Misery is for Sharing

One of my icebreakers on first dates is to ask about a time they’ve been on a really terrible date.  Before you get all holier-than-thou, and throw out that the first commandment of early dating is “thou shalt not speak of one’s exes,” let me explain.  I do not tell the worst or most painful stories I have about my most meaningful relationships.  I do not even always use this icebreaker.  However, with a person who has a good sense of humor, I think each sharing a bad first date story can do a few things:

  1. Ease the tension a bit. Even if you’re not someone who gets very nervous about a first date, most people tend to hope that things go well, and with that hope often comes some anxiousness that things will not go well.
  2. Form a connection.  By each sharing a bad experience you’ve had while engaging in the very activity you’re currently participating in, you realize you’re in the same boat and have at least one thing in common: your commitment to wade through ridiculousness in order to find happiness.
  3. Get a sense of whether your current date shares the undesirable trait(s) of your past date.  Hopefully the person sitting with you laughs uproariously at your tale of woe and says, “oh man that sounds awful!  That person was crazy.”  If they stare blankly when you’re done and say, “I don’t understand what that person did wrong,” well, you’re screwed.  You might as well order a really strong drink and accept the fact that you’re on another bad date.
  4. Give your date a clue about what not to do.  Your story is about hating how someone monopolized the conversation and never asked a single thing about you or your life?  If your date is the type of person who tends to ramble when they’re nervous, you’ve now presented that as a deal breaker, and they can try to be extra conscious about not falling into that habit.
  5. Laugh. Let’s all admit that it can be funny to hear about someone else’s misfortune.

Try it sometime.

With love, B!

 

Who Doesn’t Like Tom Hanks??

Tom Hanks created a typewriter app inspired by his love of old typewriters.  How are you not a fan?

Moral of this story? Follow your gut. I had reservations about somebody who wasn’t a fan of Mr.Hanks, who genuinely seems like one of the nicest nice guys in Hollywood.  I continued seeing this Bumble Bro because I figured I shouldn’t expect everyone to love Tommy the way I do. Five dates later, he ghosted me real hard. Should’ve known he wasn’t decent!

Let it B

B is for boys.  B is for buttheads.  B is for being a badass when faced with boys who are buttheads.  I’ve had my share.  I’m a little different than my blogger counterpart, J.  Whereas she grew up in a house with a solid relationship model on display every day, my childhood was a little more fractured.  A little more like the norm of today rather than the norm of the 1950s.

My parents met at a pig roast on the beach.  Dad was a never married late-twenty-something leading a fairly uncomplicated life as a grocery clerk.  Mom was living with her parents, newly divorced with an infant.  Seven years later, I came along, and six years after that, the marriage dissolved.  I grew up being shuttled between homes every other weekend, acquired step-parents (mine are AWESOME — many sympathies if yours are lame), and got to feel that unique blend of awkward shame/guilt that every kid feels when an adult looks at you with pity-filled eyes and says something about how they’re sorry you’re part of a “broken family.”

Let’s get one thing straight — my childhood wasn’t broken because my parents split up.  My childhood was enlightened by the idea that if you’re not happy with someone, you are allowed to leave.  You should try your darnedest, but at the end of the day, if you’ll both be happier apart, then apart is how you should be.

Independence should not be scary.  It should be enjoyed.  Even my grandmothers valued their independence.  One outlived her spouse by eighteen years and never looked twice at another man — she’d disliked the one she married, so why do that again?  My other grandmother was married at eighteen and has currently been married for 72 years.  You know what she urged any child or grandchild who would listen?  Don’t get married at eighteen!

So here I am, the oldest unwed grandchild on either side.  Unlike J, I do not ever date very aggressively.  The thought of 3-4 first dates a week sounds like precisely zero fun.  I like creating deep connections, and modern dating with its apps and ghosting and the swipe swipe swipe just….oy, can you pass a novel?  I think I’ll have more fun buried in one of those than with some dude from Tinder buried in me.  Just sayin’.

Still, here’s the magical part: even though I personally don’t date that much, I have a way of drawing out people’s best stories.  You know when you do something outrageous or terrible or disgusting, and there is literally ONE person in your phone who you can tell without fear of judgement?  That’s me.  The person who first dates open up to about all of their weird fetishes and fantasies?  Also me.  I don’t know how or why this is the power I’ve been granted, but as someone who is curious as fuck and dearly loves to laugh, I have to say, being that person is pretty damned perfect.

I have learned a lot from being a fairly independent collector of absurd dating stories.  Get ready to learn some things, too.

With love, B!

 

I am J, nice to meet you!

I am number 4 in a line of 5 kids. To this day, at almost 30, me and my baby brother who is a year and a half younger, are still known as, “the little kids.” Perhaps it is the way we fall in the lineup of kids, or the fact that we are still the ones who act like children, as we have three very successful siblings to look up to. One is an executive and married to a densits, one is an editor in Chicago and has a husband in advertising and the middle one, who is a successful coach married to a woman who is a scientist. Then there remains my little brother who loves living with my parents and has no intention of moving out, but who does have a good job and professional ambition, and me, working a great career and paying rent in someone’s basement, mostly on time each month!

Despite the fact that I am enjoying the last year of my 20’s, I still hide things from my parents as if they will ground me, but perhaps the other reason is the constant look of disapproval due to what I refer to as, “oversharing.”

Even though my parents are amazing, and way cooler the older I get — like when my dad and I drink whiskey on the rocks wherever appropriate — my tales of getting tail are not something they actively ask about or care to know of.  Admittedly, I do not have a great track record, and so I understand their hesitation, but they do not seem to understand the trials and tribulations included in dating in 2016.

For example, I do not have kids nor have I ever been married, which makes me a rare breed these days, however, I have dated people who are divorced and have kids, which is more of the norm. This is a concept that is hard for my parents, who grew up in religious homes, to comprehend. We live in an age where things like finding one night stands via a free app on our phones, followed by ghosting the next day seem to be, “just another weekend.”

The constant turn around and judgment makes it all exhausting but that does not stop me from the continued torture of subjecting myself to it. With all of today’s technology it is nearly impossible to not line a different date up every day of the week, and for a woman, this is a great way to get free drinks or dinner — which sounds fantastic, but with it comes the risk of going out with guys who are usually single for very obvious reasons. This is a necessary step though, as you have to sift through all of them to find the ones worth dating!

So here I am, J, holding on to my 20’s but trying to figure this all out and get my shit together. If anyone has a seemingly normal male, tall and in his mid-to-late 30’s, let me have his number because I still have happy hour open tomorrow, before my dinner date begins.

With love, J!