S’s fall dating to do list

Good morning, readers. I trust that we’re all in a…fragile state after a long holiday weekend and the official end of summer.

sobbing-uncontrollably

Source: wifflegif.com

Speaking of the end of summer, how much do you hate me for putting the word ‘fall’ in my post title? I’m like those ill-informed Starbucks executives who think people want to drink pumpkin spice lattes when it’s still 90 degrees out. I know I may be rushing it, but I’m just so. excited. for fall.

so-excited-sbb

Source: popgoesthearts.blogspot.com

Sitenote: DID ANYONE WATCH the Saved by the Bell Lifetime movie?? Was it as horrific/amazing as it looked? Was this iconic scene referenced?

Anyway, if you’ve been following this blog, you may recall that it’s been a somewhat dark summer (darker than Jessie Spano’s pill addiction-hiyoooo), at least in terms of dating. Basically, things started out low and continued to suck pretty much right up until now. The Summer of YOLO, while a an inspiring idea, didn’t lead to much of anything, unless you count L and I continually embarrassing D with our unironic use of the term ‘YOLO’ (a delightful, albeit unintended, bonus). Psyching myself up to just sign onto Okcupid currently looks something like this:

paul-rudd

Source: flavorwire.com

So yeah, mama’s excited to move on from all that (and to stop designing my date outfits/hairstyles around how much I’ll inevitably be sweating. East coast humidity is no joke, people.) Fall always feels like a fresh start, and it’s a great opportunity to hit the reset button on my tired dating practices. With that in mind, I’ve outlined my fall dating plan for you lovely readers because 1. posting it here will hold me accountable to actually do these things, and 2. I currently have no actual dates to tell you lovely readers about #datelessdatingblogger.

S’s Fall Dating To Do List

  • Update the ol’ profile pic–I have an assortment of cute pictures from this summer where I look arguably tanner than my pasty self has ever looked, and as we’ve covered previously, profile pics are pretty much the only things Okcupid users pay attention to. So why the hell haven’t I uploaded those babies? I’ll change that ASAP before I go back to looking like a Vitamin D-deficient basement dweller. Done.
  • Brainstorm new first date locales, and be open to unorthodox suggestionsI’m not saying I plan to retire my go-to first date suggestion, because it’s convenient and I love it. But there’s something to be said, I think, for throwing out a fresh location, mainly because at this point in my online dating…career… I have a lot of history in my standard bars. For instance, I couldn’t help but think, while being fist-bumped by the Good Message Unicorn outside Strangelove’s, that just over a year beforehand I was having the best first kiss after the best first date of my life. Right there in that very spot. Oof, was that depressing. Depressing and unnecessary. There are plenty of bars in the city and damn it, I’m going to try some new ones (I realize I have to actually secure a date first, but shhhh details). Also, if hell freezes over and a date actually makes a non-bar suggestion, unless that suggestion is ‘Tea Party rally’ or ‘anonymous orgy’, I’m going to throw caution to the wind and just say yes.

staying in

Source: the-girlieshow.tumblr.com

I really only started to think about this after reading L’s tale of downgrading her first date location and remembering that I’ve also pulled that move (making two out of three Stucu bloggers the worst!) Last year my ex, D, who was an unusually thoughtful planner, suggested go karts for our second date. I remember thinking at the time that this suggestion was totally random and weird (which let’s be honest it kind of was) so I pushed for a bar instead. But looking back now, all I can think is, what the hell was wrong with me?? A cute guy was attempting to plan shit, fun and different shit, for us to do. I should have done it! I should have capitalized on dating a planner while I could, loosened up and had some fun, because Lord knows I may be waiting a long ass time (read: forever) for that to come along again.

  • Try Hinge, because co-blogger D is having wild success on it–Okay, “wild success” might be a slight overstatement, but co-blogger D’s been thrown some seriously eligible bachelors in our extended social circle in the week that she’s been using Hinge, including a college friend of L’s who she and her friends refer to as “the one that got away”. Okay, Hinge. I’ll bite. Let’s do this (comically, I just tried to download the Hinge app while writing this and it made my phone semi explode. Foreshadowing?)
  • Don’t be an asshole about replying to messages and then complain incessantly about messages–Real talk, I will never not complain about messages. That’s just a totally unrealistic goal. But I am going to work on being a more decisive replier. Example: sometimes I will get a message from someone who seems kind of meh, and I’ll mentally earmark him as a ‘maybe’, but really I only mean ‘maybe if I’m bored or there’s no one else promising or I stalk an ex on social media and feel bad about myself’. L revealed a similar pattern of hers in her delightfully real post last week (seriously can we all tell how inspired I was be her realness?) As my girl pointed out, this is kind of a dick move, and if we’re going to call dudes out for being dicks, well, we’re going to put ourselves on blast, too. In the future, I’m going to try to give every message a simple yes or no, and move the hell on.
  • Stop taking everything so personally–If you online date, you know how easy it is to take “I’m not getting any good messages” and twist it into “I’m not getting any good messages

 clueless what's wrong with me

Source: sarabynoe.com

In other words, just because it’s been a slow, shitty summer date-wise doesn’t mean this is about me. People have been outside, on vacay, enjoying the beautiful weather and living their damn lives. Everyone is on Okc and other sites less, and the people who aren’t tend to be looking for a casual summer fling/jump off. It’s been a slow summer for almost every single person online dating that I know, and if it hasn’t, congratulations/I hate you/please don’t tell me about it and just let me live in ignorance believing this theory. Thanks!

  • Continue to gleefully boycott and malign eHarmony–You didn’t think my to do list included giving that wretched site my money, did you? HA! I’ll see you in hell, Dr. Neil Clark Warren, before that happens. What I can promise is to follow up on my original post with some more hilariously awful things I encountered during my tenure as a fake free member of the site. Because as L said when I asked her if a second eHarmony post was overkill: “Hating on eHarmony will never go out of style, on this blog or in life”. Wise words, Lady L. Wise. Words.
  • Repeat the affirmation: your time will come. This is some serious zen shit, am I right? It goes hand in hand with one of my favorite quotes that I may need to have tattooed on my forehead by the time I turn 30: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” God damn, Teddy Roosevelt, not only were you a bonafide badass, but you also threw down some sage advice. Seriously, though, I have to stop focusing on what everyone else has (successful relationships/boyfriends/fiances/husbands) trust that things will work out some day, and just continue to do me. While I wait for someone else to do me. HAHAHAawkwardsexjokethatmymomwillread. Basically…patience. I need some. And now this beautiful song is in my head:

Lest you think I’m making a wildly ill-advised attempt to compare my silly little dating woes to the Civil Rights Movement, let me assure you that I really just love the Dreamgirls soundtrack. A lot. And I wanted us all to rock out to this amazing jam. So enjoy, maybe with a pumpkin spice latte?

Just kidding, it’s 92 degrees here.

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Another unicorn, and another act of bravery

Yes, you are still reading the right blog. Despite our frequent digressions these days into whimsical subjects such as mermaids, unicorns, and valiance, this has yet to become a website focused on writing GoT -themed fan fiction. Though if it does take that direction, I know K would be very proud of us.

So, during my faintly disguised brags about my Balkan trip in last week’s post, I neglected to mention one detail about the trip that would be slightly relevant to this dating blog: I went on the best first date of my life the night before I left for that vacation.

Now, I know I’ve claimed some good dates before. The truth is, most dates are either so mediocre or, so bad, that if I am on a date and we have a great conversation and physical chemistry, I am usually ready to call Columbia Pictures and suggest they make the modern day  romantic equivalent of “From Here to Eternity,” about what just transpired between me and a relative stranger.

here to eternity

http://77days.net/forum/index.php?topic=294.0

But this date truly blew the others out of the water. Really. If I could find a GIF where Deborah Kerr and Montgomery Clift were blown out of the water, I would have used it.

I did have high hopes for this date, because this guy was another unicorn. Not to be confused with S’s Good Message Unicorn, this guy was Good Profile Unicorn (GPU). I actually read his profile and thought, did someone make a fake profile filled with all the things I like? A few excerpts so like-minded ladies can drool…

GPU profile 1

Politics. Seinfeld. Random movie trivia. Sigh. And there is more…

GPU profile 2

 I love Bob Dylan. So much that I even made the ill-advised decision (like many college students do) to hang this over my bed freshman year.

bob dylan poster

Nothing like waking up for 8 am class and looking straight into the eyes of a stoned Bob Dylan blowing smoke into your face.

Anyway, this guy further certified his legitimate fandom by citing his favorite Dylan album, which is actually my second favorite album (Blonde on Blonde is the best. No contest). Plus, in addition to having some good, yet not pretentious, music taste (we’re ignoring the Ryan Adams thing, ok?) he also shared my serious devotion to “Almost Famous” which S and I quote to each other in a completely serious, un-ironic way on a weekly basis. Most recently, this:

Usually walking into a date with high expectations is a bad thing. And people don’t usually live up to their profiles.  But, GPU was BETTER THAN HIS PROFILE. In every single way. I mean, a half hour into the date, he revealed a strong affection for no other than the high priestess of this blog, Veronica Mars.

veronica blush gif

http://giphy.com/search/logan-echolls

He had seen the entire tv series, and could debate with me episode by episode, the characters’ strengths and weaknesses. He knocked my tried and true, Top Three Presidents question out of the park, by naming some of my favorites but offering creative rationales filled with facts I didn’t know. I could go on and on about GPU’s strengths all day, but I won’t, because there is, of course, a more complex story to be told here, and second it is legitimately making me sad.

Anyway, after the date he asked if he could walk me home and I said yes, and he took my hand and even though I abhor PDA, I could not have cared less. And then, a few blocks from my house, he turned and kissed me and my whole body felt like one big firework.

sister act joy

If you have read any of my previous entries on this blog, you know that I am not a romantic person. Nicholas Sparks novels make me gag and I abhor all pastel colors and prom songs. But I am telling you, when he kissed me, I felt like Sister Mary Clarence had just come to the convent and revived our choir. (I mean not because I am a nun. Because that rendition of “Hail Holy Queen” in Sister Act I is the most joyful thing I can recall). Anyway, we went back to my house, where we made out, but did nothing else (please refer to YOLO lesson learned #3 from last week’s post).

Before he left, he waxed poetic about how amazing I was and how “he couldn’t WAIT TO SEE ME after I returned in three weeks” and “ugh, it was such a long time”. But we’ve heard that before. Multiple. Times. So, I shut the fireworky romantic part of my brain up back in the deep dark place it lives, and let my cynical, practical thought process take over. Three weeks were going to pass and he was an attractive, smart, interesting guy who was online dating. It was unlikely I would hear from him again, despite his insistence we see each other ASAP after I got back.

But, when I got back, I gave him a call and we set up a date for a few days later. And that date was similarly excellent, though it did not top the first date. Because I’m pretty convinced nothing could. And he asked me what I was doing the upcoming weekend, and we made plans to see each other. And when he left, he kissed me goodbye and said, “See you this weekend, right?”

Now, as soon as my apartment door closed behind him, I got this weird feeling. And I still don’t know if i should call it general cynicism and fear or if I should call it instinct. But I felt like, wow, things are just going so 100% well. This cannot be real, right? Of course readers, I’d love to tell you my anxiety was misguided, and that all is well.

But instead, I heard nothing from GPU the rest of the week. When the weekend came, I texted him to see what was up:

tom 1

Now, those of you familiar with the world of online dating know that this is probably a lie. I mean,how bad can this cold be? Bad enough to render both your fingers and vocal chords useless so you couldn’t proactively reach out to me to reschedule? Still, I tried to remain optimistic, and I responded with an obligatory sympathy text and some times and dates to reschedule. And then…

crickets

whysoserious.blogspot.com

That’s right. Not a peep from GPU. The same guy, who had declared in my apartment, a few nights earlier, that he “could not wait to see me again.” And for the first time in a long time, I felt RUHL disappointed. First of all, I was dissapointed, because yet again, some guy had told me a bunch of things he didn’t mean. I felt stupid for getting excited about someone, despite my prior knowledge of my own experiences and the experiences of many single women I know, which prove that you really know nothing about a person after two dates (or even 15 dates), and so it’s silly to imagine anything else with him besides the present. And yet, we all do. Because getting excited about the possibility of someone SHOULD be part of the fun of dating, and, not to sound more and more like my sworn enemy Nicholas Sparks, but also the fun part of falling for someone. I was mad at myself for letting my guard down, yet simultaneously pissed that we live in a world so shitty, we need to all walk around with our guard up. Second of all (Oh my god, there’s more?), I genuinely liked this guy and wanted to get to know him better, and I was bummed I wouldn’t get the chance to do that.

After a weekend full of tears comingled with more pleasant summer distractions, I told myself to make peace with the whole thing and just let it go. 

But, then I remembered all the bold proclamations I made on this blog to YOLO. And to call people out when I felt like they were treating me unfairly.

I mean, regardless of what was going on with GPU, I felt like after the dates we had, and the fact that he asked me out again, MULTIPLE TIMES, that he owed me some sort of explanation if he was going to disappear. Veronica would never let someone get away with this.

veronica mars

 

http://sellthekidsforveganfood.tumblr.com/page/2

So, with the courage provided by some booze on a pretty bad date (more on that soon, don’t worry), I reached out to him a couple days later:

tom 2

I mean, believe it or not, the first link is very legit, because we had a very spirited debate about Larry and Piper and OINTB on our last date. (Again. Swoon.) But I didn’t want to send him that text and pretend that nothing weird was going on, so I just put it out there.

Here was his response:

tom 3

Before we give GPU credit for sending a mature, kind message, a few critiques:

  1. Again with the cold. This is 2014, and colds are common as they come, treatable with a variety of drugstore remedies, and do not prevent you from answering a text message.
  2. Don’t act like your moral compass led you “to be honest with me.” I literally demanded you tell me what happened, and then, and only then, did you respond.
  3. This could all be a lie. Like your cold.

Now, let’s put the criticisms aside. And cry, because this is a very decent thing to say to an almost stranger, and he identified such nice, genuine things about me, and, if he’s telling the truth, the timing really does suck. Because, even after a week of thinking about this, I still can’t get GPU out of my head. Look, despite all the complaining I do on this blog, I know I have a pretty good life, relative to most of the world. But at the same time, as I watch my Facebook feed fill with wedding photos of former classmates, and collect baby shower invites on my fridge, I wonder, will I catch a break? Is relationship happiness just a thing other people have, while I’m left to watch my own engagement unravel, and then online date unsuccessfully for over a year?

I realize this post just took a very dark turn, which means it’s definitely time to stop writing, since I intended to pat myself on the back for YOLO-ing, drop the mic, and go watch back episodes of Top Chef on Hulu. 

I mean, the fact remains that I am proud of the way I conducted myself during this brief affair. I was honest about my feelings, and I asked for what I needed. Did I get what I wanted? No. We all know that’s not how life works. (God I hate being an adult.) But there is nothing I wouldn’t have done differently. Except perhaps picked a hipper term for our summer than YOLO (which, according to my hip young colleagues, NO ONE USES anymore unless it’s on ironic bachlorette party tank tops). 

The return of the Good Message Unicorn (or how S learned to not GAF)

Something is happening here at Stucu. Maybe we’ve got the 1.5 to 2 year itch (a figurative itch, people. Gross.) Maybe it’s the recent rejection my co-bloggers and I have endured. Maybe the summer heat is making us crazier than usual…

crazy

Whatever the reason, we have kiiiiind of stopped giving a fuck. About rules. About conventions. Especially about being breezy. When I started online dating, I was fairly preoccupied with not coming off as pathetic or crazy or desperate, to guys, to you readers, to myself, to anyone. I’m not sure where this weird stigma comes from that says single girls in their 20s are batshit insane…

(OH WAIT)

…but I wanted to stay as far away from that stigma as possible.

However. As L mentioned, the more we date, or maybe the older we get, or maybe both, the less this stigma affects and concerns us. Two years into online dating, I’m basically like…

sound of music

Source: www.somegif.com

The other issue is just general human decency. If a guy acts like a douche, I’m feeling less and less inclined to just let it go. We know from experience that the standard of online dating behavior is laughably, pathetically low, but to quote a certain Disney ginger heroine…

Ariel-i-want-more

Source: justgraphicinterchangeformat.tumblr.com

Co-blogger D, what do you think of this GIF? (Co-blogger D has an inexplicably intense hatred for The Little Mermaid, which was my FAVORITE Disney movie as a kid. I know, she’s insane.) (It’s not inexplicable. In fact, I can easily explain it. Ariel is a selfish twat who shits all over her family, signs a deal with the devil, completely changes herself for a man she barely knows, and then is SHOCKED when it all goes awry. That is, until Daddy comes along and, despite all of her bad behavior and poor life choices, fixes everything with magic and gives her exactly what she wants. There is literally nothing to like about that horrid movie, other than “Kiss the Girl.” And Flounder is kinda cute. Yet everyone goes around touting it as great and “a classic.” THAT’S the inexplicable part.) (You see? Insane. Tempting as it is to take the bait and get pulled into D’s crazy world where animated movies for children make total sense and Disney characters are “twats” for not behaving like realistic, responsible adults, I’m going to spare you readers an impending Disney cage match and get back on topic.) (One last thing – the real Hans Christian Andersen version is so much better, and Ariel gets exactly what she deserves. Ok, carry on S, I will now abide by the cease-fire agreement and not comment any further.)

ANYWAY. As you read in her post last week, L and I have christened this summer ‘the summer of YOLO’. (What’s that? YOLO is a thing my roommate’s little sister said two summers ago when she was eighteen? It’s tired and lame and completely over? We can’t hear you, haters, because we’re too busy unironically YOLOing).

Basically, our goal is less of this:

clueless what's wrong with me

Source: rrrrubberbiscuit.tumblr.com

And more of this:

beyonce

Source: www.iworeyogapants.com

Now, for a real life example of this attitude shift in action.

Remember the great message I received literally days after D dumped me? When I was in what some might call a “fragile state” that essentially consisted of sobbing, sleeping, and ordering Thai takeout?

Refresher can be found here. In summary: I received a great message from a cute, seemingly eligible guy but was in no way ready to date again. This Good Message Unicorn and I messaged back and forth a few times until I revealed that I was post-break up and like a newborn foal wobbling around on its shaky little legs out in the single world. I asked him if I could contact him when I was ready to date, and he said that would be great.

Fast forward six weeks. Feeling confident that I was up for sitting across from a stranger over drinks again, I messaged GMU. He messaged back immediately and enthusiastically–WOOHOO! Then I replied, and…

tumbleweed

Source: choualbox.com

You guessed it, readers. Just like the mythical creature for which he was named, Good Message Unicorn disappeared into thin air.

Now, 2013 S? She would have been annoyed, and confused, but she would have dropped it at this point. She would have been afraid to demand an explanation for fear of seeming, well….

But 2014 S? Summer of YOLO S? She’s like…

life goes on

Source: pandawhale.com

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not rolling out some plan to go after every dude who’s ever pulled a fade away. Most of the time, if we haven’t met and a guy disappears, I take it as a sign that he lost interest, shrug it off, and move on. Because most of the time my interest level is only slightly above ‘would rather be watching House Hunters International’ at that point anyway, so it’s no skin off my nose.

But I liked that Unicorn. He had potential, and he seemed pretty into me before he rudely disappeared with zero explanation. I decided I wasn’t cool with things ending this way, so I messaged him. SUMMER OF YOLO, people.

In my message I pointed out that he’d disappeared without warning in the middle of (what I thought was) a great conversation, and told him I wanted to know why. I decided if he’d lost interest, met someone else, or was turned off by something I’d said, whatever it was I could handle it. And more importantly, I wanted to make him say it. No more slinking off like cowards, single men of Okcupid. You jerks.

Use your words

Source: theonlygirlamongboys.blogspot.com

Unsurprisingly, GMU didn’t reply that night, so I thought that was the end of my little experiment. But the next morning I woke up to a semi long-winded response. Allow me to summarize:

  • GMU was super apologetic he’d disappeared and insisted it wasn’t because he’d lost interest
  • He claimed he’d been “really busy at work” and hadn’t had time for Okc lately (sidenote: I call BULLSHIT on this excuse. It had been a week and a half since GMU disappeared, not two days. Are you a brain surgeon? Are you Secretary of State John Kerry and are you currently negotiating a cease fire in Gaza? Oh, you’re not? Then you’re NOT. THAT. BUSY. We all work; we all have a lot going on. If you don’t have literally four minutes out of your day for some human interaction, then don’t join an online dating site and initiate conversations with people. OR alternatively, just shoot me a message saying ‘hey, it’s a crazy week for me but can we meet up next Tuesday for drinks?’ Do I have to bust out the ‘use your words’ GIF again??
  • He claimed he had started to respond to my message, was trying to be witty and funny, never finished it, and by the time he went back to it was afraid too much time had gone by and he’d blown it.
  • He ended with something to the tune of “clearly I’m really bad at this online dating thing, but I’m definitely still interested, so if you’d be up for it, I’d love to take things offline and meet for drinks.”

Hmm. Well. I’d gotten my response. A long-winded response, some of which made no sense, but a response nonetheless. Now the real question was, what was I going to do about it? I briefly considered sassily telling GMU that he had blown it, dropping the mic and exiting stage left…

mic drop ben

Source: theonlygirlamongboys.blogspot.com

….but I thought about what the he’d said, the fact that he’d sincerely apologized, and the fact that he’d ended with getting to the effing point and asking to meet me in person. Sure, I was annoyed that he’d pulled the ‘I’ve been soooo busy’ BS excuse, but he was otherwise appropriately contrite. That’s what I was looking for. So, wouldn’t it make no sense at all to go to all this trouble and then not at least agree to meet this dude who claimed to still be into me? And who I clearly was still into?

1371257249_tumblr_lo9et1q9711qzbyhpo1_500

Source: genius.com

Yup. I YOLO’d again. I messaged back, gave him some shit for the ‘I’ve been busy’ line, gave him my phone number and left the rest up to him and the universe. I was done putting in any effort at this point; if homeboy really wanted to meet me, this was his chance, and I wasn’t doing another thing to make it happen.

Spoiler alert: we did meet. So, was it worth all of that trouble? Did the YOLO approach pay off? Stay tuned, dear readers, for a post on my date with the Good Message Unicorn with answers to these questions and more.

Lastly, D, nice try attempting to have the last word on our Disney feud, but it’s my post. Please enjoy some of the great Disney songs of our time, readers, and have a great weekend!