Douchebaggery, Ivy Style

***Warning: Ivy League insults ahead.  Ivy leaguers who read my blog (ahem, KB), close your eyes and/or promise not to be TOO offended.***

Tonight I went to an event put on by The Ivy Plus Society.  (Also known as “TIPS.”)  This is a group whose members are exclusively people who went to one of a short list of schools — Ivy league or similar.  You don’t have to be a TIPS member to go to an event, you can be invited by a member, which is good… being that I don’t qualify for TIPS since neither my undergrad nor my law school appear on the short list of sufficiently-elite institutions.  (Though, the med school and business school at the university where I did law school ARE on the list.  Hmm.)

I was originally supposed to go with my co-worker R., who went to Harvard Law, but she had to work late so I persuaded my dear friend T. to accompany me.  “I hope you know how much your friendship means to me since I am going to hang out with a bunch of snooty Ivy leaguers with you on a Tuesday night,” she emailed me.  After we left the event, she remarked, “Yep, that was the level of douchebaggery that I would expect from the Ivy League.”

The event was put on at a swanky bar in Hollywood.  When we arrived, we checked in under my faux name and we headed to the bar to get drinks (the typically obscene $11 for a vodka/grapefruit juice, when really I should have just gotten a soda cause it was so damn hot at the rooftop bar.  What is up with it being 90 plus degrees in almost-October?  Sheesh).  Then we went up to the roof.  It was a really well attended event – the roof was teeming with people, and I was sort of startled by how good looking some of the people were, both men and women.  We talked in our own huddle for a while before venturing into the masses.  It didn’t take long for us to be approached, and from then on we were talking in groups.  I even gave out my business card to a few people — my  firm’s marketing director would be so proud.  (Is it bad that I am hoping to God none of them call or email me?)

There was one particular guy who stood out as receiving the Douchebag award of the evening, however.   He approached us with the winning line, “So we have new question other than ‘What do you do?’ Instead, we’ll ask ‘Where have you been lately?'”

Douchebag had recently been to the East Coast, where he’s from.  Douchebag’s Friend (DF), who was actually really nice, apparently had been somewhere soooo cool that he had to save talking about it till the end.  But when it came around, DF said he’d recently been to Burning Man and he was telling us all about it.  Now, I know Burning Man is a huge event.  And call me a snob, yuppie, prude, what have you.  But seriously, a big party in the desert?  Are we still in college?  As Sarah Palin claims to have said about the Bridge to Nowhere (ha!  HA!), “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Douchebag is a software engineer but was wearing the Hollywood Douche uniform of jeans, T shirt and white blazer.  When talking to me and another girl, he gave insightful (not) commentary on how he wouldn’t mind a Great Depression if it would sort itself out afterward.  He kept making comments that would have us glancing sidelong at each other, mouths agape.   He said he really likes body language more than just spoken language.  He said it with a seflf assured way and a cock of the head that implied, “Why don’t we go communicate through some body language in my apartment, baby.”

Douchebag also was the second person in as many networking events I have attended recently to tell me that I am “unassuming.”  T. started laughing and told him that wasn’t the first time that I’d heard that recently.  He then tried really hard to say “that’s a good thing!  Really, don’t change!”  (My dear readers said the same thing, I guess it must be true.)   Not that I want to be the opposite of unassuming — but I don’t know, I think I’d rather that not be the first adjective that jumps to mind.

Douchebag also apparently told T., while I was talking to someone else, that she is “sensual.”  Yeah, hi, Creepy McCreeperson.  Don’t let the gorgeous engagement ring stop you.

And he told T. and me, eyes shifting and rolling drunkenly in his head, that men didn’t know how to be men anymore, that the club scene has changed since he moved to LA in 2001.

And because I, unlike T., have not perfected the art of clean escape, and because we had talked to these guys so long at this point that I felt bad despite myself, I gave them both my card.

Here’s hoping they don’t use it.

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We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

Back from the reunion, dear readers, and I promised stories!

Overall, I must say that the reunion was more fun and not at all traumatizing like I imagined, and I’m very glad I went because I think I’ve laid rest to a few of my neuroses – it’s about time!

As you know, I had worked myself up into a near panic over the horror of going to the reunion by myself.  And yet, in the end, I was actually really happy to be there on my own and to be able to talk to everyone I wanted to without torturing somone else!  (Case in point – my friend A.’s husband spent most of the evening by the bar getting progressively more drunk.) 

And even more than feeling ok being there by myself, I felt genuinely ok being single.  It was good to see people, and it was good to catch up.  Most everyone looks great (the girls more so than the guys, actually), and seems happy with whatever they are doing.  But listening to everyone talk about their lives, there isn’t anyone I’d want to switch places with, for all the husbands and babies and all that.   There isn’t anyone I’d rather be than who I am right now.  Which is not to say that my life is perfect – it is a work in progress, of course – but it’s my own.   And I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

On another note, at the risk of sounding narcissistic, several people told me I looked great, and for once I believed them!  I don’t even mind that I was sort of nerdy in high school because I’d so much rather look better in my 20’s/30’s than have peaked in high school.   (On a related note: they were showing videos of school assemblies from our senior year, and in one of them I and the rest of the cast of Steel Magnolias, which I had a lead role in, had to do a little dance in front of the WHOLE SCHOOL to “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”  I was mortified watching this.  I was such a dork, I was wearing a totally fugly sweater, a black skirt and black tights.  Oh, how happy I am not to be in HS anymore!)

Anyway, the most entertaining encounter of the evening was with a guy named KM.  Before my mom became a professor, she was a 5th grade teacher at a different elementary school than the one I went to, but one that fed into the same high school as mine.  So one class of my mom’s students ended up being in my graduating class.  One such guy was KM.  My mom loved him, and I thought he was totally cute in high school, but he never ever gave me the time of day. 

This weekend I was showing my mom the Facebook photos of some of my high school friends and some of her former students, including KM.  She requested that if he were at the reunion, that I get a picture with him.  (I thought yeah right…I’m going to ask a guy who barely spoke to me in high school for a photo.)

Later in the evening, A. and I were getting a second drink at the bar when a guy we didn’t recognize started chatting with us.  (Not to digress too much, but this guy was in the running for the biggest douche in the universe prize.  He kept appearing all night with such winning lines as “I’m a corporate lawyer and a professional asshole.”  No shit, Sherlock.)  Anyway, I asked him whose husband he was and he said no, he was a friend of KM’s.

Right.  I spotted KM and smiled, and he gave me a quizzical look like he was trying to place me and I figured that was that.

But later in the night I was in a circle of people and KM snaked up behind me, started running his hand all over my back, and said “You look so beautiful.”  Then he told me that he’d seen some pictures of me on Facebook, and commented, “You just got back from a trip, right?”  I responded with, “Oh yeah, I saw some pictures of you too.  And your really cute girlfriend.”  Then he got all weird and was like, “Oh, that;s just a girl I used to date…it’s complicated.”  (Who puts pictures of an ex on Facebook?)

He came up to me several more times, his eyes looking more glazed and drunk by the minute, touching my back and saying I was beautiful.  He was like “we need to catch up!  Give me the update!”  But of course, when  tried to ask what he was up to, he’d give totally evasive answers like “Just living the dream!”  Then he’d say “we should go to a quiet corner to catch up…we keep getting interrupted.”

It was such a funny feeling, to have a guy I used to think was so hot (and who is still quite good looking) be trying to put the sleaze moves on me, and I just stood there thinking “Ugh, pathetic.”

I figured I might as well make my mom happy so this wouldn’t be a total waste, so I asked KM to take a photo with me along with another of her former students (who is now a math teacher and football coach at our high school and is totally the wholesome young teacher who all the girls must have crushes on).  KM then launched into, I love your mom.  If I could date your mom, I totally would.  Your mom is such a panther.

A PANTHER?

Yeah, you know, a panther.  30 to 39 is a Puma.  40 to 49 is a Cougar.  50 to 59 is a Panther.  And 60 and up is a Silver Panther.

Oh holy mother of god.  Yes, he actually called my sweet, innocent mom a Panther.  Happily, her other student was looking suitably skeeved/horrified.

I told my mom this and she cracked up.  If I had known he was like that, I would never have had you talk to him, she said.

I wonder if she’s flattered to be called a Panther?

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?

A night not to forget

The moment before we kissed seemed to last forever.  Just the way I think a first kiss should be.  Looking into each others’ eyes, inching closer and closer until our lips finally touched…

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  🙂

My date on Thursday, which all my dear readers know had the potential to be truly disastrous, ended up far, far exceeding my expectations.

He had offered to pick me up from work, but since he works halfway between my work and the event, I ended up driving.  I was starting to majorly stress over the situation, especially because I had a last-minute wardrobe semi-crisis (which turned out fine.)  I wore a little black dress with a suit jacket over it, and some high heeled strappy black shoes which if I do say so myself are pretty sexy.  (EHB thought so too.  But again, I’m getting ahead of myself.)

I pulled up alongside his office and called him just as he was coming out of the building.  He was dressed great – a nice suit and a tie which he put on in the car, saying that he was embarrassed to be putting on his tie when we just met (which I thought was hilarious, given how bold it was that we were going to this event together, and that  was what embarrassed him?)  He looked like his pictures but a little less serious, and he also wears glasses which are totally cute. 

We had a good conversation on the drive and then we arrived at the event and immediately he was introduced to all my co workers, one after the other.  The event was typical of these lawyer events — a bunch of speeches that vary from mind numbingly self-congratulatory to inspiring, but at any rate go on waaaay too long.  He had bought us drinks right before dinner, but an hour later, the main course was still nowhere in sight, there were endless speeches going on, and we all needed a drink.  Bad.  Everyone at the table was starting to complain.

And guess what?  EHB totally saved the day.  He got up and came back a few minutes later.  Moments after that, the waiter appeared with not one, but two bottles of wine that EHB had purchased for the table.  Major brownie points for that.

Most of all, what I recall about the dinner was that it just felt so easy to be with him.  A couple of times I had to go say hi to people, and he did just fine chatting with my co-workers.  We spent a good amount of time whispering to each other, and things got more flirtatious.  Our knees were touching under the table.  I just felt a very strong sense of well-being.

After the event finally ended, it was only 9 pm, so we decided to go have a drink with my co-worker L. and her fiance.  We wandered down the street to the Standard (I just love that bar, and even more now!) and headed up to the roof.  It was a gorgeous night and it just felt so pleasant to be up there, having a drink, relaxing.  We ended up sort of wandering off from L. and her fiance, and going around back behind the pool where we discovered these great couches — ok, so they were glorified beds!  We lay back and sipped our drinks and talked and talked.  He’s really fascinating — he’s lived and traveled so many places in his life.  At some point I was starting to shiver and he stood up, took off his jacket and draped it over my bare legs.  He put his arm around me and we sat together, so close, and he helped me stay warm.  And it didn’t even feel like a sexual thing at that point — I mean, not that the attraction wasn’t there because it definitely was, but I mean that it felt like more than that.  Very sweet, and very simple.  He even told me that he had wanted to take my hand earlier in the night but that he had felt awkward.

At one point he said to me, “You feel very comfortable.”  And I felt the same way, like I could just be exactly myself and just be and enjoy the moment.  There were the great butterflies, but not the anxiety ridden butterflies of a first date — more the butterflies you get a little further down the road when things feel less uncertain.  There’s really no reason I should have felt that, but I did. 

And then we were sitting so close like that, with my right leg over his left, and looking at each other and smiling, and he started touching my hair very gently, brushing it out of my face (which kills me – in a good way), and our lips were so close but not touching yet, and I think I moved forward and kissed him.  So then we were kissing, and normally I am really not a PDA person unless I’m drunk (which I wasn’t), but it was so nice that I just didn’t care.

Eventually we decided to head out — had I not started to get so cold, I could have stayed there all night.  It was late by this point and way past my bedtime (especially for a “school night”) but neither of us wanted the night to end.  We headed back to get my car and he grabbed my hand, and we walked, hand in hand, through the streets of downtown.  At one point I was shivering and he stopped and exclaimed, “Oh, you’re so cold!” and put his arms around me and just stood there holding me. 

So we went back to his work so he could get his car and agreed that the next stop would be a bar closer to me, Lola’s.  He told me to start heading home and he’d call me.  But he had been unable to find his BlackBerry earlier.  So I went home, fed Noodles, changed my shoes, no call.  I called him but no answer.  So in a total leap of faith, I decided to head to Lola’s.  And sure enough, I parked a couple of blocks away and as I walked towards the bar, there he was walking toward me.  (His BB, incidentally, was in my car!)  So we hung out there for a while and it was more of the same — talking and smooching.  Finally, after 1 am, he walked me back to my car and kissed me goodnight.

Then when he got home he texted me that it was a night “not to forget.”  Hear, hear.

So there you have it, dear readers.  I have attempted to shed my superstitions for one night and actually dish.  EHB and I have our 2nd date on Tuesday night for a late dinner (as of now, 10 pm, since I have trial starting tomorrow…normally I would just postpone everything until after trial but I want to see this boy again sooner rather than later!) so I will keep you posted….

 

Sailing Away …

I have arrived back this afternoon from a spectacular weekend in Santa Barbara, and it was exactly what I needed. It was my firm’s annual litigation department retreat, and it was such a fun trip. I’m very lucky to have hilarious, entertaining and nice co-workers that I actually really enjoy spending time with, and my firm doesn’t even force us to do work-related activities, so it was really nothing more than a heavily subsidized vacation! Ahhh…

First of all, we stayed in an amazing hotel. It would be a great place for a romantic weekend getaway with one’s sweetie. A lot of people brought their spouses or sig o’s (most of my co workers, even the other junior associates, are married) but I got to room with one of the first year associates, and we totally bonded — it was great! She’s my “little sib” at the firm but this was the first weekend we’d ever had a true heart-to-heart, and I really enjoyed getting to know more about her. She and I made plans to go out sometime soon, so that will be fun.

Other highlights of the weekend were sailboat racing (it was a gorgeous day, and my team’s boat won! — much to the dismay of my boss who is extremely competitive), wine tasting in Santa Ynez and Solvang, and of course, LOTS of eating and drinking. Somehow, despite drinking quite a bit both Fri and Sat nights, I wasn’t hungover at all this weekend! (This is nothing short of miraculous considering that my drinks on Fri night included white wine, red wine, an Irish car bomb and 2 Cosmopolitans!) My boss was not so lucky, and in fact, he ended up having to stay home to nurse his hangover on Sat in lieu of wine tasting. Later that day, my co worker overheard him utter the best quote of the weekend: “Man, my back hurts. I don’t know if it’s from playing tennis or throwing up.”

I have to say, I totally welcome scandal and hilarity on work trips, so long as it’s not me! 🙂

Last night after a delicious wine pairing dinner in downtown Santa Barbara, my hotel roomie and I decided to venture out and bar-hop on State Street. Wow, if there was ever a way to feel incredibly old, that was it! We had a beer at one pub (where we monopolized the jukebox with Journey and other goodies) and then moved on to another bar where we claimed a booth and people watched. We were thisclose to calling it a night, when two guys slipped into our booth and started chatting with us. My hotel roomie and I share the same name, which the guys loved (leading us to decide that we need to take this show on the road in L.A.!) and they convinced us, in spite of our reluctance, to follow them to a dance club down the street. They were on a bachelor party and as it turned out, they were the only guys in the bar who didn’t look like they were using a fake ID.

I was hoping for some good stories to ensue, but sadly, as soon as we got to the club the other guys disappeared who-knows-where and then left us with their dorky friend. Poor guy…he was perfectly nice and smart, but as far as cuteness goes, this was the classic bait and switch. When we learned the club had a cover charge (only $5, but c’mon, it’s the principle — who wants to wait behind a velvet rope in a college town?) we used that as our excuse and we hopped in the next cab.

All in all, it was a great weekend and I feel very relaxed and zen to begin the new week. I need to really kick it into high gear now, as I have been slacking at work (deservedly, after the hours I billed last month, but still.) Starting tomorrow, will work hard, I promise!

I have an update about New Guy, which has officially come to an end, but I sort of don’t want to dedicate space to him! Let’s just say that I think I may have preferred it when I thought he died.

Is that mean? 🙂

Single / Drunk

Considering that my birthday night was mellow and I wasn’t really in a drinking mood that night, and that I was exhausted yesterday from lack of sleep, I certainly didn’t expect to go out last night and have a raging night. But, these things always happen when you least expect it.

I met up with my co worker, her fiance and his friend at One Sunset, a swanky restaurant/lounge that I’d been wanting to try. We met up at 7 pm, thinking we could get a dinner table, have a bite and call it an early night. But we couldn’t get a table, so we sat and ate at the bar. And drank. And drank. And drank. A few hours, two “dirty schoolgirls,” one mojito and one raspberry kamikaze later, I was feeling quite warm and fuzzy and we proceeded to the next bar (but not before I slipped the very cute and chatty bartender my number. Seriously – who does that??).

We ambled down Sunset Blvd to Skybar, where we wandered around the bar and made a visit to the ladies’ room where I dropped my brand new cell phone in the toilet! Again – who does that?? Finally, we made our way to Saddle Ranch, which I haven’t been to in years, and watched some mechanical bullriding. (Ironically, when I first started dating my last BF, who I met on eHarmony, he was embarrassed that we met online and told his friends we met at Saddle Ranch, to which I commented, “As if! I haven’t gone there past the age of 24!”)

Then for the coup de grace of the night, when I came home I decided it would be a good idea to call C. (We had been texting all night so I knew he was up & out drinking too.) Now, my memory of the conversation is quite fuzzy — I have no idea how I brought this subject up — but we ended up having a DTR! What I remember him saying:
-“Kim and I are definitely getting divorced if that’s what you’re worried about.”
-“I’m not going to be in a relationship anytime soon.”
-“You and I live in different places, neither of us will move, and if I’ve learned anything it’s that long distance relationships don’t work.”
-“The last thing I would want to do is hurt your feelings.”
-“I would still love to travel to Europe with you as friends.”
-“If I come down there or you come up here I still think it would be great to hang out.”
-“I have been with someone who didn’t think I was worth fighting for, and you really appreciate me for me.”
-“You and I obviously have strong chemistry, the same sense of humor, and you really get me.”
And finally: “I think we should have this conversation when both of us haven’t had many drinks.”

I honestly don’t remember what I said in response to all this. I think I was having difficulty forming sentences.

So, not my finest or proudest moment. Am I glad I drunk dialed C. and probably poured my heart out embarrassingly? Definitely not. But am I glad we had this conversation? Definitely yes. And as I admitted to C. last night, for some reason I just have a block when it comes to being open and speaking up about my feelings, and without the help of my friend Mr. Vodka, would have been too much of a fucking chicken to ever say anything.

So now I know from the horse’s mouth what I already knew in my heart. It wasn’t fun to hear and I’m still sort of processing it (as I nurse my hangover). In fact, it feels like sort of an emotional hangover. But I’m hopeful that I can move past whatever it is I’m feeling, take C. down off the pedestal I’ve been putting him on, and go back to what we were before — friends.

At the age of 28, you’d think I would be better at these things, wouldn’t you?