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Hi all! I’m subbing for my good friend Yardgnome this week, because she’s off on a singles’ cruise. I hope you’re enjoying yourself Yard- remember not to have expectations that are too high! I have to tell her this, because she missed this week’s episode of How to Get the Guy, and doesn’t know how important it is to relax one’s expectations while dating. I hope this lesson isn’t too hard for Michelle, Kris, Alissa and Anne.

Don’t stop thinkin’ about tomorrow. Don’t do it!
First up tonight is a lesson on “Managing your expectations.” We’re treated to a sweeping view of San Francisco, set to Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop.” Presumably, the women should not stop their quests for love, no matter how ridiculous the advice from the love coaches, or how humiliating actually following that advice is, (in case you need an example of this, we see Anne playing “drop the hanky.”). Teresa thinks that expectations sabotage dating, and the women need to learn let go. JD chimes in that having “expectations” or “standards” doesn’t make any sense, and I really don’t like where he’s going with this. To me, he’s saying that beggars can’t be choosers, but maybe I’m being overly critical. I’m sorry- I’ll try to give the coaches a chance.

Let’s catch up with the ladies…
You know who really needs to let go of her expectations? Michelle. Michelle thinks picking a guy is like picking a car, but the coaches are trying to break her of this bad habit.

Alissa needs to branch out and date outside her group of friends. While giving a massage to one of her friends, she tells him a theory about how men can be divided into three groups- Knights, Princes and Kings. Me thinkest someone doth hangest out at too many Renaissance Faires, m’lady.

Kris has been dating a lot, trying to find her Prince, but the coaches worry that although volume dating is good, Kris isn’t getting serious about anyone, and that is bad.

Anne’s date with Dennis went well, and she even got the kiss at the end, but Teresa and JD want to make sure Anne doesn’t call him. Don’t call him, Anne! That would be the absolute worst thing you could do!! You know what you should do in the meantime? Date some other guys. More on that later…

The Internet is a tool… to help you humiliate yourself.
JD and Teresa advocate volume dating, because it’s all a numbers game. I guess that means that the more horrible and uncomfortable dates a person goes on, the greater the chance that they might find one person they can stand to be around. The coaches think the best place to find tons of guys without any strings is online.

Michelle is excited about online dating, because she can look at all the profiles and reject those that don’t appeal to her. Although this doesn’t show she’s relaxed her standards, er expectations, the coaches are happy that she’s willing to try the online thing, and even help her come up with a catchy title by quoting The Godfather, (guys love The Godfather, right?) The coaches provide us with two important rules for online dating: always have an exit strategy, and always meet in a well-lit populated place. Hmm… I could have used that first one a few times during my experience with match.com. But this isn’t about me, so let’s talk about the ladies’ dates.

You have to kiss a lot of frogs…
Alissa’s first Internet date is with a guy who seems… slightly creepy. He wants to feed her, tells her he studies chameleons, and then pulls out a harmonica. Maybe when JD and Teresa are done with the ladies, they can give this guy some special attention, because he really needs it.

Michelle meets her date for coffee, and he immediately ends up with a foam mustache. What, is he 15? He can’t drink a latte like a normal person? Michelle tells another date that Internet romance has given her thick skin because of the constant rejection. Her date just looks at her, and I’m afraid she’s in for a flogging from the dating coaches.

I’m not sure how Anne picked her date- maybe she opened the web page, closed her eyes and selected randomly. He’s super charming, and tells her that he’ll date as young as 18, and as old as 29, but would be willing to make an exception for her. Awww! Don’t let that sweetie go, Anne!

And finally, Kris tries to tell her date a little bit about herself and her interests as he guzzles beer, only appearing to pay any attention to her when she mentions that she likes scotch.

Just when we think that online dating is a bust, Michelle has a date with a cutie in wine sales, and the coaches are pleased because Michelle fawns over his wine knowledge, and makes him feel like an expert. I don’t see the guy reciprocating and making Michelle feel like an expert, but I guess that’s not important as long as the guy likes her and she doesn’t offend him by talking about herself. Or maybe ABC just edited out that footage for time. I’m being cynical again, and again, I’m sorry. I promise to give the coaches a chance!

By far the winner of the engage.com game is Anne with, Jimmy, (at least I think that’s his name- you can never be too safe when dating someone you meet off the Internet!). Although she makes the cardinal sin of talking about herself and her fear of being hurt, Jimmy doesn’t mind and makes a joke asking her if she wears an emotional condom. They end their date by walking his fluffy dog on the beach, Jimmy asks her out again, and then kisses her- and she didn’t even have to touch his collar!

Dating while blindfolded can be hazardous to your health.
Our coaches know how easy it is to shoot someone down based on a first impression, so they’ve set up a unique evening for the ladies. As usual, there’s lots of potential for embarrassment, but I guess mortification is the path to true love. Tonight the ladies will each share a three course meal with two gentlemen, then they will be able to chose which one they’d like to have desert with. The catch? They’ll be blindfolded for the first two courses, and will only get to see their chosen guy after they select him. Ooh… sounds dangerous! Teresa thinks that the exercise will force the women to listen and talk, instead of focusing on the guys’ haircuts or what kinds of watches they wear. Hmmm… sounds like Teresa thinks the ladies are all shallow.

The first course is served, and the coaches have done pretty well- all of the guys seem nice and are attractive. Anne works the giggling, Alissa feeds her date, Kris’s guy seems enamored with her already, and Michelle likes the blindfold, because it forces her to get to know her date.

Time for the second course, and the coaches have done… okay. I’m going to be frank here- Alissa’s date is weird. Really weird. There’s a lot of swearing at their table, and then he tells her he’s an artist and wants to be like Jean-Michel Basquiat. She jokingly asks him if he’s suicidal like Jean-Michel Basquiat, and he replies, “Why do my girlfriends always ask me that?” Um, Alissa? Please don’t pick him for the desert course. He skeeves me out and I don’t want to watch him any more. The other ladies fare a little better with their fellas- Anne’s date jokes that she’s old and Michelle’s date is really excited that he’s wearing a new shirt.

Now it’s time for the agonizing choice, and each of the women are hopeful they chose the right guy. Kris chooses guy #1- Paul, Alissa (thankfully) chooses Joey, guy #1. Michelle picks her new-shirt-wearing guy # 2, Chance, and Anne selects # 1, Dan. Dan and Anne hug, Kris and Paul hug, Alissa and Joey hug, and Michelle and Chance laugh awkwardly at each other. Chance seems nervous- probably because he’s a little out of his league, and later Michelle says that he looked younger than she expected, and jokes that she wants to take him out for a steak so that she can tell him all about the 80s. She might want to tell him about the early 90s too.

All in all, the ladies liked that the exercise forced them get to know their dates on a deeper level. Anne says that she felt with her heart what her date was like. Oookay, that’s a little New Agey for me, but I’m glad the exercise worked.

Do not pick up that phone!
Anne’s been a good girl by not calling Dennis, and it pays off because he calls her within three days of their first date, and invites her out for a second date. The date takes place on a beach, and seems really laid back. She and Dennis walk single file along the rocks and share stories about their families. The date doesn’t end with a kiss, but that’s okay with Anne because she had a good time anyway.

Meanwhile, Michelle talks on the phone with her friend Michelle who has met a guy and wants to fix them up on a blind date. Hopefully his name is not Michelle too, because that’s just too many Michelles!

Kris used to date Josh, but he was just too serious for her so she let him slip always. New, serious- dating Kris (encouraged by her serious- dating coaches), decides to give Josh another chance, and the two have a nice date that ends with a romantic walk on a deserted pier. This could be going in a bad direction… and nope, they’re just kissing. Kris is happy and calls the experience a “new beginning.”

The Art of Dinner
Alissa is taking a step outside her comfort zone by going on a hardcore dinner date with Joey, the guy from the blindfold thingie. Joey’s not her usual type- he’s a beer drinking, corporate guys’ guy, but she’s willing to give it a shot since she had so much fun with him before. JD and Teresa meet with her beforehand, to make sure she loses all self confidence and faith in her ability to make good decisions. They give her three rules for dinner: 1.) remember to eat, because men hate it when women don’t eat, or pick at their food, 2.) share your food, and 3.) laugh, but not too hard. From personal experience, I think they should also add a rule about not spilling food all down your front, and knocking over your date’s (full) wine glass.

Alissa does well with the rules, which makes me think that maybe it’s not a load of junk after all. She laughs a lot, shares her food, and remembers to eat, and she and Joey have good rapport and conversation. At the end of the meal, Joey presents her with a gift- a little black book. Under his name, he’s written “Alissa, will you be my Valentine?” Awww! Just, awww. She accepts, and I wonder if Joey has a twin brother living in my area. After dinner, they take a walk, and when it’s time to part, Alissa tries to thank Joey for a nice evening, but he’s decided that it’s the make-out part of the evening, and so they do. But just a little bit. And it’s really cute.

What did you say, Grandpa?
You know what I love to discuss with my Grandfather? Artificial insemination. Not really, but apparently Michelle’s Grandfather doesn’t think this is so weird. He tells her that she should get artificially inseminated, and he’s even done some research on the matter. It’s nice that he’s looking out for her, but Michelle will probably be fine on her own. Especially if her blind date with Sean goes well.

Sean is 6’2, professional, and quite easy on the eyes. He admits that he Googled Michelle, hoping to find a picture, and she tells him that she did not Google him, so obviously she’s the braver of the two. The talk turns to clothes; Sean slips out of his jacket to Michelle’s encouragement, and then asks her if she ever wears jeans and a wife beater. Is it just me, or should the words “wife beater” be avoided on a first date? Michelle asks Sean what kind of jeans he wears, and without blinking an eye, he spits out some very trendy brand names, and then denies that he’s metrosexual. Whatev, Sean, just embrace the metro! The date is a success, and Sean asks Michelle out again.

The ladies write in their journals, and we’re treated to Fleetwood Mac again. It seems like everyone had a pretty successful run with the volume dating- sure they all had to go out with some schmucks, but they also find some great, quality guys as well. Next week our ladies have a Q & A session with a focus group of guys, and do a lot of Valentine’s Day inspired kissing. I hope no one gets stuck with the Jean-Michel Basquiat guy.

I’m trying to figure out how I can surreptitiously share my food, and then touch the collar of one of my co-workers, but you can reach me at:SueEllenMishke@fansofrealitytv .com