Baby’s First OKCupid Date

May 14th, 2013

7:20 pm Walking to the experimental Starbucks that serves wine and small plates in the evening to meet Frank.

I don’t know how to do this.  If I’m there first, do I order without him?  If he’s already there, how do I figure out whether or not he’s willing to foot the bill?  How does this work in modern times?  I think it’s possible that what I know of dating comes mostly from the book “Valley of the Dolls”, the musical number from “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”’s  “Been a Long Day.” and Bye, Bye Birdie.  Oy.  That could explain a lot, I am suddenly realizing.  It’s good that I’m doing this.

7:30 pm  I arrived promptly at 7:30, the decided upon time, as is my fashion.  I locked eyes with a guy on my way in and momentarily panicked thinking he was a guy with whom I went to  high school.  I hesitated, not sure whether or not to say “hi Nick.”  It might not be him, but if it was, I had not only definitely made eye contact, but was continuing that eye contact.  But it definitely wasn’t Nick from high school.  Just a boyishly cute boy working on his laptop.  Unaccompanied.  And sans-wedding ring.

7:42 pm There is traffic and all sorts of things, but at what point have I been stood up.  And who it that cute boy I locked eyes with on the way in here?  Am I hoping to be stoodup? I suppose that means I’m free to hit on that boy at the tall table working on his laptop.

Okay 7:51 pm, Still no show.  A girl asked me tentatively if I was Lisa.  She, too, is trying to locate her date.

7:54 pm The door opens and I feel myself cringe.  Discovering it is just some girl I feel both relief and disappointment.  I need to get this first date out of the way.  I feel bad sitting here without having ordered.  Maybe I should get something on my way out when the standup is official.

Will I really go through with it?  Will I hit on that guy?  How does one flirt?  I used to be good at it.  I think.  At least I enjoyed it and whatever I was doing came naturally.

8:00  pm This whole time I had envisioned calling my parents at this time on the nose and asking dryly “at what point do you know you’ve been stoodup?” But I don’t feel like it.  I’m pretty happy sitting here.  I will order something.

8:04 pm Ordered a hot chocolate.  Struck out hitting on the guy.  Am calling the fam while I walk with my cocoa and enjoy the evening.

The above notes were taken on my cell phone as I sat in the Starbucks.  They were read to my parents over the phone on the walk and e-mailed to my sister and brother-in-law with the subject line “Baby’s First OKCupid Date.”  Hence this blog post.


Do You Know Where Your Children Are? Yes, And I Wish I Didn’t!

Between facebook, Twitter, and cell phone tracking devices we not only know where our children are, but exactly what they’re doing–we have photographic evidence of every moment of their escapades and shenanigans.

This is not good.

No, I don’t mean that the photos of their revelries will preclude them from getting a job someday.  Not at all.  I am concerned because it makes the parents so concerned and overly involved.

Que?  DancingCurmudgeon are you suggesting that concerned, involved parents are a bad thing?  Yes.  When it has reached the point where it is today–absolutely.

Kids today, for the most part, aren’t doing anything we weren’t doing at their age.  And we, for the most part, turned out fine.  Even if those decisions were bad or dangerous and had consequences, they were our actions and we wear those consequences as badges of honor and, hopefully, wisdom, or at least knowledge gained.

The Rules

May 14th, 2013

I am a sporadically unemployed spinster with serious trust issues.  And I am joining the dating world.

[cue the sound of war drums]

I have developed a set of rules for this journey.  Of course, now that I have written that last sentence on the page I realize that beginning a story with a set of rules is like introducing a gun in the first act.  But let us hope not because I firmly believe these to be sound rules that will allow me to, as Oscar Wilde said, “live, live the wonderful life that is in” me.  I have always had boyfriends.  Long-term, steady, ultimately terrible-for-me boyfriends.  I do not wish to waste my precious time on anyone at all similar to anyone I have ever dated.

There is a strange, deep-rooted instinct in my generation; one that I resolve to fight at all cost.  We talk of independence and marrying for love.  We chide former generations for getting married and having children because that’s simply “what one does,” but then we fall into similar patterns.  I am 27 and already have two divorcee friends.  I have been asked for my hand in marriage twice (and refused both times.)  I feel a desperate and innate pull inside of my peers to settle down.

I don’t believe the two fellows who proposed marriage to me had any real desire to marry me, but rather a desire to be done with it all already.  I am not done.  I do not want to settle.  I want to date all sorts of different men and find the one who works best for me and the one for whom I work best.  I used to feel that pull.  I used to want my next boyfriend to be my last.  But no more.  Now I feel free.  I don’t want to be done with it all because I’ve never really dated.  I haven’t tired of the bar scene.  In fact, I’ve never tried the bar scene and I’m not even sure how it works.  I have always had long-term boyfriends to whom I was utterly devoted.  I would like to only utterly devote myself to someone after I have a better screening process.

I think this will be lots of fun.


The Rules:

No dating anyone I have ever met.

No dating anyone whom I have ever met has ever met.

No committed relationships.


Do date men who are unlike anyone I have ever dated.

Do try to find a hunk.  (I’ve got to date at least one ridiculously good-looking man once.)

Do find a fella with a motorcycle.

Do find a fella interested doing things (i.e. watching Netflix doesn’t count as doing things.)


Mothers, lock up your sons.

Shop Locally: Truss Me

Post-NaNoWriMo (that’s National Write a Novel Month where participants are challenged to write 50,000 words of their novel in November) my roommate and I, who had been living on pizza and ramen as we typed away like crazy people, wanted to reclaim our nutrition and start eating like grown-ups again.  So, December rolled around and on top of our usual repertoire of broccoli and cous cous or butternut squash soup, we decided to roast a chicken and potatoes (for a little protein.)  It was a simple recipe where both the chicken and the potatoes were seasoned only with kosher salt and black pepper–nothing fancy.  We were all set with our ingredients save one–string.  In order to truss the chicken we needed some good ol’ fashioned string or twine or anything we could use to tie up the limbs of the bird without it melting in the oven.  We scoured the shelves of our supermarket checking the homewares aisle, the office supplies aisle, the kitchen aisle, and by the meat counter.  No string in sight.  We asked four different employees who directed us to the latter two places and, when we explained we had come up short, came with us to search.  Bupkis.  We left the grocery store sans-string with a new plan to swing by the drug store on the way home from work the next day.

The next day, I get a call from my roommate long after I expected him to be home.  He had been to three drug stores before finding string.  I’ll remind you, we were looking for string.  Not trussing string.  Not any special sort of string.  Simply string.  Or twine.  Or anything that wouldn’t melt in the oven (so no fishing line or rubber bands.)  Apparently, finding string is now a Herculean task.

It is beginning to not be worth stores’ whiles to stock a lot of everyday items because people are buying online.

On the one hand, that’s all good well and fine, but on the other, we had a chicken carcass sitting in our fridge ready to be roasted and we needed string right then.  We wanted to be able to walk into a local store and buy some string.  We were not prepared to wait 5-8 business days for it to arrive.

So, how do we ensure that local businesses keep daily necessities in stock?  Easy!  We use our local businesses.  Need a book?  Buy from your local bookstore.  You can leave with the book immediately!  And, if they do not have a particular title, they will usually get it for you.  Need string?  Need paper?  Need soap?  Need food?  Need a new dress?  Buy locally.  Supporting the community around you is a noble pursuit.


Post Script:

For those of you tempted, due to money woes, to participate in Amazon pricecheck–don’t.  Spending a few cents more on the dollar to support the people around you is well worth it and one of the best ways to get our economy rolling again.  Remember, we’re all in this together.

Advice From A Girl Who Doesn’t Have Her Shit Together: Thanksgiving Dinner

  1. You haven’t cooked Thanksgiving dinner until you’ve cried at least once.  Others may argue the validity of your Thanksgiving dinner rests upon whether or not you cooked a turkey, but if you cooked Mac and Cheese on the last Thursday of November and burst into tears from the stress of it all, you cooked a Thanksgiving meal.

Thumbs Down!

I have noticed an alarming trend in our society.  I am not sure when it happened or why it happened.  But it seems that picking your nose is now perfectly acceptable.  All through the city, well dressed, well educated, well employed, well raised people are picking their noses.  They are not washing their hands afterwards either.

We all know the saying:

You can pick your friends,

You can pick your nose,

But you can’t pick your friend’s nose.

Well, I never put much stock in it.  I put it right up there with the “Great, green globs of greasy, grimy gopher guts” song.  But, I was wrong.  And I don’t think this was always the case in civilized society.

It is commonplace.  I  see it everyday.  People in public.  People waiting for the “walk” signal.  People on the train, deep in a book.  AND EVEN people face to face talking to me.

Yes, not one, not two, but many people who have been talking directly to me, who were aware of their actions and aware that I, too, could see their actions, picked their noses right before my eyes.  At dinner tables, even.

"Check please!"

Want to know the trick?

Apparently, if you pick your nose with your thumb, it’s allowed.  It practically seems encouraged.  There is not one single hint of shame.  I think if I, while talking to any of the aforementioned culprits, had stuck, say, my index finger up my nose that they would have recoiled in horror.  However, if I had mirrored them and used my thumb, it would have been fine.  (I haven’t been able to bring myself to test this hypothesis.)

It’s all in the thumbs.

I am unclear as to why this caveat is supposed to make the germs not spread.  I’m no doctor, but I’m guessing it doesn’t.

So, I would like to reiterate because either your mother never told you, or it simply fell on deaf ears that picking your nose is:  Not appropriate.  Mm-kay?  Not appropriate.  Gross.

You can pick your friends, but the rest is out.  Stop, or I’ll sick little Sally here on you.  She knows you shouldn’t pick your nose.  And she’s adorable and terrifying.

Hey! Dancing Curmudgeon said "No!"

Blondie Brownies–What’s the Point?

Seriously, what’s the point?  Blondie brownies are like white chocolate.  Oh and by the way, . . . white chocolate–what’s the point?  Seriously, what’s the point?  Screw “where’s the beef?”  Where’s the chocolate?  Where are the chemicals and whatnot that cause your brain to release more serotonin (tryptophan, phenylethlamine, and magnesium?)

I'd rather eat a piece of fruit for dessert. Fruit!

Now, I am not one of those women crazy for chocolate.  I don’t have a stash of dark chocolate and Excedrin in my top desk drawer, I don’t eat double or triple chocolate chip cookies (yuck), and I don’t drink red wine while I take a bubble bath (in my experience, boozy bathers and cuckoo for Coco-Puffs.)  But I do like the occasional chocolaty treat.  Chocolaty treats are great and great for you.  As aforementioned, they release serotonin in your brain meaning they make you happy not just from the pleasure of their taste and the fun of treating yourself (which are wonderful traits and makes chocolate worthy of consumption on their own), but also because they contain the happy-makers of the natural world.  Chocolate is a mild mood altering substance.  (Reserved for the Gods, Royalty, and Priests amongst the Maya.)  Chocolate also contains antioxidants which combat the carcinogenic free radicals from reeking havoc on your bod.

And furthermore, I don’t want to give the impression that Blondie Brownies are only a problem because they lack chocolate.  Sure, there is no chocolate.  They did remove chocolate from a chocolate dessert.  But there is more to it than that.  It is not simply what is not in them.  After all, Blondie Brownies do contain flour and egg and sugar and vanilla extract.  These are the fundamental building blocks of almost all Western desserts.  Lord knows, I love a good piece of Chess Pie.  But the consistency of Blondie Brownies is all wrong.

There are two schools of thought for baking brownies: there’s Team Cakey and Team Fudgy.  And these teams have a bit more chutzpa than Team Edward and Team Jacob.  Personally, I am firmly planted in Team Fudgy.    Cakey brownies are not my favorite, but they are palettable.  Blondie Brownies on the other hand are neither cakey nor fudgy.  Wah wah.  Blondie Brownies are just a hunk of dry crumbing bread, that doesn’t taste like bread.  Take a looks at that picture above.  That’s supposed to make me want to eat one?!  Oy.

So, in conclusion, each and every time I am offered a so-called Blondie Brownie, henceforth I shall reply:  “Thanks, but I’ll pass.”