I feel like a traitor to my feminist values to admit this, but I expect the guy to pay for the first date. I know, I know! That is the lone issue about which I’m a traditionalist and perhaps it comes from my father. He has taught me myriad important lessons: respect for nature, how to ride a bike, and that men should always pay for the first date, no exceptions. My dad is a true product of the 1950′s and he has long instructed me to leave my wallet at home when I go on a first date (not figuratively—literally don’t bring any cash because the man should pay and that’s that). While I agree with my dad, I’ve chosen to ignore his suggestion and show up on first dates with my wallet … just in case. Keep reading »
I grew up in a conservative Indian family. This meant anything with a Y chromosome was off limits. Don’t look at boys, don’t think about boys, don’t talk to boys, don’t even think about talking to boys. No dating, no making out, and definitely no sex. I was to be a good Indian girl, get good grades, get into an Ivy League school and marry a nice Indian boy.
All of this would have been fine if I grew up in India. But I was raised in suburban New Jersey. So my priorities as a teenager were short skirts, cheerleading, big hair, (this was Jersey after all), and, of course, boys. The only problem was I didn’t know how to approach guys because I didn’t have any proper examples. My parents got married after three dates in what was basically an arranged marriage. Clearly, they were of no help at all.
So I turned my attention to the only other sources of information I had: fashion magazines. I read every issue of Seventeen, Sassy and YM religiously in the hopes of discerning some clues about the opposite sex. Keep reading »
Two years ago, I was at my local coffee shop when I spotted a certain gentleman, and after a series of boring events he and I wound up having sex. It was mostly uneventful, except for the fact that during the proceedings, I sprained my neck. We’d had sex and gone to bed, and the next morning I woke up and couldn’t move it.
“Oh no!” I exclaimed, and my companion groaned wordlessly in response. I rotated the entirety of my torso so as to be able to face him.
“I think I sprained my neck,” I said.
“From the blowjobs?” he asked, but nodding yes was not an option. I briskly pitched my torso back and forth.
“Oh, crap!” he laughed. “Wow. That’s really funny.” Keep reading »
I am a woman 33 years of age who practices safe sex. But it wasn’t always that way. As a woman of 19, 20 and 21, I was in no uncertain terms an idiot where safe sex was concerned. Sometimes I forced a guy to wear a condom, sometimes I didn’t.
But that all changed when I hit 22.For it was at this stage that I that I met a man in a bar, went home with him, had sex with him. And not just any man. This man was drummed up in a dive bar. He was covered in tattoos, and I’m quite sure his continued trips to the bathroom were cocaine-related. When we got back to his place I quickly discovered that he owned a pet iguana, a leathery little thing named Juan who he allowed to roam free around his East Village bedroom. I had condom-less sex with this gentleman, and spent the whole of the next day convinced his myriad STIs were coursing through my system.
Now: I know you can’t judge a book by its cover. I know that just because a man is covered in tattoos and owns a pet iguana and has a whiff of the cocaine addict about him, that doesn’t mean that he’s got chlamydia. BUT … Keep reading »
I met Cute Train Guy en route back to New York just after Thanksgiving. (I’m nothing if not completely uncreative with my nicknames.) With the annual tradition of overcrowding and delays, Thanksgiving travel gives me major agita. So, that evening I was relieved to secure a window seat on the Amtrak train and beyond pleased when a cute guy sat down next to me. He was nerdy hot, with glasses and a quick wit. We hit it off and chatted the entire ride. The chemistry was great, but I kept kicking myself that I had left the house in such scrubby clothes and without a lick of makeup. “I’m normally much cuter than this,” I wanted to tell him, but I couldn’t because I was too busy blowing my nose and sneezing for two hours straight. I had been battling a wicked cold throughout the weekend and on my lap was a pile of tissues and throat lozenges, neither of which are an aphrodisiac, unfortunately.
But as the train pulled into Penn Station, he asked for my business card.
Ohh! I thought, Perhaps he’ll call and we can go out once I’m feeling better. Then I can make a better impression! Keep reading »
When I was in college, I was obsessed with this one guy. OB-SESSED. He had a girlfriend, but he was just so dreamy, and I had concocted this fantasy that he would break up with her and be with me. (Shut up. I was 18.) I was messed up in the head over this fool for the longest time, convinced he would fall in love with me if he just knew me well enough.
That did not happen.
What did happen was that I used to walk past the retail store where he worked just so I could catch a momentary glimpse of him and then scuttle away like a cockroach. My friends yelled at me for doing this. I was in a miserable and unhealthy place in my life: many, many years away from getting control of the anxiety and depression that shredded up my late teens and early 20s. I was in no place to realize — as I later would — that if a man doesn’t want you, he doesn’t want you. Keep reading »
Like Brigham’s Ice Cream, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Neco Wafers, I hail from Boston. I am a proud native of Kickassachusetts and I will defend my hometown as though it’s my somewhat slutty younger sister–I can see her issues, but I will have her back to the death.
Right after college, I moved to Chicago and lived there for 10 months. Around month six or seven, I decided that Illinois simply wasn’t for me—I don’t think that the Earth revolves around Big 10 football, I hate Bratwurst, and I can’t stomach mispronouncing “Versailles” as “Ver-Sales” on purpose. I needed to get back to the right coast. After I decided that I was going to move back to Boston, I had to stick it out in Chicago for a few more months to get through my apartment lease and receive a long-awaited and much-needed bonus from my nightmare paralegal job. Keep reading »
When I started dating Tim, I thought he was interesting and creative, but I hated the fact that he smoked, and his apartment was always a mess. Nevertheless, we had fun on our dates and he was really attractive, so I continued to see him and figured I would play it by ear (hey, we’ve all been there, right?). The truth was I was at this point in my life where I just really wanted a boyfriend. I thought being in a relationship would make me happy, and give me something stable to count on as I was adjusting to living in a new city, having just started graduate school. Keep reading »
On occasion, I get mildly – just mildly – depressed. That sort of depressed where you can’t quite pin it on one particular thing, where it’s more a general, ambiguous malaise. On the occasions when I find myself feeling this way, and as a single woman in her 30′s who lives alone and works from home, I try to get out of the house. On one such occasion, I decided to treat myself to brunch. I did so at a restaurant down the block from my apartment, a spot I dined at, on average, two times a week. Whenever I go in there, I arrive with book in hand, sit at the bar, order a glass of wine, followed by a bowl of soup, followed by a cup of hot water. The routine, as a whole, prompted frequent urination, which both A) provided helpful intermissions to my reading, and B) helped me, as a Solo Diner, to look occupied.
The restaurant’s most winning feature is – and has always been – a loin-achingly handsome waiter I shall henceforth call Brian.* If you imagine both John Lennon and Justin Timberlake at their most handsome of stages, shaken, stirred, poured into a tall glass of water, you’d wind up with Brian. I knew, as all patrons knew, that Brian was to be not obtained, merely ogled; that one did well to appreciate him as exquisite décor rather than realistic option. Keep reading »
In the summer of 2006, after having recently endured a breakup, I decided to bite the bullet, finally hopping on the online dating bandwagon. I chose Nerve as the site, and “Sara_B” and “This is really awkward” as my username and headline. Because, well, I am. And because, well, it was. I downloaded this one photo of me in a polka-dot dress and this other one of me in an absurd straw fedora and scoured the internet for someone to date.
I found him the very next day: LuckyJim_28. He had well-groomed facial hair, and those trendy, thick-framed hipster glasses. Nerve asked its members for a list of items they couldn’t live without, and LuckyJim_28 had written Martha Steward pie-crust mold and gun for killing Facebook friends who post about what they had for dinner. I found LuckyJim generally attractive, and the written answers to his profile genuinely amusing, and so I emailed him the following: “Hi there LuckyJim. Thanks for recognizing the level of self-absorption on display when one photographs one’s own food and uploads it on the internet. Also, I think you have nice glasses. – Very best, Sara B.”
His reply — “Well hello sara_b. Glad to meet a kindred spirit” – came later that same night. I liked the brevity of both the email and the response time – neither overly eager nor too hard-to-get – and after more back-and forths, we set up a date at a local bar. Keep reading »