Archive for Tips & Advice

Organic Dating

     There is a word I have begun to hate in regards to dating and that is “organic.”  Organic fruit, meat, vegetables, those are all okay.  Using the word to mean something that comes about naturally, that’s okay too.  And one would think that meeting someone without the assistance of an online-dating site or a matchmaker would be considered “organic” too, but that’s where it stops.  When you use “organic” in your dating life that doesn’t refer to how you just ran into that someone and met naturally, it has a whole other meaning.  Let me give you an example.

     Over the summer I met a guy online, we emailed for a bit, and then exchanged numbers.  Our emails were short, but he seemed normal (as they usually do.)  He was talk, dark, taught Bikram yoga on the side, so he was buff as all get-out.  When we moved onto texting, he was very entertaining and seemed like a good guy.  After a day and a half of texting, he invited me to meet him for a happy hour drink around 6-6:30pm before he went to meet a friend that was in from out-of-town at 7-8pm.  Hmm…really showing interest asking me to meet you for thirty minutes and with only an hour warning.  I politely declined and then asked for a rain check.

     Two days later we were texting again, and again, with about an hour to spare, asked if I wanted to meet for happy hour.  A minute later he text this:

Mr. Organic: FYI… I’m very organic.  I prefer the now to the later.

Zia:  What’s that supposed to mean?  If I say “no” now, you won’t want to meet later?

Mr. Organic: No, just means I keep asking you with no planning, which is a pet peeve to most.

     I recommended the following day, trying to meet this guy in the middle with his organic-ness, but he wasn’t free.  I told him if he got to me in the morning, I could probably work something out.  He then said he would keep checking then.  And a minute later I got this text:

Mr. Organic: It works both ways though…if you’re free hit me up.  I’m always spur of the moment ready.

     Now you want me to throw the ball in my court?  I knew I’d never meet this guy or hear from him again unless I initiated it.  I said it before and I’ll say it again, putting a little effort into planning a date goes a long way, gentlemen.  Newsflash buddy, you have in your profile that you want a relationship.  You are aware that your organic-ness (a.k.a. lack of planning) is a pet peeve to most.  Seems to me that there is a clear explanation as to why you are forty-one and single.

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Set-ups

     A few weeks ago my coworker, and friend, a brainy beaut who’s a barrel of laughs and absolutely b-lightful (hereby known as B’liteful) had asked me if I would date an ex-marine.  If you’re a relatively new reader, then let me make you aware that I date all “makes & models.”  Although ex-military isn’t something I look for, I can roll with it.  A little further into her questioning, I discovered that a friend of hers, Miss Match-Up, has a guy friend that she wanted to set up.  Now, how many of you cringe at the words “set up?”  I know if it were a family member attempting such a feat, that is exactly what I’d be doing.  However, this idea doesn’t bother me so much.  I mean, if you think about it, who knows you better than your friends?  And as my years {…sigh…} of online dating has proven to be unsuccessful, I’m thinking set-ups are the wave of the future for me.  While I was doing my Love in 90 Days project, I read that Dr. D highly recommends it too.  So, why not?

     At first there was a brief email introduction by Miss Match-up.  I came across as a ants-in-her-pants granny.  (May have to rethink this friends setting me up thing…)  I received a text from B’liteful later double checking my email since she’ll be sending photos in a little bit.  Having never met him herself, she was curious what he looked like.  The subject line to her email was “Um, you’re welcome.”  He was cute enough from what I could see, his “resume” wasn’t too shabby either, and he had a pizzazz-y name.  It is pronounced as a well-known word from Star Wars.  For the sake of the blog, we’ll call him R2D2.  He was worth looking into.

     We began emailing that evening, and throughout the week.  It was a little unnerving at times when B’liteful would peek into my room the next day with elongated questions like, “Soooo?” or “Weeeeell?  It was a little odd having an audience on this one.  On the other hand, getting my own personal report card was kind of nice.  I’ll have you all know that I was reported as “charming,” “beautiful,” and Miss Match-Up said he was smitten by the week’s end.

     We had planned to finally meet, and go to dinner, on Saturday.  I was a bit fatigued from a long work week and having to work Saturday morning, but I managed to squeeze in a power-nap to get me through.  All day I had this gut feeling that I should text my friend to find out how tall he was.  It is true, I’m a sucker for tall guys, but this was more out of common courtesy.  I had planned on wearing my high-heeled boots and didn’t want to tower over him if he were short.  Never know when a short-man-complex is going to jump up on you.  In the end I didn’t text…and…should have gone with my gut.

     I arrived at my date having gone all out with hair and make-up to try to disguise the suitcases that were checked under my eyes.  In my knee-high, high-heeled boots, I walked across the street to greet him, and, after emailing all week, felt the meet deserved a hug-greeting.  However, I felt a boob to face greeting was a bit too much for a first meet. I know, I’m such a prude.

     We walked into the restaurant and were seated.  This is where the date was…well…wasn’t exactly great.   R2D2’s nerves may have gotten the best of him at times because he had this uncontrollable urge to continually ask me about my “favorites.”  “What’s your favorite movie?  What’s your favorite food?  What’s your favorite TV show?”  I asked about all the favorite questions and he snapped it was a first date and what was he supposed to ask.

Sidenote:  A)  Don’t snap at your date.  You’re asking boneheaded questions.  B)  Once I give you a TV show title, guess what?  Our conversation is over.  You’re asking one-word answer questions.  Go for open-ended questions.

     Anyhow, as the chatting continued, R2D2 continually reported how he was a disappointment to his parents, kept making bizarre and numerous comments about wanting to see Bring It On: The Musical, and other tidbits that only high-schoolers would/might find fun and entertaining.  Combined that with his height and I felt like I was on a date with a teenager.  In addition, when the server came to take our order and then recommended a different type of salad from the one R2D2 ordered, he pointed out how he was trying to up-sell him.  After causing the little scene, he ordered the more expensive one.  When the server came back to check on how it tasted compared to the original salad he had ordered, he confronted him by saying that he had never had the original salad here, so how would he know.  And then pushed the matter for a couple of minutes until I chimed in and said that it tasted basically the same, to which R2D2 called me a “peacemaker” when the server left.

Sidenote: C)  Complaining about the cost of dinner in front of your date…where does that sound like a good idea?  D)  It’s a common salad that you have probably had and some point in your life.  How does it compare to that?  Don’t pick a fight with the server just because.  And don’t be a douche.

     I knew reporting back was not going to be fun, so when I got a text from B’liteful asking how it went, I told her I’d tell her on Monday.  When Monday rolled around, I filled her in.  She later reported back that he thought that I didn’t really like him.  Hmm, I can’t imagine why.

When He is Smitten

     Let’s face it, some of us (uh…me) are usually oblivious when someone is interested, finds us attractive, or has a little crush on us.  And even though we are adults we all still do get crushes or are crushed on.  A good portion of these happen in the work environment – The Work Crush.
     Don’t deny it, you know what I mean.  You take a longer route to find your way back to your cubicle after abnormally frequent bathroom breaks.  You arrive to work a little earlier or stay a little later in hopes of having a brief run-in with him/her and getting in a little face time.  You find yourself daydreaming as you stare at your computer screen and when someone catches you, you say that your computer (brain) froze and are waiting for it to restart (focus.)
     A good boost for the ego and self-esteem though, is when you discover someone is crushing on you.  Even if you are not interested and know he/she will never act on it, it’s a feel good for the soul pick-me-up.  And in all my years of a-guy-is-into-me cluelessness, these are the signs that even I pick up on.

1)  The inadvertent smile.  They see you, they smile.  You walk by, they smile.  They are talking about some mundane topic and mid-sentence briefly make eye-contact with you they smile.  They can’t control it and keep doing it.  During a heated discussion of urinal cakes they are all a flutter.
2)  Verbal diarrhea.  They talk, without breathing, about random topics that you can’t seem to follow.  The conversation goes on without much word from you, but they can’t help themselves and more just keeps spilling out.
3)  Says your name.  I read this once in one of those teenie-bopper magazines way back when and found it to be absolutely accurate.  Make note, next time you are conversing with a guy/gal who you think may be crushing on you, see if he/she says your name after they say hello.  Then see if it pops in again mid-conversation. And it will most likely follow the words “good-bye” as well.
4)  Body language, of course.  Tries to be close to you, angles in your direction, or, my absolute favorite, when they literally have a bounce in their step.
5)  They “Twinkle.”  For those of you who are unaware of “twinkling,” you need to catch up on some Major Dad reruns.  Basically, it is that sparkle in your eye that pops out when you are super happy, excited, or interested in whatever is before you.  Don’t be fooled, it can be controlled if you are aware of its existance and power. But for those unaware, it is a dead give away of a crush.

     All of these little tidbits assisted me in diagnosing my coworker, who works in a different department than me, with a Work Crush.  A few of months ago while I was working a bar shift, I had an inkling that he had a bit of a crush on me.  At the end of one of my shifts, I had to stop by his department.  I passed him in the hallway and heard, “Hi, Zia.”  I gave a response “hello” (no clue what his name is) and he coyly looked in my direction and gave a little smile.  I was headed toward the counter and his coworker who was behind it.  As I was approaching the counter, I noticed a little giddy-up in his step and a side glance at his coworker.  I gathered that it was unspoken language that he wanted to assist me and that the coworker should step aside.  He raced through the door, nearly crashing into a desk, around the counter and replaced his coworker.  He made small-talk and had trouble making eye-contact because all smiles would pop out when he did.  He added my name into a statement and was kind of floating/bouncing as he moved about.  I finished up my business and said “bye.”  He looked up at me, said “Bye, Zia,” and then…he twinkled.  

     Dude’s got in bad.  Shame I don’t feel the same.

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

     When I started this blog, I had no intention of being a serial online dater.  I was hoping to find someone whom I could transition with into real-life dating and progress from there.  In my now years of online dating experience, I have discovered that most people just don’t know how to mesh old-school style courtship with today’s technological cupid.  What I have concluded in my research is that there needs to be a blend of traditional courtship and modern expectations.

     As many of you have probably figured, I am not one of those women who expects a man to guess what she wants or what she is thinking.  I’ll just tell you.  So, when one of my suitors stated he had “never done online dating before,” and me being sick of hearing that, I thought, “hmm…this guy needs some assistance.”  I then typed up a list of online dating rules for him to follow and emailed them to him. – Yeah, I actually did that.  He followed them well but became too reliant on them and me to fill him in on what to do next.  Dude, you said you were new to online dating not dating itself.  At which point, I went back and tweaked the rules a bit and waited for another subject to test them on.

     As luck would have it, many men need these steps so I didn’t have to wait long.  I sent the new case study the updated version of the guidelines and he made it about half way through.  After our phone conversation, he said talk to you again later and, well, he didn’t.  Therefore, I quickly grasped he answered “no” to step 8.

     I have decided that this research should be shared and utilized to its fullest potential by my fellow daters.  And any man out there hoping to win over, maybe not me, but some woman that they’ve met online, I assure you, if you follow these steps you will get the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Zia Zitella’s Online Dating Rules & Guidelines for Men

1) Actually READ the profile that is attached to the picture that caught your attention.

2) After taking a whooping three minutes to read her profile, decide if you’d like to contact her. A wink/icebreaker is acceptable only if you are pressed for time but don’t want this fine creature to slip through the cracks.  An email would be best.

            a. If you are looking at her profile after she winked or sent an icebreaker to you – DO NOT WINK BACK, you idiot.  If you are interested, email.  If not, move on.

            b. Do not be confused by the female “wink back.”  Those are acceptable.  She is informing you that it is okay to begin the wooing process.

3) Send witty, intriguing, and/or intelligible email.  Keep it short. No need for a soliloquy.

4) Receive reply email.

5) Continue emailing and decide if she is worth meeting.

6) Act on decision.

            a.  If you decide she is not worth meeting – cease further emailing.

            b.  If you decide she is worth meeting, ask for phone number.  Don’t just toss your number in an email and hope she uses it.  Be a man and make the phone call yourself.  Remember, you’re the one who is supposed to be doing the wooing.

7)  Call.  Avoid topics like Exes, recent break-ups, recent dates, how many other men they are talking to online, your boring ass job (she does not know you well enough to even pretend to care or take interest in what computer file went missing), your flaws, her flaws that you’ve noticed, and the like.

8 )  After phone call, decide if you would like to meet this person.

9)  Come up with date plan.

10)  Call (or email) and ask on date.

=> NOTE: Calling or emailing before first date is acceptable and encouraged.  It shows your interest and could earn you coveted brownie points for future use.

11)  Go on date.  Don’t be a schmuck.

12)  After date, call, text, or email her to let her know you had a good time.  Do not do this immediately after the date (shows either a quick write-off or stalkerish qualities) or wait three days before calling (lame rule and smart women will have moved on by then.)

=> NOTE: The woman may actually send you a quick text or email the next day telling you she had a good time.  She is not stalking you or sipping crazy juice.  She is just being polite and letting you know that if you would like to see her again, she’d be willing.

=> Additional NOTE: If she texts you more than three times and you haven’t responded or responded only once, she is sipping crazy juice and step away slowly.

13)  Decide if you want to go on second date.

14)  Plan second date.

15) Call and ask out for second date.  Do not say during phone call that, “I have no plan,” “What do you want to do?  I don’t care,” or “You decide.”  If you say any of these, you clearly skipped step 14 and should go back.  By saying any one of these, you instantly show laziness, that you want things done for you, that you can’t make a decision, and that you really don’t care – about her.  None of which will win her over.  Woo is also known as wow.

16)  Go on second date.  Don’t be a schmuck.

17)  Repeat steps 12-15.

18)  Keep wooing until ultimate/intended goal is achieved.

     Gentlemen, I believe these are very simply put and should be easy to follow.  Good luck on your flirting endeavors, I wish you luck, and hope to hear back with your success stories.  Ladies, feel free to email these along to your own suitors in need.

For a printer friendly version of Zia Zitella’s online dating rules & guidelines to hang over your computer, click here.

The Newest Hot Spot

     Who knew that after years of bar hopping, drunk-girl-sexy-arms-in-the-air dancing, paying cover charges, and countless hours on my hair, that the newest hot spot to get hit on would be public transportation?  All that time and effort and all I needed to do was pull my hair in a ponytail, throw on some sunglasses and I’d be golden?

     A few weeks ago, I got on the subway, pulled out my Sudoku, and sat, minding my own bee’s wax, waiting for the train to leave.  As soon as the doors closed, I heard this from the beer belly filled white t-shirt to my left:

Beer Belly:  Are you a psychiatrist?

Zia:  No. 

Beer Belly:  A therapist?

Zia:  No.

Beer Belly:  Oh, you look like one.  You look like one of those really smart people.

Zia:  . . . ah . . .

Beer Belly:  Are you a lawyer?

Zia:  No.

Beer Belly:  What are you?

Zia’s Thoughts:  Do I have to talk to this guy?  When’s the next stop?  He’s going to guess every “smart person” profession if I don’t spit something out.  I could tell him anything.

Zia:  I’m a teacher.

Beer Belly:  Oooh, yeah, I can see that.  Blah blah blah…

Zia’s Thoughts:  Oh Christ.  Should have told him I was a stripper.

     Last week I stumbled upon Train Guy.  He is big and tall and with his shaved head has a definite presence when he enters a room, or a train car in this instance.  He sat next to me and asked for help finding his way.

     Even though I was texting away on my phone, he started chatting with me.  Usually that irks me, but he wasn’t a total bafoon so I didn’t mind.  At one point, he said, “You should call me sometime.  Let me give you my number.”  Nice, straight forward approach.

     He sent me a text the next day, and I am assuming my rock solid directions of, “go up the stairs and turn right,” were spot on that he thinks I’m a keeper.  Asked if I was single.  Again, straight forward approach.

     We have texted back and forth a bit over the past few days.  One text read, “. . .I find you amazingly attractive and glad you’re single.”  Mmm. . . okay, you can stay a while.

     On Monday, however, this man’s straight forward approach did not work for me.  You know those people who as soon as you see them you have this feeling that something is off?  You know something is up, something is going to happen?  Well, when I sat next to Bold & Beautiful, I got just that vibe.  He was a tall muscle-y black guy in a stereotypical do-rag.  He was definitely beautiful, but surrounded in an aura of crazy.

     I sat down and pulled out my phone to switch it to vibrate.

Bold & Beautiful:  Aghgorhoss….

Zia’s Thoughts:  Oh lordy, he’s talking to me.  I’m not even sure that was English.  Just keep looking at phone and it will stop.

Bold & Beautiful:  Wow.  Bljaknsrku…

Zia’s Thoughts:  Huh?  And what is he looking at?

Bold & Beautiful:  You get pedicures all the time?  You just got one?

Zia’s Thoughts:  Oh, something audible.  Guess I should answer since it’s not stopping.  But I’ll keep my face glued to my phone.

Zia:  No.  I did them myself.

Bold & Beautiful:  (staring intently at my feet)  Damn!  You got the prettiest feet I ever seen.

Zia:  Ah, thanks?

Bold & Beautiful:  What’s your ethnic background?

Zia:  Mostly Italian.  Some French and Albanian.

Bold & Beautiful:  Mmm–hmmmm.  That’s why you look so .  All that stuff mixed together.fine

Zia:  (small chuckle slips out, bright red face and big smile trying to hold in the remaining laughter)

     Fortunately Bold & Beautiful got off at the next stop. 

     Guys, if you are trying to narrow down the number of fish in your pond, opening with, “Hello, I have a foot fetish,” should do the trick.

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