Thursday, February 26, 2009

Flipping Not Allowed

I had been dating this amazing guy for a month or so. Our whirlwind romance had me falling madly in love. One night, he invited me over for a BBQ but my mother was visiting. He insisted I bring her along, which I did. He was super-excited when we arrived and tried hard to impress her. When he took a break from the grill to grab something from the house, I decided flip to the meat on the BBQ. He came back and screamed at me: "What are you doing! You are so controlling! Why can't you let me be the host!" Then, he stormed off, leaving us speechless. I went to look for him and found him curled in a fetal position staring into the void in his bedroom. I could not get a response for him so I went back to my mother. We sat there and wondering what to do. I was sad, disturbed but also amused, especially when we decided to eat some of the meat since we were starving. The next day, he called apologetically and said he should not have been drinking while on his medication. Needless to say I had no idea he was on meds. I guess the paranoid behavior should have tipped me off - he kept a samurai sword under the seat of his car and had a panic button installed in his bedroom. If my mother had not been there, I might have rationalized this and forgiven him. But because she was, there was no going back. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Marriage à la Mode

After yesterday's fashion dating hilarity, we sobered up a bit when we read about how dress preferences can kill a relationship in Mariella Frostrup's agony aunt column in The Observer. Mariella, a reformed party girl, Friend of George Clooney and serious literary journalist, is our kind of agony aunt. Her stunning resume and late-but-extremely-happy coupled up status are some of the reasons we heart her. Then, there's her wisdom and attempts at empathy. Here's what she said to the cross-dressing husband who's losing his wife because of his wardrobe choices:
The closest I've come to understanding the urge was when I found myself attracted to Eddie Izzard despite the fact that he was wearing rather nasty nail varnish and a skirt shorter than mine. It taught me that you can never predict or dictate what's going to turn you on. Reverse discrimination is rife in what we wear. Women sport ridiculous concoctions, call them fashion and are admired by their contemporaries. Men are barely tolerated out of trousers. 
The rest of her terribly sane and sensible advice is here. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Master of the Wardrobe

On a third date with a very cute and interesting guy, I wanted to get beyond the surface, so I asked him to tell me some about himself. "I do like to wear women's clothing sometimes," he replied. My response: Huh?? "Well," he said, "You are wearing men's jeans so it's not that different." I was wearing Levi's. We kept talking and before I knew it he was explaining his favorite fabrics. Blouses and skirts were his preferred dress style apparently. By the end of the date, I was driving him around, and pointing out my best-loved boutiques and discussing make-up as if I had found a new shopping buddy. I must have been shell-shocked at the revelation, but the next day I decided not to see him again. It was a decision he found perplexing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dating Dear Old Dad

Want to know "Why You're Likely to Marry Your Parent?" According to experts interviewed by CNN, we are inherently programmed to marry partners who remind us of our parents. Since you grow up familiar with a certain type of person (funny, outspoken, affectionate, offensive or even abusive) you then become attracted to similar versions in the dating pool because it feels comfy, whether you' like it or not. Some of these couplings yield fantastic results, while others lead to pure drama. If marrying someone like your mom or dad gives you the creeps, don't fret, there is hope. Simply go about your search consciously, don't jump in to marriage right away and get help if you have unhealed issues. As if dating wasn't hard enough. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Something's Fishy

Thor, a guy I met when I was out with a friend one night, was 45 minutes late picking me up. He drives us to a Japanese restaurant and lets me know that he has never tried sushi.  He asks the waitress why sake doesn’t taste like wine and if Geisha stomp on rice to make it. “I think I’m going to get this California Roll,” he says. “Now, what about this avocado fish? What’s that like.” I explained that avocado was actually a fruit. Dinner arrives and he eats with his hands because “this chop stick thing blows my mind.” He talks about his take on religion, the book he has just read that is a “cross between Dungeons and Dragons and the Bible,” how his mother is going to love me and then about how attractive and tall our children will be. He reaches up to get his Budweiser from the table. His elbow hits the underside of the table flipping it over. Sushi, soy sauce, beer and red wine take flight in the direction of my white pants.

Finally, the bill comes. He opens it, closes it … and hands it to me. Then says, “So, ah, what are you throwing in?” Stupidly, I reach in my clutch and put down the entire contents of my wallet (forgetting to save cab fare so I don’t have to accept a ride home). He drops me off at home and asks if I am busy over the weekend. “Yes Thor, I am busy,” I say. He asks, “What about next week?” I said I was busy and then going out of town and then simply just not interested. “This evening did not go very well,” I explained. He said that he had a great time. Then he asks, “What about your friend? Do you think I could call her?”

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Romance of Recession

The economy be damned! We are all still searching for love, according to The New York Times, which recently regaled us with a series of facts that show that both online dating and offline matchmaking are booming. With no 9-to-5s to go to, people have more time to surf profiles on the likes of, and the search for a soul mate has become more urgent in these scary times. It's also apparently about substance this time around because we're no longer impressed by money. Although we do still want potential partners to have jobs, according to the article's stats and reporting. Even in a depression, we want cupid to keep his bow and aim it right! 

Coffee, Tea or Me

My very worst date was when i drove down to Seal Beach to meet a guy for coffee. As soon as I stepped out of my car, he rushed over to me, and asked me if i liked the area and then if I thought I could live there. Caught off guard, I responded, "Uh, I just met you." He then asked me if I would go to his house and shower with him. Just for the record, i didn't.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Animalistic Valentine

When I was fourteen, the most popular - and creative - boy in my class asked me out on Valentine's Day. Naturally, I was flattered, thrilled and highly anticipating some grand romantic gesture. As you do at 14. On the day, he arrived with a bunch of red carnations, which are usually used for decorating tombstones in our hometown. So far, not so romantic but my teenage heart remained hopeful. But not for long as our walk ended at the local zoo, where we walked around until he settled on a bench in front of the monkey enclosure and unpacked a lunch box from his rucksack. Ahead of us, a male baboon unpacked his proverbial lunch box and began humping his mate. Now, as an adult, I know animal watching can be fascinating, romantic even, in the wild. But watching them go at it in a cage on the most romantic day of the year strikes me (even now) as beyond odd. Needless to say it was excruciatingly embarrassing to watch the primate porn. But there's more.. After they finished their (or his?) business, the male reached out and grabbed my bouquet to the delight of his girlfriend, who munched on it happily. At least, she enjoyed her Valentine's Day that year. 

Bye-Bye Benefits

Dating someone less than eligible (read: jobless, aimless, pot habit etc)? A solution emerges in this week's The New York Observer. The answer? Dump him. This act will apparently set off the "Butterfly Effect" and spur the loser to get his (the article is gender-specific) act together. But alas, once he's done that and got himself a job and life, he might not fly back to you... Could the message be that what's broke isn't worth fixing? 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Matchmaker, Matchmaker Make Me a Match

Before internet dating became the norm, I signed up with a matchmaking service, which featured 3-ring binders full of members' one-page profiles that included pictures. I picked out a decent-looking guy in his early 40's with interests and attributes I liked and we arranged to go on a date. So in walks this guy, who had to be in his 60's, with a horribly bad toupee and he makes a beeline for me. At this point, I wanted to die but I decided to be polite and not walk out so, instead, we sat down for dinner. Big mistake. I don't even remember what we talked about during dinner because all I could hear was the whistling coming from his ill-fitting upper dental plate every time he spoke. Since I didn't walk out on him or take him to task for lying on his profile, which I now suspect other women had justifiably done, he took this to mean that I liked him and hounded me with phone calls that I managed to avoid for weeks until one late night at work. I quickly pretended that my phone was malfunctioning and that I couldn't hear who was on the other end of the line. He kept saying, "I know you can hear me," upper plate whistling all the while through the speakerphone. At least, he never called again!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Crime of the Very Passionate

We nominate Chris Brown and Rihanna for the Very Worst Grammy Night Date...These two were the cutest things. They spent ages denying their relationship. We couldn't help wondering if J Hova's gospel for his proteges included a no-boyfriends passage but then we learnt that Jay-Z was actually screening her dates. Meanwhile, Chris and Rihanna kept being snapped in more-than-friendly situations. She said they were like siblings and he declared it was just that they "had the worst luck with pictures." But then they could not hold back anymore and there was all-out PDAs. Now a public bust-up of her doll-like face and a possible prison sentence for him! Then there are those nasty, viral rumors about the cause of the car fight. Good relationship gone bad, seriously bad. 

Monday, February 9, 2009

Blood and Whine

I asked a girl I was casually dating to attend a charity wine tasting event and, as could be expected, we both caught a pretty good buzz. At dinner afterwards, I ordered a Cabernet, while she had a straight gin martini. Followed quickly by another. And another. She then says she’s not feeling well and heads to the restroom to purge, but returns feeling much better, and wants to head to the bar across the street for one more drink. Unfortunately, another dude she was dating happened to be there. He looks at her, ignoring my presence, and asks her if she was coming over that night. Annoyed, I started to leave and she ends up following me. As we were walking along on our way home, she keeps talking about this other guy.

I suggested that we sit down to discuss what just occurred. However, instead of sitting on the bench, she went head first into it and looked up at me with blood pouring out of her nose. People began stopping and asking her if she is OK, while looking at me like I just punched her in the face. I duck into a bar and grab a ton of napkins. I am now cleaning blood of both our shoes, while she tries to get Niagara Falls to stop. She starts slurring about the other guy again, at which point I blurted out an obscenity, and turned around and went home.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Get Shirty

I met a first date for a drink at a bar close to my house. He seemed OK - not quite knocking my socks off but not bad either. I had walked to the bar and when the date was over, he asked to walk me home. I declined but he insisted. At my place, he announced that he needed to use the bathroom. I was too polite to tell him to take his butt back to the bar so I let him in and waited by the open front door for him. He came out of the bathroom wearing his shirt. No pants, no underwear, nothing. He was also at full salute. "Hey, what do you think?" he asked with his arms spread wide to show himself off. I laughed but that didn't deflate him. "What?" he cajoled like a little boy. "Come on...just a little? How about oral? A hand job?" Despite this, I remained polite. I stood by the open front door, saying no and asking him to put his pants back on. Finally, I told him he was making me really uncomfortable and that I would go get my neighbor if he didn't leave. He did and later called to ask for a second date! 

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A River Runs Through It

Sometimes we are subjected to the worst date ever, and sometimes we are the cause of the worst date ever. My first job out of college was pretty lame, but the thing that kept me going back each day was this cute, blond Canadian girl. Our relationship started from conversations at the copy machine to lunches and daily conversations in each other’s cubicles. I finally invited her on a rafting trip I was going on with some friends, which I thought would be the perfect first date. For lunch that day, I went down to the work cafeteria and bought myself the Friday Special: the Super Burrito.  As usual, it tasted great and filled me up. At the end of the day we headed out for the three-hour drive and life was perfect, until about a half hour from the campsite. 

At that point my stomach started doing things I had only seen in movies. Twisting left, twisting right and bubbling like a witches pot. I quickly pulled over to the side of the road ran out of the car and into the bushes. After a few more stops with similar results we made it to the campsite. But by this time I was hanging on by a thread and my symptoms had moved from throwing up to extreme abdominal pain. She was worried for me, but was slightly annoyed when she had to figure out how to put up the tent, while I lay on the ground writhing in pain.

Right about midnight things went from bad to worse. I woke up to an experience similar to throwing up, however from a different part of the body. Being that we didn’t have proper facilities, I had to wash myself in the river, naked and dispose of that set of clothing. Too embarrassed to go back into the tent, I stumbled to the top of the hill by the Porta Potties and slept on the ground, all the while fearing that a mountain lion was going to drag my emaciated body away for an early morning breakfast.

As I was in no condition to drive, she was to be the pilot for the three-hour ride back. Of course the drive may have been shorter if we weren’t stopping at a gas station every 20 miles so that I could remember that Super Burrito I had eaten the day before. I know you are thinking that in the end it probably all worked out and that we looked back on the incident and laughed about it. Unfortunately there is no recovering from bad burritos or bad dates.

Loves me, loves me not

Out tomorrow is the film spawn of the book that came from the Sex in the City one-liner: He Just Not That Into You. Early reviews of the flick, which stars Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson and Ginny Goodwin, are lukewarm but we will still be checking it out since we agree with the philosophy behind the phrase. Whether we're talking spades or bad dates, we prefer the unvarnished and ungarnished versions.  

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Up Close and Hilariously Personal

As we've heard and read, the truth is often sacrificed in the prose of online profiles. Presentable becomes "gorgeous." Obesity is passed off as "a little extra meat." Being "athletic" means having been to the gym once in the last six months. So we were amused to read about the self-deprecating, self-lampooning lonely hearts in the London Review of Books via The Guardian. There's no way of knowing how factual/satirical the claims are but we enjoyed the the cheek of these Brit bibliophiles: 
"Mentally, I am a size eight. Compulsive-eating F, 52, WLTM man to 25 for whom the phrase 'beauty is only skin-deep' is both a lifestyle choice and a religious ethos..."