Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm Mad at Portland

I went on three dates this week instead of two. Insanity? Perhaps. D. and I continue our long-distance love affair, only soon it will become longer distance since he will be in Geneva for work starting October 10th through the end of January. If I had any money whatsoever I would fly out to Paris or Rome and meet him (yes, for the first time) but since I have none, I'll simply wait by the mailbox and will the tickets to arrive. My hair will gray while I wait, but that's happening anyway, and I've got time.

How unromantic and romantic at the same time. Right now, D. is at a wedding in Panama and continues to text often. Last night as K. and I watched the swifts (migrating birds) fly overhead, ducking in and out of the Chapman school chimney, I couldn't help but think of D. And as K. pointed out, the birds are on their way soon toward Panama too and maybe, just maybe D. will see one of the same birds I saw last night. We had had a text miscommunication whereby I asked him if he "had ever been to Brown." Brown is a restaurant in his/my old neighborhood, Lower East Side. He texted back, "What does 'have you ever been to Brown' mean?" I explained that they had good coffee and that he was gross. He explained that he grew up with 6 sisters and women were far more vulgar than men.

Is it just me? Or should I not be having anal sex jokes with a guy I haven't met yet? Now, I'll be known as "that girl" to his friends, who he mentioned were blushing in regard to my text.

Great. Onward!

Date 9? Who can remember? We go to the PSU farmer's market and this guy is a saint because A) I'm fielding a million cell phone calls from people viewing my apartment in NYC and my parents (subletting my old apartment) and B) he's fine with me being distracted. He's attractive, well adjusted, funny, and smart. At one point, while perusing squash, he removes a folded up, silk looking satchel.

"A murse?" I ask.

"Excuse me," he says.

"A man purse," I add.

It wouldn't have been so bad except for the fact that it had silhouettes of flowers on it, his white button down was starched and wrinkle free, his sunglasses were mirrored 70s style. I was on a date with a man more stylish than I am. I was on a date with a metro-sexual.

Need I say more? We parted ways without a handshake or a hug and I could see skipping off into the sunset, being fantastic friends with him and perhaps vice versa. But the thought of sex never crossed my mind and I doubt his.

Am I doomed forever to date men I could never ever be friends with? Why do I date the enemy?

Date 10 or G.
Sunday night. Signs of trouble, a text last week asking for an impromptu date. While not unheard of, this signals an overt casual tone to a first date, which I'm sorry, but should have a hint of pomp and circumstance, shouldn't it? It should be a touch special, but that's just me. After all, if it ever blooms into more, then you will look back at the first date many times and reflect upon it. A text saying:"you around tonight?" doesn't exactly qualify for romance.

Instead of going out last week, we met Sunday night for a drink. At first I suggested a bar near me, but since he lives way out in NE I changed the venue to the Bye and Bye on Alberta. Also, I had a very dear friend's birthday drink event there anyway, S., and figured I could attend that hour and then excuse myself for my date. As a Capricorn, I try to be as efficient as I can.

He's tall. Way tall. But that's okay, I didn't even read the height section on match this time. I've been fairly callous, in some regards. I judge by picture and description and make sure they have jobs. If I mentioned what G. actually does, I fear I could be sued, so I'll m ake something up which is not nearly as fantastical: he is below 7 feet, but not by much, a doll parts maker, in a The Dalles. See? Not so funny. But I swear,the real version is.

He's already told me he lied about his age. He is not 30 but 34. Who cares? Now he tells me he lied about his height. He's not 6'3" but something else. Again, who would care about this? We sit at an outdoor mini-picnic table and chit chat easily.

"I'm hungover," he announces, "do you want anything from the bar?"

"A little heroin?" I cough. "Just a water."

I'm still finishing my lemon drop, managing to curl my lips over the sugary rim (that may be the most provocative part of this blog, good lord). It's a wonderful drink that cost $4. Should I fly to Paris, fall for D., move to NYC, have 10 children, live in Brooklyn, I will surely miss these cheap, sweet, wonderful drinks. I like Portland, but I'm mad at Portland. Show me something good, Portland! One decent man. One decent job. I'm ready.

Dollmaker returns and he's nice, he's fine, a bit rough around the edges. He tells me about an old roommate who was 25, from Poland and a virgin. He used phrase like "pop her cherry" and "throw down" and "a Mexican guy."

Am I a prude? Am I that annoying PC person? Am I asking too much? I have been told that I'm very focused on manners. I think manners are important, especially during the first date. But I'm wondering if this logic is wrong somehow. I know women in Portland who belch in public, not even covering their mouths, same thing with yawning. They lift their arms, exposing hairy pits and don't think twice.

I am not these women.

After an hour I'm ready to go. I don't dislike the dollmaker, but he could have washed his hands; there is dirt under four of the five fingernails on his right hand. I am hoping it is dirt. Or he could wear gloves. Wash them or wear gloves, but don't show up dirty. A full body shower is a wise move and hoped for, but not expected.

I do like him, and a part of what I like is that he acknowledges that he's a curmudgeon. But I see the signs: he hates his job, he's vulgar, he's bitter on dating. Catch and release. Or as my dad would say, "Another one will be along in five minutes. Like a bus."

If he only knew.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One Shirley Temple

On Date 8 I learn new words like: clucks. When I ask my date, “What's a cluck?” He explains they are chickenheads, druggies in New Mexico and then does a stumbling impression of what can only be a chicken without a head, drunk, bumping into people, his eyes turned upward and he says, “Ooops sorry” like he's banged his chest into a stranger.

Later I find myself asking, "What is a mook?"

“Mooks,” Date 8 tells me, “are New York know it alls. Ya know,” he says, “How are ya? How you doin?” and proceeds to laugh while posturing and doing his best imitation of a New York wise guy, using his hands to gesture wildly, then his arms, then his whole body.

In all my years in NY – ten – rarely did I encounter such a fellow but sure, they exist, especially in the boroughs but more commonly in movies and on TV. Isn't that where the rest of the world gets their ideas about what New Yorkers are like?

Date 8 provides amazing physical humor. He's funny and sweet. Date 8 has been hurt. His heart may be breaking right now; it is too big. We talk about pet loss, break-ups, and I like him but do I like-like him?

He arrived early, waved at me energetically as I entered the bar, Moon and Sixpence. Immediately, I felt comfortable. He was sitting when I arrived, which meant I couldn't yet see his body except from the nipples up. He was wearing a funky type hat. I don't like to use the word funky, ever, but it was. My mind flashed to that movie with Jon Cryer playing that alternative boy.

The bartender joked with me about what my date's last name was, long story, and I noticed they had, on tap mind you, Belgian lambic frambois or whatever the hell it's called, which I hadn't had in years. As I recalled, it was a slightly sweet beverage, both frothy and tasty. In reality it was like drinking corn syrup straight from a bottle chased with a stiff Shirley Temple.

Gnats swarmed my beverage and my arms. Something bit my shoulder, swarmed under my glasses and landed on my eyeball. am not making this up, The conversation went along as Date 8 and I swatted bugs from our drinks, arms and faces. Finally, I gave up and watched as several committed suicide in my drink, which by then I'd pushed far off to the side. I'm sure there's a metaphor in this: bugs attracted to something so sweet that they die in the gluttony, the sheer act of sipping it, if bugs sip, and then drown. Like Narcissus staring so hard at his reflection that he falls in.

I can't help but think of D.

“I'll have another,” Date 8 tells the waitress, while I decline.

Another? It took him an hour and a half to drink the first drink. I might fossilize here, drop dead, from sheer conversation exhaustion. This has nothing to do with Date 8 and everything to do with me. On the Meyers-Briggs I was nearly 100% introverted. That translates to first encounters like this one sometimes feeling tedious. No reflection on Date 8.

“I'll be back in a minute,” he informs me and for the first time I see his body: narrow and thin, long shorts with bunchy socks, a tattoo on a leg, in essence not my type. I'm too tired to have a type anymore though and Date 8 throws dance parties, does silly impressions, a cool job involving forrests, and has deep pet relationships. I egg myself on: give him a chance. For christsake.

He suggests walking me to my car and while accepting the offer, I think: please don't kiss me.. I wish I felt otherwise. Date 8 opens his arms out wide and there is a warm hug. He asks me out again and I accept. Never one to be quiet I say, “You're funny. You're really, really funny.” If someone could smack me on the head right, I would have been grateful.

I arrive home by 10pm, past my preferred bedtime, quickly check messages (one from D. thank god, there is a god) and take A. on her walk around the block. She's so happy to see me, she jumps up to my face, lands kisses on my chin and cheek, leaves scratch marks on my arms.

If only my dates and I had such enthusiasm.

Monday, September 21, 2009

One Date a Week and Get Tired Trying

Or When a Date Has Diarrhea...

Is this still Week 4? How do things get so serious so fast? D. (in NYC) and I are already on the topic of tragedies like family dying young and on my first date with The Curser the subject of abuse comes up. These dates were supposed to be fun! I wasn't supposed to actually feel anything like pure sadness and empathy. These men were supposed to be dates, guys, material for my blog. Suckers.

It shows that though all evidence points to the contrary, I am in fact human.

Date with The Curser. We decide to meet at Laurelhurst Market at 8pm so at 7:50 I drive over, which should be the exact amount of time to get there promptly. I decide to wear a dress, which I may need to employ for all future dates. This is because A) I look cute, I think, I hope, B) it's feminine and I've been known to wear fleece, and C) no need to match any articles of clothing together.

Park at 7:58 around the corner. Get a text from The Curser:

“Are you an early person or a late person?”

Cell says 7:59. “I'm an on time person.”

“I like this place.”

Okay....as I'm nearing the front door, wondering if we'll sit in front of each other, glass of wine in each our hands, candle flickering between us and text the whole night through.

“I'm at the bar,” he writes again.

Should I write “Ok” or let it be? I snap my phone shut, turn it off, and walk in. The restaurant is buzzing with people, food, perfect overhead lighting, on every table slabs of meat, glasses of wine; the whole place is shiny and busy, a perfect date spot. The bar is tucked away, slightly divided from the rest of the place and I make my way to the bar. The Curser is cute and polite (stands when I approach, offers a seat, no curse word in sight). He's an enormous person, years of rugby in his past, his shoulders go on for miles. There are more of these men in the Pacific Northwest, than New York City. I went out with many men in NYC who were shorter than me though always claimed to be 5'10” (impossible when I'm 5'4”). The Curser has got to be 6'2” at least, but it's pointless to me, height has never been my thing. It's his width, his shoulders, his presence. Does it scare me? His wingspan, his arms and chest...it's like eating with a giant, but in a good way.

He's funny. He makes me laugh. He talks too much. But they all do. At least he acknowledges it and tells himself (out loud) to stop and asks me specific stories and listens well. Like the Russian guy, he tells a dramatic story: his eyes get huge; his face grows animated; he uses hand gestures. It's definitely a lovely dinner. Yes, there are some curses. Yes, some odd jumps of logic on his part that elude me. But the curses are fairly benign, more along the lines of shit and jerk rather than fuck and bitch, so I say it's okay. He does not say pussy, which would be totally gross. I do think about D. in NYC and the level of intimacy and the romance brewed up already. Our relationship is percolating. He's got me up at 5:30am writing him tall tales and he's writing from his iphone all over the city...but still thousands of miles away, bodies of water, mountains separate, tragedy awaits...

I too can be dramatic! There is something amiss with The Curser, aside from the obvious cursing, and I can't put my finger on it. Something childlike and hidden. He has a little boy's haircut, reasoning and story-telling. He combs his fingers through his bangs. Both endearing and little boyish and I can't help remembering how he feels his ex-girlfriend “tricked” him.

I won't divulge much else, since I like him and we had a nice time and maybe I'm reading into things and maybe, like L. mentioned that others suggested, maybe I'm looking for excuses to go back East. That could be right. I don't claim to understand myself entirely and I'll look to readers for insights. Like a polling process or feedback.

We have a mishap when ordering and the food arrives, which I believed we'd be sharing and The Curser asks, “This is it?” I explain to him that yes, he said let's share so I reiterated that to the waiter. TC says that when he said share he meant that we'd each get a main course dish and swap portions, not share one single meal together. I tell him that in girl-speak share means one dish. The waiter comes and TC tries to say we wanted two dishes then I cut in and apologize and say it was all my fault, because in a way it is. I did say to the waiter “one dish to share.” But why TC didn't interrupt me, I'll never know. I have to wonder if this happens to him a lot. Because it doesn't usually happen to me. When it comes to food, I am very clear.

So, the date ends and we stand, unceremoniously in the brightly lit parking light (tsk tsk Laurelhurst Market, NOT romantic) and though I've thought of D. once or twice or seven times on the date, and though The Curser, I imagine, has thought of his ex who he explained earlier he was really in love with, we still seem to enjoy each other. We bond over our East Coast roots, our roles as counselors, and we make each other laugh.

We stand facing each other.

“Is that your rig?” he asks me.

“You mean car? No, I parked around the corner.” I had assumed he'd walk me to my car and there's be a kiss or a hug or a gesture to indicate romantic intent or the lack their of.

“I have to go to the bathroom! Good meeting you!” He shakes my hand, jogs around me and back into the restaurant. I'm left standing in the middle of a parking lot. What just happened? The only explanation is diarrhea. Alternatively, nerves, and possibly both. I realize it isn't easy being a guy.

PS: Got a text later that night saying, “Thanks for the great company” and I agreed, wrote back. Perhaps there will not be 32 first dates after all.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mini-Update Week 4 begins...

D. and I write each other nearly constantly. He let it leak that he wears a suit to work: while common in NYC, an anomaly in Portland. It feels like years since I've seen a man in a suit. Also, he wore a bow-tie to work. A bow-tie! He sends a picture and guess what? He's wearing a suit and a bow-tie!

But wait. There's more. There are French cuffs and there is a closely trimmed beard and moustache like thing on his face. Plus, he's holding black rimmed, old school glasses. He is out of control cute. Actually, he is very handsome, but I tell him cute instead. And yes, I used the zoom feature on my computer. I had insomnia last night thinking about him, and wake to an email from D. saying he had insomnia too and is reading Camus.

I heart D. But I must stay true to my mission...

The Curser says that "Right now Thursday looks good. We can go out in our hood." This would be our first date. This is via a text. I feel like I'm making a dentist appointment but even my dentist (if I had insurance to have a dentist) wouldn't say that. He'd commit to an appointment time. What The Curser does not know is that I must finish the story arc of him, so that means a minimum of one date. I texted back:

"Right now? I feel like I'm being played."

Then he texted, "No, just not sure what my work schedule will be come Thursday."

I write back, "I understand. Let's grab a burger at Castagna."

He writes back several descriptive texts regarding Castagna, BBQs, and work and I write a little then decide not to respond anymore. I'm spending my life typing and texting, which is fine with someone who lives 3,000 miles away but The Curser is three blocks away. If he wants to chat he's going to have to show up at our appointment.

Whether he likes it or not.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Keep Portland Passive Aggressive, If That's Okay With You

I keep thinking about this bumper sticker, which leads me back to my hypothesis that perhaps I am too East Coast, too overtly aggressive and not passive enough or that the men here are just ridiculously passive. Or maybe I'm plenty passive. You decide. Anyway, I'm boring myself with that one so here goes Date #6:

J. or LSGG (law school grilling guy) is supposed to meet me at Utopia on Belmont for a platonic brunch at noon. From his picture I wasn't too thrilled, but he had written long, thoughtful emails, which included his love of all things Spanish. Though this part intrigues me, I'm beginning to wonder if detailed messages indicate sheer boredom and/or loneliness and not interest level. Whatever the case, he's 1/2 an hour late, calling twice: once to say he'll be there at 12:30 and again at 12:29 to say he'll be there in 5-10 minutes because he got lost. In my past life I would have been pissed or thought it rude, but in this one I don't really care enough to have any reaction. I'm numb. He's just another guy and this is just another date. And my coffee is good company.

LSGG bursts into the door of the restaurant like he's in a Broadway play in a scene that calls for high drama, his hair still wet, looking frazzled, his palms held out and 20 lbs extra than his photo. Of course he breezes right past me. I enjoy this, watching him frantically search for me. Finally, he walks backwards almost knocking down a waitress in his path and says hello. Maybe I'm in a Broadway musical called Date Me, You Silly Fool or Two Dates a Week or Else or just Dates! I'll work on the score. He is not someone I will have sex with. Ever. I can tell this quickly. But he's nice, has a Russian accent, the kind where most words end in z and he has a dramatic delivery like when he tells me about how he likes to watch the fat drip from a steak via a George Forman Grill and the following riveting tale:

"My muzza haz a brilliant cat who closes his eyes and listens to the birds sing to him. He doez not chase them. He sitz, makes himself comfortable like an audience."

Just like nobody ever wants to hear about your "crazy dream last night" nobody ever wants to know about your pet stories. Ever. I realize this and yet I do share them with my friends. Not with my dates. Honestly, I don't want to make too much fun of this guy. He's genuinely a nice seeming person. But when the check comes, I do the requisite reach for my wallet and offer to pay something. His eye enlarge, "Well zat would be very nice."

Well it would, wouldn't it? A lot of things would be nice.

I fear I may be too traditional expecting him to pay and judging him as a creatin for not doing so. I grant him a second chance. We go for a walk in Laurelhurst Park and he talks, then talks a little more, and continues talking until I understand that I can take my brain on a little vacation, pay no attention to him at all, and he will continue to talk. He's not a bad guy. Let's see, I wonder if his jaw might fall off at some point during this afternoon. Of course he writes me immediately upon arriving home, asking for a second date.

Fantasy or reality: Thank god D. exists in NYC and we are writing each other like mad like 4 emails a day. He took a picture of his dinner (sweetbread tortellini) and my old block on Broome street near Orchard and Ludlow. So cute. We've been writing each other constantly. Clearly, this can only end in heartache and disaster.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fuck yeah

A recent email from a potential suitor:

"I grew up in Oregon and you New Yorkers are tough! Ya'll gotta lighten up sometimes, or is that not in your nature? You all trip me out.
In some ways you're all totally cool. In other ways, you folks blow me the fuck away. Chill the fuck out (most of the time)!

Still Week Three, Update on The Curser

Though I realize douchebag is not a curse, it feels like one. When I'm not expecting it, I hear back from The Curser on Friday. We exchange texts and he continues to not ask me out. The last text I write: "Let me know if you want to meet up in real time." And I mean it. I already have one pen friend across the country, I don't need another one who lives around the block.

So, he calls and we talk. This is Conversation #2. I ask him, perhaps naively, how was your trip? He responds, "Good and weird." I lay on the floor and take the bait. Give A. some pets. "How was it weird?" He explains that he visited family then picked up his ex in another state and drove the 15 hours back to Portland. "Oh," I say. Then he explains further, "She tricked me," and he uses the word trick several times. I wonder how a guy who is over six feet tall, an ex-rugby player, an attorney, an adult, and a raving curser could be tricked. Alas, he believes this has happened. She'd said she still had feelings for him and he fell for it. He explains several times that he no longer has feelings for her and she is crazy.

I'm putting this experience into the "All my ex-girlfriends are crazy" category. My response, though I say it only my head is: what did you do to them? You drove them crazy.

Enough: we end the conversation with The Curser asking me out for the same night but I say I have plans - and it's true: I plan to drink red wine and I plan to watch my netflixed Gossip Girls Season Two. I plan to listen to my dog softly snore in her sleep. After a pitter patter of you call me or I'll call you, I hang up. What just happened?

Is it me? Or is he crazy? I think I might be crazy because after all this I'd still go out with The Curser. Perhaps it's a vocab thing, not the curses, but he says things like right-o and kiddo, and those are things my dad says.

Tomorrow it's brunch with LSGG (law school grilling guy). I predict pleasant conversation, jokes about being a jew, and an absolutely sparkless marionberry pancake experience.

But I've been wrong before. Very wrong...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Week 3 or I Forgot My Wallet

I pull into Laurelhurst Market, a new restaurant/meat market (literally) and see one other person has parked as well: my date, J. J. has a huge SUV but I won't hold it against him. Turns out the restaurant is closed. We laugh easily about this and move our cars to new spots down the block. That's when he gets out and realizes he's forgotten his wallet. To his credit, yesterday he returned from a trip to Belgium. Also, I like that it doesn't even cross his mind to ask me to cover it. This may sound absurd but my expectations have decreased this much. He offers to drive to his house and I accept, as long as he doesn't expect me to get out of the car. Note: having things go wrong on a date helps break the inherent awkward ice.

We pull up to his very sweet, perfect house: an immaculate lawn, perfectly manicured shrubs. Contrast this with my house. My pregnant neighbor mowed my lawn the day before she gave birth. I have more dandelions than I can count and recently used a scissors to edge the lawn near the sidewalk. J.'s car, by the way, is also spotless – serial killer spotless, whereas mine has dog kibble littering the seats and white fur on the dash, a random banana peel and just yesterday I threw out a spider by one of its legs.

So we may be opposites, which is good. I need someone to keep things sanitary around the house. We go to Navarre. Should I add links to this site? The restaurants may be more thrilling than the dates? There's a whole page for Red Burgundy wines, like thirty, and we eat small plates of scallops, squash, and bread with oil. Aside from charging $1 for the oil, I really like this place. And I actually like J. He's kind and easy going, incredibly mellow. He's an engineer who manages other engineers and he's originally from Arizona and has a slight accent. Or is it that he speaks slowly? He might be a better therapist than I am. He's vulnerable when talking about family, laughs at my witty jokes, and is very much a gentleman. At the end of the date we hug and though not feeling a ton of sparks, I find myself saying: let's do this again. But as I've learned from Millionaire Matchmaker: the ball's in his court. I resolve to do nothing. Nothing is very difficult for me, as it turns out, but it takes away from the guessing game. If I put my mind to it - this time - I can really do nothing.

I must use the dancing approach as R. suggested. We are simply trying out partners and it's on to the next...victim, I mean date. My detached approach is easier since I've begun emailing with D. in NYC. He's a wonderful correspondent. Though only a flirty pen friend, and a cute one from the photos, I feel like I've cheated on J. and E., but I swear I love you all! Equally! But D. has an adorable picture, a twin sister, a dozen siblings, and he's Italian. He's a brilliant writer who uses phrases like: sleepy time and Jersey perm. Who wouldn't fall for him? After all, the ingredients are all there: far away (obstacle #1), Italian (probably not faithful, but sexy), and a funny, smart writer. I like him.

Must get in one more date by the end of the weekend – it's looking like it'll be the law school,Jewish grilling guy, also a J. This could be confusing.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Week 2: Mad, Sad, Glad & FEARful

I meet E. for lunch at Ned Ludd. We're the only people there and since he is completely bald, he's easy to spot. He is bald in a Bruce Willis way and not a Kojack way, which is a plus. I have always had a crush on Addison from Moonlighting, although he had hair then, so that's not really my point. Anyway, I like him immediately because he's easy to talk with, sexy, he's smart and he's nervous. This intrigues me. I like that he stumbles over his words a little bit. He appears confident at the same time. This juxtaposition of someone who is confident and yet nervous around me is immensely flattering, and he had used the word kerfuffle during our earlier conversation. I definitely like him. While telling S. about him she asks what nickname I want to choose for him, but I actually like him so a nickname (and a blog) seems wrong, but I get over this guilt in about 30 seconds and go with: The Body. Because he has a very nice one.

He tells me about his work. He has a law degree but doesn't practice. Instead, he visits with farmers in rural areas and literally breaks bread with them and does something regarding wind power. Though I don't understand, I am impressed! He seems sincere and I could see him being good at his job, which is attractive. He also makes it clear that he has no real plans for the rest of the day – despite common assumption this does not make him appear like a loser, it makes him seem normal and honest. I don't take the bait though, I feel a first date is a meet & greet. He tells me about his acting class and it sounds amazing – the instructor schools them on basic emotions, i.e. mad, sad, glad and fearful. Apparently, everyone ends up crying at some point. I am impressed that he just admitted he cries.

I finish half of my burger, rare with a perfectly ripe green tomato, and we say goodbye in the parking lot. There was enough great conversation to go out again but an equal amount of silence to say there is some tension/attraction.

But as an intuitive empath and general introvert, sensitive type, Meyers-Briggs INFJ, I try not to get too attached to any one outcome. I try to see it like a formal dance with people switching to new partners. That's the thing about on-line dating, you can't take it personally.

Next Date –

I begin to notice that most dates include those selfsame emotions: mad, sad, glad, and fearful or three of the four. I meet D. at Stumptown Annex on Belmont for a cute, ex-New Yorker date: swapping sections of the Sunday NY Times and drinking coffee. In his email he explained that he's a Quaker and upon reflection, he is just looking for friends right now. Fine. I wasn't terribly attracted to his photo, but you can't always tell. He is Chinese and his email to me had stated: Jews love me! Who could resist?

When he arrives I tell him there is a cupping in progress. A cupping is a half hour barista explaining the coffee roots or some jazz, you smell the coffee and then drink it. D. says he doesn't like coffee. I find this odd, since he suggested the place and activity. I instruct myself to be spontaneous, but I also notice he has no newspaper. “ Where's the paper?” I ask him and we joke about that, but I am wondering if he had expected me to get it and I was expecting him to get it. Is he selfish or am I? Whatever the deal, we end up walking over to Clinton to Kettleman's Bagels. I think he's pushing the Jew-thing too far, but it's true: I scarf down my scallion cream cheese and salt bagel.

We walk through several neighborhoods: Belmont, Hawthorne, Clinton and we have a candid conversation and it feels like a potential friendship. I'm subletting my old place in NYC. He's selling his in Philly. Until the end of the friend-date when I feel “mad.” Towards the end of the walk D. questions me about an earlier statement where I said I was giving myself 4 months of internet dating to find someone I liked then I MIGHT move from Portland. He re-phrases this as: so you're giving yourself 4 months to find a husband? I correct him, albeit gently. I am annoyed though and see why he is looking for friendship: he is not so good on dates. He has a chip on his shoulder. I've seen this syndrome before with men and it's not pretty. He asks me about flirting and says that a woman who flirts well is like a salesman and the guy or the flirtee doesn't realize what she's doing but just that he likes her. He goes on at length. I am so accustomed to listening to people, I let him rant. Eventually, I correct him again, this time in a not so gentle way – “D.,” I say, “I can flirt, that's not the problem. The problem is that I want to find someone I really like and vice versa.” I don't need flirting tips from some Quaker who's using the internet to supposedly find friends!

“Oh, so you're a JAP?”

Right now I regret my reaction: calm and cool as a cucumber. I should have told him off. Looking back he was so obsessed with the Jew thing and peppered me with a million questions about being a therapist. I should have seen the signs coming: walking wounded, been on match too long, looking for friendship.

Sorry, D. Hate to be rude, but nobody single is just looking for friendship. We say goodbye near his car and I say I can't remember exactly where I parked.

“You're over there,” he says and points. “I saw you parking and walking over to the coffeeshop before we met up.”

Instead of asking why he didn't say hello or mention it earlier, I walk pretty briskly in that direction.

“See ya!” my keys are in my hand and before you can say Date 4, I've started up my Toyota Carola.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

When a Guy Doesn't Get Your Message

Does this ever actually happen? Does technology fail single women? Ever? I hate to sound like a cliche. But if I at least acknowledge it, then maybe it's not so bad. I am a cliche. I used to assume this mantra: he always got the call/text/email/carrier pigeon. Now I'm not so sure.

Specifically, I am wondering if the Curser really did not get my voicemail message from last Saturday. Let's review the facts:

HE sent ME a "missive" type email on match: crazy ass long, specific, tailored to me.
HE called me, fairly quickly after I give him my number.
I had to end the conversation early. I called him back later that night.
No response. Nothing. Zero. Zilch.

So those are the facts. I sent a quick text tonight, with the aid of S., always helpful. I tried to speak The Curser's language: Why the F didn't you call me back? No, not be cursing per se, but just direct instead of all polite and long and nice. I wrote: Hey. Hope you got my message saturday and you're having a good week. Give me call sometime. He responded within ten minutes and wrote that he did not get my message but would check his voicemail. Also, he was leaving for Chicago until Wednesday...that's three dots. Not four, not two, not five. Three. An ellipsis. But what it really meant, I think, was an indication of a mystery or a well now what? BUT

What does this mean? Could this possibly mean anything at all? Ever?

Sadly, I did call him. And I'll tell you why, since you begged. It was the first conversation I'd had with a man where I was attracted to him since my ex. The Curser has a great voice, was whipsmart, and did I mention the sexy voice? Why? Why did I need to leave an actual, human message when I could have simply texted once again? A much less vulnerable move.

Perhaps I wanted to show him I do like him. As much as a thirty minute conversation will allow. Now it's time to scrounge up 2 dates in 4 days.

Shouldn't be a problem...