Tag Archives: Dating

The Thing About Roommates

I have a rule. Don’t date men who, if it ends badly, you will still have to see them frequently. It’s a good rule, right? Safe. Thought-out. Smart. And hardly ever actually observed. In fact, I’d say there have been some glaring exceptions in my dating history:

1. Temp guy. Saw him every Monday-Friday. And while the date went awkwardly well, it was still a strange experience to see him every day after.

2. My “Big Split” ex: Started dating during an all-summer acting gig in the middle of the woods in upstate NY. Lived in the same building as him. Could have been really uncomfortable if things had turned sour there.

3. Pretty much every other guy I’ve dated.

So, fine, it’s not so much a rule as it is a hope. Or a very lackadaisical guideline. But after my last break up, in which I share a large group of friends with my ex, I’ve decided to try to stick to it.

This was complicated on day two of living in the city,when my roommate walked in. Tall, dark hair, killer smile- uh oh. The more I talked to him, the more my little guideline began to seem silly. Ridiculous, even. Why would I want to limit my options? Especially when my options have such nice teeth? (Seriously, they’re perfectly straight. It’s almost unsettling.)

The roommate and I have been hanging out pretty frequently ever since that initial conversation. We sit in the living room after he gets home from law school, eat dinner together, talk, and watch copious amounts of Family Guy. We get caught by our other roommate, who can clearly sense something stirring, when she walks in at midnight to find us still up and chatting away. He fills me in on the issues he’s learning about in his classes, and I explain the ins and outs of auditioning. It’s lovely. And to hear him talk about law is quite possibly one of the sexiest things I have ever done. His passion for what he does is so great and,therefore, insanely attractive.

Anyway, things were moving slowly enough for me to not worry about breaking my rule. Until a few days ago. We were standing in the kitchen, talking about our crazy work loads. He just kept saying, “I won’t be able to do anything this weekend. I have so much work to catch up on. I’ll be able to do stuff next weekend, but not this weekend.” He said it about ten times rapid fire. Why is he telling me this? Does he want me to do something with him next weekend? Does he usually repeat things 50 times? Does he not know he’s saying it out loud each time? So, I decided to try a more forward approach:

“I think I’m going to see a movie. I really want to.”

“Oh? Which one?”

“‘The Master.’ On Sunday, I think”

“Oh. Well, I would come see that with you! I could just finish all of my stuff Friday and Saturday!”

Mission accomplished. In fact, he is currently cooped up in his room, working his way through all of his assignments. As for the rule? Aren’t they made to broken, or something?

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The Awkward First Date- a Classic in the Making.

I have no false notions as to my capabilities when it comes to first dates: it is there, whether “there” is a restaurant, a movie theater, or a disco roller-derby spectacular, where my awkwardness thrives. Fine. I accept this. It is my cross to bear in this life.

Which is why I am still confused as to how I ended up asking temp boy to save me from being the third wheel on my sister and her husband’s movie date.  Clearly, I had been hit in the head by some blunt object earlier in the day.

Even so, I found myself rushing home on Wednesday to get ready for my date. Or double date, rather. I hadn’t been on a real first date since my first college boyfriend, during freshman year. Four years to let my awkwardness just fizzle away, making room for the new, sexy, confident me, right?

No. No, unfortunately that was not to be my path in life. And so, I humbly offer you my step-by-step guide to making sure your first date is as awkward as possible.

1. Don’t exchange phone numbers. Even immediately after you ask him on a date, when he’s taken his phone out and is fiddling with it in an obvious attempt to get you to freely offer your digits, don’t do it. This will ensure a good fifteen minutes of craning your neck in what must be a graceful, sophisticated way, looking for your date and praying you didn’t get stood up.

2. If going to see a movie, buy your ticket before he arrives. This will allow you to hop around on the other side of the roped-in line while he purchases his ticket. And for the love of God, make sure not to choose to go with the other party (when on a double date) if they go to get food while your date is waiting in line. This gives you ample opportunity to stand in the middle of the theater lobby, alone, without any sort of activity to take your mind off of how everyone is staring at you.

3. Go to a comedy. That way, you laugh so hard, you snort. Loudly. In his ear. He will find this adorable and charming. As will everyone else in the surrounding area.

4. Make sure to park far away from your date to ensure a quick, abrupt goodbye. This creates an air of importance and mystery about your person.

5. Upon said goodbye, be ready to shift forward and backward uncertainly for a few seconds. Do this at a far-enough distance as to make it seem as though you do not want a kiss goodnight. That way, everyone, including families pushing their way past you, can feel equally awkward. Do not, under any circumstances, lean in for so much as a hug.

6. Make your exit unforgettable by practically running to catch up with the other half of the double date.

And thus did I once again enter the dating world, awkwardly and ready to make an impression.  I will say, however, that all is not lost with temp guy. The next day at work, we were back to flirting and joking around, all awkwardness forgotten. Maybe he found my obvious ineptitude charming? Whether an awkward second date is in our future or not, I am content, for now, to know that I have not scared him off entirely. This time.

Any awkward first date stories?

Dear [insert name here],

I have a folder on my computer named “Letters.” It’s been on my desktop for about three months now. It’s become this strange sort of diary that I’ve ending up writing in whenever I became overwhelmed by what I call “the big split.”   You see, I have found that whenever I have something to say to someone that I’m not quite ready to/cannot/will not say to them, I write them a letter. It gets it out of my head, moves it onto somewhere I can just leave it for a while. (I highly suggest this, especially if you’re an over-thinker like I am. Many a 4 am letter has been written, believe you me.) Anyway, there’s been a lot of times in this split where I’ve wanted to call my ex, but due to a combination of intelligence, friends, and an all-women’s college background, I resisted. (Thank you, feminist professors.) Instead, I wrote him letters. And now, well… now I think it’s time to let them go.

Yes, we’ve all been there. That strange moment where you realize that the person who once took up a ton of space in your world was A) far from perfect and B), more importantly, is no longer worth the time or amount of space he’s been occupying. And, quite honestly, it’s about time I got there.

Something clicked for me tonight.

I was hanging out at my sister and brother-in-law’s apartment, just watching a movie and drinking some wine. It’s no secret that I’ve had my reservations about the two of them since they announced their engagement. They’re too young, they bicker, they got engaged so quickly, etc, etc. But watching them tonight, I felt how invested they were in each other, how accepting, how entirely present they were. It was like an electric shock.

I drove home and pulled up the letters file, looked at the discoveries, admissions, laments, and just plain bullshit that I had written in the past few months. I looked at the amount of time I had spent trying to sort through the confusing mess that was the past three years of my life, and I finally exhaled. Three years of holding my breath.

So, I guess this sort of counts as my last letter.

I’ll end it with this:

Thank you. Be well.

K.

The Ever-Glowing, Deadly Dull, Temp Agency Turned Dating Service

There are so many guys here. Yes, this is my first thought as I enter the building where I will be working for the next two months. (Hey. Don’t judge me.  That is exactly what any single, twenty-something girl who hasn’t been on a good date in a while would think when faced with the sheer number of attractive men in one place that I, myself, faced upon entering that prison…I mean fine place of business.) That, and what the hell did I get myself into?

Working at a financial corporation was not something I ever saw in my future, but there I was, sitting in a conference room with two other newly graduated employees, waiting to learn exactly what we were going to be asked to do.

Which brings me to my new friend. We’ll call him temp guy. He graduated with an English degree, can recite Shakespearean sonnets on command, and sky-dives on the weekends for fun. Oh, and he has a fondness for Spongebob Squarepants ice cream pops. Temp guy and I have been hanging out since training started at the beginning of this week, and the more I get to know him, the more intrigued I become. He is insanely good at brain teasers, can make me laugh in .2 seconds, and somehow has the built-in ability to follow my circular speaking patterns with ease. And did I mention he’s got killer eyes and this really dazzling smile that crops up whenever he sees me (quickly matched by my own..)? uh oh…

Yesterday was free jeans/free ice cream truck day at work. (I think they have to bribe their employees to stay. The job is insanely dull. I can literally feel any creative spark or will to live I ever housed within me seeping out of my fingertips and into the computer at my desk. I think that’s how they can afford to have so many lights on. God-awful florescent lights.) This means that we were able to wear jeans without having to pay for the privilege, and an ice cream truck would be parked outside of our building, serving up free ice cream for two hours. I won’t go into how much of a poor choice this is for a company in which most of its’ employees are already forced to live sedentary lifestyles due to the nature of their work, mostly because I am still excited that I got free ice cream.

I was outside, weighing my free ice cream options, when I heard a teasing voice from behind me. “Still deciding?” I turned around to find temp guy, proudly wearing his free jeans and smirking at me. “Hey, it’s a big choice. I don’t want to get the spiderman pop only to realize that I wanted the ice cream sandwich.”

Temp guy chuckled as he confidently went up the window, and returned seconds later with a Spongebob Squarepants pop. “I always get these. Ever since I was a kid.” He was smiling so freely, and standing so contentedly on the sidewalk with his pop that I couldn’t help smiling. This is going to be one interesting summer.

As OK GO once said, Here it Goes Again

I mentioned earlier that I have recently gone through a break-up (The Big Split). As expected, I went through weeks of worrying that I would never meet anyone who gave me that feeling again- stomach drops, heart races, words-tumble-out-so-quickly-you-can’t-think-because-you-need-to-hold-their-attention-for-fear-of-losing-it feeling. (Well, maybe that last part is just me.) Anyway, going to an all-women’s college certainly helped fuel that thought- it’s pretty hard to find that feeling again when the only men on campus are faculty or friends. So, with that encouraging belief, I resigned myself to a no-flirting, no-dating future…at least until NYC in September.

As you’ve probably guessed, that was a) stupid and b) wrong.

A couple of weeks ago, I tagged along to a party being thrown by a friend of a friend. Not knowing what to expect, I walked in, made some quick introductions, shook hands, and returned to the people who brought me. As I was joking around with my friends, I realized my eyes kept wandering in the same direction. Over and over again, they found their way over to the corner of the room-where three people stood talking. Curious. Until I realized that they kept zeroing in on one of the three in particular.

He was leaning casually against the counter, smiling in an easy, open way. He had the sleeves of his flannel shirt rolled up past the elbow (I’m such a forearms girl). And his eyes were the brightest blue I had ever seen. In about five seconds, my stomach dropped, heart started racing, and I could feel a geyser of words just sitting in wait behind my lips. Uh oh.

Stop looking at him. Really. Okay, one more look. Now, you have to stop. He’s gonna notice, especially if you’re slack-jawed staring at him. Get it together. You are a mature, intelligent, VERY together adu- wow, he’s wonderful. 

And so it continued for a while- the lack of control over my eyes, trying to hide that fact that I was half-invested in the conversation I was holding with my friends, hoping I wasn’t blushing- until everyone decided a drinking game was in order. A very active drinking game that involved jumping on paint cans and bricks and other assorted items (the floor was lava, after all). I was  a beer and a half in, and,as a complete light-weight (I’ll admit it), was already feeling very happy and content with the world as a whole. I chose my starting position quickly, and realized soon after that I was standing near him. Blue-eyed, flannel shirt guy. And then, the words started. A running commentary began escaping my lips, accompanied by a feeling of utter horror. Shut up! He’s gonna hate you. And try to avoid you. Instead of running in terror like I assumed he would, he started laughing. Full-body, smile reaching his blue eyes laughing. He thinks I’m funny! 

The game commenced-boisterously and happily, and I continued to make Flannel-shirt guy laugh. And then, he started making me laugh. We were near the back of the room (not a great place to be in the world of the game, but perfect regardless), trying not to fall into the lava while laughing at each other. With each other.

The night continued in much the same way, and I was smitten. It felt so impossibly good to feel that rush again. I wasn’t concerned with will anything happen. It didn’t matter. Just the pure fact that I could feel this again, that I did feel this again was enough. That didn’t stop me from friending him on Facebook, though. Because, really, who knows?