Here’s the great thing about being single (yes, I said great): first dates. Confused? Don’t be. I think first dates are great. And here is why. Weird shit happens. When else, except when you’re single, can you skip from one first date to the next? I like to call this being open to the element of surprise, a tool I often use in my Life Coaching practice (surprise! I do that too), that hasn’t exactly stemmed from my deep connection to the spirit world. You see, I’ve been on a lot of first dates, and have become acquainted with a little something that goes like this….surprise! I’m crazy, weird, lovely, angry, happy, a scientologist, an out of work actor, bald, a better dresser, a hunchback, a construction worker, a real estate rat, a maniac, a Buddha, and now…let’s split the bill.

Now, I would never admit this in public but I feel safe here. Lately I’ve been feeling rather lonely. No please, hold the violin. It’s a good thing. When I’m lonely, I know that my ultimate goal is to get un-lonely (this has taken me years of therapy to realize). In order to do this, I date, you know, to boost my ego a bit. That’s normal, right? Right. So, during this current bout of lonely, I found myself on a slew of first dates that have led me to this new realization…first dates are truly amazing.

Don’t be confused. I’ll walk you through this.

I’ve seen all the films. Shag, Peggy Sue’s Getting Married, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, RAD, Footloose, where girls meet boys at ice cream stands, dance competitions, and BMX bike races; where boys chase after girls in bikinis, usually Phoebe Cates or Sarah Jessica Parker, sometimes even Lori Loughlin, and they grab their hands and pull them onto the dance-floor during the Shag-off, and then eventually greet them at their front door with flowers, and pay for their dinner before holding their hand. I’ve seen it. I’ve internalized it, I’ve created a deep seated, unconscious…oops, nope, subconscious…desire to meet a man at the 16 Handles frozen yogurt shop in Cobble Hill, and have him ask me out for dinner….dinner, you know, like a date.

But, lets get real. Who dates? I mean I used to think “dating” was something that only happened during my parents’ era. So, like many young New Yorkers during my twenties, I had forfeited my right to date because….who actually does this ancient dinosaur foreplay?! And so it was, that during my younger days I perfected the art of the meet-at-a-bar-hook-up (too much information Dad?). Don’t worry, because then one day, poof! I stopped. Yup. And guess what else stopped? Hook-ups. Whaaa whaaaa. But wait, that was fine. I’m a strong independent woman, doing what strong independent women do. No, no, I’m not part of the occupy movement, but I do fight the good fight for women’s rights, which might make me a bit of a cliché, except for one small factor. My subconscious (otherwise known as my inner Lori Loughlin), thinks life should be like a 1980s Romantic Comedy. However, considering i’m not spending my weekends playing Beach Blanket Bingo, I feel like there has to be a middle ground…right? url

Right. And I found it. Years after I forfeited dating, years after I dropped my meet-at-a-bar lifestyle, years after I decided real dates were for dinosaurs, I found it. And guess where? The internet of course, where ALL the answers are found these days. And the answer was Okcupid. The place for singles to go and meet other singles who take you out on dates. And then all of a sudden I was going out on dates, and it dawned on me that technology had in fact taken me back in time. Just like Meg Ryan’s infamous film, Kate and Leopold, Okcupid was like jumping back to the renaissance era, on the hunt for Hugh Jackman.

So, as my inner Lori Loughlin was ignited, I found myself flying through time to find my Hugh Jackman, while simultaneously shouting from the rooftops, I’m dating! I know I wasn’t meeting these boys at gelato shops or during a grueling game of Twister, but really, who cares? I was going on dates. Date dates. Kinda. And I realized something inside of me that I never knew was there before. I loved first dates! And maybe this was Lori Loughlin speaking, and maybe not. Either way, I couldn’t deny the truth of the matter; I loved dating, and frankly still do. Because what these dates do is surprise me. And who doesn’t love a good surprise? So now, for your reading pleasure, in abbreviated form, here are my last five first dates. Yippeee!

Date 1: Harry Scoliosis. Harry was absolutely lovely, but during our email exchange, he neglected to mention one small factor regarding his, eh-hem, posture. When he stepped out of the car to greet me, his back was so hunched over I thought he was saying hello to the concrete. Turns out he stared at the ground longer than at me. We went bowling anyway. Surprise take away: Bowling.

Date 2: Andy the Alien. Andy was handsome and seemingly spiritual. He spent two hours discussing his religion beginning with intensive meditation (intriguing), and ending with rose quartz crystals being smuggled from Brazil, by, with, or because of aliens?! This part confused me, but amazed me at the same time. Is that allowed? Surprise take away: Move over Katie Holmes, real people have drinks with Scientologists too! url-1

Date 3: Sexy Scott. He was the full package (emphasis on package). After four hours of intriguing conversation at a bar serving drinks made by mixologists, we strolled down the block feeding Cheetos to dancing pigeons, just like the tuxedo-clad penguins in Marry Poppins. I later realized he was not as classy as Dick Van Dyke. Sexy Scott’s entire leg was tattooed with the word Penis on it. Surprise take away(s): Mixology, dancing pigeons, and Dick Van Dyke. What ever happened to that guy?

Date 4: Ben who I met at a bar. He ordered oysters, ceviche, and dirty martinis before I showed up. After three martinis he confessed that he wasn’t really thirty-one. In fact, he was twenty-five, but what’s a couple years, right? Well, after three martinis he could have been eighteen for all I cared. Well played Bar Ben. After dinner, he joined me at home for the completion of my vision board…yes, really. Surprise take away: Dirty martinis and an important lesson learned, never make a vision board with a boy whom you can’t envision on your board.

Date 5: Kevin, the stand-up comedian. Seated at a fancy downtown wine bar, we struck up a conversation about Judaism over a bottle of Pinot Noir and spoke of our love for matzo ball soup. Suddenly the wine was hastily forfeited and we galloped to Katz’s Deli where we partook in the age-old tradition of eating unleavened dumpling balls, right where Meg Ryan faked an orgasm. Surprise take away: A Jewish grandmothers perfect night.

Now, maybe it’s the Life Coach in me talking when I say, how awesome were those dates? If life (according to me) is grounded on the premise of always being open to the element of surprise, what better surprise is there than this? And while we assume that the internet is bringing us into an age where human connection is obsolete, how about the surprise that it might also be taking us back in time to the days of dinosaur dating? With one click on my mouse pad, I now hold the ability to find myself seated across the table from a man (or a boy), on a date. A date date. Kinda.

We can’t deny it. Weird shit happens on first dates. And when we’re open to the element of surprise, anything goes, and our inner Lori Loughlin’s are momentarily tempered as we cast ourselves in the 2013 version of our favorite 1980s Rom-Com. And though Lori Loughlin might be outdated, i’m pretty sure, i’m just hitting my prime.