Tag Archives: dating

I Will Always Be the Worst at Crushes

Given all of the stuff that’s been going on with my EBOOK (yes, did you not notice yet? I HAVE AN EBOOK. IT IS HERE AND EVERYWHERE ELSE I’VE LINKED IT. EBOOKEBOOKEBOOK).

Anyway, I trailed off up there because I wanted to promote shit (buy my eBook. WRITE A REVIEW)… given all my dating eBook stuff, I figured I’d talk to you guys a bit more about what I’m like when I’m single and attempting to date people I meet not off the internet.

If I could describe my lifelong experience with dating in one sentence, it would be “Awkward desperation with bouts of irrational overconfidence.” Confident or self-hating, in retrospect I am embarrassed by all of it. Broken down, I’d describe the phases like this –

My first crush on a character in an Animorphs book. This was safer than having a crush on a real boy, because I didn’t even have to sexualize my crush or try to lure him with my own sexuality. Along with being not real, the character was trapped in the body of a hawk. Some of the most romantic and intimate moments of my life were had with Tobais, the hawk-boy, in my own imagination at age 12. I kind of wish I’d stayed in this phase forever. Shit was relatively uncomplicated.

Most subsequent crushes were on boys who didn’t speak to me. If my first real crush knew my name, it was only because people were making fun of me (more on my first crush here). Crushes from afar continued for most of my teens. My understanding of sexuality came from this one ten second clip of this episode of Dawson’s Creek that I saw in the “TV room” in my basement where Joey and Dawson were making out (while laying down!) on the bed. I replayed that scene in my head, imagining all the boys who would never kiss me (or even know my name) for the next 6 years. I didn’t watch many PG-13 movies.

Eventually I discovered gay boys… this was the best part of high school. Gay boys are one of the best things that can happen to fat and/or awkward and/or theater girls. All those things tend to go together, but sometimes it’s a mix and match. The first time I met one of the gay boys, I was in love with him for about two years. The thing about gay boys is that no matter how much frustration you feel because you really wanted that whole Joey/Dawson make out thing to happen with them, you can’t fault them for giving you a little bit of hope and confidence while all of the other boys are busy not knowing your name and trying to recreate scenes from Jackass.

Around 18 I started “dating”, or something like that. I’d call it hooking up, but it often didn’t get that far. Going to Christian college added another level of complication to things. I have thought more than once in my life, “Was that Bible Study like, as friends… or did it mean more?”

At a certain point, I did start making out with people and was like “OMG IS THIS WHAT LOVE IS LIKE?” It took me a few years to learn that no, love is not like that. Love is boring and wonderful in a “let’s watch 10 episodes of SVU in a row because we both appreciate Ice T and sex crimes” kind of way. These relationships were often more exhilarating than real love. I could spend 27 million hours dissecting them with my BFFs. I think I spent the fall of 2003 to the fall of 2010 trying to decipher about four sentences boys said to me with my best friend. I didn’t realize until way later that love affair I was having was really with my best friend, and her ability to dissect one sentence (usually, “If I DID want a girlfriend, it would DEFINITELY be you.”) into 43 different possible interpretations. 

“I’m good at sex!” I look back on this period and feel the most embarrassed. After my first real (and pretty terrible) relationship, I decided to overcompensate for my resulting feelings of inadequacy by becoming this “sexually liberated” 20-something. I’d also lost some weight, so I was drunk on some newfound self confidence (and just plain drunk because my tolerance was severely lowered from starving myself). I thought I was awesome at dirty talk; I thought everyone was hitting on me; I sent hundreds of drunk texts that ranged from aggressively slutty to aggressively crazy… I’m surprised any of my friends who knew me during this period still speak to me.

After graduating college and entering life in the real world, I realized having crushes feels just like high school all over again. This weird thing happened after I’d gone through my I’m-too-sexy-for-my-dresses-that-are-a-reasonable-length phase. I realized that the only way I’m comfortable with a romantic situation is when I have already made out with a person. This means that I have to make out with a person BEFORE I know I’m into him. This means I have a window of about one hour after meeting someone and even then, it’s helpful if I’m drunk. A lot of my “relationships” have started with me thinking, “this blurry figure inching towards my face seems cute and cool. I want some cheese fries.”

Having made out with someone is my opportunity to override my tendency to become the same awkward idiot I was at 16. If I meet someone I like and spend enough time around them pre-make out, I’m doomed. For example, In my history of “real” jobs, I’ve had giant crushes on two previous coworkers (Please note that I said PREVIOUS, current coworkers. I read that sexual harassment poster in the kitchen). The first giant crush happened despite the fact that I had a boyfriend. Due to a combination of guilt and fear that I would forget about said boyfriend and kiss-attack my coworker’s beautiful face, I talked about my boyfriend non-stop. “Oh, you also like Ray Lamontagne? Yeah, I LOVE him too. You know who doesn’t like Ray? My boyfriend doesn’t, but god… you’re great – uh, I mean he’s great. Ray Lamontagne is great. Ha ha… ha? Ok, I should go call my boyfriend now. I have a boyfriend, who I love and have to call.”

The second giant crush was even worse. I had to spend a lot of time with this person, and if he ever thinks about me he probably thinks I was a kinda dumb. Conversations were something like, “Hey Tiff, want to meet at eight?” “Really? Do you think that it would be ok considering that we work together? Wait? What? Oh, yes, at EIGHT. Sorry, I’m so stupid I thought you said… nevermind. Eight is perfect. Gooooooo company we both work at where I have to see you every day!”

In hopes that it was all the coworker-ness getting in the way of my “game”, I willed myself to develop a crush on an acquaintance in my group of friends. It was shockingly worse than liking a coworker. At least with the coworkers I had an excuse to start a conversation. Nothing oozes sex appeal like saying talking about work. “So. Our margins this week. Am I right? Your place or mine?” With the acquaintance I found myself edging creepily over to the circle he’d be in, chugging my drink in hopes that it would give me a shred of confidence. Weekend after weekend, I’d have chugged so many vodka sodas while trying to come up with a way to start conversation, that by the time I had my opportunity I’d be so drunk I was teetering back and forth on my heels trying to come up with something to say. He probably thinks of me as That Drunk Girl Who Never Remembers What I Do For  A Living Because It’s The Only Question She Ever Asks Me.

This is why online dating was great for me! Remember how I have an eBook about online dating? Seriously though, if you can manage to have one non-awkward conversation with your crush, I applaud you. You are doing better than I ever did.

Peace, love and Joey/Dawson kisses, 

BWCE

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Note to self: Don’t tell Online Dates about this blog

We were sitting across from one another at Big Bar in the East Village when I realized his interest  in me had turned to hatred.

“So… I guess I should just leave?”
“Yes.”
“Ok…. bye?”

I was a mess last night, which could have been predicted given my whole pre-date routine of ‘I’m drinking and having an emotional breakdown after hot yoga by myself in my apartment,’ but sometimes I don’t realize before it happens that my being a mess isn’t like, Zooey Deschanel adorable (Fuck you, Zooey! Why are you so cute that fucking COTTON wants you to represent it?!?). I was texting Nina tipsily my whole cab ride down about how much I was not in the date zone, how I’d be home in two hours, how Rutherford seemed super dumb. Yes, Rutherford… I make up names for all these guys and I’ve decided to just have fun with it because I’m running out of Johns and Kevins and because he really did have a weird name, even though it wasn’t Rutherford.

I realized pretty quickly upon meeting him that a lot of his stupidity was due to his being a recent Seattle-NYC transplant. People new to New York are like babies! I’m sure we wouldn’t like each other sober – he talked about himself a lot and asked me the worst questions… but then we started drinking. I really enjoy this part of my dating life; getting drunk with a total stranger is what I’d imagine a bartender experiences every night. Because we’ve only just met and we don’t know each other’s last names or social circles, the conversation gets more honest more quickly. I underestimated Rutherford until he admitted to me that he’d been on an online date RIGHT before meeting up with me. I high-fived him, because let’s be honest, anyone feels cool doing that. I went on two dates in one day last summer and I felt SO COOL and kind of evil but also in a cool way.

After that confession, most sentences started with “Since we’re being honest….” even though we weren’t telling each other anything that really needed the preface.

We smoked cigarettes outside and had idiotic conversations –

“Since we’re being honest…. I was fat in high school!”
“I was too! How fat?”
“175 pounds.”
“That is kind of fat – I got skinny around age 13.”
“Oh….you were much cooler than I was….”
“Yeah, I was kind of cool in high school. When did you lose your virginity?”
“I was almost 21. You?”
“Since we’re being honest… I was almost 17.”

I high-fived him here.

I didn’t think he liked me, because I didn’t like him, but when we got up to leave the restaurant he said something about there not being anything here (gesturing between the two of us) and I was like OMG I KNOW, RIGHT? I’M GLAD WE CAN BE HONEST.

And then he said, “I was joking? Wait.. you were joking right? Come have another drink with me?”

“Oh.. yeah. I was totally joking.” Some how that worked and we stumbled over to Big Bar.

I think it’s all the interviewing I’ve been doing that made me want to tell him at least one real thing about me. I’ve been answering all these questions about why I want to leave my job and where I see myself in 10 years and I’ve been lying through my teeth. I hate lying, and so before I knew it, the truth about why I go on online dates was tumbling out of my mouth at a terrifying speed.

“Since we’re being honest…”

I tried to backpedal after that, but there was no saving the conversation. I got up and saw myself out. I thought about feeling bad, but then I got into my cab and the super old Latino driver offered me a cigarette. He told me about how much he hated his job and how all he wanted to do in life is get drunk and watch tv. We bonded. I came home and threw up on my pillow… it’s been a weird week.

This morning I’m faced with a gross pillow and blurry thoughts of my conversation with Rutherford. Is telling someone, “This thing you think is a date isn’t really a date” any worse than when guys use online dating just to hook up with girls? I don’t think it is, but maybe I’m an asshole.

I’m going to comfort myself by thinking that Rutherford now has a story to tell his Seattle friends about crazy New York people. I had to wait until my fifth online date to have anything crazy happen so, YOU’RE WELCOME, Rutherford.

The great part of online dating is that when you fuck up royally as I did last night, you get to walk away with a feeling of lightness. I’ll likely never see Rutherford again, as long as I don’t eat at the restaurant where he’s a chef.

And since we’re being honest… I can’t afford that restaurant anyway.

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Valentine’s Day: Plan of Action

To start – this isn’t a post about being single on Valentine’s Day. This is a post about my job.

When I’m not on the internet writing about dating and sandwiches, I’m still on the internet, but I’m working as the only customer service representative for a fast-growing flower start-up. Oh yeah, I said flower start-up… have fun figuring that one out. When most people hear that I work in customer service, they either show me pity or expect me to start ranting about all the crazy things people say to me. When they hear I’m the only customer service person for my whole company, they all have the same reaction: “So… how does THAT work?”

Well, I’M A BOSS. No, that’s not really why. I don’t really know why or how it works, but somehow I manage to keep my ‘department’ from going up in flames, mainly by apologizing about 20 times a day and then giving people free flowers. I’m awesome at giving people free flowers.

You can probably imagine that working in customer service for a flower company on Valentine’s Day isn’t ideal. Particularly if you are single (ok, I went there). While I”m sure you can sort of imagine it, I want to give it some context: I’ve never liked Valentine’s Day, at least not since it went from being about eating a lot of chocolate to it being about whether or not some boy was going to give me flowers. See, I really, really liked the Valentine’s Day that involved chocolate, and so by the time it became about the flowers, I was pretty fat.

After years of life as a fat adolescent, I started to emerge from my awkward stage only to be dumped by my first boyfriend a month before Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, I went to a really small high school and I ended up spending Valentine’s Day on my senior year of high school at a party with the same ex-boyfriend. I cried. A lot.

Then there was the Valentine’s Day where the object of my affection made out with another girl in front of me at the school dance. The explanation for his behavior was possibly more insulting than watching the make out… he told my roommate he made out with the other girl to show me what he was like. When I saw him in the hallway after, he greeted me by saying, “Happy Valentine’s Day… are you upset?”

Then there were the two years in a row that I did spend Vday with my significant other. The first one involved him talking to his mom on the phone, in front of me, fighting with her about why I wasn’t worth his buying flowers/candy/dinner for. The second year involved us driving to a Jason Mraz concert while he yelled at me the whole car ride there. Both years I cried. A lot.

After all these experiences, I was pretty sure I could handle anything February 14-related… and then came my job. I will spend Valentine’s Day knowing I’m not going to receive any flowers, taking orders for flowers, calming men who are angsty about the estimated time of arrival of their flowers. I’ve never been able to decide what’s harder about my job – dealing with angry men, or taking orders for men who are head-over-heels in love. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter. There’s something really strange about dealing with these sweet, sweet men who are so appreciative of my help, that brings me right back to being that fat adolescent helping all my friend’s boyfriends get them the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

——–

Valentine’s day is 12 days away and I’m already starting to crumble. I’ve cried at work twice this week. Today I realized someone in the office ate my carrots and I briefly thought about laying on the floor in the middle of the office and throwing a temper tantrum. BUT, I cannot afford to crumble. No literally, I can’t. My net worth is somewhere around $2, and if I have a ginormous existential meltdown on the second largest flower holiday of the year, I will have to move back to Georgia very soon. So in the same way that my flower company forms a Valentine’s Day Plan of Action, I am forming my very own Tiffany-Can’t-Start-Crying-On-The-Phone-With-Customers plan of action.

Here’s what I’m using so far to keep myself sane:

#1- Diet: Along with the fact that I’m already vegan and gluten-free (I’ll get to that in a future post), I’ve devised Tuesday/Thursday diet plans, where I try a new crash diet each week. This week I ate only raw foods. Next week it’s juice. This works for me in two ways. First, I don’t go back to fat Tiffany. I really don’t want to revert to fat Tiffany through stress eating. Second, I get to control ONE aspect of the next few weeks. An additional benefit is that crash diets are kind of fun because you can spend hours wondering whether or not hummus is raw. Is it raw? Does anyone know?

#2- Alcohol: Tonight I purchased the expensive vodka AND my favorite juice. I feel pampered.

I feel like a baller. Is Skyy vodka raw? I’m gonna say yes.

#3- This picture of a chinchilla at the pet store near me:

LOOK AT HOW HE’S HOLDING THAT PIECE OF FOOD. Chinchillas have thumbs. DID YOU KNOW THAT? I made this picture my phone background so I’m calmed every time I look at my phone. I’m pretty sure the guy who sits next to me at work thinks I’m crazy because of how often I look at this picture.

#4- Planning to break my diet: On February 14, I will break all of my diets. I’ll be sitting at my desk, answering the phone, and, in between frantic calls, stuffing my face with every single type of food I love. Oh yes, I will eat lots and lots of Laut’s drunken noodles.

#5- Focusing on the good things: Sure, I have cried at work twice this week AND someone took my fucking carrots (why, why did you take my carrots, unknown coworker?!) but I’ve also had some good things happen. Today I went to the liquor store with the bright pink sign, the 1 train got to the station 30 seconds after I swiped in and I saw some little kids fighting each other with really big sticks while their moms were getting their hair done at an awesome barber shop.

——-

I’m interested to know if any of you have any Valentine’s Day anecdotes. As Angela always says, “You have a fucked up story? I want to hear your fucked up story!” So, please, tell me your fucked up story about the most romantic day of the year. OR, possibly better, if you have a piece of advice for getting through, a job you think is more stressful, or a type of food I should eat (or diet I should try) let me know.

Also, if you know who ate my carrots… I’m taking names. If you see something, say something.

Best of luck to all who are trying to avoid cupid.

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The Straight Grindr

When I first heard about Grindr, the geolocating App for single, gay men, I had several reactions:

1.) What?

2.) It does WHAT? It’s for men who want to have sex and can find someone within the same 10 blocks?

3.) Why isn’t there one for straight people??!

I’m sure most people had the same reaction, and developers caught on to that and took not that long to create the straight version of Grindr. The interesting thing about creating a straight Grindr is that these developers seemed to understand that making an App with the exact same pretense would creep people out. For some reason, even if it’s a lie, straight interactions cannot be that blunt.

Blendr has to pretend to be about meeting people in the general sense. Otherwise it seems super creepy.

I heard about Blendr for the first time on Monday, and immediately signed up. I then forgot about it, until the next night when I was at Angela’s, drinking and trying to forget about the terrible day I’d had. At that point, getting back on Blendr seemed like a great idea. I got online and responded to someone who’d sent me the following:

Him: “Ho”…. “*Hi”

I responded: “Lol”

From that super-romantic starting point, we talked back and forth for about twenty minutes before exchanging numbers. If I were to describe this experience, I’d call it Match.com on crack. It took  30-40 minutes of me talking to/ texting this person to make a date when it can take weeks on Match.

Interestingly enough, the same conventions apply. Something I’ve noticed about online dating is the perpetual need to qualify why you’re on an online dating site. When I talked to Ryan on the phone, he asked me how many dates I’d been on, after immediately clarifying that he’d only been on a few. I knew from the way he phrased it that the only answer I could give was, “Oh, you know, just a few. My friends have done this, so I’d figure I’d try it out.”

My experience on Blendr was no different. My potential match asked me right away; “What’s a pretty girl like you doing on this site?” It sort of reminded me of the movies: a scene where a lonely woman sits at a bar, drinking by herself, and gets asked by men why she’s there. We have a fixation on not seeming desperate when, in reality, we are all so very desperate. If I were to answer any of the questions I’ve been asked by men in bars, on match, on okcupid, or on blendr in honesty, my answers would be unflattering. They’d be something along the lines of:

“Well, I got my heart broken and I can’t personally afford to purchase as much alcohol as I’d like to to numb the pain.”

“I’ve decided to write a blog about my various online dates. Wanna be featured on my blog?”

Instead I responded something like, “hehe. My friend told me about it, so I figured I’d check it out.”

So tonight I met Joe. I didn’t expect someone on Blendr to have an attention span long enough to wait two days to meet me, but he did. We talked about family, work, drinks and rap; and overall it was a better interaction than I’ve had with several of the guys I’ve spent weeks talking to. Along with that, Joe was much more of a gentleman. He refused to let me pay for drinks, repeatedly asked me if I was having a good time, and forced a $20 bill into my hand as I grabbed a cab.

For these reasons I feel much more guilty writing about the experience than I usually would…. I’m going to take that as a sign that I should. Online dating is not all bad. I say this on my blog after only having documented one date, but from my past experiences, you meet some great people. Joe is one of those great people. I’ll definitely go out with him again.

Tonight, Joe and I talked a lot about New York. He’s a native New Yorker and for me it’s rare that I meet people who grew up here. I live under the assumption that those raised here aren’t walking around in constant awe of the city, so I was surprised by his fascination with the randomness of our meeting. It hit me that years here don’t change the feeling that you can always change, and you can always embark on a new adventure. Joe spent a lot of tonight telling me that he was still shell-shocked by the fact that he was meeting someone he met through an iPhone App. To think that even a native New Yorker can feel that excitement is reaffirming. It makes me want to live here for many, many more years.

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Business Ideas

Oh! The other thing I forgot to say about my match.com date from last night. This is the guy who wanted to talk on the phone a few weeks ago. We did talk on the phone, which was less awkward than I’d imagined, but in talking he told me about how he wants to start his own company. I thought this was really interesting, so I asked him if he had any ideas:

R- “You know Skype? Well the other day someone wanted to Skype with me for business, but I didn’t want to like, Skype from my room. So I was thinking what if you could use a green screen background for all your calls. Like people interviewing and bands could use it.”

T- “So… like what iChat does?”

R- “Yeah, but that one sucks. I’d make a really good one.”

I figured Ryan was in the brainstorming process, and that once he started examining other start-ups and markets he’d find an idea with a slightly larger target market. One our date, he told me his more recent idea which does indeed have a bigger target market:

R- “My friend was telling me about this website that you use to make reservations to restaurants.”

T- “Opentable.com?”

R- “Yeah! That’s it! So I was thinking… what if you could do that for everything? You know, like weekends out with friends or doctor’s appointments-“

T- “Have you heard of ZocDoc?”

R- “What is it called?”

“T- Zoc. Doc. The website that does that… they’re all over the news because they keep getting a ton of funding.”

Ryan looked at me like I was lying.

R- “…Well you could do that for everything.”

Even though I’m pretty sure Ryan thinks I made up ZocDoc, at least he’s coming up with business people would (and do!) use.

I’ve come up with a couple ideas for Ryan on his journey to starting a company. I think they’re pretty great.

The Home Store: They sell everything you need for home improvement!

InstaVintage: It’s an App! You take a photo on your smart phone and then make the photo look like it’s old, or black and white or something. Maybe there could be a social networking feature!

The Music TV Station: Everybody likes music! Why aren’t there any stations that play music? I have an expansion plan too! Get everyone hooked on music videos, then start breaking up the music videos with bad tv shows so people get hooked on those!

… I think they could be HUGE.

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The Online Dating Project: Match.com set up

UWS, 11pm: An update on the soul-sucking process of signing up for an online dating site –

I’m lucky I’ve done this before. I’m too lazy after a 12-hour workday to actually find photos that make me look simultaneously beautiful, fun, down to earth and intelligent. I spent some time this evening surveying the profiles of my ‘competitors.’ Who are these girls who create online profiles? All of them love their family, friends, life but are looking for their special someone. They all love going out but equally enjoy a night in in their favorite sweatpants. They love to eat, but workout 5x a week and have PERFECT bodies. Where are these super fembots with shining personalities living? Definitely not on the Upper East Side like they claim.

I’ve spent the greater half of this evening stripping my profile of every bit of my personality. I replaced my Franzen reference with a mention of Nicholas Sparks and removed my alma mater in case music school seems a bit too edgy. After a lot of editing, this is what I came up with as a generic, catch-all profile (feel free to vomit. I did a little bit.) :

I’m friendly, open and I like to laugh – people always tell me I’m smiley. I’m happy that every year life keeps getting better. I’m from Atlanta and I’ve been in New York for a little over a year – this city is so amazing. I love going out as much as I love just spending a night in, drinking wine and watching chick-flicks with my girls! 

I love my life, my job, my family and friends – I’m just missing that special someone. It’s all about the chemistry for me – if there’s no spark it’s not worth it! I’m a girly girl that will shop ‘til she drops but I can also be convinced to run. I have a great sense of humor and am looking for someone I can have a great time with no matter what. 

When it comes down to it, I’m pretty sure my profile will rarely be read in full and that most men will contact me because of this picture of my legs:

I know. They’re fantastic. I’d wink at me too…

I felt a piece of me die tonight when I forked over $24 per month for the next three months, but I’m rationalizing the decision with this knowledge – I will make back my money and then some in free drinks in the months to come.

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