Monday, May 4, 2009

The pilot and the nurse.

Spring has arrived and as always when that happens, love seems to fill the air. To celebrate, a friend and I decided to check out a nightclub that had gained a reputation as a cool place for people over 30 wanting to party without feeling like the oldest cats in town.

As we entered the club however, I discovered that not only had people there turned the 30-corner but a fair share of them were quite a bit older than that. Not that that prevented anyone from partying like it was 1999, kissing in the corners and drinking in the bar. In fact, it struck me, these people really knew how to have fun. The inhibitions of those 20-somethings that are trying to play it cool and move correctly had been replaced by confidence and carefreeness. It might be that I felt younger than most people there and that my mini denim dress seemed a litter shorter than average but I was liking the atmosphere, which was lively and fun.

So there I was, scoping out the place and enjoying the experience, as something suddenly caught my eye: The most gorgeous man, with a quirky smile, amazing eyes and an unpretentious style. As I began to speak with him I found out that he was a southern pilot, only in town for the night. A pilot! Bang! Right up there with neurosurgeons and ambulance paramedics on the list of professions that make my knees go soft. Umm, how dull my own profession would sound to someone like that I noticed myself thinking. Now, I hardly ever lie but all is fair in love and war they say, and before I knew of it I had become a nurse – or so I told him. If I was specializing in a particular field he wanted to know? Well, eh – cardiology! Humm, surely that isn’t entirely false – at least I’ve laid ear to many a story about broken hearts.

Wisely keeping the topic off work I continued chatting with him only to discover that the guy wasn’t only attractive, he was also intelligent and good fun – a cocktail with a captivating effect that appeared to go both ways – it was the kind of chemistry they didn’t teach in school.

Just my luck of course: Of all the possible people I could have laid my eyes on, I had to choose a foreigner who was only in town for a single night. And a damn attractive one too! Oh well, the good news is that someone needs to fly those planes here next time too and hopefully with a pilot at the helm I won’t crash and burn: Hey Maverick – you can be my wingman anytime.

Posted by Billy in 00:50:18 | Permalink | No Comments »

Too sexy for your party?

Beautiful people have special privileges, apparently. Some time ago, I received a message saying that I, and all other members of the beautiful people dating site (see the entry on Beauties and the Beasts below), was invited for a free party with free bar; and I could even bring friends. Perfect, I thought, this was an excellent chance to have a closer look at this intriguing species of daters whilst enjoying the view and sipping free drinks.

As the day of the party arrived I was in bed combating a winter cold, yet my enthusiasm for the project overcame the temptation to stay at home. Instead, I consumed a few sacks of the wonderdrug Lemsip and dragged myself out of bed to undertake the ultimate female transformation act: Having spent the day in bed with a box of Kleenex, wearing my 1997 pyjamas bottom, my grandma sweater and glasses, I got up, showered up and dressed up. As the clock hit party-time I was bimboed up in my favourite Paul Smith mini-skirt with a strategic layer of make-up covering up my red runny nose. When my fellow party-girl arrived, also wearing mini-skirt and heels, we were all set for a party with the beautiful ones. Or, almost that is: First we had to get there which meant braving a snow storm – on our bikes. Well, the free drinks were waiting and we had made it so far, so we grabbed our umbrellas and got on our bikes: One hand on the handlebars trying to manoeuvre the bikes through the slippery snow, another holding the umbrella against the wind trying to keep our faces from getting wet. It was quite a dangerous undertaking but it was definitely fun and we arrived safely: make-up and stockings all intact. 

Once there and past the “beautiful people” check point, I expected to see the place booming with good looking singles. Yet to my eyes, the beautiful daters gone live weren’t by any standard better looking than the average bar-goer in this city. What did seem to make them different however, was their similar looking sleek outfits, shiny shoes and a heavy dose of “I’m too sexy for your party, too sexy for your party, no way I’m disco dancing” attitude. Somehow it seemed more like a circus than a party to me, and so, having danced only half the night away, we left home. Outside the snow had stopped and before long, whilst the beautiful people management was rewarding the best dressed beautiful person with prizes from Gucci and Dior, I was very happily back in bed with a red nose and my box of Kleenex.

Posted by Billy in 00:13:11 | Permalink | No Comments »

Monday, March 2, 2009

On the happy single syndrome.

I seem to be suffering from the happy single syndrome. I feel a bit like I’m in love – except it isn’t with a person. I’m in love with my city and with life, with the amazing people I am surrounded by and the fun and interesting activities that take up my time, with little things like being able to go for a walk in pretty surroundings or bumping into one sweet looking man after the other in the super market (note to self: always dress-up when going grocery shopping. Oh, and wear make-up, too). But in particular, I am in love with the feeling of being free; with the fact that I am living life exactly the way I would like to. 


Now if you share the attitude of a number of – particularly male – people I have spoken to these past weeks you will already be suspecting that I am seriously intoxicated or perhaps just a sad little liar. Can a woman be 30, single and still not frantically looking for someone to father her future children? Although many people around me realise you can, the compassionate comments I frequently receive from presumably well-meaning people whenever the topic falls on my singleness, tells me I’m expected to be depressed about it. And the dating experiment? Proves their point – surely no one would do that out of curiosity, as a bit of fun, real world dating research that might just lead to more, but doesn’t really have to. Or would they?


Now, don’t get me wrong, I am definitely open to meeting the man-of-the-rest-of-my-life – that sweet and luscious would-be fusion of Mr. Marriage and the Wildman. And in the unlikely event that this experiment should lead him my way – sweet! But I am wondering whether the happy single syndrome entails a catch 22: As we fill our schedules with things we love to do, plan our careers, travels and activities exactly the way we like, do we leave little room for the possibility of a having a relationship? Do we become addicted to being single? Would that perfect Mr. Fusion be happy to tag along as I head off for a year of studying what I love in a particular windsurfing yogini’s paradise half a world away? Would he want to join me on that motorbike road trip through Central America and how about a trip off the beaten track through the African wilderness? Or could it be that the perfect guy might in fact have other things to do than to follow some girl around the world in search of new adventures?


Perhaps being happily single is a bit addictive. But I suspect once that loveable hunk comes along we’ll find our ways to fit him in and let him in. Meanwhile, I suppose being single when heading off to the sexy windsurfers’ Sangri-La isn’t such a bad thing either!


Until then – and as long as curiosity hasn’t yet killed the cat – the experiment goes on.

Posted by Billy in 00:43:07 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Monday, February 16, 2009

Winner takes them all.

My Valentines dinner this year wasn’t exactly a romantic dinner for two. Rather, it was a dinner for, well, 3 x 8. Determined to try out the various dating activities out there I signed up for a “running dinner”. The concept is fun – the organizers team you up with a “date” whom you meet up with to cook either a starter, main course or a desert. You then meet three other “couples” for the starter at someone’s house, and after eating, drinking and chatting for about an hour and a half each couple move on to somewhere else for the main course, and finally to a third place and three new couples for the desert. So you get to meet nine “couples” during the night and finally you have the option of moving on to a post-dinner party where you can meet up or hook up with the people you have met during dinner – or any of the other singles there.


Curious by nature I was keen to find out who my date was, so having received an e-mail with his name I couldn’t help but turn to the Internet for a bit of pre-dinner preparation. Thanks to Facebook I soon discovered that he was a 34 year-old architect of rather average looks – and definitely not my type! Never mind I thought and headed to his place, only to be met by a pleasant surprise as I found a totally different guy opening the door: A cute, charming and interesting 31 year-old with a funky style. Could it really be? Was I that lucky?


Apparently so, and the remainder of the evening should develop in an equally fortunate manner. During the course of the evening I wined and dined with all sorts of people aged 24-36. There were engineers, fashion people, students, biologists, fun peeps and weirdoes, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I enjoyed spending time with the myriad of personalities, so much in fact, that I momentarily forgot the main reason why most people were there: to meet up and hook up, hoping to find love or a lover, a lifetime partner or just a bit of bedroom fun.


Would I have had as much fun had I, too, been searching for that someone; scrutinizing people for match potential, rather than just enjoying the conversations and variety of dance moves? Most probably not. But perhaps I would have been the one that got to hook up with my cute date on the barstool at 5am. Now it may be that the thought had crossed my mind during the course of the evening as the cutie kept filling my glass with alcoholic beverages. But I hadn’t considered the environment in which I was operating. I wasn’t focussed on taking down the prey. I was having fun meeting people (ok, men) dancing, drinking, chatting. And let’s face it – leaving the cute guy unattended in a bar full of single girls is like feeding the chicken to the foxes. If I had noticed he was cute so had the rest of the girls there and thus, while I had spent my time shaking my bum to the cheesy tunes on the dance floor, some more determined girl had done the groundwork on my date – and she deserved the prize: It truly is survival of the fittest out there and well, the winner takes them all home.


I on the other hand resumed my dancing with a fun 26 year old career kid who really knew how to shake it on the dance floor but whom I otherwise had no interest in. As I finally decided to leave so did he, seemingly oblivious to the fact that I had made it quite clear that I wasn’t interested. Having persistently proceeded to walk with me through seriously freezing weather hoping to change my mind he finally left home. As I woke up the next day I had received a text message from him: “Dear
Charlotte, I had the most amazing time….”  – a lovely message in all ways, except for the insignificant fact that my name isn’t Charlotte and that she was the obscenely loud and annoying woman who sat across from me at dinner. And then it struck me – I didn’t know his name either… I couldn’t help but laugh – we were hardly a match made in Heaven. But it was definitely a fun night and I, for one, got just a little more insight into the wacky world of dating anno 2009.

Posted by Billy in 22:19:21 | Permalink | No Comments »

Friday, February 6, 2009

Beauties and the Beasts


Last weekend I became one of the beautiful people. Having spoken scornfully about the dating site that only allow “beautiful” people to join I decided to take my experiment one step further and investigate the nature of the site from the inside. The obvious obstacle to doing so however was the fact that – well, to get in I needed the beautiful members to vote for me.


Having looked through the profile pictures of existing members who generally looked like supermodels or lightly clad Barbie dolls, a dear friend of mine suggested sending in a photo that “didn’t look like me at all”. Ah, don’t you just love honest friends? I subsequently considered the idea of trying to up my odds by somehow, simultaneously undressing, dressing up and pushing up – but I ultimately decided against it. After all, this being part of a semi-undercover dating experiment, I was prepared for some ego bruising in the interest of providing some unbiased reporting from the world of online dating. Hence I let (another) friend select a more low-key photo from the existing pile and sent in my application. Upon submitting I was informed that current members had three days to vote. Three days to cast their verdict – was it going to be for or against, in or out, beauty or beast?


I had expected to hear nothing until the three days had passed so I was surprised suddenly to find my inbox full of messages from Mr. this and Mr. that. Apparently the guys who vote for you (or against you) can send you messages along the way. As I logged on to read on, I discovered that I could follow my “current rating” online. I soon learned that members have the option of voting from green for ”Yes, definitely!” through yellow to orange to bright red for “No way!”. My “rating” showed me how many members had voted what, respectively. Whilst flattered that so many had given me the green light I was horrified about the cruelty of this procedure. Who are these people that feel good about voting on other people’s looks, let alone giving them a “no way” vote? And hey – who were those cheeky bastards that gave me the red vote? Man, I should ransack the site to find them and do some good online pestering…. Or maybe I should just accept that beauty is after all in the eye of the beholder, and decide to focus on  reseaching the nature of this intriguing species of daters. Who are these people that prioritise looks over matter? Are they really that beautiful? And if so, do they actually need to date online?


As I received lists of the men who had voted in my favour (courtesy of the dating site) I noticed that it contained a variety of types, from young sexy models to what could have been one of the guys next door, though perhaps with slightly more pumped up bodies and excessive amounts of gel in their hair. As I read their profiles and watched the photos I got the feeling that this is more of an exclusive club for hot shots and (more frequently) wannabes than a place for single hearts looking for love. What else are 24-year old models doing on a dating site? Is the main purpose of entering merely to get the “I’m beautiful” stamp? Is it simply somewhere to see and be seen without getting out of bed; somewhere to get props for your looks without having to do your hair?


“Politically incorrect but honest” is what the site claims to be – beautiful people want to date equals and there’s no need to pretend otherwise. Well that may be so but I have a feeling this isn’t a good place to look for Mr Right. If you’re looking for a pretentious poster boy, or perhaps just a good-looking hook-up, on the other hand, it might be just your site. Is it mine? I’m not so sure! But of course – in the interest of the experiment I had better be keeping my eyes on those poster boy e-mails.

Posted by Billy in 09:01:14 | Permalink | No Comments »

Saturday, January 31, 2009

On Wildman, Mr. Marriage and the eternal dilemma of single women.


With the speeddating and the McFetish experience behind me I decided to focus on the remaining dating sites where, since signing up, I had received a bunch of messages from seemingly nice and attractive men. Of course it is always a good idea to keep in mind that photos can be deceiving and words can be untrue – a friend of mine recently showed up for a date she had arranged with a guy online who, on the face of it appeared both nice and normal. He had, however, forgotten to mention the fact that he was moderately handicapped and had big brown smelly teeth. Well, not that there’s anything wrong with either of course – but let’s just say it wasn’t really her idea of her prince charming. Hoping for better luck than that I arranged a date with a young medical doctor whose messages seemed to disclose a good sense of humor. As I met him live I was relieved to see that he was indeed both handsome and good fun. So I spent an evening with this blond intelligent witty sporty adventurous doctor with a good sense of style, bright blue eyes and an amazing smile – not a bad experience for my first online date gone live. He is definitely the perfect guy – – – for any girl but me. Ah! Why is that I ask myself? Why the hell am I not head over heels for this attractive man?

I kills me that the answer appears be the usual suspect – the enemy of that subset of us single girls who aren’t quite ready to settle down yet: The guy is too damn marryable! He is the perfect guy that we want to end up with eventually but who inevitably gets taken by someone else while we are out there messing around, having fun living out our “wild guy” phase; dating rock stars and rebels, bad-boys and play-boys.


On vacation some years ago I found myself and a fellow blonde at a house party in Venice Beach before going on a limo drive to what was then the hotspot bar scene for the Hollywood rising stars. Once there we were welcomed as VIPs and partied as such – all thanks to Mr. Wildman, a Hollywood “somebody” who had taken a liking of us. As the limo dropped us off outside our 20$ bunk-bed hostel sometime in the early dawn I kept hearing our new friend’s voice in my head: Yeah baby, you are lucky ‘cause I’ve got everything you need – I am the Wildman, I am the Wildman! As I looked down on the piece of paper on which he had scribbled his phone number in large alcohol induced handwriting I noticed he had even signed it – Wildman L.A.


I never called the Wildman back and perhaps it is time to face the facts – perhaps I am floating in a state of wanting what seems not to exist: a cross-breed between Wildman and Mr. Marriage; Mr Wildman turned zen or Mr. Marriage on drugs. Is it entirely inconceivable that he might be out there? Should I give the young doctor a second shot? We shall see. The experiment continues.

Posted by Billy in 21:43:30 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Twenty men in eighty minutes – a woman’s dream come true?

Feeling slightly disconcerted by the whole McFetish experience I was eager for some face to face dating action and enthusiastically persuaded a friend to join me for a speeddating event. The concept is simple, efficient and well - excrutiatingly brutal. I was seated at a table and got to meet 20 single men in 80 minutes. All aged 28 to 36 it sounded like the perfect set up! Like everyone else there I was given a (suitably named) score-board where I could tick ”date” or “dump” and scribble notes about my dates to remind myself who was who: “The butcher”, “the motorbiker”, “the bald one”, “IT-man No. 8″, “the funny cute one, didn’t get what he does for a living”…. As I was adding labels to people I realized it might be saying more about myself than it did about the guys in front of me. How much can we really learn about a person in only four minutes? Certainly we can feel whether there’s chemistry, we can check out their looks, their clothes and maybe even their sense of humor – but, I wondered, when we tick that “dump” box we are merely victims of our own preexisting prejudices?

Prejudices or not it was a fun night. I met a bunch of entertaining men – mostly speeddating virgins and a few secondtimers. Fortunately none of my dates were a complete disaster, say like the butcher who had spent the past four minutes discussing his job with a devout vegetarian. So I chatted and laughed and ticked my boxes… but as the night went on and I had ticked 17 times “dump” I felt my heart bleed. These men were the sweetest darlings, why were they single? And why didn’t I want them? The girl who sat next to me was a secondtimer – last time she had “dumped” all 20 but she was hoping for better chemistry this time…. perhaps there is a reason we are single she and I? Perhaps these events are nothing more than a place where you match people with impossible demands to those with impossible social skills? 

Slightly upset with myself for being so picky I ticked the “date” box for dates number 18 and 19. They weren’t exactly the men of my dreams but well, they were nice and fairly attractive… and hey, perhaps they’d tick the “dump” box and I’d be off the hook! When two people choose the “date” box for one another the event organisers will put them in contact. If there isn’t a match on the other hand you will hear nothing, regardless of whether you ticked “date” or “dump”.

As I arrived home I had received two e-mail from the organisers. I had a match! One of my two selectees had selected me too and they wished us luck in our future endeavours. The second e-mail was a “thank you for coming” e-mail - the organisers were pleased we made it and kindly informed us that if this were the first e-mail we received tonight we hadn’t got a match this time. Auch. I’m thinking of those super sweet guys I met for four minutes each - I can only hope some other girl ticked “date” for them. It truly is a cruel world out there.

Posted by Billy in 09:28:50 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The lovers and the lustfuls: On Mr. McFetish and the Mattress Man.

I feel like I have entered a whole new universe. It’s like a world I didn’t know existed, an underground society, the Matrix or Fight Club, a mafia of lovers and lustfuls…. it is the world of online dating.

True to plan I signed up for three strategically selected dating sites. Given the conversation I had with my colleagues I was adament to check out the site that targets people with higher education only: the “elite”, the career minded singles, all those labels that I usually frown at. As my second choice I went for the country’s largest dating site, the main site for all those hopeful singles out there looking for love. And finally, I chose a steamy hot “gimme a date” kind of concept (but oh was I unprepared for that one)! Now to ensure a fair comparison of the respective sites, I ticked the “looking for boyfriend” option in all of them, posted the same profile picture and nearly identical texts, purposely keeping it brief and sweet. All there was left to do was to wait and see if some lost cyber soul out there would click his way to my profile and – who knows – perhaps even to my heart…

Oh was I naïve. It didn’t take long before the letters were coming in but trust me – those red hot site members definitely weren’t dreaming of love! Nor were they looking for a gentle lover to fall asleep with. Seemingly oblivious to the fact that I had carefully selected the “looking for boyfriend” option, Mr. McFetish, Want to lick you, The Best in Bed, the Mattress-gymnast, Want You (who happened to be a girl), Looking for Sex Kitten, and many more decided to woo me, not only into bed, but into latex outfits, threesomes and a wide variety of tantric massages.
Now there were a few decent guys too but my average online seducer was a 40 year old male looking for a sweet younger woman to carry out some screwed up fantasies with. Well guess what boys, it ain’t going to be me!

Tonight I am trying out speeddating. A friend of mine recently recommended it as being way better than online dating. Let’s see – keeping finger’s crossed that Mr. McFetish won’t be there.

Posted by Billy in 18:00:56 | Permalink | No Comments »

Saturday, January 17, 2009

To date or not to date.

I recently turned 30. And I’m single. Most of my friends are in a relationship and love the fact that they have “someone” to create some good gossip from the world of dating. So yeah, I date. Not excessively that is but… well it would be a shame to shy away from a date when one of those handsome single males come along now wouldn’t it?

Now, I find myself in a funky capital in nothern Europe and the problem is that the bar scene here is dominated by people in their early or mid-20s. They are generally also less “chatty” than people in most other countries I have lived in: In the United States and in London, for example, guys will chat you up whereever: on the street, in the grocery store, you name it. Fun stuff! Well, not so here. And that’s a damn shame too ’cause the men here are a bunch of beautiful hotties! Tall, blond, trendy! Mmmm.

So what is the way forward? Dating foreigners? Yep, that works, most of the guys I’ve dated since moving back here have been from… well, somewhere warmer. What else? Waiting until that 23-year-old in the bar gets drunk enough to chat you up leaving you wondering if he’s too drunk to see that you might actually be born before 1980?

Having a few beers with some colleagues last night the topic soon fell on dating. Someone advocated internet-dating as the only way forward for any rational single in this city. He was in utter disbelief when I told him I was an “online-dating-virgin” and that I found the idea neither appealing, nor necessary. One of the girls (a 23 year old) argued that people who net-date must be lacking some sort of social skills so we went on discussing the idea. I was appalled to learn about the success of sites that screen potential members by their looks or by their level of education… Who signs up for that I wondered? Are there that many stuck up and arrogant singles out there – or are they just efficient, possibly acting out of experience from previous online dating disasters?

At the same time dismayed and intrigued by this conversation I made the decision to check out the world of internet dating, single-dinners, speed-dating, and well, the good old fashioned disco dating of course.

Today I am researching the excess of online dating sites this country has to offer and I will shortly be posting my profile on a number of strategically selected sites. Well, if they let me join of course. Stay tuned!

Posted by Billy in 15:28:37 | Permalink | No Comments »