Not long ago, I was rejected. He was tall, bearded, in a flannel, worked for the government, as they do in DC, and probably a bit younger.
Anyway, I met him and his friends at this bar. And after a genius phone-number finagle, I asked him out a couple weeks later. Before you get all wide-eyed and “Damn girl, you BOLD” on me, know that I texted him to ask him out. Nonetheless. He was game. We had a day. And a place. A few days pass. It’s two days before the date and I text for a time. A day goes by. Uh oh. The text comes mid Monday:
I’m sorry, I have to cancel. Things have changed for me. It’s a bummer bc u r hot.
Best rejection I ever got. I think the rejection actually was better than the date could have been because clearly he is gay or got back together with a girlfriend. I’m so down with the rejection, I text back:
That is a bummer. If things change again, give me a call.
Damn, I’m cool. Did you just feel that breeze of how cool I am?
John Mayer in a bear suit (pre douchey Rolling Stone article) giving hugs. I sort of want to stab out his bubble-gum lips. I sort of want to have sex with him.
I got a free hug today. It was from this dude with a goofy smile standing sentinal against the sour-grapes commuters pummeling forward, heads down, eyes boring holes into concrete without even an ounce of recognition of their walking neighbors. So this dude. He had this sign. Looked like he found a cardboard box behind a dumpster, cut off a flap and scribbled “Free Hugs” on it with a pen. Just went over and over each letter until it was legible in the fading evening light. He stood in front of the Target in Columbia Heights. Just standing and smiling and holding his sign. He didn’t look vulnerable or embarrassed. More blissful with a hint of anticipation. I looked him right in the eye, which is impossible to do with most strangers in DC. Nobody looks, let alone smiles, at each other. It’s kinda sad.
Anyway, me and Free-Hug Guy lock smiles. He says, “Happy Thursday.” I say, “Thank you.” And I walk by. Ten feet later, I turn around because, why wouldn’t I? I see some dude go for a free hug. It was friendly and there was back patting as guys do. And then I want a hug. So I turn on my heel and get my dang, well-deserved free hug from the Free-Hug Guy, who had a mighty fine hug, incidentally. It was, indeed, an embrace. Free-Hug Guy left me with an objective: “Spread the love.” I will try. Because I felt connected, which is something I struggle with as a single person. Connection. It can be fleeting, but it’s wonderful when it happens.
As I walked up the four flights of stairs to my gym that is finally not riddled with lines for lockers, treadmills and the 12.5 lb hand weights, I wanted to turn around again and go back to Free-Hug Guy. To ask him why he was giving free hugs. To find out what compelled him to make a sign and stand out in the wind and cold with a warm smile and hug strangers, small, large and sometimes smelly. To take a picture of him and his sign. Maybe a picture with him. But I didn’t turn around. Because I think the answer is as simple as his act of kindness and connection. And sometimes it’s good to leave it at that.
I would like a $70 toaster please. Kthx.
The Divorce Registry. Yes. It’s real. Because you know, when things fall apart, someone isn’t going to get the Krups toaster. Or the Coltrane album collection. Or the Pottery Barn bedding. Or the Hamilton Beach juicer. So you register again for the basics and get your worried family and friends to buy you shit to make your transition back to singledom easier.
But seriously. What about A single’s registry? I don’t have matching dishes not less than 50 years old or a set bulbous wine glasses. I need free stuff as much as married and divorced people do. Lord knows I’ve bought tons of it for friends. (And friends, if you’ re reading, I have kept a tally of everything I spent on you. Just kidding. I purchased from the bottom of my heart. And sadly for some of you, I go by the 2 -year deadline rule to ship wedding gifts. This means I’ve spent 22 months trying to come up with an awesome, gorgeous and affordable piece de resistance every newlywed couple needs, failed and opted for something expensive on the registry to make up for my tardiness.)
This calls to mind an episode of Sex & the City when Carrie gets some Manolo Blahniks when she registered for…Manolo Blahniks. I think I would ask for the entire Anthropologie kitchen section. Side note: went to the new one up in Chevy Chase this weekend….swoooooon. The girl in the dressing room said my butt looked good in the pants I was trying on. She had no idea how much that simple statement meant to me. I bought those pants and many other things. And then I picked up the girl, folded her into my pocket and took her home. I now have her caged and feed her saltines so she will continue reporting on my butt in positive ways.
In 2010, I will love this view from the beach in Cannes.
This was the subject of an email from eHarmony. I used that site when I was researching “The Science of Single” (in stores Winter 2011!). It was pretty good. But a little more $$$ than I wanted to pay. And it requires more time to weed through and communicate with the profiles of men sent to you everyday. My friend did recently get married to someone she met on eHarmony. It was the first and last guy she went out with once I finally talked her into online dating. One date. I’d been dating online for 5 years and been out with countless men and she scores on her first date. Thankfully I love her.
Anyway, eHarmony’s pouncing with emails and It’s Just Lunch has started bugging me again, too. Oh IJL. Speaking of expensive. And kind of a waste of time. I also researched them for “The Science of Single” (in stores Winter 2011!). $1300 bought me 14 dates or one year of their matchmaking services. I went on 7 dates. The men were…not right. At all. My contract ran out. Now, women with names like Ashley and Brittany are calling me to renew my contract. The message went exactly like this [insert pitched Valley Girl/Cheerleaderese intonation at your own discretion]:
Hey! It’s Ashley over at It’s Just Lunch. I want to touch base with you because I have a ton of guys in their 30s and 40s and want to see what you’re current dating status is. Give me a call!
First of all, there’s something about being relegated to the 30/40 age group that pisses me off. I don’t know why. What? I’m too old for 20 somethings now? The answer to this is generally yes. As well, there are a very few 20-somethings who I would be interested in myself. Maybe one. Or two. Five, tops.
Secondly, Ashley called me three times. Three times. I was like, I’m in a meeting. I can’t talk. I’m washing my hair. It was worse than being leered at by Gym Stalker. So you know what I did? I lied. I told Ashley I have a boyfriend. It’s going great. We are very serious. Oh, the lies. I don’t know why I couldn’t just say,
Hey Ashley, I don’t like your matchmaking service. You set me up with some douche bags a couple years ago and the only reason I’m not still mad is because it was great fodder for my book, ‘The Science of Single’ (in stores Winter 2011!). And while I actually do have $1300 sitting around gaining interest, I’m going to blow it on fabulous trips to Aspen and Cannes this year where hopefully I will be soaking in Cristal bubble baths with Diddy. Peace!
But I didn’t. And I promised her I would tell all of my single gal pals about how many men IJL has. I don’t have any single gal pals, btw, so that was also a lie. However, ladies out there in DC proper reading this blog, Heads up! IJL has lots of men in their 30s and 40s to set you up with! And they’re waiting for your call! 1.800.335.8624
Witness: An actual gym crush. (Not mine.)
After an extended holiday break, my gym crush is back. Finally.
I actually have three gym crushes depending on what time of day I decide to brave the stupid-long lines at the treadmill while everyone and their mother’s aunt conquers 2010 resolutions. But it’s my #1 who is back on the circuit. My fave.
I know a little about Gym Crush because DC is a VERY small town, but I prefer to keep our interaction to a minimum, if not non-existent. I just like knowing he’s there. His presence makes me run a little faster and slap on some heavier weights. The funny thing is, he is totally not my type. And he’s not necessarily all huge and hunky, though I did catch a glimpse of his gym-crushy bicep in the mirror the other day. Meow.
But I know my boundaries. Really. (Though I did have a dream about Gym Crush recently. Not that kind of dream. His mother was there, too, for crying out loud.) I don’t stalk, unlike the guy who I believe has chosen me as a gym crush. I smiled at him ONCE because we were passing each other in the stinky hallway on the way to and fro the locker rooms. And now, he just looks at me. All. The. Time. And he ends up lifting weights near where I’m grunting through a series of boring reps. Sometimes right across from me. He doesn’t understand the gym-crush rules: personal space is key. There should be at least 8 feet between you and your gym crush at any given moment. I usually stick to 15 feet. I wish this guy would recognize it or at least ditch the leering and SAY SOMETHING. Though I think he gets there really isn’t a chance. Nothing personal. Just bad experience. I went on a date with someone from the gym last summer. Bad idea jeans. I’m done with dating people who exist in key compartments of my life: gym, work, across the street, in my building (Bad idea. Bad bad bad bad bad bad bad idea.)
But there’s nothing wrong with admiring from afar. And I can’t think of a better incentive to go to the gym. I will thank Gym Crush one day for my 6-pack abs and Smith & Wesson guns.
Speed dating: Totally hokey. But a great way to get out there.
It’s January 12th single girls and boys. I don’t care if you make new year’s resolutions or not. It is time to get off the couch, fluff up your hair and start filling up your dance card with dates. After all, January is no time to be a single spoon.
Yes, trudging through the icy cold winds of winter to be no more than 5 minutes late to a blind date effing blows. But I won’t hear another complaint about it. Single people should be social. Why? you ask. Because ss said so. (ss is me.)
Admittedly, getting out there is tough. So here are some tips for breaking the comfort seal:
1. Go online. You don’t even have to leave the couch for at least a week when you take the cyber-dating route. I’ve been on The Onion personals, Match.com, eHarmony, and Jdate. They all work. Pick one. Pick two.
2. Smile at everyone. This includes members of the opposite sex and your sex. The idea is to practice connecting with people so when you see your gym crush on the treadmill, you won’t get a strange constipated look on your face and turn the other way. Not that I would ever do that.
3. Hook up with someone. Don’t force this one. But if you do have someone handy around you can make time with, step to. The reason for this is, have you ever noticed when you start dating someone, all of sudden people start noticing you? Maybe asking you out more? It’s the “when it rains, it pours” theory and I’m sticking to it.
4. Sign up for something. Pick something. Anything. I recently took an acting class and will sign up for French and cooking classes for February. Maybe I’ll meet someone to go out with. Maybe I’ll meet someone who knows someone to go out with. Maybe I won’t meet anyone but I will learn to braise a cut of animal and how to say tough titty en francais. (“Tough titty” got lost somewhere in 1987. I’m bring it back. As in, “Tough titty you don’t want to get off the couch and start dating again. Just do it.”)
I'll take the one 2nd from the right please. kthx.
I was watching the Today show this morning and those little hostess ladies were giddy about Date Check, which allows you to check up on potential dates to make sure you aren’t about to break bread with a creepy sex offender, ex-con and such. (If he has a tear drop tattoo near his eye, this is a bad sign.) Thing is, you have to PAY for the dang credit check. Like $30. Why would I pay for this when there is Facebook and Google for free? And if that fails, I have a friend who is like freaking Sherlock Holmes when it comes to digging up dirt on people. She gets the scoop. It’s kinda magical.
Of course, Facebook is not going to tell you about someone’s criminal activity, but profiles can indicate a sense of warning or doom. Or tell you that the person that you met online, that you are about to go out with, is friends with the brother of the guy you just broke up with. Uncomfortable. It’s a small world out there folks.
Much to my parent’s chagrin, I don’t worry too much about criminals. I’ve encountered a lot of random men and there has only been one that I decided not to go out with after a cursory telephone conversation during which he asked me if I was a top or a bottom. I was like, “Uh, both? I have to go now.” What does that even mean for straight people?
Bottom line – if you’re freaked out in a hair-standing-up-on-the-back-of-your-neck way, don’t go. Don’t confuse this with anxiety about dating, though. If that means paying for the dang criminal check so you can learn how to distinguish between the two, so be it. Rule of thumb: For new dates, tell someone where you’re going and how long you’ll be out just to be on the safe side. And don’t get drunk and go home with him on the first date. (I know you’re going to, but I just felt like I had to say this.) This is less about safety because most likely, you’re fine, and more about self preservation if you’re looking for a relationship. He won’t buy the cow if he gets the milk for free. It’s a cliche for a reason kids.