Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Some Dating Advice: Make it About Them

I have several friends, male and female, who come to me for dating advice on a regular basis. What makes me some sort of expert? Nothing really. I'm no Patti Stanger from Matchmaker Millionaire. I'm certainly no Yenta (sadly I'm a Gentile) though I think being a nagging Jewish mother would be awesome! I have lived through several years-long "successful" relationships (in the sense that both myself and my partners were happy and in love for years even though things didn't last) and in my periods of male-drought I've been on TONS of dates. Currently, I'm dating a worthy guy with our future fate at status "unknown" but with some promise. So I guess I have something to say. And so does anyone who has been out there really.

When it comes down to it - I believe- take ANY and ALL the advice you can get. Try everything. Consider anything. Find out what you are comfortable with and what works for you. And sometimes take a risk and do what's uncomfortable too. Hey, if it ain't working, it ain't working! - time to change your tactics...

This brings us to my most recent dating advice bestowed on a singleton about to go on a first date with a girl, whom he'd met briefly but didn't know much about. This was our discourse:

The Dater: she may hate my guts when I speak

Me: Just try to be friendly, optimistic, talkative, even overly so. - Sometimes I think that you don't like me or are mad or not having a good time but really you're just calm/relaxed/easy going/aloofish. That's just your way.

The Dater: yes, I hope she doesn't think that

Me: You want her to feel warmed/welcomed like you are having a good time

The Dater: I want her to like me!!

Me: hahahha. Well -- then be LIKEABLE

The Dater: that's the hard bit

Me: Okay so I want you to pretend every second of this date EVEN IF YOU FIND out SHE'S NOT AS good looking as you remember or not nice or not cool or not fun or different than you thought I want you to use this date as PRACTICE -- practicing being THERE, being PRESENT, being NICE to another person. Your goal is to give HER the best DATE EXPERIENCE possible. Forget about yourself, your wants, your needs, your satisfaction -no matter what. Treat her the way you would treat THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE. But of course as if this is the first date with the love of your life. Be polite, chivalrous, enthusiastic. Smile, ask questions, etc. I think that you need to think of this as being a great date FOR YOUR DATE and the likeability part will come. Its not about you, its about her. Period. Just go out, meet a new person, and treat them great and you'll be fine.

Such, was my advice...

Unfortunately, as it turned out, the date did not go well. My dating friend described it as a "nightmare." But I do not think that all was not lost from this encounter. Because he was likely a better version of himself? Perhaps he improved himself as a dating prospect? Or maybe because he at least has the piece of mind that he did everything he could to make things go well on his end. After all, at the end of the day, what else can you do? And how bad can you feel?

Things in my relationship have been bumpy. Perhaps it is the three month bumps. Perhaps we are not a good fit. I don't know. Somehow though, I have a sense of calm about things despite the difficulties. Which as you know - is not my specialty. I am not calm. Instead, I am the storm to most calms. But lately - I am relaxed and self-assured in the role that I've been playing. Frankly, I am kicking ass as a girlfriend -- to put it plainly. Seriously. I am patient, I am kind, I am thoughtful. I am understanding and forgiving and giving. I meet his friends and wow his boss. I'm flexible on scheduling and activities. I care about him. Deeply. I try to make him happy. I try to be fun and positive and supportive. I don't act jealous (Even though I'm terribly jealous). I respect him, trust him and admire him. And I am the least selfish person I have ever been. Mostly, this transformation is from intentionally pushing myself every day to be the best version of myself because he deserves it. And because it feels good to be the best me I've ever been. So at the end of the day - if he doesn't know how great I am - or doesn't think I'm the woman of his dreams - there is nothing else that I can do. Ultimately however, giving love has been even greater than receiving love. I have made it about him, not me. Which may be the truest definition of love. Which is not to say...I'm not wanting and hoping to receive in return.

What are your thoughts dear readers? Good advice? Bad advice? Make it about them first? Or should it start with you?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Guys Are Easy

I began to undress without any pomp or circumstance. It had been a long day and it was time for bed. Simply - I was tired.

"Oooh...I like that."

"You like what?" I asked nonchalantly.

"You know...that 'outfit'."

"It's not an 'outfit' it's just a bra and underwear..."

He didn't say anything else. He had already made his way half way across the room and started kissing me. That and what followed...was. hot.

My advice to all you women out there: Immediately go out and buy a new matching bra and underwear. Possibly several. Better if its colorful, lacy or silk. Nightgowns work too. Lingerie if you've got the money and the know-how to wear it. But you needn't get crazy. Mine was simple. Black top and bottom with a white lacy trim. Both purchased for the combined price of about $20 at Macy's. And they worked wonders...

It just goes to show you,





Thursday, March 24, 2011

What Not To Wear?

I am hopeless when it comes to fashion. I have never denied this. Nor really tried to hide it. I think I'm a nice, normal looking girl. I think I dress nice and normal to match. I always look "nice" people tell me. But no one ever asks me where I bought this dress or that skirt. Or the designer name of my... well... anything. Ever. This is something I'd like to be better at. Now that I'm approaching 30 years of age and a lawyer working at a big firm and...well...a grown-up.

This is something I'd especially like to be better at when my boyfriend tells me that he's been invited to the fancy birthday bash of the senior partner at his firm and the senior partner has specifically, explicitly, by-name, invited not just the bf, but yours truly. "I would sooooo love it if your girlfriend, Toddy could also attend. Please extend the invitation to her will you?"

When Mr. U extended the invitation it was more like a - yes you will go to this with me because its an important professional opportunity for me - and please dear god go with this to me - because - well because you must.

I, of course, am going. I'm the lawyer in the relationship after all. And I have never been invited to do anything with a senior partner myself. Ever. For anything. I don't even think I've ever had a senior partner ask me to do anything by name.

But this is where the generally sucking at being a woman thing comes in.

What in the eff am I gonna wear?
How in the eff am I going to do my makeup?
My hair?
My skin is still scary vampire-ish pasty white from summer, will I scare the Sr partner off?

Do I go buy a new dress, new shoes?
Do I get my makeup done at the MAC counter?
Do I get my hair blown out or an updo at a salon?
Should I get a spray tan?


Should I dress as best as I can, the "nice" and "normal" girl I typically embody? - with as best makeup as I can do, assume the pale skin will look Victorianly beautiful and appropriate (as if I blew in from a different era) and rely on the fact that my dark, brunette hair was just recently cut and looks fantastically healthy and shiny and...

Hope for the best?

If only I had any idea - What not to wear.

*Le sigh*

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Roommates

So... I haven't written much since I went postal on all y'all's asses last week. I don't have much to report but I thought I would try to remove the metallic taste from the mouth of the pink elephant in the room. Or something like that...

So... Let's not talk about how I'm not perfect. Or how Mr. U is or is not perfect. Let's talk about how his roomates are sooooooo not perfect. Or rather the roommate and the roommate's girlfriend. I'd love to get some independent takes to see what your thought process is on these two.

So... The roommate is Mr. U's good friend from college. They are close. The roommate's girlfriend was a good friend of Mr. U's as well and the roommate and the girlfriend met because of Mr. U. Basically all three parties are close and get along.

Here's the problem. The roommate and the girlfriend are my age. In their late twenties. But they act like horny, obnoxious teenagers. They've been dating for six months and yet they are all over each other. All. the. time. In the apartment. Out at bars in public. They just stand so close and talk so close. And baby talk almost. Like "you're so great. No, you're so great." "My girlfriend is the hottest girl ever...blah blah blah." Am I the only one who is like "ick, ick, ick. No you're so ick, no yooooooooou're so ick!" ICK. Ick?

I got really upset about it a couple of weeks ago. I went over to Mr. U's to watch the Oscars with the three of them. They were so lovey dovey all over each other that she sat on his lap in a chair with her back to me on the couch next to them. And the two of them basically ignored me all night. Even if I asked them a question or they asked me one they would get so into each other and get distracted and start talking about something else (only to each other) that they would forget they were talking to me or just stop talking to me.

It really hurt my feelings at first because I thought maybe they didn't like me. That they were good friends with Mr. U so they should want to be good friends with me. And that they weren't making an effort and it was on purpose. I was frustrated and angry and thought they were rude and inconsiderate.

But then... I saw them out at Stetson's a little while later. On the back patio portion. With about 20 of Mr. U's other friends. And they were seated next to each other. Only talking to each other. In a room full of people. In a room full of their own friends. And then they left early. It was weird. Really weird.

On the one hand, who am I to say how people should act or behave. They seem happy and SUPER happy with one another and in love and having fun. It works for them. And now I see that its not personal. They weren't ignoring me or refusing to get to know me or deciding they didn't like me. That's just who they are. So I want to not be judgmental and be understanding and let them do their thing. I mean - what other choice do I have?

Do you agree with me though? I mean is this or is this not socially inept behavior? And to some extent thoughtless, inconsiderate and rude? Who of our age can't make nicey nice and have a conversation in public or in a small group for 5 minutes or for an hour? Who are these couples who can't stop holding hands and being in each other's faces for 30 seconds long enough to take a breath and acknowledge another human being? What are they thinking (really!)? How were they raised? How do they function in society? I just. don't. get. it.

The roommates are really nice people. Interesting. Smart. Attractive. When I come over to the house or see them out they call me "Counselor," smile at me and genuinely seem happy to see me. But I don't foresee a chance of ever really getting to know them well. Because of course - that would take some effort - on their part. Kind of sad really. Hmm....

Friday, March 11, 2011



I'm pretty sure I was a complete crazy bitch yesterday freaking out about my post and some of the comments.

Look...I wrote something that made me feel really VULNERABLE and EXPOSED. Which is a good thing. It is. It means I wrote something truthful and hard.

I just didn't want anyone to tell me I was crazy or to relax or to take things slow. But I have promised I would never censor my readership or my comments. And I never have. When you write a comment, whatever it says, it stays up. If you write:


Then I am going to leave it up there. Promise.

You have a right to react to my writing the way you want and to say what you want. Give whatever advice or criticism (constructive or otherwise) and I want to hear it and I should hear it and I will hear it.

So basically, while Mr. U is pretty near perfect, I have never come even close to implying that I am. I am EMOTIONAL and TEMPERAMENTAL and ENERGETIC and FEISTY and SARCASTIC. I am MESSY and I get ANGRY and I'm INTROSPECTIVE and a little bit LOONY. or maybe a lot LOONY.

I am not perfect. I fuck up. I overreact. I can be too sensitive. I can get irate for no reason.

I think what I'm trying to say is I'm sorry. Sorry to Megan, sorry to my readers, sorry to myself. Please keep reading. Please keep commenting. But just keep in mind that I'm a real person on the other side of these stories. With really feelings. Trying to bare my soul here - in order to better it - and my life and to enjoy it more - through interacting with all of you.

Forgive me????


Thursday, March 10, 2011


This blog is not about you. This blog is about me.

I wrote a post (which I've now removed). Saying I wanted to ramble about some crazy lovesick thoughts in my head. Saying whoever read should proceed with caution and compassion and explicitly asking them not to tell me I was crazy or wrong or weird or overthinking it.

And what did I get?

A comment: "Dude. You need to calm down. Go hang with friends or something."

It was the exact opposite of what I specifically wanted or needed to hear. You don't think I have friends? Lots of them! And exercise. And spend time with family. And cook. And pay bills. And work all day. It's not like I sit around all day pining for my boyfriend freaking out about shit. Maybe a freak out lasts 5 minutes. But then I write about it in detail and it gives the impression it lasted all day or all week or all month.

This blog used to be a haven. I could write whatever, whenever, to whomever. Because no one really read me. No one noticed. Most of the time. But then sometimes I'd get solidarity or helpful advice or support from others who seemed to understand. Or a laugh from other blogs I read. But now it feels like I'm being judged at every turn. And told I worry too much. I did this wrong. I said that wrong. I'm crazy. Someone who has never met me tells me to "go hang out with friends or something" like thats going to help me deal with some very real and raw emotions.

It makes me want to quit writing. Because sometimes, when you all read me, and think you know me, and say things that hurt my feelings, it makes this blog a prison. And a burden. And no fun anymore. And not very useful. And makes me want to shut it down, and find a better use for my time. Like hanging out with friends or something.

Ramblings of a LoveSick Crazy Woman


Adjective: Behaving oddly, or as though in distress, due to being overcome by feelings of love.

Real? I need to know I'm not imagining this. That it is really real. I know I have no reason not to believe its real. And every possible reason to believe it is real. This is not one of my ordinary posts. A romantic, fantastical recap of how wonderful he is and how happy I am and another pretty, exciting jaunt in one of the city's many haunts. No, this is the kind of post that I started this blog for. To be honest with myself. To figure out some stuff. The crazy stuff in my head. The emotions I don't understand. The humanity that won't be still or silent. If you must read on, or even comment, please do not tell me that I'm crazy. That I'm lucky. That I should just be happy and enjoy it already. To take it slow. That people want what I have. That this is what I wanted. That this is what I was looking for. No. No. No. No. I don't want to hear it. Proceed with caution and compassion. Validate my feelings and my thoughts and my fears. Because I feel them. They are there. Whether unnecessary or dumb or destructive or wrong. Proceed with compassion...

Is this real? (I close my eyes and conjure all the moments we have been together. Not how I wrote it or over thought it or tell about it or fantasize it. What really happened. What did it feel like. They are so vivid. The electricity I've felt with his hands on my thighs. The sound of a laugh. A whispered conversation with the lights off. All those moments, from the beginning...)

Thought to invite me but that's just him. He brings people together. We both get our energy from others. Attentive at party. But again that's just him. The consummate host. Locked eyes. Yes, attraction. Chemistry. Kissed me. Said he'd ask me out. Did.

Okay, so interested. At least initially. Why? I'm not so great. But why not, I kind of am. But I am also sort of a mess. But he didn't know that then.

He planned the date and looked great. Later told me he wore his best suit just for me. Kissed me first date. During date. Couldn't wait. Kissed me end of date. Planned second date on first date. Texted me to make sure I got home ok. Said nice time.

Epic dates followed. But that's just wooing right. Could be just excited about someone new. Crush on them. Trying to bed them. Doesn't mean anything real, long-term, emotional. Restaurants. Movies. Museums. Bars. Introduces me to friends. A lot of them. He brags about me: "She's so fuckin smart". Hey says to a buddy at karaoke, "my girl can sing." He sends me orchids on my birthday and while making love to me says: "It's like you're perfect." He dims bright lights because I hate them. He bought me a copy of his favorite book. He reads to me aloud on Sunday mornings from said favorite book and rubs my back the way you would a child. Gives massages. Is not selfish (in any way). Even went hunting in old family albums looking for pictures of us when we were younger. He pulled one out and showed it to his mom and dad and roommate and now keeps it in his kitchen. That time we had dinner and told stories in the dim light, our faces so close, our voices so soft. The play. The hotel. The forgiveness. The patience. Makes me coffee. Makes me tea. Says yes - it happened fast - but yes - we are close.

Why my hesitation? Why a need for reassurance? There are reasons. Don't kid yourself. No one's perfect. Nothing's perfect.

He is not affectionate enough. Not touchy feely. Never pdas. Haven't met his parents. He hasn't met mine. Not substantially meet that is. Sister coming to town. Not meeting her either. Doesn't tell me I'm pretty. Doesn't tell me I'm sexy. Doesn't grab me. Doesn't text me - like, ever. Doesn't email (much) and when he does its laconic and official like I'm a coworker, not a girlfriend. Doesn't spend enough time with me. Tells me not to worry about the future. "I just wanna see where this goes," he says. Doesn't seem to miss me when we're apart. Thinks nothing of seeing each other only every 5 days. Says goodbye to me when we part for a 5 day span like its no big deal. We sleep horribly together. Never slept well once. He is too formal with me. It feels like we're in beginning stages of dating instead of a casual, informal, spontaneous - pair. Stopped walking me to metro or my car on days after. Doesn't call me baby or babe or sweetie or any kind of nickname. Just my name. My full name. Not even the shortened version - which everyone else does.

This is why people get married. It shouldn't matter. If someone stays by you, then loves you, then stays by you. But it does. Maybe so you can relax. So you know for sure. Yes, I've chosen you. Okay? So now you can relax.

When I'm with him my inner monologue is screaming, "I love him, I love him, I love him. I love you. I love you. I love you. Don't tell him you love him." I bite down hard. Grind my teeth clenched so I don't give my secret away.

How can you know? How can know? How? Too soon. Could be wrong. Could be crazy. I know I think too much. I know I over think it. I know you think you know us. He's perfect. This is perfect. I mean it is happening. But I'm terrified. And my heart aches. I can't believe its happened again. Its like a miracle. It's like a curse. It's like a haunting. It's like a test of mental and emotional fortitude. It's like a joy. I know he likes me. Probably a lot. But as to more - am I delusional or is this real? Am I alone in this love? Or am I loved?


Adjective: Exhibiting a lover's yearning.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Blind Blog Girl Date

It all started when she began commenting on my blog. On several different entries. She wrote thoughtful, insightful responses to my content and threw in some casual compliments about my writing as well. Let's be honest, nothing forges a friendship like a welcome dose of flattery. She signed her name as simply "J." Like a good "blog friend" should, I began reading her blog as well. It made me laugh. It was easy going and light. I related with it. Commenting led to tweeting. Tweeting led to emails. Until finally, I received this email from her:

"BTW I really loved your post from this morning and am happy to see how well things are going for you and Mr U. He sounds pretty darn fantastic. "

And in return I wrote the following:

"Thanks. Don't worry, the greatness of it all isn't lost on me. I pretty much go around all day every day thinking "lucky me, lucky me. I am sooooooooo lucky. By the way, if you ever wanna hang, I'd be down. I haven't actually met anyone from the twitter/blog world yet as my intention has always been to remain anonymous. On the other hand us DC dating bloggers are really in quite a specific niche and I'm sure we'd have a lot to talk about. I get the sense from your blog that you are nice person AND normal, which I can't say for everyone. Let me know. If not, I'll keep reading anyways. no worries."

I felt a bit like Tom Hanks in You've Got Mail when I typed those words out into the blogosphere. "Do you think maybe we should meet?" Can you hear him saying it? Because I can. I wondered if she was Meg Ryan horrified and intrigued all at the same time considering this proposition on the other end of the message, seated at her own computer. "Meet? Do you think we should meet? Meet?"

For those of you who are experts by now at online dating, or for all of us who are simply aware that online dating is almost as commonplace and normal in the world of social adult interaction as say singles events or meeting at weddings or at the bar scene, meeting a total stranger off the internet after a few brief written interactions might not seem that bizarre or scary or unnecessary. But I am not one of those people. Though I have created dating profiles on two different online sites, I only ever conversed with a half a dozen people or so. In several months time. Despite being pummeled with messages in my inbox on a daily basis. But somehow I never came close to meeting a single person.

I don't have a great reason. I just never wanted to BADLY enough. I also honestly believed that you would have to sift through a TON OF BAD dates to get to any viable good dates let alone strongly desirable partners and I just didn't have the time or energy or optimism (at the time) to go the distance - to put in the work. And it was just that - it seemed like A LOT of work. Also, the idea of meeting a stranger who I'd never seen in person or talk to in person and being stuck with them for a span of an hour or two just seemed foreign and, well, icky.

So no one was more shocked than I was, when I asked a platonic blog friend to go on what I guess you could refer to as "A Blind Blog Girl Date." (I must credit "J" for this description for it is she who first came up with it). Why did I want to "meet"? I still don't have a good answer.

One thing I can say, is that blogging, OUT OF NOWHERE, became a huge part of my life. Even a daily part of my life. I read so many other people's written words and thoughts and opinions and emotions every day. On the bus. At work. In bed before I fall asleep. While watching tv on the couch. A lot. Sometimes I wonder if this is a good use of my time but then I read something in Gretchin Rubin's "The Happiness Project" book where she talks about how we all need to "have fun" in our lives, whatever "fun" means for you. Reading and writing blogs is "fun" for me. It is entertaining, relaxing and cathartic. So, how can that be bad? I feel a need to write. I must write. A need to reflect on my self and the world around me. I must reflect. If I don't, I feel the inner monologue become overrun and exhausted and overhauled. The words must be sorted out. The ideas must be considered. It is a blessing and a curse.

And once I felt I just had to write and my form of writing meant blogging, I found what an extraordinary and diverse community the blog world was. How many wonderful women there were out there just like me, struggling as a single to JUST FIND A NORMAL GUY. Just. like. me. Dating and dating and dating - just like me! And then when I met Mr. U, I found women who were in new relationships or old relationships or heard from the singles regarding their recent relationships that they'd faced the same worries, fights, fatigue, doubts, euphoria and thrills of a new special someone - just. like. me. This dialogue and this community and this understanding was addictive and warm and comforting and fun and just nice. To understand and be understood. To listen and to be heard. In some ways, I seemed to have more in common with my "blog friends" and "twitter friends" than I did with the people I interacted with every day IN REAL LIFE. Because we shared a passion for writing and dissecting relationships and for bettering ourselves through self-reflection, creativity and more often than not - humor.

So I guess it is no surprise when I found a blog of another single girl who sounded just. like. me - that I wanted to talk to her. About boys. And blogging. And living in DC. I think somehow I felt she would understand. Understand what or how much I dont know - but just understand. Something. Some of it. Or just me.

Now, this may sound like a lot of pressure to put on a stranger from the blogosphere unknown beyond. But its not. Isn't that why we all make friends? For companionship? And for understanding? In a way I was sort of online "dating," but not for a romantic partner, and instead for a platonic friend. I just didn't know that this was what I was doing.

There were other friendly, thoughtful and interesting bloggers who I almost met first. Who organized happy hours and speed dating and get togethers. And I am sorry I was busy working. And I'm sorry I was sick or whatever lame ass excuse I had for never making it. For that, I am truly sorry. But I didn't. And we didn't. And what else can you do? I certainly hope and imagine an opportunity will arise and I'll get a second chance with those seemingly lovely ladies. But when I asked "J" to meet up with me, I was giving it another go - to let my blog life and my real life collide - for the first real time.

Which is another thing to consider - I was fascinated when I found out that the blogging community was largely not anonymous or pseudo-anonymous or partially anonymous. People used their real names. Pictures. And got together for drinks. I didn't understand this. The beauty of my blog is that I can curse and talk about sex and say what I REALLY think about that close friend that is getting on my nerves or my mother or my boyfriend, without anyone judging me, getting hurt, holding it against me or thinking I'm a complete bitch or lunatic. Or without getting fired for embarrassing my company. Well maybe you think I'm a bitch or a lunatic anyway, but I don't know you, so I don't care. Which isn't true really - I do want to be liked - by everyone, all the time - including strangers - but I think it hurts less overall.

But by meeting someone in person - showing them my real face - and using my real name - I was leaving myself vulnerable to being exposed to the real world as who I really am - which is what I say and do - in the blog world. All my hopes, fears, insecurities, angers. Who I really am. Maybe that's why we blog. And do it anonymously. To be who we really are without rejection. Because in the real world there are just too many reasons not to show our true colors.

At any rate, no matter why I did it or what I'm looking to get out of it, I asked a fellow female "blog friend" to meet in person. To hang out. To talk about blogging. To maybe make a new friend to spend time with in real life or not. But to have an experience I've never had. How many of you have done something lately you've never done? For the novelty? For the questions it poses? Just to do it.

So for some reason I asked J to meet. A la platonic You've Got Mail. And I was delighted that she gave the following response:

"I would absolutely love to hang out sometime! It will be like a blind blog date. I've had the same sort of struggle myself- no intention of ever blogging publicly, but also wanting to become further integrated into the blogging world (or...whatever it is, exactly). In fact, only one friend knows about the blog- I feel like I'm living a secret life! So, in summary, yes, it would be very fantastic to meet someone whose blog I so enjoy reading and have much in common with...I am available other days to meet up for a drink or some other such thing."

To which I replied: "Let's coordinate soon. Of course we'll have to blog about our blog blind date. Of course!"

And then she concluded: "Very excited for our blog blind date and to hear all the details about Mr. U in person. Chat soon!"

And today, coincidentally, ONE MONTH exactly after I wrote that initial email to J to "ask her out" (hah) I'm very excited as well for our blind blog date which will take place later today. Just drinks or food or whatever, and hopefully good, friendly conversation at a location of our choosing.

Unlike a real date, I am not nervous. I forgot to wear my nice shoes but so what. I'm having a bad hair day, but so what. I'm also having a "fat day" but so what. I didn't spend extra time getting ready. It doesn't matter where we're going. If she's late I won't care. If she stands me up, I'd be disappointed but I wouldn't take it as a negative reflection on my person. I don't care what kind of clothes she wears or what job she has or what she's studying in school or what she looks like. If we don't hit it off and we go our separate way shortly after meeting, there'll be no hard feelings. I anticipate no games and no worry over the check. It doesn't matter if we pick the right location or activity or if the food is bad or the drinks take too long to come. There's no pressure. There's no judgment.

I guess like all dates, even a platonic blind blog girl date could go badly. We might not have much to say, or much in common (in real life) after all. But it'll be an experience nonetheless. A satisfaction of curiosity. A chance for friendship. And as long as she's not a completely insane person or psycho killer or intent on "outing" me in real life and to the blog community, breaking my anonymity for some sick joke or experiment (which I suppose are genuine possibilities, though not likely), I can't imagine it going badly or any negative consequences.

Wish us a pleasant time if you will. Nothing more, nothing less. After all, isn't that what meeting new people is all about? If only all "dating" could be so easy...

Monday, March 7, 2011

I Like Surprises Honest - Part Four

I solemnly swear to reveal the actual surprise in this post. Honest...

To recap:

(1) Mr. U surprised me at work in the middle of the day with flowers. I was extremely surprised. But - I did not like it. I was in the middle of something, insanely busy, caught off guard, running behind schedule, stressed and suffering from intense mouth pain and swelling from a root canal. It just wasn't a good time. Plain and simple. Also, I take work very seriously and my office is high security. Unscheduled visitors are not all that welcome. I got a wide array of responses from readers saying (1) it was okay that I did not appreciate his surprise and kicked him out of the building as soon as humanly possible (2) it depends on the person or situation and its hard to say whether I was in the right or wrong (3) that I'm a complete idiot, don't deserve him and should have been overly excited, gracious, inviting and grateful. All said and done, knowing what I know about him being a workaholic and the type of place he works at, all I can say is that if I showed up at his work place unannounced OR even announced, I think he would completely lose his shit and then lose my number. Seriously. So I don't think the double standard should be allowed here, that I should be okay with him popping into my work place unannounced when he would be mortified if I did the same. Another thing you don't know, is that he won't even meet me for lunch, ever, even though we work two blocks apart! He says he's too stressed and busy at work to EVER do lunch out and just eats at his desk. Talk about someone who takes work seriously...

(2) Following my ungrateful, curt response to his surprise show up at the office, we had an honest conversation where I insisted that I did in fact "like surprises, honest." And selfishly encouraged him to surprise me or give me flowers in the future because I now worried I would never get them again based on my first time negative response. I couldn't blame the guy if that did in fact become the case. But you can't blame a girl for trying.

(3) He promised I hadn't seen the last of surprises.

(4) Three days later he said I would get a surprise on the following Friday night. I asked for hints. He emailed me daily hints. I begged him for more hints. I got them.

(5) The hints insisted of the following:

1. It is comfortable
2. Requires me to stay with me, well not "requires" but would be a total waste if I didn't
3. It isn't all that great
4. It is gay friendly.
5. He might be able to intercept me after work temporarily before he returned to the office for the purpose of the surprise
6. It is, in nomenclature, tangentially related to the Adams Family (Presidents, not Creepy TV people).
7. As it relates to us it is single use, though not necessarily single use in general.
8. It is still a surprise.

(6) My guesses had including the following:
1. Something having to do with rainbows
2. Something having to do with floats or parades
3. Something having to do with underwear or "Long Johns"
4. Rainbow underwear
5. Rainbow pajamas
6. The zebra striped black lacy thong I'd left at his place the week before
7. Him wearing that thong
8. Edible underwear
9. Pillows, candles, bubble bath
10. Condoms
11. Some kind of food

None of these guesses fit the criteria of all the hints or made any sense. I was completely stumped, and dying to know the answer. I was also understandably excited and thrilled that I had such a creative, wonderful, and thoughtful boyfriend who had made the days without him leading up to our night together so full of one another (though apart) and so fun and special.

At 7 pm on Friday night, I finally left work and set off to meet Mr. U near the Gallery Place/Chinatown metro station. Then we continued on foot for a couple blocks.

Our first stop of the night was the Shakespeare Theatre which was performing Cymbeline, one of Shakespeare's lesser known romantic comedies. Mr. U had lent me a copy of the play a week earlier and asked me to return it that night, since I said I'd finished it. He knows I'm a book nerd. And also a nerd for Shakespeare. I had almost all of Shakespeare's plays on my shelf in my bedroom filled with my own underlinings, notes and highlighting. Mr. U had noted this and thought Cymbeline would be up my alley. It was. He had even encouraged me to underline, take notes and highlight at will. He didn't mind my mark-ups in his copy. This was all starting to make sense now. But still, this wasn't my surprise was it? "Is this my surprise," I asked him confused as to how this would fit with ANY of the hint criteria. "No, this isn't it." Okay, I thought, still completely lost. Still as the show began, I had no choice but to suppress my curiosity, for at least a little while longer...

And the play was a great distraction. At intermission, Mr. U and I didn't get up to use the restroom or to get a refreshment. We sat in our seats and talked about the first half. "I'm completed riveted," he told me. And it made me glad to hear that he was enjoying it as much as I was. "I love this," I told him sincerely. "You deserve it," he responded. (I assure you, it never gets old hearing that).

The second half similarly did not disappoint. Though we found the story line a bit contrived and thrown together at the end (come on William what gives?) we enjoyed the staging, costumes, back-drop and acting. There were many visually and intellectually stimulating scenes. One, where troughs of water surrounding the stage were filled with red dye to symbolize blood by the play's two warring kings. A second scene filled with laughter and folly, involving a fool riding a vespa. And a third, where a young girl actress threw feathers in the air and embodied the wrath of the often angry and jealous God Jupiter. I found more than one moment breathtaking.

When the play was over we made our way to our next site to satisfy our growing appetites. We settled on Hudson Restaurant and Lounge. A loungey-type bar with subtle pink lighting and dark sultry corners, rich small bites such as Truffle Mac N Cheese and to-die-for sangria margaritas. It was the perfect, romantic post-theatre dinner spot for two.

Shortly after we sat down, Mr. U asked me if I had remembered to bring his copy of the play. "Of course I brought it," I told him as I pulled the thin book out of my purse. "Why?" "Let's discuss it," he urged. "I'm sorry, what?" I asked him really unsure of what he meant. "Let's discuss it," he said again. "Anything. Imagery, Metaphors, Things you liked, didn't like. How did the theatre interpret the play? Anything unusual that was different than the pure writing itself? Don't act like you haven't analyzed this whole thing ten times over Miss English Major extraordinaire because I know you have."

I sat there in shock. No doubt my chin dropped, my mind blank. I knew this man was Mr. U and Mr. Perfect to boot, but sometimes I forget. Was he actually wanting to converse about theatre and literature, with the hard copy book on the table, at 10 o'clock on our Friday night date in a pink hued loungey type bar? Yes, yes I think he was. And in the words of Julia Roberts in Steal Magnolias, if we hadn't been in public, I might have done things to that man that would've "frightened fish." Just sayin...

But then it dawned on me. How did he know that I was this much of a dork that nothing would tickle my fancy more than digesting and dissecting Shakespeare on a Friday night? Was I this much of an open book? Or had he been paying this much attention? And then I started to panic. He must have been listening to everything I said and watching my every move. And noticing the books on my shelves and...

I must have taken too long to respond and perhaps even zoned out, because before I could answer, Mr. U reached over and took the book from my hands. He flipped through the pages, stopping briefly on one passage and then another. "Okay," he started inquisitively, "for example, why did you write 'intrinsic worth' on this passage here?" And so it began...

After a mature, intellectual (and sexy as hell) grown-up conversation about the pursuit of truth and gender stereotypes in literature, Mr. U paid the bill, collected our coats and stood up. He reached out his hand and said: "Are you ready for your surprise?" "Yes! Finally!" I responded immediately. "Yes, I am." "Alright, then, well it's just around the corner." Hmmm....

We stepped out into a windy night. I linked my arm in Mr. U's as we walked several blocks. My head turned downwards, chill on my cheeks. Suddenly he stopped in the middle of the sidewalk. "We. are. here." he said pausing between each word for affect. "We are??" I thought looking around dumbfounded. We were in the middle of 18th and L street. All I could see were closed businesses (because of the weekend) and bustling bars (because of the weekend). "Are we going to Mackey's?" I asked. "Nooooo," he said. Um, okay....

And then I saw it. "Ooooooooooh," I said aloud as a light bulb switched on in my head. "Oooooooooooh." "I got it." "Yes?" he said mischievously grinning. "Yes!" I said, certain I was correct. It was certainly comfortable. It was single use in our case, but not always. It required me to spend the night with him. It was obviously related to President Adams in name. But...

"But why 'gay friendly,' specifically," I asked him coming out of my own thoughts. "Oh," he answered. "Because it's all over their website. Rainbows and details that they are welcome specifically." "Oh, okay. Makes sense," I said back at him.

Mr. U reached into his pocket and pulled out a small, white envelope and placed it in my hand. "This is yours he said. And this...." (he reached in his pocket for a matching small, white envelope which he kept in his own palm) mine. Shall we?"

"One more thing," I asked him. "Anything," he said. "Why did you say 'it wasn't great?' This is great!" I assured him. "Oh you know," he said. "It's not the greatest surprise of all time. Or fancy or expensive or permanent or a gift. I just thought it would be silly and fun and different. And besides, I wanted to keep expectations low."

"Ooooooooooh, I see. You wanted to keep expectations low did you? Well what did you expect that we would be doing in there anyhow, huh?" I said sarcastically and looking at him bitingly. "Oh well, you know, whatever, anything, nothing, um..." Mr. U doesn't get flustered often but he was in this instance. "Well that's no problem," I said in return. "Just keep in mind that I too, like to keep expectations low. You got it?" I asked him (now with my own mischievous sparkle in my eye). "Duly noted," he answered back. And then we both laughed.

With that, I kissed my boyfriend sincerely and thankfully and followed him through the double glass doors of the entrance to the Quincy Hotel. After all, it was still a surprise. And I like surprises.... honest.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I Like Surprises, Honest - Part Three

I already knew that "It is comfortable." And also that it would "require me to stay with him on Friday night." But I had no idea what his surprise was.

The next day there were more hints.

"These won't tell you much of anything but are fun for me to think of:

It isn't all that great.

It is, in nomenclature, tangentially related to the Adams Family (Presidents, not Creepy TV people).

It is gay friendly.

It is still a surprise."

Whhhhhaaaaaaaaaaat? I couldn't figure it out. "Gay friendly." "Gay friendly?" What does that mean?

We are both extremely liberal so I could only assume this referenced something that is typically associated with the gay community. Rainbows? Equality? Same-sex scenarios? Floats? Parades? Political activism? Unions (versus marriage)?

I also started googling the Adams family histories on Wikipedia. Abigail Adams. John Quincy Adams. John Adams. Hmm... "Tangentially related?" Maybe had something to do with the word "White" as in "White House." Then I thought about "John". "Long Johns"? Underwear? Rainbow underwear? Would that be comfortable? It occurred to me that the last time I'd been at Mr. U's I'd forgotten a black lacy (zebra striped) thong. I truly hoped my "surprise" wasn't that he'd recovered my lost "long johns." Or even more hoped that it wasn't something like him WEARING my lacy lost zebra striped "long johns." I mean maybe that is sexy but something tells me it. is. not. (Convince me otherwise if you can).

I still had no idea so I started asking questions. Prodding for more hints...

"Okay, if they don't tell me much of anything, then how are they helpful hints? are these real hints? Also, does this actually REQUIRE me to stay over at your place or do you just want to to stay at your place so we can...???"

"Requires you to stay with me. Well, not 'requires' but would be a total waste if you didn't."

"Is it something permanent? As in my be used multiple times? Or something temporary that is either single use or perishable?"

"A well framed question, but this can be both of those things... as it relates to US, it is single use."

Single use? Hmm.... Candles? Bubble bath? Hopefully not condoms. Ewwww. Food? Edible Underwear (aka Long Johns)? Double ewwwww. (Or not? Convince me otherwise...) And then he volunteered more suspicious information...

"If you're coming straight from work I might intercept we can walk together before I go back to the office. I want to keep der surprize alive a little longer so I won't say why this is so, but it is so."

"P.S. This better not have ANYTHING to do with you shaving your beard. You KEEP THAT BEARD MISTER!"

"Can I trim it?"

"Oh I suppose."

"Ooooh, now I'm thinking about your beard and surprises and long johns and..."

"Hold steady Counselor. Almost to the weekend."

So what did that leave us with?
1. It is comfortable
2. Requires me to stay with me, well not "requires" but would be a total waste if we didn't
3. It isn't all that great
4. It is gay friendly.
5. He might be able to intercept me after work temporarily before he returned to the office
It is, in nomenclature, tangentially related to the Adams Family (Presidents, not Creepy TV people).
7. As it relates to us it is single use.
8. It is still a surprise.

No idea. I was COMPLETELY stumped. AAAAAAArg.

I wrote him one last email:

"This. is. fun."

And this. was. fun. It didn't matter what the surprise was. Thinking about it all week and getting daily hints and writing these emails back in forth. Was fun. And silly. And sweet. And thoughtful.

When Friday rolled around it turned out that I had to work late. There would be no early "interception" of my person beforehand. I had an ENORMOUS duffel bag of my things to take to Mr. U's for the weekend. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it before our evening events. Whatever we were doing, I was pretty sure I didn't want to haul a bag all over town or try to find a place to put it in a nice restaurant. I called Mr. U and asked him if he'd come by my office and pick it up and take it back to his apartment at some point during the day. "I'd be delighted," he responded cheerfully to my request. "Delighted?" I thought was a strange response. This was a heavy duffel. And walking 8 blocks or so with a duffel bag in the middle of the day was no pleasant feat. It wasn't an impossible or miserable request. But it certainly wasn't "delightful." At any rate, I was delighted he was so forthcoming. I handed off the back some time later in my office lobby. He gave me a kiss and said: "Are you ready for your surprise?" he asked. "More than you know," I assured.

I walked back up to my office and back to my desk. Glaring at my computer for keeping me company this late on a Friday instead of relieving me to go start the weekend with my boyfriend. Then a smile curled up amidst my face. Despite the present work, a future surprise awaited...