13 men. I've been on 15 dates with 13 different men over the past month or two. Once I even had three dates in one day.
That's not as much in person as it is on paper.
And that's not counting all the ones I've been "chatting" with in "open communication" or all the blasted questions I've answered getting to said open communication.
See, my "good friend," Mel, signed me up for eHarmony one night when we were watching Sex in the City and I was complaining about men.
"Here Ann, I've got you started. Here's your username and password and now you just need to finish answering the questions. I've gotten as far as I can..."
I grimaced and glared at her.
But since she's getting married and I'm not, I thought well, perhaps she knows what she's doing so I started answering the questions.
Pick three adjectives your friends would use to describe you.
Are you ever attracted to people of the same sex?
Choose the best word to describe how you communicate when you're angry...
I throw the computer on the ground and curse my friend for signing me up for an online dating program?
No, I guess not. So AN HOUR AND A HALF later I'd finally answered all those dang questions and I'll be damned if eHarmony didn't accept me. "Here are your new matches," they wrote me and four men popped up on the screen.
"Well, one little look can't hurt..."
$120, fifteen dates and thirteen men later, I'm in dating heaven... or hell... I'm not sure which.
But I've eaten lobster at Eddie V's, met a man who called Obama a communist even before the media picked up on it, eaten kosher with a Greek Orthodox Christian, corresponded with a guy who turned out to be in IRAQ (he sort of lied about his location), drank with a man who knows my therapist, and kissed a boy named after the pope.
I know. I don't know what to say for myself.
Except that we're playing by my rules now. My rules. Who knew that dating was a decision I got to be a part of? I write that half-jokingly. But if you knew my dating history you'd agree.
My sister the doctor calls it "the bomb." Every time I call to tell her about some new guy I'm dating, she waits for it. She wait's for the bomb to drop.
"He's 48." The bomb.
"He's 19." The bomb.
"He lives in Morocco." The bomb.
"He's a recovering alcoholic." The bomb.
"He's a republican." The bomb.
You get the picture.
I mean, I'm a girl. I've suffered from the "savior" complex syndrome, been through the "money doesn't matter" phase, and run the gauntlet of "he's the male-me" all the way to "opposites attract." From the actor to the jock to the lawyer to the starving musician.
And you know what I discovered? It's all about me.
This is my life.
I get to choose.
It's okay for me to want to date a man who has health insurance. That's not an unreasonable standard. Neither is it unreasonable for me to want to date someone with a job. And if he's got too much money, that's okay too. I can say good-bye to too much money if it makes me uncomfortable. And it's alright for me to want to date a man who's capable of wrestling with his demons in therapy rather than in the bottom of a bottle or a bong. And I should expect my boyfriends not to fall for my sister, that's not too much to ask. And I can set the standard of no lying, no cheating and for god's sake no talking to your ex-girlfriend.
I can choose those things. I don't have to settle fo what comes to me nor do I have to set my standards higher. I can want what I want. And if I get what I want, I'm one lucky girl.
A friend told me the other night that when you meet the right person you should feel like you're the luckiest person on the planet. That's pretty good. I want to feel lucky... lucky that I get to be the recipient of someone's love and lucky that I get to love them back.
And then comes the compromise and the challenges and the giving and receiving... but that's all good too cause you're the luckiest girl in the world, remember?
So thanks Mel, for making me finish the questions. And thanks to my girlfriends for setting me up with your friends (they weren't all online). And thanks Brandon, Brad, Padaric, Imad, Jeremy, Charlie, Terry, Travis, Paul, Ryan, Rowland, Aaron and Dominic. I'm having a lot of fun. Even if I "closed" some of you cause you're weird.
And one of these days I just might get lucky. And you know what? Some man might just get me...