Tag Archives: dating

Tick Tock Bio Clock

fatinha ramosTaboo as it may be to ask a lady her age, I’ve never been bashful about revealing it. I’m 38 – and proud of it! I’m not afraid of getting older. With so many exquisite feminine role models out there setting an empowering example for aging gracefully, I look forward to following in their footsteps. I only intend to become more radiant, authentic in spirit, and comfortable in my own skin with age. I do believe my best years are still yet to come.

Even though it’s always been relatively painless to admit my age, it’s been considerably less so to admit that I’d like to have a baby. I kept that desire largely under wraps for a majority of my dating life, especially after uttering “the L-word” on a handful of appropriate occasions sent a few boys running for the hills, never to return.

Eventually I learned, if who I am and the things I want are going to scare a man away, he simply isn’t meant to be in my life, just passing through. I’ve also since met plenty of men who too desire partnership and parenthood, and they always stoke my hope. I was never anxious to broach these delicate subjects too quickly though, fearing the conversation might be our last. That is, until a few years ago when I really began facing facts about where I am on my biological frontier and the necessity of cutting to the quick.

I’ve always been more of a relationship minded, one-man-kind-of-gal. When I love someone, I’m all in, head-over-heels with blinders on. I view dating as a necessary evil. A means to an end, not a sport or breezy pastime I partake in for free drinks, dinner, or booty calls. If I don’t sense real potential, best to nip it in the bud. I’m keeping my eyes on the prize – “The One” who’ll stimulate my mind, body, AND soul – my true love, best friend, partner-in-crime. Cliché, yes, but true nonetheless.

mad passionate extraordinary

After a long dry spell/mourning period, during which my friends repeatedly asked, “What about online dating?” I finally pushed through my resistance and joined OK Cupid, figuring I at least owed it a try before writing it off all together. At first I pro-actively searched for interesting, like-minded hotties but my first 3 initiations went unreplied to. My (straight male) hairdresser wasn’t surprised. “No, no, no. All you need to do is look at their profile. Maybe give them a star rating, but do not message guys. If they’re game, they’ll contact you. Remember, men like the chase.”

This helpful tidbit cut my trolling down to zilch, certainly a timesaver. Most queries that land in my inbox independently, however, typically inspire a reaction more akin to nausea than “quivers”. I’m always temporarily hopeful upon new “someone chose you!” notifications only to be repeatedly baffled by bizarro techniques in pick-up artistry and embarrassingly poor % of compatibility that leave little doubt as to which head they’re using.

In all fairness, there are a lot of stand-up guys on OKC. I’ve had several decent dates in NY and LA. The good eggs really do stick out like a sore thumb, but my doubts remain about the efficacy of finding true love in cyberspace. I still prefer that old-fashioned magic: randomly bump into someone cute, strike up a flirty conversation, watch the sparks fly!

So, as luck may have it, a good friend recently emailed me out of the blue: “I met a beautiful, talented, artistic gentleman wordsmith at a party in LA and I’ve since kept that knowledge in the back of my mind. He loves fine art, language, and the art of conversation, so I thought of you.” Ooooh, now this sounds intriguing! He included a link to Romeo*s FaceBook profile, suggesting if my curiosity piqued, he’d make an intro. Pleasantly surprised after surfing, I agreed. What an unexpected twist of fate!

Romeo and I proceeded to exchange some witty banter as we arranged a friendly rendezvous for tea at one of my favorite local cafes (his suggestion). I tried not to get too excited about the outcome in spite of his wicked attractiveness. I hoped we’d enjoy each other’s company at best, but prepared an iPhone exit plan alert should things take a turn for the worst.

To my delight, we had a spectacular date. We talked for hours about art, the creative process, bucket list travel, philosophy, mythology, the cosmos – you name it! We shared “getting to know you” stories, rapidly pulling at the threads of multiple simultaneous conversations, careful not to step on each other’s train of thought. We both promptly forgot what the hell we were saying several times, distracted by each other’s dazzling smiles. His attentiveness and charm, the sincerity and warmth with which he listened and spoke, stirred the butterflies in my belly.

As afternoon turned into evening, he suggested we continue our effortless flow over dinner at the Italian restaurant across the street. Seated on the twinkly-lit patio, fireplace and piano side, we drank wine and flirted intoxicatingly until eventually, we were holding hands across the table, starry-eyed. He handcrafted a sweet memento to commemorate the occasion and then walked me to my car, enveloping me in a big bear hug that felt like home. I could’ve curled up in that nook for ages and didn’t sleep a wink that night.

batteries

In true gentlemanly fashion, he texted the next day confessing that he couldn’t stop thinking about me and when could we meet again? YES! Soon we were back in each other’s electric presence, art appreciating and garden strolling at the Getty Villa in Malibu, sharing cocktails and apps at Moonshadows on a lounge bed overlooking the Pacific Ocean, followed by late night tea and cake in Bourgeois Pig’s enchanted dayglow forest – all his fantastical plans. Talk about WOO!

Something else quite unusual happened: we had the big talk on this, our second date. All the “scary” topics: past relationships, readiness for future ones, monogamy vs. polyamory, religion vs. spirituality, lifestyle, marriage, kids. He referred to them as the “nasty pitfalls” of relationships. You know, the real “deal breakers” you typically avoid discussing until you’re already infatuated, at which point it becomes trickier to part ways? Went there! And you know what? It wasn’t terrifying. Liberating is more like it. We both sensed something profound was afoot. Could we be… The One?

Our communication was so open and honest. A breath of fresh air. Clearly, we’d both learned a ton from our past relationships and had taken time to “do the work.” We seemed to be on the same page about everything. Well, about everything, except one thing – having kids.

No small matter indeed but it seemed to me, perhaps naively, that while we weren’t 100% in agreement, our perspectives could co-exist. He said he felt 98% sure that he didn’t want kids, leaving that 2% open to kismet. I shared that I always envisioned being a Mom, but had yet to meet a man who I felt was bona fide Daddy material. I admitted I could be happy living as an artist with the freedom to work and travel the world with my partner, clearly stating that: I want to create a family with the man I love, not just have a baby.

egg timer

I’ve always felt strongly about not putting the cart before the horse. There are things you just can’t learn about a person overnight. Time is key. I want to enjoy getting to know my man and allow our relationship to unfold organically. Have fun, travel, and live together before we even consider bringing a baby into the mix. Who you choose to share your life and create another human being with is undoubtedly the biggest decision you’re ever likely to make – and I’m not keen on rushing that process, even if I am 38 (and ¾). First things first!

spooky womb

Having covered these bases to our mutual satisfaction, our romantic courtship continued with more sweet rendezvous replete with endless tête-à-tête, roaring fires, french desserts, sensual music, ambient lighting, rose-scented horizontal mambos, the whole nine yards.

Sadly, this rare trip on Cloud 9 came to a screeching halt when Romeo suddenly went M.I.A. First a text, then a voicemail went unanswered for days. Hmmm. This is not a good sign. One morning, I woke up to an opus sent via FaceBook that can only be best described as a goodbye letter. We later managed to iron things out (temporarily) after he admittedly freaked out and fell down the rabbit hole of negative projection, but the main reason topping his Dear Jill letter – my biological clock.

He explained that he needed to press pause on our whirlwind romance for some soul-searching and upon further reflection realized that his 98% was actually more like 100% NO, he did not want a kid much before the age of 50, if at all, and realistically, I only have a small window left in which to procreate if I’m lucky, and “dependents” just didn’t fit into his grand master plan.

Oh, SNAP! I’m officially at the stage when men cite my bio clock as a reason not to date me. That’s not an easy pill to swallow. Well, at least he used words, unlike one guy who leaned in for (what I thought was) whispering a sweet nothing, only to mimic the sound of a ticking clock in my ear, during our first (and final) date.

sweet nothings

Having already experienced my fair share of insensitivity around this issue, I was willing to give Romeo partial credit for at least considering my best interests and whether he ought to set me free so I could find love, and maybe babies, with someone else. Intellectually, my mind understood this inclination, but my heart? Not so much.

At the end of the day, I wasn’t upset that Romeo didn’t want kids. I was upset that he didn’t even want to pursue me because I might want them. I’m all for getting the nasty surprises out of the way, but in hindsight, can we just get to know each other for a minute? Do we really need to have these talks on the second date? How about just exploring a special connection in the present moment before we gaze into the crystal ball and try to predict where this might all be heading?

the voices in my head

With all due respect, we don’t need men to remind us of our bio clocks. Most likely, we’ve already been agonizing about it for years. Will circumstances align in enough time? It’s a nagging question that hits some pretty sensitive nerves, forcing us to re-examine every dating choice we’ve ever made: each past relationship, how long we stayed, whether we woulda, coulda, shoulda done anything differently. Was it really smart to prioritize my career? Should I have put myself out there more? What if I’d lived somewhere else? Was that a missed opportunity?

We know men don’t want to be pressured. Neither do we. Nor do we want to be “that girl” – teetering on the precipice of our fertility, not wanting to rush yet acutely aware of the finite amount of time we have left to make life-altering decisions. Unfortunately, now or never is nigh, and that’s not an uncomplicated awareness to confront.

Walk in these shoes: all your life you believed your destiny included (insert major life milestone here). One day, you look at the calendar. Years have whizzed by. You’ve hit the snooze button one too many times and must finally wake up, quit being in denial and accept that your dream might not happen at all, ever. Imagine what it’s like to reach that fork in the road in the primetime of your life. I know you can relate.

So, allow me to give men out there a few words of advice: if you’re ever tempted to use a woman’s bio clock as an excuse to end your relationship, do yourselves both a favor and lie to her. “I’m not ready” or “I need time to work through xyz” is a reason everyone can relate to, often requiring little explanation. “I’m just not that into you” would even be preferable. Pointing to her ticking time womb as your rationale for steering clear? Please, don’t. It will only hurt her more than you can possibly conceive.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE advocate of truth telling, regardless of how messy, inconvenient, and uncomfortable it might be. But if practicing your brand of radical honesty is only going to result in hurt feelings and nothing can be done to change things – SAVE IT. “Lies of omission” are not always bad. I’m not talking about cheating, stealing, or other deceptions that put someone’s health or safety at risk. I’m talking about inflicting unnecessary emotional pain when no possible good can come of it because you think “honesty is always the best policy.”

thinkThere’s a difference between withholding feelings vs. telling lies. Keeping thoughts to our self can be compassionate. We don’t always need to confess every dirty detail and pour salt in the wound. You may not even be aware there is a wound, so if you’re truly a gentleman, err on the side of caution and play the “it’s not you, it’s me” card.

Spare me the awareness that I’m missing out on getting to know you because of something I may never be able to have and don’t even know for sure I want. It cuts to the core and ignorance would be far more blissful to live with than your Truth. What people don’t know can’t hurt them. My ship may have already sailed and I’m figuring out how to come to terms with that fact. Your unbridled candor may only twist the knife deeper, so approach such discussions with extreme sensitivity.

If you’re clear that fatherhood just isn’t for you, that’s your prerogative, 100% understandable, no judgment! Some women do want the wedding and baby ASAP and yeah, it’s definitely best to assess  up front and not go there if that’s the case. But don’t assume that just because a woman is nearing the end of her reproductive years that getting pregnant is automatically her top priority.

Falling in love and wanting to share my life with someone is actually more important to me than whether our relationship leads to having a baby. It really must go in that order, for me anyway. And I can only hope that my next real love is open to exploring me as a woman first, a potential Mommy-to-be second.

All I can do is have faith. I’ve asked the Universe for what I’d like to unfold in my life and if it’s meant to be, it will be. Motherhood is still a dream I’m not ready to give up quite yet. I’m staying positive and mentally preparing myself for Plan B. No matter what, I’m determined to craft a life full of love and happiness. After that, every dream is truly figure-out-able!

“Regardless of how much you want or think you need something, if it’s not in the divine plan for you to have it, you will not have it. There’s nothing to be disappointed about. Your blessings have your name on them. When you’re ready, an opportunity will be presented to you. When it shows up, you’ll need to be ready.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant

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Is your bio clock tick talking to you? Do you dis/agree that “lies by omission” are sometimes the kindest approach? I’d like to hear your stories and opinions, so please leave a comment below. If this post resonates with you, share with a friend, and be sure to SUBSCRIBE (in the top right hand corner of this page) so you can receive all my freshly pressed posts directly to your inbox when they go live every week!

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Related resources:

Gateway Women
an inspiring website created to empower child-free and childless by circumstance FCWs

Thirty-seven and Counting by Kate Lunau

Biological Clock
an art project by Jennifer Rozbruch in which she examines the physical and personal life cycle of the female as prescribed by traditional social norms—from puberty to sex, love, marriage, and motherhood. Made from a working clock, its hand follows a timeline of personal milestones that many women feel they must achieve on a particular schedule.

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Introducing: Eye For Style Maps

After tons of research, and many foodie photo missions over the last 2 years, I am happy to present Eye For Style’s “Best of NYC” – my absolute favorite, highly recommended, culinary and cultural hotspots. Each awesome destination has been personally hand picked and mapped out, with original photography and reviews, by yours truly. Featuring topics such as NYC’s Best: coffee, pizza, brunch, burgers, cheap eats, vintage clothing, and more!

For the complete list of Eye For Style Maps, click here.

Disclaimer: I’m a die-hard Greenwich Villager and Loisiada, and make no bones about the fact that, in my opinion, The Village and Lower East Side are the best neighborhoods in New York City. My maps reflect this biased love – and I’m totally cool with it. These are my stomping grounds, my passion, my point of view.

That said, I love good food, wherever it may live, and I can occasionally be lured above 14th Street, or to the nether lands of the outer boroughs, for truly excellent eats. I would love to hear your comments and opinions about what YOU consider to be the “Best of NYC”. Please share your picks here and I’ll be sure to add them to my list. As much as I love giving suggestions, I love receiving suggestions even more, so dish the scoop. I’m all ears!

Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, you’ve probably been racking your brain or scouring the web for that perfect romantic dinner spot, some better than average chocolates, and/or an intimate booth to grab a cocktail? If you’re still drawing a blank, make it easy on yourself and check out my maps of the Best Dinner Date Spots, Best Sweets and Chocolate, and Best Watering Holes for up-to-the minute tips on the ideal locale to wine, dine, and treat your sweetheart. Every one of these places are a guaranteed “no fail zone”. Pick any recommendation from the list with confidence, so you can simply focus on charming the pants off your date. You can thank me later…

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Best Pizza & Ice Cream Dates in Greenwich Village

 


Pizza and ice cream is a perfect way to kick off a summer date night, especially in Greenwich Village where exceptional options abound on practically every corner. Luckily, I’ve taken the guess work out of it for you by crafting some terrific pairings. You may wish for a bit more of a walk in between courses, or slightly “healthier” options, so feel free to mix it up and create a combination of destinations that best suit your date’s taste. Be sure to print this list and the complete Eye For Style map before you head out so as to have all your options easily at hand. Trust me, she’ll admire your take-charge thoughtfulness, guys. Once you’re both stuffed to the gills, take a stroll mano a mano appreciating the uber-romantic vibe that is The Village, before you grab some libations at one of the many cool watering holes in the area. If you follow this plan (adding your own brand of charm and some witty reparte, of course), you should score that lengthy kiss on the stoop come evening’s end. And who knows what may follow. You can thank me later…

EAST VILLAGE DATES:

South Brooklyn Pizza & NYC Icy 122 1st Ave ; 100 Ave A  171 Ave A (as of 6/2011)

SBP is the newbie in the ‘hood, having just opened 3 months ago, but it’s already garnered a well-deserved reputation. They only do one kind of pizza – margherita – which is frankly phenomenal. They occassionally have their “square” pizza with which they’ll experiment with a variety of ingredients, like mushroom or sausage, at their whim. I’d eat your first slice plain, so you can really taste the flavors of the basil, mozzarella, and tomato. The EVOO is so delicious you can actually taste the kalamata olive from whence it came. This is not a pizza where you want to sop up the oil with a napkin. Instead, have fun sexily licking it off your fingers (hey, it makes for some good foreplay). On your second slice, try the toppings they have mixed up fresh on the counter – a sick roasted garlic spread or marinated green peppers – for a completely different flavored slice. You might want to save the kissing for later, but it’s well worth it. Slices are $4 each, whole pies will run you $28.

NYC Icy is a relative newbie in the ‘hood, having just opened up their pop-up stand on Ave A @ E 7th a month ago (though they used to have a permanent location on Ave B). It’s a very no frills establishment, just a couple of big freezers and a cash register. Check the sandwich board for the day’s special samplings, a rotating array of over 200 flavors, most of which are more creamy than icy, with some dairy-free options as well. My favorites are Mexican hot cocoa (with a swift chili pepper kick), earl grey (with a hint of cream and lemon), and the ultimate: mango with fresh basil (which also pairs extremely well with spicy Thai food).

Artichoke Pizza & Sundaes and Cones – 328 E 14th St ; 95 E 10th St

Artichoke only fires up 4 types of pizza – classic margherita, artichoke (with a cheesy, creamy sauce), crab, and Sicilian – and they’re all freaking delicious. Don’t let the long line keep you away – spend the time getting to know each other better! Grab your  $4 slice, cop a squat on a nearby stoop and enjoy the bustling scene on 14th Street, as seating at this joint is highly coveted and minimal at best.  Better yet, call ahead and order a whole pie, then head southeast to nearby Tompkins Square Park for a pizza alfresco picnic in the very secluded section of the park bordering 10th Street where there’s tons of tables and virtually never any people. Take a stroll east and do some window shopping along 9th or 10th Street, two of the loveliest blocks in the EV, until you across 3rd Avenue and arrive at:

Sundaes & Cones has some of the most interesting, Asian-centric ice cream flavors around – wasabi, red bean, taro, green tea – to name a few. I personally adore the sesame and lychee in a big ol’ waffle cone. They have other traditionally American flavors as well, but why not try something new? Show off your adventurous, open-minded side. Chicks dig that.

Motorino & Momofuku Milk Bar – 349 E 12th St ; 207 2nd Ave

Motorino specializes in neopolitana style pizza – with a thin, but not too thin crust that bubbles around the outskirts. The ingredients are super fresh and flavorful, and the price is fairly reasonable at $18 a pie (no slices here). I could easily eat a whole one myself if I’m really hungry and wish they were a bit larger, but it’s no big deal. Gotta save room for ice cream! I’ve especially enjoyed the soppressata piccante, as well as the sweet sausage and cremini with kalamata olive, but I think the real draw here is the brussel sprout and pancetta pie.

I must confess that I’ve not actually had the soft serve with various whacky toppings to choose at Momofuku Milk Bar because every time I’ve gone, the line is so damn long that I’m just not in the mood and have opted to head elsewhere. The place has a long line and great reputation for a reason though, so if you’ve got some company to kill the time, I’d stick it out. If you don’t have the patience, Veniero’s Pasticceria is right around the corner, as is most of the selections on this list. Someday, Momofuku, someday!

Luzzo’s & Alphabet Scoop – 211 2nd Ave ; 543 E 11th St

This place is small and can sometimes be crowded, but it’s one of the best authentic neopolitian pizzas in Manhattan. It’s also one of the only places that still uses a coal-fired oven and you can taste the difference. The crust is thin and slightly charred, a bit soft, but not overly chewy. The pies are big, but once you get started, you don’t want to stop (which is hopefully the direction your date will be taking later in the evening.) Luzzo’s is by no means cheap, clocking in at around $23 – 28 a pie, but the basil and mozzarella are fresh and delicious to be sure, making it very worthy of experiencing.

Alphabet Scoop is actually a non-profit organization that “changes lives one scoop at a time”. They employ neighborhood kids in an effort to teach responsibility and keep them out of trouble on the streets, connecting the local youth with personal adult mentors off-site. This artisanal ice cream is homemade right on the premises with fresh ingredients. Portions are large and prices are fair. Your date will most definitely appreciate your thoughtful, civic-minded generosity, scoring you some brownie points. Remember, supporting important causes is hot!

Two Boots & Lula’s Sweet Apothecary – 42 Ave A ; 516 E 6th St

I love the classic Italian meets Louisana bayou flavor combinations that Two Boots employs here. I also love the clever way they name their pizzas after indie movie characters and trailblazing music icons. Cleopatra Jones (sweet sausage with tri-color peppers) and The Newman (of Seinfeld fame aka sopressata and sausage on a white pie) are my go-to favorites at this joint. When I’m feeling particularly spicy though, The Bird (as in local EV resident and saxophonist, Charlie Parker) – a white pie topped with spicy buffalo wings, bleu cheese, and jalapeno – is in a league of its own and hits the spot. So wrong, it’s right. This pizza will definitely generate a little heat and then you might just want to rent a movie, instead of go out on the town. Which is convenient because, in addition to the pizzeria, the location on Avenue A is also a super cheap video store with tons of great noir, classics, and cult flicks. Cuddle up and enjoy the film, but before you go home, head to:

Lula’s Sweet Apothecary – vegan ice cream never tasted so good! I dare to you try their dairy/gluten-free fare and tell me that it’s not equally as delicious as its sugar-filled counterparts. Lula’s flavors are truly unique and rotate daily. The staff is super friendly and they happily offer copious samples, which can be a double-edged sword because it tends to make the indecisive line move a bit slow. (It’s not a relationship, it’s ice cream, people. Make a commitment and move on). Lula’s has soft serve too, with a “twist” if you like the two flavors swirled, cake batter being a favorite. They make a killer banana split with an assortment of natural toppings to choose from as well. The ambience of the place is a throw back to the days of real ol’ fashioned ice cream parlors and can be quite a romantic scene if you nab stools in the bay window.

Want an even healthier option? Try opting for a smoothie at Liquiteria (@ 170 2nd Ave) or Juicy Lucy’s (@ 85 Ave A). These juice bars are equally as delicious as any other sweet treat you’ll find in the area. So, if you’re looking for something cold, utterly fresh and supremely yummy in the tummy, don’t hesitate to give these places a try. You won’t be disappointed. A wide variety of healthy and exotic flavors abound here!

Once you’ve worked your way through the EV, you and your sweetie will surely want to try these WEST VILLAGE DATES:

Numero 28 Carmine & Cones Ice Cream Artisans

Bleecker Street Pizza & L’Arte Del Gelato

John’s Pizzeria & Jacques Torres Chocolate Haven

Famous Joe’s & Grom

Two Boots To Go West & People’s Pops

Lombardi’s & Ciao Bella

With healthier option: Gusto Organics

Or go to Eye For Style maps for the complete list of Greenwich Village pizza & ice cream dates!

And how about a “make your own pizza” date? Pizza a Casa now has workshops & classes at their LES location. Now that’s amore!

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Update as of 7/30/11:

There are 5 new cool treats vendors in the East Village that are definitely worth sampling this summer:

People’s Pops Pop Up – 118 E 7th St; serving: popsicles & shave ice, through October 15

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream – 48 1/2 E 7th St

Goat Town – 511 E 5th St

Timi’s Gelateria Classica – 37 St. Mark’s Place; mobile cart @ 145 Ave A

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop – opening any day now, on E 7th St @ Ave A

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Filed under Cocktails, Dreams, Food, Maps, New York City