(And forgive me again readers, because I really wanted to apologize via Mr. Darcy in the rain, but couldn’t find an animated GIF of Colin Firth apologizing and thus had to use the far inferior Darcy. Shudder.)
Anyway, back to the apology. We’re sorry because we’ve basically acted like a man after 2-3 OKC dates. Provide a few laughs, some relatable stories, make you feel slightly bad for us… and then BAM…come down with afairly horrible summer cold and disappear.
1. We have had a monumentally important 30th birthday this month! S entered the next decade with fanfare that included a popcorn bar, a full length, high tech FAMILY FEUD style game (with sound effects), engineered by D, and a signature cocktail named after her. What can I say? CALIFORNIA HAS NOTHING ON NEW JERSEY when it comes to knowing how to party. And believe it or not, S is an even better friend than she is blogger, so she deserved every bit of our crazy celebration.
2. December is like, the most horrible time to date and meet new people. I mean, we all know meeting new people is horrible, no matter when you do it. But December is particularly bleak because people’s schedules are insane with awkward office holiday parties, family dinners, yankee swaps, etc. E.g., below:
3. I’ve actually started seeing someone. That I like. It’s a holiday miracle!
As previously mentioned, I have a strict policy not to blog about guys I am seeing. So sorry for being a total tease (obviously not that sorry because, HURRAY!). Anyway, I promise in the new year I’ll figure out a way to keep posting about dating. And, if things end, then you can get ready for the series of sad, self-deprecating posts filled with Avril Lavigne songs and Lena Dunham GIFs that are my post break-up speciality. But let’s hope it’s the former rather than the latter, ok?
While I have the mic, I’d also like to take some time to say that we at StuCu are pretty happy to say goodbye to 2014. Sure, it’s had some highs (mostly minor brushes with fame), but also some low lows that I hope not to repeat. Here are some ways I am hoping 2015 will be different for those of us navigating online dating.
1) Jdate will FINALLY improve its user interface. Jdate, what will it take before you stop being the most hideous site on the internet? The SECOND COMING OF CHRIST? (HAHA, couldn’t resist). Anyway, Jdate has allegedly made progress by creating something called an APP. It’s this thing for phones. You may have heard of it. If anyone is using it, let me know. The worst thing about not being on Jdate anymore is that I can’t make fun of it’s “new” features.
2) Sites will find a way to get rid of ghosts. Speaking of new fangled apps, in S’s post about Coffee Meets Bagel, she mentions that she was removed from the site do to inactivity. Kudos, we said then, and I’ll say it again now. Sadly, much of the space on internet dating websites is taken up by ghosts. Not real ghosts, because they don’t need to date. (Especially if they look like the 1995 movie version of Casper).
Devon Sawa, swoon. (Says 10 year old me. Now it’d just be creepy to swoon).
But people who are functionally ghosts because they either made a profile and then never signed on a again, starting dating someone and forgot to delete their profile, or, are victims of the NON PAYING MEMBERS situations on Match, HowBoutWe, Eharmony, or Jdate, where they created a profile to browse, but never paid and couldn’t receive messages. These people aren’t really looking to date, but their inactvity on the site, their non response to our messages, and even the mere fact that they just aren’t messaging us creates depressing illusions for active users. Other sites should follow CMB’s league and kick their ghosts out. I think having a smaller, more active base of users would result in people feeling much more successful!
3) Texting will become a thing of the past. And all communication will just move to snapchat. HAHA, J/K. I don’t even know what snapchat is, you guys. As you know, I declared a serious jihad against texting last winter, and it’s continued ever since. I am hoping that dating communication moves away from text, and back to the phone where it belongs.
Now readers, what are your hopes related to 1) online dating and 2) this blog for 2015? As I mentioned, we are tossing around some ideas for how to spice things up a bit, and are looking for suggestions on topics, and even some potential guest bloggers, so email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got ideas!
And, finally readers, Happy New Year! Here’s some parting advice for your evening, straight from our hearts to your homes:
Look at me, speaking Hebrew! Sadly, despite the significant gelt (lol, GET IT?) my parents dropped on Hebrew school, “Shalom” is basically the only word I can remember in the mother tongue. (Or in my case, the father tongue. Since my dad is technically the Jewish one. GET IT?).
OK, OK, I will stop cracking myself up with these stupid puns, though you must admit, they ARE funny, and tell you that Shalom in Hebrew means peace, hello, and goodbye. And in this specific case, it means goodbye, because I am saying goodbye to Jdate. My subscription expires tomorrow and I am not sad to see it go. Though, it has brought me some pretty good things. Besides the experience of hiding in a porta-pot, of course, which was, as Mastercard would say, Priceless.
Wow Jdate, No need to get so sentimental. Looks like you’ll miss me as much as I’ll miss you. Of course, Jdate did deliver me several lovely gifts before my departure, including the message I am featuring in this week’s Message Tuesday. Yes, yes, I know we are technically supposed to be doing Message Mondays, but like the good Jew that I am, I am running a full day late. (And sorry/not sorry I continue to make lame, Jewish jokes after promising to CUT IT OUT less than two full paragraphs ago). Anyway, let’s first get into some key details about the sender. Where’s he from, you ask? DC? Arlington? Bethesda? Baltimore, even? NOPE NOPE NOPE.
I mean, I know I’ve complained about this before, but that doesn’t mean I won’t complain about it again.
I live in the UNITED STATES. About a seven hour flight from Israel. And, my profile says I am not interested in relocating. Sadly, I am not sure if homeboy understood my profile, because it is unclear if we have a shared language. His message read:
Oh yes, that makes perfect sense! It sounds like you really enjoyed reading my profile and that we have the same taste in music.
ACTUALLY, WAIT. I don’t know what you said because you and I don’t even use the same alphabet. I mean Jdate, can you put us both out of our misery and only allow us to message people who can READ OUR MESSAGES?
Now look, just to be super clear for the record, it’s not that I wouldn’t date someone whose first language isn’t English. The problem is, this is an ONLINE DATING PLATFORM where the chosen mode of communication is written, and so if we don’t share the same language, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to move things forward in a meaningful way.
I wish this gentleman the best of luck (as long as his message isn’t actually like, a long string of curse words or hate mail). And if anyone can translate the following sentence for me: “Do yourself a favor and use a different dating site that intuitively sorts users geographically and/or by language of choice,” shoot me an email and I’ll send it to this poor fella.
That’s all for now readers. And hopefully, this is really the last time you’ll hear me complain about Jdate for reals. Because, SHALOM JDATE!
I know, I know, why am I still subscribed to their sad little e-newsletter if 1. I hate their site more than I hate opening my cable bill every month (sob, Comast, sob) and 2. I’m NOT EVEN A PAYING MEMBER? Valid questions, friends. The answer is that I love to open up these newsletters, hate-read the (usually) terrible headlines, cackle at eHarmony’s continued attempts to recruit me into their cult, and then press delete with a satisfying click of my mouse.
So I clicked on the above article (link here) with a self-satisfied smirk, ready to rip it to shreds, but damn it if it wasn’t kind of good. And…helpful. What sort of alternate universe is this, eHarmony? Is this a trick?
Single readers, if you’re finding yourself dreading answering the ‘seeing anyone special?’ question tomorrow, check it out. But I do have to say, if someone actually had the gall to ask me the third example in this article, which is:
“Aren’t you afraid you’ll spend the rest of your life alone?”
grab the stuffing and bounce. Because yowza, that shit is outrageously rude. Am I just naive, here? Has anyone actually been asked that question?
Also, I realized it’s no surprise that I enjoyed this article because it was written by an author who we’ve mentioned before, Sarah Eckel. Seriously, her NY Times articlesabout being single for most of her adult life are great, and super validating. Now I kind of feel like this post comes like a paid endorsement but I promise you, we don’t know the author (although if you’re reading this, Sarah, call us!) and this post is not sponsored (if we were going to monetize this blog, we w0uld not be partnering with eHarmony to do it).
I will say this: the awesome thing about having StuCu is that when I do get those annoying questions about my dating life, now I can just obnoxiously be that guy at a holiday get together and REFER THEM TO MY BLOG. Here’s a little script of what I might be saying tomorrow:
“Oh actually, Aunt ___/Uncle ___/cousin ___/neighbor who I awkwardly ran into in my parents’ driveway, it’s funny you ask because I recently decided to chronicle my failed dating adventures on the internet with two single friends–you should check it out! Maybe reading about all the shenanigans we’ve been through will answer your question!” *winning smile*
And then I’ll slip them our business card because yes, we actually ordered business cards.
Here’s hoping my fellow Americans out there have a wonderful Turkey Day, and for my single sisters (and brothers) out there, I hope the questioning is short and sweet. Now excuse me, but I’m home at my parents’ house and need to go get on this level…
I am really feeling my age lately, especially in the world of online dating. New sites and apps pop up all the time and it seems like every five minutes there’s a new fad: taking it offline, group dating, matching based solely on (possibly lewd) pics, and now connecting through people you actually already know. Through all these trends I have continued to just kick it old school with my tried and true Okcupid, but then suddenly I looked around and all my single friends were on Tinder, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel and God knows what other hip new services that I don’t even know about. I can’t keep up! I’ve just been sitting in a lonely corner of the internet, sadly connecting to AOL via dial up and thinking about popping in a Blockbuster VHS tape later.
That may be a slight exaggeration, but I do feel totally late to the party on a lot of these sites, particularly the social media based dating apps like Coffee Meets Bagel and Hinge. They’ve always made me suspicious, and in case you haven’t already gleaned this from our paranoid blog musings, we’re a naturally suspicious group here at StuCu. I just don’t like the possibility of my dating life being broadcast on Facebook (clearly I prefer to voluntarily broadcast it to the entire internet) or some app mining all of my pictures, post history and personal info. And I know I know, that’s “not how it works”, but I don’t trust that douche Zuckerberg. Never have; never will.
Great! Amazing! I signed my single self up. And then… promptly rejected pretty much every single ‘bagel’ they sent me. Seriously, the pickins were slim. First of all, most of my bagels (naturally) lived in NYC. Second, most of them weren’t even friends of my Facebook friends, so basically it was REGULAR ONLINE DATING except with a much tinier pool of guys. Eventually I got tired of looking at a lame match from Brooklyn every day at noon, so I started to just ignore my daily bagels. This went on for weeks, until:
Bahahaha. You guys, I was kicked off of Coffee Meets Bagel. And honestly, I respect that. I was on their site but totally inactive, just annoyingly taking up space. Good for them for escorting me off the premises, because mama deserved it. Now, if Coffee Meets Bagel worked as aggressively on recruiting some actual eligible single dudes for their site as they did on getting rid of the dead weight like me, maybe people would be getting dates. Just a thought, CMB. I’m full of ’em.
The other sosh meeds connected site I joined was Hinge, which at first appeared to be slightly less useless than CMB. There were actual matches within 20 miles of me! Also, having a way to confirm that my matches weren’t going to allow me to use their girlfriend’s beauty products or you know, murder me, was a delightful bonus. I signed up, but immediately noticed that the typical demographic looked something like this:
Back to my maiden Hinge voyage. I browsed through my alleged matches, swiped no on a handful of awful-looking/sounding youths before closing the app and ignoring it completely, for weeks, just like Coffee Meets Bagel. Then one day I was opening my Dunkin Donuts app to score free coffee after an Eagles win (the only thing football has ever done for me), and I thought huh, I guess I should get back in the ol’ Hinge saddle see what’s what. Lo and behold, I came across someone I was actually interested in. Which then made me realize that I had no idea how the app actually worked. So I Gchatted D for help.
This brings me to a comical display of my confusion/general cluelessness.
Jesus, now I know what my mom must feel like when she calls me to help her format an Excel spreadsheet (love you mom, but Microsoft Office is not your strong suit).
Then it hit me: I never even filled out a profile on Hinge, nor did I choose profile pics. What had this guy been going off of when he ‘liked’ me?
I clicked on my profile. The main pic was my Facebook profile pic, which was to be expected. Then I realized there were more pics of me, like at least 15 more, which again I did NOT pick. To my horror, I began scrolling through a gallery of vintage ph0tos (I’m talking almost a decade old) featuring yours truly at various stages of college pregaming, day drunk and red in the face.
Why, Hinge? Whyyyyy. I flagged poor D down again.
Never mind that ‘love your pictures’ is the tried and true pick up line of killers the world over, but why had this stupid app chosen such old pics anyway?? Even if some were my profile pics wayyyy back in the day, like any narcissistic millennial I have dozens of newer ones. And it’s my personal opinion that it should be a FEDERAL OFFENSE to post dating profile pics that are a decade old, let alone more than two years old. In fact, I should speak to L about hiring her vigilante task force to police this law.
Okay, I thought. Some dude messaged me, and he possibly thinks I look 10 years younger than I actually do, so even though I personally believe I look 900 times better than I did in college (seriously, it’s all about the eyebrow shaping, people), I should probably still address that. So I sent my Hinge match a message to the tune of ‘haha thanks, I’m new to this app and it totally chose weird outdated pics of me drinking in college/switching them up now/isn’t the internet a WHACKY place?’
Really though, goody two-shoes? Sailor? After partier? Midnight toker (cool it, Steve Miller Band)? LEISURE DIVER? Who would self report as any of these things with a straight face? Then I realized that everyone, literally everyone, was doing just that and putting these things on their profiles. So I figured, WHEN IN ROME, do as the youths do, and picked a few of the less douchey ones, figuring no one would care about which ones I chose, anyway. And then…
Witty little opening line, Hinge. Well played. Except it took me approximately 4 messages to realize that Hinge was writing these and not my matches. (In my defense, every opening line is different, so it wasn’t clear at first! I know. God, I’m old.)
Oh my God, these stupid tags. Here’s the problem, though: are we actually supposed to talk about being “r0ad trippers”? With a straight face? Because what does that even mean? Obviously I enjoy a good road trip every now and then, but who doesn’t? It’s like making a ‘pizza lover’ tag: unless you have some weird dietary restriction, it’s just assumed that you enjoy pizza, because only a serial killer wouldn’t. So thanks, Hinge, for creating the most useless faux-conversation starters ever.
That last comment. I….’ve got nothing.
So I know what you’re thinking: “it’s Friday, S, and I’m ready for happy hour. Get to the damn point. Have you actually gone out with anyone from Hinge?”
Fair question! The answer is a big fat resounding:
Literally what I’ve shared in this post is the furthest I’ve gotten with any dude since I joined. No dates, and almost no actual real conversations.I’ve gotta say, at this point I’m just going to take that as a sign that I should stick with what works. True, I haven’t actually gone on more than two Okcupid dates with the same person since…April (yikes), so whether that’s actually “working” is debatable. But here’s hoping that changes in my 30th year, and here’s hoping you all stick around to find out.
PS do any of you single readers out there use CMB or Hinge? If yes, leave a comment and tell us about your experience. Am I missing something? Am I doing it wrong? #old
Happy Monday everyone!! A few notes before we get to this week’s featured message.
I have to confess that I was horrified when I read L’s most recent post about transition lenses. But not for the reasons that she and our lovely readers who commented were. I was horrified because I have always wanted transition lenses. I have atrocious vision. I got glasses in the 2nd grade (tragically enormous glasses), and my eyes haven’t stopped getting worse since. I’ve never lived in a world where I can just walk outside and throw on sunglasses. I have to either have prescription sunglasses made, or I have to be wearing contacts already. When I first saw transition lenses, I immediately wanted them. They’re so effortless. I walk out into the sun, and I’ve got sunglasses on! I walk back inside, I’ve got regular glasses on! But sadly, transition lenses have never been in the cards for me. My prescription is a) already very expensive, and b) apparently doesn’t lend itself well to transition lenses. This now seems to be a blessing in disguise, seeing as what a date repellent they seem to be. But a dream of mine has now died. Thank you L for enlightening me and all the other poor souls out there who hoped to someday get transition lenses.
I wish I could attribute my absence lately to all the dates I’m going on. The truth is that I haven’t been on a date since I moved back to New York. So we’re still working on that front. The good news is that, now that I finally have a job that I like and I’m not miserable for 10 hours every day, I’m a much more agreeable person (as much as I can be at least – I still generally hate people). So I’m hoping that that positive is going to rub off on the rest of my life.
A new bar opened up in my town last weekend, and I went to the opening. It was more of a high school reunion that I expected, which was overwhelming. I need to figure out where to go to meet people who aren’t the guy I married (and subsequently divorced because he wanted kids and I didn’t) for a high school economics assignment senior year. That’s proving more difficult that I anticipated.
Moving on. This past week I received the below in my inbox:
Can anyone tell me what the hell he’s talking about? Literally anyone? Because I have no idea. I took a screenshot and sent it to S and L with the caption “Another day, another nonsensical message from a guy.” I mean, setting aside the myriad grammatical errors, how did I find what out?I don’t even understand the question.
Also, why is this a thing that I’ve now been asked not once, but twice? Do I unknowingly possess secrets of the universe or something?
Worry no more Victoria Grayson, because tonight I really will tell you about my date. This date was my first Jdate after rejoining the site in October. I spent my first couple weeks on the site making fun of it, and not doing what I was supposed to be doing, like updating my profile or answering messages, or looking for potential matches.
But then, after lots of pep talks from everyone’s favorite sassy gay friend (C), I decided to reply to messages from some promising dudes.
This particular dude, who I am knighting Sir Talks Alot, for reasons that will soon be clear to you, seemed like your average Joe (Or, since we are talking JDate here, more like your average David. Or Daniel. Or Max. Or Josh.) He was in his early thirties, had a decent job at a government agency, and messaged me about benign things like my job, traveling, and my hobbies. He suggested meeting up at one of my favorite bars that has a killer happy hour and an even better back patio.
So, I begrudgingly put on lip gloss (not lipstick, I am not nearly cool enough for real makeup. I prefer to stick with the same make-up regimen and products that I’ve been using since 8th grade. Ask S, she knows.) (Real talk, I once staged an intervention on L’s bra collection upon discovering that each and every one was legitimately purchased in junior high. Homegirl has a problem.) and hauled my lazy self to the bar. This was going to be my first date in two months (unless you count dates with fictional TV characters. Which I go on every night. On my couch. In sweatpants.), and as I walked to the bar I was nervous. Would I forget how to flirt? Could I remember all the thoughtful questions to ask?
When I got to the bar I was pleasantly surprised. Sir Talks Alot was way cuter in person than he had been in pictures. I mean, in one picture, he had been sporting a FANNY PACK. In another, Tevas and sandals. I literally went to the bar expecting someone who resembled a nervous, midwestern tourist. Instead, I was greeted by a decent looking guy with glasses, wearing normal, preppy clothes, sans fanny pack. (Thank god!). Now, as we have discussed previously on the blog, there are two kinds of profile picture fraud.
The kind where someone posts a picture WAY more attractive than they actually are and then when the other person gets to the date they are so disappointed and bamboozled they can barely focus. This is by far the most common type of fraud.
The kind where someone asks a blind, thumbless person to take his or her picture, right after they get styled by your dad. This is far more rare, because usually these bad pictures prevent someone from going out with you.
Now look, before I get to the complains section of this post (because lord knows, that’s our bread and butter), let me just say I DID appreciate that this guy was putting some effort into the date and conversation. You’ve heard me and my co-bloggers complain time and time again about men who sit silently (or worse, mumble) while you lead the conversation like a paid mediator. But this talking was extreme. During the course of our 2.5 hour date, I think I shared four things:
Where I work
How many siblings I have
My sister in law to be’s profession (Hey B, tell K she made into the blog AND the date. And I told my date and my readers that she was a DOCTOR.)
That, yes, I would like another glass of wine.
Sir Talks Alot, on the other hand, shared about 1000 things. I mean, at one point I actually wondered if perhaps I had showed up for the wrong engagement and this guy thought he was meeting with the aspiring author who has going to ghost-write his biography. A few nuggets I learned:
His dad’s job. His mom’s job. His brother’s job.
How every room in his house is decorated
The names of his friends’ cats.
A recipe for vegan stir fry.
Now there is nothing wrong with these nuggets individually, but string them together, and multiple them by 100 other random facts and there you have my date.
Now, why didn’t I just get up and leave you ask? The thing is, when one is shellshocked by reverse profile picture fraud (Type #2 fraud as described above), she is sort of in this imobolized haze where she is so confused at her own good forture that it is hard to think clearly. Also, what he was saying was interesting (his parents are also doctors! like my sister in law to be!), and I figured his incessant talking might just have been first date nerves. Lastly, once I started drinking wine, it seemed like too much work to stop. (Yes, I realize that last sentence made me sound like a lazy alcoholic, but no I am not sorry).
Anyway, by the end of the date I decided if he asked me to go out again and do something cool I would give it one more shot. And he did. He asked me to this fun food and drink festival that happens a couple times of year in DC. And, in the spirit of embracing new and creative date ideas, I agreed to a Sunday afternoon date, hoping that Sir Talks Alot’s nerves would have abated and he wouldn’t be so chatty.
However, when I met Sir Talks Alot for the date, I noted an IMMEDIATE CURVEBALL. This guy was wearing TRANSITION LENSES.
For those of you who have been lucky enough to avoid this fashion phenomenon for most of your lives, allow me to show you an example:
See what Matt is wearing? Those are transition lenses. The stated goal of such lenses is to be a one stop shop for people who wear glasses to see and who need to wear sunglasses to protect from the sun. Indoors, they are reading glasses. Outdoors, they are sun glasses. Makes sense, right?
First of all, the lenses never fully make the transition? See how Matt’s lenses are a bizarre shade of gray? That is what transition lenses look like 80% of the time. A weird, funky gray color that compliments the face of NO ONE.
Second of all, the other 20% of the time, when the lenses are making significant shifts in appearance, they are terrifying everyone around them because, as one wise friend put it, “One minute you see their eyes. And the next minute they are sort of gone.”
Thirdly, the whole marketing campaign contains some stock photos that resemble either a Viagra add or a tampon commercial.
Lastly, transition lenses bring up weird free associations in my mind. Here are other people I know who have transition lenses:
My ex mother-in-law (L we both know you don’t have an ex mother-in-law). OK, not technically. My ex-fiance’s dissaproving Korean mother. Just as terrifying as the real thing.
Most of S’s exes (I don’t actually know this, but when I went on an anti-transition lens rant, S said, a little too proudly, “Please, everyone I’ve dated wears transition lenses. GOOGLE GLASSES OPTIONAL. I didn’t say it proudly (who would be proud of this??) but I’ll admit I was oddly possessive of my ‘dating someone who makes hideous fashion choices’ title and thus made a wildly inaccurate claim about “all my exes” wearing transitions (upon further investigation it was one dude at most. We’ve established that my memory is sketchy.) To be fair, though, the men I’ve dated HAVE shown up to meet me in all of the following: Google glasses, stonewashed jeans from Costco, windbreakers, and shorts paired with dress socks, so I know this feeling of bewilderment and public shame all too well #nerdfetish.
“Now before you jump down my throat and accuse me of being that judgmental person I swore about four paragraphs ago I wasn’t going to be, let me say that the worst part of the second date was not the transition lenses. That digression is mostly a PSA for your benefit, dear readers, that is intended to ensure that when you buy eyewear, you buy it only for one purpose.
The worst part of the second date was that Sir Talks Alot talked even more than he had on the first date. This time, the conversation featured:
His bowtie collection
His favorite paintings of all time
His grocery list
About 15 minutes in, I knew their wouldn’t be a third date, and just tried to escape as much as possible. I reached out to S for emergency support:
Date Rating: First date 6/10, second date, 4/10: Once I knew the incessant talking was likely here to stay, I just used the time we were together to make my own grocery list and fantasize about the Sunday night TV I was going to watch. And the worst part? He didn’t even notice I zoned out
Lesson Learned: The lesson here folks? If you are hiding in plastic toilet on a hot DC day just to avoid talking to someone about their bowties while their glasses change color before your very eyes, it’s time to call it quits.
We’re resurrecting Pic of the Week, because if we didn’t with this picture, we would be legally obligated to turn in our blogger cards. This guy popped up as one of my “matches” on Hinge (more on Hinge in a later post).
The problem is, I don’t even know where to begin with this one…
Let me tell you, I just fell into a really fucking weird internet wormhole researching this magazine. You know, the “world’s first comedy magazine about death” that sometimes does photo shoots in real live morgues. 24 issues may not seem like a lot, but you go look at 24 magazine covers featuring scantily clad women getting up close and personal with dead bodies and try to tell me with a straight face that you don’t feel forever unclean.
I mean, it’s endorsed by Sheri Moon Zombie, which is literally all I need to know about it. True story – I was once conned into watching The Devil’s Rejects on my birthday, by the guy I was seeing when I started law school, and I will never be the same. I lost so much that day: innocence, the contents of my stomach, the will to live. (I may or may not have just taken a break to text him “remember that time you ruined my birthday by making me watch The Devil’s Rejects? you still owe me for that.”). I’m getting sidetracked. All these corpses, plus that movie trailer (that I inexplicably watched despite the fact that every scene of that movie is seared into my brain and will haunt me for all of eternity), has really put me in a weird place today. What I’m trying to say is, a good litmus test of how much I would enjoy something is to ask “would Sheri Moon Zombie like this?” If the answer is yes, get it the fuck away from me. I don’t care if it’s heavy on satire and meant as “a commentary on advertising, where you put a beautiful girl next to anything to sell it.” I just. NO.
Back to the picture at hand. Literally, because on the cover of the issue this dude is displaying, the corpse is getting a little handsy up underneath that bathing suit. It’s so creepy and gross, but I can’t look away. Why is the corpse feeling up this Baywatch model? WHY IS THIS HOW I SPENT MY DAY IN BETWEEN CLOSINGS?!
Among all the other burning questions I have about this, the one that is most relevant to this blog is: why is this one of this dude’s featured profile pics? What is this picture supposed to tell me about him? Because the first thing that came to my mind was “I’ll probably murder you and do unspeakable things to your dead body.” Granted, I now know that this a satire/comedy magazine, but that doesn’t really eliminate the possibility that this dude is a deranged psychopath who just enjoys the spread and doesn’t give a shit about the articles. The necrophiliac’s Playboy, if you will.
That last sentence has me wondering how my life has come to this point, where I’m describing things as “the necrophiliac’s Playboy.” I take it back – Wallet Chain (the nickname my friends “affectionately” gave the guy I dated in law school) didn’t ruin my life.
We spend a lot of time on this blog mocking all the ridiculous things that men do and say to us. That doesn’t mean, though, that the three of us haven’t made our share of facepalm-inducing dating snafus. So I thought it would be a…humbling exercise to put my ass in the hot seat today and share a bit of my shame with you readers, especially since yours truly made a really smooth move on Okupid this past weekend. And by smooth, I mean painfully awkward.
If you follow us on Twitter, you may have seen a teaser for this post.
Allow me to set the stage: this single 29 year old was home on a Saturday night, dicking around on the computer while catching up on her stories, and signed onto Okc to check a (terrible) message. Yes, my life is super exciting and not at all sad!
After I checked my (terrible) message I decided to cruise for dudes. I came across a profile that I’d seen before and decided to shoot the guy a quick message. I paused momentarily, wondering how pathetic I was going to appear by messaging a guy on a Saturday night.
When I send someone a message, I try to zero in on one or two profile details that can be potential conversation starters. This guy’s favorite movies were almost identical to mine, and he had the following little caveat at the end:
Trading Places is an 80s movie that takes place in Philly and is a cult fave around here; there’s literallya bar named after the two main characters. Whenever I told people from the area that I’d never seen it they would practically shriek with horror and alarm.
Well, I finally got around to seeing it just last weekend, so I figured it was a perfect conversation starter, right? I threw it into a quick message…
…also inexplicably calling attention to the Saturday night thing, because I’m just so breezy and self effacing, and hit send. I was about to sign off Okc and continue on my merry way, when something possessed me to click on my sent message history. And that’s when I realized:
How did I not remember writing this? Was I drunk? Sleep-typing? Did I black out?
My favorite part about this whole thing is that I accidentally gave a stranger REAL TIME STATUS UPDATES on whether I’d watched a random 80s movie. As if anyone would care about that, let alone a guy who already received and made a conscious decision not to respond to a message from me. It basically looks like I said, ‘WELP, didn’t hear back but I refuse to take no for an answer, sir. I’m just going to keep blowing you up about this movie which I’m apparently obsessed with until you respond!’
Also, if by some chance this dude has his own dating blog where he writes about all the whackadoo girls he runs into on Okcupid, those messages are going to make an excellent post. You might even say I’m…trading places with the guys we skewer on this blog.
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.
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?
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.)
Anyway, when I saw J today, getting off the metro. I totally froze:
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:
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 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?
Apparently I left you all hanging withmy 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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
I waited 10 more minutes and asked how it was going.
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,
…and I bounced.
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, 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.
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:
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:
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.