That Pub Life

michelle obama, barack obama, Obama drinking beer, guiness, pub life, presidential visit to Ireland, Obama in pub, S.C. Rhyne, the reporter and the girl

Apparently going to the pub is not always about getting hammered (or pissed). These commercial locals are also about building bonds and friendships, sharing memories, and generally are very community-oriented places, where members will loyally visit this establishment several times a week, and get to know other members too.

So here’s what happened to me

There is a pub that I like, as they have good drinks and food at a cheap price, as well as they serve food at the latest hour that I have seen so far in London (11pm). So on Wednesday night about two weeks ago, I came down before the kitchen closed to put in my order for food and a drink.

Now contrary to the definition of “pub life” that I gave above, I was not feeling social during this visit. Rather, I just wanted to take a break from the books, and get some food while mindlessly staring at the TV or people-watching. Now, I had sometimes felt that people would watch me too, but I always brushed it off. I only come once every couple weeks at most, so I don’t recognize anyone, and surely no one recognizes me.

As I went to the long table, I sat in someone’s seat, and an older gentleman next to it told me he was waiting for his friend to come back. I apologized, and then took the seat next to it. I made a joke to him about my mishap (I don’t remember what I said), but sure enough, his lady friend did return and I was invited into the conversation. This girl was piss-drunk, and introduced me to random people who so happened to walk by us.

I couldn’t help wonder why she seem to know so many people at the bar…but, this is my American bias speaking. However, when I’m figuring out how to go soon, another gentleman sits across from us, and inserts himself into our conversation. He’s polite, but remember, I’m not feeling especially sociable. He ends up asking for my number, and I settled by adding myself to his LinkedIn profile.

The pub life, outside of the pub

So, this brave gentleman– we will call him Paul, does end up taking me on a date a few days later. And you know what, it was a great date! What I thought would take 2 maybe 3 hours at the most, was like 6. Wine and conversation at a jazz bar, a ferry boat ride back to the original pub where we met, and then a late dinner where he spoon-fed me pieces of his steak. Then, the romantic text message the next day….and the next…and yeah.

But I’m not into him.

He wanted to meet again, but I gave a white lie about having my tournament all weekend (I was lined up to play, and so was the team, but it fell apart last minute). The following week, when I stepped into my pub local, people were definitely staring at me. Some even came up to say hi, and asked if I remembered being introduced to them. This week, I had a late night meal with an acquaintance who wanted to offer me freelance work, and we were at the pub. Paul happened to stop by and he came to us to invite me over to his table. I replied that I’m on my way out, and when I’m finished with my meeting, I will stop by briefly to say hi to him and his companions.

Later, as he walked me to my building, I explained that I’m not interested in seeing him romantically. He was a great guy and a great catch, but I’m not interested. I don’t know why, maybe I’m very preoccupied, but I really didn’t connect on this level. We finally ended with a hug and he asked to give it a chance, and I simply said no.

The moral of the story…

So pubs are very community-oriented, it was likely that the stares were not just my imagination. After telling my story to some folks, I was told that many local pubs have a strong loyal customer base, where the patrons usually recognize each other. Thus, it’s possible that as a newbie, I received some curious looks– especially after going on a date with Mr. Paul. Because of this close network, gossip and news also spread quite rapidly in pubs too; which may help explain why a few people had came up and asked if I was “the American”.

Also, saying, “No”, and I did it rather quickly. It has been some time since I dated, however, I do not feel pressured to date or be in a relationship with someone.

Being new to London can be lonely, my social life had not picked up this summer, even while joining sports clubs or all those folks who said they would call me to go to a beer garden. So it was very tempting to finally have someone that wanted to take me to eat and drink a few nights a week and have great conversations.

no messages, cell phone memes, text message memes, lonely, no friends, s.c. rhyne, the reporter and the girl

However, as much as I wanted that, it wouldn’t be fair knowing what his intentions and feelings were.

Guys, a little advice; a woman usually knows within 30 seconds of meeting you, if sex is a possibility. I knew when meeting Paul, and especially knew after our first date. “Giving it a go” just means lowering our expectations for any blossoming of feelings.

It’s weird, especially as I close in on my thirtieth, it does seem that more guys that I come across are willing to “try” and “give things a go” even when there was nothing to begin with. Like, trying to start a fire with damp wood.

Girls, always go with your gut instincts, don’t string him along. If you’re not into him — tell him up front. It’s hard, and I know it is, but its the right thing– especially after learning from past experience, it’s never good to revert to those habits. However, it doesn’t mean that good conversation can’t happen over lunch instead of dinner.

Oh, and what did I learn about pub life? Well, I’m just going to keep bouncing to a different pub and keep these Brits guessing, heck, I may show up as a Canadian next week, eh?

So do you have a pub life or a first date experience? Tell me about it @ReporterandGirl or on Facebook.

 

5 Romantic Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day in New York City

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The Big Apple is chock full of romantic and fun things for couples to do on and around the day devoted to love. This is a tribute to my fans who are in my hometown this Valentine’s Day weekend. I hope these following tips will help you make the most of it!

See a Broadway Show

Do you love musical theater? Then going to a Broadway show is the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day in NYC. But if the idea of standing in long lines only to find your show is sold out has you feeling a bit nervous, check out the Telecharge website to buy your tickets ahead of time. You can browse through the available shows, pick your seats and buy your tickets with just a few clicks, which will put your minds at ease and give you more time to enjoy the city.

Go to a Dine-in Movie Theater

While dinner and a romantic movie are a nice (if not cliché) way to spend Valentine’s Day with your honey, try a twist on this classic date idea this year. Syndicated, a premiere dine-in movie theater in New York, lets you purchase and enjoy cocktails, a scrumptious meal and the movie all in one place. Movie tickets are an incredibly reasonable $3, and you can dine on dishes like popcorn tuna and slow-cooked lamb ribs. If you need popcorn to enjoy a movie, Syndicated also sells a variety of gourmet flavored popcorn.

Book a Dinner Cruise

If you enjoy sailing, book a dinner cruise with the Hornblower company. The romantic party on the Hudson runs about $125 per person and includes a delicious three-course meal and incredible skyline views. Enjoy dancing with your sweetie and standing at the rails gazing at the views and into each others’ eyes.

Play Board Games

If you and your valentine prefer quiet evenings at home, you can find a romantic and more subdued option in the bustling city. Head to Camp in Brooklyn for a camp-themed retreat. The Boerum Hill bar at Camp resembles a rugged and romantic cabin in the woods. Snuggle (because it will be cold on Sunday) in front of the fireplace with some s’mores, and enjoy an evening of classic board games like Connect 4. If you would like to toast your love, keep the s’mores theme going with a chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallow flavored martini.

Treat Your Sweet to Sweets

Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without some amazing chocolate, and New York City has plenty of places to find the perfect love-themed confectionery. Jacques Torres chocolates can be found throughout the city, and you can purchase a few adorable “love bug” chocolates complete with red lady bug logos. Spring for a chocolate “Do Not Disturb” sign that you can hang on your hotel room door — or nibble on in your room.

Dylan’s Candy Bar in Union Square is another good option. The flagship 3-story store features bright colors, delicious candies and chocolate-covered strawberries that are to die for. If you are feeling on the romantically naughty side, spring for a candy bra or edible chocolate body paint.

So what are your plans (if any) for Valentine’s or Single Awareness Day?

Tell me@ReporterandGirl or on Facebook.

Staying Warm during Cuffing Season

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Autumn is here, and you can’t deny it. Most of your favorite shows have started in the last couple of weeks:

Walking Dead

Empire

Orange is the New Black

It is also the time of apple picking and pumpkin patches, and all those nasty-flavored pumpkin and apple beverages (really, Starbucks – pumpkin spiced latte)! Its sweater weather, and mix that with leggings or jeggings and those new boots that mamma bought and voila, all the dogs come barking to the yard!

sweater weather, no bra, sweatshirt season meme, S.C Rhyne

But cuffing season is more than just the weather getting cold, its about shacking up with someone through the winter.

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So what is cuffing season? It a phenomenon that’s been anecdotally coined, since there hasn’t been any academic study on it. HelloGiggles.com defines it as, “cuffing season is a portion of the year when men shed their summer bachelor skin and start to feel lonely as the weather turns colder.” A little sexist, as I would like to think that some women do get lonely and seek out partners “to cuff” for the season as well.

But nonetheless, as the last memory of summer disappears, and the skies turn cloudy and darker, hours earlier than before; single people may get lonely, as there aren’t many outdoor events to socialize at, and watching three hours of television after work, at home alone- may be lonely.

When winter really hits, and its just too crappy or cold to venture outside, humans, like most mammals, prefer to stay at home with a hot mug of cocoa and snuggled up next to someone (until April).

Finally, the last catalyst for this height in mating, is the upcoming holidays, literally one right after another. I’m sure we’ve all been through a Thanksgiving or Holiday dinner reunited with extended family members, and that one person asks you who are you dating? When are you finally going to bring someone home? Or my personal favorite, “So-n-so just had a baby, wouldn’t you like to have one?”

Right, I’ll just get to work on that. It was on my Friday to-do list, must have overlooked it when I was crossing off, “buy stamps”,  “asking out the mailman” and “wrapping his package.”

So, Thanksgiving through Valentine’s are the major coupled holidays, and less important would be Easter, but generally as the weather warms up, people emerge from their caves, and basketball starts again, thus the desire to be single again springs.

So how can you avoid becoming a victim of cuffing season?

Recognize the behavior, exes or the guy that you talked to over the summer, is all of sudden blowing up your phone and “showing up” places where you normally are.  Apparently, we have not seen the worst of it, it gets most aggressive the last week of October through November.

Play it cool and watch the behavior carefully.

Also, cuffing season isn’t for everyone, if you can’t throw the ball — step to the sideline, please.

There is always the potential for love. Not many people will “consciously” start relationships for cuffing season, but there are primal instincts that drive this behavior. However, it is just as likely as any other relationship to fail.

Some top examples of cuffing:

September is the busiest month for weddings.

Everyone is announcing their engagements on Facebook.

Everyone is announcing their pregnancy on Facebook.

Ex-boy(girl)friend texting you out of the blue asking, “how stuff is.”

You are receiving random invitations to BBQ’s or other functions from a suitor.

So, have you been a victim of cuffing season? Or are you a seasonal player? I’d like to know your experiences.

Tell me @ReporterandGirl or Facebook or G+

Living Better, Single

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The important word here is, “living”. We sometimes forget that despite the obstacles and hardships we face, life still goes on.  We cannot get stuck.

I have been “stuck” these last two weeks, but slowly my feet are trudging through the thick mud so I can live. I heard back from one school, and the professor will not take on my research proposal, so I won’t apply. I still have to hear from one more…so time will tell.

I started getting momentum towards the end of the week when I scouted out another school and emailed a couple of professors. One replied on Friday asking for my draft proposal, so I’m back on the ball! As long as I keep applying…I’ll keep moving in the right direction.

As I try to get other pieces moving in the right direction, this weekend, I thought about what it means to be single. I spent both Friday and Saturday night at home and the days were unremarkable, as there weren’t any events by me, and no one to hang out with. Not a bad thing, as I had a pretty wild one last weekend that resulted in getting an extra hole…somewhere.

Per discussion with a friend, I asked why some people are constantly in relationships,and how they manage to sometimes go from one to another with seemingly short periods of singleness.

“I like being in relationships and having someone to connect with”.

“I like being with someone and not alone”:

“I get lonely and its great having someone to talk or be with”.

“I hate being single”.

By the way, all of these statements were said by men. Surprise right? Despite the stony macho wall that most guys put up, these guys were “relationship oriented”. You’ll also notice that the statements are about connecting on an emotional level and not just about sex. And I also have some old male friends that recently (as of Sunday) put a ring on their relationships.

All these reasons (except for the last one), are great things to have in a relationship: connection, companionship, and communication. Those guys are lucky to find that in every relationship they dived into, however I wonder what happened to the last “C” (commitment), if they move from one to another seamlessly.

It also makes me ponder why I don’t feel like I need these, as strongly as my friends do.

I was born alone, and statistics show that I will also die alone, and young too. Unless you’re a twin or otherwise, we are all born alone, and very few couples actually die together (unless something horrible happened). So I always enjoyed my own company, even when I’m out, I’m still usually in my head.

Chey B, calls this “single by design“. Before anyone is in a relationship, you are single first.The way you define yourself now, is how your partner will see you when you pair up. How you take care of YOU – inside and out, will show when you are partnered up and may determined how successful you are in a relationship.

In other words, if you are lonely or do not enjoy your own company, chances are that other people will not enjoy your company too. If you do not enjoy hanging out with you, then why would someone else enjoy being with you?

I also feel the need to put a disclaimer here: There is a difference between lonely and being alone. Many people can be alone (physically) but not feel lonely (emotional). If someone is feeling lonely, this is internal and not something a “relationship” will solve.

Being single is the opportunity to design yourself and grow to your fullest potential. Of course, when you’re ready you can share the fruits of your labor with someone worthy.

Worthy.

Again, you worked hard on growth and development, you will want to share it with someone that will appreciate it. Many of the statements listed above reveal persons who may not be fully developed and ready for a relationship. Hence, they may make bad partners, and we have all had bad partners. So make sure you pair up with the right person at the right time. You don’t want to jump in only to be tossed back out by being single by default.

So tell me 3  traits in each of the following categories:

  •  3 things that you are good at, or that make you awesome
  • 3 things that you want to accomplish or do
  • 3 things that you want to improve or get better at

Three things that make me awesome:

I can leg press up to 360 pounds, I’m very organized, and I can tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue.

Three things that I want do:

Go back to school! Travel to Africa and the Middle East, learn another language and target shooting.

Three things I need to improve:

The languages I had already learned (I’m forgetting Italian, Mandarin, and French since I don’t use those often), stop biting my nails, be better at communication, especially my feelings.

So let me know on Facebook, Twitter, G+, or post it on my board!

Turned Down

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Well, I just lost my mind.

Its very difficult for a girl to ask a guy out. We’re either “too bold” and may intimidate a man, or we need to be “more forward” and tell a guy we’re interested.

For the last two weeks, these have been the conflicting advice that I’ve been given from friends and associates. For a guy its simple, if you’re interested — ask her out. For us, its some weird balance between being silently bold and forward, but yet never approaching and sitting at the seat waiting for someone else to initiate.

Well, I have struck out and been turned down. After what happened last year, my primal urges have returned with a vengeance…despite taking up extra hobbies like: applying for school, working multiple jobs, and upping my gym routine, I had trouble quieting this instinct.

Its time to hunt. And then feed.

Now, while I never go praying-mantis on a guy, I am this close to clubbing one over the head and dragging down a dark alley.

Long story – short, I walked away with someone’s email address.

staring at computer, gawking at computer, waiting for an email., S.C Rhyne

WTF?!

Everyone tells me this is a good thing. I guess numbers these days are just too much to remember, especially when they are not in order.

I don’t know when or if I will start a cyber-journey with this dude, but here are some tips to asking a guy out based on my experience.

DON’T ASK!

Really, don’t straight out and ask him, “Let’s go back to your place,” or “What’s your number?” or any variation of this question. If you want to initiate contact, great! But do it with friendly conversation on some mutual topic, like the sports game that is playing at the bar.  You two should fall into such great conversation that he will be dying to ask when he can see you again…hopefully. If not, then there was nothing there. Even the shyest guy will find a way to contact you again.

Stay Classy!

Ladies, how many times have you turned down a guy? I bet you did at least twice this weekend! Whether he was obviously asking you out, or was sending subtle glances and smiles your way while on the train. Well, you better be able to handle rejection like a classy lady in public and pour it all out like a bitch with a blog in private. If a guy says no, or is rude and ignores you — move on. Move on to another seat, another drink, or even a different bar if you have to. Now, if its someone you know or that’s in your circle (co-worker or colleague..etc) definitely keep things cordial so it doesn’t affect your day-to-day life.

Now if he said, “Yes” but fucked you over, then tear him down.

No one can please you….like YOU!

So, did you spend half the night going from bar to bar, only to come home alone? Well I found a solution to that. Get a pet! Having a dog or cat can make great companionship and bring a different level of affection and loyalty.

As well as a  Jack Rabbit will help fulfill your carnal needs.

So what tips do you have for asking out a guy? And guys, do you like being approached, and if so, how?

Let me know at @ReporterandGirl or find me on Facebook, G+, and Pinterest.

Life is Not So Funny (Part. 2)

dear life, life's not fair, someecards, s.c rhyne

In the last week I have had some very disappointing news. My application for my number 1 choice for graduate school was rejected. I’m still putting things together for numero dos, but I’m feeling half-hearten about it. Thus, I went on a mini online shopping spree, because that’s what girls do when they are depressed: buy a new pair of shoes and a couple of dresses. However, I did this preemptively of my paycheck. Today I got paid and my mood is completely in the dumps.

My pay check was low….like criminally low, but I’ve been working about 25 hours a week, for this and last week. So of course, I inquire, and the pay period only includes one of my weeks. OK, I get that, but the math is still only half of what I would expect for half a paycheck. In order words, I got a less than a quarter of what I thought I had earned.

Who knew the first paycheck would be like the first time having sex, its always the worst!

Never what you expected.

Doesn’t last as long as you thought it would.

And it really hurts.

So instead of hitting the bar tonight, I will be buying a 6-pack, a sandwich from the deli, and hitting up my local park bench instead.

Hey, a girl’s still gotta get out, right?

Speaking of getting out, I have not been getting out. In fact, (this is so lame) I didn’t even realize until a few days in, that NYC was in a heat wave. Yep, I do get up early in the mornings to go to the gym, but I’m back by noon and indoors.

So much for my New Years resolution to have more fun and adventure. But I’m not sulking too much about it, because I created this chronic issue. I want to have time for leisure, but when its comes time to go out on a Friday or Saturday night, I make excuses. Maybe my imagination from reading my kindle at late nights is more exciting than going for drinks!

I have been better at it though, especially in the summer when there are more stuff going on, particularly events that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

Besides the major curve balls this week, I have been reading a lot on WordPress about single girls! Apparently these girls are having a hard time dealing with the crap people give them because they are single. Honestly,  these women are between the ages of 19 and 23, #WTF!

Now, I know in NYC and other major cities, one can be single until the early forties today and that is nothing to bat an eye about. But in other places, especially in the South and Mid-West, or those who live in smaller towns, getting hitched in your early twenties is the norm, or at least to be in a long term committed relationship.

So, for our sexist patriarchal society, I’d like to re-iterate the following:

1) There is nothing wrong with being single. If you see a problem with an independent woman working and moving about in society all on her own, then the problem is with you, not her.

2) Times are changing, period. Blame it on the internet, loose social mores… whatever! Younger folks (like under 25) are meeting and communicating more on the internet than ever before (more than half of dates are started online! Not the coffee shop, grocery store, or class), divorce rates are higher and more socially acceptable, and people are waiting longer to have children. The economy, especially in places like NYC,  have sky-high living costs that make it harder to date.

Let’s elaborate on #2 more. NYC and other big cities are over saturated with college-educated talent. So its very difficult for even the most talented person to find and keep a decent paying job. In fact, it wasn’t until I stopped working last month and started reconnecting with old colleagues and friends, that I realized how many near 30-somethings are still working in restaurants, security, or sales just to pay the bills, and not what they went to school for. Thus, who can afford to take Ms. Somebody to dinner Friday night? (especially if they only received 1/4 of a paycheck!) So a lot of guys, who aren’t financially secure–will “hang out” — not date, not court, but hang out. Because hanging out is cheaper with lower expectations.

This is the economics of dating. I bet you thought men were just being jerks!

When it comes to technology, people are dating strangers (folks from online). Many couples have a hard time transitioning from “online” to “offline”. Meaning they will still email each other, “hey what are you doing tonight?” instead of picking up the phone. Hence, losing some of these social or face-to-face skills. Honestly, online dating has made it easier for awkward people (who probably shouldn’t be dating) to date and made things more awkward for everyone else.

Westerners are also an educated bunch. The higher up in education one goes, the longer this person will wait to have children. Makes sense, right? Not a lot of pregnant college and graduate students running around. The textbooks take up all your time on the weekends!  And this person will enter the workforce later and may not meet the future Mr/Mrs so-and-so until later in life.

Thus, singlehood, especially being single longer, is the new norm. Now, as an aspiring political economist, I’d say fix the economic side of the problem. If young people get good jobs when they graduate, the relationship aspects of their dreams may come to fruition sooner. But really, this is how our society is shaping and dinner for one is the new thing!

I don’t hear a lot of guys getting hassled for being single, so I would really like to hear their thoughts on the matter. Ladies, can chime in too!

As always, you reach me on Facebook or tweet me your thoughts!

S.C Rhyne

Sigh….Men Problems

men

For those of you that have been following me for the last two years and change; ya’ll know that I have been living single with no plans in the near future to change that.

I have not actively dated nor seek men to date; my roaring twenties are starting to die down, yet I do not feel any need to settle down or find someone. I like being alone.

Not too long ago, I had a brief winter chase from a man at work who was pursuing me, but he had too many problems and I believe I effectively nipped that one before it got too far.

That’s fine, just leave me the hell alone.

leave me alone, alone, sketch, S.C Rhyne

Two months ago, I just so happened to answer the phone to a man who works in the real estate industry. He needed help with the bureaucratic red tape he was getting from a city agency about the numerous permits he requested for a little league he manages.

It was nice to talk on the phone for 45 minutes with him, because frankly there was work to be done and it was a nice distraction. He called nearly everyday since that, but I thought it was because he was anxious about hearing whether the permits went through or not.

And of course, like a good government employee I ignored some of those calls until I got an answer from the agency and was able to give him some good news. His permits are fine, everything is fine.

He was elated and 45 minutes later we hung up. Now at this time (February) I was planning an event for the community and he came to show support, which was really nice. I did know somethings about him, like his long career in politics and he is now the “community face” for this company and heck, a good person to know, right?

I mean when you’re young and trying to network and make moves, its good to know people in senior executive places. However, what I didn’t realize was that this guy was trying to make moves of his own too!

A few times we talked after work hours, and the conversations were appropriate, — in fact if I remember correctly, the first night we talked he told me explicitly he was not interested in being more than friends, but he was surely a talker — 2 to 3 hours worth!

The vibe I got from him was that of someone who was really lonely and who wanted someone to vent to.

So my good cousin advised me on setting proper boundaries and assured me that no man would be on the phone for hours with a woman while only interested in talking.

We met in person once during my vacation in March for lunch, in which I told him I was interested in networking for professional reasons; he did push to spend more time with me, but I did not. Again, I’m not interested in monopolizing my time for someone.

A few weeks ago, when we had a couple warm days here and there, he invited me out to his boat; he had talked extensively about his hobby, but I have only known this guy, at best, two months. Plus, I don’t want be alone on his boat all day with him. He said he wanted to spend more time with me and I feel like we had gotten to known each other well enough.

So here are some issues:

He’s 54 years old, and I’m still in my roaring twenties.  There’s not really a conflict of issue as he does not do any business with my agency; but I’m not attracted to him at all, I think he’s a great mentor but that’s as far as it would go.

Last week he called two days in a row, well after 10p.m! Not even my mother would call me at that hour unless something was wrong. And judging by his tone of voice on the answering machine there wasn’t a fuck wrong, and I sure as hell wasn’t in the mood to talk aimlessly into the wee hours of the morning.

Alas, we are in different stages of life. He is a senior exec with liberties to work from home, come into the office at 11 a.m without owing anyone an explanation and can drive home to sit on his boat or pour himself a scotch. I’m not there yet, I don’t have all this luxurious time; I work overtime — below minimum wage with a 3 hour round-trip commute everyday, with enough money left over to pay this bill or that bill. So I’m in bed at 10 o’clock, not on the phone.

Sorry to vent, but it does look like he is getting the point. In one of our last conversations, he did mention that he knew nothing personal about me, because I always seem to talk about work. So he asked if I’m dating or had dated, and I told him the truth and tacked on that I’m not interested in dating anyone in the near future. Period.

I emailed him my resume and cover letter last week. He gladly confirmed that he received it, and would pass it along to a friend.

So has anyone ever been in this position and had to toe the line? I want to hear about it.

@ReporterandGirl or Facebook