Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ready. Willing. Able?

I want a boyfriend.

This might seem like an odd declaration to make. After all, this isn’t news is it?

Well, actually, it sort of is.

All of my adult life, had you asked, “Tati, do you want a boyfriend?” I would have looked at you like you were wearing Sunflower by Elizabeth Arden and responded, “of course I do.” But until recently, I don’t think I did. That’s not to say, if I found one I would have turned him away, I just think I wanted other things more. A career, to finish my novel, really long, pretty hair.

But a couple of months ago something changed. Suddenly I wanted a boy friend and I became very aware of this desire – this actual, physical desire. Not something I needed, like oxygen, but something I wanted – like the Birken bag. Or the Cartier tank watch. Though, possibly, slightly more attainable.

Then again, maybe not.

With the bag or the watch, I merely have to get over the mental hurdle that $1,000 to $4,000 is not too much money to spend on a watch or a bag and that there aren’t a dozen of better things I could do with that money.

Finding a boyfriend is infinitely harder. For one – there is meeting a guy I’m attracted to. Not as easy now that frat parties are no longer in the equation. Two, there is finding a guy that is attracted to me (also easier when loud dance music and lots of cheap alcohol were in the mix).

I’ve tried letting friends set me up to no avail and I gave my phone number to a guy I met on the train with disastrous results. I’ve joined clubs, stopped listening to my head phones at the, and started shopping at the hip grocery stores during peak hours. I’m not sure what else is left to do.

So, after the personal trainer (a fix-up by a friend) cancelled on me the second time, I realized I had run out of potential boyfriends at the moment. A thought I expressed to Bridie. She laughed and asked when I went from being single to being without any potential boyfriends. I explained to her my dilemma – something I have been tight-lipped about because I am slightly embarrassed by it – and she had some advice for me.

She suggested I make space in my life for a relationship.

Her story goes that a wise woman once told her that she woke up one day with the realization that she was ready to get remarried; even though she wasn’t seeing someone. So she sold her wedding band, cleared out half of her closet and soon met that man that would be her future husband.

Bridie took the advice, made room in her life, and met the man she is now living with.
Huh? Make room in my life.

I had no idea what this means – nor when Bridie became the weird Chinese guy from the Karate Kid movies. But since it was the only thing I hadn’t tried, I decided to give it a think.
I got on the treadmill (where I do my best sober thinking) and tried to figure out where I needed to make space in my life.

At first, all I could think about was my closet and how there was just no possible way I could clear half of it out and that if it came to it, we would just have to find a new place with lots of big closets or a small spare bedroom that we could turn into a (my) closet.

So I tried to focus on other areas of my life that would change once I had a boyfriend. I would need to get used to sharing a bed with someone again – not much I could do about that in the meantime, though. Same is true for asking for help with things around the house in an effort to make my boyfriend feel useful. And while, I was thinking about all the things I did wrong with Douchebag – who I have decided to start calling Houdini again, because Douchebag makes it sound like I’m angry with him, and really I’m not. Plus, I would like to reserve that name for someone really jerky and awful and he just doesn’t fit that bill – I remembered another complaint he could have had about me.

I never had time for him.

As I upped my speed on the treadmill, it occurred to me that I still don’t have time for someone. If I’m not working at the office, I’m working at home. If I’m not out with friends, I’m in Allentown with my family. I have been looking forward to this coming Friday for about a month now, because I had absolutely nothing scheduled. Of course, now I have something to do and so it will be another week (or more) before I can spend an evening to myself.

There is was. That is where I need to make space. Not in my closet (yet) but in my schedule.
So, I have decided to set one day a week aside for date night. And because I never do anything in moderation – I plan on taking myself out on actual dates until I find someone to do it for me. I’m looking forward to tea in a coffee shop, dinner at a new restaurant, seeing a movie, or maybe going to dance lessons (still not sure about that last one). For my first date I think I will go home, make myself a really nice and semi-complicated meal, buy a bottle of wine, light some candles, and watch a romantic movie – as opposed to something wildly inappropriate for a date like Michael Moore’s Sicko or Paradise Now.

Yes, those are two movies I watched on actual nights spent in with a significant other. No, I didn’t see anything wrong with it at the time. However, in hindsight maybe there is something to be worked on there as well. But that will have to wait.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dating Do's And Don't's Or A Night with Thomas the Train Guy

Walking up the stairs to my apartment after my date with Thomas the Train Guy, I ran over every detail of the date, doing my best to not forget anything. Not because they were cherished memories I wanted to hold on to, but because I was convinced I would have to reenact the date word-for-word before anyone believed me.

However, I found recreating the date time and time again exhausting. Even summing up the date was too much. And since simply transcribing the date here would a) not be that creative and b) would really only prove to make fun of Thomas the Train Guy and I don’t like to make fun of people. I have decided, instead, to use this date as a lesson for all my readers on things not to do on your date.

Yes, I realize I addressed this topic before (here), but I fear, for some, I have to break it down even further.

I also recognized, after a couple glasses of wine and further thought on the matter, that Thomas the Train Guy may not have been looking for love and simply looking for some lovin’. However, even if this is the case, these rules still apply as after that date, the words a snowball’s chance in hell took on a whole new meaning for me.

First, a couple of things Thomas did right. He didn’t try to cancel the first date (something you should only do in the case of a real emergency or else you are going to come off as a flake and not really that interested) he showed up on time (and was actually a bit early) and he was dressed very nice, in clean jeans (yes, I have to stress clean because I once had a date show up looking as if he had rolled around in mud), fashionable shoes, a sweater, and no baseball hat.

Now for where he went terribly, terribly wrong.

Words One Should Never Use on The First Date

Back in college a good friend of mine started a list of words she never wanted to hear in a pop song after she first heard Duncan Sheik’s “Barely Breathing” (the word being saline). I thought of this list the second time Thomas said the word hormones and decided I would start my own list:






Baby’s mama


Now of course there are exceptions to all rules. For instance, if you are out for a very fancy meal at a steakhouse and you are 60 years or older you are allowed to order the Prime Rib. Perhaps you are in an argument with your date and you say something like, “you are perverting our founding father’s intended meaning of that amendment.” Though, I would caution you about discussing the founding fathers on your first date. Still, I think for the rest of us, it is good practice to not use the above noted words on a first date (or perhaps any date).

Topics of Discussion to Avoid on The First Date

When You Lost Your Virginity: I had to think back on this one, but I’m pretty sure I can safely say I don’t know when any of my ex-boyfriends lost their virginity. I think maybe Wharton and I discussed it, but that conversation was more along the lines of who he lost it with not so much when – I think. I have had this conversation with a couple of my close girlfriends, but not all of them. And some of them I have known for years. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure I know how old my sister was when she lost her virginity and I have known her for 32 years. We might have even been living in the same house when it happened.

Any Fetishes You May Have: Remember when I read that dating book about why he never called back and I was up in arms that the author suggested I hold back who I really am just so I can get a second date. Well, I take back everything I said then. Sometimes it is best to save parts of your personality for when you know your date better. For instance, if you have a thing for girls in spandex – I don’t want to hear about it. At least not within the first hour of knowing you and certainly not when I am sober. I don’t want to hear about how much you like looking at women in spandex. How you prefer a woman in spandex even to seeing a woman naked. And I most definitely don’t want to hear about how you have thought about me in spandex – even if you think I would look really good. Spoiler alert: I don’t look good in spandex. I’m not sure there are many women that do.

Your Exes: Enough said.

General Best Practices

Listen: One thing that annoys me more than anything on a first date is when I know a guy isn’t listening to me. Now, I understand there are sometimes when your date drones on and on and you can’t help but let your mind wonder. However, if at some point during the date you say, “You aren’t telling me anything about you. I thought girls loved to talk but you aren’t saying anything.” Then you damn sure better listen when I do say something.

How can I be sure that Thomas wasn’t listening to me? Well one, he kept cutting me off. Two, I mentioned that I rowed in college and he had nothing to say about it. Which in itself is odd since everyone always has something to say when I tell them I rowed in college. But then, a few minutes later, he started telling me about this really pretty part of the city. It is in Fairmount Park. During the day you can see a bunch of people rowing down there and at night it is all lit up. Maybe I saw it once, he asked. You can see it from the Schuylkill Expressway, just past 30th Street Station, headed towards the zoo.

I just smiled. For those readers not from the Philly area, my date was describing the practically world famous Philadelphia landmark Boathouse Row.

Don’t Touch: Okay, I know I am on the extreme end of the touching spectrum so I willing endure the hug hello, the occasional touch of the arm, if the date is going really well, I will even let a guy go so far as to lean in and brush his lips against my ear as he whispers something to me -- though I prefer to save that level of intimacy until the second date at least. What I am not prepared to experience is the simultaneous arm around my shoulder squeeze/head resting on my other shoulder move. This is particularly awkward when you are more than five inches taller than the person whose shoulder you are resting your head on as you remind said person that you like cuddling.

Don’t Say It’s Not A Date: If you’ve sent me multiple text messages, if our meeting was arranged days in advanced, if I shaved my legs and reapplied make up and you spring for my venti vanilla rooibos tea, then it's a date. So during our conversation when I'm saying something about it being a date, please don’t stop me midsentence to correct me that we are just having coffee. First, again, it's a date. Second, we aren’t having coffee , we're having tea.

Of course, if you really don't want to find yourself on a date, then there are preemptive measures one can take to ensure that you don’t find yourself in this awkward situation. Starting with setting the date: don’t make a plan in advance. Instead, randomly call or text the person and say, “Hey, I’m in your neighborhood, wanna grab a cup of coffee?” Two, don’t greet your friend with a hug, a kiss on the cheek and the comment “you look great.” Three, don’t pay for your friend’s drink – that is the universal sign for a date. Four, don’t spend the hour telling the person how beautiful they are, that is when you are not telling them really intimate details about your life. And, finally, don’t text the person a couple of days later asking “u think u can handle me?” Because all of that spells date.

Now, if you are already acquaintances with this person (or friends even) the above rules don’t necessarily apply. But, word of warning, the line of friendship gets thinner and blurrier each time you tell that person you find them attractive.

As always, I hope my disastrous love life can help one or many of you out there. Oh, and I apologize for those of you that now have Duncan Sheik’s Barely Breathing stuck in your head.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way Home

I was on the subway, reading Keith Richards' autobiography – it’s a good subway read because he is so frantic and all over the place when he is telling his life story that I can only take it in small doses before it gives me a headache – not really noticing anyone or anything around me.

As we approached my stop, and I approached a good place in my book to pause, I got up and headed for the door.

Already standing by the door was a guy, taller than me, smiling at me. I smiled back, to be polite, but then looked away.

He said hello.

I looked back up. “Hi.” Thankfully the train came to a stop and I could exit the train.

However my friend from the subway followed me. “Can I ask you a question?”

Further proof that I am not as horrible as some people take me for, I didn’t respond “umm, you just did.” But instead said, “sure.” And tried to twist my face into something that resembled engrossed.

“Are you single?”

I tried to catch myself from rolling my eyes, but I probably didn’t get it in time.

“I’m just wondering, because I’ve seen you. On the train and on broad street and even downtown and I wanted to talk to you …”

His stammering gave me a chance to think about my response. Normally when I’m sober and random strangers come up and ask me if I’m single, I lie and tell them I live with my boyfriend. What? I’m a single girl that lives in the city by herself. It is my first line of defense.

But as Thomas the Train Guy continued to enumerate all the different places he had seen me, I thought about how I can’t justify the waste of money that is online dating, and none of my friends have anyone they can fix me up with, and Salty’s firefighter husband refuses to fix me up with any of his firefighter friends, and I refuse to date anyone from my office, and it is damn near impossible to meet anyone of substance at a bar, so just how do I expect to meet someone if every time a guy approaches me I lie and tell him I am seeing someone.

So, instead I told Thomas the truth.

He walked me to my apartment, nervously chatting the whole way about nothing important. At some point he asked if I would like to grab coffee sometime and I said yes. When we got to my door, he had his phone and his business card out and eventually got around to getting my number and giving me his business card before we said good-bye.

That’s right. I gave Thomas the Train Guy my number. And yes, I realize he could be a deranged stalker and given his list of all the places he has seen me maybe that is something I should have considered earlier. But really, what could he do to me now that he has my number that he couldn’t do once he memorized my entire schedule? Plus, there is always my second line of defense – the Louisville Slugger I keep next to my bed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Let Me Clear My Throat

I know. It has been awhile since I last wrote. I promise you, I can explain. Sort of.

See, I had a blog post prepared. Seriously, I did. I was just going to ignore the fact that I had been absent for so long and post this one piece (which I swear you will all be able to read tomorrow or the next day or even the same day, depending on when you read this), but then I was out tonight and was berated by friends and realized I just couldn’t pretend these past couple of weeks didn’t happen.

So, some of you know I used to have a column. Well, occasionally, I would use conversations and situations with friends and colleagues in this column to better make my point. Now, I thought I was being fair. I would never use my friends’ actual names nor would I ever physically describe them and sometimes I would even alter some of the details of our relationship to protect the innocent.

But then, towards the end of my run, a partner at my old firm, who I had mentioned in my column, approached me. It is important to note, he didn’t reproach me, he merely pointed out that while most people reading my column didn’t know I was talking about him -- he knew. More importantly, he worried about it; wondering who else knew it was him.

Call me daft, but I never thought about this side.

And I thought I got it -- until I posted about the Cowboy.

See, the Cowboy post took a lot out of me. It took me a lot to write it and even more to post it.

After I posted it, just moments after, Marie called me to gush about it and I anxiously asked, “Was it too much?”

Her response, “Oh god no. It’s just enough.” And then, because she is Marie, she went on to confirm that she thinks I should have hooked up with the Cowboy.

Still, I worried about it. Actually, that's not true. Only part of me worried about it. Only part of me worried it was too much. But that part of me also felt betrayed. That part of me felt like these were private thoughts, not for public consumption.

At this point feel free to roll your eyes. Because, yes, I realize that my blog is completely voluntary and that all of this is for public consumption. But the truth is, that while, yes, my blog is voluntary, and everything is for public consumption (though, to be honest it still shocks me that anyone reads this), it is an edited version of my life. However, the Cowboy post was a lot less edited than maybe I am comfortable with.

And I got even less comfortable with it as more and more people approached me with comments like, “Didn’t you say you wanted to be spanked?”

Or, “I read the Cowboy post, I know what you want.”

Or, “Giddy-up!”

I didn’t even say giddy-up. Marie said giddy-up and now people are saying giddy-up to me and I blush easily and I am just so embarrassed even if it was the most honest I have been and so now it is hard for me to write anything because I am afraid of what I might say, or what you might think or that I might not be able to ever top what I said before.

So, I wrote this. An explanation and an apology and a disclaimer. This blog is the truth, however it is not the whole truth. Because I need to keep a piece of me for me.

If that is okay with you -- keep reading. If not, I will understand.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Warning to All Those Persons Related to Me: You May Want to Skip this Blog.

The strangest thing happened to me in Mississippi last weekend.

I was visiting Ivan, my younger brother, and his new bride Alexia. They were having a party to celebrate their nuptials with all their southern friends, and a few of their northern friends. I was standing in a corner, taking it all in (and by taking it all in I really mean sending mass text messages to my friends) when I overheard one of Ivan’s friends say to Ivan, “I’m gonna break her.”

To which Ivan replied, “Good luck with that.” And walked away.

Now, I can’t be 100 percent sure they were talking about me. I started paying attention only midway through the conversation. But something other than my own inflated ego told me I was the her he was looking to break. Maybe it was the way the friend was behaving toward me earlier or maybe it was the way Ivan grimaced and then walked away. Either way, this feeling was later confirmed by (in my own inflated ego's opinion) by all the attention this friend continued to pay me.

And while I still find it strange that men are attracted to me, that wasn’t what has been bothering me since overhearing this conversation. What has been keeping me up at night (in addition to the upper respiratory infection I picked up on the airplane ride home) was my reaction to it.
Readers, I wasn’t righteously indignant or offended or affronted or angry or any of those things I think I should have been.

I was turned on.

Let me be perfectly clear, before that moment, I wasn’t the least bit attracted to this guy. Sure he was tall and Marie thinks he's good looking (her actual response to his picture was “giddy-up”). But he was also wearing cowboy boots and Croakies and a collared shirt tucked into way too faded blue jeans. Furthermore, I have never found a southern accent charming.

But four little words later and I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I had to give myself the “this is Ivan’s friend, Tatiana,” pep-talk followed by the “he has a girlfriend, Tatiana" pep-talk repeated several times over the course of the next couple of hours. And, honestly, if I wasn’t so very afraid of the Cowboy, those two talks may have failed me completely.

Thank god I still have my fear to keep me in check.

So, once I sobered up on the flight home I started to think about why I was so affected by the Cowboy. I had already been thinking a lot about the whole generation of guys phenomenon as I was surrounded by my brother’s friends, most of whom were definite guys (some are still borderline boys). And I’m not about to suggest that the Cowboy was a man – he’s more a leader of the guys.

No, I wasn’t thinking the Cowboy was a man, but of another conversation all together that Bob and I have had on a number of occasions. And because our recent conversation about guys versus men was already on my mind, this other conversation may have been lurking not far behind.

The second conversation always starts innocently enough -- what am I looking for in a guy. This inevitably turns into me listing the things I liked about my ex-boyfriends and the things I couldn’t stand about them. And because it is Bob, and because we have had one too many glasses of wine, it moves to the bedroom. While I am not about to say that my exes have been disappointing, none of them have been the sort that would throw you (me) down on the bed (or against a wall) and, for a lack of a better phrase, fuck you (me).

And I know this isn’t very feminist of me, but sometimes a girl really needs that.

Now, over the course of the last two years I have been on several dates with guys who couldn’t even make a plan, leaving me to pick the time and the place of our dates. And, whether it’s laziness or a lack of confidence, I assume if you won’t pick a place for us to meet for a drink, you aren’t going to be the sort that is ever going to pull my hair or smack my ass.

So maybe, when I heard those four little words I realized that before me stood a man that would probably do both. It’s the only thing I can come up with. That in that moment, as my subconscious raced through the last several years of dates with wishy-washy wusses and being almost completely in control of my life almost all of the time for as long as I can remember, it was attracted to the Cowboy who could offer me a break from both.

At that moment, I wonder what it would be like to be broken.

Who am I kidding? I'm still wondering.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Change Me (Revisited)

It would seem some clarification to my last post is needed. Let me make it perfectly clear that I am in no way suggesting I need to change in order to find someone. I merely realized that in order to have a successful relationship, I must be open to the idea of change.

This probably seems like a no-brainer to most of you and you are wondering why I would even need to blog about such an obvious realization (let alone blog about it twice). Maybe you are even questioning my intellect because it took me so long to discover this.

Let me explain. In the past, nothing has frightened me more (not even cats) than the idea of a guy changing me. Before this realization, I couldn’t stand when my friends changed for guys. I would gag when I got into a friend’s car and heard them blaring the latest CD from their latest boyfriend’s favorite band. I would roll my eyes when one of them would show up for a run wearing a ball cap from their boyfriend’s favorite baseball team.

Now mind you, the friend with the new CD loves music, and the band was pretty good. The friend with the baseball hat has no soul and therefore never followed baseball before she met her now-husband. So it wasn’t as if they were putting aside their thoughts and feelings on a particular matter to side with their current beau. But at the time I couldn’t see that.

Meanwhile, when I would declare to my mother that I would probably never get married, but if I did, it certainly wouldn’t be in a church, and she would ask, what if it is important to your fiancé? My response: well, I can’t imagine it would be important to my fiancé, but if it were, he would have to understand my feelings on the matter. If he couldn’t accept them – we wouldn’t get married.

My mom would counter: What if it is important to his mother? Or his grandmother?

Me: I think I would be concerned that he was putting his mother’s feelings in front of my own.

And no, I’m not kidding. This is taken from an actual conversation I had with my mother.

I even took it a step further. It was a personal affront to me when Douche Bag said he could never date a smoker. Never mind that I hadn’t had a cigarette in more than a year and DB knew I had been a smoker. I still saw red and remember those words ringing in my ears a couple nights later when I asked Bridie if I could bum a cigarette from her.

Yes, my fear of changing for a guy is so powerful, that I would actually pick back up a deadly habit just so I could then crow that I won’t let a man tell me what I can and can’t do.

Keeping this aversion to change in mind, I am sure you will believe me now when I say I have no intention of changing myself just so I can find someone. Instead, my post was about how I now realize that once I meet that someone special, I will probably change

I have even started my list of areas where I would be willing to bend. As predicted it isn’t very long.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Change Me

I have been thinking a lot about relationships recently. For the first time in my brief history on this planet, more of my friends are in relationships than are single (unless of course you count eighth grade when everyone but me had a boyfriend). And as I thought about these friends and their relationships and talked to other friends (and sometimes my mom), I started to see a common theme. Well, I didn't really see it as first. It was more like I could feel there was something there that I was missing. Like looking at one of those 3-D pictures they have at the fair. You stare and stare and you know you are suppose to see a sailboat, but you just don't.

Until you do.

I was going over a recent conversation I had with one of my few remaining single girlfriends. We were talking about a mutual acquaintance and his relationship and she said, rather cynically, “I doubt that is what he signed on for when he joined”

I’m sure she was right. I’m sure when he pictured in his mind the sort of relationship he wanted, the one he was currently in didn’t spring to mind. At the same time, our mutual acquaintance didn’t seem the least bit bitter. Quite the opposite – he is happy and excited. And why shouldn’t he be? He is in love, I argued with myself. He has found an amazing and wonderful woman that loves him and wants to spend the rest of her life with him. So he will be a little inconvenienced for a bit. Is that really worth giving up all the rest of it?

That is when it hit me – like an apple falling from the tree that I was resting under – maybe the only way we can fit together is if we are all willing to adjust. And by all, I really mean me.

Now, I have long given up on the whole idea of a soul mate – that there is one perfect person out there for all of us. Until that moment, though, I did believe there was someone out there that was going to love me just the way I am. That he was going to fit perfectly into my lovely little life I created and I was going to fit just as neatly into his.

As I typed that I realized my silliness makes looking for one’s soul mate seem practical.

We have all heard countless times that you can’t expect to change someone. This is typically given to us as advice when we are annoyed or frustrated with a partner. Sometimes, as if often the case with my mom, it is given more as an I-told-you-so. Either way, we have heard it so many times we have all accepted it to be true – and who are we kidding? It is true. But somewhere along the line, I got to believing that the inverse was all true. That so long as I don’t expect to change someone, I won’t be expected to change. However, I’m beginning to understand that I got this bit wrong (and algebra has once again failed to serve any practical purpose in my life).

I’m still working through all the details and consequences of my realization. For instance, what are things that I am willing to change? What are things I am absolutely unwilling to change? (I imagine this list will be quite a bit longer). How much change can still be called “good change”? My guess is it comes when you wake up one morning and no longer recognize yourself in the mirror (or worse, no longer like who you see staring back at you). Or maybe it goes back to that list of things you are absolutely unwilling to change. If you find yourself compromising on more and more of those items, your change has gone bad.

Of course these are just theories as I have never bent on anything in a relationship. (Insert bad joke about bending over plenty of things here if you must. But keep ‘em clean folks, my dad reads this blog).

An Open Letter to AT&T

Dear AT&T,

I noticed on Sunday that you renamed the Pattison station, AT&T station. I’m not going to point out to you just how ridiculous this is and that no one will actually call it AT&T station, but instead will continue to call it Pattison station. Much like the way no one calls MLK Drive anything but West River (well, except those few individuals who are new to the area and get lost when anyone gives them directions involving West River).

I do have one question, though. Why is it, on Sunday, on my way home from the Eagles’ game, I couldn’t send or receive any text messages while I waited for the northbound local? Meanwhile, Marie, who has Verizon, had no problems. I would think, while standing in a station named after my wireless carrier, I would be the one with the better service.

Just curious.



Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Whole Generation of Guys

I had two really interesting conversations with two very different friends about relationships this past week.

It started on my way home from dinner with some friends. I was planning on walking home, but it was getting late and I really have to stop pretending I live in a super-safe neighborhood. So when my friend, Kelly, offered me a ride, I accepted.

Because we were out with a group, I hadn’t really had the opportunity to catch up with Kelly. So, as soon as we were in the car, I asked her about work, her home, her running, and then her boyfriend.

“Oh, we’re not together any more.”

You know how there are friend’s relationships that when you hear they have ended you aren’t surprised, but you sort of have to act surprise – at least at first? Well, this wasn’t one of them. I was genuinely shocked they weren’t together anymore and so I had to follow up.

“What happened?”

“He disappeared.”

She said it so matter-of-factly, I considered for a minute that he actually disappeared. Like in some freak Manhattan Experiment or alien abduction. And because I was intrigued by the chance that these things actually could happen, I asked, “What do you mean he disappeared?”

“He disappeared. One day he just stopped calling. Stopped texting. Stopped e-mailing. And he wasn’t returning my phone calls or text messages or e-mails. He just disappeared.”

I was speechless.

“Then, one day, he did pick up the phone when I called and said that he has just been really busy and trying to focus his life and he just doesn’t think he has time for me in it.”

I have to admit I was disappointed to learn he didn’t actually disappear. For a moment I dared to hope that boy disease wasn’t the epidemic I feared. That maybe, just maybe, men really are disappearing.

“And what? He didn’t think you earned the right to know about this decision?”

Kelly sighed. “The problem is we are surrounded by an entire generation of guys. Not men. But too old to be boys. Just guys.”

An entire generation of guys. I felt as if I had stumbled upon a small truth. Like my life would never be the same now that I knew this.

She continued, “They refuse to be grown-ups. They don’t want to settle down, buy a house, be responsible. They want to play and not make decisions and just not care about the consequences.”

Kelly pulled her car to the curb and I realized I was home. I wanted to sit in her car and continue to discuss what more she knew about this generation of guys. But I knew we both had to get up early the next day and so I promised myself to bring it up the next time I had her alone.

Then, a couple of days later, e-mailing with one of my close male friends, Bob, the conversation turned to our respective love lives. Bob asked me about mine and, remembering my conversation with Kelly I said, “I think the problem is I’m surrounded by a generation of guys.” (Of course I gave Kelly credit for naming my plight).

Bob responded back that women were partly to blame. That the movie Say Anything ruined a whole generation of men because women wanted that. They wanted drama. And love shouldn’t be about drama. He then went on to say that women can be selfish (something I don’t disagree with, but I also think selfishness has a certain virtue to it) and that women in their 30s are acting like they are in their 20s.

I didn’t disagree with anything Bob said, though I did wonder if I shouldn’t point out that men started it when they decided that they were better off as bachelors and started spending all their money on hair products and baseball games and going to clubs and not settling down with the woman that loved them, instead holding out for that something better that was sure to come along.

However, I refrained. Because I knew he could come right back at me that women started it when we started taking on traditional male roles in the relationship (e.g., the breadwinner) leaving men confused and insecure. And on and on we would go and really nothing would get solved.

He also added, toward the end of e-mail, that he believes relationships come down to two things – chemistry and timing.

For the second time in a week I felt like my life would never be the same.

If you are anything like me, you sometimes sit around, maybe with a bottle of wine, wondering why all your past relationships have failed? What if it is all just a matter of timing and chemistry? What if right now (or back then as the case may be) you had great chemistry with someone but it just couldn’t work because the timing wasn’t right. Or maybe the timing was perfect, but without chemistry why bother?

Sadly, I fear, for most of us (and by us, I mean single women who have their lives pretty much together and are now looking for someone to share the life with) we are surrounded by a generation of guys. So the timing could be off for quite some time.

Oh and before you ask, yes, you can expect a couple more blogs about this idea of a generation of guys. And probably a couple on timing and chemistry. So if you disagree or are already bored of these topics (this was a long post after all), I suggest you not check back for awhile.

I’ll even do you the favor of announcing on Twitter when I have tired of the subject. Promise.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Drinking with The Enemy

Ladies (and gentlemen), I have met the enemy and she is a tiny little myopic thing that works in accounting.

I was out with old co-workers drinking at the Spank Bank – I know, I know, I hate this place, but they keep giving away free happy hours to my friends – what’s a girl to do? So, I’m standing there, catching up with a woman I used to work with, asking her how things were going at my old place of employment, when she started talking about Senior (her boss) and the Enemy rolled her eyes.

Okay, I didn’t actually catch the eye-roll, I only assumed it happened because my former co-worker, whom we should call Polly because she sort of looks like a Polly, commented to her, “I know you don’t like her, but she really is a great person.”

I looked down at the Enemy (and I was wearing flats so imagine how tiny she must be) and her face was still contorted in disgust. So I asked, “Oh, you don’t like Senior?”

She twisted her face up even more and shook her head.


She continued to shake her head as Polly protested, “She’s really an amazing woman, you just don’t know her.”

Which is when the enemy finally piped up, “If she’s such an amazing woman, why isn’t she married?”

Readers, I almost hit her. Thank god I had only had one glass of wine at the time or I may have. Instead, I asked, “Your definition of an amazing woman is that she’s married?” with all the attitude mixed with horror that you can imagine.

“Well, no, but I mean, if she is really so remarkable, why isn’t she married?”

Polly jumped in and started singing Senior's praises as I staggered back, shocked at this little girl’s ignorance. As Polly explained to this little insect that Senior could have been married, had she wanted to settle, but instead worked on herself and her career and her spirituality and is now really happy with her life.; a life so full it leaves little time to find a man – a life so full it begs the question whether one really needs a man.

Still struck dumb, I nodded and looked into the face of the enemy. All I saw was smugness. Her face clearly said, “Sure, whatever Senior needs to tell herself to get to sleep at night. But at the end of the day, we all know she can’t possibly be happy without a man in her life.”

At this moment I found my voice. I turned to Polly and said, “I have to go before I hit someone.” I then glared down at the enemy, who no longer looked smug, but frightened. I started to walk away, but doubled back. Now that I had my voice, I realized I had more to say.

“Can I ask how old you are?” I was still glaring and the Enemy who was still clearly scared I might hit her.

“Umm, 22.” She squeaked out.

I smiled. “That explains a lot.”

Here’s the thing. At 22-years-old, you don’t know anything, but you think you know everything. How can I know this? Because I was once 22 and I remember thinking I knew everything. I remember thinking it was all so easy. That you can have your cake and eat it too and still fit into your size two jeans. And yes, you can have it all – but it isn’t easy. It’s a full-time job on top of your real full-time job.

And because it is so hard you learn to value what is really important to you. Some people call these compromises, but I don’t think that is the right word for what you are doing. I think prioritizing is a better word for it. Yes, you would like a boyfriend, but you want a promotion more. So you work harder, longer hours, maybe go to school, and this leaves less time in your social calendar. So you have to decide how you would rather spend your few free hours, on an awkward first date or out with your girlfriends, laughing your face off.

Then when your schedule does free up some time to meet a special someone you find even there priorities have changed. Yes, it would be nice to meet someone with a full head of hair, washboard stomach and Popeye forearms, but what would be even better is to find someone that supports your goals and likes your friends. And, as you look around at your life and realize things aren’t so terrible and actually are pretty awesome, you realize that there are things won’t compromise on. That whomever you decide to share your little perfect world with will have to be pretty exceptional.

And inevitably your mother will call you too picky and, apparently, 22-year-olds will question your awesomeness.

Well, 22-year-olds, now you know the truth. Your ignorance on this matter will no longer be tolerated. If I ever hear you say anything like, “Well if she is so great, why isn’t she married?” you will be punched.

In the throat.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Tale of Two Pimps

Growing up in Allentown there were two dance schools (well, maybe there were more, but only two that I knew of): Dolly Dance (I am keeping the actual name here because it is just too good) and The Other School (not actually the school’s name, but since I will be speaking disparagingly about the place, I figured I should mask its identity).

Dolly Dance was run by Miss Dolly, an older woman that labored under the misguided belief that all her students dreamed of one day performing for the National Ballet and it was her job to prepare us for this future. Her classes were not fun – they were hard. We weren’t allowed to wear cute leotards – black leotards and pink tights were the required uniform. Our hair was to be pulled back in a bun; if your hair wasn't long enough to pull back into a bun you employed bobby pins to create a reasonable facsimile. Our shoes were proper, leather ballet shoes, not glittery, pink slippers. If you wore pink slippers, your mother would get a lecture from Miss Dolly. During recitals, Dolly frantically ran around back stage, making sure everyone’s hair and shoes and make-up were perfect and yes, that none of us were wearing underwear. I imagine Miss Dolly’s nightmares included five-year-olds perfectly executing her choreographed dances with unsightly panty-lines.

The Other School was run by a younger woman, we’ll call her Miss Holly. At Holly’s school (because you didn't have to call Holly Miss Holly), you could wear whatever fun leotard and coordinating tights you could find. At Holly’s school you could take Jazz and Modern Dance after only one year of instruction (at Miss Dolly’s school you were required to be more than 13 years-old and have at least five years of basic ballet and tap lessons). At Holly’s school, her dances, even her tap and ballet dances, were set to new, hip music – stuff you could hear on the radio and not just in elevators. But the main difference between the two schools were the recitals. At Holly’s recitals, whole classes of girls would stand in the middle of the stage, looking left, watching Holly (standing just off stage) for what step to do next.

My parent’s sent Lana to The Other School but learned from that mistake and sent me to Dolly Dance. The result – I am an excellent dancer, while Lana, not so much. Though she has finally broken the habit of staring over her left shoulder.

My point? Friday night I had two pimps out with me, Salty and Pepper, and the two styles of pimping reminding me a lot of Miss Dolly and Holly.

Now, Salty has been my pimp for a very long time. And while occasionally, she does get hand’s on (the time she actually lined guys up to talk to me for five minutes a piece before literally pulling them away if I wasn’t interested springs to mind). So, Friday night, when a group of guys walked in, two of whom were both over six feet tall and one of whom was exactly my type, I knew Salty would have something to say.

At first, her something to say was that I should make out with the funny (though short) friend of the two tall drinks of water that was talking to us. Salty sometimes does this. She finds a guy that she would like to make out with, but because she is married, she tries to force him on me. After I convinced her that I just couldn’t do it – she turned her focus to the second tall drink, we’ll call him Bobby.

“You know what? It is late. We’ve all been drinking, he seems just as shy as you are so I say, just walk up to him and ask, ‘do you want to go outside?’ and then start making out with him.”

I shook my head. I had heard this advice before and I was pretty sure it wouldn't work. “How about if I go over there and make myself available to him to talk to me.”

Salty rolled her eyes but knew this was still a pretty big step for me.

What I didn’t realize was that in moving across the bar, I was stepping into Pepper’s territory.

Pepper’s style is definitely more stage mom than Salty’s. For instance, I was only standing there a moment when Pepper stage whispered to me, “Tati, he’s six-four” and pointed at Bobby. I smiled. He smiled. Pepper commented on his smile and asked me, “Doesn’t he have a great smile?” All his friends smiled. And the next thing I knew Bobby was asking me if I wanted to go outside.

Thank god, Salty had explained to me that "do you want to go outside" was code for "do you want to make out?" or else I might have said no. It was kind of cold outside and I had on a sleeveless top.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Grandfather Clause

As anyone who also follows my adventures on Facebook is aware, I was at the shore last week. See, Marie and I both decided that since neither of us had a real vacation this summer, we would borrow our friend Salty’s condo in North Wildwood and spend the days in the sun, baking ourselves until we were golden bubbly (and spend our nights drinking and laughing and eating crackers and hummus).

For those of you who have never been, the nightlight in North Wildwood leaves a lot to be desired (unless you are under the age of 25 or over the age of 65). Still my friends and I could have fun with a paper bag so I wasn’t really too worried about it. We had wine. We had beer. Oh and look, both came in paper bags. Marie did want to go out one night – Monday night to be exact. She had heard the Soul Cruisers were playing at a bar only a couple of blocks away and Marie loves Soul music. So after a long day doing nothing by the pool, Marie and I got gussied up and headed to the monstrosity that is Keenan’s Irish Pub (a monstrosity because this “pub” pretty much takes up an entire city block).

Now, before I go any further, I should explain that when visiting any beach town, my 20lbs of hair expands to at least 45lbs of hair. The Wildwoods are no exception. And since I was tan (from the day sitting by the pool wearing only SPF 4) and already had huge hair, I decided it was the perfect occasion for my bright red lipstick. Marie would later hypothesize that no man can resist my big blonde hair and bright red lips. I am thinking about testing this theory out in Philadelphia tomorrow night.

I won’t bore you with all the details of the night. Instead, I will fast forward to the close of the evening. The Soul Cruisers were rocking and Marie and I were chair dancing in our bar stools. A very old man was standing not too far from us and asked me why I wasn’t up there dancing. This was approximately the 18th old man that had stopped to talk to me and Marie in the two hours we were sitting there. I smiled and said I wasn’t much of a dancer. Marie stepped in and announced, “She’s just shy” (I swear she also gave me a little pushed towards him but she denies this of course). And with that, Pop-pop, took my hand and led me out to the dance floor.

My first thought was how the heck am I suppose to hold on to my cookies while grinding with Pop-pop to “Give Me Just A Little More Time”? Then Pop-pop grabbed my hand, put his other hand on my waist and I thanked the heavens above that Pop-pop was too old to even know what grinding was – that or his fake hip wouldn’t allow it.

Once I was able to relax, I have to admit, it wasn’t the worst three minutes of my life. It wasn’t even the most awkward. We danced and he twirled me and thank goodness he didn’t try to dip me (between his back and my strapless dress it could have been a disaster) and when the song was over so was the Soul Cruisers’ set and so Pop-pop and I walked back to our bar stools. He thanked me for the dance and kissed me on the forehead. The closest I came to upchucking was when Marie leaned over and whispered, “You totally gave him a boner.”

So a couple days later, we are reliving the week for Salty. We get to this point and Salty asks, “Wait, how tall was Pop-pop?” (My height requirement has become a bit of a thorn in everyone’s side as they are all looking for someone for me to date).

I shrugged my shoulder, “I don’t know, I guess he was a little taller than me in flip-flops.”

“And you danced with him?” (The basis of my height requirement really boils down to not wanting to look ridiculous when I am dancing with my boyfriend).

“Yeah, but he was old and has probably shrunk. My guess is that he was once six feet tall, so I grandfathered him in.”

I understand this opens up a loophole for 5’10” 80-year-olds, but it is quickly closed by my father’s rule forbidding me to date anyone twice my age or older.

Friday, August 27, 2010

How Old Were You The First Time You Fell In Love?

Everyday I get an e-mail alert from Women’s Health. Some days this alert promises me new sex positions I have to try tonight (fat chance of that happening) other days they are offering me the best workout for my body type. One may wonder why I don’t discontinue these alerts to my inbox. Simple really (no, I am not just a glutton for punishment) the alerts also include reminders to sign up for Women’s Health’s daily giveaways.

Everyday Women’s Health gives away some really cool prize one cannot live without, with a grand prize drawing once a month. All one has to do is answer a poll question and then click submit. Have I ever won – no, but still I play everyday. It’s like my version of playing my numbers everyday.

So today, I got my alert (Five Ways to Look Better Naked – an article I devoured having recently learned men do internally criticize our naked bodies and just don’t think “oh my god she’s naked” as Cosmo had promised me). The giveaway was a picnic blanket – maybe not the coolest prize ever, but I have been meaning to take in more shows at the Mann Center and a picnic blanket would come in handy for that sort of outing. So I clicked on the link and the poll question appeared: “How old were you the first time you fell in love?” with the options: Elementary School, Teenage years, College, Post-college, Still waiting!, and Doesn’t apply to me.

Forgetting about the option “Doesn’t apply to me” (when I hit submit 2 percent of the respondents had replied this way – that makes my heart hurt. How can this not apply to you? I think I fall in love all the time. Just this morning I thought I could love a tall guy with a beard at Fourbucks who also ordered an Iced Chai latte with soy.), I paused, wondering just how to answer this question. Typically, I don’t have to give these questions much thought (unless I’m trying to remember just how long it has been since I have had a date or sex). But this one – what do they mean by love?

My gut said elementary school; kindergarten, actually. Michael L. He lived down the street from me. He had red hair and a carrying case with 99 different colored crayons. I used to walk by his house wearing just my purple Miss Piggy bathing suit until he came outside to talk to me, which is when I showed him how good I was at turning cartwheels. Then one day, while playing Farmer in the Dell, Michael broke my heart and picked Jaime K. to be his wife instead of me. Worse than that – I ended up the cheese. For those of you that don’t remember this game – at the end, the cheese stands alone. Oh the humanity.

Was my first love Jason D, the skateboarder I fell for as a teenager? I met him during the summer. He was riding his skateboard, I was walking my dog. He followed me home and wrote my address on his skateboard so he would never forget it. He told me he loved me the moment he first saw me. I thought he was so sweet I let him stick his tongue in my mouth. But was that love?

Did I love the One, or did I love the idea of the One? Did I love Wharton or did I love the way Wharton made me feel? Did I love the Douchebag? I trusted him, but is that the same as loving someone?

Mind you, I have never actually uttered the words “I love you” to anyone outside of my family so maybe I should have hit the “Still waiting!” button. But I hate exclamation points (as most of you know), especially unnecessary exclamation points.

So, in the end I went with elementary school when I remembered that I may have written “I love you” on the back of my school photo that I gave to Michael. That and he always let me color with his pink crayon (before he dumped me for that slut Jaime). And if that isn’t love, then I don’t know what is.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I Got A Magic Skirt

Some of you may remember that a couple of months ago I was debating moving from my pad on Broad Street to somewhere a little bit quieter. After getting some feedback from you, I decided it was time to fly the coup.

Oh, just a quick side note here: for any of you out there in cyberland that find yourself in a situation similar to the one I was in – don’t be afraid to talk to your landlord when the time comes to renew your lease. I didn’t (because I was afraid and because I had already found a new place) but when I gave my notice, he was very amenable, asking what he could do to keep me. As I later learned from friends of mine that are also landlords, good, paying tenants aren’t always easy to find, so when they have one, they want to keep him or her. Important note for landlords out there: if you have a good tenant that you want to keep because she is quiet and never complains and always pays her rent on time, you may want to rethink raising her rent every year. Just sayin’.

Okay, now back to my skirt.

One of my last nights at my old place, I had the girls over to sit on my stoop, drink wine, reminisce and make some last minute decisions about what to do with things I wasn’t sure about taking to the new place – including some clothes. So, a la Carrie and the girls in the first Sex in the City Movie, Salty, Marie and Bridie laid across my bed as I pulled the unloved items from my closet.

Somewhere in the middle of this mayhem, after we determined I only need two (not six) strappy, black mini-dresses and that I would never be preppy enough to wear argyle, I pulled from my closet my lucky skirt.

My lucky skirt, soon to be referred to as my magic skirt. I bought her when I was still in college and needed something fun, but dressy, but also sexy without being slutty to wear to a banquet where both my parents and CK would be. You would think something I bought more than 10 years ago would be hopelessly out of style, but she is just a simple greenish-blue, wrap skirt that still looks pretty good – mostly because I rarely wear her. She is much to powerful to wield regularly.

The first night I wore the skirt I swear to god CK flirted with me. Of course, it is only in hindsight that I realize he was flirting, at the time, I was so nervous that he was talking to me, I smiled, nodded and walked away. I still shake my head in disgust about what a dolt I was.
The second time I wore her, when crossing Walnut Street, Bridie and I overheard some guy exclaim to his car full of friends, did you see that girl’s skirt. Bridie stopped me, “Did you hear that guy?”

I smiled.

She looked down at my skirt, “That thing is magical.”

The third time I wore the skirt – I met Hung. I don’t think I need to go into any more detail about why that night was awesome.

The fourth (and final) time I wore it was to Wharton’s going away party. Except I never made it to the party. Wharton was being a bit of a jackass (at least in my mojito-clouded opinion) and I decided he didn’t deserve to see me in the skirt.

I’m not sure why I never wore it again. Maybe I was afraid it’s magic had worn off or maybe I just didn’t have the occasion to wear it. But when it came time to clean out the closet, I decided it was time to pass the magic skirt on to someone else.

When Bridie saw that I was giving it away she was shocked and asked me what the heck I was thinking. And maybe it was because I had too much wine. Or maybe it was because I was surrounded by the women that love me the most. Whatever it was, I decided to be honest. Because the truth was it had nothing to do with passing the magic on to someone else (have I ever been that magnanimous?). I just didn’t feel like the same girl that wore that skirt.

Worse, I wasn’t sure I could ever be her again. So why have that reminder hanging in my closet.
A couple of days later, Salty was coming over to help me take my oversized, industrial trash bags to the Goodwill. I was pulling the third bag from the back room when I noticed my lucky skirt had escaped and was half hiding underneath a bookshelf. I inspected the bag for tears but found none. It seems, while I was ready to be done with the magic skirt, she wasn’t done with me.
I scooped her off the floor and stuffed her into my pocketbook.

Maybe there was some space for her in my future after all.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Jason Statham Exception

Did I ever tell you how much I love a good action movie? Well, I do. I even love a really bad one.

So when Bridie suggested we could see a movie this past weekend, my eyes lit up. “Can we see the Expendables.”
Now, I expected her to say, “Absolutely not.” I didn’t expect her to then look the movie up online and say, “You know what? Sure.”

I could hardly contain myself. At the pool on Saturday it was pretty much all I could think about. So much so, that when we walked by two guys that were just hanging out and Bridie asked, “were either of them cute?” I had to quickly make up a lie to cover-up the fact that I didn’t even notice them. My mind was too occupied with the thought of seeing Sly and Bruce and the Governator and Jason all in the same movie.

Now, before you all start in on my about just how terrible and misogynistic these sort of movies are – believe me, I have heard it all before. And I simply don’t care. I love action movies. I love the explosions and the excessive violence and the way they snap people’s necks and break people’s backs and the impossibly convoluted plotlines and the improbable way that all the good guys come back to life in the end and yes, even the terrible acting. The terrible acting is what makes all those one liners so effin’ funny.

After all, would “I’ll be back,” be half as catchy if it were delivered by a good actor? I’ve never actually noticed but I bet that phrase is uttered in dozens of movies and t.v. shows by countless actors – yet we all associate it with Ah-nold.

Not to mention, I really don’t think the acting is all that bad. For instance, while watching him in Expendables, Jason Statham totally sold me as a badass by day, broken-hearted guy by night. I had no trouble believing that if he were my ex-boyfriend and I called him up because my current boyfriend hit me, he would pick me up on his motorcycle and we would go find the creep. And after putting a serious beat down on him and all is Adidas track pant wearing punk friends, he would say something clever – yet menacing – get back on his bike and we would ride off into the sunset.

I believed it so much that when Jason was telling his on-screen ex-girlfriend (the chick from Buffy the Vampire Slayer that got migraines and could see the future) that she should have waited: that he was worth it, I felt like he was looking into my eyes and saying, “Tati, you shouldn’t have a stupid rule about dating guys under six feet tall. I understand it means giving up all your favorite heels, but believe me, I’m worth it.”

You know what, Jason? I agree. You are totally worth it. For you I will date someone that is 5’11”.

So long as that someone is either you or also a mercenary with a really cute British accent.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Me, The Jerk and

Contrary to what you may believe, I didn’t leave because the only guys “winking” at me clearly hadn't read my profile – that, or they didn’t believe me when I said I wasn’t looking for someone in their 50s with kids and cats and a house in the suburbs. The ones that really made me laugh were the ones that were also 5’8”.

Honestly, though, I probably could have suffered through another month of that. I probably could have also endured another month of e-mailing with potential matches, wondering when the heck he was going to ask for my number or try to set up a date.

Yes, I could have endured all of that and so much more had I never stumbled upon the Jerk’s profile.

The Jerk, I really wish I had a better name for him, but I don’t, he is simply a jerk, is an acquaintance of mine – a friend of a friend of another friend that I see out occasionally and after he leaves I ask the friend – why the hell do you put up with him? She just shrugs her shoulders and says she doesn’t know. The Jerk is tall, with dark hair and dark skin (thanks, I'm sure to a tanning salon membership). He has an impressive job and I even thought he was good looking, once upon a time.

Then he opened his mouth.

The Jerk knows more about everything than everybody. The Jerk once argued with me about trends in pocketbooks. Women’s pocketbooks. He thought he knew more about women’s pocketbooks than me.

The Jerk loves pointing out the designers he is wearing – even when it is obvious by the little guy on the horse stitched on the breast of the shirt.

The Jerk also likes to name drop. Mind you, we live in Philadelphia, so you can only imagine the names he is dropping. Most days I don’t know the people he is talking about and I make a point of asking him, “who?” His other favorite thing to do is just say a person’s first name. “Oh, yeah, I was at this party with Chase and Jen.” Umm, yeah, sure you were.

And then one day, I log onto and see that The Jerk viewed my profile.

At first I didn’t recognize him – his profile shot has more scenery than face in it. So I clicked on his screen name and then through his photos. And since I was already there and since was going to tell him I was there, I figured what the heck, let’s read what he has to say. I really wish I hadn’t.

By the end of the profile I was nauseated. Not by what he said, but by all the stuff he didn’t say. Where was the line about only dating “women” in their early 20s because they “aim to please” and come with significantly less baggage? Or the stories about dropping hundreds of dollars on bottles of vodka to skip the line at a club in South Beach. What about the fact that one of his favorite things is to pause during sex to check himself out in one of the many mirrors set up around his room (or so I heard).

None of that was there. Instead it was all “enjoying good food and checking out new restaurants in the city,” and “hanging out with friends at the shore,” and “watching foreign films and reading the classics.” He listed his favorite book as The Fountainhead. I could taste vomit as I realized if I didn’t know better, I would probably e-mail this guy. I would probably spend 20, maybe even 30 minutes working on something clever and cute and charming but not crazy or over-telling to send him and then would obsessively check my e-mail and account to see if he returned my e-mail or viewed my profile again.

And down the rabbit hole my mind went. All of these guys that I'm e-mailing, every last one of them could be just like the Jerk. Well, maybe not just like him – I have to believe he is one of a kind. But they all could be really cool and funny and interesting online, but complete weirdos in real life. No body is going to list their bad traits. I didn’t include the fact that I like the smell of my own hair, except on most Sundays when I tend to not wash it and I write a blog about my life so if you go on a date with me chances are my 27 readers are going to hear all about it. So what is hiding behind their profile smiles and list of favorite hot spots?

I know that there are just as many fakes and phonies in the real world – but here it is easier to see through them. I knew the Jerk was, well, a jerk, after only listening to him for 15 minutes. In world, it could have been a month (or more) before I figured that out. And I’m paying for that time, where as in the real world, I got a free drink out of it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

This Year's Birthday Present to Myself

I was sitting at a table with four of the greatest women I know, having just polished off a fantastic meal, some decadent desserts and a couple bottles of wine. Bridie look over at me and asked, “So, any plans for your thirty-second year?”

“Yeah,” I nodded. “I’m going to try to stop obsessing over things I have little or no control.”

Salty nodded, “That would be nice.”

“And,” I smiled. “I’m going to stop being so mean to myself.”

“I like that,” Bridie smiled and lifted her glass in my direction.

However, I can’t take complete credit for that last one.

I recently read Women, Food and God, a book I keep mistakenly referring to as "Women, Love and God," a Freudian Slip the author would have a field day with if she ever heard me make it. I never considered myself an emotional eater, having been raised by one I know what they look like. But when I was laid-off last year, I found myself eating to excess every a lot. I started to notice that every time I got anxious or scared or upset, I would get something to eat. So when I heard about this book, I was definitely interested in reading it.

In the book, the author writes about how we talk to ourselves. The things we say to ourselves everyday and how hurtful and awful they are and how we would never let anyone ever say anything like that to us, but we take it from ourselves all the time.

A thousand years ago (or nine) Bridie and I were at a bar with friends. One friend was talking to two guys and as I headed towards the ladies’ room, I stopped by to make sure she didn’t need rescuing. One of the two guys, we’ll call him Mutt, turned to me and asked, “Which of us do you think is the most athletic?” I looked at Mutt, tall, well-built, attractive in a frat-boy sort of way, then at his friend, we’ll call him Jeff, shorter and skinnier, but also cute in geeky sort of way. I immediately knew what the answer was supposed to be.

However, I have never been a fan of doing what I am supposed to do, so I asked, “Of the whole group or just between the two of you?”

Mutt shrugged a shoulder and said, “The whole group.”

I nodded and replied, “Me.” Maybe I also smiled.

Mutt was aghast. “How can you say that? You don’t even know me.”

This confused me, seeing that Mutt didn’t know me, which is what I tried pointing out to him but he just kept insisting that I couldn’t possibly answer that way since I didn’t know him. I then countered, that in all fairness, then I shouldn’t have been asked the question. But since I was, I gave my best answer. I then walked away, wondering what those two guys could have been saying to keep my friend interested.

A few minutes later, Bridie walked by the group, and Mutt grabbed her arm and asked, “Where did your stupid friend go?”

Bridie, admitted later that she said a silent prayer that this guy was talking about me because she knew it would be fun watching me rip him apart, asked, “Who is my stupid friend?”

“The blonde, with all the hair.”

She smiled. “Let me go get her.” Bridie then found me, relayed the events that just transpired and watched as my face turned red, my eyes narrowed and my nostrils flared. At this point, some of our guy friends had joined us, so as I turned to find Mutt, they followed. I would like to think they did this to protect him, but it was probably to keep me from getting hit.

I won’t detail the barrage of insults I threw at this guy. I’ll just say this: I really don’t like being called stupid and I think I made that very clear to him.

Now, I haven’t thought much about Mutt in the last several years, for a while we would run into him and he would yell loudly, “oh look, it’s the smart girl,” but even that hasn’t happened in some time. Still, when I read this bit about the things we allow ourselves to say to ourselves about ourselves, I immediately thought of him. I almost physically assaulted this complete stranger because he called me stupid – once. I call myself a lot worse things several times a day.

But all that stops at 32. If I even so much as think about insulting myself, I have promised to unleash my 23-year-old self, complete with her denim tube dress and Christina Aguilera fro (what? I thought I looked cute).

Of course, I’m not really sure what my 23-year-old self will do other than hurl more insults, but who knows. She’s had nine years to learn some new tricks. Plus, it seemed to work for Mutt – he never said another nasty thing about me again.

Oh wait. Come to think of it, he did call me a bitch. But I took that as a compliment.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Lesson From My Little Brother

“So, is it weird for you, having Ivan get married before you?”

It was after midnight. I was standing outside my hotel with a number of my brother’s friends contemplating whether I should continue to drink with them or I should just go up to my room, get out of my uncomfortably tight dress and get into my not so comfy bed. Andy, one of Ivan’s Allentown friends, was sitting on a low wall in front of me, smoking a cigarette. He was the one that just asked me whether or not I was upset about Ivan getting married before me.

Now, natural order sort of dictates that I should have attended by younger brother’s wedding with my husband, and possibly a baby bump. Instead, I showed up solo with a bit of a beer (and wine) gut. So I was prepared for this question because I had been asking myself it a lot.

This is the time of year when I typically do my self-assessment and so it was only natural for me to add this to my list of questions: like, how are you feeling about turning another year older? Am I happy where I am at, both physically and metaphysically? Am I still okay being single? Am I still sure I don’t want kids? Then, when I’m not quite sure about any of the answers, I do something to ensure I do have answers the following year. For instance, this year I joined Yeah, I’ll be quitting that real soon.

However, unlike all the other questions I am constantly asking myself, I had an answer for this one.

I nodded down at Andy and said, “You know what? I am.”

The best part is, I meant it.

Most days I am unsure about what I want from my life. Sure, I would love to be a world famous writer, but this new job I have isn't so bad. Maybe it would be okay if I never published a novel, never meet Stewart Bradley, buy a big house in East Falls and have two of his babies. Maybe it would be okay to just stay in South Philly, with my friends and my new apartment, and maybe one day a new puppy. Or maybe that is the worst thing that could possibly happen and in a couple of months I will be bored out of my mind and I can't possibly be happy unless I am a real live writer, touring the country, signing books, and having people as important as Oprah hang on my every word.

But watching my younger brother get married I was suddenly sure of one thing -- I want what he and Alexia have and I’m okay waiting for it. If that means waiting until I am 60 or 70 to get it, that’s fine. If it means I won’t have kids because of it, that's fine too. If it means never getting it because I just never find it – well, I’m pretty sure I’ll survive. Because after seeing how happy in love those two are, I just can’t imagine settling for anything else.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I’m Too Smart for My Own Good or Maybe Now I’ll Listen to My Own Advice

How many times have I said you should never develop a crush on a bartender? Six? 12? 37? 198? Why not just ask how many numerals are in Pi?

So I was back in NoLibs, hanging out with Salty, Bridie and Bridie’s beau (who I think may not be named so why don’t we just call him Beau). We were not at Hottie Bartender’s bar, but at a Mexican joint, enjoying margaritas (and quite possibly the worst service in the city, though I suppose we weren’t really enjoying that part). Salty commented that she wanted to head over to Hottie’s bar because she has yet to see him, when Bridie softly responded, “Umm, yeah, Tati, Hottie has a girlfriend.”

Of course he does. Big sigh.

There really is no need to go into detail as to how she knows this, we’ll just say she knows for sure and leave it at that. I looked at Salty and said, “See. This is why you don’t fall for bartenders.”

She laughed and said it was okay to have a crush on one, you just can’t expect to make out with him.

The thing is, I kinda wanted to make out with this one.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Great. 19 More Reasons to Hate Single People

When I saw this, "19 Things You Should Never Say to a Single Person," on Lana’s Facebook page I had a lot of hope for it; I really did. And when it started out talking about all the tired clichés surrounding single women, I cheered (even as the author used several clichés to make her point). But then I started reading from the list and my heart sank. Really? Really we need another article that makes single women sound mean and spiteful and just plain miserable.

The only one (or two rather) I really could get behind as something I could go the rest of my life never hearing was the third one (and No. 17), “So, why are you single?” and “But you’re so pretty, why don’t you have a boyfriend?” Think about what you are asking here, people? You are literally asking the person to list her faults (which must be numerous) because obviously it is not all the losers out there. It is her.

I must admit, however, I also secretly love these questions because they allow me to answer in outrageous ways that leave the questioner dumbfounded. For instance there was a time when a guy asked me “How is it you’re still single?” And I whispered back, “I have a little penis.”

Yes, I get that this guy was probably trying to pay me a compliment, but if he couldn’t just accept his good fortune of meeting me while I was still single and not question it, well, then he is probably not the one for me.

Okay, maybe I really need to start answering this question, “because I’m a bit of a smart ass.”

The rest of these clichés, however, seemed more like a list of polite things people say to each other when you're not quite sure what to say.

Take the first one, for example. Yeah, I too am tired of hearing, “you’ll find him when you least expect it/when you stop looking.” (And actually I combined cliché No. 1 and No. 15). I heard this a lot over the past year when I told people I really didn’t have time in my life for a relationship right now.

Now, I just told you I don’t have time for anyone in my life. So here’s hoping I don’t meet someone because it wouldn’t be the right time (see cliché No. 7) now you could come back with cliché No. 16, but if you know me, you know there is no way I am going to let a guy ruin my life (yeah, I didn’t get that one either). So you come at me with No. 1/No. 15. But here’s the thing, get in real close because I am about to tell you a huge secret, single people are always looking. It’s the way we are programmed. Countless magazines and “news” stories have told us that we will find him when we least expect it so now we expect it all the time, meaning according to you we are doomed to never find him.

So yes, even when I didn’t have time in my life for a boyfriend, I was still looking for one. Not very actively. But still. The only reason I am telling you I don’t have time for someone is because that is my polite, nonpathetic response to you asking me if I am seeing someone. So what did you do? You responded with “oh, you’ll find him when you least expect it” as your polite, noncombative response to me. Sure you could have called bullshit and said, “So what you’re telling me Tati is that if Stewart Bradley walked in right now and told you he loved you and couldn’t live without you, you would tell him it wasn’t a good time?” But you didn’t, because you are my friend. And for that, I am grateful.

Another one that really annoyed me was No. 13 “Wow, I wish I was in your shoes!” and the poster’s comment, “Really?! I’m pretty sure you CAN be single if you actually wanted to be. That there is an attainable dream, so if you aren’t messing with me right now out of pity (which I suspect you are), please go for it!”

First, Poster, please never use a question mark and an exclamation point together again. Both those punctuation marks have suffered enough.

Second, I think you are doing something wrong. I know for a fact that a lot of my married friends and coupled-off friends really wouldn’t mind switching places with me on occasion. Being single can rock at times when being settled down sucks. And vice versa. Yes, it is awful having to get up during a wedding for the bouquet toss (or hearing cliché No. 14 “your turn next” though, that is such a grandma thing to say and how can you hate grandmas). But you know what is worse than enduring the call for all the single ladies to join the bride on the dance floor. Your son screaming “I have to poop, Mommy,” during the service. And all eyes turning to you, judging you, wondering why you didn’t just hire a baby-sitter instead of bringing your child to ruin your friend’s wedding.

And what about when your down and out because some jerk dumped you (You! You should have been the one dumping him he was such a jerk). And your friend offers “He just wasn’t the right guy for you.” Okay, that's not great. But we’ve all been there. She calls him a jerk and before she knows it, you and the jerk are back together and she is worried that you now think she hates your boyfriend. So she has to come up with something to say to make you feel better. Will it make you feel better? No. Neither will hearing No. 7 “It was just bad timing,” but let’s be honest. At that point in time would anything make you feel better?

And if that is the case, then how about, the next time your married friend is complaining about how her perfect husband watches too much sports (No. 19) you don’t jump down her throat about how great she has it, or roll your eyes and say, “the grass is always greener.”

No. 19’s Poster (who I suspect it is the same poster as No. 13) complains that single people in general don’t want to be complained to about “petty relationship stuff.” Are you kidding? Please continue to complain to me about all your petty relationship stuff. That is when I feel best about being single. Well, wait, no, actually I feel best about being single after I buy an expensive pocketbook, knowing no one at home will make me feel bad about my purchase or ask “how much was that?” or “do you really need another black purse?”

But I feel second best when my friends are complaining about how their seemingly perfect boyfriends (or husbands) leave their dirty underwear on the floor of the bathroom. I close my eyes and thank my lucky stars that the only dirty underwear I ever have to pick up is my own. On nights like that, I run around my apartment, blissful that, even when it's messy, it is all my mess.

Of course, none of this compared to how the article ended. Stating that it was still okay to offer “He’s just not that into you” because that’s not condescending. I’m going to forget about the it not being condescending part and just say, I was tired of hearing that even before they made a book out of it, followed by a movie. And no one has ever even said it to me. Because I mean, come on, of course he was into me. There had to be another reason he didn’t call.

Anyway, I linked the article here. (for those of you who are not friends with Lana on Facebook). Feel free to disagree with me. It won’t be the first time and it certainly won’t be the last.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

To Move or Not To Move

So, my landlord is trying to raise my rent. Not by much, mind you, but it is the principle of it – because he has raised it every year for the past three years.

And while I love my apartment, there is a lot I don’t love about it. Like the fact that my doorbell has never worked – this has caused a couple of problems, especially on New Year’s Day. The back yard, isn’t so much of a yard as a concrete slab where the air conditioning units noisily hum all day long and cats find shelter from the sun and use it as a litter box. My bathroom literally freezes in the winter and now there is a 500lb dog living above me.

No, not Brandi. Brandi’s dog. That likes to run around the apartment barking when Brandi and whatever guy she brings home come in somewhere between 2:30 and 4 a.m.

And now the rent is going up again and I’m thinking I may want to move out.

The problem is, I don’t have much time to make this decision. And once it is made, it is made. Once I tell my landlord where to shove his lease, I will have to find a place I love or else I will be homeless (or less dramatically, forced to live in a place I like even less than where I am living now).

So why am I telling all of you this? Well, when I’m struggling with a decision, I usually like talking it out – mostly with my mom. When that doesn’t work, I write it all down.

I spoke to my mom this morning. She wasn’t terribly helpful. Or maybe she was. It’s hard to decide. While she definitely drove home all the reasons why I want out, she also started pointing out all the things that suck about moving. By the end of the conversation we were about even on whether or not I should move, but agreed that if my landlord would fix most of the problems with my apartment, staying would be better than moving.

But after three years of pretty much ignoring me I’m not sure he would suddenly be willing to help me out.

Now I’m writing about it. Unfortunately, I’m most of the way through and no closer to a solution. Nor has any of the decent places I have e-mailed contacted me to say that the place is still available and they would be happy to show it to me this evening. Because even that would give me some hope, but because most of the places respond that their apartments are no longer available, I worry that it would make more sense for me to continue to be a doormat for another year.

The thing is, I hate being a doormat.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Girl That Wears Red Lipstick

Whenever I find myself not particularly satisfied with my life I like to change my person physically, hoping it inspires changes mentally (or metaphysically). In high school (and college) it was piercing things, which is why, if you look closely you can see up to six (or is it seven) wholes in my left ear lobe.

In college, in addition to piercing things, I experimented with hair color. And when I say “experimented” I mean it. In 1997, the last time the Flyers went to the Stanley Cup, my hair was a short, black bob with orange fringe and stripes. Man, I thought I was so cool.

But now, well, I rarely wear earrings in the holes I have now (plus I think there is a cut-off age for piercing things) and I’m pretty sure my hairstylist (and maybe some of my friends) would kill me if I changed my hair color again. Even if I went for something normal. Besides, I only recently went back to being a blonde.

So, I was just about to get in line at a big cosmetic store, still feeling funky and wondering what I could do to get out of it when I saw a display of brightly colored lipsticks. I turned from the line to the display. There, I put my purchases down and started swiping some of the bold shades onto the back of my hand.

A sales girl approached. “Can I help you?”

I looked over at her and said, “I want to be a girl that wears bright red lipstick.”

She cheered and I knew I was onto something.

I know a lot of you out there have no idea what I look like so this might not seem like a very big deal to you. But for most of my adult life (I consider my college life separate from my adult life) I have subscribed to the less is more school of cosmetology. Sure, occasionally I’ll smoke up my eye (with mostly disastrous results) but day-in, day-out my palette is very neutral. Very beige. Very boring.

The sales girl lead me to a lip stain called lust. It overwhelmed me at first. She smiled and said, it really isn’t as drastic as you think. I put it on, rubbed it in and took a look. I felt like Cameron Diaz.

Now, I don’t expect this lipstick to make me happy or fix whatever it is that is making me feel funky in the first place. But I have noticed that when I am walking around downtown, my head is a little higher, my shoulders are back, I’m sort of smiling and I feel more confident.

And that's a good start.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Chubby Vegetarian

Over the past year, while mostly sitting at home finishing my novel, I have packed on a few additional pounds. Something I either didn’t notice or ignored until I tried to get into my old work clothes.

This shocks a lot of my friends (not that they haven’t noticed). I’m a vegetarian (and most days a vegan). So, they wonder how it is possible to gain weight. Well, I’m here to tell you it is.

Because chips are vegetarian. And candy is vegetarian (though most is not vegan). And they make vegan cheese (though most of it isn’t great) and dips and ice cream and cookies and brownies and Citizens Bank park even has vegan hotdogs and it is really easy to think you are eating healthy, but really you’re not.

Okay, so I never thought I was eating healthy when I was devouring a vegan oatmeal and chocolate chip cookie from Whole Foods. Still, I think you get my point.

And maybe that is more my point. Most of us know what we should and shouldn’t eat. Still we eat the crap anyway because it either feels good or because we think it tastes better. And in the past (before this past year) it was easy for me to find the balance between eating junk food and working out. But this past year, while I did workout occasionally, clearly not enough to still fit into my favorite pair of seersucker pants, however.

So, there I was, up one night, tossing and turning, wondering what in the world I was going to wear to work the next day (or more importantly to happy hour the following day). And the more I thought about it, the more obsessed I became. And when I become obsessed with something I find it helps if I start writing things down. But then my journal started to become nothing but me whining about how big I am and discussing what I did and didn’t eat or what I did or didn’t do.

Which brought me to the Internet. No, dear readers, after that long hiatus I don’t intend to bore you with my struggles with losing my unemployment weight (well, not after this post, anyway). Instead, I am going to bore the Twitterverse (that’s right, I used the word Twitterverse).

I’m not sure what I hope to get out of thescalenmyfury other than just a release. Nor am I sure it will be really interesting or entertaining for anyone else out there (but then, so much of Twitter is neither interesting nor entertaining). But who knows, maybe my pathetic and self-indulgent tweets will actually help someone out. Or, maybe Jillian Michaels will see my tweets and stop by Broad Street for an old school ass-kicking.

Lord knows I could use one. Especially if I want to fit into those seersucker pants before the end of the summer.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


So, while on vacation with my parents two months ago (though it feels so much longer) my mother was reading Jennifer Love Hewitt’s new book, The Day I Shot Cupid. When I saw her pack it, I eyed her suspiciously.

“What?” She defended herself. “I heard it was funny.”

I thought self-help books on dating are targeted towards single women (though, sometimes men, too). So either my mom is planning on getting back out there soon or she purchased this book for me. Her daughter. Who is so hopeless when it comes to dating, she would take advice from Jennifer Love Hewitt, whose only qualification for writing this book is that she has dated a lot. Oh, and she’s famous.

I didn’t argue any of this with my mother. I just silently resolved to finish Norman Mailer’s Executioner’s Song and check my luggage before we come back; less the ol’ girl tried to slip it into my bag “by mistake.”

So fast-forward to a few days later when my mom and I are sitting by the pool. She is appropriately covered with a hat and a light cover-up and sunscreen on all the spots those other two items leave exposed. I am lying next to her in a bikini and SPF 4. She was reading JLove's book. I wanted to read Norman Mailer’s but it was just so heavy, and the sun was so bright, and my iPod kept playing really good songs.

Out of nowhere my mom starts laughing. I open my eyes, expecting to see my father. See, on the first day of vacation my father used a spray-on sunscreen but didn’t rub it in so it looked like someone spray painted his sunburn with white. You couldn’t help but laugh.

But no, no dad. And no one fell climbing into or out of their lounge chair. So I couldn’t understand what my mother was laughing at. And then she did it again. I looked over and saw her smiling down at her book.

I knew this trick. Heck, I invented this trick. During a trip west in college (for crew) CK was sitting behind me on the plane and so I kept cracking up laughing at the book I was reading, knowing that if I did, he would eventually ask me what I was reading and we would fall hopelessly in love, get married and have lots of babies. Eventually CK did lean around my chair and ask me, which is when I saw the flaw in my plan. “Bridget Jones’ Diary: The Edge of Reason.” He raised his eyebrows and returned to his seat. What was I thinking? CK read John Dos Passos for crying-out-loud. He wasn’t going to fall hopelessly in love with a girl that laughed like a hyena to such low-brow literature.

But I digress. Recognizing my mother’s ploy, I smiled, lowered my head back onto my chair and turned up my iPod. I could still hear her laugh a couple more times, but I didn’t react. I guess she grew tired of my ignoring her, because she smacked the back of my arm with her hand. I took out one of my ear buds and lifted my head. She was handing me the book, pointing at a paragraph.

I rolled my eyes, but I was also wearing sunglasses so she didn’t see. I grabbed the book and read what Miss. Hewitt had to say. This passage was on text messaging and how some guys will only text a girl and that these texts can go on (and on) and you can feel like you have a boyfriend, but you actually never see him. Just his name when it pops on your phone alerting you to a text message. Miss. Hewitt goes on that, sure this is cute and exciting and fun at first, but this is not a relationship and that you (you out there!) deserve better and he will realize the error of his ways, but of course by then it will be too late.

I shrugged my shoulders. “So?”

I’m not sure what my mom was expecting but it wasn’t that. “Well, is that true?”

Now I was really starting to get concerned. My mom doesn’t text. She doesn’t even carry her cell phone (it just stays in her car). So why should she care if modern technology (while making us always available) is making it harder to actually connect with anyone?

“Sure.” I nod. “It’s one of the reasons I’m not a fan of online dating. You meet,” you bet your sweet patootie I used air quotes around the word meet, “these guys and you think, huh, there is some potential here. But then all you do is IM or e-mail and then a month goes by and you realize you have a crush on a guy that you've never met.”

“Do you sext?”

Now where in the world did she learn that word? “Umm, yeah, I guess. If you’re like 16.”

“Huh.” She went back to reading her book and I started thinking of all my arguments for why my mom shouldn’t leave my father.

Fortunately, it never came to that. The next day my mom, obviously defeated, handed me the book and said, “you should read this. It’s funny. And it will take you less than a day.”

And so I did.

Well, she was half right; it only took me a day to read. And besides the workout plan (yes, you read correctly, the book comes complete with a JLove approved workout) and the odd aside about the high school girls that were prohibited from wearing thongs to their prom (I have no idea where that came from either) Jennifer Love Hewitt wrote nothing me and my girlfriends hadn’t already said to each other a thousands times.

Okay, there was one thing. But I am almost too embarrassed to even type it. JLove suggests --- oh my god I don’t think I can write it --- she, umm, suggests bedazzling your va-jay-jay.

I’ll give you a moment to let that sit.

In addition to all her other cutesy tips about how to love yourself more (wear a tiara, sleep naked) and prepare for a date (spray tan, buy cute pajamas) she also recommends BEDAZZLING YOUR GIRL BITS! Of course she stressed it is not for “him” but for “you.” That you’ll never feel cuter or sexier than when your bits are blingin’.

I was going to Google search this, to see what all is involved in this process but I couldn’t have that sitting in my Google search history. Not to mention I can only imagine the resulting Google ads I would start getting. Instead, I'm just going to sit here with my un-sparkly private parts and hope like hell this is just some stupid L.A. trend that doesn’t catch on everywhere else.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

About A Bartender

I am a terrible flirt. And by “terrible flirt” I don’t mean it the way old, southern ladies exclaim, “Oh, Mr. Jones, you terrible flirt you.” But, I mean, I’m awful at it. Unless I’ve had a couple of drinks in which case I’m worse.

By way of example, I was once sitting next to a very tall, very cute (though maybe time has made him taller and cuter) guy. That night I was wearing a large amber pendant and the guy complimented the piece. I thanked him. He said he wouldn’t mind getting a closer look at it. I offered to take it off for him. I would like to say my cool response was due to the lameness of his line, but it wasn’t. I didn’t know it was a line. All my friends in the room collectively slapped their foreheads at my incompetence and the guy quickly called it a night.

And mind you that was after a couple of drinks so just imagine what I am like when I’m cold sober.

Oh, wait, you don’t have to imagine, I have another example. I was once walking Bridie’s dog when Hot-Skateboarding-Teacher was out walking his dog. Trevor (Bridie’s dog) and I were almost home, when HST’s dog stopped, across the street, and stared at Trever (T is a very cute dog). HST called across the street, “I think our dogs want to be friends.” I pulled on Trevor’s leash, quietly begging him to stop and make friends with this dog. However, Trevor wasn’t having it and continued to pull me towards home.

I looked at HST and asked, “is your dog female?”

He responded in the affirmative to which I replied, “Yeah, my dog’s gay.”

Bridie never gets tired of laughing at that story.

When I met the hot bartender, who I still haven’t nicknamed so feel free to comment with suggestions, I wasn’t sober. I was out with the Duchess, JD and Pepper. We had met up earlier for the Flyers game and were now headed to Northern Liberties to grab something to eat and watch the Phillies game. All day, the Duchess and Pepper had been checking out guys as potential mates for me. A game I appreciate but tire of quickly. So when we sat down at the bar, they immediately assessed the situation and decided the only suitable candidate was behind the bar.

Oddly enough their first candidate was the same one Salty had for me on Valentine’s Day of this year when we found ourselves at this same bar. I turned to them and said, “No. For two reasons, one he is a bartender. Two, he’s wearing a wedding ring.”

Well, he was on Valentine’s Day but it wasn’t there tonight. Still, I nixed it, arguing he probably took it off to get better tips. They relented, but I think that was because they were hungry.

After some food and a couple of drinks later, they broached the topic again, this time pointing to the other bartender. I said he was too short, which was met with a series of guffaws. And maybe because I was tired of saying no to them. Or maybe because they were right, the only good looking guys were behind the bar. Or maybe it was as simple as my desire to make-out with someone, I admitted that I did think the third bartender was cute.

This is where it all started to go downhill. First, no one else from our group was allowed to order our drinks but me. And I was only allowed to order them from him. Now, normally this would be okay, but we weren’t sitting at his end of the bar. So short bartender number two kept asking me what I wanted and I kept getting yelled at for flirting with the wrong one. Finally, I stopped ordering from the wrong one and ordered from the right one, but then I was accused of being too curt. In between all of this, I turned from the bar to readjust my cleavage (hoping that would catch his eye) only to turn back to the bar and see Mr. Valentine’s Day waiting to see if he could get me anything.

Yeah, he totally caught me.

So, after all of this, the drink orders, the embarrassment, the yelling and finally my resignation to just give up and watch the game, we decided it was time to leave. As we were leaving, the hot bartender smiled and said, “Are you taking off?”

I smiled back and from out of nowhere responded, “Yeah, why, you want my number?”

More unbelievably he responded, “Actually,” with a shrug of his shoulder.

Now, in addition to all my other charming qualities, I sometimes can’t stop talking. It’s why I like writing. Writing I can put everything down on a page and go back and delete what I wish I had never written. You probably think this post is too long, but believe me, it was a lot longer. Fearful that this was about to be the case, I shut up. I refused to say another word.

Meanwhile the Duchess, still wide-eyed at my bravado, sprung into action, searching for a pen and a napkin, screaming, "what is her number?"

I bit my lip down and stared up at the hot bartender. Shaking my head.

He looked out at me and said, “Don’t make this weird.”

I swallowed and thought about responding, “oh, we blew past weird about thirty seconds ago,” but worried about what else would come out. Instead I grabbed the Duchess’s arm and pleaded with her to leave.

It should come as no surprise to any of you that he hasn’t called. Though the Duchess is convinced that it is because he never actually got my number (and that Bartender Number Two took it and threw it away).