We have previously established that though I am a dating master, I have the potential to treat people rather badly, though always with humor, almost always as a result of too much gin, and in a way that the man seems to enjoy.  Our friend Dwarfy Chode texted me the day after I insulted him to his face and asked me out again.  Needless to say, that did not happen.

Karma bit me in the ass a few times after that.  I suffered two nasty heartbreaks at the hands of guys I thought were really cool but turned out to be total asshats, and definitely not in a funny way.  In fact, they made me wonder why the world considers women the crazy sex.  One of these gentlemen sent me a 2-page long message on Facebook telling me that he wished he could raft down a river like Huck Finn instead of facing the fact that he was unemployed, unemployable and perpetually on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  This was after we had been seeing each other regularly for almost two months and he dropped off the face of the earth for a week.  I mean, seriously.  That is everyone’s story in this damn city.  Every 20-something who lives here believes him or herself to be perilously close to a psychotic break, so I hope for his sake that Crazy Justin got a life.  The other dude, who my friends and I still refer to as Douchey Ian, was just mean to me and got back together with an ex-girlfriend who he told me cheated on him, owed him thousands of dollars, and stole his air conditioner on the hottest day of summer.  MEN, I TELL YA.  So It was with high hopes and absolutely no standards that I entered our next tale:

In Which Our Heroine Gets Screwed Into Paying a Large Bar Tab, Sneaks Off Without Saying Goodbye

In the midst of the Douchey Ian debacle, I worked at a long-term temp (now permanent) job at a law firm on Wall Street.   After about a week of sitting in the same outdoor lunch spot every day, I noticed a handsome man sitting on the bench next to me.  A few days later, he noticed that I was reading The Dark Knight Returns and decided to strike up a conversation.  See?  Comic books are man catnip!  They flock to them!  Well, a certain type of man flocks to them but if a guy isn’t at least a little interested in comics then I am generally not interested in him.  It’s nerd code.

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I’ve been out of the dating game for quite some time now.  It feels pretty great to be in a mostly-stable, committed relationship with a dude whose company I genuinely enjoy, and the icing on the cake is that for the time being, I do not have to participate in the time-honored, completely horrific social ritual of the first date.  I can content myself with watching on the sidelines while my roommates and friends fret over what to wear, where to go and how drunk it is appropriate to get, all while having a hearty chuckle and offering my “expert” advice.

It is pretty laughable that people even ask for my opinions in the first place, given that I suck at dating and when I am forced to do it, I become a complete crazy person.  My knowledge of men boils down to “talk to them about comic books and they think it’s hot,” while my woman brain is corrupted by that single man fact and years of having only 3 female friends at any given time.  Anytime someone asks me if they should text or call someone they like, my answer is invariably “do you want to?  Then do it?  You don’t want to?  Don’t!”  As for meeting people, here are some simple guidelines to follow, according to no one but me:

  • See someone you like?  Go introduce yourself to this person!  Find common interests and expand on them in a charming manner.  Does this seem intimidating?  If yes, make eyes at this person from across the room/bar/club until they notice.  They will either reciprocate, or they will move so that the crazy person staring at them will stop.
  • Note that this is not effective with bartenders since making eye contact with them binds you into a social contract to order more drinks.  To wit, if your love interest is a bartender you’ll probably get really wasted really fast all the time.  In this situation, tip generously and offer to make out with them in a corner after they get off, but only after several nights (or days, whatever) of sitting at a good spot at his or her place of work, unaccompanied by your friends.  That part is important as it guarantees he or she will talk to you because you seem like a sad, lonely alcoholic.  In my experience this always (never) works.
  • Interested in a good friend?  Constantly sit next to them in all social situations.  This person might have a significant other who they will probably complain about sometimes.  Latch on to all negative comments and inflate them until you turn their partner into an undateable troll.  Then, get drunk and offer to make out with your friend in a corner in an effort to pick up the pieces.
  • If all of these things fail, find the one person you hate more than anyone else and wait until the moment you discover that he or she is actually your soul mate.  This will only happen after you are inextricably thrown together in some humorous situations involving broken-down cars, animal mishaps, and parties where you are forced to dance with each other or kiss during a game of spin the bottle.

And that’s how you find love folks.  It’s science.

As you can see, I am an expert in the world of dating.  While discussing the intricacies of single life with my lady roommate the other night, I was pleasantly (read: embarrassingly) reminded of a few of my first date misadventures, three of which I would like to share with you over the next few days.  In all situations, names have been changed or omitted, not in an effort to protect the gentlemen in question, but because I forget what they were called.  Well, all except one guy because his name is funny.  I will present them in chronological order so you can easily chart my descent into madness.

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