Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kindly, Step Aside...

It's hard to make conversation at a night club - there are just so many distractions, auditory and visual eye candy competing for your attention all the while you are attempting to get to know someone in a loud, booze-infused atmosphere. Surrounded by beautiful guys and gals - plenty of skins showing, bare midriffs, tight bodies - you can't help but keep your eye on the scene, even when you meet someone new.

After all, how deep of a connection can you really make with someone when Ludacris, Lil John and Flo Rida are all screaming in your ear, demanding that you get "low, low, low"... "lower than you kno'". Bounce, bounce, bounce, you can't help but let yourself slowly catch the fever and the beat of that next infectious hit. Your foot begins to tap the floor, head starts to bob and then when your favorite song comes on and blasts out of those speakers, well, you can't help but interrupt whatever conversation with whomever you're trying to talk to at the moment and yelp in excitement, "Oh, that's my soooooong!"

Some girls make a mistake of looking for a Mr. Right in the hottest club in the city, not knowing or, at least, not wanting to understand that some of the guys are only looking for a one-nighter, a pretty face to forget in a couple of days. Some girls, especially the younger ones, do not realize that some guys may be after only one thing and they may do or say whatever it takes that night to get what they want.

I remember when I was 19, my best friend from high school and I decided to hit up a night club for the very first time. It was such a different environment from anything I had experienced up until that point. Growing up very sheltered in high school, I was, what can be and is conventionally considered to be a nerd and a bit of an outcast. And once out of high school, I was pretty determined to shed my geeky image and transform into somewhat of a social butterfly. Needless to say, hitting up a night club was always on my list of things to do to complete my metamorphosis from an awkward teenager into a cute college girl and maybe win some hearts in the process.

So that night my friend and I made it out to this cheesy but highly popular night club Egypt down by the Delaware river in Philly. I was wearing these hideous purple and magenta pants and a sparkly red top and I remember the tingle of anticipation and uncertainty after I paid my 10 dollar admission fee and got frisked by a female bouncer before I was finally let in inside.

In retrospect, Egypt was always shady even before it started going downhill in its final years before it finally got shut down and replaced by a different joint, but I didn't know any better back then. I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread - getting frisked felt like a part of an exclusive VIP treatment. It felt like a rite of passage.

So my friend and I got there early that night and picked a little booth to sit in and watched several raver-types twirl their glow sticks on an empty dance floor - a usual occurrence before your typical club kids invaded the club and drove out the ravers. My friend and I shared a $3 bottle of water we purchased at the bar - stone-cold sober and very excited - we were the prime victims of some hideous French boys with very bad intentions.

"Vould yew like too suck my lollipop?" one of the French dudes slid across the booth seat to move in right next to me, sandwiching me between the guard rail that separated the dance floor and the lounge seating and himself. I glanced at him in mild terror. He was, for some peculiar reason, sucking on a lollipop and I, for some peculiar reason, agreed to lick it.

He seemed very pleased with himself and whispered something or another in my ear, presumably trying to seduce me. I couldn't understand what he said - I was still getting used to the bass shaking the dance floor - so I looked over across the booth table seeking out my friend's help.

Needless to say, it was no consolation to me when I saw that, minutes within introducing himself to my friend, the other French boy was now busy introducing his tongue to hers. I felt disgusted by the whole situation and immediately excused myself and ran off to the bathroom.

Oh were we young and naive and fell for the cheesy pick-up lines and did stupid but silly and flirty things with the boys we hardly knew back then. Neither my friend nor I wanted to sleep with either of those boys that night (or ever) - we danced, we laughed, we had a great time, we went home by ourselves at the end of the night. The French boys weren't terribly heart-broken either - they found their next victims minutes after it became clear that we were not going to fall for their advances.

Now, six years later, I have no doubt that the French guys no longer ask women to suck on their lollipops... at least nowhere outside of their privacy of their own bedrooms. But sometimes I want to go back in time and take it back to that first night at a dance club, when everything felt so exciting and new and my hangovers were so brief and barely felt the next morning.

Of course the things I know now I couldn't have learned without my experienced throughout the years. Right now I can spot a douchebag from a mile away, and if a guy starts playing a game with me, I can move on faster than you can say, "Can I buy you a drink?" and never look back

But back then... back then, times were simpler and all of the heartbreaks and douchebaggery from boys... well, that was yet to come. And sometimes... I just wish I could get some of my naivete back.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I'm Gonna Give It to You Next

Valentine's Day sucked.

I mean, basically, I'm not even going to sugarcoat it and lie about receiving flowers and poems and presents from the man of my dreams, aka Mr J. No, no, as much as I want him to be my knight in shining armor, I will be the first one to admit that he was the one who screwed me over and made the special day of love the worst Valentine's Day in a couple of years.

Granted that last year I received a dozen of beautiful roses from a good looking gentleman (that I wasn't particularly attracted to) and this year the first message that I got from Mr J was him being unreasonably and insanely jealous of a friend who wrote on my Facebook wall merely wishing me a "Happy Valentine's Day". I was pretty disappointed and heart-broken, to say the least. I immediately texted Mr J with a very sarcastic and telling "Happy Valentine's Day to you to..."

The rest of the day proceeded to be a blur of arguments, accusations and apologies. Mr J almost immediately said that he was sorry for, allegedly, "forgetting" about V-Day, even though later on, he changed his story to telling me that he was really about to wish me a "Happy V-Day" until he saw a questionable post on my Facebook wall. It didn't matter to me... any of the apologies and any of his reasons didn't make much of a difference because, by that point, my day had already been ruined.

So the events that transpired since February 14th may or may have not been in my best interest and judgment. Still fuming over my Valentine's Day fiasco with Mr J, I decided to take this guy, whom I met a couple of weeks ago at a club, up on his offer and go get a couple of drinks with him tonight. I've decided that I would keep a open mind and go on a first date I've been on (that was not with Mr J) in a many months.

The new guy was smooth - he picked the day and the time and the place for our date - and I was impressed with the location he chose for our meeting. A quaint, tucked-away bar in the middle of a beautiful upscale neighborhood on a hill overlooking the entire city of Cincinnati. So it was just me and the guy for the first thirty minutes at this historic beautiful bar. Candle light, live music, delicious wine - it was a perfect setting to sweep a girl off her feet, and boy was I ready to get swept off.

I dressed casually, not trying too hard to impress but definitely going for that effortless, casual elegance that is oh so appropriate on a typical Wednesday night. He was looking fine, a bit older than I remembered him to look the first night I met him, but dashing nonetheless. We ordered our first drinks and moved a bit closer to one another at our corner table, in an effort to get to know each a little better.

We talked and talked. The wine felt good in my system. And I was... I was the girl on the edge of my plush seat, for the first time in what seemed like ages, genuinely interested in the guy who was sitting across from me. The candle light reflected sparking seduction in the guy's eyes and I made several conscious efforts to not stare at him too hard as I spoke to him about this and that.

"So, how are you enjoying Cincinnati? Better or worse than Philly?" his hand brushed lightly against mine as he moved in an inch closer.


And all I could think about was Mr J.

The way he would talk to me, if he was sitting right across from me at this precise moment. The way his eyes would meet mine and the way his lips would part and curl lightly in the most radiant smile I've ever seen. My beautiful man was not there with me and I was on a date with someone who just didn't quite measure up despite all the seeming perfection on the surface.

I excused myself and walked to the bathroom to take a breather. I checked my phone. There was a text message from Mr J - the first one in a long while that was not full of jealousy and distrust. It was a message from Mr J I fell so deeply in love with:

"Hey cutie, thinking of you. Have a good night ;)"

My heart turned into a professional acrobat at that instant and did backward flips and cartwheels.

I returned to the table and drank another glass of wine and talked about exciting things and places I wanted to do and visit with the guy who made so much effort to take me out on this lovely date. The guy touched my hand a couple more times. And it felt nice, and it felt genuine. It just didn't feel quite right.

I promised the guy a second date but, frankly, I don't know if it's ever going to take place. After all has been said and done, time after time, I still continue to realize that I am so in love with Mr J that I can't even enjoy being with anyone else.

And maybe I shouldn't even bother with anyone else for the moment. Not even when Mr J and I don't quite see eye to eye.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Catch Me

Sometimes I wonder how people, who only have been a part of my life for the briefest, time leave a lasting impact on me for years afterward. Their presence, however fleeting, has made enough impact on me to remember them years later. My presence, on the other hand, might not have made any difference or impression at all.

I tend to think of brief romances or flings at first. Most of them were never consummated - brief sparks of attraction, if that, they pop up in my head from time to time and I wonder why I am thinking about them at all. Like there was this one guy shortly after I broke up with my long-term ex-boyfriend who should have not been very memorable at all but, yet, whose face I remember to the smallest detail.

I met him during a girls' weekend to the Jersey Shore a couple of years ago at an almost empty night club my girls and I pretty much took over that night. He was sitting by himself, his contemplative gaze directly towards his beer when we walked into the club. I noticed him eye me up and down as I made my way to the bar to order my first drink and I could feel his occasional glances in my direction throughout the next hour.

I was feeling ballsy and empowered that night, fresh from a breakup and fiercely ready to face the single life, so I walked up to the guy and introduced myself to him. We spent the rest of the night talking and dancing and went down to the beach around 5am to watch the sunrise, all the while in a pleasant inebriated haze.

He was cute but stupid - I could tell that his intelligence was significantly below mine even as I continued to lose myself in a parade of drinks that made it into my system that night. But he was damn cute and I was certainly not looking to discuss quantum physics as I watched the sun rise at the horizon that morning.

Our light courtship carried over into that fall, as he did not live too far away from me but our physical contact never carried over beyond making out. I wanted absolutely nothing from that guy but to enjoy his cuteness as we bar hopped from one Philly bar to another all throughout that fall season.

"We should have had sex last night," he sounded hopeful as he said that to me over the phone one Saturday morning after another night spent in the bliss of Southern Comfort and strobe lights. He said that and I thought, "That's it. I'm done with him. I can't." and, just like that, I completely stopped talking to him.

It was weird the way I ended things because after that I did make a few drunk late night phone calls to him that were spread over the period of several months - we talked briefly every time, and for some time after that he did try to contact me on his own terms but I would never answer. I finally ended up deleting his number all together. The possibility of getting intimate with him was a strange turn off for me, despite his extreme cuteness.

I don't even know why I remember this guy as I felt so disengaged from him, emotionally and physically. There was nothing beyond his looks - no depth, no warmth, no connection and I was mean to him because I didn't think he was smart enough to have his feelings hurt by me. But it's safe to say that he somewhat cared and it's safe to say that I was somewhat of a bitch to him back then.

But why does it matter now, years later?

When I was sixteen, I remember reading The Catcher in the Rye for the very first time and getting captivated by what Holden Caulfield had said in the very concluding chapter of the book: "Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody." I feel like those might have been the most profound words I have ever read. I don't even know why Holden's sentiment is any sort of logical, but sometimes I feel just like J.D. Salinger described Holden to feel in those final few moments of the book.

I feel like that from time to time, about people who didn't really matter to me or people who I only met for a few moments at some random party. I feel like that about friends of ex-boyfriends whom I have only met once or twice and cute guys at bars with whom I only have had the most superficial word exchanges. I feel like that about kind strangers who give up their seats to the elderly on the buses and sassy women at the DMV who renew my driver's license, receptionists and random people's babies.

At some very inner, subconscious level, I kind of... care about all of them. And, bizarrely enough, I still miss all of them too.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Penis Does the Talking

When it comes to online dating and putting information in your profile for other people to view, sometimes even the most innocent statements can elicit the most outrageous remarks.

My profile, which I hastily crafted in a total of five minutes a long time ago, still provides me with a great source of information from desperados all over the world that creep right on over to my page to read my responses to the standard profile questions.

Imagine, if you will, Exhibit 239 - Mr. Unfortunate Head Shot - a guy with a variety of pictures in all of which the background behind his mug seemed to have been his small bathroom. One of his many forgettable head shots was taken a wee bit too up close, showing me just enough of a close up of his face for me to notice a bright red zit on his broad forehead.

His subject line was demanding my attention, just as his zit was demanding my gaze. "I'll tell you why we're bad at communicating..." it read, referring to my short lament withing my profile stating that I was frustrated with men who were bad at communicating their feelings. How could I not read on? Maybe his message was going to reveal the answer to my quandary after all.

What I saw next hurt my eyes and made me lose a little bit of faith in all humanity...

"'s terrible to admit, but my penis is usually the thing talking when it comes time to portray some feelings/emotions. "you don't touch me enough, I feel lonely, other penis get to do this or that, what do I have to do to get more attention?

if my ex just started going down on me everytime I had an issue with her, I would be a total slave to her. it's an ugly truth, but it is the truth."

I messaged him back immediately after I saw the message and begged him to consider me as a potential first date candidate.

No, not really. I deleted the message and never looked back with regret.