Accept No Substitutes!

Slightly disheartened that I came across today. A website with MY blog name!

I think I just understood for the first time what my darling artist sister experiences pretty much every hour of the day with major companies publishing work that looks alarmingly (to me) like her unique, stylized art. You think you're carving a space for yourself being creative, but people are always on your heels. I'm not creative very often, so it's not something I usually deal with. It happens sometimes with fashion. I dress so weird that when someone dresses like me it stands out (see also: Skirt-over-pants, 1997).

I'd probably write him a Passive/Aggressive Lilly Letter(R), but he's an aspiring writer, and God knows it's the one population I have a weak spot for, so I'll let him be.

The good news is whoever bought the website eventual succumbed to the self-titled issue; he just wrote a few posts, and then left. A quick skim of the website tells me he wrote fan letters to Carol Burnett (whereas I wrote them to Jason Priestly). Other than that, we aren't very similar, so don't be confused. Accept no substitutes! The Original! The one and only! Basically if you hit a website and it's not talking about the wilderness of dating, the misbehavior of other people, or useless pop culture, you have been FAKEROLLED!

Getting the website and abandoning it? The horror. It's like salt in the wound.

It's one thing to take my cute little handle, another to not even do it justice! LE SIIIIIIIIGH.

Ok, I feel better now.

Just Because It's Pink Don't Make It a Valentine

I loved the movie Up in the Air. I didn't like the ending, but I loved the writing. And the corporate culture of firing is something I have never ("Tanks God!") been privy to.

Now: a dating story.

It went like this- I met a guy online, and we set up a date. I didn't actually want to go on said date, because the guy seemed like a dud, BUT he had a picture of himself with a painting and a picture of himself in the role of a volunteer Big Brother, so I decided not to judge. We obviously know where not following my gut instinct has taken me before, but OH WELL...

So anyhow, our phone conversation, when we finally connected, was such a dud that I rushed to set the date. He asked for a weekend date, so I gave him my happy hour Friday slot- it seemed like the right thing to do. Don't bank too much on him, don't give him a whole weekend night when I knew barely anything about him (except that he had stood in front of a painting in Dayton and that he passed some sort of volunteer screening test and children don't run screaming from him). I offered to let him pick the place and his suggestion was "Ok! How's Cozymel?"

Um, Cozymel is fine. In the same way El Torito is fine. In the same way ChiChis is fine. In the same way TGIFriday's is fine. As in, it's fine if you're 16, not so much if you're 40. Which he was. And we'll find out why he was 40 and single after the jump...

So anyhow, I show up for the date and to my surprise he's better looking than his pictures. Dude was apparently not photogenic and/or he had posted pictures from 10 years ago and had aged better. He looked good. The kind of all-American good where the waitress leaned in a lot when talking to him.

We started talking and while we had a lot to talk about, we had zero chemistry. We got along, but there was none of the playful banter one might hope for on a date. To be honest, at points I was afraid to make jokes, worried they might go a little over his head. He was a successful businessman and was obviously a sharp guy. I gasped audibly when he said he was a Republican, but was distracted by the fact that this conversation came up in the context of him revealing he'd been at the last Madonna concert. (Come on, people, you know my weaknesses).

Anyhow, it was going FINE. First dates are awkward, we all know that. But I knew things were going ok, because he had already mentioned that we should go downtown for our next date, etc etc. So I just went with it, figuring that there was enough interesting material there that I should stay open to date 2. Plus he had a nice smile, and I'm a sucker for a smile.

He asked a lot of questions, so I would answer. He asked about my background and what languages I spoke, so I told him. We found out we did the same MBA Marketing program. Then he asked me if I remember how tough the GMAT was. I'm not one to lie, so I told him "I don't know". He asked why and I confessed that I waived out of that requirement. He kept pressing - HOW did I waive out? I told him I was a lawyer.

At this point he sat back, and crossed his arms. I am not exaggerating, this was his actual physical reaction. And then he said -- in a voice that was none too approving -- "Well aren't YOU accomplished? A lawyer, an MBA, you speak 4 languages..." This was followed, in no short order, by him asking the waitress for the check.
Yikes. I felt like I was on a game show and I'd given the wrong answer! I even tried to backpedal and explain that I never tell people I'm a lawyer because I don't have that personality and people always assume this or that based on knowing it. But dude was checked OUT.

I received an email the next day. It read (AND I QUOTE)

"I'm glad I had the chance to meet you. While it was clear that you have many virtuous qualities, I am seeking intangibles that can only be assessed upon meeting in person... I wish you the best of luck with your search."

Seriously, he might as well have added "We will keep your resume on file..."

I was FIRED!

I wish I could say this was the first time I was dumped by someone who I wasn't dating, but sadly, it isn't. Maybe someone somewhere out there in cyberworld has insight into this phenomenon.

I wonder if he thought I'd tell people he's the owner of a prominent yoga studio in La Jolla and that I'd smear campaign him. But I'm not into smearing, lucky for him. Plus he didn't wrong me. I don't mind that we didn't click (and hellz yeah was I quick to reply that "I felt the same way!") BUT such a formal rejection note was a bit much for my taste. Presumptive, don't you think? I got pink slipped from a job I never applied for! The least they could have done was send George Clooney over to fire me, sheesh.

So here's the lesson: you can't judge a book by its cover, but you sure as hell can judge a guy by where he takes you on the first date! Buyer beware.

Pole Position

I know my last post was about tango, but I like to mix it up. God forbid I keep up that class act. In my last class my dance partner said to me "YOU ARE NOT THE PILOT!" I put it in caps because this little Argentinian was truly flustered by me. I can't blame him. I've realized that, while I love tango and intend to continue my lessons, I am not a born follower. I can follow if a guy reallllllly knows how to lead, and quite enjoy doing it (following) but some guys think a nudge here or there equals leading, and then I just find myself taking over. These guys I was dancing with were the dance equivalent of a limp handshake.

So this week I decided it was time to go partner dance with an inanimate object. Groupon sent us the option to buy 4 poledancing classes for a steal, and I forwarded it to a some girlfriends, the ones I had a sneaking suspicion would be interested. I meant it as a joke/dare more than anything, but then the first email response "I got mine! When are we going?" showed up in my inbox. Before I knew it, 5 of us were set up and we began class.

Now, I really tried not to judge. Sure, there were jokes being emailed back and forth about going to "Stripper High" and debating exactly what one should wear for this form of "fitness". But I was open minded about it.
The night of our debut class we eventually found our way to the studio, which was a small, one-room office backed up to a cheap Chinese restaurant, a car dealership, and Denny's. It wasn't promising, but again, trying not to judge. I also tried not to judge when the door opened and we walked in and the "office" was a card table. I mean, not even a $25 craigslist desk, a straight up card table. I thought, hey, maybe they're renovating! But let's just say the ambiance did little to make us feel that we weren't, well, strippers.

I filled out the Emergency Contact form and handed it over before realizing I had put my father as the point of contact. Um, oops.

We put on our high heels and workout clothes and lined up at the poles. I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that my shoes were 4 inch gold heels. When in Rome, people.

Before beginning, we were quickly instructed to clean the poles off. Now, sadly, I know this is what strippers actually have to do - I once cheered a depressed friend up by taking him to a strip club on a Monday night. Apparently Monday night is amateur night (that's a joke, but only slightly). In between dancers each girl would walk up with her bottle of Windex and paper towel. There's something to be said for ambiance, I'll say it again.

So there we were, wiping down the poles with rubbing alcohol. Which leads me to wonder, um, exactly *who* is taking these classes? I take all sorts of athletic and dance classes, but this is the first time I've been asked to formally disinfect the equipment (and nevermind that we were using the same 4 washcloths every other girl had used, so not really sure I see the point).

Class begins.

The instructor walks up, and isn't quite what I imagined she'd look like, but she had beautiful legs. The rest of her was busted street. Honestly, she might have been cute, but she refused to smile, so I will continue to call her Busted Street. I have to confess there was some discussion as to whether she was possibly pregnant. I say that not to judge her body type but because we were in actual amazement if she could flip upside down and in and around with a baby in there. But we decided (courtesy of 2 of my friends, doctors on hand) that she was just "not holding it in". She was wearing stripper shoes and offered us a good deal on a pair if we wanted them. Talk about putting the platform before the pole!

The first move we learned was "Sexy Walk". And here's what I have to say about that: if you have to call it Sexy Walk, chances are it ISN'T. There's nothing like watching yourself in a full length mirror, with dim lighting for an hour to realize how sexy you are or are not. Then we moved to swinging around the pole (easier than it looks). My friend later remarked to me that "I just spent an hour realizing how sexy I'm not. This was a beginner class?? I should be in remedial then."

I did alright, a few spins here, some smooth moves there. But I fully lost it when we got to floor moves. For 20 minutes we were basically recreating scenes from glam rock videos. ("Goddess pose!" she'd yell, without a drop of irony) I mean, we were a step short of going out to the parking lot and rolling around the sports cars at the dealership next door.

Our instructor was ornery, which of course just made me laugh more. We'd crack jokes, but she wasn't having it. She wanted us to pole dance like our lives depended on it. Unfortunately just a peek to my left would reveal my friend (a doctor by day) swinging around the pole hollering "I wanna be a stripppppppppeeeeeeer! I wanna beeeeeee a strippeeeeeeer!" like a kid who'd been let loose after eating a Costco size bag of sugar. The instructor didn't laugh. Apparently there is a line between pole fitness and stripping. Who knew?

Toward the end, our instructor proudly informed us that she'd be competing in a reality show. "Just like American Idol!" Um, but *not*?! Reality tv at its best, I'm sure. Oh so sorry I missed it.

So the good news is that pole dancing is really fun. The bad news is people who do this actually take themselves seriously. And now I might have to too.