30 April 2011

Perfect Pizza Date

Perhaps I throw the word “perfect” around too carelessly…like love. But this date really came close, and I can’t think of a more perfect word to describe it.

There were many ideal attributes about this date. First, scheduling was simple despite the fact it involved eight people. Second, I got to include my children and was even allowed to talk about them incessantly without rebuke, so I didn’t have to pretend they weren’t a very important part of my life that didn’t exist. The food was delicious, cheap and easy. The six Mini-Dates got along fabulously, as far as blind dating goes. They frolicked like they’d been together for years.

But by far the best part of all was that Big Pizza Date helped, a lot! I never even had to provide Big Pizza Date with the usual step-by-step detailed instructions. Big Pizza Date ordered food, helped set the table, knew intuitively where things like napkins were kept, knew enough to serve the Mini-Dates and cut their food first before sitting down and chowing down…overall a most impressive and unexpectedly delightful display of knowledge, motivation and performance.

Big Pizza Date had even had the foresight to suggest we eat our healthy fare alone, together (we forgot about by candlelight) before the Mini-Dates caught wind of the food festivities. However, when the Mini-Dates realized the opportunity to feed was at hand, Big Pizza Date quickly adapted to the new scenario of eight happy chewers. House rules and house wine both went down smoothly.

To extend the date into the evening, as we all hope to do with the good ones, we set the Mini-Dates to work making ice cream, a 30-minute task involving keeping an ice-cream ball rolling around on the trampoline. Thus the Minis were both busily occupied and netted in an enclosed area, out of harm’s way. The ice cream was utterly delish and the Minis could also therefore declare a successful evening.

Although conversations with Big Pizza Date were choppy and several left unfinished (I think the KKK story lasted over 45 minutes, delivered in 20 separate 5 second intervals), overall a feeling of mutual satisfaction still remained.

All in all a lovely evening that could have ended cuddling in bed…except this date was a woman.

Now I know why it was so perfect. I wanna marry a momma.

25 April 2011

Court Date

This is not the kind of Date you want to go on. No sir. No ma’am. Not nobody.

Take a handful of random strangers. Let them make completely arbitrary decisions that adversely affect the rest of your life. One of them wears a black robe but is in no way saintly. When they pound a hammer, anything goes. Another character records every “ummm” you say during the Date on some kind of mute person’s typewriter. They mispronounce your name, even though you have been court dating for almost 9 months. Enough time to have a baby and they still can’t say your name right! I’d hate to think of their baby-naming talents. I’m not having my next child with this Date.

Let them charge you a lot of money, that it’s taken you 20 years to save, to tell you what to do. This is not a cheap Date. Hold on here - why am I paying someone to tell me what to do? I am old. I am wise. I am independent. Pay yourself first, as the saying goes. Well, not anymore. Court is bigger, stronger, faster. Sorry, I’m thinking Bionic Man. Court is not faster. It’s like dating a retarded dinosaur. So outmoded it should have been extinct eons ago. But painfully stupid (unnamed) people still rely on it to make decisions they don’t have the fortitude or wherewithal to make.

Its musty cologne is overpowering. The handcuffs are invisible. If you disobey (which I have a habit of doing every once in a while) you go to jail. So be an absolute ANGEL. Court Date means business. And that’s not funny business.

I’m on an everlasting Court Date. And it’s not true love always.

23 April 2011

Triple Date

To prepare for a date, guys and gals are different. Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. Wendy and I chatted about what to wear and tried on different shoes to show off our pedicured toes. Mike drank 4 beers and a margarita, which served to enhance his sleepy anticipation.

Once scheduling issues were cast aside, this triple date was a relatively laid-back endeavor. In case you are wondering about the definition of “triple date,” in this case it meant two chicks and a man. The date was supposed to be a double date in the traditional sense: 2 couples. But the date organizer failed with little comforting explanation. Perhaps, Rick, the missing person did not comprehend the full extent of what he’d be missing.

Wendy and I carpooled and arrived slightly early, making sure our blonde hairs were just so. We promptly ordered beers without waiting for Mike, who spent several frantic minutes combing the multi-caverned establishment looking for the elusive women. At one point I thought I saw him pop his head outside, but he disappeared far too quickly for me to act on the sighting.

When Mike reached his final destination, the girls were beer-saturated and happy. The conversation was comfortable and food was tasty, and goaty. While the unfortunate common ground on this triple date was divorce, we can reframe this to common ground being single, nice and normal with unfortunates for exes.

Not sure who Mike was courting, but if he’s anything like his gender, he wants all options open as long as possible. And the more juggling the better. No competition between the ladies though. Wendy and I, battered by divorce to mere inches of survival, appreciated the attention from a seemingly normal male. Well, normal despite his abrupt transition issues. We’ll get to those later.

It’s harder to judge my own shortcomings…except perhaps I talked too much, or laughed too much at my own tragic stories. It’s always so much easier to point out the shortcomings of others, so I will. With the SoCal frigid night chill afloat in the air, the triples decided a move to the fire pit would be beneficial. Mike, on his 14th trip to the restroom, volunteered to go reserve a vacant pit. Upon his return to the table, he apparently forgot his commitment (not an uncommon male trait) and left the girls high, dry and freezing.

Later, when all freezing triples ambled stiff-legged and freezer-burned into the fireplace room (amend that: Wendy and I sought fire while Mike again visited the “restroom”) warmth on the date resumed. Goodbye. And this is where the abrupt transition happened. Apparently Mike had reached his date capacity for the evening. He politely thanked the blondes, thinking aloud “brunettes are more fun” and he disappeared into the night.

The girls, startled but rapidly regaining composure (after all, they’ve been trained by the biggest startle of all: discovering a secretly cheating spouse), looked at each other in mock surprise, said “should we stay or should we go now” (sung to the tune of The Clash) and decided jointly to retire to their separate beds for the evening.

An uneventful date, all in all. But one that may be resurrected if the three participants are unable to find anything better to do with their 50/50 custody time going forward.

14 April 2011

Mr Big Has Not Called

My friend Michele always has down-to-earth advice worth listening to. It's not usually what I want to hear, but it's more often than not what I need to hear.

She was right on about this one, however. I was too good for the man I married.

I need a Mr. Big. Someone secure with himself; not big in the head. With big ideas and big hugs. Someone who will not wuss out under a little bedazzle.

But Mr. Big hasn't called. Maybe he doesn't know my phone number. I don't know my phone number either. Wait, I don't even answer my phone. (My friend Joe scolds me, "Dating Suburban, if you gonna start dating, you need to learn to pick up your phone when they call.") Well, Mr. Big isn't calling, so I'm letting it go to voicemail.
Maybe he doesn't know I exist. Staying home and reading self-help books may not be helping. Hmmmm. I guess I need to get out more. 

Back to the scene!

08 April 2011

First Blind Date

My friend Penny and her new beau Serge set me up with Greg. The double-date evening started out innocuously enough: with three recovering addicts and I was elected designated driver. To top it, they opted to take my mommy minivan, and were seemingly not pained by the image (found out later it offered high-school-style seclusion in the way back).

We decided on Outback Steakhouse and settled comfortably into our booth. Conversation flowed easily from foot massages to diet plans to how the world will end.

“I thought I had a kid once…” was perhaps Greg’s best quote of the evening, “…but then after 15 years I found out it wasn’t mine.”  Holy shit, that sucks! I thought losing my kids to their biological father in divorce was the pits, but apparently my problems are far from the worst. Greg shrugged it off, and the conversation kept galloping.

When Serge adamantly refused the chocolate tower dessert due to the fact the calorie count exceeded his weekly intake, the waitress promptly booted us. Paying the check was a mildly awkward moment, when it sat on the table for a full 20 minutes before Greg recalcitrantly swiped it and we went three-zees (Greg, Serge and me – Penny was somehow exempt).

Despite a quick detour to satisfy Serge’s frozen yogurt fetish, we made it to Azar’s, the best dive in Million Maples, while the night was still young. The band, Tasty D’s, was hot. And please remind me not to wear my thickest wool Icelandic sweater next time I go dancing. Real women wear skimpy tanktops.

I decided not to bring my phone so I could be “fully in the moment.” Mistake. Everyone was on their phones, constantly, showing photos. Unfortunately, my only phone photos are of my 8-year-old son in nothing but a t-shirt and high black pleather boots and my old work-colleague-boyfriend-turned-friend, naked and holding a box of Christmas cookies. Not exactly first-date viewing material, unless I wanted to raise some hairy eyebrows and terminate the date quickly. 

The date’s highlight, by far, was unexpectedly seeing Jake, my 6-year-old daughter’s future father-in-law, and receiving the most rotund, elongated, sincere hug from him. School dropoff hugs are in an entirely different hug league. While my date may have been taken aback by Jake’s Long Island ice-tea induced affection, I was elated. My daughter loves his son, and his son loves her back. We were just keeping the love circle going.

My date demonstrated true sportsmanship after the Jake hug extended remix series by dancing with me to Violent Femmes’s Blister in the Sun. If my shouting tuneless lyrics, I- stain-my-sheets-and-I-don’t-even-know-why at the top of my lungs did not turn him off, I’m not sure how else I could repel him. However, nothing could make a slight, slender, willowy woman feel more beastly than slow dancing while resting her chin on Greg’s bald spot.

Penny and Serge surprised me after a few dances with their wedding announcement – this September in Atlantic City. I’ve never struck such fortune after dating a mere two months. Between the two of them they will have eight and a half children and six marriages. California continues to exceed my expectations when it comes to disposable spouses.

The fact that I danced, completely sober, served as a not-so-distant reminder of why I spent middle school dances eating ice cream sandwiches in the school cafeteria while my more mature peers aroused themselves in the darkened gymnasium. Those were fine, young days. I’ve grown up a little, but not a lot.

Greg’s sweetness only deepened when he surprised me with flowers upon my return from the restroom. Given my black thumb, these flowers will be lucky to live through the weekend, along with my memories of the date.