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Archive for March, 2007

I usually have really good intuition about new guys I meet online. I can tell from email exchanges and phone calls whether or not we’re going to get along, and if the date is going to be something to look forward to.

Xerox and I had exchanged a few emails and a couple of phone calls, and to say the least, I wasn’t very impressed. To the point where I didn’t think I wanted to go on the date. He seemed to have more than a few quirks, which didn’t seem endearing. He also seemed to be unsure of himself, which was offsetting, considering that he’s 42. I figured that the date would be a bomb, but with the encouragement of my friends, I decided that I really didn’t have much to lose. Plus, if it was a bomb, at least I’d have some good things to write about on this blog, so all would not be lost.

I got home and started doing some work for grad school, watched some mindless t.v., and basically procrastinated on getting ready until the last possible moment. In the middle of this procrastination, Xerox called saying that he was leaving at 7pm, so he’d be at SR at 8:30 rather than 8pm. Not a problem at all.

I finally started getting ready, and told myself to just go, try to have a good time, and get on with it.

I was to meet Xerox in the magazine section of Borders, which is in the center of SR. That way, we could decide where we wanted to go. SR is a very cool place, and has tons of restaurants, bars, and shops — a little something for everyone.

I got to Borders, and looked through the window to see who was hanging out in the magazine section. I saw the back of one guy who I thought had to be him. Not bad, but wearing light jeans that were a bit high-waisted (i.e. dorky) and a black long sleeved t-shirt type of thing tucked into the jeans. I know it sounds so superficial, but I try to dress my best, even though I’m a plus-sized girl. I like the guys I’m seeing to also dress in a hip/stylish manner to show they care about how they present themselves. I was a bit discouraged, but then reminded myself that I’m not everyone’s idea of perfect either, and I should just get over that. Plus, a few shopping trips can always help someone improve their wardrobe.

I went straight to the magazine section, and saw him standing there. When he turned around he really caught my attention. He was even more good looking in person than in his pictures, which is always a nice surprise. He seemed genuinely happy to see me, which really elevated my mood.

We went to a wine bar and had a few glasses of wine and a meat and cheese platter. We were there for a few hours, and the conversation completely flowed. I was sitting there looking at this great-looking, sweet, gentle guy thinking, “What a fool I almost was. How could I even think of not coming on this date?” We were both so comfortable with each other, and in my head I was thanking my Dating Gurus for encouraging me to go on this date. Xerox was really complimentary, telling me how beautiful he thought I was, how nice my eyes were and that I had a “knockout smile.” The kind of flattery that makes you want to bask in the glow even more. The cool thing was that I knew he actually meant what he was saying and that it wasn’t a pickup line. This guy is so sincere that I don’t think he has it in him to be fake or “smooth.” We talked about all sorts of topics, and then at one point, we got on the subject of my uncle’s death. Xerox was really sweet, and then shared a bit about the death of his twin brother and how much it affected him. I couldn’t imagine losing a sibling, let alone a twin — the other half of you. He also opened up about his ex-fiance and how difficult the breakup of that relationship was.

Now I know what you’re thinking — one of the cardinal rules of first-dating is not to talk about exes, but you know what? I really didn’t mind. It was good to understand where he was coming from and why he is a bit self-conscious/unsure of himself. The relationship was quite dysfunctional, and he finally realized that he couldn’t improve it, and that they were both getting more and more toxic for each other, so he left her. I’m sure that took so much courage.

We decided to change the contemplative/somber tone of our conversation and move on to lighter topics. He told me about living in Monterey and about his job. It was fun to hear about all of the funny things that happen in his daily grind. He asked me about my job and was very interested in hearing more about what I was studying in grad school. It was so nice to talk to someone who was actually interested in getting to know me better.

At this point, we were done with the wine bar, and decided it was time to smoke before we made our next plan for the evening. At this point I felt like I had broken the ice with him enough to give him a bit of a bad time about the whole “Tatyana/Russian mail order bride” thing. He laughed when I asked him about it, and said that he deserved it if I “broke his balls” a bit about it. I told him there was no way I was going to let it slide, and that I’d probably give him a bad time about it for a long time. Then he said something about wanting to show me this lighthouse in Santa Cruz, and the mood of the night changed again. This time to one of mutual attraction and budding romance.

We went to another bar and ordered two shots of Patron and 2 beers. The bar was a bit crowded, but we were still able to talk and laugh and flirt. All of a sudden, he was kissing me, and it was the best first kiss I’ve had a in a long time. Totally unexpected at that moment, yet perfect.

We decided that we should probably get some coffee so we could wake up a bit before saying goodbye. He was heading to Berkeley that night so he could see his parents (how cute!), and it was already after 1:30am. I wanted to make sure he was awake enough to drive. Neither one of us was drunk by any means, but we were both “softly buzzing,” so we figured we’d go to this little coffee shop not to far from SR.

Again we sat there completely comfortable with each other. He told me how much he had looked forward to meeting me (pangs of guilt on my end, as I couldn’t honestly say the same thing back) and that the date totally surpassed all of his expectations. Now I could totally concur with him, and told him how much fun I had had with him.

I drove him back to his car, and we ended the evening with some sweet kisses.

What a fabulous night! I’m so glad that for once my intuition was completely wrong.

Xerox just called me and said that he’d be coming through my city on his way back home, and wondered if I wanted to meet up for a bit. I told him I’d love to, and I absolutely meant it.

This time, I’m totally looking forward to seeing him!

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Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post, Do I Dare a Date? After many emails from my Dating Gurus (my friends whom I rely on for relationship advice/analysis/support) and a few comments on this blog, I have decided to go on the date with Xerox.

I do agree with MrDarcy77 when he says that I should be more excited about the date, otherwise what’s the point. Usually I am very excited by the prospects and possibilities of a first date. I am also a bit concerned over the whole Tatyana/Russian pen pal/possible mail order bride thing. I’m definitely going to have to ask Xerox about that tonight.

However, life is all about taking chances, weighing the risks of the situation and making a good decision. What do I really have to lose by going on this date? Not much. If Xerox is willing to drive from Monterey to see me, it shows that he’s interested. Plus, I never have problems meeting with or talking to new people, so I’m sure that part of the evening will go fine. I can hold up more than my end of the conversation, most of the time. Plus, if nothing else, I will have excellent stories for this blog. I don’t mind suffering through a bad date, as long as I’m able to use it later on this blog for entertainment purposes, believe me.

Who knows, I may actually have a fabulous time. I may think Xerox is a great guy. In his pictures he’s really good looking, so if he looks even half as good, I’ll probably be attracted to him. I know the wild card is going to be his personality.

I really need to get out of this house, anyway. This week has been a real downer — attending the funeral of my dear uncle, whom we lost last week. I’ve been so sad and sort of depressed/in a funk for a few months now because of his illness, coupled with the “breakup” with Mr. Could Be the One, so it’s time for me to go out and have some fun with a new guy.

Ladies, you’ll understand this — sometimes it’s just the process of getting all glammed up to go out that makes for half of the fun. Taking time to get ready, straighten my ridiculously thick, curly hair (I have a 1st date superstition that my hair must be sleek and straight on every 1st date), carefully choose my outfit and apply my Friday-night makeup with care all makes me feel good about myself. If the date is halfway decent it’s worth it. If not, well, then at least I look nice.

No matter what tonight brings, I promise to write all about the date tomorrow. There’s been too much buildup not to continue the saga.

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Do I dare a date?

A couple of weeks ago on Yahoo Personals, a semi-interesting guy responded to my profile. I’ll call him Xerox, because he works for that company.

His profile looked interesting — his family is from the island of Madeira, which is between Portugal and Morocco; he’s 40; he smokes, but is trying to quit (I smoke, but know I should quit, although I haven’t started to); he’s nice looking and is well built; he’s ready for a long term relationship. Some drawbacks are that he lives in Monterey, CA which is about an hour and a half away from me, without any traffic. I’ve never been one for long distance relationships, so this is somewhat of a negative. On the other hand, I’m so busy with work and grad school that I don’t often go out on weeknights anyway. Plus, I’m very independent, and like having time to hang out with friends and family, not just the guy I’m dating. So, the distance thing could work.

He wrote me a really long, detailed email about himself, which sounded great. He has a lot of interests, and even mentioned liking the Sufi poet Rumi, whom very few people know about. I liked everything he had to say in his email. The only problem was that he addressed it to “Tatyana.” (My name is not Tatyana, nor anything close to that). When I called him on it, he said that he had also been writing to a girl from Russia, but that they were really just pen pals, because they obviously weren’t going to meet. It really didn’t bother me, and I thought it was funny and sort of lame more than anything else.

So, he and I spoke on the phone, which was “interesting.” He speaks really slowly, which can mean one of two things — either he’s kind of slow (mentally) or he takes time and thought with his words. Also, every time he came to a stop sign (he was driving) he would say, “hold on” and not continue the conversation until he was through the intersection. It’s good to be cautious while driving and using your cell phone, but I thought it was pretty peculiar behavior. Strange, even.

At the end of our phone conversation, he asked me out on a date for last weekend, which I couldn’t make, because of funeral services for my uncle, who had recently passed away. He was really supportive and compassionate when I told him about my uncle’s death. He even told me that he had a twin brother who died 2 years ago. (How terrible is that?!)

Once it was understood that last weekend wasn’t going to work, I suggested this weekend, and he was agreeable. He said he would call me in the middle of the week in order to confirm/set up a place to meet.

I have to say that I wasn’t very impressed with him in our phone coversation. He seems timid, unsure of himself, and a bit awkward. He’s 40 or 42 years old (can’t remember which exactly), so I expect him to be more self-assured and confident by now. Maybe he is just like that on the phone, and he’s much better in person. He seems to really, really want a girlfriend/wife and said several times that he hopes I like him. (How about if he likes me?)

He sent me an email this weekend asking if I had forgotten about him (again, weak wording). I mentioned to him that I had been dealing with family stuff surround the funeral and that he could call me sometime on Tuesday or later so we could set up our plans.

He hadn’t called by yesterday, so I called him. He said that he was waiting, giving me space, and was going to call on Thursday. Ok, fine.

So we’ve arranged to meet at 8pm on Friday at SR, a cool spot near my house. He’s going to be coming from Monterey, which is at least an hour and a half, not counting traffic.

I had to check with my Dating Gurus to see what they thought. I’m having major doubts about even wanting to go out with him. There are several reasons:

  1. I am not very impressed by him so far. The stop sign thing put me over the edge, I think.
  2. I have a ton of work to do this weekend, and I could get a good chunk done on Friday night.
  3. I would feel bad making him drive all the way to my city only to find out that I’m really not that into him (if that’s how it turns out).

So far the Dating Gurus have all said that I should give the guy a chance. Lots of people are awkward on the phone, but in person their true personalities shine through. Plus, I need to put myself out there and take risks in order to find a boyfriend, or even someone I want to date a few times. Life is about taking chances. They said that if the guy wants to drive all the way from Monterey to go on a first date with me, I should let him. If it doesn’t work out from there, I can just tell him. They all said that they almost fell out of their chairs reading about the cell phone/stop sign thing, and they can’t wait to hear more about this guy. (That almost sounds like they want to get some amusement out of my dating life, but hey, why should this be any different from all of those other bad first dates I’ve gone on, right?)

My gut was telling me to cancel on him, because I’m just not that interested in his personality. My friends are saying to give the guy a chance.

What do you say, blog readers? If you’re out there, that is. Please leave some comments to let me know.

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A milestone of sorts

I’m 35 years old and still single.

Not that I’m bothered by either of those two facts, because I’m not. I’m really happy with the direction of my life, and in a lot of ways, I feel like things are just starting for me.

Still, so many of my friends are either married (some with children) or are involved in serious relationships. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a relationship that lasted longer than a couple of months. Part of that is a result of all of this online dating, I think. We live in a world where everything is temporary, including boyfriends, I guess. We’re all looking around for the next big thing. I get the feeling that lots of people don’t want to commit to anything, let alone a long-term relationship.

So, I decided that maybe it was time to make a few changes in my online dating profile preferences.  Nothing too drastic, but since I’m going to be 36 in July, it’s probably time to change my age range.  For the last several years I’ve had it set at 30-38.  Not sure how I arrived at those magical numbers, but it seemed to be working.

Then I started thinking about it and realized that if I’m leaving out a huge pool of potentially awesome men by limiting the ages so much.  A few weeks ago I decided to expand the age range to 33-40.  Adding in 40-year-olds is huge for me for some reason.  Men who are 40 seemed too “stodgy” and  set in their ways, not fun and exciting.  At least they did before I realized that in 4 years and 4 months, I’ll be 40, and I’m sure I won’t be stodgy or out of date. I need to give these guys a chance.  I might find The One this way, who knows?

After all, 40 is the new 30.  Which also means that I’m really only going to be 26.  WhooHoo!

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Word Cloud

I saw this on Carrie M’s blog, A Total Waste of Make-up, and thought it was pretty cool.

There’s a generator that will scroll through your blog, picking up words and creating an artsy “word cloud.” I like the way it looks, and especially what it represents. It takes all of my thoughts and feelings, and everything else I’ve poured into this blog and turns it into something beautiful. A word mix-cd, if you will. Anyway, I may be taking the word cloud thing too far, but I really like it. See what you think:

17757_fl_detail.jpg

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The other day I got a response from my Yahoo Personals ad that seemed promising.

The guy was somewhat attractive, lived in my city, and happened to be Italian, like me. Usually a plus, or at least, we have something in common to talk about.

So, after a few email exchanges, he asked for my number, which I gave him. He said he’d call on Wednesday, which he did.

I was really looking forward to our conversation. He seemed like a nice guy, and his emails were well-written, which is always a plus with me.

We began chatting about where we grew up, the schools we went to, what we did for a living, etc. Everything seemed ok, but then there was a lull in the conversation. No big deal, I’m a talker, so it’s not hard for me to keep up my end of the conversation. I asked him what he liked to do on the weekends for fun, and he said, “Well, unless I have someone to do something with, I usually just stay in.” Ok, so he’s not a party boy, no problem.

Another lull. I asked him if he had been to Very Hip Spot Near My House. He said he had been there to see a movie, but that was it. I asked if he had walked around, and he said, “no, just went to the movie and then left.” Now, Very Hip Spot Near My House is awesome — it’s got a European vibe that makes it feel like you’re in a totally different city than the one we live in. It’s like a getaway without the plane ticket and the security line. Although there are tourists who come to snap pictures and spend money and soak in Very Hip Spot Near My House — that’s how cool this place is. I cannot understand how someone can go there for the first time, see a movie and then just leave. No wandering around at all of the too-expensive-to-buy-anything-in shops, no coffee at the French-inspired cafe, nothing. It made me wonder about his guy.

Another lull. Then I asked him what he did like to do when he went out with friends, for fun. He says, “well, I don’t go to clubs or bars. I don’t like to drink. My ex-wife, you knew I had an ex-wife didn’t you?” {I didn’t, since he hadn’t mentioned that on his profile.} “Well, my ex-wife, she had a major problem with drinking, so I don’t drink now either. The thought of drinking makes me sick.” Now, I’m no lush, but I like to drink. I enjoy it. I love wine, or martinis, or mojitos, or whatever happens to be the drink of choice in the bar/lounge/home I’m in at the time. I want to date someone who also enjoys drinking — not to excess, of course, but as part of the spice of life. Which means that I choose not to date anyone who’s had a past problem with drinking. I think it’s great if that person is on the wagon or in recovery or whatever, but I don’t have a problem, so I want to be able to imbibe without feeling like I’m tempting the person to do something that is destructive for him. If that seems close-minded, so be it. When I heard this reaction to drinking, I felt for the guy, I really did, but I started to think about how much of a match we could be if we had this big difference between us. I asked him what he thought about other people drinking and he said the requisite, “well, I think it’s OK, as long as it’s done in moderation.” Great, my 3 glasses of wine on a Saturday night might be way too much for you, but for me, it could be all in moderation.

After the next lull, which I decided not to fill, just to see how long he would let the silence continue, he said, “Well, I guess you can tell by now that I’m not much of a conversationalist. ” {Gee, ya think?} “Some people can’t handle it.” {Who are the other people who can?} “I like silence, but once I get to know you I’ll probably talk more.” So, what am I supposed to do until then, hold up both ends of the conversation? Keep asking you questions and making witty banter just so you won’t have to come up with something to say? Don’t you have any questions about me? Aren’t you curious about something? How about commenting on something I’ve just said. Anything. Give me something to work with here.

I tried to keep the conversation going for a bit longer, just to see if there was something worth salvaging, but I finally decided enough is enough. I’ve heard of the strong, silent type, but this is ridiculous. I emailed him the next day and told him that I really appreciated his phone call, and that it was nice to get to know him a bit, but that I thought our interests were too different. {That and the fact that you don’t know how to hold a conversation.} Of course I didn’t write that! I probably should’ve, just to wake him up a bit and help out the next girl he spends time on the phone with.

Back to the drawing board, I guess. Sigh, if only I could draw up my perfect guy.

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