Ms. Top Five

A couple of weeks ago, the illustrious and infamous Fishy of Plenty More Fish Out of Water published a brilliant little piece about the top five things that he looks out for on his first dates.  It was positively inspiring.

So in honor of Fishy’s work, I’ve decided to compile my own list.

After almost five months of countless first dates and one second date, I’m finally able to pinpoint five major issues that I look out for on a parisian first date…

(1)  Are my arms bigger than his legs?

Another variation of this question is: Can I bench-press him?

It wasn’t until I moved to Paris that this was ever an issue.

I don’t know what it is about the life here that it makes the men so… slight.  Could it be the diet?  Could it be that the women here are so tyrannically bitchy that they literally reduce their men into tiny little slivers of manhood leftovers?

I have no idea.

All I do know is that this size differential is unacceptable.

I simply can’t date someone who looks like an anorexic baby giraffe.  Case in point: Mr. Pretty Woman, whose upper arms were the size of my wrist.

(2)  Is he tall enough to go on the adult rides at Disneyland?

At a whopping 5’3″, I’ve never had a problem finding a guy who is taller than me.

But it’s shocking how difficult this is in Paris.


Comical even.

I’ve discovered that no amount of first-date drunkenness is enough for me to find a munchkin attractive.

And while Mr. Almost There was the closest I’ve ever come to a decent first date, he was a victim of severe munchkinosis, which could be to blame for his insecurities and for the patronizing asstardedness that he displayed on our second date.

Yes, I went on two dates with him.  I had to prove to myself that height wasn’t a deal-breaker for me.

As it turns out, it is a dealbreaker.  At least in Paris, anyway.

Am I superficial and utterly without substance?


(3)  Is his COCKtail actually a COOCHtail?

Just because “cocktail” has the word “cock” in it, by no means does that make it acceptable for a grown man to order one on a date.

For the same reason that a lady shouldn’t break out her big buckets of crazy all at once, a man shouldn’t sabotage his chances of seeing a lady’s naked woman-bits by ordering glow-in-the-dark girly drinks.

Obvious, right?

Not in Paris.

ALL my dates, including all my speed-dates, have ordered ridiculous frilly concoctions.  (There was even a drink whose glass was fitted with a tiny light fixture that changed the color of the drink every ten seconds.)  Mr. Love-You-Long-Time really blew it when he ordered his Hello Kitty coochtail and belittled my beer-drinking ways.


(4)  Is he capable of talking about something OTHER than my asian-ness?

Yes.  I’m Asian.

Of all people, I’m the last person who needs to be reminded of this fact.

I especially don’t want to be reminded by some pasty creep who doesn’t know his asian from his arse.

As I’ve discussed before, I have nothing against the Asian fetish.  It’s something that I can use to my advantage in today’s cutthroat dating marketplace.

But please.

I don’t want to be called a geisha (see Mr. Metro Casanova), and I don’t want to receive pictures of a guy and his dim sum (see “the deal-breaker“).

And guys, if you happen to have a penchant for the slanty-eyed ladies such as myself, don’t screw it up by saying the shite that some of my parisian idiot-dates have come up with.

(5)  Do I have the urge to either vomit or to run away screaming?

Mr. Icky almost made me vomit… in his mouth.

And I’ve run away from not one, but THREE dates.

By “run away,” I don’t mean that I made my polite excuses and parted ways amicably but quickly.

I literally ran away.

Mr. Cheshire Cat was the incarnation of all my most terrifying childhood nightmares, and I bolted after drinking only a quarter of my pint.  Mr. Ten Minute Wonder was the shortest date in my entire dating history (and no, it wasn’t a speed date!); I backed out so quickly that I lost a glove, which I’m still very upset about.  And Mr. Crazy had me sprinting through metro doors as they closed, at which point I got stuck and had to get pulled through by the other passengers.

As far as I’m concerned, as long as a guy doesn’t make my digestive system run in reverse, and as long as he doesn’t force me to run in heels, it’s a good start to our relationship.


So as far as standards go, mine have plummeted since I started this dating experiment.

On a first date, I’ve stopped prioritizing substantive things like intelligence, wit, ambition, generosity, openness, etc.

Apparently, to get a pass on a first date with me, a parisian guy just needs to do two things:

  • Fill out a suit that comes from the men’s clothing department — not the boy’s section

According to my data, this is next to impossible.

Who would’ve thought?

So as I finalize my social calendar for this coming weekend, I fully anticipate coming home empty-handed yet again and falling asleep alone to choruses of…

… next, next, next, next, next…


Filed under Misses

30 responses to “Ms. Top Five

  1. Oh boy. I surely don’t even know what to say to this. Are you sure you are in Paris and not munchkin-land? Was there a mixup with a red carpet versus a yellow brick road at the airport?

    • I am a notorious space cadet at airports. I once boarded on a plane bound for San Jose, Costa Rica instead of San Jose, California. So it doesn’t surprise me that I got mixed up and ended up in Munchkinland.

      Except now, I can’t find the yellow brick road again to get the hell out.

  2. Hey, thanks for the words of love. And your list is great too. I was in Paris last week – we should have hooked up – I’m short, skinny, have an Asian fetish and absolutely love cocktails…

    • You were in Paris and didn’t look me up? Shame on you. This geisha is disappointed. Short, skinny, Asia-obsessed cocktail guzzler? Bring it!

      • Next time! I was only there for about eight hours though en route to Madrid….And those eight hours were 10pm-6am.

  3. Umm based on this plethora of douchey Parisian asshats, I feel I must come and join you.

    • Come over and play with me!

      • Sadly, I only play with those who aren’t afraid of some danger, finding the backdoor hole in walls and ending up at underground house parties with people we’ve never met.

        OR we could just follow suit and make like some generic prepackaged bullshit.

  4. You see this is because you’re in Paris itself, don’t you know all the best people live in the regions??

    • You are the third person who has told me that this month. And even though about a third of my dates were originally from other regions of France, something about Paris has obviously corrupted them.

      Perhaps I’m long overdue for a trip to the country.

  5. Huh. I have no idea what to say. I think all the non-munchkin Parisians moved here to L.A., but the ones I have met are still kinda douche-like. I think you should start taking trips to Spain. Mmm.

    • I think that you may be on to something. I haven’t been to Spain for about ten years, so it’s definitely worth a revisit! However, I’m probably the only Californian who doesn’t speak Spanish. I’m pathetic.

  6. Im with you on everything but this:
    Fill out a suit that comes from the men’s clothing department — not the boy’s section
    Fitted suits are way in style, Mad Men inspired, including high waters. So I’d rethink that one Man Shopper!!

    • I just don’t want to be running my hands over a twelve-year-old boy’s body, is all! Too pervy. I agree with you! Fitted suits are unbelievably sexy. I’ve seen some impeccable tailoring on the Line 1 that has made me catch my breath in awe and lust. And if Don Draper strolled up to me, my panties would melt off in a blink of an eye.

      I’m going to go rewatch some Mad Men now.

  7. I figure your rules are extremely reasonable and lax, but I still think I got you beat.

    1) I think I should be able to benchpress my gf. Other than that, I don’t much care about suits.

    2) Height is a non-issue for me. I just don’t want people thinking I’m baby-sitting.

    3) I like a beer and whiskey drinking girl, but will tolerate if someone orders a Cosmo. I will cringe, but tolerate.

    4) You are Asian and that’s sexy, but I do love all the ladies. 😉 Would this be considered a ‘lady fetish’?

    5) This is really my only rule. (That and don’t be an asshole) I once had a 5-minute date so painful that I seriously considered excusing myself to go to the bathroom and just not returning, but I thought that was a bit too harsh. Fortunately for me, the building caught fire and everyone had to evacuate. ‘Suddenly’ I realized that I had other things to do, said goodbye, walked around the corner…and ran.

    Believe me or don’t..but it’s true.

    • 1) What can you benchpress?

      2) For a dude, I agree, baby-sitting is a good benchmark.

      3) You’re so tolerant! Which is a good thing, since all girls drink girly cocktails at some point. I’m just as guilty of this as the next chick when it’s happy hour prices. Yes, I know, I’m a hypocrite, and I’m promoting a double standard for beverage consumption. But I don’t care. Men should be men and grill stuff. Women should lounge on the veranda and drink whatever they want, beer if they so choose, or even mint juleps. No idea what mint juleps are, but they sound delicious.

      4) Yes, you have a lady fetish. Be proud. I happen to have a big soft spot for gentlemen with lady fetishes.

      5) I’m still unclear about what the fifth rule is. If it’s not “don’t be an asshole,” then what rule is the story illustrating? But seriously, the building caught fire?! I think that I believe you, but I don’t want to. That is just too awesome, and it’s almost not fair that you were so lucky.

      • Ben

        1) I know so many guys who would love to be asked that question, but I will simply say that whomever I happen to be dating is the minimum goal I set for myself. :p


        My evil alter-ego response:
        1a) My bitches.

        2) yup.

        3) Mint juleps sound delightful. I try to be tolerant because I expect the same and I don’t really bother with gender roles. I’ll grill, but only if I can do it better, but you damn-well better set the table or trade off on alternate days. Whatever. I do what I please and what pleases me. I love bubble-baths, whiskey on the rocks, and although I am rational and controlled, romantic and sweet. I honestly enjoy the rare opportunity when I can justifiably punch someone in the face.

        4) Ladies are lovely and I really ache to say something dirty about your ‘soft spot’, but I’m far, far too much a gentleman for that. *tips hat*

        5) Your rule..Do I have the urge to either vomit or to run away screaming? Plus my addition of don’t be an asshole. Quick story. I once met a stunning girl who quite possibly was one of the hottest girls I’d ever seen. Then she spoke. Everything was ignorant, ugly, petty, arrogant, mean. Perhaps the biggest asshole I have ever met. She quickly became so grotesque to me I couldn’t even look at her. That’s my addition to your rule.

        My building on fire story was just illustrating your rule about running away screaming. Although she was kind of an asshole, the simple fact was that she was so boring and unattractive that I needed to flee. I did not scream, but I did run. The building did catch fire. I did name a crocodile after you.

        Believe in Ben and ye shall be set free (working on my cult-speak)

      • 1a) Love the evil alter-ego response.

        3) Of course you’d grill better! No lady who has ever had any males in her life should have any grill experience. I love bubble-baths as well. However, I like my whisky neat. And I love the principle of punching someone in the face, but in practice, I prefer to go for the stomach and nether regions.

        4) Why, thank you, sir. My blog’s PG-13 rating lives another day… for now…

        5) I believe in Ben. My crocodile does too.

  8. #5 -Vomiting/Running away screaming had me laughing out loud.

    I’m quite petite and I can’t date a guy who’s as small as me. Uber skinny guys who look like they are going to blow away in the wind don’t do it for me. I like a guy with some meat on his bones or else it feels like I’m hugging myself…which is just weird.

    • Agreed! I’ve never had an urge to hug myself, for that very reason: it’s just weird.

      I used to think that I was petite until I came here. Compared to many parisian women and parisian men, I’m some sort of Amazonian warrior monster.

  9. At Simone’s urging I decided to visit your blog, and OH.MY.GOOD.GOSH. I have not laughed so hard out loud in days. I love it. I love the honesty. I love that you’re totally not politically correct. I love that you’re not afraid to say what you really think.

    I’m beginning to sense the start of a beautiful relationship, your blog and me. Very excited about that.

    • Heaps of thanks for the kind words! Especially the bit about not being politically correct, that just warms the cockles of my un-PC heart 🙂 I look forward to seeing where this beautiful relationship of ours goes. I think we could really have something here.

  10. So, your Asian, huh? What’s that like?

    And btw, Mint Julieps are nasty – coming from a part time bartender who’s sampled many o’flavors in my 10+ years tipping bottles.

  11. The Falco

    “I don’t want to be called a geisha”

    Seriously? Do people REALLY do that?…

    • Oh yes. Yes, they do. The worst that I’ve gotten in the States is “Will you be my Yoko Ono?” But somehow, the geisha comments seem so much worse.

  12. Alex

    Oh Helene, you never cease to amaze. Although I had a few experiences myself the last week visiting New Orleans during Jazz Fest! Short-term hookup culture in the Big Easy has just as much Asian festishism and an insane amount of cougars and drunken aspiring Girls Gone Wild characters to make me think the Jesuits at BCP might be on to something with celibacy. Manshopper should make a trip out to the Crescent City.

    • Well, I’ll most certainly blog my way through the USA on my grand comeback tour in a few weeks. (Shit. A few weeks?! I’m not ready!) Unfortunately, New Orleans isn’t on the itinerary, but Boston, New York, SF Bay Area should all yield interesting data. Let’s roadtrip to SoCal too, while we’re at it.

  13. Hey there,
    Always have fun reading your posts, but this one summed it all up. I can’t believe that it’s been 5 months of first dates for you; however, your chronology of the horrors you’ve seen/experience provides all the proof we need. Thanks for dealing with the creepies, the crazies, and the can’t-figure-you-outs and sharing them with us.

    Although I am inclined to say ditto to your friend who recommended you check out the guys in Spain instead. I was just there for a couple weeks working on my Spanish — maybe I can share a few key phrases before you head out? Like, say, how tall are you, how much do you weigh, y te gusta tomar cerveza?

    Hope this weekend wasn’t too stressful…

    PT Lover

    • Hi PT Lover!

      I’ll definitely let you know if I’m bound for Spain in the near future so that I can pick your brain for some of those useful spanish phrases. My Italian is pretty useless! I’m going back to California for a bit, does that count? 🙂

      Thanks for following my blog! You’ve definitely made me feel better about dealing with the creepies, the crazies, and the can’t-figure-you-outs. I can now say that I serve a higher purpose…

  14. Manshopper, it makes me smile knowing that I get to hang out with you in real life.
    You are hilarious.

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