Monday, January 24, 2011

One thing to avoid on a first date

While we're on the subject of dating, it reminded me that I wanted to give you guys a tip for something not to do on a first date. (And don't worry, this isn't another anti-texting diatribe, I promise.) Also, I decided that I will start including my infamous granola bar pictures in my blog, but only in posts about dating -- so you're in luck, because that means I've included another one here.

Okay, so here's the tip I wanted to pass along:

On a first date, do not mention date rape or roofies.

Now this seems like something I shouldn't have to tell you. You're thinking, oh come on Lisa, it is so obvious that you should not do this on a date at ALL, nevermind a first date. This is just your penchant for exaggeration, it never happened. Well, you'd be wrong. Apparently this is not as obvious as you might think.

I say that because not only have two guys mentioned drugging my drink on a first date, but also at the party last Saturday, a guy who was trying to get me to go home with him (not the guy I liked, someone else) also mentioned it. That's THREE times, fairly recently, that this has come up.

Now, this might be a funny joke that's exchanged between friends, and that's one thing. I have said in the past -- to friends I've known for years -- hey, I'm going to the bathroom, watch my drink, and don't put any GHB in it, ok? It's not the funniest joke I've ever made, but it's pretty innocuous when it's between friends.

But when you're on a first date with someone who you met at a party or a bar -- or when you're in the process of meeting a person at a party -- and you don't really know them, it is not funny at all. These were the 3 exchanges:

First date #1:
Me: "I'm going to the bathroom, I'll be right back."
Date: "Okay, don't worry, I won't drug your drink."

First date #2:
Me: "I'll be right back, I'm going to run to the bathroom."
Date: "Lucky for you I don't have my rohypnol with me tonight."

Party last Saturday:
Guy's friend: "Is he getting you a drink? I heard there's no more beer left. I'd be suspicious of where he's getting it from."
Me: "Are you saying you think he'll pee in it? Gross."
(guy returns)
Guy's friend: "She was worried you peed in her drink."
Guy: "She should be more worried that I roofied it."

Um... hey, guys??

And of course, being a person susceptible to intense levels of suspicion and with a keen talent for concocting elaborate conspiracy theories, when I come back from the bathroom, this is how the rest of the date typically plays out:


For you, the moral of my story is, do not make this "joke" on a first date with a person who doesn't know you. Because in a city like NYC, you very well could be a rapist or a serial killer or, at the very least, trying to have a one-night-stand to get laid, and if someone doesn't know you very well this might make them nervous that you're "kidding" -- and that as they say, humor reflects some semblance of truth. Like maybe you wouldn't actually drug me, but maybe you would do other weird things to get me to go home with you. Or maybe you're joking about it to make me THINK you're not the type of person who would do it... but why would you even think of it? Ultimately you just never know, and first dates are nerve-racking enough, and our mothers told us it's better to be safe than sorry. So my advice to you: play it safe on a first date -- forego the roofie jokes. I know you can hold back for just one night.


For me, on the other hand, the moral of my story is, never, ever, ever go to the bathroom on a first date. Problem solved.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Why my blog isn't about dating

I was catching up on some single girl / dating blogs today, and I thought for a hot second (don't laugh) "Hmm why isn't your blog about dating? Writing about dating is a good idea!"

Then I called my doctor for fear I might have had an aneurysm. Because then I remembered my actual life.

The entire blog would look like this (this is a pictoral representation, drawn by me -- you're welcome):



And then there would be a bunch of blank posts.

No, I'm serious.

On Saturday I went to a party with my friends from my last job, and they told me they're jealous that whenever we go out, I am usually the person who gets her number taken by a guy. Which is a) categorically untrue, and also b) not worthy of jealousy because they are not factoring in how the situation usually plays out afterward. Typically it's one of two scenarios:

1) The guy never calls, probably for one of the following reasons:
  • He was drunk and forgets who I am.
  • He decided I'm cute but not really cute enough to be worth the effort.
  • He was really just taking my number in hopes that I'd go home with him but I'm not a ho and so he deleted my number.
  • He can't keep track of all the girls named Lisa in his phone.
  • He's gay.
  • He googled me and found this blog.
Or:

2) The guy does call (ok, TEXT, let's be real, I've never gotten a call from a guy in NYC) and:
  • After a series of awkward and too-innuendo-laden text messages (on his part) he texts that we'll have to hang out "sometime." Then he disappears altogether.
  • We go on an awkward date but really all he wants to do is have a one-night-stand so he's lukewarm and semi-insulting the entire night but then tries to come home with me.
I'm not even kidding, that's always how it plays out. And this is what my friends forget.

I actually did meet a guy at the party on Saturday. (Despite what my friends say, this is a rare occurrence.) He was so nice, and funny, a good beer pong player (but not TOO good), working on his Ph.D. in some remote history topic (Byzantine Empire I think), wore glasses, hijacked the music at the party to put on Michael Jackson, complimented me, introduced me to his friends, flirted but was not inappropriate, did not argue with things I said, asked for my number, and left the party without trying to make me come home with him. Gold star, sir. He also had on a guy version of a hat like this, which was cute in a weird way, and he let me wear it for part of the night (it looked cute on me too):


He was smart, not a hipster, not a meathead, not Jersey-ish, not a douchebag, not an alcoholic (but not a non-alcoholic), not pushy (but not wimpy), and did not appear to be a stoner or a smoker. Win.

But guess what? He texted me "Night" after he left the party, but of course I haven't heard from him since.

I feel like my friends who are in couples and jealous of my "single life" or my friends who are single and envious that some guy takes my number really just forget about the reality of the situation because they have painted a pretty picture in their heads. Let's be real - me meeting someone at a party or a bar (or for that matter anywhere in NYC for the last 5 years) has never ended in a healthy relationship. At BEST, it ends with me a) blasting music in my apartment, eating an entire bag of pretzels and crying on my sofa wondering why I'm such a failure, or b) becoming really cynical, carrying around a copy of something by Simone de Beauvoir, watching violent movies and ceasing to wash my hair or go out to a bar for a week and a half. At worst it ends with me forgetting the person ever even existed.

So really the point is, you should all be glad my blog isn't about dating, because although I used to have a pretty good handle on this aspect of my life, ever since I moved to NYC it's been shit. I could write about that for hours. And maybe I will sprinkle in a few posts about it. Mostly because I know you all secretly love the schadenfreude (n: pleasure derived from the misfortune of others) that you sometimes feel after reading my tales of woe. But for now, I leave you with a hand-drawn reminder of what my dating life is really like:

I'd Rather Go To The DMV (Guest Post)

(My friend Ryan was horrified by my use of dental metaphors in a recent post. I've asked him to write a rebuttal in the form of a guest post.)

By Dr. Ryan, D.D.S.

Me: "How are you today?"
Patient: "Better if I wasn't here!"

Me: "Hello Mrs. Smith, nice to see you."
Mrs. Smith: "Well, it's never nice to see you! No offense!"

(Nah, none taken. You just flat out looked me in the face and told me you hate me. Might as well just use the words. "I hate you.")

Me: "It looks like we're going to have to put a crown on that tooth."
Patient: "I guess SOMEone needs to pay for your fancy toys!"

(You're right, that crown gives me just enough money to buy that new BMW. Seriously?)

And so goes my day. Good Morning, you suck. That's the best way to sum it up. Seriously, what's the problem? As far back as people have had teeth (which is a pretty long way back, I think... kind of dozed that day in dental school), people have hated the dentist. Then, as society progressed the dental profession was used as a metaphor for all things painful, poisonous, unpleasant and rogue. For example - Ryan: "Do you like to watch the show 'Two and a Half Men?'" Lisa: "Uggh! I'd rather get a ROOT CANAL!" Grant you, not a real exchange, but it might as well have been ;)

I provide a required service. Sure, it may not always be a pleasant one. But I pose this question. Do you like to eat? Do you enjoy speaking? Do you think that you could do any of that without teeth? Nope. Not without teeth, and subsequently not without your dentist.

So the question I have is this. When did my chosen profession, my SERVICE to society, gain such a poor reputation as to be banished to the dark corner of unpleasant analogy? "OMG, trying to explain this to you is like pulling teeth!" Really? Is it really? I promise you it's not. Whatever difficult topic you are currently discussing with your dimwitted friend is much easier than pulling teeth. I should know - I have dim-witted friends that I attempt to explain things to (present company excluded) PLUS I've pulled teeth. I'd actually rather pull the tooth. More debris, but less frustration.

Besides, I can think of so many other things to use as examples of what I'd "rather be doing. . . ." An easy example - going to the DMV. This is, by far and without argument, the most inhumane and painful experience that a breathing human being with a soul can do with their time.

Lisa: "Hey Ryan, do you want to move to Manhattan?"
Ryan: "Uggh! I'd rather go to the DMV!"

Other great examples include: "I'd rather go to the post office on Christmas Eve." "I'd rather slam my nose with a baseball bat." Or, "Trying to explain this to you is like trying to teach a five year old the word ambidextrous!" That last one is a stretch, but you get where I'm going.

So I ask you all to do me a solid. Leave your dentist alone. What did he/she ever do to you besides fix your jacked-up grill and smile and nod when you tell them you "hate the needle" (Really? Because all the other people LOVE it! I actually have a lady who comes in just to get stuck once a day.) And next time something unpleasant presents itself remember, it could be worse. You could be at the DMV.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Birds and the Bees

Last night's Californication episode reminded me of an anecdote my Uncle Paul shared over Christmas about "the talk." Yeah, birds, bees, whatnot. He told me about how my grandpa explained it all to him back in the day. And I laughed for the entire night.

My uncle was not exactly the model child... he was quite the hellion, to put it mildly. (It's become kind of a tradition that whenever the cousins are around my uncle, we make him tell stories about all the crazy shit he used to do. It definitely makes us feel better about minor transgressions in our past that our mothers freaked out about.) And my grandpa definitely was a no-nonsense kind of guy. He had no tolerance for bullshit. He did not like to talk in the morning. And nobody else was allowed to either, believe you me. He was old school. He ruled with an iron fist. For instance, my mom was at a family bar with her cheerleading team and their coach after a game (it was a team event), and he came in to the bar and dragged her out by her ear because "what the hell is a 16 year old doing at a place like that?!" And there was no discussion about it. That's just the kind of guy he was. He ran Endicott Johnson shoe company. He was a powerful guy. (And an awesome guy.) And he had no patience for antics. Period. So you can imagine just what the birds and the bees talk must have been like. Well imagine no more...

One day after school when my uncle was 16 (uh a little too late!), my grandpa told him to get in the basement immediately. (My uncle thought this was a godsend, because usually when he was in big trouble my grandpa would tell him to get in the car and he would drive him to somewhere REALLY far away, like the middle of Pennsylvania, and lecture him the entire time inside a car he couldn't escape.) Apparently my grandpa had gotten wind that my 16-year-old uncle was interested in some girl who was 14, which is what prompted the talk. This is how it went:

Grandpa sat Uncle Paul down at a table and slammed a HUGE book down in front of him, with a big marker inside it. He told my uncle to flip to the marked page. "And READ what it says, the ENTIRE thing. Right now."

Guess what the page was? No, not the human anatomy, not when a man loves a woman, not even a working definition of sex. This was a LAW BOOK.

And the page?...

The definition of statutory rape.

Grandpa said: "Do you understand that?" Uncle Paul: "Yes." My grandpa: "Are you sure you understand? That says that even if everyone thinks it's a good idea, even if she thinks it's great and you think it's great and oh la di da everyone's just sooo happy and it's such a great idea... YOU GO TO JAIL." And he slammed the huge book shut. "You got that? You hear me? YOU..." and pointed right in his face... "YOU! Go. To. Jail."

And he stormed upstairs.

And there you have it folks, my family's rendition of the birds and the bees. My uncle said he was scared to pee for a month because he thought the cops might show up. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tough old broad

My grandparents were as instrumental in raising me as my own parents. We even lived at their house when I was little because my mom was so sick with her pregnancies and my dad was working the night shift. I've probably spent as much time at their house as I have at my parents' house. They lived a 5 minute walk away, and right next to our elementary school. And when my sister and I were going off for the first day of school, or were coming home from college on a break, there were 4 people sitting at the kitchen table waiting, not 2. They were my two favorite people in the entire world. They're both gone now (my grandma died a few months ago), and I'm really sad about that. But I digress.

My mom noticed me starting to get sniffly (is that a word?) on the phone last night about being single and having soon-to-be-dried-up ovaries. She asked me if I've been reading articles online again. (Yep. How'd she know? Psychic mothers.) And she said something that actually made me feel so much better. She reminded me that my grandparents got married at age 30, back in 1950 when that was much less common than today and before there was any crazy technology/drugs to help you have babies. She also reminded me that they had six kids after that, the sixth one when they were just turning 40.

For better or worse (my grandma had dementia...) I seem to be most like my mom's parents. I am especially like my grandpa in almost everything in my entire life. So I can only hope I inherited these stellar reproductive genes as well. And you know what, suck it, New York Magazine. I'll get married and have babies when I'm good and ready.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Two of the Worst TV Shows

I know I've kind of gotten away from writing TV-related stuff ever since I consolidated The Televisionista with Mad Street Cred. That's kind of sad. So, for your reading pleasure, I will write about two shows that I submit should be taken off the air immediately.

1) Two and a Half Men: I feel like I'm in the movie Groundhog Day, because every week this show tops in the Nielsen Ratings and every week I think it must be April Fool's Day. Again. It's like my worst nightmare. Seriously everyone: this show is not funny. It's so stupid, and there's such better comedy on TV. Do you really have nothing better to do than watch this? Like for instance, getting a root canal? Knitting a sweater? Watching paint dry? I can't stand it. Just like (yeah I'll say it, flame away in the comments) I hated Friends. Except at least that show was about sexy people and had a theme song by The Rembrandts, so I could understand why people liked it. This show is about CHARLIE SHEEN, DUCKIE, and a little boy, and it has the worst theme song of all time. There's nothing redeeming about it. Middle-aged women of America, take heed: please for the love of god if you absolutely must watch TV Mondays at 9, tune in to The Bachelor or Gossip Girl. Yes, I am advocating watching either of those two pieces of trash over keeping Two and a Half Men at the top of the Nielsen Ratings. And I mean it.

2) Last Call With Carson Daly/Lopez Tonight: The best thing I can say about you dear is WHYYYY??? Why is this show still on the air? I genuinely don't understand its appeal. You'll notice that I'm speaking in the singular. That's because these two late night talk shows are so equally and embarrassingly unfunny that I actually can't distinguish them in my head. Late night talk shows (even at a REALLY late time or on a cable network) are COVETED spots, and we cast this jackass in the role? The least funny human being that exists? There are no funny skits on this show, the interviews are PAINFUL to sit through, the monologue makes me want to pull out my own teeth. I actually LIKE commercials during this show because they're HILARIOUS compared to the show's content. A sweet respite from the inanity. And I hate commercials more than I hate sushi. Seriously, how does this happen? Who is this guy sleeping with? Every once in a while I think, maybe I'll try this again, clearly there's something I'm missing if this still hasn't been canceled after that last episode I saw. And I sit down in front of my TV and I swear to god I can't last more than 10 minutes. I can't do it to myself. My life is worth more than that. Dear TV viewers, WHO IS WATCHING THIS TRASH? Are there people out there who are like, wow you know, that is a really great show, I can't wait until tomorrow night so I can do it all over again? Have some self-respect. Goddamnit.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Not Knocked Up

A constant source of anxiety for me is the fact that I am a 27 (and a half) year old single girl whose friends seem to all be married, buying houses, having babies, or at least in serious relationships that are heading that way. But hey, I am a pretty strong woman, admittedly picky when it comes to dudes, and I am doing the best I can to not put pressure on myself or to make myself feel bad about being in the place in life than I am. I think it's better for me this way than settling for someone or something that will just end up making me miserable in the end, or rushing into things to meet some arbitrary deadline. Plus, I'm not THAT old. Right?

Well, at least that's what I thought, until this article from NY Mag informed me otherwise: "Waking Up From the Pill: Fifty years ago, birth-control pills gave women control of their bodies, while making it easy to forget their basic biology—until in some cases, it’s too late."

Talk about an upper. After waiting a few hours to let my anxiety attack subside, my take is that it basically makes out women who 1) take The Pill and 2) don't pop out kids as soon as they graduate college to be selfish adolescent floozies who need to stop being so "carefree" and start taking on the more serious task of getting preggers before age 28 -- the age at which you're done for.

"The fact is that the Pill, while giving women control of their bodies for the first time in history, allowed them to forget about the biological realities of being female until it was, in some cases, too late. It changed the narrative of women’s lives, so that it was much easier to put off having children until all the fun had been had..."

Wow, cuz that's exactly what I've been doing. What a good point. I took the pill and completely lost my mind, forgetting all about my biological clock, so that I could go to more parties. But the infertility fairy will come on the night of my 28th birthday (or is it 35th? I really can't remember which is the cutoff date... I'm getting so silly now that I'm taking this pill) to take back what is rightfully hers, that which I sacrificed for all of my NYC orgies.

I'm sorry but I just don't understand this article. It's about infertility, which is something that a lot of people worry about anyway, including me, but is full of statements that make no sense. What she's saying about the link between infertility and the pill is probably true, and thinking about it is not a bad thing. But I take serious issue with the way she says what she's saying in this article and the little side comments she makes. There are big problems with this article from a feminist perspective, and I'm sure people smarter than me have noted them, I actually haven't looked for any reactions to it yet because I was so fired up after reading it I had to write something myself. I'm a feminist, and I recognize the feminist issues here, but that's not really even what I'm preoccupied with.

Honestly, it's as a single person that I'm offended by her insinuations. (Of course she's a smug married - her wedding announcement in the NYT is one of the first links when you google her.) I'd like to have a family someday, I just haven't found the right person. I'm not on the pill because I'm trying to extend my youth or whatever, or because I'm ignoring my body or don't understand it, I'm on the pill because I do understand it. I didn't go on the pill and forget about my period, or forget about getting pregnant. I have an anxiety disorder, I worry about getting pregnant just by brushing against a person on the subway. She's making a lot of assumptions and generalizations, and I don't appreciate her tone. The last I knew, the pill didn't give me a lobotomy. But thanks for your concern. Can't we have a valid conversation about infertility and keep your judgments about my (not that abnormal) lifestyle out of it?

Well anyway guys, I don't know why I'm wasting all this time writing a blog post - I only have 6 months left to get knocked up. Better get going!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Resolve

I'll say it. I hate New Year's Resolutions. Mostly because, let's be honest, I either forget about them after about a month (...a week) or am just such a complete failure at them that it just destroys my already tenuous self-esteem.

But also, it's just annoying really. It reminds me of the type of people I don't like. The ones who like get up at 5am every day just for kicks and by 6am have gone to the gym, read the paper, cooked and fed their kids breakfast, ran a marathon, meditated, went to a hot yoga class and shoveled 6 driveways. The people who say everything is a "win-win." And who drink vitamin/protein/wheatgrass/fruit/vegetable/chalk/sandpaper juice concoctions instead of a nice cup of black coffee. And whose response to my horrified reaction is some sort of speech about the negative effects of caffeine -- which they're just telling me for my own good. Yes, thank you. Yeah, you know the type.

But at the same time, I also hate people who say "My new year's resolution is to stop making new year's resolutions." Oh god, get over yourself. You're just saying that to be obnoxious. Stop being a little snot, and start taking a STAND!

And so I submit to you my New Year's Anti-Resolutions:

1.  Yell at someone on the street. If you've ever been to New York City, you know that it's incredibly frustrating, and now I work in Times Square and live in west midtown, so I'm around it all day and all night. I just want to push tourists, or punch them in the back of the head, cut off their ponytails, or at least scream in their faces. Well, carpe diem bitches. This is the year.

2. Cancel gym membership. Why even pretend, you know? I hate the gym and I always will. What a waste of money that I could be spending on food. Speaking of which...

3. Eat more dessert. How many times last year did I pass up a piece of pie or a delicious bowl of ice cream for the sake of some stupid new year's resolution? (Zero.) Not this year baby. Bring on the cheesecake.

4. Stop doing so many chores. They're called chores for a reason. What a drag. When I need clean clothes I'll just buy new ones with the money I saved by canceling my gym membership.

5. Watch more reality TV. I've heard it's good for the mind.

2011 is shaping up to be the best year yet.