Tag Archives: Groupon

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). 🙂

Horseback Riding 101

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I have a memory of being about 8 or 9 and my dad had taken me to some big park where there were horses. He paid the man and they put me on top of the horse. After the horse took two steps I was done and demanded to be let off. I was terrified. My father was furious.

It’s 20 years later and suddenly I have a bug in me that I won’t be able to shake until I get back on a horse and get over the terror.

Groupon connected me with Cherylin Von Aldenbruck and she was amazing. After she learned I was terrified and wanting to get over it, she took me to me Leia, a beautiful white … horse. (I am not so great that I remember what kind of horse she was.) So I was petting Leia and brushing her and then Cherylin said that when Leia did “that thing with her lips” it meant she liked me. Well, that’s good.

So I walked Leia over to a ramp that would make getting onto her back easier for me. And then I was in the saddle. And sqeaking.

So Cherylin explained how to sit and let me just sit there for a couple of minutes before walking Leia (with me on her back) over to the training ring. Leia started walking and I started squeaking again, quietly because I didn’t want to scare her.

Cherylin was just talking and talking and explaining where to put my hands and feet and how the reins worked and she told me that, “The best remedy for fear is boredom. Are you bored yet?”

Yeah, I was getting kind of bored. So we tried a trot, but I was given strict instructions to not squeak or scream or make a sound that might scare the horse. Leia did a trot for all of 4 steps. I didn’t squeak, but I desperately wanted to.

Leia trotted again. I forgot about squeaking.

I learned how to do a posting trot (that sitting and standing thing). AND practiced keeping my balance and sitting while Leia trotted.

Before I knew it, my lesson was over and so was my fear of horses. (!!!)

My next lesson is in two weeks. I can’t wait!

Getting my GroupOn

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I am a lactard. Too much milk will eventually make me feel like there are two squirrels on crack playing an intense game of volleyball in my stomach. The problem is that I love ice cream.

LOVE it.

Almost as much as I love cake. And I LOOOOOVE cake.

Cake is a gift from the gods and should be treated with the utmost respect. (Carrot and Fruit cake are abominations)

So, how do I get around my ice cream dilemma? Frozen yogurt a la Golden Spoon.

Something about the frozen yogurt keeps those pesky squirrels at bay and makes me happy so it’s a win-win.

I was staying away from Living Social and GroupOn, I just didn’t get it, until I was in the bathroom at work and felt like I was in a Groupon commercial.

“Maria, there really hasn’t been anything good on Living Social lately, has there?”
“No, but did you see that one Groupon?”

This conversation cracked me up, so when a buddy of mine shared that my beloved Golden Spoon had a Groupon available, I jumped on the bandwagon. And since I was getting my groupon, I decided to go ahead and give Living Social a try, too.

Now that I have all this extra time on my hands, I’ve started thinking about things I’ve never done and would like to try. I’ve had a bucket list for years, but the stuff I’m thinking about never crossed my mind before.

Before a certain party gave me the Cut to Black, he told me stories of when he used to own horses.

I have always been terrified of horses, but hearing him talk about them (combined with a couple other factors) inspired me to think about taking riding lessons. It was just an idea I was kicking around in my head. I assumed it would be a crazy expensive venture and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it other than I knew it was something I wanted to do.

Groupon to the rescue!

No sooner had I made the mental decision of “Yes! I WILL learn to ride a horse!” and had then wondered, “But HOW?” that Groupon made a happy little sound on my phone and the deal of the day? HORSEBACK RIDING LESSONS!

I did not have to think about it.

I went for it.

My first lesson is next Saturday.