How to Have a Fake Affair with a Real Celebrity (NOW AVAILABLE FOR DIGITAL DOWNLOAD)

How to Have a Fake Affair with a Real Celebrity is a non-fiction short story written by Victoria Young. The story was recently published in the Spring & Summer issue of Cream City Review (41.1).

The story is a comical and tragic rumination of what it’s like when powerful men shine their spotlight in your direction and the ethics of fidelity in the internet age. At times hysterically self-deprecating, at others poignant and painfully relatable, this work of non-fiction is both a joke and a broken heart. The point is not to avoid the hurt, but instead to understand why we keep going back for more. And to find a salve in the laughter.

 

Writer. Dater. Masturbator. Victoria Young’s work has appeared in PRISM magazine (after winning second runner-up in the 2015 creative non-fiction contest). She currently holds two BAs, an MA, and whole lot of grudges. Her first collection of short stories Love Poems for Butchers may get published one day, who the fuck knows, amirite. Her work was shortlisted for the 2016 Constance Rooke creative non-fiction prize.

Relax, It’s Just Dating

It's Just Dating

The reason I have to ask every guy I talk with online, “so, what are you looking for on here?” is because most people are incredibly stupid dating websites make things incredibly difficult.  In some areas, they offer too much specificity, in other areas, not nearly enough.  For example, I’m still waiting for Plenty of Fish to get back to me about what exactly the difference is between these dating intents.


FYI, there is no difference.  These two things mean the same thing and whatever distinction could be made between the two is so complex and intricate that it could only be clarified with further discussion between the two people involved.  So, honestly, what are you even doing Plenty of Fish??

And yet, as hard as I am on Plenty of Fish, I understand the impetus.  Because most people are ridiculous haven’t put much thought into this, they have a ridiculous understanding of what dating is.  And that’s where I come in, to break it down, real quick.

Why do we demand specificity from water (lake, ocean, sea, river, stream, brook, rapids, waterfall, rain, snow, sleet, hail, etc.) and yet expect the word “Dating” to encompass everything (and by doing so, use it incorrectly).

Dating does not signify commitment.  That’s what words like “relationship” and “boyfriend/girlfriend” and “significant other” and well, to restate the obvious, “committed” are for.

Dating is not sex.  Don’t make me have a correlation/causation discussion with you folks.  While they’re not mutually exclusive, they’re also not mutually inclusive.  You can have dating without sex.  You can have sex without dating.  If you’re just speaking about sex, use your words timmy.  This is when words like “casual sex” and “no strings attached” and “booty call” and “fuck buddy” and “random” and “strange” and “one night stand” or “hook up” should be used.

Dating is not friendship.  You could make the argument that friendship can form out of dating or that two friends could go on a date but the difference is essentially attraction and intent.  So if you’re looking for a pool-shooting-buddy, be clear.  You’re looking for a friend.  If you’re looking for a pool-shooting-buddy that’ll feel you up against the felt?  Well shit.  That’s dating.

And I know some of you might be sitting there reading this thinking why does it matter?  Let me tell you.  So so so so so so much of the hassle and irritation and fucking mind boggling rage surrounding Sex, Dating, Relationships and anything in between is caused by misinterpretations, misunderstandings or any other way to say getting-shit-wrong.  If we can eliminate the confusion, if we can eliminate even just the tiniest bit of the frustration involved, then I’m one step closer to making the world a happier, healthier, more realistic and logical, yet awesome and amazing place.

So the next time a woman says “this guy I’m dating” don’t go putting all your assumptions on her.  Either ask.  Or assume the very minimum that the word entails.  She has gone on a date with a guy.  She has gone on more than one date with a guy.  She expects she might go on a date with a guy again.  There is no reference to commitment   There is no reference to sex.  There is no mention of buddies.  Take her at her word (literally the one she used) and not one that is about to buckle under all the cultural bullshit pulled up on it.

Because the thing is, no one freaks out when I say that I’m running.  They assume it means that I like to run, that I will go running, that I might be running at that exact moment.  No sane person assumes anything else about my running based on my statement.  I say, “I like running,” and they say, “great”.  No one makes me clarify if this is a lifelong pursuit, if I will ever stop running, if I am willing to run with one or several other people. Dating (and most other words) should be treated the same.

And fyi, daters.  It’s pretty pathetic when a person is so terrified of the world as to be afraid to make the claim that she/he is looking for dating and quite frankly, it’s embarrassing every time I have to explain it to one of you that, in fact, you are not looking for “friendship and let’s just see what happens”, you are looking for dating.  Quit being such a fucking baby.

Dating a Dating Blogger: The Butterfly Effect

Panda Ponders

Welp.  I’m dating again.

Grad School is over.  Teaching and marking are done, grades have been submitted.  Summer is here, and I have just under 3 months to enjoy absolutely everything Montreal has to offer before my lease runs out and I return (temporarily) to Vancouver.

And before you close the tab on this post because you can’t stand to read another article where I’m frustrated and bitter and jaded about the state of men who are interested in me, that’s not what this post is going to be like.  In fact, it’s probably the absolute opposite.  Or, at least it would be except for one small but crucial element.

More than ever before, I’m worried about altering the trajectory of the dating in my life (see:  butterfly effect).

I should explain.

I used to keep the blog, my Twitter, and my Facebook hidden from the men I dated.

Then there was a period where I felt like my identity was really wrapped up in the blog (turns out it wasn’t the blog as much as being a writer) but either way, I wanted them to know me and to do so they had to know about the blog.  Not to mention I’m basically the world’s worst liar so if a guy asks what I write, I have a problem telling him I write travelogues for nomads (though that sounds kind of fun…no?).

Then the last few months happened (where in all honesty, I have gotten really bitter) and so I started putting my Twitter handle on my Tinder profile.  Wait.  Let me explain the logic of that because I swear there was some.  It started out because I thought that maybe (cringe for my gross ego) if men knew that I was even slightly funny and/or maybe interesting then they’d stop boring me with talk about their stupid penises and maybe try to have a conversation with me.

Then, it became about… welp if they won’t have a conversation with me because I might be awesome, maybe they’ll just be less offensive because I might make fun of them on a public platform.

For the majority of men, I doubt they even read my “profile” aka that otherwise unexplored space below a picture of me.  For reference, it currently says:

Is this app only for hooking up?

Are you trying to bore my vagina into submission?

Are you bothered that Subway lies about inches?

Twitter: @SSDated

 

That being said there have been a few cool guys who managed to check it out.  Well, technically, many guys could have read it and just thought I was the dumbest, but only a few guys have mentioned anything that wasn’t related to their cocks, so I’m making an educated guess here.

 

Now, why does this all suddenly weigh so heavily on me?

 

Because I went out with a guy.  He first contacted me through Plenty of Fish but in the time it took for me to be done with school, we had matched on Tinder.  And thus, he was exposed to my Twitter and this here blog.  And before you worry that I’m going to tear this poor guy apart on the internet and that that’s my big concern…

A.  Do I ever tear anyone apart who hasn’t been a total fucking d-bag to me?  (hint: no)

B.  Spoiler Alert:  he hasn’t been a d-bag to me

C.  Whether it’s good or bad or funny or weird or swoony and amazing, dating is a fickle bitch.  And while he’s probably too busy right now to even concern himself with reading my blog, I know he’s read posts before and possibly will again and I just don’t like the idea that something I say here could affect whatever we have going on.  Not to mention how sticky things could get if I start adding in some new characters, if you know what I mean (I just mean dating other guys, in case you didn’t feel like that was heavy handed enough).

And before you say that it’s not that serious, not that big of a deal.  I know from personal experience that it kind of is.  For those of you who have been around here long enough to remember The Vampire, that all fell to shit and I basically never heard from him after he found out I wrote about dating.  And while other guys have been more understanding…that’s not entirely the point.

After all, even at my most casual, even with a booty call, even when I couldn’t possibly have made any claim on a guy’s time or his dick, I still would’ve been upset, felt a little jilted, and honestly been kind of turned off if I had to read about a dude I’m with (however loosely) banging other chicks.  I always know, when dating, that these things are a potential reality but just like calories, I like to pretend they don’t exist.

So, are you with me so far?  Does this all make sense?  How I don’t want to fuck up my life (read: possible best summer ever!) by dropping a rock in the calm lake waters causing a ripple effect with the potential of a tsunami?  Okay, good.  But now what?

What do I do, about the website?  (which, in a bizarre side note has managed to have the highest readership I’ve ever had, even though I haven’t been posting much because of school).

Do I blog about everything anyway and hope it doesn’t change the course of whatever happens with any of the guys I go out with?  Do I write the posts now but save the posting until August?  Do I save it all and finally write that ebook that I’ve been meaning to and just release it all at once and make some money from the stories (which feels presumptuous and greedy but a girl has to eat, after all someone has to pay back this student loan to the government)?

And as a side note, if your suggestion is anything other than the first option…does that make for a summer of posting about what…feminism?  my personal weightloss?  body issues?  non-male-specific-sex-posts?  poetry?  shitty fiction?  ugh.

Crash Boom Bang: Disappointments Upon Disappointments

Crash Boom Bang

 

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] know that life is what you make it, that you have to decide to be happy.  I know that I’m privileged and lucky and fortunate and life really is pretty fucking beautiful for me.  But I still get sad, and things can still suck.  That being said, there can be a certain hilarity when life gets miserable all at once, when you’re piled up with disappointment after disappointment, in a very small period of time (picture a cartoon of me being buried alive by a landslide of rocks…don’t worry it’s a cartoon, I’ll survive).

And that is what happened last week.

Crash

So, I had finally started dating someone really smart.  And then he dumped me.  And I was sad.  And maybe I was sad because I had been rejected.  Or maybe I was sad because I had been rejected by someone I liked.  Or maybe I was just upset because he was smart and now that would be gone from my life.  Or maybe I was sad because of how he did it (rather than just ripping the bandaid he blamed it on academia and being busy) or maybe I was sad because I felt like I had been dumped before he’d even had a real chance to get to know me or maybe or maybe or maybe.  Who knows.  What I do know is this:  I felt sad.  I felt a huge sense of disappointment.  Like this was my one shot to hang out with someone who was seriously smart, who thought I was attractive, who wasn’t completely socially stunted, and who seemed interesting (if not hilarious).  And though my mother assures me that,

you’ll meet tons of smart people

I have to say, at 32 and in a graduate school program, WHERE THE FUCK ARE THEY???

Boom

Bummed about being dumped, I went to my first fiction workshop (up to this point the classes had been a lot of discussion of published works and writing techniques).  And that’s where my Professor repeatedly called my writing “Chick Lit”, and proceeded to drone on about how men are basically all super awesome and the narrator of my story is a judgmental bitch (more on this later but the gist of it was that he couldn’t understand how a girl wouldn’t want to hear a bone-head guy discuss his favorite muscle group…all the while never asking her a single question…or how a girl could possibly be upset that an old man had lied about his age [by ten years] and shown up to a date looking like a completely different person than the images on his dating profile).  Oh, and I should mention that many people in the class agreed (so we can’t just chalk this up to some fucked up Professor).  The only conclusion I could come to was that I myself was an idiot, or I was surrounded by idiots.  Either way, I pretty much wanted to throw myself off the balcony.

One student actually said “why doesn’t your narrator stop dating if she hates it so much”

*throws self off balcony as life is hard and that is apparently the answer*

But then things seemed to be looking up.  I let someone in emotionally (okay, admittedly, it was kind of accidental, but needless to say a man called me within hours of said horrible writing workshop and I burst into tears while on the phone).  But that’s something.  You see, it was Top Secret, from just before I moved to Montreal.  He had moved to Ontario and was now coming for a visit to Montreal and had called to let me know of his plan.

At Christmas, when I came home to Vancouver, we didn’t have a ton of time but he wanted to hang out and hang out we did.  We went out for lunch.  It was fun.  It was nice.  It was real friendship shit.  But then, just as before winter break, he went right back to barely having any contact with me.  Sure we’d quick message here or there but if you want to be friends with someone and especially if you want to be more than friends with someone you have to put in that effort to get to know them, to stay in contact with them, to keep their (and yours, presumably) lust alive.  But he didn’t, we didn’t.

But here we were, visiting in his hotel room, eating pizza, watching youtube videos and getting reacquainted.  Or so I thought.  Because before I know it, he’s trying to kiss me.  Which, in theory, is fine.  But, honestly, I wasn’t really feeling it yet.  I didn’t, however, want to shut things down permanently, I just needed some time, because we had gone back to zero and I might need a couple hangouts and conversations to get back up to 60.

The next day I had to finish an already late scholarship application, and he seemed busy with work stuff, so I stayed in and said that we would meet up the next day.  Friday came, and I was running late to meet him for his show so I skipped the bus and jumped in a cab.  I made it to the show before him and when he arrived we went in.  Given that he was in the show, I was seated at a table by myself, at the front (WHY DO THEY ALWAYS MAKE ME SIT IN THE FRONT!!).

After the show we talked a bit, he basically insinuated he wanted to bone but didn’t want me to feel pressured and I finally had the balls to say, at this moment (and because of the reasons mentioned above), I just wanted to be friends and we could just see what happens.  He seemed to take it pretty well.

Because we were at the show, they told us we could go upstairs and hear the rest of the Motown show that was happening, and though I wasn’t super keen at that exact moment (I had developed an excruciating migraine) I went anyway because he wanted to go (plus I had just taken some excedrin so the headache would foreseeably dissipate).

The show turned out to be AMAZING!  I had an absolute blast.  The music, the dancers, the fact that it was free, what more could a girl ask for?!  We were joking and having fun, things seemed great.

SPOILER ALERT:  they weren’t, apparently.

Bang

After the show wrapped up, he asked so how are you getting home?

I was baffled.  Home?  It was only 11:00pm, I had assumed we’d go get some food or at least hang out and do something.  I mean shit son, I was in full hair and makeup, I’d even worn a brand new dress with uncomfortable shoes!  I said the bit about food and hanging out.  He said he wasn’t hungry and that maybe we could meet for lunch or something tomorrow.

Was he fucking serious?!?!  He expected me to wake up and do my hair and makeup for a lunch date with a dude sending me packing on a Friday night???  This dude was nuts.

I tried to convey this sentiment nicely.  I tried to convey that I thought we were friends.  After all, he’d just spent the evening telling me how awesome I was, how much more awesome it was to have a girl to hang out with and write jokes with than to have a pretty girl to just fuck, how much of a lousy lay he was to begin with…blah blah blah

(sidebar:  If I let you take a joke I wrote and then you treat me like shit, you have to take it out of your act, those are the rules)

His response:  I have enough friends

Interspersed in this dialogue was some bullshit about him being a gentleman and wanting to put me in a cab rather than have me take the bus home (which had been my original plan).  I declined and declined and declined.  However, after he said the thing about having enough friends I thought well fuck him and took the $20 he was handing me (I am a broke grad student after all, I can’t even see the poverty line let alone live above it).

Plus, I figured, as I walked for 6-10 blocks fueled by pure rage and disappointment, I would just take the bus anyway and that $20 would reimburse me for the cab I had taken earlier because I couldn’t fathom being late to his show.  I mean…

FUCK HIM

FUCK HIM

FUCK HIM

FUCK HIM

FUCK HIM

FUUUUUCCCCKKK HIM.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the end of the week of shitty things.  Almost as soon as I got on the bus (a packed bus no less, given that it was 11:30 on a Friday night), a group of fine young gentlemen proceeded to talk loudly (though mostly in French) about how fat I was and whether or not all black guys or just some black guys dig that.  The discussion included hand and arm gestures.

And before anyone gets all well don’t listen to them and they’re idiots etc.  I know this.  This conversation didn’t ffect how I feel about myself or my body (I’m lovely).  It did, however, make me feel very uncomfortable and admittedly a bit unsafe.  You see, I’m rarely scared of being raped or murdered, however, it is a very real fear that a teenage boy might spit on me or something.  Also, it made me sad because while I’m able to block out this kind of despicable behavior, I know that there will be other girls, who will experience this, younger girls, more fragile girls, girls who don’t yet know that they are entirely enough and absolutely beautiful, and for those girls I felt the hurt a bit more.  Not wanting to give these boys the attention they misguidedly and desperately sought, I put in my ear buds and pretended as if the conversation didn’t exist.

And thus ended my week.  Undateable.  Isolated and alone in a writing program that fits like a wet wool bodysuit.  Having lost all faith in the ability of men to not be the fucking worst (hyperbole, I know, some of you are fucking wonderful, even if I’m currently having a difficult time remembering this).  Spiraling into sadness.  Blargh.

So to sum up…Dumped Crash!…Writing trashed Boom!…all faith in the male species dashed Bang!  Sorry for the downer post.  Let the disappointment really sink in tho.

 

 

 

The Scientist: Second Dates & Science Textbooks (Part 2)

Kissing

 

Continued from… The Scientist:  Second Dates & Science Textbooks (Part 1)

They say a kiss is worth a thousand words.  Or is it a picture?  What about kissing on a light blue velvet couch while trying not to spill your water?  That’s gotta be worth at least 50, maybe even a hundred words, no?

So there we were, the Scientist and the juggler, making out like teenagers, until I finally broke us apart and said would you mind setting this down for me on the table? like some kind of romantic savant.  We laughed and he set my glass down.  He suggested we move to the bed.  I said I had to go to the bathroom (which is where I whipped off my spanx and replaced them with sexy red lace undies – if you’re not picturing me as a sex-goddess-superwoman-clark-kendra I don’t even know what’s wrong with you).

I came out of the bathroom and within seconds our bodies were pressed together.  We drifted over to the bed and before I knew it we were making out hot and heavy and he had a nipple in his mouth.  Er.  Um.  Okay well actually it probably went a bit slower than that but in many ways it felt that quick.

Though I had changed into the red lacies, I had every intention of keeping it ladylike.

(sidenote:  I use the term ladylike here facetiously, and also incorrectly.  I know that you, my beloved readers, will understand what I mean by ladylike and also forgive my lexicon for having no other word to convey that I wasn’t going to be giving him the goods in a quick fashion…and YET, that you know without a doubt that not only do I use the term without judgment but that I firmly believe women should not be judged by their sexual experiences nor that those experiences are even a thing that is rationally judgable as the relationship between sex and a woman’s value is zero, they are not correlateable.

So we were making out, and the kissing was…mostly good.  You see, men can tend to get excited, and often when they do their kissing goes to shit they can get a little carried away, and like a good puppet master (is that an offensive thing to say?) you have to reign them in, guide the pace, and keep things all good.  After all, if I’m being honest, most men are fucking clueless (at least in the beginning).  And as I’ve said before, that’s why I feel the need to set the pace to slow.

Nonetheless, when the kissing was good, the kissing was good.  Our hot mouths, our soft lips, a lick here, a nibble there, this is what passion tastes like.  And then before I knew it, my bra was off.  With one hand like some kind of clasp magician, a real life Joey Tribiani if you will, he undid the clasps on my bra (which by the way, with these breasts and this body, was a 5 clasper).  All I’m saying is that’s some serious dexterity there, and it was duly noted for the future.

That being said, it wasn’t all smooth moves and hiccupless humping.  I’m all for the dry hump, in fact, I’m a huge fan of a good healthy hump, a sensual slide, a rigorous rub, a body bump.  But, when things get weird is when you feel like a stuffed animal being humped by a dog rather than a luscious lady being rubbed in all the right ways.

While the Scientist may have the upper hand when it comes to academic intelligence and adventure travel, I definitely knew, from very early on, that sexually speaking, I was on top (figuratively, if not always literally).  Now, obviously, sex is no competition, and if anything, this feeling of experiential superiority only made me more relaxed and, for lack of a better word, forgiving, of his misteps.

So like I said, the dry humping, it was often um…detached?  I almost don’t know how to describe it.  Actually that’s a lie, it’s completely just occurred to me how to characterize it.

It’s as if the dry humping was only for him, like there was no concern about my bits and how they might want to be rubbed.  Now, in his defense, I had said I wanted to take things slow so maybe he interpreted that as don’t touch my vagina, but hey…man…I mean, if you’re going to pump and thrust and throb against it, it doesn’t matter if we’re fully clothed or not, YOU BETTER HAVE MY GODDAMN CLIT IN MIND.

And then at some point, after the thrusting gained momentum and then peaked, it stopped altogether.  Had he gotten tired?  Was the ceasing just an awareness that his balls would remain blue?  Or I mean is it possible did he cum from all the banging against my vag?  We continued to make out for awhile longer and at some point I thought, ya know, I’d just take a quick feel, and see what he was working with.  Ya know, just give big ol’ johnson a quick, outside the pants stroke or two to see what kind of fun the future held.

But as I put my hand on what had only moments earlier been the gate to pound-town, I was shocked, he was soft.  What?  What the?  What?  Unacceptable, I thought and immediately began to offer my best caresses, my top notch technique, to bring that sad sailor back to life.  But as I rubbed, and caressed, and smoothly seduced this beast, and it ever so slowly came, what I can only hope is “somewhat” back to life…I thought a lot harder about whether or not he had come during humpfest 2013.  At this point I was actually hoping he had because otherwise I’d just started dating a dude who wasn’t super hard for me (something I’m not at all used to – whether by sheer luck I don’t know).

So eventually he got semi-hard, and I got semi-giving-uppy, because after all what is the point of getting him super hard when I had no intention of even giving the fellow a handy (since boys are the worst at driving the pressure train and somehow a handy way too often ends up with a blowy or a bangy and dammit I like stages and like I said earlier, most dudes suck at sex in the beginning).

So I left blue balls (or not blue balls, depending on) lie and our kissing slowly progressed into a cuddling-ish lie about.  At some point though I swear he was about to fall asleep and it seemed like a good time to make my exit.  We talked about the next day, and he informed me that he had to get up at the crack of dawn to head to the lab.  Now, while totally reasonable, and not being a morning person myself I completely understand in the rational part of my brain, I admit I felt a tad jilted that he didn’t say something along the lines of but you should stay a bit longer.

I went to the bathroom to fix my ridiculous make-out hair, except unfortunately I forgot to bring my purse in with me.  My purse with my spanx.  My spanx which keep my thighs from rubbing (read: chaffing) when I walk.  And I couldn’t very well come out of the bathroom, only to grab my purse and go back in, what am I, a lunatic!?!

When I came out of the bathroom, we talked for a little bit longer, and then he pulled me in for a kiss goodbye, which ended up lasting several minutes (and I must admit made me feel a lot better about his not having asked me to stick around longer).  And then I was out the door.  And into the elevator.  Where I hoped with all my might that in the drop down of 18 floors to the lobby that there wouldn’t be a single person wanting to get on the elevator.  And like Clark Kendra I put my spandex shorts on in the elevator – like some kind of sexy magician (read: hot mess), and then was off into the night.

 

The Scientist: Second Dates & Science Textbooks (Part 1)

Smart Guys

 

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e had had our first date on Thursday night and now it was Sunday and I was headed over to the Scientist‘s place for dinner.

I arrived right on time.  He opened the door, we hugged, and his wet hair pressed against my cheek.  He seemed a tad rushed, which was substantiated when he told me that his day had run long at the lab and so he hadn’t had a chance to actually cook anything yet.

No worries I said.  I wasn’t even that hungry yet.  He showed me around his place (which is smaller than mine, if that can even be possible) and then he presented the view, which was stunning.  He partially faced the “mountain” (mont-royal), as well as the stadium, and had a clear view over the city.  It was beautiful while it was still light out and then magical once it had gotten dark (did you know that there’s a huge lit up cross on Mont-Royal?  I had no idea but apparently there is, so much for Quebec’s new attempt to ban religious symbols eh?).

Unfortunately, unlike my balcony which is solid cement and at least feels sturdy, his balcony felt and looked like it was constructed for a 7th grade science project.   And before you think me a huge scaredy-cat of illogical reasoning, try to remember that this is Montreal after all, and you can’t trust anything here.  Corruption is real and infrastructure is terminal.  I mean, I’m still a scaredy cat, but like bear that in mind is all I’m saying.  Thus, while the view was cool and all, going out there was kind of terrifying and I don’t think he was impressed by my sensitivity to…ya know…dying.

We continued to talk for awhile, particularly about travel as his apartment had a large map and was decorated primarily by the knick knacks and souvenir trinkets he’d clearly picked up along his travels.  Eventually though, he had to make us dinner, so he told me to make myself comfortable and he’d finish it up.

I, of course, took that as an excellent sign to read his science textbooks (don’t worry, I asked first). 

 

During dinner we listened to jazz music and he dimmed the lights so we could look out over the city.  The food was simple yet delicious, though I only ate one of the tortilla/fajita things.  At first, I thought he’d made 4 and since I wasn’t all that hungry to begin with (nerves, probably) when he’d eaten 2 and offered me another I declined, assuring him it was delicious but that I was good.  Then I found out he’d made 6, but I couldn’t figure out if it would be weirder to not eat very much or to change my mind now, so I stuck with the former.  Then he offered me ice cream for dessert.  At first I responded with no, I’m fine but then I felt like such an asshole for turning down all his food that I said sure, I’ll take some.  I mean, I’m nothing if not a polite houseguest 😉

We talked some more about travelling, and he showed me this video of his trip to South Africa.  He told me a story of how him and his friend had been camping off the beaten trail in South Africa and a car had pulled up and the driver pulled a gun on them.  He asked if I’d ever had any close calls like that with danger and I struggled to answer.  No, not really I’d said and immediately I found myself ashamed of my lack of adventure.  But then I realized that it could be because I was a woman and thus, had a very keen sense of which situations are safe and which are not and would then never have put myself in that kind of danger.  But, it did make me want to travel more, to be more adventurous, to make this life really happen, ya know?

We sat on this weird super tiny couch that looked like it was covered in light blue velvet, him drinking a beer and me drinking water.  It was pretty typical second date stuff, the two people slowly moving closer and closer together, the kiss waiting in the wings.  But there’s still an awkwardness at this stage, there’s still an uncertainty as to whether affection is wanted, will be accepted.  And so I did my best to indicate that it was and would be, by facing him and just like that…we were kissing.  Well…kissing, and trying to not spill my water.

 

To Be Continued…

Post First Date: Who Should Make the First Move?

Dating Questions

Something She Said

Stories about sex and dating, screenshots of sexist online dating messages, murder jokes, elaborately long fruit puns–you never quite know what you’re going to get.

Who should text after the first date?

How long should you wait to contact someone after a first date?

Do you have to wait for him to contact you? 

I am a 32 year old woman and, no joke, I actually typed these queries into Google search the day after my first date with the Scientist.  With most of the men I’ve dated I’ve come to realize that no texty means no likey and that they want to be the one pursuing things.  But with a highly educated enlightened dude does all that stuff still apply?  And there I found myself googling dating advice (because though in some areas of dating I know my stuff, this was new territory and I just didn’t know).

The results of my search were all pretty clear:  go ahead and text him, these days guys like not having to always be the one making the first contact.  But, is this really true?  Do guys want you to make the effort to contact them?  Or is it really just in a dream scenario that every guy is hoping Megan Fox is looking up their numbers and calling them to declare her love?  And at that point it’s not really about who called whom first but instead that of course everyone wants someone fucking amazing to call them.  I mean hell, I barely know who Megan Fox is and I’d take her call.  But I digress.

Nonetheless, some of these commenters made some valid points, if only in theory, and given the Scientist being the enlightened nerdy guy I had gathered him to be, I figured what the hell.

 

And so I texted.

 

At 8pm on a Friday night.  (cringe).

 

Hey 🙂

 

And then I waited…

 

And I waited…

 

(I mean technically I got some work done, watched some TV, etc., but you get the idea).

 

I mean it was radio fucking silence.

 

No biggie though, I thought, maybe he’s busy and he’ll respond tomorrow or something.

 

But then tomorrow came and there was no text.  I was bummed.  I mean, I had thought our first date had gone really well, what with all the conversation and kissing and stuff.  Then again, Skinny Jeans had kissed me on our first (and last) date and had even gone out of his way to say it was good, only to never ask me out again.

 

Sidenote:  What is the deal with boys who don’t like me kissing me?

 

And just when I thought I had been unceremoniously rejected after my 2nd first date in a week’s time, I got a text from him that read:

Hey! 🙂  Sorry, crazy day yesterday, nonstop till 1am.  Did you have a good time on Thursday?

and then right away another message

By the way, do you have plans tomorrow evening?

I said that I’d had a good time, and asked if he had as well, and then said that no, I had nothing planned the following night.  To which, he responded:

It was very nice to meet you.  I really enjoyed our conversation.  I wanted to invite you over for dinner at my place.  Let me know if you would like to come.

And just like that…a second date was born.  Was it a good idea that I texted?  Who knows.  Would he have texted me in his own time if I hadn’t?  I have no idea.  What I’m saying is, while I can advise boys on how to stop being losers while online dating, I haven’t a fucking clue about the rest of this stuff.

WISH ME LUCK!!

The Scientist: Coffee, Conversation, and Kisses

First Dates

 

Continued from… A New “Something”:  The Scientist

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]o, there we were, The Scientist and I, having coffee in a cafe, on a first date in Montreal.  And it was good.

He asked a ton of questions, something we all know I love and so rarely happens.  We both talked about our careers (he asked about my writing, which was amazing on two levels:  one, it was awesome to have someone take such a huge interest in something I love, and two, it forced me to think about my ‘process’ and some other things I hadn’t really put that much time into considering).

He talked about a research paper he had just submitted, with some colleagues, about a new discovery in the way memories are formed (and only had to dumb it down a little for me), which was great to hear someone talk so passionately about something and because frankly, that level of intelligence is super hot.

At one point, I was talking about the Conference at Yale University that I was going to shortly, and he asked about the paper I was presenting.  I told him that I was writing about “Happy Objects” in John Gay’s 18th C. play The Beggar’s Opera and what are the chances that he would know that play I was talking about?  Zero, right?  It has to be zero.  And yet, and yet, in a strange string of connection, he’d learned about the play once because of it’s later connection to the Jazz song “Mack the Knife” done by Frank Sinatra.  What are the chances?!?! (he could probably tell me, he’s that smart).

We laughed, we learned, it was fun.

Eventually, the cafe was closing and the waiter brought the bill to our table, saying something about how they could split it up at the front if we wanted but the Scientist immediately chimed in that he’d take care of it (before I even had time to make that awkward reach).  And though my coffee was probably only about $5.  And though, I’d recently tried to justify that specific gesture not really mattering.  And though, I am woman hear me roar and equality and all that.  This is one of the few dating rituals that I actually think matter, and has some logic behind it.

He paid the bill, we went outside, but neither of us seemed interested in saying goodbye.  After all, we hadn’t even started to talk about what it was like to grow up in Colombia, or all the world traveling he and I had done, etc.  We decided to take a stroll down Saint Urbain, and whether it was the conversation or simply the company, before I knew it we had walked all the way down to Sherbrooke (and I had hardly noticed I wasn’t in particularly comfortable shoes).

Conveniently, there is a little courtyyard with benches and light displays at the corner of Sherbrooke and Saint Urbain, it was like a rest stop for romance, a space for something special, or maybe it was just a few benches and some bushes.  Either way, we sat down for a bit and continued talking.

And that’s when it somehow took that turn to how I write about sex and dating.  It didn’t seem to bother him at all, in fact he seemed kind of intrigued.  But not in that, oooh you’re a dating blogger and maybe you can make me more important by writing about me way that can be a real turn off.  He just seemed, well, interested in knowing more.  We continued to talk about dating war stories for a bit, I mentioned the lavender leather jacket and he talked about a date where the person did not match their profile in the slightest.  And then he went on to ease my dating fears and said that I was exactly the person I had seemed online (pictures, profile and conversation).

We talked a bit more about dating and writing, and he even suggested that I could go on bad dates, if only for the material.  I told him I could never do that, and honestly I really couldn’t.  It’s one thing to turn a horrible date into something less horrible by writing about it and sharing your experiences with people, but to purposely go out with someone knowing that you weren’t interested in them just seems dishonest and cruel.  I just couldn’t do that to people.  Most guys, I said, when I tell them, immediately jump to the conclusion that I date for sport, which couldn’t be further from the truth, after all, I said, first dates are the worst.

Realizing that we, of course, were on a first date and not wanting him to think I wasn’t enjoying myself, I felt the need to clarify that the part of first dates that I hate is that initial uncertainty because the other person might be a total freak or murderer.  It’s because it’s online dating, and I never know if the person is going to actually be the person they have claimed to be, or if I have managed to represent myself correctly as the person I really am so that I too match up well to my profile.  I wish I didn’t get so nervous and stressed out for first dates but I do, so there you have it.  Nonetheless, I told him, that after I meet someone, then I’m fine.

I know this blog post is very facts fact facts details details details but don’t let that distract you from the first date magic that was happening as we sat side by side (but in that leaning in triangley way) our knees occasionally touching.  I had clearly made him a bit uncomfortable with all my I hate first dates talks, so I wasn’t really surprised when he hinted at, insinuated, and then just flat out asked if I hated everything about first dates and would I mind if he kissed me.  And while I don’t normally like the first-kiss-permission-ask, the way he did it (or maybe it’s just because I liked him thus far) didn’t bother me.  I smiled, blushed, subconsciously tried to look extra cute, and nodded.

He leaned over and kissed me.

Even though we were in public, it felt somewhat secluded and the kisses were good so, we ended up kissing for several minutes before I eventually pulled us apart.  He said something about me being a good kisser and we decided to continue our walk up Sherbrooke.

We walked and walked, and talked and talked until finally we found ourselves near McGill and his home.  It was getting late and I still had to get home, so we checked the time of the next bus and he waited with me until it came (but not before sneaking in a few more steamy kisses).

And that was it, the end of a really good date, with really good conversation and kisses, with someone who seemed like he could be a really good match.

Could it all finally be working out???

A New “Something”: The Scientist

Dating a Scientist

 

Many people have been quick to point out to me, I have a history of dating…er…um…well…hot and dumb?  Though it should be noted, I was recently telling my mother that it’s not so much that I’m some vain asshole picking hotness over smartness, these are the guys that are choosing me.  And if I’m going to date a dumb guy, he might as well be hot, no?  Now I’m not saying I’m some kind of smarty pants, but there is something to be said for the fact that I have 2 BAs and am working on my MA.  Needless to say, I clearly value higher education and intelligence.

But I digress, THIS is about the Scientist.  So here goes…

He messaged me on OkCupid.  He asked intelligent questions (and never mentioned my tits once), our conversations included paragraphs (it was actually fun getting to know him), he seemed really interesting (he’s traveled all over the world), and it seemed like we would probably have a lot in common.  Oh, and he’s getting his PhD in Neuroscience.  No biggie.

In all honesty, my only hesitation was his height – 5’9.  Now, don’t get me wrong, height isn’t everything, and it’s not even necessarily a downside but the thing of it is that when the guy isn’t particularly tall – I feel bigger.  I’m already fairly tall at 5’7 and add to that I’m a BBW or Plus size or whatever you want to call it chubby bunny, and then if the guy isn’t tall sometimes I feel a bit like, like, well like, I take on a bit of a masculine energy.  But I digress, my issues aside, he seemed like a cool dude (and smart as fuck, have I mentioned that yet, that he’s super smart, well more on this later!)

Detour.  It was the week of my 32nd birthday.  I had just started to get back into dating (read: put up dating profiles on POF and OKCupid) and I had 3 potential first dates coming up.  The first was with a really pushy French guy (from France, big surprise) who, even though I pretty clearly stated that I was looking to hang out in an area of Montreal that I was familiar with, was trying to convince me to trek my way on an adventure to a hookah joint (that was conveniently only a block from his house, though I had already clearly said no, I don’t want to have a drink on your terrace, I’m not comfortable with that for a first date).  Needless to say, boys, pushiness is not a turn on and I eventually decided it wasn’t worth the stress and texted to cancel (well in advance though, so don’t you worry).  The second guy was Skinny Jeans, and we all know how that turned out.  And then the third brings us back to this story, The Scientist.

Unfortunately, with classes, TAing, my first date with Skinny Jeans on my bday, and my own birthday party, I had booked up the whole week except for Saturday.  Even more unfortunately, the Scientist was running the Montreal Marathon that day which would put him out of commission for another two (as I imagine running that kind of distance basically cripples you for a day or so after).  And then, as luck would have it, that brings us back to the days I have class again and the point of this lengthy story is to tell you that from the time he actually first asked me out, it would be another week and a half before we got to meet.

One of the problems with making a date that far in advance is it is both too much and not enough time all at once.  It’s too much time to spend waiting (because you’d be surprised how much you can convince yourself you don’t want to go on a first date after your first date back in over a year is a total flop).  And yet, it’s entirely too much time because normally when you’ve started talking to someone, you…ya know…talk to them, but when you’re waiting for a first date, there is a big part of you (and it’s an advisable part, I admit) that doesn’t want to talk to the other person.  You are, after all, saving up your most interesting banter and stories for the first date, when you’ll impress them with your flawless conversation.  So, during those 10 or so days it was almost radio silence, on both sides, while we waited for our big date.

By which time, of course, I was feeling a bit more like this, than excited to meet a new fella:

 

 

But obviously I didn’t bail because I’m not a total jackass and when thursday rolled around, I got all gussied up and ready for our date.  I was running a tad behind, as per usual, so was planning to catch a cab so I wouldn’t be late, when the Scientist called and, apologizing profusely, asked if we could please push our date by 45 minutes so that he could attend an art show of a friend that he’d forgotten he’d promised to attend.

No sweat, I told him, let’s push it an hour so that you’re not rushed.  Plus, now I could save cab fare and take the bus, hoorays all around.  When I showed up at the cafe, the place was super cute but also really dead.  I must’ve been looking around confused because the hostess asked if I was meeting someone–yep–a guy?–yep–around the corner.  And there he was.  We hugged, I sat down, and so it began…

A New “Something”: Skinny Jeans

Dating Nosedive

 

The older I get, the less birthdays actually seem to matter.  That’s why, this year, when the opportunity to go on a first date fell squarely on my birthday, I didn’t really see it as a big deal.  It just seemed like another day in an already busy calendar, and after all, the time was finally right.  I had managed to find my way through a hard year of getting my bearings in grad school (read: I didn’t go on a single first date since France and The Comic), I had finally transferred over to the creative stream and excepting an academic conference in October, I was basically done with academia and ready to focus on the Creative Writing side of my degree (read: I was happy, I was less busy, life was ripe for the picking)

*cue raucous applause and several minutes of elated sighing*

Needless to say, your girl was ready to have some fun.  So when Skinny Jeans asked me out, I accepted.  Plus, I was planning to have my party the next night anyway so it wasn’t like I was some lonely singleton just trying not to spend my day of birth alone, I had a busy schedule of fun (and work) things, and Thursday night was just when I could fit him in.

He had messaged me on POF, nothing too thrilling, but he seemed normal.  He was pretty good looking: 5’10, black, English Speaking (a thing I’ve really come to find necessary with my ever failing ability to speak French), and he seemed cool enough.  We added each other on Facebook and everything was a go.  He lives in a sort-of-suburb of montreal and since he’s from here we figured it would be easiest if he came to my pace (don’t freak out, not my apartment, just picked me up downstairs, it’s a very busy place, no chance of being murdered etc.).

Thursday rolled around, he texted that he was here, and I went down to meet him.  I was already a ball of nerves for two reasons:

  1. I hadn’t gone on a date in over a year
  2. I hate first dates.  Well, not the whole date.  Once I meet the guy and he’s normal and we get along things are awesome, great, wonderful.  But the few hours before we meet, I’m near vomitting at all times.  I just hate it.  I don’t even totally know what I’m afraid of, but needless to say, I’m not calm and relaxed.

We greeted with a hug, and though I wasn’t super jazzed about his fitted pants, I was pleased.  He, however, may not have been.  He didn’t smile a whole lot in the beginning, though I’ve also met guys who didn’t smile a lot at first and then we’re all over it later so who knows, I’m probably too sensitive about the smiling.  But then again, this is my blog, and I’m trying to make dating better for everyone, so really what I’m saying is Boys, more smiling, smile right from the beginning, big warm welcoming smiles.  I get that you’re nervous but she is too and nothing quite says, I’m so pleased because you look exactly like you’re dating profile photos like a sunshine smile.  

We walked and talked for a few blocks until we came to a coffee shop.  We went inside, and that’s when things got awkward.  Well, for me.  He wanted to get something to eat and there was a really long counter so I kind of ended up ordering my own coffee and then paying for it.  And what I mean by awkward is really that internally I began a conversation whereby I attempted to defend the action of not paying but honestly…honestly…honestly?  We all know I’m not a fan.  But even more than not paying as a literal thing bothers me, it’s also what it says about him as a person, and most important of all, I think it says a lot about what he thinks of me (which if we’re being real here is that he doesn’t think spending time with me is worth $4.00).

But, not one to jump to conclusions (er…uh…at least not mid-date), I made the best of things and sat down for a chat.  We ended up talking for 2.5 hours, until the coffee shop was closing down.  I admit, I was a tad confused, this chatty behavior seeming very contradictory to the paying of coffee, and thus started to think maybe he had his own reasons for not paying and that maybe I should let it go.

We had been talking about a local pool place and suggested that maybe we could move on to there, at first he said yes but then followed it up quickly with oh, I can’t, I have to go set up for a video shoot tomorrow.  It made sense, after all, when we’d originally booked the date he’d asked for earlier rather than later.  But still.  But still.  I’m not a fan of being double booked on.  I get that there was a huge possibility that I could’ve been a dud, but still.

Nonetheless, he walked me home from the coffeeshop and then proceeded to chat with me for another 45 minutes outside of my apartment building.

Was he waiting for an invite up?

Was he just having a good time?

At some point I could tell what was happening.  I could feel it in the air.  I could see it in the way he was standing.  He was working out to a goodnight kiss and I guess all that chatter was a good way to fill the time.  Eventually he worked up to it and planted a big kiss on me.  It was nice.  I probably pulled away too soon but there were so many people around (it being a high traffic area) and I’m not a fan of PDA with new boys, with a boyfriend sure, but first kisses should happen in dark sexy places, not orange lit doorways with people coming and going.

Eventually we said goodbye.  And *spoiled alert* I won’t make you wait on this one for a second blog post, because it really was goodbye.  We texted back and forth a few times, but after a few messages it became clear he wasn’t interested.  He was a confident, aggressive fella and not asking for a second date was indication enough, if not the fact that his responses to texts were often only a few phrases.

Do I know what happened?  Nope.  Maybe he didn’t like how I looked or thought I was dull.

But why did he kiss me?  Honestly, no idea.  I don’t really understand sexual activity with someone you’re not at least interested in seeing again (not to be confused with drunk goggles etc. because we were both stone cold sober).  And it seems unlikely that the kissing wasn’t good or something because he went out of his way to mention that I was a good kisser.

Did something happen between the date and now?  Again, no idea.  Like I’ve said before, as much as I absolutely fucking hate not having any answers to dating questions, sometimes they just never come.  And you just have to be okay with that.  So I am.  This is me, being okay with it.  But then again, it might have something to do with the fact that a week later, I already had another first date booked 😉

**********

One final note about Skinny Jeans before I move on, because we all know I LOVE a teachable moment.  I know that guys are often worried about being an asshole when it comes to rejection and so I feel the need to point out how Skinny Jeans was, in fact, an asshole, and how he could’ve easily avoided it with little to no effort.

The key to rejecting a girl, besides all the obvious advice I’ve given before is clarity.  Don’t push and pull.  Don’t give and take.  Just reject.  Pick one line of attack and follow through.  With Skinny Jeans, the texting was…sporadic.  He responded on and off.  And when he responded, it was enthusiastic and then it wasn’t.  But not in a tapered off way, the attention was misleading.  What he should’ve done, assuming he wasn’t comfortable with just saying hey look, thanks for meeting me and stuff but I’m not interested so all the best, was to ignore all messages.  Just stop responding.  Girls aren’t idiots, we get the message.  When it becomes clear is when he responds to some messages and then nada.  And then texts, so I respond, and then there’s texting and then nada.  And the fact that hadn’t unfriended me on facebook was weird too.  Now obviously I got the message, after all, like I said, I’m not an idiot, but he could’ve saved me several days of excitement, and then several more of confusion, followed by the eventual disappointment, if he’d just be more clear (or more silent).

And before you all get up in arms in his defense, let me say this…we are all assholes sometimes.  Doing something assholey doesn’t make you a monster, but that doesn’t mean we should pretend you aren’t a jerk for doing something that causes another person distress (AND COULD BE AVOIDED).  Learning is good.  Self-awareness is good.  So ya know, go out there and date up a storm, but try and be considerate of the time and feelings of others along the way.  That’s a cool thing to do too.