Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Grown Up Frat Boy

About a month ago, I went out with a guy who I will call "The Grown Up Frat Boy" or "D-Bag" for short.  I met him on the online dating site and we chatted for about a week before meeting up.  He was funny, sweet, smart and cute and I was so looking forward to our first date.  Like the gentleman he purported to be, he offered to come up to my neighborhood (he lived on the opposite side of town and further down) and gave me enough time to go home after work to shower and primp.  So far so good.

We met at a wine bar by my apartment and I'm not exaggerating when I say it was one of the best dates ever!  We were there for four hours and the whole time there wasn't a single pause in conversation.  At one point I had to pee so badly I had to cut him off mid-sentence.  During our fabulous conversation, he told me that he had a friend's charity event coming up and asked if I'd like to go with him....a little odd, I know, but I was so excited I said "ok!" He further told me that he wants to meet a girl and get married within a year of dating and have kids.  I got even more excited and said "go on, I like what I'm hearing!" Of course, I'd later find out that's exactly why he was saying all this nonsense.

He also told me about what he did for a living.  He got laid off from an investment bank and decided to turn his part-time party planning company into a full time venture.  He was doing this and studying for the GMATs so that he could go to business school starting next year. On the first date I was impressed that he started his own successful business.  But, what I should've paid attention to was the fact that his business obligated him to go out to various clubs every night and that he was constantly surrounded by girls who would do almost anything to get into said clubs.  Whatever though, I was having an awesome time with him!

At the end of our four hour date, he told me that he wanted to get drinks the following week and then have a proper dinner date the week after when he was done with his exam.  I was ready to marry the guy.

The next morning as I sat in my dermatologist's office about to get my blood taken so that I could start Accutane in a month (another huge victory!), I decided to text him "Hey, thanks again for last night...I had a lot of fun!"  He never responded.

Seven days went by before I heard from him again.  And, what did he say to me on that seventh day?  "Hey, what's up?"  I figured he probably just sent that as a mass text to a whole bunch of girls, so I decided to play his game too.  He texted me at 1:30 pm so, I waited until 9 pm and replied "not much, you?"  He then called me ten minutes later.  He told me that he'd been really busy studying for the GMATs and that he had just gotten back from his tutor.  He was brushing his teeth and on his way out to meet up with some friends.  He told me that he wanted to see me again and that his test would be done on Tuesday...but, that he would probably go out with his buddies to celebrate.  I said that I actually already had plans on Tuesday, so that wouldn't work anyway.  We debated between Wednesday and Thursday and selected Wednesday because he stated he wanted to see me sooner rather than later.

Wednesday came and by noon I still hadn't heard from him.  So, I texted him, "hey, what's the deal for tonight?"  He replied that he hadn't given it much thought because he went out the night before and got wasted with his friends.  Nice, I thought to myself.  He asked me where I wanted to go and because I was annoyed I chose a bar right by my apartment.  D-Bag then said that he didn't want to come up to the upper east side and asked if we could go somewhere more in the middle.  I should've just cancelled the date because I was so annoyed, but I had really been looking forward to it. So, I suggested a place halfway between us but still on the east side of the city for me.  We agreed to meet there at 8.

It was another really great date.  I was out until 12:45 am with him....and, that's huge because I try to be in bed by 10:30 on weeknights.  We got food and drinks and had some more really great conversations.  This time though, I noticed some things that I probably had overlooked on the first date.  While we were at the bar he noticed his friend was there on a date as well.  He told me that his really cute female friend was in love with that guy and that they all thought that guy liked her as well.  He had to tell his possee right away of what was happening.  He called his other buddy at the table to tell him about how that guy was out with some cute girl, but yeah, female-friend was way cuter.  Neither of them could believe the injustice that was being done to female-friend.  I thought this was all pretty rude.  I couldn't care less about the dating drama within his group of friends.  

Then he told me about how he had been out with his frat brothers one night (recently) and they had all gotten arrested for something, but he luckily had a set of handcuff keys on him so he was able to get them all out and they were able to run away.  Why did he have a set of handcuff keys on him you ask?  For sexual purposes, of course.  He apparently does not leave home unprepared.

Besides his stories, he also asked me a series of questions, such as "do you think I'm attractive?" and "what color underwear are you wearing?" and, my favorite, "I have a 28 year old friend who's a virgin would you want to sleep with him?" This was all towards the end of the night, so luckily it didn't go on for too long before I ultimately said it was late and I had to go.

Another week had gone by and I still hadn't heard from him regarding the next date.  So, I stupidly decided to text him asking when were we going to get together again and telling him that Friday was the only night I was free (this was true).  He told me that he had to see first whether his cousin could get him Knicks tickets for that night and would let me know early on Friday.  Friday came and went, Saturday came and went, Sunday came and went and I had not heard from him.  Monday night he sent me a message on facebook stating "Sorry I've been MIA, it's a long story...want to get drinks tomorrow night?"  I wrote back the next day saying "I can't, I'm busy." He then asked "tomorrow?" I said I had tentative plans and that I'd let him know tomorrow.  Then he suggested Thursday.  I said "if not tomorrow, then maybe Thursday."  He said "ok, ha."  He knew that I was doing exactly what he did and I guess he wanted to be the D-bag winner in this odd power struggle we were in.

Wednesday afternoon I texted him saying "hey, I can't do drinks tonight, but I can do tomorrow night."  He responded "that should work."  I suggested we get dinner and drinks at this place in Murray Hill that I've been wanting to check out and he replied that he already had dinner plans, but that he'd do drinks there because he knows the manager.  I said that if we were doing drinks only I'd rather go up by my apartment because I was going away for the weekend and needed to pack.  I figured if I had to go home first, I might as well pack and then go out for drinks and didn't want to go back downtown, especially for this D-bag.  He, however, insisted we meet somewhere in the middle because his dinner plans were all the way downtown.  About 30 minutes later he texted me that he forgot he had his GMAT tutor on Thursday from 6 to 8 pm, but that he'd be willing to get drinks at 9 (still not offering to come up to my neighborhood even though he didn't have to get up early for work or anything) and that he would like to shower after his tutor.  I said that was a little late for me and that maybe we'd get together another night.  He texted me some meaningless banter after that and that was it.

I'm not sure if I expect to hear from him again or not.  All I know is that nothing good can possibly come from this guy.  It's a shame because we did have a really good time out together.  It also worries me that the next time I have a great date with a guy, I'm going to spend the whole time wondering whether it won't work out again.  I guess I'll just try to keep a open mind and look for characteristics similar those possessed by D-bag.  If I spot them, I will run far, far away.

I have some more dates lined up for the coming week.  I'm hoping they go well...but, if not...stay tuned for more stories.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Innovator

Last night I went on a date with a guy for who I had high hopes.  Turns out he was half hipster half lumberjack.  And a tiny one at that.  I feel compelled to write about this experience.

I've been back on the dating service site for about a month and a half now and I met Mr. Lumberjack on said site.  We exchanged a few emails and I liked him because he seemed witty and funny.  He chose a wine bar for us to meet at - he was considerate - he chose something that was convenient for me even though he worked all the way downtown and lived in Brooklyn.  I was already at the bar when he got there and my first impression was "omg, is this tiny guy with a head and face full of hair, really my date?"  He might as well have been wearing a red and black flannel and carrying an ax.  When I got over my initial shock, I told him that the bar was really crowded and suggested we go to another one around the corner.  As we were walking there, I couldn't help but notice that in my heels, I was taller than him.  I'm 5'0" on a good day and about 5'4" in my heels.  So, I'm guessing maybe he was 5'2"?  Awful.

We got to the other bar, which was also really crowded.  There are ten million places to go to in New York City, yet sometimes it's impossible to actually go out.  I dragged us to the other side of the bar because I was carrying two bags as I had just come from work.  At the other end, a nice couple informed us that they were getting up soon.  So, I made us hover over them until they got up and then I pounced on the seats.  Mr. LJ stood by while I secured seating for us.

We sat down and ordered drinks.  Just so you have an idea of our seating set up, I was sitting at the very end between my date and a velvet rope that sectioned off a small changing station for the waiters and bartenders.  Mr. LJ had no concept of personal space, so by the end of night I almost fell over the velvet rope trying to move over and away from him. 

We chatted over our first drink, mainly about our days and what we did at work.  He told me that he used to work at an investment bank and now he works for a credit card company designing phone apps, or something like that.  I honestly couldn't understand anything he was saying.  After we finished our first drink, I wanted to leave, but my date wanted to have another.  He pulled out the drink menu and declared that he was going to have a beer this time.  He politely asked me what I wanted and I stated that I had to get up early for work in the morning and had some work to do when I got home (all lies).  I was hoping he'd get the hint and suggest we part ways.  But, nope - instead he said "well, I'm going to get another."  Not wanting to sit there sober, I ordered a second drink as well.

I asked him some more questions about what he did at work, because I didn't really know what else to talk about with him.  He then pulled out his phone and began to show me all kinds of apps and websites about which I knew nothing.  He summed up his profession by saying he used to enjoy "capital markets," but now he enjoys "innovation" and "innovating things."  Right, I thought to mysel...who doesn't like to innovate things?  He then offered up some career advice - that I leave my current field of law to pursue employment in digital law, as that is "where it is all at now."  I have no idea what digital law is.  But, I didn't ask, because I didn't want to look at any more apps and websites.

He further spoke of indie concerts in Brooklyn in which I had no interest.  When I told him that I had not heard of a specific DJ, he looked at me like I had 3 heards or a huge lumberjack beard.  He also spoke of his love for winter sports.  When he asked if I liked to snowboard, I said no, because I prefer to go away somewhere warm if I have the opportunity to get away.  He snapped back at me "well, you obviously dress warmly when you're doing it."  I said, "right, or I could just go somewhere warm and be warm period."  The conversations may have gone more smoothly had he not cursed every other second or interrupted himself to crack up at his own "jokes."

The real unpleasant part of the evening consisted of his constantly touching me.  I thought it was pretty cold in the bar and at one point I actually began to shiver.  I told him that I was cold and he then decided it was appropriate to put his hands on top of mine which were on my lap.  He replied "really, you don't feel cold."  I literally cringed and backed away.  As politely as possible of course.  Throughout the rest of the night, he kept putting his hands on my shoulder, on my back and on my hands again for some reason.  By this point, I was fuming! Why on earth would you continuously touch someone who is so clearly not enoying it?!?  I got up to go to the bathroom and again nearly fell over the velvet rope.  When I got back, thankfully he had already obtained the bill and paid.  I thanked him for the drinks and began to put my coat on.  He followed my lead and we walked outside.  I had this erie feeling he was going to try to kiss me.  Fortunately, I didn't have to worry about making eye contact with him because standing in front of him, I could see right over his head.  I gave him a hug and said it was nice to meet him. Then I walked away towards the wrong direction and jumped in a cab to go home.

I can appreciate that it's hard for some guys to take girls out and try to impress them.  But, incessant touching and boring/vulgar conversation will not help the cause.  Oh, and don't say you're 5'7" when you're really 5'2", 5'3" tops.  Girls will notice.  And, please no lumberjack beards.  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

They're Not All So Bad: The Story of the Good Guy(s)

I feel like it's only fair that I dedicate one post to the positive experiences of dating.  Only one guy comes to mind at the moment.

Last March when I joined the dating site for the first time as a way to distract myself from my recent break up, I actually met someone pretty great (we'll call him "Buff").  His only downfall was that he was wayyyy into exercising and being fit.  I like to go to the gym and do yoga/pilates, but usually just so I can later eat a cheeseburger and cake semi-guilt free.  This guy was training for a triathalon when we met and, as such, worked out more than I could ever be ok with.  At the same time, though, it's probably why he had an amazing body and I had a small pouch where I could have had rock solid abs if I had tried nearly half as hard as he did.

So, Buff and I chatted it up and met for drinks at a wine bar one evening last year.  He was really funny, nice and cute and there was a connection instantly (at least on my end).  We went out to dinner the following week and in between we emailed and texted each other quite frequently, usually just silly banter.  Plans for a third date were soon approaching and I figured we'd go to dinner again or do drinks or something of that casual nature.  So, you can imagine I was a little taken aback when he suggested we cook dinner together at my apartment.  Seeing as how this was the first guy I'd been out with since my four year relationship, I was really nervous about how that would go.  I asked my friends for advice and ended up agreeing to the dinner date at my place. 

In planning to make this evening as smooth as possible, I said I'd go to the supermarket and get some ingredients and he could come over around 6:30 that Sunday evening and we'd make something together.  He kept insisting, however, that we go food shopping together.  At first I thought he wanted to come with me because he was scared I was going to make him eat carbs.  I eased his mind by suggesting that I'd buy proteins and vegetables only.  But, it turned out he just thought it would be more romantic.  However, I didn't like how relationship-y it felt because going food shopping and making dinner together was something I did often with my ex, and I thought a third date was too soon to do that with an almost stranger.  (I would later find out through facebook that he also had just gotten out of a long term relationship and while I was trying to avoid another one too soon, apparently he was looking to get right back into one.  Good thing facebook is there to reveal all.)

The day of our dinner date I went to the supermarket and picked out scallops and string beans, not that I knew what to do with them though.  I figured I'd leave that up to Buff.  Before he came over, I poured myself a giant glass of wine to calm my nerves and arranged the string beans on a baking sheet so that it would look like I knew something about cooking.  When he got to my apartment, he took a look at the ingredients I chose for dinner and he suggested we order a pizza.  Score one for the night.

We ate pizza and drank wine (in addition to my giant jug of wine, he also brought two bottles - score two) on my couch and watched whatever movies were on tv.  By hour four of this, I was pretty drunk and he still had not tried to kiss me.  I was starting to get worried, thinking maybe he didn't want to kiss me or that maybe we'd have to watch a few more movies before he got the courage to make his move.  That was a problem for me because I had to get up early for work the next morning and I'm quite cranky if I don't get sufficient sleep.  Finally around 11 pm, five hours and two bottles of wine later, he kissed me!  He told me that he'd been wanting to do that all night and I said "me too, I was wondering how many more bottles of wine we'd have to drink before you did."  He laughed and we kissed some more.  The kissing progressed a little, but not too much and around 1 am he went back home. 

After that awesome night we emailed each other a few more times and later that week I went to San Francisco to visit a friend for a long weekend.  When I got back from San Fran he was going on a company trip to Mexico.  So, there was no opportunity to see each other for about two weeks.  We said that we'd make plans when he got back from Mexico.

The day he got back I was so excited to talk to him and to see him again.  I emailed him to ask him how his trip was and his reply was a lot shorter and not as banter-filled as all of our previous emails.  I thought maybe I was just overreacting and analyzing our communications too much (I have a tendency to do this).  But, my observation was right.  He barely wrote anything to me that day and most importantly didn't mention anything about wanting to go out again.  I didn't want to seem needy and annoying, so I just left it alone and hoped that he'd call me soon to ask me to hang out.  Two weeks went by and I didn't hear from him at all.  I was racking my brain, re-reading our last emails, trying to figure out what on earth went wrong.  Finally, I had to just accept that this is what dating entailed - you meet a great guy, have a great a bunch of great dates and then never hear from him again.  Wonderful, I thought. 

Buff ended up emailing me the following week to apologize for being MIA and explaining that he had met a girl in Mexico and wanted to see where it could go.  Although I liked him based on our three dates, I wasn't terribly upset.  I appreciated his honesty and wished him luck with his relationship.  Deep down I knew he wasn't the guy for me - my idea of fun would never be camping, running marathons and cycling across the five boroughs.  I enjoyed my time with him and learned from him that there are good guys out there and if there was one, there (hopefully) are bound to be more. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Everyone's Favorite People: Hipsters and "Artists"

Of the various types of guys I've dated over the last year, I must say (sarcastically) that hipsters and "artists" are among my favorites.  Why do I have artists in quotes, you ask?  Oh, you'll find out.

Last May I went out with a self proclaimed artist who I had met on the dating site I was on.  Again, I was new to this whole dating thing, so I didn't really understand the concept of being selective.  He seemed cute and nice enough, so I thought "eh, how bad can it be?"  It was pretty bad.  The "artist" had chosen a bar for us to drink at on a Sunday afternoon in a really grimey area of city.  I remember thinking, good thing there's still daylight out as I got off the subway and walked towards the bar.  This should've probably been my first clue. 

My date got to the bar a few minutes after I did and when he walked in the first thing I noticed was that he was really skinny and his pants were about ten times too big on him.  He sat down next to me and we began to chat.  I asked him where he had come from and he said that he lived in Queens.  I forget where exactly in Queens, but I do remember him stating that it was not a nice place and quite dangerous actually.  I thought to myself, at least I'll never have to venture out to him.  We chatted a little more and ordered wine.  After the first glass, I was already a little tipsy and that's when he began to tell me about his work as an "artist."  He told me that he was enrolled in an art school and that he was stressed because he had a deadline for a big project looming.  He looked very stressed - his shirt was all wrinkled and his hair was disheveled.  He kept rubbing his forehead and shaking his head.  I asked "what is this project that has you so worked up?"  He explained that he had to paint a giant glass of wine and a lemon.  Now, I'm no artist by any means, but I thought to myself "there must be more to it."  I was on glass number two of wine, so my questioning became more straightforward and less nice.  I asked him why the painting of the glass and lemon was so hard to complete (he claimed to have been working on this project for several months now).  He stated that it was difficult because he worked in a very small studio and he couldn't step back far away enough from the easel to view it properly. Simple solution I thought - why not go paint outside in the park or sounded like something he would've enjoyed.

I then asked him about this art school he attended.  He told me that it was an art school located in Grand Central Station and that it was called Grand Central Art School, or something ridiculous along those lines.  At this, I laughed out loud.  He continued to explain that he was in this "school" for four years now and that you don't really get graded or a degree for that matter.  I asked him what he's been doing for four years then.  He replied that a man had been observing his work and providing constructive criticism throughout his educational years at this supposed Grand Central Art School.  I couldn't help but wonder if some homeless guy in Grand Central Station had been duping this dum-dum for the last four years and taking his money all while pretending to be an art teacher.  I thought my story seemed more credible than his.

By the end of our date, the bartenders were laughing at me and my situation and I guess felt bad enough for me that they had given me a third glass of wine on the house.  That's when I knew it was time to leave.  The bill came and my artist date said that he had trouble seeing it because he had left his glasses at home.  So, I told him what the total was and then a few seconds of silence passed.  Sensing that my aspiring artist was broke, I offered to split the bill, but he said no and that he got it. I began to put my jacket on when he said to me "actually, do you have $10?"  I said "no, I don't" and turned around and left.

More recently, I went out with what turned out to be a hipster from Brooklyn.  He was really cute and seemed nice, so I thought, "hey, why not?"  I told him to let me know when and where he wanted to go and he responded by asking me if I wanted to come to Brooklyn because he knew of a nice bar there that had a fireplace.  I wanted to exclaim, "wow, no one has ever taken me somewhere so nice before!" but, instead I suggested a wine bar in midtown that I enjoy.  Was he out of his mind thinking I was going to go all the way to Brooklyn to meet him for our first date?!

We got to the wine bar and had a really good time.  We drank a lot of wine, got some food, had great conversation and when the bill came he actually paid for it! When we left, he kissed me goodnight and I was quite pleased how things had turned out with the hipster.  As such, I decided to go out on a second date with him.

For our second date, he picked a bar on the lower east side because it was close to Brooklyn and, therefore, convenient for him.  We both worked in midtown, but of course I had to travel all the way downtown so that the princess could have a quicker trip home at the end of the night.  Nevermind that I would have a 45 minute commute back up to my apartment. 

We got to the bar and left soon after because it turned out a company was having its office party there that night.  We were the only two people at the bar that were not part of the company party and we stuck out pretty well.  We left and decided to go to a wine bar around the corner.  There we had some wine and talked some more.  Only this time, I wasn't liking what I was hearing.  He was going on about his love for camping (anyone who knows me knows that I do not camp, nor will I ever want to camp...I think the whole premise of it sounds miserable and awful), about his gross roommates and about how rich people are bad.  He apparently was having a good time though, because he suggested we get two more glasses of wine and food.  I wasn't hungry and didn't want to drink anymore - I just wanted to go home, but I went along with it anyway.  I wish I hadn't though, because when the bill came, he asked me to split it! I just looked at him and contemplated saying something like "no, I don't believe in that", but more than anything I wanted to get out of there, so I handed over my credit card and split the bill with him. 

When we left the bar, he asked me if I wanted to walk with him because the subway for me was along the way.  I told him that it was late and that I was just going to take a cab home.  He felt it necessary to inform that he doesn't take cabs because he feels too guilty doing that, but he understood if I felt that I had to take one.  I thanked him for his understanding and hopped into the first cab that came along. 

Since those dates I have made a conscious effort to steer clear of "artists" (broke) and hipsters (broke and judgmental).  I do not regret this decision.