If the saying, “food for thought” was not, in fact, a metaphor, I would be stuffed. A glutinous truth seeker and someone who has been on more than 50 first dates in the four years since my divorce, I have spent hours binging on rich chocolate thoughts such as what the hell happened to the faux prince charming I met online, Rockstar, the truths behind the “Cracking the ManCode” seminar I attended a few weeks ago, and why I am experiencing relative ease in dating Smart Guy, another internet find who trips my trigger but hasn’t pushed my buttons.
Rasberry Pate de Fruit Layered Over Almond Hazelnut Praline
Hmmmm….Anything with almond hazelnut praline in its description sounds amazing, delicious, a treat that can not be left sitting for too long in the box of chocolates. And thus, when I saw Rockstar’s online profile I thought he was most definitely hazelnut praline. Tall, blond and amazing thick dirty blond hair. This 30 inch waist, one- time actor and successful fashion photographer was one piece of chocolate candy I couldn’t wait to devour. And although our schedules didn’t mesh for weeks, I was enjoying the fact that I knew he was there, nestled in the decorator box waiting for me to inspect more closely.
I was thrown though when he sent me a picture from his Iphone directly to my email. This picture was no headshot, and quite unlike this two pictures online.
I wondered to my friend Maya, “I’m not sure if he’s cute. Is he cute? Is he?
Maya replied patiently. “Is the picture downright bad, I mean, really, is he…like…ugly in the picture?”
I thought, considering the pixels once again.
“No, not ugly. But for sure not as cute as those pics online.”
“No worries,” said Maya confidently. I’m sure….. he’s cute.”
I was patient, and as life gets busy, not to mention the picture dilemma, it made it easier to wait and get to know him over the phone.
When I met Rockstar the first time at my front door, though, it was as if I put my nose right inside the glorious candy box. I inhaled, savoring how good it felt to be in his warm embrace. It was gourmet! Yummilicious. He had looked good, now this piece of candy smelled good too. When we kissed, it was confirmed. Rockstar was one treat to delight the tastebuds. In fact, when I first met Rockstar I didn’t even poke the bottom to see what kind of filling I might find inside that inviting candy coating. Nope, before I even had more than one nibble of this EliteMeeting.com morsel, I thought he might be worth getting myself a case of.
After dating a few weeks, however, I began to sense this guy was not turning out to be milk chocolate on the outside, delicious hazelnut praline filling inside. A few “I’ll call ya laters” that went unfulfilled and what seemed like a case of chronics lateness left me disappointed. And as I began to consider that this piece of candy might just be a one-hit wonder, I remained open to the possibilities, my taste buds blinded by the first class packaging.
And then there was the date, our last date. The setting was magnificent. A candlelit dinner where we sat tucked away in a dark corner at one of LA’s most hip restaurants. Our table for two enveloped by sheaths of white linen, swagged effortlessly throughout the small alcove, marble pillars creating the feel of Mozambique and Arabian Knights. We drank wine, laughed, shared an entrée. Friends joined us for dinner and there I observed, pleased, as Rockstar held my hand, mixing brilliantly with my friends. Filled with good food, friends and wine we returned home, spending five minutes in his Range Rover parked outside my house singing. Our most loud, horrible voices filling the car, as we rocked the entire lyrics to “St Elmo’s Fire, a classic from the 1990s. It was a great date. And of course, there was the proverbial telephone call the next day, heralding the evening as one of his best.
“Honey,” he said. He had called me honey from the getgo.
“That was amazing. The best. Oh my God…honey.” his Tennessee drawl made me return to thoughts of the chocolate center, milk chocolate coating, swirls and twirls the perfect compliment to it’s magnificent taste. And for sure, inside there had to be pure hazelnut praline.
“Honey….,I replied. “It was fun….amazing…but I don’t think the lyrics to that song are “Dough Horizon…” I laughed thrilled we now shared an inside joke between us.
“I’m going to finish moving this week, then you will see my new studio. Honey…Its gonna be….dope. I can’t wait for you to see it. I’m thinkin’ Wednesday.”
“Perfect,” I said. “No kids Wednesday, that’s great.”
And then, I took the big bite, the one where you find out exactly what kind of filling lies hidden inside the delicious milk chocolate.
I hit Rasberry Pate de Fruit. And I, for one, do not like fruit in my chocolate!
“Uhhh…honey…I’m not sure Wednesday. Maybe Thursday. I don’t know. Not sure when…. It’s has to be…perfect. I holla at you later.”
Ick. Uck. Choke. Gag.
This is when it’s time to spit. Into the trash. A napkin. The street. Really, I’m not eating Rasberry Pate de Fruit. It’s not worth the calories. Which is a good thing, because in essence, this was the last conversation I had with Rockstar before he began to vanish. Disappear.
The taste of Pate de Fruit still lingers as I try to figure out what the hell happened to Rockstar. And while I’m thrilled I didn’t invest in a case, box or even one full piece of Rockstar, my curiosity regarding “disappearing man syndrome” inspired me to attend a “Cracking the Man-Code” seminar given by Matt Boggs, a relationship expert and author of “Project Everlasting.”
Breakfast Buffet, Ritz Carlton Hotel, Laguna Beach California
My best guy friend, Chris, has been suggesting I attend Boggs’ seminar for months, as Chris is my go-to guy for interpreting men and the meaning behind their often confusing actions. He knows that when it comes to men I have difficulty playing by the famed “Rules” coined by authors Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider more than five years ago. Coming off the Rasbery Pate de Fruit, I was ready for something a bit more conventional. Something filling. A menu I could really sink my teeth into, foods with substance and heartiness but that also offered a few delicacies I could savor amidst the more traditional fare.
And there it was, the ultimate food for thought. A buffet waiting for me in Orange County; “Cracking the Man-Code: 6 1/a Secrets to MANifesting and Getting the Love You Deserve. Now, I’m not going to divulge all the secrets I learned at Boggs’ incredible two hour chick fest, but I will tell you that for the more than 40 plus attractive 30-40 year-old women in the room, the code was definitely cracked.
Although I’m not a meat eater, there is plenty of carved roast beef in Bogg’s theory. According to the Man Code, men, who were traditionally hunters in prehistoric times, have not changed much in the last thousands of years. Boggs’ asked us to imagine that men can’t multitask effectively because they operate within metaphorical “apartments” that exist in their brains. The result is this; when my man is in the football apartment, he can’t dis about the couple at dinner last night because, for goodness sakes, he is in the freaken football apartment. Apparently, these apartments have no windows and the door is exit only, in that a woman can’t get inside the apartment. Her best bet is to wait, siting quietly and join in the task at hand. While I knew this intellectually, I had always blamed men, thinking they didn’t think that what I wanted to say was important. Or, that they didn’t care what I was feeling. Turns out most times, I was talking to those men while they were firmly entrenched in one apartment or another.
A case in point. I was driving to dinner with a male friend of mine, Neil. This down to earth cool British guy is someone I dated once or twice, but we opted for a friendship instead. Nevertheless, as friends, Neil exemplified perfectly the apartment theory.
“So,” says Neil with concern in his voice as we head down Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica looking for a place to park the car. “Tell me, what happened with that women who told y’tales about your daughter without giving you any details?”
Ahh, I thought, enjoying his British accent. Sweet Neil. Not only did he remember our conversation a few days before where I told him about the phone call, but he was thoughtful enough to ask me how it resolved. Cared enough to see how it had turned out for me and my 13-year-old daughter. Just as I launched into the answer, Neil clearly stopped listening. He had spied an empty parking space and was trying to ascertain if the meter was one hour, two hours or not in effect on a Friday night at 8 pm.
“Hmmmm..can ya read that meter?” asked Neil, cutting me off mid sentence.
While my instinct was to get pissed and think Neil an uncaring cad for interrupting me in the middle of my vulnerable expose on parenting a teenager, I remembered the apartment theory. I sunk my teeth into that rare roast beef and savored its tenderness. Clearly, Neil was in the “parking apartment,” thus incapable of hearing my answer. It wasn’t that he didn’t care, he just couldn’t listen to me and park the car simultaneously.
Now that I have cracked the code, I knew to stop talking. Wait until the parking task had been completed. And then, once the car was safely in gear and parked, key out of the ignition, Neil turned to me and said, “Now, what happened with your daughter?”
The Man-Code Buffet also featured other tasty morsels, like reasons why men such as Rockstar vanish or disappear. Sinking my teeth into this information was like enjoying the hollandaise sauch on eggs benedict, the crispness of hash browns with sautéed mushrooms, and the crunch of crispy maple smoked bacon. I now understood Rockstar may have floated off into never- never land because, for him, the hunt of Marni, the lioness, had ended. Although I had followed his lead, it didn’t matter. I had become too accessible. I jumped right into the trap. Game over. Hunt ended. And that, according to Boggs, is no damn fun for men like Rockstar. While I am a rule hater, according to Bogg’s, I need to get over it because men need to hunt. It’s in their DNA. They must do it.
There may be other reasons Rockstart vanished. For example, according to Man-Code theory, often when men get caught up in the sexual part of a relationship they lose their ability to reason effectively. And, when a man is in the lust apartment, he thus can’t effectively use his intellect to assess his true feelings. As a result, they disappear in order to think things through. Sometimes they come back. Sometimes they don’t.
Of course, there were an array of breakfast pastries on the Boggs Buffet. Croissants in the form of tidbits about why I really shouldn’t sleep with men until the relationship has evolved into something I am looking for. And as the scrambled eggs with goat cheese, basil and sweet red peppers melted in my mouth, I understood why I need to let the man take charge, a task that is often difficult for me, as Boggs shared his theory on the pitfalls of being a woman who tends to bring a significant amount of male energy to the dating table. Again, it seems that men just need to be men. Neanderthal’s with hearts, pretty faces and much less hair than their prehistoric predecessors. Hmmm, I thought, perhaps next time I should let the man decide whether we want a table in front, or sit outside under heat lamps.
And then there were the desserts, and the sweetest, most luscious fruits. The Man-Code seminar came complete with a “man panel” on hand to answer questions by women attending the seminar. Three relatively good looking men, two single and one married, spent 30 minutes helping women in the audience interpreting questions such as, “Why do men ask for your number, but then never call?” Or, “How come women shouldn’t sneak off and pay ahead for the bowling, movie, or dessert on a first, second, or even third date?” I savored each taste as I sampled the marscapone honey dip and maple crème fraiche. Then bite after bite of the fresh tropical and seasonal fruits.
The Man-Code Buffet had been satiating. I left satisfied, filled with new understanding that while men might be modern day Neanderthals, it’s just because they are wired this way, and that most importantly, to know them is to love them. To understand them is to work with them, not against them.
Driving back from the OC to Los Angeles with my friend Lindsay, we both burped unabashedly. We were full, two women content knowing we had cracked the code and would ultimately MANifest love we both deserved.
“Stir it Up” and Hot Green Tea
Julienne vegetables, gingery garlic sauce over brown rice, soba noodles or daily greens.
Real Food Daily, Santa Monica California
And then there is Smart Guy, another man I met online, also at EliteMeeting.com. According to Elite we were a 94 percent match, having many things in common such as location, age, primary interests and income. What really got me with Smart Guy, however, was that he mentioned a book in his profile, The Four Agreements, that I also read and it seemed it was one of the precepts for his philosophy toward life.
Armed with man-code knowledge I was eager to meet Smart Guy. We met at the Urth Café, a down-to-earth spot in Venice, California. Featuring an array of whole bean organic coffees hand selected fine teas, the menu also offers healthy salads, soups and desserts. Smart guy arrived with that just woke up look, tossled brown hair, board shorts and a sweatshirt emblazoned with the words, “Argentina,” on it. I had managed cute, but casual in jeans, black sweater and a black and white plaid cap. We talked easily, and within minutes he was sharing his views on life, his belief in the laws of attraction, his desire to avoid wheat, alcohol and dairy, as well as his latest business venture which promises to help people make money through enjoyment. I was thrown off a bit, as this run of the mill vegetable happened to also look quite scrumptious… like chocolate, in fact. Dark chocolate, my favorite. Eighty percent cocoa. Smart Guy carried on, his words proving to me he was 100 percent vegetable.
I have been dating Smart Guy for a short time, and I like him! He continues to be the best looking vegetable I’ve found, which often throws off a woman who is used to being attracted to hazelnut praline with raspberry pate de fruit. I used to just choke down the fruit, now I’m thinking I like veggies as an entrée, chocolate for dessert! Smart Guy makes me think. He makes me smile. He’s super sexy, and to top if off, he calls when he says he will. He flirts via email. Texts to tell me he has had a good time after a date, and then, calls again the next day just to say hi. Smart Guy even cooked me dinner, yes vegetables and lentils smothered in a most delicious miso dressing, at his place, and because Smart Guy looks vegetable yet has that chocolate thing going for him, he suggested we eat a piece of the flourless chocolate cake I had brought first, before we had dinner! In the hooking up department, Smart Guy has been respectful as well as passionate, allowing me to enjoy each moment. In fact, during one heated moment Smart Guy straight out said, looking me directly in the eye, that the journey toward the destination is just as fun as the arrival. Did I mention he looks like Godiva?
When I am with Smart Guy it’s healthy. It’s green tea and lemon. Hot, sweet and warming, leaving me with good, tender-hearted feelings of calm and quiet joy. There is no drama, no bloat from excessive feasting on sweets that taste good in the moment but result in bad feelings and hurt.
Most important, Smart Guy reinforces what I have learned for myself when it comes to food, thoughts and life. Be Moderate. Don’t eat too much. Don’t think too much. And enjoy each moment for what it is, knowing that it is just one part, of all the parts that are necessary, on the Food Pyramid that makes up my rich, delicious life. Life is too short to diet I have learned. Starving now leads to binging later, and eating until I can’t move makes me feel bad. Life is enjoying everything in small bites. Don’t workout too much. Eat candy. Enjoy bread, pasta and crackers. Savor stirfry, roasted broccoli and jasmine mint tea. And allow myself the pleasures I deserve as long as they are consumed with peace of mind, presence of sprit as well as heart, and bowlfuls of dignity.