Chivalry Is Dead

I might be a shitty granddaughter. Is it wrong to force your Granny to go on a date against her will? Besides my own selfish wishes to be entertained by her tales, I swear I thought it would be a nice for her to develop, at the very least, a friendship with Tim.

When he sent an email last week asking her out for dinner he added, “You said earlier that it was your treat. Think I’ll accept that… P.S. Of course I’ll pay for drinks.” She said he was self-involved and had no interest in treating him to dinner. I was convinced that he was just being cheeky in his message; I didn’t really believe he was going to have her pay. He’s an old retired English man with a boat and a large home, I thought he’d have the funds or at least the manners to treat a classy lady to a meal, especially since he was the one to ask her out.

“He’s short and angsty, you know how short men can have a complex,” she whined. Although I’m familiar with the complex, I insisted that she was being a brat until she finally caved and agreed to go.

When he called to set up the date he said he’d pick her up at her apartment. He must have heard the hesitation in her voice because he joked, “Don’t worry I’m not coming up.”

“Trust me, I wasn’t worried,” she replied without any hint of flirtation.

She told me, “Bed relationships at this age has got to be an experience and half. I don’t look forward to dealing with an old, messy, farty situation,” she gave more of a visual than I needed but I got where she was going. “I’ve had very nice relationships in the bedroom in my life, I’m not about to ruin that with this guy.”

They went to a restaurant on the water for dinner. There were some popping sounds going off, “Must be fireworks,” she said casually to Tim.

He quickly dismissed her and grunted, “I know a pistol when I hear one.”

When the waitress came up and apologized for the loud firecrackers he pretended to be busy with his napkin. For two and half hours she listened to him talk about the Bowl of Jello again. He completely monopolized the conversation. “He didn’t remember a goddamn thing about me. He didn’t remember if I had a son or a daughter or that I was from New York,” she said. “This was our third date, I’d like to blame it on his old age but the truth is he’s just a self-involved bastard.”

Granny is not one to let bad behavior slide. “Did you call him out on it?” I asked.

“I told him I had heard that some men online are looking for a nurse or a purse, the old fart got offended and said he has never heard such a thing,” she giggled, “Bullshit, he’s looking for both.”

She explained to me that older people are just more honest and stuck in their ways. “There’s no more playing games like when you’re 25. Old people are comfortable enough to put themselves out there the way they are. For better, or in his case, worse.”

“Did he make you pay?” I asked. There are chivalrous gestures that I assumed stuck with older generations. It’s 2012, I’m a money-making gal, I have no problem picking up the check or at least paying my half of the bill when I’m on a date but to me that feels like a modern development that wouldn’t apply to a date between two people in their seventies.

“As soon as the bill came he pushed it in front of me.” I gasped. “Let me give you our order,” she began practically snarling, “I had a piece of cod and a glass of wine. He had a salad, a two glasses of wine, crab legs, and a coffee.”

Of course Granny being the penny pincher that she is, remembered the cost of every item. “My fish? Thirteen dollars. His meal,” she began, stretching out the vowels, “It was forty-eight dollars.” She put eighteen dollars on the table then went to the bathroom where she told me she contemplated calling a cab or my mother to come pick her up. “I wasn’t far from home, I thought it would have been cheaper to take a cab than pay for his dinner.”

When she came back to the table he rudely stated, “You owe more.”

“What is more?” she asked.

He pushed the check in front of her again; she reluctantly took out more bills.

“Apparently this is the way it is here,” she said to me as if she was discovering a new tip in a magazine, “If a man takes you to dinner once or twice then you have to take him to dinner. That’s what’s happening these days.”

If he were a gentleman that wanted to continue things she told me, “He would have said, ‘You get it next time’ and that repertoire would have continued just so he could get some more time with me. He played it all wrong,” she said. I had to agree, the jerk should have paid for his own crab legs.

When he dropped her off at her home she said good-bye, “I meant it, kid. Good-bye. That’s it. Never again,” she told me.

“What I’m realizing is that when you’re older, because sex is minimal or a non-existent part of the equation, you really need to like each other. Character matters so much more. I don’t like this man.” I didn’t blame her. “The positive thing,” she began, and boy was I glad to hear there was an upside, “It’s nice to know it’s a learning experience even at 70-whatever, I’m still learning.”

Model Gay

It was no secret that Ray was a lover of the arts. His profile is a carefully tuned piece of work. It contains German poetry (he is not German), a list of black and white films strictly from France (he is not French), his taste in music ranged from Italo disco (not Italian either) to minimal synth and he had a series of self-photographed portraits, each with a different neon colored background. It wasn’t a profile; it was more of a mood board. It reminded me of an installation you might find at the Whitney.

After he found my profile he sent me a message that felt like a story worthy of some fancy smancy literary journal. He complimented my “minimalist effect” and explained what he thought the “mise en scene” was in my profile picture and how it tied back to one of his favorite French films. He was a character and clearly a little weird. I like weird so I accepted his invitation for a drink.

When I saw him at the bar I wasn’t surprised by his impeccable style. Tight jeans, button down shirt that matched his shoes and blazer with a handkerchief in the breast pocket. I was wearing jeggings and an over-sized cardigan. He began telling me about his career in the fashion industry and a party he attended over the weekend at one of New York’s newest, hippest clubs. Waving his hands and swiveling his neck for emphasis he described the hottest fashions at the party. I couldn’t help but wonder, “Is Ray gay?”

I stared at him as he sipped his martini and gossiped about a girl friend of his (who I obviously didn’t know) that was cheating on her man. My gay-dar was beeping loudly in my ear. He giggled and gesticulated violently.

I thought back to a dilemma one of my friend faced a few months back. She was dating a guy who worked in the fashion industry, dressed too well, worked out too often, and exhibited many traits that went beyond metro sexual. We conferred with another friend on her opinion about the guy’s sexual preference, she explained that there is gay and then there is “model gay”. “If you’re surrounded by beautiful things,” she said, “Are you gay or is it just a love of beautiful things?”

I loved this theory. Although I felt zero romantic spark, I did feel Ray could be a great pal to get snazzed up and talk shit with. The jury is still out on whether he is gay or “model gay” but regardless the man can dress, has seriously refined tastes, and can gossip with the best of them. Mmmmkay? {snap}

New Way of Dating

Last week Granny told me about Roger, a 78-year-old JDater. She responded to a message he wrote and now she was waiting for a reply to plan a date. Originally he wrote:

“I happen to be a very nice man!!!! I am seeking a very nice lady to share good times with. Just a little about me is that I am a caring , considerate, kind & gentle, romantic and very sensual person!!! So if you wold like to meet and say hello, let me know.”

Based off his unbridled use of exclamation points and his self-proclaimed characteristics of considerate (and sensual…) you would think she would have heard back from him by now, right? Nope.

Although I was annoyed by his inattentiveness Granny felt differently. “I’ve been reading the magazines, ya know the articles,” she said, “They say men these days call soonest one to two weeks. At least ten days. Women call the next day. They’re calling it ‘The New Way of Dating…’”

LISTEN TO OUR CONVO HERE: new way of dating convo.mp3

If that’s the new way of dating, I guess I’m an old school kind of girl.

An Indelible Impression

I was on the phone with Granny yesterday when she spotted, “a gorgeous, gorgeous man” driving by.

LISTEN to the lady on the prowl gush: bentley babe convo.mp3

“Some woman let him out alone,” she giggled,  “She’s crazy!”

It’s Not Me, It’s Him

I’m great at justifying things. Eating boxes of cookies, buying that over-priced top, stealing a bottle of vodka – whatever it is, I can find a reason to defend it.

After my phone call yesterday with Granny I realized where I inherited this trait. When I told her about my date with Grant and how he neglected to ask for my number Granny managed to turn it around so that I was on top. Rather then accepting the simple fact that he may have just not liked me, Granny dug deep to find every reason in the book to justify his actions:

  1. “He may be very troubled. He’s stressed because of lack of work.”
  2. “He’s very insecure.”
  3. “He may have another girlfriend and he just came out to play.”

Click to listen to my cheerleader pumping me up some more: justification – convo

Role Reversal

“I like your nighttime photo. You look like Giselle in a fashion ad. Which is kind of awesome,” Grant, my date last night, had messaged me on OKCupid. Giselle? Yes, I agree that would be pretty awesome. Tell me more, Grant.

In his profile he made up a series questions to answer:

-Favorite Grade in School: 5th.
-Least Favorite: 7th.
-If I Had Just One Song To Get The Party Going, Would That Song Be The Electric Slide?: No it would not.

I also enjoyed fifth grade and I especially enjoyed that he took it upon himself to do a personal Q and A.

I got to the bar on time but Grant was fifteen minutes late. Ah, I finally got how annoying my tardy tactics can be. Lesson learned.

I grabbed a drink and took a seat at a table in the back of the bar. I had to make a friend’s going-away dinner after the date so I was looking snazzier than I typically would for a Monday night drink in a dive bar. I was wearing a sexy purple dress and heels. While sitting by myself, sipping a cocktail, eyeing around the place all dolled up it would not have been outlandish if someone mistook me for a lonely hooker on the prowl.

Grant entered frazzled, wearing a laid back flannel. Even though he had picked the spot he said he went to a bar ten blocks away by accident…

He grabbed a drink and sat down, I saw him eye my outfit. “I’m going to a fancy dinner after this,” I said defensively, “Not that I wouldn’t dress like this for you, I mean I don’t know you, but I don’t usually wear heels on a Monday, but you know what I mean, right?” It was an awkward and unnecessary explanation.

We changed the subject; he told me that he lives in a loft with six people and one bathroom in Brooklyn. It sounded like a cross between a terrific sitcom and a terrifying nightmare. I have just one roommate and I’m almost too entitled to handle him. I was impressed but also concerned by Grant’s living conditions.

He had just moved to the city after finishing up grad school and wasn’t ready to commit to a job so he’s been spending his time traveling.  He told me about an excellent cross-country road trip that him and a buddy went on this summer. I told him about my cross-country trip, I left out the part where I got creepy, but still our experiences we’re vastly different. We started talking about cities we love and cities we could do without, unfortunately none of our cities lined up.

Again we changed the subject, we started talking about our families and trips we’ve been on with them. He had a laid back trip to Morocco with his family last year. I had a chaotic estrogen-filled trip to East Africa with my mom, Granny, and sisters. I recounted a story about a fight I got into with my sister while in the Serengeti that involved a Masai Warrior, a bow and arrow and some Valium. He was clearly freaked out.

Grant is the oldest of three brothers; I am the middle of three sisters. When he found out where I fell in the pecking order he gave me a look like “Aha, that explains it.”

I’m not sure if it was the dress that was affecting my attitude but by the looks Grant was giving me I’m pretty confident I was exuding some crazy girl vibes.

“What’s your last name?” he asked.

“Why? Do you want to Google me?” I replied.

“No, I’m just curious,” he said. Mmhmmm, yeah right. It’s 2012, we can admit it. We love to Google stalk. Right? It can’t be just me.

I gave him a name and he gave me his. When we got up to leave we said our goodbyes and parted ways. After he walked away I realized we skipped something. He never asked for my number. I didn’t expect or want to go out with him again but still… we know my ego needs some stroking, would it be so much for him to at least feign interest? The lonely hooker was feeling kind of lame.

As I walked to my dinner I realized he did the right thing. Why take a number if you’re not going to call? It was clear we weren’t compatible, we had at best, a pleasant drink and that’s all it would ever be. I appreciated his honest ending to our date.

Of course I have already Googled him. Unfortunately there is no incriminating dirt. It turns out he’s quite the scholar and had a silly haircut in 2008.

Sex Parties

My theory was correct. Everyone has been invited to a sex party except for me. When I told Granny about Ben and his rowdy rendezvous with Rebecca she was more than open minded. “He’s a man, of course he went,” she said, “You can’t hold that against him.”

I was surprised by her lack of judgment. She was so accepting, almost too accepting…

“Have you been to a sex party?” I asked suspiciously.

She gasped, “Never, never, never,” then, “Oh, I went to one but I didn’t know I was going to one when I was 17 years old.” She says she didn’t stick around for the fun and games, but still, I’m impressed.

Granny was so unprejudiced she even suggested I go out with him again, “I don’t fault him, he’s an Israeli and they do it all. On top of it, he’s a guy.” Gotta love her reasoning.