Sunday, September 26, 2010

Missing the point

I don't pick these apart just to be nasty; I have lots of ways to amuse myself. But online dating can be frustrating and it kind of helps to vent about it on my blog. Also, I harbor a tiny hope that someone might read one of these and maybe get something out of it - a way to respond constructively or, if they recognize similarly oblivious behavior in themself, stop doing it.

So today I logged into OKC for the first time in over a month and I'm trying to get caught up on my messages. Here's one that drives me crazy - I've received a variation of this from many people. My comments are interspersed parenthetically in the pasted quoted text.

"that you have a fantasy about filling out a list of things and magically a prefect match will appear is so true! Thanks for putting it into perspective. (How did I put 'it' into perspective? What?)

I do like what you say about yourself. Good job for that... it isn't easy is it? (I spent 15 minutes writing my profile.)

I know you aren't looking for someone my age, but that doesn't mean we can't talk does it? (Yes, that's what that means, it exactly means that I DO NOT WANT emails from men in their 50s. Oh but, you REALLY want to talk to me? And that should count more than what I want? Fun!.)

I like your mind and I'd like to visit with you from time to time. (Like Santa?) I like making new friends and learning new perspectives. Maybe you'll read my profile and find it interesting enough to send me a note. (No.) That would be nice. (Still no.)

Thanks for coming back and saying what you did. It matters to me. (What? Are you drunk already?)

Best Regards"
But really - I explicitly say in my profile what age range I want, and my first paragraph was about how I fantasize about making a list of what I want and getting exactly this guy reads that, sympathizes with the sentiment, and then says to himself 'I'm exactly the opposite of what she says she wants, and she also says she wants exactly what's on her list, I SHOULD TOTALLY EMAIL HER AND OFFER TO COME VISIT.' What does that even mean? He lives in the same urban area I do.
Also...why is someone emotionally touched by a complete stranger's dating profile? Is this a thing?

The day the geese stood still

I love running outside - the fresh air, the sky, the scenery, the HEAT - I love it.

Today, however, fall came to Texas.

This meant 2 things.

1: I didn't have to run before 11am/after 7pm to avoid heat stroke
2: I spent 30 minutes deciding if I needed pants, capri running tights, my long sleeve shirt, etc to run in (hey. I get cold.) only to end up wearing my normal running shorts but a short sleeve tee instead of running tank, because dude friend convinced me I'd warm up once I got out there. I did, but I was REALLY miserable the first 15 minutes.

I left the apartment at 11:30, and the sky was all overcast and gloomy and the air had this weird crispness to it. There were tons of people out running and walking in varying states of bundled-upness, proving that I'm not the only Texan whose system goes into shock when the temp gets below 70. I mean everyone was clearly ALSO excited to be outside without keeling over - when it's hot I usually only ever see one or two other joggers out in the daylight.

Anyway, I digress. But no it's kind of related to the story. I usually trot down to the high school track, where there's always other people running, I can set my water bottle on the bleachers, and families frolic in the fields while doves fly overhead and kids pitch into that batting cage thing in the corner.

It's pretty sweet. People corral their kids in that middle section while they jog around. There is usually some dried duck poo in the upper right corner of the track, but I normally amuse myself by playing hopscotch with it. I was expecting more of the same today.

I was wrong.

My track, my fields, they had no people. Empty. Creepy. The grass was a weird color, the sky was getting gloomier and I was all alone. Well, except for that cop car hanging out by that random truck with a horse trailer, which were parked oddly in the school parking lot. I don't know how to draw a cop car so for the sake of the story pretend that a blue car = the police. (This won't matter later.)

Then I noticed something else, off in the distance. The birds! The ones whose poo I'd been hopping over for months - I was finally getting to see them! But my eyesight is a little wacky, so I was like, wtf are they? Ducks or geese? Can I eat one?

Can you tell I dyed my hair red? SO CUTE. My bff and I did it before my birthday. LOVE.

Wow, that's a lot of geese. Definitely geese. Still wondering if they'd taste good. Is it poaching if I take one?How does that work? WHY DO I THINK OF THESE THINGS?

Each lap the geese start getting closer. I stare them down, hoping they know I'll eat them if given half a chance.

But then...maybe that's not a good idea. Is eye contact BAD with geese? Are they like creepy van guys, where you are supposed to make SOFT eye contact and not direct eye contact? Are they thinking about eating me too?

Holy fucking god they're swarming me. See the big leader? See how they are coming from both sides? What the fuck!! Did they eat the other runners?!?!

But then I remember the cop car. He's probably part of some special anti-geese task force, right, here to protect peole from these gangs of maurading fowl.

I really thought that. It took me 7 minutes to figure out that didn't making any freaking sense. Why WAS that cop there? Was he still there? I looked again.

The cop was still there - but he had MOVED. He'd been there 25 minutes and now he was angled straight at me.

The Xs on the track show the location of all the geese. Where were they all coming from?!

They were continuing to swarm the track, creepy cop was inexplicably watching me run...I'd had it.


Maybe nothing sinister was going on, but, whatever the hell it was, it was ruining my run. I was obsessing about geese and cops and horse trailers instead of thinking about whatever it is I normally think about, so I fled the scene and decided to finish my run on the trail by the canal.

Three minutes later, the cop drove by me. Then he turned around and drove by again.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hot guy morphs into sad sack

I got a message from this guy:

But no, he rapidly turned into this guy:

"Hey, I really enjoyed reading your profile. I work in (city) and I would like to... screw it. No woman worth going after ever responds. Sorry I bothered you. "

I guess he was right, because I never wrote him back.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stop trippin, cat

This is every morning. Every morning, my cat and I do the dance of almost death. One day it will not end well.

Step 1: I go into the kitchen for a beverage. Let's pretend it's coffee.

Cat is sleeping in corner, until he senses me in the vicinity of the kitchen. He immediately wants to help.

Step 2: Cat tries to get my 'coffee'

by attempting to extract it through my feet. The good news? He no longer tries to climb up my legs to get whatever is in my hand.

Step 3: I trip (every time. Really. But usually I just wobble and catch myself. Eventually, this shit will get REAL.)

And then what, cat? What will happen when I finally fall for real? WHAT THEN?

That's right. FLAT CAT. Squish. Chew on that, motherf*ckaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

SO creepy!!

Today I received one of the creepiest message/dating profile combinations in a while. I think this guy goes into my top 5 all time worsts for his special combination of offensive, creepy, and creepier statements. Seriously, he is even better than the guy who asked me if I LIKE horses - you know, in an intimate way (I don't. I don't even mention horses in my profile. So weird.)

I was lying in bed, contemplating a nap, when my phone beeped to tell me that I had an message in OKCupid. I opened up the message and read it and immediately thought, what? What? I got up and went to my laptop so I could get the full impact. Here is his message:

Subject: Hmmmm

Smart, pretty and fit. Plus you like to cook and play video games.

I'm trying to figure out if you intimidate men or are just really picky. Maybe you just haven't bumped into the right one. Dunno.

I think I'd like to be someone who knew you. Maybe even got close to. I bet you're pretty awesome to be around. Drop me a line if you think the same.
Alarm bells! What is wrong with you? his message says. Why are you 34 and still single, crazy bish? Now, I get it, once you're in your 30s people do start to wonder where you have gone astray. They sometimes find a way to slip it into a first or second date question. BUT - I have never had one email me yet and say 'so, what's the catch?'. It cracks me up though because when people do eventually ask I'm like, oh ok, are you happily married now? What are you doing on a dating site? Oh, you're single too? SO WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU, AHOLE? TELL ME NAO PLS.
My real answer, of course, is complicated. I didn't have any interest in settling down or getting married up until a few years ago. I did have relationships. Also, I'm kind of an odd duck, and I want an equally odd duck to pal around with. I think this is perfectly ok. Oh, also? Parents died in my late 20s and early 30s (not at the same time, hence the age ambiguity). If you're single and your parents get cancer you tend not to date much, or at least I didn't. None of these are things I want to reveal in my very first interaction with a guy - life stuff like that can usually wait until, like, I decide if I even want to know you. Or, you know, unless you read my blog. Maybe I'm intimidating, maybe I'm picky (which is *nice guy* speak for not interested in 'nice guys like him'), or maybe life just works out differently for everyone.
But that's only one of two problems with his message. He wants to be someone who KNEW me? Past tense? WTF does that even mean? Is he plotting my demise? Is he so self-pitying that he's already decided that if we met, I wouldn't keep him? He's probably right about that second part. I hate self-defeating crap. Seriously. I would totally make this guy cry within an hour and then he'd try to kill me in some completely wussy way.
So, of course, I checked out his profile. Sometimes it's fun to play 'crazy or whiny', you know?
Stats: 44, straight male, white, 5'10, profile pic is a vaguely shadowy head and shoulders shot, professional chef.
Now for the good stuff. I'm just excerpting sentences because he really goes ON.
"I am looking to date someone special. I am a romantic at heart and will always be. I spoil her and love romancing her."
Ok. He wants us to know he's romantic.
"I'm not from Texas and don't intend to spend the rest of my life here. It's nice and all, but I'd pick up and move with you if you wanted to get the hell out of here."
"I want you to be the first thing on my mind in the morning and the last thing I think about at night. I have learned that it's not about where you live or how much money you make but it's the "who" you live with and how you spend your time.

I've never been married. Why not? Because the right one hasn't met me yet."

She hasn't met HIM yet? This guy really phrases things oddly. Is he waiting for her to show up at his place with a UHaul so they can move together? I'm starting to suspect that he has met several someones who seemed right for him but who escaped, screaming, from his clutches.

"Love can't be "that" hard. Everybody else seems to be doing it. Why can't I? "

Well, you seem pretty preoccupied talking about how romantic you want to be instead of actually discussing who you are and what qualities you're looking for.

"I am a fantastic masseuse!

Also good at remembering what you tell me. I actually "listen" to what you tell me. Unique, huh? "
Now he just sounds bitter and assy.
"I can cook fancy, but love simple. I love cooking for that special girl and making her favorite dishes. Pair the dinner with a bottle or three of our favorite wines, and the evening is on it's way. If you don't cook, that's fine, I'll take care of it. If you do cook, then I am happy to watch and learn, or cook together.

I even serve breakfast in bed."

Wow, he offers great services. I wonder if anyone survives their stay at Chez Creepy.

He spends a lot of time thinking about:

"...why it takes so long to find a girl who will just let me love and take care of her. Seriously, I am the best boyfriend you can get, ever. Try me. :P"


On a typical Friday night he is:

"Relaxing or working. Never can tell. Love both. But if I had a special someone, then I would be spending it with her."

Does she have a choice? I was reading this and it just kept getting worse and worse, and all I could think of is this:

Here is the GRAND FINALE to his profile of win:

"The most private thing I’m willing to admit:

I was in your bedroom last night watching you sleep.:)"
Seriously? Who freaking says that? How messed up do you have to be to not know that is a horribly frightening thing to say? Stalker jokes are not funny in online dating. Ever. If your profile looks like this and you make a joke like that, odds are, you're not really joking. You think this behavior is romantic and cute, whereas most women think this behavior, if it happens, is cause for a restraining order.
So I decided to look at the rest of his pictures. His first one was ok, but too shadowy. The second one? I might have nightmares about. I'm all for posting a variety of angles or whatever, dressed up and dressed down, to show what you look like. But if you post 3 pics that you took of yourself please make sure one of them isn't after you've just had food poisoning. I know, it sounds evil, but this is ME. Believe me when I say I'm actually toning down my reaction. Oh, keep in mind, he was attracted to my profile because I'm 'fit', and he said in part of his profile that he wants someone who is height/weight proportional. I get it, I mean, we all like what we like and I want to be attracted to my partner too....
So, all I'm going to say about this is: On a dating site, please don't post a picture that causes the viewer to wonder if it's a pimple or a cold sore. Choose a different picture to post. Unless you always have it, in which case, thank you for the refreshing pictoral honesty.

Updated: I forgot, there was more. Holy crap.

"You should message me if

You are interesting, kind of quirky. If you have a good sense of humor and like to laugh. You like romance. You only want the best boyfriend you've ever had. You are affectionate and even a bit spontaneous. You don't currently have a husband or boyfriend. You are height to weight proportionate. Not a vegan.

You like a guy that actually opens the door for you.I'm not your typical "guy". I don't live for sports.

I love physical contact and plenty of alone time with my girl."
Alone. Just me, my girl, and my handy tarp, duct tape, and knife.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

4-way stop me

Who loves traffic?? Oh right, no one. HATE. IT. I have a commute now and I spend most of my drive hating the other drivers and not understanding why people slow down for no good reason. If I've been playing too many video games I tend to have fantasies about ramming the slow guy in front of me or blowing up the stupid truck blocking my lane (in my head they turn into the little Lego coins from the Lego Wii games).

By the time I make it back to my part of the metroplex I am done, done done. But just because I'm almost home doesn't mean I've avoided all possible asshole scenarios. You know what tends to make other people act like assholes even MORE than normal? Any changes in the traffic infrastructure, like this one.

Right by my apartment is a two-way stop. The main street just vrooms by and doesn't stop, but the side streets do. Here (I'm represented by the crown and it shows where I turn; the X is my destination):

Totally awesome, except they randomly changed it to a 4-way stop. Confusion ensued (I believe this is compounded by the fact that the didn't paint the line where they want you to stop, or a crosswalk, which is traditional). There was a cop there the first week to catch people who blew through it but after that we were on our own to navigate this strange new world. Some people don't adjust all that well.

So, on the day in question, I was driving down the mini hill approaching the 4 way stop behind a super slow guy. I've seen golf carts drive faster. I was breathing deeply and reminding myself not to flip out or aggressively pass him; I was almost home, this wouldn't last forever, etc. Lots of soothing self talk. We got to the new stop sign and stopped, and I was feeling extremely pleased with myself for having so much self control after a long day.

He turned right. It was the most excruiciatingly slow right turn I have every witnessed. I was practically banging my head on my steering wheel, especially since just recently we were all vrooming around this corner when it was pleasantly stop sign-less. Anyway. He turned and vanished, I drove up to the stop sign, did a full stop, and then started to make my own right turn when this happened:

This GIANT DICK races up behind me, doesn't stop, and then drives AROUND me to turn right.

I flipped out. I mean I completely went white hot rageaholic.

I didn't even think about it; I floored it. He was in some cheap little sports car and I was in my SUV. I hit the gas so hard I peeled out AND swerved (there was some standing water, as always, it probably is the only reason I'm not in jail right now). I actually couldn't get traction for a critical 1.5 seconds. I didn't care. I flew around the corner and chased him up the street.

I have no idea what I thought I was going to do; I wasn't thinking at all. I rolled my window down and was fully prepared to (ram him? cut him off? challenge him to a duel?). His itty bitty little sports car definitely had a speed advantage and I had been delayed by the puddle/traction problem. By the time we made it to the end of the side street I calmed down enough to realize that this couldn't possibly end well. He ran the stop sign there, too, probably fearing for his life, assuming he was smart enough to notice that I was full on chasing him down the street.

He got away :(

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dating through your ages

So, I'm still dating. I'm in my mid-30s and I've never found anyone I felt like I could put up with for long enough to want to marry (at least not anyone I was also willing to also have sex with). As you get older (not old, older, as in older than you used to be which is totally normal and happens to all of us) things change. You don't think the same way about dating unless you are a perpetual child and refuse to evolve/mature/grow the fuck up. If you are, I'm sorry, and please recognize that while growth and change are hard they are super worth it and sometimes come with prizes and/or cake.

Here are some handy illustrations of what dating is like when you are:

(I greyed out the important bits so this is SFW)

Hormones, amirite? I was a bit friskier than the average bear. Haha.

The uncertainty and mutual insecurity is half the fun.

You have very little interest in wasting time, and you realize by now that 99% of guys (if you are a hetero female) are clearly not a good match. You are able to rapidly weed them out and, every time you ignore your own instints, something goes horribly wrong. You realize that it's more important to worry about whether or not you like them than to waste time worrying if they like you. You force yourself to do it even though you don't want to because staying home with your cat, video games, and snack food of choice is so seductively appealing that you realize you are getting into a spiral that will end with you never ever leaving the house. Which, while it is a perfectly valid life choice, doesn't sound like the most fulfilling way to spend the next 40 or so years. I feel like I somehow got off track here at the end? The whole 'I'm going to die a hermit' thing may just be me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Computer Karma

I happen to have what I like to call good computer karma. I've always had it. When I was growing up it was rare for people to have computers in their homes or even in their classrooms, but when I had a reason to run into one it always responded well to me. I took a little programming class in Jr High, BASIC or something along those lines, where we learned to make our text flash and all other sorts of extremely useful things (the kind of things that anyone under 40 can do these days). Remember, the internet hadn't been invented yet, Al Gore was still doing other things at the time. Anyway. I made it into high school with the standard computer skills, word processing, little flashy programs, the usual, and didn't think much of it.

Then I went to college. My first year of work study I tried to be all academic and landed a job as a research assistant for this guy who was writing something about immigration patterns in California history. It was so boring. I had to go to the giant library at my university and actually look things up, and photocopy them, and whatnot. I quickly decided it wasn't suited to my personality (no one to torture, after all) so I decided to get a more social job and somehow ended up selling computers on campus. This was much more like it.

Selling computers is, as we all know, the gateway into a life of geekdom. I really didn't expect it. I was a psychology major, after all, learning how to unfuck people's minds. But sometimes life surprises us and I ended up falling in love.

No, really I didn't, what happened was that I went from selling computers to fixing them to suddenly getting hired by a friend of a friend to change out this old antiquated Apple network in the Deans office and set up Exchange and SQL Servers on a Windows domain. This was in, like, 1995 or so. How did this happen? computers loved me. Seriously, I have no better explanation. I didn't know what the hell I was doing but no matter what I did, it worked. They worked. The computers...I would just touch them and POOF! They worked. I would wave my arm and bat my eyelashes and I could write ASP pages or SQL queries or clone desktops or repair any kind of hardware or software issues. It was bizarre. It was like the first time I ever gave a guy a handjob in high school, and all I could think was look what I can make this thing do? So many tricks! So easy! Playing with computers felt almost exactly like that, and computers seemed to respond to me much like the teenage boys of my youth did - which is to say, they did whatever I wanted. Soon I had minions and my own army of servers and desktop computers (this is what they looked like in the 90s, remember?).

Years passed, and I kept doing weirder and weirder things. I left that one job and decided I wanted to focus on databases, because data gets me hot. I love it. I won't bore you with any technical details but a while ago I decided to go into management and I have lots of servers in lots of different hosted locations around the world, and I still get to play with technology but my staff or my vendors do all the hands on work. But still my computer karma works for me. If something naughty happens, anywhere, I'm still the person who figures it out or gets the network engineer to check his stupid load balancer rules or whatever. Anyway. It's a thing and I love it.

But - and this is a big but - there's a price.

Every once in a while all that karma comes full circle and everything stops working. Within a 20 foot radius of me, when the karma goes down, so do most electronic devices. This happens once or twice a year but it is completely shitty when it does. A prime example of this is my work laptop - this is what it did last week:

It turned into a demon and tried to eat me. Actually it got suspiciously slow, and trust me when I say this, I KNOW when there is something wrong with my laptop. It was acting like it was very busy working on something and didn't have time for my silly demands for email or project plans. I tried all the basic crap and then, like a good little management type who isn't supposed to waste time, called in my laptop fixy guy. I handed him my laptop and network password and said 'it's slow, something's wrong', which while it is not the most helpful description was 100% accurate. He took it and started running diagnostics. An hour later he came in and timidly told me it was fine. I wasn't buying it, so I told him to look harder. Guess what? I had a virus - this nasty thing that was going around the office a month ago and which he swore he had removed. But no. The virus was sitting there, randomly eating my cycles and driving me batty. So he went to go remove it and then what happened? Hard drive died. He replaced that and handed it back to me proudly at the end of the day, all fixed and happy. I took it home, blissfully trusting that this was the end of the trouble.

I woke up the next morning and the wireless was jacked. Each and every application which needed a connection to the internet would start disconnecting after 15 minutes. Again, I performed the basics like resetting my cable modem and wireless router, removing and re-adding the profile, etc. No joy. Irritated, I switched to my home laptop and stuck the work laptop under the couch so it could think about what it did wrong. Meanwhile, my staff could tell I was really over this whole thing so they started building me a desktop computer for work to use while we figured everything out.

The next morning I handed my laptop back to the laptop fixy guy and told him not to give it back to me until all was well. He brought it back to me a short while later and said he updated my network card drivers. I nodded dubiously and set it up in the naughty corner, and noticed that I had 137 very important windows updates to run. I grumped at him that he was supposed to do that after the hard drive replacement, he said something panicky and nonsensical and fled my office. Guess what? It started making this weird noise and the fan wouldn't stop fanning. He ran more diags and called Dell and said they needed to replace the system board and heat sink. He then twitched and apologized that he didn't have a new one on hand to give me.

I know, I know, that was a really long and probably boring story and doesn't prove anything about computer karma. BUT WAIT. Here's some additional background: This laptop - yes, you heard me, THIS one - I've had for 9 months. The one before it lasted a year. I went through 2 hard drives on that one, and the system board also started to get wiggy. The one before that also lasted slightly less than a year. Laptop hard drives are crappy and definitely have longevity issues but no one in my company chews through them like I do. I did manage to keep one laptop for a few years once with only 1 drive replacement, but all my other ones have had multiple, horrible issues. And we switch manufacturors every few years as well, so it's not like it's always Dell. And I don't get the low end models either. Usually once one of my laptops starts to futz out - right around the 9 to 11 month mark - the laptop group just gives in and gives me a new one, since the issues don't seem to stop with the drive replacement, but we were just purchased and are renegotiating our vendor discounts and we haven't ordered any new ones lately.

So, that night the Dell guy didn't show (of course) and I left my laptop at work so they could get it in the morning. I came home and my apartment complex gate wouldn't open to my magnetic thingy, my housekeeper had somehow managed to lock me out of the garage, and my iPhone crashed twice.

Sometimes in bad karma weeks street lamps start to blow out and traffic lights stay on red for 37 minutes. It's frustrating.

But you know what? 99% of the time the computers of the world love me and things pretty much go my way, so if the price for that is that every once in a while all the electronics lose their collective shit, I'm ok with it.

PS: I have my laptop back again. I used it a little and it seems OK but it still won't take the VERY IMPORTANT Windows updates so we will see.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Two Narcissists

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cleverbot likes 42

Anybody ever played with It's constantly learning so the responses will vary.

I started off by asking Cleverbot "What is 42?" just to get a sense of whether or not we'd be able to get along. Cleverbot responded "The meaning of life", so I continued. Cleverbot has no memory of the conversational thread (Edited: It did not in that conversation, but in subsequent visits it did), which is a mixed blessing of fun. The 42 convo ended rather cutely:

These are not the same words! Part 1

I'm going to go ahead and assume I'll be doing a few of these and call this Part 1. Almost every single day I see people using words interchangeably, words which do not mean the same thing. Often, such as in this example, they are homophones so at least they sounds the same but sometimes they AREN'T. Either way it makes me cranky. When someone does this I want to shake them and yell 'that isn't the right word! BLARG!' but usually it happens online and frankly, if you publicly comment on someone's tweets, FB status updates, or blogposts about grammar or spelling issues you just look like an asshole. But if you make your own blogpost on the subject you're an artistic GENIUS.

Anyway. Part 1: Peek, Peak, and Pique - with definitions (courtesy of and handy illustrations!

Peek: (V) to look or glance quickly or furtively, esp. through a small opening or from a concealed location; peep; peer.

Look, this dude is peeking through your window. What an asshole. But I bet he can use the right word for what he's doing.

Peak: (N) 1. the pointed top of a mountain or ridge.
2. a mountain with a pointed summit.
3. the pointed top of anything.
4. the highest or most important point or level: the peak of her political career.
The definitions continue but really it's more of the same. It's either the top, the pointy bit, or something that is considered both tall and pointy. The verb form refers to getting to the highest pointy bit.
Pique: (V) 1. to affect with sharp irritation and resentment, esp. by some wound to pride: She was greatly piqued when they refused her invitation.
2. to wound (the pride, vanity, etc.).
3. to excite (interest, curiosity, etc.): Her curiosity was piqued by the gossip.
4. to arouse an emotion or provoke to action: to pique someone to answer a challenge.
See, in the picture? I'm bored until he piques my interest by mentioning dragons (I love dragons!). He is not PEAKING my interest, nor is he PEEKING it.
The worst offense with these 3 homophones usually consists of people claiming they have 'peaked' someone's interest or curiosity. An argument could be made that they really mean peak in the verb sense, that they have raised my interest to its highest possible point, but context clues usually reveal that they merely mean they have aroused my curiosity. If they had, in fact, peaked anything of mine the response would be - shall we say - rather noticeable.

That's right, unicorns, rainbows, and aliens will fly out of my ass.
So as much as I want to give people the benefit of the doubt I know that 99% of the time they are simply getting confused, when writing, that these are actually 3 completely different words that happen to sound the same. Guys on dating sites will write something in their profile or in an email referencing their desire to peak or even peek me in some way but all they get is the lonely sound of me never, ever responding.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Don't feed the narcissist

The narcissist just wants your attention. When you first meet the narcissist they will suck you in with how fascinating they think they are, somehow convincing you that it's true. (It may in fact be true. Later, when you realize what happened, you'll be so pissed that you'll then convince yourself that they were never that awesome to begin with).

If the narcissist is clever, they will also initially show some interest in your life. Don't worry, this soon passes.

Because to the narcissist, you are just a mirror.

The narcissist wants you to show them good things about themself. They will spend increasing amounts of time getting you to talk about them, doing things for them, them them them.

If you give in, the narcissist swells up like a tick, feeding on your compliments and attention. They stop talking about your things at all, or at most listen in bored silence when you need to talk about a you thing. They barely acknowledge when you've done something they've asked you to do.

And you shrivel up inside, until you feel hollow and empty and sad. You have to detach the narcissist before they explode from the life they are sucking out of you, leaving you just an empty shell.

You cannot have a relationship with a narcissist because they will only ever be emotionally involved with themself.

An online dating guide for men

If you are dating or thinking of dating, especially online, here are some tips that will help you. After all the experiences my girlfriends and I have had I decided that instead of continuing to complain and make fun of the ridiculous and self-defeating behaviors of male online daters it would be more constructive to just tell you how to step your game up. (Note: I will still make fun. With drawings.)

1) You have got to smile in your profile picture. Think about it - when you look at our pictures you usually notice our pretty smiles, right? Guys will message me and compliment my smile and then I go look at their profile and am irritated to find some lame super serious face. Really? You can't figure out that most people are more attractive when they smile, yet you are online dating? What's that, you feel self-conscious when you smile? Get over it. Seriously. You are selling yourself online, 50% of your attractive power lies in your picture. Do not think that your sensitive thinker face or stone-faced 'I'm so hard' pic are appealing. You look like an asshole or a serial killer - and if you've read the Venn Diagram of Dating, you know that at least one of those won't get you to the little red dot of happiness. They won't even get you an email response. If your serious thinker image is important to you use those for supplemental pix but smile in your main one. If you really ARE a serial killer, thank you for being stupid enough to make it completely obvious by wearing an expression that says you want to eat my face with some bbq sauce.

2) If you are married: Please stop dating. Get off the dating sites. No one wins by you being on there. If your wife doesn't want to have sex with you you should probably focus on fixing that. See also: Find the little man in the boat, he is your friend and ally.

3) Do not start immediately telling your female companion that you are meant to be together, perfect for each other, etc - especially if you have not even met yet. This is not how to get a first date. This is a really good way to get blocked and possibly get on a creepy potential stalker watch list. Do not say it on a first date, either. We find this instant desperate attachment just as squicky as most guys do if a girl tries it on them.

4) Do not propose marriage in your first email. This should be obvious but, based on my experiences, apparently needs to be said. Even if you are kidding it will most likely not get you anywhere good. Other jokes that don't go over well in a first email: Offering to let her cook for you. Jokes that make you sound like an asshole aren't that funny.

5) If a girl does not respond to your first message please do not assume that she didn't receive it or needs more encouragement to respond to you. She didn't answer because you look like a serial killer or, possibly, she just wasn't into you. It happens. Don't try to escalate the action by sending more and more personal contact information. It's not like we are sitting there thinking 'oooh, I really like this guy but answering his email is just SO HARD. I'm so hot. I hope he sends me his phone number and address so I can call him and/or just come over for sex.' (Note: Does not apply to Craig's List ads. Things like that actually happen there. This is specific to actual dating sites.)

6) Stop lying about your height. There is no point to this behavior. According to an OKCupid study height is one of the biggest misrepresentations of men online. Most female online daters already knew this. Men, seriously, no one likes details that are fudged. If you are 5'11 you do not need to say you are 6'1 - this is a pointless lie. Here is a small tip: women know how to do math. I promise. If I am 5'3 and wearing 1.5 inch heels - and yes, even girls who say they are bad at math do this little formula instinctively - and you claim to be 5'6, I WILL NOTICE IF I AM TOWERING OVER YOU. If me + shoes = 5'4.5 > your height, you are not 5'6. Also, if I am taller than you  and you have smaller hands than I do, you might be a little person. It's ok to be a little person. It is not ok to lie about it. Also not ok? Lying about your weight/body type. Don't say 'average' if you know you are overweight. Someone out there will like you for you. Just be yourself and, even if you feel like you are getting fewer first dates, they will be more productive ones.

7) Plan the first date. This is your JOB. If you cannot be bothered to plan the first date then you are too fucking lazy to be dating. We know it gets tiring. We know that the emails, messages, first phone calls, and constant disappointment are a lot of work - because we are doing it too. Every time we go on a first date there is a lot of outfit planning, makeup, smelling nice, etc that goes into it. Sack up and plan it. Even if it's just coffee/drinks - the recommended quick first date of the online dater - do the work and suggest some locations, dates, and times. If you want to sit back and let the girl plan every other date after that, fine, that's up to you guys if you make it that far. Also if the first date IS just coffee and you've both agreed to have a second date, the second date kind of counts in the you need to plan it category, since it is at that point the first real date. If you and the girl are both looking for a long term relationship and you cannot be bothered to plan 1.5 dates in the beginning it is a giant red flag about your energy level, intellect, excitement about the girl, or actual interest in working on a relationship.

8) Don't yell at her. If your first email exchange shows that she is not the girl for you, a big ole ranty email won't accomplish anything. If you are the type of person who is EVER tempted to go off on women on dating sites then you really, really need to spend some time with yourself and a good therapist. This is not normal. If you want to yell at a girl because she isn't into you, or because girls have so many silly rules, or you think all women are superficial sluts, or because you think they hate your job, you need some help. Any woman who gets these bizarre yelly emails knows exactly what it means about what you would be like in a relationship.

9) Respect her communication boundaries. If your first email to her is an invitation to talk on the phone, and she says she wants to email once or twice first, relax. If you want to meet before she does, have sex before she does, etc, you have got to be able to respect her boundaries. If you can't do that in the beginning it is really clear you won't be doing it later. I'm not saying that it's ok to get sucked into 3 weeks of emails; online dating, like any other initial relationship, should have an escalating pattern of communication and intimacy and should lead fairly quickly to a first meeting so that the two of you can establish if there is any real life chemistry. The point here is that your first 3 messages shouldn't be pressuring her to comunicate outside the intial 'safety' of the dating site. Remember, the woman you are talking to has many many guys emailing her, some of whom are complete assholes and/or serial killers, and she is trying to make sure that you don't fall into those categories. Yes you are excited about her and want to get to know her but be appreciative of that slight difference in context. Also, if you are too lazy to write 1-3 decent emails in an ONLINE DATING SITE you might want to try singles bars.

10) Read. Her. Profile. There is a reason that dating sites have those giant profile sections and are not just lists of pictures for you to choose from, and that reason is that women are actual people with preferences, wants, desires, and thoughts. We are not just faces attached to empty heads and blow up doll bodies. If you want that SHOP ELSEWHERE. Sorry to get so shouty about that but the whole point of having picture + self description is so that you can get an idea of what someone is like and what they are looking for to help figure out if it is a good match. I spent a whole 15 minutes writing my ridiculously clever profile, do not just email me and ask me to describe myself. I already DID. So when 15 guys email me in one week to ask me questions that are answered in my profile I think, hmmm, gosh I want these winners. (No, really, I don't. I ignore). If you don't read her profile she thinks that you are a) functionally illiterate b) just looking for sex c) too lazy to spend 5 mins reading basic information d) too stupid to understand her. You can imagine how attractive that isn't. If you do read her profile please pay attention to what she says she wants and ask yourself, honestly, if you think she won't notice/care that you are 15 years older than she says she wants. If a woman sets an age range most are willing to go 2-3 years outside it but not more than a decade. If she wanted an older dude she would say so, so please, please stop trying.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Venn diagram of dating

Inevitably on a first date the guy will look at me near the end and say something along the lines of "You're so normal! And cute! Why are you still single?" which just shows how perceptive most men aren't.

I've decided to make this handy Venn diagram of dating to whip out when asked this stupid question. Seriously, I am going to print it out on cards. The tiny red dot in the middle represents the intersection of required attributes. On the cards I will add a caption that says "Are you here? Probably not, if I have to show you the card."

You're welcome.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Clouds of Evil

So, I'm about as even-tempered as as a grizzly bear. Well, imaginary grizzly bears - I don't spend a lot of time with scary ass wildlife so I may be projecting here, but I imagine grizzly bears are either happy or pissed off, which is pretty much how I roll. My emotions are pretty freaking far from complex. Here's a pie chart!

That's me up there. Usually I'm in the pink, rarely am I blue, but sometimes I am red hot. I know how to deal with all of these states. Every once in a while, so rarely that it doesn't even register on the Mood Pie, something else happens - and it always confuses me. This happened to me last week.

The day started normally enough - with me waking up to my demon cat in my face, standing on my boobs, and yelling at me.

He's really sweet actually, he's just a complete asshole in the morning. So I got up and wandered into the bathtub, totally happy that it was a work from home day. Work from home = bubble bath before the calls and drama start. Work from office = flailing around with makeup, packing food for the day, trying not to step on demon cat with heels, and suck ass commute. I should draw that later, it will be cathartic. Anyway. Bath.

So nice! After a bath I'm usually awake enough to make coffee without burning the house down. Unless, of course, the kitchen has managed to COMPLETELY REARRANGE ITSELF overnight.

The cabinet knobs were totally out of reach. I couldn't find the cinnamon. The coffee had been sucked into an alternate universe and replaced by inexplicable and illegible symbols. And the asshole cat was starting to get on my nerves. I convinced myself the housekeeper was to blame.

Coffee-less and crabby, I started to work. This didn't go well. Everything everyone said was irritating, like nails on a chalkboard or bees in your clothes, all at once. Nothing on the internet was working. BFF was instant messaging me gibberish (she really wasn't. Everyone was innocent. Except the clown babies).

The world was just all wrong. What was happening here? I started getting irritated with everything. All the irritations built up until I was surrounded by a Miasma of Rage.

While demon cat tried to sharpen his claws on my ankle I realized that everything couldn't have started to suck all at once. Something must be going on here, some evil force was at work. I stopped grumpily messaging BFF and tweeting assy nonsense and decided to figure out what was causing my panties to get so twisted. I took a deep breath and looked outside....

And found the problem. Cloudy days do not make me blue, they make me PURPLE. Like stinging insects are invading my skin. I'm not talking about pretty white fluffy clouds in a blue Texas sky, either, or the kind of clouds that bring rain and thunderstorms (mmmm thunderstorms). I'm talking about heavy, oppressive, completely pointless fucking clouds that produce NOTHING but pain and misery. They screw up the air pressure, they refract light, they turn the sky weird colors and make the grass all wrong, they STAB MY EYES and invade my brain with irritation. Their sole purpose is to ruin my day and make everyone tense. Maybe they are tense because I'm grumpy and stressing them out or maybe they are susceptible to the gas of irritation these clouds put out - what the fuck ever. All I know is, on a day like this, do not talk to me. Everything will sound wrong.

I closed my curtains, took some advil, put in a Buffy dvd, and shut out the sky. After that I could function again.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

On Friendship

I have two friends who don't get along anymore. Let's call them Taco and Cake.

I love them. Taco is crunchy, spicy goodness. When I first met her I was drawn by how crazy intense she was. Taco is really smart and loves to party.
Taco introduced me to cake. Cake is lush, and sweet, and quiet. She is chocolatey awesomeness. If you're sick, cake will bring you a treat and rub your back for you. Cake listens to your problems and is always on your side. Cake is always there for you.

One day Taco was having some serious personal issues. Like most of us, she is a normal taco person, trying to find her way in the world. She may have a hard outer shell but she's not impervious. She started talking about some of her difficulties.

Cake jumped in and offered some unsolicited advice.

Taco, like me, is NOT a fan of unsolicited advice. She was also having the kind of trouble where she really needed reassurance that it is OK to be herself. Tacos are awesome. She need a Taco hug and some wasn't a tough love moment.

Taco got pissed off.

She put her shell back on and geared up for war. I watched, horrified, as Cake and Taco battled it out. Things were said, actions were taken. It was awful. Taco entrails and cake crumbs went flying.

Cake and Taco don't talk any more. It's over. I still hang out with Cake, and Taco and I are buds, but they don't get each other at all. Taco can be a little prickly but sometimes that is what you want. Other times your sweet tooth demands chocolate cake. But now, if you put them together, it just ends in a giant stomachache. I don't want them to be cranky that I still see the good in each. I wouldn't be able to choose between them.

Because friendships are complicated. Your friend is never going to be exactly who you think they should be, they won't act all the time like you want them to act, and they aren't always going to be, for you, exactly what you need in a friend. That's why we need multiples of them. I need the one who is always going to tell me the truth, and the one who will give me a hug when I'm blue, and the one who challenges me to make me think or to be a better person or to stop wearing the same fucking nail polish color all the time. I need the friend that makes me know it's ok to be me and the friend that makes me feel safe enough to get crazy when I need that too.

It's not ok for friends to damage each other, but sometimes that happens. We brush up each other in this life and hopefully it enriches us as people, but sometimes it leaves bumps and bruises and chips in our armor. I don't think friends should be cruel to each other. A true friendship is one in which you can be honest and open and know how to say true things when the other person is ready to hear them and in the way they need to hear it. One thing I've learned in my years of friendship is that it's my job to try to BE the best friend I can be and give my friend what she needs - and it's also my job to accept her for who she is, flaws and prickly bits and mushiness and all.