Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Starving Bachelor

So about two weeks ago, a charming young gentleman from TBD named Daniel began a project about dating in D.C., and he contacted me for an interview -- since, apparently, I'm "one of the deans of dating in our city." (Never in my WILDEST DREAMS would I have thought anyone would bestow upon me that moniker. Suck it, high school boys who didn't like me back!)

We met up at Zengo in Chinatown, sucked down some TBD-sponsored mojitos, and I prattled on with every inane thought about dating that's ever zipped through the crevices of my cerebral cortex for the better part of an hour.

The next day, Daniel wrote this article (note also that he refers to A BAR as my "natural element." I have GOT to drink less).

Very shortly thereafter, in the haze of the approximately bazillion more Twitter/blog followers who signed on upon the article being published, I got an e-mail from the Starving Bachelor. He announced himself as a friend of Daniel's, and said he could tell Daniel thought well of me (aw, shucks). He'd clicked into my blog and enjoyed my writing, particularly since he, too, is a blogger. Now, he wanted to meet up with me for a date.

I dug his e-mail. He's a good writer, and he has a good sense of rhythm for his words -- something I feel is sorely lacking in most of the blogosphere. And, again, I appreciate the cojones it takes for someone to ask me out knowing about this thing and all the other men that go along with it, so of course I accepted his proposal for a meeting.

We originally were to meet last Monday, but I had to cancel the date at the last minute due to the wicked case of strep throat I endured last week. So we rescheduled for this Monday, and agreed to meet at RiRa Irish Pub in Clarendon for drinks.

I took a nap Monday afternoon and awoke to find the Starving Bachelor had written this entry about our impending outing. Then we both got into the act, alternately Facebooking each other and tweeting up a storm.

After hyping up our meeting, I finally drove over to RiRa, where the Starving Bachelor had already taken a barstool, introduced himself to the bartender and ordered a beer. I quickly unsheathed myself from my winter layers and joined him with a Dogfish Head IPA.

He immediately stopped me from drinking, showing me a cheers where you clink glasses with each other -- "To each other," he said -- hit the bottom of your glass to the bar -- "To those who've passed," he said -- and then take a sip -- "To yourself," he finished. I particularly liked the "and one for my homies" part of it, so I'm thinking I will add it to my drinking repertoire, along with "L'Chaim," aka "To Life," which I've been saying ever since my high school did a production of "Fiddler on the Roof."

We started chatting about our lives, first touching on work since we're both D.C.-area journalists and thus have a few things in common with that. The Starving Bachelor is a little reserved, a little quiet. But you can definitely tell there's more bubbling underneath the surface than he initially lets on.

It was at this early point in the evening that a friend of mine popped in my head.

Stephanie S. 

I'm not sure what exactly made her materialize in my brain, but I just had an instinctual feeling that these two should meet.

Anyway, the Starving Bachelor also was in the restaurant industry for a while, and so he talked about his past as a server and as a cook.

That was another reason I was inspired to meet up with him, actually -- I dig a man who knows his way around the kitchen. I know how to make three or four meals, and if I'm missing an ingredient for any of them then I go out to eat. Or, alternatively, I eat a Sad Girl Dinner like I did Monday night, which consisted of me eating three slices of turkey lunch meat while I microwaved a bowl of frozen vegetables.

I am utterly hopeless in the kitchen. Sigh.

We continued chatting more, and the Starving Bachelor then pointed to the necklace I'd chosen to wear for the evening:


My friend Krissi gave this to me for Christmas, and I think it's kind of baller. The scissors are downright Victorian-looking, and it's so different from anything I've ever seen anyone wear. I've only had it on a couple of times, but every time I wear it I get all sorts of comments about it.

The Starving Bachelor was no exception, pointing out my necklace's uniqueness. Then, the evening devolved into good-natured castration jokes (well, as good-natured as castration jokes can ever be).

We took to our phones and started tweeting about it, naturally. And actually, apparently a friend of his has some sort of new-fangled technology called "Storify" (I guess that's what the kids are calling it these days) wherein he put together an album of our tweets for the day, so if you click here you can see the progression of how our night went.

The procurement of the phones ultimately was an unfortunate turn of events, I fear, because the Starving Bachelor and I ended up having a few awkward pauses in our conversation due to all the tweeting. Dating in the social media age -- c'est la vie, I suppose.

As we were dicking around with our phones, I thought about Steph S. again. 

If there's one thing I enjoy more than going on dates, it's setting other people up for dates.

I mentioned earlier that the Starving Bachelor is reserved -- more reserved than I generally gravitate toward in a dating situation, but more along the lines of the men I've seen Steph S. date. He was cute, and I was enjoying his company, but I couldn't shake the feeling that the two of them might really get along.

The Starving Bachelor asked if I'd like to go somewhere else, but the early hours I work were starting to creep in on me, and I was fading fast. We stayed at the bar and continued talking about his career as a sportswriter while he finished up his beer.

And that kind of cemented it for me -- by the time the evening drew to a close, my insides were just screaming, "Introduce him to Steph S.! Introduce him to Steph S.!" He's passionate about sports, and I have TRIED to like them. I enjoy GOING to games, but that's mostly because it's an atmosphere of excitement, they throw things into the stands and stadium food is greasy and delicious. But I just can't bring myself to care about stats, scores and players -- I don't even know who is going to be playing in the Super Bowl, and that's right around the corner (I think? Right? That's happening soon?). But Steph -- I know Steph watches sports.

The Starving Bachelor walked me to my car, and once we were there he asked me if I'd like to get together again.

"So here's the thing," I said. "I enjoyed hanging out with you tonight, but I really feel like you'd get along with my friend Stephanie. Would you be amenable to meeting her?"

He seemed a bit disappointed by that, but we talked further and he made a crack about how if the date had not gone well, he wouldn't be able to come to one of my happy hours (check it out -- I set the February date!) and meet other women. 

To that I say, you, Starving Bachelor, are welcome any time. I told him that I felt like no matter what, we should be friends because we are, after all, kindreds -- journalists by day, bloggers by night. 

And I really mean that -- I'd like to hang out with him again in some capacity.

He seemed to agree. We hugged, and I hopped in my car.

Immediately, I texted Steph S.: "So this guy I went out with tonight. I couldn't shake the feeling like you two might get along. Would you be willing to be set up?"

AT THE EXACT MOMENT I SENT THAT TEXT MESSAGE, my BlackBerry blinked with a notification from Facebook. 

Of all people, Steph S. had just written on my wall, asking me what my plans were for this weekend.

I took that as a sign -- IT IS FRIGGIN' FATE. It is my DUTY to get these two together, if it is the last thing I do on this earth.

13 comments:

  1. This post sort of justifies why guys don't want to ask you out right now, while you are in your infatuation phase with the entrepreneur. You may have went into this date with what you thought was an open mind, but reading this makes it seem like you had pretty much already made up your mind about the guy and were looking at him as a friend. While I understand that happens all the time on first dates, it can't help that you've had four great dates with another guy, and you've given other guys a second chance for worse offenses than being shy and into sports. The premise of what you said, that guys should have balls and be bold, is true, I won't deny that. However, the timing of that post couldn't have really been worse. I just don't feel like any guy is going to get a fair shot with you right now while you're still dating the entrepreneur, and that's fine. Just keep that in mind if (when) the entrepreneur inevitably doesn't want to get serious and you're back to square one.

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  2. @Mike: I appreciate your feedback on this. I will not say you are right or that you are wrong; I will only direct your attention to this quote from the Starving Bachelor's version of the events:

    "The natural approach to take into this space would be to somehow judge the date or the night. Or the girl. Yet, there is no reason to do such a thing. Katie is a terrific person. She is smart, a little smug and tough. Definitely fits into Bachelor’s mantra of “Rock On.” Now, if there is a problem with the dynamic it is that the night very much felt like hanging out with an old friend. You know those type of friends, don’t you guys? The type of girl that is part of the crew, can be one of the guys but definitely one of the girls who you can get drunk with and maybe a little frisky but the next time you see her its back to being part of the crew. She will make a good lady friend for the right guy.

    Just probably not the Bachelor."

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  3. I Loved reading this! And sometimes, the best set ups happen AFTER you've gone on the date yourself!!! I agree somewhat to what Mike said, but I also think that there's something to be said for meeting new people no matter when an opportunity arises. High five.

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  4. I liked his honesty, and I didn't read the chemistry thing not working out as being related to the entrepreneur. I'm reading a book now called "Have Him at Hello" about dating and it even says, if you go on a date and don't feel "it" then stay on good terms because who knows, you may know someone else who's a better fit. That's what resonated for me here. If I were a guy, I would appreciate the honesty above and beyond all else.

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  5. Here is something else that I would like to put forth as evidence of my good intentions.

    I just got an e-mail from a mutual friend of Steph S. and mine. This girl hangs out with Steph more regularly than I do and arguably knows her better (even though I've known her longer).

    "Also, I totally support setting up Steph with the Starving Bachelor! From what I read, he does sound like someone she'd like. I hope it's a success!"

    See? Granted that's purely based on his writing, but still, she thought the same thing I did.

    I really, honestly do have a sense about which people would "go together" with which other people, and that was the case here.

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  6. Tweeting during a date? I wouldn't do that to a friend and would absolutely walk out on someone who did this during a date! For the love of Mike people - unplug for an hour or two and realize you are in the company of another human being and don't be so quick to post/tweet/email/text your friends/fans/groupies every.single.thing that you do! (BTW, this goes for him to - journalist or not - NOT cool)

    Now you kids - get off my lawn!

    Sorry for the rant. :)

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  7. are you really that easy to impress in the kitchen?

    who tweeted first? if it was him, epic fail, if a girl ever pulled her phone out in the middle of the date i'd read that as "not going well"

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  8. A few clarifications:

    1. I am classically trained french chef. I have run restaurants as the kick ass, take charge leader.

    2. Reserved does not equal shy. Also, reserved is never a word that has been applied to my personality. I may not be entirely an extrovert but those who know me have responded "reserved? You? No." My theory is that I seem reserved in comparison to other suitors.

    3. The tweet was a natural joke between two people who had been tweeting (and continue to tweet) to each other the entire day before the date. Imagine the slightly surreal notion of two bloggers/tweeters getting together and then having a funny/odd moment. It was tweeted.

    Rock on ...

    SB

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  9. @Starving Bachelor: "Reserved" in comparison to me, at least, because I never know when to shut the fuck up. I'm kind of an asshole, actually, so you're actually doing OK.

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  10. Most people would be "reserved" when compared to Katie #FACT ;D

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  11. I really enjoyed this post because its the PERFECT EXAMPLE of what dating should be. Meeting new people with the hopes of possibly more, but the resolve that more does not a good date make. You hung out with someone new. You had a nice time and have things in common. You'll probably run into each other's circles now, maybe form a friendship, maybe he'll end up with a friend or an associate. It was a win/win for all parties. I disagree with Mike. SB had guts to ask out. DateME agreed. They had beers and good conversation and everyone is leaving with pride and respect in tact. Whats not to like? Cheers, T.

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  12. Starving Bachelor sounds like such a great guy!! (if only he was in NY...I'd be asking to get set up!)

    Anyway, seems like you both had a blast (even without the romantic spark) and thats a quality evening in my book!

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  13. @Katie: I'm flattered that you thought of me during your date. It's nice to know that I'm loved. :)

    @Starving Bachelor: "Reserved" or not, I look forward to meeting you this weekend. :)

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