Numero Tres

Today was a bit tricky as I hadn’t yet had a date scheduled right after work. Let’s be honest — no one wants to see you after a day at the office. You’re crabby, hungry, wrinkled and have bad breath from that last Diet Coke you partook in at 3:00 p.m. To minimize the odds that my date would take one look at me and dash out the door Road-Runner style, I ducked downstairs to the scant-used first floor bathroom at work to freshen up before heading out. And, oh boy, there is nothing like an optimally-lit locker room mirror to make you feel super awesome about your makeup and outfit choices. Despite the lighting and one of the worst hair days I’ve had in months (come on, humidity, you’re killing me!), I popped an Advil, stuck with the flats I’d donned during the day and headed to Solera. (Side note: For those of us who work not-downtown, I cannot emphasize enough the difficulty it takes to get to happy hour in Minneapolis at 5:30 p.m. I’m just saying…)

But enough about me, let’s get to the juicy stuff. Karl with a K was a pleasant, 33-year-old who oversees the securities division at one of the major corporations downtown. He was smartly dressed, well-spoken, nicely groomed and clearly successful. After half a decade in the military, he worked in securities and IT in South Korea, Italy, Morocco and Germany. Along the way he picked up his Master’s in Computer Science and an MBA. Comfortably settled in a corner office, he now worked on important global initiatives.

We had very agreeable conversation and chatted in-depth about Minneapolis – the housing market (he owned multiple properties and I’m a lowly renter), restaurants (I was appalled he’d never been to Lucia’s) and the Twins’ ultra-lukewarm season ($9 mil for Nishioka and he’s done thismuch).

All in all, it was a fun-ish evening. He paid for the meal (including the lamb I will never eat again… poor fluffy, sweet baby sheep) and was very courteous. I found my way home from Minneapolis in the same way I always do — drive til you see a highway and figure out where to go from there… but there just wasn’t any spark.

And let me be honest here, a lot of it had to do with the fact that had I chosen to wear my fab high heels, I would have ousted him as the taller of the two of us. Ladies and gents, I officially suffer from an extreme case of heightism. I quote the infallibly-accurate Wikipedia when I say that the “greater reproductive success of taller men is attested to by studies indicating that taller men are more likely to be married and to have more children.” (See, science says it so I’m not a superficially ridiculous person.)

Yes, I’ll reluctantly trade in the dark and handsome (and smart) for blond and adorable (and intelligent), but I want my tall!

Slightly to moderated deflated after three strikes, I’m Spotifying the Infamous Stringdusters, quizzically wondering why I chose True Blood for my next Netflix DVD, and looking forward to a weekend filled with best friends, families and puppies.

Oh, and Mike #2…

P.S. Check out The New Yorker for an inquisitive and insightful look at online dating. For those of us taking the road less traveled, it’s a riveting read!

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No. #2

Okay, he totally had potential. Andrew, a twentysomething who had just moved back to Minnesota after a few years on the road, was Date #2. After meeting with Patti, the Millionaire Matchmaker — also known as Gina from It’s Just Lunch — and further honing my (our) idea of the perfect man for me, I was excited for the next dude on the list. Andrew owned two companies, was exploring his pilot’s license and lived for the outdoors. He was looking for an intellectual woman with whom to settle down.

After another sweltering performance of getting ready in my god-forsaken furnace of an apartment, I tumbled into Urban Eatery. Literally. Shoes slipping every which way. I was desperately trying to regain my balance while approaching Mr. Guy — he who had chosen the humid Amazon on which to perch instead of the air-conditioned heaven of a leather indoor booth — when I descended upon Sk8ter Boi 2011.

Andrew, a world-renowned ROBOTICIST (I’m not kidding) stared me down with the sort of charm one might expect a six-year-old to exude. He had gone to college at the age of 14 and in the past fifteen years, had built himself into a sought-after mechanical roboticist. Discovery Channel was finalizing a reality series with him and he had just closed a deal with Chrystler the Friday before. Despite the desperately-needed haircut and wardrobe retool, he was gregarious, open, passionate and up for anything. Including miniature golf and root beer floats.

Teetering in my black pumps and slinky (and severely discounted) BCBG mini dress, I had to steer the conversation back towards mutual topics, hoping to avoid a night at Lava Links. We chatted about Minnesota (gotta love the people), the weather (isn’t it crazy?) and the lakes (totally beautiful and great for paddle-boarding).

The highlight of my evening, I must confess, was our waiter. He turned out to be my first love. We were, no joke, fifth-grade sweethearts and had skated the snowball together to the delight of the rest of our class a few decades ago. We had a blast catching up on his marriage, studies and job.

I headed home for edamame, the new Bon Iver CD and some apartmental organization, satisfied with another great experience – even if the chemistry wasn’t there.

Dear Andrew, may you find your motorcycle-loving, seat-of-her-pants lady chic! Dear me, isn’t this fun? Next up… former band member and MBA-toting Karl, and Mike, the smartie baseball-playing friend of a friend.

Cheers!

Option #1

Last week, I took the inaugural step into the dating world on my first official date. Naturally, I was nervous while curling my hair into a messy wave and running around the apartment collecting the necessary odds and ends for my handed-down-with-love-from-grandma vintage purse. I hadn’t gone on a tried-and-true date in approximately 10.7 years. For realsies. Granted, I’ve had serious relationships since then, but none of the nature that started off with a “Hi, I’m Jenny – you must be…” handshake. Gina, my designated matchmaker, had set me up with Mike. Mike, the cute VP banker who loves sports and is looking for a kind, yet motivated, woman. After plunking down a hefty load of cash for It’s Just Lunch’s top-shelf service, I had high expectations.

I strolled into Barrio on Friday in high fashion. My much more aesthetically gifted friends had loaded me up with a brand-spankin’-new dress and I was feeling confident despite the sheen one naturally bared if one loved in a non-air-conditioned apartment during the summer that Minnesota literally melted.

Mike, a short, dirty-blond boy decked out in a branded golf shirt and ironed khakis, and I were seated. He was slightly divergent from what I had conjured up in my mind. Although very sweet (one might say timid), the VP title hid the fact that he was a true small town, country-music-loving farmer’s son. I scrounged up the image of me, living in a checkered two-story in Jordan, MN, whiling away the time to the latest Rascall Flatts album, and politely had to decline.

Before you judge me on my hastiness, know that I sat there, picking at the guacamole and sipping a way-strong margarita (okay, two seriously strong margs) for two hours. We chatted, I asked prodding questions like, “what most defines you” and “why the heck don’t you recycle, country boy” and we truly parted on good terms. He was shy, extremely good-natured and a perfect fit for an unassuming lady looking for a small town family and a dedicated husband. May he find that woman!

Undaunted, I headed home and watched a rerun of “Parks and Rec” before retiring to bed, book in hand.

Up next… Andrew.