October 28, 2010 by Kat Richter
I know what you’re all wondering. After reading about the careful construction of my thirtieth date outfit, my discussion of Austen over pancakes and my decision to accompany my evidently enlightened mystery man for a stroll through The Piazza, you’re just dying to know, “But what about your thoughts on the history of tap dancing and its connection to American race relations?”
I know, it’s a pretty fascinating topic if I do say so myself. So fascinating, in fact, that I responded to a call for papers four months ago and submitted a proposal to write 10,000 words on the subject. My proposal was accepted (fabulous!) but to date, I’ve written less than 3,000 words (not so fabulous). I’d blame my dating habits, but really it’s the blogging about my dating habits that’s the real problem. I’ve become incapable of constructing a complete sentence that doesn’t somehow include the words “martini,” “the Man from Marshalls” or “Match.com.”
Having written a 20,000 word MA dissertation, I know how to do academic writing. All you need is a bowl of prawn crackers, a flat mate who’s willing to accompany you to the computer lab at midnight and stay up till 4:00am, and a well-balanced office chair. (The chair, while most obviously used for such activities as “Sitting at the Computer and Writing Intelligent Things,” is also good for “Spinning Till You Puke” and “Computer Lab Obstacle Course Relay Races.”) Unfortunately, I have neither the requisite prawn crackers nor the dependable flat mate at my disposal, and it’s no fun engaging in office chair relay races all by your lonesome.
Fortunately, I’ve learned how to motivate myself over the years. I start with a little yoga, just to clear my head, and then I divide my project into smaller, manageable tasks. I also create checklists (including things I’ve already done just for the satisfaction of checking them off; I suspect, actually, that everyone does this) and I devise little incentive programs based on chocolate, coffee, and other proven motivational nutrients.
Sensible girl that I am, however, I decided to take a nap instead of doing yoga. I then helped myself to a plateful of honey-slathered graham crackers (see what happens when I go camping? I introduce evil leftovers, such as graham crackers, into the house and then, in the spirit of waste not, want not, I am compelled to eat them). Feeling rather sluggish after my not-terribly-motivating snack, I decided to make myself a cup of coffee. And since I’d finally managed to pull up my outline and take out my notes, I figured I should reward myself with a tablespoon of Kahlua. And more honey. And quick bar of chocolate.
Unfortunately none of this contributed to my contribution to the academic community. I got lost in a passage on Fred Astaire and I found myself thinking, “I want to be Dancing Cheek to Cheek!” And then, since I was feeling romantically inclined (and since an artist must always honor her romantic inclinations, no matter how inconvenient their timing), I allowed myself a quick break to jot down a few lines on the subject.
Just tell us who the heck you went out with on Saturday!
Right. Sorry. I tend to get a bit distracted at times, and seeing as I can’t formulate one single intelligent thought on the subject of tap dancing and race relations, I may as well tell you.
Saturday’s man of the hour (several hours, actually), who invited me to brunch, presented me with his favorite Jane Austen passage and thus allowed me complete the numerical portion of this experiment, was (drum roll, please…) Date #17.
And even though we didn’t manage to introduce raspberry chocolate martinis into our post-brunch stroll through the farmer’s market, he did buy me a box of raspberry chocolate truffles.
He also walked me to the bus stop and gave me what was most definitely a kiss on the lips. It was just a quick peck so I won’t bother to elucidate (it’s not as though I have a tendency to go on and on about things. Or to disclose the more private matters of my private life…), but it would seem that in the world of online dating, the thirtieth time is indeed a charm.