Thursday, January 25, 2007


I've had trouble sleeping. I've had trouble eating. I've spent the week in haze. I've kept busy, let my mind focus on other things, but when it has free reign to wander, it always returns to the same thing--or rather the same person. Ben. It's criminal to think about him so much, but I'm powerless to do otherwise.

Tomorrow night, I'm meeting a group of female friends at Cozy Bar. If things are going to move forward between Barman Ben and me, I'm going to need some kind of indication then. If I have misinterpreted the gestures and nuances for something more than platonic interest, I'd rather know sooner than later. This infatuation I'm going through, it's like some kind of crazy illness, and it's fun and giddy and inspiring (I have another story idea percolating), but it isn't real. There's only so much I can live in my head.

The advice I've received has been conflicting. Some think that because of my intense nature, I might intimidate him a bit, and should therefore go ahead and ask him out. Some think I should make him jealous by talking to/flirting with other men (I don't think I like that idea). Some think I should play it cool, not do anything rash, and see how things play out.

I have a problem when it comes to being patient. I don't know that I can wait weeks or months, visiting Cozy Bar from time to time, and gradually building a rapport with Barman Ben until it develops into something or doesn't. At the same time, I run the risk of eradicating any potential anything by being too forward, too eager.

If I ask him out, it would be for coffee, to have a proper conversation outside of the bar. In his voicemail, he already hinted at a full schedule rehearsing for a play, that he's "not going to be around much," so he may plead busy to spare my feelings. But at least this way I would know for sure, not be left wondering, waiting.

Anyway, I hardly ever do this, but I am confused and ambivalent and nervous and distracted and not thinking straight. I don't want to buckle under the weight of this crush, so I would like to open the floor for outside opinions.

Yes, I am actually asking for advice.

What should I do when I see Barman Ben tomorrow night?

[ETA: I have to give credit to this post in Dan's blog for giving me a lot of hope. Thanks, Dan!]


Doc Love said...

Get it over with Dolly. Ask him out. You're giving me anxiety just reading about it. Do it....Do it.

NikkiWozzy said...

Long time lurker here...

I think you should just do it and ask him out to coffee. No matter what the answer, it will ease some of the anxiety and maybe help clear your head.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

Anonymous said...

ask him when he's gonna grow the balls to ask you out

Anonymous said...

I agree you should talk to him. And maybe ask him out. But with a group of friends, and ordering drinks (probably beforehand)? If he says yes, then you get to giggle all night at the table with your girlfriends, if not then it ruins your whole night out.

If he's as "hunky" as you say, there are probably tons of young women who come in and flirt and hug him. (I doubt they write him stories) Why not show up alone and talk to specifically to him and order coffee instead of booze? I'm sure he'll get the picture; that you are interested. And that this is NOT just a coincidence.

Anonymous said...

You dropped a million hints, he left a message saying he's busy. Ask him out if you just can't wait, but be ready for "No."

At least then you'll have an answer.

Good luck,


Auntie Mom said...

He likes you, silly! That article is dead on.

I have a feeling if you go with your gut, one of you will ask the other out in no time. Ignore the cynics. There are signs.

StrangerInTheseParts said...

This is a no brainer.

Go tomorrow with your friends and enjoy yourself. Let the evening play out. Maybe there will be a chance to arrange a get together without making a formal "do you want to go out?" moment. Maybe he'll ask you out. If neither occurs, then you just up and ask him out - for coffee just like you described.

A) He wants you. That was obvious since the voice mail he left you about the story.

B) Delaying the next step or flirting with others is all just games and stupid at this point.

C) You need to let off some of the intensity by doing something about how you feel, but not by making out with him before you've really even met him. Just meet him one on one somewhere neutral. Talk a little. Then kiss. Then blog.

Anonymous said...


Day 2 him.

Don't make it a date, have him tag along somewhere your're already going. He won't flake, and there is no reason for him to say no. Dinner and a movie can come at the end of the day 2, but the begining should be you tow trying to find your older brother a birthday present or something and him there to help out.

Do what the PUA's do, day 2 him.


Anonymous said...

Okay, I might not know girls very well, but I think that I have a pretty strong grasp on the guy situation (I play one on TV).

Seems to me that he might be getting cozy with you because he wants to ride your coat tails a bit? Or rather be able to ride them one day. Dunno for sure, but I wonder if he is more concerned about his "career" and "networking" than actually being into you.

Of course, after spending time together he could fall for you further, but that's not normally how guys are. Someone is usually our type or there is chemistry right away -- we don't develop it too much further over time.

I'm not trying to burst your bubble or anything because I still think that you should see where this leads. Don't ask him out though, at least not in the classical sense, as that would seem almost desperate given the circumstances. I like the "day 2" idea actually from above -- just invite him to tag along somewhere and get to actually know him outside of the bar before choosing to see him further.

Dolly said...

Auntie Mom,
Mom said almost the same thing you did, that there's interest and that I should follow my instincts. Which sounds like the wisest advice at this point.

Dynamic and Anonymous 1:38,
I think you're trying to apply PUA laws to this situation, which is a bit different. I see what you're saying, but Ben and I aren't chummy enough where I can suggest he tag along to a movie a friend and I are seeing. It just seems off to me, to be all "come hang out with me and my friends." I just don't think something like that would work or strike the right tone in my case. It would be odd (though I really appreciate your input!).

Auntie Mom said...

Yay! I like agreeing with Mom! She's so insightful. I still need to get down there sometime and have her look into my future... :)

Anonymous said...

I can't believe he hasn't called already. If it was me, when I saw him I would calmly say "Hey, I thought you were gonna call and give me that list." Don't mention that you know his last name and how to look him up on IMDB. And don't watch any of his movies if he doesn't give you the list. If he seems like he genuinely meant to call but didn't make it a priority, then joke around with him a bit: "Now you are gonna have to do penance. You have to come over and watch one of your movies with me and my friends. And we are gonna make fun of your bad acting." Then if things are going well and he's laughing at your joke ask him out for a short coffee date: "I wonder how you are outside of a bar. Would you like to get a quick cup of coffee/tea/cocoa one night this week?"

That's what I would do. Good luck Dolly. You deserve someone fabulous for sure. I'm just not sure Barman Ben is fabulous enough for the likes of you :-)


Anonymous said...

I completely understand where you're coming from Dolly, but that's not what I meant.

I'll offer you an example to better clarify-

Here is how I set up all of my day 2's. In reality it's subtext for hanging out with the woman, but I'm putting the "I'm doing this and you can tag along" frame with it.

Dynamic: "Hey, are you a good shopper?"

Woman: "I'm an excellent shoppper!"

Dynamic: "Really? Okay get this, my litttle sister's birthday is coming up in about a week and I am still clueless on what to get her, and I'm going shopping tomorrow for her present. You are totally going to help me out by tagging along, I'm going to be at the starbucks across from Macy's at like noon so meet up with me there."

Woman: "Okay, how old is your little sister?"

And there you have it. (This is really funny to me posting here because four girls who I know check your blog every day or so (I turned them onto it duh!) have heard me say this to them. They all met me at the Starbucks across form Macy's where we sit and chat for about 45 minutes, they all have then gone across the street with me to Macy's where we can't ever find ANYTHING, go figure, and then they have all decided to come with me to grab some gelato in grand central station and then ended up back at my place) There is nothing odd about that Dolly, I assure you. I do this with women I've only known for an hour or so, you've been drooling over this guy for what feels like forever... :)

Oh, and as a side note, movies are usually a bad idea because that time you spend looking at a screen togeather would be better spent getting to know each other.

Dolly, I wish you the best and truly hope it works out!



Dolly said...

You definitely need to get yourself down here. We are overdue a girls night out.

What a lovely thing to say. I'm going to try to remember that when I see him tomorrow. As for the calling/movie list thing, I'm not going to mention it unless he does, and I am not going to tell him I have already looked him up on IMDB (and several other websites). I didn't expect him to actually call, and thinking about it some more, it would be kind of strange for him to call, just to say, "hey, here are the movies you should watch that I starred in."

I do have a better idea at what you're getting at now and I see how this is a great idea to create a low-key experience that maybe evolves into a date. My problem is that I don't know how I'd do this on a 44-year-old divorced bartender/actor. I hate shopping and doubt he prides himself on his shopping skills. I could ask if he's good at brooding, because from what I've seen I bet he probably is, but I don't know how I could parlay that into an actual activity...

At this point, it's all speculation. I'll see what the vibe is tomorrow.

Calla Lily said...

I think he likes you. I also think he's sitting back because he thinks that you're okay with doing the work, as you've sort of been the aggressor thus far. I think he'd be into it if you asked him out/made the first move, whatever. But it might also be interesting just to see what happened if you backed off a bit. Either way, I think you're in, honestly.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it would be strange for him to call and give you the list. But he was the one to suggest it! I assume so that he would have an excuse to call and ask you out. Maybe he is just phone shy. Last time he waited 2 weeks just hoping you would come into the bar. And then he called 3 times, hoping to get you, before leaving a message. And you didn't call him back. Maybe, even though he's an actor and bartender, he's not very comfortable calling accomplished young ladies.


realtor rick said...


1) I stand by everything I told you in our personal conversations. I think you'd be best served just making the move yourself so you at least know where things stand.

2) I can't fully assess the situation unless I see the story. You know this.

3) Agree with Dynamic, the D2 is the way to go. It's far easier doing the D2 thing than having a formal date. Much less pressure.

I don't know you well enough to suggest what's a good D2 idea for you. You've got to figure that one out for yourself.



Dynamic -- When are you going to get your ass to another NYC lair meeting? Your presence at the roundtable is requested....

realtor rick said...

More broadly speaking...the D2 is ALMOST ALWAYS a better route to take than the formal date.

To all the guys out there, here's a little piece of free advice. With two words, you can dramatically increase your odds of sex on your second encounter with a woman!

What, prey tell, are those two words Realtor Rick?

(Drumroll please...)

"Dress Casual!"

You're welcome

Matt said...

I agree with the puas here. Though when I day2 someone that person knows my intent prior to setting up the day2. Yes we're only meeting at target to shop for a scarf, then maybe a drink if that goes well. But she knows I'm meeting her on a day2 hangout because I'm interested in her as more than a friend.

I'd say don't day2 him without a clear SOI in place. (show of interest/statement of intent)

Then just hang out on the day2 in a non-date context.

Jack Roy said...

Ooh! I've been asked for dating advice! I haven't been this midleadingly honored since I was Time magazine's Person of the Year.

Add me to the chorus of those telling you that you have nothing to worry about. You're awesome... he's gonna like you... just roll wit' it.

(Although I admit I'd love to read the story should he take you up helping you shop for your little sister's birthday present.)

High School Heather said...

Yo. You're on a date hiatus for 2007, right? So if it doesn't work out with him, it's okay because you're on hiatus anyway.

And although bartenders do get hit on a lot, there are the rare examples of ones who have good heads on their shoulders and can spot a good-hearted babe when they see one.

ALSO, who's to say he's not a stage manager or director, but is acting in the meantime? (You could always urge him to do other things besides act.)

Anonymous said...

first thing you should do is chill out a little. Try not to obsessive so much. What is the worst he could say no. But in reality he wont.

Sencond is fuck it ask him out. He WILL go I bet.

Third ANY DECISION you make will be the right one. If he is on board then perfect, if he isn't then it was not ment to be

smoothlatinkid said...

This is my five minute writing break.

There is a time to be indirect, and a time to be direct.

You may as well be direct now.

After dropping a ton of hints, expressing interest, and probably committing too much thought to it, it's time.

You even say yourself...your thoughts are on this guy a lot, but it's not REAL. It exists mainly in your head.

PUAs call this one-itis.

I think this--why you're focused on this guy--has little to do with the guy himself...and everything
to do with where you are right now.

Ok, there's the 5 cents you dropped in my can. Armchair psychology over. :)

The multitude of day2 possilities are infinite. As prescribed earlier, set it up as something you were already going to do.

Based on my limited reading of this blog, I would suggest saying that you and your girlfriend(s) are going to check out some new bar/lounge/whatever---and invite him to tag along for drinks.

Then I would take all those special things you feel about him and realize....that that's not HIS magic, or him at all.

It's you.

Take heart in the fact that you can still get a-flutter over someone, because that's YOUR magic.

Share it with someone who's truly reciprocal and worth it.

I feel like I'm not telling you anything you don't know.

I also agree with Calla Lily--the guy's comfortable with you being the aggressor. He doesn't HAVE to do anything. Which is why freezeouts and jealousy plotlines work so well. They COMPEL the other person to act, by showing them what behavior you will reward, and what behavior you won't.

Doesn't sound like that's what you want to do, though.

So make the move. Find out. Then move on. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

i think he will say yes if you ask him out for coffee or even a date, but from what i've read my gut tells me he is not interested in you romantically...i merely think he is mighty flattered and you've played to his vanity card with the story you wrote for him (an actor? vain? no!) oy.

Anonymous said...

Simply put, if you ask him out in any way you are DOOMING yourself. Make it known that you like him, but allow him to "make the move".

Anonymous said...

I've been busy, I have a little pet project going on right now that will take up most of my time for the next month, see my post "Living in a hostel enviroment" on my blog. Let me know when the next lair meeting is and I'll do my best to make it out.

I know you're stressed, but I found something cool that someone as creative as you might enjoy.

Whatever happens Dolly, you'll still have your friends, your writing, and most importanlty, you'll still be you. And we all know that you are attractive and desireable to a lot of men, if this guy misses out on that, then indeed it's his loss.

Oh, and before I forget, return my Email, knuckle head. :)



Anonymous said...

i have to agree with doc love, ask him out and be done with it.

elina said...

I think you enjoy fantasizing about the idea of him, and not necessarily interested in who he really is. He probably knows that once he returns your feelings, you'll bolt. So he's probably feeling you out. I think the best thing to do is just to focus on why you're so interested in a guy, who 1) isn't necessarily commitment material, and 2) a guy who may be just a figment of your imagination. after all, bartenders are like psychologists, it's very easy to transfer all your emotions onto them. And didn't you say you didn't even like actors?
Bottom line: it's safer for you to pine away for him, since you know he's not actually someone you could have a relationship with.

Elina, author of "Kiss and Run: The Single, Picky, and Indecisive Girl's Guide to Overcoming Her Fear of Commitment"

Anonymous said...

What would it hurt to go for it?

I know you hate game playing so a continual back and forth banter will eventually drive you crazy. You know there's interest, so why not take a chance?

By going after what you want you'll find out the truth and can move on. If it works out, it's because you tried, if not, the guy's an idiot, and at least you know.

Take care,

CoatMan said...

My goodness. This is quite a storyline here - and all the more engaging because it's real. I'm not sure that I have any advice for Dolly; I'm hardly qualified (I don't know any middle-aged, divorced actors for a start), but I can empathise a lot: being uncertain is very not fun, and, from what I've read, there's enough of a hint that he might like you without anything conclusive to leave the whole thing on a knife edge. I very much hope that it goes well, Dolly, and that you know for certain, one way or another, sooner rather than later, as it's far less unpleasant that way. He must be something pretty special for you to be so deliriously smitten. I hope that he realises that :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Dolly,

I hope you get this in time or I hope it helps.

I would have to say that the rash feelings you're having regarding this guy can only be blamed on one thing....

well, actually a couple of things: hormones (such as serotonin, Dopamine, Norepinephrine and even testosterone and oestrogen.

See the chemistry of love:

One suggestion is to do what the PUAs do for one-i-tis; date 10 (12 or 13...take your pick) other guys. If you still feel the same way about Ben then, maybe you should ask him out.

I'd personally say play it cool tonight (your not desperate or lonely). You're a hip chick with a lot going on in your life. You have plenty of other things going on, you don't NEED to go out of your way to ask anyone out.

If this guy is interested in you, he'll show you.

You've done your part. You have made good eye contact (keep doing that), shown him indicators of interest, and you've been open & friendly. It doesn't take a moron to figure out you're into him.

If for what ever reason you think he's clueless you can (subtly) ask what the dating policies at that bar is for bartenders dating customers.

You'll get an answer either way.

But I am no expert. I was just referred to your blog. This is all I've read

Good luck, have fun, & make him work for it.
Ana Renee

Anonymous said...


Keep it short. Don't linger or wait at the bar for too long. Think of it as the Seinfeld series, "End it while it's going good." Make him miss those moments and make time to share those moments with you.

The PUAs end the interaction first, end the kiss first, end the phone call first, end the text message thread first, end the date first etc. He'll crave you like you crave him.

Don't let it go on and on and on like my advice.