Man #33, As Promised, Part 3

24 08 2012

Technically, in Man #33, Just Because There’s a Hole…Part 2, I didn’t promise anything in the way of kittens, but given that I took the blog beyond its normal boundaries yesterday, I feel I need to bring things down a notch and make it up to my more squeamish readers.

I am not a cat or kitten lover. I am a dog person. However, this is the one cat I like. Plus, I’m a big fan of foreign films. Enjoy.

Introducing Henri, Le Chat Noir

Henri’s second film is my favorite.

And Henri’s third film was just released in June. I love the end of this one.

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Man #29, The Kept Man…The Aftermath

4 08 2012

You may find it shocking to know that I don’t spend every Friday and Saturday night out on a date. In fact, I usually reserve those nights for time with my good friends or family. Last night was no different. My friend, Sam invited me over to hang out with her and her boyfriend, Really Really Nice Guy.

She offered up vino and time in her hot tub in exchange for a helping of my sage chips. This is a typical thing for me. I get invited to places, all expenses paid, in exchange for my cooking. Most people have to sing for their supper. For me, it’s the other way around.

Really Really Nice Guy had gathered fresh sage from Sam’s garden, and she had a craving. When I arrived, I was quickly handed a glass of wine and got to work in her kitchen. As I was standing over hot oil flipping sage leaves with tongs, we started talking about my recent adventures in dating. I started telling her about The Kept Man and how promising emails had quickly devolved into the discovery that the man was a slob and a sponge.

“You mean you broke up with him because of his landscaping,” Sam asked, incredulous.

“No, correction, I did not break up with him. We were never together. You can’t break up with someone if you were never together.”

“Ok, so you stopped seeing him because of his landscaping?”

“You can’t call what he had landscaping, and, no, it wasn’t just because of that.”

Sam happens to be one of the people who has been giving me a hard time about being too picky. She says I should define three deal breakers, and if a man passes those three things, I should consider him a solid dating prospect. I happen to think Sam is full of shit.

Besides, what does she know? She has Really Really Nice Guy. Really Really Nice Guy does really, really nice things for her. She couldn’t possibly know my pain.

“You should pick three things, like Rhonda, and stick to them,” Sam said.

Rhonda is another friend of ours. She has three deal breakers. One is that a guy has to be okay with her bush. She’s not shaving for anyone. The second is they have to be okay with her porn. What can I say? Girlfriend likes her porn. I can’t remember what the other one is, but anyway, Sam thinks this is the approach I should take.

Of course, that means I would have to define my three deal breakers. Believe it or not, one of them is not, “You must be at least this tall to ride this ride.” However, these are relationship deal breakers, not dating deal breaker. I’m not having relationships yet, and I don’t think I’m going to talk about bush or no bush on a first date.

I don’t know what my deal breakers would be. I’ll have to get back to you on that.

So, anyway…where were we?

Oh yeah, so Sam was giving me a hard time about dropping The Kept Man like a hot potato.

“Ok, for the record, I did not stop talking to him just because his house was a mess. The guy was a mooch. He’s sponging off of his ex-wife and then he can’t even get off his ass long enough to make sure that people can get to his front door.”

I couldn’t tell for sure, but I think Really Really Nice Guy agreed with me on this. From what I could tell, he’s been doing a great job keeping things together at their place. In addition to fixing things around the house, he cooks.

Sam was still looking at me in disbelief, and it was starting to piss me off so I continued.

“Besides, what do you know? You always meet guys who want to fix things,” I say, waving the tongs in Really Really Nice Guy’s direction, “I always meet men who break things, and I’m sick of it! I’ve had that argument before. When STBex and I were together one of the STUPID things we fought about all the time was the yard. It was ridiculous! Anytime I asked him to mow the grass it ended up in a big fight.”

I’m a tall woman, almost six feet, and I’ve always had a big voice, probably from all those years of using my diaphragm to project my voice in choir. Then when I get upset, I get louder. I continued on my diatribe.

“Do you know that one time when we were fighting over the yard, I asked STBex, if since he didn’t want to mow the lawn, if he would be ok hiring someone? Do you know what he said?? He told me he wasn’t going to hire anyone, but I could. He was totally fine to let our house look like we were the white trash neighbors on the street, and if I wanted it to look any differently, it was up to me to pay for it. Believe me, fighting over taking care of our home is not something I’m willing to fight about again. It’s a stupid argument to have! Stupid!”

Phew! I was spent. I took a big swig of my wine.

“I’m not doing that again,” I said, putting my glass down, “I would rather be alone than argue about something as stupid as taking care of my home. The next man who gets to share a home with me is going to care about himself, his home, his family, and ME goddamnit.”

And just like that I had my first deal breaker.





Ms. MDP Attends a Singles Party, Part 2

23 06 2012

Armed with a Manhattan and words of advice from the tall, loud man in the kitchen to, “be sure to try the cayenne pepper popcorn,” I headed back out into the main rooms of the house to give mingling with the other singles a try.  I scanned the living room, looking for someone who wasn’t already in the middle of a conversation with someone.  It appeared people had already begun to pair off.

I walked, pink paper in hand, from the living room to the dining room where the food table was set up, bypassed the food for the time being, and ventured into the front room of the house.  It seemed like everyone was already talking to someone.  One of my friends was talking to a very handsome, tall man, and I couldn’t help but think that I probably wouldn’t have the guts to talk to him.  I noticed one of my girlfriends across the room and commited the cardinal sin of networking/mingling.  I went over and started talking to someone I already knew.

“How’s it going?” she asked.

“Not well,” I said with a sigh.

“Well, who have you talked to so far?”

“No one.”

“No one?”

“Well, there’s this weird guy in the kitchen,” I said, “He’s not part of the party, but I’m supposed to try the cayenne pepper popcorn.  It’s supposed to be really good.”

“How many men have you found on your list?” she asked.

“None.  I haven’t really tried yet.  I don’t think I’m very good at this.”

“YOU’RE not good at this? Oh, come on.  What’s your problem?”

“I don’t know. I guess I’m just not sure how to start,” I said.

“Just pick a guy, walk up to him, and say HI, give me a hint to which one of these things belongs to you,” she coached, referring to our long list of tidbits from the men at the party.

“Really? Is that what you’re really doing?”

“Yeah.”

“Huh,” I said.

“Now get back out there and get away from me. You’re blocking my action,” she said, “I’ll talk to you later.”

I felt like I was back in little swimmers class when the swimming teacher forces you let go of the side of the pool, pushes you out, away from the wall, into the water, and tells you to blow your first bubbles.  I needed a fucking snorkel and a mask.  I started to figure there would be nothing wrong with noshing on some party food, drinking a few Manhattans, and calling it an evening.

I started to move through the house again, and realized that a slight bottleneck existed at the base of the stairs and between the dining room and family room.  The space there narrowed, and as people passed through, it was almost impossible not to at least say “excuse me” to someone. Opposite the bottom of the stairs there was also a little alcove.  This was my spot.  I put my back to the alcove and stopped there for a moment.  The location offered me both prospect and refuge.

Within moments, I was face to face with a little Chinese man, looking up at me and asking, “Are you a top or a bottom?”

“What?!!” I asked.

“Top or bottom?  Is your quote on the top half of the page or the bottom?”

“Oh,” I said, “I actually don’t know. Let me look at your paper.”

He held his blue piece of paper out so I could scan the tidbits offered up by other women and find my own.

“Well, I guess I’m a bottom,” I said.

“Does yours have anything to do with travel?” he inquired.

“Sadly, yes,” I responded.  Obviously, this guy had figured out how to narrow down his choices by cutting them in half and then in half again.  Smart.  I made note to use his tactics on the next person I spoke to.

He quickly asked me a few more questions and narrowed the tidbits down until he was certain that I had “lived in Rome and taken cooking classes while there.”

“What kinds of things can you make,” he asked.

“Well, homemade pasta, ragu Bolognese, different kinds of risotto, limoncello…”

“Cool,” he said, “Ok, now do me.”

“Huh?!!”

“You have to find my thing on the page.”

“Oh, yeah, ok.  Well, are you a top or bottom?”

“Top.”

“Perfect,” I said.

“Travel related?”

“No.”

“Ok.”

This would be more difficult.  At least with the travel-related tidbits you could then move to narrowing things down by hemispheres or continents.  After some work, it turned out he, “is known as such a big eater that a couple of coworkers think he can shut down a buffet.”

“You don’t look like a man who can put away a buffet, but I believe you.”

“Oh, I love to eat,” he said.

We stood there, mushed into the alcove, talking for quite a while longer.  He was a smarty-pants, engineer and was very easy to talk to.  Although I could have stayed and spoken to him for much longer, I finally figured I had my technique down, and I was ready to try it on another person.  Plus, my Manhattan was gone, and I needed another, key word being needed.

As I was standing, waiting for a drink, a tall, handsome, blonde man approached, and started talking to me.  He said he wasn’t too worried about the contest. He was just interested in having a lot of different conversations.  I wished I had his confidence and could navigate this party without my pink piece of paper.  One more Manhattan and baby steps, that was what I needed.  We talked for a few minutes and then moved on.  As he was walking away he said, “oh, by the way, I wish I was in a boy band.”

I looked at my pink piece of paper and sure enough, there it was, near the bottom, “wishes he was in a boy band.”

Second dose of liquid courage in hand, I decided to finally go check out the infamous cayenne pepper popcorn.  It was good, but not really my thing.  Plus, party food that requires dipping and scooping does not mix well with people who are starting to get drunk.  The guacamole, which I had also been told to try, was a disaster.  It was starting to brown and had become the burial ground for a few chips, which had met their demise in mid scoop.  There were some bleu cheese, bacon, and date things that were ok, but over all, I decided I could do without the party food.

I spotted The Chinaman across the table.

“Are you working on this?” I joked, waving my hand over the table.

“Mm, yeah, sort of,”  he smiled in mid chew.

I decided to head back to my alcove…





Ms. MDP Attends a Singles Party, Part 1

20 06 2012

One of the interesting things about people knowing that I write a dating blog is that I frequently get invited to various activities to which I wouldn’t ordinarily be exposed.  Often, I feel as though I’m being invited just because the host is hoping I will write a blog post about it.  There have been countless happy hour invitations from people I barely know after they have learned about My Dating Prescription.  Then there were the more exciting invitations, the vibrator party and the invitation to be part of a swinger’s club.

Often, I decline.

The singles party I attended last Saturday, however, was not one of these events.  I had actually been invited, by a good friend of mine, to this party a number of times.  The host and hostess of the party happen to be married (to each other) and throw this party at their house every year for their single friends and their single friends’ friends.   The party has been going strong for well over 10 years, and I had actually been invited years ago, before I was married.  In the past, something always came up and I had to decline but not this year.

The invitation to this party is time-sensitive, because the hosts only accept invitations from the first 50 men and 50 women to respond.  To get onto the guest list you have to provide an interesting tidbit of information about yourself; it has to pass muster with the host and hostess; and you hope that you get the ok before the guest list becomes full.

Believe it or not, I didn’t know what to write fo my tidbit.  I didn’t divulge the fact that I write a dating blog.  Instead, I wrote some crap about having lived in Rome for a short period of time and taking cooking classes while I was there.

This turned out to be a mistake,…and I should have known it would be a mistake.  At this point in my dating journey, I have read enough online dating profiles to know that most people try to sound impressive by listing all of the places they have ever travelled in the world.  It actually becomes a little annoying.  Let’s face it.  If the most exciting “favorite place” you can think of is a vacation you took 15 years ago, your life is pretty dull, and you need to get honest with yourself and your potential date about the fact that you spend an inordinate amount of time sitting on the couch with the remote.  That goes for me and my cooking in Rome too.  I should have known better than to provide that tidbit for this particular party.

However, I would like to state, for the record, that on my online dating profile I DO NOT list the countries I have visited.  I mention atmospheres I prefer instead.

But anyway…Rome was a mistake.  Approximately 50% of both the men and women at the party provided a tidbit about travel. Alas, it appears I am neither unique nor creative.

So, I had sent in my poorly chosen tidbit, received an email informing me I had been allowed access, and was sent a list of various alcoholic beverages from which I could choose to help supply the singles bar.  Check, check, and check.

On the night of the party, I showed up at my girlfriend’s house for a pre-party pre-funk.  There would be four of us going to the party together.  Safety in numbers.

We arrived at the party, deposited our alcoholic beverages at the “bar,” which was a long folding table filled to the edges with bottles of hard alcohol, no beer, no wine allowed.  Extra bottles were sitting on the floor behind the table along with a couple of ice chests and other various bar implements.  It appeared that most of the living room furniture had been removed or pushed back. Good call.

My girlfriends and I were each given a pink piece of paper and a pen.  The men got blues ones.  (It seems I’m not the only one lacking creativity.)  On the paper were the tidbits for all of the men at the party.  The men, of course, had all of the tidbits for the women, including my unoriginal tidbit about Rome.

To make things interesting and to get things rolling there was a contest.  I’ll be honest. I didn’t pay attention to what the prize was, and I didnt’ take it too seriously.  The objective of the contest was to match the tidbit with the person who had done the tidbit.  Let the mingling begin.

Here is a sampling of tidbits for the men…

…(who)se travels include a max elevation of 60,000 ft & a min. of -1,380 ft below sea level.

…has been inside the Kremlin.

…was a volunteer radio DJ at two rural colleges in the Phillippines.

…has a new town named after him in the Peruvian Amazon.

See what I mean?  I would need a drink before I went on this little adventure.  I tried to get to the “bar,” which turned out to be almost impossible.  Apparently, I was not the only one who needed liquid courage to embark on this evening.  It was worse than a packed night club on a Saturday night.  The “line” was at least three people deep, and the floor was already sticky.

I finally got a Manhattan, and scanned the room for my first conversation.  I suddenly realized that I am not good at this.  I’m okay at networking, but the extra pressure of the situation being a singles party threw me off.  Even when I’m cruising the online dating sites I don’t like to reach out to a man first.  It’s just not my style, and there I was, expected to go face to face, toe to toe, and ask someone if he…let’s see…”had to spend an unplanned night in the Costa Rican jungle when his guide got lost.”

Being single sucks!

There was something else I noticed.  My girlfriends are much better at this than I am.  AND, they have no problem talking to the best looking men in the room.  I, on the other hand, avoided them.  WHAT is wrong with me?  It appears I have confidence issues.

I tried to escape to the kitchen.  There I encountered a very tall, very loud man who asked me what I was drinking.

“It’s a Manhattan,” I said.

“Oh, good call. You’ll need it.”

“Thanks.”

“No problem.”

I noticed he did not have a blue piece of paper.

“Oh, I’m not part of the party,” he said, “I’m just helping with the food.  Have you tried the guacamole?”

I had not.  I was not going to stand next to the food table, gorge myself on party food, and refuse to speak to anyone.  I had to put my big girl panties on and go talk to someone.  Fuck. I hate my life sometimes, and I hate my friends for talking me into this shit.

I headed back out into the fray…





Man #24, The Actual Date

17 02 2012

I apologize that it has taken me so long to recap my date with Man #24, but I felt I needed to give you the back story about how we got set up and how I was getting pressure from my friends for this to, not only be a good matchup, but to also provide good material for a romantic comedy. (Hence Man #24’s tag – The Leading Man.)

To be honest, I anticipated that The Leading Man and I would have a good date. The friends who set us up happen to be very intuitive about these kinds of things, and I usually trust their judgment. Like I said, however, I was extremely nervous. The last time I had seen Man #24 had been before I had gotten married, started feeling depressed and trapped, and started drowning myself in emotion-deadening amounts of food and red wine. Therefore, he was not going to see the thin, sexy woman to whom he had last spoken. He might not even recognize me.

Oh dear god.

When we set up our date, The Leading Man said he was willing to meet me somewhere near my neighborhood, and I appreciated this a lot. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I have strong feelings about the things guys can do to make themselves look considerate from the very beginning, and offering to meet a woman on her turf is just one of them. By this, Ladies, I do not mean meeting a man at your house. (Geez, that would be scary.) What I mean is, if a man lives a half an hour away, he should not expect a woman to drive out to see him sight unseen. I’m okay with meeting a man halfway between his place and mine, but it’s always appreciated if he will make the extra effort to allow me to stay in neighborhoods in which I feel comfortable.

Sorry, guys. Maybe this doesn’t seem fair. But, your gender isn’t the one getting raped every 60 seconds in this country, so I don’t want to hear any whining and this is not something on which I’m willing to compromise.

Anyway, sorry for that tangent/soap box moment, but I just wanted to say how pleased I was that The Leading Man was willing to let me pick our rendezvous point without any pressure.

He mentioned that he was hungry for Thai food, and I was trying to think of a good Thai restaurant that had the right “first date” vibe somewhere in the U District. Unfortunately, there is a plethora of Thai restaurants in the area, but none of them have the kind of ambience I thought was comfortable for a first date/two people catching up after a long time kind of date. Most of them have these little, vinyl kitchen chairs to sit on, and I felt we really needed a booth. After himming and hahhing for a couple of seconds, I asked him if he would be willing to forego Thai in exchange for meeting at Schultzy’s instead. (Yes, I realize this is my third date in 24 that has been at Schultzy’s.)

He went for it, but then I felt bad for bulldozing his Thai food desires.

Although he said it was fine, I was conscious of what I had just done and felt I was not off on a good foot.

On the night of the date, I put on some dark-washed jeans, a brown top with three-quarter length sleeves, cute leopard spotted shoes, turquoise, brown, and gold necklace and bracelet, and gold earrings and headed out the door. Again, if you’ve been reading from the beginning, you may have noticed that I’m less anxious about sucking everything in these days. LONG gone are the Spanx! I still care about my appearance, but I am no longer willing to wrestle with compressive undergarments when I am out on a date.

The Leading Man and I met and talked for a few hours over beers and fries about everything from our friends and their crazy ideas to dogs to the legalization of marijuana to Ken Griffey Jr and beyond. The conversation was really fun and easy and I enjoyed it a lot.

At the end of the date, The Leading Man walked me to my car, gave me a kiss on the cheek and a hug and said we should definitely go out again. I said, “Well, next Saturday I’m invited to a party where everyone who comes has to perform a talent. You’re welcome to join me.”

He passed.

I admit; that would be a lot of pressure…

… but maybe we can go have Thai food.





Rom Com and the Blog

8 02 2012

As I mentioned earlier, nobody wants their friend to be #24 in this dating prescription, so when I found out that my friends did not know about my blog, I decided I needed to tell them. I learned my lesson after The Blues Man, and I’m not willing to sacrifice my friendships for a little online storytelling and dating humor. I explained to my friend how the whole thing got started, and emailed her links to  the first post, Confessions of a Serial Dater, and Man #11, Il Mio Nonno Italiano so she could get an idea of what the blog was about.

I don’t know if she ever read them, but she knew enough about it that the next time I saw her she said, “If you and Man #24 (not his real name) go out, you could stop at #24, couldn’t you?”

“Well, I suppose, if things went really well, yeah. I’ve said all along that if I meet someone halfway through who is really good for me and is someone who wants a committed relationship, I certainly wouldn’t turn him away.”

The last part of this statement, however, always seems to be the kicker. Just as friends don’t want to be #24, it seems that men don’t like to knowingly be in a perceived competition with other men. It’s ok if THEY date this way, going out with multiple women, mind you, but rarely have I found that guys are ok with the  idea that the woman they are dating is dating other men. I know there are exceptions, but a lot of men seem to try and avoid this kind of situation.

Not that my dating prescription is even a competition. Some might say that I’m “dating like a guy,” but I don’t even think that’s the case, because, typically, that involves dating and sleeping with more than one woman just to have a good time, and we all know that I haven’t had any in a while! Therefore, I don’t think what I’m doing qualifies as dating like a guy.

The way I see it, I am simply dating without settling, and I will continue to date in this way until I meet someone who…

  1. I want to go out with again and again.
  2. wants to go out with me again and again.
  3. asks me for a committed, monogomous relationship.

Until all three of these parameters are satisfied, I see absolutely no reason to limit myself to one guy. Enough said.

And with that, to illustrate my point, my next post will be on the game theory of dating.





Man #24, The Leading Man

4 02 2012

It happens. Every once in a while a friend will get a wild hair up their ass and decide I need help finding a date. In the past, these set ups have never ended well. Some of these dates have left me wondering if my friends know me at all; others have made me wonder what kind of woman my friends think I am; and one date even left me fearing for my life.

Since I’ve started my dating prescription a lot of friends have mentioned that they would like to set me up with one of their friends. However, as soon as the words are out of their mouths they say something along the lines of, “but I want to wait for you to meet him until you’re closer to 100.”

Ok fine.

At the rate I’m going that will be in about 3 more years. (Tomorrow this blog will be one year old.)

Clearly they’re ok with the idea of my prescription as long as it doesn’t involve any of their friends. Basically, nobody wants their friend to be #24.

And then…

…along came one of my friends who, for some odd reason, did not realize that I had this little blog thing going.

I got a call from one of my friends one night a couple of weeks ago. She put her husband on the line, and he asked if I remembered a friend of their’s who I had first met at a New Year’s Eve Party in 2003. At first I wasn’t sure, but with an additional hint it dawned on me to whom he was referring.

“Oh yeah. I remember. I thought he was pretty cool.”

My friend’s husband told me that earlier in the day he had been visiting with the man who will soon become Man #24, and, in his words, “I had a moment of inspiration, thought of you, and just said your name. He remembered you right away.

He proceeded to give me the man’s phone number.

My friend got back on the line, and excitedly said that when her husband returned home and mentioned Man #24 and I in the same sentence, she and her husband started fantasizing about what an amazing match up this could really be. Apparently, we are the two remaining single (or nearly single) people in their network of friends. She said that her husband had studied film and that he has always wanted to produce and direct a movie. She drew a picture for me of how they thought our relationship would unfold. It would be perfect. They speculated that our love story would be so inspiring it could be the subject of her husband’s future movie. It was obvious they were very excited about this.

Ok. Fine. I could use a little romantic comedy in my life.

I agreed to play along, and I told her I would call Man #24 within the next couple of days.

About that time, the Pacific Northwest got hit with four days of snow. On one night when it was particularly windy, I called Man #24. I reached him at his home and we had a really great conversation.

I was fairly certain this would be the case. I had seen and talked to him at a number of parties at my friends’ home. The last time I had seen him was probably in 2006 before I met STBex. We had talked for quite a while on the deck, and I remember having the thought when we parted that he seemed like someone I might want to get to know better. However, when I had looked for him later, he was already gone.

Near the end of our phone conversation, I commented that I needed to go because I had been making ox tail soup all day and it was time to make the dumplings.

He said, “You have power?”

“Yeah. You don’t?”

“No. I’m sitting here with a fire and candlelight.”

“Well, I may have power, but you have ambience,” I said.

We talked a little longer and ended the conversation by setting a time and place to meet for a date…

…and with that, I will leave you until next time with one final note.

After I hung up from talking to Man #24, the potential leading man in my friend’s movie, I called my friend and informed him that his movie would be starting with a cliché, not from a romantic comedy, however, but from a horror film.

“It was a dark and stormy night….”

Image here.








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