Monday, May 30, 2011

No Free 6 Months For Me

I think my run with Match will be over soon. I'm just not really feelin' it. All I'd have to do is contact 4 more people before today... lol. I don't think I could handle six more months -- even if they are free.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Must Have Sense of Humor

Every now and then an email comes in that makes me laugh. Sincerely laugh. This one came in a while back while I was out of state for work, and I waited a while before deciding to reply or not.

I'll post a picture of it, but chances are you'll only *get* it if I... yes... you guessed it... post my profile content, too. (His whole email is practically in reference to it.)

His email (click on it to view full size):

Now, for the above to make sense, here's my profile:

1. I love listing random facts (hence, number 1). It's like the cliff notes version of getting to know someone. And we can all appreciate that, right?
2. I'm not from Houston.
3. Where from, you ask? A tiny East Texas town with 800 people, 2000 cows and one stoplight.
4. Yes, I'm guesstimating.
5. No, I'm not good at math. I much prefer English.
6. While we're on the subject, I love books. Nonfiction, preferably. Don Miller. Elizabeth Gilbert. David Sedaris.
7. I'm not fond of my middle name.
8. I hate socks in, near or around my bed. Don't try it. I'm serious. You've been warned.
9. You know the girls who wanted to be ballerinas, rockstars, teachers, nurses, or the president? I used to want to be a dolphin trainer.
10. No, I still haven't swam with one, though. Working on that.
11. Gummy bears are better frozen. Try it. You'll see.
12. I adore foreign accents. You could curse me out in your native tongue, and I'll still think it's the prettiest thing I've ever heard.
13. I don't have an odd fear of the number 13, but I find it funny when elevators skip that level.
14. I refuse to text and drive.
15. A sense of humor is a must. Must must must. The wittier, the better.
16. I'm a self-proclaimed grammar Nazi. But only because I'm a writer by profession.
17. I also have a BFA in graphic design.
18. I have two adorable dogs who, no matter how much trouble they get into, always seem to get out of it with one look.
19. I love doing laundry, but absolutely hate folding clothes.
20. I don't mind doing the dishes, though, which most people find odd.
21. I don't watch/enjoy Jersey Shore. So please, no fist pumps, orange glow, or hair gel.
22. Being from the country, I do enjoy a good two-step every now and then.
23. I think 23 is a great number to close with.

... I just thought of one more. 

23.5 I have this uncontrollable desire to be in a well-orchestrated flash mob. Then, I think life (just might) be complete. 

The end.

I actually did reply to him in a similar fashion, but I did not disclose my middle name. So we'll see if I ever hear back from him. Either way, I got a good laugh from it all.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Punctuality and Peep Toes

"You're late."

He was smiling, but this was the first time I'd seen him in person, so I did that whole is-he-kidding-or-is-he-serious internal thought process in my head. He looked like he was kidding. But somewhere, years ago, I heard that 80% of all jokes are half-truths. Or something like that. This could be one of those times.

I walked up to the bar of the restaurant to officially meet him. He got up out of his chair, like a gentleman would, and hugged me as he greeted me. Wow, I thought. He wasn't lying about his height. He really was pretty short. I was wearing heels, and I stood at least a good 2 inches (if not more) above him.

"See, I knew you'd be late. I have three sisters." He laughed.

"But I really wasn't late. Parking is terrible here! I had to walk all the way from the parking garage," I countered.

He smiled again. "But see, I planned for that."

Already this whole punctual thing was getting on my nerves. Am I always on time? No. Do I tend to take time to get ready? What girl doesn't? But seriously, harping on the fact that I was eight minutes late isn't a good introductory card to play. And I was hungry. You don't mess with me when those two are combined.

I didn't instantly sit down next to him because I expected we'd be moving to a table.

"So did you put our name on the list?" I asked.

"No, not yet. I was waiting for you."

I'm a very patient person, but when it's crowded on a Saturday night and there's a line already beginning to form out the door... wouldn't you go ahead and at least put a name down on the list? I realize some places won't seat you until your complete party is present, but you can at least have a name down. Right?

"Oh. Okay. Well, I'm here now," I replied easily. I'm not one to make a big deal out of things, and I was damned if tonight was going to crash before it even began.

We were eventually seated near the center of the room. The restaurant was really nice... dimly lit, but full of character. I had never been to a tapas restaurant before, so I was out of my element, but he was pretty familiar with most of the items on the menu.

He suggested a couple of things for me to try, so I did, and even though it wasn't my favorite genre of food, it wasn't bad.

We made the usual small talk and laughed about our long phone conversations, and that's when the waiter brought the check.

"So on to the second date, eh?" He grinned as he reached for the check before I could.

"You're already planning that?" I asked skeptically.

"No, I mean, it's gonna happen right now. Let's move this... let's take a walk."

Clever. He was trying to two-birds-with-one-stone me. See, I had told him previously on the phone that my longest first date lasted 6 hours. But to be fair -- and I had made this clear -- 2 of those 6 hours was a movie. So really, it was 4 hours tops.

We walked to a local cafe to get my parking ticket validated, and talked until closing time. The conversation was easy, not forced, but I was still evaluating everything in my head.

I decided a good test was to see what his reaction might be once I said this:

"So... I told you I had something to tell you. It's not bad, but I... well..."

"Please don't tell me you're married. Or you have a kid," he nervously laughed.

"What? No! Nothing like that. I just... well, you know I'm a writer by profession...." I continued.

"Yeah?" He looked at me but didn't see where I was going with this.

"I keep a blog."

I maintained eye contact to clearly see his reaction. It seemed like he was waiting for more, so I continued.

"I write. I keep a blog about all my dating experiences. Some people could take offense to it, so I just wanted to be upfront."

"Oh, okay, I thought you were going to tell me you had 3 kids and a maniac husband or something!" He laughed, clearly relieved.

"Ha, no nothing like that," I said, glad he seemed to handle it okay.

But then he got suddenly silent.

"Well... it is a little weird," he said as he looked at me skeptically.

"What? Having a blog?"

"Well, just writing about the dates you're going on. I mean... now that I know that, the pressure's on. It's a little weird."

"Yeah, I can understand that," I said. "But I promise, your name and identity will never be revealed. Top secret, I swear. And I do write with all honesty, but also the fact in mind that one day, someone might end up reading it."

He seemed okay with that and suggested we go for a walk.

"Okay," I said, as we both got up from the table. "But only if I can run to my car and change into flats."

Monday, May 23, 2011

Don't Filter Me! Oh, wait. Yes, please.

I feel like I keep starting these blog posts out with apologies. I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while. Long story short:

Cinco de Mayo river trip + long work weeks + traveling out of state for work + getting sick = delayed blog posts.

But I'm back and ready to enlighten you lovely readers on my wonderful world that is online dating. I'm not sure if it's so much "enlightenment" as it is pure "entertainment" or "self-deprecation," but anyhow... I'm glad you enjoy it!


So where did I leave off?

Oh, right. The cop was a no go. You can read all about that in the previous post(s).

A week or so went by before I had any quality "bites." (I just watched that Tosh.0 video about sharks eating sharks, so I guess the lingo is on the brain...)

But then, an email came in my "filtered" inbox...

Let me take a minute to explain the beauty of "filters" in the world. The email system for Match isn't the best thing in the world, but it does have its benefits. For example, this last month or so, I was receiving at least 5 emails a day. That doesn't sound like a lot, but when you don't check them very often, it can really add up. And when I would devote time to checking them, they read a lot like this:

"Hey u look gud. What up. Hit me up if u like my pics. We should hang."

As tempted as I was just to email him back and mess with him (I'd use four syllable words, of course -- it's the small things in life), I hit delete.

My email inbox would get flooded, I'd receive pointless notifications and I'd spend minutes sifting through poorly written, incoherent messages before maybe -- just maybe -- landing on something significant.

Enter the magic of "filters."

Now, as great as those filters are, they (unfortunately) don't have an automatic "delete idiot" checkbox or "delete due to poor grammar" option.

But here's what filters they do have:

I can limit my messages received to people who have my preferred education level. Bachelor's degree? Check. Graduate degree? Hellooooo there. PhD? Um... you're a perpetual student and probably a stoner. Only kidding. But seriously. Why are you 40 and still in school? Time for a big boy job.

Auditioning for world's tallest man? Need not apply. Five inches shorter than me? Well... like they say, I'm sure there's someone for everyone. I was actually pretty stingy about this one, and as you'll find out soon, I did end up going on a date with someone who was originally in my "filtered" mail because of his height. Or lack thereof. So... filters are more like pre-screening options. You don't have to stick to them, but they're good guidelines.

This one is tricky. While you have total control over how young or old to set your filters, some really great emails come in and then you feel bad for putting them in the "filtered" category (since, you know, age is just a number). However, this does take care of the 47-year-old divorcee who wants a quick fix to help raise his three rugrats and do his laundry. I was pretty generous with my age limit settings, but stingier with height. Go figure.

Okay. So back to the filtered email. I hate to admit that the email in question was automatically delivered to my filtered box because of his height. (If he ever reads this, I sincerely apologize.) But the good news is that it was witty and clever enough to work its way out of the filtered category and into my main inbox. Basically, he got my attention.

Right upfront, he mentioned where he was from (born and raised, I mean... not the town we're both currently living in.) Normally that wouldn't have garnered much of a response from me, but I was intrigued because we shared the same hometown. I don't find that very often since I come from a pretty small area, so I decided to reply.

Granted, it took me a week to do so. I'd like to say I did it on purpose to make him sweat, but honestly, I was loaded down with work and couldn't find a good time.

Once I hit "reply," we played a series of what I like to call email-interview-ping-pong. The short version went something like this:

Him: What's your favorite flower, movie and color? How do you handle stressful situations? What's your favorite book? Favorite food? (And on and on...)

Me: Answer. Answer. Answer. Answer. [pause to breathe]. Answer. Answer. (Ask the same questions...)

Replying to his emails were fun, but wow, did it take it out of me. He asked at least 10-15 questions per email, and I noticed that his style was slightly reminiscent of interview questions.

Me: These emails are turning into novels. I feel like this is an interview session!

Him: I know, but I enjoy getting to know a person really well first. And besides, if you want the job, you've got to interview for it, right? :)

I will say that kind of took me by surprise. Sure, I'd heard that before. Dating is a lot like interviewing. Or interviewing is a lot like dating. Either way, I was usually too exhausted from work to answer a 500 word email.

So it wasn't long after that we moved to the phone. (Was that his plan all along? Wear me down, long email after long email only to get my digits...?)

He was good natured and funny, but there were times where I'd say (what I thought was) a really funny joke, and he a) either wouldn't get it or b) slightly laugh, but reference the completely wrong thing, thereby negating the joke in the first place.

Now, if you know me, you know sense of humor is a must. And not just any humor. Clever, witty banter to be specific. The wittier the better. I even have it written in my online profile I'm so adamant about it. Jim from the Office comes to mind. You know, something out of the ordinary humor bin.

But the phone conversations lasted hours, so I took that to be a good sign and continued onward and upward.

Besides, it was too early to knock him off the chart for humor, but I did wonder how it would play out in person since I'm a huge believer that more is said when things aren't being said...