Thursday, March 27, 2008

IMs & Bad Usernames (cont.)

After not receiving messages from anyone all week, I got three within an hour tonight. Weird. Unfortunately, none of them were from people in which I have any interest. It's something, though.

Now, I have these to add to my list of bad usernames on the dating site:

• 15dollarWilly (Ew. That's all.)
• Anualsects (Don't bother disguising your true intent with "clever" spelling changes. Anyone with half a brain can see through this and realize where you're going with this.)
• BigBadgerJohnny (Is this supposed to make you sound manly? Brawny? My dictionary defines badgers in this way: a heavily built omnivorous nocturnal mammal of the weasel family, typically having a gray and black coat. By this definition, you are a weasely, overweight night-owl who is prematurely gray. So not attractive.)
• BigMonolith (Are you using your username to compensate for something or is your ego really that big?
• DiscoCottontail (I'm picturing John Travolta circa Saturday Night Fever but with Easter Bunny ears to accompany the white suit.)
• DisgustThing (Now that's good self-advertisement…)
• Guruturtle (I'm stumped. Are you a guru for turtles or is that your spirit name?)
• KarmaAdjuster (Maybe this guy should get together with Guruturtle?)
• MaximumSlug (Go talk to DisgustThing. Perhaps the two of you could work on better names. Then again, with your skills (or lack there of), the results might be pretty scary.)
• TrevyTrev (How old are you, 5?)

Oh, I could go on like this forever. There are just so many bad names. I'm sure I'll collect a few more in the coming weeks, and then I'll post them. What are the worst (or best) usernames you've encountered?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Zeke's Back

Zeke, the guy who wasn't sure if he wanted to be his "first choice's second choice or his second choice's first choice," is back. We've exchanged a few messages, and I like where it's going, but he's still far away. We can't just meet up for coffee sometime after work. If anything comes of this chatting, and we do decide we want to go on a date, it's going to take some serious planning. I guess we'll cross that bridge if we get there…

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Response to Rainbowswearing

Some guy, whose username is Rainbowswearing, wrote a post on his profile about the difference between approaching someone in real life versus doing so online. He says that he sees all of these people on the site that he would approach at a party, but after looking at their full profiles online he can't think of anything to say. I found this very interesting, because I feel quite the opposite. Perhaps he is more extroverted than I, but I have a much harder time approaching strangers at parties/social situations, than I do online. For me, it is much easier to be ignored/rejected online than in person.

Someone commented on this, saying, "I think it's just the fact that the more you have to go off of, the more likely you are to be picky." I do agree with this, as there are plenty of attractive people that I have ignored (or even blocked) because of things they wrote on their profiles; nevertheless, I'd rather know something about the person I'm approaching before I open my mouth.

What do you think? Is it easier for you to approach people online or in person?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Crazy Blind Date

The dating site I'm on has a feature called Crazy Blind Date. Available in only three cities in the country, including mine, it's a way to set up blind dates with other people on the site based solely on what day you want to go on a date. I've thought about trying it, but I think I'm too chicken to go on a blind date—I'm too picky. 

Have you ever been on a blind date. Good experience? Bad experience? Do tell.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Not too much to report

I've looked at many new profiles recently, but haven't made any successful matches. There are three main problems that are contributing to this:
1. I think they sound great and they don't feel the same.
2. They think I'm great but I think they sound awful. 
3. They appear great until I realize that they smoke/do drugs, live too far away, or are really into World of Warcraft (or something along those lines).

I'm still talking to Dan, but we're only sending a couple of e-mails back and forth each week. Perhaps there will be someone else soon. Of course I'll be sure to write if there is…

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Busy Slow Week

Yes, I realize the title of this post is a bit odd. No, it is not a mistake. It was a very busy week for me. It began with laryngitis, then, once I got my voice back, lots of singing and lots of talking. Lots of talking, for it was a week of conferences and meetings at work. To add to all of this, I think I'm anemic, and, as such, have been sleeping at any given chance.

All of the above left little energy or time for virtual-stalking, e-mailing, or chatting on the dating site, let alone blogging about it. However, there has been a little bit. Last weekend I started exchanging e-mails with a guy I'll call Dan. He'd been writing a pretty interesting blog on his profile and I'd been leaving a few comments on it. He messaged me and we went from there. As with Zeke, unfortunately, he lives 60+ miles away. Therefore, I knew early on that even if anything did evolve, any semblance of a real-world relationship would be quite challenging.

Of all the guys I've messaged with so far, Dan's the first who's actually my age. We graduated from college at the same time, grew up with certain world events marking the exact same points in our lives, etc., which I have to say is kind of nice. Anyway, we sent a bunch of "getting to know you" kind of e-mails last weekend and then on Monday he sent a message that, among other things, said he'd just started (as in the day before) a relationship with someone. He wrote that he hoped we could continue messaging, as he enjoyed our conversations, but understood if I wanted to move on, seeing as we were on a dating site. Well, I took Superquail's advice (as well as responding to my own gut reaction) and decided to continue talking to him. The fact of the matter is that I like having someone new to talk to and since I knew going into it that a relationship wouldn't be reasonable, I wasn't really disappointed. Perhaps some day, if one of us is in the other's town, we'll meet up and hang out; but for now I just have a good, new pen-pal.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Are Men Necessary - A Review (of sorts)

It was a nifty coincidence that Maureen Dowd's book Are Men Necessary went on remainder at my local bookstore about the same time that I began my adventures in online dating. I remember reading lots of reviews of the book and articles about Dowd when the book came out in 2005 and I had always meant to check out the book; however, I rarely by hardbacks due to cost, so time passed and I forgot about it. Until last month, that is, when it was prominently displayed on the remainder table. I bought it and delved into Dowd's controversial book.

To begin with, Dowd's chapter titles are humorous in and of themselves:
1. How To Set Your Bear Trap In The Mink Department of Bergdorf's
2. Why Pandora's Box Is No Tender Trap
3. Whipping The Pants Off The Women Who Wear Them
4. Why The Well-Hung Y Is Wilting, Even As The X is Excelling
5. Of Pussycats, Booty Calls, Road Beef, And Slump Busters
6. The Drag Of Going Stag
7. Whence The Wince
8. How Green Is My Valley Of The Dolls
9. How Hillary Smushed Cupcakes And Filleted Feminism

Essentially, Dowd's point is this: Women tried so hard in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s to gain equal rights with men and to eliminate all of the gender stereotypes that had such deep roots in American society, but have begun to revert to their 1950s predecessors, who willingly gave up their careers upon marriage and did everything they could to snag a man so as to become that stay-at-home mom. In that, I generally agree with her. Take the bulk of 30-something women I encounter on a regular basis: they have graduate or even doctorate degrees, were once on the fast-track to high-power/upper-level jobs, and wanted to make their mark on the world; but then they got married and began having kids and now they are stay-at-home moms. Very active and involved stay-at-home moms, but they no longer work or put those advanced degrees to use. Sure they have an an attractive, well-off, and successful husband, but is that really all there is to life? Snag a good man and proceed to produce beautiful, intelligent, (and probably over-indulged) children?

I know that there is more to say on this topic and about this book, but I'll stop here for now. What are your observations of women today? Of men? Do women need men to give them a place in life, or can women do that just fine for themselves?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bad Usernames: What were they thinking?

Usernames can be difficult to create, especially when you are creating one for a dating site. You might not want to put your real name, so maybe you use a nickname or initials. Perhaps there is something you're passionate about—you could use that. Maybe you want to say something about yourself, such as your ethnicity or a physical attribute. With all of these options, and many more, why on earth would people choose the following names (all of which I've blocked, many because of the username alone):

• Bacterian (I don't think I'd want to date a small single-celled organism, which is what this one sounds like.)
• CarnalMustard (Good play on Colonel Mustard, and yet I don't like mustard that much…)
• DarthSweetness (You've got to be kidding me…)
• FattLover76 (Does that mean you are a lover of fat, or are you a fat person who wants to be a lover? Oh, and you might be implying that you are 76, and that would just be wrong.)
• GerbilGod7 (Are you a small furry rodent or do said rodents pray to you? Either way, I think I'll stay away.)
• GodofMischief (Anyone who knows me would know that I wouldn't go anywhere near this guy.)
• MrMooEar (Are you 4? That's the kind of name a little kid would give his cat or stuffed animal.)
• Precambrian (If I thought the guy who was 76 was old, what do you think I must think about you? However, maybe you're a tiny hard-shelled animal, in which case I refer to my comment about Bacterian.)
• RascalMage (See my comment about DarthSweetness and that about GodofMischief.)
• SkinnyBuddha (I can understand the skinny part, but what makes you Buddha?)
• SquidBreath (I don't like Squid, but tuna breath is gross; therefore squid breath has to be bad.)

Finally, three that are total turn-offs for their blatant and over-the-top sexuality:
• RedPhallus (Bad—is it diseased?)
• ShaftPusher (Worse)
• AnalSexMaster (Worst—you're on the wrong site if you think this is a good name)

What are the worst usernames you've come across?

Advice from Superquail

My friend Superquail, who was once my roommate and is an excellent source of advice, sent me these lessons she's learned from dating/relationships:

1. Never date a guy as a "project." A person is not a fixer-upper. Take them as they are or get out.
2. Run away as fast as you can as soon as a guy threatens to commit suicide if you dump him. It may not sound as crazy as threatening homicide, but it really is equally fucked up.
3. Never date a guy just because you are bored. It doesn't end well.
4. Never date a guy who thinks of himself as "a boy." Those who think of themselves as men tend to act like men, and at this point in my life, I'm done with boys.
5. Never date a musician unless you are a musician, in which case only date musicians. When musicians and non-musicians date, it is bad juju.
6. Never EVER date someone who thinks he is smarter than you. He isn't.
7. Poo on any guy who tries to pull ultimatums on you. The one I got was, "If you don't go to the University of [deleted for privacy], this relationship can't work." The relationship ended, and I went to Whitman. I made the right choice. ;)
8. Avoid guys who find you exotic. Ethnicity should not be fetishized.
9. Pay close attention to the things a guy does that irritate you at the beginning of the relationship. More than likely, these will be the same things that irritate you at the end of the relationship, only by then you pretty much want to strangle him. If there are no things that irritate you after three dates, KEEPER!!
10. Observe his friends. This can tell you a lot. In my experience, men who have a lot of women friends are way more date-able then men who prefer to "hang with the guys."
11. Observe the way he behaves with his family, especially his mother. This will give you a lot of insight into what motivates his actions and how he views women. No matter how awesome a guy seems, if he is on bad terms with his mother, brace yourself for some baggage. There are plenty of guys who are worth the baggage, but it's best to go into these situations with a heads-up.

What lessons have you learned?

Monday, March 3, 2008

A shared love of music dorkiness

For my fellow music dorks out there, I share the comic I was sent today by a fellow music lover on the dating site. I wouldn't go out with this guy, but the comic sure made me laugh out loud.

Am I too picky?

I often find myself wondering if I'm too picky when it comes to men. Some might rephrase that and say that my standards are too high. While I think there is overlap in these two phrases, I do think they're different. To me, 'picky' implies that there are certain criteria that must be met (i.e., he must be at least as tall as I am, but preferably taller; or that he must not be a drug user). On the other hand, 'high standards' denotes a need for specific qualities or personality traits or (i.e., he should believe that women and men are equals, he bathes regularly, or he has greater ambitions in life than being a couch potato).

I think my standards aren't unreasonable. I do not expect the guys I date to be perfect, since I don't hold anyone else in my life to this standard. Everyone has their imperfections and flaws, so I can handle those. However, I am picky. I like tall men. I greatly dislike men who think playing video games for hours on end is a good use of time. I like men who appreciate culture (art, music, literature), even if their preferences don't match up exactly with mine. I dislike men who are self-absorbed. I like men who are witty and clever with words. I dislike men who can't be bothered to write in complete sentences with proper spelling and punctuation. Finally, since I'm generally a glass-half-full kind of person, I'll end with one more 'like' (which is eerily reminiscent of a Third Eye Blind song): I like men who like me for me.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

These are all aliases

After speaking with my aunt—who is reading this just like the rest of you—I realized that I have failed to mention one important thing: I have given an alias to all of the guys I have written about so as to protect their true identities. I doubt that any of them will ever see this blog, but it seems like a good idea.

Also, I think I will take the advice of my aunt and one of my dear friends (who cannot post comments due to her being on the wrong side of the Great Firewall of China), and cut my losses with Zeke. Despite his continued interest in my profile, he still hasn't responded to my last message. Besides, he lives 60 miles away and that would just make things complicated.

Moving on…

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Favorited, positively-rated, stalked, then nothing

So Zeke has made me one of his "favorites," looked at my profile multiple times today, and rated me 4 out of 5 on personality, and yet he still hasn't responded to my message. I don't know what bothers me about this really, he does live in Santa Cruz and any relationship that came out of this would be difficult because of the distance, but I guess I've grown accustomed to having someone to chat with. And, let's be honest, someone pursuing me. I do rather like that.

Zeke's dilemma

Today I got an interesting message from Zeke. The subject line was "My Dilemma" and it read: "Is it better to be my first choice's second choice or my second choice's first choice?"

That's it. He has a point, really. However, I felt compelled let him know that he's not my second choice, so much as another choice. I wrote back and said this: "Make of this what you will… I have always been, and plan to remain, a one-man kind of girl. I can only direct my attention towards a single person at any given time, hence my previous reluctance to engage in a conversation. I hope that you will consider this in your decision."

I haven't heard back from him yet, but I do hope he understands where I'm coming from.