First date with the Good Message Unicorn

In case you are just joining us (in which case, welcome!/fasten your seat belt) this post is technically a Part 2. When we last left off, the Good Message Unicorn had apologized for his lame behavior and asked if I wanted to meet. And sweet baby Jesus, it was about time. In keeping with my Summer of YOLO affirmations, I decided to go for it. I gave GMU my phone number, sat back,  DudeWaiting …and waited for him to take the reigns, which he did. We made plans to meet for drinks, which in my mind was going to go one of two ways:

  1. We’d meet, hit it off immediately, and begin a hot mid-summer romance, thus validating the entire Summer of YOLO plan
  2. We’d meet and the date would be mediocre, in part because I set wildly unrealistic expectations of a complete stranger who sent me some half decent messages over a month ago

Hmmmm let’s see. Which of those options seems more likely in the world of LSD, and the world of online dating in general? fresh prince hmm The night of our date, I arrived at my old reliable (yes, he asked me where I wanted to meet and yes, I was annoyed about it). I didn’t see GMU at the bar, but he’d just texted me that he was there, so I headed up to the second floor and…. literally ran right into him on the stairs. Now, if you’ve ever online dated, you know that the first moment of a first date is almost always excruciatingly awkward because neither party knows how to appropriately greet the other person. Do you shake hands? Hug? Wait to see what your date does? Before I even had time to consider my greeting options, this happened:  GMU: Sorry, I don’t want to touch you because I’m really sick. Me (internally): wtf-mate-o Me: Oh. Sorry you’re sick. We could have rescheduled…? GMU: I know, but I was looking forward to meeting you, and I also felt like since I kind of disappeared for a bit, it would have seemed extra shady for me to cancel at the last minute. I didn’t want you to think I was blowing you off. Despite that fact that we were still having this awkward ass conversation ON THE STAIRS as waiters and customers brushed by us, GMU earned some points for that. Because he’s right: the fact that he fully disappeared once, coupled with the fact that more often than not, the ‘I’m sick” excuse turns out to be bullshit, (and maybe the fact that Stupid Cupid is the patron blog of pessimistic over thinkers) means that I probably wouldn’t have believed him. Well played, GMU… 10-points-to-gryffindor_gp_1622829 Source: memecdn.com …even though I was now at risk for contracting the “summer cold” he claimed to have come down with. Welp, that’s what they make Purell for, right? Finally we moved from our creepy perch and I got a chance to fully check my date out. He was:

  • shorter than he claimed to be, because duh, but still respectably tall
  • almost as cute as his pictures

All in all I was pleased. We sat down, ordered drinks, and GMU launched into telling me about his job. I don’t know why this seems to be a trend with me lately, but I’ve encountered some serious Chatty Cathys. Luckily GMU had a cool job that I was mildly interested in (small/independent film distributor–I’m sorry but no one can top Keith Mars in that department) so I peppered him with a lot of questions. Homeboy was smart and well spoken and unlike a previous Chatty Cathy, didn’t bore me to tears with tedious anecdotes that no one cares about but him. But, even though GMU was holding my interest, at the same time it all seemed very…official. And oddly business-like. We were chatting like two strangers exchanging platonic pleasantries, not two people on a date. Our messages had been filled with all the flirty, loquacious banter of some snappy Aaron Sorkin dialogue, but that just wasn’t translating in person. This is actually pretty common, I think mostly because it’s easy to sit in front of a laptop and type and re-type a message until it’s the perfect blend of sassy, witty, and hilarious, but when you’re sitting in front of a complete stranger yeah, that shit’s a little harder. Men appear to especially have a hard time with this… I can’t tell you how many have been literally PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR over messaging and then come off like a wet blanket in person. Midway through the date I went to the bathroom and thought about how it was going. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great. Two things needed to happen for the night to tip the scales toward positive:

  1. We needed to stop talking to each other like two co-workers in a conference room at a Scottsdale Ramada and start flirting, ASAP.
  2. GMU needed to actually ask about me and my life, and then shut his mouth and let me speak. The talking thing seemed like a nervous habit, so I was trying not to take it personally, but at a certain point it’s hard not to feel like you could be replaced with a bag of rusty nails and your date might just keep going because he literally has zero interest in getting to know anything about you. If you think I’m exaggerating, read this article. More great news for single women!

I got back to the table, these thoughts still on my mind. As if on cue GMU said, “Where was I…? Oh yeah!” and immediately launched into ANOTHER STORY. And I just sat there with my mouth agape, thinking: not done My eyes started to glaze over. But then, as if he could read my mind (or possibly my facial expression), GMU stopped mid-sentence and said: “I’m sorry, I can hear myself talking your ear off. I’m talking too much, aren’t I?” Well. That took me by surprise. I appreciated the self awareness, though it took a lot of self control not to shout “YES, YES YOU ARE TALKING WAY TOO MUCH AND IT’S REALLY OBNOXIOUS WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??” Instead I went with a much kinder: “Yup, maybe a little too much.” “I knew it. I’m sorry! I just want you to know it’s because I’m having a really nice time. Let me finish this thought and then I promise I will shut up and you can tell me more about you.” I had to physically bar myself from rolling my eyes at ‘it’s because I’m having a nice time’ because LOL, yeah. You’ve been listening to the sound of your own voice for the better part of an hour. I bet you’re having a nice time. narcissism To GMU’s credit, though, he did shut up and listen. Thank God. As the conversation became more of a back and forth, we started to banter a bit. GMU had obviously gotten more comfortable, and even managed to pull out some of the teasing and volleying he’d been so good at over messaging. Then it was revealed that he knew my alma mater, BU, very well because he dated a girl for three years who went there and visited frequently. The highlight of the entire date was when GMU started to talk shit on CGS, which is something that every BU student knows about. The College of General Studies is a school that freshmen are admitted into when they’re…not…ready?…for BU itself. CGS has an infamously bad rap at BU–it’s affectionately known as crayons, glue and scissors cgs So it totally tickled me that GMU knew about this and was in on the shit talking (PS, most of this shit talking stemmed from the fact that his college girlfriend cheated on him with a CGS student, which explains his surprising fervor on the subject). I know this all probably comes off as mean spirited and douchey, especially coming from a school that lives in the shadow of the capital of elitist doucheland. And yes, it kind of is, but it’s also a time honored BU tradition. Sidenote: I actually have a few friends who were in CGS (if you’re reading this, hi guys!/I’m sorry, I’m the worst xoxoxo), and who are smart, successful humans with good jobs, so clearly all this snide judgment is meaningless. Funny, but meaningless. ANYWAY, I was still LOLing from the BU/CGS tangent when my date surprised me again: GMU: I’m having a lot of fun. Would you like to do this again sometime? I mean, what single girl doesn’t like to hear that from a cute guy, even one who talks incessantly? I’ve just never heard literally it in the middle of the date in the middle of a conversation. A part of me was like, wait. Is he ending the night right now? Is GMU just going to get up and walk away after I answer him? Only one way to find out. Since the date had markedly improved during the second half of the evening, I decided the Good Message Unicorn was worth a second look. Me: I’m having fun, too. And sure, I’d love to. GMU: Awesome. Anyway, back to what we were talking about… So the date continued but started to wind down. 15 minutes later we got the check and left. We stood outside the bar, saying an awkward goodbye. GMU repeated that he’d love to see me again, and told me he’d be in touch soon. Then something…unprecedented happened. My date fist bumped me.

My date FIST. BUMPED. ME.

Yes, you’re thinking of the right fist bump. The GMU and I did this: fist bump 1 fist bump 2 fist bump 3 I have no words. And I had no words then. I think I actually blurted out, “wow, okay. That just happened. Well….goodnight!” and fled. So what happened next? A second date? A phone call? Some text flirting? Anything? Anything at all? Nothing. https://i2.wp.com/i.qkme.me/3rdom7.jpg After a months-long saga of messaging, taking a break from messaging, disappearing, YOLOing, reappearing, meeting, illnesses and hand moves made famous by bros, after all that, I never heard from the GMU again. That bastard had the gall to pull a fade away. the jerk store called I’m not even going to go into how maddening it is to be asked out again IN THE MIDDLE OF A DATE and then hear nothing from that person, because it’s well covered territory here at Stucu. Like I said at the beginning of this post, this is not an interesting or juicy ending to the GMU saga by any means, but it’s so incredibly true to life and to the dating world as I know it. A lot of BS, time and effort amounting to… this. I realize this post took a dark turn for a sunny Friday afternoon, but if you’ve been following our blog you should hardly be surprised. I do have two positive things to end on. 1. I’m still hella glad I YOLO’d, because at least now I know. I know that GMU is not the one that got away and that I didn’t let tired dating conventions and self consciousness get in the way of figuring that out. So…go me? I mean, still alone, of course, but alone and wiser. Yup, basically just alone. Positive thing #2… our wonderful co-blogger D celebrated a milestone birthday this week! Readers, join me in wishing her a Happy Birthday! D, you’re one of my favorite people in the world, even if you do have a ‘tude about Disney classics and our use of the term YOLO. Here’s a little belated Bday treat for you… Date rating: 6/10. The chemistry that I had with GMU over messaging never really materialized in person, and he talked my ear off, but the date did improve a fair amount towards the end. Until, of course, he FIST BUMPED ME and then pulled a fade away. Given the last two points, my grading might actually be too generous.

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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.

 

The exclusivity talk (and other new relationship concerns)

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:

  • stress
  • wine drinking
  • constantly consulting one’s girlfriends on gchat
  • comical misunderstandings

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.  

  carrie big toothrbush

  • 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:

nope

First rule of online dating: assume nothing. We here at StuCu have learned that the hard way. For instance: don’t assume your date is single, and definitely don’t assume they’re not a serial killer until you can do a full background check. And of course, don’t assume if you’re dating someone for an extended period of time that they’re dating just you. Because if you haven’t talked about it, they’re probably not. #jaded

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…

seinfeld

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, but my 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): ……….. bridesmaids-what is happening

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?

D: Thanks.

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.

Again, paraphrasing:

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.

D: Yup.

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

crazy

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.

high five

God, being right is the best.

OKC Questions: S’s Makers and Breakers

Last week L kicked off our three part series by sharing the OKC questions that mattered to her. Now it’s my turn. So without further ado, here are my three picks…

1) The personal hygiene question:

okc questions brush teeth

In the same way that having peace loving parents influenced L to care about a war question, having a mom who worked in the dental field for most of my life taught me to care about this one. This was the first question that I really paid attention to when I joined the site because I was shocked by how many dudes FREELY ADMITTED to brushing their teeth once a day or “only on days when they feel like it”. First and foremost, guys, you… don’t brush your teeth twice a day? Seriously?! Obviously we’ve all had nights when we’ve been super tired/drunk/whatever and didn’t brush before bed. No one’s perfect. Sometimes shit happens:

I’m talking about your standard everyday routine. Brushing twice a day is basic, basic hygiene that all second graders are aware of. And if that didn’t stick with you, I’m nervous to find out what else didn’t make it into adulthood.

Second, even if you only brush your teeth once a day or less (!!!!), you still know that twice a day is the normal, acceptable standard for human beings living in the first world. So why are you voluntarily admitting to having subpar personal hygiene on a dating site? You do know that the goal is for us to eventually kiss, right? Do you think making me imagine these scenarios staring back at me when we get to that moment is helping your cause?

okc questions food-in-teeth

austin-powers-teeth

dental work

*FYI consider yourselves lucky that I chose these super tame pics because there were some seriously grizzly alternatives available. Google imaging ‘bad teeth’ is officially the most traumatic thing this blog has done since L Wiki’d sociopaths last week.

Last but not least, why the sudden candor? L, D, and I have all experienced the lies dudes tell on Okcupid firsthand, most notably in the height and looks department. Height exaggeration on OKC has literally been documented:

okc male height distribution

Click here if you want to read up on the other things men (and women) lie about on Okcupid. Spoiler alert: it’s looks and money. My point is, men are obviously cool with lying about all. kinds. of shit. So why not this? Why not just tell me you have exemplary oral hygiene, and I’ll be none the wiser? You literally are 100% kosher with claiming that you’re 4 inches taller than you actually are, but when it comes to brushing habits you’re suddenly Honest Abe? Next time do yourself a favor, sir, and skip the question altogether.

2) The cheap date question:

okc questions tippers

I promise I’m not attempting to fan the flames of our ‘who should pay’ debate (which PS was our most hotly discussed and contested post to date. We love how fired up you all got!). This question has zero to do with gender. It is, however, a major pet peeve of mine and has been for as long as I can remember. I can’t stand bad tippers. To me, the bare minimum you tip a server in the US “who did a fine job” is 15%. Really unless the service is bad, I always try to leave 20%. If the service is amazing I try to leave more. You’re probably thinking I feel strongly about this because I used to be a waitress, but my Vaudeville routine level of clumsiness has prevented me from venturing into the service industry. Also, watching Rachel Green struggle for so many years was a bit of a deterrent.

However, while I may not have waited tables, I have had my share of low paying thankless jobs *coughjuniorsdepartmentatKohlscoughcough*. And there’s nothing worse than working your ass off and feeling like you have nothing to show for it. Actually, there is: being out to eat with people who basically make it rain at the beginning of the meal ordering drinks and food…

make-it-rain-guys

but when faced with the bill are suddenly too broke to tip properly. I’m not going to stand on my soap box any longer, I promise, but this one is important to me. Be kind to your fellow humans who work hard for little pay. Tip your servers! If you don’t, I can’t date you. *End PSA*

3) The wtf are you doing on this site question

okc questions meet in person

You would think that this one would be a no brainer. YOU. WOULD. THINK. After all, you sign up for online dating voluntarily. No one puts a gun to your head and makes you do it. So the question is, if you don’t want to eventually meet in person, what exactly are you doing on here? Just browsing? Window shopping? Fair enough, except I’ve actually been messaged by seemingly normal dudes who I later discover are “not interested in meeting in person”.

First of all, I have zero interest in a creepy online only relationship (unless it ends like You’ve Got Mail did. In which case, sign me up!)

You know what else I have zero interest in? Being catfished. I’ve seen that MTV show (PS, if you want to feel really effing old, watch some MTV) and it terrifies me. And what do the people who lie about their identity all have in common? Oh I don’t know, maybe that they’re RELUCTANT TO MEET IN PERSON. So I don’t think I’d be remiss in calling this question a red flag. With all the liars and creepers that lurk on online dating sites, the sooner we can meet and I can confirm that you’re not a 15 year old boy or a 65 year old woman, the better.

Stay tuned for our third and final installment of Makers and Breakers featuring the lovely D!

The lying liar

Z’s message on OKC was the first I received that I was actually excited about. It was the perfect mixture of witty and thoughtful, and his profile contained absolutely no red flags–he was a nice, all-American Jew (is there such a thing?) who liked college sports and nerdy conversation.  His picture showed a guy with bright eyes and a nice smile. Sure, his face seemed a little chubby and he only had one picture, but I figured he was just new to the site and not too obsessed with his looks, which I respected. I replied to his questions, asked a few of my own, and we went back and forth for awhile.

We went back and forth for so long, in fact, without him so much as SUGGESTING we ever meet in person, that I began to wonder if he was in a wheelchair or had some other massive physical secret that he was hiding. I actually started to refer to him as “wheelchair” to my friends and colleagues. As in, “Oh my god! Wheelchair wrote me another 500 word long essay last night! When is he going to ask me out?” After literally 12 exchanges, I finally was like, “So, we should hang.” He wrote back almost immediately and suggested a time and place (he probably wants something ADA accessible, I assumed). And we were on! And, after enlisting several people to scour his profile for clues that he could use his legs, I became more and more confident that wheelchair was not in a wheelchair and perhaps, just perhaps, this would be a good date.

The night of our date, I was running late, so I texted Z to let him know. He replied, “OK, I am at a table in the back.” But when I arrived at the bar, the only guy I saw sitting alone was completely bald, and, honestly, a dead ringer for George Constanza. This could not be my date, who had a pretty full head of hair in his picture. But, as I scanned the bar, I realized that it had to be him.

Now, I had a few choices.

1) I could run. And, I assure you, the level of picture fraud committed may have given me grounds to run. But, I had said I was on my way and honestly, I am not about to go down in Z’s  memory as the wimpy B who ditched our date.

2) I could say, “I am so sorry, but are you Z?” And when he said yes, I could say, in a stern voice, “You have committed serious pictoral fraud and I am afraid I have to go.” But, I actually think that’s meaner and worse than Option 1.

3) I could be open-minded, sit down, and stick it out. I mean, who knows? Perhaps we’d hit it off, and a few months from now the FDA would approve a side-effect-less drug for hair regrowth and I would get him into the clinical trial and…

I am getting ahead of myself. I’ll sit down now.

So I said hi and sat down and ordered a beer. And, it wasn’t the best date I’ve had, but it wasn’t the worst. He had some pros–smart and witty and a healthy appetite, and some cons–made fun of my job, talked too long about his boring job, etc. Honestly, I spent most of my time half-listening. Why? Because I wanted to ask him about his photo to try to ascertain the rationale behind the fraudulence. Did he go bald recently (after he joined the site?) Did he photoshop his photo to add realistic hair? Did he use a photo from high school?

You guys, I am not as superficial as I sound. In fact, there is a 40% chance I would have agreed to go out with him anyway if he had posted an accurate picture, in the spirit of experimentation and reserving judgement till I meet people. But I freaking hate surprises, and this guy had flat out bamboozled me!!  

I understand that people put their best face forward on a profile photo. Although, when I first joined OKC, I wanted to take an approach to my profile pictures called “worst case scenario,” where I intentionally posted hideous photos of me doing hideous things. Displaying these pics, I hoped, would lower expectations so significantly that men would show up to the date expecting this…

Jabba

And when average looking little ole me showed up, they’d be so relieved they’d feel like they were getting this…

Jessica-Alba

S talked me out of “worst case scenario,” by explaining that to GET the date people have to like your photo first.  (But I’m not gonna lie, I still toy with the idea from time to time.)

Anyway…back to the date. As soon as we walked out of the restaurant, I gave him an awkward side hug and rushed off to the metro. And I didn’t hear from him again for a couple of days, which prompted a lot of silent (and not so silent) brooding–“I can’t believe this guy’s not contacting me! I did NOT submit a fraudulent photo! I ate three pizzas of pizza like a graceful delicate flower! Why does he not want to go out with me again?” But then, the next week, I got a really nice text from Z asking me out again. I took a pass on this one, but not without a few regrets. I think Z will make a great date for somebody someday, provided she has either an affinity for bald 20 somethings or enjoys showing up to dates with a completely different person than she saw online.

Date rating 5/10: He kept the conversation and the beer flowing, but the deck was stacked against him from minute 1. Which brings me to…

Lesson Learned: Three words. Multiple profile photos. If people don’t have them, they are hiding something, and their secret might be a heck of a lot worse than baldness.