A Ride on the Douche Train

Hidey ho! I haven’t had much to report – still talking to Batman (a post to come about this later; I think it’s time we analyze this) – but thankfully the online dating gods (or demons?) came to our blogging rescue.

You know that every once in a while I start to feel like Batman and I’s plateau is never ending. It’s seeming to be Grand Canyon-esque in it’s plateau…ness. So on one of my rare logins to OkCupid I began communicating with this guy whom we shall refer to as Señor Douche.

I don’t remember who messaged whom first, but he got my number and we started texting a bit. None of the text conversations went very far. After the “nothing much, what’s up with you today?” text, the line went pretty flat. And as a grown woman who should be pursued, after several attempts at getting together or starting a conversation, I gave up.

So I hadn’t talked to homeboy in a couple of weeks and I get a Facebook message.

I should back up and say that he asked to find me on Facebook early on. I guess he needed to properly stalk me before getting to know me…?

So for quality assurance purposes, I’m going to simply show you exactly how this conversation went with some commentary as there is no way to make you believe this conversation legitimately occurred unless you see it with your own eyes. *click the photos to enlarge*

A reminder: We’ve never had a complete conversation, via text or otherwise, before this moment. It started innocently enough.

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Right away I’m perturbed. A: I’m not, at any point in the very beginning of a whatever the hell this is going to make the plans. If you want to see/meet me and have any interest in figuring out who I am beyond my witty Facebook status posts and intriguing article shares (my humility is just another selling point in my personality, by the way) then you should make a plan and then, I dont know, ask me on a date like an adult man. Because we’re grown ups, guy. B: I had already made several attempts (at least 3 obvious nudges) to make plans with Señor Douche and either got radio silence or a vague “sure, yeah, we should hang out this week” with no follow up text, suggestion, or plan. His argument that I had already cancelled and thus should make the plans was invalid because I double checked our text conversations (if you want to call them that) and we never actually made plans. What’s cut off at the end is I tried my hand at wit and said “different girl.” Well…

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Thinking back on this, I can’t say with certainty that being so blunt about the clear attitude adjustment we both needed for this conversation to go smoothly. I had no stake in this game anymore – since he never took initiative, I didn’t feel the need to present that “best self” we all portray when we want someone to likes us. I immediately felt things go south when he suggested I found his consideration snarky.

Bless his heart because I can’t.

Towards the end you can see that I tried to quell the situation a little bit by suggesting we both were misinterpreting one another – which we probably were, to be honest. I even suggested we make a plan together – “we can figure out plans” – so that he would take the hint that I am not, I repeat not, going to plan our first damn date.

Understatement of the century: He didn’t get the hint.

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Y’ALL.

Firstly, a man who uses the phrase “sensitive susie” is not a man I would be proud to introduce to my mother, and that was enough for me to be done and unfriend him on Facebook. His reaction to that is so outrageously disproportionate to the situation that I legitimately laughed out loud.

Secondly, I’m thankful for this encounter. It reminded me of a few things.

I remember being 8 years old. When I was in elementary school, I liked this guy named Zach Smith. He was this gorgeous third grader who I made plans to one day marry. He knew I liked him, too, because on the playground I would steal his shoes and put sand in them. Then, back in the classroom, when the teacher wasn’t looking I would push his hand while he was writing so he would have to erase his perfectly crafted cursive sentence and start over. In short, when I grew up I knew that my interactions with people of the opposite sex had to change in order for my sentiments to be reciprocated, let alone taken seriously. The problem with this guy is that he approached this conversation with the notion that the douchier he spoke to me – a grown woman with an education, morals, and common sense – the more intrigued I would be with him.

I remember the first time I talked to a girl. This reminds me of the times I would try something that I had no idea how to do, but I was sure I could do it. Like the time I wanted to get to the top of the slide at Discovery Zone when I was 6 and everyone was like, “Nah, let’s go around,” and I was all, “Psh, watch this!” Then a big kid slid into me and I broke my arm. I looked like an idiot and couldn’t do anymore fun field trippy things with my friends that summer. So I imagine Señor Douche in a pink arm cast, looking like a true imbecile, sitting on the bench while his friends play on the slide. Did I mention he’s 33?

I remember why I’m single. I don’t think I have to do much more explaining to showcase why this man is single at 33. Tact? Nah. Swag? Please. The fact that he had to attack my physical appearance says so much more about him than it does me, and I’m thankful that he showed me who he really is – a “sensitive susie,” if you will – before I wasted my time and a nice outfit to meet him. I also don’t have to showcase much more to explain why I’m still single. Some girls may have been so interested in being interested in (does that make sense?) that they would have planned a date after his first mistake of a conversation starter, “soooo……” And while I wouldn’t mind meeting a nice guy, I’m not willing to leave everything the women in my life taught me to do it. Pushover? Nope. Desperate? I mean, a little, but hell no. My grandmother would call him a coño and move right along in the same breath. Well, Mama, I’m moving right along.

And as far as not dating black women? Besides further showing me your ignorance – to women as well as life in 2015 America, apparently – you probably should avoid dating women altogether as I can attest to the badassery that most women of my generation possess that would shut down your unbelievable, embarrassing nonsense in 2.5

Lesson learned: Men at 22 are generally the same men at 30. Pass the wine, thanks. Choo choo!

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I See You: A Reminder

I’ve been in a weird space lately.

Batman update: We have hit a wall, I think. Not going to delve way into it, but due to the wall I’ve been active again on my OkCupid account, which resulted in a couple number exchanges, which have all fallen flat. I feel irrationally…inadequate?

And that’s just so stupid.

I mean, based on my own experience, being a single 20-something in 2015 is a ride reserved for the mighty. We’re overlooked, yet over-criticized. We’re running out of time, yet still so young. For no reason, or all the reasons, we tend to feel less than, like we’re doing it all but not nearly good enough.

So, if you feel this way because a boy isn’t giving you the type of attention you obviously deserve, or your mom won’t stop passive aggressively showing you pictures of all her friends’ grandbabies, or if you had no text messages when you woke up this morning, or hell, if you just feel fat in your jeans today…

I see you.

No one has mentioned that your attempts at what you’re attempting are noticed.

You’re at your breaking point. That guy sucks, and he won’t acknowledge that all you do is try while he gets off on having control over your heart. That heartbroken feeling? The one where it hurts to sit up straight because all that weight in your chest makes you hunch over? That feeling is all the time and you don’t deserve to feel like that anymore. No one has told you that yet, that you can feel light again. He doesn’t have a monopoly on your emotions. Take them back, and then let’s TP his house.

You’ve been walking past the donuts at work every morning for, like, a week now, and that’s really hard for any red-blooded American. Not for Stacy, though, who eats 1 stalk of celery for breakfast then splits another for lunch and dinner and always comments on how you eat the bread with your Zaxby’s Zalad. But you know what? You’ve been working really hard and the shorts that didn’t fit you in May fit you now. And Stacy and her celery can kick a rock or seven.

You’re going to disable your Facebook account because babies and “I said yes!” and 10 year reunion event updates and your ex makes you embarrassed to have dated him and couch politicians. People only put their best moments – or 3rd draft rants about Obama – on social media. Their lives are perfect from the computer screen, but you know what? Jen’s little boy puked on her blazer this morning which made her late to a job interview while you were getting your daily $6 Starbucks coffee and laughing along with the Elvis Duran and the Morning Show. And you may not have noticed yet, but Cayla, the one who got married four seconds after college graduation, has mysteriously taken down her wedding pictures and while she already has a new guy in her profile picture, he’s 46. And balding. Plus, I know it bothered you to no end, but Mark’s fiancée is a ripe bitch. You win.

Lesson learned: Those attempts – staying late at work way too often, bouncing back from an unexpected layoff, throwing your friend’s bridal shower after you just filed for divorce, running a mile without stopping, balancing work and a social life and graduate school, buying your first home, forgiving your parents, smiling every single time you want to cry – are seen.

No one may have told you today, but life? You’re doing it right.

The Overeager One

I’m really aware that it’s been a hot minute (okay, like, 17 hot minutes) since I’ve posted last. To update on my life, I’m still seeing Batman in a semi-exclusive manner. He invited me to an out of town wedding for the weekend and he’s visited me in my town. We’ve had “a” talk but not “the” talk. And I’m okay with that for now. He makes me feel pretty good.

Back when I was writing more regularly and a few weeks after Batman and I seemed to be maybe going somewhere, I started to get weird with myself and doubtful about a future with Batman, so I logged back into OkCupid for a couple days and actually started briefly talking to a guy who messaged me.

This new guy is 26 and lives in Atlanta. He likes to read (what?! yes. Praise Jesus.) and we had intelligent conversation, so when he asked for my number, I did not feel weird moving the conversation from online to the phone. After two texts, he called me and I quickly found out that he works several jobs – waiting tables and reffing intramural type basketball games – and worked on creating his own music and working in the studio simultaneously.

Big red flag.

Now, my ex-boyfriend entered the entertainment world, if you will, and immediately started sucking at life. I talked myself out of and rolled out from under this big red flag, and kept talking to home boy who would call me because he likes that more than texts (boys still know how to use the phone!) and we would talk for an hour or so at a time. That was refreshing.

For a minute.

He asked to follow me on Instagram after about two days of texting/calling and found me on Facebook (SIDEBAR: This is actually really difficult because I’m super privatized from searches since I’m a teacher and I don’t want my students to find me. I still don’t know how he found me so easily. Should’ve been a bright green flag here, or something). After stalking my pictures, he told me he liked me + lots of emojis.

He used a lot of emojis.

A couple days later, we made plans to get drinks when I came into town that weekend. The day after making this plan, he started suggesting extra activities for us to do “in case you want to see me more than once when you’re in town.”

Uh, sure. Okay. I…guess?

After determining the date, he began texting me ALL throughout the day. Like four or five text messages before I even responded to one. At first I was all “Aw, this is cute. He wants to talk to me” but then quickly switched to “Ehm, I’m at work and why aren’t you?!”

He also started sending me selfies. He was cute, I guess, but not in a Will Smith/Cameron Newton kind of way and more of a much younger and facially fortunate Spike Lee kind of way.

That doesn’t help my case, does it?

And you know how you can send voice notes on iPhones? He started sending those  to me, too. In case a text wasn’t personal enough or I missed his voice. Truly, I am/continue to be at a loss here.

At this point, I’m weirded out. He’s told me that since he likes me, he wants to know if I like him back, in which I respond: “I like you so far? I don’t really know you yet. Lol (because, awkward?)” and then I sent some obscure, hope-that-wasn’t-too-honest-an- answer emoji. Immediately after this conversation, I seek counsel from a friend on how to break the date with him because…no. I really just can’t.

After coming up with an elaborate lie to remove myself from the situation – “let’s reschedule, I can’t come into town anymore, my cat is sick, etc.” – my friend talks me into a more rational “It’s just going to be a girls’ night” excuse. So when I quickly text him to cancel, this general conversation commences:

Him: Oh, okay. That’s cool.

Him: Have fun!

Me: Thanks; sorry again!

Him: You know, if you don’t want to hang out with me you can just tell me. It won’t hurt my feelings.

Him: I mean I’m grown, I can handle it. Lol (emojis)

Him: You know what, nevermind.

Me: Um, that was a lot.

Him: You know what, sorry, forget I said that. I’m embarrassed. I’ve just had girls try and protect my feelings before and cancel a date instead of just being up front about changing their mind about meeting. It’s happened several times, if you can believe it.

WHAT THE…WHAT THE HELL…WHAT?!

So, ladies, I know that you recognize his whole “do you even really like me/are you not attracted to me/please still like me” spiel. We have this spiel all the time. But please, please tell me we are on the same page in that we have home boy’s outward freak out INSIDE OUR OWN OVER-ANALYTICAL BRAIN or TO A GIRLFRIEND’S TEXT/EARS ONLY.

When was the last time you vomited your ACTUAL insecurities on someone who was not your friend or exclusive significant other? You don’t actually SAY you’re upset; you send that stupid smiley emoji and pretend like you’re too busy having a fun-filled, completely penciled in weekend with your friends to be upset about not meeting someone you don’t even know yet.

Is this just me? I’m a crazy girl, we all are, but I’m not alone here, right?

Needless to say, I didn’t respond or text him ever again.

The whole half a week long disaster kind of reminded me of this:

Lesson learned: Maybe run at the first time of “smh” or the use of excessive emojis out of context. Because I’m looking to spend time with a grown man and not a teeny bopper who later probably analyzed his feelings further in his password diary.

Message in a (Online) Bottle

I’d like to preface this post by saying that I met someone, let’s call him Batman, and it’s going well. We have been on 2 dates and are in contact throughout each day. However, I’m afraid to jinx it and write about it here because I like him…so if it implodes, I’ll spill ASAP.

My OkCupid journey has halted a bit because I’ve been caught up with the butterflies Batman gives me, and I’m not much of a player so I’m having trouble continuing to play the field, however I thought this would be a good chance to decode messages I’ve been getting from men online.

When I first made an account I was super against messaging a guy first. In real life I probably wouldn’t go up to a guy in a bar; I’d give him sexy eyes until he got the hint to come over and introduce himself (am I right or am I right?). OkCupid has a feature that, if you pay a small monthly fee, you can browse people’s profiles invisibly unless you want them to know you visited, so I’ve been living that up pretty heavily. I will say I’ve messaged a couple dudes first, but mainly I’m sifting through creepers and wondering if they pressed send on accident or not…

So, from a man’s point of view, I’m thinking…

“hello hru” really means that I am messaging about 13 other women at the same time and this is the quickest way to make that little notification bubble pop up on your phone. I text like this, too, and don’t put a lot of effort into many things, including first impressions.

“Hey trouble maker… 🙂 You look like the girl from the Powerpuff girls show 🙂 do you know the Show? Are you using this site? Message me when you’re online.” really means that I think I am much cooler than I really am and hope that a pop culture reference to a cartoon with little girls won’t make you think I’m a pedophile, but actually just really creative. I’m also kind of needy because I’m mandating that you talk to me.

“Que Tal? I am new here. You seem pretty cool and different. I would like to get to know you :)” means that I took the time to speak a little Spanish because your profile said you had family in Puerto Rico and this shows that I pay attention to small details. I don’t actually know much about you, so I think adjectives like “cool and different” are vague enough to make you think I’m interested. I also use emojis when I text, which can either be cute or creepy.

“Just great all the pretty women are auburn fans lol” really means that I’m attempting to flatter and tease you at the same time, but am unaware that you’ll write me off right away because I’m joking about one of your favorite things. I probably didn’t go to a big football college, which is why I don’t understand why this is the wrong move.

“How are you.my name is ren.can i get to know u.i like cookn,bowln,fishin,n taking my son out to the park,n cuddle up wit my woman watching some movies.” really means that English is probably my second language and I am not literate enough to know how to use proper grammar. I’m hoping that telling you all of my hobbies right away will show you that I want to get to know you instead of making you think I’m over sharing, and by adding information about my son I’m hoping you’ll think that’s endearing…even though it really makes you want to run for cover.

“Hello, your pictures caught my attention. You appear to be an attractive woman. I would really like the opportunity to get to know you.” really means that I may be new to the online dating scene and think that messaging women like I’m answering a question at a job interview will make me seem professional…even though this isn’t a professional setting…but I don’t get that yet. I have good intentions, though, I just don’t know what I’m doing.

“Hey! lets share a bit more. 1. Last drink you had if you do drink. 2. What is a current tv show you can’t miss? 3. What song can you not resist to dancing to when it comes on?” really means that I copy and paste this weird ass message into every message I send a girl and no one has told me this doesn’t work. Ever.

*All quoted information is straight for my account and has not been doctored to uphold the integrity of this project.

Lesson learned: It’s nice to say hello after someone messages you because it’s polite, but maybe don’t always reply back because when you don’t want to talk to their creeper, i txt lke a t33nager, illiterate self anymore they might get mad and rage a bit over an online dating messenger app…

The One in the Army

So, I went on my first blind date. And, well…

I met The One in the Army on OkCupid; he messaged me and he didn’t look like a crack addict or a homeless man like some of the other guys who’ve messaged me, so I responded and we chit chatted for a couple of days before he asked for my number.

We talked on the phone for an hour the first time he called. That’s a good sign, right? I don’t even remember the last time I talked to a man, including my ex, on the phone for more than 30 minutes. It’s an antiquated form of communication these days, but damn if it doesn’t make a girl feel good to have someone want to know what she has to say. I learned he was in the army, hadn’t finished college (I tried not to be super judgmental about that) but planned to, and was competing in some kind of physical competition to help him get promoted. So he had to have abs and I love a man with abs.

A couple days later he asked to FaceTime, which was kind of weird for me because you can’t tell me holding your phone in front of your face for any amount of time (selfies included) isn’t awkward. And I don’t have arm muscles, so it’s also uncomfortable.

I need to start working out again.

So the FaceTime was okay, and there wasn’t a lot of awkward pauses. He looked a teensy bit different than his pictures, but not enough to turn me way off. We texted over the next couple days and he asked to come visit.

Well, that escalated quickly.

I was extra wary, but decided on a Sunday. In case it went very left, he had to go home for work the next day, right?

So fast forward to a couple days later and we meet at Starbucks. He’s wearing a pastel yellow short-sleeved polo shirt, a light grey vest, a flat-brimmed hat, and sneakers. He needed braces, like, 10 years ago. I wasn’t attracted, but I didn’t want him to feel like he wasted a trip and I was open to giving this a chance, so he sat down and said he wanted to see campus. I drove him downtown and walked him around, pointing out landmarks that people tend to care about when visiting a college, and then we got some lunch at …Five Guys. His choice. Yeah, I know.

The next hour was pretty painfully awkward. He was rather quiet and I felt like I was carrying the conversation, which was odd for me because shouldn’t the guy be trying harder than I am? After more silent walking, we get back in the car and I just start driving back to Starbucks. Here’s what happened next.

Me: So, what do you want to do now?

Him: I’ve been suggesting things, but you don’t want to do anything. Maybe you want me to leave and you just don’t want to tell me.

Me:….What have you been suggesting?

Silence. 5 minutes worth of him looking out the window and me trying not to make weird faces.

Him: Why don’t we go to Starbucks and just talk.

Me: Sounds like a plan.

When we get to Starbucks, he makes a beeline for a table. I’m feeling bad because generally you purchase something if you’re going to take up a table in an establishment, but whatevs.

Him: So, why do you act more interested on the phone than you do now in person?

Me: Um, I’m sorry?

Him: You just seem so serious. Like you don’t want me here. You haven’t smiled all day.

Me: I feel like I have smiled…I’m not sure what you mean.

Him: I just feel like you would act happy to see me.

Me: What exactly would that look like?

Silence.

Me: Well, I’m not really sure what to say or do now. I kind of feel like I’ve been reprimanded.

Him: What does reprimanded mean?

Me: Let me take you back to your car.

We said our goodbyes…and I did tell him what reprimanded means. When he got home he texted me and asked if I still wanted to talk to him. I wanted to say, “Well, hell no, sir,” but instead I said it was up to him, and I wasn’t sure what he was expecting when he came to visit. He told me I acted more like a tour guide than someone wanting a potential boyfriend.

Oh.

I replied, “I’m pretty positive I never said I wanted a boyfriend.”

We haven’t spoken since.

Lesson learned: Give all potential dates a vocabulary test and make it clear that you’re i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t and a boyfriend would be nice, but hell if you’re about to throw yourself on a stranger to make him yours.

So it goes…

So before I embark upon what I hope will be an entertaining and cathartic journey commonly referred to as dating (and blogging), I think I should introduce myself and give you some context and a reason to continue to visit this site.

I’m newly 27 and just broke up with my boyfriend of 4 1/2 years. I won’t go into the sad details, but for those of you who thought you found the person you would marry, you’ll understand the whirlwind of confusion I’m currently living in. It’s kind of like being slapped awake and not really understanding what just happened. If there’s an upside, I think I mourned the death of our relationship before it was officially over, so I didn’t have that post-break up sit-in-the-dark-for-days, let-your-cell-phone-battery-die, Celine-Dion-playing-on-repeat, red-wine-only-diet period that most people experience after a break up of this caliber. I was sad for so long before it ended that it was almost a relief to be single again.

Until I was single again. Ya know?

I’m not frantic about jumping into a new relationship, but you know how people are when you hit your late 20’s. Marriage and babies. Babies and marriage. The order doesn’t matter but the result of both does. I could go into a feminist rant about how degrading it is that a woman’s identity is mainly connected to her male counterpart instead of her accomplishments in other aspects of her life…

So it goes, right?

And – I think this may be the most important part – I don’t even know how to date. Like, what’s in a date? Dinner and a movie? Is that something people actually do? I’ve had 2 BIG relationships – both over 4 years – and both started in the prime of my high school and college years, respectively. So I was either making out in the back of a movie theatre or making out in the middle of a frat house to start my last long term relationships. I can see that those situations may have been insights into the potential failings of those relationships (hindsight is 20/20, right?), but I just don’t know how to do this thing in a grown up way. Like, how do you meet people? Do I pay for myself if the date was my idea? Do I pay for us both? And these questions are certainly premature since I’m dateless, so…

I mean, I can barely make new friends let alone find a potential mate.

I live in a small college town in the Southeast, so the pool of “grown ups” is shallow. If I go out downtown, a gaggle of fraternity boys may try and pick up me and my other girl friends and seem intrigued that we’re “adults” and “still go out…that’s pretty sweet.” In short, waking up at the Pike house isn’t on my to-do list.

Which brings us to the present. Many people I know have dipped into the online dating scene and have had success. Hell, my mom who was single almost my entire life recently found her new love online. So to sate my own curiosity and get my sweet behind back in the game, I am seeing what online (and real life) dating is all about. I’m aware of sites like OkCupid, Match, eHarmony, and Tinder (which, hell no), but I’m not totally sure where to start. To give my potential readers a thoroughly researched experience, I’ll attempt all of them, and I’ll share my escapades being a newly single female in a “when are you getting married?!” South.

Let’s do this.

Enjoy, comment, and share freely!