Just before he scored his first goal

Just before he scored his first goal

“You have to go out with this guy. I’ve known him since I was a kid and he’s a hottie! Athletic and just your type.” That’s what my girlfriend said to me when I was coming up North to visit her for a week. She later revealed her true motive which was for us to fall in love so that I would move there and be her neighbor again.

George came to pick me up and instantly fell in love….. oh, not with me… with my Saint Bernard. They played for a while and then it was time to leave for his indoor soccer game… SCORE!  Soccer was my sport growing up and I love it. I’d never seen an indoor game before and it was as if outdoor soccer and ice hockey had a baby.

I don’t think George was out there 2 minutes before he scored his team’s first goal.  Nice!  He scored the second one too. And then by the time they’d reached 11 he’d scored a couple more.  The other team was scoring as well. The final score was 9 to 11 and if you scoreboardthink the picture of the scoreboard is hard to read, you should have been there. Half the lights were out so it would look like 1 to 3 when it was 7 to 8.  It was pretty close throughout and it dawned on me (having dated athletes before), “I wonder how this guy is going to be if he loses?”

Luckily, that didn’t happen and George was in a good mood. I asked him how he would have been if he had lost and he said, “Like this, only saying ‘we lost.’”  It was fun seeing his persona change to the aggressive athlete on the field and the laid back outgoing guy off the field.  Then a guy from the other team whom I’d met on the way in asked me not to come again because he felt George wouldn’t have scored as much if he wasn’t trying to impress me.  I wouldn’t make him any promises.

girl's roolWe hung out with his friends for a bit and then went to dinner.  Sticking with the sports theme, we went to a sports bar, which had really upscale bathrooms for a sports bar.  I almost took a picture but then thought that might be weird.  But I did take a picture of the door because it was so cute.

The conversation was interesting.  I got into some deeper conversations than I’m used to on a first date. We talked about having kids and exes.  I don’t usually talk about exes on a first date and asked him if he thought it was appropriate first date conversation. He answered, “What’s appropriate?”  Well, heck if I know, as one with only 10 first dates under my belt.  He was asking questions and I was answering.  My ex stories were either going to entertain him or send him running for the hills… he called two days later, so I guess he was entertained.

Then I caught him looking at his watch and I thought to myself, “Hmmm, I thought it was going better than that.”  But then he said, “Do you mind going to Publix? I have to pick up some stuff and it closes at ten.”

Publix?  Uh oh.  I get silly in supermarkets.  Note to self: I will have to contain myself and not dance in the isles OR sing commercial jingles for every item we pass by.  When we got there, he grabbed a circular and said he was big on B1G1. I had no idea what that meant (bachelor shopping term, I figured). It meant Buy 1 Get 1.  This peaked my curiosity. Was he going to B1G1 of everything in the circularpublix whether he needed it or not?  Food shopping on a first date is almost as revealing as a Book Store Date.  It turns out all he got was 2 Gatorades, Epson Salts (which I convinced him to buy because he was sore and I told him if he soaked in a tub with the salts he’d be all better in the morning), and he got one more item, I think it was milk.  Bachelor shopping!

On the way back he asked if he could come inside and play with my dog… no, that wasn’t a euphemism as you can tell by the picture.  She was spooning with him like a little hussy!  with BarkleyApparently, my dog has no inhibitions about “being easy” on a first date.  But you do have to find it just a wee bit sexy when a guy gets down on the floor and snuggles with your dog.

He gave me a good hug goodnight, and he was off.  I wasn’t sure if I would hear from him again.  We had a good time, but the distance between us is 2 ½ hours.  But sure enough, he texted me two days later… “How’s my pooch?!!”  Anyone who ever said the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach didn’t have a big, adorable, snuggly dog!

Have you ever had a long distance relationship? I don’t know if this is going in that direction, but incase he does want to see “my dog” again, any advice?

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Happy Anniversary To My Blog… And A Very Special Thank You To YOU!!!

Screen Shot 2013-08-11 at 10.32.54 AMYes, it’s been one year since I decided to launch this blog and I’ve learned a lot. While on the surface it’s a “cute” idea and I assume “entertaining” for you, my loyal reader, I started it for a very different reason.  After spending my life focused on my career, trusting that my personal life would “work itself out” when the timing was right, I decided that I wanted to stop waiting for it to “work itself out” and really focus on finding love. However, at this stage in life I know myself well, and I knew that all it would take was one bad date and I’d throw in the towel and another year would go by before I dipped my toe in the dating pool again. So, I had to turn the mirror on myself and ask what I would say to someone in my position, “What would motivate you to commit to finding love, and not give up when it got uncomfortable?”

My answer was accountability.  I knew how motivated I get from being held accountable, but how could I get that accountability? If I told a few girlfriends I was going to focus on dating they would have been encouraging and as soon as I had a bad date or two, they would have jumped on my bandwagon and said, “Dating stinks! I’m with you, let’s just go to a movie.”

But what if I told the world? What if I put it out there that I was going to focus on dating? That made me very nervous so I knew I was on to something. I had to give myself a number to shoot for so I was forced to really give dating a chance, and tying my blog into the movie theme, 50 First Dates gave me a serious stretch to reach for.  It was also a bit misleading to some guys who said, “I want to be date number 50.”  You see, I never wanted to hit 50.  I’d be thrilled if my next first date was my last.  I wasn’t tied to the number because “the blog” said 50. It was just a number so I wouldn’t give up.  And I haven’t. So, here’s where I am after one year:

1.  I have been on 10 first dates. That’s more than I’ve been on in all the years combined before it, so it’s progress.  Sure, I could have gone on all 50 with people I wasn’t really interested in for the sake of having dates to blog about, but not only would that have been unfair to the men, IT’S NOT THE PURPOSE OF THIS…. I really want to find love!

2. Out of the 10, I did have one relationship with Bohdi which lasted 3 months. We still text occasionally and I imagine I’ll be seeing him quite a bit during football season, but we just weren’t compatible for the long term.

3. I had my 3rd date with Happy Gilmore, and I have to end it. He does not see it coming, which I feel badly about.  But after 2 1/2 hours of conversation, it became clear to me that we have very different core values.  Not only that, but I felt nothing when we kissed goodnight.  One girlfriend told me that she felt the same way about her now husband and as they got to know each other the fireworks came. Then I spoke to another woman who laughed at me and said, “If you’re kissing a guy and the thoughts going through your head are ‘Where are the fireworks?’ ‘Wait was that a blue one? No. Did I just see a red one? No.’ Then this guy is not the one.” I have to agree with the later.  But not because of the fireworks, because I feel that the lack of connection on a deeper level is what’s causing the lack of fireworks.

4. My date with Joe went very well.  I know some of you were very excited about him.  I texted him soon after he left to have a safe drive home (as the storm was a bad one and he had over an hour to drive) and I said that we’d catch Big Black next time. He texted me back immediately, “Definitely!  Still driving.”  I certainly understood that he didn’t want to text while driving, in fact I hadn’t expected to hear back from him until he was home safe and sound. The thing is… I never heard from him again.  Now many girls, would spend hours talking with their girlfriends, rethinking every move on the date, trying to figure out what went wrong. But I am not many girls.  I was myself which either works for him or doesn’t, but my mind went straight to… “Oh Lord, please don’t let this turn into a “Love Affair” date.” For those of you who didn’t see the movie, two people are supposed to meet 3 months after an affair to see if the feelings are still there. One shows up the other doesn’t. Turns out the one who doesn’t was… well let me not ruin it for you. Let’s just all say a prayer that Joe didn’t feel we were compatible and that he made it ALL the way home in the storm. Let’s hope that wasn’t the last text he ever sent.

5. James Bond is doing GREAT! He met someone, fell in love, and it turns out they are from the same hometown. His pizza place is doing great and if you’re ever in Boca, you must try the best pizza in town…. Manhattan Joe’s.

Overall, it’s been great getting out of my comfort zone, and I have you to thank for keeping me on track. I slipped there for a moment going back to my old way, but when I get messages from you saying “How’s the dating going?” it reminds me to focus on my priority which is finding love!

So happy anniversary to all of us on this journey! Thank you for being a part of it, for sharing it with your friends, and for commenting when I’m trying to figure this all out.

Wishing you all love and a happily ever after!

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IMG_4131No need to panic! We did not catch a hammerhead shark that roared like a lion (see the movie if you don’t know what I’m referring to)… but there was fishing and there was comedy, so we couldn’t go with Jaws 🙂

I was looking forward to this first date because during our phone conversations, Joe made me laugh so much that he started calling me “Giggles”.  I’ll take it… the jokes and the nickname.

He arrived before me and called to make sure I’d be able to get parking (my friend lives steps from the ocean so I parked at her place).  I told him I was pulling into a spot and would be at the pier momentarily and that I was wearing a cowboy hat.  He said that he was too, “What are the chances?”  I just laughed and it wasn’t until about an hour later that I realized he was not wearing a cowboy hat.  I’m going to have to listen very closely to figure out if this guy is joking or not.  At one point of the date he said, “This was a really good idea.” We hadn’t caught anything at that point so I had to ask, “You’re saying that seriously, right?”  He was.

He gave me the choice to fish off of his boat or the pier.  Normally I’d jump all over the suggestion of a boat, but being a first date I didn’t want it to turn into a Dead Calm date, so I chose the pier.

I have fished before, but Joe informed me I’d been trolling which doesn’t require any skill (or a big strong man behind you to help you handle a pole… that didn’t sound right, but you get the picture.. and I’m referring to the G rated picture, it’s a first date people!). IMG_4133

Our view from the pier was beautiful, and the water was so clear that I could see sting rays, sea turtles, and a giant black fish which some people were calling a shark, but Joe thought he was a grouper.  I called him “Big Black” which I think he liked because he swam around me all day… not biting my line though. Big Black was as smart as he was handsome (I sure hope it wasn’t a female fish). We were using squid and shrimp for bait and the fish were in a feeding frenzy!

IMG_4132This is our frozen bait.  Last week when I told a friend I was going on a fishing date, he said, “A gentleman never lets a woman bait her own hook.”  Well, I wanted to learn to bait my hook, but apparently Joe is a gentleman because he wouldn’t teach me. He said my hands shouldn’t touch squid.  Seeing the black ink spray on his really nice white shirt at the end of the day made me grateful that he was a gentleman.

He did give me a full on lesson though as far as the fishing goes.  I learned the correct way to hold the pole, (apparently there’s more to it than just ‘holding the pole’ who’d a thunk it?) how to keep a finger on the line so I could feel the fish tug, how to pull up on the line when they did so you hook ’em (I never did get that part down), and how to cast my line.  I got better at that as the day progressed… so on target, that I would cast it at Big Black every time he’d swim by, but he was just a big tease, he wouldn’t bite!

I couldn’t believe it when Joe told me it was 4:15!  The day flew by! IMG_4135I mean come on, beautiful ocean, beautiful breeze, under a roof so there was no sun beating down on me, up on a step stool so I could lean over watching the feeding frenzy happening on my bait even though the little suckers wouldn’t get on my hook!  It was just chill, and Joe would lean up against me, and I liked that 🙂

The only thing that was frustrating, was these little kids who were all around and they were catching fish left and right.  It’s like when I’m on a ski slope and I can barely stay on my feet and 6-year-olds are whizzing by with no ski poles. Then, this one little kid walks up and demands my step stool because he’s so much shorter than me.  I couldn’t say no to a short kid in front of Joe, what would he think?  So, I gave the kid my stool and 60 seconds later he had a fish on his line!  What?!?  It’s like sitting at a casino, putting 100 quarters into a machine and the minute you get up, some little old lady puts one quarter in and hits the jack pots. AAAACKKK!

Even with all the chumming Joe did for me, we never caught anything.  But it wasn’t about catching the fish, it was the zen in the art of trying to catch the fish.

Of course after we went out and I had sushi, which we pretended was our ‘catch of the day’ and might I say it was a good catch.  Joe even had the waiter laughing.  He just felt like the kind of guy I would have hung out with in high school. He’s fun, easy going, and very easy to be around. I also like that he volunteers overseas every year and picks up trash so it won’t go into the ocean where the sea turtles might eat it (I was even conscious of the plastic wrapper on the ground by the end of our date, and put it in the trash). And our timing was perfect, because just as we finished our food, we saw clouds that looked like nuclear fallout coming towards us. To the South the sky was beautiful. From the North was coming a raging storm, so we got out of there as he had made an hour trip South to meet me, and it didn’t look like he was going to have a pleasant drive home.

When it was time to say good bye he gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek, from which, my dear readers, comes my next question for you…

What are your thoughts on first date kisses? As you know I had the “inappropriate kiss” on my Couples Retreat Date (#4)  and the “stolen kiss” on my Kingpin Date (#3) but other than that, it’s been pretty split between the hug/kiss on the cheek and the straight on kiss on the lips.

Does a guy kissing you on the lips vs the cheek say something about him? I guess what I want to know from the guys out there is, if there is some type of etiquette you go by or significance in your decision? Girls, do you prefer one over the other and why?  Would love your opinion in the comments below…

ps.. I do listen to your comments and I’m going out for date #3 with Happy. Thanks for your advice.

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How I Met Your Mother; Date #2 with Happy Gilmore

photoOkay, as promised, Happy and I went to yoga together.  The thing is, my yoga buddy, is my mother.. and mom comes first. Happy had a choice: meet me at yoga, and meet my mother OR no yoga date. He chose wisely.

What can I say? When an athletic male does yoga for the first time, it’s a rude awakening. They think because they are in such good shape and have been working out for so long, that it’s going to be  a piece of cake. But here’s the thing… the more you weight train and the less you stretch out through the years, the more of a rude awakening your first yoga class is.

Flexibility was not his strong point, but as my beautiful teacher Stacey says, “Blessed with stiffness.” And that he was.  It didn’t help, that I’ve been getting ambitious with my poses recently, trying to take my practice to the next level. So, afterwards, the first words out of his mouth when we sat down to talk, were, “I looked over and your whole body was side balancing on your hands.”

Well, it did take me about 17 years to get there, so he really can’t compare his 1 hour to my many years. But that’s what guys do, and he was a little quiet when we chatted after.  Or should I say, when I did all the talking… after all, mom and I had started with 40 minutes of cardio and then I did an intense yoga class, and now I sounded like I’d just eaten an entire bag of Ghiradelli dark chocolate morsels (because me eating chocolate = other people sniffing a pound of cocaine… seriously, I sounded like a speed head!).

He asked about taking me to dinner next week, and I said yes. But here’s where we stand: He’s very nice, polite, a gentleman, and has soft skin.  He’s thoughtful, pretty cute, and again, has nice legs. BUT… so far, he doesn’t make me laugh (bad sign), I haven’t really found that we have much in common, I also think he may be a bit of a neat freak/OCD/rigid planner (he, and I quote “CSIed my car” and concluded within seconds that I had a dog… is that just an observation? Or an aversion to the fact that I don’t obsessively vacuum her dog hair out). And as Brooks said on The Bachelorette (yes, I’m going reality TV on y’all) “I don’t think about you when I’m not with you.” Which I have in common with Brooks. Shouldn’t I feel excited and be thinking about him? Or is my lack of dating experience, setting my expectations too high?

So, my predicament is, do I go out to dinner with him, allowing him to pay, when I know it’s a field investigation where I will be determining if he has a trace of a sense of humor and if we have anything in common? OR, is it unfair to have him shell out dough on a dinner, when I’m pretty sure I know what my investigation will uncover? Is third time a charm or a waste of our time?

I leave it up to you my beloved readers… YOU will determine by your comments if there will be a date number 3… and please hurry as he is waiting for my choice of restaurant.

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IMG_4030   I admit it… this one had me nervous.  I was imagining a day of swinging and missing, over and over, and my date “Happy” getting progressively frustrated with me the way “Peter Colt” did on my Wimbledon date. Don’t get me wrong, I was completely up for golf, but over the phone, my date sounded pretty serious about his golf game, so I asked, “Is this going to be a Bagger Vance date or a Happy Gilmore date?”  To which he replied, “Definitely a Happy Gilmore date, I want this to be fun.”

Okay, then. I was all in. I borrow clubs from my mom with a pretty powder blue bag, a glove, tees, balls… I was ready! Except for this nagging feeling that 18 holes for a first time golfer was going to be a total disaster.

I was a little relieved that he suggested meeting an hour earlier at the driving range. I figured, if he saw that I was never going to hit a ball, that perhaps our date could just continue on at the driving range until I actually hit one.

He came out to meet me in the parking lot in a bright purple shirt that looked great with his tan. There was so much distance between where I parked and where he was walking our from the pro shop, that I found myself jogging to greet him and he stood there with open arms so I ran into them and gave him a hug. It felt like The Bachelor on a hometown date after the couples hadn’t seen each other in a while, only I’d never met him before. So, the date had a nice warm tone to start it off.

We started out at the driving range, and sure enough, first swing… and a miss. So, he walked up behind me and said, “I’m not being fresh,” as he adjusted my stance and helped me practice the form of the swing. I told him not to worry, that this is how they do it in all the movies, so I was expecting it. Sure enough, second swing.. bang! I hit that ball a good 3 feet… but at least I hit it! And it got better from there. Before I knew it I was hitting like a pro.. okay, not even close to a pro, but Happy was impressed, as was I.

We were ready to hit the course! He was going to buy us energy drinks and snacks, but IMG_4031not knowing what to expect, I came prepared with large bottles of smart water, cashews, and gluten free protein bars. I have to admit, driving the golf cart around was my favorite part, although, when I hit those balls and they went where I wanted, that was pretty cool.

That said, there are a lot of phrases that just sound perverted when you’re playing golf. I mean, you’re talking about a sport with words like wood and balls, and strokes should be harder or more gentle. It just makes for a lot of awkward moments. But none could prepare us for the awkward moment at the 3rd hole! I had lost my rhythm, so he decided to demonstrate the stroke for me, and I didn’t realize he was going to swing full out and he didn’t realize how close I was and he ended up whacking me right in the boobs. I wish I had a picture of his face (not that I could post it). He was absolutely mortified. This was a make or break moment, so I decided to make it, by saying, “You’re lucky they’re real or you would have busted them!”  We both laughed which eliminated any lingering, underlying, first date tension.

It was definitely a Happy Gilmore date. For the first two holes we had another cart with us, a third guy who asked if he could join us.  I decided to name him Elmer, because it just fit. Elmer kept cheating and because we were slowing him down, he took off on his own during the 3rd hole. From that point on Happy would let me move my ball, skip water traps, and just overall cheat, calling it “an Elmer.” First date, and we already had an photoinside joke. I was also collecting interesting golfballs that people had left behind, including a spongebob squarepants ball, and I got a pretty blue shell as a souvenir.

The alone time in the cart was good for talking about ourselves, and getting to know each other better. We had lunch at the snack bar after the ninth hole, where I was told there was a gator on the 16th hole. I couldn’t wait, I was camera ready! By the 13th hole, he asked if it was too early to ask if I’d like to go out again. At this point we’d been hanging out 5 hours, and were having a good time, I agreed to go out again. We talked about what I like doing and by the 15th hole, he asked if it would be inappropriate to ask to come to a yoga class with me. I told him it wasn’t. By the 18th hole it started to rain and I was exhausted so we decided to call it a day.

I discovered that he is romantic and thoughtful (he asked if I would like to keep the score card as a memento and when I said yes, he wrote the date on it). We hugged, and IMG_4034he gave me a quick kiss goodbye, and called me 10 minutes later, leaving me a message to thank me for a wonderful day. He pretty much did everything right. And he has nice legs!

So, next week… yoga class. We’ll see how it goes.

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Oops I Did It Again…

photo“You’ve never been married? What’s wrong with you?” I get that question a lot. Ironically, from guys who have been divorced like 4 times. But I’m starting to recognize what might be wrong with me.  I’m a frickin’ work-o-holic.  Now when I was dating Bohdi, I was very balanced. It’s when I’m not dating someone that I throw myself into work.

I’ve clocked more hours in my “Apple office” in the past month than many of the Apple employees. Look at my sweet set up! I started editing my videos in iMovie but was convinced to upgrade to Final Cut, so now I’m learning Final Cut and it is SO FUN!!!

The staff at the Apple store have affectionately recognized me as the “Norm” of the store… if only I could get them all to yell “Jess” when I walk in. One of the trainers is already answering to “my Apple Husband.”  He must get that a lot because it didn’t phase him when I said it.

But seriously, in the past two days alone, I went to my Apple office from 11:30am-6:15pm,  went home walked/fed my dog, ate dinner, watched two tv shows, went to bed and was back at the office at 8am. By 4, one of the guys asked how I was doing and I couldn’t remember if I’d seen him already that day or if I had seen him the day before.

And worst of all, I don’t blink because I’m concentrating so hard. But, yesterday, I was working on a Keynote presentation that happened to have a slide about this site, and I was reminded that I needed to get a life!

So, today I went back on line, apologized to a few guys who I’d left hanging, responded to a few new ones, and it’s time to get back on track… after all, as much as I joke that my laptop is my husband, he’s not going to to take me fishing… actually, he’s not even a “he,” he’s an “it.” I really need to get out of the “office” and meet a man!!!

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Stilettos and Diapers AKA The Red Flags of Dating

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 11.34.16 AMI admit it, I got sucked in. I forgot all about the drunks and cheaters of Rescue Me and was hoping for a Matthew Casey from Chicago Fire (Ladies, if you’re not watching Chicago Fire… you MUST! click the photo for a link to the Hulu page and get caught up.)

My sister and I had always talked about going over to a firehouse for dinner. We had heard somewhere (probably from a cute fireman) that there is one day of the week where civilians are invited to the firehouse for dinner. We always wanted to go, but never did. So when I got a dating site message from a firefighter wanting to take me on a Paddle Board date, I was all for it. My hope was that things would go well and somewhere down the line there would be a “firehouse date” where I would get the tour, etc.

And then we had our first phone conversation and the red flags started popping up. The first was his obvious cockiness, but I’m always willing to throw that up to “nerves.” Then came the football smack talk. I’m a Giants fan, he’s a Dolphins fan. He said that we would have to make a bet when we played each other. I said that I have no problem with that considering he was a Dolphins fan… smack! He said he was not talking about a money bet, I answered that I didn’t think he was. Then he said, “The girl I bet last year had to wash my car in stilettos and diapers.” (red flag #2)

Now while I do sell Dirty Virgin Diaper Covers which are so cute (but for

Dirty Virgin Lemon Drop Girl Diaper Cover

Dirty Virgin Lemon Drop Girl Diaper Cover

babies) my mind immediately went to, “This guy’s clearly a player, who degrades women and is a total ass,” but instead of letting him know he had completely turned me off, I just smack talked him a little harder and replied, “Really? So her team lost to the Dolphins? What was she a Chiefs fan?” Considering they are pretty much the worst team in football (sorry Robert Yorkie & Craig), he got snippy with me (red flag #3). I was going out of town so I didn’t have time to see him, but before I left…

Red flag #4: I was at a friend’s BBQ for Memorial Day and he had recently met a girl on Match. We got to talking about online dating and I told her the story. She asked, “Is his name ____? And I told her yes! She asked if he was constantly sending me pictures of him and his goddaughter on his paddle board, and I said that he wanted to, but I have a separate phone line for dating and he couldn’t send pictures which he found annoying.  THEN, I realized why, when she pulled up his texts on her phone. He was constantly sending her pictures of him on his paddle board with his godddaughter and videos of him at work putting out fires. I know this is online dating, but having the same “M.O.” with every girl is pretty cheesy.

She totally blew him off and suggested I do the same. Her first husband was a fire fighter and she said that they have too much time on their hands and that leads to doing things with their hands that should not be done when in a committed relationship. There goes my firehouse date 🙁

So, when his his next text came in on Thursday when I awoke saying, “Morning,” I did not want to respond. I couldn’t decide if I should just block him or ignore him.  As the day went by, I felt badly just blowing him off so, I wrote, “Evening, been busy all day preparing for my trip. I leave at 5am.” A minute later I got a text back saying, “We are not a match. Bye”

Perfect! Problem solved. Now I don’t have to be the “bad guy.”

One of the reasons I don’t like talking to guys before a date, is because they usually talk themselves out of dates. I’m 3 for 3 so far. Emailing beforehand doesn’t seem to cause any problems, but people are weird on a first phone call. Besides the firefighter, there was the guy who posted a 15 year old picture, and lied about his age. When I mentioned how many guys do that, he confessed he was one of them, justifying it by saying if he says he’s older than 48, 60-year-old women write to him. Then he went on after we were talking for maybe twenty minutes, to ask my religion, to which I told him and then explained I was not religious, just spiritual. Oh, he said, “I’ve heard rumors about you, are they true?”  I was taken aback, and then thought what could these rumors be? That I am a high-maintainance bitch or perhaps he thinks I have horns? So I said, I don’t know, what have you heard?”

“I’ve heard you don’t swallow. That’s a deal breaker for me.”

RED FLAG!!!!!!!! Seriously? 20 minutes in and THAT’S where you go, buddy? Why are you even bringing up sexual conversations before we’ve had a date?  BLOCKED!!!

Every girl has her own set of red flags. My friend recently had a conversation with a potential date. He was telling her that he was happy that they had a mutual passion for exercise, though he admitted, his was more of a necessity as he has the family “fat gene.”

That was it Red Flag up, my friend… totally disinterested. In a matter of seconds, she went from… possible first date to “If I fall in love with this guy we are going to have obese children.”  (I guess that could be a red flag for a guy, but she cracked me up when she was trying to justify her rationale.)

Bottom line, some say it’s better to find out the red flags before the date so as not to waste my time, but I’ve found out of my 8 guys I’ve dated, I’ve only experienced one red flag. Those are better odds than my phone calls which tells me, I’d rather get to know a guy in person doing something fun.

What do you think? Phone calls first or just go for the date?



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IMG_3928First off, for you movie buffs, the only similarity between the movie title and my date is that Matt Damon and Bryce Dallas Howard meet in a cooking class.  Just wanted to clarify that as the rest of the movie is about people who are touched by death in different ways. There was absolutely NO talk of death on this date…

Okay moving on. Date number 8 came out of the blue… literally as Facebook’s branded color is blue. I woke up with a message in my Facebook inbox from a “Friend” I’d never met, inviting me on a blind date for a cooking class that afternoon. It was so completely random that I was intrigued. It was a Sunday and I’d planned to spend it working on my computer, so I thought, “Aww what the heck!” and I accepted. Then I received a Facebook message back asking me to bring an apron and a Chef’s knife. IMG_3916Well, considering I don’t cook, a dull knife was all I could find, however aprons were in abundance. I narrowed it down to two; the cute pink & white or the (make me look like I know what I’m doing) Bon Appetite apron (which was a little stained and even Oxy Clean couldn’t get out what I think was barbecue sauce).

Dirty Virgin Martini Apron

Dirty Virgin Martini Apron

What I should have worn was a Dirty Virgin Martini apron since I was the only one toasting with water while everyone else was drinking win.

I met George Lonegan at Talia’s Tuscan Table in Boca Raton, at 3pm. It was actually a double date. His sister and brother-in-law were in town from California so they were there too. Everyone was very friendly and they had lots of IMG_3929interesting stories about their histories to share. Having lived in LA since ’94, we had a lot of common ground; Trader Joe’s, Earthquakes, and Malibu. George Lonegan is an actor so we talked a bit about the business in Florida.

When Chef Andy began the 4 hour class.. it was on! The guy is so much fun! He gave us the history of his family coming to Ellis Island (with wall photos as visual aides), his history as a Chef, time spent in Italy (and how stupid he was to come back.. twice), and how he came to own Talia’s Tuscan Table 13 years ago. Then he gave us the basics of cooking, starting with  Mise en place– Everything in its place. As long as you have all of your staples easily accessible, cooking is fun and IMG_3921easy.  He talked about the five mother sauces (suddenly all the lingo Tom Colicchio has been using on Top Chef all these years was making sense.. now I can’t wait for next season so I’ll actually know what a roux is).

Once the lecture series was over, it was time to get cooking. We did the cooking in his actual kitchen which was so different than what you would get at a Sur La Table. He had me up first to make the mirepoix. He has a secret when it comes to mirepoix, so you’ll have to take his class to learn it. That said, I IMG_3926rocked my assignment and was given the name Mirepoix Girl (see picture of me with my creation and Chef Andy… well, being the funny dude that he is). The cooking lesson continued and we learned how to make two basic sauces (both which were served on his one-of-a-kind bread with a yeast starter that has been passed down through his family for over 30 years which is pretty cool). Of course between the smell and the appearance of the food, I was now salivating and being gluten free, I couldn’t taste. TORTURE! We continued with Bruschetta (Chef Andy gave me the tomato concoction in a bowl since I couldn’t have it on the bread.. yummy!) and a white bean soup (which I could partake in.. double yummy!).

And then things got HOT! Chef Andy does something called 5 sauces in 5 minutes… it was cray cray! He had 4 burners going, sauces at all different stages, and he did in fact make 5 sauces in 5 minutes, and then went on to create about 12 more for a total of 18 minutes. It was awesome… But again, I could not partake because they each had pasta in them.

Pasta was served, Chef Andy got a break and I was able to talk more with George Lonegan and his family. There were a few times where references were made to things they were doing as adults in the early 70s when I was in nursery school, which was a bit weird for me. I couldn’t tell how old George Lonegan was from his Facebook page, but I was getting the idea. Don’t get me wrong, he is a very nice guy, but the age difference is too much of a gap for a romantic relationship.

The meal ended and we joined Chef Andy one more time for dessert. Normally, I don’t eat sugar, but I made an exception for this. Again.. YUM! Fresh fruit with a hot pudding over it.

In the end, because of the nature of the date, I got to know Chef Andy better than George Lonegan, (although it is clear that he knows how to chop tomatoes and whisk egg yolks). That said, we both love entertainment so maybe we’ll be movie friends. I don’t get out to see movies as much as I’d like, and if we have the same taste in genres, it would be fun to have someone to talk movies with.

Once again, a great day, a nice man, and a fun memory.

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IMG_3913I arrived at the tennis court to be greeted by Peter Colt with “Hello Barkley.” I laughed that he was referring to me by my “online name.”

“The last time I tried tennis,” I warned, “I was 7 and using a wooden racket.”

He was not deterred. Tennis is clearly his passion. Not only does he volunteer his time to coach college players, he may be sponsoring a young player with potential but lack of funds, so that she can get a scholarship to college. “Without one, she will graduate high school and go directly into the workforce,” he told me.  This guy has a good heart. Of course this didn’t come up until after my 90 minute tennis lesson.

But first, back to when we originally set the date. My friend Patrick had sent me a racket, so I was set there, but I had no idea what to wear. I don’t own a pair of shorts let alone one of those tennis skirts. So this became a whole “behind the scenes to-do” for me.  I didn’t know anything about the courts where I was meeting him, so when I asked him about sneakers, he told me I could wear my gym sneakers, just nothing with groves. I told him I’d show up in my gym sneakers with my racket. This was supposed to be an opening for him to say, “Perhaps you may want to wear clothing,” in which case I would have asked what the dress code was. But clearly his sense of humor is not in the gutter like mine so he missed the opportunity. So I had to guess.  Not to keep you in suspense… my wardrobe was fine. Phew… I knew you were worried!

I informed him in my online emails that I was practicing my “air backhand” and my “air overhead serve”.. neither came in to play as Peter Colt was teaching me “Modern Tennis.”  Apparently the way the pros play now is completely different than how I learned as a kid. “The days of Connor are over. The new modern forehand and backhand used by Federer and Nadal are the way to go.” (It’s a good thing tennis players are hot, because it’s the only reason I knew who Peter Colt was referring to when he threw out names like Federer and Nadal.) I asked him if Agassi played old school or modern (modern is the answer). I was just throwing around hot tennis player names at that point. I realized quickly that Peter Colt was very comfortable in his manhood, when I threw out the hottest tennis player’s name I knew “the Tom Brady of tennis” Patrick Rafter. Peter Colt had met him and said that he was so handsome in person that it was borderline distracting. I’m paraphrasing, but basically the gist was that the guy was so good looking he couldn’t take his eyes of him, he had a glow about him. Peter Colt actually turned a little red while describing the experience. I put him at ease when I explained I had the same reaction when I met Halle Berry.. she is glowing and flawless and it’s impossible to take your eyes off of her.

But I digress. It is quite an experience to be coached by someone who coaches top notch talent. He kept referring to the forehand as two moves; the swing from back to front and the windshield wiper like cross over of the racket. But in actuality there were many tiny steps that had to be taken in the interim, starting with my initial stance. Instead of facing forward, I was a quarter turn to the right, my grip had to change from the “handshake” to the next V in the grip, my wrist had to be open (which it wasn’t very often, as he kept reminding me “wrist open”), instead of the straight arm from the past my arm had to be bent and relaxed. When it came to hitting the ball, I had to keep my wrist open, get under the ball, turn the racket over to land over my shoulder in my left hand that was supposed to be giving me balance as well as pointing to give the ball the direction I wanted it to go in and then wind up in a position to have the racket land in it. Oh… and my right foot was supposed to drag so I wasn’t pivoting my body, I was only using my arm. Two moves? I don’t think so.

That said, I did hit almost every ball he fed to me, and from what I remember as a child, I IMG_3912 missed most balls back then so there is something in his technique. And the balls kept coming, one after another after another, with adjustments being called out, “turn your racket over,” “open your wrist,” “relax!” After hearing “relax” enough times, I said to him, “If you wanted me relaxed we should have gone for massages before.” But eventually I got a few, “that was perfect” and even a couple of tennis claps which are saved for particularly good shots and involve a “hand to racket” clap. It’s a prestigious honor and I was a little excited every time I got one.

Finally, my wrist and hand were killing me and I couldn’t take another ball coming at me so I asked him how long we’d been playing. Turns out I managed to last an hour without complaining. I suggested (kinda jokingly) that we move on to backhand to give my right wrist a break. He jumped at it. Again with the “two moves” that were not in actuality two moves. But I caught on to backhand pretty quickly. So he had me stand center court at the  back line (I know there’s a technical term for it but I don’t remember it) and he would call out “forehand… backhand” and I would switch back and forth. Turns out tennis is a lot like line dancing for me. I finally learn one dance and as soon as I’m taught another, I forget the steps to the first. I picked up a little frustration in his voice so I thought it was best that we call it a night.
IMG_3914He taught me how to pick up the 10,000 balls I hit (well, at least that’s how many it felt like) with a basket contraption. That part was fun! And when we were packing up our rackets and I pulled out the waters I’d brought for us, he said, “Thanks Barkley.” It’s kind of weird to be called by your dog’s name, as is the name I’ve chosen for my online profile, and then it dawned on me… “Do you know my name?”I asked him.  He didn’t.  Once he had asked me the name of a movie I wrote and I told him I’d rather wait until I met him to protect my privacy. So he was respecting my privacy by not asking my name. I couldn’t help but burst out into laughter. “So, for the entire 90 minutes that we’ve been together, you’ve had no idea what my name was… that’s hilarious.” And then I told him.

We hung out by the parking lot and talked a bit. We were talking about movies and television shows (he’s never seen 24.. uh oh!), making each other laugh, so he suggested we continue the conversation nearby over a soda since the mosquitos were coming out.  When we got to the shopping area, there was a pizza place, a Chinese restaurant, and a IMG_3915
yogurt shop. I had to give him the whole no gluten, don’t drink soda story, so we wound up in the gluten free yogurt shop. I had original tart with almonds. No Dirty Virgin drinks on this date, though a Dirty Virgin Margarita would have gone well with very cold yogurt.

An hour of conversation about tennis, his college aged kids, and sports went by quickly. We also had good conversation about movies, though he didn’t like St Elmo’s Fire or About Last Night, so really how could I continue to date him?

Overall, it was fun, he was a good guy… chemistry not there at all. This dating method is good for me though. I have a really good time with the guys so I don’t get caught up in the “is this guy right for me” thing that I used to when I had to sit through a dinner date. Instead, we just enjoy each other’s company, and if the sparks aren’t there, we simply say goodnight, knowing we each just met a good person, had a fun few hours, and it’s on to the next person.  So, stay tuned for date number 8…

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Creepiest Date Request Ever or Super Clever?

Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 1.09.58 PMIf you read my last post, you know I’m online dating. Here’s the thing with online dating:

1. You have a user name which is not your real name so things stay anonymous until you choose to share your name with someone.

2. You keep things general and don’t reveal specific things about yourself so that people can’t google you and know who you are.

3. Basically, they see your picture and the general questions that the online site has asked you to fill in.

Keeping that in mind, I have googled my real first name with my profession in many different ways, just to be sure that if some guy was clever, and I gave him my first name he wouldn’t be able to find me. So, when I received the following message from a guy whose pictures I did NOT recognize, I couldn’t decide if he was the creepiest stalker on the planet, or someone who actually knows me peripherally, and chose not to mention that as a “ps” (I’m hoping it’s the later). Here’s the message I received :

(quote) Fear of Feathers was very entertaining and well written. I could totally see myself with a woman like the character Lulu. Lulu is so authentic compared to the closed minded stuck-up Tricia character desperately trying to make up for her low self esteem. You have to feel sorry for Tricia, and if that was the desired effect, I’d say Well Done! Were those characters based on anyone in real life?

Back to youtube for more advice on getting back into the entertainment biz. Fun videos!

Hmmmmm…. first date? Streaking through a senior living facility does sound fun! 🙂 (end quote)

Now, in case you know nothing about me, Fear of Feathers is a movie I wrote. I’m pretty sure I have it on my FB page, so he could be a FB friend of mine… he probably should have mentioned that.

Then he mentions my YouTube videos. So he found those too, without me sharing my name, so clearly he looked at my pictures, knew who I was and Googled me. He said “getting back in the entertainment Biz,” so for all I know he was one of my clients in FL. I coach people by phone, so I have no idea what they look like. Or someone on my newsletter list.

Finally, while the first date suggestion (I ask them for that) may seem creepy to you,

Click Here to see the book

Click Here to see the book

it’s actually from a chapter in my fiction book (and mentioned on the back cover, so he obviously saw it on Amazon.

In best case scenario, this is a guy, who was being clever, trying to get my attention by showing that not only did he recognize me, but he really took the time to find out about me and was complimentary about my work. He did have a happy faced emoticon and said my videos were fun.

Worst case scenario he’s a stone-cold stalker… which I highly doubt, but COME ON guys, you are living in the same world I am. Can’t you see how this would come across SUPER CREEPY? I don’t know you, you haven’t given me a clue as to how you know me, and I’m supposed to feel comfortable with this?

I’m hoping he is a Facebook friend and he will see this and get a chuckle out of it and  he can say “Hi” for real, and one day we’ll look back on this and laugh. But if not…

What do you think I should do? Comments are GREATLY appreciated!

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