How Dating Makes Me Feel (Part II)

I know what you’re thinking, dear readers.  SF, in the name of all that’s holy. when are you going to stop posting pictures of cats on your blog?

My answer is: when it stops amusing me.  And I’m easily amused.  And I love cats.  So you may be in for a bit of a wait.  Sorry!

Anyway, the point of this post is that I need some advice from those of you out there in online-dating land who manage to successfully email with scads of potential suitors and go on oodles of dates.  How do you accomplish this, my friends?  Right now I am emailing with a handful of guys (and going out with one tomorrow – update to come) but it seems so incredibly time consuming.  I have to read their emails, read their profile, answer all their questions, think of questions to ask them, be witty…by the time I hit “send” I feel utterly exhausted!  And that’s just in the emailing phase – how in the world could I handle multiple mens in real life??  I know I need to put myself out there, but I feel like I become more of a homebody as I get older and I also relish my nights alone with Noodles and a good book.

I’ve also tried to put myself out there in real life lately, but have discovered that if I ever had any game — and I feel so rusty that it’s hard to recall — I clearly have lost my game now.  Behold the following encounter from this past Sunday:

INT. TARGET STORE- DAYTIME.  SF, tall late 20s brunette, walks slowly and aimlessly down the center aisle with basket in hand.  Looking down one aisle, SF spots TALL CUTE GUY.  SF tries to look casual as she veers into that aisle.

TALL CUTE GUY sees SF as she approaches and gives her a big smile.  He is tall, brown hair, wearing jeans and a checkered shirt.  He looks decidedly single and heterosexual, even though this is the Target in WeHo.

SF (pretending to look at shaving cream): Gosh, there are just so many choices these days.  Aluring Avocado?  What is that?

TCG (laughing): So many choices, huh?  I know what you mean, it makes my brain hurt.

TCG goes back to looking at some manly product.

SF is suddenly shy.  She doesn’t know what to say next.  She puts the shaving cream in her basket and waits a couple of beats.  She opens her mouth to speak then decides against it and walks away.

SF didn’t even need the damn shaving cream.

And…..scene!  Tragic, isn’t it?  I’m sure there is some clever way I could have pushed things further, but I totally froze.  What’s a girl to say/do in that situation?

Ok, now I am really tired.  More on my date tomorrow…

In Honor of a Recent Comment

This is courtesy of a friend’s Facebook page.

The original caption reads, “Honey, DTMFA.”

Before today I had never even heard that expression (I guess I have been living under a rock!) and now I have heard it twice!  Love it.

Is It Just Me?

As my dear readers know, on Friday night/Saturday morning, after an evening of barhopping in downtown L.A., some Jameson’s and some unsuccessful flirting with boys, I returned home and zipped off a nasty email to EHB.  It would require a lot more background to explain what led me to do this than I really want to go into here, but the short(ish) version is this.  As you know, we had a fabulous 1st date followed by several more dates.  These dates included him forcing, in a very backward way (by his “ask me anything” game), some heart to hearts in which I revealed some of my relationship fears.  Our dates also included a couple of memorable sleepovers.  Then, on our last date, last Sunday, at a concert I had brought him to with my co-workers, I asked him if he was dating other people and he said yes, he was dating other people but not sleeping with other people.  He wanted to talk more about our relationship but given the exceedingly poor timing/venue I didn’t want to.  Also at the concert, he was looking at the calendar on his BlackBerry, I joked about whether I could get penciled in for the following week, and he listed off activities for every night of the week except “maybe Friday.”  He had to leave early, and the next day (a week ago today) he sent me a Gmail chat saying “we’ll have our conversation soon! 🙂 ”

Now, I know he has been exceptionally busy at work.  But I also know that his BlackBerry is practically an appendage.  He has blatantly texted and emailed friends in my presence (much to my annoyance – can you at least try to keep that under wraps the 1st few dates?)  So I didn’t think it was too much to ask that he might send me a text or email during the week.  But no — the entire week passed with radio silence.  No “hey how are you,” no trying to make plans, nothing. 

So, bottom line is, I was pissed.  And I drafted an email.  The email said, in essence, that I was disappointed and pissed that after all the heart-to-hearts in which I confessed my fears and he told me he wouldn’t be like the others, he was EXACTLY like all the others. 

And I was tipsy.  And I hit send.

At the time, I really didn’t expect him to respond.  But sure enough, after not hearing anything all weekend, today I received a novel-length email from him.  I have grappled with whether to share this with the internets, but I decided it’s the only way I can get the reality check I want.   Here goes:

Hey SF,

I have been thinking for a while about how to respond.  I can definitely say that you are reacting differently than the situation warrants.  I have not “up and left”, (note from SF – I did NOT use the expression “up and left”), rather have been dealing with a hectic week (last week), workload, change in business direction, and have been having enough problems with my heart (SVT) that I’m going to see a cardiologist.  Last week while trying to exercise, my heart rate was 216 bpm after running about 30 feet. I can assure you I’ve had a lot going on.

So… having told me that you are pissed off really makes me wonder where you are coming from and what I have done to you.  I did not intend to hurt you in any way and in fact work with a therapist (as you know) in trying to understand the best way to operate in any kind of relationship  When I said at the concert that we both should be continuing to try to meet people, that is actually a very healthy thing to do (per expert advice).  It seems you took away from our discussion that I wasn’t interested.

You deserve a lot and you are a fantastic and intelligent person.  I think you have–just as I do–plenty of work to do in understanding your feelings in a relationship and knowing how to react to someone else’s actions and not make assumptions.  Your reaction and response below made me a little sad, but definitely speaks to the fact that if there is a kind of tension or some set of expectations beyond what we have ever discussed I cannot interact with you because it would be a negative situation for both of us.  We really hadn’t talked much about what to expect, so getting this cathartic email was a bit of a surprise.

I don’t know where this leaves us, but I do know that I have a lot of work to do, need to stay focused so work doesn’t keep stressing me out, get in shape and figure out my heart thing, and I’ll be traveling often in the next three weeks.  Take care, and if you want to talk later, feel free to reach out.

EHB

***

Ok, dear readers.  Time to give it to me straight.  Three questions: 1) Was I a total loon to react by sending that email in the 1st place?  2) Am I wrong to be thoroughly annoyed by his response? and finally 3) Do I respond and, if so, what do I say?

Pls help.  Thx.

Countdown to vacation!

In a mere 5 days, I will be in Las Vegas with some of my favorite people in the world, celebrating the last days of bachelorette-hood of my friend S.  And in a mere 9 days, I will be on a Virgin Atlantic flight en route to London!!!!  I will be attending the wedding celebration festivities of my oldest friend M. (we have been BFFs since we were 7) and then seeing my college roommate who lives in London.  I can’t wait!!!

Two things need to happen before then, though.

First, I need to figure out what in the world I am going to pack!!  Vegas is easy — cute going-out outfits, my new bikini (yes, I bought the Jcrew one and it is cute!), check and check.  But for the Europe trip I am totally baffled.  I will be gone for 12 days.  I will be visiting Keswick (Lake District, England), London, and Paris.  I will be doing all of the following: kayaking/canoeing; hiking (M. and her hubby are doing the ring exchange atop a mountain – more on that later); attending a fancy wedding dinner party; traveling by plane and train; sightseeing all over London and Paris; and hopefully enjoying some London/Paris nightlife.  The only things so far that I know I am bringing are hiking boots, my new digital camera, and my dress for M.’s wedding celebration:

(By the way, obtaining this dress was no easy feat.  I went to many stores — Nordstrom, Macy’s, BCBG, etc, and endured one very pushy gay salesman at BCBG who wanted to dress me in something that looked straight out of Star Trek, before finally discovering this dress at Ann Taylor.)

Anyway, I want to make sure I have everything I need for my trip, but I also want to bring the smallest suitcase possible so it’s not too rough on all the trains I’ll be taking.  Therefore, I don’t have the luxury of bringing my entire closet or shoe collection.  And I am very indecisive.  And the hiking boots will take up 1/2 the suitcase.  Gah!  Help!

The second and even more troubling thing that needs to happen is that my knee needs to heal.   I really can’t explain what happened, but during my Friday night barhopping adventure, my knee started to hurt.  I didn’t think too much of it at the time, but when I awoke yesterday I found that I was still hobbling and limping around and my knee felt like I had twisted it.  I have spent the remainder of the weekend, when I am home, intermittently icing and elevating the knee.  (That frozen Kung Pao Chicken meal from Trader Joe’s is really coming in handy.)  Today it feels a bit better, and in any other week I wouldn’t really care, because I’m sure it will heal relatively soon.  But I am going to (hopefully!) be doing lots of walking/hiking over the next 2 1/2 weeks, and I can’t afford to be impaired in any way.  Especially since I am not exaggerating when I say that I am one of the least athletic people I know, so I am already worried about keeping up with everyone while hiking in England.  (Note – the hiking boots are borrowed bc I don’t own any myself!)**  Oy.  And I can’t miss the ring exchange, so even if it hurts I WILL be hobbling up that mountain.

Okay, when I say that “out loud” it doesn’t sound like the smartest idea.  We’ll see…

**It has been suggested by a matchmaking fellow blogger that GeekHiker and I should go out.  To which I have to respond that GeekHiker clearly needs a girl who, you know, likes to hike.  🙂

I Give Up

Yes, I know that drinking + blogging = danger, Will Robinson.  In fact, drinking + internet usage in general = danger.  I know this because approximately 10 minutes ago, I sent EHB a nasty email that I’m sure I will live to regret.  But I had typed it up earlier today, saved it in my drafts to “sleep on” it, then my half-drunken finger had a mind of its own and pressed “Send” before I could even think too much about it.  Oopsies!  No matter, I know he won’t respond anyway (the email doesnt call for a response), so it doesn’t much matter what I say, right?  In fact, I wish that I had given up all self censors and just told him to go fuck himself, but I retained much more propriety than that.

Anyway, I just had one of those nights that makes me feel that 1) God, I’m old and 2) God, I need to get the hell out of this godforsaken city!!  I made the rounds of the bars in downtown LA tonight with T. and her fiance K. as my diligent wingpeople.  We scoped out any eligible bachelors, they encouraged me at every turn, and yet at every turn it seemed that I was kicked out of the game by girls more beautiful than I, who were 6-7 years my junior.   Could it get more depressing?

I know what you’re going to say: SF, why are you even trying to meet a guy in a bar anyway?  Well, I agree that’s not the ideal place to meet someone, but at the same time I think it’s just a microcosm of the dating scene as a whole, online dating included.  Why would a guy date me when he can date my younger, hotter counterpart? 

And I know pessimism won’t get me anywhere but I just can’t help but feel that he’s NOT really out there and that I am looking fruitlessly for nothing.  

I am almos t desperate to leave L.A.  But where, dear readers, should I go?

How Dating Makes me Feel

Style vs. Substance

This week I have had, dear readers, what you might call a relationship epiphany.  An aha! moment.  The lightbulb going on.  It’s both awesome and sort of troubling.  Here goes.

Between conversations with my therapist, N.  and with my informal, pro bono relationship advisers T. and M., I have given a lot of thought this week to what I have liked or been attracted to in the last few guys that I’ve dated, basically since my ex-fiance.  As I tried to think about what drew me to these guys I recognized an undeniable pattern.  All of them were guys I felt physically attracted to or felt chemistry with — in some cases, totally overwhelming, crazy chemistry.  All of them were guys who were really smart/witty.  But there was not a one — not a ONE, people — who I could say with a straight face is a truly sweet, kindhearted person.  And in theory (according to my online dating profiles, according to what I always think of when I think of my ideal life partner, according to what I say I want to everyone), kindheartedness is at the top of my list.  And yet none of these guys have been that person.  None of these guys have been someone about whom I could say, “Even if you took away the sexual chemistry and intrigue, this is someone I’d want in my life as a friend.”  In fact, when I erase the lust factor, some of these guys aren’t people that I like very much as people, at all!  What is wrong with this picture?

M. tried to get me to think about this months ago, to which I responded something like “yeah, yeah, yeah.”  She pointed out that I might meet a guy who is smart and sweet and kind and caring, and I might overlook him because he’s not the height I want or various other superficial things.  At the time, I responded, “yeah, but if I go for someone I’m not totally hot for, then I’ll just be settling.”

But I really think I get it now.  It’s not that I will end up with someone I have no spark with, because there has to be a spark (IMHO).  But I also can’t overlook people 100% because of superficial characteristics, and then simultaneously “settle” in regards to certain personality characteristics, which I have been doing.  With each of the last several guys there has always been something (pessimism, drinking excessively, what have you) that has raised a red flag or made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and I have just turned a blind eye because 1) I was attracted to these people in some way and 2) I wanted that badly to be in a relationship.

Well, dear readers, that ends here.  From now on, I am screening my guys for more than compatibility over cocktails or in bed.  I am going to look at the person and say, ok, I may be hot for you now, but are you the person I am going to want across the breakfast table from me in 10, 20, 50 years?  If the answer is no, then move along, please.

Which is a perfect segue to my update about EHB.  Unsurprisingly (sorry to those of you who have been rooting for him), I have not heard a peep from him since he promised we’d have our “conversation” “soon.”  My normal M.O. in the past when I feel like a guy is fading away is to 1) freak out and 2) reach out and text them, IM them, call them, etc to try to keep the thing going.  I would chase these boys till I was blue in the face, but never really think about why I was trying so hard to chase them and what i would do if I caught them.

So I thought about IMing EHB, and then I thought about what the outcome would be, and whether it would be what I want.  I thought about whether I even wanted what I thought I wanted — a relationship with EHB.  And I realized the answer was no.  I realized that despite some great early dates and some good chemistry, there were also some big red waving flags that I was stubbornly ignoring.  And why would I go chasing after that?  For the momentary intrigue, the excitement, the potential of some good sex (sigh).  But that’s it.  Not a compelling reason, dear readers, is it?

So I refrain, and I will let this one die the natural death that it should.  And in all honesty, I feel incredibly peaceful about it.

When I start freaking out about the next boy, make me come back and read this, will ya?