First Date with the Grouchketeer (or: that time S’s date took her to a puppet show)

I’d like to kick off this doozy of a post by quoting…myself:

“If hell freezes over and a date actually makes a non-bar suggestion, unless that suggestion is ‘Tea Party rally’ or ‘anonymous orgy’, I’m going to throw caution to the wind and just say yes.” —S, 9/2/14

Will I never learn to just keep my mouth shut? It’s like I was asking the universe to present me with an insane first date scenario that I’d be forced to say yes to. And the universe did not disappoint. 

Let me back up for a second. When I wrote the above line in my fall dating to do list, I’d been chatting a bit with a reasonably smart, cute and nice dude on Okc. We had no plans to meet up yet, but less than 24 hours after publishing my post, that changed. I have dubbed this guy “Grouchketeer”, and you will find out why later in this post. Anyway, when the Grouchketeer texted me this:

fringe fest

I thought, well look here; a challenge. Bring it on, good sir. Fringe Fest is known for being kind of….alternative, but how weird could this “idea” be? An art exhibit? A play?

Oh, it was a play. But not just any play. 

incongruousoffice ryan awkward

I read that description approximately 8 times, thinking I just wasn’t getting it. Then as the words “explosive”, “frenzied”, and “anatomically complete” sunk in, along with, you know, “physically disabled”, I began to panic. Why did this guy pick this bizarre puppet show out of all the Fringe Fest events and all the things we could do in the world? What would this even entail? Would we be watching wheelchair-bound puppets have sex? Did this mean my date was into puppet porn? IS PUPPET PORN A THING I DON’T EVEN KNOW ABOUT?!?!?

Then another thought occurred to me: clearly this “guy from Okcupid” was L and/or D in disguise fully catfishing me for shits and giggles. Well played, co-bloggers. Well played.

Except L and D, while positively DELIGHTED to hear about this date proposition (a little too delighted, honestly), assured me it wasn’t them. They also reminded me of my comically recent promise to be open to non-traditional dates and I was all, “I KNOW, DAMN IT, I KNOW WHAT I WROTE” in a howler monkey voice. Because I knew they were right. I had baited the universe, and the universe dared me to go back on my word. Hell, it triple dog dared me. 

I had no choice, dear readers, but to stick my (proverbial) tongue to the (proverbial) flagpole.

puppet

So many adjectives, Gouchketeer. So many. And then he upped the ante:

tickets

I’m usually opposed to dinner on a first date, let alone dinner on a first date on Saturday night, but given the fact that a complete stranger was apparently taking me to watch dolls have sex in South Philadelphia, dinner seemed like the least of my problems. So as promised, I “just said yes”. To everything. Ugh.

Saturday arrived, and Grouchketeer and I met at the restaurant. He was just as cute in person (score), but had committed the classic single guy act of 2+ inch height fraud. Dinner was pretty good, actually… he was witty and interesting, and the conversation flowed pretty well. One thing that made it more awkward was the fact that he was kiiiind of a mumbler. He was one of those people who would start a sentence off at normal volume and then sort of trail off as he talked. The restaurant wasn’t exactly quiet, either, so I found myself repeating, ‘What?”, “I’m sorry?” and “Excuse me?” an uncomfortable number of times, and homeboy would not take a hint to speak up.

Beyond the mumbling, there were a few…red flags.

Red flag #1: College drop out. He allegedly went to a few different schools, one of which was Ivy League so clearly he wasn’t stupid or lacking opportunities, but “hated it” and never finished. Oh, Philadelphia bachelors (without Bachelors–hiyooo).

Red flag #2: No actual 9-5 job. According to Grouchketeer, he did “a lot of things” such as: concert booker/promoter for a local music venue, had his own landscaping business…? and (drumroll please) was training to be a “rescue diver”. No, I don’t know what that means, either.

Red flag #3: Rest assured, there’s a #3, but it was revealed later in the date. Stay tuned. 

So at this point I know Grouchketeer kiiiiind of sounds like a zero. Believe me, the same thought crossed my mind. But I could tell he was really smart. He was clearly self sufficient (didn’t live with his parents THANK GOD), loved to travel and had been all over the world, and had a lot of interesting things to say. And he was cute. So I ignored these flags for the time being and just focused on understanding what the hell my mumbling date was actually saying. And against all odds, I was actually having a good time.

Such a good time, in fact, that we both lost track of time and almost missed the, ahem, show (and what a…pity…that would have been). Unfortunately Grouchketeer realized what time it was (damn him) and we cut dinner short. While we waited for our check, I took the opportunity to ask what I had been wondering for the past week:

Me: So, can I ask why a puppet show? What made you pick that out of all the Fringe Fest events going on?

Grouchketeer: I don’t know, it looked like it could be interesting and also, I’ve always had a thing for puppets.

Me: internally-screaming

Me (thinking): Oh God. Ew. Does he mean, like, a sexual thing? So puppet porn IS a real thing, then. I KNEW IT.

Obviously my date must have caught the horrified/alarmed look on my face.

Grouchketeer: Oh man, no, not in like, a creepy way! I actually was  a child actor for a few years. I was on Sesame Street, so I’ve always thought puppets were kind of awesome.

Who has two thumbs and has seen WAY too many episodes of Law and Order: SVU?

stabler

This girl. My date was trying to tell me about his childhood stint on Sesame Street, and mama’s brain went right to ‘puppet porn’. Not my most sane moment, readers.

Me: Oh! That’s awesome! What did you do on Sesame Street?

Grouchketeer: I was a member of Oscar the Grouch’s posse. We were like a spoof on the Mouseketeers.

Me: Oh my God, yes! I remember! You guys were covered in trash, right?

(Lest you think I’m exaggerating, check out a Google image of these poor, pathetic kids smeared with dirt, wearing low budget DIY t-shirts and trashcan lids ON THEIR HEADS.)

grouchketeer

The Grouchketeers were basically Mugatu’s Derelicte campaign for kids, and my date was a part of this elite club. Maybe he had some sort of puppet Stockholm syndrome.

Okay, readers. Now that you know the origin of my date’s nickname, it’s time for today’s main event: the puppet show.

We walked, almost ran to the theater since we were late. I was secretly hoping the show had already started but alas, when we knocked on the door to the tiny, nondescript South Philly theater, they let us right in. 

A woman handed us two programs and ushered us towards the entrance. “Don’t worry,” she assured us. “He hasn’t started.”

We walked in and found two seats in the back row. The theater was full, and by “full” I mean the 20 seats in the theater mostly had people in them, presumably all family members of the puppeteer or possibly people on equally bizarre Okcupid first dates. I was just opening my program when the lights dimmed and a booming male voice announced:

“Welcome to this evening’s performance of ‘Incongruous’. If you need to use the restroom, please do so now, as you will not be permitted to leave during the show.

wait what2

We trust that you have had the chance to read your program and are well versed in the disabilities we’ll be discussing tonight.

wait what

Enjoy the show.”

Then, to add to the already uncomfortable vibe, someone came into the theater and TURNED OFF THE AIR CONDITIONING. In case you were wondering, here’s what the weather in Philly was like on the day in question:

weather

So there I was, readers, trapped in a tiny box of death, sweating, barred from using the restroom, unable to see the program which was apparently required reading beforehand, on a first date with an ex-child star whose parents allowed him to be covered in trash in exchange for money.

Just when I thought shit could not get weirder, a man dressed in all black appeared on stage, and produced a puppet from behind a table. The puppet was a naked woman with one leg. He then produced a baby puppet and proceeded to make the mom breast feed the baby. Then he started to sing. A lullaby. In Spanish. This continued for an UNCOMFORTABLE amount of time. I’m not talking 30 seconds. Like, for at least 3 minutes we all sat there in sweaty silence, watching a puppet breast feeding another puppet while being serenaded with a creepy Spanish lullaby.

One piece of good news (the only piece, really): I glanced over at my date during this spectacle, and he appeared to be just as baffled as I was. He was literally mouthing:

what the

Good, I thought. At least he’s equally freaked out and isn’t thoroughly enjoying this insanity.

Speaking of insanity, the puppeteer finally spoke, in a heavy accent. I understood maybe 20% of what he was saying. There were four different puppet…vignettes, and not for a million dollars could I tell you what any of them were really about. I can tell you the puppeteer flubbed his lines about 10 times and he kept trying to make the puppets do things (pick up a tiny coffee cup etc.), except their limbs were getting stuck… so he would literally break character in the middle of the show and say ‘sorry, hang on a sec’ so he could FIX THE PUPPET. I can’t.

The longer this went on, the funnier it was to me. The whole thing was so nuts, such an out of body experience, that it started to become straight up hilarious. Grouchketeer nudged me a couple times at weird moments, and we kept exchanging half terrified, half bemused ‘WHAT IS HAPPENING??’ glances and trying to stifle our LOLs. I may be the first person in the history of time to say this, readers, but that nude puppet show was oddly conducive to flirting.

The show continued, with puppet genitalia galore but mercifully, no actual puppets doin’ it. (Score?) There was a triple amputee puppet, a little boy puppet with prosthetics, a model puppet with short arms (at this point the puppeteer verbally reprimanded us for not reading our programs and knowing what the disability was called), and then came the piece de resistance: a gimp puppet in full S&M bondage gear. This puppet, called “Mr. Sick”, delivered the final monologue which was a truly unhinged amalgamation of political buzzwords. Literally it went something like this (clearly paraphrasing, please no one sue me):

Mr. Sick: YOU ARE SICK. I AM SICK. VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, GMOs, CAPITALISM, ANTI-ABORTION LAWS, GLOBAL WARMING, THE MIDDLE EAST, ALL OF THESE THINGS HAVE MADE US SICK. WE ARE ALL SICK!

The lights came up. That was the end. There was stunned silence and then confused applause. Having had to pee for the past 40 minutes, I jumped out of my seat and ran to the bathroom, where I texted L and D this picture of my program as proof that I’d actually attended:

unnamed

When I emerged, Grouchketeer was waiting for me in the lobby, looking appropriately sheepish.

Grouchketeer (chuckling): Well that was…interesting.

Me: Um, yes.

Grouchketeer: So wait, why were the puppets naked?

Me: Wait, you didn’t know they’d be naked? Didn’t you read the description before you bought the tickets? It definitely said they’d be nude.

Grouchketeer: I skimmed it, but I guess I didn’t read it carefully enough.

Me: Clearly you didn’t!

Grouchketeer: Yeah, sorry about that. Also, they’re selling Mr. Sick shirts over there with his monologue on them. I genuinely considered buying you one.

I was actually pissed that he didn’t buy me one, and I told him so, because I thought after such an insane first date experience I at least deserved a souvenir. I would have worn that Mr. Sick shirt with pride, readers.

We walked back towards the restaurant, giggling about what we’d just seen, quoting Mr. Sick to each other. Grouchketeer asked if I’d like to go somewhere else to chat more.

Me: Sure, sounds great. I know a few good bars that are right around the corner.

Grouchketeer: Oh, uh, sure, we can totally go to a bar, but I feel like I should just mention so you know… I don’t drink.

***Red Flag #3 Alert***

Ugh. So many red flags, you guys. I asked Grouchketeer why he didn’t drink, and to his credit he was very frank and forthcoming: he was drinking to the point of abusing alcohol a few years back, decided to take a break and realized it was the best thing he ever did, so just stuck with it. He assured me he had zero problem being around alcohol and was totally cool with others drinking, he just didn’t want to make me uncomfortable for being the only one doing it (I hadn’t even noticed he didn’t drink at dinner–I was too busy hearing about his days as a human trashcan).

So….that made the night take a serious turn. I mean look, everyone has their shit, and he appeared to be very open and mature about the whole thing, and it’s not like I’m some huge binge drinker, anyway. And I told him all those things. But honestly, what do two near strangers do on a Saturday night when they’ve already gone to dinner and watched naked puppets prance around on a stage? They GO TO A BAR.

I was at a total loss for what to do next; homeboy was not being invited to my place, and it was starting to rain. Luckily Grouchketeer suggested dessert (something mama is always up for), so we got gelato. And talked some more/LOL’d some more about Mr. Sick. Then he drove me home. We kissed a little bit in his car (he was a good kisser but we were literally parked in a bike lane with hazards on, so it was quick) and I said goodnight.

Phew. That was quite the marathon. If you actually stuck with me through this insane recap right until the bitter, booze-free end, I’d like to offer you an appreciative and frankly, impressed, round of applause.

applause

Date rating: 7/10.  Given the fact that I attended a nude puppet show with a total stranger, it was a surprisingly fun night. Despite multiple red flags, my date was smart, interesting, and cute, and Mr. Sick (bless his heart/bondage gear) gave us plenty of things to talk about.

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That time D went on 2 Dates in 1 Day

Well hello there everyone. Happy Monday! I know we’ve been a little delinquent on our posting lately. We’re working on it, we promise! And to prove it to you, on this Monday, rather than a standard Message Monday post, I’ve got a post about a real date! That I went on! This is a dating blog, after all, so we should probably tell you about these things. This particular date was awhile back. In fact, this post is actually long overdue. Remember that time I alluded to the time I went on 2 dates in 1 day? Well, today’s the day I finally tell you all about it.

Back in mid-April (sidenote: how the F is it already the end of August?), I was dating D. As you may recall, following what ended up being our last date, on a Saturday afternoon, I went on an impromptu first date with another guy. We’ll call him Gillette. As luck would have it, the ultimate take away from my date with Gillette was that I really did like D. Annnnnd then D dumped me 4 days later. I don’t know if that’s karma, or what, but I know I probably won’t ever go on 2 dates in 1 day again.

To backtrack, earlier that week I got a message from Gillette on OKC. A really, really great message. Of the unicorn variety. And even though I was seeing D, that was still new, and I admittedly had a few reservations about getting involved with D. So I responded to Gillette, because unicorns are such a rare and mystical thing, and we hit it off immediately. He was a fantastic texter, and I’m super picky about texting. He was really funny, and there was a LOT of banter. I love banter. So when he texted me late Saturday afternoon and asked if I wanted to get dinner, I rolled with it. (By rolled with it, I mean called S AND L panicking that accepting made me a super slut somehow). 

He’d never had hibachi, and there’s a hibachi restaurant at Patriot Place, the outdoor mall built around Gillette stadium. His pictures, though not an outright lie, were misleading. But as soon as we got into the restaurant, the charming, witty banter began, and I had a blast with him. I thought it would be a little awkward at first, because when we got there, I remembered that hibachi is typically shared with strangers, but we had such a good rapor that that aspect wasn’t weird at all.

When we had finished our meal, he asked if I wanted to take a walk. I agreed, but wanted to head to my car first to grab a coat, and to drop off my leftovers. Long story short, we ended up driving over to the parking lot by the nature trail and cranberry bog that are behind the stadium, under the guise of taking our walk there. We didn’t even get out of the car. Well, that’s technically not true. We did get out of the car, but only to the get into the backseat for more comfortable make-out conditions. Also, I did a little re-arranging of stuff from the backseat to the trunk, because as Norman Bates can attest, the interior of my car is “not bad,” but also not great. My trunk is full of a bunch of random shit, including a sleeping bag I affectionately call The Sleeping Bag of Broken Dreams (which has actually come in really handy on more than one occasion). Which made the task of moving the junk that had accumulated in my back seat to the trunk comical. But I digress.

Now, to give you the full effect, let me just describe to you the conditions. This parking lot is more just like a gravel pit. There were maybe 3 other cars parked, and about 20 or so dry-docked boats in shrink wrap. Can you say romance? It was still light out, and I parked my trusty little Corolla in the most conspicuous spot possible. AKA right out in the open, rather than tucked in between two boats.

We ended up making out in the back of my car for awhile. I knew almost immediately that I was not into Gillette at all, despite the genuinely good time I had had at dinner. He was not a very good kisser. I know the existence of bad kissers is a hotly debated topic (actually, it’s not, because everyone knows bad kissers exist in this world), so I’ll rephrase and say that his style was not my favorite – he was of the sloppy variety. Also, all I could really think about the whole time was that I really wanted to be making out with D. But, Gillette wasn’t a totally terrible kisser either, and it was nice to be making out with someone (D was getting over a cold so there had been no making out earlier in the day while I was with him).

The next day Gillette texted me asking to see me again. I felt bad letting him down, but he was super awesome about it. I figured that was the last I would hear from Gillette.

I left the whole thing feeling a little bad about both Gillette and D, and kind of skeezy for going on 2 dates in 1 day. It’s not something I’ll likely ever repeat. I can barely handle going out with multiple guys in a week when there’s a chance that I’ll see at least one of them again. I know there’s no reason to feel bad about that, but it’s just not my style.

I wrote the bones of this post awhile ago, but had yet to finish it until this past weekend. Cut to a little over a month ago. I was seeing someone (who I’m no longer seeing, womp womp, and I’m not really ready to address it on the blog yet). Gillette texted me out of the blue and started chatting me up. He asked if I wanted to “hook up” again. I told him I was seeing someone. He said that he had started seeing someone too, but they weren’t exclusive yet, and I had been fun to hook up with. “Are you and your guy exclusive yet?” Ohhhh, Gillette, how the mighty have fallen. I mean, at no point were you actually mighty, but you had been a pleasant memory until that question.

I have a bunch of stuff to post about in the near future. I promise to be better about actually posting, rather than just thinking about it on the commuter rail. In the meantime, I know L has a date story to regale you all with later this week. We’re getting back on track folks (you know, if “on track” means going on dates that are blog worthy for all the wrong reasons). Good job us!

First date with the Good Message Unicorn

In case you are just joining us (in which case, welcome!/fasten your seat belt) this post is technically a Part 2. When we last left off, the Good Message Unicorn had apologized for his lame behavior and asked if I wanted to meet. And sweet baby Jesus, it was about time. In keeping with my Summer of YOLO affirmations, I decided to go for it. I gave GMU my phone number, sat back,  DudeWaiting …and waited for him to take the reigns, which he did. We made plans to meet for drinks, which in my mind was going to go one of two ways:

  1. We’d meet, hit it off immediately, and begin a hot mid-summer romance, thus validating the entire Summer of YOLO plan
  2. We’d meet and the date would be mediocre, in part because I set wildly unrealistic expectations of a complete stranger who sent me some half decent messages over a month ago

Hmmmm let’s see. Which of those options seems more likely in the world of LSD, and the world of online dating in general? fresh prince hmm The night of our date, I arrived at my old reliable (yes, he asked me where I wanted to meet and yes, I was annoyed about it). I didn’t see GMU at the bar, but he’d just texted me that he was there, so I headed up to the second floor and…. literally ran right into him on the stairs. Now, if you’ve ever online dated, you know that the first moment of a first date is almost always excruciatingly awkward because neither party knows how to appropriately greet the other person. Do you shake hands? Hug? Wait to see what your date does? Before I even had time to consider my greeting options, this happened:  GMU: Sorry, I don’t want to touch you because I’m really sick. Me (internally): wtf-mate-o Me: Oh. Sorry you’re sick. We could have rescheduled…? GMU: I know, but I was looking forward to meeting you, and I also felt like since I kind of disappeared for a bit, it would have seemed extra shady for me to cancel at the last minute. I didn’t want you to think I was blowing you off. Despite that fact that we were still having this awkward ass conversation ON THE STAIRS as waiters and customers brushed by us, GMU earned some points for that. Because he’s right: the fact that he fully disappeared once, coupled with the fact that more often than not, the ‘I’m sick” excuse turns out to be bullshit, (and maybe the fact that Stupid Cupid is the patron blog of pessimistic over thinkers) means that I probably wouldn’t have believed him. Well played, GMU… 10-points-to-gryffindor_gp_1622829 Source: memecdn.com …even though I was now at risk for contracting the “summer cold” he claimed to have come down with. Welp, that’s what they make Purell for, right? Finally we moved from our creepy perch and I got a chance to fully check my date out. He was:

  • shorter than he claimed to be, because duh, but still respectably tall
  • almost as cute as his pictures

All in all I was pleased. We sat down, ordered drinks, and GMU launched into telling me about his job. I don’t know why this seems to be a trend with me lately, but I’ve encountered some serious Chatty Cathys. Luckily GMU had a cool job that I was mildly interested in (small/independent film distributor–I’m sorry but no one can top Keith Mars in that department) so I peppered him with a lot of questions. Homeboy was smart and well spoken and unlike a previous Chatty Cathy, didn’t bore me to tears with tedious anecdotes that no one cares about but him. But, even though GMU was holding my interest, at the same time it all seemed very…official. And oddly business-like. We were chatting like two strangers exchanging platonic pleasantries, not two people on a date. Our messages had been filled with all the flirty, loquacious banter of some snappy Aaron Sorkin dialogue, but that just wasn’t translating in person. This is actually pretty common, I think mostly because it’s easy to sit in front of a laptop and type and re-type a message until it’s the perfect blend of sassy, witty, and hilarious, but when you’re sitting in front of a complete stranger yeah, that shit’s a little harder. Men appear to especially have a hard time with this… I can’t tell you how many have been literally PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR over messaging and then come off like a wet blanket in person. Midway through the date I went to the bathroom and thought about how it was going. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great. Two things needed to happen for the night to tip the scales toward positive:

  1. We needed to stop talking to each other like two co-workers in a conference room at a Scottsdale Ramada and start flirting, ASAP.
  2. GMU needed to actually ask about me and my life, and then shut his mouth and let me speak. The talking thing seemed like a nervous habit, so I was trying not to take it personally, but at a certain point it’s hard not to feel like you could be replaced with a bag of rusty nails and your date might just keep going because he literally has zero interest in getting to know anything about you. If you think I’m exaggerating, read this article. More great news for single women!

I got back to the table, these thoughts still on my mind. As if on cue GMU said, “Where was I…? Oh yeah!” and immediately launched into ANOTHER STORY. And I just sat there with my mouth agape, thinking: not done My eyes started to glaze over. But then, as if he could read my mind (or possibly my facial expression), GMU stopped mid-sentence and said: “I’m sorry, I can hear myself talking your ear off. I’m talking too much, aren’t I?” Well. That took me by surprise. I appreciated the self awareness, though it took a lot of self control not to shout “YES, YES YOU ARE TALKING WAY TOO MUCH AND IT’S REALLY OBNOXIOUS WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??” Instead I went with a much kinder: “Yup, maybe a little too much.” “I knew it. I’m sorry! I just want you to know it’s because I’m having a really nice time. Let me finish this thought and then I promise I will shut up and you can tell me more about you.” I had to physically bar myself from rolling my eyes at ‘it’s because I’m having a nice time’ because LOL, yeah. You’ve been listening to the sound of your own voice for the better part of an hour. I bet you’re having a nice time. narcissism To GMU’s credit, though, he did shut up and listen. Thank God. As the conversation became more of a back and forth, we started to banter a bit. GMU had obviously gotten more comfortable, and even managed to pull out some of the teasing and volleying he’d been so good at over messaging. Then it was revealed that he knew my alma mater, BU, very well because he dated a girl for three years who went there and visited frequently. The highlight of the entire date was when GMU started to talk shit on CGS, which is something that every BU student knows about. The College of General Studies is a school that freshmen are admitted into when they’re…not…ready?…for BU itself. CGS has an infamously bad rap at BU–it’s affectionately known as crayons, glue and scissors cgs So it totally tickled me that GMU knew about this and was in on the shit talking (PS, most of this shit talking stemmed from the fact that his college girlfriend cheated on him with a CGS student, which explains his surprising fervor on the subject). I know this all probably comes off as mean spirited and douchey, especially coming from a school that lives in the shadow of the capital of elitist doucheland. And yes, it kind of is, but it’s also a time honored BU tradition. Sidenote: I actually have a few friends who were in CGS (if you’re reading this, hi guys!/I’m sorry, I’m the worst xoxoxo), and who are smart, successful humans with good jobs, so clearly all this snide judgment is meaningless. Funny, but meaningless. ANYWAY, I was still LOLing from the BU/CGS tangent when my date surprised me again: GMU: I’m having a lot of fun. Would you like to do this again sometime? I mean, what single girl doesn’t like to hear that from a cute guy, even one who talks incessantly? I’ve just never heard literally it in the middle of the date in the middle of a conversation. A part of me was like, wait. Is he ending the night right now? Is GMU just going to get up and walk away after I answer him? Only one way to find out. Since the date had markedly improved during the second half of the evening, I decided the Good Message Unicorn was worth a second look. Me: I’m having fun, too. And sure, I’d love to. GMU: Awesome. Anyway, back to what we were talking about… So the date continued but started to wind down. 15 minutes later we got the check and left. We stood outside the bar, saying an awkward goodbye. GMU repeated that he’d love to see me again, and told me he’d be in touch soon. Then something…unprecedented happened. My date fist bumped me.

My date FIST. BUMPED. ME.

Yes, you’re thinking of the right fist bump. The GMU and I did this: fist bump 1 fist bump 2 fist bump 3 I have no words. And I had no words then. I think I actually blurted out, “wow, okay. That just happened. Well….goodnight!” and fled. So what happened next? A second date? A phone call? Some text flirting? Anything? Anything at all? Nothing. https://i2.wp.com/i.qkme.me/3rdom7.jpg After a months-long saga of messaging, taking a break from messaging, disappearing, YOLOing, reappearing, meeting, illnesses and hand moves made famous by bros, after all that, I never heard from the GMU again. That bastard had the gall to pull a fade away. the jerk store called I’m not even going to go into how maddening it is to be asked out again IN THE MIDDLE OF A DATE and then hear nothing from that person, because it’s well covered territory here at Stucu. Like I said at the beginning of this post, this is not an interesting or juicy ending to the GMU saga by any means, but it’s so incredibly true to life and to the dating world as I know it. A lot of BS, time and effort amounting to… this. I realize this post took a dark turn for a sunny Friday afternoon, but if you’ve been following our blog you should hardly be surprised. I do have two positive things to end on. 1. I’m still hella glad I YOLO’d, because at least now I know. I know that GMU is not the one that got away and that I didn’t let tired dating conventions and self consciousness get in the way of figuring that out. So…go me? I mean, still alone, of course, but alone and wiser. Yup, basically just alone. Positive thing #2… our wonderful co-blogger D celebrated a milestone birthday this week! Readers, join me in wishing her a Happy Birthday! D, you’re one of my favorite people in the world, even if you do have a ‘tude about Disney classics and our use of the term YOLO. Here’s a little belated Bday treat for you… Date rating: 6/10. The chemistry that I had with GMU over messaging never really materialized in person, and he talked my ear off, but the date did improve a fair amount towards the end. Until, of course, he FIST BUMPED ME and then pulled a fade away. Given the last two points, my grading might actually be too generous.

First Date with Keith Mars, P.I.

I’m sure some of you just read that title and thought wow, the Stucu ladies have gone completely 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.

mean girls wild

Source: wifflegif.com

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.!

gryffindor-cheering-quidditch-dean-thomas

Source: www.survivingcollege.com

You guys. Stalking/sleuthing/investigating shit/being nosy is honest to God one of my favorite pastimes. Well, I should say our favorite pastimes. As we’ve mentioned before, we here at Stupid Cupid take our stalking investigative skills VERY 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:

someecards find shit out

Source: www.someecards.com

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:

buster excited

Source: gifrific.com

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 summer and 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 so weird 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,

veronica mars taser

Source: www.sheknows.com

and general tricks of the trade. Besides the fact that he was a P.I., here’s what I knew about him going into the date:

  • He went to Penn State
  • He lives in the suburbs (what is with me and suburban dudes??)

Aaaaand that’s basically it. It should also be noted that this was my first date since my breakup with D two months ago, and my first first date in over six months. Needless to say, I was feeling a bit rusty.

leslie knope cargo pants

Source: www.tressugar.com

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 theme among 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:

nope

Source: persephonemagazine.com

(What’s that? I use this GIF in almost every post? I don’t care, I fucking love that creeping octopus. You’re welcome.)

I was doing my best not to pounce on him immediately with my list of 900000 P.I.-related questions. As we exchanged standard small talk, I started to realize something: Keith Mars was kind of a bro.

If you have a chance, check out this excellent comic on bro criteria. Do you see the example at the very top? “Still brags about getting wasted years after college”?

DING DING DING DING DING

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’t illegal. 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 never does 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.

swanson

Source: awesomegifs.com

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:

veronica mars

Source: thoughtcatalog.com

Date Rating: 5/10. I was so enthralled by the P.I. stuff I’m seriously considering a career change, but the rest of the date was mediocre. And regarding the bro thing:

dealbreaker

Source: www.tvatemybaby.com

Stucu’s best date spots: DC Edition

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.  

big deal

http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3qjz81

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…

  1. 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.”
  2.  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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 banterBoard room (1737 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009)

Remember that place I mentioned a couple of weeks ago? Where I’ve literally been on dates with five different men? Well, that place is called Board room and,  it totally deserves my business (and my date’s business).

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 classicMeridian 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 ChocolateCoco Sala (929 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004)

I know, I know.  I’ve gone on record previously and said I don’t believe in eating anything on first dates. But this place is an exception. Coco Sala’s menu has a heavy focus on chocolate, complimented by lots of delicious dishes involving cheese and, more often than not, bacon.

bacon

https://www.distilled.net/blog/bacon-mouthwash-how-to-pull-off-an-april-fools-prank/

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:

burgers

https://www.distilled.net/blog/bacon-mouthwash-how-to-pull-off-an-april-fools-prank/

(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.

Beef Teriyaki Guy

Unrelated to the topic of this post, but important nevertheless, I must say that I am very much looking forward to the release of “No Dignity”

Now, to the business at hand – regaling you fine readers with my dating tales. Specifically, the guy S alluded to whose nickname involves Japanese food.

I present to you: The Story of Beef Teriyaki Guy.

Shortly after getting dumped, I received a surprisingly decent message from BTG. We seemed to hit it off, and he quickly asked me if I’d like to meet him for coffee. It was hardly a terrible date. He didn’t insult me, attack my face, or do anything else heinous. But I was pretty underwhelmed less than 5 minutes into the date. For one thing, he had a facial tic that reminded me of my friend’s dad. And no one wants to be reminded of someone’s dad when on a date. Also, he did 90% of the talking. When he did ask me a question, he would immediately follow up my response with a related story of his. Never a follow up question for me. He wasn’t even talking about anything all that interesting. Which was a huge bummer, because we talked a lot about traveling, a topic I usually LOVE to talk about. Traveling is one of my favorite ways to spend my money. But he and I have very different ideas about what makes traveling awesome. He’s the kind of guy who travels for the sake of saying he’s been somewhere, rather than to actually enjoy the culture of the place he’s visiting. I just don’t really see the point in that. 

I basically gathered that he loves booking trips with tour companies and only really hits up major tourist attractions. Which is fine, whatever floats your boat, but that’s my least favorite way to travel. He was shocked that on my trip back in January/February, we rented a car and just drove around Europe on our own. That’s my favorite way to travel. Of course I hit up tourist spots, but I like to do lots of other stuff too, and on my own schedule. That other stuff is typically the most interesting part of any trip. He recently went to Dubai, and the only things he talked about were going to the top of the Burj Khalifa and getting a ride in a dune buggy. The world’s tallest building is cool and all, but that’s all you can tell me about?

He also went to China for a couple weeks in college. And he shared precisely 2 things about China: 1) they went to the Great Wall; and 2) he was surprised by how different the food was. The following sentence came out of his mouth: “I didn’t understand – where was the beef teriyaki and the general gao’s chicken? I didn’t even know beef teriyaki was Japanese, not Chinese.”

Tom Hanks - Really

Source: http://gifrific.com/tom-hanks-saying-really/

Ummmmmm. There are 5,000 things wrong with that sentence. Tom Hanks and I don’t even know where to begin. Aside from the cultural ignorance, he also apparently couldn’t find anything he was willing to try, so he ate McDonalds for the entirety of his trip. Which was made super easy by picture menus, so he could just point to what he wanted. What’s the point of traveling if you’re just going to eat McDonalds? You can do that here. I know all about picky eaters, I grew up with one. But even my sister could have found something she liked in China (hint: RICE). Local food is one of the very best parts of traveling. Unless you’re trying to get a waffle in Belgium, because that was an epic fail not once, but twice. Anywho. I was getting really bored with Beef Teriyaki Guy, and finding it increasingly more difficult to continue being on this date. 

And then came the straw that broke the camel’s back. In one of his rare instances of asking about me, he asked where I had traveled to. As you might know from our About page, S and I spent a semester abroad in college. As it happens, that semester was spent in London. And oh my, did I fall in love with that city. He too had been to London, he shared. At the tail end of a trip he took to Italy, he met his parents in London for a couple of days, he explained. At which point he dropped this bomb:

BTG: I actually wasn’t that impressed with London.

Me internally: -8,254,465,687,345 points. 

Me out loud: Really? That makes me sad. 

This is where I learned about his worst travel habit. He doesn’t do a lot of any research beyond tour companies and the most basic/top tourist attractions. Aside from telling me that it wasn’t until they got home that they realized Stonehenge is only a few hours from London, he said “we saw Big Ben and the London Eye, and then what else really was there to do?”

I’m sorry, WHAT? What the fuck do you mean “what else was there to do?” Is that a serious question?

buzz lightyear - no sign of intelligent life anywhere

Source: http://narwhaaal.tumblr.com/post/79189389471

For one thing, Stonehenge is just a bunch of rocks. Granted, I went out there and walked around the rocks, but the trip was coupled with other things in the area (and a tragic story about the demise of a plastic grocery bag). On top of that, the only things you did were see Big Ben and the London Eye, but the thing you’re most bummed about missing is a circle of mysterious rocks in field in the English countryside? With a look of shock on my face, and in a somewhat hysterical, high-pitched voice, I just started word-vomiting various things to do in London. Museums (so many!), parks, theater, markets, food, tea, a fafillion adorable neighborhoods, THE TOWER OF LONDON. Dude, the Tower of London is a tourist attraction gold mine. Also, S, remember our glorious girl-date to the Churchill War Rooms? Best. Date. Ever! Of all the examples I shouted, at the very least the Tower of London should have been on his radar. That list barely scratches the surface, and doesn’t even mention day trips outside the city limits. Because, as Dr. Samuel Johnson so wisely put it, “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” That city is glorious, with an endless array of things to do/see. 

Sidenote: I could shout about the the Tower of London all day every day. It’s full of 900 years of amazing history, and adorable beef-eaters. Executions, ghosts, ravens, the crown jewels. Even the bathrooms are interesting. I’ll stop before I get completely out of control.

Where there had been a simple indifference towards Beef Teriyaki Guy, there was now a little tiny seed of hate. Talking shit about London is a cardinal sin in my book. It’s simply not tolerated. Especially by someone as ignorant as he was about what London has to offer.

I changed the topic before I got all howler monkey in public, but Beef Teriyaki Guy and I had nothing in common. Once I steered the conversation away from traveling, he made a couple bad lawyer jokes*, explained his tech job in excruciating detail, and mentioned at least 5 times that he recently got a new job that came with a huge pay increase. Luckily, I had some errands I had to run (I’m a terrible liar), so I said I had to go. He was bummed to hear that, because he was about to suggest that we go play mini golf or something, since it was so nice outside. Naturally, he had thought the date was going great. I thanked him for the coffee, and hightailed it out of Rhode Island (of course his suggestion had been a coffee shop less than a mile from his place, and not somewhere more centrally located between us). I won’t be seeing BTG again any time soon.

a

* I actually love lawyer jokes. We’re the worst, often times in very comical ways. But I’ve also heard a lot of lawyer jokes, so forgive me when I’m less than humored when your jokes run along the generic and tired lines of: 

What’s the difference between a lawyer and a boxing referee? A boxing referee doesn’t get paid more for a longer fight.

What’s the difference between a jellyfish and a lawyer? One’s a spineless, poisonous blob. The other is a form of sea life. 

What’s the difference between a lawyer and a leech? After you die, a leech stops sucking your blood.

Instead, try something more like these, which are far less generic/offensive, and actually pretty clever and fitting to tell to a defense attorney (which he knew I was):

I'm sorry card that stops short of admitting liability  disclaimer dilemna

Source: Stu’s Views

First Date: Drunk Girl

S here, coming at you with my last post as a 28 year old. That’s right, peeps. As of midnight tonight, the sun will officially begin to set on my 20s and I’ll be staring 30 in its mean, spinstery face. Woohoo! Also, a friendly reminder: if you haven’t already, please vote for your favorite worst date ever story here. Voting ends Friday!

Speaking of being a mature adult… do any of you loyal readers recall this lovely tale of first date tipsiness from L? Well last week, as I mentioned, I walked (or should I say stumbled) a mile in her shoes on a first date of my own. Allow me to explain, and by explain I mean post a screen shot of the text I sent D when I got home:

D prohib

It’s a testament to our friendship and to the bond we share that D a. did not bat an eyelash at the fact that I got drunk on a first date and b. was on her way to getting sauced herself after a rough day at work. Meanwhile, somewhere south of us, L was also out drinking heavily. Can you say cosmic connection?

Anyway, a little background on said date. The guy is M, a 36 year old high school teacher from Jersey. M and I had been messaging back and forth for a a few weeks. Things I liked about him: he’s an avid traveler and spends every summer at his family’s beach house in Italy, traveling all over the country and throughout Europe. Yes, you read that correctly. Summer beach house. In Italy. Um, hi. Sign me the f*ck up for that. He also teaches history, which is hot. And is 6’3. HOT. 

Things I wasn’t crazy about: he tried, from the moment we exchanged numbers, to CALL ME. There are few things I hate more than a phone conversation with a dude I’ve never met. I mean, what kind of sociopath wants to voluntarily talk on the phone with a total stranger, unless that stranger is a Comcast customer service team member and the cable is out? Even when the guy has a delicious British accent, it’s still inevitably the most awkward interaction ever. I successfully dodged the first few of M’s phone requests, hoping he’d take a hint, but he KEPT ASKING. I had to actively restrain myself from pulling a Regina George and shutting his Gretchen Weiners bullshit right down:

fetch

And then send him this insane little memo just in case he still didn’t get it:

Instead, I consented to 20 minutes of chatting the night before our date which was, AS PREDICTED, moderately awkward. I hate being right all the time. (Lies. I love it).

The night of our date rolled around, and mama was pretty grumpy. Here’s why:

  • The weird phone prelude freaked me out
  • I’d had a long ass day at work
  • the weather was disgustingly wet and humid, causing my hair to do some pretty unique things

I was just not feeling it. It was one of those days where I I wanted sooooo badly to go home and lay on my couch (aka pretty much every day), but I hate people who flake on plans last minute (ahem) so I dragged my salty self over to the bar.

How did the date go? Glad you asked. Conveniently I text-vomited a full summary to poor, unsuspecting D, which I will again post for your viewing pleasure:

d prohib 2

In case you haven’t noticed, yours truly is quite the drunk texter. I recently claimed (to no one who cared) that I live by the following motto: “When the drinks start flowin’, the fingers get goin’.” I mean, what? Also, it’s almost too easy, but…

Sorry/not sorry. Back to the date. I swear, I have never had my ear talked off by a man like I did with M. From the moment we met he was a Chatty Cathy, going on and on about his job, traveling, friends and family. This was actually a welcome development at first, since I usually have the EXACT opposite problem with dudes and have to essentially perform my own one woman show just to keep the awkward silences at bay. So honestly, up until the end of the night I truly enjoyed M’s chattiness. He was smart and interesting, not obnoxious or annoying.

It wasn’t until we arrived at the aforementioned whiskey bar and I was well on my way to being fully drunk that I realized… M had asked me almost nothing about myself. Literally almost nothing. In all fairness, I’m not exactly a shy wallflower (shocking, I know)  and can hold my own in a conversation, so there were plenty of times when I interjected with something and M listened with interest. So I guess it wasn’t that bad, just… weird. Anyway, on to my drunkenness. We had already had a flight of (delicious) beer at the first bar we went to, and then after revealing to him that I’d recently acquired a taste for whiskey, we decided to trek down the street to a whiskey bar for a “nightcap”. Except we walked in and it was like a budget remake of the Great Gatsby up in that piece. Champagne was a-flowin’. People were dressed in period garb. The normally wildly over-priced drinks were dirt cheap. You can guess what happened next…

Mama got sauced. M had to drive and is also gigantic in stature, so he was essentially fine, but I had 3 more BIG mixed drinks and a glass and a half of champagne. By the end I could hear myself slurring my words and also started to make best friends with our neighbors at the bar, something I only do when drunk. At one point the nice lesbian couple next to me discretely whispered, ‘is this a first date?’ and I practically shouted, so the entire (tiny) bar could hear, “It is a first date! Are we that obvious??” Smooth, S. Smooth.

Smart cookie that I am, I decided that we needed to go before I (further) embarrassed myself. I could at least tell through my haze that M seemed bemused rather than horrified by my antics, so I was confident that my behavior still passed for charming and hadn’t crossed over to fully obnoxious. Yet.But I calculated that I was roughly 15 minutes and half a drink away from this:

kristen-wiig-drunk-gif-sXMz

I announced that M needed to drive me home (in hindsight I was in no state to accept a ride from a strange man but hey, I obviously lived to tell about it. Calm down, mom.) M said he had a great time and would love to go out again (heard that one before!) and then went in for the kiss. It was a bold move, but drunk S was into it. It was actually a really nice first kiss, probably because we were in a warm car and I had a buzz on. But nice nonetheless.

The next morning, hungover and a little embarrassed, I went over the date in my head. And started to get annoyed by M’s apparent lack of interest in my life. I called in some experts, wondering if this was a red flag, but multiple sources told me he was probably either a. nervous (this seems most likely to me) or b. having a REALLY good time and was comfortable enough to open up. Either way, he didn’t berate me or lose his car, so I’m giving him a pass.

M and I have a second date set for Thursday. Let me tell you, there are few things more awkward than dating someone new right around your birthday. You feel like a weirdo not mentioning it at all, but you don’t want them to misunderstand your mention as a request for them to acknowledge it. I am probably ultra sensitive about this because last year I was in this very same position… I’d been seeing a guy briefly, it got out that it was my birthday, and he made a big fuss about it. Basically he INSISTED that we go out to dinner to celebrate even though I was super uncomfortable and told him ‘yeahhh we’re not seriously dating, that is sweet but really not necessary’. But again, he insisted, so I relented, thinking I’d at least get a nice dinner out of it. Then, the night of said dinner rolled around (also the day after my bday!) and this douchenozzle texts me to tell me 1. he was cancelling dinner and 2. didn’t want to see me anymore. Like I’m sorry, WHAT? I NEVER WANTED TO HAVE THIS WEIRD BIRTHDAY DINNER IN THE FIRST PLACE, YOU LUNATIC.

Anyhoodle. Clearly I have birthday date PTSD after that bullshit. So when M (very nicely) referred to this next date as my ‘birthday dinner’ I practically shouted him down in sheer alarm in distress. I just feel like I’m tempting fate by agreeing to this again, even if it is just dinner and even if I SCREAMED that I didn’t want any sort of fuss made over my birthday by someone I literally just met. Let me tell you, if M cancels, you poor readers WILL be hearing about it. Probably in all caps. 

Date rating: 7.5/10. M was a nice, interesting, smart, fun dude and a great kisser, but he talked wayyy too much.

Lesson learned: DRINK LESS. That is all.

first date with…oh, who cares? first date!

BREAKING STUCU NEWS:

I WENT ON A DATE!!!!!!!!!!

November goal: met. Curse: reversed. Dry spell: over. Dignity: regained (sort of). God, am I relieved. Mostly because I publicly set an (admittedly unnecessary) goal for myself and then panicked when I realized I might not actually achieve that goal. While the rest of you clowns were busy growing facial hair, I’ve been feverishly pimping myself out on the Okc. So I am thrilled to report that I made it with a week and a half to spare!

What’s that? You want to hear about my actual date and not just endure me taking victory laps for this entire post? You guys are adorable, but sure, I’ll indulge you.

My date was with D, a nice, nerdy guy who messaged me about a week ago. His first message to me was actually great, albeit a bit overly enthusiastic, but when I clicked on his profile I was met with some insane shit. First of all it was way way WAY too long. Mama has a life and a lot of prime time TV to get to, so she doesn’t have time to plow through a personal memoir while searching for a date. Second, he actually mentioned that his ex-girlfriend helped him write said profile (!!!!!!!) (boys, do I really need to tell you that mentioning an ex in your ONLINE DATING PROFILE is considered poor form? Also, D, your ex did not do you any favors, I assure you). And third, his pictures were comically outdated–I believe the oldest time stamp was from 2003. To put this in perspective, in 2003 I was obsessing over my upcoming high school senior trip to Disney World and listening to this on repeat:

Who am I kidding? I STILL listen to that on repeat. Fantastic jam. The point is, call me crazy, but it seems like a picture taken when I was probably still in high school and viewed when I was two weeks away from attending my 10 year reunion might be considered slightly outdated.

Anyway, the long, insane profile normally would have been a deterrent, as would the vintage photos from a bygone era, but beggars can’t be choosers and more importantly, D’s message was actually really nice and normal. So I replied, and we had a brief back and forth. Impatient to meet my deadline, I asked him out for a drink and we made plans for the only time we were both free, which was early evening on Sunday (SO creepy). D suggested we meet at a trendy speakeasy that I had been meaning to try but hadn’t gotten around to. The place was so trendy that I had difficulty locating it (here were his directions):

unnamed

If that’s not the start of an episode of SVU, I don’t know what is. When I found it, D was standing outside with a sheepish look on his face. The place was inexplicably closed. Honestly I was just so excited that D appeared to be all six feet one inches that he claimed on his profile, and was actually cuter in person than in his wildly outdated photos, that I didn’t care.

We headed down the street to another bar and it wasn’t until we sat down, ordered drinks, and had an ominous moment of awkward silence that I considered this fact: I might be REALLY rusty at this whole first date thing. I mean, It’s been five months. Maybe everything I’d learned up until then had faded and this was going to be a spectacularly awkward evening of social failure. Luckily, before I could think about this any more, D piped up to ask me a question and I didn’t have time to worry about my romantic shortcomings again.

It was a nice date. D was smart, interesting, did not take himself too seriously, talked a lot but also listened with interest about what I had to say. We had some drinks, ordered some snacks, and had a reasonably nice time. I told D about the blog which he loved and wanted to know more about (I did refrain from telling him that he was single handedly responsible for breaking my dry spell). There were a few over shares on his part, mostly about his terrible relationship with his dad (yikesaroo), which surprised me given the fact that I felt like I already knew his life story from his anthology of a profile. 

At one point in the date, D asked me how to pronounce my last name. Without thinking anything of it, I told him (this is not an uncommon question) and then excused myself to go to the restroom. Walking back, it hit me: I never told this dude my last name. This is an established first date policy of mine. What. the. fuck?? Did I have a stalker on my hands, or just your run of the mill serial killer? Is that why he wanted to meet me in front of an unmarked metal gate? Does he know my social security number and blood type, too? Should I sneak out the bathroom window like in the movies? But wait, if he knows my last name he could probably find me anyway. GAH.

I pulled it together in the ladies room and decided I needed to confront this potential killer. Here is what transpired:

S: So, I just realized… I never told you my last name.

D: I was waiting for you to say that.

S: Oh God, you’re not going to kill me, are you?

D: Huh?

S: How did you find out my last name?

D: I mean, I work with computers for a living. You told me enough about your job and industry that when I searched those facts plus your first name, your LinkedIn profile came right up. I’m sorry, is that totally creepy?

S: Sort of, yes. But I also kind of respect it. My friends and I are semi-pro stalkers and we can usually find out some pretty incredible stuff about our dates with minimal clues to go off of. Usually this terrifies men, though. The tables have kind of turned.

D: You’ve met your stalking match. So what did you find out about me?

S: Actually, I didn’t even Google you. (I didn’t tell D that this was because there was literally no time/I had a deadline to meet.)

Not much else to report on this date, honestly. It was perfectly nice, and D was perfectly nice. Do we actually have chemistry/a ton in common? That remains to be seen. But I certainly think it’s worth another look. I am trying really hard not to compare him to H, who I had off the charts chemistry with from our very first date, because one, that’s not fair and two, obviously that off the charts chemistry didn’t really lead to anything good anyway.

D drove me home (no kiss, no attempted murder) and we agreed we’d like to go out again, but I know I don’t need to remind you all to take that agreement with a GIGANTIC grain of salt. An iceberg of salt, if you will. The probability that D fades away is incredibly high so for now, I’ll just be congratulating myself for achieving my November goal without having to literally pay an escort service.

self-high-five-liz-lemon-gif

Date rating: 7/10. D was a nice, interesting, smart, TALL dude with great manners and a lot to say. Not sure if I feel anything for him beyond that, but it’s certainly worth revisiting to find out. The stalking was a little creepy, but I can’t really judge someone for doing something that is essentially a dating best practice here at StuCu.

 

My date with sports blogger the great

You know how everybody has a celebrity “list?” The list of celebs that, if they EVER propositioned you, EVEN if you were happily married to your spouse of 25 years and had 6 kids, and were in the middle of open heart surgery (performing it or having it)  you would IMMEDIATELY drop EVERYTHING to  have sex with them? (If you don’t have a “list,” stop judging me and make one right now. It should have between 2-4 people on it to encourage maximum thought and specificity, and those people should be living so the fantasy can be somewhat real).

So, at the top of my list is this guy:

mark-duplass is so hot 1

If you know who that is, I salute you. This is why we’re friends. If you don’t, allow me to explain. That is Mark Duplass, who is best known for being Mindy Kaling’s (our spirit animal, you remember?) f%^k buddy/rival on “The Mindy Project.”  I first developed my very serious crush on him though, while watching the little known FX classic, “The League.”

Mark (we’re on a first name basis, obviously) plays Pete on “The League,” who, much to my therapist’s chagrin, epitomizes everything I am drawn to in a man:

1. He’s a scoundrel. Oh, how I adore a ne’er do well. Pete is always up to no good. He loves to trick Taco into making ridiculous trades, get Kevin in trouble with Jenny, and sleep with Baby Geoffrey’s nanny. I am total mush for his on-screen antics, and love to fantasize about what kind of off-screen trouble we’d get into.

2. He has untapped potential (aka he is lazy): We know Pete works in a cubicle, and basically spends all day wasting time, pretending to work, and actually doing nothing but fantasy football. But we also know Pete is very smart. He was the original architect of the Sacko Bowl, for gods sakes! Clearly, he needs the right woman to help him discover his passion and use his intelligence for good! I am that girl Pete!

3. His outfits. What can I say? I am a mess for a man in a hoodie and a loose, plain T-shirt. I call it “slacker chic.” My friend C calls it a “mediocrity fetish.”

4. His love of sports: Let’s explore this a bit. Because I am no Jenny MacArthur. The only sport I can claim to be a legit fan of is college basketball, and that doesn’t even have a real fantasy draft. But for some reason, men watching sports, talking about sports, etc. has always turned me on. I have done a lot of soul searching oh this topic, and I think I’ve come up with the reasons for this:

a. Genetic need: I am terrible at sports, despite over 10 combined years on field hockey and softball teams as a youth. Unfortunately, I was one of the rare cases where practice actually yielded no tangible results. It probably didn’t help that I donned protective eyewear for my entire athletic “career.”

rec specs

(Please know I most closely resembled the child on the left, but with bigger glasses, and a lot more hair.)

Despite the childhood obstacles I faced to becoming the next Serena Williams, I really want my children to be good at sports. I think sports build great character in children and adults (how to be a graceful loser and gracious winner, working hard, exercises regularly collaboration, etc). So I am biologically drawn to men who will bare and nuture this quality in my children.

b. I like it when a man knows stuff I don’t know. I don’t give myself credit for many things, but I’ll take credit for this: I know a lot about a lot. I’ve always been an information sponge, spelling bee champ, history nerd, grammar policewoman, expert on 18th and 19th century lit. (I know, I’m too sexy for this blog, too sexy for this blog…) But I don’t know a ton about sports. I like it when a guy can tell me some new and interesting facts, or get me psyched about something that I previously did not know enough to be psyched about.

c. I really love sports food. My cellphone background is a picture of a hot dog with cheese whiz that I got at a baseball game. With some nachos on the side. Give me buffalo or chili covered anything, and I am a super happy lady. I figure I have a very good chance of encountering this food at Superbowl parties or at live sporting events. Which I will be attending, of course, with Pete.

(Oh dear. I just read this list and I have a very clear understanding of why I am still technically single. If any NON-SCOUNDREL, HARD WORKING, WELL-DRESSED, SPORTS FAN is reading this and thinking, “Oh, L sounds amazing! I love know-it-alls with a healthy appetite and terrible hand eye coordination! Too bad I am not her type,” please contact me anyway. I promise to abandon my bad judgement and give you a shot. My mom will be very happy! And I promise not to steal your cheese fries until Date # 2.).

So, the point of this very long and obscure digression is to set the stage for the fact that when D contacted me on OKC, I was psyched. He was a lawyer turned fantasy sports blogger who, in his initial message, claimed to have met Busta Rhymes (not on my list, but one of my heros!). Being the competitive chum that sports bloggers will be, I suppose, he challenged me to Scrabble match at one of my favorite bars.

I spent the days leading up to the date doing minimal research on football (his favorite), but then gave up because 1) I know enough to carry on a conversation and 2) I don’t want our future marriage to be built on a foundation of lies. So I wasn’t a sports expert! There can only be one in the family!

(I assure you, this is a healthy level of what we single ladies like to call “getting ahead of one’s self.”)

D looked better than his pic when I got to the bar, and he also offered me some free pizza samples, so needless to say the date was off to an excellent start. 

Unfortunately, I proceeded to annihilate him in Scrabble. Like, it was 300 to 80 or something. By the end I was literally feeding this guy words. I mean, I will say that I do know my way around a Scrabble board (…TOO SEXY!), but this was an exceptionally poor showing for a high school graduate. Plus, this guy didn’t seem appropriately ashamed of himself, and I felt like he wasn’t trash talking me nearly enough. Pete would have been throwing verbal punches by Round 2. But D was still very cute. And very nice. And pretty interesting, and cheerful (something you rarely find in men and women in DC).

So we decided to switch to another game. He picked “Life”–and I am a little ashamed to say I kinda let him beat me / I lost because I was getting really drunk and focusing most of my energy on sticking the little pink and blue people into cars. Four hours into the date, I realized I was going to be late to meet my friends for dinner, so I bid D a hasty goodbye. In the cab to dinner, I called S and babbled about what a great time I had and of course offered her Super Bowl tickets, which I assumed I would definitely get if I ended up dating Mr. Sports blog.

D called me the next day and asked me out again. I really wanted to see him, but the summer had been hella busy between work and summer beach trips, friend’s parties, etc, and I truly only had 2 open weekdays in the next month (I have had the benefit of learning from S’s experience, and I don’t do weekends until we’ve passed the 3rd date mark). So, we made plans to hang out again, in two weeks.

D spent the majority of the two weeks regularly texting me pleasantries, most of which I found annoying. However, I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit that I was flattered by his consistent attention. I’d also be a liar if I didn’t admit that I was enjoying starting sentences with, “This sports blogger I am sort of dating says…” or, “Oh? Fantasy football? I am going out with a guy who like invented that!” 

A day before our date, I hadn’t heard from him, which was unusual, because he had been texting me inane things almost daily. So, I texted him to check if we were still on:

david rejection text

Wait? What? Oh hello, rejection! We are meeting more and more frequently these days!

Welp, obviously, that was the end of D. I am sorry readers, cause I really wanted to give away a few Super Bowl tickets to you. At the end of the day, I can’t fault D. He did the right thing by being honest and direct. There are no laws against him meeting someone else. We’d been on one date, after all. And, there must have been some truth to what he was saying, because the next day, he deleted his OKC profile. 

I spent about two days mourning the end of D. When I reflected on the experience, I realized I wasn’t that into him after all. I could never respect a man who I could cream so overwhelmingly in Scrabble. 

Date rating: (7/10) While the ending of this story is disappointing, D was a decent date. I would have definitely gone out with him again, had he not met someone cooler than me at a bar. 

Lesson learned: The big lesson I learned here is about timing and momentum. If you let a couple weeks pass between first and second dates, it’s quite possible a desirable person will find someone else. I do think that if the timing had been a bit different, D, DeSean Jackson, and I could be out for beers right now. 

Offline dating adventures: Baby’s first Grouper

People often ask why I use internet dating, instead of trying to meet guys in bars.

The thing is, I’ve never been the kind of girl who gets hit on in bars. I’d like to HOPE this does not directly correlate to my looks, though I’m sure my big, dark, under-eye circles aren’t helping, haha. I mean, when I am at bars, I am usually with my friends, and not focused on finding guys. Also, I’m super awkward and insecure with strangers. When people do try to hit on me, I am usually so surprised/terrified that I just run away. For example, I was out with my friend J recently, and a gentleman came up to us. Here is how the conversation went:

Guy: “Hi ladies, what are your names?”

Me: “The tab is under XXXX (my last name).”

Guy: “Huh?”

Me: “I said, XXXX.”

Guy: “I’m D, how’s it going?”

Me: “Just leave the tab open, we’re not ready to cash out.”

Guy: “I don’t work here.”

Me: “Oh god, sorry. I have to go to the bathroom.”

#winning

 Also, the clientele in bars is not exactly AMAZING. I was out at a bar a few nights ago, when a young intern approached me:

Intern: “That looks like a cool drink. What is it?”

Me: “Um, a Jack and Ginger ale.”

Intern: “Cool. So what’s in it?”

Me: “Jack Daniels and Ginger ale.”

Intern: “Wow! Awesome!”

Me: “Yup.”

And then I walked away to find my friends. Cuz the pickup line was lame, and because the intern was still literally in college.

So, that’s why I stick to the simple internet, guy messages girl, girl messages guy thing. But I’m relatively open to new ideas, so when my friendtee (that’s friend + mentee, which means a friend that is younger and cooler than you, and you want to create a name that you call her that isn’t “daughter”), G, suggested I accompany her on a Grouper, I was game. What’s that, Dad? What’s a grouper? Isn’t that a fish? It IS a fish. But it’s also a dating service. It works like this:

Girl signs up. Guy signs up. Grouper uses facebook to match them. It’s completely blind; neither person has ANY information about the other. Once they are matched, Grouper sets up a date and asks the girl to bring two friends and the guy to bring two friends. So it’s a 3 on 3 blind date. Each person pays $20, which covers the first round of drinks, and the fact that Grouper does all the coordinating for you. You go to the assigned location at the assigned time and, Voila! Now, go to Grouper’s website and read their much sexier description of the whole thing.

When you’re on the site,  you’ll also notice instagrams of lots of attractive, happy people having a blast together. Those are called GROUPERGRAMS. You are supposed to take pics of your amazing date and send them to Grouper. Now, are these pictures accurate and indicative of the Grouper experience? Doubtful.

1. They haven’t changed the pics in the two months I’ve been trolling the site.

2. We all know instragram filters are designed to make everyone look WAYYYY better than they do in real life.

3. I bet Challen, Grouper’s very famous Director of Member Experience, handpicks the GROUPERGRAMS to feature the most attractive people, who probably live in NYC, not DC. 

4. About 50% of these photos feature a Trojan horse, a warrior’s helmet, and roman statues. Does everyone end up at an after hours venue with Jordan Murphy?

jordan-murphy tool

I swear, Jordan! There is some straight up Tool Academy behavior up in these Groupergrams! For realz!

Before my Grouper, I did some field research of others who had been on Grouper. The first person I asked was my sister (she’s six years my junior, btw, but I can’t call her a friendtee cause we’re related). She was like, “Oh yeah, L, my friends from high school went on a Grouper recently. They said it was ok. The guys were doing Ecstasy the whole time.”  WELP. THAT’S THAT I SUPPOSE. I have no words. So, I headed into the Grouper with low expectations, hoping that we wouldn’t have to call the DEA on our dates.

The day before the Grouper, I received an email from, Challen. In addition to providing the time and location details, it contained the following warning about cancellation:

What if I need to cancel?

Well, your Grouper is tomorrow, so it’s a little late for that 🙂 We know that everyone has a lot going on, but you’re committed now and 3 other people moved around their schedules for you guys. First, call around and see if you can grab a friend to take your place. If for some (epic) reason canceling is absolutely unavoidable, you’ll need to CALL the other group to explain yourself. Call us first at646.699.3466, and we’ll put you in touch with the guys to cancel. And because we’ll need to make it up to the other group, we still have to charge you for your Grouper and won’t be able to roll it over to a future reservation. We’ll even have to consider canceling your membership. Also, as you know, a Grouper is 3 guys and 3 girls, so showing up with only 2 people isn’t acceptable. So, just show up on time, the 3 of you, and we’re all good 🙂

Yikes! Challen, cool your jets. This makes a Grouper sound more difficult to get out of than a marriage. I mean, I put down 20 whopping dollars for this thing, and I am cheap as f#$^, so I am going to show up, ok? You don’t need to add an extra element of terror to an already nerve-wracking situation. And also, don’t try to lighten the mood with a smiley emoticon. You know I hate those. It’s nice to know that everyone’s going into this thing with a proverbial gun to their head.

So the day of the Grouper, me, G, and N (My other friend slash co-worker) get to work and we’re all like:

clear eyes full hearts

Until, N decides to share some interesting news with us.

N: “So, you guys, I was talking to my cousin last night. And he mentioned he was going on a Grouper too…”

L and G: “And…”

N: “Well it’s at the same place we’re going. Slightly different time, but still…”

So, this meant one of two things. Either, we were literally going to be on a date with N’s cousin OR N’s cousin was going to be watching us HAVE a date. We were really hoping for the latter over the former. For N’s sake, of course. 

When we got to the bar after a little healthy pregaming, we were relieved. The bartender lead us to a table with three very nice, normal looking guys, who didn’t appear to be rolling  or be related to any of us. WHEW. And we ended up having multiple drinks, and a pretty darn good time. Why?

1. We were very well matched. The guys were around our age bracket (younger than me, but older than G) and very nice, funny, and down to earth. From the GROUPERGRAM photos, we were pretty sure we were going to get some bros, but these guys reminded me of people I’d be friends with. We all had similar senses of humor and interests. Nice work Challen! ;), right back atcha.

2. Having more people around really does take the edge off. I think both sides were much more relaxed than if this were a regular, one on one date. I really enjoy G and N, so I was pretty confident I’d have a good time even if the guys were lame. And it seemed like the guys really enjoyed each other too. And there was so much less potential for awkward silences, because there were so many people to make conversation. It was also the first time I truly understand what being a wingwoman meant, because you could set up your friends to make jokes, tell funny stories, etc. Basically, I think it made everyone TWICE as charming as usual. 

3. It was so much better than any of us expected. Yes, one on one dates are unnerving. But there is a lot more to be scared of on group dates. I.e., What if my friends hit it off with the guys and I don’t? Or, what if I hear the guys referring to me as “the ugly one?”, or What if we all hate each other? And, just the fact that we had such a decent time after such low expectations made the whole thing a lot better. I could see relief on everyone’s faces, including the guys. And I think that relief made the date more fun.

So, what’s the drawback to Grouper?

I mean, I would call it more of a “meeting new friends” thing, than a date. While it’s much more natural in terms of the way you’d meet people and make conversation, it’s very hard to tell if anyone likes anyone, and very hard to, like, “pick out,” the guy you’d most like to date. I think this was particularly hard for our group, because we were all nice, inclusive people. If I saw that no one was talking to someone, I invited them to join the conversation I was having. I kept an eye on G and N to make sure they were enjoying themselves. And they did the sme for me. There just wasn’t a ton of energy left to focus on getting to know one person in particular. And the end of the date was pretty awkward. I mean, ending solo dates is hard enough, and we were multiplying goodbyes times three. So, all of us just exchanged numbers with the person we were standing closest too, and claimed that maybe we’d all get together again for drinks. The truth is, I’d definitely get together again with them, but I am not sure how I’d set it up. And G and N feel the same way. So we’d love your advice, readers.

Dating rating: 8/10. Seriously. It was really fun. I laughed a lot, and I met cool new people. And honestly, it restored my faith that there are cute, fun, single guys out there.