Monday, January 23, 2012

On Meeting Men

So, you’re a young professional in a big city—there should be lots of opportunities to meet potential suitors, right? Assuming one gets out of one’s apartment (which I have been known to do on occasion), every hour of every day is pregnant with possibility.

But really, are there that many places and times to meet prospective significant others? Here’s a pie chart outlining where I spend my time:

If snozberries were made into a baked good, this is what it would look like. 

Let’s break it down, shall we?

Not that there are that many single young men in my field in the first place, but I still shy away from the idea of dating a co-worker. There’s too much potential for messy break-ups spilling over into the work-sphere and making things awkward for everyone involved or in the general vicinity. Plus, there’s the whole secrecy aspect—generally speaking, relationships between co-workers are kept under-wraps—that can be fun and even a little exciting at first, but eventually wears on you, when all you want is for your boyfriend to bring you a Diet Vanilla Coke from Sonic without everyone being all weird about it.

Sidebar: That’s the dream.

At least in my current situation, the workplace isn’t going to cut it as far as happy hunting grounds go. There are not nearly enough departments to get lost in or floors to hide on should the relationship go sour.

I spend a good chunk of my day driving to and from work during the week, and to and from various Houston suburbs on the weekends (coughcoughKatycoughcough). I try to maximize this time I spend sitting down by enthusiastically dancing to Hits 1 in my seat. This, aside from parking as far away from the front doors of Target as possible so as to increase my steps per diem, is pretty much the only exercise I get. I also sing along (loudly) to Adele and do that Christina Aguilera-esque hand wave, which I figure has to burn some calories too. The point is I look like an utter lunatic when I’m driving my car, and barring meeting people by shouting at them out the window while driving down 290 becoming de rigueur introduction protocol, I think I’m SOL.

Watching British TV:
As noted in the previous post, I also spend an inordinate amount of time crushing on all of Britain’s swoon-worthy leading men while lounging on my couch. As awesome as it would be for Benedict Cumberbatch to step out of my TV for a cuppa and a chat, I think the laws of science preclude that possibility. Other than that, I’m pretty sure the only way I would meet someone new in my apartment is if they were breaking in or delivering pizza, and I really don’t think that would bode well for our future relationship.

“Making Merry”:
Then there is, of course, the bar scene. I could write a blog about how well my dates that have arisen from a meeting at a bar have gone. Oh, wait—I already have.

If not cold-meetings at various happy hours, then what? Introductions from friends and family?

Problem #1: My closest sibling in age is ten years older than me, which means that even if my sisters had any single friends left, they would be a tad too old for me.

Problem #2: My guy friends kinda suck. I love them, but when it comes to welcoming potentials or introducing prospectives, they’re just not cutting it. First of all, they believe that any guy other than themselves is a douche bag until proven cool. They maintain that they have really good douche-dar and are only looking out for me, but I swear they are pickier than I am. Secondly, if they do find someone they think I might like, there’s no follow through.

Sidebar: Joey, I’m still waiting for a call from that youth minister in the Woodlands who wanted to see a picture of me before committing to driving inside the loop to pick me up. Actually, never mind on that one.

Thirdly, my core group of college friends is insanely incestuous, and I think that there’s a small part of them that’s just hoping I’ll fall for one of the guys so we can keep it all in the family.

Sidebar: Out of the five RY guys of my senior year, two are married (or practically married), one is becoming a priest, and the other two are Bryan Ryan and Johnny Brandolf. Sorry, guys—I think outsourcing is my only option. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure he passes the Front Porch Test.

Browsing at Barnes and Noble:
In the meet cute of my dreams, I run into my future husband whilst browsing the fiction shelves at my local B&N.

As of yet, the only human interaction I have at the bookstore is with the barista behind the counter of the in-house Starbucks—but I’ll hold on to my fantasy of bumping into a taller Ryan Gosling look-alike in the history section. One day, friends. One day.

Sleeping to Dream:
I love sleeping. One of the great miseries of my life is that I currently have a job that requires I wake up before six o’clock, a time of day that was absolutely unknown to me until after college graduation, aside from the handful of times I dragged myself out of bed before school to go running with my dad.

Sidebar: I say running. Really, it was my dad running while I jogged for about two minutes, and then limped along behind him, heaving, and trying to make sure I didn’t throw up a kidney.

That being said, I try to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night, sometimes more on the weekend, and unless my dreams don’t turn to dust at the sound of my alarm clock buzzing, there’s no way I’m going to meet the future Mr. E while I'm asleep. Unless, of course, that same perp who was breaking and entering while I was watching British TV hid in my closet until bedtime, but again—felonies make a bad start to a relationship. 

So there you have it--an entirely inaccurate account of where I spend all my time (my pie chart is a total guesstimation, which is probably why my 50 miles-a-day drive is somehow the second smallest piece of the pie). Feel free to comment with your suggestions of new places for me to frequent/lurk, or with the names and numbers of delivery boys with bright futures. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Bachelorette Bookworm: In Her Netflix Queue

Over my (meager/miserly/mingy/pick-another-“m”-word-that-means-too-damn-short) Christmas break, I fell down the proverbial rabbit hole once again. I have a terrible tendency towards hermithood that is usually exacerbated by my inability to watch just one episode at a time of anything.

Sidebar: This applies not only to television or book series, but also to bags of Dove chocolate, Twizzlers, Fudge Stripe cookies and Goldfish (the crackers, not the pet. Obviously). All must be consumed right away, otherwise the temptation might kill me.

I have long been an admirer of a handsome Brit in a pair of well-cut breeches and a top hat, and as such, have lost my heart to many a leading man in one of the BBC’s or ITV’s plethora of period mini-series. These past two weeks, however, my heart belonged to Matthew Crawley of “Downton Abbey.” My obsession was so frenzied, that after re-watching all of season one, I simply couldn’t wait until January 8th for season two to begin in the States, and so resorted to various means of internet chicanery in order to find out what happened to Matthew, Mary, and the rest of the gang during and after the Great War, keeping my computer running late into the night as I stared at the tiny, 3” by 6” box on my screen, refreshing endlessly as to overcome numerous buffering issues, and undoubtedly making my family question once more how I will ever find a real person to suit me.

Sidebar: If you have not already been watching “Downton Abbey,” I command you to immediately cease reading this blog, and go find season one on Netflix. I guarantee that if you have both your ovaries, you’ll be hooked.

Last night, I was coerced into watching that parade of pageantry and, in my opinion, the manifestation of all that is wrong with America today, “The Bachelor.” Unfortunately, I was sucked in by Jenna the Bloggess’ crazy eyes, and now feel like I must finish out the season (Curse you, Jeni!), if only to mock it.

Sidebar: I will probably cry during the finale.

Inspired by my unrequited love of fictional characters and the monstrosity that is modern reality TV, I have decided to share my personal, perfectly-cast list of eligible bachelors, should ABC ever decide to make me their new bachelorette, and populate that venerable villa in the hills with the imaginary men of my dreams.

Arriving on horseback (clearly, they stole this gag from Lindzi):

Bachelor #1: Westly (Cary Elwes) in The Princess Bride

Bachelor #2: Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings

Bachelor #3: Guy of Gisborne (Richard Armitage) in “Robin Hood” (but only the first two seasons)

Bachelor# 4: Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice

Bachelor #5: Michael Hosea in Redeeming Love

Arriving in a four-in-hand:

Bachelor #6: Christian (Ewan McGregor) in Moulin Rouge

Bachelor #7: The Phantom (Gerard Butler) in The Phantom of the Opera

Bachelor #8: Dimitri (voiced by John Cusack) in Anastasia

Bachelor #9: Raoul (Patrick Wilson) in The Phantom of the Opera

Bachelor #10: John Thornton (Richard Armitage) in North & South

Arriving in a vintage Rolls Royce Silver Ghost:

Bachelor #11: Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) in “Downton Abbey”

Bachelor #12: Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) in Roman Holiday

Bachelor #13: Mickey a.k.a. The Boy in the Tuxedo from that dream I had three and a half years ago that inspired my as-of-yet unfinished novel

Bachelor #14: Edward Cullen in The Twilight Saga

Bachelor #15: Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) in “White Collar”

Arriving in a classic stretch limo:

Bachelor #16: Keith (Eric Stoltz) in Some Kind of Wonderful

Bachelor #17: Ned (Lee Pace) in “Pushing Daisies”

Bachelor #18: Kevin Doyle (James Marsden) in 27 Dresses

Bachelor #19: Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) in “The Office”

Bachelor #20: Matt Flamhoff (Mark Ruffalo) in 13 Going on 30

Bachelor #21: Joey Richter (Joey Richter) in StarKid Production’s “Me and My Dick”

Bachelor #22: Jess Mariano (Milo Ventimiglia) in “Gilmore Girls”

Arriving in a “Firefly-class” spaceship, in the Horrible Van, and by broomstick (a Nimbus 2001) respectively:

Bachelor #23: Captain Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) in “Firefly”

Bachelor #24: Dr Horrible/Billy (NPH) in “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”

Bachelor #25: Draco Malfoy (Lauren Lopez) in StarKid’s “A Very Potter Musical” and “A Very Potter Sequel”

I think this will make for a good mix in the Villa de la Vina, don’t you? But who will be the first to go? Tune in next time for the first rose ceremony (many thanks to the Phantom’s florist for providing the lovely “Black Prince” roses for the proceedings). Until then, enjoy this montage of manly men looking pensively out into the distance!

Sidebar (in conclusion): I think this little endeavor marks my move into certifiable territory…