Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Nothing

As a Singleton who often comments on the differences between men and women, this is beyond fascinating to me (and very entertaining!), so I had to share.  I've even done a little bit of research myself, mostly with married women who have experienced these differences firsthand (mostly that I work with, all of whom are probably going to put the future Mr. Melanie through a gauntlet of American Gladiator-like husband challenges to prove his worthiness, with questions like "So Melanie calls you and says she has to work late.  What do you say?") and single men who can verify what Mr. Gungor is saying in this video.  Actually, married men can probably verify it as well, he doesn't discriminate in his observations.

  Watch, enjoy and comment.  True, Singletons and Marrieds?  You know that I live to read your opinions.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Guest Post - Just Believe

Editor's Note:  Singletons and Marrieds, I hope you enjoy this guest post from Sarah, one of my long-time friends who has recently joined the blogosphere herself.  She also recently found her way out of Singledom!  Sarah and I had often commiserated together over the plight (and perks) of being late-twenties/early thirties Singletons until she found her "Mr. Darcy" about two years ago.  Read more about Sarah at Worrywart Tales, where she is writing her worries away (no longer dating woes... jealous), one entry at a time. 

While visiting Boston on a business trip a couple of years ago, I sat next to a young woman at a lunch conference. She was glowing and couldn’t stop talking about her upcoming wedding.

“Ugh,” I thought. “Here’s someone else getting married.”
Then, something occurred to me. If I didn’t start being genuinely happy for such future brides, then I may never become one myself. I had to be happy with where I was in life and embrace it.

So I pushed aside my negative thoughts and began asking this future bride questions. When was the wedding? Where did they meet? How did she know he was “the one”? She welcomed the questions and answered them with much enthusiasm.

When she finished recounting her story, for once, I didn’t say I would probably never get married. Instead, I said, “I hope I find someone like you did.”

She smiled and replied, “You will.”

Little did I know that at that very moment a friend was planning to set me up with my future husband and that I would be engaged eight months later.

While I’ve been married now for about six months, it wasn’t that long ago when I could be found sitting on my couch, watching countless romantic comedies, and wondering if I would ever find the man of my dreams. At times it was difficult as a singleton. I witnessed friends getting married and having children. And then having more children. All the while, I was alone with barely any prospects in sight.

But don’t get me wrong. I also found much joy living the single life. I had opportunities to travel around the United States and five times to Europe. I also had time to concentrate on my hobbies and was able to save some money.

Now that I’ve found my husband, though, I can’t imagine my life without him. In my single life, people kept telling me the same things: You’ll just know when it’s the right one. It’ll happen when it’s the right time and when you least expect it. And when it does finally happen, it’ll happen so fast.

When I was a singleton, I never believed any of these things and would dismiss them with a roll of the eyes. Now that I’m married, I can tell you that they are all true.

So just believe, Singletons. When it’s meant to happen it will happen. Until then, enjoy the single life. You never know who’s around the next corner...

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Brief History of Texting and Dating

Sometimes the gods of sarcasm have such perfect timing that even I can't deny them the publicity they deserve.  This arrived in my inbox this morning from

Granted, I've been known to venture into The Land of Unacceptable Texts (one such example for your reading and historical pleasure, one of many both shared and not shared), but I'm starting to see that there really is no excuse for it.  Now or in the eighteenth century.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Baggage: Lost and Found

Oh, Singletons, Singletons, Singletons... remember when I said that my blog had taken a hit because I had successfully eliminated most of the avenues previously providing material opportunities?  Remember when I was contemplating jumping back into online dating just to have things to write about? Oh, my friends, have no fear.  I have no need to get back into online dating at all, nor do I have anything to complain about.  The next time I complain, remind me of this post and I'll smile in recollection, nod my head in agreement and shut right the hell up. 

So, last night I was sitting around enjoying a quiet evening and putting to good use my superior multi-tasking skills (got to keep them sharp if they're going to be a focal point of my resume) by watching an Atlanta Braves game (funny coincidence...we'll get to that later.) and chatting on Facebook.  Of course, my phone was within arm's reach and I was not too surprised when I heard the melodic jingle of my text message alert.  I picked it up and noticed that the message was from a number that was not stored in my phone, but from a local area code.  This is significant.  I think we've talked about this before.  Since I didn't grow up in Atlanta, my phone is from the area code of my hometown. I haven't changed it simply because most people who call me are calling from a cell phone and honestly, who cares what the area code is?  My parents can call me like a local call from their landline, so it's my gift to them.  Everybody else can dial the 1 beforehand and zip it.  So, it's very rare that I get a wrong number call or text from an Atlanta area code. Usually that person means to be contacting me.

What did the message say, you ask?  Happy to oblige.  The message said "Hey, are you going to Opening Day?"  For those of you either outside of Atlanta or with no regard for baseball, the season has started, but the Braves opened on the road and will play their first home game tomorrow night.  Usually it's sold out in a matter of days and I (although I do consider myself in their Top 10 list of devoted fans of all time) have never been to an Opening Day game simply because I realize it's coming up entirely past the point of any hope of purchasing tickets.  Or I've just been flat broke at the time.

Given the familiarity of the text, I immediately assumed that this was someone who I didn't communicate with often who had fallen victim to my stupid attempt to upgrade my phone in late December that resulted in the complete deletion of my entire address book. I wrote back and apologized for not knowing who it was, explained my situation, asked who it was and, figuring that I probably knew them well enough for them to know my devotion to the Braves, replied that I was not going to Opening Day.

The following exchange was not what I expected. He wrote back with his name and said "Do you want to go?"  Let's call him... James (which I promise is not his real name.  I change names to protect the guilty.)  James?!, I thought.  Dear God, of course his name is James.  I've known ten Jameses in the last five years!  One of which was my former boss at my former job who, let's just say, I didn't quite get along with, but I think may have been under some strange apprehension that I would have been friends with him had I known him beyond an incompetent, credit-stealing, manipulative, micro-managing waste of space.  Would he ask me to a game?  Surely not.  Maybe...?  I sucked it up and told him that I'd known several Jameses with yet another apology.  After the standard "LOL," he simply said "Ur brother."  Huh?  Is this a tease?  Most men I know take great pleasure in torturing me with strange jokes and ridicule, but being the oldest of three girls, this is biologically impossible.  I wracked my brain to think of male friends who I might refer to as my "brother," but wouldn't have his number in my phone in the last four months.  Nothing.  And this instantly eliminated my former boss.  I told him that I was confused.  I asked him which James he was.  He told me his last name and being moderately technologically savvy (and a bit of a part-time stalker), I immediately typed his name in the Search box in Facebook.  Oh.  My.  Gosh.

I recognized his face instantly, sat back in my chair, took a deep, somewhat sarcasm-filled breath and said "Well, hellooooooo, Mr. Baggage."  Ten months ago (ten months...keep that in mind.  You won't forget, I'm going to mention it a lot.), Mr. Baggage was one of the men who made Sprint reconsider their Unlimited Everything plan with his incessant text messages.  I liked him well enough, but we never moved beyond a text message interaction.  And amazingly, he was one of the ones that I grew a pair with and outright told that I was interested in, but would no longer continue communicating if we were just going to restrain our conversations to messages of 150 characters or less.  Although looking back, I knew very little about him beyond the fact that that he is a huge Braves fan and that his live-in fiancĂ©e of four years had just moved out a few weeks before he messaged me. Oh, and all the details about how, why, and when she left and what she did and didn't leave him with, how heartbroken he was and what a classic female dog she is, but how much he loved her.  Hence his moniker.

I sat there for a minute before I responded and contemplated exactly what my reaction would be.  As a devoted Braves fan who has never gone to Opening Day, was I willing to sit next to a virtual stranger who, for some reason, had saved my number in his phone for ten months and somehow felt compelled to ask me to join him for three plus hours after we hadn't communicated in ten months?!  We could have had a baby in ten months!  You know, physiologically.  I mean, it's possible.  You know what I mean!  I know that baseball isn't necessarily a social sport, but I would like to have something to say other than comments on the weather in between innings.  What could possibly have stirred within him to instigate communication almost a full year later?!?  And with absolutely no interest in him whatsoever (I was hardly interested ten months ago) at this point, would I be bordering on prostitution if I went to the game just because it was Opening Day with absolutely no intention of seeing him again?  A prostitute for baseball.  Lovely.

So, I played dumb.  "From," I asked him.  A few minutes went by and he said "Wait...what?"  Suddenly, I felt relieved.  He had no idea who I was!! I said "I think we're both confused!"  He asked my name, I told him (hesitatingly with my last name, but I figured I knew his now too, so sharing mine would make it a level playing field.) and he said "Oh, wow.  I thought you were a friend from high school!"  I told him that it was okay (really?  How many Melanies can one person know?!) and figured that would be the end of the conversation.  Whew.  Narrow escape.

Wrong.  The texting continued throughout the night.  But thankfully not into today.  I'm assuming that the invitation to tomorrow's game was rescinded, but why am I so damn polite and feel the need to continue texting conversations that I don't want anything to do with?!?  One thing is stuck in my head:  would I have gone to the game?  I don't know.  Probably not.  Hopefully not.  Would I have regretted it since the only space available as of now is Standing Room Only?  Probably.  Would I have regretted it if I spent three hours sitting next to someone with whom I could have absolutely no conversation?  Probably.  I can talk to a lamppost, for goodness sake, but I've got a feeling this guy would be a challenge.

OH!  Ask me what we texted about.  Oh, yeah, you're right.  The Braves.  At least Mr. Baggage is consistent.  Even ten months later.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fate or Random Vanity Plate?

On my ridiculous commute drive home tonight, I spotted something...odd.  Considering that I hate to exclude you from any of my life's oddities, I had to share.

While sitting at the light between  a local pizza joint and The Varsity (Atlanta reference...if you don't know, Google it and then add it to your itinerary on your next adventure in Georgia.  I suggest a slaw dog and a frosted orange... Yum.) waiting to hopefully get through it this time around, I glanced over at the Honda Accord in the lane next to me and saw this:

Okay, so the camera on my Blackberry sucks in the greatest of conditions.  Aimed in bright sunlight out of my windshield at a license plate twenty feet away and I'm amazed that you can even tell that this is a the rear end of a car.  In case you can't make out the vanity plate, it says:  "Mr. MLS."  Granted, he could be Mr. Multiple Listing Service or Mr. Major League Soccer or any other number of pretty common acronyms.  Why was this odd, you ask?  My initials just so happen to be MLS.

Maybe I should have followed him...

Monday, April 4, 2011

You've Got WAY Too Much Mail

So, as the self-imposed online dating hiatus continues long beyond its original intended cut-off (who am I kidding? Said "hiatus" also applies to real-world dating, but this, my friends, is not by choice.  I digress early this time.), I periodically receive emails from entitled things like "Strange-Screen-Name wants to meet you!"  Sometimes I open them, other times I just delete them.  Honestly, it depends on the kind of day I've had.  Surprisingly, the decision process is probably quite the reverse of what you'd expect.  If I've had a crappy day, I'll figure 'Eh, it can't get much worse than this, so why not check out this new crop of suitors.'  If it's a good day, I'll think 'Eh, I don't need no stinking man!' and move on.  Don't try to rationalize it because it happens in my own head and makes no sense to me. 

It just so happens that one of these periodic emails reminding me that I do, in fact, have an online dating presence still whether or not I want to admit it, arrived in my inbox last night.  When it did, I immediately thought that it must be a mistake.  I recognized the screen name as one that had sent me several "...would like to meet you" messages in the past, to which I was sure I had responded.  Hesitantly, I logged into PlentyofFish (for those new to the online dating world, a log-in after a significant hiatus can throw you back into "New Girl" territory, especially if the site has a "Who Has Viewed Your Profile Lately" section.  It took years to establish this kind of knowledge, so don't feel bad if you had no idea.) to check my inbox and sure enough, I was right.  This gentleman has emailed me on the 3rd of every single month since December.  Count 'em, that's five monthly "...would like to meet you" emails.  Five.

What's wrong with that?  I'll tell you what's wrong with that.  In December, I was less bitter bored indifferent likely to be inclined to disinterest in these periodic emails and not only opened Mr. Monthly Visitor's email, but checked out his profile.  Upon review and my usual intense scrutiny (this could the future Mr. Melanie, people, I had standards) I determined that his profile was a thousand different kinds of wrong.  It was almost as if he hadn't read a single word of mine:  he lives rather far away, he's either lying about his age or just looks significantly older than his 33 years (I'm not kidding, he looks at least my dad's age), and his profile description is just odd and borders on one of those "This is who I am, you're not going to change me, I don't like talking about myself, I'm a 'laid back kind of guy,' ask me anything you want."  He doesn't want children, smokes daily and is interested in "intimate encounters."  No, nope, and uh-uh. 

Knowing that I am a courteous and polite online dater, I checked my Sent box to make sure that I wasn't having a random moment of insanity.  Nope, still sane.  I had not only responded with a very sincere and personally written "Thanks, but no thanks,"  I had done so in both December and February.  Two different notes.  Which leads me to believe that I'm not the one with the sanity issues.

So, as a courteous and polite on-again-off-again online dater, I have no idea what to do at this point.  I'd imagine that "don't respond" is going to be the resounding answer to this question, but quite frankly, how long will he continue to send me regular emails? I'm flattered that obviously he is compelled by my profile enough to continue to message me, but it's as if he has an Outlook Calendar reminder set for each third day of the month that pops up to say "Don't forget to email that rude woman who won't write you back?"  And why do I care?  I don't really.  It's probably just the selfish side of me that hates to have my Gmail account filled with useless, unnecessary emails.  Monthly.  This guy definitely falls into the "Doesn't Get the Hint" category (We've talked about this before.) and I'd hate for him to continue wasting any additional time on me.  If the situation were reversed, I'd want to get the "Thanks, but no thanks," but I feel like I've already done my due diligence.

Every time I think I've seen it all with online dating, I'm always somewhat shocked to find out exactly how wrong I am.  Urgh.  I'm not even pursuing it and it's driving me crazy!

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