Wednesday, December 7, 2011

One of Those

"Oh, so you're one of those./?"

Pardon the odd punctuation, but I'm still unsure as to whether or not the above statement was finite or a question. Therefore, I'll include a period and a question mark.

This was uttered by someone I talked to on the phone, to plan a first date. The fellow was a medical resident, so I'll refer to him as Dr. Dean.

Dr. Dean mentioned the newly opened Sugar House bar in Corktown. Two weeks before, I had wanted to have a cocktail at this establishment. However, in the week or two leading up to my would-be date with a doctor, something changed.

Before getting into the nitty-gritty, I'll have to 'fess up to being a Twitter junkie. That being said, I started following the Sugar House account shortly after the bar opened, when a friend raved about the delightful concoctions he had sipped there. I noticed that sometimes the Twitter-tone was a little surly, but thought nothing of it. Then, one morning, the following tweet popped up:

"Here's my review of Yelp: I hope you get AIDS in the butt."

I went a little crazy. Granted, it was an early hour, and I was sick. I had no energy. I was drained. I was also outraged. Sleeping would not happen. I sent oodles of media outlets emails detailing my fury over the comment. Despite being in a medication induced haze, I felt my emails were pretty clear, and depicted my frustrations appropriately. I received no responses.

Why was I angry? I'm sure some readers looked at the above statement and smirked. I didn't. Perhaps I'm just sensitive. I'm not sure if anyone else knows someone with HIV or AIDS. If you do not, it has been my experience that you only think you do not. It's likely someone you know has one or the other, even if it's only a casual acquaintance.

I don't care how the disease was contracted, the reality of it is awful. Sure, some careless actions make acquiring HIV significantly easier than others. Sometimes people screw up. I can't think of a mistake that's outcome should be chronic illness. Perhaps I'm too soft, but I've made peace with my soft streak.

So, I don't think stating "I hope you get AIDS in the butt" is funny.

I also think wishing a person to get "AIDS in the butt" does not speak highly about the gay community. How does the writer feel about all them-there gays? It's a precise and specific way to wish AIDS upon someone. I don't think it's a particularly sensitive thing to say, as people are dying of AIDS (contracted up-the-butt or otherwise) every day, leaving scores of devastated friends and family members. I'm curious if the "tweeter" has knowingly spoken to an individual with HIV or AIDS? Did they discuss how difficult it is to date, knowing you eventually run the risk of infecting a partner? Did they discuss compassionate healthcare? Did they cover the availability of medical insurance? Was there chat about "breaking the news to mom and dad"? What about people with children, was there discussion about knowing you might miss certain milestones, or knowing that there is still, with all the medical interventions currently available, a small risk of a mother passing HIV to a child? These aren't conversations I wish upon anyone.

What an incredibly over-the-top reaction to a website based on consumer reviews. For the record, the Yelp rating of Sugar House was 3.5 stars the day of the Twitter posting. That isn't my idea of imminent doom. Mixed in with some negative reviews were some glowing gems. Considering that Yelp is a website of reviews written by consumers, I also find it crass to wish terminal illness upon reviewers.

After all of my fuming over this tacky tweet, I vowed never to step into Sugar House. I'm not the only one. Though I drove by on a recent Saturday evening, and there was an entry line, I know a good chunk of people who will never patronize Sugar House bar. I know a few more who regret spending money there.

So, I explained, with far less gusto than expressed in this posting, why I would prefer not to patronize Sugar House. All I did was quote the tweet, and state I found it insensitive.

His reaction was a chuckle and "oh, so you're one of those?"

My only reply could be, "I guess I am."

He smoothly navigated a few more sentences, and then got me off of the phone quickly. He said he would call soon, and we would discuss a location. I still haven't heard from him.

I could have thrown my scruples to the wind and agreed to meet (the rather handsome) Dr. Dean at Sugar House. However, the more I age, the more intolerant of intolerance I've become. I might eventually be a spinster, but I'll happily live out my own, empathetic, version of spinsterhood with compassion.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Wine, Dine, and Ignore

In between the sweaty palms, verbal fumbles, awkward silences, too-loud meeting places, late arrivals, and food-in-teeth moments, occasionally there is that rare moment when everything just goes right. It had been years since anything just went “right” as far as dating and I were concerned. I was growing skeptical. What if “right” had only existed in the delusional optimism of my early twenties? As a young girl, my world was consumed by fairy tales, My Little Ponies, Barbies, and spying on the TV when Mom was watching When Harry Met Sally for the fourteenth time. In the land of 1990’s romantic comedies, and Barbie and Ken, that “right” moment was always moments away, and always unfolded perfectly. I knew my own Blossom Russo-esque life was waiting for me. Disappointingly, in "2000's" era adult life, finding the “right” moment was as allusive a concept as a “great deal” on mobile phone service. The 90's had come and gone, as was my confidence that Mr. Right was going to magically appear.

Approximately four minutes into a first date with Calvin, everything was “right,” and a hunch told me it would stay that way. He was obviously a jeans and t-shirt fellow, without a crazy haircut, four inch lenses in his glasses, or a spattering of oddly shaped piercings. For some reason, I’ve always had a thing for tall fellows. Despite my somewhat nontraditional ways, I’m a sucker for a big dude. Maybe it’s because larger men make me feel somehow smaller, and I’m pretty accustomed to being a kinda large gal. At any rate, Calvin was about six feet tall, with the bonus of broad shoulders…my absolute favorite feature.

We were compatible on a million levels. Neither one of us ever wanted to leave Detroit. We both had a squirrely rescue dog and a gay roommate. We lived approximately 2.5 miles apart, in similar neighborhoods where older homes, nosey neighbors, spacious sagging porches, and a sense of community were still the norm. There were no children or ex-spouses, and we were both in the fortunate, but time consuming, situation of being overly employed. He didn’t seem to think my love of pitbulls was horrifying, and I adored the fact that he not only knew who Thornetta Davis was, but had tickets to one of her remaining Detroit-area summer performances, at a less-known place on the Eastside. Even odder bit of trivia, our mothers had the same first name.

For 45 minutes we sat and had coffee. Having left the house for a 6 p.m. coffee date, I had naturally been prepping since 4 p.m. By the time I flew down the driveway, it was already 5:52, and I was getting hungry. I secretly hoped that this would be the best date ever, and we could move on to dinner, or I could cut my losses after twenty minutes, leave, and hit up the Taco Bell drive through. Given my history, I was already planning my value menu purchases.

Everything was perfect. We left coffee and had dinner. After dinner there was the warmest hug ever, and he assured me he’d call. I went home walking on sunshine and feeling like the most fantastic girl on the planet.

When it comes to relationships, I’m not looking for people to casually date anymore. I’m looking for “it.” I want someone that’s eventually – if we’re lucky – going to live with me longer than they lived without me. I want a family, a few floppy dogs, and a house with enough walls to theoretically hold an “art” collection. I’m not a total bore. I also want a house that will hold my vodka and kitsch coffee mugs collections. Calvin was the first person far-too-long that I could imagine having a stable, adult relationship with. After all, he’d rather strongly implied that he was interested in the same sort of grown-up life that I was. After the best first date ever, I was feeling extremely lucky.

Ya know when I next heard from Calvin? Two weeks later, and then four weeks after that. “Dating” someone for six weeks, and only seeing him three times, is not the sort of adult relationship I am looking for. Men are baffling. After playing it cool, I resorted to throwing myself at him, which was embarrassing, but made me feel like I’d at least made the effort. I won’t go into these ridiculous details, but be assured that no illegal/creepy stalking occurred. I assumed that embarrassing myself would be enough for Calvin. It wasn’t. I looked stupid, and – rather obviously – remain single. What is this tale’s moral? If there has to be one, it would be “don’t design a pitbull-proof landscaping plan for your vodka-and-art stuffed house before a man has brought you flowers.”

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Blech

Recently I heard from a guy named Tommy. He seemed normal, and in his written profile was clever and punny. He lived in my neighborhood and seemed intelligent. He was good looking without being overly groomed. He seemed to be genuinely interested, and I’m a sucker for flattery.

One of the problems with online dating is that it quickly subjects you to someone’s literary skills. Despite the service I use having spell check, the spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors other people make are completely out of control. Since there is a uniform template that people fill out, it’s also easy to tell which people are fans of proper capitalizations from the get-go. I might see three men with the same name, but one states that his name is Jason, the other jason, and the other JASON. I always pick “Jason” and am likely to delete the other two. I liked that, despite Tommy’s name was “Tommy” (which I thought odd for a man of 32), his capitalizations were sound.

I agreed to meet Tommy at one of my favorite bars, which was in our general neighborhood. We were meeting on a Saturday night, just late enough to be considered trendy, and early enough to not feel seedy. After dinner on Saturday I began prepping. This involved a shower, plucking my eyebrows, exfoliating, moisturizing, blow drying my hair, working in styling products, using a hair straightener, splashing on a half-dab of two perfumes, applying makeup, and locating matching earrings (ooooh…and socks – a long standing problem of mine).

I zipped up to the bar, walking through the door at exactly the arranged time, found a table, sat and waited around for “Tommy” to show up. Thank goodness the days of people ringing up a restaurant to tell you they are running late are long gone, there is no situation in which I would want to be told “Ma’m, you have a phone call from ‘Tommy’ on the house line.”

Still, I was excited and a little nervous. Tommy strolled in, bumbling away, in what I thought was a little uncomfortable chatter. As it turned out, this is just the way Tommy spoke and operated. We were meeting a little late because he coached youth basketball, which I thought was charming. He spoke in short sentences, and smiled frequently, forcing me to wonder if Tommy blew through life a little on the high side.

Since we were running out of things to discuss, I brought up work. He informed me he was in marketing. This is not a field I understand, so I asked what aspect. He shrugged his shoulders and said “ya know, marketing.” I moved on to other conversational topics. It was becoming obvious that we had little in common, and my beer was two-thirds empty.


Then I said something about night classes at Wayne State. Tommy’s eyes lit up. A talk about college days sparked something in Tommy. A 32 year old man getting that excited about college was a little frightening. Tommy’s eyes danced and he formed run-on sentences about people named Tubs, Ganja Donna, and Dan-Ahrrea He started talking about drunken evenings in small towns, and I realized that Tommy and I not only had little in common, I actually thought he was a ridiculous version of an adult.

Tommy was speaking at an enthusiastic pace I reserve for overpriced bath products, Christmas decorations, and the show Dexter. I had been tuning out, wildly trying to flag the waitress down, and dreaming of liquor. While I was waving my arm, nodding, smiling, and pretending to listen, I kept hearing one word over and over and over again. The key word was “boobs.” As readers of this blog might know, I have no objection to talking about anatomy, but I prefer to do so with friends and/or people the cyber-world detaches me from. This is not first date material.

My cocktail made it to the table, and I was trying to look intrigued and figure out where this “Boobs” conversation was going. All of the sudden, Tommy was talking about his Mom. There was still talk about the boobs.

I wanted to flee.

I chugged my cocktail, ice cubes smashing into my teeth, threatening to smack me in the forehead and smudge my near-perfect make up. My throat burned.

“…but Boobs just lives with my Moms now…”


All of the sudden, I flashed back five minutes to frat boys, and realized that Boobs was a dog. Boobs had been adopted by Tommy to be his frat’s mascot, and he had been bragging that the idiots at the shelter “just let me take ‘er.” Boobs was kind of a pain, and believe it or not, never properly trained, so now she lived with Tommy’s mom. I’m sorry, his “Moms.” Boobs had been there since the end of Tommy’s senior year, since he never really wanted a dog, and he was graduating soon, and all those parties and things were happening…

I’m a dog person. I have a dog that I picked up from the Humane Society. She sleeps in my bed, has a better balanced diet than I do, and is always up-to-date on her shots. As an adult, the first dog I had was a venture in dog sitting gone terribly wrong, where the dog’s owner never reclaimed his pet. Naturally, I kept the dog. I have taken in pitbulls I found in the ‘hood. I’ve pulled days-old kittens out of a shed and fed them with an eye dropper. A guinea pig made its home in my bathroom for a few days, a few summers ago. I am a softie, and I could never obtain an animal and give it away, because it was inconvenient to my summertime activities.

I didn’t like Tommy.

I am not used to this feeling. Usually, when I date men, I’m attracted to the person, and hardly feel the feeling is mutual. Usually, I am not dating the person I am interested in. I am too reserved, and too afraid of rejection, to express that I’m interested.

Then, on a perfectly decent Saturday night, there I was, with Tommy, a ball of misery. Tommy was talking about heading to another bar, where he had made plans to meet his friends. I had no idea whether or not these plans included me. Tommy had returned to his smiley, short sentences, and I found him hard to follow. Throwing fifteen dollars on the table to cover beverages, which he insisted was unnecessary (at least he was polite), I quickly left. There wasn’t, really, anything wrong with Tommy. It occurred to me that there wasn’t anything wrong with me. I just wasn’t interested. I doubted he was interested. This is not something I am used to. I am used to feeling rejected and dejected, not ambivalent.

This ambivalent feeling was fantastic.

Ambivalence got me home with time to crack open one more beer, watch the evening news, and curl up with the dog. As tired as I am of being single, single and happy sure beats attached and ambivalent, even at 9:44, Saturday evening.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rims, Spoilers, Mini Windshield Wipers, Subwoofers, and Other Necessities

In a world where people strap explosives to their shoes, dogs fight in abandoned buildings, and silver fillings are still legal, there should be nothing intimidating about a first date. Unfortunately, few things seem less nerve-racking than meeting someone new. This seems doubly true when my current policy is “if he asks, you will date him!” Since I have had bad luck deciding which fellows are best suited for me, this seemed like a logical way to broaden my horizons. My horizon, at present, might as well be a screen capture of Plants Vs. Zombies…because some of these experiences have gotten a tad ugly.

In my desire to broaden my dating pool, I’ve ignored a bit of advice from someone whom, theoretically, knows a lot about love. I’ll admit to watching the “Millionaire Matchmaker” a time or two…maybe I’ve seen every episode, maybe I haven’t. Believe whatever you’d like. Usually, the sincere people are easy to spot, there are a couple of yahoos thrown on to boost ratings, and the whole thing seems like a bucket of common sense. The show is a little too technical for my liking, and I’d like to punch out Patti (THEE Millionaire Matchmaker) when she yells at people with a BMI of 25.5 for being too fat, tells women their natural hair color isn’t flattering, and attacks people for not wanting to answer rather personal questions about their sex lives. However, the nutty woman makes some very valid points.

One of the things she insists is essential is qualifying the buyer. It’s a technical process, and seems much like purchasing a car. If you’ve always wanted a car with spinners, a station wagon is obviously not going to be satisfactory. She has some criteria that sound common sense, but are all-too-difficult in the real world. In a very basic sense, she tries to set people up with the same sets of priorities, morals, and standards. Who knew these lists of qualifications could be so lengthy? After going on date number 492 (or, perhaps, four) with someone who was completely wrong for me, this is what I came up with:

· Age 33 or under

· Preferably non-religious

· Nonsmoker

· Lives within a reasonable distance

· Wants children

· Has a sense of humor and a decent IQ

This list seemed simple enough. I had qualified my buyer. I logged into the dating website I was using, and tightened up my qualifications. I was no longer going to accept just anyone, I was going to be semi-discerning! Then, as I changed my settings to be more discretionary, crazy thoughts started running through my head, and I came up with the most ridiculous list of “qualifications” on the planet. This is why I should never listen to anyone who uses television to brand herself and sell bouquets of flowers, paid dating website subscriptions, books, DVDs, and weight loss products. Despite my doubts of Patti, I came up with a second list. The second qualification list was straight from Hades – the thoughts of an insane woman who remains single for rather obvious reasons:

· Must not be a Buddhist, unless the man is originally from Tibet. While the Buddhists are an amazing, peace loving and wonderful people, I have found those who claim to have converted to Buddhism to be a little off. These people typically seem to be missing something in life and are crazily searching for what makes them happy – which, more often than not, seems to be loads and loads of cannibas – and has little to do with the Dharma Wheel and Four Noble Truths.

· While not claiming to be a Buddhist, must understand that I really, really like yoga. Perhaps, this fella would willingly go to a yoga class…every once in a great, great while. Just as a show of interest, ya know?

· Has manners and is nice to my mom

· Bonus points for having an extended quirky, entertaining nuclear family, just like the Braverman's in Parenthood. Extra bonus points if the family likes to get dressed up for Christmas. Double Extra Bonus if Grandma knits sweaters.

· Should not be afraid of flying, public bathrooms, or grocery cart handles. There is plenty of soap in the world.

· Thinks pitbulls are misunderstood

· Lives between Eight Mile and Maple, in the general Woodward Avenue vicinity…since this is where I enjoy living, and won’t want to change neighborhoods when we’re happily riding off into the sunset

· Is generally clean, but understands that I frequently forget to make the bed…and usually throw the mail on the table and don’t open it. I have some good qualities to balance these out…I think…

· Recycles

· Can handle his booze

· Gets along well with the gays, because certain fellas have been in my life for a long, long time

· Reads for shits and giggles

· Has a job that I can wrap my head around. Plumbers and cops are fine, strategic internet marketing sales and installments with an emphasis in digital restoration, and you work from home, too? Hmmm…sounds rather close to “unemployed.”

· Looks like, had he been born at the right time, in the right place, he might have once been a lumberjack.

· Does not own loads and loads of hair products or other grooming tools, but brushes his teeth a few times a day.

· Can fill in a blank map of the United States

· Doesn’t think donating to public radio or television is a waste

· Gives sincere compliments

· Is complementary

· Knows the difference between compliment and complement

Do I ever expect to find someone who matches all of my criteria? Well, no. Do I want someone close? Absolutely. I think that too often people compromise, and settle into a comfortable relationship with someone that doesn’t quite measure up to their list, if they even know what their list entails. I know what’s on my list. It’s finding someone with his own list, a complementary list, that is the challenge.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Conversation for Dummies

For years, my conversational skills stunk. I tried to be more outgoing, but unless someone fit into my target knitch* group, I had a difficult time communicating. I still have a tendency to clam up or prattle on. When it comes to chattin’ up the men folk, I’ve been as articulate as a mime for as long as I can remember. This is something I have put painstaking efforts into improving.

In my early twenties, I remember Googling advice on the subject. I was an awful conversationalist. Talking about myself was all I was capable of. I never knew how to lead a conversation, or ask questions without sounding like I was rattling off a qualification questionnaire. After ridiculous amounts of practice, and throwing myself to the wolves on multiple occasions, eventually I felt somewhat confident.

Then, as a confidant gabber, I met Dave. If I had been a conversationalist in training, then Dave…well…Dave was a conversationalist in need of electroshock therapy. Fearing my worst habits would come back, within moments of meeting him, I went into overachiever mode. This is a small scale song-and-dance routine I pull out every once in a great while. I kick overachiever mode ass. I go “on” and I don’t stop until the fat lady sings…which usually means I’ve cranked up the radio and am on the way home, decompressing from overachiever mode. Unfortunately, overachiever mode is exhausting. Over achiever socializing kills me, and is only for desperate situations. It’s an act.

Dave was late for our little date. He asked me out, but asked to meet on a Sunday afternoon, and left the location open – but not the time. Dave needed until at least two p.m., as he apparently likes to sleep in. Lunch was obviously behind us and dinner too far ahead. I would never, ever, EVER admit that at two p.m., on a Sunday, I can occasionally be found perched atop a bar stool, sulking about the imminence of drinks were obviously out, too. Coffee, it was.

I met Dave at a Starbucks. With the prevalence of Starbucks franchises, this felt slightly more personal than McDonald’s, but Dave certainly wasn’t scoring points for creativity or originality. Our date was also slipping in the quality department, because he was rather late. Eleven minutes late, but who’s counting? As I self-consciously sat and sipped, I thought about Starbucks and strip malls. We lived at separate ends of a county, Dave and I. Already, I resented driving to strip-mall heaven, the general “in between our places” area to meet up for our first date. I also grew increasingly itchy about the “late” factor.

Dave eventually arrived. I was starting to feel bad about my “late” irritation and was letting it go – I’m a stickler for punctuality. Eleven minutes isn’t all that late. However, I noticed he did not look for me when he walked in. He didn’t really look at anything, actually. In his elastic-waist leather jacket, he marched to the counter and ordered a small hot chocolate. Then he stood and stared at his twiddling thumbs while it was prepared. Not. Looking. Anywhere.

At this point I started feeling bad for Dave. I recognized all these darling awkward moments as moments from my past, before I enrolled in self-guided social boot camp and decided it was sink or swim time. This period started a few years after I began working for a new company…and realized no one talked to me. I didn’t talk to them, so this wasn’t their fault. Sure, most of them were older than I was. Sure, we had little in common. Still, I needed to start at least acknowledging the presence of others, because instead of coming off as someone a little shy, I was coming off as an uptight bitch. Kind of like Dave, who one part of me wanted to call “ASSHHOLE!” and the other part of me wanted to hug.

That was the only point in our date where I thought about hugging Dave. He finally plopped down in a chair across from me and said “hi,” at 2:15 p.m. I tried to talk to him. I tried to like him. I tried to figure out who he was. While we (meaning I) talked, I questioned my literary skills. Dave, if memory and internet profile served me correctly, was a year younger than I was. He looked like a man in his early forties. He had a college degree, but he looked like a beaten down factory worker. Something about his face screamed “I eat LOTS of meat and my mom makes vegetables out of a can, smothered in Velveeta!” Yes, he lived with his parents. It wasn’t a temporary or transitional situation, either. Why was I out with this person? He asked, that was why. I said I would give anyone who asked me out a chance. I was doing this because every person I had chosen to date, in the past, had been a disappointment. I needed to loosen up.

Embracing anything I could about Dave – because after all, I was supposed to be giving people a chance – I asked him about traveling. The only person he had mentioned (other than his parents) was his best friend, who lived in Oregon with his wife. Having taken a bus through Portland once, I had found it to be a beautiful, green city. That trip was also in the late nineties, so it was a city filled with Doc Martens, hats with big flowers, coffee, and singer-songwriter types. All of these are things I am rather fond of. Perhaps he had been to Portland!

“No, it’s really expensive.”

YOU LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS! If I worked full time, and lived with my parents, I would be visiting my best pal in Portland multiple times a year. I would even purchase souvenirs for my parents. As it turns out, Dave was saving up funds to buy a house. Since I happen to love talking real estate, I decided to pick Dave’s brain. Unfortunately, he and I did not agree on what constituted an exciting place to live. While I preferred old neighborhoods with a little character and classic charm, Dave loved everything about new construction and the outer ring suburbs. After all, everyone he knew lived there, and by everyone, I think we may have been talking about his two closest pals - mom and dad.

Since he seemed rather attached to his parents, I tried swinging the conversation to family related topics. Then we/I chatted about pets. He didn’t know if he really liked pets. He’s never been allowed to have one. Oh my. I chattered on for a bit and Dave, sweating like he’d run a marathon, chugged his hot chocolate in massive gulps. Perhaps the heat was killing him, a combination of nerves and cocoa under his outerwear. Dave cracked and started talking, but started talking about…all the other women he’d met on his dating website! He admitted he had been on the site for a few years, and had never really dated anyone he’d met. He did like meeting people.

I asked him about other places he liked to go. He had never heard of the restaurants I mentioned, he wasn’t a drinker so he hated bars, and when I mentioned movies he came up with…

“I don’t go to the movies, they’re kind of expensive.”

That was it for me. Life isn’t free, but it’s worth it. I cannot believe that this cheap, socially inept man was bothering to spend a decent amount of cash on a dating website. I had acknowledged that my social skills were terrible, and I had worked on fixing them. He had, admittedly, been working on finding a lady friend for years, and was obviously not changing anything about his life to make room for that sort of commitment. I was done. As Dave sucked on his disposable coffee mug until the sides caved in, I politely shook his hand. He smiled (for the third time in thirty minutes), and I left. After working my conversational skills to the max, I settled out of overachiever mode and drove home – completely exhausted. I may have picked up a six pack along the way.

The six pack was from a microbrewery.

It was expensive, and I shared it with a friend.

I’m a lucky gal.

*Whilst looking up the proper spelling of “knitch,” because Microsoft Word does not accept the proper spelling, I looked at the synonyms. “Knitch” can be defined by the word fagot, that’s right people, fagot, with one “g.” Do YOU know what a fagot is? Well, I think I once explored the world of “fagots” in a high school Earth Science class…and not in some ridiculous, “I kissed a girl” high school lesbian scenario. I THINK we talked about fagots during some discussion pertaining to rocks. Having gone to a really, really fancy high school, Earth Science was taught by a substitute teacher who had a degree in art. We did a lot of artsy renderings…perhaps, even, of fagots, which have nothing to do with rocks, as far as I can tell. Anywho, to make myself clear, a fagot is a bunch of stuff bundled together, with intention of using this bundle for fuel. That, my friends, is the definition of a fagot.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We go together, like a wink and a smile...

In a less complicated world, I wouldn’t be blogging right now. I would be at home, and at 9:52 p.m. (the current time) I would likely be reading. At this moment, the guy I had a school girl’s fall crush on is at a bar up the road, with three other people…I know this via Twitter. A friend of a friend, at 7:18 this evening, sent me a “wutz ^ tonight?” text message. Via Facebook I found out that my eighth-grade marching band pal and her husband recently returned from vacation, and that four more people RSVP’d to my ten-year high school reunion – which I probably won’t attend.

Digial communication is weird enough. It’s casual and plentiful, which makes it less personal. Never a fan of abbreviations or misspellings, “LOL” and “Wt RU doin” are not my favorite things to see. When it comes to dating and digital communication, things get even weirder. Looking at several dating websites, I’ve found an interesting catch. Most of them are free to join, and you can send potential mates an impersonal communication. To actually send someone a message, you have to throw down some cash and join. These little, free sorts of communication are called flirts, winks, smiles, etc. A generic template is sent to the recipient, stating something doltish and flattering, such as “your profile made me smile/wink/feel flirty.” It’s a “gee I’ve got nothing to lose” way of approaching someone.

The first day I registered for a dating site, I was glowing over these little comments. Then I realized that I never got a further, more probing, response. Then, I also realized, that when looking at a photo of another member, it’s painfully easy to hit the smile/wink/flirt button. I did so, unintentionally, three times in half-an-hour.

So, I’ve been ignoring these little notes. I assume the people who send them are having technical difficulties, or on the free trial program. I also feel like, if someone is genuinely interested in me, they should be able to at least string a sentence together to convey so. I know I’m larger than many women, I often have chipped nail polish, I occasionally drop movie theatre popcorn into my cleavage, and I’m a little on the particular side, but damnit, I want someone to string together a WHOLE sentence to win my affections! If nothing else, I want peace of mind. I’d like assurance that a fella wasn’t looking at my picture, critiquing my clothing choices and lack of perfectly-coiffed hair, when he accidentally hit the “send smile/wink/flirt” now button.

Given my aversion to faux compliments, and paranoia surrounding them, just imagine how delighted I was when my first personal message rolled in. I was thrilled. Having looked at many profiles, I was finding that there were some literate people on the internet, and I was psyched. My fingers flew over the keyboard to open up my VERY FIRST personal message, from an educated, literate, confidant, attractive, employed, articulate prince of a fellow, who wanted to meet ME.

Staring at the computer screen, searching frantically for a wonderful, flattering, romantic gesture, I found the first word of the message! “Hey.”

That is actually overdone, as the message only read “hey”. No punctuation or capitalizations were included. It was not only the first word of the message, it was the whole message.

Now the profiles on this website are packed with information. There are plenty of details about a person spelled out on his or her individual page. I just wanted something more. I wanted effort. So, with the swipe of a mouse, I deleted “hey” and all the people who had winked/smiled/flirted with me. I might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m not desperate, and not going to cling to a wink, a smile, a flirt, or a “hey.”

In honor of every girl who gave out her number and hoped he’d never call, for every woman who moved in because “the rent is too damn high,” for every lady who thought she needed a plus one, and for every fat gal who never thought she’d do better…I’m just saying “no” for all of us. Goodbye winks, smiles, flirts, and heys, I’m holding out for something substantive.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gettin' Bloggy Wit' It

Obviously, I have begun a blog. Friends of mine have expressed surprise that blogging did not come earlier. Every time I have felt writing was inevitable, and I was on the brink of something entertaining and refreshing, my inner shy gal would pop up. This evil, wildebeest of an inner shy gal fears rejection more than terminal illness. This fear is deep seeded and applies to a smorgasbord of situations.

I am vowing to fake out the wildebeest and feign emotional ennui on the wildebeest’s behalf. I’m sure no one will hate me on behalf of anything I write, but the thought is there. Truth be told, I have larger scale problems than my shyness and the possibility of someone having hurt feelings. Much larger, like the size of a pair of jeans or one size-D breast sort of large. We’ll return to these tales of woe shortly.

Hindered by shyness, I have always been cautiously behind in life. I’m sure I was the last of my friends to lose her virginity, though I never compared notes out of absolute mortification. The only alcohol I consumed in high school consisted of two post-prom wine coolers in the basement of the valedictorian’s house, while her parents were busy running their carryout Chinese restaurant. My high school prom date a good friend I played arcade games with and walked home from school with, on the few days I didn’t stay late to work on the high school newspaper, attend swim team practice, or participate in theatre shenanigans. When I sauntered into the house during the early morning hours, as a junior in high school, it was because I had lost track of time while playing Disney Trivial Pursuit in a friend’s basement. My mother never questioned these things, and I never had a curfew. I never had a blood alcohol level above the legal driving level until I was 22, tried pot for the first time at 24, and never moved onto harsher substances, or developed unfortunate chemical dependencies.

I never dated in high school and I haphazardly flirted my way through college. I remember my first kiss with too much detail, because it could have happened on two occasions, depending on criteria. The first time I smooched a lad, I was in the first grade. It was the local bad boy with all the spiked hair 1989 had to offer. After that, I was seventeen before any hardcore smoochery happened. A guy I found unattractive and thought was ridiculously full of himself had a thing for me. I decided he would be my practice smooching pal, since I was so behind the learning curve. He even bought me dinner at the Ram’s Horn once, where he worked as a busser. Smoochin’ lessons hardly lasted long, as I grew tired of doing anything other than kissing his pretentious, know-it-all self.

I am now 27 years old, and still behind the learning curve. Friends of mine are married and have children. Everyone I know has been in some sort of committed, long term relationship – with the exception of my weird third cousin, Claude. My problem is that I will not accept just anyone. I would much rather be single than date someone I do not feel strongly about. This has resulted in lots of first dates, a few second dates, and very, very few third dates. The shy card has also been a problem.

A few years ago, I tried to nab a coworker. A mutual friend had slipped up, and let me know that this big, hunky fella was interested in both me, and another gal. I never made my intentions properly known. I hoped he would pick up on all of my grandiose gestures of adoration, like saying “hi” to him and other social wonders. Needless to say, he picked the other girl. They lived together for a bit, he bought her an engagement ring, and she cheated on him and broke his heart. I never would have done such a thing. Of course, she was thinner than I, and as a result of another pseudo rejection, I hated my paunchy body even more. Since I had hated my body since the age of nine, I also continued to pack on the pounds, because really, who cared? This has been my body-issue for as long as I can remember.

Within the last six months, I have refrained from gaining weight. I am healthier, currently, than I have been in quite some time. Unfortunately, improved health does not instantly mean one turns into some sort of toned, sexy blond with a tan. I am still pasty, and somewhat Jewish/Mediterranean looking, with pounds and pounds of excess flub. A renewed commitment to health does not mean that men are coming flying out of the woodwork, offering to spot me at the gym, and telling me their favorite salad joint. I’m still a big, single gal.

Age has done a few shitty things, as well.

The first shift was noticeable a month ago. Despite, according to my bathroom scale, having lost three pounds, my jeans looked a little odd. They looked snug, but not in their normal “put down the pint/pints” sort of snugness. The second shift occurred yesterday. Something looked off kilter - something that used to be a C, and at some point morphed into a D, and left its pal in the dust.

I’ll tackle the pants first. Something in my abdominal fat shifted. It’s sitting differently than it did before, and my pants look strange when I wear a few of my favorite shirts. These shirts were essential pieces of the “look as thin as you possibly can” shirt and pants combos. Without the pants, none of it works. With my current waistline, which I fear will be the waistline of my future, there is a problem.

Problem number two, to be quite frank, is my left boob. At home, I can be a bit of a slob. I wander around the house in a bathrobe and pajama pants far too often. If it’s slightly warm, I trade in the robe for a t-shirt. While wandering in the t-shirt and pajama combo, I walked past a mirror. Lefty was way out to the left and looked too long. WAY too long. A fat girl’s best friends, her (hopefully) gigantic breasts, were starting to let me down; no pun intended. If nothing else, I occasionally hoped that if I hiked the twins far enough up, and tossed on the right top, my knockers would distract a guy long enough to forget my waistline, and he would fall hopelessly in lust with me. This was not going to work if lefty continued her pursuit downward. Action was needed.

After ransacking my wardrobe and coming up with new clothing accommodations, I sat my single-self down, dog resting on my feet, and powered up the laptop. It was time to crop some pictures, making myself look as thin as could possibly be feigned, and make myself available. I’m tired of being single, and this should probably be remedied before Righty joins Lefty in her travels south, and before my abdominal fat gets any weirder. Therefore, I put myself online. I signed up for a few free websites, and then plunked down $144 in exchange for six month’s access to a paid dating website, which promised to match me via “dimensions of compatibility” to several someone’s that I could potentially find long term happiness with. So, here I am. I’m largely dating and dating largely. I’m also blogging. While working on toning up and slimming down, I’ll continue throwing my tubby ass to the masses. I’m going to aggressively find out “what’s up” with the world of dating online, and there’s going to be (what I hope) a pretty entertaining blog as a result of these endeavors. Having gone out with a few people already, let me tell ya, I think there will be no shortage of material.

Thanks for visiting, please come back soon :-)