[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
i just had to push my luck
i wish i could give you an amusing synopsis of my most recent 8 minute dating excursion.
really, i do.
i wish i could tell you that i wore fishnet stockings which fed a neverending stream of moulin rouge references. or even hooker references.
but, alas, i cannot.
for i was not amused.
so, i will only provide you with a few brief shining highlights of the evening.
and, by highlights, i mean moments so stupifyingly painful that they stripped my foolishly romantic heart of any notion that true love might be found at an 8 minute dating event.
please note, this is actually date #1. not just the first one i'm telling you about, but actually the first date of the evening. the date that sets the tone. that gives you an idea of what might be coming. what might lie ahead.
#1: so, what are you drinking?
me: a cosmopolitan. this bar used to make a really good drink called a red apple martini. i used to stop in after work and get one every once in a while after work, since my office is only a block away. but, they don't make them anymore, so it's cosmopolitans for me tonight. so...you're drinking an amstel i see.
#1: you know what's wrong with this whole "martini" thing that's so popular? it's all a big lie. those aren't martinis. they're just drinks that someone put into a martini glass. and people are stupid enough to buy it.
me: you know, you're right. technically, this is not a martini. but, i do think it's yummy, and it's boozy, so, what can i tell you?
[long pause while he just stares at me]
me: so...are you originally from the dc area?
#1: you know what's wrong with these speed dating things? women at these things...you don't know how to flirt with a man. how to let him know you're interested. i mean, come on! a guy's looking for a signal. he needs a signal as a go-ahead. to know that you're interested.
me: well, you could try giving the woman a signal, i guess maybe? like give her a signal and see if she's interested in you. give her the go-ahead, you know?
#1: yeah, right.
[now it's my turn to stare at him]
me: um. hmm. so...when you say a "signal," what sort of signal do you mean?
#1: you know! like, touching a guy.
me: you want a woman to touch you to let you know she's interested in you?
me: don't you think that's a little premature? i mean, for eight minutes? i mean, i just sat down across the table from you. and, there is a table between us. so, i mean, maybe thinking that a woman who just met you is going to lean across the table and touch you after only knowing you for a few minutes...well, maybe that's a little more assertive than some women might be comfortable with.
#1: so you expect me to lean across the table and touch you, but you're not going to do the same?
me: oh no. let's be really really clear. i absolutely do not expect you to lean across the table and touch me. as a matter of fact, i'd just like to go on record as saying that i think that might be a really really bad idea.
[he stares at me again]
#1: do you eat a lot of oriental food?
[i stare at him as i am profoundly confused by this turn in the conversation and am trying to decide whether this is truly a david lynch moment or i'm really intoxicated.]
me: as a matter of fact...uh...i do. i really like asian food. all kinds, really. especially thai food.
#1: i hate asian food.
me: dare i say...perfect!
honestly, date #4 gets off to a rollicking start. there's banter. there are snacks. there appear to be shared interests. then, there is this:
#4: can i tell you something?
at this point, my chest gets tight. truthfully, the question "can i tell you something?" is always followed by something really really good...or really really...um...not good.
you make the call.
#4: normally, i wouldn't be attracted to you. you're not really my type. but, yet, somehow...for some reason...i find you fascinating.
me: oh. well. thanks. i mean....just out of idle curiousity, really...what is your type? i mean, what kind of woman would you normally be attracted to?
#4: oh, you know. i just want the same thing every guy wants. tall. statuesque. blonde. blue eyes.
me: that's it?
#4: well, that's a lot to ask for, evidently. i mean, ask any guy...that's not so easy to find.
me: no, i just thought there might be something else on your list. you know, like...oh, i don't know...smart? funny?
#4: look, any guy who's honest will tell you the same thing. that's why we prefer the three-minute dating thing to this eight-minute thing. eight minutes? too long. i know in three minutes if it's happening or not. heck, i know by the time you sit down at the table.
me: i see. so, let me make sure i understand. i am the antithesis of everything that every man finds attractive. and, yet, somehow, some way, you've managed to find me attractive in our...six minutes together? that's...that's something.
#4: i know. i can't explain it. i mean, it doesn't make any sense to me either.
me: well, at least you tried to explain it. and i'm really grateful. really.
#4: so, what do you think?
me: oh, let's not get into that.
#4: so, we're a match then?
and thus ends my 8 minute dating experimentation.
the good news is that the evening wasn't a total loss. i left with three phone numbers. all three of them women. they were fun, vivacious women and, at first, i was surprised that, like me, they hadn't found their true love that night.
but, hey, what can you expect? none of them were tall statuesque blue-eyed blondes either.
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