Monthly Archives: April 2012

A Different Kind of Brave

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My word for the year is BRAVE.

Another way to say BRAVE would be FEARLESS.

I am not trying to force it, I want it to just be the way I am. I want to fully embrace it.

But I have been missing a huge piece of it.

Here’s how I’ve been practicing being BRAVE:

Me: Hey [Friend who rides a motorcycle]! I have never ridden a motorcycle before! Would you take me for a ride?
Friend: Sure!

Unfortunately, we have rescheduled this ride so many times, it might be next year before it finally happens.

Speed dating! That was a way to be BRAVE.

But I have been confronted with new ways to be BRAVE and it is a lot tougher than I thought it would be.

The truth is that I am at church twice a week. O_O
And I keep that suuuuuper quiet. It’s like I’m ashamed to admit it.

A few Saturday nights ago, I went out dancing and happened to be wearing all white. I looked like a santera.
And some santería guy noticed.
And he wanted to talk religion with me.
It was like he was trying to impress me with how much he knew about Santería.
And it felt like he just wanted to connect with someone on that level.
So I let him talk. I let him think I was a santera. I made understanding sounds about the ritual dances. I told him to keep quiet about the chicken sacrifices because “People just don’t understand, you know?

It had been my moment to be BRAVE and admit that, while I love Afro-Cuban dances and know about Santería, I don’t practice it. That I, in fact, go to church and believe in the whole Jesus thing. BRAVE fail.

Why should I care what some bad ass dancer thinks of me? (Ok, the answer would be that there is a considerable shortage of bad ass dancers out there and if one shuns me then that is one less I get to dance with and one shunn could lead to more shuns and I’d be left with only a couple of good dancers to dance with and would spend most of my nights sitting and waiting until it was my turn to dance with them again.)

Obviously, I have my work cut out for me.

Being BRAVE is harder than I thought.

Being BRAVE isn’t about jumping out of planes or riding motorcycles, it’s about facing the scary things and sometimes the scariest things to face are other people.

The Speed Date

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Once upon a time, many years ago… I was getting ready to go out dancing.

My girlfriend had turned on the tv and it was then that I saw my very first CSI: Miami episode ever.

It was Season 3: Episode 8 “Speed Kills”, a story about speed dating gone awry. It was the first time I had ever heard of speed dating and was fascinated by the idea. Granted, I decided I was too young to be speed dating, that it was something that people with “real careers” did.

It came up again when the movie “Hitch” came out and there was a scene of speed dating, but I was still not quite “old enough” to be resorting to such measures with my singlehood. Regardless, it looked rad.

Enter Groupon.com.

For $20 (instead of the regular $44), I was given the opportunity to finally attend a real speed dating event!

Plus, I finally have a “real” job (SEE: impressive) and am old enough to not feel like a bimbo.

Of course, while I am a professional when it comes to doing things alone, I thought the whole experience would be heightened by having another girlfriend there with me. Unfortunately, I have a shortage of single girlfriends. (Well, single girlfriends that I think would be fun to go speed dating with, that is.)

However, I was able to convince a girl from work to join me. We carefully planned our outfits. We decided dresses were more appropriate than pants. So I wore a long dress of hot pink paisley on a white background (it looks way hotter than it sounds) with perfectly matched heels and jewelry. We had also decided a bit of “pre-game” was essential (aka a shot of Wild Turkey, no I don’t know why we chose that, but we did).

As we entered the bar where we would be speed dating, we were given a score card and a number. The number would let us know what table we would be sitting at for the duration of the event. The score card was to help keep track of the gentlemen callers who would be stopping by our table.

We arrived just early enough to get a drink before the hosts led us all to our tables.
My girlfriend’s table was as far away from me as possible.
My table was actually an open booth on a step with it’s own chandelier… basically, I looked like I should’ve been wearing a tiara as the queen of the event. I was thoroughly amused by it all and ready for my first date.
Asian.
Beyond that, all I really remember is that he seemed nervous and was thoroughly interested in my love for cigar smoking.

Date #2: Obviously Latino. Mmm, my drink was delicious. He was an underwriter which I mentally interpreted as “lots of money, but can’t spell.” He lived super close to me. He was obviously interested.

Date #3: Asian.

Date #4: Asian. I didn’t get to finish telling him about how great cigars are.

Date #5: Break time! There were more women then men, so I got a breather… and another drink.

Date #6: Late arrival. Black guy.

Date #7: How many frakking “Billys” are there at this thing?

Date #8: Break time again! Phew! Time to text people and tell them how freaking fun this is.

Date #9: So… what kind of Asian are you?

Date #10: More breaking! Oh good! Texting!

Date #11: Holy cow! You’re HOW old? Don’t look at me like you like me. You’re old enough to be my father.

Date #12: Lemme guess… Flipino? (shoot! I hate O.D. Churroman and his use of racial slurs! And I hope homeslice over here did not hear it.)

And then it was over.

The Latino immediately came over and offered to buy me a drink. “Sure!” (Of course, I should have followed him to the bar to make sure he did not slip anything into my drink, but this was a private event in the O.C., the odds were in my favor.) While he was getting me another drink (the better to seduce me with), one of the gals came over to sit with me and chat about the event. Then my girlfriend came over. I was walled in by women so when the Latino Drink-Getter came back, he had to sit at the end of the booth and attempt to charm me from afar.

My girlfriend was ready to go, so he followed us out and asked if I’d like to meet at a bar near where we live. “Sure!” (Of course, I should have told him some other time, but I was caught up in the fun of the moment. Besides, he seemed harmless enough.)

I met him at the bar. He drove a very nice car. I switched to water. We chatted for about an hour about everything… He used to be a Marine. For some reason, he started quoting Jack Nicholson’s “You Can’t Handle the Truth” monologue from A Few Good Men. I laughed in an appreciative, “Hey! I know that movie!” way, but he didn’t stop.
HE. DIDN’T. STOP.
He did the WHOLE MONOLOGUE. – Strike 1, sir.

He walked me to my car and asked, “What? No good night kiss?”

I proceeded to lecture him on how any potential for a good night kiss had just been ruined by asking. He interrupted my lecture and kissed me. (Not bad, but I’ve definitely had better.)

I thanked him, said it was lovely to meet him, and good night.

He asked, “That’s it then?”

Me: Umm… yeah. It’s late. I have to work tomorrow. Oh, and I. JUST. MET. YOU.
Him: Can I come over?
Me: No. Are you kidding? NO.
Him: Ok, do you want to come to my house? I live right down the street…
Me: No. I’m going home. Good night.

I left. And quickly.

Multiple text messages and a phone call later, I was finally able to sleep.

The next morning, the texts started again.

Was I available for lunch? Dinner? A quick coffee? Dinner tomorrow?

I was busy.

Midnight: Was I awake?

The following day I explained that I don’t like when people message me late at night. His response: Could I escape work for a quick coffee?  What about dinner after work?

I get an email from the Speed Dating people.. I have TWO matches! TWO people thought I was cool enough to see again.

The really old guy.
And one of the Asians.

Not the Marine who was trying so hard to see me again.

Strike 2.

Saturday night, Midnight: Would I like to go to breakfast the next morning? If I said no, then he would never call again.

I politely reminded him it was Easter and then silently kicked myself for responding. For some reason, I felt like I should give this poor guy a chance… he HAD served our country, after all.

He didn’t see a problem with it being Easter.

And, really, there are plenty of people I would happily get up and go to breakfast with, none of them are so pushy, though. I don’t like being pushed. Strike 3. Latino is out. (And thus endeth the one last chance I was giving Mexicans.)

Yay! Speed dating!

Truth be told, I would SOOOOO do that again (without the after-party-for-two-at-another-bar scene, though). 🙂