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Co-ed church softball league game?

23 Nov

Well, I’ve joined my church’s co-ed slow pitch softball team**, which plays in a league that is comprised entirely of churches.  Not sure yet if it’s a good place to meet people outside of your own church, given that you’re not there to mingle with the other team, plus you can’t really tell who’s married or not since most people are wearing gloves on their ring hand and most of the time you’re too far away to see anything, anyway.  Also, the male/female ratio is favorable to women, since most teams only have a few women.  Then again, softball isn’t really a sport that attracts shapely, slender women, so maybe it’s more of a draw.  Sorry, guys.

I did think the other team’s pitcher tonight was kind of cute, but then he walked me twice.  DLV?

**y81, your praise may now commence.

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If you are hot enough, he will ignore your jackhammery laughter.

2 Oct

Over the weekend I attended the wedding reception of a friend of mine and ended up at a table with the groom’s best friend B and B’s much younger girlfriend G.   My guess is that the age gap was somewhere around 20 or so years.  Intrigued by this real-life example of Game principles, I sat back and observed.

B was pushing 50, tall, with strawberry blond coloring and his age undeniably settling in to his face.  Fortunately for him, genetics had blessed him with a full head of (non-gray) hair.  He seemed confident and outgoing and had solid body language.

G was your typical high-maintenance SoCal Asian:  meticulously styled hair, full makeup and constant reapplication of lip gloss, high-end name brand clothing with, as she pointed out, six-inch heels.  She was objectively quite pretty.  Accordingly, her mannerisms were almost cartoonishly feminine:  continuous laughter, a constant need to touch and be close to her boyfriend, and I’m pretty sure she said zero interesting things the entire time.  I mainly remember her making remarks about makeup, her sister’s plans not to have a destination wedding, and how she gets her boyfriend up early every morning to make him go to yoga class with her.  Oh, and she has a little dog.

The longer I watched G, the more fascinated I became with the exaggerated way she pursed her pillowy lips when she talked.  The way her eyes widened and her mouth opened four inches every time she laughed and remained open.  And the way that laugh resembled a kinder, gentler version of Janice from Friends.

By this point there were about four different Haleys at war with themselves in my head.  Catty Haley was rolling her eyes and shaking her head at G.  Analytical Haley was trying to figure out what was keeping B and G together other than sex.  Cynical Haley was telling Analytical Haley, DUH, NOTHING.  Holy Haley was brusquely chastising Analytical and Cynical, reminding them that G was a perfectly decent and genuinely nice human being, as was B, and trying to imagine scenarios in which B and G had deep, meaningful conversations about the Future, the State of the World, and Interests in Common Other Than Yoga Class.  James Joyce teared up with pride.

While all of this was going on in my head, I had the horrible realization that I was a terrible loser at love compared to G, and there was no starker comparison than that between us.  I contemplated what it would take for me to turn myself into a knock-off version of her, and it gave me mental vertigo.  (I mean, I do pretty well with pervy church geezers, but I attribute my appeal to the novelty of my relative youth and the scarcity of my kind at the geezer-friendly early Sunday service.)  It was all a little bit like being strangled by a live-action version of Roissy’s blog, or discovering that you had gone to war with a spoon in your hand while the other person wielded a bayonet.  I kept asking myself, Is this what I need to be?  Is this what men want?  Because me as I am is not really tearing it up with the opposite sex, non-geezer edition.  Maybe the ratio is 1 glossy-lipped Natalie Portman-esque laugh = 200 witticisms.  Time to read less and stock up on Chanel.

Lest this seem too self-pitying, it should be noted that my friend who got married is more similar to me than to G, so I don’t think hope is dead or anything.  After all, my friend’s husband married my friend, not G (or a G clone).  And G is spending her “good years” with a man who may or may not ever marry her.  In the end it may all be a wash.  Still, I think G will be able to do well for herself (should she need to) even after hitting the wall.  There are always men eager to enjoy a personality like G’s.

So, with that in mind…

Now commencing Operation: Everything Is Funnier.

Take the 12/12 Challenge!

5 Feb

After feeling that last weekend was devoid of any excitement whatsoever**, an idea came upon me:  Starting February 15, I should commit to going on 12 dates in the following 12 weeks.

Now, I do not know twelve unmarried, not-dating-anyone men (between the ages of, say, 26-44), so I am going to have to do some combination of (a) asking people I know to find someone to go out with me for at least 15 minutes, (b) approaching stranger-men myself and either outright asking them for dates or finagling a way to get them to ask me, and/or (c) joining an internet man menu man catalog dating site.  This is a daunting task, but I am up to the challenge.

The question is…are YOU?

I figure I must not be the only single person on this blog who is looking to break out of the rut.  If you want to join me in the 12/12 Challenge, let me know in the comments.  At the very least, the Challenge will give you an opener to use.

THE RULES:

  1. Twelve dates must take place between February 15, 2011 and May 9, 2011.
  2. Each date must last at least 15 minutes, i.e., NO LEMON LAWING PERMITTED.
  3. You are not limited to one date per week, e.g., if you complete twelve dates in one day, that still counts.  However, you may not go on two (or more) dates with the same person in one day.
  4. You can go on more than one date with the same person, i.e., going on two dates with Person A equals two dates for the purposes of the 12/12 Challenge.
  5. If you go on more than one date with the same person, the dates must be different activities, e.g., no buying the same person coffee on five different occasions.
  6. Double-dating is permitted; group dating (large group with no distinct pairings) is not.
  7. No going on a date with a “bro” of the opposite sex, unless the explicit goal is to break out of bro-dom.
  8. You must make it clear to the other person that you are going on a date and not just “hanging out.”
  9. If someone flakes on you, it doesn’t count as a date.  You must schedule and complete another date.

If you complete the 12/12 Challenge, I will award you a personalized prize probably a drawing by me.  Just leave a comment on May 10 listing each date you went on (calendar date, first name/initial of person you went with, and what the activity was).

MAZEL TOV!

**Minus watching the U.S. Figure Skating National Championships.***

***Okay, it wasn’t the most exciting Nationals of all time.  But high-level athletic competition is inherently compelling.

Spectacular church alpha DLV.

8 Sep

This just in:  even a natural alpha is not immune to crippling DLV.

On Sunday two of my friends and I attended our church’s monthly after-service luncheon.  I think the luncheons are intended to be “a time of fellowship,” which generally means that people who already know each other table up together and share gossip what’s going on in their lives.  In other words, if you’re single, you’ve got about a 20% change of meeting the person who will one day become your spouse.

On this particular occasion, however, my friends and I had the good fortune of coming into contact with Wilhelmina, one of the church’s dowagers, who had zoned in on two male visitors and invited us to join them at their table so they would “feel welcome.”  Ha.  (Of course, now being schooled in Game, I took it as an indirect compliment that my looks are still viable.  Well, either that, or it was a pity invite, but my hamster will not allow that line of thought to dominate.)

The two male visitors were Vlad and Pushka, whom I immediately recognized as the two guys who had sat behind me and my friends in the service and talked the whole time in another language.  It turned out that they were Armenian Persians who were doing some church cruising.  Vlad was fat, dark-haired, and had a unibrow that would make Bert from Sesame Street envious.  He seemed nice but was not super-talkative, probably because his English was so-so.  Pushka, on the other hand, was the most alpha single guy I’d come across at a church in a long time.  He had a shock of unruly thick, red hair and the physique of a guy who enjoys weights, and he was very sociable.  Even better, he had an interesting backstory that added to the contrast of his being able to claim Iranian citizenship while sporting very red hair.  Before moving to the U.S., he spent ten years living in Spain – which allowed him to speak Spanish with my Spanish-speaking friends.  Nice move!

I was starting to think that this guy had incredible, natural game – he even had the presence of mind to act surprised and insist we looked much younger when he found out how old we were – when he mentioned his Canadian “almost-fiancee.”  When my friends pressed, he said that he wanted to propose to her soon, and that he had met her online through video games.

I’m pretty sure you could hear the crash of a boulder falling from a 70-story building when he dropped that knowledge.

While online dating has grown in acceptability, in church circles that’s more or less limited to eHarmony.  Among Christians, I’ve never heard of a couple being matched through any other service.  In addition, video games are pretty much the fastest way for a man to kill any desirability he may possess.  Even though gaming is a huge industry, video gamers – at least white, male gamers – are consistently considered bottom-of-the-barrel mate material.  And guys who use online gaming to meet chicks?  That they want to marry?? Forget it.

Here’s a clip from How I Met Your Mother that nicely sums up people’s feelings about those who gets their dates this way:

Pushka said that he and Vlad would come back to our church next week.  I wish him all the best.  And I hope he doesn’t talk as much during the service.

Field Report: Clapping on Command edition.

4 Aug

Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to attend a taping of the upcoming syndicated version of Don’t Forget the Lyrics.  It was an all-day affair during which we powered through eight shows, three of which featured cheerleaders from professional sports teams (none of whom should quit her day job…ugh, my ears) and one a celebrity singer.  In between shows, the ADs would shuffle around the audience so it wouldn’t look like the exact same people were there for an entire week of tapings (and wearing the exact same outfits).  That’s the magic of television right there.

If you are a sociable person, tapings are a good opportunity to meet new people.  There is usually a good amount of down time, and since nobody usually knows anybody else, people tend to be more open to talking to strangers than otherwise if you just act friendly.  I hadn’t brought any books or magazines with me, either, so talking to other people was about the only way to save myself from downtime boredom.

In the morning, while we were lined up waiting to have our attendance taken and go through the gate, I ended up standing near two young guys who were hired audience.  They were both tall and pretty well-built in a standard-for-an-aspiring-actor sort of way.  One was a little more attractive than the other and gave off the impression that he was aware of his genetic blessing.  I tried to strike up some conversation with them, starting off with some little quips about waiting in line, but neither guy really bit.  The better-looking guy actually seemed a little irritated.  Fine, dude, sorry I’m not a 10 and you’re as interesting as a stick in the mud.  So much for that.

The rest of the morning was pretty non-descript.  I sat between various teenage girls for the tapings and conserved my energy.

After lunch was when things started to get interesting again.  I was seated next to a young white guy, tall, pleasantly average-looking, on one side and a stocky, pleasant, early 20s-ish Latino guy on the other side.  I found out from Latin Luis that he was with the group of volleyball players that was at the taping.  I was able to make him smile, like when I asked if he was a volleyball groupie, but he was shy and only spoke to me when I directly addressed him.  Definitely one of those guys who has a daily word limit of around 1000 words, so pressing any sort of conversation would have been fruitless.

The young white guy, on the other hand, warmed up to me almost instantly.  I found out that he was a dancer who had been forced into ballet at age 11 by his mother but ended up loving it — and the perk of being the only straight guy in a classroom of girls.  In between the taping portions, we chatted about dancing and music, and the conversation flowed easily.  I tried to convince him to dance battle a black guy who was shakin’ it on the other side of the room, but he refused.  During the tapings, he clapped overly enthusiastically and would glance at me to make sure I saw that he was showing off being silly; I obliged him by elbowing him.  More than once I noticed that as we were sitting next to each other, his upper arm was pressed against mine.

Halfway through the afternoon, Dancer and I moved to a different row, still sitting next to each other, but on my other side was now a large stocky blond with glasses who was working as paid audience and wasn’t very happy about it.  He clapped tepidly and, when I encouraged him to do his job because it was his JOB be more enthusiastic, he complained that his hands hurt.  Herby-looking guy (yes, he was wearing Voldemort’s dreaded khakis) who whines?  I’m not sure he could have done more to DLV himself, but he couldn’t even be properly bitter, so I resigned him to the “mildly amusing” category.

When the taping was over, Dancer asked me and Blondie if he could catch a ride home with one of us.  It was already fairly late, so while I was mulling over the possibility of whether or not I wanted to take a detour to Hollywood, Blondie jumped and said he would take Dancer home.  I then remembered that I had parked in the neighborhood and wasn’t interested in walking back to my car by myself, so I asked if Dancer wouldn’t mind coming with me instead.  Blondie scoffed that the neighborhood wasn’t that bad, but after realizing that his car wasn’t parked too far from mine, decided with Dancer that they would both walk with me.

As we walked back to where I had parked, Blondie and Dancer got on the subject of dinosaurs and immediately began cracking increasingly more herby jokes about dinosaurs.  I walked ahead of them, at this point just wanting to get to the car and regretting that I had even asked for accompaniment.

At my car, Dancer said good-bye, and I gave him a half-second to ask for my number, but all he said was the generic “see you around” line.

At least it was late enough that there wasn’t too much traffic on the way home (by Los Angeles standards, anyway).