Category Archives: Dating and Relationships

Love & Other Drugs

A few days ago I had a dentist appointment on 50th and Madison to refill a cavity. While waiting for the dentist to see me, I did what all single gay men do when they have time to kill, I opened Grindr. It’s always exciting going on Grindr in a new area and see different guys, so while I was browsing, this one profile struck me out of all the others. His picture was of him sitting on a boat wearing a life preserver, and I thought that was cute.

So I sent the first message: “You sure know how to make life vests look good.” Ok, I know. Not my best work, but it ended up gaining a response, to which he said, “Let me know if you ever need rescuing.”

A quick and clever reply? Don’t mind if I do. So I took the bait and ran with it.

We ended up chatting for the rest of the day which eventually turned into exchanging phone numbers which ultimately turned into setting up a date. Our original plan was to meet up on Saturday night for a few drinks, but yesterday while sitting at my desk I had the sudden urge to be a little crazy and go out on a school night.

“Hey, would you be free to meet up for a bit tonight?” I asked, hoping he didn’t already have preset plans.

“I’m free after 8 – let’s do it!”

Perfect, I thought. I could go home, cook dinner, shower, and trim my pubic hair. He also told me that if things “went well” I could just crash at his place that night. So, just to be prepared, I brought my office key, phone charger, and toothbrush with me, all hidden in various jacket pockets. “Of course things are going to go well”, I thought. “I’m gonna get my groooove on tonight!”

We decided to meet up at a loungy gay bar in Hell’s Kitchen at 8:45. I, the one who lives in New Jersey, arrived on time while he, the one who actually lives 4 blocks away from said bar was 15 minutes late. Uncomfortable with going in the bar  alone, I stood outside and chain smoked until he arrived.

On first impression, I was satisfied. He was handsome, had a nice smile and a beautiful head of hair. (I have noticed since losing my own hair how much I value a good head of hair on someone else.) He stood with me outside while I finished my cigarette and we started some small talk. I still had my headphones in and he said that he loves having his headphones in so homeless people don’t bother him. I told him I like leaving mine in so I can walk down the street talking to myself and people think I’m on the phone, having a fight with the cable company. (Don’t ask what I talk to myself about).

We went in and sat at the bar and ordered our drinks. Him, a Stella and me a Coors Light because I am the epitome of class. Plus, it was a Thursday night, I didn’t want to get wasted.

The conversation never really had a great flow; lots of awkward silences and “Oh, I like this song” comments. After we both had two beers, we decided to switch it up and have something a little stronger. “Maybe if we get a little tipsy the conversation will be better” I thought to myself.

Nope. Unless “better” is passive-aggressively making snide comments to each other.

He asked about my writing and I told him about that book I wrote. “It’s a book about the way technology has influenced the way people meet and fall in love, with some personal stories thrown in.”

“That sounds boring.”

“Oh.” I said. I was waiting for a ‘just kidding handsome’ with a light leg tap, but it never came. So I continued, “Well, I don’t think it’s boring at all! I mean, I am biased, but it’s really funny and smart and I think people would get a kick out of hearing some of my horrible dating stories.”

“Define horrible.”

I hate when people ask me what my worst dating story is because I’ve had some bad ones, but honestly nothing so bad or disturbing. “Well,” I answered, “I once went on a date with a guy who was doing cocaine the entire time in the bathroom. That was pretty bad.”

“Did you do cocaine with him?” he asked.

“No! That’s insane.”

“To you it’s insane. To people who live in North Dakota it’s insane. But imagine people living in NYC or San Francisco reading your book. You think they are going to read that and find it interesting or extreme? Absolutely not. You should have done the coke with him. You should go to circuit parties and pop Molly. You should seek out threesomes and orgies and leather parties. You should immerse yourself in the culture. Then, you will have one hell of a book.”


At this point I was losing the remaining interest I had in him and excused myself to go to the bathroom to text my friend the thumbs-down emoji.

When I returned, he was chatting with the guy on the other side of him and eating the mixed nuts from the bowl in front of him. Finally, after two minutes of me sitting there, he returned his attention to me.

I quickly tried to change the subject to something – anything – else. I did see his point, and I do agree that sometimes I am a little vanilla and prudish, but at the end of the day, I am not trying to write a book about how outrageous and slutty one can be. My ultimate goal is to write a book about how pathetic and desperate one can be.

I saw that my drink was pretty much full and it was getting past my bedtime and the idea of going back to his place was slimmer than my waistline in 2011. (I used to be really skinny). So I started taking huge long gulps of my drink, hoping to end this date as soon as possible. And this is about the time when we got on the topic of judging a book by its cover, metaphorically speaking.

He went on to tell me how he can pretty much know everything about a person within the first three minutes of meeting them. I, too, somewhat agree with this ability. Maybe not as short as three minutes, but I can usually tell very soon if I will like the person or not –  but I wont know everything about them.

Curious, I asked him what his take on me was and he shied away and asked, “Do you really want to know?”

I took one long drink of my vodka and said that I would love to know his first impression on me. I mean, one of the best things about going on dates with people is you get to learn things about yourself that maybe no one else could have showed you. So, yes. I wanted to hear what this stranger thought about me.

“Well,” he began, “you seem very reserved and a little uptight.”

Ok sure, I can definitely see that. He is not the first person to call me uptight. I know I am. Fine. Whatever. Next. 

“Ok, I agree. And?”

“And you seem very set in your ways, not wanting to change or shake things up. I feel that your favorite time of the day is when you can lay in bed and play candy crush and fall asleep by 10pm.”

Wow, he really was hitting the nail on the head. That IS my favorite time of day. But so what? Who cares?

“I agree with that assumption as well. Anything else?”

“I feel that NYC has made you tired and cynical. And you don’t trust people easily.”

I nodded my head and said, “Well, I do believe NYC has made me somewhat cynical, but I have been here for a few years and you only just moved here 2 months ago. So it is a bit different. You are still excited about the city and want to go out every night and explore. That’s how I was when I first moved here. But I guess things changed.”

I then thought about how he said I don’t trust people easily. I feel that I am pretty open with people, and I think my big issue is that I trust and let people in way too much and too easily. So I asked him about what I have done to make him think I am a closed-off person and he replied, “Because you are wearing an undershirt.”

Wait, what?

“Wait, what?” I was so confused! “What does an undershirt have to do with anything?”

“Well, I took a Psych class back in San Diego and my professor said that the number of layers people wear indirectly affects the number of layers they have for letting people in. It’s like a wall. I’m just saying the minute I saw you were wearing an undershirt, I kind of knew you were going to be uptight and reserved.”

At this point, I had no idea what to say, and these drinks were hitting me all at once and I felt that I needed to just pass out. I told him that I was wearing an undershirt because it was 18 degrees outside and I had to walk 10 blocks to get to the bar and then I made a snarky remark about how he shouldn’t let some teacher at a California Community College influence the way he reads people.


Needless to say, we both paid our check and headed out into the blistering cold weather – although I wasn’t too cold because I had my good ole undershirt on me.

We said good-bye with the promise of hanging out again soon, I hugged him and went on my way back to New Jersey.

While going through the tunnel on the bus, I suddenly got very lightheaded and felt like I was going to faint. I looked out my window and felt like I was in a rocket going into space and started tweaking out. I needed to get off this bus immediately, I thought. I tried focusing on anything but my mind was going a mile a minute and I couldn’t concentrate on anything.

Once off the bus, I ran home (fell twice) and jumped right into my bed with the lights off. Hoping I could just pass out, I realized this wasn’t going to be that easy. I was having a case of the ‘spins’ and no matter which side I laid on, I felt like I was going to throw up. Which I eventually did. I ran to the bathroom and spent the better part of my evening throwing up beer, vodka, and Hot Pockets.

A few hours later, when I was finally done being sick, I sat there on my bathroom floor and pondered about how I got this drunk from three drinks – two of them being Coors Light.

The only thing that was going on in my head was “I got roofied.”

I had heard of people using a date-rape drug and always wondered what it actually did to the person. I was wondering to myself that if he did, indeed, slip me a date-rape drug, why didn’t he date-rape me? Did he have a change of heart? Did he no longer want to rape me? I was all of a sudden so upset and ashamed. I sat on the cold bathroom tiles and thought “am I not date-rape-able?”

I then quickly changed my thinking. “There is no way he drugged me! No one does that anymore. I’m sure I just drank more than I thought.”

The next morning I woke up, took a nice long shower and went to work. Upon re-telling this story to my co-workers, friends, and the guy at the bagel shop downstairs, I came to the conclusion that I very well may have been drugged. “I did leave my drink to go to the bathroom!” I said, feeling enlightened.

I decided to send him a text message to find out the truth before I just start making false assumptions. So I wrote:

“Hey! Hope your morning is going well. I just had a quick question… Did you put something in my drink last night?”

To which he responded, “NOW you have your story!”

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The Keebler Elf

Just before Myspace was going out of style and I still resided in Boca Raton, I received a message from a guy named Bryan. Apparently, we had a few mutual friends so he sent a quick message to say hi as he added me as a friend. Back in the day, I would add people just because I liked their shirt.

From browsing his profile and photo albums, I immediately fell in love. He was adorable. He was smart. He was a Southern gentleman. But, he lived in Georgia.

We spent a few nights that week talking on the phone, and I was instantly obsessed with his twang and country accent. Everyone I had met in South Florida barely spoke English, and if they did, they knew how to say three things: “Hello”, “My name is”, and “How short do you want the lawn Mister James?” It was definitely time for a change.

“Ugh!” I screamed repeatedly alone in my room until Cory, my roommate came barging in.

“What’s the matter?” he asked after my ninth exhale.

“This always happens!”


“No!” I screamed. “Well, I don’t think so! But that’s not what this is about!” I got off my bed and sat at the computer chair. “Whenever I meet someone online that is cute, smart, worthy of dating, AND that is interested in ME, they always live so far away. Remember that guy in Anchorage? Anyways, I met someone last week on Myspace and he is perfect.”

“So where does he live? Hopefully somewhere really pretty that you could go visit! Like the Caribbean. Or Denver.”

“Neither,” I said with a melancholy growl. “He lives in Camden, Georgia.”

Once again, I was being a bit dramatic, and Cory was in no mood to comfort me or give in to my pity cry. “Oh just get over it. You could easily go to Georgia! I believe there is a train that goes there at midnight.”

“This is no time for a Gladys and the Pips reference, Cory.” I laid back down on my bed and cuddled my pillow, wanting to change the subject. “So, how exactly do I know if I have herpes?”

Two weeks later, my phone rang as I was in the middle of my rigorous workout. “Hello!?” I yelped, interrupting my third sit-up.

It was one of my best friends from high school, Katie Kelly. I have always loved her name, and have always secretly wished her middle name was Kendall or Karen, just for the amusing initials.

Katie lived in Jacksonville, working on her Bachelors at the University of North Florida and living with her Navy Seal boyfriend of one year. She was going on and on about her sister getting married and that she needed a date for the wedding.

“What about your boyfriend?” I asked, while wiping the sweat off my forehead.

“He’s going to be on the ship for another four months. And everyone is bringing a date. Even my cousin, Lynn, has a date.”

“Wait. Isn’t she the one with one leg?”

“One foot” she corrected me. “I cannot show up to this thing alone. Please save me!”

I thought about my school schedule and my lack of monetary funds, but then quickly got excited to watch Lynn attempt to do the Hokey Pokey, so I agreed.

“Fine! I will go with you. We will match our outfits but I will not put out!”

I hung up the phone and decided that I had enough physical activity for one day. I didn’t want to pull a hamstring four weeks before the wedding and not be able to do the electric slide. I jumped into bed at 3 in the afternoon for my first nap of the day when I suddenly realized: Jacksonville is just below Georgia! When I go up for the wedding, I would be able to see my best friend AND meet Bryan. I sent him a quick message telling him my plan and asking how far away he was from where I would be staying and he replied “20 minutes, 30 minutes tops. We could totally arrange a meeting!”

I turned down my shades, pulled up my covers, and suddenly had Georgia on my mind.

The weekend of the wedding came before I knew it and I had to quickly throw one weekend worth of clothes into two suitcases. I called Bryan and told him of my whereabouts and that as soon as I could, I would ditch my friend and we could meet up.

I made it to Jacksonville just after 5pm and pulled into Katie’s apartment complex, where she was standing in the parking lot, jumping up and down like a six year old who just saw the tooth fairy fly away. The sight of her pathetic excitement almost made me turn my car around.

I rolled down the window as I pulled into a parking space. “Enough with the jumping jacks, I’m here!” I popped the trunk of my car and said, “Would you be a doll and grab those two suitcases? I’m beat from all this driving.”

As Katie pulled out my two Lacoste suitcases and hauled them up to her third floor apartment, I pulled out one of those miniature fans and exhaled, “Gaw it’s hot up here”. She turned to look back, giving me an evil snarl and almost ran right into the wall. “Whoa! Easy with that one. It has my shoes in it!”

Once inside, I took my spot on the couch, where I would be sleeping the next few nights. Katie then got me a glass of water. It was from the faucet, but I drank it anyways. “This weekend is going to be so much fun!” She exclaimed. “I hope you are ready to do some cha-cha-sliding”.

Katie knew how much I hated organized dancing and could probably tell with my lack of response that I would be sitting at the open bar all night ordering vodka tonics two at a time.

“I know. This seriously better be one hell of a wedding. I am missing the season finale of Survivor: All Stars for this.”

“Really? Survivor? That show is ridiculously gay. No offense. It is so staged. You know they are all sleeping at a Sheraton Hotel once the cameras turn off.”

I almost jumped off the couch in anger. “You know that’s not true!”

“And besides,” she continued, “Survivor comes on Sunday nights. You’ll probably be back home in time for it anyways, and you definitely won’t miss the tribal council meeting. You should have just tape recorded it.”

“Wow. For someone who hates the show, you sure do know quite a lot about its airtime and rituals, Katie.”

“TV Guide” she said and crossed her arms.

“And tape record it? I haven’t seen an actual working VCR since I was in diapers. Anyways, do I have time to take a short two hour nap?”

“No. Tonight is the rehearsal dinner and I figured we could go meet up with my girlfriends for a few cocktails before. They really want to meet you.”

(A little side note):

It seems that every time I go to visit a friend, I always have to go out and meet their other friends. Can’t you go out with your girlfriends every other day that I’m not there? I get it. I am not your only friend, so stop making me meet the rest of them. And then you throw in that bullshit of a story “They really want to meet you”. No they don’t. 9 times out of 10, they have never heard of me in their lives and suddenly I am just some random guy sitting at a table drinking something with an umbrella in it.

The conversation always goes like this:

GIRL FRIEND: Hey guys! This is James                                                                                                                                               FRIENDS OF SAID GIRL FRIEND: Who?                                                                                                                       GIRL FRIEND: James! The guy I was telling you about. We’ve been best friends since we were four.     FOSGF: Oh! The guy who got the baseball scholarship to Vanderbilt?                                                              GIRL FRIEND: No, that was my brother. James is my gay best friend, goes to college down South. Really funny…                                                                                                                                                                       FOSGF: Umm. Oh yeah, I remember him now. Nice to meet you, Jeff.

But I digress back to Katie’s couch. I didn’t know how to tell her that I made plans for the night already, so I just said, “I made plans for the night already.”

“What? You came up here to be my date to my sister’s wedding. How could you have made other plans? You’ve been here litchrally (I know that’s spelled incorrectly, but that is how she pronounces it) five minutes. I don’t want to go to the rehearsal dinner alone!”

“Katie, you were going to go to the wedding alone if it weren’t for me. I’m sorry. I met this guy a few weeks ago and he lives about thirty minutes away, and this is the only time that we would be able to meet. He’s already on his way from Georgia and…”

She cut me off and stood up, “Georgia?! How…I mean why…no, I mean how are you meeting guys from Georgia?! You live six hours away!”

“Online.” I added, “Do you want to see a picture of him? He’s so…”


Katie started pacing back and forth through her eleven by eight foot living room, fuming from the ears and nose. “Well, I am sorry. You are just going to have to tell him you have previously made plans and that you didn’t come all the way up here to meet him.” She paused. “Wait a minute. Did you come all the way up here to meet him? And that the wedding was just a great excuse?”

I sat there in shock, mostly because it was true. “No! I came here to go to your sister’s wedding! I honestly just thought you would need me for tomorrow. And I really really really like him and wanted to see where things went.” Note to readers, if you want to get your point across, just keep repeating “really” a few times. Then they’ll know it’s important.

I was really hoping that she would be okay with me leaving for a little bit. I saw her start to weaken and sit back down. “Well, I mean tonight is just going to be my immediate family. It would be kind of boring for you, I guess.”

“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I screamed. Aside from the ‘really rule’, saying ‘thank you’ three times shows just how thankful you really are. Only assholes say it once.

“Yeah. But because I am letting you go and ditch me tonight, you will do the cha-cha slide, the electric slide, and what other dances involve sliding. You hear me?”

I didn’t even have a chance to respond. I had already started trying on different outfits.

Not even twenty minutes since I was “allowed” to go on the date, Bryan called me and said he was getting off the highway and suggested that we meet up at a Starbucks a few miles down the road. “I like coffee” I agreed.

Now, as a serial online dater, I have met guys pretty much everywhere: bars, clubs, restaurants, the dumpster behind a Best Buy, etc. My least favorite is Starbucks. One, because it is inundated with people at all times, and they are all in just one tiny room, staring at you when you come in. You know you are meeting someone for a date and they certainly do too once they catch that awkward hello you’re about to do.

Oh, I guess it’s my least favorite for just one reason.

So, I made it to the Starbucks as directed and parked my car. I had already received the “I’m here” text a few minutes ago, so I decided to take my time and build up the anticipation. I got out of my car and headed straight for that door, knowing Bryan was inside, somewhere, waiting for me.

I slowly opened the glass door and looked around the coffee shop. To my right were these three guys studying for some sort of test. Why anyone was studying on a Friday night is beyond me. No one was in line for coffee except this old lady. I then peered to my left and saw two oversized purple velvet couches in the corner. One was vacant. The other held Bryan.

I walked over and he did not even look up from his BlackBerry. I tried to get a clear shot of what his face looked like so I wasn’t approaching the wrong guy. I hate to say it, but I cleared my throat to get his attention. He looked up from his phone and I quietly whispered, “Bryan?” He looked shocked that someone in a Jacksonville Starbucks would know his name and at first gave me a skittish look. Then I guess he realized he was going on a blind date. He smiled faintly and said, “James. It’s nice to meet you.”

I sat down on the purple couch next to his. “It’s nice to meet you too, Bryan.”

“Oh, please. Call me Keebs. It’s my nickname. Everyone I know calls me that.”

Keebs, I thought to myself. Hmm. I don’t like nicknames. Never have. I just don’t get them, I guess. I once met a guy named Steve, but his nickname was Gary. I can’t even connect the dots on that one. I swore that after we hooked up I wouldn’t speak to him again.

“Did you want to get something?” I asked.

“No, thanks.” He replied. “Don’t really like the taste of coffee. Plus, it stunts your growth.”

Since neither of us was actually drinking coffee, and a family of four was standing over me and Bryan waiting for us to get up, I suggested we leave for dinner. “I know just the place” he said.

I stood up from my chair with my right leg half asleep, went to the door and turned around to hold it for Bryan…I mean “Keebs”, and this is the moment I discovered the nickname. This is the moment I understood Keebs.

He could not have been a centimeter over 5’3’’. Nowhere in his MySpace profile alluded to the fact that he was almost legally a midget. I mean, just to state the facts, I am no giant. I am 5’9 (5’10 in the right shoe) and usually someone’s height doesn’t bother me. But someone’s lack of height surely did that night. I was hoping that the six inches he was missing in height he would make up in girth.

As we walked across the street, a car zoomed past us and, as an instinct, I threw my arm out in front of him to stop him from getting run over. In my attempt to save his life, I smacked him so hard, my ring left an imprint on his forehead.

“It’s okay. It’s fine. He is a nice, normal, sweet guy. How tall (or short) he is shouldn’t deter you from having a fun time.” These were the words I was telling myself as I got into his Ford-250 pickup truck. I can barely get into one of those things and I would have loved to see how he managed to climb on up. I noticed on his front driver seat he had a phone book. “Who uses a phone book anymore?” I thought to myself. Until I saw his tiny little ass sit down on it.

“It’s okay. It’s fine. He is a nice guy.”

We were heading to the nice part of Jacksonville where there are great shops, restaurants, and bars he told me. I wish Katie wasn’t so mad at me because she would have been dying right now. The radio was blasting Toby Keith (okay, at least he was a Republican) and the windows were rolled down. I tried making small talk but he kept saying, “Let’s just keep the good convo for the dinner, alright?” in that Southern twang of his.

A long fifteen minutes  later, the truck was parked and we were walking toward the restaurants. I was so concerned everyone was looking at me the way Nicole Kidman was looked at when she was “married” to Tom Cruise. I didn’t want them to think that I knew about his height prior to us going out, so when I would catch people stare I would mouth “blind date” and they would look back at me, shrug their shoulders, and give me a knowing look that read ‘Hang in there’ and ‘God is watching and he is proud’.

As we walked down the pier, we passed so many inviting and interesting restaurants: A family-owned Italian restaurant, a Sushi one, a Thai one, a Mexican one. I couldn’t wait to find out where he was taking me. We made a left at the end of the pier and that is where I noticed the God-awful orange awning of the tackiest restaurants around, Hooters.

“This is not where we are going,” I said silently to myself as he ran to the door and held up two tiny fingers. “Table for two, please”.

“Denise is your server and she’ll be right over” Brandi cheered and then skipped away. I picked up the menu and started browsing the culinary selections.

“Have you ever been here before?” Bryan asked me.

Yeah, I’ve been to a Hooter’s before you moron. My dad would drag me here to watch football games and to stare at women’s boobs since I was seven. My grandmother has even been to a Hooter’s. But, I am sure she didn’t drive six hours to be taken on a date to one by a troll.

Bryan, yes I will call him Bryan from here on out because just typing the word ‘Keebs’ makes me nauseous. So, Bryan ordered us a fried pickle appetizer and swore on his life by it. “This will be the best part of your night,” he said. I nodded my head knowing he was right.

The dinner conversation was light, and mostly touched on the different types of wing sauce, if Georgia really does have the best peaches, and stories of his ex-boyfriends. I excused myself to use the bathroom, just so I could get a minute to myself. In the stall, I texted Katie and told her that I would much rather be at her family’s dumb rehearsal dinner instead of out on the docks with this shrimp. She replied, “Duh.”

When I got back to my seat, the check was laying on the table. A sign to me that this night was over, and thank Jesus for that. He picked up the checkbook and reached for his wallet, like a true Southern gentlemen. “Wanna just split it?”

I really didn’t have any other choice.

As we walked back along the pier to the parking garage, Bryan spotted a sports memorabilia store with a Georgia Bulldogs flag out front. “Mind if we stop in for a minute?”

I really didn’t have any other choice.

I was starting to feel that Bryan was having an identity crisis and being unsure of his sexuality – Hooter’s AND a sports store, both bad choices for the gays.

Pretty much the entire store was covered wall-to-wall with Bulldog shirts, hats, pillows, beer cozies, and statues of a bulldog wearing the uniform. “These are kinda cute” I said, making myself enjoy the store for what it was.

“Aww, I love them. Oh my gaw, look at this little guy. He reminds me of Kevin, my dog growing up. Wearin’ the hat and all. I think I’m a get him.”

Bryan made his way to the register holding this three foot dog statue that came up to his nipples and paid the lady the forty-seven dollars for it. He couldn’t buy my 10 wings, but fifty bucks for a dog statue was a much better way to spend his money.

Back on the highway, I saw the dog statue sitting in the bed of the truck out of my side-view mirror and had to ask, “Hey, Bryan- “

“…I’d prefer it if you just called me Keebs.”

“I’d rather not. What’s the deal with the statue? I’ve never seen anyone go into a store so quickly and buy something so specific. And I know shopping. I am an expert. Why did you have to get it tonight? I am sure there are better, more team-spirited dogs in Georgia.”

He put his left blinker on and got in the turning lane. The light was red, so he turned to me and said, “Well, I needed it tonight so I could drop it off.”

“Drop it off where?” I asked, concerned.

“Right here, down the road. To the cemetery.”

I chuckled and said, “Why the hell are you bringing some dumb statue to a cemetery at 10pm?”

The light turned green and Bryan made the left. Staring down the two-lane highway, listening to the silence, he swallowed hard, “My dad died one year ago today. He is buried right up here on the right. And he was such a big Bulldog fan, let me tell you. So, I figured that on that way back to me droppin you off, I could just put the statue on his grave and say my peace, mainly because I haven’t been to the grave yet.”

I put two spaces between the next paragraph just so you could take some time to process what has just happened.

Talk about a morbid date, huh? I immediately pulled out my BlackBerry and started frantically texting Katie. “Help me, please” I wrote with over twenty exclamation points. Like the great friend she is, she ignored every message I sent her. And then it hit me as the car went into park. I was really doing this. This was actually happening.

Bryan hopped the six feet out of the truck and went around the back and grabbed the dog. I just sat in the car, silently praying that I was in a bad dream. Hoping he would realize this was a little strange and to just go to the grave by himself, I heard a knocking at my window. “How the hell did he reach the window?” I thought to myself.

I looked out my window and could only see the top of his head. I rolled down the window and told him that cemetery’s freak me out and that I would be best sitting alone in the car. “Also,” I added, “what if a cop comes and tows your car. I should be here, just in case. You go ahead.”

None of these options were working and he was being relentless. I rolled my window back up and got out of the car. He grabbed onto my hand as we walked down the rows and rows of tombstones, passing many different flower arrangements and plants. But not one single dog statue.

When we finally got to his father’s grave, he turned to me and said, “James, I really appreciate you bein’ here for me and all, but do ya mind if I say goodbye to my father alone?” Uh, no! I don’t mind. I would love for you to say goodbye alone. Did I seem like I was itching to be beside you during this intimate family moment?!

Bryan knelt down and placed the statue in front of the tombstone and started speaking to his father. He started tearing up, got up off the ground, and whispered “Go Bulldogs”. He grabbed my hand and we headed back to his truck.

The rest of the car ride was spent in silence. He dropped me off in same the Starbucks parking lot where we met 5 hours earlier, at a time when I had hope and optimism. I opened my door and thanked him for the night.

“I had a swell time, too, James. And if ya ever in the great county of Camden, Georgia, well, give me a holler.” And then, just like that, he went into the night, probably back to his tree fort to make cookies and snacks.

I must have drove eighty miles an hour back to Katie’s apartment. Luckily, her lights were on which meant that she was back from the rehearsal dinner and could listen to the horrendous night I just had.

Katie sat through most of my story in shock, with her mouth hanging almost to the floor. “Wait, so you’ve never met this kid before tonight?”

“No” I replied.

“And he just brought you to a cemetery? To say goodbye to his dad? What kind of looney tunes are you going out with? You have got to stop this online dating. Seriously, he could have killed you out there.”

“Katie, the most he could have done was scratch my knee caps.”

I apologized for choosing a boy over her, and after hearing my story, she forgave me.

The next day was her sisters wedding. We ate. We drank. We danced. We drank. I was dragged onto the dance floor to do the slides, both electric and cha-cha. I even slow danced with her Grandma Evelyn. I was having such a great time I didn’t even think about the night before, until the waiter came around and passed out the desserts.

“What are they passing out? Didn’t they get a wedding cake?” I asked Katie.

“No, they didn’t want to have a traditional wedding.”

“Yeah, the whole getting-married-in-a-church thing is pretty unconventional.”

When the cute waiter(who didn’t take my number as a tip) finally approached our table, he held a tray with an array of delectable desserts; Cupcakes, pastries, and cookies. I decided I would have one of each…but only one. It wasn’t until then, when I looked down at my plate and saw the cookies, that I asked the waiter just to make sure, “What kind of cookies are these?”

He looked down at his tray and said, “Oh, these. They are Vienna Fingers. They were bought for the kids table, I think.”

Katie and I looked at each other and at the same time squealed, “Keebs!”

We lifted our cups of coffee, clinked them together, and said “To stunting our growth!”

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Sweet, Sweet Revenge

Everyone loves a story about revenge, right? While this story may not deal with violence or cunning intelligence, it does deal with lies and deception. And, well, a little bit of humor. Enjoy! 

Early in my second year at FAU, I had lost half of the freshmen fifteen, I was attempting to go to class, and I had fully broken up with Jon. And clearly by “breaking up with”, I mean changing my phone number and deleting him off of Myspace.

Remember those days before Facebook was the powerhouse it is today and Myspace was well, stupid? The days when we still had both accounts open, friended the same people, posted the same pictures, and left the same comments on our friends walls. Boy, were we all idiots.

Anyways, I had realized that the last thing I wanted was a relationship. I was in my prime, in a new city, and I was tired of being tied down. Well, relationship speaking. I was definitely not opposed to a little S&M bondage (just don’t tell my life insurance carrier).

I wanted to go out and have as much fun as I possibly could. I was a nineteen year old college student with a fake I.D living in South Florida.

My fake I.D. was actually a driver’s license I stole out of somebody’s wallet at a dorm party and replaced with a Coldstone Card. While I was eligible to gain access to all of Miami’s hottest clubs, they were eligible for a free ice cream cone. Even Steven.

One November evening, I went out for my 20th birthday with some friends to a bar in “Downtown” Boca Raton. I say downtown in quotes, because anyone who has ever been to Boca knows there is no downtown area. It’s just the place in town without a bagel shop or Synagogue.

I was accompanied by my closest friends, Cory, Marissa, Katie, Jamie, and Josh and I was already a little drunk from my two glasses of wine from the Cheesecake Factory.

“I am so happy that you all came out to celebrate my birthday” I exclaimed after the each bought me a birthday shot. In another world, I would have preferred five totally different people, but I made due.

“Let’s do Lemon drop shots next” Cory shouted over the 80’s cover band.

“Let’s kill ourselves” I shot back as I readjusted the birthday crown I bought for myself earlier that day at Party City.

In addition to the crown, I was donning a shirt Marissa had bought me to wear for the night. It was neon green that had “Made in the Eighties” written on it.

“You know, because we are going to see an 80’s cover band tonight, and well, you were made in the eighties. Get it? It’s like…a double meaning!”

Man, I need new friends I thought as I graciously accepted the shirt and wished that people would have stuck to the list I handed out weeks prior. Aside from the fun 80’s shirt, I got a “Friends” desk calendar from Josh, an empty picture frame from Cory, and a bottle of champagne from Katie and Jamie. I was most excited about the champagne until they drank it before we went out to dinner. So, my real gift from them was an Andre sticker with a matching cork.

We spent the rest of the evening dancing to the hits of Billy Idol and Hughie Lewis and the news, all while drinking overpriced beers.

During, the bands rendition of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, I realized that I, too, wanted to dance with somebody, anybody but my friends. I turned to my left and saw two overweight forty year old women in matching Madonna costumes. “Eh” I thought. I then turned to my right and saw a group of fun people, my age, dancing and having the time of their lives. Since I was drunk, and when I’m drunk, I feel invincible enough to do anything, I jumped in the middle of their dance party.

Usually, they would have pushed me aside, or walked away, but seeing as I had on my “Birthday Crown”, they all embraced me as if I were one of their own.

After fifteen minutes of non-stop dancing, the one boy in the group turned to me and said “Sweet shirt man. I totally get it.” I faked a laugh because he was cute. “I’m Tim”.

“James. Nice to meet you.”

“So, is this how Boca is every night?” he asked while wiping the sweat from his forehead.

“Not really. Boca kind of sucks. Do you live in West Palm or something?”

“Pittsburgh, actually.”

“Are you that big of a fan of The Breakfast Klub that you traveled all the way down here to watch them play Whitney Houston to death?” (I know, too soon).

“No, I am actually here visiting the FAU campus. I’m thinking about coming here next year, so I wanted to check it out” he responded.

“Oh, awesome!” I shouted over the music. “You will love it, it’s a great school.”

We spent the remainder of the evening drinking, and dancing, and getting to know one another. You know, like you do at an 80’s cover band party. When the end of the night came, we exchanged phone numbers and added one another to our Facebook pages, as one does nowadays. I headed home and couldn’t wait to turn on my laptop and browse through his 453 pictures.

The next few months, Tim and I had a pretty sporadic relationship. One week we would talk every day, and one week I wouldn’t hear from him. It isn’t uncommon behavior with someone who lives 1,500 miles away. I still went on dates, and I am sure he sat at home crying that he wasn’t with me. Everything was still normal.

After having a really good month – meaning we sent over a 30 text messages to each other a day and talked on the phone every night – I decided that I didn’t want to wait until fall to see him, so I finished up my glass of vodka and called up Tim.

“Hey Jimmy-Jam, what it do in the Florida South?”

“Hey, Tim. I am just sitting here on my porch, smoking a cigarette, and I decided that we should plan to see each other. I mean, I know you are moving down here in the fall, but it would be nice to see you beforehand. Don’t you agree? I think we should arrange something. ” I couldn’t believe I was rambling on so much about wanting to see him. I also couldn’t believe I could finish an entire bottle of Smirnoff Vanilla vodka in one sitting.

“I feel ya, holmes. Well, I mean, I don’t have anything going on up here. Would you want to come to Pittsburgh and chill for a weekend?”

Would I?! Wait…Would I? I didn’t know anything about Pittsburgh. I didn’t even know what state Pittsburgh was in, but I knew I was in the state of complete determination and desperation to not have to care about that.

“I would love to come visit you in Pittsburgh! I’ll check out flights tomorrow and let you know!”

We hung up the phone and I logged in to my Delta account to search for flights. The next morning, I informed Cory and his boyfriend about my travel plans.

“Wait, wait, wait. You’re going to fly up to Pittsburgh? To see that guy you met on your birthday? Seriously?”

“Yes, Cory. Some of us have a spontaneous side. You should try it.”

“Spontaneous is about driving to the movie theater and then deciding what to go see, or trying something different at Denny’s. Not flying across the country for some guy. What you’re doing is crazy.”

“First of all, it is not crazy! And secondly, we go to Denny’s every week and every week you order Moons Over My Hammy, so zip it. What do you think Mauricio?”

“Yo no se.” (Mauricio is Peruvian and doesn’t speak much Enlgish.)

“Ugh, you are just jealous of my happiness. Both of you! I’m buying the plane ticket and I’m going up there. I’ve never been. Plus it would be nice to eat a cheese stake and see the Liberty Bell.”

“The Liberty bell is nowhere near Pittsburgh!”

“Whatever!” I stormed out of the living room and sat at my desk and bought my plane ticket for the weekend in two weeks. That should give him enough time to get everything ready and plan all of our fun activities and for me to get enough time to take off work. Perfect.

As soon as I received the e-mail confirmation of my flight, I texted Tim the details. His text was brief, but he definitely sounded excited.

Two weeks later, I was sitting in my living room watching When Harry Met Sally when Cory sat down beside me with a bowl of popcorn.

“You all packed?”

“Yeah, I think so. I hope it isn’t too cold up there this time of year, I don’t have any winter jackets.”

“It’s March, you’ll be fine.” We both took a scoop of popcorn.

When the movie finished, I headed off to bed. I wanted to have a good night sleep for my big day. I hate flying, and was trying to mentally prepare myself that the plane would not crash.

I set my alarm for 11:30am, so I would not over sleep. I hopped in the shower and got myself ready while I made Cory bring my bags to the car. I decided to text Tim once I got in the car: “Omw to the airport. See you in a few hours!”

His response was almost immediate: “I don’t think we should go through with this. I am sort of getting back with my ex. Well, we actually never broke up. I’m Sorry! Hope you can get that ticket refunded!”

I sat in the passenger seat of Cory’s Ford Taurus in complete shock. “Turn the car around. I’m not going. And please don’t tell me you were right.”

“Want to go to Denny’s?”

The following weeks were consumed with studying for finals, working at the restaurant to make extra money, and to forget about Tim. I hadn’t spoken to him since his text he sent me en route to the airport, and I didn’t plan to ever again. Well, until I ran into him at that very same bar on my birthday the following year.

“Thank God there is no cover band here tonight.”

“Si” said Mauricio.

I’m going to run to the bar and get some shots of tequila. Who’s in?”

Naturally, everyone rose their hands, so I headed over to the outside bar with Marissa. When the shots were laid out in front of us, the bartender said “That will be 28 dollars.” I looked over to Marissa.

“You heard him, pay the man.”

“I thought you were buying the shots?!”

“It’s my birthday, why the hell would I buy everyone shots? I said I wanted to get shots. Not buy them.”

A very disgruntled and aggravated Marissa helped me carry the eight shot glasses over to our table where everyone shouted “Thanks James!” over the music.

We all toasted to me and my youth and chugged down our shots. I slipped one of the lime wedges into my mouth and looked up, and that is when I saw Tim, standing two tables over with a bunch of girls.

“It’s him” I said.

“Who? Ryan Reynolds?”

“No. Him. Tim.”

I suddenly looked to Cory for advice. I was begging him to tell me what I should do in this situation. Should we all just leave and head to a different bar, or should we stay and act like we are having the time of our lives?”

“But I am having the time of my life!” he exclaimed.

“That’s cute, but I really don’t know what I should do. Screw it. I’m going over there and saying something.”

“Are you sure? What are you going to say?”

“I haven’t decided that yet. I’ll figure it out on the walk over.”

Four steps later, I was standing behind Tim holding a huge Nikkon camera taking pictures of three random girls. Once the shot had been taken, I gently tapped him on the shoulder.

“Hey-oh-my-God-What are you doing here, James?!”

“I live here, remember. I see you are living in Boca now.”

“Yeah, for about a few months. I love it. Hey! We met here exactly one year ago today! How cool!”

Why the hell was he being so nonchalant about everything? Does he not remember what he did? Is he even going to bring it up? Should I even bring it up?

“Awesome. Well, I just wanted to say hi. I’m going to go back to my friends. See ya around.”

“No, no, no. Let me at least buy you a birthday shot. Don’t think I don’t remember!”

Of course, I thought. This he remembers. Being raised right and taught to never say no to free alcohol, I agreed and we headed off to the bar. An hour later, I was hammered and completely forgave him for having a boyfriend and telling me not to come up to visit him the day of my trip. My friends came up to me and told me the bar was closing and that it was time to go, so I hugged Tim, gave him my new cell phone number, and told him to add me on Facebook.

In the parking lot, I was just getting into the back seat of Cory’s car when I heard Tim screaming my name. I looked over and saw him running towards us, waving with one hand, and holding his camera with the other.

“Shit, James. I have a huge favor to ask of you. My credit card got declined at the bar and I have no money to pay my tab. My friends already left and they aren’t answering their cell phones. Any way I can bum fifty bucks?”

Against all of my better judgment, I took off my seatbelt and headed back into the bar with him and paid for his tab on my credit card. Happy Birthday, James. As we walked back out into the parking lot, I said goodbye again and approached the car.

“Wait! I…well, I also don’t have a ride home. Can I just crash with you tonight?”

I looked over at Cory and Mauricio and felt suddenly so alone. It was my birthday and I’ll have sex with an asshole if I want to. I said yes, and we went back to my apartment.

The next morning, I drove him back to his apartment. He kissed me on the cheek and said, “I promise, I will mail you a check for the fifty bucks. You’re a life saver.”

“…But you don’t have my address!” I hollered, but it was too late. He was already in his complex. I drove back to my apartment to take a Benadryl and sleep the day away. I’ll never hear from him again.


Five years later, I was living in New York City trying to make it big as a writer, and barely scraping by as a waiter. I spent all day filling out job applications and sending my resume to every publishing house in the city, and all night serving $18 dollar cheeseburgers in Time Square.

One night after work, I opted out of going to a bar and instead returned to my bite-sized apartment to watch a bunch of YouTube clips and hangout on Facebook. When I logged on, I saw that I had a message. It was from Tim.

“Come on!” I screamed to my computer.

I opened up the message and it read:

Hey James. Long time, huh? Well, anyways, I don’t know if you know this, but I work for a television production company as a PA, and I travel all over the country. Next week, I am going to be in New York City, and I saw that you now live there (way cool) and we are looking for a few extra hands to work with us for a week. If it’s something you would be interested in, let me know. Would be great to see ya!


p.s. I also need a place to crash.

I stared at my computer screen for a good fifteen minutes before even thinking about what to reply. Instead, I called Cory. He couldn’t believe that Tim had messaged me and said I should definitely fuck with him. “He told you not to come visit him while you were on the way to the airport because he had a boyfriend. He had you pay his bar tab on your birthday. James, it’s revenge time.”

Yes, it totally was revenge time. He was a dick. An asshole. And a horrible lay. This was my chance to get him back. So, I hit the reply button and said:

Hey Tim! It sure has been a long time! A production assistant? That sounds like a fun job. And I love T.V. So I would be very interested in helping out for the week. And don’t worry. You are always welcome to come stay with me. Can’t wait to see you!

 J 🙂

Not five seconds after I sent the e-mail, Tim was texting my phone thanking me for wanting to help out, and for the place to stay. I said it was my pleasure.

The next week, Tim was on his train from Boston to New York and said he would be in the city in about an hour. He texted me when his train got in and asked what address he should give the cab driver. I told him my address was 42 West 88th street, Manhattan, New York.

…I live in Hoboken, New Jersey.


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My Year in Review

Usually, at the end of the year, people tend to reflect on the memories they have made, the things they wish they would have done differently, and the times they truly lived life to the fullest.

Me? On New Years Eve? I am sitting in my living room, drinking a glass of cheap red wine, and reflecting on the dates I have endured the past year. I am also being rejected via text message by some boy refusing to come over and watch a movie.


And that is actually the word to describe my year in the world of dating.

Sure there were some nice guys, but like I always say, they aren’t any fun to talk about. So I figured I would write a brief synopsis of the dates I went on this past year and hopefully, if I am not too drunk, I will be enlightened to the error of my ways and hopefully find a similar path of mistakes and slip-ups.

Let’s begin.

2013 started off with a bang, and I don’t mean one made by a cheap firecracker bought off the side of the road in Tucson. I mean literally.

Last New Years Eve, I went to a party at a friends house where I continually drank every bottle of liquor in the house and smoked every last cigarette in my pack. Once the party had ended, a few of my friends and I headed down to the Lower East Side to check out some bars. When the bars  closed, and not even tired enough to go home, we headed across the street to an after-hours party that cost 20$ to get into. While waiting in the never-ending line of drunks and crack addicts, I met Kris – a graphic designer from Australia who was opening a brand new pack of Marlboro Lights and was giving me a hard time on acquiring one.

“It’s just one cigarette, you dingo. Give me a cig. I’ll do anything.”  Well, I shouldn’t have said anything, because next thing I remember was hooking up with him in the bathroom at this grungy bar – pants around my ankles and nothing but shame. But, in the end, I did get my cigarette, so everything worked out for the best.

The next “man of the year” was actually a man I had never met. Or will probably never meet. His name was Jared and we started talking on the ever-popular iPhone app, Grindr. He worked downtown, lived in New Jersey, and was smoking hot. And when I say smoking hot, I don’t mean Robert Downey Jr. in the 80’s. I mean Abercrombie and Fitch shopping bag smoking hot.

We would talk all day, every day, exchanging mundane activities from the day, learning about our families and upbrining, and sometimes, on the rare occasion, participating in a little bit of phone sex.

Now I am never one to dial and dime, but I had never – up to this point in time – participated in phone sex. I always thought it was juvenile and ridiculous. Plus, I never even met this guy, so I really didn’t know who I was talking to.

Speaking of “never knowing who I was talking to”… it turned out that he wasn’t really the guy in the pictures. He lied. He told me he was a 27 year old professional working on Wall Street. What he really was was a 40 something year old guy, working part time at a theater company living with his parents in Fort Lee, NJ. Yes, that’s right. I was catfished.

I was so upset about this because I truly was starting to gain feelings for him, and it turned out everything was just a lie. I didn’t even get to meet Nev! Ugh, so that is the story about Jared – if that IS his real name.

Moving on to the Spring. In the months of March and April, I was dating someone who was funny and sweet, but I just think we didn’t have too much in common. Maybe that is why he stopped calling me?

And over the summer, a girl friend of mine talked me into downloading a brand new phone application called Tindr – a refurbished Hot or Not that is connected to your Facebook pictures. I was obsssseeesssssssed. There is something so therapeutic about swiping “No” to hundreds of guys in the course of a Gossip Girl episode.

There is also nothing so exhilarating as clicking “Yes” on someone and having it be a match. Every time I would swipe to the right, my heart would stop for a second to see if they, too, liked me.

One night out at a fancy dinner (probably Applebee’s) my girlfriend Rebecca stole my phone and asked if she could “play Tindr on my phone.” Since I was not having much of any luck, I obliged her wishes. Plus, if she was busy swiping left or right, I had the entire basket of mozzarella sticks to myself. #winning

The next morning, I was alerted I had a new match. His name was David and he was very handsome. Most of all, he seemed so interested in me. He would reply three separate, long messages to my “how are you?” question instead of the usual “fine” or “horny” or BLOCK.

David and I met, had a wonderful first date, followed by wonderful second, third, fourth, and fifth dates. He was a great summer romance and we had a blast. But just like Sandy and Danny, it did not last. And plus, I look awful in a pleather pant suit.

So there I was, back to the drawing board. I don’t know why my friends make me play Pictionary on a Friday night!

The following few months, I was scraping the bottle of the barrel. I went on one date with a guy that had buck teeth and did club promotion. I went on another where a guy did cocaine in the bathroom and told me I looked like a leukemia patient.

“Is this what 27 will be like?” I asked the guy in the truck making my tacos. He didn’t respond, but gave me extra sour cream, so I smiled.

The last guy I  dated in 2013 (unless that boy realizes he is being stupid and comes over in the next half hour) was this guy named Keith.

Keith was a great guy – and clearly the best guy I had dated all year. He was successful, handsome, and so sweet. He held the door at restaurants and complimented my J.Crew button-down shirts. But, there was no zsa zsa zsu. No passion. No…real interest. He was the one I was most upset about because I truly could see something there, but at the time, I just was not ready for what they call a “mature relationship.” I mean, he didn’t even know what “That’s So Raven” was.

So, what did I learn this year, aside from not mixing dairy with vodka? That I just may not be ready for a serious, mature, relationship. I have a lot of things I need to work out before I can fully commit to someone. Being in a relationship is hard work and I don’t know if I can give someone my undivided attention.

But, nonetheless, I had a pretty great year, and even though I didn’t find my Prince Charming, I learned so much about myself from every one of these guys. What I want, what I don’t want, and how to properly perform phone sex (use the speakerphone).

When it comes to dating, this year my resolutions are to be more confident, expect the best, and stop giving hand jobs (seriously, what’s the point? Do it ya self.)

I am so excited to see just what, and who, 2014 will bring! So get ready – this writers’ dating life is far from being expired!


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Single Bells

Ah, my friends, it is that time of year again. The time where we spend our Saturday nights making festive cookies, blaring “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” on repeat and drinking spiked (soy) egg nog.

No? Just me? Okay.

The one thing missing from this equation is a significant other to eat those delicious cookies, someone to sing and dance along to the songs on the Holiday Pandora station, and a guy to get drunk with.

Being in your late twenties and being single is pretty unpleasant, but the holidays sure make it 10 times worse. No one to buy gifts for – and more importantly, no one to receive gifts from. No one to help you carry your Christmas tree home and up three flights of stairs. And no one to fight with you about which Home Alone movie is better. You know you’re in bad shape when you listen to “Christmas Shoes” just to cheer up.

There is something about the cold weather and the ending of yet another year that really makes you sit down and ponder about life in general. Am I happy with my career? Do I enjoy my friends? Is this the city I want to live in? Should I have slept with that guy with the questionable rash?

While all important questions, sometimes we don’t like the answers. Looking back at our decisions in the past year regarding dating, it’s impossible not to cringe at some of the choices we had made. Even now, while writing this post, I can think on both hands about all the times I should have played it cool, not texted that guy at 3am, to not be in an abusive relationship, or to not suggest Mexican food on a first date.

Aside from doubting my actions when it comes to finding love, the end of the year also brings a lot of positive flashbacks from great memories with friends and the elusive good first dates. I have met so many amazing guys this past year and have not only learned about them, but I learned so much about myself. I know – what a cliché! I can’t even believe I typed that – but it’s true.

Going out with all different types of guys has made me realize what I want in a relationship. And, also, what I do not want.

Some things I could live without in the dating world: Someone who asks me out but doesn’t have a plan, someone who takes me to a gay bar on a Friday night at 11pm, someone who does a line of cocaine in front of me, and someone who thinks just because they bought me a cheeseburger at an Applebee’s means they get to sleep with me.

What I do want: someone who is caring, shows compassion, texts me daily, takes me to places I have never seen or been before, and most importantly, someone who can make me laugh. Money comes and goes, and looks don’t last forever, but if you have a personality that can keep me amused every day, that’s the most important quality I could ever hope for.  (And I mean, money doesn’t hurt).

So yes, I know that the holidays are tough – going to company parties solo, eating an entire box of candy canes alone, and singing “Single Bells” in the shower – but once Christmas is over, you can look forward to New Years Eve…Oh wait, I forgot…that whole “not having someone to kiss at midnight thing.” Ok, so forget that. Once Christmas and New Years are done, you can look forward to…ah, shit. Valentine’s Day is next, right? Damnit.

Okay, well just get through the next four or five months, and you will be happy again.

Happy Holidays! 🙂



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The 15 Worst Things I Have Heard on a First Date

Dating is an incredibly difficult and tiresome activity us 20-somethings need to partake in. Here is a compiled list of the 15 worst things  I have heard on my many dates. Enjoy. And may you never ever date these people.

1. “I’ve actually never read a book in my life.” 


2. “I just did a line of coke in the bathroom.” 


3. “Are you going to eat all of that?”


4. “Oh, I actually still live at home.”


5. “Mind if we stop at the cemetery real quick? I need to drop something off on my father’s grave.” 


6. “Can you order me a Malibu Bay Breeze?” 


7. “Is the shaved head a look? Or are you going through chemo?”


8. “You Look Different in Person.”


9. “I forgot my wallet. Can you spot me?”


10. “Want to skip dessert and head to my place?”


11. “Really? It doesn’t look like you have a gym membership…”


12. “I quit my job on Wall St. My biggest passion is club promotion.”


13. “Wanna fool around in the bathroom?”


14. “Don’t you know how fattening Macaroni & Cheese is?” 


15. “I think I’m falling in love with you.” 


I guess it is safe to say I will be single for a long time. It’s fine. I don’t even care! 


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Falling for the Nice Guy: What’s the Catch?

I am no stranger to blind dates, first dates, good dates, bad dates, and crying in the bathroom, but the past few years, especially since living in New York City, the guys who are actually nice seem like the stranger men to me. Call me jaded or call me cynical (my mom sure does) but when I meet someone for a date, and they are genuinely nice, it is rather shocking and out of the ordinary. And I don’t mean “nice” like they call you the right name or make sure you get off first. I mean nice in the fact that they hold the door, pull out your chair, ask you questions, and make eye contact.

Absurd, I know.

For the past few weeks I have been seeing someone who definitely falls into the “Nice guy category”. After our first date, I came home and called my friends and told them about every minute and mundane detail (like I do after every date) although where I normally would say, “…so I blew him and left” or “he drank white zinfandel with ice” I noted how nice he was – something my friends had very rarely heard me say when referring to a man. The nicest guy I have come across in the past three years is Harum, the guy who works at Dunkin’ Donuts.

All of their reactions were the same: “Oh my god, finally a nice guy”… “This is exactly what you need”… “Marry him.”

While my friends were all infatuated with him, I on the other hand, was on the fence.

So, I hopped down, ordered a pizza, and tried to figure out why I was so damaged and jaded.

After my fifth slice, I decided one more was enough and then called one of my girlfriends to talk this out. All of my friends are great and each one has a specific purpose. I have one friend I go to when I need to talk about work. Another one to talk about food. And another to talk about exercise. Actually, I haven’t talked to that friend in a few years…Hm. I hope he’s okay.

Anyways, I called my girlfriend who is really great at analyzing guys and relationships, and has more of a “real” attitude than some of my other friends. While finishing the last of the pizza, I listened to her tell me something I think, deep down, I already knew: You are attracted to assholes.

“Huh” I said. “I guess that’s kind of true.”

“Kind of true? James you dated someone for four months who only texted you after midnight. You dated someone else who forgot your birthday. And don’t make me bring up the guy who pushed you down a flight of stairs.”

“Okay, okay. I am attracted to assholes” I finally admitted. “But how do I stop?”

“How the hell should I know? I just texted a guy who thinks my name is Jennifer and asked him to come over. I’m in the same boat.”

I went out with the nice guy again, and just as expected, we had a wonderful time. He paid for my dinner, helped me put my coat on, and even walked me (out of his way) to my train. He has a successful job, his own apartment, and he reads from fun. He even gets his books from the library, not a book store. Swoon.

I spent the whole train ride wondering what was wrong with me. I had a great evening and liked him a lot, I just didn’t have the butterflies. I didn’t have the zsa zsa zsu. I didn’t have anything.

But there was something missing. I thought about the other people I have dated who gave me butterflies. They weren’t necessarily “assholes” or “jerks”, but there was some type of challenge. Whether it was the drive for passion or just the determination of keeping it interesting, there was always something keeping me texting them. Something that made me want to prove they should date me. But now, in this situation, I already had him. He is already interested. He wants to date me.

So why do I feel nothing?

I know that now, as a “mature” 27 year old, I need to be appreciative that someone so great thinks I am so great as well, but am I a fool for wanting there to be a challenge? Or should I just suck it up, stop playing games, and give this one a chance?

Hello? Answer me.

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The 15 Things You Never Want to Hear on a First Date

Over the course of my 10+ years of dating, I have come across some of the most unusually weird and offensive lines thrown at me on a first date. I recently published a BuzzFeed where I recounted the top 15 worst things I have ever heard on a date. To see how bad they are, please check out the BuzzFeed article HERE.

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Shit Happens

One uneventful Tuesday night, a good friend of mine and I were out for dinner and drinks, where she was hogging the entire conversation by babbling on and on about her new love interest.

“He’s so great! I think he’s the one. I can’t wait for you to meet him. Did I mention he is really, really great?”

I poured the remaining sangria into my glass and did what all good, single friends do: Nod and smile.

Her gushing about her boyfriend lasted throughout the appetizers and through most of our main course. I didn’t mind, really. I didn’t have too many stories about guys who were really, really great. All I had were a few funny anecdotes about a blind date I went on the week before.

Finally, as the waiter cleared our plates and dropped off the dessert menu, my friend realized that she had been stealing the entire conversation. “I am so sorry! Look at me, talking talking talking about my new relationship. I haven’t even asked what’s new in your life!”

“Oh, don’t worry about it! I am happy to listen. I really don’t have anything new or exciting going on. I went on a few dates last week, but they didn’t amount to much. Cest la vie. But I have a few prospects, so not to worry. I will find some…”

“This chocolate cake sounds amazing!” she exclaimed holding the dessert menu over her face.

“I think I’m too full for dessert” I lied and picked up the other menu.

“Now that’s settled!” She sat back in her chair, took the remaining sip of her red sangria and looked at me, quizzically. “You go on a lot of dates, right?”

“Yeah” I answered. “I guess you could say that.”

“You must have so many funny and crazy stories.”

“That I do. Some are funny, but most are just awful.”

“Well, tell me! Tell me about your shittiest date!”

I ordered another pitcher of sangria, put both menus aside, and dived into the story about my shittiest date.

I was still studying at Florida Atlantic University – before they kicked me out – when I met someone in my geology class. Don’t ask me why I was taking a geology class when my major was journalism. But, there I was, a hopeless sophomore taking a course about the differences between an igneous rock and a sedimentary rock.

Leigh, a girl friend of mine who was also a lost cause when it came to college, decided to take this class with me because it would be “fun”. We showed up to the first lecture wearing shirts we found at the mall that read “Geology Rocks” hoping to make some friends, and well, to be the center of attention.

Neither worked.

We ended up playing hangman the entire time in the last row of the auditorium. The only time we were ever noticed was when the professor called us out for laughing because the answer to a question was “Dykes”.

Needless to say, we were going to fail this entire class, so our attention was focused on tic-tac-toe and USWeekly.

I met Leigh the very first day of college. I was all moved in and enjoying my empty dorm with a glass of wine when I heard a bunch of loud screaming and cheering. I looked out my window, which faced the courtyard, and saw about 30 to 40 people all circled around on the lawn. I downed the last sip of my Cab-Merlot blend and took the elevator down to see what all the commotion was about.

It turned out that Leigh couldn’t hold her liquor. Or her top. Or, her pants.

She was running around the lawn butt naked, jumping through the sprinklers. I went to the nearest person and asked, “What the hell is going on? Is this some kind of sorority initiation?”

He just shrugged his shoulders, took a sip of his beer, and shouted “This is fuckin’ awesome man!”

I nodded politely, said something heterosexual about some sports game, and walked away. I went back up to my room and watched the remainder of the show from my window.

The following semester I ended up having ENC1102 with Leigh. (If you don’t know what ENC1102 is, go to college). We stood in class to introduce ourselves, and as soon as she spoke, it occurred to me that I had seen her before. When she sat back down at her desk, I leaned over and said, “You’re the sprinkler girl, aren’t you?”

And ever since then, we were the best of friends. Aside from taking off her clothes at the first taste of tequila, she also has another embarrassing habit: Peeing her pants. I’m not sure which is worse. Every time that we would hangout, one of the two would always happen. Well, once, both happened simultaneously, and I still can’t stop the nightmares.

Whether it be us at the Cracker Barrel for Saturday breakfast or in a crowded movie theater, or in the drive thru at a local McDonalds, she always found a way to pee herself.

And now, almost a year later, we are failing out of college. Together.

We showed up late to a midterm review and our seats in the very last row were occupied so we had to split up and find seats somewhere closer to the front. I luckily found a seat on the end, so it was easy for me to sit down, while the only other open seat was in the second row, dead in the middle. There was no way she was going to be unnoticed.

The review dragged on, while the professor was reading notes about metamorphic rocks into magma when this kid next to me tapped me on the shoulder.

“Hey, I wasn’t here last week, do you mind if I borrow your notes to copy real quick?”

I turned to him with a puzzled look on my face and said, “I haven’t taken one note since this class began three months ago. I don’t even own the text book.”

“Aren’t you afraid you’re going to fail the midterm?” he asked, shocked that I wasn’t taking this class as seriously as he was.

“Not really. I mean, I’m going to fail the midterm. I’m just not afraid.” It was at this moment I realized how cute this guy was – well, cute in an Elijah Wood kind of way. I could tell that he was a gay, so I asked him if he would want to get together to study for the test. For some reason, he agreed, and we set a date to meet the next morning at the library.

As I walked out of the auditorium, I met up with Leigh to tell her about my interesting new seat.

“Hey, you want to drink tomorrow morning and then go putt-putt golfing?”

“I can’t, sorry. I’m meeting up with this guy, Andrew, to study for the Geology exam.”

She stopped me from walking any further. “You’re what?!”

“I ended up sitting next to this cute guy, and he is going to help me study. I’ll probably still fail it, but I might as well get laid.”


Our meet up time was eleven o’clock at the library on campus. I woke up that morning hung over and starving. My roommate ate the last of the pop tarts, so I was left with nothing for breakfast.

“There is still some milk left in the refrigerator. Have some cereal.”

“I can’t eat cereal, Cory! I’m lactose intolerant!”

“Oh, yeah. I always forget that. What’s that like, not being able to eat dairy?”

“It sucks, Cory. It really sucks. But hey, I have to run for a study date.” I ran to the front door with my backpack. “See ya!”

“I don’t think I have ever heard you say the words “run” or “study” in my life.”

I threw up the middle finger and left my apartment. On the drive to campus, I really needed something to eat or I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on Andrew. Or the notes. But mostly, on Andrew. I spotted a Starbucks with a drive-thru on the way. “Score!” I shouted over Beyonce.

I pulled into the drive thru and was abruptly shocked when I saw a young girl scout with her mother standing by the menu board and microphone.

“Hi, would you like to support the Girl Scouts of America this morning and purchase a box of our world famous cookies?”

I looked at the girl, and then to the mom, and then back at the girl. I shook my head and  regretfully said no.

“But you would be helping out a great cause.”

“I’m really sorry” I shot back. “But I’m a student and I’m on a tight budget. I really can’t right now.”

The mother of the young girl gave me a dirty look and said, “But you can spend 6$ on a cup of coffee? Yeah right. Some budget.”

I sat there in the drive thru lane, shocked and  waiting to hear from the barista. Finally, she came on and asked what I wanted. I suddenly felt guilty for ordering my 6$ cup of coffee and crumb cake. I shouldn’t let this woman interfere with my breakfast!

“A venti iced caramel macchiato with soy milk and a crumb cake.”

“Ok, move forward please.”

“Make sure it’s soy milk, please.”

“Yes, sir” she responded.

I got back on the road to head to the library, drinking my delicious coffee and eating my yummy cake while texting my roommate about what had just happened at the Starbucks.

When I was about five minutes away from my destination, I had a strange grumbling in my stomach.

Maybe it’s just nerves.

Maybe I ate too much for dinner last night.

Maybe the Starbucks barista forgot to use soy milk.


My stomach pains were increasing and I quickly decided I was going to have to turn around and head home. I could have been like any other, normal human being and stopped in somewhere to use the bathroom, but ever since I was little, I have had this tremendous fear of public restrooms. At this point in my life, I have only used two public toilets. One, when I was five and didn’t know what I was doing, and two, when I got so drunk I threw up at a bar on my birthday. And that’s it.

I swerved into the left lane so I could make a U-turn at the next light.

“Oh, boy. These pains are getting intense” I thought to myself, turning down Beyonce.

Whenever I am in this situation where my stomach feels like it is attacking the insides of my body and I can’t breathe, I always know what’s coming. Diarrhea.

Usually, to trick my mind, I try to do a complicated math problem in my head to focus all of my energy on solving the problem. So here I was, sitting at this red light, dividing 347 by 13.

Why won’t this fucking light turn green?!

13 goes into 47 3 times.

I’ am going to explode.

And 13 times 20 is 260.

Luckily, the green arrow turned green and I was allowed to make my U-turn. Although, it was too late.

Much too late.

The second I turned my steering wheel, all math went out the window and I realized I was in the midst of an “accident” – not a car accident. . Now, when this happens, the last thing you want to do is panic. You admit there is a problem, and you casually think of a way to fix it. I pulled off to the side of the road to think of a way. And to unroll the windows.

I looked to the passenger seat and noticed the bag that contained my coffee cake and inside was a plethora of napkins. Instinctively, I took the napkins out of the bag and wedged them between my ass to absorb the remaining liquid. I was fifteen minutes away from my house, and I realized this was a problem I would have to take care of now and not in fifteen minutes.

I spotted a McDonalds at the next intersection. I put my car in drive and sped along the road into the parking lot. With the napkins still intact, I got out of the car and made my way into the restaurant lobby so I could use the bathroom.

Desperately, I tried to go unnoticed. I didn’t want the employees of McDonalds to see me walk in and head straight for the restroom, so I paused for a moment to look at the menu. When I felt I had been seen enough, I made my way to the back of the restaurant, clenching my ass cheeks together and walking like my knees were glued together.

On my way, I passed a table holding six Mexican men enjoying their lunch break before heading out into the hot Florida sun to continue their business of citrus selling, when all of a sudden I felt a cool breeze enter through my shorts.  It was at this time I realized the napkins were no longer in place.

Oh my God, I thought to myself. Where the hell were the napkins?!

I turned to look behind me, and saw the clump of brown, damp napkins lying on the ground, directly in front of the Mexican table.

The table of ese’s all put down their egg McMuffins and stared at the soiled paper on the floor next to them while I, at the same time, was  trying to decide whether or not I should go back and pick it up, or act like I never saw it and run straight to the bathroom.

I stood there for about fifteen seconds pondering my options, which felt like 15 hours. Eventually, I ran back and picked up the napkins…with my bare hands…and made my way to the restroom.

Luckily (the one thing that went right so far) there was no one in the bathroom so I locked the door and stripped down to my birthday suit. I then took that off, and got completely naked.

It’s these times when you wish mirrors were never invented.

I threw the mucky napkins, along with my favorite pair of J.Crew boxers, into the trash can and headed for the handicapped stall to clean up. I started filling the sink with boiling, hot water and added soap to saturate my khaki shorts so the brown spot could get washed away. While my jeans were soaking, I did my best to thoroughly clean the rest of my body.

It was this moment when I heard a knock-knock on the bathroom door.

“I’ll just be a minute!” I screamed.

“Andale! Andale!” he shouted.

After the longest three minutes of my life, I took my jeans out of the sink and went over to the air dryer to dry them out. Of course the air dryer stops after 10 seconds, so I stood there, pants-less, pushing the button every ten seconds until my jeans were a wearable moist.

I got dressed, did one last look in the mirror, unlocked the door, and headed out of the restroom to find the Mexican man holding his crotch and rushing past me towards the urinal. He gave me a concerned look, which I guess had something to do with my damp shorts.

I grabbed the keys out of my pocket and got into my car and was suddenly overwhelmed with the smell of an old egg salad sandwich. I started the ignition and made my way to the library, running the red lights and rolling through every stop sign on campus.

I ran up the steps to the library and texted Andrew that I had just arrived. I went to the second floor, the “quiet” floor and searched for Andrew at one of the work tables. My phone beeped and I was abruptly “Shh’d” and gawked at by every nerd who chose to hang out in the library on a beautiful autumn day.

Andrew was texting me to let me know he was running a little late but would be there shortly. Now I was pissed. I always come early!

Let me rephrase that, shall I?

I always show up places earlier or before the other person has arrived. Every single time! It doesn’t matter if I watch the last few minutes of that Oprah interview, or stop and get gas, or even shit my fucking pants. No matter where I am going, I will always get there first.

I found a table in the back of the library and started getting all of my study materials out on the desk. I opened the highlighter 3-pack and stack of note cards I bought the year prior and sharpened a brand new pencil.

As I sat there waiting for him to arrive, I became so paranoid that he would be able to smell shit on me. I had smelled it for the past twenty five minutes, so my nose became familiar with the stench. But this smell was going to be all new to Andrew. I should have stopped at CVS and sprayed some G-Unit cologne on my body.


The following Tuesday we had the big Geology exam and I felt pretty good about it. Andrew was actually pretty smart in geology, a skill that will get him absolutely nowhere in life.

I met Leigh outside of the classroom after the exam to see how she did.

“I fucking rocked that shit. Get it? Rocked it? ‘Cause the test was on rocks.”

“Yes, Leigh. I get it. Do you know who you are talking to? I am the king of word play. My first words as a child were a pun.”

I left campus and headed back to my apartment to eat a frozen pizza and watch day time television with my roommate and await the grades to be posted online. Naturally, Cory was lying on the couch in nothing but his boxer briefs and a Christina Aguilera concert tour shirt watching Judge Joe Mathis.

A few hours later my phone beeped and I was promptly “Shh’d” by Cory. I was really getting over people not liking my Blackberry sounds. I went into my room and read the text message from Drew. I call him Drew now because we have reached that level in our relationship. Pretty soon and I will be calling him cute, fun nicknames like Anders or Mountain Drew.

His text message(s) read:

6:34pm Hey! The grades are up!

6:38pm How’d ya do?

6:39pm Hope you didn’t take my studying tips for granite. (granted! Ha!)

I opened up my grade book on and checked to see how bad I did in this stupid rock test. A 79. That’s a high C. Wow, I was pretty amazed with myself. I texted my score to Andrew and thanked him for his help studying.

6:54pm Awesome! C+

6:55pm That’s not shitty at all man!

No, Andrew, you’re right. Unlike my day last week, this is not shitty at all.


As I finished telling my story, I looked over at my friend and realized her mouth was hanging open, probably in shock. But mostly in disgust.

I drank the last sip of my sangria, picked up the dessert menu, and asked, “So, did you still want to get that chocolate cake?”

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Love DOES Cost a Thing

I am currently watching season 3 of Pretty Little Liars on Netflix, drinking a 4$ bottle of red wine, and just signed up for a account.

How is YOUR Friday night going?

I know many of you are wondering why a 26 year old man is engrossed in an ABC Family drama, or why I can’t afford a good 10$ bottle of wine. Those, while both great topics of conversation, and things I am even curious about myself, the main part of the opening paragraph is that I joined the world.

“Why did it take you so long, James?” you are all shouting at your computer screens. Well, I’ll tell ya. Since I was 18, I have been using the internet to meet potential suitors and go on dates. If you have known me since I was 18, or 2 weeks ago, you can pretty much gauge that it’s not going particularly well for me.

With the help of the iphone and my raging desperation, I am currently enrolled on 5 different dating websites – 6 if you count the chat element of my online bingo games. I wake up every morning and check my OkCupid profile, then see who has messaged me on Grindr. Then check my woofs on Scruff. Then check my views on Plenty-of-Fish. Then swipe “yes” or “no” on Tindr. It’s exhausting being this single sometimes. And it uses up a lot of my battery.

Finally, with a suggestion from my best friend, I decided to look into Match and see what all the hype was about. I created an account on Monday of this week, filled out my profile, and picked a picture for my profile. But then it asked me to pay. “I don’t think so” I said to the woman next to me on the subway. “If I wanted to pay for a date, I would just go down to Chinatown.”

She got off at the next station, and I definitely don’t think it was her stop.

With my free account, I was able to browse through the directory of young, single, attractive and successful men who, like me, are lonely enough to pay for a dating service. And to be honest, I was not that impressed. No one struck me as fascinating, and I know I had seen at least half of them on OkCupid, and I am 99% sure I chatted with one during my black-out bingo game.

I quickly realized that this was just another portal for me to get annoyed with and rejected from. So, I put the axe on Match and moved on to my work, which basically consists of making PowerPoint presentations while watching Taylor Swift music videos on YouTube.

The entire rest of the day, and all throughout Tuesday, my inbox was getting bombarded (insert gay euphemism here) with e-mails from Match saying “Someone winked at you”…”Your profile was viewed 11 times this hour”…”Someone messaged you, and guess what! They’re also Catholic!” Finding a man who has been confirmed is not really my number one priority with dating.

The annoying part of this was whenever I would click the link provided in the e-mail, it would take me to a page that said “Subscribe now and find out who sent you a message.”

Ahhh…very good, Match. Very good.

I still wasn’t ready to commit (how ironic), so I lived the rest of that day uncertain who was viewing my profile and sending me winks. But, I have to say, I was starting to get curious.

By Wednesday, all I could think about was “Is my soul mate messaging me on Match and I am just too cheap to find out?!” I went to dinner with a friend – the same friend who insisted I join Match – and she practically forced me to suck it up, pay the $22 a month and join.

“People on OkCupid and Grindr are not serious about dating. They just want to hook up, and you’re past that.”

“How do you know I’m past that?” I asked in wonderment.

“I’ll buy your dinner if you tell me the names of the last three people you slept with.”

“Good point” I responded while scrambling for an ounce of dignity. “Do you really think it’s any different?”

“Yes, 100%. Everyone on Match is looking for a relationship. They are serious about finding someone. That’s what you get when you pay the 20-something dollars.”

I could really see her point here, and started to change my views.

“Trust me,” she said as she picked up her beer, “you should definitely join.”

Later that night, as I got into bed at 9:30 and put on “The Lizzie McGuire Movie” I went through all of my dating applications and realized I was never going to get anywhere with them. A Grindr conversation lasts three days, at most, and the herpes from that conversation lasts a lifetime. I don’t have patience to figure out what a “woof” means on Scruff, and Tindr is just so damn superficial. I knew what I had to do.

Thursday I started deleting all of these applications and memberships on my phone and decided if I was going to do this, I was going to give it my all. I needed to put myself out there, not all over the place, but on the one site that mattered.

By Friday night at 10p.m. I sat down on my couch with a glass of wine, three Marlboro lights, and took the plunge and got out my credit card. I wanted to devote my entire Friday night to reading these e-mails and looking at my matches.

I pulled out my credit card that had some of a limit left on it, paid, and waited for my computer to load. What I was hoping for was a message from “the one”. What I got was a message from “the fifty year old.”

And if that wasn’t the worst of it, all of my winks and views and high-fives were all from older, unattractive men. Not one of the 74 people that viewed my profile was my type. I couldn’t even fake an attraction to any of them. My whole night, in the matter of minutes, was turned upside down.

I eventually found two or three guys deemable to message, but then realized how pathetic I looked sending a message at 10pm on a Friday night. I am sure they are not going to want to date someone that says, “Big plans for the weekend?” when they are at home on an online dating site.

I guess all I can do now is wait. I mean, you never know. It has only been a day. Well, actually, it has only been 54 minutes. The perfect guy – my match – could message me tomorrow. So, stay tuned.

But, all in all, I have to go back ten years when a voluptuous Puerto Rican sang that “love don’t cost a thing”, she obviously wasn’t as desperate as me.

(But she was right when she said, “those you can’t wed, plan.” That’s just the truth.)

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