Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Men That God Forgot

When set-ups, blind dates, and down-the-block crack heads don't work out, why not go for the gold...or the stop watch. That's right — I'm talking speed dating (was there really something you thought I wouldn't try?).

I tend to do things for the story, and this was no exception. After some rather painstaking convincing, one of my girlfriends agreed to join me for a night of five-minute-mystery — as long as I was paying. Before I even got the go-ahead from her, I booked our date night. I was ready for a buffet of douchebags dudes. So as to avoid important bar nights (e.g. ladies nights, potential real date nights, and the-hot-bartender-is-working nights), I signed us up for a Monday event (pre-football season, of course).

We started getting ready, and at one point, caught each other's gaze, exchanging the "what are we getting ourselves into" look. We were committed, though. Well, I was committed; she was in it for the free booze entertainment. We remained mildly optimistic in regard to how the night would end up as we cabbed it to the west side.

When we walked in, I made a beeline for the bar, and the event coordinators approached us with an apology — they were overbooked on men. I'm sorry, since when is an uneven guy-girl ratio in women's favor something to apologize for? Apparently, I wasn't really listening to their full confession because as my friend and I ordered our first round at we-really-went-through-with-this cocktail hour she told me she would be leaving after this round. They weren't just overbooked on guys - they upped the age limit for them. We arrived thinking we would be surrounded by gentlemen within a reasonable age bracket, but instead, found that the prospects now included significantly graying heads.

I convinced her to stay through offerings of vast quantities of liquor (we are friends for a reason). I explained that I had often considered a life of laziness leisure, and maybe one of these men could become my J. Howard Marshall. A girl can dream. She assumed I was joking about moving to Florida with my future terminally ill husband, as the evening started.

It was every bit as awkward as you could imagine. I had hoped Will Smith would show up at some point and liven things up, but he clearly had better things to do. Of course, I ended up entertaining myself for most of the evening — making up new stories for each potential suitor, each story more aggressive than the next. They did keep the booze flowing, after all.

At the end of the evening, everyone was asked to rate the people you enjoyed out of everyone you met, and if you both rated each other at all, the guy would be given your email address. I wanted to keep things simple and opted to only rate the oldest and feeblest looking guy I met. I received an email from him two days later.
Hello Lily,
We had the pleasure of meeting Monday evening at speed dating.  I enjoyed spending time with you and was pleased that you were interested in continuing our dialogue.  If I remember correctly, you have friends visiting from out-of-the country for a few more days.  Therefore, I wanted to invite you to join me for a drink after work tomorrow or Friday evening.  Do either of those days work for you? 
By the way, I would prefer to actually talk to you and hear the sound of your voice rather than communicating via e-mail.  My phone # is (917) ***-****.  If you are comfortable sending your number, I will give you a call so we can chat. 
Have a great day.
After no response, he emailed again four days later. You know, just in case the first was never received.
Hello Lily,
We had the pleasure of meeting at the speed dating event last week.  I'm not sure if you received the previous message I sent from my work e-mail account, so I wanted to try again using my yahoo account. 
I enjoyed our conversation and thought you had a great sense of humor.  I look forward to seeing you again and wanted to invite you to join me for a drink after work.  Please advise regarding your availability.  
"Continuing our dialog." "Prefer to actually talk." "Please advise." This dude obviously didn't understand how to appropriately flirt via email nor how to elicit a response of any kind. Did he remember meeting me at all (I mean, obviously he did since he complimented my sense of humor)?Surely I hadn't implied I was a lady period who enjoyed talking on the phone or emails laced with business talk. I could've sworn I mentioned my affinity for buzzing one out at some point. My dreams of changing my husband's colostomy bag were over.

I realized that, sure, I wouldn't mind a life a leisure, but if it came with saggy balls and zero personality, I'd pass. I mean, his emails weren't terrible, but they were a bit too bland for my liking. All he had to do was insult me once or twice, and I would've been putty in his veiny, sun-spotted hands. Guess the only logical next step is Bingo night - do they serve booze in nursing homes?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Blindfolds, Whips, and Chains

My mother recently visited me in the city, and since this post could become its own paperback, I'll share just one story from the experience.

The woman talks. A lot. She loves engaging in conversation with just about anyone (I'm still surprised the Hot Nuts cart guy didn't follow us home). One discussion from her travels that stands out above the rest is one that lasted five hours.  Fortunately, it was a conversation had neither with me nor in the presence of me. As she recounted the lengthy exchange she had with the passenger seated next to her on the flight from Vegas (poor bastard), I realized this wasn't just a "for-shits-and-giggles" tale. There was a motive in her tone, and I'm disappointed it took me as long as it did to figure it out.

She was trying to set me up.

I don't understand what it is about me that suggests "can't find a guy on her own," but apparently I'm swimming in it. It's one thing when your peers try their hand at matchmaking; it's completely another when your mother does. It's worse when your mother concludes that a man she met on a cross-country flight from Vegas, a man I'm sure got fewer than five sentences in on the conversation, is the man I should be with.

During much of her visit, she kept boasting about Jonathan. "He's such a kind soul." "He's so good looking." He's successful." It was more than apparent that she already liked this Jonathan guy more than she liked me. What could she have possibly learned about him in the five hours they sat next to each other that would lead her to think we were a match made in heaven?  It almost sounded as if she was interested in him.

She retold her story to my friend over dinner, in attempt to further encourage me to reach out - if she had one more person bending my ear her hopes might turn into reality. Apparently, my mother had forgotten I write a blog - if reaching out to the guy turned out well, no harm, no foul. If it was a complete joke - viola! - blog post! And here we are.

After I put  my mother on a flight back to Vegas, I emailed Jonathan the following:

Hi Jonathan,

I would start off by saying, "You don't know me, but..," however, because you were subjected to sitting next to my mother in a confined space for multiple hours, you surely know more than you'd like to about her family members.

I decided I would reach out to apologize on behalf of my siblings and me. We know, better than anyone, how much our mom can talk. When she and I were walking around the city during her visit, she started so many random conversations I feared she wasn't even here to visit me at all. God love her.

If you're ever in the city, let me know. I think I owe you a drink (or seven). I'll expense them back to her - no worries.
Hoping your future travels include noise-canceling headphones,
That's really as good as my game gets. More often than not, my game consists of getting myself drunk enough to look appealing to guys at a bar: "Hey, she won't put up a fight - let's go with her" (Maybe the case for illegitimate rape can be made in this instance? Is it rape if the "victim" is on top?).  I felt good about the email, though.  I mean, what else is there to say really?

He wrote back and was much too kind when referring to the amount my mother talks - already a turn off.  We made plans to meet for happy hour at a place of my choosing the following week.

I'm never on time for anything, in fact, it was the earliest I had ever been late when I showed up to the date, and he wasn't even there! Strike two, buddy. When he finally arrived, I realized I hadn't drank enough at the bar across the street beforehand.  Really, mom? I decided the only thing I could do was entertain myself. He was barely keeping up with my banter, which made my sarcasm that much more aggressive. He wasn't a terrible guy, he just wasn't a guy I would choose on my own. We both drank away the awkwardness. The last thing I remember was returning an empty shot glass to the bar counter, looking around and being unable to locate Jonathan anywhere. I waited it out for a while then headed home.

The asshole pulled an Irish-exit on me.

Obviously, I'm my own worst enemy (or liquor is his). However, instead of blind dates, I'd much prefer actual blindfolds and possibly whips and chains. Yes, I'd rather be beaten than go on another blind date. Where's Chris Brown when you need him?

And mom, just because a guy is hungover polite enough to put up with you on a long flight, does not mean he's the guy for me. So, unless you're sitting next to Joe Manganiello, set them up with your other single daughter - the one you like.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ode To Summer

Good riddance, summer. Fuck you.

OK, that might be a little aggressive, but there are a variety of reasons that I'm as excited as a welfare kid on Christmas that fall is upon us.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, and because she clearly doesn't know me at all is a courteous person, she asked, "I'm devastated that summer is over, aren't you?" Not. One. Bit.  The thing is, I haven't liked summer since I moved out of my mother's house back in '04.  It's not that she was some demigod that single-handedly perfected summer for 18 years of my life.  If anything, her air conditioning rules haunt my dreams and often I break into a sweat just thinking about it. Summers before 2004 were carefree.  If there were jobs, they revolved around maintaining a solid tan.  There was so little responsibility, I'm surprised I even made it out of bed in the afternoon morning.  Those days are long gone.  Now summers consist of the same responsibilities of spring, fall, and winter, but summer brings one element the other seasons do not: sweating like a 16 year old before the morning after pill could be purchased over-the-counter. 

I sweat worse than anyone I know, and many of my friends can attest to this.  It's uncomfortable, embarrassing at times, and sours my mood to rival that of a native New Yorker.  I get it - I choose to live in a city that boasts "seasons," and often time those seasons come with certain elements.  Summer's being humidity, of course. 

Growing up in Vegas, we didn't even have "weather" let alone "seasons." So, perhaps I might be able to blame my body's reaction on my upbringing; hell, I blame everything else on it, why not this too. I was reared in dry heat, dry scorching heat (I remember having to wear oven mitts to handle the steering wheel and still have remnants of scarring from a seat belt burn or two). Now, I'm plagued with humidity. 

Humidity is the more uncomfortable than inserting a tampon incorrectly, and both remind you of how torturous movement can be. I can't walk to the subway at 8:00am without breaking into a full sweat, much like the man in this picture. No exaggeration.  My morning shower is immediately null and void as I leave my apartment, and I yearn to arrive at the office, open my top drawer, and re-shower with baby wipes like a prostitute. Not to mention, it's hard to navigate being hit on in the summer.  When a guy tells me I'm hot, I'm not sure if it's a compliment or he wants to offer me a towel. Ugh, I hate summer.

Worse yet, apart from the sweating, summer reminds me that I'm poor.  I really dislike poor people (who doesn't), and having to dislike myself more than usual for an entire season is beyond tiring and surely detrimental to the longevity of my mental stability. My reaction to Hamptons status updates clogging my newsfeed is to immediately turn up the A/C fan speed.  A/C is my Hamptons pool, and Coors Light is my Prosecco. Not only am I a broke version of Hamptons partying alone in my apartment, I'm creating a wider monetary gap between myself and the "summering" assholes with the amount I'm spending on power to keep that A/C going.  It's a lose-lose season for me. 

The only time I have been able to use "summer" as a verb was while vacationing in Nantucket in 2007. If that wasn't a prediction for my future "summering," I don't know what was. I was surrounded by Vineyard Vines and pearls while I searched for beach volleyball tournaments and keg parties (you can take the girl out of Manhattan Beach, CA, but you can't take the alcoholic tendencies out of the girl - I think that's the saying). I could tell my social inappropriateness was never going to mesh with the east coast summer style. Should've weighed that reality a bit more when deciding on my cross-country move. I'll just have to chalk that up as one more bad decision, that, in turn, has created wonderful stories.

In summation, I cannot wait to sit on fall's face and bid summer adieu, Coors Light in hand. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I'm Not That Into You

The battle between being polite and getting your point across can be harder fought than a Lannister-Stark war; often times, it can include just as much blood and rape (fortunately, not as much incest). Tell a person fervently into bedding you that you're flat out not interested and you're an asshole. Courteously respond with vague negative-based maybes and noes and you're a tease. Navigating disinterest is easily one of the more difficult situations in the dating world (right behind STDs and unwanted pregnancy). How do you let someone know you're just not that into them without making their weekly therapy sessions revolve around you and your cold black heart (why's it got to be black?)?

Not too long ago, I was inflicted with the inconvenience of having to let a guy know it wasn't going to happen. I suppose I shouldn't have reciprocated in post-2am-conversation by reporting on my exact location, but that's not important. What is, is that he actually showed up - who'd have thought? So there I was, enjoying an after-hours beer at my home-away-from-home the bar, and Dave drops by. The bar had already closed (it may or may not have been after 4am), but apparently stumbling up to the door and mentioning my name after closing grants one access (and I thought I would never be an important name in this city). I immediately looked to Emma, my partner in crime for the evening (and many other evenings for that matter), and mumbled as clearly as possible, "I'm not sleeping with him; remind me." She did far better than that.

The three of us walked back to my apartment, commenting on the beautiful Sunday morning sunrise. I thought about attending an early mass, but figured it was best I stick to my usual, lazy 7:30pm Jesus Party so as not to get too excited for the consecrated wine during communion. Catholic guilt loves dropping in like a surprise period on a beach vacation (or worse, a hot date - like the kind with food and the guy footing the bill - one can dream).  I digress.

We arrive at my apartment, Dave hops on my bed (confident much?), and Emma and I take to the couch to watch whatever movie we had been pre-gaming to hours before.  I might take a moment to remind everyone that I live in a studio apartment, meaning the bedroom is the living room is the kitchen is the great room is the den is the game room is the theater is the get the idea.  Dave really thought he was going to get lucky with Emma an arm's length away.  He tried motioning for me to join him as I ducked his advances by adamantly explaining that seeing the end of the movie was of the utmost importance.  Dave wasn't taking the hint (much like a certain gentleman that texts me almost once a month to no reply →).  I determined that I had already used up my fake sleep card and had to instead opt for a fake sick one.  No way would he believe I was too far gone; I managed not even one stumble on the journey home.  I glanced to Emma who was sitting to my direct left and sent her a text.

Me: He needs to leave.
Emma: Whatever you want lol how can I help?
Me: Throw up? Pretend? I'll hold your hair back?
Emma: Now or at the end of movie?

Talk about a wingman - without question she agreed.  She not only agreed, she consulted me on timing.  Never existed a better reminder of how much you love someone. 

Immediately, she popped up and ran to the bathroom.  I gave my best shocked/concerned look to Dave and followed after her.  The gagging and rough coughing sounds Emma mustered up were brilliant.  I'm pretty sure had Dave grown curious and walked into the bathroom, she would've actually thrown up - she was that dedicated to the role.  I raced into the kitchen to get her a much-needed glass of water while exchanging ugh-she's-ruining-everything glances with Dave.  She gargled the water and then used it to imitate vomit hitting the toilet water.  A true talent. We were trying our best to hold back our laughter, and she cleverly disguised her giggles into gags. We decided she would curl up on the bathroom tile and I would get him to leave.  

Instead of leaving after I had explained the situation, Dave told me we should let her nap it out in the bathroom and he promised to pick her up and put her in my bed postcoital.  Seriously? Well, I had to keep up the charade and explained that I should at least cover her.  I tiptoed back into the bathroom and related his relentlessness to Emma.  The bathroom was no good - she needed to pass out in plain sight.

She shuffled out of the bathroom and crawled into bed next to Dave as his expression shifted from anticipation to horror.  His eyes darted to me pleading that I do something about where she had decided to crash.  On her way into my bed, she mumbled, "My side of the bed..." It was perfect - it had just the right amount of slur with inebriated undertones.  He was sure to head home after that.


Alternatively, he suggested he pick her up and move her to the couch (yes, the same couch that is an arm's distance to the bed).  His persistence was more frustrating than realizing you have to drop a deuce as soon as you step out of the shower. I curled up beside her and whispered not to move no matter what; more audibly, I asked her if we could move her to the couch.  I had to keep up my "I'm a victim, too" pretense.  Emma retorted with a resounding, "If you move me I'll throw up, just five more minutes...five more minutes."  The perfect drunken five-more-minutes-fade-out.  Wow, she was a better friend than I could have ever imagined.

Dave gave up on the much-coveted bed and threw me onto the couch.  I rolled off the couch and got him to leave as fast as Kim Kardashian rolled off Ray J's dick and became famous.  He finally walked out, shoes in hand, like a true Sunday morning walk-of-shame - the shame being he failed to get laid.  "A" for effort, though buddy.  "A" for effort.