Monthly Archives: September 2012

Having It Both Ways: Electoral Dating is Impossible

Having It Both Ways: Electoral Dating is Impossible

Learn more about the Having It Both Ways Project HERE.

Ok – I’m sorry for not writing this earlier.  I went on my date last Saturday, and on the way home I checked my messages and found a glitch in my Monday travel for work… then I literally had the most intense insane week I’ve had since I started working for our org.  It was a really really hard week that required me to be incredibly focused.  I’m not the best at being focused – that’s what makes me really good at what I do.  Because I can do 92 things at once while sitting at my desk.  When you throw in me NOT sitting at my desk and me having to be in several physical locations doing things hands on and personal meetings with folks at the same time as doing my normal 92 things on the internet it requires a lot of Ritlin concentration.  My brain works differently.

So… this week was insane and I didn’t get to write something about the woman who “stood me up” the week previously.  So here’s what happened….

Last week, I showed up at the place – waited – no one showed.  I was pissed.  But… it turns out she never got the email telling her about the date to begin with.  Apparently the dating service was having problems with their email server so she had no idea.  She told me it would have worked too – she walked down the street and got Chinese food alone and watched TV that night.  But she didn’t get the email.  I told her I blogged about it.  HAd fun posting Facebook status updates asking people to vote on acceptable excuses and then read her off a few of them.  She thought you all were VERY funny.

As much as it would have been interesting to have had her be hit by a bus or thrown in jail – turns out she just didn’t know about the date.

We had a good night.  I enjoyed the conversation.  She was not even remotely political but tends to be a very economically conservative democrat or exceedingly liberal republican.  At one point she said to me “I’m a republican” and I didn’t say anything.  She said “Is this date over now?”  And I was like…. um…. uhhhh… NO… um…. my mother’s a republican.  But in my head I was thinking – um yeah – I don’t date people who are so far outside of my ideology otherwise we’d do nothing but argue.  That’s just the nature of me being so obsessed about politics.  It’d be kind of like if you were a professional surfer and trying to date someone who was afraid of the water.  I mean… what do you do with that?  She said she was just “joking” and wanted to see what I would say.

She was 10 years older than me – and had this very protective “are you ok getting home” thing about her.  So I’m curious if she thinks I’m a little young for her.  And … I am, but my youthful bounciness and sometimes idealism will probably live on regardless of my age.  I think it’s just who I am.  She’s a total foodie – loves restaurants and trying new things.  Has lived in DC for 20 years and knows the ins and outs of the lesbian scene in the area and filled me in on all of the clubs and venues and things I should go out and do… if only she knew that I’m more lame than that.  She likes country music.  Wore boots and looked pretty fierce.

I had a good time.  It was a long day and I was exhausted, but I had fun talking to her and getting to know her.  I’d like to see her again but – she didn’t blow me away and I don’t know that I blew her away either.  She’d be fun to go to some of the clubs with – but I don’t know if I’ve had a WOW kind of result quite yet.

I also decided after that date to put my dating service account on hold until after the election.  It’s really just too much right now and trying to navigate my schedule two weeks in advance is impossible.  Plus, I’m going to want to be home live tweeting the debates and I’ll want to be able to hang with friends and talk politics.  My Sunday brunch buddy Jess and I missed what has become our normal Sunday brunch this past week and I haven’t seem my friend who lives downstairs in over a month – and she lives two floors below me….

I have to say, though.  This is the first election for me ever where I’m not the person working the 18 hour days with no days off prior to E-Day.  I salute all of you who are out there doing it again.  I got a nice taste of it while being in Phoenix this week and it was hard to start up that part of my brain again.  I had to crank the starter a little…. I AM still watching and reading and promoting just as much as I always have – but…. I get the weekend off and I’ll have a mimosa at brunch in your honor.

Just letting you know – I’ll probably blog randomly about some stuff but don’t expect a blog about a date I’ve been on until after November.  That said – the emails that I’ve gotten from dudes lately are HILARIOUS and I can’t wait to write about them.. Just a little taste – one guy described to me his previous girl who was very diligent about cleaning his house for him.  True story.  When I was talking to 50 about it he said it was a little odd for the dude to open with that.

Seriously.  More to come on that.

Having it Both Ways: I just got stood up

Having it Both Ways: I just got stood up


Read more about the Having it Both Ways project here.

Tonight was another dating first: I got stood up. I think under normal circumstances if this was someone who asked me out and just forgot or flaked or something happened I’m sure the person would have called… But this was a date through Mixology the dating service I paid $2500 for to find me looooove.

Turns out love is a little hard to come by at 7pm on a Sunday night.

I think I’m coming down with another cold or something – I haven’t felt well all day. But straightened my hair, put on makeup and a nice dress, and spent the over-an-hour to schlep to Virginia to meet her for dinner. Prior to this date, I accidentally got an email that was meant for her. It seems she had questions about my femininity. Was I “fem” enough for her standards. The email told her (but actually me) that I was very feminine, wore a dress to the initial interview, had long hair, yada yada. After having such strict requirements, one would hope I was acceptable enough to call the restaurant to tell them she wasn’t coming.

For most people in this situation, I fear it’s a whole different deal. You’re excited to go out with someone you like – he or she finally made a move… etc. in my case I’m lucky; I don’t even know this person.  It’s a lot less humiliating than sitting here at this table with Clint Eastwood’s Barack Obama for dinner.  So nice for the President to join me.  Being the vulnerable dater who took a chance on someone is a lot more difficult than my inconvenience. But if it does happen to you – it seems the Internet search says wait 15 minutes before calling – leave a message saying you’ve arrived and you’re waiting. At 20 minutes – leave. In my case I went all the way across town …. So I was having dinner out whether she showed up or not. So at the 30 Minute mark I ordered dinner.  Other sites also recommend you email the person something like “I wanted to make sure you were ok…” just in case it turns out they were hit by the crosstown bus you don’t seem vindictive while they are lying in the hospital wondering if they’ll walk again.

But the reality is – if the person doesn’t respect you enough to show up – why give them a second shot if it’s just laziness or their own lack of calendar juggling.  That sets up a whole world of potential disrespect you could face.  Run – don’t walk to the nearest exit….. And buy yourself dessert….

When I informally polled my Facebook friends who allowed for friendly lamenting as I sit here enjoying my Maryland Crab Soup by the fire ….. alone…. They offered some acceptable excuses for being stood up on a first date. They include but are not limited to:

  • Death
  • Prison
  • ER visit for themselves or a friend or family member
  • A severe head wound causing amnesia
  • Their spouse came home unexpectedly
  • I think alien abduction is fair. I am pretty sure aliens are the least considerate people regarding schedules.
  • And many dear readers who agreed that there really are no good excuses.

I tend to be a patient person. Intense – yes.  Demanding – ok.  But, I’m always on time and understanding of those who run a few minutes late.  Especially in this town, where transportation and or parking can impact the timeliness of any potential dinner, date, or coffee companion.

While I’m inclined to give her another shot, it better be for a reason such as health, well being, or accident, because the whole “I forgot” or “I didn’t feel like it” doesn’t work when you’re paying $2500 for a dating service. This isn’t OKCupid – this is the big leagues – you show up on time or you don’t play ball.


Having It Both Ways: Nothin Says Lovin Like Mussels and Freemasons

Having It Both Ways: Nothin Says Lovin Like Mussels and Freemasons

Read more about the Having it Both Ways project by clicking the hell out of this link.

The last several weeks have been a little crazy.  After the three dates in a weekend which included the crazy dude and the lovely and amazing Sophia, I was a little gun shy when it came to stepping out again.  I, of course, set up a second date with the lovely Sophia.  She arrived VERY early – 10am when we’d planned to meet at 11.  So I raced to the shower and dressed fast and then met her at a local nail salon where she’d opted to get a pedicure.  I bounced in and joined sitting in the seat next to her to have my toes done too while we caught up.  Then we had a wonderful brunch at St. Arnold’s, also in Cleveland Park.  St. Arnold’s features a menu of mussels cooked in various broths ranging from their more traditional to some fun spicy stuff.  I opted for the pesto this time – having the traditional St. Arnold’s when I’d gone previously.  Our fab time lasted until about 2pm and we have another date planned Tuesday to go hiking after work through the trail by my house I’ve been wanting to go on but am scared to go alone. Sophia will protect me.  She’s pretty badass.

Tonight, I went on a first date with – what I was told – was an IT woman but I think she’s actually a mechanical engineer and maybe the Mixology folks didn’t know the difference or assumed most people wouldn’t know the difference.  Hurm.. mechanical engineer it turns out might not be able to answer my home networking questions but could tell me how to build my own solar panels for my home back in Oklahoma.  Different conversation to prepare for….

Let me start off my saying I really wasn’t in a dating mood and I actually haven’t been all week.  I’ll write more about this next – but just know… it’s exhausting and I really wasn’t up for it.  I spent most of the morning preparing for a social media training webinar that I gave this afternoon – and then quickly showered and primped for my date.  The crazy storms that hit New England arrived at around 4pm this afternoon when the skies opened up and the wind went nuts.  It was very much like a light storm back home, but not something you generally get here in the land of the Beltway.  The black skies – the leaves being blown all over the parking lot below and then up the sides of my building  – the trees in the park rustling to and fro … and then the deluge.  I interrupted the webinar to take a photo out my window.

Despite the fun storm – this also meant walking to the 7:30pm date in the rain residual and flopping my flippies through the puddles filled with a nice rain, motor oil, and cat pee mixture.  I had on a nice dress and a sweater in case the restaurant was cold, my umbrella, and signature Superman pocketbook.  It wasn’t until I arrived at the metro that I remembered… oh yeah… the red line is basically shut down this weekend.  There’s no way I can take the train to this date… This is going to be a problem.  I walked to get cash for a cab – and then took the train as far south as I could then hopped in a cab to take me the rest of the way.  I realize I could have taken the bus – but I probably would have been late and … I hate being late.

The restaurant was a bad choice.  It wasn’t actually a restaurant so much as a fancy bar with a patio.  It was loud, the tables were way too close together, the Saints game was on over her shoulder at the crowded bar behind her.  It was too much and I was over sensitized with too many things going on around me.  I couldn’t hear and I felt like I had to shout.  I hate loud places and I hate when tables are too close together and the people next to me can be just as involved in my conversation as I am with theirs.

I opted for the mussels… seems to be a theme with me lately.  They weren’t great.  They sure as hell weren’t St. Arnold’s and the cake we also got for dessert left something to be desired as did the cappuccino.  The IT Lady was fine enough, I guess.  She made some good puns but it took me a few minutes to realize she was making a pun and not just an idiot.  She has a very strange laugh.  She’s very passive, a little shy, and skiddish.  If you watch Grim you know the characters that are mice?  She’s like that.  Y’all know me.  I’m loud, I’m outgoing, I’m pretty intense, I make inappropriate jokes and … well…. I’m me.  I was smiley and polite but I was looking at my phone wondering how long I had to stick out being in this awful bar/lounge.  She was ready to go pretty fast and asked if I wanted to walk around.  I said yes.

I couldn’t even begin to tell you where we walked – I think ultimately north of DuPont Circle through neighborhoods and looked at row houses.  She owns her own house in the district and talked about how much she loves old traditional architecture.  We talked a LOT about architecture and I talked about all of the crazy home renovations I did on my house back home, how much I love the art deco accents in Cleveland Park, and how Tulsa has so many great art deco accents that I enjoyed seeing a few weeks ago when I was there.

We also happened to accidentally run into the National Free Mason building…. thing.  Well, of course, I wanted to run right up the stairs and knock on the door and ask for a tour at 9pm at night.  So.  I did.  Well, I ran up the stairs TO the door.  This made her nervous.  We probably shouldn’t be there.  But the big metal door with the fancy door-knocker called to me to pet his head and smooth my hand across his nose and feel the cold detail and think of the thousands of crazy people who’d touched it for the last hundred years.  (Hint:  let your mouse hover over the nose of the lion for a fun surprise)  This was when I realized that it wasn’t exactly the “freemasons” so much as the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Supreme Council whose door I was feeling up.  And then, of course, I saw the 4 security cameras all pointed at me…. so…. I smiled.  I waved.

We walked around for probably another hour looking at old churches around the city.  Some probably build in the 1800′s a few build in the 1970′s.  She didn’t know about the “red door” of the Episcopal Church and certainly didn’t know Eddie Izzard’s “Church of England” jokes… nor did she laugh at my impression of God as James Mason.  I began to wonder where I could find a cab.

We exchanged numbers – me, mostly out of guilt.  She kissed my cheek.  The most exciting part of my night, other than not being arrested for assaulting the door knocker for the Freemasons, was I found that my leather cleaner for my couch had arrived in the mail today and I spent the remainder of the evening polishing my sofa.

Having It Both Ways: Dating is Hard

Having It Both Ways: Dating is Hard

weird first dateTo read more about the Having it Both Ways project, turn around three times and spit.  Or just click here.

After the unfortunate experience with Mr. Crazy Pants I’ve been much more turned off by the idea of dating men.  I realize this is me being reactionary to the worst fears and anxieties I have of dating someone I’ve met online.  Still, it turns out my fears were actualized sitting on a bench on the top floor of the Pentagon City shopping mall.

Having had five first dates since I began this project one thing is certain, first dates are exhausting.  If you work in politics you know all about going to political events and having to be “on.”  Candidates have to have the perfect smile, the eagerness to shake hands and hug, the super friendly outgoing personality….. essentially the best version of themselves.  This is how every first date must be.  The best version of yourself.  After three of these dates in one weekend it can get to be a little too much.  After two weeks of staying up until midnight to live tweet the RNCC and DNCC and getting six hours of sleep… the idea of pulling out the nice dress, straightening my hair, and spending three hours trying to be perfect is quite simply exhausting.  Sometimes I really just want to come home and dust things while looking up recipes for things I shouldn’t be eating on Pinterest.

Geometry of a first dateThe one reason I hated doing fundraising so much for electoral campaigns was that need to constantly be “on.”  The perfect version of yourself in the nice outfit and the beaming smile might be a version of yourself, but the strength of the V-Chip filter is tuned up to the max.  Don’t talk about the crazy ex-girlfriend who was a pathological liar.  Leave out the fact that the love of your life was a cat that died in your arms two years ago.  Probably shouldn’t mention you occasionally play with men until the… second date?  But then you end up not being completely honest about who you are and letting yourself go.

Does that fear come from a need within all of us to be accepted and liked regardless of whether or not we are interested in the person across the table?  My first Mixology date I was absolutely myself, and she wasn’t interested in me.  To be truthful I wasn’t exactly interested in her either, but it’s always nice to be the one to say “no thank you” or ignore the email.  The second Mixology date I was much more guarded but there was something about her that made me feel comfortable and safe and more willing to express who I am.  She turned out to be the best so far.  So the standard becomes that there is no standard.  The rules don’t always apply.  The same ingredients don’t always get you that nutella cheesecake you saw on Pinterest.

So in the end, dear reader, I’m left rolling my eyes the night of the next first date.  Wondering if this one will be another distraction from a night better spent doing laundry.  But the most powerful of emotions keeps me going out:  the hope that the next will be just as perfect as Sophia… or even the infrequent Fifty Shades of Grey has become.