Life: June 2010 Archives

Learn To Lie

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Random weekend.

Let's just dive right in there and tell the tale of drama, intrigue and everything else.

Thursday night, the start of my three day weekend, i'm walking Rocco. I pass by Mulligan's bar, and two girls are outside the bar. I recognize them, Kira & Sarah they are bar regulars, who I often chat with, but don't "hang out with".

They stopped me...or better said, they stopped Rocco. Lots of petting for him and kisses and excitement from Rocco. The one girl, Kira, says "It's my birthday weekend! I'm turning 33. We are headed to the Zeppelin Beer Garden. There's going to be a bunch of people from here. Why don't you come along? It's Saturday at 4."

Why not?

Saturday rolls around and I head over to the Zeppelin. I don't know a soul going to the party, except Kira and her friend Sarah. I get there, order a drink and see them in a group sitting at the picnic long tables out in the back of the bar. I sit down, and start chatting with Kira & her friends. It was a good scene, everyone were "my kind of people" (which are the non-pretentious down-to-earth types).

Perfect example were two guys name Steve and Issac. Both are graphic artists, and they like street art. We talk about Banksy, Warhol and Basquiat. Issac has a skateboard and we talk about skateboarding, and my long-ago days where I was a teenage skate rat. It was beer fueled, but inspired chatting about those subjects that was a fun time to just...talk.

I meet other friends of Kira and the day turns into night. One of them is named Emma. Emma was a very gregarious, outgoing personality with a fun sense of humor. She was about 5'8, brown hair, hazel eyes and weighed about 235 pounds.

The reason why I mention her weight will be clear later.

Emma sits down next to me at about 8pm. We get to talking and she's funny. Clearly has a sense of humor, and who doesn't like that. While we are talking she says "So I heard you are single."

I didn't tell Emma this, but I know that Kira knows I am single. So Emma must have found out from Kira. No big deal.

I tell her that i'm single, and she's shocked by it. I thank her, and try to defray the issue. She continues on, saying how she's single and we should date each other.

I'm trying my best to just downplay that. Saying that's very nice of her, and i'm flattered, etc.

She continues on, saying how cute I am and then is more persistent. Finally she says, "Straight up - tell me the TRUTH, why wouldn't you date me?"

OK everyone. I have been writing this blog for a while and if by now you don't realize this about me, here's a little tidbit. I tell the truth. Far, far, far too often I tell the truth especially when it wasn't asked for. No, I don't go running up to random strangers to insult them or go out of my way to really make my friends feel bad by the wrongly placed comment. But my mouth always gets me into trouble because i'm terrible at lying. Lying takes too much work. You have to think of a good lie and then you have to remember it days or weeks later. Nah, not for me, I will just tell the truth rather than lie.

So lets recap. We have Emma who is giving me the full court press. Up until this point we had been chatting for a good 25 minutes, one on one, and most of the conversation had been about why I should be dating her. She also told me about how she was on weight watchers and lost 35 pounds, too. So at one point of time, she was 265 pounds. I encouraged her and told her about how I often go to the gym and how I, too, have issues with diet and food.

OK. So back to the "Straight up - be honest, why wouldn't you date me?"

I reply back, "Straight up?"

She says, "Yep. Tell me why. I want you to be honest."

What do you do? Sure, in a perfect world I could have a perfect answer here that doesn't hurt anyone's feelings. But it was 8pm on Saturday after 4 hours of drinking. I have a girl who is clearly interested in me...but I'm not.

My goal wasn't to hurt her feelings, but she told me to be honest.

This is what I told her: "I think you have a a great personality, nice eyes, but for me, the weight would be an issue."

That was about as gentle as I could say it.

And, I will save my friends the emails about how you NEVER say ANYTHING to a girl about her weight. I fully recognize and understand how this is a big issue. It's not like she was 20 pounds overweight and i'm saying to her, "You are ENORMOUS!" This girl is clearly about 100 pounds overweight and knows i'm single - so what do you say? I could gently be like "Well, you just aren't my type..." and stay vague with that one. Yes, in many ways I feel somewhat bad about saying what I said, but she ASKED me.

I know that I should have handled the whole situation better. One of my greatest faults is that I very honest & I always speak my mind...and having a few extra beers in me didn't help this situation. My thought process really wasn't about being cruel, it was just she asked me for an honest opinion...and I was, well, honest. In retrospect, I should have just lied or deflected.

Her reaction to my comments were, well, unexpected.

She wasn't angry or ran away crying. She told me she knows she is overweight, and working on it. Even going so far as to tell me she should date her NOW while she's overweight to get the "best thing ever" when she is skinny again. I encouraged her to keep working at the weight & exercise goals - telling her that I, too, struggle with eating right and exercising four days a week.

We talked for another 20 minutes, and even after I told her I wasn't interested she STILL was hitting on me. I showed Emma streaming video from my iPhone which was connected to cameras in my apartment using VueZone. I saw that Rocco was up, and sitting in the middle of my family room. I looked at my watch and I have left him from 4pm to 8:45pm, so I knew that it might be a good thing to get back and walk him in the next hour. She suggested that WE go back to my apartment and walk Rocco.

Ahem.

Anyhow, I told Emma thanks but no thanks and said my goodbyes to her and others in the birthday party. I told Kira that if they leave the party at the beer Garden that I would see her at Mulligan's later. I left the bar and took a cab to Hoboken.

I get home, and take Rocco for a walk. Up to this point, I would say that I wasn't stone cold sober but wasn't raging drunk. I was in a good place and since it was only 9:30pm, I figure that I will have a few drinks.

I would normally walk Rocco home at this point, but I looked in Mulligan's and it was fairly dead. There were a few bar stools open, and I brought Rocco into the bar, even if he is underage. :)

Of course in 99% of other bars I wouldn't bring a dog into a bar. But I know all the bartenders and the owner, and they have told me multiple times that Rocco was always welcome in the bar. Up until this point I never really had Rocco in the bar for longer than 10 minutes. But screw it - he can hang with me at the bar.

Well, suffice to say, Rocco was a big hit. I sat at the entrance of the bar, and every girl or guy who likes dogs would walk in and immediately bend over to pet or play with Rocco. I sat there drinking, and made sure he didn't trip anyone up. While I am sitting there for about an hour, meeting various people I get a text message from Kira at 11:15pm:

"Did u say 2 my friend that u didn't wanna talk 2 her cause she's a bigger girl?"

Now I told you the story as I remember it. Emma and I easily talked for about 40 minutes at the Beer Garden. Now living in Hoboken one of the things that comes with living here and having multiple random friends is the key word: DRAMA.

DRAMA: Everything is exaggerated and misunderstood by outside observers.

Now Kira wasn't next to Emma or myself listening to our conversation. It appears that Emma said something to Kira about our conversation and that's the text message I get and boy...isn't that just drama 101.

One thing I have learned about Drama is that responding on text messages or email or chats are a bad idea. You lose so much when you try to defend your actions over those mediums and anytime this happens you have one goal: talk to the person who is offended in person.

So I reply back that I would rather talk to her about this rather than text about it.

The night goes on, and at about midnight at the bar, there's one really cute girl who is digging my dog. She's tall, blonde and pretty. Yes, yes, and yes. We chat a bit, and she's giving me good natured grief about bringing a dog into the bar - and i'm telling her how I never did it before. But then get on to the subject that "everything happens for a reason" and one thing leads to another...and we have a date this week. More on THAT for another day.

I still have to talk about Kira in person about what happened.

Learn from me, people. Learn to lie. It will save you much grief.

Thinking Of Getting Rid Of My Car

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One of the biggest things of being American is car ownership. People love their cars. It is an extension of themselves, in many ways. From the neo-hippies in their Prius, to the muscle-car guido in their Ford Mustang to the yuppie driving the Range Rover. Everyone loves the freedom and fun that their car brings them.

When I first moved up to Hoboken, I didn't have a car. Now, this was back in the mid-90's, and it was a bit of a pain in the ass to get back to Philly. I basically had two choices. One, I could take the train. Two, I could rent a car.

Taking a train then was the days before the Acela. It was usually around $125 round trip from 34th Street / Penn Station to Philadelphia's 30th Street Station, taking the Keystone or NE Regional train. I remember lots of nights waiting for the PATH at Newark Station and really hating not owning a car.

Then, I tried renting cars. At the time we had Hertz in town, up by 14th Street in Hoboken, and I would usually rent a car Saturday morning and want to return it on Sunday. The problem with renting a car, was that every car rental place is CLOSED on Sunday. I hated that. I know why they were closed Sunday and it wasn't because they want to keep the Lord's day sacred - they want to jab the consumers with having to rent their cars an extra day. It would steam me when I would get back to Hoboken by 6pm and then have to wake up before work, the next day, and drop the car back off at the rental place. Was a royal pain in the ass.

Then Zip Car came along. They have parking spots all over Hoboken. There's one parking garage two blocks from my apartment. With my Corporation X discount fee I only pay $25 a year membership to Zip Car, and then weekday hourly rates for a Mazda 3 from $11 or weekend hourly rates of $13 (BMW 328i as $15 weekdays or $17 weekends). With a Zip Car you just park it where you found it, without the hassle of going to the rental counter to check your car back in or paying for extra days. If I have a car for 26 hours, I pay the daily fee plus two extra hours of use, which would be $115 + 26, or $141 for the Mazda.

Sure, it isn't *my* car. But lets break down what I pay for my car a month.

First, I own my car. I bought it in 1999 for $7,000. I pay some maintenance costs over the years, like oil or new tires. The car A/C doesn't work anymore, which was a real pain last weekend when I drove my cousin and her fiancée to our family reunion.

Second, I pay $185 a month for my parking spot across the street from my building.

Third, I pay about $90 a month on insurance for my car & condo.

Fourth, each long drive costs me about $25 in gas.

So, what are we looking at? $300 a month, or $3600 a year just on that alone.

I could drive the Zip Car BMW for 20 days a year or the Mazda 3 31 days before I spent $3600.

I use my car maybe 4-5 times a year to travel outside of Hoboken. Then another 4-5 times a year I may use it if I want to go to the mall or watch a movie or something. My car gets to the point where the security and clock drain the battery down to empty and I have to carry out a battery jump charger to restart my car. Every year I spend about $100 and buy a new car battery from the auto center.

But there is that sense of "freedom" that I enjoy. Also, I would hate to be dependent upon the "Rental Gods" and hope that around the holidays that I get the car I want to drive vs everyone who uses Zip Car to rent the car on Thanksgiving or Christmas weekend. I know me - I know if I thought about a quick trip to the food store or Home Depot or seeing a movie I would "think" about that $11 weekday charge versus paying (in my mind) $0 for my car (when, technically I am paying $300 a month for the car).

Maybe it is time for me to seriously consider getting rid of my car.

Do you have Zip Car? How do YOU like it? Leave a comment below or email me!

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This page is a archive of entries in the Life category from June 2010.

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