Chick On a Date

adventures in online and offline dating

An Open Letter to a Weirdo

Dear Online Dating Site Stalker:

Thanks for the three or four long, emotional messages per day for the past several months, but I have to tell you that I have decided to block you and your missives. Don’t take it personally; I just have a thing about guys who can’t take no for an answer. Call it a quirk. I know you mean no harm, because you’ve said those very words — “I don’t mean you any harm” — in probably the last 15 or so messages, but I decided some time ago that I would not be meeting you, so it is really a waste of time for you to continue to write to me.

At first, I thought you were just persistent, which can be an admirable trait. However, you have crossed the line into harassment, and for my own peace of mind I need to never hear from you again. Remember when I used to respond to you? Do you recall the things I said to you, things like “I don’t think we would be a good match” and “I’m not interested, sorry” and “No, thank you”? I did try to be polite at the beginning, you know. Your persistence turned into creepiness and I stopped responding to you and hoped you would take the hint and go away. But here you still are, and you’ve driven me to this blocking action by your refusal to move on.

I have reported you to the administrators of the site. This is not something I take lightly. From what I understand, that means your profile could be removed permanently. I don’t want that to happen if you are just a lonely guy who is trying to get to know someone. But a part of me thinks there could be something wrong with you, and if that’s the case I think being banned from the site could be a good thing for you. Maybe you need a wake up call; maybe you need to seek some sort of therapy.

I will understand if you get angry that you can no longer see my profile and photos; I get it if you are hurt by my actions. Your actions, however, have freaked me out and I can no longer ignore your weirdness. It is time for you to move on and for me to get some peace. Please don’t harass anyone else. Just take a “no” like a man and move on. Okay?

Sincerely,

Fed Up

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You Never Can Tell

What’s the old saying? “You can’t judge a book by its cover”? True, and you also can’t judge a man solely by his online dating profile.

I have a confession to make here: I’m sometimes kind of a bitch when it comes to this dating thing. If I don’t like your pictures, or if you strike me as boring, I’m probably not going to go out of my way to talk to you much. I mean, I’ve completely blown off a lot of guys…and I’ll bet some of those guys are pretty great in person. I just wasn’t bowled over by something about them that I saw online.

But here’s the thing. I was doing this to a guy recently, kind of just ignoring him. Somehow we gotten to the point where we had exchanged phone numbers and everything, but we hadn’t met in the flesh yet. That’s probably because I just wasn’t all that excited about him. His photos were okay, but nothing really exciting. His profile was decent, but nothing really stood out to me. So every time he asked to meet, I would either make up an excuse or really be busy doing something I didn’t want to change.

But then one day I said, “What the hell” and we hung out for a while. And guess what? I really liked him. I mean, he was way cuter and smarter and funnier than I would have ever guessed. He made me laugh, made me think, and boy, does that guy have gorgeous eyes. I didn’t get ANY of that by looking at him online.

So this guy has forgiven me for being a bitch at the start and we are going out again soon. I’m pretty happy about that, because I could have ruined this whole thing before it even began. Lesson learned: no more judging a book by its cover. I’ll at least read the first chapter from now on.

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What’s Cooking, Hot Stuff?

Last night I attended a cooking class, a Stir (Match.com) event. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a very good cook. I get impatient, I throw things into pots and pans willy nilly and just hope for the best, so I thought this would be a good way to actually learn a skill while I meet some cute guys and have a good time. Mission accomplished. Well, except for that cooking thing, because probably the only thing I came away from it with is how to make gnocchi. Oh, and I will never eat anything but homemade caramel again.

This was a FUN class. The scariest thing about it was that the cooking school is in this weird warehouse area of Minneapolis. The streets around the building were actually deserted at six p.m. on a Tuesday, and the place itself doesn’t have any real signage until you walk right up on it, so I wondered at first whether I was even in the right place. I wasn’t the only one who thought that, either, because as soon as I walked in, the first thing I heard were people going, “Thank goodness this is it. I wondered where the hell my GPS was taking me.” But anyway, it was the right place — a very cool warehouse-y type joint with big open garage doors (you can kinda see that in the photo) and an industrial type feel to it. There was some soft jazz playing (because, duh, isn’t there always soft jazz playing at places like this?) and as soon as I signed in I was given a couple wine tickets. So of course I made a beeline for the booze and poured myself a nice big glass before starting the weird middle-aged mating dance that these things really are at heart.

Guess who the first person I saw was? Yep, Mr. I’m Gonna Kick Your Ass from the last happy hour thing I went to. He complimented me on my dress and boots and then refused to leave my side. It was a little flattering but a little weird. He said, “Oh, I decided to come to this because when I saw you last week you mentioned you were going.” Uh huh. And THAT was your reason? Is he not aware I’m not into him?

Anyway…

I am nothing if not a social butterfly, so I just jumped right into the closest conversation happening around me and ended up sitting with a great woman around my age (yes, we exchanged numbers; how does that always happen?) and two single men. The ass kicker noticed, I’m sure, that I grabbed the last seat at a table so I wouldn’t get partnered up with him, but he sat right behind me so I still had to talk to him for about half of the three hours or so we were there. The guy sitting next to me was cute in a nerdy sort of shy way, and we hit it off pretty well. In fact, after the class he walked me to my car and asked me when I was available to go out. Success! But my poor new friend across the table ended up with a much older, bleary-eyed gent who managed to somehow look creepy while he was mixing up the flour, egg, and potato for the gnocchi. For some reason, my table put me in charge of forming the little gnocchi balls and pressing them down a little with a fork before we threw them in the pot. Apparently I look like a hell of a good forker. I do love a good fork, I have to say.

It was fun learning how to cook, hearing about starch molecules and why Rachael Ray is a condescending twat. So we cooked and ate and laughed and talked and the time flew by. Midway through the cooking instruction, we were told we could swap tables if we wanted to. My new friend and I immediately made eye contact, raised our eyebrows, and started scanning the room for a couple of hot men we could sit next to. We moved down to the other end of the room, leaving our partners with new ones. It wasn’t the nerdy shy guy we were escaping from, though; it was mostly the guy who looked like he was raping his dough.

So now we were set to make some risotto. I love risotto and, although I’ve never made it myself, I consider myself an expert in how it should taste. So I was pretty interested in this part. Unfortunately, however, I got sidetracked by talking to the new people at my table and didn’t really pay attention (I know, big surprise, huh?) and therefore never caught on to what the hell we were supposed to be doing. I just let some woman at the table do all of it while I clinked glasses with the men around me and talked about politics and music. I did give the chick who did all the work a big smile and a “Thanks, this is awesome” while I ate her creation; I’m not RUDE, damn it. (She did forget to add the parmesan, though, and I could have called her on that, but since she did all the actual cooking while I got my flirt on, I kept my mouth shut.)

Finally…dessert. Chocolate cake with caramel sauce. Bliss. Again, though, I didn’t really do the actual dumping in of the ingredients or the stirring or any of that, I just basically chatted and had a good time while the women around me worked. I would have hated me at this thing. Our table’s caramel sauce didn’t turn out so great, so I turned to the next table and ate some of theirs. Hey, they let me, so whatever. There were no rules saying I couldn’t eat from another table or anything. And it was delicious. Best part of the whole night, really. And I was also pretty tipsy at this point, since I had two very nice gentlemen with good intentions filling my wine glass all night.

How about the man thing, you ask? Well, that was good too. Again, I met two men I probably wouldn’t have given the time of day by looking at their profiles online, but talking to them and getting to know them a little in a real-life setting showed me how attractive they really are. So there are at least two dates that are going to come out of this, and a possibility for a couple more. And yeah, I got two women’s phone numbers as well…somehow I think I’m getting different stuff out of these things than I’m supposed to, but I have nothing against making new friends, no matter their sex.

I still can’t figure out how we get invited to these things, as about half of the people I spoke to last night have been invited to the next happy hour and half have not. I seem to be invited to everything. No idea why or what criteria Match uses to figure out who to invite. One of the women I met didn’t get an invite, but I can bring a couple guests, so I went ahead and added her so she can go to the next event too. See how this “chicks sticking together” thing works? I’m actually looking forward to the next event. I just hope the ass kicker guy won’t be as hard to shake next time.

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“Weeding Out the Weak Salmon”

Okay, what I am going to say here is borderline mean, since I am actually going to copy word-for-word an actual profile (of course, I won’t include his name) from the Plenty of Fish dating site. I never really do this (copying a complete profile), and there are far worse profiles than this (hard to believe, but true) on this and other sites, but I was just stunned when I read this after receiving a message from a man that read (again, copied word-for-word):

“Hello hun, did anyone ever tell u should be a model?? Wow beautiful!”

Yeah, this was the complete message. Sadly, this is not uncommon. In truth, I die a little inside every time I read something like this. I know the guy is probably trying to flatter me, but instead it just comes off as creepy. And I’m not stupid enough to think that I’m THAT hot. A little hot, maybe… heh.

I didn’t respond to this message, and a few days later I got another one from the same guy. This one read:

“Pls look at my profile and pics! It took me a year to write & I think you will understand me more if you read it!”

So, I read it.

Here it is:

“Hello everyone. I am looking for ladies to entertain. By that I mean dine and talk. I like casual eating areas that are quiet enough to be heard in. I am a retired circus clown who had a part time mime job until the economy went bad. I have traveled most of the world, except Afica, but there will be a war there eventually. I am not looking for a specific type of women but I prefer those who are professional and can hold a decent conversation. You will be treated with respect by me. Hope to hear from you. One day I hope to master the ancient area of skullduggery. Not really but I love that word.

I love to play the guitar and would have been a rock star but the rings called too strongly. Love 80s new wave, rock in general and blues and old country. You can tell me if you prefer Mystified or Woman of a 1000 years from Fleetwood Mac, about sixteen years apart and that will tell me enough about you.

Those jobs above are a joke but the real ones will come if we eventually mee

Right now I am eight months from earning a degree and possibly looking for another job, hopefully in Minne. I plan on doing five more years in the guard and sixteen more for the government. Retirement at 59 sounds good. 

Nothing makes me unique but my DNA. However, I can charm you with a solid wit and respect. I have heard that women have their barriers and I have probably weeded out all of the weak salmon my this time but if you are still leaping upstream then drop a line and watch out for bears.

I will try to catch you but fish are very slippery here and the site was named appropriately.”

I think this speaks for itself, don’t you?

Don’t cry for me, Argentina. But the rest of the world should.

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Those Wacky Profile Pics We Love To Hate

Today I uploaded a new photo to my online dating profile. I like to think it is tasteful and actually looks like me, unlike so many profile pictures out there. What follows is a description of some of the doozies I’ve come across lately, as well as some of the old standbys that never seem to go out of style:

1. The fish photo. Maybe it’s because I live in Minnesota, but I would guess at least 50 percent of the profiles I peruse have at least one photograph of the profilee holding up a dead fish. I have no idea why men think this attractive to women, but maybe women who are actually from Minnesota somehow find this sexy. I think it’s strange and a bit off-putting. Even if I wasn’t a vegan, I don’t think I would be all that excited by a shot of a guy wearing camo caressing a catfish.

2. The dead animal photo. This is very similar to the fish photo, except this is usually a shot of the guy holding up a dead deer’s head and looking extremely proud. Occasionally the dead animal is a bear or something rather exotic. I actually don’t care what sort of animal it is; I find these kinds of photos really disgusting to look at. Again, do men think the fact they can kill a living creature makes them irresistible to women? Maybe it works for those huntery outdoorsy Minnesota ladies. It just doesn’t exactly turn me on.

3. The up-the-nose shot. Again, I am mystified by these photos. I understand taking a photo of yourself, but I don’t get why you would have to hold the camera under your chin and direct the lens up into your nostrils. This is really not attractive, and I’m often curious if the man in question has done this on purpose or if it was a mishap of some kind. Either way, don’t they have a minute to take a second, more appealing photo?

4. Pics of the kids. Yes, some men post pictures of their children on dating web sites. I know — what? Recently, I’ve come across a few profiles where there is not one photo of the man without his children. Am I alone in thinking this is kind of strange?

5. Pics of the ex(es). It seems really strange to me how many men post pictures of themselves with women. Sometimes, the woman’s face is whited or blurred out, sometimes not. I have actually seen some guys’ profiles that have a number of pictures of them kissing other women. Um, call me nuts, but this is not “hot” to me. I want to imagine myself kissing you, not be hit over the head with a shot of you making out with some chick who dumped you. Yikes.

6. Clown pictures. Okay, I’ve only seen this once, but it really stuck with me. One guy had nothing but photos of himself in a clown costume. He completed the ensemble with white makeup and a big red nose. I was too creeped out to actually read his profile, but I’m assuming this may be his job or something. At least, I hope it is. Because if he’s just dressing up like a scary ass clown for fun, what other kind of weird shit would he get up to? No thank you.

7. Half-naked photos. Really, I’m only complaining because most of the guys who do this should not EVER be showing their naked bodies in public. Ever. Usually these are just shirtless photos where I assume the guy is trying to show how “fit” and “hot” he is. I’m usually not impressed. Occasionally, a really good one will pop up where the guy looks absolutely amazing, but then I start wondering if he’s just shallow. I have never messaged a man with a shirtless photo on his profile. (But I have responded to one man who had one of these pictures on his profile; perhaps I will post more about this “Silver Fox” later.)

8. Boat, car, and motorcycle pictures. Come on, guys. I want to see what you look like, not your “toys.” And it aggravates me that you call these things your toys, anyway. If I never see another picture of a man perched jauntily on his Harley, it will be too soon. I assume these guys are trying to comfort potential mates by saying, “See? I can provide all the basics for you, as well as some TOYS.” ¬†Fortunately for me, I have a job and can take care of myself, so maybe that’s why this doesn’t do it for me.

9. Pictures of their home. See number 8 above.

10. Pictures taken from a half-mile away. Seriously, what do these guys have to hide? I’m shallow enough that I know physical attraction is important. If you don’t have a picture where I can actually make out your features, I’m probably not going to waste my time on you.

11. Group photos. Which one are you? Holy shit, is this a guessing game or what? I’m not going to waste my time asking, “Which guy are you in this picture?” Maybe you could crop the photo so it’s easy to tell which of the 12 guys in the shot is you. Ya think?

Profile pictures are important, people. Put your best foot forward, all right?

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