July 29, 2010

Blogger Interview: See Claudia Date

One of the things I enjoy best about Twitter is the ability to find (and follow) people you don't know who may (or may not) have interesting things to say. This past week one of my random follows tweeted about @SeeClaudiaDate. As Emily and I have recently had an extra long post about dating, it caught my eye.

Claudia is a soon-to-be 30 year old woman living in Ft. Lauderdale, FL who is attempting the monumental task of going on 30 dates in the month she turns 30.

I decided to go out on a limb and see if Claudia wouldn't mind being interviewed (via email) for our blog.  After checking us out, she agreed and now I'd like to present my interview.

Know any single guys in the Ft. Lauderdale/Miami area that would like to go out on a date with her? You can find her information and blog at seeclaudiadate.com!

So since this project is about going on 30 dates in the month that you turn 30, which is scarier - the dates or hitting the big 3-0?

The 30 dates are definitely scarier than turning 30, hands down. 
On one of your recent posts, you indicated that you had about a weeks worth of dates lined up so far. How have you found these guys?

Some of the guys have e-mailed me. I also set up an online dating profile to "cast a wider net". Actually, Match.com recently gave me a complimentary membership for 3 months, so if I do get any dates from there, I'll definitely give them credit.
Do you have a date on August 1st?
I do. The date is confirmed, but the actual activity is to be determined.
What happens if you meet the perfect guy early on in your quest? Would you go out with him again within the 30 days and would it count as another one of the 30 dates?
Ahh, I have gotten this question more than once and I have yet to really answer it. The truth is, if I do end up liking someone I go out with and the feeling is mutual, I think a 2nd or 3rd date would be totally acceptable. Never did I set myself up to say that I couldn't go out with the same person more than once. The only challenge I gave myself was to see if I could actually go on 30 dates in the month.
Describe what type of guy you would typically go for?

Hmm, to be honest, I've never really had a type. Looks wise, most of the guys I've gone out with have been slender to athletic. But the last guy I dated with a neuroscientist. The guy before that was a musician. Another was a teacher. I definitely want to try and keep an open mind going into these dates, since I think that's part of the social experiment.
Is there any type of guy you wouldn't want to go out with?

Hmm, someone asked me to go to their house for dinner. It doesn't necessarily break down into the type of guy that he is, but I wouldn't go out with anyone unless it was in a public setting. As far as characteristics go, I think a smoker is a no-go (assuming I know they smoke when they ask me out).
Why should someone date you? What makes you unique? What do you think you bring to the table in a relationship?

Well I think the fact that I'm doing this makes me somewhat unique and shows that I am confident and I don't take life too seriously. I actually have a plan to have someone "endorse" me as a person that's worth going out with, but I haven't followed through yet. Stay tuned.
Moving from New York to Florida is a big change in geography, climate, population density, how would you compare the dating "scene" in the two cities?

I guess I've learned that dating is hard no matter where you live. But as someone told me last night, you can't really compare the two cities. They are so different in and of themselves that I can't really compare the dating scene.
We recently had a post about bad dates - what's the worst thing that's ever happened to you on a date?

Someone else asked me this as well. I can honestly say that I've been very fortunate to date extremely great guys. Even if the date itself was a bust, there was never anything embarrassing or unfortunate that ever happened.  However, I did go on an international trip with a then boyfriend and that's when I realized I wanted to break up with him, but had to wait til we got back home.
What about the best?

The best thing that's ever happened to me on a date? This one particular guy, when we first started dating, every date was absolutely lovely. I never wanted it to end and we would just talk for hours. I miss that. I miss the excitement of a first kiss or looking forward to seeing them again. I think that's the best part of dating anyone. The excitement and longing.
What is the perfect first date outfit for you? For the guy?
Well, it really depends on the date. But for a girl, you can't really go wrong with a blouse, nice jeans, and heels. It kinda works for everything from dinner to bowling to a sports game. Might I be over or underdressed? Sure, but it's a safe outfit. For the guy, I guess the guy version of that. Maybe a button down, nice jeans, and sneakers? But I'm perfectly happy wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and converse.  
Vanilla Cupcake (photo from eatdesertfirst.com)
If you could be any flavor of cupcake, what would it be and why?
Ha! I love this question because anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE cupcakes. That said, my answer isn't very exciting. I just love a vanilla with vanilla frosting.
If "40 is the new 30", what does that mean for the old 30?
Hmm, I don't even know how to answer this question.
Are you planning any sort of celebration for your birthday other than going on 30 dates? Will you go out on a date on that day?

Remains to be seen. I know I want to celebrate my birthday but not necessarily with a date. I kinda just want to hang out with my friends that night. 
Will you tell your children or grandchildren about this when you get older?

Sure! I mean, it's on the internet, so why not.
What would you tell your 20 year old self about dating?
 Just to keep an open mind. But overall, I don't have any regrets about the last 10 years of dating.
What would you say to girls who are interested in doing something like what you're doing?
Take a leap of faith and do it!

Anything else people should know about you or your project?

Just that I'm doing this to see what happens. I'm not expecting to find "the one", but maybe I'll meet a few nice guys and make some friends. And the best case? I end up meeting someone that I like and likes me back and we'll go from there.

Well, that's the interview. Emily and I both wish Claudia the best of luck (we're crossing our fingers that everything works out correctly).

Again, Claudia's website is www.seeclaudiadate.com - so check it out!

Through Claudia's site, I've also learned about a guy in NYC who is doing this RIGHT NOW! Check him out at www.datingbrian.com (I'm especially charmed by his "interview sheets).

July 15, 2010

My Deep Dark Secret

I have a confession to make.

I want to be a hipster.

Yes, that's right. I want to be one of these:

No, I don't know where this image came from but I <3 it. 

I know I come off as a sort of nerdy/preppy girl, but I like to thing this is sort of because I wear glasses (if I were a real hipster, I would wear glasses ironically).

It started last year with a slight obsession. I wanted a "warm-weather scarf" - the breezy non, knitwear version of a winter scarf, perhaps with a funky pattern or in plaid.

I finally found the perfect one (it's blue with a blue and black plaid over it) and bought it.

Next, when I got my hair cut, I added bangs. What goes well with a fun, funky banged haircut? Headbands of course. The best would be the kind with bows or flowers or feathers on them. Got those too.

As the winter months began approaching I discovered footless tights. I said I bought them for wearing under jeans when it was cold out, but that never happened. I would, as this picture above demonstrates, wear them with my jean skirts or short dresses.

This past fall I purchased an argyle sweater vest and eyed some chunky black bangles.

I colored my hair a great shade of red.

Deep down, I am a Hipster.

Ladona® Soft and Opaque Microfiber Footless Tights - Purple (Regular Adult Size)
Purple Footless Tights
I don't want you to get me wrong, I don't rock skinny jeans, lip rings, big wide belts or anything that could be misconstrued as being "worn ironically." I just want to be in to indie music, work my footless tights/leggings, rock a headband and scarf, and just pretend I'm cooler than you.

I mean, I don't buy in to all of the "hipster stuff" but I definitely think there's something to be said for the style choices of some hipsters.

But in the end, I too will make fun of hipsters. For some of the greatest "aren't hipsters funny" sites, you can check out:

Look at this F-ing Hipster (language)
Hipster Puppies (cute puppies! as hipsters!)
Unhappy Hipsters (life is so sad!)

July 12, 2010

Just when we thought it could only get worse...

...it got better.

Ok, so this is a nice little follow up to the last entry that Diana and I posted - the one with all the bad date stories. I know it's a little premature (and in fact, I am most likely jinxing this entire thing), but I am going to post here the details of the date I had last night. The paranoid part of me is worried that a) he'll find this blog and be weirded out (or annoyed or insulted!) that I am posting the details of amazingness or b) I'll be so excited and post this and then he'll never call me back ever again. Or even c) he'll find this blog and be so creeped out that I am as infatuated as I am that it'll creep him out and he'll never call me again. (He knows I have a blog and I mentioned the name, but what are the chances of him searching for it?)

I call this story The Tale of the 16 Hour Date. Why? Cause, well, the date lasted 16 hours. Yes. Six. Teen. Hours.

So here it is:

We met online. He popped up as a match for me one day (91% compatibility, what what?) so I emailed him. I don't normally do that or at least if I do the guy doesn't respond. We only exchanged a handful of emails before he asked to meet me in person. I immediately said yes, though I had low expectations, especially after the duds I've gone out with recently.

We'll call him A, for the sake of his reputation.

We decided to meet for drinks yesterday afternoon at Deep Ellum, a local bar that I had been to once. We agree to meet at 3, and when I arrive he is already there, with a nice table and water for me. He helps me pick out a terribly expensive (and delicious) cocktail and we decide to split some malt vinegar fries (yum) and a beet & cherve terrine (YUM). It's amazing.

We talk and talk and talk and joke and have a great time. Suddenly it's 6pm. We've been there for three hours. It just flew by.

We agree that it's time to leave (especially cause our waitress was already off shift and the bartenders were nicely refilling out water glasses) and he timidly offers to invite me over for a drink on his porch. He says that he doesn't want to seem forward, but that he doesn't really want to end the date. I don't either, so I say yes.

We settle into some chairs on his porch, with glasses of honey whiskey, something I wouldn't normally go for, but that he insisted I try. It's delicious. He puts some vocal jazz on (like Ella and Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong) and we just talk. And talk. About everything and anything.

Now normally I am weird about time. I like to know what time it is at all times (although I don't wear a watch, strangely) but last night, I find myself not caring. When we do check the time it is somehow 8:30. We've been on this date for 5 1/2 hours, and not a second has been boring.

I'm hungry at this point, so he offers to make me something to eat, since he loves to cook (and he's good at it!). We putz around his kitchen for a while, snacking on random vegetables and trying different amazing cheeses he got the other day. We drink cava because he had a random bottle of it in the fridge, and when he said he had never drank champagne for no reason I told him that we should do it, because that's the best way.

Eventually he decides to experiment with some pasta dish - zucchini, red peppers, garlic, basil, sage, truffle oil, fennel, and tomatoes. It's incredible. And watching him prepare it is fascinating, because he really knows what he's doing.

We indulge in some port after we eat (cause why not?), and talk more. I look at the clock and am surprised to see that it's already 11:30. I still don't want to leave (and he doesn't want me to leave).

We finish our port and he looks at me and asks if I dance. Then, in the corniest fashion ever (which of course, won me over) he pulls me up from the table and we dance in the kitchen, to Ella Fitzgerald. And then, nine hours into our date (well, right before midnight), he finally kisses me.

And it's sweet. And awesome.

We don't move for a while, just kinda swaying and laughing and talking in the kitchen. It gets very late and he offers to let me sleep there and he will drive me home in the morning. It is all very innocent and perfect and gentleman like. So I sleep there and he drives me home early enough that it's like I woke up in my own room. Sixteen hours after we first met.

He is funny and sarcastic and sweet. Smart, interesting, and eclectic. We both admitted that we felt ridiculously natural and comfortable - and how strange that was since we really just met.

So, even though I am probably jinxing this, I wanted to remind us all that good dates DO happen.

And when they do, it's pretty sweet.

July 7, 2010

Bad (So Bad They're Funny) Dates

This is our first attempt at a co-authored post on our blog. For reference, anything written by Diana is in blue, and Emily has written in purple. Stories are just left in black.
Today at work I (Diana) logged on to Twitter and saw a conversation happening between Emily and a mutual friend from college. They were sharing "war stories" about some of the dates that they've been on, and I found myself laughing out loud at some of the ridiculousness of people out there in the dating game.

So Emily and I have decided to poll some of the people we know for some of their best/worst bad date stories.

All names have been changed to protect the "victims" and "perpetrators" of these dating disasters!

"Ok, so I was out on a date with this guy (maybe a second date?), and I thought it was going well. I made a joke. He looks at me completely seriously, and says 'Do you think you're funny? Because you're not...' I waited for him to laugh, like he was making a joke. He didn't laugh. He was COMPLETELY serious. I mean, what do you say to that? I said 'F--k you, I AM funny' and then after a few awkward moments, the date continued. I should have walked out! How can you be so rude?"
"I had known this guy, T, for a few years. We had an off and on again thing, nothing serious - just fun times together. We went to college in different states, and would hang out when we were both in the same town. Well, we're chatting online one night, being flirty back and forth, and out of nowhere he tells me that I'm just like candy corn: Me: What does that mean? T: Well, you know how candy corn is only around for part of the year around Halloween? Me: Yeah.... T: Well, when it's not around you have really great memories of how good it is. You almost start to crave it. Me: Ok... (at this point I think I'm flattered) T: But then when you have it, it's really good at first, and then the more you have of it, the less awesome it becomes. In fact, you have so much of it, it starts to make you sick and you don't want to have it again. Until you get some distance, and then you start to want it again? Me: ....

That was pretty much the end of that situation"

Much like dear Diana, I have been on my fair share of bad dates.(much like EVERYONE!) Hell, I once went on a bad romantic getaway (a story for another time). I've been dating since I was about 12, and I am extremely talented at dating the wrong guy. This conversation between Diana and I started when I tweeted about a recent date I had with a fella I refer to as "The Russian" (this is because he is from Russia).

The Russian was cute, and we had talked on the phone prior to the date and save hardly being able to get a word in (he was very talkative) I thought we had good potential for an excellent first date. Well, apparently we didn't. He didn't seem terribly talkative when he arrived. After we sat down, he reminded me that he was a new vegetarian and I could instantly tell that he wouldn't appreciate me eating meat. Right. There was seriously only about 4 non-meat meals on this menu. (I went with grilled cheese). He finally got talking, but the subjects were terribly serious and weighty for a first date. When I asked why he gave up meat, he launched in a diatribe about how wrong it is to kill animals. Ok, I can totally dig that. But then he started bombarding me with questions about why I are meat? Why? Because I find it delicious. Do I feel guilty about killing cows? No, that's why we raise them (sorry to any vegetarians out there). I am normally ok with defending my meat lovin' ways, but he was persistent, and tried very hard to make me hate meat. Then we started talking about religion (he's an atheist raised Jewish). Yeah, THAT was fun. Then he started a discussion about why I wasn't special. You read that right - I was not special. Me. In particular. I actually thought he was joking. He kept saying "It's not like your Einstein..." At the end of the meal he revealed that he left his credit card in his car, and though he did go get it (and I sat there thinking I was being stiffed with the bill), I new that that was a little suspicious. When we left the restaurant, he actually argued with me about how I should get home (seriously dude, I know where I live). So... needless to say, there was not a second date.

Some responses to my facebook post about looking for bad date stories:

"Jesse had been asking me out for several weeks now and finally I said yes. I got a babysitter for my daughter who was about 3 at the time. Jesse went all out for the first date. He was on my doorstep at exactly 7pm. When I opened the door he had flowers for me and a toy for my daughter. Kinda weird but was a nice thought. He brought me to the Melting Pot. After dinner we were heading back to the car. Jesse ended up puking all over the hood of the car. It was gross. He apologized and then got into the car where he puked again. I ended up getting splashed with vomit cause it bounced off the dashboard. I asked if he was ok and he said yes and he apologized again. I said it was no biggie and then told him I would prefer to take a cab home. Jesse gave me some cash for the cab ride and we parted ways."


"At a friend's wedding one of her new husband's friends, Mike, wanted my number so he gave it to him. Mike called and we spoke several time. He seemed nice so I agreed to go out for drinks. Mike picked me up. After I got into the car, Mike leaned over and said 'This is the date rape car since the passenger side door handle is broken and you cant get out'. Holy crap! Who had my friend and her husband set me up with?! The date went down hill from there. Nothing happened, apparently Mike was nervous and he is known to say some stupid things but seriously! Calling you car a "date rape car" is not a good idea!"

A winning clip from another experience of mine:

First date with Chris (senior year of college): He showed up at my apartment 30 mins late. I asked if I should eat something before we go to the movie, or if we were getting dinner. He said "Oh, we'll get dinner first." So I didn't eat. When we get close to the movie theater, we're low on time, so he asks if Taco Bell is ok. I said sure, even though I was hoping for a nice meal. He said, "well it's up to you, you're the only one eating." Excuse me? I thought I didn't eat cause you wanted to. So I grab some Taco Bell (omg at least it was good) and we head to the theater. At least he paid for my movie. After the movie he comes over to my apartment, and I decided that even though the night was eh, I'd invite him up. So we were kissing on my couch when he went for more. I said "no, not tonight," and he screams "MY SISTER WAS RAPED IN HIGH SCHOOL!" Then stomps off to the bathroom. When he came out he yelled some more about knowing that no means no and then left still screaming about rape. Two months later he was my barista at Starbucks. I IMed him later about why he didn't say hi. His response "What? Emily, you were just a bar in the music of my life." Craz-Zy.
OH! Guess who had ANOTHER bad date last night? This girl!!

He picked me up from work (nice!) and we ended up going to play Candle Pin bowling, since I had never been. We played three games, and I almost won twice. While sitting there chatting afterward, his phone rang twice. He picked up both times without an "excuse me" and had full and lengthy conversations. (And when the person on the other end obviously asked what he was doing he said "Nothing, just finished bowling" - NOTHING??) I figured that would be the end of the evening, because he was all talking, but then we got in the car and just started driving. He asked what I wanted to do, and since it was almost 8 and I hadn't eaten since noon, I said food. He wasn't that hungry, so he suggested just a snack... um ok? We ended up at this random Irish pub in Brighton/Lower Allston that we drove by and he thought he would check out for his ski club meetings. We ended up there for a few hours, I had three drinks, but he never suggested food. A good hour of the time he spent talking to the owner, but when we did talk we actually had a nice time. Then he drove me home. And I never had dinner.

One last story for the books:

"I had gone out with this guy a couple of times, and he was nice enough. We got along fairly well, and always had fun when we went out. At that point I was living about 20 minutes from him (he was still in school), and one weekend night he sends me a text message that he wants to hang out with me. It's late. He'd been at a Frat party. I could put together the puzzle pieces. Well, he tells me that he's going to come over, and I say "sure" - no big deal. He texts me that he's leaving his house, and he'll be there in about 20 minutes. The time passes, and it's now been about an hour. He's not at my place, and I assume that he decided not to come, so I get ready for bed. At about 1:30 AM I get a phone call from him. He's at the police station. Turns out he was a little intoxicated when he headed over to me, headed off the road, got stuck in a ditch, and when he tried to get out a cop came by to help him. The cop smelled alcohol on his breath so gave him a breathalyzer. He was right around the limit, so they towed his car to an impound lot and took him to the police station. He was calling to ask if I could come and pick him up. I do. He's stone sober at this point, but he still asks to come over. I find out in the morning that the reason he wanted to come to my place instead of taking him home was so that I could take him back to the impound lot in the morning to pick up his car. That was pretty much the last time I saw him, as the next time I spoke to him he blamed me for making him come over."

Update: This just in from a male reader:

"I don’t tend to talk about bad dates unless someone else brings up their bad date stories, but recently that happened. My most recent bad date (and by recent I mean 6 months ago) was with a girl I thought seemed pretty cool. We had somethings in common, yada, yada and then we were chatting and she said “so when are you going to ask me out?” ... I didn’t think much of it because maybe I was taking a long time to ask her out, but I didn’t think a week was THAT long. Anyways, we went out for sushi and while we were waiting for our food and such I noticed she started picking her nose. I didn’t say anything because maybe she had an itch. But after she kept doing it and doing it I was like this is 1. disgusting 2. such a turn off! It was one pick after another pick onto the next pick! I’m like (to myself) “Is there anything else up there to pick?”. I don’t really remember if it was an actually good date because this is all that I remembered, this girl picking her nose for an hour!

My next story was years ago when I first joined JDate... I’ve learned a LOT since then. We met up at a bar in Brighton to get drinks. Had drinks, had a conversation but all I could pay attention to was her ugly mole on her face. I know you’re suppose to pay attention to the girls eyes but I couldn't. My eyes kept wondering to this mole on her face. It was horrible. Disgusting. You mean the bad word, that was it! So after having a horrible time that lasted 60 minutes, she asked the waitress for a hot coffee... who gets a coffee when you just had an alcoholic drink? So she got coffee which meant I was going to star at this awful mole for another 15 minutes!!! I was in pure hell.

Some online dating advice. Don’t go out with everyone you speak with. If you connect right away online, there is usually a chance it might be a good and/or decent first date... of course no guarantee... sorry! I don’t know what non-Jewish dating is like, but the Jewish community is actually pretty small. If you’re JDate, the chances you see JDaters around town are VERY HIGH."