Tag Archives: romance

Wanted: Eligible Greek Bachelor with Large Extended Family in Astoria

imageTonight, I ate Greek food at a restaurant in Astoria and realized I have it all wrong. My dreams of being an actor, comedian and talk show host all crumbled into dust as I wolfed down lamb and potatoes and watched burly Greek men taking orders. I don’t want a life in the entertainment industry at all.

What I really want is to marry into an extended Greek family and help manage a neighborhood restaurant while raising a family of six boys and a goldfish.

Stavros and I would meet at the restaurant one day. I’d be biting into a flaky pastry dessert and he’d come over to ask how the food was and then our eyes would meet and we’d be married within the month.

We’d move into a building the family owned down the block from his parents house. After leaving the restaurant, Stavros and I would go by their house to say hi and end up spending an hour chatting with them on their front porch stoop, the neighbors joining in the conversation as they got back from work.

We’d have children and watch them grow up and play sports on the street and get involved in the local chapter of the Greek American Organization. They’d get boyfriends and girlfriends (except for Melina) and go to high school and get into college (except for Spiros and Lars – they would be taking over the restaurant) and as the years pass we would watch the neighborhood change and remark on it with his parents on the stoop of their front porch.

Business at the restaurant would wax and wane and the menu rarely change. We’d keep up with the regulars as great tragedies and joys happened in their lives and we’d go to countless weddings and funerals and get togethers and Greek Orthodox celebrations.

Stavros would have a hairy barrel chest and a strong nose. I’d look very not Greek but do my best to keep up with everyone, and on Sunday evenings when we didn’t have to work we’d walk down the main street in Astoria and say hi to our friends, enemies, nuisances, grandchildren, children and everyone in between.

It would be a different, less glamrous life, but it would be rich.

And that’s why I need to be careful about making big life decisions on a whim and too soon before or after a meal. Things can get carried away.

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Where to Find the Man You Think You’re Looking For

Looking for love

Looking for love

Being single is awesome. There’s nothing better than the astronaut-like freedom of living life solo.

That being said, it’s nice to be with someone too. Relationships are the meaty part of life, and it can get boring out there in space without someone to inconvenience you and add layers of complication and richness to your life.

I’ve done some traveling this summer and have seen men of all different stripes and beard sizes. If you’re bold enough to think you know what you want and go out there and get it, I’ve compiled a very incomplete list of the different kinds of men and where you can find them. So when you’re ready to tie yourself down, you know where to get the man you think you’re looking for. Just remember, you probably don’t know exactly what you want. Also, this list is not comprehensive.

Flannel-shirt wearing meat-eaters with loud voices and future possessors of a beer gut: Chicago, Black Mountain (NC), some neighborhoods in Boston, your hometown

Fashion-oriented, well-groomed men with a cultivated taste in books, music and food: New York City, San Francisco (some parts) (Warning: these kinds of men spend too much money)

Men that say they love you and then leave you for someone who is the complete opposite of you: Eastern seaboard

Men who wear camouflage and wolf t-shirts without a sense of irony and carry a rifle in their truck: Asheville, NC

Long-haired hippie types who find no value in bathing, automatically think dirty things are more authentic, and know the location of every coffee shop in a 2 mile radius: Allston/Brighton, Oakland, Brooklyn

Backwards baseball cap wearing men with poorly designed tattoos who would rather blow $60 at a sporting event on hotdogs than go to a museum: everywhere

Thin armed software engineers who are “working on their facial hair” and love puns way too much to be sane: San Francisco and New York City (much smaller population)

Cross fit fanatics that work 70 hour weeks wearing blue dress shirts and khakis and party pretty hard on the weekends: Everywhere, but especially NYC

Men who not only make you laugh but will also laugh at your jokes: anywhere except the financial district of any city. Also, avoid self-righteous places like specialty bookstores and some religious institutions

Gentlemen with wild beards, a penchant for soft leather, country music and drinking whiskey outdoors: Nashville

Gentlemen with wild beards, a penchant for vegan food, bluegrass music and drinking whiskey outdoors: Asheville

The tall, broad-shouldered, kind-hearted, dimple-faced, aw shucks attituded man of your dreams: Your dreams

Human man that you will actually fall for “when you least expect it:” the last place you look

So there you have it – now go out there and get it!

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Two Chicken Dinners and an All-Star Airplane Sleazebag

That’s my neighbor’s house. Don’t stare too much.

I take a brief intermission from the land of Sheba to proudly announce that I have made it through homeland security and am now in the United States of America. After over 24 hours of being in-transit, I and my half eaten box of McVities digestive biscuits arrived unharmed in the wonderful state of Oklahoma, where I was greeted by exactly half of my family who were unaware of the severity of my state of jetlag and country immersion shock.

This shock became quite apparent only 45 minutes later when I brought up, in the company of my bride-to-be sister, her fiancée, and a friend of his that I had just met, how I had been thinking about lingerie for sister and how it would be funny to buy a bra and panty set made entirely out of bacon.

All this talk about meaty panties made the crowd a little uncomfortable, especially because where I’m from we pretend males don’t know that we buy and wear underwear. The joke still got big laughs from me, however, and you can expect a meat lovers’ lingerie post to be coming up.

The travel from Egypt was fairly uneventful and I successfully slept open-gobbed on three different flights and one café table.

The flight from Amman (flew there from Cairo) to Chicago was about 12 hours long and I was looking forward to passing out because I hadn’t slept at all the night before. The plane wasn’t full and I had high hopes that I would have the two seats next to the window all for me.  I planned on curling up and traipsing through dreamland as soon as possible.

However, I and my sleepy dreams were in danger. One over-gelled man was planning to ruin everything.

I was looking out the window for a few minutes and when I looked back all of the sudden there was giant man sitting next to me. He had mild halitosis and clearly thought he was God’s gift to the entire airplane and to me in particular.

Almost all of the seats around us were empty, yet here he was, leaning his girth into my personal space and polluting my air with his foul breath. Why was he tormenting me, I thought. He introduced himself by saying he name was Toffee (or something similar) and that he planned on talking for the entire flight. I wanted to die.

From the outset, he made it clear that he was putting his moves on me, which included asking me to prove my Arabic skills by saying I love you, offering me some of his sleeping pills, verifying if the boyfriend I had in Cairo was just for fun or not, and inviting me to come to Northern California, with or without my bf (wink.) It was pretty pathetic.

After about five minutes of painful and unwanted conversation, I told him that it was a pleasure meeting him and that I was going to go to sleep. I turned my back towards him and after about three minutes he took off, having realized that this “sweet, good-looking girl” (his words, not mine) was not going to take his magic pills or waste any more breath talking to him. In the end, the flight was quite pleasant and I slept, watched 2 movies and 2 television shows, and ate chicken twice.

If you’re reading this, Toffee, thanks for the blog fodder. I look forward to avoiding eye contact with you very soon in San Francisco.

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Dating Tactics We Learned from Animals: The Spider

Two spiders are hanging in the corner of my ceiling right now. Yesterday, Tim was the only one. I have named the new spider Laptop, after my sister.

Tim and Laptop rarely move, yet the cobwebs never stop growing. Until I wake up one day and realize I’m dangling from the ceiling and that an army of spiders is about to turn my insides into goo and digest them, I will leave them to their spider ways and think about how their lifestyle is related to human dating.

Spiders are repulsively patient. To my knowledge, Tim only moved once in the past two months. A tiny bug had flown into his carefully yet poorly located trap and Tim was eagerly cocooning it in thread, rubbing his limbs together greedily and saying “oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy!” Except for that five minute movement-bender, he usually sits in the corner and does nothing except for think spider thoughts, which are too vile to record here.

Though I can’t say it’s a boring and meaningless life, I will say it’s not the life that I’ve chosen for myself. There are some, however, who follow the spider’s way when attempting to snare a potential mate, friend with benefits (e.g. baked goods), or mother.

The spider-mimicking-human, or SMH for short, expends only a minimal amount of effort when attempting to trap prey. Just like a real spider, the SMH is often truly interested in the prey, but he or she is simply unwilling to leave their wifi-outfitted cobweb corner. Instead, the SMH prefers to wait until the prey comes of its own accord.

For this reason, the spider method only works if the prey has sufficient reason, motivation, or desire to visit the SMH’s web more than once, sometimes as a result of mutual friends, free food, or cuddly pets. After the prey has visited a few times, and the SMH has “a special feeling,” it’s time to pounce. Without warning, the SMH completely wraps him in SMH silk, making his escape impossible.

The SMH then drags the prey to her room, where she will make him listen to songs that she likes on YouTube and discuss past relationships before she injects him with venom that turns his insides into goo and devours them noisily without using a utensil.

The spider method of dating is not pretty and usually ends in disappointment for both sides. On the one hand, the prey is eaten, and on the other, the SMH has a hollow corpse that must be eliminated. For these reasons, the spider method is not a recommended way to date someone.

It’s better to get their number and then do things together. Virtual relationships through gchat are also acceptable alternatives.

Join us next time on Dating Tactics We Learned from Animals for our discussion of cardinals and blue jays!

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Jasmine Yearns

In the movie Aladdin, Disney’s fantasy powerhouse translates a One Thousand and One Night’s story likely filled with licentious characters, murder, and the utter evil of mankind into a tale involving a blue genie, a sorcerer serpent, and characters wearing egregiously fluffy pants that find true love in less than 24 hours. Most people have agreed that the depiction of the Near and Farther East is spot-on and lacks nothing except for more harems scene and a speedier love and marriage process.

I bring this movie up because recently, feeling a little more adventurous than usual, friends and I decided to watch Aladdin after a successful soup making endeavor. While watching it, I couldn’t help but notice the incredible parallels between the world of the American University of Cairo and the poorer neighborhoods of this dusty city: Jasmine’s palace and Aladdin’s shabby home smacked of the walls of AUC’s Tahrir campus and the winding markets of Islamic Cairo.

I decided to flesh out this idea and undertake a partial retelling of the story (aided in party by friends’ input), in order to place it  in a more realistic setting and deflate it completely of any magic it may have once had.

Without further ado:

Once upon a time, in a city of 20 million people called Cairo, there lived a lonely Egyptian girl named Jasmine. Daughter of a natural gas CEO, Jasmine is quite wealthy and studies Literature at AUC’s new campus. The one time she saw Tahrir Square was on television, also the only place she has seen any kind of market selling food. She dresses in the latest styles of skinny jeans and exclusively wears heels that are taller than 5 inches and made out of some kind of animal.

She owns a tiny dog that she dresses in clothing like a human. Though the dog is yappy, incapable of being potty trained, and disliked by the family, her father lets her keep Dot because it was a gift to Jasmine after her mother’s death. Also he’s never disciplined his daughter or denied her anything so it would be awkward to begin now after 20 years of blind pacification.

Yet he tires of her maintenance and really wants her and Dot to get out. The best way to do this, of course, is to marry her off to the next CEO’s son she meets at the McDonald’s on campus. Unfortunately, she has proven an unwilling participant in this marriage endeavor, having watched Titanic too many times. Now, like Jack and Rose, she wants raw, uneducated love from an unpretentious commoner, a regular shab (young man) from Shubra (poorer area of Cairo).

She’s even tried to sneak off with the car and leave the suburbs in attempts to meet the common folk of her city. For her own protection, her father has prohibited her from leaving the confines of their gated community or the gates of the university. Yet she grows restless, yearning for the authenticity she cannot find amongst the waxed eyebrows and chests of AUC. One day, she takes matters into her own hands, bribes the necessary people, and gets her hands on the car keys. Little does she know how much her life is about to change.

to be continued……

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