~Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Date #6

I have been complaining—loudly—at my desk at work about the type of guy I want. Date #6 fit all the items I listed, no matter how fantastical I became. He's an SEC college graduate - check. He still has the frat-boy look about him: North Face, Croakies, etc. - check. Looks good in glasses - check. Has a dimple when he smiles - check. Taller than me - check.

A gentleman - check check. Stays in regular contact - check check. Has a stable career - check check. Doesn't have a roommate - check check.

Likes me - check check check.

So what could be the problem with someone who has so many pros? There's a con:

He's four years younger than me.

I am trying to be open-minded about this. I am. He interviewed and accepted his corporate job before he graduated from college. He seems to be at the same place as me.

But he sits across the table from me and he seems so eager and optimistic and bubbly, and I just think about how I could tear this person apart. I could destroy the good, wholesome part of him. Doesn't he know who I am? Doesn't he know what I have been through since I was 25? I have lived and experienced things that no one should have. The good, wholesome part of me is dead. Someone else took it. Just like what I could do to him.

I never before realized the similarities between a zombie and someone who's had her heart broken. We're all a little dead on the inside. We're afraid of being capable of contaminating others. We seek out others with similar souls.

I know I can't be with someone who hasn't had his heart broken. All the times I have loved in good faith and lost have come to define me. At happy hour a couple of weeks ago, I asked Schmoozer if he has ever had his heart broken.

"No," he grinned. "I always leave them."

I pressed my lips together. "Nope. I could never date you."


"Because I don't trust someone who hasn't had his heart broken."

It's true. And Date #6 chirps like someone who hasn't been crushed. Maybe that's why I was attracted to the coarseness of The Hungarian. He was dark, and I liked that I was the optimistic one. I like being the good one.

"I feel like I could corrupt you," I said to Date #6 as I took a swig of my beer.

He tried to smile devilishly, but failed at it. "Trust me, you can't corrupt me." He sat up a little straighter and cleared his throat. "Age is just a number to me. I usually hang out with people who are older because I act older than I am. But if my age bothers you, I'd rather know now and not later."

Damn, that was a mature thing to say.

So I did the only thing I could think of; I threw him to the wolves to see if he could hold his own. I invited him out drinking at Monday Night Football with my group of friends. And then I told my friends that this was a test.

Government Mule looked at me, "You know I am going to give him a hard time."

"Good. Let's see what he's made of." Government Mule has been engaged twice; I trust him.

Government Mule told Date #6 that we knew each other because we were prom dates from high school. I corrected GM. The girls were nice to him, but GM bristled at him. There were eye daggers, the bird made an appearance (I can't remember on whose side) and there were some good-natured swearing. It reads worse than it was; smiles were being traded concomitantly. Date #6 took it in stride, but I got a little worried over GM's behavior.

Date #6 was able to hold his own.

So I went out with Date #6 again last night. And I'm still just as unsure of him.

Doesn't he know who I am?

I am a zombie.

~Tuesday, November 23, 2010


The summary of Date #6 is forthcoming, but I don't feel well and I don't feel like doing it right now. I think I have the beginnings of a cold and I'm preparing to leave town tomorrow after work for Thanksgiving.

In case my feelings on Thanksgiving are not widely documented, I hate this damn holiday. I'm like Chandler from Friends. I have never had a good Thanksgiving. The reasons vary:

  • I am a child of divorce, so Thanksgiving usually means I'm in the car and crossing the state so I can eat with both my mother and my father's family. There's no stability, no relaxing, no football and no beer.

  • I'm forced to spend time with my extended family, but it's not a religious holiday, so no one is on good behavior. The last several Thanksgivings at my father's house, I have shed tears because I have felt attacked over financial, political and sociological differences.

  • On a related note, sometimes my siblings can be assholes. I'll never forget the moment when I came home for Thanksgiving in college with several copies of the newspaper I was writing for and distributed my article to the relatives. My brother read it and said, "I guess news writing is different than real writing." Asshole!

  • My grandmother has been terminally ill for the last year, which means I haven't seen my mother for any holiday, including Thanksgivings.

This Thanksgiving I will be driving 1,000 miles round trip to sit in the nursing home (soon to be hospice care on Monday) with my grandmother for 2 days while she is approaching the final stages of cancer. You can tell me I'm being a good child, but really I'm being selfish. I'd rather have my Thanksgiving ruined instead of my Christmas, so I'm going now and not then. I'm also going to be sibling- and extended family-free.

My mom called yesterday and asked if I wanted her to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving. It's just going to be the two of us at the farm house.

"No, I'd rather not."


"Why keep up the pretense that this is going to be a fun holiday? We both know what it really is. It's keeping vigil in a nursing home and smelling pee for 2 days straight. I'd rather not carry on a charade that we're there to celebrate. I packed a bottle of gin; I got all I need."

To which my mom said, "Gin is a summer drink."

"It's got juniper in it. Just think pine needles and Christmas trees."

"I'll get the tonic water."

~Monday, November 22, 2010

Language Barrier

Friday night was spent with The Hungarian, Saturday night was spent at Government Mule's birthday party and Sunday night was spent on Date #6.

The Hungarian. Still unsure of the situation, but I think that's okay for now. He'll say one thing and in my head, I'm thinking, Nope. Not going to happen. And then he'll say something else within five mintues, to which I think, Well, maybe... There's a whole lot of gray going on with him. He's not completely bad and he's not completely good, and it's making things difficult for me to analyze.

I do think I was wrong when I wrote of him so harshly after the first time I met him. He is not, in fact, the type of guy who insults girls to get them into bed. He has never actually done this. Despite the teasing I got when I first met him, he has never done it again. The Hungarian is not the personality that went on that first awkward date.

My struggle with him is that he is so literal. This is not the American way. The American way is to act cool and aloof and humble and then expect the unspoken. For instance, my father tells me every year to not get him a Christmas gift/Father's Day gift/birthday gift. "I don't need anything. I just want a card," he assures. So one year, I showed up with a card and then was in trouble with him for the entire following year because I didn't get him a present because he told me not to. Do you know the number one lie women tell? It's "I'm fine." The American way is to say one thing, mean another, and—most importantly—know the difference.

But The Hungarian says what he means and means what he says and it's led to crossed wires because I'm living subtextually. He reminds me of a close male friend of mine from college whom I affectionately called The German. Until one night when we got drunk and started calling him Ze German.

Ze German was a nice guy and had a kind heart, but he was strange with his social relationships. He refused to pay for any of his dates at any time in the relationship. Ze German said that dating is about the company and he wasn't going to pay for it because then it's too close to prostitution, etc. If he and a woman mutually wanted to spend time together, they could pay their own ways. He had all these little rules like that.

He was also very literal. When he and Conor lived together, Conor accused Ze German of not picking up after himself. To prove that he did indeed pick up after himself, Ze German then went on a two-week rampage where he left every cereal bowl and every glass he used out. It turned into quite a mess and an epic stalemate. That kind of literal.

I guess there is solace in knowing someone is always going to be honest and upfront with you. I guess I'm just not quite used to that idea yet. My whole blog is built around analyzing the subtext.


Friday night The Hungarian was telling me about his day and how he just finished this "Avis" book and thought it was really good. Throughout the whole night, it was "Avis" this and "Avis" that. I just smiled and nodded, having no clue what he was talking about.

Until he picked up the book to read to me and I saw a picture of Elvis on the cover.

~Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Guys versus Girlfriends

In between my dates with The Hungarian, I spent time lunching with Schmoozer which turned into a happy hour invite.

I sent Katie a text message: Hope you look cute today because Schmoozer will be joining us at happy hour!

She sent back: Hope you look cute! It's your invitation he accepted.

We're just friends.

I've been careful around Katie, because I know she abides by strict girl code. She won't date anybody her friends like and she won't date anybody her friends have dated. And just in case Schmoozer does have feelings for her, I don't want to be the cock block. I date. I get around; Katie does not. If I've learned anything from eHarmony, it's that next week will bring another guy for me to get excited about. I don't need them all.

At lunch on Friday, I told Schmoozer that I felt bad for this one mysterious guy who showed up on our team, acted all weird, and disappeared. Joining a league is an avenue for meeting new people, regardless of the motivation, and I felt bad for this guy who got nothing out of the league. I said I wished I tried harder to connect with him.

"Don't feel bad for him," Schmoozer told me. "People make their own experiences."

And I think that encapsulates why Schmoozer and I get along so well. I always write how easy it is to talk to him and I think it's because we are both extroverts. Maybe his attention isn't an overture towards me. Maybe it's just we're both people who venture out of our comfort zones. That's how we found each other.

Happy hour was the first time Schmoozer really sat down and got to know my group of friends. And he made the most of his experience. The table took turns sharing our adventures with him, each story providing insight to each of our personalities. He drank up the stories as quickly as we drank our beers.

Happy hour lasted seven hours. Everyone got drunk. Harvey, Katie and me did the obligatory go into the bathroom to pee and stay there 45 minutes sharing secrets. Harvey again iterated that she's having a baby within the year and we need to get on it. I told Harvey about my week spent trying to be like her.

"Bullshit. I wouldn't have called Christopher," she said. "Turn around and look in the mirror." I did as much. "Now tell me what you like about yourself."

"I... I... I like my bangs," I said.

"Good! I love your bangs!"

"I like that I make new friends easily. Did you know I was invited to our opposing kickball team's Facebook group?"

"You were the only one to branch out!"

Katie leaves the stall and sits on the bathroom counter. And then she admitted some secrets that aren't mine to disclose. Suffice it to say that all those times I've felt like an outsider in the group, she's felt that way too, just for the exact opposite reasons. All those times I talked about dating and sex and feeling like something was wrong with me for wanting those things when no one else talked about them, she felt like an outsider because she doesn't have any stories about dating or sex... and she wants those stories.

"It used to be that I was heavy and that's what I blamed for not dating. Now that I lost the weight, I have no one to blame but myself."

There was more discussion that led to holding hands and hugging and declaring that the three of us were each others best friends. Nothing out of the ordinary for an alcohol-fueled night. Meanwhile, Schmoozer sent me a very eloquent text message from outside the ladies' room: Shit or get off the pot.

We rejoined the group. Schmoozer put his arm around my waist. "What were you doing in there? The waitress said you were probably declaring each other best friends."

"We were! We were!"

We ordered another pitcher of beer, but somehow our glasses were cleared away during our epic bathroom trip. Katie picked up the pitcher and began drinking from that. Schmoozer noticed and sat beside her. It was the first time they have ever spoken to each other.

Harvey nudged me. "You know, I don't think Schmoozer knows what he wants. I think he wants both of you."

The rest of the night continued the same. Schmoozer would sit beside one of us and then trade every 10 or so minutes. Until Katie disappeared. And then a few minutes after that Harvey disappeared.

I walk into the bathroom. Harvey was sitting outside a stall with her back against a wall and her legs spread out in front of her. In her hand was her iPhone and she was casually scrolling through Facebook like this was the most natural thing to do on the floor of a bar bathroom at midnight on a Friday night. She raised an eyebrow at me. I waved and headed in another stall.

I sat down. On the ground in the stall next to me was a Katie-shaped body slumped against a toilet.

"Hey! It's Katie!" I cooed as I reached my hand under the wall and tickled her thigh. She didn't move. Apparently Katie drank so much that she had been sick and was passed out. Katie drinks more frequently and in higher volumes than I do, and Katie was the only one of us that ate dinner at the bar. I tried to think why this had happened.


Just like Harvey knows I'm beautiful and fabulous, I know that Katie is beautiful and fabulous. I just assumed I was the only one who has a hard time seeing it in herself, because up until the previous trip to the bathroom, I was the only one that talked about it. I thought Katie knew how desired she was because it seems like every guy I date or show interest in (see: Christopher, 5k Guy and Schmoozer) expresses interest in her instead. I never considered for a second that she didn't see the things that everyone else saw. She seems so much more in control than me.

The moral of the story is that everyone has their own problems. I get that intellectually. But actually learning about these girls I love so much helps me understand it on a better level.

Harvey's husband came in the girl's bathroom and picked up Katie and carried her to his car. She spent the night cuddled up on the floor of Harvey's guest bathroom. And I decided to leave Schmoozer alone for good.

There will always be next week and another guy.

~Monday, November 15, 2010

The Hungarian

The Hungarian, perhaps the most traveled and well cultured person I know, chose a Mexican restaurant for our second date. I scrunched up my nose, grateful he couldn't see my face in the darkness of his car. Mexican food is pretty bottom of the barrel in my opinion. It's always some corn product stuffed with shredded meat and topped with tomato or cheese sauce. I have never had a Mexican meal and declared afterward "Ooh that was good!" Mexican is filling, not good. And this man who has probably tasted every cuisine in its natural habitat chose Mexican. Blech.


The morning after our first date, I arrived to work a half hour early because I couldn't sleep. I was that disappointed with myself for making out with the hot, bad boy. And when I regaled my coworkers with the story of our date, they scrunched their noses exactly like I had done when I heard I was eating Mexican.

"Could it have been nerves?" my boss asked.

I paused and gave her question some thought. "I mean, it's possible. He was very self deprecating of himself after he saw how bristled I became."

"Could he have been creating a bit when he was teasing you?"

"If it was a bit, it failed miserably."

The Hungarian had texted me the same morning. He was confirming our date for Saturday. He tried to tease me again and I texted back that I would not go out with him if it was going to be at my expense.

Then he gave me a proper invite and I accepted. Then morning of our date, he texted me his address. And when I didn't respond, he called a couple of hours later to confirm yet again.


Back in the car, The Hungarian flipped through his mp3's. "There might be a wait tonight. It's a popular restaurant."

I asked him if we were going to the only Mexican restaurant I could stand. That's because it's really Americanized Tex Mex and not true Mexican food. He said it was the restaurant I was thinking of. I cheered and clapped.

"Ah, she is happy," he said.

At the dinner table I reached in my Kate Spade evening bag and pulled out a pink post-it note. "I called my father," I began.

"Oh no. I am not going to say a word. You got so angry last time that I am just going to sit here."

I pushed the post-it across the table towards him. I don't know German and I didn't want to mispronounce anything in front of him. "Here is the town in Austria my father says my family is from."

He inspected the paper and pulled out his iPhone. He typed in the town name. "Heh," he said. "It really is on the Austrian/Hungarian border." He flipped his phone towards me so I could see. "Here is Budapest. Here is the city the where I am from. And here is your town. It's about two hours from where I grew up."

This is the moment where I should have smiled demurely. "Eat your words, [Hungarian]!" I smirked.

He picked up the post-it from the table and brought it to his nose. He inhaled and fluttered his eyes, as if it were scented. Then he tucked it inside his wallet.

After dinner, he asked if I wanted to go back to his house and have a mug of tea and watch a movie.

"Never go to the second location," I automatically responded.

"I do not know what that means?"

"Oh, just on Oprah, when you're abducted it's safer to escape at the point of abduction. It's when they get you to the second location, that's where you're in danger of being killed."


But I went to the second location. His house was immaculate. I doubt there was a misplaced crumb. "Shoes off," he instructed.

"What?" I asked.

"No shoes in the house."

All of a sudden I felt like Carrie Bradshaw. I stuck out my lower lip. "Have you seen my outfit?" I asked defiantly. "It does not work without my boots." I was wearing this skimpy, little dress with my new knee highs. It was the boots that were keeping me from revealing too much. And they were keeping me warm. Without my boots, I was just a girl in a skimpy, little dress.

"Boots off!" he repeated. He lit a fire in the fireplace and put in a movie. I always said that Come over and watch a movie was international code for sex. This theory had just been confirmed. It wasn't long before we were making out again.

The Hungarian is handsy. I kept brushing away his advances.

"Your knees are so tight they could crush bones," he remarked.

"Yes, your bone."

"I think I am too agile for you," he said.


"Handsy," he said, using my word. I laughed.

"I just need an emotional connection before I can do anything physically," I explained.

"It's like the chicken and the egg," he said. "Who's to say which one comes first? I think the emotional and physical come together."

"But the chicken and the egg—there is no right answer," I remarked.

"No, it means I am right," he chuckled. "If I was just in this for notches in my belt, I would have asked you to leave. But I didn't. I am older now. I'm attracted to you physically and emotionally. Unfortunately for you, all of my attention is on you," he grinned.

The Hungarian never did get past second base that night. I was tucked in my own bed by midnight. As I was leaving, he told me he was heading to Montreal for business, but that he would be back by Thursday and wanted to see me then. I like that he asks for the next date as the current one is ending, but I'm still wary of him. He didn't say anything adverse to me that night and appeared reformed with teasing me. But I can't gauge yet how calculating he is.

~Friday, November 12, 2010

Date #5

I feel dirty.

Two dates in two days at the same cafe. I even wore the same outfit.

After I finished my rant about expats and traveling yesterday, last night I met... another expat who just returned from holiday in Vienna. This one was Hungarian and his accent was instantly detectable. He was also 10 years my senior and smoking hot.

I was 20 minutes late and I couldn't find parking, so by the time I scampered into the cafe, I was flustered. He was sitting alone at a table in the corner with two glasses of water in front of him. I did a check around the bar to make sure he was the only single male and that he was indeed my date.

"Hi," I said as I took off my jacket.

"Do you want to do another lap around the bar?" he asked.

"No, I'm good." I sat down.

"You're 19 minutes late," he said.

"I know! I'm sorry! I had a difficult time finding parking. I was on my the third trip up the street when you called."

"You're paying. When you're 19 minutes late, you pay. Those are my dating rules."

Inwardly, I groaned. He was one of those people with a dry sense of humor. I don't do well with those people because I can never tell if he's trying to be funny or just plain mean. It's not a style of humor that I can work with and do the call and response bit. And should it really be called a style of humor when no one is laughing?

He immediately asked me about my experience on eH and seemed taken aback when I told him he was date #5. He asked how my dates went and I told him about my date with the guy that walked 10 feet in front of me like we were living in Iraq and how he didn't ask me any questions about me. He seemed down on eHarmony, saying that he didn't believe in the matching like the site boasts. Then he told me of a flaw he perceived in my profile.

"Yeah, well I guess I should have started a new sentence," I conceded. I switched topics to Hungary. "Tell me about Hungary. I don't know anything about the country."

"It's a shit hole."

I try again. "What's the landscape like?"

"It's flat."

"Is it sandy or agricultural?"


"I have a really unusual last name, and I'm told it's from the borderland of Austria and Hungary."


"Yeah, you know, where the countries touch, or border if you will."

And he just would not let my use of the word "borderland" go. He said no one actually calls it that and he kept making fun of it. And it made me feel stupid. I'm not a world traveler so I'm not hip on my Eastern European slang. I hate feeling stupid and I hate that this guy across the table from me is acting like I'm stupid. Because I'm not.

Then he started giving me false information just to see if I was smart enough to know better. Thankfully, I caught him every time but he wouldn't let my original mistake go.

I watched as he continued his one-man show about the fucking borderland. I got this guy's number. You know who he is? He's the guy who insults women to get them into bed. They say things like You're pretty, for a tall girl. He'll needle you and make you question whether he's pulling your pigtails like a kindergartner or just generally insulting you. His goal is for women to seek his approval because it seems so hard to obtain.

So I ordered another glass of red wine. If he wants to play that game, I can play it. I have been teased enough growing up that know what insulting is.

We had moved on to electronics. He was telling me that the one nice thing in his house is the stereo setup from his iPad. Apparently he can turn on the upstairs and downstairs systems with his iPad.

I shrugged, unimpressed. "Doesn't matter if you're just going to play shitty music."

He leaned back, "Did you see what you just did?"

"I know exactly what I just did."

"You degraded the entire worth of something based on whether it fit your taste."

"I know."

"When did the tables turn?" The Hungarian was impressed. It also reinforced that he was playing the game.

He spoke of his sister a lot. That was the one redeeming factor about him. He spoke of his sister very lovingly and how great their relationship is even though she's living in Switzerland.

The check came. "Are you going to pay?" he asked. He had been drinking chamomile tea while I had been guzzling merlot. I picked up the bill and looked at it. His tab was $1.99. Mine was $12.00.

I looked at him. "If that's how you want to be remembered, I'll pay. If that's how you want to be remembered."

I put my card down. All of a sudden he was embarrassed. "I'll buy you dinner."

He asked where I parked and walked with me the block or so to my car. At the car, he faced me and pinned me against my car and went in for the kiss. I was so disgusted with myself.

I joined eHarmony to meet a nice guy and have a relationship, but what do I end up doing? Kissing the first bad boy I come across. I knew his game. I knew it. I was not surprised in the least when we get to my car and he tells me how pretty I am. It's what that kind of guy does. He spends the whole night insulting you and throws you one small compliment at the end so the girl can jump up and down and clap Approval! Approval! He likes me!

This guy did not deserve to be kissed. But I kissed him anyway. As he was leaning in, I tried to remember the last time a guy tried to kiss me and I grew sad because it has been such a long time. I wanted to be kissed. Just not by this guy. But he was here in front of me, leaning in, smelling good, looking hot.

He kissed and he kissed. He was a fabulous kisser. I bet people walked by us thought that we were in love and I hated that I gave that impression. I was not in love. I just liked that this gorgeous man wanted to kiss me.

"Dinner Saturday? I'm buying."


I feel dirty.

~Thursday, November 11, 2010

Date #4

Last night I met another guy from eHarmony. I'm experiencing a lot of difficulty organizing my thoughts about this one.

First off, he was Irish. I was taken aback by this because he was so soft spoken that it took me a couple of minutes to realize this. Secondly, most expats announce their country of origin in their profiles to load up on the vapid women who date them for the accent. For this reason alone, I usually avoid the expats.

He was more attractive than he is in his picture. Last night he sported a light scruff across his face that suited him very well. We immediately asked each other how our respective kickball tournaments ended. His team came in second. Mine came in third.

On a side note, about 4 or 5 people I'm communicating with on eHarmony have stated that they are playing in kickball leagues. According to the website and my team t-shirt, it's the premier social experince, but I had no idea that this is the new way to meet singles. Apparently it's a huge market. I highly recommend it and wish I had taken more advantage of the opportunity while I played. On a side, side note, we just signed up for dodgeball, which I'm a 100% certain will result in an injury to my face.

My date was very soft spoken, to the point where I thought I might have had a hearing problem. I'm the opposite: loud and boisterous. A positve trait about me is that I can sit down with someone I've never met and treat him like we've been friends for years. I'm instantly comfortable around strangers, and I was the only one in my group of friends to make friends with Schmoozer and even players on opposing teams. But his quiet demeanor suprised me and I found myself becoming more reserved as the night wore on.

We have a lot in common in that we are both active and enjoy going outdoors and doing something. But we're opposites when he asked me about travel.

"I have the curiosity to travel—I even have the time—but I don't have the money. It's hard when you're alone. With someone else a $200 hotel becomes a $100 hotel."

"So where do you travel?"

I listed the 5 states I visited this past summer. Just when I was feeling confident and interesting in my travel, he said

"Oh, so you travel domestically."

It seems like a requirement to have an avid interest in travel when you have an online dating profile. Half of your pictures are supposed to be you standing in front of some monument (his was London and Paris) or a blurry picture that's labeled a cafe in Spain. I have half a mind to post a picture of me sitting in a Taco Mac and label it enjoying a beer in Portugal. I have plenty of pictures of the 2 weeks I spent traveling through Italy, but that was 10 years ago and I kinda looked butch at the time. So now it's a question of do I want to look attractive or do I want to prove that yes, I have travelled too?

And I'm sitting here a day after the date, all worked up about expats and travel once again, but yet I still want to see him. There were fleeting moments when his reserved guard was down and he threw out a careless laugh or a snicker of mischievousness and I thought, this is a person I want to know. He's intelligent. He's well read. He still steals music off the Internet. He reminds me of Adam in that he's already moaning about his physical ailments because he's 8 years older than me. He reminds me of Conor, of whom I swore I would never date another Irish Catholic as long as I lived. But I feel the need to crack this guy, to get him drunk and learn his secrets and know the person that I think is within.

He paid and made sure I had enough money to pay the parking attendant. We walked outside. He gave me a hug. The hug was full frontal, shoulders meet shoulders with hips not too far apart, which passed my hug litmus test. He said quietly that he would be in touch.

For the first time since I started online dating, I said, "I hope you'll call."

He stopped, looked me square in the eyes and said confidently, "I will."

So I'm cautiously optimistic. I'm thinking it's like a 50/50 shot.

~Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cult Of Personality

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an e-mail to a girl I considered a close friend and told her that my feelings were hurt due to a series of events. As I hit "send" I thought about what a grown up I was being by acknowledging my feelings and letting the other person know how I was feeling.

Er, only it didn't go over very well. Whereas previously she was fine and happy and my feelings were hurt, my e-mail caused her to become angry with me and my feelings even more hurt. She said some really hurtful things to me, and I can't get past these statements. I feel like our relationship is irreparably damaged because, frankly, I'm now a little afraid of her temper.

The lesson I took away from this is to never discuss your feelings with someone who doesn't discuss her own feelings. If you have a friend who doesn't ever talk about her own feelings, she sure as hell isn't going to acknowledge yours.

I, on the other hand, am on the opposite end of the spectrum and am probably too in touch with my feelings, hence them getting hurt in the first place. I remember being called sensitive since I was 3 or 4 right up to that incident a couple of weeks ago. I am too sensitive. I feel too much. I care too much. I love too much.

I also feel like I caused a lot of drama by disclosing how I felt. If I had never said anything, then she wouldn't have gotten angry and she wouldn't have said those things to me. The end result was the same—I was hurt—so what was the point?

You know who isn't sensitive? Harvey. She rarely causes drama. People want to be around her. When anyone in the group tries to make plans, everyone hangs back until Harvey declares if she's going or not. People are drawn to her. And they certainly don't call her up and say horrible things to her.

So how can I be less like me and more like Harvey?

I made a mental list of Harvey's characteristics. Harvey is beautiful, but her looks isn't what makes her beautiful. It's her confidence. So I should probably work on that.

When the series of events happened a couple of weeks ago, Harvey was affected too. And she told me she was annoyed with the happenings. The difference? I made my feelings outward and she did not. Harvey publicly acts that she's going to be having a good time no matter where she is, no matter the circumstances. I really admire that about her. So, I should focus on having a good time no matter what I do (read: relax). Although it's tough pretending like my opinions and feelings don't count. I asked Harvey about this, and she admitted that she works on this too, but she's been doing this for years has this act down to 80/20. Eighty percent of the time she's truly happy and 20% she's faking it. She said, however, that it wasn't always this ratio.

Another reason people enjoy being around Harvey is that she is always on your side. To your face. I notice this behavior more with people she's acquaintances with. If you are a Red Sox fan, she'll be all "Woo! Red Sox!" Or on the phone she'll respond, "Of course, you're totally right. That person is a douchebag" and she'll look at the group in front of her, smile mischievously, and shake her head no. Now, if you are a close friend, she'll put you in your place. It is disingenuous, but it works for her. I tried to behave like this for Christopher's birthday, but we saw how that turned out.

And when I told Harvey I wish I could be more like her and relax and have a good time no matter where I'm at? She told me she wish she could tell people her feelings were hurt. I honestly don't know who that speaks more highly of, but it makes me smile.

Make people smile, I should probably add that to the list.

~Monday, November 08, 2010


Friday night I was carrying a few packages and my dry cleaning waiting for me at my building's front desk and tugging my dog's leash behind me as I tried to navigate my way into the elevator. My phone chimed. The doors of the elevator closed and I balanced a box on my knee as I fished my phone out. It was Schmoozer.

"Are you going to the kickball league party tomorrow night?" he asked.

"Sure am." I texted back.

"Excellent! Do you have any plans tonight?"

My plans were to sit in my jammies and knit while I attempted to clear some shows off of the TiVo. I've been so busy the past couple of months that my TiVo is near capacity.

Then my phone rang. It was Schmoozer. So he did know better than to ask a girl out via text message.

"What do you have in mind?" I asked.

"Beer and darts."

I was nowhere near a mirror, but I knew I looked confused. "Sorry, I don't know of a single place that has darts. It's just not on my radar."

"You've never played darts?" he exclaimed.


"Okay, how about an Irish pub?"

"That, I know." Since he doesn't know the city very well, I chose the most popular Irish pub that's frequented by socialites and wannabes alike.

We set a time. The outfit I had designated for him to see me in at the league party just got bumped up to tonight. I'd have time to shop in the morning for a new dress to wear on Saturday. Thank god my dry cleaning was ready. It was important for me to look good, not only because of where we were going, but Schmoozer has only previously seen me in knee-high soccer socks and a bright yellow team t-shirt and a pony tail. By the end of the games, I'm bright red and a little sweaty with my cowlicks falling out of remission. I can look better than he's seen me.

Schmoozer then picked me up at my apartment door. I grabbed a couple of beers out of the fridge and took him to the rooftop terrace for a view of the city. He was impressed. He told me he owns a home in the suburbs that has too many rooms. He rents one of those out. He said his mother pushed him into that house because it was a foreclosure and the house was big enough for a family.

We climbed in his car and I gave him directions to the pub. I looked to shove my apartment card and keys in his door, but it was filled with stuff. I looked around helplessly. My keys don't fit in my wristlet. Finally, I opened his glove box.

"What are you doing?" he asked, surprised.

"Hiding my keys. I don't want to take them with me; it'll create an unsightly bulge. Can't have that."

"Whoa. I know we play kickball, but it's too soon for 'unsightly bulges.'"

"I know. That's why the keys are in your glove box," I smiled.

At the pub, Schmoozer was again impressed. "Have you seen this place? Wow!" he said as he looked around at the wrought iron and the display cases.

"Can you believe we got free parking?" I asked back. "On the street in front of the pub no less!"

"I can't believe you're impressed with the free parking as much as I'm impressed with the place," he retorted. "City girl."

I told him about the history of the pub as the Buckhead Betties filed in. "Buckhead Betty" is a term used to describe a vapid uptown girl dressed in designer couture. We talked about stocks, local breweries and travelling. He told me next time he went to San Fransisco, he'd take me. He also was planning a road trip on Thanksgiving and asked my plans. He seemed forward. We found out that our office buildings are next to each other, and he passed me his business card. "E-mail me and we'll have lunch."

Our second beers arrived. "So how often do you hang out with the people from kickball?" he asked me.

"Couple of times a week."

"Oh, so you are close."

"The closest."

"Harvey seems fun."

"She is. But her husband got drunk two weeks ago and that was the funniest thing I had seen in awhile."

"And then there's the single mom..."

"Yeah, that's Katie's roommate." He looked confused. "Katie is the one in the cast," I added, holding up my wrist.

"The gimp!" He laughed. "Yeah, she's the pretty one."

You know the sound of a needle scratching off the record? That just happened. I smiled. I smiled big to compensate for my What the fuck? that was screaming through my head like a freight train. I didn't know what to do, so I just kept smiling like a clown.

"Oh, no! Don't set us up!" he said in response to my frozen ultra smile. "I just broke up with someone today."

"You did?"

"Yeah, it wasn't anything special. We had been dating about a month and I called her and told her I didn't want to see her anymore."

"Was she upset?"

"No, she seemed just as fine with it as I was."

I pieced the details together and figured out that the night I called Schmoozer to invite him to Harvey's, he was going out with her for her 30th birthday. Only he was very specific and had described her to me as a friend.

Let me just take a time out in the story here. It was Friday night and a guy calls me up to get together. He didn't ask what my friends were doing; he didn't even bring them up until about halfway through the conversation. A guy does not call a girl he doesn't know well on a Friday night unless there is some interest. Despite everything that just happened, I am going to maintain that. If he was looking for friends, or my friends, he would have waited for a group invite or invited me on a Saturday afternoon or Tuesday evening. Besides, we still had two more get togethers through kickball.

The conversation kept flowing, but he circled it back around. "So where's your guy," he asked.

Why would he be asking me about my guy when he just said my friend was pretty? "There is no guy," I shrugged.

"But you do date, right?"

"Yeah, I date." I took a sip of my beer. "I had a date on Monday."

He did a double take. I told him it was a bad date. "Well, tell me why so I know not to do that."

I described the date to him.

"How did you meet?" he asked.

I took another sip of my beer and decided just how honest I should be. "eHarmony."

"You know, I tried that site once and it came back that there were no matches for me. It said I was undateable," he laughed.

I couldn't decide if my disclosure was a good or a bad thing. We got back in his car. On the ride home, I realized I was drunk. I kept rubbing my hands up and down my tights for warmth.

"Are you not drunk?" I asked.

"Nope. We only had three beers."

"I know, but ompf." I had completely forgotten about the two glasses of wine I had before he came over, and then our beer on the roof. Six drinks. That's enough to mess me up pretty good.

He pulled in front of my building. "I'm going to let you out here."

"Okay!" I exclaimed, once again overcompensating. What is it about Katie? Christopher flirted with her, 5k Guy had a thing for her, and now Schmoozer told me she was pretty.

He unclasped his seat belt, presumably to get out of the car.

"OkaywellIhadagoodtimegoodnight!" I said hurriedly as I dashed out of the car before he had time to respond. I pushed the elevator button and didn't look back. I heard his car wait until the doors opened and I was safely inside before he pulled away.


Saturday evening I got a text message from Schmoozer. He took a run through the woods and fell and sprained his ankle. He wouldn't make the league party or the game on Sunday. I believe him; I don't think he was lying. We won the game.

~Thursday, November 04, 2010

Agreeable Me

Christopher has done it yet again: I leave the state and he contacts me. He did it when I was in Texas and again when I was in South Carolina. He did it about three weeks ago when I spent the weekend at the lake house, and he also did it last weekend when I was in Florida.

The last two times I sent a text back stating I was out of town and then ignored any further communication. Last night he sends me another text: Thought ud call me on my birthday.

I had completely forgotten his birthday, which was fine because I doubt I would have acknowledged it anyway. Besides, I hadn't seen him since he ruined my own birthday. I owed Christopher nothing, but I felt guilty because I was his only friend in the city and, to me, birthdays are a big deal.

But I also resented his text. It was accusatory and guilt inducing. It was too similar to the Hope your doing good e-mail I got from S. My mom encouraged me to not call him and wish him well on his birthday, but I said I wanted to be more like Harvey and just be nice and happy no matter the circumstances.

And I tried. I said "Oh, that's cool" to anything he said. Instead of poking holes through his lies, I counted them. Seven. Seven lies.

But then he turned his TV on and I could feel the skin on my arms and chest and face crawl right off my body. It is said that smell is the strongest sense that induces memory, but for me it might be sound. The sound of a beer can pop-top opening gives me chills because of S. I can't stand it. And I can distinguish the difference between coke and beer, so I know it must be psychological. With Christopher, it's that damn TV blaring in the background. Because he was unemployed the whole time I was with him, that TV would be on—loudly—for 24 hours a day. Literally. His electricity was included in his rent, so he never turned anything off on the principle that it was "free."

So he turned that TV on and once again the TV audio was louder than his voice and my voice. Something in me flipped and I could no longer be fake cheerful. Lie number eight came. Then nine.

"I bought a pair of Calvin Klein corduroys at Wal-mart, I mean Target."


"Yes, they do. And they had my size, size 32."

He's a 36. Inhale. Exhale. I clenched my teeth, "Oh, that's cool."

Then he starts talking about his new job. As he goes through each advantage, I realize it's pyramid scheme. He's the guy that stands in front of Best Buy to try to get you to sign up for Direct TV. The more people you recruit to do this job, you receive money for every sale they make. He finishes, "They told me when they hired me last week that they want to hire college-educated people to become managers of these posts. He says I'm going to get 5 posts with people under me and I get $10 for every sale they make. I'm making sales now, but my managers are getting half of my commission."

I rolled my eyes. "So it's a pyramid scheme."

"No, it's not. I asked."

"You know who says it's not a pyramid scheme? People in pyramid schemes," I offered.

"He told me up front, on his own, that it isn't a pyramid scheme."

"Look, it's the same thing as transvestites on Jersey Shore. If you have to think about it, it's a pyramid scheme. All I'm saying is that when I sat down for my job interview, my boss did not have to explain to me that it wasn't a pyramid scheme."

"But the marketing company is called Full Circle," he protested.

"You want to know why they call it a circle? To detract from it really being a pyramid."

I could not let this go. I couldn't be like Harvey and be all I'm so glad you found a job! You rock! He lies and he lies and he lies. And when people lie to you, it's an attempt to control you. The battle I happened to pick was the damn job, at which I'm totally sure he's going to be making $220,000 a year selling Direct TV to people walking in hhgregg to buy an A/V adapter. Far be it for me to block him from is money-making destiny.

Christopher tries to change the subject. "So... who is your service provider?"

"Nope. Not going to do it." I said flatly.

"No, really I want to know."

"If you are going to ask me about this, I am going to hang up the phone."

"Ask you about what?"

"If you try to sell me Direct TV, I am going to hang up the phone."

"But you don't have to actually get it, if you could just fill out an applica-"


In an attempt to be nice, I hung up on Christopher on his birthday. So I'm not going to be on the cover of How to Win Friends and Influence People anytime soon. I want to be more agreeable like Harvey, but this is going to take some work. For now I'm disgusted that I used to have sex with someone who just tried to sell me Direct TV.

I can't be disingenuous. I'm simply going to have to be satisfied for the meantime that this is a good thing.

~Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Date #3

I was excited about this date. He was the writer of the previous post and we communicated well on eHarmony. Reading his e-mails was like sipping rum and feeling the warmth travel down to my belly. I liked him.

He was an A date for me. The ones I've met so far were C dates: I wore whatever I had on for work that day, didn't shower before the date, didn't put any additional effort. Just showed up and been myself. For this one I surveyed my friends on what outfit to wear. I obsessed over every misplaced hair on my head and made sure everything was perfect. Driving to meet him, I had to turn down the air conditioning to a cool 62 degrees so I wouldn't sweat out of anxiety. I spoke kindly to myself beforehand and told myself that all I had to do was be me.

I never considered that the problem could be him.

When I arrived at the restaurant, he walked about 6 or 7 feet in front of me to the table. I justified that maybe he was nervous. Then at the table, the conversation never left him. He didn't take one moment to ask me anything about myself. It was all about him and his passions and his tastes.

And you know what he was? An elitist. He only drank obscure,imported beer. He listened to The Decemberists. (Fine, I am a Decemberist fan as well, but I don't advertise it because its followers have a huge stigma of being assholes. Point proven.) I bet if you opened a bottle of port, he'd swirl it around in his glass and tell you why Citizen Kane is the greatest film of all time. He was that guy. And it was so cliche.

His interests were so singular. When he said he only drank obscure, imported beer (my words), I asked him "But what about watching football with your friends at a sports bar? They don't serve the good stuff. And what about beer pong and flip cup? You are missing out on so much fun!" When he said he doesn't listen to the radio, I thought back to lying on the speed boat with my friends a few weeks ago and singing Ke$ha as it aired and how it was one of my favorite moments of the summer. My interests are more community and socially oriented. His were isolating. There was simply no room for anyone else or anyone else's interests in his life. And that makes me sad for him.

I'm sad for me too. I was excited about meeting him and I'm left feeling so disappointed. There was no way to tell beforehand that he was good on paper but bad at life. The only thing I can take away from meeting him is at least I'm recognizing the losers a whole lot sooner.


© 2005 - 2013 He Loves Me Not
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

template by suckmylolly.com