Swapping spit

Two stellar spellers tackle issues of the heart.

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Photograph: Roxana Marroquin

Jen Dziura, 29
Straight
Comedian, spelling enthusiast, SAT/GMAT tutor

Bobby Blue, 30
Gay
Musician, spelling enthusiast, vintage Danish furniture specialist

What’s the best place to meet men in New York City?
Jennifer: On the Internet, though not necessarily on dating sites. What I’ve found effective is developing an online personality—everyone should have a noncreepy, engaging, scintillating Google self. When I type a guy’s name into the search box, perhaps with some winnowing modifier (“Joe Smith lip balm entrepreneur”), I’d hope to find the thoughtful and prescient editorials he once wrote for his college newspaper, rather than, say, dozens of photographs of a rotating panoply of bridesmaids sitting on his lap at his brother’s wedding. I’ve also noticed that a lot of people are meeting on Facebook lately, which I think is better than most of the dating sites, because the more people you know in the same circles, the more likely you are to avoid dating disasters.
Bobby: I find a friend’s party is the best place. I have no interest in meeting anyone in a bar, but at a friend’s house party you can usually find someone who wants to sit down and chat for a while.

What’s the best first date you ever had?
Jennifer: I was going on a lot of first dates and was getting sick of it, so I challenged this guy to take me to eat a food that I’d never eaten before. I kind of expected we’d go to Chinatown and eat monkey-brain soup, but instead, he found the only place in NYC that serves haggis: St. Andrew’s (120 W 44th St between Broadway and Sixth Ave, 212-840-8413). So now I’ve had haggis.
Bobby: So far, all the dates I’ve been on in New York City have been awkward and rather strange.

Worst first date?
Jennifer: I met a guy online, and when we meet up, he’s ten years older and a lot puffier than in his photo. Turns out he posted a ten-year-old acting headshot. In an obvious attempt to get me drunk, he’d replace my drink every time I got up. I was only planning on consuming half of one drink, and he wound up buying me three drinks. Then he asked if I wanted something to eat, so I ordered a $7 tuna appetizer. Eventually the whole date goes horribly and we part ways. Later that night, I get an e-mail from him calling me a “food whore”—over a $7 tuna appetizer!
Bobby: I brought him home—I’m not usually that guy—but he was so nice and so handsome.... He fell asleep, and after a while I noticed him sitting up on the bed and I hear something, like the tinkling of water. It was cold out, so at first I thought it was the radiator. I asked him what the sound was, but he said “nothing.” When I heard it again, I reached in between his legs and it was all wet! I asked him what he was doing and he said, “I’m peeing.” I wasn’t sure if he thought he could pee on me, or he just wanted to turn me on, but I told him to leave. He left so fast that he forgot his underwear and the T-shirt he’d been wearing. See, that’s why I don’t go to bars.

Your dream date?
Jennifer: An ideal date for me would be meeting someone and knowing that you could skip all the dating crap. After we met once, he’d promptly move in and start taking out the trash.
Bobby: My dream date is a road trip—a hike in the woods or discovering some cute little town. I love driving in the country. It’s the perfect place to fall in love.

Your No. 1 complaint about NYC men?
Jennifer: There are a whole lot of smart guys from other places in New York, and when they get here they discover that they can use their knowledge of Jonathan Safran Foer to get them laid. They become these erudite, literary players. It gets ugly, because no one has built up defenses for that yet. I call that type the McSweeney’s man-whore.
Bobby: I’m Latin. My mother is Costa Rican so I go there a lot. One thing that’s really awesome about Costa Rica is that if someone likes you they let you know. People here feel like showing their attraction is a sign of weakness, but I feel like not showing it is way more pathetic.

Size. Importance. Discuss.
Jennifer: I would never date a man with a small vocabulary.
Bobby: It shouldn’t matter, but. One time I went home with this straight guy who said he’d never been with a guy before. I got down there and there was nothing. I looked it up and it’s a condition called microphallus, and I don’t want that. Size doesn’t matter, but you have to have something.

What is the worst thing a man who’s trying to woo you could possibly say?
Jennifer: “What’s an adverb?”
Bobby: I met a guy and gave him my e-mail address. He was cute, but when I got his e-mail, ugh. It was one long sentence—no punctuation, no caps, nothing! That was the ultimate turnoff. And when I ran into him, he had just shaved his head, but he’d missed all these patches and had long random hairs hanging from his head!

Jen and Bobby host a biweekly spelling bee at Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer St, between Frost and Richardson Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-302-3770).

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