Don't Hate the Player....

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

...I certainly do hate the game.  I've never been one to play games.  I'm a very "what you see is what you get" kind of gal.  And I pretty much wear my heart on my sleeve.  (Let's see how many more cliches I can squeeze in).  I have no p-p-p-poker face.

Okay, enough with the cliches, but it's all true.  Dating has always been tough for me, since I am not what you would call "mysterious."  If I like someone, I tell them.  And if I really like him, I want to be around him and talk to him.  I've never been a fan of the "leave them wanting more" philosophy.  That being said, it's becoming clear (yes, after 32 years, it's finally becoming clear) that maybe I'm approaching dating in the wrong way. 

While it has always been my policy to be as honest as possible and hope for the same in return, I rarely receive that honesty from the other person.  In fact, if my honesty doesn't scare the guy away from the start, he typically either thinks of me as "just a friend," or, if he's a dick, thinks of me as someone he can screw with.  And I let it happen.  I have opened myself up to this over and over again.  What was it that Einstein said about insanity? "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

That being said, I think it's time to finally get in the game.  Unfortunately, I have no idea how to do it.  I've talked previously about someone I liked and the odd situation we were in...which by the way has gotten even more weird (another story for another time).  What I would like to do is get the "power" back in this situation by keeping my cards a little closer to my chest.  The problem is- even if I do get the opportunity to do this, I'm not sure I can.  I think that a huge part of my charm (ahem- don't laugh) is my openness and quirkiness.  I will tell people almost anything.  So how do I stop myself from doing that without making our dates completely boring?  What in the hell will we talk about if I'm not telling him about walking into a door frame in front of my company's CEO?  And how the hell do I stop myself from analyzing every aspect of every date?



Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I recently stumbled on an archive post from one of my favorite sites, Mental_floss Blog, that really got me thinking.  The post was about literary deal breakers, but a lot of the comments also explored music and movie dealbreakers. 

It got me thinking about my own personal dealbreakers when it comes to entertainment.  I don't consider myself a snob about books, movies or music, nor would I classify myself as an intellectual (despite the {ahem} genius-level IQ).  Hell, I love low-brow comedies and have been known to read quite a lot of chick-lit.

That being said, the biggest deal breaker for me is not reading at all.  I recently went on a date with someone who fit into that category.  It really makes for a difficult conversation.  Since the person was originally from Lynchburg, home of Jerry Falwell, we were discussing religious groups and the tendency of some of those groups to become more like cults (I know, not really "safe" conversation for a first date, but he brought it up).  I mentioned a certain religion started by a science fiction writer (I'm no dummy- those people have money and come after anyone who criticizes them).  He told me he really didn't know much about the religion, so I told him some of the creepier things I do know about them and mentioned that he should read about it on Wikipedia, as the details of the religion are entertainment in and of themselves.  His answer?  "Yeah, I don't really read unless I have to."

Like I said, I wouldn't consider myself a snob, but saying that is pretty much as bad as telling me that "Weekend at Bernie's" was the best movie ever made. 

On the other side of the argument, someone who lists "War and Peace" or "A Tale of Two Cities" as his favorite book  is also stepping into deal breaker territory.  Either the guy is incredibly pretentious or a total bore- neither of which is someone I want to date.

Oh, and one of my favorite comments from that post? "I refused to go out on a date with a guy who told me that Nelly was his favorite musician." Word.


The F Bomb

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Anyone who's dated for any amount of time has no doubt been a victim of the dreaded F Bomb.  You meet someone, have a few dates, are coasting along comfortably, then suddenly BAM!  The "friends" speech.  The "you're such a great person and I really like being around you, but I just don't have romantic feelings for you... but I do want to be friends" speech.  One of my good friends went through this fairly recently and decided to take the guy's offer of a FWB situation.  Basically she really did like him and apparently the sex wasn't too shabby, so she locked her hurt feelings away and accepted his offer.

I, unfortunately, am not sure I'm capable of doing that.  When faced with this situation in the past, I have tried (very unsuccessfully) to put my feelings for the guy aside and be his "friend."  I should mention (from a college experience) that this is doubly hard when the guy does decide that he has romantic feelings for your roommate.  I think it's clear to anyone who has read any of this blog that I am not very good at putting my feelings aside.  In fact, my feelings pretty much control my life. 

However, when you really do enjoy the other person's company and care about them, shouldn't you want to be in their life?  Even if it means seeing them happy with someone other than you?  It's a dilemma I have faced a few too many times.  Apparently I'm "great," "easy to talk to," "an amazing woman," etc; which all means nothing when the person saying such things has decided that, despite all of those great qualities, he is just not that into me. 

And the even bigger dilemma?  How I get someone to see all of those things AND think of me as someone he wants to be with?  It's a delicate balance- showing your great qualities without crossing over to the "friend" zone.  You want that other person to feel comfortable enough around you that he wants to be near you, but not so comfortable that he thinks of you as a "buddy" (in other words, if he passes gas in front of you you've clearly moved into the buddy category).

I've tried not being the kind of woman men are comfortable around with little success.  I end up coming off as an uptight bitch.. especially because it's not in my nature.  Despite all of my neurosis, in person I am very laid-back (or at least come off that way). 

So I guess what I need to do is to determine exactly what qualities or actions put me into the "friends" category.... and stop doing them.


Seven Months of Hell (or where I've been)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

So, as some of you know, until recently I was in the hotel industry (I have now- thankfully- made the switch to IT).  While I have always loved the industry itself, there are many draw-backs (the low salaries being a big one).  Perhaps the biggest one is some of the people you have to put up with every day.  While I know that there are douche bags in every industry, typically it's either the customers or the coworkers- not both.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I have worked with a lot of great people, and made some great friends.  However, it seems that the nicer the hotel, the more assholes you will have to put up with.

One in particular example was probably one of the single worst coworkers I've ever encountered- if not one of the worst people in general.  (Note: I have to tread very carefully here as to not give away the hotel's identity).  I recently worked for a fairly posh, high-end hotel downtown.  This person (let's call her Bitch From Hell, or BFH) had what my friends and I refer to as "bitch face."  She is one of those people who is always scowling.  I knew from day one she and I would not get along.  My assumption was reinforced when I first tested her sense of humor with a "that's what she said" comment (come on, who doesn't love twss?) and was treated to a blank stare.  I tried a few more times before calling a friend and asking "I'm funny, right?"  According to that friend I do have my moments.

During week one, I overheard this person on the phone with a friend, talking about one of her previous coworkers.  Now, we all do it (hell, I'm doing it now), but generally we criticize the person's personality, lack of intelligence, or general inability to do his/her job (or in this case- lack of soul).  Those of us with a conscience tend to draw the line at the person's difficult childhood, income, family or pet deaths, etc.  Well, not BFH.  It seemed everything was fair game.  I think it does bear mentioning that BFH had a considerable amount of money (family) and nice clothing (everything looks good on you when you're bulimic).  The things I heard her saying about her former coworker left a sour taste in my mouth. 

And it didn't stop at her former coworkers.  As she became friends with other catty (and soulless) people, our coworkers became fair game as well.  At any time, we could walk past one of their offices and hear them laughing about a coworker.  Unfortunately, one of those other catty women was my boss at the time.  The sad part of the whole situation is that I had previously been friends with that boss (before she began working there).  But in hindsight, I'm better off without her as a friend, especially considering how easily she fell in with (re:followed) the "cool" people.  It was actually a bit sad to see her so eagerly wanting to belong.  You really lose respect for a boss when you see them pathetically changing their whole personality to fit in. 

But I digress. The situation just kept going down hill.  I was a nervous wreck going into work every day.  When you have to take a Xanax just to go to work, the situation has clearly become unhealthy.  The boss (or as my good friend LR dubbed her "Thunder C") began writing me up for every trifling thing she could come up with.  In one case, I was written up for a mistake in a formula on a spreadsheet that she created.  Apparently I was supposed to not only check my work but hers as well.  I also was written up for taking more than 30 minutes for lunch on one occasion (this from the boss who regularly took two hour lunches and could rarely be found at her desk actually working).  Needless to say, said boss became BFH's little puppet.

Either way, as they say, everything happens for a reason.  After over a year (seven months with that boss) of traveling an hour and a half each way for a job where I was treated very poorly, I found a temporary solution.  I made a lateral move to a hotel closer to home, where I was able to work until I actually found a permanent solution (which I now have).  And I am more happy in this job than I have been in years.  And the best part of the IT industry?  No prima donnas in designer duds with "bitch face" here.  People come to work, do their jobs, and go home.  Intelligence is rewarded, rather than ass-kissing.  It's such a relief.  And, with the increased income (woot!) I am finally able to buy my own home.  I would call that a happy ending.  I may not have my Prince Charming (yet), but I'm much more likely to find him now that I'm not so stressed out (or angry/tired/depressed/feeling threatened) all of the time.  And had it not been for BFH and Thunder C I may still be making that long commute and working at that same hotel.  But I'm not quite ready to say thank you to those two....maybe in time, but definitely not yet.  I just hope karma bites them in the ass.


All My Eggs in One Basket

Monday, June 07, 2010

I've often been accused by friends and family of putting all of my eggs in one basket.  I meet someone, typically online, we exchange emails or IMs, and if I decide I like him, I don't communicate with any other guys.  If I then really like him, I'm focused on that one guy, which as you all know, can lead to neediness and eventually scare the guy away.  My friends are constantly telling me to "spread the attention."  Not to focus on one person too much.  But how does one do that when they are essentially a one-man woman? 

Besides the issue of the time commitment (dating three guys instead of one means having three nights free per week instead of one), there's the fear that I may end up really liking more than one of them.  Add to that the fact that I have a hard time remembering small details and the whole situation starts to become a part-time job.  Like I said, I have a hard time remembering small details and I know that this would lead to me mixing up the details I do remember. 

I do have some friends that are very good at "spreading the love," so to speak, but it just confuses and stresses me out.  One friend in particular is a pro at dating multiple guys.  I need a flow chart just to keep her dating life straight.  And it doesn't seem to stress her out.  I constantly ask her, "how do you remember which guy is from where and what each one does?"  Apparently her memory is more fine-tuned than mine.

But, like almost anything, I'm willing to give it a try.  There is someone I met about a month ago whom I really hit it off with.  In fact, we hit it off a little too well.  We IM'd and texted constantly and there was an intense chemistry when we met in person.  However, I of course threw everything into this potential relationship and things moved a little too quickly for both of us.  So he and I have discussed it and are going to start over and move a little more slowly.  Clearly, we both feel that there is something there, and I don't want to make the same mistake twice.  I also can't handle the disappointment if this doesn't work out and I've put all of my energy into it.  So, like I said, I'm willing to give the whole dating around thing a shot, of for no other reason than to not scare this guy away.  Now if only I can figure out how to do this without feeling like a jerk.


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