Datehazard’s Blog

On dating, singleness and adjusting to being 30ish.

What happens next? April 28, 2009

Filed under: Comedy,Dating,Singleness — datehazard @ 5:00 pm
Tags: , , , ,

It’s a beautiful, sunny, warm day. Spring has given way suddenly to the promise of a hot summer ahead (if the weather over the last few days is to be any indication).

Every year, I find men become much more interested in looking at and pursuing women with the change of the seasons. I’ve never been hit on in my neighbourhood in the months I’ve lived here, until last night, when two men sitting idly outside of a restaurant greeted me with that unmistakeably friendly but flirtatious “Hey Mami.”

I never know what to do when someone greets me like that. Is there a code for how to respond? What if I’d like to? I’m always generally shy but also suspicious of strangers (perhaps my mother trained me too well?) And does this approach work for men, anyway? What do they expect? That the woman would suddenly stop mid-stride, and coyly smile, head bowed, calves brushing each other coquettishly?

And what about men who are more obvious or rude? On the weekend as I was returning from a dinner party, a guy ran up to me and said, “I give compliments where they’re due, and you have all the right curves.” At first I had to ask him to repeat himself, because I didn’t hear him; then when I heard him, I thought he must have said “you have all the right curls” — as in, that he was complimenting me about my hair. I laughed anyway, because I thought it was really funny. Perhaps that wasn’t the kindest response. But I am not cruel, and I thanked him for his compliment, even as I laughed.

But I never did get the idea of obvious overtures. Or cat-calling, for that matter. Do they actually work?

Meanwhile, the Poet and I keep flirting, and I’m not really sure what’s going on. And I’m starting to date someone who I met, through, of all places, the “mysterious ‘e'” dating site aforementioned in the preceding post. I’ll call him IT Guy. He seems pretty besotted with me at the moment, which I’m a bit surprised about, but I am the first to admit general cluelessness when it comes to dating. I’ve also pretty much given up trying to figure out what’s going on around me since I am so clearly bad at it.

Still, I wonder what happens next? Am I supposed to confront the Poet? His ex-girlfriend is visiting in a month. He’s gone for the next 3 weekends on business trips. We couldn’t organize our schedules to even talk, let alone meet this week. And he asked me again whether I was worrying about his ex visiting. Which I thought was weird — so I replied, “No, I’m not worrying — why, am I supposed to worry?” Which he avoided.

Ugh. I need a manual on human relations, STAT!

Advertisements
 

With my luck, I should definitely not buy a lottery ticket April 23, 2009

Filed under: Comedy,Dating,Drama,frustration — datehazard @ 11:53 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

… because with my recent luck (if this is any indication), I will definitely not win anything. In fact, if my most recent dating misadventures are an indication of my current (un)lucky status, I will most likely find out that the lottery is fake. And that I’d just participated in some kind of elaborate scam.

Like what happened last night.

I was out at one of my usual networking events, and bumped into one of my colleagues. We generally never hang out at work, so it was really great to see her. I had also brought one of my new friends along — my roommate’s friend, in fact — because he is thinking of getting into my field of work, and figured he might appreciate being given better access to some of the more business-related sides of what I do.

After he left to another event, my colleague “Stylish Beret” and I stayed behind, looking at some of the work, making a few connections, and preparing eventually to leave and get a drink on our own. We were having a great time chatting, and we walked to a bar nearby to continue our conversation in more convivial settings.

After about an hour of a stimulating and lovely discussion, a group of rowdy men and a few women decided to sit at the table next to us. They decided to invite themselves over, and, as usual, I started getting hit on by the alpha male in the group, while my friend attracted the eye of a kind-looking, jovial guy. The man who introduced himself to me was the President of the company, and the rest of the people there were his employees. He proceeded to tell me about his bisexual wife, and how they have an open relationship. His manner was one of bragging, essentially, but it shifted rapidly to one of fear when he, after a pause, asked me not to reveal this information to his fellow colleagues. It was clear that he’d had quite a bit to drink and was feeling entitled to the liberties he was taking, particularly to an attractive stranger.

I struck up a conversation with one of the women of the group, too, who decided she’d take it upon herself to set me up with someone in the group. She (ever so kindly) shouted jovially at me, “You’re going to pole tonight!!”

I’d never heard that expression before, and honestly, started laughing. It was just absurd. And a little of the usual human comedy/drama.

The rest of the evening was then spent with me talking to a guy who was trying all of his moves on me, while I gently teased him. It wasn’t that he wasn’t good looking, it was that he was trying too hard. And he was definitely approaching me as someone who might help him scratch an itch. Generally, this is not a recommended strategy for complimenting a woman. Guys, take note: spend the time to try to get to know someone, and treat the interaction with a light touch. Leave the hammer and mallet at home. Especially when you realise you’re talking to someone who is intelligent and strong-willed. Cheesy pick up lines are just going to give her so much fodder for comedy. At your expense.

After “Clumsy Conversationalist” eventually made his exit, it was then time for the third act of the evening.

As with all plays, the third act is generally the one with the most promise: the scene has been set, the characters established, and the situation is now ripe for exploit — either comedic, tragic, or a combination of both. In my case, I decided to treat the eventual outcome as a complete joke, and an opportunity for instilling a little fear. Call it vigilante justice if you will, call it delicious, call it whatever you want.

But I get ahead of myself.

As I’m preparing to leave, feeling not particularly inspired by the evening and missing my earlier conversation with my friend Stylish Beret (who is still deep in conversation with the same guy with the twinkling eyes and kind face), another of the party comes over and sits across from me. This is a man who is considerably older than I am, with gently sagging cheeks, but with a smile that lights up his whole face. It is really his smile which is spectacular: it rearranges his time-worn, serious eyes into dancing sapphires of boyish invitation. His gaze is steady and consistent — engaging, but soulful. There is something warm and inviting about this man, something deeply reassuring. He is generally directing his comments to the clumsy conversationalist sitting beside me (who is no longer trying to hit on me), but makes sure he catches my eye, too. Soon, though, we are left alone, and he turns to talk to me. The clumsy conversationalist had been trying to find his way out of the conversation, and out of the bar, and Sparkling Eyes had provided just that convenient interruption.

Sparkling Eyes turns to me, asks, “What is it that brings you to New York?” I look at him, and, based on the brief fragment of conversation he’d just had with the conversationalist, replied, “Work.” I felt compelled to ask, “And, by the way, are you a writer?”

A look of surprise registered on his face, and he said, “Well, actually, I used to write quite a lot. How– how did you– ?”

I replied, “Because I’m a writer, too. Something about the way you put your sentences together gave you away.”

I smiled at him.

I continued, “And, by the way, is Jack Kerouac one of your favourite authors?”

He looked wordlessly at me, even more surprised.

“How– Well, yes– I love Jack Kerouac– How did you know?”

I smiled again. “I don’t know. It was a hunch.” I continued, “I get the feeling that your approach to life is one of a journey — that the metaphor of the road trip and travel — is something that resonates with you.”

I continued, “And yet, you’re still searching. Why are you searching? What are you looking for?”

He looked, amazed, wordless at me. I heard the words tumble out of my mouth, and I was surprised, too. They didn’t feel like my own thoughts, or my own observations — they seemed to be more of verbal manifestations of instinct. And for once, these manifestations were coherent. And so they seemed magical.

At around this point, I expected him to change the subject; attempt to cover up, try to reach for some kind of privacy, however much he’d have to wrestle for it. I am not usually this straightforward or blunt with someone I’ve just met, but with this man, I was much more intrusive than I’d ever remembered being. Even when I’m my diplomatic straightforward self, it results in younger men generally straining to escape, change the subject, or do what they need to do to avoid being so open.

But not this man.

He just kept looking at me in wonder, mesmerized by my words, his curiosity and his attention entirely held.

And so we kept talking. He told me about himself without restraint or edit, calmly, unhurriedly. As he talked, he struggled to be clear, to be concise, and to be precise. His hands formed rounded shapes in the air as he tried to articulate his feelings of vulnerability. He looked, with furrowed brow, at me as he spoke, choosing his words carefully. And interspersed these moments of seriousness with that brilliant, transformational smile.

I found myself smiling in response to him, easily, unthinkingly, each time he smiled at me.

There was a naturalness to the conversation, and a depth that I found difficult to quantify, and even harder to identify. And even more strangely, that I had no desire, whatsoever, to do any of the aforementioned analytical things. Analysis operated on a different level last night, when it came to him. The world dissolved and we were left in a self-contained sphere. He reached out to hold my hands; his hands were surprisingly warm, and reassuringly rough. He pressed my fingers between his palms, smiling in wonderment at me during those frequent, happy silences.

We parted on a subway platform, he trying to insist on me coming home with him, or coming home with me. I reassured him, telling him not to worry, and not to try to be deterministic. Every time he asked, I smiled, and made no promises. He seemed to understand and he listened. Even at that late hour, even with the heady intoxication of our long, intimate conversation.

We kissed, and we laughed as we kissed. I don’t remember being so happy during a first kiss as I was then. I felt, somehow, that I knew him, on some kind of essential level, and that he did of me, too. I knew it wasn’t possible: I knew the feelings were really strong and were most likely based in the cold science of organic chemistry. And I went home, floating on a cloud.

And this morning, I wondered, smilingly, about this mysterious stranger with the sparkling eyes and the brilliant smile.

And found out that he’s married. With three kids.

And so, when he texted me asking to see me again, I replied simply, bluntly, “No, I don’t think so. Cowards and liars are so boring. Give my regards to your wife.”

He replied in kind, by text message. But I haven’t checked it yet. I’d imagine it’s some paltry attempt at an apology.

And so, life goes on, and dating continues its own twisted journey. And I’m left with yet another amusing, if bittersweet, experience.

 

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.

 

Adults will do what adults will do… February 27, 2009

Filed under: Comedy,Dating,Drama,Exes — datehazard @ 12:37 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

My friend The Artist called today to ask to meet with me. When I saw her, she was agitated and looked like she had something on her mind. She told me it had to do with her roommates and how they were driving her crazy; but when I talked to her, it really seemed like an inconsequential problem.

So I was kinda wondering what else was happening with her?

Then she told me.

She’d spoken with my friend The Grad Student (remember him?) and told him that she’d told me what happened between the two of them. She asked me how I felt about the two of them dating, and I told her that I had no problems with it, but that I didn’t want to see her get hurt, and that I felt that his behaviour was pretty shifty from what she’d told me so far.

She told me, “well, actually, he told me that he’s not looking for a serious relationship right now; that he can’t handle one at the moment.”

I said, “And that’s ok with you?”

“Well, as long as he doesn’t mean that he won’t go running off in the opposite direction the minute something gets a little serious with the two of us. I mean, I have to have a talk with him and let him know that I’ve been hurt in the past, and that I won’t put myself in that position again. If he wants to date me, he has to be prepared to date me, not to run away the minute I say I want to date him.”

That was a mixed message, admittedly. But it also put my mind more at ease.

I told her, “Listen, I just want to say that I was hoping that the two of you would get together at some point — that’s why I introduced you to each other. I mean, I told him you thought he was cute the minute you met him and told me that.”

She: “Really??”

“Yeah! I mean, I think it’s great if you two want to get together. But I didn’t think it would happen so fast, and I thought that he was being kinda shady by not telling me what happened between the two of you the night you both kissed. I told him that you’d just broken up with your boyfriend, so I thought he’d have understood to hold back a bit.”

“Well, really at this point, it just feels so great to have so much attention from all of these men. And to tell you the truth, The Grad Student is a real catch. I mean, he’s smart, and really good-looking, and so much better than my ex. I can’t even tell you. So right now, that’s just making me feel even more convinced that I did the right thing.”

That seriously made me happy. I had a huge smile on my face.

“TA, that is EXACTLY what I was hoping for. I’m so glad you’re feeling better!!”

I gave her a big hug.

And I said, “one last thing. If he hurts you, I will break his neck. You can tell him that. Seriously.”

She laughed.

And then I went off to meet up with The Grad Student to attend a lecture that he’d invited me to that evening. And I told him exactly the same thing: “If you hurt her, I will break you limb from limb. This is not a joke or a threat. It’s a promise.”

He, after joking around a little bit, said, more seriously, “well, I mean, how am I not supposed to hurt her? I mean, unless we end up getting married and stay together for the rest of our lives, it’s pretty impossible not to hurt people.”

I didn’t have to say much. I turned to him and said, “You know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s about acting on ethical principles. You know her headspace, and you know what I mean.”

End of conversation.

And end of my matchmaking and guidance.

Now I wish someone could do the same for me…

 

Walking away from The Charmer February 23, 2009

So, I wrote an e-mail to The Charmer this morning, saying that I was walking away.

It came out of my realisation last night that we are just looking for two different things. He wants someone who can be as morally free as him, and who can let him indulge in whatever sexual pecadilloes he chooses, and it was making me sad. I cried as I fell asleep last night, in the realisation that I couldn’t be with this man in the way I’d like. It was a mixture of exhaustion, self-pity, self-loathing and acceptance.

I told him that, strange as it may sound, he was one of the few people in my life I’ve ever met who I was immediately and strongly attracted to; the kind of person who I just cannot get enough of. It’s been many years since I’ve felt this way; in fact, other than when I was a teenager, I don’t remember the last time I felt like this.

If nothing else, that sense that my heart has awakened, and reminded me of how strongly it can feel, is an amazing thing. I’ve spent the last year in a haze, unfocussed and numb. I never thought I could feel this strongly again.

And now it’s over.

And life goes on.

 

Nothing stays the same for long

…especially apparently in NYC.

I was taking a mental health day and staying away from dating scenarios, but it looks like they caught up to me anyway.

A few things happened:
1) I decided I no longer want to date The Charmer;
2) My roommate’s cute friend The Actor asked for my number;
3) The Grad Student’s friend The Musician wants to get in touch with me;
4) The Canadian Historian and I are playing phone tag; and
5) The Corporate Lawyer sounds like he wants to make things exclusive.

That is a lot of play for someone who is basically an averagely good-looking intelligent woman. And a lot of stuff happening on a day that’s supposed to be about not dating.

It’s also a lot for me to process. For now, I’m going to go to bed.