Friday, February 26, 2010

The Big Plush Button

If you lived in Manhattan in the mid to late 90s, you may recall an Upper West Side coffee shop called Drip. This was before there was a Starbucks on every corner, so this type of place was quite unique: you could linger over your coffee for hours, just like on Friends! (what's the font for sarcasm?)

There was an added draw: a free dating service. You'd fill out a questionnaire, they'd stick it in a book, and if someone perusing the book liked what they read about you, Drip would put you in touch (and you'd ostensibly give Drip even more business by having your first Drip date there). Unfortunately, there were no pics involved, so you had to decide if you wanted to meet someone based on their words alone -- which sounds so archaic now!

This guy requested a date with me, and something I read in his profile gave me pause: he wrote, "I'm as cute as a button -- a big, plush button". Being the eternal optimist that I am (or just a sucker for a good story), I still decided to meet him.

And he was right -- he was a big, plush button. He was a large, round fella, quite a few pounds overweight. Not really my type. There was no second date, but the expression "a big plush button" has become part of my vernacular with my best friend D to this day.

Fast-forward to February 2010. Date #159. I knew from his pics that he had a few extra pounds, but he was still rather good-looking and seemed exceptionally interesting: had traveled all over the world, had a job that he loved, and other positive stuff.

We hit it off. Drinks led to dinner, which led to kisses in the street, which led to plans for this weekend even before the date was over. He thinks I'm smart and gorgeous, and tells me so. His email to confirm our weekend date was appropriately enthusiastic.

He's not exactly a "big plush button" -- but yes, he does have a little extra around the middle, more than I'm used to. A bit like this guy, which is why I'm now blog-naming him Hoffman.

I'm certainly no twig (and oy -- not doing well in the weight-loss department, but more on that later) -- but I'm trying to wrap my head around Mr Teddy Bear Man's girth. Um, maybe just get past date two first, and take it from there? Thanks for the advice, self.


Since I last wrote, I've had two more dates with Einstein. I can't figure him out: he's fun and funny one minute, and a bit strange and pedantic the next. On our second date, we wound up at his place for a bit of kissing and more drinking. He wanted me to stay over (note: we were fully clothed the whole time) -- it just felt too soon. I left his place at 2:50 am, a bit tipsy and tired.

It was only when I was already in the taxi on my way home that it occurred to me: he didn't walk me downstairs to said taxi, and he really should have. He did offer a half-hearted, "you'll be OK?", and my automatic response was simply to say yes. I decided that wasn't a deal-breaker, but a lesson to myself: ask for what you want, especially when it comes to personal safety at 2:50 am.

Date #3 with Einstein: easy-flowing conversation over drinks, then a bite, then back to my place. More smooching, this time shirts were removed. I had to work early the next morning, so at about 11 pm, I started to mention that we really should start to wrap things up...

You would have thought I'd put a gun to the guy's head. He leapt up, quickly put his shirt on and within a minute was at the door, fiddling with the locks -- I half-joked about at least giving me a kiss goodnight. He did, but seconds later was out the door, with a terse "bye".

I mentioned this to Best Friend D, and her feeling was: "when someone wants me to go, I'd be out the door quickly too!". But something about this just didn't feel right.

Overall, something about HIM just didn't feel right, and this was magnified on my first date with Hoffman days later. THIS was a sweet, warm, not-strange-seeming guy. You know how meeting someone new can show you what was wrong with the last one? Yeah -- that.

Anyone else have Drip date stories? Let's hear them!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Feeling like Switzerland.

Work is starting to heat up these days, which means I don't have much time or energy to think about dating. I have a few guys in my Match in-box who seem interesting -- and I'll get around to writing back to them at some point, once I catch my breath. Overall, I'm feeling rather neutral about dating these days -- I'm in a Switzerland state of mind.

And -- I'm about to contradict myself when I tell you that I kissed five different guys in the past week. Yes, five.

Number one: last week, I had dinner with Martin, and there was a bit of smooching afterwards. We're officially "just friends", but I've decided that I need to start phasing him out, or only seeing him in group situations.

Two: This Guy and I were at the same party last weekend. (background: he and I dated casually two years ago, and have occasionally fooled around since then. He's a sweet, smart guy, a bit quirky, but not someone I see as a potential boyfriend).

We shared a taxi downtown together, and wound up kissing. When we discussed whether to go for another drink at a bar or at my place, we wound up at my apartment. He spent the night, sans sex -- actually, it didn't really go beyond kissing -- it was rather late, and we crashed pretty quickly. Hot, huh?

Three: A first date (#157) -- I've dubbed him "Murray" -- he looked like a combination of Kevin Spacey and a younger Bill Murray. (in a good way -- I like that look) He was a Match date, but it turns out we knew some people in common, which is always a nice way to take off the edge of anonymity.

I enjoyed the date -- we had dinner, then drinks in a dark, sultry cocktail lounge where we smooched for a bit. I would have been very happy to see him again, but I got an email from him two days later, saying that while he had a very nice time, he was trying to deal with a past relationship that he hadn't quite gotten over yet, and apologized if he led me on. Very respectfully written -- anyway, que sera, sera.

Four: Another first date (#158) - let's call him "Einstein". Yes, he's a very smart guy, but at first (by email, then by phone) I felt that he was trying a bit too hard to prove to me just how smart he was. He'd describe something as "byzantine", when "complicated" or "intricate" would have sufficed -- or he'd mention something about the apartment in which he "resided", when most people would have simply used "lived".

Something interesting happened when we met up: he dropped the pompous git act, and was a cool, interesting, normal guy. (I wonder if that was his way of screening out the dummies, perhaps). We had a fun time, and I'm looking forward to seeing him again this weekend.

Five: date number two with Dog Man, after our first date two weeks ago. There's something a bit strange about this guy, based on his body language. Over dinner, I felt that he was pointedly looking around the room as if the mafia was after him. After, we played a quick game of pool -- he seemed to warm up a bit more, and was rather flirty as he gave me pointers. Quick kiss goodnight on the street as he hailed a taxi for me. If he calls, I'd give him another shot, but wouldn't go out of my way to make anything happen.

This coming week, I really do have too many social obligations to really think about dating. Really. Ok, we'll see...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Vow of celibacy.

I generally don't intentionally engage in casual sex, but looking back at my most recent escapades, you wouldn't guess as much.

I suppose Smiley could have been characterized as a "casual relationship" -- we saw each other a few times a week during our six weeks or so of dating. The sex was really, really good with him (possibly one of the best I've ever had) -- however, he was clear rather early on that he wasn't in a place for a serious relationship, yet I still continued to date him til I finally admitted to myself that it was pointless.

I last saw him three weeks ago -- we had two more dates, after which I decided: we really are just best off as friends.

Then there's Martin. We've been *mostly* just friends, with occasional smooching -- except for one night, shortly after I ended things with Smiley. We had dinner, drinks, and one thing led to the another. Since then, we've been out a few more times, going back to the "just friends / smooching" thing. It's better that way.

I enjoy the familiarity of his company, but I think I need to limit seeing him to group situations, like a party or happy hour. Any night I spend alone with him is a night I could be with someone who actually has potential.

Which brings me to: my vow of celibacy. I've made a promise to myself: I'm not going to sleep with anyone again unless it's with a guy who seems to have potential as a boyfriend. True -- you can't always know this from the start. "Seems" is the operative word here. I generally don't sleep with someone til at least the 5th date anyway -- usually by that point, you have some idea if this person is looking for just a quick fling or something more substantial.

So -- no more recycling of past lovers. Wish me luck in meeting someone with potential!

I have two dates with new guys this week, as well as a second date with Dog Guy -- we'd talked about getting together last week, but he had to go out of town. I'm not getting the warmest "into you" vibes from him, but I'm trying to stay neutral for now.

"Dominic" -- the brunch date from last week -- never called. Just as well.

Sunday weigh-in, week three: argh! Not good! I'm loath to admit this, but my weight is back up to 142.8 -- which means I've only lost a pound since I began this challenge three weeks ago. Time to get serious! I want to feel thin and confident for myself first and foremost -- but also for when I eventually get around to having sex again...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Date #156... and an apology.

This snowy weather is making me tired and lazy, so I'm going to make this short and sweet and get back to some quality TV-watching and Match-surfing!

Date #156: "Dominic"
Dominic was an English guy in my circle of friends in my 20s, and I had a HUGE crush on him for ages. We smooched once or twice, but it never went further than friendship.

This past weekend I had a brunch date with a British guy who now lives here in NY. I'm normally skeptical about a brunch date -- I generally think it's a good idea to have some darkness and booze to relax a bit around someone new -- but it seemed like it was the only time that worked for both of us. Let's-call-him-Dominic was smart and perfectly nice and had the kind of charming smile that I like -- but I'm just not sure the zing was there.

If I hear from him, I'd be happy to go out with him again -- if not, no harm done.

Shocker of the week -- I got this email from Mr 2010 (and since I don't particularly care if he discovers the blog, here it is in its entirety):

Hi, yes, I am safely alive, thanks. I'm really sorry about last Sunday. I don't have a worthy explanation... I barely got out of bed all day, and then when I saw your text it was already late and I felt like a big jerk. I've been trying to figure out how to talk to you about it since then, but not very successfully, obviously.

It's a longer, bigger story than I can do via email right now, but I've been a bit of a mess recently. It's not something I'd want to inflict on anyone else. I like you, but I have to deal with my crap right now. I hope you understand, and I hope you can forgive me for being such an inconsiderate ass.

I hope you're well. Thank you for the concern, too.

[Mr 2010]

So -- that's that. Better late than never, I suppose? Anyway, my main thought was: whew! Dodged THAT bullet.

I haven't felt a need to write back. Done.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sunday weigh-in... Date #155... "karma is a bitch, and so am I!"

Sunday Weigh-in -- Week Two:
I'm a day early, but I'm not sure the scale will be so forgiving tomorrow. Today's numbers: 140.8 -- down 2.2 since last week, for a total of 3.2 lost! Yes!

True, part of that was because of a stomach bug that caused me to eat much less for a few days -- but I'll take it! Let's keep this train going!


Date #155 -- Dog Man:
Maybe because we'd "known" each other through Facebook for something like two years -- I just felt comfortable with him right away. He thoughtfully arranged for us to have dinner at a restaurant where his good friend is the chef -- oh my, way too much good food. I tried to restrain myself. Not easy!

After, we went to another spot for a drink, gradually sitting closer and closer. Eventually led to some sweet kisses -- not enough that we'd be implored to "get a room", but enough to know that we seem to have good kissing chemistry.

He emailed me a few days later, asking to make plans for this coming week. Looking forward to it -- he just "feels" like a good fit, for whatever that's worth.


Mr 2010
I know -- pretty ridiculous that he's still being mentioned here. As I wrote last time, we were supposed to have plans on Sunday -- I texted him about 4 pm asking if we were still on, and he never responded.

A friend reminded me of the Sex and the City episode where Carrie was stood up by a guy, but he had a very good excuse: he died. I certainly wouldn't wish death on anyone, even someone who stood me up -- but out of curiosity, I just had to find out if this guy was dead, in the hospital, or in jail. After all, why else would he NOT call me back? (please see the sarcasm here!)

A few days later, I emailed him, asking if he was still alive, and to please give me the courtesy of a return email -- he didn't even have to call. Nothing.

The next day, I wrote to our mutual friend, D, and mentioned my concern. She was surprised, and said that was completely unlike him, even though he was sometimes flaky, and forgot plans previously made. She texted him at 7 that night, and when she didn't hear from him by 1 am, she started getting worried as well.

The next day she finally talked to him (without mentioning me): turned out he'd been hella-stressed with his divorce. He's been separated for about a year, and lately his ex-wife has been giving him a hard time about who-knows-what. (ha -- maybe he hasn't been returning her calls...)

My first thought was: that means you can't take 10 seconds to text someone to let them know you need to cancel your plans? Dillhole.

My second thought (with a slightly evil grin on my face): Good. I'm GLAD you're having a hard time with this. Karmic retribution sucks, doesn't it?

I’m glad to hear that he’s alive, but a little happy that he’s going through a rough time with his ex – karma’s a bitch, isn’t it? I know one has nothing to do with the other, but in my mind: dude, that’s your payback for standing me up. What goes around, comes around. I feel a lot better!