Saturday, June 22, 2013

Let MeMe Be Your Guy-d

Somewhere along the line I lost sight of the fact that I intended this, originally, as a guide, for those other awkward ladies and men trying to navigate the treacherous and slutty waters of the dating pool.

Maybe that's for the best.

What authority do I have, after all? My go-to response in social settings is to laugh awkwardly and fidget while avoiding eye contact, sometimes replying to questions with a noun or adjective that has absolutely no right to be included in the sentence.

"How are you doing today, MeMe?"

"Jaunty birds. Two-by-fours. Eclectic coffee pencils (nervous laughter). Amiright? You know!"

And yet, the shocking realization is that I am still not anywhere near the most awkward, uncomfortable, cringe-inducing human in the Internet Dating World of OkCupid.

Even my Groupon subscription, at this point, is gently recommending I try

"Half off. Come on, MeMe... please listen. We're worried about you. It's 50% off now, and 50% more normal. Just think-- that's 50% less bitching from you. Think it over, won't you? For your own good?

For some reason, I persist, although my interest in the dating world can only be described as "lackluster" at best.

Gerard Butler did his best, and even suggested a mini golf outing, which, I feel (for him) was a true stretch of the imagination. I agreed, because I hate open rejection, and then went into the ritual of only answering half his texts, weaning him off until there were no more responses and he got the hint and stopped asking.

Since he would only text me once every few days this was not much of an issue, and my worry that I was stifling his burning passion for me alleviated.

Smoking Hottie, meanwhile, actually texted that he realized he was being rather stingy in an attempt at strange (and awkward) flirtation, and offered to buy me (yes, purchase!) sushi one day if I could make it out to his neck of the city.

Obviously, he reads my blog.

I'm open to this, because I enjoy looking at him, but again, there's really no worry that these boys are going to bust down my door to get to me. Call me old-fashioned but I like a man who's the perfect mix of giving me breathing room and obsessing about me to the point where it is no longer healthy.

Because this blog also turned out more popular than I could ever have expected or hoped (and I love you desperately for being so interested in my terrible dates, tragic history, and overall madness), I've been getting a lot of feedback from various individuals, who are trying to follow my "rules" but not fully grasping that I make shit up as I go, and will in all likelihood change my mind next week, swearing I never even SAID the thing that I had, previously, been so strident about, let it GO already good gracious.

So, for my bros out there in utter confusion, here's a few basic rules that I may or may not waver on down the line (my ladies, please feel free to comment any additional Golden Rules that I may have overlooked):

Rule One: If You Ask Her Out, You Pay. Jesus. 

   It's really as simple as that. Yes, we live in 2013 and feminism means women are striving to be equal to men, earn the same amount per dollar, and live in a world where we can be respected and admired and safe, even though Kickstarter just funded a guide for men that literally tells them it's okay to just grab our hands and put them directly on the penis. It's a confusing battle between good, evil, and old fashioned here.

But just answer me this: Did you ask her out? You did, didn't you? Then plan on paying.

   If she asked you out, and you said yes, not only is she my new hero, she should also expect to foot the bill. Or at least go Dutch. Fair's fair.

   But, speaking as someone who gets rejected every time she asks a man out, yet seems to be in hot demand when she appears to be totally uninterested (admittedly, awkwardness maaaay be a factor here), men seem to prefer to be the ones doing the asking. Am I being too bold? Am I scaring you? Am I literally not making any kind of sense whatsoever in my attempt to communicate with you? I don't know. But if you want to be the ones doing the asking, go right ahead. Just pay.

   Don't preface the date with a condescending wink and a pat on the hand, followed with, "It's on me, so order whatever you want, little lady." Thanks, I think I'll order my dignity back.
   Don't hold up your hand like a Supreme and tell her you've got it when the check hits the table. Just pick it up, and put your card down like it ain't no thing. You got this. You planned this. Let her fiddle with her purse a minute, because we genuinely feel bad if we don't offer (unless 1- she is an entitled bitch or 2- you were just the worst of companions for the course of the meal), but assure her, it's on you and thanks for spending the evening with you. Boom. I don't care if you bought me water and I splurged for a slice lemon, that's what I like to hear.

   If you can't afford a nice dinner and a movie, or don't want to put that kind of investment into a new person, go for coffee. Go for ice cream. Take a walk. Read her some romantic epic poems (please don't read her poems on the first date). Figure it out, son.

   This does not mean you have to front the bill for your female friends, your mother and extended family, and every woman in the bar. Are you trying to sleep with them? I certainly hope not (though I can't speak for some guys I know). Thus, they don't expect you to throw cash at them like they're spending their weekend twirling on a pole beneath a shiny disco ball.

Not again, Cousin Judy... You promised!

Rule Two: On the Initial Approach... Don't Be So Weird.

Seriously, quit being so fucking weird.

-Do not propose or profess love before a socially appropriate amount of time has passed.

 That is just never okay. Please stop doing it.

Let's analyze an example, shall we?

"Ok so maybe this is a bit forward.. .. but how about we go explore Chicago, you know because I'm an expert on the place... While there we could get engaged.. Yeah you know like wedding future wife be with me forever engaged hahaha .."

My first reaction to this (second, my first is that this individual absolutely has no concept of how to use ellipses) is holy hell, he's going to murder me somewhere in the three-hour drive it would even take to get to Chicago. I'll end up stuffed into his dead mother's wedding gown and kept in a dry basement closet until the police find me twenty years later during a drug raid.

You look like you're about a size four... 

Not only is suggesting we spend a total of 6 hours in a car together on a first date (assuming I even make it back) very presumptuous and completely horrifying, adding to the fact that I'm coming home with a (very small, no doubt) rock on my cold dead finger is just way too much pressure.

  Desperation level: Expert.

   My friend is experiencing a similar problem--a man she dated for a month (a year ago) continues to text her with declarations of love, and an insistent that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her.

   They broke up because she found out he was engaged. To his cousin.

   You can't bounce back from this, buddy. I don't care how much you claim to love her in the hopes that she'll forgive you for being an absolute piece of crap, because girls like that, right? That's all they want--committment!

 You gots to git.

Please help me; I don't even know this man.

-Don't start off with a joke. Or a pick-up line. That ranks only slightly less pathetic.

-Do NOT neg her. I don't even think men know they're doing it half the time. If you are incapable of delivering a compliment without wrapping it in an insult, than you need to analyze why you can't just tell someone you think they're attractive without adding that they look like of like a thicker version of Julia Roberts. Are you so afraid your honest appreciation will be rejected that you add in a preemptive return snub? Don't get pissed when she's not flattered.

DO: Be honest. Yes, that can be difficult. It may not get you a return message on a dating site. It may not get  you much in person, either. Women have men bombarding them with crap, crap, crap, all the time. In the bar. On the street. While driving. At the store. While walking the dog. During delivery of our firstborn. Constantly, it's just:

Hey! Girl, you single? Hey! Hey! Hey! Nice Ass! Hey!

In my case, "Hey! How old are you? Hey! Hey! Hey!"

We block it out, automatically. Honesty will make an impression. A nice, "Hello. I'm sorry to bother you, but I think you're really lovely, and I'd love to buy you a drink/talk with you for a minute/get your number and maybe take you out this weekend, because I can see you're with friends and I hate to interrupt" will either get you digits, or at least a really nice lie about already having a boyfriend if you're a 2 and she's a 9 (Rule Three: Know Your Limitations).

DON'T: Be too honest. "You're so hot I want to bang you right here and now on the bar, and I don't care who's watching. Ursher-style."

Rule Four: Accept Rejection Gracefully

I can't really help you here; I'm still working on that one.

It always has time for me.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Step 5, 8, 16, 21, and 56... Resignation

The time has come again. MeMe felt the siren's call of dating---but mostly I just missed you guys--and  attempted the dreaded second date.

Not once, mind you, but twice, in the hopes that something magically strange or awkward would happen, and I could report back with a great second date story that you could share around the water cooler, with your grandparents over breakfast, or work into your wedding vows right in that tricky spot where you're not quite sure what story to put between the day you met and the day you proposed.

Unfortunately, both dates were more or less unremarkable, so I must resort, as usual, to some salty language in an attempt to liven things up.

Obviously, the first order of business was to meet up with the smoking cute studlett that is, let's face it, too young for me, but who is very pretty and who I enjoyed speaking with.

And I enjoyed speaking with him again, though I started noticing things I had missed on the first date.

For example--because what's one of my posts without bitching about the check?--the first date was just coffee, and he was sitting and visually absent when I arrived, so I ordered my own coffee and went off to find him.

In retrospect, it was a bit odd that he had already ordered his, and was maybe more legitimately trying to hide around the corner of the cashier than simply out of sight.

I say this because he invited me out for round two at a time when I had a mere few precious dollars to my name (pretty much like every other day), which I mentioned.

He offered, via text, to pick up the tab... but with a winky promise that I'd get the next one. Well sure, that's adorable, and isn't that how kids these days flirt?

Except without the charming addition of a winky face emoticon, he got kind of intense about it. I had to do a pinky swear that I would pick up the tab next time around. He was beaded with sweat and shaking until I broke down and agreed, because I was starting to foresee that third date not being an issue.

I bought black coffee, mind you. It was less than two dollars.

Well, I reminded myself that he was recently out of work. And a handful of years younger than me (props). I could vaguely relate to his concern, and tried to brush it off.

We talked for two hours again. He is really fascinating to talk with, kind of like a cute little white Morgan Freeman on some PBS special. Philosophy, odd science, fun facts... he is obviously very intelligent, and I felt my brain waking up a little, pleased to finally have an opportunity to impress, and give the fake smiles and on-cue laughs a break.

Although, then there were those moments where he told the story of an older homosexual man confessing his love, or underwear cuddle time with his male roommate, that made me wonder why I like my men so gay.

Afterward, despite the stimulating conversation accompanying my sudden fear that I'll end up married to a really clean-cut man who spends an inordinate amount of time with his best friend Julian, I left noticing that I had lost some of that spark from the first date.

I think the stimulating conversation may have overlooked the fact that the two of us need to get to know one another to build anything. I learned about sensory deprivation, Indigo Children, and how a recognizable gay celebrity wanted to more or less adopt him, but I didn't leave with any sort of picture of who he was as a person.

The only really clear picture I came away with was the worrying image of him and his roommate sitting in sticky repression on their sofa together, clad only in tight white briefs and denial.

I was not adverse to meeting again... and purchasing him a round, or a coffee (though nothing much fancier than that on principle). After all, he was shelling out for gas and coming to see me, and with local gas prices figuratively dropping the soap and telling us in a husky voice to "bend on over an' pick it 'urp," that's nothing to be overlooked.

Until he told me he was going to Puerto Rico this weekend, just for "fun." Okay. You may not have a job at the moment, but if you can fly off to a tropical land on a whim, you can fucking pick up the tab for Panera coffee, and even a muffin should I feel so inclined. Sympathy and understanding REVOKED.

So, I set up a second date with Gerard Butler, who had tried a few times to arrange one via text but never found me in a particularly interested mood. He had promised, this time, that it would be "on him," since I made a point of noting I was brizzoke as shit after our last date had ended with me reluctantly taking my half of the sushi dinner he had so helpfully suggested.

I honestly did not even shower for this date. I have started a new job that I am still trying to navigate and thus in a perpetual state of stress and nerves, and my body isn't quite ready to return to a diurnal schedule after half a year of sleeping through the day and scurrying around at night with my eyes reflecting car headlights. Showering and the subsequent beautifying routine just sounded exhausting, especially for a late-night date. I wore my glasses, a little mascara, and the clothes I had worn the night before for getting drinks with a friend. It definitely took him a minute to recognize me.

We met at a neighboring town, at a really fun bar with a great vibe. People in dreadlocks were beating Bob Marley out of bongo drums, and there were stuffed jackalopes all over the room. I was more excited to see that people really do congregate and have a good time on the weekends than to see Gerard, because I live in  a city based on that town in "Footloose," but I will admit that, upon second perusal, he is very attractive. I think upon initial meeting I was too busy noting ways that he is NOT Gerard Butler to realize that he's a pretty handsome lad.

The bar, while I loved it, was way too loud for conversation. That was probably all right. Neither of us really had much to say.

In between sets I launched into my nervous "say anything oh God just talk" habit, again, like a hysterical little monkey in red pants. I don't even know what came out of my mouth. He probably couldn't hear me anyway.

I know, however, I made a few attempts at jokes--at least one of them had to have been clever--to no response. Barely a smile cracked.

I laugh so hard I cry at my own jokes, but nothing from this guy? Hard audience. The more I noticed this, the more desperately I tried to become funny, and the more stoic he seemed to become, and the monkey just chattered harder.

Could I resign myself to a life of just not being funny?

He is, I will say, sweet, and definitely kind of shy and awkward, which comes off as strange on a guy over six feet tall who is build like Gerard Butler (Yeah, I looked).

But when he walked me back to my car and hesitantly tried to feel out a third date, I couldn't feel it. I like men who are goofy and know when to be ridiculous and make me look  like the stoic one.

I don't think it would work. I watched my dad ignore my mom's jokes (and vice versa, though his, to be fair, were terrible) for their marriage right up to the end, and I know that I need someone who yes, thinks I'm clever and intelligent, but also uproariously funny (and hot)... and doesn't mind picking up the first few checks.


A rabbi was called to a small village in Africa called Trid, to deal with the issue of a giant who had invaded and was going around kicking the tar out of the villagers.

The rabbi went, and found the giant roaming around, happily kicking the poor people of Trid halfway to China.

"Giant!" The rabbi called bravely, hoping reason would end the horror. "This is wrong! You must stop kicking these poor people!"

And then the rabbi cowered, bracing himself for a foot to the rear.

The giant only laughed, however.

"Silly Rabbi," he boomed. "Kicks are for Trids."