Don’t touch me like that.

A good handshake is important in politics, business and speed dating. When you’ve only got a couple of minutes to make an impression on someone, it’s best not to start by offering her your limp, sweaty fingers. I know you’re nervous. I, too, sweat like a pig when nervous, but that’s what the leg of your pants is for! (That, and keeping you from getting kicked out of the bar. And getting your sweaty legs stuck to the chair. Ok, maybe it serves a lot of purposes.)

As for the mechanics of the handshake, that shouldn’t be too hard to master with a little practice. Yet, I’ve encountered grown speed dating men who shake with a more delicate little finger clasp than a 14-year-old girl who’s just lost a high school tennis match. I might have higher standards than the average woman, due to both my own handshaking skill (seriously, I’ve been complimented on it) and my long-ago encounter with Sexy Handshake Guy.

You may never have thought of the sensual potential of the handshake, but this guy (the boyfriend of a friend of a friend) had found a way to maximize it. My knees get a little weak just remembering. It wasn’t only my thing, either. My friend revealed similar feelings about his greeting when we discussed it later. We also tried practicing it on each other (yup, dream about that, boys: two hot college co-eds shaking each other’s hands over and over again) to see if we could become Sexy Handshakers, but we didn’t have much luck. It’s tricky to get just the right mix of friendly firmness and almost imperceptible finger fondling.

So, speed daters, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to give me the best handshake of my life (sadly, I met him only once), but with a quick wipe and a firm grip, you could at least assure that you’re not the worst.


It’s a zoo out there.

Given that we’re all there for the same purpose, I find it surprising how often guys defensively offer their reasons for speed dating. I would never be so tacky as to ask, but I’m often told how tired they are of the bar pickup scene. Some of them, however, don’t seem to have updated their game to account for the fact that it’s not 2 a.m. and we’re not drunk.

“We” would include my two friends who recently joined me at a speed dating event. It’s great to have company while speed dating; the only potential issue is that you could both like the same guy. Being responsible adults, we agreed beforehand to a solution if that happened– a catfight.

Anyway, my two friends did match with the same guy, but were OK with both dating him a little before scheduling the fight (and yes, of course, I would have posted pictures for you, dear reader). The three of us recently caught up on the situation by email. Friend #1 reported:

>Did you ever hang out with him?  He texted me a few weeks ago but I said I was busy.  He then texted me that he wanted to meet up so he could pleasure me.

Then Friend #2 replied:

>That’s hilarious! He did basically the same thing to me.

Except that in her case, he got a bit more graphic. Since this is a family blog (in the sense that my whole family is reading it), I won’t repeat his exact text, but it may have involved a synonym for cat. As Friend #2 put it, “classy, huh?”

There wasn’t going to be any clawing each other over this dog.

Don’t say that #64

There’s a dating double-standard that I think needs to be addressed. Single women are well-aware of the fact that cats, although terribly lovable, aren’t sexy. We generally avoid telling our dates about our furry little friends early on because we’d just as soon not be stigmatized as a cat lady. Cat gentlemen, on the other hand, seem to have no such concern. Two recent examples that have deterred me from wanting to hop into guys’ (probably fur-covered) beds:

An online dater whose photo shows him giggling while two cats climb on him, one of them nibbling his ear, with the caption “Playing with my kittens (they’re grown up now).” He’s now known to my friends as Na-na-na-Catman, a name which shares Batman’s tune, but not his cool.

A speed dater described his TV-watching habits, “I don’t really watch the Food Network but I turn it on every morning when I go to work so my cats can watch it. They like looking at food.” As I explained to him, that’s not only weird, but also deluded. It’s just mean to torment your pets with images of food they can’t eat!

Dating from A to Z

It seems that unmemorability runs in my family. Little Dating Brother recently attended a convention. He ran into a girl who he had met at the same convention several years ago and made out with on a subway. (I know, people don’t hook up on public transportation at the conventions I go to, either, but this was a gathering of young socialists. Apparently they swap spit instead of business cards.) The girl didn’t recognize LDB, so he played along and said it was nice to meet her, too.

Turns out the girl’s 2009 convention connection was with one of LDB’s best friends. After they’d hooked up and the convention was wrapping up, the girl told LDB how nice it was to meet him this week. LDB’s buddy, who hadn’t been around when they first re-met, said, “No, you’ve met before. You made out on a subway!”

“Oh my gosh,” the girl said. “You are Subway Guy.” Not remembering LDB’s actual name, she had given him a suitable title. I can sympathize. Even before I had the excuse of a blog to make up stupid names for my dates, I christened one hook-up as “Trolley Boy.” (Not what you’re thinking–he actually drove the trolley.)

So now that she had learned LDB’s name, she could stop thinking of him as Subway Guy, right? Turns out not. Like notches on a bedpost, this girl was trying to collect an entire alphabet of kissing conquests, and she wasn’t about to give up her completed S. She generously offered to add LDB’s real name in parentheses, though.

I think there’s a lesson in this for single, socialist guys: start practicing your xylophones.