Thursday, December 29, 2011

Insight Into Where My Oblivion Comes From

Last week
Stranger: I love your ring!
Me to stranger: Thanks!
Me to my mother: I got that one when I was in Turkey last year
My mother: You were in Turkey??

This week
Me, watching a commercial about a house giveaway in Park City, UT: Oh! Park City is SO gorgeous!
My mother: You've been to Utah??


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More Dating Foibles

(This was actually written last week but I'm running behind on everything due to the holidays....forgive me. And for more of my dating disasters, see DC Dating Parts 1, 2, and 3 starting here)

I know I promised a post on either boys or baboons soon. The Baboon post is still coming, but since I was hanging out with old friends and reminiscing about ridiculous dating stories this past weekend, the accounts below are fresh in my mind so I give you --


And because I'm tired this week (holiday reception crashing attending and all that) and because we all know I have an abundance of silly dating stories, I'm just going to blurt these out, stream of conscienceness style.

Incidentally, I have a friend who does professional improv and she asked to use one of my dating stories for a skit. And I have another friend who teaches college students and admitted he tells my stories to them to make them feel like IT COULD BE WORSE in their own lives.... So now I feel a sort of duty to keep sharing these mishaps, since it obviously serves a greater humanitarian purpose.....
Impressive Resume:
I once went out with a guy a few times and decided I just didn't see a future and I ended things. (note - I hated to hurt his feelings SO MUCH that I cried during our "break up." See! I don't mean to be the bad guy!) Later, he sent me a text something to the effect of "You know, I have a pretty impressive [dating] resume. But I really liked you."

Wha? Resume?? So, you wanted to point out to me that you have, and still could, date a ton of women? But yet you actually wanted a relationship with me so I should feel honored-?

Please proceed to The End Of Us, Mister. Good grief.

I love you....um, vacuum cleaner-!
I'm very expressive. And I frequently tell people "oh my gosh I LOVE you!" if they do something nice for me. Which, has never really felt awkward until I was in a new relationship last year. And I really liked this guy. And he and I both knew we both had committment issues so we were treading lightly around too much talk of feelings.

Then one day, he offered to put together the new vacuum cleaner I had just bought. And I HATE putting things together so I was VERY grateful for someone else to do this. So as I'm sitting on the couch, and he puts the last piece in place in the middle of my living room, I blurt out "I LOVE YOU"

then immediately bury my face in horror.

"I mean! I love...I didn't mean! ...waaahhh" His face registered shock and amusement and we ended up laughing about it and I thought I had convinced him that I did NOT mean LOVE, love. Cuz that would be crazy! So I thought it was fine.

...until the next day when he asked me to make sure the vacuum even worked because he "blacked out after the L bomb" and couldn't even remember if he finished putting it together.


(and I later realized he HAD put a part on upside down. I must've really scared the crap out of this guy!)

Note to self - wait until AFTER all the manual labor is over before scaring off a mate.

(The poor guy took more abuse before our relationship finally ended included having to explain to his entire family why there was a women's earring laying perfectly innocently on his couch cushion when they happened to all come over for a get together right after I left. My earring had fallen out without me knowing, but he of course thought it was on purpose and a way of "marking my territory." Sigh.
Another time, when he was introducing me to his mother, I got so nervous getting ready beforehand that I forgot to mention that I had a HOT CURLING IRON plugged into his bathroom wall. He definitly found out the hard way when he put his hand on it.
Funny enough, he isn't even the one who ended that relationship....could ya blame him if he had though??)
Hey guy
I started talking to a guy and we exchanged numbers but getting him to talk about anything was like pulling teeth so I stopped replying. He then sent a text that just said "Hey :)" every day for a week and then once a week for about a month. He then sent a "Hey" (sometimes with a smiley face, sometimes without) text once a month for six months straight.

All without ever getting a single reply from me.

You just can't make this stuff up.

Refusal Refuser
I have been known to try to end things with someone only to either end up going back out with them or have them flat out refuse to take no for an answer. I call these guys BUBs (Break Up Blockers). I had one recently that I met at a Christmas party. After he shared WAY too much about his relationship challenges and after he said, and I quote, "I'm emotionally and mentally available" I literally told him that -

I wasn't.

(at least not for him, but I left that part out)

He then continued to ask me to have coffee with him until I caved and finally gave him my number. (I mean he was really attractive - and I was kind of curious what else he'd confide in me about).

After he texted "hey, totally understand about what you said but I'd love to get coffee" I reiterated back "yes, as long as you understand, then coffee is fine." To which he replied "You're too hard on yourself. You are a fun, smart sexy catch ;) and I'd love to get coffee."

What just happened?

I wanted to reply "I didn't say I don't feel confident enough to date you I said I wasn't emotionally available to you."

I let it go. We'll see if he has the persistence of Hey guy....

And Those With Nicknames
BUB isn't the only nickname I've used for boys. My roomate and I used to always nickname different ones so we could talk in code if need be. "Puppy" earned his because of his excessive use of exclamation points and emoticons in his emails, making it seem like he was constantly jumping up and down in our conversations like an excited puppy. "Clefty" had a cleft in his chin like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast (which I actually found attractive). There was Pookie, Cookie, Varkie, PG-13 Booty Call, JFK...Bashful, Doc, Dopey (ok, I lied about those). I'm like the Snow White of the D.C. dating world.

Funny enough, I just added a new one today. I ended up going from one Holiday reception to another to another place to yet another place last night. I met a nice boy at Event #2, who followed me to events #3 and #4 and then got my number to plan more dates in January. Event #2 was a Young Republicans event and Event #4 was salsa dancing at a place called Lima (who KNEW all these people spend their Monday nights dancing away until the wee hours! I finally caved and left around 1:00am like the loser. On a MONDAY.  Don't you people have jobs?!?)  Anyway, since I only know this guy's first name ("Joel"), he now  lives in my phone as:

Joel Salsa Young Republican.

Ah. The dwarf list continues!

So the nicknames are getting weirder, let's hope the stories don't. Not sure how much more I'm willing to give to humanity in this particular area.....

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Everything in D.C. is in acronyms.

Some are hideously long, like the OSLGCP (Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness at the Department of Homeland Security) or "Slug Cup" as people say it out.

Some are funny, like one program that my friend worked with in the State Department that sounded like "wedgie" when you said it aloud. She kept fighting laughter in meetings whenever anyone would have to refer to it.

But you can't deny, acronyms are useful. It's easy to string several together and form whole sentences using very few actual words. "Did you get the MOU for CTSI to the S1 regarding EIS yet?" We do it without realizing.

So, when my friends a few years ago started feeling the familiar overwhelming urge to attend every single Christmas reception in D.C., we formed:

CPAC. (Christmas Party Action Committee)

There are four of us in CPAC, all in different jobs so we get on different "lists." So we can trade Party invites like baseball cards. "I've got a Mitt Romney fundraiser if you have a Chamber of Commerce reception!" "American Manufacturing Association for a Newseum party?" "DHS staffer's Ugly Christmas Sweater Party for that Festivus party of that guy you used to date!"

And because D.C. is all about networking and events, there are actual public lists that come out that show when and where different companies or lobbying firm are having their parties. So me and my fellow CPAC member Rebekah have been known to even crash some of those parties just to see if we can. (and also, back in the day, we'd likely crash things just to score free food. Because when you first live in D.C., you don't make enough to pay the crazy rent AND eat. So there are throngs of young adults, likely working for Congressman and powerful officials, surviving solely on free reception food and Ramen noodles. I mean, D.C. ain't all glamourous!)

But it's really amazing what you can get into just by acting like you belong there. Some of these holiday parties are open, but we've definitely attended some that weren't.

Which actually isn't new for Rebekah and I. We both have busy schedules but the thrill of getting into something new is too much for us to ignore. Even if we are already attending something else, if we see something "roped off" -- it must be ours.
Once, while out with friends on a Saturday night in Adams Morgan, D.C., we heard a house party going on down one of the side streets and decided to see how successful we could be at just crashing it. We ended up finding out the host's name was "John" and effectively bounced around from group to group acting like "oh yeah, JOHN! What a character!" until we accidentally met John himself.

Rule number one - don't blow your own cover.

Another time, when me, Rebekah and our friend Shannon happened to be hanging out at the same place a Kickball league was having a year-end party, we notice a bus outside that the league had apparently rented to take them to various places all around the city all night. We acted as though we were on one of the teams and successfully stowed away on the bus all night until we actually became good buddies with the organizers.

We were laughing it up with them at the front of the bus when they finally let us know that they were on to us but that that they enjoyed us so much we could stay.

Rule number two - if your cover is blown, just be super friendly.

Come to think of it, people probably always know we aren't supposed to be there but they humor us anyway because are we so pleased with ourselves for "breaking in" to something.  This past spring in Miami (here), Rebekah and I were with several others in our group of friends at a big dance club in South Beach. And the place was giant and gorgeous and we barely got in because of how popular it was, so we should've just been thankful to be in at all.

But there was a roped off VIP section in the middle of one of the rooms.

So of course, instantly, Rebekah gets that gleam in her eyes and she charges in. And one of the bouncers inside kicks her back out since apparently you need a wrist band to be in there.

Rule number three - find out if there are accessories involved as entry tokens and hide the part of your body on which said accessory should be.

Rebekah returns to me and our other friend. Then she goes in again - this time, stepping over a chair and over the rope.

So I can't resist anymore and I do the same.

And I motion for our other friend, as if I'm some crazy mirage beckoning her like "come oooooon! come jooooooin uuuussss!" as I melt into the "exclusive" crowd inside that roped off area. But our other friend has actual sense and refused to join. (Some people use logic and restraint. Me and Rebekah, not so much).  And for a second, Rebekah and I are so proud of ourselves, and run around in that area dodging bouncers lest they see our naked wrists. And we realize it's a bacherlorette party and nothing special is actually going on inside that area. People are just dancing and talking like they are in the rest of the club where the masses are. So we just walk out, realizing that just because something is marked "exclusive" does not necessarily make it any better.

Of course we'll forget that piece of wisdom the next time we see anything roped off.

Thus far in D.C. Christmas Party Season, we've only attended things we had actual invites to. Of course, there's still a whole other week left in December ;)

Monday, December 12, 2011

I Should Be Writing Christmas Cards

(DISCLAIMER: the below was written last week and I've since had another delightful dating situation. But I've also been thinking about my trip to Africa several years ago so I may end up posting about that soon too. It will involve pooping baboons. You're excited now, right? So to recap, my next post here will likely either be about Boys or Baboons. Which, sometimes, really aren't that different anyway, let's be honest...)

I should be writing Christmas cards, but I feel like I'm neglecting you, internet, so I will narcissisticly write more about my life instead of spreading holiday cheer to my loved ones. You're welcome, my 10 official followers. (and all you other people from places like Bosnia and Latvia who end up here, apparently, from searching for things like "mean sharks standing in water" and "squirrel eating cable network." I'm sure you were dissapointed when my blog popped up instead of whatever the heck it was you were actually wanting, but thank you for making my readership as random as my life :)

My last week has been typical. For me. Last Saturday I attended a Christmas Parade in historic Old Town, Alexandria and of course, since this is D.C. and everyone has like 2 degrees of separation, the group I was with ended up holding at least two guys I've had dating incidents with. So, starting off great so far! Then, while we were standing at the parade, a nice man who was by himself next to me, started talking to us. And he happens to have a job I'm interested in so I started talking to him quite a bit. Then, because of my internal homing device, a coworker friend of mine - who I did not know was also at the parade - sees me and says hi and then immediately tells me "that guy I told you about is ready for you!"

Now, this guy is someone she's mentioned to me in the past and I really do want to meet him so this was good news. But for some reason "he is ready for you" made it sound like I have people planted around the city baking men for me like cookies and I'm pretty sure my new stranger friend next to me was probably thinking "this girl must be desperate..." But in the end, we finished our nice conversation and he gave me his card anyway. And hopefully I still get my Cookie Man at some point too.... in the meantime though, I met another guy who asked me out this week....

This guy and I exchanged numbers but were mostly talking over email. And I liked talking to him because he made jokes like "once you get your Masters, you should make people refer to you as Master Dana, like people put Doctor in front of their names when they get their PHDs." And since I can't get people to call me Queen Dana or Mrs. Clooney, I think Master Dana is a fairly good consolation prize. And then I asked him if he was getting his PMP (Project Management Professional -- it's a very common certification around here) because he said he was doing some type of management program. And I told him that if so, then he should just add an "i" and make himself *John Doe, PIMP. Which he also enjoyed.

So fast forward to when I was actually supposed to call him (because he had called me and of course I was doing something very important like watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta and missed his call) and his number got buried in my call list and I hadn't actually saved it so I had to go back through emails to find it again. And I was already running late on calling him because work exploded that day and I didn't get home until 10:30 pm. So I texted the number something like "Um, just got home and not sure when Pimps go to bed but feel free to call back." And I don't get a reply for a bit.

So either John Doe has gone to bed, or I just accidentally texted a complete stranger "I'm not sure what time Pimps go to bed"


Finally he did text back and asked me out for this past Thursday. And he asks me if I've ever been to this restaurant in Mclean, VA.

And I laughed.

Because once again, a guy is asking me to fight traffic and schlep further into Virginia to meet him like here. And I quickly try to cover up my laughter and just be like "ahem, cough cough, um no, sorry, don't hang out there much" (while secretly wanting to say "I try to avoid driving out to McLean in rush hour like you are proposing I do for this date lest I kill someone in road rage") but I realize that he lives in Maryland so McLean is kinda in the middle for both of us which makes more sense. Sigh. Sure! Let's meet there.

I'll just try to find some valium for the trip out there.

And the date was fine, but per usual I just couldn't feel a connection. So much so that I was more interested in staring at the late '60s model pale blue Mustang in the parking lot than I was in having a meaningful goodbye. I quickly hugged him and went to my own pale blue 2008 Mustang and drove away.

Then at a stop light, I see the other Mustang. And he's the driver.

Note to men: Always lead with "I drive a muscle car." Always.

In the end, Mustang or not, I don't think I'll be seeing this guy again. But if anyone does have a magical man-making oven, I'll take a 6'1 brunette that requires less than 10 minutes travel time. You can leave him under the tree, thanks. 

*names changed to protect the innocent.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Insight into registering for a nosey flag football team

Below is the list of choices I was forced to pick from when filling out the registration for my co-ed flag football team today:

Are you:
In a relationship
Married with Children

I have so, so many questions about the relevance of this list to my ability of playing football. For instance:
-Will I be a better wide receiver if I'm in a relationship, but not yet engaged?
-Could a person with children be a better quarterback than a person who is only married?
-Does "single" in this context mean "can't find anyone to date me?" or does dating really mean "in a relationship but also cheating"?
-And what about Widowed with Children? Or Divorced but Engaged Again? Are they not allowed to play football at all??

At the end of the day, I fear this goes to team captains just so they can know who they should or should not hit on. I'm considering writing in "Lives With Cat" just to make sure no one bothers me....