Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

Psycho Killer, Qu’est-ce que c’est

I went on a first date tonight. I was convinced he was a psycho killer. I went anyways.

I don’t waste a lot of time online. If I write to someone and they write back using proper grammar, spellcheck, and capitalization, then I suggest we meet for coffee or a drink. I don’t want to spend all my time writing back and forth just to realize that there is no chemistry when we meet.

At the bottom of his profile, in the “You should message me if” section, he’d added

Do not message me if:

You don’t believe we ever landed on the moon.
You don’t believe we are related to monkeys.
You vote Republican.
You watch Fox news.
You go to church more than twice a year.
You take yourself too seriously.

And as you all know, those are some of my exact same pet peeves. So I had to write him. I told him that my siblings could also recite all the lyrics to the score of Rent, so they would get along. I asked him where his favorite place to travel has been. I’d sent the email in November of 2010. He responded on Thursday. Then he closed that account and wrote again from a new account.

Today we decided to meet for wine this evening in downtown Palo Alto. He said he was having dinner with his parents there and we could meet after. I almost joked that I should meet them for dinner and get the awkward part over before we even began.

We arranged where and when to meet. And he asked me if I could meet him by his car and help him with his crutches. I said sure.

Then I made whoopie pies. Today is the Whoopie Pie Festival in my hometown in Maine. In honor of it, I made some at home. While I was baking, I was watching Brokedown Palace and I got to thinking. What if I’m being manipulated like the Australian guy in the movie. Here is a guy who responded to me four years later. He’s forty-something and having dinner with his parents. And he wants me to meet him by his car to “help” him. What if he is lying about the spinal cord injury and is just trying to get me to his car before anyone sees us together so he can kidnap me? What if he deleted his old account because he’d killed the last girl and needed to cover his tracks?

I freaked. I’d stopped by The Bean Scene to get coffee earlier today and had been singing along to the Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” while sipping my latte and unable to move off the couch after a 17-mile bike ride this morning. We’d climbed the hill to IBM’s Almaden Research Center. I hadn’t been there since Houda had been an intern there. That was a lifetime ago.

I told him I wouldn’t be able to help and if he couldn’t make it we could reschedule for something that would be easier for him. He said he could be “beaten to a pulp by an 80-year-old with one leg.” What if he is just trying to guilt me into a trap! What if I was the nameless girl in the beginning of the horror flick. You know it is a horror flick as you are watching, so when you see all the signs, you yell at her and tell her how stupid she is for not seeing them herself. Then she dies.

Then he says, “Don’t stand me up please…we’ll have fun”.  Is that “we” will have fun or “he” will have fun dismembering me? O. M. G. He has a medical degree according to his profile—that I am now taking not just with a grain of salt but with a whole shaker. I can probably avoid going to his car, but what if he drugs me? Then he’ll claim he is a doctor and that I have some crazy medical condition and he’ll take me from the restaurant when he can’t get me to come directly to his car.

I am reminded that I have a very active imagination.

I get to the restaurant and am freaked out. But I’ve convinced myself that there are two outcomes. Either he really is who his profile says he is and this will all be a romantic comedy, or he is a serial killer and I’ll avoid being alone with him or taking my eyes off my wine. Then I can write a book about him after he is caught and talk about how charismatic and charming he was as we sipped wine and I narrowly avoided being one of his victims.

I walked inside. There was a guy sitting at the bar. I didn’t see any crutches, but maybe they were on the other side. I asked if he was who I was looking for. He said, “No, but you are welcome to join me.”

“Thanks, but I need to keep looking.” What if he is the guy? Now he knows I am here and what I look like. He can follow me home and kill me there. And no one will ever connect us.

I walked through to the back where the live music was playing. A waitress asked if she could help me. I told her I was looking for a guy that I was supposed to be meeting. She said she didn’t think there was anyone there, but we could walk through and look.

They were all couples. No single people. She asked what he looked like. I said it was a blind date, so I didn’t know. She just kept apologizing. I told her it wasn’t her fault. I could have cut the pity with a knife. A butter knife. I don’t need to provide any weapons here.

I walked back out to the front and sat outside on the porch of the little restaurant house. I sent him a message that I didn’t see him and he must have decided to stand me up instead.

Then he called. I tried to answer, but I heard nothing. Not even breathing on the other end of the line. I’d regretted giving him my phone number. What if he started sending harassing phone calls?

I tried hanging up the phone, but my phone was hung. I had to reboot. Comedy of errors is all this is, right? Romantic comedy, not horror.

When the phone finally rebooted, there was a text message saying he was in the white SUV across the street and that he was just grabbing his crutches. Another trick to lure me away and throw me in a creepy white van to take me away and tie me up and steal my kidneys!

But the text message showed me an email address. So I googled the name. And sure enough, there was a picture of him on a page for the website for his employer. And it looked like the photos that were on OKCupid. It was looking promising.

He waved to me. I tentatively walked across the street to the parking lot. It was still daylight out, but that might not be enough to stop him. I walked in a wide circle around his Mercedes SUV. Not a creepy white van. His face matched the photos I’d seen. And he really did have crutches and was having difficulty using them.

Romantic comedy. Not horror.

We sat in the backyard of the restaurant house in the glow of miniature lights, warmed by a fire pit, listening to live music, sipping wine (once the waitress realized we were there), and laughed about the ridiculous story I had invented in my head. We talked about traveling and languages and freak accidents. The evening ended with the sounds of fireworks in the distance. I walked him back to his car and helped put his crutches away.

Not a serial killer. At least not yet.

Illogical Butterflies

I occasionally forget what it feels like to have butterflies in my stomach. At times I’ve gone for years without feeling them. If you’ve ever had them, you know the kind I’m talking about. It’s the feeling you get when you are thinking about, or are with someone you find attractive, not just physically, but mentally. I’m not talking lust, or desire. Butterflies.

The butterflies make me laugh a little too hard and a little too loud at jokes. They bring out the secret smile that most people never see. They flutter at the sound of text messages in anticipation. They make me go out of my way to ensure that it was all more than just one chance meeting. I heart butterflies.

I also hate them. They come out of nowhere, blindsiding me. One minute everything is normal, and the next, POW! I’m suddenly acting like a teenager, all giggly and silly, needing reassurance when I never have before. It’s like I’m not in control of my own body. There are constant cravings that suddenly need fulfillment. Stat! I have to find a way to see him again. To see him smile, to hear his laugh, to get a text message, or just tell him how my day went and ask about his. How? What can I say, what can I do to make it happen?! All these things are racing through my head at all hours of the day and night. All while the other side of my brain is asking, “WTF is your problem? Why him? Why now? Really? You were perfectly fine just hours ago.  What happened?”

Most of the time, butterflies for me are within hours of meeting a person. But occasionally, I don’t notice them at first. They sneak up on me. It starts by noticing his absence and wondering where he is. Then the slight twinge when I hope he will happen to show up to wherever I am. Next, I start manufacturing reasons for us to meet. The butterflies are like a drug and I just keep needing more.

However, if the butterflies aren’t reciprocated, they become an annoyance. There is the constant distraction every time my phone makes a noise and I jump to respond like a Pavlovian dog. There are the wandering day dreams that interfere with my concentration. Then there’s the constant desire to just make some sort of contact, which I have to learn to ignore. Not to mention the general frustration of not understanding why the feelings aren’t reciprocated—the logical side of me knows that it doesn’t matter why, so why don’t the butterflies understand that?*

I wish emotions were black and white. I want to turn them off and go back to what I was doing. I want to go back to the status quo. I want to ignore the desires and delusions. I want to be in control.

But at the same time, I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the reminder that butterflies exist, that I’m not completely broken, that I still have a heart. I’m grateful for experiencing the feeling, and being reminded that it is worth the wait. Some people have to break off all contact to get rid of the butterflies, but I prefer them to just fly away over time. It can be hard in the beginning as I’m breaking myself of some bad habits, but I like that one or two butterflies always remain. I enjoy literally laughing out loud when reading a Facebook post or tweet. Or the secret smile that appears when we run into each other. Or the warmth that comes from hearing a familiar voice. It all reassures me that some day it will be the right person at the right time. And for those who weren’t the right person at the right time, I hate to quote Garth Brooks, but, “Our lives are better left to chance—I could have missed the pain—But I’d of had to miss the dance.”

* The reason I don’t want to know why someone isn’t interested is something I’ve learned over the years. There are three reasons why someone isn’t interested:

  1. It is something about me I can’t change.
  2. It is something about me I can change.
  3. It is something about themselves.

In case 1, why torture myself with something I can do nothing about? In case 2, I should never change myself to please someone else. And as such, case 3 is covered by the same principles.

Stood up

I don’t like to blog about my dates because most guys are genuinely nice, just not the right guy for me. For this guy, I will make an exception.

He contacted me. There were early warning signs. The first was that he still typed as though the world had never invented predictive typing. Use of letters like U, R, and M instead of full words indicate to me an inherent laziness and lack of interest in details. Not a good first impression, but people tell me I’m too picky about that, and so I let it pass. For note, I will ignore those people’s advice in the future as it is a good predictive indicator of failure.

Next, one of his first questions was whether I had a problem with the age difference. Nine years. I don’t, but that was evidence that he has issues with it right off the bat or else he wouldn’t have brought it up. Immaturity warning.

Then he asked what kind of guys I normally date. Red alert flags went up. He already wants to compare himself to my past. When guys ask questions like this, I like to respond with, “they are all rich, successful, and have huge dicks.” This was an immediate insecurity flag.

He was decent looking, makes a good salary, is well travelled and I was curious about his Spanish/Indian heritage since I’m headed to Spain soon. So I was willing to look past my self-invented warning signs. People keep telling me I’m too picky.

His next question was about where I worked. I ignored it as I often do. He pressed on. Finally I answered. Turns out, he is a software architect at the New Evil Empire. Sigh. This should have been a last straw. I should have read the writing on the wall. But I could hear voices of my friends with spouses at the New Evil Empire say I should give the guy a chance, they aren’t all bad.

So I arranged to meet for coffee on Saturday afternoon. I asked if I could bring my dog. I figured Perl might as well get a good walk out of the deal.

He sent me a poorly lit and poorly composed photo of himself in his cubicle at work and wanted me to reciprocate. I sent him the photo of me stealing the corner at Lily Macs on St. Patrick’s Day. His next request was for a full body shot.

Seriously? There is one on the dating site. Go there. He said, “Don’t u wanna know how your guy look like physically ?”

I responded with, “I will find out at 2pm. Patience.” It was 10:45 am Saturday morning.

Fifteen minutes later, he said something had come up, could we meet tomorrow? Sure, Sunday would be fine.

That was the last I heard from him.

Sunday afternoon, Perl and I walked to downtown Sunnyvale. I tied her to a table outside the Palace Cafe. I got myself a latte and her a bowl of water. It was a gorgeous day. I sipped my latte and watched the people on the street. One guy opened up his car windows and cranked some slow jam for us all to enjoy.

He never showed. No text, no email, no nothing. Maybe he saw me and decided he didn’t like the full body view. Maybe he just never thought of me again. Maybe he was just gathering data about me so he could sell it to advertisers. I wasn’t particularly surprised that the date planning never made it out of beta before being cancelled without warning. Typical. Asshole.

Regardless, Perl and I had a lovely walk. I brought her back home then returned to Murphy Street to meet friends at Roberto’s, the New Mexican place. I highly recommend the margaritas.

On to the next guy! And this time, I’ll listen to my own instincts!

Seven year curse

I am hoping that today is the end of the seven year curse.

Seven years ago last night, I broke up with my last boyfriend. While I think the curse may have been self imposed, I’m hoping today is the end of it.

I met him in 1992 at convocation in college. My Resident Assistant, upon learning that I was from Maine, introduced me to another RA from Maine. He was a grad student at the time. I thought he was cute, but at that point he seemed way too old for me. And I was painfully shy.

Over the next three and a half years, we bumped into each other occasionally. We had a favorite local band, Sirsy, in common. He’d occasionally sing a song with them. We’d chat and knew of each other’s existence, but never hung out together. Senior year, I went to a party at the house he shared with a friend, not knowing he lived there.

I moved to Boston in January of 1996. I had a boyfriend. Life continued. I moved to Connecticut. I moved back to school in upstate NY to be with my boyfriend. I ran into him again at the shows for Sirsy. My boyfriend and I broke up. We got back together. We broke up again. I moved to California. We got back together. We broke up for the final time. I moved back to Connecticut. That is a story for another time. Maybe in another decade or two.

It was April Fools Day of 2005. My grandmother, Nana was dying. The doctors said she had a week to live. I hopped in the car and drove to Boston for the night. Brother K and The President and I would drive up to Portland in the morning to see her during visiting hours. The President’s mom was dying of cancer, so they were spending the evening at her house. With nothing to do for the night, I saw Sirsy was playing at Government Center, so I took the T there.

I stood on the side, drinking my Guinness, trying not to be hit on by the old men at the bar. Across the room I saw two couples. One of the guys looked really familiar. It had been 13 years since we had met at convocation, but there in the bar, things clicked.

I hung out with the four of them for the night. They were all just friends. They gave me a ride home at 2 am. We drove for an hour because the Sumner Tunnel was closed and all the detour signs just sent us in circles.

Finally in East Boston, he dropped me off and gave me his card to call him. I felt like it was fate. I’m a big believer in fate. I know it goes against my other beliefs, but I like to think the universe is connected and conspiring.

Brother K and The President got home a few minutes after me. We were standing around talking in the kitchen when the phone rang. Nana had passed. IDad said she had gone early to open the gates for Pope John Paul II who passed just hours after.

Instead of visiting Nana, we went to her funeral. Grump had died a few years earlier. Aunt K had contacted the church to schedule his funeral for that Friday. We wrote up an obituary and got it in the paper. A day later, the church called back to say they couldn’t have the funeral that day because it was a holy day of obligation. We laughed because The Grump had always known every day of holy obligation and we, along with the church secretary, did not. We had a barbecue and played our first, but not last, game of Funeral Beer Wiffle Ball. We put The Grump’s ashes in his chair and got drunk and talked to him. It’s an Irish family. We told Nana that we’d bury him and her at the same time, but not to rush. The Grump made his rounds on people’s mantles, haunting them along the way.

We had a church funeral for Nana and Grump. The priest said they were going to heaven. We all looked at each other with glances that acknowledged the priest did not know Nana and Grump. We waited for the lightening to strike us down. It never came. I lost my faith a little more that day.

I went back to Connecticut and called him up. We arranged a date. He came to Connecticut from Rhode Island where he was living. My ex’s parents had given me the tickets they weren’t using for the symphony. He and I dressed up and went out for dinner in downtown Waterbury. At the symphony, I learned they were my ex’s parent’s extra tickets, not their tickets. I had to call my ex and explain how I accidentally went on a double date with his parents. Awkward.

But he survived. Our next date was to go to Maine for a funeral. My grandmother, Meme, her sister, Loise, had passed on. She’d been cremated in the winter and we’d waited until spring for the burial. Hard to bury people in Maine when the ground is frozen.

It had been raining fiercely for days. When we got to the cemetery, the hole for Louise’s ashes was filled with water. Meme exclaimed, “Well, she always did like to go swimming!” We all laughed—awkwardly, but with great relief. Meme said that she would come back on a dry day and do it then.

Back at the house, we played Funeral Asshole. This is the Swedish/British side of the family. The is how The President got her name. She is always The President. I was often the Asshole. But on this day, he ended up being Asshole because he was the new guy. And Asshole always gets trashed. Poor guy went off to the bathroom, and not knowing the house, walked into Meme’s room by accident. Luckily, she was awake and watching TV and directed him to the next door.

He survived the first two dates, so we kept dating. Before we’d started dating, I’d already gotten a job back in California and was moving. He started talking about moving out with me. He flew out with me. He even took one of the cats on the plane with him. At the airport, the TSA made us take the cats out of the bag to go through the metal detectors. I didn’t know which one to give him. I showed him how to hold them by their belly and the scruff of their neck. Do not let them get a foothold or they may run! Hold their spine against your chest, feet out. And hold on for dear life.

Luckily, both cats played possum and ran back into their airline carriers as soon as they had the chance. Neither said a peep the whole flight. We had a few hours to ourselves in California in my temporary housing before Meine Schwester, who’d been driving cross country to move to San Diego, decided that San Diego was too hilly and moved in with me. Two people, two cats, two dogs, in a one bedroom apartment for a month. He left two days later. I was amazed he was able to put up with the crazy that is my life.

He really is an amazing guy. One of those guys who would never forget a birthday or an anniversary. He’d be a fabulous husband and father. Stable and secure and all around amazing. He started talking about his grandmother’s wedding ring.

That is when the phantom ring started happening. I’d be walking the dog and suddenly freak out because I’d lost the ring. I’d be at work and freak out about it missing. It was my own Tell Tale Heart. It was weighing me down. I was freaking out and he hadn’t even proposed yet.

I tried to help him find a job in California. Turns out, women’s hockey is not popular out here, and he is a women’s hockey coach. I started feeling guilty because it would be the end of his career if he followed me out here.

Then a job was offered to one of his coworker’s but she didn’t want it. I told him to take it. How often does the opportunity to be the head coach of a national women’s hockey team come around? So he went off to China for nine months. Harbin, China. Known for their winter ice festival. They are the Bangor, Maine of China, except there are nine million people and they are located just below Russia and north of North Korea.

I helped him set up a blog because I wanted to hear about life in China, things he learned, experiences he had. To help play tech support, I started this blog. His blog petered off, mine continued to today.

He was miserable. Life there was terrible. But I was jealous. It was nine months to learn a language, explore a culture, see a part of the world and have stories to tell. He didn’t see it the same way. We had a different view on life experiences.

The team spent the month of November in Finland so that they could play women’s teams. In China, they only had men’s teams to play. I spent the week of Thanksgiving in Vierumäki with them. I learned more Chinese than Finnish. We got in trouble by the Chinese Government Spies for going into Helsinki alone. He reminded them we are Americans and they can’t tell us where we can or can’t go. The sun didn’t even come over the treeline at noon. I am miserable without sun. And I was freaking out about the relationship. I wanted to convince myself otherwise. I wanted to make it work. He is fabulous and I wanted desperately to love him.

We saw each other again for Christmas. We spent the week with his family and mine. I was sick as a dog and miserable. I was still trying to convince myself that he was the one, but I couldn’t and I hated that and I made myself sick over it. I tried all week to convince myself otherwise. I couldn’t.

It was New Years Eve. We went to the fireworks in Boston. It should have been perfect, but I was barely holding it together. We got back to East Boston and I couldn’t take it any longer. I told him it was over. I couldn’t wait a few more months until he was back in the states and I needed to do it in person. I felt miserable about it, but I knew he would feel a hundred times worse. And I felt horrible about that.

To him, it was out of left field. But I just couldn’t do it any longer. He wasn’t the one and I just had to rip the bandaid off. I flew back to California and he went back to China. I tortured myself for a few years because I deserved it. I had ruined the holiday for him. I’d broken his heart. I didn’t deserve love. I was a monster.

Now it is seven years later. I’ve had no relationships I can speak of. I’ve met a handful of guys that I wanted to date but it was never the right time for them. I’ll admit I’ve had a few one night stands that just made me feel lonely, so I stopped. I’ve had lots of first dates, but rarely any second dates, and just about no one gets to a third. I jokingly considered joining my friend in the convent in NYC.

But this is it. No more excuses. I’m releasing myself of the curse I self-imposed. This is my year.

Bring it, 2013! I’m ready!

I have to remember to look for rings

Two weeks ago, I received an invitation from KQED to a talk. I recalled the last time I’d gone to one of KQED’s talks as another one of my crazy dating schemes. I’d hoped that maybe I could meet a philanthropist. Or at least a philanderer. So hard to tell the difference sometimes. It was a bust. Turns out, the audience is full of blue-haired old ladies. I did get hit on by a professor, but gently let him go since he was closer to retirement than my age.

I ignored the invitation. But then on Friday, I received an email about it. I looked again. Jason Beaubien. Kind of cute. Good smile. Nice eyes. An NPR foreign correspondent living in Mexico. Well travelled. My interest was piqued. If I couldn’t find someone in the crowd, I could at least hit on the speaker. It works sometimes.

I actually made some effort in dressing this morning. A cute outfit that wasn’t slutty. A little make up. I even ironed my pants. Really, it was just an excuse to act like a normal girl. Yes, I need excuses.

Before driving to the event, I searched for him on the web in hopes of finding something that I could ask him about. There at the bottom of his NPR bio was the key piece of information that I needed to start a conversation. Pure gold!

There was wine and cheese before the talk. I stood for a few minutes sipping a glass of pinot noir and nibbling on hors d’oeuvres while looking for a conversation to join. I gave up and sat down. That was when a younger couple stood at the table next to me. He left for a moment to grab some food. She was looking around aimlessly. An old woman walked by and the young woman made a face that she probably didn’t mean to make publicly, but I took it as a sign that she felt out of place. I called her out on it, and we started talking.

They were a cute couple. She’s a high school history teacher, he is a crime reporter for a local newspaper. I told them about my failed attempts at attending these talks as a dating scheme. We talked about teaching. I told him my idea for a crime novel and now he is wondering if I am secretly a serial killer. We all sat together, bonding as if we were the last humans in a sea of blue-haired zombies.

The talk was quiet entertaining, and gave me more points for a conversation. Jason has been living an interesting life and is a fantastic storyteller. The floor was opened for Q&A. The questions, for the most part, were fairly thought out and well spoken. My favorite questions from an audience are always those during the shareholder’s meeting at work. Buy some shares and I can tell you about them.

After the talk, I started my advance. I moved up to where the crowd had gathered, and sat down in a chair in the front row so that I could listen to everyone else’s questions and save mine for the end. People came and went, he would occasionally make eye contact with me as he was answering their questions and I could tell he was wondering what I was going to ask.

Finally, it came down to a couple and myself. We volleyed who should ask the next question, but I was adamant that they go first. As they left, I stood up and reached out my hand. “Hi, I’m K.”

“Jason. Nice to meet you.” A firm handshake and a quizzical look from him.

And then my question, “I have to ask, where are you from in Maine?”

He hadn’t expected that. It was a question from left field. But the bottom of his NPR bio said he had grown up in Maine.

As family and friends say about me—you can take the girl out of Maine, but you can’t take Maine out of the girl.

“Dexter,” he replied. Not from the TV show, Dexter, but the town that Dexter shoes originated in before moving out of the country like everyone else except for New Balance which is still made in Maine.

I offered some credibility, “Dover-Foxcroft.” The town next door.

“OK, Garland.”

Hah! An even smaller town next to where I grew up. I explained that it usually takes me three tries before I will tell someone where I am from in Maine. The first time they ask, I say, “Dead center of the state.” The second time they ask, I say, “Middle of nowhere.” Third time they ask, I say, “Dover-Foxcroft.” If they give me any sort of credibility, like the name of a town, then I will tell them immediately. Unless they say Kennebunkport. At that point, they were barely in Maine.

Jason said that one of the guys in the audience tonight was actually a teacher from Dexter. He hadn’t taken a class with the man, but his brother had. We talked about how he had escaped Maine, but first a year at UMO after he graduated high school in ’83. As soon as he stated a year, I determined he is nine years older than me. That isn’t too bad. I could do nine years either way. But then I remembered during cocktail hour, the young teacher I’d been chatting to pointed Jason out as he walked by from the dessert table. I half-jokingly asked if she’d happened to have seen a ring when he’d passed. She laughed and pointed to the big picture of him on the wall, his wedding ring prominently visible on his left hand. How had I missed that? It must have been selective blindness. He is cute in person, so I was temporarily distracted.

Thus is the roller coaster of my imaginary relationships that begin and end within seconds. Brief glimpses of hope and then catastrophic failure.

He left college after the first year to spend some cliché’d time in Europe. He eventually graduated the year after I started college.

I told him I too had spent time in a car with a blaring alarm. He was curious how I could possibly have a story related to the time this spring he was in Egypt taking a cab to Libya and every time the cab went over 55 mph, an alarm would sound, and the alarm got even louder when the cab reached 80 mph. But the taxi driver just ignored the sounds and kept driving faster.

So I regaled him with the tale about the time in college when I’d temporarily traded my car with my boyfriend’s computer. When the relationship ended, I wanted my car back, so I returned the computer. But he had moved to Rhode Island. My mom dropped me off. My ex-boyfriend had left the car with the keys in it and a bottle of wine on the passenger seat. I owed him some money, so I gave him all the cash in my pocket and his computer. He left to DJ a wedding and I headed back to upstate New York.

Ten minutes later, as I was gaining speed on the highway, I hit 55 mph and an alarm went off. I tried to cover it by turning up the radio, but it was piped through the speakers and as the music grew louder, so did the alarm. The alarm is triggered by the removal of a key for “The Governor.” Later my ex admitted he had meant to put the key in the car, but he’d forgotten.

Somewhere in the middle of the Mass Pike, I pulled into a rest stop when I realized that I had no money to get off the turnpike. But I did have a bottle of wine. So I considered opening it, passing out, and deciding what to do in the morning.

Luckily, I found a secret $20 in the car that I’d hidden for emergencies. This was definitely an emergency.

It was a long drive home at 54 mph.

I was enjoying the storytelling when a blue hair came out of nowhere. Foiled again! Jason wrapped up our conversation skillfully and I exited the room as he answered another question.

I drove back to reality. When I parked, I check the car to see if I’d hidden a secret boyfriend in there for emergencies. Alas, I had not.

Dear Meine Kleine Schwester,

Now that I’ve spent a few years testing out online dating, I just wanted to share a few of the lessons I’ve learned along the way, in hopes that you will learn from my mistakes.

1. Don’t give him your phone number before the third date.
I know that texting is the cool thing to do, but treat your phone number like something sacred. Email is easily ignored. Texts and calls are annoying when unwanted.

2. Don’t friend him on Facebook.
Because you will probably soon un-friend him. Most guys that you will want to date long-term will not ask on a first date for you to friend them. This is a warning sign that they are needy. Also, when you un-friend them, they will call you on it if you didn’t heed the first point.

3. Don’t tell him where your favorite bar is and on what night he can find you there.
I don’t mean to, but I start talking about things I do and I happen to mention quiz night. And then they start showing up, unannounced. Even when you aren’t there. And then your friends hate you just a little. Eventually, they will forgive you, but will bring it up to make you feel bad when you are trying to stiff them with the check.

4. Don’t let him walk you to your car, and meet him in a public place.
This is just a security concern. I’m not worried about you, and I didn’t have to learn this one the hard way. But I wanted to voice it for anyone else out there who doesn’t realize that this guy could be a crazy internet stalker. Take precautions.

5. Don’t tell him where you live.
Until you want him to show up at your door unannounced when you are coming home from another date to which he wasn’t invited, don’t let him pick you up at home. Don’t accept offers to help you paint the walls, or fix the plumbing, or to “walk your dog.” Until you are ready to actually start a relationship with him, keep him at a safe distance.

6. Don’t get excited about the first date, get excited about the third.
Be optimistic, but don’t expect every guy you meet to be The One. You will just be setting yourself up for disappointment.

7. Don’t settle.
My favorite poem by Robert Browning is My Last Duchess. In it is the line, “She had a heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad, too easily impressed.” Don’t be the girl who falls for every guy she meets. You have better standards than that.

8. Break up gently, but firmly.
Don’t leave them hanging. I’ve done this and just feel bad about it. Just send them a short note saying, “It was nice meeting you, but I don’t think we are compatible. Good luck in your search.”

9. Trust your instinct
If you aren’t feeling a connection, don’t force one. Listen to your heart. Your mind made the decision to go out the first time, let your heart decide if you should see him again.

10. Don’t despair.
Despite everything I’ve said, there is someone out there for you. You will give him your phone number, friend him on Facebook, invite him to your house, and eventually marry and reproduce. There is hope. I believe.

Fell off the internet

Seems I’ve been going through one of those spells again where I fall off the internet. Not only have I not been blogging, but it seems that I hadn’t been on OKCupid for over two months.

So tonight, I spent some time looking around for a date. I took a class in data mining and yet I can’t seem to create a search that will find a guy I find interesting. I managed to run into two of my friends and emailed them. I wasted time searching for some of my female friends I know are online. I read my email and responded to a few potential guys.

The whole thing was just depressing though. Why am I attracted to so few men? I know I don’t want to switch teams, but really now, what is my problem? Guys are just not pretty.