Category Archives: Uncategorized

Guest Post: 50 First Dates

Since I am now an engaged woman, I have to leave it up to readers like Michelle to do my dating for me!  Michelle is a modern-day Helen Gurley Brown, except she cooks and eats and I don’t hate her.  But Michelle adores men, and men adore Michelle, and she’s happy to see as many as them as possible–sometimes I’m surprised she can keep them all straight!

I think I literally went on 50 three minute dates. It was exhilarating.

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Michelle, Kissing Her Boyfriend in Copenhagen!

Naturally, at a speed dating event with absolutely no filter I was expecting to leave my 50 dates with at least 5 horror stories. And instead I have none.

There was one guy who couldn’t continue a conversation with me (and I am pretty good at conversing- it’s stopping me that is usually the problem.)

A few guys were invading my personal space too much, but it was also much louder than one would expect (a crowded bar with no music but 50 conversations going on does require raising ones voice).

Some guys were kino-escalating too much. (http://www.pualingo.com/pua-definitions/kino-escalation/)

For a few the three minutes seemed a bit too long.

But all of the rest of them were positive interactions with decent conversations and a lot of laughing.

I did not meet the love of my life.
My friends and I all liked the same five guys most.
But the fact that there were actually FIVE cute and personable men seems like better odds than usual.

There were a variety of backgrounds- it was in Manhattan-different professions (teacher, cops, business, pilots, engineers) a number of foreigners (Israel, India, Austin) in addition to the natives. I could see myself being friends with many of them and wish we had a little more time to talk in general.

I think the success lies in the fact that at a bar most guys are not comfortable coming up to girls unless they are so used to rejection they don’t care (and they will continue to be rejected because they are weird). This actually created a comfortable environment where everyone had a fair shot. I assume all the girls acted like I did- being personable and friendly to all of the guys so they actually had a chance to show their personality. In a normal bar, a guy has to worry about a girl not being single, being surrounded by friends, or being scared. Since we’re all asking to be here the approach is much easier and people can actually be the best version of themselves for three minutes at a time.

Of course, during the break I talked to a couple of guys and it wound up being a girl who bought me a drink (she was interesting- too bad I didn’t get her number since she clearly knows how to have a good time!) I was kind of awestruck by the guys still not being what I consider a gentleman, but it was a fun night overall.

Next time I would definitely try one of the less dates with longer times mostly because by the end I had forgotten who everyone was and it was a big blur. But since I was expecting to be entertained by imps and was instead entertained by charming conversation it was still a win.

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Con Men

One of the things I’ve noticed in all my books is that they treat men like some precious mythical figure, a perfect being of grace and glory who exists only to compliment you, hold doors, pull out chairs and buy presents (if only we would let them, seems to be Arlene and. HGB’s battle sigh) Nowhere do they mention, for whatever reason, how to handle a guy who is an absolute pinhead.

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Pictured: Winning.

Ian and I took our internet-winning Barbara and Adam Maitland costumes to the Albany Comic Con on Sunday to meet my best friend Heather and her boyfriend Alex.  We went last year in our Alien costumes and won the contest, so we thought we’d try our luck again this year.  It’s a fun convention, full of vendors and cool toys and piles of stuff I used to buy on pilgrimages to Anime Crash and Tower Records (RIP) and it’s always awesome to see Heather, who’s been my best friend for over a decade.

People mobbed us for pictures and we happily obliged.  “Awesome costume!” rang through the halls.  We actually saw a Beetlejuice, who was as happy to see us as we were to see her (she was with an Edward Scissorhands.)  But right as we were leaving, some guy in a pretty weak Captain Hammer costume looked at me and said, with a reed-thin smirk, “Your costume would be perfect if you were a foot taller.”

Seriously?

If I had been wittier, perhaps I might have said, “Your costume would be perfect if you weren’t so damn ugly.”  If this project hadn’t been so ingrained, I might have spit out some combination of vulgarity and violence.  But HGB and Arlene never tell us what to do in these situations, when the guy is being less than gentlemanly.   I was on my own to sort this situation out.

So instead, I looked him in the eye and said, “Actually, my costume is perfect” and kept on walking.  Behind me, he stammered something akin to, “Uhh, I just thought…the actress…duh….”

Con guys are notoriously creepy.  I’ve never had that happen in Albany, but the internet is full of horror stories of girls being forcefully touched, photographed and, if they say no or ask someone to stop, they’re harassed and cursed.  There’s a sense among many of these men than your body belongs to them just by being there, like you are nothing more than an action figure brought to life by a magical fairy.  Captain Neckbeard didn’t make body comments to Ian, who is a few inches shorter and a thicker than 1980’s Alec Baldwin, and I’m sure he didn’t say “Batgirl doesn’t wear glasses” to the adorable towheaded tike who asked us for a picture.  But because I’m an attractive woman and therefor can’t be a “true” geek, it seems like he felt it was okay to shout comments about my physical form as I was walking past, minding my own business, off to get pizza with Heather and Alex.

I’m sure Captain Neckbeard didn’t intend for it to be an insult.   I’m sure in his head, he was saying, “Wow, that costume is flawless” and it just came out wrong because he’s a dope.  But here’s a hint, gentlemen.  If your “compliment” has any variation of “if” “except” or “but” in it, it’s no longer a compliment.

And for all the con-men out there–when you see someone in a costume, no matter how good or bad it is, you say, “Hey, nice costume,” because it takes guts to wear a costume in public on any given Sunday.  They didn’t wear it for your entertainment.  They wore it because it makes them feel awesome and helps them have a good time.  So if you can’t say anything nice about anyone, how about you keep your trap shut?

Geek Girl Gets Engaged

“A happy marriage is the true test of your skills in the art of femininity” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man.

I guess something in this crazy 10-month long experiment has worked, because last night, during the annual Halloween parade, Ian asked me to marry him.

I had no idea this was coming.  We’ve been together 8 years, so I assumed it was coming at some point, but we were walking in the parade with the Teen Center Grim Reaper puppet, and we came to a stop in front of the plaza.  We posed for a picture for his parents, and when he turned me around, the teens holding the puppet had unfurled from it’s hands a banner that read “Libby, Will You Marry Me?”

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Spoiler Alert: The Answer is Yes.

Ian then got down on one knee, took off his hat and held out a ring from Wolfe Wilde jewelers.  “You’ve waiting long enough,” he said.  “Will you marry me?”

I was absolutely breathless.  Everybody, including the mayor, cheered.  People took pictures and I finally managed to gasp in the affirmative.  More cheering.  We walked down the rest of the parade route in a cloud.

He designed the ring; a garnet with four diamonds; two from his grandmother Inez’s watch and the one from my mother’s engagement ring (this fun fact made my mom cry).  I’ll post pictures later.

Glam Girl and Reader Jen, who played in the band and goes to the teen center, summed the night up thusly–“Is the blog going to change?”

No, dear readers, I’m determined to finish out this blog as I started, but starting soon will be a spin-off blog Glam Geek Gets Wed, chronicling our planning this whole crazy thing.  You don’t think I’m going to have an un-glam wedding, do you?

Some Glam Geek Thoughts on The World Series

No where in any of my books does it say what sports team a girl should root for, but if I was going to guess, I’d say that Arlene would suggest rooting for your husband’s team.  Since Ian doesn’t watch sports (this is fine with me) I guess I’m safe from having to choose.

My last boyfriend, Aaron, like the Buffalo Bills and the Montreal Expos, now the (Washington Nationals) because he enjoyed things that had no chance of working out (i.e. our relationship).  And since he had this annoying habit of completely abandoning me while he watched games (especially when he would drag me over to a stranger’s house and then ignore me while I tried to make small talk with a bunch of other abandoned girlfriends I’d never met), I’ve developed a healthy dislike for sports and a fantastic ability to make conversation with strangers.

Now Mike, wonderful Mike, is a die-hard Yankees fan.  Like, the kind of guy who wouldn’t date a girl who WASN’T a Yankees fan, even though I half-heartedly tried to set him up with my friend Melissa in TX.  And part of his being a Yankees fan means he HATES the Red Sox.  I’ve never had a man love me with the passion that Mike has for hating the Red Sox.  I don’t think I’ve ever hated anyone as much as he hates the Red Sox, and I can get pretty angry. Like at James Franco.  Goodness, I just hate his smug, stupid face!

Anyways, I just can’t get behind the Yankees. I don’t know what team Mr. W roots for, but both Matthew and a former professor of mine who’s company I greatly enjoyed are both Sox fans, so my inclination is always to cheer for them if they’re playing and I happen to notice/care.  Mike, if you’re reading this (and I know you are) I am sorry.  If there were two different teams in the World Series, I wouldn’t even care, but since it was the Sox, I had to root for them.  And by “root for” I mean “noticing the score in the next day’s paper and thinking, “Oh, Matthew/My Professor will be happy’ and then carrying on about my day, because sports scores have no other effect on my life.”

Thus concludes our discussion of baseball.  Let us never speak of it again.

Keep It Spooky, Stupid

“If the sweater and the skirt are that tight, a man figures that you are distressed merchandise” Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl

I love Halloween.  It’s my favorite holiday, followed by Independence Day (where we play Fizzball & watch Independence Day) and then Christmas.  Ian always makes us great, award-winning couples Halloween costumes–we’re two of Buzzfeed’s 25 Best-Ever Costumes (The Maitlands and Alien & Ripley)–and this year, well, you’ll just have to wait and see.

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Hi. I’m Completely Boring.

But ladies, LADIES, the “Sexy NOUN” costumes have GOT to stop.  I don’t mean to be harsh, but you all look like idiots.  There is no such thing as “Sexy Beetlejuice.”  Corn is never going to be “Sexy.”  You might as well just announce, “Hi, I’m dressed up as Daddy Issues,” when you cram yourself into a Sexy Chewbacca costume.

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How You Doin’, Baby?

There’s nothing wrong with being attractive or flaunting what you’ve got (unless you don’t have it, which seems to be the trend among girls who pick up a “Sexy” Halloween costume at whatever sad Spirit store popped up in the abandoned JCPenny’s near their college).  But for Heaven’s sake, have a little class and creativity.  Nobody think you’re hot.  Do guys hoot and holler when you do that little finger-to-the-duckface pose?  Yes.  But those type of guys would hoot and holler at a lamp if someone put a lacy bra on it and anyways, they’re probably bad in bed, which is why hey have to go to bars and pick up sorority girls dressed like Slutty Cinderella.

And before all you fake-feminist tramps start accusing me of being a “hater” and “slut shaming” (oh grow up) I’m not against costumes that happen to be sexy.  If you want to dress like Lara Croft or Bettie Page, rock on.  Just put some effort into it–the kind that doesn’t come in a plastic bag for $49.99.

On Having It All And Nothing At All

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Today I put on a cute outfit, went to the dentist and had three cavities filled, scrubbed the upstairs bathroom (full), cleaned the downstairs bathroom (half) vacuumed all the rugs, swept everything, laundered the linens, dusted, laundered the clothes (three loads), washed dishes, folded the clothes, made dinner, participated in my local government while simultaneously being at my job, laundered bath mats and updated my company’s website.

I had it all!  Work! Career! Man! Home! Clean teeth!

And it all kind of sucked.

I felt so alone.  Everywhere I turned, someone was snarking, either directly at me or in my direction.  I sat through an hour-long meeting where a woman shouted about bags of leaves on the curb, zoning laws, and possibly some combination of the two.  I sat patiently while Ian sulked about the car even though his sulking makes my guts rot from anxiety.  I sat patiently while my father-in-law ranted about banks and how too many people destroy old beautiful homes.  And I did this all without screaming, “Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!” because I am a lady.  But inside, I’m pretty sure I’m developing an ulcer from the constant stress of trying to make everybody happy.  Because if I don’t sweep, the house won’t get cleaned.  If I don’t cook, everybody eats garbage in front of the TV.  Being a reporter means going where the news is, whether it’s a city council meeting or a murder scene, so I am constantly on high alert, waiting for the phone to ring.

My boss, Jim, remarked the other day that I try too hard to be helpful, which often shields other people from blame and piles it on my doorstep.  This is very true.  Because I’ve learned that if I don’t try to fix it, I get blamed by the party I’m shielding, and if it doesn’t actually get fixed, I get blamed by the original party.  It’s like being the middle child at work and at home.  It’s like being asked to do sorcery.

Arlene would say to grin and be pleased that I have a job and a home and a man to take care of (in my case, two).  But f*** if I don’t want a day where no one snarks at me, where someone helps me carried my load, where I’m not asked to constantly asked to explain away or shoulder what feels like the entire world.