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Dating is like shopping for a bathing suit, most of the time it makes you want to scream in frustration, but once in a while you find something that complements your ass.

“Have you been married?” Mr. Clean (let’s just call him that) asked me.

“No, I haven’t ever been married.” I replied with as neutral of a tone as possible.

“Have you ever been close? Engaged even?” He asked, with amazement in his tone.

What could I do but give an awkward smile as I said “Um, no, not really. No, I haven’t.”

First dates can always be awkward, personally I have to work very hard to employ a filter (something I don’t really have, except in type, because that is called editing) because I am usually thinking something along the lines of “So we’ve been dating for 30 minutes, is it too soon to explain my theory of evolution and how it involves aliens dropping off their stupid people on our planet?” (I would like to clarify that this was a “theory” I came up with during high school biology because my teacher was coming to class every day wearing white pants, red briefs and showing us videos of his dogs having sex as part of reproductive biology. It was really just a defense mechanism that I employed for the good of my and my lab partner’s sanity.)
Because I work so hard to not say what is on my mind the moment it occurs to me, it does come as a great surprise when I find someone else that doesn’t have a filter. (Okay perhaps I should clarify again, it comes as a surprise when I misjudge someone so much so that I end up on a date with them. Obviously the guy drinking out of a paper bag that has told me he saw on my resume that I would bleepity bleep him in the bleep with a bleep bleep and bleep it bleep, doesn’t have a filter. Or teeth.) Sitting across from Mr. Clean and basically being asked “What’s wrong with you?” during a first date, was not complimenting my ass.

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“Sumimasen wakarimasen.” I say this to my Obaasan (grandmother) a lot, it means “Sorry, I don’t understand.” She doesn’t speak English, and I don’t really speak Japanese. However when traveling around Europe I am pretty good at pretending that I do speak Japanese for the ubiquitous English-speaking pan-handlers that expect me to react with sympathy to their fictitious stories of woe. This is wonderful acting practice, not that I am an actress, but being able to school my features into blank ignorance works wonders in the working world, and when I actually do understand my Obaasan and choose to ignore her.

I am not a horrible granddaughter, I am just an unmarried one.

My favorite questions to ignore are along the lines of: “do you have a boyfriend,” “when are you going to get married” or “when are you going to have a baby?” I understand all of these questions in Japanese, because I’ve been hearing them since I was 19. Yes, 19. My grandparents were rooting for great-grandchildren when I was still in my teens, which is an age that time and maturity have led me to conclude I was a complete idiot.

Unfortunately I think I blew my cover of ignorance when I answered one of her marital status/baby questions in Japanese with “I have a dog.”  This made her laugh, and I don’t know if she saw this as a diversionary tactic, or if she actually views husbands and children as dogs. This is when I wish I was fluent in Japanese.

We’ve all dreaded it; a foreboding creature eyeing the seat next to us. I’ve found the most ominous ones are usually clothed in some sort of vibrant pattern that says “I have no natural predators.”
I have found that these vibrant patterns are an indicator that not only will the seat next to me be taken, but my leg will be a landing crash pad in the seating process. My lap will then become host to a plethora of re-usable Steve Madden shopping bags filled with files, magazines, spare shoes and a perhaps a feather boa. Although the boa may be a packed lunch, considering these particular seat partners have no predators I assume they are at the top of the food chain.

I have come to the realization that my most endearing dating quality is the ownership of an original Nintendo Entertainment System, which I have kept in working order. My second most endearing quality to the opposite sex is that I still remember the Konami cheat code for the game Contra. Really, I don’t understand why this quality is so awesome, because there is this thing called the internet, and this company called “Google” that finds the answers to really asinine questions. For example, I just checked the spelling of ‘asinine’ on Google. See how this works?

I’ve noticed that I can go through the motions of making a fantastic meal, clearing my home of dog fur (this is by all admissions an attempt and never successful), and even try to make myself purdy, but once there is an 8-Bit graphic on the screen and a controller in hand I might as well be feeding him Pupperoni dog treats, while of course telling him they are Slim Jims.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about this in the least, it ensures that I don’t actually have to go to a lot of trouble to be an awesome date.

I work in an office in which I am 5-10 years older than most of my peers. Not to say I am an old lady,  I would just say we are progressive enough to have recent college graduates or people who are still figuring out how to buy beer without getting caught.

Not too long ago we had a marketing project in the office which required everyone to log into Twitter and tweet about a particular event.  Not everyone in the office had a Twitter account (and I’m the old one?) and there was some signing up, and then general inquiries were being thrown about. One of the new twits asked “How do I get more followers?” To which I replied “Well, first you get some Kool-Aid.”

The room fell silent because no one knew what this meant. Well, now I feel old, maybe I should go get a shawl and douse myself in Chanel No. 5.

I work in the Loop on State Street in Chicago; that great street, as crooned by Frank Sinatra. It doesn’t have the same shopping prowess that it had back in his day. Today it is lined with discount stores and the types of for-profit educational institutions that provide their students with an associates degree in BS, no I don’t mean a Bachelor’s of Science.

Every day’s commute involves dodging someone. Usually it is the “Old Navy Preacher Man,” a rather exuberant man with a microphone and speaker who has a very long list of sins which will ensure that he is the only person in heaven.  The other prime suspects for sidewalk aversion will be the ubiquitous not-for-profit (Greenpeace, Children’s International, etc) workers. Considering it is the same people representing a different cause on any given day I don’t really know how much of the funds they are raising actually get back to the organizations they are purporting to represent.

Today was the second day of the NATO summit held in Chicago. There are peaceful protesters all around the city; people here because they want a chance to have their voices heard regarding a cause or issue about which they feel passionately.  I believe that most of the protesters here fall into this category. People who can speak eloquently and understand the teaching of Dr. Martin Luther King. Then sprinkled in with the majority are the minority of idiots, the people that want to be headlines. The people that are here to protest for the sake of protest.

Around 2pm today the constraints of my desk were getting to me so I ventured out into the protester infested city and as I was crossing State Street I saw a guy that had a sweatshirt that proclaimed him to be an anarchist. It also had some colorful language that might just irritate the police, if they weren’t in a global spotlight and warned to be on their best behavior, that is. However, what I really noticed was that this guy looked like a short MacGyver. Now I’m not one for profiling people, but given his MacGyver resemblance, I thought that perhaps he had: a sock, duct tape, gasoline, a paper clip and some orange juice and was walking around with napalm.  I couldn’t help but finish my errand with a smile on my face, come on, how often do you see MacGyver?

I did think it was funny that right after I saw Anarchist MacGyver I was accosted by the Aveda Hair Salon guy trying to ask me a question (aka sell me a package “deal” to his salon) about my hair. No, dude, I don’t want to talk to you! Didn’t you just see short Anarchist MacGyver? He probably has a napalm IED. Didn’t you learn to duck and cover as a child? Oh perhaps you didn’t, since you don’t seem to respond to the diversionary tactics that people employ against you every day.