Tag Archives: dating

2 Lessons From The Bad Lychee Date…

The Lychee Nut…

Lychee Nut An odd and truly unique flavor. A flavor that until a few years ago I had never tasted. And more importantly for this story, a flavor that will forever be tainted with a disaster date. A date so bad it caused me to dramatically re-evaluate two important dating assumptions.

The story unfolds…

It’s 4 years ago. And much to chagrin of my future self, I think that posting dating ads on Craigslist is a good way to meet women. (No this is not one of the lessons I learned from the date that follows unfortunately.)

A quick aside: Craigslist is good, even great, for many things.

  • Finding great apartments for rent: Check!
  • Finding furniture: Check!
  • Finding non-crazy individuals for dating: Ugh, not so much…

In any case, I’ve just written and posted one of my personal ads. And I like the responses I’m getting. An email comes in from “Jill” (honestly I really don’t remember her name). Her response is passionate, intelligent and intriguing. She mentions that she is Chinese-American and seemed very eager to learn and share more about her culture.

(A bit of background: at this time in my dating life, I rather foolishly believed that I didn’t need to see a photo of someone before I met them in person. This hypothesis was founded mostly on the fact that I was tired of getting emails from Craigslisters with one sentence “Do you have a pic?” So my goal was to try to focus on who the person was outside of a photo. As you will see, this was not a good idea…for both of us.)

We move from talking over email to the phone rather quickly. The problem quickly becomes that she doesn’t seem to want to do more than talk on the phone. Herein approaches the first lesson the lychee date taught me.

(At this time, I really didn’t have a problem spending a long time on the phone with someone before we went out. That would change utterly.)

Everytime I say, “when can we actually meet?”, she says, “I’d like to talk more on the phone…is that ok?” I agree and our conversations are pretty good. She tells me about her recent trips to China. What real Chinese food is like. What lychee nuts are and how they taste. How they have holes in the ground for toilets in the rural areas where she stayed. Really interesting stuff.

Six weeks (I wish were kidding) pass. I really feel like I know this girl and that we have great chemistry. Of course, we haven’t exchanged pictures and we haven’t met in person. But then, miraculously…

…the date arrives.

The foundations of lesson #2 are laid while setting the date up. Jill says that she leaves near me and she can pick me up. Hmmm. Sure. Why not?

The time of the date arrives. I’m waiting outside my place. The car pulls up. A Honda with a sullen Asian girl inside, it stops. The driver, Jill looks over at me. Honestly I was definitely feeling disappointment. I didn’t find her attractive and from my reading of her, the feeling was mutual. The passenger door props open.

I walk over. Sit myself in. Before I can shake her hand, give her a hug or even put on my seatbelt, the Honda jerks forward and is off. I steady myself and belt up.

“Hi. It’s a pleasure to meet you,” I say, trying to make the best of it.

The radio is on. She turns the music up.

How bad was it?

Have you ever had a date that you knew was going south in the first 3 minutes? Did you say something?

A minute after she turns up the radio, the level of awkwardly leveled disgust coming from the driver of the car prompts me to say, “If this doesn’t seem like a good fit, we can turn back around.”

She speaks, “No. No. I just need to focus on driving. I brought you some lychee nuts.”

I stare straight ahead and try to ignore the fact that the next 2 hours are going to the dating equivalent of waterboarding. (It’s the same feeling you have when your friends talk you into see Patch Adams and you know it’s gonna suck; you just don’t know how much it really does. Two hours later, you’re craving a bulk erase tablet for the night.)

The date continues…

She speaks to me during the drive to the restaurant as often as someone for whom words are very expensive and sentences even more expensive.

She puts the Honda in park. Awkwardness. Anger. Hostility. They’re all boiling up inside of me. Once again, I try to end it mercifully. “This doesn’t seem to be working. Why don’t you drop me back home?”

“Oh no. Now I’ve parked and I don’t have to focus on driving.”

I think to myself, “please kill me now or God, give me the power to fast forward.”

None of those happen. The next two hours, spent at the most awesome restaurant in San Diego, she manages to ruin it up. It takes real work not to enjoy yourself at this restaurant but somehow she does it with great aplomb.

For the next two hours, very few works are exchanged and I truly feel the misery that is the life of the unhappily marrieds. The folks who sit at Denny’s or Hometown Buffet and whose glares of contempt bore through each others skulls. I feel the misery of a truly God awful date.

The merciful end…

The Honda pulls up pretty much exactly where it had at the beginning of the night. I flee the car as fast as I can. I don’t say goodbye. A voice comes from within the Honda as I sprint to my house…

“Don’t forget your lychees.”

I freeze. Should I get them or not?

I walk over. Snatch the lychees out of the passenger seat.

Get into my house. Take said lychees to the trash receptacle in the garage. Throw said lychees in the trash.

Lessons Learned…

The lessons for me for the lychee date that I learned immediately after, were and still are:

  1. Don’t talk on the phone for more than 1 time. Real chemistry is only determined in person.
  2. Never, never, never, never have someone else drive you to a blind date. Ever. Ever. Ever.
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The man with the $30,000 pencil: an analogy…

Yesterday, I found myself a familiar emotional spot as a direct result of dating. Let me explain…

…it starts with an exciting eHarmony match.

A few weeks ago, eHarmony matched me with a girl, who I’ll call “B.” B was really attractive, had a great profile and seemed to have a great deal of introspection. Fast forward to last Wednesday.

I was really excited about meeting B. I had even mentioned the date to a few friends, which is saying something. In any case, I went to the Starbucks where we were supposed to have our first date. It was supposed to be at 7PM. 7:05PM rolled around and I called her.

Me: “Hi B, Was our date at 7PM or 7:30PM?” (My diplomatic way to see where she was.)

B: “You didn’t get my text? I couldn’t make it tonight.”

She went to apologize and it turned out she had texted that she couldn’t make it to my cell phone. Except she had misdialed.

This was disappointing but I find it’s best to give someone the benefit of the doubt and my excitement was a little dampened but still strong.

We made plans to meet Sunday night. I was eager. Excited. Talked more to my friends.

Fast forward to Sunday @ 2PM. A text comes in on my cell phone. This time she had gotten the number right.

The text conversation (exactly as it happened)…

B: “Tim. Dont think I can make it tonight. Not quite ready 4 this. So sorry.”

I had a salad roll in my mouth when this came in. It took strong mouth muscles to keep this from falling to the ground.

Me: “You have to be kidding me. You have a lot of nerve. I’m disappointed but more than that this is just rude and especially after the other day, quite frankly inexcusable. Really disappointed. Do the next guy a favor and only start the process if you actually want to go on a date.”

B: “Didnt mean 4 that, honestly. Grandma just passed and it hit me very hard. thats why I was in Colorado.”

Me: “There are much better ways to handle these type of situations. Please close me out on eHarmony.”

And any way it went on for a little bit but, to say the least, it was disappointing. Which brings me to the main point of this blog post…

…the man with the $30,000 pencil.

My Dad used to tell this joke/parable about business. A man has a stand at a crowded outdoor market. A huge sign is unveiled in front of his table.

“Pencils. $30,000.”

A would be customer comes up to the pencil salesman and says, “Are you crazy? $30,000 for a pencil?”

The pencil salesman says, “Ah but if I just sell one.”

The point being…

I think that so much of my dating life and just dating life for single people is just like being a man with a $30,000 pencil. You hope to sell just one.

It’s a mad, crazy, foolish dream but on the off chance that you find someone wonderful, spectacular, amazing, inspiring and all that other good stuff, you put up with situations like I had with B.

In short, sometimes, it’s only crazy faith in something you have no rational basis to believe in that keeps you in the dating game.

What Was Chemistry.com Thinking? Part I…

Chemistry.com has a drug problem. Specifically crack. I swear that every so often the matches they hook me up with could only be the result of some massive crack addiction.

Of course, there are great matches every so often and decent matches most of the time, but sometimes I get matched with someone who very clearly is not a good fit.

An example…

To be featured on these type of posts, the author of the profile has to be so dramatically unclear, so wildly hard to follow that I just scratch my head. And when I start scratching my head, blog posts come to me.

The profile below has been untouched. It’s exactly as it was in the wild.

Witness the geniusness…

“ready to travel and have fun

I am looking to be dated at first. non of this “hanging out”. I like the traditional courting in the begining.

I look forwrad to meeting someone who is open minded and looking for adventure and fun in there life. Some one who can be a good partner and we compliment eachother nicely.”

A dissection…

To be fair, I don’t know this girl. She is probably a wonderful person who loves dogs and children and ice cream cakes. But…

…where does she tell me anything about herself?

This profile is so hard to follow, so generic and so full of misspellings that it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the lack of proper capitalization. I realize that it’s popular to write in all lower case but that’s not what’s going on here.

This personal ad is the equivalent of

  • going into a really fancy steakhouse,
  • ordering their best filet and…
  • out comes a plastic tray (complete with plastic fork and knives) and one of this shitty Salsbury steaks you would eat while watching the A-Team as a kid.

In other words, no time and no effort was put into this description of self. If there was more than a few seconds’ thought given to it, I would be surprised.

Then there’s also the length of the personal ad. I’m sorry but I find it very hard to believe that 6 sentences could accurately describe anyone. People have much more going on than just 6 sentences.

But let’s go further…

“ready to travel and have fun”

Who among us is not ready to have fun? Is there anyone who would say proudly “I’m not ready to enjoy myself. I sit home at night, eating cucumber slices and crying to myself.”

And then we move to, “I am looking to be dated at first.”

As opposed to? Being admired from afar? Getting married after a date or two? Becoming a pickpocket in an Eastern European country? Buying fake mustaches from an unlicensed dealer?

Ostensibly the idea of going to a dating site is that you would like to go on a date. Radical. I know but still.

The final nugget is “I look forwrad to meeting someone who is open minded and looking for adventure and fun in there life. Some one who can be a good partner and we compliment eachother nicely.”

Let’s look past the mispelling or the odd combination or seperation of concepts. This is so non-specific. Again, not to belabor the point, but even humorless people would say they like fun. They might even be bold enough to say they like adventure.

And I think that about does it for this particular ad 😉

Acting On Bad Dating Advice…

In my experience, most of the really, truly terrible dating advice I’ve gotten has been from one particular group…

…older female family members. It just seems like, especially early on in my dating life, my Mom or my Aunt would give the worst dating advice possible.

Case in point: my Mom said,”If you want to meet a nice girl, go to ballroom dance classes.” Not a good idea. Not a good idea for dating at least. For stories of wingnuts, odd social expectations and irascible dance teachers however, it was a great idea.

Ballroom DanceThe dance begins…

The ballroom dance class at Moorpark College was taught by a vaguely hostile, slightly unbalanced dance teacher. She had been divorced many years ago and the scars of that seemed to color every interaction she had in the class and life in general.

The teacher…

She was also a little inept at managing her “classroom.” I was about 20 at the time of taking the class. Add or subtract a few years and you have the age ranges of most folks there. In other words, lots of energy and short attention spans made for talking while the dance teacher was giving her instructions. Different instructors have different methods for getting their class in-line. Hers was to simply yell really loud and in a really shrieky tone. She seemed to really take every conversion personally like it was a dagger to her heart.

Then there was her choice of music. Of course, there was some good stuff (Cab Calloway, Pennsylvania-Five-Six-Thousand) but the songs that I remember were “classics” like Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana,” a truly retched song that was played over and over and over and over again. And it gets worse. If we were dancing and we messed up a step, the teacher would stop “Copacabana” and have us start over. I estimate that over the course of the class I heard that damn song at least 150 times. Ugh.

The dancers…

And then there were the people in the dance class. The bold truth of ballroom dance is that men and women want dramatically different things from the class. Or at least they did in my class.

The men in the class want to meet women. (In fact, most activities that men do outside of work, showering, shaving and using the restroom are designed to meet women.) The women in the class wanted to dance. And that was it.

When you have such a dramatic difference in goals, misunderstandings are bound to happen. Inexperienced guys (like myself at the time) would see any basic friendliness on the part of girls in the class as a sign of interest and usually embarrass themselves by asking the girl out. That or they would talk themselves out of actually asking the girl for a date. But another issue was that the girl of every guys’ dreams was…

…one girl. The same girl in fact. In a scenario like the one below, a girl who was attractive in the non-ballroom-dance class world, was elevated to supermodel levels in ballroom dance class. And this girl, Abby, didn’t realize that she was the object of affection/lust for most of the guys in the class.

In fact, she really wasn’t present to many things. She was a bit of wingnut actually. A cult recuiter spotted Abby dancing by herself around the Moorpark College lawns and said to himself, “I’ve got a convert.” The next day she came into class, trying to convince every guy who found her lustworthy that this cult was the best thing since sliced bread.

Of course the imbalance of male attention didn’t sit well with the other girls in the class. There was a subtle hatred of Abby and a lack of understanding as why every girl but Abby was chop liver. It was palpable too. Men would lust after Abby when dancing with the other girls. They would not really pay attention to what their dance partner was saying, just stare creepily at Abby as she danced with someone else. Looking back, it was completely justifiable that the other girls were upset.

So what was the ballroom dance class in a nutshell? An upsettable dance teacher. Mixed intentions. Imbalance in affection. It was a mess. And so was the swing dancing scene that I used to be a part of after that.

You see, I really thought my Mom was giving me good advice so I kept pushing forward in this world. After two years driving to hell and gone for swing dancing events, I had gotten one girls’ phone number, gone on maybe one date and thoroughly frustrated myself.

Although I CAN dance, I really don’t like to all that much. And that’s mostly due to the nightmare of ballroom dance class.

Wonderful Nightmare: A Perfect Dating Analogy…

Dating is the most pleasurable torture you’ll ever experience. It’s like being waterboarded by a beautiful girl who’s giving a happy ending at the same time.

Patton Oswalt, one of America’s greatest comedians said it best, “Dating is a fun nightmare…it’s a nightmare and there’s boners involved.”

And that’s why my friend Erin and I have created this blog. To put it simply…we’re on the other end of the dating bell curve. We go on lots of dates. We’ve met lots of perspective matches. And we’ve read countless personal ads.

In short, we’re grizzled veterans of countless dating skirmishes. With all this experience, comes stories. Amazing stories. Stories of anti-semetic alcoholics. Stories of pot-smoking Republicans. And of course, stories of great connections. It’s all in this oddly flavored stew called dating.

So this blog will be a blog bouillabaisse cooked to the brim with anectodes, oddball personal ads, advice and hopefully, a realistic depiction of what’s it like to date successfully in today’s day and age.