2011, you were fantastic. The good, the bad, and the ugly—as Granny would say, “Embrace it all, kid.”
Ah, New Years. Here’s to new men, new experiences, new adventures, new relationships, new laughs, and new loves. Both Granny and I have dates planned for 2012. Her next prospect? Jay, a Brooklyn-born widow who states breakfast as his favorite meal of the day. I like him already.
Listen to her voicemail where she gives me New Year’s wishes and a sneak peak of what’s to come: new years wishes
I have created a monster. A man-hunting love monster. Seniors of South Florida: Watch out, Granny is on the loose.
Granny called me the other day, when I picked up she was laughing so hard I couldn’t understand a word she was saying. Finally she choked out, “Kid, I grew a pair. I did something I wouldn’t do in a million years.”
She was perusing the aisles of Whole Foods when she came across a case of cheap wine. $2.99 a bottle. She thought it could make a good Christmas present for her co-workers but then she asked herself, “Am I that cheap?” I’m pretty sure we both already knew the answer to this.
As she pondered the dilemma a darker skinned, older man showed up on the scene. “An Arab,” she said proudly in her thick Jewish New Yorker accent.
“A what?” I asked.
“He was an Egyptian, ya know like walk like an Egyptian?” she elaborated.
Aha. Got it. So this Egyptian fellow began filling his cart with the wine. Granny took note of this and asked him, “Have ya tried this wine before? Ya know if it’s any good?”
“In fact I have and really enjoyed the red,” he said, “but I didn’t care for the white.”
The two of them began an intelligent conversation about wine until Granny suggestively asked, “Well maybe your wife enjoys the white?”
He explained that his wife died six months prior. Now he was a bachelor, a lonely bachelor that was confiding his life story with her in the liquor aisle of Whole Foods. She listened and gave her two cents wherever it allowed then finally said, “Look, you’re a very sad man, and you have every right to be. Let me give you my number, when you’re done mourning call me and we’ll go out.”
She said his eye lit up as he quickly scrambled to get a pen and paper. “I will, I definitely will,” he said enthusiastically.
I was impressed and I was about to tell her so when she said, “Kid, I got more juice.”
After saying goodbye and grabbing the carton of wine she made her way to the deli counter, “I wanted some roast beef, ya know sliced for a sandwich? Whole Foods has beautiful roast beef,” she explained. At the counter she caught the eye of another silver-haired gentleman who struck up a conversation with her. “I was on a roll, kid, a goddamn roll.”
Long after her roast beef had been sliced she remained talking to this new gentleman when low and behold the Egyptian returned to the scene, “Thank you so much for your number,” he exclaimed, “I’m gonna call you, you’re definitely gonna hear from me. I really am looking forward to it.”
The silver fox gave Granny a confused look, “He must have thought, ‘Is this an old hooker? Does she do this for a profession? A Whole Foods hooker?’” she said. Completely flustered and overwhelmed by her own mojo, Granny decided to flee the scene. She said bye to both of them, quickly considered checking out one more aisle to see if she could find a third suitor, but changed her mind and headed for the check-out counter.
I suggested we cancel her Match.com account and have her stake out Whole Foods full-time instead. When I asked where her bold behavior came from she laughed hysterically and said, “The devil made me do it, and kid, you’re the devil.”
I sat sipping my green tea while I waited for Owen. He was late but texted me twice to apologize. He also texted four separate times in the days leading up to our date to tell me he was “really excited to meet”. His gestures were sweet but the masochist inside of me was slightly turned off by his overly enthusiastic nature.
Once he finally arrived and got a coffee we settled down to talk. He told me there was a lot of traffic coming in from New Jersey. “You live in Jersey?” I asked. His profile definitely stated his location to be New York, NY.
“Well no, not really. I’m transitioning in between my parents place in Jersey and crashing on my brother’s couch in Hoboken,” he said.
“So you live in Jersey?” I repeated.
He denied it again, explaining that he didn’t consider Hoboken part of New Jersey. There’s a state line and a dividing river that says differently, but okay I let him take New Yorker status, I had bigger matters to uncover…
“So you live with your parents?” I asked.
“Temporarily, since July,” he said. He explained that he had been living and working in Argentina for the past two years and was back in the area trying to figure out his next move.
When questioned about his work abroad he explained that he was an “entrepreneur”, a five-syllable word he used at least another dozen times to describe himself throughout our one-hour date.
When I asked him about his career ambitions for the future, besides continuing to be an “entrepreneur” he told me of plans to study quantum physics, not for his career but for fun. He then began to break down quantum physics for me, like realllllly break it down. Although I barely followed any of what he said I was definitely intrigued by his intellect and impressed by his passion for the subject.
As our conversation progressed our differences kept surfacing. He’s into the sciences, I’m into the arts. He doesn’t drink, I work in a bar. He considers New Jersey New York, I do not. I enjoyed my conversation with Owen but I think our inability to relate on most topics was apparent on both ends. I kind of felt like Granny with the Walrus. He was definitely interesting and I’d probably even go out with him again if asked but he hasn’t asked… and being that prior to our date he knew how to operate his phone to text my number multiple times I think it’s safe to assume that Owen feels the same way.
Granny called to tell me about her date yesterday. “I’m gonna start from the end, he’s a very nice man,” she said.
I breathed a premature sigh of relief.
“A very nice man, but he looks like a walrus.”
“What?” I asked.
She began to explain to me what a walrus is, I already knew of the animal but it was fun to hear her break it down for me. “Ya know a large wooly sea mammal? Cousin to the seal? This guy was a walrus. Big chest and belly, silver facial hair like whiskers, and on top of it he was wearing stripes. Stripes that went the wrong way.”
You would think that once you pass your seventies attraction wouldn’t be related to looks and fashion, but apparently that’s not the case. The lady has standards that surpass my own.
They met up at Dunkin Donuts for coffee but once he took a look at the little hotcake that is my Granny he said, “I don’t want just coffee with you, I wanna take you somewhere to have a whole meal.”
On the way to the restaurant they discussed where they live. “I’m in a mobile,” he said.
“Mogul?” she asked.
“Mobile,” he repeated.
This exchange went on a few too many times until Granny said, “The only moguls I know are on a ski slope and I don’t know any of those in South Florida.”
“No, I got myself a double wide,” he said.
It sounded like the rest of the night’s conversation was full of these misunderstandings and inabilities to relate.
He took her to a restaurant in my hometown called the Thirsty Turtle, known for their hot wings and rowdy teenage crowd. “I was eating my dinner at a quarter after five,” she said, “I’ve never had dinner so early in my life. Only old people eat dinner before six,” she said without any intended irony.
Granny alerted my mom, who lives around the corner from Thirsty Turtle, to her whereabouts. She conducted a covert operation to spy on the date. I haven’t gotten all the details yet but it sounds like there was a window and some not-so-discreet waving and awkward neck flicking gestures.
“Overall, how was it? A fun night?” I asked.
“Kid, my night was over before seven. It was a pleasant evening. Like I said, he’s a nice man, but we move at different speeds.”
Okay, fair enough. I’m just glad Granny broke the dry spell. A date with a walrus is better than no date at all.
Granny’s dating jets are fired back up and ready for a ride. Sort of…
Last week she began messaging with Todd. Based off his profile, the guy sounds like a total catch. He is retired from NASA. An astronaut! The man worked on Apollo, a bit of information that I thought sexy but Granny found wholly intimidating. “This is a kind of smart that isn’t in my world, this is different smart,” she said.
Right before their phone call she turned up the drama and went into freak out mode trying to convince both of us why it wouldn’t work. She’s always preaching to me that I need to date men in different fields; it’s time for her to take a dose of her own medicine.
Listen to our chat: pep talk
A friend of mine wants to set me up with one of his coworkers. When the potential suitor friended me on Facebook I accepted his request. I then found myself examining his profile with the same eye that I use on OKCupid. The two social media sites are strikingly similar if you think about it. Both have pictures and content that sell a person and represent an online image that they want to portray, regardless of whether it’s accurate to their character or not. The biggest difference is Facebook doesn’t state height… a shallow bit of information that I admittedly appreciate on OKCupid.
This morning Granny and me were chatting about my online men. “Ya gotta put yourself out there more. Ya know, in the real world. These online guys are fine and good but ya got the goods, go out there and work em.”
I questioned where I should be “working my goods”. The street corner? Whole Foods?
She suggested hotel dances, a meeting place for singles before the invention of Facebook, online dating, booty pop, or any other modern day wooing device. Her explanation: hotel dances
I’m pretty sure the current interpretation of the dignified hotel dance is a sweaty nightclub with a loud DJ, full of people air-humping, fist-pumping, and occasionally doing the party shuffle. However, I enjoyed hearing her tale of yesteryear, I want a man to woo me with his “really hot cha-cha-cha”. I’m going to take Granny’s advice, these goods of mine? I’m going to work them.
I have some new knowledge on the “typical male” after getting Granny’s two cents on Brad . With her detective hat on, she suspiciously hypothesized all the possible reasons for his lackluster demeanor. She said, “An interesting man wants you to let you know that he’s an interesting man. And how does he do that? Conversationally or sexually.” Well, it seems Brad was 0 for 2.
Here’s our conversation where she breaks it down for me: convo
I was excited for take two with Brad and pumped to try out the hip Korean restaurant he picked for our date. For a southern man fresh in the big city, the guy knows how to pick a spot.
As I approached the trendy eatery I spotted him outside wearing the same fleece and hiking boots from our previous date. I looked down at my tiny dress, fur vest, and ridiculous heels. You should never judge a book by its cover, but if you did, you wouldn’t stock me and Brad anywhere near each other in the bookshop.
I went in for my standard hug, double-cheek kiss, hello handshake. (Note to self: To avoid awkwardness, commit to one form of greeting and abandon the rest.) We got seated and started looking over the menus. Brad mentioned that he had spent some time in Korea as he took the reins in ordering, a manly move that I appreciated.
When I asked him about his time there he said, “Yeah, it was cool.” When I pressed for more details he gave me the same distant gaze from our previous date and chose to elaborate by saying, “There was a lot to see. It was fun.”
Okay, I thought, back to me. I began telling him about my afternoon at the Russian baths in the neighborhood, where they have somewhat seedy but relaxing steam rooms, saunas, and gigantic Russian men who will whip you with eucalyptus leaves.
“I spent some time is Russia,” he began, “I actually became really good friends with the head of the Russian mafia in that area.” My eyes lit up. Yes, scandal! I was ready for the juice. “He had a sauna/steam room situation in his house where he’d have parties every Saturday night.”
I nodded encouragingly, awaiting gritty details about prostitutes, drug rings, and pet dragons. “What were the parties like? How crazy did they get?”
He shrugged, “It was pretty chill. We just hung out and steamed and talked.”
I have better Russian mafia stories from Coney Island then he had from the motherland. I chugged on throughout dinner trying to get him to open up. The dinner was delicious and spicy but the conversation was totally bland. He kept dropping bombs of potentially interesting stories but then couldn’t follow through with any real content or enthusiasm.
We paid up and walked out to the street to say our goodbyes. He leaned in, I thought he was going to kiss me, I wouldn’t have stopped him, but he didn’t. He just gave me a big ole bear hug and a pat on the back. I didn’t know if it was the southern gentleman in him or if the connection just wasn’t there, but after I got home he texted to tell me he had a great time and wanted to know when to get together next. More hot water? I think I need a heartier soup.
When I told Granny about Brad, she said, “He didn’t give you soup. He is certainly not soup. Hot water? Maybe. Soup? Nope, no way,.” I gave an affirmative grunt to encourage her on.
“Go on a second date though, ya gotta see if he can bring it to a boil, throw some carrots and noodles in, maybe even a little spice. Ya know?”
I think I know…
When Brad first messaged me last month he had just moved to the city from Georgia. Being that he was a newbie, I figured there was a chance he was an untapped catch. If he had just moved to New York he probably didn’t know anyone and wasn’t on OKCupid because he was socially awkward, pervy, or a player, he was on because he wanted to connect with new people. Who was I to deny him that?
He didn’t send a message with winking smiley faces or misspelled messages like the popular, “wat’s up wit u sweeti?”. He sent a quote by Jonathan Franzen, one of the authors I had listed in my favorites. It was a good way of proving that not only was he literate but we also shared a common interest.
I wanted to meet but our schedules weren’t lining up. A few weeks went by when he wrote, “I guess you grew chicken feet. No biggie, life gives you soup and alley ways, but rarely free beer.” It was a weird message but I like weird. I also like sayings and his soup and beer one was floating well with me.
We set a date the following day to grab a drink at a swanky midtown hotel. When I met him outside I was pleased to see he was even more attractive then his photos let on. He picked the place, so I assumed he knew what the scene was like. However, once we walked into the teeming sea of after work suit-wearing yuppies the Georgian fellow looked as though he felt sourly out of place. “Sixteen dollars for two beers?” he yelled over the loud patrons. He wasn’t trying to be rude or sarcastic like James, he was honestly just mystified by New York prices.
We settled into a couch and began getting to know each other. Or at least I tried. It was pulling teeth to get basic details out of him. He liked travel. Who doesn’t? He was starting a new job. I could have assumed that. Based off his hiking boots and fleece I took him for a tree-hugging, dog-petting, granola-crunching type. It was hard to know for sure, he was a master at the concise answer and the glazed over gaze.
I didn’t know if his dazed out look was from his discomfort in the overly hip environment, his disinterest in me, or some really strong weed. As we finished our beers I assumed he wasn’t feeling me and was ready to cut my losses when he finally decided to speak. He apologized, telling me he had a crazy week at work and was totally exhausted and having trouble focusing. He asked if we could do dinner later in the week.
I thought he might be looking for a way to blow me off, I have definitely used the “let’s catch up next time” excuse before. I was ready to forget him, like he said, “No biggie, life gives you soup and alleyways…” but to my surprise, he messaged an hour after the date to set up plans. Granny says if there’s one thing I like about the guy to give him a second chance. There were potentially many things to like about Brad. He may have given me some soup, but sure, I’ll come back for seconds.