Monday, August 31, 2009

Life Lesson: Staring is an Artform

So thanks to eharmony I connect with Boy #2. I have decided to let these men remain nameless and for simplicity's sake, number them by their number in my dating timeline (the story of boy #1 will come later as I ended my dating adventure with him AFTER boy #2).

B#2 and I were matched in December, started going through the process in February and started emailing in April. I liked his profile because it was well written and complete, even though I found some of his profile pictures comical (there was a middle school-esque head tilt with the hand on the chin, thoughtfully pondering pose). I had started travelling for work at this point and we did not email frequently. And I have to admit, I wasn't super excited about him in general so that was certainly one of the reasons I didn't care we weren't very frequent in our communications.

At the end of July my subscription to eharmony was coming to a close and I wasn't super thrilled with my matches or the price for love, so I decided to let my membership lapse. But I didn't want to shut out the work I had already put in with B#2, so I emailed him and said hey, my subscription is lapsing, here's my personal email address. He emailed me back immediately. I was leaving the country for about ten days later that day so I emailed him back saying, hey! thanks for the email, this is gonna be short but let's catch up when I return.

Fast forward to returning from my vacation. I didn't actually get back to him immediately (see my lack of enthusiasm from before), but received an email from him at the end of the week asking how my vacation went, etc. I was (pleasantly) surprised by his initiative. We emailed a bit and I went in for the kill. I mean, really, we've been in contact since April - what's the hold up??

I email him and say, hey! How'd ya fancy meetin' up sometime? (okay, not in those words). He responded affirmatively and we made plans for Tuesday after work. We spent the next few days chatting over gchat IM -- he and I work in the same field so we always had some conversational thread. Our emails back and forth were long and thorough. I was beginning to like this boy.

Tuesday rolls around and I get nervous. Very, very nervous. My good friend and coworker takes pity on my boyfriendless soul and goes to dinner (with drinks) with me before the 6:45 date.

On my way over to the bar I get a text from him: "headed over now, do you want to meet out front? I'm wearing a white button down shirt, jeans and a black messenger bag".

my response: "I'll be there in less than five. See you out front!"

Oh god. Nerves.

I stroll up the The Australian and there he is. As a side note, it's very strange to meet up with someone you've been chatting with for weeks (months!), seen pictures of, but never met. I approach him and say hello, and he kinda just stands there so I take the initiative and say, shall we?

We enter the bar, there is no seating. And in the only act of decidedness he takes all evening, he says, "let's stand over here" and chooses a location. We get drinks and alas, I order a hard cider than came in this gigantic bottle. So, I have two drinks to his one.

We start talking and in less than five, he's staring at my boobs. Not a subtle, I could be checking out something else, but a flicker down, linger, flicker up, flicker down, lingerrrrrrrrrr, flicker up. Oh, and repeat that. About 20 times. At this point I am actually chuckling in my head. I'm amused because it's SO ridiculous. I mean, I get it. I have boobs. Fairly large boobs. Glorious boobs!! But there is an art to checking someone out while not making them aware of it. He has yet to master that skill. This continues all evening. Not awkward at all.

Meanwhile, he finishes his drink but I still have mine and he's not making any motion to go get another one. And so I start to feel awkward that I'm drinking and he's not.....but he's not taking the initiative to!

About 45 minutes into the date this woman at the cocktail table next to us approaches us to give us her extra seats. I try to decline because I don't want to settle into the evening with this Boob Starer. We wind up allowing her to pawn off her extra seats, she introduces herself to us as Lisa and says:

Lisa: "So what's going on here? How do you know each other?"
Me: "Actually.....this is our first date"
Lisa: "really!! is it a dotcom?"
Me: "yes, it is actually"
Lisa: "which one?"
Me: "eharmony"
Lisa: "oh yeah, I've done that too. I'm on And you know how it is (elbows me) you gotta kiss alotta frogs before you meet a good one! pause - So, how's it going? (and points to B#2).
Me: "oh, um, well I haven't run screaming out the door just yet!"
Lisa: (asking B#2) "What's up with your face? Your facial hair....can you explain that to me? Because that's not in style!"

B#2 looks at me for direction and I just shrug my shoulders at him (because honestly, I am really enjoying the amazingness of this situation). He explains that he grew out sideburns and decided to grow some mutton chops.

Lisa: "oh, no! You would look so much better with out it! You should shave it off!" Looking at me - "what do YOU think? because THAT'S what really matters"

Me: "well, um, I think its personal preference. Whatever works for him is fine"

At this point, Lisa approaches B#2 and puts her hands on his face, covering his mutton chops and says how much better he'd look without them. He wears his hair slightly long and she places her hands on his head, pushing the hair back, saying how much better he'd look if he cut his hair.

Lisa: "Oh, yeah, totally. Shave that, cut this. You'll look SO MUCH BETTER!"

The whole while, he's looking at me for direction and I'm not helping him. I'm much too amused to want this to end and Lisa is saying everything that that little voice in your head wants you to say, but you don't.

Lisa leaves and I tell him that I feel badly that I'm still drinking while he's not, thus giving him permission to go get another drink. So he does. Lisa returns.

Lisa: "How's it going?"
Me: "meh"
Lisa: "yeah, I can tell he's not the one for you"

Oh, Lisa. How right you are.

We manage to converse for another hour or so before I am very ready to go home. Again, I'm the one that takes charge, and say, it's time to go. We walk to the end of the street where I tell him I'm headed to Bryant Park, he tells me he's headed to Port Authority. He stands there and stares at me, clearly unknowing how to handle the situation. take charge. I hug him good-bye. I say: thanks for coming out! it was nice to meet you! get home safe!

I walk away.

35 mins later I receive a text saying what a pleasure it was to meet me, how nice of time he had, hoped I got home alright. In an effort to not be a total bitch, I respond: thanks, have a great night!

He texts the next day, I chicken shit the situation and do not respond.

Recipe: Plain Baked Chicken

2 large chicken breasts

Reach out and grab the chicken, massaging the salt and pepper into the meat.

Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, or until there is no life left in them.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Virtual World Meets Real World

Online dating.....amusing. One hopes to embark upon this adventure to meet someone compatible. I have yet to meet that person....but I HAVE met people online that I already know! Here is that story.

As I blogged about before, there's a certain stigma to online dating. But the thing is; it seems like everyone is doing it! I was going through my closed matches on eharmony and usually this is a mindless task, I click the profile, click "closed match". This steps aren't necessary but if I don't do them, the matches just sit in my "match" box forever; staring at me with the "closed" message. And because I'm anally retentive, I must get rid of them. So, click click, close. But every once and a while I will let my eyes flicker up to the top of the page to look at the picture of the person who doesn't want to date me. And in the briefest of moments, I flick up.....and see someone I know!!!

I couldn't believe it. I went back and sure enough, there he is, this guy I knew from Buffalo. He ended up in my match box because he now lives in my search radius. OMG! Buffalo boy! I was never friends with him, but he was friends with my extended group of friends and we certainly know each other. It made me wonder: did he see that we were matched and anxiously click close, hoping I would never see him? I also couldn't believe he closed me out!!! Boo for Buffalo boy. I never would have considered dating him, but felt rebuffed that he closed the match. No matter. I clicked on the "send a last message" box and chose from the preformulated options, "good luck with your search!". I wanted him to know that I knew! mmhmm.

A few weeks later I'm in my kitchen making dinner whilst my lovely roommate is trolling OkCupid for men (she has an insatiable appetite for them. She's a maneater!) and she calls to me, "Emily! I think I was matched up with ____ (insert name of a friend). I responded, "no, I'm sure it's not him"....her: "I'm pretty sure it is..." So, I ramble over to the couch and over her shoulder I see it, a picture I recognize. It was - it was him. They were matched at 97%, a match made in Internet dating heaven.

In the span of a few short weeks, I "ran" into two people I know in the online dating world. Guess it's not as uncommon as I people pretend....