In case you haven’t noticed, the ladies of StuCu blog are pop culture DEVOTEES, especially when it comes to a good rom com, and especially especially when it comes to a good 80s or 90s rom com. Up to a year and a half ago, I formed my ideas of what dates looked like largely from TV or movies. When I actually entered the dating world, I realized that, for better or for worse, some of those scenes were realistic, and some of them were as far from reality as one can get, which, much to the delight of my friends, left me shouting things at the TV like, “OH PULEEZE! GIVE ME A BREAK!”
So for your viewing pleasure this weekend, I bring you:
L’s realness analysis of some of our generation’s most treasured films. Realness rankings are as follows:
Not real at all-REALLY??
So real I’m getting PTSD from watching: REALNESS
1. Fever Pitch: If you haven’t seen it, go ahead and watch the trailer.
Now here’s what you need to know: that cute little scene at the beginning of the trailer, where they are exchanging witty banter, walking through the park on a crisp, winter day, that scene, is proceeded by a first date scene, where Ben goes to pick up Lindsay at her apartment, finds her sick to her stomach, and instead of leaving, spends all night cleaning up her vomit.
REALNESS RANKING: REALLY??
Look, while there is no denying that Jimmy Fallon is a gentleman (I mean, have you seen him lip sync??), the truth is that no man, even him, would stick around to do that in real life. And no woman would let a near stranger into her home when she was feeling like hell and just wanted to spend the night with her toilet, sipping flat ginger ale.
What would have been more realistic? She would have sent a text and cancelled, and he would never have ended up at her apartment in the first place. Best case scenario, they reschedule. Worst (and more likely) case scenario: they exchange a series of meaningless text exchanges and then someone disappears.
2. Clueless: God bless Amy Heckerling for actually being the voice of our generation. Remember when Cher invites Christian over for a date at her house and all he wants to do is watch Tony Curtis movies (because he’s a really great actor)?
REALNESS RANKING: REAL
There are many elements of reality here:
Spending your post-date hours wondering “what is wrong with me?” in response to some guy’s behavior that actually has nothing to do with you? CHECK.
Obsessing about what happened to your friends? CHECK.
Finding out that you are dating a gay guy? I mean, maybe this only happens to me. But still…CHECK.
Let’s also take a minute to point out how much that Murray/Dionne scene on the freeway reminds me of my high school boyfriend teaching me to drive (if you replace the convertible with a maroon Buick Oldsmobile that only has one working door).
3. Bright Jones Diary: I wish I was talking about Bridget’s first date with Mark Darcy, but they never really have a first real date, unless you count the birthday dinner after the Eleanor Heany and Kaffir Aghani interview. But I’m not. I’m talking about her first date with that alcoholic, workaholic, sexaholic, commitment-phobic, peeping tom, megalomaniac, emotional fuckwit pervert, Daniel Cleaver.
REALNESS RANKING: REALNESS
Let’s review the story line, shall we? Bridget attends a party where she manages to feel like both a social outcast and a professional failure, leaving her self-esteem in shambles.
She gets drunk, and agrees to an impromptu date with that scoundrel Daniel Cleaver, where he basically sexually harasses her and insults her intelligence the whole time. They go back to her apartment, and she sleeps with him anyway. (Sadly, I can’t embed a link of this into the post, so you’ll have to watch her further humiliation here: http://www.miramax.com/watch?v=5seXBiYjpp5frUg4VgjMwQCo6dnnNGyX
They proceed to have an ill-advised fling that ends poorly.
Oh, Bridget, this is why billions of people paid money to read your diary. We feel you, girl. Cause we’ve all been there.
I refuse to end this blog post on a depressing note though. It’s the freaking weekend, it’s soon to be June, the flowers are in bloom, other obligatory pleasantries, blah blah blah. The point is, at the end of the day, Bridget gets Mark Darcy, who is delicious.
You guys. I hope you’re prepared to have a large chuckle at my expense, because boyyyy do I have a treat for you.
This is (to our knowledge) a first here at Stupid Cupid. Up until now, no one we’ve dated, as far as we know, has found, had access to, or read our blog. UNTIL NOW. Because (drumroll please)….
Someone I’m currently dating has found this blog.
You’re probably saying something like, “That’s funny! But come on, it’s not that bad. At least you didn’t write about him.”
Except OH WAIT. I did. Yup. Go back and read that little diddy about my first date with D, in which I called him a nerd, lambasted his Okcupid profile, and basically implied that he was a creepy stalker slash potential murderer. #facepalm
Allow me to start at the beginning, because this is truly a tale you all deserve to enjoy fully and in minute detail. I have been seeing D intermittently since our first date about two months ago. I didn’t mention him again after that post because honestly, I really do try to avoid writing about guys I go out with unless/until it’s over. For this VERY F*CKING REASON. But I made an exception this time since D was the one to break the the epic dry spell I’d written so much about.
As previously mentioned on my first date post, D works in IT and is essentially a doctorate-level internet stalker, which I respect. Or at least I did, when I thought the only thing he’d found was my last name via my LinkedIn profile. I told him about the blog almost immediately, but gave him minimal info. beyond the fact that it existed. And he never let on that he’d discovered it. UNTIL…
This past Sunday night, when D casually brought up that awful scorpion email we single mutants received from Okc a few weeks ago. You remember, the one I freaked out about? I responded with something like: “I know, wasn’t that the worst? I actually just wrote a rage-filled blog post about it”.
But something about the way D had brought it up made me pause. My Spidey senses were tingling. So I broached the subject…
As you can see, D never actually answered my question. My weird hunch suddenly turned to certainty, and then to straight dread. At this point I’m going to switch FULLY over to screen caps of our conversation, so you can live out the epic fail right there with me:
Speaking of going “Fuuuuuuuuuck” at high volume, while this was going down I promptly threw up the bat signal and woke poor L’s ass up:
Good co-blogger and friend that she is, she called me immediately and calmed me down. Meanwhile, D was finishing his epic tale of Stucu discovery…
D found the blog, followed it, and promptly forgot about it, until my post ABOUT HIM showed up on his blogroll. I can’t make this stuff up, folks.
D has known about the blog for two months, and I had no clue until three days ago.
D’s friends have read our blog.
D’s mom has read our blog. (/Hi, Mrs. D?)
After my initial shock/freak out, I started to process what happened, and I realized that D was actually being incredibly cool and gracious about the whole thing. Hypocritical as it sounds, I’m not sure I’d respond so kindly if I stumbled upon some blog post a first date of mine had blown up the internet with, especially if he basically reviewed me like a summer blockbuster and RATED OUR DATE on a scale of 1-10. Especially when D started referencing older posts of mine and I realized that he’d gone back and read our entire blog, from start to finish:
I’ll admit, the one thing I was annoyed with D about was the fact that he’d kept his discovery a secret. The fact that he’d known basically the entire time we’ve been going out and hadn’t said a word about it made me feel a bit like an idiot. But after he laid down his arguments:
We were dating very casually at first, with lots of time in between seeing each other. He wasn’t sure if he’d even see me again.
I’d accused him of being a stalker and (only half-jokingly) asked if he was a serial killer, and he didn’t want to come off as even creepier than I’d already accused him of being.
He was secretly hoping I’d write another blog post about him before he revealed that he’d found it.
I couldn’t really be mad. I would’ve done the same thing had I been in his shoes. All I can say is, thank God I kept my mouth shut for once in my life and stopped at one post!
Also, the bottom line is, this sort of thing comes with the territory. This is what we signed up for when we started a dating blog and put our shit on the internet. Anonymous or not, we knew this was always a possibility; I figured I’d be sharing the blog with SOMEONE eventually if we got serious enough. I just (foolishly) thought that I’d be in control of the when and the how of that reveal. Ahhh, how young and naive I was back then.
Not gonna lie,I can’t help but feel a liiiiittle bit like Bridget Jones when Mark Darcy finds her diary:
Luckily, I didn’t write that D acts like he has a “giant gherkin thrust up his backside” (don’t worry, he doesn’t),but Lord, do I feel Bridget’s horror and embarrassment in that moment. Actually, I think we all need to watch the following scene right now. Don’t ask questions. Colin Firth just makes everything better:
At least this whole thing didn’t end with me running down the street in gold zebra print knickers while a homeless man shouts after me in the snow. #smallvictories
Anyway, D continued to assure me that he was cool with the whole thing, and he was also super complimentary about the blog and our writing in general. Just when I felt my blood pressure return to a semi-human rate, another thought occurred to me: I wanted to write a post about this. I wanted to share this absurd hilarity with our readers, complete with our texts. Was D going to be cool with that? What was the protocol now that I knew he was going to presumably read every new thing I wrote? I asked him if he’d mind if I shared this story:
3) We want to make sure we are providing the ladies of the internet with some cautionary tales and advice. We can’t get those several hours of our life we spent hearing about movie theater etiquette back (and, btw, what do you think my A would have done if he encountered S’s D in the movie theater? National Guard? Court Marshall), but we can prevent sistas everywhere from falling for the same tricks.
That said, we’ve been fortunate to have some very good dates as well. And, in a way, the good dates are a lot more nerve-wracking than the bad ones. When you meet a guy you never want to see again, you walk away and it’s like, who cares? In fact, you’re often delighted because 1) The hellish experience is over 2) you’ve got a good story to tell your friends, or, our lucky case, our wonderful readers.
But, when you meet a guy who you think, “Wow, I could actually like him,” that’s when the anxiety really kicks in. What to do next? Well, first, you call your friends on the walk home, and the conversation goes something like this:
S: How was your date?
L: It was actually prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetttttttttttttttyyyyyyyyy good. He was really nice, and he made some good jokes. And he laughed at my jokes. And he was a generous tipper.
S: Oh! Sounds fun! Get it girl!
L: I mean, he also had a small bald spot and he mispronounced Oregon, like, 3 times.
L: I mean, whatever, I’ll probably never hear from him again and that’s fine. I don’t care. Hey yo I’m still not a player but you still a hater.
S: What’s happening right now? Are you quoting Big Pun?
Good news, friends! We’re here to offer our (as always, unsolicited) thoughts on follow up after a great first date.
L: When I first started dating, I would spend the first couple days after the date hoping that the guy would follow up with me and trying to send him legit telegraphic messages to do so. Most of the time, they would, and that was great, but sometimes they wouldn’t, and I would use the absence of contact to reinforce my negative sense of self and just general feeling of hopelessness:
Now, I’ve been dating for a full 6 months. And I’d like to think of myself as a bit wiser and thicker skinned (largely thanks to the wise counsel of my co-bloggers and our readers). I’ve realized a few things:
1) Contrary to my previous belief, even though I hold the longstanding title as “most insecure” among my friends, there are people out there who are just as insecure as me and just as afraid of rejection. Some of them are men. So, if I had a good time on the date, I provide a little positive reinforcement (i.e., “thanks for taking me out. I had a great time.”) I figure, at the very least, a thank you is in order. And maybe it’ll give them the nudge they need to ask me out.
2) “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” – My dad
Oh what? Michael Jordan said it first? Well, I’ve been listening to my father tell me that for 20 years. And I finally realize that he’s right. What’s the point of going out in pursuit of fun, dateable guys you want to see again if you don’t even try to see them again?
3) I can survive rejection. UGHHHHH. I know I just spewed all that sports-loving, all star style feel good bullshit about baskets and free throws, but I take it back for a minute. Losing sucks. Rejection sucks. But the weird thing about rejection is, the more it happens, the easier it gets. So seriously, every time I text a guy and say “thanks for taking me out,” and I never hear from him again, I actually care less and less. (How’s that for a growth mindset y’all?)
So, my new post-date strategy is to say thank you. Add an inside joke if necessary. I feel like if I do that, I’m giving the guy the window he needs to ask me out again. And if he doesn’t, I figure, he’s either just not that into me, or he has too much going on in his life, or he’s an even bigger wimp than I am. And I move on. And by move on, I mean, seek solace in a Netflix binge that involves a whole lotta Office reruns and the occasional smattering of a Law and Order SVU. Stabler +Jim Halpert= a cure all for emotional wounds.
S: Those were wise words, indeed, L. Especially from your dad (Hi, Mr. L!) who I’m pretty sure was quoting that advice to us back when we were ten and picking out our dream outfits in the JC Penney catalog (dead serious. L and I did that every time we hung out for a solid year. Obviously our cool factor was established early on).
But I digress. I will tell you something that has totally surprised me about online dating. When I started this whole thing, I kind of assumed that most of the time, I’d at least sort of know where I stood at the end a first date. I figured if a guy really liked me, I’d be able to tell. If we both had a great time, it would be as abundantly clear as a match.com commercial. If neither of us were into it, it might make for an awkward date, but we’d probably both get the picture.
Ahhh to be young and naive. What I discovered through a painful, confusing and at times, straight up humiliating process, is that at least half the time you can’t tell what the hell is going to happen next! Real talk, half. Or worse, you’re sure you know what’s going to go down, but NOPE, you were dead wrong. Here are a few of the most common examples from my personal dating history:
I think a date was awful and it turns out the guy had a great time. Case in point: N the Brit. Had an excruciatingly awkward date with him with zero chemistry. He was literally silent for most of it while I over-compensated by babbling like a lunatic. Assumed it had been just as lame/awful for him since he barely spoke or cracked a smile, and that was that, UNTIL he texted me that he’d had a lovely time and asked me out again. WTF? This has happened a few times (ahem), and every time I literally say to myself, ‘Were we on the same date?’
I think we both had a great time and it turns out it was just me.Multiple examples of great dates with flirting, good conversation, laughter, all around fun. This was in no way one sided… the guys all acted like they were having a blast, no one hurried to get the check (one guy kept begging ‘one more drink’ to the point where I was sloshed). And yet: never heard from any of them again.
So given these mishaps, it’s not surprising that those few days after a good first date have become the most anxiety inducing part of this process for me. Much more stressful than the first date itself. Especially when I inevitably (will I never learn?) blab to friends, family and PPA workers I pass along the street that I had a pretty good time. All of a sudden, the pressure is on. Everyone wants to know what’s going to happen next. And the answer, as I’ve clearly learned the hard way, is:
I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA.
So anyway, in the beginning I had all these rules (you know I love a good rule) about expecting the guy to reach out to me. And don’t get me wrong, I still have rules, but I’ve definitely relaxed them. Like L, the more dates I go on, the ballsier I get. In the very beginning, if I had a good first date but the guy never called or texted, that was it.I assumed he was dead, bitched to my friends about not hearing from him, watched Bridget Jones’s Diary and prayed to the romcom Gods that there was a real life Mark Darcy out there about to come into my life:
and moved on. Part of that I think was because I did fear rejection.These days, after being rejected PLENTY of times, I’m definitely more proactive. If I had a great time, and a few days go by and I don’t hear from the guy, now I say f*ck it and reach out to him. There are two exceptions to this:
I saw M’s profile and was into him, so I sent him a message. Then, not wanting to waste time, after a few messages back and forth I asked him out for a drink. You see, men of the world who insist that women never ask dudes out? They do! But I’m sorry, at some point the other person needs to meet you halfway. I don’t think it’s ridiculous in a scenario where I’ve been the proactive one up to this point to expect him to take the lead for a bit. Also, to be perfectly honest and to touch on another point made by my brilliant co-blogger, mama’s ego can only take so much. I can’t be the one continuously putting myself out there and wondering if a dude even likes me or if he just has nothing better to do. I may be an independent woman:
but don’t tell me Beyonce was calling up Jay-Z to hang out every week with no reciprocity. You know it didn’t go down like that.
2. If he asked me out again at the end of our date and explicitly told me he’d be in touch. This is a biggie for me. If you say you want to see me again, and I say I’d like that, and you tell me you’re going to be in touch about setting it up, then call me crazy but I’m going to expect that that’s what you actually plan to do. And to address L’s point that men are also shy and afraid of rejection, I totally agree, but I don’t buy that men who pull this move are. Asking someone out again at the end of a date, in person, is actually a really ballsy move, because the other person is right there front of you, and as I unfortunately know from first hand experience, rejection in person is infinitely worse than rejection over text/phone. I have yet to be asked out for a second time in person by someone that I don’t want to see again, but I dread the day it may actually happen. #awkward
The other thing is, if they asked me out again in person, they also received an answer in person. My response to M was happy, enthusiastic, and totally unambiguous: I think I smiled and said, “I’d love to.” Sooooo….. at that point the second date was pretty much a lock. Or so I thought.
In summary, if I have a good time on a first date, I’ll make sure the guy knows it, and thank him (enthusiastically) for taking me out. If he doesn’t take the lead on plan making after that, I’ll send a follow up text. If he’s still silent, I assume death by SEPTA bus, throw myself a small pity party, call L and D to scream about how I’m destined to be a third wheel for the rest of my life, slap myself/imagine Cher slapping me:
watch some BRAVO, and eventually get back in the okc saddle.
But barring the above two exceptions, one thing I won’t do anymore if I had a good time is let it ride. If a year plus of online dating has taught me anything, it’s that meeting someone on the internet who you actually like in person is about as rare as:
And if you’re lucky enough to find it, you shouldn’t let it go so easily.
D: Well, as the most delinquent co-blogger, I was the last one of us to open up this post to add my two cents. And, as usual, L and S said pretty much everything I would have said if I was first, and they said it better. Generally speaking, at the end of every date I always thank the guy. And if I enjoyed the date, I thank him and add something along the lines of “I had a really great time!” and flash that smile my parents paid an orthodontist to perfect, only to have my wisdom teeth fuck up when they grew in. Add on a comment about something we did that night, or maybe even an “inside joke” as L does, and you’ve got yourself a patented D’s interested response. I try to also follow up with a text the next day. Leave little doubt about whether or not I’m interested. If I hear from him, great! If not, there’s some combination of movie watching and baking, depending on how into the guy I was. If it’s just sort of a “bummer, he was cute and fun, it would have been nice to hear from him again,” I pop in a Die Hard or a Fast and Furious number, sometimes Princess Bride, and slap 80% of some store-bought cookie dough on a sheet (and the other 20% directly into my tummy). Franchise action sequences are very soothing for me. And Bruce Willis doing an action sequence? instant-calm. If I really liked the guy and was really hoping for another date, then it’s Bruce Willis, and Bruce Willis only, typically in a marathon setting, with some sort of treat baked from scratch. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, fudge when I need to break out the big guns. Then, it’s back to the drawing board.
If I didn’t enjoy myself, I simply say thank you and goodnight (teaser: this has in the past given the impression that I was interested, and led to an extremely awkward attempted kiss – that story coming soon (I swear!)). I don’t initiate any contact after the date. If I don’t hear from him, we clearly both had the same thoughts and have both moved on. If I do hear from him, typically in a text, I simply respond that it was nice to meet him, but I’m not interested.
So there you have it! Zero words of wisdom from D, and a whole host of insightful wisdom from L and S. Standard…