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 »
I am fan of GOOD’s dating dealbreaker series (eerily similar to ours, but whatever) because I think it does a good job of looking back on past failed relationships and identifying the reason(s) things just didn’t work out. Sometimes these dealbreakers can seem insignificant on the surface, but actual indicate a larger problem; other times these dealbreakers are glaringly obvious compatibility flaws. Even if the specific story does not resonate with readers, the larger problems are often relatable. GOOD writer Melissa Jeltsen’s dealbreaker, according to the headline on her piece? “He Didn’t Go To College.” This made her an “obnoxious, pseudo intellectual elitist” in the words of Feministe writer Caperton.
I found Jeltsen’s story about breaking up with someone because he was not her intellectual equal to be nuanced, compelling, thoughtful, and self-reflective. Feministe’s takedown, on the other hand, while raising one or two decent points, was disproportionately nasty in tone. Yes, the title of her piece was somewhat simplistic, but it was eye-catching and likely written by her editor, as most headlines are. However, Jeltsen’s piece was about more than just breaking up with her boyfriend because he didn’t go to college. She writes that despite having a “deep and easy” connection with Duke, the boyfriend in question, she was not intellectually stimulated by him. Keep reading »
In the preview for Bravo’s upcoming reality show “Miss Advised,” internet personality Julia Allison boldly exclaims that she’s looking for a husband and has a 73-point checklist. When I heard that, my immediate thought was that I’ve never had a checklist, and even when I’ve set vague goals for the types of people I wanted to date, I’ve found that the universe tends to throw people in my path who are explicitly not the types I’d have said I was looking for, as if it’s testing me. Keep reading »
“How about the Belmont at 8? It’ll be you, me, and Lulu,” he said.
“Lulu, my dog? The Belmont has outdoor seating, so I thought it’d be fun to bring her along.”
That bitch, I thought, but agreed to the plan nonetheless. Keep reading »
I met Brian*, on OKCupid. He was a handsome blonde with fantastic taste in clothes. Heliked to cook, had a stable, admirable job, and played the ukulele on the side. It was all very cute. And so was he.
I imagined myself dating him for a long time, setting up a little homestead and writing songs together that we would perform and post on YouTube. He thought I was adorable and liked the way I fluttered around his apartment, all energy and smiles. I appreciated his gentle, almost Koala-like nature. It seemed like I had finally, after months of fruitless internet dating, found someone who I could really be serious about. Keep reading »
Have you ever come across a gorgeous man’s profile picture who seems to have everything you’ve ever wanted in life — except he has a cat? How about that handsome, mysterious James Bond type who claims the hobbies of cliff-diving and extreme snowboarding excites him? Crap … he’s into exotic snakes. In the online dating world, these mini-factoids may fall into a category called dealbreakers.
Because dealbreakers are exactly that, the question comes into play, “Where do pets fit into your dating profile?” Most of the traditional sites have a spot where you can share your animal likes and dislikes, and these usually allow free-form writing. However tempting it may be to share the poem you recently wrote honoring Fluffy, my best advice is to keep this to a simple list. Read more…
My online-dating profile was an exercise in what I hoped was witty sarcasm; I opened by noting that people usually just click on the pictures of people they find attractive and hope to find an interesting profile behind them. It was an approach that got me a couple of hate e-mails, but it also helped me meet Taren. Taren opened her e-mail by asking me if I had any additional pictures because, “I’m not sure you’re cute enough to be that much of a smart-ass.”
I sent her back an e-mail asking if she came from a ”wholesome-Midwestern-girl breeding program.” (Mind you, I wasn’t being that sarcastic with my response; she did have the air of the farmer’s daughter who’s hidden in the basement when strangers come a-callin’.) We wound up exchanging four or five e-mails that day, chuckling to ourselves while we sent e-mails from our boring meetings. Keep reading »
“You must think he’s better looking than me,” Brian said, motioning to our waiter.
Brian started most conversations this way. I shifted my gaze and looked intently at my menu, pretending to study it, just to avoid continuing this conversation — a conversation I was no longer interested in having.
Brian was a guy I’d met leaving a party on a cold January night. He was cute and we exchanged numbers. We hung out a few days later, and thankfully he was just as appealing. Our conversations were entertaining. He got my offbeat sense of humor, and I admired his fierce loyalty to his family.
At the beginning of our fourth date, the first 20 minutes of which were spent sitting in his car, he began inundating me with questions. Keep reading »
On the latest season of “The Bachelor,” contestant Brittney showed up armed with an escort to meet Ben Flajnik — her 72-year-old grandmother Sheryl, who hobbled out of the limo on crutches. An adorable little stunt for “The Bachelor,” where it’s customary for women ride in on horses or do back flips to win a rose. For the record, Ben and Sheryl seemed to like each other way better than Ben and Brittney. Sheryl may have helped Britney earn her first rose, but she left of her own accord on the third episode. Can you blame her? Watching Ben is like watching paint dry.
In real life, on real dates, these types of schemes are far less endearing. Now don’t get me wrong, I do love grandmas. Especially my own. But when Charles* asked if he could bring his “Bubbe” (Yiddish for grandmother) along on our second date, I wasn’t sure how to respond. Is there an appropriate way to turn down a man’s granny? Keep reading »