Tag Archives: date

The difference between sarcasm and sleaze

I had a particularly, oh, let’s call it awful date recently, mostly because the man involved opened his mouth and spoke. He was fairly decent looking, educated, owned his own business. We apparently knew some of the same people.

But when he spoke, it was awful. He was lewd and crass and just plain disrespectful. For the first time ever, I ended a date early.

sarcasmA few days later he actually sent me a text that said, “I really don’t understand what happened.” When I explained to him that telling a woman you want to put your “skin boat” in her “tuna chute,” or suggesting that we “go back to my place and f*** before (your headache) gets really bad,” aren’t things that are appreciated on just the second date, he took offense.

“You really need to look up the definition of sarcasm,” he said. “Good luck in the future, but you’re really going to need to lighten up if you think someone is going to be serious long-term.”

Oh, really?

First: I shared my Date from Hell story with a friend who has an online forum on which she posts questions or situations and asks her more than 4,600 followers for comments and suggestions. My date story netted 55 responses in the first two hours, probably 80 percent of which were from men who were mortified that this guy was representing their species.

A few days later, I shared his text comments with my own friends – most of whom laughed at the idea that I needed to look up the definition of sarcasm.

“Wait … did he meet you?” one friend asked.

“Clearly he doesn’t realize you are the queen of sarcasm,” said another.

One friend won the Internet with this response:

“That’s like someone telling Kim Kardashian to look up “social media” and that she needs to “promote herself more strongly.”

You get the idea. I know my way around the sarcasm block.

But to prove my point, and my true understanding of the art of sarcasm, I’m putting his comments to the test with what I really should have said.

Sleaze, not sarcasm: “I want to put my skin boat in your tuna chute.”

Sarcasm: “That’s the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard. Did you get that from Keats?”

Sleaze, not sarcasm: (To waiter in restaurant) “We’re going to drink some here, drink some somewhere else, and if I’m lucky we’ll go hook up after.”

Sarcasm: “And if I’m really lucky he’ll pass out and the only ‘hook-up’ he’ll get is from a tow truck as he’s sitting on the side of the road.”

Sleaze, not sarcasm: (After hearing about my growing headache) “We should just go to my place and f*** now then, before it gets too bad.”

Sarcasm: “Well, since you’re the one giving me the headache, I’m not sure that will help.”

The fun part of all of this is that I know he truly believes he’s quite the catch. I know this because he told me so – twice.

I wished him luck finding any woman who would appreciate his brand of humor, to which he replied that maybe he should “try out for the other team.”

“Good luck with that,” I said.

That was sarcasm.


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You just can’t hide from Karma

They say karma will always get you. It may not happen today, or tomorrow, or next week or next year – but it will happen. At some point, when you least expect it, karma will come around and bite you in the ass.

Karma’s a bitch.

For the last five years I’ve often retold the story of how I truly discovered my word snobbery – that I  went on a date with a man who was quite proud of being an aff-eh-KON-dee-oh of weapons, how I giggled at what I thought was his deliberate mispronouncing “aficionado” and how appalled I was to discover that no, that’s how he really pronounced it. And that I didn’t go out with him again. Oh, the horror, to mispronounce a word!

You know what’s coming.

The other night I was out on a date and we went to an Italian restaurant for some pasta and wine. While I’m not a wine “aficionado,” I don’t think I’m an idiot, either. I looked over the wine list and made my selection. When the waitress came to take our wine order, I asked for a Bolla chianti. Make that a Bolla chee-AHN-ti. Heavy on the C-H.

As soon as it was out of my mouth I knew I’d screwed up. It’s not CHianti, it’s KEE-ahn-ti. I knew that. But it was already out there. I stole a quick look at my date and saw a slight smirk (or was it a grimace?) and an “Oh, you poor thing” look from the waitress.

I slouched just a little lower in my seat. I wanted to take it back, to say, “Wait! I know this! I know how to say it!” Actually,  I think I really did say some of that …

Then it hit me. This was karma. Sitting right there next to me in that booth, helping me read the wine list and nudging me to that particular glass. Karma helped me find a wine that sounded appealing and then, quietly, sat back and watched it happen.

So, to the unnamed guy whose future date offers I declined because of the way you mispronounced a word, I’m sorry. So, so sorry. That doesn’t mean that it won’t still make a great story (I’ve forever ruined the word “aficionado” for many of my writer friends), but it does mean that I’ll be a little more gracious in telling it.

Damned karma.


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Love and anguish in our 40s

cosmoOnce upon a time I wrote a blog entry for a now-expired feature we did at The Gazette called “On the Street.” I went to the opening of the movie, “Sex and the City,” asked some question and then wrote a blog about my own dating experiences, now that I’m 40-something and divorced and “back out there.”

The blog stirred something in me — I wanted to do more writing along the same lines. There wasn’t much interest at work, so I’m doing it on my own, starting with the one that got me started. So welcome to Pour Me Some Whine — read, reflect and feel free to add your own stories.

This is the blog I wrote May 30, 2008, for The Gazette:


I first started watching “Sex and the City” when it premiered in 1998 and it was a fantasy to me. I was married, had two small children and lived in west central Iowa. What did I know about Manolo Blahniks, living the high life in New York City or drinking Cosmopolitans until dawn?

Then in 2002 I found myself 36, divorced and living in Eastern Iowa. Hello, Dating World.


I turned to my virtual friends – Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte – for tips and advice. After all, look at all the fun relationships they had: Carrie and Big, Carrie and Aiden, Miranda and Steve, Charlotte and Harry, Samantha and … everyone. I quickly learned, though, that dating as a never-married 30-something in New York wasn’t anything like being a divorced 30-something (and now 40-ish) woman in Iowa. And dating as a 30-something-turned-40-ish woman in Iowa is absolutely nothing like dating as a college co-ed, no matter where you are.

Much like anything else in life, dating in your 30s and 40s is a learn-as-you-go process. What attracted me at age 18 doesn’t hold much appeal to me now: “having a stable job” has replaced “earns enough money to buy gas;” “enjoys a quiet night at home” has earned top spot over “likes to go out and party;” and “must get along with my kids” has taken the place of … well, nothing, because it just wasn’t an issue when I was 18.

You also learn what you are and aren’t willing to put up with. I never would have thought that having someone sing “I love you” karaoke to me on our second date – and tell me he meant every word – would be as disconcerting as it was, or that having someone brutally mispronounce a word several times in one conversation would be unbelievably annoying.

At one point in my new dating realm I actually created a list of “rules” – ones that I wouldn’t share, but would tuck away in the back of my head for future reference: thou shalt not ask me to a movie and then pretend to have forgotten your credit card when we get to the theater; thou shalt not say “I’d like to do this again” when in fact you wouldn’t; thou shalt not whine at me on the telephone before we actually “go out;” thou shalt not keep me waiting for you to get off work when you forgot to ask if you could leave early; and the ever-popular “thou shalt not lie to me about wanting to date other women when in fact you already have.”

Many of the challenges we face dating in our 40s are just the “grown-up” versions of the same challenges we had when we were younger. Some people still cheat, many still want to be with Barbie or Ken and no matter how hard we try to hide it, there is still a part of all of us that feels that bit of insecurity when it comes to meeting someone new.

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