How D (Sorta) Got Her Groove Back

First of all, if you ever have the opportunity, go to Iceland. Seriously, do it. If you don’t find it to be stunningly beautiful, you are dead inside.

Second of all, I leave the country for 11 days, and all sorts of crazy, awesome shit goes down at home.  We won an award! We gained 7 new twitter followers! I suddenly became desirable again on OKC and HAW after a drought and months of this:

Isn't there anybody that loves me

                                                                                                   Source: Crushable

I received multiple messages on OKC containing 1 or more complete sentences! 5 guys were interested upon viewing one of my date ideas on HAW and messaged me! Match continued to serve no purpose other than to steal my money and send me e-mails suggesting ways it could steal more of my money! Ok, that last one isn’t actually awesome, but it was oddly comforting – it was proof I wasn’t in some alternate universe. I took all of these positive developments as proof that traveling is the greatest and I should do it even more often than I already do.

But back to my dating developments… I was getting my groove back!

Since I had limited access to wi-fi while away, I was able to respond to messages occasionally. This is where things went a little off track with some of the promising gentlemen. Let’s start with HAW.

First, a crash-course in How About We for those who are unfamiliar with it. Profiles are short and sweet – some demographic info and quick responses to specific prompts (e.g. a story you should remind me to tell you on our first date, I secretly want to be). Then, you post date ideas.

 HAW samples

Users peruse the date ideas and if they see one they like, they open up the date and have two choices: “Message Him/Her” or “I’m Intrigued.” 

HAW - date example

“Message Him” is pretty obvious – it opens up a blank message and you type out your most charming, witty message and hope for the best. Clicking “I’m Intrigued” sends the other user a generic message that says “I saw your Publick House date and I’m intrigued.” It’s the equivalent of liking someone on OKC or winking at someone on Match. The lazy approach to letting someone know you’re interested, and/or the shy person’s way of reaching out.

So, one of my proposed date ideas involves night skiing locally. I got a personalized message from M who ultimately told me to let him know when I was home and we’d set up a ski date. Great right? Well I returned, sent him a message, and got no response in that thread. Rather, he sent me a separate, independent “I’m Intrigued” message 16 minutes later. I don’t know what to do with that. I know you’re intrigued. We already established that. In fact, we already established that we would make plans to go skiing. So why are you ignoring my attempt to actually make said plans, whilst simultaneously sending me messages coyly telling me you’re intrigued BY THE VERY DATE WE ALREADY SET UP?!

That was Wednesday afternoon. I still haven’t figured out what to do about M.

Another guy responded to the same skiing date idea. This guy simply clicked “I’m intrigued.” I checked out his profile, and though he looked vaguely familiar, I brushed it off and responded.

2014-02-06 13.27.23

Ok then.

that escalated

                                                                                    Source: GIFBAY

Side note: I’m obsessed with that gif. I laugh hysterically every time I see it. Ok, back to the regularly scheduled programming.

Setting aside the fact that he called me hun (which – DON’T), he starts off with a nonsensical response. What do you mean “what?” You fucking messaged me. It’s literally 2 messages up in the thread. What is confusing about my response? And when I don’t respond in a timely fashion according to his standards (3 hours, 46 minutes, and NOT A MINUTE MORE), he accuses me of bothering him. Again, you messaged me buddy. It was then, looking at his smiling profile pic next to that terrifyingly aggressive message, that it clicked. He WAS familiar. He’s nylon guy. Shudder.

Over on OKC, I exchanged a few messages with R, who pretty quickly asked if I’d like to make plans when I returned. My kinda guy! I said I would love to. I got back late Tuesday night. Wednesday morning he contacted me to see if I had made it home safely. Very sweet. Then he dropped this bomb on me:

2014-02-06 23.19.24

2014-02-06 23.19.34

I don’t even know where to start with that. For the sake of not being a total asshole on the internet, I’ll simply say that I did not find that poem charming or sweet.

Against my better judgment, when R asked for my number I gave it to him and continued to entertain the idea of going on a date with him.

text with R #1

Oh christ – not another movie date.

text with R #2

WARNING! WARNING!

That last comment is teetering on the brink of needy. Throwing an lol at the end doesn’t make it less needy. And that frowning winky face – what the fuck is that even supposed to convey? 

I forge on though, despite the warning bells going off in my head.

text with R #3

STOP WITH THE VALENTINE’S THING. It’s so desperate sounding. At this point, mid afternoon on Wednesday, I feign a meeting and tell him I’ll talk to him later.

Thursday morning I wake up feeling refreshed after a good, long night’s sleep, see CC for the first time since returning and get a big smile from him, and get into work to a desk completely empty of a particular case. I’m feeling fantastic. So I decide to give R another chance.

text with R #4

Umm? Say what? Tuesday was your suggestion. But ok.

text with R #5

A little while later, he gets back to me.

text with R #6

This was completely befuddling to me. I mean, firstly, I had told him I was available Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. So what made him think I was available mid-afternoon? Not to mention that he’s aware that I’m a lawyer – which is pretty typically a Monday through Friday 9-5 job. Whilst still processing the above, he follows up with a picture of himself and this:

text with R #7

Even if you are joking (I presume that’s what Jc means), coupled with some of the other shit you’ve said (::cough:: valentine’s day ::cough::), I’m getting the impression that you’re extremely needy. And I don’t do needy. A) I don’t have the patience for it. B) If you’re that needy yourself, how are you ever going to field my 11:34 p.m. phone calls that I’ve got a piercing, radiating pain in my left mid-thigh and remember when I fell on my left knee a few weeks ago – IS THIS A BLOOD CLOT ON THE MOVE? AM I ABOUT TO DIE IN A SNOW AND ICE COVERED MBTA PARKING LOT IN SUBURBAN MASSACHUSETTS? Because, shit like that happens frequently when you’re a part of my life. That is a verbatim transcription of the shrill phone call my father received last night. And that saint of a man (along with my 3 EMT friends who also frequently field my hypochondriac freak outs) needs a break dude.

But I’m still feeling high on the freedom from that case and the 3 Kinder bars I ate at lunch (God bless you and your delicious chocolate confections Europe), so I keep going with the Poet.

text with R #8

I realize at this point that not only did he think we were planning a weekday, mid-afternoon date, but he also thought this date was happening in Wrentham. Despite the fact that we had established we would both be in Boston on Tuesday. His complete lack of ability to grasp time and location based on previous discussions snaps me out of my sugar high. This guy is not going to work out. Just to be sure, I ask:

text with R #9

Yup – this guy needs to go. Between the poem and the valentines day thing and his incompetence, I can’t. I was going to need to let R go. Tomorrow. I’m a procrastinator at heart.

This morning, I was all set to say goodbye to R and let this outrageously long post fly. But before I could click Publish, R wanted to know why I had changed my mind:

text with R #11

Yeah – I definitely made the right choice.

Oh, and just for good measure, I was propositioned late last night on the orange line after grabbing a couple drinks with a friend after work. By a guy who I presume is a low level drug dealer or pimp based on the enormous ball of wadded up cash he pulled out of his jacket pocket.

I’m in A groove, but I think it’s the wrong one…

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D’s Epiphany

I’ve been doing this online dating thing for about a year now. Technically, I set up my OKC profile during Hurricane Sandy, but then I promptly ignored said profile for over a month. So we’ll call it a year. I’ve tested out a variety of sites, went on dates, met some pretty cool people (and some not cool ones), and tried new things/places. But no one has made it past a second date yet. I haven’t even been on a first date since I moved to the ‘burbs back in August. I’m batting .000 on responses to messages I send lately. I was starting to feel like this:

empty room snapchat                                          http://icarly-official.tumblr.com/post/58840878427/oh

And the messages I do receive are either worthless or from older men outfitted in collared shirts and sweater vests standing in front of Lifetouch type backgrounds prompting this uplifting message to S:

text with S where I give up

I respect her open judgment. Clearly I was on a downward spiral. Speaking of watching crying movies, I’ve been doing that a lot lately while moping at home and occasionally stopping at the liquor store on my way home. I have a small arsenal of “crying movies,” depending on what kind of crying I want to do. Love wins in the end: Breakfast at Tiffany’s or An Affair to Remember. The world is a disappointing place and life and love are hopeless because everyone just dies anyway so what’s the point?: Legends of the Fall or American History X. Reminder that everyday, ordinary life is full of awesome things too: Up! or A Cool Dry Place. General cry for no discernible reason: Apollo 13. It’s embarrassing how much use those DVDs are getting.

I took a break from my 2 month pity party this past weekend to do one of my favorite things: binge watch off-air, complete tv series on Netflix. It was the perfect weekend for that activity – a snowstorm was headed our way Saturday into Sunday. I made a huge mug of hot chocolate and started in on Friday Night Lights. And that’s when it happened. My epiphany.

The problem isn’t me.

The problem is that I don’t live in the fictional town of Dillon, TX.

Again, I texted S. But before I got a chance to tell her the importance of my weekend activity, she hit the nail on the head:

2013-12-17 12.37.23

And then she beat the crap out of the nail:

2013-12-16 21.37.20

Everything she said is correct. I only had 1 thing to add. That IS my type, y’all.

Guys – I clearly just need to move to Texas. Or back to upstate New York, where I came from and where that type is plentiful.

Texas forever.

D’s experience on HAW – aka D’s thoughts on breakfast and mornings

S recently wrote about How About We. Coincidentally, while she was deciding HAW wasn’t worth paying for, I was handing over my credit card info for a trial membership.

Though I’m going to wait a little while longer to give you fine folks my in-depth review, here are some of my initial thoughts:

  • I love anything that speeds up the process of planning a real live date instead of becoming pen pals first.
  • I enjoy the question prompts that make up each person’s profile (e.g., obscure knowledge I possess, I secretly want to be, my first concert/my dream concert). They are a gold mine of hilarious.
  • Getting  breakfast is a more popular idea than I care for it to be:

HAW - breakfast dates

Look, no one loves breakfast food more than I do. And don’t think I wasn’t seriously charmed by the mention of Zaftigs, the best damn brunch this side of the Charles (well played sir). But I am at my least charming in the morning. Not even the late breakfast suggestion would be a good idea for me to say yes to. Unless, of course, you find the following behavior endearing: scowling, demands for silence, and an alarming amount of hatred for everything. This icy demeanor doesn’t begin to thaw until 10 a.m. (at the earliest). If that’s attractive to you, breakfast sounds lovely! Otherwise, I’m out.

The only guy to get it right is this one:

HAW - breakfast for dinner

Breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite pastimes. Not to mention that I grew up in New York – the tri-state area has a deep love affair with diners, so I’m something of a diner connoisseur. In fact, my family used to own a diner (my father’s hash-browns are unparallelled). And we’re Greek, thus fulfilling one of my favorite stereotypes of all time. THIS is my kind of date.

  • HAW is obsessed with showing me dates in Florida, mingled in with all the dates around greater Boston. Case in point: that running/breakfast date above (which ha – NO. The only time I voluntarily run is during my summer co-ed softball games where I’m rewarded with the occasional boost in my stats and a cold beer, or when there’s a spider nearby). I’m willing to broaden my geographical horizons a bit, but Florida is not going to happen. 1) I am a northeast weather person – I thrive in the cold weather. Without a hint of sarcasm, I can tell you that I was elated to pull my gloves and hats out of storage last night, and lovingly sorted them and put them all on. 2) I am not barred in Florida, and the only way I would suffer through another bar exam is with the promise my school loans would be paid in full immediately upon completion of the exam, the offer of which is unlikely to come my way. 3) I LIVE 1,300 MILES AWAY.
  • This little morsel of awesome that arrived in my inbox:

how about we shoot rats at the dump

Be Still. My. Heart. Nothing brings two people together like rodents, firearms, and trash! I’m even the one co-blogger who is not anti-gun, but I just can’t get behind any part of this date idea – for a first date or a 147th date. Everything about this date is terrifying. If you want hunting to be the theme of the date, there’s no need to head out to the wilderness city limits. I’m a sucker for fresh venison – all you have to do is invite me over for dinner and regale me with the tale of how you came upon such delicious bounty. (Sidenote: my aforementioned morning disposition is the main reason my father and brother have refused to take me hunting with them – they claim the last thing I should have in my hands in the morning is a rifle (they’re probably not wrong). Thus I continue to rely on the good shots of others to satisfy my venison cravings. Offering up some venison is actually a great way to win my heart, come to think of it. If you know any single, prolific hunters out there: stucublog@gmail.com – use it!). Rats don’t need to be involved at all.

On second thought, the above date would allow me to add to my conversational repertoire when it comes to rats, a favorite topic of mine apparently, so maybe I shouldn’t be so dismissive…?

How about we….cancel our subscription to HowAboutWe

Earlier this year, when we were still relative online dating newbies, L told me about a new site that she’d just heard of. “It’s like Okcupid,” she explained, “except everyone suggests an idea for a first date.”

Color me intrigued! I remember thinking the concept of men having to provide a date idea up front was not only incredibly attractive, but also borderline genius. I’d do pretty much anything to avoid receiving one or all of the following texts from my date prior to meeting him:

“So what do you want to do?”

“Got any ideas about where we should go?”

“I don’t know the city that well, so I’ll leave the planning to you.”*

*(This one infuriates me. Do you also not have the internet? Have you never heard of Yelp? Are you not in fact texting me from an iPhone 5, but from a Zack Morris monstrosity circa ’91?)

zack morris phone

The thing is, I am not looking for some over the top first date featuring like, a hot air balloon ride (real talk, that idea was legitimately suggested by D, of movie theater yelling fame. He’s a rare date planning gem, that one. We never went, but I kind of secretly still want to. If it ever happens I’ll be sure to share with the class.) Drinks at a chill bar are fine. with. me. It’s not rocket science, gentlemen.

I realize we co-bloggers complain about the inability of men to plan dates pretty much every week, but my job involves a significant amount of event planning, plus I’ve been in a number of weddings this year. Like L, I am a bossy oldest child, so in many cases the logistics of making plans naturally fall to me. This is fine, and most of the time I prefer it that way (again, bossy older child). But I also absolutely love when someone else takes the reigns for a bit. Love.

Between my excitement over dudes doing the planning and my excitement over cutting down on senseless messaging before meeting in person, I was sold. I signed up for HowAboutWe (which I will henceforth refer to as HAW), since it was “free to try”.

air quote rdj

“Free to try” is the favorite term of most online dating sites, with the exception of Okc (the cheap single 20-something’s dream). Basically, you sign up for the site and quickly discover that in order to do pretty much anything besides creep on the home page, you need to fork over actual money. And yet, even with your low level security clearance that gives you access to little more than their blog (responsible for groundbreaking journalism such as this) the site proceeds to bombard you with 1,500 daily emails about your “matches” (who you aren’t allowed to contact until you provide them with your credit card card number).

Here’s a sample of what’s been hitting my inbox at least once a day since I signed up:

how about we

Okay. As you can see, those are three fairly normal, innocuous date suggestions. Totally vague, yes, but they basically make sense.

More often than not though, there’s at least one dude in the mix who has managed to miss the site’s concept completely:

how about we hello  how about we options how about we doggi how about we yup

Sure, I’ve seen some decent answers:

how about we good

Simple. Specific. Involving alcohol. Not bad.

But for every date idea I’ve come across that’s half decent, there are countless that fall into either of the following categories:

1. Uncomfortable/creepy

how about we webcam

(Actually worried for the welfare of that child in the picture. Are you okay, kid?)

2. Nonsensical/Insane

how about we insane  how about we mayo

Due to the underwhelming nature of these prospects, combined with my proclivity to be distrustful of dating sites that cost money following The Great Match.com Debacle of 2013, I decided not to spring for the paid membership to HAW. I feel good about my decision, or at least I did until I stumbled upon one dude’s answer while doing research for this post:

how about we gin blossoms

Be still my heart. I’ve loved the Gin Blossoms (unironically) since preteen S first heard Hey Jealousy on Y100 all those years ago. (True story: senior year of high school, a friend and I made the wise decision to memorize the lyrics instead of study for our AP Calculus final. How did that work out for us? FANFUCKINGTASTICALLY. We’re both successful adults, and we both know every word to one of the sweetest 90s jams of all time).

What I’m saying is, I get this person. And I’d totally date this person. The question is, would I fork over a membership to this seemingly shitty dating site just to message him? The cheapo in me says hell no, although a Gin Blossoms themed wedding would be pretty epic. All that long flowing hair and loose fitting button downs, just in time for fall…

What do you think, dear readers? Has anyone out there tried HAW for real? Am I missing out?