"Carolyn's stories are like a cozy blanket, a pair of stretchy pants, a lifetime movie, and a pint of ice cream to come home to after a DUMB! dating experience. It makes you breathe a sigh of relief and think "Phew! Its NOT just me!!!!!!". -- Ozlem (my hairdresser)

Love the blog Carolyn!! Just read every entry - it's all great! really interesting and a lot I could relate to-- it's hard for me to imagine you having any trouble meeting guys, but I love the honesty and openness of your voice.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Pick-Up Line

"Excuse me, Miss?" said a male voice behind me. I was walking down Hollywood Boulevard near Highland, late for a meeting. I didn't turn around, assuming his request was addressing someone else at this busy intersection.

"Excuse me, Miss," the man's voice asserted again. Hollywood & Highland is a very popular tourist area. It's not uncommon to see two or three Spidermans, a couple of Marilyns or a Michael Jackson posing for photos with vacationers. This particular location is not a great environment to engage in conversations with random strangers.

"Excuse me, Miss!" he said a third time. Persistent bugger, that's for sure. I wondered if I just kept walking, how far he would actually keep following me. I didn't want to find out.

"You dropped something," he said. No I didn't... Did I? But, how could I know for sure? Damnit. I stopped and turned around. A young guy in his mid-30s stepped in front of me, smiling, "If you fell for that, could you fall for me?"

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Virtual Men

You would think with all the communication devices that exist today, it would be easy to meet someone in person, but the complete opposite is true. If we're all online, then why does it take so much effort to come face-to-face with a date? What's the point of spending time talking, texting, IMing, or emailing if there's no chemistry when you actually meet?

I got a phone call from an online match Friday night, as he was driving home from work. His first two questions were, "What kind of man are you looking for?" and "What character traits are most important to you?" I had just walked in the door after a hectic day and was feeding my dog. I usually like to start with, "Hi, how are you?" but Rick dove right into the deep end. I know his type of personality though. Rick works in film production so he's used to gathering large amounts of information as quickly as possible, in order to make informed decisions and then move on to the next thing. I was probably one of a few phone calls he was making on his way home from the online inventory. "Rick, I'm happy to answer these questions, but could we meet in person first?" I asked. "Let's see if there's any chemistry between us before we start into such a personal conversation." He replied, "Well, I'd like to understand who you are, before meeting in the flesh."

I could hear my friend Dennis' voice in my head, "Baby, these are the kinds of questions you answer when you're on date four or five, not over the phone to some guy you've never met." I was less than enthusiastic to divulge my wants, hopes and desires in a man, over a speakerphone in a stranger's car, as he was multi-tasking during rush hour traffic.

While Rick was telling me about his five kids and ex-wife, my phone 'tri-toned' with a text from "Todd" asking what I was doing later, and then chirped with an email from "Jake" (A Potpourri of Potential Paramours) wanting to know if I used any IM's. Great, I could spend my entire day on a variety of technological devices, communicating with a bunch of virtual guys, and never actually meet a real man.

"Do you have any questions for me?" asked Rick, bringing my focus back to him on the telephone. I really didn't. We could have driven to a location and had a coffee or a cocktail in person, during the same time we spent on the phone. "You must have some questions about me," he insisted, so I thought a little harder. "Uh, ok, why did you and your wife divorce after twenty years?" As soon as I uttered the words, I regretted asking the question. I didn't care to know why this total stranger divorced his wife. However, his answer was quite informative. After implying she wasn't bright he added, "She wasn't a good representative of who I am." Was I just tired and cranky, or was Rick really arrogant?

Todd texted me again. I have never met Todd either. He's also from an online dating site. We spoke briefly on the phone the night before, commenting that we looked familiar to each other. He was an affable guy, but made it quite clear what he was looking for, "You understand I'm not a relationship guy, right?" he stated. "Yeah, I got it." I didn't need to read between the lines. He replied, "Oh ok, good, you figured that out." Five minutes on the phone with Todd was enough time to know I wouldn't be sharing details of my personal life with him over a glass of wine.

The following night, I was out with friends and received a text from Todd after midnight. "You able to come by?" he asked. This was my first booty text ever. I didn't respond. The next morning he texted me again, "Wow, not even a text back." Funny how suddenly I'm the jerk for not responding to a booty text from a guy I've never met. I wrote back saying I didn't think driving to a stranger's house in the valley, in middle of the night was a recipe for success. He texted again, "Wanna come by today? Meeting me is always a success." I declined. He wrote back, "Unavailable is such an LA thing, big turn off." I didn't need drama with someone I've never even met.

What happened to making a date and feeling the anticipation and excitement about getting to know someone better? The few successful online dates I've had, resulted from a short email exchange--no long conversations on the phone or multiple texts back and forth. We just picked a place to meet. If there was chemistry, we went out again. Emails and texts can sometimes be misconstrued and cause misunderstanding and heartache without having uttered one audible word.

We all have busy lives and maybe, sometimes, stay busy in order to avoid starting a new relationship. But no technological device in the world could ever duplicate chemistry between two people and... what our eyes see and our hearts feel.