Monthly Archives: September 2015

D8 with General Eisenhower

I admit it… I’m a Meghan Trainor fan. Her songs have that retro 50’s vibe that just takes you back to a happy Fonzie-filled home-baked cakey place. Her cover of Like I’m Gonna Lose You with John Legend is sure to be the love song of choice this New Year’s Eve.

I’m a pretty nostalgic guy, and when it comes to relationships I definitely gravitate towards a partner that values family, fidelity and what it means to be a good friend. Those 1950’s standards of behavior are paramount to me, and my hope is that I find a partner that holds the same beliefs. When I met Tony at Gym Bar in Manhattan, I could tell in the first 20 minutes of conversation that he was cut from the same Atomic Era cloth. When it was time to leave, I asked him to dinner the following night.

Having a date with a 21st century man with mid-20th century sensibilities… what could possibly go wrong?

We decided to have a New Jersey-based dinner date because Tony was a born and bred Jersey Boy who has never lived outside of Bergen County. I already knew that he came from a big Italian family, and he shared over those first drinks that they want him to “get married already”. Hearing that, it was no surprise that Tony would ask me my “intentions” when it came to dating and what my idea of a perfect relationship entailed. Before I could swallow my swig of Merlot, Tony decided to answer his own question.

He began performing his cover of Dear Future Husband, but his lyrics were slightly different:

  • I want a picket fence, suburban life. Manhattan terrifies me.
  • You will never go to a bar alone or with your friends, there’s too much temptation to cheat.
  • We could go to a bar together, but I prefer not. Sports bar? Never!
  • A regimented life is best; Monday is laundry night, Tuesday is movie night, Wednesday night is…

I forget the rest of the days of the week because I was more horrified than a teenaged camper being chased by Freddie Krueger. I was going to tell him that temptation, if desired, can be found at a grocery store or a funeral home, but Tony continued singing…

  • If you want to see your friends, you can invite them over for dinner- you cook. You’ll cook a lot.
  • When you leave work, you come straight home unless you tell me first.
  • I come from a big family and all holidays will be spent with them.
  • We can host Game Night for our friends!

It was that moment when my present date’s desire for an Eisenhower-era relationship of the past became my potential prison warden of the future.

At the end of his song, I did something I’ve never done on a date. I started with a little startled jump, then reached into my pocket and retrieved my cell phone. I looked at it, made a face of horror (considering the situation was simple to pull off) and faked a text message.

“Oh no… Damn! Brinks just texted and my alarm went off at the house. I need to go.”

And with that, I escaped the potential jail cell called a relationship with Tony.

Ricky Ricardo was a 50's man who could cook and croon, and his wife didn't control his every move.
Ricky Ricardo was a 50’s man who could cook and croon, and his wife didn’t control his every move.  Nor did he control hers.

 

1FineLesson

Any of us with an EX would most likely say that “if we knew then what we know now, we would have never gone on a second date with the schmuck”. Some say that you really don’t know a potential mate until you’re at least a year into the relationship. Others say it actually takes longer. By putting his cards on the table straight out of the gate, I learned that his idea of a perfect retro relationship didn’t jive with mine. Tony spared me a future break-up speech I surely would have given down the road.

Dating should be fun. Dating should be interesting. Dating should be sexy. Dating is a vetting process- no shoulds about it.

As a basic rule of thumb, I suggest the first couple dates be fun, casual and flirty. Of course you’ll learn some things during these dates, but the important thing you’re learning is if there’s mutual attraction and chemistry. If those dates give the green light for more dates, then you’ll start to learn the things I learned on my first date with Tony.

And if their love song of what a relationship is to them doesn’t harmonize with yours, there are plenty of other singers on the radio. You’ll find the right recording artist and you’ll make a fantastic album together!

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D8 with One Tasty Buckeye

As my milestone birthday approached, several friends questioned me as to how I wanted to celebrate. A large party really isn’t my style, so I suggested a few small dinner parties with various groups of friends. That’s exactly what came to pass; with one very special party I gave myself as a gift- dinner with family and friends in Ohio.

It seemed like a good idea to celebrate a milestone where it all started. Having New York in my blood since 1990, one thing hasn’t changed- you can take the boy out of Ohio, but never the Ohio out of the boy.

Returning to Ohio is always a personal recharge for me, and this trip was no exception. Seeing friends from high school reminded me how fortunate I am to have the childhood and high school years I was blessed to experience. Seeing my parents in Ohio was a bonus because they were visiting the Buckeye State too. Celebrating my milestone with these people meant the world, as their presence in my daily life was pretty slim outside of Facebook and phone calls. It really was the best self-present ever.

But when it comes to a present-present, any self-respecting New Yorker from Ohio won’t leave the Buckeye State without buying some Ohio State gear. I already purchased some shirts and a great new cap, but there’s always room in the suitcase for one more Ohio State something, so I stopped at one last mall before driving East. As I walked out with my shopping bag, I spotted a local coffee shop that needed to be visited.

Little did I know that I was about to get more than a cup of coffee.

Seems that another man was also in the mood for a coffee, and we walked in together. We traded smiles, and I noticed that there was no wedding ring. I was totally smitten, and I could tell he was checking me out, too. He ordered his beverage, then nodded towards me and said to the clerk, “and whatever he’s having.”

Of course I was obligated to thank him for the coffee, and very much wanted to do so. He asked me to join him, which I was sort of obligated to and very, very much wanted to do.

About ninety minutes, several laughs, and the discovery of many things in common later, I was 100% hooked on this fellow caffeine addict. It was as if time stopped and dropped me in a place where I was supposed to be. The lucky part was that my unexpected coffee date felt the exact same way. We both were single, both were looking for a relationship, and both had a hankering for an afternoon dark roasted coffee treat.

The 91st minute brought me back to reality- I just met an incredible man that exceeds every expectation regarding a future partner. I just experienced what was one of the best dates ever, and it was one that I didn’t even plan. And the incredible man just happens to live in the Buckeye State. And you know what? I didn’t give a damn where this man lives; all that mattered was the moment and that I was sharing it with him.

As I got into my car and started driving East, I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear. From start to finish, my birthday pilgrimage to the “motherland” was more incredible than I ever imagined. I wasn’t across the State Line when I received a call from my Buckeye just to check in and see how the drive was going. He reiterated how much fun he had with me, and that there would be a second date without doubt. Of course I would have been delighted at the prospect of a second date the next day, but that wasn’t in the cards. Disappointing yes, but it was impossible to be sad because of the unexpected card I was dealt today.

With one lucky deal from the deck, a Tasty Buckeye was officially in my world.

Making Buckeyes is a must during the holiday season, but my 1FineD8 left me with only Valentining on my mind.
Making Buckeyes is a must during the holiday season, but my 1FineD8 left me with only Valentining on my mind.

1FineLesson

I have a lot of friends currently in the dating scene, and at times they get very frustrated over bad dates, good dates that don’t like them back, or no dates at all. I’m in the same boat, and I can tell you with 100% honesty that dating is work. Dating can also be disappointing and frustrating. The key to success in the world of dating is simply not to give up… and to keep your eyes on the prize regardless of the “now”.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in finding the perfect date that when one just happens to appear, we’re too preoccupied to see what’s in front of us.

When it came to celebrating my birthday, it was a grand slam of perfection. I was more than happy with seeing the people I got to see and I was even fortunate to get a couple amazing gifts too. But perhaps the standout gift was the one that had no price tag. It’s the gift that can’t be found at Williams-Sonoma or Bloomingdales.com.

I received the gift of chance.

Gifts of chance can happen anywhere, and as daters we need to remain open to all opportunities- even the unexpected ones. Especially the unexpected ones! Granted (like in my situation with the Buckeye) unexpected dating can be messy and perhaps problematic distance-wise, but can also provide you with a feeling like no other. Is it worth riding out to see were it goes? I believe so, and time will tell.

Keep those eyes open, and your heart as well. You never know when you’ll get an unexpected serving of something magical.