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Archive for the ‘Boys’ Category

Comfort (non)food

A while back Sapphire wrote about watching Disney movies when she felt sick or down. I’ve known for a while now that I turn to FRIENDS when I’m feeling down or in need of comfort. But for the past few weeks I’ve been craving Harry Potter too. This is new for me, but it got me thinking about what we crave when we are feeling blue.

What is it about FRIENDS and Harry Potter that draw me in and cheer me up? Is it the comfort in the story, since I already know what is going to happen? Is it because it’s fiction and things end up happy (for the most part)? Yeah, some of our favorite characters died and their families are definitely hurting, but Harry and Ron and Hermione and Hagrid are all OK and Voldemort is gone, so that’s positive. In the grand scheme of things, the story ended on a positive note.

With FRIENDS, I’m pretty sure I know the reason I turn to the series over and over again. It’s realistic–breakups, job losses, arguments, family issues etc–but in the end, again, it all turns out OK. Rachel and Ross decide to try to make it work (although I suppose it could be argued that they will crash and burn after the cameras stop rolling), Chandler and Monica become parents and Phoebe finds her match.

Sometimes I wish my life worked out that way. We all know in a sitcom that the ending will be happy, despite the hijinks that occur during the episode or season or entire series, but life is a big question mark. Will our decisions ultimately end in happiness? Or will we make major mistakes that will affect the rest of our lives, in a negative way? Someone I know always says “the ONLY thing standing between you and happiness is yourself,” and that’s an attitude I’m trying to adopt. But if my life were like FRIENDS I wouldn’t have to worry about that. But, I guess that’s the beauty of life–you never really know what is going to happen–although it’s also absolutely terrifying.

I’m sorry, I know this post is probably super confusing and poorly written, but I’m watching FRIENDS right now -my fish I got for our on year anniversary* last March died today and I already had a rough morning with this whole relationship/non-relationship thing. I suppose if my life were a book or movie there would be symbolism in that, so maybe I don’t want my life to be a work of fiction…

Which brings me to my second point, or question. Does my dependence on shows or books like FRIENDS and Harry Potter give me unrealistic expectations about love, life and happiness? What are your thoughts? Do you have any shows or books or movies that bring you comfort in times of trouble?

*corrected the date.

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Sorry guys. I took this post down earlier because links and things were looking pretty funky on my end (guess you should update your stuff when apple tells you to…). It appears that everything is working now. So again, read on, but be warned that this post is personal, full of parenthesis and is written by someone running off very little sleep.

So… it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Sorry guys! Many things have been going on since I last posted. I’ll give you a very rough outline of my life for the past year-ish.

1) Move to Louisiana for a job

2) Meet boy online

3) Start dating boy

4) Fall in love with boy

5) Boy moves in

6) Celebrate 1 year anniversary

7) Get a job back home

8) Boy gets a job in same area

9) Move home

10) Break up

11) Spend month of August miserable and barely eating

12) Get back together with boy

13) 3 months later, break up with boy again

Number 13 brings us to last Sunday. Not Sunday, December 1, but Sunday, November 24, when I broke up with my first serious boyfriend, for the second time. I felt that in the past few months we tried to make things work and it just wasn’t working. I swear, I tried — I wanted to make it work, since there were so many wonderful things about him (although right now those are hard to remember, but I’ll get to that). This time, he also knew we tried to make the relationship work (at least I think he knows). No breakup is fun, but this time it seemed to go ok. Both of us seemed tired of crying and tired of fighting, although I suppose I can’t speak for another person. Personally, I maintained an appetite and could get through full sentences without breaking down in tears, which I took as a sign that it was the right thing to do (side note, I never, ever thought I’d be the kind of person who would be in a stressful situation which caused me to lose my appetite. I’ve always been the “eat your feelings” kind of person. Not so when we first broke up- I was so emotionally stressed and strung out that I don’t think I ate a full meal for at least 2 weeks.)

Now… most of this is my fault. I am weak-willed and technology is there, just waiting for me to use it for nefarious purposes. I’ve written about facebook, twitter and instagram before, and how they lead to comparison and general unhappiness. Now, the boy in question had already unfriended me on facebook and unfollowed me on twitter, but… unlike facebook, you can unfollow someone on twitter and the other person can still follow you. It took me a while to unfollow (because I hate breaking those connections) and even when I actually did unfollow, I could still look him up (this is both the blessing and curse of those who don’t feel the need to make their internet presence private).

Given that this morning was the day he returned from a family Thanksgiving, the nosy part of me had to see if there were any posts. I am completely aware that this is unhealthy behavior on my part. I should be strong-willed. But I’m not. It still kills me that we spent over 1.5 years together and all contact is gone. Yes, I know that it’s probably for the best for the moving on process, but he became my best friend. It’s hard not having that person to turn to or even to know what he is up to. I know what all my other friends are up to, at least in a general sense. Hell, I know what people who I don’t even know personally are up to, via blogs and twitter and instagram. But aside from what is shared on his twitter, I don’t know what he is doing. I hate that. I bet this wasn’t even a problem 15 years back. We didn’t have constant access to our peers and we didn’t feel the need to share all our thoughts with the world (and yes, I do see the irony here). For a nosy person, social media is a virtual enabler. Before the advent of this technology I’d have to get a friend to scope out the situation, and quite honestly, I’m embarrassed enough that I’m writing this. I can’t imagine asking a friend to ask a friend to find out what an ex is doing or how he is faring with the breakup.

Anyway, back to the pseudo point of this post (granted there really is no point, more of a place to rant. I could write in my journal, but lets face it, that’s not gonna happen. I haven’t kept a journal since freshman year of college).

I logged into twitter this morning to cyber stalk my ex boyfriend of a week and guess what I saw? HE’S ASKING GIRLS OUT! Seriously?!  This is something I saw on early Monday morning, which means he’d have to have met the girl sometime last week. Only days after we broke up. Now, I could be completely misreading the tweet, but the reactivation of the online dating profile tells me I’m right. (full disclosure here: I saw that he is back online while going online to delete my profile for good). It really makes me wonder: Am I so easily replaced? Was our relationship really that meaningless?

I know that I’m the one who broke up with him. But, he’s the one who pushed the relationship saying things like “we can be a great team” and “we have a great future ahead of us.” Was all of that crap? How can he say that and turn around a week later and ask out another girl? Take some time to grieve. To consider what you want out of a relationship. To get your emotions under control before involving other people.

I suppose it could be all a part of the moving on process, and not a reflection on his attitude toward our past relationship. I downloaded a dating app on my phone and I have gotten matches. It is a definite ego boost, but I am by no means ready to actually talk to any of these guys. But even if it is a part of the moving on process, how can a person be ready to move on after ONE WEEK (not even a week,  depending on the time of the dating profile reactivation)?  Or is this just another sign if our society’s need to be connected? A physical manifestation of the part of us that needs to tweet and Instagram and facebook? Can some people not handle being alone? I know that I’m struggling with that issue, more than ever. My phone is a constant companion, despite being close to family and friends.

Anyway, seeing these things and thinking these things definitely hurts and it seriously tarnishes the way I view him. I think I hate that most of all. I so wanted to keep everything in relatively happy box in my mind. Now that image is changed and it’s all due to my inability to stay away from his twitter feed. So, here’s a lesson to you all: don’t cyber stalk an ex, you’ll only get hurt. Although, I suppose I should be thankful in some ways. Seeing the post this morning brought me to the anger phase of grief, which is one step closer to the end result–acceptance and moving on.

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“You’re really not good at this,” my boyfriend lovingly told me the other day. Before I could could get upset (I don’t like not being good at things) he continued on with his statement. Apparently I am not good at being romantic.

Well…yeah… this is true. To give you context, this conversation started a few days after my boyfriend came home from his parents, and we were talking about sleeping alone. He said he missed sleeping in the same bed as me and he just didn’t sleep the same without me. After a small pause (where I was supposed to reiterate the sentiment) I said no, I didn’t sleep better with him there, sorry. Especially during the weekdays. Because frankly, I go to bed earlier than he does, so he inadvertently wakes me up  when he does come to bed, and then in the morning I have to be quiet while getting dressed so I don’t wake him. Once I explained this, and how I did miss waking up to him on the weekend, the hurt look kind of went away, and the “you’re not good at this” comment was made.

Maybe I’m a bad girlfriend, but I don’t see the point in saying stuff that you don’t really mean. Because, as it turns out, he didn’t really miss the actual sleeping in the same bed part either. Just the snuggling. If that is what you miss, why not say that in the first place? Maybe it’s why I generally don’t like poetry. It’s too flowery. Seriously poets, get to the point. I don’t need flowery words and a gazillion adjectives. And the thought of being serenaded makes me nervous. What do you, the serenadee do? What if it’s a bad song? What if the serenader is way off key?

Am I missing out on something here? Is this something most girls appreciate? Personally, I think that we are told by Disney and the Rom Com industry that flowers, chocolates and grand declarations are needed for love. However, I side more with Lizzy Bennet who believes poetry (and I’m going to include flowery, romantic declarations) drive love away.

Elizabeth Bennet: I wonder who first discovered the power of poetry in driving away love?
Mr. Darcy: I thought that poetry was the food of love.
Elizabeth Bennet: Of a fine stout love, it may. But if it is only a vague inclination I’m convinced one poor sonnet will kill it stone dead
Mr. Darcy: So what do you recommend to encourage affection?
Elizabeth Bennet: Dancing. Even if one’s partner is barely tolerable.
Image

In my case, we were able to laugh off my romantic gaffe, and the boy knows that I love him. But, maybe I should work on my ability to be romantic…

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My Life is a TLC Song

The other day, I was walking to the train from my house, minding my own business, on my way to work. I passed the local dry-cleaners, the Irish pub where the locals drink Guinness and watch basketball, and waited for traffic to stop so I could cross the street. By the time I made it to the end of the crosswalk and rounded the corner of the bus stop, I heard it. The catcall. A guy who thinks he’s fly, hangin’ out of the passenger side of his best friend’s ride, trying to holler at me.
Oh, Oh.

The car wasn’t even nice. It was a beat up, old, brown clunker from the 1970s. Furthermore, this was at 8:30 in the morning on a Wednesday in a residential neighborhood known for its quiet and respectable families and young professionals.

Plus, I was wasn’t even wearing provocative clothing! I had on dress slacks, a Victorian-esque lace shirt up to my neck, and moccasins (don’t judge, the heels come on at the office). I was looking like class and he was looking like trash, and somewhere between the surprise at processing a catcall and dredged up disdain for men everywhere before my morning coffee, I realized that I had broken the fourth wall (or whatever the acoustic counterpart of that is) and had fallen into a TLC song.

All day at work, all I could think about was this pre-commute event and how disgusting men are. Do they think it makes women feel good to be yelled at with lewd phrases, sexualizing them to a walking piece of meat? They can not think this kind of behavior will elicit anything but at least an eye roll and at most an angry bout of man-hating and disillusionment of the notion that women are seen with respect and equality in the 21st century.

Then I started to do a little fishing online (it was slow at work), researching how other women feel about the catcall. Predictable, I found in other blog posts, reader comments, and lifestyle articles on various news sites that most women think the catcall is either vulgar and demeaning or annoying but ignorable. What did surprise me were the comments I saw saying that women feel buoyed up by what they considered male appreciation of their body. Some women think catcalls are flattering. Not that these women would stop and run off with the men doing the catcalling for a date and/or roll in the hay, but some say catcalling puts a smile on their face and makes them feel empowered by their feminine charms.

I respect everyone’s opinion, but I still can’t understand how some women enjoy what I find to be a horrible but inevitable experience. Maybe these women are not getting the same kind of comments I’m getting such as the three examples below:

  • “Ooooooo girl, yum, gimme, gimme!” (while banging on the door of the car) – last Wednesday
    -Yum? Really?
  • “Oh girl, you thick!”- last year
    – Thank you for pointing out that I am “thick.” I don’t like to be reminded that I have what my family calls “the Murrin hips.”
  • “Hey, you in the black t-shirt! Oh, give me some of that, yeah, unnhh” – Age:16, Location: Washington, DC, Parties Present: MY PARENTS
    – Underaged. And, thanks for giving my Mother a heart attack.

All of my catcalls have been made by low-class, sloppy looking cretins. Perhaps if a preppy-looking man in a business suit catcalled me outside of my office, I’d have a better outlook on this male tradition. Yet, it seems like the only kind of men who catcall are the scuzzy undesirables whose comments make women feel less “hot, sexy woman with the power to turn heads” and more “piece of ass that I’d like to fuck.”

Men need to get their act together when they catcall and class it up a bit. A “hey, beautiful” or even a whistle wouldn’t bother me like the trashy sexual comments do. Yes, I can see the other side of the coin. I have turned a few heads while walking by a construction crew on their lunch break while wearing a red dress, and I felt pretty sassy.* Otherwise though, men should expect nothing but derision from the recipients of their remarks. Do men actually think shouting at women from the street is going to work? I’d like to know the success rate of catcalling in getting a woman’s prolonged attention.

So what do you think? Catcalls: flattering or flustering?

And with that, I leave you my inspiration for this post and a piece of classic 90’s awesomeness:


* The stereotype come to life. And yes (because I know you were wondering), the construction workers were hot burly young men. Girls look too; we are just more subtle and classy about how we do it.

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Part of me hates to admit this, but I did read all three 50 Shades books and while I enjoyed them, I had some major issues withe the books. However, my opinion on the books is irrelevant. Instead I want to focus on the hullabaloo surrounding the 50 Shades books and the new movie Magic Mike.

I’m not sure if this attitude is right or wrong, but lets reverse each story. For example–in 50 Shades it is the female character who is the dominant and finds submissive men and engages in BDSM. I’m not a huge romance reader, but I imagine there are novels out there with this theme. However, are they as popular as 50 Shades?

What if, Magic Mike is a tale of female strippers. Yes, female stripper movies exist, but were they advertised like Magic Mike? Did men line up with advanced tickets and get tipsy before the show, yelling and clapping at the screen? I can’t say for certain, but my guess is no.

If  we reversed the roles, this is what I think would happen:

50 Shades: Women would applaud Ana’s character. Even if the dominant character wasn’t applauded, nobody would argue about male (submissive) treatment. While 50 Shades is incredibly popular, there is a large, vocal, population who disagrees with the treatment of Ana (the submissive, although technically she’s not really submissive).

Magic Mike: There is no way the marketing scheme would ever pass go. Women would not stand for men lining up in theaters across the country objectifying the actresses. Sure, men do this in regular movies ( as do women, hello Avengers!however an overt marketing plan like Magic Mike’s only works for women.

Again, I dont know if this is good or bad. Sure, I’d like men and women treated equally, however I’m not sure that is possible. Perhaps it’s a part of our nature, or perhaps the message is ingrained into our culture’s mentality.

Thoughts?

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I’ve never read the titular book, but it’s on my never-ending list of TBR’s! The list is growing more quickly than usual because it is taking me FOREVER to read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I’m really not sure what the hype is all about. I’m about to give up on it…

Anyway… during the time not spent at work or trying to keep my eyes open reading Dragon Tattoo I’ve made some interesting observations about men and women. I admit, these are broad categorizations and I know there are many a man who would fit in the female group and vice versa. Nevertheless, here they are.

Sports:

When a woman gets back into a physical activity she used to excel at (or at least succeed at) she doesn’t start of at a sprint. No, a woman overestimates her loss of ability and starts out slow. Afraid of tiring too much before the workout is complete. Whereas men put all their effort into the beginning and often find themselves dragging at the end (or getting out of the pool early). I’m not saying either is good. Women should not doubt their abilities so much. It’s kind of like brushing off a compliment (“Really? I feel like I look really bloated and messy” in response to “You look great today!”). We should take a leaf out of man’s book and be more confident. Sometimes, a bit of confidence is all you need! On the other hand, starting off too strong can lead to injury and frustration.

Literature:

One of my guy friends has his favorite passages and quotes pulled from the books and framed. All eight are hung in his bedroom. It’s hard to describe, and I don’t want to use his picture without permission, but it looks really cool. I’m seriously thinking about copying him, so I started thinking about which authors belonged on my wall. My gut reactions were:

Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)

Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)

Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)

Katherine Mansfield (Miss Brill a short story found in her collection, The Garden Party and Other Stories)

Kenneth Grahame (The Wind in the Willows)

Shakespeare (The Tempest)

Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)

My friend’s choices are:

Ernest Hemingway (Hills Like White Elephants)

Nam Le (Love and Honour and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice)

Donald Barthelme (Some of Us had been Threatening Our Friend Colby)

Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)

William Faulkner (The Sound and the Fury)

George Orwell (1984)

Kurt Vonnegut (not from a book, but from a speech)

F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)

Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead)

I don’t consider myself a romantic, but all my quotes (except for the passage from The Wind in the Willows) are about love, or at least relationships. I do not know exactly which passages my friend chose, but I’m pretty sure they are not about love.

I know there are many women out there who love these authors, but combining all these authors in one group seems very masculine.

Life:

Let me give you two scenarios, one from a female friend and one from a male friend (in order to avoid he/she I will use “they.” Even though I know it is not grammatically correct). Both are wonderful people. Both are scientists. When one friend knew their oral exam was approaching they studied like crazy. For 6 months. They wanted to be absolutely certain they knew anything and everything their advisers could throw at them. They were stressed, stressed, stressed. For a very long time.

The other knew their oral exam was coming up, and did not tell me. I did not know about them until two days before. This friend stayed out late with friends, made new friends, religiously watched their Alma Mater play in the March Madness games. Basically had a grand old-time. Unfortunately for them, the exams did not go well.

Can you guess which of these was my female friend and which was my male friend? If you guessed female for scenario number one, and male for scenario number two, you are correct. While my female friend probably over stressed herself, which is not good, my male friend was not stressed enough. There is a fine line, which, granted, is hard to walk. Too much stress and you don’t sleep. You don’t eat . This makes concentration difficult, affecting the final outcome. On the other hand, winging it is fine for some situations, but your future academic career?

So, are any of these 3 qualities better than the other? No. I just think it’s interesting to think about.

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A Dating Recap

Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. I’ve had a busy few weeks. Work, bachelorette parties, and five or six dates will do that to a person. Those few days I didn’t stay out until 11 or later, I spent catching up on my sleep from the other days. But, here I am, ready to tell you all about my dating adventures!

Remember a while back when I wrote about my online dating experience? And the weirdos who messaged me? Well, after a rocky start, this whole internet dating business improved greatly. In the past two weeks I went on dates with four different guys. Two of which I will probably never see again, one with whom I went on multiple dates (but we decided to just be friends), and another who looks promising.

Antoine Vermette, Philadelphia Flyers.

This past weekend, I met another guy at a St. Patrick’s Day party. Nice, cute, tall and engineer! But, I had a great date with promising guy, we’ll call him hockey player (is there anything sexier than a hockey player?), and still had him in the back of my mind, so my flirting was a little lackluster. Part of me was telling myself, “you’ve only gone on two dates with hockey player, best to keep your options open.” The other part of me was thinking, “Hmm, engineer. You’re kind of awkward. And you’re wearing old man shoes.” Of course, once I decided he was too nerdy for me, he tore it up on the dance floor with some of the other people at the party. Just goes to show, you can’t judge a book by its cover! As a librarian, I should already avoid this practice… but, I don’t.

So, now I’m in a bit of a dilemma. See, I really like hockey player, but (and please don’t judge me too much here) he’s 22. I’m turning 25 in a month. This shouldn’t bother me, but it kind of does. He also lives 45 minutes away and spends every weekend out-of-town doing field work for his masters program, so meeting up is very difficult. The past few times we’ve hung out before/after his hockey games which are in my town, but soon hockey season will be over. What will we do then? I’m a very schedule oriented person (this past non-scheduled week wrecked havoc on my sanity), and I’m not the greatest at compromise, especially when it involves canceling things that are important to me. In this case, my work out commitments (running club and swim team). I’ve already gained weight since moving and I don’t want to gain anymore! Superficial, I know.

I could give Engineer a chance, but I don’t actually have is number. I left the bars a bit early with some other friends, and I didn’t see him when I said goodbye to the others. I suppose I could ask our mutual friends on Tuesday when I them on Tuesday at running… but would that give the wrong impression? I’m kind of interested but I don’t want to seem too excited and give a false impression. Yes, I know, I over think. My other options are to facebook friend him or wait until we run into each other again.

Thoughts? Advice? And yes, I am aware that this is a very minor dilemma. For all I know in two weeks I’ll be back in the search. Also, have you ever dated younger? I never thought I would, as I always thought of myself as mature for my age, but maybe I’m not…

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We write a lot about history here, but no necessarily our personal history. I am a firm believer that if we pay attention to the lessons of history, we can learn from them. In that spirit, here is a portion of my history, and I hope it helps someone.
I once dated a real jerk, let’s call him Jerkface Root. Don’t get me wrong, he had good qualities, too. He was brave, good-looking, intelligent, and funny. Unfortunately, he was also a liar, inconsiderate, selfish, and had a temper. For a while our relationship was good. Yes, I saw the bad qualities he possessed, but I thought it had to do with his time in war. I thought those unpleasant tendencies would ease up after he spent more time stateside. After all, I’m not one to shirk from a challenge, and I have a pretty nasty temper myself. We fought occasionally. (Not physically, mind you. True, Root had some PTSD issues. However, I only ever felt he would actually hit me once, and to his credit he restrained himself.) We had a lot of good times, too. Most people really liked him. Most people thought we worked very well together.
We talked about our future, about getting married. As we talked a funny thing began to happen, I noticed that the more we talked about our future the more it seemed like his future. He had very specific ideas about his life and very little concern about what that meant for mine. We fought.
However, at this point, about two years in, I was convinced that we were meant to be together. I actually started thinking about different ways to change my plans to match his. He never budged.
Everything shifted when I spent a summer in a foreign land in which I did not know a soul. I was happy. I realized I didn’t actually need Root for my life to be fulfilling. I could be happy all by my onsie. Still, I wanted to make it work with Root. I did love him after all. When I returned to the US, I began to stop budging myself. I decided that if he wanted a life with me, he would have to work with me instead of me just giving in constantly. I really dug in my heels. We began to fight a lot more.
Right before a holiday celebration we had a doozy of a fight about his unwavering position, and how that would absolutely not be possible with what I wanted to do, and couldn’t he just move an inch to help me out. He didn’t. I gave him an ultimatum: he had to either change and compromise with me, or he would lose me. I gave him three weeks.
He did not change. We broke up.
For a while after breaking up we maintained a friendship. He saw other people. I saw other people. We remained on good terms and even went camping together. (Separate tents and all, no worries.)
Twice after we broke up, he asked me back. He said he had changed. He said he wanted a life with me. Twice I believed him. Twice he shattered my heart.
I was wrong. He was still the same inflexible, inconsiderate person he had always been, and probably always will be.
Do me a favor, if you find yourself in my position, get out when you first notice these inhospitable traits. Get out before you waste four years or more of your life on a man who does not deserve you. Because whoever he might be, he is not worth re-directing your life when he would not do the same.

This is just my side of the story. I shouldn’t have to point out that I’m no saint. I have not-so-good qualities in my own personality. However, in my defence, I have managed to remain on friendly speaking terms with all of my other ex-boyfriends, which I figure is a pretty good character reference.

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I recently dove back into the dating world. And by diving in, I mean reactivating my OKCupid account. I messaged two guys, maybe three, but for the most part, I wasn’t interested enough to put in a lot of effort. I figured, if it works, it works. If not, oh well. No big loss. I got a handful of interesting messages, and if the guy actually put some effort in and read my profile, I usually responded.

However, there are so many guys (and I use so many loosely here, because I think I’ve only received 10 messages) who feel “hey, you’re cute, I’d love to take you out some time” is a valid introductory message. What self-respecting girl agrees to that? I feel the same way about guys in bars using lines. So, a guy has never used a line on me, but I see it in movies and on TV all the time. Lines always felt insincere to me. Sure, I could give guys some slack, and assume they use lines because it takes pressure off themselves, or some other nonsense, but I can’t. Because, honestly, isn’t being yourself easier?

I wish we lived in a time where conversation, or at least flirtation, was an art. Granted, I’d have to learn that art as well, but it’d be better than this! For demonstration purposes, I copied and pasted some the “best of the worst” messages I received in the past few weeks. I wish now that I hadn’t deleted so many, because there were some doozies.

(this is a followup to his first message which I deleted and never responded to) “Hey! =) So, I guess you probably feel uncomfortable e-mailing for my photo, so I put it online (I took out the url in case it’s a naked pic or a virus) I have more I can send if you’re interested. Maybe you’ll let me take you out sometime? :)” Who sends a stranger their email address? And what makes you think I want to go to your sketchy website? Maybe if it was Flickr…but still, why be on an Internet dating site if “you’re shy about putting yourself out there”? I suppose he could have a legitimate fear of rejection in a world based solely on looks (major scars, one eye etc) but I doubt it.

My next favorite comes from a guy who messaged me and I’m fairly certain I ignored. Either way, I got a message from him the other day asking “are you still there?” Yes, I am still here and I am glad I ignored you, because clearly you are needy and a bit possessive.

The last message I will share with you actually made me laugh out loud. Again, I deleted it, but it had something to do with me being a nice Christian girl, strong in her faith. Sure, I filled in the religion part of the profile (Catholic, but not too serious about it), but where does he get “strong in my faith” from that? Out of curiosity I looked at the questions we both answered. Where he put, “absolutely not” to things like abortion, gay marriage, teaching evolution and sex before marriage (and these being very important to him) I answered opposite (also as being very important to me).**

I know I’m not painting a very pretty picture of the online dating world, and honestly, it’s not my favorite. However, it is surprisingly similar to meeting guys at bars, also not my favorite. Personally, I prefer getting to know the guy through friends, work, clubs, whatever, but since I don’t have those options available to me, I’ll take what I can!

Besides, online dating can work. A woman I work with is in a long-term, serious relationship with a guy she met online. I also have a promising date tonight with a guy I technically met online. When I discovered that he runs with a group I already planned on joining, we used it as an opportunity to meet in person. Meeting like that, surrounded by lots of other people, in a totally non-threatning (non-date) place, was really nice. It really took the pressure off, and he couldn’t pull any shenanigans* and if I didn’t like him I could leave, no hurt feelings. Okay, feelings could get hurt, but it’s not like leaving in the middle of a coffee date.

I will keep all y’all posted on the date. But for now, I’ve got to get ready! I feel a bit like Bridget Jones

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* I met up with a guy in Boston that I met on OkCupid and half way through the date he reached over and started holding my hand. Awkward!

* In order for the OK Cupid algorithms and what not to work you have to answer so many questions–the more questions you answer, the better your possible matches. An example of a question is as follows:

“Is Love Overrated”

-Yes, absolutely

-Yes, a bit

-No, it’s fine

-No, it’s underrated

Answers I’ll Accept

-Yes, absolutely

-Yes, a bit

-No, it’s fine

-No, it’s underrated

This Question is:

-Irrelavent

-A little important

-Somewhat important

-Very important

-Mandatory

If you click all the bubbles in the “I’ll accept” portion, the website automatically categorizes it as irrelevant.

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Friends and Lovers

As you all know, from my Dixie Land post, I recently moved to the south, from the Midwest. While there are a few cultural differences (see the post), generally we’re all the same. “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Yet, I’m still finding it difficult to make friends. Mostly because the majority of people I work with are from France, Belgium, Spain or some other Spanish-speaking country. I don’t fit into this group because a) I don’t speak French or Spanish and b) I’m from the United States and therefore not an outsider like they are and, finally, c) I started in January and all the other new teachers know each other already and everyone knows, bringing new friends into the group is hard. Especially when they don’t share a similar background.

To counteract my lack of friendship in the workplace (I’m also one of the only unmarried American staff members (can’t break into the international or local cliques) and considerably younger than the other unmarrieds which makes it that much harder to connect) I started using Meetup.com. A place to meet people of similar interests, etc. I went to a board game meetup, because it’s held at the coffee shop with the best Beignets in town and because I like board games. Surprise, surprise, I was expecting “party games” (think Last Word, Balderdash, Apples to Apples, Trivial Pursuit etc) when in actuality, most group members play strategy games like Settlers of Catan (and this is the only one I was familiar with and therefore remember). Luckily, all was not lost. There was a new-to-town couple there as well, and the wife and I bonded over our newness.

Saturday night we met up for a drink near my apartment. I was so nervous going into our dinner engagement, I felt like I was going on a date! And honestly, I’ve never had a “date” go so well. Maybe I should become a lesbian (I’m sorry, I realize that was probably very offensive). I’m sure this sounds very weird. We all know what it’s like to meet guys and to have to put yourself out there, and make yourself vulnerable, but you’ve always had your girlfriends to fall back on. Imagine trying to find that support system and making yourself vulnerable, with no one to fall back upon. That is what I am going through now. Sure I have my girls (Cornflower and Sapphire included) but they don’t know exactly what I’m dealing with, nor the people I’m talking about, so it’s not the same.

On a different, but related note, I’ve recently reactivated my OK Cupid account. I figure, I’m putting myself out there to meet platonic friends via the Internet, why not romantic friends? It’s not like I can go out to the bars with my friends or meet my friend’s friends. Yet, every guy I find physically attractive is a “60% or less match.” I know I shouldn’t but I take their little algorithms seriously, but I don’t understand why the cute ones have some sort of fatal character flaw (homophobia, over sexualization*, too religious etc). Sometimes I message them anyway (if they’re cute enough) whereas I get messages from perfectly normal men and ignore them because their pictures just don’t do it for me. This is the problem with meeting people virtually. In person, their personalities can make up for lack of physical attributes, but I’m sorry, that doesn’t happen over the Internet.

So, basically, I’m a at a standstill. Either the cuties that I emailed need to email me back (since heaven knows I’m not going to put myself out there more than once!) or I need to meet guys and girls (friends of all kinds) through work and maybe my new game friend.

* Seriously, the questions they ask… I understand the reasoning behind some of them. If you’re waiting until marriage but the guy who just messaged you thinks 3 dates=sex, well you might have a problem. But so many of the questions are sexual in nature. I just don’t get it. Aren’t these the kind of things you’re suppose to slowly learn? I have learned, however, that OK Cupid users are very concerned about sex (many of the questions are user generated). Also, a shockingly large percentage of the male users only brush their teeth once a day. I have no idea who came up with that question, but I like it.

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