Friday, November 9, 2012

The "E" is for Evil

So, my Gmail account is a beast.  I've been using it since time began and have peppered the landscape with my email address.  From coupons to e-newsletters to fantasy football updates, I get barraged, like the rest of world, with messages that I will probably never read and will sit in my inbox taking up space until I delete them months from now.  A few years ago, I decided that it was high time I utilized some filters and created folders to automatically sort my emails as they arrived.  Like electronic postal elves.  I created one for e-newsletters thinking that someday in the distant future, I'd have time to sit down and catch up, learning all about the exciting happenings of various internet entities.

Yesterday, I noticed that my e-newsletters folder was rather large, home to over 2,000 emails.  For some reason, my Type A personality immediately creates a sense of panic in me when an inbox is at a seemingly insurmountable number.  Maybe I'm a bit OCD about it, but either I have to read them all or delete them all and start fresh.  Having this ridiculous figure looming over my head was daunting.  I opened the folder.

At the top of the list, and for reasons unknown to me, sat a shiny new e-newsletter from none other than my dear friends at eHarmony.  Now, keep in mind, Singletons and Marrieds, not only have I been off the market now for almost nine months, I have not had a eHarmony account in at least a year and a half.  Probably more than that.  I'm too lazy to look back through my previous posts to find out, but let's just say it's been a long time. Lest you forgot in that time gap, eHarmony is one of the most expensive online dating services on the planet (sometimes charging around $60 a month).  This girl lived by the mantra that her frugality outweighed her need for companionship, especially since most of the time I wasn't getting enough free dinners dates to justify the monthly subscription.  So, why am I still on their distribution list?  Well, knowing what I know about e-marketing, I probably missed a teeny, tiny, little check box when I cancelled my subscription all those years ago, and eHarmony has been patiently waiting in the shadows to strike at the heart of my implied loneliness with some awesome discounted rate.

Sorry, Charlie.

So, why are we talking about this e-newsletter?  The title captured me.  Again, based on my e-marketing knowledge and experience, I know that the subject line is critical.  If you don't grab the reader in that little box with something appealing, you are doomed to the delete button.  So, when eHarmony opened our dialog with "The Top Eight Reasons Men Fall Out of Love," something happened in my brain.  'You need to know this, Melanie,' it said.  I nodded as if hypnotized.  I do need to know this.  So, open it, I did.  I followed the link to the online article (someone in their marketing department giggled as their click through rate went up, I know it) and convinced myself that eHarmony was a valuable source of knowledge for my relative dating inexperience.  I needed to safeguard my relationship from potential pitfalls, and eHarmony was the only place that could help.  Save me, Neil Clark Warren, you're my only hope.

After reading the article, and scouring every word for relevance, (and questioning some of their photo choices), I have decided that eHarmony is evil.  Evil, evil, evil.  Okay, maybe not the entire website (I know several of my readers have found the love of their lives via eHarmony).  So, let's say their writers are evil.  Everything they listed in their article were "duh" pointers.  If you're in a relationship and you don't know that your man will feel unloved if he doesn't feel like you support him or that he'll change the way he looks at you if you always meet him at the door with negativity, then you shouldn't be in a relationship.  These monumental insights were joined by other top secret information such as women who are high maintenance, couples who are incompatible, relationships that started on a one-night-stand and haven't connected beyond the bedroom, women who don't admire their men, ladies who are all business (bills, bills, bills), and moms who never cross back into wife territory all contributing as factors to why men fall out of love.  According to eHarmony writers.  

Maybe this article would be helpful if you were say, sixteen years old and had just entered the dating world... and had been raised by a pack of wolves.  I am convinced that eHarmony somehow wants to inspire a sense of doom in people.  Although I haven't quite figured out how they know which ones of us are currently in relationships and don't need their "services," I'm sure they have their wicked ways.  Once they have their victims in sight, they strike like a cobra, hoping you'll question things at home and maybe, just maybe, need them and their $60 membership fee and 425-question (not exaggerating) questionnaire (that you can't retake ever again even if you hypothetically initially filled it out ten years ago while slightly intoxicated at a college party, asking your friends for help with the answers).

Not happening, Dr. Warren.  You can keep your questionnaire and your levels of compatibility.  Stop emailing me.  I'm out.  Better yet, keep 'em coming.  They make great blog material.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

You Know Who You Are...

So, in my millenia, decades, years of being a Singleton, I learned the fine art of not being "that couple."  You know who I'm talking about... the ones that do those ever-so annoying little things in public that make you cringe from your head to your toes.  I spent my countless years alone watching other people and making a rather lengthy mental list of things I would never, never, ever do in public when blessed with a significant other who was interested in doing more than just holding my hand.

Well, Singletons and Marrieds, the day arrived last February when I met a wonderful man who not only wants to hold my hand in public, but willingly and joyfully refers to me as his girlfriend.  Hence my rather obvious disappearance from the blogosphere and thankfully, from the online dating shenanigans that inspired so many of my previous posts.

Moving from Singledom to Coupledom has been a fairly smooth transition, and I must say that it is everything I hoped it would be and more.  I'm very happy.  I have missed writing and sharing all this silliness with you all, but I have not missed all of those men whose names adorn the sidebar of this blog and their ridiculousness, the texting-induced carpal tunnel, the endless streams of stupid email pick-up lines, the out-and-out creepers, or the nerve-wracking first/blind dates.  But, I logged into my blog account today and was shocked beyond belief.  Although I haven't posted new material in almost a year, I still have regular readers.  On a daily basis.  Hundreds of you.  I love you.  Why you're still here and coming back for more boggles my mind, but I know that I can't just leave you hanging.  So, I'd like to propose a deal:

I don't want to share overly personal details on the interwebs.  Don't give me that look.  Would you do that? Would you post the nitty-gritty of your everyday life with someone else for the world to see?  Probably not.  And if you would, start a blog.  I bet you have a reality show deal with TLC in less than six months.  Give it hell.  Let me know how it turns out.  Or I'll just watch for you after Honey Boo Boo Child.  But, I want to keep writing.  So, if you'll read my commentary about dating in general  and continue to comment up a storm like you did before, I'll promise to never leave you stranded in Blog Purgatory ever again.

Deal?  Shake on it?  Good.  Let's get back to the topic at hand.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

First, I'd Like to Thank The Academy...

Guess what, Singletons and Marrieds?!? I received an award!  Well, actually, the blog received an award... but, still!  So excited to accept a "Versatile Blogger" award from Jenny, Exiled, my fellow bloggerista who share stories of media, motherhood and misadventures.  Click on her link, you'll love it.

There are some rules (as with life) in accepting such an honor in the blog world, and if I nominate you, they're below.  Of course, no one is going to hunt you down if you don't follow them to a 't,' but a shout-out would be fantastic.  You know, a shout-out with a hyperlink.  Now it's my turn to make good on the rules.

Nominate Fifteen Four Blogs

Seven Things About Me (that you probably didn't know)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

First Date: Available Upon Request

All right, Singletons and Marrieds.  I know a few weeks ago I teased you with references to some scandalous encounters with serial texters, and I have yet to make good on that promise.  It's coming, friends.  Pinky swear.  I might even get inspired and go on a blogging tyraid!  But, tonight let's talk online dating profiles.

Now, we've had this conversation countless times and I've said it before - I am, by no means, an online dating profile writing expert.  Obviously... I'm still single.  If I had the inside track to all things electronically required to hook a man via cyberspace, this blog would have ceased to exist months ago.  But occasionally I stumble across a profile that is well worth sharing and I can't resist.

This morning, I got one of those lovely "Someone wants to meet you" emails from  I know, I know... I totally need to take my profile down.  It's generating nothing but blog material.  And some text messages that I wouldn't want anyone to find if I got hit by a car.  Most especially my mother.  "Excuse me, Mrs. Melanie's Mom.  Do you know why your daughter would have this (turns phone towards my mother) stored in her phone?," the officer would say.  There would be no response.  My mother would pass out cold.  Anyway.  I didn't recognize the screenname of my newest suitor, so I opened the link to his profile and scanned his photos.  Cute enough... several shots of him laughing and doing silly things, baseball hat with the logo from my favorite team (always a plus), running (my new favorite pastime), and drinking beer (well, duh..come on).  I scrolled down aimlessly to read the words in print that were meant to share with the world who he is and what he's looking for in a partner.  What I found is either the most comical satire in online dating history or a man who seriously does not want to date anyone and is somehow being forced into maintaining an online dating profile.  At gun point.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

For a Good Time, Text...

So, since I last updated you, there has been no shortage of men in my life.  And by "in my life," I mean in middle earth.  I've somehow managed to paint myself into the increasingly smaller corner of Text Land with at least six different men in the last month.  My hands are tired.  My poor phone is filthy, and I'm pretty sure the battery is going to just stop recharging out of spite.

Apparently, word got out on Plenty of Fish that I am fabulous.  Okay, that might be a stretch.  Something, somewhere happened and between Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas, my profile exploded like an over-baked plum pudding.   In that three-day time period, I received rapid fire communication from an abnormally amount of normal men.  None of which said anything inappropriate (off the bat... we'll get to that) or made any other references that would trigger one's creep-o-meter.  I was flattered... highly.  So, I started communicating with them and did a pretty good job of balancing the texting and emailing cha-cha that happens so often in online dating.  At least for me.

In a future post, I'll talk to you about the flat out proposition that I received, the text messages that really got my blood pumping and the 19-year-old that not only makes me feel very old, but slightly cracks me up with his "game."  Tonight, I'd like to introduce you to Mr. Teddy Bear.  Mostly because his lifespan in the romance novel of my life is over and the rest of them still kind of exist.  In middle earth, of course.

I received an email from Mr. Teddy Bear on Saturday.  As in four days ago.  Keep that in mind.  I was out of town for the weekend and killing some time in between family festivities and decided to respond.  I was also inspired by what seemed like a very normal, but very sweet email full of compliments on my profile pictures.  It's been a while since I received a compliment from a man other than my father, so being the polite Southern belle that I sometimes pride myself in being, I accepted his compliment and graciously thanked him.  He replied with another seemingly harmless exchange and asked for my phone number because he wasn't going to be online for a while and wanted to continue communicating.  Just like a victim, I gave it to him.

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