Charming, but single

A journal in dates and drinks

Programming Note

It's come to my attention that my post about Sunday night is cutting off in some browsers. I am a Firefox ( user, so (of course) it works for me. Also, it will work in Internet Explorer, but only if you reload the page a time or two. (You might also try clearing your cache, which on my computer is ctrl+F5 ...)

I apologize for the inconvenience and I will try to fix the problem later this evening. My blog has never been super happy with IE. If anyone has any wisdom to offer, please let me know.

Suffice it to say that I was loooaded on Sunday night.

Show a sister some love

So, I am totally posting this out of solidarity and support for a fellow blogger and not because I may possibly maybe could get a copy of her book out of it. I swear. (I suppose if we wanted to be supportive, we'd, like, buy her book, right? Seriously.) Anyway, the inimitable Rebecca Agiewich at Breakup Babe releases her first novel tomorrow, the aptly titled Breakup Babe: A Novel. You can order it here. I'm very excited for Rebecca. She's one of the first bloggers to give me a link when I was just a wee dating blogger still obsessed with why this guy hadn't called. (Oh, and I thought I’d just die, didn’t I? For shame!) She also inspired me to pursue the genre. (Along with other fantastic dating blogs like This Fish, Dating Dummy and Tired of Men.) So, raise your martinis up for La Breakup Babe. Good luck, lady!

Tonight we're gonna party like it's 2001

Note: This is an almost 1700-word post. I’d break it into two, but that would mess up my structure. Je suis désolé. “My head is big and then small. It’s big and then small. Big, small.” I blinked my eyes and felt my head. “See, it’s big and then small. Big and small,” a man on the couch across from mine repeated, describing his hangover to his friend via cell phone in sync with my own throbbing head. I stretched and looked around. I was fully clothed in jeans and a satin camisole and Enzo Angiolini sandals. My purse was on the floor next to the couch. The night had started out so promising. A group of eight of us traveled out to the restaurant where Party Girl’s boyfriend recently started working. It was out on a river or a lake or a canal or something that held water and boats. The food was amazing – huge crab cakes, any sort of seafood prepared all ways imaginable. My dish came served with fresh pecan butter oozing down the top of it and had it not been served on a cast iron plate taken directly from the oven, I probably would have lapped the melted butter up. We had rounds of some good local microbrews and split some of the lightest cheesecake I’ve ever tasted. Then we headed down to the pier and took in the freshness of it all – the kind of crisp feeling air you don’t really get in even a (slightly) more urban area. All in all, a perfect grown up night out. We talked of splitting the cost of a houseboat one weekend later this summer and packing sandwiches and beer and crusing down the waterway sunning ourselves and lazying about before heading up to the restaurant for dinner. I then had a choice. I could ride home with the people I rode there with, end my night around 9 p.m., apply a facemask and give myself a pedicure before drifting into blissful sleep. Or, I could continue on with Party Girl and her boyfriend and head back to his place, where a birthday party was roaring and it was sure to be a long night. I could be the reasonable 26 year old I am or I could be wild child 21 year old I used to be. I chose the latter. Because I’m too young to be old. And because Party Girl’s boyfriend dangled some sort of Grey Goose plus pineapple plus cranberry plus a few other things drink in front of me. He had me at the Grey Goose. Thirty minutes later, we pulled up to the house. I had actually been to this house before to watch a sporting event on the large screen TV, which is flanked my two smaller TVs, so that during football season you can watch three games at once. Now, if this sounds like something you’d expect at a nice house, then I must clarify. Four bartenders rent this house. And the lease has been passed down from bartender to bartender for several years. It is a glorified frat house, complete with about 15 cars parked in front of it and 19-year-old girls smoking on the front porch. And it is in the middle of a calm, residential neighborhood. I turned to Party Girl. “I don’t know how you stay here,” I told her. “I don’t have much choice. I only get to see him once a month or so now that I’ve moved out of town and this is where he lives.” I sipped my Grey Goose as I navigated a sea of bartenders from half of the dive bars I frequented during school. The place reeked of whiskey and cigarettes and I felt old. And overdressed. I spoke with B’s old roommate for a few minutes. Her friend looked at me with wide eyes. “I love your top. I need a top like that. For my birthday. I’m turning 21.” I just about died right then and there. A mud mask was sounding pretty good at this point. Party Girl came over. “This is ridiculous,” she grumbled. “These people will be here until 7 a.m. and they’ll be loud the whole time! And what is it with these kids and their terrible outfits!” She was right. We were surrounded by T-shirts and faux vintage pants worn to be ironic, when really they just made the wearer look like a moron. And girls with jet black dyed hair or bleached out blonde, clearly done in the bathroom sink of their dorms to make themselves look more hardcore and less like the insecure sophomore who will quickly find that her undergraduate degree in Sociology qualifies her to do little more than go to grad school. And the girls had hair shorn short, but pulled back into obnoxiously small pony tails that were maybe a centimeter around. I smoothed my own hair, which was pulled halfway up with the bottom layers flowing down to my shoulders. I checked my bobby pins to make sure they were all in place and looked at Party Girl. “What’s the plan?” “We’re going to [Random Bar]. Wanna come?” “Yes, because it is near my apartment and I won’t have to come back here afterward.” “Smart Girl.” We traveled cross-town and headed into the bar, only to find that most of the party had joined us. I sidled up to the bar, plopped my purse on top and smiled at the bartender, a high school classmate who tended bar a few nights a week in addition to her job as a computer programmer to make some extra fun money. “Whatcha having?” “Vodka cran,” I said without hesitating. I hadn’t had vodka and cranberry out at a bar in years. It was my favorite poison, next to Jager shots, during those self-destructive years of living at a certain bar three or four nights a week and eating cold pizza and bad diner food at 4 a.m. Though I still appreciate the taste of the vodka cran, I drink it now in the more grown-up Cosmopolitan variety of drinks. “Three bucks, darlin’.” Seriously? I’d paid $8 for a much smaller Cosmo two nights before. Maybe being 21 has its perks. I went through more vodka and listened to a really terrible acoustic duo that pretty much ruined every song they touched – including, but not limited to, Pearl Jam, Jack Johnson, Tenacious D and Bush. And I almost fell off my barstool when, during an abysmal performance of “Creep” by Radiohead, the singer screeched out “RUUUUUN” with such startling force that I am quite certain that I lost at least a year or two off of my life. Even with vodka laden blood. Thom Yorke this guy was not. At some point a free shot of Patron was placed before me. I am morally opposed to shooting tequila and haven’t done so in years. But I wasn’t 26 last night. I was 21, and damn it, 21 year olds don’t pass up a free shot of Patron. I licked the space between my thumb and forefinger and applied salt like a pro. I snapped my head back and poured the alcohol down my throat before following up with the tart tasting fresh lime. I slammed the shot glass down and shook my head. “That was a bad idea.” I then started with the phone calls. B, B’s roommate, The Bride, College Roommate, BFE, Married Friend from College. All got calls. Me singing “Brown Eyed Girl.” Me letting the guy sitting beside me sing Steve Miller to voicemail. Classy. “You seem to be enjoying the music,” I said to him during “The Joker.” “The music, it doesn’t come from the heart. It comes from the soooooul,” he slurred, motioning from his lower regions up through his chest, gesturing the route of the music coming from him. “That looked more like it came from the groin.” “Music, it comes from the d—k.” “What?” “From the d—k.” “Did you just say d—k to me?” (Yes, I know that was a blatant rip off of the “Did you just say crotch to me?” line from the Sex and the City episode where Ms. Bradshaw meets Mr. Berger. But seriously, that was pretty much all I could say.) Then someone ordered a Jager and ROCKSTAR shot. (Back in my day, we did this shot with Red Bull and liked it, but when in Rome … ) He ordered an extra for the bartender, who gave it to me. I used to do four of these shots a night, but this one barely made it down my throat. After another vodka cran, I was done. Like a moron, I agreed to go back to the party instead of home. Some of the same people were there, this time watching Orgazmo. I wanted my bed badly. Instead, I curled up on a very dirty couch, underneath a somewhat suspect blanket and passed out. Hours later, I woke up to some guy talking. “My head is big and then small. It’s big and then small. Big, small.” This house was bad. Movie posters, the kind you buy on campus from those travelling poster people to cover the walls of dorm room, decorated the walls. The usual suspects, like Pulp Fiction and The Dark Side of the Moon covered the dingy wall that had several oddly located holes. The birthday boy was busy recapping the night’s festivities to his friend on cell. He had turned 28 and found himself sleeping on the floor when he awoke. Party Girl came out of her boyfriend’s bedroom and yelled because all of the Diet Coke was gone. “Want me to take you home?” “Immediately, if not sooner.” She laughed. “You need to do something about your hair. And why’d you sleep in your shoes?” I motioned to the well worn, terribly stained carpet. “I didn’t want to even risk that my feet would touch that.” We headed to the car. The sun hurt my eyes. My head felt big and then small. “You know, it’s been awhile since I had to bring someone home from a night out,” she said. “It’s been awhile since I’ve slept on a stranger’s couch.” “It was kind of like being young again,” she said, almost wistfully. “Except for that $50-a-person meal we had before the party,” I deadpanned.

Sleep tight

I slept in a hand-me-down twin bed when I was young. The simple headboard was painted a glossy white and when I was about five or six, my parents bought me a lavender Holly Hobbie bed set, complete with a frilly bed skirt and matching pillow shams. It was gorgeous and matched my light purple walls. (I was quite the spitfire when I was younger, so when asked what my favorite color was, I’d sassily reply, “Lavender,” as if I knew the difference in shades and tones of purple and hadn’t just heard my mom explaining what color I wanted to the paint-mixing man at the Home Depot.) My Little Neighbor Friend also had a Holly Hobby bed set. Hers was the typical pink and it was quite the sight, because her parents had purchased the complete set – including a very stunning Holly Hobbie canopy. Even though it wasn’t lavender, I wanted Little Neighbor Friend’s canopy so badly. To a six year old, a canopy bed is the height of style and fashion. The addition of pink cartoon characters and flowers and ruffles only piqued my interest. A few years later, I had a new bed in mind – a shiny white iron day bed, with a trundle for when my friends spent the night. And my parents took me shopping to pick one out as my birthday present. It was quite lovely – with brass bed knobs on the corners and feminine lines. We never got the trundle, which worked out better in the long run for me since I am a touch of a packrat and used the space beneath the bed for shoes and clothes and hiding things. My mom, seamstress extraordinaire, bought me a bedspread with brightly colored hearts and used the sheet set to make large pillows with big, stuffed flanges that acted as huge cushions and turned my bed into a couch, which I thought was, like, even better than the Holly Hobbie canopy bed. The day bed kept me happy for a few years, until I started growing and I slid down the bed in the night and my feet would hit the other end of the daybed. The last straw was when, at age 16, I had a broken foot and my cast got wedged in between two of the metal bars by my feet. I woke up trapped and had to scream for an hour or so before someone woke up to free me. About a week later, I got my current bed – a full-sized with a hideously ugly brass headboard that was a free hand-me-down from a family member. The first night sleeping in it felt like freedom – it was huge compared to my small twin-sized. I sprawled my body across the whole bed, propped up on a sea of pillows. Sleeping diagonally because I could. The bed was too big for my small bedroom, so it became a soft island in a sea of desk and shelves. When I was in college and slaving away at a home décor store, I replaced the ugly headboard with the black wrought iron one I have today. And now, I don’t sleep in the middle of the bed. I have naturally defined my “side” of the mattress. If I am on my back, facing toward the ceiling, I am on the right side, close in proximity to my nightstand, which holds all of the things I need once I start nesting for the night – cell phone charger, nail file, body lotion, a stack of magazines, a water bottle, my glasses and an unlined sketch book that I always have handy for that novel it seems I’m always working on, about this girl who muddles through and is just waiting, just waiting for it all to happen someday. I’ve become comfortable with the right side. I wake up still in place, snuggled tightly in my comforter each morning, with the next day’s implements placed on the left side. I pack my purse each night before I sleep and stack my portfolio and whatever I was reading the night before next to the purse. Some people have “their side” of the bed because someone else occupies the other half; mine is pure storage. Ideally, something other than my bag, a stack of “Everday with Rachael Ray” and my grocery list would occupy mine. But until then, I sleep with easy gazpacho and swordfish kebobs each night.

That crunching sound is my brittle old bones ...

It is slightly disheartening, when you are a single lady at the young age of 26, when you return home from margaritas with friends at 1:30 a.m. and you think, "I don't know how these young kids do it."

Some people are wise beyond their years. I'm creaky beyond mine.

The fish are biting, but not getting hooked

I replied to an e-mail to my small girlfriends dinner group this morning. --- To: Married Girlfriend From College, The Banker From: Charming Subject: Re: Dinner If we do it at your house, [The Banker], I’ll gladly bring a bottle of wine (I have Evolution No. 9!) and someone to snack on. --- I switched back to my work e-mail. A bit later, I checked for a response. --- To: Charming, The Banker From: Married Girlfriend From College Subject: Re: Re: Dinner SomeONE to snack on??!! The Online Dating must be going well! --- Rimshot! The typing was due to an acute lack of Americanos in my life. (Evil doctors and their common sense advice.) Because The Online Dating is neither going well nor has it provided me anyone on which to snack. Damn. There’s been a lot of potential dates, but not a lot of actual action as of late. I’ve grown weary of winks and icebreakers and writing perky e-mails. It is tiring. I haven’t spoken much with The Academic. He called, I was busy. I messaged that I was stressed at work. He concurred. It has fizzled. I’ve been messaged several times by the Grad Student. He seems nice enough, but he goes to school about 45 minutes away. I know this isn’t like living on Mars. But if I’m going to date a guy, I was to know he could meet me after work for a drink or for a quick bite at lunch. And so I am less than enthused about a 45-minute commute for a hug. Also, my previous experience with The Academic has left me wary of these types. I like intellectual guys who know about current affairs, but this guy seems like he makes the obvious jokes, sticks with the obvious labels. Eh. Plus he doesn’t seem into going out so much, which is fine. But that’s not where I am. Also getting messaged regularly by a guy who I can only think of as The Blackberry, because he is always signed on via his cell phone. (Also, in case it was not clear, this guy is The Blackberry.) He seems interested in a date – we’ve mentioned drinks at a bar we both like. But he hasn’t made the move to ask for my number. And before everyone gets all feminist and all about me not asking for HIS number, I clearly put myself out there. He asked me to meet him out; I passed. But I did tell him I was interested in hanging out, suggested a meeting place and asked what nights he went to this bar. So I’m hardly being coy. I was also hoping to hear from a guy who messaged me through a personals site and seemed very much like my type. He also happens to be friends with Party Girl’s boyfriend. Good friends. And so I recognized him and sent pictures and a recap to Party Girl, who immediately confirmed that he was the same guy. I mentioned this in one of our e-mail exchanges and I haven’t gotten another e-mail from him since. I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have shown my hand. I mentioned in an initial e-mail that I recognized him and he asked how, so I explained that his friend was dating mine (Party Girl) and so I had checked with her and she’d confirmed it. I even added a cute, “I promise, I’m not really this neurotic. I just recognized you from a party.” So now, of course, I’m worried that he thought that was crazy and not cute and he’s telling people that, you know, I’m a psycho cyber stalker. Sigh. (Apparently I have already blogged about the initial e-mail here.) This weekend would be the perfect time to meet him, because Party Girl will be in town and we have plans to go out on Friday night. And, with the three-day weekend I’m sure there is some sort of non-threatening barbecue situation where we could meet in a comfortable situation. Overthinking. I’m always overthinking.

Shoe shots

I was cleaning out my digital photo album and uploading pictures on Shutterfly because people are constantly asking me, “Why didn’t you post the pictures from that night at [sushi bar]?” and “Didn’t you take pictures of Party Girl’s birthday?” and "The baby was born in March. Gonna put up the pictures from the Baby Shower?" While sorting through them, I stumbled across many many many pictures of my footwear. Below are some of the shoes that haven’t yet made an appearance chez blog. Enjoy!* Newest pair, worn with a knee-length stretchy A-line black dress with some rouching on the side. My toes are my favorite shade of pale pink, by OPI, called “Aphrodite’s Pink Nightie.” Another view: Got LOTS of compliments on these shoes. Like, from strangers. One of my fellow female diners suggested that these could double as "bedroom shoes" (if you know what I mean). And all for $45 at a little accessories boutique I love. They also come in a lighter cream and gold and a brown and copper tone. But the white was a bit too precious for me and the brown didn't go with my dress. The black is just right. And yes, that is little ruffles and a knot. Superfab! The pair below proves that end-of-the-season buys aren't all bad: These are from Enzo Angiolini, bought during an emotional time to make me feel better. (We all cope in our own way and I just needed to take a break, dress nicely, feel pretty and see my friends.) I think I paid $38 for them on super-end-of-season-sandal sale, including tax. I wore them once (on this night) and never again. Until I pulled them out a few weeks ago for The Bride's wedding and thought, "My lovelies? Why did I abandon you?" Now I wear them all of the time and I always get positive feedback. Like a group of guys stopped talking and stared when I walked by in them one day. (Until one of the women in the group grumbled, "I guess we can all pop our eyes back in socket now.") Yowza! I love that these have an ankle strap. Ankle straps make me feel like a lady. And they aren't really that hard to walk in. I can tell you from experience that you should avoid gravel parking lots while wearing these shoes. (Yeah, I live in the South, we still have gravel parking lots at some "quaint" rural establishments.) My only beef with these shoes is that I am not a big fan of the "wood tone" heel and sole. If they weren't so perfect I'd hate them because of it. It reminds me of those station wagons with wood tone panels on the side of them. And ain't no one who wants to look at a station wagon on my feet. I'm slowly learning to live with this style, as it does look cute with some summery, Bohemian looks. But still. *I worry sometimes that I may be encouraging poeple with foot fetishes to read my blog by constantly posting pictures of my feet in shoes. I don't have a foot fetish nor do I think my feet are super cute. I just really like my shoes a lot.

Dating via Blackberry

Last night I finally got to chat with this guy, who actually has met me before and doesn't remember it.

I was doing some work stuff, tucked away in the corner of my neighborhood coffee shop. And when he popped online as "mobile," I thought I'd drop him a quick note to let him know I'd still like to get together.

He responded favorably and continued messaging me. He made a point to say he was at a bar … the bar that happens to be across the street from my apartment, so close to where I was sitting at my granite-top table, listening to Kelly Clarkson and writing while I sipped a cool coffee drink.

"You should come meet me. The band is really good."

I messaged back that I was flattered, but explained that I was working and that I had a full day of early meetings ahead. I'm sure this sounded like a lame excuse, but it was nearing 11 p.m. and I was planning to be up by 5:15. Not the time to put on my dancing shoes.

I never revealed my location, mostly because I was looking not so chic in jeans, the black sweater I'd worn to work and tennis shoes, with my hair messily piled atop my head in a makeshift bun.

He continued to message me, pointing out that he was doing it via Blackberry – as if it was perfectly normal to chat online whilst jamming in a bar.

About three times, I thought about slamming my laptop shut, running home to change my shirt and shoes and heading over there. Being spontaneous and fun. Free spirited.

But I'm not spontaneous and fun anymore. I'm lame and boring and old and I need more than two hours of sleep to function and be perky and informative and friendly and not rude.

I left it open, agreed to meet him later this week for a drink.

As I was about to head home and for bed, he wished me sweet dreams and said, "Hey, you've got beautiful eyes." 

"I bet you say that to all the girls. Flattery will get you everywhere."

"Only when it is true."

Note to self: Spend weekend checking out the facial structure of men

Don't know about all of the science behind this. A scientist I am not.

But, according to a new study, women can tell if a guy likes kids and would be a good long-term partner by looking at his face.

I was blowing this whole study off when I saw the following comment:

"They were surprisingly accurate in judging men's interest in infants, as well as their masculinity," said University of Chicago behavioral biologist Dario Maestripieri, a co-author of the study.

The masculine guys with high testosterone levels tended to have prominent face bones, like actor Mickey Rourke, while those who liked baby pictures tended to have rounder faces, like actor Tom Hanks, Maestripieri said.

Oh hell, is that why I like cuddly guys with round faces?

La Rouge

Note: I have special plans for some special shoes this weekend. I’ve posted them on the sister blog to this site: Charming Things. Watch out Saturday night! Wearing red shoes makes me do things. Crazy things. Wonderful things. One night in college I wore some sexy strappy red satin sandals out with a black mini and a tight top. As I spun around dancing, drink in hand, heart pumping, I felt sexy and in control. No matter that I was at the same bar I always went to and that I’d be sore from twirling in heels for hours on end the next day. I felt light and whimsical and free. I was bolder than bold. And when the guy I was dancing will gave me the right smile, I looked him square in the eye and said, “I’m not looking for a boyfriend …” And I winked as his hands wrapped ‘round my waist.

Typical situation

I dumped my purse out on the floor. My new glasses had to be somewhere. “Seriously, they couldn’t just walk off.” I cursed. My fingers frantically fumbled through receipts from sandwich shops and bar tabs and change and Bed Bath and Beyond coupons, through the junk mail and half-empty tubes of lip gloss and gum wrappers -- all artifacts of my single woman’s existence. The bar tabs with one glass of wine because a man bought my next and bills from to-go dinners for one, eaten in front of the TV with wax paper wrappers spread across my lap as I stretch across my bed, propped up by pillows on a Tuesday night after work, drinking an Import left over from a dinner weeks before, the junk mail I stuffed in my purse because I’m too lazy to sort it just then, the lip gloss I smeared across my lips to make them shine because shiny lips make me feel sexy and gum chewed obsessively since I quit smoking. What would an archeologist who discovered my purse think? I grabbed the next purse and crouched down, trying not to tip forward as I rested my weight on my heels. “Seriously!” More artifacts of my life – a Clinique compact, three pens, post-its with important phone numbers, a pair of sunglasses, stray earrings and bobby pins were strewn across the floor. I grabbed one pin and tucked it into my hair to keep it off my face during the day. Frustrated and late, I stuffed my wallet, cell phone and a small makeup case back into my purse and grabbed my back-up glasses. I stomped out of the house grumpy. I returned hours later and immediately began stripping out of my work clothes as I walked through the apartment – my heels landed by the doorway as the lock snapped in place, my purse dropped next to the couch as I arched my back in a relaxed stretch and peeled off the thin poppy-colored button-down sweater that landed on the arm of the couch. I continued to my bedroom and exchanged a black knee-length skirt for a pair of sweats and a camisole for a soft cotton tank top. I headed to the bathroom, unhooked my silver necklace and dangling earrings and cleaned off the makeup that remained on my face. I pulled the bobby pins and elastics out of my hair in favor of a stretchy headband. I hopped over a puddle of purse things on the way to the kitchen to heat some sort of dinner. And something stuck to my foot. I hopped on one leg to the freezer and, reaching down, I pulled a business card from my heel. I examined it carefully. “Little Mr. Small Town,” I muttered. “Attorney at Law.” I smiled and set the card – more evidence of my lifestyle – on the counter while I rustled through my pantry. A few minutes later I pulled a piping plate from the microwave and poured iced tea into a wine glass, which always makes me feel like a little kid pretending to be grown up. I balanced my dinner on my lap as I changed the channels and sipped the sweet tea. Just another weeknight – dinner and then body-related maintenance like nail filing and moisturizing various parts like elbows and knees and my poor abused feet. Yes. Just another night of fun. I snuggled against the pillows. Another night. And suddenly, I can’t stop thinking about the guy.

Trying to tell me something ...

I am paying someone to attempt to set me up with guys I already know. This week, my potential matches by e-mail included four guys that I already know. One of them was B’s roommate. One of them I used to have a crush on years ago … until I actually spoke to him. (I am not the only woman I know who has had a similar experience with this guy.) The others are friends of friends. And when the Web sites themselves aren’t doing it, the guys are. The most recent, “Hey, don’t I know you?” guy is a friend of Party Girl’s boyfriend. I recognized him immediately from a few social occasions and sent her his picture to confer. She confirmed that it was him, gave glowing reviews (works in architecture, responsible, fun, very friendly) and was insistent that I e-mail him back. Part of me thinks that she has slightly ulterior motives to all of this. Her boyfriend has a huge pack of guyfriends with which he does pretty much everything. And so she’d like to have a female friend around for the marathon of tailgating and grilling out and drinking. So, I wrote him a message. Just a quick, “Nice to hear from you, here is my e-mail and screen name.” I was about to send it and I stopped. I added a note at the end that only someone who knew his group of friends would know. Stalkerish and creepy or cute and coy? I’ll let him decide. I sent it and smiled. Can it be a coincidence that guys who would otherwise have a way to connect with me have flirted with me this way? I guess we’ll see.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

I have reached a new low in online dating.

A guy who went out with my college roommate WHILE we were living together just sent me a message with his screen names talking about how he loved learning about me and wanted to talk to me and said, "You worked at [Name of College Job], right?"

Thinking about writing back:

"Yes, I did work at [Name of College Job]. That's where we met. Coincidentally, it is also where you met [Name of College Roommate] , who also worked at [Name of College Job] and, coincidentally, lived with me while we both worked at [Name of College Job] and while you took [Name of College Roommate] out on [Number] of dates to [List of Places]."

I'll have to confirm the details of their dating history with College Roommate. They were hardly an item, but they definitely went on some actual dates and there may have even been some flowers involved.

I am starting to become quite concerned that I may come across as not interested in dating or standoffish. This is the second guy who has actually met me before who hit on one of the my friends in the past and now is flirting with me via a personals site.

I don't do sloppy seconds.

I feel fun and flirtatious and sexy and outgoing when I go out on the town. Are guys not getting it? Am I turning men off somehow in person, so much so that they only realize that I'm a single, dating lady when they stumble across my personal ad?

Perhaps I'm giving off the wrong impression in person.

Perhaps -- dare I say it -- I'm not as charming as I think I am?

Indian food and awkwardness

When I am kind of excited about something or looking forward to going somewhere, one of two things usually happens. I am ready early or I mess up my eye make-up.

On Saturday, both happened. I had to take off one-half of my eye make-up and start over because of a major mascara mishap. I don't know why I was so nervous. I guess because I liked this guy and he seemed to be exactly my perfect match. So I was anxious to meet him after two weeks of great e-mails and chatty exchanges.

I scrapped my skirt-plus-tank top outfit in favor of dark jeans, high-heeled sandals, and a camisole under a black chiffon wrap-style top with small flowers on it. I wore my hair straight and my earrings dangled. I did light make-up with glossy lips and capped the look with a slouchy purse.

I looked cute.

The first few minutes were really very awkward. We had agreed to meet at an Indian restaurant I'd always wanted to try. It has a lunch buffet during the week … and apparently on Saturdays as well. And they don't offer a menu when they have a buffet. So, our first action was to awkwardly head over to the buffet.

We had picked Indian food because he's an alleged expert and I'm a neophyte. (And also because my non-meat-eating ways wouldn't be an issue at an Indian restaurant.) So, I head to the vegetarian end of the buffet and he heads to the meat end and I joke, "You might have to give me some pointers," because he's SUPPOSED to be this Indian food expert, right? That's what he told me.

And he says, "Well, not being vegetarian, I can't really say …"

So, I'm trying to remember if I told him that I didn't eat meat. (I try to avoid the V word since I am not strictly vegetarian.) And I did tell him. I even checked sent e-mails after the date and we definitely talked about it. We also talked about how I wanted to get Indian with him so he could give me suggestions on what to try and he'd seemed interested in that and said he'd be happy to show me some good-tasting Indian dishes.

So, I tried a sampling of the food, which was really good. But I was annoyed with the "I'm an expert, No I'm not" attitude with Indian food.

He seemed awkward, like he was unsure of himself. He even dribbled iced tea on his shirt at one point. I like quirky, mildly dorky guys. I like that they're smart and that they're not afraid to actually talk to you about something.

The conversation was nice. A bit one-sided, as I felt he talked more than I did. (Quite an accomplishment.) This isn't bad. Just slightly odd, because I am quite the talker.

So, we talked. We left the Indian place and headed to a coffee shop for a cup of coffee. This is where awkwardness number two happened.

He doesn't drive, says it is an "urban mindset" thing. But we don't live in this huge city with wonderful mass transit. So, I have to drive us to the coffee place. I felt odd doing this because I really barely know this guy and he's in my car.

Coffee was okay. He paid for lunch (I protested) so I insisted on buying the java. Again, nice conversation, but I felt like it started to drag. Like it was forced. And the topics were all very serious and related to what we both do. I'm glad we have common interests, but I was hoping to chat about movies or music or something else other than work-related stuff.

Overall, there's just something missing. The spark. The chemistry. It wasn't there.

When I am attracted to someone, I know it. I feel it. I immediately become aware of the color of my underwear and what kind of bra I'm wearing. When I rest my chin on my hand I feel the sensation of my fingers against the skin on my face. I am aware of everything. I blush and become shy. I feel each strand of hair as I tuck it behind my ear. My ears perk up. I sit up straighter and each breath seems heavier and more important. Coffee tastes better, wine feels smoother in my mouth. Food is spicier and I feel sexy as I eat.

Alas, I couldn't tell you what color bra I was wearing on Saturday and the coffee tasted normal.

We parted. It was awkward. I left; he assured me that he had a way home and that he'd had a good time and enjoyed the conversation.

As I drove off, I let out a long sigh. This guy was perfect in the profile – witty, intelligent. But actual personality doesn't come through online. And you can't predict who you'll ignite the spark in you.

Unfortunately, not for me. Next.

Charming, but single is 25 26 27(!), lives in the Southern part of the U.S.A. and likes both her drinks and her boys tall. E-mail (listed below) her and she may respond. You can also IM her in AIM/AOL. (If she ever remembers to sign on.)
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Former taglines of this blog: "A Journal in Dates and Drinks" and "A Dateless Journal of Drinking."

Those Particulars
Some Backstory
Memories of the Way We Were
Updates and Towel Snapping
One Year Wrap-Up
Just As She Is
An Open Letter to Myself
After 26 years, she HAS learned something
An Open Letter to the Men Who Message Me Through Match
Sharing a smoke

Associated Content Interview with Charming
The Hindu: Blog Sisters are here

Links (Updated!)


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