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Your Father Isn’t… Any of these guys

5 May

Good news! I found an old journal full of dates I wrote about but never posted! The bad news is that I’m not totally sure when I wrote them, so they’re all completely randomly spaced throughout time. It’ll be like a sci-fi anachronistic dating adventure… or my dating life doesn’t progress all that much, so the order doesn’t really matter. Let’s go with time-travel adventure.

~~~

I’m on my second hand’s worth of mediocre dates, which for me are the worst kind. I’d much rather suffer through a couple hours of cringe-inducing awkwardness than these forgettable ones, because I know there is at least some payoff in the end of the bad ones (this blog!). Yes, I realize that I’m complaining that my dates aren’t bad enough.

I went out with an accountant who finished my food. I agreed to a second date with a psychology Ph. D. student (sorry Mom) but he can’t think of anything fun to do downtown. One guy told me all about how he keeps his beard long ‘because the ladies love it’ then got food stuck in it. Ok, I might have to write about that one.

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I even went out with a very nice LA (legislative assistant for you “outside the beltway” types). We had a lot in common and the date showed promise until I learned that he someday hopes to run for office. I’m too much fun to be a political wife. Can you imagine when the press finds this blog?

Maybe this means that my filter is improving, or maybe I’ve just been through so many dates that nothing phases me, like how my nurse friend handles vomit like it’s just spilled ice cream. The fact that, as I sit here, I can think of blog-worthy stories from more and more of these dates is making me think it’s the latter.

Crap.

 

 

 

 

Say Yes to the…?

8 Jun

Hello friends. It’s been a while, but I’m back (if you want background on the past few months, ask me in person) and today I decided to reactivate my OkCupid profile, more for kicks than an actual desire to go on dates. I don’t even look around on the site, literally close the window and go back to doing laundry, so imagine my surprise when I come back and find I have six messages. Within ten minutes. Seriously.

For a moment, I actually believe that I’m just so awesome and my profile is just so irresistible that it’s a virtual feeding frenzy the second I dip a toe back into the online dating waters. I imagine guys all around the world spotting my profile and shouting to their friends, “Heather’s back!” and their buddies dropping beers, books, or frisbees (this is more of a montage sort of scene, so there are all types) and elbowing each other out of the way to get to a computer and message me. I picture the alert going viral, the click heard round the world, and the website crashing from all the traffic to my newly active profile.

Of course, I quickly realize that it’s more likely that OkCupid is conspiring to keep me engaged (damn them and their ego-stroking!), and upon looking through the sources of these messages, my enthusiasm wanes. Ah well, such is life.

That said, I did get one message that has had me laughing out loud for the last ten minutes. Enjoy!

Sweetheart,

Pick one and say yes. All these other guys can’t treat you right or give you what you need- short term or long term-I can! www.bluenile.com

Mitch

Your Father Isn’t… James

11 Jan

I think I’ve mentioned before that I have a large, loud, outgoing family, but I don’t think I’ve truly done them justice. Then again, Tyler Perry would have trouble doing them justice. Let’s just say that when I’m homesick I like to watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and hope that someday my own wedding will go that smoothly.

I know I’m lucky to have a family with so much love, but sometimes it can be a bit too much love. Perfect example occurred over the holidays this year.

Every December 30th, my family descends on this little family-style restaurant in Little Italy, with brick walls, rows of red and white checkered tables and a Hispanic Elvis look-alike named Jorge, who provides live entertainment. We’re used to being the rowdiest group there, standing on our chairs for Jorge’s signature song, Shake Your Napkin, or snaking a conga line through the restaurant and into the slushy streets of New York. The establishment loves us because we get the entire restaurant smiling, singing and drinking more (lots more) wine, and eventually promising to come back again next year.

So we all choke on our calamari fritti when the table at the other end of the restaurant starts chanting for Jorge to come out, louder than even we could muster. Within minutes my mom and aunts, having faked a visit to the bathroom in order to scope out the competition, learn that they are all firefighters from New Jersey here for their annual year-end celebration.

Well, my aunts waste no time coming to grab me by the wrist and drag me over, ignoring my protests and the brilliant shade of red I’m turning. We stand at the head of their long table, lined with at least twelve muscular firefighters to each side, and I go another shade or two redder while my aunts flank me, each holding an elbow and say,

“This is our niece, Heather, who’s single.”

The throaty, heavily-accented chorus of “Hi Heather” can probably be heard for three blocks, but the heat rising from my face could melt snow for six. I stand around and talk with a few of the firefighters closest to us for a bit, but it’s still awkward and we’re blocking the already disturbingly narrow pathway to the kitchen, much to the obvious displeasure of the overloaded waiters. I take the opportunity to make my getaway and scurry back to the safety of my own table. Immediately my face begins to cool.

Within ten minutes, however, my dad starts up the conga line, which turns into a much better mingling opportunity. I find myself clinging to the rock-hard shoulders of Vinnie, a shorter, dark-haired New Jersey Italian who is the self-appointed leader of the bunch, while a taller Irish-looking fellow joins the line behind me. This is really not a bad place to be, I think to myself.

The conga line breaks up after a couple laps through the restaurant and dissolves into small groups dancing to such hot singles as the Brady Bunch, Dominick the Donkey and That’s Amore. My friend from the conga line, James, suddenly has me twirling and dipping as he pulls me in close to try to talk above the din of our two groups “singing” (trust me, the quotes are warranted). We chat for a bit, yelling each phrase two or three times to be understood, and continue to mingle and dance with the mass of people we’ve pulled from their dinners to dance to cheesy songs played on an electric keyboard.

At one point my brother and his girlfriend stumble over to me, with one arm around each other like contestants in a three legged race, to tell me that they like the guy I was just talking to.

“What’s his name?” asks my brother.

“James,” I reply.

My brother’s eyes go wide and he proudly pounds his chest. “That’s MY name! It’s perfect. Go back over to him.”

They stumble off.

As the night goes on, and the wine flows with increasing generosity, everyone continues to get rowdier. We’re shouting now instead of pretending to sing, jumping up on chairs, twirling anyone nearby and generally descending into madness. Each time Jorge tries to stop, the firefighters start a threateningly loud chant and form a small, impenetrable wall of drunken enthusiasm and Jorge starts back up with his fifth encore.

James finds me again while I’m talking to a couple of his friends. Instead of waiting or interrupting the conversation, he throws an arm around my waist, lifts me up high above the crowd and walks away. That’s one way to to do it.

He immediately tries to kiss me, which I dodge, and point out that my father is the guy who just sang When Irish Eyes Are Smiling standing on chairs with an Italian guy, a black guy, and James.

“THAT’S YOUR DAD?”

The pain is written on his face. He likes my Dad, and wouldn’t want to disrespect him… but still would like to make out in an alley if that were an option. I take that moment to point out that my mother is the woman standing on a chair behind me doing kicks to New York, New York and pouring wine for anyone whose glass is within her reach, including James.

“THAT’S YOUR MOM”

I can’t help but smile. His face is an open book.

He settles for my number and a promise that whenever I go out in Hoboken, I call him, which isn’t a bad deal, except that I no longer live in New Jersey. Our groups go our separate ways, with promises to make sure our nights at Puglia’s coincide again next year, and at least one invitation to join their party bus through the city for the rest of the night, but I decide it’s probably wise to leave with my family.

~~~~

Kids, your father probably isn’t James, but your family sure is crazy. In a good way.

Your Father Isn’t… Charlie

7 Jan

I met Charlie at a friend’s birthday party and we hit it off talking about the developing importance of behavioral economics. Throughout the night I find myself talking to him again and again, although I can never really tell what he means by it. Toward the end of the night, instead of asking for my number, Charlie suggests we exchange business cards. I figure we connected on an intellectual level, so we’re solidly in the friend zone. I’m ok with that.

Imagine my surprise to receive an email the next afternoon on my work email account, suggesting we meet up for lunch sometime, and asking that I suggest a date and time. I hadn’t expected to hear from him at all and now he is asking me out on a maybe-date?

I realize that I don’t know much about him at all, and since he is a friend of a friend at the party, none of my friends can tell me much either. So once we set a date for lunch, I need to know more, so I fire up my 21st century P.I.: Google.

Now, I’m a decently-skilled cyber stalker. Certainly not the best (like Alex) but I can usually find what I’m looking for. I flip through the results, finding Charlie’s college, law school, and current company, all of which he told me when we met, so no red flags yet.

When I stumble across his LinkedIn profile, I make sure to first log out of my own account so my “research” doesn’t leave any tracks. I’m proud of myself for adeptly sidestepping that little trap, when a few items down  on the search results something catches my eye:

OkCupid.

He has an OkCupid profile? Maybe this really is a date… I’m still puzzling over what this means when I click the link.

Panic.

Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no! OkCupid has me automatically logged in to my profile and will not only show that I looked up his profile just minutes after our email conversation, but will send him a pop up notice RIGHT NOW if he’s online. In my panic, I close the window before it even loads, but the damage is done.

A few minutes later, while I’m still banging my head on my desk in humiliation, a notification pops up. A message. From Charlie.

“Lol. So you’re on here too.”

I respond:

“haha yea, well that’s only a tiny bit embarrassing. I completely forgot that I would be logged in automatically when I clicked on the link.

Not that I was googling you or anything.

I just keep making this worse, huh? 🙂 “

Charlie responds a minute later:

“Lol lol lol that made my day.”

~~~~

Kids, that’s the last I ever heard from Charlie, so let’s learn a lesson from this. I’m not going to tell you not to cyber stalk. I’m telling you to do a better job of it.

Your Father Isn’t… Alex

25 Nov

One of the many prospects in my life this year isn’t from OkCupid at all. Alex came crashing into my life by taking a temp job in the desk next to mine, which he got because of his family’s friendship with my organization’s president.

As so many who use personal connections to get positions they aren’t quite qualified for do, Alex burst into our office oozing undeserved confidence and hair product. To say he has struggled with the work would be a gross understatement, but like a rubber ducky in a flash food nothing seems to dash his spirits. And for some reason, out of all the women in my office, he is focused on me.

Alex’s initial advances are treading that fine line between creepy and illegal. One morning, out of the blue, he asks my middle name. Not one to give out personal information without at least an inkling of how it might be used, I ask why he wants to know. Instead of doing something boring and say, rational, Alex opts not to answer. Instead, he proceeds to Google me for the next hour then he slips into the extra chair in my cubicle to ask why I started an astronomy club my sophomore year at Ramapo high school. Totally normal.

Gradually, though, he’s gotten less creepy. As he’s started to tone his personality down, I’ve started to notice how tall he is… how nice his cologne smells… how intoxicatingly blue his eyes are. I assume that he’s just a flirt by nature and opt for uncomfortably comfortable banter with him as we work. There’s no way he’s into me, or at the very least he wouldn’t be if we didn’t work so closely all day.

So when Alex invites me to grab lunch with him one day, I ask if two other colleagues would like to join us. When he suggests drinks after work, I bring friends. When he sends me an email he admits took the better part of an hour, inviting me to lunch at Smith & Wollensky’s via creative subtitles on Harry Potter movie scenes, I laugh and eat at my desk.

I’m happily putting down roots in a town called Denial when Alex finally asks me to grab a drink, just us two. It’s a Friday afternoon and after so many subtle and not-so-subtle rejections, I agree. What I don’t know is that his boss has found a permanent hire for his position. That isn’t Alex. And they plan to tell him that afternoon.

I’m making unauthorized use of my supervisor’s office to stuff meeting folders with my intern when Alex gets out of his meeting. Without a word, he goes to his desk, grabs his book and walks out, but my intern and I call out to ask how it went. I’m fairly certain it didn’t go well, but Alex can be hard to read.

Standing in the doorway of my boss’ office, with my pale, freckled young intern looking on, Alex tilts his head toward me. We’re inches apart but all he says is that he’s got to go and can we do drinks another day?

~~~~

Sadly, we never got that drink, although truth be told I was probably blinded by his looks and the fact that the cute boy had chosen me. Looking back, I probably could have told you that your father wouldn’t have been fired from a temporary executive assistant position, at least not as the way we met.

Kids, after weeks of build up, of question marks and raised eyebrows, of misinterpretations and misunderstanding, I can confidently say, Alex is not your father.

Your Father Isn’t…DaddYO04

27 Jul

This guy, I think his name was Greg, gchats me every morning. The conversation goes something like this:

DaddYO04: Hey you!

Me: Hi

DaddYO04: how are you this morning?

Me: I’m great, how are you?

DaddYO04:   : )

Occasionally, he’ll ask me out.

DaddYO04: Hey you!

Me: Hi

DaddYO04: how are you this morning?

Me: I’m great, how are you?

DaddYO04: We should meet up for a drink sometime.

I’ve been through this enough times that I just go along, knowing full well how this will play out. I also have a strict policy against planning the first date, so I refuse to nudge things along (Bars in DC are like coffee shops in Seattle; if you wandered the city blindfolded, you’d be more likely to stumble onto an outdoor patio than into traffic. Pick one, dude).

Me: Sure, I’d like that.

DaddYO04: Yea. : )

And then I don’t hear from him again until tomorrow and we begin at the top.

At first I thought it was a bit odd to ask someone out when your only conversations involve less vocabulary than a Dr. Seuss book but gradually this has become a part of my morning routine, like brushing my teeth and cursing the bathroom door jam when I stub my toe.

~~~~

It’s now been four months. I’m going to guess that DaddYO04 isn’t your father kids.