Charming, but single

A journal in dates and drinks

Pet Peeve No. 347549

Saying "So when are you going to let me take you out for dinner?" or "Are you ever going to let me buy you a drink?" when you've never asked me out.

How about if you actually ask me out instead of flirting with me and then insinuating that I haven't let you take me out yet?

I have a job and a life and friends and plans this weekend. Seriously. Just ask me out.


Herein I admit to having a taste for bad pop songs. My current choice of songs: "Upon This Tidal Wave Of Young Blood" by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah "I Belong to Me" by Jessica Simpson "Nothing at All" by Kasey Chambers "Irreplacable" by Beyonce "Red High Heels" by Kellie Pickler "Wreck of the Day '06" by Anna Nalick "Through Any Window" by Wiseley "Smile" by Lily Allen "New Day" by Kate Havnevik "Oh, It is Love" by HelloGoodbye "Come Here Boy" by Imogen Heap "Crazy Ex-girlfriend" by Miranda Lambert "In a Big Country" by Dashboard Confessional "Boston" by Augustana "When You Were Young" by The Killers "Fidelity" by Regina Spektor "Chemicals React" by AJ and Aly "Cornflake Girl" by Tori Amos "Mack the Knife" by Bobby Darin "Butterflies" by Dave Barnes

The 'roll has been updated.

Welcome to the Charming, but Single blogroll, Poker Girl in Vegas, Experimenting with Love, Confessional Highway and 20 some-odd other blogs. My blogroll can be found here. E-mail/comment/stand outside my window a la John Cusack in Say Anything if you’d like to be added. Thanks! Oh, and Neil, I found you a Cute Jewess! Now go read the real content below.

On Nice Guys

I am so tired of hearing about how Nice Guys finish last and women never give them a chance because we are too busy having inappropriate relationships with Jerks who treat us like crap all of the time. So tired that I could bang my head against the wall until my obviously Nice-Guy-hating-brain splatters all over the place. People are not so easily categorized into “nice” and “jerk.” The guys who you think are “nice” sometimes turn out to be jerks and the jerks could actually be good guys. As humans, we are more complicated than that. We all have our moments. And the people who are stuck at the ends of the spectrum, those men who truly are 100 percent “nice” or 100 percent “jerk” are actually really boring and impossible to talk to. Because the interesting stuff about humans isn’t found in the extremes. It’s found in the middle, where us normal people live, balancing our good intentions and kind natures against our darker side that is more likely to misbehave and call people names, gossip, sleep around, act cocky and generally not always be polite. In short, sometimes the flaws are what attract us to people. Sometimes the flaws are what make people not boring. The thing is – I do like really kind-hearted people. I don’t always flock to the biggest ass in the room. I’ve spent plenty of nights talking to plenty of nice, quiet guys who never made the move to ask me out. Maybe they weren’t attracted to me. Maybe they were shy. But they were nice, and I flirted with them and nothing. (Not that every guy has to ask me out in order for him to be considered nice.) So I resent the notion that I (and other women) don’t like Nice Guys. I know as well as the next person that dating is hard. I put myself out there only to be shot down and frankly most days I’d rather hibernate in my apartment eating grapes and playing Sodoku than gussy myself up to go try to find a guy. It is tiring. (Because, FYI a lot of you Nice Guys aren’t as Nice as you think you are.) And I complain about it a lot. But ultimately I know that I have to go after what I want. And since I want a relationship more than a nerdy ability to order numbers correctly in boxes, I get my kind single ass out there and deal with spinster jokes from my family and the embarrassment and indignity of falling flat on your face trying to woo a guy or being completely rejected by someone who you thought liked you. So, no, I don’t feel sorry for grown men who sit in the corner and complain about how no women like them because they are Nice Guys. Do you know how many men I have flat out turned down in recent months? Two. One who is cocky and arrogant and another who tried to feel me up a in a parking lot and called me like a psycho five times in the span of 30 minutes. Neither of them were Nice Guys. And neither of them got what they wanted. What I’m saying is that I go out with normal people who ask me out. At least once. But as long as you’re the bitter Nice Guy sitting in the corner feeling sorry for himself because all of the women dislike you and only date jerks who are going to eventually hurt them because they’re not Nice like you, I can promise you that no woman is going to go out with you. Because she doesn’t even know you are interested in dating. Because your pathological fear of rejection has driven you so far into that corner that you’re no longer a nice, datable guy. You’re a creepy quiet dude who freaks women out because you stare at them inappropriately. I know, I know. Women can be evil witches. And so can men. We’ve all got baggage, people. And as long as you keep deluding yourself into thinking that women don’t like you because you’re a Nice Guy and not a Jerk, you are going to be alone. It would be like me refusing to try to date men because I’m not a skinny size two with perfect breasts and a flat stomach and Men Only Like Hot Models. I believed this for many years and consequently kept myself out of the game because I convinced myself that I wasn’t sexy and beautiful. You know what? There are men who like ladies with hips and a little more to love – and I know this because if there weren’t, I’d still be waiting for my first kiss. You have to carry yourself with confidence and walk with a sense of pride. It took me more than twenty years to truly become a datable woman and to realize that I would be a good mate, despite all of my shortcomings – or perhaps because of them. My point? Stop blaming your dating failures on Nice Guys Finishing Last and Evil Women Who Only Like Jerks. (We’ll let the Evil Women Who Only Like Jerks keep the Men Who Only Like Hot Models occupied and away from all of us Regular People Who Just Want Someone To Talk To.) Don’t be afraid to just be a Normal Guy who is attracted to certain women and who would be a good boyfriend and who isn’t going to freak out and hate the world every time someone turns him down. P.S. And if one more person sends me that “I’m sorry” e-mail forward about the guy who is sorry that he stood by some tragic girl as her friend and held back her hair when she puked and let her walk all over him only to be ignored and treated like just a friend … I will go postal. Because I’ve been the female equivalent of that, so I resent the idea that women are the evil purveyors of mean while the men all sit around innocently doing our bidding. Also, if you are that guy and you like that girl, then tell her how you feel. And if she rejects you, trust me, it will hurt like nothing has ever hurt before in your whole life and you might feel like you have a gaping wound and are bleeding for everyone to see. But ultimately, you’ll know. And the feeling isn’t fatal. I promise.

Love advice, 80s style

On one of the first records I ever owned, a pre-Bobby Brown, pre-crack Whitney Houston asked, "How Will I Know?"

She was talking about a boy. She wanted to know if he loved her. And I remember thinking this was a lame song. Even as a young child, I thought Whitney Houston was pretty dumb.

"How could you NOT know?" I wondered. "It is LOVE."

I've always expected the butterflies. The stomach flip. I've felt these things for people before – the physical signs of a woman who is flush with emotion over a man.

But what about the others? The nice guys who for some reason don't make you weak in the knees as much as they deserve to? The ones who always return your text messages, who always open doors, who always comment on how pretty you look, who always sound excited to speak to you.

Do you penalize them for not wanting to vomit up your guts and feeling weak when you see them?

What about the ones who aren't so much afraid to let you into the little intimacies of their lives? When it feels effortless and you kind of just know things about them, like how they like superhero stories and save their ticket stubs from movies and always eat mushrooms in their omelets.

Do those things matter? And should they? Am I so obsessed with waiting for lightening to strike that I'm missing all of the little signs around me that are pointing me back to one of the normal guys in my life, about whom I think, "He's not the one, but he's one of my favorites."

How will I know, Whitney? I need to know, Whitney. Because I wanna dance with somebody who loves me.

Eventually, if not sooner.

Conversations about ghosts

“I met the nicest guys the other night. It’s a shame you couldn’t meet us out,” Single Girl said, relaying her adventures from a night that turned from dinner into drinks into staying out late. “Yeah, I just couldn’t go out. I was too tired,” I said. “Cute?” “Very. I got their numbers.” “Oh! How is your man?” I asked. Single Girl had been seeing someone casually for a few weeks. They’d gone out on several dates and he’d come around to meet us for drinks. A PhD candidate and professor, he was polite and funny and smart and easy to talk to. I definitely approved of him as a potential boyfriend. “OH! I don’t think he’s my man,” she said. “I haven’t heard from him since last Saturday.” “What happened? We just got drinks together last Thursday! And you left with him. He is so nice [Single Girl].” “I don’t even know. We didn’t hang out on Friday because he was working on a big paper, but we talked on Saturday. He told me to call him after I was finished with dinner, and I assumed he wanted to hang out and take a break from work,” she said. “Right, sounds normal so far.” “And then when I called him he was very rude and short with me because he said I’d interrupted him,” she said. “Um, then why did he tell you to call him? Why did he answer the phone if he was in the middle of something? He shouldn’t get angry at you after he asked that you call him.” “I have NO idea. And he was all huffy to me when he said goodbye, so I just hung up without saying goodbye. But I felt bad about that later so I sent him a text message saying that I was sorry for just hanging up and that I hoped his paper was going well.” “Right, ok, that’s forgivable,” I said. “And?” “And nothing, I haven’t heard from him. To smooth things over I sent him a text the next day when his football team won. And still nothing.” “That makes no sense. You did what he told you to do and he got mad at you,” I said. “He’s just obviously not relationship material. Because if he was too busy to talk, he should have politely apologized and said he was working on a big project and that we could hang out another night. In fact, even if he called today I wouldn’t date him anymore,” she said. I admired her for standing her ground. She wasn’t going to let a guy be rude to her for no reason, especially after they’d had a few dates. If I were in that situation, I thought, I’d make excuses for his behavior and wish that he would call and forget that he’d be impolite. “I’m just glad I found out now and not six months down the line. But it does suck,” she said. “We’ll just pretend he died,” I said. “What?” “We’ll just pretend he died and no one told you. And then you don’t have to think he didn’t call. Because he couldn’t call. Because he died,” I said. “I love you. You are a great friend.” “This is what I did with The Nurse,” I said. “Until I saw him -- I mean, his ghost -- at the grocery.” “Oh! I saw him the other day when I was at work at the hospital,” she said. “Really? How did he look?” “Like the ghost of a man who wasn’t good enough for you,” she said. “I love you. You are a great friend.”

More online dating observations for men

Things you should not put on your online dating profile: Pictures of you hugging different children who are obviously not your own. Seriously, dude, when I saw you hugging on young boys who look nothing like you, I thought you were a perv. Then I read your profile and saw that you were a teacher. But still, other people's kids on the profile? Not good. Pictures of you holding a gun. I know, I know, it isn't pointed AT me in the picture. But it IS pointed at the sky, which makes me think you might go crazy and start shooting up at the clouds while on a date with me, which would really cramp my style. References to how you don't mind shopping for clothes with a woman, but you hate having to shop for accessories, especially purses. That is a very specific kind of complaint and an odd one at that. You'll help me pick out a shirt but not shoes? Why are we going shopping together again? We haven't even been on a date yet! Also, I want to surprise you with how pretty I look all of the time and you shopping with me is going to ruin that. And the fact that you said that makes me think you regularly date women who insist on dragging you to the mall, which makes me think you're kind of a pushover. (Also, women? Please do not force your boyfriend to go shopping with you. Because I hate having to trip over bored men while I'm searching for the perfect jean or a new sweater. And I listen to them try to help you. And honestly, they're no good at it. They're scared to tell you anything negative about what you're trying on. Bring a girlfriend shopping instead.) That you're looking for a date within 300 miles of your home. I want a date, not a pen pal. References to sweating. Me sweating. You sweating. Us sweating together. My experience is that the guys who say they're going to make you sweat rarely do. Also, Southern Belles don't sweat. Because sweating makes you smell bad and look icky and Southern Belles NEVER smell bad or look icky. So we don't sweat. We glow.

Something in a shade of gray

It’s hard for me to comprehend that I’m actually actively seeking a man right now. It’s so odd. I’ve always shrugged off my single status as a consequence of me not finding the right man. And that I needn’t look so hard because he would find me. Or we’d find each other. Fate and all of that good stuff. Then I turned 26 and all hell broke loose emotionally and I realized that I didn’t want to wake up 10 years from now alone and not at least be able to say that I’d tried. (If I’m never going to find The One, I don’t want it to be because I spent my life hiding under covers away from human contact.) But what next? Bored with online dating, tired of trying to find Him in smoky bars and wondering where to go. I get tired of it all, spend weekends alone. I scrunch my nose up at the guys who might be available. I’m too picky. Or sometimes, not picky enough, so I end up wasting time of guys when I know there’s no hope for a future. And this causes me to wonder if I’m at the point in my life where it is worth dating someone who isn’t The One. And then I get all stressed that I’m overthinking and that I should be having fun and not worrying so much about biological clocks and life schedules. I’m stalled. Or maybe I’m stalling. There’s a fine line between the two.

Common sense advice from a not-so-smug married

A few weeks ago I was eating lunch with one of my married girlfriends and we were talking about children. I had just seen my baby cousin that weekend and I told her that lately I'd been feeling very maternal. I was smiling at and flirting with every baby I saw in the line at the grocery store or as I walked through the mall.

"It is a bit disconcerting," I said. "I see babies and I just want to hug them and kiss them and play with them and love them. I don't know what's come over me."

"Oh, honey, I wouldn't worry about that," she said, very matter of factly, in between sips of Diet Coke. "You're probably just ovulating."

Common sense advice from a not-so-smug married

A few weeks ago I was eating lunch with one of my married girlfriends and we were talking about children. I had just seen my baby cousin that weekend and I told her that lately I'd been feeling very maternal. I was smiling at and flirting with every baby I saw in the line at the grocery store or as I walked through the mall.

"It is a bit disconcerting," I said. "I see babies and I just want to hug them and kiss them and play with them and love them. I don't know what's come over me."

"Oh, honey, I wouldn't worry about that," she said, very matter of factly, in between sips of Diet Coke. "You're probably just ovulating."

Couple Season

Though it always feels like I'm in need of a date to something, right now is the time of year when I really start to feel constantly smacked over the head by my lack of a date for functions. It starts out slow. Next week is a casual charity event that I attended last year. It is a nice event for those of us who aren't well off enough to donate thousands of dollars to a cause. But you have to have a partner because you play rounds of games. Last year, I went with The Banker. She was a great partner. We had a lot of fun and we won almost every game we played. But this year she has a work event the same night, so I am left sans partner. We're buying tickets to the theatre for January. And I'm sitting here in November wondering what would happen if I bought two. Would I have a date or would I spend the entire week before trying to pawn my extra ticket off and feeling like a moron for being optimistic about my dating future? In my family, talk of Thanksgiving and Christmas starts early. Like, this week. Soon I'll get my cooking assignments for Thanksgiving Day and firm up my plans. The headcount will start and I'll be the only single adult. Again. And the same goes for Christmas – my brother will struggle to balance his plans and work to make sure he spends time with our family and his girlfriend's relatives as well. The only struggle I have is what to wear to Midnight Mass. I won't have a date for Christmas parties. Or New Year's Eve. And I often wonder if the joke about men not looking for a relationship between now and Valentine's Day holds true. I overcompensate by bringing fantastic food. Baked brie with Kahlua-pecan sauce. Three sides to Thanksgiving, "because I just love how the house smells when I cook up a storm," I'll exclaim with mock glee, nervously ripping up a paper napkin in my lap under the table. Because the smell is nice, but I really hate doing so many dishes.

The perils of flirting in costume

Costumes add an interesting challenge to flirting. While most women I know go for subtly slutty (or outright whorish, depending on the outfit) with their Halloween costumes, men seem to go the other extreme. Either gross or odd. This can present problems. Can you flirt with someone with a fake eyeball dangling semi-realistically from their head? Is that guy in the mask looking at me? Could he take off the damn wig so I can see him better? Is that goofball being coy to match his character? Like the guy dressed as Magnum P.I. at the Halloween party I attended last night. Was he flirting with me? He had a fake moustache and a hat on his head so I could barely see his eyes. Maybe not? Probably not? When I tried to introduce myself, he shot back an in character, "I'm Magnum P.I." We talked some and he seemed to smile a lot. When I asked one of my coworkers who Magnum P.I. was – meaning the guy in the costume, not the character – I got an eyeroll and a lecture on 80s TV shows. By someone who is younger than I am. Fabulous. So, Mr. P.I., maybe you were flirting. I guess I'll never know, because that fake 'stache really threw me off.

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

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