Saturday, May 21, 2011

Online Dating Junk Mail

So, I'm not usually a fan of posting actual online dater information or messages on here.  I just kind of feel like that's a bit, I don't know, creepy...?  Sort of like I'm invading their world.  They candidly post things about themselves in pursuit of a potential mate, so who I am to share that with the whole non-online-dating world? 

After reading the message I received this morning, I threw that baby out with the bath water. 

Let's talk, Singletons.  Why, oh why, do people make up fake online dating profiles?  What could possibly be the benefit?  They kind of remind me of those emails you get from Princess Nathumala of Nigeria who has two million dollars she wants to leave you in her will but needs you to forward your bank account information to her so she can bequeeth it to you.  Seriously?  Does anyone fall for this?  And what does the "online dater" get out of it if I respond to him/her/it?  Are there people out there that would believe that the photograph posted is the actual person and could someone be so swayed by said photograph that they'd be willing to send them money or something?  That's the only factor I can come up with in my limited scope of the online con-artist world.  Let's go through this particular scammers interaction with me one ridiculously horrible line at a time: (Wait, first, don't skip ahead, but take a gander at the photograph that was actually included on this profile.  This joker wants me and others to believe that this is really him, when I'm pretty sure this is a Lands End ad from their website advertising that scarf... or those shoes...or something.)

Screenname:  sodiq (say what? If I'm reading this phonetically, I'm a bit worried.)

31, florida (just Florida in general?  Like, the whole state?)
Seeking women, 30-99 ( I wonder what made him decide on 30 as the starting point.  If you're willing to go all the way to 99, you'd think a 27 year old would still qualify.  Guess not.)

Education: Masters (setting the bar pretty high here, bud.  We'll see...)

Height: >5' (>152 cm) (wait...what?!  The guy on the suitcase patiently awaiting his arriving train [or his frat brother to pick him up after he got evicted...that hand truck behind him is a dead giveaway] looks a tab bit taller than the average American fifth grader.  Just saying.)
•Is between 30 and 99 years old.
•Never smokes.
•Can have kids living at home.
•Minimum education: Masters. (damn... I'm out of the running.)

Subject: hello dear (really?)
Sent: 5/20/2011 6:27:39 AM

how are you doing?am mark simply minded person,easy going,lovely,caring,friendly,trustworth and I no that ? are my right soul ? can mail me mark/scolt/at/yahoo/com.Am waiting for your reply THANK. MARK ( #1. If one more man tells me that I'm his soul mate during our first conversation, I'm joining a convent.  That's all there is to it.  #2. Sweet baby Jesus, the grammar and spelling and blatant misuse of the English language... Masters degree? No "English is not my first language" way.)


At this point, I haven't taken down this account simply to maintain the constant stream of ridicule inducing communication and fabulous blog material.  Thankfully, it's free, but consider me your middle man of comedy.  Happy to help.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dating Do's and Don't's 1949-Style

I couldn't resist sharing this gem!  So, if I'm picking up what they're throwing down, a girl who eats cotton candy at an alarming speed is obviously one who "knows how to have a good time."  Hmm... now to find the perfect, non-awkward situation to eat pink spun sugar in a target-rich environment...  Or maybe the underlying message is that blondes are superior and the ultimate goal, brunettes are more attainable, but dull and sub-par in attractiveness and redheads are the life of the party (and good at eating cotton candy).  Well, one of my sisters just dyed her hair red and the other dyed hers blonde, so we're probably a very good test case.  I'll keep you posted. 

Enjoy, Singletons!  Could it have been this easy?!  I'll let you digest this nugget and post Part 2 later.

Friday, May 6, 2011

(Apparently) I Get Around

What the hell is going on here?!?  If I hadn't become accustomed to these ridiculous shenanigans, I would seriously wonder if I was on Candid Camera.

So, this afternoon  I got off work early.  Having not stared at a computer screen for the seven and a half hours a day it usually takes to recharge my internet battery, I sat down to an "X-Files" rerun and my laptop.  I'd gotten a Facebook friend request while I was at a work picnic earlier in the day and since I own a Blackberry and it's lame, I couldn't see the requester's picture.  Sometimes my overly socialized brain forgets names until I see the face and then my memory comes flying back to me.  Apparently, I'm a visual person.

I opened Facebook and didn't recognize the name or the picture.  He was local though, coincidentally close to Mr. Affair's hometown and the same location as Mr. Gunslinger.  Keep that in mind.  Naively figuring that I'd probably met him before and just didn't remember where (sometimes I meet people at work conferences who find me online later and quite frankly, I've completely forgotten how I know them), I accepted his friend request so that I could see his page.

His privacy settings were so high that I couldn't send him a message before I accepted his friend request or even afterwards.  I perused his photos and still nothing rang a bell.  He didn't look scary and was listed as being in a relationship, so I figured there was no harm in sending him a chat message since he was online.

Totally putting the blame on myself, I wrote to him politely asking if we knew each other, stating that I had a horrible memory and had received his friend request today.  He immediately started typing.  "Ya... we know each other" was his unhelpful response.  "Help me out," I replied, adding a smiley face to seem less confrontational.  You know, because emoticons fix everything.  I thought  maybe this was one of the gentlemen I met a few months ago who had approached my friends and me with Mr. Gunslinger.  His location was right, and he kind of resembled one of them. "We dated," he stated.  Uh... no we didn't and not Mr. Gunslinger's friend.  Being the perpetual wallflower that I've been through most of my adult (and hell, even teenage) life, I am well aware of every single one of the men (or boys) I've dated.  Doubting that?  Don't.  I can give you a complete list in chronological order, just ask.  First and last name.  Even where they live currently and who they're married to (because they're all married or have been married).  The list is that short, people.

Before I got a chance to reply, he added "a while ago."  Still no.  We did not date recently or a while ago.  Ever for that matter.  Initially I thought of telling him that he was not at all unattractive, so had we dated, I would have been happy to have acknowledged such an affair.  Again, I tried my best to keep it polite without overusing emoticons and replied with "Oh, I'm sorry.  I think you have me confused with someone else."  "No, I do not.  I added you through AIM."  First of all, who still uses AIM, really?  Second of all, it's been so long since I used that account that it's probably been hacked 100 times and quite honestly, I don't care. Again losing the battle to maintain a back-and-forth conversation, he dropped the bomb.  "We had sex," he sent.  HA!  We did not.  I was shocked.  My fingers couldn't land on the keys fast enough.  Looking back, I shouldn't have responded, but I felt the need to defend my honor.  I started typing, saying again, "No, you're mistaken.  I can verify that we did not have sex."  Typing at the speed of sound, he wrote back that yes, we did and that I had stayed the night at his house.  "I remember it," he said, totally creeping me out.  Apparently my profile picture is entirely too "captivating."  Blah.  "Wow," I finally got to write back, "that never happened.  Good luck to you!," and I was off!  Close chat screen, open profile, remove from friends, block.  Whew.

Really?  Really.  In less than two weeks, I've been propositioned for and accused of having sex with complete strangers.  It's just got to be uphill from here.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

"I'll Have One Extramarital Affair. To Go, Please."

So Easter weekend was a big deal for me.  After prepping and studying, discussing and debating, praying and kneeling/standing/sitting for nine months, I officially became a member of the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil on Saturday. It was a beautiful ceremony where almost fifty of us fulfilled our goals of becoming full members of the church.  For me, it was a thirty year (almost to the day) journey.  I was truly moved by the Mass, felt very connected to the folks who had been on this journey with me and was pretty proud of myself for sticking to the classes and commitments that were totally voluntary from the first moment.

Throughout the course of our nine-month class, I became very comfortable and in touch with my spiritual side.  I'm not breaking out into tongues or anything, but I have come to realize that this particular element of who I am needs and should be a part of my life on a daily basis.  This deeper connection came with a deeper responsibility for my own actions, words and thoughts.  The thoughts being the hardest of those three to restrain (and retrain!), quite frankly, but I digress.  I started looking at things less in respect to what I wanted or needed at the moment and what was for the greater good of my life as a whole.

Heavy, right?  I know.  Granted, I didn't get there overnight.  And although it may sound like I've tightened the grip on my social life, I think, in a lot of ways, I've done quite the opposite.  I've been surrounded by people who respect my faith for so many  months that, I think, that giving this respect to others has become second nature.  Just because you don't believe the same things I do doesn't make you less than me.  My faith requires that I treat you the same way I would if you agreed with me down to the letter.  I'm straying from the point, but...  well, you get the point.  I'm very much in touch with Spiritual Melanie.

Fear not... this post is not going to take a hard left turn from my usual topic of discussion, but I needed to give you some background.  Don't lose your shirt, I'll move out of the warm fuzzies now.

So, on the Monday after Easter I had the day off.  I was riding around town with my friend who also had the day off.  We were chatting as we headed out to a local liquor store for some non-mainstream beer to go with hot dogs and baked beans.  Suddenly I heard that ever familiar ping of my phone alerting me to an email.  I glanced down and saw that it was one of those PlentyofFish messages that I somehow manage to continue generating although I can't tell you the last time I voluntarily logged in to the site.

The pursuer's screenname included the name of his city and because it was relatively close to my own in Atlanta terms (and because I know it's just a matter of time before I stumble across someone I know in real life on an online dating site), I opened his profile.  No photograph (strike 1), but I kept reading.  And would soon find out why.  He was in my age range (32...which seemed so old just a few years ago!), did in fact live in the city that he listed in his screenname and wasn't single.  Wait...what?  He's not single?  He's not single and he's not looking.  Um... huh?  He didn't disclose whether or not he had or wanted children, what his religion was, whether or not he owned a car (PofF is weird.  Would I deny the man of my dreams contact with me because he doesn't own transportation?  That must be the 21st century standard for true love:  "must own a car."), or any identifiable information.  Perplexing.  So, I opened his message.

What I found can be nothing less than a true challenge to all of those convictions and determinations that I mentioned above, the ultimate challenge to Spiritual Melanie.  Beyond Spiritual Melanie, this was a supreme trial of exactly the type of girl I am.  Well, it was a challenge until I got to his last line, which made the decision pretty easy, but I'll tell you the story before I jump to the conclusion.

This gentleman explained that he found my profile enticing (nice) and he was captivated by my photograph (same one I use for my profile on here, are you captivated?  Pull your eyes away from it for a second and finish reading this post.  It'll still be there when you're done. Thanks.).  He quickly followed this eloquent and flattering compliments with another explanation, stating in no uncertain terms the type of interaction with me he so sought.  He got right to the point.  We would ask no questions about each other's personal lives; we would meet in a public location where we could assess whether or not we were attracted to each other off-line (I hadn't even seen a picture to know what he looked like online, which we all know can be deceptive on its own!).  If we felt so inclined upon making eye contact, we could begin a purely physical relationship, meeting weekly or on a more regularly basis if either of us wanted. Perhaps, he continued, having dinner together every now and then in a discreet restaurant.  He shared that he was just looking for someone to have fun with and have absolutely no strings attached.

Who does this?!  Who creates an online dating profile in complete pursuit of sex without even disguising it like Mr. Too Many Words did?  Maybe I should give him some credit... I have been griping about rampant dishonesty in online dating over the past year. This person is obviously hiding something (most probably an innocent, completely faithful and devoted wife and caretaker of his three children who all look exactly like him, who provides a loving, warm home and three homemade meals a day, while vacuuming in pearls) but obviously very trusting that I would just go along with this charade and all his "wills" and "won'ts" simply for the thrill of it?  Hopefully for whoever he's able to reel into this scheme it is a "thrill."  Based on my initial shock, if this is prevalent than I have simply managed to escape it up until Easter Monday.  Coincidence?  Maybe...

As a girl who has been on the sidelines of the game for a while now, Old Melanie may have been tempted by such an offer.  Probably only if I knew that the situation was not based on infidelity, which is doubtful in this particular instance, but you know what I mean?  The excitement and drama of behaving outside of the norms and having a whole life lived behind the scenes. I've never had an easy time of meeting new people outside of college, high school and work, so I might have been tempted to see what walking on the wild side felt like for a few minutes.  But, New Melanie wants more than that, I quickly determined.  And remembered.  Way more than that.  Wants and deserves. Out of sheer curiosity, I finished reading Mr. Affair's email and maintained my maturity and understanding that again, the whole world doesn't fall within the same parameters of belief and ethics as I do, until I got to his last line.  "I am disease free," he stated, "and expect you to be too."

Oh, how I was tempted to write back to him with a laundry list of the itchiness, redness, bumps and sores that cover my entire body and how I'm so contagious people have been known to contract my rare, life threatening petri dish nightmare just from standing next to me.  But, I resisted.  When I reach the point in this  whole dating debacle where I feel the need to tell complete strangers that I am, in fact, disease free, please stop me.  Resign me to the fact that I will live a long and happy life even if it is alone with ten cats and I become the creepy old lady of the neighborhood who people only know exists because the stack of cat food cans outside my door never ceases to increase in height.  I will hold you responsible for this important task.

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