Saturday, August 17, 2013

Law & Order

It has been quite a while since I had a significantly bad, yet humorous date. When I finally left the restaurant where I met Law & Order, I realized that this was another story that needed to be shared.

Our first few conversations were good. He seemed funny, though sometimes I couldn't tell if he was joking. When we decided to meet, I knew it would be interesting, but wasn't sure that there would be chemistry. I did not anticipate how right I was.

We separately arrived at a wine bar about halfway between us. He seemed relaxed and he was pretty cute. He looked a lot like a young Christopher Meloni, from SVU. We immediately got in line at the walk-up bar to get our wine. While standing there, we made our first attempts at casual conversation - do you want to eat anything, have you been here before, what kind of wine do you like, etc. I told him that I have a special appreciation for wines that are just called "red". They're usually easy to drink table wines that are slightly sweet. His response was "I like red golf balls". While trying to make sense of this, I replied "oh really?" He said "no, I just said it". Like a golf ball to the face, the realization that this was going to be a weird night hit me and it stung.

We got our wine and got a table. We talked for a couple hours about a variety of topics. He told me about his job as a peace officer and I told him about my work in compliance. We talked about the failures of the criminal justice system at length. But the most remarkable topic, that we could not seem to escape was his undying affection/hatred for a woman that he once called a "unicorn tamer"... "because only virgins can tame unicorns". That's right. And L&O had been in love with this unicorn tamer until "about 6 months ago". It's absolutely worth noting that he's pretty sure she's no longer a virgin, but apparently has not had that fact confirmed.

The attraction L&O had for his virgin crush was evident. Yet, there was a deep distain lurking beneath it. The way he spoke about her hinted at feelings of betrayal. I sensed that he felt she owed him something (namely, her virginity). He spoke about her poor choices in romantic interests and mentioned briefly what a better choice he would have made. Sometimes I would probe. That's how I found out that he does have a slight preference for virgins. I had long since given up any idea of this being a successful date.

The preference for virgins and his love of a specific one made the conversation awkward and made the date an obvious waste of time. The strangeness of this man is what made the conversation worth noting and the man creepy. I cannot even remember what topic prompted this, but at one point L&O told me that he collects penises. He said it was difficult (he may have said "hard"). I agreed, saying I can't imagine people would want to give them up. When I was sufficiently convinced that L&O had the potential to one day snap and go on a killing spree, I asked him if he makes skin suits. His answer, "no, just lamps".

The restaurant started closing around 9 or 9:30. I was grateful for the excuse to leave. I suggested we go for a short walk since we had been drinking, but my intent was to make my way towards the car. Eventually, he stopped and kissed me. It reminded me of a anaconda dislocating its jaw in order to swallow a goat whole. I'm not sure if anacondas lick goats' faces when they eat them, but L&O thoroughly licked mine. I disengaged and wiped my face off.

L&O suggested finding a discrete place to have sex. I told him to slow down. He plainly replied that it's late and he should get going. I had to hold in my laughter. Luckily, he had no interest in or intention of walking me to my car. He bee-lined for his own. When I was sure that he was gone, I walked to my car. I didn't want him to catch my license plate number as I drove off as I was sure that I'd be pulled over every day thereafter. So far, that hasn't been the case.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Letting Him Down

The complaint I hear the most is "I went on a date with this guy and I'm not interested, but he keeps calling. How do let him down?" It seems like women are telling each other left and right that "ignore him away" is the best way to accomplish this, since so many of us are using this tactic. Ignoring texts and calls from a guy until he eventually gets the picture may be effective eventually, but it's a waste of your time and his. While you're trying to avoid conflict and being seen as a bitch, you're actually acting like a bitch and dragging something out so you don't have to feel unconfortable. But don' you feel uncomfortable every time your phone rings and it's him again and he still hasn't gotten your way-too-subtle hint?

So what should you do? Well, here it is - my #1, works every time, no fail technique for letting a guy down easy. Be honest! Yeah, I know how incredibly difficult and unrealistic that advice is, so let's get to useful stuff.

After more first dates than I bothered to count and almost as many let-downs, I developed a simple and efficient "breakup text". After a bad date, I'd wait to see if the guy called or texted. If he didn't, great! If he did, I'd send him this text:

"Hey, I really enjoyed my time the other night, but I'm not interested in pursuing any kind of relationship with you. Sorry and I hope you find the right gal for you."

It seems harsh. It's supposed to be. Whether he was a shmuck or you just weren't that into him, this is your opportunity to make your disinterest clear and give him the opportunity to move on and not look back. If you're overly sweet in this message, if you compliment him, and drag it out he'll wonder why you aren't interested. If you think he's such a great guy, why wouldn't you just go out with him again? If you absolutely must add some sugar to his medicine I recommend something along the lines of, "You're very [insert compliment - cute, smart, funny], but you're just not the right guy for me."

You may be thinking to yourself, "but this is super bitchy! Why would I want to say this?" Because once he thinks of you as a bitch he can move on and not look back. He'll be upset if he loses his opportunity with a great, sweet gal. It may even hurt his ego and damage his confidence. He wont, however mourn the loss of a bitch. If you play the bitch for him, you'll never hear from him again and you'll be doing him a favor by letting him move on.

I don't recommend doing this in a phone call or in person. It opens the doors for discussion, which you don't want. If he continues trying to argue with you about your point Do Not argue back. This is not a debate and should not be treated as such. You said your peace and now it's time to move on.

Letting a guy down after a date (or even two) is difficult, but it doesn't have to be. The sooner you both put it behind you, the sooner you can find another date.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Misread Sign

The Misread Sign seemed quirky, spontaneous, and intelligent--a mix I can rarely resist. He was polite and fully capable of planning the date without any help from me--characteristics I adore in person. MS was generally kind and intelligent, but he was a bit too old for me, lived way too far away, and we had absolutely nothing in common. He enjoyed the Renaissance Fair, Burning Man, and Tarot card readings as well as professional lobbying and consulting services. I enjoy none of those. However, Tarot has always intrigued me and that is exactly how MS got me on the date.

We met at a casual restaurant nearby. As I often do I arrived early, which means I got a prime view as MS came sauntering over. I would like to take this opportunity to say that I am not overly superficial, but I do place value on appearance. I don't require my dates to be male-model material, but I do prefer a man whose style matches my own conservative and (I like to think) chic style. The MS was definitely not conservative and most certainly not chic. He looked like very tall a mixture between a character from Oliver Twist and a mechanic. He wore long black Dickies shorts, tall black Dr. Martin boots, a big black leather jacket, and a tall leather top hat. Yes, a top hat. Lets take another moment to reflect on this. Shorts, boots, top hat. In public. And yes, I do realize how judgmental I sound right now.
MS and I sat down and chatted for a bit. He read my Tarot and told me things that were probably vague enough generalizations about my age, gender, and socio-economic status that they seemed spot on. Yes, I do often fall for guys that I don't necessarily consider good for me. Yes, I am making plans for a bright future. Yes, I do sometimes have troubles with my family life. It was actually a lot of fun, but I am still a skeptic. After the reading, we continued to chat. I could quickly see that we didn't have much in common and that I would not be interested in dating MS. However, we got along well enough and we decided we would catch a movie at the theater just down the street. It seemed like a harmless idea--two people just enjoying an evening together. Also, he took his top hat off before we got into the theater so I was relieved.

I enjoyed the movie, but did not enjoy the part where MS decided to plant his big hand and a good portion of his arm on my leg. As I awkwardly tried to wiggle away, he removed his hand only to replace it later. Having mistakenly thought we were on the same page about our lack of potential, I became worried that MS thought this was going somewhere. I was right.

After the movie, he walked me to my car. I hastily found my keys in my purse as MS told me how much fun he had and how he'd really like to do it again. I thanked him for a lovely evening and told him I enjoyed myself. He leaned towards me with eyes slightly closed and mouth slightly open. I quickly put my hand on his shoulder and moved around him to place a very benign kiss on his cheek. The Misread Sign seemed disappointed but finally understood that nothing was going to happen between us.

XO Jane

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Impeccable Taste

The other day I had the pleasure of experiencing another fantastic date. I say this despite the minor mishaps I endured. The Impeccable Taste provided not only an enjoyable experience but he was a generally enjoyable person. A handsome fella, the IT worked in some sort of technological field. He must be good at his job because he could afford to live in a lovely condo in an expensive part of town. Because he was so clever, attractive, and a great planner I felt absolutely terrible for being about fifteen minutes late to our date. He had arranged for us to see a concert in a great outdoor amphitheater I'd never been to despite having lived near it most of my life.

I met IT at his place and we trekked to the market together where we picked up the contents of what would be our picnic. He picked out wine like a pro, taking into account my tastes and we took our bounty back to his condo where we left my car and walked to the amphitheater. The walk was about a mile and I definitely wore the wrong shoes. Add that to missing sidewalk on certain parts of our journey and close-calls with oncoming traffic were not unheard of. Somehow he managed to get us to our destination unscathed. We walked up a big hill with a massive indie crowd. Hip hairstyles, cool clothes, and aloof attitudes abounded as I gawked (and panted) the whole way. Naturally, being a bit conservative I felt slightly out of place but that didn't stop me from enjoying the scenery.

IT was a little closer to me in dress but obviously closer to the indie folks in lifestyle. As we walked he talked about his vegetarianism, his love of earth and life, and socially liberal ideals. Of course I was a bit surprised to hear about his fiscally conservative outlook. The Democrat at heart was very Republican on issues of spending. So I goaded him like any good gal would. After a while I realized arguing about politics may not be his idea of a good time. Usually, this wouldn't bother me but I wanted IT to know I was grateful for his time and effort on this date so I changed the subject to something more pleasant.

The chatter lightened and while we searched for our seats we talked about my inexperience at the venue and how it really doesn't matter what you see, just that you make an event of it. Much to our dismay our row was looking rather crowded so we opted to sit in the seats directly in front of our assigned ones. "Brilliant idea!" I commended him. That was until the real owners of those seats showed up. So we crammed ourselves into our paid seats and settled in with wine, cheese, and a berry salad.

The night was fantastic! The music was great as was the company and the wine. In fact, after just enough wine I happily followed IT on the walk back to his house so that I could let the sobering begin before my drive home. Our conversation struggled a bit while the loud, live music was entertaining us, but once we were walking on the quiet street it picked right up. By the time we arrived at his house, we were really hitting it off. That's exactly why I did not mind at all when IT decided to move in for a kiss. It was sweet and not too aggressive and I was very pleased, which would make what would happen very disappointing.

IT gave me a quick tour of his apartment. It was nice, but definitely a bachelor pad. He insisted I try the absinthe he had recently procured. After one sip I decided it was not for me, especially since my goal was to get less tipsy. It seemed his goal for me was not the same as he continued to offer various wines that I continued to decline. I assume IT could sense my desire to head home since he started reaching for new ways to keep me entertained--music, art, stories, more kissing. Finally, while we sat on the couch he clued me in to what I assume was the real reason he invited me up. He unzipped his pants, removed his member, and suggested I give him some manual pleasure. I declined. I also promptly headed for the door.

It was a short ride home, infused with much laughter. The date was 90% fantastic and I enjoyed it for the most part. It was a shame it ended in such a vulgar way. At least IT was polite about his offer, as tasteless as it was.

XO Jane

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Good Sport

The Good Sport was a kind, considerate, and some may say traditional sort of gentleman. He believed in opening doors, pulling out chairs, and picking up the tab. It had been a long time since I'd encountered his type and was impressed. Working for a sports radio station he had a good, stable job that he loved. He lived with a roommate in a decent apartment and was more knowledgeable about pop culture than was probably necessary. Unfortunately, I could tell very quickly that he was not my type. Looking back, I realize I should have moved along immediately but during this time in my long and varied dating career I still believed chemistry could develop. In reality, I would waste more time than I should have trying to convince myself to like someone that I was never going to like. The Good Sport is a good example of that.

However, that's not what this story is about. This is a story about what a bad date I can be when I really put my mind to it. The more time I spent with GS, the more he annoyed me. His mannerisms were beyond corny. Sometimes I thought he was playing a part he deemed appealing. Why he would think this pseudo-contemplative, mostly cliched character was appealing was beyond my comprehension. I listened to story after story about his experiences in high school, what a good friend he can be, and how many girls have mistreated him.
It became more than I could stand and on third and final date I decided to start amusing myself. Granted, my antics began after waiting roughly an hour for a table at the busiest upscale, chain Chinese restaurant in town. I was frustrated, starving, and absolutely bored to tears of listening to GS. It all started when I decided to tell a story of my own. It was the tale of how I'd shaved my dog earlier that day (don't worry, I didn't shave him bald, just got most of his long hair off so he wasn't uncomfortable in the summer heat). I spoke to GS for seven to ten full minutes about the process of shaving my dog. What tools I'd used, where I did it, how I got the dog to stand still, how it takes practice to get an even cut and I'm not that practiced. It went on and on and he sat there seemingly listening intently.

It was about that time that I lost all respect for GS. How could he listen to my ramblings and not speak up? Not even try to change the subject? What's worse is he appeared to care. While I mistakenly sat quietly while GS rambled on with his stories I could not say I gave any indication I was interested in what he was saying and I often tried to change the subject. Is it really necessary to share story after story about high school, which was nearly 10 years ago?

My bad behavior did not stop there. Among other things I began negating almost everything he said, playing devil's advocate for scenarios in which I agreed with him or couldn't care less about. I even found a way to work into conversation a statement along the lines of "I wouldn't mind sacrificing the lives of many innocent people in the name of science". It was completely false and meant to garner a shocked response. Instead, he nodded politely and insisted on hearing more.

Eventually, the date ended and he was free. Sadly, he continued to call and text requesting more dates. It was GS that taught me a valuable lesson about breaking things off. Until then I'd often used the "ignore them away" tactic. He was ignore-proof. No amount of unanswered messages or "sorry, I'm busy" excuses would deter him. Eventually, I had gather my moxy and tell him I wasn't interested. His response was life changing--"why didn't you say something sooner?" From then on, I didn't drag anything out. If I was uninterested in a guy he would be the first to know. Don't feel bad for GS about the terrible date I put him through. I had a bit of fun with it and he apparently didn't even notice what a train-wreck it really was since he sought more dates. Either he didn't notice or he was just a really good sport.

XO Jane

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Punny Geologist

The story of the Punny Geologist is one of mixed reactions. The PG himself was a lovely gentleman. He was sweet, but maybe a little naive and very cute. That's why it was so torturous to have to sit through such a terribly awkward date. He tried so hard to be entertaining and I guess in the end he succeeded, just not in the way he'd hoped to.

I met the PG at a coffee shop near me. We politely shook hands, purchased beverages, and took our seats next to a window. He was very typically cute with strong features tempered by a boyish smile. He spoke softly and eagerly and seemed genuinely pleased to be conversing with me. We quickly got on to the topic of hobbies because I was aware that he had a specific one. That's hardly common where I live. People are far too aloof to have hobbies, especially hobbies that didn't positively contribute to a perceived "cool factor".

Rock collecting was PG's passion. He hiked every weekend and was planning a big trip up North to go scavenging some mountains for un-precious and some semi-precious rocks. He delighted in telling stories of finding rocks on accident or finding gems and interesting patterns inside rocks he'd collected. In the spirit of show-and-tell, PG had brought one such rock. He pulled it out from his pocket and placed it in front of me.

Looking at the outside of the rock, which was shaped like an oval cut in half length-wise it was rough and egg-shell white. Upon turning it over I could see he'd polished the rock to exhibit the intriguing interior. I immediately recognized the shape. It was a slimmer oval shape down the middle with a little nob at the top. It was, unmistakably a vagina. I stared at the rock for a minute trying to gather my thoughts. I looked up at PG searching for clues in his expression. Did he know what this was? Was this some kind of innuendo? He couldn't know. His face gave no hint of guilt or intention. He was completely innocent. So now came the question, should I bring it up? Should I point out the provocative nature of this geode? I chose to not. Instead, I would periodically glance at the stone and try not to giggle.

Naturally, an unintentionally inappropriate mineral is not enough to drive me away from a fella. A complete lack of chemistry and the pain of listening terrible jokes is enough. And PG had plenty of terrible jokes. He would make these puns, these very silly and sophomoric jokes to which I just could not laugh. He would then follow them up by saying something like "I was just joking" to which I could only reply "I know" while trying my hardest to turn my cringe into a smile.

While describing the nature of his job working in a geologically related department for the city, he revealed that he would spend a lot of time underground or crawling around in pipes. I commented that he must get very grimey. He responded "as long as I don't get Leanne Grimes-ey" looking very pleased with himself. I smiled and took a sip of my drink--a technique I'd developed to excuse myself from not laughing. He followed up with "I was just being funny" and it took every ounce of will-power to not say "no you weren't".

Even PG's terrible jokes may have been tolerable, but his intrusion on my personal space was unforgivable. At some point during the date, probably towards the middle PG must have noticed me fiddling with my hair--something I absent-mindedly do throughout the day. He decided this would be the ideal time to inform me about his hair fetish. I promptly got out a hair tie and put my hair up and out of the way in a pony tail. That is far more information than I need when the conversation has remained platonic and very G-rated. There was no flirtation that may indicate I would be open to hearing about his sexual fetishes. Even after that I could have left and still thought fondly of this fella. However, upon saying goodbye he requested a hug and with a twinkle in his eye PG proceeded to run his fingers through my hair. Whoa! Knowing what effect this may have on him (because of his own admission) I felt incredibly uncomfortable and slightly violated.

In the end PG may have been kind of awkward, but it was our lack of compatibility that helped me decide not to pursue anything further with him. He may have been cute and sweet but I don't think I could listen to anymore of those jokes or find out what other kinds of rocks he had stashed away. Also, feeding his fetish without my permission was too far over the line.

XO Jane

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Hairy Situation

This afternoon I experienced what could easily be described as the most awkward situations I have ever endured in my life. It all started weeks ago when I received a message from a gentleman on a dating website. He started with a message he probably considered clever and presented his instant messenger screenname (presumably so I could contact him in that venue). Upon inspection of the messenger's profile I found essays that suggested he wouldn't be my type (You should message me if: You are loving, rich, and gorgeous... a close paraphrase) and pictures of a man in which you could never see his face but you could see his extensive facial hair. It was a rather long beard. You could tell he had been growing it for some time and he frequently expressed pride in it. My response prompted about two weeks of emails, IMs, and phone calls about life, love, and everything else.

The Hairy Situation seemed like a nice person but overly concerned with "our" relationship and the fact that I was not currently head over heels for him. Excepting the occasional rant about how I was not truly happy and how being with him would change that he was a source of decent conversation. Because of that I didn't rule out the idea of friendship. However, his stance on intimacy (radical advocate) as well as his penchant for calling me "babe" drastically turned me off to him romantically.

Between work and school I found it difficult to make time to meet HS until this afternoon. Usually, I prefer to get meetings over with before there is opportunity to grow attached via phone and/or email. Unfortunately, I could already tell HS was growing attached by the way he would frequently contact me. He had described himself multiple times early on in our conversations as someone who never called women; he let women chase him, not vice versa. Contrary to this self-description he contacted me first every day for the last week. That, his general disposition, and statements such as "relationships are hard but I'll make it comfortable for you" hinted that HS may have a crush on me.

Finally, we met. On a crowded street halfway between our respective towns we said hello in person. The pictures did not do his beard justice and the rest of his face seemed strangely familiar, though I was never able to place it. While chatting away under the shade of a large tree, HS would periodically point out female passersby that he apparently found attractive. Many of whom were in short-shorts (understandable in the heat) and seemed very young (17 to 25 years old). When I noticed his preference for younger ladies I decided to point it out and poke a little fun. "Go talk to her if you think she's cute, but make sure to check her ID," I quipped. He found this hilarious and we talked about the issues associated with hitting on younger women for longer than I would've liked to.

In attempt to escape the view of wandering jail-bait I suggested we take a walk down the street. It seemed safe enough as I knew he was parked a ways away and there were plenty of pedestrians walking up and down this street. As we walked he talked about pursuing more dates. I hemmed and hawed and sidestepped the issue, always redirecting to scenery or people I saw walking by. He pushed to establish that he thought we should keep spending time together and presumably get more intimate as he said things like, "next time at my place for sure," or "when school's over you're coming over." My reply was always a staunch "we'll see what happens," which has always been my polite way of saying "no thank you." It would appear that I need to develop a stronger, less polite refusal since this one gave him no indication that I was not interested. Or, if it did he paid no attention.

Growing less patient and more uncomfortable with his advances I suggested it was time to go. HS insisted on walking me to my car, which he propped himself against. He then grabbed my arm and pulled me towards him. With an astonished and confused look on my face I complied. He wrapped his arms around my waist pulling me very close to him. I grew more worried and less comfortable and must have looked very stressed.

"So," he said.
"So what??" I responded in a perturbed tone. He smiled in response.
"Why are you holding me? You're way too close to me," I declared.
"You don't like it?" How could he ask that?
"I'm incredibly uncomfortable right now, you're t00 close" I clarified. Like a dear caught in the headlights I couldn't run away. I pushed against him slightly to keep some distance but was so distracted by the thoughts running through my head--what is he doing? How can he think this is a good thing? I told him I'm uncomfortable, who wouldn't find that unappealing?
My worst fears came true as he held onto the back of my head and slowly pulled his face towards mine. He tried to kiss my tightly closed lips. As I pulled back, he moved forward until he let go. It had to be a full 20 seconds. That may not seem like much to you now but when someone's face is on yours and you don't want it there 20 seconds may as well be forever. He pulled away and looked very pleased with himself. He also looked as if he expected me to be pleased as well. I imagine I looked horrified because that's how I felt.

"I'd really like to see you again," he stated so matter-of-factly.
"I know. I can tell," was all that I could say.
"You're supposed to say you want to see me again too," he replied with feigned offense.
"I can't say that because it's not true."
"Why not?" Now he actually seemed confused.
"I didn't want you to kiss me. I don't like being this close to you. You're trying to push intimacy on me that I just don't feel." Now he really seemed offended. He spoke about how much we've talked and how close we actually are. I explained that we see our interaction differently and he can't convince me to feel intimacy that I don't. If I'm not comfortable he needs to respect that. He claimed to understand and for a moment I believed him. That was until he opened the car door for me, allowed me to sit in the seat, and sat himself next to me on the edge of the car. As he moved in for another kiss I tried to move back but the seat was in the way so I had to push him away with my hands. Again, he looked offended.

At this point, HS's intense sense of entitlement and arrogance became clear to me. He could not or would not comprehend that I did not want him to touch me. Still under the assumption that the interaction had gone well, he removed himself from my car doorway and told me to call him and once again suggested we should get together again very soon. I shut my door, started the car, and drove away quickly. I could not get away from this man fast enough.

On many occasions I've considered what I would do in a situation such as this one. Sadly, I did not live up to my own expectations. However, I can pat myself on the back knowing I will never speak to HS again. He is one of many men who only consider their own feelings, desires, and intentions. Of course it must be recognized he is not representative of all men. None of the men I write about are. The Hairy Situation was just an example of someone who perhaps couldn't see beyond his own beard.

XO Jane