By the looks of it, this book was written in the late 1950s. But the title suggests a pretty accurate content.
You know… just in case you were looking for the perfect present to slap someone in the face with.
Ever since I impulsively pulled the plug out of my online dating life, causing it to go into an immediate vegetative state, my phone isn’t buzzing every fifteen minutes anymore. I swear I have been sleeping better.
Of course I’ve been panicking. I was picky enough while scrolling through the City’s menu of men, and although I remained dateless most of the time – at least I had something to write about. What the hell was I thinking? But, as I told a friend this weekend: what’s the point? I’m not telling anything anyone doesn’t know already, right? It’s hard, it’s tough, there’s so little potential… poor us, what are we gonna do!?
There’re so many stories out there of women meeting the wrong dudes; what do mine bring to the table, other than a confirmation of something that we don’t really need anyway? Who’s sitting at her desk at night, waiting for yet another tale of a screw up, another lesson taught, another piece of evidence that there are many movies yet not produced? God, I sure hope it’s not you.
For the past months, I’ve been reading books with rules, I’ve been listening to friends giving me advice, I’ve been hearing what I should and shouldn’t do – and there’s a lot of contradictions out there, believe you me. There isn’t a dating site I haven’t been recommended – or dissuaded from – I’ve been hearing men’s perspective on things, I’ve been reading so many articles and blogs on the topic… and quite frankly: it’s a miracle all that didn’t drive me crazy.
And in all honestly, how exciting has this journey been so far? I’m not the girl that’ll date several guys at the time. I can hardly manage my calendar as it is – seriously, who books a writing class on the same day she’s supposed to go free cocktail drinking at the Gansevoort? Yah. Me, that’s who. I’ve been so picky we can still count the actual dates I had on one hand. And I’ve started – for crying out loud – analyzing. Which is a better word than complaining, really, but not all that better.
Here’s the thing. I like things simple. I don’t want to justify my actions, because there’s only one reason why I do or don’t do: because of how it feels. If it’s hurtful, annoying, boring or uninteresting – I’ll end it. If it makes me feel good or happy, or has the potential to do just that – I’ll do it. And if anyone feels the need to judge me on it… there’s only so much I can do.
I don’t want think about rules. I’ve been perfectly fine without them. Single, yes – but fine. And as the quote on the inside of my Belgian chocolate wrap is stating…
We all should stop wishing for the fucking manual, really.
Last week, I took some drastic measures, following a series of insane happenings that led me to believe that the full moon’s influence was of such extreme proportions, the end of the world must be at hand. Or in a less dramatic tone: the end of online dating. And in a more personal perspective: the end of my online dating.
At the beginning of the week, it wasn’t looking all that bad – some 150 messages and 300 people lining up to meet you: surely there must be potential, no? But the following is just the tip of the iceberg full of crap I had to see crashing into my already shaky belief in online dating:
Guy 1: So, Central Park it is then?
Me: Yes, perfect! I also think this is about the point where we exchange numbers.
Guy: oh, mine is 6xx-xxx-xx98
Literally FIVE seconds after this online chatter, I texted him:
Hi, so, this is valuable information… Debby.
Immediately he responds:
Hey Debby, this is name – were you meaning to text me?
And. I. Don’t. Even. Know. Where. To. Begin.
Are you for real? You JUST gave your number to someone, who has a name SIMILAR to the one that’s in the text… AND YOU CAN’T CONNECT THE DOTS!?
Like hell you will. I can handle a lot… I can’t handle idiots. The end.
It wasn’t such a major loss. I had another date planned for this coming week. Sure, the guy was younger, and not as tall as I’d prefer, but he had a funny opening line, and I was willing to give him a shot… until he blew it last Thursday:
Him: Don’t think I forgot about you… vampires don’t forget *wink*
And I must have stared a full 9 minutes at my phone, until I pleated that – surely – I just didn’t get the joke.
Me: well. That’s reassuring.
Him: So how’s my little girl doing?
Me: Little girl?
Him: Yes, it’s you Debby! Who else would it be!? *wink*
Thy shall not call my ‘your little girl’ after seven lines online and a freakin’ text message. The end.
So on Friday morning I woke up dateless. And also too late, but that’s not the point. And then in the midst of the morning, I figured that A) this wasn’t fun anymore and B) surely I had better things to do with my time and C) I just had enough.
So I went to both OKCupid and PoF, and deactivated my accounts, till further notice.
The silence in my inbox this past weekend, has been golden.
After last week’s summary of a week online, I thought I’d be off the hook, and people would be all setting me up with their cousin/friend/colleague who’s still single, good looking, sane and 6’2”. But that didn’t happen.
Instead, my friend Olga mailed me that I should expand my virtual territory – which didn’t make much sense, since I gave up on Match.com ages ago, and just cancelled my ‘How about we?’-account. But nevertheless, as I came home last Friday – I must have been delusional – I created an account on Plenty Of Fish. It took me all night to write an ‘about me’ that was somewhat likeable, and toning the sarcasm down took some great efforts on my part, so I’m now also officially calling myself the best editor in the world…
And – I so kid you not – tonight my inbox counts over 90 messages, and my personal email inbox looks like this…
And 203 users want to meet me…
Excited yet? Hold your horses.
Saturday night, I tried to explain to Olga just how bad it was, and why I hadn’t replied to any of the – then – 70 messages. I believe my exact words were “90% of them just writes ‘hey’… what the fuck am I supposed to do with that?”, “I’m telling you: it’s douchebag, after douchebag, after douchebag, after ugly person!”, “it’s like one massive, extended version of Jersey Shores!”
And after that one, I could tell by the look in her eyes that she thought I was just acting crazy – or stupid, because honestly, how broad are those Jersey Shores, right? – so I did what I had to do: I gave her my login information, and let her browse the thing herself. Shortly after we all got home, she texted me the “I’m opening the first guys profile and there’s some muscled Guido petting a freakin’ goat!” that would set the tone for the rest of the night.
Out of 70 messages – and while we were simultaneously browsing some others came in – she actually picked one (yes, 1) guy she thought I should write back, since he A) didn’t just write ‘hi’, ‘hey’, ‘hello’, or variations on the ‘hey beautiful’-theme and B)was normal looking and 6’3”. I refused to falter, since he A)is goofy looking, and then height counts for nothing. Nobody want a goofy looking giant and B) yeah… I’m really thàt picky.
I did – good friend that I am – allow her to hunt down some eligible bachelors on there, and this morning I could only assume that she had been up all night doing just that (but she didn’t). My ‘favorites’ box now had 6 guys in it, that looked quite ok – but she must have gotten distracted as 3 of them were under the mandatory 5’11”. Since I can testify under oath that, yes, all men do lie about their height – I’m very strict about my 5’11” rule.
Eventually, and after much consideration and careful deliberation, I emailed the three remaining guys that were carefully selected for me. But the truth of the matter is… even though there’s – clearly – plenty of fish… try finding that one salmon in a pond full of sardines.
Last week I went all-in, and browsed OKcupid’s men like you wouldn’t believe. I rated, and starred and send messages when I finally hit someone who ‘rated me highly’, resulting in several conversations that – one week later – are at various stages of confusion and whatthefuckery.
First there was the music fanatic. His message made it clear that he would not invest any of his time if I wasn’t into undiscovered bands and small venues…
He asked me out that same night – before even giving his name. Dubious, to say the least, and luckily I didn’t even have to lie about having plans already, after which he remained silent so I guess we can check him off the list.
But, hey. You win some, you lose some, and on we go on to Mr. Shy Guy. He wrote he was shy in his profile, but he looked as if there was no need for that at all. But alas… along the conversation it became clear that ‘shy’ is a synonym for socially awkward, and not my personal ‘occasionally-running-into-closed-glass-doors’ kinda awkward. I assume he has an IQ that’s of astronomical heights, and that he’s not used to talking to women. If I had to use the word of the day for it, it’d be ‘terse’. Honesty obeys me to say that he does try to make jokes, though… the ones that I don’t get, and that – I so kid you not – needed explaining from his part, accompanied by complete articles, leaving me even more clueless. So I gave up altogether and I have peace with ‘not getting jokes that are IT related, comparing me with an IBM compatible computer‘. Or something. Whatever.
Move over! Move on! The next candidate send me a message, telling about him being new to the whole online dating thing. He questioned the fact that if I didn’t respond, he’d never really know why – leaving him pondering over the subject for all eternity. Although I spotted a beard and I’m not much of a fan of those – I did reply and we had a back and forth in which he confessed having a tattoo and… oh! A kid. Now, I’m not fooling myself that I’d meet someone at my age without a history, and I didn’t really have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with, is A) people who get really serious about your potentially shared relationship status before even meeting and B) finding out he lives 2 hours away from the city.
Are you still with me? Yes? Alrighty then. I usually don’t respond to guys who don’t have good pictures up, but for some reason I don’t remember, I decided to give this guy a shot. As the previous one, he’s nice, articulate and remarkably considerate given the fact that we don’t really know each other. But anyways… he’s letting me know that he thinks about me when hearing certain songs – and even though he admits that being weird – it totally is. He asked to meet up this weekend, and I’ve been postponing my answer to the extend that probably indicates that’s not going to happen.
Last but euhm… not sure: “and one guy whom I think is really funny, but he lives in Jersey… which might as well be in North Dakota. Bummer.” Is what I wrote on my Facebook page last weekend. But then I had a friend calling me to update my geographic knowledge, telling me that New Jersey is not ‘technically’ the end of the world and I should stop watching SNL. Which I didn’t, but I gave the guy a try nonetheless. He moved quicker than the others, smoothly directing the conversation off OKC to chatting and texting. Which, I won’t deny, has been fun and flirtatious – and there’re worse things with spring in the background. There have been vague suggestions for a meet-up, but no timeframe has been set for that yet. And as long as I don’t get to see someone in person, my expectations remain low and my enthusiasm non-existent.
So in conclusion: no need to place your bets just yet.
I’m almost back in the game. After 4 days of continuous sightseeing – which is horribly exhausting, if I may say so – I’m going back to work tomorrow, ready to pick up my every day routine one day at a time.
Meanwhile, I’ve deactivated my ‘How about we’ account, because I had it with guys ‘being intrigued’ but not very talkative – and thus, probably, not able to email me, since ‘being intrigued’ is pretty much the equivalent of the winking on many other dating sites. It is my experience that nothing at all ever comes from that.
However – fear thy not – I’ve been surprisingly active on OkCupid, resulting in some pleasant conversation that I’m about to pick up again, and if I were you, I’d put my money on some dates in the near future… so yes. Yes, I’m ready for some more fun and disappointment. Hurray!
Since there’s not much else to share: a British study has researched what sentences are an absolute no-go for men to say to a women, and obviously you’re free to add what’s missing on the list in the comments section – because there’s no way they’ve covered them all:
I can’t believe people are getting paid, and call themselves ‘scientist’, really.
But, oh well… On with the show.
There are no dating prospects in sight. So far. But given the fact that my parents are coming to visit me this week, I’m thinking ‘off’ is a good place to be from the radar, and a perfect momentum is coming up to retool and reboot. And – oh God, the horror – to reflect, and bow over the question… am I putting in enough effort?
Let’s say the question is rhetorical for now.
So yeah. There’s a list of boyfriends who were able to stick for a while. A while being a time frame between 2 months and 6 years. All the gaps in between are filled with crushes that faded and just plain rejection. The latter mostly coming from me.
If you posed the question ‘why is she still single?’ to a hundred people that knew me good to well, plus my mom, 88 of them would answer you with a: because she’s picky. The other 12, plus my mom, would add a ‘and she’s crazy’ to that. If that question ever appears in a quiz you’re attending, we’ll split profits.
Now, I am the first person who’ll admit that I’m far from perfect. My face will never be on the cover of a magazine – unless vogue is interested in the common girl who does nothing really important with her life, they can call me. I have the ugliest feet you’ve ever seen. I’m not even close to what you’d call ‘a bubbly’ personality, and once a month I’m so severely PMS-ing, I don’t know who will ever be up to surviving that. And I may be picky, but honestly… if I don’t feel it at first sight, it’s never going to happen. Which – of course – is why it happens so rarely, I guess.
Recently – in order to confront myself with the lame-ass excuses I make to turn a potential candidate down for research purposes – I started staring at men on my subway rides. Which I highly discourage doing yourself, because you will get caught gazing while making mental notes, and it’s making everyone uncomfortable, mostly yourself.
He’s too short. He’s too tall. He’s tall enough, but – bummer – he’s too skinny. His hair is too long, his hair is too short… he’s too beardy, too muscled, he’s trying to damn hard. Oh my God, NO! I could never put up with shoes like that. Is that a hoodie? Are those crocks? Too much cologne. His face’s too round. I don’t like the way he walks. He’s cute, but he’s not my type. And ‘moustache’ explain what that’ll do to my sensitive skin? He’s too good looking, his eyes are too far apart. He’s too hipster, he’s too banker, he’s too fancy… he’s probably gay. Steroid alert! Too much gel. His trousers are too short, his sleeves are too long, and who the heck tailored that jacket and was he blind? And hello? White socks? Really? No.
Yes. I know. I KNOW! Don’t judge a book – blah-blah. But honestly… I actually do buy the book for its cover, and also, it has a summary on the back that pretty much explains me what’s I’ll be dealing with. Why would I bother buying a book, for the sole purpose of rewriting it? That makes no sense. It’s easy to say ‘but you can work on those things! You can change him!’ – but no, I can’t. First of all because I’m too lazy, and second of all because I don’t want to. I want the book with the cover that has the cool story on the back. The one I’ll read, re-read, and re-read again… and eventually call it my Bible… something ‘Eat, Pray, Love’-alike, I guess.
So in conclusion… we have learned nothing new.
If you’ll excuse me, since this…
… led to +60 people rating me highly, and me not finding ANYONE OF THEM, I’m going to re-write my OKCupid profile. Again.