Money Manners


BIO: SWM, 33, a transplant from Michigan recently back on the singles scene. I know what I'm looking for; I just haven't found it yet. Are there so few smart, personable, attractive, single women in KC? Actually, I think they're out there, we just haven't met yet. It certainly hasn't been for a lack of looking, but maybe not in the right place.E-MAIL:

Entry 3

The following are excerpts from a conversation I recently had.

With myself.

Subconscious Me: Chris, didn't you sign up with the Star to be a "dating diarist"?

Conscious Me: Yeah, that sounds about right.

SM: So far it seems like you've been more of a "dating social commentatorist".

CM: "Commentatorist"? Is that even a word?

SM: You know what I mean. Why no talk of your social life so far?

CM: Do we really need to go there?

SM: What? No life? No digits? Nothing to write about?

CM: Not exactly. I've sort of been avoiding it.

SM: Oh, I see. Is this about coming out of the closet? Don't you think it's about time that we...

CM: No, not quite. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

SM: Well what then?

CM: It's tricky. This "diary" doesn't sit on a nightstand, it sits on the Internet. You follow?

SM: Get a pair and just do it already. I think it might be good for both of us.

CM: You might be right.

SM: You know I am. By the way, you look pretty hot today.

CM: Thanks. So do you.

Before I wrote my first word for the Star, I talked to some friends about this experience. We talked about the "what if". What if I meet a girl, and we go out? Do I tell her upfront about the writing, or keep it on the low?

It was unanimous.

Tell someone at the start you're doing this, and it could change the dynamic of your time together. No one wants to be dished about in the paper. You want to know how I thought our date went? Feel free to read all about in The Kansas City Star. Just a tad awkward.

So we agreed. I wouldn't tell any "interests" about this until we had spent some time together and things were good. If it was going somewhere, I'd tell her. If she went back and read anything, it would be positive, so it's all good. If it wasn't going anywhere, who cares if she does or doesn't know? Just move on.

But what if you don't have a choice? What if she already knows?

Ah yes, then there's that dynamic.

It doesn't matter how, but let's say she knows without you having told her. How do you spend time with someone and blog about it, all the while knowing she's going to read it? Lacing up tap shoes might be a good place to start.

Then again, maybe I'm being lazy. Maybe there's a balance between what I write and what she might read. I should just let it rip. What's the worst that could happen?

Actually, I could think of a few things.

Scenario 1

I write: So I met this girl and we've been hanging out a bit. I kinda dig her. It's early, but I think there might be something there. Time will tell I guess.

She Says:You have a spare key, right?

Scenario 2

I write: So I met this girl and we've been hanging out a bit. She's cool and all, but this is just someone to spend time with until I meet the next one.

She Says: KA-BOOM!

Scenario 3

I write: So I met this girl and we've been hanging out a bit. She might be the one. It's only been a short while, but I have a good feeling about it. She's hard to read sometimes, but I think she'd say the same thing.

She Says: Yeah, not so much Chris.

Then again, maybe I could just write this...

When my last relationship ended, I knew the best thing I could do for myself is to get out there and mix things up. Get out and do... whatever. Stay busy. Meet people. For the past couple months, that's exactly what I've been doing.

I've been to yoga and 'Young Friends' events. Wine tastings and Westport. I finished the Pub Crawl for Cancer, although some might argue it finished me.

I went dressed as "chick magnet" to a Halloween party. Helped negotiate the surrender of 75 party goers to the police while another 30 or so did their best Anne Frank upstairs.

Like I said, mix things up.

What I'm saying is that I can't remember the last weekend in the past couple months I didn't do something. All the while meeting more and more people. I've had a blast. It's been a change of pace to say the least.

Someone once told me I might be a serial monogamist. Get out of one relationship and jump into the next. Not a lot of "casual dating". But that's what I'm doing now. Meeting people, but keeping my options open. Someone's really going to have to sweep me off my feet to change that right now.

So let's say I meet someone and one day we have that DTR talk. Define The Relationship. If she's coming from the same place as me, then no problem. But if she's not good with the casual dating scene, that can be a difficult conversation to have.

I could always just lie. Lead her on. At least until I meet someone new. Then just tell her something about needing some space or some time or something. Whatever the speech is these days.

No, I'm not going down that road. I'm trying to stay as upfront and honest as I can.

Like I said. Tricky.

This blogging experience is a new one for me. It's interesting, at the most random times I'll find myself thinking about what's going on in my life and what I want to write. You take those thoughts and start turning them into words. Putting them on paper. You can't help but soul search a little through all that.

One decision I made with this is to keep a lag in play here. Write now about a few weeks ago. Today? That comes later. It's in a few people's best interest, most notably my own, that I keep it that way. If it's being discussed in here, then it's been discussed out there.

So about that question. How do you write honestly about someone who's going to read this? Maybe you say something like this.

So I met this girl and we've been hanging out a bit. I love the fact that she's smart, and funny, and has a great sense of humor. We've had some pretty good laughs at this whole blogging scene. I just think she wants something I can't give her right now.

Maybe things would have been different had I met her at a different point in my life. Maybe not. But like I said, for me to get into anything serious, I'm really going to have to be swept off my feet right now. Sans the tap shoes.

Entry 2

There it was. The headline on last Sunday's front page of the Star. "The Great KC Date Debate".

Is Kansas City one of, if not the, worst cities for singles? That seems to be the big question around here. Year in and year out Kansas City ends up at the bottom, just like the Royals.

If you read the articles, you might believe that everyone here gets married at 20. Or that the singles in this town go out with friends and refuse to mingle with anyone other than those they came with.

Maybe it's St. Louis' fault. I'm not from here, but I hear we hate them. Are they smuggling out all of our good singles to their side of the state? A plot by the Get Married Now Association? That arch does look like a big altar. Someone should probably look into this.

No joke, I even heard a theory at the bar the other night that the "problem" with the women in this town is that they "are all too flat-chested." A friend and I were just hanging out, talking to a couple of girls. This guy sitting at the bar entered the conversation, at a loud volume, and delivered his sermon.

Yeah, that wasn't awkward at all.

Thing is, he didn't have any statistics to back this up, even though I volunteered to review the findings. Not to mention, I've seen enough of this city not to buy into that one.

I do give him credit for thinking outside the box though. Pun intended.

I've lived here for six years and here's my take. They're right. Kansas City isn't a good town for singles. My theory (statistics also unavailable) goes like this:

Kansas City, while a great town, is not a "destination" city for young people. No one grows up thinking "One day I'm gonna get out of here and move to Kansas City", like they would say Dallas, Chicago, or New York. Maybe if they're from Hays, but otherwise it's not happening.

The result: a lot of people that live here are from here. That's how you end up with younger couples getting married, and tight circles of friends out on the town. Sit down at a bar in KC and ask everyone where they're from and most will say this area. Then try it in Chicago. This town just has a feel. A close-knit feel. That's exactly what makes it a great town. Just not for singles.

But so what?

So there might be only 627 "datable" women in this city, and maybe 10 times that in Dallas. Does that really matter? It's not like I need 627 girlfriends. The phone time alone would be a killer. Yes, my odds would be better in another city. I'm a numbers guy, don't think I haven't thought that one through. Thing is, I just need to meet one.

Ah yes, but the Right One. Therein lies the rub. Pun intended.

Last thought what's up with that cartoon sketch of me? Is anyone else a little creeped out by that? It hit me the other day. If you didn't know me you'd think my eyes were all pupil. Everyone else got eye sockets. I'm not sweating it or anything, it's just like I got this Little Orphan Annie on mushrooms thing going on. Weird.

Entry 1

So it begins.

An average guy in Kansas City, fresh on the singles scene, throwing his thoughts and experiences with dating out there for everyone to read.

You can spare the "Sex and the Kansas City" jokes, the friends back home already have that covered.

I'm not exactly sure where this will go in the coming weeks, but I'm sure I'll have fun with it. Although, if I end up some night sipping a cosmo, wondering if Miranda will ever find true love, then things have gone terribly, terribly wrong.

If that happens, someone get me to a strip club immediately.

A little about me... work shipped me from Michigan to Kansas City about 6 years ago.

Most of my time here I've spent involved in some form of a relationship with someone, with the longest being 3 years. I basically walked away from that one. After 3 years, I should have felt more ready to get married, and I wasn't.

Yes, the term "commitment issues" has been floated around with me before. I'm not allergic to the altar, but I wouldn't say I've been in a hurry to get married either. I always figured it would happen just as soon as I found the right girl.

I mean, those vows usually have something in there about "forever and ever", right? No harm in taking my time to make sure it's right.

With that said, I don't want to live in the past. I try not to do that in life, and I certainly don't plan to here. I'm not the bitter guy hung up on some girl who broke my heart years ago, and I'm not the lonely guy who's single all the time, lamenting life at home on a Saturday night. Simply put, I'm a guy who knows what he wants, but just hasn't found it yet. I don't think I'm picky, but calling me particular wouldn't be completely out of line.

At some point, my view on relationships changed. I decided I would move on once I knew someone wasn't it. I wasn't going to date someone just for the sake of dating, which I've done in the past. At this point in my life, I'm looking for something with a present and a future, not just a present. My personal dating mantra... although it takes a while to know if you're compatible with someone, it doesn't take long to know you aren't.

My most recent relationship ended about a month ago, which brings us to the here and now. Single, with my hat in the ring for another spin, letting it all play out here. On the Internet. Just like Al Gore had in mind when he invented this thing.

All joking aside, one thing I've learned over the years is that it can find you when you least expect it. I've met girls in some pretty unconventional places, so we'll just have to see how and when it happens next.