Monday, October 27, 2014

"Socially Awkward Penguin" Is My Spirit Meme

Other titles considered for this post: "Newsflash! I am also bad at this whole dating thing," "Yes, I'm an insane person," and "It's my blog and I can be a Taylor Swift gif if I want to."

This blog has historically ragged on the gentlemen and jerks I've encountered in my dating life. While I think I've done a reasonable job of making fun of myself as well, to be fair (and to ensure that none of you have gotten the impression I am anything close to smooth), I decided to dedicate this post to one of the many wonderfully weird things I have done and said while on a date that could be considered blogworthy, if the domain is still free.

This summer, I went on a great date, which included a delicious meal and after-dinner drinks and lasted seven hours. SEVEN.

Sidebar: Not a bad thing. Einstein once described his theory of relatively thusly: “Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.”*

*I found this on Goodreads. Do with that and your faith in this quote’s authenticity what you will.

In short, it was definitely not the worst date ever. 

INTERLUDE in which I detail some things to know about me:

Despite what some people have insinuated, while I find absolutely nothing wrong with kissing on the first date, there are no guarantees that I will engage with you in post-date intertongitation, even if you did buy me dinner. Consequently, while I had been on several dates during my sojourn in T-town, I hadn't kissed anyone in ages and had a (possibly) irrational fear that I had forgotten how and so had been feeling a bit trepidatious about what might happen at the end of the date. 

Sidebar: Is making out like riding a bike? Or is it like high school French, and if you don’t use it, you lose it? This sidebar brought to you by the ghost of teenaged Carrie Bradshaw.

It is also important to note that, over the course of the evening, I drank what probably amounted to an entire bottle of wine.


So there I am at the end of the night, a little west of drunk and nervous as all get out, liking this boy and knowing that that pivotal, potentially magical moment that lives between the car door and the door to my apartment was fast approaching.

We parked, and I gracelessly exited his sedan, wobbled on my wedges up the path beside him, and then—he paused.

Oh God, is this happening?
He leaned in...

This is definitely happening. 
...and kissed me.

Excitement! And pure terror. Subsequently, spurred by a shot of corticotropin which Wikipedia informs me is the hormone that kicks off the acute stress response, I fled.

Just to keep things confusing for my date though, I paused mid-bolt on the landing of the stairs to my apartment.

“Goodnight!” I called. He turned around and smiled up at me.

“Don’t die!”

Sidebar: My memory is a bit hazy because wine, but I imagine his face looked something like this.


I’m pretty sure what I meant to say was something like, “I had a really good time tonight, and it’s late, and you’re cute, and it would really suck if something horrific happened to you, so please drive safely on your way home so you don’t die,” but the entire first part of that sentence came out as silent subtext.

The moral of this story is I should probably drink less when trying to present myself as something close to a normal human being/love interest. 

Also, good news! is, in fact, still available on Go Daddy for the low, low price of $2.99/yr. Someone should jump on that before someone else steals their domain name. #totallynotbitter

Ladies, I pray I'm not alone in my moments of of supreme social awkwardness whilst dating, so please share your own moments of inelegance in the comments below. Gents, if you were on the receiving end of such behavior, feel free to share your own experiences as well. Bonus points if you use reaction gifs.

Sidebar: I'm kind of obsessed with reaction gifs at present, in case it wasn't obvious.

#4, this is a meme :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

A (Catholic) Single Girl's Lament, or Existential Musings On My Own Inefficacy

I found myself mired in a conundrum last night during Mass.

First, a confession—I have a tendency to people-watch more than is entirely seemly while in the house of God. It is a personal failing of mine on which I need to work, but last night, as I cased the pews around me while belting out the processional hymn—one of those which, when they initially announced it, I was like, “I have legitimately never heard of this song before in my life,”…then they played the opening chords, and I was like “OH! …Jeesh, how many times have they used this tune?—I discovered something.

There were at least SIX cute guys sprinkled throughout the congregation that I could see without (obviously) craning my neck.

But not only that, oh no. They were sitting alone. And their butts were in church while the Cowboys were playing, so I knew they weren’t Pokes fans, and ostensibly had good morals (not that the two are mutually exclusive). A closer examination revealed good shoes, bare fourth fingers on their left hands and, in some cases, perhaps even a glint of Aggie gold on their right.

Catholic unicorns. I found myself at Mass with a blessing of Catholic unicorns.

Sidebar: You’ll be interested to know that “blessing” is in fact the collective noun used to describe a gathering of unicorns. I found it on the internets, so it must be true.

Therein lay my dilemma. How to meet these cute, Catholic men?

This is an earnest question. I can barely meet new people when I’m out at a bar where guys are presumably there to mingle with the ladies. And for all of the beauties to be found within a Catholic Mass, interaction with one’s neighboring worshippers is limited to a half-second handshake during the Kiss of Peace.

Sidebar: You better believe I smize the crap out of that half-second handshake though.

Plus, unless one of these theoretically eligible bachelors happens to sit near you (or you see them in time to strategically position yourself in their immediate vicinity), you don’t even get to proffer them a “Peace be with you” imbued with meaning.

Other than that, my arsenal of in-Mass flirting is limited to whispering “Bless you!” and asking on what page the day’s readings are. If I’m lucky and the opportunity presents itself, I might be able to work in some witty banter on whether or not the officiant invalidated the liturgy when he read the wrong Eucharistic prayer.

Sidebar: This actually happened during the early days of the new missal adoption. It was a confusing time for us all. #andwithyourspirit

The fact that I feel I must stoop to this kind of strategery is insane.

But I honestly don’t know what else to do. This question, and the subsequent weight of my own impotence and general ineptitude in solving it, has haunted me for years. YEARS.

I recently discovered that a friend of mine moonlights as the anonymous Catholic twitter account Snobby Catholic, and as he has sixty times the number of followers as I, I imposed upon him a few weeks ago to tweet out my query.

Below, find some helpful suggestions for approaching cute men in church, courtesy of his gagaffle of followers, a collective noun I just made up to fill an inexcusable gap in the English language. It’s gonna be a thing; tell your friends.

1)     Sign of peace handshake
        As previously stated, this is the only guaranteed audible connection and potential opportunity to break the touch barrier available to us singles, but is limited in its effectiveness by the general congregational disapproval towards parishioners flinging themselves across the aisles to make holy palmer’s kiss with the gentleman five pews up, even if the nape of his neck is stunningly gorgeous.

2)     You say, “Hi, I'm (insert name) and I think you're attractive.”
      You, Twitter commenter, are adorable. Besides, this is what I’m saying with my Kiss of Peace smize—why isn’t that enough? Is mind-reading really so much to ask of my fellow brothers in Christ?

3)     Maybe approach after Mass? Where everyone congregates in the back of the church?
Who congregates at the back of the church anymore? Even if cute guy stays to finish all eleventy-thousand verses of “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy,” you know as soon as the organist finishes wailing out on the outro, cute guy is out of his pew, snappily genuflecting before making a beeline for the door. And once he’s out the door, the battle is utterly lost because you best believe he’s already on his phone checking the Texans’ score. Or tweeting.

4)     “Would you like a beer?”, “I like your beard” or “How bout that Eucharist, huh”
       The first has potential, but might be awkwardly timed after an 8 AM Mass, and the second is lyrics from a Ke$ha song and would unfortunately reach peak effectiveness in November. That last one though may be perfect. I’ll put that one in my back pocket.

5)     Make eye contact and smile a few times. Nothing over the top. He should do the approaching.
Like this?

Dear readers, I am at a loss. Sound off in the comments below and save me from making badger-face at complete strangers in an attempt to communicate my interest.

***Shameless bid for new followers***
If you'd like to read more things like this but mostly Good Bull Hunting retweets and a series of gifs that track my steep descent into BAS-territory, follow me on Twitter at @scribblesnjots8! Just click the pink bird icon on the right sidebar so I feel like I got my money's worth on the watercolor social media button package I bought off Etsy. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

What Not To Text: Friend Dating Edition

This may or may not have been me my second year in T-town.

When I moved back to my second hometown a couple of years back, I found myself in a bit of an awkward situation. While nearly all of my close friends from college had settled in Houston, most of my friends from high school had moved away after graduation and never came back.

I had a couple of good friends in town, but they were married—and let’s face it, it’s a bit harder to pull of spur-of-the-moment movie dates with a gal pal when they have a husband or kids or both. The scheduling—it’s complicated.

I decided that after my first year, and after yet another close friend moved away, I would join a local volunteer organization in order to meet some more women my age. 

Sidebar: In a somewhat ironic twist of fate, while I joined this organization to make friends, the girls I got closest to all happened to be Aggies active in the local A&M club chapter, which means I would have met them anyway, and saved myself $300 and many loooong meeting minutes.

Finding new friends after high school and college is hard. Depending on your line of work, you may be meeting fewer people your age or in the same stage of life as you, and it’s not as easy to find people with common interests, at least in my experience. So, it was with a hopeful heart and a somewhat open mind that I jumped into the friend dating pool.

On my very first project, I was sitting next to a young woman with whom I struck up a conversation. At the end of the day, she suggested that we all exchange numbers so that we could find one another the day of our event. She was also new in town and seemed eager to make some friends, and as that was the precise reason I joined the League, I acquiesced (a word which here means “agreed”) and gave her my cell although she displayed a disconcerting disregard for personal space while we were sitting together that day.

What followed was one of the most ADD conversations I’ve ever had in my life.

Jennifer:  Hey! Let me know if you could get coffee in the next few days!

Sidebar:  Note her initial suggestion.

Me: I could do tomorrow or Thursday evening!
Jennifer: What time could you meet tomorrow night?
Me: Anytime between 5 and 8
Jennifer: Would you be able to meet tonight?

Sidebar: Um…what? Okay…I guess

Me: What time?
Jennifer: Would you want to come to the gym around 5:30 today or meet after 7PM tonight?

Sidebar: The gym? No, I don’t want to meet you at the gym—what the hell?

Me: I could meet after seven
Jennifer: Sounds good! What would you like to do?

Sidebar: …get coffee?

Me: Would you like to just meet at the Utica Starbucks? That’s not too far from me—not sure if it’s by you.
Jennifer: I’m just curious—do you live in a house near Utica Square? I’m looking for a rental house, and I’m trying to figure out what part of Tulsa I want to live in.
Me: [gives answer and recommends neighborhood]
Jennifer: Thanks! Would you want to go bike riding at Riverside?

Sidebar: …

Me: [makes excuse about being sick and so avoiding exercise before attempting to get my cocker spaniel-like friend back on track]
Me: So Starbucks at seven?
Jennifer: Gotcha…do you know any non-chain coffee places? Or, would you want to go get crepes?

Sidebar: Number of proposed activities that have not involved coffee: 3

Me: [gives a couple of suggestions of non-chain coffee shops in midtown]
Jennifer: Let’s go to the Starbucks near J-------that seems more in the middle of where we lives since I live in South Tulsa J
Me: Oh I’m sorry! I didn’t realize

Sidebar: because you didn’t say anything when I said I wasn’t sure if the midtown Starbucks was near you seven texts ago.

Jennifer: No worries!

So we’re all set to meet up in a couple of hours at the chaniest of chain coffee shops. The text exchange was a little weird, but I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Then she sent this about forty minutes after we set our plans.

Jennifer: When’s the latest you could meet tonight? Thanks!

Sidebar: Perhaps she had a perfectly innocent reason for wanting to know just how long after sundown we could meet up and perhaps I’m simply paranoid, but to me, this was just another example of an awkward text that makes it sound like you want to murder me. At any rate, I had had enough.
Me: Actually, I just realized that I have something else that starts at 7. Rain check?
Jennifer: Gotcha…let me know another day that you can meet!

At some point I mentioned this weird exchange to another friend at a happy hour for new members. She instantly knew whom I was talking about and warned me against her, saying I would only hear from Jennifer when she a) wanted to get coffee, b) wanted me to find her a house, or c) wanted me to find her fiancé a job.

Sure enough the next time I heard from her, she sent a rapid fire, five question text block with varying questions about how I liked my neighborhood and where else would I recommend. This kicked off another weird exchange in which she once again asked to meet up for coffee, asked about a dozen questions about the plans I already had that night to which I invited her to tag along before she said she couldn’t go.

I continued to get random texts from her over the next few weeks, but it wasn’t until she texted me early on a Saturday morning about whether or not I’d heard of any job openings for her fiancé that I lost my temper.

Me: Good morning, Jennifer. I don’t recall your mentioning your fiancé’s job search to me, so this seems a little random—is he a teacher?
Jennifer (busted): I apologize…he prefers an accounting or analyst role…how’s your day going?
Me: Well, I had a late night last night, so I’m actually still in bed. As far as a job goes for your fiancé, I’m in education, so I can’t really help you. Perhaps you should try contacting a headhunter to help him find work if you’ve not been having any luck.

Jennifer’s response should come as no surprise.

Jennifer: Thanks! Also, we should get coffee soon!

We never did go on that coffee date. Or go bike riding. Or get crepes.