Geography much?!

Ok. So. If you’re going to try to pick someone up…dear god please have a fucking clue of where places are. Especially with respect to what is a state or a city. And not the obscure ones. The common ones. I would never ask anyone to know where my hometown is. But I expect some basic level of knowledge as to major cities (I mean come on—sports teams alone should teach many the basics of where shit is).

Think I’m being overly judgy and mean?

Well. Probably. Usually.

But.

Then there’s this.

A few weeks after moving to the west coast, I went to a local bar to mingle with the locals and start meeting people. I soon realized that it was a little awkward to just go up to people at the bar and insert myself into the conversations, so I ordered a few drinks and tried to look friendly (and this was before the days of smartphones, so I literally could just sit there and pretend to watch the baseball game on the tv above the bar). Eventually, a really cute guy approached with a smile and struck up a conversation. Hellllloooo McDreamy.

But. Wait. Dammit. He’s a wingman.

Sigh.

He set up his friend perfectly. He was an ace at his job. His friend? Ball dropper of all ball droppers. He quickly realized he was out of his comfort zone when he discovered I have a graduate degree in molecular science and was in the process of returning to grad school for another degree (he sold jet skis…which I hate). But he doggedly tried to stick the landing anyway. I attempted to be friendly, and told him a bit about my life, which involved graduate school in SE Virginia, some moving around, and a few years of a big-girl career in Boston. He scrambled to keep the conversation moving forward…and really wiped out when he asked,

“So what part of Boston is Virginia in?”

I shit you not. I was speechless. I asked him to repeat the question, desperately hoping he would think about what he was saying and trying to give him an out. And he repeated himself.

What part of Boston is Virginia in?

Ok buddy, I tried. His wingman heard the question get repeated and literally facepalmed. All I could do was stammer out, “well, the city of Boston is about six sates away from the commonwealth of Virginia.” (Yes, I was a douche about it and said commonwealth instead of state. Technically that’s correct. And I was feeling extra douchy and extra not like helping him out.)

His defense? “My geography isn’t so good—the east coast has so much more complexity than the west coast.”

Sorry dude, you just fail.

I paid my tab and left. I am still wary of that bar. And think of this situation every single time I hang out there or bike by it.

And I’m not alone in people fucking up geography that badly.

One friend was living in DC trying to take a peaceful ride home on the Metro when a dude, who repeatedly talked about how he was a Harvard grad, decided to prove juuuuust how smart he was. He asked her where she was from, and she replied “Minnesota.”

His response? “Oh cool—that’s east of Wisconsin.”

Her reply? “Um. No. I promise you, it’s west of it.” And he went on to insist that his Harvard-educated dumb ass knew that the state where she is from is in a different location than it actually is.

He was such a wad about it that she finally got off the Metro a few stops early, waited until the train left the station, and re-entered to finish her ride home. Because paying twice for the Metro was So Much Better than that individual knowing remotely where she lived, or her putting up with his idiocy for any longer.

The moral of these interactions?

Trust the person who is from the place you are trying to have some knowledge about. And know some fucking basics about your country before you open your mouth. Or else you, too, may end up in a blog post (and probably Facebook).

But…then again, as with all of the eyeroll worthy interactions, I am ok with their existence because, at the end of the day, they are pretty entertaining.

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Unicorns exist.

I pinky swear promise.

Ok, I should interrupt here to say that it has been a ROUGH past week since the election and I am personally still reeling. While we need to laugh, and laugh a lot, I thought that a hopeful post might be fitting.

So, unicorns.

I have had the absolute pleasure and joy of being on dates with two of them.

What is a unicorn? To me, a unicorn is that mythical magical person that you wind up on a date with who shakes you to your core in ways you didn’t know you could be shaken up in. They check boxes you didn’t know existed. You are shaken up in all of the best ways. You question all past dates. You question yourself for having ever been with anyone else (except for the explicit purpose of learning about yourself and what you want…and more importantly, what you don’t want).

When you meet a unicorn, you aren’t expecting it. They come out of left field, and usually at a time when you most need it, but most don’t believe it will ever happen.

The first time this happened to me was a few years ago. I had just relocated to the west coast (again…I move around a lot and usually swap coasts. Sorry, Middle America, I’m just not that into you). I had been in my new city for about 2 weeks, and decided to hit up the local free music scene at an outdoor venue.

I felt his energy before I saw him. When I looked up at him, I felt my world move. I could see it in him as well. The rest of the night, though we were surrounded by people, we didn’t notice anyone else. We were on our own date and no one else existed. I found out later that everyone could see this happen so clearly and they just let us be. We went on to have a beautiful but rocky relationship; the timing just wasn’t in our favor and we weren’t meant to be together as partners. But he’s still someone I hold so dearly in my heart, and someone who will never leave my life. He has been my rock in so many situations, and I have been his support as well. My love for him will never fade.

But, as hard as it is, sometimes your unicorn isn’t your mate…but they can be something closer than a best friend because they know your soul, and accept it without question. More than chicken soup for your soul, they hold your soul in a cloud of love.

I recently met another unicorn. She’s just incredible. She soothed my soul and made my heart smile. She made me feel shiny and bright. She came into my life during a hellish week (in the few days before I met her, my dog almost died and I broke my foot). So when I met her, I wasn’t expecting to feel too much emotion—I had been already feeling too much emotion that week. But she held my pain and my true self in a way only one other person has, and my world moved for the second time in my life. Her kindness, compassion, and ability to let me be me without fear has been one of the most incredible things. Being vulnerable with her, and allowing her to see my truth, was the easiest thing. Normally when I open up, I am in the fetal position the next day (or 5) because I don’t know how to go there and be ok with it. As it turns out, life got in the way and we were done as quickly as we got started. But in the end, I am just grateful to have been held in her presence for a little while. And ever since, I have found a whole other gear for holding space for people and for keeping an open heart.

I know this blog is about bad dates. But sometimes you need to remember the good ones. And sometimes you need to just have good ones. These are the ones that renew your faith in this process, and allow you to keep going through the bad ones. When you talk about them, your friends quiet their energy and listen—and are just happy for you. They can feel the change in you when you meet a unicorn.

Even after you put that hilarious spin on the bad ones, and keep laughing, there’s an emptiness that can be overwhelming, and a loss of faith that only those in our shoes understand. So be inspired. And don’t lose hope or your sparkle.

Your unicorn is out there. And with any luck, you’ll get a few—or even better, it works out with your first. ***<3***

Blast. From. The. Past.

So I was all set to write about another topic for this week…but then I got a very interesting FB friend request. I had to check the profile to confirm that it was actually that guy friending me.

Because I never knew his last name.

I received this invite while I was running out to door to an election party turned condolence party and it was probably one of the very few things that could make me pause and laugh out loud. Morbid curiosity made me accept.

So why was this so funny? Well I’m glad you asked. Let’s back up to 4 years ago.

I was recently out of grad school and in a prestigious fellowship (read:  broke and single AF). I finally had time and (relatively more) money to (slightly) spare, so I hit up OK Cupid. I was messaged by a cute guy with a high match percentage, and we agreed to meet sooner than later, which is how I prefer internet dating to go. He told me that his favorite restaurant is one of the super high priced elite places in the city I live in, so we should go there.

Um…ok…hope you’re paying, buddy!!

Fortunately, prior to my decision to go to grad school, I had a very large income, and I had splurged on pricey stylish clothes, so I could dress the part. I felt pretty good in my boots that cost as much as my old Boston rent, perfectly fitting jeans, and dressy but not (too) slutty top. I even busted out my fancy make up and managed an updo for my hair.

Yep. I was ready. I felt beautiful and ready for a fun night.

Until I was walking in the front door of the restaurant and fate punched me square in the tit:  a rain gutter emptied itself on my fucking head. Like, water, dirt, leaves, and small sticks were all over me.

Are you fucking kidding me?!

Passersby got a solid laugh. And the personal waiter for my date (yeah, you read that right) raced over and exclaimed all over how awful that was. He was a gem and helped me get all the shit out of my hair, fixed my mascara, and we used a hand dryer on my shirt.

Though this isn’t a trait I have now, I used to be early for everything. For that moment, I am still So Glad I was early.

Before we could do more with my wet hair than shove some bobby pins back in it to get it looking tolerable, the waiter nudged me hard and whisked me over to my date who just walked in. My date narrowed his eyes, and hesitantly said my name with a question mark at the end. I nervously exclaimed “yeah!! So nice to meet you!!”

His response:  um…I thought you were blond?

Yeah. He’s one of those guys. The guys who want a hot blond on their arm and that’s it.

That was the sink or swim moment for the night, and the ball was squarely in my court. I straightened up, laughed, and said “Ha! Yeah! A fucking rain gutter emptied itself on my head and my hair looks darker wet! What are the fucking odds? Crazy, right? You know what? Let’s DRINK!!”

The waiter gave a small thumbs up and seated us before my date could really respond.

You know what the best part was? We hit it off. I gave zero fucks, and he only wanted a platinum blond, so the pressure was off. We traded stories and jokes for the next few hours and the date ended in a win.

We wound up going out once more, and I took him to his very first dive bar. It took a few pitchers, but he relaxed and managed to loosen his tie and have a fun night there. Soon after, I met a lovely human who I dated for the next bunch of months, and I had not heard from this guy again. But I never held any grudges, and actually wound up with a soft spot for him. I feel like I had somehow opened up his eyes to what else is actually out there on so many levels, and he was open to it.

I have no anticipation around us dating–we come from such different worlds that I do not have any interest in that. But sitting down for a drink with dry hair at a reasonably priced bar with him sometime sounds like a fun time.