Writing left handed

Friday the 13th

It’s Friday the 13th and I’m meeting Date #3 for a second date in just a few hours.  This does not bode well.  At two days in my 26th year (and 13 days into my online dating experiment) I’m cranky, I’ve just given myself a severe case of razor burn (again) and my desk is covered in sticky tabs. 

As a writer, these should be sticky tabs pertaining to my career: send revisions to editor so-and-so, formulate bibliography for journal-such-and-such, finish query letter for my soon-to-be-fabulous article on three days in Lyon.  And while there are a few of these buried under the debris, the majority of the sticky notes tacked to my desk are marked with a name, a time and a restaurant.

My roommate from college came to visit for my birthday.  After 48 hours of entirely too much chocolate, far too many cocktails (several purchased by Date #4, but we’ll get to that later) and a round drunken mini golf (with my parents, no less), we decide to pry ourselves off the couch and go for a walk.

“Let’s head down to Penn’s Landing,” I suggest.  “I’m meeting Date #5 at the Chart House for dinner on Tuesday and I’d like to check it out beforehand.”

“What’s his name?” she asks as we make our way towards the river.

“Actually, I don’t know how to pronounce it,” I confess.

“Well, what does he do?”

“No idea.”

“So you don’t know his name or what he does for a living but you’re going out to dinner with him on Tuesday night?”


My roommate looks rather stunned and I must admit I feel rather guilty but this is becoming my modus operandi.  With Dates #1-4, I was much more fastidious.  I knew how to pronounce all of their names (well, alright, I wasn’t positive about Date #1 but I had a pretty good idea).  I knew what they did for a living, where they went to school, which European city they liked best and so on but one brain can only hold so much information.

I’m now operating on a need-to-know-basis.  My plan is to double check Date #5’s profile an hour or so before I go to meet him at the Chart House on Tuesday night, Google a little about whatever it is that he does for a living (so that I’ll be able to make intelligent charming conversation, or at least an attempt, and give him the attention he deserves for taking me out) and then I’ll slip into another pair of heels, another new dress and another set of coordinated accessories.

According to my sticky tabs, I have several new dates on deck for this week and several second dates with #2-4.  I’ve also managed to acquire a slew of online dating pen pals (although given the circumstances, the term “pen pal” doesn’t seem quite right).  For various reasons (ranging from scheduling difficulties and bad weather to just plain wimpy behavior—we’ve sent seven emails; will you just ask me out already?) I’ve yet to meet these “pen pals.”  So now, in addition to emailing editors and literary agents and a variety of people upon whom I should be squandering my precious free time, I’m also trying to keep up with six different men online, and failing miserably at it.  And as if that wasn’t bad enough, two of them have the same name and one lives on the other side of the state.  What am I doing emailing a man who lives on the other side of the state?  Yes, I’m asking myself the same question.

When a friend introduced me to the world of match.com a few weeks ago, she warned me against its addictive powers.  “Give yourself a limit,” she advised.  “Or else you’ll spend your whole day on match.com!”

Yeah right, I thought.  Who would be that stupid?

Me, as it turns out.  I would be that stupid. 

But not without good reason: people around the world are reading my blog because I have become that stupid.  And in this day and age, unless you’re willing to sleep your way to the top (which I’m not), you’ve got to have a successful blog if you want to get published.  Hence the fact that my desk is covered in sticky tabs.

But I promised you the story of Date #4, didn’t I?  Here goes:

I returned to Vango Lounge for my birthday and even though Date #4 professes to hate Vango (“too many hoochie mommas”), he offered to swing by on his way out for the evening to buy me and my friends a round of drinks. 

I’d already received birthday greetings in Polish (from one of my match.com “pen pals”), three text messages from Date #2 and early “Feliz cumpleanos” from Date #3 so when Date #4 called halfway through Happy Hour and sang to me in French, I wasn’t terribly shocked.  But when he showed up a few minutes later in his signature cuff-links, kissed me on the cheek and announced to my friends, “Hi, I’m Date #4,” I could have fallen off my elegantly appointed bar stool.

Fortunately, I did not.  Instead, my roommate from college and I got rather smashed on half price cocktails (thanks to Date #4) and decided to join my parents for a round of drunken mini golf at Franklin Park.  And drunk, in case you were wondering, is the best way to play mini golf.  In fact, if all goes well with Date #3 this afternoon, I just might suggest it.

8 Responses to “Friday the 13th”

  1. Dennis Hong

    Haha, good idea to number your dates!

    In my latest bout of online dating, I’ve pretty much gone off the deep end and am currently corresponding (emailing, e-chatting, texting, or calling) with seven or eight different women (I’m actually not bragging here… it’s become quite the ordeal). Part of my reason for doing this was that I promised myself I would try to keep an open mind, but… well, as you mentioned, it also makes for good blogging fodder. 😉

    Anyway, last week, I totally got busted for asking something that she’d already told me. Oops.

    Maybe I’m just super-anal, but I’m thinking I might need to start a spreadsheet that lists all the women I’m corresponding with, which ones I’ve met in person, and a bullet-list of conversation highlights that I should *remember* from our correspondences, lest I get busted again….

    I’m kinda being serious here.

    • Kat Richter

      It’s so true! I’ve been kidding around about starting a spreadsheet (sure would be more efficient that the slew of sticky tabs converging upon my desk) but it just seems so darn sterile, and corporate and everything that dating shouldn’t be… sigh 😦

      • Dennis Hong

        But it’s efficient, though, ya know?

        In all seriousness, I’ve been trying to figure out how I really feel about online dating for several years now. With the first girl I met online whom I did end up dating for sometime, we mutually came up with a story to explain how we met.

        Clearly, neither of us was uncomfortable admitting that we met each other online.

        Now… meh. I guess I’ve come to accept that it’s just another form of meeting someone. And just as you learn to hone your filter and make quick assessments of the folks you meet in real life, I think you just learn to do the same with the folks you meet online. But online, you have additional electronic tools at your disposal.

        Hey, here’s a perhaps-appropriate analogy I just thought of: some of my buddies are professional online poker players. Apparently, ALL online players nowadays–or the successful ones, anyway–use a database program to keep stats of every opponent they’ve ever played against. These stats are instantly retrievable during a game.

        Maybe that’s how we have to look at online dating, too. It’s sterile and corporate. But it’s efficient. 😉

  2. chauffeur

    I agree with landlord…. tipsy not drunken, and as your chauffeur I should point out to any readers, I was not even tipsy…. (which may explain how EZ it was for me to have by a wide margin the lowest score on the extremely competitive Philly mini golf open tournament. )


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