First Date with Keith Mars, P.I.

I’m sure some of you just read that title and thought wow, the Stucu ladies have gone completely off the rails and are now just casually revealing their dates’ full names on their “anonymous” blog. Next up it’ll be their home addresses and social security #s. I should probably stop reading before they get slapped with a huge lawsuit.

mean girls wild

Source: wifflegif.com

For those of you who don’t recognize the name ‘Keith Mars’, let me assure you that it’s NOT my date’s name. It is, however, the name of an infamous dad slash detective on one of the greatest, most underrated teen crime fighting mystery TV shows (that yes, we’ve gushed about before) of our time. That’s right, I’m talking about my homegirl Veronica Mars and her wonderful, hilarious, brilliant private investigator dad, Keith:

So why have I gone on a tangent about a fictional middle aged TV character? Because, readers, last week I went on a first date with a real live P.I.!

gryffindor-cheering-quidditch-dean-thomas

Source: www.survivingcollege.com

You guys. Stalking/sleuthing/investigating shit/being nosy is honest to God one of my favorite pastimes. Well, I should say our favorite pastimes. As we’ve mentioned before, we here at Stupid Cupid take our stalking investigative skills VERY seriously. L and I always dream joke about opening up a ladies’ detective agency because we’re so fucking good at getting information. TRUE STORY: L once impersonated a college guidance counselor on the phone in order to pump a girl (who we’d never met but who happened to be dating a friend’s ex) for information on her relationship. AND IT WORKED. I mean:

someecards find shit out

Source: www.someecards.com

So when this guy contacted me on Okcupid (I’ll be posting an eHarmony update in the next week but as of today I still refuse to give those crazy bastards my money) and a few messages in revealed that he’s a private investigator, I went from mildly interested to:

buster excited

Source: gifrific.com

Back to the name. Good old Keith garnered this nickname well before I decided to blog about him or frankly, even meet him, for two important reasons:

  • He bizarrely shares a name with H, the guy who I dated and was super into last summer and who it took me a while to get over. Obviously I can’t reveal the actual name to you, but trust me, it is NOT a common name. H1 was the first person with that name that I’d ever met, so when Mr. P.I. introduced himself, I kind of maybe thought someone was playing a prank on me. Saying that name in reference to a different person felt so weird that I knew he needed a nickname, and he needed one fast.
  • In case you forgot/just stumbled upon this blog, we recently started referring to our dates using nicknames. And when I hear the term ‘private investigator’, a certain balding, badass vigilante of the law hailing from Neptune, California who literally walks through fire to save his only daughter inevitably comes to mind:

After messaging back and forth a handful of times, we set up a date. Truth be told I wasn’t totally excited about Keith, aside from the prospect of interviewing him about his job, cases, busts, whether he carried a fake ID/got to taser people,

veronica mars taser

Source: www.sheknows.com

and general tricks of the trade. Besides the fact that he was a P.I., here’s what I knew about him going into the date:

  • He went to Penn State
  • He lives in the suburbs (what is with me and suburban dudes??)

Aaaaand that’s basically it. It should also be noted that this was my first date since my breakup with D two months ago, and my first first date in over six months. Needless to say, I was feeling a bit rusty.

leslie knope cargo pants

Source: www.tressugar.com

We decided to meet for drinks in my ‘hood. The night of our date arrived, and Keith was running late. Like, a half hour plus late. STRIKE ONE. I mean, I’m kidding (sort of), because I know shit happens, but this seems to be a common theme among suburban guys I go out with: they are all SHOCKED that the traffic into the city is bad. At rush hour. On a notoriously awful two lane highway. I mean, am I missing something? How hard is it to leave yourself an extra 20 minutes figuring that you probably won’t be flying down 76 at 6:30 pm? Especially when you’re the one who set the time of our date? FOOLS.

Anyway, I was already salty about the delay, but I tried to brush off my irritation. Luckily the bar was close enough that I could just hang at my place and not awkwardly loiter or pathetically drink by myself until he arrived.

When we finally did meet, it was a classic case of picture fraud. Keith Mars was…not as cute as his pictures. More importantly, to me, he was not as tall (but as we know, ladies, they pretty much never are). He wasn’t bad looking, it was just a bit of a letdown.

I knew within the first five minutes that I wasn’t into him. He was perfectly nice, and not wholly unattractive, I just felt nothing. Zero interest. Zero attraction. Zero connection. The more he talked, the more I thought:

nope

Source: persephonemagazine.com

(What’s that? I use this GIF in almost every post? I don’t care, I fucking love that creeping octopus. You’re welcome.)

I was doing my best not to pounce on him immediately with my list of 900000 P.I.-related questions. As we exchanged standard small talk, I started to realize something: Keith Mars was kind of a bro.

If you have a chance, check out this excellent comic on bro criteria. Do you see the example at the very top? “Still brags about getting wasted years after college”?

DING DING DING DING DING

God, you guys. Keith Mars would not shut up about how much he and his friends “partied” at school. NEWS FLASH, BROS: everyone partied/drank in college. It’s COLLEGE. This does not make you cool or unique or interesting. In fact, as a 30 year old still telling these stories to strangers, it makes you kind of pathetic.

Thoroughly turned off by my date’s troubling brotastic tendencies, I decided to get to the main event. And I will give Keith credit where credit is due: he answered every single one of my P.I.-related questions (and I asked what some might call an uncomfortable number of questions). He didn’t seem annoyed, not even at the end, by my endless curiosity. If anything, he was bemused by my sheer excitement and joy. I feel weird about revealing specifics because, you know, this dude is a private investigator, and I don’t want to be a dick (HAHAHA get it?) but of course I’ll share some general things I learned:

  • His firm works almost exclusively on civil cases, which means entrapment isn’t illegal. According to Keith, you can entrap the shit out of people. He once Catfished a dude on Facebook and posed as a hot girl asking him out in order to get him to show up to a bar. It totally worked.
  • He doesn’t carry a gun or a taser, at least that he would admit to me, but if he has to make a house call that could be dicey, he’s usually working with at least one government bureau that will send someone along with him.
  • He has a few aliases, but no fake IDs (again, at least that he would admit to me).
  • Cell phone fraud is apparently a huge international problem…? And the main case he’s working on. He also does a fair number of insurance fraud, cheating spouse and custody cases.
  • He sometimes works with Homeland Security as well as the Secret Service. !!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • He claims he never does background checks on his dates (I call bullshit, because who wouldn’t), but that he’s done it for friends, and he did it once for his sister’s boyfriend.

swanson

Source: awesomegifs.com

Guys, I was in heaven. HEAVEN. I forgot that Keith Mars was a bro. I forgot that he was three inches shorter than he claimed to be and a half hour late. I left out some other really cool details that he shared with me, just because I feel funny putting it on the internet, and also because, well, he’s a P.I., so I wouldn’t put it past homeboy to find this post. He certainly wouldn’t be the first. Luckily I never mentioned that I had a dating blog, so he wouldn’t even know to look, but still.

Finally, after a solid 40 minutes grilling him about his job, I cut myself off. We went back to chatting about normal things, but it wasn’t as interesting. After we finished our second drinks, I was over it and ready to go home. We left and walked a few blocks in the same direction.

“Well this was a lot of fun,” Keith said. “We should do it again sometime.”

I wasn’t about to be like thanks but no thanks right there on the street, so I think I just said a vague “Yeah, it was nice meeting you, thanks for the drinks”. He awkwardly went in for a kiss on the cheek, I wiggled it into a half hug, and fled.

Well readers, to use the LINGO of those of us in the business, this was an open-and-shut-case. We met, we drank, he bro’d, I pumped him for information, and that was that. Except not really, though, because the Law of Dating Inverses held true: predictably, because I wasn’t into him, Keith Mars continued to text me after our date. I’ve been polite but brief, and I’m just waiting for him to actually ask me out again so I can say thanks, but no thanks, Mr. Mars. To quote a great:

veronica mars

Source: thoughtcatalog.com

Date Rating: 5/10. I was so enthralled by the P.I. stuff I’m seriously considering a career change, but the rest of the date was mediocre. And regarding the bro thing:

dealbreaker

Source: www.tvatemybaby.com

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eHarmony holdout

Since my dreaded triumphant return to the online dating scene, I’ve been thinking about all the different services we’ve tried here at Stucu. Here’s a quick rundown:

Yeesh, that is not a short list. And yet here we are, still painfully single. Speaking of being painfully single, you may have noticed one glaring omission…

Ugggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I’m just going to say it: I HATE eHarmony. True, I’ve never actually used it, but it has always seemed so ridiculous/lame/creepy to me. Also, sorry to get all soapbox-ra-ra-social-justice on our dating blog, but it’s worth noting that eHarmony has a history of discriminating against same sex couples, plus their annoying as fuck elderly founder/spokesperson is an outspoken hardcore Christian. Not that there’s anything wrong with hardcore Christians…

seinfeld

Source: mrwgifs.com

…it’s just that I am not one of them. I’ve heard tales of the blatantly religious overtones of the site’s matchmaking process, and I don’t like the idea of some company surreptitiously pushing their views on people who are just trying to get a date. If I wanted religious-based matchmaking, I’d mosey on over to a religious-based online dating site like Christian Mingle or L’s favorite, JDate.

Also. Completely forgetting his politics, the eHarmony spokesperson freaks. me. out.

finding-the-love-1

Source: www.harmony-in-love.com

I’m sorry, Dr. Neil Clark Warren, but I’m not currently looking to put a creepy old guy in charge of my love life.

scumbag-eharmony-guy-52799

Source: maeameme.org

I know I’m being ridiculous. I know I shouldn’t write off a dating service I’ve never tried because their commercials feature a pushy religious senior citizen and an overplayed Natalie Cole song. More importantly, I’m actually friends with a couple who met on eHarmony. And by “met” I mean I attended their wedding last October. 

Despite this undeniable empirical evidence of the E’s legitimacy, every time someone suggests I join, my answer goes something like this:

“Yeahhhhh, uhhh,I’ve thought about it, but I’m saving it for if (let’s face it, when) I’m a bit older and still single. I’ve heard it’s a more…mature crowd, and that the people on there are much more serious about getting engaged like, yesterday. So I’ll probably try it eventually, just not…now.”

Translation: I hate eHarmony. I don’t want to do it. Please leave me alone.

The biggest reason why I resist this (almost always) unsolicited advice is that it rarely comes from single people. And I’m sorry, if you’re not a veteran of online dating, you simply have no idea what a shit show it is. But then a few weeks ago, one of my single guy friends whose opinion I totally value was telling us about his recent run of good dates, and the big E came up:

Me: What site are you on again? Okcupid?

E: eHarmony.

Me: Oh. Hmmmm. Interesting.

E: You should try it, S.

Me: (internally, thinking about my paintfully single status): Sigh. Maybe he’s right.

Which brings me to this post. When I started writing, it was mostly about my reluctance to join and somewhat irrational hatred of Dr. NCW. But then I tried to poke around and do some preliminary research to see what the site was like and, well, I got bamboozled. Before I even knew what was happening, I was filling out a 9 hour long personality profile analysis thing and signing up to “try it for free”.

GOD-DAMMIT

Source:kwieser.tumblr.com

Dr. Warren, you are one tricky motherfucker.

“Try it for free” is a favorite tactic among paid dating sites: they let you sign up, fill out a little profile, answer some questions, and cruise for dudes, but the minute you try to do anything real like send a message or even look at someone’s pictures, you’re directed to hand over your credit card info. This was fine with me for once because I didn’t actually want to use their stupid site, I just wanted to see what the infamously involved personality profiling is like and rip it to shreds on our blog.

I’ve also heard that eHarmony at one time rejected a certain number of people after they went through all their insane questioning. As in, these clowns literally say “thanks for trying to pay us money but you’ll have to take your unlovable single self elsewhere, because we don’t want anything to do with you.”

what parks and rec

I’m telling you, these people are the WORST.

Googled researched this policy to determine whether it’s still in place, but my search was inconclusive, so I half expected to waste 20 minutes of my life on a site I already hated and then be told I wasn’t wanted by them. Just another day in the life of a single girl, AMIRITE, LADIES? Anyway, despite my MANY misgivings and against my better judgment, I signed up and sat through their long ass questioning process. Here’s a sample question:

eharmony patient

For those who are wondering, there were a fair number of…faith based questions in this thing, mostly to do with how religious/spiritual you are. I screen capped these questions for your viewing pleasure, but now I can’t find where I saved them so you’ll have to take my word for it. After answering ‘not at all’ to basically every religious question, I was fully expecting to get to the boot, but somehow, some way, Dr. NCW deemed me worthy of God and single men’s love, and I was admitted into Club E. Yay.

hermione

Source: www.flickr.com

Obviously, they didn’t waste any time before asking me for money:

eharmony

Jesus. First of all, the 10.95/month plan is totally reasonable, until you realize you’re making a TWO YEAR COMMITMENT. I only commit to where I’m going to live one year at a time, you fuckers. Yes, I get that business-wise it’s smart for them to incentivize people to commit for the long haul. I also get that say, one month is not enough time to give a dating site a chance and meet a good number of people. But how about 3 months? Where’s the 3 month plan, you assholes? Three months is how long it took me to realize I hated Match.com with the burning fire of a thousand suns. So you’re telling me when I inevitably confirm that I do, as predicted, loathe eHarmony, I’m saddled with it for a full calendar year? Yeah…

nope

Source: wifflegif.com

The next logical choice is 6 months. But that shit starts to get pricey. $258 for 6 months on your stupid website? Really? So, what do I get for forking over a plane ticket to somewhere awesome or a day at the spa?

eharmony2

Uhhhh, 1. what in the what is the “Book of You?” Again with the religious overtones. And 2. so what you’re saying eHarmony, is that your basic plan offers the EXACT SAME THINGS as Okcupid. How much is Okcupid again?

fo-free-o

Source: gifsoup.com

Also, unsurprisingly, upon fake signing up I was immediately bombarded with senseless emails:

eharmony hate being single

Shut your stupid mouth, eHarmony, and stop patronizing me. I don’t need your permission to be okay with saying that phrase. I’m so good at saying “I hate being single” that I literally started an entire blog so my friends and I could say it multiple times a week. So step off.

Rage aside, I’m at a crossroads, readers. I’m technically signed up, so I’m now getting messages that I can’t read from faceless dudes. This is how they rope you in! I’m telling you, it’s a mindfuck. No matter how awful a site appears to be (and believe me, eHarmony seems awful) there’s that one tiny little part of you that worries one of the guys who messaged you is your future husband, and you’re about to miss out on a lifetime of happiness and hot sex because you were too cheap to fork over $258. 

I need help deciding, dear readers. Tell me what you think I should do. I can’t promise that I’ll actually do it, but I promise to take the results into consideration. Also, if you’ve used the big E yourself, feel free to leave me a comment and tell me what you think of it. Also, if you’re reading this, Dr. Warren, I hate you.

 

I got dumped (and lived to blog about it), Part 2

When we last left our heroine (me, duh) she had just been dumped by her boo of almost five months, D. She had also just decided, possibly against her better judgment, to go out for a drink with him in the hopes of getting some closure. And now for the thrilling (nope) conclusion of S and D’s break up story.

We drove to the bar in silence. D parked in one of those insane new garages where there are no humans operating anything and your car gets taken away/moved around by a conveyor belt. I stared at this spectacle, dumbfounded, the absurdity of my situation finally sinking in: I was out on a post break up non-date with someone who had just rejected me. We were about to drink some alcohol and say what we needed to say to one another. My brain was suddenly like:

leslie knope bad

via: http://www.hercampus.com/life/21-worst-parts-winter-break-told-amy-poehler

Too late, though. It was done. We walked into a crowded bar. Music was blasting and there were zero dark corners for me to cry anonymously in, so we walked right back out. It was still pouring so I made an exec decision to go into the next place we passed. As we walked in, it hit me: it was the site of our second date. I didn’t really mention D’s and my second date on this blog, because it was so completely bizarre I honestly didn’t know what to make of it when it happened. In summary, we both drank too much, he got sassy, and I yelled at him. When I walked away from the date I thought I’d never see or hear from him again. Fast forward five months…

“Do you realize where we are?” I asked him. “Of course,” he said. “I didn’t suggest it because I thought it might be too weird.” I shrugged. Things were already so weird, a monkey could have seated us at that point and I probably wouldn’t have been fazed.

We were shown (by a human) to the very back of the restaurant and sat at a long bar facing the kitchen. The waitress took our drink orders and I could feel her stare as she looked back and forth between me, doing this:

gretchen weiners crying

via: http://sidmalkin.tumblr.com/post/79130923727/one-time-i-met-sid-at-one-of-the-starbucks-in

  and D, doing this:

jim

via: http://splatter.com/tag/funny/page/8/

A few sips of legal sedative later and I was much calmer. We started to talk and it was minimally awkward, at least for me. I was surprised that D and I seemed to be on the same page about so many aspects of our relationship:

  • how lately things had felt off between us during the week but then great again when we’d see each other in person
  • how we both felt lonely and alone sometimes, especially at night, even when we were together
  • how we were incredibly similar in many ways and how that may not have been the best thing for two people in a relationship

I admitted to D that one of the things I had liked most about him in the beginning was that he was super clear about how he felt about me and what he wanted. For the first time maybe ever with a guy I’d felt like I could relax and just enjoy being with him and getting to know him. I should have known, of course, when that feeling slowly started to be replaced by anxiety, that something was up. I did also reprimand him for not being honest with me sooner and making me feel like a crazy person for suspecting something was wrong the last few weeks we were together. It felt good. He took it like a champ.

I cried basically the entire time, and I am really not a crier, or at least I wasn’t until I started online dating. AMIRITE?

Kristen-Bell-Laughing-to-Crying

via: http://reactiongifs.me/30-living-with-parents/

I wonder if Okcupid wants to use that glowing endorsement on their homepage. Shoot me an email, Sam Yagan. Anyway, I’m sharing this embarrassing crying detail only so I can also share a funny anecdote: since it was a rainy Tuesday, the bar was basically empty and the servers and busboys were all standing around close to where D and I were sitting. The longer we sat there, the more they noticed my crying, and the more blatantly they glared at D. By the end of the night, many of them were giving him the straight up stink eye as if he was an abusive boyfriend (which wouldn’t have been the worst guess given the scene they were witnessing). It reminded me of this wonderful vintage Scrubs clip (except obviously D pissed off the waitstaff, not Asians):

Maybe it was the alcohol, maybe it was the honesty, maybe it was the dirty looks D was getting from total strangers, but I started to feel… better. Like I actually understood what had happened and why it had happened. Like I knew where D’s head was at and got to say everything I wanted to say to him. Like I could move on. Hey, what do we call that, Rachel Green?

closure

via: http://www.tvfanatic.com/forum/gossip-girl/friends/page-84.html

And that was that. There was no drama. No one yelled or stormed out. The whole thing felt very…mature. I suppose my lifelong dream of throwing a drink in someone’s face will just have to wait.

We left the bar, watched D’s car being lowered absurdly onto the street, and he drove me home. I had been thinking about what would come next ever since he told me at the beginning of the night that he wanted to stay friends. Maybe I’ve seen When Harry Met Sally one too many times, but I’ve always kind of scoffed at that idea of being friends with an ex.

This feels different, though. I mean, I still need time to process things and let the dust settle a bit before 100% knowing what I want. But I think (and I hope) that D and I can be friends. I don’t know in what capacity, and I don’t know what that says about our relationship to begin with (were we always meant to just be friends all along?) but I think I’d like to give it a try.

I’m curious about other people’s experiences with this, though. You know what that means… reader poll time!

I know D wasn’t the right guy for me, romantically speaking. Even before he dumped me I think I knew, deep down, that one of us would have to end it eventually. But I don’t feel like I wasted my time. I don’t regret giving it another shot after that awful second date. I honestly think he was what I needed at this moment in my life. Beyond the fact that I had a lot of fun with him, I also think I just needed to know that there are nice, decent, considerate, thoughtful guys out there. After being jerked around by commitment phobic douchebags all last year, I needed someone to remind me that I deserve more.

I think what’s making me so sad is this: I’m going to miss his company. Even though we didn’t work as a couple, we had a connection and we had a lot in common. D became that person who I texted and chatted with on pretty much a daily basis, shared details about my day with, exchanged music, stories, and random crap from the internet with, tried new restaurants with, went to museums with, shared inside jokes with, and just did all the wonderful fun stuff that you do in an exclusive relationship. Saying goodbye to him, and to that, feels really lonely.

One thing that has made me feel better is the outpouring of ‘I know this sucks–I’ve been there’ texts and emails I’ve gotten from friends and readers. I also happened to catch an old Parcs and Rec on TV last week when I was glued to my couch in a post break up coma, and it made me seriously LOL. The fool who posted the video disabled embedding, so click the link below to enjoy these (fictitious but still amazing) breakup stories from Leslie Knope:

On the bright side, none of those things happened to me. And as awful as it was, at least D had the decency to 1. be honest with me and 2. end things in person. He could have faded away or even pulled a Jack Berger, although I’m pretty sure this is just the early 2000s version of a text breakup:

Do you have a break up story to share? And do you feel like cheering this dumped blogger up? Tell me about it in the comments and I’ll be forever grateful.

Celebrating our weird preoccupations: L and all the President’s Men

S, D, and I aren’t big fans of the traditional Valentines Day. Believe it or not, this has nothing to do with the fact that we’re single. Back in high school and college, boyfriends or not, S and I would get together with six of our closest friends and host a little gathering called Februarium. Brought to us by our incredible friend E, Februarium basically was a time for us to share romantic reflections on everything from our first kiss to our favorite food to how we’d spend the perfect day–between gulps of wine and mouthfuls of cards and sugar. Basically, we were doing Galentines Day long before Leslie Knope (which is just another reason we should be BFFs with Amy Poehler!) 

galentines day

Image via Bustle.com

So while you won’t find any of us singing the praises of Vday, we did want to celebrate G-DAY (short for Galentines for all of you slow folks) here on the blog. So we decided to take a break from spilling the beans about our dates, and instead spill the beans about ourselves a bit, by telling you some of the weird things that matter a disproportionate deal to us when choosing friends or partners. And, how we assess those things on dates. This is a dating blog after all, so we can’t ignore the existence of men entirely.

We’ll start with my weird little obsession with asking the following question:

Who are the 3 best presidents and why?

Sorry I’m not sorry that this is the most DC-esque question a gal could ask. While I hate to be a cliche, I’ve learned that a date’s answer to this question illuminates so many things that matter to me.

1) Their general understanding/knowledge of American history and politics-If you couldn’t tell from previous posts, I am an unabashed nerd when it comes to history. I could debate Victorian England gender mores for hours, and diagram the critical battles of WWI. If I’m going to be spending time with a guy, I need to know that he has a basic knowledge of important events and people in his own country over the past 250 years or so. So, if a guy can’t come up with the names of three Presidents or incorrectly lists presidents named “Jim Beam” or “Peyton Manning”, I am not sure that a) I could respect him or b) that we’d have a ton in common.

2) Their values-There are “wrong” answers to this question. For example, if someone says, “Andrew Jackson, because I hate Native Americans,” then they are pretty much done for. Same thing if a guy lists Ronald Reagan as a favorite. I’m an unapologetic progressive, and in my opinion, Ronald Reagan was one of the worst people things to happen to poor and working class Americans this century. Actually, I’m gonna go ahead and say that guys lose major points for listing any Republican president (post reconstruction, of course) at all. On the other hand, a guy can win big points for extolling Lyndon Johnson’s domestic achievements, i.e. passing the Civil Rights Act, the Great Society, etc. Nothing turns me on the like VISTA program.

3) Their critical thinking skills-I am an self-admitted overly-analytical person. I want to know the reason behind everything, even when there are no reasons to be found. 

have cake eat it too

Via quickmeme.com

So, I want to know a guy who can back his thoughts up with some reasons or evidence. Sadly, many Americans cite George Washington as their favorite President, but when you ask why, they can’t give you a reason. (PS: He won the war is not an acceptable answer in my book. First of all, he did that BEFORE he was President. Second of all, there were several non military moves responsible for our defeat of the British.) That said, I am not going to write off anyone who says George Washington, but I expect them to back it up with some facts (i.e., I really love term limits?).

4) Their ability to make a quick, clear decision-“What? Um? I don’t know? That’s just such a hard question…” There is nothing less sexy than asking a guy a seemingly innocuous question and having him agonize for 20 minutes over his answer (unless his answer includes Reagan, or W, or some other offensive conservative. Then the answer IS actually less sexy than watching him agonize). This is not a REAL test dude. I know you might feel pressure because I’m judging you so hardcore on your answers, but I’m also judging you hardcore on the WAY you answer. So, show me you can make a hypothetical decision. Because if you can’t, then I’m gonna worry about your real life ability to make decisions. 

At the end of the day, I also really appreciate any answer that shows a sense of humor. Any guy who can make me laugh, through his answers or even by making fun of me for asking the question, wins the biggest points I can award.

HAPPY GALENTINES WEEKEND FRIENDS! And stay turned as D and S discuss their quirky tests/not tests in the next couple days…

LSD: Reddit sensations

It’s slow times over here in singleland. No new dates, no good prospects. Picture an actual tumbleweed rolling across my okc profile and that’s pretttttyyy much the current state of affairs. So what’s a dating blogger to do when she has no dates? Stalk her blog’s stats page, of course.

Confession: we enjoy looking at our stats the way some people enjoy watching porn. True, you can’t get much more narcissistic than obsessing over how many people are reading a blog that you write about yourself, but it’s just so fun! We can see who is reading in foreign countries. We can see the google search terms people use before they click to our site (these are so completely amazing that they deserve their own post. Stay tuned.) And while this all makes us feel very cool, the actual number of hits we get on a daily basis is, well, let’s call it humble.

Anyway, last week I signed onto the stats page and saw this:

stucu stats reddit

Those are our views per day. Wow, I thought, I know my K posts were riveting, but literally three times the typical number of people visited on those two days. I’m not going to lie, my heart started racing a bit. Did Mindy Kaling tweet about us? Did Tina Fey stumble upon the blog while doing research for a movie about online dating and email a link to all her contacts in Hollywood? Is she about to hire us as screenwriters!?! SHOULD I QUIT MY JOB???

Then I noticed something else:

stucu stats reddit links

Stucu was on Reddit. Here’s what I knew about Reddit up until this point:

  • It’s a sausage fest. Roughly 50% of okc profiles I read mention reddit somewhere in their profile, but I’ve never once heard any girl I know mention it. The only time I’d actually been on the site was when my friend’s husband (Hi Mr. R!) emailed me links to stories. Here is an actual stat that I looked up, because I felt like doing that instead of finishing my work today:                                         reddit stat

That’s from a PBS video that you can check out here if you’re stuck in an airport or a prison cell and you have 8 minutes to kill. Anyway, back to what I knew about Reddit when I made my discovery:

  • The site design/interface is overwhelming. And quite frankly, ugly. Would it kill the good people of Reddit to add a little production value? Maybe a new font or color scheme? A format that doesn’t make me want to blow my brains out?
  • There are approximately 5 fafillion “sub-categories” including, as it turns out, one about OKcupid.
  • The concept is to vote posts up and down, so the more popular posts are at the top of each page. The comments are also notoriously…spirited (translation: nasty).

But the question still remained: how did we end up on Reddit in the first place? I clicked the first link and saw this:

reddit ward

I recognized our promoter as W, a friend of a friend of L’s who has become a loyal reader, even though he’s never actually met any of us. What a great shout out! This was exciting. Stucu was getting a ton of a lot more traffic. Tina Fey would be calling any day now.

Thennnnn I noticed the comments. And while I’m still holding out hope that Tina, her husband Jeff Richmond, and their daughters Alice Zenobia and Penelope Richmond will all love and adore our blog, I’d say the men of Reddit have pretty much made up their minds about us. Please enjoy our favorite comments:

reddit death penalty

Rick Perry, is that you?

reddit still single

Ouch, 26 year old from CT who is “actually a llama”. Also, do you mean my response where I called K a really sweet, thoughtful guy and said I felt bad I wasn’t into him because he was so great? If that’s why I’m single, I might as well slap on a mumu and start adopting cats now, because I’m f-cked.

reddit hating women

Guess I’m doing my part to keep Reddit popular among the embittered male demographic. You’re welcome!

reddit jewess

Hitler, is that you?

reddit like

Oh okay, solitary girl on Reddit. Yes, it’s true we say ‘like’ a lot. D and I were actually cringing over the gchat convos I posted and the number of ‘likes’ that three well educated, grown ass women managed to drop. But honestly, you’re a 28 year old woman mocking strangers on an okcupid subreddit, so… people in glass houses. Also, it’s hardly surprising to be dissed by a bunch of hostile dudes behind their computer screens for deigning to (very nicely) reject a guy, but I guess gender solidarity means nothing to you. What’s that, Leslie Knope?

ovaries before brovaries

Preach.

Last but not least, my favorite comment:

reddit got

K, is that you?

PS– Special thank you to W for pimping us out on Reddit and also for defending us against the haters! (I didn’t share that part, but he did. So nice). Even if we enraged a few mouth breathers, as Amanda Bynes would probably say, there’s no such thing as bad press. 

Ask LSD: Should a guy pay on a first date?

First dates are inherently awkward, but that magical moment when the check comes can be especially cringe-worthy. There are no rules. There’s no set protocol. Every guy and every situation is different. So before we regale you with our real life tales and experiences, here are our takes on this divisive issue (grab a drink and settle in, because this is a long one):

Should a guy pay on a first date?

S: I consider myself to be a modern, independent woman, but on a first date I think in general the guy should pick up the tab. I know that opinion doesn’t really scream ‘modern’ or ‘independent’, but hear me out. First and foremost, my date (presumably) asked me out, so I’m there on his invitation. And since he invited me, it’s a nice gesture, a show of generosity and courtesy, to pay for that initial round of drinks. If I do the asking in the future, I will 100% offer to throw down (and actually I always offer…I’ll get to this in a sec.)

Second, the vast majority of the time, I literally do all the work on these dates. And if you think it’s not work to keep a steady stream of conversation going with a strange dude, you obviously have not had the pleasure of experiencing online dating. I come up with most of the conversation topics, I ask follow up questions, I act interested when I couldn’t care less about NCAA brackets. Basically I keep the whole thing from being spectacularly boring. I can literally count on one hand the number of guys who contributed equally to the conversation and didn’t make me feel like I was working a part time job while being out with them. On a first date I’m gracious, friendly, funny, engaged, and interested, and I’m lucky to get three out of those fives things in return. So I’m thinking you can go ahead and spring for that Hoegaarden, sir. (Preach, S! Sometimes I literally feel like a working girl, minus the compliments from Richard Gere, given the immense effort I am making to not die of boredom.)

Finally, I am not one of those girls who never reaches for her wallet. After that first time, I expect to take turns paying for things 50/50, because we’re both adults and we’re both equals. You’re not setting some precedent by paying the first time around, you’re just showing that you have good manners.

L:  Not necessarily. I think the person who should offer to pay on the first date is the person who asked the other person out. In most cases, it’s the guy, but in some cases, it’s been me. And if I do the asking, I offer. That said, only one guy has ever taken me up on that offer. And then he offered to get the next round.

At the end of the day, I think whole routine of paying for the date is just about courtesy. If you picked the place and the activity, be a host and offer to treat. Please know I was on a horrific date last week (shameless teaser for future post) where we got frozen yogurt. The guy I was with actually told the cashier to ring us up separately. I was furious because 1) he ASKED me and 2) I think NOT offering is really rude. The objective of a date is to build some type of relationship with a person (even if it’s just for an evening), and I think part of that relationship involves taking care of them a little. And, anyone worth their salt, woman or man, will return the favor next time.

D:  So I don’t really have a lot to add here. I’ve been attending a document review for DAYS, and literally couldn’t bring myself to look at anything with words by the time I got home each night. I just made myself a sandwich and stared blankly at the tv for a few hours, then went to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat. So by the time I got in on this action, L and S had already said pretty much everything I would have. To sum up: 1) I appreciate it when the guy picks up the tab, but 2) I think whoever initiated the date should, at the very least, offer to pay.

What do you do on a date when the check comes?

S: I’m going to sound like a loon after my above answer, but I always offer to split it. Am I going to judge you if you take me up on my offer? Yes. Is it, in a sick way, a bit of a test? Correct. But it’s mostly just because I cannot physically go out somewhere and not offer to throw cash down, even if I fully expect someone else to pay. The example I give for this is, think back to when a friend’s parents were visiting in college and took you out to dinner. You would offer to contribute when the bill came, but you’d never expect to actually pay. Why? Because you weren’t an asshole. And I’m not either. It’s the polite thing to do. So has anyone actually taken me up on this super polite offer? Stay tuned…

L: Yup-I also offer to split it. To date, no one has ever let me. And, I am not going to lie, even with all the waxing poetic I am doing about being full-on OK with paying for things, I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I appreciate the free drink/meal/movie ticket. (I keep myself on a lean, mean budget, and every penny counts). But honestly, I don’t think I’d be offended if they took me up on it. There are just so many other offensive things men can do on dates, and I have to pick my battles.

D:  Just like L and S, I always reach for my wallet. S’s college analogy is perfect. I don’t actually want to pay for myself, but the polite thing to do is offer. As soon as he says “no, I got this”, I say thank you and put the wallet away. I’m certainly not going to put up a fight.

Have you ever split the bill on a first date?

S: Yes. This happened to me for the first time recently. Before that, every dude insisted on paying on the first date and some who I went out with multiple times insisted on paying for everything, always (one guy literally wouldn’t let me buy the popcorn at the movies). In general though, taking turns paying has worked out great.

Anyway, I was on a first date with K and we had just finished dinner. Yes, dinner. When K asked me out, he went right into making dinner plans by asking me if I liked sushi. After some back and forth, I broke my anti-meal rule and agreed. The date was not bad overall; he was smart and nice, but I was (per usual) carrying the conversation. Since he didn’t live in the city I had picked the place… inexpensive and also a BYO (side note… he brought not a bottle of wine but sake. Sake. If you think I didn’t shout “SAKE IT TO ME, BABY” at one point, you would be wrong. I know… how am I still single?)

Anyway, the bill came, K grabbed it, and I did my little ‘would you like to split it?’ song and dance. Except he looked up and said, ‘Sure’. My poker face is non-existent, especially three sakes deep, so I think I must have looked horrified. But what could I do? I offered, and I shouldn’t have offered if I wasn’t prepared for him to take me up on it. So I paid, silently judging K, said goodnight, and promptly called L for a gut check. Was I being completely ridiculous for being annoyed with this guy? I know I offered, but he was the one who asked me out and then basically insisted that we have dinner. Yes he brought booze (albeit really weird booze) but I was 100% the life of the party, per usual, and then I had to throw down for my rainbow roll. L said that if I liked him I should definitely still see him again , but other friends of mine were all:

tumblr_lvq2enRpBq1qc67tzo1_500

The more I thought about it though, the more I realized I’d be a real asshole if I ditched this guy on a technicality. K was an otherwise nice, smart dude who drove into the city at rush hour to meet me. Also, to be fair to him, it’s not like he took the bill and obnoxiously said “You owe 24 bucks”. I actually think he would have just paid if I hadn’t offered (damn it). So I went out with him again. And the next time around, not only was the conversation much better, but he insisted on paying. I don’t know if his mom got wind that he let his date pay and slapped him, or if he just went along with my offer because he wasn’t sure what to do in that admittedly awkward moment. Either way, K actually turned out to be a really thoughtful, generous guy: on our third date he brought me flowers and cooked me an elaborate meal. So yes, in hindsight I feel stupid about having made the sushi incident a “thing”. PS I’m still seeing K… stay tuned. (I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that I was right. You’re welcome, S!) (You’re wise beyond your years, L.)

L: Only with one guy.  I bought round one of drinks and he bought round 2. (This is technically different from splitting, but since I still paid first, I’m still counting it.) And on our second date, he let me leave the tip. And this is the one guy I’m still seeing. (Please don’t get too excited by the term “seeing”, readers. It means we’ve gone out since then and I’m spending a lot of time analyzing his frequent text messages.)

But my point is, my interest in this guy has nothing to do with if he’s paid for things or not. I’m interested in him because he’s smart, funny, and has used many opportunities, besides picking up the bill, to demonstrate he’s a nice, courteous person. I’m also just grateful to have a date whose conversation isn’t 1) dull or 2) evidence of a severe social disability. If my date sucks, then I am furious that I invested time in the first place, and would be more furious if I invested money. So gentleman, show me a good time! That’s my bottom line.

D:  No. I have, thankfully, been out with gentlemen who always picked up the tab on the first date. Which is something I really appreciate – it’s nice to be treated like a lady on the first date. But unlike my quick “thank you” at the end of the first date, once we hit a second date I’m usually a little more insistent on splitting things, or at least picking up some portion of the tab. I am a grown ass woman with a job after all, I don’t expect every date to be a free meal or movie ticket. Like S said, we’re equals.

And lastly, I can’t help get all Leslie Knope on you guys and talk a little bit about the issue behind this issue, which in my mind, is gender equity and the male/female wage gap. Full time female workers make 77 cents on the dollar that every man makes. (Nerd out more on gender pay gaps here if you don’t believe me). This is a dating blog, so I am going to refrain from writing a white paper about how wrong this is. But I am going to say that I really hope, when I have a daughter, and she starts dating (Yikes!), that the guy expects her to pay on the first date. Because men will making 77 cents to women’s dollars. And we’ll be running the world. It will look something like this:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton checks her PDA upon her departure in a military C-17 plane from Malta bound for Tripoli,  Libya

**I’d like to thank L for that beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful end to our discussion, especially after I posted a 3 minute Youtube clip featuring a character named Alotta Fagina.

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