I spend a large amount of time writing both the blog and other articles. I think most people assume bloggers sit down for thirty minutes and bang out the latest post. I guess it’s possible, but not for me. For example, “A Love Story,” one of the more detailed entries, took me eight hours to write, two additional hours of editing, another hour of tweaking, and then an hour to get it on the blog and insert the links and photos.
AND I still found typos or things that could’ve been better worded. I’m always editing—even after it’s published.
Twelve hours of work for one entry and that’s not unusual—especially for the stories that have tons of necessary details. Daniel (“Cheap or Evolved?“) understood this. We had another discussion on our date last Thursday–a free event. I told him for the umpteenth time that when I am writing I do not break for texting or phone calls.
The reason we were on a date at all was that I still wasn’t absolutely convinced that he was cheap–that is until we took a taxi home. Daniel suggested we share. He said he wanted to visit a friend who lived in my neighborhood. One block before my apartment, Daniel hopped out at a red light and didn’t offer any of the fare.
It was a strategic miserly move.
I don’t believe for one minute that he planned to visit a friend. What I think he did was catch the crosstown bus that he told me he used frequently. The cab fare from where we were (Gramercy) to his apartment on the Upper East Side would have been at least $20 plus tip. He figured he’d tag along on my dime and use his Metro card for a $2.25 bus ride.
A day after our date Daniel called and left a message asking that I call him back. I was writing but planned to return his call once I was finished. I wanted to let him know that we would not be seeing each other again. When Daniel called a second time within a few hours I was very aggravated but took his call. I was curt and told him that I was in the midst of writing, planned to call him back and that he shouldn’t have called a second time. I ended the call abruptly.
Honestly, how many times did he have to be told the same thing?
The next day I sent an email message apologizing for my phone behavior. I also let Daniel know that although I thought he was a nice man, we were not a good match. I explained that he wanted more than I was willing or able to give—that my writing was a priority especially after spending five years focused on writing the memoir and ways to get it published. I said that I thought it was less about me, more about his ego (he’d mentioned ad nauseam the strong Leo influence on his male pride). I wished him the best and thanked him for some nice times.
Daniel responded immediately and I could tell he was roaring.
Here are the parts that I found exceptionally annoying:
Most of my friends are writers, editors, directors, agents and dramaturgy. I’ve been here 30 years. I majored in theater and I use to teach the creative process for the [redacted] theater. You’re not teaching me anything new about writing or writers. You’re the one who’s new. Writer’s write but they must also live.”
By the way, when he taught “the creative process” he was a volunteer.
Most of the women on [redacted dating site] are published writers. Books, magazines, etc. i’ve dated plenty. Carrying it to the extreme does not make you better or get you a sell. I tried to help and point you in the right direction. You seem unwilling to understand that.”
Most of the women on the dating site are published writers? Who knew the only chicks in NYC that don’t have a man are writers?
He’s going to help get me get a “sell” yet Daniel never sold anything that he’d written. His advice was that I have some fun and quit taking it so seriously. Of course, he wanted the fun to be with him.
As a Leo I know the deal. So cut the attitude. Careful, you’re on the verge of pretense. This is New York baby. We’ve seen it all before. Please take that in spirit offered. All I wanted from you was fun. Can you be fun? Just fun. I wonder. Maybe I’m not the man for you. Someone with talent and background. Maybe your ego needs to be top dog. Younger guys are good for that. No competition. My ego is in check. Been here too long. Watch for my solo shows.”
What do you think the odds are that Daniel will ever have those solo shows?
Here’s my response:
You’re the one who should be careful about pretense. Writers don’t live when they’re in the midst of writing. Come on, Daniel, even someone who is much less New York-ified than you knows that. Hell, I think maybe even a guy from Iowa could share that info. New doesn’t make me ignorant. It made me smile that you felt the need to share your credentials–there’s your ego again. New also doesn’t make me incapable of telling good writing from, well, average at best–remember that the next time you send your work to someone you’re trying to impress. Now there’s MY ego that I’d hoped to keep in check.
Daniel had sent me some things he’d written and I was glad to know that when he retired he had a full pension.
He sent two more messages that I ignored but here was his final zinger:
How many of my friends and girlfriends have written books, articles and essays on sex? If only I had a nickle for each one.
Note to the disgruntled: When you’re delivering the coup de grâce, use spellcheck.
Instead of hurling myself out of my apartment window, all I could think about was the irony of the misspelled coin. Especially since I’m sure he has the first one of those he ever made.
Daniel spent a good portion of our time together attempting to prove how important and connected he was. He loved to drop the names of famous actors and call them his friends. The free event we went to on our last date was a book party for another of Daniel’s “friends.” It was very clear that although the author knew him by name he was only an acquaintance. They were in an acting class together.
He also told me that he was a friend of many literary agents and he figured some of them would be at the event. He said he’d be happy to introduce me if they were there.
Surprise, surprise, they weren’t but I didn’t expect them to be.
He talked constantly about his solo shows and how he’d missed this deadline or that opportunity to enter a competition. “Next year I’ll be ready,” he loved to say.
He never bothered to read the blog or anything else I’d written, yet he told me regularly through text and voicemail messages, “I can’t quit thinking about you.” When I told him about losing Kate he couldn’t even feign interest and I gave him the two-minute version of the story. After he sent me things that he’d written he asked repeatedly if I’d read them. I always said that I had and thanked him for sending me his work. I could tell that he wanted me to praise his writing. I just couldn’t do that.
He often said, “I admired your drive and work ethic,” but would complain when I told him I was working and couldn’t go out or take his calls. He said I needed to balance work and fun. I explained that I loved to write so it was fun and that I was sure the next man in my life would understand my commitment. He didn’t like that.
The facts are clear. I questioned his motives on the first date. I had a bad feeling when he got up and went to the bathroom after asking for the check. I questioned his character when he put up no protest when I paid for our second date. I thought it was inconsiderate that he did not stand in line for my drink at the movies. I found it distasteful that he would mention the cost of the movie ticket especially after we had the talk about money. I had all the signs I needed from that first date and yet I continued to see him. What was I thinking?
I screwed up by second guessing my gut. I will never make that sort of mistake again.
“People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it.” Harlan Ellison