Thursday, August 06, 2009

Date Number Five: Holden Caulfield

I finally got a somewhat decent reply from a guy via my ad on Craigslist and we spontaneously met up at a sushi bar one night after work. Fortunately, I had dressed up for work that day so I was looking cute enough to go on a random date on a 'school night'.

Yet from the minute I walked into the restaurant, I was already writing this date off as a wash. First of all, "Holden" looked a lot like an ex-boyfriend of mine, which means he was fairly cute and very hip-hop, California stylin' and all that jazz. (Minus a point? Plus a point? I can't decide.) He was a Spanish, Italian, German mix but he looked like a Southeastern European, almost Serbian, I would say. He was wearing loose fitting pants, a Hawaiian print shirt, a black cadet cap, and listening to his iPod while drinking a beer. He definitely had the chill graphic artist/skater vibe to him and I somehow had the feeling that we wouldn't relate very well.

The date got off to a rocky start, partially because I was already on the defense, and partially because we weren't really sure what to say to one another or how to relate, even after all of those e-mail exchanges. He talked about his rough childhood in the Deep South, a life of poverty and abuse, and how he worked his way up in the world. I 'uh-huhed' in the appropriate places and I talked about, well, I talked about nothing. I felt like a huge square compared to him and for once, I had nothing to say, so I shut my yap, except to pour the occasional shot of sake down my throat. He told me about his apartment, his job, the boss he wanted to punch in the face, his mom, his sister, everything. He was a self-proclaimed lush and I love drinking, so in the hopes of having a better time, I drank. Lots.

We finished eating dinner and I offered to split the bill since we had spent so much (Minus a point to him for letting me split - girls should never have to go dutch on the first date) and we went off to find another bar. I couldn't say what on earth convinced me to hang out with him some more except the fact that "Holden" didn't seem to want to jump my bones immediately, and that was refreshing. And somewhat upsetting. Was there a goober in one of my nostrils? Did the cover-up on that nasty zit rub off? Hmm. I'd have to check a mirror - fast.

We went to Blue and Gold, a dive in the East Village and I drank some more, while he talked about how much he hated yuppies and all of the privileged kids, the trust fund babies that had gentrified areas like Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Park Slope. I wondered if he was suggesting that I was one of them. I understood his bitterness, it was something I had experienced once before, but I couldn't relate to that anymore. I had decided long ago to stop being bitter and to make it a point to make my life better, to make it what I wanted it to be, rather than to envy and hate others for having the things I wanted. I felt at that moment that "Holden" and I came from different worlds, had different perspectives on life, and that we would never see eye to eye.

As we left the bar, "Holden" kept trying to poke me and I was drunk enough to threaten to put him in a headlock if he did it again. He dared me to do it and so I did. (Plus a point for being cute.) I put him in a headlock and gave him a noogie like nobody's business. Little did I know that his revenge would take the form of something out of a scene from Catcher in the Rye. "Holden" went into a bodega bought a bottle of water and when he came out he asked me if I wanted some. I said yes, but instead of handing me the bottle, he took a big swig and like a human fountain, pursed his lips and squirted water out all over me.

Not to be outdone, I grabbed the water, took a huge swig, and sprayed water all over him. Soon we were jumping around, all over the street, dodging scared pedestrians, and squirting water all over each other like the boy and girl that Holden Caulfield watches from the window of his hotel in the book. It was crazy. It was nuts. It was the most fun I'd had with a guy in a really long time.

"Holden" walked me to the train station (plus a point for being a gentleman and walking me to my train) and it was getting late, so we said goodnight. We both seemed to like each other after that little escapade, despite our differences. Maybe I don't need a deep and meaningful connection right now. Maybe I just need to go with the flow and have a good time, backwash and all.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Date Number Four: The Younger Guy

After a bit of a dry spell (is two days of no dating a dry spell?), I decided to stir up trouble for myself and went online to see what kind of guys I could meet via online dating services. My first stop was with Craigslist, because it's free and weird, and I'm weird so perhaps I could meet a good guy through it after all.

I posted an ad and then waded through a ton of bad e-mail responses. Half of the guys didn't send a picture, couldn't write or spell, and the ones who did were in their 40's and out of my date-able age-range. I even got a few replies asking "Are you real? If you are, send me a pic and I'll send one back." Not likely, jerkwad. I posted the ad, so you send a pic and write a few coherent sentences. Dem's da rules. Otherwise, no deal. My ad specifically said that I do not do drugs and would not date someone who does and my favorite response was, "I'm 420 friendly. Is that cool?"

So after sifting through bad responses, I decided to take the initiative into my own hands and started browing through the Men looking for Women section. I only answered one ad since it was not:

A. a guy looking for a one night stand
B. a guy looking to date with the possibility of a one-night stand
C. a guy talking about the size of his package or posting pictures of his package - ew!

"Greg" and I exchanged quite a few e-mails (and we seemed to click somewhat before we decided to meet up at a bar in Hell's Kitchen. He was as cute as his pictures suggested and he even had a bit of a bad boy aura to him, with his tattoos and motorcyle-riding ways (plus a point for Fonzie like coolness). BUT, he was younger than me, oh so much younger (minus a point for being a younger guy), which he conveniently never mentioned in his ad. I mentally kicked myself for forgetting to ask his age in our e-mails. He was 23 years-old in fact, the exact same age as my ex. After having two long-term relationships with younger men fail horribly (the stuff of FAIL - ha!), I was over dating younger guys but the allure still lingered. Youthful, charming, funny, and generous, younger men were, and still are, fantastic dates and boyfriends. On the other hand they're focused on their careers, unable to commit, unsure of who they are and their place in the world. I was not ready to get involved with a younger guy again.

I put aside my apprehensions and decided to just go with the flow and have a fun night out. If things worked out, great, if not then, oh well. "Greg" turned out to be very mature and cool and bought our drinks all night. We talked about his amazing childhood as an army brat in Korea (plus a point for having lived an awesome life) and I countered back with my bookishness and my unhealthy obsession with from the Black Eyed Peas. Having lived most of my life in New York, I couldn't really compare my adventures to his but he didn't seem to mind. All in all, we got along really well and after many, many drinks, we wandered up to the Taco Box near Columbus Circle for tacos and burritos.

I, however, failed to consider the negative side effects that hot salsa could have on my gastrointestinal tract because I kept tasting tacos long into the wee hours of the morning. Thank god I wasn't burpin' or tootin' away, that would have been embarrassing, but the taste of freakin' tacos stayed with me when we ventured into the park. All I could think of was that one episode of South Park where Cartman pretends that his hand is a singer named Jennifer Lopez. This fake "Jennifer Lopez" meets Ben Affleck and, while they're kissing, Ben Affleck says, "Oh Jenny, your kisses taste like tacos!"

When we kissed, I kept hearing Cartman's falsetto singing "taco-flavored kisses". Dude, totally not how I wanted to be remembered. I would forever be the "taco-girl" in my mind, and perhaps his if he could taste it on my breath. "Greg" was sweet and nice and there was nothing slobbery or gross about his kisses but there was also no spark. Zip, zilch, nothing whatsoever. Whatever is necessary to fan the flames or arouse my interest was entirely missing. To me, it seemed like just two mouths meeting out of loneliness. Plus the taste of tacos.

So you can meet a normal, nice guy through Craigslist. Maybe I'm just old and jaded, sad and lonely, but after my date with "Greg" I started wondering where everything was headed. Why am I dating? What's the point of meeting guy after guy if I never experience the ever elusive 'spark'? I started wondering whether I even wanted to date, whether it's better to date or to slowly suffocate myself with Haagen Daaz and red velvet cupcakes, until I'm fat and old and at least happy being alone, rolls and chub surrounding me like a blanket. I know some fat and old people who are perfectly happy in their relationships. How come they get to find love and I don't?

I was starting to wonder if there is any magic left in the world at all.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

30 Second Pause

"Pete" called again and we went out on a second date that was even better than the first. I am still wowed by how amazing making out all night can be and that I am just as happy not going the distance. Note to self, add 'no-hanky-panky' to the rules. Doing the horizontal mambo might complicate my life. I am like a nun in a sex-shop, the possibilities are there but I just can't take them.

Whew, after all this dating, I need a break for a few days. I also need to figure out where that odd smell in my kitchen is coming from. Peee-ewww. Funkadelic.