the contracts I've worked with and negotiated and he would respond with legal jargon about cast contracts and riders he's worked with. It felt like a competition - who has read more contracts? Who's negotiated more interested things and for what? Cast? Locations? Prop rentals...

He didn't ever really look at me (and I looked HOT! for a Monday afternoon), he wasn't much to look at either but I believe you should look at the person you're talking to, whether or not they're cute - it's a respect thing.

He gave me his list of credits: educated at a college I've never heard of; law school somewhere else I've never heard of; internships at law firms that mean nothing to me and a job he "lost for budget reasons" that was for a well known broadcast TV company. I rattled off a few of mine, he was beat - I have just as much experience reading contracts and more in the film industry that he could ever imagine achieving.... yes, I was very annoyed at the conversation turning into a competition, can you tell? That's why I had to win.

I tried to switch the subject in my sweet girlie voice: "so what do you like to do for fun? on weekends?" His answer was lame - "well, working for myself every day is a weekend". Which I resent because I work for myself and I have a strict schedule: gym, coffee, emails, accounts, lunch, walk in park, emails, editing doc, nap, grant research, dinner... you get my drift.

Oh, and we talked about movies and what kind of director film kids want to be - Tarantino or Cameron? Like I care?

A little after an hour, we were both out of coffee and each peeling the paper skins from our cups out of boredom. We spent five minutes talking about apartment hunting, suddenly he got the idea that maybe he should be a broker. I said, "Good luck with that".

We shook hands and walked in opposite directions.

Monday, April 19, 2010

DATE #6: Gallery Hopping

I don't usually plug dating websites but there's this new one...yeah, they're not paying me so I won't plug them on principle - but it's based on matching people with common activity interests rather than a personality test. Basically you propose a date activity and people with a similar interest in that activity respond.

The first activity that struck me was rock climbing at a local Brooklyn gym.

My activity proposal was to go gallery hopping in Chelsea and hit up the free drinks at the openings.

Ironically, the Climber and I responded to each other's activities and thus decided to risk a meeting. Rather than the usual coffee or drinks or dinner we actually went on the proposed activity - without consulting in depth personality comparisons, responding to a million questionnaires or weeks of messaging.

We met at an art gallery opening on 25th street, said a standard "hello, nice to meet you" and then entered the gallery which housed an exhibition that animated LED lights behind photographs to make moving images - we bonded over the free wine and the thought maybe the artist would have be been better served to make a film rather than animate lights over lousy still frames...

After criticizing art in the first gallery, we decided to hit up a few more - 6 actually. So six glasses of free wine and 6 fairly terrible art exhibits. We spent most of the time wondering why a canvas with the word "Yes" marked in gold glitter was considered the centerpiece of the most crowded exhibition we saw - which was in fact all canvases covered in colored glitter. Seriously?

I have to say, we enjoyed our gallery tour immensely and continued on to dinner - where we actually talked. We went to Co. pizza joint where they have shared tables and we spent most of dinner yelling across the table about work and politics and movies and pizza... The restaurant became exceedingly crowded and thus we decided not to stay there for dessert but rather to grab an ice cream elsewhere.

We walked down to the Highline where I took off my high heels and he carried them as we talked about on-line dating and architecture. Then security came by and said the park was closed and we were trespassing. Surprisingly enough, neither of us felt like going home - our date had started early, it was barely 10:30.

It turned out my date was a member of the Soho House, a private/membership only hotel/bar/club... We had drinks on the rooftop, poolside. The waiter not only brought lousy overpriced drinks but brought cashmere blankets. We counted 1 star and the rest of the sky was clouds.

To show off, he took me down to show me the private screening room - where I've actually been before as I had a friend who worked for the club. But to boost his ego I let him show me around. We snuck into the projection booth where I explained how the film reels were loaded (to the best of my knowledge) into the projectors and he stole a kiss.

Yes, he stole a kiss and I didn't slap him.

Afterwards, I let him walk me across town to the subway, disappointing him as he pointed out his apartment building and I kept walking past. I did however let him kiss me goodnight and ask me out again but as by the time I was on the train, I was regretting it. Thinking as great a date as this all was, do I really have to see him again?

DATE #5: Le Cirque de Dates

On-line, Mr. Le Cirque and I were only a 74% match but how can you turn down a date with a guy who's in Circle du Soleil?

Happy hour drinks and appetizers on a Wednesday evening. We met at Thompson Sq Park and Mr. Le Cirque took me to some vegetarian restaurant called veggie delite or delight or something.

We ordered cocktails made with cucumbers and wheatgrass, snacked on raw almonds and ordered some tofu rolls that tasted like lettuce wrapped dirt balls.

Conversation was anything but easy flowing. We talked primarily about Cirque du Soleil - I saw it in Vegas and thought it was just SO spectacular. He said, "well, yeah, it's a good job", then he proceeded to show me how he could dislocate his shoulder as part of this Cirque dance... and well... we never made it to dinner because frankly, seeing someone dislocate shoulder is not terribly appetizing. And, there didn't seem much else to say.

That's pretty much all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

DATE #4: Mr. Shrinking Head

It's a bad sign when 5 minutes into a date I'm looking for a way out.

This guy seemed harmless enough, despite that he was the potential date I wrote about in my previous post - the one who wouldn't stop emailing, calling or texting me... and that was before we met. Should have tipped me off.

Story goes - Girl walks into a bar, she's early and sits to wait. He's late and when he walks in, she tries to get his attention but he walks right by. When he wakes from zombie-like state and says hello, his head shrinks into his head a little either in fear or discomfort.

He goes to the bar for drinks, waits 5 minutes while the bartender listens to a story being told to her by another patron, and comes back to the table empty handed. He didn't want to interrupt the bartender to get us drinks. I repeat: he didn't want to interrupt!

Once we got a waitress to serve our table, it takes the guy 10 minutes to pick a beer - he wanted to try something different - 10 minutes! I ordered a jack and ginger.

We then spent some time discussing the weather, and how much I travel and how much I work and really, I tired quickly of talking about me. He consistently told me how boring his life is (which really isn't a plus) and how he's so easy going that he doesn't really care to change anything (also not an attractive quality). Then we talked about families - mostly mine - and when I mentioned what my father does (something to do with pharmaceutical testing and running a global lab), he asked if I could help him get a job with his company (he works for a similar company only 10 billion times smaller). I thought, well that's not very classy, we just met and you want me to help you get a job at my father's company but you just admitted that you're lazy...? Huh?

When we finally seemed to be running out of things to say, he decided to explain to me how the game of Baseball is played (as the Yankees and Red Sox were playing on the bar TV tonight), as if I cared. Finally we were waiting for the check and sitting silently watching the 9th inning (which is the last inning of a baseball game if you didn't know... but it's a tie so they'll keep playing till someone scores and wins).

He paid. Then we walked outside and awkwardly hugged goodbye and good riddance! The kicker was when he said my name, to say goodbye, he said it wrong! And he didn't even offer to walk me home - two blocks away - which is fine but he should have offered. Before I've walked to two blocks home though, I have a text that says "Had a great time! Good Night ;)"

I'm thinking: Were we just on the same date? Dense much?

Am I creating false hopes? I think I'm pretty honest and it was pretty evident that we didn't click, that I was bored and by the end he seemed it too... or maybe he was so preoccupied seeing a future working at a great global company and watching baseball that he forgot I was staring daggers all evening. Even the waitress noticed.

DATE #3: Sarcastic Sam*

Those who know me personally, know that I can be quite sarcastic from time to time (or rather all the time) and often it's difficult to distinguish where I draw the line.

Sarcasm as a trait in a man is essential for me. Often described as a defense mechanism against criticism, sarcasm is my humor, not accepted by all but all mine nonetheless. So in my handy dandy profile, I've marked it as mandatory.

Thus meet Sam*: 32, Lawyer, said he was 6'2" but is only 5'7" and starts his first message to me with "I'm not a murderer so you should call me." My response was "if by chance you are a murderer, I don't want to be the one to call you because then I'm an accomplice."

So he called me and I didn't call back for 4 days. Not that I was playing hard to get on purpose, I was just busy. But I called him back and we spoke for about 30 minutes without saying one non-sarcastic truthful thing, which I'll admit, was kind of fun.

What's not fun is actually meeting and spending two hours trying to be honest and not being able to figure out what's sarcasm and what's not.

We met at a Tribeca bar, but not a super swanky kind - he was under-dressed and I was overdressed. I could tell instantaneously that there was no spark - I was taller than him in heels (I was wearing the heels not him).

We sat and talked about his job at the DA's office and about my friends in the mob (which apparently you shouldn't talk about with an assistant DA....) We talked about having people whacked and buying up New York City property with the billions of dollars he didn't have. We talked about how I'd make an awesome Juror since I have such high expectations and a severe moral code. He was very disappointed I don't live in Manhattan so I could be on one of his Grand Juries.

Then we discussed what we were looking for, and being two straight up people - I said I wasn't sure but that I definitely wouldn't be sleeping with him and he said he was into a friends with benefits. Obviously this wasn't going to work out for either of us.

I'll give the guy credit for being forward enough to admit the truth, even overshadowed by blind sarcasm, and for being funny enough to let me laugh at him. He walked me to the train, we took the same line in opposite directions, and he didn't seem to be crying too hard when hit him that there was no chance to get in my pants.

Should I feel bad for leading him on? I'm not sure I do. At least I didn't make him buy me dinner.

*Name changed for protection.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dream Phone: Does a Phone Date count?

Remember that game from the early nineties? The one where there's a hot pink phone and you call all these boys to listen for clues and decipher which one likes you - he plays football and likes hanging out at the mall - it's Brad! You always want it to be Brad!

Well who would have thought 20 years later, here I am again playing Dream Phone again and hoping all the clues do lead to someone even better than Brad!

Talking on the phone to get to know someone feels so 1990 but it seems to be making a come back. More than one perspective date has asked me to set aside some phone time so we can "chat". The conversations consist of me working on my computer with my blackberry ear piece in, waiting for the guy on the other end to say something slightly funny so I can give a little half laugh. Usually we talk about their day, oh, they went out to lunch that's great. I made a peanut butter and jelly. Sometimes we talk about the weather or what we like to do on the weekends and yeah I'm tired today because I stayed up to late...

How much can you tell about a person through their voice? Or their inability to carry on an interesting phone conversation? I think these phone talks are uncomfortable because I'm being asked to be charming and likable to someone I don't know. It's different with work, I've been told I "give good phone", I have a sweet and professional voice when I'm talking business to an unknown. But if I know you, it's a different story. So, how can all these phone conversations really be helping these guys get a better sense of me? Or I them?

And just because we have a few laughs on the phone about my sarcastic tone and your illegal extended lunch breaks so you can call me... doesn't mean I'm going to jump into your arms when I meet you. Because, frankly, you aren't Brad on the other end of my dream phone.

But do these phone dates count as dates? Should they? If I have to schedule the time and actually pay attention when you talk about your Grandma's 80th birthday party last Sunday, shouldn't that count as a date? Then do we really even have to meet if I can tell by your voice it's not going to work out...?

Alright, of course we'll meet - at the Mall!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Communication 202

Dear Mr. Potential Date,

Isn't it great that we've met through this cheesy online dating service and now we've made it through dozens of questionnaires that say we're a perfect match? Isn't it great that now we are left to communicate on our own, without the question suggestions and sentence starters?

I know! So wonderful that there is such a thing as gchat so we can instant message all throughout the work day and you can interrupt my every hour!? Isn't that just great! Yeah, I know I work from home so my schedule is kind of freer than yours... oh yeah, maybe we shouldn't gchat between 9am and 6pm so that you (and I) can get some work done. I know, it's so great to gchat but you know, we can email!

Yes! I just love receiving your one sentence emails, back and forth throughout the day, it's just like gchatting but not! Awesome, really.

What's that you say? You feel like you know me because of the way I write, aw how sweet. Yes, I am a funny writer, no, not sarcastic at all. Oh, you fell for my photo? How nice, just wait till you meet me - I'm all personality and no looks. Oh, now you want to call me on your lunch break, sure, why not? Take up another hour of my day because the two we spent gchatting and 3 we spent emailing has not taken up enough it's been lovely...

Yeah, it is pretty easy to talk to me since I do all the talking. Yes, my job is interesting. Yes, my walk in the park was nice. Yes, I got all your emails on my Blackberry while walking in the park. Yes, it's cool you went to the Ice hotel in Sweden, I'm sure that was really cool - I saw the pictures on your profile. Yes, I l liked your profile, you were honest about wanting kids in the next 2-3 years. No, I don't know if I want them that soon.

But what the hell, Sure, I'll go for a drink.
(Damn this blog and stupid mission)