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Jul 18, 2009

I really have never seen so many thunderstormy days of summer in my life, but somehow they have stopped for the past couple of weekends then picked back up when Monday hit. Since Megan's pool in on the 14th floor and too windy to read (we're both on the last book of the Twilight series, "Breaking Dawn," and Bella is grating on my nerves), she' been spending Sunday afternoons at my ground level pool.

"So how was your date?" she asked me a couple of weekends ago as we lounged with some other pale DC people.

"Oh...that..." I groaned. I had announced earlier in the week that I was going on a date that weekend. I didn't know who was taking me out, but I was going on a date, daggommit! The no-dating streak has been too long, and I was determined to break it. "Well, believe it or not, no one asked me out."

Megan squinced her nose. "Sorry."

I looked over at a guy with the beginnings of man boobs and back hair lying on the chair next to her. He'll do, I thought. So I raised my voice a little.

"Yeah, I just want to go out with someone, no strings attached. I'm not looking for Mr. Right, I'm looking for Mr. Maybe. That takes off all the pressure, and now I can just have a good time. With anyone!" I peeked at him from behind my sunglasses, pretending to look at Megan. He didn't seem to notice that I was even there.

"Well at least you're trying," Megan encouraged me.

"I guess," I lowered my voice. "What's really embarrassing is I took Sabrina speed dating for her birthday on Friday, and I thought for sure I had hooked a guy...but nothing. I paid to solicit a date! I wore a low-cut dress and a push-up bra. I laughed at all his jokes. He wasn't even cute!"

She shook her head. "I really don't get it. Boys are dumb."

We both flipped onto our stomachs, and I laid my head down to take a little snooze. While drifting off, I reflected on my Friday-night flop.

Ultimately, it was Sabrina's night, and she had met a guy she really liked, so I couldn't be too disappointed. Plus he was from Atlanta, my hometown, so I was pleased, really. I'd dressed her in a super hot black satin top that I've never been able to fit into (between the time I ordered it online to its arrival date, the donuts made their way to my chest and bumped me up a cup size). I felt a twinge of guilt because we had taken Joanna's friend, Sarah, with us. She fared worse than I did.

The three of us arrived at Ultra Bar five minutes late, so we were split up across the room. There were more guys than girls (highly unusual), so you'd think we had our pick, but that also meant there were more weirdos (Which to me translates into excellent blog material! Somebody owes me $27.). My first guy was the aforementioned Atlanta boy, Dan. I was too worried about Sabrina to fully give him my attention, so he offered to send her a drink from a secret admirer to pump up her self-esteem. After that I felt better, but it was time to move on to the next guy, his friend Sebastian, aka Crooked Tooth, aka Chin Strap (bald headed with facial hair -- what a strange look). You're getting male attention, I reminded myself, still hopeful that I would find Mr. Maybe.

For the next hour I spent every four minutes with someone new. Some were too short, some were too old. One was wearing a sweater (it was about 90 degrees that day). One spoke just above a whisper (I finally gave up trying to understand him and just said "Wow, yeah," until the four minutes were up). One had a severe twitch. One worked for the Nationals but said he roots for Miami. One thought it would be appropriate to show me the tattoo on his butt. One looked like Bill Maher with a mullet. One was a close talker. One could have easily been a terrorist. All were winners, but my favorite was Too Young To Be Speed Dating Guy, aka Will.

Will and I made an instant connection because he had a Southern accent, and as soon as he said, "Hiiii. I'm Weeeel," my Southern accent kicked in. "Hiii Weeel! I'm Mary Eeeehl!" Beyond Southern values, we had zero in common. Still, once the speed dating part of the evening ended and the mingling part began, Will made a beeline for me and offered to order me a drink (open bar -- again, I paid for my own date...shameful). While he was getting my rum and cranberry, a wide-eyed Sarah suddenly appeared.

"I'm going to meet up with some other friends. Bye!"

Before I could respond she was out the door. Bill Maher made a move on her, perhaps? I still don't know. We haven't spoken since.

I turned back to Will. "So how did you end up in DC?"

"Well, I finished college and just came up here about a year ago to check it out, but I don't like it."

"So that makes you, what, 23?" I asked.

"Yeeeah. How old are you?"

"Will! Asking a lady her age is impolite! You should know that!"

"Oh, I'm sorry." He looked sheepish. It was too cute.

"Okay fine, I'll let you guess."


"Four," I cut him off. "Always say twenty-four."

"Are you 24?"

"No, I'm 28."

"Oh wow!" he laughed. "You're almost a cougar then!"


"Well, you've got a good two more years."


(For the record, if anything I am a jaguar, which is a cougar in training. But even then, not so much. Although I did really really love TVLands' "The Cougar" and think the 40-year-old bachelorette may be onto something. But I'll save that desperate measure for later.)

About that time Sabrina showed up. I'd checked on her earlier, and she was surrounded by about three guys, so I figured she was okay. She was smiling now, and looking around at the mass of available men.

"Did you get your drink?" I asked her.

"Yes! You knew about that?"

"Yes, it was my first guy. Wasn't that nice?"

She stood up on her tiptoes and scanned the crowd. "Who is it? I want to meet him!"

I excused myself from Willy (if he's calling me an almost-cougar then I'm adding "y" to the end of his name) and took her to Dan, who was having a beer with Crooked Tooth. I introduced them and they began to talk. Crooked Tooth smiled big at me and I tried not to stare at the snaggle.

"Sabrina, I'm going back to get my drink," I informed her, but, in the presence of Dan, she wasn't listening.

Willy and I talked a little until the DJ started playing Latin music. "Do you know how to salsa?" I asked him excitedly.

"No, I don't dance," he frowned.

"Well come on, I'll teach you." I grabbed his hand and led him to the dance floor. I taught him the basic step and instructed him to pop his hips, but apparently he had no hips. So I put my hands where his hips should have been and tried to pop them for him, but it wasn't working, and I was leading a guy in a dance and that was weird. I finally gave up and he took a bathroom break. As soon as he was out of sight Crooked Tooth had his arm around me.

"I can salsa," he grinned, taking my hands. Suddenly I was flying around the dance floor, certain that my head was going to smash into something. I hadn't noticed till then just how muscly Crooked Tooth was. And tall. And when the room was spinning and I wasn't focusing on his tooth, he was pretty manly. I couldn't help myself from squealing and laughing -- it was so much fun! I began to wonder if I was hanging around the wrong guy.

Once the song ended I dizzily walked back to the bar where Willy was scowling. "What's wrong?" I asked.

"I haaaaaaate that guy."

I burst out laughing. "You mean Sebastian?"

"No, I mean Chin Strap."

A second round of laughter erupted. He was genuinely unhappy! Oh how adORable! And for that, I decided to let him hang around me for the rest of the evening.

At some point Sabrina and I decided we wanted something to eat, so we told our guys we were leaving to go get food. Willy found his friend and made him come with us. When his friend, Fred, saw Sabrina, he was hooked. So each of us had two guys following us. How fun!

We stepped outside, but as we did Sabrina noticed that the first floor of the club had better music than upstairs where we had been. "I want to go dance in there!"

I looked at the four guys and informed them we were going back in. She led the way through the crowd until we were somewhere in the middle. I couldn't see any of our guys, but a good rap song was on -- ideal for dancing -- so I shrugged and moved to the beat. Suddenly Sabrina's eyes got really big and she starting laughing.

"PENIS IN MY BACK!" she screamed. About that time I felt the same thing behind me. We both turned toward the door at the same time. "Why do some guys think dry humping you from behind is dancing?" she yelled over the music.

"I don't know but it's gross!" I yelled back.

We were on our way out when we saw Willy and Fred coming down the stairs. I waved at Willy and he looked relieved.

"We're really leaving this time," I told him. We all went back outside, but we had lost Dan and Crooked Tooth. Sabrina was disappointed but elated when Dan texted her to come meet him in Clarendon. She looked at me hopefully, but I was already getting tired and there was no way I was traveling to Arlington from DC to do more partying, so we ended up at Rocket Bar. (And now I can say I have been there. I will not be returning.)

I was still hungry, and I had suggested Hooters because hot wings sounded primo at midnight, but for some reason the guys were not interested. (Can someone please explain that to me?) When it became evident that we weren't getting food at Rocket Bar, I made use of Willy's arm and closed my eyes. Fred and Sabrina were hitting it off, and I had stopped worrying about her hours before anyway.

At 2 a.m. I reminded everyone that the Metro was going to stop running soon, so we all walked to the Metro station and stood at the top of the escalators. Suddenly Sabrina and I realized it was the same scene we had experienced the last time we went out looking for boys (see "All the good ones are either married, gay, or spit on you"). We shared a chuckle and exchanged numbers with our guys.

(FYI, when taking the Metro at 2 a.m., you may have to wait 30+ minutes for a train. It's a good idea to pee beforehand. And beware, because not everyone can hold their pee and may decide to go in the station, so watch where you sit -- SABRINA. Lucky for her it was just water...or so we think.)

Long story short, Dan took Sabrina out and didn't talk the whole time. She won't be seeing him again.

And me? Zero phone calls. Which means zero dates. So I'm trying online dating again. More to come on that (but here's a preview: One guy's main picture is his stuffed crotch. Why???).

Game over

Jul 3, 2009

Apparently I have no game.

This comes as a shock to me for a few reasons:

1) I was voted biggest flirt in my high school.
2) In college if I ever wanted a boyfriend I went and got one, no problem.
3) I have great hair.
4) I am outgoing.
5) I have been told by the opposite sex that I am attractive.
6) I have a cute, friendly dog, which automatically ups my game.
7) My teeth are straight.
8) I am fashionable and know how to show off my assets.
9) I've been proposed to two and half times.
10) I have boobs -- do I really need more?

After my post about my run-in with Hot Redheaded Neighbor (HRN), I received multiple comments (on Facebook -- Facebook peeps, please consider leaving comments here so everyone can join the discussion, since my life is sooooo talk-worthy!). Here's a sampling:

"Damn." "'I'm asking for my friend'?! Caramba Mary El!!!" "I always thought that MEP was a bit more smooth than that..."

And then there were all the verbal comments: "You're so funny!" "What's wrong with you?" "Just talk to him! have some confidence! You've got the boobs and the junk in the trunk - you're a hot woman!"

(I should mention, that last comment was from my sister, who later admitted she wouldn't have a clue what to do if she were back on the dating scene, even with boobs and junk in her trunk.)

A couple of days after the HRN event, I had lunch with my [married] friend Mike. The cafeteria was crowded, so we sat at the corner of a big table occupied by some others. Near the end of lunch -- which mainly consisted of me complaining about my weight and lack of nerve to go talk to HRN -- a really, really cute cop came and sat down. Suddenly I couldn't form sentences. I started flailing around at the table -- I actually flipped my water bottle into the air and then threw myself across the table to retrieve it as it tumbled toward Hot Cop. When we left Hot Cop was still sitting there, and as soon as we turned a corner Mike started laughing.

"You are so obvious!"

"I know. I know I know I know I know," I fanned myself.

"I'm going to go tell him you thought he was cute," he smirked, a devious look in his eye. I fanned myself faster and felt the hyperventilation coming on.

"OMG OMG OMG OMG please don't!" But it was too late. Suddenly I realized I was standing in the middle of a cafeteria full of men in fatigues, and I looked like an idiot. I tried to pull it together, but it was just too much. What would I even say to Hot Cop if he thought I was cute, too? A moment later I found out it didn't matter. Mike reappeared.

"He's married."

Of course he is, I thought.

I spent the rest of the week wondering why I was so retarded in the Acting-Normal-Around-A-Member-Of-The-Opposite-Sex department. In typical girl fashion, I went around and around in my head analyzing my behavior, my past, my childhood...and I came up with lots of intriguing and valid theories of why I am such a dork: I try too hard to find Mr. Right, when I should be looking for Mr. Maybe (gleaned that jewel from "The Between Boyfriends Book" by Cindy Chupak -- read it!); The No-Dating drought lasted too long, and I lost my sparkle; My mother made me wear corduroys when they weren't cool; I got fat and therefore have low self-esteem. Blah blah blah blah blah. After a while I was getting on my own nerves, but I couldn't help myself. I would have never guessed the next HRN encounter would jolt me out of my ridiculous introspection.

I had just gotten back from visiting some family in New York for the July 4th weekend, and I was walking Noli after the 8-hour car trip. My face was greasy, my hair was frizzy, I was wearing minimal makeup, and I had mustard on my shirt from lunch. I began regretting taking her out right away because the nice weather had drawn a lot of people outside. Hmm. Including HRN. And his friend. And two girls who were laughing, apparently at something HRN had just said that was hilarious. In tune with my panic, Noli pulled me to the right to sniff some poo. I figured I was safe.

"Mary El!" Crap. I slowly turned toward the voice. Our eyes met and I managed to weakly wave at him. His eyes widened and he grinned at me. He said something to his friends and then jogged across the street to where I was standing. One of the girls looked annoyed, but they all kept walking without him.

"How's it goin'?" he asked, standing an inch outside of my comfort zone.

"Oh, fine, just getting back from New York. How was your fourth?" I replied. He began telling me about his weekend, and I realized my mind wasn't racing, I wasn't sweating, and I didn't have the urge to verbally vomit all over him. Hmm, this is different, I thought. He left another girl to come talk to me. Could it be possible he thinks I am hot? As he kept talking, I almost burst out laughing. I didn't feel nervous around him anymore because he was showing interest in me. Wow, I am such a girl.

My reaction to our next encounter proved to be the same. I had just come home from work and was taking Noli downstairs via the elevator, and he managed to compliment me three times within the few seconds it took for doors to close. Why had I worried so much before?

Drunk with my newly found hotness power, I expected to have a date this weekend. But I don't. Huh. So I talked Sabrina into going speed dating with me tomorrow night. If nothing else, it'll be great blog material!