“THAT Guy” – Mr. Soapbox

Alright… if you’re just now joining us, we’re returning once again to the real-life chronicles of Sarah’s dating life.  In this episode of our “THAT Guy” series, we’re exploring the world of those men who feel the strong need to preach to you.
(Let the record show that I actually already have a lot of preachers in my life, thanks… my dad, both my bosses, and the pastor of my church – all excellent at their jobs).

But these are men who, without having even had ONE date or ONE meeting with me, take it upon themselves to wax eloquent about deep life issues and then take issue with me when I either
a. disagree, or
b. ask them to ease up off the heavy stuff

The first of these happened after we had texted a little bit here and there about likes/dislikes, music, etc.  Then, we had a lovely phone conversation one night on my way home from a dinner.
The next morning, he texted:  “So…are you dating a lot of guys right now?”  And, since we hadn’t yet met and I wasn’t sure I wanted to tip my hand just yet (though, I wasn’t, in fact, dating ANYone), I texted back, “I don’t date and tell…”  He freaked.

Next thing you know he was giving me an enormous diatribe (all via text) about how he’s a one-woman kind of guy and not interested at all in people who “play games” and that he didn’t want to talk any more with me since I was acting like an immature child.  Me.  I was the one being immature.

You know…it would be one thing if we had had a couple in-person interactions and I could size up whether I thought this was going somewhere… but… dude – we’d only texted and chatted!  Did he want a friggin’ promise ring?  Sheesh…

Next guy…oh – this gets rich.  I’m gonna have to copy and paste some of this because otherwise you’d think I was making it up.

I met him on the eHarm.  We exchanged those first few steps they walk you through – questions, etc. and then he sent an eHarmony eMail… and oh how he waxed… He went right into his views on the “end times.”  (Always an excellent choice in making a woman swoon).

Ok – first of all – I’m assuming (hoping!) that my readers aren’t homogenous when it comes to matters of spirituality, and most certainly we hold differing ideas on the “end of the world” or what happens when you die.  But…is that really what you jump into before you’ve even met someone??  He wasn’t just declaring himself to be a Christian.  Oh no… he was goin’ all kinds of post-millenial rapture and tribulation-talk on me.  (Let me just say that I don’t really feel like starting a discussion on all of these views/theologies…they concern me a LOT less than the way I live my life NOW).

But the thing is, this “discussion” was entirely unbidden.  It just appeared in my inbox one morning.  Here’s a snippet (and believe me when I say this is a TINY portion of the whole thing…it was, apparentley, his magnum opus on all things eschatalogical):

“Clearly you can talk to any preacher today and realize we are living in the end times… In my honest opinion we are merely waiting for the revealing of the anti-christ. I don’t believe in the rapture plainly for the reason that it is typically not God’s signature to “rescue” you but to bring you thru the trials and tribulations. …
In addition to that the supposed Rapture is in direct competition with the Tribulation Saints in Revelation. The Tribulation Saints take part in the first Resurrection. There is no way a rapture can take place because of this. The Rapture is built on the notion that they (the church) skip the tribulation all together.”

On and on it went.  My eyes got wider and wider.  Here is how I responded:

Wow…do you send this level of eschatalogical
pontification to all the girls who pique your
interest? I gotta say, while it sparks a desire for
conversation, it’s also a little heavy and …well….
dogmatically off-putting… I’m just being honest over
here…
-sarah-

He wasn’t pleased.  He came back with:

“It does a good job of weeding out the herd.
Because if you can’t handle this aspect of my character, you can’t handle me.
I’m ok with that. Go big or go home is what I always say”

Fair enough.  I mean…if he needs someone who’s going to stroke his theologically eager ego, I’m not that girl.  I dig that he’s thought it through…I like a thinker.  But, baby steps, rapture-man!

Wow…this blog post is getting long…I’ve apparently run into a lot of these guys.  Am I alone?  Am I a magnet for dogma bullies?

The next guy wanted to talk about my philosophies on disciplining my children and…how I would feel about him disciplining my children.  Yup.  You read that correctly.  A man I hadn’t yet met – wanting to talk about my children and how he would or wouldn’t be allowed to “correct” them.  Yikes.  If you ever want a sure-fire way to turn-OFF this single mama… talk in a creepy way that makes me think you can’t wait to get your closed-minded hands on my children.  You think I’m exaggerating?  Nay.  Read on:

What are your views about punishing a child for misbehaving? How do you enforce rules and boundaries? What would you allow a significant other to do to enforce these boundaries?

 Spare the rod spoil the child. [Oh goodness… never a good way to BEGIN this discussion…]
A child should be disciplined so they learn and understand right from wrong. However, there are many ways to accomplish this and not just spanking. Spanking is a tool just like anything else. 

Timeout only policy will not accomplish much when the child gets older. The man is the head of the household.  [Hi, non sequitor… how are you today?]

Psychology: Use timeouts more effectively. The punishment must fit the crime.  [“Psychology,” huh?  Did he read that I actually have a Master’s Degree in this?  Not that it takes “psychology” to know this one.  Every parent worth his/her salt knows you fit the punishment to the crime.  C’mon, dude…parenting 101.]
Put child in timeout to make them think and you regain a level head. The threat of an additional punishment more than the timeout can really put a cap on bad behavior. If a spanking is the most logical form of action then you have to follow thru with it. A threat with no follow thru and the child will learn what buttons to push and you will lose the authority you have.
Getting them to think about the wrong they did… a younger child could be punished by making them write by hand what they did wrong and they won’t do it any more 500 times or whatever.
[Or whatever?  A small child can hardly write her name, let alone transcribe the transgression 500 times.  500?!?  Is this guy for real?? 

Obviously this would have a less effect on an older child. Repetition can be a good teacher for the behavior you want. It can also help with penmanship, punctuation etc.
Mix it up. The psychology to punishment is the dread of what you’re going to have to do to get out of it. The waiting for the actual punishment can be the actual punishment itself, but you never let on to this up front.

In our latter years many of these things will become points of jokes and laughter. Kids never forget these things even though you might.

A.  I don’t think you and I will ‘laugh’ about any of this…not only is it not particularly funny, but there won’t BE an “our.”
B.  I know this will come as a shock to many of you, but… this guy doesn’t even HAVE children!!  (Insert discouraged sigh…)

When I responded to him:

this is way TOO MUCH.
I mean…dude – we haven’t even met for a drink
and some light laughter yet!? Technically speaking,
I agree with you on probably 85% of what you’re saying,
but something about having you wax knowledgeable about
child-rearing, presents a red-flag to me about you.

I enjoyed your profile, but… this isn’t the way I want to get
to know someone…over talk of childrens’ punishments?
C’mon, dude…

He wrote back:

First off, a relationship starting out with kids involved is a red flag to me. I mean what’s fair is fair right?

Clearly if this is too much, you’re not serious about it and that’s ok for you, but not for me ok? I didn’t come here to meet someone for a drink.  If I wanted to bar hop I could do that on my own, I don’t need a service for that.

So, that brings me to the last and final (for now) gem in this category.  The guy who “broke up” with me by text …even though we’d never met.

He got us spinning our wheels talking about church (what’s wrong with it, what’s great about it, etc.), and at one point, he actually texted:  “Are you saying I let the devil tell me how to live my life?”  Um…. como?  I didn’t even know what he meant!!  I’ll spare you the explanations of who believed what (though, the quick gist of my stance is this:  the church is majorly flawed and full of hypocrites, but nevertheless, God loves it…just the same way he loves us in our messy-ness).

I tried to backpedal and assure him that I hadn’t been talking about the devil at ALL!  But, he was done – angry that I didn’t agree with him and then texted a whole break-up paragraph!  For rizzle, y’all.  All about how we had a good run, but that he couldn’t “deal” with me anymore and…”best of luck.”

Ha!  What??  I texted back, “Fine… I want my stuff.”  He didn’t get it.
Of course he didn’t.  They never do!
All the energy that could be spent on a decent sense of humor was being allocated to his self-righteousness.

Grr…

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50 Shades of “NO”

Lest you think I exaggerate the level of dismality (I just made that up) in online dating…take a gander at these treasures…

Wow.  I mean…. ?? Is this guy for real?  Just knowing you paid someone and posed for this (and I mean, posed)…how could I ever take you seriously?
Ten bucks says we meet up and it turns out this isn’t even him…

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I don’t know where to start!  Let’s begin at the most important point… “she needs to want to live.”  Wow… maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of Criminal Minds, but….. this is a bit of a red flag… I mean – I DO want to live.
Also… I don’t know how I look in a bikinee…..but I’m pretty sure I look better than you spell.  Sigh…

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Let’s count the things wrong with this picture.  First…I’m gonna just assume the parquet floor, wood paneling and 1975 furnishings are all part of that new hipster twist on old faves…and NOT a scene from some ‘this was the last available motel room in the middle of nowhere and now we’re trapped with a psycho outside the door’ movie.  But is that a chinese throwing star on the sofa?  Or a sheriff badge from Party City?  And…the mismatched sheet and sleeping bag tell me you’re sleeping on that couch…do you not have a bedroom?  Is this your mommy’s house?  Oh dear….  And …you couldn’t even turn OFF the TV before you took the oh-so-artsy diagonal photo?  My ONE solace is the ensemble.  It really screams urban cowboy chic.

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Wait…. I’m getting mixed messages….

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I PITY the wonderFUOL…. (Ok,…Mr. T moment over).
I don’t know what’s funnier…the “sea beach” or that he specifies there will be children running around.  Are these OUR children in this scenario?  Or just random strange children we happen upon …or rent out for the day?  That’s the most specifically strange “movie date” I’VE ever heard of…

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This is so smokin’ hot…I don’t know if I can contain myself… the camo coat AND camo something-or-other that’s pinned up behind him in his…truck?  Deer blind?  But those have NOTHING on the wad of dip in his lip.  I mean… come on over, Mr. Hunter…  Nothing says sexual attraction like shards of fiberglass and tobacco mixed with brown spit pooling in your mouth.  I’m all kinds of H&B….

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For those of you NOT on these sites, and hence – may not know how they work, under “Story,” you’re supposed to write ….well…..your story.  You know…about yourself.  People usually write a few paragraphs about their personality or their jobs, family, etc.  This guy decided to not only switch to another language (the rest of the profile was in English), but to say only ONE thing.  Now, I’m no translator, but…… yeah…

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So….this guy’s clearly related to “abs” guy.  You don’t see the resemblance?
What I most love about this photo isn’t the grumpy face or the super cool long rocker hair, but… the edgy “blurred” effect that he used.  VERY artsy.

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Dude…you don’t have to tell ME you have knowledge.  Just reading your apostrophe-free profile told me everything I needed to know.

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Farrah Fawcett called, and….. yeah…

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When I was younger, I was tested for the G/T program and they determined that I am, in fact, a spacially lady.  So,…I have THAT going for me…

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This guy apparently snuck into a high school prom for this shot.  I like to call it… “A night in heaven…under the starry sky…to remember…a Parisian romance….tropical paradise…Vegas lights…Under the Sea”

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a.  Yes.  I am “curious as to who you are”
b.  You are You are?
c.  You’re all the way to the next… ok… thanks.
d.  Next to your father, eh?  Oh, ok…he and I go WAY back, so of course I know which one he is…

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I have always wanted to be better in correctfullness.
I should ask Jesus, no commucate to him, that I’d like him to guide in my life in.

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This guy is dreamy… LOVE the shirt.

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You know…it is SO hard being a genius.  I know exactly what he means… people won’t leave you alone!  I mean, they’re all “oooh, let me ask you a million questions!”  and then I’m all, “um, I WISH you would notice that I’m color blind.”
Wait…

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Are you guys seeing what I’m seeing?  I mean… I’m so  paralyzed with mocking comments, I hardly know where to begin…
But never to fear…I’m gonna power through.
How about with the 80’s synthesizer/mixer background?  No?  Then maybe the chartreuse electric guitar?  (Cause nothing says masculinity like a minty instrument…)  Still no?  Pleather jacket that very well may be from the women’s section at JCPenny?  The row of buttons on the guitar strap that are undoubtedly from obscure rocker spots like “Hard Rock Cafe” and “Planet Hollywood?”  There’s just SO much here…. it’s ripe for the picking.  (pun intended)

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You’re looking for the special women?  Oh honey…. those are called sister wives.

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And you all wonder why I’m becoming so skeptical?

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 Glossary of Terms:
Dismality – the state or quality of being dismal
H&B – Hot ‘n Bothered
Chartreuse – the new black
Farrah Fawcett – 1970’s actress known for her iconic feathered hair
Sister wives – multiple women simultaneously married to the same man in a polygamous relationship
im – the most widely used word in online dating profiles
That is all.

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Personal Shopper?

So – did you know that you can have someone on Match.com write your profile FOR you? Yup, for $42.63, some mid-level someone in some office somewhere will take your tidbits and turn them into a bio.  They’ll also rewrite your headline.  Sigh…  This is a whole new low.  What could possibly be the reason you couldn’t even put together a simple paragraph about yourself?  Are you THAT lazy?  THAT unintelligent?  THAT unsure of who you are?  I mean…any of the reasons I can think of for not writing your own bio are also all reasons why no woman would want to date you.  Ipso facto there is no point in paying for online dating services.  Just buy a cat, get out those sweatpants with the super stretchy waistband and call it a day.

Still – I have a few questions about these profile writers:

First – why do they insist on making ALL the profiles sound the same?  I used to think it was some kind of horrifying coincidence that so many bios sounded SO alike, but now I realize it must be that each of these cookie cutter profiles were written by the Match.com “editors.”  (And I put that in qutoes because…well…you’ll see).  Here’s what they ALL sound like:   (ahem…. clears throat and cracks knuckles):

I’m new to Houston and just wanting to see what’s out there.  I’m an easy-going, fun, loyal and caring person looking for that someone special that I can enjoy life with.  I enjoy going out on the town or just staying in.  Really, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing if you’re with someone you love.  I believe that you have to be friends first – finding your soulmate is great, but finding a best friend is the most important part.  I workout 5 times a week, have 2 dogs who I love, love to cook and just have fun.  I’m looking for someone who I can share my interests and life with.  Could you be the one?   I have a great job, but it doesn’t consume me.  I work hard to play hard.  I’m very laid back and don’t take myself  too seriously and prefer the same quality in the people around me.  My friends would describe me as an outgoing, funny, spontaneous, adventurous guy with a splash of sarcasm (just for added flavor). I try to have fun in everything that I do. I have my own business that I built from the ground up and I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished and I’m fairly content in life but would like to find that someone special to share it with. My perfect match is someone who likes to have fun, is independent, always ready to meet new people, up for challenges, adventures and travel. You are confident about yourself and your life.  You have some spunk and love to laugh at everything, you’re definitely affectionate, and you have your own ideas and opinions.  Oh, and a girl who’s just as comfortable in a formal dress and heels as she is camping or throwing her hair up into a ponytail to go to a football game.  If that sounds like you, send me an e-mail.

* Ok – in case you’re thinking to yourself, “well, THAT wasn’t very well-written…,” that’s because that’s how they ARE!  You pay someone to churn out a mediocre collection of loosely connected sentences that don’t really say much at all!  They’re never witty or clever or unique.  Swoon.

2.  Can I sort my matches by weeding OUT all the guys who opted to have someone “help” them write their profile?  If you’re at that point, then I’m not interested.

I mean – it’s not really FAIR, is it?  I could be falling in love with some guy (ok, maybe not falling in LOVE, but… being impressed?!) and it turns out he’s not even able to write a simple description?  Of himself?  I mean, it’s not like the subject matter is foreign to him…  If it is, I can offer MY services as a therapist to help him learn/understand himself better.  Sure…it’ll cost him more than $42.63, but… he’ll be able to write his OWN profile, so…. that’s something, right?

3.  Does this mean I can start posting photos of Catherine Zeta Jones in lieu of my own?  I mean…sure, the’re not ME (though,…let’s be honest…we COULD pass for sisters…), but – isn’t that the point?  Your profile no longer needs to represent you!?  Isn’t this just the same as posting a profile written by someone else?

4.  I would like to suggest a new kind of helper.  I can handle composing  my own profile…, but I’d like to click an option where a Match.com “reader” sifts through the endless parade of poorly-written profiles FOR me and distills them down to the few that actually interest me!  Is that a service I can choose?

And really, …why stop there?  Maybe we can just continue this process, wherein – I have a personal man-shopper (to be clear – the man is the object of the shopping, not a requirement for the gender of my shopper…. though…if the shopper himself were single and handsome and smart, then, I suppose we could just cut out the middle man…?  I digress…).  Here’s what I propose:  This person will wade through the murky waters of boring all-sound-the-same profiles, report notable ones to me, then I’ll pick a few to continue with and my man-shopper can meet up with them for drinks and then report back to me.  I will, of course, have a checklist and post-date form for my personal shopper to fill out so I’ll know who merits a second date.

Alright, alright…. I know – it’s ridiculous.  But then again, so is paying someone to write about YOU.  Argh…

So – to sum up –   not only is there a DEARTH of quality single guys left out there… but the few you DO find online, may not actually exist.  They may be figments of Match.com’s editorial imagination.

Keep hope alive, peeps…

They’re worth 1,000 creepy words…

Profile pictures.  Yup.  It’s time for the talk.

Here are some that are not recommended.  And….to be clear…. When I say “not recommended,” what I really mean is, [pumps her fists angrily into the air] “WHY?  Why do people think this is OK?  Why, I ask you??”  Ok.  Overly dramatic rant over.

For now.

1.  Naked pictures.  It’s one thing if you have a shot of yourself at the beach or on a boat, where you’re in swim trunks – that’s perfectly acceptable.  But don’t take your shirt off at home, arrange your shorts just low enough to show your Abercrombie man-creases, and then use your phone in the bathroom mirror while flexing your muscles and raising one eyebrow…

2.  Pictures where you look angry.  I’m already taking a risk putting myself out there on the ‘ol interwebs… so, scowling like a terrorist or a gang member doesn’t exactly instill confidence in your gentle or romantic side.  I tend to not be turned on by potential murderers… I’m just sayin’…

3.  Photos that display your WAY-too “bachelor pad”-y house. Here’s a simple checklist to use when setting up your photo shoot:  If there are more than 2 of the following IN the shot, put down your phone and correct the situation:

-a power tool

-any cleaning supplies – extra points deducted if the dirty swiffer sheet it still on….ick.

-food.  This includes ready-to-eat, already-mostly-eaten and pantry products (I don’t need to see the box of Cheez-Its you keep by the bed)

-a nasty toilet (nasty as defined by having any color other than the color of the bowl/lid on or near it) or a hairy bathroom sink

-empty beer bottles

-pile(s) of clothing

-Call-of-Duty Game case

-Unidentifiable goo, stuff, or schmutz of any kind

-Camo anything

-Framed Motivational poster.  Unless you’re going for irony… or unless it’s from Despair.com

-Your Rock Band guitar

-Used eating utensils

-Torch lamp – a la college dorm room

-Toys – you know…those things that you shouldn’t still play with, but you label it ‘collector’ and suddenly it’s just fine – like Star Wars light sabers and such

-Your dubstep CD collection

-A bong

4.  Pictures of you with perfectly-proportioned gorgeous women.  You know the ones… you’re trying to say, “look at me – I’m the kind of guy who can score THIS,” but  what I see is, “great…he’s the kind of guy who’s only looking for outside beauty.”  Even if the girls in the photos really are deeply intelligent, all I see is eye candy.  And this seems to be a guy-specific thing.  I wouldn’t even consider posting photos of me with my ex.  After all – I don’t want to give off any vibe that’s less than “I’m available.”

5.  Multiple photos of your dog.  We get it…you love your dog.  You don’t see me posting photos of my iPhone, do you?  (and don’t even think to yourself, “oh that’s not the same – you can’t LOVE your iPhone.”  Oh.  Oh hohoho…yes.  you can.)  Look – one dog shot says, “I HAVE a dog.”  Two say, “I really LOVE my dog.”  Three or more say, “Either I’m hideous and would rather post pictures of my puppy than my repulsive mug, or I have an unhealthy obsession with photographing my dog.”  Oh and – my house smells…. Like dog.”

6.  Photos of random stuff that has nothing to do with you or dating… ones I’ve seen (and I’m not making this stuff up):  crawfish (see below), a fishing pole, a museum with no people in the shot, cars/motorcycles/4-wheelers and a banana (ahem….)

In case you think that maybe this guy was a chef or there was some other logical reason to post this pic…. he wasn’t. And there wasn’t.

7.  No pictures.  What?  I mean…I don’t like to think of myself as shallow, but I have to see SOME representation of what you look like… if, for no other reason than to check for prison tats.

8.  Your high school graduation picture.  Really?  Really, you think this helps somehow?  All it does is tell me that you’re either way too young and thus consider this a ‘recent’ photograph, or you’re still stuck in high school ‘mode,’ (and if you don’t know what that means – then you probably are).

9.  Multiple shots of you sticking your tongue out and doing the devil/rock-on sign with your hand.  I mean, how many of these does a body really NEED?

Not only are we doing the college/drunk pose, but you’re also wearing what I can only assume is a gangster necklace and drinking…(judgmental gulp) Bud Lite? Dude… You’re better than this.

10.  Commemorative plates, mugs, mouse pads, etc. which have been made with your photo.  … we all know how to use snapfish.  You’re not special.  But now you’re just the tool who posted a picture of a plate.

11.  Cutting JUST the head of your ex out of the shot.  Dude.  It’s called “crop tool.”

12.  Cutting out your head from a physical photo and scanning it in.  Once more – it’s called the “crop tool.”

And…who cut this out? Your Kindergartner?

13.  Putting a black circle or blurred spot over JUST the head of your ex.  Why do you think I need to see her body?  Again, say it with me this time– “crop tool.”

14.  Super artsy shots where there’s NO getting past the fact that you think you’re a big deal.  Picture it:  a black and white scuffed-edge effect shot of you wearing a jean jacket over a “I’m so hipster cool that I bought this at Good Will” plaid shirt with pearl snaps, holding a guitar (not strumming it, mind you), leaning against a brick wall and looking off into the distance contemplatively .  Note:  one of these types of photos is possibly acceptable (depends on the vibe I get from your profile… heck, maybe you ARE a big deal!  Maybe it’s the cover of your latest album and you really ARE a musician).  But a series of them says that your Montrose friend (oh, I went there…) came and did a photo shoot to make you look deep.  Let’s just call this what it is – the postmodern age’s version of Glamour Shots.

15.  A photo of you eating – mouth open – half-chewed food inside.  C’mon, dude….

16.  Up the nose.  Why are there so many of these?

17.  Having lots of pictures from around the world – all taken from far away.  I dig the well-traveled thing.  But, seeing that nondescript ‘guy’ in front of the Eiffel tower, then the pyramids, then on a yacht, then at Stonehenge, then in front of some Thai buddhist temple….alright already!  I’d rather see  one close-up shot to be sure you have all your teeth, than 30 pictures that make me think you might just have access to a green screen…

18.  Any picture which may even SUGGEST that you have a mullet.  You think they’re not out there?  Oh…they’re out there.

Just a HINT of mullet is too much mullet.

There’s no party here – that’s all “disaster in the back.”

19.  Pictures where you’re trying to prove your obvious profession as a pimp.

White vinyl couch? Check. White dog being forced to sit on your lap? Check. White hat, undershirt, overshirt AND watch? Check. Keepin’ it classy

Definitely the right choice on the scowl. No woman wants to “date” a pimp with a smiling problem.

20.  Any photo where your obvious laziness overpowers any handsomeness you bring to the table.  Check out this guy who couldn’t even put down his not-yet-lit cig.  And it’s not like he was caught unaware as some friend snapped it – this is a self-taken shot!  Really?  I can only HOPE you’ll put THIS much effort into our relationship.  (closes eyes tightly and crosses fingers)

Or this guy who couldn’t even put down his paper towel down on the men’s room counter…

Awesome job on centering the shot.

21.  Costume shots where it’s not obviously halloween or a costume party.  If these are your “going out clothes,” I’d rather you just stay in.

So many questions…1- who TOOK this photo? How can you call yourself a friend?
2 – where is your leg?

Oh, Houston….. where are the handsome, slightly-preppy-slightly-hipster well-dressed thoughtful picture takers/posters?

Signing off to go find more mockery material…

Oh honey….. no. SO no…

For today’s mockery….er……entertainment…

A few profiles and pictures to give you a glimpse into the man-shopping options on the table in my world.  Yup – these are all real.

Sigh with me…. out of solidarity… out of gratitude if you’re not in this boat…. if you just need a good breath…

Ok – here goes:

“Hipocrites” are annoying, huh?  You know what ELSE is annoying?  People who say that intelligence is paramount and then misspell hypocrites.

This guy wants ‘no issues at all’ AND to ‘meet cool.’   Whoa…well – why didn’t you SAY so in the first place?  I mean – not only was I not turned off at ALL with the comment about weight, but I am totally a cool.

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Oh – he guilds me too, baby.  I don’t know WHERE I’d be without his guilding.

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First – you’re not sure if you’re open-minded?  Hmmm….
Next – So – you want me to e-mail you….wait…no….talk?  On the phone?  But…you type mostly….. Oh I’m so confused.
I guess I should just e-mail you more OF I want to talk…oh – forget it.
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He sure SEEMS like a sweetheart.
This is not suspicious at all.

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I AM from Houston, but now I’m torn between whether to contact HIM or to contact “100 mile radius”… must be a friend.  Maybe the friend knows which “you’re” is appropriate here.

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Dude.  He takes responsibility SERIOUS.  Wait…..AND he has ‘prospective?’  Drool….

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I’d like to think that my subtle, strategically placed arrows ‘say it all,’ but…with my steadily decreasing faith in humanity’s brainpower, let me just spell this out.  He’s a “PiggyBank” who makes less than $12,000 a year…  mixed signals much?
Maybe he’s LOOKING for a piggybank?
And what the HECK does he mean by “I feel like I a, a guardian angel?”  It sounds creepy….a la angel of death.
Sorry, 70-year-old from NY… you were SO close…

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“listen to ‘there’ heart beat”     Let’s put aside the incorrect ‘there’ for a moment.  Lying on the couch with a guy who’s just listening to my pulse….sounds more like a Jeffrey Dahmer moment than romance to me.

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Where to begin?
Dinner at a romantic what?
Someone soft?  I mean – ok – I GET that once you’re dating someone, it’s nice to have him touch your cheek and say how soft your skin is… but to put that in your online profile seems gross somehow.  Am I alone here?
Next….(oh man…this one’s really got it all) – you’re a quiet men?  How many men ARE you?
I’m going to ignore the Im with no apostrophe (even though my eye is now twitching nervously…), and skip right to:  you like to ‘lisson’ to music?  And… you have ALOT of love to give?  Your heart has been ‘untouch’ for many years?
You know what?  Standards be damned.  I am IN.  Call me so I can let you show me some ‘compation.’

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We get it.  You love God.
C’mon….
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Ok, so – JUST to be clear – your name is “javaWOLF” and you want flesh and bone…
Am I the only one who’s getting a ‘lick your lips’ kinda vibe here?

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 Probably a good place to stop.  I’m getting hungry after all.

Tips & Judgmental Musings…

Here are a few thoughts and tips for the men out there creating online dating profiles:

(in no particular order)

– If you’re wearing a hat in all your profile photos, …the jig is up.  We know you’re bald.  Own it.

– Don’t start up communication with someone who’s WAY out of your age range…it’s just tacky.

No, Mr. 69-year old… I don’t think it’s gonna work out…

And on that note – what is UP with men wanting women SO much younger than they are?  I can’t tell you how many times I see a guy who’s my age (35), and is “seeking a woman 18-34.”  Really?  You would actually prefer a teenager over someone born the same year as you?  A teenager.  As in… not even old enough to buy beer.  As in… may actually get more excited about a sale at Forever 21 than going on a date with you.  As in… the aforementioned date can’t even involve big-girl drinks.                                                             As in… like….totally….whatever….you get it.

– No, I don’t want to “hang out” at your place…when we’ve never met in public.  How many bodies of other women who came to ‘hang out’ do you have piled in some creepy outdoor shed?  Decline.

– What is UP with these men in Canada?  Please don’t try to start a relationship with me if you live more than 25 miles away… what could possibly come of that?  I mean… isn’t the POINT of online dating, so that you can actually find someone that fits all of your expectations…right here by you?  And…we live in Houston!  It’s not like there’s a dearth of people…  And yet – and YET – no matter HOW many times I tell eHarmony that I want someone close, they still send me guys from Arizona, Missouri and Kentucky.  Are these the only men that ‘matched’ up with me?  Am I THAT picky that I have to outsource to Kentucky?  Something has gone terribly wrong… (no offense, Kentuckians…)

– Let’s stay away from the creepy or immature handles… Basic rule of thumb: if your online name is gross, you’re probably gross.

It doesn’t matter how handsome you are… if your ‘name’ is “SmoothTongue”…it’s just not gonna work out.  (yes – that is a real handle I encountered.  I’m not makin’ this stuff up, people).  Here are some I’ve seen:

  1. BigOne     – wow….overcompensate much?
  2. URDaddy     – let’s hope not.
  3. FunMilkMeGood   – what?  does. that. even. mean?
  4. Looking4U2Hold   …heavily sedated, in my arms…
  5. Edible4   -um…edible for what?  I’m confused… and oddly hungry…

-I’m not interested in dating you if…

  1.  You have a tattoo of any cartoon or transformer
  2. You smoke.  Gross.
  3. Your online name includes the words “dawg,” or “ese”
  4. You checked the box for “Christian” on your profile, but have zero interest in matters of faith.
  5. You think “alot” is a word.
  6.  You have anything even remotely related to a mullet.

– Other things to stay away from… not necessarily deal-breakers, but definitely off-putting:

  1.  Including a whole diatribe about how you ‘work hard to play hard’
  2. A soul patch.
  3. Giving a super specific list of what your potential partner should or shouldn’t like.  I mean… isn’t the whole point that people who enjoy different things can introduce their partners to new things?  I shouldn’t have to LOVE Ultimate Fighting or NASCAR to be appealing to you…
  4. Ultimate Fighting and NASCAR
  5. Coming off as overly sexual.  This one is a fine line because we all want to appear well-rounded and attractive and we all want to find someone with whom we have fantastic chemistry and one day connect with sexually.  But when sexual/physical chemistry seems to be your number one goal, it reads as smarmy or juvenile.
  6. Putting the word “handsome” or “good-looking” in your handle…  I mean….if you have to say it… I’m not so sure.

I mean….my goodness.  Just put a friendly picture of you smiling (keep your eye out for a post on photo do’s and don’ts in the next week), an authentic and witty (and succinct) profile paragraph about yourself and who you’re looking for, and we’ll take it from there!  Is that really asking for much?

“THAT Guy” – Mr. McSmarmy

SO… interspersed throughout my broadly judgmental musings on dating, I thought I’d include some personal accounts of particular men (names will be changed…. obvi) or archetypes of men.  I’ve asked some friends to help contribute to this sub-series, so we should get quite the smattering of dates gone wrong, awkward text strings and uncomfortable online connections.

In that vein, welcome to the “THAT Guy” collection – take one.  I thought I’d start us off with one that I’ve encountered several times.  Yes – several.  Sigh…

Let me set the scene first by saying that I’ve learned the guys you meet online don’t like to write back and forth using the dating site’s cheesy e-mail system for long – they’d prefer to talk or text.  And you know what?  I’m cool with that!  So, I’ll give my number out pretty liberally… I mean…what’s the harm in that?

So usually it’ll start off with him shooting me an innocuous text to put himself on my radar (and my phone).  We’ll text some easy-going stuff back and forth for a couple of minutes – you know: what part of town do you live in; where do you like to eat; etc.  I use this opportunity to display my sparkling literary wit.

And after some flirty & introductory text banter, I’d expect that what SHOULD come next, is either a phone call where we can get to know each other a little better, or a simple invitation to hang out sometime in the near future.  This doesn’t need to be a full-on DATE – just a chance to see each other and continue the process of exploration.

But, oh… no…. it’s SO not that simple.  Here’s what’s happened to me multiple times – [enter McSmarmy, stage left].

We text for a few minutes, then there’s a break and I don’t hear from him for a few hours.

Cut to 11:30 that night.  A text comes in from McSmarmy….

wait….. you know what?  Why don’t I just type out the ACTUAL text string for you so you can draw your own conclusions.  And yes – this REALLY happened.  I’ve only removed expletives.  And, (naturally), added in my own personal running commentary in italics.  (I mean… c’mon…. did you expect anything less?)

Scene:  It’s 11:30 at night on a Tuesday – I’m in my owl pajamas and fuzzy socks, in bed playing Words-With-Friends while my two sweet children are fast asleep in the room right next to mine.

McSmarmy:   Hey cutie.  Whatcha doin?  “Cutie?”  We’ve never met… how does he know I’m cute?  I mean… I am… I’m adorable.  But still…. it’s presumptuous and annoying…

Me:  Hey there.  Just headin’ off to bed.

McS:  Cool.  So, what part of town do you live in?

Me:  I’m in the Heights.  You?

McS:  I’m in Montrose…we’re close.  We should meet up and hang out soon

Me:  That sounds great!

McS:  How about now?

Me:  You’re joking, right?

McS:  No!  Where do you live?

Me:  …..um…… Dude, I haven’t even MET you yet…?

McS:  That’s why I want to come over silly!   I’ll bring a bottle of wine and we’ll hang out.  Apparently “hang out” now means “late night booty call.”  Keep it classy, Houston…

Me:  Wine?  Man, …I’m in BED!  It’s a “school night,” my children are asleep in the room next to me, and…. did I mention I’ve never met you?

McS:  C’mon.  You’ll have fun.  I promise.  To continue with the code language, ‘fun’ must now mean ‘have an orgasm.’  Which…even if I WAS interested (which I wasn’t)…. let’s be honest – the kind of guy who’s barking up THIS tree at this time… isn’t exactly instilling confidence in me that he’s a generous lover… I’m just sayin’….

Me:  in an attempt to diffuse this awkward situation with humor AND to let him know that the problem here (aside from the inconvenience) is me being protective and smart and not wanting to put myself in a potentially dangerous situation…          Great.  Will you be bringing your OWN set of torture devices or are you just planning on being extemporaneous with whatever you find here?

McS:  Oh, are you going all prude on me?

Me:  If “prude” means smart…then… I guess so!

McS:  And you wonder why you’re single.    audible gasp on my end.  This is my life now… 

Me:  Wow…. Well, Judgy McJudgerson… I guess if wanting a guy to buy me a glass of wine in public first is old-fashioned, then… call me Single Mama on the Prairie.

McS:  I know exactly who you are.  You’re that princess-y girl who wants every guy to kiss your [butt].  I’m not that guy.

Me:  nothing.  I didn’t text back.  I was done.

McS:  I mean, I’m offering you a good time, not proposing marriage.  And I’m not a dangerous creeper (really?  REALLY?)

McS:  This is the problem with women like you – you’re all “I want to find a man,” and then when one comes along, (so…he classifies himself as a MAN….interesting), you act all bi***y and [I can’t type out the rest of what he said…there aren’t enough symbols on my keyboard to cover all the colorful language…but you get the point.)

So – yeah.  And, lest you think I was done with that guy… he texted me the next morning:  “Morning, meanie.”

Yup.  Yeah.  Uh huh.

And, sadly, this isn’t the only time this has happened!  At least 3 other guys have asked to come over or for me to come to their place, sight unseen.  Is this what dating has come to?  I don’t even get to be wined and dined a TEENSY bit?  Are all the singles in their 30’s that are left out there, only looking for non-committal sex?  And I could write a whole other post (perhaps I shall!) on guys who take you out ONCE, but because you don’t put-out on that first date (which I NEVER will), won’t ask you out again.  Crazy.

So – I wait.  And hope…. that there are still a few good ones left… heck, I only need one.  JUuuuuust one (insert Anjelah Johnson’s voice from her bit on nail salons here).  Is that too much to ask?