Date # 20, Architect at a Roller Disco

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The Pre-Date Vlog

The Unconventional Woman is excited to meet another POC Professional with a creative job (this is way harder than it should be) and she’s already heard a few anecdotes that warm her to his personality.

The Post-First Impressions Vlog

Grinning from ear to ear after 3 hours of roller skating, The Unconventional Woman gives you the goods on what appear to be admirable traits as well as the baggage check

The Post-Date Denouement

The gritty details on the rules of attraction, could familiarity overcome this mishap?

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Date #19, All Character

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The Predate Vlog

The Unconventional Woman has had an interesting messaging thread with a character designer (as in Disney and Marvel licensed toys) but she doubts it will go anywhere because he “lives in the sticks”

The Post First Impressions Vlog

The Unconventional Woman seems impressed with both the appearance of her date and his life experience, so what’s the catch?

The Post Date Denouement

Post pastry, the Unconventional Woman sums up her critique of a conversation with the character designer and its setting

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Date #18, Mr. NHS

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The Predate Vlog

The Unconventional woman is about to go on a date with someone who is all about adjectives that she suspects may never approach reality

The Post First Impressions Vlog

The Unconventional Woman finds herself eating dinner alone while she waits an entire hour for her date…will he be able to turn this story around?

The Post Date Denouement

So he was kinda cute, reminded me of Jesse Eisenberg for some reason?..but conclusions are bland, bland, and bland!

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Date #17, The Greenwich Punk

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The Pre Date Vlog

The Unconventional Woman ventures forth to meet a date with a close to nondescript hipster profile, She wants to see what will happen  after she sinks her teeth into the details.

The Post First Impressions Vlog

Details indeed, The Unconventional Woman is pleased to note that she has been surprised by a 33 year old master of self-reinvention.

The Post Date Denouement

Sometimes you meet someone really interesting, but you’re just not finding them attractive. It also sounded like he would have some problems with the blog.

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Date #16, So out of sync today

  Things were reading well….

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The Pre Date Vlog

Things are off to a rough start as a road block on The Unconventional Woman’s bus route appears to be causing some delays. The Unconventional Woman has high hopes from the photos and elaborate messages, but has she already ruined things?

The Post First Impressions Vlog

The Unconventional Woman is very pleased that her date seem so much in the know about ideas she has been working on, and she goes straight into explaining some of her current projects (not the blog!). Meanwhile he shares knowledge with her about other places in England she hasn’t explored yet.

The Post Date Denouement

If you read a transcript of  the date, you’d say they were getting along swimmingly,  but in other ways they were totally out of sync.   The Unconventional Woman reflects on whether this is is a coincidence or a lack of preparation and timing.

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Date #15, The Phd Student from Central St. Martins

Still from Wangechi Mutu's Film showing at Victoria Miro Gallery

Still from Wangechi Mutu’s film showing at Victoria Miro Gallery, part of “Sirens and Serpents.”

The Predate Vlog

In recovery mode again, the Unconventional Woman quickly schedules a gallery crawl with someone in an antimessaging state of mind.

The Post First Impressions Vlog

The Unconventional woman is butting heads with her date in the pub over questions of art and politics. How romantic!

The Post Date Denouement

A second date is mentioned in passing, but The Unconventional Woman suspects  there is too much intellectual incompatibility to move on from this point.  At the same time she is impressed by his low key vibe.

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Date #14, Second date with a Growth Capitalist (Not a VC)

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The Predate Vlog

I’m still uncomfortable with some of the language that’s being tossed around but after communicating my inhibitions I am ready to go on a second date. Part of me is just breathing a sigh of relief that I don’t have to go on another first date.

Post Second Impressions Vlog

I’m really enjoying every minute of this evening.

So I pop out of  the loo at the Curzon, and I’m the very last one.   “Did I take too long? I was last in the queue!”

He says, “Where do you want to go now? There’s this bar near Canary Wharf with good cocktails.. There’s also Beaujolais..”  We’ve already talked about going to Beaujolais, a French wine bar near the theater, and I’m kind of creeped out by the bar in Canary Wharf coming from now where….he not so subtley sent me his address in South Quay when we talked about which cinema to go to…..as if trying to make it relevant information.  He shows off his French with the barmaids and orders pate, but we don’t talk about France.  I tell him the first time I had pate was in Vietnam.

We talk about going to India……he dated an Indian woman before, someone from Mumbai, and visited her family there. I try to get information about his past relationships….how many long, how long, with who?    I want to see the patterns or atleast a learning process. He refuses.

He impresses me by giving me his angle on Indian politics, and sort of horrifies me by having a different opinion on Arundhati Roy, but then I’m just impressed that he’s constructed an opinion.

I ask about his mom, who he claimed had ‘a political past.’  He describes his family moving away from Brixton to the suburbs after the first two years of his life and his mom becoming disconnected and depressed.  I wonder if that means he would never isolate a woman. His parents called it quits when he was 16 after he decided to go to school in Wales.  Then I realize that he’s lived most of his life as an only child, and something clicks for me.  His personality is very,very, much like an only child..and so is mine.  I once dated a middle child who I thought was very attentive and a good listener, until he told me how self absorbed and obnoxious I was.  I fantasize that the GC and I could be tremendously entertaining as a partnership of obnoxious only children, colorful internal monologues crashing against another as we wrestle for center stage:  like a reunion with an unknown sibling or a phantom limb.  I see us together, not ‘only’ anymore.

I’m already worrying about telling him of the blog.  There’s something excitable and self important about his personality that I feel might not take it well, and I think that little high voice shouting at me would be quite upsetting.  I ask him, “So what would make you angry?”   He says “That would be telling wouldn’t it?”

It’s 11 pm and Beaujolais is closing.  I feel high in the moment and I don’t want things to end just there.. .I’ve just started to feel hope that this is going somewhere.  We could stay out another hour and I could still get home on public transport.  He mentions the bar in Canary Wharf again and I let myself trust him this time.

Getting Carried Away Vlog

The worst thing that happened:  he was on top of me trying to do something I did not want him to do.  I told him to stop and that it hurt.  He talked to me like I was a seven year old getting her stitches out, telling me that I was a good girl and I was doing very well.   He did not stop until I resorted to biting him and pinching him as hard I could.

When he was lying in bed I told him that he was very pretty and looked like Adonis.  He said that I had to stop saying that and tell him that he was handsome.  I understand why he kept asking if he ‘dominated me’.

I told him I liked him three different times, looking into his eyes.  On the third time, He said  “I know, and I said I like you too, but If you say that again, you’re going to scare me.”

I liked seeing him in his boxer briefs making breakfast for me in the kitchen, strutting like a redheaded cupid.   It made me want to distract him endlessly with my lips and finger tips. It also made me want to cook him breakfast, a lot of breakfasts.  There were boxes of dosa and uttapam mix on the side of the hob.  He spread his father’s fruit confit on my toast.

We had a long, complex, kiss good bye.  I told him he looked snappy as he went to his interview.  He said he would miss me.

I waited 3 days before I sent him a message about a Truffaut film playing in Brixton which would be introduced by Richard Ayoade.  We had both agreed at Beaujolais we would be interested in seeing this. He did not respond.  I spent the rest of the day and part of the next two crying.

In my research, I have only discovered two types of men in London:  those who don’t want to be around me, and those who pretend that they like me long enough to sleep with me, and then notice, quite casually, that they don’t want to be around me.

You can follow the Unconventional Woman on Twitter @LeUnconventional

Dates #12 and #13: The Psychotherapist from Seoul, and Mr. Multilingual

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Is it disappointing that I dropped the ball on the psychotherapist?

I was thinking that he would see right through me. I was afraid of that.

I was also thinking that I wasn’t hopeful enough about this date to merit talking about it.  By chance I was able to schedule another date for the day after that I was more excited about after I had already agreed to date the psychotherapist.  With all my experience of being on the receiving end of fickle, I can’t feel guilty about this.

He was 43, this was the first man in my experiment with ‘dating over 40.’  He looked a little like someone I had dated before, but I had a feeling that on meeting I probably wouldn’t be attracted to him, and I wasn’t. Where have all the hot 40 year olds gone?  They’re married you idiot!  I’ll  make sure to tell you when I find one.

So on to Mr. Multilingual, there’s an interesting story to tell here.  I’m still trying to digest him!

Date #13, Mr. Multilingual, The Predate Vlog

The Unconventional Woman can’t get a question in edgewise because Mr. Multilingual is so busy trying to figure her out, but the style of interrogation is enough to make her want to meet up.

Post First Impressions

The Unconventional Woman has landed in a Jazz bar, and she seems pretty angry about something.

The Post Date Denouement

The Unconventional Woman reflects that she might have been too harsh in the Mid date vlog. She reveals mr. Multilingual’s very exciting profession, and why she might confuse ‘sparring’ for flirtation

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Date #11, The Architect

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Yes, date #11….This is date #11.  I wasn’t able to report on 8, 9, and 10, but I’m counting them in the count, because I made the effort to message them and meet them….They count as the labor that this process takes, the labor of the outsider trying to make meaningful connections on the inside, not having the privilege of being introduced by friends of friends.  They count as the labor it takes to get out of your social context.  Date #8 stood me up for brunch…first he made me wake up early on a Saturday then he stood me up.  Date #9 left when I went to the toilet…around this time N wrote me an email about how I was exploiting these poor guys sincerely looking for love.  I don’t think that guy matched my level of sincerity.  Date #10 wasn’t as bad except he sort of thoughtlessly asked me to meet him a the London Eye on a weekend without any plan after that, and we ended up at the Waterstones near Trafalgar square, so I didn’t even have a toilet to do my my post first impressions vlog in.  Yes, that’s the Waterstones the American tourist was locked in over night this week..  That’s a good measure of the quality of that date actually.

The Predate Vlog

Earlier this year Mindy Kaling wrote an article in the New Yorker  about the sparkling science fiction world of Romantic Comedies.   I imagine the world of my blog as the ugly step child of this world… with all of the desire but none of the easy happy endings and vapid stupidity.  Instead there is a lot of toxic reality, and my fight to find hope in it.

This is what Mindy Kaling said about architects:

“Whenever you meet a handsome, charming, successful man in a romantic comedy, the heroine’s friend always says the same thing: “He’s really successful. He’s”—say it with me—“an architect!”

There are, like, nine people in the entire world who are architects, and one of them is my dad. None of them look like Patrick Dempsey.”

There you go… architects are gold dust from Rom Com world

This is the first time I’ve dated an architect, and it’s no wonder, because as a profession architecture is first to fall victim to a recession, and the last to recover later.  That’s the real reason architects are gold dust, because Romantic Comedies are constructed from post war fantasies of success that are actually pretty dated.

So this is the first time I’ve dated an architect…I’m not  a willing victim to Rom Com world, but I do have some romantic associations with the word.  As an artist I’m always trying to balance creative and practical traits in the men I meet.  If my partner is too practical, they won’t understand my impractical professional, something I’m passionate about and a reason I’m swimming up the stream of society most of the time.    If my partner is too creative, he might also be constantly swimming up the stream…his instability might make me less stable.

But besides his profession, do I have any reason to like this guy?  Either he’s too busy to build rapport in messages or I am.  His profile was good…in a generic kind of way.  I’m just hoping that IRL could be different.

Post First Impressions Vlog

So I realized a long time ago that red wine is not a good look on me, but I’ve started to resent the idea that someone would hold the way a specific type of alcohol changes my appearance against me…even in my video log…no it was the lighting, definitely the lighting!   Anyway, what about the guy?  “The length of the date bodes well, but the Unconventional woman’s voice is detached as she describes the feeling of pleasantly gliding along the surface.”……Not exactly a reason to skip the red wine.

The Post Date Denouement: Reflections on the Intimacy Machine

I should say up to this time a lot of my dating theory has been based on something I call the intimacy machine…The intimacy machine is not physical,  It’s mental, but it might be neurochemical.  When you open up to someone, it’s like a dare for the other person to open up.   I found the machine on accident because I like talking to people, but I hate superficial conversations.  Often the machine resembles the tropes of pillow talk or kiss and tell, there’s mutual vulnerability and an emotional bond is formed. It’s a dangerous place to be in: you might find someone’s deep dark secret and realize you shouldn’t be in the intimacy machine with them.  It takes a lot of strength of character to climb out of the machine once the process is initiated.   I’ve been telling my friends about this machine.  My position has been if you don’t turn the machine on during your date, nothing happens, so it’s a risk worth taking.  Some people have suggested that I turn the machine on…a little slower.

I tried that on this date.  I’m not too sure about the results?  I invited my friends along for the post date vlog to get their take on it.

You can follow me, The Unconventional Woman, on Twitter @ LeUnconventionl

Date #7, The Dancing Chef

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The Predate Vlog

Higher than average personality and ambition but low on the hotness scale, the Unconventional woman speculates whether they have the ingredients for romance… but first let’s see if he can fit a date into his busy schedule.

Post First Impressions

When is a radical outfit not enough?  The date went where you can expect a date to go if you don’t make a tenable plan, meandering dismally in the streets, in high spirits from conversation, the Unconventional Woman reflects on how to send the secret message “Don’t ask me out again!” and have fun at the same time.

The Post Date Denouement

I wasn’t the best version of myself,  I was the ranting, raging version of myself.  Well, some people think this is the best version, (; Anyway I wasn’t “the girlfriend version.”

Follow me, The Unconventional Woman, on Twitter @LeUnconventionl