Tuesday, January 31, 2006

How Not to Blow It

I normally hate reading the New York Post, but this morning I was pleasantly surprised to see that they included a witty article on how guys blow it while out on dates.

Prior to my recent revelation about optimism in singlehood, I was a pretty picky little lass when it came to men. I would nit pick all the way home from a date on why things would never work out (call it being repeatedly burned by loser ex-boyfriends). I finally got over this close-minded perspective, but I still managed to go on a few dates with guys who seriously blew it for being just plain “off.”

I’ll save the details on my own strange stories for another day and time, because the article sums it up fabulously…

Guys: How not to blow it
  1. Avoid the roving eyes. "If you keep blatantly checking out the waitress, I'm going home with the bartender."
  2. Don't reveal too much, too soon. "We're just having dinner, so keep your 'I have a deviated septum on the right side so I snore when I sleep on my left side' and your 'I was in jail three times, but two of them were misunderstandings' stories to yourself - or I'm going home with the bartender."
  3. Be a man already. "Maybe having a gay ex has made me a little paranoid, but if he's got an umbrella in his drink, I'm going home with the bartender."
  4. Ex-skeletons are still skeletons. "If you're talking about your ex a lot, then I'm going to assume that you're not over her, and I'm going home with the bartender."

Full NYP Article: You Blew It!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Online and Bored

So far today, I’ve managed be as lazy as lazy can be. I’ve watched Office Space, Dazed & Confused and now I’m well into A Perfect Storm. Intermittently I’ve also called people in four states and have spent enough time at online dating sites to officially form an opinion.

In all honesty, it’s a good thing I only signed up for a month because after chatting with various people and going out with a few. I’m no more impressed with online dating than I was before I signed up in the first place.

We all start by entering the proper search terms on a site that we all hope will turn up a diamond in the rough. The results pop up and there are a handful of people that seem interesting enough to email or e-wink at, but still no diamond. Emails are formalized with the same old questions every time. Emails then sometimes turn into dates that lead to more of the cliché questioning. All in all, I’ve lost interest before the date even began due to all the formalities that were required just to meet. Finally, at the end of the date, I’m thinking it was no more entertaining than a bad business lunch and am back to square one.

So here’s my take on it. Online dating sites require all of us to form forced perceptions based on someone’s ability to write truthfully about themselves. In other words, what you read is what you get. Not only are the perceptions altered, but these sites take all the fun out of meeting someone the old fashioned way. There’s no initial attraction that can be formed. No first impression of an entire personality. No funny banter. No flirtation. It’s all business. Blah.

I’m still excited to be single and am looking at meeting people in a new light; however I think I’m going to stick to my guns and look for the people who are confident enough to just be out there as themselves and not as a three paragraph intro on their entire existence.

Despite my obligatory optimism, patience is a still a bitch.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

I Heart Girls Night...

If I didn’t have Friday night through and Sunday to decompress, I would likely be a mad-woman. Last night was no exception to my love for low-key post work week activity. It was, as we like to call it “girls night in.”

This is a secret ritual that all women who usually travel in packs (and scare off all the eligible bachelors) engage in on a periodic basis to retain their normalness. This covert activity usually entails the following:

  • Take out food from any nearby Thai, Chinese, Indian or Sushi joint that will deliver
  • A mix of single and attached ladies
    This rule is enacted to ensure a balanced perspective on the usual conversation topic of the evening: men.
  • Ample amounts of red wine
All of the above were checked off the list as I arrived at my friend’s house last night. As the night wore on, food was munched on and wine was consumed. As each minute ticked by, our smallish group had covered every topic from husband/boyfriend behavior, crap emails from ex-boyfriends, the stagnant life of being pathetically single, who’s had sex in a bar bathroom (with accompanying stories), girlfriend lameness and, of course, options for Saturday night entertainment.

The discussion wore on and the level of volume (and silliness) increased exponentially. Finally, the night came to and end and we all were decidedly saner than when we walked through the door at 9pm. I like to think of it as extremely effective talk therapy.

Of course, if a guy had been present, he most likely would have run for the door within the first three seconds of witnessing the sheer speed at which we can cover the above topics, but this is why I love my time with my gals.

So now that we are all calm, cool and collected, Saturday night is a night of conquests and gallivanting on the Lower East Side. Time to strap on the uniform: jeans, a cute top and heels…

Thursday, January 26, 2006

An Ex-Email

I just received an email from my ex and I must sound-off. And I quote:


When are you leaving for your trip? I'm packing for
my ski trip. I'll call you when I am back...

Miss you,


After a length of time, in which I’ve been able to kick him out of my life for good and move on, receiving this just royally pisses me off. Why? Oh, I will tell you (and please excuse the ranting here, but as you probably can tell, I’m thoroughly annoyed).

We broke up last June after an arduous long-distance relationship that spanned the Eastern seaboard/Atlantic Ocean for the better part of a year. As I mentioned, I got an email from him as the method of severance. As if that isn’t infuriating enough.

Over the course of the last 8 months or so, I’ve had my fair share of tears, outright bitchiness and borderline depression, but in 2006 I’ve officially climbed back into the world of the living and am extremely happy to be here.

So now I’ve received this pathetic attempt at a “hello, how are you” email in my inbox after having talked with him for a total of – maybe - ten minutes this entire year. What pisses me off now is his misguided and pathetic use of the phrase “miss you.” What the…

Guys, enlighten me. Puh-leeze. Because I feel as if there is a hidden alarm embedded near every man’s hormone center that suddenly goes off when a former conquest goes MIA (aka: gets over you). Does he really miss me? Doubtful.

Clearly, I am not going to respond to this sad attempt to bait me once more. However I would like to offer a few simple break-up tips for all guys who have or will encounter a break-up situation in their future (That’s right, ALL OF YOU):

  1. Do not, I repeat, do not send a woman an email to break up with her. On the contrary, be a man and break things off to her face. I’d say about 99.9% of the “normal” women out there will have more respect for you in the long run if you show them some respect by being honest. After all, we’re all adults here, right? Hmm, ok…I guess not.
  2. After said break up, do not continue to leisurely use the phrase “miss you,” or any phrase with similar connotations. Cut the cord and don’t treat her like you miss her when – newsflash – YOU BROKE UP WITH HER.
  3. If there is an attempt to be friends after the relationship’s demise, how about trying to be a normal person about it as opposed to sending a lame-ass, two-liner email? Ask about her life. Be genuinely interested and she might be genuinely interested back. And if you’re not acting platonic, please refer back to rule #2.

There it is, from me to you. Snap! I feel much better now...and by the way, my girlfriends have now dubbed the ex “tin man” in honor of him being completely devoid of any real emotion

NOTE: Yes, I am going on a trip soon. A story for another time.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Gone Batty

I just came across an article that indicates that apparently size does matter…Intrigued?

A new study, conducted by the (obviously) bored researchers at Syracuse University, says in bat species where the females are promiscuous, their male counterparts boast larger testicles yet had the smallest brains. Hmm. Conversely, where the females were faithful, their batty boyfriends had smaller testicles and larger brains.

Quite a concept. Small Balls = Big Brains and Big Balls = Small Brains. I can honestly say that I hope to god, for the benefit of every female or gay male out there, that this theory will never become the norm for the human race. If it ever did, it would be one hell of a trade off.

The study also found another nugget of interest…apparently in monogamous species, the average male brain size was about 2.6 percent of body weight, while in promiscuous species, the average size dipped to 1.9 percent.

In short, a cheating bat is a stupid bat. Now that is something I can agree with.

Of course, we are talking bats here, however I can attest to the fact that some men I have come across in my day and time have, in fact, acted quite “bat-like.”

Regardless, this useless and random information surely did add a moment of hilarity on an otherwise dull Wednesday evening.

When it comes to bats, size matters CNN.com

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

First Date

This past weekend I decided to have a courage sandwich and go on a date with someone I had been chatting with online. Since it was my first go at it, I was a bit worried about picking a bad apple or experiencing some asinine situation that would blow my unsurpassed, worst date ever out of the water (high school homecoming date, 1997).

I’m not a nervous person, so pre-date I wasn’t a jittering fool like some girls are. I was just straightforwardly excited to meet someone new and poles apart from the usual suspects (i.e., who preferably does not work in the field of marketing).

I went through the normal pre-date prep: went to gym (think: less bloating and better fit in “skinny jeans”), got beautified, picked out my best “date” attire, and…gave myself a few extra moments to pound back a couple coffees (OK – jitters may be present, but only from caffeine buzz). I then headed downtown to Chelsea for a brunch date, which I might add is an excellent activity choice for a first date since it expertly combines daylight, coffee and option of an opt-out for later afternoon plans.

The “Canadian” (as we will call him for dramatic effect), was an engineer and an affably attractive guy at first glance (Sigh!). The date ensues, and over (more) coffee we chatted about the normal getting to know you crap: where are you from, why did you move here, any siblings…

It is about half way through ordering my food that I wondered what time it was. In other words, when will this date be over? I mean, he’s a great guy and very nice. Definitely not a crazy so I can give myself a congratulatory pat on the back for managing not to meet a stalker(slash)Peter Braunstein type. So what was wrong you ask? I'll explain...

My beef here was that there was virtually no spark, which at the end of the day is what everyone in this jaded and cruel town secretly wants in a relationship despite the overflowing cynicism we all encounter daily (ok, perhaps the cheese stands alone). It is this precise synopsis for why I have always loathed trying the online approach. At least if you meet someone personally you can make a game time call on whether a connection exists or not.

NOTE: I’ve already stated that I’m one of those idealistic types so please refrain from knocking me for being a hapless singleton looking for that proverbial spark.

So, the Canadian and I continue chatting and after brunch he took me around the block to meet his dog (aka: supposed girl magnet). It is about here where I started wondering how to end the date politely without insulting him or seeming mean-spirited. Lucky for me, a friend called and wanted to meet for a movie so I didn’t have to fib (for which I would have felt guilty about all afternoon).

In conclusion to this long-winded tale, I will give online dating a whirl a few more times, but I’m not convinced that setting up lunch and cocktail dates in the fashion of my day-to-day work schedule is entirely my cup of tea. I’m still a stubborn idealist at heart.

Monday, January 23, 2006

In Case Your Morning Sucks...

I hate Mondays. Each Monday morning I always seem to jaunt to work with that old Bangles song "Manic Monday" in my head, dreading the attempt to become motivated by my bloated inbox and overly eager co-workers.

So...to break things up a bit, and remind us all about the glories of cross-country road trips past, check out his link of a time lapsed video of a drive across the country from Los Angeles to New York.

I'm thinking those palm trees are looking quite nice right about now...

Three Strikes

I admit I am a lover of compliments. If you ask me, people don’t give enough of them these days. However, in my definitive opinion, one can use complimentary action in excess when it comes to dating, especially if you don’t know someone well.

Let me explain...

Over the weekend I cautiously embarked on an emailing adventure with a guy from an online dating site. He emailed first and gave me a nice compliment regarding my photo.

Inner monologue:
“Wow, that was a nice thing to say. Never met an actual New Yorker who could muster up such a statement without an ulterior motive. I’ll give it a whirl.”
After a few rounds of emails, he seemed like a nice guy and really funny. Then he mentioned to me again that he liked the photo on my profile.

Inner Monologue:
“OK. Two compliments. A bit over the top considering he’s never met me, but still - er - nice.”
A little more online conversation and I gave him my cell number, intending to graduate to a voice-on-voice conversation. Mistake.

On Saturday afternoon I received this text message: “Hope you don’t mind, but I snuck a peek at your profile again. Loved your photo.”

Inner Monologue:
“Enter weirdness! First he told me outright that he’s been viewing my profile in excess…not too keen on that concept (at least don’t tell me that you’ve got obsessive tendencies), and second, thank you for the compliment (AGAIN) but it’s just gone way over the top into strangeville.”
The whole purpose of a compliment is to say something nice out of the blue. If people were complimentary all the time, a nice compliment wouldn’t be as meaningful. Insert the fact that I grew up in the mid-west (where I was taught not to talk to strangers), live in New York City (where compliments are few and far between) and have become slightly jaded through the dating scene – his third declaration of praise made him slightly creepy.

In short, some lasting thoughts on all of this:
  1. No more number distribution until he’s earned it
  2. Must be more selective

Saturday, January 21, 2006

30 Year Deadline?

Day three of online dating and I’ve become curious about something. Nearly every guy that has shown interest in my profile is between the ages of 31 and 34. Now I know that may not seem entirely random, however I’m hoping some of the men out there can clear something up for me: Do guys hit 30 and have a life altering realization that it’s time to “settle down?”

I’m in the latter half of my twenties and not one online contender below the magic number has come forward. So in a city like New York, and judging from the royal asses I’ve encountered in my time here (hence attempting to date via broadband), it just is an easy assumption to come to: Play the field until all proper oats are sewn, hit 30, freak out, log on.

Does this theory have any merit or am I making an overly expansive assumption?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Back In The Game

Welcome to Avenue Elle. After living in New York for four years I can truly say that city life is all it's cracked up to be. I plan for this to be a forum for dramatized episodes of life, love and over-spending. So with that...

I'll begin by saying I am on the rebound. My foreign and lame-ass conversationalist of a boyfriend and I called it quits last summer. Cause of relationship death: he sent me an email. Yep. An email. Didn't think that actually happened to normal people like me, mainly since I thought I could weed out the child-like ones, but no. I'll spare you the details for now, but I've spent the last six months over-analyzing our relationship, figuring why he didn't want me and going through the evil cycle of "He doesn't deserve me any way/I want him back."

After a few epiphanies(sp?), I finally emerged from the post-break up self-pity and realized that I'm finally excited to be single again. I saw myself enjoying meeting new people again, getting all gussied up for a night out with the girls and making lame attempts to catch a guy's gaze from across the room. In short: I'm boy crazy.

So what does a gal do? Join a dating website, of course. It's cliche, embarrassing to admit and a hard pill to swallow for an idealistic gal like me. So I've decided to embark on an odd yet very 'now' method for meeting the next love of my life. I'm still a bit wary of the procedures, but I'll take it one email at a time.

NOTE: This post in no way indicates that I intend to live out the "You've Got Mail-Meg Ryan-Tom Hanks" fantasy. Quite the contrary. I think said movie is overly cheesy, and in no way shape or form would I ever subject myself to a "fairy tale" first-time meeting in Riverside Park.