Category Archives: Opinion

Dear Laura,

Yesterday when I posted to Facebook that Yes-Vember! was over and listed all the people I had mentioned in this blog, my stats went “through the roof!” (as WordPress said, hyperbolically). There were almost as many comments, too, also on Facebook. I’m equally guilty: I read someone’s blog and comment about it on Facebook. I think that’s part of their evil plan: keep all the eyeballs on Facebook. Comments on my blog actually on my blog are a more rare occurrence and are, usually (and comparatively), negative. There are a few obvious reasons, firstly that the people on Facebook know me. More importantly, though, I think most of the people reading (and commenting) here are fellow blog writers. Perhaps more “peer” than “dear friend” or “adoring fan.” Or whatever. I have to assume that if they’re blogging (and have the time to read others’ blogs…and comment) they might also harbor just a smidge of the “frustrated writer” angst that I often experience.
All that said, I received a comment yesterday and wasn’t able to reply to it. Not sure why. I am consistently boggled by technology. So I thought I’d respond to her [constructive] criticism here.

You don’t take [constructive] criticism very well. Or so it seems.

I am curious, Laura, which criticism you felt I didn’t take well. The mean words of the men on OKCupid? Because I didn’t receive much response to my posts during Yes-Vember!

From Yes-vember to Drekember, you take this all so personally, in particular the (lack of) comments to your “positive” compositions; the ok cupids for the neg. After all this time, after all this writing, and dating, you appear to have learned little, and fall back on old, nasty, habits.

If you mean by “old, nasty, habits” writing about the hilarious guys on OKC, well, yes, I am falling back on that. It won’t be (and has never been) a daily thing. I write about a lot of topics. But people who read (and comment on) my OKCupid escapades seem to really enjoy them. At least that’s the feedback I get via Facebook. I will continue to write about online dating, as well as all the other topics.

Why would anyone want to comment about the people you know, admire, have worked with, and seem—for reasons best known to you—worthy of public praise? To borrow from your unsolicited Cupid comments, “Who (except the profilee) gives a rat’s ass?”

Why would anyone want to comment about the people I know? Hmm, maybe to say, “Cool art! Thanks for tipping me off!” or “I love her stuff! I bought one of her widgets as a Christmas gift! Thanks!” Or even just a quick, “Thank you for introducing me to a new artist.” My question is, why WOULDN’T someone want to comment on any of those posts? There were SO many responses to the posts on Facebook and almost zero here. Is it because they AREN’T negative? I am seriously curious. 

The best a writer, blogger, (venter?, ranter?) can do is compose compelling pieces; from that the comments will come. Not that you’ll take a positive suggestion.

How is that a “positive suggestion”? Are the blog posts “compelling” only to people on Facebook? Not to people who only read (and comment) through WordPress? Again, just sincerely curious.

As for Cupid, you (and your profile) are bait, and do I really need to go for the obvious joke that you’re a master (or mistress) at this? If you, in this incarnation (and all past ones), present yourself in a certain way, you will continue to get the same types of response. I won’t suggest you change—you won’t—so get over it, and get over them.

I shouldn’t have to point out that the OKCupid stuff I post on here is merely a fraction of the email I receive. There is the good, the bad and the ugly. There is also the banal, the boring, the goes-nowhere (Hi! Hello. Let’s meet….and schedules get in the way….interest wanes…) and, rarely, the super-awesome! Yes, I do go on fun and interesting dates. Sadly, they don’t make for compelling blog posts. Imagine what will happen when I meet someone perfect and we ride off into the sunset together! Zzzzzzz….

In “Abby World” THEY are the aggressors and you, merely, the defendant. Why bother? Why start something? Why perpetuate the animus? If you’re trying to spin straw into gold, perhaps you need a better spinning wheel, otherwise the wannabees will all be Rumpelstiltskins.

Again, not all the wannabees are Rumpelstiltskins. Some are Cyranos. They don’t make for much entertainment. But I digress. If you don’t find what I write to be straw spun into gold, well, that was never my intent. I’m taking straw and showing that straw to the world. Another woman emailed me to say that the exact same man said the exact same thing to her. And I would bet that her profile is nothing at all like mine. Nope. The guy just gets off on “negging.” Telling women, “That’s an ugly photo.” Why would anyone write that? I’ve suggested to men that they re-shoot their selfie without the open toilet in the background. But that isn’t what I’d consider “negging.” More like constructive criticism. I have also, in the past, received an email from a woman who had a bad feeling about a prospective OKC date and, after googling his screen name, found my blog. I had written that he was a scammer and by reading the blog she avoided experiencing the same thing. So anyway, that’s all sort of beside the point. I believe I can take criticism. And I could, of course, be totally wrong. However, if you think I should stop writing about these guys, that I won’t do. If you don’t find it to be spun gold, I can invite you to not read the blog when the topic is “online dating.” I write about other things; check out my topics. Maybe you could offer criticism on a piece I’ve written on a different topic? I use this blog to keep my writing chops (such as they are) from getting rusty. With the bar business, those chops may just have to rust. 

And sincere best wishes (really!) with the alcohol emporium. With no desire for a finder’s fee, I’ll offer my suggestion for it: The Snark Bar. Apt.

Thank you for the suggestion. I actually love it! Though even I, as horrible as I can be, know better than to “go negative” as a business model. I could also go with Douche-Free Zone but I don’t want to over-promise! Anyway, gotta run and see a few more bars to buy!

 

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Aside

There’s no one behind the controls at OKCupid. They don’t seem to care that more than half the profiles are fakes and a good chunk of emails sent are from foreign countries fishing for suckers. Are they waiting for the … Continue reading

Bitch vs. Chicken Shit

Just a quick note:

I never really know who reads this blog. I can check stats and monitor comments but stats aren’t very specific and comments can be made from fake email addresses. In the past I’ve posted about receiving death threats and being stalked. Well, stalked might be too strong a word; what would you call it when someone anonymously sends you letters and gifts in the mail? In each instance, I can only assume that these people — the threatener and the package-sender — were reading — and reacting to — this blog. I am not a word-mincer in my day-to-day life and I’m most definitely not a word-mincer in this blog. Anyone who’s read more than one post knows this. So I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised if it elicits strong responses.

Well today I elicited yet another strong response. I received an anonymous voicemail message from a blocked number. The message? You’re a bitch. A bitch.

Okay, anyone who’s read my blog also knows that I am a self-professed bitch. A cranky old cunt. And a whole lot of other bad words that a stranger’s name-calling only reinforces. And confirms. In other words, not a surprise.

So yeah. Just thought I’d let whoever that was know that I am fully aware of my bitchitude, thankyouverymuch. You won’t hear me defending myself or protesting any negative labels. Or, heaven forbid, apologizing. For anything. In other words, go fuck yourself. And grow a pair. Because anonymity is the refuge of the cowardly. I also won’t bother asking you to identify yourself because anyone who goes to the trouble of punching in the appropriate numbers to make an anonymous call is too much of a pussy to speak their mind publicly.

I could easily punch in the appropriate numbers to block anonymous calls. But what fun would that be? I wanna know when I’ve hit a nerve, even if said nerve belongs to someone too chicken to own their opinion.

My Second Column Is Published!

Sometimes, instead of ranting here, I’ll be ranting on Gasm.org. You can see my latest article here:
The Too Young to be Old Conundrum

GOD DAMN IT! Another rant…

Argh. I’ve been super cranky and out of sorts lately. The fact that there are guys working RIGHT OUTSIDE MY WINDOW right now, like the one SAWING into the brick beneath my window mere FEET from my face doesn’t help. Neither does his singing. I mean, I’m glad he’s enjoying his job but he’s driving me crazy. The scaffolding they’re on has been there since the summer. Possibly before. I’m over it. The additional disturbance of the construction project that has started in the school yard right outside my BEDROOM window also has me on edge. Since it’s, you know, a school yard, they do their work during off hours. Like jackhammering at 9am on a Saturday. Or clanking around after dark. Ugh. That work is scheduled to go on for three years. THREE YEARS. I may lose my mind.

My general disgust with the human race has been exacerbated by the current “controversy” over Rubulad’s theme for next weekend. There’s even an article about it on Jezebel, muckracking for the millenials. Before Halloween this year, a bunch of youngsters made posters protesting the use of their “culture” as a costume. Never mind that anyone who’s been in America since they were born has, more or less, lost their “culture.” It’s just political correctness gone rampant. If I wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, am I ridiculing the Irish? Can I respectfully wear a garland of flowers in my hair and traditional Mexican/Scandinavian/Polynesian garb? Yes, plenty of people wear flowers in their hair. I’ve worn a dirndl. Is that okay? And is it okay only because the culture I’m co-opting is white? More or less okay if it’s actually MY culture? If we were to extrapolate this shit, no one would ever be able to dress as anything. Ever. I call bullshit. But people are outraged. OUTRAGED. Imagine anyone who isn’t of Asian descent putting chopsticks in their hair. Qu’el horreur! What about a fair isle sweater? Is that cool? Or do I need to be from a fucking fair isle? I suppose blue jeans are only okay for blue collar workers. EVERYTHING in this country was co-opted from someone. Including the fucking country. Deal with it. And preferably move forward.

Okay, enough about that shit. My other latest obsession is, no surprise, OKCupid. Since they were bought by Match.com the quality of the men on there has declined significantly. Not that there was a whole lotta quality to start with. Now, instead of a high percentage of quirky, cool-ish singles, I’m confronted by profile after profile of “God fearing” guys. “Easy going” and “laid back” men in search of their “soul mate” or “the one.” Listing God as one of the six things you can’t live without isn’t gonna work for me. And when I let these guys know that I’m not a God person, they seem baffled. Is the site now connected to Christian Mingle as well? Holy crap!

And while I’m on a tear, here’s a list of my top 10 deal-breakers. I know some of these are repeat complaints but I can’t help myself!
1. Photos of your motorcycle. Ditto on your sports car. I don’t give a shit how you get around town. And your mid-life crisis-mobile is embarrassing.
2. Photos of your kids. Let me get to know your offspring once I’ve gotten to know you, m’kay? Worse? A photo of you with your kids with their faces all blurred out. Creepy. Which leads me to…
3. Photos of you with someone blurred, blocked, scrawled over or cut out. Don’t post pix that are evidence of previous failures. Just don’t.
4. Photos of you in the bathroom. I don’t want to see your toilet. Blech.
5. Repeat pix. If you only have one photo, sure, that’s weak and perhaps you should get a few more. But posting the same photo four times doesn’t help much.
6. Nothin’ but selfies. Dude. Don’t you have ANY friends? Sure, one selfie. Six? No. No no no.
7. Lists of all the horrible qualities you don’t want. Nobody wants drama or baggage or anything else awful. But you’re over 40 and alone. So how about being a little more positive? Instead of proving to potential dates precisely why you’re still single. Ditto on divulging all the details on your divorce. That’s for, like, date #10. Or maybe #20.
8. Maybe take a few minutes to fill out the profile? No need to write a novel but more than a dozen words might give all us strangers just a tiny idea of who you are, what you’re looking for, what you enjoy, something? Anything? However, you can refrain from calling yourself “handsome,” “good looking” or “attractive.” I’ll be the judge of that, thankyouverymuch.
9. It’s pointless, I know, but PROOFREAD YOUR FUCKING PROFILE. Oh. And don’t use ALL CAPS. Ask a friend, “Are the commas in the right place?” DO YOU EVEN CARE? I suppose not… And lastly
10. No photo/photos of scenery/blurry photos/misleading photos/photos of you when you were 25. What the motherfuck? If we’re gonna meet in person, it will be immediately apparent that you’re bald. Or fat. Or not 6’2″. Or FUCKING 25! Just show your face. It’s not rocket science.

Fashion vs. Style: A Rant

[Okay, this post is gonna be a little out of character. A rant, yes, which is in character, but I feel compelled to write about fashion — on non-fashion. Mostly I’m avoiding posting a miserable rant about a bunch of personal shit that I’m processing. So…this. Until…that.]

I love thrift shops: Buffalo Exchange, Beacon’s Closet, or any of the fun stores on Haight Street in San Francisco. The fact that there aren’t two of the same things is one reason. Price, obviously, is another. But the idea that I’m not being subjected to the whims of an industry that only exists to keep us madly, mindlessly buying new shit is the main reason. However, even though there isn’t someone dictating what will and won’t be available — the “buyer” for department stores and the like — doesn’t mean that decisions aren’t being made. And that makes me mad. Because along with purchasing in these places, there’s selling. And I’d like to sell. But every time I take clothing in, I get turned away. “This isn’t in style,” the snotty 20-something says to me. “No one’s wearing these anymore,” the gay FIT student sniffs. Well isn’t that the point?

I’m sure what they’re thinking is, “This old broad couldn’t possibly own anything fashionable.” Which is, in fact, true. Because I don’t believe in fashion. I hate it. I refuse to even open a fashion magazine because they’re designed to make you feel like you’re not enough: not rich enough, young enough, thin enough, FASHIONABLE enough. They depress the hell out of me. It’s all such a scam. The fashion industry wants you to BUY BUY BUY! THIS season’s colors! THIS season’s handbags! THIS season’s skirt length or sleeve poof or fucking eyeshadow shade. It’s arbitrary, dreamt up CRAP!

The whole purpose of shopping at a thrift store — or second-hand store, or consignment store or any OTHER store that isn’t selling you brand new clothing Fashion Avenue is trying to sell you — is that you aren’t buying fashion. You’re buying style. A store opened up downstairs from me. They have a huge poster in their window: “Fashion is forever.” No, fashion is fleeting. STYLE is forever. What was in fashion last year is now, well, last year. You’re supposed to feel out of fashion, toss that shit in the trash and buy this year’s whateverthefuck. Or give it away. So that it winds up at Goodwill, where “vintage” clothing store people shop, buy and resell to you at a marked up price! 

So back to these damn re-sale shops. Since I don’t have a lot of money, they are my main resource for “new” clothes. Though even if I won the lottery, I’d still shop in them because I enjoy the hunt. I love finding some random, incredible piece. I’m not looking for a skirt length or “line” (read: shape) because I’m not even aware of what line I should be looking for. I’m just browsing for something that strikes my fancy. Something unusual. Something ME!

Once upon a time when you went shopping all you could BUY was what was in fashion. If the line didn’t look good on you, too bad. You were stuck with skinny jeans or pencil skirts. And don’t even get me started on sizes. If you weren’t a size 12 you were stuck in the mumu department. When thrift stores became “fashionable” that changed the whole dynamic. Everything was in fashion. Anything was cool to wear. Peasant skirts your thing? Groovy! Here’s a dozen! Striving to look like a 50’s housewife? Not just poofy dresses with crinolines to wear underneath but aprons! Who even wears aprons anymore? Beaded cardigans? Here ya go. Of course, now you can buy brand new beaded cardigans but in 1979, the only ones available were from the 50s. In thrift stores.

Women too young to remember the days before don’t know how lucky they are to shop for shoes and have, literally, hundreds of choices. Flats, wedges, platforms, point toes, Mary Janes, all of it. Pants come with and without pleats, boyfriend cut and boot cut and skinny tight. Hip-hugger or high-waisted. Stretchy and spandex and magical fabrics that weren’t even around in the 70s. There are so many choices that you can actually have a style all your very own.

Image Image

Which leads me back to, how can anyone in these stores say, “We aren’t buying that. It’s not in fashion.”? I was sent away with a pair of sequined “hostess” pants. It was around Thanksgiving. Hostess pants are flowy pants that women once wore to “hostess” in. They’re sold every holiday season to, yes, hostess in! They aren’t ever out of fashion because they’re perpetually in fashion. The fact that they were sequined makes them even more desirable. And that they’re long on me — probably about a 36″ inseam — would make them exponentially more desirable in fucking CHELSEA where drag queens might be more inclined to shop. Which was where I was turned away. Sheesh! I almost guffawed in the idiot’s face. But there’s no arguing with someone who’s no doubt sketching the next decade’s “fashion” in his Design Illustration class at FIT. Which will only be a recycling of shit I’ve already worn anyway. (See current styles. WHO would’ve imagined we’d be wearing shoulder pads again? Hammer pants? Holy shit! What next? Hostess pants?!)

A strict eye on what’s au courant makes more sense in the structured consignment shops like Knimble or the off-shoots of Goodwill like Georgi & Willow or GW, both higher end, more curated “boutiques,” where part of what they’re selling is the fashionable shopping experience. But in a place that prides itself on “different” why would they want their stock to be so “same?” An establishment touting itself as selling “vintage” shouldn’t be concerned about what’s in — or out — of fashion. If I want what’s current I can shop at Old Navy. And buy a new t-shirt for less than the pit-stained one in the thrift shop! 

The children who are working in these stores love to dismiss things they deem as “not in fashion.” I’ve had them say the most condescending things to me. So I decided to get specific. I recently asked a guy, “Why aren’t you interested in this [skirt]? Everyone loves this label.” (A label, by the way, that I’d bought in a tiny Brooklyn market stall long before the label became a crazy national brand.} “They do,” he replied, “but this line isn’t in style,” ARGH! EXACTLY! If it WERE you could go into any fucking store and buy it! THIS skirt is for people who don’t like — or look good in — what’s currently “fashionable!” Oy. I guess I’m destined to only buy at these stores and not sell. Email me if you’d like an awesome pair of sequined hostess pants…

Mean or Mannerless?

Thank heavens I’m in this phase of creativity overdrive because my usual distraction, the online dating world, has been woefully underwhelming. As I posted recently, my numbers on Match.com aren’t very inspiring. I won’t bother whining about the boring, bald, chubby or functionally illiterate. What’s the point? But I will tell you about a few email exchanges that have left me wondering if either a. all the men I’m matched with are having much better luck or b. they simply don’t have any manners.

One guy has his location listed as Yonkers when he is, in fact (or says he currently is), in Portland, with plans to move to New York in the future. We exchanged a few pleasant experiences and his last note to me ended with his email address and this: let’s stay connected via email if you leave the sight. yep, my nickname is chip.
I can tell i like your personality and you are fun and chill. 

Okay, so the fact that the guy can’t spell “site” might be a deal breaker but I’ve loosened up on my…standards. It’d be nice if he’d just either make a date but I suppose that’s not so easy when you’re 3,000 miles away.

I mentioned Parrothead in my previous post. He mentioned St. Patrick’s Day in his profile as well as bemoaning women who are so old they barely have a pulse. (Man, don’t I know how that feels!) He sounded…reasonable. To refresh your memory, our complete correspondence history:

Hi!
I have enough of a pulse for a dozen people. Fifty if they’re knitting.
Long time Buffet fan. Have numerous outfits for St. Patrick’s Day. Is your local parade the same day as the big one?
Do you ever make it into Manhattan? Would love to have a beer with you!
Abby

always nice to hear from a fellow parrothead, I get into the city every once in while, but am an island kid at heart, I have outfits for st patricks day also, tux for our parade which is alway the 2nd sun in march , take the train out one year you’ll love our parade there are so many bars along the route.
bob

Thanks for replying, Bob.
Best of luck in your search.
A

But then after I’d posted about it, I thought that maybe perhaps this was his shy (awkward) way of inviting me out to his parade. I decided I’d give him another try:

Okay, sorry to bother you but I had to ask…
Was your last email an invitation or a blow-off?
It’s so very difficult to discern what people mean here. I don’t want to misunderstand.
Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
Abby

to be honest with you I don’t remember ever conversing

Well, that pretty much says it all, I guess.
Best of luck to you!
Abby

Now, is it me, or would it have been SUCH A BOTHER for this guy to LOOK IN HIS MOTHERFUCKING INBOX? To perhaps, oh, I dunno, READ THE EMAIL I SENT HIM? Maybe refer to what I’d sent him? So he could SEE our “conversing?” HOW HARD IS THAT? Did he grow up in a fucking test tube? Has he had NO interaction with women? Ever? Okay, granted, he probably isn’t my type. He 56, lives on Long Island and likes to golf and, apparently, never comes into the city, even though he lists “museums in the city” as one of his interests. So no, not the man of my dreams. But how could he so easily — and rudely — dismiss me? Does he have NO feelings at all? Jeebus. Should I write him and tell him what a rude asshole he is? Yeah, I think I will!

You wrote:
“to be honest with you I don’t remember ever conversing”
I’m not sure if you’re aware, but it’s fairly simple to check your inbox for previously received correspondence.
Or did you mean to dismiss me so rudely?
Online dating is so difficult. We’re all bravely putting ourselves out there. It isn’t that hard to be polite. A simple “I’m not interested” suffices if you are, in fact, not interested. You complain right in your profile about women looking you over and moving on to someone else when they could meet you, a “nice funny guy.” I haven’t met you but thus far you haven’t been very nice.
Again, best of luck to you in your search. Perhaps YOU will continue to pass over “nice, funny women” and wind up dating women who’ll treat you like shit.

There! Hah! The pathetic cyber equivalent of throwing a glass of wine in his face!

Even more troublesome than the (somewhat expected) assholery and social awkwardness is the phenomenon of disappearing dudes. They “like” a photo or send me a “wink” and by the time I notice and go to check out their profiles, they’ve vanished. What happened? Did they visit my profile and then miraculously find true love? Chicken out? Or maybe their subscription expired mere moments after finding me? I guess I’ll never know about Kindman from Kentucky or OUTSTANDING in New Jersey. Not a huge loss. I suppose you’ve guessed by now that I’ll be allowing my subscription to March.come expire…