Thursday, May 27, 2010

Online Dating Suggestions for Men

So, I know I shouldn't judge, because simply knowing what people say in their online dating profiles means that I have, at the very least, perused these sites as a leisure activity. But, I thought it would be funny to share some of the things that I've found interesting or things that I think should never be included in an online dating website profile.

First, I think it's pretty comical that almost every single male who has a profile kicks it off with "Well, I'm a laid back kind of guy..." Is every guy in the world laid back? Or maybe it's just guys on dating websites. Maybe I don't want a laid back guy. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but is that such a selling point that it can be justified as the top opening line? Hmm. Maybe I want a guy who is outgoing and ridiculous, a guy who gets excited and passionate about stuff and doesn't just sit around like a lump on a log. Maybe I want someone who wants to sit too close to the fireworks display or who does cartwheels across the room when the Braves score a run. I'm simply suggesting that you look for more exciting means of describing yourself. And put some effort into it! "If you want to know anything else, just ask" is a bit intimidating when I don't even know what I should be asking about. Can I ask you if you're interested in going to a drag show with me if I really like drag queens because I'm impressed by their makeup skills? Probably not. Give me something to work with and I'll come up with questions, believe me.

Also, I'd like to add in public and in a form of mass communication, that you should never, ever, under any circumstances have your tongue out of your mouth in your profile picture. I think that is pretty self-explanatory. You also probably shouldn't post photos of yourself surrounded by Hooters girls or other possibly artificially-enhanced hotties. As much as men are intimidated by the looks of other men, so are women. Possibly even more so. If I see you with pin-up girls on either side of you, I'm probably not going to imagine you'd be interested in run-of-the-mill, old me. Even if you were at the annual Hooters Wing-a-Thon with your buds and you never even met those girls...I won't know that and will probably keep on clicking through.

Having an opinion of the kind of girl you're looking for is wonderful and helpful. It gives me an idea of the level at which you set your dealbreakers. (Unsure of what a "dealbreaker" is? It's another Dr. Phil reference. Check out "LoveSmart." He should pay me for advertising.) But, I'm talking broad, people. I like to know if you have no interest in dating Christian girls, or girls who can tend to be loud, or girls who are into sports. Those are all good things for me, being that girl, to know so that I don't waste my time or your time. But, getting so specific that you actually have a shopping-list-like rundown of what you're looking for isn't appealing, inviting or probably going to work. If you're looking for a woman that specific, you've probably already found her and if you're online dating, it probably didn't work out. Broaden your perspective and let some of the rest of us in.

And (drum roll, please) my number one suggestion is: never, ever, ever, ever, EVER expect a response from me if you send me an email and the only thing you can muster is "Hey, what's up?" Or even worse, "Wuz up." Or even worse still, "Hey shorty." Move along. We're not in a bar and, even if we were, this approach still would be sub-par. I want you to show some interest in me and a basically blank email just proves that you looked at my picture, liked what you saw and didn't put any further thought or time into me. I'm not expecting a sonnet or a work of romantic literature in my inbox. Just some kind of basic communication skills and at least a thought for the Spell Check button.

I don't think any of this is asking too much. Maybe it is and that's why I'm still single!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why did the chicken skip the art lesson?

So, I chickened out on Saturday. Although, when I explain to you my rationale, I'm sure you'll view it as simply a minor speedbump in an otherwise super speedway towards new and exciting experiences.

By Friday afternoon, I had completely convinced myself that I could go to the art session all by my little self. I was grown up enough, I had enough confidence to walk into a room full of strangers, introduce myself and "get to gettin'." If everyone around me was odd or clique-ish, then I could just put my head down and focus on my art. I could be one of those people that just gets so wrapped up in my creativity that I zone out from everything else. I could pretend to be that kind of person for a few hours and then go home with my sketching. That was the plan... is a wonderful website and I get new and exciting opportunities to experience all that Atlanta has to offer delivered to my inbox on a daily basis. However, I've now learned to do a bit more research because what may seem like important details about the event to me, may be boring and insignificant to the event host or hostess. The sketching session hostess sent a last minute email reminding us all to register with the museum at which the event was to be held in order to get in Saturday night. I followed the link to the registration page, but before I printed out the form, I noticed a small disclaimer on the bottom on the page. "There will be nude models present at this event. Photography is prohibited." Wait, what? Although I realize that nudity in art isn't uncommon, I hadn't factored this element in at all. I totally dismissed the photography restriction after I realized how disturbed I was that they even felt they had to mention that after the nudity explanation. I sat quietly contemplating which route to take. Could I handle this or was I simply looking for a way out of attending this event on my own?

As much as I like to think of myself as this suave, mature, experienced woman of the world, deep down underneath all the layers of false maturity, lies the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy...just dying to get his time in the spotlight. Occassionally, he does come out to play, throwing toilet humor-esque jokes everywhere inappropriate, sticking his tongue out at people and playing practical jokes at inpractical times. You've all seen him. So, I sat, in continued contemplation, trying to determine if I was in control enough to settle him down and make it through a nude sketching class. A sketching class with nudity. A sketching class in which the model is nude. See! I can't even explain it without tripping over myself. I determined, relatively quickly, I might add, that, in fact, I am not mature enough to go it alone. Had someone gone with me who could have looked over at me with that Disapproving Mother or Father-like look as soon as I started giggling at the thought of sketching certain human anatomy and/or been there giggling with me to cut the self-imposed tension, I may have been able to hack it. But not alone.

And, as I thought this through, I also tried to figure out which I would have preferred sketching, a male or a female model. As an obviously hetero chickadee (if you questioned that, you haven't read much of this blog), of course, I prefer to look at the male form. But sketch it? I don't know...I can't imagine it lends itself well or easily to the beginning sketch artist. But, do I want to sit and scan every inch of a female? Not really. And she'd probably be so perfect that it would nauseate me, make me go home and throw away everything that had more than 100 calories in my refrigerator and walk around the neighborhood with the dog until she almost passed out from exhaustion. It was a toss-up. Good thing I had already made the decision not to go and didn't have to jump back and forth between the sides of that argument in my head all the way to the museum.

So, hopefully I'll continue to find more exciting opportunities on that are a little bit more PG-13 rated and be able to share with you all my comings-and-goings. Or at least, if they are more adult-themed, I can find a companion who also has the humor of a 12-year-old boy subdued enough to create the illusion of adulthood. I'm open to suggestions if anyone knows of fun places to meet new people and try new things...that involve clothing.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Where the rubber meets the road...

So, this weekend is a crossroads. It will be "where the rubber meets the road," where I "put my money where my mouth is" and other overused sayings otherwise meaning Decision Time. Recently, a very good friend enlightened me to the wonders of, a website designed specifically to help you meet other people in your area who share your interests, such as book clubs, athletic clubs, singles groups, rock climbing enthusiasts (of which I am not...this body was not designed for harnesses, thank you very much), really anything you can possibly think of. If it's not on there, you can make your own group and suddenly realize you're not the only one in the world, who say, loves reading antebellum historical novels. All free of charge, which is, of course, my favorite part. I thought it was a much better alternative to very expensive online dating sites which are usually just like a meat market of photoshop-enhanced pictures strategically cropped to eliminate that which you are most self-conscious about only typically to result in an awkward first date and an even more awkward follow-up email.

Because I also recently rediscovered my love of creating "art," (the quotations are meant to denote that I, in no way, consider my work to be good or artistic) I joined a local group for those of us in the creative mindset looking to 1). meet new people, obviously and 2). learn more about creating art with different media, locations, subjects, etc. With, you can RSVP to an event and bring a guest. This Saturday night, this group is hosting an exclusive sketching session/class at a local art museum with a live model. Cool, huh? Very uncharacteristic of my usual Saturday evening festivities, but I think definitely worth a try. I thought, 'Okay, I'll go and drag someone with me.' Just as fate would have it, every single one of my local friends who would even moderately enjoy this type of activity, is booked solid. So, my choices are: go it alone or stay at home Saturday night.

Although I'm sure the event will provide me with some great material to update you with, I'm nervous! Can I do it? Can I just walk into an art museum, with nothing but my sketch pad, some charcoal and an easel and introduce myself to complete strangers? As awkward as that might make me feel, can I run the risk of even increasing my awkwardness if it's a (gasp) nude model?! I am an adult, I can do this...right? I can be brave and do what I've proclaimed I want to do...right?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mr. Darcy vs. Dr. Phil

So, where does a girl in her late 20's go to meet other singles (preferably male) besides bars? I mean, seems that almost all my friends are either married, getting married, getting divorced or have resigned themselves to other states of mind that do not involve dating.

Several years ago, in another fit of emotional meltdown, I read "Love Smart" by Dr. Phil. Surprisingly it was very insightful, but I distinctly remember him suggesting that you put yourself in "target-rich environments." If you want a manly man who does housework and yardwork and enjoys the outdoors, go hang out in a Home Depot or a Bass Pro Shops, was the doctor's suggestion. If you like guys that are into sports, go hang out at those sporting events. Seems pretty simple...until you find yourself standing in the lumber aisle of Home Depot for 30 minutes after several associates ask if you need assistance and then page Security overhead to do a scan of the lumber department. This isn't simple at all! So, you're sitting at a Braves game...then what? Do you just start randomly introducing yourself to people until maybe, just maybe, you find someone else who was desperate enough to read anything by Dr. Phil?

I also attempted to read "He's Just Not That Into You," prior to the movie release. It was too painfully obvious. Every situation in that book was for desperate women, it seemed. Women who couldn't see that they were being treated like pond scum or women who didn't seem to have any kind of self-respect. I consider myself to be pretty in tune with what's acceptable and what's not when it comes to any kind of relationship.

Dr. Phil talks about how women have been trained to think that there is a perfect man out there and therefore, we overlook our potential "Mr. 80%." He said that wouldn't you rather be 80% happy than 100% alone? Sounds, again, pretty simple. But, really, doesn't it sound a bit like settling? I made the mistake of watching 3 minutes of "Pride & Prejudice" this weekend, which is always a recipe for disaster with a broken heart. My head says that Mr. 80% is what I should be looking for. My heart says to stick around and wait for my Mr. Darcy. And if you know any unattached male in the general vicinity of the age of 30 who is even aware of who Mr. Darcy is, please...introduce him to your friend. :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Treat me like a junkie...

This week has been rather hard. As I tried diligently to be the grown up, sophisticated young woman that I like to portray myself to be, I had a set back. You ever have something in your life that you're just holding out hope will come true? Something that you just figure, "Eh, if I wait long enough, it will work out the way I want it to." I had one of those things and, like most train wrecks, it fell apart last week. It was really only a matter of time. We had been chugging down the track for years and I could see the giant road block up ahead, I just didn't have any sense of depth perception to anticipate its arrival. There were signs along the track, tons of them for that matter. I thought that if I ignored them, the road block might be easily ignored as well. Now it's time to sort through the wreckage and decide which pieces I want to take with me, which pieces will help me be the person I want to be and which pieces aren't worth dragging along on the rest of my journey. It won't be easy, but I know I have to do it.

So, on that note, I know that I am the only one that can do something about it. I have to get up and make the change that I want in my life. I'm actively pursuing lots of things right now...I'm going to try singles groups, church groups, activities designed just for singles, even speed dating, and really try to force myself to just meet new people. Don't get me wrong, I do want all these things because without them, I'll live a long, boring, lonely life. But, it's going to be a change and if you've known me for five minutes, you know that I'm not really Change's biggest fan. I need all of my friends to treat me like a junkie...stage an intervention if necessary! Ask me how I'm doing, keep me on my new path, introduce me to people I may have been resistant to meeting before because I was holding on to something that wasn't even there in the first place.

As I go along, I'll update you on what works, what doesn't, what's uncomfortable, what I really enjoyed, and hopefully who I've met along the way. I know that I need to meet new people as I watch my little group of friends all go get married off and I'm sitting here twiddling my thumbs "waiting." Waiting for what? No more waiting. I'm going to get out there and meet new people, with new ideas and new adventures. I've spent too long sitting around in the dark, scared, waiting and hoping that what I want just falls into my lap. I'm going to open the curtains and let the sun in and see what happens!

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