Battle of the Sexes & Harassment.

Today I went to see “Battle of the Sexes” and it was great. I love Emma Stone so much.

Unfortunately, although I’d bought a ticket for a seat with no one around it in a theatre that was 2/3’s empty, as the lights dimmed, a disheveled looking male slid into the row and sat next to me. I thought it was weird but whatever, I stayed in my seat. I could see out of the corner of my eye that he kept looking over at me, leaned over to the armrest accompanying my seat once or twice, said something under his breath, and even rubbed his foot up against my leg at one point. I was hugging the opposite side of my seat. Hoping he’d move, or take the hint, or leave? 

I wasn’t sure if all this was in my head or done purposely, so I decided not to take any chances and I got up and started to exit the theatre as soon as the screen went dark so I could be first out the door when the postshow text of ‘where are they now’ finished. I was walking to the back of the theatre and about 10 seconds after I got up, I sensed someone walking behind me. I turned around and it was this person. I stood at the back of the theatre and glared at him until he exited.

I was looking over my shoulder and all around as I left the theatre 5 minutes later. I’m pretty sure I saw him looking at me as he rode away on his bike when I exited, going the opposite way luckily. So, ladies – anyone – anytime you feel uncomfortable next to some dude at the movies, it’s always better to possibly offend a random stranger you’ll never see again by moving instead of subjecting yourself to that. This was especially ironic given that I was at a movie called “Battle of the Sexes.”

Male population: please stop saying you’re not entitled. Not all of you are entitled, perhaps, but you need to stand up and be a feminist when this shit happens.

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How Marriage Changes People Forever – From BBC

I read an article this week and I immediately went, “OMG! That was me!” Now yes, I was never married, but my in my last relationship, I felt my usual level of extroversion plummet. And that sucked. Because I liked meeting people where ever I happened to be in the city. I’d talk to people on the train, or in bars, and when I was in a relationship, it was really hard to do that. First, because my ex hated talking to strangers, especially on the street, or you know, helping them with directions, and it’s weird to talk to strangers in bars when you’re with someone – even if you’re only talking to them in the hopes of meeting interesting people platonically.

The article also says that people who get married are better at self-control and forgiveness. Well, that’s good because if you’re legally tying yourself to someone for eternity, you better learn how to forgive because they are imperfect, and you better learn some self-control so you don’t have sex with anyone else (if you are monogamous, that is).

The follow excerpt is also particularly rage-inducing for me, personally:

The pattern is backed up, at least among women, by an earlier and much smaller US study published in 2000, in which the researchers tested the personalities of just over 2,000 middle-aged participants twice over of a period of between six and nine years.

In that time, 20 of the women married while 29 of them divorced. Relative to those who tied the knot, the divorcees showed increased extroversion and openness, as if freed from the shackles of wedlock. Newly married men, by contrast, showed benefits compared with their divorced peers, scoring higher on conscientiousness and lower in neuroticism.

Now these are small studies, but they basically say: men are better off being married, while women are better off not being attached. Where’s the happy medium?

I think this stems from the fact that marriage makes a man seem desirable, while marriage for a woman validates her as a person because someone (finally!) “chose her.” As outdated as a theory like that may sound, I think it’s still pretty relevant. Have you heard someone ask, “What’s wrong with her that she’s (insert age) and still single?!” People rarely ever say that about men. They’re just “focused on their careers.”

Is this 100% true for everyone who gets married? NO. I’m saying that I related to these hypotheses and studies, and their conclusions. 

I once thought that I would like to get married. Then I thought, “Meh, I’d just like an engagement ring because: shiny” and no reason to get married. Now I’m at a place where I’m all, “Nah, I’d rather not walk around with thousands of dollars on my finger that someone could want to steal, or worse, I could lose, and I don’t need to legally bind myself to someone either, thanks.”

I’ve written before about how it irks me when people get engaged and say, “I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you!” like an engagement and a piece of paper guarantees that. I’ve seen enough divorces occur to know that it doesn’t. Would I like to “settle down” (another phrase that irks me) someday? Maybe? I don’t know. This could be a bad reaction from my last relationship, or it could just be a realization that I’m not made for marriage, and that doesn’t make me any better or worse than anyone who is. I love the idea of living with someone and having separate bedrooms. Which is totally catching on but it’s still confusing people who are all on board with the “normal” way relationships “should” be.

Of course, I also love the idea of a relationship with someone and not living with them at all. I own my place (#blessed) so the idea of renting this place out to rent some other place with a possible future significant other is unappealing. My place is also too small for two people to live in. I won’t live here forever, but right now: I’m not leaving it.

I think, regarding losing your extroversion in a relationship or marriage, I also should acknowledge that you need to find a person to lifts you up, not suffocates you. I was definitely suffocated. The light inside of me was burned out and for that, I am grateful AF to be #single again.

First Time For Everything

I messaged a dude a couple of days ago on OkCupid and then noticed that he kept looking at my profile but not writing back. So, I messaged him again and he finally responded saying that he wasn’t sure if I was out of his league (pshh sure) or not and he’s painfully shy. 

Well, that broke the ice and we chatted a bit, texted a bit, and then met up last night for a drink. He is a first year history professor at NYU and was quite sweet. He’s also divorced and has two kids (who live with his ex-wife in New England)! In all my years of dating (sometimes) older men, I’ve yet to ever encounter one who’s been through a divorce. He seemed rather matter-of-fact about it and not all that torn up; like it was just something that had to happen. Which is totally fine. 

I’m not sure if he was nervous or if we didn’t gel immediately. Not sure if I’ll see him again, but it was definitely stepping outside of my comfort zone. 

De-friended

Two weeks ago I met up for tea at Sanctuary Tea with a dude who I’d met on Happn. It was the first and (still) the only dude I’d met up with but we cut past the bullshit right away, didn’t text for days, and just met. He was really cool – but sort of an oversharer in a way that makes you nervous. But also kind of like ‘okay, cool, he’s down for being vulnerable,’ which is not something a lot of people can do nowadays. He told me was OCD, especially when it came to cleaning.

We went out again last week, this time for drinks at a pub in midtown under the building in which he works that I was also very familiar with (thank you theatre industry jobs). Again, we had fun and he overshared a lot again. Trying to compete with his level of oversharing was difficult. I felt like I wasn’t saying enough. Turns out he was also sort of an internet celeb last year for an online dating experiment of sorts. And by “internet celeb,” I mean all of the commenters on Jezebel wished death to him. Whatever, haters gonna hate. I friended him on FB after that day (or maybe before, I don’t remember) and before that date was over, we scheduled our third date. 

He ended up having to cancel it the day before due to family stuff and got very weird in his texting and then disappeared. I’m pretty sure he was slightly bi-polar. We were still friends on FB though so last night, after having a couple of frozen margaritas for my birthday, I de-friended him. 

He’ll probably text me in a few days and be like, “wtf, man?” But guess what: I don’t care

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A few weeks back I was sitting by myself at the bar of a German restaurant near my apartment eating a burger. I apparently looked behind me, gave the person a look that said, “don’t talk to me” so of course he stepped right up and started talking to me. He asked for my number and I was so impressed with his brazen personality that I gave it to him. 

We went out twice. He’s not my type at all (and he admitted that I wasn’t his type either) and I was trying to give him (”it,” really, the time we were spending together) a chance – see if my type could change since I haven’t had much luck with my “type.” 

When I got these texts from him yesterday, I was stunned and also pissed. Being this decisive would probably be incredibly attractive if I was into the dude but since I wasn’t, this was just a text from a guy telling me that where to show up and what time and that he was taking me back to his apartment. Translation of this text: I don’t want to keep seeing you unless I know I’m going to get laid.

Well, douchebro, I don’t take orders. 

Hey, I tried. The spark just wasn’t there and unfortunately this dude didn’t know that demanding I go to his apartment wasn’t the way to find that out. On/up. 

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Back on December 4th, I joined a march for Eric Garner and against police brutality. While we were stopped on the West Side Highway, I asked a dude what was being said or happening further away then I could see (he was tall). We continued chit chatting for a little while and then in the midst of a confrontation between police and protestors, we lost each other.

The following Saturday I decided to post on “Missed Connections,” fully expecting nothing. I wrote every piece of information that I could remember about him. A few days later, after I’d forgotten about the post, I got an email. It was him. His friend (who, he said, was the kind of person who spent free time reading Craigslist ads) had found it and forwarded it to him.

We met up a few days later after we both marched (separately) in the Millions March. It turns out that he was a fan of Buddhism and regular meditator. We also both loved John Lennon. And reading, among other things. It was really nice. It was easy. We meditated together. He met one of my best friends. He was completely honest with me about how he felt (and it was good) and I was with him too. I was pretty sure he was one of my soulmates.

Then he found out that he’d gotten accepted to a great school to go to their post-bac pre-med program and everything changed (understandably). He wasn’t a science person and he was trying to make himself one so he needed to study. And study, and study more. We decided last week when he came downtown to have lunch with me that it was for the best not to date anymore. He just didn’t have the time that he wished he had.

It was hard and it sucks. But it was also the logical decision. I still believe he was one of my soulmates, but as Elizabeth Gilbert points out above, it doesn’t always mean that’s the person you’re meant to be with.

I’m still trying to sort out what the lesson was that I was supposed to learn from these past two months. I’m sure it’ll come to me when I least expect it. Just like he did. 

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I read the Tumblrs of ladies who are on the dating scene in and out of New York City and more than occasionally I am shocked and awed at how OK some ladies are with being touched by strangers. Not guys they’ve been speaking to on OkCupid or where ever for a while, but guys they’ve just met in a bar. They talk about Dude X or Y putting their hands on their thighs or whatever like it’s validation of how hot they are and that it’s not completely (in my humble opinion) inappropriate.

I went to my neighborhood on Monday night to wait out the storm and watch it get bad (spoiler alert: it never did). I love going to bars with a book, having a pint, eating something, and talking to strangers. I talked to the few people that were in there for the long haul for quite a while and one was flirting with me hardcore. I was not flirting back. He kept putting his hands on my thigh, hand, and back and each time I’d tell him not to touch me. He’d just keep doing it and then apologize right after.

He also took to calling me “sweetie,” which I also told him to stop immediately and, of course, he didn’t listen. When he asked for my phone number, I declined to give it to him (obviously) but I felt bad so I told him to find me on Facebook. I ignored his friend request.

Twelve hours later I woke up to an email from my account associated with this blog. He Googled my name, found this blog, and emailed me. I guess guys things that a refusal to give out a number, followed by an ignored friend request, is an invitation to cyber stalk and email you.

I emailed him back nicely and told him that no, I don’t want to see him again and for these reasons. He seemed apologetic and I felt kind of bad.

But not really. 

How It Went: My Side

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So, this happened. I’d kind of been in the pool of people they could pick from for a while but our schedules finally lined up and I said OK. At worst, it was a good story and free drinks. 

My words that were printed are accurate. I kept telling Dana, the editor, that there was no chemistry but he was a nice guy who just wasn’t right for me. I didn’t want to be portrayed like this asshole. Luckily, I don’t think I was. (But totally tell me if I was!)  And my side is only one side, but this is how the date went from my perspective:

I arrived at the restaurant and waited for a short while. He was about five minutes late – not awful. Like I said in the magazine, he seemed flustered and nervous. After he told the hostess who he was, I immediately introduced myself, we shook hands (or maybe we hugged? I don’t remember) and we were seated. 

I could tell sort of immediately by the silence that followed our being seated that I was going to need to lead the conversation. I had no interest in sitting in silence with a stranger. I knew he wasn’t my type when he appeared in the doorway all flustered and nervous (come on, this is a harmless date) and he didn’t look like my type physically but I thought, “he could be a really awesome person if we have stuff in common, let me dig." 

So, digging I went. I asked him what he did (publicist), where he lived (Astoria), what his favorites movies/TV shows/bands (Alkaline Trio was literally the only band he could name) were, I asked where he went to school, I asked him if he had pets, I asked what his hobbies outside of work were. 

Unfortunately, we had nothing in common. And I mean nothing. I had really hoped to find some sort of commonality to build a connection off of with him even though he wasn’t really my type physically. 

Awkward moments: There were more than one. (1) In the magazine I said he asked for a half-time report on how I thought the date was going (you’re 33, dude, if you have to ask, you know the answer isn’t good.), and when I answered honestly, he looked defeated. Sorry, dude, I’m not going to lie to you. (2) When we ordered drinks, I ordered some pink martini thing and he ordered a virgin bloody mary. I asked him if he was sober and told him that was totally cool if he was cool, but he just shook his head and said he wasn’t in the mood to drink. Well, whatever. I had two because conversation was pretty boring. (3) When he told me to stop asking questions and doing all the talking because he ”didn’t want a bad write up in the magazine.“ It became pretty apparently that he was worried about a bad write-up in the magazine more than actually getting to know the person sitting across from him. Also: when I stopped talking, he didn’t talk. So, I kept talking. (4) More than halfway through I realized I gave zero fucks about impressing this person because there was no chemistry. I may have been reading Kingdom Coming at the time so that’s possibly how we got on the topic of abortion and who should be deciding whether or not it’s legal. He thought the states should decide for themselves whether or not it’s legal. I told him that he was very entitled to his opinion but he was a dude, and has never and will never need to have an abortion, so I didn’t think he should have a say either way. 

Now I’m not sure how someone who works as a publicist and has to talk to people for a living is so bad conversationally, but he was probably just super nervous. He also had no confidence. After he answered questions a couple of times, he’d circle back and ask, "did my answer sound too unambitious/bad/whatever?” Dude, just be yourself.

He asked me to “make a pact” at the end of the date to not say anything negative in the magazine. What?! Like I said, he was only concerned with his write up. I said OK. 

Afterwards: After dinner he asked if I wanted to go to a bar (why, I thought, so you could not drink some more and we can continue this amazeballs conversation we’re having?!) and asked twice for my contact information. I declined all three of those requests as nicely as I could and went home, relieved it was over. 

I’m not big into wasting my time with someone that I can’t hold a conversation with on a date anymore. I have no problem saying to someone, “you’re really nice, but we have nothing to talk about,” and it was no different in this situation. 

This was really just a case of having no chemistry with someone. He’s not a bad person, just maybe slightly awkward. I’ve been told by a few dates/friends lately that I’m easy to talk to and that I have a “certain energy” abut me, so I’m not too worried about what this dude thought. He got rejected. I understand his hurt feelings.  

I’ve had people tell me since the magazine has come out that, “Look at him. Someone like you would never go for someone like him,” which they mean as a complement, but I feel like it’s kind of insulting. My attraction to someone is based more on personality than looks. I, of course, have a type, but it’s more than that. 

This was an interesting experience (I got what I thought I would: free drinks/appetizers and a good story!) that I’d never do again. Even though Time Out asks you a few questions about yourself, I don’t think they really work at trying to set people up who might be compatible. 

A Bad Combination

I had a helluva day at work yesterday. After kicking ass for almost three weeks straight, some shit hit the fan. All at the same time. (That said: I’m trying not to think about it endlessly and kill myself over it.)

After a bad day do you know what’s not a good idea? Going on a date. With alcohol. And no food. But you know what I did?

I went on a date. After a bad day. Had two drinks. Without food.

Yeah, it was spectacular. After he announced that his 34 year old self really wanted kids. I should’ve just left it there but I didn’t. I ended up yelling at him. 

Obviously I’m not seeing him again (nor would I want to), but I did send him a message this morning apologizing for being so… feisty (?) on my his first date in 3 years.

Let’s review the math: Date + drinks + bad day = A bad combination.

Lesson learned.