50 First Dates VII

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Setups are weird but in a well- intentioned way. there is a sense of comfort in knowing that when set up, it is done so with care-- a vote of confidence that neither person is a serial killer or you might even hit it off. In other words, they involve an element of trust. So when my friend matt asked if he could introduce me to a man, i obliged regardless of matt + my dating history during a deep dark+ indecisive time of my life when i needed support. But Matt is great in business but can be kind of an asshole in love, which i should have referenced in regards to his matchmaking offer. But i was lonely and when opportunity presents itself, i say carpe diem.

Old habits + too much free time would have led me down a black hole googling prospects but i trusted Matt as middle man+ fussied up on friday night in leather pants, louboutins+ a positive perspective. Even if I was longing for darkness, deep sleep in soft sheets after a 60 hour work week. But i rallied out in the rain in hopes that my date may be the prince charming ive longed for.

That hope was short lived.
Exit my building, look left. + hushed my inner judgment.
but we eat with our eyes, and i lost my appetite.
My setup closer resembled a jockey than a cowboy, holding a golf umbrella twice his size with very small hands -- and possibly my same pant size—which could come in handy —
but there was zero possibility of me ever finding myself pantless in his presence.

Small but lovely, full of life + his love of it. but I like what I like and I like men with bigger hands than my own. One quick glance and I knew I could never picture myself naked next to him. Hard stop.
As the rain poured down and we scurried to our destination, i should have done him a favor and said not today, because in hindsight, i was wasting his time too as i walked, autopilot on, simply thinking about ripping off my leather pants + deep diving into a can of sardines on my couch.

But so it goes + i followed his huge heart’s desire set on a nostalgic new york night in the rain. A man on a mission to court me, with passion about his work, connection, saving lives, and finding love….a man who likes stories, and sweet potatoes, like me. And while it was clear that love would not be found in each other, we did find two bar stools windowside at blue ribbon brasserie. I hastily ordered a mezcal rocks to numb my feelings, or lack thereof, and did my best to be present. The only other option was just to bounce, but energy is everything and i felt adam’s radiating hope over me, grilled trout, fried chicken and life stories.

As the first sips of mezcal began lubricating my angst, i took a deep breath in + let go…physically + mentally, while cozying up cross legged on a bar stool at blue ribbon. Balancing + breathing in 800$ louboutins…with a fried chicken leg to the face, ceremoniously dipped in honey celebrating every juicy, dripping, sweet, salty, hot, crunchy bite. Leg to lips. Sinfully delicious. My personal mantra “messy is sexy” in full effect, cognizant that the crispy fried bird was the only thing nearing my mouth.

Adam graciously paid and gathered his golf umbrella to drop me off and i gave him the tightest hug goodbye, in hopes he finds a woman to love him as he deserves. But that drive to touch, the animal instinct we all possess, to go after what we want, was dormant and cannot be forced. I say so because ive forced so, long time dated a man whose touch made me quiver, body shut down + turned off. And have vowed since to be honest within, no matter how perfect he is on paper or otherwise.
animals eat with eyes first, hands second.
And winner winner chicken dinner was the only thing to be indulged in tonight.
Can chemistry grow? Perhaps.
But not today.

I stopped at a party en route home - ordered an amaro rocks digestif to settle any sense of self pity from hours spent out of bed, then grabbed a banana laffy taffy to fill my failure + cheer my spirit.
Filling.
Not fueling - my body, my time, my life.
See time is precious. And i value mine.
And i’m not looking to collect stories. Im looking to create love.
So when setting up, trust that you are being trusted with time, emotion, and TLC.
And in the spirit of time - particularly as the year ends,
How do you spend yours? Doing what? And with whom? Are you fueling or filling?
Your time. Your life. Choose wisely.

And when presented the choice, always choose the fried chicken.
#workhard #livyoung

50 First Dates VI

50 First Dates Ive come to realize that the best things in life make you sweat. Heart beating. Sweat dripping. Deep breathing. Food. Sex. (and love). Fitness. Whatever it is that makes your heart skip a beat --To remind you that yes, in fact you are alive - and human,  mistakes included. For me, much of this reminder has come thru love lessons - to remind me of life lessons … no mistakes, just lessons, thru the men ive sweat with - in food, fitness + otherwise. Some made me laugh. Some made me cry. Below is a manifesto of sorts. All in good fun, in the end - each has taught me more about myself. Unpeeling my layers, as i learn about others. But a leopard never changes its spots. We are who we are. Short stories below. Names have been changed. And Grudges have been dropped. And i am more than conscious that there are 3 sides to every story - mine, his + the truth. Take a peek.
a much needed lighter approach than the depth of diary IV.

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Most little girls dress up as fairy princesses or their favorite disney characters. Me? A modern-day bride. Hair down + walking down the aisle with honeymoon bags packed and “here comes the bride” blasting down my childhood home corridor. Only thing missing was the husband. Age 4. This procession did not just occur on halloween. It occurred often, whenever i was in the mood to get married. i would suit up, grab my hat bags and makeup kits, turn the music on loud + make sure my mom was watching and hope my dad was ready to give me away -- via phone, as he slaved away at his office. 28 years later, i’m in bed at 4am, writing about 50 first dates + matchmaker mishaps. below.

Now, love is love and
Business is business.
But let us also consider the business of love,
which is just a hair shy of the business of lust,
Lust + love are both among the oldest businesses in the world, no doubt.
But lets stick to love, matchmaking in particular where Fiddler on the Roof immediately comes to mind. Not much has changed, matchmakers are yentahs. they sell relationships + their networks, with the possibility that love might spark.
Like any broker (stock, real estate, art, love), some are good, some are not so good.
And some just get lucky. You may wonder, how it works. In my experience, women are sought after to be introduced to their paying clients, after a phone interview or too long questionnaire with personal questions and personal preferences. the men pay a service fee, upwards of $10K-50K, depending on the matchmaker -- which always felt a bit suspect, or rather, a blurring of lines between the aforementioned business of love + business of lust. two stories below.

Matchmaker Mishap 1
Age 25, Eleven Madison Park.
I have only visited the former best restaurant in the world 3 times. Once or twice at their annual kentucky derby party for juleps, jubilees + fried chicken, dinner for my 25th birthday, and a ten-course wine-pairing dinner -- on a blind date. I invited him. Risky or not, i typically do what i want and in this situation, it was no different. I had recently met a matchmaker who was young + fun, someone i’d want to be friends with, whose clients (or members rather) paid upwards of $50,000 fees to find love. If you work with a matchmaker, it should be someone you’d see yourself befriending, because they’d set you up with someone they’d likely date themselves. the hook is, they also have to do their job. And i would be held accountable to give feedback following the first introduction. My setup was Eric, age 40. Doctor or lawyer, something seemingly stable or sounding predictable enough to be my plus 1 to a ten-course wine-pairing dinner with strangers at the best restaurant in the world.

The variables were already unpredictable, so i went for conservative attire: silk dress, black patent pointy louboutins, smoky eye and surreptitious smile. Director of communications for chef michael white + the altamarea group at age 25, confident AF but sweet nonetheless, “looking” for love in all the the wrong places, which certainly didn’t include a stable blind date with a banker + a tasting menu. I was much more interested in the trouble-hunting trader catching my eye from across the room. Course after course was delivered, palm-size portions on platter-sized plates and with it all the first date getting-to-know-you conversation and another pour of french wine. Two issues of note:

  1. My drinking skill is below average at best. One glass of wine is borderline too much. Ten tasting pours could potentially result in a post-college-party type fiasco.

  2. A first date should be a casual beer at a dark bar.

Thankfully we were seated at a table of 10, a safe cushion for small talk. Dinner was fine, too much wine, for too little humor -- too many courses and too little food. Three hours in, just before dessert, and after our 8th pour of f wine, eric excused himself to the restroom. A woman i’d never met started asking questions and all too honestly, i answered that yes it was our first date and no, there wouldn’t be a second.  As Eric returned i excused myself next -- and then returned to find eric had already gotten his coat. The good samaritan next to me let eric know he was toast. No goodbye, and nearly 9 courses in, he left. My blind date was blindsided. And i was left at eleven madison park 9 of 10 courses in, toasted, terrified and with serious explaining to do tomorrow to the matchmaker i trusted, who trusted me, to behave.

Matchmaker Mishap 2

October 2015: A family friend urged me to meet her. “Everyone knows they are the best on the upper east side trust me.” More than ample reason to decline but rather i curiously cabbed myself to midtown. Enter into a too loud, too greasy Greek restaurant on a too rainy night after a too long work day, after convincing myself that the $30 cab ride + $250 entry fee was a cheap price to pay if it procured my prince charming. See, the male clients pay the 10k plus fee, but to enter your name in the race, there is an entry fee. i bypassed the host stand and took a deep breath as i headed upstairs to an empty table and strong smell of saganaki. I wore business casual as requested, and waited patiently while the host carelessly collected cash from husband hunting hopefuls. And she was dressed carelessly in sweatpants and sneakers. The dress code was specific, for everyone except her. As the women gathered around the table, she sat, stuffed herself with hummus and simultaneously began her interrogation. Women of all shapes and sizes went around the table introducing themselves and then the questions began.

  • Height? Age? Weight? Occupation?

  • What do you see when you look in the mirror?

  • If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?

  • Have you had any surgeries?

  • Do you plan on having any surgeries?

  • What size are your breasts? Are they real?

She was just getting warmed up. Photos. Men like photos. You need better photos.

I thought i was going to be sick. I paid this women to degrade me, to degrade us. I spent hard earned money and time on a sweatpant clad she hating saganaki eater. Furious, i got up from a table of gold digging desperates on the hunt for deep pockets and went downstairs. The manager stopped me as I scurried out and asked if all was ok. I explained that there was a woman upstairs degrading women, collecting money to belittle, disguising herself as a helper but rather just inflicting harm. I gave him my business card and left, with $250 less cash, a little less pride, but a hell of a sense of what integrity doesn’t look like. He texted me the next day to tell me he will no longer host her husband hunting hummus gatherings and i emailed her asking for a refund, rather verbatim: “i work hard from my money and while i respect what you do, i am not a gold digger and this program does not fit in my moral compass. I assume you don’t refund but i’d hope you might reconsider.” i have yet to hear back and saganaki still saddens me.

50 First Dates - Volume 1

50 First Dates

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Ive come to realize that the best things in life make you sweat. #workhard #livyoung
Heart beating. Sweat dripping. Deep breathing.
Food.
Love. (and sex).
Fitness.

Whatever it is that makes your heart skip a beat --To remind you that yes, in fact you are alive - and human, mistakes included.

Much of this reminder has come thru love lessons, which remind me of life lessons …
no mistakes, just lessons, thru the men ive sweat with, and sweat because of.
Some memories make me laugh. Some make me cry. Sharing bit by bit. So - below is a manifesto of sorts. All in good fun, in the end because each has taught me more about myself, and people in general. What i want + don’t, in a man + in myself. I am unpeeling my layers, as i learn about others.
Short stories below. Names have been changed. And most grudges have been dropped. And cognizant that there are 3 sides to every story - mine, his + the truth.
These are out of order. And out of sorts. Consume as you wish. Perhaps with a cocktail.
A leopard never changes its spots. We are who we are.
But there are certainly wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing.

12/29/2011

An email to my mother, typed ferociously late night on my blackberry hiding under the covers:

Vail, CO. Early in the game. Fly out to see Beau at his famiIy house for New Years.

I step into this massive mountain cabin. Xmas decorations line the exterior and interior. Animal heads on the walls. I am the only jew. Do they want to wall mount me too? Blond haired trophy wives wearing winter white congregate in the kitchen drinking white wine. pinot noir for me - in my black leather pants, silk blouse and booties. Why fit in when you can stand out? A sinkful of wine bottles on ice graces the corner of the massive kitchen - each bottle emptied and replaced. No recycling in these Rockies. 25 minutes in everyone is red faced. The laughing gets louder, intoxicated howls echoing off the taxidermied walls. Oh and there is food! a massive selection spread across the regal wood dining table extending the full length of the room, adorned with renaissance-esque red velvet thrones. The menu closely resembles every treat recommended via Semi-Homemade by Sandra Lee for the perfect cocktail party. Andrew Cuomo would be proud. cream cheese crab dip with fritos and triscuits, mini sweet and sour meatballs, cocktail weiners soaked in bbq sauce, puff pastry wrapped brie with bubbling brown sugar, water chestnuts adorned with liverwurst and bacon, proscuitto wrapped melon on tooth pics, baby tomato/mozzarella skewers...and for dessert, a crowd favorite: Ferraro Rocher chocolates and candy canes. Conversation drifted from guns to wolf dogs to plans for new years eve in Vail Village. However, I will be at the family home eating oysters, tenderloin, and the pate of pheasant that Beau shot last year.
Shalom for now, Olivia

**the following morning, said mom was supposed to cook new years eve for 20 friends. Too much white wine interfered. So she sat on a kitchen stool and directed me as i plowed thru her menu, recipe by recipe, to complete her culinary tasks. After i was done with my chores, i called my mom, changed my flight, and got the hell out - just in time to start the new year, on my terms, back in new york city.

07/ 15 / 2018
Hot Aussie. J-Date. Skinny Jeans. Entrepreneur.
Sunday night eating sardines or JG Melon no bun with my hands. Text alert - “if you’re still free for a drink tonight, lets do it.” non committal - fit me in, but i was bored. reply, “lets go. Dante on MacDougal. See you in 30.” Tall sexy dark features swoops in like a tsunami with fast moves + fast words. Over educated + Over committed. Rushed to meet on a random Sunday as i sipped my mezcal ever so slowly, and spoke even slower in hopes he might slow down. MIND BLOWN. I used to be him. Rushing to fit it all in. searching. Emotionally unavailable, unwilling to commit to love, yet completely over committed in life. Speeding thru autopilot to prove to myself i could do everything just enough, without digging deeper into anything at all. Because i wasn’t willing to dig into myself. It was phenomenal to see ME --- in real time. Deep conversation and a quick make out in front of mermaid inn, before he rushed off to Mission Chinese — Bold move considering Mermaid’s happy hour line floods to houston street. but there was chemistry, so i went with it. We had dinner once more at via carota. My choice. Branzino for two, verde salad, roast carrots. He anxiously watched his phone in anticipation of a deal closing. It did. We celebrated with another makeout in the park. But his aggressive hands around my neck felt too freaky too late on a tuesday. Dude, i don’t know how they do down under but choking is a lot to ask + your hyper hands can’t be trusted. Aussie, out.

Hurricane

I had this thing for hedgefund guys. It was the power, the money, and their complete utter lack of care for anything in life - besides themselves that drew me in. Sick, i know. but—i could change them, i could win them, i could help them invest in resturant side hustles, and show them how to open their hearts. Funny, right? I met hedgefund during a hurricane. A minor one, en route sunday eve. Random nolita brunch, overpriced avocado toast + cous cous towers with friends + some guy who knew numbers. Nothing epic, at all. I don’t actually think we spoke because he was busy talking shop - typical. Afterwards, we strolled thru soho as the city emptied to prepare for the storm. Silly me, i went along to hedgefund’s new apartment to put away his patio furniture. Light wind + rain trickled down as we hung out on the couch and talked about nutella. And then he came at me - aggressively assuming i was DTF - as if hurricanes grant that permission. I felt like a prisoner in his palatial pool furniture filled flat as the thunder got louder. So i left. I ran home - just about 7 blocks, in the hurricane. He thought i was kidding when i said i was leaving. I wasnt. If i couldnt save him, i could certainly save me. But really Olivia, what did you think was going to happen? No mistakes. Just lessons.

More to come. Comment below.

#workhard #livyoung