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 »