Man #29, The Kept Man, Part 1

30 07 2012

As much as I found myself fantasizing about who My Stalker/Super Fan might be, I tried to balance my daydreams with the search for a real-life, flesh and blood date. Despite my earlier resistance to OkCupid, I actually found I was getting emails from more intelligent men through this online dating site than I had from match.com or Plentyoffish.

After several rather long emails with a divorced father of two, I scheduled a date to meet Man #29 in Pioneer Square for a beer and a peanut butter bacon burger at McCoy’s Firehouse. I found him in a booth and he won brownie points right away by telling me that the pictures in my online dating profile didn’t do me justice. Considering how many times men have complained to me that the women they met didn’t look as good in person as they did in their online profile photos, I took this as a huge compliment.

We had a great conversation. He happened to be one of my favorite types, the well-read, intelligent, technology geek. He also happened to live in a very nice zip code. He told me all about his days with a local software company, how he had worked on a couple of business start-ups, and how he had thrown million dollar fundraisers. It was all very impressive. I found myself feeling slightly inadequate.

He elaborated on his divorce. He had been married to an executive at another local technology company, and when they had children, he quit his job to stay home with them. At this point, it had been ten years since he had worked outside the home. He had won a large child support and alimony settlement in the divorce, which allowed him to continue to stay home and care for his children.

I told him I was working on my legacy project. (Believe it or not, it’s not a dating blog.) I covered the major project details as well as some other things I had in the hopper. Man #29 and I got along great, and ended up talking over our beers until 11 o’clock at night. Toward the end of the evening, in a very awkward, stuttering, bumbling fashion, he asked if I would go out with him again.

I found it rather charming in an “oh my god, I’m rendering him almost speechless” kind of way, and, smiling, I said, “I would love that.”

He walked me to my car, gave me an awkward kiss, and we parted.

The next day I received an email thanking me for the date. Most men forget to say thank you, maybe they don’t think it’s necessary, or maybe they don’t have any manners, but this guy was doing everything right. I responded in kind.

A few days later, I had an email from Man #29 asking me if I would accompany him to dinner at Metropolitan Grill. He had seen an article about some free-range wild boar from Spain they were serving, wanted a date, and worried that I would think him less environmentally conscious because of it. This is how I responded,

“Wild boar is one of my favorite things. If this is even remotely related in taste and texture to the cinghiale I had in Italy, I will look forward to having an orgasm in the restaurant, with moaning and eye rolling included, like Sally, in When Harry Met Sally, only I won’t have to fake it. In recent years, I have tried everything that has popped up in the news claiming a resemblance to wild boar and usually been disappointed, but I don’t want to prejudge. I assume the chef at the Met knows what he’s doing.

So, in my quest for amazing pork, my answer would be yes, yes,…YES!

Instead of thinking that it’s not green, think about the fact that it’s free-range.

Ciao and chow!”

I had to say yes. I mean the damn thing spent its days wandering around the European forest eating fresh acorns for fuck sake. How could I say no? We set a date for our porkfest and I eagerly awaited my foodgasm.

In the meantime, I got bored one evening and asked Man #29 if he could step out for an impromptu date. He agreed, and we again found ourselves conversing over beers and bar food. During this date, he started to tell me more about how his wife had been a runaway wife, how he had continual drama with his ex, and some discipline problems with his teenage son. I listened attentively, and injected comments and questions where it seemed appropriate. He complained that he was still very much at his ex’s beck and call.

“Why don’t you set some boundaries?”

“Well, she pays me a lot of money, so I try not to rock the boat,” he said.

Oh dear, I thought. He got the kids, but his wife still had custody of his balls. I wanted to see the good things about him, but I don’t deal well with other people’s drama, especially when it’s coming from an out of control ex. This second date was merely ok, since it mostly consisted of talk of his home drama. I’m all for letting a man vent, but at the end of the night, I felt emotionally fatigued.

I was enjoying our exchange of intelligent emails, and I wasn’t ready to write him off over a dominating ex just yet. I kept my date for porkfest.

Photo here.





Big Fish

2 03 2012

Ok, I know I said I would not be responding to emails sent by men who posed with dead fish in their profile pictures, but I may need to reconsider.





My Daily 5 – My Online Dating Profile Rant

14 06 2011

Since I’ve been buried in schoolwork for the past three weeks I haven’t had time to log on to match.com and check my Daily 5 like I should.  For anyone unfamiliar with match.com, the Daily 5 are the profiles of five men (or women, depending on your gender) that are selected by match.com and sent to a person’s profile each day.  You choose from three buttons: yes, maybe, and no, depending on whether you’re interested in meeting the prospects or no.

Match.com has not been a very productive venue for me and my online dating adventures lately.  I’m not sure why this is exactly. Perhaps I’m not logged in enough.  I just can’t stand the idea of looking like I’m online all the time like that.  Who wants someone who looks like they’re logged onto an online dating site 24/7?  I have a life, and to keep myself signed into match.com or Plentyoffish seems like it would look, well, desperate, or worse, skeazy.  It’s just my personal preference, but it may be one of the factors contributing to the fact that I’m not getting many dates from match.com.

The other factor is that I find reading men’s profiles extraordinarily boring and it takes a lot of effort for me to send an email to any of them.  (Despite the fact that I don’t like to make the first move, I have to send at least 5 emails to new men each month in order to qualify for match.com’s 6 month guarantee.)  This brings me back to my Daily 5.

Everyday, 5 new profiles arrive. Everyday, 5 profiles look and sound the same.  A while back, fellow blogger, Zak, wrote about things girls should say in their profiles, and he made some really good suggestions.  After reading his post, I made changes to my own profile, and recently, one of the best compliments I received was when a man told me that my profile was different from most of the other profiles he had read.

Similar rewrites of men’s profiles would help the banal experience of online dating immensely, and would make those men who took the time to write a unique profile stand out from the pack.  I’ve taken the following quotes from some actual online dating profiles on match.com, and here are some thoughts on this subject from my own experience:

  1. “I’m a social guy.”  This shows up a lot in men’s profiles.  What does this mean exactly? Does this mean that the man is a party animal?  Is he good at business networking? A shameless flirt who will be out every night?  Telling women that you are a social guy tells them nothing. If a man is going to write about being “social,” it would be better to describe what types of social situations he enjoys.  Does he enjoy black tie events or does he love finding a good hole-in-the-wall kind of place that he can escape to with his friends?
  2. “I’m a really easy-going guy.”  Yes, and supposedly so are about 95% of the other guys online.  This has got to be the most over-used line in online dating profiles.  Here again, I don’t know what this line means exactly, but what I have found is that the more a man insists that he’s easy-going (or drama-free or not a player) the more uptight (drama-prone or philandering) he seems to be.  Skip this one.  If it exists in your profile, take it out.
  3. “I like going out for dinner, and trying new places.”  Really? Who doesn’t?  Do you go out because you don’t have a clue how to cook a meal for yourself? What types of new places do you want to try?  Do you like Indian food? Can’t stand Italian?  These are things a woman is going to want to know, especially, for example, if she loves Italian food.  What is it about new experiences that you like?
  4. “I love a good movie.”  Rather than saying that you love a good movie, it would be better to write about your favorite movie genres or your favorite movies and what it was about them that made them your favorites.
  5. “I’m ambitious and work hard.”  This is great to know, but it is a VERY over-used line.  It’s better to write specifically about your work and what you’re passionate about, because one person’s idea of ambition will be different from another’s.  First of all, working hard does not necessarily equal results, and second, a woman could interpret this as, “I’m a workaholic.”  Workaholism is not really a plus when trying to find a mate.
  6. “Hi there. Thanks for looking at my profile.”  This sounds pathetic.  Don’t thank women for reading your profile.  If a woman is really interested in finding a man, she SHOULD be reading your profile. Save your “thank you” for right after the first date or the day after.  Not enough people in today’s world say thank you when they should.  I’m a big believer in saying please and thank you, but thanking women for looking at your profile does not add anything of substance, and it makes you sound a little woosy.
  7. “I love the great outdoors.”  Apparently, all of the men who live is Seattle love the great outdoors.  It makes sense, I suppose.  Seattle is a great place to live if you love the great outdoors.  Unfortunately, in Seattle, this not a differentiator.  Does this mean that I’ll be dragged on a death march up Mount Rainier, or that you have an extensive repertoire of campfire recipes and will be able to perfectly roast me a marshmallow?  What do you like to do in the outdoors?  Do you go sailing?  Do you ski? Have you won any competitions?  Do you know how to tie flies? WHAT?  Don’t just say that you like the great outdoors.  I like the outdoors too, but it usually involves inviting my friends over for BBQ and sitting in my backyard with a glass of wine.
  8. Don’t be angry in your profile.  This shows up in all sorts of ways.  It’s usually just an  undercurrent of bitterness that weaves its way through the profile.  If you find yourself writing about all of the things you DON’T want in a woman in a resentful, bitchy way, check it.  This never sounds good, it’s a total turn-off, and any woman who is remotely attracted to your anger, is not a healthy one.

So, there’s a theme here, right? Be specific.  When the first lines of your online dating profile sound like everyone else’s, your potential match will just look through the pictures and move on.  That means your pictures better be DAMN good!

On that note, make sure that your photos are current.  You don’t want to end up like the Italian Meatball.  Photos should be current and should vary between headshots and photos showing your physique.  If you are bald, take the fucking baseball cap off!  You’re not fooling anyone.   Don’t show 15 photos where you’re wearing cargo shorts, a t-shirt, a baseball cap, crew socks, and tennis shoes.  This seems to be the uniform of men in their thirties and forties.  Show yourself in some casual shots, but also show that you can clean up well.

Finally, if you are seriously trying to find a nice woman, DO NOT take a picture of yourself shirtless in the bathroom mirror with your cell phone.  I delete every profile that has a shirtless man in it.  (This alone might explain why I’m not getting any dates from match.com.  Anthony Weiner’s habit of taking self portraits is really not that unique.)  The thing is, the message this sends is that the man is more interested in meaningless sex than in actually finding a woman for a long-term relationship.  If that’s your thing, great, but then don’t expect the caliber of the women you’re meeting to be particularly high.

Now, I need to go peruse my Daily 5.  I’ll skim the first two sentences, and if that doesn’t catch my attention, I’ll just scroll through the pictures.





Blog Photo Poll

29 05 2011
My photos taken by Shari at Luce Bella Photography are ready to be revealed, and I wanted to get reader input on which ones to use on the blog. I think I could find space to use two of the photos here on different pages.  I have headshots too, but for now, I’m still blogging fairly anonymously.  For those who don’t know me, I’ll just have to remain mysterious.

From the top, we have the photo of the Spring Wedge, winner of the shoe poll.   Then the gray jeans, gray boots and silver toenails that I wore for my first date with The Blues Man.  After that is the black and white version of the same gray boots.  The Pink Python Sandal was the runner up in the shoe poll, so I had to take those shoes with me on the day of the photoshoot.

And finally, let’s not forget my favorite co-star in all of this. Last but certainly not least, we have the handsome and mighty Thor.  Isn’t he just awesome??  He got plenty of time in front of the camera too.  Please vote. I can’t decide.
 

Photo courtesy of Luce Bella Photography

Photo courtesy of Luce Bella Photography

 

Photo courtesy Luce Bella Photography

Photo courtesy of Luce Bella Photography

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Photo courtesy of Luce Bella Photography

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 




I Have Not Abandoned My Blog

21 05 2011

I apologize for the lack of posts in the last couple of weeks. I had a second date with the Scorekeeper (my Accounts Payable is now at a 0 balance) and a date with Man #16 over a week ago. I’ve just been too busy with lineal regression models, the central limit theorem and P-Values, Activity Based Costing, bond pricing and effective interest method, assessing my best alternative to a negotiated agreement, and evaluating macroeconomic indicators to assess foreign investment.

Did that make your head hurt?

Mine too.

Did I ever mention that I’m a VISUAL learner and mostly right-brained?  The quarter will be finished in mid-June. 

My goal is to post a real post this week.  Don’t let me forget to tell you about my photo shoot.  The photos are ready.  I still need to tell you about Man #16. And, I think my second date with the Scorekeeper requires a little explaining.  I will write again soon. I promise.





What to Wear? What to Wear?

8 05 2011

Thank you to everyone who voted in the shoe poll last week.  I checked the results right before sitting down to write this post, and it looks like there was a tie between The Spring Wedge and The Pink Python Sandal.  Therefore, it’s only right that I take both pairs of shoes to my photo session. 

Photo courtesy of Luce Bella Photography

My photo session with Shari from Luce Bella Photography is tomorrow morning, and I’m both nervous and excited.  I’m pretty sure I know what to wear to my photo session, but I’m in the last-minute preparations of trying everything on and checking everything out in the mirror one last time before tomorrow morning. 

When I was planning what to wear to my photo session, I decided I don’t want to wear anything too formal.  Basically, I want to wear what makes me feel comfortable and what makes me feel like I look good.  I want my profile photos to capture my personality and my style without being too formal.  The important part, of course, is that I want my profile photos to look like me, the woman men will meet when I walk into a date.

The other thing I was thinking when I was considering what to wear to my photo session is that I don’t want my profile photos to become dated too quickly, so I’m opting for mostly solid colored clothes.  To jazz things up I’ll probably add some funky jewelry and try to blend different textures.  I have one multi-colored blouse that I will probably wear with one of the outfits and a suit that I may or may not use.  (I’m also hoping to get a shot or two that would be appropriate for my LinkedIn profile.) 

My legs are so white after the long winter I haven’t decided whether or not I’ll take a skirt.  I know men like skirts, but I’m feeling a little self-conscious about my legs right now.

In a way I want to break the rules a little and that’s why I chose Shari at Luce Bella Photography.  When shopping online for a date, after a while all profiles start to look and sound the same.  (Fellow dating blogger, Zak, wrote an awesome post on techniques to make your profile more interesting. Check it out.)  As Zak, suggests, I’ve tried to write my profile so it tells men things that are unique to me. For example, one of the things I mention is that I tore my calf muscle once playing dodgeball.  I want my photos to be unique in the same way.  Shari is very creative and I can’t wait to see what ideas she comes up with to bring out my personality.

I also went and had a pedicure yesterday, so  my feet are ready for all of the great shoes I’m taking with me.

Ok.  Wish me luck.  I can’t wait to share the results with everyone.

Photo here.





In Need of Cute Profile Photos

2 05 2011

Photo courtesy of Luce Bella Photography

Back in February, when I finally decided to jump into the online dating pool, I wasn’t really prepared. As I was setting up my online profile, I realized that I really didn’t have any cute profile photos I could use.  As a mom, I have typically ended up behind the camera, and I’m not one of those people who is constantly snapping photos of myself with my cell phone.  As I searched my computer files, trying to figure out where to get cool profile photos, I realized I just didn’t have any.  Before my marriage I had tons of photos that would have worked as a fun profile photo, but searching through my files, I realized that this again was an area of my life that had somehow dwindled away during my marriage.

I’m still somewhat baffled as to how this happened.

Actually, I know what part of the problem was.  Most of the photos I had, which showed my face and worked well as a fun profile photos, also had my STB-ex in them.  If I wanted to use them on match.com or Plentyoffish.com, I would need to cut him out of them.  Now, I don’t know about you, but personally, I have always thought that profile photos featuring someone who was obviously cropped out seem a little tacky, and I didn’t want a photo like that in my online dating profile.

So the problem still remained.  Where to get cool profile photos?

In the interim, I chose two photos of myself, and one of my dog.  Neither of my photos showed my current hair color, which I had recently decided to dye auburn as part of my re-launch.  The only profile photo with which I was really happy was the one of my dog.

Those photos would have to do for now.  I didn’t want to have a profile without a photo.  You don’t get any attention that way, and in order to fulfill the 6 month guarantee requirements at match.com, you have to have a profile photo visible.

So, I started asking around, trying to figure out where to get a cool profile photo.  Some friends of mine took a few of those cell phone portraits, but usually these were taken while we were out at a club somewhere, and I usually ended up with a drink in front of my face.  Not really what I was going for.

In the meantime, I also felt my LinkedIn profile photo needed to be updated, so rather than settle on a profile photo from a night out of partying, I decided I would search for a professional photographer who could take some cute profile photos that I could use on my blog, on my online dating profiles, and on my LinkedIn profile.

At long last, a friend of mine sent me the information for a friend of hers who is a photographer.  She told me that she had taken some fun profile photos of her, and that men had complimented her for looking in real life just as she did in her online profile. (That’s always a plus.)  So, I am so excited, because next Monday, I will be meeting Shari, of Luce Bella Photography and doing a photoshoot to fulfill my online profile photo needs!  Yey!!  I can’t wait.  I’m so tired of the photos I have, and Shari is fun and creative, and I love the ideas she has so far.

I have a couple of outfits picked out, but I haven’t chosen a third and it will be largely based on which shoes I wear.  I need help.  Please vote on one pair of shoes from the shoes below.  (By the way, these photos are NOT from Luce Bella Photography. They were taken by yours truly.) 

The Spring Wedge

The Super High Come F$*& Me Pump

The Barely There Strappy Sandal

The Pink Python Sandal

 

Thanks for your help!








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