Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Turkey Day

I am headed home tomorrow morning for Thanksgiving! 4 full days of eating, sleeping and fun family time. I will also probably fit in a trip to the skeezy local bar with my high school friends - an event that makes for beer drinking, gossiping about who is married and knocked up, and of course, the occasional make out with an old high school crush. Come to think of it, I actually just became friends with one of my old flames on facebook... Oh, how I love the holidays. You have an excuse for every bad decision - "It was all in good Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years fun!"

Happy Turkey Day, everyone!!

All I want for Christmas is...

Last night I watched "Love Actually." What a great movie. It is set entirely during the holiday season. Christmas music abounds throughout the film. Although not everyone ends up with a happy ending, like the guy who is in love with his best friend's wife, or the woman who for gos a hot affair to take care of her sick brother, you finish the movie feeling like love and relationships during the holiday season are close to the best thing since fucking sliced bread. If you can watch that movie and not cry when Colin Firth proposes in Portuguese, well, you simply do not have a heart.

I LOVE the holidays more than any other time of the year. Especially here in New York, where the very air seems to radiate excitement for Christmas, Hanukkah, etc... So what if I have Mariah Carey, "All I Want for Christmas is You," on repeat on my i-pod. Don't judge me. All this being said, I am single and the holiday season is slowly approaching. Don't get me wrong, this does open plenty of opportunities for drinking too much eggnog and and accidentally placing myself underneath mistletoe for an entire Christmas party. Unfortunately this is not an option at my office Holiday party due to the fact it is been canceled because the "economy." And lets face it, my work crush (who is currently on his honeymoon!!!) would be standing under the mistletoe with his wife, so how much fun would that really be anyway?

There is simply something to be said for having "someone" during the Holiday season. Last year I forced my now ex-boy friend to listen to the Nutcracker soundtrack with me, watch the Nutcracker on TV (instead of a Knicks game) and go to a live performance of the Nutcracker during which an 8 year old kicked the back of his chair the entire time. Walking to dinner afterwards, I continued to pester him about visions of sugar plum fairies, until it suddently it started to snow. At that moment I stopped my Nutcracker jokes (temporarily) and realized the best part of "relationship stuff" at Christmas: being able to share the romanticism of the New York holiday season with someone you care about - yikes.

BUT - that was LAST year. I was in a DIFFERENT place. Now, THIS year, I am excited about having a holiday party and finding exciting holiday activities in New York that I never knew existed last year when I was too busy annoying my ex with Tchaikovsky. I think I am going to look into making a mistletoe headband, as well...

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Credit Crunch

The recession is taking a toll on us all -- including all the golddiggers downtown. But, as Andi* and I discussed last week, sistas gotta eat. Or have table service at Marquee in their case.

The Rules

I have very wise friends. This past Saturday over coffee I was blabbering and over-analyzing every action and event that had taken place in my love life in the past two weeks. I pondered aloud every "logical" thought: is he just not that into me? is friends with benefits a good idea? do boys not like me because I smell funny? Finally, we broke out my moleskin notebook and wrote down two simple rules to "Help Me Turn my Love Life Around." Fortunately, or unfortunately, friends with benefits was not included on this list. The two simple rules are as follows:

1) Do nothing that will lead you to getting married.

2) Think less. (period.)

Trust me, following these rules will make hopping off the train to crazy town much easier. As far as the marriage rule goes, we are referring to within the next...uhh...5 - 10 years? Other than that, there are NO catches.

To prove The Rules work, this past Saturday night I tried to think less. I stopped worrying about every guy and that had, had not or would not wanted to date me. At the bar that night, while I was just doing my own thing with my friends I ended up seeing the guy I met a month ago when Scarlett* was in town! He apologized for never getting in touch with me, got my number and asked me out. Thirty mintues later, I received a text from Bernard* saying, "Hi." Technically this was at 3:00 am - probably a 3 o'clock scramble, booty call, whatever you want to call it. But, point being, once I stopped freaking out and thinking about relationships, two of the guys I had placed deep in the Deadzone immediately popped back into my life.

Follow The Rules this week. Let me know how it goes.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Grease Lightening and grilled cheeses

Last night was my date with the Welschman. To quote one of my best friends, I was just "not in the mood." I would have been perfectly content sitting on my couch, eating a grilled cheese sandwich and watching Pushing Daisies on ABC, however I had agreed to this date and so I had to step up to the plate (ha! that rhymed). In order to pump myself up, I drank a glass of red wine and forced Andi* to listen to my "Yo Mama" playlist which includes classy hits such as "Fiesta" by R-Kelly.

"Get excited, you will have fun," she said. "Besides its free drinks nonetheless. I told John* (her long distance boyfriend) I was going to have to start going on blind dates for free food and drinks. Sistas gotta eat."

"I totally respect that. Hopefully I'll get some free wine tonight," I said grabbing my keys and cell phone. "Wish me luck!"

"Good luck!" she yelled as the door shut behind me.

We were to meet on the corner of 3rd Street and Avenue B, at 8:30, or so I thought. As the clock struck 8:40 and I continued to stand in the frigid f-ing 20 degree cold, I had flashbacks to when the Lawyer stood me up back in September. So I texted my co-worker, "He is MIA??!!" Only 3 minutes later, a cute guy popped out of the bar across the street and walked over to me. "You must be Hannah. Sorry, I meant for us to meet in the bar. I'm James*," he said in a sexy Welsch accent. Why helloooo.

We headed into the bar and he kindly ordered me a glass of red wine. Having already downed two glasses at home, I was already feeling a little chatty. "So, I hear you live on 2nd Street?" I started in, "I used to live on 2nd Street. A few blocks up. Across from the cemetery - kind of creepy. Do you take the Bleeker Street stop to work? I used to, now I walk to Astor Place. Oh, did you heard they might be doing away with the W and C trains? Not that that really affects me, but... Yeah, I like this neighborhood, I live above a burger shop so sometimes my apartment smells like burgers but other than that its wonderful!" Wow, word vommitt.

"Hmm, thats all kind of quirky, not weird, just quirky," he said.

"Ok, well tell me something 'quirky' about yourself then," I said.

"Lets see...I really, really like the musical/movie Grease. I can even tell you my favorite bit - its the Prom scene," he admitted. this was no home schooling comment, but I was not expecting Go-go Grease Lightening.

"Well, I love Dirty Dancing! Nobody puts baby in the corner!" I said energetically, trying to even the playing field.

"Oh yeah, thats a good one, too," he said.

So you are probably thinking this date doesn't sound much better than sipping pomegranate martinis over 3 pieces of shashimi. But luckily, after we trudged through the awkward beginning territory and traversed the "hopes and dreams" section, we got into a really good conversation. He explained his family holiday traditions in Wales - which pretty much entails spending the entire day at the pub. I then told him about my two favorite parts of the holiday season: "All I Want for Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey, and fried turkey. The conversation went a little deeper, but luckily he never asked me to tell him something dark about myself.

Three glasses of wine later, I was drunk and he was looking even cuter... but I was also ready to go home and eat a grilled cheese sandwich. He walked me the three blocks
to my apartment . A group of loud hipsters were outside of the burger shop smoking, making our goodbye at my front door less than intimate. "So, I had a great time. I've got your email. We should do this again. I'll be in touch."

"Great! It was fun," I said. He leaned in, gave me a genuine hug and then walked away as I unlocked my door and stepped inside.

Once upstairs, I started making my grilled cheese sandwich and rehashing the date in my head. 7.5 out of 10? Really nice, but was there a spark? Also, what the hell is up with guys and saying, I'll email you, or I'll facebook you, as opposed to just getting my GD phone number. Stupid technology. Or it is it the new way of saying they're just not that into me??

I woke up this morning with a terrible headache and a desperate need for a bacon, egg and cheese bagel. Once at work, with bagel and coffee in hand, I told my co-worker all about the date. "So it went well! That's great!" she said. "I have to tell you something though, just as a heads up. Apparently he had a date Tuesday night and has another on Friday night. One girl he met on and the other he met at a bar. But I'm sure you were way cooler than them."

Great. Competition for someone I'm not even sure I'm that into. Also, no email so far. I guess he is holding out the Friday date, just to see which girl's phone number is worthy to be added in his blackberry.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No pomegranate martinis

I have a date tomorrow. Yes! A blind date, to be exact. While most people would cringe at this thought, I am excited. I love blind dates. You get free drinks (hopefully), talk a little about your hopes and dreams, and usually, because most blind dates are all absolute duds, you get to slip in some elaborate lies about yourself and see if the other person notices. For example, "Yes, I have been lucky enough to travel extensively. Mostly because of my unpaid internship I had two years ago with the Circus. I had to quit, though, because I realized I was allergic to lion dander. Oh the Merlot sounds nice, don't you think?"

My co-worker set me up on this date. This is creates room for a bit of fear, only because of the caliber of the only other blind date she has set me up on. It was about two months ago and the guy was her friend from high school. We met on a Friday night for sushi at a place with buy one get one free drinks. I arrived to find him drinking...a pomegranate martini. "They're really great here, try one," he said.

"Uh, ok," I said. Then, he was nice enough to order for us, but unfortunately all we ended up with was a plate of sashimi. Great, nice and filling. Four drinks into the date (he is on his FOURTH pomegranate martini and I'm onto the 3rd type of mojito on the sugary drink special menu) we get into what I like to call the "hopes and dreams" portion. Where do you see yourself in 5 years, blah, blah, etc... "Truthfully," he slurred confidently, "I really just want to be a stay at home Dad. I'd like to find a powerful and driven wife who wanted to support the family, and I would stay home and take care of the kids. I mean I have hobbies, I really like writing poetry." At this point I think I made a small coughing noise and attempted a polite, "Uh huh." I'm all for 21st Century and mixing up gender roles, but I want equality, not a husband that sits at home eating bon-bons and writing poetry while I bring home the bacon.

"And as far as my kids," he said, "I am all for homeschool, at least until high school. I can give them a much better education than any 'normal' school can. As opposed to the polite cough for the stay at home dad comment, at this point I think I made a face like I had just eaten cat poo.

To each their own, but a pomegranate martini drinking-stay at home dad-homeschooler just isn't my type. As we awkwardly hugged goodbye at the end of the night, I thought, 'Wow, this was a bad date.' But truthfully, its just another great story. Or perhaps, should have been a learning experience never to be set up by this co-worker ever again. Oh well, as long my blind date tomorrow doesn't drink pomegranate martinis, we should be off to a good start.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Love your earrings, baby

I am not so much a morning person. I mean, I can have a conversation with my roommates, put on matching socks, and walk the 6 blocks to the subway, but I really would prefer that no one talk to me until I have had at least one cup of coffee and some frosted mini-wheats. That being said, the conversation I witnessed this morning on the 6 train terrified me. A girl was standing in front of me wearing a black leather jacket and large gold earrings with blue detailing. At the 33rd Street stop a guy got on the train, gave her the once over and said in a thick Bronx accent, "So, you live in the Bronx?" Echoing his accent she annoyedly answered, "Uh, yes."

"Nice. Love your earrings, baby."

How dare he attempt flirting before 9 am! I can't even open my left eye that early let alone think about trying to turn on the opposite sex. Maybe that is my problem. Perhaps I should start taking espresso shots before I leave the house and see if my love life takes a turn for the better.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Meeting people is easy??!!

The details of this article may be from 2006, but hey, not that much in the world of L-O-V-E changes that quickly. However, to go as far as to say meeting people in NYC is easy?? HA! Maybe in the world of e-dating. I do agree with the fact that breaking out of your neighborhood is a good way to go about throwing a breath of fresh air into your love life. Staten Island, here I come!!

P.S. I am considering giving a chance because lets face it, who doesn't want to seductively ask, "Who is John Galt?" Thats right, objectivism, so hot right now.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Recession Special

I laughed out loud when I read this in NY Magazine today. I made a plan yesterday to start saving money more money, so that in itself makes this article even more humorous. All the hoopla of dating in NYC really can set you back, NY magazine tell us. So sleep with your ex and save up to $2,400 a year!!! Yes. I knew that poor decision I made last week was actually my inner frugality shining through. Say what you will, but $2,400 is a lot of dough. (A Chanel bag to be exact). I'll have the recession special, please.

Two observations

I have made two important observations about dating in the past two weeks. One, if someone is consistently going on two or more dates a week with different people it is a 90% chance they are on, jdate, etc... If you question them about their dates and they reply with a vague answer such as, "Oh, I'm just really busy, you know, I'm just busy," this brings the chance up to 99%. Two, although I have met a lot of duds recently, much more terrifying is the idea of going on a date and having the divine realization I'm sitting across from my future husband. I mean, I'm not ready for that! I still have things to do, people I still have to go to Malta and discover my destiny. Don't ask questions about that yet, its my life coincidence.

I explained this last night to Elaine* and Eve* over drinks and they fully agreed. "Yeah, I would probably F it up and then where would I be?" Eve said. Exactly. So, attention my future husband. If you are out there (and I hope you are because I really hate cats and the smell of incense), please avoid me for another, uhh, two - three years. Thanks. Looking forward to meeting you, much later.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dating as a hobby

I have been in a bit of a cynical place recently. I counted it up and my record is 0.5 - 5 with dates, roughly. My ex-boyfriend is the 0.5; I didn't feel it was fair to give him a whole 1 since I already knew him, but the experience was not a total loss... Remember Bernardo, the guy I met speed dating? Well he never called me after we had coffee. I guess Cosmo magazine was right -- you do have to makeout with the guy on the first date to get him to call you back.

Dating is a serious hobby if you really want to invest yourself wholeheartedly. It is kind of like job searching: if you are not careful, you can make the task of dating a job in itself. I think I was responsible of doing that recently. Last night I realized I had been acting mopy and dragging my feet for no reason. "Elaine*, I need to stop feeling bad about myself and do something for others. The holiday season is a perfect time for that! Lets sign up for some volunteer activities," I said.

"Yes! I'm down," she said while doing homework at the kitchen table.

"Me, too!" yelled Andi* from her bedroom. I googled "holiday volunteering NYC" and clicked the first page that came up. "Help elderly Jewish people prepare for Hanukkah by aiding in their shopping and delivering food."

"Done -- I'm signing us up to help these old Jewish people. I'm sure they will be really cute," I said, filling in the contact information.

"I'm not going to get lots of emails from this charity, am I?" Elaine asked.

"No...but, you know who would love to get these emails?? The Lawyer from Long Island!!" I said excitedly. "We forgot to start signing him up for spam!"

"Perfect! Oh, wait, this is going to be bad for the charity because then he won't show up. We need to sign him up for magazines and stuff," Elaine said.

"There was some thing my boyfriend could never get off of, like a gym membership, or something. Or you could just sign him up for all the spam in your gmail," Andi said.

I searched around and subsequently came up with TVguide SOAP daily updates, Men's Health magazine, South Beach Diet daily updates (you CAN make it to your goal of 200lbs!), and my favorite, with his upcoming wedding day of 2/14/09. He will get daily reminders and saving tips - yes! The more I thought about it, this is probably bad karma, but it was his mistake to stalker style g-chat me. I'll also make up my karma with my holiday volunteering.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Its a slippery slope...or just a big wad of gum in your hair

My mother, a lawyer, has a favorite phrase I heard many times in high school: "Are you misrepresenting the truth?" Yesterday, I would have disappointed my mother because I misrepresented the truth not only my sister and Elaine*, but ultimately to myself.

It all started with the Phillies winning the world series. Fairly insignificant to most, except to my ex-boyfriend for whom this win was more important than his birthday, Christmas and Hanukkah combined. Deciding the time had come to reach out and make a friendly gesture (we had not spoken in about four months) I sent him a facebook message congratulating him on their big win, hoping he was doing well and perhaps I'd see him around (as a friend - ok?!). He wrote back to say thank you, hoping I was well and he would like to see me around. Hmm, tricky. As much as I did want to see him and catch up (as friends!), I knew our last three meetings since our break-up had been anything but "friendly..."

I decided to talk it over with Elaine and get her opinion. "No, no ma'am. There is no such thing as a 'casual friendship' with an ex. That is a slippery slope. It is impossible to be just friends with someone you have dated. This is bad idea. I do not condone this," she said as we were lazing about last Saturday.

"I know...but...I'd like to see him. Just say hi, have a drink, catch up, and whatever..." I said, sheepishly.

"Uh-huh. 'Whatever.' Breaking up and having an ex is like getting a big wad of gum in your hair: you start out with a really big wad of gum and the longer you go without speaking or seeing each other, you are able to get more and more gum out. Eventually all you have is a slightly sticky spot in your hair that slowly goes away. Do you want that gum back in your hair???"

"You know there is a trick where you can put peanut butter in your hair to get gum out?" I joked. "Please don't ruin my analogy. I'm looking out for your best interest." she answered.

Even with her watchful eye, my ex and I made plans to have drinks this week. Monday eventually worked out to be the best day for both of us. I spoke with my sister after work yesterday; "What are your plans for tonight?" she asked. "Uh, you know, not much," I stammered. "Ok, well dinner Thursday?" she said. "Yeah, yeah," and I hung up. I knew she wouldn't care that I was hanging out with my ex, but I just couldn't bring myself to tell her. I texted Elaine*, "Meeting up with my sister. See you later." Not a complete lie -- I had possibly planned on doing that. But I still felt guilty having to tell a white lie -- it made the guilt I had of hanging out with my ex even worse. I knew I was lying to myself about this being a good idea.

I took the train to Park Slope. The whole time I was thinking, What will I say if he has a new girlfriend? How will I react? I found the possibility of this highly unlikely, but I wanted to be prepared for everything. I met him outside his apartment (safer than inside). He looked the same as I remembered: tall, glasses and slightly scruffy beard -- all his nerdiness that I had always liked was fully intact.

We walked to a bar close to his apartment, got drinks and began catching up. How was work I asked? Good, he had been promoted. How was his family? Great, his brother was going to propose to his long time girlfriend. I blabbered on about my job, friends and new apartment, all the while surreptitiously trying to draw out if he was seeing anyone. After the third drink, from the way he was looking at me I knew there was no one new. "So what else is new with you?" I drunkenly asked. "Same ole', same ole'. Nothing at all," he answered. I realized then that although all the things I always liked about him were still there -- his goofy laugh, ability to listen to my never ending ramblings, and distinct smell of Old Spice and Scope -- all the reasons we broke up were still there as well. We were still in two totally different places in our lives and no time was going to change that. As much as he did not want to admit it, I knew he felt it, too.

"Want to get out of here?" he asked, leaning across the table so our faces were almost touching. I knew it was a bad choice. I knew 85% of me would regret it tomorrow. I knew I was ruining any chance we had at being "friends." But, as Betty* has told me, "you only have one life - might has well live it." Screw it, I thought (no pun intended). "Yeah, sure, lets go," I said to him.

I left his apartment the this morning with a hangover: a real hangover from red wine, and a bad decision hangover - the worst kind. I bought a coffee at a deli to attempt to cure the real hangover, but the BD hangover is a little bit tougher to get rid of. We left it this morning with him saying, "I'll be in touch..." and me saying, "Ok, see ya." All relationships are a bitch. Or depending how you want to look at it, just a big f-ing wad of gum in your hair.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tell me something dark

So I got coffee with Bernard* yesterday afternoon/night. Coffee actually turned into a couple drinks which is always a good sign — things were not totally awkward. He was very nice: 28, web developer who works in publishing and dressed up as Don Draper from Mad Men for Halloween — major plus. He also qualifies the necessary categories in my "bottom tier" — over 5'10'' and brown hair.

We talked about various things: where we were from, our jobs, what we liked about New York, and of course I attempted to fill all the awkward pauses with things like "Nice!" and "Thats cool!" After the second beer he said to me, "Tell me something dark about yourself." Hmm, something dark. I am not a particularly "dark person." Yes, I have my skeletons in the closet, but I truthfully don't spend much time sitting around thinking about death. If that means I am not prepared for the eminent future, so be it. "Dark, you say?" I slowly answered. I thought hard. There was that time I dressed up as a vampire for Halloween, does that qualify? "Umm..." I fumbled. Then I had it. "When I am at the buffet at Whole Foods, I always nibble things before I go to pay," I said. "Oh, um, ok," he said, looking slightly confused. Maybe not the answer he was looking for, but I was being honest. And come on — don't we all do that? I see the BBQ tofu and think, "I like BBQ and I like tofu, but will I enjoy them together? And $7 per lb is a lot of money." So I just spoon a little in my salad box, take a taste and if I like it, I take a big spoonful. If I don't, I move on. Completely harmless. Except for the one day when I was tasting the Chicken Tiki Masala off the hot bar and it turned out to be really hot. I gave a little "eeek!" and inadvertently attracted the attention of a near by Whole Foods employee, immediatelyforcing me to sheepishly run away into the cheese and olive section. Maybe this is not exactly "dark," per se, but it is what came to mind.

Fortunately, this comment did not make the date go comepletely downhill. We sat and talked for almost three hours until the conversation slowed and I said I was going to head home. He offered to walk me. We strolled down my street and eventually arrived at my door — the awkward end of date conversation ensued. "So...maybe we could hang out sometime this week?" he asked.

"Yeah, that would be cool..." I said.

He leaned in for the kill. I turned my head and all he got was a very small peck. "Ok, so, talk to you this week!" I said, unlocking my door and scurrying inside.

The October issue of Cosmo told me that you are 75% more likely to get a second date if you makeout with the guy on the first one. Well, we'll see about that.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Coffee and...

Yesterday I got an email from Bernard*, who ended up being one of my matches from Thursday, asking what my plans were for the weekend. I emailed back to say I was going to a comedy show that night with a friend, but I was free all day Sunday. After a short email exchange, we made plans to meet for coffee late this afternoon at a place in my neighborhood.

By chance, Elaine also has a coffee date today. Her date is with a cute British guy she met on the dance floor Halloween night. They bonded over joking about his cheesy 'Where's Waldo' costume. She and Waldo texted all day Saturday and are going out later tonight for coffee.

"Its weird, I'm very lukewarm about my date with Bernard*," I said to Elaine as we strolled down First Avenue towards Whole Foods this afternoon.

"Really? Why? Do you think it is because you met him at speed dating?" she asked.

"Yeah, I guess so. It just feels like it was a forced meeting, so its not like I have that excited butterflies in my stomach feeling, you know?"

"Yeah, I guess you aren't as excited to fantasize about your future holidays in London like me," she said with a fake British accent. "Ha, yeah, I feel more like I have a job interview. We'll see how it goes," I said.

Because we all treated speed dating with such a laughable attitude, I guess I have a hard time believing that any date I go on resulting from the experience is going to be just as much of a joke. Besides, I have only spoken with this guy for 6 minutes previous to the coffee date we are about to have: thats not much time. Unlike Elaine who met Waldo out in a social situation and hit it off because they had chemistry, I have no idea if Bernard and I would ever even frequent the same bars or have much in common socially past the fact we happened to go speed dating last Thursday. I am obviously over analyzing and entering this date with a very negative attitude which is never a good thing. Regardless of what happens, I will be doing something more exciting than my usual Sunday night of Law and Order watching -- I'm "getting out there." And isn't that what dating is really all about?

Details to come on coffee with Bernard* tomorrow...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Speed dating - PART TWO

Afterwards, Betty, Elaine and I finished our drinks, mingled for a bit and then hurriedly left so we could begin gossiping as soon as possible.

"Omigosh I had so much fun!" Elaine said, looking at Betty and me.
"I have so much to say right now...I don't even know where to begin. It was really fun!" Betty said.
"Ok, who are you all going to pick? Who did you like? Wasn't Spencer so weird? Can we go somewhere and talk about this all!?" I asked while buttoning my coat.
"Yes! and I'm starving," Elaine replied.
Maggie Mae's Pub a block away was our destination. After getting a table, potato skins and beers we started our rehashing. "Ok, Bernard* was so sexual. If we go on a date....well...I'm just saying... And James*, he was cute and came to talk to me afterwards," Elaine said.

"Ok, I must record our thoughts," I said turning over a Maggie Mae's paper placemat. "Lets go through everyone and say what we thought. Oh, but wait -- can we first talk about how my date got up and left at the beginning??"

"Ha ha, yeah, I can't believe there were more guys that girls. That was a bit surprising," Betty said.

"Ok, first off, we had Tim*, the PhD student at Columbia. Definitely nerdy and super short, but he was sweet! I think I am going to match him," I said.

"I know, he was really sweet. I am going to match him too," Betty replied.

"Ok, how about 'The Greek?' He was possibly one of the weirdest. He told me that 1/7 of the world was Greek and so that since we were both Greek at least one other person in the room was Greek as well. Ek, no way, he was super creepy," Elaine said with a disgusted expression.

"Ha! I told him to look out for you. I said he needed to pay special attention to you, Elaine, because you are one of his people and that you, Betty, lived right by the Cloisters which he said really liked going to," I said, laughing.

"Geez, thanks a lot," Betty said, "but at least he wasn't as bad as Jonathan who simply said 'I'm in stocks' and was silent half the time."

"But by far Spencer was the weirdest. Come on, I'm pretty sure he was gay. Why was he there?" I asked.

"I don't know about him being gay, but he was...special...I think," Elaine said slowly.

"Well he told me about the advertising projects he was working on," Betty said, trying not to laugh, "he is working on a cream that you rub on your chest and shoulders that increases testosterone. And also the HPV vaccine, Gardasil. But I think I'm going to match him!"

I laughed so hard I choked on a potato skin. "What??" Elaine said.

"Yeah! I mean...he was nice," Betty reasoned. I was laughing so hard I was having a hard time writing on the placemat.

"Truthfully, I think you should be obligated to match everyone," Betty said looking at me. "I mean, you can consider it research for the blog."

"Hmm, you make a good point. I will try and match everyone, except maybe Mike the Russian from Coney Island - I just got a weird vibe from him," I said.

"Oh yeah, he bought me a drink at half-time. Does that mean I have to match him?" Elaine asked.

"Good question," I noted, writing her question on the placemat.

It was at that point that I noticed a group of three guys at the bar giving us strange looks. Granted, it is not as if all the other girls in the pub were huddled around a placemat laughing and taking notes, so perhaps we did stand out a bit. Finally after three or four incidents of awkward eye contact, one of the guys came over to the table. "So do you ladies mind if I ask why you are writing on the back of a placemat?" he asked.

"High confidential," I answered, attempting to be coy.

"She is a famous writer, don't worry about," Betty tried.

"Lets just tell him the truth and then he'll probably leave us alone," Elaine hissed at me. "Hi, actually she writes about dating in New York and we just went speed dating and so now we are talking about how it went," she concisely answered. Well done, Elaine. She made me sound so professional and legit. "Speed dating?! I need to hear more about this," he said, pulling up a chair next to me. "Was it how I imagine it -- just like in 40 Year Old Virgin?" Great, I am now being compared to a character in a movie that is sexless for 40 years. Just what I need.

"Sure, whatever," I answered, rolling my eyes.

"Did you meet any cool people, or were they all really weird? I am so intrigued as to who goes speed dating," he asked.

"No, there were some cool people. But definitely some crazies," Elaine answered.

"Hey, guys come join the group," he yelled to his lingering friends at the bar. A tall and lanky guy with glasses and a roundish guy wearing a NY Rangers hat walked over to the table.

"I'm sorry to be lame, but I'm going home. I have a long subway ride ahead of me," Betty said. "Here, one of you take my seat," she motioned to the guys as she gathered her coat and bag. "Ok, well, I'll call you tomorrow!" I yelled as she headed out the door.

The guy wearing the Rangers hat took Betty's seat and the lanky one sat down next to Elaine. We soon learned they had just come from a Ranger's game and that the lanky, glasses adorned guy was the originally guy's brother. "By the way, I never caught your name," I turned, asking the 20 questions man to my left. "Its Jim*," he said smiling, and beared extremely white teeth. We went through all the pleasantries of where are you from, what do you do, etc... It turned out Jim was slightly against my home state due to the fact his ex-girlfriend went to college there. Apparently his ex was a bit of a bitch: she accepted a job in Brazil while they were still dating, moved and abandoned all her belongings in their apartment for him to deal with. "Yeah, after we broke up I got on," Jim told me, "so I can't really judge you for speed dating."

"What was it like, I made a profile but have never gone on any dates," I said. I decided to leave out the part that I was too cheap to pay the monthly fees.

"Well as a guy, you wink at every girl you find remotely attractive, bottom line, and then you go from there. I went on 3 good dates, 3 bad ones. To tell you the truth, and I'm only saying this to you because you are a perfect stranger, I got on because after my ex and I broke up I had absolutely no self-confidence to talk to girls in person anymore. But after I got over that, I deleted my profile and got off."

"Wow. So you think some of the guys I met tonight are going through the same thing? Lack of self confidence? I was really surprised at the amount of guys that would turn out for speed dating. I mean I knew there were desperate girls...but guys willing to go through speed dating...," I said.

"Look," Jim answered, "guys are willing to go through almost anything if they think the outcome means they are going to get some with a girl. Speed dating gives them a pretty good chance."

"Well I think this and speed dating is all bullshit," Jim's friend said. "You just need to have the balls to ask a girl out in person. Bottom line. I don't care what your problem is."

"What if you are too shy and you would rather use than just meeting someone in a bar? Maybe you don't have that great of social skills -- would be helpful, don't you think?" Elaine countered.

"No. Be a man. Just go up to the girl and say something," he answered back drunkenly.

"So you're telling me, for example, that even if I can't ice skate, I should go try and play professional hockey and get my ass kicked?" Elaine asked, obviously getting worked up.

"Yes! Get out there and do it! If you want to learn to skate you can. Give me 2 weeks, I'll teach you how to skate," he said, looking around at the table for recognition. His friends gave him the bro-nod and he seemed satisfied and calmed down. Elaine, however, still looked a bit huffy and was giving me the eye like she wanted to go. I gave her the 'Ok, let me finish my drink and then we can go' look and she seemed satisfied and calmed down. "So Elaine says you write a blog on dating -- you have to give us the address! Especially since we probably helped you come up with some great information," Jim's brother said to me. I shot Elaine a death look -- I don't like to let guys I meet know right away that I right a blog about dating. Makes for an awkward conversation of "Oh, are you going to write about me?" Anyways, I wavered and finally decided not to give them the blog address. I told them they had to earn the right to read it. We did, however, all swap contact information. After Elaine and I left I received a text from Jim: "I better be top billing on your blog or else I will feel really bad about myself." Everyone wants a piece of the e-limelight.