love & romance

The broke guy’s guide to dating awesome women: Edith Zimmerman, The Hairpin editor

Edith reacts to your neck tattoo. Photo by Chris Bonanos.

I was on a date this summer with another writer who folded her arms and rolled her eyes when the subject of a certain lady blog editor came up. “I think I’m going to pitch a Thought Catalog piece titled ‘Please Stop Talking to Me about Edith Zimmerman,’ ” she said, clearly frustrated with the number of dudes who are infatuated — romantically or professionally — with The Hairpin editor, NYT Magazine columnist and renowned Captain America chest-toucher. Why is that? Because dudes probably imagine hanging out with Edith is as fun as reading The Hairpin itself, which feels like crashing an girls-only whiskey party instead of a giggly sleepover.

Brokesters probably have more of a shot than we should with gals like Edith: women outnumber us (with 149,219 more ladies than dudes in NYC), make more money than us (17 percent!), and just generally seem to be killing it. I ran into Edith — who is 28 and lives in Cobble Hill — while I was working at Trader Joe’s, and she was checking out … a 20-year-old cashier, which proves you don’t have to be a superhero or a lovestruck scientist to get a girl’s attention.

The Ediths of New York seem like they have enough going on to even bother with dating, what with starting memes, popping by This American Life and writing what me and several friends agree are the friendliest pitch rejection emails around. So how do you catch their eye, especially when you’re sleeping on an air mattress or forced to ration a single High Life for the whole night? Read on to find out how Edith thinks your Occupy banner might not be as attractive as your Scrabble skills, and how sometimes even a successful girl just wants a good pickleback.

Help! I am NOT an artistic, musical, creative beardy dude farmer type. I am an unemployed accountant. Is it possible to get laid in Brooklyn too?

Of course  — it’s possible for everyone to get laid! If you’re not doing anything interesting with your time, that could be a turn-off, but being unemployed isn’t itself a dealbreaker, and beardless, unmusically inclined accountant-types are hot. Ugh, “dealbreaker” is such a horrible word. I just Googled “dealbreaker synonym” and there isn’t one!

I AM an artistic, musical, creative type whose work barely covers the rent. How do I tell a successful girl I can’t afford anywhere that’s not offering a Groupon?
Buy some cheap wine or beer, and go somewhere BYOB. Maybe Zaytoons.

What do you look for in a dude’s apartment?

What’s the best cheap ethnic food?
Hm. Thai?

What’s the best Brooklyn dive bar?
The one I’ve been to most, for better or worse, is probably Boat. Some good and some very terrible memories.

Do you ever check/partake in missed connections?
No. I did sometimes when I lived in Boston, although no one ever missed me.

Rate the following in order if importance: handyman skills, income, comfort with slaughtering own dinner meat, number of apple devices owned, number of Tumblr followers, personal hygiene, relationship with mother, home library selection, knowledge of the bond derivatives market, whiskey knowledge, facial hair:

1. Sense of humor
2. Personal hygiene
3. Relationship with mother
4. Handyman skills
5. Income
6. Home library selection
7. Knowledge of the bond derivatives market
8. Whiskey knowledge
9. Comfort with slaughtering own dinner meat
10. Facial hair
11. Number of Apple devices owned
12. Number of Tumblr followers

Lightning round! If you had to choose… 

McCarren or Prospect?
Pickleback or cosmo?
Roberta’s or neighborhood slice joint?
Beardy dude or boyish lad?
Beardy dude.
Vegan or rampant carnivore?
Rampant carnivore.
Skinny suit or flannel and Carharts?
Flannel and Carharts.
Park occupier or Goldman Sachs-er?
Goldman Sachs-er.
Wait, really?
Really. You said there were no wrong answers! Well, no you didn’t, but in any case this is a lightning round and we can’t help what we like.
Neck tattoo or weekly church goer?
Neck tattoo.
Football fanboy or soccer hooligan?
Football fanboy.
Scrabble or Boggle?
BAM or Babeland?
Ames or Lethem?
Brooklyn Brewery or Brooklyn Brainery?
Jake Gyllenhaal or Woody Allen?

And finally, who pays?
I think the “whoever invited the other out, pays” concept is a good one, but generally I’d say the guy pays for the first date. Beyond, it’s up to them. Too much guy-paying sets up a weird, imbalanced dynamic.

So take heed, broletariat. Clean up your disgusting apartment, stop bragging about your Tumblr followers and get to know the BYOB scene in town and you just might have a chance at dating one of those successful ladies who reads The Hairpin. Or you might turn into the subject of a Hairpin post, at least.

The Broke Guys’ Guide to Dating Awesome Women will be back with more installments! Probably!

Follow Tim: @timdonnelly.


Leave a Reply