Ms. MDP Attends a Singles Party, Part 1

20 06 2012

One of the interesting things about people knowing that I write a dating blog is that I frequently get invited to various activities to which I wouldn’t ordinarily be exposed.  Often, I feel as though I’m being invited just because the host is hoping I will write a blog post about it.  There have been countless happy hour invitations from people I barely know after they have learned about My Dating Prescription.  Then there were the more exciting invitations, the vibrator party and the invitation to be part of a swinger’s club.

Often, I decline.

The singles party I attended last Saturday, however, was not one of these events.  I had actually been invited, by a good friend of mine, to this party a number of times.  The host and hostess of the party happen to be married (to each other) and throw this party at their house every year for their single friends and their single friends’ friends.   The party has been going strong for well over 10 years, and I had actually been invited years ago, before I was married.  In the past, something always came up and I had to decline but not this year.

The invitation to this party is time-sensitive, because the hosts only accept invitations from the first 50 men and 50 women to respond.  To get onto the guest list you have to provide an interesting tidbit of information about yourself; it has to pass muster with the host and hostess; and you hope that you get the ok before the guest list becomes full.

Believe it or not, I didn’t know what to write fo my tidbit.  I didn’t divulge the fact that I write a dating blog.  Instead, I wrote some crap about having lived in Rome for a short period of time and taking cooking classes while I was there.

This turned out to be a mistake,…and I should have known it would be a mistake.  At this point in my dating journey, I have read enough online dating profiles to know that most people try to sound impressive by listing all of the places they have ever travelled in the world.  It actually becomes a little annoying.  Let’s face it.  If the most exciting “favorite place” you can think of is a vacation you took 15 years ago, your life is pretty dull, and you need to get honest with yourself and your potential date about the fact that you spend an inordinate amount of time sitting on the couch with the remote.  That goes for me and my cooking in Rome too.  I should have known better than to provide that tidbit for this particular party.

However, I would like to state, for the record, that on my online dating profile I DO NOT list the countries I have visited.  I mention atmospheres I prefer instead.

But anyway…Rome was a mistake.  Approximately 50% of both the men and women at the party provided a tidbit about travel. Alas, it appears I am neither unique nor creative.

So, I had sent in my poorly chosen tidbit, received an email informing me I had been allowed access, and was sent a list of various alcoholic beverages from which I could choose to help supply the singles bar.  Check, check, and check.

On the night of the party, I showed up at my girlfriend’s house for a pre-party pre-funk.  There would be four of us going to the party together.  Safety in numbers.

We arrived at the party, deposited our alcoholic beverages at the “bar,” which was a long folding table filled to the edges with bottles of hard alcohol, no beer, no wine allowed.  Extra bottles were sitting on the floor behind the table along with a couple of ice chests and other various bar implements.  It appeared that most of the living room furniture had been removed or pushed back. Good call.

My girlfriends and I were each given a pink piece of paper and a pen.  The men got blues ones.  (It seems I’m not the only one lacking creativity.)  On the paper were the tidbits for all of the men at the party.  The men, of course, had all of the tidbits for the women, including my unoriginal tidbit about Rome.

To make things interesting and to get things rolling there was a contest.  I’ll be honest. I didn’t pay attention to what the prize was, and I didnt’ take it too seriously.  The objective of the contest was to match the tidbit with the person who had done the tidbit.  Let the mingling begin.

Here is a sampling of tidbits for the men…

…(who)se travels include a max elevation of 60,000 ft & a min. of -1,380 ft below sea level.

…has been inside the Kremlin.

…was a volunteer radio DJ at two rural colleges in the Phillippines.

…has a new town named after him in the Peruvian Amazon.

See what I mean?  I would need a drink before I went on this little adventure.  I tried to get to the “bar,” which turned out to be almost impossible.  Apparently, I was not the only one who needed liquid courage to embark on this evening.  It was worse than a packed night club on a Saturday night.  The “line” was at least three people deep, and the floor was already sticky.

I finally got a Manhattan, and scanned the room for my first conversation.  I suddenly realized that I am not good at this.  I’m okay at networking, but the extra pressure of the situation being a singles party threw me off.  Even when I’m cruising the online dating sites I don’t like to reach out to a man first.  It’s just not my style, and there I was, expected to go face to face, toe to toe, and ask someone if he…let’s see…”had to spend an unplanned night in the Costa Rican jungle when his guide got lost.”

Being single sucks!

There was something else I noticed.  My girlfriends are much better at this than I am.  AND, they have no problem talking to the best looking men in the room.  I, on the other hand, avoided them.  WHAT is wrong with me?  It appears I have confidence issues.

I tried to escape to the kitchen.  There I encountered a very tall, very loud man who asked me what I was drinking.

“It’s a Manhattan,” I said.

“Oh, good call. You’ll need it.”

“Thanks.”

“No problem.”

I noticed he did not have a blue piece of paper.

“Oh, I’m not part of the party,” he said, “I’m just helping with the food.  Have you tried the guacamole?”

I had not.  I was not going to stand next to the food table, gorge myself on party food, and refuse to speak to anyone.  I had to put my big girl panties on and go talk to someone.  Fuck. I hate my life sometimes, and I hate my friends for talking me into this shit.

I headed back out into the fray…





Help Wanted: Dating Intern

9 03 2011

After posting my note about deciding that I might need to speed date, I received the question, “What’s the hurry?

There’s really no hurry, I guess.  But, I had forgotten how much work goes into online dating.  I’m only two completed dates in and I’m quickly becoming fed up with the process.  I wish I had an assistant or a Human Resources manager who could do the initial screenings, send introduction emails, and conduct initial interviews for me.   It’s so tedious, I just want to poke my eyes out with a sharp stick. 

For every date produced, I probably end up looking at over 100 men, rejecting 80% of them, and sending a handful of emails.  In fact, numerous times per week, I receive an email from Plentyoffish stating that someone wants to ‘Meet Me,’ and typically my reaction upon opening the link is something like, “Ugh, oh my god,” before I quickly close the website.  It’s the same reaction I have when I discover a forgotten container in the back of my refrigerator, open it, and realize I could have gone my whole life without seeing what’s inside.

When you really get into the numbers, this means I have taken on a VERY big project.  It could be three years before I date 100 men.  I’m convinced. My therapist is a nut job!

And, it’s not as fun as I thought it would be.  Men on online dating sites are really not very fun.  They’re not.

They go on and on in their profiles about the woman they want.  Their lists of requirements are typically so long they will never find the woman that will fit them.  And, in addition to that, most of them do not break their bios into paragraphs, which I find EXTREMELY annoying.  English 101 people!  If you change topics, it’s time to add a little white space.

What I need, I think, is a dating intern, or a picky, protective grandmother with good taste who could conduct my screenings for me.  The latter would probably be difficult to find, due to the differing tastes of the older generation, so I’m thinking the dating intern is the way to go. 

Since my therapist told me to be on the look out for a Jewish doctor, the ideal candidate is a young woman from a good Jewish family who had a very expensive Bat Mitzvah at the Four Seasons (or insert comparable, expensive venue here.)  Since I cannot discriminate based on race or religion, however, alternatively, she may have had a $50,000+ Quinceañera or debutante ball.  She has high standards and good taste, is detail-oriented, well-organized, can smell bullshit from a mile away, and won’t back down in a negotiation.

Actually, now that I’ve thought of it through further, I think a strong, Jewish grandmother (is there any other kind) or young, cute gay boy with impeccable standards could accomplish the same tasks.

So back to the discussion of “Why the hurry?”  It’s not so important that I hurry, it’s just that I need to find a way to make this process more fun and interesting.  Every day Match.com sends me 5 new matches in what they call their Daily 5.  The process of spending time online, alone with my laptop, going through my potential matches is not as entertaining as it would be if I were doing it with, say, a dating intern, a gay friend, a grandmother, or girlfriends.  There has to be a way to make this more fun.

Add a little wine or martinins and I think there may be a party theme there somewhere.

So, why speed dating?  Well, I have never done it before, and I think it would help me switch things up a little.  While you may not agree with my methods, I think I would also be tempted to count these meetings as dates even though they are marketed as “pre-dating” events.  I don’t know.  I will have to make that determination when I get there.

I’m open to suggestions, but I need FUN, and online dating may be a lot of things, but it is NOT fun.





Man #3, Rescheduled

8 03 2011

I was not able to meet Man #3, No Show Man, or Wrong Entrance Man as one of my readers named him, on Monday as planned. I ended up rescheduling because of a business meeting. The pathetic thing is neither one of us is available to meet again until next Monday.  I’m hoping this is an indication that he actually has a job.  One never knows these days. 

I need to do something to speed this process.  I’m seriously considering going to a speed dating event next week.  If I can coerce one of my girlfriends to go with me, I might do it.

Stay tuned.





Launching Into Cyberspace

20 02 2011

If I was set on dating 100 men before getting serious, it was only a matter of time before I had to consider online dating.  At the rate that I was meeting men….

Let’s see. Quick calculation.  Zero men in five months.

Yeah, at the rate that I was meeting men, I would BE 100 before I met 100!  My only hope was to either try speed dating or online dating or both.  Online dating was the only way to get the kind of volume I needed.  In fact, the more I thought about this, calculated best case scenarios, and the number of dates per week I could realistically fit into my busy schedule, the more I realized this could be a very long project.  It was, in fact, at this point that I considered that my therapist might be certifiably insane.

I had been out of the dating pool for a while, so I was not sure which online dating sites were available and which were the best.  Of course, I was aware of Match.com and eharmony.com because they are the first to pop up on Google, they have commercials on television, and, in fact, some people I know have actually married people they met on these sites.  But, there are other online dating sites out there, and every site has its pros and cons.

One of my friends recommended two free sites, PlentyofFish.com and OKCupid.com.  Free is good, but she also added the caveat that you get what you pay for.  That statement made me curious, however, so I had to go browse the offerings. 

There seemed to be a lot of potentially decent men on PlentyofFish, but the website is not very sophisticated.  What the site lacks in design, however, it seemed to offer in quantity and email features, so I decided to create a profile.  It was free after all. What did I really have to lose?

I also tried to browse OkCupid, but this site does not let you window shop before you set up a profile.  I personally found this extremely annoying.  What’s the point of investing time in posting a profile if the site is primarily populated by losers?  When I did finally decide to start moving through the steps to set up a profile, my computer freaked out from the malware infecting it.  Since my internet security software seemed to need a Durex spermicidal condom for protection just to access this site, I decided to immediately exit, and run a scan.  No Ok Malware. No OkCupid for me.  No thank you very much.

Mate1.com popped up as I was creating my profile for PlentyofFish.  I don’t recommend going there.  It appears to be the depository for trailer trash.  I got the feeling that the people who were on this online dating site were mostly there for quick and nasty hookups, and that’s obviously not what I was looking for.  If you like men who take their shirts off and photograph themselves in the bathroom mirror, men who haven’t seen a razor in years, or men who think you’ll find them sexy wearing a “wife beater,” this site is for you.  If you’re looking for a little more sophistication, however, you’re probably better off on one of the other sites.

I also decided to create a profile on Match.com.  The monthly fee of $17.99 seemed reasonable. The site is nicely designed and there seemed to be a nice variety of men my age.  I was initially a little confused by the six month guarantee.  If you pay for a 6 month subscription and you don’t find someone in that time, you’re supposed to get another 6 month extension on your subscription.  Once you put your credit card information in, however, Match will automatically renew your membership at the end of you initial subscription.  I understand why they do this, but this makes it seem to me like they don’t have much faith in their guarantee.  I’m just saying.

What they’re hoping for, of course, is that you won’t fulfill the requirements of the 6 month guarantee.  There are certain things you have to do to qualify for the subscription extension.  You must email 5 new people each month, have a photo posted on your profile, and your profile has to be visible.  Not too hard, really.

Although another friend of mine recommended eharmony.  Her comment was that the higher membership price, “level of participation, time suckage,” seems to filter out the freaks and pervs.  That may be all well and good, however, I take issue with this site.  E-harmony has a long history of discrimination against homosexuals.  It was started by Dr. Neal Clark Warren, Dean of the Fuller Theological Seminary in 2000 and is popular with Evangelical Christians.  In recent years discrimination cases have been battled out in court, but I can’t in good conscience support this dating site.  While I believe everyone has the right to worship whatever god they choose, I also believe that people have the right to love whomever they choose.  I will stand in solidarity with my gay friends on this one.

So, I was set. I had a free profile on PlentyofFish and a paid profile with a 6 month guarantee on Match.com.  Now what?

I had to go see what was out there.








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