Archives for category: Pure Class

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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 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.

So, I’ve been on Tinder and loving it. This was a nice convo I had with a man who was, obviously, pure class. To start with:

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“Oh, my friend sent that to everyone.” Right. That’s like, when I had a crush on a guy in 7th grade, I’d chat with him on AIM. I’d say “I love you” or “I have a crush on you” and then say, “JK, LOL, Sorry, my brother sent that.”

Then he asked me what I was up to. Followed by:

 

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I KNOW I shouldn’t entertain these people. But I just get such a kick out of it.

Also, does “DTF?” actually work for people? I’m all for casual sex, but at least approach me like a human being. Like, maybe say hi first?

There are a few things you don’t discuss in a bar after midnight. Politics is one of them.

I didn’t think I even needed to say that, until the other night.

I started talking to a very good-looking Eastern European man. His name was something like Yitzchak, but that wasn’t it. I don’t remember what it actually was.

We chatted about nice things, appropriate for a bar on a Saturday night, and then things turned to the 2016 election.

It’s hard to avoid talking politics in an election year. I’m from DC. I’m used to that conversation. And in this absurd election, it’s even harder to stay away from discussing Hillary v. Trump (and maybe Bernie) than usual. But it’s really not appropriate casual convo, drunk, with strangers.

“I wish I could just vote for nobody,” the attractive man said. “Have nobody run the country.”

Hold up.

Tangent.

The man who sells me cigarettes at the bodega on my corner is from Yemen. Recently, his kids and his wife came to New York.

“That must have been a huge culture shock,” I said to him, when he told me they were in New York. “How are the kids taking it?”

“They’re so happy,” he said. “They don’t have to worry about being killed.”

And that was a major “check your privilege” moment for me.

I hate that phrase. I think it’s usually used by thoughtless progressives to dismiss dissenting thoughts and opinions without even trying to educate the dissenter about why they’re wrong or ignorant. But in this case – I had been thinking about how these kids were from some third world environment and suddenly transplanted into New York City. I was thinking about the fact that they were thrown into New York public school without knowing a word of English.

I wasn’t thinking about how they were, for the first time in their young lives, actually safe from violence and bombs. How they actually had the chance to sleep through the night or go to school without worrying about these things. When my bodega friend mentioned that his kids were just happy to be fundamentally, physically safe, I couldn’t believe how much I took for granted.

And that was what I thought about when this man told me that he wished that nobody ran America.

“Really?” I said. “I mean, I think we often forget just how safe and stable we are in this country. No one running the country would be a disaster.”

“America has already been at war since World War II,” he said.

“Whoa,” I said. “I don’t agree with that. But let’s just agree to disagree.”

And then his tone shifted from friendly to aggressive.

“There’s nothing to disagree about,” the man said. “This is a fact. Google it.”

“Like I said,” I repeated, “I’d really rather not discuss this.”

“Just Google it,” the man said again.

I’d like to take the space to mention, here, that men not respecting boundaries always makes me feel a little bit unsafe. Even if I’m just saying, “Listen, let’s not talk about that,” being bullied into talking about things I don’t want to talk about isn’t that far away from pressuring me into taking my clothes off when I don’t want to get naked. Maybe that’s just my baggage; my vulnerabilities based on my past. But I think too many men dismiss boundaries that women set by refusing to take no for an answer, and that always feels dangerous to me.

“I’m not going to discuss this any further,” I said, one more time.

“Get out of your coddled little bubble,” the man said, practically spitting his words at me. “Experience the real world.”

“Whoa, dude,” I said. “Don’t start with me. You have no idea what I’ve been through.”

And it was true. Without getting into details, I’m fairly confident that beautiful blond man had not been through nearly as much as I have experienced. I’ve seen a lot. My readers know that. My friends know that even better.

And maybe this is unfair. But he’s a white man. I’m gonna assume he hasn’t. Maybe I’m doing the same thing he was – assuming that another person has never experienced the world as I have. But, at the very least, he shouldn’t have assumed as much about me.

Anyway, that was enough for me. I stood up, told him to go fuck himself, and walked out of the bar.

“Have a good night, sweetheart,” he said, as I walked out.

And he laughed. Because, of course, I had no idea what I was talking about. Obviously. I’m just an ignorant little girl who has spent too much time in my own little bubble.

So, friends, if you’re wondering whether the US has been at war since 1939? Just Google it. It’s a fact.


Either I’m humorless, or he’s an asshole?

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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!).

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