terribleturnip: (percy)
So, there comes that moment in every online dating exchange, when you've exchanged enough semi-awkward social pleasantries via the dating app and now it's time for the next step: running away from the computer and swearing off dating forever.

Wait, no. That's sort of what I'd LIKE to do...but then I calculate the odds of me just running into someone that's going to fit my criteria (available, not a recovering alcoholic, not allergic to cats, willing to date a smart 50 something woman who leans a bit on the fierce side of her personality, enjoys the company of women, oh, and poly.) are extremely slim. It's happened once...I'd be an idiot to not try to stack the odds a bit.

No, what I mean is: THE EXCHANGING OF PHONE NUMBERS.

I tend to like to leave that as step three, right after arranging a meet-up. Then comes the phone number -- as a logistical tool, really. The "running late" or "here, left hand corner of the bar" thing.

But I've come to realize that I'm letting my personal feelings about phones drive that. I'm getting better at using my phone for all sorts of things...but still, I'm wont to leave it at work or at home by mistake. I'm pretty sure no one under the age of 40 ever does that. And most of my generational cohort doesn't either. But I've also hated phones...so it's been an uphill climb developing a facility for texting, and actual chatty conversations...well, let's just say I can do that if I know someone really well.

Anyway, so I'm trying to not be so resistant -- I mean, sometimes the guy will suggest moving off the app into e-mail, which is great, totally my medium. But more and more, it's hey, here's my phone number, what's yours.

So, in the interest of embracing the 21st century, and once I've gotten a pretty good feel for whether the guy's likely to be sane, serious, and safe, I take a deep breath and type out my phone number.

No, I'm not worried about phone stalking or harrassing...I'm pretty good at shutting that stuff down. You're talking to someone who unleashes the fury of a thousand suns on people who are rude to waitstaff or retail workers.

No, a much more mundane reason. So, I'm taking a break from work and chatting with a work friend who lives vicariously through my dating, now that she's safe on the other side. And I tell her that I've been e-mailing back and forth with this guy, seems pretty cool, but now we've exchanged phone numbers. And some pleasantries via text. So far so good.

And while we're talking, he sends a text. And I have the phone on vibrate, and my internal comedian just can't play it cool and has to go for the overreaction. Which shouldn't be funny anymore...but hey, when y'all stop laughing at it, I'll stop doing it.

"So, what'd he say?" she says.

"I dunno. I'm sort of afraid to open it".

"Why not?" she says, clearly forgetting her until just-last-year dating experiences.

"It's a picture" I say.

"Oh, God" she says.

"I know, right?"

"C'mon, open it up" she says.

"What if it's a dick pic? I'll be so disappointed. As long as I don't open it, I won't be disappointed."

"Promise you'll show it to me if it's a dick pic!"

"Do you really want to see it?" I ask.

"No, not really. Well yes, but then I'll regret it."

"Okay, let's do it." And then we both lean over the phone as it loads, softly chanting "don't be a dick pic, don't be a dick pic, don't be a dick pic".

Thankfully, in this case, it was not. A lovely innocent picture, actually. For which I was grateful.

Because here's the thing. I haven't even met YOU yet, much less your private parts. Even your less than private parts (that's me giving you the side-eye again, Ab-Guy). Hey, maybe we'll get to know each other and then maybe I'll be fond enough of those parts that I might like an occasional reminder. But not until then.

For now, you send that crap and I'm deleting you so fast, I might chip a nail. And what you just did? Clearly telegraphed that you have a poor understanding of women and even poorer understanding of consent.

Not to mention, we're totally going to make fun of it. Seriously.
terribleturnip: (percy)
Sorry for the brevity – but today is going to be a killer, schedule-wise and I chose to sleep in a bit this morning, not leaving me much time for writing. So, here are some small bits, stitched together without benefit of segues.

Dear OkCupid,

I’m pretty sure that someone who uses the handle “PokerThug” is NOT an exceptionally good match. (OKC sends you e-mails that say “we think this guy is an exceptionally good match”) Look to your algorithms, my friend, because something’s wrong. Although you could also add a few questions that are more pertinent than many of the ones you use. In addition to “Do you think a profile picture that just shows your naked abdomen is a good idea?” you can also add “Would you date a guy who wears his baseball cap on backward/sideways?” and “Would you be seen in public with a guy wearing a fedora and a trenchcoat if it weren’t raining or you weren’t in the middle of a theatrical production”. Because PokerThug broke both those rules. Plus, also Poker. And Thug. The first I could ignore, but not the second.

Thanks to Post-It Notes, I think my generation will seem a little less senile, as we age. Unless you stop judging senility by how much someone forgets, and start judging it by how many brightly colored pieces of paper are stuck up all over their house.

Dear people with whom I’m trying to schedule a conference call,
When you suggest three dates this next week, and I say I am completely booked this week. And the next open dates I have that meet the criteria of another participant, which is no Tues/Thursdays, would be the 25th or 27th. You are not helping when you e-mail everyone “How about this Sunday?” Try to think of as a hand of poker (apologies to PokerThug, as apparently I’m not as poker-averse as I may have implied) where when someone antes fifty cents (hey, I don’t play high stakes), your only option is to match it (so pick the 25th or 27th or say you can do either), up the ante (I can’t do those, let’s shoot for the NEXT week, here are the days I’m available), or fold (expletive it, we’ll never find a date in common, I don’t need to be on the call, send me the notes.) Throwing twenty-five cents onto the table just WASTES OUR TIME. I just SAID I'm not available until the 25th. When I repeat it, I'm pretty sure the repetition will be accompanied by FLAMES.

Weight Loss Contest
So, I sort of skipped that this week. Waddya want, on vacation, then sick, sick, grossly sick. Here’s the good news, though. Despite being on vacation, and being sick (where the only things I can taste are fat, sugar and salt, so you can guess what that meant and while some people don’t want to eat when they’re sick. I am NOT one of those people) I maintained the same weight. So, while I didn’t lose anything, I didn’t gain anything. Since half my colleagues DID gain, during the same time period, I’m feeling reasonably okay about that. I won’t win, but that’s not my goal.

And as proof that I’m all about self-sabotage, I sprained my ankle, so that whole, “that’s it, every day at lunch, I’m walking!’ thing….is all tangled up in a ball of used Vetrap. Vetrap…it’s like an Ace bandage, but thinner and it sticks to itself (3M brand is worth paying extra for if you want it to actually stick). Sure, they sell it for humans in the drugstore, all white-person fleshcolored. Or you can get the stuff for horses/dogs online, for much less, in colors that can either be camouflage by being the same color as your sock/stocking, or make a statement. I’m wearing purple today to go with my jacket. Mostly because I found that wearing black as camouflage made people think that it was actually my ankle that was all wrinkly, or that for some reason I had a sock on. My colleague: “Did you mean to do that? “Do what? Sprain my ankle?” “No, put a sock on one foot.” “That’s not a sock, it’s a bandage.” I’ve already got enough issues with fashion-impairment, I don’t need people thinking that I put pantyhose on, then a sock on one foot and then heels.
terribleturnip: (percy)
Look at me, all posty-mcposterson. Between work and holidays and home improvement and feeling under attack from whatever creeping crud is going around, I've had a lot of good intentions of writing, but not a lot of follow-through. One hates to atrophy, and I had a brilliant lunch conversation with some female friends, also in the dating game, so I was finally able to get some polling data. If polling four people representing three different generational cohorts, is data.

(It's NOT, okay? But for the sake of this post, we're going to say it is. Plus my intuition says it's true and my intuition is right 80% of the time. And that's honed on a lifetime of anectdotal data, which means...absolutely nothing. But before science and accuracy kill my post...)

I can't answer for the under-25's. They weren't in my sample set. But in the over 25's, I can say, unequivocably: Gentlemen Callers, if we have not actually met you, if we have actually not gone out on a date yet, we do not want to see a picture that includes your naked torso and not your head. We especially do not want to see your pride and joy.

Honestly, we don't want to see your pride and joy until we have fond memories of it in action. There, I said it. Then we may adore it. And even then, you should probably do some comfort level checking before you send a picture in the middle of the business day. Because sometimes we're careless and just OPEN STUFF UP IN THE MIDDLE OF A ROOM FULL OF COLLEAGUES. Which we should never do, but who the hell expects a picture of a pride and joy at 11:31am while you're waiting for the meeting to start?

But, near strangers, or in one case, ex-classmate I haven't seen in decades, we haven't even MET yet. I don't even know if I LIKE you. And you're sending me missives of Bad Judgment.

Anyway, when we're contemplating going out on a date with you, we're going to run with the assumption that you have a pride and joy. We really aren't interested in what its exact attributes are just yet. (I'm talking to you, Mr. I Actually Used The Words Well-Endowed On My Dating Profile.) There are a lot of check-offs before we get to the size or skill of your pride and joy. Because, honestly, if you can't pass the personal hygiene, interesting to talk to, some degree of charm/wit, table manners above neanderthal level, some measure of social skills, the ability to dress yourself, and dozens more, the size or looks of your pride and joy are immaterial. If you have moss growing on your teeth, or are thirty eight years old and have never had an actual job, we don't care if your pride and joy was sculpted by Michelangelo.

Here's the thing: we know we're going to have to spend a lot more time listening to you, dealing with you, hanging out with and looking at the parts of you that we can see in a fully dressed picture. That's what we're worried about in the initial stages. Rippling abs and a rearing pride and joy...icing, my boys, icing. But we know that a delicious cake is still delicious, even without icing, but all the icing in the world cannot save a crap cake. We're prepared to judge the pride and joy on its performance, not looks. (Oh, and Mr. I Thought Sending You A Picture of My Clearly Not Rearing, One Might Almost Say Curled Up and Napping, Pride And Joy Would Be A Good Idea...the answer is NO. Actually the answer is: What the hell is WRONG with you, please let me make an appointment with a therapist for you.)

(I'm exempting profiles and "dating" interaction that is just around hook-ups. By hookups I mean casual sex. I've lost track. When I was a teenager and there were pterodactyls, hooking up with someone meant meeting them and doing something...upright, in public. Then it meant something COMPLETELY different, involving upright only sometimes and public only if you liked danger. I feel like it's moving back to it meaning just getting together again...but I could be wrong. I often am, which is why I often resort to old words that no one remembers what they mean anymore, you have to google them to find out, and they aren't in Urban Dictionary, because I want to be CLEAR that we both know what the hell I'm talking about.)

But in the meantime, if you really ARE looking for some kind of relationship beyond that, a picture of your naked torso is sending me, as a woman, a completely different message. This is why you will die alone, bankrupted by your latest money-hunting trophy wife. I just thought you should know that you are using bait that attracts a certain kind of fish. Which is all well and good if WANT that kind of fish...but then you should probably re-write your profile and lose all the verbiage about looking for your soul mate and deep philosophical discussions, because that kind of fish isn't interested in that bullshit. Then it's all about do you live in a neighborhood where I have a hare's chance of catching a cab if I need to make a quick exit. Er, that's what my friends told me, anyway. That that's what they think about when they're just interested in hook-up, the slap and tickle hook-up, which also now means something...sigh. Ahem.

Anyhoo. In the meantime, it gives me fun e-mails to write -- scolding strangers, my new hobby. Although sometimes I feel more like a zookeeper trying to breed a rare species, watching them bumble around and thinking good heavens, your species almost DESERVES to go extinct, look at that, fumbling around without the vaguest idea of how to court each other, completely socially deficient.

If only...

Jan. 14th, 2013 03:59 pm
terribleturnip: (percy)
Here's my revolutionary new idea that can't fail to succeed, except that getting enough people to sign up would be hard, plus people are liars.

Here's the problem. You work with someone. He's a lot of fun. You've been out for drinks in a group a couple of times, and one night everyone else bails and you're hungry and you say "wanna grab a bite to eat?" Because, well, you're hungry and he's fun and interesting enough that you're thinking great dinner conversations, as opposed to getting take-out from Chipotle and going home to keep company with your Kindle.

And you're having a GREAT time. Until that moment when he gets a little serious and you think "DO NOT RUIN THIS, DUDE." And then he does. Although in a nice sweet way, telling you he has feelings for you and he'd like to take you out on an official date. And you've now got to be a jerk and totally risk this friendship, not to mention professional relationship, by turning him down for a whole host of reasons, the main one being you do NOT date people you work with. Never mind the oh, honey, I don't think my liberalism and atheism are going to mesh really well with your conservatism and church-going. And you feel awful because he's made himself all vulnerable and now you're going to toss a bucket of water in his face and part of you wants to say yes, go out on a date, be horribly, aggressively yourself and let him figure it out on his own. Except you know that's a bad idea. And apparently a wormhole opening up in the restaurant and swallowing you up, thereby absolving yourself of the task, isn't going to happen. And you wore the wrong shoes to dig a hole in the flooring and escape that way.

So, you do it, as gently as you can, and you both feel all awful and awkward. And then you, social skills EXHAUSTED, break the tension by ordering a round of shots because the waiter was passing by and you were desperate for any solution that would change the atmosphere that didn't involve you chewing out an artery to release the tension.

But think how civilized this would be. Think of something like Facebook or Linked In...but it's got a section where, when you decide you're interested in someone, you can log on and check that person off as someone you'd be interested in pursuing something more. But no notifications or anything get mailed out...until that person logs on and says "hey, I'm interested in this person". When your prospective date also expresses an interest, you both get a notification that you're on each other's radar.

How cool would that be? No more wondering if the other person is interested or not -- if you haven't heard back, they're not. If suddenly down the road they are, bam, you know all about it. In private. With no chance of humiliating the other person, with no vulnerability on your part. You log on, hey, I'd like to get to know this person better....and if they never return the interest, your crush is kept totally secret.

Okay, so it would be reliant on the other person being linked in to the same database. And both of you keeping things updated. And no one lying just to prank someone. Which is why, when I'm empress of the free world, there will be a chip in your head that will do this without you having to take any action because I know how you people are.

Which I guess makes it a bit less civilized, then, doesn't it?

This is why I don't invent things. It always winds up with a chip in your head.
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