It’s not secret that I’m looking for a man who can make me laugh. “Oh, how original!” the masses cry. “Good thing that isn’t the definition for what all of what woman want!” Okay, jerk. I guess I’m looking for a very funny guy, and I’m pretty picky with what I consider funny. The men I have loved have been attractive in addition to being funny. I’m shallow in more than one way. But the men who’ve really lit me up, who’ve made me love them so hard I’ve cried on buses and subways and mountaintops, have made me snort and guffaw and chortle.
This quality is tough to find in the wild. The men I’ve found hilarious (and sexy, and sexy-hilarious) haven’t all been comedians. Yes, one was an improviser and one was a stand up comedian, but one was a soldier and another one was studying to be a psychologist. It’s a mixed, funny bag.
There is a scene in High Times in which Hannibal Buress half-jokingly accuses his lover of being a “chuckle fucker.” His lady half-heartedly protests, but the viewer knows it’s true. She’s objectively hotter and younger than he is, but ooooh Hannibal can make a woman laugh. I resonated so strongly with the accusation that I’ll never forget it. What a perfect term for that woman who is turned on most not by attractiveness or personality, but that elusive quality of funny. That’s me, I thought as I watched. I’m a chuckle fucker.
So how to seek this out? My method has been far from perfect. On dating sites, I’ve given unfair preference to men who say they’ve done some kind of comedy. This is unfair both because it doesn’t objectively prove anything about the man’s sense of humor (have you ever been to an open mic? Yikes.) but also a bad metric because, in my experience, stand up comedians tend to be some of the most self-absorbed human beings in the world.
Enter José .
José was cute, and his self-description was tempting. “6′ tall, fluent in Spanish and can cook. I also tell jokes for money.” Jokes for money is a bit more impressive than “I do comedy,” because of the obvious implication that someone other than José finds José funny.
José had messaged me about my love for dogs, and the conversation was on its way. He was a bit terse and didn’t express much interest in what I had to say, but I was willing to chalk that up to the awkwardness of messaging. We set a lunch date for Fette Sau, a BBQ place in Williamsburg we’d both been wanting to try.
Until the time for lunch came and went. He stopped messaging around 11:00 AM, and by the time I had to head off for lunch I figured either he had stood me up or had been hit by a train.
That evening, I got a text from José. “Hey! What’s up!? It’s that funny guy from Mesh!”
It took an elementary school teacher’s level of patience to explain that wow, it sounded great that he had gotten that bar tending job, but it would have been nice to let me know that an unexpected request for a second interview meant that our date was off.
I decided he could have another shot. “You now owe me an apology drink,” I texted.
José had a show he wanted to see at Cobra Bar in Bushwick, so we agreed to meet there for an early evening cocktail. José’s show was at 9:00, a good time limit. Expert dater’s tip for a first date: always have a reason to leave. That reason should be flexible (I could easily have changed my plans and stayed for the show) but believable. Nobody wants to feel trapped.
If you haven’t been there yet, Cobra Bar is amazing.
It’s a bar, a coffee shop, a venue, and a yoga studio. Somehow it manages to be pretty good at all of those things, too. I kind of hate Bushwick at times (getting to any other part of Brooklyn at night can be a dystopian nightmare) but boy howdy, do they have some cool venues.
In the buildup to this date, José almost cancelled on me again. “It’s been nuts here at the new job,” he whined. At this point I didn’t care, but I was somewhat relieved when he texted me to tell me that it was back on.
Ah, enough buildup. Time for the date itself. My date was tall, though six feet was definitely an exaggeration (why do men do this? 5’10 is fine, guys! It’s just fine!) He looked a bit scrubby in jeans and a t-shirt, but very handsome with a well-maintained five ‘oclock shadow. Like a good apologetic gentleman, José greeted me with a fancy cocktail, the very sweet “Mommy Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight,” made with gin, Fernet Branca, sweet vermouth, and cherry bitters. It was delicious.
Oh, that moment is lovely, isn’t it? I relish that glorious instant when the nervous anticipation of the date gives way to a casual “ah good, he IS cute,” when the alcohol (or coffee, or french toast) is imbibed and the tough build-up is out of the way.
I am sorry to report that this was the highlight of the date. Ooooh did José want to talk about José.
It was actually really impressive, José’s ability to talk about himself. It didn’t matter what piece of information I’d sneak into his harangue, José would find a way to fold it into his routine.
José: I mean, Chicago has such a different comedy scene! Back there, I was booking gigs. You know how it works. You bring some comedians, you get a cut of the door. You bring in 50 people, you get 50%. You bring in more- I mean, I don’t know how it was when you were doing stand-up-
Me: Well, I was mostly doing it back in Korea so it was a really different scene.
José: Uh… oh? That must have been tough. Well I mean, in Chicago it’s not like I’m famous, but-
(10 minutes later)
José: So I bet you wanna touch the scar, right? Go ahead, it’s ok (note: I did not want to touch the scar.) Yeah, I was really on a downward spiral from this girl I was dating. I broke seven bones that day, but it’s all good. I could have died!
Me: I hope you don’t drink and drive a motorcycle any more?
José: I mean, it was the other guy’s fault. You have to be careful on a motorcycle! The hospital was actually-
(10 minutes later)
José: I’m such a winter sports guy.
You get the impression.
So why in the seven hells did I agree to take the party on the L train to check out the Brooklyn Country Club if this guy was so insufferable?
- It’s closer to my house 😀
- This was actually a REALLY nice break from my the typical date I have with more straight-laced guys, because José was rather funny. He wasn’t interested in including me in his humor, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t entertained.
- I love. Love. LOVE. me some putt-putt.
This was my first time to the Club, but I had heard that they have ~free cheesy poofs.~ They do! Those of you who know of my love for fried cheese products will understand the siren call I felt as I walked in the door and saw that signature neon orange. José was saying something about being a sports fan vs playing sports, but I was making a fast track for saturated fats and sodium.
Here, I must make some defense for José. I could have butted in and told my own stories. I’m perfectly capable of doing this. I could have stopped him when he said things I found somewhat objectionable (“I don’t know if this is a stereotype, but I work with mostly gay men and they never do more than they’re absolutely supposed to do!”) but aaaaaaaaaaaaaah no thanks. I’m a writing teacher by day, so I earn my money explaining things and making things make sense and putting things into logical order. I’m an improviser by night, so I spend my evenings performing. That means that when I’m on a date, I don’t WANT to fight for attention. I crave a give-and-take. I crave exciting conversation. I crave listening as much as speaking.
When time time came for me to shoo José on back to the Cobra Club to make his show, I hugged him goodbye. He acted insulted, which I found baffling. Did he think I was going to invite him home with me, based on my “oh great! That’s on the way home for me!” Maybe he was just grossed out by the spectacle I had made of myself with my cheesy poof devouring.
It’s been almost a week, and he hasn’t texted, not that I was standing by the phone. Maybe he’s somewhere telling someone, “she claimed to be a comedian, but she didn’t say anything funny the whole night!” I had anticipated having to reject him, so it’s best that we both felt the lack of connection.
Bottom line: not the worst date I’ve been on recently. I was passively entertained, though José obviously preferred practicing his material to engaging in active conversation. I’m still looking for a funny man, but it’s obvious that simply filtering for “comedian” doesn’t really do any better than the general population.
I think you all know what my favorite part of the night was.