Archive | June, 2012

Why I Blogged

27 Jun

Everybody Hurts…Sometime

In January of 2012, I decided, mostly on a whim, to start a blog about online dating. This was no New Year’s Resolution or sudden epiphany that I was born to be a dating blogger. I wish I could say my hand was forced by destiny…that my mind was pregnant with blogorrheic nuggets of wisdom handed down to me by the gods of online dating themselves. No, dear reader. Alas, this electronic rag was first inspired by an experience most mundane—rejection.

The cute Jewish political operative and I had hooked up on OkCupid and exchanged some very bland and decidedly unbantery overtures to meet. Not only was she a Jew, but a Jew from Florida, which meant no escape from the late-December visit to the panhandle. Fresh off an ugly breakup and a string of fruitless first dates (yay, online dating!), I had no expectations when we met up at a South African wine bar in Hell’s Kitchen. She was even prettier than her pictures and I was immediately attracted to her. Over the next several hours and many glasses of Pinotage and Chenin Blanc, the chemistry was palpable and the night disappeared in front of our eyes as only those really great first dates can. Halfway through the bottle, we both had to pee, only to learn that the bathroom was overflowing. This led to a somewhat memorable experience of being ushered to their sister restaurant down the block by the bartender through pouring rain. With no umbrellas, it was a nice opportunity to take charge and wrap my arm around her in a most manly fashion.

When the night was finally over, we walked to the intersection of our parting and she congratulated me on being her longest date ever. Then, she punctuated it with a clear opening for a kiss. We made out in the rain, not quite Spiderman style, but pretty intensely, neither of us really wanting to go home. We both knew we’d see each other again.

We swapped texts and set up another date for the weekend. Lamely, I suggested we see a movie and get food later. (They can’t all be winners, whatareyagonnado?) On Saturday, screwed by Brooklyn’s ridiculous weekend subway changes, I rushed from the train to the train to the shuttle bus, back to the train, just to cut my lateness by a few minutes. I sent her texts and she was perfectly understanding when I met her just as the movie was starting. She looked great again and I counted the minutes until we could just let go again. After Young Adult (which was an OK date movie I suppose), a fabulously amazing and fabulously expensive tapas experience was followed by a perfectly divey bar. Not long after some beers, I volunteered to cab her home. We got into a car and started making out in the back. I didn’t expect her to invite me in, but she asked me to come up and “meet her cat.” (Oh, ladies, how I love your subtlety.)

Upstairs, after a quick tour of her charming Hell’s Kitchen apartment, we were back at it until we both started falling asleep in each other’s arms. She was sorry for not asking me to spend the night but she wasn’t quite ready, and I absolved her of any guilt. It was totally understandable. As I left, I texted that I really loved holding her. It was a totally uncensored but (I thought) fairly harmless expression of my feelings. I was feeling good again, all was right with the world, there was magic in the air. The Times Square fumes smelled better.

Over the next few days, I was really excited. I texted, I even called. But all I got in return were delayed and tentative replies, with lame and well-worn excuses about having a “crazy week.” It’s not that I hadn’t been rejected before, but not like this. Not after two awesome dates where two souls, as different as any other two, seemed so perfectly in-sync. Not after we kissed the way we did. Not after I’d met her cat, for chrissake! What the fuck did I do wrong? Was I a bad kisser? Was I merely kiss-raping a very timid girl the entire time? Was she seeing someone else who was just a tad more special? It didn’t matter. Her steely response (or lack thereof) was pretty clear. She blew me off without an explanation; I was no better than some loser contacting her online for the first time. I thought of confronting her for answers, but what would that do? So she could fire off some template sandwiching a firm rejection between telling me how awesome I am and that I would find someone great? For the first time in a long time, I was hurt. Truly hurt. Start-a-blog hurt.

 

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How About We… First Get a Cup of Coffee and Make Sure Neither of Us Has Conspicuous STDs

12 Jun

Muff-Dive Before You Skydive

So I’ve joined this relatively new dating site, How About We (also served up through the Someecards website), and I really love it. I think it’s the best 2.0 dating site I’ve seen, with a gimmick that actually works, a simple layout, and an elegant way of collecting feedback to make improvements. The concept is simple but innovative: online dating based around experiences and interests rather than just arbitrary filters and profiles. You propose some dates you’d actually like to go on and only then do you fuss over whether your picture makes you look too fat or just how much you should reveal about your bug collection.

The coolness of the concept, however, has an amusing side-effect. Once you start scouring the ladies’ profiles, you run into some very amusing “unrealistic first date proposals,” or UFDPs. Some of these, localized to NYC, include:

  • Rock climbing
  • Shooting range
  • Parachuting out of an airplane
  • Ziplining over a mountain
  • Trapeze class
  • Spontaneous travel to an exotic locale (i.e., Peru/Inca Trail/Machu Picchu)

Now, not to be square and old-fashioned, but are any of these dates actually viable? With varying degrees of plausibility, even the ones that sound doable, such as a shooting gallery, in my humble opinion, do not create the best environments for getting to know someone (unless you’re both NRA members, in which case it just might be).

A first date should be about getting to know a person, not about extreme adventures. There should be some healthy awkwardness and a lot of conversation. You’re both feeling each other out, looking for common ground while looking for any really bright red flags. So, yeah, maybe it’s not very original, but a coffee or a glass of wine at a chill venue is usually pretty ideal. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, check out a museum or art gallery for some conversation pieces.

I’ve done my share of quirky dates. From Pickle Day on the Lower East Side to an interactive off-Broadway show to a Michael Jackson/Thriller outdoor tribute, I’ve tried to spice things up or just fly by the seat of my pants on a first date. Some were good, some were bad, some were neutral. What I’ve come to realize is that adventures are most awesome when shared with the right person, and your first goal should be to find that person, not going on a safari or arranging a flash mob date.

Not with a Bang But a Whimper

4 Jun

ImageIt was a casual mid-week evening of extreme beers and mild rage (in theory). A couple of my friends met me at Peculier Pub, that underrated NYU hangout on Bleecker that happens to offer one of the great bottle lists in all of New York. They even offer mediocre Eastern European varieties. Rarely will I imbibe a Belarussian lager, but I appreciate the option. The evening started out fortuitously with Founders Imperial IPAs and proceeded to the inevitable Samichlaus. 3 or 4 “erudite” beers in, the night started getting more interesting.

First, a Korean girl wandered in, looking lost. My friend uncharacteristically invited her to join us, whereupon we learned she was a language student. Behind us, a gaggle of geeks were holding court. Somewhere between the Korean girl and her friend (who soon joined us) singing the virtues of Dr. Who and a portly gentleman in a Dr. Who tee shirt behind us, we finally realized that the two girls were there for a Dr. Who fan club meeting. Awesome. Eventually, we had to release the Korean exchange student to her flock, but not before getting her to translate a North Korean beer commercial on YouTube (North Korea has beer commercials?).

Turning our attention back to our palates, we sailed further down the River Malt. At some point past that time when you stop paying attention to time, an odd couple started shadowing our booth. A skinny guy in a vest and a semi-ditzy, heavily inebriated blonde were swaying back and forth, hugging and pecking one another on the cheek. They sat down next to me and proceeded to unburden themselves of many a slurred thought. Sensing perfect marks for some bartime fun, we gave them fake names and got into character.

When the male half went outside to take a call, the blonde moved closer in and started chatting me up. I asked how long they’d been together. Laughing, she informed me that he was just a friend and was bi. As if catching herself, she immediately leaned in and whispered, “I’m pretty sure he’s just gay, but don’t tell him I said that.” Her secret was safe with me. She continued to engage me in conversation (such topics as, “What’s up with Jewish people, does it like, mean you’re Jewish?”) but I was only a quarter-interested in the mental wanderings of a 21-year-old FIT student.

I was trying to return to chatting with my friends when the girl nudged me and asked if I could accompany her to the restroom. Naively, I got up and walked her over to the typically grungy unisex bathroom in the back and returned to the booth forthwith. My friends stared at me incredulously and commanded me to return to the back of the bar immediately and proceed inside the bathroom with the girl. I complied. The door was ajar and she whisked me inside. We looked at each other somewhat awkwardly. She seemed to be vacillating between come-hither bluntness and some pre-sobering moral doubt. She made some throwaway remark about wall graffiti that I interpreted as her handing the ball over to me.

There I stood, drunkenly contemplating what is probably the only chance I would ever have at some honest-to-goodness bathroom sex in an NYC bar. But there was no push, no motor running. The only thing filling my mind was a total lack of investment and desire for this girl, who wasn’t half-bad-looking. After about a minute more of sloppy banter about bathroom walls, she hugged me, said, “Sorry that he cockblocked you,” pointing in the direction of her friend, and ran out of the bar into a rainy night. I walked back to our booth to tell my friends, and you all, one anticlimactic tale of staring.