Multi-date Update (Specifically: #6, #2 with #4, and #7)

I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I’m highly discouraged. I’ve primped, primed and pouffed my way through more than a handful of men and nobody has yet to float my boat, as they say. Yes, I’ve had the sweet, the successful, the adventurous, the handsome, the brains — even the quirky and unique — but no one has weaved these together into a harmonious package that catches my eye as it twirls and sparkles in the store window.

Before I wallow in my self-prescribed misery, I owe each of the last three dates a paragraph or two to make their case…

The scene: Cafeteria in downtown Uptown on a busy Tuesday night. The dude: 36-year-old Rich — a man wafting of come-hither cologne and one-button-too-many-unbuttoned coolness. Why it would work: If I wanted to spend my days golfing, schmoozing and pretending I’m ten years younger than my real age, we’d be fantastic together! Why we just can’t work it out: Rich, who was rich (did I mention he was rich? He would let you know if I wasn’t making it clear), was just not my type. Interested in slick cars, coasting on well-timed career success and partying like it’s 1999, he was smoooooooooth. Intimately absorbed in keeping his tan just slightly orange enough as to let you know it was fake — and totally untrustworthy. Next, please!

The backdrop: Urban Eatery overlooking Lake Calhoun. The victim: Greg, another 36-year-old business owner, but this time in the beverage industry — blond, nice and extremely well-meaning, but entirely off-putting. Second-date-able?: Not so much. He started most of his sentences with “If we should date…,” seemed generations too old for me and the chemistry was roughly -325, if such a scale should exist. Give him a chance?: He assured me it was fine that he paid for meal (it was a business expense after all) and… and… well, I’m struggling to pull another positive adjective out of the wreckage of the date, to be honest. Let’s just say I politely sped up the date as fast as I could and exited gracefully as soon as the valet pulled up.

And last, but certainly not least: This one is exciting, right? She’s got a little spark going here and things may be looking up for Date #2 with Handsome Man #4. We close in on a beautiful Saturday night in Minneapolis, scrumptiously ripe for the picking. The gentleman: Brandon, of monster-truck fame, comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans and making the trek from Rosemount to South Minneapolis in said monster truck, which, yes, looks strikingly similar to the image I selected for his post, but think more red. Excitement, fun and possibilities: After abandoning a ill-fated attempt to take in the Pizza Luce block party, we sauntered over to Cafeteria for beers and French fries. We laughed and talked about anything and everything. He called me judgmental (I deserved it) and I told him to stop using the word “ain’t” (because it ain’t a word). I revisited my college youth as we headed to Williams for a nightcap. Although everyone there looked ready to head back to Calculus 201 in the fall, we roosted on the bar stools and drank beer out of over-sized glasses. And — I promise I will always be honest, dear readers — I kissed him. Right smack-dab on the mouth in the middle of a dirty and crowded bar. It was sweet, innocent and absolutely set us on a path of it’s-not-going-anywhere, for who starts their “how we met” stories with a peck in the middle of strangers? The aftermath: Ever the lightweight, I was down and out (and ready for bed) sooner than any civilized 28-year-old adult should allow herself to be, and the night wound down from there. And wishing and hoping and praying (okay, that’s being slightly over-dramatic), I have heard nary a word in 2.17 days.

So… exhausted from eight or so meet-and-greets in the last month, I am ironing, listening to Fitz and the Tantrums (download it now) and digging up the courage to post this intimate and oh-so-personal update for the world to see.

It’s an adventure, not a destination, right? Or… Hmm.

Candidate #4

I prepped for tonight’s date as any classy woman would — with a stop at Taco Bell for two chili cheese burritos and a Diet Mountain Dew. I had just received a note in the mail from my $401k manager stating that I did NOT have a designated beneficiary, a big financial no-no and firm reminder that, no, I did not have a husband or children to whom to leave my vast fortune. My pseudo date with Mike #2 earlier in the week was a nonstarter — to keep it short and sweet, he was short and sweet — but the It’s Just Lunch ladies had lined me up with three dates in four days so I was feeling good heading into the weekend.

After a last-minute wardrobe change from one navy Banana Republic dress to another clearly superior navy Banana Republic dress, I descended upon Ciao Bella to meet Brandon. I was slightly flustered upon arrival. I had poorly estimated my primping time and ended up hastily applying a clear coat of nail polish to my fingernails in the restaurant parking lot and arriving accidentally fashionably late.

Brandon, an electrician lineman at a local company, was nice, unassuming, in shape and way cute. He owned a house (+10 points) in Rosemount (-10 points) and ran a side business with his dad. We bonded over our common affinity for cereal, although he prefers Lucky Charms and Fruit Loops to my Kashi Go Lean. He had never heard of 89.3 The Current (wasn’t sure what to do about that one), and grew up with a steady diet of rap music. I, of course, spent my teenage years in worship of Hanson, N*SYNC and BSB (that’s the Backstreet Boys to the layman).

We swapped Vegas stories — don’t worry, Grandma, they were funny, not crazy escapades — and chatted about our families, including his sister who had told him he was NOT allowed to wear just a t-shirt and jeans to the restaurant. (Thanks, sister!) I was impressed when he didn’t balk at my snarky, and obviously hilarious, comments and wild hand gestures, and he seemed genuinely interested when I told him the most exciting part of my day so far had been the blender I just purchased at Target.

We spent a good two-and-a-half hours chatting and both enjoyed the super yummy halibut on special, washed down with beer for him and an extra-spicy Bloody Mary for me (always keeping it classy).

Although part of me wonders if we have enough in common, I didn’t inwardly flinch when he asked for my number, as I had done before on earlier dates. Although I did outwardly flinch when he pulled out of the parking lot in a monster-truck-like Chevy.

Feeling as though I’d semi-mastered the art of the first date — smile a lot, wear a fun dress and ask a lot of questions to avoid awkward silences — a second date presents a whole slew of new challenges. But that’s a topic for a different post at a different time should he call me.

For now, I’m mixing up a fruit smoothie in my snazzy blender, spinning the new Brett Dennen CD and then heading north to Roseville for the next rendezvous. Carpe diem!