Saturday, November 26, 2011


After a simply exhausting day on the beaches of Corsica, Amanda and I decided to nap, supp and explore the ship.  It was that evening (on the predominately European boat) that we stumbled upon an English-speaking hang out---the piano bar.  As we passed by, a sexy Australian voice serenaded the crowd with pub-favorites and funny jokes; jokes I could actually understand.

Happy to hear something I didn’t need Amanda to translate, I convinced her to duck in for a drink.  There were Scotts, Irishmen, Australians, Englishmen and even a few Americans---but still, no potential flings in site.  Everyone was holding someone else’s hand, or (depending on their alcohol intake) someone else’s tush.

We avoided those people.

We held onto our drinks instead and moved closer to the piano.  The pianist looked up and smiled as if to welcome us to his humble home. 

Once some of the sillier songs were out of the way, he began crooning a Sinatra classic---Fly Me to the Moon.  My ears perked up as his vocals took on an almost Jamie Cullum quality; with a confidence and rasp I hadn’t heard in his other ditties.

Side-note… Jamie Cullum ranks number two in the “men I’m allowed to leave you for” list.  When I enter into a serious relationship, my terms are clear.  If someday I meet and/or manage to intrigue Michael Buble, Jamie Cullum, George Clooney or James Morrison, pack yo’ bags, sucka! 

But, I digress…

As the set was ending, Amanda nudged me.  “Ask if you can sing one, Al!”
[Amanda and I routinely seek ways to show off our vocal prowess in public; in her opinion this was a golden opportunity.]

“Oh… no.  People are leaving and I’m sure this gentleman has other things to do.”
“So you’re a singer, aye?” the Australian musician interrupted.
“Yes” I chuckled.  “I sing jazz back in New York.”
“Are you taking the piss out of me?” he asked.
“Oh, umm… piss?  No, of course not, I don’t want your pi---”
“So what are we singing?” he laughed.

I softly performed The Nearness of You, after which he invited me for a drink.

Twenty minutes later, we were sitting in a booth at the club, conversing quite easily.  He wasn’t wonderful looking, and his club-dancing turned out to be hilariously awkward---but what he was about to say would seal the deal.

“I’ve actually met Cullum!”

This seemed so inconceivable, so incredible, so indescribable, I had to hear it again.

“Wha-wha-what now?”
“Yeah… we were signed to the same label back in the day.  He bought me a drink and told me about his upcoming covers.  He’s a goofy mate, I tell ya.”

Great voice, nicely dressed, no wedding ring AND he was now the *one* degree of separation between me and my creative idol.  Sold!  This guy was getting a kiss!

We sauntered along the windy decks, discussing music, performing and family.  Being a ship-employee, he knew all the best views.  “Ladies first.” He said as we climbed the stairs to an upper deck.  But I couldn’t wait… I wanted my kiss and I wanted it now!  I turned around to meet his gaze---er, at least I would have met his gaze if I hadn’t tripped on my heel and fallen down five steps.

“Oh shit!” he screamed.  “Are you okay?”
“Oh yeahh…. Fine.  Nobody saw that.”   
“What was that about?”
“I was turning around because, well…[what did I have to lose?] I thought you might like a kiss.”
“Oh…” he replied.  “Alex I would,” he said helping me up.  “You’re lovely, but there are cameras everywhere.  I’d get the sack if they caught me fraternizing with a guest.”
“Right… right.  That makes sense.”

--- Awkward silence---

“Well… I’d better turn in.” I said, limping away.
“Are you sure you don’t want…”
“I’m good!  Have a great night!”

And the saga continues...

Friday, November 25, 2011


Three coins lighter, it was time for the second part of our trip---the cruise!  Fat Fabrizio (one of our new Roman friends) graciously discounted his car service to get us to port.

“Tell [skinny] Fabrizio we love-ah him!” I thought as we said our goodbyes.  Though I was excited for our new experience, leaving Rome was a bittersweet parting. 

BUT---within a couple hours we were on the Mediterranean and I---a personal mission.  Somewhere between the magic of the Trevi fountain and my first breath of salty air, I vowed to get me a sweet vacation kiss before this trip was out.

Now, I don’t care who you are or which direction your moral compass points; most people crave a little fling while on vacation.  So, it’s only with slight shame that I declare I’m no exception.   The ship was filled with bars, lounges, nightclubs, and many promising opportunities to mix and mingle.  Plus we were scheduled for six stops, and we’d surely pick up a few more hotties along the way.  This is going to be a piece of cake, I thought.

Amanda and I sat at the bar reviewing pictures from our day in Genoa.  We’d been to an aquarium, eaten pounds of delicious pastry and (most importantly) purchased some FABULOUS $7 shoes.  There was only one problem---day two had almost ended, and I was still no closer to my aqua-romance.

“Amanda, seriously… where are all the men?” 

“Hmm, let’s see,” she replied.  “Were you looking for married, gay, man-whore, under age, toothless, wrinkly or just plain creepy?”

It was true.  If they weren’t already taken, most of our fellow cruisers were simply not fling material.  As I was about to throw in the towel, a strapping Italian man caught my eye.  I ran through the usual vitals---cute face, nicely dressed, no wedding ring.  Check.  This man would do.

Via Amanda, [my bi-lingual buddy] I soon learned that bachelor number one was a 24-year-old, Italian speaking man who worked in his parent’s pizzeria.  Thinking I could get by with my Eng-talian, he and I decided to take a walk for some get-to-know-each-other-and-possibly-smooch time.  

Under normal circumstances, I’m usually able to scale the language barrier with gestures and context clues, but in this case I was finding it extremely difficult.  He was shy and awkward and seemed to ignore everything I was saying.  Searching for an explanation, I spotted a forgotten vital that stood to greatly impede our progress:  He was wearing a hearing-aid.  Now it made sense---he could barely hear me, let alone understand me.  Nice Alex convinced me that this could NOT be a deal-breaker; it’d be cruel to exclude a man just because of something like that.  Suddenly, bachelor number one stopped me on the deck, looked me in the eye and brokenly solicited one request: 

“I no.. umm… mm, love wo-man… ever.  Umm, mm, you-ah… teach?”  He slid a condom out of his pocket and looked at me with hope in his inexperienced, virginal eyes.

“Voglio restare come amici.”  Write that one down girls… it means “let’s just be friends.”

Saturday, November 5, 2011


The most profoundly magical evening in Rome was spent at the Trevi Fountain.

Built in 1629, this fountain is a crowning achievement of Roman art and ambition.  But the popularity of this titanic Italian icon is fueled not just by it's size or architecture, but rather its legend.     

To throw one coin into the fountain will guarantee your return to Rome.  

If it's a new romance you seek, you must part with two coins.  

But, for those pining for marriage (or sometimes, more appropriately, divorce) you must buy your wish by tossing three coins into the mystical water.

So, how many coins would I throw?  One coin was a no-brainer---who wouldn't want to come back to Rome?  And a new romance---that's easy too.  I was on vacation; everyone wants a little romance on vacation.  But marriage?  With my track record (as you've followed with excruciating detail), a happy marriage sometimes felt like an impossible, unreachable pipe-dream---one I wasn't eve sure I wanted to try for.

So, did I want to admit that marriage was on my to-do list?  

I looked around, took a deep breath, and tossed three coins into the water.

I blame the vino.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


A common FAQ:  “Where the hell have you been, Alex??”
My answer:  Absolutely everywhere.

This August, Amanda and I bon voyaged to Italy, France and Spain.  It was my first trip abroad and we decided to make it count!  Readers, it was the single most magical experience of my life.  There were meals.  There were sites.  And yes---there were men.

As I opened my eyes, I was horrified to find a dark hotel room. 

“Oh no, we overslept!” I cried.
Amanda shot up, disoriented, her covers flying in every direction.  She pulled the nightstand clock closer to her face and rubbed her eyes.
“What does this say??” she asked, exasperated. 
“Oh no…” she sighed.  “We’re going to miss the last train.”   

It was our final night in Rome and [as part of Crazy Alex’s anal retentive ‘mustseeeverythingthereistoseewhileinEurope’ plan] we were originally slated to see the Spanish steps.  

 “Aren’t you going to get up?”  I asked, fumbling through clothes and fluffing my hair.  Amanda just sat there thinking.
“You know, Al.  I have a better idea.”

Moments later, we were in an over-priced Taxi bound for the Tiver River.

“Remember what the tour-guide said about this place?” she asked.
“I’ve been told so many things this week...”
“This is where the nightlife is!  There’ll be tons of clubs and people our age.  Ya know… we haven’t partied ONCE since we got here.”

It was true.  I was so consumed with cramming every bit of knowledge into this vacation that I completely forgot to be on vacation.  Though I was saddened to miss an important historical site, I reluctantly made the exchange for a night out.

But---of course we couldn’t just party… we’d have to make it interesting.  So, over a light dinner we conspired to conduct a little social experiment: we’d pretend not to speak any Italian in order hear what the natives truly thought of us.

Bouncing flirtatiously along the many bridges, our experiment was off to a running start.  We spoke loudly, in blatant English, sprinkling the occasional southern twang for some extra American charm.  In response, a choir of clueless men commented openly about our attire and anatomy.  Not only was this fun, but we were instantly able to separate the romantics from the perverts.  It was genius!     

We soon found a chic hookah bar and struck up a friendly conversation with Francesco, Fat Fabrizio, Skinny Fabrizio, and Daniel.  Unlike some of the other men, this quartet of gentlemen spoke softly and respectfully, admiring our beauty with class.

“I DO declare!  Just how American do we look?”  I asked.  (A first-time hookah-smoker, I got a little more southern with each toke.)

Pointing first to Amanda, Francesco replied “You-ah beautyy ees very, very Mediterranean.  You-ah could leeve en Roma, no-ah problem!”

“And me?” I asked.

“You-ah beautyy ees very, very… uhh… como se dice… difficult to… look at.”
I stared at him in disbelief. 

“MY BEAUTY IS DIFFICULT TO LOOK AT?!”  The southern belle was gone.

“NO NO NO NO NO NO NOOO NO!” Skinny Fabrizio leapt to his feet and ran toward me.  “You-ah beautyy ees bea-ooo-ti-ful!  Sexy!  So Sexy!”  He sat down next to me shyly.

“You-ah beautyy ees difficult to place” Francesco corrected himself.

“Well… alright then.”  I replied.

Despite his blunder, we soon learned that Francesco worked for the President of Italy.  He was multi-lingual, intelligent and well-travelled.  After conversing with him for close to an hour, Amanda and I were simply enchanted!  When he offered to give us an evening tour of Rome we happily accepted.

Francesco and Skinny Fabrizio took us to every stunning panoramic view in Rome.  We could see everything---the entire landscape illuminated beneath the gorgeous Italian sky.  But by now, Skinny Fabrizio had attached himself to me like a leech.  If there’s one thing I learned in Rome, it’s this:  fending off men in Italy is as pointless as swatting mosquitoes on a camping trip.  They’re everywhere, they’re persistent, and eventually when you’re not looking… they’re going to bite you on the neck.   

Finally, at our third location, Francesco pointed down. 
“Those are-ah the Spanish Steps.”

At that exact moment, I looked up at the night sky and saw my very first shooting star.  What an incredible memory!  Just then I realized, sometimes if you let go, you'll get everything you want.
“I did get to see them,” I gasped.  "Oh, let’s get a picture!!”
Skinny Fabrizio finally detached himself, whipped out his phone and asked to have a picture of just me.

I was puzzled.  “Why would you want a picture of me?”

“For-ah, uhh, remembering.”

“But… why?”

Skinny Fabrizio thought for a moment, looked up and yelled “BECAUSE I LOVE-AH YOU!”

What a hilarious end to a fabulous day!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Due to my lengthy hiatus, curiosity over my current dating situation has permeated my entire existence.  It seems that both coworkers and friends alike have been experiencing severe “LABOR” withdrawals.  Symptoms include [but are not exclusive to] dry heaves, cold sweats, and compulsive dating activity.  Thus far---there is no known rehab.

As I’m sure you’ve gathered, this blog is the result of a very personal journey---not just to find the love of another person, but also [and more importantly] the love of myself.  Each week it became increasingly difficult to endure my “critics,” and for my thinness of skin I owe you an apology.  BUT, just because my broadcasts were back-burnered does not mean my love life was too; and [if you’ll take me back lovers] I’d like to give this thing another go.

My first blog back will include some funny stories from my trip abroad.  I hope you’ll stay tuned and enjoy!!!! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Perched atop a tall barstool, I awaited Amanda’s arrival.  We had set out to have a fun girl’s evening filled with drinks, dancing and perhaps some harmless flirtation.  Instead, Amanda was late and I---lost in thought.

“Maybe I should accept Music Man’s invitation” I pondered, stirring my vodka cranberry.  When he asked me out earlier that week, Nice Alex nearly leapt at the chance.  But as tempting as it is to “fling” with the same manic musician I always fall in love with, I am on a mission to improve my picker.  It is a personal decision based on more facts than I can share with you---but please trust me, readers---it’s the right call.

Nice Alex baulked of course, so I sent her to the naughty step for a time out.     

Having come to terms with my decision, I leaned in to take another sip.  But I was suddenly shaken when two men [quite literally] descended upon me. 

To my left was a short stocky ginger in a red cut-off T.  His eyelids were burdened with beer, and it seemed to take all his energy to slur a drink offer.  I declined by pointing to my already purchased libation, but that didn’t stop him from offering a second and third time.   

To my right was a thin man in a […wait for it…] grey cut-off T.  As his lips parted I became simultaneously aware of both his breath on my neck and the toothlessness of his smile. 

Did I mention I was upstate?
And you wonder why I don’t write fiction!!

Mere moments later, an alleluia chorus began to sing; a bright light poured through the bar door; and I looked up to see Amanda prancing in.  I swear I love that girl, but I had never been so glad to see her in my entire life.

Though we immediately relocated to the other side of the bar, the Tweedles (Drunk and Dumb) were miraculously able to transcend their intoxication and hone in on our coordinates.  Amanda (a little more vocal than I) asked them to give us some space.  When that didn’t happen…

“Al, maybe we should go check out Handshakes.”
“Handshakes!  Grea, we’ll definnnnitely go wit yous!”  chimed Tweedle Drunk.       

Sad but true, we were in a classic trap:  Two young women trying not to start a problem, and two inebriated men with no concept of their own creep factor.  

Unfortunately, most women will find themselves in this situation at least once in their lives.  

Amanda retreated to the bathroom while I remained to watch our drinks and guard our bags.  Just when I thought staying behind was the wrong choice, a familiar man walked into the bar.  He was tall, and strutted with some authority; his big brown eyes surveying the scene.  Instinctively, I scooted closer. 

I breathed a sigh of relief when we struck up a light conversation---perhaps now the Tweedles would mosey on.  

But just then…

“Hello my friend!” Amanda greeted, returning from the powder room. 

We know him?!”  I thought. “Even better!” 

At that moment, I remembered who this person was.  This was Airforce Guy…a military man whom Amanda had dated a few months before.  I heard stories of their intrigues and though I wasn’t sure how I felt about them as a couple---I knew I was okay with him standing between us and Deliverance.    

We’re safe! I thought.  A military guy who has loyalty to Amanda will surely be able to intimidate these hicks.  But like most things in my awkward life---it couldn't be that simple.

To Be Continued…

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Summer has officially arrived, readers… and nothing rings in the season better than a New England Clambake!  This past weekend my dear friend Karen graciously hosted a smorgasbord of epic proportions.  She and her boyfriend literally prepared 30 pounds of muscles, 20 pounds of potatoes, hamburgers, hotdogs, lobster tails and some side dishes […in case we got puckish.]  For dessert we had cookies and pies of all assortments...  And fret not; we had plenty to wash it down with!

Before the gluttony commenced however, Karen informed me that there was someone I should meet. 

“He’s an AMAZING musician, Al… seriously I think you guys would click.”


“NOT LIKE THAT!” she assured me, “I just think you would make some good music together, that’s all.”

Sure, Sure I thought.  I could feel the cynicism coursing through my veins.  I just wanted to eat and drink and visit with old friends…NOT be bothered with impressing a total stranger. 

Well…that was until I saw him.

Tall, broad and handsome:  in walked Music Man clutching a guitar.

By now I’m sure you’ve realized what a sucker I am for the artistically inclined.  The talent, confidence and subtle [I’m-a-mess-but-don’t-worry-I’ll-just-write-a-song-about-it] mystique seem to draw me in like a masochistic moth to the flame.  All in all however, I was resisting the weakness in my knees.  Sure he was cute and sweet and funny and friendly and we sounded really good together… but c’mon… I wasn’t sold.

“So who’s your favorite singer?” he asked.

“Gotta be Sarah Vaughan” I answered, anticipating the normal I don’t know who that is reaction.

“Oh my God, she’s amazing isn’t she??” he shot back.


Before I knew it, it was 5 AM and we were still talking.  At this point, I was about ready to buy that moth a fire-proof vest and be done with it.  But suddenly, all I could think about was HOW MUCH he reminded me of my most recent ex.

My most recent ex is a talented musician in a newly disbanded group.  It was a big love filled with laughter and compatibility, but we were ultimately doomed by the emotional issues at play.  That double-edged sword of creativity had beheaded us… and for the first time all evening I was able to see the striking parallel.

Of course, you wouldn’t know it by Nice Alex!  She breezed right in and chalked this red flag up to fearful nonsense.  “This man DESERVES a chance” she asserted.  "He's not your ex and he has nothing to do with him."

Am I excited to have met someone with SO much potential?  Of course!  But still, in my gut I wonder “How serious is a red flag?”  

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Obviously, someone has declared this the week of cyber incrimination.  It’s true! Over the past seven days, we were all inundated with tales of "abducted" bloggersbackfiring Facebook traps and yes… even Weiners.  In the face of all this stupidity, it’s difficult not to judge.  “How could she have fallen for that?” we wonder.  “How could he have been so dumb?” we ask.  “How can I be such a hypocrite?!” I quake.

For those of you playing catch-up, allow me to rewind.

On the last episode of “Alex is a Train-Wreck,” we bid farewell to a semi-beloved character---Mr. Wonderful.  Seemingly compatible he was, but ultimately on a much different track than your protagonist:  I asked him to slow down and he didn’t.  While he was anxious to speed the dating process (among other things), I was tapping the breaks.  Unfortunately, the result was a slight emotional collision. 

As I always do, I sat down to blog of my adventure; only this time, I was met with a very alarming comment:

You do realize that your date has probably Googled you by now and is reading all your blog posts, right?”

Naturally, this has been a concern from the beginning.  However I thought with the right amount of poise and tact, I could somehow express my sarcastic views without crushing anyone.




Yeah… you’re right:  Naive. 

By now, Nice Alex was paranoid with worry.  “What if this anonymous blogger is Mr. Wonderful himself---disapproving incognito?” Though it was unlikely, it was possible---and it paralyzed me with Single Girl Guilt.  “Oh no!” thought Nice Alex, “now what?”

This blog brings me (and hopefully you) so much pleasure.  While it seems to have opened a dialog for other cynical daters, it simultaneously allows me to selfishly connect my own dots.  However, I am now faced with a very serious question:  Can an earnest search for love ever be conducted in the public eye?  Or, like Congressman Weiner, will my “over-exposure” eventually lead to an impromptu resignation?

Plagued by these questions, I went upstate for a family gathering.   The festivities eventually led us to a rinky-dink bar for some live music and drinks.  As the cute bartender mixed my usual vodka cranberry, he struck up a friendly conversation.  We exchanged names and basic information.

“What did you study in school?” he asked.

“English and Mass Communications.”

“English and Mass Communications.” He repeated, trailing off.

“Yeah… I guess I wanted to be a writer or something,” I said smiling.

“How’s that working for you?”

“I’m in finance.” I chuckled, raising my glass.

Laughing with me, he asked “So do you write at all?”

I had a choice.  I could allow this cute bartender to think I was just a girl who drank vodka cranberries, and lived in Westchester, and visited my family upstate on weekends, and worked in finance, and who maybe once wrote poetry…


“Yes, actually---I write a blog.”

After explaining a little bit more, I rejoined my family for a couple tunes.  I left prematurely to get a little sleep; and when the cute bartender didn’t ask for my number, I knew---the blog was too threatening.  Though it pained me to consider it, perhaps The LABOR of LOVE would simply have to go.

You have one message

“Hey Sissy!  Just wanna make sure you’re okay, give us a call when you get home.  Also… after you left that bartender guy followed us into the parking lot and asked us to give you his number.  He’s kinda cute, Ali… just sayin’!  Alright talk to you soon!!”

And so… I write.

Friday, June 3, 2011


The other night, I had a dream fit for a Disney film!  My vision told the story of a petite, slightly awkward princess living in an enchanted land.  Each day, a Wonderful man would stand at the foot of her palace gate and call upon her.  He showered her with lovely gifts and charming compliments, until one day the young princess was coaxed from her castle.  From that day forward, the two took long walks along the water and talked of beautiful things. 

One day, the Wonderful man boldly invited the young princess to his garden.

 “It’s beautiful,” he bragged, “a garden fit for a Queen!” 

But the shy princess declined, insisting it was much too soon to see his land.  The next day the Wonderful man tried again. 

“Please princess,” he implored.  “The fruit is so beautiful and the flowers, so fragrant.  I know you will love it.”

But the princess simply shook her head saying “In time dear sir, in time.” 

Upon the Wonderful man’s third invitation, the princess could sense a desperation in his voice.  “Please!” he asked again.  “You have many royal things to do my beauty, but my heart will soar if only you’d take a peek.” Finally, she agreed.

They walked and walked until they reached his garden wall. 

“Close your eyes” whispered the Wonderful man as he led her by the hand. 

Ten steps later, he allowed her to view his craftsmanship.  She slowly opened her eyes, anticipating a breathtaking site.  But much to the princess’ horror, the Wonderful man’s garden was not at all how he described!  It was overgrown and unkempt; displeasing to the senses and generally frightening.  When he tried to draw her near, the princess simply turned and ran.


In a cold sweat, I woke up.  What did this dream mean?  I immediately scoured the memory of my last date with Mr. Wonderful for clues.

It’s true---our rhythm was different.  There was something off, something strange:  Redundant conversation, small talk about the weather; and multiple PDA attempts to fill the gaps in conversation.  It was odd and slightly discouraging, but I clung to the hope that it was just a fluke.  So, chalking it up to nerves, I agreed to a post-dinner stroll.

When the situation still proved to be…hairy…I decided I had to say something.         

“You told your mother you met someone special?” I asked, attempting to clarify what I’d just heard.

“Well I have!” he said, smiling.

“Okay… I have to get something off my chest” I began, gazing into his big, worried eyes.  “Look, I like you.  We have a lot in common and you seem really sweet.  The thing is…I’ve been through some change this year, and I really need to trim this back... you know… take things a little slower.”

“Oh.”  He replied.

Fully recovered from her coma, Nice Alex arose to whack me repeatedly over the head with a rolled up newspaper.  "All this poor boy did was like you and now you’re criticizing his pace?!" She cried.  But I could only think of Carrie Bradshaw as she told Aiden (the most perfect man ever written) that he was suffocating her with his eagerness and certainty.  Rationally, Aiden was everything Carrie wanted and needed, yet emotionally, she sensed it simply wasn’t right.

Now---it’s easy to rationalize when you have a team of writers sitting around a table, concocting your Mr. Big; but like Carrie, I struggle with the question:  How do you know when it’s right?  Is commonality and comfort a sign of compatibility, or is it a sign that your counterpart isn’t challenging you enough?  Is fear an indication that it’s not working---or is it the past coming to scare you away from something real?

I’ve not yet decided how I’ll handle Mr. Wonderful, as I don't believe he is truly capable of taking a step back at this point... but the question is daunting:  Did the petite, awkward princess run because she was afraid of her past---or because she saw too much too soon?

Thursday, May 26, 2011


If you’ll permit the ridiculous simile:  Love is like a club sandwich.  Why?  Because it’s only fun in the middle.  Just like the bread surrounding a delightful deli meat, the top and bottom of a relationship is often intimidating and momentarily uncomfortable.  There’s the dry, awkward introduction; the starchy “baggage assessment;” the crust of self-consciousness, and we endure it all for but one blissful moment that’s soon digested and turned into… well… shit.

I joined the site, I paid my dues, I kissed some frogs and I met a truly great guy; a truly great guy with whom I have a truly great date planned for this evening.  For all intents and purposes, my “out there” efforts have paid off.  However, I’m truly freaking out. 

Last evening, I discussed this seemingly nonsensical anxiety with Dr. J. 
                “Why should a mutual, genuine interest with this man be so frightening?  We talk every night!  We get along really well.  He likes me a lot…what’s wrong with me?”  
                But as it often does in therapy---it turns out to stretch a lot more deeply than that.

                “What is it about this situation that’s scaring you?” asked Dr. J.
                “I just… I feel like I don’t have my footing… you know?  Like… all this stuff has happened and I’m not done figuring it out.  And this guy---he’s so eager!  He’s so sure!  He’s got our next twelve dates planned… and that’s only a slight exaggeration!!”
                Dr. J nodded as if to say “go on.”
                 “I mean, yeah… I believe I’m datable.  But… sometimes I feel like people are taking score, you know?  ‘Oops… Alex was engaged.  And woops, there goes yet another relationship.’  I just want to get it right!  I want to have some realistic expectation for how it’s all going to go.”

                I could feel it.  It was coming:  the big, devastating question of the session.
                “Why is it so important to know how it’s all going to go?”

… Because if 2010 were a book, I’d entitle it “ClusterFuck.” In an insanely short amount of time, I experienced a heart-crushing break-up, the death of a very close friend and a completely illegal eviction from my apartment. All the while, another important, sub-conscious adjustment was taking place:  I was asserting myself as a post-grad woman living on her own for the very first time. 

                As these thoughts flooded my brain, I replied “I don’t know… I’m just overwhelmed!”
                “So…” Dr. J interjected “why can’t you just tell him you need to take this slow?”

A loud plop suddenly resounded in my head.  I knew it could only be the sound of Nice Alex falling out of her chair.  We know she always defers to the other person; she’s terrified of leading people on; she worries day and night about everyone else’s feelings... and now, in one fell swoop she was knocked unconscious. 
                Slowly… I sounded it out. 
                “I… I can just tell him I n-neeeed…….to take this slow?  I can just tell him I need to take it slow!  Well… but wait… I mean… what if it scares him away?”
                “If it does,” she said “what would that say about him?”

How had this not occurred to me?  This was brilliant!  Genius!  Of course!  I’ll tell him that I need to take this slow!  One date at a time!  And then… then we’ll just… take it slow…see where it goes!     

So Readers, this evening may or may not be something I can write a pithy, humorous blog about.  Sure, it’s early; Mr. Wonderful still has plenty of time to morph into a mutant.  But for the first time in a LONG time, I feel like I’m looking at something that could actually be SOMETHING.

Maybe we’ll get to the meat and cheese, maybe we won’t. Either way…I'm going to take life one date a time.

Monday, May 23, 2011


This territory is SO unchartered; SO unfamiliar that I must confess: I have no idea where to start, readers!

I could begin by telling you that Match has introduced me to an incredibly compatible man.  A couple weeks ago, I found his profile among my “Daily 5”---a list of seemingly compatible mates based on location and personality.  I rarely [if ever] make the first move, but I found Mr. Wonderful too good to pass up.  He’s a 31-year-old, employed art director from Stamford, CT.  He’s college educated, taller than me, broad shouldered and physically fit; never married, non-smoker, literate, and (after much pinching) NOT a figment of my imagination.

Boldly, I “winked” and awaited word.  Within 48 hours we were exchanging a truly splendid volley of jokes and stories.  Several e-mails and two phone conversations later, we had finally booked ourselves a date at Barcelona---a Greenwich hot-spot boasting the work of a semi-celebrity chef.

When the big day arrived however, Cynical Alex promptly showed up with a myriad of negative scenarios:  “He’s going to cancel,” she first surmised.  Then it was “He won’t show up,” “he’s going to be a troll,” “he’s actually 72,” and the ever faithful “he’ll probably try to kidnap you.”   I was mentally prepared for all the bad things but nowhere near prepared for what I got:  a good, nay, a GREAT date…  The kind of date they advertise on those cheesy commercials I roll my eyes at.  I was on THAT date! 

It became quickly apparent that we had many odd things in common: we both like tapas, mint chocolate-chip ice cream and American history.  We’re both the first of two same sex children; and both of our younger siblings are about to be married.  We both come from working families.  In addition, he was sweet, dorky, smart, good looking, social, funny, humble, nervous, confident, and already terribly smitten with me; a fact I only realized when he asked for a second date right in the middle of our first.

Now… I admit…  There was a part of me that feared his eagerness.  Was this a rebound thing?  Did he want to get in my pants?  Was he desperate for some reason that I had not yet uncovered?  But upon talking to friends and family, I was urged to consider that perhaps this slightly older, wiser man was ready for commitment and DONE with the [I’m-going-to-pretend-I’m-not-interested-in-you-so-that-you-like-me-and-make-dumb-decisions] game.  I mean really, what a concept.

I agreed to a second date in the city this past Saturday and it was even better than the first!  Shared dorky loves such as board games and dorm life were discussed as well as goals and dating preferences.  I’m happy to report that we’re still both intrigued and seeing each other again this Thursday evening! 

Readers… I actually can’t wait!  Keep your fingers crossed!!

Friday, May 6, 2011


It all started at my gynecologist’s office…as most hilarious stories do.  The well-meaning nurse held her clipboard with surprising nonchalance as she asked “Any problems with intercourse?”

It was just then that it occurred me: “Yes.  I have a definite problem with its absence...”

Approximately two hours later, I joined I had once firmly resisted the pay-for-play dating arena, but that was before “Fishing,” “Cupid” and “Vow” forcibly wrestled my faith in humanity to the ground.  Everyone I’ve talked to said the serious daters live at Match, so I held my breath as $150 of my hard-earned dough was sucked into an electronic void---never to be seen again.

Initially, Match seemed to live up to its hype; it’s more secure, detailed and the people seem much more motivated.    I’ve made several connections; however, it has become very clear that Match has its fair share of idiots as well.  Proof positive:  Mr. Maturity, a 40-something Match-er with no pictures and a sketchy profile.

“Hi there Alex,

I love your profile and amazing smile… can I send you a few pics???  I promise you will like what you see……….”

Now, I don’t know if this is all his fault.  In fairness, dating has a way of slowly chipping away at your sanity.  The small, the meek, the stander-uppers, the grape, the missed connections and failed intrigues have one by one pushed me closer to the edge.  It was only a matter of time until I snapped…. And unfortunately for Mr. Maturity:

“So you’re my father’s age.

This is a no.


I did not expect him to reply, but less than 24 hours later….

“funny I was dating a girl that is 23…if the girl is mature then its not a problem……”  

 Why I now decided to launch a cyber-crusade on all over-aged pigs everywhere, I’ll never know… but I could barely keep my blood from boiling over as I tersely replied:

“Yet you’re no longer dating her…

I wonder why that didn’t work out.

That’s a real brain buster.”

To which he [hilariously] responded:

“Well Alex it was not because of age, so not sure what brain buster you are talking about…. You are funny and I like you already. 

I’m 41..and look 31………. For the record…
FYI…she moved back to FLA for grad school….we are still friends.”

He was making this too easy.

“Grad school?  LOL!  You’ve completely illustrated my point.  Surely grad school would not be an issue if you were dating someone your own age.  If you’re not looking for something serious.. continue doing what you’re doing.  But I’m just saying, you will probably not have much luck with women who are so drastically your junior.

You will probably not take my advice, and that’s okay.  41-year-olds who chase after women half their age irk me---call me crazy.”

As if that weren’t enough… I went on…

“And PS:  41 is not 31.  You’re ten years closer to the nursing home, my friend.  41 is 41 no matter how you slice it.

Now that I’ve depressed you sufficiently, I’ll take my leave.

Have a great day!”

And this is where he got personal:

“ are a funny and not so bright girl…. Depress me??  LOl…not a chance.. good luck finding Paulie D..

Also for the record 41 yr olds usually date young girls like yourself for ONE reason only..and we both know what that is sweet keep chasing your tail out there….

I’m guessing a lot of hump & dumps in the near future for you J

Nice Alex begged me to stop.  “Why are you wasting your time arguing with this Neanderthal?”  she insisted.  But it was too late---I was a woman possessed.  This old, sexist, racist jerk was not going to have the last word.

“Well judging from your hostile, insulting reply it seems I struck a chord… Quite shocking in the face of my [apparent] dimly-lit intellect J

I’m not sure why you decided to make this a racial thing.  Though I am Italian, I’m certainly not looking for Paulie D.  I’ve actually *never* been dumped, nor do I make love until I’m in a serious, committed relationship… But thanks for your input, genius.  Once again, not sure why you decided to go there.  My best guess:

A.       Complete Ignorance
B.      An unsuccessful attempt to hurt my feelings

Take your pick.

I know exactly what 41-year-old men are seeking in 23-year-old women---hence my disgust with you and everyone like you.  Coincidentally, THIS is why you’ll have no use for me; I’m looking for something serious with someone morally sound.

I can’t imagine why anyone would have you, but I’d be willing to bet you’re married… that’s probably why you don’t put your pictures up.  It’s either that or you really aren’t “41 in age, 31 in looks” as you previously claimed.  If you only knew how hard I’m laughing right now J.

Don’t bother replying… I’ll just delete it.

Sweet Cheeks”  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Rather than lament the misery of single life, there are times to appreciate the subtle joys of detachment.  With no man to cuddle with this past, rainy Saturday---I decided to fill it up with the people and activities I love. 

Braving the weather, I took in a musical at The Sandbox Theatre and later caught up with some former band mates at a Good N Plentie gig.  It was a great time; filled with laughter and singing; drinking and dancing.  By the end of their last set, I had truly made a night of it; but I still wanted more.  So as a last minute impulse, I trotted my social behind to the local dive for one more drink.  What I got instead was a triple shot of my past---straight up.

“One Vodka Cranberry, please” I ordered.
“It’s on me,” interjected the adjacent barfly.
As I turned to thank my new beverage benefactor, a trio of dart players caught my eye. 

"Oh No..." I gasped in horror.

I knew I knew them…and I knew where from.  I knew we’d all spent the better part of two years together.  I knew what kind of beer they liked and what video games they played.  Most of all, I knew that they knew me---as their friend’s fiancĂ©---so many years ago.       

Yup, that’s right!  Once upon a time; your little Alex was engaged.  He wasn’t a handsome prince and it wasn’t a happy ending, but it did set the stage for so many other adventures.

At this point, the only thing I didn’t know was how to act.  Luckily, one gulp of liquid courage eliminated that problem post-haste...

“HEEEYYYYYYYY!!!”  I cheered [a little too] enthusiastically.
“ALEX, HEEEEYYYYYYYYY!!!” They greeted back.

Ah, relief!  My ex had onced crushed me with the news that his friends were thrilled to see me go.  It particularly saddened me to think that his best friend thought less of me.  He always seemed so funny and kind; and I thought we got along really well!  Well, now [in the midst of their warm, drunken hospitality] I learned that I was right.  In fact his friends distanced themselves from him shortly after our break-up and they haven't spoken since.

Before you know it, they were buying me drinks and inviting me to play darts.  But after three more Vodka Crans [and some truly unsafe dart launching] I was drunk off my petite patoot!  Somehow suddenly, our party dwindled down to two:  Me and the Ex’s Ex-Best Friend.  We caught up on work, life---everything.  Soon he even walked me home…  Even got my number…  Even kissed me… 


 But even in my condition, I knew it was wise to send him home.  So I did.

We texted yesterday and while I admittedly have NO idea what to make of any of this---I find myself oddly intrigued.

So readers, the question is… should I be?

Friday, April 15, 2011


Welcome back to the rollercoaster my friends.  Thanks to your encouragement, I’ve decided to strap back in and resume the ride.  I mean, what’s the worst that can happen?

At the risk of sending you into a shock-induced episode, I must confess that I [the Siren of Misfit Boys] once possessed even LESS savvy with the opposite sex.  However, one of the most important breakthroughs occurred when I realized that life is not a movie. 

Yes, this seems like a rather obvious fact.  But ladies, admit it:  We all want to live in a chick flick.  We want the love montages; the witty banter; the grand gestures.  Well, after life debunks these staples of sappy cinema, one begins to reject statements like “OH MY GOD, this is totally like [insert fictional couple here]!”

Just about every unrealistic romantic comedy begins with what is referred to as the “meet-cute.”  According to Wikipedia, this is when “two potential romantic partners meet” in a humorously awkward way.  As embarrassing as this is---I actually had a meet-cute; one that nearly sent me into a full-fledged romantic relapse.

Rewind to last Tuesday evening.  Mr. Marriage had just depleted my faith in humanity and I, broken-hearted, walked hungrily to the Tavern for a take-out dinner.  Still in my flowy performance attire, I noticed a man checking me out.  Tall, broad-shouldered and all-American, he embodied every attribute of the contemporary romantic hero.  But before I could work myself into a proper lash-batting, hair-twirling frenzy, he was gone!  

Dejected once more, I snatched my burger and went home.

A few days later, between work and about three thousand errands, I ran frantically to the Tavern for another quick bite.  Much to my surprise, the man who passed me up was there again!  I tried not to look over at him as I waited for my food…but I couldn’t help it.  After a few exchanged glances, the man approached me. 

“Hi” he said with a smile.
“Oh, hi” I replied trying to combat my rapidly blushing cheeks.
“Didn’t I see you in here the other night?”
“The other night… hmm… Oh yes, I came in after my gig” I said, trying to play it all off. 

Long story short, we got to talking.  He learned that I’m in finance by day and music by night.  I learned that he is in the Marine Corps.

Talk about chick flicks!  We were now one debilitating disease away from being a Nicholas Sparks novel.   I was about to transfer to the “When You Least Expect It” school, when he shook my hand and said:

“Well, it was very nice to meet you Alex.”

My lips formed a cordial goodbye but my mind spouted confused curse words.  WTF, no digits, no future meeting, NOTHING?   I simply couldn’t believe it.  But as you know, the “law of three” dictates that I would have to meet him again.  And in real life [with no creepy stalking required], I actually did!  Same place, same reason…

“So what, you live here?” I asked, giggling.
“You must think I’m such a degenerate” he replied.
“No, no… just a barfly… it’s okay” I said laughing.  “I didn’t mean to interrupt.”   
“Not at all!” A loyal wing-man, his friend suddenly leapt up. 
“Please, sit down” My Marine said “I’ll buy you a drink.”

An hour later, we were still talking when he FINALLY popped the question.

“Can I have your number?”
“Sure,” I smiled. 
“Great!  I’d love to call you tonight if you’re free!” 
“I might be!”
“I mean… I can’t make any promises, but if I’m out locally, I’ll definitely call you.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I go back to Japan in two days, so my family might want me to stay in with them tonight.”

Well, there’s the universe I know and love!

“Oh wow… Japan eh?”
“Yeah, I’ll be in there for six months and then Afghanistan for another six months after that.  It’s really exciting!”

...Dejected once more, I snatched my burger and went home. 

After devouring what was left of my pity-dinner, I agreed to meet next week for a coffee date with a college football coach on POF...  Because who needs a meet-cute anyway?

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I believe I’m experiencing the first signs of dating fatigue, readers.  You’re sure to sympathize with my exhaustion.  After all, you’ve been with me throughout this cringe-worthy rollercoaster all along.  I’ve recently come across a few people who think I’m trumping up these de-blog-cles for the entertainment value.  All I can say is… I WISH that were true! 

Taking some time away from the dating site got me thinking about strategy and whether or not I’ve subscribed to the correct one.

There are generally two schools of thought when it comes to finding someone:  The passive “When You Least Expect It” crew, versus the more active “Out There” group.

Have you thrown up your hands, tossed in the towel, and/or purchased feline companionship?  GOOD!  Disciples of the “unexpected” and “come what may” will tell you that you’ve finally reached the promise land.  They believe you cannot find what you’re supposed to have until you’ve completely given up.

 If those relationships found on the brink of hopelessness don’t work out however, one may turn to the latter approach.

Shrinks, obsessive beautification rituals, dating sites and yes---blogs, are all a part of being “Out There.”  “Out There” is a lifestyle, an attitude, a projection.  To be “Out There” you must send the right vibe.  You must look people in the eye.  You must smile and giggle at jokes.  You must strive to be a better person.  You must eat delicately, and force yourself out even when you’d prefer to be in.  In short, you must be on at all times.

Besides the weariness, there is another negative side-effect of this method:  You inadvertently intrigue the wrong men!

 Recall if you will, Mr. Marriage.  Unfortunately, I must report a similar sorry saga. 

This past Tuesday, I was to perform at a charity event for which my boss volunteered me.  It was a wonderful evening, complete with cocktails, hor dourves, and 500 of Westchester’s most successful business people.  Prior to show time, my employer invited me to converse with him and a few of our clients.  Of course, it would only be moments until the least attractive, most inappropriate man was able to hone in on my coordinates. 

“My goodness, who is this?” he broke in. 
“This is my assistant, Alex” bragged my boss.  “She’ll be singing for us later.  And don’t let the size fool you!” 
“Yeah with me either” said the inappropriate man.  Once I realized this was an anatomical size joke, I blushed with embarrassment.  “Do you think you can dedicate your most intimate love song to me?” he asked, his wedding ring glistening in the party light.

“Well, I wouldn’t want to hurt the other gentlemen’s feelings” I replied. 
Nervous laughter suddenly erupted from the people around us. 
“You are adorable!” the inappropriate man retorted. 
“Aw, thanks” I said politely but blatantly unimpressed.  “If you’ll excuse me.”

I retreated to the ladies room in an attempt to avoid saying something snippy in front of my boss.  Just when I thought I provided exactly the right hint, it was time to go on.  The inappropriate [ignorant as the day is long] man made his way to the front of the crowd, clapping, dancing and cheering along.  Wow, thought Nice Alex, How am I gonna handle this one?!

Once off stage, the inappropriate man asked for my information…  Ya know, to hire me for some private parties.  I told him that I was in a rush to make another engagement but that he was welcome to request a business card from my boss if he needed to get in touch.

Like clockwork, an e-mail awaited me when I arrived at work the next day; one that emphasized my talent and beauty.  He concluded with the hope that he’d see me at another event ---or---maybe even a bar downtown.

It’s moments like these that make me want to jump ship, readers.  Perhaps I should give up---because it seems that even if you find someone to marry, you’ll have to wonder if he's hitting on other people’s assistants at cocktail parties. 

But will giving up eventually lead me to the proverbial promise land as so many believe, or will it simply mean settling for a singular existence?

What do you believe? 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


To satisfy a work requirement, I spent last week at a four-day, forty-five hour insurance class in the financial district. 

I can sense your jealousy from here, readers.

Though my week-long banishment would include a sterile, white classroom; a stuffy, monotone professor; and “fiduciaries” up my “unilaterals;” I was determined to embrace the positive.  In addition to my potential raise, perhaps this experience just might lead me to a handsome man in a nice suit.

Among the thirty-or-so people in my class, only one struck my fancy.  I first noticed his strong masculine face, followed by his athletic body, and finally his surprising grasp of the material.  Just when I was ready to issue this boy a “contract of adhesion,” I observed an unfortunate “pre-existing condition”:  A wedding ring. 

Oh well.  Mr. Marriage would have to remain a mystery to myself and the rest of my female classmates.

That was until the next day.  Mr. Marriage decided he would move up to be my desk buddy.  While this seemed normal enough, things took a creepy turn when he admitted to stealing my name off the class roster and Googling all of my YouTube videos.

Mr. Marriage:  “Bet you’re glad to get that test over with.”
Me:  “Oh yeah… it’s a weight off for sure.”
Mr. Marriage:  “Kind of like… that play you did in your underwear.
Me:  “…”

Even Nice Alex couldn't redeem this disturbing exchange.  As I backed away slowly, I had a thought:  People should need a license to date!

Take Guacamole Guy for example.  Had he taken a pre-licensing date class, he might’ve faired a little better on our outing last Thursday.  Sadly, he violated some serious regulations:

Faux pas #1:  Choice of Transportation

Maintaining multiple jobs is admirable.  However, when you’re a part-time dog walker (in addition to your burrito duties), it may put your date off to pick her up in a hair covered vehicle with the word “Scoops” sprawled across the passenger door.  Helpful hint:  if your car is somehow associated with animal excrement, it may be best to meet your date at the restaurant.

Faux pas #2:    The Dutch Treatment

Yes, women offer to split the tab.  However, we’re just being polite.  Gentlemen, when you hear the words “let’s split it” on a first date, that is your cue to smile and say “No no, I’ve got it.”

...Dating 101.

Faux Pas #3:  The Dutch Treatment (...continued)

When you consent to splitting the tab, it would be helpful to have some money on you.

If after you agree to pay for your share of the meal, you backtrack by saying “actually… would you mind…” stop right there.  Yes.  Yes, I do mind.  I ordered a Shirley Temple to be gentle your wallet, and now I have to put your $13 Margarita on my debit card? 

Not Good.

The tragedy is that sweet, funny guys are passed up every day just because they don’t know basic protocol.  And ladies, we’re not innocent either:  Bringing up past relationships, prematurely discussing serious commitment, leading with our insecurities as opposed to our strengths.  All these things will land us right by the phone with a chick-flick and a carton of Haagan Dazs every time.  

Wouldn't it be nice if we ALL had a text book to strategically, dispassionately tell us what to do?

Until such a resource arrives, readers… I press on.