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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.

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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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The night after I invented the Horsegirl, I got another message from the thing.

“What do you do for work?” it asked.

I decided that, this night, the tactic would be “needy and creepy.” So I responded.

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It was entirely unfazed.

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I think I responded with “Sure.” But then I moved on. Mission Needy and Creepy had to continue.

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Being missed by a complete stranger it had never met? No response. Needed to be creepier.

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Fantasizing about your scent? Nothing.

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Naw. I wasn’t going there. So I just ignored the invite, and moved on.

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“Virile” is one of my favorite words, for the record. That and “fecund.” Kinda ew.

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UGH! Playing really, really stupid? NOTHING! How about admitting to lies?

 

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And then I got the line I had been waiting for. The line that signaled complete defeat, on the part of the thing. It loved Erin the Horsegirl. It understood that she was only going to talk about horses. And it was on board.

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I like to read this with a tone of resignation. “I know,” he sighed, swirling his glass of whiskey. “You really like horses.”

And then one more beautiful, beautiful exchange.

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“I understand, and I agree.”

It doesn’t understand. It certainly doesn’t agree. It can’t, possibly, because I’m being totally stupid. What do you mean “I don’t believe in mythical creatures”? That means nothing! But it wants so badly to get on Erin’s good side that it will concede anything, at this point.

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“So, do you want to do something sometime?” I asked. I had to seal the deal before our conversation could be over.

“Hell yeah!” the thing replied.

It was actually excited about meeting the most socially crippled, weirdo horsegirl. Every time I tried to make it too weird, every time I took it what I thought was a step too far, the thing kept up.

I had done it. I had broken it. And that meant my mission was complete. I was ready to be done. I told the thing I was going to sleep, and signed off.

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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Earlier today, I got a text from a guy – what I thought was a picture of a white goose.

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I looked up the area code, and it was Northern Virginia. I assumed an old flame from DC had found my number and contacted me, which was great/creepy as hell.

Anyway, as you can see, he had tried to send me a swan. An ugly duckling who turned into a swan, that is.

But here’s the thing, I was sure. Swans don’t look like that.

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That picture was def not a swan. It was a goose.

This is a swan.

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That? Not a swan.

Nice try, dude. As my dad would say, “Close, but no cigar” (anyone know where that phrase comes from? I have no idea).

Later, I found out who it was. Some guy who had given me 50 bucks and waited for a locksmith with me one time at an Exxon in Virginia five years ago, when I locked my keys in my car. So, that wasn’t weird at all, or anything.

Anyway, further research showed me it was a trumpeter swan, which looks different from the mute swan (the kind with the orange face). I was wrong, he was right.

But it was still creepy.

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?

Every now and then, I swipe right for someone on Tinder and pray desperately that we match.

This gentleman and I matched, and I was so excited. He was so cute. Just my type. We started messaging back and forth, and then exchanging texts. The banter was great. He seemed smart and funny and interesting. And then he sent me a message that hit all of my ego points.

 

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It’s like he was singing a beautiful love song to my soul. And not, like, some bullshit original song. A really good sexy love song (I can’t think of any right now, so you’re gonna have to use your imagination here).

I suggested we get a drink.

His response was less than what I wanted. He told me that he was “in a time of transition,” which, when I inquired, turned out to mean that he was “in the process” of breaking up with a long-term girlfriend. As in, not broken up yet. And they’d been together for three years – so homeboy really needed at least six months before he could hit me up.

Which led to problem number two. He was also planning on moving to Montana in the fall, to teach at some university in Missoula. You might think the issue was one of character, as in, I can’t respect anyone who chooses to live in Montana. But that was secondary to the issue of, well, he won’t be here in a few months.

He apologized. With this perfect text.

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And he was a class-A stalker, which I respect:

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Ugh, be still my heart.

So, a potential great love was thwarted. And I call him a “great love” because motherfucker appreciated all the things I appreciate about me. An all-you-can-eat buffet for my ego.

Too bad I’ll never move to Montana.