Category Archives: Mr. Wonderful or is he?

He likes me… he likes me not… he likes me!

There is nothing as wonderful as finding out that the person you like, miraculously likes you back! The whole world begins to make just a bit more sense. Colors become brighter, sounds more vibrant and you just can’t stop grinning. And your blog readers roll their eyes and make gagging noises at your mushiness but you just don’t care. Because the boy you like likes you too!

It all started last Saturday. My friend Sally and I found ourselves at a very mediocre event of a certain young professional organizations. In fact, give me a few more weeks for sufficient DATEctive work I’ll post a review. The room was full of usual suspects – lots of gorgeous, interesting women with some socially awkward and/or plain-blah men mixed into our midst. When all of the sudden… crowds parted and I saw HIM. This absolutely stunning man with the most amazing smile I’ve ever seen! Think Blair Underwood but taller and more artsy-looking. It was like the room became a little brighter and then… I lost sight of him. Where was he??

After excusing myself from several mindlessly unremarkable conversations with totally unremarkable people I escaped to the bar. And there he was, Mr. Gorgeous, totally by himself, as though waiting for me to stop by. My heart dropped as I mustered every ounce of my courage to say hello. I must admit, it’s in these types of circumstances that I admire men most. I mean it’s usually up to them to approach US! And some of us (present company excluded, of course) are not that nice when they do. Hmm, I wonder whether this is exactly why on-line dating has become so wildly popular. Emailing someone is infinitely less intimidating than approaching them out in the wild!

As it turns out, Mr. Gorgeous (or Mr. G, as he shall be known from this point forward) is one of these stunning SHY men who doesn’t realize how truly beautiful he is and as a result has managed to develop a fantastic personality as well! The unfortunate part about his shyness was that it was hard to tell if he was into me or just merely polite. After chatting for a while – about who remembers what, as I was totally infatuated – we exchanged cards and I promised to send him the article we apparently discussed. Reluctantly, I walked away and found myself in the sea of unremarkable men vying for female attention. The room once again became a little dimmer (in addition to Mr. G’s smile disappearing from my radar, someone turned down the lights and turned the music WAY up.) Sally and I made a beeline for the door.

The moment I got home that night my hands started itching to email him. You know that feeling – like your hands have a mind of their own and they are not listening to your sensible head advising you to wait a bit. It took herculean effort to occupy myself with something else – sitting on my hands – before I headed to bed. On Sunday I ran away from home early for the fear that the darn hands would take over and email Mr. G prematurely. By that night I couldn’t wait any longer. I spent an embarrassing amount of time composing a three-sentence email that could be construed as friendly, flirtatious or just professional depending on the recipient’s interest level. I held my breath as I hit send / receive…

At that same EXACT moment – 8:58pm – a new email popped into my Inbox and guess who it was from! I kid you not – my heart just about stopped. Of all the hours, minutes and seconds between our meeting on Saturday and 8:58 on Sunday, how is it possible that we choose precisely the same moment to email each other!? WOW, we must be cyberpathic (similar to telepathic – or in my case telePATHETIC – but on email!)

So to fast-forward several emails where he shyly tried to express interest (at least that’s how I chose to interpret it) and me not-so-subtly trying to get him over his shyness and ask me out – we’re going out on Friday! Hallelujah!!! There is a higher power! Laws of attraction at work right here, ladies and gentlemen! Whew!

Except… it’s been a looong time since I’ve been this infatuated. And it feels somewhere between thrilling and downright terrifying! Not at all safe, which I often have a luxury of being, as the guy assertively does all the wooing work. Nope, I am pretty sure that for a change I may be WAY more out on the limb here. This is such unfamiliar – and did I mention SCARY – territory!

Am I going to fall off and get hurt? Should I play it cool, keep my expectations low, coach myself to stay aloof (or at least my version of aloof which is not at all!) Or should I let myself get excited, dreamy and totally unlike the usual-sensible-me? Any words of advice, wisdom or sanity would be hugely appreciated. With DAYS to pace on pins and needles (see, already this sounds painful) I can use all the help I can get!

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!

Enough about me… now what do YOU think about me?

Have you ever been with someone who talks about themselves incessantly, non-stop and seriously considers themselves fascinating? They barely ask questions and when they finally do and you try to respond, they switch the topic right back to themselves. Hmmm, now that I think about it, this describes at least 95% of my conversations with men (and perhaps 75% with people in general).

At a birthday party this weekend I met Dave. Good looking (very). Smart (seemingly). Flirtatious (extremely). Entertaining (initially). Alas, the first positive impression, hopeful curiosity and that delicious feeling of anticipation quickly wore off as Dave, clearly thinking he was impressing the pants off of me, rambled on and on about himself. Within the first what-seemed-like-hours-but-must-have-been-just-minutes I learned that he has a successful business, CPR certification, knows several members of the band Menudo (the band) and owns a pit bull named Muffin. Ok, so I am making up Muffin, but I had to retreat into my imaginary world to keep awake! It’s all about self preservation!

Finally, David asked me what I like to do. Quite original – forgive me, I did say I wanted a man who asks questions – so let’s give a man some credit for trying. But I must admit, by this point I had completely lost interest and was looking for the nearest escape rout. Half-heartedly I started saying that I love to travel, but he barely let me get it out before jumping in and excitedly blurting that he too loves to travel and that his last trip to Vegas rocked! I gave up. If someone isn’t naturally curious enough to ask questions or polite enough to let me finish a thought, I am DONE!

Why are we forced in school to take classes like calculus (you can probably tell I am a word not a math person) and broom ball (nope, not kidding – I had to take it in h.s.) but no one bothers to teach us basic PEOPLE skills. You know, ones that might actually come in handy for the rest of our lives? Hey, maybe that’s a business idea – classes to teach people how to interact with other humans without numbing their minds by talking about me, me, me, me, ME! Or maybe it’s not a business, maybe it’s a charity that sends out “good will ambassadors” to bars, clubs and birthday parties everywhere and stops people after a few minutes of “me” spiel and forces them to ask questions about the person they’re trying to impress. OR maybe it’s a device that counts “Is” and “MEs” and zaps the perpetrator with a mild electric shock when they reach the limit of “mes” in any given conversation? Ok, I’ll stop here, but I think you get my point.

So, how often do you get trapped in conversations with people who only talk about themselves without any apparent interest in YOU? Do you find there’s a difference between men and women’s natural inquisitiveness? Do men or women ask more questions? Any good “me me me” date stories?