Revenge is a dish best served by someone else: The not so secret Dating Vigilante Taskforce

Hullo readers! Some updates from Washington, D.C., where I am pleased to report that more has been happening than me just hating on JDate. Well, actually, not a ton more. Mostly just me going on dates with Js from the site and then finding something about them to hate on.

tim gunn concerned

http://giphy.com/gifs/nervous-worried-stressed-iQA2hMPX88icM

Yup, hold on to your hat Tim Gunn, because there is a date post coming your way in a couple days, and it features  a whole litany of complaints, including some about what I consider one of most serious fashion faux-pas of our time.

Meanwhile, since I have your captive attention, I thought I’d use a few minutes on the mic to run an idea by you. What if: there was a way to discipline your dates and exes for not acting like they had any basic human decency or manners, without seeming like a total lunatic or having to bear the uncomfortable pain of conflict yourself?

kardashian amen

http://fiercegifs.tumblr.com/post/80909624140

I mean, if you’ve read this blog before, or ever dated for more than seven minutes, it’s abundantly clear that there are plenty of people who exhibit some pretty obnoxious or just plain mean and cowardly behaviors just lurking around on dating sites, waiting to pounce on a yet another sad, single victim. And I’m not talking about simple fade aways here. I’m talking about the more egregious stuff. For example, the unemployed former child star who shows up an hour late for any date that doesn’t involve a puppet. Or, the guy who strings you along for weeks, and then lets you know he has a girlfriend. Or the legit movie theater narc. The list goes on and on. Tonight, I had the (mis)fortune of running into one of Stucu’s worst offenders in the flesh, on my commute home. And that, my friends, is why this is on my mind.

Remember, J, the guy who had a girlfriend and knowingly let me use her toiletries to freshen up in the AM? Well, you probably don’t, but I do. As an avowed feminist, and aspiring bad ass, it KILLED me that I basically let this guy get away with 1) probably cheating on his girlfriend 2) lying to me and 3) making fun of the movie “Marley and Me, “which was actually REALLY EMOTIONAL AND MEANINGFUL. They loved that dog so much. And that dog loved them right back.

In fact, I’d be a liar too if I didn’t admit that over the past 6 months, there have been a few monologues rehearsed in my mirror where I tell J I know he’s a big lying cheater and that I have gonorrhea. (Don’t worry mom, I don’t have it. I don’t even know how to spell it. I had to use google because even my spell check doesn’t know how to spell it.)

gonnerea

Anyway, when I saw J today, getting off the metro. I totally froze:

anna kendrick

I barely managed to give him my trademark side-eye glare before I actually quickened my pace and headed to the turnstile, even though at that point he fully turned around and looked at me. (When I got home and looked in the mirror, I sadly realized I was rocking a creative looking side part and had magic marker all over my hands. So I am kinda glad the confrontation didn’t go any further).

I mean, the reason why I didn’t say anything is the same reason I don’t implement many of my revenge fantasies, or give some of these fools the talking to they deserve. I didn’t want to be this girl:

crazy

However, my (well-advised) fear of conflict/humiliating myself means that J gets to walk around this earth (or to be less dramatic, NW DC) thinking that he can just be a douche and no one will care.

Now, enter the solution: the secret vigilante dating task force. What if, I could enlist volunteers (presumably other scorned, righteous ladies and the odd sassy gay friend or two, of course), to deliver anonymous hate telegrams to J and the other creeps that have come before and after him:

i know what you did last summer

https://www.tumblr.com/search/Helen+Shivers

I mean, clearly leaving terrifying notes in someone’s home would be reserved for the worst level of offenders. But we could ask volunteers to implement a number of services, perhaps based on a sliding scale donation.

Back of the envelope calculations on pricing and services:

  • $10: We’ll send the offending party a facebook message from an untraceable source, calling out his bad behavior and concluding with a spooky, “we’re watching you.”
  • $20: We’ll up the ante and make the facebook message a public wall post (or tweet), so everyone can see what he did.
    • I.e. Hey there J, It’s about time that you stopped cheating on C (tagged) with petite, ambiguously ethnic girls you meet on the internet. #cheater #herpes
  • $50: We’ll triangulate social media data to pinpoint a time and location where one of our trained volunteers can confront this clown in person. (Add $25 if you’d like volunteer to be dressed in a fake sheriff’s outfit. Add $50 more dollars if you’d like the volunteer to throw a drink in his face).

Clearly, all the deets aren’t figured out yet, but you get the gist. I’m basically the new Mark Zuckerberg. (After all, at one time in my life we sported similar haircuts. AND, we both like to sit at our computers and scheme). Instead of facebook, I’d call it HATESbook. (I realize that name doesn’t make a ton of sense, but I could resist the rhyme).

So what do you think ladies and gents? (Though mostly ladies, because if you haven’t inferred it yet, this blog is pretty biased against men). You in?

Emily-Revenge

http://www.crushable.com/2012/12/03/entertainment/revenge-the-tv-show-season-two-winter-finale-sucks/

Oh be quiet, Emily Thorne. I think we can all agree you’re way more fun when you’re not sorry. Revenge can rock. Just ask these folks.

Second (and almost third) date with the Grouchketeer

Apparently I left you all hanging with my post from last week, because multiple readers reached out to me and my co-bloggers asking what happened with Grouchketeer. Never fear, my pretties. That was not the last I heard or saw of him, which for his personal safety was probably a good thing; no single woman should have to endure Mr. Sick AND a fade away.

Grouchketeer asked me out again a day or two after our fated first meeting, and I said yes. This time the itinerary was much more normal: dinner and checking out a pop up park in Philly that was about to close for the season.I joked  the apparent normalcy of this date compared to our first one.

mr sick

Well okay then! We made plans for Friday night  at 7 (his suggestion). Grouchketeer lives in a Philly suburb, so I knew he’d be contending with some unique traffic driving into the city. But since he “worked from home” (possible euphemism for semi-funemployed) and could leave whenever, this didn’t seem like a huge deal.

The week leading up to our date, we did a bit of light text flirting. Grouchketeer seemed to be enthusiastically pursuing me, which was great because I liked him, but at times I thought it might be a bit TOO enthusiastic. For instance, it had come up in conversation that I work for the same (large) company as his brother’s girlfriend, and one day he texted me asking if I could look her up in our employee directory. Assuming he wanted the info. for something legit, I did.

girlfriend

wait what

Source: rebloggy.com

Oh my God, Grouchketeer. Inappropriate. So inappropriate. At this point we had been on ONE date; I didn’t know his last name, and he wanted me to waltz over to his brother’s “live in girlfriend” (who PS works in a different department and different building than me) and say what? ‘Oh hi, I’m your boyfriend who refuses to propose to you’s brother’s date. We’ve literally met once to watch nude puppets prance around on stage. Anyway, he says we’d get along, so we should totally be best friends!’

Honestly it freaked me out a little bit that Grouchketeer didn’t seem to get why this was a completely whakadoo request to make of someone you’ve spent a total of 3 hours with. But I told him the idea made me uncomfortable, chalked it up to my date possibly having some light Aspies, and moved on.

Friday rolled around and I got ready for dinner like normal, until Grouchketeer called me at 6:30 and said, “I have bad news.”

time out

Source: fakemrjones.blogspot.com

Gentlemen. Please don’t call your date whom you’ve met once and say you have bad news, especially if your date is a confirmed Negative Nancy. The mind reels at the possible things that could follow that statement. Here are some of the options that ran through my head:

  • I can’t make it/I’m canceling/I never want to see you again (this is the most obvious and least upsetting option)
  • Just a heads up, I have a scorching case of herpes
  • I’m a convicted felon and I violated my parole so I just want you to know I’m headed back to the big house today
  • I found your blog and have deemed you an undatable psychopath

Grouchketeer: I’m stuck in some of the worst traffic I’ve ever been in in my life. I haven’t moved in 45 minutes and there are multiple accidents. It’s really bad. Just wanted to let you know I’m never going to make it by 7; I’m really sorry.

Me: Oh. (Internally: no parole violation/herpes. Score!) Well, thanks for letting me know. When do you think you’ll be here?

Grouchketeer: At this point honestly I think I should just go back home and wait it out for a bit. If I can’t move our reservation to later I’ll think of somewhere different for us to go. I’ll keep you posted on my ETA. Really sorry.

Me: Um, okay? Talk to you soon.

I hung up the phone, confused annoyed. Obviously shit happens, and Philly traffic is a clusterfuck. But at the same time, this guy was the one who suggested Friday night at 7, and it’s not exactly like he was rushing from his busy office job (or possibly any job). Also, WHY was he going home? I was too bamboozled on the phone to ask him how that remotely made any sense, but I wondered if he’d ever actually left his apartment or if he’d just called me from his couch in sweatpants while fully engrossed in a Law and Order marathon.

DudeWaiting

Source: fakemrjones.blogspot.com

The other thing that annoyed me was, there’s a god damn regional rail line that runs right through his town and into Center City Philadelphia. Why couldn’t he just hop on the train? Was I not worth one six dollar ride on public transportation?

Then the Grouchketeer texted me to tell me he couldn’t get a later reservation at the delicious restaurant we were supposed to have dinner at. He promised he’d figure something else out, but I was already at this point on the rage spectrum:

hell come

Source: gifsoup.com

Here’s the real problem: I was starving. I’d spent the day fasting in preparation for Dan Dan noodles, and now they’d been snatched away from me. I informed my date of this.

dandan

Yes, they’re blindingly delicious, Grouchketeer, but that’s no excuse. I stewed some more, until my roommate (cautiously, carefully ) pointed out that my supreme annoyance at this scheduling hiccup was probably 25% due to my date being a poor planner and possibly a liar, and 75% due to pure, unadulterated hanger. She advised me to have a glass of wine and a snack before things got ugly.

liz mac and cheese

Source: www.menulog.com.au

I did just that, for everyone’s safety and well being. And it worked! I was much calmer about the whole thing. An hour and a half later, when the Grouchketeer finally rolled up to my apartment (I had demanded that he pick me up at this point), I was feeling totally breezy. And slightly tipsy. ‘Where are we going?’ I asked nonchalantly.

Grouchketeer: I made an executive decision. No Old City… the parking is a nightmare and we’ll have to wait to eat. We’re going to a place in West Philly.

Me: Okay. Sounds great.

We drove, chatting amiably, until I noticed a duffel bag in the car.

Me (half jokingly): Going somewhere?

Grouchketeer: Oh. Yeah. My dad has a shore house in Wildwood, and I’m going to head down after our date tonight and stay the weekend. He’s away so I’ll have the place to myself, and it’s probably the last weekend of nice beach weather we’ll have until next year.

Me: That sounds amazing. I love the shore.

Grouchketeer: Yeah, so, uh, actually, I didn’t know if it would be weirder to say something now or in advance, but I wanted to invite you down, too, if you’re interested. I’m sure you have plans and I’m not trying to sound presumptuous, really I just mean you can come hang at the house and there’s a pool there, and a guest bedroom if, you know…yeah. I’d love for you to come with me if you’re up for an adventure.

I’ll admit it; for roughly five seconds this offer did sound super romantic and spontaneous. Boy meets girl, boy whisks girl away to the shore in a vintage Camaro for a weekend of hot sex and drag racing (yes, I was essentially confusing my life with a Bruce Springsteen song. We Jersey girls do that sometimes).

Then reality sunk in. First of all, I was sitting in an ’03 Toyota. Second, ONCE AGAIN, I didn’t even know this guy. My mood quickly shifted to indignant.

how dare you

Source: www.tumblr.com

Who did this complete stranger think he was, asking me to befriend his siblings’ significant others and then proposing I spend the weekend with him 2 hours away? After one. date. Plus there’s the fact that he could OBVIOUSLY be a rapist or serial killer (which would explain why he stayed home to watch that Law and Order marathon–he was probably taking notes!) But even though my answer was clearly:

hard pass

Source: comics-watchtower.tumblr.com

Grouchketeer had asked me very sweetly and earnestly (although I imagine most sociopaths have that look down) and I didn’t want to overreact and sour the whole date, so tried to respond as casually as I could.

 Me: Oh. Wow. Thanks, but I have plans this weekend.

Grouchketeer: Okay, no problem. Was that weird of me to ask you that?

Me: Honestly? Yes, a little bit.

Grouchketeer: I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean it that way. You’re just really cool and I like spending time with you.

Me: Thanks.

Awkward silence. So much awkward silence.

While we drove, I tried to decide how inappropriate all of this really was. Later that night, when I told L about the shore incident, she made a great point: clearly I liked Grouchketeer, but I was not that into him, and I might have (probably would have) reacted differently with a different guy. For instance if H, the guy who I had the best first date of my life with, had asked me the exact same question at the beginning of our second date, I probably would have gone full Born to Run fantasy and risked becoming a human lampshade in the name of having a spontaneous adventure with a guy I was into. And she’s so right. In dating, the same behavior can read as inappropriate or hot, creepy or romantic, annoying or charming, depending on how much you like the person. God, L, why are you so wise?

We arrived at the restaurant, a trendy restaurant owned by a Top Chef winner that I’d been meaning to go to for months (tragically/hilariously, D and I had had plans to eat here, but I had to cancel our reservation when he dumped me three days before we were supposed to go. Memories!) Cynical S was thinking: it’s Friday night, this place is small and super popular, there is no way we’re not waiting an hour plus for a table. And waiting at the bar would be no big deal, except my date was an effing tea totaler. I bit my tongue, though, and just went with it.

Turns out that Grouchketeer had the hook up. He knew the restaurant manager (a “friend of his” aka cute girl who was overly friendly to me, which made my spidey senses tingle) and we were seated almost immediately. We had a delicious meal and the kitchen sent us multiple dishes on the house. Once again, Grouchketeer proved himself to be a a severe mumbler and I ended up getting food on my shirt because I was leaning across the table to attempt to catch what the hell he was saying in the loud ass room. The manager who he knew came over to ask how our food had been, and he said something to her in THE LOWEST VOICE EVER and they both looked at me expectantly. At that point, tired of saying ‘Excuse me?’, I literally just said ‘Yup!’, smiled, and took a big swig of my drink. I’m sure I looked (and sounded) deranged.

After dinner, we faced another classic Grouchketeer dilemma: what. the. fuck. do we do if we can’t go to a bar? Again, was not ready to invite him to my place, and the park we had planned to go to was on the other side of the city and at the point getting ready to close. We were in kind of a dead area full of insufferable Penn students, so we decided to “take a walk”. The banter/chatting with this one was good, readers, I will say. Then my date announced he had an idea for what to do next.

Grouchketeer: Have you ever been to a hookah bar?

Me: Sure, before I was 21 and could get into actual bars.

Grouchketeer: There’s one around the corner. We should go.

Me: Okay…? Sure, why not?

So we went to a hookah bar, like a couple of 19 year olds whose fake IDs have been confiscated. It was mostly empty because again, hookah bar on a Friday night. We smoked (green apple flavor), enjoyed Turkish coffee and I proceeded to drop the powdered sugar on the Turkish delight all over my top, which was already looking unique due to my mumble-induced table leaning.

As painfully uncool as it was, there were upsides to the hookah situation. First of all, it was empty, so it was QUIET, which meant I could actually hear what Whispers Von Mumbleson was saying. Second, we were literally on a couch covered in pillows, which led to a very relaxed vibe that was conducive to chatting and flirting. We stayed at that place for hours chatting, smoking and drinking and chatting. Despite the weird start, date #2 was going pretty well.

Finally I realized it was super late and the owners were giving us the cut eye because we were the last people there. Once again Grouchketeer drove me home, and once again we made out in the car in the bike lane outside of my apartment and then said goodnight. 

Date #2 rating: 7/10. Grouchketeer once again overcame multiple setbacks (tardiness, hanger, change in plans, indecent proposals) and showed me a pretty good time.


But wait! There’s more.

A few days later, my date asked me out a third time. Woot. He suggested we check out a neighborhood street fair with food, booze, and live music. Double woot. Grouchketeer mentioned he had “no schedule” so I should pick the time. The location was a bit of a hike for both of us, so we both planned to drive and meet there at 7.

I arrived at 7 and texted him to let him know I was there. No answer. He’s parking, I figured. 10 minutes went by. I got myself a beer and walked around. I checked my phone at 20 minutes, now officially annoyed. Was this dude seriously going to make me wait for the second time and not even say anything? And at least the first time I’d been in my apartment and could easily do other things; now I was outside in a strange area of the city with hundreds of people, wandering around aimlessly and alone like an idiot. Then I got this:

park

I waited 10 more minutes and asked how it was going.

working

What. the. fuck. I had parked in two minutes. I stood there, stewing with rage, until approximately 7:40, and then something inside of me snapped. And I did something I’ve never done before, readers: I left. I was so over this guy’s shitty behavior and being made to wait twice in a row, and I knew even if he’d shown up 30 seconds later I would’ve been so annoyed with him there’s no way it would have been a good date. So I said,

dude

Source: wifflegif.com

…and I bounced.

deuces

Source: wifflegif.com

I texted Grouchketeer to let him know I was over waiting and was going home. Comically, five minutes later he texted saying he’d found parking. Clearly he hadn’t even looked at my messages.

for real

FOR REAL, Grouchketeer. You asshole. Also, when I just went to screen cap his (bullshit) response, it was gone. Like, deleted out of my text history. I’m pretty sure I went to copy and paste it to L or D and must have in my blinding rage accidentally deleted it. It said something to the tune of “bla bla bla sorry but to be clear I said to pick a time where you wouldn’t feel rushed.” WHAT??

Here’s something I did find when returning to our texts for this post. I didn’t even see this when Grouchketeer actually sent it, because I was busy being an adult and being on time for my shit. If I had seen it, crimes might have been committed.

shower

gosling frustrated

Source: www.reactiongifs.com

ejwqoidmoiewjrfekdmcklewjroi3remmngfnuoewjro oh my GOD. So this dude had all fucking day to take a shower because you know, “no schedule”, but he chose to do it 48 minutes before we were supposed to meet up, when he also knew he had to drive a minimum half hour to get there and fight to find parking. And then he actually tried to sass ME when he was wildly late. COOL PLANNING/MANNERS, BRO.

Anyway, as you can see above, there was not reaaaaally even an apology in that text from him; I remember that for sure. Since my rage level had officially returned to:

hell come

Source: gifsoup.com

I word vomited a response:

rant grouchketeer

Yes, that was so long I had to paste two screencaps together. Yes, I know I made it sound like I’m busier than the president when in reality I’m usually on the couch watching TV. But it’s the principle of the thing. I don’t know what I was expecting after that (admittedly wordy) manifesto, but I certainly thought it would be more climactic than this:

goodbye grouchketeer

Aaaaaaand scene. Literally those were the last words we said/wrote to each other.

I was so mad, you guys. And just disappointed. And while Grouchketeer had been really sweet and considerate at other times, be had been a real dick about this, which simultaneously made me feel vindicated for leaving and completely depressed because everyone out there is apparently the worst. A small part of me wondered if I should have just gone with the flow more, but in case you haven’t noticed, that is just not who I am; and if this guy couldn’t pull it together the second and third times he met me, it was only going to be downhill from there anyway.

I realize this was a depressing end to my run with everyone’s favorite trash kid. Believe me, I felt the same way; I think a first date as epically ridiculous as ours deserved a better, or at least more interesting, conclusion. So even though we ended on a sour note, I will always remember our time with Mr. Sick et al fondly, so I’m going to go out on a limb (or a stump-badumching!) and give Grouchketeer a proper, puppet-themed send off.

Date #3 rating: 0/10. I know the date didn’t actually happen, but I showed up (on time) so I’m counting it.

And One Podunk Town…

S mentioned that one of us was moving to the ‘burbs. That would be me (which you probably already figured out from the color-coded comment “the ‘burbs is a generous description for where I’m headed.”) That comment was maybe a liiiiitle exaggerated. Poughkeepsie, NY isn’t really a little podunk town. Technically speaking, it’s actually a city, so our tagline can probably stay as is. But it feels a lot like a podunk town. I can say that, because it’s where I grew up.

That’s right folks. I moved home. Specifically, into my younger brother’s childhood bedroom (he took over my bedroom when I was off at college – teenage boys are disgusting, and also I’m too lazy to swap rooms). This move transpired really quickly, and very unexpectedly, so my parents are letting me stay at home for a a little bit to give me enough time to find a place I like, rather than just whatever was available in the couple weeks between accepting a job back home and moving back home. They’re the best. (It’s not lost on me that I once said that a guy who lives with his parents raises a red flag, and here I am, 30 and living with my parents (though just for 2-3 months, max) At least I’m employed, right?)

It feels really strange to be back here. I left for Boston when I was 18. That was 12 years ago. The only place I’ve ever lived as an adult is Boston. And even though I’ve come home plenty over the last 12 years, it’s so different to be living here again. I’ve only been home for 2 weeks, but in that time I’ve re-lived a lot of forgotten memories running errands and being down on Main Street for work. It’s really bizarre to live and work somewhere so familiar, but at the same time so in the past. This is going to be really fucking weird. Weird in general, and weird for dating. And that’s what you all come here to read about, now isn’t it?

I had 3 weeks between when I accepted this new job and gave my notice, and when I actually moved. Getting matches and viewing profiles of eligible bachelors in the greater Boston area, when I was packing to move over 3 hours away, got real old real fast. So I changed my location on OKC, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Hinge.

It took 24 hours before Hinge matched me with someone I went to high school with.

First of all, I knew that would be coming, but christ it happened fast. Is that some sort of sign? I didn’t have a horrible high school existence, but still. What a jarring start to my transition home. Secondly, there are actually a handful or so of guys that I went to high school with that I would happily date. Sadly, none of them were this match. At first I just knew that he looked familiar. And then, perusing his pictures, I saw someone else that I immediately recognized, and it hit me who the match was. A nice enough guy, but not someone I would ever date for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the other person I recognized in the photos. The two have always been close. And as I explained to one of my closest friends from high school, I would rather die alone and be eaten by 408 cats than live a life that includes that asshole friend in any capacity.

I’ve since been matched with a few more guys from high school, none of whom I would date either (though I don’t hate any of their friends, so maybe…).

I also started messaging with a guy on OKC who seemed really cool and who I was actually excited about meeting. And then, the week we intended to plan a date, he informed me that he had just accepted a job down in Maryland and would be moving out of the state. Right as I was moving in. Oh universe… Lastly, on the online front, there was a guy who texted me to death, without making any attempt to actually meet me in person. I just wasn’t interested enough to ask him out, so that faded out.

There is a guy offline that I’ve been interested in for a long time. But since we lived 4 hours away from each other, I never did much about it. By never did much, I mean drunkenly texted him about my feelings once last spring at 1 am after having been out with him and a bunch of others all night. Can you say sloppy drunk?

Although nothing came of that text, I have a feeling that had more to do with distance than anything else. We’ll see if that feeling is right or not, now that I live a lot closer and will be seeing him a lot more. Cross your fingers, ’cause he’s definitely got a little Tim Riggins in him (the good parts, not the emotionally unstable parts).

So – I’m back in New York. This is going to be verrrrrrry interesting. Guys find race car border wallpaper sexy right?

Why don’t they write back? Uneducated guesses and other opinions…

Tonight, as I was going through my inbox to prep a Message Monday post for you, dear readers, I realized that nothing noteworthy stood out to me.

Sure, there were plenty of lame/nonsensical things to choose from, such as:

jdate book

Brought to you courtesy of Jdate, of course. This message is extraordinary in that it manages to be vaguely creepy but also rather unintelligible. Is my “book” my picture and profile? And what would it mean to curl up and “read” me? 

dexter

http://giphy.com/gifs/T8jvJ9xndGayY

So, rather than craft our 100 blog post about how most messages leaving us shaking our heads in a combination of confusion and fear, I decided to dedicate this post to tackling a frequent question from fellow online daters.

Why don’t people return my messages?

Now, here’s the deal/my regular disclaimer that, at the end of the day, I have obviously no idea what I’m talking about. If I did know what I was talking about, I would be married to Prince William. (And I’d have a much better relationship with the queen btw. Grandmas love me.)

However, I do have some well formed theories why people don’t return most of the messages they get. I’ve sent my fair share of messages over the last year, and much to my dismay, some of them never got returned. I used to get pretty bummed by this, but now it doesn’t faze me at all.

tom h brush shoulders off

 

Based on my experience sending and returning/not returning messages, I share the following nuggets of wisdom with you about why people aren’t replying:

1. They are not attracted to your pics. OKC’s Nobel Prize Winning scientists (oh, what’s that? Not a Nobel Prize? Just a Gold Medal of Douchery for experimenting on their users?) have conducted research to prove what we already know. Online dating is a shallow pursuit, where most users judge other users on their looks. I mean, if you have NEVER met a person, heard their voice, or seen them interact with other people, pictures are the most concrete things you have to go on. And if someone doesn’t like the way you look in the pictures you’ve carefully selected, which I am assuming were taken on a good day, when you were a few years (or at least a few months) younger, in some flattering, low lighting (MINE WERE), they probably won’t be attracted to you in person. Sadly, we online daters don’t get the luxury of getting to know each other through late nights in the dorm studying and eating pizza, or dinner parties with mutual friends.  So, we make snap judgments. It’s by no means a good thing, but it’s a necessary evil. I am sure that some men don’t reply to my messages because they just don’t find me attractive. I mean, I recently suggested “an older version of Dora the Explorer” as the actress who would play me in a movie. While a surprisingly large proportion of men find this attractive, others don’t. And I’ve made peace with that.

dora again

 

If somebody can’t appreciate what you got going on, oh well. Just move on, and eventually, somebody will. (In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt to find an animated monkey to be your BFF and follow you around.)

2. You have some weird dealbreaker in your profile that they’re not willing to compromise on.

Remember our series on OKC question dealbreakers? There are just some things that you might put in your profile or in your questions that might cause another person to press delete. For example, let me remind you that I hate cats, and I’m deathly allergic to them. So if you write about your multiple cats on your profile, I’ll likely take a pass for my own safety (and the safety of the cats). Same goes for vegans. Or people who like Billy Joel. Am I missing out? Maybe. But that’s my choice. And it doesn’t mean you have to change. Unless of course, your profile reveals you are an avowed woman-hater or homophobe. Then, you should change, because you suck.

3. Whether people reply or not probably has very little to do with you. Now, this is assuming you write something a) SANE (so, not this) and b) vaguely original (no form letters) and c) more than hi. The majority of times I don’t reply to messages that would pass a basic normalcy test, one of the following is going on with me:

  • I’m traveling/working a lot and just don’t check them that often.
  • Due to the traveling/working, too many messages build up and I get tired just sorting through all the crap (see a,b, and c above), get discouraged after 10 minutes and decide to watch The Daily Show instead.
  • I’m sorta seeing somebody, and I want to see where it goes, but I don’t want to jinx it by disabling my profile.
  • I just had a bad date and I’m too demoralized/terrified/irritated to interact with other strangers for awhile.
  • I am messaging with a couple of promising dudes, and decide it’s not worth it to engage in additional pen-palling at that time.
  • I burned my mouth on a pizza bagel and got distracted mid-reply.

up squirrel

http://thebertshow.com/stupid-viral-video-alert-squirrel-tries-bury-acorn-dogs-fur/

The key takeaway here is that we’re all just really animals who have no idea what we’re doing. So you might as well message people who sound cool, because honestly, what do you have to lose? And just remember:

Thank you Stuart Smalley. for the Sunday night self esteem boost. Have a great week readers!

First Date with the Grouchketeer (or: that time S’s date took her to a puppet show)

I’d like to kick off this doozy of a post by quoting…myself:

“If hell freezes over and a date actually makes a non-bar suggestion, unless that suggestion is ‘Tea Party rally’ or ‘anonymous orgy’, I’m going to throw caution to the wind and just say yes.” –S, 9/2/14

Will I never learn to just keep my mouth shut? It’s like I was asking the universe to present me with an insane first date scenario that I’d be forced to say yes to. And the universe did not disappoint. 

Let me back up for a second. When I wrote the above line in my fall dating to do list, I’d been chatting a bit with a reasonably smart, cute and nice dude on Okc. We had no plans to meet up yet, but less than 24 hours after publishing my post, that changed. I have dubbed this guy “Grouchketeer”, and you will find out why later in this post. Anyway, when the Grouchketeer texted me this:

fringe fest

I thought, well look here; a challenge. Bring it on, good sir. Fringe Fest is known for being kind of….alternative, but how weird could this “idea” be? An art exhibit? A play?

Oh, it was a play. But not just any play. 

incongruousoffice ryan awkward

I read that description approximately 8 times, thinking I just wasn’t getting it. Then as the words “explosive”, “frenzied”, and “anatomically complete” sunk in, along with, you know, “physically disabled”, I began to panic. Why did this guy pick this bizarre puppet show out of all the Fringe Fest events and all the things we could do in the world? What would this even entail? Would we be watching wheelchair-bound puppets have sex? Did this mean my date was into puppet porn? IS PUPPET PORN A THING I DON’T EVEN KNOW ABOUT?!?!?

Then another thought occurred to me: clearly this “guy from Okcupid” was L and/or D in disguise fully catfishing me for shits and giggles. Well played, co-bloggers. Well played.

Except L and D, while positively DELIGHTED to hear about this date proposition (a little too delighted, honestly), assured me it wasn’t them. They also reminded me of my comically recent promise to be open to non-traditional dates and I was all, “I KNOW, DAMN IT, I KNOW WHAT I WROTE” in a howler monkey voice. Because I knew they were right. I had baited the universe, and the universe dared me to go back on my word. Hell, it triple dog dared me. 

I had no choice, dear readers, but to stick my (proverbial) tongue to the (proverbial) flagpole.

puppet

So many adjectives, Gouchketeer. So many. And then he upped the ante:

tickets

I’m usually opposed to dinner on a first date, let alone dinner on a first date on Saturday night, but given the fact that a complete stranger was apparently taking me to watch dolls have sex in South Philadelphia, dinner seemed like the least of my problems. So as promised, I “just said yes”. To everything. Ugh.

Saturday arrived, and Grouchketeer and I met at the restaurant. He was just as cute in person (score), but had committed the classic single guy act of 2+ inch height fraud. Dinner was pretty good, actually… he was witty and interesting, and the conversation flowed pretty well. One thing that made it more awkward was the fact that he was kiiiind of a mumbler. He was one of those people who would start a sentence off at normal volume and then sort of trail off as he talked. The restaurant wasn’t exactly quiet, either, so I found myself repeating, ‘What?”, “I’m sorry?” and “Excuse me?” an uncomfortable number of times, and homeboy would not take a hint to speak up.

Beyond the mumbling, there were a few…red flags.

Red flag #1: College drop out. He allegedly went to a few different schools, one of which was Ivy League so clearly he wasn’t stupid or lacking opportunities, but “hated it” and never finished. Oh, Philadelphia bachelors (without Bachelors–hiyooo).

Red flag #2: No actual 9-5 job. According to Grouchketeer, he did “a lot of things” such as: concert booker/promoter for a local music venue, had his own landscaping business…? and (drumroll please) was training to be a “rescue diver”. No, I don’t know what that means, either.

Red flag #3: Rest assured, there’s a #3, but it was revealed later in the date. Stay tuned. 

So at this point I know Grouchketeer kiiiiind of sounds like a zero. Believe me, the same thought crossed my mind. But I could tell he was really smart. He was clearly self sufficient (didn’t live with his parents THANK GOD), loved to travel and had been all over the world, and had a lot of interesting things to say. And he was cute. So I ignored these flags for the time being and just focused on understanding what the hell my mumbling date was actually saying. And against all odds, I was actually having a good time.

Such a good time, in fact, that we both lost track of time and almost missed the, ahem, show (and what a…pity…that would have been). Unfortunately Grouchketeer realized what time it was (damn him) and we cut dinner short. While we waited for our check, I took the opportunity to ask what I had been wondering for the past week:

Me: So, can I ask why a puppet show? What made you pick that out of all the Fringe Fest events going on?

Grouchketeer: I don’t know, it looked like it could be interesting and also, I’ve always had a thing for puppets.

Me: internally-screaming

Me (thinking): Oh God. Ew. Does he mean, like, a sexual thing? So puppet porn IS a real thing, then. I KNEW IT.

Obviously my date must have caught the horrified/alarmed look on my face.

Grouchketeer: Oh man, no, not in like, a creepy way! I actually was  a child actor for a few years. I was on Sesame Street, so I’ve always thought puppets were kind of awesome.

Who has two thumbs and has seen WAY too many episodes of Law and Order: SVU?

stabler

This girl. My date was trying to tell me about his childhood stint on Sesame Street, and mama’s brain went right to ‘puppet porn’. Not my most sane moment, readers.

Me: Oh! That’s awesome! What did you do on Sesame Street?

Grouchketeer: I was a member of Oscar the Grouch’s posse. We were like a spoof on the Mouseketeers.

Me: Oh my God, yes! I remember! You guys were covered in trash, right?

(Lest you think I’m exaggerating, check out a Google image of these poor, pathetic kids smeared with dirt, wearing low budget DIY t-shirts and trashcan lids ON THEIR HEADS.)

grouchketeer

The Grouchketeers were basically Mugatu’s Derelicte campaign for kids, and my date was a part of this elite club. Maybe he had some sort of puppet Stockholm syndrome.

Okay, readers. Now that you know the origin of my date’s nickname, it’s time for today’s main event: the puppet show.

We walked, almost ran to the theater since we were late. I was secretly hoping the show had already started but alas, when we knocked on the door to the tiny, nondescript South Philly theater, they let us right in. 

A woman handed us two programs and ushered us towards the entrance. “Don’t worry,” she assured us. “He hasn’t started.”

We walked in and found two seats in the back row. The theater was full, and by “full” I mean the 20 seats in the theater mostly had people in them, presumably all family members of the puppeteer or possibly people on equally bizarre Okcupid first dates. I was just opening my program when the lights dimmed and a booming male voice announced:

“Welcome to this evening’s performance of ‘Incongruous’. If you need to use the restroom, please do so now, as you will not be permitted to leave during the show.

wait what2

We trust that you have had the chance to read your program and are well versed in the disabilities we’ll be discussing tonight.

wait what

Enjoy the show.”

Then, to add to the already uncomfortable vibe, someone came into the theater and TURNED OFF THE AIR CONDITIONING. In case you were wondering, here’s what the weather in Philly was like on the day in question:

weather

So there I was, readers, trapped in a tiny box of death, sweating, barred from using the restroom, unable to see the program which was apparently required reading beforehand, on a first date with an ex-child star whose parents allowed him to be covered in trash in exchange for money.

Just when I thought shit could not get weirder, a man dressed in all black appeared on stage, and produced a puppet from behind a table. The puppet was a naked woman with one leg. He then produced a baby puppet and proceeded to make the mom breast feed the baby. Then he started to sing. A lullaby. In Spanish. This continued for an UNCOMFORTABLE amount of time. I’m not talking 30 seconds. Like, for at least 3 minutes we all sat there in sweaty silence, watching a puppet breast feeding another puppet while being serenaded with a creepy Spanish lullaby.

One piece of good news (the only piece, really): I glanced over at my date during this spectacle, and he appeared to be just as baffled as I was. He was literally mouthing:

what the

Good, I thought. At least he’s equally freaked out and isn’t thoroughly enjoying this insanity.

Speaking of insanity, the puppeteer finally spoke, in a heavy accent. I understood maybe 20% of what he was saying. There were four different puppet…vignettes, and not for a million dollars could I tell you what any of them were really about. I can tell you the puppeteer flubbed his lines about 10 times and he kept trying to make the puppets do things (pick up a tiny coffee cup etc.), except their limbs were getting stuck… so he would literally break character in the middle of the show and say ‘sorry, hang on a sec’ so he could FIX THE PUPPET. I can’t.

The longer this went on, the funnier it was to me. The whole thing was so nuts, such an out of body experience, that it started to become straight up hilarious. Grouchketeer nudged me a couple times at weird moments, and we kept exchanging half terrified, half bemused ‘WHAT IS HAPPENING??’ glances and trying to stifle our LOLs. I may be the first person in the history of time to say this, readers, but that nude puppet show was oddly conducive to flirting.

The show continued, with puppet genitalia galore but mercifully, no actual puppets doin’ it. (Score?) There was a triple amputee puppet, a little boy puppet with prosthetics, a model puppet with short arms (at this point the puppeteer verbally reprimanded us for not reading our programs and knowing what the disability was called), and then came the piece de resistance: a gimp puppet in full S&M bondage gear. This puppet, called “Mr. Sick”, delivered the final monologue which was a truly unhinged amalgamation of political buzzwords. Literally it went something like this (clearly paraphrasing, please no one sue me):

Mr. Sick: YOU ARE SICK. I AM SICK. VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, GMOs, CAPITALISM, ANTI-ABORTION LAWS, GLOBAL WARMING, THE MIDDLE EAST, ALL OF THESE THINGS HAVE MADE US SICK. WE ARE ALL SICK!

The lights came up. That was the end. There was stunned silence and then confused applause. Having had to pee for the past 40 minutes, I jumped out of my seat and ran to the bathroom, where I texted L and D this picture of my program as proof that I’d actually attended:

unnamed

When I emerged, Grouchketeer was waiting for me in the lobby, looking appropriately sheepish.

Grouchketeer (chuckling): Well that was…interesting.

Me: Um, yes.

Grouchketeer: So wait, why were the puppets naked?

Me: Wait, you didn’t know they’d be naked? Didn’t you read the description before you bought the tickets? It definitely said they’d be nude.

Grouchketeer: I skimmed it, but I guess I didn’t read it carefully enough.

Me: Clearly you didn’t!

Grouchketeer: Yeah, sorry about that. Also, they’re selling Mr. Sick shirts over there with his monologue on them. I genuinely considered buying you one.

I was actually pissed that he didn’t buy me one, and I told him so, because I thought after such an insane first date experience I at least deserved a souvenir. I would have worn that Mr. Sick shirt with pride, readers.

We walked back towards the restaurant, giggling about what we’d just seen, quoting Mr. Sick to each other. Grouchketeer asked if I’d like to go somewhere else to chat more.

Me: Sure, sounds great. I know a few good bars that are right around the corner.

Grouchketeer: Oh, uh, sure, we can totally go to a bar, but I feel like I should just mention so you know… I don’t drink.

***Red Flag #3 Alert***

Ugh. So many red flags, you guys. I asked Grouchketeer why he didn’t drink, and to his credit he was very frank and forthcoming: he was drinking to the point of abusing alcohol a few years back, decided to take a break and realized it was the best thing he ever did, so just stuck with it. He assured me he had zero problem being around alcohol and was totally cool with others drinking, he just didn’t want to make me uncomfortable for being the only one doing it (I hadn’t even noticed he didn’t drink at dinner–I was too busy hearing about his days as a human trashcan).

So….that made the night take a serious turn. I mean look, everyone has their shit, and he appeared to be very open and mature about the whole thing, and it’s not like I’m some huge binge drinker, anyway. And I told him all those things. But honestly, what do two near strangers do on a Saturday night when they’ve already gone to dinner and watched naked puppets prance around on a stage? They GO TO A BAR.

I was at a total loss for what to do next; homeboy was not being invited to my place, and it was starting to rain. Luckily Grouchketeer suggested dessert (something mama is always up for), so we got gelato. And talked some more/LOL’d some more about Mr. Sick. Then he drove me home. We kissed a little bit in his car (he was a good kisser but we were literally parked in a bike lane with hazards on, so it was quick) and I said goodnight.

Phew. That was quite the marathon. If you actually stuck with me through this insane recap right until the bitter, booze-free end, I’d like to offer you an appreciative and frankly, impressed, round of applause.

applause

Date rating: 7/10.  Given the fact that I attended a nude puppet show with a total stranger, it was a surprisingly fun night. Despite multiple red flags, my date was smart, interesting, and cute, and Mr. Sick (bless his heart/bondage gear) gave us plenty of things to talk about.

Almost famous (and still single)

Time for a little ‘where are they now/why the eff aren’t they posting new content’ Stucu update, with the help of my girl D. Grab your (slightly more appropriate than last week) pumpkin-themed beverage and take a seat, dear readers.

  • One of us posted a fall dating to do list which included a goal to be more open to alternative date suggestions. Not four hours later, her resolve was tested when she was asked out on a…unique date. The activity? (Drumroll please…)

A puppet show.

I know what you’re thinking. ‘Oh, like Avenue Q!’

If Avenue Q were darker, creepier, more troubling and with less of a clear plot, then yes. Exactly like Avenue Q.

Translation: an epic first date post is on its way. Prepare yourselves.

  • Some of us are currently more excited about fall TV than boys:

date

  • One of us is moving! To the ‘burbs. (The ‘burbs is a generous description for where I’m headed)

Official announcement pending. In the meantime, we’re accepting submissions for a new tagline. So far the best we’ve come up with is: “3 single girls, 2 cities, and 1 podunk town.”

  • We’ve gotten some really insane, seemingly fake but apparently real media “requests” lately.  First, from someone working at Larry King’s new show (didn’t even know he had a new show…congrats, Larry?) at the end of August:

Larry King

Being the paranoid cautious single ladies that we are, our first response to an email like this is always: “who is trying to trick us, and why?” However, some preliminary stalking confirmed that good old Larry King does indeed have a new show on some network called Ora, and his verified twitter had posted this tweet:

Larry King - catfishing

So it seemed legit. Legit and totally last minute (we received this email at 1:08pm and they needed it by 3pm… when all three of us were you know, at our actual jobs.) Still, we quickly opened up a group gchat and got busy brainstorming questions and submissions because #priorities, and sent them off in the nick of time. And then… nothing. (God damn it.)

Next up, we received this delight:

steve harvey

WHAT???? My first thought was, “L is definitely NOT interested in this.” Followed closely by “WTF?!” (My first thought was, “God, I enjoyed the movie ‘Think Like a Man’ more than a white girl from South Jersey has any right to.’) Maybe it was the over-sized bottle of red wine that my roommate and I killed while watching, but to me this was a cinematic triumph.

Also, can I just point out that Gabrielle Union continues to be one of the hottest, most amazing leading ladies of our time? I’ve been following her career since 10 Things I Hate About You and Bring it On and…where was I? Steve Harvey? Oh, that’s right. Back to you, D.

I mean, first of all, we write an anonymous dating blog. National TV doesn’t seem like a great way to stay on the DL. Also, what is the premise of this/what’s going to happen? I fly out to Chicago for dating advice from Steve on how to find Mr. Right? Or Steve’s production team Steve actually assists in finding my Mr. Right? Is my Mr. Right in Chicago? Is that what I’ve been doing wrong all this time? Or do they come out to Boston my podunk town/Philly/DC and … what? interview potential dates? While I’ll admit that letting Steve Harvey give me antiquated and sexist dating advice while I parade my sad single self on national TV is tempting from a comedic standpoint, this is a no go.

We came so close to fame. Twice. Not necessarily a noteworthy or dignified type of fame, but fame nonetheless. (Stucu Almost Famous Tour 2014–coming to a podunk town near you!)

AF_0472

And here is our solemn vow, readers: if we ever do make it big, we promise not to let it go to our heads.

  • Narrow brushes with fame aside, all of us have been feeling a bit of writer’s block lately and would love your opinions on future content. What would you like to see more of? Less of? We all know that my mom thinks we should tone down the whining, but some additional (non-mom) opinions would be helpful. Leave us a comment if you can, or fill out this handy dandy survey:

Flirts and other Fails: Jdate, the remix

Per usual readers, I have a confession to make. No, this confession doesn’t feature me deeply offending a date or flagrantly breaking my first date rules. Instead, I’m about to tell you something about which I am a bit more ashamed. But I have to tell you, because I don’t like secrets between me and the internet (unless it’s my search history after a night of binge drinking that includes things like “what to do about underarm fat?” or “what can I catch from a toilet seat?”)

Now that I’ve begun gradually embarrassing myself, I’ll just come out and say it:

I rejoined Jdate.

After all that whining and complaining last summer about how much I hated it, I decided to give it another go. Why, you ask? GREAT QUESTION.

I disabled my OKC profile shortly after my date with the Kid, because I just wasn’t feeling the dating thing.

larry david dating

http://www.buzzfeed.com/katieheaney/24-signs-dating-isnt-for-you#3qqsag1

But then, a few days ago, I decided I wanted to get back out there. But I wanted something new (ish). OKC, while still my favorite dating site, has allowed me to indulge in some bad patterns, which can be summed up in one run on sentence: I love to go out with guys who are cute BUT 1) not that nice 2) have a serious drug problem, or 3) I have nothing in common with, or 4) all of the above. This is what happens when you’re too shallow and make your decisions based on looks, folks.

Deterred from Match and Eharmony due to the horrific experiences of my co-bloggers, I decided I had, perhaps, been too hard on Jdate, and decided to give it another try.

After a couple days, I’ve learned that, of course, the problem was not that I was too hard on Jdate. It’s that I wasn’t hard enough on Jdate. It’s fertile soil for mockery and complaints, my latest of which include:

1. It is possible they don’t have a single engineer or web designer on staff. I mean after one year, it’s “nice” to know Jdate has  not improved its user experience AT. ALL. It still looks like it was created by a high school senior in 1999 who was experimenting with an early version of Javascript. Moreover, I can’t load the site on my phone half the time. It just half loads, and then freezes my new iphone 5. 

2. They still can’t figure out where I live. Even though you have to indicate your current city of residence in your profile, and, EVEN THOUGH I have marked 50 times that my preference is to see guys in the DMV area, my Jdate homescreen is usually populated with “Member Spotlights” featuring men (and sometimes women) from as far away as Columbus, Ohio. I am sure this is especially heartening news to those suckers out there who shelled out the extra $5 to have a “member spotlight” feature. 

3. They continue to run a fascist ship, uncomfortably reminiscent of some very dark times in our people’s history. When I rejoined Jdate, I decided to freshen up my username a bit. Turns out, if you change your username, you have to undergo a highly scrutinized review process (similar to a CIA level background check or when the Bar Association makes you submit character references). Until your new screen name is approved, Jdate assigns you a MEMBER ID, which is a nine digit string of numbers. Jdate, COULD YOU THINK OF SOMETHING IN SLIGHTLY BETTER TASTE than assigning me, granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, an ID that involves a string of numbers? POOR TASTE, JDATE. POOR TASTE.

But my biggest complaint about Jdate right now is the presence of a stupid little feature called the “flirt.” Flirts are basically the equivalent of facebook pokes, but for single adult strangers, which makes them all the more sad.

Basically, flirts are something a Jdate member can send another  member to indicate interest without having to go through the trouble of typing 2-3 sentences based on the other user’s profile. Instead, Jdate crafts some dumb one liners that make you sound lazy or cheesy, or if you are lucky, both. Behold some examples:

flirt example 1

Wait? WTF? You are sending me a message to “get the conversation started” and your way of getting the conversation started is to tell me to do it myself? Does it get any lazier than this?

horizontal runningilltumblrforya.com

Or, there is this gem:

flirt example 2

Excuse me, but did you just ask me why I was still single (in a totally outdated, cheesy, Uncle Geoffrey-esque way?)

uncle geoffrey

http://gifsoup.com/view/4604861/hop-hop.html 

If I knew why I was still single, dude, I wouldn’t be on here in the first place.

Finally, they say there is no such thing as a stupid question. Unless of course, Jdate is generating the question. Behold:

flirt example 3

Again, WHAT IS HAPPENING? You are already writing me! That is presumably why we both signed up for this online dating service! How do I respond to this? With a simple, “Yes????” 

Now look, it would be depressing enough if these men were crafting these messages themselves. But what sets Jdate apart is that they actually craft these absurd pick up lines, and then encourages members to send them.

Do us a favor Jdate, and listen to Nina Garcia.

nina garcia

http://giphy.com/gifs/FExBzCja8eghi

No. Just no.

But in all seriousness readers, does one respond to these sort of things? I know guys are probably sending them because they are too scared/lazy/sick of being ignored to craft a personalized message. On the one hand, I don’t want to hold this against them, but on the other, I feel like I am worth at least a two uniquely crafted sentences. And, as you can see, these flirts are actually really hard to respond to, since the questions/statements are so senseless. So if you have advice for me, leave it in the comments section, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

Message Monday: regular Joe

 Today’s gentleman got right to the point: 

quizzo

This message is actually not as random/nonsensical as it probably seems. I mention in my Okcupid profile that 1. I kick ass at the music round of quizzo (I do) and 2. I’m always on the lookout for a good bagel place, since there seem to be none in Philly (seriously, where can a girl find a good bagel in this foodie town??)

So while this message was an incomplete sentence, at least the guy read my profile. And gave me a bagel rec! Could be worse.

Whoops, spoke too soon.

married

I know it’s slightly ridiculous that I continue to be surprised by this. It’s well covered territory on our blog: clearly there are married cheaters out there and clearly they go online to cheat. Notttt exactly a revelation. Still, every time I come across a married dude on Okc I’m like:

Also, I can’t not respond. I know it’s a waste of time and who cares if a complete stranger is being a shady Mcshaderson and I should just move on with my life… and yet, I can’t seem to help myself.

married guys

Suck it, asshole.

I could just drop the mic and be done here, but this guy’s profile is just too good. Plus it’s Monday, and I can’t deny you lovely readers the lulz.

regular JOI

six things

It’s like a computer compiled a list of the most cliched, stereotypical buzzwords about white suburban guys (literally including the phrase ‘white suburbanite guy’) and spewed them all over this profile. Football! Porn! War! Bacon! Beer! Cigars!  It’s classic.

Also, our friend Joe Sixpack can’t count.

Also, orgasms and Splenda are equally important to him.

I mean…

slow clap

Oh, but he’s not done. Regular Joe decided to leave us with one final pearl of wisdom.

alone

LOL INDEED. What. A. CHARMER! Good old Joe, just casually hanging out on Okcupid, being a married cliche, insulting the same women he’s looking to go out with. You really know how to make the ladies swoon, sir.  Apparently it never occurred to you that 1. “a lot of us” are alone because we’d rather spend the rest of our lives with DVR and 12 cats than settle for the likes of you and 2. the only reason you’re not equally alone is because you’re already married

Update: Turns out Regular Joe is maybe not the dim-witted cliche I made him out to be. Actually he probably (definitely) still is, but he was quoting a song by Dennis Leary in his self summary:

Thanks to our reader Chris for pointing this out, because obviously I had no idea. I mean, I post Dreamgirls clips on this blog; clearly I haven’t seen any early 90s Denise Leary music videos. But that line does sound like a complete joke, so it’s kind of a relief to know that it actually is. I still stand by this Message Monday, though, because 1. married and 2. unless there’s an accompanying skit about Splenda and orgasms (Chris, help us out!), this guy is still a tool.

 

S’s fall dating to do list

Good morning, readers. I trust that we’re all in a…fragile state after a long holiday weekend and the official end of summer.

sobbing-uncontrollably

Source: wifflegif.com

Speaking of the end of summer, how much do you hate me for putting the word ‘fall’ in my post title? I’m like those ill-informed Starbucks executives who think people want to drink pumpkin spice lattes when it’s still 90 degrees out. I know I may be rushing it, but I’m just so. excited. for fall.

so-excited-sbb

Source: popgoesthearts.blogspot.com

Sitenote: DID ANYONE WATCH the Saved by the Bell Lifetime movie?? Was it as horrific/amazing as it looked? Was this iconic scene referenced?

Anyway, if you’ve been following this blog, you may recall that it’s been a somewhat dark summer (darker than Jessie Spano’s pill addiction-hiyoooo), at least in terms of dating. Basically, things started out low and continued to suck pretty much right up until now. The Summer of YOLO, while a an inspiring idea, didn’t lead to much of anything, unless you count L and I continually embarrassing D with our unironic use of the term ‘YOLO’ (a delightful, albeit unintended, bonus). Psyching myself up to just sign onto Okcupid currently looks something like this:

paul-rudd

Source: flavorwire.com

So yeah, mama’s excited to move on from all that (and to stop designing my date outfits/hairstyles around how much I’ll inevitably be sweating. East coast humidity is no joke, people.) Fall always feels like a fresh start, and it’s a great opportunity to hit the reset button on my tired dating practices. With that in mind, I’ve outlined my fall dating plan for you lovely readers because 1. posting it here will hold me accountable to actually do these things, and 2. I currently have no actual dates to tell you lovely readers about #datelessdatingblogger.

S’s Fall Dating To Do List

  • Update the ol’ profile pic–I have an assortment of cute pictures from this summer where I look arguably tanner than my pasty self has ever looked, and as we’ve covered previously, profile pics are pretty much the only things Okcupid users pay attention to. So why the hell haven’t I uploaded those babies? I’ll change that ASAP before I go back to looking like a Vitamin D-deficient basement dweller. Done.
  • Brainstorm new first date locales, and be open to unorthodox suggestionsI’m not saying I plan to retire my go-to first date suggestion, because it’s convenient and I love it. But there’s something to be said, I think, for throwing out a fresh location, mainly because at this point in my online dating…career… I have a lot of history in my standard bars. For instance, I couldn’t help but think, while being fist-bumped by the Good Message Unicorn outside Strangelove’s, that just over a year beforehand I was having the best first kiss after the best first date of my life. Right there in that very spot. Oof, was that depressing. Depressing and unnecessary. There are plenty of bars in the city and damn it, I’m going to try some new ones (I realize I have to actually secure a date first, but shhhh details). Also, if hell freezes over and a date actually makes a non-bar suggestion, unless that suggestion is ‘Tea Party rally’ or ‘anonymous orgy’, I’m going to throw caution to the wind and just say yes.

staying in

Source: the-girlieshow.tumblr.com

I really only started to think about this after reading L’s tale of downgrading her first date location and remembering that I’ve also pulled that move (making two out of three Stucu bloggers the worst!) Last year my ex, D, who was an unusually thoughtful planner, suggested go karts for our second date. I remember thinking at the time that this suggestion was totally random and weird (which let’s be honest it kind of was) so I pushed for a bar instead. But looking back now, all I can think is, what the hell was wrong with me?? A cute guy was attempting to plan shit, fun and different shit, for us to do. I should have done it! I should have capitalized on dating a planner while I could, loosened up and had some fun, because Lord knows I may be waiting a long ass time (read: forever) for that to come along again.

  • Try Hinge, because co-blogger D is having wild success on it–Okay, “wild success” might be a slight overstatement, but co-blogger D’s been thrown some seriously eligible bachelors in our extended social circle in the week that she’s been using Hinge, including a college friend of L’s who she and her friends refer to as “the one that got away”. Okay, Hinge. I’ll bite. Let’s do this (comically, I just tried to download the Hinge app while writing this and it made my phone semi explode. Foreshadowing?)
  • Don’t be an asshole about replying to messages and then complain incessantly about messages–Real talk, I will never not complain about messages. That’s just a totally unrealistic goal. But I am going to work on being a more decisive replier. Example: sometimes I will get a message from someone who seems kind of meh, and I’ll mentally earmark him as a ‘maybe’, but really I only mean ‘maybe if I’m bored or there’s no one else promising or I stalk an ex on social media and feel bad about myself’. L revealed a similar pattern of hers in her delightfully real post last week (seriously can we all tell how inspired I was be her realness?) As my girl pointed out, this is kind of a dick move, and if we’re going to call dudes out for being dicks, well, we’re going to put ourselves on blast, too. In the future, I’m going to try to give every message a simple yes or no, and move the hell on.
  • Stop taking everything so personally–If you online date, you know how easy it is to take “I’m not getting any good messages” and twist it into “I’m not getting any good messages

 clueless what's wrong with me

Source: sarabynoe.com

In other words, just because it’s been a slow, shitty summer date-wise doesn’t mean this is about me. People have been outside, on vacay, enjoying the beautiful weather and living their damn lives. Everyone is on Okc and other sites less, and the people who aren’t tend to be looking for a casual summer fling/jump off. It’s been a slow summer for almost every single person online dating that I know, and if it hasn’t, congratulations/I hate you/please don’t tell me about it and just let me live in ignorance believing this theory. Thanks!

  • Continue to gleefully boycott and malign eHarmony–You didn’t think my to do list included giving that wretched site my money, did you? HA! I’ll see you in hell, Dr. Neil Clark Warren, before that happens. What I can promise is to follow up on my original post with some more hilariously awful things I encountered during my tenure as a fake free member of the site. Because as L said when I asked her if a second eHarmony post was overkill: “Hating on eHarmony will never go out of style, on this blog or in life”. Wise words, Lady L. Wise. Words.
  • Repeat the affirmation: your time will come. This is some serious zen shit, am I right? It goes hand in hand with one of my favorite quotes that I may need to have tattooed on my forehead by the time I turn 30: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” God damn, Teddy Roosevelt, not only were you a bonafide badass, but you also threw down some sage advice. Seriously, though, I have to stop focusing on what everyone else has (successful relationships/boyfriends/fiances/husbands) trust that things will work out some day, and just continue to do me. While I wait for someone else to do me. HAHAHAawkwardsexjokethatmymomwillread. Basically…patience. I need some. And now this beautiful song is in my head:

Lest you think I’m making a wildly ill-advised attempt to compare my silly little dating woes to the Civil Rights Movement, let me assure you that I really just love the Dreamgirls soundtrack. A lot. And I wanted us all to rock out to this amazing jam. So enjoy, maybe with a pumpkin spice latte?

Just kidding, it’s 92 degrees here.

My Date with The Kid: Sometimes, I’m the worst

I’ll admit we have a pretty formulaic party line here at StuCu which is basically: “Men. They’re the worst.” While our man-hate and complaining may be a little excessive at times (a certain reader recently called us whiny COUGHMrsSCOUGH), we’re not about to stop it anytime soon. However, today is a brief respite from the usual “they’re the worst,” theme so I can tell you that sometimes, I’m actually, kinda, the Worst.

I was at my worst most recently with an unsuspecting victim date who we shall call The Kid. The Kid was a 26 year old bro who shares a name with a famous criminal, and also with another guy I “dated” in high school who was a few years younger than me. What can I say? The youths think I’m hip.

how do you do kids

http://www.buzzfeed.com/perpetua/feeling-old

The Kid was attractive, and we shared the very unique interests of: traveling, basketball (sort of), and going out with friends. (This is the stuff love connections are made of, folks). Perhaps it was our uninspiring list of shared interests, or his boring, bro-y messages, but, sadly for The Kid, he brought out the worst in me. Behold….

I’m the Worst Exhibit A: Prolonged messaging

How many times on this blog have I declared that I hate prolonged messaging? And that I love to just cut to the chase and go out dates? Because, after all, I hate to waste people’s time. Well, the Kid literally started messaging me in June, and asked me about after about three messages. However, I I stalled on going on a date with him until mid July. This  was partially due to the unfortunate timing of vacations and work travel, but also partially due to the fact that I had met GPU around the same time, and  was determined to follow my New Year’s Resolution to date one guy at a time (especially because I was convinced he was the Elton John to my Kiki Dee. In a purely musical sense of course).

BEST. DUET. EVER.

I digress. (But what is more digression-worthy than these two British chums, belting out what would become one of the defining karaoke duets of the 21st century? Nothing.) The point was, I took my sweet ass time getting back to this guy’s messages, until I decided to stop being such an asshole bite the bullet and grant The Kid a date. (Oh yeah, and by this time, GPU had come down with a fictional summer cold that rivaled the Ebola virus.) Oh, is it TOO SOON for Ebola jokes? Sorry, I’m the Worst, remember?

I’m the Worst Exhibit B: Downgrading date location

The Kid was very excited our date was finally happening  and immediately suggested dinner. Now, if you are a devout reader of this blog, you will remember that very early in my dating “career,” I set a “no meals on a first date” rule. After a few bouts of drunkeness/dizziness/starvation, I’ve relaxed this rule considerably, and, if after 1-2 drinks I’m having a decent time, I will certainly agree to dinner or some apps if suggested. But unless the guy is a unicorn, or taking me somewhere amazing where I can literally sip chocolate and inhale cheese, I like to start off in a bar-like atmosphere. So, I gently redirected The Kid to a dive bar near my office. And yes, in retrospect, I realize that I just traded a nice meal for a few pints of Yuengling and some wings. But I’m not sorry. That’s just how I roll.

I’m the Worst Exhibit C: Persistently talking about how old I was

Anyway, as the date neared, I have to tell you, I was less than excited. I was still stinging from the GPU fadeaway, bummed that the Balkan vacay was over, and just in an all around man-hating mood (yes, more than usual).

So when I arrived at our date (to which the Kid was 15 minutes early, and texting me enthusiastically to fill the minutes until I arrived), this was kinda me:

scar charmed

http://fuckyeahreactions.tumblr.com/post/7091262520

Did that temper the Kid’s enthusiasm at all? NOPE. I mean, today’s youth have lots of energy! And gumption! They cannot be discouraged! He immediately jumped out of his seat, gave me a big hug, and started asking me lots of nice polite questions.  The Kid was outgoing. The Kid was as tall as he claimed to be on OKC (6’2). The kid was blond haired and blue-eyed. I decided to let his youthful optimism (and good looks) inspire me, and have a good time. Apparently, my version of a good time involved me talking about how old I was for a good 10 minutes without stopping.

tied an onion

http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3ri9zw

Weirdly, this did not seem to be deterring The Kid. He kept saying, “We’ll, you’re as old as you feel.” To which I’d reply, “I mean, I feel really old. My knee can tell when it’s about to rain.”

I’m the Worst Exhibit D: Bringing up painful childhood memories

Me: “How many siblings do you have?”

The Kid: “None. I’m an only child. “

Me: “Ew. I hate only children. I have like, two friends who are only children but otherwise, I avoid them at all costs.” (Insert half hearted apology to only children friends here. Sorry, most of your peers are selfish weirdos.)

The Kid (nervously): “Hehe, why?”

Me: “I mean, they’re weird. They grew up playing checkers against THEMSELVES. Their toys were their best friends. And they tend to be selfish. They don’t understand the needs of others!  I mean, why didn’t your parents have more kids??”

The Kid: “My father passed away.”

Me: (HUGE GULP. SLIGHT SILENCE.) “OH. GOD. I am SO SORRY.”

The Kid: “Nah, no worries, you didn’t know. But I bet you’ll think twice the next time you bash only children on your dates.”

I mean, you gotta give it to the kid. Laid back and  a sense of humor. This exchange happened about five minutes into the date, BTW, and my rudeness, though accidental, certainly gave him cause to chug his drink and leave. But he didn’t. He stuck around. And was super friendly and nice to me. Even when I ate more than my share of wings. And basically all of our nachos.

As we finished our 4th drink, I told The Kid I had to get home. The truth was, I couldn’t stand myself much longer. The Kid however, due to some cruel twist of fate, seemed to be enjoying my worst-i-ness. 

The Kid: “I had an amazing time. Can we get together this weekend?”

Me. “No, I’m busy.”

The Kid: “Aww, why not? You’re not free at all? Not even for breakfast?”

Me: “Wellll….my friend is having a house party on Saturday night in Dupont. So, if you are in the city, and you text me, and I’m by my phone mayyyybeeeee I can meet up.”

The Kid: “Great! I’ll plan on that!”

The Kid walked me to my bus stop, and went in for a first date kiss. Apparently, my lack of eye contact, one word responses, and literal insults hurled at his family were a complete turn on for him. Because I’m the Worst, I turned my head and the poor guy got a mouthful of face. 

Date Rating: 6/10. The Kid was actually a good date. If he had been on the date with someone else, it is likely it would have scored a 8 or 9. But I’m the Worst, and all my insane behavior made it a bit more unpleasant than one would hope for a first date.

Epilogue: The Kid reached out to schedule another date, and I sent him a gentle rejection text. I’m not proud of the way I acted that night, but I figured I could salvage some karma by politely and directly letting homeboy know I was not in a place to date right now, rather than subject him to another round of theatrics.

The moral of this story is this: nobody is perfect. We all have our bad days, even those of us who are self proclaimed dating gurus. The funny thing is, life is so unpredictable and strange, someone just might find you charming anyway. 

 (You’re welcome for that gratitous clip of an angsty Jake Gyllenhaal.) It’s a mad world, readers.  If you figure it out, let me know.