Tag Archives: dating

Your Father Isn’t…Danny

6 Sep

I should be working on grad school applications right now but I’m experiencing severe writers block. Consider this a writing exercise instead of the productive procrastination it really is.


Danny messages me with the New Jersey standard introduction message: “Hey, what’s up?” I answer, mostly to keep my profile out of that “responds selectively” category. If he’s not putting any effort in, though, neither am I. A promising start.

Our conversations consist of him telling me something that went wrong and me responding cheerfully. That he responds always surprises me; the conversation seems on the verge of sputtering out and yet he casually persists.

I give him my number by mistake. I thought I was responding to another message, but oh well. Weeks go by before I receive an oddly specific question. No ‘hello, this is Danny.’ No ‘sorry it took me so long to get back to you.’ No ‘hi how are you?’ As usual, I go with it.

We continue these random spurts of emotionally-unbalanced conversation through the summer. Danny texts me a question. I answer, ask about his day/week/month. He replies that things could be better because of x, y, and z. About every third time he asks if I want to get together. I say sure… then we don’t talk for a few more days, sometimes weeks, as though the step of actually planning the date is just too daunting to tackle right away. Like something will probably go wrong anyway, so why bother?

I’m dying to know one thing about Danny: when will he have a good day? I’m sometimes annoyingly cheerful, more of the Tigger than Eeyore type, so Danny’s ability to find the negative in everything is morbidly fascinating for me. It’s like my own sad, dark reflection.3ors4m

I want to meet my online Eeyore, but that would a) break my rule about not using guys as blog fodder, b) be a waste of time and probably pretty miserable and c) require more patience that I currently possess. And I will not be able to cheer him up (accept it, Heather, and move on!).

So no, Danny and I will probably never meet. I’ve decided that I’ll have to tell him that I’m seeing someone else (yea yea calm down, I’ll get to that), whenever he decides to text me again. Poor guy.


Cheer up kids! Even though your future mom is still stuck wading through the dating pool, Danny is definitely not your father!


Your Father Isn’t…Bill

30 Jun

Do you remember the last time you ate white bread? Does any memory of actually eating white bread really stand out to you? I have a distinct memory of smooshing white bread into a tight little ball, but never of eating it. I can describe it’s appearance, the texture and weight in my hand, feeling it stuck to the roof of my mouth. But actual taste? It’s like someone erased the memory. It’s a total blank for me. Or, more likely, it’s been overpowered by all the competing stimuli that are so much more memorable.

I bet you see where this is going.


Bill asks me out and I suggest drinks or coffee. He proposes coffee on Sunday afternoon at Starbucks. I’m deeply reminiscing over my first date ever (I was 12), also at a Starbucks, so I don’t immediately notice when Bill walks in. We order iced teas because it’s one of those balmy, moist late-June evenings and anything else would have been absurd, then grab seats by the window.

We chat as I watch a woman walk her cockapoo past the Starbucks four or five times. Bill and I actually have a fair bit in common, such as swimming which I’m trying to get back into, and growing up in the area/still being here (I’d like to clarify that at one point, for a long while, I DID leave. I’m just back now. I’m not bitter or anything). A group of young girls come in, hugging each other and squealing like they’ve spotted Justin Bieber. I alternate between wondering where one got her yellow shorts and the legality of banning caffeine for 13 year olds.

The sky is beautiful as the sun starts to set. We’d had storms not too long before and the clouds are those wild, thick, puffy ones… dark underneath but the top turning brilliant shades of pink and purple that deepen as we talk.

Bill suggests we go for a walk and like a true gentleman, he always lets me go first… through doors, when the sidewalk narrows, when we have to get around a group of teenagers with an enthusiastic German Shepherd outside an ice cream shop. He deftly sidesteps most awkward pauses (there are a few, as with any first date) and he laughs while telling me about an old man wearing a tshirt that says, “I suffer from CRS… Can’t Remember Stuff.” He didn’t see the old man, he just saw a picture of it online, but old people are funny.

I tell him about my grandpa yelling at people, not because he’s a crotchety old man but because he can get away with it now that people just assume he’s a crotchety old man. I think to myself, ‘that’s really not a good story.’

We get to the edge of the “downtown” area we’re strolling through and decide to turn around. I ask what school he went to and he tells me his high school (he did go to college, we get to that later). We talk about traveling and apartment prices in the city and the weather. We talk about the beach. Turns out, we both like the shore and have great memories of going there as kids. Go figure.

By this point we have arrived back at the parking lot by Starbucks and we both move towards our cars. Or, maybe just I move towards my car. I think I at least move a little faster, but maybe not. I thank him for the iced tea (I almost said drink, but that would imply a drink-drink, of which we had none). He says we should do it again sometime and I say, ‘yea definitely’ a little too fast.

We pull out of the lot. I go left. He goes right.

Before I reach the first traffic light, I realize I can’t remember anything specific about him. Just like white bread.


Kids, sometimes people just aren’t memorable. There’s nothing bad about them per se, but nothing stands out as good either. You deserve a father that we don’t all forget to miss, so I can say that your father isn’t… wait, who were we talking about? Yes, Bill.

Assorted Advice I’m Not Qualified to Give

11 Dec

As 2012 rapidly comes to catastrophe a close, I feel the overwhelming need to share something witty, insightful, and possibly life changing. Of course, if I knew any such insights, I probably wouldn’t have a bad-dating blog, would I?

But… isn’t providing dubious advice based on questionable expertise the purpose of the blogosphere?

I’m caving in to imagined peer-pressure and offering up the following advice that should probably be actively disregarded.

1. Choose Kelly Clarkson over Britney Spears.

At least in terms of Christmas carols. Kelly pleads “not for myself, but for a world in need.” Britney wants a boyfriend because other people do.

I’m not going to lie and say I don’t belt out Britney’s song in the shower, the car, or any time I have the apartment to myself between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But it’s not good for my emotional or psychological health to beg Santa for a boyfriend, or anyone’s ears when I start singing.

This year, I’m going to focus on wishing other people well and indulge in this classic only once… a week. Maybe.

2. Dating is not a hobby.

Recently my roommate Claire trained for and completed a marathon. Another friend volunteers teaching Spanish classes, while another is a member of the Capitals Red Rockers in her spare time. So when one of them asks me what I did this week and I answer, “I went on three dates,” and don’t even have a good story to tell, even I start to  judge me.

“But Heather, you have this blog at least!”

Thanks Mom dear reader, but can I put “humorous blog recounting dating disasters” on my resume? I think not. Dating is not a hobby.

3. Make things interesting.

When we were 14 years old, my surprisingly wise friend Nick told me, “80 years from now, you’re going to have to watch the movie of your life. You better make it interesting.”

It’s fabulous advice and anything I try to add to it sounds either whiny (who am I to give life advice?), trite (who am I to give cheesy life advice?), or conceited (in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary, am I qualified to give life advice?). Listen to the 14 year old. tumblr_mdtz7rlnLE1qazkdco1_250tumblr_mdtz7rlnLE1qazkdco2_250

4. Being bad at things can be helpful.

I’m terrible at sports. My lack of patience, self-awareness or physical coordination leads me to dread any and all team activities, even drinking games. My entire life, I’ve been battling – in a decidedly off-balance way- the everything-you-got-swing-and-miss.

You know that moment: time screeches to a halt. Sound becomes simultaneously muted and thunderous. Everyone in the entire world is watching you but you are confident this will be your Babe Ruth moment.

You step up to the plate. As the ball comes hurtling towards you, you throw your entire body into a hurricane-force spin. Then time stops.

Nothing happens for a split second. You feel the elation of success… only to hear the ball slap into the catcher’s mitt. That’s when you realize you hit nothing but the ghost of your dreams as they whizzed past. The disappointment and humiliation battle for precedence in your mind as you slink back to the bench.

Seriously, this happened to me EVERY time in whiffleball. Dyq7klltVUyrROq4sXNNJw2

While  that might be slightly melodramatic, it’s essentially that’s the gist of my 2012. I confidently called 2012 as my year to get things right, and yet I’m going into 2013 the same way I entered 2012: single but happy, completely unsure of my future, (again) preparing for the GMAT, and hoping to be accepted to business school by the end of next year.

The nice thing? I can’t swing or fall harder than last time and I’ve spent so much of my life managing the public embarrassment of pretty much every physical activity I’ve ever done, I’m actually quite well-prepared.

So at midnight on January 1 (assuming it happens), I’ll be toasting the New Year with friends and family, ready to try it all again.


How do you feel about 2012 and 2013? Are you excited for next year?

Your Father Isn’t…Justin

29 Nov

Justin and I exchanged only a couple of emails before he suggested we get coffee… no, how about drinks? We should just do coffee…lunch… or maybe drinks? Let’s do dinner. That all came from him; I’m mostly passive in this process. Promising, no?

I nearly forget about this date, but somehow I make it to the hip sushi spot Justin chose in a timely manner. It’s on my always-wanted-try list, so I take the venue selection as a good omen.

The loud music fills the awkward pauses and dim lighting hides our fish-fumbling (remember back with Kevin when I swore off sushi as date food? Remind me next time). Even with the restaurant conspiring on our behalf like that scene in Lady & the Tramp, it’s still not enough to generate any real chemistry.

Justin and I agree on many things: we both love baseball and enjoy football between October and April. We both have great relationships with our dads. We’re both from Jersey. We share a few laughs but still nothing clicks.

Toward the end of the night, Justin has long ago finished his meal and I’m not touching my nearly full plate of sushi, which he’s not-so-subtly eyeing. So, I offer him the rest of my food. He’s gracious as he devours it, popping one roll in his mouth before he even puts the plate down. You would think he hadn’t eaten in weeks if you hadn’t just seen him calmly and reasonably eat his own plateful of food. Within seconds, Justin has demolished all but one piece, clearly on principle. I watch the dilemma play out on his face as he stares at the final sushi roll. He explains that if food is in front of him, he eats it, which makes me wonder how he’s still so skinny.

Something clicks in my mind. Some tiny warning light starts blinking. I’ve just told him how my brother was a picky eater (a date is going well when I’ve resorted to my brother’s childhood eating habits as conversation fodder), when he admits he was/is a picky eater himself. He reveals that he generally dislikes condiments, especially sour cream, ketchup, and mustard. He not only thinks bacon is overrated but actively dislikes it (too salty and crunchy?). I finish my wine. He also hates onions, at which point I stop trying to remember the list.

Justin lopes beside me as we make the endless three block trek from the restaurant to the Metro, listing other non-food items he seriously dislikes (winter, tv, Panera Bread restaurants, fun) before I can duck safely behind the train doors.

I realize on my ride home why my internal warning system was flipping out. Unfortunately he’s not some cannibal who wants to make me into an overpriced Panera sandwich (good story at least). No, it’s just that… I’ve dated him before. For two years.

Justin is exactly like my ex-boyfriend. He’s a shorter, less attractive, less fun version of him, but generally, they could play cloned versions of each other in a low-budget sci-fi flick.

Have I really dated so much that I’m cycling back through? Oh what joys I have to look forward to!


Kids, find a way that isn’t detrimental to your psychological and emotional well-being to easily remember why you broke up with the people you’ve already dated. That way, when you date “them” again, you can quickly decide whether this person will mean more of the same or is different enough to be worth it. On that note, your father isn’t Justin.

Your Father Isn’t…Ethan

12 Oct

For Valentine’s Day, I decide I’m going to wow Ethan. I’m always good at the cutesy romantic stuff; I once left conversation hearts in every place my then-boyfriend would touch getting ready in the morning until he came upon a big I ❤ U on his kitchen counter. I know, I’m adorbs.

Ethan just got rid of a huge pile of old nerdy tshirts and oh, it pained him to give them up. It pained him so much that he went through the box one by one, telling me how he got each shirt, some memory attached to it, and often what the heck it meant/why it was “funny.”

So I’m beyond excited to order him a new nerdy Game of Thrones themed tshirt, since we’ve bonded over the books and the show. I even throw in a Stark direwolf mug for good measure. I wrap it up in the cheesiest Valentine’s Day paper possible (to lower his expectations) and head to his house for dinner feeling quite proud of myself.

Ethan opens the door and immediately scoops me up into a huge hug and kiss. I nearly drop his gift but thankfully I regain my senses in time. Of course, as I do, I’m overwhelmed by the most delicious smell, which turns out to be homemade chicken marsala, bowtie pasta, and a salad (which doesn’t really smell but must be included). The kitchen is dim though… it turns out he has spread candles over every surface of his kitchen, giving the entire room a soft, flickering glow. Combined with the aromas and the food, well, it’s heavenly.

It’s so magical I can almost ignore his roommate making himself pancakes while we eat dinner.

It is far and away my second best Valentine’s Day ever (the first was with girlfriends in high school, eating nothing but sweets and watching the Notebook in pjs, which of course cannot be beat). Best for a boy though.

Definitely best for a boy.


Kids, Valentine’s Day gets so over-hyped. Try to remember what matters and it will always be special.

As for Ethan, he’s a wonderful guy but he’s not your father. Seven months and a day after Valentine’s Day, we broke up for good and I wish I had a better explanation than “it didn’t work out.”  As usual, How I Met Your Mother summed it up best, although they did so in most-likely-fictional-but-maybe-not-because-it’s-German terms I cannot spell: Lebenslangerschicksalsschatz* and Beinaheleidenschaftsgegenstand*. The first  roughly translates to “life long treasure of destiny,” while the second refers to “the thing that is almost what you desire, but not quite.” Ethan is, I’m sorry to say, the latter.

*Translation and spelling from How I Met Your Mother episode “Farhampton” and a sketchy fan website respectively. Please don’t judge my German. In unrelated news, I bought myself a yellow umbrella.

Your Father Could Still Be… Ethan

9 Oct

At this point in a new relationship, it’s time to meet each other’s people. First up is dinner with Ethan’s roommate, which takes place at a nearby Chinese restaurant. I’ve briefly met Frederick before, but I’m still a little bit nervous. Frederick’s sharp wit and daunting intellect have me on edge but he remains indifferent as he blatantly sizes me up. (Like that, Frederick?)

The guys are actively debating some technical topic that is outside my realm of understanding, and further outside my realm of caring, so I stay fairly quiet through dinner. That is, except for one key moment, that changes everything.

Our food arrives and Ethan’s plate is significantly larger than Frederick’s. Ethan waves a chopstick at Frederick and exclaims,

“See? Size DOES matter.”

Without even looking up from my food, I gently rub Ethan’s back and say,

“No, it doesn’t sweetie.”

Frederick nearly chokes. After a few minutes of laughter (and a quick check that Ethan’s not upset), I wipe tears from my eyes while Frederick slides from his side of the booth. He’s suddenly serious, although I still can’t stifle my giggles, and he motions for Ethan to stand up next to him. I expect something to happen between them, so I’m surprised when Frederick slides into the booth next to me and gives me a hug, saying, “I rarely do this.”

Frederick then returns to his seat and resumes conversation as normal, but I at least know I have won him over.


Kids, a person’s close friends will tell you more about them than anything they can tell you about themselves. I found an ally and friend in Frederick, which was good because we’d end up spending a lot of time together over the coming months.

Your Father Could Be… Ethan

27 Sep

After that second date, things have taken off with Ethan. We talk throughout most of each day and see each other nearly as often. Insert happy relationship montage here. Everything is rainbows and butterflies and giggles and kisses and… ok, even I’m feeling a little sick from all that. Still, that’s what it’s like. There are even a few times that I think, “Geez, I hate couples like us.”

Six weeks after that should-have-been-awful first date, Ethan looks deep into my eyes and says the words every girl longs to hear (and I honestly doubted I would ever hear from him)…

“So…we should put this on Facebook?”

Only, it doesn’t really come out as a question, so I do the only reasonable thing to do: I laugh in his face.

I don’t mean to do it, but the situation is just so absurd… so 21st century and yet also so middle school, that I just don’t know what else to do. Ethan changes the subject, but I’m still chuckling.

It takes me a good ten minutes to realize that I never actually gave him an answer. “Of course!” I say, with an added apology.
We spend the rest of the night fielding texts and comments from people we barely know interrupting our date time, but it’s ok because I smile each time I tell someone about my boyfriend.


Kids, I worry for you. If this is what I’m dealing with, well, you’re in for weird relationship milestones.