Monday, September 08, 2008

This sort of thing is always so much funnier on TV

So I guess it's fall now, because I'm currently wearing the beloved blue yoga pants I have an almost unhealthy relationship with, and I just put on my fleece-lined slippers for the first time since May. What up, Fall? I wasn't expecting you so soon! Perhaps it's just a preview.

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. Me, I saw three live music performances, had two dinners out at restaurants in newly reclaimed downtown St. Paul, had one giant Sidecar too many at the best old school supper club and lounge this side of Nye's Polonaise, baked some cinnamon pecan blondies (minus the pecans), and attended two parties in the same night (a Sunday night, no less), one of which featured a dinner of Eggs Benedict and a drink that tastes like liquid candy. Oh. Also, I painted less than one full wall of my sad, sad garage, and I went on possibly the single worst date of the year. Those last two have little to do with food or alcohol, however (or with the recently lost four pounds that are obviously coming right back), so perhaps they hardly bear mentioning.

In truth, the date itself wasn't particularly dreadful. A bit mundane and small talky, sure, but that is nothing new. It was the last three minutes that made me remember why I've repeatedly said I'm swearing off this nonsense for good.

How about a discussion question? We haven't had one of those in a while. Tell me: at the end of a date that was by no means spectacular, is it a good idea to ask, "So! What do you think? Should we get together again?" Because I'm sort of voting for no, on the grounds that such a question can only create the sort of formidable awkwardness that dating with the Internet as a buffer was designed specifically to prevent. That is what e-mail is for! Slinking away with a "Thanks but no thanks"--no brave poker face required! Seriously: don't we all know this by now? Perhaps not.

However! If a man does ask that question after a lackluster and mundane, borderline painful date, what is the woman on the receiving end to do? Muster a weak, "OK" and back out later? Go on an equally boring second date and live through the same awkward question again after that? Or politely and honestly say, "You know, it was nice meeting you, and thanks for the coffee and conversation, but I just don't think there's a love connection here, Chuck"?

I have a friend who, in her online dating days, somehow mastered the polite and gentle "No thanks" speech. I think it's time I had her mentor me, a la Phoebe and Chandler in The One with the East German Laundry Detergent. (Yes, I had to Google that. There is a Friends reference for every situation in life, but rarely is the memory accompanied by the episode title.) I need her to mentor me, because somehow my version of the "Thanks but no thanks" line prompts men to argue and rally, saying, "Really? Really? You didn't feel a connection?? What does that even mean, 'connection'? I had a good time; what, didn't YOU??"

I wish I were making that up. I am not. I am also not making this up:

Him: You know, I went out with this other girl... We went on like, five, six dates, and then she said, "I just don't feel that big spark. What BIG SPARK?? What does that mean? Why does there have to be a SPARK?

Me: ...

Him: I'm sorry. I don't mean to put you on the spot...

Me: Um, well you kinda are.

The only way I think that situation could have gotten any more awkward is if I had said, "You know, you're right! We SHOULD go out again! Even though I just told you I do not want to, meaning that strange second date will be clouded by insecurity and gloom from the very start, SURE! Let's go out again! You still want to, right??"

Sigh. On a related note, I just checked my Sitemeter account and found that someone Googled their way here this evening by typing "Stefanie's awkward life." I think that says it all.


steve said...

While I fully endorse your frustration, from the guy's perspective, the end of a date can be really awkward. Way back when I was on my first few internet dates, it took me awhile to figure out how to handle a date that isn't stellar.

Stick with it! It'll get better. I promise.

Pants said...

I think your awkward date may be related to this guy I went on a date with...after an extremely dull evening, lacking chemistry so severely I could only compare it to hanging out with a brother (if I had a brother) he shoved his dry tongue in my mouth. It was horrifying and made MORE awkward (if you can imagine that) by my natural reaction to hold perfectly still. Sure it was nice to have an apology email waiting for me when I got home, but it would have been better if he'd kept his tongue to himself.

Have I told you I signed back up for some more hell, I mean internet dating? I don't know why I do this to myself.

3carnations said...

The person who tries to convince the other person they should see each other again is kind of sad. Unfortunately, I must admit I've been at both ends of that situation.

Now I'm slinking away, embarrassed, after revealing that.

Jess said...

Man. ARGUING with the person rejecting you? That's rubbing salt in your own wound right there.

nancypearlwannabe said...

Of course they are arguing that they want to see you again. Who doesn't?!

Stefanie's Awkward Life sounds like a fall show on NBC or something. Hilarious.

lizgwiz said...

Well, now I'm at least grateful that my recent awkward dates have for the most part ended with mutual lack of interest. Well, except for Ordinary Guy, maybe...but he's so passive he'd never have asked for another date outright. ;)

Dude doesn't understand "spark" OR "connection"? Okay, maybe those terms get bandied about a bit too much, but there's a reason why they do. We want a date where there's a SPARK or a CONNECTION of some sort. Sheesh.

flurrious said...

I can't believe someone hasn't snapped this guy up yet. He reminds me of an old boyfriend who kept asking me out after we broke up. I would say no, and he would try to convince me to change my answer. Those conversations would always end with him yelling at me, and me saying, "well, this is why I don't want to go out with you." Your date sounds like one of those guys. Run! Run like the wind!

Craig said...

Ok, so are we allowed to laugh at your pain (well, not so much at your pain as at your awkward situations) since you put it out here, and if we promise that we are only laughing with you?

It's funny that you chose to reference an episode of Friends. Before I got to that point, I was also thinking of Chalndler having issues telling someone he wasn't interested, but I was thinking of The One with the Dollhouse, where he can't stand Rachel's boss, but keeps saying things like "I'll call you" or "we should do this again sometime" and getting stuck going out again. Apparently great minds think along somewhat similar, yet divergent paths.

I'm not sure exactly how that whole thing should be handled. It would be best not to ask the question, but you can't blame the guy for wanting to know where he stands. It's just that maybe he should allow you to tell him on your own terms rather than right here, right now. Arguing about it though...ouch. That's just sad.

I agree that Stefanie's Awkward Life sounds like a sitcom title, and I believe that both of the dialogue snippets you included would work perfectly in that format. Maybe you could spin the blog into a show deal, and make yourself fabulously wealthy.

-R- said...

Trying to convince you that you had a good time is not the way to go, I think we all agree.

What live shows did you see?

The Dutchess of Kickball said...

I have never ever been good with that whole situation at the end of the first date. I usually laid out the "yeah, I'll call you" line and then never did. I suck.

Courtney said...

Oh, no. That sounds soooo uncomfortable. It's kind of like breaking up with someone who tries to convince you to stay -- just sad. Who wants to be with someone who doesn't want to be with them?

Mickey said...

You're feeling fall already? Damn. Lucky.

Mair said...

Every time you talk about your awesome yoga pants, I get INSANELY JEALOUS and full of the COVETS because I want them! And I don't know where to find them! And no one can help me!


I still want them.

Elise said...

I was the one who Googled that.

Well no, but that IS awesome. And I'd totally read whatever came up if I DID Google that.

Sorry about the awkward date ending, but yay for comfy blue yoga pants!

Stefanie said...

Steve--This guy was not new to internet dating, however (nor am I, obviously). Those last few moments were as awkward as my very first online date, however! Sheesh.

Pants--Gah! Thank you for that. At least the date didn't end with a foreign tongue in my mouth. And YAY for joining up to commiserate with me some more! I'm behind on my blog reading, but I look forward to seeing some stories on your blog! :-)

3Cs--Aww. Don't worry; I won't tell anyone. :-)

Jess--I know, right?

NPW--Unfortunately, it's probably a show that would be canceled after three episodes.

Liz--I know. I was confused as to why he was confused, too. (I'm not at a loss for words all that often, but I totally was then.)

Flurrious--I'm running! Thanks! :-)

Craig--Yes, you are allowed to laugh at my pain. Somebody ought to...

R--I went to the Concrete and Grass thing in Mears Park. Saw Haley Bonar and Romantica on Friday and Chris Koza on Saturday. I've spent more time in Lowertown St. Paul in the past week than I have in the five years prior!

Dutchess--I suck, too. I really ought to be better at this by now.

Courtney--I know, although, like 3Cs, I'm sure I've been in a similar place before (though I've never really argued my case for it).

Mickey--Indeed. I may need to take my window AC units out this weekend. It was 65 degrees in my house today!

Mair (Hi Mary!) :-) -- I'm sorry. If it makes you feel any better, they will probably wear out this year, and then I will either stop talking about them or constantly whine myself that I can't wear them anymore!

Elise--I should actually Google that myself to see how high up in the results I am and how many of the hits are me!

Aaron said...

Not that I don't love "Stefanie Says", but I think you have your new, awkward blog title.

Sauntering Soul said...

I always hated the end of a date that didn't go well. It is so awkward. I had one of those and stupidly agreed to a second date (kind of out of pity). At the end of the second date he told me he had a present for me. I was handed a plastic grocery store bag and when I looked inside there was a sex toy. Talk about an awkward ending to a date! I muttered a very confused "uhm, thanks" and left as quickly as I could because that was something I had never prepared myself for and had no idea how to handle.

Also, I agree with aaron that you might have a great new blog title. Unlike me who recently had someone find me by searching for "my hairdresser wet her pants".

Alice said...

oh man. i totally cop out during Awkard Date Endings and say stuff like "oh! yeah! definitely!" then don't return calls. am cruel wimp.

metalia said...

What? Who the hell argues with someone who's turning them down? OH MY LORD.