#NerdsUnite: Did I just go on a date with @JenFriel? Wait, I’m confused. (One date. Two very different sides.)
HAHAHA omg omg ommmmmmmgggg nerderinos, looky looky this email I got the other day ...
Wait, someone wants to write about a date with me?? This is AH-MAZING!! I've been wanting the dudes side of things (but again, from an organic perspective on how I can better myself, not the - OMG OMG OMG she's such a bitch because she didn't call me back ... blah blah blah), but I don't know how to ask for that with the dude being able to stay objective.
This was PERFECT!!! But I can't lie, I was TERRIFIED ... mostly because I didn't realize it was a date ... wait I'm getting ahead of myself here - but no matter what I promised myself good or bad, I would publish anything he wrote ... and here you go ... one "date" told two different ways.
His side: I initially met Jen online but I’m not exactly sure where. I think it was Twitter. We exchanged a few messages and seemed to share similar interests. I ran a Web development company for years and currently run a Website for car guys, so we seemed to have a lot in common. You know, building businesses, online marketing and stuff like that (not cars, obviously). I thought it might be fun to meet up in person and see how things would go.
I knew a little about Jen from our message exchange but I didn’t want to go into this with preconceived notions, so I limited my research to basic stuff. It’s always more fun to learn about someone in person anyway.
My side: I remember, we met on twitter. One day, I got a tweet from this dude (with no avatar, just a logo for a pic) asking to meet me for a beer. I had been part of the Ford Fiesta Movement, so being a car enthusiast himself, he said that we had this bond ... whatever. If anyone ANYYYWHHHEEERRREEE tweets me and asks to meet - I make time. If your friggen eyeballs hit this site, I very very very genuinely want to thank you. He's in LA, I'm in LA ... I have to come up for air every once in a while - so fine, happy hour. I'll take an hour out of my day and make this work.
MMMM COLD BEER!!!!
I agreed to meet him on twitter. Had no idea what he looked like, arranged to meet on my home turf (Barneys Beanery in WeHo) - I totes know the bartenders and bouncers, so no matter what - it's always pretty kosher.
His side: I was working in the Valley that day, not far from where Jen was, so I asked if we could grab an early evening drink. We met up at her favorite, local watering hole. Our conversation kicked off right away, which I like. We chatted about exciting new projects we both were working on, essentially to establish if we really had similar interests or not. The back and forth was witty and fun, but certainly had a bit of ‘who’s dick is better’ vibe to it. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I loved the banter and confidence of the whole experience.
My side: I get there, and immediately realize I have NO idea what this guy looks like. Fortunately, I'm usually rocking a spirithood of some sort - so I'm pretty sure I tweeted him something along the lines of "look for the weird looking animal in the bar." It's AH-MAZING, and people will immediately approach.
After 30 seconds of standing inside the bar, he approaches - hi, Jen?
Yep! I said.
We then grab a table, and order beers.
Great to meet you, I say. Thanks so so much for reaching out - really appreciate it.
I think it's cool what you're doing, he said. He then tells me about his background in the web space. Seems to know his shit, I thought. My brain immediately jumps into opportunity mode wondering if there was some way we could work together. I inquire more about what he does, and his experience ... this goes on for at least 15 minutes.
His side: The conversation was going well, but I was still trying to figure out what we were really doing. Was this a business meeting? A date? Or maybe Jen was just going through the motions of meeting new people, which she does so well.
My side: He then starts making eyes at me. I immediately keep looking away. I play in boys clubs all day everyday - I'm a female in tech!!! I was used to it working in sales for a year and a half for Verizon - guys will ALLWWWAAAYYYYSSSSS try to at least make a move on me in some capacity, it's my job to not give them that idea and keep it kosher. It's not a matter of "will" they hit on me, its WHEN they hit on me - this is what to do.
I then take out my phone, and answer a few texts that were coming in to show that while I am appreciative of him reading the site, if it makes sense to work together somewhere down the road - rad, but this is not a date.
His side: Despite my best efforts to be interesting, accommodating and up beat, I just couldn’t get Jen’s attention. It wasn’t until about 30 minutes into our conversation that she finally makes eye contact with me. I smiled and held my ground (as I’m sure Jen would advise any guy on a date). Strike one. She went from looking at me, to texting on her phone. Shit!
At this point, I’m starting realize this is not a date and she’s not interested in me. So, now I need to decide – do I keep trying to impress or just forget it and enjoy the evening. I’m all for a great conversation over a couple of beers. Not all dates are perfect, so I’m totally fine with it. But here’s my problem. I kind of like her. My conscience is telling me to just relax, have fun and get my buzz on. My ego is telling me, you can do this…
Don’t get me wrong. I’m having fun. I enjoy talking with Jen. She has such a passion for what she does. I love a smart, confident woman. However, I notice she’s looking around the room and not at me, so I need to scramble and mix it up. I blurt out, “Hey want to go see some comedy?” She pauses for a second and then agrees to go. Great, I thought! Maybe I was wrong and she is interested… but then she hits me. “How long is the show, because I have work tonight and don’t want to be out late.” Ouch, strike two.
My side: I was actually very very very genuinely attracted to him, but I went into this entire scenario cold. I run a site, I run a brand, I run a fucking business - I am very. very. very. on point. A date is a date, to get one you hit me up on OKC, or IRL (in real life) - you make it clear this is what you're going in for. I now realize this guy thinks this is a date, when I said yes without knowing anything about this dude, or what he even looked like. TIME IS MONEY!!! I do not do not do not meet people for dating purposes unless I am attracted to them, and compatible in some capacity. I very very very honestly thought this dude was just a fan of the site, and maybe wanted to do some business - now I am in the awkward position of me realizing he thinks this is a date.
He then offers to go to a comedy show. He explained to me that he is co-host of this podcast with Adam Carolla, and that there was a show in an hour if I wanted to go. (Adam hosts multiple shows, and even has an entire podcast network. This clearly wasn't the show he co-hosted, but yah! another one that was pretty rad.)
What is my mantra in life?? YES. TO. EVERYTHING. ALWAYS!!
I checked my schedule - I very honestly had to be back before 11 to get some work done, he assured me he would have me back in time - rad, I said, let's go.
We then close out the tab (to which he pays), and I get in his car to go to the valley and watch the podcast taping.
His side: Ok, no problem. I have one last chance. I knew that Adam Carolla was doing his podcast show live from a nearby comedy club, so we hop in the car and cruise on over. Adam’s show is always funny and the venue is casual, so this is my chance to share a few laughs with Jen. I thought we had a great time and I think Jen thought the show was better than she expected, which I suppose is a bonus for me.
My side: We get to the show, grab our seats and some more beers. It was really rad, man! I totally enjoyed myself!!! Halfway through the show though he looks over and asks, we can go if you're not enjoying this.
Shocked, I look back at him - dude, I'm very very very genuinely enjoying this.
I was also surprised that he would even ask me that. Maybe it was because I was so focused on Adam and his guests and not laughing back with him? Again though, he caught me in business mode. Once a chick (especially one that is used to playing in boys clubs) is in that mode it is NEXT. TO. IMPOSSIBLE. to break it; I'm in that headspace, man - deal.
His side: After the show I thought I should take Jen home – after all, she did say she has work to do. This was my last chance to gauge how the night went. Maybe she’ll ask me in for a drink. Maybe she’ll at least suggest a place a park and let me walk her to her door. A hug goodbye could give me just a glimpse or hope…
As we roll up to her apartment complex, she points to the driveway (where you clearly can’t park) and says, “This is me,” then immediately thanks me for a fun night and hops out of the car. Damn, strike three.
The show ends, and he then drives me home (something I very very VEEERRRRYYYYYY rarely let anyone do). Dudes, I went out on 103 FIRST dates in 9 months. Outside of the dude that I met in Culver City and woke up next to in Santa Barbara, I very very very rarely everrrrrrrr let anyone on a first date take me home. It's not my scene. My home is my home. I'm protective of my home, friends, and family. Dudes, I'm a fucking lionness. Do. Not. Fuck. With. My. House. Did you not read about the stalker story? When I was 16 I pulled a knife on two motherfuckers that tried breaking into my family's condo. I'm bat shit ... and it's rad, because I own that. But I never. ever. EEVVEEEERRRR bring people home. Even dudes I date - INCREDIBLY rare that I let them spend the night, and if I let them - that usually means something. Just not my scene, man. I share my world with ... the world. I need to retain some spaces for just me.
My home is my place for just me ... but this dude seems sane enough, whatevs - he can drop me off.
I then ask him to pull over. He gives me this look like he wants a kiss, I instead avoid the awkward kiss with a confident hug. I was totally in work mode. Was I attracted to the dude? Certainly. But also slightly disgruntled for being brought into something on false pretenses. How could he think I'd want to go out on a date with him without even having a facial picture for his avatar?? Who does that?!?!
Total lamesauce, and also - I don't know in general if I would date someone that would have a logo as their avatar. Why not their face? Is their company more important? I am this brand til the COWS come home, but all of my defaults are my own ... me ... just Jen. Does he have an identity outside of his work? Just not my style.
His side: The hardest part of my date with Jen is that I had a great time. I absolutely love meeting interesting people. We’ve all been on good dates and bad dates. The problem was that this was both. It was a great date that just ended badly (for me). Sure, I totally failed in getting her attention, but we have a lot in common, we had a great conversation (so I thought), and saw a funny comedy show. If she’d say yes, I’d do it all over again!
My side: I had an AH-MAZING night, don't get me wrong - really great conversation, really really really rad dude, super cute - but there was this massive pink elephant in the car, and very honestly I just wanted to bounce and get back to work. I was just a bit disenchanted by the entire experience to be honest with you. I'm a chick that runs a website - dudes in tech will hit on me allll dayyyy evveerrryyyyy daaayyyy. All chicks in the tech space get that, but this experience taught me the importance of boundaries in that regard. Had this guy asked me out on OKC, I very honestly prolly would have said yes. He was cute, smart, we shared common interest ... but I was brought in under false pretences. He asked to kick it on twitter, which is how fans of the site ask me to kick it - I just assumed that was what I was in for, a quick drink and me thanking them for reading - this turned into a whole ordeal, and while I wasn't entirely mad at that, just a bit bitter about being caught off guard.
Note to nerds: Ask chicks out on OKC. If you are going to use Twitter of Facebook, make sure your intentions are clear. Ask a girl out to dinner, not just drinks. And also make sure you have a picture of YOU as your default, not a logo. No one wants to go out on a date with a logo, accidental or otherwise.