Friday, August 17, 2007

Single in The City

As I may have mentioned, I’m a single gal. Which means I date a fair amount. Not obsessively, but when I start talking to my critique partners about how hot my latest fictional hero is, I know it’s time to get out of the house. And, as anyone who has dated lately knows, there are a lot of frogs out there. But, being the romance writer that I am, I still believe that if I kiss the right one, he’ll magically turn into my prince charming and sweep me off to his enchanted castle to live happily ever after.

Which brings me to this weekend’s new guy. He’s an attorney in The City, kayaks with humpback whales, and so far, seems rather normal. I’m afraid. It’s the normal seeming ones that always have that deal-breaker skeleton lurking in the closet. For example, my last blind date (Oh, did I mention that this weekend is also a blind date? Pray for me.) seemed normal enough on the phone. Great guy, steady job, raising a couple of adorable kids all on his own . (Tell me that doesn’t melt your heart!) Fast forward to the actual date. He shows up… and he’s hot. And I mean HAWT! I think his muscles even had muscles. Everything was peachy keen (i.e. Gemma is picking out china patterns) when Muscle Man lets slip one little fact that he’d failed to mention on the phone. He’s still married. (Picture Gemma politely excusing herself for the lady’s room, then slipping out the back door and making a mental note to check all men for tan lines on the left ring finger from now on.)

And then there’s the guy I dated before that, the Bicycle Thief. Aptly named because on our second date he actually stole someone’s bicycle. Seriously. Just took it. (Ever been torn between giving your date a kiss goodnight and calling the cops?) Sadly, I even paused for a moment to think about whether I really cared if my boyfriend was a felon or not. What can I say? He was a great kisser for a thief.

Which is why I approach this weekend’s tryst with Lawyer Boy with a bit of trepidation. So far he sounds nice, educated, and, from the one teeny tiny slightly fuzzy picture I’ve seen, looks like he has a killer smile. So, my inner romantic is selectively forgetting the likes of Muscle Man (a.k.a Married and Dating) and the Bicycle Thief and crossing her fingers that this frog may have potential. I’ll let you know how it turns out…

In the meantime, anyone out there care to share some of their more memorable toad encounters?

~Trigger Happy Halliday


Rashmi said...

Whoa, that's quite an interesting selection of frogs. Croak! Croak! lol

Here's hoping the lawyer guy will turn out to be "the one"! Good luck!

Meljprincess said...

I once dated a rapist. And one of my ex husbands brought me cat food when I told him I needed something to eat.

Gemma Halliday said...

The rapist - freaky!
The cat food thing - okay, I'm just laughing too hard to type. I see why he's an ex.


Christie Craig said...


Wow! Love the frog stories. As far as my frog stories . . .? Okay, confession time, I’m in my forties, and I've actually spent most of my life married—to two different men. At different times, of course. Hey, I believe in second changes.

Now, my first one was...shh, a real crocker. I think he might have been a hybrid of your two blind dates. Only, now that I think about, I don’t recall him being really that hot. Anyway, my second… now… ahh, he’s a prince. Okay…he’s a man, and human, therefore eliminating the possibility of his being perfect, but he’s managed to hold my heart for 21 years. Yep…he’s a keeper.

Great post.

And hey, just remember all your dates are tax deductible. It’s research.


Meljprincess said...

Yea, I dated this guy who didn't rape me but after we broke up he raped several women and a sixteen year old girl. He was huge so I know he hurt them badly. Rat bastard!

My ex was a rat bastard as well. He also took the car I owned for 5 years right out from under me by using his dad as co-signer. I messed up by putting his name on the title.

I hope they both rot in hell!

Sorry thoughts of both grate my onion....

Melanie said...

You said you wanted bad date stories, so I thought I'd share one of mine with you. I am a single mom living in Denver, Colorado. I have found that it is really hard to meet men, so about five years ago, I decided to try online dating. I followed the expert advice and always met men for the first time in a public place so I would feel safe and be able to get away fast if things didn't go well. The one time I broke this rule, I paid the price.

About a year into the online dating world, I started chatting online and then on the phone with a guy who seemed like he was everything I was looking for. I really liked his personality and the more we talked the more I felt we would be a good match. He had pictures posted, so I knew what he looked like. He lived on the opposite side of town from me so we had a hard time arranging to meet in person. We ended up talking for more than five weeks before we could finally get together.

My son was with his dad the night of our meeting and I felt I knew him so well that I could let him come over to pick me up like a regular date. Big mistake!!!!

As soon as I looked through the peep hole in my door, I knew the night was not going to go well. First of all, it was clear that the pictures he posted online were at least ten years old. He really looked nothing like his pictures. In them, he was in very good shape and muscular and the man in front of me was very overweight and poorly dressed. What little hair he had left was not combed and looked like it had not been washed in weeks. He was wearing a t-shirt with holes in it with a stringy flannel shirt over it like a jacket. The jeans he was wearing had oil stains and rips all over them and he was wearing sandals that he should never have worn given the state of his feet. I am no fairy princess, but I did put on decent clothes for the evening and I spent my normal time primping to make sure I looked good.

I reluctantly let him in the house. He walked in the door and immediately tried to give me a big hug. I managed to return his hug as quickly possible. I didn't know what to do because I had built up such high hopes about this man from our conversations and I knew he had done the same. I didn't want to just strike him down by refusing to let him near me.

As I quickly hugged him, my senses told me something was wrong. I stepped back and realized that it was my nose that was offended. It was him, he smelled horrible. Unfortunately for me, he insisted on trying to show me more of his affection by trying to hug and kiss me multiple times until I abruptly told him we should leave for dinner.

I managed to get through dinner okay. The table between us left enough distance that I didn't have to smell him through dinner. He was not much for conversation in person like he'd been on the phone. I sat there the whole time hoping that he would say something to redeem himself and make me remember what it was that I liked so much about him. But he never did.

The entire ride back to my house, I tried everything I could to make him think that he should just drop me off at my house. I told him that I had to get up early for work the next day and I was really tired since it was Thursday night. I thought he was starting to see the picture, but when we got to my house, he insisted on coming in so he could install some programs on my computer that we had talked about on the phone. Again, I am not good at being direct with people in these situations, so I agreed to let him come in for a few minutes.

He came in and started working on my computer right away. At my computer desk, I sit on one of those big exercise balls, not on a chair. Instead of sitting on the ball, he decided to lay down on it on his stomach. When he stretched out to reach the keyboard and mouse, his shirts came up, revealing more of his ass than I ever wanted to see. His jeans were so baggy that they had fallen down pretty low. I tried not to look, but he was sitting right in front of me. I didn't want to leave the room, because I wanted to watch his every move to make sure he didn't do anything to my computer. The installations took about 30 minutes and I had to stare at his ugly ass the whole time.

When he finished up with the computer, he moved on to trying to work on me. He followed me into my kitchen and again tried to kiss me. I didn't want him anywhere near me and he didn't seem to be getting the subtle hints that I was dropping. By this time I was frustrated and disgusted, but still unable to be direct and tell him I was not attracted to him at all. I think I finally got stern with him, insisting that it was getting late for me because I had to get up early the next morning.

Even with this abrupt ending to the night, he had no clue. A few hours later I was still up and I checked my email messages. He had sent me a message telling me what a great time he had and how disappointed he was that we didn't have more time to sit and "enjoy" each other. I honestly could not see how someone could be so clueless.

The following day, I almost called in sick to work because I knew I was going to have to tell my story to my boss and the girls in my office. I made the mistake of telling them how much I liked this guy and how excited I was that we were finally going to meet. Needless to say, they were all in hysterics laughing when I told them what had happened. They especially liked the part about his pants falling down and showing his ass. They all decided to give him the nick name "plumber's crack" man. Four years later, they still remind me about him frequently whenever the subject of online dating comes up.

I am still single and I still try to meet men online, although that episode did result in a halt to my online dating for a year or so.

Gemma Halliday said...

OMG – Melani! That’s terrible! (And I’m probably a terrible person that I was busting up the whole time I was reading your comment.) Plumber’s Crack Man definitely goes in the Ten Worst Dates in History book. Right below the rapist. (Yikes! I’m still a little freaked by that! Glad you came out of it okay.)

But CC, you give me hope. There are Prince Charmings out there. Just, maybe not online, huh? ;)


Anonymous said...

I know what you mean, I meet my two Mr. Toads all via one friend (Christian).
Well, Pillsbury Toad was meat through a night of boredom. It all started when Christians’ boyfriend (Dan) called. Dan was with a bunch of friends, hanging out. So to break the boredom we (Christian, me and her roommate along with Dan and his friends) played “Spin the Phone” - a lot like spin the bottle only instead of kissing you talked to who ever was on the other end. I got Pillsbury Toad, sounded nice and intelligent – boy was I wrong. Come to find out; after a couple of private phone conversations and ONE meeting that he was 10yrs older, bald – Pillsbury Dough boy shaped and unkempt. Some how in his deluded mind we were dating. This lead to a 2am sarcastic phone conversation from me, he called drunk and upset that his hockey team lost. – Well the next week come to find out Dan had the same delusion ‘cause he said (and I quote) “If you were going to break up with ‘Pillsbury Toad’ you should have told me first, that way I would have broken up with him for you.” Now get this Dan, and everyone else in this story was in College – Pillsbury was out of College. Next Dan proceeds to tell me “You were so cruel in breaking ‘Pillsbury’s’ heart, you only did it because you are after Todd.” Well Todd was hot, looked like Kiefer Sutherland in the 1988 production of Promised Land, only Todd was 6’2’. Dan proceeded to say that Todd was married. After what he previously said I didn’t believe him. Well he was telling the truth. I find this out a month later when coming home from a bar with Christian, we had meet Todd and as we were leaving he jams his pierced tough down my throat. Once he has extracted himself, a friend of his comes around the corner and says, “Come on man, I promised your wife I’d bring you home.” – To say the least, I haven’t heard a word from Christian in over 5yrs.

Anonymous said...

Oh my. I keep wishing I could find somebody to date, but living here in redneck country, it's probably just as well I'm a homebody. *g*

Anonymous said...

Just heard about this blogspot. Enjoyed the toad stories and haven't we all had to kiss a few?

Enchanted by Books said...

Gemma too funny! There's this book that I read and loved called 20 Times a Lady by Karyn Bosnak. It's about a woman who has just slept with her 20th man and doesn't want to add anymore to her list, so she goes on a road trip to try to rekindle a relationship with one of her ex bfs. This way she doesnt add another number to her already high number of sex partners. Each guy has his own funny problem and it's really hilarious. You just made me think of it with all this talk about frogs. LOL

Gemma Halliday said...

Pillsbury? I love it! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who names her past mistakes.

Oh, Tori, I went out with Redneck Guy, too! He started quoting me country song lyrics. And not the good ones. When a guy leans over and says, “I wanna check you for ticks” it’s time for the date to end.

Welcome, Joyce!

I’m going to have to pick up that book, Rachael. 20, huh? I better find Mr. Right soon. I think I’m nearing my expiration number…


Kathy Bacus said...

I had to laugh when I read your blog post, Gemma. Given we write 'killer fiction', your 'killer smile' reference relating to Lawyer Boy could be cause for concern!

Or inspiration, maybe...

Hope this date is a real winner.

~Bullet Hole~

Allie Hollister said...

All these comments make me glad I'm married. It's been so long, I've forgotten any frog stories I might have had. lol


Caffey said...

Hi Gemma :) I'm on your newslettter and heard about this blog from another reader (AmyS) and came to visit! I too saw the Killer Fiction site and so neat!! More for me to look up with reading!

Smiling on the blind date. I've never had one! I guess after not dating much HS (parents didn't allow before age 18) and then dating a bit in college where I met my current husband of now 24 yrs (he's a great hero) so I never had to be set up for a blind date but its fun reading them all here!

(wasn't sure if you needed email for contest)

Caffey said...

Oh I too wanted to tell you to have fun Gemma and I'll be checking out back here to see how your date went :)

Shel said...

Ah, one of my favorite dates was to a U2 show, fifth row center which rocked, but the date kept asking me all night if I needed to go to the bathroom. The date with Bathroom Boy wasn't as bad as the guy who told me during dinner that he loved prison movies and that if he were in prison he would have sex with men... Ah nothing like being single in the City.

Gemma - I am a lawyer and I warn you, dating them is not easy. I hope he's one of the good ones! I love your books and cannot wait for Undercover in High Heels!

Gemma Halliday said...

Oh no! I didn't even think of the killer smile reference, Kathy. Great. Now Lawyer Boy’s gonna turn out to be some serial killer of have really bad breath, isn't he?

Glad you found us, Cathie! And check back next week for the date recap. I will definitely let you all know how it panned out. I’m getting kind of excited/anxious/nervous/worried now.


Gemma Halliday said...

Thanks, Shel. I think. Lol! Now I'm extra nervous.

Okay, what should I wear? Afternoon date - sporty, sassy, or sexy?


Anonymous said...

I hope this guy turns out okay. It's been about 12 yrs since I've dated. But most of them were pretty normal.

Debby said...

Quite a nice group of frogs. I did hav one but he wa too bad to remember. I think I have blocked him

Jae Arronson said...

Hey hey hey, Killer Ladies! LOVE the new blog! (Grog?)

I've recently found some similar blogs, written by writers, and I think the whole concept is terrific! We (the readers, the wannabe writers, the general public!) get to know you through your blog and then we want to read your wonderful books!

I'm sorry to say I only know (so far) Jana's "Rumble" (which is a FABULOUS book and if you haven't read it yet, blog readers - why the hell NOT?) but I'll be looking for ALL of your books. This blog tells me that you're all terrific writers!

I'll also be delighted to write a blog post of my own and link you ladies. I don't have a huge readership but hey - every little bit helps, right? Good luck with this - and here's to more and more writing - and reading!

OH! And good luck with the date, Gemma! I thought there were NO wonderful men left in the world - but my sister had to go and prove me wrong! Maybe you will too!


Jae Arronson said...

Well, hell. I forgot to post my own (short, I promise) frog story.

I've dated a lot of frogs in my life but the one I'll briefly tell you about today - well - I was young enough and stupid enough to marry him. And the year he gave me paper plates - not the nice, Chinet paper plates either - but the generic store brand - (200 for $1.00 or something) for Christmas - wasn't even enough to tell me - "hey, stupid - he's a FROG. Get rid of him NOW!"

What can I say? At least I learned a lot from THAT big mistake. And now I refer to him as the ex-HFH (Husband From Hell).

Don't settle, Gemma - the right prince is out there - you'll find him. Take your time! Kiss those frogs - and then MOVE ON!


Estella said...

I think every woman has to kiss a few toads before she finds her prince.

Gemma Halliday said...

Hi Sandy! Thanks so much for blogging us, yes, every little bit counts. And thanks for the advice. Yeah, I’m not into settling for paper plates for Christmas. Lol! So glad you ditched that HFH. And congrats to your sister! May I follow in her footsteps…


Shel said...

Gemma - Don't worry, if nothing else you will get another good story out of the date.

As for wardrobe, an afternoon date with a kayaking lawyer - definitely sassy! Have fun!


danetteb said...

I once dated a guy who claimed to be single, then I started getting strange calls from "the girlfriend he said he didn't have"...some guys give men a bad name.

Jenny Gardiner said...

Hi Gemma!
This is a fun blog posting!
Okay, meljprincess definitely takes the cake for bad dates with the rapist LOL
I have had more bad dates than I care to recall. One was in college and he was my formal date (a friend) but hadn't told me he was also attending another formal the same night--talk about "double dating"!
When he disappeared during the dinner only to show up later on, I was miffed. I went out to dance with friends and he came over and was insinuating himself next to me on the dance floor when my heel slipped and my arm swung up to keep from falling and I accidentally smacked his nose and gave him a bloody nose ;-) . Didn't do it on purpose but he told everyone I did. He so deserved it LOL . Meanwhile I can still remember him on the dance floor with his new white Ralph Lauren polo shirt with blood dripping on it and he was blubbering and acted like such a fool--no one felt too badly for him!
My other one was a date I really didn't want to go on but I reluctantly yielded, but thank goodness drove separately. He made me sit next to him and he insisted on cutting my meat. Ugh. He was so creepy. Years later I found he was convicted of embezzlement (he was a high level government official in DC) and ended up in the slammer. ...

Gemma Halliday said...

Okay, I've got the perfect sassy outfit - short black skirt, turquoise and silver tank and these new sparkly gold shoes. They're flats but, trust me, they're adorable.

Jenny, I love the bloody nose story! Talk about a happy accident. Ha!


The (Mis)Adventures of a Single City Chick said...

I feel your pain, Gemma! Being a single gal, myself, I've actually gotten so frustrated that I've taken a break from the dating scene for well over a year now. Grrrrrr. I had a relationship with one guy, who after about five months finally told me that he was still waiting for his divorce to be finalized. Um, in my book you're STILL married, dude! Ugh. Then in a longer relationship, after describing to my boyfriend a dream I had about a woman he cheated on me with (in my dream), he finally confessed that he did cheat on me with someone looking exactly like I'd described. We ultimately broke up, 1) because of the cheating, and 2) because he didn't like how I knew things I shouldn't (I've always had a way of picking up on things before they happen or tapping into knowledge in other people even if I'm not trying). Like I told him...don't do anything wrong, and I won't have to know about it. ;-) The latest BAD date I was on a year ago was with a guy who, on paper, would have looked great. He just failed to mention he was a candy-ass, hairy-back Mary, girlie man, mama's boy. Hmm, you'd think he might mention that just out of consideration to save me some energy. Ha! I actually gave it 5 dates before realizing that I had more balls than he did. You know there's something wrong when YOU, as the female, feel like the MAN of the couple. Eeewww. By that last date, I couldn't wait to get away, as I'd developed a complete disgust for him. Haven't talked to or seen him since that day, thank God. I'm getting tired of this boycott, though, so I'm probably going to have to rethink that decision. ;-) Good luck with your upcoming date!


Dru said...

I just found this site after visiting Gemma's site...and I see there are lots of authors who I've yet to read.

I once dated this guy who thought he was God's gift to the women. He thoughts his looks would pay for everything including our dates. On the first date he paid for his meal; on the second, wait, there was no second. I hear he's unemployed and looks horrid.

Anonymous said...

When I was single, I dated this hot doctor. He was funny, well read, witty and I even liked it when his beeper occasionally went off and he had to make a doctor call.

We ended up back at my condo one evening and my dog - as always - was elated to see us. As my sweet doggie licked him hello and wagged his tail, doctor boy asked, "So how long do poodles live anyway?"

Not a great sign, but I told him my last poodle lived to be about 14. Then he asked, "How old is this one?"

End of relationship. Beau, the poodle was forgiving, but I was not.

Kathy Bacus said...

I think I might've hooked up with a relative of your ex-HFH, Sassy Sistah. Among my most memorable gifts? A shop-vac, a pair of socks, and for my birthday one year I got a hubcap for my vehicle.


Martha Lawson said...

Ladies, Loved the "frog" stories!!

Love the blog.

Gemma Halliday said...

Christina, so you went out with Married and Dating, too? What is it with these guys, huh?
I totally understand that a divorce can take a while to actually go through, even if the relationship is way over, but just because your wife can’t stand the sight of you, has packed up all your belongings and left them on the front lawn for you, does not make you single. Call me old fashioned, but I think that being married is kind of something you should disclose when dating.

Angie - ohmigod, I laughed so hard at the Poodle Hater! Reeeeeal smooth talker, huh?


P.S. I'm meeting Lawyer Boy at 3pm tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Carol M said...

Good luck with Lawyer Boy! I don't have any toad stories because I married young. Now I wish I had waited and had some fun first.

Gemma Halliday said...

I’ll give you all the gory details in my next blog post, but just wanted to pop on and say that I met Lawyer Boy for coffee today and he seemed almost (gasp!) normal! He showed up on time, clean, and free of any distracting facial piercing. Amazing, huh?