2nd and 3rd dates with Italian M

Before I get to my post, I just want to point out a quick blogging fail. I missed our one year blogiversary! I feel like L, D, and you wonderful readers are just sitting at home, in your pretty new dresses, waiting to be acknowledged, while I frantically scroll through Yelp ‘best ofs’ to find a last minute place to take you for a nice dinner. Basically, I’m this guy:

Well I just want to say, I’m sorry, baby. I love you. Let me make it up to you.

(Was that creepy enough for your liking? It was? Good.)

Anyway, last week I dropped a major bomb on you Stucu readers. Thanks so much for your hilarious and enthusiastic reactions, btw. You guys make it so fun to write this blog. But today I’d like to rewind a bit and talk about another guy. TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, the gentleman in question never found the blog, but at this point, anything is possible.

Here’s a quick refresher on M, today’s victim..err, subject: 

  1. M is a tall high school teacher from Jersey
  2. I got drunk on our first date, which I wrote about here
  3. He has a family beach house in Italy which he visits every summer. I mean… Wayne's World schwing
  4. My biggest issue with M was that he talked my ear off and barely asked me about myself on our first date.
  5. We had a second date planned that was creepily booked for the day after my birthday, which based on past experience I was a bit dubious about.

So. What happened with Italian M? I’ll break it down by date:

Second Date: Creepy Faux Birthday Dinner

At a certain point I decided to stop being weird about the birthday thing and just go with it. M asked me if I had a favorite restaurant in the city that I’d like to go to, and I picked a place that was nice, delicious, but not super fancy or expensive. It also happened to be Indian, a cuisine that, at least to some people, doesn’t scream ‘sexy second date food’. Personally, I actually get a little turned on at the words ‘samosa’, ‘naan’, and ‘biryani’, but that’s just me.

M picked me up at my apartment and presented me with flowers, which was v. thoughtful and sweet. He even said, “I figured you couldn’t yell at me if I said they were just because and not for your birthday”. Haha. Cute. Also, true. 

We had a nice dinner. M aggressively ordered basically everything on the menu (man after my own heart) and we enjoyed some lovely cocktails. Although this time around, I wisely cut myself off at 2, lest he mistake me for an alcoholic and leave me a contact card for AA (SATC reference! See #47 on this epic list).

M did ask me about myself a bit more, but still dominated most of the conversation. We flirted a bit, as much as two people can flirt with a table full of curries between them. He wanted to get drinks afterwards, but I was uncomfortably full and just wanted to curl up in the fetal position in my apartment, so I declined. After ingesting approximately 90 tic tacs and a full pack of Orbit gum each to counteract the spicy breath situation, we made out a little and said goodnight. 

One thing I liked about M was his nerdy penchant for history. I liked that like he’d decided to model his Movember ‘stache after a different president every year, even though he showed up to our first date sporting a Chester Arthur:

chester-a-arthur-2

So, with that charming nerdiness (and let’s be honest, that Italian beach house) still fresh in my mind, I said yes to a third date. M mentioned something about cooking for me, which I was fully down with, even though that meant I’d have to go to his house in the ‘burbs which could end SUPER awkwardly. One thing I disliked about M was his excessive texting and calling habits. Homeboy was a little out of control with the extreme contact, and it was wearing on my nerves a bit. Which is probably why after we agreed on a date and time for dinner, I glossed over the rest of what he was telling me (something about lesson plans surrounding the Revolutionary War, and teaching the kids how people lived back in the 18th century, blablablawhocares.) Which leads me to…

Third Date: Colonial Cooking Lessons

Oh boy, do I wish I’d paid better attention to those inane texts. I arrived at M’s house ready to be cooked a delicious meal, only to be informed of the following:

  • The plan was actually for both of us to cook together (at this point, that sounded fine to me. I love to cook.)
  • Except we weren’t, in fact, cooking for ourselves, but for M’s history students.
  • And we weren’t just cooking a normal meal. We were cooking typical foods from the REVOLUTIONARY WAR ERA for the kids to try.
  • M had three dishes planned that had to be ready to go for an 8 am class the next day.

My face as I was being told this….oh man, my face. I’m sure it was comical. Basically, I had misunderstood. I read “come over for dinner”, and what M really meant was: “come over, we’ll order dinner, and then I’ll use you, my date, as free labor to help me complete my lesson plans FOR MY JOB.”

To be fair to M, I went back and read his texts, and he had told me about this. But you guys, the texts were INCESSANT and my patience was wearing thin, so my reading comprehension was at an all time low. As comical and bizarre as the proposed date activity was, I shrugged it off and thought, “WELP, I’m here. I’m going with it.” Honestly, I knew I’d at least get a great blog post out it of it, and I also think if the chemistry is right, two people cooking together can be super fun and sexy. Exhibit A:

So we grabbed Chinese and got to work on the (terrifying) historically accurate menu which included Brunswick Stew and something called (dead serious) chicken pudding. Chicken. Pudding.

What actually transpired couldn’t be further from the aforementioned croissant making foreplay with Meryl and Steve. First, M gave me the job of chopping four huge onions, which 1. made me weep uncontrollably, smearing my eye makeup in the process until I had basically transformed into George from the Wedding Singer:

george

And 2. made me REEK LIKE RAW ONIONS. Sexy, M. Really sexy.

I kept trying to turn this bizarre situation into something fun or at least funny, but to my dismay and honestly, annoyance, M was pretty humorless about the whole thing. (One of my least favorite personality characteristics EVER). I suggested he put some music on (we were literally chopping vegetables in silence) and he asked if Christmas music was okay. “Sure!” I said enthusiastically, thinking he’d be putting some fun and upbeat holiday tunes on. Instead, M proceeded to select a playlist that contained (exclusively) slow, serious, old fashioned, super religious, SOMBER Christmas hymns. So picture me, readers, in some dude’s kitchen in Jersey, dicing veggies, weeping, while Little Drummer Boy is blasting in the background. I mean. What is my life?

The other incredibly comical part of this “date” (at this point I’m using the word date VERY loosely) was that I quickly discovered M didn’t know the most basic things about cooking. He had gone on and on about learning to cook from his immigrant parents, spending every summer in Italy and cooking big meals for his friends, and watching hours upon hours of Food Network, yet he was incredibly slow and nearly clueless in the kitchen. He’d never heard of a roux (come. ON.) He tried to make the stew in a pot that was way too small. He read the directions 843029843274850 times. At this point, my patience was wearing thin and it was getting late, so I did what any bossy, type A 20-something gal would do in this situation: I took over. Yup. I cooked M’s students a colonial feast while M stood there, ostensibly being my sous chef but really just chillaxing with his dog.

Finally, FINALLY, we (I) finished the damn food and M proclaimed that we’d earned ourselves a nightcap. “Well actually, I’ve earned myself a nightcap,” I corrected. “I’m thinking you’ve earned about 1/3 of a glass.” I was teasing, but of course I was secretly dead serious. We sat down for a drink and I calculated the number of minutes before I could politely leave. Which is when, predictably, M tried to put the moves on me.

Look, I probably shouldn’t have done what I did next, given the fact that I was so totally over M at that point. But I was still attracted to him, and thinking about the fact that he was a good kisser. And I just…wanted to have a little fun after such a lame night. So we made out. M, bless his heart, tried his darnedest to continue along the baseline (yes, I’m aware this “base” talk makes me seem like I’m in 8th grade or I’m secretly Meatloaf) but I wasn’t having it.

After a few minutes of half-hearted smooching and blocking attempted passes at clothing removal, I was over it. I got up and said goodnight. M was leaving for Florida the next day to see some friends, so I was hoping this would create some distance before I needed to end it with him. EXCEPT, that conversation never happened, because M faded away. I never heard from him after that night. I was 85% thrilled at this development, because it saved me an awkward “I’m over this” conversation. But there was that other small part of me, you know, the part with the ego, that was annoyed. Like, excuse me, how dare you not be interested in me? You just bamboozled me into cooking for the 50+ kids that you teach, and I did it happily WITH A SMILE ON MY FACE, all the while being jokey, charming, and adorable, and you think you get to fade away from me? Nah. I don’t think so, bro. If I may borrow a wonderfully appropriate gif from D:

matumbo

Date # 2 rating: 5.5/10. The semi high score is really due to the flowers and excellent Indian cuisine.

Date #3 rating: 2.5/10. One of the most bizarre “dates” I’ve ever been on in my life. Two points for the blog material and .5 for the sheer absurdity. 

Lessons learned: READ EVERY TEXT before agreeing to a date.

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At the movies with S

A few weeks ago I was home on a Friday night doing some hardcore crafting (who has two thumbs and is doing her part to fulfill every stereotype about single women out there? This gal! Just give it another month or so before I splurge on a subscription to Cat Fancy.) I was watching Comcast On Demand (The Newsroom is back, bitches. McKenzie McHale 4 life) when I realized all three of the movies they were promo-ing the hell out of were movies I had seen on dates. And uh, hello, I have a dating blog, so I think it’s high time I dished to you guys about them. Shall we?

Movie Date #1: Moonrise Kingdom

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This date was over a year ago, last June to be exact. It was a third date with J, who I’ve mentioned on the blog before (more on him later). We had dinner beforehand and had a really nice time… good conversation, playful banter, flirting etc. It bore more of a resemblance to those dreaded Match.com commercials than any date I’d had before. It was so fun that we totally lost track of time and basically had to run down the street to the theater to make the movie. The tiny theater was full so I grabbed us two seats in the back while J ran to the bathroom.

The previews had started and I was just catching my breath and getting settled when J appeared and asked me to switch sweats. Judging him immediately for being a seating prima donna, I thought, ‘Uggghhhh can this dude just sit down, Jesus’ and audibly sighed, gathering my popcorn, diet coke and purse dramatically. J looked really sheepish as he explained, in the quiet theater, ‘Yeahhh, sorry to be a pain, but I’m actually deaf in my left ear so… I won’t be able to hear you if we sit this way. That’s why I wanted to switch. ‘

Face palm. FACE. PALM.

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So let’s review. I threw my date some serious shade for making a simple request, and it turns out he was making that request to accommodate an actual disability. Liz, if I may call upon your wisdom once again:

liz lemon man

After that special little exchange, the date was (mercifully) uneventful. Fun, but uneventful. We switched seats, got settled, and enjoyed the movie. BONUS, J was able to hear me. It was actually a good date flick… fun, ridiculous, and sweetly romantic. J drove my home afterwards and we kissed in his car.

Date rating: 8/10. Good date, good conversation beforehand, good movie, good makeout session. Only one wildly awkward faux pas by yours truly. 

What happened with J? In case you don’t recall, J happens to be the dude I mentioned a few months ago who after casually dating for most of the summer broke it off with me in a crowded bar. He literally drove into the city during rush hour, found parking, and met me in a popular place for happy hour, just to tell me he didn’t want to see me anymore. Yeesh, that was rough. So actually I don’t know why I was still feeling bad about my theater behavior because it turns out, J deserved to feel a little embarrassment. 

Movie Date #2: This is 40

Extra Large Movie Poster Image for This Is 40

This was a second date back in January. The most comical thing about this outing was the fact that my date, A, was 39, by far the oldest guy I’ve ever gone out with. Naturally, our asses had barely hit our seats before I started a relentless barrage of jokes at A’s expense, featuring me pointing over at him repeating, ‘THIS is forty. This right here, people!” and LOLing obnoxiously to myself. That shtick carried us through the previews and well past the credits rolling at the end. Luckily A was a pretty good sport, all things considered. Incidentally the movie wasn’t great… mama loves me some Rudd and those Apatow nuggets couldn’t have been cuter, but it was essentially a movie about two people struggling with their long term relationship and the misery of middle age. Depressing date fodder, needless to say.

The movie ended, I continued to ham it up with the old age jokes as we walked out, and then we (drumroll please) made out in A’s car in the empty parking lot. Yup, I went out with a 40 year old and then made out with him in his parked vehicle like we were both 17. Or should I say, barely 17…

I’m sorry (I’m not sorry), but Meatloaf just makes everything better. You’re welcome. 

Date rating: 8/10. Despite the meh movie, the date was fun, non-awkward and basically stress free. And a little making out in an empty Loews parking lot on a weeknight never hurt anyone, AMIRITE?

What happened with A? We casually dated on and off for months, but homeboy claimed he didn’t want a serious relationship despite legitimately being over the hill. I honestly didn’t want to seriously date him either; he was a little wild for my taste and seemed to have a serious Peter Pan thing going on. After losing touch with him for a while I did discover (thank you, Internet. Judgers of my stalking can move right along, please) that he is now (another drumroll, por favor) seriously dating someone. And although his real life Mr. Big impression turned out to be bullshit, I honestly do wish him the best. It was fun, A, and I hope you do find true love before you’re old enough to score an AARP card. Because that’s seriously right around the corner.

Movie Date # 3: Admission

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This was also a second date with a guy named D who was fun but who I didn’t think I wanted to date seriously. Our shared obsession with Tina Fey prompted him to suggest this movie. It was one of the first things we discussed, probably because my Okcupid profile opens with an over the top anecdote about how my life’s dream is to become the third sidekick to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s dynamic duo. My girl crush on Tina knows no bounds, and the fact that she’s from Philly is just icing on the big lesbian cake I’ve baked in her honor.

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To quote Elizabeth Banks in Pitch Perfect: this girl could turn me.

Now, speaking of Philly, there’s something I need to explain about my city. And I say this with all the love in my heart of a parent talking about their least successful (but secret favorite) kid: Philly is lacking some…seemingly basic amenities that any outsider would ASSUME a major city would have. Such as a normal, large movie theater centrally located anywhere downtown. There are tiny Ritz theaters showing a bevy of independent flicks, and then there’s the dreaded UA Riverview. Please, if you have a moment, enjoy these stellar yelp reviews of the Riverview (or as I’ve heard it referred to, the Riverspew).*

*Disclaimer: Any insane, bigoted rants possibly seen on that yelp page are not the opinion of this blog.

Long story short: I hate the Riverview. It’s dirty, noisy, and someone makes a scene pretty much every time I go. Naturally, it was the site of my date with D. Luckily, the movie wasn’t exactly popular, and we went pretty early on a weeknight, so when we walked into the theater there were only two other people there. Phew, I thought. At least we can watch the movie without any wild disruptions. Or maybe make out if it’s bad? In the back of an empty theater that could be fun.

My date, however, had other ideas. There’s no delicate, PC way to share this fact, so I’m just going to throw it out there as it pertains to my story. For those of you who don’t know me personally (all three of you): I’m white. Painfully white. I mean, I did open this blog post with the phrase ‘hardcore crafting’ and then proceed to embed a Meatloaf music video, so this should not come as a shock to anyone at this juncture. My date, D, is black. So anyway, about a minute into the previews, D turned to me, chuckling sheepishly, and said:

D: I have to warn you about something before the movie starts.

S: Okay?

D: You know how a stereotype can be racist, but also true?

S: …I guess?

D: Well… I kind of talk at the movies. A lot. 

S: You do?

D: I know it’s the biggest cliche in the world, but when this gets going I guarantee I will end up commenting out loud and not even realize I’m doing it. Just let me know if I’m bugging the shit out of you, okay?

S: O…kay.

He said this entire thing in a jokey way, so I honestly had NO clue if he was pulling my leg. Any minute I thought he was going to turn to me and be like HAH! I got you good. Of course I don’t shout at the movies.

What actually happened was the movie started, and not 10 minutes in, D started shouting. Okay, maybe not shouting. But commenting VERY loudly, sometimes to me but sometimes just to the air/universe, about things that were happening in the movie. I was paralyzed, again not sure if I was being Punk’d, trying to figure out if I should laugh, roll my eyes, or tell him to shut the f*ck up. The theater was mostly empty, but this honestly made it even more awkward when the couple five rows in front of us turned around at the noise. Because who is it causing the disturbance? Oh hey just the ONLY OTHER PEOPLE IN THE THEATER. The other thing that made this behavior particularly ridiculous was the genre of movie… we weren’t watching like, an action or a horror movie where surprising or crazy things even happened. We were watching a dull, semi serious romantic comedy about APPLYING TO COLLEGE.

The thing is, D was actually really sweet. Case in point: he told me when we started messaging that he was trying his hand at baking for the first time, and I joked that he owed me cookies after revealing that fact. Well sure enough, he showed up to our first date with homemade cookies. And then at the movies, he smuggled a new, delicious, still warm batch into the theater for us to snack on. I mean, thoughtful, right? So I decided to laugh off this ridiculous turn of events. Actually by the end I was laughing harder at the spectacle my date was making than at the actual movie. I even made some loud commentary of my own towards the end, because ‘When in the Riverview’, right?

Date rating: 7/10. As always, Tina was a vision, but the movie itself was bad (what I could hear of it at least). And my date caused a bit of a scene. However, he also made me LOL more than once and fed me fresh homemade cookies. It was an unexpectedly fun night.

What happened with D?

Funny you should ask (I know, no one asked) but I actually saw D yesterday. We’re not exclusively dating–not even close. I hadn’t seen him in over a month before we met for happy hour last night. And I still don’t think I’ll ever seriously date him; I just don’t feel a crazy connection with him. But he’s a nice, fun, funny dude who lives in my ‘hood and we get along well. I’m dating other people, and I have no doubt that he is, too. But as a painfully single 28 year old, it’s always nice to have that one ace in the hole (that’s what she said) who you can keep around to have fun with without any complications or drama. Unless, of course, disrupting a mediocre romcom counts as drama.