Archives for category: OK Cupid

My dear readers know that I’ve been on a lot of dates. And a lot of really bad dates. But this was, perhaps, the worst date I’ve ever been on. Not because he was mean or anything, but because, from the second I said hi, I wanted to leave.

Instead, I stayed. For two hours.

Let’s back up, here.

This guy messaged me on OKCupid. He was very tall (yes), bearded (yes), and kind of chunky (yes), so obviously I replied.

There were some red flags. He was 49, and I’ve learned that, at that age, there’s usually a reason men are still single. He had never been married, which was good, for me, but also – had to be a reason. But he had no kids, and he owned a brownstone, so he was basically landed gentry in Brooklyn. If we fell in love and got married, I’d basically be a marchioness.

Also, he had three pictures up online. In two of them, he looked attractive, chunky, bearded, normal. In the third he looked really, really awkward, leaning slouchily against a bridge in a pair of sweatpants and an ill-fitting t-shirt. But the other two looked fine, and we were hitting it off so well, that I ignored that flag, too.

We had amazing nonsense banter. I love to be silly and talk about nothing, and we talked about such silly nothingness. Over text, I thought he seemed smart and interesting and down with a kind of bossy woman, so I was really looking forward to our date.

Almost immediately, we connected on how we both liked black licorice. That’s a special connection to share, because not many people understand the nuanced beauty that is a black licorice wheel. It’s one of my favorite things. Licorice is even made with wheat flour, and I love it so much that I pretend it isn’t. And it never makes me sick. Licorice is so magical, that, unlike anything else with flour in it, it doesn’t make me vomit. One bite of crusty bread? Vom-town. Pizza? Puke city. But, out of the power of love and sheer force of will, licorice doesn’t make me sick. I flat out refuse to be allergic to licorice.

But I digress.

I mentioned how hard it was to find good licorice anywhere, and he told me about Economy Candy, an old-fashioned candy store on the Lower East Side. And, of course. If anyone was gonna sell black licorice and cheap candy, obviously it was gonna be a store on the Lower East Side. He suggested we go there on our date, and I immediately agreed.

I was thrilled. What makes for a better first date than a trip to a candy store? Answer: nothing, except for an evening of champagne and oysters, because that trumps everything. He suggested we get breakfast first, in my neighborhood. Lovely. And, because we were going to the LES, I looked up my favorite pickle place, The Pickle Guys, on Grand Street (side note: I discovered The Pickle Guys because they were next door to the Judaica shop where I bought my tallis for my bat mitzvah. That’s how good these pickles are. I’ve remembered and drooled over them since I was twelve). A plan was in place that I felt good about. Breakfast. Then candy. Then good, old-fashioned, kosher full-sours.

I woke up the morning of our date bright and eager to meet the guy I had been texting with. He seemed so smart. So interesting. So, at 9:00, when I realized I wasn’t falling back asleep, I suggested we meet up earlier than planned. He agreed, and we set a revised brunch time of 10:30.

The diner is only a few blocks away from me, but they’re long blocks, and it was chilly and drizzling. I was cranky, but still hopeful. I had a good podcast to listen to. I was meeting a tall, chunky, bearded man. I approached the diner, feeling good.

And then I saw him. And I knew this date was not going to go well.

The guy was wearing a too-tight, pallid yellow polo shirt, and olive green cargo pants made out of windbreaker material. They were also too tight, and about two or three inches too short. What I thought had been lumberjack-scruffy in his profile pictures was really just unkempt.

I had made a mistake I’ve made before: mistaking super awkward and maybe a little autistic for smart and quirky. There’s a thin line that divides the two. It can be hard to determine which side someone stands on, through text and the internet. But it was clear that, this time, I had judged wrong.

I walked up to him with a smile on my face, already dreading what was to come. He went in for a hug, which I hate from even the most attractive, charming stranger. Don’t touch me. You don’t know me. From this gross guy, it was even less palatable.

We walked into the diner and the host led me toward a booth.

“Um,” the guy said to the host, with a really fucking irritating smirk on his face. “Come on!”

The host smiled and redirected us to what I soon learned was the guy’s usual booth. Turned out my guy was a “regular” at the diner. And he basked in the imagined glory of that status. He was performatively chummy with the waitstaff, and made a big show of them already knowing his order, and knowing what table he sat at, blah blah fucking ugh.

“They might bring some weird stuff over for us,” he said, smiling a weird, playful, irritating smile.

Sure enough, the waiter brought him a few assorted things – seltzer water with cranberry juice and a lime, and a plate of wheat toast with honey and cinnamon? Each time, he looked at me smugly, as if expecting me to be impressed.

The waiter came back to take our orders. The guy was still kvelling (I wish I could show you how obnoxious that smile was) and said, “the usual,” followed by some apparently special insider code words to clarify his order. The waiter then turned to me, looked back at him, said “She’s so pretty!” and then took my order. I wanted to die. Literal death seemed better than the prospect of sitting through a meal with this man.

I’ve developed a rule that I don’t laugh or smile if I’m not truly amused by something a man says. Just because I’m out with someone doesn’t mean I need play stupid girl and smile and laugh at anything a guy says. Especially if it’s not funny, or just fucking irritating. So I sat through our entire meal barely talking, miserable, trying not to flip the fuck out and be mean to this sad, irritating, awkward man.

After what felt like an eternity, I had picked at my scrambled eggs, he had eaten his broccoli-cheddar omelette and short stack of blueberry-ricotta pancakes (I heard all about them, apparently they were called “Danish” style). He paid. We left.

But the date wasn’t even close to over. We walked to the subway, and I tried to make awkward small talk. Then we got on the subway. I sat next to a man wearing horrible cologne, so I had to get up and move to the other end of the car. That provided a little bit of conversation. For the entire trip, I sat with my arms crossed across my chest, as closed off as possible. When we got to our stop and stepped outside, it was raining.

I am a baby about bad weather. I hate being cold. I hate being wet. And it was wet, and cold. I had to go into a drugstore and buy a $13 shitty umbrella. Then we had to walk ten blocks, in the cold, nasty rain, to the candy store. In near-silence.

And then, one, bright, shining moment, in a cold, rainy, dark, dark day.

Economy Candy.

It. Was. Amazing. A magical Mecca of candy, packed into a little crowded storefront. The owners were not Jewish, as I had expected them to be, but the candy exceeded expectations. I bought four pounds of black licorice wheels, a quarter-pound of Dutch salted licorice, a half-pound of chocolate-covered apricots, a half-pound of mixed loose candies (Mary Janes, Tootsie Rolls, Bit-o-Honey), and a pound of red licorice shoelaces. All in all, I blew $30 on candy. I do not regret it. It was beautiful and inspiring and an experience that I will not forget, for the opposite reason of why the rest of the date is something I will never forget.

We left the store. I knew I couldn’t sustain any more time with him, so I told the guy that I had promised to call my friend after we left the candy store.

“How’s the date going?” my friend asked, when he answered the phone.

“Not well,” I said.

“You ok?”

“No,” I said. “Can I come over?”

He laughed and said yes. I told the guy that I had to go meet my friend. He insisted on walking me to the subway.

I was still basking in the glow of all the black licorice I had just bought. I actually considered going to get pickles. No, I didn’t want one more second of this man’s company, but – I mean, those are some damn good pickles. Ultimately, I decided against it and cut my losses. When we got to the subway, he gave me a hug. I returned the saddest, most anemic hug ever, and pretty much ran away. Over my shoulder, I heard him say, “I hope the debrief with your friend goes well!”

I was free. I ran down the subway stairs in my rainboots in a state of shock and relief.

Ultimately, the day ended well. I met my friend and got out of the rain into a cafe. I had a Perrier with lemon. Then some very good bone broth. My friend and I sat in a park and watched pigeons for an hour. I met a very short old lady who told me all about her labradoodles, Bert and Ernie. Ernie jumped on me and got mud all over my sweater, but he also gave me some kisses, so that was ok. Around 4:30, I headed back to Brooklyn, with six pounds of candy in my tote bag. The day had been salvaged.

But I really cannot recall a worse date, ever, in all my history of bad dates. It was just so painful. So excruciating. It felt kind of like when I did a sleep study and had to try to sleep with a tube up my nose and electrodes on my head. I was so uncomfortable, but I knew that I couldn’t leave. Up until today, that was the most trapped I had ever felt. This date was, at the very least, a close second.

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I recently got this lovely message on OKCupid.

So obviously I responded with this.

Nice try, bitch. I’m always gonna win.

I am endlessly fascinated by religion and religious people. Religious orthodoxy of any kind is something I obsess over and research online and watch documentaries about all the time. Heaven’s Gate. Scientology. People who really, really love Jesus.

So, when someone on OKCupid messaged me whose profile said he had spent 6 years living in Israel as an Orthodox Jew before he recently became an atheist, I was fascinated. I obviously had to meet him.

We messaged back and forth for a while. I asked him a thousand questions, all about his life and religion. He was raised secular, and converted to Chasidism in his early 20s. WHAT. AMAZING. When he was in Israel, he had done some sort of Orthodox Jewish matchmaking, in which you basically go on three dates with someone and then decide whether you want to marry them or not. MORE. I asked him why he stopped believing in God. I asked him all sorts of stuff about the nuances of Jewish law that I always wondered about. Everything was going well.

And then I realized that, while I knew all sorts of interesting things about his past, he had never taken a moment of lull in the conversation to ask me a single thing about myself. He didn’t ask me what I did for a living, didn’t ask me what books I liked to read – nothing.

I mentioned that to him.

“You haven’t asked me a single question about myself,” I said.

He didn’t understand why that was relevant. Like, apparently caring one tiny bit about another person wasn’t important, even in a dating setting.

Anyway, it was soon obvious that I wasn’t interested in dating him, but I was still so intrigued by his past that when he asked me out, I told him I’d be happy to hang out as friends. He accepted, and for the next several days we texted intermittently.

One night, we hung out. We talked for a while – more religion, mostly. I asked whether he thought that men raised in Orthodox Judaism were conditioned with such a toxic view of male-female relationships that they could never have healthy relationships with women. Our conversation was pretty insightful and interesting. He seemed thoughtful. Again, he asked me nothing about myself, but I expected it, by that point. He went home, and everything seemed fine.

The next day, he called me at 3 am, obviously drunk. He told me I was fucked up, and no one would ever love me, and all sorts of other nasty shit that I don’t remember. I was horrified and hung up on him. He called back three times and left me a message, which I listened to a few seconds of and then promptly deleted.

Over the course of the next few days, he called me several more times in the middle of the night and left abusive messages. I didn’t listen to them. He sent me dozens of mean messages on OKCupid.

“Did you go on that date? When he finds out who you really are, he’ll run away screaming.”

“You’re too fucked up for anyone to ever love.”

And a few more great gems like that.

Finally, I blocked him.

Not sure what the moral is, here. Don’t trust extremists of any stripe? Maybe. Or maybe it’s just that some men are abusive assholes, no matter how interesting they may seem.

I basically haven’t been able to write anything since the election, which was fine for a few weeks, but now it’s been several months and – it’s time to get my brain together and do some work. So I thought the perfect re-introduction would be the man I spent that fateful election night with.

A few weeks before, I met this man on OKCupid. He seemed perfectly nice and smart, so we met up for drinks. We met at a restaurant in my neighborhood (because, as my readers know, I don’t leave the area for first dates). It was the night of game 7 of the World Series, and we started talking about baseball. He mentioned that he wanted to find a place to watch game 7.

“I actually like baseball,” I said.

“Really?” he asked. “Who’s playing tonight?”

As in, you’re a girl, you can’t possibly like baseball or know what you’re talking about. Prove it.

I called him out, and he said, “Oh, I just wanted to make sure you really were fine going to watch the game.”

I let it go, because we had been having a good time. After all, everyone mansplains sometimes, right? Upon reflection, maybe I need to be more careful about this. I’ve had a lot of mansplaining interactions lately, and really one should probably be unacceptable. I’m nothing if not smart, and any man who talks down to me should get, as my Pop Pop would say, a punch in the nose.

But, smart or not, I let the mansplaining go. We went to get another drink and watch game 7, and then went our separate ways.

A few days later, we went to brunch and had a lovely time. A few days after that, on Election Day, I met up with him after therapy. He had a TV, and I wanted to watch the returns.

“I’m coming from Borough Hall,” I said. “I should be back at Franklin Avenue in 15 minutes.”

“That doesn’t take 15 minutes,” he said.

I was going from my therapist’s office to my home stop. I have made that trip a thousand times. I know exactly how long the trip takes. It’s three stops on the train. But he still felt the need to boss me around.

“I guarantee you it’ll take me 15 minutes. You’re mansplaining.”

“I’m just trainsplaining,” he said, which was kinda funny, if infuriating.

Anyway, I got to where we were supposed to meet exactly on time (in 15 minutes). He wanted to hold hands when I got off the train. We had been on two dates. It was weird and felt like he desperately wanted someone to hold hands with, rather than to hold hands with me. Then he told me boring insider MTA stories for a while, like, about the brakes at different stations.

“Sometime I’ll take you into the control room,” he said.

It was kinda painful. The date was not off to a good start, and it was only 4 pm.

He lived in a really Orthodox Jewish neighborhood. He hadn’t voted yet, so we walked to his polling station and I waited upstairs while he voted. I had a hilarious conversation with an old Jewish man about how the New York Times hated Israel.

“You’re not Jewish,” he said.

“I am,” I said. “But not Orthodox.”

The MTA guy and I met back up after he cast his vote. I insisted we buy wine, although he didn’t really drink. We stopped at the only wine store nearby. There were six shelves of wine from Israel, and a few from France and Spain and Italy. If you were wondering whether you can get a kosher Bordeaux, you can.

Ok, so we went back to his apartment. I drank wine, he had a beer. We talked for a while. The returns hadn’t even started yet. While we still thought Hillary would win, we ordered in Mexican food and, upon my insistence, two more bottles of wine.

“So, when was your last relationship?” I asked him.

“A few months ago,” he said.

I found out that he had a series of year long relationships, all a few months apart. He had gotten married at 22 (I haven’t mentioned that he also had a 5-year-old, but that’s mostly because I tried to forget about it) and had basically been in short-ish long-term relationships since then. Clearly, he was the relationship type – he desperately needed to be with someone. He had met his ex-wife, by the way, on Craigslist.

As we all know too well, the night soon became terrifying, as it seemed less and less likely that there would be a Hillary victory. I got really drunk. Also, I really like politics – I was getting into what was going on, and exclaiming excitedly when something good or bad happened.

He was being more and more standoffish. It was pretty obvious to me that something was wrong; that I was getting on his nerves.

“Listen,” I said. “Are you not having a good time?”

“No, everything’s fine,” he said.

“Seriously, if you’re not having a good time, I can go. Just say something.”

“It’s fine.”

Around midnight, I left so he could go to sleep. He had to work the next day, and I wanted to watch the rest of the votes come in. I went downstairs to wait for an Uber, knowing I’d never hear from him again. He didn’t even have the guts to say, “You know what, it’s true, I’m not really having a good time.” He couldn’t say, “You seem lovely, but I’m not sure this is gonna work out.” Instead, he promised everything was fine.

Which was just the last, annoying straw on top of explaining to me how the Subway worked and a boring day, capped off by a Trump victory. I texted him the next day to say, “So, it happened.” He sent back a sad face, and we never spoke again. As went the fate of America that night, so went the fate of my relationship with the MTA employee. I guess I’ll never get to go on a secret hike on the tracks.

 

This lovely gentleman, who matched with me at 22% on OKCupid, sent me a message saying, “I think we have something in common. Do you know what it is?”

I was pretty sure we had nothing at all in common, so I asked him to elaborate. This was our conversation. Enjoy!

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Boh and I had gotten bored of asking this self-absorbed, narcissistic fuck questions about itself. So we decided to just be fucking weirdos. Shit’s about to get really stupid.

The thing asked me about my favorite bands. I slipped and wrote “Bob Dylan” and “Joni Mitchell,” who I do actually love – and then Boh and I started in with bands I could never possibly love.

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The thing’s response was, “I doubt it, but I don’t really know.”

And then I replied, “Are you not your brother’s keeper? LOL”

Which I thought was fucking hilarious. It was a weird-ass phrase, an awkward reference (and to the Bible, at that), and I ended with net-speak. SO GOOD.

The thing was unfazed. “I get it!” it replied. Then it started talking about how it had been raised Catholic, so had mixed feelings about the Bible, but really liked the book of Revelation (well, it called it “Revelations,” but that’s incorrect, so I’ll be nice and fix it for a friend).

“Oh yeah,” I responded. “I really like the part with the garnets.”

(You don’t even need to know what I’m talking about. I was purposely being dumb and vague, and Satan or someone sits on a garnet throne at some point)

It replied with some statement about the mark of the beast, which I did not respond to. Then, I started in with the best game ever.

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The Horsegirl.

All of my dear readers probably knew, or were, a Horsegirl growing up. Horsegirls read books about horses, and spent their weekends at “The Barn,” picking dirt out of their beloved horse’s hoofs. They talked about horses all the time, and often had really know-it-all facts up their sleeves about their favorite animal.

Basically, the Horsegirl is a perfect nerdy, on-the-spectrum trope. So we went with it. The person messaging with the thing had turned into a character – Erin the Horsegirl.

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I thought this was a nice mirroring to the shark facts. So Boh looked up “Top 40 Horse Facts” online, and I sent a quick series of three.

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Ignore the thing’s input. I did. Instead of acknowledging what it had to say, I just kept naming horse facts.

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Now this girl is seriously crippled, when it comes to social graces. Obviously the thing was kidding. But I kept going. More facts about horses, please.

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My friend the thing was starting to get tired of the horse facts. I can’t imagine why. But I was determined to keep going, perseverating as well as the person with the worst Asperger’s in the world.

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I thought I’d give it a break, because I didn’t want it to lose interest when it (understandably) got tired of its love interest spewing horse facts. I talked about science fiction books a little bit, and let it riff on some dumb idea about Moby Dick in Space.

Then it started talking about how, when it had writer’s block, it came up with bad movie titles. And I was not down with that conversation. So, I said:

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“Nice!” it responded. Then I listed some great horses. Including fictional ones. I had to Google most of them.

 

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“Smarty Jones would be a great name for a band,” it followed up. Then it started talking about how much it loved making up band names, which is so fucking annoying that I had to change the subject back to horses, only with a variation this time – the band the Horsegirl wanted to start, named after a kind of horse (also Googled), and the completely inane and contradictory “sound” she wanted the band to have.

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I listed a purposely nonsensical sound, but, of course, as a band connoisseur, the thing had a band on hand to tell me about. I just went along and pretended I knew what Jesus and the Mary Chain was.

“Yes, exactly,” I said. “Only with less religious overtones.”

“I’ve never gotten religious overtones from Jesus and the Mary Chain,” it said. “But then again I hardly pay attention to their lyrics.”

“They started out as a Christian rock band,” I responded. “Not many people know that.”

Of course, they didn’t. But I thought just straight up lying would be fun. Like, if it called me out, I could insist that it was wrong. If it just knew I was wrong (or knew I was lying), that’s amazing, too. And if it believed me? Well, why not.

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Because that’s nonsense.

Then I wanted to try to get personal/offensive again. Boh and I tried to brainstorm a question I could ask a genderqueer person that was both offensive and weird. We came up with, “Do you wear women’s underwear?”

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So then we just fucked around a little bit more.

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Blah blah, didn’t care, until –

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Ugh. Thank you, again, for never conserving words and expanding on some dumbass detail about yourself. No one was saying you were a man or a woman. You could clearly understand the fucking question. But, an opportunity for more pontificating? The thing couldn’t pass it up.

After this, I bowed out. It was after 1 am, and I needed to go to sleep. Boh and I rolled over, back to back, and nodded off.

Stay tuned for Part 3, either later tonight or tomorrow, in which the thing falls completely under the control of Erin the Made-up Horsegirl.

I just got back from the Jersey Shore this afternoon. I had an amazing time, got a bunch of freckles, and sunburned my chest, despite constant re-application of SPF 50. My amazing friend Boh came to stay with my family for a few days, too, which was lovely.

While I was at the beach, I got a message from a lovely man on OKCupid.

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That was nice. And, it’s true, I love black licorice. So I checked out his profile, and it was so, so, so obnoxious. I obviously didn’t want to date this person. But a profile that obnoxious required some serious interpersonal contact – for the blog. I showed it to Boh, and Boh agreed.

Here are some highlights of the profile, just so you get some impression of what we were working with before we started messaging.

First of all: gender identity.

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Now, let’s be clear. I don’t give one fuck what gender people identify as. I have tons of trans friends, blah blah blah, that’s a stupid thing to say. But I am totally on board with gender being a spectrum, and being fluid.

What was obnoxious about this was that this human being (who I had been misgendering as a man) couldn’t just say that they were genderfluid, or gender non-conforming, OR non-binary, but had to include all three – plus “other,” because the three other descriptors just weren’t enough. They were just too fucking complex.

It felt like a straight guy trying to appropriate being queer, or some shit like that. Like, someone who needed to demonstrate JUST how queer they were. And desperately.

Secondly:

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We can skip over the fact that this person definitely, definitely speaks, like, six words of Catalan and twelve words of Portuguese, but felt the need to include 5 languages in their profile.

Let’s focus on “Other religion.”

Boh was convinced that this meant that our friend was a witch.

“Every queer person in New York is a witch,” Boh told me. “I’m always going on dates with fucking witches.”

Now, let’s explore “My self-summary.”

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I respect my readers enough to trust them to know exactly what is so fucking irritating about most of this profile. I will, however, point out a few choice things.

First, crypto-fag? What the fuck is a crypto-fag?

And then, “I live life in all caps lock!” Who thinks this is a good thing? Caps lock should never have been invented. Has anyone ever received an email written in all caps and thought, “Hey, this is so cute!”? I certainly have not. Shoot me now.

Ok. NEXT.

“What I’m doing with my life.”

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PROFESSIONAL PUNK ROCKER.

This person is right. All caps are required to interact with them. Because it is impossible to express how appalling this profile is in lowercase letters.

Oh, also – note the second mention of sharks.

And, finally, “I spend a lot of time thinking about.”

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Note a third mention of sharks, and then – phew – we can move on from the profile.

After reading this abhorrent mess, Boh and I decided that we definitely, definitely had to learn more about this queer, sapiosexual, genderfluid, gender non-conforming, non-binary other. Because this person was clearly the fucking worst.

We had no idea what we were getting into.

We decided to start with a series of questions, to see just how horrible any illuminating conversation about the profile could be. I responded to the licorice query with, “I love it!” Then I asked our friend if they could tell us some shark facts.

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How clever. A fact about a fake shark, a fact about a real shark, and a fake shark fact. It’s the sort of thing that’s, like, almost clever? Almost funny? Maybe it could be if done right? But, this way, it just seemed like the person was trying so hard.

So we moved on to our next question.

Boh and I both spent a lot of time in precious, progressive liberal arts schools, so we were familiar with the question, “What’s your PGP?” “PGP” stands for “Preferred gender pronoun,” which is a perfectly fair question and not necessarily obnoxious. But we had already flagged this person as fucking irritating and potentially obsessed with gender to a performative degree, so we wanted to see how obnoxious the gender identity thing was gonna get.

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Jesus Christ.

“It.”

That is so fucked up. Like, what are you, an inanimate object?

At this point, Boh and I started referring to our friend as “it.” Which is fucking absurd. I have enough trouble using “they” in the singular, because it often makes for awkward sentences and just raises a flag in my writer’s brain every time the grammar is incorrect. Generally, with genderfluid or non-binary friends who prefer “they,” I just use their names and avoid pronouns altogether. Saying “it” to refer to a person felt so fucking absurd to Boh and me that we laughed hysterically every time we had to call him/her/them “it.”

Anyway, next question. If you will remember, it had mentioned that it was a “professional punk rocker.” Musicians are almost universally fucking annoying, so we thought it was important to explore this matter further. We asked about our most pressing concern.

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Notice that I did not ask about what being a “professional punk rocker” entailed. But it decided to explain, in detail, what it did when it had been one. Basically: dumb shit, like getting people’s groceries or doing their dishes. Oh, and buying them weed, which it clearly thought was a little racy.

It sent three or four paragraph-long texts about being a PPR (professional punk rocker, obviously), which I chose to ignore. I was beginning to understand that my friend was incredibly self-absorbed and just wanted to talk incessantly about itself.

Also, let’s remember it identified as an “it. We couldn’t get over how dumb that was. So we decided to keep nudging, a little bit, with a more irritating and kind of (well, actually) offensive question.

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DUDE. Come on.

I was sure that this question would ruffle feathers, and that I’d get an answer along the lines of, “No, I’m a person.” But no. Apparently, it sometimes feels like a thing – but not always. So, sometimes they are a person, sometimes it is a person, sometimes it is a thing, and sometimes they are a thing. This is so complicated.

The worst part was – the thing obviously thought it was being intriguing. It considered itself this special enigma that any human being would find fascinating.

I did not. Boh did not. We just hated it even more.

The next question addressed my favorite phrase in the thing’s profile: “crypto-fag.” Boh and I Googled the phrase, and nothing came up. Literally nothing. So we knew we had to find out what obnoxious meaning it had.

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Full. Stop.

As obnoxious as “I like being cryptic” and “I’ve always kinda identified with the term ‘fag'” are, let’s jump straight to the stand-out sentence of this message.

“I like the secretiveness of things sometimes (like, in general).”

What. The fuck. Does that mean.

Nothing. Like, actually nothing.

“I like the secretiveness of things sometimes (like, in general).”

Seriously, if any of my readers have any idea what that’s supposed to mean, please tell me. Or maybe it’s just meant to be cryptic. Such a fucking crypto-fag.

Next, and on our last question, we decided to ask about religion.

At this point, Boh was still convinced our friend the thing was a witch. I thought that it definitely had a special worldview that it had invented all by itself. It didn’t subscribe to any religion – not even a fringe one – instead, it had its own system of spirituality that was just too complex for anyone else to have thought up, or to share.

So I asked.

“What’s the “other” religion in your profile?”

The thing’s answer did not disappoint.

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I win.

Then it turned the conversation to me.

“I have a question for you,” it wrote. “How good is Moby Dick?”

I mention on my OKCupid profile that I thought I’d hate Moby Dick, but it’s actually a masterpiece. So the thing was trying to relate, right? After all, the whole conversation had been about it, and I really hadn’t shared anything about myself, or what I liked, or who I was as a person. So it was reaching out!

Oh, wait. Its “question” was actually a rhetorical one. Basically, it just wanted to talk about itself more, and didn’t really want to know anything about me. It didn’t ask, “What’s your favorite part of Moby Dick?” or, “Why do you think it’s a masterpiece?” No. Just a rhetorical question that would take the conversation nowhere and facilitate more of the thing’s wise and insightful thoughts about the world.

I spent five or ten minutes trying to figure out what to say to move the conversation along, but I couldn’t think of anything. It had brought the conversation to a halt. So I just said, “I love Moby Dick!”

Fortunately, the thing didn’t actually care what I wrote back, because it had more to share about itself.

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How lovely. It reads Moby Dick every August. A special ritual, a delicate homage to a masterpiece that is really, really hard to read and a pretentious book to say is your favorite, anyway. And it had to make sure to brag that it took it longer than usual – a whole two weeks! – to read the tome this year. And it had to make sure to share (entirely unnecessarily, and entirely unprompted) that it had ADHD. This time, after a full fifteen minutes, I had literally zero idea what to say other than, “That’s cool.”

“This is the most unbearable creature in the world,” I said to Boh. “Obviously I have to keep talking to it, but I’m just getting irritated, and it’s not really fun anymore.”

“Why don’t we change gears?” Boh suggested. “Let’s just get weird.”

And thus ends Part 1: The Questioning. Stay tuned for Part 2, in which the messaging turns fun again by taking an absolutely ridiculous, absurd turn.

But he didn’t respond. Oh well.

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On every dating site or app, there’s a cornucopia of really, really boring profiles.

On OKCupid, there’s a question that asks “What are the six things you could never do without?” Obviously, it’s meant to be a cute, pithy way to talk about things you like or care about. To demonstrate that you love to knit, for example, or are really passionate about craft beer.

My list, for the record:

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I figure that represents me pretty well:

I like nice things, like cashmere sweaters. I’m a heavy drinker who prefers whiskey to gin. I’m a writer, and I always keep a small notebook and a nice pen in my purse. I’m feminine, and embrace it with my love for dresses and floral patterns. And I love to read. But, most of all, I love my dog.

There you go. Me in a list.

But way, way too many people’s lists just read: “Family, friends, air, water, food, iphone.” Variations include “the internet” and “my passport.” I’d think it was obvious to any dater that this kind of list says literally nothing about you as a person. That it makes you look fucking boring. And that you care about nothing and have zero interesting shit to talk about. But apparently it works for some people.

Which leads me to the most boring thing.

“I love to travel.”

Well, no shit. Who doesn’t love to travel (full disclosure: I actually don’t, really)?

Traveling is vacation. You’re walking around somewhere unfamiliar with a refreshingly different culture, and have no responsibilities beyond exploring new places and buying handmade pottery.

Saying “I love to travel” is like saying “I enjoy naps” or “I like weekends.” It means nothing, other than that the person writing the profile has nothing more interesting to talk about than the fact that they like having time off and going somewhere new.

So, when men list “my passport” as something they can’t live without, or post pictures of them posing with sedated tigers in Bali, I take that as them saying “I am boring as fuck.” Thanks, but no. Swipe left.

 

 

 

We all know, at this point, that I have a type. Like, majorly have a type. I always have – when I was younger, it was tall, skinny, with dark hair and a beard. Now I’ve shifted to liking a little bit of chunk – something to hold onto, something to cuddle up to. But, other than that, it’s still basically the same – I date tall, hairy, chunky men. It’s predictable.

This guy messaged me on OKCupid. His message was really smart, funny, creative. In one message, he covered camping (hates it) and reality TV (loves it). His profile mentioned that he has a favorite kind of pen. It was so good.

But there was a problem.

He was skinny and couldn’t grow a beard.

Even so, he seemed so perfect that I decided to give it a try. We had amazing text chemistry. He liked the Millionaire Matchmaker. He was on an Old Overholt kick. And he said he liked a woman who was “a challenge.” Everything was trending toward a great fit.

So, we met up for tacos and frozen margaritas. He showed up, and he was good-looking, sure. But I felt like I had a lot more personality than he did. Sure, he was smart. Obviously smart. But he was…boring.

And then it came out.

He went to Harvard.

I have a major, major anti-Ivy bias. Even as a 17-year-old, I knew that I hated the elitism and prestige of an Ivy League school. I hated the idea that people went for the name. I never wanted to feed into the idea that all smart people go to Ivies. I was an A student with exceptional SATs, and I had been captain of a boy’s wrestling team. I could’ve gone wherever I wanted. I could’ve gone to Harvard.

But I didn’t.

When touring schools, my dad and I had this system – we’d stop people at each school and asked what had made them choose it. Everywhere else, people had creative reasons and things they loved about the school. At Harvard, everyone just said, “Well, I got in, and you can’t say no to Harvard.”

Bullshit. I could.

Plus the major Ivy Leaguers – Harvard, Yale, Princeton – are always fucking boring. I know. I’m a major hater. I own it.

Anyway. To be fair to him, this guy wasn’t pretentious. But he clearly felt the same way as those Harvard students I’d spoken to years ago – he wanted the name.

Oh, and he wore a Harvard ring.

Puuuuuuuuke. Puke. Puke. Puke.

I know it’s probably unfair, but the Ivy League thing is something I hate so much that I kind of can’t get past it. Put a hairless, skinny, boring man on top of that? Let’s just say he’s not getting on top of me (Ohhhhhhhh!).