Monday, January 30, 2006


"Do you think incest is best?"

This is going to be a long year, I thought to myself. I was a college sophomore in the fall of 1992. I had reached the ripe old age of twenty - that miraculous age when you know everything and nothing at the same time. My teenage years were finally behind me! So my immediate reaction to his question was I am WAY. TOO. OLD for this nonsense! SIGH.

In retrospect, it was all pretty funny. He was just an 18 year old kid, after all, at a new school. He was actually fairly cute in a cornfed-Midwestern-white boy sort of way. He was completely harmless, but he made a pretty creepy first impression.

We met at the beginning of the fall term when our RA, a junior called Amy, organized our floor to introduce us all to each other. We all went around in a circle and said our name, what year and major we were, blah blah. As it happened, Jed, one of the freshman guys, had the same last name as me.

After the intros, we all started mingling and chatting. Jed sidled up to me, and that's when he asked, "Do you think incest is best?"

"What??" I started to laugh, mostly because of the mock-serious look on his face.

"Do you think incest is best?" he repeated. "Because, you know, I think we should keep it in the family."

"Do you now." I was amazed that it was Day 1 of this kid's college career, and he was already trying to line up his first lay. Sexual peak, indeed. "Don't you worry about having babies with two heads?"

"Yeah, well," he said, shuffling his feet, "it isn't always about makin' babies."

I went to a school whose undergraduate population was about 70% female. That sounds like a pretty good deal for male students, doesn't it? Seven women for every man! Throw that statistic at any young guy, and it sounds pretty sweet. "Like shooting fish in a barrel!", I overheard one wasted frat boy exclaim at a party (is there any other kind of frat boy?). I'm sure that when the new freshman guys found their one suite surrounded by three female suites, they entertained visions of 2am orgies, homecooked meals and free laundry services.

They got a reality check pretty quickly. We ladies enjoyed some good-natured teasing of our male neighbors. We had a lot of affection for them, but didn't put up with any macho bullshit. When Todd, a barrel-chested former football player, first moved onto our floor, he reveled in the mostly female environment, figuring that anything within arms' length that had tits was his for the taking. That attitude is a source of nonstop entertainment for a group of young women who've already made their own missteps with junior and senior guys. When Todd put a "scoreboard" up on his wall to track the sexual conquests that he was certain he'd be making that year, we conducted a sort of panty raid on his room, stealing every single pair of BVDs he owned as his roommate Mike watched helplessly, unable to stem the tide of giggling women streaming through the door. Those tighty whities were all over our dorm by the time we were done - taped to mirrors, hanging from shower heads, draped on couches, even hanging from the ceiling. That was a lot of work, come to think of it. When Todd came back to the hall, he was furious, which just made us all laugh harder. I was actually amazed that he recognized his own underwear so quickly. I mean, they were your standard bargain 3-pack that you can get anywhere, and doesn't every guy have a bunch of those? Anyway, instead of alienating Todd, it brought him into the fold a bit. He curtailed the misogynistic nonsense, and we stopped riding him.

I told Jed that I did not, in fact, believe that incest was best, but rejection is an aphrodisiac for the young and horny. One Saturday night, weeks later, a group of us wound up in Jed's room after a night of partying. The room stank; he and his roommate had started a collection of empty Mad Dog bottles. For those of you who don't know, Mad Dog is $3.99 cheap shit wine that comes in flavors like grape, peach and lime. They must have had almost thirty bottles in that room, and they hadn't cleaned them out before displaying them. Dear readers, the scent was not good. Coupled with the pungent odor of weeks' worth of dirty laundry, it was a potent combination, and not in a good way.

I sat at the end of Jed's bed with Jed and my friend Meghan, listening to The Doors. What is it with college students and The Doors? Everybody goes through a Doors phase in college, I don't care what decade it is.

Jed was drunk; I think Meghan was tipsy; I was sober, having nursed one drink all night. Meghan wound up leaving the room for a few minutes, temporarily distracted by Jed's very cute roommate. Jed and I chatted a bit. "So, how many guys have you had sex with?" he asked me.

"None of your business," I laughed. "You don't have a right to that information."

He leaned in. "I need to know," he insisted. "I feel close to you. I want to get close to you, Ginger, I want to know you."

"You want to know me carnally. You're drunk, Jed, and you don't need to get any closer to me. Go to sleep." I slid off the bed.

"You don't like me?" Awww, it was almost cute, this insecure pseudo-seduction technique. I softened a little.

"I like you fine, but I'm not going to have sex with you. Besides, I'm seeing somebody." My boyfriend matriculated at another school hundreds of miles away, but I've always been a goody two shoes in the fidelity department. "Go to sleep."

He passed out a few minutes later, Mad Dog bottles and dirty socks scattered around him. Asleep, he looked not like a wasted Lothario but what he really was, an 18 year old boy.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

"Check, please."

I lived in Boston for eight years. It's a compact and energetic city that features a tremendous amount of American history and culture. Bostonians are used to visitors and transplants; Quincy Market/Faneuil Hall is the second most popular tourist destination in the continental United States, after Disney World. One of the great things about moving there as a young'un was that most of the people I met were in my age group. Thanks to the 140 colleges scattered throughout the greater Boston area, roughly half of the city's population is under the age of 35. That type of environment made it tremendously easy to make new friends, and even strike up a conversation with a complete stranger, whether I was waiting for the "T" (the Boston subway system), shopping at the Prudential Center, or watching street performers in Harvard Square. It's very easy to adjust to a small city with so many historic spots and cultural events, especially one that's inhabited by an athletic, youthful population intent on going out and having fun after a long work or school day.

Boston is also freezing cold for at least five months out of the year. Nor'easters (that's pronounced "Naw-EEE-stahs" by the natives) bring shitloads of snow and brutal Arctic winds down to New England by way of Canada. With temperatures that can get down to -30 degrees with the wind chill, New Englanders spend a lot of time indoors between October and April. It's a weather pattern that encourages the general population to pair up for the winter. A good number of Bostonians like to ski, ice skate and snowboard, but they enjoy their 'indoor sports' as well, and as you've read, the indoor sports season lasts quite a while in New England. The prospect of spending five months' worth of evenings watching snow fall and listening to gale force winds rattling your window panes is a lot more palatable if you're sharing the experience with another warm body - preferably under a thick blanket, hot chocolate in hand.

While I was living there, the personals was one of the more popular ways for overworked young professionals to acquire a cuddle partner before the first frost. Until the early aughts, I had never gotten into online dating; it just didn't seem necessary in a city where I was always meeting new people so easily. Then again, I didn't want to date most of the guys I was meeting, so why not try something new? My singles scene partner in crime, a gorgeous and hotheaded Latina named Tabitha, got on my case to try it. She set up a starter profile for me, which had a screen name - Missgingerlime - that she had created for me, and the appalling tagline "Is it hot enough for you?" under my picture. It made me laugh, but I had to sign into my profile and edit it. I wound up filling out the entire thing and posting it, curious to see what would happen.

In March of 2003, well into a brutally stormy winter, I started corresponding with Joe. I had been getting lots of emails from stoned and bloated frat boys just looking for a quick fuck, so Joe stood out; he was a former corporate lawyer who had left that profession to do social work. At the time, he was counseling teenagers at a halfway house downtown. I've got a serious humanitarian streak - I work with the homeless here in LA, and have done plenty of volunteer work in the past - so I was impressed. It didn't hurt that he was also cute, with thick, curly dark hair and a square jaw. Dear readers, I love me a square jaw on a man, oh yes I do. Joe and I had grown up in the same area of New York, and had gone to the same college, but we had never met. After a few "wow, we have so much in common!" - themed emails, we decided we'd like to meet face to face.

Joe wanted to take me to dinner. Having not met him in person yet, I wasn't really into that idea. The thing about online dating is, no matter how great your phone or email conversations have been, you're still essentially going on a blind date. You can't get a read on the chemistry between you until you've spent a little time together. I was more partial to just meeting at Au Bon Pain for an hour. I would rather pay for my own cup of tea and muffin, chat for a bit, and then if it's not working out, I can just say so. No flag, no foul. I don't feel guilty and he doesn't feel used. On the other hand, if we're both feeling it and he'd like to take me out to dinner on our second date, then fine. Dear bepenised readers, I do not view you all as free dinners with legs. I've been a feminist pretty much since I was conceived, and have always practiced what I preach. I bought my crush a box of chocolates for Valentine's Day in the fifth grade, and when I invited a college guy to be my date to my senior prom, I paid for the tickets, because he was the invitee. See, I started young. Sure, I have had guys insist on paying when I'm the one who asked them out, and no, I do not stomp my feet and sing "I Am Woman" at the top of my lungs when that happens. I smile and say "Thank you, you didn't have to do that," and I mean it. My basic guideline is, when you're the one doing the inviting, regardless of gender, paying is the right thing to do.

I digress. Anyway, Joe was the one doing the asking this time. I told him that I would prefer a more casual first meeting, but he said that really wanted to take me out to dinner. I offered lunch as a compromise, and he seemed ok with that idea. We were both working close to Boston's Theater District, so we decided to meet at the Bennigan's across from the Shubert Theater. There was nowhere to eat in the Theater District at that time except Bennigan's, PF Chang's and Dunkin' Donuts. So, we set a date.

I took the T down to the Boylston Street station on a blustery but sunny Wednesday afternoon. As I walked down Tremont Street, the frigid wind whipped my hair into a tangled mess and made my eyes tear. Getting gussied up to go out in Boston is an exercise in futility; either you're getting rained on, snowed upon, blown about, or melted by humidity. I got to Bennigan's early and made a quick dash to the ladies' room to fix the damage.

When I came out, Joe was waiting in the foyer. He was wearing a dark blue suit with a light blue shirt and striped tie. Freshly shaven and clean cut, the stereotypical lawyer look. We exchanged hellos and got a table. The conversation was fine at first; a basic re-hashing of everything we had emailed each other. Joe seemed kind of jittery, though. He tapped his fingers on the table and on the menu nonstop, and didn't make a lot of eye contact. He's just nervous, I thought, trying to figure out what I was going to eat and talk about for the next hour. Dear readers, you will notice in this and future posts that I've made the "nervous" excuse for a lot of my dates, and it has gotten me into an awful lot of trouble.

I ordered a grilled chicken salad and Joe settled on the fettucine alfredo. That done, we made the usual first date small talk about our families, where we had traveled, and what we liked and didn't like about Boston. I wanted to know all about the shelter he worked at, what the kids were like, how the counseling sessions were. His answers were vague, along the lines of "yeah, I like working with kids". He was more interested in my jewelry.

"These are cool, can I see these?" he pulled the bracelet and rings right off of my hands. "These are so cool." He held them up to the light, turning them over and over to look from every angle. Yeah, weird. I tried to laugh it off. "Wow, it's every woman's dream to land a guy who knows his jewelry," I joked.

"Yeah, these are cool, these are cool." Joe spoke slightly too quickly - the sentence came out as one word, "Yeahthesearecoolthesearecool." I put my jewelry back on, thinking, is he on something? "So, what do you like to do in your spare time? Got any hobbies?" I asked.

"You have such a good vibe about you," Joe replied, as if he hadn't heard the question. "I feel good being near you. You have, like, a good aura around you or something."

"Uh, thanks," I said. This was awkward. Luckily our food came right then, and we were silent for a minute or two. Joe ate as rapidly as he talked; a quarter of his fettucine was gone before he spoke again.

"I like your hair." Oh my god, this guy is random. Be natural, roll with it. You can't just walk out. Be openminded! He's probably nervous! "Thanks," I said as brightly as I could. "Actually, I'm thinking of going brunette."

"No, stick with the red, the red is hot. It is hot." He was speeding up again; Stickwiththeredtheredishotitishot. I changed the subject, and started talking about the play that I was helping to prop and costume. As I talked, Joe started to mumble under his breath. Dear readers, when people pull fucked up shit like that, Yours Truly pretends it isn't happening. I kept talking; he mumbled a little louder. I couldn't even process such bizarre behavior.

"You didn't hear what I said, did you?" Joe asked me. "Did you hear me?"

"Oh, did you say something?" I was really starting to grit my teeth. Has this guy never been on a date in his life? Who acts this way? "I didn't hear you, I was talking."

"I said, you're so beautiful, I'm having trouble even looking at you." Oh Jesus Christ, I've got a live one here. Sure am glad I brought my Mace. Readers, it's normally very flattering to me when somebody tells me that I'm attractive. I'm certainly no Charlize Theron. I have my bad days and my days when I look pretty cute. But even on my best days, I'm not going to burn a hole in a guy's retinas if he looks directly at me. Even Charlize can't do that (I could be wrong, she's pretty hot).

Our waitress, a petite college girl maybe 20 years old, came over to ask us if everything was ok. Well, the food is fine, but I'd like to send this guy back - he's way overdone.

"So, how many dates have you gone on from this site thing?" asked Joe.

"Oh, a few," I said. "I don't use it much, really."

"Well, is 'a few' 4 or 5? 6 or 8? 8 or 10?" Joe demanded.

"Um, 8 or 10, probably." My annoyance was starting to show. "Why is that important?"

"So, you live in an apartment? Is it a studio? A one bed? What do you pay for it?"

Holy shit, this guy must be having a psychotic episode. Buddy, you're never going to see my apartment. You're never going to see me naked; in fact, you're never going to see me again. "I live in a one bed," I said, speaking slowly, as if Joe were just starting to learn English. "I don't think what I pay for it is your business."

"Does that make you uncomfortable?" My date clearly had a freeway between his brain and his mouth; he was born without the filter that most adults develop as a result of normal interaction with other humans. "I think everybody should be able to talk about that stuff."

"Sure, maybe after you get to know each other." I was praying that Joe would get up to go to the bathroom; I'd be able to grab my bag and bail. "But when you barely know somebody, it's inappropriate, like asking how much they make or what they weigh."

"Oh," he said, nodding. Then: "OH! What do you weigh??"

I put down my fork and sighed as the waitress finally delivered the check. "How was everything?"

"Terrible," Joe replied. He was serious. I looked at his plate; all of his food was gone, except for maybe two bites. The waitress looked to me for help. I shrugged and shook my head. You don't know the half of it, sister. "Um, sir?" she said meekly, "why didn't you say something before? I could have brought you something else..."

"The sauce is wrong," he insisted. "I've eaten this here before. It's oily this time. It's wrong."

I couldn't speak, I was so embarrassed. The waitress got the manager; Joe argued with him, basically angling for a free meal. The manager gave him a coupon book, but still charged him for the fettucine. I sat silently as Joe put some cash into the check folder and handed it to our mortified waitress. "So," he said, turning to me, "I see you didn't even reach for it."

"Reach for what?" If I stare at him and really concentrate, maybe I can make his head explode.

"Well," he said huffily, "you didn't even offer to pay."

Now I was laughing, imagining the looks that would be on my friends' faces as I told them about this maniac over drinks that evening. "You asked to take me out, you insisted on it." I dropped any pretense of politeness. "I'm not a Rules girl, but, hello - that's Dating 101." You should be paying me for wasting my time, you whacko.

The waitress put Joe's change on the table. He pulled out a few dollars for the tip, then threw the rest of the money on the table in front of me. "I guess you think I should give you that, then!"

"Okay, THAT'S IT. I'm done." I threw the money back onto his side of the table as I rose. "Thanks for lunch, Joe. I have to go. I've got costumes and props to pick up."

"I'll walk with you."

"Um, NO, that's not necessary." I couldn't even look at him. "I'm sure you have to get back to work."

Joe followed me for the whole ten block walk to Boston Costume, chattering about God knows what. I walked so quickly that I was almost jogging. I didn't reply to him; I didn't listen; I completely tuned him out and kept my hand on my Mace, which I was sure I'd have to use at any second.

I finally made it through the door to Boston Costume. By that time I was absolutely sure that I'd just been on a date with a serial killer, and was trying to avoid confrontation. "Thanks for walking me, Joe, I can take it from here."

"So, where is this going?" He put his hands on his hips. "When am I seeing you again?"


"Oh, I'm busy for the next two weeks," I said as sweetly as I could. "Maybe after that." That satisfied him, and he finally - finally! - left me alone. He emailed me about fifty times over the next couple of months. I deleted each one without reading it.

Well, at least I got a good story out of the experience - all that the poor waitress got was a shitty tip.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Sir Ass-A-Lot

Reasons that I love living in Los Angeles? It never snows here. It never gets deathly cold. That's so great for me; I've been an avid walker for about 16 years now. It is my favorite form of exercise, because it clears the mind as well as burning some calories. I prefer to walk outside instead of on a treadmill, to breathe the air and feel the breeze and the sun on my face. I'm in the habit of taking walks in the morning on weekends; it gets me out of bed and gets my day going. With the weather in LA as it is, I get to take my walks all year round!

So, on a very warm and sunny Saturday morning in August 2004, I rolled out of bed at around 9:30, washed my face, put on a pair of black shorts and a grey zip-up hoodie, gathered my bed hair in a ponytail and slicked on some lipgloss (as my mother used to say, "You never know who you'll run into"). I laced up my sneakers, and my iPod and I were out the door.

I'd been walking for about 20 minutes, and was halfway down a particularly pretty, tree-lined street when I noticed a tall African-American man walking towards me. He was about 6'2", built, dressed in a fitted t-shirt, jeans and a worn baseball cap. He was gorgeous.

He smiled as he approached me, and I thought, is he smiling at someone behind me? Because I don't exactly stop traffic right after I've rolled out of bed. I tried to sort of casually look over my shoulder, like I was fixing my hood. Nope, nobody behind me. So now he's smiling at me and stopping to talk, and I look like I've got some kind of neck twitch. Fantastic.

So Gorgeous asks me, "Hey, sorry to bother you, but I'm looking for the Smiths' house, do you know where that is?"

"Oh, no," I replied, "I don't live around here. Just on a walk. Sorry," while thinking wow, you are even hotter up close.

"Have a nice day," I said, and started to walk away, when Gorgeous stopped me. "Um, actually," he said, "I was just driving by, and I saw you, and you were so cute that I pulled over and tried to find some way to say hello."

"Oh, really?" I said, and couldn't help breaking into a big smile. "Well, that's pretty gutsy of you. I'm flattered."

"I'm Kareem," he said, extending his hand.

"Ginger," I responded, shaking it.

We chatted for a few minutes. Kareem was also from my hometown, New York; in fact, he had grown up in an area where my dad's parents had lived. He was funny; despite the fact that we were total strangers, we talked easily. The whole situation felt pretty natural. He asked if he could see me again. We walked to his car, and I gave him my cell phone number.

As I walked away, I couldn't believe my luck. I'm generally pretty guarded about my personal safety (for reasons that you will soon discover, dear readers). I wouldn't normally stop to talk to a man I didn't know while on one of my walks, but this felt different. We were in broad daylight on a busy street, and his whole vibe was just...comfortable. He was cute and funny! He actually seemed down-to-earth! I have to admit to entertaining a vision of the two of us telling our curly-haired, green-eyed, cafe-au-lait-skinned children about the day that Daddy spotted Mommy while he was driving one morning, and was so smitten that he just had to introduce himself. I am generally not one to put the cart before the proverbial horse, but I've observed, in my short life, that Great Couples always have a Great Meeting Story. This one could potentially rank up there with the best of them! Hey, you never know.

Later that afternoon, I was having lunch at an outdoor cafe with my friend Donnetta. We had just been served our drinks, and she needed to use the ladies' room. Just as she left the table, my phone rang. It was Kareem. I was surprised that he'd called me so soon, but I can't say I wasn't pleased. "Hey," he said, "I couldn't wait to talk to you again, Ginger. I'm so glad you stopped to talk to me this morning."

"So am I," I replied, and I meant it. "So what's up?"

"Well," he said, "I just had to let you know, that as you walked away, you made my day, because of that ass. It is just a beautiful thing."

"Um. Uh, my ass??" I laughed. I figured he must be joking, so I played along. "Yeah, it has special powers, it can do that."

"Girl," he continued, "you've got an onion."

"An "onion"? What exactly is an onion?" I knew I would regret asking.

Kareem filled me in: "An onion is a butt so fine it makes a grown man wanna CRY, girl."

Okay, I was at a loss on this one. For those of you who have never laid eyes on me, I am Irish. Caucasian. Translation: I am white. I do not have a trunk, and if I did, I would not have any junk to fill it with. Now, I have never put much stock in racial stereotypes, and I'm well aware that there are lots of bootylicious white women out there. But no one, of any race, will ever mistake me for J.Lo. I was also more than a bit thrown off that Kareem, whom I had met barely 8 hours previously, was extolling the virtues of my posterior before we'd even been on a proper date. Don't get me wrong, I like a nice ass. If I see an attractive dude, and I am able to sneak a subtle peek at his cakes, I will. The thing is, I won't be gushing to any guy about his butt unless we're already dating. I didn't mind that Kareem had enjoyed the view; you've got to be attracted to someone if you're going to date them! That's important. But, guys – talking to a woman about her ass before you've gotten to know her at all just might make her feel like a piece of meat.

I wanted to give him the chance to back it up a bit. "Well, Kareem, thanks," I said in a more serious tone, "but there is a little bit more to me than that." Maybe he was nervous, or just trying to make me laugh. He assured me that he wanted to get to know the rest of me, and I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. We agreed to meet at Il Gelato, one of my favorite spots on Melrose, on the following Thursday night.

At the time, I was taking a Thursday night bellydancing class at a small Melrose Ave. studio. It had become my routine to go to Il Gelato afterwards for a cup of the most delicious chocolate gelato I had ever tasted. So, that Thursday after class, I changed back into my street clothes, packed my dance bag and walked the three blocks over.

Kareem was waiting outside, dressed like he had just come from the gym; he was wearing a Gold's Gym tank top, poofy zebra-striped bodybuilder pants, and a do-rag. We hugged.

"I was really looking forward to seeing you, Ginger," he said. A good start! I was relieved. "Well, thanks for joining me, Mr. Fitness America," I joked as we headed into the cafe.

"Yeah, I just came from working out," he said. "It was my day to do my abs. My stomach feels really tight right now. Just really tight, you know? My abs are totally worked out."

"Uh huh." I have to say, dear readers, that I don't really care whether the guy I'm dating looks like Mr. Universe or not, so long as he can keep up with me. "I don't really go to the gym. I'd rather be outside, or take dance classes, but some people really love weights; that's cool." I ordered my usual chocolate gelato. "Are you going to get anything?"

"Naw." Kareem waved his hand in a "no thanks" gesture. "I just worked out so much, my abs are so tight, you know? Just so tight. I don't think I could fit any food down, my stomach is SO tight." He kept rubbing his flat belly in a circular motion.

"Yeah, you said." I was starting to realize that Kareem's obsession with body parts might be all-encompassing. "Well, let's sit down outside! It's nice out tonight." I paid for my gelato, and we grabbed a small table on the sidewalk - with Kareem, all the while, going on and on about his SUPER. TIGHT. ABS.

"So," I asked him, "what do you like to do, besides work out?"

"Well, enough about me," he said, "let's talk about that ass of yours."

"Um. Let's not," I tried to joke, desperately trying to steer the conversation elsewhere. "Everybody's got a butt, I sit on mine all day at work – it's really not that exciting."

Kareem would not be deterred. "You know, your ass is super tight. Most black men like something that I call a 'slab-ass' – it's wide and flat, and jiggly." He made hand motions to illustrate - use your imagination. "A slab ass is just gross. I like your high, firm ass."

"Uh huh. What do you do for work?" I refused to give up. There must be more to this guy! We had a Great Meeting Story! Where did Kareem go, and who was ths ass-obsessed musclehead sitting opposite me? What happened to the slightly shy, funny guy who hit on me last Saturday??

So, Kareem started talking about himself - and didn't stop, or take a breath, or let me speak for about 20 minutes. During that agonizing diatribe, I learned the following:

• It's very tough to "muscle up" from 195lbs to 205lbs. (It takes a lot of lifting and steak, in case anyone cares.)
• He trains in 3 different kinds of martial arts, just in case he winds up in "a September 11 situation". (Okay, Bruce Willis.)
• He can "take out 3 to 4 guys at a time, easy". (Well, thanks for letting me know you're a steroid abuser early on in the relationship, dude.)
• Jews are bad tippers, because the wives control their husband's money, and won't let the husbands leave good tips. Also, Jews hate black people. (Since my friends list looks like the UN roster, this is news to me.)
• He was a bouncer at a bar/restaurant in Beverly Hills, but took offense to being called a bouncer – he preferred "Head of Security". (Yeah, because when the rich, old people who eat there get rowdy, it takes a big man to throw them into the alley out back.)
• Besides my ass, he also liked my eyes, calves and smile (AGAIN with the body parts! I wouldn't have minded the eyes and smile compliments, but I was already too weirded out.)

It was a painful 20 minutes, during which I said almost nothing, ate my gelato and basically wished I were someplace, anyplace, else. To top it all off, when Kareem finally put a cork in it, he said, "So, you're shy, huh?"


Dear readers, you may have surmised by now that I am rarely at a loss for words. I had nothing to say to Sir Ass-A-Lot because I COULDN'T GET A WORD IN EDGEWISE, and finally gave up. Finished with my gelato, I jumped ship as gracefully as I could. "Hey, Kareem, this has been really fun," I lied, "but I have a Really Important Meeting with a Really Important Client early tomorrow morning. I have to go." Kareem had not shown one shred of interest in any aspect of my life besides my ass; I just wanted to get out of there.

I told Kareem he didn't have to walk me to my car, but he insisted on it. "I'm gonna hook up with you on Saturday," he informed me. "We're gonna have a movie marathon and I'll bring over all kinds of stuff that I've cooked and we'll curl up." I couldn't believe it – he thought we'd had a great date! I was mortified.

We got to my car. He was leaning in for a kiss. Open mouth. Way open – he looked like a goldfish gasping for air. "Well, goodnight, Kareem," I said, and dodged his mouth. I was backed up against my car, so his wet lips wound up in my hairline, near my right temple. Blech! My onion and I quickly ducked into my car and drove off.

So much for my Great Meeting Story!

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Why this blog?

"Girl, you are such a FREAK MAGNET!"

I've been dating for about 20 years now. I've been in a couple of good relationships. I genuinely like men; I enjoy their company, and feel a real kinship with many of them. I have a great relationship with my father, who is a loving, loyal and thoughtful man. I grew up in a very stable household with parents who loved me, my sister and each other. My family is filled with strong and funny women who are married to loving and hardworking men. On paper, I am the perfect candidate for a stable, happy relationship.

Something has gone terribly wrong.

Almost everywhere I go, I will attract the weirdest, most unhinged character within 100 feet of where I'm standing. It's usually a man, but I get the occasional woman too. Now, I'm not the paranoid type - I spent years chalking it all up to coincidence. I'm pretty cheerful, you know? Most things slide right off my back. But once other people - friends, coworkers, family - started pointing out (repeatedly) that I am some type of freak magnet, I started to think back over all the bad dates and other bizarre experiences I've had. I started listing my encounters, and it's not a short list.

Whenever I share one of my more bizarre dates with a friend, the response I get is usually something along the lines of:

"You've got to be kidding."
"You're making that up!"
"This would only happen to you."
"You're lying. Seriously. Aren't you?"
"You are such a freak magnet!"

It's become something of a joke among the people who know me; I'm the one with all the weird dating stories. It makes me a real hit at parties, which is fine, since I'm a very social gal. However, I have to admit to wondering which of the planets in my birth chart is way out of alignment. I mean way, WAY out of alignment. For as I add to this blog, dear readers, you will see that I am a true freak magnet.

Let me be clear. I do enjoy being single, and am in no rush to get married (if, in fact, I ever get married at all). I'm very independent and adventurous; I've sold all of my stuff, packed two suitcases and moved across the country to a new city - with no job, knowing only one person in my new home - twice. I like calling all the shots in my own life. I like not having to check in with anyone, or to have to check someone else's schedule when I want to go out/have a girl's weekend/go to a company party. I know the time will come when I will meet a great guy, and we will totally vibe each other, and a healthy relationship will result. But I am traveling a hell of a bumpy road on the way to that relationship, and it's starting to give me a headache.

So that brings me here, gentle readers. I'm committed to exorcising the demons of my dating past and present. I keep putting myself out there, with my hopeful eyes on a brighter future, sans freaks. In the meantime, enjoy my stories. I swear that every single one of them is true - with all names changed to protect the guilty.

Into every life, a few freaks must fall.


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