Tuesday, January 28, 2014

So Who Do I Bring on the First Date?

Just a Few to Mention

There is a huge lump on the front of my forehead from banging it against the wall... the dresser... the door... the counter (that was by accident) and whatever other hard surface I can find now that I've entered the world of dating again. Has it always been this difficult? Has it always been something that makes my eyes cross, my head spin, and my hand reach for a stiff drink? The moral of the past few dates I've been on: "I'm too much to handle." 

It seems every time I open my mouth and start talking about myself the guy starts looking for all the available exits as if he is on a plane experiencing severe turbulence (you should have paid attention at the beginning of the flight by the way). The first question always seems to be: "So tell me about yourself?" If I could just avoid that question I may make it to dessert but alas the second I start to give a rundown on who I am I start to see panic appear in his eyes. The date has just hit an iceberg in true Titanic fashion. The question I have about this inquiry is simple: How do I answer that?

I took a very scientific study of a random selection of people (i.e.- unbiased family and friends) by asking them the simple question: Define me in just ONE word. Some hesitated. Some threw it right out there. So, if we could put the ten most popular answers up on the board please, SURVEY SAYS: 

1) Brave
2) Enthusiastic
3) Quirky
4) Confident
5) Eccentric
6) Vivacious
7) Energetic (with added note: not on Saturday/Sunday mornings)
8) Intelligent
9) Remarkable
10) Independent
Honorable Mention: "Sparkly" submitted by my 3.5-year old niece. 

So I take all of these characteristics and put them together to make one Kristen. A Kristen who can be confident yet quirky. Intelligent yet eccentric. Brave and remarkable yet petrified of clowns and skin suits. Independent yet unable to kill spiders. Vivacious and energetic yet sleeps until noon on the weekends. I did not receive a single duplicate answer when asked to describe me in one word. Does that make me unique or does that just make me a handful?

I know who I am and what I want. I want to see a Yankees game... I will make that happen. I want to eat a vat of frosting... I'll hold up a bakery without question. I want to live on my own for 12 years in tiny apartments... I will survive on Easy Mac to do so. I want to save the world... I will start by volunteering in water with sand fleas. I want to find the right guy for me.... *crickets* *crickets*

I'm worried that perhaps I bring too much to the table. I'm the tomboy who will talk sports with you and definitely drink you under the table. I'm the kickboxing wannabe who winds up in the ER after her 3rd class. I'm the girl who dreams in Tiffany Blue and looks at Holly Golightly as a heroine (make point to check out call girl rates for better income status). I'm the girl who laughs out loud at herself. I'm also the girl who can watch a baseball game swearing like a sailor and then turn on Steel Magnolias and bawl my eyes out (Shelby can't run to Texas damn it but her mother can!!). Every guy I have ever been on a date with or had a relationship with was unable to find a happy balance between all of these different Kristen's. Again, too much to handle.

There is just one physical "me." You can't miss her. But the thousands of pieces that comprise me and the countless hats I wear (graduation cap, a baseball hat, a tiara) are what haven't completely fused together yet. I'm all over the spectrum. I'm an energetic crazed woman dancing in her apartment and a narcoleptic insomniac (true story) at the same time.

Is it my job to reign all of these different Kristen's in? Is it my job to choose which ones to reveal slowly but surely to a potential suitor (welcome to the 1950s)? It seems like I just throw them all out there at once and duck when the "well, you're rather intimating" or "check please!!!" is uttered in the middle of the date. I don't know who the man I'm looking for is... But perhaps he's the one who can take the tomboy, the princess, the klutz and the nerd, and tie them together. Perhaps that's what I need in life. A Breakfast Club-esque approach to dating. Basically I come to the table, lay it out there and you take it or you leave it. The person who takes it will be the one who can look me in the eye and say: I accept you for who you are no matter how many of you there may be (or how many detentions you've had- see what I did there?).

So I may not have "Don't You Forget About Me" playing as I walk away from my date... But maybe there is a Jake Ryan out there ready to mouth "yeah you" when I look at him, confused and in dismay, asking "ME?" Because he is going to want every one of the "me's" that come with this brown haired, brown eyed, fun-sized package. And I guess that's the Kristen I need to bring on the first date.


Monday, January 20, 2014

If I Don't Text You at Ten, I'm Dead...

We all know what time it is when this compilation is sitting on my counter. It's first date time. We've got the letter to the police giving a full description of myself, my whereabouts, my "date's" information, my toothbrush and hairbrush for DNA, the impression of my teeth (just in case) and a camera with photos of me right before I walked out the door. On the back of the paper is my last will and testament outlining who gets what from my amazing collection of books, electronics, baseball card collection, shoes, handbags, mismatched dishes, unused pots/pans and ownership of my two cats. Also the statement that should I be murdered, please play "New York, New York" at the funeral and bury me in my "42" jersey. Hey, we all have last requests, right?

You're looking at this picture and you're convinced that I'm a crazy person. That all my sanity has somehow escaped my mind and I'm walking this earth absolutely senile. But, my good friend, you'd be wrong. You must be proactive in your defense against being turned into a skin suit. We all have our biggest fears and mine is that the guy will bring lotion, a basket and have a little dog named Precious. There are various traits that I don't trust about a man and they lead me to believe they have skin suit potential. We all remember "no toppings guy." I got out of that situation but for the grace of God.

I met this gentleman at a restaurant to which of course I was early (never leave home without at least one book). So I sat in my car and waited. And while I waited and tried to read some book about a man who found a missing baby in 1962 I just kept thinking to myself: "I know nothing about this guy. What am I getting myself into? This could be a complete disaster! He could be boring. He could hate baseball. He could think Obamacare is a gift from above. He could order seafood. He could murder me. And the big one: he could not like frosting." These questions filled my Ford Escape and unfortunately made me keep re-reading each sentence because ADD is a horrible thing. Trying to balance my uncontrollable train of thought was more of a chore than one could imagine.

And this date comes on the heels of receiving a message from a horrendous ex-boyfriend from years ago finding me on social media and sending me a heart-felt, violin inducing message of sorrow, guilt and pain. He confirmed everything I already knew: Yes, I look fabulous. Yes, I am extremely happy. Yes, I have found true love in baseball and frosting (monogamy has never been my strong point). And yes, my life is how I want it to be right now. No, I don't believe you have changed. No, I don't think you're sorry (sorry excuse for a man but not actually sorry). But yes, I would be willing to go back in time and take you back... once I have exhausted all the air in my lungs and rigor has set in. I don't have a "save the date" card for that but I'll make sure you'll get one in the mail from the coroner.

My luck with men has been anything but positive. Pay no attention to the Irish last name because I never inherited that luck when it comes to the male species. I have horror stories that Stephen King would pay a lot of money to get the rights to. But it's been almost 8 months since the break-up and I promised friends that I would date again in 2014. So here I was, sitting in my car holding a Kindle I wasn't really reading, and thinking of two things: 1) what am I doing here again because I'm really tired of doing this and 2) Did I remember to fully charge my stun gun?

Starting over. That's what I was doing in that car. Starting over at 29 with someone that could lead to a second date and something special. Something that could possibly go somewhere and be something amazing. Something that I would look back on and say, "Remember that night I met you and all the stars aligned and everything was perfect and little bunnies starting hopping by with rainbows above us?" Or I could be saying, "I got a good look at him officer. He was standing there with various bottles of Bath & Body Works in a basket leading me to a hole in the ground!" Nevertheless, as I sat in the car one thing came to my mind: if all else fails and nothing comes of this attempt I'm not eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich tonight for dinner again. And that my friends, was worth the insane risk I was about to take when the text came on my phone that said "I'm here."