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Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Mile High Dating Club!

I had the best first date I've ever last week... and it was with a man I didn't know I was going to meet.

I was heading out of town on a business trip and was traveling solo. As I was getting settled in my window sit a guy put his stuff down next to mine. We exchanged smiles and then I went back to my iPhone. (The middle seat was left empty for the entire flight. Fate? What are you trying to tell me?) When the flight attendant told everyone to put away their phones for takeoff I took the lead...

"So, when are you going to make the change?" I said.
"What change?" said plane guy.
"From the blackberry to the iPhone? I just switched and it was the best decision I've made in a while. It's like having a computer with you all the time."
"Well, until the iPhone is available on Verizon, I'm stuck. I live in a black hole and get almost no cell service. Verizon is the only thing that works."
"Black hole? Me too!"

And we were off... we talked nonstop for the next 3 hours. Unlike "real" first dates I've been on, nothing was forced and we covered almost everything from politics to family. We even brought up age...

"So, when did you graduate from school?" asked plane guy.
"2001. No need to do that math, I'm, 30" I replied.
"Haha! I'm 40, but feel more like 35."
"I'm feel more like I'm 35 too. So, I guess we're the same age." I responded. To which he then gave me a high five. HIGH FIVE! How funny, but kinda cool is that?

Plane guy was from the city we were going to so he wrote down a few site seeing suggestions and then asked for my number. He then watched as he insisted I put his info in my cell. (Sidebar: Does this mean I'm expected to call seeing that I have his digits now too? Guys, us ladies prefer to put the ball in your court and see what you do with it!)

I exited the plane thinking this was better than most of the first dates I've ever been on. I didn't dress up (I was in jeans and a T-shirt), I was totally open and myself and was flirty with no effort. It made me think that maybe I should just sit back and let fate go crazy with my love life.

We texted a few times that week and then both returned home to sunny LA. A week went by and I heard nothing. So, as many of the singleton men on twitter reco'd, I took charge and texted him.

There is one thing I'm concerned about... I've made all of the first steps. Texting, chatting, etc. Is this a good thing or bad thing?

Hot drink date is set up for this week... all via text. We'll see what happens. Stay tuned!

Attack of the Techies and Engineers!

In my online quest to find true love, I recently decided to expand my dating pool and try eharmony. Now, morally I have an issue with the fact that eharmony doesn't "match" people of the same sex looking for love (Prop 8 = hate!), but I needed to set that aside for purely selfish reasons and see if my 1 TRU LUV was just on another dating site.

I don't think I'm looking for anyone unrealistic. As I have gotten older, I've gotten a little less specific as to what I want in a mate. Yes, I still have a few purely aesthetic needs like my future baby's daddy being over 6', brown hair, light eyes, etc. (that way we'll make cute kids!). But, there are also some honest to God necessities such as having a job, being somewhere between 30-40, athletic, etc. that, I think, shouldn't be too hard to come by. Right?

So, I joined eharmony about 2 weeks ago. If eharmony was a bar I would have just walked into the Consumer Electronic Show. That's right girls, I have been attacked by IT guys and engineers. And... even online they still don't know how to talk to girls. Maybe that's why eharmony has the extremely SLOW process of sending questions and must have's and can't have's back and forth so these socially inept men don't have to talk for themselves.

In 2 weeks of being on eharmony, 70% of the men I have been matched with have been in the "tech" field. I guess this is better than actors, but really? Boy next door guys? Hello? Where are you? (I can tell you they don't live next door.)

I figured I can't be the only one this is happening to so I did a little research. eharmony's chat boards are hilarious! This is what I found... "I've noticed that the majority of the matches eH has sent me are engineers. I wonder if there are just a lot of engineers on eH in general or if it has something to do with my answers to eH's questionnaire? I've met some of them in real life, but the one's I've met have been shy or quiet. I'm curious if that's been the case with other women using eH? Are most of your matches engineers?"

This string of comments goes on for days with women saying that most of the men they are matched with are in are techie, engineer types who are shy and passive.

I've come to the conclusion that if I'm going to find love on eharmony (which a few of my friends have), these boys are going to have to man up. Send some emails and practice being outgoing. Only time will tell! (And it will take time... those of you on eharmony know how long it takes to finally talk to someone in person!)

I'm not giving up hope on eharmony... yet...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Excuse Me... "Sorry, my friend is locked out of her house!"

Maybe it's because I just got my new iPhone that I have a small obsession with all of the apps it has to offer, but this one is just hilarious (especially if you're an online dater!).

You know how you have a first date with someone and you just don't know how it's going to go, so you call your girlfriend and tell her to call you at exactly 7pm (right in between drinks and dinner) so you can bail if you need to? The app Excuse Me is ideal for this situation. Set the timer and a fake call will come in to "excuse you" from your situation.

Now, in the free version the voice is annoying and not in English, but you still have an excuse that was on time and free (not complaining here!). In the paid version (still only $1.99) the app allows you to designate who the fake call is coming from, so you really can make your white lie look real when you tell your date that you need to bounce because your girlfriend got locked out of her house. (Other similar apps are Fake Caller or Fake-a-Call - they all get the job done when you're in a pinch.)

I do think that phones, technology, online dating and apps are making our world just too damn complicated, but we need to jump in head first, right?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What does "I don't drink" on Match, really mean?

Yes, I went on another amazing date that is blog worthy. First a little info about me and my drinking habits that will help you truly appreciate this story. I started drinking when I was in high school. I wasn't out of control, but definitely knew how to pump a keg and had mastered fooling my parents by 16. I was also fortunate enough to have a friend who didn't drink and therefore had a sober driver throughout my high school years.

In college I was in a sorority and continued my partying ways at every date dash, formal and Thursday night possible. On my 21st birthday I had 19 shots (followed responsibly by water consumption) and didn't throw up (kids, don't try this at home). Yes, I have eased up since. I have a job and with age, my hangovers have gotten so bad I have curbed the binge drinking. Now, that I'm 30, I have 2 glasses of wine and know I can't drive. But, that doesn't mean I don't love my wine. (My brother-in-law is in the wine business, so family dinners and an amazing zin go hand-in-hand.)

With that said, I am open to dating someone that doesn't drink. Maybe they are super healthy? Maybe they just partied too much in their younger years and have had enough? Either way, it's not a deal breaker for me as long as they are okay with the fact that they will have to drive me home after social events and family functions. Hey, my sister's husband didn't really drink when he met her and now parties up it with our family like a pro.

Now you know... I like my wine.

So, I met AA (ironically, those really are his initials. Maybe I should have seen the signs then!) on match. He was cute, we had great IM conversations and decided to meet in person after a few emails and chats. I am now aware that there were a few things I ignored... by reading his profile you could tell he was part of a "program." (Again, I'm okay with that!) Also, his friends in his Facebook and profile pictures were all very "diverse." Not a problem either, but another sign?

We decided to meet for brunch and I made a reservation at a cute place down by the beach. I saw someone that resembled AA in front of the restaurant... and again, my date doesn't look like his picture at all. (WHEN WILL I LEARN!?) All I can say is that his profile pic was a REALLY GOOD PIC.

Off to brunch we went. The date was going really well until we played the "getting to know you" game. AA started talking about his rough teenage years when he used to huff paint. Yes, you read that correctly. HUFF PAINT. Definitely not first date chat, but now I was intrigued and wanted to know more.

AA, shocked at his own openness, continued to tell me about how he was featured on a documentary about overdosing on heroine and then went on to tell me about the several rehabs he's frequented. At this point, I'm thinking, maybe he's not getting a love connection either and just feels like he wants to share his story with someone? But, the real thing I keep thinking is... "can someone get me a cocktail? STAT."

AA and I finish up brunch, but his story isn't over. I want more. What happened after the rehab stints? AA, how are you doing now? I was a junkie to his tale...

We decided to take a walk and get a cookie at a cute little bakery next store. Cookie in hand, AA tells me about how he conquered his demons when he was dropped off on skid row and had to detox while learning to live clean from people on the streets. I wanted to hug him and tell him how proud I was of him, but the story continued...

As a girl who grew up in California in the age of STDs, I wanted to know if he was "healthy." I mean shooting up for 10 years can spread some serious stuff, no? It seemed like we had touched on everything else, so I just blurted it out and asked. He told me that he, in fact, infected with hepatitis. I felt like I was being punked. Ashton where are you? Come on... what kind of first date is this?

We parted ways with a hug, I thanked him for a great brunch and IMed a few more times later that week. This date was a life lesson on many levels... 1. If they don't drink, they are probably not for me. 2. Yes, you can reveal too much on a first date and 3. There are some amazing people out there and we just have to give them a chance. Ooooh, lets not forget 4. I like my wine.

Ah, the Post High School Background Check

There is something comforting about your high school years and being able to do a quick background check on your prom date (who you have most likely known since elementary school anyways...). Now, that I'm in my 30s, meeting someone online makes the background check a little more difficult. I know that both my male and female friends all google and/or Facebook their dates as soon as they have a name and email address. Profile pictures say a lot about someone, no?

Well, this new app takes the background check to a new level. It's called Date Check... and you can literally check someone instantly. Kinda creepy, huh? With only a name, digits, or an email address Date Check scours public records from Facebook to homeowner filings to sex-offender databases to confirm your dream date isn't wanted in three states. Yes, he may say he is a hedge funder when really is an out of work actor, but you win some and lose some right?

Now... the kicker. This app is free, but the checks are pricey! For $40, Date Check performs one of several types of searches, like 'Sleaze Detector,' which searches for a criminal background, 'Net Worth' provides details about a person's assets including property, and 'Interests' scours social networking sites for personal details.

Sometimes, maybe it's not so bad to just go on a "blind date" and see if the chemistry is there! Feel free to comment away. Do you Google, Facebook or even Date Check??