Anna Goldfarb once dated a man who jumped out of bed at 7 a.m. on a Saturday so he could attend a marathon session of Dungeons & Dragons. She went on a second date with a man who got so drunk he broke his glasses, smashed a party photographer's camera, yelled at a cop and passed out on the bathroom floor. One particularly persistent suitor hounded her to come over during a massive snowstorm, only to kick her out so he could spend part of the snow-in with another woman.
She might have known that last guy was trouble, because his idea of a first date was to invite her to a concert in New Jersey, then uninvite her — but suggest that she pick him up after the concert so they could go out for a drink.
"It's like he put my name under 'cab service' in his phone," says Goldfarb, author of a book of dating essays, "Clearly, I Didn't Think This Through: The Story of One Tall Girl's Impulsive, Ill-Conceived, and Borderline Irresponsible Life Decisions" (Berkley Trade). "That's what he proposed on as a date: Drive by yourself into Camden and pick me up! It's just wild. I'm lucky that God cares enough about my authorship to give me these dates."
Goldfarb, 34, was blogging at Shmitten Kitten (shmittenkitten.com) and living with her concerned parents in suburban Philadelphia when she wrote her firsthand account of dating as a 6-foot-1 woman with a penchant for short, nerdy men who wear argyle socks. Published in November, "Clearly" was excerpted in Salon.com, and Publishers Weekly praised the author's "winning ability to share her tales of bad judgment without a filter." Goldfarb is working on a second book. The following is an edited transcript of our conversation.
Q: You have a rare ability to evoke the sensations of a date that's going downhill fast. How do you do it?
A: These all really happened to me, so it was easy and fun to get at, why was I turned off by this guy? It's just being super-elaborate about the things that turn me off or turn me on. When I like a dude, I take it to the same level, just in the opposite direction.
Q: Your criticisms of your dates may be small, but they point to bigger issues.
A: I feel like I can get away with the criticisms I make because I'm not mean; I'm more funny. I genuinely like most of the guys I'm with. There's a quality that attracts me to them, so I really try to articulate that pretty clearly: I hung out with this guy because he did this. And I think I'm also really honest about my own faults. I'm not under any particular illusion that I'm, like, this great catch. I have my own foibles.
Q: Have you always been interested in short guys?
A: Yes! Since I was (in) my mother's womb.
Q: Do you know anyone else who has that particular preference?
A: No, I Googled it, and I'm like, is there a group I can join? Can we go hiking together? Can we sit around and talk about, like, Jason Schwartzman?
Q: Please tell me you had some great dates you didn't write about.
A: Huh … well … I've had some great dates. I had this really great date with this doctor, but I saw on his shelf (a photo of him) in drama club in high school, one of the behind-the-scenes guys in the black shirt and black pants, and that really turned me off. Just the thought of him scrambling around in a black turtleneck.
Q: Did you tell him that or make an excuse?
A: It was kind of mutual. I was living with my parents, and he was solving medical problems. We probably were destined to diverge at some point.