hey pretty

Ceci n'est pas une "dating blog."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"So DC"/ "So Un-DC"

If you're a young woman in the market for a sugar daddy, I highly recommend hopping on over to Charlie Palmer's Steakhouse. I was there for the first time last night and discovered that the place was brimming with wealthy looking older men. If you're young and cute I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding one that meets your exact specifications.

This place is seriously one of the most "DC" places I have ever visited in my 8 years in this city. Everywhere I turned there was a man in a navy blue suit fingering a Blackberry. I counted many couples comprised of older men and attractive younger women. Everyone looked like that had just returned from some lobbying triumph or another. I think I was the only woman in the joint not wearing pearls, and definitely the only one in knee-high lace up boots who arrived with her date in a pickup truck. I like to rock the anachronisms as much as possible.

I was fortunate in many ways last night, not just because my date, a man I normally find arrogant and playerish, was reduced to an endearing jumble of nerves and stammers for the auspicious occasion of our first real date after a year of courtship. No, what clearly rocked about the situation was that my date was a regular at the establishment and because of that we were treated to some amazing, very attentive service. We scored an excellent booth, lovely service, and the right to leave our table at frequent intervals to go outside and smoke whenever we wanted. Oh, and the food was yummy. I can't vouch for the quality of the Kobe beef, which at 20 dollars an ounce is probably spectacular, but the petite filet was simply scrummy, as was the aoli that came with our frites.

I won't bore you with the specifics of the evening, but I will say that it was a good one. And that I might have originally misjudged the person I was with. As much as I hate dating, I do love the surprises that it can throw at you. Like when you're date informs you that he spends most weeknights at home reading (rather than banging strange women he meets in Cap Hill bars, which is what I had just assumed); or when you give him a goodnight kiss, he says that wants to take things slow (which I always want to do as well, but men never do). We were certainly the bizarro couple at Charlie Palmer's last night, and I was having one bizarro dating experience. But bizarro can be good.

In her blog today, Carrie M. wrote a piece about dating people who are "good on paper", and how "good on paper", ie: the people you think should be right for you, are often disappointing. Of course, long-time readers will recall that over the past year I've shared a few of my experiences with men who were "bad on paper" and how surprisingly good it can be. My date last night is horrible on paper. We have very little in common and my mom would be appalled should I ever want to take him home to meet her. I can't say that I am 100% into the idea of marriage, but I am into the idea of long-term partnership. I had always thought the person I'd choose for that would be a "good on paper" guy. Maybe he will be, but the more positive experiences I have with men who fall outside those (let's face it: arbitrary and close-minded) parameters, the less sure I am of them. Sometimes knowing what you want can be the most limiting thing of all.

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Anonymous b said...

I don't see what's wrong with long-term partnership without the legal ramifications that is so scary for some people. I want to get married, but for me, lifetime partnership has a nice ring to it.


meanwhile, I guess some would see this as a cop out? I don't think. So long as you're committed, who cares?

4:48 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Did you go on a date with Vernon Jordan?

5:40 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...


Having been married, I'd say it's pretty different from a lifetime partnership. But the main difference is probably in the breakup, rather than the relationship itself.

In a lifetime partnership that doesn't work out, you have to break with that person emotionally, socially, and financially. In a failed marriage, you have to break with that person emotionally, socially, financially...and legally.

The legal ramifications are enormous. You need the state's permission to no longer be a couple. This can take anything from a few weeks to a few years, depending on the state's tendency to intrude on private relationships. (I have a friend in Virginia who has been seeking a divorce for longer than he was actually married.) And this legal element gives your breakup a public dimension that's sort of weird. You failed yourself, your partner, AND your government. Whee!

I do still believe in marriage. I like the security of it, the tradition. But I can totally see why others don't want to go that route.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Carrie M said...

"Sometimes knowing what you want can be the most limiting thing of all."

Exactly. These days, I'm feeling like those guys who are bad on paper turn out to be good for *you* partly b/c you don't have the same set of expectations, you know?

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

today i am debating the relative wisdom of dating someone I. Would. Never. Date. but find distractingly intriguing. so i am trying to push past those things that i "know i want." who would have imagined that wanting something that you CAN have could be so difficult? -t

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just so everyone knows: NOT everyone in the D.C. area goes to places like this. NOT everyone has a Blackberry. Truth be told, they're a waste of time and money. NOT everyone gives a damn about steakhouses like this. And MOST couples do not fit this stereotype. In reality, the scene witnessed at Charlie Palmer's is a micro-world in a sprawling metropolitan area that includes about 3.5 million people, or more. Fortunately, most people don't really live in this world. So, in a way, it is NOT "D.C." to wear a blue suit, play with electronic toys and eat an over-priced steakhouse downtown. Really.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Hey Pretty said...

Whoah there anon, I was being facetious. That's what those darling quote marks around the DCs were all about. I couldn't agree with you more that Crackberries and suits are a stereotype of life in DC. I for one, don't even work in politics, I spend most of my time in dive bars and I wear mostly jeans to work. In describing that experience, I was hoping to convey a "fish out of water" sense of ambivalence towards the place. Clearly, I failed.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous etcetera said...

i think it's time for me to find someone "bad on paper."

the "good on paper" ones i find, are usally best left on paper.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Ah, the old dating dilemma! Bad idea=hot. The guiding philosophy of my early 20s, when I exclusively dated guys with tattoos who played at least one musical instrument.

What's funny is that some of these "bad boys" turned out to be really nice. So go for it!

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlie Palmer rocks...mostly because they are attentive to EVERYBODY. Primi Piatti (i street) is the same way. DC actually has some damn fine restaurants if you are willing to shell out the $$.

Oh, and he only said he wanted to go slow because he knew there was some 'upside' down the road. :-) It's a tried and true winning tactic -- backfiring only if they fall in love and you do not....

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bwahaha, "take it slow."
Well played, sir, well played.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Hey Pretty said...

such cynicism between you anons today! i do agree that "take it slow" reaks of caddishness. I probably sound like a dumb girl to you. But...if they're going to use such a transparent line, shouldn't they mean it? I mean, women are already hip to that fact that that's a line, so shouldn't men be back to using it sincerely? Or do you not realize that we know?

6:32 PM  
Blogger Hey Pretty said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Carrie M said...

to the anons RE being "DC"...being DC just is, whether or not you are or you're so DC. A place like Hey Pretty said, totally DC. Capitol Grille? So DC. I'm not any of those things either, but it doesn't make them less DC. That's the interesting thing about living in/around the city.

Just sayin'.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Damn, you hurt somebody's feelings.

That's like saying, most people are poor... so I have no curiosity whatsoever about the rich. Damn you, Knott's Landing!

HP, you give me great hope. All I have to do is earn more money and... age.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Beccy said...

Ah the dating thing. I'm long out of that and sometimes I wonder would it be fun to go back, truthfully, I'm still madly in love with my hubby and I'd be scared silly to go on a date, I've forgotten everything about dating. It was fun reading about your date though!

9:37 PM  
Blogger Melissavina said...

I wholeheartedly agree with your "bad on paper" philosophy. I am currently dating someone I never would have imagined I'd be with. We don't have tons in common, he's blue collar, I'm a college graduate. He's got kids, I never imagined I'd be with someone who did. He's scruffy, tattooed, and likes to swear. And it's working out perfectly.

Your date sounds really fun. I love to hear that men read. It makes them 10x more sexy in my book.

5:22 PM  

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