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Feb 12

How I met your mother — or a hookup

Posted on Friday, February 12, 2010 in Advice, Aging, dating, hookups, Relationships, Singles

Sara looked a little ragged when I picked her up the other day, which was a bum because I was in a pretty good mood and I didn’t want her downer to rub off on me.

But, a friend must do what a friend must do.

“You don’t look so good.”

“That’s because I’m not so good. I’m tired.”

“Well, you should be tired. You’ve been working so hard lately,” I said as supportively as I could.

“Not that kind of tired, although I actually am that kind of tired, too.”

“Uh, then what kind of other tired are you?” I asked, feeling a little tired myself from trying to figure out the nuances of “tired.”

“Tired of going online to meet men. Why can’t
I meet them the old-fashioned way?”     

“The old-fashioned way is in a bar, isn’t it?”

“I guess. but that seems ridiculous now that I’m a little past my college days.”

A little? Not only was she tired, but she was
also delusional.
But, I stuck with her, as friends must. It didn’t seem like a good time to rub her
face in her woman-of-a-certain-age reality.

“Well, perhaps you can meet guys at something
you like doing, like a group bike ride or hike or something.”

“Ugh, puh-lease! You know the type of people who do that.”

Sure — it would people just like Sara if everyone didn’t feel the way she does! But, whatever.

“Well, maybe you need to think outside the
box. I hear
recovery meetings are the new, uh, bars.”

“Oh, great idea, Kat. I’ll do that, right after I check out the scene at the DUI drunk tank first. Might
as well get them fresh before someone else snags them!”

“It was just a thought,” I sniffed.

Granted, a bad one but I did read it online (which is another topic for another day — what kind of relationship “expert” sends women to AA to meet a guy?) I’m sure even “Marry Him!’s” Lori Gottlieb would agree we wouldn’t be too picky if we didn’t look for Mr. Good Enough there.

But, it is a problem; where do you meet singles, especially when you’re middle-aged and in the ‘burbs?

When I was younger, I met people in all sorts of places — dance clubs, gyms, standing in line, on an airplane, bars. When you’re young, you don’t have to work too hard. You just have to have a pulse.

Now? A pulse is not enough.

I’m a fan of online dating sites, especially for us boomers, although I know many singles aren’t. It’s just another option, not a guarantee. I met Sean online, and a lot of the other guys I’d dated in recent years. A few I met in bars and music clubs. I met one guy on a ski slope, and one while walking Roxy on a hiking trail. I even had a Missed Connection date (and it should have remained “missed,” too). The most unusual place — literally bumping into him in a hotel lobby.

So, in the spirit of V-Day (yeah, yeah, yeah — I know I rag on it), please share the oddest or most memorable place you met someone and either dated or had a hookup; given the advice of the experts — really, a recovery program? — I’m sure you have much to share.

And, happy V-Day.

Photo © microimages – Fotolia.com

Jan 25

The days of wine and dating

Posted on Monday, January 25, 2010 in dating, Happiness, Relationships, Singles

“How do you know if someone’s an alcoholic?” Sara asked me as she handed me a glass of zin.

I looked at the wine in my hand, then at her.

“Is this a way of euphemistically asking me if I think I’m a drunk?”

“No, of course not! We like to drink, but we’re not alcoholics.”

“So, who do you think is?”

“I finally had a date with Richie, that guy from Match, last week, remember? I really like him, but he
kicked back six cocktails by the time he drove
me home.”   

“He had six drinks, and then you let him drive you home? Are you crazy? That’s worse than him being a drunk!”

“Well, I didn’t add it all up at the time, even though
it seemed like he was drinking a lot. I thought about it after. But, he didn’t even act drunk or anything. So, how do you know?”

Good question.

Drinking is so ingrained in our culture,
there are probably many people who look like social drinkers but who are really alcoholics, and many people who
look like alcoholics but just like to have a good time.

Good luck trying to decipher that when you’re getting to know someone.

A few years ago I had a first date-gone-wrong with
a guy I’d met online. We met for happy hour at an oyster bar in San Francisco, and as we chatted and sucked down an oyster platter, I suddenly felt the wine smack me upside the head. I hadn’t eaten all day, and here I was — half a glass of wine in me and looped! He never called again, and I don’t blame him; he probably thought I was one of those female boozers who’d end up turning all psycho
on him (although I was delightedly surprised he didn’t at least try to take advantage of me.)

There have certainly been times when I made a bad judgment call like Sara did — driving with someone who’d had too much to drink or who even had an open beer in the car. And there was a time in my life when I’d have thought, “One guy, six drinks = total alcoholic,” but it’s a little more complicated than that.

By some measures, I might be questionable. Why? Because I drink alone. Yes, well, I also happen to live alone and thus eat, sleep, cook, watch DVDs and masturbate alone, too — what choice do I have?

But when you’re dating, unless you’re in recovery or a total teetotaler, booze is often along for the ride. And, that’s OK with me; I want a guy who enjoys good wine and good food with me, and who can have a cocktail or two. I could date someone who doesn’t drink, but I might be unhappy if I couldn’t drink while we were together (still, not a deal-breaker if all else is pretty darn good).

It’s hard to figure out who’s a social drinker and who’s a boozer, especially on a first date.

Given my half-glass-and-looped first date experience, I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt (although, honestly, six drinks … and then driving? A boozer or not, Sara’s date was just plain stupid!)

But, if you’ve been with someone for a while and are asking, “How do you know if someone’s an alcoholic?” well, I’m 99 percent positive you already know the answer.

  • Do you drink on a first date?
  • Do you pay attention to how much your date drinks?
  • Do you ever worry about someone’s drinking? Your own?

Photo © Daria Miroshnikova – Fotolia.com