Tag Archives: Dating

Aside

In my never ending quest for romance, I am still, sadly, utilizing online dating sites. Clicking through the Quickmatch option on OKCupid, a certain sameness is discernible. One handsome man’s profile has got to be a fake. The photo looks … Continue reading

New Moon on Monday

As of tomorrow I will have been home for three weeks. It’s been exhausting and action packed! I’ve been brunching and dinnering and partying and working and generally trying to keep myself busy.

Today I had my first paid article in ages “published” on a web site! My friend Jamye got me the gig. It’s supposed to become a recurring column and I’m hoping I didn’t screw it up by completely freaking out when I saw the image they’d run with the piece. The title is “Aging Gracelessly” and this is what they chose:

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Uh, yeah. No. Nothing about my first person musings relate to this particular scenario. Nor am I interested in making fun of old women. I mean, I can make fun of myself. (You’d better not, but I can!) I’m not trying to be cruel to my, ummm, peers. They changed it, thank goodness. Go read it and see!

Anyway, back to my insanity. I celebrated Halloween a full seven times: The Haunted Halloween Bus in New Jersey, working the door at Honk, an oddball costume party at Coworkrs work share space (with DJ Spooky and a bunch of Orthodox Jews), the Nobot Heart party (in protest of the overpriced Robot Heart rave), working the door at Rubulad, Burning Man Happy Hour (where Pinky and I shared second place in the costume contest before we lost our prize at Dorian Gray) and Halloween itself, which featured a mad dash through the parade to catch up with the Kostume Kult float, followed by a stressful taxi ride to the Gene Frankel Theatre to emcee Ghostlight 2: The Haunted East Village, and finally, after taking down the decor at the theatre, catching the final few hours of KK’s big bash. By the time I went to bed Friday morning I was done! And didn’t even leave the house all day Friday. Check out Pinky and me in our gray scale ensembles!

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It only took us a year to finally realize these costumes! 

I’ve been making the tiniest bit of progress in cleaning out my storage space in an effort to return it to a functional costume closet. I brought up three boxes of…stuff…and unpacking them has been pretty damn depressing. Framed photos of my former life (my dad, standing, my husband, my cousin and her husband, my sister and her husband, all three of which are no longer husbands), more and more of the art nouveau boxes I collect — more and more all kinds of boxes, actually — which I’ve been cramming into my display case. I have plans to paint my walls. I want to hang the photos that don’t make me sad and all of the art that’s currently sitting on the floor. Moving back into my apartment has been a four-year-long process. I wish it could all just be finished already!

Oh, and I had another date tonight. It wasn’t…horrible. He was very aggressive about “booking” the date, even though I told him I was “skeptical.” Well, dinner was nice. He bought. But he’s a banker. A Republican. And 60. And he wore baggy khakis. Ack. When he said he’d like to see me again I told him it would be like taking money (or eating another dinner) under false pretenses. I did my best to talk him out of it, asking when he last stayed up all night on drugs or umm, partied at all. He told me that he was at Woodstock, which I’m guessing was to assure me he was, indeed, “cool.” I said I wasn’t talking about things he was interested in doing 30-plus years ago but, like, last weekend. He would not be dissuaded. In fact he practically insisted. Quite the salesman. However, I think I may have to tell him no. Is that awful of me? I mean, let’s be serious. A 60-yeard-old Republican banker? I just can’t. Not even for a free meal.

Okay, I gotta get some sleep.

Match…less

Well it’s been a while since I was booted, quite unceremoniously, from OKCupid. No note, no reason why. Just blocked. Banned. Booted. Boo! So I decided I’d spring for a pay site and joined Match.com.

In the three weeks I’ve been a “member,” my profile has been viewed by 244 potential dates. I’ve received seven “winks” but “favorited” by only  two. I’ve sent out 78 emails but received only 36. That’s less than half. In the “Daily Matches” section, I’ve expressed interest in 21 men while only four are interested in me. So the numbers aren’t exactly encouraging. Any of them.

I haven’t been “overreaching” at all. I swear. I’ve approached men who are age-appropriate and less than movie star handsome. I’m not searching specifically in Manhattan and Brooklyn, even if I somewhat believe that where you live says a lot about who you are. I send innocuous messages. Many men don’t reply at all. Yeah, I know; don’t reply if you aren’t interested, it only makes it worse. Frankly I’d prefer a brief “I’m not interested” to nothing at all. It at least lets me know that my email was received. One man’s reply was “This is least scary.” I was reading it on my phone and wasn’t sure what he meant. When I looked on my laptop I discovered he was referring to one of my photos, finding it “least scary.” Wouldn’t it have been more polite to say he wasn’t interested? I emailed “Parrothead” in Huntington (which is about an hour from the city) because, yes, I’m a closet Buffett fan. I divulged my secret, inquired about his sartorial choices for St. Patrick’s Day and asked if he ever gets into Manhattan. His response: “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” Gee, thanks, Bob. I guess he’s hoping to find the woman of his dreams within a 10 block radius of his suburban fortress. Perhaps I should’ve pursued his somewhat obtuse invitation? Who knows…

My profile is rather bland, as compared with my OKCupid profile, which perhaps said a bit too much. I dialed back my effusiveness and didn’t post anything that could be construed as negative. Mind you I didn’t go overboard and talk about romantic walks on the beach or not having any baggage. Why people waste their bits and bytes blathering on about that shit is beyond me. But I digress…

There are many differences between OKCupid and Match, most importantly that it seems men are more serious about a “relationship” than merely shopping for sex. The interface isn’t as much fun, though ever since Match.com bought OKCupid the two are slowly becoming more alike. There are way more “I’m laid back and easy going” self descriptions on Match, which is a reflection of fewer creative types. There are also more men using ALL CAPS or Capitalizing Every Word that may indicate lower IQs or less tech savviness (or both). Match’s annoying IM pops up constantly and not once has there been a photo of the guy trying to “chat” with me. They all say the exact same thing, which makes me think they aren’t real people at all but some sort of bot/scam.

I’ve gone out on two dates from Match, both of which were what I would call successful. I’m not sure if that’s due to my scaled back expectations or a higher quality of man. Or if I’ve simply become a better dater, which I think I have. Anything’s bound to improve with practice, right?

One gentleman was better looking in person, a rarity, and he was…interesting. I spent most of the date nodding, smiling and asking questions, which is what “they” say to do. Over the three hours we spent together, he hardly stopped speaking long enough to express much interest in my life. Not a good sign. And when the check came for his cocktail and my two beers, he expected me to pay for my drinks. I didn’t have enough cash for both beers and asked if he minded paying for one. (?!?!) As I emptied my wallet, he said it was fine and that it gave us an excuse to  meet again, which he seemed excited about, since I now “owed” him one. Ummm… He picked the place, which wasn’t cheap. Am I being a diva to expect to have both my beers paid for? Is chivalry completely dead? I do my best to be a cheap date. Anyway.

Bachelor #2 was way more fun and far more chivalrous. So much so that I won’t go on about it here. (And no, he didn’t come home with me!) However it did give me hope. I’d like to meet more men, if only to get my $80 worth, but thus far no one seems terribly enticed by me. I’m leaning toward giving up on the whole online dating thing. And yes, I know I’ve said that before. It will be easier in the spring, when things start to get busy and I travel a bit. The summer is even easier, when I head back out to the desert. I think maybe it’s time to leave love to fate rather than trusting the interwebz. Le Sigh.

Less than Positive Profiles

I’ve got a few less than positive passages in my OKCupid profile. I warn men not to contact me if they aren’t near me geographically or chronologically, if they don’t have a photo posted or if they’re married (from whence the “it’s not OKGetMyDickWet” line came, which inspired much virtual venom and nasty comments). I mention these things because it’s easier to say what I don’t want than what I do. I can pretty safely assume that I wouldn’t get along too well with anyone who considers “God and faith” to be an important part of their lives, who can’t spell or punctuate, or who doesn’t know the difference between “your” and you’re.” But as I’ve said before, I have no idea what I do want.

OKCupid lets its users know about recent “Activity” and today it led me to a profile that really resonated with me. I don’t meet the man’s stringent requirements, not by a long shot. But his adamance about not wasting time — his or anyone else’s — as well as the language he uses to express his preferences, sounded oddly familiar:

You should message me if:
You’re free, fit, amazingly intelligent and willing to meet someone new, which I assume is true or you wouldn’t be on this site.
If you know that “easygoing” is one word, know that you don’t put spaces before commas, never write “lol,” don’t use the phrase “soul mate,” don’t list shopping and food among the six things you can’t do without, and don’t say you’re “___ years young,” you may be my type. If otherwise, look elsewhere. The same goes if you say you’re still “trying to figure it all out” at any age above 40. (By the way, if you’re over 40 and any part of your screen name has “girl” or “gurl” in it, I’m gonna wonder about the degree to which your development has been arrested.)
If your profile pic is of you holding your cell phone in front of a bathroom mirror and you have that weird, empty stare while looking at its screen, I’ll think less of you. Sounds fussy? You bet! I’m not a beggar, I’m a chooser, and I’m much too busy dating several women at the moment to waste my time on someone who doesn’t match me completely. It looks as if I’ll be deciding soon whether to make things exclusive with one particularly stunning, fascinating woman, so I’ve got to focus.

Seriously. That sounds like I could’ve written it! Of course, he mentions having received quite a bit of negative feedback. He’s been accused of being “arrogant” and “condescending.” I’m not surprised. People only want to hear about the sunshine and lollipops. This guy can sling the snark but he’s obviously smart and successful and doesn’t need to settle. Or be nice to every woman who emails him. (Though he was very nice to me!) I bet if the genders were reversed he wouldn’t have gone on half the dates I have in the never-ending attempt to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

So should I delete all my “don’ts”? Should I switch to the sunshine and lollipops? Or is brutal honesty the way to go? I think I’ll stick with the somewhat negative. And hope that there are enough guys out there who’ll “get” me.

Read the rest of this gentleman’s profile here, especially if you’re a female between 38 and 54 living somewhere near Philadelphia, PA!

Always Angry?

One of my recent posts generated many comments and much controversy. It was brought to my attention that I don’t like anyone who doesn’t agree with me. Uh, who does? It also confirmed my belief that most people enjoy the company of like-minded folks. While those commenting — as well as the gentleman I’d been corresponding with — were shocked that I would be “offended” (poor choice of words on my part; I should’ve said “put off”) by, well, anything, everyone I spoke with in person had the same reaction to his words: mouths agape. Humans tend to seek out those who are, in not one but many ways, similar to themselves. I’m sure there are sociological explanations and theories; I just know what I see and experience.

But in addition to these thoughts, I considered their words. Am I always angry? Am I really so closed-minded? I went back through my OKCupid correspondence and found a previous conversation with this gentleman, one that took place back in May, after he had visited me at the bar. I was surprised by how, ummm, pleasant I was to him. Perhaps proving that I’m not always closed-minded or angry.

What a pleasure it was meeting you! And thank you for the gift! (I do hope you weren’t expecting sex. I mean. It wasn’t two bottles of perseco. And you weren’t naked. Hah!) [I am assuming this references an earlier conversation but I couldn’t find it.]
It was an enjoyable afternoon. Illuminating, even! Let’s do it again soon!
Abby

no sex? jeeeez! quel donage. 
i had fun as well. 
i was tickled by our physical disparity; i mean, i knew you were statuesque, i just hadnt expected …you. but i liked it. 
tell me when you might be available (i say that nicely) and sure, it would be fun fir you to drink as well. 
m.

Hi M.!
I’ll be celebrating my birthday both this Wednesday and this Saturday after I get off work at Double Down. You’ll be able to meet all my crazy friends if you can show up at one of the two!
I may be deactivating my profile here soon in anticipation of my trip west so feel free to contact me at editrixabby@gmail.com. And you can read about my crazy dating life at https://editrixabby.wordpress.com. Sadly hilarious.
A

dearest abs, 
i did go to the wordpress site and have read about your, um, experiences. poor baby. growing pains at every age. 
i may show up at DD’s wednesday. is there a best time? 
m.

Please, no “poor baby.” I’m not looking for pity. Just tellin’ it like it is!
As for Wednesday, I’d say 6-ish? So you can get a beer from me and then have a beer WITH me!
A

the poor baby was as much for me as for you. i take pity on no one.

So. Not only does this look like I was both polite and, dare I say it, enthusiastic about having met this man, it puts lie to his saying that he wasn’t aware of my blog. He was, indeed, aware and had, indeed, read it. I was wondering where he’d gotten the idea that I’d had so many “wild adventures,” though I suppose one could assume that anyone who works for Burning Man, lives in the East Village and has reached the ripe age of 53 has. The bottom line is that I treated this man well and invited him further into my life. I hate the idea of having to “prove myself” to anyone and I’m embarrassed to say that I was upset by the harsh words of my critics. I am, like most people, hoping to learn and grow.

What, then, is the lesson here? That I shouldn’t post dirty words or talk about sex? Never bitch or complain? Have opinions that differ from, or object to the differing opinions of, others? I’m not sure.

 

Online Dating DOs and (mostly) Do NOTs: Profile Pictures

Okay, gentlemen! Listen up! Following my advice will assist this hideous process. Let’s start with those online dating profiles, specifically your photos.

First, DO post a fucking photo. I’m sorry, but there is NO excuse to not have one. I don’t wanna hear that you’re afraid a co-worker might spot you. Why? ‘Cause you’re married? Is it a sin to be single? Shameful? This isn’t FetLife or Nerve. It’s a fucking dating site. Get over it or get a new job. Or a divorce. Or whatever you need to UN-justify not posting a photo.

Do NOT wear sunglasses in your main photo. (I’m breaking this one myself, but I change it often enough…) It obscures half your fucking face not to mention your eyes, you know, “the window to your soul.”

Do NOT use ANY photos that you’ve taken yourself of your reflection in a mirror, especially a bathroom mirror. Don’t you have any fucking friends?

If you wear glasses, wear them in your photo. Don’t be ashamed of, you know, having to fucking SEE!

Do NOT wear a hat in your main photo, especially if you’re fucking bald.

Do NOT post ANY photos that are over a year or two old. Even if you think you were super hot in high school/college/five years ago. WE DON’T FUCKING CARE HOW CUTE YOU WERE IN THE PALEOLITHIC ERA!

Do NOT pose with your fucking motorcycle. If it’s that important in your life, probably best that we find that out later, no?

Do NOT chop someone, especially a woman, out of your photo. It smacks of “I dumped my last wife/girlfriend/lay. Not fucking classy.

Similarly, do NOT blur anyone. I saw one guy’s profile shot and he was with his (little) kids, who were blurred. Why THAT photo? Why not take another without kids? Is it proof that he was capable of reproducing? They could’ve been someone else’s kids. It’s just fucking creepy.

And somewhat similarly, do NOT post blurry photos of yourself! If you can no longer see clearly, fucking ask a friend, “Is this a clear shot of me?” I mean, really.

Do NOT post any photos where you are less than 20% of the shot. If I need a fucking magnifying glass to see your face, pick another photo. The purpose of these photos is so we can see WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE! If we can’t SEE YOU, well, figure it out, bucko.

DO post more than one photo. Obviously everyone picks their BEST SHOT. (Or what they think is their best.) Pick another. It will be different. Maybe five will add up to at least a ballpark vision of what you actually fucking look like.

Okay. That’s all I can write now. I’ve been feeling so incredibly, agonizingly frustrated these days — with online dating, with men, with OKCupid, with the fucking season. I would give it all up (again) but I’m not really a quitter. And I already KNOW everyone I know. Ya know? How else to meet new people? Specifically single men who might want to sleep with me. More than once. Fuck.

Age. Ranging.

Richard, a 67-year-old, contacted me: intimidating you seem to me, as probably am I. where in NYC are you? What do you edit? or does your moniker misrepresent. My exhibitionism is limited to swimming and springboard diving. 
may I please hear from you? 

His profile was interesting enough, though he lives outside the city. And, you know, he’s 67. I responded: I don’t find you intimidating. Perhaps a bit beyond my age range. And I have no exhibitionist tendencies. 
Happy to meet for coffee or a beer but no possibilities of romance. [And don’t think for one second I didn’t consider making a Yoda wisecrack!]

He quickly wrote back with: can’t dispute Abby, sorry. Which made me feel bad. I told him there was no need to apologize, it was all good. But… Is it better to just meet every guy? I mean, EVERY guy? Even if there’s no chance of romance? It seems like a waste. I’m ready to be proven wrong about low “match” percentages or photos that don’t immediately appeal to me or even men who don’t have a grasp of grammar. Or spelling. But when someone is so much older than me that I’d find myself worrying about them dropping dead on a date, well… What could I have done differently?

I noticed an intriguing photo — a guy with his dog — so I emailed him: Ack. Yeah I’m way outside your age range. And I could barely read your profile cause I was blinded by that awesome shot of you and your dog. Blah blah blah email me if you feel inspired. After a few back and forths, during which he told me he’d met me, years before, back in 1993, I got the smackdown: Unfortunately, You are a wee bit outside my age range. But I remember you as stunningly groovy, if that counts for anything : )

Oof. Guess I’ve gotta be able to take what I dish out. I was gonna reply with something along the lines of “Just FYI, my last boyfriend was younger than you,” but that would’ve sounded creepy cougar-ish. Instead, I slunk away, my tail between my legs: I suppose it does. Oh well. Thanks for responding. And he shot back: Good luck in your search! Ack. That’s my see-ya-later line!

Somehow, in my head, I’ve managed to convince myself that while there’s a staggering age gap between me, at 53, and some 63-year-old retired dude who lives in the ‘burbs, I haven’t had as much success finding difficulty with the span between me — still vibrant and active and living in the big city — and guys in a similar situation who are 10 years or so younger than me. I regularly turn down 20-somethings (and, truth be told, 30-somethings) because I do think that’s a bit too much of a difference. The question is, how many years are too many years? I hate to get caught up in the numbers game and I suppose there are as many mature young guys as there are immature old guys. It all really comes down to mutual attraction and mutual interests, both of which transcend age. But those are tough to discern when you’re reduced to an online profile that telegraphs how old  you are before any other information.