Food Networking > Online Dating

Combing through the terrifying history of the dates that I have had, one theme that has come up several times is my love of food and restaurants. Namely: food and restaurants related to celebrity chefs. I use the word “celebrity” to mean that I have heard of or seen this chef on the Food Network at least a few times and get really starstruck if I see them in person.

My fake underwear
http://www.cafepress.com/+i_love_my_chef_boyfriend_womens_boy_brief,610520602

I think the beginning of my Food Network interest was on a not-so-blind date with someone I was actually interested in several years ago. This person happened to be interested in working in the restaurant industry and shared my budding appreciation for all things Food Network. So you can imagine both of our squealing delight when Mario Batali walked into the bar we were sitting in. With a combination of sheer curiosity, the desire to recount this story hundreds of times in the future and the need to look cool in front of my date, I approached Mario. Let it be known that these were still the days where one can smoke cigarettes inside bars. Mario was participating, with a cigarette in one hand, drink in another and the proverbial layer of perspiration on his ginger brow.

Sexy Batali
http://www.bowlfamilyvacation.com/2014/03/21/mario-batalis-favorite-eats-mi/

“Hi Mario. I just wanted to tell you I watch your show every day and I’m a big fan,” I stated as soon as I approached him (I do believe he was wearing his trademark orange shoes as well) and his friend.

Mario’s response seemed sincere, “Oh, do you cook as well?” he asked.

“No,” I admitted with a sheepish grin, “I just like watching you.” Okay, in retrospect, I sounded like a complete stalker…but it was successful.

Mario then glances at his friend, puts his thick arm around my neck and lays a giant, moist kiss right in the middle of my forehead. Then he says, “You are the perfect woman.”

My date witnessed all of this but obviously didn’t agree with Mario’s assessment, because things between us didn’t last for long after that night.

Fast-forward a few years later…I happened to be at the same bar on a truly blind date with a man that I had met online. We were talking to each other in the outside seating area, which was fantastic since my date was not very entertaining. There wasn’t necessarily anything wrong with him but the most memorable part of our conversation was when he recounted the time he got the “opportunity” to be an extra in the “Miami Vice” movie, minute by minute. I’m pretty sure it took him about an hour to tell me every detail down to his thoughts about pursuing acting afterwards (Seriously? He played one of hundreds of dudes at a dance club in the opening scene) to Colin Farrell’s smoking habits on set. In between all of that, a glimmer of hope and beauty passed us by that made my entire year. Eric Ripert – one of the most famous chefs (not necessarily on the Food Network – but friends with many of those personalities and a feature of many, MANY foodie conversations) was walking by. And he was by himself! I don’t even think my date noticed that my jaw was on the floor as I stared to his immediate left for a good 60 seconds and started shaking. I was pretty surprised that such a well-known entity in the culinary world was navigating the streets all alone and that I was actually witnessing it. I told my date, who basically had no interest in what I was saying and continued to describe his fantasy of being the next Sonny Crockett…or whatever he was talking about. I should have ran up to Mr. Ripert and never looked back.

Eric Ripert hotness
https://quarrylanefarms.wordpress.com/tag/richard-blaise/

And a similar experience happened last summer, on yet another online date with someone else who claimed to be heavily involved in the culinary world. So how in the world could he not recognize Maneet Chauhan?! Truth be told, I could not remember her name and had to spend a few minutes literally right after first meeting my date to figure out the famous Food Network “Chopped” judge and restauranteur’s identity – but I knew that I knew her! I watched her closely in the bar area of the restaurant where we were seated, waiting to see or hear her complain about the “cloying sweetness” or “lack of spice mixture” in one of her appetizers, like she does on TV all the time. Oh yeah – and my date was there too, but that obviously didn’t work out.

Maneet - doing what she does best on "Chopped"
http://www.maneetchauhan.com/choppedphoto.html

I think my true calling is to be an agent for a famous chef, don’t you? Being in the same vicinity with a culinary celebrity is more thrilling for me than any dating scenario, which is very telling. Even as I document these experiences, I watch “The Kitchen” and hope to catch a real-life glimpse of Geoffrey Zakarian’s fabulous hipster glasses.

Geoffrey Zakarian pops his collar
::SWOON:: Look at that hot chef popped collar!
http://den.bigleo.com/2014/02/geoffrey-zakarians-next-big-move/

General Online Dating Profile Writing Tips

Online dating can be stressful for a variety of reasons. One of the main causes of this stress can be the information that is presented on profiles. There is a wide range of problems that can exist in the text portion of one’s profile but I think the worst offense is not including any text at all.

All of us can treat the categories and requests on the online forms with deference and make fun of them for being cheesy or lame questions, but they are there to help us explain who we are and to understand what we are looking for. If someone leaves their profile blank, I typically assume they are either on the site just to be creepy and stalk others or they have something to hide. In other words, I will not be in contact with them.

Erring on the side of the extremely cynical dater, I offer a few tips to those who want to actually have a conversation and / or date people they meet online:

– Take the time to fill out the “about me” section. Give yourself a goal of at least 2 sentences.

– Think about the type of person you would like to attract and what you would want to know about them, and offer your own info in that realm

dating biz card

– DON’T EVER TYPE THIS SENTENCE ON YOUR PROFILE: “Anything you want to know, just ask.” Besides being grammatically incorrect (oops – poking at bad writing again — can’t help it), an invitation to interview you is not appealing.

– Understand that an online dating profile is not a private document meant to offer your deepest emotions and history. It is there to offer a general idea of the type of person you are and what you are looking for.

– (Try and) be honest. Like the rest of this post, this should go without saying, but a few personal pieces of data can show that you are putting some thought into online dating and interested in getting to know others.

Outside of the obviously disturbing / eerie profiles, blank ones are probably the worst kinds. Please take the time to fill at least some of it out. Show the rest of us that you are not only a good person to connect with but also one that is literate!

A Post That Warrants Sharing Everywhere

tiger

A friend sent me the following post and told me it reminded her of me. I am honored – since it is extremely well-written, but also horrified that so many girls are dealing with the world of the “dating” lunatic.

My favorite quote from the post is not even directly from the writer, but from none other than Cher from Clueless, whose scripted words from nearly 20 years ago still remain true in my current reality:

Check out this interesting post, note that the writer actually knows how to well…umm…WRITE! Most importantly, please note that those of us dealing with such oddities are not alone:

http://jezebel.com/the-tragic-tale-of-the-blind-date-dick-pic-1608292704

Clairvoyance on Okcupid

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times (and I think I have on here): okcupid.com is chock-full of nonsensical messages. Here’s more proof:

“Onezen” was nice enough to not only compliment my countenance, but he also took some words of wisdom that I can only imagine were obtained from some higher power – like a fortune cookie – and shared them with me. Note my heartened response that is also viewable below:

onezen clairvoyant

I don’t understand what someone who sends this message expects the recipient to do in return. It’s not even mean or- GASP! – grammatically incorrect like this:

Hello,

Dropping unannounced; so beg apologies beforehand.

Since you are from the City and I moved into the City around 8 months ago without getting much time to see around: will you be willing to show me around….

In return I can tell you some jokes (perhaps) or give you one of my paintings. I live in UWS by 54th. I want to see some galleries and attend an Ensemble. I swim regularly in my gym, but do you happen to know if there are places outside, a lake perhaps.

Great day,

S

…Or this:

Hello’ how are you? You alright’ can you meet me for coffee?

…Actually, it’s similar to this gem:

hi my good heart sister. u are e special people we want in life. i cant forgo u for any other person. and could see, u will be a faithful partner

It’s just… a rambling horoscope offered within a message on an online dating site.

The usual.

Online Dating Oracle

I met Jason on Tinder. He kept everything polite and simple, and miraculously kept a normal conversation going without yelling at me or sending me a penis pic. Amusingly enough, I gauged his sense of humor by asking him to avoid yelling at me or sending inappropriate crotch images and he smoothly responded that of course he wouldn’t do that – but I had to make the same promise to him. Jason was a laugh riot!

To make an even better impression, Jason chose a place to meet that was exactly halfway between each of our apartments. Once we met up, I was pretty impressed by his appearance – he (thankfully) looked very much like his online photos, was well-dressed and had a great smile.

Jason worked as a sommelier and found a great wine bar for us to go to. That place turned out to be too crowded so we walked down the street and found another one. Once we got settled at the second-rate wine spot, our conversation went well. I could tell immediately that there wasn’t that much chemistry between the two of us, but he was easy to speak to. After Jason turned his nose up at my wine order (Prosecco is a favorite – stop judging), and described why champagne is better, I asked him why he moved from one part of the city to the other just to make conversation. As it turned out, he moved when he broke up with a girlfriend he had lived with for a seemingly long time. And this is how the conversation progressed:

Me: So did you just start dating again?

Jason: Yes. The day you started talking to me on Tinder was the day I put my profile up.

Me: And you’ve never been on an online date before?!?!?

Jason: No – I guess I haven’t.

Me: But you were so cool with my warning about not sending me any profane photos or texts!?

Jason: I just figured I would follow your lead?

Me: So…you’re not really aware of all of the weirdness that can happen between two people who know nothing about one another outside of a few photographs and texting?

Jason: What do you mean?

What followed after that was a general speech from yours truly about what to avoid when finding oneself in the online dating pool. I covered everything from strategically-taken selfies to stalkers to angry obsessions.

“And let me tell you another thing about these freaky online daters…”

“And let me tell you another thing about these freaky online daters…” http://matrix.wikia.com/wiki/The_Oracle

Doesn’t this guy watch Online Rituals of the American Male religiously like I do?! Come to think of it, does anyone watch that show besides me? I must’ve gotten lost in my own head for a bit (that one glass of horrendous carbonated wine must’ve done it) and I then came back to reality.

Me: Sorry – I’ve done online dating for a while, so I tend to have a lot to say about it.

Jason: No…that’s okay. These are things I should know I guess.

It’s a good thing I didn’t feel much of a connection to Jason because his offer to go on a wine-tasting tour on our next date never happened. He never got in touch with me after my crash-course in online dating and in retrospect, I don’t really blame him.

How can he even compete with my vast experience?

Note to self: On your next date, don’t get into a screaming tirade about online molesters when trying to impress someone with your breezy smile. Heh.

What’s That?

Online-Dating-Someecards

Here are some of my favorite e-mail* exchanges from the past few weeks:

Profile: nice man like to lungh coofee the city to listen and gentel 🙂 and funny

(nothing else is filled in on his profile and he has approximately 8 photos of himself most likely taken on the same day in front of what looks like a hotel in shorts and flip-flops)

E-mail Exchange:

Gentel:
Hey beautiful haw r u haw is u day going on

I was tempted to type “Virrry wel, thunk u – Hawt STUF,” but I just couldn’t bare it. Next…

*

From what I can tell from his profile, the following “Gentleman” is 10 years my junior, and smaller than me…if any of his pics or details are real:

E-mail Exchange:

Junior:
hey how are you doing? i know its random, but have you ever taken a guys virginity before? i ask because i’m still a virgin and I would love to loose it with an older woman

Me:
Oh yeah – all the time. That’s exactly why I’m on this site.

Junior:
😦 ok

Me:
I’m sorry – what exactly would be an answer that you are looking for??

Junior:
I don’t know, I guess I wasn’t thinking much, sorry. I’m really not a bad guy though

Me:
All righty then.

Junior:
I would love to get to know you more

Me:
I’m sure you do. Maybe another “older woman” will swoon from that incredible introduction. I wish you well.

Junior:
😦 did I ever have a chance at getting to know you? Whatever I would write you probably wouldn’t have wanted to talk with me. I’m happy I at least got a response from you

Me:
That’s great! Take care.

And a miraculous thing happened. He didn’t send me a penis pic and left me alone. I know…I’m still shocked.

*

Profile: consists of one photo – a selfie – of my admirer looking off-webcam and extremely pissed off.

E-mail Exchange:

Angry Selfie:
You remind me of my exigirlfriend…

Me:
That’s a wonderful intro.

Angry Selfie:
Lol would you like to meet for a drink ?

Oh silly boy – maybe if you put in like 1% of effort, someone would agree to meet your angry face for a beverage.

*Spelling and grammatical choices have been preserved for authenticity

Single Jewish People Need More Alternatives?

So I found this in my Twitter feed the other day:

http://time.com/70401/theres-now-a-wide-selection-of-tinder-alternatives-for-jewish-singles/

Not only am I disgusted that:

1. Someone actually took the time to write this for Time and got paid for it

2. An adorable dog was humiliated for the main photo

3. There are more overused Jewish puns in here than I have ever seen before

jewish dog

But the Jewish alternative for Tinder already exists. It’s called Coffee Meets Bagel*. It’s just as, if not even more ridiculous than this article.

*Okay so the Coffee Meets Bagel app is not specifically for Jewish people, but those are the only people who I have seen on there. It is basically the ugliest J-Date members on Facebook. If that’s your thing, then go for it!

Tales of the Tinder: “Tinderella” and Paranoia

Being a modern lady, I believe that it is my duty to try out the latest platform for singles to meet. For those of you who are not familiar with it, Tinder is an app that connects your Facebook “About Me” section along with your Facebook photos to create a geo-tagged profile page for you. Once a profile is created, you can search for people by gender, age and distance from you. Two people will not be able to communicate with each other until they both choose to like each other or “swipe right” on each other’s profiles. More questions? Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure I will cover every detail at some point.

A few notes on Tinder for the paranoid / non-single / “happily married”:

– Um, no Facebook doesn’t tell everyone that you’re a loser searching online for dates

– It’s really not that interesting – and works pretty much like every other online dating site – meaning you still have to filter out the crazies. Yet, for some reason – everyone I know is dying to check it out like it’s a new toy that they want to play with – how did that happen?

– In my opinion, it is solely based on photos, and I’m okay with that. Those who are on it and complain about that factor should use another site or app. The people who argue against the “superficial” nature of Tinder are most likely the same people who say they “hate talking about themselves” in their written profiles and direct users to “just ask if you want to know anything else” on other sites.

– It is for people who are looking to hook up or date! If you have a profile on there, don’t tell me you are just “peeking around.” More on those winners in a bit..

This eye-opening video was sent to me by a co-worker who claimed that, as a blogger that writes about dating, it is my duty to view, share and emphasize the fact that, in general, like EVERY OTHER ONLINE DATING SITE, men certainly do view Tinder differently than women:

Like I said: filter out the crazies. More to come!

My Miniature South African and his Love of Anything Cultural

Oh Gavin, you were absolutely perfect on paper…or on my computer screen, as it were.

“Why haven’t I written to you sooner?” was the first sentence of my response to the gallant message that Gavin, the South African psychologist (yes, you read that right) penned for me via JDate.

He was charming, educated and looked really handsome in his photos. Gavin seemed to be a dream come true. But pssh, I’ve dealt with that one before. I wasn’t going to get ahead of myself. Well…besides imagining how cute our half South African babies would be and all of the international traveling our whole future family would be doing…

He chose a cute wine bar that is less than a 5 minute walk from my office. If I remember correctly, Gavin was already at a table when I got there. First detail I noted was that he definitely wasn’t as handsome and was definitely a few inches shorter than he appeared to be in his profile photos. But he wasn’t necessarily bad looking, had that awesome South African accent…and a J-O-B! It was a bit intimidating that he worked to evaluate and treat inmates with psychological and mental care at a very well-known prison in the tri-state area. But hey – we all have to make a buck.

So, while he wasn’t as physically attractive as I thought, he did have a brain that he actually used in dialogue. It was the beginning of September when we had our date and the upcoming Jewish holidays were brought up (by him). I’m pretty sure he asked me how I would be celebrating the Jewish New Year. I think that is the case because when I replied that I will be celebrating with some of the usual family members, then asked what his plans were, his reply was, “We will Tashlich and do the Selichot with our Machzor. It should be a joyous yontif.”

So I just sipped my wine. Wow, I thought, this guy is really Jewish. He just spoke in mostly Yiddish and I have no idea what he said.

We had also ordered a selection of cheeses at the bar, and as with literally any cheese product I eat, all of them were delicious. I made a comment about how tasty the cheese was and Gavin’s reply was, “Oh I know – I love this epoisses. It tastes like it’s by Isigny Sainte Mere – but I’m not sure, are you? I have another type of this at home. I keep it with my challerhocker in the fromage decoupage.”

Crickets.

gavin

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/920325

Once again, I had no reply. Who the heck knows the names of all of the fancy cheeses and has them in their home? I have always been a “curd nerd,” thinking that any cheese type will do. Packaged American cheese slices? Delish! String cheese? Great for breakfast. Basically, anything. But this fancy talk was way over my [cheese] head.

I think at some point, Gavin decided that he couldn’t accept my ignorance because our parting was final and I never heard from him again. He might have left his psychologist gig (which – by the way – would have been really interesting to learn about – had he brought it up!) and became a cheese instructor for the Yiddish…Who knows.

Gay ga zinta hate.