By Popular Demand

There have been two requests for updates this week (one from the lovely Sweet Amandine and another from my good friend M).
To answer Sweet Amandine’s question – the foodie girlfriend is absolutely adorable and I have a big crush on the both of them, when I’m not sauteeing and grilling and braising everything in sight.

And now to turn to M’s request: more, more, more. She, apparently, is tired of staring at an empty RSS reader.

Well, M, here you go:

Yes, there have been dates since the last posting – one of them great, though it unfortunately appears not to be going anywhere.

More importantly, there was an evening that reminded me of what we  so often need to be reminded of: there are still plenty of things I’m not yet too old for. Case in point – making out with a stranger on a couch during a house party. I credit the more than flowing white wine, a warm summer evening and the thumping base from the Talking Heads.

And thank god for it. Yes, I woke up deadly hungover and in a little puddle of shame, but oh how fun it was. And there’s a silver lining. I learned I’m just the right age for the guy to actually call (though I have to say, I barely remembered his name).

We’re going out tomorrow night.

Unless of course, M books those $500 round-trip tickets to London….

Published in: on April 13, 2010 at 4:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Food and Love

Food and love. They go together like, well, peanut butter and jelly.

Sharing a meal is delightful and flirting around in the kitchen together beforehand? There’s nothing like it.

This coming from a girl who takes an unabashed pleasure in eating alone. It’s my most favorite selfish act. I’ll whip something up – exactly what I’m in the mood for, when I’m in the mood for it – light some candles, pour a glass of red wine and put on a little Nina Simone. I’ll linger over dinner and, preferably, the latest issue of New York magazine. Or, I’ll go out to a favorite restaurant and pull up a stool at the bar. I’ll eat and just watching the rest of the world be social around me.

Despite my love of flying solo, a perfect date over a perfect dinner truly is unbeatable. This Sunday, I started my march toward becoming a better cook. It was the first in a series of six classes at a local culinary school, a holiday present from my parents. As I walked in, I noticed a shy-looking redhead with glasses. Interesting. Cooking and love, together at last? I sat next to him and when it was time for the hands-on portion of class, we stood together and shared a knife sharpener. Seriously? Swoon. To say I was beginning to draft the blurb for our Sunday wedding announcement in the New York Times Style section wouldn’t be too far from the truth.

Ok, it’s the truth.

It was a blustery night and, as class wrapped up, I dilly dallied, hoping we’d walk out together. We never did exchange names during the class.

I left class kicking myself for not finding some way to say goodbye. And then, from behind me, I heard a guy say, “Oh sorry to cut you off, man. It’s clear you two are together.”

I looked up with a smile to see my redhead emerge sheepishly from behind the big, middle-aged guy in back of me. We both blushed and mustered a whole lot of “oh no, really”-s and “haha, no, no, no”-s. But the comment did the trick, and soon we were walking down the street together, swapping stories of how we ended up in the cooking class.

And then the bomb dropped.

“My girlfriend enrolled me.” WHA?

“She’s in the class, too.” GULP?!

Was all of this in my head? And more importantly, who was this girl that just let me flirt with her man for four hours?

In no particular order: she’s not coming till the next class, the flirtation was all in my head, the pending Style section wedding announcement has been destroyed and I’m fully prepared to turn blush profusely at next Sunday’s class.

He’s the guy that drops the girlfriend bomb prematurely. And I’m the girl it was dropped on.

I’ve been thinking about this all week, and about how closely intertwined food and love are. And then I stumbled upon this fantastic little McSweeney’s post on missed food connections.A highlight:

“It was late at night and I had gotten caught out in the rain. I found you in a hole in the wall in downtown Brooklyn. We never saw each other again, but I want you to know you were the best slice I’ve ever had.”

Ah yes, until I find my love to share my food with, I’ll muse about all the dishes I’ve savored along the way.

Published in: on March 3, 2010 at 4:26 pm  Comments (1)  

A Brief Hiatus Explained

First off, a note – and an apology – on the unexplained absence.

Without giving away too much (this is an anonymous blog, after all), here’s the scoop: I recently returned from my first vacation in two years – a writer’s life will do that to a girl.

I went to Israel – the holy land for Jews and the holier one for single, Jewish women. Alas, I found no husband on my trip, though I will say there’s something sweet about Israeli men. Maybe it’s the olive skin and dark hair? Or the fact every woman I met had “the perfect someone – so cute!” to introduce me to. Or that most men my age were dressed in their army uniforms (however cliched it may be, it’s damn true – I even dated a city EMT because I once saw him in uniform). Whatever it was, there was some good eye candy. But at the end of the day, those men are oceans away and too close to their mothers.

I returned to the States late Wednesday exhausted and without any good tales of romancin’. I’m still fighting the jet lag, which is also throwing my balance off. I’ve been walking into walls. When bowling on Saturday, all of my balls curved left (something my good friend M says has nothing to do with jet lag).

Now that I’m slowly, slowly on the road to recovery, I guess I should throw myself back into the dating game at full throttle. But it’s so exhausting.

I got a text message from witty, but potentially crazy, Irishman the day after my return that was exactly the text I would have wanted: asking after the trip and about my jet lag. But I really feel no interest. Then, after not hearing from Freelancer boy, I sent him a text Friday. Three hours later I got a reply that, while funny, didn’t ask after the trip or make any suggestion of a possible hang out. Silence since.

So that’s what I got. Any thoughts out there? Give Irishman a second go? Pursue ‘lancer although he may have lost interest? Leave both behind and go chart new territory? My jet-lagged brain welcomes any and all feedback.

Published in: on February 22, 2010 at 9:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Treading in a Sea of Ass

Roughly a year ago, my friend R entered into a state of dating that she eloquently dubbed, “floating in a sea of ass.”

To elaborate: floating in a sea of ass is when, for whatever reason and usually out of the blue, there are more men around than you’ve got time or energy for. They come out of the woodwork – ex-boyfriends, new interests, coworkers that express their feelings for you, checkout guys at the grocery store. In R’s case, there was even a cross-global love exchange in the air. This is not necessarily a bad thing (hence the term floating).

Well, these past few days have been somewhat floaty for me.

In no particular order:

  • run-ins with two exes
  • one questionable interaction with a coworker
  • one online-offline date that was the very definition of dull
  • two separate and swell evenings with two separate and swell guys
  • and a few other adventures.

In the middle of this onslaught was a run-in with THE ex: my first true love and the boy that broke my heart.

It was so out-of-the-blue that really, for a minute, I did believe in fate. What other way to describe the circumstances? A girl with a terrible sense of direction pulls over in a gas station. It’s shortly before 10 on a Tuesday night and freezing cold. She looks on her phone for directions. She looks up just as someone on the sidewalk, walking towards her car, looks up from his path. It’s him.

I’ve seen him twice since the breakup – which happened over many tears in this same car. After the breakup, there were two long years where we didn’t speak at all. I never saw him. When I moved back to the city, we found ourselves with overlapping friends. The first time I saw him was at a goodbye party. It was in a crowded bar and it took me two tries just to get inside. The second time was at a birthday party and things went smoothly for the most part, minus the hangover I had the next day. Now, in the middle of a city street in a bad part of town, there he is. We laugh. I get out of the car. Someone behind me beeps, so I offer to give him a ride home.

We catch up as I drive, and then again as we sit in the car outside his apartment. It’s just so like old times. He draws me a map and cuts the tension with humor. I ask him about his job and, when he sounds glum about it, tell him what great experiences he’s accruing. When he gets out, he turns back and says how much he’d really like to hang out sometime soon. He hands me the map he drew.

Pulling away, I feel so confident about how I handled myself – cool, calm, collected. I go off to meet one of the aforementioned swell guys and have a really nice time. I don’t feel fazed. And then I get home and everything just washes over me. Here he is, this man who was my best friend, who loved me, and then who fell out of love with me. It’s not that I want him back. It’s not that I miss him, even. It’s just that there’s something about losing love that is so very, very sad. There’s a hole that is never quite filled. There’s knowing that someone out there loved me and then didn’t. There’s knowing that when he fell out of love with me, it was at a low point in my life – he couldn’t love me like that and knowing that is hard. There’s the disappointment, too, of knowing that someone you believed in could let you down. There’s knowing that I let him down.

The next night around midnight he sent me a message on Facebook, checking to make sure I got home ok. This isn’t a road I want to go down, I thought. There’s too much baggage down this road. But at the same time, I was grateful for the message. Three years after breaking up, this one little message finally got through to me. He did care about me. Enough to want to know that I didn’t get lost. Enough to want to know that I’m out there. Even though we’ve both moved on, losing our love left him with a hole, too, I want to think.

So I wrote back. Thanks, I said. And you know, if the law career doesn’t take off, maybe cartography? I know he won’t write back. Like I said, it’s not a road I want to go down. But at the end of the day, I’m sure glad we were on the same road for a bit.

Published in: on January 31, 2010 at 8:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Literary Manboy

I have a date tonight.

I also am slammed at work.

In the interest of time here, I’m reposting excerpts from a hilariously fantastic – and absolutely spot-on – article from that rips into the Literary Manboys of New York.

Lord knows I’ve dated more than my fair share of them.

“The Literary Manboy is a species that we believe to be unique to Manhattan, brownstone Brooklyn, and the towns housing the country’s better MFA programs. He is generally between the ages of 36 and 45, though of course there are exceptions upwards and downwards. He’s not attractive, per se, but there’s that special something about him—his literary success, often, or promise thereof—that makes women flock. He is often fixated on the one who got away—whether it was through divorce or the fact that she lives in fucking Saipan. And so no other woman can ever measure up to her.

“Bowe—the subject of (a New York) Times story (today) —tells the interviewer that he was so discombobulated by falling in love with the woman in Saipan (side note: how many times could they have possibly seen each other? Saipan is thousands of miles away. I even originally read it as ‘Spain’ and thought he was nuts, but Saipan?!”

The article continues with some bullet points defining the Literary Manboy.

  • “They are always really busy with their ‘work.’ They can’t hang out because they have to finish a chapter of their novel. They can’t stay over because they have to wake up early and run 10 miles before finishing a chapter of their novel. They can’t get it up because they’re thinking about the chapter of the novel they have to finish.”
  • “These guys are often jaded and set in their ways—they profess a desire for intimacy, but the thought of actually sharing space with someone freaks them out.”

Wait a minute….am I a Literary Manboy?


Published in: on January 28, 2010 at 4:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Was quite surprised when, at 6:23 on Saturday evening, my phone beeped with a text message from Q.

Q: “Hey, sorry about the e-mail flare-up. Can I make it up to you at some point?

(what I should have sent: “Really? I mean…really???“)

What I did send: “Thank you for the text, but I’m going to pass, Q. Thanks again.

Q: “C’est la vie

Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 12:01 pm  Leave a Comment  


You know what they say.

Get mauled once, shame on you. Get mauled twice…

Recall a few weeks ago (before a shameful pause in blogging) when my poor face took the brunt of an attack from a hopelessly clueless – or so I thought – offline/online dater we’re calling Q.

Well, this attack had a less than happy ending.

As background to the rest of the story, I should probably divulge my weakness: rejecting other people. Or, rather, the fact that I don’t do it. It’s terrible, but true. Rather than call someone I barely know, and have spent a collective few hours with over the course of a few dates, I tend to just go cold turkey: no returning calls or texts. No explanation. It’s what I like to call “falling off the face of the earth,” or more accurately, “you kind of give me the creepies so I’m going to pretend all this never happened.”

It’s not something I’m proud of.

So fast forward to post-face-mauling. I pretty much decide right then and there as I shut the door that I’m going to pretend Q never existed. The thought of the whole incident still makes me a bit queasy.

In the days that followed, Q sent over a few texts, which left me shocked: did he think that was actually…fun? Or more importantly, that it was…pleasurable? Eesh.

In the name of trying to correct my wrongs and begin not to ignore dates that have gone badly, I returned some of his texts with short, curt, non-committal replies (eg – Q, 4:03 p.m: “I just saw Sherlock Holmes in the middle of the day (class canceled) and thought it was amazing-esp the bulldog, and mcadams. My opinion of rdj did a 180-I think it was just iron man that confused me.” Me, 5:57 p.m: “cool“)

I let a few texts go by unanswered. And then I made the mistake of not answering a mid-week text asking specifically if I could hang out that Thursday or Saturday. Woops. And then there was a follow up phone call. Yeah, that went unreturned, too. To be fair, I did have a wonderfully fantastic college friend in town that weekend. (To be honest, I had no intention of returning the call.)

And then on Wednesday, this email came in through the online dating service I’m using:

5:15 p.m.: “Radio silence–I’m thickheaded and not entirely sure how to take it, so you gotta let me know* (sic) So, are you free to get together Sat or Sun? I don’t think there are more exotic seafood appetizers than what we had, so that’s off the list, but there is plenty more to do. Q

Now, I’m a busy lady and it’s not like I check online dating sights at work. When I got this late Wednesday evening, I was planning on responding. But then I fell asleep. And then Thursday rolled around, but before I could answer, another message popped up in my inbox less than 24 hours later:

Thursday, 2:47 p.m. “For an aspiring journalist, you have a serious lack of cojones. Good luck* (sic)”


And then less than an hour after that one:

Thursday, 3:02 p.m. “That was harsh, sorry–what I meant is that I’m not in favor of the ‘not returning correspondence’ variety of letting someone know you aren’t interested, esp after 2 dates. I think a quick text rejection, even w/o a reason, works fine. You might have been intending to eventually & if so I apologize. Anyway good luck, bye.

At this point, I do respond. A quick apologetic note. Send it off, think nothing of it, nor do I expect to get a response. BUT THEN!

I get an immediate response. From the online dating sight. Q HAS BLOCKED ME.

I go to bed that night irritated and pretty turned off. The next day, I turned to my resident dating guru and partner in crime – lets call her R, for roar.

R had several brilliant points:

–   this man is obviously off his rocker

–   how dare he attack my career. And as for being a journalist with cojones, my resume speaks for itself

–   what is it with people who get aggressively on the defense when people don’t immediately respond to communication – hello Mr. Law Student, do you realize that this girl has a job, a social life and has to eat and sleep? Sorry if there were 15 hours that went by before she responded to your email, but for the love of dating, open a bottle of wine and relax.

So there you have it. Online dating = mauled faces and mauled inboxes.  Proceed with caution.

Up next: tales of a third date with an online/offline contender, a run-in with an ex and his new lady and an upcoming first date with a man from overseas.

Stay tuned, and until then, I leave you with this diagram, courtesy of another fantastic friend of mine (i’ll call her Mandolin) of love, life and the intersection of the two.

Published in: on January 23, 2010 at 1:38 pm  Comments (2)  

It’s a Fantastic Moment.

As much as I hate dating, I love getting ready for a first date.

It’s the same reason why I love hitchhiking (I said I was a catch) and traveling alone on trains. For a moment, there’s the potential that anything can happen. There’s an aura of mystery and an almost monumental possibility that hangs in the air.

There’s putting on the get-up-and-go-get-’em-girl music. The dancing around in the apartment. The spritz of perfume. The finding of the perfect outfit.

In life, I run a consistent 10 minutes late, so there’s always the harried, butterflies-in-the-stomach rush of needing to get out the door on time, too.

Despite all the tizzy and frenzy, I always pause on the last step of my apartment building as I’m headed out to a first date. I breathe in and think, “For the next two hours, I can be anybody and somebody could find me irresistible.”

It’s a fantastic moment.

Inevitably, I’m disappointed. But I still believe it’s all worth it for that brief, romantic, “just maybe” moment.

As a writer and newspaper lover, I find the same sense of possibility on Sunday mornings before I go get my New York Times from the front stoop. Yes it’s ridiculous, but it’s true: I inevitably wake up early on Sundays, too excited to sleep in because I know – I hope – the paper is waiting for me. “Hope” because actually getting the paper has always been a gamble. I’ve cherished the Sunday paper for as long as I can remember. Growing up, Sunday paper time was holy time. No one talked to my dad while he methodically went through every section, reading as much as he could before the day rolled into afternoon. As I got older, I slipped into his habits. We’d silently sip our coffee, turning the pages and swapping sections without a word between us – a silent hand-off of Styles for Week in Review with dog-eared pages to return to later.

When I went to college, I started getting the Sunday Times delivered, but it was a game of chance: about half the time it was stolen by some drunk paper snatcher or another. I stopped the subscription for a few years, but started again when I moved to the island, thinking it would fill the slow hours of weekend mornings quite nicely.


Rural life is unpredictable and there are snow storms, dirt roads and off-the-map addresses that flummox even the most well-intentioned of newspaper delivery people. When I moved back to the city, my first apartment was in a neighborhood full of college students too cheap to subscribe, so it was always a scramble to get to my paper before anyone else did.

After years of this, I’m now conditioned to the moment of possibility.

I put on a pot of coffee and hesitate in front of the curtains before peeking out to the walkway below. When I see it, I act all casual, strolling down leisurely like it’s no big deal. “Oh hey Sunday paper,” I think – cool, calm, collected. When it’s not there, I mope.

One of my favorite Sunday paper features is the Modern Love column. This past week’s was no exception and, in light of my online dating experiment, I thought it all too-fitting that this most recent installment came from an editor and wannabe flight attendant who found love by searching online for a pilot.

“I knew that the men of Southern California might be eager to take advantage of Internet matchmaking for sex, but for career climbing at the same time? Here we were opening our hearts after debilitating breakups, hoping for true love, and these bozos were gaming the system for business opportunities. I thought it was despicable. Until the day I decided it was brilliant.”

Ah, a lady after my own heart. Romantic, yet opportunistic as hell.

“But what if I were to fall in love with a pilot? No longer would I have to peddle onboard snacks or work 14-hour shifts to earn my trips around the world. And it’s not as if I’d have to become some Debra Winger-style groupie from ‘An Officer and a Gentleman,’ desperate for a pilot to rescue me from my backwater town; I was already living happily in Los Angeles and gainfully employed. I would merely start using ‘pilot’ as a search term to help narrow the field, just as my previous date seemingly had used ‘magazine editor.’”

Things ended happily for this brassy lady, who ultimately eschewed the online world for the old-fashioned blind date.

“He mentioned that my friend had sent him the list of attributes I was looking for. ‘Smart,’ he wrote. ‘I like a woman who respects herself.’ Hook, line, sinker.”

Made me hopeful, too.

(note: posts to come on my own experiences blind dating and the second round of my offline/online dating experiment).

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 3:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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My First Offline-Online Date: An Affair in Two Acts

Spoiler alert: a bad date is great fodder for a good blog post.


Let’s call him Q. I found Q’s profile online and made the first move by sending him a quick, witty message. Key words from his ‘about me’ essay that piqued my interest: “drawing,” “coffee & newspapers,” “former journalist and filmmaker.”

I’m predictable and he had a cute picture.

After a few quick exchanges, we agree to meet for drinks.

At this point, I should come clean and say (somewhat shamefully) that I put my reporter skills to work and did some digging on him before we met. Key points, in no particular order: Q is the son of a very prominent former local politician, is descended from American political royalty, grew up in the area and is a few years older than me.

Things looked promising.

Act One:

(Scene: a Monday evening around 8. A dimly-lit, but well-reputed dive bar known for serving great martinis. In the words of my friend, Walsh: “Baby you got yourself a man if that [place] was his suggestion.”)

Date one was a jumble of nervousness, awkward pauses and Manhattan-induced knee grazing. Things started out rocky, but eventually (with the help of a second round of drinks) I found myself delighted by his interests and past experiences – traveling across the U.S., working for radio and public television stations, listening to the mandatory obscure indie bands. When he laughed, his eyes twinkled. He asked thoughtful questions and was really tall. And he paid the tab, which always makes my old-fashioned heart flutter.

As we walked out into the cold evening, there was a kiss on the cheek and then the question – “What are you doing Friday?”

I was shocked.

“So this is what real dating is like,” I thought to myself. There’s no battle of who can care less. There’s just an, “I might like you, and if you think you like me too, lets see each other again.” “Friday it is,” I told Q, mentally canceling plans I had with a male friend who I keep hoping will one day wake up and kiss me like there’s no tomorrow.

But that’s a story for another time.

Q asked that I send him a text message when I got home, to let him know I arrived in one piece.

I did that and this is where the first red flag should have gone up. “Ah good, so did I,” he replied. I smiled as I got into bed. And then my phone went off again. “Hey, actually, are you free Wednesday?” Well that was fast, I thought, before my phone buzzed again. “Realize I’m free then.” Yeah, in retrospect, the red flag should have been flying up the “overeager” flag pole.

Act Two:

(Scene: Friday evening at 8. He picks the place – an overpriced, but sweetly romantic neighborhood restaurant. It’s snowing and so cold I slip-slide the whole way there, leaving me flustered and red-nosed.)

The place is packed, so we go to the bar for a round of drinks.

At some point in the middle of dinner at this lovely, busy restaurant I realize I’m doing all the work. There are awkward pauses, which he doesn’t try to fill. I offer tastes off my plate, which he doesn’t reciprocate. Conversation is slightly dull and routine. “What happened to all the giddiness of Monday evening,” I think. “Was that just the Manhattans talking?”

there was no chin-cupping involved in Act Two

And then there was a second round of flags: a comment about leaving film and journalism simply to make more money; I’m not laughing; when the bill comes he waits for me to take out my wallet. Now, I fully expect to split bills, but not necessarily when someone invites me out and suggests a pricey place. Plus, I had picked up our bar tab earlier without any protesting from him.

Still, when Q suggests not ending the evening quite yet and offers his arm so that I don’t slip on the sidewalk, I take it. We go back to my apartment, just around the corner, for a glass of wine.

And then it happens.

Q mauls my face. I can fairly say I have never experienced anything quite like this. Imagine, if you will, making out with a hyper lion cub. The slobbering, the pawing, the pounce-y noises. There were some awkward comments, too (e.g. “don’t take your bracelets off” – what?! – and “body” – no explanation for that one and am still confused as to where it came from). But at that point, I was just focusing on getting him out the door. Which I did, pretty quickly thereafter.


Once he was gone, I settled in with a bowl of ice cream and moisturized my mauled face. As Scarlett O’Hara famously said, “After all, tomorrow is another day.”

And in my tomorrow, there’s a second date with my other offline-online prospect to look forward to.

Published in: on January 9, 2010 at 11:19 am  Comments (2)  
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My First Roses (aka, a pause between dates)

An egregiously practical person, I am inexplicably superstitious when it comes to dating.

If I really like someone, I won’t save their number to my phone.

I don’t shave my legs on the days of dates – I think it guarantees a kiss-less evening.

I don’t talk to my friends about dates – upcoming or past – to avoid jinxing. They know this and have come to accept it, I think.

So, since I am smack dab in between this week’s two offline-online dates (round two is tonight), I’m avoiding writing about them at all costs. (Stay tuned for stories next week.)

Instead, I’m posting about perhaps the best e-mail I’ve ever received, sent to me yesterday by the first boy to ever give me roses – Mikey Elliot.

First, the roses.

My small-town public elementary school’s eighth grade graduation ceremony had just ended. Friends, family and teachers mulled about – laughing, crying, taking pictures. I still remember the dress I was wearing – a lilac sun dress from the Limited – and the humidity that hung in the late-June air. I was talking to my mom when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around to find Mikey Elliot, our class trouble-maker and general bad seed. (Seriously, this kid was in detention at least twice a week, and in our public school, detention meant an entire day spent doing homework inside our science teacher’s back closet. Our teacher was literally over 400 pounds. They had to install elevators in our school when he could no longer fit down the staircases. Seems slightly illegal in retrospect.)

I’d never talked much to Mikey in the past and was surprised to see him, surprisingly polished in his coat and tie. Without saying anything, he reached out his hand and extended a bouquet of long-stemmed red roses. I stood in awe, clutching them.

They made me feel, for the first time, like a woman – sexy and appreciated and maybe a little more understood than I’d thought before.

I went home and put them in water and when the first petal fell off, I hung them upside down to dry. I still have them in the bathroom at my parents’ house. They’re the only flowers I’ve ever saved.

Mikey moved that summer and in the fall, I went off to boarding school. I’m not sure what I would have said to him if we’d run into each other, or what he would have said to me. I like to think that all I would have said would have been a simple, “Thank you.” And he would have looked at me and simply said, “You’re welcome.”

Now to the e-mail.

Yesterday morning I opened my email to find an alert from Facebook with his name on it. Mikey Elliot, the bad boy who gave me roses, had sent me a friend request. And there was a message.

“Wow you are still beautiful just as you were back in the day … How are you ? long time since i have seen or talked to you… Take care.”

Simple and sweet and most importantly, I will finally get to say thank you.

Published in: on January 6, 2010 at 2:56 pm  Comments (1)  
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