Thursday, April 13, 2006

8 Men and Little Ol' Me

"You need to get outside your comfort zone," my best pal, Kate said a few weeks ago. "Meet people. No online dating."

Me: "But I'm good online. I am awesome at emailing."

Her: "I know but are you meeting anyone? In person?"

Me: "Well..."

Her: "In the same country."

Me: "No."

So with my trusty sidekick on the other end of the phone I zipped over to a local website and signed up for speed dating. Shortly after giving my credit card number this was my thought "What the hell did I just do?"

I just stepped outside the comfort zone and I am here to tell you...I survived.

Yes, I survived. And you, my lovelies, get to hear aaaall about it. Because right after I signed up, I said to Kate: "Well, if nothing else, I have blog material."

And yes. Yes. I do.

First: the bar. It was not a dive but neither was it classy. Kind of a "we're going for the sexy look but we had no money." It was wrongly named. Plush? What the hell was plush about it? The circular booths? The gauzy curtains that surrounded every booth? The freaking uncomfortable couches that are low...to match the low tables? Or the stools all the men kept falling off of? Sexy indeed.

Second: the woman. They were fun! I'd so hang with them. Turns out one of the gals also went with the same matchmaker I did a few years ago and...she got the same doozy as me. Sweet.

Third: the victims. I mean...the men. Ah yes...eight (two chickened out...cowards!) guys of varying personalities.

Victim #1: The ME Guy

You know the one. I did this. I took a cruise for 7 days. It was amazing. I never had so much fun. I just got back from Victoria where I golfed. Wow. Is it green out there. I haven't golfed like that in a long time. I am in investment banking for one of the biggest banks out there.Oh, not in Canada but the rest of the world.

Tip: When you're out to me girls, ME Guy. Ask the woman something. Anything. Don't leave me sitting there mentally jabbing my eye out with the pen. B-bye. Thanks for coming.

Victim #2: Silent Sam

And I don't mean the vodka. As soon as he walked up I knew it was going to hurt. Now, I'm a shy girl but if I'm with a talker, I discovered I'll talk. This guy sat down, rubbed his thighs, cleared his throat and mumbled "Hi."

Me: "Hi." All perky and everything (plus I was smokin' hot in my new jeans. Oooh baby. Yeah.)

Silent. Silent. Me: "So, what do you do?"

Him: Silent. "I, uh," Yesss?

It was the longest 8 minutes of my life. I kept looking at the hostess to hope she would clink the glass so Silent Sam could go make someone else's evening painful. He was sweet but come on...you're here to meet people. Open your mouth!! I did. *coughs, looks around innocently. What?* That would be a ... no in Silent Sam's box.

Victim #3: Potential Stalker

Sweet. Well, first I heard all about his family. Uh. Yeah. Okay. And how he's traveled the world. Uh. Yeah. Okay. Then I heard about how he looooves England (what are you doing in Canada, dude?) and it's his favorite place on the earth. I heard about how he's an engineer. I heard about this. I heard about that. Then...I learned he lives in the same condo complex as me. Sweet. "We'll hit it off," he said. "We should meet up again."

Me: quietly freaking the hell out. "Uh. Yeah." Hunches over her input card NO!!!! with the note of MOVE in my own notes.

Victim #4: Cutie Patootie

Seriously. I could have just gobbled him up. The 8 minutes flew (curses) and wow...same interests. Yes.

Victim #5: Too Cool For School

Kill. Me. Now. The man did not stop to breath. At all. And if I heard "Makes a note of that" one more time I was going to kill him Riddick style: my cup in his chest. I heard about this new fad diet he's on. Oh he jumps out of planes for fun. Oh yeah, you are so cool. NO.

Victim #6: The Actor

There must always be an actor, right? Well...he made me laugh. Sarcastic. And then the killer: "Yeah, I just got a $5,000 raise which puts me over the $100,000 mark." Me: blink, blink, blink. (Note: not in acting). "Uh. Yeah." NO. Sorry, honey, but you killed it right there. Oy.

Victim #7: The forgotten one.

Who? What? As soon as he left the table everything he said...vanished. Gone. Poof. Who? What was your name? What did you just say? NO

Victim #8: The Charmer

Okay. British Charm rocks. That's all I gotta say. Mr. Charming slipped onto the couch, without falling I might add, "Looks like I saved the best for last." Jenna's eyebrows climb up. Niiiice line. Mentally scribbles "Dude...you're how old?" in her head starting to scratch him out. Only...not really. Funny guy. Entertaining. A little older than I want but whatever. Said yes. Enh. Screw it.

The food they promised was crap. Yes, I told the restaurant manager that, look at Jenna go!."Greasy wings and ribs...no. They were just too..." "Greasy?" I nodded. He sighed. "It's hard to find non-greasy appetizers." Yeah. No kidding but, dude, try. The break was the funnest part. Well, and afterwards. Because then you could mingle. Girls AND boys. At the end I hadn't laughed like that it in awhile. Some still hadn't filled out their cards and man alive the competition came out then. Cutie Patootie fetched food. Offered to feed the Actor the scallops that he was allergic to thereby ridding himself of the competition. I have a feeling Cutie Patootie got 8 yeses on his dance card.

Did Jenna? Enh. Whatever. I think Potential Stalker did. Sweet. And Silent Sam. Sweet. But not one guy didn't leave my table without laughing at least once. Who had more fun than my table? Hah! No one. No one!!

In truth the evening was an eye opener for me...I stepped outside my comfort zone. Hell, I met 8 nice guys (stalker/bragging/shyness aside), had free drinks and had a good time. On my own. No wing women at my side. Just me. The nerves vanished after Silent Sam because at least I wasn't that shy. Plus the break helped me relax where everyone jokes around on food and booze and we curvy girls made fun of the twiglike bartender. It's all good.

And if nothing else I discovered that (a) I can carry on a conversation with an utter stranger (did you see that Babe? I'm soooo ready. Bring it) (b) my comfort zone is what I make it - I referred to my booth as my kingdom and by the end of the night it was. Princess Flirty Jenna if you please (c) I'll go again (d) I'm not as shy as I think I am and (e) I'm not so freakin' scared about my set-up next week. Actually I'm really looking forward to it now where as I was freaking out before. I'll still be nervous, still the shy girl but come on...if I can handle 8...I can handle one sexy, slightly naughty fireman...right? Right? Right?!?

Jenna;)

31 Comments:

Blogger Dakota Cassidy said...

LOLLOLLOLLOL--Oh, that's priceless. I was just at the stage where I was going to give that 8 minute thing a shot when R and I took our friendship to a new level. In fact, we were going to go together...

I did online dating too and had a BLAST--I had the social life of Paris Hilton, I swear. LOL. It's also where I met my honey :)

You keep getting out and having fun--that's all that matters :)

Dakota :)

3:38 AM  
Blogger Faltenin said...

So proud of my little sweetie!

And it was funny, too :o)

One of them sounded like me! ;o)

Let's just hope for you that they don't do EVERTYTHING in less than a few minutes...

6:00 AM  
Blogger T.A.Chase said...

Jenna, love...I'm proud of you. Getting out of your comfort zone and discovering you're a goddess is a fantastic night. :)

You'll knock that fireman off his feet next week (and I don't mean tripping on him either.)

8:12 AM  
Blogger Jenna Howard said...

You and R are so cute to read about Dakota. Hee-hee. And at least I discovered there are single guys in Calgary. I thought it was a myth. Only...I was one of the few who wasn't in the Oil & Gas industry.

Fal, my little shnookums, which number would that be? (licks her pencil and hunches over her notebook for the answer) Me I'm going with 4 or 8 (leaning more towards 8). I didn't ask you question. Shoot! I knew I forgot something.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Jenna Howard said...

T.A....you crack me up! Oh yeah, he should brace himself for next week, shouldn't he. Do you think we should warn him?

Pshaw...naaaah.

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Jenna, good for you in doing something new and possibly exciting. More power to you. Now just think of all that research you did for your books.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Sherrill Quinn said...

Nothing is ever as bad as our minds make it out to be. You did great, had a great time, and proved you're The Diva! And provided us with a very humorous recap. :)

10:09 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

~smiles~ sounds like a great time Jenna and two outta eight ain't bad.

Michelle

10:16 AM  
Blogger Bonnie Dee said...

Wow, I loved your story. Felt like I was right there. And I felt so proud of you at the end for overcoming your nerves and putting yourself out there. Brava!

Good luck in the dating scene. I love reading and watching romances and hearing about peoples' experiences, but am SO glad I don't have to deal with that anymore.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Jenna Howard said...

At 11 am I find out if my 2 choices put a yes for me. Ugh. Stress!! Where's that tequila? But it also reminds me of junior/senior high. "So? Does he like me? Does he? Go find out for me!"

And if nothing else, Nancy, I got blog material and that's what it's all about. Blog material.

That's 25%, Michelle, not to shabby. Yes...Jenna can do math. (I didn't even need the calculator!)

Bonnie, I truly wish I didn't have to deal with it either.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Dee said...

Jenna, what a fun blog. So glad you had a good time! But I truthfully have to say, better you than me. I've known/dated/been married to dh for all of my life, it seems. I've often said if he divorces me and I'm faced with dating again, I'll join a convent instead. And I'm only half kidding! It might put a strain on my writing, but hey! It might be better than having to date...

Can't wait to hear how many "yes" votes you got!

Dee

10:59 AM  
Blogger Jenna Howard said...

I shall be greatly bummed if I don't get one yes. Sigh.

11:19 AM  
Blogger T.A.Chase said...

Jenna...if he doesn't know that sidewalks seem to hate you, he doesn't deserve to be warned. Of course, since he is a fireman, he will be more than ready to catch you when you fall. ;) Tricky way to get into his arms.

11:58 AM  
Blogger T.A.Chase said...

If you don't get one yes vote, it just goes to show that Canadian men have no taste.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Jenna Howard said...

Sigh. T.A. you're so freakin' good for me. MWAH!

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Debbie E said...

Jenna, Congrats on getting out of that comfort zone. Yikes! It can be very scary until you empower yourself and then lookout! You're on a roll now.

Do you by any chance go out with Sasha White? She lives close and her night life is fun to read about as well. This was a great post and I have no doubt that Canadian men are smart enough to pick a gem like yourself.

I think you need to write a story about on-line dating and the 8 minute date or whatever you called it. I never heard of 8 minute dating.

You are as much fun to read as Sasha is and I tell her that I live a secret part of me through her. She's fun and witty and charming just like you are.

You'll find somebody and know it when you do. You know the saying "You have to kiss alot of toads to find your prince."

Debbie

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay Jenna! I'm glad that you stepped out of your comfort zone and lived to tell about it. Good for you! I'm happy that there were two possibles as well. I hope they both have the good sense to mark "yes" next to your name.

Good luck on your date with the fireman. Sending fun and sexy vibes your way!

Lauren

1:52 PM  
Blogger Paige Burns said...

I'm LMAO here! I can't wait for Sat!!! Then I can really see you in action!

2:24 PM  
Blogger Jenna Howard said...

Debbie, I haven't met Sasha. Oh I figure this will trickle into my writing at some point.

Yeah Lauren...sexy vibes!! (Send them to Arizona too, okay? Y'know because a double dose can't hurt...right? *she says with a naughty grin*)

One more week, Paige, and then it's invasion of the Canucks! Wooo, yeah!

3:00 PM  
Blogger Jenna Howard said...

Doh. Not one match! I mean...seriously. Come on! Bah. I'm going to go have some chocolate mint patties that are sitting upstairs in the work kitchen.

That's just...I mean...damn.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Sloane Taylor said...

Hi, Jenna,

Sorry to be so late to join the party. Woman, I have to tell you, this is the best blog you've done.

Congratulations on your success of discovering YOUR confort zone and I can't wait to hear about the fireman. WOOHOO!!

4:48 PM  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

Jenna, woo-hoo. Sounds like your speed dating experience was fun. Nothing ventured, nothing gained eh?

(I am so brain dead today I had to try the WV 3 times!)

4:58 PM  
Blogger Jenna Howard said...

*curtsies to Sloane*

At least I went out there, Kyahgirl. Oy.

And yep...ready for the fireman. Bring it.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Sasha White said...

Jenna! You're in Calgary!! I'm in Edmonton....hmmm I must look to see if they have this speed dating here. The online thing certainly hasn't been that successful for me! I loved your roundup...you made it sounds like a blast!!

Debbie! I'll make sure that secret Part of you has a good summer this year. ;)

Jenna...I'll b e in Calgary on April 22 for a freinds book launch party...she's a blast to hang put with...maybe you should come out with us!?

5:12 PM  
Blogger Jenna Howard said...

Dang. I'm in Phoenix next weekend.

Well...I'm not too bummed I mean...it's freakin' Arizona! I've heard, it's a rumor though, that they have sunshine. Oooooh.

5:27 PM  
Blogger * wallflower * said...

lol Jenna! and WTG. I met my DH at work -- maybe you should think about changing jobs... ? No stress involved there. lol

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Debbie E said...

Jenna,

No worries! Something great is going to happen soon when you least expect it.

You have to meet Sasha - trust me on this one - you will LOVE her. She is a part time bartender and hopefully soon full time HOT author. You would have a ball with her. She has travelled the world but has many funny stories from her work as well. I love reading her blog about her dating life. Poor Sasha - really I'm not poking fun - just supportive.

And Vivi is crazy! She is in Calgary as well. Another Hot Tamale Author. You ladies can have a real Diva of a time together.

And then you have to give us all the details so I can live my naughty life through you. Great idea??

By the way I'm a really addicted to great books Canadian fan that lives about 1 hour east of Toronto. So get writing ladies!!

Check out Sasha's print books coming up! And Vivi has Hell Kat & Sexy Beast in print! OMG! They are awesome.....

OK Jenna - now I'll have radar on you as well. What do you think of that?? Scary??

6:48 PM  
Anonymous shannon said...

ROFLMAO, Jenna you are too funny!

I'm almost envious :)You make city living sound like fun.

I couldn't find 8 single guys without dipping into the familial gene pool(well maybe if we don't count second cousins)Ugh. Also couldn't find 8 guys, single or otherwise that weren't wearing hunter orange or plaid.

Jeezus, maybe I should move?

7:06 PM  
Blogger Jenna Howard said...

Mmm...hunter orange. hee-hee. Shannon, you crack me up.

I got a little scared there, Debbie. A little shiver of terror danced down my spine but then I shrugged it off because I'm tough. I can take it.

Man, I love SExing it up.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Debbie E said...

Jenna,

I'm off to your site because the only book I have of yours is the Zodiac one in my TBR pile.

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Debbie E said...

Jenna,

I also have Winter Thaw - just didn't have it next to your name since there are lots of authors on that one.

Moving them up in the pile to read.

And I see you have many more to come, great!

10:58 PM  

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