Happy Monday everyone! Today’s message is brought to you by the scourge of the earth!
Ok, so that might be a tad dramatic. There are way worse people on earth than this guy. Terrorists. Rapists. People who abuse animals. Scott Stapp. BUT, I have an extremely intense hatred of cheaters. If I believed in heaven and hell, I would certainly believe that cheaters reside in their very own circle of hell. Sometimes I wish that I did believe, because knowing that nothing horrible will happen to the world’s worst people after they die is really unsatisfying. But religion and the afterlife are not the topic of this blog. The topic of this blog is encounters in online dating. So:
No. No, I’m not interested in being sneaky. With anyone, honestly, let alone a married guy. Sure, a little intrigue is always fun. But sneaking around with a married dude goes beyond intrigue. You are a horrible person, sir. Not only that, but you’re trying to get me to become a horrible person too! I’ve got plenty of faults already, I don’t need to add accomplice to adultery to the lengthy list.
Setting aside the despicable nature of your inquiry, you’re not even that good at being a horrible person, quite frankly. I mean, you blurred out your own profile photo, but I bet people who know you would probably still recognize you. The name you signed is also contained in your username. I suppose it’s possible that this is a fake picture and a fake name. But something tells me you’re not that smart. I mean, you’re openly soliciting sex on a dating website, despite your desire to keep things on the DL. There are much more discreet ways for you to find what you’re looking for. Also, if you don’t like monogamy, DON’T GET MARRIED ASSHOLE. That’s a clear solution to your problem. You won’t have to be sneaky about anything if you give up the jig and stop trying to actively maintain the facade of a happily married, monogamous man. Did that ever occur to you? It really is that easy. Don’t enter into a monogamous relationship, and you can openly have all the sex you want, with as many people as you want, whenever you want. Oh, removing the illicit part takes all the fun out of it? BOO FUCKING HOO. You know what I think is fun? Respecting the person you’re in a relationship with.
My record with Rhode Island continues to leave a lot to be desired. Block Island is the worst, the men are useless, they’re terrible drivers. Basically the only positive I can come up with is Del’s Lemonade. And I can get that shipped to my door here in MA. So…… I remain generally disappointed with what RI has to offer. To my friend “Joey” from RI, I’m sorry to insult your state. But my experience seems to indicate that you’re the only good RI apple. Which is a bummer, considering my proximity to that state.
Well hello again readers! It’s certainly been awhile. I’d like to tell you that’s because I’m successfully married by now, due to following the advice we dispense on this blog, but that would be untrue and I cannot tell a lie. (Like this guy. And George Washington). However, the reason for my absence is pretty delightful; I just got back from a whirlwind vacation in the Balkans. I’ll spare you the deets, since, much to my chagrin, S and D were not fans of my request to transform this blog from a dating blog into a “brag about your exotic vacation” blog. And let’s be real: that’s what facebook and instagram are for. So instead, I tip my hat to S and D for keeping the wheels of the blog turning while I jetted around Europe took lots of buses through mountain back roads.
Anyway, vacation gave me a lot of time to reflect on things.
Good god. Not like that. No meditating or like, speaking to monks or spiritual nirvana or anything. But I did take some time to think about the way I interact with men and what I’ve learned after a good year and a half of being single. S and I have also been having a number of conversations recently about our “new” approaches to dating. I mean, we’ve been feeling pretty mature ever since we hit 29 and the next birthday on the horizon is the big 30. I think we’re hoping to feel less like GIRLSand a little more like SATC (though it’s usually more like Seinfeld).
Anyway, folks, here are some new things I’m trying this summer. I’d bill it as advice, but since I’ve obviously demonstrated by now that I don’t have, as we say in the business, a “proven track record of success,” I’ll call it experiments from which you are welcome to take or leave your own lessons.
I’ve always felt a lot of pressure to carry on a text message conversation with guys I’ve been on a couple of dates with.
Obsessively checking my phone/not checking my phone;
Getting a Master’s degree in Emoji language (I mean, why say BE COOL when you can send a picture of a cute bee and and ice cube? And let the person on the other end try to figure out if you meant “BE COOL” or “striped ice” or “I am putting ice on my bee sting?”); and
Trying to craft witty responses to stupid questions like, “what’s up?” or “how’s your week coming?”
I no longer have time nor the patience for this nonsense. I’m a grown woman with a job and a mortgage rent for godsakes. I’m not saying texting is bad for everyone. It’s just that I’m sick of spending time communicating in a medium I don’t even like. Going forward, I am trying to use texts for two things: Making plans and sending articles/sharing information that is truly funny and relevant to another person. Eventually, I’m gonna try to graduate back to phone calls.
I know Mindy, but YOLO. A lady’s gotta try an alternate approach.
2. Go for it. Drive to the basket. Swing for the fences. Run the ball. Kick the hockey puck. Sink the putt. (I mean do I know my sports analogies or DO I KNOW MY SPORTS ANALOGIES? I feel like a got 1-2 of them right.)
The point is, I am not sure where the pressure comes from, but a lot of times I feel like dating is a contest of just trying to care less. Care less if someone calls you again, even if you had a great date. Care less if someone disappears for a week and resumes texting you (DAMN THE TEXTING) like nothing has happened. Care less if someone says they really like you and want you to see again.
And the truth is, that’s so hard for me, because I care so much about everything I do in my life, and usually I show it. I’m a passionate person, with a lot of strong opinions. (I know this might be quite shocking to you readers. Hope you were sitting down). So if I like someone, I’m just gonna tell them I like them.
OK, well, ideally, a bit more toned down than that.
In the opposite vein, but same sentiment, if I am confused about a guy’s behavior, I am just gonna call him out rather than watch him slip away unexplained. (Major props to S for inspiring this–please stay tuned for her upcoming post, unofficially titled “YOLO Part II.” The more interesting part. Since she’s already YOLO-ed)
3. Don’t give away the “cookie” right away. WTF IS THE COOKIE? Bear with me for a sec. I recently read Steve Harvey’s, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.” It was recommended to me by a colleague, who wanted my expert perspective, as a trusted voice on love/dating/relationships.*
*Actually she gave it to me after listening to story after story of dating mishaps and said, “I hope this helps.”
Anyway, I am considering doing a full review of that book, but for now I’ll sum up my thoughts in a few short words: SEXIST. PIECE. OF. CRAP. Even the title is heteronormative. It’s full of stupid statements, including a Q and A section at the end where Steve Harvey and his ghostwriting team have dreamed up ludicrous questions that women allegedly submitted to him like, “What should I wear on a date?” and “Is it ok if I don’t like to cook?” (According to Steve Harvey, if you want a boyfriend, ladies, you best learn to cook). You’re welcome readers. I guess you got a mini review after all.
However, there was one useful nugget I am trying that was loosely inspired by that book: Don’t sleep with a guy ASAP.
Of course, my reasons for trying this are very different from those presented by Mr. Harvey. If you haven’t guessed by now, the “cookie” is the delicate term Steve Harvey uses to describe sex. According to him, men are basically the equivalent of preschool students you might be bribing to sit still for a dentist appointment or something, and the only real power you have over them is a “cookie.” That, or men are cookie monsters.
Neither possibility is flattering. And, for the first time in a very long time, I found myself defending men. THEY CANNOT BE THAT SIMPLE AND STUPID. Right? Male readers, please tell me I’m right.
But something about Steve Harvey’s advice stuck with me, and I have decided to try not to sleep with guys on the first or second date. When I sleep with a guy right away, I often muddle the process of getting to know them. There is a ton of physical intimacy ASAP, and yet, I don’t even know the person’s last name (well I do, because I’m an A+ internet stalker, but not officially).
Plus, as much as I’ve tried to deny it, sleeping with someone does make me more attached to them. And, I’d rather not feel so connected to relative strangers.
Lastly, I have this hypothesis that the better you know someone, the better sex with them will be. And who doesn’t want to start something on the right foot?
That’s all for now readers. Hopefully you’re crossing your fingers for me and not shaking your heads about all the misguided assumptions I am making. Wish me luck as I unleash my YOLO resolutions on the DMV area and see what happens!
It turns out this fool deleted his original profile and promptly created an almost identical new username (by removing the number 69 and adding the word ‘fart’. I wish. I. was. kidding.) So yes, this message does appear to be from our dear old friend Pennsyltucky.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this message is actually an upgrade #mylifeissad. I mean, we’ve established that I enjoy a good speakeasy, the word ‘tomfoolery’ is used, and there’s not even a mention of me “popping out a kidlet on the bus”. Someone clearly spent the month of May in charm school! The question is, did this guy genuinely forget that he messaged me weeks beforehand with an equally outlandish date scenario? Or is his strategy literally to pick a new setting/era every few weeks and fire off some ridiculous nonsense until I respond? Is this a messaging war of attrition?
Only time will tell, readers. Since sending that message, Pennsyltucky has continued his pattern and deleted his current profile, so if I receive a new message set in the wild west from a username including the words ‘big tool 4 u’…
Today I’m rounding out our “best of” series (you can check out DC here and Philly here). To recap, we’re providing some of our favorite first date spots in our lovely cities. Up today is the best city of all, Boston. The Charles River is swimmable again, the Big Dig is over, our former mayor is affectionately known as Mumbles Menino, the ducklings get dressed up for every occasion, Boston is one of the best walking cities there is, etc. etc. The only thing keeping Boston from perfection is the baseball team that plays here (but not the ballpark, I love Fenway). Anway, let’s get to it.
Obviously, a good bar is a standard go-to for a first date. It’s a public place, it doesn’t have a time commitment, alcohol helps with nerves, etc. If it’s going well you might end up a little drunk and almost miss the last train home because you’ve totally lost track of time (this happened to me a few weeks back, on what quickly became my best first date ever). If the date is a dud, you’re out as quickly as you can down your drink.
This kid is going to be a CHAMP when he gets to college. Anywho, Boston is certainly not lacking in bar options, with a pretty even spread of shitty, mediocre, and great. I actually LOVE dive bars, but since my favorite one closed years ago (RIP Our House West), and people tend to have strong opinions about dive bars, I avoid them on the first date. Like S, I like a casual place that’s not too loud, and has a decent menu if the date is going well. I also like a bar that isn’t full of 22 year old assholes, a population that Boston has in spades. We are a young city full of colleges. Which was GREAT when I was going to college here (Go BU!), but now that I’m less than a month from 30, I’m over those shenanigans. So, that eliminates every single bar in Faneuil Hall, and virtually all of Allston/Brighton.
But we’re not talking about the worst of here today, we’re talking about the best. So I present to you: Granary Tavern. It’s in the financial district, so it’s easily accessible by T. But it’s also on the fringe of the Financial District, right on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, so there’s lots of other stuff around in the evening. It’s got a good selection of beer on tap, as well as wine and other cocktails. They’ve got a good menu, including a late night menu. And they’ve got a decent amount of space. Also, they have outdoor seating in good weather, that faces out to the greenway.
Who wouldn’t want to sit out there with a cold drink and a cute guy? I love dining and imbibing al fresco.
I also love Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square. They have insanely delicious cocktails. But it’s much trendier and gets really crowded, eliminating it from contention as my favorite. But it’s a decent back up on the right night/with the right date.
I also love a good activity date. Sitting across from a stranger drinking a beer can be super awkward. It’s nice to have a distraction, something that engages you both. And for that, I love me some bowling. Perhaps it’s the fact that I grew up in a town where bowling and woods parties were basically all we had to entertain ourselves. Perhaps it’s my intensely competitive attitude (my desire to win, at everything, while likely a character flaw, is also such a huge part of my personality that it’s one of the few parts of my crazy that I put on full display from the beginning to weed out the people who don’t find it charming). Almost definitely, a part of it is that my butt looks slammin’ in jeans, and bowling provides a lot of opportunity to put that on display. Besides, New England has the ever-charming and quirky candlepin bowling.
It seems like it might be easier, but it’s not. Here’s a delightfully 80′s tutorial that I came across recently while trying to brush up on my skills before a bowling date, as I had talked a LOT of trash leading up to the date (despite the fact that I’m a mediocre bowler, at best).
There are a couple of places to bowl in Boston, but my favorite by far is Sacco’s Bowl Haven in my old ‘hood of Davis Square in Somerville. Right on the red line, Sacco’s is also easily accessible by T. They only have candlepin, so if you’re not a New England bowling purist, you’re better off going to Jillian’s or Boston Bowl. In addition to candlepin, Sacco’s has alcohol and delicious flatbread pizza. I dare you to find something wrong with the combination of beer, pizza, bowling, and healthy competition. Although they keep a certain number of lanes open for walk-ins, Sacco’s gets crowded fast, so midweek is best for this. Sacco’s will take your number and call you when a lane opens up, so if there is a wait and the bar is crowded, head over to Red Bones (or any one of the numerous other places in Davis) for a beer and/or food.
3) Castle Island (at the end of William J. Day Blvd. in South Boston)
Since it’s summer, and summer in Boston is lovely (humid as fuck, a specialty of the eastern seaboard, but all the colleges are out and there’s an abundance of parks and waterfront to explore), I’m rounding out my fave first date spots with an outdoor activity. A little vitamin D, a little physical activity, and endless options for ways to continue the date if things are going well. I’m partial to Castle Island for this.
It’s not actually an island, so if the date is a dud you’re not actually marooned with the fool. It’s got great views of Boston Harbor and the harbor islands, as well as the city skyline (especially if you walk out on the causeway in Pleasure Bay (I hate that name, so much, but I digress)). They open up Fort Independence in the summer, and who doesn’t love exploring a good fort? A nice sea breeze is always refreshing. If the guy is in fact a dud, you can call it a day after one lap around the fort, and at least you got some exercise! If it’s going well and you get hungry, Sullivan’s is right there with seafood, burgers, and ice cream (in case you weren’t sure you were in South Boston, that name should give it away). There’s no bar at Sullivan’s, but a quick walk into South Boston will give you plenty of options if you want to cancel out all that strenuous walking with a cold one.
So there you have it – LSD’s Best Date Spots in our respective cities. Thanks for tuning in while we share our recs! Next week we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming of dishing about boys, insane messages, and memorable dates (both good and bad), because those things just keep on coming.
P.S. Boston peeps, did I miss any gems you want to share? I’m all ears in the comment section!
I’m going to keep this one short and sweet since some of us are coming off an absolutely perfect long holiday weekend and are clinically depressed about having to return to work/the real world, and this is about all we can handle at the moment:
Oh, I’ve been introduced to jellyfish, sir, and frankly, I wish I hadn’t been. I feel the same way about them as poor Monica Gellar.
I’m terrified of those little fuckers.I grew up going to the Jersey shore every summer, and I’d dread the few weeks in August where droves of disgusting discs would descend on the water, and I’d basically spend the entire time in the water doing this…
Also, I don’t mean to sound completely ignorant about non-Western food (looking at you, Beef Teriyaki guy). I’m actually a pretty adventurous eater; I’ll happily try pretty much any type of cuisine from pretty much any part of the world, but I draw the line at bugs and poisonous sea predators. I can’t. I won’t.
To be fair to this message sender, one of Okc’s profile sections does ask you to list your favorite movies, music, shows, books, and food. And I did write that I like lots of different types of food. So I guess this was my bad for thinking that sharing that fact would maybe result in like, a fun date at a Lebanese place, and not someone trying to feed me disgusting, terrifying, stringy little summer ruiners.
I know I’ve complained about generic/one word messages before, and as bizarre as this one was, I can’t deny that it was…unique. So I tried to keep an open mind while I checked out his profile. But yeah. Unsurprisingly, this dude is a liiiiittttttle too…eccentric (translation: fucking weird)…for my taste. I’m sure there’s a single gal out there who would be thrilled to eat poisonous globs with him, but it ain’t me, Mr. Jellyfish. It ain’t me.
Happy almost birthday, ‘Murica, and Happy almost long weekend of binge drinking/eating/fireworking, my fellow Americans. The subject of today’s post is the fair City of Brotherly Love, where a certain important document was drafted years ago mere blocks from where I’m sitting at this very moment.
Anyway, this is Part 2 of our little ‘best of’ series, and in case you missed it, you can catch L’s best DC date spots here. So let’s get to one of my favorite things in the world: opinions!
If a guy asks me out, in an ideal world he picks where we’re going to meet up, at least the first time around. But this is the real world, and in the real world, lazy suburbanites who’ve apparently never heard of Yelp usually text me things like: “so where should we meet up?” or “I don’t know the city that well, any ideas?” I mean….
As annoying as this can be, it’s also an opportunity, because there is something to be said for controlling the location of a first date. I used to think that location didn’t matter much, and it’s true, if you hit it off with someone you will probably do that whether the date is in a trendy upscale restaurant or a dive bar that reeks of urine. But I’ve come to believe that there is a bit of a science to this whole thing.
In honor of that (pseudo) science, here are three types of date spots that I like to keep in my back pocket for when I’ve got a clueless suburbanite on my hands, and that I think every single girl should have in her arsenal:
a fun neighborhood bar with good beer/drinks (and lots of room) for first and second dates
someplace a little swanky/mysterious/sexy (I couldn’t even type ‘sexy’ without thinking of this–I’m seriously 12:)
something different than the typical drinks/dinner scene
You may note that I stayed away from actual restaurants on this list because not to be obnoxious, but Philly has a GREAT restaurant scene, so I don’t feel like it’s hard to find a really good place to eat, ever. Anyway, let’s get to this list, shall we?
S’s Top Three Philly Date Spots
1. First date watering hole: Strangelove’s (216 S. 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107–11th Street between Walnut & Locust)
This is my ideal first date location because it:
is casual but not divey
is cool but not overly trendy or pretentious
is never insanely crowded or loud
has good food in case the date goes well and we decide to have dinner
is in my neighborhood so I can easily FLEE if I have a serial killer on my hands
Over the past…wow, 2 years (#old) I’ve actually taken….five? dudes to this bar on a first or second date. That I can remember. It’s highly possible the bartenders and waitstaff have a running pool on when I’ll be in next and with whom. What can I say? It’s my old reliable (even though it’s only been under this name/owner for like a year. Shhhh.)
The beer selection is great if you or your date are into that (I am), but there’s a full bar if you’re not. This place is popular and can get crowded, but there’s a big upstairs bar so you’ll never find yourself awkwardly standing and trying to be witty and charming while simultaneously getting elbowed and sloshing Saison all over yourself. And in case you were worried, it has the GOOP stamp of approval (damn it that smug bitch has good taste). Also, there’s something incredibly fitting about having a first date with a stranger you met online underneath a glowing sign that says “STRANGE LOVE”.
If your date turns out to not be an illiterate sociopath (in which case)…..
and you decide to stay and eat, the food is delicious and inexpensive. Also, the music isn’t blasting so loudly that you can actually HEAR wtf your date is saying. I realize I sound like the most uncool old person that ever lived when I complain about noise levels in bars…
But I promise you (and Liz Lemon), this is a good one.
I have to give my ex full credit for introducing me to the Ranstead Room, especially since he’s probably reading this post (hey, D). You guys, this place is so fun and so. sexy. Maybe a little much for a first date, but perfect for a second or third. Yes, it’s small, located down a sketchy back street with no sign and yes, there’s almost always a wait, but they’ll take your cell # and call you when a table opens up so you can go around the corner and wait at a bar or grab a bite to eat.
Once you actually enter it feels like Madmen-meets-70s porn set-meets-vampire den, which sounds insane but it fucking works. The drinks are delicious and the atmosphere is perfect for my favorite date activity:
I’m telling you, RR’s great music, low lighting, vintage paintings of naked ladies on the walls (very non-sleazy/tongue in cheek ) and friendly, non-pretentious bartenders will make you feel hella cool and mysterious, and you will more than likely end up flirting your ass off with whoever is sitting across from you (to varying levels of success, of course, depending on your skill and blood alcohol levels).
Then, when you’ve flirted and bantered to your heart’s content and you inevitably tie a load on from those 4 custom cocktails you just downed, might I suggest…
Calm down, you pervs. I was actually going to recommend ordering a snack off the menu of the yummy Mexican restaurant next door. Drunk guacamole, people. DRUNK. GUACAMOLE. Get your priorities straight.
Honestly, forget dates (and the fact that this post includes the word “intercourse”); if you’re from out of town and you visit Philly, check this place out.
Honorary mention goes to Art After 5, which is definitely a more “grown up” option, but I’ve never actually gone there on adate (only with friends–woooommmmp #painfullysingle) so I felt like it was cheating to put it on this list.
I love a museum date, especially when the weather’s shitty. I like that it’s something interactive to do with your date, there are conversation starters all around you to fill any awkward silences, and if you get ass numbingly bored after an hour you can just peace out and resume discussing whatever low-brow things you normally talk about while still feeling cultured as shit for going.
Philly has some great museums, and if you’re looking purely for art/culture, I have a bunch of arguably better recs for you than this one (also if you’re looking to totally creep your date out, I’ve got a rec for that, too). The Barnes is killer. The Constitution Center is great. But the Franklin Institute is …different. Maybe that’s because it’s technically a kid’s museum. BUT it’s also a combination of nerdy, wacky, juvenile, random and totally kitschy, which I love, and I think it makes for a more fun, playful date (at least early on) than your standard art museum. Also, being able to joke/be playful/not take yourself too seriously is a personality trait that I really value, and this is a good way to spot any know it all snoots who wouldn’t be thrilled to climb through a giant heart with you.
So there you have it. Philly peeps, what do you think? What are some of your favorite date spots? I realize I basically stuck with the Center City area, but I’m always looking for new places to check out.
Have an awesome holiday weekend, readers. I’ll be spending mine lakeside with my homegirl D while L is sunbathing in Europe. (I know, we hate her, too.) Stay tuned for our Beantown edition of best date spots next week!
Happy Independence Week (American) readers!! I have a 3 day week this week, which is glorious, but also means I have a ton to get done in the next few days, so that I can properly enjoy my long weekend lakeside. So this’ll be a short Message Monday.
Last Monday, my “bagel” of the day and I matched. Meaning, we had both liked each other, and now had a message chat room open through the app. Typically, Coffee Meets Bagel opens the chat room and provides a ice breaker question to get the conversation off to a more interesting start than “Hey.” This was no exception, and the app asked us “What would you rather be doing right this second?” I was busy with something at work, so I didn’t reply right away. 2 hours later, my bagel responded:
Well. That’s a huge debbie downer. Nothing says “hey, I like you and we should get to know each other” like unemployment.
I mean, it’s probably a very accurate answer to the question asked, and kudos to him for his honesty, I guess, but couldn’t he just say something like “spending the day at the beach.” I suppose it’s possible that, in his current predicament, spending the day at the beach was actually precisely what he was doing, so wasn’t a viable answer. But come up with something positive to say. Or at least some innocuous activity. Because, although I won’t immediately judge/fault someone for being unemployed, I’d like any potential relationship to at least start off in a positive place. And that answer is just depressing.
I’m sure some of you just read that title and thought wow, the Stucu ladies have gonecompletely off the rails and are now just casually revealing their dates’ full names on their “anonymous” blog. Next up it’ll be their home addresses and social security #s. I should probably stop reading before they get slapped with a huge lawsuit.
For those of you who don’t recognize the name ‘Keith Mars’, let me assure you that it’s NOT my date’s name. It is, however, the name of an infamous dad slash detective on one of the greatest, most underrated teen crime fighting mystery TV shows (that yes, we’ve gushed about before) of our time. That’s right, I’m talking about my homegirl Veronica Mars and her wonderful, hilarious, brilliant private investigator dad, Keith:
So why have I gone on a tangent about a fictional middle aged TV character? Because, readers, last week I went on a first date with a real live P.I.!
You guys. Stalking/sleuthing/investigating shit/being nosy is honest to God one of my favorite pastimes. Well, I should say our favorite pastimes.Aswe’ve mentioned before, we here at Stupid Cupid take our stalking investigative skillsVERY seriously. L and I always dream joke about opening up a ladies’ detective agency because we’re so fucking good at getting information. TRUE STORY: L once impersonated a college guidance counselor on the phone in order to pump a girl (who we’d never met but who happened to be dating a friend’s ex) for information on her relationship. AND IT WORKED. I mean:
So when this guy contacted me on Okcupid (I’ll be posting an eHarmony update in the next week but as of today I still refuse to give those crazy bastards my money) and a few messages in revealed that he’s a private investigator, I went from mildly interested to:
Back to the name. Good old Keith garnered this nickname well before I decided to blog about him or frankly, even meet him, for two important reasons:
He bizarrely shares a name with H, the guy who I dated and was super into last summerand who it took me a while to get over. Obviously I can’t reveal the actual name to you, but trust me, it is NOT a common name. H1 was the first person with that name that I’d ever met, so when Mr. P.I. introduced himself, I kind of maybe thought someone was playing a prank on me. Saying that name in reference to a different person felt soweird that I knew he needed a nickname, and he needed one fast.
In case you forgot/just stumbled upon this blog, we recently started referring to our dates using nicknames. And when I hear the term ‘private investigator’, a certain balding, badass vigilante of the law hailing from Neptune, California who literally walks through fire to save his only daughter inevitably comes to mind:
After messaging back and forth a handful of times, we set up a date. Truth be told I wasn’t totally excited about Keith, aside from the prospect of interviewing him about his job, cases, busts, whether he carried a fake ID/got to taser people,
We decided to meet for drinks in my ‘hood. The night of our date arrived, and Keith was running late. Like, a half hour plus late. STRIKE ONE. I mean, I’m kidding (sort of), because I know shit happens, but this seems to be a common themeamong suburban guys I go out with: they are all SHOCKED that the traffic into the city is bad. At rush hour. On a notoriously awful two lane highway. I mean, am I missing something? How hard is it to leave yourself an extra 20 minutes figuring that you probably won’t be flying down 76 at 6:30 pm? Especially when you’re the one who set the time of our date? FOOLS.
Anyway, I was already salty about the delay, but I tried to brush off my irritation. Luckily the bar was close enough that I could just hang at my place and not awkwardly loiter or pathetically drink by myself until he arrived.
When we finally did meet, it was a classic case of picture fraud.Keith Mars was…not as cute as his pictures. More importantly, to me,he was not as tall(but as we know, ladies, they pretty much never are). He wasn’t bad looking, it was just a bit of a letdown.
I knew within the first five minutes that I wasn’t into him. He was perfectly nice, and not wholly unattractive, I just felt nothing. Zero interest. Zero attraction.Zero connection. The more he talked, the more I thought:
God, you guys. Keith Mars would not shut up about how much he and his friends “partied” at school. NEWS FLASH, BROS: everyone partied/drank in college. It’s COLLEGE. This does not make you cool or unique or interesting.In fact, as a 30 year old still telling these stories to strangers, it makes you kind of pathetic.
Thoroughly turned off by my date’s troubling brotastic tendencies, I decided to get to the main event. And I will give Keith credit where credit is due: he answered every single one of my P.I.-related questions (and I asked what some might call an uncomfortable number of questions). He didn’t seem annoyed, not even at the end, by my endless curiosity. If anything, he was bemused by my sheer excitement and joy. I feel weird about revealing specifics because, you know, this dude is a private investigator, and I don’t want to be a dick (HAHAHA get it?) but of course I’ll share some general things I learned:
His firm works almost exclusively on civil cases, which means entrapment isn’tillegal. According to Keith, you can entrap the shit out of people. He once Catfished a dude on Facebook and posed as a hot girl asking him out in order to get him to show up to a bar. It totally worked.
He doesn’t carry a gun or a taser, at least that he would admit to me, but if he has to make a house call that could be dicey, he’s usually working with at least one government bureau that will send someone along with him.
He has a few aliases, but no fake IDs (again, at least that he would admit to me).
Cell phone fraud is apparently a huge international problem…? And the main case he’s working on. He also does a fair number of insurance fraud, cheating spouse and custody cases.
He sometimes works with Homeland Security as well as the Secret Service. !!!!!!!!!!!!!
He claims he neverdoes background checks on his dates (I call bullshit, because who wouldn’t), but that he’s done it for friends, and he did it once for his sister’s boyfriend.
Guys, I was in heaven. HEAVEN. I forgot that Keith Mars was a bro. I forgot that he was three inches shorter than he claimed to be and a half hour late. I left out some other really cool details that he shared with me, just because I feel funny putting it on the internet, and also because, well, he’s a P.I., so I wouldn’t put it past homeboy to find this post. He certainly wouldn’t be the first. Luckily I never mentioned that I had a dating blog, so he wouldn’t even know to look, but still.
Finally, after a solid 40 minutes grilling him about his job, I cut myself off. We went back to chatting about normal things, but it wasn’t as interesting. After we finished our second drinks, I was over it and ready to go home. We left and walked a few blocks in the same direction.
“Well this was a lot of fun,” Keith said. “We should do it again sometime.”
I wasn’t about to be like thanks but no thanks right there on the street, so I think I just said a vague “Yeah, it was nice meeting you, thanks for the drinks”. He awkwardly went in for a kiss on the cheek, I wiggled it into a half hug, and fled.
Well readers, to use the LINGO of those of us in the business, this was an open-and-shut-case. We met, we drank, he bro’d, I pumped him for information, and that was that. Except not really, though, because the Law of Dating Inverses held true: predictably, because I wasn’t into him, Keith Mars continued to text me after our date. I’ve been polite but brief, and I’m just waiting for him to actually ask me out again so I can say thanks, but no thanks, Mr. Mars. To quote a great:
Let’s face it. After a year and a half blogging about online dating, I’ve gone from considering myself a legitimate dating virgin to a semi-pro dater. Extrovert that I am, I love to shout about my self proclaimed expert dating status wherever I go: office party, family dinner, friend of a friend’s party, etc.
So, a question people ask me (and my cobloggers) pretty frequently is: “Where is the best place in DC/Philly/Boston to go on a first date?” So, today, I bring you this post (first in an LSD series) about my favorite DC date spots. A few disclaimers before I get to it…
No one paid us to say anything. If there is one thing consistent about the ladies of Stucu, it’s that we know our own minds. As S put it this weekend when I asked if we had to follow any “rules” during a Painting with a Twist excursion (which was surprisingly fun by the way): “We’ll do what we want. Because that’s how we do.”
This is more of an art than a science. And by art, I mean that in the most Jackson Pollock kind of way. (God! Painting with a Twist just made me so in touch with the artistic community!) Our picks are based on our own personal preferences and experiences.
We’re working on our brevity over here, especially because we realize our readers come from all over the place (not just our three cities), so we’re limiting our top picks to three per city. If you’re interested in hearing even more opinions (because GOD KNOWS you don’t get enough of that on this blog already), shoot us an email and we’d be happy to discuss in more detail.
We have a not so secret agenda here (honestly, what could be less secret than a public blog??) to get some great reader suggestions out of this. Please don’t pass up this opportunity to help us sound cool when we suggest potential spots, ever so casually, to our future dates.
So here goes…
DC TOP THREE FIRST DATE SPOTS
1. Beers and banter- Board room (1737 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009)
First of all, it’s conveniently located near bus and metro (not to mention near my office and across the street from one of my BFF’s apartments). I can get there in 5 minutes from work and 15 minutes from home. And if my date lives in a remotely cool location (aka not the suburbs like SOME PEOPLE), he can get there quickly too.
But way more importantly, combining games and beer is a surefire way to make a possibly probably awkward conversation with a total stranger less awkward. Instead of starting with the usual getting to know you questions (So you’re from Ohio…how long have you lived in Logan Circle…did you watch the USA vs. Ghana game…), you can pretend to be concentrating on sinking your opponent’s Battleship.
Plus, there is the added banter aspect. I’ll admit that my preferred style of flirting is what my colleague calls, “playground flirting,” which means that I spend a lot of time teasing guys and challenging them to strange competitions. So, nothing helps me get my groove on more than making eyes over a Connect Four board. Unless it’s kicking some serious butt (I always do), in Scrabble, all while chiding my date for not researching two-letter words before challenging me to a match. (See, I like trash-talking so much I’m literally about to start flirting with myself on this blog right now).
2. Neighborhood classic-Meridian Pint (11th St NW, Washington, DC 20010)
This place is even closer to my apartment than Board room. Score! But proximity is not the reason this bar gets the #2 spot on this list. (I’m lazy, but not that lazy). It’s not a dive at all, but it’s still just one tiny step below what I’d actually call a restaurant. I’d call it a friendly neighborhood pub, but I don’t associate pubs with very good food, and Meridian Pint’s nachos will knock your socks off. Plus, they have a killer beer list that not only results in drinking some delicious and hard to find things (Victory Dirtwolf, anyone?) but also is an instant conversation starter about beer preferences, a subject I could go on and on about at length. (Though, my expertise is really in shitty low cost beers. One of the many things on my bucket list is to write my own version of this amazing list. And, btw, HOW DARE YOU INSULT YUENGLING, WILL GORDON OF DEADSPIN. I’M COMING FOR YOU).
Plus, Meridian Pint has all the seating options you could possibly desire: outside seating for perfect DC days (of which there about 15 per year, and we will not see again until the end of this already humid summer), upstairs tables or bar for intimate conversation, and downstairs bar for some TV-watching and rowdiness.
3. Cheese and Chocolate-Coco Sala (929 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004)
I know S, D, and I have all waxed poetic about cheese on the blog before. But don’t think I’ve introduced you to my personal holy trinity: cheese, bacon, and bourbon. And chocolate. And beer. And Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich. (OK, so not really a trinity at all, but give me a break. I mix up religious references all the time.)The point is, Coco Sala has a delicious menu of small plates that could only be improved by adding a slider that resembled Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Plus, the portions are small and delicate enough that you can try a lot of things without getting full, and without resembling this:
(I want to retitle that image: L at Shake Shack after a long day).
Coco Sala also has some mad-flattering lighting which I desperately need after a long work day. And, it’s always crowded, but not too crowded, so you can feel like you’re somewhere cool and hip, but still hear your date speak.
That’s it y’all. I decided to wrap this up rather abruptly because even thinking about this place is making me want to defrost some brownies I may or MAY NOT have in my freezer and eat them while watching Orange is the New Black.
So that’s my DC Top Three! Readers, I’d love to hear yours, so don’t be shy; leave it in the comments! And stay tuned for the top three favorites of my Yankee sisters up in Philly and Boston.
I’m just going to say it: I HATE eHarmony. True, I’ve never actually used it, but it has always seemed so ridiculous/lame/creepy to me. Also, sorry to get all soapbox-ra-ra-social-justice on our dating blog, but it’s worth noting that eHarmony has a history ofdiscriminating against same sex couples,plus their annoying as fuck elderly founder/spokesperson is anoutspoken hardcore Christian. Not that there’s anything wrong with hardcore Christians…
…it’s just that I am not one of them. I’ve heard tales of the blatantly religious overtones of the site’s matchmaking process, and I don’t like the idea of some company surreptitiously pushing their views on people who are just trying to get a date. If I wanted religious-based matchmaking, I’d mosey on over to a religious-based online dating site like Christian Mingle or L’s favorite, JDate.
Also. Completely forgetting his politics, the eHarmony spokesperson freaks. me. out.
I’m sorry, Dr. Neil Clark Warren, but I’m not currently looking to put a creepy old guy in charge of my love life.
I know I’m being ridiculous. I know I shouldn’t write off a dating service I’ve never tried because their commercials feature a pushy religious senior citizen and an overplayed Natalie Cole song.More importantly, I’m actually friends with a couple who met on eHarmony. And by “met” I mean I attended their wedding last October.
Despite this undeniable empirical evidence of the E’s legitimacy, every time someone suggests I join, my answer goes something like this:
“Yeahhhhh, uhhh,I’ve thought about it, but I’m saving it for if (let’s face it, when) I’m a bit older and still single. I’ve heard it’s a more…mature crowd, and that the people on there are much more serious about getting engaged like, yesterday. So I’ll probably try it eventually, just not…now.”
Translation: I hate eHarmony. I don’t want to do it. Please leave me alone.
The biggest reason why I resist this (almost always) unsolicited advice is that it rarely comes from single people. And I’m sorry, if you’re not a veteran of online dating, you simply have no idea what a shit show it is. But then a few weeks ago, one of my single guy friends whose opinion I totally value was telling us about his recent run of good dates, and the big E came up:
Me: What site are you on again? Okcupid?
Me: Oh. Hmmmm. Interesting.
E: You should try it, S.
Me:(internally, thinking about my paintfully single status): Sigh. Maybe he’s right.
Which brings me to this post. When I started writing, it was mostly about my reluctance to join and somewhat irrational hatred of Dr. NCW. But then I tried to poke around and do some preliminary research to see what the site was like and, well, I got bamboozled. Before I even knew what was happening, I was filling out a 9 hour long personality profile analysis thing and signing up to “try it for free”.
“Try it for free” is a favorite tactic among paid dating sites: they let you sign up, fill out a little profile, answer some questions, and cruise for dudes, but the minute you try to do anything real like send a message or even look at someone’s pictures, you’re directed to hand over your credit card info. This was fine with me for once because I didn’t actually want to use their stupid site, I just wanted to see what the infamously involvedpersonality profiling is like and rip it to shreds on our blog.
I’ve also heard that eHarmony at one time rejected a certain number of people after they went through all their insane questioning. As in, these clowns literally say “thanks for trying to pay us money but you’ll have to take your unlovable single self elsewhere, because we don’t want anything to do with you.”
I’m telling you, these people are the WORST.
I Googled researched this policy to determine whether it’s still in place, but my search was inconclusive, so I half expected to waste 20 minutes of my life on a site I already hated and then be told I wasn’t wanted by them. Just another day in the life of a single girl, AMIRITE, LADIES? Anyway, despite my MANY misgivings and against my better judgment, I signed up and sat through their long ass questioning process. Here’s a sample question:
For those who are wondering, there were a fair number of…faith based questions in this thing, mostly to do with how religious/spiritual you are. I screen capped these questions for your viewing pleasure, but now I can’t find where I saved them so you’ll have to take my word for it. After answering ‘not at all’ to basically every religious question, I was fully expecting to get to the boot, but somehow, some way, Dr. NCW deemed me worthy of God and single men’s love, and I was admitted into Club E. Yay.
Obviously, they didn’t waste any time before asking me for money:
Jesus. First of all, the 10.95/month plan is totally reasonable, until you realize you’re making a TWO YEAR COMMITMENT. I only commit to where I’m going to live one year at a time, you fuckers. Yes, I get that business-wise it’s smart for them to incentivize people to commit for the long haul. I also get that say, one month is not enough time to give a dating site a chance and meet a good number of people. But how about 3 months? Where’s the 3 month plan, you assholes? Three months is how long it took me to realize I hated Match.com with the burning fire of a thousand suns. So you’re telling me when I inevitably confirm that I do, as predicted, loathe eHarmony, I’m saddled with it for a full calendar year? Yeah…
The next logical choice is 6 months. But that shit starts to get pricey. $258 for 6 months on your stupid website? Really? So, what do I get for forking over a plane ticket to somewhere awesome or a day at the spa?
Uhhhh, 1. what in the what is the “Book of You?” Again with the religious overtones. And 2. so what you’re saying eHarmony, is that your basic plan offers the EXACT SAME THINGS as Okcupid. How much is Okcupid again?
Also, unsurprisingly, upon fake signing up I was immediately bombarded with senseless emails:
Shut your stupid mouth, eHarmony, and stop patronizing me. I don’t need your permission to be okay with saying that phrase. I’m so good at saying “I hate being single” that I literally started an entire blog so my friends and I could say it multiple times a week. So step off.
Rage aside, I’m at a crossroads, readers. I’m technically signed up, so I’m now getting messages that I can’t read from faceless dudes. This is how they rope you in! I’m telling you, it’s a mindfuck. No matter how awful a site appears to be (and believe me, eHarmony seems awful) there’s that one tiny little part of you that worries one of the guys who messaged you is your future husband, and you’re about to miss out on a lifetime of happiness and hot sex because you were too cheap to fork over $258.
I need help deciding, dear readers. Tell me what you think I should do. I can’t promise that I’ll actually do it, but I promise to take the results into consideration. Also, if you’ve used the big E yourself, feel free to leave me a comment and tell me what you think of it. Also, if you’re reading this, Dr. Warren, I hate you.