New direction…

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I know it has been quite some time since I have posted… Heck, it’s been a long time since I have written anything.

Originally, Cupid’s Eros was to be a love blog of sorts. Not love advice, but a chronicle of the journey, my journey, to love. I’m not sure if people understood this, but all my stories on Cupid’s Eros were past events. I was in a relationship when I started the blog and wanting to find humor in every situation, thought it would be fun to recount the tales of all the awkward dates, poor choices, and straight-up weirdness that led me to my present (but now past) situation. Well, things did not quite turn out as I had hoped and as I never felt quite comfortable writing about present-day life matters, the writing came to a halt. Out of respect for myself and my dates, I could not bring myself to blab about my current (and again, now past) dating adventures. So Cupid’s Eros sat and collected dust… kind of like my love life. Eerie.

I’ll be honest though, you didn’t miss much. I putted through dates like a game of half-hearted mini golf. Everyone encouraged me to get back out There, and I still have not found just where this mythical There is. But, my pursuit of the Land of There lead me to sitting in a bar, on a date with this man who scratched his balls at the rate a human baby blinks. These were not minor adjustments… he was scratching with a deep digging vigor one does when trying to get pasta sauce out of one’s brand new cream-colored carpet. First and last date. Another time, I found myself sitting across the table from a man who let the check sit on the table for eons while bouncing his eyes from me, to the check, to his watch, and back to me. Only when I gestured to pick up the tab, does he say, “I’ll treat you. I normally don’t do this. I’m not going to go gaga over you, I know better.” Oh really, dude? First and last date.

Each date was more lackluster than the previous which ultimately lead me to dating someone I had known for years, but never paid very much attention to… myself. I took myself on vacation, twice, to places I had forever longed to see. I started to learn more about who I am, how I am, and what made me attractive in my own right. I learned that I am as fearless as I am chicken. As agile as I am clumsy. As “fantastically romantic”, as one friend called me, as I am a total goofball. In the past, I had never actively sought out a partner. I went about my normal life and if I happened to meet someone I wanted to be with and who felt the same about me, we got together. I was forcing myself to go on dates, forcing myself to find someone I liked and ended up not liking anyone, at times, not even myself. My turning my love and attention inward had led me to live again as my most authentic self.

So what does this have to do with Cupid’s Eros? For starters, no more date stories. Yeah, I know. **Tragic. But, I will be sharing my travel stories and general ideas and thoughts on growing into my mid-twenties. It will be a potpourri, little bits and pieces that contribute to a whole, lovely sweet-smelling experience. When I finally get my dSLR (I’ve been dreaming of the Canon T2i for some time), I’ll share my photography. For now, you’ll have to settle for a photo I took while in San Juan, on my first solo vacation, this October.

It was my first day in Puerto Rico and I was still in New York City mode. I hurried down the street like a mall speedwalker. I wasn’t making eye contact with anyone and mumbled a rushed Buenas to those who passed, until I saw this Stop sign. It had dawned on me that I had never seen a Stop sign in a language other than English, so I took a photo of it. Standing in the middle of the street, adjusting my camera settings, I had finally stopped. I heard the Coquis, the waves, and stopped worrying that I looked like the ultimate tourist taking a picture of a traffic sign. On the walk back to the hotel, I took my time and enjoyed the streets and residents of Condado, greeting and returning a genuine greeting of Buenas.

**said in my most sarcastic voice.

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Thank God for Google Voice! Act II: You Ain’t Slick

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Brunch is the best meal of the day. Bloody Marys and mimosas aside, ladies brunch for one reason only… the chisme! The setup is completely familiar and often involves a story about a guy. One of your girlfriends regales the table with the tale, everyone is nodding, inhaling “What?!” and exhaling, “Mmhmm”. The antagonist is on the receiving end of so much side-eye one would think he was sitting at the next table. Let’s pretend we’re at brunch and I’m telling this over Eggs Norwegian. Yum!

Act II. Jeff. Age Unknown. Occupation Unknown.

I met Jeff at my friend Amanda’s houseparty. When I arrived, he and Amanda were talking with a few other friends. Their closeness implied that they were together; maybe not boyfriend and girlfriend, but definitely more than casual old friends. Amanda, upon seeing me, greets me with a big hello and shows me where everyone is leaving their coats before scooting off to continue entertaining her guests. Then she disappears. Enter Jeff.

He introduces himself by name and then asks me how I heard about the party. Read: Do you know Amanda? I tell him Amanda and I are friends, meeting years ago when I was a freelance make-up artist. He suggests we swap information being that he’s working on a few projects and may need make-up. I didn’t feel he wasn’t flirting with or coming on to me at all, but something just didn’t feel right about this guy. “Sure, I’m always interested in hearing who needs make-up. My number is…” and I proceed to give him the Google Voice.

A few days later, while I’m on the phone with a newly 20 year old Jared (see Newborn entry), Jeff calls and leaves a voicemail message. Yes, I sent him to voicemail. Jeff was business and though I was looking to get back into doing make-up again, Jared was fun. In this instance, Fun beat the snot out of Business. “Hey, Kim! I was calling to see what you were doing this weekend. Um, when you get this, I guess you can give me a call back.” I return the call later that day, “I’m free this weekend. Is someone looking for make-up?” Little did I know, that call wasn’t about a shoot, make-up, or anything business related. “No. I was wondering if you’d like to get together for coffee or something.” It was the “or something” that didn’t sit well with me. I call one of my best friends (who originally introduced me to Amanda) to get the scoop on this Jeff.

“What’s the deal with Jeff?”
“He and Amanda and dating. Why?”
“He called me just now and asked if I wanted to meet up for coffee or something.”
“No way! Does he know you’re friends with Amanda? They are seeing each other. I don’t know if they’ve had The Talk, but they are definitely seeing each other.”

My friend suggests she tell Amanda being that she knows her better than I do and thank goodness she did. Amanda was pretty upset and embarrassed about the whole situation. Understandably so… your date tries to pick up one of your friends they meet at your party in your house? Trife. Did he think she wouldn’t find out? Did he not care? Whatever his thinking, or lack of, was doesn’t matter to me. He’s going to need a pretty strong make-up remover to get rid of the egg all over his face.

Thank God for Google Voice! A Story in 3 Acts…

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Forget a new haircut.  A new pair of heels.  A new attitude.  The one thing no dating girl should be without is Google Voice.  My request for a GV number was answered a week into my new adventures in Singledom and could not have come at a better time.  Though I’ve only given out the number a handful of times, its endless worth is unmistakable.  Let me count the ways.

Act I. Jamal. 29. Internet Marketing.

Jamal approached me outside of Maoz as I about to cross the street.  “Excuse me,” he says, in such a tone that I thought he was looking to walk around me, not start a conversation, so I move to the left.  As we cross the street, he looks over and says, “That was an opening to talk to you.”  A wordsmith he is not. Once we cross, he formally introduces himself, chats me up a bit and actually gets a few laughs out of me. “You seem like someone I’d like to get to know,” he says and asks for my number. Awkward opening aside, he is upbeat, confident, the owner of a killer set of dimples. I oblige and give him my number. My Google Voice number.

It doesn’t have a local NYC area code which automatically draws a raised eyebrow from him. He clears his throat and sternly says, “Hold on, let me call you so you can have my number as well.” I know what that means… “This sounds like a fake number. I want to make sure your phone rings.” Phone to his ear, he’s studying my face for a trace of deceit, as if he had busted me. My rule is this: If I don’t know you and none of my friends know you, you’re a complete stranger. Strangers get the Google Voice number. Needless to say, my phone in fact does ring. “You thought it was a fake number,” I say upon answering. “Well, it didn’t sound like a New York number…”

Later that night he calls and boy was I glad I had not let those dimples sway my judgment. Gone is the easy-going cheerful guy I had met hours before. His tone is now accusatory, investigative. He asks me why I gave him my phone number, what I was looking for a in a man, and what I felt I had to offer. Jesus Christo, tranquilla papa! I felt I was being interrogated. I decide make the convo less SVU and more Sweet Valley and ask him what he does for fun, what his hobbies are. Simple enough question, right? “I like to think everything is fun. From working, to going to the club, to having sex. Even taking a shit is fun.” I laugh out a What?! only to realize he is completely serious about what he said. He then spits my question back at me with an air of “I couldn’t care less” in his voice. To make things worse, in response to everything I say, his response is, “Hmmm.” Hmmm? I’m growing increasingly annoyed. “What are you ‘Hmmm’-ing about?” I look at the clock… 11:30pm. “Oh goodness! I totally didn’t realize what time it was,” I say ever so sweetly. “I have to wake up early tomorrow, so I’m going to say goodnight, but it was nice talking to you.” He’s silent for a second. “Hmmm. Yeah, likewise.” Another Hmmm. I rolled my eyes so hard I gave myself a headache.

He texts me a couple of days later asking if I want to go out. I wonder, if I had texted back “No.” would he have texted back “Hmmm”? Oh well, if he decides to ring me again, he will be greeted with a recording saying that my number is no longer in service. Google Voice, you are a beauty.

Oh, and regarding what he said about my number not sounding like a New York number… it’s not. It’s a Florida number. Florida to reflect my sunny personality.

I Could’ve Held You As a Newborn!

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When I said I met men everywhere, I meant it. As I mentioned before, my commute to and from work, or anywhere for that matter, is long. I don’t know if it was that I was looking at the world with newly single girl on the prowl eyes, but all of a sudden, my daily treks was filled with cute guys. Tall ones. Short ones. Scruffy ones. Preppy ones. I could go off on a Dr. Seuss tangent forever. I’d look up from my book (Shutter Island, at the time) find a eyes on me. Eyes that were attached to men I would ordinarily deem out of reach. I had died and gone to transit heaven. Though I smiled, winked, and flirted with these strapping straphangers, I exchanged numbers with only one.
Jared. 20.

Jared and I met on the subway. I was en route to my date with Marcus and Jared was coming from church. I noticed him as soon as I stepped into the subway car and played the game of Lookaway. When he would catch me looking, I would look away. He clearly didn’t know the rules because he never looked away. Completely out of character, when the seat next to him opened, I sauntered over and took it. No sweaty hands. No racing heartbeat. I was calm and *gasp* confident!

“You smell really good! What is that? Something fruity, right?”
“Yeah, it’s coconut perfumed oil.”
Nice opening line.

From there we went on to talk about everything from people who wear too much fragrance to being band geeks. Our conversation felt so natural and mature, that I didn’t wonder how old he was until after we exchanged numbers.

“So, how old are you?”
“20.”
“Wait, 20… 20-what?”

Actually he was 19 and would be 20 in the coming weeks. I had been duped. I looked at his goatee and sideburns. 1989? Really? I felt like a dirty old man. He was a couple of months older than my little sister. He could have been her boyfriend. I could have held him as a newborn and remembered it, the same way I remember when I got the call that my sister had finally arrived. Oh well, I already had his number saved, but had no intention of calling him. As pleasant as our conversation and his face was, I couldn’t move past the fact that he was too young to remember New Kids on the Block. We shook hands when we arrived at my stop and he called after me, “I’ll give you a call later, OK?” Yeah, aiight. Wouldn’t you know, the very next day he called. And the next day and the day after that. Our first date was spent at Barnes & Noble, swapping stories over coffee and books. I felt sorry that I initially crossed him off because of his age. He was funny, smart, ambitious, and finally 20. My girlfriends called me a cougar. My guy friends applauded me and called me a pimp.

I continued to see him for about a month before I broke things off. Jared was what I wanted at the time, but not long-term. I wasn’t looking to build anything with him, I was more than satisfied with our bookstore and Upright Citizen’s Brigade dates. But as he mentioned more and more what he was looking for in a girlfriend, I realized that we were in different places in our lives and it had nothing to do with age. I got home and checked off Date a Younger Man from my bucket list.  And I had a darn good time doing so.

Is That a Hotdog In Your Pocket?

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This date will be one that I tell my grandkids about. Not because it was steamy and hot and heavy, because it was not. At all. I’m not sure I can even call it a date in the traditional sense, but nonetheless it was awesome.

Marcus. 25. Real estate.

Marcus wasn’t exactly a stranger. We had been friends for months, talking almost everyday via Twitter and Gchat, but never hung out. I suggested we go to the movies, (Law Abiding Citizen had just opened) and he agreed. No big ideas of treadmills or hot tubs. Whew! He joked that he would finally find out if I was a “good crazie or crazy crazie”. I like to think I’m a good crazie, but of course I’m biased.

Thank goodness he already bought the tickets, because I was 15 minutes late. I managed to get out, “Hey!” as I tried catching my breath. I ran 4 blocks in heels and was reminded of my unfit state. For a split second I thought, “Maybe I should have gone to the gym with Bobby.” Eh, nevermind. I needed a slushie and made a bee-line to Concessions. It would be the 2 hotdog combo meal for him.

It didn’t feel like a first meeting or like a date, for that matter. We skipped the usual play of 20 Questions, preferring a conversation between two friends. I hate to say this, but for lack of a better word, the whole thing felt very familiar. Safe. No sexual tension. No sexual attraction. Marcus is a good-looking guy, but the spark wasn’t there and I could tell he felt the same. That wasn’t the weird part. The weird thing was that we didn’t care. Neither of us took it as rejection when we didn’t get closer as the lights dimmed for the film or when goodnight was said with a half hug and New York kiss on the cheek. I don’t remember what led to this, but as we were walking to the bus stop, Marcus turned to me and said…

“In case you were wondering, yes, that is a hotdog in my pocket.”

I doubled over with laughter in the middle of the sidewalk. Marcus just stood there like, “What did I say?” Clearly, he does not have the sense of humor of a 13 year old boy, but I do and that was hilarious to me. “You said, ‘hotdog in my pocket’! That’s classic. Oh, that’s good! I’m so stealing that one!”  He explained that he didn’t mean it in a sexual way, but that he had only eaten one of his hotdogs during the movie, so the other he stashed in his pocket. I’m crying tears at this point and he’s laughing at me cackling.

When I told Gram about our date, she asked all the typical post-date questions. “Did you kiss? Did you touch hands? Did he put his arm around you?” No, nope, and nah. He treated me like a person and not like a mission to get to a second date. “Oh, well then he’s not really into you like that”, Gram said, and that was fine with me. You know a date was a success when you smile during your ride home. When you really enjoyed the other person’s company. When you tell your friends how fun he was. But the ultimate sign of a great date is when you leave with something beneficial for life. I now know the answer to a question women have asked for ages: Is that a hotdog in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

It really is a hotdog.

photo © Andrey Kiselev | Dreamstime.com

H-E-double Hockey Sticks

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One of the first guys I shared my new single status with was Bobby.  25. Financial Advisor.

We met over the summer at a Dos Equis event, where I found out that he was friends with a kid I went to high school with.   He and I somewhat kept in touch since.  A text, Facebook wall post here and there.  I wouldn’t say we were friends, but knew a little about each other.  When I told him I was single, he said he was both happy and sad.  Happy that I was back on the market, but sad for me about how the situation went down.  Our Gchats got more and more flirtatious by the day until he asked me out and we set a date… Friday, November 13th.  I remember the date because I made a joke to the effect of, “Ooh… Friday the 13th! Scary! Hope it’s not the date from hell.”

It was the date from hell… and the date never even happened.

Originally, Bobby suggested that we go to the gym together.  Nothing about me says gym or fitness, so I suggested we do something more orthodox like a movie date.  His comeback was, “I figured we could get a good workout in together. You can watch my six-pack greaten and then we can relax in the hot tub.”  Hot tub? Did I sign up for a season of Who Wants to Bed Bobby?  I texted one of my guy friends who, ever the straight shooter said, “Yeah, he’s looking to f**k.”  My idea of a first date included me being fully clothed and staying that way.  Well then.  He could see that I was not backing down from us going to the movies, so he made me an offer one better.  He told me that we would go out Friday and for me to leave everything up to him.  All I had to do was be dressed and ready to have a great night.  I agreed and our date was set.  We had a whole week to become less of strangers and more familiar.  Thank God for that week.

Bobby’s conversations became increasingly self-centered to where we mostly talked about him and his clothes.  He gushed about a pair of loafers he bought during his lunch break.  He sent me links to shoes and clothes when he asked, “Are you a label whore?”  Ugh.  I rolled my eyes so hard, I got a headache.  Anyone who knows me knows I am not impressed by material possessions.  Like any sane person, I do like nice things but I don’t feel the need to parade them around.  For giggles, I replied to him, “Why?  Because I have a Ulysse?”  And of course, he had no clue what I was talking about.  (In case you’re wondering, the Ulysse is an Hermes notebook.)  He rattled off all the designers he was wearing at the moment… so unattractive. More eye rolling.  At this point, I’m completely uninterested in the conversation and less interested in him but I figure that he might be less obnoxious in person so I didn’t cross him off.  I tried to change the subject from his massive closet asking what he felt his best physical traits were.  I expected him to say his height (6′ 3″) or his chiseled jaw.  Nope.  This fool said his abs and his, wait for it… PENIS.  Ridiculous.  That conversation ended right there with me giving him serious side eye via Gchat.  That was the last time we’ve spoken.

The day before our date, I heard nothing from him.  I sent him a text that night asking if we were still on for Friday.  No news.  I knew the date wasn’t happening, so I did myself one better and went out for Korean with my cousin.  The first thing she asked was why I wasn’t out with Bobby.  When I explained that he never called or responded to my text, she suggested that maybe something had happened and that I should follow-up with him the next day.

Follow-up?  What was this, a job interview?  Nothing had happened to Bobby, I knew he was alive and well.  That Monday he was there on my contacts list with a green light and I deleted him.  I wasn’t upset that he stood me up, but that he was such a punk about it.  But what do I know?  Maybe he was hospitalized due to a tragic shoe shopping incident?  How insensitive of me…