Lately I’ve been toying around on the How About We dating website. In theory it’s a cool idea where singles suggest fun dates, then you choose to go out with them based on the itinerary. In practice though, I haven’t seen any guys post a date that wasn’t cheesy (i.e. “How about we… walk in the rain in Battery Park then kiss on the street”) or lacking creativity (i.e. “How about we…share a bottle of wine in Little Italy”). Call me crazy, but I’d like someone to suggest: How about we break into the museum of Natural History and steal some dinosaur bones or attempt to kidnap a child on the highline. I want danger. I want adventure.
I received a message on OKCupid from Christophe, a self-proclaimed movie buff, inviting me to see Drive, the new Ryan Gosling movie. I liked that he got straight to the point, and suggested something that although wasn’t dangerous, I actually wanted to do.
We met up for coffee before the movie, Christophe chose not to drink any because he already had two cups and said he was wired. He wasn’t lying, in thirty minutes Christophe rattled off his entire life story of growing up in France, attending private boarding schools, working in finance in London, his sister and her three children, his fear of bicycles, a solo trip to Latvia, and quitting it all to pursue his love of filmmaking in New York.
He just completed a film summer intensive at NYU. I studied film there as well, which I thought could be a nice common ground for us to relate on. As we walked to the theater I asked him about his work, inspirations, plans, etc. At first hearing Christophe talk about film was refreshing; he got so fired up and animated on the subject he was literally stumbling on his words trying to get them out of his mouth.
We settled into the theater as the lights came down and the trailers started rolling. He nudged me at the first one, “I love this director, great work,” he said loud enough for the people in front of us to turn and look. “He’s my favorite,” he exclaimed at the next trailer. When the film began I shifted towards the elderly stranger on my left, trying to pretend I was with him instead.
“Oooo great lighting!” he practically shouted. The girl next to Christophe scowled in his direction but he didn’t notice. “Amazing score, I love this soundtrack”, “Great effects, that blood looks real. What do you think they used?”, “What else is she in?”, “Nice editing, are you familiar with this editor?” It was like sitting in a film class except we weren’t in school and he wasn’t teaching me anything I wanted to learn. I liked the film a lot; he liked it more.
After the credits rolled I politely thanked him for the movie and went on my way. I had enough film school for the night. I think I’m ready to give How About We another shot…
This is the question Granny proposed to me after her new date with Jake this weekend, “What’s wrong with this picture? When I have to say to the gentleman who took me out, ‘Please call me when you get home so I know ya got there safely.’ What would ya say the problem is?”
I considered, concluding she was referring to his age. I’m beginning to think Granny has what it takes to be a cougar. She has style, sass, energy, and a slight aversion to older gentleman that could easily work it’s way into a healthy appetite for a youthful boy toy.
“He’s an older man, you’re an older woman. This I know. Give me some real juice,” I said.
“Listen, all I’m saying is, I don’t like goin’ out with a man that I gotta worry if he’s dead or alive,” she defended herself. “But okay, so I get there and he’s not 5’6, he lied, he’s probably 5’2 but he was wearing cowboy boots which propped him up an inch or two. He dressed well for an older gentleman, some nice trousers, with a crease. I love a crease—”
I was stuck on the cowboy boots. September in Florida is way too hot for that much foot/ankle coverage. I needed more information on the boots, “Oh yeah,” she huffed, “He sure loves them boots. He spent a good hour enlightening me on his boot maintenance. He’s got six pairs, once a month he lines them all up and spit polishes them—whatever the hell that means. He leaves the black for last because they take the most work. Jesus.”
I knew regardless of the boots and age she must have enjoyed Jake’s company because after drinks they went to another restaurant for dinner, their date clocking in at over four hours. She said he was a very nice man, attentive, gentlemanly, and kind, but he didn’t have a sense of humor to keep her captivated, “I wanna laugh, if I can’t laugh it’s not worth it.” I can’t really argue with that, she knows what she likes.
He did however share her passion for travel, just not the same methods. He loves to go RVing, especially at Yellow Stone Park, “He was really doin’ a hard sell to get me on board, ‘I said whaddaya crazy? You drive there. Fly me out, I’ll stop in to say hello. Or let’s take your RV to Paris and park it in front a nice hotel in the Champs-Élysées. Can you imagine eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner in an RV? No way, the best part of traveling is enjoying the local flavors and cuisines.” Picturing Granny gallivanting through America in an RV is a hilarious and hugely improbable idea. I picture her making it twenty miles or so then asking to be dropped off at the nearest Outlet Mall.
Even though she wasn’t wildly impressed with Jake, it doesn’t seem to be slowing him down. He called the next day to invite her out for a rib dinner at some veteran’s club that he’s a member of. “You should go!” I encouraged.
“Ribs? At a veterans’s club? Please, there is a time and a place for ribs. This is not it. Besides I’m sure there’s going to be square-dancing, it’s all the rage for the old people down here to square dance. No ribs and no square dancing for me,” she said.
Granny can be so set in her ways sometimes. It’s somewhat frustrating but also refreshing that she’s so adamantly confident in what she likes and what she doesn’t. Ribs or no ribs I hope she gives him another shot. If not, I think it’s time we start perusing Match.com for a younger generation of men for Granny.
I was having lunch with some friends when I looked down at my phone and saw that the pesky Dating Junkie, Robert, was texting me. I exhaled, shook my head, and made some vain remark about how he wouldn’t leave me alone. Then I read the message, “Even though we didn’t go on a second date, I’m glad I made it on the blog. Mostly though, I’m glad that Granny knows about me!” My heart dropped, my smug smile fell from my face, I released an uncomfortable squeal. I was busted.
I racked my brain trying to remember what harsh words I wrote. There was his height, his affinity for cats, and his overly skillful use of OKCupid. My beautifully stubborn friends insisted that the best thing to do was to ignore him and remain in defense mode. I tried, but the Jewish guilt that Granny instilled in me washed over and I began apologizing for any remarks he might find unjust in the post. He was more understanding than I expected, way more understanding than I would have been.
I offered to buy him a drink as a peace offering; my friends sat wide-eyed shaking their heads and wagging fingers in my face. I knew it could be a bad idea, but it took some serious balls for him to confront me. Based on the sense of humor that he was bringing to the situation I wanted to give the Dating Junkie another hit. He accepted but added, “Bring a ruler, cause I have some height to prove.”
As I walked up to the bar of his choice I saw him standing outside in a fluorescent orange raincoat. There was no rain in the forecast but I thought it was a strong fashion choice. I stood a safe five feet distance away from him on the sidewalk as he lowered his glasses and gave me a playful stern look. I raised my hands in surrender, “I’m sorry! Don’t hurt me,” I pleaded.
“I thought about beating you up, but clearly I’m too small to do any damage,” he joked as he led me in. The waitress took us at a table with two large chairs facing each other in an odd interrogation style. We sat down, accepting the challenge. Across the table he slid two lottery tickets, the same foreboding gift from our first date. “You sure?” I asked, “It was bad enough losing once.”
He nodded, I scratched, we lost. It was time to get down to business. I apologized about the height cracks, upon further examination it seems Robert might actually be closer to the above-average height of 5’10. I explained that the last three men I dated were 6’4. He said, “It looks like you’re the one with a weird problem, not me.” True.
“How did you find the blog?” I asked, “Did you do an extensive google search of my name because you’re obsessed with me?” He laughed, shaking his head. He then told me a story that I still haven’t decided is fictional or not.
He says that he was helping a friend build her OKCupid profile (not surprising, since he is an expert) when she inquired about what kind of messages to send to prospective matches. He went into his messages to cut-and-paste his generic introductory greeting (ahem.. I’ve rated you 4 stars.. added you to my favorites… and winked… i’ve run out of passive-aggressive ways of getting your attention.. :/ i live in williamsburg, i make videos all day, my mom thinks im cute) when he “accidentally” put it in to a google search which led him to stumbling on to this site.
Oy. I thanked him for being a good sport and with the cat out of the bag we began talking like old friends. We shared stories about relationships, OKCupid, summer escapades, work plans, etc. After laughing for an hour straight I realized I was seriously enjoying spending time with Robert, I even briefly forgot about all his cats until he showed me some more pictures of them.
He called me out on my shit, made me blush, laugh, and kept me interested and wanting more. As we walked out I asked if we could be friends. He said we could try but it would be hard since he’s a sexual predator.
The next morning I expected to get a witty emoticon message from Ryan but he didn’t send any. Granny was right, he knew how to get me just where he wanted me. I decided to text him. I think it’s safe to say, I have a crush on Robert.
I was stood up. No big deal. No problem at all. I’m not feeling bad about it because I’m assuming my date was violently mugged and kidnapped in the subway by a clown posse who brought him to Nicaragua then forced him to wear a sequined onesie and coral lipstick while performing Jennifer Grey’s moves from the final scene in Dirty Dancing on repeat until the end of time.
I should have known he was lame after her referred to me as “kiddo” in all of his messages. It’s a patronizing way to refer to anyone that is not an actual child.
Granny offered up a gem in condolence, “Better he stands ya up now, than at the alter.” So true, so true.
Granny broke her seal on the online dating scene. Tim, her cheeky date, said he was proud to take her virginity. Although she did plenty of post-date kvetching, I think she enjoyed herself.
I called to get the scoop two hours after her date began. Based on her earlier nerves and schemes, I imagined she would suck down a quick glass of wine then make some wild excuse to bail. To my surprise, when she answered the phone she politely told me she’d have to call back. Her tone of voice was so sweet and foreign I almost thought someone stole her phone.
Her date lasted four hours! I know my Granny, if she doesn’t want to be in a situation she’ll find her way out of it. Although he sounded smart and interesting, Granny can be a tough judge. She picked him apart from his ruddy fingernails to his slight case of tremors. I think it comes from a defensive place of managing future expectations and protecting feelings by finding their faults before they find yours.
She said he was very confident but perhaps too confident. In her recap she complained incessantly about his self-indulgent manner of talking about himself. She said, “He never shuts up, he talked the entire time. I wanted to say, ‘Have a glass of water, my God.’” I think this mainly bothered her because she has a freakishly similar habit.
Eric is a smooth operator. When she pecked him on the cheek in greeting, he said, “That kiss is gonna have to get a little more serious, sweetheart.” Then he asked how she would like it if her hair were blowing around in a convertible. She asked, “Why, am I buying a convertible?” He said, “No, but I have a red BMW that you’ll be riding in.” Bow chicka-wow-wow.
Even though he laid on his best moves, Granny kept a tight guard. When I asked her why she was so hesitant to commit she said, “I had one man in my life where I ate when he was hungry, slept when he was tired, and went where he wanted to go.” It’s going to take some work getting my fiercely independent Granny adjusted to the idea of a companion.
From the sounds of it, Eric is clearly swooning over Granny. When I asked if she would go out with him again, this is what she said: response
I’ve had two phone calls and four frantic voicemails from Granny today. Her first date is tonight and she has a severe case of cold feet. The little prima donna is pulling every excuse in the book to try and weasel her way out of it.
First it was work stuff, then it was the restaurant he chose, now she’s moved on to inflicting/making up injuries. “I smashed my foot into my bedroom door, I’m gushing blood between my toes. I should go to the emergency room. This is a gash, kid. I need stitches!” I’m pretty sure she just stubbed her toe.
Her devious behavior reminds me of the desperate excuses I would make to stay home from school on the day of a big test that I wasn’t prepared for. I listened to her whine for a bit then told her to suck it up and pick out an outfit.
She called back, “You won’t believe this,” I already didn’t, “I opened the kitchen cabinet and smashed my nose. Blood. Everywhere. More stitches. I’m going to have a black eye, I know it!”
I wish I could be there with her to calm her down or at least watch the Marx brothers-esque physical comedy that’s occurring in her apartment. I suggested that she was being dramatic which only set her off further. “I need a pep talk! I need support! I don’t want any of your snarky judgments,” she hollered.
She was right. As a granddaughter, friend, and wingman I needed to get on her level, sooth her down then pep her up. I reminded her of all the qualities she liked on his profile; he had a great job, a family man, well read, traveled the world, and he has a boat. Who doesn’t love a boat ride?
The tension in her voice began to soften. “Alright, I’m thinking I’m gonna go casual chic, ya know some cute flat sandals, a pair of capris, and a little top I got from Banana Republic two years ago for 50% off.” Granny loves a deal, if she got it on sale it’s more valuable than if she paid full price.
I oohed and aahed in support then suggested we choose a mantra for her to chant for confidence. “How about, ‘I’m gonna marry him, I’m gonna marry him,’” she suggested, then burst out laughing.
I’m all about positive thinking but at the same time I think it’s important to manage expectations. I didn’t want to rain on her wedding but I thought it better to stick with a more realistic motto, “How about, ‘The best thing that happens you fall in love, the worst thing that happens we laugh about it after,’” I said.
She thought for a second, I could feel her coming around. “Yeah, yeah, love or laughs, it’s all good stuff,” she repeated it a few times, gaining more confidence with each go. “Alright kid, ya did good.”
I’m fairly confident that as long as she doesn’t slip on banana peel or have an accident with a curling iron, she’ll make it to the restaurant. I’m not sure who I’m more worried about, her or her date.
I took the power of the internet to a very weird place last week. I was driving with some friends on a cross-country road trip from New York to Los Angeles. When you’re crammed in Jetta with three other people for extended lengths of time things can get funny, frustrating, boring, and in my case, creepy.
Stuck in the backseat my friend and I began flipping through a copy of Cosmopolitan. The last time I read Cosmo I was 17 and thought of it as the holy grail of sexpertise. Now as a somewhat formed woman, it read more like a parody on female behavior. We were giggling about the ridiculous articles that gave directions on “how to cuddle” and suggestions for discussion topics after sex when we stumbled upon a Q and A with several eligible bachelors. “Kyle”, one of the contributing editors, struck me. He had a smug smile and the most wit and confidence in his answers.
Armed with an iPad 3G I began to get my creep on. Maybe it was because I was missing my OKCupid flirts on the road, maybe I just wanted to test the boundaries of the web, or maybe I really saw something in Kyle that I thought would click with me. Within seconds of googling his name I hit a goldmine. Nestled in between links to his writing was his Facebook profile.
I clicked and processed the immediate information on his page. He’s a writer, went to a prestigious school, has a great job writing as a sexpert, and lives in Los Angeles. In Cosmo he was asked, “What is the one thing you’d love a girl to text you?” He responded, “I need u now.”
A google search of this man provided me with almost as many personal details and several more writing examples than OKCupid. The serial dater in me was beginning to get the itch to wine and dine with a stranger on the west coast. Since I already knew what he wanted to hear I Facebook messaged him, “I need u now.”
As soon as the message was sent out on the world wide web I got the rush of excitement in my chest that you feel as a kid when you’re playing truth or dare and you just took a devilish dare. I laughed with my friend at the ridiculousness of the message then put the iPad down and began a sing-along and Cheeto eating contest with myself.
To my shock and awe, an hour later Kyle responded. For the following 1,500 miles on the road I began a very odd but entertaining banter with Kyle. I tried my best to weird him out, but even when I told him I was coming to LA to see him he didn’t falter.
Impressed with his stamina and flirtatious quips, I instructed him to meet me for a drink in Venice Beach. My friends stayed at the bar as we settled into a booth. I tried my best to stifle my giggles and maintain eye contact but the whole situation felt so absurd I couldn’t wipe my guilty grin away.
I began talking my face off, my strongest defense mechanism. I told him all about the road trip, dancing with cowboys in Nashville, shooting guns in Texas, a blowout fight in Santa Fe, and the restlessness in the car that led me to stalking him in the first place.
Kyle, being the sexpert that he is, kept his cool and confident air the entire time. After I blurted out the lengthy story he revealed that he too had stalked me, big time. He searched high and low through all the google had to offer and was spouting out a terrifying amount of information that he had on me all from my name.
Online dating you can maintain anonymity with usernames and restrained information but with a full name and a background as a skilled google stalker, you can often find loads of dirt on a person. It was an interesting social experiment for both of us, we were both curious about the situation and attracted to the online versions of each other.
In real life we shared some laughs, stories, and drinks but I think Kyle would agree, we didn’t have any romantic spark that I would stick around Los Angeles for. I give Kyle major props for indulging my messages and me. He’s a great guy but I think I prefer watching him from the distance of my laptop in New York.
Another one bites the dust. Granny got a message last week from Mike, a silver fox who wrote, “You have very cute grandkids,” in his message. Naturally we both liked him.
Mike has an MBA from Harvard, lives in Palm Beach, originally from the Northeast, an avid eater, passionate traveler, and highly capable of composing a lively profile. Granny was swooning. We agonized for twenty minutes over what to write in her reply. Should she make him wait a few days? Should she be witty or provocative? Should she compliment his grandkids even though they didn’t look as cute as hers?
We kept it short, sweet, and sassy just like Granny. She included her number and then the waiting game began. Two days went by and no word from Mike. Trying to avoid any hurt feelings Granny was prepared to write him off, “Probably fell off his wheelchair and died,” she concluded.
I explained that it’s a 2011 world and given that he provided his number there was no shame in giving him a bell. After lots of pouting she sucked it up and took the plunge. They played a quick game of phone tag before she finally got him on the phone. Below is the message she left me giving a brief recap.
When we spoke she said, “It’s not all fun and games kid. Old people carry a lot of baggage and reservations that make this whole process quite difficult. Let’s face it, they get their juices running on the computer because they can’t do it in real life.”
She does get a lot of messages from random men in faraway states like Washington and North Dakota, clearly they aren’t looking for a viable relationship with a senior in South Florida.
I’m really feeling for my Granny. She is such a rare fireball of fun and beauty it’s bugging me that she hasn’t found anyone who gets to experience her yet. I have to admire her positive attitude, when I asked her if she was going to give up she said, “What are ya calling me a loser? Give me a break. No way. For every fifty guys you get I’ll get one, I’ll go with the flow, weed out the strange ones, and see where this all goes.” That’s my Granny.