Stucu’s best date spots: Philly edition

Happy almost birthday, ‘Murica, and Happy almost long weekend of binge drinking/eating/fireworking, my fellow Americans.  The subject of today’s post is the fair City of Brotherly Love, where a certain important document was drafted years ago mere blocks from where I’m sitting at this very moment.

Anyway, this is Part 2 of our little ‘best of’ series, and in case you missed it, you can catch L’s best DC date spots here. So let’s get to one of my favorite things in the world: opinions!

opinion

Source: www.bodylovewellness.com

If a guy asks me out, in an ideal world he picks where we’re going to meet up, at least the first time around. But this is the real world, and in the real world, lazy suburbanites who’ve apparently never heard of Yelp usually text me things like: “so where should we meet up?”  or “I don’t know the city that well, any ideas?” I mean….

How-Rude-Stephanie-Full-House

Source: soletstalkabout.com

As annoying as this can be, it’s also an opportunity, because there is something to be said for controlling the location of a first date. I used to think that location didn’t matter much, and it’s true, if you hit it off with someone you will probably do that whether the date is in a trendy upscale restaurant or a dive bar that reeks of urine. But I’ve come to believe that there is a bit of a science to this whole thing.

In honor of that (pseudo) science, here are three types of date spots that I like to keep in my back pocket for when I’ve got a clueless suburbanite on my hands, and that I think every single girl should have in her arsenal:

  • a fun neighborhood bar with good beer/drinks (and lots of room) for first and second dates
  • someplace a little swanky/mysterious/sexy (I couldn’t even type ‘sexy’ without thinking of this–I’m seriously 12:)

  • something different than the typical drinks/dinner scene

You may note that I stayed away from actual restaurants on this list because not to be obnoxious, but Philly has a GREAT restaurant scene, so I don’t feel like it’s hard to find a really good place to eat, ever. Anyway, let’s get to this list, shall we?

S’s Top Three Philly Date Spots

1. First date watering hole: Strangelove’s (216 S. 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107–11th Street between Walnut & Locust)

strangeloves

This is my ideal first date location because it:

  • is casual but not divey
  • is cool but not overly trendy or pretentious
  • is never insanely crowded or loud
  • has good food in case the date goes well and we decide to have dinner
  • is in my neighborhood so I can easily FLEE if I have a serial killer on my hands

Over the past…wow, 2 years (#old) I’ve actually taken….five? dudes to this bar on a first or second date. That I can remember. It’s highly possible the bartenders and waitstaff have a running pool on when I’ll be in next and with whom. What can I say? It’s my old reliable (even though it’s only been under this name/owner for like a year. Shhhh.)

The beer selection is great if you or your date are into that (I am), but there’s a full bar if you’re not. This place is popular and can get crowded, but there’s a big upstairs bar so you’ll never find yourself awkwardly standing and trying to be witty and charming while simultaneously getting elbowed and sloshing Saison all over yourself. And in case you were worried, it has the GOOP stamp of approval (damn it that smug bitch has good taste). Also, there’s something incredibly fitting about having a first date with a stranger you met online underneath a glowing sign that says “STRANGE LOVE”.

If your date turns out to not be an illiterate sociopath (in which case)…..

congratulations

and you decide to stay and eat, the food is delicious and inexpensive. Also, the music isn’t blasting so loudly that you can actually HEAR wtf your date is saying. I realize I sound like the most uncool old person that ever lived when I complain about noise levels in bars…

mindy wifi

Source: starcrush.com

but sorry, haters, first dates are awkward enough without having to shout ‘What??’ and ‘Huh??’ back and forth with a stranger for an hour.

2. Swanky and sexy: The Ranstead Room (2013 Ranstead St, Philadelphia, PA 19103)

https://i0.wp.com/www.wheretraveler.com/sites/default/files/styles/features_slideshow_gallery_articles/public/Ranstead_Room_Courtesy%20of%20the%20Ranstead%20Room.jpg

Usually when someone suggests hitting up a speakeasy that 1. is hidden down an alleyway 2. has bartenders that wear twee little vintage get ups 3. is too cool to have a website and 4. may close at a moment’s notice without warning I’m like:

hipster nonsense

Source: gifmethat.tumblr.com

But I promise you (and Liz Lemon), this is a good one.

I have to give my ex full credit for introducing me to the Ranstead Room, especially since he’s probably reading this post (hey, D). You guys, this place is so fun and so. sexy. Maybe a little much for a first date, but perfect for a second or third. Yes, it’s small, located down a sketchy back street with no sign and yes, there’s almost always a wait, but they’ll take your cell # and call you when a table opens up so you can go around the corner and wait at a bar or grab a bite to eat.

Once you actually enter it feels like Madmen-meets-70s porn set-meets-vampire den, which sounds insane but it fucking works. The drinks are delicious and the atmosphere is perfect for my favorite date activity:

banter

Source: domini-porter.tumblr.com

I’m telling you, RR’s great music, low lighting, vintage paintings of naked ladies on the walls (very non-sleazy/tongue in cheek ) and friendly, non-pretentious bartenders will make you feel hella cool and mysterious, and you will more than likely end up flirting your ass off with whoever is sitting across from you (to varying levels of success, of course, depending on your skill and blood alcohol levels).

clive bixby

Then, when you’ve flirted and bantered to your heart’s content and you inevitably tie a load on from those 4 custom cocktails you just downed, might I suggest…

jess singing

Source: allaboutnewgirl.tumblr.com

Calm down, you pervs. I was actually going to recommend ordering a snack off the menu of the yummy Mexican restaurant next door. Drunk guacamole, people. DRUNK. GUACAMOLE. Get your priorities straight.

Honestly, forget dates (and the fact that this post includes the word “intercourse”); if you’re from out of town and you visit Philly, check this place out.

3. Nerdy and unique: The Franklin Institute (271 North 21st Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103)

franklin institute

Honorary mention goes to Art After 5, which is definitely a more “grown up” option, but I’ve never actually gone there on a date (only with friends–woooommmmp #painfullysingle) so I felt like it was cheating to put it on this list.

I love a museum date, especially when the weather’s shitty. I like that it’s something interactive to do with your date, there are conversation starters all around you to fill any awkward silences, and if you get ass numbingly bored after an hour you can just peace out and resume discussing whatever low-brow things you normally talk about while still feeling cultured as shit for going.

mindy price harry

Source: www.tvguide.com

Philly has some great museums, and if you’re looking purely for art/culture, I have a bunch of arguably better recs for you than this one (also if you’re looking to totally creep your date out, I’ve got a rec for that, too). The Barnes is killer. The Constitution Center is great. But the Franklin Institute is …different. Maybe that’s because it’s technically a kid’s museum. BUT it’s also a combination of nerdy, wacky, juvenile, random and totally kitschy, which I love, and I think it makes for a more fun, playful date (at least early on) than your standard art museum. Also, being able to joke/be playful/not take yourself too seriously is a personality trait that I really value, and this is a good way to spot any know it all snoots who wouldn’t be thrilled to climb through a giant heart with you.

Other reasons why this is a fun date option:

  • Planetariums are hella romantic. Just ask Ross and Rachel.
  • You’ll seriously LOL at some of the laughably vintage exhibits
  • An hour or two among droves of screaming kids, and you will definitely both remember the importance of birth control.

jack thumbs up

Source: degrassi.wikia.com

So there you have it. Philly peeps, what do you think? What are some of your favorite date spots? I realize I basically stuck with the Center City area, but I’m always looking for new places to check out.

Have an awesome holiday weekend, readers. I’ll be spending mine lakeside with my homegirl D while L is sunbathing in Europe. (I know, we hate her, too.) Stay tuned for our Beantown edition of best date spots next week!

Newly single…and liking it?

Before we get to my post, just a quick blog announcement: since we started Stupid Cupid over a year ago, we’ve always referred to our dates by their first initial. This was easy and effective enough in the beginning, but it’s come to our attention that this practice is now confusing as shit. It’s simple math, really: there are a finite number of letters in the alphabet, and apparently an infinite number of douchey single guys. The longer we date, the more repeats we’re going to have. We can imagine what a pain it must be for you guys to keep everyone straight while reading about our shenanigans. I mean, I recently dated a D, and then co-blogger D dated a D, and then both of those Ds dumped us. It’s like a 21st century Abbott and Costello routine. So, to quote my co-blogger:

D: TOO MANY D’S UP IN HERE – WE’RE SWITCHING TO NICKNAMES

Damn straight we are. From this point forward, all new dudes we go out with will receive a nickname, probably based on a noticeable characteristic or a funny anecdote, but I make no promises as to the consistency (or, frankly, the fairness) of our naming practices. To avoid further confusion, dudes we’ve already written about will still be referred to by their initials; as you’ll see below, D who dumped me is still D (you narrowly missed receiving a nickname containing the words ‘nerd’ and ‘stalker’, sir. You’re welcome.)

We hope this will make things less confusing for you guys, and we’re pretty sure this nickname thing will be an enjoyable practice for us as well. Spoiler alert: the first bachelor to have a nickname bestowed upon him is a guy co-blogger D went out with last weekend, and his nickname involves Japanese food. I assure you, the story behind the name is delightful.

**End blog announcement**

The dust is settling on my break up with D two weeks ago. I’m still processing things, but that initial sting of rejection (which was really more like a punch in the gut) has faded into something more like a dull ache. On a whole, I feel better, but that also changes day by day (and even hour by hour). Last week I was feeling really good about the whole thing; almost obnoxiously so. People were like, wow… you seem to be doing great! And I was all…

everything is awesome

Yes, I saw the Lego movie. I told you, I dated a nerd for months.

Anyway, last week everything was awesome, because the weather was gorgeous and I had a ton of fun plans to distract me. This week, it’s been torrential down-pouring, and there’s essentially a tumbleweed rolling across my Google calendar, so I’m a little closer to this than I’m entirely comfortable admitting:

500 days jack500 days getaroom

I miss D, even though we’ve been talking. I promise you, “talking” is not a euphemism for anything. We’re genuinely trying to figure out this friends thing, which has been really nice in some ways but also confusing as hell, because I think neither one of us knows exactly how to act towards one another now. The boundaries are different, and the dynamics are different, and it’s…fucking weird. When we agreed to try to remain friends, I told him I reserved the right to change my mind at any point if I started to feel differently, and I’m still playing by those rules. If I wake up tomorrow and am all:

ron burgundy

then we’ll call it a day. PS you might be interested to know the results of our little poll: 36% of you keep in touch with your ex(es). Okay, well that makes me feel a little less crazy for trying this. Then again, 33% of you answered “hell no”, so there’s that. Anyway, the experiment continues, and I will keep you all posted.

D also informed me last week that he read and loved both of my posts, which made me cringe ever so slightly. It’s one thing to know that he’s going to read them, and it’s another to receive actual confirmation that he did. After I published part 2 of my post, this fun little exchange occurred:

D fazed

Uhhhh apparently it’s 2003, because…

http://corporateplantationworker.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/punkd.jpg

Is that the most Aspies thing you’ve ever seen in your life? WHO DOES THAT? I reminded D that I had been really understanding and gracious about the whole being dumped thing, but that that goodwill only goes so far. Translation: do not poke the bear. The dumped bear.

Even though my mood this week has been what some might call “unique”, I have had some time to get used to being single again. And while in some ways it sucks a big huge fat one and I hate the world, in others it actually doesn’t feel bad. It even has its moments of being (dare I say this on a blog where we complain about being single 24-7?) sort of nice. One thing I’ve learned about being in a relationship, even a good one, is that you invest a lot of time and emotional energy into another person and the relationship as a whole. This is/was wonderful in many ways, and in a great relationship what you get back in return of course makes all that effort more than worth it (ugh low point, I just mentioned ROI on our dating blog. Please accept my sincerest apologies). But this particular relationship wasn’t working towards the end, and in hindsight, I really did feel kind of drained, and also like I was neglecting myself a little bit. I’m not saying that D was needy or demanding or that this was his fault, because clearly it takes two to tango. I’m saying there’s a little bit of an exhale happening that I’m actually kind of enjoying.

So, with that in mind, I’m making a concerted effort to look on the bright side/think positively/not be a perpetual Debbie Downer about this break up. Even as I typed that last sentence, I secretly thought…

the fuck does that mean

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that positivity of any kind is a fairly foreign concept  around these parts. Be that as it may, I’ve decided to give it a try, because what the hell? Here’s how I’m looking at it: having more free time and freed up energy is an awesome thing. I have more time to do shit just for me, figure out what I want next in my life, chat up my friends more, maybe find a fun new hobby, write, and just…chill. I hope this doesn’t come off as some smug Eat, Pray, Love bullshit, because God I hated that book…

mindy eat pray love

Basically I’m picturing the next weeks/months of my life as a breezy dream where this happens:

ina garten

Why yes, Ina, I’d love to.

So… besides not having a house in the Hamptons, here’s the issue. You may recall that I stayed on Okcupid the whole time I was with D for blogging purposes. I changed my status from single to ‘seeing someone’ (which of course did nothing but attract cheating losers instead of single losers) but wasn’t talking to anyone. After D and I broke up, I changed my status back to single, because, you know, accurate. I expected to get a slew of visitors and an underwhelming flurry of one word or unintelligible messages from random douchebags, which don’t worry, I did. It didn’t occur to me for one second that I might actually get a good message, because, I mean, have you been reading this blog? Good messages are like unicorns: they’re rare, they’re mythical, and they appear to only exists in books, movies and our imagination. 

You know where this is going, right? I got a good message. Actually, a great one. I clicked on the guy’s profile, half praying for it to be awful or illegible or insane. But of course, nope. At first glance, this looked to be someone I would be thrilled to go out with: smart, funny, interesting, and cute. You know, basically…

unicorns

God. Damn. It.

In my almost two year career as a part time online dater (and full time pessimist), I’m pretty sure I can count ON ONE HAND the number of times I’ve gotten a really good message from someone with a nice, normal profile who was also taller than me and appeared to be cute. Dismayed, I sought L’s sage advice. We decided that my options were:

  1. Ignore the message completely
  2. Write back explaining that I’d just gotten out of a five month relaysh and am not ready to date yet
  3. Write back normally and see what happens

Option 1 was vetoed immediately, because hi, do I have to make that stupid unicorn analogy again? I’ve seen the dating pool, and let me tell you, shit is rough. I wasn’t about to ignore something promising just because of bad timing.

Option 2 seemed to be the most up front, but something about laying my sad breakup story, even a super abridged version, on a total stranger screamed bad idea/wild over share. Also, one message from someone is absolutely no guarantee that you’ll receive a second, and I decided if I bore my heart to this dude and he didn’t respond, I might ACTUALLY kill myself. Mama can only take so much rejection. Thus, Option 2 was vetoed.

Which left… write back normally and see what happens. I did, and I got a response, another great one. At that point, it was actually surprisingly tempting to just say fuck it, keep a back and forth going and see what it led to. I mean, flirting is fun/boys are cute/distractions are tempting/validation is intoxicating, particularly after you’ve been rejected.

Don’t worry, I quickly came to my senses.

cher

I knew, deep down, that if I pursued this dude or frankly any dude right now, it would be 1. way wayyyy too soon and 2. for all the wrong reasons, namely a distraction from the D stuff. I’m in no way ready to get involved with someone new, and also, the last two people I’ve been involved with had both recently gotten out of super serious relationships, and that turned out to be the source of most of our problems. I mean hello, I got dumped in part because D still had feelings for his ex, so I have firsthand experience with people who jumped back into the game too early, and it’s not something I want to perpetuate. So…

I sent the cute guy another message, laying it all out there, and asking if I could contact him when I was ready to date again. To which he said yes. I don’t know when that will be, exactly, but for now I’ve got plenty of DVR and dreams of channeling The Barefoot Contessa to keep me occupied.

 

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. 

Hey, boys. I have a dating blog. Want to go out with me?

One of the first questions I’m asked when people learn that I co-author a dating blog is: do you tell the guys you go out with about it? The answer, to many people’s surprise, is yes. Have I actually allowed my dates to read our blog? No, no I have not. I struggled with what to do about this in the beginning. Common sense told me that revealing to a near stranger that I have a dating blog on a first date might not be the most stellar addition to my five year “Operation: Do Not Become a Crazy Cat Lady” plan, but over time I changed my tune. Here’s why:

1. It’s something to talk about. Dear God, it’s something to talk about. I’ll talk about the Taft Hartley Act if it means we can avoid awkward silences where we both take huge gulps of our drinks and glance nervously around for the nearest fire alarm we can pull.

2. It’s something (sort of) interesting about me. Real talk: I don’t have many “hobbies”. Sure, I have interests. I do things with my friends. I read and keep up on the news and see movies and go to bars and restaurants and cook and take trips and bla bla bla, but so do most people. Things that can actually be classified as true hobbies, though…I kind of come up short.

chelsea handler sit on my ass

I’m not a DJ or local acting sensation. I don’t run marathons (ha! I’d rather be killed). I’m not a classically trained pianist (incidentally my neighbor downstairs actually is, and I feel like I’m living out the plot to Anna Karenina every night when I get home and Rachmaninoff is coming through my floor).

My point is, sometimes dating feels a little like that first job interview after college when you’re basically trying to convince a potential employer that you’re totally qualified and skilled and amazing, even though you’re also not providing them with a tonnnnnn of evidence to support those claims. It’s hard to find a happy medium between selling yourself like a Billy Mays infomercial (oh man he’s dead isn’t he? Whoops.) and coming off as the girl who legitimately spends 80% of her life watching DVR (FYI, it’s really more like 30% when you factor in work and sleep). So this is something interesting about me. And I want to share it, however much it may potentially horrify or scare my date. Mind you, I don’t shout at the first possible moment: FYI I HAVE A DATING BLOG. I try to let it happen more…organically. E.g:

S: So, you’re a journalist? Very cool. I like to write, too. What do you typically write about?

Date: Blablabla small talk. So, you mentioned you like to write?

S: I do.

Date: What do you write about?

S: Well actually, my two friends and I started a blog earlier this year.

Date: That’s awesome! What’s it about?

Which brings me to…

3. It’s a test. If you follow this blog, you may recall that I’m a huge fan of tests. Basically I like to administer small social experiments on my subjects (I’m sorry, dates) and make conclusions based on my data. These may or may not be accurate conclusions, but let’s not ruin the fun by worrying about that! Here’s what I tell my date (in my own brand of breezy hilarity):

  • My two friends and I have an online dating blog
  • We have a lot of fun writing it
  • it’s totally anonymous. We don’t use our names or the names of our dates.
  • We do it because we’re interested in sharing our experiences and talking about all the funny, crazy things that happen to us.

Once I’ve laid out those basic facts, there’s no need to freak out. Because frankly, it’s really not that big of a deal. I’m not revealing to you that I’m Gossip Girl (also can we talk about how Gossip Girl was Dan Humphrey and not Dorota? What’s that, you say? I’m literally the only person in my age bracket who watched that awful show til the bitter end?)

dorota

After I drop the “blog bomb”, most guys are a little taken aback at first but quickly recover and then want to know every detail. A brief Q&A with my date typically follows:

Date: Can I read it?

S: No, sorry, I don’t think it’s a good idea at this point.

Date: What’s it called?

S: Again, nope.

Date: Can you tell me a funny dating story?

S: Sure. (*Insert dating story*)

Date: Wow that is pretty funny. Are you trying to turn it into a book or something?

S: Absolutely. Mindy Kaling is our spirit animal.

mindy eat pray love

Date: Are you going to write about me?

This is my cue to sassily (and somewhat gleefully) say:

Only if you do something worth writing about.

To soften that blow, I follow it up by letting dudes know this policy: I try not to write about anyone in real time. In other words, if I’m going out with you, I’m not going to run home after every date and immediately spill all the dirty deets to the internet (unless we’re working on a post about who pays and my date asks me to split the sushi. Sorry, K). In general, though, I’ll wait until I know I’m definitely not seeing the guy again to dish to you lovely readers.

shoshanna classy

I know. Thanks, Shoshanna.

4. Calm down. We’re not exactly famous. Yet. Yet, damn it. Give us time. This is certainly not a slight against our excellent and loyal readers who for reasons beyond comprehension keep coming back three times a week to hear us complain about boys (you guys are the best!). But let’s be real. If we took away our family, friends and the people reading who are directly connected with our family and friends, oh and let’s not forget the pitchfork wielding people of Reddit, we’d have what? Four readers? Maybe? So it’s not like this shit is being published in Vanity Fair (again, yet). Although my mom, ever our biggest cheerleader, seems to think we’re mere moments away from getting our big break. A few months ago L and I were at my parents’ house and the following exchange occurred:

Mom: I think you guys should write for a magazine.

L and S: We’d love to.

Mom: You should get that going soon. Maybe Vogue (Vogue. Omg she’s my favorite).

S: How, mom?

Mom: Who do we know in publishing?

S: …No one?

Clearly my mother was having a Miranda Priestley moment (happens to the best of us):

So unless my mom is spreading wild rumors to the men of OKC that Stucu is being courted by major publishers, which let’s be honest she may actually be doing, our humble little WordPress blog should not send grown ass men into a tailspin.

5. If you’re a nice guy, I probably won’t talk about you. Well, that’s not exactly true. The guy who couldn’t find his car was technically a nice guy, but he also lost his automobile in broad daylight and suffered from crippling social anxiety, so my hands were kind of tied with that one. What I’m trying to say is, I’ve been out with a number of nice, normal dudes who I’ve never mentioned on this blog, because there was nothing worth mentioning. But if something goes down on a date, pretty much the first thing that pops into my head is ‘Yup. This is definitely going on the blog.’

In fact, this has become a running joke with more than one guy I’ve gone out with. If something awkward or weird happens, multiple guys have been like, “Uh ohhhh, this is so going on your blog, I know it is!” One guy even called me out on our first date when the check came. He looked at me and said, “I bet you and your friends talk about who pays on your blog. I bet there’s a right and a wrong way for me to handle this….hmmm what to do, what to do.” I actually enjoy this reaction the most… it should be something we can joke about. Because come on, it’s funny! Guys who show me that they’re cool with it earn major points in my book (I told you it was a test!).

I do wonder sometimes if any of the guys I’ve told have found the blog. They’d have to care an awful lot, and be pretty good sleuths, but I guess it’s possible. In fact, I was going out with a guy recently who called me to tell me that he’d started seeing someone else (music to a single 28 year old’s ears), and after dropping that bomb on me he proceeded to smugly predict that I’d write about the whole experience (what a narcissist! although obviously yes, he was correct). Here’s what he actually said:

H: I’m sure you’ll write about this whole thing on your blog, and I’m sure it will be really funny and great. I can’t wait to read it.

Me: Except I never actually told you my blog’s name.

H: Oh, I’m really good with computers. I don’t think I’ll have any trouble finding it.

Me: It’s anonymous. So I think you will.

H: Oh. Damn it.

Me: Yeah. This exchange is also going on there, FYI. Have a nice life, dickweed*.

*I didn’t say dickweed. I should have said dickweed! Because what a jerk. As always, Mindy says it best:

mindy kaling gestures

 

Happy One Year Anniversary (of still being single) to me!

That’s right, folks. It’s the one year anniversary of my infamous first okcupid date. A lot has happened in a year; some good, some bad, some laughable, and mercifully, plenty that’s blogworthy. And while it’s tempting to focus on this fact:

mindy single

there are plenty of other things to discuss. For instance, I thought you’d all like to know that G, or as my friends and I fondly refer to him, “the guy who couldn’t find his car”, reappeared a few weeks ago! After our terribly awkward first date he asked me out again and I politely declined, and that was that. For a year. Until I received this message:

g message

I swear, I have awkwardness PTSD from my date with G, and this message sent me into a full on Nam flashback. Initially I was so confused by the bizarre subject that I didn’t even process the improper grammar, the emoticon, the spelling of ‘hiccup’ and ‘recurrence’ (I’m going to give him a pass on ‘therefore’ and assume it’s a typo. Please, let it be a typo).  God, this is embarrassing to share with you all because frankly I can’t believe I went out with this person.

I actually went out with this person.

tumblr_m84h3tJkBC1qmxcc6o6_250

Please note that it was sent at 2:59 am. He was drunk, right? He had to be drunk. That would make me feel better so I’m going to go ahead and believe it.

As for the subject, it took me a few minutes to process what he was talking about, but then a light bulb went off in my head. I’d forgotten this detail of the date completely until G INEXPLICABLY brought it up again. Besides the fact that he was a nervous, stammering mess who lost his car on the mean streets of Old City Philadelphia, at one point in the evening G took a sip of his drink, tried to say something, went into an insane coughing fit and semi started to choke. Then, when he finally stopped coughing, he proceeded to get the hiccups (badly) but rather than just ignore them and try to move on, he repeatedly brought attention to the whole thing by exclaiming how weird it was, how it’s never happened to him before, etc etc. Oh God, the awkwardness. I can’t even. But the absurdity of the rest of the date actually eclipsed the coughing incident so completely that I totally forgot to mention it in my original post! Until now.

And as for ‘my overwhelming beauty’…it’s technically a nice thing to say, but it’s also wildly exaggerated and disingenuous. Most importantly, G, we went out a year ago and I said I didn’t want to see you again, so if I may: 

Luckily, I’ve come a long way since that date, and I definitely don’t feel like such a hapless amateur roaming the streets searching for a stranger’s Chevy. Here are some of the biggest things I’ve learned in my year of online dating:

  • People lie about what they look like.
  • A good profile does not necessarily = a good date. This may be the biggest revelation I’ve had since starting this thing. Men were presenting themselves as these awesome, fun, witty, gregarious people online, and I’d meet them and they’d be dull as bricks. And yes, I’m sure men experience this with women as well (possibly even with me). I think the takeaway from these two points is that online dating requires you to basically sell yourself, and more often than not, people sell who they want or perceive themselves to be rather than who they actually are. So it’s tough to “meet” someone online, form expectations based on your messages and their profile, and then almost inevitably be disappointed when you meet in person. Therefore…
  • The less time you spend messaging online with someone, the better. No matter how awesome someone’s profile is or how great they seem over messages, texts, or emails, you’re never going to know how you really feel about them until they’re sitting in front of you. Even if you know you like them, you don’t know if you’ll have chemistry. So if a guy has messaged me but is taking his sweet time asking me out (and trust me, many do), a year ago I would have been irritated and confused, but I probably would have waited it out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still irritated:

meryl

But now rather than just stew about it, mama gets down to business…

  • Don’t be afraid to make the first move. Do not fear rejection. I’ve been both the rejector and the rejectee, and while being on the receiving end may have caused me to do a bit of this:

gretchen weiners                                                                                          

I totally survived, and I definitely don’t take it as personally when it happens now. Everyone is on the site for the same reason (correction: most people are on the site for the same reason. I was once propositioned for a threesome by a couple with a joint profile. So admittedly not everyone has the same end game) and as a friend of mine likes to say, there’s no way you can become more single, so you have nothing to lose by putting yourself out there.

  • Screen, screen, screen. Before you say yes to a date or ask someone out, go immediately to the ‘unacceptable answers’ section of their okcupid questions. This conveniently lists all of the questions that are important to you which the person answered “incorrectly”. You may discover, for instance, that your potential date has rape fantasies, believes homosexuality is a sin or (LSD’s personal favorite) thinks THE EARTH IS BIGGER THAN THE SUN. Better to know these things up front than to waste your Wednesday night discovering these horrors over craft beers when you could be on your couch watching Nashville. AS YOU CAN SEE, I did not screen my first date properly. In fact I shudder to think of the time I wasted in the beginning by not doing this immediately, but boy have I learned my lesson since. 
  • Despite the annoyances, dating can be fun. Talking about it can be even more fun. I’ve met some pretty cool people this year, had interesting conversations, discovered new bars and restaurants, played quizzo, seen movies and plays, and even done a few things that I can’t mention on this blog (hi, mom!). Even with the rejection and confusion that online dating often brings, I don’t regret doing it for a second. Especially since I now have an incredibly fun and satisfying way to chat about my experiences and vent my frustration when I inevitably encounter an asshole or two. So thanks, dear readers. Here’s to you!

leo gif

(God, how does Leo still look so good?)

Message Monday: Frozen Dinner/Death

I selected this message because it’s more typical than you, naive reader, who is not prowling the bowels of the internet for dates, might like to believe. Behold the magic below:

message monday 3-25-2013

First of all,  thanks for the compliment good sir. I do not find you attractive, since you have no picture.

Now, let’s discuss this “romantic” dinner:

1) As soon as I arrive, I’d like you to take my coat, crank up the jams, and pour me some booze. Please refrain from pulling me close until I’ve a) had several glasses of wine or b) you’ve cooked me a delicious meal and dazzled me with your conversation. And NO WHISPERING PLEASE. Whispering is for mean girls and for creepy murders. We’re alone in your apartment presumably, so not sure what’s preventing you from using a normal voice.

2) Are you being paid by an ad agency to do online dating product placement? In the span of 3 sentences, you’ve managed to cite two grocery store brands, both of which are popular with middle aged moms with children. Plus, everyone knows that Trader Joe’s makes the best frozen dinners. Momma’s not settling for no Birdseye.

3) Wait. BACK. THE. TRUCK. UP. Did you just offer me a frozen dinner? And grape juice in a wine glass? I know my profile screams classy broad, but let’s not overdo it. Save a little romance for the next guy.

4) Never ever ever mention your freezer in your message. As you may have noticed, a common thread throughout all of our blog posts is the nagging worry, “IS THIS GUY GOING TO CHOP ME UP AND PUT ME IN HIS FREEZER?” And you’ve gone and mentioned the freezer in your first message. Excuse me while I pepper spray my computer!  Mindy Kaling’s not the only woman who is going to be sleeping with a knife under her pillow tonight!

5) Also, you would “proceed to a wine glass with Welch’s grape juice” and…do what? Why does your message abruptly cut off? Is it because you’re literally so lazy you cannot be bothered to finish your sentences or is because the sentence would’ve ended with … “and drop a roofie into your glass” or “and then slap a rag with chloroform over your mouth?” I’m kinda relieved I didn’t find out.

Pic of the week: Sleeping Beauty

Before looking at today’s pics (yes, there are two–get ready to double your pleasure), allow me to set the mood for you. Press play below:

Fantastic. Now you’re ready. Behold:

pic of the week sleeping beauty 1  sleeping beauty 2

Sigh. These are 100% my favorite pics that we’ve featured so far. Let’s get down to it:

  • I feel it’s essential to note that in both these photos, Sleeping Beauty’s eyes are closed like he’s in a deep, restful slumber.
  • SB’s flowing, wild locks are the stuff that romance novel covers and daytime soaps are made of.
  • This must be what it’s like to sleep next to Gaston.
  • Such beautiful, feminine bedding choices (I literally had the same color sheets as pic #1 in college). I wonder if those are also from the Target Mossimo dorm collection.
  • He may sleep in the nude, but like any stylish gal, SB can’t be seen without his accessories! The Livestrong bracelet (um read a newspaper, kthx) and pink dog collar are both clearly bedtime essentials.
  • Speaking of dogs, that animal is either drugged, dead, or praying to a God it knows doesn’t exist to be put out of its misery.
  • Is it just me, or is the lighting in pic #2 suspiciously reminiscent of those soft shots they’d take of old Hollywood starlets by filming them through a cheesecloth?

Picture8

And now we come to our final, most important bullet:

  • Who took these pictures, and why? The evidence overwhelmingly points to a girlfriend or two different but equally insane one night stands: ladylike sheets, toy dog with pink collar, overall creepiness factor. I started to ask myself why… why anyone would want to capture this God among men in all his slumbering glory when they could be resting in his tender embrace. But then I thought, does it matter? The reason’s not important. Those pictures are out there for us to enjoy, and that’s what counts.

Also, I’ve decided that from now on when people ask me about my dating life and I tell them I’m single, instead of feeling bad about myself I’m going to whip out my wallet which will contain two 3×5 copies of these beauties,  flip that shit open for all to see, drop the mic and walk away. 

Message Monday: u can always block your #

message monday block your #

This message is short but beautiful in its simplicity. What I want to talk about is not the poor grammar, the incomplete single sentence, or the fact that he shared his phone # with a total stranger on the internet, all of which are (I’m sorry to report) fairly common offenses. I’d like to address the following:

“u can always block your #”

EHHHHHH. I’m sorry. Assuming you meant to say “you can always block my #”, is this actually what you tell a girl to try to get her to go out with you? You reassure her that if–BEST CASE SCENARIO–she finds you super annoying, and worst case she has to file a legitimate restraining order against you and sleep with a knife under her pillow, she’ll at least have the option of blocking your calls down the line? As tempting as it sounds to “see what happen” (aka whether or not I successfully escape with my life) I think I’ll pass.

The second most disturbing thing about this? According to okc we’re an 81% match. Kill me. Oh wait, this guy actually might.