Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Anatomy Of An Online Dater (Or) A Year of Tiny Catastrophes in NYC

Anatomy of an Online Dater (or) A Year of Tiny Catastrophes In New York City 


I had been living in New York for 5 months when I came home to my sublet in Crown Heights to find an unexpected eviction notice and an unfamiliar lock on the door. Four months later I was laid off after slightly under a year of employment. Five months after that my boyfriend of 6 years broke up with me in an email. By December of 2013 I had already been on two online dates, and had another 4 planned, all with different people. It was the first month in a year in which I spent zero time weeping in a stairwell.

I had been single for about 3 months when I grew bored with my own self-pity. Though the idea of having to win over a new person seemed not only impossible but utterly terrifying, I knew that it was important for me to at least entertain the possibility that someone, somewhere, might one day want to endure my company for longer than the length of time it takes to finish a Jameson on the rocks.  

It is notable that my ex and I were friends for over a year at school until I decided to drunkenly caress his thigh while watching Midnight Cowboy in his dorm room (which was, incidentally, right across the hall from my dorm room). After outing my nefarious intentions, I vomited violently both in the communal bathroom and in my own trashcan. I had been mixing orange vodka with Sunkist Cherry Limeade and had earlier consumed a noxious combination of skittles and redbull so the vomit in question was visually stimulating to say the least.  Somehow, he was still interested and we went on “date” to the campus dining hall later that week.  I was 19 years old.

We lived together after leaving the dorms, first with roommates for one year,
and then in our own one bedroom apartment for two years including one year after college. Life in our college town felt dull and stagnant once we were out of school, so we decided to move to New York City where he had grown up. Or he decided. I wanted to move to New York for my own reasons outside of the relationship, but I didn’t have a family and free rent waiting there for me so he went without me and I moved in with my parents to save money. We stayed together because it felt insane not to. It never occurred to me that he didn’t care whether or not I made it there or whether or not I cared if he was waiting for me if I did. To be honest, I never thought too hard about it at all. By then the relationship had a life of its own.

We almost broke up once while living apart but then we didn’t. When I finally made it to New York things were somewhat less than romantic. They might have always been that way but now his family was there quietly expecting things which in turn caused him to expect things loudly. I had my own life to lead. There were jobs to lose, sketchy apartments to fail to avoid, friends to almost make, and train schedules to misread. He had an entire life waiting for him there and I did not. It was no one’s fault, but it was not an easy year.

When it finally ended I looked around and could not find a trail of my own wants or needs leading up to that point.  I only saw the version of myself that failed to live up to  someone else’s expectations. So I scrapped it; the entire system of priorities that had previously informed all of my decision-making.  I preferred to be a blank slate than someone whose identity was wrapped up in another person. That summer I spent most of my time wandering alone in parks, drifting alone in museums, exploring alone in unfamiliar parts of the city, and skulking alone in graveyards. I was discovering what it was that I actually enjoyed doing without worrying about the notion of “company”. I still felt unfinished, but I was filling in the gaps.

Then one day, somewhere between Sunnyside and Greenpoint-during a particularly aimless bought of wandering- I remember thinking “some company might be nice”.

Perhaps you can understand my apprehension about entering the adult dating scene as a recent NYC transplant with an incomplete personality and a very dubious dating background. Last time I was single I had the freedom of the dorms on my side; now I lived in a slightly removed and untrendy Queens neighborhood with two random girls from craigslist who kept magnetic bible verses on our fridge. My breakup more or less demolished my social life and I was somewhat less than awash in other single ladies with whom to share my Saturday nights. Instead I spent my evenings troubling over what I might say on hypothetical dates that no one was asking me on.

Will I be able to let him know that I’m interested without coming on too strong...or let him know that I’m NOT interested in a mature and respectful manner? Will I realize that he isn’t interested before I get too excited?  And let’s not forget about the potential danger. I don’t THINK that I’d accidentally agree to a date with a predator, but how can I be sure? What if I’m not as smart as I think I am? What if…what if he hurts my FEELINGS? Crap... I’m going to have to feel things, aren’t I? I wasn’t anywhere near ready to consider another relationship, but I needed to know if I was even capable of sitting across from a new person without letting my anxiety shut me down completely.

This is how I found myself on the night before Thanksgiving of 2013, with half a bottle of cheap champagne in my system, staring at a blank OKCupid account. I had the username. I had the profile picture. Now all I needed was something honest and endearing to say about myself- Something appealing without seeming overconfident.  My whole life felt like a red flag and while I knew I didn’t have to reveal the entire grisly truth, I also didn’t want it all to flop out unexpectedly later on.

I grew frustrated and decided several times that dating is not important anyway and I should forget it and focus on growing my hair out, but no matter how I tried to distract myself, I kept clicking back into that first blank box, watching the cursor flash impatiently. Something about that blank page felt so hopeful and empowering that my previously screaming anxiety dimmed to a faint murmur, drowned out by a clearer message: This is going to be very different than the last 6 years of your life and it might be fun.

I sat there for almost an hour, tapping the table next to my computer while the alcohol seeped into my brain. Finally, I put down my drink and placed my fingers on the keyboard. In the “About me” section I wrote:

In the past year I have been unexpectedly evicted,  unceremoniously laid off, and dumped in an email from a long-term relationship.  I have no reason to believe that this impressive losing streak is over, but I am pretty sure that everything is going to be OK anyway.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

22 Men From The Internet

*Also From Vermont Guy (Ethan? No...I think I'm thinking of Ethan Allen. Not all men from Vermont are named Ethan)
*Beard Guy (Possibly Justin?)
*Guy Who Thought I Was Racist Because of An Unfortunately Phrased "What Kind of Hispanic?" Comment (Jose?)
*Short Guy Who Was So Bland I Forgot his Name Immediately

These are the names-the actual names- of the men that I have met via either Ok Cupid or Tinder in the past year. Technically I'm about a month shy of a year since I first signed up for OKcupid but I think 22 is a nice round number and I have my reasons to cool it for a while. It's been an fun, informative and sublimely exhausting exercise.

 I want to be clear that I haven't been dating madly because I want to find a boyfriend, or need male attention in order to feel good about myself. I also want to be clear that this wasn't just an experiment; I was always open to any outcome and when something seemed promising I focused on it. I wasn't looking for anything in particular but I didn't make any rules for myself. These are all real people and a few of them I've come to care about in a very real way so I don't mean to be flippant about that. 

The facts:
*10 I saw once and will never see or speak to again.
~6 are my friends on Facebook.
Of that 6, 3 are people that I will likely never see or speak to again in any direct fashion but whom I mostly hold in medium to high esteem
X3 are people that I can comfortably refer to as friends.
<31 of those 3 is one of the best friends I've ever had.
!3 from the list are people that I am not Facebook friends with, but whom I could text if I wanted to without it being super weird.
&1 I still text/gchat regularly but  whether or not I will ever see him again is, apparently, some kind of ancient riddle for which I do not have the proper ciphers. I'm working on it. (As I mentioned- EXHAUSTING).

Prying minds will inquire how many of these people I have slept with. The answer is less than most of them. As a guideline, take whatever you think the number might be and subtract from that the number of times you've seen me in public in either sweatpants or pajamas since 2010. If you don't know me well enough to answer the second question then my vagina probably shouldn't be one of your top concerns. 

These 22 fine gentlemen have yielded the following highlights:

The only really good New Years Eve I've ever had.
4 Truly Awful dates. I cherish them.
2  Stunningly mediocre dates that we both quietly pretended did not happen afterwards
1 very decent date with someone who was just too hard to schedule around
1 date that I thought went very well, which I ruined immediately by pushing to schedule the next one the way a pain med addict pushes a doctor to prescribe
3 casual meetings that I hesitate to even call dates
1 broken phone
2 almost-relationships which never quite materialized; probably because I'm a sociopath who treats her own dating life like an episode of Planet Earth.
1 kickass sex trophy sweatshirt (this will be among the only direct sex references in this blog). Basically I had sex with someone and then he gave me an awesome red sweatshirt (in a thoughtful way not a "I exchanged sex for a sweatshirt" kind of way) and it was a delightful experience.
3 Different dates with 3 different people at the Alligator Lounge in Brooklyn
 Added bonus **it turns out that two of the people on this list know each other, but only one of them knows that, and only one is my Facebook friend, and the one who is my Facebook friend isn't the one who knows**

There is a certain stigma surrounding online dating, but the truth is I'm not great at making a first impression (I'm a slow warmer in both directions) 
and I would have had maybe 10% of the experiences I've had if I hadn't opted to explore this option. Its just another way to meet people, and it's one that seems to suit me. As I've stated before, I don't know what my love life "working out" is going to look like for me, but I feel genuinely lucky to have met the people I've met. It's an odd bouquet, and not every flower is one that I would want in my living room, but I like the way it looks altogether. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Drinks With a Guyfriend: A Dramatization

Drinks With a Guyfriend: A Dramatization're upset because you think she doesn't like you?

No, she said she wants to see me again.

So you're upset because you don't like her?

No. I didn't say that.

Ok. So we're drinking and commiserating because you like her, and you think she likes you too and…she's your cousin?

Enough with the sass. I just wanted it to go better. I had an idea about how it was going to be and then it just...didn't. 

Well I don't know what to say about that. It might not be a great fit if you're already not having a good time on your third date. 

Right. The third date.


It was our THIRD DATE.

YEAH. I think by the THIRD DATE if you're not having fun it's probably time to call it.

No. I want to see her again. 


Don't look at me like that. Did you order drinks yet?

No not yet. He hasn't come over. Like I'm really fucking confused? Sorry. I just…I don't know what's going on.

Well that's fucking clear.

STOP IT. I'm trying!

You think I'm a bad person.

I have no idea what we're talking about. Bartender? Hi! Two Jamesons on the rocks please. Thank you!

Jesus. I'm upset that we didn't have sex. How are you not getting this? Can I have mine with no ice? Thanks man.

Oooooooooh! Well THAT makes sense. Actually make mine a whiskey soda? Perfect!

So I'm not a bad person for being annoyed? I mean I do like her but I really didn't see this as being a whole courtship thing. Why am I so bad at this? Don't people do it all the time?

People? Sure. People like us? Apparently not. At this point you're committed to the fallacy though so you either have to ride it out and hope she's not insane or cut it off now.

Like us? Don't you dare lump me in with you. You're a maniac. Are you taking notes right now? Calm down over there.

…No I'm not. I mean yes I am. Just… YOU calm down.  Anyway I get it now. Let the commiserating commence.

That took too long. I'm exhausted now. You're useless.

Listen. That's mostly true but in this case it's not my fault. As long as I feel like it's going to happen AT SOME POINT I don't get all miserable if the time line isn't what I want it to be. Although the timeline is pretty much always exactly what I want it to be…so maybe never mind.

That's not fair. 

Nope! None of it is. Cheers!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Hot Topics: Catcalling, Terrorism, and Our Entirely Fucked Up Power Structure

Most Problems Can Be Solved By Abortions.

I think its safe to say that any man who thinks that street harassment is an acceptable behavior (including men who don't actually do it themselves but support the practice) probably had a mother who either didn't have time to raise him or never wanted him in the first place. Yes, an absent father figure can also have a negative affect, but even a single mother can grab her shitty little offspring by the ear and say "WHAT did you just say about that girls tits, you little monster?". Mothers are the ones who really hold the power to ending harassment. Therefor, abortion and proper birth control is the answer to street harassment. Reluctant mothers=shitty men. Since our entirely fucked up power structure refuses to facilitate this very basic concept, they could at least make it legal to shoot any man caught harassing women in public in the nuts with a tranquilizer gun. If we sterilize these should-have-been-abortions in the process, then so be it.

Speaking of Power Structures….

The National and International power structure is the way it is because people, historically, do not want to do things for themselves. The minute you give up a little bit of autonomy because you think it will improve your quality of living, there is room for some opportunistic bastard to step in a make decisions for you that you didn't anticipate. Is it a complete fallacy that anyone in any government is at all qualified for the job of making decisions for everyone everywhere. The smartest people on earth- the ones who actually might be able to help sort things out- do not WANT that job. They are too busy amusing themselves with electronics or writing jokes for Veep. This goes DOUBLE for anyone in the Police or Armed Forces. There are thousands of noble, brave citizens risking their lives for what they perceive to be public safety, but their leadership is mostly full of self-righteous, power crazed biggots who have completely lost touch with what their role in society is supposed to be. And yes, a non-white officer who hates Muslims is still a bigot. It isn't always a visible race issue.

As for American Government specifically, anyone who can be so easily indoctrinated as to actually stick to their party lines has to be at least a little bit stupid. I don't have an answer for this problem. I think it's a problem that we're stuck with. Pick your battles and fight for them, but don't ever expect that the government wants you to be happy. Who knows what those idiots want (probably money and to have their stupid, blobby face on a stamp or some shit).

But What About Good Vs Evil?

Things like Isis and the Taliban are very scary and we want them to go away. It's pretty fucking absurd to think that this is possible though unless they also have a plan to eliminate the human capacity for fear and hatred. We can bomb the shit out of the middle east and extinguish every last terrorist affiliate, but no matter what there will be people who only want to destroy everything that they don't agree with. Let's be honest, there are thousands of people in the US who would gladly run around shooting anyone who threatens their ideology, but we don't allow that kind of thing and most people are very afraid of prison. America is not the answer to the question of human error. Some of us are more dark and slimy on the insides than others, and there are no geographic limitations to where they might be lurking.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

People Said Brooklyn

People told me I should live in Brooklyn. I didn't have any better ideas, so I moved to Brooklyn. And then I left in a huff...but now I'm back!

My first stint in Brooklyn was in the summer of 2012 when I had just moved to New York from Vermont and didn't know much more about The City than that in order to get to Sugar Hill in Harlem, one must take the A train. Of Brooklyn I knew even less. I was under the impression that I needn't bother trying to live in Manhattan unless I had a trust fund, and that Queens was incomprehensible and the Bronx was too far. So I moved to Brooklyn.

It didn't go very well. My airBnB room in BedStuy was lonely and sterile; my summer sublease in Midwood (for which I was fairly sure I was being profoundly overcharged) culminated in my getting yelled at (by a yoga teacher who claimed to be Buddhist) for not vacuuming the floor when I left and for leaving a single empty water bottle under the bed, and my sublease in Crown Heights ended abruptly when the actual tenant was evicted less than 4 months after I moved in. I was in what would end up being the last year of a near 6 year relationship at the time, and for reasons which are now very understandable but at the time felt like absolute horse-shit, my (now ex) boyfriend was reacting to my struggles with a level of compassion more resembling that of an exhausted school teacher than of a romantic partner.

By January of 2013 I was exhausted and upset and I blamed Brooklyn so I fled to Woodside, Queens after hearing nice things about it from a co-worker. My first apartment there was a windowless but recently renovated basement room which I outgrew in 8 months or so (also my roommate there had recently taken to burning sage on a regular basis), so I moved around the block to a much larger room with a walk-in closet and it's own half-bath. Somewhere in there my breakup occurred, I got laid off, found a new job, quit that job, found another job, and developed a taste for whiskey (not in an alcoholic way, just in a 'I can actually afford to get drunk when I go out now' kind of way). I was still exhausted, but I was far less stressed out because my general mentality was something along the lines of  "Oh? This is where my previous ideas about life have lead me? Well fuck it then. Let's try some different ideas."

By winter of 2013/spring of 2014 things were going surprisingly well, as they tend to do when one gets past the hard parts of a breakup and moves into the "Oh ok that happened and I lived and there are tons of attractive interesting people everywhere and I am allowed to kiss them if I want to!" bit. I felt comfortable in the city, I finally had some friends of my own which weren't at all tied to my former coupled life, and dating was turning out to be more hilarious than it was horrifying (as you know if you read this blog regularly). By summer I was confident, happy, and as secure in my station in life as one can be when one is 26, single, and still figuring out how emotions are supposed to work. So naturally, when a friend of mine had a room open up in his apartment in Bed Stuy, I grabbed the opportunity to tip over my perfectly comfortable nest and haul its contents to Brooklyn again in the name of cheaper rent and not living with strangers for once.

I've felt a lot of things since moving to New York, but "at home" isn't necessarily one of them. It would seem that being "comfortable" isn't particularly important to me- except for where actual physical comfort is concerned...I am the fucking president of Cozy town. I own several robes and am an except in creating blanket cocoons. I think this is a distinctly Vermont skill. The only reason I care about money is because one day I hope to own and have room for an AWESOME couch.

...anyway. I feel good. I once wrote about feeling like I had no roots but I think I was rushing the process. They will come if I can stay in one place long enough to let them dig in.  The Duane Reade in my neighborhood was once inexplicably closed at 7 PM on a Sunday but other than that I'm on board with my new digs. I'm closer to Williamsburg than anything else so you can expect some "Hipsters In Their Natural Habitat" type stories in the coming months. When people said Brooklyn I think they were wrong, but now I'm here because I found my way back and it feels like the right place for me to be.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Diary of a Gluteal Fold: My Day in Super Short Shorts


I don't really believe in fashion trends but I do believe that if a trend is going to exist, everyone should be able to participate. Women are brought up being told "dress for your body!" and "not everyone can pull off____." However, norms are shifting in terms of what one can expect to see out on the streets (of New York City at least) and I think this actually has a lot to do with the anti-slut shaming and universal beauty movement. I'm not sure these are really movements but for the sake of this essay lets assume that they are.

One particular trend that I've been seeing woman of all shapes and sizes getting down with are super short, high-waisted shorts. Now, as we all know, not everyone has the slim, smooth thighs that whatever bitchy fashion designer concocted these articles had in mind. I occasionally see a butt/thigh combo pass and my first reactions is "oh, honey, NO." Recently, though, I've been trying to adopt more of a "you GO girl" attitude- because who is it that gets to tell us which gluteal folds are worth beholding, and which ones should be scorned and hidden away under culottes? It has always been my theory that if the worlds power structure is a conspiracy of rich white men, then fashion trends and who is allowed to wear them are a conspiracy of their thin, cunty wives and girlfriends, and the assholes who design their clothes. I know that sounds VERY sexist against those woman, but let's not pretend that women of privilege are any less to blame for the worlds injustices against women than their male counterparts. Fashion, which should be a means of self-expression, contains an ugly world of elitism, body shaming, and culturally chauvinistic attitudes.

Super short shorts are not something I feel comfortable in, and to be frank I'm not sure why anyone would WANT to walk around with their ass hanging out. I'm 5'2 which means I'm not exactly leggy, and I have the solid physique of a former athlete who kind of tries to work out still so my butt is on the large size and my thighs show the signs of having expanded and contracted to hold muscles of varying bulgitude. Furthermore I am very VERY white and my legs, especially my upper thighs, are roughly the color of one of those lizards that lives in a cave ecosystem and never evolved pigment. One might say, why not go tanning, or use fake tanner? Because fake tanner smells terrible and looks awful and I can't think of a bigger fucking waste of time and energy. If my legs can't handle getting tan on their own during the course of my normal life than I am just not meant to have tan legs.

My cultural conditioning tells me that people do not need or want to see the full force of my glorious quads and hammies, but then I see women out in the world proudly flaunting their non-traditionally beautiful thigh meat and I think "well isn't this how we change things? By those of us who have been told "no" to just do it anyway until everyone gets used to it? So I went to Target (in the juniors section) and bought some off-white, denim, high -waisted short-shorts with a flowery embellishment on the front (pictured above). I chose them because they looked like they were specifically designed for a tan person with no thigh muscles and I figured as long as I'm doing this, I might as well fucking DO this.

Here, for you now is the diary of my day out and about in my daisy dukes:

Stage 1: Prep

When you are very white leg hair is a problem because it is visible the very instant it pokes through the skin. So, in anticipation of my day in short shorts I had to assume some very awkward positions in the shower to make sure I was able to shave anything that might become visible, which is pretty much everything. If I were very brave I suppose I would have forgone this step but smooth legs are something I enjoy having so I don't really consider them a feminist issue. In fact, I feel bad for men because most of them will never know the pleasure of rubbing their freshly smooth legs together or of being able to easily apply and remove bandaids to all parts of their bodies.

Once out of the shower I did my best to inspect the back of my thighs for bumps and cuts. There were many, but I had come too far to turn back now.

Stage 2: Creating the outfit

Highwaisted shorts are tricky because they are cut to enhance your physique in theory, so technically you're supposed to have the waistband exposed otherwise your shorts will just look lumpy under whatever shirt you're wearing. The top options are limited. You can do a very breezy blouse that flows away from your body or a shirt cut sort enough to rest above the waistband. I figured if I was going to do this, I might as well go full force country yokel so I selected a daisy themed crop top. I don't have a problematic midsection, but it's a little on the squishy side, so crop tops aren't something that I own a lot of. I actually bought this top along with the shorts in anticipation of this moment.

Stage 3: In public

When I exited my apartment I immediately caught a stiff breeze straight up the caboose and became stingingly aware that although my ass was not "hanging out", it certainly was in a position to get some fresh air, which is not the usual state of affairs. It was profoundly uncomfortable and I spent most of my walk to the subway tugging at my ass like a constipated toddler.

I walked from my apartment to the subway stop a few blocks away and definitely caught a few glances on the way, both male and female. However, in my part of Queens it isn't unusual for men to openly stare so I'm not sure if this was because of the outfit or just because I had girl parts generally. The women looked fairly churchy so it didn't necessarily have anything to do with the fact that I specifically was wearing the shorts. Even a skinny 12 year old might have gotten a scornful eye dagger.

Stage 4: Transit

Sitting on the subway was difficult. Part of my ass cheek was definitely making contact with the seat and that is NOT an acceptable thing for my ass cheek to be doing. Furthermore, the structure of the shorts caused the limited fabric surrounding the crotch to jut into my vagina while the back of the shorts when straight up my asscrack. This could have been because I bought them at Target, but even a higher quality garment cut this way would have to do the same thing.

I walked through Central Park and there were so many people in so many degrees of ill-advised articles of clothing that I don't think anyone was paying attention to my slightly over-textured thighs, but when I was waiting for the train (I grew weary of said thighs rubbing together as I walked) a man next to me was looking at me like I might be a prostitute and he might have a $100 bill in his pocket so I casually moved down to another area. Then two separate people asked me if I knew whether the B train stopped at 81st street. Apparently tiny shorts make you more approachable? I don't know what the fuck that was about.

I think this trend is now so pervasive among more voluptuous women that no one noticed or cared that part of my ass looked like it was about to flump out at any moment. Maybe that's a good sign. Or maybe I'm actually so short that my ass just isn't even in most people's line of vision. I'll probably wear these again when I can pair them with opaque tights, or on a day so hot that I just don't give a shit so long as I'm wearing as little as possible. Either way, although I fully champion a woman's right to wear whatever the fuck she wants, I really don't know why one would regularly subject themselves to the Chinese Vagina Trap that is the super short, high-waisted short.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Inside A First Date: OkCupid Edition

Alternate title: The Time I Went On A Date So Boring That Strangers Felt the Need to Intervene

A while back I was sitting on a couch in a bar trying to make conversation with a man who refused to admit that he wanted to leave when a very orange woman in a tiara and a dress that made her torso look like an overstuffed olive leaf suddenly appeared above us.

“Are you guys in a fight or whhhat? You look mizzzzzzrubble.”, she slurred. She then raised an eyebrow, peered quizzically over her martini, and wobbled on her high-heels as she put her non-drink hand on her hip. In any other situation I would have searched for the phrase that would make her go away as quickly as possible, but in this case I was ready to welcome any diversion.

“No…” I began cautiously, “I was going for seductively aloof but I guess I’m giving bitchface instead. I’m not sure what his excuse is but you’re right- HE looks miserable.” I then turned to my gloomy date and made my own attempt at a raised eyebrow. I’m not sure what it actually looks like when I do this, but it can’t be what I think it is because his return expression was one of pure alarm.

“I’m not miserable,” He said miserably, “I’m just really tired.”

“So this is a date? Are you married? What’s happening?” Our lumpy new friend demanded.

“It’s a date. A first date. An ONLINE first date. I don’t think he likes me but he claims that he doesn’t want to leave so at this point we’re both here out of pure stubbornness.” I said, gesturing to the sourpuss in a sweatshirt masquerading as an actual person. In truth we had not discussed his misery at all yet, but I had been trying all night with no success to improve his mood and thought this might break the tension. The deepening furrow in his brown suggested otherwise.

“Ohhhh!” She squeeled, “What are we talking? OKcupid? Tinder? Bagel Meets Coffee...I’ve done all those. And JDate. Are you Jewish? He looks Jewish. I don’t know about you.” She said, eying me suspiciously.  The Gloombot next to me had officially become inanimate, so it’s no wonder she was speaking only to me at this point, but he came to life at that moment and interjected before I could answer.

“Which one did you like the best?” I imagined his thought process at that moment.  I’m so very miserable but I’m too lazy to get up. Maybe if I keep talking to this inebriated sausage garbage my date will get bored and just leave.  I can’t confirm that this is what he was thinking but I decided to be annoyed by it anyway.

While Tanzilla pontificated the virtues of Bagel Meets Coffee, I wondered if maybe I should go to the bar to get a drink and just stay there. I would have left already, but I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction. I still don’t know if that was actually what he wanted, but something about the fact that I was trying to make this sullen motherfucker laugh was just making him grouchier by the minute. Should I just start talking about the holocaust instead? I remember thinking, Or quickly jump on my phone and pull up the first inane celebrity news article I can find and ask his opinion of it? I wasn’t sure what I wanted to happen but I knew that it couldn’t continue in the same track it was going. Then again, I had a seat on the couch. Just when I was thinking Can I just pretend that I’m NOT on this date? That he just happens to be sitting next to me? another overflowing dress with a martini came over and said “Did you figure it out? Is it a date?”
Yeeeees!”, the original Whopper screeched, “They’re on a first date. They met online.”
“Oh wow!”, Jr Bacon Cheeseburger responded, now turning to us, “We were debating what was happening over here. You both looked really unhappy so we thought you were breaking up.”
“Oh. We’re FINE.” I said, not finely. “He’s just a little tired and I just have bad social skills.”
“Yeah...long day at work.” It mumbled.
“What do you do?” One of them asked. By this point they had become one loud orange squawking blur. I snorted to myself in advance of his answer, finally appreciating the humor of the situation.

“I’m an aspiring comedian.”

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Adult Book Reports: The Phantom TollBooth

I recently reread the wonderful classic "The Phantom Tollbooth" By Norton Juster. This is a book about how most people are shitty and stuck in their ways you should probably ignore most of them. Also don't waste time and being bored is just not really an acceptable thing to be so if you're bored keep it to yourself because you're a drag and no one is having it.

In conclusion, you should read it your fucking self.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Different Kind of Miserable

A Different Kind of Miserable

We are innately driven to reconcile our loneliness (yes I know I’ve used this sentence before), and some of us seem to sort out the logistics pretty early on by finding someone who is willing to agree to keep you company UNTIL YOU DIE (in theory). I’ve been having some thoughts and feelings about all that.
So you found someone who you trust and adore and with whom you want to share a life and you have faith that you’re going to grow and change together in blissful synchronicity and that you won’t end up estranged and bitter and wishing you had banged more people when you were hot? Congratulations!
That’s really special and I’m glad it’s working out. You might want kids and a stable life and some assurance that there’s going to be someone around to deal with you when you’re old and icky. That’s great because someone needs to be in charge of making more people. We obviously don’t have enough people so I'm really glad you're on board to make that happen. And hey, I’m worried about being old too! Worried enough to feel compelled to sign a piece of paper that says I’m done figuring out what I want in the interim? Not quite. I’m not saying I can’t see myself being very happy in a long term committed relationship, and I know that doing so wouldn’t necessarily undermine my independence, but I have zero anxiety about the fact that I might not find that person any time soon. I don’t believe that the misery that can come with loneliness is any more miserable than the misery that two people can cause one another.
Love is not a prize that you win for being wonderful. It’s easy to fall into the trap of viewing the lack of a romantic relationship as a sign that something is wrong. Following that logic, you might give love away to someone because you do find them wonderful and want to be close to them as a way to resolve your own insecurities. Love isn’t always a generous act. It can be both selfish and extremely detrimental to your own self esteem. If you are enamored of someone because they represent an alluring experience which is outside of your own, then you run the risk of subjugating your own values and interests in favor of theirs, at least while you’re together. You also run the risk of turning the subject of your love into a symbol for what you want your own life to look like, and in doing so you assign him or her to an intangible realm of idealism in which he or she can never become an equal partner. It’s tempting to look for the missing pieces of your life in another person, but if you don’t do the work to make your life look how you want it to while you’re alone then there will always be a crackling void of uncertainty between you and your significant other.
Sorry about that last paragraph, guys. That was a bit much. If you know me you might be scratching your head a bit seeing as I was in what would be considered by most to be a long-term, committed relationship not so long ago. My best explanation for how that happened is that shit was different when I was 19 and the whole long term thing sort of snuck up on me. I really do value intimate companionship and it never occurred to me that I was allowed to have that with someone I wasn’t exclusively beholden to in some way.

Either way, that was then and this is now and what I’m doing now is trying to appreciate the people who come into my life for what they have to offer and not for what I want from them. This approach might not be sustainable, and sometimes I put myself in a position where I am more than likely going to get my feelings hurt because I am genuinely excited that everyone I meet might be in my life in some form and some of those people aren’t so much looking to know me in any extended way so they’re all like “Heeeeeey calm down over there.” and I’m all like... “ :(  K“.

I should probably mention that I have a straight male best friend with whom I regularly hold hands and take naps and who I occaaaaaasionally kiss on the mouth. And we used to date. And I spent Easter with his family? So I might be cheating a little bit so far as the whole resolving loneliness “on my own” thing is concerned but our exchange is far more honest and relaxed than it ever could have been had we continued dating.

 It’s a lot easier to get close to someone in a meaningful way when you really don’t care whether or not you line up with their pre-existing notions of an ideal mate. I'm hoping that I can take a little bit of what I've learned from this friendship about love and mutual respect and carry it over to all of the connections I make in life, even if they're far less involved. The whole thing might be problematic if either of us were in a relationship but keeping someone at a distance just in case a bonafide suitor shows up seems like an awfully silly way to live life.

I know that I'm not the first person to think there might be a better way to do this whole love/relationship/lifeplan thing. I'm not saying that I want to lead a strictly polyamoruos lifestyle(crediting a guy I met online for my use of that particular term), or that I'm even actively pursuing new relationships at the moment. Frankly I'm having a hard time managing my time as it is and I'd like to focus on being as good of a friend as possible to the people I already know rather than spend too much time meeting new ones.  I simply seek to challenge my own understanding about what a relationship "working out" means and hopefully get a little closer to figuring out what I want, and how I can be relatively happy in a sustainable way without leaving a trail of emotional wreckage in my wake.

Monday, June 2, 2014

How I Know That I'm Pretty Much OK

A couple of months ago I went on a date with someone (via OKcupid) who was a little too easy to internet stalk in advance. I found his website, which included videos of his various achievements and artistic endeavors. I had a lot of time to review this various material and by the time we met I was a bonafide fan. I typically find no correlation between my feelings about a person's talent and my feelings toward them as a person (sexually or otherwise) but I couldn't turn down the opportunity to spend time with someone who was, by my estimation at the time, somewhat brilliant.

There was also the small matter of his looks. His face was classically handsome but colored with the intrigue of permanent exhaustion and he had a subtle darkness to his style. His look was (or is I should say, as far as I know he isn't dead) somewhat divergent from my current taste in men, but absolutely everything I was looking for when I was 15. I should mention that he was 31 at the time, so the style I'm describing isn't that of a young man trying to appear wearily recondite on purpose, but an adult who just is that way through circumstance. Or at least that was my impression. Maybe he spends hours in front of the mirror every morning to create that effect. If you can't tell by now I didn't end up getting to know him that well.

We met for coffee in the West Village on a Saturday night which then turned into drinks which then turned into "oh shit its 4 AM and they need us to leave now".  So it at least went well enough that neither of us ran away screaming into the night after the first location. I found it a bit hard to relax and talk about myself normally though. Something about being around someone whose work I am enamored of fucks with my confidence and I also didn't want to spend the whole night telling him how funny and talented I thought he was. At one point in the date we passed a storefront for a crepe shop which was attached to a bar. I pointed this out and he responded by squinting at it for a second and saying "Date crepe". I whole heartedly believe that this is the funniest thing that anyone will ever say to me, and at the time I couldn't even laugh because I was too impressed.

That isn't exactly the end of the story, but the only further important information is that he seemed ambivalent about seeing me again so far as dating was concerned and he kept the hours of a clinically depressed bat* so I didn't see much point in angling for another date*. Rather than being bummed about it not "working out" ***, I was kind of just thrilled to have had the experience. In college if someone to whom I had this kind of positive reaction didn't give me enough attention, I would have fallen apart and spent my nights weeping into a bottle of Andre sparkling wine while listening to John Mayer. Currently it would seem that I am able to appreciate my dating experiences for what they show me about myself, as well as for the simple pleasure of spending time with an interesting person, without escalating into a state of emotional instability. I'm happy to say that I have yet to wake up crying on my floor while puking cheap wine into a paper bag since being single. I wish I could say the same for my 18 year old self.

*The guy wasn't depressed as far as I know. I just think a depressed bat would probably keep similar hours to someone who makes a living writing/telling jokes and creating art.]
** I didn't NOT show up at his door partially unannounced later on, but that was due to entirely unrelated dysfunction.
*** The post after this one elaborates on the fact that I don't know what "working out" even means to begin with.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Just Getting Out

    Just Getting Out

There is a very pulled together woman standing next to me on the subway platform. She is wearing the same shoes as I am and I don’t like it. They are a top brand, blue and purple suede oxford. They are simultaneously eclectic and assertive.  I bought mine on clearance and was very proud of the find but I imagine she paid full price, not because she isn’t thrifty, but because she could. They were in the window and she knew exactly how she would wear them. I found mine by chance and still haven’t figured out how to make them look right. Now here she is, standing next to me, DELIBERATELY undermining my efforts to take on New York CIty in style. Or maybe I’m just grumpy.

It is 9:00 AM on a bleak morning and I am waiting on an elevated platform near my apartment in Queens. I am trying very hard not to be in a bad mood because this is just the first leg of what will be a 10 hour journey door to door. It is bitterly cold, like it has been so far all winter, and I’m feeling generally unimpressed with the whole of the universe and all of its bountiful wonders.  My apartment was a mess when I left this morning but I didn’t have time to straighten up. So I have that to look forward to when I get home three days from now. It really isn’t even my apartment.  I live there and I pay rent, but I’ve dropped no roots. I feel no sense of ownership in the space.  It isn’t home. When I say “I’m going home”, what I mean is that I am going back to Vermont to my parents house, which is what I am doing today, but that’s not right either. I’m a visitor there now. An insider, but a visitor nonetheless.

I ride the 7 train into Manhattan to Times Square. I walk eight blocks through the center of the universe and duck into Penn Station with 30 minutes to kill before my train. Penn Station is, as always, an ordeal. I don’t have much with me -just enough for three days- but I feel like I’m trudging upstream against a raging current of ankle length puffy coats, rolling totes, and human suffering. We’re all here because we want to be somewhere else, and we’re all in each others’ way.

The most stressful minutes of my life to date have been the minutes between when the track number for my train is ESTIMATED to be posted and when it actually is posted. Sometimes its 30 seconds. Sometimes its ten minutes. I have no idea what side of the station the track might be on so I don’t know where to strategically position myself. I squirm in my skin as other potential passengers start clustering in front of the board. I’ve never had trouble getting an agreeable seat, but I feel an immediate sense of competition with everyone around me. What if they also want a window seat near the bathroom, in a back row with extra legroom? What if I have to sit on the aisle and have to lean over the person next to me to get to an outlet? I am aware that the answer to both of these questions is “nothing catastrophic” but I have a 9 hour ride ahead of me and I will do everything in my power to get the seat that feels right.

My track is posted and I wheel around to find it, almost taking out a few small children in the process. I shuffle as fast as my cross-body weekend tote will allow as it galumphs against my thighs. I scoot in line behind the fortunate bastards who happened to be standing near the right track when it was posted. I present my ticket, which I have been clutching in my sweaty little hand for twenty minutes now, and step onto the escalator which will carry me down to the track. Step One complete.

After worming through the crowd and beelining for my preferred seat, I plunk my bags down, find my computer charger and claim an outlet. On a previous ride of the same length my seat neighbor commandeered both outlets before I was settled and I am not willing to go through that again. I reach into my bag, which fits almost comfortably under the seat and produce a fuzzy blanket and my favorite olive-green oversized cashmere hat. Before most passengers are even down the escalator I am seated, situated, and swaddled in comfort. Because I am short, naturally pale and opted against makeup this morning,I look like I belong in the terminal disease unit at a children’s hospital. I smile smugly at a couple who eye me begrudgingly and they struggle to find two seats together. They obviously like the look of my extra leg room and would like to ask me if I’d be willing to move so they can be together in my prime location. Sorry kids. Not today. Today is the day I get what I least as far as train seats are concerned.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Top Ten Reasons To Swipe Left on Tinder

After my last round of online dating via OKCupid, as described a few posts ago, I was feeling pretty done with the whole process. Thanks to the encouragement of friends and co-workers, though, I decided to give Tinder a try. I signed up a day before Valentines Day, partially because I was very curious as to what kinds of desperation (and it's predatory counterpart) lurks on the amorous interwebs on this most ridiculous and emotionally charged of days.

 As opposed to OKCupid, which makes users set up a profile and answer questions, Tinder is an app which links to your Facebook and mostly only shows pictures. You can write a short description, and it will show you if you have friends in common, but otherwise you have very little information. You choose YES or NOPE to people by either swiping their picture, or choosing X or <3. If you like someone and they you, then and only then, can you message them. Or they can message you. Or not.

I've since stopped actively using this app, so I figured now would be a good time to muse on the experience.

First of all, the act of swiping is very addictive. I swipe very selectively so when I DO swipe "yes" to someone, and the little "It's a Match!" message comes up, it is extremely satisfying, like I've won something. So whether or not you have any intention of meeting anyone I highly suggest that everyone have this app because it is highly amusing. I did meet a few people off of the app, and actually they were all very nice. I didn't get any "so when are we gonna fuck?" type situations and I even made a couple of friends. With OKCupid there is more pressure for every meeting to be a DATE, where as with Tinder it's more like "so we agree we don't hate each other's faces. Let's now agree to be at the same place at the same time and see what happens".

For those actually trying to use this app to get their jollies, I imagine the most effective tactic is to right swipe (say yes to) anyone who looks remotely appealing. I have a slightly more thoughtful approach, as  I have no interest in receiving messages from even the most beautiful assholes.

Here are a list of things which will automatically disqualify a person from my favor NO MATTER WHAT HE LOOKS LIKE:

1)-Main picture has a girl, or a group of girls in it who doesn't look like someone I want to be friends with
By doing this, I assume these gentleman are saying "this is the caliber of lady I am looking for. Those who deviate from this basic mold need not apply". I know not everyone thinks this way, but I don't have anything to lose from assuming they might.

2)-All pictures have multiple people in them
I ain't got time to cross reference and figure out which one is you. Also I have no interest in anyone with a brotastic lifestyle

3)-More than one picture taken at what looks like a blacktie networking event.
NO NO NO NO NO.  Not impressed.

4)- Main picture is on a boat
I don't like boats enough to spend time with someone who obviously likes them so much that this is their main picture. This is NYC, not Miami.

5)-Multiple travel/hiking photos
Read: things this person won't shut up about

6)-Main picture in sunglasses
You might not have eyes

7)-Main picture is a professional one taken at any kind of red carpet/ launch event

8)-Main picture is taken with a collection of multi-ethnic children
Oh, Common. Stoppit.

9)-Main photo is shirtless. Even if you're at a picnic or on a beach.
I don't want to see your stupid torso. 

10) On a Bike or Running in any  pictures
I'm worried you might ask me to do either of these things with you. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Things I Thought On The Toilet

The following is a very half-baked analogy that I thought up on the toilet. I've had writers block lately so I'm taking what inspiration I can get at this point.

Breakups are a lot like pooping. Hear me out.

A really healthy breakup ends with no hard feelings. You feel relieved and productive and ready to move on with your day. #healthybm

A somewhat uncomfortable breakup leaves you feeling like you wasted a lot of time, and are now left with a sore bottom and although you're feeling relieved, you've still got some healing to do before life can proceed as normal. #constipation

A terrible breakup seems to lasts forever and you're never 100% sure the nightmare is over #diarrhea.

A perfect breakup is when you die before it happens. #ifyouneverpoopyouwilldie

I know this doesn't all exactly scan, because in this analogy one person in the relationship is a person and the other is a lump of feces and I am aware that this is not how we should ever view our loved ones. Also did I just imply that a relationship that lasts forever is the same thing as never pooping ever? It's possible. I might need to go on some kind of writers retreat...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

On Not Driving

On Not Driving

I never learned to drive. This is an important distinction to make from "I never got my license" because the latter implies that I might have tried and failed. I did not. I never tried. I have been behind the wheel only a handful of times in my life, and although nothing catastrophic ever happened I also never attempted any complicated maneuvers, so its almost as if it never happened. If I were to start learning again now I would be starting over. A blank slate. On one hand I don't have any bad habits, but on the other I have a lifetime of accumulated internal stress regarding the issue.

In the 10 years since I turned 16 I have been answering these questions: Why don't you drive? Will you ever get your license? Usually this is out of mild curiosity.  Sometimes, though, these questions are asked in frustration by someone who is tired of being inconvenienced by my deficit. Ya know, this would be a much easier drive for everyone if you could take the wheel for a while. To which I respond I would be happy to take the wheel. You just have to decide if you're ready to die today. It isn't a flattering quality. I am missing an essential component of functional adulthood and I refuse to take responsibility for it when questioned. Now that I live in NYC and am no longer in a relationship with someone who is keeping track of such things, I rarely have to explain myself, but the shame persists. Furthermore, having the ability to get out of the city for a quick get-away is feeling more and more appealing now that I've been here for almost 2 years.

But that's now. The fact that I might possibly try to learn soon has no bearing on the fact that I have spent the last 10 years (11 if you count the year I had a permit before I turned 16) not doing it. To steal one of my favorite Louis CK phrases, "I already didn't do that". I'm aware that this isn't a normal state of affairs. Most people learn to drive because as a teenager or young adult they feel an impetus to establish their autonomy in the world which they cannot ignore. I MUST DRIVE. I MUST BE FREE. I did not experience this. At all. And everything else about me would suggest that I would. I rarely turn to others for help and being dependent on another person is repugnant to me. So why is this thing that so many people, many far less mentally and emotionally stable than I am, find so easy to navigate such a stumbling block for me? Am I really so overly pragmatic that I have reasoned away my want for a slightly higher quality of living?

I don't  have severe anxiety, although sometimes this is what I tell people when I don't feel like being scrutinized. Well you know how some people get nervous on planes? I'm like that behind the wheel and you can't really drive on anti-anxiety meds, ya know?. This is total horse-shit and I say it all the time, to the point where I've started to believe it myself. The real reason, I think, is that I am ambivalent about the issue and not doing it is so much easier than doing it, especially at this point since I would have to take a class and interact with strangers and DRIVE IN NEW YORK CITY. Then I'd have to deal with insurance and oil changes and a lifetime of mechanical stress. Not that it's an excuse not to do it. But I have yet to do it, and no concrete plans to do it. And no one is making me. Sooo...that's the that of that.

Monday, February 10, 2014

From the OK Cupid Case Files: Tales of Confusion and How Not To Be a Dick

If you haven't been keeping up, I did some online dating recently. I did so for the same reasons dog owners take their dogs to the dog park: so they won't get nervous and pee everywhere every time they see another animal. I needed socialization. Here now, for your entertainment, are the highlights. Names have been changed (sometimes) and portions have been sanitized for the benefit of my relatives, but I promise you that this all happened. My responses and conclusions might be completely wrong, but I've got the facts straight. I left some people out mostly just because I couldn't find a way to write about what happened for whatever reason.

1. Chase. First person I met from the site.

First of all, Chase is his real name. I don't fucking care. I hope he reads this and I hope he cries. Read on to find out why!

First contact: He messaged me

Why I said yes: He was among the first to message me and I was anxious to get started. Also his profile said he was originally from Texas and I thought that might be an interesting twist.

Outcome: 1 drink. No kissing. Not fun

About Chase: Age 30. Worked for some kind of Independent Film acquisition something or the other. Whatever it was, he was very impressed with himself for dedicating all of his free to movie marathons.

What happened: I met Chase at a bar in Greenpoint. He was on the short and pudgy side, which I could be completely fine with, but he was wearing skinny jeans and a tight cardigan and a little pageboy cap and it kind of made him look like a very fancy Cabbage Patch Kid.  I didn't object to the way he looked otherwise but I can only describe his fashion sense as "trying very hard and failing without noticing". I could have forgiven this had he not been completely pretentious and self-involved but unfortunately every word out of his mouth was either about some famous person he met while living in LA or some completely unfounded opinion about New York. I was not having it and I am terrible at masking contempt so I thought I was making my signals clear. He walked me to the train and we didn't kiss. I assumed that was that. A case of incompatibility that neither of us needed to dwell upon. 

Yet when I arrived home I received a follow up texting wondering if I wanted to hang out again, to which I responded: "Full disclosure I only joined OK Cupid last week and I have a bunch of other dates set up. Not really looking to settle into anything"

I am aware that this was not as straight forward as it could have been but I figured it would do the trick. This is how he responded:
Either way you've gained me as a friend. First and foremost. You can still be single and hang out with boy. You can even cuddle and make out with a boy and still be single

A fair enough response, but keep in mind this is a 30 year old man we're talking about. I found the message unsettling and was pleased not to hear from him again. Until almost a full month later, the following text exchange occurred (everything is lifted directly from the texts):

Chase: wanna make out asdhfsdkjdhgf
Me: That was 40% not words. And no that's not really topping my priorities at the moment.
Chase: Ok good. You were kind of a bitch.
Me: That sounds about right.
Chase: You think you are so cool. Little do you guys are using you. Don't respond whore.

What I learned: If you have no interest in making out with someone you DO actually have to say the words "I DON'T EVER WANT TO MAKE OUT WITH YOU" if you met them on OK Cupid. Otherwise you will get insane texts that will make you feel weird:

2. Jake. 3rd person I met from the site.

First contact: I messaged him because he was originally from Vermont and mentioned a pub I like in his profile and a few other things that made me think we might have things to talk about:

About Jake: Age 28. Self described Liberal Politcal Junkie. Not a Hippy. Cute glasses.

Outcome: 1 date, many drinks, multiple locations, multo makeouts

What happened: Jake was right in my wheelhouse of short, bespectacled, and easily flustered. We got moderately drunk and had a good time (the kind of good time you have in public, that is) and the date lasted much longer than it would have had it not been going well,but we both had work the next day. A tentative plan was made for the following Sunday. I liked him, but due to the nature of the evening I actually did need more information before I knew how much. I hyper focused on Sunday and, because I am neurotic about scheduling sent WAY too many texts. On my end it was purely logistical at this point, but I realize now that the sheer volume suggested that I was already really INTO him. He didn't know me well enough to know about my proclivity towards obsessive planning. So what ended up happening was on Sunday morning I received a text that said "Hey I'm really sorry but I feel like shit. Rain check?" To which I send three consecutive texts confirming and suggesting other days. This was, apparently, not the way to go. I never heard from him again.

What I learned: It is entirely possible that he didn't actually like me at all to begin with, but I think it is much more likely that he just didn't like me ENOUGH to counteract the crazy I threw at him. Lesson learned. Consecutive texting is bad unless a precedent has been set.

3. Raoul. 6th Person I met from the site

First Contact: He messaged me.

Why I said yes: Adorable Alliteration. Liked his face.

Outcome: 3+ weeks of all kinds of stuff.

About Raoul: Age 25. Actor. Loud, tall, and entirely lacking in any kind of social filter. 

What happened: Raoul and I went out on New Years Eve under the logic that New Years Eve is already terrible, so why not combine it with a potentially terrible first date as well? Long story short it all went very well for a couple of weeks. He didn't really have any money, so activities were less "dates" and more "experiences", but I've never been a fan of staring at someone across a dinner table and trying to remember why I'm interesting. I didn't see much room for our lives to integrate (which is typically what needs to happen in order for a relationship to make the transition from casual to committed), but I was ready to let things play out as they would. I survived the demise of a 6 year relationship so I was pretty sure I could handle whatever might be in the future. We had a chat about exclusivity and at one point he, in an advanced state of inebriation told me that he thought of me as a "partner", but no one was picking out rings. There was a steady exchange of entertaining texts of various sorts and just enough honest exchanges to make it seem…promising.

So when, just a week shy of what would have been a month of involvement the texts abruptly stopped aside from a couple of very dry "sorry I'm busy" texts, I knew something was amiss. The lack of explanation and contrition suggested a troubling lack of investment. Paranoia doesn't suit me so I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but after a week of not answering his phone, paired with a photo which appeared on Facebook (oh, so you're not too busy to eat cupcakes?) I had to assume the worst. I don't like to do things via text message, but he wasn't answering my calls so I told him that he had to tell me if he was over it. Any longer would have ruined my weekend. I was right, of course, but since I wasn't expecting anything serious anyway I was content in ending things cordially and trying to be friends.

My level of OKness was slightly compromised when, the next week, Facebook informed me that he was "in a relationship" with someone else. So  he lying about being busy (well, unless what he meant was "busy dating someone else") and god knows when he would have gotten around to telling me had I not prompted him.  It stung, but I realized that I myself was already looking forward to seeing other people, and what good would it do me to be angry just because my pride was damaged when my actual feelings for him were entirely resolved? Furthermore, finding out that he was a half a dick in the door of another relationship while still technically involved with me completely eradicated any lingering romantic affection I may have had, which actually made it much easier to offer genuine friendship. I know that sounds unhealthy but it is what it is. So we're friends. Unless he doesn't like being written about in which case this might be the end of that.

What I learned: There is something between one terrible date and a full blown relationship, and it can be pretty OK. Sometimes people are cowards when they don't want to hurt your feelings, but it doesn't mean you need to get your panties in a bunch when they inevitably do hurt your feelings.