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Nervous Energy

I’m actually nervous for a date tonight. It’s unusual for me to get butterflies over something like this, since I err on the side of being a cool cucumber. It’s the whole guy’s friend thing, I was trained early on not to get all fluttery like a girl.

Now I don’t know what to do with myself.

It’s a second date. The first was enough of a surprise, since I thought I was meeting a potential awesome new friend, and was pretty swept off my feet with chemistry. I went in without any expectations, and was floored to the moon with how incredible it was.

Tonight is the exact opposite. It’s been a week of crazy adorable messages and contact, while waiting for our schedules to click again, and now there’s pressure. Should I wear the leggings and top I think look hip [and am totally comfy in], or should I be trying a little more to look nice? I’ve no clue. Normally, I don’t care.

Or I just need to get out of my head and chill the fuck out.

We’ll see. I still have high hopes, even though I can’t stop my leg from bouncing.

To be continued…

[Status report: just as amazing as the first date. Gotta love when your memory is just as great as reality.]

Want a [Smart] Cookie?

I’ve heard multiple guys here, when talking about the type of girl they like, state that they want to date someone smarter than themselves.

Is that a joke?

This just blows my mind. In a place where most people are highly ambitious, highly educated, and highly assertive, this is a tall order. Not because there aren’t women smarter than said guys– they have countless women to choose from here in Washington. The issue is for these guys to accept the fact when it looks them in the face. When they DO meet an intelligent woman, do they thank God for granting their wish? Or do they just find a flaw elsewhere that renders her impressive intellect void.

The second problem with this is on the female side: speaking as an intelligent woman, I don’t want to date a guy that’s dumber than me. Clear and simple. You want to date someone smarter? Well, I want to date someone just as smart as me. Not someone who thinks their brain is more capable than mine, nor one that puts me up on a pedestal in some Ivy Tower that I never attended. Intelligent women want someone who can be their match, their equal. We want to challenge each other, but in the end, see eye to eye on even ground.

I understand the sentiment, but it’s flawed. And I’m telling you right now, if a guy told me that he liked me because he wanted to date someone smarter than himself, he’d be deported to the friend zone faster than he could process his mistake. [I would later explain this error, once I adopted him and took him under my wing. I’m a fantastic wing-lady.]

I’ve been there, and it doesn’t work. I dated guys dumber than myself in high school and college– and I’m no longer in either of those places because I was smart enough to graduate.

I don’t think it’s too much to ask to find a guy that did the same.

Hold the phone– you’re straight?

There are enough things to be concerned about in the dating world without the question of ‘is he actually into women, or has he just set up camp in that closet?’ When it DOES come into play, it can quickly turn a rather confusing experience into a very sticky situation.

Issue #1: I am a very forward person, so my initial response is wanting to ask ‘but aren’t you gay?’ ATTENTION: DO NOT ASK. One of the first things my mama taught me when I was young is that boys are very fragile creatures, and their egos need to be handled with care. Normally, my bull-headed nature tends to ignore that and charges into whatever blunt idea I had in mind… but in this case, I have to agree.

If it is evident enough to make you wonder, you can be damn sure he’s been asked that before, and you don’t want to crush a guy’s soul. There are plenty of people still in the closet as adults, but that is their decision. What you need to decide is are you into the person they want to be at this moment, or does the possibility of them being someone else in the future bother you too much?

Issue #2: Attraction. I have many gay friends that are crazy hot and like to flaunt it. One of the best things about the gay guy-girl friend mix is being liberated from expectations. You can be sexual and flirty with the knowledge that it is just a game without an actual goal. The pressure’s off, because it isn’t legit. But when you’re on a date, and the guy is setting off your gaydar, there are conflicting emotions. Your habits are telling you to relax and have fun being as flirty as you like because there’s no harm in it, while your brain is screaming MAYDAY MAYDAY, HE THINKS YOU’RE INTO HIM. Danger, Will Robinson, danger.

I am not the type of girl to lead a guy on just because I want a plaything to amuse myself with. That’s a bitch thing to do, and not okay. The main conundrum is for first dates, I’m so used to just being myself at full steam ahead, I forget that they will be reading into every signal I send off.

Case-in-point: the other night on a date, I was busy trying to figure out in half of my head if the guy is paying mortgage on his closet or not, while the other half of my head was on auto pilot. Which, for me, is a rather charismatic flirt. Next thing I know, the guy I had nearly convinced myself deep down should get traded to the other team is leaning over and kissing me in a VERY determined take-charge kind of way. Well, THAT throws a wrench into my actually-gay theory.

The biggest dilemma of it all is that until that point, I figured gay or not, we were having a great night of conversation and banter and I’d probably found a new friend. He was intelligent, outgoing, and interesting, even with his ambiguous sexual preference. And then he had to lean over and solve that riddle by opening a can of very befuddled worms with their own confusing questions.

Talking to a girlfriend about it, I said that I don’t think I could date him legitimately. That I want a manly guy who would suddenly kiss me against a wall just because he wanted to, in that way that makes all other thoughts rush out of your head.

OH WAIT. Isn’t that what just happened?

So , what to do now…

Social Butterflying

Yes, DC and I have been hitting it off swell lately. It’s been night after night of wining-and-dining-and-dancing. Minus the wine and food most of the time. In a city of high-energy overachievers, the work hard/party hard mentality is practically a required lifestyle for residency.

Unfortunately, I’ve always had trouble choosing from which awesome thing to do with my life, and that includes my social life… including how to structure this whole writing idea. So I’m going to go with my usual plan, and say whatever comes to mind, even if there isn’t an obvious continuity to it.

Deal with it.

So one of the first things I was told upon arrival in DC was that there is a huge gender disparity. Being accustomed to being one of the few females in a circle of ambitious, political guy types, I assumed it was the same here.

Apparently that is not so anymore, for the 20-something crowd. Some single girlfriends told me there is a huge lack of eligible, intelligent, SINGLE guys here. There is a huge influx of women, and most of the guys already have girlfriends. Bad news bears to a single girl, right?

I don’t know where they were getting their intel, but that’s not the truth. At least, not how I’ve experienced it. I’m thinking they’ve a much more selective taste, whereas I’ve a broader interest.

I’m an equal-opportunity dater. And that isn’t just race, but religion, background, profession [or lackthereof], partisanship…. pretty much anything. Except those of the Westboro/Tea Party persuasion. *Imbeciles need not apply.*

Beyond that, most people find the nook they fit into and feel comfortable, and coast along happily. I tend to bounce around from group to group– depending on my schedule, the weather, or whatever strikes my fancy– so it broadens the possibilities.

The key: you have to take risks. Whether it’s going to a house party/bar you’re unsure of, meeting up with people you met only once weeks ago but have invited you out, or walking up to that cute guy across the bar that hits some secret nerve electrifying your spine– just do it. Don’t say no, don’t think, don’t rationalize… just do it. After a few too many life-altering “learning moments” over the past few years, I’ve come to embrace ‘carpe diem’ not only as a motivator, but as a true lifestyle.

Because of that, I’ve made friends with everyone from the Mexican guys living in the group house on the corner of my block to White House staffers and diplomats on Embassy Row. I’ve asked a cute street musician for a drink because I liked his bluegrass, and been on ritzier dates in Dupont with guys well above my pay grade. I don’t let things limit me.

And you know, I’m happier for it. DC and I are getting to know each other much faster and more profoundly than we would have otherwise. Even if it’s something simple like stopping to take photos of a half-renovated church, or giving my lunch to someone hungrier than me in a park, it’s worth your while to stop rushing around the city inside your own head and actually take a LOOK at the real one around you.

It might not smell like roses, but DC is beautiful, and this butterfly likes the perks of being more than just a wallflower.

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