About Me

December 31, 2008

Follow your dreams

A few nights ago, I dreamed that I was kissing a guy. He wasn't anyone I know in real life. I think he was just a symbol of every man that I, full of curiosity and nervousness and hope and excitement, have gone off to have a date with over the past two years.

I should have enjoyed kissing this guy (he was pretty cute for a symbol). But I didn't. In fact, I wasn't having a good time at all. Instead, I kept thinking, "What about the Nicest Guy in the World?" I was flattered that this guy liked me enough to kiss me. But I still wasn't enjoying it. I began to think, "I wish I'd never even met this guy! That way I could just date the Nicest Guy in the World."

Then I woke up. And before I could form objections or excuses or thoughts or any words at all, I was flooded with one insistent, overwhelming emotion.


That in my real life, there is no other guy; there is only the Nicest Guy in the World.

And now that my subconscious has spoken, I finally know what I have to do.


December 30, 2008

9 Dating New Year's Resolutions for 2009

I just discovered this interesting article by Margeaux Baulch detailing nine New Year's resolutions for dating (http://www.sheknows.com/articles/807048.htm). The nine resolutions are:

1. Define what you want in a relationship
2. Assess your baggage
3. Get your booty off the couch
4. Get out of your dating comfort zone
5. Date more than one person at a time
6. Stop trying to make lemonade out of bad lemons (ah, yes -- glad I finally took this one to heart!)
7. Ditch the deadline
8. Date yourself
9. Enjoy the journey

I think "enjoy the journey," while probably the most important, can be the hardest to keep. When you're on a date with the 12th guy in four months, only to discover he's immature, or a complainer, or cheap, or is great but just not that into you, it can be really, really hard to remember that dating is actually supposed to be FUN. But it is. And all you can do is take the perspective that the 'bad' guys are out there to remind you what's so good about the good guys.

Happy New Year, everyone, and thanks for reading!

December 20, 2008


I still have a crush on the Nicest Guy in the World! (who I did meet on Match.com, albeit two years ago...hmm, maybe that site doesn't suck after all....)
He came over today. We had lunch together, and dinner. We exchanged Christmas presents (he even brought a present for my cat). I gave him "The Office" DVD game, and we played it -- fun. Then we watched "It's A Wonderful Life," which he had brought. I love that movie. *sniffle*
When he had to leave I went with him to the train and bought my Sunday paper. As I walked back it was snowing, and I realized I was smiling all the way home.

December 18, 2008

Ageism on Match.com??

I decided to do an experiment and re-join Match.com (http://www.match.com/) for one month. I joined on 11/18, so my one-month membership expired tonight. In the past I've had some success with Match -- in 2007 I dated two "Match men" for six to eight weeks (not at the same time), which is good for me.

But THIS time? Crickets. Here are the stats: over the course of one month, I wrote to 36 men whose profiles appealed to me. That's 36 personal, time-consuming, individualized e-mails -- more than one a day. And guess how many guys wrote me back?


Even fewer.

Way fewer.


Yes. A whopping two whole guys wrote me back. That's only a 5% rate of return! Oh, three or four guys did hit the button that sends an automatic message saying "thanks, but I've met someone and want to see how it goes." And one guy even wrote me a nice personal e-mail saying the same thing. But for the most part: SILENCE.

Did any guys contact me first? Yes -- but only five. And actually, only a couple of those were messages. The others were winks, which means all they had to do was make the minimal effort of clicking a button. I wrote back to three of them (the three who seemed normal). One stopped responding after a few messages. As of right now I'm still e-mailing two of them, or at least I think I am -- yesterday I sent them each a message explaining I was letting my membership lapse and giving them my personal e-mail address, but I haven't heard from either of them yet.

As for the two guys I contacted first who actually wrote me back, one stopped responding to me after a few messages. I met the other one for coffee last week. He seemed like he would be an interesting guy -- he didn't move to the U.S. until he was 16 and has done a lot of traveling. But we parted after an hour or so, and for some reason I haven't thought about him since. Just no chemistry, I guess? He must have felt the same way, because I haven't heard from him either.

So I wonder if the lack of responses and the lack of guys contacting me first is because I'm now 36. When I was on Match as a 34-year-old, and then again briefly as a 35-year-old, I certainly didn't get tons of responses, but it was definitely better than 5%, and more than 5 guys contacted me per month. So I'm thinking maybe a lot of guys search the site for women 35 and younger? In which case, I aged out of a lot of men's searches three months ago. I'm not sure what else it could be -- I even had the same photo because I couldn't figure out how to switch to a new primary photo. Guys did view my profile -- 342 guys, to be specific (the site lets you know). They just didn't contact me.

So much for Match.com.

December 17, 2008

Artsy Photographer: disappointing

Sorry it's taken me so long to post about my date with Artsy Photographer from HurryDate (http://www.hurrydate.com) -- but unfortunately, you weren't missing much! I can see why my friend barely made it through her first (and only) date with him a few months back. I like quiet guys, but he was too quiet in an awkward way. I would bring something up, like telling him about a trip I went on to Ireland last year, for instance, and he would basically just say, "That's nice." No tales of his own vacations, no questions about mine, nothing. So I found myself talking too much to cover up the silence. Once I realized I was doing this, I forced myself to let the silence linger. And then, just as I was about to pass out from the awkwardness, he would FINALLY ask me a question or contribute something to the conversation. That did not, however, make it any less uncomfortable. Even when I asked him a question, he would give me a short answer -- not in a rude way, just matter-of-fact -- but it made things difficult. If I'm on a date, and a guy asks me, for example, "Do you have any brothers or sisters?" I won't just say, "Yes, a sister." I'll also add where she lives, what she does, you know, to liven up the conversation, and then I would ask him about his siblings. But this guy would just say, "Yes, a sister." I would wait for more, but there wouldn't be any more, just that awkward silence. I had to pump him with questions to continue the conversation.

And at the end of it all, wouldn't you know, he didn't even treat me to dinner! I swear, when I had a full-time job, the guys I went out with paid 95% of the time. But I lost my full-time job in early October, and suddenly none of the guys I go out with ever pick up the check, just when I can least afford it! Is the bad economy making them all cheapskates, or is it just bad timing of who I'm dating? To be fair, Artsy Photographer had just lost his job the week before (on the day of the HurryDate event, actually). But he's a computer science person, so you know he was making more than I ever have, and he told me he'll be able to find another job quite easily when he wants to. And HE was the one who suggested dinner! If I'd known for sure I'd have to pay for myself, I would've preferred meeting for coffee. I was also slightly annoyed because as I looked at the menu, I asked if he'd ever tried the Ethiopian wine (we were at an Ethiopian restaurant). He said yes and that he liked it. I said I'd never tried it, then went to the restroom. When I came back, he had ordered us each a glass of wine. Nice gesture, but I had never said I wanted, or could afford to pay for, a glass of wine. Arrrgh! (But I must admit, it WAS delicious.)

Then when we hugged good-bye, I got a distinctly creepy feeling. I can't even explain why. But when I talked to my friend who'd had the date with him a few months ago, she asked, "Did he give you the creepy good-bye hug?" So she had gotten a weird vibe from his hug, too!

It's too bad because he was a smart guy, interesting when he actually talked :O and he did have a good sense of humor. I didn't send him a thank-you e-mail, though, and I haven't heard from him since.

December 9, 2008

Artsy Photographer

From the HurryDate (http://www.hurrydate.com/) speed-dating event last week, I received three mutual matches, and four other guys picked me who I didn't pick. One of the mutual matches I had was with the Artsy Photographer, the one who showed me the photos he takes of topless pregnant women (!). We had actually met once before, at another speed-dating event several months ago. I liked him and picked him, but he didn't pick me. He did, however, pick the friend I'd gone with to the event. They only made it through one date, after which she told me, "We had nothing to talk about. He picked the wrong woman -- he would have had much more in common with you!" You have to set up a profile on the HurryDate web site when you sign up for an event, so she gave me his username, I looked up his profile, and I really liked it. We even said something really similar at one point in each of our profiles and worded it almost identically. So I sent him a "virtual drink" on the site, and -- he never responded.

But I guess he didn't recall any of that at the event last week. This time he chose me, he e-mailed me first, and we're going out for dinner (Ethiopian food - yum) tomorrow night!

December 4, 2008

I went speed-dating tonight

Because a HurryDate (http://www.hurrydate.com/) speed-dating event I attended in the spring was rather sparsely attended, everyone there (the few of us who WERE there) got a credit to attend another one for free. Since it was going to expire at the end of this month, I finally hauled myself out to a HurryDate event tonight -- and I have to say, it was pretty fun. It was much better attended than the last event, I got to see the same cute host again, ;) and I met more than the usual number of guys I'd like to see again: 7 out of 22 -- almost 33%!

Not the first guy I talked to, though. He made this big show of saying, "I RARELY go south of Houston Street, but I decided to for tonight."

"Where do you live?" I asked.

"Jersey," he admitted. Um, I'm from Jersey. You can't be choosy about where in NYC you'll travel when you live in Jersey! He also picked the strangest topics of conversation, like, "There are more swimming pools in Long Island than in NJ." I thought, a) who cares? and b) seriously -- who cares!?

There were also some random men there who I already knew. Back when a friend and I were both unemployed in 2002, we used to go to these free parties and events where we eventually started seeing the same people over and over (which is why we eventually stopped going, ha!). Well, TWO of those guys were there tonight! One completely remembered me, and one didn't remember me in the slightest ("2002 was a long time ago," he said plaintively).

There was one guy there who was totally obnoxious, though. He was making up all these crazy stories, like that he was 48, "thrice-divorced" and had lost his kid to his ex-wife in his latest divorce, even though she wasn't the kid's mother. He even told the woman two seats away from me that he'd killed a guy in a bar fight the night before. (!!!) But he told the friend I went with, "I actually want to date you, so I'll tell you the truth," and explained that he's friends with someone who works for HurryDate, so since they were short a few guys tonight, his friend "made" him come to fill in, even though he's only 23 and the men for this event were supposed to be 35 - 45. So ridiculous. As my friend said, I'd rather sit there and do nothing for four minutes than waste my energy talking to some doofus who doesn't even want to be there. Ah well. At least he was entertaining.

But the strangest part of the evening was with one of the guys I'd met before at another speed-dating event a few months ago: the Artsy Photographer. I had liked him and chosen him, but he hadn't picked me (I didn't remind him about that part - awkward!). I remembered he had some sort of artsy hobby, and he said, "Oh yes, I do photography. Lately I've been doing pre-natal photography."

"Pre-natal?" I repeated, trying to figure out how you take a picture of a baby before it's born without using an ultrasound machine. But he explained that "pre-natal photography" means taking pictures of pregnant women.

"I actually have some photos with me if you'd like to see them," he said, pulling out his digital gizmo and passing it to me.

So I looked at the first photo: a pregnant woman, lying on her side in bed, wearing a halter top type of thing so her belly was bare. In the next photo, she was wearing even less clothing. They were beautiful photos and all, but it was bizarre to look at these intimate pictures of some pregnant woman taken by a guy I didn't really know, but who was sitting across from me. Then I got to the third photo. The woman was topless. OK. This was getting really weird.

"Great photos!" I said brightly, quickly passing the gizmo back to him.

After the event ended and most of the speed-daters had left, I was chatting with the friend I came with when suddenly she nudged me, hissing, "Look!" as she pointed to the bar. The cute host was totally making out with some woman! We weren't sure if she was one of the speed-daters or not, since we'd been paying more attention to the men. If she was, then wow -- good for her. That's putting the "hurry" in HurryDate!

December 1, 2008

You know you're dating too much when...

I was meeting a friend at the movies yesterday afternoon, and I arrived a few minutes early. As I was standing around the lobby, a guy suddenly came up to me with a big smile on his face and called me by name. "Good to see you!" he said. "How are you?"

I managed to stammer "Fine" as I stared at him. Even bundled up in a winter hat and coat, he did look familiar.

"Good day for the movies, huh?" he said, indicating the pouring rain outside.

"Uh, yeah," I said, trying to smile and appear friendly while frantically going through my mental Rolodex of the guys I've had a date with over the past two years.

"This is my wife," he said, introducing me to a woman who had just approached, holding the hands of two small children.

I looked at him even more closely, and suddenly I realized who he was.

My doctor.

November 24, 2008

eHarmony to provide same-sex matches!

One thing that always bothered me about giving my money to eHarmony for a subscription was that it refused to match gays and lesbians. But that era is now SO OVER, thanks to New Jersey resident Eric McKinley and New Jersey's Civil Rights Division! As the Associated Press article, "eHarmony Agrees to Provide Same-Sex Matches" (http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/business/AP-eHarmony-Gays.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss) explains, when McKinley tried to join eHarmony in 2005, he couldn't get past the first screen because "men seeking men" wasn't listed as an option. He filed a complaint against eHarmony with New Jersey's Division on Civil Rights (part of the state's attorney general's office) -- and eHarmony has finally agreed to settle! As this longer L.A. Times article by David Colker (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-eharmony20-2008nov20,0,1772906.story) states, not only will eHarmony launch a new same-sex matching site called Compatible Partners (http://www.compatiblepartners.net/) by March 31, 2009, they "also must give the first 10,000 same-sex registrants a free six-month subscription. 'That was one of the things I asked for,' said Eric McKinley."

The Associated Press article also says eHarmony has been the target of lawsuits before, including others who alleged discrimination against gays and lesbians. In addition, it says that a California man "sued eHarmony in 2005 for refusing to help him find a date. The company said there was one good reason for that: He was still married. That case was dropped on the eve of trial."

Ha! Can you imagine being married to THAT guy? "Honey, I've decided to sue eHarmony because they won't let me find a mistress." Talk about nerve!

November 20, 2008

Long Island Grad Student met someone else

To recap: I had what seemed like a great date with Long Island Grad Student (who I met on eHarmony, http://www.eharmony.com/) a week and a half ago. I e-mailed him the next day to thank him, he e-mailed me back a day later, I e-mailed him the day after that, and then -- silence.

Until today.

He made small talk in the beginning of the e-mail before writing:

"I've really appreciated getting to know you a bit. You seem like a genuine and kind woman. So I want to be up-front with you about something, because it's definitely affecting my communication lately. I have found myself interested in someone -- actually someone in my 'real' life, not an online someone, but an old friend. Came recently and out of the blue and at their initiation. I don't know where it's going to lead, but it is definitely taking up a lot of my head and heart space, and is definitely affecting my ability to invest in other relationships at this point. I think it would be entirely unfair NOT to share this with you. I certainly don't expect you to 'wait around' for me to see where this is going to lead -- but I just can't give what a budding friendship/relationship deserves. The timing just isn't great for me right now. I'm sorry. I hope you understand. It seems sucky to suggest to put things on hold until I can see where things will lead with this person, but at this point, that's all I have to offer. So, let me know your thoughts. At any rate, as we haven't touched base in some time, I do hope you are doing well. I'm so sorry to spring this on you -- it's quite taken me by surprise, as well. Take care! Write when you can...Long Island Grad Student"

At least he let me know, and was really nice about it, too. Timing is everything, isn't it?

In other news, IT Guy (also known in my mind as "Eye Infection Guy") and I are FINALLY going to meet in person next Monday. He's funny -- in his last e-mail to me he wrote, "Curiousity is killing me...I think I have to meet you soon!" Should be interesting.

November 18, 2008

Two eHarmony guys down, one more to go...

I guess my enjoyable first date with Long Island Grad Student (from eHarmony: http://www.eharmony.com/) was actually my only date with him, since I e-mailed him last Wednesday and never heard back. Oh well.

I finally met New Jersey Journalist (also from eHarmony) for lunch one day last week. This is going to sound completely and utterly shallow, but I found him -- weird-looking. Seriously, the parts of his body seemed disproportionate to each other, as if he'd been put together from the head, torso, and limbs from six different men of six different sizes. It was very strange.

Anyway, he was nice enough, but even if I'd been physically attracted to him, I don't think he would've done it for me. Also, he was the first guy in a long time who didn't take the check as soon as the waiter put it down. Nope, not at all. He was totally fine with me looking it over, pulling out my wallet, and paying for my own lunch. I know he's a journalist, not some rich guy -- but he also knew that I am underemployed and receiving unemployment benefits right now. It would've been really nice if he'd picked up the tab.

Of course, only a few hours later he wrote me an enthusiastic e-mail about what a good time he'd had and how we should do it again sometime. But I just wasn't feeling it. Plus, I'm sorry, but we'd each have to pack our own meals and have a winter picnic or something, because I can't afford to go out to restaurants regularly right now unless he'd be willing to treat me.

Meanwhile, remember IT Guy, also from eHarmony? We were supposed to meet for coffee back on Oct. 23, but he cancelled at the last minute due to an eye infection. We talked on the phone that night, and he promised to text me the following week about re-scheduling. Except he never did, and I never heard from him again -- until this past Saturday, when he e-mailed me out of the blue about getting together on Sunday. I already had plans, but we might meet up this weekend instead. I'll believe it when it happens!

November 15, 2008

Long Island Grad Student: maybe not so into me

On Monday night I e-mailed Long Island Grad Student, who I met on eHarmony (http://www.eHarmony.com). I said I had a nice time meeting him on Sunday. I asked if his drive home Sunday night was okay, if he got home in time to catch the Giants game, and if he had off from school for Veterans' Day. I also wrote that I had essays to grade but that I kept procrastinating about grading them.

On Tuesday night, he wrote back:

"Hey, Dating Guru - same here! Got back for the 2nd half - a rousing Giants victory....
No, we've had soooo many days off - but not Veteran's Day. What's up with that?
Tonight: sew pants!
Hope grading was good times,
Long Island Grad Student"

That was it. Short, with no mention of a possible second date. Confusing. So on Wednesday night, I wrote him back. But now it's Friday night, and I still haven't heard from him.

November 10, 2008

I actually liked Long Island Grad Student (!)

The day after I wrote my irritated post on Nov. 7th wondering why my eHarmony guys (http://www.eharmony.com/) only seemed to want to be penpals, both Long Island Grad Student AND New Jersey Journalist got back to me with concrete plans to meet! The moral: complaining affects the universe??

So, at a coffee shop yesterday I met Long Island Grad Student, who’s 32 and getting his master’s in public health. Very nice, smart, funny, a good listener. He has moved around a bit: Pittsburgh, Vermont, even Buffalo, where my mom grew up and where I still have relatives. On everyone’s eHarmony profile, there’s a part at the end that says, “Is there anything else you’d like your potential dates to know?” or something like that. That’s where I wrote that I’m interested in adopting a child one day. (It’s also where I put “no Republicans, please!”)

As we talked yesterday, LI Grad Student said, “I think I mentioned this to you in an e-mail, but I really liked what you wrote in your profile about wanting to adopt a child someday,” and he asked me why I wanted to. I explained that I’ve just always known, ever since I was a teenager, that I’m supposed to adopt older kids. “It’s almost like a calling,” I added. I was just wondering if the term “calling” had sounded too pretentious when he surprised me by saying, “Me, too. Especially with all the overpopulation in the world, I’ve always thought, why make a kid when there are so many already here who need parents? Ever since elementary school, I’ve thought about it.”

I was shocked. I told him how guys in general don’t seem as open to the idea of adoption as women. I’ve read a lot of personal stories by women who have adopted, and in many cases the husbands were really not too enthused at first and had to be convinced. “Men seem to want to spread their seed,” I said.

LI Grad Student laughed and said, "Well, I have to admit, in the past couple of years I’ve thought it might be nice to have one biological kid. But I do still want to adopt.” He said a good friend and his wife adopted three kids from Colombia at the ages of three, four, and six, and she got unexpectedly pregnant one year later (!). So it was a real instant family, but it's all working out well for them.

We drank hot chocolate and talked for about an hour and a half. Then he had to go because he’d promised he’d get back to LI in time to watch the football game with his dad. As we walked out of the coffee shop, he said he’d had a good time and asked shyly. “Could I call you sometime?” I said yes, and we were saying our goodbyes when he got a strange look on his face and said. “I think I’m going to totally embarrass myself right now, but I have to ask you a question.”

“What?” I couldn’t imagine what he was going to say.

He lowered his voice and said, “If I turn around, can you tell me if my pants have split?” He turned around, and sure enough, his pants had TOTALLY split, right across the butt – I could see his underwear! I tried not to laugh as I explained the situation and asked, “Do you feel a draft?”

“Oh, big time.”

“It’s too bad you didn’t bring a jacket,” I said.

“Or an extra set of pants,” he sighed. ;) But at least he’d driven in, so he could just slide into his car and drive home rather than stand on a subway or a Long Island Rail Road train with no way to disguise it!

November 9, 2008

My dream date with Barack Obama

On Friday night, I dreamed I was on a date with Barack Obama. We were at a restaurant, talking and laughing and having so much fun! At one point he talked about a trip he was taking in the near future. When I told him I hoped he had a good time, he grinned, grabbed a piece of paper and wrote down, "You're coming, too!"
But it was bittersweet, because despite the fact that we were on a date, he was already married -- not to Michelle, but to some woman named Kathy who had been his high school sweetheart. And Kathy was nine months pregnant. (!) He talked about her a little, and I got the feeling that although he loved her, he sort of regretted getting married so soon. But he felt they'd had to because she was pregnant. (Yeah, our ages were all screwed up in this dream, but it made sense at the time....)
Then I woke up. Even though it was sad that we couldn't be together, our date was still amazing. There was such chemistry between us!

November 7, 2008

Why do men just want to be pen-pals?

I'm sorry I've taken over a week to write a new post, but argh! Men! After he cancelled on me with one hour's notice due to an alleged eye infection, I had a nice talk with IT Guy (from eHarmony: http://www.eharmony.com) on the phone -- but then he never contacted me again to re-schedule. And what kind of an excuse is an eye infection, anyway? I mean, don't you know you have one when you wake up in the morning? So why wait until only an hour before our date to cancel? Maybe he actually has one of those social anxiety disorders where he's afraid to date in person.

Then there's New Jersey Journalist (also from eHarmony). We'd been e-mailing for weeks, I finally suggested getting together, he said he'd have this whole week off from work so maybe we could get together then. I e-mailed him in agreement and suggested we meet for lunch in the city one day. Instead of e-mailing me back a day later, like he always had before, he waited four days -- and the part about actually scheduling a date was the only part of my e-mail he didn't respond to! Do these men really want to meet, or do they just want an e-mail pen pal?

There's a GREAT speed-dating event happening next week through New York Easy Dates (http://www.nyeasydates.com) that I would totally attend if I weren't already taking a class that night. It's called "Speed-Daters Celebrating Obama!" :) It's taking place in Manhattan next Wed. 11/12 at 7:30 PM for men and women in their 20s and 30s who voted for President-Elect Obama. Ah, President-Elect Obama. I just love typing those words. :) :) You can find the details at: https://www.nyeasydates.com/new_york/events/815/event_details.html
It costs $30. If you go, let me know how it is!

October 30, 2008

No dates this week...

...unless you count my hanging out with the Nicest Guy in the World as a date. I had a lot of fun -- I do like him! It's just that whenever I think about not being able to date other people, I get nervous. Maybe I'm the one with a fear of commitment. :P

I thought I'd have a date with IT Guy (from eHarmony http://www.eharmony.com/) by now. We were supposed to meet last Thursday, but he cancelled at the last minute because of an eye infection. We had a nice chat on the phone that night, and as we said good-bye, he said we should re-schedule for this week. "I'll text you," he said. ??? Maybe I'm showing my age here, but -- text me? What are you, 12? We got through our first actual phone call just fine -- why not continue the practice? Anyway, I haven't heard a peep from him (in any form) since. Strange.

But, I've been enjoying e-mailing with New Jersey Journalist (also from eHarmony). I finally had to suggest actually getting together in person, which normally I wouldn't do, but after a few weeks of great e-mails I was too impatient to wait. So we're going to meet in the city next week. Since he's a journalist, he's taking a week off starting on Election Day just to relax. Can't say I blame him!

Interesting article by Tara Parker-Pope in Monday's New York Times called "Love, Sex and the Changing Landscape of Infidelity" (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/28/health/28well.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=infidelity&st=cse&oref=slogin). Parker-Pope quotes from studies showing that "in any given year, about 10 percent of married people — 12 percent of men and 7 percent of women — say they have had sex outside their marriage." But younger married women are now closing the gender gap — they are almost as likely to cheat as their husbands are. Also, "the lifetime rate of infidelity for men over 60 increased to 28 percent in 2006, up from 20 percent in 1991. For women over 60, the increase is more striking: to 15 percent, up from 5 percent in 1991."

On a happier note, thank you to all who have been clicking on my ads: I just passed the $50 earning mark! Once I hit $100, I'll get my first check. Thanks again!

October 24, 2008


I've received two strange e-mails from two of the eHarmony guys I'm in open communication with. Nothing scary or anything, just...odd. One of them had asked me why I became Catholic this year. I told him about why the religion appealed to me, and this is what he wrote back:

>You admire the Catholic emphasis on social justice? What does that entail? The wearing of the scarlet letter? I don't think the people in the book were Catholic. I can't remember. Protestant?

Um...huh?? Why does he seem to think Catholics want poor people to wear a scarlet letter? Or does he think Catholics wear one? The characters in "Scarlet Letter" were Puritans, and Hester Prynne wore the scarlet letter because she was convicted of adultery, so I don't see the connection at all. Such a weird response.

Meanwhile, in only his second e-mail to me ever, another eHarmony guy wrote that he would like to give me a better sense of what he's looking for. He then proceeded to go on and on about how he thinks there's a woman out there "with whom I can have a very special and long-lasting emotional and physical intimacy." He said he likes to be physically demonstrative in public ("within reason of course"). He wrote, "I love to see a woman's eyes sparkle and know that she is the way she is because no other man can make her feel special the way I do. Through good two-way communication, I seek over time to touch a deep place in her mind and heart, a place close to the very essence who she is as a complete woman. At the same time, we would mutually respect each other and work as a team to be the best people that we can be, both as individuals and as a couple. As idealistic that sounds, I believe those are the ingredients to maintain a long-lasting connection and relationship."

Which sounds great and all, but it's only his second e-mail to me -- talk about pressure! If he goes into every first date expecting that kind of connection, no wonder he's still single. Then he asked me to tell him about an issue I feel passionately about; if I could make men understand one thing, what would it be?; and "what compliment have you gotten in your life that has made you feel as though you were the most beautiful and sensual woman ever - i.e. without it being some lame cheesy pickup line?"

He did this to me in his first e-mail, too, asking me to describe a dream trip I'd like to take with "that special man in your life -- what would it be like?" and "What do you suppose is the difference between the kind of man you’re attracted to on the outside and the kind of guy who would truly fulfill you on the inside?" I keep thinking, can't we just get to know each other through natural conversation instead of all these deep philosophical questions? One or two are fine, but it's only his second e-mail to me and he's already making my head hurt.

Last night I was supposed to have my first date with the IT guy I've been communicating with, but he had to cancel due to an eye infection (ew). We talked on the phone tonight, though, and he actually sounds normal. We started talking about the presidential election, and he said, "I think it's going to be really close." I said, "I know, I'm so nervous!" Then I suddenly got even MORE nervous because I thought, oh, crap, who is he voting for?? If he says McCain, my heart will sink! (Despite living in one of the most liberal cities in the country, the Republicans -- all 12 of them -- always seem to find me.) Fortunately, he started talking about a friend of his who is canvassing for Obama in Florida next week. What a relief! Hopefully he'll be feeling better next week and we can meet in person.

October 21, 2008

It rains, it pours....

All these guys are coming out of the woodwork on eHarmony (http://www.eHarmony.com) and actually, like, responding to me in a timely manner! Which is great, because my three-months-for-the-price-of-one subscription expires this Thursday, and I'm going to let it lapse. As I mentioned in my Oct. 15th post, I'm in open communication with a 43-year-old journalist, a 36-year-old lawyer, and a 32-year-old full-time grad student working toward a master's in public health. I'm now also in open communication with a 41-year-old IT person, and a 33-year-old dental resident. No meetings in person yet, though. I'll keep you posted.

October 19, 2008

The Winner's Guide to Dating (What I Learned about Love and Sex from Playing Texas Hold 'em)

Last weekend, a couple of friends came into NYC to visit. The weather was beautiful, so we were strolling down Prince Street when we came upon a really nice guy named Randall Klitz, who was selling a neat little book he wrote (and his girlfriend, Muriel Alvarez, illustrated) called "The Winner's Guide to Dating (What I Learned about Love and Sex from Playing Texas Hold 'em)." It contains such good advice as "be wary of the on-line 'bluff,'" "never go 'all-in' on the first round," and "observe new players before engaging them." I chatted with him about dating in New York, and my friends generously bought a copy of his book for me. When he found out I have a dating blog, he actually whipped out a tiny video camera and began videotaping an interview with me on the spot! I just checked his blog, http://peopleimeetonprincestreet.wordpress.com/, and it hasn't appeared yet, but it may some day. And if it doesn't, that's actually better -- a Dating Guru should, ideally, remain anonymous.

October 15, 2008

eHarmony: An Update

Exciting news: Liz Rizzo, a blogger out of L.A., linked to my "Kicked off e-Harmony" post on her Everyday Goddess blog at http://everydaygoddess.typepad.com/everyday_goddess/2008/10/lets-talk-about-eharmony-shall-we.html She thinks that guy was kicked off eHarmony because he was married, by the way. Anyway, in her interesting and funny post, "Let's Talk About eHarmony, Shall We?", she discusses her positive experiences with eHarmony in the past, as compared to the lack of activity she's experiencing now. But eHarmony always starts slow. At least for me it does. I've been on the site again for nearly three months, and I didn't meet any guys in person until last week! You have to jump through so many hoops to get to open communication that it takes a while. But sometimes that can be a good thing -- after all, it saved me from meeting the guy who got kicked off! :O

My three-month subscription expires next week, and I'm going to let it lapse because I am currently in open communication with three guys who seem promising. One is a journalist, one is a lawyer, and one is a full-time grad student working toward a master's in public health. I've been e-mailing back and forth with the journalist and the grad student for a week or so now, and just sent my first e-mail to the lawyer. Hopefully I'll meet at least one of them in person sometime soon.

But remember when I went to the movies with Sweet but Shy last week? As the movie ended and the lights came on, I thought, "I wish I were here with the Nicest Guy in the World instead." And I found myself a little surprised at my own thought...but pleasantly so.

October 14, 2008

What are you, my diet coach?

Sweet but Shy (formerly known as Mr. No Touchy-Feely) took me out for my birthday on Friday night -- a month late, but still. He did pick a nice restaurant. I even changed out of my jeans for the occasion.

After we ordered, I asked, "Are you hungry?"

"Now I am," he said, "but I really wasn't all day. I didn't eat lunch."

I was surprised. "So you haven't eaten anything since breakfast?"

"No, since last night."

!!! "If I hadn't had anything since last night, I would be eating my own arm right now," I said.

"Well, I had an iced coffee this morning," he said. "But that happens to me a lot. Sometimes I just don't get hungry all day."

I was having trouble making sense of this. "I have to eat every three hours," I informed him.

He asked me what I'd eaten that day.

"Well, let's see." I thought for a minute. "A bowl of Cheerios and a bowl of Lucky Charms. Later on, a raspberry yogurt. Then an apple, and a banana. And eight or nine of those little Dove chocolates."

His eyes widened in such shock, you would've thought I'd admitted to polishing off four ice cream sundaes. "Eight or nine chocolates!?" he said.

"Yeah, but they're small."

"But that's so much sugar!" he protested.

"Well, it's probably the equivalent of one candy bar."

"But how many calories is that?" he persisted.

Now I was all self-conscious. "Um, well, five of them are 220 calories -- that's one serving -- so eight would be around 350 calories."

"It's just so much sugar!" he said again.

"But I don't drink any soda, diet or regular,"I said. "I don't drink any coffee. I barely drink alcohol. It's my only vice!" I was starting to get annoyed now. I mean, according to the Body Mass Index I'm within a normal weight for my height, I go to the gym regularly, the last time I had blood work done my sugar was fine, my good cholesterol was high and my bad cholesterol was low. I think I can safely eat the equivalent of one chocolate bar without the world coming to an end.

So because I was getting irritated, I really wasn't in the mood to ask him about the status of our relationship. I think I have to come to the conclusion that it's not going anywhere. Especially since this time, all I got was a hug. Not even a kiss on the cheek!

But it was funny, when we went to the movies he bought a popcorn and a soda. We settled into our seats, he took a big drink of the soda, got a weird look on his face and said, "Uh-oh -- they gave me regular instead of diet. That's what I get for giving you such a hard time about the chocolate earlier!"

What can I say? Karma's rough sometimes. ;)

October 9, 2008

Kicked off eHarmony (!)

Apparently it's possible to do something so terrible that eHarmony (http://www.eHarmony.com) doesn't even want to take your money anymore -- check out this e-mail I received on Wednesday:

* * *
From: eHarmony Customer Care
Subject: IMPORTANT – Match Termination Notification: (20693209)
Date: Wednesday, October 8, 2008, 1:15 PM

Dear eHarmony Friend,
Making your eHarmony experience safe and successful is important to us. As a
past or present user, we want to inform you that eHarmony has taken action to
remove one of your matches, Craig from Manhattan, from the eHarmony.com
service. This decision was made in accordance with our terms and conditions.
Consistent with our privacy policy, we do not disclose the specific reasons for
this person’s removal. eHarmony.com disclaims any responsibility or liability
with respect to any continued involvement between you and any person whose
account is closed by eHarmony.com. Please visit the links below for further
information on our privacy policy, and to obtain safety tips on corresponding
with matches.
To address any questions you may have, please visit our Frequently Asked
Questions section concerning the removal of users from our service. You can find
this information at the following link:
Customer Relations
* * *

Crazy, huh? He had actually seemed like one of the more promising guys on the site -- good job, had traveled extensively, etc. I'd almost made it to the Open Communication stage with him, where you can finally write messages to each other freely instead of just sending each other pre-formed questions through the site. I wonder what he did to get kicked off!? I clicked on the last link above, which said: "eHarmony may determine that an account should be closed based on routine monitoring and review of account activity and/or information received regarding a member's account or activity. If an account is closed by eHarmony for Terms and Conditions violations, eHarmony will make every effort to notify any past or present customers matched to the users whose account has been closed. If you have received a notification regarding a match's account being closed, we strongly recommend that you discontinue any further communication with this match."

There was also another link to click on, which said:

* * *

What are the most common reasons for closing a match's account?


The most common reason for account closure is a violation of eHarmony's Terms and Conditions such as the misrepresentation of personal information (name, identity, address, age or marital status)
* * *

But if a man was married but dating women from eHarmony and pretending to be single, how would they know? Did enough women he dated figure it out and tell e-Harmony? Or did he just write a vulgar e-mail to someone and she complained? Whatever it was, I'm relieved they shut down his account before I wasted time e-mailing him or, even worse, meeting him.

October 6, 2008

Men, men, men....

Guy update: 1) Last week I had a date with another guy I met at the New York Easy Dates speed-dating marathon a couple of weeks ago (http://www.nyeasydates.com/). I won't even bother naming him because I doubt I'll see him again. He has a car service business, so since he's often in Manhattan during the day, he met me for lunch one afternoon last week. We had a great time talking politics for half an hour or so. Then suddenly he said, "I have a customer to pick up at 1:30. I'd better go," and he got all abrupt and left. At least he paid the bill first (though he did allow me to pay the tip). However...

2) Learned Optimism, the other guy from speed-dating who I had a date with a week ago, didn't think I was too old, I guess, even though I'm 36 and he's 28, because he e-mailed me asking me out again. I'm still not sure what to do. It may be worth it to have a second date with him, since he seemed kind of nervous on the first one. But...

3) I still like the Nicest Guy in the World a lot, so that's distracting me. I don't think it would be fair to him to date him while still dating other people, though, and that makes me feel nervous. So I have to hold off, at least for now. Especially since...

4) Mr. No Touchy-Feely is still in the picture. Yes. He resurfaced over the summer after not contacting me for three weeks, and we've e-mailed and talked on the phone. But I still haven't actually seen him in person since July. He called me this past Saturday, we had a good talk for over an hour, AND we made concrete plans for dinner and a movie this coming weekend. That's when I'm going to gather my courage and ask him what our relationship to each other is, exactly. I hereby rename him Sweet but Shy, because I think that's more accurate than Mr. No Touchy-Feely (even though he still hasn't done anything more than hug or kiss me on the cheek). I'll keep you posted!

September 29, 2008

Post-speeddating-marathon date

Yesterday I met up with Learned Optimism, who I met at the New York Easy Dates (http://www.nyeasydates.com) speed-dating marathon a week ago. We went to a coffee shop, and he bought me a hot chocolate. He had an interesting way of speaking – business-like, almost like we were on a job interview, but from time to time he would momentarily relax and flash this great smile. His parents moved back to Bangladesh last year, and he lives with a roommate in the city. He’s a software engineer and is starting an MBA program part-time in the spring. When I was telling him about work, he said, “So it’s your third job?” I nearly spit out my drink. I was on my third job by the time I was 23! “Oh, no, I’ve had tons of jobs,” I said.

“Really?" He looked confused. “When did you graduate from college?”

That’s what I realized he must have thought I was younger than I am. So I told him I’m 36. He’s only 28! After an hour I said I had to go, and we parted ways. An hour later he sent me an e-mail saying, “It was nice talking to you today. I hope you had fun too.” So I don’t know. Maybe he was just being polite. I’m meeting with another speed-dating guy for lunch later this week. I still haven’t heard back from favorite guy of the night at all, even though I e-mailed him four days ago.

But to tell you the truth, I still have a crush on the Nicest Guy in the World (see my June 11th and June 4th posts – I think those are the last times I blogged about him in detail). I’m nervous, but I keep thinking about him!

September 25, 2008

Speed-dating update; did the economic stimulus plan overstimulate some?

So far I’ve heard from three of the five guys I matched with at Sunday’s New York Easy Dates speed-dating marathon (http://www.nyeasydates.com). I’ll call the guy who contacted me almost immediately “Learned Optimism,” as that was the most recent book that he read -- he told me about it during our three-minute date. Learned Optimism and I are meeting this weekend for coffee. I guess he needs longer than three minutes to decide if I’m worth a dinner date or not. ;)

The two other guys e-mailed me asking when we could meet up again. I wrote back suggesting a general date/time frame, but haven’t back from either of them yet. The guy I’d met before and matched with at another speed-dating event hasn’t contacted me. At the last event, I e-mailed him first and never heard from him. Whatever. And I still haven’t heard from my favorite guy of the evening, so I finally e-mailed him this morning. My hopes aren’t high, though. I hate to sound like a “Rules” girl (remember that book? http://www.amazon.com/Rules-TM-Time-Tested-Secrets-Capturing/dp/0446518131/ref=pd_bbs_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222352525&sr=1-3). But in my speed-dating experience, if the guy doesn’t contact you within two or three days you’ll probably never hear from him, even if you try contacting him.

While perusing on-line articles about our current economic fiasco, I came across a column by Bill Tancer, which ran in the New York Times last month, called “Did the Economic Stimulus Plan Overstimulate Some?” (http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/04/did-the-economic-stimulus-plan-overstimulate-some-a-guest-post/) Many “adult entertainment websites,” as they are euphemistically known, experienced a rise in membership rates this spring, around the time the economic stimulus checks starting being sent out. Tancer reveals that viewings of adult web sites increased from 28.3 % in May 2007 to 31.3% in May 2008 for households earning between $30,000 and $60,000 per year. But he also concedes that it could just be that “when economic times get tough certain online activities become more popular.” Either way, it’s a very stimulating topic! (Sorry, I had to.)

September 23, 2008

Speed-Dating Marathon: not for the faint of heart!

On Sunday, through New York Easy Dates (http://www.nyeasydates.com), I attended my first ever speed-dating "marathon," where you have at least 30 dates in one evening. The most speed-dates I’ve ever had in one night was around 15 or 16, and even that was tiring, so I wasn’t sure how the marathon would go. But in many ways I think I preferred it to the regular events. I got to meet 35 guys, more than twice as many as I would’ve met otherwise, and there were others I couldn't even meet because we ran out of time. The bar was too air-conditioned, and I shared my booth with another woman and her dates, which was a little strange. But fortunately (because I was really hungry) there was an “intermission” in the middle of the evening with finger sandwiches, fruit and other snacks. Each date was really short in order to fit in as many dates as possible – they must have only been three minutes each. You would think that wouldn’t be enough time, but it worked out well because the awkward dates didn’t last too long. ;) It WAS a bit exhausting, and I had to take quick but accurate notes after each date or I never would've remembered anyone, so I can see why some people prefer the regular events. But afterwards I felt really good, like I’d genuinely accomplished something. I guess that’s part of what motivates people to run real marathons.

I ended up choosing 10 of the 35 guys I met, even though one looked awfully young, and I’d actually met two others at other speed-dating events – both of whom I had picked, they also picked me, I e-mailed them, but then I never heard from them. One of them used a different first name this time, oddly enough (running from someone?). He chose me again this time, too, but my other “repeat” didn’t. Four other guys did, though, including my favorite guy of the night. :) I hope he e-mails me soon. One guy contacted me almost as soon as he got my e-mail address and asked when we could meet for coffee. It’s refreshing when they cut to the chase like that (and rare). So we’re meeting up this weekend. And another has already e-mailed me, too. We’ll see what happens.

September 19, 2008

New on-line dating web sites

While perusing the October issue of SELF Magazine (http://www.Self.com), I came across a little blurb written by Melissa Daly about three new dating web sites: OmniDate, Engage, and CrazyBlindDate. With OmniDate (http://www.OmniDate.com), you create an avatar and instant-message with an avatar of the opposite gender, with the hope that you’ll like each other enough to meet in person eventually. On a scale of one to four hearts, Daly gave this site just one heart, noting that “everyone has the same handful of avatars to choose from, and you can’t do much more with them than you can with basic emoticons…I never did actually meet the real-life guy; after the first joke, he didn’t seem to have much to say.”

Daly gave two hearts to Engage (http://www.Engage.com), where your friends and family help you search for a date. It’s like your own private “Bachelorette” TV show, with the people you love doing the choosing! But they have to create profiles, too, and as Daly wrote, “because so few of my friends joined up, I received only one suggestion. He was sweet but too young.”

She gave the most hearts – three – to CrazyBlindDate (http://www.CrazyBlindDate.com), which I already like based on the name alone. Say you unexpectedly have nothing to do one evening. You log onto CrazyBlindDate’s easy to use web site and get set up on a date within an hour. But the catch, as Daly wrote, is that “the setup takes place without any photos, so it’s truly blind. Although my date was a dud, it got me out of the house on a dull Friday night.”

In other news, here’s an eHarmony funny for you – check out this part of one guy’s profile:

The one thing he wishes MORE people would notice about him is:

Inner strength but then they would have to be a cannibal, and I’m not sure I would want to meet them.

Hey, guy, I know you were trying to be funny and all, but it’s probably best not to mention cannibals in your on-line dating profile. Or anytime, really.

September 17, 2008

Cheap date ideas

Since the stock market has been plunging lower and lower all week, I thought it might be helpful to share some ideas for a cheap date. AskMen.com has a list of Top 10 Cheap Date Ideas (http://www.askmen.com/top_10/dating_100/123_dating_list.html) – I like the art gallery and the coffee-shop-that’s-part-of-a-bookstore ideas. Even if you don’t end up liking each other, at least there are interesting things to look at or read.

I also found a list of 20 cheap date ideas on About.com (http://dating.about.com/od/dateideas/a/frugaldateideas.htm), some of which are unintentionally hilarious. I particularly enjoyed “volunteer yourselves as models for a hairdressing school” (better hope they’re good students!) and “learn how to do a strip-tease and perform it for your partner” (um, wait until after the first date for that one).

But I think the award for the strangest idea goes to Rod Froseth (http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Froseth1.html), who suggests “a romantic date idea for when you don't know one another well: go to a cemetery where your relatives are buried, plant flowers and share with your sweetheart some stories about your family history.” I’m sure Mr. Froseth has good intentions, but if a guy I didn’t know well asked me on a date to a CEMETERY, I would be a little creeped out!

September 15, 2008

Eharmony success story

A friend of mine is getting married -- to a guy she met on eHarmony (http://www.eHarmony.com)! He was only the second guy she met from the site, but he was the one. After dating for seven months, they just got engaged. Yay! It's always reassuring to be reminded that these on-line dating sites do actually work sometimes. :) Congratulations, friend!

September 10, 2008

The "Get Him" System for dating

Did any of you read “Seventeen” Magazine as a teenager? Me, too! For some reason I was reminiscing about “Seventeen” the other day, recalling those ads I used to see in the back of the magazine – particularly one for the “Get Him” system. Remember? It was supposed to tell you how to make ANY boy you liked fall in love with you, no matter what you looked like or how much of a geek you were. I secretly thought about sending away for “Get Him" (believe me, I needed all the help I could get), but it wasn’t like I had a checking account or a credit card at age 15, so I never did. But every time I saw the ad, I would wonder what the big secret was I was missing out on.

Well, it turns out there wasn’t one. According to someone named Christina, who blogs at http://blahblahblahler.blogspot.com and actually ordered it with a friend as teenagers, the “Get Him” system was actually “a thin chapbook, that even at 13 years old I recognized as cheap and unprofessional. Each page of the book had tips: be yourself! look in his eyes! laugh at his jokes! touch his arm!”

So now I’m glad I didn’t spend $15 on it (I could’ve seen 5 movies with that money in those days!). The con artist who “wrote” it probably retired a millionaire. But Christina’s blog about “Get Him” is pretty hilarious – check it out at http://blahblahblahler.blogspot.com/2008/05/get-him-system-how-to-get-boy-you-want.html

September 8, 2008

Bad news on teen marriage

Inspired by Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter Bristol's pregnancy and engagement, last Wednesday the The New York Times ran an article, "Now, the Bad News on Teenage Marriage," by Sarah Kershaw (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/04/fashion/04marriage.html?_r=1&oref=slogin). She notes that "the most comprehensive study on marriage and age that sociologists cite was published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2001, from 1995 data, and it found that 48 percent of those who marry before 18 are likely to divorce within 10 years, compared with 24 percent of those who marry after age 25."

Which means 52% of those who marry before 18 ARE still married 10 years later. Surprising. That's actually higher than I would've predicted.

Kershaw also points out that "teenagers two or three generations ago expected to take on more responsibility at a younger age...18-year-olds in working-class and immigrant families in particular already shoulder a lot of adult responsibilities, including fighting the war in Iraq, supporting their families and raising children." That is a good point. It wasn't so long ago, in the grand scheme of things, that people in our society were considered adults by the time they got to be teenagers. As Kershaw writes, although today the median age for marriage in the U.S. is 25.5 years old for women and 27.5 years old for men, in the 1950s the median age for women to get married was 19. (Guess that's why my mom joked about being "old" for getting married in 1966 at the age of 25.)

Of course, people died younger back then, so they didn't have to stay married quite as long. ;O

September 4, 2008

The personal ad I answered 10 years ago has found me

I registered on MySpace a couple months ago but really haven’t done much with it, and I only have about a dozen friends through it. So, I was intrigued when I received an e-mail the other day with the subject “TexasMan wants to be friends on MySpace!” His message said, “I am glad to see you are doing well. I barely got to know you approximately 10 years ago. Of course, that is past. How are you?” I clicked on his profile, but neither his name nor his photo rang a bell at all, so I wrote him back and asked if I knew him from Texas, since that’s where I was living ten years ago, and how the heck did we know each other, anyway?

TexasMan wrote back and gently reminded me we’d met through the personal ads. Yes, the personals! I had completely forgotten (or psychologically blocked out) that I’d ever answered a personal ad, but as soon as I read his e-mail, it all came flooding back. I’d seen his ad for a week or two in one of the Austin papers. I don’t remember what it said, but there was something about it that I liked, so I finally responded. We ended up meeting for dinner one evening, and a couple weeks later he took me to dinner and a movie. I can’t remember a thing we talked about, but I do distinctly remember sitting in the movie and thinking, “I hope he doesn’t touch me, I hope he doesn’t touch me, I hope he doesn’t touch me.” Isn’t that terrible? It wasn’t that he was creepy or annoying or anything, but for some reason I just really, really, really didn’t want him to hold my hand or kiss me or anything. In my defense, only a day or two before we went on our second (and last) date, I had just found out my mom’s cancer was terminal, so I’m sure I wasn’t in my right mind. I ended up blurting it out to him after the movie, and he was very understanding and hugged me. We exchanged a few e-mails after that, but within a month or two I’d moved back to New Jersey and we lost touch.

I’m truly shocked he even remembered my name, because I didn’t remember his at all! So we’ve been catching up through MySpace. He’s now 46, still single and living in his hometown in Oklahoma. He wrote me this long explanation about how he had a business venture go sour on him, leaving him with no business to speak of and thousands of dollars in credit card debt. He moved back to his hometown so he could live rent-free in a family-owned home and work his way out of debt. I guess it’s working because he now only has a couple thousand dollars left to pay off. But he owns some land in Texas that he’s sure will be worth a couple millions dollars (!) in a few years, so when the time is right, he’s going to sell, move to Hawaii while he’s still young enough to enjoy it, as he put it, “and never come back.”

So, he’s either completely crazy or a soon-to-be millionaire. Guess I should keep in touch with him in case it's the latter. ;) Such a strange blast from the past!

In other exciting news, there were 104 viewings of my blog on September 1st – first time I’ve ever had readership in the triple digits! I had over 100 on September 2nd, too, and people have even been clicking on the ads. Thank you all so much for following my crazy dating adventures!

September 2, 2008

Should you get married because you're pregnant?

First John McCain surprises the world by selecting little-known Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, a very conservative Christian (and apparently Tina Fey’s long-lost identical twin), as his Vice Presidential candidate. Now it turns out she certainly puts the “family” in “family values” – her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol Palin, and her 18-year-old boyfriend, Levi Johnston, both high school seniors, are expecting a baby in late December. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the abstinence-only sex education that Gov. Palin so strongly supports.

But it’s all OK, you see, because Bristol and Levi are going to get married (!!!). Was that really their decision, or was it “strongly suggested” by their parents because they’d have to turn in their conservative Christian membership card otherwise? Before Levi’s MySpace page was taken down, it said that he didn’t want to have kids. I’ve actually heard that teenagers from very religious homes that stress “no sex ‘till you’re married” are actually more likely to have unprotected sex, because they tend not to have any protection handy when passion suddenly overtakes them (and often don’t even know what their contraceptive options are).

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised, considering this shocking tidbit from the Huffington Post:

“In November 2006, then gubernatorial candidate Sarah Palin declared that she would not support an abortion for her own daughter even if she had been raped. Granting exceptions only if the mother's life was in danger, Palin said that when it came to her daughter, ‘I would choose life.’” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/01/palin-on-abortion-id-oppo_n_122924.html)

By the way, Sarah Palin and her husband eloped on August 29, 1988, and their oldest son was born a mere eight months later. Their marriage has worked out so far, but Gov. Palin was 22, not a teenager.

It will be interesting to see what happens. I don’t think having a baby at 17 necessarily means your life is over or anything -- especially if you’re fortunate enough to have financial and family support, as Bristol Palin will -- but it sure makes your life much harder and more complicated than it should be at 17.

August 28, 2008

Best Title EVER

My favorite entertainment reporters from Metro NY newspaper (http://ny.metro.us/), Daniel Holloway and Dorothy Robinson, are coming out with a book on Sept. 2nd – and of all the dating advice books on the market, this one’s got to take the prize for funniest and most accurate title. Dating Makes You Want to Die (But You Have to Do It Anyway) promises to show readers how to make a first impression that is more "good" than "totally crazy,” give you foolproof breakup lines for total damage control, and show you how not to panic the moment you realize you're actually in a relationship. Here’s the Amazon link:

August 27, 2008

SHI, not shy

What does the acronym SHI mean? Why, it stands for Single, Happy, & Interested, of course – and now, whether you’re straight or gay, this symbol can help you meet potential dates. A friend sent me this article about these “relationship status” pins (http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/how-to-spot-a-gay-single-and-hot-date-using-a-shi-symbol), which you can wear on your clothing in hopes that another single will spot it. And maybe ask you out. They used to be available only in Australia (those Aussies are so cutting-edge), but you can now buy them in the U.S.: check out http://www.shisymbol.com/
They have pins, pendants, shirts, bracelets, earrings, even cuff links. The jewelry costs more than your average costume jewelry at Claire’s, and the cheapest shirt I saw was $35, not including shipping. For just a little bit more than that, you could get a month on Match.com!

I’d feel a little weird “advertising” my relationship status in a symbol on my chest, but I doubt most people know what it means anyway – so wearing it probably won’t help much. But if nothing else, it’s a conversation starter, which could help you meet someone in your regular day-to-day life, NOT online. Wow -- what a concept!

August 25, 2008

Speed-dating this THURS. 8/28: only $20!

I received this e-mail a couple days ago. If any of you in the NYC area who are between the ages of 26 and 39 have been wanting to try speed-dating, this should be a great introduction to it. New York Easy Dates (http://www.nyeasydates.com) is one of my favorite speed-dating companies, and $20 is a good price, too. If you attend, let me know how it goes!

>Do you know anyone who has wanted to try speed-dating, but has felt a little apprehensive about it? Someone you'd like to encourage to try it? Maybe someone who hasn't been involved in the NYC dating scene for a while, and needs to plunge back in?
If so, please do forward them this e-mail. Next Thursday (August 28th), we're going to hold an event for people who are trying speed-dating for the first time.
Our friendliest hosts will be running the event, and we'll take a bit of extra time explaining the concept and how everything works. There will be complimentary appetizers and drinks specials, and the event will be just $20.
Here's the link for more details, or to register: https://www.nyeasydates.com/new_york/events/783/event_details.html
Event details: Madame X Lounge, 94 West Houston St, New York, NY
Thursday, August 28th at 7.30 pm
Women and Men, ages 26-39
The NYED Team

August 21, 2008

Flesch-Kincaid reading level

Did you know that Microsoft Word has a feature where you can figure out the reading level of your document? In Word, just go to Tools, click on Options, and under Grammar, click on Show Readability Statistics, then hit OK. Then run a spell-check like you usually do, and once it finds/corrects all the errors, it will tell you the reading ease and grade level using the Flesch-Kincaid grade level formula. I just figured this out today and have been entertaining myself by pasting various documents into Word to test their readability levels. Interestingly, all of the newspaper articles I tried, from the NY Daily News to amNY to the New York Times, came in at the 12th grade to 13th grade (i.e., college) level. Then I pasted in the rough draft of a nonfiction children’s book I’ve been working on, and it came in at the 7th grade level (note to self: simplify!). Finally, I tested all of my August blog postings. Can you guess what the reading level is for this blog?

I’ll give you a minute to think about it.

Here it is: the average reading level for my August blog postings is -- grade 9.4. Surprised? It was certainly a higher level than I expected. But it’s nice to know that even if a potential reader dropped out of high school a few months into freshman year, he or she should still be able to read my blog.

I’m tempted to start testing the reading levels of the e-mails that my potential on-line dates write to me…is that wrong?

August 20, 2008

More John Edwards thoughts

I’m having second thoughts about John Edwards -- I think Rielle Hunter’s baby is his kid after all. According to Hunter's friends, she mentioned having a married boyfriend from North Carolina named John, but she never talked about Andrew Young, the (married) campaign aide who supposedly fathered her child (born in February). According to the New York Times, “Hunter was pregnant when she moved to California from North Carolina late last year with Andrew Young” (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/15/us/politics/15edwards.html?scp=3&sq=John%20Edwards&st=cse). But if Edwards and Hunter really did end their affair in 2006, why would Edwards agree to meet her, AND the baby, in a California hotel room really late at night? It was like 2 AM when those National Enquirer reporters caught him leaving the hotel! Why wouldn't Andrew Young be with her then, if she's really dating him and he's really the baby's father (they supposedly moved across the country together, after all)? I know Edwards said he would be happy to take a paternity test, but it’s easy for him to say that when Hunter seems determined not to have her daughter tested. And why would Hunter not list a father on the birth certificate, or allow her daughter to be tested, if she definitely is Young’s kid? Very suspicious.

Also, I can’t help but comment on the name of one of Hunter’s friends who has been quoted in the press: Pigeon O’Brien. Who names their kid PIGEON!?

August 18, 2008

Wrong numbers that are really right

Last year I read about this guy who woke up one day with a random phone number in his head – the phone number of a stranger who would eventually become his wife (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-447429/I-dreamt-phone-number-bride-be.html). According to the article, "I Dreamt Up A Phone Number and Found My Bride-To-Be" by Beth Hale, one day Michelle Kitson’s phone number just popped into David Brown’s mind as he woke up and kept running through his head all day long, until David finally texted her. They started talking, then they met in person, and the next thing you know, they were getting married. Judging from the comments that readers posted to the story, similar strange phone number incidents are not as rare as you would think. One person commented that one day, a friend mis-dialed his girlfriend’s number, ended up talking to the wrong number for a while, and decided to meet her for coffee. He ended up breaking up with his original girlfriend, and he and the ‘wrong number’ are still together 30 years later!

It reminds me of a story my mom once told me about a wrong number who called her when she was living in New York City as a newlywed. Even after the guy realized he had the wrong number, he chatted with my mom for a couple minutes, and finally he said, “If you don’t mind my saying so, you have such a great voice. I know this sounds strange, but I’d love to meet you in person.” But my mom politely explained that she had just gotten married, and that was that. I wonder where that man is today? According to my mom, he had a pretty nice voice himself – though not as nice as my dad’s, of course. :)

August 13, 2008

Cheatin' Hearts

Last Friday, Johns Edwards became the latest in a long line of politicians to admit to having an extramarital affair. Disappointing. I really admired his focus on poverty and his theme of “Two Americas.” But I guess Rielle Hunter admired even more than that (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/09/us/politics/09edwards.html?scp=10&sq=John%20Edwards&st=cse). There’s even some question as to whether Edwards fathered Hunter’s baby, who was born in February of this year and who does not have a father listed on the birth certificate. But since another man has claimed to be the father, and Edwards seems eager to take a paternity test, the odds seem low. (Thank goodness for small favors.)

Edwards blamed his own egotism and narcissism for his affair – apparently he got to a point where he thought he was so amazing that he could get away with anything. What else causes people to cheat on their spouses? Dr. Laura Berman has an interesting article on Yahoo Health (http://health.yahoo.com/experts/sexualhealing/18851/why-do-people-cheat/) in which she discusses various reasons, including feeling the need for greater appreciation, revenge for their partner’s (real or imagined) affair, and low self-esteem (“I don’t deserve such a great relationship, so I’ll cheat and it will end before my partner falls out of love with me and ends it”).

Somebody named Ruth Houston, an ‘infidelity expert’ (how do you get that gig?), writes that 70% of men say they had an affair primarily for sexual reasons, whereas only 20% of women say the same (http://hometown.aol.com/cheatingsigns/page87.html.). She claims that the most common reasons men give for cheating are “wanting more sex (the desire for a more active sex life); sexual variety (a desire for different kinds of sex); opportunistic sex (taking advantage of an opportunity to have sex without the fear of getting caught); to satisfy sexual curiosity (about a specific female); a feeling of entitlement (the belief that it’s a man’s prerogative to cheat); the ‘thrill of the chase’; the desire to feel important or special; and sexual addiction.” The most common reasons women list are “lack of emotional intimacy (a desire for a close emotional bond); dissatisfaction with her mate; marital or relationship unhappiness; a desire for male attention; to reaffirm her desirability; to re-experience feelings of romance; a desire to feel ‘special’; boredom; loneliness; and sexual excitement.”

I’ve long had a theory that 25% of the people in this world are having 75% of the sex. These politicians are not doing much to prove me wrong.

August 11, 2008

Date Our Friend in Time Out NY

Did you know there are personal ads in Time Out New York Magazine (http://www.timeout.com/newyork/)? Well, sort of. They have a feature called “Date Our Friend,” and in each week’s issue, someone who works at TONY (as they call it) explains why their friend would be a great person to date, and the friend writes something about themselves and who they’re looking for. There’s a photo, too, so you can see what they look like, and if you’re interested you can e-mail them at a special Gmail address that they set up for the occasion.

I had never paid much attention to Date Our Friend before, but one week, the featured guy caught my eye. He just sounded nice, funny, and smart. But I felt weird about writing to him -- I don’t know why. (After all my ups and downs on the dating journey, I should have no shame anymore.) I waited two weeks, and probably wouldn’t have written to him at all, thinking it was too late -- until I saw another issue of TONY, in which a woman who had been featured wrote an update saying that only four guys had written to her, all of whom were either creepy or one of her friend’s ex-boyfriends (!), so her mailbox was still open for normal guys to contact her. I thought, well, maybe it’s not too late for the guy I liked, so I finally e-mailed him.

A few days later, he wrote me a really nice note saying “thank you for the frankly awesome e-mail.” But he’d written the bio for Date our Friend two months earlier, and just in the past couple of weeks, he’d started dating someone exclusively. Since we live in different boroughs, I had asked in my e-mail to him if he was willing to date “inter-boroughly,” and in his e-mail to me, he wrote, “I don't understand people who are insistent on confining themselves to a narrow range of experiences. Don't ever let any guy -- especially any guy from Manhattan -- give you crap about not venturing ‘all the way out to Brooklyn’ when ‘there's no reason ever to exit Manhattan.’ These people are snobs and should be destroyed.” :)

So, I would recommend TONY’s Date Our Friend as a possible good way to meet someone. Go to http://www.timeout.com/newyork/articles/sex-dating/28034/date-our-friend for the currently featured friend in Date Our Friend.

August 8, 2008

Living Apart Together

Have you ever known a couple who continues to live separately even after they’re married? The Tango Magazine web site has an interesting article about this called “Living Apart: The Key to Wedded Bliss” by Catie Lazarus (http://www.tangomag.com/20085279/separate-homes-the-key-to-a-happy-marriage.html/1). I don’t know any married couples who live apart – but one of my relatives, who shall remain nameless, actually thought it was a good idea and, a month or two before the wedding, tried to talk her husband into each of them renting two separate apartments. Luckily, he convinced her that wouldn’t be necessary, and they now live together happy as clams (and we all know how happy clams are).

But according to the article, several celebrity couples live separately, including Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, and Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton. Many of these couples pride themselves on their independence and on keeping the romance alive -- which I guess is more challenging when you wake up with the same person day after day, having drooled on your pillow and hogged the covers all night. Sometimes there are issues with children from previous relationships which make it easier to live apart, as well.

I don’t know. Maybe I’ve lived in uber-expensive New York too long, but I think having someone to split the rent or mortgage with would be a HUGE advantage of getting married! On the other hand, if this trend of living separately takes off, it could definitely help the troubled real estate market.

In other news, Mr. No Touchy-Feely seems to have completely disappeared – no call or e-mail in over two weeks. Maybe he saw that I updated my photo on eHarmony (http://www.eharmony.com) and thought I wasn’t interested in him anymore. But then what was HE doing on eHarmony if he was still interested in me? Or, it could have nothing to do with eHarmony and he just realized once and for all that he didn’t want to kiss me. I wonder why it took him six months and eleven dates to figure it out??

August 6, 2008

Five ways to scare a guy away

I’m pleased to report that I haven’t engaged in any of the “Five Ways to Scare a Guy Away,” according to eHarmony (http://advice.eharmony.com/?page=articles/view&AID=2035&cid=2091&aid=73001). I have never said “I love you” within the first three dates (that would scare me, too); or done “manly tricks” on a date, like opening a beer bottle with my teeth (only because I don’t have much talent in the “manly tricks” department); or gone on and on about wanting to get married; or introduced a guy to my kid too soon (since I don’t have a kid); or talked ad nauseum about how wonderful or how terrible an ex was.

Maybe all the cool guys are too busy taking exciting vacations to join eHarmony during the summer – the pickings seem a little slim these days. There are a couple who do seem to have potential, but I had to laugh at this part of one guy’s profile:

One thing he is most thankful for:
My keen intelect

Uh, sir? If you’re really that smart, you may want to learn how to spell “intellect.” Just a tip.

August 5, 2008

The hazards of cell phones (and I don't mean brain cancer)

Remember the Drummer Boy, the cheapskate who makes at least twice as much as I do, yet asked ME to pay for the tickets to a movie he suggested going to (see my June 26th post)? While I was away over the weekend, one of my friends accidentally called him from my phone! I had forgotten to delete him from my cell phone contacts, and while she was trying to use my cell phone, she hit his name by accident. She hung up once she heard it ring and realized her mistake. But then he called me a few hours later (on a Friday night no less) and left me a message, saying, “Hi, I see that you called me earlier, I’m sorry I missed it – give me a call back!” Um, no thanks. But I do feel guilty because I never officially ‘broke up’ with him (is it called breaking up when you’ve only had three dates?). I just never responded to his last e-mail. Bad, I know, but I just couldn’t figure out a way to say “you’re too cheap for me to date” in a polite way. So when he saw that I had called him on Friday but didn't leave a message, he was probably completely confused.

Oh, and I have not heard from Mr. No Touchy-Feely via phone OR e-mail in 12 days. That’s a record for him.

July 31, 2008

Exercise club for singles in NYC

Last week, Mr. No Touchy-Feely asked me out for Friday night, but he waited too late in the week and I’d already made plans with a friend. It’s been one week since we last communicated, and I haven’t heard from him via phone or e-mail. I wonder if he has finally disappeared. Every time I say that, he pops back up. However, I recently got an offer I couldn’t refuse from eHarmony, so I re-joined for three months and uploaded a new photo. Then I realized that if Mr. No Touchy-Feely is still on eHarmony, the next time he logged in it would tell him that I updated my profile. Is that why I haven’t heard from him? Because he saw I updated my photo and thinks I’d rather meet someone else, so he’s given up? But the only reason I want to meet somebody else is because after 11 dates in six months without so much as any hand-holding, I can’t exactly expect this relationship to turn into an epic romance!

In other news: are you an exercise buff and looking to meet someone? You’re in luck. This week’s Time Out New York has an article by Amy Roberts (http://www.timeout.com/newyork/articles/sex-dating/44611/get-some-action) about an outdoor fitness club, which originated in Australia, called Fit2Date (http://www.fit2date.com/), where “singles meet up for four hour-long training-slash-mingling sessions.” I have a feeling I may not be fit enough or young enough to join Fit2Date. They do try to be beginner-friendly, but most of the people in the session Roberts attended were in their mid-twenties. But the Fit2Date web site states "we don’t have age groups as yet, as we want to keep the focus on training...We always get a great spread of ages anywhere from 23 – 40 with an average age of 33. We will be setting up fit2date plus in the future purely for the 35+ age group."

It's definitely a good idea for a dating business – even if you don’t meet anyone, at least you’ll get healthier. The four-week program costs $200, which includes a round of drinks after the last session. The web site says, “Don’t come to fit2date expecting to meet ‘The One,’ but if you do we all have to be invited to the wedding.” :)

I’ll be away for the next few days, but look for a new post on Monday. Have a great weekend!

July 29, 2008

Celebrity Couples Who Should Have Stayed Together

I thought this little article by Joanna Douglas, “Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman, Plus Five Other Couples We Wish Never Broke Up” (http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/entertainment/jimmy-kimmel-and-sarah-silverman-plus-five-other-couples-we-wish-never-broke-up-213107/) was entertaining. I forgot that Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder had ever been a couple. It was also strange to see the photo of Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt together. Brad in particular looks so young! I like him much better with Angelina Jolie, though – it seems like he has more of a purpose in life now.

The article doesn’t mention them, but it’s too bad Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel didn’t stay together. If they had, Billy Joel wouldn’t have gone on to marry a woman 31 years younger than he is. And Christie Brinkley wouldn’t have gone on to marry Richard Taubman and divorce him after only a year, then marry Peter Cook, only to divorce him when she discovered he was cheating on her with an 18-year-old (!).

What do you think? Are there any other celebrity couples you wish had never broken up?

July 28, 2008

Cuddle parties

Have you ever heard of "cuddle parties"? They're kind of like speed-dating, except you cuddle with each other. No, I'm not joking. They even have a web site: http://www.CuddleParty.com. Apparently, a cuddle party is "a playful social event designed for adults to explore communication, boundaries and affection." You arrive at the event, change into your pajamas (!), participate in the hour-long "welcome circle," and then transition into "two hours of self-directed adventure and connection," where you "cuddle according to your desires and comfort (or just talk if you prefer)." Hmmm -- wouldn't you go to a regular party if you wanted to "just talk"? It seems to defeat the purpose of the whole event.

Since it took me a while just to get a massage for the first time (I couldn't see how letting a stranger put his or her hands all over my back would relax me), I don't think the cuddle party is for me. But it's interesting to know it's out there.

Sometimes the subway is so crowded during rush hour, it seems like everyone is trying really really hard NOT to have an accidental cuddle party. Actually, it's more like an inadvertent game of Twister -- with no eye contact.

July 24, 2008

"Ugly" women, mean men

In Dan Savage’s “Savage Love” column in the Village Voice this week, there is the saddest letter from a 22-year-old woman who says that men routinely ridicule her for being ugly (http://www.thestranger.com/savage). I’ll paste the letter below, but the gist of it is, she’s now convinced that she’s horribly ugly and is so despairing of finding anyone who will fall in love with her, she’s considering suicide. I thought Dan’s advice was pretty accurate. Almost no one paid any attention to me when I was in my 20s, but now that I’m “middle-aged” (ahem), just the other day a guy came up to me in the middle of Manhattan and said softly, “I crossed the street just to talk to you.” OK, there's a distinct probability that he was homeless, but still!

It makes me angry that Dan would never get a letter like this from a man. Can you imagine women going up to men they didn’t know and making fun of their looks? It would never happen.

Fighting Ugly
July 24, 2008
By Dan Savage

Q: I'm a 22-year-old female, and the older I get, the more often I am ridiculed by straight men for being ugly. Just last night, a man asked me if I was jealous of my pretty friends and if I wished I could look like them. I know I'm unattractive, but I've met wonderful girls who I think are at least as physically unattractive as me who have managed to find someone to love them. I need to know if I should even bother anymore—it's hard to find a job, make friends, and basically just find people who will treat me like a human being. I shower every day, try to dress well, and wear makeup, but none of it seems to help. It appears that my only options are plastic surgery or suicide, and the older I get, the more appealing the latter becomes. And no, I don't have body dysmorphic disorder, I am absolutely sure.
P.S. I can't trust my friends to tell me the truth, because they love me, which either (a) clouds their judgment, or (b) makes them reluctant to hurt my feelings. The only commentary I have to go on comes from people I don't know who feel a need to inform me that I'm ugly. But I'm not sure. Should I send you a picture?

A: You can send me a picture if you like, Anonymous, preferably one taken by the brand-new therapist that you're going to get. Because you may or may not have body dysmorphic disorder, and you may or may not be ugly, and your friends may or may not be shining you on, but you clearly need more help than I can give you in this space. But I'll accept your self-diagnosis and say this much...
Things will get better as you get older. Not your looks, Anonymous, if your looks are truly the problem, but your peers. People are assholes in their 20s, and pouring alcohol into assholes doesn't make 'em stink less. Straight boys raised to believe that women exist for their pleasure will sometimes feel personally affronted by unattractive women, and alcohol makes them feel entitled to comment. But the passage of time makes monsters of us all, Anonymous, and the young, relatively hot straight guys tormenting you today are the bald, paunchy, and if there is a God, burn victims of tomorrow.
So the numbers of guys who can appreciate what you bring to the table—your humanity, your compassion, your ability to love—will grow over time, kiddo, and you may find in middle age what your girlfriends found as young adults. Unless you off yourself in the meantime, Anonymous, in which case you won't be around to watch those cruel, drunken boys deteriorate, wither, and die. And why would you want to cheat yourself out of that?

July 23, 2008

Emily Giffin's "Love the One You're With"; Breakup Phrases

Think of that ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend of yours. You know, HIM. Or HER. The one whose very name you still makes you weak in the knees. The one you feel badly about dumping, or who you still secretly wish hadn’t dumped you. Then imagine running into him or her again, completely by chance, three months after you’ve married someone else – and this ex seems to want you back. What would you do?

That’s the premise of the wholly satisfying novel I finished reading yesterday: “Love the One You’re With” by Emily Giffin. It was overly sentimental at times, but talk about a page-turner -- I had every intention of going to the gym last night but couldn’t put the book down long enough to walk there! I won’t reveal too much, in case you want to read it. But Giffin was pretty skillful in showing the seemingly perfect husband and the ostensibly jerky ex, then slowly revealing more about each character until you realize the situation isn’t that clear-cut. It also got me wondering about how much of relationships is luck, how much is choice, and how much is fate. Quite a read.

Then I was perusing the eHarmony web site, and an article caught my eye called “5 Breakup Phrases: Words that Signal the End” (http://advice.eharmony.com/?page=articles/view&AID=2021&cid=2091&aid=71605). I was hoping it would give me ideas for how to phrase my e-mail to Drummer Boy (no, I still haven’t written him back; yes, I’m terrible). Apparently if you hear any of the following from your significant other, they could be halfway out the door: 1) “I need space.” 2) “I’ll call you later” (accompanied by an exasperated sigh) 3) “So-and-So doesn’t do that!” (comparing you to somebody else) 4) Profane insults and name-calling. 5) Nothing – you’ve entirely stopped communicating. In “Love the One You’re With,” some of those warning signs had led the protagonist and her long-lost ex to break up in the first place.

July 21, 2008

Apply for Arranged Marriage TV; guy update

Remember Drummer Boy, who made me pay for our movie tickets on our third date, even though a) going to the movies was his idea, and b) probably makes more than twice as much money as I do (see my June 26th post)? Well, he e-mailed me a couple days after that date, inviting me to the beach on the 4th of July. I waited a couple of days, then e-mailed back explaining I was going away for the holiday to visit family. He e-mailed back and said, “Okay, but you’re missing out.” Um, no, I really don’t think that I am. I didn’t write back to his e-mail – and I thought I got off easy, because I never heard from him again.

Until last night, when he e-mailed me out of the blue, just saying hi, how was your weekend, I got out of town for a while and it was great. So now I’ll have to write him an awkward e-mail back, explaining that I don’t want to see him again. Sigh. It’s been almost three weeks -- why couldn’t he have just stayed disappeared?

Meanwhile, last week I had no phone calls and only one e-mail from Mr. No Touchy-Feely (11 dates over the past six months, and nothing more than a hug and kiss on the cheek after each one). He finally called me Friday night and asked if I had any plans on Saturday. Why, yes, I did. Sorry, but I need more than 24 hours notice since I have, you know, a life.

Are any of you interested in applying to be on the Arranged Marriage TV show (http://www.ArrangedMarriageTV.com) currently being developed for HBO? When I blogged about it in my July 18th post, I called the whole idea “cringe-inducing” and wondered (in capital letters) who would ever apply to be on it – but I guess any publicity is good publicity, because I received a very nice e-mail from Mr. Lyle Dohl, a casting associate for the show, thanking me for mentioning it. He said they have a casting producer in New York City this week, so if any of you in the NYC area want to apply to be on the show, feel free to contact Mr. Dohl at 213-630-6530, ext. 322, or lyle.dohl@magicalelves.com Good luck and let me know how it goes!

July 18, 2008

Free Speed-Dating; Arranged Marriage TV Show

This is short notice, but if any of you are interested in trying speed-dating, Date & Dash (http://www.DateandDash.com) is offering a FREE speed-dating event tonight at 8 PM at Alibi,116 MacDougal Street (& Bleecker) in Manhattan. Call Vilius G., DateandDash Project Manager, if you’d like to go: 773-495-0088. Keep in mind that the one and only Date & Dash event I’ve been to started late and was poorly run (see my July 2nd and July 3rd posts) -- but who knows, maybe they’ve turned over a new leaf.

Is arranged marriage threatening to become “trendy” here in North America? Well, apparently there’s going to be a reality show about it – a sign of a trend if ever there was one. Thanks to an anonymous commenter on my July 16th post, I have learned that HBO is actually planning a reality show in which people agree to have their family and friends choose them a husband or a wife (http://www.arrangedmarriagetv.com). The arranged couples promptly get married, and the camera crew follows them along their daily lives for an entire year to see how their marriages go. My first thought: WHO WOULD SIGN UP FOR THAT!? I wonder if these couples really will get legally married. I can’t imagine marrying someone I didn’t know from Adam, and then living with them in front of TV cameras for a whole year! At least your family and friends are choosing for you, and you would hope they have your best interests at heart, but that’s a lot of faith to put in their judgement. Here’s another article about the show: http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/hbo-now-casting-volunteers-for-upcoming-reality-tv-show-arranged-marriage Leave it to us Americans to take a sacred cultural tradition and turn it into cringe-inducing reality TV.

That said, if I were the creator of the show, I would follow both arranged couples AND “love match” couples, and compare how they do over the course of the year. That would be really interesting.