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Tower of Terror

Yesterday afternoon, I went to Starbucks hoping to get a quick cup of coffee. Realizing now that the words “quick” and “Starbucks” are anything but synonymous, I ended up leaving the coffee shop, empty handed and headed back to my office to finish up the remainder of the day.

I work in a decently sized building in the Columbus Circle area. It’s not a huge skyscraper, but it’s also not a three-story-walk up. It’s somewhere in-between. And that also goes for the age and style of the building. It is not modern, not chic, and the doorman just sits at his counter, welcoming people and offering directions. “The dentist? 5th floor. Have a good day.”

Him and I are “buddies” if you will. We occasionally shoot the shit, whether it be about the days of the week (“Ah, it’s Monday again) or about the weather (“Ah, it’s rainy again), him and I seem to have a good rapport. So good, in fact, that he invited me to his family’s BBQ on the 4th of July. I didn’t end up going, of course, but it was nice that he invited me, the sharply dressed guy who works on the 6th floor.

When I got back to the office building, not ready to go inside and back to work yet, I decided to partake in a quick smoke. I don’t normally smoke throughout the day, but I figured what the hell. It will give me a few minutes to relax and check my Instagram (Grindr) account. When I was done with my Marlboro Light, I headed in through the extremely heavy front doors to my building, gave the door man a head nob and pushed the button for the elevator.

“On your left” he called, informing me that the next available elevator had arrived, in case I didn’t hear the “ding” that came with its arrival. “Thanks,” I said back. I got into the elevator and pushed the button with the “6” on it and leaned against the side of the elevator, continuing to scan through Instagram pictures (Grindr profiles).

When I passed the fifth floor, something strange happened, but I didn’t think twice of it at first. Fifteen seconds later, when the elevator doors ceased to open, this is when I started to notice something was off. I looked up at the LED screen and saw that the number “6” was blinking, yet nothing was happening.

I waited another fifteen or so seconds and then pressed the “Call to Speak” button. Never having pressed this button before, I did not know what to expect. Who, exactly was I calling to speak with? And more importantly, did this button even work? Well, it turned out that it did work and that it called the maintenance department.

“Hello, are you stuck?” he asked, with a sense of sarcasm.

“Yes,” I replied, trying not to make my voice quiver. “I am stuck in the elevator.”

I let go of the “Call to Speak” button and waited on my instructions, but all he responded with was, “Can you hear me?”

I pressed the button again, and a little bit louder, I yelled that yes, I could hear him and that I was stuck in the elevator. But, once again, all he replied with was “Can you hear me?”

Frustrated, I pushed the button one last time, raised my voice a little bit louder, and said, “Yes. I can fucking hear you. Can you please get me out of here?”

“Help is on the way,” was all he said.

I stood there, trying not to panic, and reached for my cell phone to see if I could text someone in my office. Naturally, I did not have service, but I stood on my tippy-toes and raised my phone as high into the corner as I could, thinking this would make a difference. It didn’t. Below is a detailed account of the time I spent trapped in this elevator – 45 minutes to be exact.

4:03pm: The man on the other end of the speaker, the man I had just yelled at, asked me what office I worked in so he could call them and tell them I would be “a little late coming back.”

4:05pm: I sat down on the floor of the elevator in the back corner and decided that I should just play a game of Candy Crush to take my mind off of the fact that I was trapped in a 3 foot by 3 foot metal box. I swiped those colored candies as I hummed the theme song, but it didn’t distract me. Not even a little bit.

4:09pm: Still playing Candy Crush. Still humming the theme song. Still freaking out.

4:12pm: I hear my boss’ voice from somewhere beyond the elevator doors. “James? James? Are you in there?” he yelled. “Yes! Yes, I’m here!” I screamed with joy. I never thought I would be this excited to hear his voice. “Someone will be there shortly. Call the office if you need anything.” I checked back at my phone and say my phone went from “Searching…” to “Shit out of luck.” I went to the door and yelled back, “I have no service!” but there was no answer. He must have went back inside.

4:15pm: I am pissed off. Not just because I am stuck in this elevator, but by the fact that I have been on this same level of Candy Crush since June, and I can’t beat it. No matter how many power-ups I use or how many lives I have to buy, I cannot for the life of me, get past this level. I grow frustrated with the game and close it out.

4:16pm: I figured now would be a good time to take a “I’m trapped in an elevator but my beard looks good” selife. As for any good selfie, at least 7 need to be taken so you can choose the best one.

4:21pm: 5 minutes later, I now have over 60 pictures I have taken of myself from every angle and every corner of the elevator. None of them were Instagram-ready.

4:22pm: I wonder if the camera in the elevator works. Can they see me? Is someone in the basement watching me right now? Are groups of people down there, with bags of chips, watching me take pictures of myself?

4:26pm: I hear the man from the speaker box. “Hello, how are you?” he asked me. “I’m okay,” was all I could think to reply with. I didn’t want to appear like a baby, but I also didn’t want him to think I was enjoying myself. “Okay” got that point across. “The elevator mechanic will be here in a few short minutes. Do you need anything?” “A dry martini would be nice.” He didn’t respond.

4:33pm: The elevator mechanic has arrived. I can tell, because I hear a man on the other side of the door that said, “Hello, I am the elevator mechanic.”

4:35pm: I begin thinking of life and death. Is this it? Is this how I die? From being stuck in an elevator? I always thought I was going to leave this earth in a dignified way, not plummeting down to my death.

4:36pm: Will I ever see the sun again? I think to myself. Or my family and friends. What I would give to make them laugh just one more time.

4:37pm: I am never going to know what true love is. I came close, in high school, but that doesn’t count. I spent so much time over the years, dating and trying to impress guys and giving handjobs – for what?

4:39pm: I hear something banging against the elevator door. I stand away and try to imagine how they are going to get me out of here. I realized that I was trapped between the fifth and sixth floor, and now I am beginning to panic about my rescue. Are they going to have to pull me out of the elevator? Like they do in the movies? What if I fall? What if the elevator falls and cuts my body in half. I need my lower half.

4:41pm: I hear voices. More than one. It’s the elevator mechanic and my co-worker. I hear her asking him what he is doing and him responding with, “Trying something…” Trying something? What do you mean? Isn’t this like…day 2 of elevator mechanic school? Day 1: Introduction to Elevators; Day 2: How to Get Someone Out of an Elevator; Day 3 – Graduation. While I am thinking about this, I hear my co-worker say, “Oh my God…” What? What Oh my God? What’s going on up there? The banging against the door has subsided for a few seconds, and then I hear the mechanics voice say, “Oh! I have an idea!”

4:42pm: I open up the Notes section of my iPhone and draft a letter to my parents. I try not to cry as I type out my last good-bye to them.

4:42pm: My iPhone keeps auto-correcting “dying” to “tying” and it is frustrating me.

4:44pm: The elevator moves. First it went down a few floors and stopped. I froze. Then, it started lifting back up. “3…4…5…6…” I see the elevator passing my floor and now I think this is something out of Tower of Terror. It is going all the way to the top and then plunging down to the basement. I crouch down in my best “I think I could survive this” position and close my eyes.

4:45pm: The elevator stops and makes a “ding” noise. I see that I am on the 8th floor. The doors shake for a few seconds and then release, opening me up to the world. I burst out of the elevator like I had been trapped in a cave for 6 years. “Freedom!” I exclaimed.

 

When I made it out of the elevator, there was a tiny old lady waiting to get on. When I burst out of the elevator, she looked at me, curiously. “DON’T GO IN THERE!” I screamed. “I was trapped in that elevator for over an hour (okay, so I exaggerated a tad). It’s a death trap. Take the stairs. I beg of you!”

I went to the staircase hallway and ran down to the 6th floor. Naturally, the door was locked. I banged and pounded on the door for one whole minute. Finally, I heard footsteps, and then a voice. It was my boss. He stood up to the door and goes, “Who is it?” trying to be funny.

“It’s me! I escaped! I’m free!”

He opened the door and welcomed me back. While walking towards the office, the elevator bank made a “ding” and the door to MY elevator opened. And who was inside? The little old lady: a daredevil.

I sat down at my desk and, since I finally had service, I checked my phone. Nothing. Not one missed call, or text message, or even an email. Somehow, I realized, that while I was trapped in the elevator, other people’s lives had managed to move on.

Ten minutes later, my co-worker walked into our office holding an 8-footlong stick and a scotch tape dispenser. “You made it!” she said, waking towards me with open arms.

We parted from our hug and I said, “that was the scariest moment of my life.” I then looked back at the contents in her hands and said, “What’s that?”

“The elevator mechanic asked if we had something long and stick like, so I found these two sticks in the storage room and then taped them together so it would reach you.”

“THAT’S how he planned to get me out? A stick held together with tape?”

She put the stick and the tape dispenser down on the desk and told me about this mechanic. “He came in holding a wrench and a hammer. And that’s it. I think they just found him on the street.”

I thanked the Lord that, for whatever reason, the elevator began moving again. I thanked everyone in my office for being so supportive and helpful during this stressful time. My boss, then, called me back into his office and asked, “Were you screaming in the elevator?”

I shook my head no. “I mean, I did yell a little bit. But I wasn’t screaming. Why?”

He called his voicemail and put it his phone to my ear. It was the man from the speaker in the elevator. “Hi there, this is Sam from the front desk. I just wanted to let you know that one of your employees is trapped in the elevator, but don’t worry, we’ll get her out soon.”

Her?

Now, there have been many times throughout my life where I have felt emasculated (dodge ball, kickball, table tennis) but this was a new low. I am a mature 27 year old man with a range-appropriate voice. Sure, when I was a kid I would answer the phone and the telemarketers would always say, “Good evening, Mrs. Lane” but I thought I – and my voice – had grown out of that.

My boss and I shared a laugh, which only lasted six seconds before he told me to get back to work. I sat back at my desk and stretched my legs, knowing that I would be taking the stairs for the next few days.

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What’s Your Status?

It is 2012 and it’s no surprise that everything we do is posted online. From the books we are currently reading, to the random thoughts we are thinking, to the songs we are loving, and even to the people we are dating.

On social media sites such as Facebook, there is an option to display your relationship status, and on top of that, it lets you show who that person is. And why not? A person you are dating is a big part of your life, so why not share it with your closest 900 friends? But how soon is it appropriate to post your relationship status? And how exactly do you have “the talk” to make sure it’s OK (and true) if you post that you’re “in a relationship”?

When we say “the talk”, we mean the conversation two people who have been dating have to discuss the future. Are you seeing other people? Should I be seeing other people? Are we a couple? Years ago those were the three big questions you asked. Once the air was clear and you realized the two of you wanted to be in a relationship, it was done. You would tell your friends about him or her and introduce them as your boyfriend or girlfriend. Now, living in the age of technology, there is one more question that is added: “Should we make it ‘Facebook official’?”

Making a relationship Facebook official is to click the tab “in a relationship” and then link your significant other so it appears on both of your profiles, so it reads “in a relationship with __”. Nowadays, this is the most important way of showing the world that you are ‘taken’. New York City resident Jennifer Mills said when asked about the topic, “It isn’t official unless it is on Facebook” which really got me thinking how true that is. For me, the only way I find out if my friends are dating someone is when I log onto my Facebook account and see the post first-hand. No one calls (or even texts for that matter) to share information. Even with engagements. This is the quickest way of sharing your good news without making 100 phone calls.

The one that always makes me laugh is the status “it’s complicated”. Who wants to share with the world that your relationship with so and so is complicated and they won’t commit? Don’t you think that’s something we shouldn’t be sharing? I’d rather be single than complicated any day.

 As silly as this whole thing sounds, it is realistically the way of the future and we are all now required to discuss with our partners when we should change our relationship status. It is best (and safest) to wait to post anything online until you’ve had the offline conversation, so that you’re not blindsiding the other person that they are now in an official relationship with you. Give it some time. Don’t run to a computer and log onto Facebook the minute you realize you are dating someone. Let your friends and family find out before changing your status online. And if the relationship fails and you have to change your status back to single, well, that’s a whole different article.

Except the Truth

When we breakup with someone, we don’t want to believe we did something wrong. That we may have been the cause of this tumultuous down fall that has led us to be single, yet again. Instead, we try to shift the blame on our partner, our friends, and even our work. It is so hard for us to accept the truth that the reason the relationship ended was solely because of something we said or something we did.

It may have a lot to do with our egos, and it may have a lot to do with being naïve, but realizing that we were at fault is a hard pill to swallow. We will recount the story to our family and close friends, leaving out important, detrimental facts such as “I always started the fights”, “I was jealous”, or “I cheated”. We cannot have anyone else looking down on us and thinking we were the bad guy, so we tell them everything, except the truth.

What we must remember is that being honest with our friends is important, but being honest with ourselves is even more important. There is no way that we could ever move on if we are still in denial that the cause of the relationship ending has anything to do with us.

We don’t want to admit that we were wrong. We don’t want to realize things could have worked out if we were the ones to stop them. It is always easier to blame our ex; pinpointing little things they have done to make us feel better about the breakup.

It’s also always easier to sit at home, grab that pint of ice cream, watch a sad movie and play the victim. Too many people are blaming others.

Be upfront about the ending of your relationship. Realize the faults you made so you can change and not repeat them in the next relationship. It’s okay for being the reason the relationship didn’t work out. Not everyone is perfect, and not every relationship is flawless. Embrace those flaws and use them as a tool to fix them for the future.

Accept the truth…with no exceptions.

Relationship Role Models

It is 2012 and it’s no surprise that everything we do is posted online. From the books we are currently reading, to the random thoughts we are thinking, to the songs we are loving, and even to the people we are dating.

On social media sites such as Facebook, there is an option to display your relationship status, and on top of that, it lets you show who that person is. And why not? A person you are dating is a big part of your life, so why not share it with your closest 900 friends? But how soon is it appropriate to post your relationship status? And how exactly do you have “the talk” to make sure it’s OK (and true) if you post that you’re “in a relationship”?

When we say “the talk”, we mean the conversation two people who have been dating have to discuss the future. Are you seeing other people? Should I be seeing other people? Are we a couple? Years ago those were the three big questions you asked. Once the air was clear and you realized the two of you wanted to be in a relationship, it was done. You would tell your friends about him or her and introduce them as your boyfriend or girlfriend. Now, living in the age of technology, there is one more question that is added: “Should we make it ‘Facebook official’?”

Making a relationship Facebook official is to click the tab “in a relationship” and then link your significant other so it appears on both of your profiles, so it reads “in a relationship with __”. Nowadays, this is the most important way of showing the world that you are ‘taken’. New York City resident Jennifer Mills said when asked about the topic, “It isn’t official unless it is on Facebook” which really got me thinking how true that is. For me, the only way I find out if my friends are dating someone is when I log onto my Facebook account and see the post first-hand. No one calls (or even texts for that matter) to share information. Even with engagements. This is the quickest way of sharing your good news without making 100 phone calls.

The one that always makes me laugh is the status “it’s complicated”. Who wants to share with the world that your relationship with so and so is complicated and they won’t commit? Don’t you think that’s something we shouldn’t be sharing? I’d rather be single than complicated any day.

As silly as this whole thing sounds, it is realistically the way of the future and we are all now required to discuss with our partners when we should change our relationship status. It is best (and safest) to wait to post anything online until you’ve had the offline conversation, so that you’re not blindsiding the other person that they are now in an official relationship with you. Give it some time. Don’t run to a computer and log onto Facebook the minute you realize you are dating someone. Let your friends and family find out before changing your status online. And if the relationship fails and you have to change your status back to single, well, that’s a whole different article.

We Met at the Met

Last Monday night, I was invited to attend a Post-Pride-Party at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. It was just like an episode of Gossip Girl. It was perfect.

I left my office at 5:30 on the dot, before any of the interns and headed to the 59th/Lex subway station. In case you do not live in New York City, it’s fucking hot. Hot is actually an understatement. It’s blistering, scorching, sizzling, and any other form of the word “hot” I can find in my thesaurus. I made it down the three flights of stairs to wait for the train, the easiest part of the night, I thought.

Apparently, 5:30 is what workers consider “rush hour” and the platform was packed with men in business suits, Hispanic churro venders, and the homeless. I stood there, dripping sweat in every crevice of my body waiting for a train. “Why are all these trains heading downtown?” I asked the churro vender giving me my change.

It was then I realized I was on the wrong side of the platform, and an arriving uptown train was approaching the station. I hauled ass through the underpass, and made it just in time. Once on the train, this horrible, pungent smell was taking over. It didn’t take me long to realize the smell everyone was plugging their noses over was, in fact, me. I was drenched in sweat and my body odor was overpowering. I haven’t sweat that much since my Presidential Physical Fitness Test in the 6th grade.

When I finally escaped the prison that is the 6 train, I ran up the platform steps for a chance to breathe and cool off. But it was pouring rain. And clearly, I forgot my umbrella. So I ran to the Met just in time to meet my friends waiting in line.

Katherine and Alex were standing in line, looking beautiful as ever, and they were accompanied with a few of their co-workers. One of their co-workers is gay and knows everyone, so I like to hang around him. He is also very aware of my single-status and desperation. So I usually never leave without a phone number or a hickey. Or both.

We entered the Met and it was luxurious. I have always wanted to go to a party at the Met. I felt just like a celebrity. Or an extra from How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. We checked our bags and then checked out the hors d’oeuvres table. Nothing except bread sticks. “You mean to tell me they are throwing this huge party and the only thing to eat is bread? Where the hell are the jalapeño poppers?!” I shouted to my friends as they each took 5 pieces of bread and walked towards the open bar.

Well, who needs food when you have free drinks, right?

After a five minute line, I had 2 glasses of white wine in my hands and I was ready to mingle. When it comes to approaching guys, I either need to be extremely drunk or extremely comfortable. At this point, I was neither. I could still feel drops of sweat traveling from my lower back down the inside of my thigh, so I realized while I may never feel comfortable all night, I can sure as hell get extremely drunk. And for those that know me, 2 glasses of wine is black out. So I was right on track.

The group of ten of us ventured off to view the different exhibits we pretended to understand, saying things like, “This piece just speaks to my soul” and “Do you see those stroke lines?”

I have heard from my OkCupid newsletter that museums are a great place to pick up people, so I went to a guy standing in front of a sculpture and said, “Do you think this is from the Mesozoic era?” He looked at me, shook his head, and walked away. So, okay. Maybe the whole art thing isn’t the best opening liner. So, I approached another guy staring at a Picasso and asked if he knew where they were hiding the mozzarella sticks. He had the same reaction. I decided to just give up and find my friends.

I went over to Laura, but she was wearing heels and made me look insanely short. So then I ventured over to Alex, but she was talking to a British guy who, ever so casually, asked me to go back to his apartment and have “a romp.” After expressing my disinterest, I wandered over to Rebecca who was entertaining a very cute young bachelor. He was handsome, successful, funny, and loved the Outback Steakhouse.

I stood with him and Rebecca for about thirty minutes just shooting the shit and falling in love until the event started to close and we exchanged our goodbyes. “Ask me out!” the dapper-dressed person inside my head shouted. “What are you waiting for? I’m about to leave!”

He then pulled out his phone. “This is it,” I thought. I got ready to hand over my digits until he asked Rebecca for her number.

Of course I would talk to the only straight guy at the Post Pride Party.

I took out my bag claim ticket and waited in line to retrieve my man purse, go to Taco Bell, and then fall asleep by 9pm. But just as I was getting excited about my plan, Rebecca and Kathryn flagged me down with two handsome fellas they had just met. “James, these are our new friends, David and Diego. They want to go to dinner. Come!”

Clearly, having dinner with them beats a chalupa combo meal.  We left the Met and found a cab that would allow 5 people in it (which is not easy) and headed downtown to eat. Just as I asked what David did for a living, he started putting his hands down my pants and kissing my neck. Having this being the most sex I have had since Bush was in office, I gladly welcomed the foreplay.

After an awkward ten minute cab ride, we reached Chelsea to go to dinner. We ended up going to his favorite restaurant in the city – a place where he knew the entire staff and half the people dining there. The five of us sat at a table, but I was already seeing that he was a little too drunk and was starting to get on my nerves, so I let Kathryn sit by him while I sat next to his friend, Diego.

It turns out that although Diego is a banker at Morgan Stanley, he is an aspiring writer and is currently enrolled in a creative fiction class, so we had much to talk about. The meal came and we ate, and the company and conversation flowed, until Dave (that’s the guy who was groping me in the cab) pulled out his cell phone and said, “Ya’ll want to see my penis?”

Kathryn, Rebecca and I all looked at each other, put our forks down, and said in unison, “Hell yeah.”

He revealed his iPhone to the three of us and showed us his extremely well endowed member. I quickly kicked Kathryn in the leg and made her switch seats with me. I now decided he was who I wanted to go home with. Lo siento, Diego.

We played handsy underneath the table, touching, rubbing, and at one point, grabbing each other. It was starting to feel good, but then I remembered we were at a public restaurant and I think we started to make everyone at the table uncomfortable (sorry!)

After the check was paid, we all left and headed out into the rainy weather. We then had that awkward conversation as we awaited cabs to take us all to our respective homes, and I stood by David waiting for an invite to his apartment located 5 blocks away.

Rebecca was the first one to leave, and I was hoping Diego would share a cab with her so David and I could at least be alone and he would then shrug his shoulders and just take me home out of boredom. And I also didn’t want Diego to see me leave with David because, well, I may want to go home with him in the future.

But no such luck.

Once Rebecca’s cab pulled away, David pulled me into a hug and said all the pleasantries you say to someone you met drunkenly at the Met. “Nice to meet you”…”so much fun”…”hope we see each other soon”.

I gave Kathryn a disappointed look saying, “Okay, fine. I’ll just go home with Diego instead.”

Now it was turn for Kathryn to say her good-byes, so I stood next to Diego, my second choice. But then he said he was just going to stay at David’s house. “A three-way?” that inner voice imagined. Kathryn grabbed a cab and started to get in, while I lingered on the street a second too long. When I finally realized that my night of fun had ended eight minutes ago, I hopped in the cab and asked if I could just spend the night at Kathryn’s.

The next morning, we both awoke, tired and hung-over and definitely not ready for the day of work that awaited us. While Kathryn was straightening her hair and I was trying to put in my left contact, her cell phone beeped. She ran over to see who the message was from. It was from David.

“How the hell does he have your phone number?” I screamed.

“I, uh, gave it to him. Duh.”

“Oh. So, what. Are you guys like, best friends now?!” The jealous thirteen year old was starting to arise in me, and I was not going to let this go. How the hell did I have two prospects at 9pm and Kathryn ended up getting David’s phone number.

“He just said that he had fun last night!”

“Did he mention my name? Did he say anything about me?”

“No” she replied.

“I cannot believe you got his phone number and all I got was a brief dick-rub in the cab.

She looked at me sympathetically, grabbed her work bag and started to walk out of her apartment. She then turned to look at me and said, “I also got Diegos.”

And all I got was a stiff neck from sleeping on her sofa bed.

To Thy Own Self Be True

We all have many different personalities. The one we use at the office with our co-workers. The one we have with our parents and friends, who know us better than anyone. The one we have when it is just us, alone, at home. And the one we have on our dates. Usually, our personalities shift a bit with each different circumstance, but we always stay true to ourselves. Or do we?

When it comes to dating, should we be our real, true self on the first date?

 

Whether you meet them in a bar, a coffee shop, or online, you did something right enough to have them ask you out on a first date. That, my friends is half the battle. The second (and more important half) is conquering the first date.


I don’t need to tell you how important the first date is. By now, most have us have been dating for well over ten years, so we know first impressions make lasting impressions. But what happens when those first impressions are false?


I know most of us, even myself more times than not, use the first date to truly impress the other with our charismatic personalities, humorous story telling abilities, and our perfect first date outfit. We put so much time and effort into making the first date great, that we don’t really think about the second. Or the third. Or the eleventh.


As humans living in an instant gratification society, we are consumed with the present. The now. So, we tend to date “in the now” and don’t think about the consequences to follow. And the one big consequence we face is not being true to our date, or ourselves.


We sit there at dinner or over a glass of wine and use this allotted one hour to make the other person fall in love with us. We speak openly about our positive traits, while hiding the things we never want discovered. We may talk up our job, maybe making it seem we are more important than we actually are. Suddenly being a secretary at a law firm makes us a second-year partner. We are always agreeing our faces off with whatever the other person says, to make it seem we have way more in common than we actually do. “Oh, you like to punch kittens? Me too! I hate those ugly creatures!”


I am not saying having full disclosure on a first date is necessarily the best way to go, but having false disclosure is not either. We need to be honest with our first date because, down the line when you are on your second, third, or eleventh date, the truth will eventually come out, leaving our courter demanding a refund on their time well wasted.


The first date is supposed to be fun, light, and an easy way to get to know someone. So let them get to know you. The real, fun, personable you. The quirky, clumsy, awkward you. Because you never know, they just might think you are someone special.

10 First Date Rules

Now, I know you are thinking: “Why in the hell would I take dating advice from this guy? He can’t even get a second date!” Well, while that may be true, I have some advice to offer regarding first date etiquette that will be sure to land you a second and a third. Basically,  it’s the exact opposite of what I normally do. And maybe, by writing this post, I will teach myself a thing or two as well.

 

  1. Play it cool. No matter how you met them, online, through a friend, or even at a bar, once the phone numbers have been exchanged, do not make the first move. (Unless they only gave you their phone number. Then, yeah. I guess you can send the first text.) But that is the only exception. You need to make them feel like you have a million other possibilities out there – even if your Friday night consists of Netflix and Pizza Hut.

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  1. Always dress for the date. The dating dress code is one of the most important things. Know the location or activity you and your date will be participating in. If it’s a nice dinner, don’t wear cowboy boots (trust me). If you are just meeting up for drinks, be a mix of classy and casual. Don’t dress up too much by wearing a tie or cuff-links, but also don’t dress too casual by wearing cargo shorts and flip flops. But most importantly, wear what you feel comfortable in. If you aren’t comfortable, other people will see that.

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  1. Don’t assume your date is going to pay. This is a complicated matter in the world of gay dating. Usually for heterosexual couples, the man usually picks up the tab, and for lesbians, whoever has the shortest hair pays. But for gay men, it’s a toss up. Some people say whoever asked the other out should pay. Others say the top should pay. And definitely whoever is the uglier of the two should pay. Just don’t assume that if you are a hot bottom your date will pay for you. Order in the bracket you can afford. There is nothing more embarrassing than going out to eat at the Red Lobster, ordering like a king, and then being stuck with your half of the bill. (There is also nothing more embarrassing than going to the Red Lobster on a date).

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  1. Always show up ten minutes late. I am a “premature arriver.” No matter what time I leave my apartment, I will always get to the meeting place at least twenty minutes early. Even if I leave three minutes until the set time. It’s always a good idea to have your date waiting for you, sitting at the bar sweating, hoping you will show up. It will make you less nervous. If you do show up early, take a walk around the block, drive around, or play a game of words with friends.

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  1. Be you…but just a little. I always encourage people to be themselves no matter what the occasion, but there is “being yourself” and being YOURself. Always stay true to you, but leave much to the imagination. One of my biggest dating mistakes is that I reveal too much too soon. Do not tell your date that you have irritable bowel syndrome. Do not tell your date you watched the entire series of Desperate Housewives in eight days. And do not tell them that you are losing your hair at a rapid pace. Never give out more information than they asked. If they say, “What’s your family like?” respond with, “Loving, funny, quirky….” Do not say, “My mom has multiple personality disorder, and I never met my father because he’s in jail for bestiality.”

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  1. Flirt with your eyes, not with your hands. Or feet. Keep the physical contact of the date to a minimum. Use your eyes to show them that you are listening and interested. You can maybe use an arm touch once in the night, but only if they say something extremely funny. Just do not overuse the arm touch. You just met this person, so don’t invade their personal space. I once was on a date and put my hand on the guys kneecap for the entire screening of “Avatar”. He left the theater before I could take off my 3-D glasses.

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  1. Do not go home with him. Unless you didn’t like him. Then, yeah. Go home with him.

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  1. After the date, do not text them. No matter what. I know that after a great date, we want to text them saying “I had so much fun” or “Tonight was great”. Don’t. I once got a text message from a guy thanking me for a great night before I was even in my car. Wait until at least the next day to start communication.

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  1. When establishing communication after the date, do not be needy. Do not ask them if they had fun. Do not ask them if you look like your pictures. And do not pressure them for a second date. Remember that old saying, “If they want to see you, they will make it happen.” Feel it out. If after the date, you see communication has dwindled, (i.e. lengthy text messages have now gone to one or two words) let it go and do not contact them. Maybe they just weren’t that into you.

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10. Don’t give up. Keep on dating. If you go out with someone and you never hear from them again, you have to remember it is their loss. Trust in yourself that you are an amazing catch and if they don’t see that, then the hell with them. Do not focus on every minute of the date, thinking, “I shouldn’t have said that” or “Maybe I could’ve done this”. It wont matter. You said it. You didn’t do it. It’s too late. On to the next one. Just take everything you should have done or could’ve said better, and implement it into your next date.

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Does Tinder Really Help Ignite a Spark?

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The world of dating has changed completely from our parents’ generation. No one is meeting each other in bars and no one is making any grand gestures. We don’t even need to shower or put pants on to find love. Not when your soul mate is a click – or a swipe – away.

In the past 5 years, there has been much advancement in the world of technology, from paying a friend back on your phone to finding a cab anywhere, anytime – we rely solely on our smart phones. So much, in fact, that we have turned to them to find love. Or at least a date.

The newest dating application, Tinder, is a quick and easy way to find singles in your area, by swiping right (yes) or left (no). It is connected to your Facebook account and allows the user to choose (up to six) photos that will potentially hook-in possible suitors. Making sure your profile picture is perfect requires a lot of time, energy, and sometimes, Photoshop.

Tinder is free, fast, and full of hopeful romantics that have resorted to playing a newer version of Hot or Not. You like someone, you swipe right. If that person also likes you, it’s a match! From there, you are allowed to openly message them, hopefully igniting some kind of spark.

But, with so many people using Tinder, and usually getting so many matches, it is almost impossible to have a conversation that lasts longer than a summer in Alaska.

As an avid user of this application, I have grown tired and weary of ever finding love – or even someone to go to the movies with. Not that I’m uninteresting (my mom thinks I have the personality of Dick Clark) it’s just that there is so much competition, and in a world of wanting “The Next Best Thing”, it is nearly impossible to sustain a conversation when you are being matched with five new people a day.

So, how do you find love on Tinder?

Well, for starters, be different. Bring something new to the table. Instead of the usual “Hey there” try something inventive and exciting. When you are matched, you can see if you have any friends or interests in common, so work with that. If you both like “Family Guy” ask who their favorite character is. If you both like Mumford & Sons, talk about the time you went to see them in concert.

It’s hard to say if these matches will eventually create some sort of spark or you’ll find love, but it’s something to do while you wait for lives on Candy Crush, right?

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The Introduction

I know what you are all thinking – another blog about dating. Uggghhh.  And I’m sorry. I wish I could say I am going to be writing about real, hard hitting topics, such as politics…or… other important stuff. But, that just isn’t my forte.

My forte is dating.

I am 25 and have been actively dating for about 8 years. Not a long time, but long enough to know the ins and outs of the process. I currently work for a website where I offer advice on “how to” cope with being in a relationship or “how to” handle being dumped. The first topic is pretty foreign to me, while the latter is all I know.

Dating in the real world is hard. We know that. But dating in the gay world, well, that’s even harder. And throw living in New York City in the mix and it is almost impossible.

On this blog, I will be telling (in detail) stories of how I meet my potential sutiors, and the date that follows. Be prepared, most of my dates do not go so well, but, that’s the fun in it. Right?

Because we aren’t all looking for Mr. Right, we are looking for Mr. Right Now. And we must all find him before our time runs out. We each are stamped with a “sell by date” at birth, and as we get older, and our friends start getting married and having babies, we look down and see that our stamp is running out. Our life in the world of dating is about to expire.

Join me on my journey! It will be fun. I promise.


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