Archive | April, 2013

Brett Makes Art

28 Apr

Here is a reblog of one of my posts from February 2012. This is one of my favorite bad dates.

What's in the Box?

Last month, I agreed to a blind date at Bacaro, an Italian restaurant in the Lower East Side.  I was nervous because I had only met people from the website for drinks, never dinner.  To make matters worse, all of the online reviews illustrated what a romantic date spot Bacaro is.  A romantic dinner with a complete stranger and I was wearing a gigantic unflattering turquoise sweater?  Disaster.  To calm my nerves, I had a glass of wine after work with a sympathetic coworker prior to meeting my date.  Upon finding the restaurant, the guy (we’ll call him “Brett”) immediately looked me up and down and I could tell he was unimpressed by my slight tardiness.  He looked older than thirty-five but had a fetal face, was skinny and pale, and I noticed his hairline had receded a bit further since his profile picture was taken.  He led me down…

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Another Canadian Conundrum

26 Apr

I unintentionally spent Valentines Day and Easter in the same weird bar.  Valentines Day had been such a debacle that I should’ve just dyed some nice eggs at home instead of tempting fate at the same bar on Easter.  I was meeting “Quentin,” a Canadian man who I had canceled on once or twice before.  He had been persistent about rescheduling, so I figured why not celebrate the resurrection of Christ with this person?

It was pouring rain that night and we were both thoroughly soaked when we arrived.  He was shorter than he had claimed on his profile, skinny, with multi-colored loafers, light-wash jeans, and a soft black buzz cut.  He also had an assortment of colorful bangles hanging from his wrist which caught me off guard almost as much as his foul breath.  It didn’t smell like he had recently eaten an everything bagel with onion cream cheese (usually the case with OKCupid dates) but rather that something yucky was afoot in that esophagus of his.  As he ordered a beer and I prayed to the Easter gods that it would neutralize his breath, I noticed he was also missing at least one tooth.  It may have been more that one– it was kind of hard to tell because they were all pointing in different directions.  I asked where he worked and he said a Mediterranean restaurant just a few blocks from where I work in the Village.  I had never heard of it, but made the mistake of telling him the cross-streets of my store.

I tried to listen to what he was saying but it was difficult because a tiny man had hopped up onto a stool and started belting out Hansen covers on his acoustic guitar.  Quentin showed me pictures of tortoises, weeping willows, and other green phenomena that he had taken from magazines and told me how much he loved Mother Earth.  He then ordered some crab cakes and shared an emotional tale about his aboriginal ancestors from the First Nations.  I told him that a small slice of my family pie was Cherokee and he responded that he hates it when people tell him they are part Native American because Americans don’t understand what it means to have aboriginal ancestors!  OK, moving on.  The music was loud and I think I accidentally said yes when he asked if I had seen some Canadian canoe exhibit, because he ruminated on Canadian canoes for what felt like seven forevers.

Each time I tried to look away while Quentin was talking he would tap my arm to bring my attention back to his face, and if I dared add to the conversation he would interrupt me and negate whatever I was saying.  At one point I made a silly astrology remark and he said that astrology is for the mindless and he believes that the universe is more chaotic than that.  While he was explaining this theory he made dramatic sphere gestures with his hands, crunching them up into a ball and then exploding them out to land on my leg or hand.  If you are going to interrupt me and shoot down everything I say, why in the world would I want to hold your hand?

Quentin walked me to the train, making raucous Canadian complaints the whole way– “Why doesn’t anyone here use celsius?!  This is the only place in the world that doesn’t use celsius!”  He also kept attempting to link arms with me, which I ignored until he finally flat-out asked if I would link arms with him.  "No thanks” I said with a nervous laugh.  "Let’s go to another bar then.  There’s one right by the train.”  The bar he was referring to was actually five blocks in the wrong direction from the train– He couldn’t pull the wool over my eyes.  I said goodbye and he asked if he could have a hug.  "Oh sure.”  It was the least I could do.

Damn, this canoe-loving maniac knows where I work, I thought to myself as I escaped to the underground.  Sure enough, a couple days later I was standing around with my coworkers when a familiar tuft of black hair attached to a jarring amount of bracelets caught my eye outside the window.  It was Quentin (probably on his way to work) sneaking a not-so-subtle peak inside my store until our eyes met.  Let’s review:  OKCupid rule number three (right behind “don’t tickle anyones ivories on the first date” and “don’t tell anyone from OKCupid about my blog”) is "do not tell blind dates where I work.”  I have been pretty good about this rule ever since the Soup Can Man threatened on multiple occasions to visit my job.

I keep trying to give Canadian men another chance because all of my Canadian dates have been such disasters.  This one was no exception.  They all seem to really love wildlife, which is great… but they really really love jewelry which is problematic.  Nobody wants to hear the jingle jangle of a dangly bangle when they are trying to get intimate with a man.

Suitors of the Week 10

20 Apr

Oh, which one of these tempting bachelors shall I choose?

“Hola Mammita!  A Real Man does not sleep with a thousand women, he sleeps with one a thousand ways..Im very romantic and not into the ordinary, which is movies and arcades,. zzzzzz, perhaps a picnic at the beach, listening to the waves crash, lookin up at the stars and having deep talk. A evening where i would cook for you a candle lit dinner, we’re both dressed up, you in a long black tight fitted sequenced dress, me a black sports blazer with a red wine color dress shirt, top button open.”  — Well, that’s awfully specific.  I like where he pretends to fall asleep mid-message and that he thinks a normal date would take place at an arcade.  Honestly, I’d rather do that than his alternative which sounds about as creepy as it gets.  At least what he lacks in spelling, grammar, and punctuation he makes up for with a vivid imagination.

“Greetings!  Have you ever dreamed of having sex in zero gravity?  If so, message me back.”  — A blonde mess whose screen name is BeardJam.  Upon reading through his profile I found many more enticing statements such as: “I think Disney’s Robin Hood is the best movie ever.  83 minutes of joyous music, crazy antics, brilliant colors, and love.  Oh and I love giving oral sex.  It’s my favorite.”  Yikes!  This guy was either on ecstasy when he wrote his profile or he’s just a complete maniac.

“Hi, I’m Matthew.  You seem like a fun and outgoing girl and I bet we could get into some adventures together.  Oh by the way, I just took up scuba diving.”  —  I’ll keep this one in my back pocket in case I’m ever in the mood to date a plump gentleman squeezed into a wet suit who lives in Delaware.

“Howdy!  What’s the good word?”  — Man from Colorado who looks like his head is four inches wide.  Under The Most Private Thing I’m Willing to Admit he wrote “I once got my penis stuck in a shampoo bottle at my grandma’s house and had to go to the hospital.”  So I guess the rest of him is as narrow as his head.


“I love you!  Let’s get married!!”  —  Judging from the pictures, I thought this person was a woman at first until I looked at the rest of his(?) profile.  He also wrote:  “I’m an active type.  Inline skating, ice skating, fishing, or anything that requires me to push myself.”  Now I’m no athlete, but those are three of the daintiest physical activities I can think of.  And “inline skating”?  Let’s be serious here, you’re a rollerblader.

“Hi, name is Marty and um…. I am everything you are looking for in a guy! Over Confident? Brash? Likely….. Check my profile out, if you aren’t completely or maybe slightly interested, I’ll refund your subscription price to OKCupid.”  — Oh this isn’t a generic message at all, Marty.  Don’t these guys realize it’s incredibly obvious that they wrote one message that they copy/paste to all the girls?  But it gets worse.  Under The Most Private Thing I’m Willing to Admit he wrote:  “Girls have told me before that I have a huge conch shell collection, and I’m not even from the islands!”  Is that some sort of euphemism I don’t know about?

One-Trick Pony

12 Apr

Sometimes you act like a responsible adult… and other times you have an out-of-body experience with a man named Ashley who works for a murder show and doesn’t believe in silverware.  Or is it just me?

A few weeks ago, I tore myself away from one of my favorite murder documentary shows on the Investigation Discovery channel to meet a gentleman at the bar down the street from my apartment.  It recently occurred to me that the staff may suspect me to be some sort of Lady of the Night since I have been there with probably fifteen different guys on blind dates.  I sat and waited for Ashley, quickly glancing back through his profile pictures so I would recognize him.  He looked really cute in one of the pictures and pretty different in the other two.  When he arrived, I gathered that the cutest picture must be several years old.  In person he looked less rugged, had less hair, a thinner face, computer chip teeth, and a dial-up modem voice.  He was from Boston where I spent an enchanting four years, so we exchanged stories of living in Allston, Cambridge, and Somerville.  He used to work for Animal Planet (oooh, 100 points) and now he worked for Investigation Discovery on the show “Wives with Knives.”  He changed the subject to something else, but I wasn’t listening anymore.  HE HAD ME AT “WIVES WITH KNIVES.”  Or “Knives with Wives” as I like to call it when I’ve had a little too much chardonnay.

I wanted to hear all about his experience with murder shows–  "Where do they cast them?” I asked.  It is my dream in life to be a reenactment actor playing someone who got bludgeoned in their 1991 Dodge Neon in New Mexico after a lesbian love triangle gone awry.  Sadly he revealed that most of their casting is done in Knoxville, Tennessee or something like that, so I sullenly packed my dreams away in a suitcase of yearning once more.

Ashley’s next move was to order a bowl of brussel sprouts, which he ate with his hands.  The more he drank, the cockier he seemed to get– telling me about how many women come on to him when they hear that he works in TV and how he loves being single and just dating casually.  All his alleged female admirers aside, he seemed a little light in his loafers if you ask me.  Especially when he brought up how much he loves shopping for expensive new clothes.  But “Wives with Knives!”  When he was done manhandling his sprouts, he ordered us one last round before picking up the bill.  It was then that my spirit floated outside of my body and stuck around the bar to watch the end of the Nets game.  My body however, somehow accompanied Ashley back to my apartment for some… ahem… roughhousing.  I just had to look up the spelling of that word to see if there is a space, and the definition popped up: a violent disturbance.  And that’s exactly what it was.  I don’t remember if he left of his own accord or if the thought of the morning sunlight reflecting off those teeth and blue wingtips was more than I could bear so I kicked him out.  Either scenario is possible.

The next day at work I felt a little guilty about what had transpired because my number one OKCupid rule is no funny-business on the first date.  In attempt to assuage my anxiety (and because I knew we weren’t going to go out again) I sent him the silliest, most amateur text imaginable: "This is an awkward text to send… but you have a clean bill of health, I hope?”  He wrote back saying that he did and that the night before wasn’t something that happened all the time for him.  Me either, buddy.  Later in the day I decided to google him, like you do.  His career highlights popped up as well as his Facebook profile.  I clicked it to see his picture and was informed that Ashley and I have “1 Mutual Friend.”  It was a girl that I used to dance with back in Wisconsin.  What the heck?!  I really wanted to text him asking how he knew her, but decided that would be too crazy. "Just ask him, who cares?” my friend said.  "Because I already texted him this morning asking if he had any STDs.”

The work day finally ended and I returned home.  My sister was there waiting for me… "Did you have someone over last night?” she asked, "I heard a really high voice.”  "He worked for ‘Knives with Wives'” I explained as I rolled myself up like a burrito in all of my bedding.  "Ohhhh.”  Enough said.


11 Apr

Yesterday, while enjoying some lime yogurt on my lunch break, I received a notification that an intriguing beast had rated me highly on OKCupid.  He was 6’4″ (my favorite height) with long, wild hair, and in his profile picture he was seductively sprawled on a cement slab.  He was also in a band and looked like a 1970s hippie mixed with the Geico caveman.  I needed him in my life.  I sent a brief message (I only message first when I’m really impressed) inquiring as to what kind of music he plays and where he tends bar.  

After work, I met my friend for drinks at Passenger Bar in Williamsburg.  You may know him as Grandma’s Bisexual Spice Rack or The Night Raven.  He was running late, so I ordered a drink while I waited.  The bartender was a gargantuan man with a flowing head of hair, and it instantly struck me how much he looked like the caveman I had messaged earlier on OKCupid.  There’s no way it’s him that would be too much of a coincidence, I thought to myself… but the guy HAD mentioned that he worked at a bar in Brooklyn.  Anyway, The Night Raven arrived with keychain gifts from California and Iceland (he is the the number one contributor to my keychain collection).  We caught each other up with what has been going on in our lives and he told me that he shared my blog with his new girlfriend.  "Did she enjoy the posts about you?” I asked him.  "Yes, and her response was ‘you DO smell like a spice rack!'”

While we were talking, I got a message from the OKCupid Caveman that said “Are you sitting at the bar at Passenger Bar right now?”  I knew it!  I looked up to find the bartender chatting with some girls at the other end of the bar… Hmmm.  "Are you a psychic?” I wrote back, wondering if he wasn’t saying anything because I was there with The Night Raven.  But then I saw them.  Not one, but TWO additional tall, shaggy-haired neanderthals were setting up band equipment at the front of the bar.  These guys seriously looked like they could be triplets with the bartender and I had to blink a few times to make sure the whiskey wasn’t causing me to see things.  But which caveman was The Caveman?  My phone dinged with a new OKCupid message: "I hope you enjoy the music I’m about to play.”  It wasn’t the bartender, it was the guitarist!  I felt like I was in a game of Clue, but with fewer lethal weapons and much more hair.

I attempted to enthrall The Night Raven with this tale of mixup and mayhem, but he had come from another bar and was a tad intoxicated.  He announced his departure, but not before giving me a reassuring hug and handing the bartender a folded up twenty dollar bill.  "Whatever she wants” he commanded, disappearing into the night to return to his nest.

Between sets, The Caveman found me and introduced himself.  He was wearing a beige velour shirt and I contemplated proposing marriage to him.  We had a hearty laugh about what a small world it is and he said he wanted to buy me a drink after his next set.  By the time he was done playing, however, I was tired and didn’t want to drink anymore.  We exchanged numbers and planned to get together another time.  When I got off the train in my neighborhood, The Caveman had texted me “You’re a babe.”


Excuse Me, Mister

7 Apr

The past few weeks have left me sorting through some serious questions:
-Gay or art student?
-Why do Eastern European men like me so much?
-Does posture correlate with personality?
-I just met you, why is your hand on my ass?

“Roger” and I met a few weeks ago at a bar in my neighborhood.  He had moved to the city from upstate to attend art school and was now working as an illustrator.  Under the question “How willing are you to meet someone from OKCupid in person?” he put “Hesitant, but I’d certainly consider it.”  Most people put “Totally willing!” so I figured he must be new to the scene.  Upon meeting him however, Roger told me that I was his fourth OKCupid date that week!  He had thick black glasses, the art-student slump, and he kind of reminded me of the rabbit from “Donny Darko”… not because he was evil, but because he looked like a big ol’ bunny.  Roger had done a lot of illustrations for various companies around New York, including the artwork for a video game that he described as “like Angry Birds… but with poop.”  He was now working on a children’s book about hip hop.  Perfect.  It just so happens I’ve been working on a “children’s” book about safe-sex… and I am in the market for an illustrator!

Roger seemed a little disconnected until we started talking about OKCupid.  He shared that he had almost deleted his profile after a particularly awkward first date.  Apparently, he met this girl on a corner and (after the usual introductions) had suggested they head to a nearby bar.  She revealed to him that she was a recovering alcoholic and said it’d mean a lot to her if he would accompany her to an AA meeting that night… which he did.  Everyone in the room went around and shared their stories while Roger sat in silence, staring at his substantial sneakers.  That is one of my favorite blind date stories I’ve heard in awhile.  The subject changed to our favorite bands and I told him a certain band I was a big fan of in high school was playing the following week.  His eyes lit up for the first time all night, “I love that band!  Do you have tickets yet?!  Can I go with you?!”  Minutes later, thanks to several beers and the ease of the Ticketmaster app, Roger and I had tickets to the concert.  For the remainder of the date, he kept rubbing my lower back… occasionally dropping his hand a little too low if you know what I mean.  His sudden PDA weirded me out, but to be fair I had just committed to a concert with him.

I returned home pretty satisfied with the date.  Roger was a nice man and had even bought my drinks.  It also seemed like he was actually looking for someone to date… or maybe he was just desperate to get his groove on, who knows.  I wasn’t sure if I was attracted to him, but maybe he would grow on me the second date (it’s happened before).  As I was falling asleep I received a text from Roger that said “I had a great time tonight!  We should definitely get lunch or something before the concert… ASAP!”  Eek.  I reasoned that his text probably came off a little too eager because he was drunk.  But over the course of the next few days he continued to text me about the concert, how excited he was, how we should get matching t-shirts, etc.  Yeah, I wasn’t so sure about this guy.

The day of the show finally came.  We were meeting at a nearby bar prior to going to the venue.  When Roger arrived, he smelled as if he had just enjoyed a Bloomin’ Onion and he had a windbreaker tied around his waist like he was about to take a tour of Alcatraz.  My friend was in the neighborhood, so she joined us for a drink before we headed out.  One drink turned into a few and, when I got up to use the bathroom, Roger confided in her that he liked me a lot and hoped he hadn’t scared me off by telling me how many OKCupid dates he had gone on.  "Oh believe me,” my friend said, “she understands.”  Wink.

At the concert, Roger bought us some beers and we headed into the masses.  Now, this was a crowded punk show with people jumping around and moshing.  It wasn’t a romantic jazz quartet on a veranda.  So why were Roger’s hands slowly caressing my lower back?!  My eyes widened as I looked to the mohawked individual next to me for help–  but he yielded no answers.  I didn’t want to turn around and shout “You stop that, young man!” so I just pretended not to notice.  Unfortunately the caressing only intensified– he put his hands on my hips, and even kissed the back of my head at one point.  OK, I know we were standing very close to each other, but this was a second date and we had not even kissed yet, so a back of the head kiss was a bold move.  Not to mention that’s sort of a fatherly spot to kiss someone.  After the show, we went back to the same bar where I lured his hands away from my torso by ordering sandwiches and onion rings (his favorite).  When we finally parted ways, he told me that we should hang out on Friday.  I got in a cab, wondering how I was going to get out of this one without leading him on.  Moments later I got a text that read “I had fun!  Let’s definitely try for Friday… Please!”  I could have done without the additional “Please!” and “ASAP!” he added to his texts.  All they did was let me know how desperate he was to feel my goodies at the next possible opportunity.  Now I knew how every guy I have ever barraged with texts felt.

To make matters worse, my friend told me the next day how much she liked him better than anyone I’ve dated recently and thought he was great for me.  "My boyfriend is totally not my type.  In fact, I didn’t like him at all when we first started dating” she said in front of her boyfriend, “and look at us now!”  Maybe she has a point.  Since I’ve moved to this city, it always seems like the guys I’m into are only interested in one thing… and I’m never attracted to the ones who actually like me.  How can this cycle be broken?!  Maybe I should give Roger another chance.

“Just say, ‘Excuse me mister, I don’t really like it when you touch me like that'” was my mom (the nursery school teacher)’s input on the matter.

Are things really that simple?