Category Archives: Skin-deep

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!

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!

Real “Hitch” revealed – do looks matter?

Remember the movie Hitch starting Will Smith? The very HOT, funny, articulate Will who goes around solving fellow men’s dating dilemmas and making sure they find love? Well, apparently the character in the movie was based on a real person David Coleman. Want to see what Hitch looks like in real life? Here’s an article about the real love doctor. Incidentally, in this article David is commencing the Sextober Fest (which of course I’ll be investigating shortly – a bloggers job is never done!)

Now, let’s take look at David. Does he bare ANY resemblance (at least physically) to Will Smith? Actually, I am not making a judgment about Mr. Coleman’s appearance. Whatever you got, flaunt it, as far as I am concerned. Especially if there’s a movie made about you (of course in that case I’d ask the media to take slightly more flattering pictures than in that article). But here’s what I am wondering… Why cast Will Smith and not Kevin James in the role? David acknowledges that he looks more like Kevin.

We always talk about women getting typecast, pressured to look a certain way, alter their appearance to suit societal standard’s of beauty. But what about men? Maybe they have it just as tough. I wonder how Mr. Coleman feels about being portrayed by someone like Will Smith vs. someone who looks more like himself. Is society telling him, “wow, it’s great what you do and we want to make a movie about you. Unfortunately, if we cast Kevin James, we just won’t sell as many tickets. So it’s ok to be a bit chubby – you’ll just be cast as the clumsy side kick”. To be fair, Kevin’s character does find love in the end (the beautiful Amber Valletta.) Which brings up another question for me – when was the last time you saw a movie (or couple in real life) where the man was HOT and the woman just so so)? Hmmm…

Incidentally, here is a link to David Coleman’s advice column – http://www.datingdoctor.com/advice.html. Seems like a very sweet guy. Wonder if he’s single.