About Me

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.