Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Strength, thy name is not Melanie

Urgh.  I had a moment of weakness.  Go ahead, give me that look.  And I know the lecture is coming, too.  Get it over with. 

I emailed Mr. Too Many Words.

I know, I know!  I probably shouldn't have.  Okay, I really shouldn't have.  Standing my ground and respecting my values are two of my top selling points!  Why was I so easily led away from my usual path of uprightness?, you ask.  The answer is even worse than the pathetic action itself.  Looks.  He's hot, Singletons.   If asked to describe the physical characteristics of my ideal man to a sketch artist, I'm pretty sure it would look a lot like his profile picture on Match. 

For weeks now, I've had an almost endless stream of men emailing, texting, inviting meeting me places (after I coordinated the "date," don't forget).  And then all of a sudden, silence.  I felt like that scene from "The Neverending Story" where Bastian is sitting in front of the Empress after The Nothing had consumed the world.   The contact I was getting from Mr. Baggage was odd and sporatic.  Sunday was filled from a.m. to p.m. (and then back into a.m.  I'll get to that...) with a non-stop conversation of text messages.  Although they were usually about his ex-fiance, his heartbreak, his loneliness and other melodrama, at least it was communication.  I chalked it up to the fact that he'd been off the market for a long time and may not be as astute as I was to the Dos and Don'ts of twenty-first century dating.  Or dating in any century for that matter.  I was willing to take this as an excuse until (I know what you're thinking, there always seems to be an "until," but let me finish) I got a midnight text message.  Midnight.  As in five hours before I have to get out of bed and attempt to be awake enough to not only prepare myself for a day of work but also maneuver through Atlanta traffic without killing myself or anyone else...on a good day.

Now, to clarify, I am a texter.  I love the medium.  It lends itself so well to online dating, and I'm happy to find someone who agrees.  But, if I've never met you in person and you think it's appropriate to text message me at midnight to comment about a sports game, then we've become entirely too familiar entirely too fast.  Within seven hours, I started receiving even more texts (and no, I did not respond to the midnight one, which was ended with "I hope this didn't wake you up.")  asking what I was doing, if I was going to work today, if I'd gotten his text from the night before, et cetera, et cetera, et certera.  Oh yes, I got it.  Rest assured.  So, when I arrived at work, I responded, cheerfully saying that I was glad he enjoyed the game the night before (it was a good one, I'll admit) and that I hoped he had a good day.  Even though he initially eluded to us "maybe" going to a game Wednesday, as in tonight, I haven't heard a peep since my response.  Could I have possibly turned him off with my lack of response to a midnight text message?  I'm clueless, people.  Completely clueless.  So, I started questioning my sense of propriety and wondered if my obviously higher standards had prevented me from making a connection. Then, of course, my brain went wild.  Hence, the email to Mr. Too Many Words.

In my message, I asked him if he'd like to start over.  I haven't heard back.  But, I did check out his newly revamped profile.  Good grief.  It's like it was written by a college English professor.  He's eloquent, descriptive, even grandiose with his mastery of the English language.  Could this be in response to my aggravation with his lack of words?  Hmm...maybe.  But, he very clearly used, in his own words, "many words" to describe himself, what he's looking for and the kind of relationship he's interested in, never mentioning sex or the lack thereof.  He's come a long way since our conflict last week.

So, I'm not sure what scenario I want to play out here.  Do I want him to write me back and would I be able to see past his possibly innocent mistake of going too far too fast?  Or do I just hate negative interactions with people and am making one last attempt to mend the fences?  We'll see I guess.  See, not a completely shallow excuse. Now get that disapproving look of your face.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My First Blog Award!

Although completely off my usual topic (you can substitute "rants," "complaints," "begging/pleading for advice," etc.), I think my first blog award deserves a posting of its own!  New to the blogosphere (oh yeah, that's a real word), this must be a record.  Call Guinness.

The other day, I received the Versatile Blogger Award from NYC Island Gal, one of my favorite bloggesses.  In order to continue the tradition of prior recipients, I must write seven unique things about myself.  Hmm... 1).  I've named each of my cars and usually name my friends' cars as well.  2).  I'm deathly afraid of moths and clowns, in that order.  3).  I can't change the channel if Golden Girls is on.  4).  I pretend to know what all the abbreviations mean in people's facebook status updates. 5). I have recently become addicted to the Coffeechinos at Wendy's 6).  I can't resist homemade soaps, lotions and the like.  7).  I tend to get a little obsessed with tanning in the summertime.  Whew.  That wasn't easy, my friends!

So, to keep the chain of love going, I pass this award along to some of my other favorite bloggers:



 - Karen
 - Kendallina
 - Meagan
 - Ria

Check them out!  I can't wait to read their seven unique facts!

Rules of Engagement

One of the significant differences between Old Melanie and New Melanie (have you met her yet? If not, she's a pretty cool chick) is her knowledge of what she wants and doesn't want.  Okay, switching from awkward third-person.  During this nauseating roller coaster ride of first dates and icebreaker communication, I have come to realize that dating is much more than simply finding someone that you "click" with.  The older I get, the more some startlingly important factors play into the decision-making process, things I honestly wouldn't have considered years ago or wouldn't have been dealbreakers.  So, I've decided to make a short list, here for the world to see, of rules for courtship.  This list will also help you keep me in check.  If I stray from these crucial elements, feel free to shake your head at me, clear your throat, and politely remind me of Rule #4, for example. 

Rule #1.  In order to engage me in courtship, you must be some form of Christian.
I know this one is going to bug a LOT of people.  To each his own, folks, but it is important to me to know that you can go to church with me and have an understanding and appreciation of my faith.  You don't necessarily need to be the same denomination, but essentially, I need to know that we believe the same thing and can raise children that way.  Not important ten years ago; critically important as I sit here listening to Pandora, attempting to drown out the ticking and tocking of my biological clock.

Relevance, you ask? I'm happy to comply.  During my "date" with Mr. Banderas, he asked me about my faith.  We'd touched on the subject before but only via text, which is an awkward way of expressing a commitment to anything, honestly.  He clarified that he was fine with me sharing my story as long as I wasn't a Bible Beater, of which I am not.  If we've met, you know that I have no place beating anyone with a Bible.  I shared my unique story cautiously at dinner (keeping in mind the golden rule of avoiding politics and religion, at least until you know the person's last name) and he shared his...or the lack thereof.  Although he'd marked "Christian: Other" on his profile, Mr. Banderas pretty much stated that he is without religion at this point in his life.  He didn't say that he believes in something and just doesn't practice, which is acceptable and understandable.  A lot of people go through ups and downs of commitment, including myself.  Sometimes that Sunday morning alarm clock is the worst sound I've ever heard in my life.  But, I always eventually come back around.  He said he has no religion.  This, my friends, is a dealbreaker.  As much as I'd like to think I can see around that trait, I know that eventually, on down the line, it will play a major role in whatever decision I'd make about him.  Granted (I'm sure you've thought of this), I'm not dating him and could be great friends with him.  But, to commit to a relationship with someone who so honestly shared this fact with me at the onset is unlikely and destined to cause anguish.  I know this about myself, one of the few things that I can unhesitatingly state about what I'm looking for.

Rule #2.  You must be a non-smoker or seriously committed to quitting. 
Again, probably going to stir up controversy.  Although, I would never tell the love of my life that I can't be with him because he smokes, he better be prepared that I'm going to nag him until he quits.  It'll kill you, people.  Remember the Shards o' Glass popsicle commercials? Watch and learn.

Rule #3.  You cannot be better on paper than you are in person.
I'm not just filling an empty space at the other end of the dinner table here.  I'd like someone who can engage me and who is engaged by me.  Short and sweet.

Rule #4.  You should be able to participate in 12-year-old boy style humor or at least handle it.
My friends and I often confuse people about our age.  They can't imagine that a group so vulgar and immature in their humor can possibly be in their late twenties/early thirties.  That's just who we are.  If you can't go with that flow, you're probably going to be uncomfortable in my group.

Rule #5.  You should make a moderate attempt to look presentable. 
Hmm...how can I put this?  You don't have to be metro-sexual, checking every strand of hair in the rear view mirror more often than you're looking at the road or adorned in the latest haut couture runway styles.  I don't even have a preference for a particular style:  preppy, redneck, outdoorsy, goth, whatever your choice is fine with me. You don't have to spend a lot of money on designer brands or fabulous shoes.  Heck, I don't.  I  would just appreciate some fashion choices that a). fit, b). aren't dirty, and c). don't look like you borrowed them from your grandfather. (And before you ask,  yes, I have witnessed all three of those...sometimes at the same time.)  That's all I'm asking.  Basic skills your momma taught you before you started kindergarten.  I get the whole "This is me expressing myself" thing, but I don't buy it. I think a lot of "fashion" now comes from sheer laziness.  And if I'm respecting you enough to put effort into how I look, I expect the same.  Effort, friends, that's all I'm asking. And effort usually doesn't mean that your shirt's original intention was to be a barrier between your sweaty armpits and another shirt.  Note to men: Women notice how you dress.  We especially notice if you look nice and as though you put at least two minutes of thought into your outfit.

Now, don't send me hate mail about my inflexibility.  I don't think any of these requirements are unreasonable.  To my fellow gal pal readers, do you agree?  What rules do you/did you have when screening dating material?  To the gentlemen in the audience, same for you.   Please comment with your "Rules of Engagement."  I would love to hear if this is one element of the battle of the sexes that we agree upon or if one of the reasons we are so clueless about each other is because we're each expecting totally different things.  I'm thinking it's the latter, but we'll let the jury have some deliberation time!


Monday, June 28, 2010

"Sorry, that's my lung on your plate."

I would imagine at this point at least a few of you think that I'm making all of this up.  How could one girl have stumbled across so many dysfunctional, abnormal or just plain weird situations in such a short period of time?  If you know me personally, you have already said to yourself (at least once), "Well, that's really par for the course for Melanie."  If you don't know me, you might have an inclination that either I have a ridiculously clever imagination or that somehow I'm doing something to attract such strange behavior.  I assure you that neither are the case.  Sometimes I've wondered though, especially in the last couple of weeks, if The Blogging Goddess herself has put said occurrences in my life to provide me with the material necessary to keep this blog alive and kickin'.  She's probably somewhere smiling down, hand-picking the next weirdo for me to go out with, giggling contently at the thought of my follow-up rants and raves.

So, I owe you an update.  I realize that I'm four days past due at this point, so I hope you'll forgive me.  I haven't noticed any Girl Scouts outside of my local Wal-mart in hot pursuit of funds for a computer, but I digress. 

Thursday evening, I met Mr. Banderas at a local restaurant.  I was running late (great first impression, thank you Atlanta rubber-neckers) but eventually arrived, almost sweating all of my makeup off in one fell swoop in the short walk from the car to the door.  He was polite, courteous and amazingly attractive.  So attractive, in fact, that I got nervous.  Way nervous.  As in, not able to put together a complete sentence nervous.  Halfway through my flautas, I must have gotten some of the tortilla caught in my throat and commenced to hack like an old woman for what seemed like twenty minutes.  After my sixth attempt to act as though this couldn't possibly be happening, he politely suggested that I take a sip of water, which I did, and which only made the situation worse.  I tried to continue talking through my gasps and chokes, only to sound like I'd just finished smoking an entire carton of Marlboros.  To the delight of the entire restaurant I'm sure, he took over the conversation at that point and let me recover.

We had a lot in common, he complimented my dress, we knew some mutual folks associated with my local alma mater, and there were very few awkward pauses (one of my biggest fears, second only to jugular vein attacks by moths).  But, it was crazy quick.  About halfway into the "date," I got a slight inclination that he was laying the foundation for a quick getaway.  I may certainly have misread this casual reference to something he needed to get done...right now...but it was odd to me that my drive to the restaurant was actually about twice as long as the time I actually sat across from him.  Hmm...now that I think of it, it also might have been due to the presence of my lung next to his plate full of tacos.  I'd imagine that's usually a date-ender.

I will say though that this is by far the most successful experience I've had in the last month as far as meeting new men goes.  Much to my surprise, he text messaged me within an hour of meeting and shared that he'd had a good time, and he hoped to see me at a Meetup.com group in the future.  Good sign, right? (This particular gentleman initially strolled onto the set via Meetup.com and then recognized my profile picture on Match.  He's a big fan of the Meetup scene.)  I think I'll keep an eye out for any upcoming Meetup events in the area, "stumble" across Mr. Banderas again and see where it goes from there.

I'd also like to introduce you to Mr. Baggage, a ridiculously cute local Singleton, also from Match, who shares an almost insane love of my favorite baseball team.  The texting marathon (thank you, Lord, that I was smart enough to switch to unlimited!) began yesterday and in a very short time, I learned a lot about Mr. Baggage.  And by "a lot about him," I mean his previous relationship.  I consider the sharing of emotional baggage at the onset of a new friendship/relationship/whatever to be a pretty big red flag, but never saw one quite this large.  I'm talking football-field size.  Mr. Baggage's fiance of six months (and girlfriend of four years) recently left him.  Recently as in Memorial Day.  Less than a month ago.  He lamented his empty apartment, added expense, how she'd just walked out, disappeared without explanation and his desire to literally skip town, all within the first ten texts.  But, added that he'd like to meet me.  He continued sharing his story with me multiple times through the course of the day.  And that he'd like to meet me. 

So, my fellow Singletons and Marrieds, I ask you:  Is there light around the edges of this red flag? Or should I let Mr. Baggage sort things out without getting in the middle?  I just imagine a first meeting filled with "ex-fiance" talk and bitter stories of break-ups and loneliness. 





Singletons Unite!: The Single Girl's Mix Tape

Last week, I asked some of my favorite people in the world to share with me their suggestions for the ultimate Single Girl's Mix Tape.  As Singletons usually are, they were quite responsive!  Below is a list of some of my favorites from those suggested, and I added them to my blog playlist.  Like what you're hearing?  Share your email address and I can send you the playlist for download!


1.  "Single" by Natasha Beddingfield
2.  "Ridin Solo" by Jason Derulo
3.  "I've Got No Strings" from "Disney's Pinocchio:  The Original Soundtrack"
4.  "Go Your Own Way" by Fleetwood Mac
5.  "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor
6.  "Learn My Lesson" by Daughtry
7.  "Single White Female" by Chely Wright
8.  "Fighter" by Christina Aguilera
9.  "Show Me What I'm Looking For" by Carolina Liar
10.  "Wasting My Time" by Default
11.  "All You Need is Love" by The Beatles
12.  "Single Ladies" by Beyonce
13.  "Miss Independent" by Kelly Clarkson
14.  "Love Song for No One" by John Mayer
15.  "Why Not Me?" by The Judds
16.  "The Sign" by Ace of Base

Got more suggestions? Hit me!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Healthy Helping of Veritaserum

As I am sure you are all well aware, I've been working through a lot of stuff lately.  Good stuff, bad stuff...stuff.  It gives me a headache just thinking of all the stuff I've been processing over the last few weeks.  And thanks to you all, I think I've been able to look at things from more than just my little limited view of the world as I know it.

Last night, some more reality hit me and my overanalyzing-self decided it was time to take a look at what was going on and determine just how far I'd come.  Truth be told, I'm not sure what I discovered.

To be honest with you, I don't know if my heart, head and body are all on the same page.  Let's start with the loudest, most boisterous of the three:  my heart.  This unfailingly optimistic organ tells me that everything is going to work out the way I want it to and that my Prince Charming (when I envision this, he looks a lot like Prince William, but he's just a placeholder) will come galloping into my office one day, wink at me, pat the saddle seat behind him in encouragement for me to join him, and we will ride off into the sunset, never to be heard from again.  I'll be super impressed with him because he was able to get his galloping steed up a fire escape staircase or an elevator that usually only fits three human beings comfortably.  But, as I sat staring at the ceiling and watching the clock rapidly approach the ridiculous time I have to get up on weekday mornings, I wondered if my heart has been as resilient as I once thought.  Had the thousand shattered pieces mended nicely as I'd hoped or was it still cracked and chipped, just pretending to be fixed?  If I squinted hard enough, it looked whole again.  It at least resembled its old self...

To further dole out the honesty, my head tells me to stop torturing myself with this endless stream of non-descript emails and text messages with the same conversations, the same lines and the same characteristics.  The "blah, blah, blah" until we coordinate a meeting. I can't count the messages and comments I've received from anyone aware of my online dating presence that go something along the lines of "Why are YOU online dating? Surely with such a great (insert characteristic), you can easily find someone!" Sorting through profiles feels like job-hunting and reviewing their three basic parts:  photos, opening paragraph that almost always (as we talked about before) includes the line "I'm a laid back kind of guy," and the "What I'm looking for" section, gets monotonous.  If you've ever searched for a job, you can easily relate these to job descriptions. But, this latter section is amazingly similar from profile to profile.  We're all looking for the same thing, someone who gets our humor, makes us laugh and engages us in great conversation.  Period. Nobody puts "I want someone who likes to tie their shoelaces so tight their feet throb" or "I want a partner who will listen to records backwards with me to hear the hidden messages."  It just sometimes feels so hit or miss that it's hard not to cash in your chips and go home. 

Adding more truth to this heaping pile, my body has got this down pat.  I won't lie to you; I feel like I'm looking pretty good right now, probably the best I've looked in a long time.  I've got a brand new assortment of great fashion choices, I'm close to the possibility of being confused with the Coppertone Girl, and my hair is shiny and downright bouncy with volume.  I look the part.  I look like a girl on the market of love.  But, I'm worried I'm just going through the motions, doing all the things I know I need to do to be attractive, but not cutting the mustard when it comes to those other two pesky factors (see above).

Maybe I'm not ready to jump in head first into the pool of other Singletons.  Could it be that forcing myself into the deep end before I could swim was a recipe for failure? Flailing about in search of a life raft is not appealing.  Attention-getting, but not appealing. I know that I haven't been at this game long yet and it's entirely too early to make any rash decisions.  Could be fatigue from the cramming of what probably would have been months of pursuits in the real world into the last three weeks.  I don't intend to quit.  I can't.  I just hope that I haven't created a dating monster that just can't find what I'm looking for because I haven't cleaned up the wreckage from the past yet.  And all of this is with great timing mere hours before my date with Mr. Banderas!  Pep up, Singleton!  I spent too long on this makeup this morning to finish it off with a frown!

P.S. Without an at-home computer right now, no update on my date until Monday.  I know...pathetic.  Feel free to start the "Get Melanie a Computer" fundraiser outside your local Wal-mart.  Get some of those Girl Scouts to help...if they can talk people out of $3.50 for a box of 12 cookies, I'm sure they'd be stellar at this.

P.P.S. Bonus points to anyone who knows what veritaserum is.  I don't know what you'd do with those bonus points or even where they would get you, but you'll have the satisfaction of knowing your pop culture references.  :)




Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Has the jury reached a verdict?

Suddenly, I'm in a large, cold room, filled with chatter and photographers.  Behind me, a sea of blonde ponytails and cheerleader uniforms, all glancing up at me from their hushed exchange of rumors with smirky, critical looks of pity and ridicule.  In front of me, I look up to see a huge bench with an angry judge perched high atop.  He bangs the gavel repeatedly, until the chit-chat and snickering behind me turns to whispers and "shhh's."  "Court is now in session!," he yells still banging the oversized gavel.  He glares down at me over his bad plastic-rimmed glasses, then over to the jury box.  "Has the jury reached a verdict?," he bellows.  "We have, Your Honor," says the pale, bookworm jury forewoman in her tweed business suit.  She hands a piece of paper to the bailliff, who in turn passes it to the ominous judge.  He reads it, grins to himself and then focuses his attention back to me.  Assured of my pardon, I stand calmly and confidently.  "Melanie Maiden-Name, your faults have been evaluated by a jury of your peers," he states snidely, as I look over at the jury box full of nerdy, wallflower-like women, all in their late old maid years, with intense frown lines and bad fashion choices.  "You have been found guilty and, as judge of Singledom, I hereby sentence you to a lifetime of bad first dates, without the possibility of marriage!," he cackles, taking delight in my punishment.  Cameras flash and click, documenting my disgrace for generations to come. "Bailliff," he continues, "take her to Red Lobster!"

I shoot up in bed, palms sweating, head aching.  Good grief...  I need a vacation, preferably with a lot of sun, waves, adult beverages, and bad decisions.

Tomorrow evening is my third first date in as many weeks.  I think I've figured out that I'm very good at the relationship stuff: the calling to just say hello, the notes of encouragement before job interviews or other such important daily tasks, the random notes on the windshield before work, the remembering important dates or appointments, birthdays or anniversaries, the listening without judging and not offering an opinion when it's not necessary, all the important things that keep the connection alive.  It's the building the connection that I'm not so great at accomplishing.  I grew up thinking how wonderful it would be to marry my best friend.  Not the "I want to marry him therefore he's my best friend" concept, but the idea that someone would be your best friend and then turn into your soulmate was always the ideal situation in my head.  And I thought it was because it was just so romantic and Hollywood-like.  How many movies have you seen where people suddenly wake up and realize that their best friend is who they actually want to spend the rest of their life with?  I can count at least five right off the top of my head, without even thinking too hard!  But, I wonder if that approach is not so appealing simply because it's romantic, but also because it's so easy.  In the short time that I've been throwing myself to the sharks with this new marathon dating approach, I have quickly realized that dating isn't fun.  It's not enjoyable, it's not easy, it's not comfortable.  And maybe that's because I haven't ever dated the right one.  But, if given an "out" right now that was easy and comfortable, I'd probably jump at the chance, simply to avoid Serial First Dater status.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong...maybe my style of meeting the person as an individual/potential friend first and not a potential partner on the first date isn't the best route to take.  Maybe I need to be a bit more flirtatious or silly and less serious.  Maybe my style borders on job interview and that's intimidating.  Maybe I'll start experimenting with the different versions of Melanie on these dates until I find one that seems to be a bit more attention-getting.  Wish me luck...



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ashton Kutcher? Is that you?

Am I being punked?  Am I on some sick reality show or something?  Is there a "Candid Camera" episode being filmed and I'm the only one that doesn't know about it?

Remember Mr. Too Many Words?  I must be a glutton for punishment.  Or maybe I just keep giving people the benefit of the doubt because I'm starting to realize that not everyone out there in the giant internet world is on the same page as I am with this whole online dating thing.  After I pretty inconspicuously offered to give Mr. Too Many Words my phone number, but only after he requested it, I got an email two days later with nothing but a question mark, as I mentioned yesterday.  So, I pondered how to respond to that.  Should I ignore it as an obvious attempt to continue our "conversation" without actually making any effort?  Or should I give him some slack and consider that maybe he's just not a master of the English language?  I decided to go with the latter, but with an asterisk, of course.  I responded as effortlessly as I could muster with just a small helping of sarcasm.  I told him that I hadn't responded to him quite yet because I hadn't figured out how to do so without using words, but obviously he had mastered the art.  Well, that did it.  The words started flowing.  He started asking me questions, "what are you up to, Melly?," "how are you this evening, Melly?," "what do you like to do for fun, Melly?," all the while I'm suppressing my aggravation factor at the continued use of the version of my name that usually requires permission for use.  I'm picking my battles.  I respond lightheartedly, not sharing too much considering I was already slapped on the wrist for using words that were longer than five letters.  At one point I decided it was time for me to start being an equal portion of this conversation again, and I re-asked one of my original questions:  "What do you like to do in your off-time?"  Now, I have no idea what this guy does for a living or really anything about him at this point.  We've exchanged maybe 5 emails, which included my initial "wordy" introductions and his use of a punctuation mark as text.  His response...well...how can I put this?...caught me off guard.

Mr. Too Many Words, although I doubted this fact at first, has a fine grasp of our language.  The response to my question that he felt appropriate is as follows (now this is a direct quote, I swear, no editing, adding, obviously no embellishing, etc.):

"well, i like to watch all kinds of sports and play them. i like to soak in the jacuzzi. i like to enjoy a beautiful day and i wish i could say sex but i havent had sex in 3 years."

Not kidding.  Now, I don't know about you, but in my pursuit of a mate, I'm looking for a gentleman who likes to have fun.  Don't get me wrong, I don't want a stick in the mud, by any means.  But, uh, don't you agree with me that this response is a bit inappropriate?  Let's start at the beginning (completely overlooking the lack of correct capitalization or punctuation).  Who tells someone they like to "soak in the jacuzzi?" (I know, you thought I was going there first, didn't you? Nope...saving that one.)  If I don't know you, I don't need that kind of visual...yet.  "A beautiful day..."  Aww.  Sweet.  "I wish I could say..." Wait, what? I mean, honestly, I am speechless regarding the last sentence of this email.  I couldn't get this kid to share with me what he did for a living, but attempting to engage me with a completely inappropriate detail about his sex life is no problem?!?  I may have used "entirely too many words" in my introduction, but at least I didn't share completely personal, semi-repulsive information with a complete stranger.

So, I'm tempted to go one of two ways with my response (because this is entirely too good NOT to respond).  First, I am contemplating fullfilling every woman's dream of outright telling this guy that, if this is his "game," it ain't gonna cut it.  I may owe this to female kind and be obligated to take this path in order to hold on to my membership in the Girls Club.  I can't imagine most girls would be impressed with this fact let alone enticed to continue the relationship.  After the initial shock wore off (after re-reading twice, just to be sure..."yup, that's what he said"), the wonder about the reason for the lack thereof set in.  And I have a pretty vivid imagination.  Second, I am completely tempted to respond with something off the wall and shocking myself.  Completely made up of course, but what a prime opportunity to hone my creative skills.  A door swinging wide open to see just how far I can push the envelope, if you catch my drift.  Heck, there are no drifts to catch here, people.  I'd write back with something even more inappropriate than what he sent me.  Just for giggles.  Of course, only because he has absolutely no way of contacting me outside of the confines of Match.com and doesn't know my first name, let alone where I live.

I thought about this for a long time last night.  It's mind boggling to me that there are people just out there for what it seems Mr. Too Many Words is fishing for.  Especially that they are paying for a service to meet other like-minded folks!  It makes sense now though, he obviously isn't interested in what I have to say, words would simply be getting in his way.  He doesn't need to talk to get what he's looking for!

All these shenanigans have got me wondering if I'm literally going to breathe a huge sigh of relief when I meet someone who even resembles normal.  I better make sure I have a breath mint.




Monday, June 21, 2010

When Blogging Gets Personal

I feel like I'm re-learning everything I thought I was an expert on as far as communication goes over the last couple of weeks.  I'm definitely learning that there are a lot of differences in how people communicate and the levels of expectation that people have from me in this whole crazy dating process.  Let me update you...

So, since we began, you've met Mr. Saturday, Mr. Braves Fan, Mr. Banderas and Mr. Dalton, all worthy in their own special ways.  We all agreed weeks ago now to just write off Mr. Saturday and his rude way of ignoring my basic communication.  I didn't write about it (because honestly, there was nothing really worth talking about!), but I met Mr. Braves fan almost a week ago now.  "Braves Fan" was about his only characteristic of note, besides his mentioning of "fake boobs" within the first three minutes of our meeting and his willingness to share his opinion on homosexuals.  He was extremely and obviously nervous, which surprisingly made me less nervous.  He was very skilled in the interview-style, firing range approach to first meeting questioning, so I'm assuming that this was not his first trip down Match Meeting Lane.  There was nothing overly charismatic or appealing about him and conversely nothing horrible or detestable.  However, as the inspiration for my recent posting about attraction, I was entirely and thoroughly blown away by the fact that this man did not in any way, shape or form, even resemble the photographs that he posted on his profile.  Even the photos themselves looked as though they were of various people after further scrutiny.  Had he not recognized me when he arrived at the restaurant, I would have completely overlooked him, sitting patiently in the lobby waiting for someone I thought would look like the Mr. Braves Fan I had seen online.  Further review after the meeting confirmed that one of the photos could have been him, but maybe ten or twelve years ago.  Not acceptable.  So, a week later and still nothing from him.  Hopefully he found me as equally uninteresting.

Let's continue.  Mr. Dalton, as you'll recall, has been in and out of the picture for several months now, and as I learned this weekend, has read my blog.  That's fine.  I'm also assuming that he's intelligent enough to have figured out that he is, in fact, Mr. Dalton.  Correct me if I'm wrong, of course, but I feel like I am just being honest and chronicling my pursuits, without slandering or being malicious.  At least, I'm trying my best.  Well, apparently, Mr. Dalton read something that he did not find appealing and became pretty aggravated with me that I seem to be so busy here lately.  After trying to coordinate a time to meet him later this week, he sent me the "throwing in the towel" text message, but complimented me on my "awesomeness" with my blog.  Although, I personally don't think that was coincidental at all, feel free to make of that what you will.  He told me he was frustrated with me because I didn't want to talk on the phone prior to our meeting (I mean, what would we talk about upon meeting if we used up all our good intro-conversation on the phone? I don't think that's an unreasonable request) and that he couldn't share his emotions with me via text or email.

Am I wrong in thinking that an electronic relationship shouldn't involve emotions?  Maybe that's why none of these endeavors has been successful for me at this point.  My texts and emails aren't bursting with emotion, which would be fabricated anyway.  Am I wrong in thinking that someone you meet online, having never seen in person shouldn't have emotions to convey?  I just can't wrap my brain around which emotion he would share with me at this point.

After wishing him luck in his pursuit of happiness, which would no longer include me for obvious reasons, I sat wondering if my blogging would lead to my downfall.  Is it good and productive for me to continue to share the in's and out's of this silliness with the world or is it setting me up for a disaster if read by the wrong person?  What if I find The Man of My Dreams and he reads this blog, only to discover some dealbreaker and leave me right back where I started, as a Singleton?  What if he thought he was the only one in my scope to find out that I had been seeing other people when we met?  Food for thought...  Now, Mr. Dalton's choice of words and rash decision was a bit more critical than I intended to see past, so his dislike of anything he read was not bearing on my decision.  I was thinking more in terms of future meetings.  But, honestly, I think that I am simply being honest.  For once in my life, I'm not hiding the fact that I'm struggling with this process or the fact that I'm not focused on one particular match, which is absurd this early in the game.  I'm not hiding the fact that I have been successful in almost every other thing I've tried in my entire life except dating.  And I'm learning as I'm going.  And getting the helpful insight of friends, new and old. 

So, while Mr. Dalton was struggling with expressing his emotions via text message on Saturday night, unwilling to schedule a time that worked for both of our schedules, I was utilizing my newly freed time and coordinating a meeting with Mr. Banderas, who has absolutely no problem with communicating in any form I'm comfortable with.  He seems excited about meeting and as non-chalant about the whole thing as I am.  As always, I'll continue to keep you posted because I have no intention of editing myself or this blog.  My pondering quickly led to brief laughter followed by contemplation of my next installment.  :)

P.S. Mr. Too Many Words has popped back on the scene.  He sent me a very (what I'm hoping was) witty email on Saturday that simply contained a question mark.  He continues to call me "Melly," much to my chagrin.








Friday, June 18, 2010

The Dumbing Down of the Dating World

One handy portion of your subscription package when you become a member of Match.com is their advice section.  Now, as you are well aware, occasionally I think I know it all.  But, as I get older, I realize that sometimes that's not the case.  I decided that, after several failed attempts to make the most of my monthly investment, I would see what the "experts" at Match had to say about utilizing their service.  They suggest that you skip the "winking" (a.k.a. wimpy form of communication) and go right in for the kill, sending an email to jump-start the conversation.  But, they go further than that.  In this email, you should be witty, mention something in their profile that caught your attention or that you have in common, possibly reference pop culture and most importantly, keep it short.  Well...that ain't easy for me.  I don't know if you've noticed but I tend to be long-winded.  So, I've stifled myself and been my own personal editor, following these Match Mandates to a tee.  I'm pretty sure my emails would be approved to use as templates for others, but I haven't suggested that yet.

Yesterday, I was reviewing the daily meat market emails I receive with the lineup of possible candidates to receive communication from me and was pleasantly surprised by one who seemed to be both interesting and attractive (again, taking for granted that his pictures were actually of him).  I sent him my standard "Hi, I liked your profile, would you like to chat?" style opening email. Almost immediately, my inbox lit up.  He'd responded! "Yes," he said, "I'd love to get to know you better."  Okay, I think, let's go then!  I write back with maybe a paragraph's worth of conversation, with just a few questions about how long he'd lived in the area and what he does in his off-time.  Again, an immediate turn-around in response.  I log-in and open my inbox to find "I've lived in (Georgia town) for 3 years, moved here from Miami."  'Aww...he's shy,' I thought.  I respond with a little bit more conversation, asking what prompted him to move to this area from Miami, if his family lived here, and shared that he'd be more than welcome to ask me any questions he might have that I didn't cover in my profile, if he'd like (really this question is designed to create more of a conversation balance so that I don't feel like I'm overloading him with a barrage of questions).  This message was maybe 75 words and definitely fell within Match.com's suggestion of no more than two paragraphs per email.  Which makes sense if you think about it, who wants to read a novel from a complete stranger.  Save some things for the first date conversation.  Again, an immediate response.  Wow, this guy is interested, I think.  I click on his message and (brace for it) am shocked to find the following response:  "Melly, this is entirely too many words."

Wow.  So, there are several things in this seven word response that I want to address.  Let's start at the beginning.  "Melly" is a nickname I had in high school that I used for my screennames since screennames first came on the scene.  There are maybe four people in the world that still call me that, and only on occasion.  If you call me that now, we are ridiculously close and you've usually asked for permission.  Most of the time, I get "Mel" before I get "Melly."  So, this level of familiarity when I clearly signed all my emails with "Melanie," is a bit forward.  Secondly, did this man not read what I do for a living?! I make money on a daily basis with WORDS!  I blog with WORDS.  I communicate with WORDS.  How could someone think for a second that you could possibly date online without using WORDS?  Back to the Match suggestions, the "experts" say to never jump right into a phone conversation or a meeting without at least exchanging a couple of emails (wait, don't you need WORDS to exchange emails?).  I was blown away to say the least.

I pondered this response for the rest of the evening.  How can you respond to someone via email that thinks you use "entirely too many words?" [Sidenote, I intend to use this phrase for at least two weeks to get the full use and value of the ridiculousness.]  After some thought, I decided this morning to respond.  I said "Well, I don't know how to respond to this without using more words.  Would you be more comfortable chatting online or through text?" (Obviously talking at this point would be silly; again I'd probably use too many words.) Like yesterday, I got an immediate response.  He said (this is a direct quote), "Melly, I think you just did an outstanding job at expressing yourself within the limits of a few sentences. LOL."  I kid you not.  I couldn't make this up; I'm not that creative.

So, I'm pretty sure I'm done.  I know that I personally love words and take great pride in my ability to not only use them, but to use them correctly.  At first I thought maybe there was a language barrier.  Maybe he was using FreeTranslator.com or something and my use of tenses other than present was throwing off the electronic translator.  Maybe I was using language above the U.S. standard eighth grade reading level and needed to dumb it down.  But, by his use of the word "outstanding," I'm thinking he's got a handle on the English language or he would have used "good" or "great" or some other generic positive reinforcement.  So, how could I ever be with a man who didn't appreciate words as much as I do?  Or (gasp!) thinks I talk too much?!?  Even if he was my Prince Charming, he'd get really tired of my jabbering really quickly.

With this last response, I'm leaving the ball in his court.  If he'd like my phone number after I plainly offered it, he better ask for it.  Even then I'm not sure how I'd communicate with him without using words.  Maybe I could take a sign language class or practice my "Pictionary" skills and learn to draw what I'd like to share with him.  I could also bring some Play-doh on our first meeting and make 3-D representations of things.  Yeah...not worth it.







 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Still waiting or still lost?

Sometimes it is hard for me to know what is real and what is not.  Having been pretty sheltered growing up and spending most of my time with my nose stuck in a book, I wouldn't say that I really socialized as a teenager.  This fact, I'm sure, was much appreciated by my parents considering I was their first exposure to raising a teenager in the mid-90's. I had friends, of course, some of which I still consider to be my nearest and dearest even to this day.  And obviously a lot of people in high school at least knew I existed, which is evident from the amount of which have reconnected with me through Facebook.  But, I spent most of my time thinking about the future and not so much about the present.  I focused on books, school, tests, AP exams, Beta Club (which surprisingly made me "high school famous," I've now come to learn all these years later!), college entrance exams, college application essays, getting scholarships, all very important things, but boys...eh, boys could wait, I figured.  Boys could wait until I got everything together.  Plus, who would want a high school boy when you could just wait a bit longer and have a college boy, with all the fun that comes along with them?  Pretty obvious choice if you ask me.

So, there I was.  In college.  All my work had paid off.  I was at a private college, far enough away from home to have the college experience, but just close enough to have a safety net, if necessary.  Surrounded by college boys.  And what did I do?  Focus on school...again.  Not that focusing on education isn't worthy or commendable, of course it is.  I graduated with honors with a degree in the field I wanted to spend my career.  But, I was alone.  Don't think for a second that I wasn't interested in guys, I was.  Dramatically so.  On a few particular ones at that.  But, I kept my eye on the prize, which was that diploma, and rarely let it stray to the guys waiting around it with their hands in the air, going "Uh, Melanie?  Would you like to take a break from studying and go to dinner?"  I figured, college guys are fun but who wants a college guy when I can just wait a little bit longer and have a real, working, full grown man?  Uh, yes please.  But, I waited myself right into Singledom.

I think part of my problem now, as I am technically and on paper an actual adult, rapidly approaching a decade of my life where childish behavior is looked at as a major character flaw and can no longer be written off with the "Well, she's only twenty-(insert year)," is that I didn't have those foundation-building experiences as a teenager.  I wasn't the normal, fickle sixteen-year-old bee-bopping from boyfriend to boyfriend or changing my interest type from week to week.  I didn't figure out the things that I want or don't want in a relationship early on.  So, unfortunately, I think I'm having to decipher those characteristics now when most people have gone through that process a long time ago.  And not just that...I don't know how to do this whole dating thing.  It has become painfully obvious as I seem to be entering "Serial First Dater" status, that I have no idea what I'm doing.  I'm good at conversation, I am good at being to the date on time, I am good at dressing appropriately, smiling, laughing, but quickly find myself thinking, "Okay, what next?"  Do I automatically reference my preference for a second date?  Do I wait? Does the guy do that? Should he walk me to my car? Am I too old fashioned expecting him to open the door for me? Is the expectation on the guy to call me within 48 hours after the date if he's interested, or are those rules gone with the wind?  Are there rules at all anymore?  Does anybody know?  Am I the only one who's clueless?

Although I don't think I've stumbled across Mr. Right or even Mr. Right Now quite yet, I'm nervous that when I do, I'll hit the speed bump of my own inexperience and do something horribly wrong, ruining what could be a wonderful thing.  Like "Sliding Doors," what if we were destined for greatness, but one poorly timed phone call or my hesitation to stick to tradition changes that path forever?

Sometimes I think my lack of experience also translates in my inability to know the difference between what is real and what isn't.  I think everyone's intentions are good, and that everyone's brains work the same way mine does.  If I act one way to you and you act that way back to me, then surely you must feel the same way I do.  I'm learning (slowly) that this isn't necessarily true.  I need more practice so that I can be a better judge.

Can you tell yet that I am Type A?  Yeah...I thought so.  Again, still wide open for suggestions.  You guys know that I am doing this to hear your opinions and suggestions right?  Keep 'em coming.






Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Bylaws of Attraction

So, let's say, hypothetically, you meet someone new for a "blind" date.  The quotation marks shall imply that you have previously seen a photograph...keep reading to find out why that is an integral part of this post at this point.  You go into the situation with no expectations (remember?...we talked about that) and no preconceived judgments.  You're a blank slate, waiting for someone to scribble out their pros and cons, in a nice orderly list of course, so that you can make a judgment call as to whether or not this person is worthy of receiving more of your time and attention. 

Let's further say, first, that this person has absolutely no "wow factor" nor does he/she inspire feelings of impending doom.  You don't want to rush to the bathroom and call your best friend to say "Oh my gosh, he/she could be The One," nor do you want to run from the restaurant screeching for the nearest cop to come rescue you from what will surely turn out to be the plot of the next great Lifetime movie.  He/She was just kind of...vanilla.  Personality wise.

Okay, now let's switch gears.  What if there is absolutely no physical attraction?  What if you sat through the entire "date" (wow, lots of quotation marks in this one...maybe that says something about my life) wondering if you could possibly ever be physically attracted to this person?  Now, I know I am going to get my hand slapped on this one.  Especially since I am no Playboy model myself, but I feel as though I should at least think that my partner is attractive.  Even if it's the "He's so cute in a (nerdy),(dorky),(goofy) sort of way."  And I know that I'm going to get some responses insisting that I give it time, get to know him, blah blah blah.  But even if there wasn't so much as one redeeming attractive quality?  At all?  I mean, nothing, people.  Nothing.  I know in just the couple of hours I sat with him that he is a very nice guy.  I know that he was nervous, which surprisingly made me less nervous.  There just wasn't really anything...anything to describe or want more details about to inspire another meeting. 

How long do you think is the appropriate time to spend with someone before you just chalk it up to a lack of attraction?  How important is physical attraction, in all honesty?  I know that we all walk around with our politically correct responses of "it's what's inside that counts," and I do agree with that sentiment.  If you look like Bradley Cooper but have the personality of a dead leaf, then eventually, your chiseled, perfect looks aren't going to cut it.  Eventually.  We might have a lot of fun for a while, and I know I'd truly enjoy showing you off to every girl in high school who looked down her nose at me, but a lifetime connection...probably not.  On the other hand, if you're cute and have a great personality and keep me laughing and have some interesting qualities, I will think you're gorgeous within a matter of days. I can actually prove that in my history of interests. 

[Random interjected sidenote:  I almost forgot I was going to explain to you the quotation marks around the word blind above.  Ah-hem.  Let me see how to put this mildy.  These guys are deceiving.  I don't know how they're doing it, but they are managing to somehow post pictures of themselves that look only moderately similar to how they actually look, and that's a stretch.  I'll be honest, my pictures are selected based on how I feel I look in them.  Obviously, I'm not going to post the one from Christmas morning in my new snowman pajamas with my hair in a ponytail and a makeup-less face.  But, I look like my pictures.  These gentlemen, uh, do not. Done with sidenote.] 

Here's the most important part of this post, and I am completely serious when I say that I want responses, comments, critiques, insults, compliments, whatever you're inspired to share with me after reading this question.  Without caving to the socially expected response, how many times would you go out with someone that you felt no physical attraction to upon meeting?




Monday, June 14, 2010

First Date Fever

With me, when it rains, it pours.  After years of an intense drought as far as men go, this week I have too many to handle!  Looking back, the quick exit of Mr. Saturday may have been a blessing in disguise, because quite honestly, he would have lost out to my options this week on almost every level anyway. 

After several email communications and a few days of text messaging, Mr. Braves Fan is quite interested in meeting up for dinner or drinks after work.  He seems very impressed with me, unlike Mr. Saturday, and was crazy considerate and friendly, for as much as you can tell via messages limited to 160 characters on a handheld communication device.  And, after literally months of on-again-off-again communication, Mr. Dalton is also asking for a few minutes of my time to get to know me better.  Mr. Dalton was a match during another "I'm fed up with my life, what am I going to do about it?" stage when I was willing to pay almost $60 a month to change it and became a member on eHarmony about eight or nine months ago.  We were matched right at the completion of both of our memberships and then caught up through facebook.  The communication slowly dwindled, but he popped back up in my matches this go-round, and I guess he also thought it was too coincidental to overlook.  Mr. Banderas, named such for his Antonio-like good looks, has been emailing and very chatty, but we haven't conversed about taking it to the in-person stage just yet...but I think I can see it in the very near future.  Whew!  And keeping them all straight has not been easy!  Half the reason for this blog posting is so that I can try to get a mental handle on all these details...

One thing that I've come across in my electronic journey to coupledom is the different ways that people are comfortable communicating.  I've decided, despite any male protestations to the contrary, to utilize the female's prerogative and not actually speak on the phone with any of my potential matches until we've met face-to-face.  Weird? Yeah, probably.  Especially considering that I was a communications major in college and should be able to handle such basic interactions. But, I've noticed something especially fascinating about myself.  I'm a such an old fashioned girl.  Although I'm literally forcing myself into this strange social sphere of internet friend-raising, mentally, I'm staying true to the way I want things to be deep down:  The Old Fashioned Way.  Sure, I'll find out you exist on this planet by reading your "About Me" section of a webpage, but I want to meet you in person before I'm expected to carry on a conversation on the phone longer than "Can you meet at 7:00 pm on Saturday?"  Talking to someone I don't know at all on the phone is awkward.  And an awkward beginning, to me, leaves a lasting impression.  I'm so much better in person than I am on the phone, that I don't want to jeopardize what could turn out to be a wonderful time with a bad phone call full of awkward pauses, probably due to the other person glancing back to my online profile to find something to ask me about to generate conversation. 

Do I deserve this new found attention? Heck yes! Can I handle it? Uh...I don't know! I love the fact that I have some irons in the fire but am a little bit scared as to whether or not I might get burned by all this. These new guys are all very different, which I know is good because it makes the playing field level. They all have equal opportunity to impress me with their own individuality, and I have the chance to say "Wow, I really like this guy for X quality," having never known that was something that interested me since I was cooped up in my little single world for so long. Options are good. What are the rules though? Should I just be focused on one of my new matches at a time?  Or should I keep the mix and be fun, single Melanie for once?  We'll see how much of those communications classes stayed in my long-term memory and whether or not that memory is good enough to keep all these guys straight, because I'm going with Fun, Single Melanie and throwing myself into this game, whole-heartedly.







Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rejected. Maybe. Probably.

So, it's official. I think. Five days after Date #1 with Mr. Saturday and not so much as a "thanks, but no thanks" response. I even took the advice of many of you and emailed him on Tuesday, long after the 48-hour usual window of follow-up communication. Nada.


My email on Tuesday was meant to just reopen the lines of communication. I told him that I had a good time and hoped he did too, leaving the door open for him to (be the man...did I say that out loud?) ask me if I'd like to go out again. Before we met on Saturday, I had been the one "driving the bus," initiating the conversation and single-handedly coordinated our meeting/date. I thought, eh, maybe he's shy, and surely he wouldn't be on board with meeting someone he had absolutely no interest in. So, when he accepted my invitation to meet, (Red Flag #1: he insisted without saying it outright that I be the one to drive the hour distance between our cities of residence) I thought, "Success!" Red Flag #2: But, he could not commit to a restaurant or location...in his own hometown. I shared that I wasn't familiar with that area and basically had to just say "You tell me where to be." But, I was going with the whole "shy around new people" thing. Stuck with that. Alllllllll through the drive there.

At dinner, he was polite and courteous. His apparel left a little to be desired, but sometimes you have to let things like that slide. Even though I was in cute peep-toe heels that had been pinching my toes for the (yup, I'm going to mention it again) entire hour drive to the restaurant and he was in torn-up birkenstocks, I let it go. Red Flag #3: The difference in our appearances immediately proved that I was much more invested in this meeting that he was. As we got a bit more comfortable with the situation, we started chatting about life, love and the pursuit of happiness. Just kidding. He talked, while I interjected a few times, mostly about celebrities, reality television, primetime television, cable television, TMZ, and most energetically about Bret Michaels. Bret Michaels, the aging rock-star, who, to his credit, has made an amazing career comeback over the last year or so. But, it was insisted upon that I realize Mr. Saturday was a fan long before "Rock of Love." He almost fell out of his seat with excitement as he explained to me the chronology of Mr. Michaels' love affairs, who exactly was with him at the time of his recent medical misfortune and then looked at me as if I were the most uncultured person he'd ever met when I didn't know who he was talking about when referring to the other members of Poison by their first names. Uh, Red Flag #4: Anyone who shares upon first meeting that he recently spent an entire weekend watching whole series of shows on his DVR and can quote lines from any VH1 "reality" show, spends entirely too much time in front of the television. I watch a lot of television, but not that much.

So, at first, I was slightly disappointed when I hadn't heard from Mr. Saturday. The more I thought about the meeting/date and talked about it with people, the more I realized that maybe not hearing from him wasn't such a bad thing. Maybe I wanted it to be successful because it was my first such attempt and, let's be honest, I'm not used to failure. Although, the part that bugs me most is his own words on the online dating rejection process. In his profile, he says how much he values someone who is straightforward, that even if he's not interested in someone, he always writes them back if they email him, just as common courtesy. Big words, but meaningless when not put into action. He's logged onto Match several times in the last few days, so he's aware of my communication, just ignoring it. Unfortunately, Match.com doesn't let you close a match, except to block them from viewing you. That's one of the perks of eHarmony, (if you're comparison shopping online dating sites) you can have the satisfaction of officially closing the match and stating your reason why. Of course, they're all politically correct, but one of them is "This match never responded to my communication." In other words, "You're RUDE!"

Don't worry about me. I'll bounce back. I already have. You might want to sign up for Google alerts of new posts. This is going to get interesting really quickly...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Where Metro Meets the Dating Pool

This morning, I was listening to the radio on my way to work, sorting through the dozens of channels that do nothing but talk, talk, talk, usually about topics that I'm not interested in as my frustration level mounts with the increased sea of brake lights in front of me.  I landed on one that tends to play more music than chatter, right at the end of one of their conversations.  The female-half of the morning duo was sharing how much impact where you live can have on your relationship status.  She continued to state that Atlanta, in all it's wondrous event-packed fabulousness, has ten women for every one man.  TEN!  Ten to one, people! 

Now, for the gentlemen who are reading, this is wondrous news!  You can basically create your own line-up of your top 10 women and make your choice, knowing all the while that the odds are in your favor and if you so choose to re-evaluate your decision, the other nine probably have not found another guy yet.  But, for us chickadees, this is disastrous.  This means that we have nine other women potentially going after the same guy we are!  Nine other women...these women better be so ugly that their dog is embarrassed to be seen with them.  They better have a personality like a wet dish rag.  They better be so boring that an evening spent watching paint dry excites them.  Or I'm in trouble!

So, of course, I had to do my usual scrutinizing of this factoid pretty much for the remainder of my commute.  Were they simply referring to the actual city of Atlanta?  Because if you consider yourself an Atlantan, you know that this could really mean you're from Marietta, or Lawrenceville, or Roswell, or (brace for it), even Canton!  Cherokee County takes great pride in stating that they are "considered" a county within Metropolitan Atlanta and shout their tag line from every suburban rooftop:  "Where Metro Meets the Mountains."  If you're from Cherokee County and drive to downtown Atlanta everyday, as I do, you quickly realize that claim is a bit of a stretch.  Maybe, just maybe, if they were referring to the actual city of Atlanta, the odds were a bit more in my favor in the outlining cities.  I'll probably never know for sure...but the doubt is comforting.  Also, if I wanted to get really picky in my scrutinizing, were these all single men and women?  Because, although some might not agree with this opinion, I'm not interested in sharing my future mate with his wife.  And what age do we consider them "men?"  This might be a debate for a whole different posting in the future...

I also read years ago that there are twelve men for every one woman in rural Alaska.  I'm just throwing that out there.  Here's a travel guide if you'd like to plan a vacation there with me.  Just saying.

P.S. Still nothing from Mr. Saturday.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Waiting by the...inbox?

I was watching television yesterday and saw an ad for Match.com. As a current subscriber, I have basically tuned out their ads, mostly because so far they seem to over-glamorize this strange and mostly awkward way to meet a potential mate. But, last night's was different. The narrator stated that 1 in 5 relationships today started online. What?!? That means that for every 100 couples, 20 of those relationships started with an email?! That's crazy!

The more I thought about it in my own life, the more this fact seemed like reality. I know a lot of couples who started their relationships via Match.com or eHarmony or CatholicSingles.com, to name a few.  At least four of which are married or getting married.  So why does online dating have the negative connotation that it does? Match.com claims millions of users with thousands of new profiles added on a daily basis. If we can believe their claims, who then are the ones bashing online dating?

I will state openly that I have had absolutely zero success with online dating to this point. Prior to this subscription, I had had a couple of dates, none of which moved on past the first. On Saturday, I had my first date from my current subscription, heck, my first date in a long time! Having just thrown myself back into the Singles Market, after a long man-less hiatus, it was exciting to get dressed up and to be treated like a lady again, with doors held open for me and a meal paid for for reasons other than someone owing me money from the last outing. My date was nice, friendly, funny, courteous and respectful. But, it has been over 48 hours, and I haven't heard a peep. I felt that I was funny, full of great conversation, witty, intelligent...all the things someone would be interested in but not in a forced way. I tried dilligently to "be myself," whatever that means! So, why the ghost-town-like silence?

The thing about online dating that I think everyone should know going in is that you should have absolutely no expectations. And that your first "date" is actually not that at all. Although it may look and feel like a date, even if the gentleman pays and opens doors for you, it is actually just a meeting. And the conversation almost always feels more like an interview than it does a date. In a perfect world, you meet someone, strike up a conversation and decide to then go out, having already established a connection face-to-face. In the world of online dating, you've only read what this person chose to write about themselves in a profile. And who's honestly going to write "I like to sneeze at the dinner table without covering my mouth" or other things you could only learn by being in the same room with someone? So, to expect an instant connection upon meeting is a bit too much, and that's taken a while to learn.

So, I'll try to impose the rules of real-world dating on the new, technology-driven world of online dating and wait the traditional 48 hours to hear from Mr. Saturday.  I might bend the rules and touch base with him myself, I haven't decided yet.  Either way, I've gotten out of my comfort zone and met at least one of those "other fish in the sea."  We'll see if I get anymore bites.

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