Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Congratulations!



You've found this website!  It's my secret (original) dating blog.  If you were Google searching for me, this is not my book, or the official site for 101 First Dates:  The Survival Guide For The Single Girl.  This is where it all got started; the messy purging of details of some of my dates as they happened.

Ready to be entertained?  You can read parts of my dating journey through this dating blog to see what it can sometimes take just to get to "the One."

If you're looking for the official site for 101 First Dates:  The Survival Guide For The Single Girl click on "for the rest of the story" link above or go to www.101dates.com.

The book gives you all 101 first date stories in a storybook style, not blog style.  And you'll get the added bonus of learning what happened with each one.

Enjoy!  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Found Him!

It took exactly 121 first dates, but I found him in February 2013.  He was my #121 first date, and I was his first date (after being married for 24 years).  That's right, the dating expert broke all the rules for the newly divorced guy.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Dating Statistics

Just because I've stopped writing about my dates doesn't mean I've stopped dating. #106 but who's counting?

I'm working on my book this morning - you know, cleaning it up for the public so they don't end up with this massive brain-dump of a blog that you've been subjected to for the past few years. But as I work through the manuscript this morning, I decided to do some arithmetic.

I started writing this blog two years ago with date #51. I was crazy about him. And after that - 54 dates later - here we are. Fifty-four first dates, and of those I've had a total of six men who I thought (on the first date) might be a potential for a real match.

For women who want to find "the one" and don't like dating, I'm sorry for the bad news. It looks like one out of every 10 has potential, and then the two of you have to sort out if you have your timing right.

Not good or bad, just noteworthy.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Date #101 - Last, But Certainly Not Least

His Age: 46
His City: San Francisco
Setting: “Writers With Drinks” at the Make-Out Room, Doc’s Clock, and The Beast & The Hare -- Mission district, San Francisco.

Can we have a little appreciation and acknowledgement for what I just accomplished, people? I completed what seemed to be impossible – 101 first dates. And this one was definitely worthy of my time and attention.

Our date was set for my favorite event, “Writers With Drinks” at the Make-Out Room. You might consider it a test date. If a man can’t hang here, he probably isn’t going to be able to hang with me. The writers are irreverent, bold, edgy, and usually read their books on sex, BDSM, or lesbianism, and sometimes on lesbian BDSM sex, in the case of this evening.

On 22nd street, in front of the old marquee, I stalled to read his texts to see he was already inside, had covered my admission into the club, and had secured two seats. A minute later, a new text: “You’ll be able to spot me easily – I’m the one with the jitters.” Learning this new information began to calm my trembling hands and wobbly legs. How could this be? How could I be so nervous? I just had to remind myself, I’ve done this before (100 times already).

I spotted him holding our two coveted barstools – cute! He quickly bought me a drink, and for the first few minutes he was unnaturally quiet – it was nerves. Sweet. We both relaxed pretty quickly and started exchanging stories before the show started. I found him smart, insightful, interesting and really funny. We both laughed at the same things when often other people didn’t – always a good sign.

He looks like Hugh Laurie, my go-to crush. He is so my type I considered not even attempting a date – chemistry is like crack, after all. My saving grace is he doesn’t sound or act like Hugh or, more importantly, his character, Dr. Gregory House. Having his very own personality gave me a shot at being myself instead of some odd and contorted version of something that might resemble me.

His formative years were spent in New Jersey, which gives him an accent. It’s slight, until he gets animated in storytelling, at which point it fills out. Then he talks about this mother and I wonder if I’m not sitting in her kitchen in Hoboken.

As the show wrapped up, I made quick introductions to old friends of mine, one of which was the bar owner. And I got to say “hi” to the world’s most adorable MC, Charlie Jane, also a highlight. And as everyone poured out of the club, we realized we weren’t done with each other - not quite yet.

Our next stop, Doc’s Clock. A woman looking much like Susan Sarandon’s twin sister with a little bit of Shelly Long thrown in for good measure asked what she could get us to drink to start us on what turned out to be the storytelling portion of the evening.

As we’d stumble onto taboo topics I’d get tentative and back off. Finally, he told me to knock it off – to trust him. That maybe, just maybe he wouldn’t judge me for what I wasn’t saying. So I went for it, often. We had all kinds of treacherous first-date conversations that should have killed any potential for a second date, and it all turned out just fine.

I feel safe with him. We talk, look into each other’s eyes, and kiss, then talk, look at each other, and kiss some more. We repeat this cycle several times. I love my life. Eventually, I look at my phone to check the time. It’s 1:30 AM. In horror, I realize the parking garage I used closed at midnight. BART stopped running at midnight as well.

“Can you drive me to my friend Melissa’s house? She has four children I’ll probably wake them all up. She won’t mind.” I say.

“I could, but I’d rather you stay with me. Don’t worry – we won’t have sex. I just want more time with you.”

What’s a girl to do?

In the morning, he told me I looked pretty without makeup. No one had ever said that to me. In that moment, it felt like one of the best compliments I’d ever gotten.

He was kind enough to lend me his red Converse sneakers, because I couldn’t bear putting on my knee-high, 6-inch-heel stripper boots for the “Walk of Shame,” which we renamed the “Walk of Pride,” on a Sunday morning. So in my short black dress, black tights and borrowed red Converse, I fit right into the Mission on a late Sunday morning.

After a tasty breakfast of chicken and waffles, he walked me to my car, kissed me goodbye and we parted ways.

Broken Rule #1: We discussed taboo topics I would normally save for much, much later: Things like I lead workshops about relationships and sex; I teach dating classes; he’s first date 101; I dance on a pole at the Power Exchange.

Broken Rule #2: I stayed the night at his house – on the first date (yes, I did). Hey – I was stuck! Don’t judge, and if you do, judge how pretty I look in the morning without any makeup.

P.S. An equally if not more successful second date has already taken place. I see a very nice little friendship here.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Uterus Rule

22-year-old boy-man writes:

"Hi, would you be interested in taking my virginity? If you are and want to see a picture of me then reply back I will send my pic over on here. I am a college student at UC Berkeley and I am a good looking white guy but am a virgin when it comes to sex and want to get some more experience. I am messaging you because I am seeking out a woman who will be more understanding. You are really beautiful btw"

I write: "Okay, thank you so much - how completely sweet! I have this rule, though. I call it the "uterus rule" and it goes like this: If you are young enough to come out of my uterus, you don't get to put anything of yours in it.

Sorry. I am sure there are many women out there who would love that chance to connect with you. You may do better in a bar, though.

Happy hunting.

Wendy"

(What he doesn't know is that in my family, he could almost be my grandson.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's Just Lunch - Review

Slowly I slide my finger atop a tall stack of crisp, new one-dollar bills. I draw the first one into my palm and crush it into a small wad, as if it were a soiled Kleenex. I toss the crumpled greenback into an eagerly waiting toilet bowl. Flush. I crouch and watch with great enthusiasm as the whirlpool swirls and sucks it down. I grip the next one, crumple, crush and repeat the process again, and again, and again… two --- thousand --- six --- hundred --- times.

This fantasy is vivid in my mind. Living out this daydream would have given me more joy and satisfaction than the six-month contractual agreement I just completed with It’s Just Lunch (IJL).

I signed up for IJL upon the urging of my good friend in Seattle, who has membership there. In Seattle, IJL customers average one date a week and sometimes more. I thought this was what I was buying.

I gave them a month to get under way before letting them know I wasn’t getting my weekly date. My matchmaker did all she could not to laugh – at which point I revealed my expectations that the two IJL offices act similarly. To this day, no one at the San Francisco IJL office will admit customers have an expectation that chains or franchises operate in a similar fashion – you know, like a Big Mac in Seattle is the same as a Big Mac in San Francisco? When I tried to make this point to the General Manager, she treated me like I was a crazy person for having that point of view, and thought my expectation of chains being similar was outrageous. Huh!

People of the Bay Area, if you think the online dating sites are a waste of your time, and you’re considering It’s Just Lunch, consider this:

With IJL, a six-month membership is $2,600 and you go on five dates. That’s $520 a date.

A Match.com six-month membership is $119.94. If you’re like me and average five or six dates a month, it’s roughly $3.63 per date.

But we all know the price isn’t the problem. When spending our hard-earned money, we consider the value of the product or service, the patient and responsive customer care, and the skills and expertise of the professionals servicing us. In a matchmaking service, we hope for one that deeply understands our needs and works with us in partnership to help us find a desirable and compatible match. IJL failed miserably in all categories.

I’m not a high-maintenance woman. I originally had three requirements:
1) His age range be between 2-11 years older than me
2) His location be within 30 minutes from my house
3) His height be at least 6’ (since I’m tall and I like wearing heels)

Week 1: Nothing – crickets.

Week 2: They call with my first “match.” He’s 13 years my senior, lives 120 minutes from my house, he’s 6’ tall – um, no. I pass.

Week 3: Next Match – 6 years younger than me, lives 90 minutes from my house, and he’s 5’10”. Nope.

Week 4: Next match – same age as me, lives 115 minutes from my house, and he’s 5’10”.

I reiterate my three needs at this time, at which point I’m told that even though I stated my preferences up front, they don’t match by height. Great.

A few days later, I get another call. My next match is 14 years my senior, and lives 60 minutes away. I cave – I give up – I have them set up the date. He was the worst match ever.

After this failed date, a month after I joined, I knew I was had. I wanted to be released from the contract so I made the General Manager of IJL a very generous proposal. I offered the company $600 as compensation for the first date if they would let me go. Of course they declined. No refunds. No guarantees. No satisfaction.

IJL touts that they have professional matchmakers looking out for you. Don’t believe it! My matchmaker, while a nice person, was absent, and certainly not matching to my personality, preferences or needs. The coordinators that “take care” of clients were usually unavailable and often remiss in returning calls.

Women of the Bay Area, don’t do it – don’t be suckered in. If you’re unconvinced, and you crave more details, you can read the blow-by-blow of every date, along with a detailed scenario of dealing with this company firsthand, on my dating blog, WendyDates.blogspot.com.

For a demonstration of their less than stellar customer service, be sure to read the post “It’s just a drag” (April 17, 2011).

The five IJL dates, for quick reference, are:

Date #89 - April 17, 2011
Date #90 - April 27, 2011
Date #95 - June 2, 2011
Date #99 – August 2, 2011
Date #100 – October 20, 2011

Over the past few years, I have been on exactly 100 first dates. Three out of five of my IJL dates were literally, and without exaggeration, the worst three dates of my life.

The IJL dates couldn’t have been more of a mismatch if a troop of blind, half-crazed monkeys went out into the streets to find my man. While on an IJL date, I often wondered if I was secretly appearing on an MTV dating reality show.

So, my readers, if you’re single and looking for your mate, good luck out there. I don’t know what the answer is; I’m still gathering data, but I can certainly testify that it’s not It’s Just Lunch!

If you enjoyed this review.... please forward it on.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Date #100 - Bored, Bored Out of My Gourd

His Age: 48
His City: Walnut Creek
Setting: Lunch at Montclair Bistro – Oakland

I’ve never experienced what people call “writer’s resistance” (more commonly known as “writer’s block”) before this moment. It wasn’t a block so much as it was resistance: because it was so uninspired, I just couldn’t bring myself to explain to you that date #100 was – despite its numerical significance – utterly insignificant.

Our original date was set for September 1; he cancelled the same day due to work.

We rescheduled to September 8, a week later, and I cancelled. I was tired from moving, I was about to lead a workshop, and frankly, I just didn’t care.

The third attempt was rescheduled for September 15, a dinner in Berkeley. I dressed, I drove, I parked, I waited in the restaurant lobby, and after about 15 minutes learned he needed to cancel due to traffic. Whatever.

The fourth set date, September 18, we met at a quiet, little restaurant in the hills of Oakland. All that effort, and within two lunch date topics, I was done. “It’s Just Lunch” is certainly consistent, if nothing else, in providing some of the worst matches of all time. By the appetizer, I was asking questions and telling stories only to entertain myself. The two most significant pieces of information I obtained from this date is he has a very close relationship with his aging father, and his last girlfriend broke up with him after four years because she was bored with him. I get it: four years to get bored. It only took me four minutes.

I did that magical dance of being as pleasant and as nice as possible, while also clearly indicating there would not be a repeat performance. I feel it’s the kindest way to go if one isn’t going to actually out and out call off the date. I hate being surprised at the end, you know, when I learn they aren’t interested after they faked it all date long – sometimes for HOURS. Ugh.

And when the bill came he said, “So I have your number! I’ll call you and we can do something next week.”

Oh no!! I was completely caught off guard. I couldn’t believe what was coming out of my mouth as I said, “Uh, okay.”

I raced home and immediately wrote the email.

“Hi Bob,

Thanks for meeting me for lunch today. I had a nice time getting to know you a little bit. I don't think we're quite a match. And since we're both in the search to find a partner, I don't want to waste your time.

Best to you,

Wendy”

Moments later, I got a nice “thank you” in reply.

100 down, one to go.

About Me

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San Francisco, CA, United States
Who am I? I am a retired dater. I sifted through the thousands of "matches" online; met strangers for coffee, a drink or a meal when really, mostly I wanted to be napping.

On the good dates, I loved the adventure and the thrill of not knowing how it would all turn out. The daydream of a possible shared future with this human.

On the bad dates, I was willing to take one for the team – for you - for your enlightenment and entertainment.

Through my trials and tribulations, self-expression and willingness to reveal raw human experiences and vulnerabilities, this blog was created.

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