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Hello Fall!

September 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Fall arrived over a week ago.

Evey year I’m relieved when fall shows up. For an unexplainable reason, summers don’t always go well for me. I think I’m just not a “summer” person. Maybe that’s why I never want to move back to my hometown, where it’s summer 80% of the year.

I love fall. I love the nip in the air, especially at night. I love pulling my sweaters out of storage containers, and putting my summer dresses away. I love the anticipation of the holidays, even if the holidays have been rocky the past few years. I love when football starts and baseball playoffs begin. I love that soon Caps fans everywhere will be back in red, including me.

Fall calms me. It’s mere presence makes my days a little lighter, even when the load I’m carrying is heavy.

One day after fall arrived, I went on my first date since my break-up. I met the guy through an online dating site. He was a total gentleman. He held doors and paid for our drinks and shared dessert. But he was a suburb-lover, who doesn’t like riding subways, or being in airplanes. He has not been to a movie theater since he saw Cast Away, which came out in 2000. And while none of these dislikes indicate anything is wrong with him, they would put quite a damper on successfully dating a city girl who loves going to the movies and happily rides the subway every day.

A day after our date, he was nice enough to ask me on a second date. I politely declined.

So, for now, I continue to live each day as a single girl. I’m okay with that. At the moment, I’m on a bus to New York to see some of my favorite people in the universe. I already know I will laugh a lot (and drink a lot) this weekend.

And two weeks from now my high school buddy and I will be setting up camp in Shenandoah National Park.

During the week, I’ll be kickballing, hip-hopping, and happy houring my way through the start of fall.

For this single girl, life is filled to the brim. It’s going to be a good fall.

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Categories: Date, Dating, Fall, Friends

Going Halfsies?

August 17, 2009 2 comments

Prior to my entrance into the world of online dating, I took part in a heated debate on whether a guy “lost points” if he didn’t offer to pay for the meal on the first date. The catch, to me, was the date in reference was set up through an online dating site. I argued that no guy should lose points if he accepted an offer from the girl to pay half. I was forcibly shut down by the three women and one man who took part in the debate. This was a few months ago, so their arguments are hazy, but the gist of it was that for reasons ranging from chivalry to respect to the idea that men must win women over, the guy should offer and pay for the first dinner in full, otherwise suffer the points loss.

A friend who I told about the discussion spoke to a friend of hers who had some experience with online dating. This friend of a friend agreed with me. Her argument, which was more valid than any I made, was that both parties, male and female, paid the money and sought the dates provided by dating sites. It wasn’t as if the couple met in a bar and the guy requested the girl’s number. If while online dating the guy was always expected to pay in full he could go through his bank account damn quick, especially if was having some success at getting dates.

When it comes to paying, I’ve always been the split-it-down-the-middle type. It’s not because I’m an uber feminist. The three boyfriends I’ve had made the same amount of money as I did. It didn’t seem fair that because they were men, they needed to bankroll our activities as a couple.

On the flip side, I can’t say I am not flattered when a man treats.

A co-worker who encouraged me to sign up for online dating said when the check comes along she always asks, “Can I help with that?” The phrase isn’t as specific as saying “Do you want to split it?” and, according to her, her date always appreciated that she offered, and 19 times out of 20, said something like, “No but thanks for asking.”

When I come to the “time to pay up” crossroads, I have to admit, despite valid arguments, I don’t think I’ll dock a man points if he accepts my offer to help. To me the test will be whether or not he asks me out again.

Categories: Date, Dating, Online Dating

The Meaning of “Date”

Six years ago, while walking from Harvard Square to Central Square, my dear college friend looked at me and said, “We’re so lucky. We get to go on dates all the time.”

The “we” was him, a handful of other gentleman, my best friend with the same name as me, and myself, who all lived in an adjoined apartment building–the boys on the 4th floor, the girls on the 3rd, on Green St. in Cambridge. We were each other’s social circle, a “rat pack” of sorts. And it was not uncommon for one of us two girls to be out for dinner, a movie, a walk, or ice cream, with one of the four boys. It was innocent and fun. There was no pressure at the end of the night, or expectation. Despite the lack of butterflies, those were some of the best nights of my life. They are all blended together now, imperfect memories of maybe 100 dates during my last 12 months in Boston.

I wanted more than anything, that year, to have a boyfriend. But as we so often do in life, I look back now and know I would never trade all those date nights to have had some guy, who did not know me or love me as much, and who would have probably broken my heart.

You see, what I’ve realized, is friends, true friends, don’t break you heart. They endure your pain with you, and find ways to make you laugh. And they take you on the best kind of dates–even when you are a miserable person to be around.

I’m not sure yet, after almost 30 years of living, that all the wonderful dates with a new guy who turns into a boyfriend and maybe even a husband, are worth the pain of the days that follow him breaking your heart. What I am sure of is going on a “date” with a good friend, lady or gent, will not end badly, and will stay with you, as your truest friends do, for all your days.

Categories: Date, Friends, Guy Friends