Monthly Archives: August 2014

D8 with a Question, Mark

Victoria is one of the new friends I made since coming home from Atlanta. She’s a groovy woman- wife, mother, and all around genuine person. And she’s absolutely beautiful. On one sunny Saturday morning while walking the market at Union Square, she said a five-word sentence to me; one that I’m not accustomed to hearing.

“I have someone for you…”

You know that feeling of dread combined with intrigue? That was my reaction. Of course, I wanted every detail about this someone. His name was Mark, and she’s known him for years. He was very successful in his career, Jewish, and she thought we’d make an amazing couple. Victoria said that he was also very handsome, age appropriate (he was in his early 50s) and was total boyfriend material- and more.

How could I say no?

After a few failed attempts at connecting, Mark and I had a very nice conversation. I emailed me a couple pictures, and he was definitely as Victoria described. We set a date for Thursday night.

We decided to meet on 53rd and Ninth and go from there; sort of a first date adventure. As he approached me, he was on his iPhone discussing a business deal. He gave me a big smile, and continued talking. He continued talking for ten minutes. When he finally hung up, he apologized for the call and we started our date. We decided to grab a burger and a beer. We chose a place quiet enough to have a great conversation.

And the conversation was exactly where the problems started. I would ask Mark a question, and get a short answer without those additions that a conversation needs to flow. It was like talking to a vault- nothing was coming out. From college to hobbies to family, Mark was on tighter lockdown than Fort Knox. He wouldn’t even tell me his birthday.

Ninety minutes later the date ended and I was exhausted from single-handedly carrying our NONversation. Mark thanked me for a great time, gave me a kiss, and said that we should do it again.

Really? Another night of failed attempts to converse with Mark seems about as appealing and rewarding as asking the Great Wall of China his thoughts on existing trade policies. The whole thing left me with several questions… Maybe Mark was nervous? Maybe his head was still in the conversation he was having on the phone when me met? Maybe his last date used his birthday date and other personal information to gain access to his Amex? Any way I looked at it, Mark just seemed not to be very open, which came across as his being extremely distrustful of me.

A few days later I was at Victoria’s apartment enjoying some coffee and blueberry pie. She wanted every detail of the date. I really tried to be nice about the description…

“Well… he really didn’t say much. I would ask a question; Mark would give an answer that was reduced to the least common denominator. He really seemed pretty… guarded.”

And with that, Victoria’s husband, Stuart, walked in… with the much-needed figurative flashlight.

“I could have told you that! He’s wound tight that Mark. Hell, I’ve known him for twenty years and I couldn’t tell you much about him. He’s all about work.” And with that, he looked at Victoria. “Has he ever had a boyfriend? I don’t think he’s ever had a second date!”.

Victoria shook her head. Of course she knew everything Stuart said was true. The look in her eyes told me she was hoping I would play the part of Geraldo Rivera and pop open the vault.


Going on a date that is arranged by a friend is a great way to meet new people, but doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have a 1FineD8. Set-ups are great because our friends have our best interests at heart, and at the same time having a date with an endorsement is always a positive and stacks the odds in your favor.

Where I made my mistake was that I was wrapped up in the moment of excitement over an endorsed date. That excitement led me down a path where I forgot to ask some very important questions of my own personal Yenta. Next time (and us single guys and gals KNOW there will be a next time!) I will ask the following questions before saying yes to the set-up (and I suggest you do as well!):

•How long have you known this person?
•Did you also know their last boyfriend/girlfriend?
•Do you know why he/she broke up with their Ex?
•Why do you think he’s still single?
•If you were single, would you date him/her? Why?

This may seem like a lot of questions, but in the end it really isn’t. In the world of sales, it’s referred as qualifying your lead. If your mission is 1FineD8, you need to be sure that your partner in dating crime is exactly that- an equal partner. In my situation, Mark wasn’t my equal when it came to communication. If I went into the situation knowing that he was closed off, perhaps I would have augmented my strategy in engaging him to share. There is also a possibility that I would have taken a pass at the opportunity- we’ll never know for sure.

When you hear the five words, “I have someone for you”, please keep those questions in mind and ask them before committing. Who knows… your lead may end up being a fantastic one and before you know it, you’re enjoying 1FineD8!

1FineInterview- Irving Fields

Wednesday night wasn’t an ordinary evening at Nino’s Tuscany. Granted, there’s always a party when Irving Fields is at the piano, but this evening was special. The master of the keyboard, the composer of favorites including Xavier Cugat’s Miami Beach Rumba and campaign songs for candidates including Ronald Reagan and Rudy Giuliani had reached a milestone certainly worth taking a hearty moment to celebrate.

Irving Fields was celebrating his 99th birthday.

With friends, family, fans and well-wishers surrounding him, Mr. Fields did one of the things he does best- play the piano. He’s been known to say that he plays better now than he did forty years ago. Judging by his Hava Negila, he must have been a master 40 years ago because this performance was beyond stellar.

Having a chance to ask a man with eight Carnegie Hall performances under his belt, countless albums, and a cake with 99 candles anything about relationships and dating, I could only come up with one basic question.

What’s your secret to a long and happy relationship?

Make love every day! Of course, there’s more to it. You have to listen- really listen to your wife. Answer her back, and always remember the woman you fell in love with because she is the same now as she was then. Be sure to laugh together; make her smile and she will make you smile.

It’s important to enjoy each other. Take time to do that. Enjoy your family and the success you built together as a couple. That’s real important. Do it.

Even when it gets rough, remember the good and it will be good again.

Oh, and when it looks like you’re about to get into a fight, say something nice to distract her. Change the subject- that always works!

Irving and Ruth Fields
Irving and Ruth Fields

Seeing how he looked as his wife, Ruth, I knew that taking the opportunity to ask this question to man who is obviously still deeply in love after 55+ years of marriage was a great choice. Looking at them together and chatting with them left me with the impression that I had just spoken with a newlywed couple.

It definitely gave me hope that a long-term relationship is a possible as long as you have a partner that is in simpatico with Irving Fields’ advice and enjoys the concept of staying forever young.

And speaking of staying young, Mr. Fields provided me with his secret to longevity. If you follow his blueprint of 18 objectives, you might just be enjoying 99 candles on a future birthday cake!

Here they are- start today, and you can be just like Irving Fields (as long as you hire one heck of a piano instructor and practice!).

Irving Fields’ Secrets to Longevity

1. Have a sense of humor- you’ll never get ulcers.
2. Think before you make a decision. Look, think, and then do.
3. Be the first to say “hello” with a smile and a glow.
4. When in an argument, change the subject.
5. Be successful… Sell yourself…People will respond.
6. When you get up in the morning, decide to be pleasant to everyone.
7. Be thankful for the blessings you have.
8. Be happy about the success of others, not just your own success.
9. Don’t envy anyone. So many are worse off than you.
10. Travel is fun, important and educational.
11. Enjoy every day to the fullest.
12. Be a good listener, and you will learn something.
13. Eat four hours before bedtime and you’ll digest better.
14. Keep busy. If you retire, find a hobby.
15. Never make a decision while intoxicated.
16. When you like your work, it’s a blessing. Do it now.
17. Don’t compare people to the things you buy.
18. Do something good for someone today.

For more information on Irving Fields, please visit and enjoy his performances at Nino’s Tuscany (call for performance times- 212.757.8630)

D8 up Text Creek Without a Paddle

Steve was definitely worth dating- great sense of humor, and looks that would rival any 90’s sitcom star. Rugged yet preppy, Steve was introduced to me by a friend over drinks at a friendly Hell’s Kitchen bar. We really clicked, exchanging phone numbers on the spot. It hadn’t been 30 minutes after we said our goodbyes that I received the first of many, many text messages from him.

“It was SO great to meet you! Joey said you were amazing and he was right!”
“What are you doing for the rest of the night?”
“I really like your shirt- where did you get it again?”
“Be sure to text me when you get home so I know you got there safely!”

The next morning, I woke up to my 5:45am alarm… and Steve.

“Good morning, Handsome! Sleep well?”
“What’s in store for the day?”
“I have meetings all day, but maybe we can chat during lunch?”
“Did I tell you today how hot I think you are?”

It was a lot of reading before my first cup of coffee. As I put the pod in the Keurig, I came to a realization. Seems the night before I had a light beer with Mr. TextMan. You know the type… the person who gets your number and uses it. Nonstop. It might be in the morning before Al Roker tells you if you need an umbrella. It might be during a business meeting, or maybe on the street as he’s walking to the gym. Any opportunity Mr. TextMan can take to reach out to you will be taken and typed with gusto.

I responded with the following: “Good morning. Waking up. Coffee needed. Talk later. ;-)”

As the day progressed, the messages flowed faster than the Whitewater Rapids.

“Hope your day is going well.”
“Saw a shirt in the window at Barney’s that you’d look great in… and out of!”
“What’s for lunch, Handsome? Call me if you can.”

And I responded with the following: “Hey Steve! Going into a meeting, then teaching a spin class downtown. Talk tonight?”

My response bought me a few hours, but alas, my well-constructed dam broke and the messages came pouring in later that night. I decided the easiest way to give his fingers a break was to set up a date. I suggested that we meet for a drink the next day after work, which he was more than willing to do.

The next morning began the same as the day before- texts from Steve. This time, Steve decided to text pictures. There was a picture of him on a golf course, and one from a black-tie event. There were pictures from his birthday the month before, and even a picture of him from high school. I thought to myself how does this guy have the time to run a hedge fund when all he does is text me?

As the Keurig cranked out my second cup, the picture of ALL pictures came… a shot of his bare ass. Not just any bare ass, but one that looked like he forgot to apply sunscreen at a clothing optional rooftop pool. I took a big sip of coffee and responded,
“Looks like someone forgot to apply some SPF”. Nothing could have made me ready for his response.

Nice huh? I wanted to share this with you because I want to know how comfortable you are with spanking. It really turns me on, and from the moment I met you I wanted you to spank me. Game?

If you ask any of my close friends, they will tell you that I am very quick at the comeback. This situation, however, was an unexpected hit to left field. I was speechless. All I could think of was how someone went to town with a paddle on Steve’s ass, and he took a moment to take a selfie to capture the moment. Would that be a “Spankelfie”? After I stopped laughing, I realized that I just couldn’t go on a date with this guy.


It was time to implement “Operation Ditch Mr. TextMan”…

“That depends, Steve. Have you been a bad boy?’
“Oh Baby, I’ve been SO bad. Will you punish me?”
“This is a problem, Steve. See, I only date good men, not bad boys. I don’t even own a paddle, and I’m not using my new Sur la Table spatula on anything besides omlettes and cookies. Don’t think this is going to work, but I’m sure you can find someone totally into it.”

I never heard from Steve again.

Receiving an over abundant amount of text messages from a potential date can be a pain in the ass, and Steve was oblivious to that, obviously on a couple levels. There is nothing wrong with a flirty text now and then, but as a sender you need to be aware of the risk of over-saturation. You also need to be aware that you don’t want to reach that over-saturation point before you even have your first official date.

I suggest keeping text messages to a minimum; like a quick check-in to let your date know that you’re thinking of them. Everyone likes knowing that someone they are interested in is thinking of them, and it’s a nice romantic touch. Use texting as a touch, and not a full-out grab.

That leads us to the spanking… everyone has their “thing” that turns them on. Don’t you think it’s best to discuss those things in a nice, romantic setting as opposed to a text message? When you send the message you know your surroundings- you have no idea where the recipient is or what he or she is doing. Would you really want your potential partner to learn about what turns you on while in a meeting with their boss or in the bread aisle at Gristedes? I don’t think so.

When texting your 1FineD8, keep the following model in mind, and you’ll be dandy:

Topics of important nature are out of bounds- save it for a call or in person dialogue.

Eliminate the possibility of over-saturation by controlling the amount of messages you send.

-eXpecting an immediate response will just drive you crazy- they’ll respond when they can.

Talk when you can instead of texting. Let your 1FineD8 hear your voice, your inflections and your laughter. There’s really nothing sexier than that!