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.

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Man #27, The Flavor Saver

3 07 2012

They say that a woman has to kiss a lot of frogs before finding her prince.  I would add that it also seems that the more a woman doesn’t want to kiss a frog, the more likely that frog will expect a kiss at the end of a first date.  A case in point being the Italian Grandpa I dated last year.

Man #27 found me on OkCupid.  He sent a rather intelligent email, and we started a volley of missives discussing movies, books, teenagers, chess, ethnic backgrounds, genealogy, and baseball.  It all seemed rather promising, so when he asked me out, I was excited to meet him.

In his picture, he looked “professorial,” brown, tweed jacket, mustache and slightly outdated hairstyle.  Ok, I’ll call it what it was.  He had a comb-over, but still, he didn’t look bad.  After dealing with the illiterate tools on Plentyoffish, I was happy to finally have an intelligent dialogue with a man.  It was restoring my faith in the brainpower of the male gender.

Since he seemed to possess more sophistication and intelligence than my average date, when he asked me where I would like to go, I suggested we meet at the Seattle Art Museum.  I happen to like art gallery and museum dates.  You can talk while moseying through the exhibits and usually find out a lot about a person by the way they react to the art.  I was excited and nervous, in a good way, about my date with Man #27.  I told him I would meet him at the museum at 6 p.m..

I arrived and found him in the lobby.  He looked rather nice.  He did, in fact, look professorial in real life, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  He was in jeans and a black sport jacket, which he informed me he understood to be the most appropriate attire for a gentleman on a first date.  He had gleaned this information from an online article on the subject of first date fashion, which he confessed he had researched due to first date jitters.  I found this to be rather endearing.

The thing that threw me off, and almost immediately grabbed my attention, however, was his facial hair.  In addition to a rather long, shaggy mustache, he also sported a flavor saver, sometimes also referred to as a soul patch.  Now, you may recall my discussion of body hair from almost a year ago.  To put it plainly, I’m not really a fan.  I have a low tolerance for body hair.  I don’t like when a man has nappy chest hair that looks like crumbles of ground meat on his chest.  I don’t want to nestle my head into the shoulder of a man whose armpit contains little white chunks of deodorant stuck to his armpit hair.  I will not even consider giving a man a blow job if his pubes smell like sweat and it appears as though I have to use a brush cutter to find his penis.  AND, I don’t like the idea of kissing a man if it appears that I will be lip to mustache instead of lip to lip.

Exhibit A: Flavor Saver gone wrong.

Plus, in general, I have never been a big fan of the flavor saver.  A flavor saver is hard to pull off, especially for white guys.  A flavor saver only works if a man is committed to the maintenance required to keep it looking neat and tidy.  There used to be a man who rode the same commuter bus I did who had a flavor saver, and he never trimmed it.  It hung there loosely from the base of his lower lip, and every time I saw it I wanted to scream, “Shave that shit off!”  He would have looked so much better without it.

I will present for you Exhibit A.  Note how the flavor saver is sort of bushy with strands of hair hanging down from the lower lips.  Not good.  Apollo Ohno is a good-looking guy.  There are some really nice pictures of him, naked, in skating poses out here on the internet, but I remember watching the Winter Olympics and being totally distracted by his flavor saver.  I wanted it gone.

I wish I could say that Man #27’s flavor saver was even half as tidy as Apollo’s, but it wasn’t.  No.  The Flavor Saver’s flavor saver was thin with just a thin layer of hair hanging down from his lip.  But, wait; there’s more.  It didn’t just hang there.  No.  It hung down for about a half an inch before curling back up again so that the whole thing looked like it was horizontal.  It was like a scoop.

I suppose if you’re going to have a flavor saver, it might as well be able to catch something.

And yet, that still was not the most distracting part.  One side was trimmed shorter than the other.  It looked like he always trimmed it using his right hand, pushing everything to the left as he went across.

It was all I could do to keep from staring at it.  I wanted to take a comb, comb it down, and cut it even for him.  As we walked through the galleries, I kept stealing glances at it in profile, little lopsided scoop that it was.  I was enjoying our conversation immensely, but I kept getting distracted.  I kept looking at it and wondering if I were to kiss him if I would end up with upturned flavor saver in my nose.  How would my lips ever find his without the rude, ticklish interference of the flavor saver?

Exhibit B: Flavor saver maintenance. Good.

He was so intelligent and nice.  I liked his personality.  I started to wonder what the appropriate amount of time was for a couple to date before asking one’s partner to get a makeover.  I tried to shake it off.  I told myself I was being shallow, but I kept looking at the flavor saver and wondering how on earth he could look in the mirror everyday and not see a problem.

We went and had a bite to eat after walking through the galleries, and we talked until 11 o’clock at night.  He was a great guy.  How could I let this issue of lopsided, curled up, scooped strands of facial hair be so off-putting?  Perhaps if we ended up dating I could eventually drop hints to get rid of it.

At the end of our date, he walked me to my car, and, of course, he wanted a kiss.  There it was, the moment I’d been dreading all evening.  It should have been a good thing, considering the evening we had just had.  Instead…

Ahhh!  Ppfft.  Ppfft.  Ppfft.  Oh.  God.  Why?  Why???

 

Photos here, here, and here.





Ok, I’ll Try OkCupid

29 06 2012

If you are a reader who has been following my adventures since the beginning, you may have wondered how I happened to get an email from my STBex on OkCupid if I wasn’t on OkCupid.  Well, the truth is; I’m now on OkCupid.

Last year, when I initially set up my online dating profiles, I was unfamiliar with the dating sites that had not existed before I met STBex.  I was aware of eHarmony and match.com, but the free sites like PlentyofFish and OkCupid were new to me.  If you have been reading from the beginning, you may recall that, because I received a message that my computer was attacked by malware while I was browsing OkCupid, I had decided to forego creating a profile on that site at that time.

I had settled on a paid subscription on match.com and a free profile on Plentyoffish.

Despite my failure to create a profile on OkCupid, they apparently had enough information about me to send a birthday message last year, which, although I was pissed to get a notice that I was a year older, served as a reminder that I should go broaden the age range of men I’m interested in on the other dating sites.  Even at that point, however, I refused to fill out an online dating profile on OkCupid.  Over the past year, however, I’ve talked to some of my friends and readers and discovered that quite a few of them were using OkCupid to meet people.  I try to keep an open mind about these things, so I finally decided to go check it out in more detail, malware or not.

Quite honestly, my newfound interest in OkCupid really came down to two things.  First, my six month free membership with match.com, which I had managed to score by qualifying for their guarantee, ran out, and they automatically billed me $107 for another year.  I called match.com’s customer service and had the charges reversed.  Quite frankly, I couldn’t justify the price.  I had only gone on 7 dates from match.com in a year.  That’s $15.29 plus tax per date!  Now, some of you romantics out there might be thinking,…

…getting winked at,…$8.92 per month,…

…coffee date with a man from match.com,…$15.29 + coffee

…meeting the man of your dreams…priceless,

…but I don’t think so.  Ok, maybe, yes, meeting the man of my dreams would be priceless, but I don’t think I’m going to find him on match.com.  I just don’t think so.

First of all, you have to remember that I am extremely cheap, by which I mean frugal. Plus, I have no evidence to prove that my $15 dates were of any better quality than my free dates from Plentyoffish and Craigslist.  In fact, when it comes to bang for my buck…

…wait…no,…sadly, I can’t say that.

There has been no banging.

(Sigh)

Anyway, what I was going to say was that, despite the horror stories one hears about Craigslist, the two free ads I had placed on Craigslist had resulted in far more dates than any of the time and energy I had put into creating and editing my online dating profiles.  Furthermore, I have had a number of dates from Craigslist that have gone quite nicely, so, consequently, I just didn’t see the point in paying $107 dollars plus tax for another year of being winked at by men on match.com who never seem to ask anyone out.  I politely insisted that Match reverse the charges on my credit card and hide my profile.

It’s official.  I am no longer on match.com.

The other factor affecting my decision to try OkCupid was that I have come to believe that there are no literate men on Plentyoffish.  You may recall the creepy, poorly worded email I received last year.  Sadly, this email is representative of most of the messages I have received from men on Plentyoffish.  Most men will forego saying anything about my feet, but, as far as grammar and spelling are concerned, this is pretty much what communication on Plentyoffish looks like.

Plus, Plentyoffish has this feature called “Meet Me,” where you can simply click through a series of pictures and click yes or no as to whether or not you would like to meet the person in the picture.  I swear; every time I receive an email telling me someone wants to meet me, I open it, and have the same reaction that occurs when I find a long forgotten container in the back of my refrigerator, pop it open, and discover something truly sickening inside.  We’re talking fear and gag reflex in one motion as I race to close it.  Because of this, I have gotten to the point where I don’t even open “Meet Me” emails from Plentyoffish anymore.  I also don’t open the weekly email I receive telling me that I have new matches.  If I receive an actual email from a man on Plentyoffish, I will go check it out.   Let’s face it, sometimes it’s just damned amusing and makes for good blog fodder.

I don’t want to say that all of my Plentyoffish dates have been bad.  That’s not true.  I have had a few good ones, but the ratio of good dates and emails to bad is just far too low.

All this is to say that I had become tired of the fish on Plentyoffish, and I was ready for a change, hence my decision to finally give OkCupid a try.  OkCupid has an interesting feature where they ask questions, and then match people up by the percentage of questions you have that are similar.  Therefore, when you look at a person’s profile, it will say something like,

95% Match, 89% Friend, 10% Enemy.

Now, this I find rather interesting.   There seems to be an unlimited supply of questions to answer.  One guy I found had answered upwards of 1400 questions.  I have not answered anywhere close to that amount, but it did make me wonder about something.  You have to remember that, with my new MBA, I have taken statistics.  As a person answers more and more questions on OkCupid does a linear regression occur allowing for increased accuracy in the site’s matching capability?

Now, I’m probably WAY over-thinking this.  After all, some of the questions on OkCupid are pretty stupid.  Perhaps with more questions answered you are more likely to be matched with a drunken college student, for that is who I think may have written a lot of these questions.  However, it does make you wonder, and it is rather comforting to be able to cruise through the answers and discover that the man you might be interested in…

…does not want to be peed on during sex,

or

…does not think it’s ok to tell racist jokes,

or

…does not want an open relationship.

Pick your poison.

So, anyway, there you have it.  I am officially on OkCupid, and I’ve already had three dates, which I will tell you about very soon.  Have a great weekend.





Man #19, Thor’s Buddy

18 08 2011

Photo courtesy of Luce Bella Photography

Normally, I write immediately following my dates. I don’t know WHAT happened with Man #19, but this date happened a long time ago.

Let’s see.  Let me go back in my calendar.  WAY back.

Ah, yes, there it is.  My date with Man #19 occurred on June 30th. It was 2011 at least.  Obviously, due to a variety of family and social factors, I have been remiss in my date blogging, and I apologize.

I don’t exactly know why it took me so long to write this one.  I think I hit a wall.  It’s not really due to anything Man #19 did or said, I just think I got a little fed up with the whole online dating thing after the disaster with Man #17. 

Even a serial dater needs a break sometimes.

Man #19 was actually quite nice.  He was a date from Plentyoffish where I have a picture of Thor posted on my online dating profile.  I also had information about my blog.  I was going for full disclosure, and letting guys know that if they went out with me, I would most definitely be writing about it.

We sent a few emails back and forth, had a few things in common, and after reading my blog, Man #19 commented in an email, “Thor is  awesome.”

Yes, I think so too. I was happy to hear that Man #19 was a dog lover, and we all know that I am a lover of dog lovers. He asked me if I would like to meet for a date, and I said yes.  Then, he suggested that we take a walk around Greenlake.

Sure. Why not?

I proceeded to put the date into my calendar, when all of a sudden it occurred to me. Man #19 has read my blog and suggested Greenlake. Maybe Man #19 was less interested in meeting me and more interested in meeting Thor.  You think?  Thor is pretty awesome after all, and he’s not nearly as snarky as I am.  In fact, I would venture a guess that Thor does not have a snarky bone in his muscular little body. (By the way, check out Thor’s six-pack in the photo above.)

I fired off an email to Man #19.

“Since we’re meeting at Greenlake, do you mind if I bring Thor?”

“That would be great,” came the reply.

I was sitting on the couch with my laptop at the time.  Thor was sitting next to me, staring at me as he does most of the time, ready to do whatever I command.

“It looks like YOU have a date, buddy,” I said.

His ears perked up and his mouth broke open into what I like to call his “pittie grin.”  You can check out how happy he looks here.

When the night of the date came, Thor and I went to Greenlake a little early to get Thor’s “business” out of the way.  Man #19, Thor’s Buddy, also arrived early and we started walking around the lake.  He was a pretty good-looking guy, greying hair, slender, a little taller than me, and quite nice.  We talked easily about a lot of different things, but for some reason, I felt a little awkward.  There were a few things that I heard coming out of my mouth that I just realized seemed off-kilter.  I don’t remember the specifics (this is the risk I run by not blogging about my dates right away) but I just remember hearing myself speaking and thinking, “What the fuck are you saying, and WHY??”

Somebody smack me.

I don’t know if I was nervous or what.  For the most part, my level of nervousness has gone way down on first dates.  It’s when first kisses and the hinting of sex start to occur that I get all anxious, but I was off my game, to say the least.

After the trip around the lake, Thor’s Buddy and I had hit it off well enough that we went to Guaymas Cantina.  They have outdoor seating, and Thor could dine with us.  I tied Thor to the fence next to our table, and he proceeded to greet every passerby that would make eye contact with him. 

Thor gets very wiggling when he sees new people approaching.  It starts with the tail wagging and the momentum carries all the way up his body.  Every new person is the opportunity for someone to scratch his rump.  He let’s them approach and then turns around and looks over his shoulder as if to say, “See how cute my butt is? Don’t you want to scratch it? Huh, don’t ya?”

He’s a nut, but he’s so friendly that if I had to venture a guess, I would bet that a few people who approached him did not realize that they were petting a pit bull.

The bad thing about Thor’s popularity was that it was a little distracting to the conversation that Man #19 and I were trying to have over dinner.  I was hyper-vigilant that Thor might LICK someone to death, and everyone who stopped to pet him wanted to comment or ask questions.  Hard to have a seamless conversation with all of that going on.

At the end of the date, my awkwardness continued.  I put Thor in the car, and Man #19 and I stood on the curb looking at each other for a moment.  I even commented on my awkwardness, which made it even more uncomfortable.

Sigh.

I’m such a dork.  I think I need to let Thor school me on charisma.  He’s obviously got what it takes.

On another note…

Perhaps it is fate that I waited to write this post.  I just found out today that Councilman Tom Rasmussen is entertaining the idea of breed specific legislation, eliminating “fighting breeds” from Seattle parks.  It does not matter what a great dog Thor, or any other pit bull, may be.  In the eyes of the ignorant dog hater, Ellen Taft, pit bulls should be destroyed instead of holding the human component of the equation, the owner, responsible.  Breed specific legislation is ineffective, difficult to enforce, and costly to taxpayers. When specific breeds are outlawed, irresponsible owners and criminals just go on to find another mascot.  We’ve seen it before with German shepherds, Dobermanns, Rottweilers, etc.  Will your dog be next?

I suggest checking out the following resources, and considering an email to Councilman Rasmussen. Here is an excellent example, written by a Seattle firefighter and owner of rescued pit bulls.

Councilman Rasmussen;

I’ve endorsed you, met you, & supported your campaigns.

I recently heard of your support of Ellen Taft in outlawing Pit Bulls in Seattle parks. I have owned 3 rescued Pit Bulls for a total of 8 years until I had to put one down last April after she endured a fight with cancer. I now have two neutered males. We camp, we hike, we live in Seattle proper, we pay our taxes, we bother no one.

My past experience with Ms. Taft and her crusades over the years is that she is a misinformed zealot that has a vendetta against ALL animals, (esp. dogs) in the Seattle area. I would hope that you would further educate yourself on the breed before leaping into zealot territory with this. I respect you, I think you are a man of common sense that leads with informed decisions and not hysterical hype.

The Pit bull is a majestic, loving, and non-human aggressive breed that deserves fair treatment in our city – an all-out ban from parks is unnecessary and breedist. I would hope that you would educate yourself with the following materials before joining in league with an individual that has a reputation of fanaticism and hysteria, neither based on fact nor common sense.

Here are some tools for you:

The Pitbull Placebo by Karen Delise
a free copy can be downloaded at http://nationalcanine….

A page from the National Canine Research Council http://nationalcanine….

Best Friends’s BSL cost calculator
http://www.guerrillae….

If you take a look at the full legislative proposal put forth by this FDAFB group, it is easy to see how difficult to enforce and incredibly expensive it would be. (see a summary of their plan at http://www.fdafb.org/…) NOT MY MONEY SIR!!!

Statistics from the American Temperament Testing Society
http://atts.org/breed….

Please re-think your connection with this woman. She attempts to paint the picture of the pittie owner as a drug addict/thug/irresponsible human. EVERY vet I know, ( & I know plenty; owns a pittie…all kinds of professionals in our City & throughout our state own pitties – Police Officers, Trainers, Firefighters – we are not thugs, we are not criminals- we are responsible people who recognize the need for responsible dog ownership of this misunderstood breed – we are more loving than not, & we all sacrifice much to educate others about our beloved breed while individuals like Ms. Taft create fear & lies to support her own personal agenda.

As you know, Firefighters respond into people’s homes at very difficult times – I have entered many homes within the City of Seattle where Pit bulls have been present , under stressful, fearful circumstances, ( the toughest environment for a dog)…. I have NEVER been attacked, bit or even glared at by a Pit Bull in any of these circumstances. I have however been bit by a Golden Retriever…who was “being a dog”, protecting her family from strangers in uniform. She didn’t break the skin, it wasn’t a big deal but if I had the mentality of Ms. Taft – you can bet the papers would have known about it – I would have been off work @ tax payer expense with a ‘non” injury – & I would hate all Golden’s – that’s who Ellen Taft is. I don’t think she’s someone anyone of any common sense would want to align themselves with.

One of the reasons I love Seattle is because of it’s dog-friendly culture, there is enough room in this City for all of us; MY Seattle is not a City that discriminates!!!!!!!…I’ll take my money & leave if my children – my two pitties -are not welcome.

Thank Councilman Rasmussen, please reconsider your possible alliance with MS. Taft.

Please join other Pit Bull lovers at this event – Come see who we REALLY are! Pit Bulls on Parade: Saturday, August 20, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Riverdog Canine Coaching – 1400 19th Avenue Northwest, Issaquah, WA

“Of all dogs, Pit Bulls possess the single greatest ability to bond with people.”*- Dr. Frank McMillan, Director of Well-Being Studies, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary





Your or ore You’re?

27 05 2011

I have almost gotten to the point where I don’t respond to emails from men on Plentyoffish. Here’s the latest…

“how r u today my lady? you sure do have pretty looking toes… I was wondering if you would be interested in chatting? I see your and educated woman and have a couple different careers that your pursuing. Well if your intrigued at all we can chat later on just let me know..”

Tell me.  Do men honestly expect women to respond to this kind of email?  I’m convinced that there are no literate men on Plentyoffish.  It’s free to join, and you obviously get what you pay for.  I love the “I see your and educated woman” part.  That really made me laugh.

An educated woman needs an educated man.  I won’t be responding to this email.





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!





Rebalancing

30 04 2011

Earlier this week, I realized that I have been being way too nice.

I hate it when that happens, and it seems to happen more often than I would like.

Do you know what happens when you’re too nice?  People will take advantage of your good humor; that’s what happens. 

Perhaps I need to be more specific.  There are a few observations I have made in the past few weeks that need examination.

First of all, until my catastrophic blunder with The Blues Man two weeks ago, neither my match.com dates nor my Plentyoffish dates knew that I was chronicling my adventures.  Since I did not want a repeat performance of my mistakes with The Blues Man,however, late last week, I went on both match.com and Plentyoffish and changed my profile to include information about my blog.  As much as I felt I needed to do this for moral, blogging reasons, I was hesitant to reveal this information for a couple of reasons.

First, what I’ve found in dating my Craigslist dates (who DID know about my blog) is that men will be on MUCH better behavior when they know you’re going to be writing about them.  Well, I should preface that.  They will be on the best behavior of which they are capable.  (Believe me; there is a huge difference.)  You may think that good behavior on dates would be a good thing, but I’m starting to think that it does not give an accurate picture of the behaviors that are out there.  I compare notes with my girlfriends; I know.

Second, I have found myself trying to be much more diplomatic in how I write about my Craigslist dates as opposed to my match.com and Plentyoffish dates.  This has had serious implications and this is where I have realized that I have been far too nice.  And, perhaps this being nice shit needs to stop.

Let me offer some examples and illustrate the subsequent events that have brought the error of my ways to my attention.

There have been a handful of dates from Craigslist that I have erroneously reviewed as good dates just because they didn’t totally suck!  Two in particular come immediately to mind.

The first was a date with a gentleman who was probably my mom’s age.  The venue of the date was nice and the conversation was ok, but he seemed to be one of those people who is an authority about everything.  There was nothing in particular that he said that set me off; it was the way in which he said things.  He had a rather condescending air about him, and the last thing I want to be around after escaping my machismo soon-to-be-Ex (STB Ex from here on out until the divorce is final) is someone who is incapable of treating me as his equal.

To further compound my mistake of being too nice, and not calling this behavior out in my post-date post, I later emailed him and ask if he could provide some reference materials we had discussed while on our date.  In my email, I was cordial, but not flirtatious.  My philosophy was that, although I could not see myself in a long-term relationship with him, overall, he was not a bad guy, and I should be able to shoot him a friendly email.

I was wrong.  I received an email in response, which informed me that although he was interested in seeing me again, the fact that I was not divorced yet bothered him,and he was not interested in dating me.

Well, ok.

That’s actually good, because I was not in the least bit aware that I was interested in dating his old, know-it-all ass.  I thought this was mighty presumptuous to say the least.  This is one of those cases that supports the “men and women can’t be friends” argument from “When Harry Met Sally.”  Apparently, there are men who think that just because you email them, you must want them.

Not true guys.  Not true at all.

Next we move to another Craigslist date.  Again, the venue of the date was great, but the conversation was horrible. Do you want to know why?  Because it wasn’t a conversation.  This date blathered on so long, talking about I don’t know what all, that I had one of two choices.  I could either stab my eye out with my drinking straw to keep myself awake, or I could be what I consider to be rude, and interrupt him for a few brief seconds to get a word in edgewise.

This tendency to talk, more than ask questions and listen, is a very common issue with men.  At least 7 of my 13 dates so far have talked so much during the date that I’m sure they walked away thinking that I have much more personality in the blogosphere.  They did not bother, in the least, to find out anything about me.  In fact, most of them could not shut up long enough to take a breath, let alone ask me a question and then wait for an answer.

If I was inclined to give them a break–and I already have by being too nice–I could speculate that what is happening is that men are reading my blog and, because I have written so many of my insights here, perhaps they feel like they already know me.  Therefore, when it comes to the date, maybe they feel like they need to tell me all about themselves or that they need to impress me.

To be honest though, I think these guys are just clueless as to how rude they are.  They lack interpersonal communication skills, and they wouldn’t know an intelligent woman if they met one.  They’re too busy talking.

Finally, with this second Craigslist date, he seemed to think that he should be able to exert some sort of editorial control over what I wrote about him.  He started freaking out about what I considered to be a minor detail, written in the way in which I had perceived it.  After a few extremely verbose emails where he argued that what I wrote was not a “statement of fact,” a phone call, and a comment on the blog, he won out and rather than continue to deal with him, I eliminated the two sentences in question, his comment, and deleted him from further communication.  It was better to just cut him off swiftly and cleanly.  Personally, I think he came off as much less of a prick in the blog post than he did in real life.  He was much more interested in being right than in how he would be perceived long-term.

So, you see; I feel like I’ve been too nice, and I feel like these guys tried to take advantage of that.  It seems as though they either a) thought that I was a pushover or b) thought I was hot for them.  Neither of these things are remotely accurate.  I’m ashamed to say that I have not been as forthcoming in my reporting of my dates, because I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  Well, that is about to change.  I’m not out to massacre 100 men, but I’m not going to continue to sit back and let their borish behavior go unnoticed either.

To all of this, I will simply say; this is my blog, written from my perspective.  I’m sure that if my dates were to write about me, they would have their perceptions too.  Some of those would be good. Some would be bad.  Those would be their perceptions. 

But isn’t that what we do with people everyday?  We make judgments base on our interactions with people all the time.  Certainly, going on these dates and assessing what I like and don’t like, what works and doesn’t work, makes me more aware of how I might also be perceived.

For me, that means I will try to ask intelligent questions of my dates and listen more…

…if I can get a word in edgewise.








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