Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Cold Cut Pickup: Finding Love in the Deli Section

Louise Roe, the hip British host of the summer replacement show, PLAIN JANE, made me believe anything is possible. The show chronicles the lives of shy, romantic and fashion challenged women. The goal is to transform the female into a datable vixen and score a date with her secret crush. Needless to say, these are females who do not know how to flirt. Not only do they get come hither eyes with their makeover, some flirtatious behavior is thrown in too.

One show had the shy woman trying to pick up men in a grocery store. Ironically, she didn’t really want to pick up men she was supposed to try to flirt with them to get her in practice for her real date. It was amusing to see her hit on married men or at least committed men whose girlfriends popped up in the produce section. She became chatty with some gorgeous gay guys who gave her points for trying. Then one handsome male wearing a fedora, no less, gave her his business card and asked her to call him. Wow, it really works. I’ve heard about this before, but never believed it worked.

Bad News is it doesn’t work. Well, maybe for a few people, but I’ve never met them. The cold pick up does not exist in reality. What man or woman casually goes off with a stranger they met in line at the post office or the grocery store? Consider that you might be exiting with a serial killer, a person in already in a relationship looking for action on the side, or someone who is a clingy barnacle who has now chosen you as their next ship of choice. There will be no getting rid of him, short of changing your name and moving to a new city.

You can make hook ups in groups like Meet-up, a single mixers, speed dating, even weddings. Keep in mind that many of the people you meet in these groups are desperately seeking a relationship, and will often pretend to be something they are not. You will figure it out, hopefully before they move in with you.

A quality pick-up doesn’t happen in twenty seconds, it doesn’t even happen in twenty minutes. It takes several meetings before one person gets up the courage to ask the other for a drink. Plus it allows the invitee to get a chance to get to know the asker. After all, we can’t all put our best foot forward every time. The best way to make to happen is to target who you want to meet. You might not have a chance encounter with the hot guy in the Saab, especially if he has out of state license plates. You really have to build your case by meeting often.

Maybe it is the cute reference librarian, a waiter at your favorite restaurant, the guy at the gym who always comes on Thursdays and Sundays, the same time as you. You have to have a somewhat regular time table, to help time your accidental meetings. This allows you to prepare for the meeting by sprucing up your appearance, and thinking of clever remarks. Remember to smile, be funny, and upbeat because funny wins over somber every time.

Keep your comments about local events to pinpoint where he might be or activities he likes. You could casually bump into the librarian at the local street festival. If you’re really feeling brave, tell him when you are going and ask for the date. The worse that can happen is a refusal. The world doesn’t end. Rainclouds will not mass over your head. People who actually get dates also get a lot of refusals.

Forget the movies, where you’re able to pick up bread and delicious dates in the bakery department. People really don’t paw each other thirty minutes after meeting unless one is paying for that treatment. Remember to keep it real, and you’ll do fine.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lucky 13

Wonder why you haven’t found the right match even after marriage, divorce, and dating again? Is it you? Why does the other person treat you so shabbily? It could be a lot of things. Could be that you have poor self-confidence and you pick people who reinforce that. Remember people will treat you the way you treat yourself. Then again, it just might be the numbers.


The magic number used to be seven. Peter Todd published an article in Wired magazine that explains statistical evidence that found people usually dated twelve different individuals before they met their perfect match. Remember this was an average, which meant some people had less relationships and some people had more. Jennifer Cruise has a character in one of her books wildly dating men in an effort to find the one. A spiteful co-worker told her the number was seven hundred. This depresses her horribly because she met someone back at man number twenty-three that she really liked.


Of course, this relies on you believing that there is “the one” out there. If you go out with a person who ridicules anything you do, drop him or her. No one needs someone who is not supportive. That type of behavior will eat away at you like acid. I love to read all those sentimental slide shows that come up on the net that details what characteristic a person loves about another. Men will say they love it when their wife talks in a cartoon voice, uses code words for sex, takes a long time to get ready, snorts when she laughs, etc. What? We all heard those things were bad, maybe even took some heat for having a few of them ourselves. When someone really loves you, your quirks become endearing.


Some of you swept by relationship seven with no sign of a soul mate. Don’t worry too much, since the new number is now Lucky 13. Why the change? It might be because there are more people. Perhaps people date more. Relationships are not lasting, putting people back into the dating realm. The biggest new dating demographic is people in their fifties.


Why haven’t you met the perfect person for you by fifty? Maybe the universe really wanted you to appreciate your soul mate by sending a few also rans your way. Trust me, when you find the right one you will be extremely appreciative.


If you ever wonder why there are so few good marriages or relationships in your immediate world, or the larger world, it is due to a scarcity mind set. My best friend's parents never actually spoke to each other. They spoke through the children. I asked my friend why they were married at all. She told me her mother married her father because her grandmother warned her he might be the only man who would ask. She needed to grab him while she could.


Many men and women believe they won’t find a mate and grab anyone who is willing to marry them, even when they know it is a mistake. Thirteen may seem high, but it might be because people have to work out issues about what they deserve, and need to look past surface appearance to find the inner beauty.


I’ve done the online dating scene where men only want to date leggy blondes under thirty, while the best fit might be a thirty-something redhead with an attitude. Women are guilty of specifying men only 6 foot and over, which is only 13% of the male population. Consider that some of those extra tall guys are married, gay, or not interested in you--which means you wiped out any chance of finding Mr. Right by being super picky.


Often people make outrageous lists of traits so they can insist there are no good prospects out there. As for thirteen relationships, you might meet him at three or twenty-three. Sometimes, unfortunately, we let the right one go because we are looking for this Prince Charming type of persona. The sweet nerdy guy who opened your car door wasn’t it. Years later, you might realize he was, but now he’s married to an infinitely smarter woman.


Lucky 13. Does the thought depress you or give you something to aim for?


Friday, February 17, 2012

Homeowning: The New Dating Lure

Trulia’s new love and housing survey shows that both men and women prefer a homeowner over a renter. The survey included both single men and women. Only a mere two to three percent, depending on the gender, preferred an apartment dweller. What gives?

Wasn’t it enough to worry about weight, age and previous relationships, now we have to worry about her home ownership? I took a job about four years ago that necessitated me moving to an economically depressed area. I thought it smart to rent as opposed to owning because it would be extremely difficult to unload a house in this market. Lucky for me, home owning never came up in pre-date conversations. I think it may have been an assumption since I lived in a home with a yard that I did own. I tried to keep quiet that I’d been married twice; clueless that I should keep the rent situation mum on the initial dates too.

Why are homeowners preferred, especially among women? Stability, mainly financial stability, is the primary focus. A man with a house is probably not a spendaholic because he’s learned to budget for taxes and home repairs. We naturally assume a man with a house is more responsible and ready for commitment. This can be a false assumption. Consider the condition of his house, does he keep it up? If not, keep in mind, he’s not changing his ways because you’ve come into his life.

What’s wrong with a renter? People assume a renter is a transient. Start a relationship with him or her and they could disappear from your life. Most leases are for a year, which makes it hard to vanish overnight. Renters are sometimes considered playboys or playgirls with plenty of leisure time since they don’t have yard work. They spend their free time hitting the bars and clubs since they aren’t grouting the bathroom tile floor.

Trulia’s report spotlighted that 74% of the men would move in to save expenses, while 70% of the women were open to this option. It is much easier to move into a bigger house than a smaller apartment. Did you ever think of your house as a dating lure? It is, especially if you have a master bath, and walk in closets. Throw in a gourmet kitchen and you’ll be fighting off the women according to the survey.

Swimming pools and hot tubs did not have the same appeal. The would be dater has probably had to skim a pool or two in her time and isn’t looking forward to another one. I am surprised my favorite feature wasn’t mentioned in the house inventory, the garage. What woman wouldn’t want a two-car heated garage with an automatic door opener?

All this talk about homeowners versus renters agitated my fiancĂ© who is a renter. It just goes to show that it is about money, he commented. Women are trying to figure out who has the most money so they can go after them. On one hand that may be true. Women who are looking to move into more comfortable digs may size up a date for housing opportunities. I have a co-worker who is constantly moving women in with him. He manages to get the last one out of the house before the new one moves in. Personally, I don’t understand these women who are willing to throw all sense of self away for free housing.

As for the renter, sometimes it makes sense to rent, especially when you are out of town on business, or do not plan staying in the area. It also leaves you open if you find that special someone you can easily find your home together without the nuisance of selling your previous home. All this talk about wanting a homeowner over a renter brings up another touchy subject, the ex who previously resided in the house. Suddenly the new love interest has to consider the garden tub they just frolicked in may have been used by her sweetie and his ex, only months before. The coveted walk-in closets may have been built specifically for the ex. If you’re lucky enough to have contact with the ex, she’ll point out she remodeled the kitchen you take so much joy in using. Your joy dimmed a little with her comment. So maybe a renter is the way to go.

My own mother remarried, and eventually went to live with her new husband in the house he specifically designed for his deceased wife. Does this bother her? Yes, it does. My mother didn’t want to live there with all the memories of the past wife. She didn’t rate a house of her own, she is merely getting a second hand house with constant reminders it isn’t hers. So once again, it’s another vote for the renters out there who are just waiting to share a new home with their special someone.

As for revealing all on your initial date, you might hold back your renter status. Allow the person to get to know what an amazing person you are first. Then again if they are going to throw you over for being a renter why bother dating them anyhow.

If it is the right fit, you don’t care. I tell my sweetheart, I threw over a couple homeowners for him. I, also, always wanted to move to the East Coast, and a home owner would be an anchor on my dreams.

Would you date a renter?

Monday, February 13, 2012


It is Valentine’s Day and the question is: What do women want on Valentine’s Day? I watched the latest episode of THE MIDDLE on Hulu with my sweetie. It begins with Mike and Frankie, telling each other they don’t want anything special for Valentine’s Day. No fuss, no flowers, no dinner out, instead Mike will pick up a bucket of chicken and they’ll watch television in separate rooms.

My fiancĂ© turns to me and asks me if this is what women really want? No, it isn’t what she wants I explain, but she knows it is what she’ll get so she tries to be okay with it. Who hasn’t suffered through V-day with a clueless spouse, or boyfriend? Many men just break up, so they won’t have to deal with the stress and expense. Many women, at least those raised on a steady diet of advertising expect big showy gifts.

Getting back to the show, Mike and Frankie decide to go out with two other couples. At least that way she has someone to talk to she jokes. Personally, I am amazed they can get reservations on Valentine’s Day. During their dinner, a lady comes by selling single roses. Each man buys one for his wife, except Frankie’s husband. The other women give her sympathetic looks. Mike, the husband, doesn’t understand why his wife is mad. She has to explain that it looks like he doesn’t love or appreciate her. That’s what women really want is to be loved and appreciated. It can happen in a variety ways that does not include diamonds or chocolate.

One icy Valentine’s Day I was driving home enduring another bout of freezing rain while men jammed the Walgreens parking lot to buy overpriced chocolate, cards, and other romantic gifts. I noticed walking along the sidewalk an older couple. The woman precariously balanced on a walker. The man held an umbrella over her while icicles formed on his beard. That is what love is: someone willing to hold an umbrella over your head when you can’t in freezing rain. It isn’t some stuffed mouse holding a heart bought at the last minute.

Love is letting the other person know you care. Love is also a two way street. Many men and some women too, buy their loved one gifts they think they will like only to have it rejected, ridiculed, or thrown back in their faces. One woman who scolded her husband early on for wasting money on flowers never received flowers again. Few people will try again if their efforts are belittled.

Going back to the show, you can imagine the husband is in the doghouse for his lack of sensitivity. The subplot is that the son has to write an essay on what love is, which he hates because he’s only ten. He decides to base it on his parents and details the thoughtful things they do for each other. Little things like his mother rubbing his father’s neck on long road trips or his father warming up his mother’s car on frosty mornings.

It is all about appreciation. You ever wonder why people get divorced or drop out of relationships. Statistics tell you it is money problems or infidelity, but it is deeper than that. People usually stray because they don’t feel loved, appreciated or special at home. (I know this doesn’t account for the players.) Money problems can result from one partner overspending, not appreciative of how hard the other partner works. I’ve heard tales of one partner pleading with the other to stop spending because there is no more money, and her reply is “that’s not my problem.” As you can probably guess, they are divorced. Every day we go out and work hard and would like our efforts appreciated. We try to be good employees, mothers, friends, wives, and girlfriends.

My boss always tells all the women employees how nice they look, but we really want to be told what a good job we’re doing. Sometimes it is good to hear both. Do you know what most men want to hear? Three things: that they are a good man, a good father, and a good lover. That’s it.

Valentine’s Day is reminiscent of the food baskets they give out at Christmas to the poor. I always wondered if the poor didn’t need food baskets all the other months too. December was the only month people got anything. Sometimes we treat February 14th like that is the end-all romantic day. If the guy or gal doesn’t pull out all the stops, then it bad news for them. I would be sad if my sweetie only showed his love for me once a year. I like to think I do several things a week to demonstrate my love for him.

Valentine’s Day just isn’t for lovers. I buy children’s valentines and to give out to everyone at work. We all need a little appreciation on February 14th, and on the 365 other days, this year, too.