Category Archives: Funny dating stories

You are HOW you eat?

Have you ever evaluated your date’s eating habits to determine how s/he might be as a lover? Just read a cool article suggesting there might be a connection. Although my own “sensuality correlation theory” has more to do with dance partnering than eating (I promise to share it with you soon) this eating thing makes perfect sense. People who eat with pleasure and delight, share and deliberately take their time to enjoy the food possess the qualities of sensuality and generosity that could very well translate to other areas. I suppose conversely not as much should be expected of people who don’t take time to savor their food or, worst of all, don’t like to share! Yeah, I can totally see it!

Consider the people you’ve dated and their relationship with food – any light bulb moments? I know I had a few. Remember Mo, my beastly Egyptian Gaston? I didn’t tell about you the food portion of the date as I greatly respect your time and attention span (who would have thought that one little date could produce so much material and food for thought – no pun intended!)

Prior to meeting later in the day Mo told me on the phone that he was “stuffed” as he spent most of the day at a holiday cookout. He felt terrible about it because he said he tries to be health-conscious. I figured we’d just have drinks and maybe an appetizer – after all, we didn’t meet until after 9pm. However, after much deliberation over the menu, Mo ordered a HUGE taco salad (the kind that comes in a big deep-fried shell with bits of nutritious iceberg lettuce overwhelmed by cheese, guacamole, sour cream, chicken and olives). To be fair, Mo generously offered me his olives (which I politely declined) before devouring the so-called-salad. At one point he confided in me that the reason he is eating so light (ahem) is because of all the food he had consumed earlier. With irony – he clearly missed – I asked what he’d order normally, to which he replied totally seriously “Oh, something a little heartier like steak”. Aha. Once again, with that level of self awareness (clearly consistent with his other behavior patterns), I am glad it didn’t get past hug one!

I’ve also thought about the eating habits of the last few boyfriends and have to say, the food correlation theory seems to be pretty accurate. Paired with other behavioral patterns you can quickly detect – ability to listen and ask good questions, solid hugging and even hand-shaking skills, connection on the dance floor (look gentlemen, you don’t have to be Mikhael Barishnikov, just hold the girl close and sway to the rhythm!)… you can tell a lot about a person in the first few dates (or hours) if you just pay attention.

So what correlations have you discovered / tested in your dating experience? I am curious to hear about your theories (certainly you’ve been hearing more than enough about mine 😉

Beauty and the Beastly Ego

Mo, Egypt (#3 in my quest for “18 dates around the world“)

When a man describes himself in the first email as “tall, dark and handsome”, includes an attractive picture and interesting facts about himself – eclectic educational background, interesting job and extensive travel experience – AND happens to have one of those amazingly deep, seductive voices on the phone, any red-blooded girl would be wondering 1) is he my dream man? and 2) what’s the catch?? I couldn’t wait to meet Mo to find out in which category he belonged. You know which I was rooting for… and I’ll give you one guess which it ended up being!

Before we met up we chatted on the phone to figure out all the logistics. Once again Mo’s sexy voice voice sent little shivers down my spine (hmm, this could be beginnings of a romance novel… or a fairy tale!) Just to be sure we’d recognize each other we described ourselves – I as wearing a red coat, and Mo as “tall, dark and handsome”. Whereas on email it sounded confident and promising, in person it seemed a bit strange because he said it completely seriously, without any trace of humor, playfulness or self-deprecation. Red flag – that perfectly matched my coat – made its first appearance.

Mo was waiting at the door and sure enough he was “tall, dark and handsome”. In fact VERY handsome and very tall and not just compared to my 5’3″ and a half”. I was quite predisposed to like him – especially since he gave me a great big hug (I am a sucker for good huggers!) Unfortunately, he made it quite difficult to maintain the positive first impression. My heart sank as soon as he started speaking. He had mannerisms of someone who despite constantly being told that he is “tall, dark and handsome” and likely “interesting and smart” harbors secret fears that he is, in fact, not good enough. Of course he has to mask this deeply-rooted self-loathing with an overtly superior and condescending attitude (which is not only directed towards people but also objects, including wine glasses, cutlery and nearby furniture).

Not only that but every attempt at conversation turned into a debate. Although I debated semi-professionally in college – and clearly have appreciation for it under appropriate circumstances – I was exhausted ten minutes into the date. Even when we were in complete agreement, Mo found a way to make it sound like I was actually arguing with him. Our conversation went something like this:

Mo: So, what color do you think is this red wine?
Me: I believe this wine is red.
Mo: On the contrary my dear, this wine is the most truest red there could be. It’s because it comes from a rare grape in France that is harvested at its peak in order to produce this truly superb red color. So you see, this wine is perfectly red and for a reason!
Me: Umm, ok (SCREAM inside my head)

As he was talking – or building a case, not sure for what – I kept tuning Mo out. In addition to it probably being some sort of a self-preservation mechanism, it was bugging me that Mo reminded me of someone I couldn’t quite place. It was driving me crazy as I generally have an excellent memory for people (which is only matched by my complete inability to recall trivia and numbers). I was starting to give up when EURECA – it suddenly struck me whom Mo resembled! Phew, I could now fall asleep at night! Except it was suddenly near impossible to refrain from laughing. The resemblance – both physical and particularly attitudinal – was uncanny! Mo reminded me of none other than Gaston, Belle’s unfortunate suitor in the Disney version of Beauty in the Beast. In case you are not familiar with Gaston, take a look http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDMfpbdbHWg&feature=related.

So now imagine being on a date; the guy is talking – well actually having a deeply self-involved monologue – and all you can do is imagine silly Disney scenes in your head! At least it made the evening more entertaining!

Well, another day, another blog-worthy date. Although I theoretically have 15 more to go I am hoping that it will only be maybe 2 or at most 4 before I find someone worth giving up the rest of ’em for! Till then, enjoy my mid-adventures!  If you’ve ever dated someone who reminded you of a movie, cartoon or book character (in a good or a funny way), I’d love to hear from you!

Let’s NOT get Catty!

As verified by my friend Liz – who by the way owns a cat – men with cats are not to be trusted! Especially if you’re someone whom cats don’t like in general. Enter Dean…

Dean, China / US / Greece (#2 in my quest for “18 dates around the world“)

I go into all blind dates with a mix of healthy realism (translation: pessimism based on previous experiences) and a secret hope that he will be THE one. When I met Dean, I did a happy little dance inside my head. Not only is he gorgeous and funny, Dean is also one of those intriguing people you want to keep talking to (and did I mention, he is gorgeous??) Half-American-half-Chinese, Dean was brought up in Greece; speaks several languages; has traveled all over; owns a business and is environmentally conscious. And delightfully-surprising, the chemistry between us was electric! We were talking and laughing and flirting for over an hour – including mentions of subsequent dates and only-half-jokingly joint travels – when SHE entered the coversation…

SHE being Athena, Dean’s cherished cat (yes, cat’s name was changed too to protect the not-so-innocent creature!) I froze, trying to figure out how to handle this situation. Inside my head, the little happy dance was replaced with the dreadful crash scene along with the SPLAT sound a date makes when you stumble on a deal breaker! I’ll spare you stories of ex-cats leaping at me in the middle of the night, death stares and frightening sounds each time I was kissed by their staff member (I mean owner), and devilish-looking claws reaching under intentionally-closed doors in freaky attempts to open them! It was always them or me and judging by the fact that I am still single, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about who won! So keeping in mind that each of my cat experiences was more traumatic than the last, I’ve become convinced that the only thing worse than dating man with a cat is dating a man who lives with his ex-wife or mom (along with a cat!)

Before I could even admonish myself for being so catist, Dean’s description of Athena confirmed my worst fears. She was a temperamental, unpredictable, jealous creature who scared the living bejeazus out of his friends and neighbors. Except he said it in a way that clearly implied he thought it was cute and funny. Unfortunately, this was the moment I stopped thinking that Dean is cute or funny. To be fair, I believe the feeling was mutual, because he suddenly stopped flirting and planning our joint trip around the world. Our chemistry evaporated as magically and mysteriously as it materialized – POOF! As you might imagine, the date ended abruptly and awkwardly right then and there.

How strange that something seemingly innocuous like a – granted, evil – cat could destroy chemistry that instantaneously! Has that ever happened to you? You are getting along with your date, perhaps you’re practicing writing your names together on wedding invitations, and all of the sudden it’s GONE! More importantly, have you ever had a pet ruin your relationship? I’d love to hear your stories, as always!

As for me, I am still feeling confident that my globe-trotting, dog-loving, non-fruit-fly-obsessed ONE is out there! Off I go to find him!

Of Flies and Men

You may remember my last not-so-hot date with a guy who had an open fly and a shrill bark (so wish I were kidding!) Thankfully my latest date kept his pants zipped up. But alas, this story once again involves flies… this time of the insect variety.

Jay, Haiti ( #1 in my quest for “18 dates around the world“)

From first email Jay was VERY enthusiastic, quirky and entertaining. Jay is a scientist at the National Institute of Health and cute according to a very smiley picture. Entertaining, cute and smart – great combination, at least for one date, I thought. I couldn’t have quite predicted the direction our date would take, but I have to say my instinct were right on! I had a ball meeting Jay – just not the Cinderella kind of a ball.

Jay emailed me earlier in the day to ask how to get to the airport from DC since he was new in town. He was apparently going to a conference in Seattle. There was only one glitch – his plane wasn’t leaving until 6 am the NEXT day! He was planning to camp out at the airport all night to save himself an admittedly expensive taxi ride from Maryland. I was a little worried, aside from the ex-murderer joke he slipped in for good measure in the same email. At least I hoped it was a joke!

A person who greeted me at the restaurant had a huge smile plastered on his face and was dragging along a HUGE backpack and his energy was just… HUGE! I had always considered myself an enthusiastic person, but interacting with Jay made me feel positively introverted. Jay’s LOUD voice filled the little restaurant and my quest for privacy was suddenly endangered, “Lillie? Finally we meet!!! Rock & roll dude!!!” He really does talk like that (which goes right along with his youthful appearance – 30ish going on 13. I am sure he’ll be grateful for it in 10 years or so.)

I didn’t want to damper Jay’s enthusiasm and decided to be subtle (not a strong suit here!) Instead of asking him to speak quietly, I lowered my own tone, hoping he’d follow cue. He didn’t and I finally resigned myself to the fact that everyone in the restaurant will know more about my date than they probably cared to. AND about Jay’s greatest passion in life… Fruit Flies!

Jay is a geneticist and the conference in WA was all about fruit flies. That’s right, there are enough people in this world wildly enamored with the subject to actually have an entire conference devoted to it! Did you know that there are over 1500 types of fruit flies? I found this out in the first few minutes of sitting down (along with other fascinating fruit fly facts I did not retain). Since our relationship was becoming purely insectual anyway, I decided to seize the opportunity to resolve something that has been bugging me for years (what can I say, not only do I seem to be prone to puns, I also have geeky tendencies!) But seriously, haven’t you ever wondered, if matter can’t be created or destroyed, where do those pesky fruit flies come from when your produce ripens?? Curious minds want to know (and finally found out!)

I can’t describe the look of pure joy on his face when I assured Jay that I am indeed sincerely interested in fruit fly procreation. It was like he had found a long lost fly-mate. In an exhilarated voice that made it seem like he was discussing his latest sky diving or surfing expedition (dude!) Jay enlightened me about the reproductive habits of fruit flies. I have to say, it was way more entertaining than I could have hoped for. In fact, the rest of our conversations were also super-fun. Jay is one of those people who is so excited about life that even his complaints come across as the biggest adventures EVER!

Time flies when you’re having fun (no pun intended!) I dropped Jay off at the airport knowing we’re not a match, but delighted to have met someone so full of life, excitement AND useful information. I sure hope he finds what and who he is searching for. As for me, I am off on international date #2. Stay tuned!

Around the World in 80 Dates!

I am a self-admitted travel junkie. And I am (clearly) single. So when I came across a book entitled Around the World in 80 Dates, it definitely had my attention. Former Lonely Planet editor Jennifer Cox realizes she meets more interesting men when she travels than in her home town of London and decides to go on 80 dates while traveling around the world. The book probably won’t win any Pulitzers but it’s cute and most importantly, I was totally intrigued by the concept!

I figured I could date cross-culturally without devoting six months of my life and remaining savings to the process. I’d much rather go on the trip around the world with my future partner, rather than in search of him (although I’m making great headway in covering territory in the meanwhile!) The awesome thing about DC is that you can just walk down a street and meet people from 18 different countries (yes, eighteen rather than eighty because you know, there is no way I’m putting myself through 80 dates, not even for your entertainment). And honestly, I am hoping that like the 5th date will be the last, at least for a while!

So what does a girl do to quickly wrangle up some “qualified” international dates? Enter Craig’s List. I swear, if CL sold stock, I’d be the first in line to buy it. Not only is CL great for selling and buying pre-owned furniture and cars, it has quite an active personals section. Best part? It’s free and you don’t have to create one of those 100-question profiles or post your picture to get responses. If you’re a girl or claim to be one – apparently CL is the hot bed, no pun intended, for all kinds of weird money-making schemers posing as normal single women – you get countless responses in just minutes. Of course weeding through those to find 1 or 2 men you might want to date is the challenge. No matter, I am a woman on a mission – to find my globe-trotting soul mate and/or entertain YOU in the meanwhile!

So I crossed my fingers and toes and posted my ad entitled “Around the World in 18 dates” on Craig’s List. After a briefly explaining my literary inspiration, I got right down to what I’m looking for:

“I’d love to meet you if you are 1) a curious, whip-smart, funny, caring, successful (however you define that), self-assured single man 2) from or have lived in another country or culture 3) looking for a committed relationship with a smart, spunky, humorous travel addict.

Small print:
You are: late 20s to early 4os, single and emotionally available, non smoker and live a healthy life style. Please include your picture and I’ll reply in kind.”

What I got in response – so far – has been a mix of responses mostly in following categories 1) Dude, whaz up – call me! 2) I am a single white accountant who lives with mom 3) Are you real or trying to take all my money like my last date 4) Obscene / hostile / emotionally disturbed 5) Potentially interesting / amusing / good story for this blog and 6) my ex boyfriend!!! Oh my gosh, was that weird, particularly since he specifically mentioned “emotionally healthy and mature” in his response. Clearly someone needs to write back and ask, “Have you met you??” And clearly, that someone won’t be me. Brrrrr, moving on!

trojan-tent (the original caption!)

I’ll be sure to keep you updated but for now, I just had to share this one response with a corresponding photo from someone let’s call Billy Bob.

“hi, here is my pic. Let me know if you want to chat.”

What can I say, I am an optimist – it must get better from here, right?!?!?

It’s Just Lunch – It’s Just Pathetic

When my colleague Sandy joined It’s Just Lunch a few months ago, not only was I hoping she’d finally meet that special someone, I was selfishly excited to vicariously live with her through $1300 worth of dates. In case you’re not familiar, It’s Just Lunch is a dating / matchmaking service – or so they claim to be – that charges $1300 for six dates or six months of membership, whichever comes last. They claim to have 2000 members evenly split between men and women in the DC area. Notice I keep using “claim” because upon further investigation, I must report, there seems to be very little truth in advertising.

And, here’s my favorite claim – that their customers are hyper-successful professionals just too darn busy to set up their own lunch dates. Because you know, of ALL the challenges of dating, it’s making my own lunch reservations at a generic mid-scale restaurant that really gets to me. Therefore $1300 for this wonderful and unique convenience is a deal clearly not to be missed by the hyper-successful busy professional! I am not sure how the said people can possibly handle these mission-impossible reservations once they’re through the membership and in a relationship, maybe even thanks to It’s Just Lunch. Perhaps there’s another level of membership – for couples – that takes care of all their subsequent scheduling needs – lunch, then dinner, then sex, then that tough coversation of “where we’re going”…. Possibilities are endless! If they haven’t come up with this level of service yet, they certainly should, don’t you think?

But after a few of Sandy’s dates, my hopeful anticipation of the magic It’s Just Lunch was bound to produce started to erode. Not only was she disappointed in her matches, she started developing major insecurities about herself. She was questioning why in the world they thought she’d be compatible with THOSE men! Was she giving out a “looser” vibe? Did they really think that she’d enjoy going out with Bud who only wanted to talk about his model trains? Or Stan who never missed a Star Trek convention? Or Larry who dressed like Screech on Saved by the Bell and silently stared at his shoes for an hour? I couldn’t believe what she was telling me – I was starting to worry she’d put my worst dating stories to shame!

It was clearly time for me to go undercover and investigate It’s Just Lunch first-hand. I called them up and asked to make an appointment. Smartly, they decided to first qualify me (basically see if I’d be willing to fork over the money and not ask for it back when they matched me up with completely undesirable dates.) Dori was the person assigned to me. In a tone of voice you might use with a puppy or a toddler, she carried on and ON about how great I sounded and how many of their men were looking for a girl JUST like me (truly, it was a miracle that all those men even joined seeing how I wasn’t a member yet!) I was getting cavities from her sugary compliments and promises by the time we finally set up an appointment. I then brushed my teeth – I just can’t handle that much artificial sweetness all in one sitting.

On the appointed day and time, I showed up at the It’s Just Lunch office and was showed to a conference room. There were framed articles all over the walls. As I looked closely at them though, I noticed that the most recent was written in 2003. Hmmm, wasn’t that when internet dating started to lose its social stigma? I then filled out several questionnaires, most quite predictably dealing with my interests and desired qualities for my mate. Nothing too deep, of course. A few minutes later Dori bounced in, chirping endlessly about how cute I was and how she couldn’t wait to match me up with the man of my dreams! Aha. She went down the list of my traits, interests, preferences, etc. I had marked quite a few boxes since well, I am a pretty well rounded person with a LOT of interests (with notable exception of model trains and Star Trek conventions).

As it turned out, the men would LOVE the fact that I enjoy dancing and sailing and cooking. Why only last week they signed someone up who owned a sail boat! AND he doesn’t kick little children as a hobby! Hallelujah, for I am sure this is my soul mate! I patiently explained to Dori that as much as I’d like to share some interests with my mate, what’s most important to me is personality compatibility. Not ethnicity, not even age or height as much, I just want someone who is brilliant, funny, sensitive, ambitious, warm, caring, and have it all be in the same package (not one trait in each of the six dates!) Someone well-rounded and balanced who doesn’t mind making his own lunch reservations and perhaps even at a not-so-generic restaurant. Someone who normally wouldn’t be using It’s Just Lunch to find his mate. I think I overwhelmed the hell out of Dori because all of the sudden she ran out of sales lines to feed me.

Yet Dori was a fighter – she desperately grasped for straws, trying to figure out how to sell me the membership, and finally asked what I most liked about my last mate. I thought about it for a moment “He was very intuitive” I replied. Dori gave me a blank stare and said, “I am sorry, what do you mean by that?” I gave her the look to indicate, if you don’t know that, are you seriously claiming you can match me?? The interview was clearly over and Dori looked visibly distressed.

In a last-ditch, half-hearted effort, Dori compelled me to be “patient and flexible” in my search. I assured her that I was neither of those things and unless she had someone in mind who matched my criteria precisely, we should part ways and wish each other well. I felt only slightly bad for intimidating poor clueless Dori. But seriously, I find it bordering on criminal to charge people over a thousand dollars for a few dates profoundly matched by their checked “sailing” or “movies” interest boxes. As I was walking out, Dori helpfully suggested, “Let me check with the other directors and see if they’ve interviewed anyone you’d like. After all, we have 2000 members and I don’t know every one of them”. I smiled at her, “To be fair, I am only interested in the male 1000 half Dori.” We were done.

I walked away from this interview convinced that Sandy has an equally good chance to find her soul mate in a bar, a party or even being run over by him while crossing the street, as through It’s Just Lunch. I sort of feel cheated on her behalf. As much fun as it was for me to play a dating detective, I am also sad. I am sad that there are hopeful people out there, getting taken to the cleaners by “matchmakers” with lots of promises but no clue or substance. Perhaps they can match generic people satisfied with generic dates at generic restaurants, but not the special, unique, phenomenal people like my friends and readers! I am not sure what to do about it. I am secretly hoping that the head of the Better Business Bureau is a single person reading this blog… Or enough of you will comment on your experiences with It’s Just Lunch (and similar services) so that we can build a strong case for getting your money back! I’d love to hear your stories about some of the services you’ve tried and whether you think they give you a better chance of meeting someone spectacular than bars, parties and the internet.

When Flies Fly Open on the First Date…

I just had one of those dates that inspired me to start blogging – a bit horrifying for me, potentially good reading for you! Not sure if you want to know more? Here’s a sneak peek (no pun intended): unzipped pants, Madonna singing impersonations (with corresponding dance moves), and barking sounds ALL in one fun-filled first-date package!

Curious yet? Ok ok, here’s the scoop. So I met this guy “Mike” at a happy hour a few weeks ago. Cute(ish), witty(ish), a bit socially awkward but hard to tell whether it was a permanent state of being or just situational. I’ll let you guess which it turned out to be. Called me the next day (good move… although sadly, the last one). Somehow over email an “inside joke” materialized about the HOT new jeans Mike bough at Nordstrom’s (you know, THE place world-renowned for sexy jeans.)

Mike promised to wear them on our date (be still my heart) and as we were waiting for our table at the bar, Mike offered to show off his smokin’ pants in a model-like twirl. He even lifted up his shirt for full effect. BIG mistake, especially since it was followed by “Did you see everyone checking out my hot jeans?” What poor Mike neglected to notice was 1) my half-mortified, half-amused expression, directly resulting from 2) his wide-open fly!!! Honestly, it was a bit like stumbling on one of those embarrassing, not so-funny and probably contrived “Funniest Home Videos” where a guy tried to impress his date with his wit, charm and suave moves but doesn’t realize all the while that his fly is open. Except in this case it wasn’t a silly TV show, it was my date! Someone had to break the news to Mike (ooh, ooh ME!)

How does one recover from flashing a girl (and the entire restaurant) on the first date? Well, of course by asking about her strangest dating experiences. “Umm, you mean prior to this one?” I joked (hey, when you don’t zip up you leave yourself wide open – no pun intended again – to a bit of gentle teasing.) I wasn’t sure how to prioritize my weird dating stories (alphabetically? chronologically??) and finally settled on the barking story. Yes, I’ve been now barked at by THREE completely different men. At least until this date it was three – sadly, my count keeps going up.

As a side note, have YOU ever been barked at? I hear from friends it’s not all that common. Apparently, most women inspire flowers or chocolate or poetry. As it turns out, not me – I inspire barking!  Anyway, I’m not sure how Mike got the idea that barking was a positive (as opposed to deeply disturbing) idea because half-way through dinner, he suddenly broke out in barks. What’s even stranger is that he went for the high pitch, little yuppy dog barks “arph arph”. Quite odd for a fairly large man – I mean the other THREE men at least chose the more size-appropriate, masculine “Woof WOOF” barks. Well… I seriously can’t believe I now have enough experience to actually compare bark tones among my human dates! Think there’s a support group for women like me?

But it wasn’t over yet. As if I didn’t have enough blog material already, next topic Mike brought up was Madonna and particularly her more recent albums. When I expressed my preference for her earlier work Mike’s face lit up “You mean Like a Virgin?” he asked. What followed next was another first for me… Mike not only broke out in song (incidentally, much closer in pitch and musicality to the previously-mentioned barking than to Madonna’s singing) but he even had corresponding choreography all worked out. He must have rehearsed this routine before because he did all this quite flamboyantly without knocking a single dish off the table! Talk about grace!

I won’t bore you with other socially awkward things poor Mike perpetrated before I managed to get away. I was getting worried that before long this story would cross the line from unbelievably amusing to plain unbelievable.  And I’d cross over from mildly amused to permanently traumatized.

So there you have it. Two firsts and one FOURTH bizarre pattern in my dating history. As always, questions, comments, and condolences are welcome!