Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween envy

You know ... Halloween is the one time of year that I REALLY want to just borrow someone's kids. Not so much because seeing the little tykes run around in their cute little costumes brings on uncontrollable maternal instincts (Though, if I have kids I'd be so excited to get them believing in the Boogeyman then hide under their beds at night and grab at their limbs while they sleep. That will teach 'em to question Mama Sten)

But, no, I want to adopt-for-a-day so I get in on their sweet stash.

For some reason I will never comprehend, our society looks down on a grown woman going trick-or-treating ... even if she's wearing her "sexy" pilot costume. Am I not human too? If my blood sugar is low, do I not want candy? And it is such a wonderful way to get to know your neighbors. As in, how stingy they are.

Or generous - I remember when I was a kid there was a house that gave out dollar bills. That would be my first stop now .... and 10th and 11th.... That was a treat that kept on treating.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


It's funny how time can change your appearance as well as your perspective.

That guy that seemed so funny, smart, and sexy years ago suddenly looks a bit crazy, self-absorbed, and obsessive. His "quirkiness" has transcended into "creepiness."

Perhaps he's really changed for the worse. Maybe the breakup ruined him and now he's a different person than the one you fell in love with.

Or maybe, he was always that guy.
That guy who didn't deserve you.
That guy
you made excuses for.
That guy
who broke your heart.

No matter how far into the past we're exploring...
Our evaluations are always subjective to where we are in the present.

And so, as now feels better and better, then looks less and less appealing.

But I wonder...

If we begin to second guess our previous decisions, then where did all the good from that past relationship go?

Because it sometimes seems as though the more we value ourselves...
The more we re-evaluate the past.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween is bringing "sexy" back

Let's talk about Halloween costumes.

I think there is something sad about just buying a packaged costume. Don't you love Halloween? Don't you want to indulge in a childhood fantasy ... or just feel transformed for a night with a concept you put some thought and effort into?

A few of us went to Columbia Costumes over the weekend to get ready for Halloween. (If you are ever bored, take a trip up there and just play for a little while. I highly recommend it.) Anyway, there is a big wall FILLED with "sexy costumes."
Come on now.
One was a "sexy pilot" with a stretch mini dress vaguely resembling Eskimo garb and a pair of goggles. You know what I think embodies a "sexy pilot?" Someone who can land a plane without killing all the passengers.
That's hot.
Call me crazy, but I prefer credentials to nice legs. That goes for vice presidents too ... but I digress.

What REALLY bothers me about the wall of carnal costumes is that they were all for women ... meaning they were all for men's visual stimulation. What about a little eye candy for the ladies? Don't we deserve to gape at scantily clad "cops" and "pirates." Isn't that our right as sexually repressed Americans? Be fair "Mr. Halloween costume designer." Have a heart.

Now, lack of bare-chested men aside, the worst part of the afternoon is when I asked a sales associate if he had anything that would work with a Jackie Kennedy costume. His reply was ..... "I don't know who that GUY is."
What? Did he really say that? Yes. Yes he did.
I tried to clarify .... "Wife of John F. Kennedy."
He maintained his confused expression.
"Sugar, he was a president. She was a first lady."
He pointed to a "sexy first lady" concoction that was blatantly ripping off Jackie.

So sad.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Every once in awhile I get the single girl itch.

(And no, I'm not talking about the one you can catch from a not-so-clean boy).

I'm talking about the slow, burning itch that means you need to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. You need to dance like no one is watching. You need to paint your nails while watching Nip/Tuck. You need to drink copious amounts of stoli-vanilla and diet coke and spend the good part of Saturday morning/afternoon looking for your car... like you used to.

Like I used to. Before.

Before him.

Before us.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Spontaneity is the spice of life

Overall life has been good to me. I love my job, adore my friends and haven't lived paycheck to paycheck in a long time ... but all that isn't enough. I crave adventure ... and have just booked a flight for the latest.

Saturday we were all out for dinner and then coffee ... unofficially for Sunshine's birthday (but don't tell her that, she was against making the celebration of her existence a big deal.) Before dinner, Chuckles announced he saw a cheap deal on flights to Belize. It peaked some interest, but overall was disregarded. Chuckles is a man of many schemes, so it is difficult to take them all seriously.

But he mentions it again when we went out for coffee. That's when the magic happened ... all of a sudden I think, "what the hell ... let's go." The excitement was infectious. Eight of us right then and there booked the tickets on the cafe's computer. The idea just took off like a prom dress at an after party. Done and done.

"Why Belize?" Some have asked. Because the flight is RIDICULOUSLY cheap, but more importantly because it's an opportunity to see an exotic part of the world with our closest friends. It is something fun to look forward to for the next few months.

And it's there. It exists, and I haven't seen it yet. I promised myself years ago I'd leave the country at least once a year. So far, I've only been to three of the continents, and never Central America. The world is huge, and full of amazing things that just blow my "suburban princess" mind ... and I want to see as much of it as possible before I die. (Which according to my mother will most likely be in Belize.)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sacrifice your senses

Let's say some party pooper pixie told you you had to give up one of your five senses, but you could choose ... what would you pick?

I think sight is non-negotiable. I'm an artist, I'd like to see what I'm doing. I love watching movies and baseball games and peeking in mens locker rooms. I'm not giving any of that up.
Hearing is pretty important too. You've got music, a lover's whisper in your ear, "Boston Sucks" chants in Yankee Stadium ... I'd hold on to that too.
Touch. Yeah ... I like that one. Reasons why are available on the unrated Odd Couple site.

So that leaves taste and smell. There have been times I could do without both. People are stinky and food can be nauseating. But then I think of the smell of fresh cut grass, or a nice aftershave, or a campfire, or the ocean .... hmmmm.

Taste can be wonderful ... like the smokiness of a good scotch. But whenever I have a cold I can't taste anything anyway and I've never lost sleep over it.

There you have it party pooper pixie - I'd give up taste.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Trials of dating part 4: Exes getting married

Ah yes ... one of the side effects of being 28 and having been in the dating circus for 12 years is seeing a few of your exes get married. In my case ... roughly half. And I'm a girl that has more old flames than fingers. (Though not all of them were as impressive.)

Let me say here: This is not a jealous blog. I am in no way ready for that kind of commitment, and more over, never had the desire to make said commitment to any of these men. We all parted well, and I wish them every happiness.

It's their wives I would like a word with.

You owe me. Big time.

Do you think they came out of boy scouts with their current charm and consideration in the bedroom? Hell, no. I bet they even told you some of MY jokes when trying to get your number in the first place.

But you know what they don't do anymore?

– Now "Bozo Boy" doesn't call for booty at an un-Godly hour, forgetting to unlock the door before falling back asleep ... leaving you groggy and freezing in the winter air, knocking on the door.

– "Late Boy" won't show up over and hour late without calling.

– "Bratty Boy" no longer throws a hysterical fit when his HiDef cable gets pixelated, including, of course, refraining from chucking the remote hard against the wall.

– "Weepy Boy" grew a spine and won't cry every time you're mad at him.

– "Water Boy" doesn't fill your mouth with saliva every time you kiss.

– And finally, "Weeney Boy" probably didn't lend you a shirt with a naked (spread eagle) picture of him ironed on .... the FIRST night you stayed over.

That's right. They were all enrolled in the Sten School of Turning Boys into Men. You can go ahead and send along a note of gratitude now – the card need only say "thank you," because once I see your new last name I'll know exactly how I helped you out.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Room for regret

ME: "I like him! He's cute!"
HER: "Yeah! He's like Mr. Big... sorta!"

Numerous cocktails later. A trip to the ladies room alone. I returned to find HER kissing Mr. Big.


She "liked" him for a few days... maybe weeks. And then moved on which I took as my cue: To move in.

I fancied myself quite the stealthy-single-gal. Secret text messages. Secret rendezvous. Secret company in our shared apartment.

I waited for the right time to tell her. And waited. I waited too long, because the way she found out was with her own two eyes. My stealth was no match for her sleuth.

And I knew exactly how she was feeling. I'd been there. I'd broken a man's heart only to have it mended by my friend too-soon after. I knew the rules. Exes. Are. Off. Limits.

ME: "I'm sorry! Ugh! This feels so gross!!! Forgive me?!"

HER: "Sure, he's just a guy. You're my best friend.

And just like that I realized there are no real rules for dating your friend's ex... only regrets.

But not the kind you might think.

It's not the secrets or even the consummate "betrayal."

It's the fact it sometimes takes too long to forgive your friend.
For being lonely. For sharing your taste. For being human.

And after being on both sides of the dating debacle...

For that
, I'm sorry.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sharing means caring

Is it ever OK to date your friend's ex ... or your ex's friends?

Is it ever not OK?

People are not belongings (except perhaps my cabana boy, Eugenio, who slaves away diligently in his tie-dye Speedo with the hope of obtaining a green card.)

Still, your friends' feelings should be be taken into account.

I've experienced both sides here, and really don't know the answer anymore. Years ago, my ex, who was the love of my life (that I desperately wanted back), began seeing a friend of mine. I was fine when we broke up, it seemed right at the time ... but having to see him with some one else was absolute torture.
The friend who was seeing him, came to tell me about it in person. She wanted to let me know from her before I found out through someone else (which is honorable). Though this was harder to swallow than throwing-up in your mouth during a hungover conference call, I appreciated the courage it took to approach me, and the concern that showed for our friendship.

But that experience left me thinking I would never put someone through that kind of pain. Friends' exes were off limits. I would even argue this point fervently with my friends, up to this very year. D., Chuckles, Sunshine and myself were in a heated debate on this very topic, and not a week later I found myself hopelessly smitten with a guy that had once been involved with another close friend. The irony of life never ceases to amaze me.

All I could do was be upfront and honest with everyone. I shared my concerns with the guy, and laid it all out there with the girl. And, even though I felt more awkward than that time I told a snotty midget not to get short with me ... I came out of it with a strengthened friendship and something pretty on my arm for a couple weeks.

You can't help who you fall for. You don't want to hurt anyone, but you also don't want to miss out on something special. I still don't know the answer, but I truly feel that, even though it's corny, you have to treat people with the respect and honesty you would want in return ... then take a step back and watch how it all plays out.

Monday, October 20, 2008

First kisses

I don't think there is anything more terrifying than that split second before a first kiss.

Do you grab the back of his head and pull him to you?
Do you back away a bit and make 'em come get it?
... or are you like me and just stand there trying not to fall down?

I usually think of myself as a confident and fearless woman. I used to hustle Albanian drug dealers at pool when I lived in Italy. I was escorted at gun point off the pyramids in Egypt. Almost nothing fazes me ... Yet I just stood there willing my unreliable knees not to buckle.

Why do I get so rattled at the close proximity of a man? How is a heated debate so much more enticing than enthusiastically agreeing with someone? It amazes me how "chemistry" – a word rooted in science can be so random and unpredictable.

But then, we kiss and the nervousness passes. The brain quiets, the body takes over and for a few fabulous moments I stop thinking and start just feeling.

We shyly say good night, and after crawling into bed, I can still feel his hand in my hair and smell him on my skin.

Falling asleep, I chuckle over that first awkward kiss ... with not a care for what might happen next. Which is rare for me ... always worried about consequences and being in control. But, I guess when you finally decide just to live in the moment, tomorrow becomes too far away to matter.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Things SINGLE people do that drive ME crazy

1. Obsess over the same things over and over again.
I only know how annoying this is, because I used to do it. No amount of discussion is going to make his actions make sense. So STOP thinking about it (And definitely stop telling ME about it).

2. I find it annoying that single people are inherently more clever than I am. They have more time to "themselves" to think, go out, and experience new people and new things, which simply isn't fair.

3. The "Get a room" commentator.
It makes sense when two people are really going at it, pawing away and PDA-ing their way all about town. But if a couple shares a brief kiss goodbye in the company of others, it is NOT a reason to point out their actions and make them feel uncomfortable, THAT just looks like jealousy.

4. The wounded puppy friend.
You know the sort... the one who stops calling YOU once you find someone fabulous and then runs around telling everyone how you "ditched" them when you "found a man." So. Not. True.

5. The "Remember whens"
It's frustrating when your single friends act like you've gone to another planet rather than found someone to share your time (and bedroom) with. They should not constantly ask you "remember" what it was like to "be alone." Of course you do. All those bad dates, awkward phone conversations, and indecipherable text messages will haunt you forever.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

5 things couples do that drive me crazy

Hey, if you're happy, I'm happy. Honestly, seeing cool, satisfied couples out and about gives me that warm feeling that there's someone out there for everyone. But then there are those idiotic duos running rampant that drive me insane. Here's my top 5:

#1 Sucking face in public. I pulled up at a 7 Eleven the other day and there was this couple out front devouring each other's faces. "Oh thank heaven for 7 Eleven?" More like "Oh thank heaven for the Motel 8." Get a friggn' room – or better yet – save it for your living room where I can look in through a telescope when I'm in the mood for some free porn.

#2 Hand-holding slow walkers. It is so annoying when your walking somewhere and the couple in front of you is not only taking up the entire sidewalk with their adorably linked, loving hands ... but they are barely moving forward as they point at anything and everything that catches their romantic eyes. It is a little difficult to get out a polite "excuse me" when I'm throwing up in my mouth.
#3 Bickering brats in the supermarket line. I couldn't care less that snookums grabbed the wrong milk, and I'm pretty sure no one else in the store does either. Chances are he's NOT trying to kill you, and if he was, with that mouth on you, he'd probably use a sledgehammer to make sure the job got done right.
(Note: This blog does NOT condone domestic violence. But the occasional gagging for the sake of every one around you might be appreciated...)

#4 Passive aggressive pairs. I'm trying to enjoy a night with some couple friends and every other sentence is a passive aggressive jab at everything they've done to annoy each other. This gets awkward pretty quickly. It is not so much that the coaster has suddenly become the most interesting object in the world as that I am too terrified of making eye contact and having to participate in their ridiculous attempts to demean each other. I can't wait until there are kids in the picture that can be used as more ammo.

#5 Saintly concern for the poor single friends. Why is it that when people enter into a happy relationship they think anyone who is single must be miserable? The only time I've been MISERABLE is when I've been in unhappy RELATIONSHIPS. You can check your halo the door, "Mother Theresa," Stenny's not eating a bullet tonight ... unless of course you try to set me up again.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cleaning house

At what point after a relationship is over should you delete voice mails, e-mails and text messages? That very night? A week later? Maybe a month so it isn't as painful to revisit those taunting electronic time capsules?

Is a year and a half too long? hmmm... probably.

In my defense, however, the voice mails and texts are LONG gone, and I didn't realize the e-mails were still in there until two days ago when I accidentally clicked on the "view by sender" link. Then KABOOM. There they all were. Nothing can ruin your mood better that a trip down memory lane. Especially if yours, like mine is riddled with Fire Spurts, Lightning Sand, and man-eating R.O.U.S.s.

So I opened the first message ... then another and another ... then burst out laughing. A one line silly sentence about someone at work, a quick "I've been swamped, I miss you, I'll call you later," a note asking for someone's address ... stupid stupid little nothings I had stored up that could not possibly hold any sentimental value. And yet they did. I guess when you love someone any indication that they are thinking about you is priceless.

Oh boy, did I love him. I loved him for years before I ever did anything about it. We were always seeing other people, and he was one of my best friends. I used to think having him in my life at all was enough. He is so smart, talented, funny and oh so handsome. He has the most brilliant smile and perfect jawline I have ever seen on a man.

Only after he took a job across the country and was back for a visit did I find that incredible amount of courage it takes to lift your head up and go for the kiss. I had six months of pure happiness. We each made trips to see each other, talked on the phone regularly ... I thought about moving and he always promised he'd come back.

But it all started to fade. Long distance is so hard. You are never physically there for each other. Life gets in the way of those regular calls, and e-mails get cold and distant. I thought if we just cooled it, we could pick up when he finally moved back. I told him, and then preceded to unintentionally wait ... pining like a lovesick school girl. With pig-tails.

A couple months ago he called ... he was moving back, just like he said he would. But not for me. When we spoke, it was awkward, and when I confessed my lingering affections I got no response. And yet I wasn't as upset as I thought I would be. The person I was talking to was not the one I had loved. Maybe when you put someone up high on a pedestal you no longer see THEM clearly, just your idea of them.

And, so I have finally "cleaned house." With each deleted e-mail I recovered a small piece of my dignity. What an idiot I was. How pathetic to hold out that hope, and how unfair to him to not have been honest with what I was feeling when I had him, then to throw it out there after it was long over.

I have emerged from my stroll on memory lane, averting the Fire Spurts, sidestepping the Lightning Sand and impaling the R.O.U.S.s only to be bonked on the head by the "Six-Fingered Man."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fishing in a group

When is it OK to ask out a new female friend in a group of friends?

Anonymous reader asked...
There is this new girl that I kinda like but she is new to my "Group of friends" is it possible to scare her off the friends if I rush out to try to snag her too soon. Should I even bother, how long is there the friends zone aspect version how long that you are the "$lut" Friends? I can clarify if you have any questions but I think you would get the idea.

Sten answered...
Sometimes it's better to see if there's romantic chemistry before you get in the friend zone. I think honesty is really attractive, and being asked out is flattering. Tell her that you think she's fun and interesting - that you'd like to get to know her better. If she doesn't want to take it there, just be cool and understanding. If you're already smitten, you'd be lusting after her anyway, so there's no harm in finding out how she feels.

Chrissie answered...
I’d like to know “how new” this girl is to the group of friends. And I think it is definitely possible, depending on how new it is to scare her off. You don't want to be the “guy that likes ______” whenever you show up at social gatherings. And honestly, I don’t think the “Friend Zone” exists really... My advice would be to continue to get to know her, flirt with her a little, and see if she reciprocates. If she’s out looking for men while you're around, or openly talking about her crushes in front of you, it’s might not be worth letting her know how you “feel.”

What do YOU think? Is it ever too soon to pursue a new single in your group of friends?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Reasons Not to Snoop

1. They talk.
Yes. He still talks to his EX and says he doesn't. But their conversation is so benign that you would just look crazy for bringing it up, so now you just have to live with the fact you know and can't say anything.

2. He's in debt.
Sure, he pays his credit card bills online but now you know his balances and that he's racking up all those late fees rather than saving for the ring.

3. The ring.
Actually, he's purchased one! And the emailed receipt is his proof that you're the one, and that you've ruined your surprise.

4. He's "that guy."
He emails his buddies about cars, girls and video games. All that time you told yourself he wasn't "like other guys" has been wasted, welcome to reality!

5. You're crazy.
Yes. This is the worst realization that can stem from checking in with him when you should just be checking out of your relationship.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Make your move

A friend (female) said to me, "I don't call boys. If they like me, they have to call me."

I replied, "You are ridiculous."

Why should the guy do all the leg work, ladies? I bet you always put "Ken" in the driver's seat of your "Barbie" convertible too.

I think dating Рand wooing Рshould go both ways. Men need encouragement. They need to feel wanted and desired as much women do. Not to mention, being honest and upfront with your feelings takes a hell of a lot more courage than shyly looking away. At the very least, the man will feel flattered and respect your candor. If he doesn't, he isn't worth your time anyway. I know that sounds clich̩, but really, who wants to date a bag of feminine cleanser? Not me.

Granted, I used to be a lot more forward than I am now ... I'm getting old and my legs are tired from chasing. But I do know from experience how attractive a little feminine aggression can be to a guy. And, as "tired" as I may be, if I want to get to know some one better, I won't coyly hide it.

So all you little prisses out there, listen up: Put your "Barbie" in the driver's seat and go make your move.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Trials of dating part 3: What I miss and don't miss about relationships

What I like about being single.

#1 Checking in. I know you don't have to be a slave to your lover, but it is usually appreciated when you let them know when you're going on a trip ... going out all night with friends ... working late, that sort of thing. Right now I do what I want on a whim. I like that.

#2 Total control of the remote. If I feel like watching a lame Lifetime movie I can. If I want to flip between Family Guy and a Yankee game every 5 seconds there's no one to get annoyed. Or, I can just not flip and suffer through the commercials without a guy getting antsy. It's very liberating.

#3 Sleeping diagonally. Oh yes ... every square inch of that queen-sized bed is all mine. I can sleep on my head with my legs up against the wall if I want. I can make snow angels in the sheets. I can toss and turn like I'm doing the tango in my sleep. It's fantastic.

#4 Spending countless late night hours with my handsome guy friends. D., Chuckles and MacGyver are indispensable to my daily happiness. (Mostly because they are so handsome ... I don't consider attractive men "real people.") It is so difficult to find a guy who is secure enough not to be bothered by that.

#5 The "We" thing. Why is it so many people lose their identity when in a relationship? You become this package deal ... like back in elementary school when those stupid "best friend" little girls had to be picked together to play kickball. I need to have my own life and activities ... something that stays "just for me."

What I miss about having someone (this may get corny)

#1 Bed warmer. I miss waking up on a cold winter morning to arms pulling me into a warm embrace. You don't even realize how chilly you were until you feel his body heat against your back.

#2 Soothe sayer. That one specific voice you NEED to hear after a really bad day. That single person that knows just what to say to make you smile ... or make you want to scream.

#3 Motivator. I have had a couple great boyfriends who would get on my case if I slacked on my goals ... be it a personal art project or just going to the gym. Sometimes I really need a kick in the butt ...

#4 Peace. No one tries to set you up when you're seeing someone or harasses you about why you're not dating. Your parents get off your case for a bit ... that's nice.

#5 Sex. As in meaningful physical intimacy on a regular basis. That is also nice.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Still single

The evening had been planned well in advance, and she wouldn't accept my "I can't go out, I feel fat" excuse for anything.

"Don't worry," she said. "We won't see anyone you know."

And so we ventured to a little celebrated spot and planned an evening of relaxation, overly priced wine, and single-watching.

But while my hopes were to spend time with that old friend, I ran into an old flame instead.

And when I say "old," I mean that literally.
And when I say "flame," I mean he was fired up from a day/evening of drinking and debauchery.

"No way!" exclaimed my friend as he walked in. "What are the odds!"

The odds, as always, were stacked against me.

Eventually the dreaded time came where my friend had to use the restroom and I was needed to save our table and watch our personal belongings.

"Just be quick," I pleaded. "I don't want to make phony conversation with him!"

I wasn't alone for more than 3 seconds before the barrage began. I was used to his close talking and overly flirtatious touching, but this time he dropped a bomb.

"So what did you gain?" He asked. "Like ten pounds?"

Silence on my end.

Because. Yes. Since we began our un-relationship nearly 3 years ago, I've gained about 10 lbs. Too much sitting where I once waited tables. Too many full meals with the man I love. Too many nights feeling content, and not enough on the prowl as I used to be. My single pants sway softly in the closet and I look at them from time to time. Wishing I were slim again, but never single.

"Yes," I replied. "And thank you for pointing it out."

"Hey, I didn't say it was a bad thing!" he exclaimed. "You seem to have gained in all the right places!"

I scrunched my face in disbelief.

Was that supposed to be a compliment?
Was this really the guy I once referred to as the one that got away?

"Well," I said. "I guess some things have changed."

But it wasn't my larger jeans I was talking about. Or the fact my hair was longer and his coat seemed tighter.

It was the clarity with which I could finally see his game.

He wasn't the "one that got away," after all. He was the one I should have let go sooner. The one who could never be the something more I needed.

"Well... I may be fat," I said. "But you're still single."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

And at #5 ... Poughkeepsie!

Gather around my friends – I've come across some interesting, yet unsurprising, information. On a list of the LEAST SINGLE U.S. cities, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., ranked 5th In the country.

I should have seen this coming. There were clues out there. I tried to ignore the glittering of wedding rings at the bar that sparkle like little Christmas lights ... the joyous laughter of children playing outside on Sunday mornings while I'm trying to sleep off a hangover ... but here it is ... the list of "Least Single Cities:"

1: McAllen, TX
2: Lake County, IL
3: Nassau, NY
4: Edison, NJ
5: Poughkeepsie, NY
6: Bakersfield, CA
7: El Paso, TX
8: Allentown, PA-NJ
9: Salt Lake City, UT
10: Oxnard, CA

Monday, October 6, 2008

Alternate realities

My name is Sten ... and I watch reality shows.

I give a squeal of glee when "Project Runway" comes on at odd hours of the night and nothing goes better with a midnight snack than a rerun of "Iron Chef." (Though once I almost lost said snack when watching one of the chefs cut up a live octopus.)

I'll daydream about going on "Survivor" and showing the world how tough and smart I am or getting a whole new look on "What Not To Wear." C'mon ... who doesn't want $5,000 to go shopping in New York?

But most of all, I would LOVE to go on "The Amazing Race." The idea of traveling the world, solving clues, competing in challenges of the body and mind would be a dream come true. It would be the adventure of a life time.

Then there are the shows that make me want to throw up in my mouth.

"Fear Factor." I'm all about the awesome stunts, but in all honesty ... I don't think I could gobble down live bugs or partially developed chicken eggs.

"The Bachelor." The idea of vying for a complete stranger with 24 other women doesn't exactly put the rainbow sprinkles on my ice cream cone. Love may be an age old game, but it shouldn't be a competition. Especially since most of the men on that show are no prize.

Now ... the show I would have the LEAST interest of ever being even on ... drum roll ... "Flavor of Love." You have to be a hard core Public Enemy fan, deaf, blind, or desperate to be on television. I am none of those. If ever given one of his ridiculous over-sized clocks I would:

A. Hang myself.
B. Use the reflective surface to send out an S.O.S.
C. Count down the minutes until Amazing Race came on.

Friday, October 3, 2008

A first date

I suggested we meet for drinks, a place near my apartment, easy to get to but one that didn't include him knowing my home address quite yet.

I didn't want dinner. Dinner was too formal, too intimate. I didn't want to be the one to order the most (or least) expensive thing on the menu. To discuss the check with a man I barely knew. I didn't want to be the one to tell him that his teeth were littered with flecks of the meal he almost-ate during our forced conversation.

And so drinks, I decided.

Just... drinks.

And oddly enough, conversation flowed as easily as our two hearty pours of the best tasting red wine I'd ever received for 4.25 a glass.

He said, "When we..."
And I marked my calendar.

He said, "Next weekend..."
And I said, "Let's."

He said "We should..."
And for the first time in my once-broken-hearted memory, I didn't flinch.

Yes. I thought. We should.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Trials of dating part 2: Bad dates

I am always calm on bad dates. I can be appropriately charming and relaxed ... because I am completely uninterested.

And man, I've had some doosies.

For example — A guy once had me waiting at a restaurant for 35 minutes. THIRTY-FIVE MINUTES! AND no phone call. I decided he stood me up and grabbed my coat when he walked in the door with a stupid smile and lousy excuse. After dinner we rented a movie, which he slept through ... snoring loudly. I gently woke him to say I was leaving (I think it's rude to sneak out unless you've just had sex).
He pulled me down for a kiss .... a kiss I could not have wanted less.
I extracted myself, said "sweet dreams" in a voice dripping with sarcasm and asked only that he return the movie the next day. (It was on my rental card).

He didn't, I got a late fee, and he got a nasty phone call.

And even "better:"
I once met up with a guy for a drink. I liked him, he liked me, so I gave him a ride home. He took me on a tour of the apartment, ending of course with the bedroom... which was by far the most fascinating.


There was actually a woman waiting for him in his bed. He looked mortified ... stumbling over an explanation I could barely hear over my own laughter. I walked out and lost his number.

Trials of dating part 1: Good dates make me stupid.

When I really like a guy I'm an idiot

I don't care if we've known each other for a while, or if I met you on the street that morning. If you're sitting across from me and it is a romantic situation, my knees are shaking under the table, I won't look you in the eye, I will spill and/or knock over everything in sight. Oh, and my voice will crack like a hyena going through puberty.

If I really like you I'll stare at your mouth wanting to kiss it. If we lock eyes I'll have to look away before my face becomes warm and my cheeks start to flush. In that moment I feel as if all my thoughts are printed on my face. Maybe I'll blurt out a stupid joke, hoping the decoy will buy me a second to compose myself. ... It's about as effective as throwing a donut at a cop in hot pursuit. It should work in theory, but is never as effective as I would like.

Of course ... this is if it's a good date.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Trophy Chaste

I've never denied the truth in the statement that men "like a chase."

The thrill they derive from finding, courting, and nearly consuming a woman is not one easily matched.

And so I wonder what happens when the chase is over.
When after all his running around and her playing coy the pursuit comes to an end and it's the relationship that suddenly seems trivial.

You can't chase your live-in girlfriend, fiance, or wife around the house without seeming strange. And if she turns down your advances, the end result isn't a surge of testosterone like it used to be, but an increase in dissatisfaction and communication.

Where once a chase ended in gain, it suddenly ends with a finality.

The desire is gone... because the prize has been won.

And after all his thrills it seems the gal has turned from the sought after trophy itself...

To the women who simply spends her time dusting it.