A Series of Unfortunate Events

San Francisco is a small city, but small can be great. We get to randomly run into good friends at bars, at the gym, or spontaneously in the street. The 7X7 square mile city is especially perfect for events like Bay to Breakers when you can stumble through the whole city in a few drunken hours and even see a few pierced genitals along the way. But when it comes to the dating scene, size matters, and honestly, it wouldn’t hurt if it were a bit bigger.

Comparatively speaking, my dating life is relatively tame. Yet, I seem to just have luck like none other when it comes to less-than-ideal run-ins. Let’s take a look through a few of our favorites.

  • The last guy I went on a date with was a typical blind date. Conversation was a great balance of fun, flirtatious, and sweet. Nothing spectacular, but enough to solidify a second date. Adhering to the dating playbook, he texted me two days later to set up our next date. We exchanged a few messages, and began discussing logistics for our next encounter. Then, 15 minutes after my last text went unanswered, I saw him. On a date. With another girl.
    We both happened to be at the same small ice cream shop in a random
    neighborhood. My gut reaction was to wave uncomfortably and fake a smile, most likely with chocolate chips smeared on my teeth. He gave an equally uncomfortable smile back and then turned around to focus on his date. (Side note – they looked better together then we could ever, so more power to him. But that’s beside the point). He never responded to my message, we did not go on the date were in the middle of planning, and we will most likely never speak again.

 

  • The previous guy I went out with went very similarly. We met out, texted for a bit, and went on a date that was really 4 dates in one. Afterward, I found myself in almost unchartered territory. He was seemingly being very genuine, saying sweet things in an effort to win me over, and we exchanged texts back and forth the next few days. A couple days later, I sent him a text to plan when we’d see each other again, which was left unanswered for a few hours. Panic was starting to set it, as I began preparing myself for the all-too-familiar ghosting situation. But then….it happened. As I was waiting for a bus, he walked right in front of me, cuddle-walking with another girl. This was definitely not a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd date type of situation by the way they were swaying arm-in-arm down the street. Needless to say, I’d been John-Tuckered over, my message went unanswered, and again, we will never speak again.

 

  • We’re all aware of the weird situation where I found myself playing basketball against a former fling.

 

  • Once I made plans with a guy to have all our friends meet up together at a bar. When we were texting during the afternoon, we realized we both happened to be at the same park. My friend and I went over to chat with him and his friends, and that’s when it happened. He was with a group of friends and one of them was a guy that formerly ghosted on me (we’ll call him Guy D). After a lot weirdly positioning my body to avoid eye contact with Guy D, his friend and I never spoke again.

 

  • And that leads to me this story. I have this weird relationship with a popular bar in the city. But one time I went there for a family member’s going away party, and long story short, my baby cousin was in the bar. I was tasked with babysitting, and was planning on taking him home once the party started getting rowdy. I was leaving the bar carrying the baby and locked eyes with a former date, who also happened to be Guy D from the park (why is he everywhere?!). He looked at me with sheer terror as if I were the mother of this baby. Funnily enough, the baby happened to be exactly the age he would be if me Guy D really hit it off. But thankfully for everyone involved, this blog is rightly entitled Celibate in the City.

 

  • Next, there was a guy friend of mine that was my first friend in the city. We “hung out” a few times on weird date-like things, and much to my friends’ amusement, only had really weird stories that came of it. But, we continued to be friends that would text and snapchat upon occasion. (I use the term “friend” lightly, as he is an odd character whose snapchat name involves the word daddy and the number 69). Anyway, we ran into each other out one night. After our casual run in, he was texting me wanting to meet up, but I had stopped responding because I made “friends” with someone else at the bar. Yet again long story short, he showed up at the bar too little too late and found me “making friends” with someone else against the wall.

 

  • There was one guy I went on a few dates with that lived mere blocks from me. Naturally, I was convinced I’d run into him looking super haggard after a late night out, or at our mutual Walgreens buying toilet paper. I never ran into him, until the very last night I lived in that neighborhood.

 

With luck this good, I really should buy a lottery ticket.

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One-Sided Cuddling

In general, I am not a touchy person. In fact, I absolutely loathe the majority of touching. If someone puts their hand near my face, I immediately and involuntarily retract from their touch. This is partly due to my delicate balance of greasy face makeup, excessively hair sprayed bangs, and extreme germophobia, but is also rooted in something deeper. At some point in my life, I missed out on the whole “hugging” thing. This is not to say that I was some weird kid that grew up in a home where I received no love or physical attention, because it was in fact quite the contrary. Rather, when I first entered my precious tweenage years, I somehow never got into the whole “Let’s cuddle on the couch and watch The O.C.” Because of this, I find myself as a young adult, stuck in the same awkward position when a roommate suggests “Let’s drink wine on the couch and watch The Bachelor.”

Almost daily, I have a brief moment of panic whenever someone goes in for the friendly hug greeting or farewell. This situation inevitably ends with me doing a combination monkey dance/martial arts move, culminating with one arm hooked above the innocent hugger’s shoulder (almost always too tall for me to achieve this move) and the other arm limply draped across their lower back. Without fail, one or both hands do this strange back-pat, that would only ever be delivered by your older and distant uncle while he tells you to “carry on” or “take care.” By this point, both myself, complete with two gangly, patting arms, and the poor soul that mistakenly tried to give me a friendly salutation, feel pretty damn awkward.

With this is mind, it is important to note that it’s not that I dislike affection, but rather that I dislike affection and physical contact from most people. I’ll go about this strange solitary life for several months, sometimes brushing against a coworker in the kitchen at work or a very unaware tourist downtown, but keeping myself and all limbs inside my personal bubble. At some point, it dawns on me that I haven’t had any physical contact in an obscene amount of time and I’m pretty sure that’s a characteristic of serial killers, feral children, and other groups I try to avoid emulating.

It is around this time that I discover my need to hold and be held. Of course, without a love interest, it is hard to come by welcome and reciprocated cuddling easily. To best address this issue, I turn to one-sided cuddling on my morning commute.

First, I pick a victim. The target of my unwarranted affection is undoubtedly the best looking, apparently single, and hopelessly unaware bus commuter. Morning bus rides are hands down the best place to engage in one-sided cuddling. Let me explain:

  • Everyone is en route to work and looks relatively clean
  • It’s early enough that people aren’t fully aware of their surroundings (or sneaky cuddlers)
  • The bus is so crowded it’s easy to position yourself in cuddling range
  • Frequent stops = frequent opportunities to “bump” into each other

Similar to Fight Club, the most important rule of one-sided cuddling is that you don’t talk about it. It both begins and ends on the bus and must ALWAYS remain one-sided. If your victim realizes that you are publicly cuddling them, you have failed and are disqualified from further one-sided cuddling that bus ride.

While some may not understand the deep rooted necessity of one-sided cuddling, it is very important practice. One day, when I am fortunate enough to engage in consensual cuddling, I will be very thankful for my year(s) of practice on unsuspecting bystanders that unknowingly obliged.

One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish

This one is a banker.
This one is an engineer.
This one is a policy maker.
Say! What a lot
Of fish there are.

Yes. Some are short. And some are tall.
Some are old. And some have no balls.

Some are sad.
And some are glad.
And some are very, very bad.

From there to here, from here to there,
Funny things
Are everywhere.

We see them come.
We see them go.
Some text back.
And some don’t show.

Oh me! Oh my!
Oh me! Oh my!
What a lot
Of guys go by.

Love and Basketball

Intramural basketball –  The one guarantee that you’ll have sweaty physical contact with a male’s body on a weekly basis.

I recently joined a coed basketball league, solely relying on my preteen ball-handling skills to carry me through to success. I figured it would be fun to run around with a few friends, and possibly meet other cool people in the city. And just like the early 2000s hit movie made it seem, the sport can really bring out the emotions between two passionate basketball players, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

The day of our highly-anticipated first official game finally came around and I wasn’t feeling that great. I called my friend to let her know I was going to bail, but with her smooth words, “Ahh come on WE NEED YOU…and who knows, you might just meet your soulmate ;)”, I was easily persuaded.  That’s really all it took for me to get off the couch, wish my ailments away, and show up at the high school gym ready to bring it. (Or more accurately, watch everyone else bring it, while haphazardly finding the exact wrong place to put my body, so as to get in everyone’s way and make it harder for our team to do anything productive.)

I arrived at the gym, and my gaze was met with fate. Directly ahead of me wasn’t my soul mate…but someone way worse. Using our scale of 1-your ex’s with his new chick, this guy would rate at about an 8.5.

Flashback to last November. This guy and I began talking, went on a few fun dates, and he actively pursued me for about 3 months. Because of the holidays and extended vacations home, things didn’t get too serious. He did, however, earn his spot in past posts due to his ghosting-like behavior, including the Human Centipede.

Thankfully my gut reaction to being in uncomfortable situations is being overly friendly, which led me to open the conversation that led us to sharing only about 7 words before the tip off. None of which addressed the fact that we knew (or dated) each other previously.

Our team’s defensive strategy – if you can really call it a strategy – throughout the game was man-on-man, meaning we all match up with someone around our  same height. Unfortunately for me, that meant I was guarding said guy. (Reasons like this also fuel my belief that you should aim to date guys quite a bit taller than you.) Throughout the game, we had just about as much physical contact as we did on the first date as I was casually pushing my backside into him to box him out, throwing my arms in his face to take the ball from him, and finally shoving my body into him, resulting in him slamming into the wall. This was all done gracefully, of course.

Neither of us, nor our teams, were particularly good at basketball so it definitely took some pressure off. It was just a mess-around game, that my team ended up losing. After our loss, we all formed a line and shook hands, bringing me back to the junior high days. I gave him an extra look as we passed one another, and he responded by gazing toward the floor. Following that unfortunate interaction, he picked up his things and walked right by me to leave with out saying anything. So much for my fourth quarter romance.

To my surprise, I received a text when I got home saying, “fancy running into you tonight ;)”, although he made absolutely no effort to talk to me in person. After receiving a friendly, yet slightly snarky response from me, he followed up the next morning with, “so…how about a drink on Saturday?”

Unfortunately for him, I have a strong belief that if you don’t have enough social skills to be friendly when you are literally fouling all over a girl you dated, you shouldn’t deserve to get a follow-up drink with her. Our story will remain, like most good love stories, forever within the sweat-stained halls of a high school.

Stay tuned for the prequel to this coming soon, called “Why You Don’t Date Guys Named Emily”.

First Textual Experience

Gleaning inspiration from Aziz Ansari’s recent appearance on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, we thought we’d add some flavor of our own. These are some of our more recent contenders for our First Textual Experience.

“Most dudes are just writing very weird things” – Ansari

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Note the time lapse on that one

 

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If anyone has any clues as to what a “V button” is, we’re all ears. We’ve been wondering since February.

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Is this real life?

And really only one warranted a response:

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The only thing that could make these better would be Aziz himself reading them.

The Pre-dick-ament: Yolo Mindset vs. Preserving Our Dignity

We’ve all been here…You meet someone, there’s a mutual attraction, you exchange numbers, swap a few flirtatious conversations, and score yourself a date. Everything goes great, but then the Golden 3-Day Rule passes and you still haven’t heard from him. So you start to wonder…is he playing it extra cool, or is he just cooling off?

The problem arises, not during the date, nor immediately after. Recently I’ve gone a long string of great first, and sometimes second dates. I’ve typically shied away from this unfocused approach to dating, but lately it’s been fun getting out and meeting new people, getting really good at having the same conversations about which neighborhoods are the best to go out in, and building up my verbal ammunition to keep Grandma at bay when she calls again to see if I have a boyfriend yet. And to be honest, it’s hard to count on any guy in particular working out, so I have to keep my options open.

In all these situations, my date and I have really hit it off. The guy never fails to either text me later that night, or the next morning with a variety of flirty puns and emojis. This further provides me with validation that I do have some basic social skills that enable me to successfully recognize when two people mutually enjoy each other’s company.

The let down comes later. He is initially eager, brings up talk of a next date and proposes “grabbing drinks after work,” so it’s only natural to be confused when he fails to make contact again. This is the point where us girls have to ask ourselves… Are we going to pursue the “Yolo Mindset” and text him in order to further build our rapport, or preserve our self-dignity and let him reach out first. To better understand the two schools of thought, lets dive a little deeper.

The “Yolo Mindset”: we’re young, free of commitment and responsibility (besides coming up with astronomical San Francisco rent that rivals buying a small island in the Pacific), and really have nothing to lose. A generation raised on Destiny’s child, we’re independent and driven women that have control over our social lives and try steer clear of double standards. We want to progress in our dating endeavors, and just give the guy a chance to see what can come of it. Worst case scenario, a pleasant guy (most of the time) buys you a drink at a new bar.

On the other hand, “Preserving our Self-Dignity” lets a guy to prove his interest by initiating follow-up dates. After all, do we really want to date someone that isn’t thrilled to spend time with us? This is not being old fashioned, waiting around for guys to ask us out, but rather trying to avoid becoming emotionally scarred by putting ourselves “out there” time after time for a guy that for all we know could be an ax murderer to begin with.

Now, regardless of which tactic we choose to use, the end goal is to have a date lined up with a potential suitor. Why is this important to figure out these plans in advance? Between full-time work, attempting to become svelte at the gym, going to happy hour with coworkers, texting your best friend the intricate details of daily life, and partaking in other necessary chores (i.e., laundry, personal grooming, and the occasional Netflix spree), there are limited open slots in the calendar. When it comes to dating, how spontaneous can you really be? You simply can’t receive a text on a Thursday afternoon planning to “grab drinks” when you would have to ditch your gym plans (for the 7th time that week), run home to blot the day’s grease, and put on an outfit that classily shows off your best ass-ets.

Following the Self-Preservation method myself, I am generally pretty conservative in my texting game. But at some point or another, The Pre-dick-ament comes along with a slap in the face, and I’m torn between texting him, or sitting idly and letting a free evening pass without plans. Lately, I’ve noticed a shift in myself towards more “Yolo” impulses, and I end up texting the frontrunner to see if our plans are still on.

I was going through my old texts, and to my amusement, I screenshotted 7 (yes, seven) conversations with different guys that I’ve gone on dates with in the past 2 months. All the dates were the perfect balance of fun, flirty, and the right amount of awkward, leading to day-after texts and talk of a second date. The day comes along that we agree upon, and I haven’t heard from him again, so I send some friendly variation of, “Hey! Hope you had a great rest of your week. Are we still on for tomorrow?”. In all 7 examples, I simply never receive a response from said guy. He drops off the face of the planet, never to be heard from again.

So how do you know where to draw the line between being a stage-5 clinger and chasing after someone that’s not that interested, and being a confident, sexy, independent, and modern woman that’s not afraid to put it all out there? K-Dawg and I, being analytical science nerds ourselves (think girl-next-door kind of sexy mixed with unshapely lab coats and flame protective goggles), often try to get to the bottom of this pre-dick-ament and determine the best course of action. But no matter how many tests we run or data points we generate, we have yet to come to a conclusion. How do you minimize risk and maximize gain? Do you put yourself out there with a high chance of rejection, or do you casually wait for him to text you, and potentially spend the evening with a bowl of popcorn (and your eye makeup applied to perfection)?

One thing is for certain: Human Centipede jokes almost always guarantee you won’t get a text back.*

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*Ok…I take responsibility for this one.

Not-So-Double-Date

There I was, having a perfectly average day at work, when C-Money presented me with an offer I simply couldn’t resist. (It should be noted that if something is suggested to me and there is at least “Come on, it’ll be fun!” I agree immediately.) So what was this awesome plan that caused me to skip 50 minutes of intense sweating on a stationary bike (seriously, do those seats hurt anyone else as much as they hurt me…)? Turns out, C-Money was going on a first date with Guy A and his fun “roommate.” You know something is mysterious because of the quotation marks. Unfortunately, there were no quotation marks when this plan was proposed. We both figured this was a good opportunity as attractive, single, young people are friends with other attractive, single, young people… Right? Following this logic, I rushed home to scrub off the day’s grease and throw on something that read “I didn’t try hard at all” when really I tried on at least 7 tops before settling on a gray tank top.

Whilst powdering my nose and overly hair spraying my bangs, I was texting with C-Money about all of our first date qualms and jokes. Amongst discussing the ever awkward I’m-going-to-offer-to-pay-but-I-hope-you-insist situation, we joked, “Watch the roommate be someone that we’ve already gone on a date with! Hahaha! What if his roommate is a girl? Hahaha!” But jokes are just that… Jokes.

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After a quick bus ride, I decided to lurk outside the bar to give C-Money and her date some time to get to know one another before I barged in and said something mildly inappropriate and offsetting.  So I stood outside, leaning against a graffitied wall, looking particularly like a hooker with great hygiene and upper-middle class clientele. While innocently enjoying my spray painted perch, I was suddenly overcome with terror as “joke” #1 came to fruition.

My fleeting thoughts into the daily life of escorts came to a crashing end when I saw a previous date stroll into the bar. San Francisco is a pretty small city so I shouldn’t be entirely surprised to run into him… But what’re the chances he would be in the same bar on the same weeknight at the same time? In terms of people to run into, I’m going to rate him a 6.5 on the scale from 1-your ex’s with his new chick. My date with him was amiable enough, but there was an exchange of texts after our date that read “I definitely saw you tonight” (but failed to say hello) that escalated the situation a few notches up the awkward ladder.

After several minutes of frenzied thoughts and planning my escape routes, I took the plunge and entered the bar. To my great relief, Date Boy was sitting at the bar with his back turned to C-Money’s date I was crashing. I straightened my posture, realizing my half of the date was fashionably late. How endearing is that?? C-Money asked something innocent enough such as “Oh, did you go to college with your roommate?” What happened next is what I like to refer to as The Pronoun: A Game Changer. “Yeah, she did.” She. A feminine pronoun. Whoop there it is. Being one of those people that wears their feelings on their face, I tried to compose my expression and think of an explanation for my burst of laughter. In attempts to be a true best friend, I greeted the female roommate with a smile and some bad jokes and decided I would have a great friend date with her!

The date was progressing well for C-Money so I had no problems offering myself as a “shelf” for her date to rest his elbow on. In that moment, I realized that I’ve never met a better match for my best friend. Need I mention that they would produce the most perfect little Aryan babies? Real talk, I would be down to double date as many female roommates as he has in order to support the budding romance between C-Money and Guy A.

We headed several blocks down to the hipster concert venue. By this point, I felt pretty inadequate in my gray tank top and wondered how I could have passed up such a perfect opportunity to wear a flannel.  Choosing to listen exclusively to one hit wonders from the early 2000’s, I knew I wouldn’t know any of the bands playing. What I didn’t realize, however, was how very sober I was! An awkwardly small crowd, we were all inspired in the art of dance by a middle-aged man pulling out all the moves right in front of the stage. His best move of the night was easily the rhythmic, and very aggressive, head thrashing dangerously close to the speakers. With moves on that level, it’s a good thing he brought a backpack with multiple moisture wicking shirts to deal with the sweat he was working up.

In addition to a very entertaining crowd, the bands provided me with enough entertainment without listening to any of their songs. Never will I understand how grown men could possibly be supported by such skinny legs. I spent a good song and half wondering how many inches in circumference my thighs had on the bassist. After Skinny Legs and the Visible Boner left the stage, 1980’s Cult Movies Revival performed their own set of songs I will never hear again. Dressed in a similar trench coat as “The Criminal” in The Breakfast Club, I only wish that “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” was playing… And that I could forget about them.

By this point, I had accepted my fate and decided to make the most of the confusing turn of events before the headliner came on. I tried desperately to master that body-sway move people do to soft rock. Question: is my rhythm that bad or does everyone feel awkward when trying this style? Good thing I was on a date with a girl.

Finally, The Androgynous High-Top Sneakers came out to stage to blow my mind once and for all. And boy was my mind blown. I had no idea that females ever had shorter bangs than their male bandmates or that Cousin Itt could play backup guitar so well. Seriously, there was so much hair happening everywhere I just wanted to raid the stage with hair ties and bobby pins. Unfortunately for humanity, I wasn’t able to do so. Instead, I awkwardly shifted my body weight to the music with constant awe that there are so many different variations of the high-tops and skinny jean look.

Now, despite the fact that I went on a double date (with only one couple) and my handsome date turned out to be a heterosexual and unavailable female, I had a great night! Why? Cause any situation, any date, and any terrible underground hipster rock band concert can make for an amazing experience when you’re with your best friend (and a few beers deep).

Celibacy: The Quick ‘N Dirty on Being Slow ‘N Clean

Trust us, you’re certainly not the first to wonder why we’ve chosen to refrain from polyamorous drunken antics common among members of our age group. In fact, we’ve have many an inebriated young man ask us this very question. While shock and bewilderment crosses his face, as the sobering reality sinks in that, although he bought me 16 ounces of luke warm Coors Light, he’s not getting the happy ending he’s come to expect.

A true bonding moment of our friendship was when we realized we both place the same importance on sex and valuing ourselves and our relationships. Our decision is not based off a higher calling, antiquated beliefs, and certainly not the sheer lack of physical desire. These impenetrable decisions aren’t really hard choices at all. Our mindsets have been solidified with the help of some dear friends we’ve met along the way.

First and frequently, there’s the guy who is so sweet on Saturday night, but once he learns that we’re not immediately down for his cause, his phone undoubtedly finds itself water damaged at the bottom of a pool.* Then there’s the one who similarly looks like soulmate-material, but conveniently fails to mention that he’s got a girl waiting for him at home (their framed picture rests on his nightstand). Let’s not forget about the guy who went out of his way to keep in touch over the holidays and across international waters, but has the misfortune of transforming into a ghost before he has a chance to take me on all the dates he told me about.* Up next, there’s the guy that’s scared of commitment, but is wholly committed to leading girls to believe otherwise. And finally, there’s the guy that enthusiastically pursues you via a dating app, leading you to believe the hype that modern dating could actually work, but then loses his cell signal indefinitely in the middle of Silicon Valley.*

*Although these anecdotes have not been confirmed, they are all seemingly more valid reasons for falling off the face of the planet than simply losing interest.

With the abundance of these situations we’ve encountered throughout both college and the young adult dating scene, we’ve learned better than to get our hopes up (…or take our pants off) for this handsome and charming man. Instead, we wait impatiently for someone who will respect us, our bodies, our intellect, and our personalities enough to still be interested in the morning. Thankfully, in hard and arid times, we can rely on each other to restore confidence in our decisions and know that our waiting will eventually pay off. In the mean time, we settle for this:

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#tindertuesday

Tinder: where the hot guys are stock photos uploaded by junior high boys lying about their age, everyone is really dedicated to working hard but playing harder, and cuddling and adventuring are tied for everyone’s favorite activities.

You hate yourself every time you sign into the app but spend your rare free time swiping (mostly left) only to realize the return on your investment is close to none…because let’s be real, how many of these guys posing with tigers or giant fish would you actually go on a date with?

And yes, as endearing as the picture dancing with the 6 year old niece is, you feel confused when you scroll further to find him in a cool, casual position revealing his well defined triceps in a dirty bathroom mirror.

But then there are the ones that seem normal and nice enough, and in a way that only the Tinder gods will understand, you both swipe right and see “It’s a Match!” pop up on your screen. You momentarily put your phone down to go get more popcorn only to come back to an introductory message like this…

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And, being a self respecting human with at least one scrap of dignity, you have no choice but to kindly respond:

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Needless to say, I never got the chance to meet his pinky toe and see the resemblance for myself.