In order to explain today’s pics, I need to bore you guys for a hot second. Bear with me. When you upload a profile picture onto Okcupid, you’re prompted to crop it into a smaller thumbnail version. The small version is what appears in searches and on your profile’s homepage, so logically if your photo was taken from far away or includes other people, you can choose to zoom in on just your face so people can actually see you when browsing. Well apparently the cool thing to do these days (and I wouldn’t know because hi, rapidly approaching 30 over here)…
…is to crop your profile pic like a complete asshole.
Allow me to introduce the following samples into evidence. Here’s bachelor # 1’s thumbnail picture, which appeared on my homepage:
Admittedly harmless, but gee, I wonder who that ear and partial cheek belongs to? Probably someone super interesting. I mean, how coy. How mysterious. Let’s have a looky-loo at the rest of him, shall we? Clicking on his photo reveals…
A reasonably cute guy! Except he immediately kills my vibe with a newsies cap, and I have a strict no fedoras/newsies caps/pork pie hats rule. Seriously, if you’re wearing one of those, you’d better be on your way to sell some papes, or organize a child labor union with Christian Bale:
On to our next reveal, bachelor #2’s thumbnail pic:
Bottom line: women don’t need you to show us that you’re pseudo-creative, unique, ironic, or mysterious, or whatever else you think you are by cropping your picture in this senseless manner. If you need to express yourself creatively please, get an Instagram account and bore your friends with your filter choices like a normal person.
Also, I’m sure you think your weird thumbnail will catch our attention, and clearly these have caught mine, but the only thing I feel is annoyance at having to work to figure out what you look like. I just. want. to see. your. face. And if I can’t, for me it’s an automatic…
One of the things I find to be most stressful about dating is the uncertainty. There is no one set of rules or guidelines to follow, so it’s basically the wild goddamn west out there–everyone is playing by their own rules and timelines, and you’re constantly wondering if you and another human being are on the same page. Naturally, this lends itself (at least in my case) to the following:
constantly consulting one’s girlfriends on gchat
Just off the top of my head, here are some timing-related questions that have come up in my few months of dating D:
When can you start packing an overnight bag to stay at the other person’s place? The first time I slept over at D’s I wasn’t sure if I was invited to stay the night (we had made plans to watch movies and that’s it). I didn’t want to be presumptuous, so I stuffed underwear, a toothbrush, face wash and Lord knows what else into my purse like a legit call girl. When he was all, “of course you’re invited to stay the night!” I started to pull random items out of my bag like I was Mary Poppins’ slutty niece. (I’m sure this is a proud moment for you, mom.) Of course now my overnight bag resembles something settlers would take on the Oregon Trail, complete with a full bevy of toiletries. #noshame
When is it cool to leave something AT the other person’s place, like a toothbrush or a hair dryer? We all (and by “we all” I mean TV loving ladies and gays in our late 20s and 30s) remember that SATC episode where Big presents Carrie with a pink toothbrush head and it might as well be a flawless 3 carat Tiffany cushion cut, it’s so significant. Also, FUN FACT: as L recently discovered, finding hair and beauty products in a guy’s apartment is a great way to spot a cheater.
When does the inaugural fart happen? And who farts first?(again, time to swell with pride, mom). FYI, if you just answered ‘never’, you are reading the wrong blog. I assure you. I actually have a soul crushing story about this that I’m not going to tell you all out of sheer humiliation. UGH fine, if you must know, it was me. I farted first. Super early on, too. For the record, it was IN MY SLEEP and I wouldn’t have even known about it if D hadn’t decided to fully traumatize me by telling me (In a totally teasing way, but still. FML).
When do you introduce your significant other to your friends and/or family?
When do you start referring to that person as your boyfriend/girlfriend/boo?
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before many if not most of those questions can be addressed, there’s this fun little doozy:
When do you have the exclusivity talk?
If you haven’t been out in the dating world recently (you lucky bastard), you may think that after a certain stretch of time it’s just implied that you and the other person are exclusive. Let me assure you:
My experience with the ‘are we exclusive’ talk is comically limited. I’ve gotten really used to (and honestly, really comfortable with) some variation of the following:
Okc dude: Hey so, I really like you.
Me: I like you, too.
Okc dude: I just want to be completely honest: I’m not looking for anything super serious at the moment.
Me: Okay. Thanks for being honest.
Okc dude: But let’s keep seeing each other and see what happens?
Me: Sounds great.
In summary, the noncommittal dating anthem of our generation. I mean, thinking back on these conversations with guys is actually fairly depressing in hindsight. Not that there’s anything wrong with casual dating…
But if I’m being totally honest (with myself and you guys) on at least one occasion I definitely told myself I was cool with this arrangement when in reality I wasn’t, because I liked the person and didn’t want things to end. I know. Pathetic. But to quote a 90s goddess:
Back in January, D and I had this very talk (and by “talk” I mean the whole thing went down over text. Oh, modern dating.) As much as I’d like to say it just came up organically or I was brave and breezy enough to be direct with him over drinks, of course the reality was totally random and awkward. I wish I could screen cap the entire thing for your viewing pleasure, butmy phone decided to wipe all my texts when I updated my iOs, so this is me paraphrasing. Here’s how it went down:
Random Weeknight in Early January
Me: (in the middle of how’s your day type small talk) What are you up to tonight?
D: I have a date.
Me (internally): ………..
Me (trying to be breezy while I figure out what the eff to say): Oh, really? Where is it?
D: blablabla date details.
Me: Well, uh…have fun?
After that supremely awkward exchange, I sat and stewed. Wtf was he getting at, telling me he had a date? Is that what people do now? They just go out with each other and then openly share when they’re going out with someone else? I was pissed. Not about the date (okay, maybe a little about the date), because to be fair we hadn’t had an exclusivity talk at that point. I was still active on Okc, and I too had been out with someone else recently. And I of course didn’t know this at the time, but by this point D had already found the blog and was reading all about my dating shenanigans.
I guess I was just… insulted. Why was it necessary to tell me that instead of just saying he had dinner plans? Most people get that until you have the exclusivity talk, dating other people is basically a don’t ask/don’t tell situation. I knew, despite my instincts to not make a big deal out of things like this, that I’d have to talk to him about it.
Me: So listen. I know we haven’t had any sort of talk about exclusivity, and that’s fine. You’re well within your rights to be seeing other people at this point. But could you just not tell me? I was a little taken aback when you did, and I think I’d just appreciate it if we didn’t bring it up to each other.
D: Of course. But to be fair, you asked what I was doing, and I wanted to be honest.
Me: I think this is a great example of being a little too honest. And I’m not trying to rush things. If you need time…
D: I don’t need time. I know who I like. (not gonna lie, I swooned a bit when he said this. It’s only after remembering it months later that I realized D never actually said he liked ME. He could have technically been talking about some other girl. Glad that worked out!)
D: I’m going to go on this date, because I don’t want to be rude and cancel the same day. But after that I’m done.
Me: Me too. So…we’re officially just seeing each other, then.
So there you have it. Our first date was in mid-November so we had “the talk” about a month and a half into seeing each other. Now if D hadn’t created an opportunity, albeit an awkward one, for us to talk about this, I’m not sure how long I would have waited to say something. Probably another few weeks, tops.
What about you, readers? How long do you wait before having the exclusivity talk with someone? Do you just go for it or do you wait for the other person to bring it up first? Leave us a comment!
PS – this is completely unrelated to the subject of the post, but I can’t not bring it up. When I asked D about his date during our original convo, he revealed that they were going to a restaurant IN MY HOME TOWN in Jersey. The second he said that, I was positive I knew the girl (my little town is not exactly a hot date destination). Naturally, the next time I saw D I completely grilled him about his date. He was all waaaaaait, I thought you didn’t want to know about it and I was all dude, of course I do, because
I told him about my theory that I knew his date and he was all ‘Pssshhhh no way’. But you know what?
I WAS RIGHT. I TOTALLY KNOW HER. We went to high school together. Boom. I called it. Just had to gloat.
S here, coming at you with my last post as a 28 year old. That’s right, peeps. As of midnight tonight, the sun will officially begin to set on my 20s and I’ll be staring 30 in its mean, spinstery face. Woohoo! Also, a friendly reminder: if you haven’t already, please vote for your favorite worst date ever story here. Voting ends Friday!
Speaking of being a mature adult… do any of you loyal readers recall this lovely tale of first date tipsiness from L? Well last week, as I mentioned, I walked (or should I say stumbled) a mile in her shoes on a first date of my own. Allow me to explain, and by explain I mean post a screen shot of the text I sent D when I got home:
It’s a testament to our friendship and to the bond we share that D a. did not bat an eyelash at the fact that I got drunk on a first date and b. was on her way to getting sauced herself after a rough day at work. Meanwhile, somewhere south of us, L was also out drinking heavily. Can you say cosmic connection?
Anyway, a little background on said date. The guy is M, a 36 year old high school teacher from Jersey. M and I had been messaging back and forth for a a few weeks. Things I liked about him: he’s an avid traveler and spends every summer at his family’s beach house in Italy, traveling all over the country and throughout Europe. Yes, you read that correctly. Summer beach house. In Italy. Um, hi. Sign me the f*ck up for that. He also teaches history, which is hot. And is 6’3. HOT.
Things I wasn’t crazy about: he tried, from the moment we exchanged numbers, to CALL ME. There are few things I hate more than a phone conversation with a dude I’ve never met. I mean, what kind of sociopath wants to voluntarily talk on the phone with a total stranger, unless that stranger is a Comcast customer service team member and the cable is out? Even when the guy has a delicious British accent, it’s still inevitably the most awkward interaction ever. I successfully dodged the first few of M’s phone requests, hoping he’d take a hint, but he KEPT ASKING. I had to actively restrain myself from pulling a Regina George and shutting his Gretchen Weiners bullshit right down:
And then send him this insane little memo just in case he still didn’t get it:
Instead, I consented to 20 minutes of chatting the night before our date which was, AS PREDICTED, moderately awkward. I hate being right all the time. (Lies. I love it).
The night of our date rolled around, and mama was pretty grumpy. Here’s why:
The weird phone prelude freaked me out
I’d had a long ass day at work
the weather was disgustingly wet and humid, causing my hair to do some pretty unique things
I was just not feeling it. It was one of those days where I I wanted sooooo badly to go home and lay on my couch (aka pretty much every day), but I hate people who flake on plans last minute (ahem) so I dragged my salty self over to the bar.
How did the date go? Glad you asked. Conveniently I text-vomited a full summary to poor, unsuspecting D, which I will again post for your viewing pleasure:
In case you haven’t noticed, yours truly is quite the drunk texter. I recently claimed (to no one who cared) that I live by the following motto: “When the drinks start flowin’, the fingers get goin’.” I mean, what? Also, it’s almost too easy, but…
Sorry/not sorry. Back to the date. I swear, I have never had my ear talked off by a man like I did with M. From the moment we met he was a Chatty Cathy, going on and on about his job, traveling, friends and family. This was actually a welcome development at first, since I usually have the EXACT opposite problem with dudes and have to essentially perform my own one woman show just to keep the awkward silences at bay. So honestly, up until the end of the night I truly enjoyed M’s chattiness. He was smart and interesting, not obnoxious or annoying.
It wasn’t until we arrived at the aforementioned whiskey bar and I was well on my way to being fully drunk that I realized… M had asked me almost nothing about myself. Literally almost nothing. In all fairness, I’m not exactly a shy wallflower (shocking, I know) and can hold my own in a conversation, so there were plenty of times when I interjected with something and M listened with interest. So I guess it wasn’t that bad, just… weird. Anyway, on to my drunkenness. We had already had a flight of (delicious) beer at the first bar we went to, and then after revealing to him that I’d recently acquired a taste for whiskey, we decided to trek down the street to a whiskey bar for a “nightcap”. Except we walked in and it was like a budget remake of the Great Gatsby up in that piece. Champagne was a-flowin’. People were dressed in period garb. The normally wildly over-priced drinks were dirt cheap. You can guess what happened next…
Mama got sauced. M had to drive and is also gigantic in stature, so he was essentially fine, but I had 3 more BIG mixed drinks and a glass and a half of champagne. By the end I could hear myself slurring my words and also started to make best friends with our neighbors at the bar, something I only do when drunk. At one point the nice lesbian couple next to me discretely whispered, ‘is this a first date?’ and I practically shouted, so the entire (tiny) bar could hear, “It is a first date! Are we that obvious??” Smooth, S. Smooth.
Smart cookie that I am, I decided that we needed to go before I (further) embarrassed myself. I could at least tell through my haze that M seemed bemused rather than horrified by my antics, so I was confident that my behavior still passed for charming and hadn’t crossed over to fully obnoxious. Yet.But I calculated that I was roughly 15 minutes and half a drink away from this:
I announced that M needed to drive me home (in hindsight I was in no state to accept a ride from a strange man but hey, I obviously lived to tell about it. Calm down, mom.) M said he had a great time and would love to go out again (heard that one before!) and then went in for the kiss. It was a bold move, but drunk S was into it. It was actually a really nice first kiss, probably because we were in a warm car and I had a buzz on. But nice nonetheless.
The next morning, hungover and a little embarrassed, I went over the date in my head. And started to get annoyed by M’s apparent lack of interest in my life. I called in some experts, wondering if this was a red flag, but multiple sources told me he was probably either a. nervous (this seems most likely to me) or b. having a REALLY good time and was comfortable enough to open up. Either way, he didn’t berate me or lose his car, so I’m giving him a pass.
M and I have a second date set for Thursday. Let me tell you, there are few things more awkward than dating someone new right around your birthday. You feel like a weirdo not mentioning it at all, but you don’t want them to misunderstand your mention as a request for them to acknowledge it. I am probably ultra sensitive about this because last year I was in this very same position… I’d been seeing a guy briefly, it got out that it was my birthday, and he made a big fuss about it. Basically he INSISTED that we go out to dinner to celebrate even though I was super uncomfortable and told him ‘yeahhh we’re not seriously dating, that is sweet but really not necessary’. But again, he insisted, so I relented, thinking I’d at least get a nice dinner out of it. Then, the night of said dinner rolled around (also the day after my bday!) and this douchenozzle texts me to tell me 1. he was cancelling dinner and 2. didn’t want to see me anymore. Like I’m sorry, WHAT? I NEVER WANTED TO HAVE THIS WEIRD BIRTHDAY DINNER IN THE FIRST PLACE, YOU LUNATIC.
Anyhoodle. Clearly I have birthday date PTSD after that bullshit. So when M (very nicely) referred to this next date as my ‘birthday dinner’ I practically shouted him down in sheer alarm in distress. I just feel like I’m tempting fate by agreeing to this again, even if it is just dinner and even if I SCREAMED that I didn’t want any sort of fuss made over my birthday by someone I literally just met. Let me tell you, if M cancels, you poor readers WILL be hearing about it. Probably in all caps.
Date rating: 7.5/10. M was a nice, interesting, smart, fun dude and a great kisser, but he talked wayyy too much.