Datehazard’s Blog

On dating, singleness and adjusting to being 30ish.

Fear and confusion March 24, 2009

Filed under: Dating,frustration,Loneliness,Singleness — datehazard @ 7:21 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Sometimes everything comes from all quarters, and it’s all unwanted.

I’m not sure what happened, but I’m in a dating lull at the moment. What seemed at one point promising with The Analyst evaporated, like so much ethanol on warm skin. He was supposed to come over to my neighbourhood last weekend, but he never showed up, and he didn’t reply to my text. I know it’s not because he’s suddenly dead or something catastrophic happened to him; I saw his log on details on the dating website where we’d met. I thought things had gone really well. I guess he got cold feet. Or perhaps my hunch that he’d just broken up with someone was right — and that the other person had come back in his life again. At the least, I thought he’d have given me some indication of a reason for the abrupt shift.

Meanwhile the only real option seems to be the insatiable Author, who is both too old for me and too voracious. It’s a combination I find tedious and terribly dull. He wants me to sleep with a woman, in his presence. It’s a male desire so typical and so banal that I don’t even find the challenge of finding a suitable woman or the novelty of an orgy worth pursuing.

Instead, I wish he would invite me to the events he tends to go to — professional award ceremonies which would kill lesser mortals, but which always make me incredibly fascinated. I told him I was always up for that type of event, but received no invitation, only a request for acclamation and praise. Like I said. Dull.

There’s another singles event I’ll be going to this Thursday. It’s organized by the same group and it’s a similar event to the one where I met The Charmer. I don’t have high hopes for this one. Expecting to meet someone with instant chemistry again is, I think, like asking to be struck by lightning twice.

And that’s another disappointment. The Charmer promised he’d call after his trip — a week has gone by, with no word from him. I don’t know why I even waited, I think this was his way of letting me down easy. I guess I was just hoping.

Advertisements
 

I love this woman. March 20, 2009

http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1155201977/bctid16993792001

Just the other day, Grad Student and I had a talk about mentoring. He said that one of the problems today was that men simply didn’t have male figures who would take a young man aside and set him straight. I said that’s the same of women in general, too — that in a culture of youth, where an older woman is expected to compete with a younger one for sexual and economic favours, older women simply don’t view younger women as protégés, but as competition. And so mentorship, which was a key part of navigating society not so long ago (in the age of guilds and apprenticeships), has fallen away. And the world, in my opinion, has become just a little meaner, a little harder, for everyone. Old people deserve a soft place to land. And they deserve to be listened to, after a lifetime of hard knocks. Why does the next generation always think we can do things better if we don’t listen to the previous one?

My students insist that an embracing of sexual access is a demonstration of female empowerment. It’s Third-Wave Feminism, they say; it’s New Age Feminism. I remain increasingly skeptical. If a woman is able to make a lot of money by using her body, that’s fine; but we are definitely not in an age where that kind of work is considered generally socially acceptable. No one introduces themselves as a “stripper” or “prostitute” or “escort” to someone else’s parents, or friends, or strangers, with the same kind of pride as someone who says that they are a CEO or an executive VP, or a financial analyst. Until we get to that point, saying we are living in an age of Third Wave Feminism or post-feminism is so much wishful thinking.

I also had a conversation with my roommate yesterday, and he was talking about corporate greed. He remarked on that familiar statement that Corporations, and thus, CEOs and Boards of Directors, are sociopaths. And he stated, “you know, people need to understand that buying into the American dream of making money, regardless of consequence, negatively impacts everyone. People need to make this kind of behaviour unacceptable: this outsourcing of labour and creation of new slavery, raping of the environment, and generally that sense of entitlement: ‘I’m getting mine, so I must be good, and screw you guys’ is what is screwing us all over.”

I’d like to agree with him, but I pointed out that if I were honest with myself, I would most likely grab the brass ring too, given the opportunity, and figure my karma could be worked out later. Greed and self-interest are powerful motivators, and unless there are absolutely no rewards for monetary gain, I don’t see how we can avoid having people who exploit, manipulate, and capitalize (pun intended) on the system in place.

And I think that’s why I love Michelle Obama’s statement: it doesn’t chastise or restrict, but encourages what could be a concurrent practice — you can be greedy, but you also have a responsibility to pull up the next person behind you. Not a bad idea for thinking about how to practice ethics.

 

He Plays a Good Game. And I had a good time. March 19, 2009

Filed under: Comedy,Dating,seduction — datehazard @ 10:41 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I met The Author last night, at a rather swanky, old-fashioned cigar lounge where the female servers wear red cocktail dresses and you have to be buzzed in.

I was quite the sight when I arrived to meet with The Author; our age difference was perhaps the most pronounced aspect of the two of us. The two German men sitting two tables away kept staring at me and my companion. I sipped on my gin and tonic, flirted with The Author, and he sipped on his delicious, smooth Bourbon. He invited me to join him with the same libation, but I declined, to which he teased, “But G+T is such a summer drink; why would you drink it now?” I replied, “Because to me, it is summer, always, most especially when it is not.”

I knew he would find that charming. And he smiled and sipped while I smiled and held his gaze.

Flirting is such fun.

We talked about all kinds of things, he making statements, me listening, for the most part, then intervening with quips initially, then with interruptions. I would let him talk, seemingly passive, and alternate between being indulgent and complimentary, to being challenging, or skeptical. All along, he noticed, and appreciated my interventions. It felt like a dance of sorts. A fencing duel would probably be not a bad metaphor for the kind of back-and-forth repartee.

There are few things more attractive than intelligence. And few things more exhilarating than alternating between boredom and stimulation so unexpected that you’re left wordless.

We went back to his apartment, I admired his paintings, and we sipped champagne. I became incredibly drunk and realised I’d have to leave. We said our goodbyes and he put me in a cab, paying my cab fare. There is a lot to be said for the niceties of life.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll be in New York; it looks like I might not be able to teach here next semester. There was a problem with making up an additional course that I need. If I don’t get to teach two course sections, I will have to return. That’s a shame, since I’ve only just started really enjoying myself here.

New York is a tough place, there’s no doubt about it. And I think The Author is right when he advocates a “just don’t take it seriously” approach.

 

Playing games March 17, 2009

So, apparently, I’ve been doing it all wrong.

I had a most enlightening talk with a new friend (let’s call him The Author) this afternoon. He suggested that I stopped being so conscientious about the men I was pursuing and adopted the approach of a dog trainer.

Basically, if my “pet” was behaving, I would feed him treats and be nice to him; otherwise, I would train him to behave as I wished, and would punish him for being bad, and generally adopt an attitude of a lack of caring. He also advised strongly against pursuing the Analyst, saying that I needed to not pursue someone who was cold and distant (his translation for my, “he’s hard to read”). He also made a wide stereotypical statement about the Analyst, and said it was almost impossible for someone from his background to treat women with the respect that I was probably expecting and demanding.

Those words of advice played in my mind and lingered in my fears. But perhaps the most valuable thing he said was, “Don’t turn a farce into a melodrama. It’s just too much work.” How true. He also advised me to get laid.

I generally tend to heed men’s advice about other men, particularly if they’ve had some experience with the culture (which this man does have).

And so tonight I went out for St. Patrick’s Day to a local bar, got good and drunk and got someone’s phone number. But I didn’t follow the last part of my new friend’s advice.

Baby steps…

 

Possibilities March 16, 2009

I spent the night at the Analyst’s apartment on Saturday. He lives all the way out in Brooklyn; it took almost two hours on the weekend trains to get to him. That was not fun.

I like his neighbourhood, though. It’s a quiet, family-oriented one, and it’s close to the sea. It was lovely to stand at a pier near his apartment, watch the waves and feel the strong cold breeze from the ocean. That alone made up for the 2 hour epic journey to get there.

I really like him. He makes me laugh. I make him laugh, too. I’m constantly making fun of him — which is an easy thing to do. He’s quite naive in some ways; he assumes that I don’t know very much (like when I deliberately horribly mangled the pronunciation of “rendezvous” to be “Ren-des-vohs”), and I play along, drawing out the “Please educate me” experience to its absurd extreme, until he notices that I’m smiling, or he has a “wait, this can’t possibly be true” skepticism. And then I start laughing, and he laughs too.

I suppose it isn’t the kindest way to joke with someone; I’d always be a little guarded around someone who I knew was going to make fun of me, or find an opportunity to joke at my expense. I have told him on a few occasions that he should tell me if he ever gets tired of me being silly in this way, and he laughs and says, “no, it’s fine.” I have a feeling he means it. I spoke with my friend Kind Ninja and she remarked that he probably appreciates being around intelligent people who can challenge him.

After we walked around the neighbourhood, ate at a local restaurant and had a drink at his neighbourhood bar, we went back to his apartment. His apartment is cluttered and messy, with books in various spots, and the strange sight of two shedding feather pillows on his living room floor. He explained that he left them there from when friends would come over and he needed extra seating. It seemed an odd explanation, but I didn’t pry.

I would go into some of the details of our intimacy, but a sense of privacy and tenderness prevents me from disclosing too much. I will say that he enjoys playing as much as I do, and doesn’t shy away from a challenge. He seems to understand as well as I, how provocation quickens the pulse, and heightens desire. He pinned my arms behind my back at one point when I was getting the better of him in a tickling match, and I found myself suddenly not struggling and not laughing. Instead, my body reached for his, and we kissed with hungry mouths.

He has a lovely, long body, smooth, soft skin, and hair in all the warm places: over his heart, his groin, a soft covering over his firm rounded bottom. I’ve never been a fan of hairless men. And frankly, I think shaving is overrated, and waxing as something that should be reserved for practices of torture.

The night ended in a tangle of limbs and blankets. We slipped from exhaustion into a broken sleep. I kept waking up to get water, go to the bathroom, or to simply lie, disoriented, checking the time and gazing crookedly at his poorly hung blue curtains. I would wonder where I was, recall, listen to his surprisingly rapid breaths, and drift off into a fitful slumber.

The night before, we had talked about the sea, and the waves. I told him about the time I lived in a little house by the sea, how the fierce wind would scare me when I first moved there, and how I would hear pine cones drop on my roof at night. And how these initial anxieties eventually became sources of wordless joy, reminding me simultaneously of both qualities of my frail existence.

I don’t think I’d ever felt more alive. And I had almost forgotten the experience. As the years went by and I moved away, it had become buried under all of the pragmatic toughness and hardness one needs to deal with the hustle and bustle of big city living. That little house by the sea seemed almost to exist in another lifetime. It was good to be reminded of it.

He’d listened with shining eyes and a faint smile of understanding while I talked; he also loves the sea. He told me about growing up amongst olive trees and harvesting ripe olives by hand. He talked about the back-breaking labour involved, but I could see his nostalgia in his eyes. He seemed far away, existing for a moment in the bright sun, the aroma of ripening olives rising around him.

Something about this man makes me both so incredibly happy, and so grounded at the same time. I am able to breathe deeply and slowly in his presence, and my worries evaporate.

 

Dating Dhervish March 14, 2009

Filed under: Comedy,Dating,Desire,frustration,Singleness — datehazard @ 10:57 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Last night I went out on a first date with the Hedge Fund Trader. I almost called it off, I was feeling so tired from partying a little too hard two nights ago. I’d gone out with the Grad Student and his gay former roommate, and ended up stumbling home after a series of gay bars filled with cute, uninterested men, at about 4 in the morning. Yesterday was pretty much a write-off in terms of work.

The date with HFT went well. But I felt no spark.

I am seriously getting irritated with what exactly it is that results in that heart-fluttering reaction anyway. If someone can bottle this, I will pay them for it, for the chance to spray it on a Suitable Nice Person like HFT so that I can reciprocate his affections.

Because he was seriously digging me. I mean, he didn’t lose his head and say something ridiculous, or promise some kind of everlasting love and affection, but I definitely got the “I am interested in taking things to a more serious level with you, if things keep going the way they’ve gone tonight.”

He’s a nice guy; intelligent; funny; attentive but laid-back; not too bad to look at; and a great kisser. And not at all interesting to me.

Meanwhile, I am really looking forward to seeing The Analyst today: the guy who seems reticent, a little depressed, lonely, and probably more in need of hobbies and finding personal fulfillment than getting a girlfriend. But he’s exactly the kind of person I always go for. When men make me work, I chase them. When they chase me, I’m skeptical.

It would be great to have a rational, orderly relationship, but chaos, heartbreak and comedy are generally the order of the day.

And I’m STILL obsessing about The Charmer. We never met this week because he was too busy, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m leaving it up to him to get his stuff together and get in touch with me. Even as I’d like nothing better but to call him and see how he’s doing. Crumbs from this guy keeps me going for days. It’s humiliating, and embarrassing. And I’m doing it to myself.

 

Loneliness

Sometimes, I hate romantic movies. Or romantic scenes in movies. They bring up that aching, yearning sensation for intimacy, physical and emotional, which is generally present in most romantic relationships, even if the relationship’s going off the rails.

Yesterday afternoon I spoke with The Grad Student, who told me that he’d had a rough night, dreaming about his ex. He dreamt that he asked her why she just left, instead of telling him or talking to him. He’d awakened, angry and disappointed, and called me to talk about it. We went through the usual “why are you in this spot, what do you need to move on” stuff, but something he said made me think about the way that loneliness is so hard to delimit. It’s one of those things that just seeps up in quiet moments, a nagging lack.

Work is a good distraction, but no one can work all day, all the time. Friends are great, too, but the conversation ends, and echoes of that intimacy slowly fade into the emptiness.