Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Bad Date Chronicles – Mr. SportsCenter Edition

Stop smirking Neil. It’s not funny.
Last winter, I met a gentleman on a popular dating website.  Let’s call it … snatch.com.  On paper, everything seemed great.  Tall, dark, and handsome with a job, a car and his own place.  We exchanged a few witty emails back and forth and quickly progressed to a few light-hearted and flirty phone conversations.
The day of the big meeting was right out of one of those dreadful Katherine Heigl rom-coms, and I just ate it up.  Imagine, if you will a gorgeously chilly, crisp winter day in San Francisco.  The location – Union Square.  Christmas shopping was in full swing and the square was full of shoppers clutching their packages, tourists lined up at the Powell Street cable care turnaround, festive music wafting from the department stores.  We walked towards each other from opposite ends of Powell Street, on our cell phones when we saw each other across a crowded city block.  Eyes locked, shy smiles of recognition and relief lit up our faces as we walked towards each other, closer and closer until, as if drawn together by magnets, we half-jogged into a warm embrace.
He was more handsome than his online pictures, incredibly tall with mesmerizing green eyes that I just wanted to hibernate in for the winter.  Equally stunned by my appearance as I was with his, we ducked into a charming little dive bar and took a seat in a booth near the back.  The waitress came to take our order, and we blurted out the exact same drink order in unison.  Laughing, we looked at each other in astonishment and I was convinced right then and there that he was THE ONE.  The next few hours passed like moments as we sat in the cozy booth, kissing, my legs draped over his, talking about our lives and how neither of us could believe that this was actually happening!
Sadly, the time came for me to return home, and hand-in-hand we walked the few blocks to the train station.  Embracing tightly and sharing just one last kiss, we made plans to see each other the next week.  We kept in touch with a few brief calls that week, and my excitement mounted and the anticipation of spending the night with this man kept me alternately blissed-out and irritated at how long the week was taking.
The big night had finally arived.  Decked out in my black knock-off Herve Leger, hair and makeup perfect, I headed over to his house for what I believed was going to be an absurdly romantic evening.  He however greeted me at the door with a look of supreme annoyance, a ripped up white t-shirt, and ill-fitting boxer shorts.  He ordered me to sit on the couch while he finished writing an email in the other room and when I didn’t immediately comply, he raised his voice and repeated himself.  Stunned, I plopped down on the couch waited.  After a few minutes he came out and sat next to me.  “Are those fake eyelashes you’re wearing?  Take those off they freak me out.  And while you’re at it, take off all that makeup .  I hate that.” Continue reading
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First Impressions – You’re Doing it Wrong!

I received this gem via SingleParentMeet.com:

From:  CluelessGentleman69

To:  Me

Subject:  I WOULD LOVE TO ROCK YOUR CRAIDDLE

I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU IN MY LIFE.. AS I STARTED TO WRITE DEEP IN THOUGHT, THINKING ABOUT WHAT I’M GOING TO WRITE OR SAY TO YOU.. I START TO FEEL THE SCENT OF YOUR BODY CLOSE TO ME, AND A TINGLE OF AROUSAL ALL OVER MY BODY BECAUSE OF YOUR PRESENCE.. OH HOW I WOULD LOVE TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH YOU


Moment of “Ick”

The boy needed underwear.  The boy ALWAYS needs underwear.  Why? Well, he’s a boy.  So skid marks.  Yeah. But that’s not even the icky part.  I’m digging through the racks at the discount store trying to find the cheapest possible package when I happen upon some highly discounted Calvin Klein boxer briefs in black, all small and adorable as they are in my little guy’s size.  Then, the horror washes over me as I realize that these are THE EXACT SAME UNDERWEAR THAT I JUST RIPPED OFF OF THE FRENCH BOY A FEW DAYS EARLIER.  Someday, some predatory older woman may do the same thing to my little guy.   I reach for the Thomas the Train undies and high-tail it out of there.  I have the urge to call the French Boy’s mother and apologize.


A Slut’s Call to Arms

A few months back I met someone and actually got to a 3rd date.  On the surface, things looked pretty promising.  And although things didn’t work out (expect another edition of  The Bad Date Chronicles) the real problem existed with my friends.  God love ’em, they always have my best interest at heart, but I couldn’t help but discern a whiff, or in some cases a pungent cloud of judgy slut-shaming swirling around me when I told them about this guy.  My conversations went as such:

“He sounds fantastic.  You better be careful and not sleep with him too soon or this will never turn into anything substantial.”
“Well.  OK.  We haven’t.  I mean…it’s only been 3 dates so…”
“Right, but you should try to hold out as long as you can.  I know that’s hard for you.  But this one sounds like a keeper!”

Preach sistah!

Lest we forget, this is the strategy employed by one Anne Boleyn when she was dating the King.  And we all know how that turned out for her.  While I’m in no danger of losing my (literal) head, I am sort of losing my mind over this.  Why is it that, decades after women’s liberation, our sexuality is still being used as a litmus test for our worth as a person and potential relationship partner?  Wasn’t the whole point of feminism to judge a woman on the basis of her integrity, her intelligence, and her value to the world and not on her gender and sexuality?  And why is it that women are still so quick to judge another woman by the way in which she conducts herself sexually?

Pat Benetar once said that love is a battlefield.  I guess that makes my sexuality my weapon, the cudgel by which I can stun, subdue and capture the enemy.  But what if I don’t want to use it that way?  I don’t see men as an enemy that I need to conquer.  Look, I will freely admit to anyone that will listen that I love sex.  I love it.  I feel like, even though I am well into my 30’s, I just discovered it and just figured out how it works.  If I feel comfortable with someone, comfortable with the situation I’m in and am being safe and healthy about it, I will engage in sexual activity of whatever nature I happen to prefer at the time.  That’s how I roll.  I don’t want to think of how I can parlay this (insert sexual act of choice here) into something else.  I want to have sex for sex’s sake.  Because it’s fun, and enjoyable and life-affirming.  And gosh darnit it just feels awesome and I just realized I was capable of things that I thought only happened in the movies.  Isn’t trading or using sex to get something else just another form of prostitution?
After gently and respectfully making these points, the conversation took this delightful turn:
“So, what can I do? Am I allowed to…”
“Oh no, don’t do that.  He’ll think you do that with everyone.”
“Ok, so what about…”
“No, not that!  Especially not that.  He’ll never want you to be his girlfriend if you do that.”
Which brings me to my next point.  Men – you aren’t getting off the hook here.  I have many bones to pick with you as well.  If a woman puts out “too soon” why does that preclude her from being relationship material?  What the heck is too soon anyway?  If you suspect that she has been around the block a few times, why is that such an issue?  How, exactly, is one supposed to pick up the skills necessary in order to be proficient sexually if they have not gone out into the world and gained experience?  After all, practice does indeed make perfect.  If you’ve been on the receiving end of some particularly stunning sexual act, you should be calling up the lady’s past partners and thanking them for letting her practice and perfect her art.
This dynamic played itself out recently on an episode of Jersey Shore, which is a fascinating study of male-female dynamics and sexuality.  It is also trashy and escapist, but I digress.  In short, the men on this show are total sluts.  They objectify women routinely (females deemed as non-attractive are designated as “grenades”) and bring home random women for sexual trysts on a regular basis.  Yet, when one of the girls (Snooki, the fabulous little one) does the very same thing, she is rejected by her crush Vinny who himself had JUST DONE THE VERY SAME THING.  Now, I realize that using Jersey Shore to make my point may not be the wisest thing to do, but these children are our future.  And these backwards notions of female sexuality are still alive and well.
Does it suck when you sleep with someone and they never call back?  Sure it does.  Even though I’m a slut, I’m still a human being believe it or not. I do have feelings.  But when it does happen, I pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again.  Because I realize that if a man is going to judge me based on my sexuality, he is not the kind of man who I want to be with.  Period.  End of discussion.  Does that mean the number of men that I may be able to have a relationship with is smaller for me than for a non-slut?  Perhaps.  I am OK with this.  There’s just no room in my life to hide, to compromise, to ever feel less-than because of who I am.  I spent the last decade of my life doing that and it’s a place I intend to never return to.
When it comes to relationships, how the other person treats you, how they respect you and makes you feel about yourself are far more important than on which date you were able to slide into home plate.  Read that last sentence again.  Once more.  Ok, now repeat it.  Learn it.  Internalize it.  Now, go forth sluts (male and female alike), and conquer the world!
P.S. – What happened to this guy?  I ended up NOT sleeping with him.  And he never called me back for a 4th date.  Guess I should have just gotten it while the getting was good!

The Bad Date Chronicles – The Sexsomniac Edition

I met the Sexsomniac (nickname to be explained shortly) after seeing his ad and picture on the Craigslist “men seeking women” section.  Honestly, I was looking for a new place to live, but when I couldn’t find the 5-bedroom palace with swimming pool, sauna and butler for under $1500 a month I started getting bored.  I figured, if I could find a great deal on a race car bed (which I had) then why not a man?  Plus, it was free and I just didn’t have the motivation to pay for and reactivate my Match account.

If you’ve ever trolled Craigslist for a date, for anything really, you will be entertained and appalled in equal measure.  Some men come at you with humor (I once had sex for 1.5 hours.  Of course, an hour of that was spent crying.), descriptions of their..ahem..equipment, their barely concealed misogyny (Looking for a real girl, no drama no bullshit. Just be real) or their very specific requests (Searching for Asian woman. 5’1.5′ and under with no kids and a good sense of humor.  Oh and must love grapes).  Bad spelling, grammar and punctuation abound.  You really don’t go on Craigslist hoping to find the man of your dreams, but if you’re just looking for a date, it’s really not much worse than any other way. Bad dates come in many forms, and they issue forth from many dark corners of the internet.
After being genuinely stunned, frightened and vaguely sad for humanity in general, I stumbled upon the Sexsomniac’s ad.  It was very unassuming, almost Puritan in its simplicity.  “Hi, my name is “Seymour” and I’m 30 years old.  I am in the process of finishing my law degree and am looking for a great girl to meet and see where it goes from there.  I’m 5’10” and 160 pounds.  Hope to hear from you!”  Ok, not terribly witty or outstanding or even remotely interesting but there was a picture attached and I couldn’t deny that he was an attractive fellow.  I decided to take a chance on it being a) a really, really old picture or b) a picture of someone else.  I replied to the ad, attached some pictures and was mildly surprised when, less than a day later, I received a reply. We corresponded for a day or two, and the emails were succinct, witty and I was impressed by his grasp of the English language in general.  I gave him my cell phone number and was delighted to receive a text message, asking me when was a good time to call later that evening.
The appointed hour came, and right on time I received a call. We must have spoken for a little over an hour and had a very spirited and intellectually stimulating conversation about politics, relationships, world events, etc.  There were lots of laughs, a dozen little delightful coincidences and absolutely no awkward silences.  So when the time came for us to hang up, I was more than willing to accept his invitation to have a drink later on in the week.  A day or two passed and he texted back to confirm our date, along with the time and the place that he had picked out. I immediately took to Yelp to check out this place, and it was adorable!  Patio with twinkly lights, great beer menu, right outside of the BART station so that I wouldn’t have to walk very far to get there.
I couldn’t remember the last time I had been this excited for a first date, and I put on my favorite date outfit and paid extra attention to my hair and makeup.  In short, I looked amazing!  I got to the bar a bit early and scoped out a seat on the patio, contemplating whether or not I should pre-game the date since I was starting to get a bit nervous.  Before I could do that, he arrived, looking better than his picture and smiling in a way that made his eyes crinkle up in the most adorable way.  My heart gave a little lurch as I stood up to hug him hello.  We made our way inside and got a couple of beers and then headed up to the second floor to find a nice quiet table.  Things seemed to be going very well.  The beer was great, the company was even better and we were getting along wonderfully.
About 15 minutes in, he leaned in and let me know that he had to tell me something.  And…here we go I say to myself.  The deep dark secret, the dealbreaker that everyone has was about to be revealed to me right here on the first date.  Trying to conceal my disappointment, I leaned in.  He tells me that he has a condition in which he performs sexual acts on whoever he happens to be in bed with in the middle of the night.  The next morning, he doesn’t remember doing it.  In essence he’s sleepwalking.  But instead of walking in his sleep, he’s fucking in his sleep.  The condition is called, I kid you not, Sexsomnia.  Lucky for him, I watch 20/20 and 48 hours so I have actually heard of this condition and to be honest, I’m a bit relieved that this is the big secret, and that it’s out.  Am I thrilled about it?  No, not exactly but I’m not completely horrified.  I make a mental note to never sleep over, but at this point there’s still too much promise to pull the fake “my cat is on fire” phone call.  All that was about to change however. Continue reading

How I Got my Groove Back or Becoming a Cliche

Close to a year ago I found myself, for the first time in my adult life, single.  It wasn’t a total shock.  I had been preparing myself mentally for months, maybe even years but when the blessed event finally took place I didn’t realize that I would feel  so unmoored.  This man who had been my life, to the exclusion of all else in the world had been my anchor.  Cutting that line freed me, but also set me adrift into the unknown.  How would I steer the ship?  Where would the currents take me?  Why could I only think in maritime metaphors?

I wasn’t someone’s wife anymore.  Sure, I had my kids and my family and friends.  They were invaluable during this time but how long could I call them, day after day, wailing and sobbing at the indignity of it all before they got just as sick of me as I was of myself?

So I did what any woman, descending rapidly into her mid-thirties and single for the first time since the Clinton administration would do – I took a lover.  A young one.

Just six weeks after the end of my marriage, I was on my way to becoming that which I had relentlessly mocked and scornfully derided.  My timing was impeccable, as the older woman/younger man dynamic had reached a cultural critical mass.  The term “cougar” had become ubiquitous.  How convenient for me to have a brand new label to try on.

It all happened quite by accident.  There he was, fumbling for his keys on the doorstep of my friend’s apartment building in the small, ugly hours of the morning, unable to insert key into lock and make the half-turn necessary to get inside.  And there I was, fresh off an evening of vodka and sorrow and the heady intoxication of a freedom I never imagined I’d possess again.  Of course I had to help him open the front door.  That’s where my assistance should have stopped.

I’d love to blame the vodka for following him up to his apartment and into his bedroom, despite his insistence that he no longer needed my help.  I’d also love to blame the vodka for flirting so shamelessly there in the dark that he felt obliged to kiss me and ask me for my phone number, which I gave to him without hesitation.  But if I’m being honest (and why wouldn’t I be, safely ensconced in the anonymous arms of the internet) it was just the catalyst, the truth serum I needed to admit that I wanted to dive right into the dating pool.  I just didn’t realize I’d be wading waist-deep in the kiddie pool my first time out.

Imagine my surprise when the next day, as I watched my kids cavort in the actual kiddie pool in the front yard,  my phone made a strange, short beeping sound.  What was this envelope icon flashing on the screen?  A text message.  Up to that point in time, I had maybe received a dozen of those.  It was my first indication that I was embarking on something I was woefully unprepared for.  In broken, abbreviated English, which I would later figure out was a function of text-speak and the fact that he was from another country, he let me know that I had left my sweater in his room, no doubt on purpose, and would I like to come by to pick it up?

For four weeks I deliberated and tortured myself. Should I text him back? Or would a call be better? What do I say? Should I have my friend that lived in the building get it for me and forget any of this happened?  As maddening as it all was, he was able to do for me what nobody else, despite their best efforts, could.  He distracted me, almost completely, from having to think about the painful reality of my disintegrated marriage and the fact that I was now a single mom with a special needs child.  That psychic space was such a relief and allowed me to function when all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball, eat ice cream and watch Hugh Grant movies.  After all, I was now solely responsible for the two little people who I had brought into this world.  Their father drifted in and out unevenly, wrestling with his own issues.  I had to be the rock, the stalwart.  Hard to do that when wallowing in self-pity and misery is your first and overwhelming instinct.

And let’s not forget the flattery angle.  I was nearly 10 years older than him, slightly overweight, and convinced that my best years had already passed me by.  Abused emotionally for years by a cruel and unrelenting alcoholic, my self-esteem was non-existent.  Yet this young, cute European boy, with the sexiest accent I had ever heard, saw something in me, even if it was on a very superficial level, that made me take another look at myself.  He said those three little words that I didn’t even know I had been needing to hear – I Want You.  I couldn’t remember the last time anyone had wanted me for my physical attractiveness, instead of for my intellect, or my kindness or for my paycheck.  Against all my hard-wired feminist ideals, I was a sex object.  And I LIKED it.

I was no stranger to being wanted.  In fact, I was wanted on nearly a 24/7 basis by my kids, my husband, and my psychotically demanding job.  Sometimes simultaneously by one or more of the dependents in my life.  But this kind of want, the kind that was free of obligation, just a reciprocal exchange of one want for another was wholly new to me.  New, scary and unnatural as hell.

The first time we had sex was comically tragic.  At one point, right in the middle, he stopped and asked me, half in jest and half in seriousness if I had ever done this before.  By this, I knew he meant sex but for me, in a lot of ways, I could have answered no.  No, I had never done anything remotely like this before.  I wasn’t even sure if I could go through with it.  But in that moment, the horse, as they say, was already out of the barn.

I will spare you the intimate details, but suffice it to say that by the next  morning (yes, I slept over which presented a whole host of new awkwardness to deal with) we had it mostly figured out.  And now, after almost a year of doing whatever it is that we’re doing, we have become experts.  But that is a story for another day.