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Monday, February 11, 2013

160

Dates and Dates

JDate owes me a husband. I’ve paid them more than a thousand dollars, not to mention at least two hundred hours of dating time–this doesn’t include prep time of pedicures, waxing and therapy. If dating were tax deductible I could write off half my life. Ergo, I must meet someone on JDate.
I was the guy you went out with when the guy you really cared about had broken your heart.
I vaguely recalled something about my school’s ‘No Fraternization’ policy, but agreed to pay a visit to my twenty-two-year-old Russian-Greek student’s home.

It's Valentine's week; get ready! Haha. Narratively kicks things off with seven rousing tales of dating in New York City, the warmest and most loving city of all. Enjoy!

160 Comments / Post A Comment

redheaded&crazy

well I've got four rousing tales of messages I've received this week, in their entirety:

1. you could do worse
2. so how many lurid and lewd descriptions of sex have you had from men who just want to fuck the shit out of passionate in all the right ways auburn haired sweeties?
3. like to have fun with me babe?

and last, and my personal favourite
4. dibs

Nicole Cliffe

@redheaded&crazy ....

redheaded&crazy

@Nicole Cliffe I should go out with at least one of them right? Nothing ventured nothing gained?

hopelessshade

@redheaded&crazy dibs dude at least would save you a parking spot in all this snow...

redheaded&crazy

@hopelessshade oh! I forgot about the 30 y/o who told me he likes younger women because women his age lack substance and he is looking for something with substance.

Nicole Cliffe

I think he means "breast density," which is often mistaken for "substance" in online dating.

Judith Slutler

@redheaded&crazy I would definitely go out with the "dibs" guy just to find out who the fuck actually writes that kind of message!

Also, "women my age lack substance" seems to be confused on how to flatter younger women by putting down older women. Dude, you just accidentally wrote the subtext as the text. No.

redheaded&crazy

@hopelessshade and you know, I actually responded to dibs guy ("no") (I'm trying to get rid of my red selective response button of shame but, man, these guys) and the thread of messages that followed made me wish for the simpler days of dibs.

redheaded&crazy

@Emmanuelle Cunt very very full of himself. described himself as posessing "macho-action man-heroics." the epic of our love story would be "The Triumph of the Will" (more educated folks than me have noted this is the title of a nazi propaganda flick?). when I turned him down "when your salacious heart overcomes your sagacious brain and can no longer resist my terribly powerful awesomeness, you know where to find me"

redheaded&crazy

@redheaded&crazy in other news, I have not yet succumbed to romcom single girl stereotypes of crying into my 3/4 eaten bucket of icecream but it's a close thing my friends, a close thing indeed.

Judith Slutler

@redheaded&crazy ...hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

what

kellyography

@redheaded&crazy I don't even know if I have a red selective response button, but I hope I do. I'm picky, and when I used to respond nicely (but platonically) to guys just because they mentioned Doctor Who or something, they acted all butthurt when I didn't want to go out with them. I have got no time for that nonsense.

redheaded&crazy

@kellyography I feel that! I just recently reactivated my account, and in my previous go-round of okcupid, I was glad to have the selective button. But now I'm treating it like, low-stakes way of honing my ability to figure out my needs/wants/boundaries. Also, it's kind of fun messing with these guys.

redheaded&crazy

ALTHOUGH (sorry I am turning this thread into All About My Dating Escapades) I did get very unfortunately into it with a guy when I stopped responding to his messages.

He was like: did you change your mind?
And I was like: Yeah I can't date a guy who doesn't smile in his pics. Superficial I know, but guys tell women to smile all the time so turnabout is fair play right?
And he was like: that's a pretty ridiculous reason you have to admit. Why not get to know me?
And then I was like: Why don't you move on to message other girls?
So then HE was like: I could have been your perfect match!
(And I was like: silence)
And THEN he was like: Too bad for me, nothing better than hot dirty degrading sex with a feminist.

so yeah. it's been an interesting week.

Judith Slutler

@redheaded&crazy So basically online dating consists of weirdly aggressive banter and dudes barely disguising their desperation? Damn

kellyography

@redheaded&crazy This is why I can't respond in the first place! There are so many dudes out there who can't just take no for an answer, and then they get aggro and shitty about it.

OKCupid sucks, but guys actually laugh at me when I hit on them in real life (seriously, happened last week), so if I'm not going to be alone forever I guess I have to keep putting myself out there? Worst.

redheaded&crazy

@Emmanuelle Cunt well to be fair, these are the bad ones!

I'll let you know when I receive some good ones.

ahahaahahaaha commence crying into ice cream.

lalaladododo

@redheaded&crazy I signed up for OKC again last weekend and the very first message I got said, "You've got a great smile but you're probably a racist." And I was like, this is why I put off doing this for a year.

area@twitter

@redheaded&crazy this is making me feel better and better about deleting my OKC profile. (To be fair, I didn't get many creepers? The one guy I dated on there was cool and sweet but just didn't click with me.)
I've decided my next step for dating is going to be to volunteer somewhere. (SPCA?) Gets me out of the house and forces me to interact with people, some of whom I may be interested in dating.

redheaded&crazy

@Emmanuelle Cunt is my banter too weirdly aggressive? probably ... I do tend to the dark side like that. Damn.

@area@twitter I thought that maybe the dog park could be a good place to meet dudes but all the cutest/friendliest ones have girlfriends already. :(

ohmy

@redheaded&crazy I know I totally have the red selective response button and it infinitely annoys me. My question is: do guys get crazy messages like girls do? Do girls actually send messages like "hey baby, dtf?" and "dibs" and "I like your feet" (which is how I learned not to have photos showing bare feet). The reason I have a red button is most of my messages come from awful, perverted dudes. I don't want to respond to them!

and now I feel like my red button means potential dudes don't message me out of fear. grrr.

Judith Slutler

@redheaded&crazy Nah I actually think "did you change your mind?" in response to someone doing a slow fade, is pretty aggressive and weird! But I am probably way too delicate for The Internet in general!

leonstj

@redheaded&crazy - We need to do a big exploration into like, dudes who are passive-aggressive weirdos about rejection. It fascinates me.

Like...I am a dude, who enjoys generally being the one who asks the lady out, who pays for the first several dates, etc. As such, rejection is just like, a thing, ya know? And it sucks / hurts a bit, but over time, you just kind of get used to it.

I can't for the life of me imagine why I would want to engage further with the rejection? Like, are there some women who are like "Oh, I didn't want to go out with this guy when he asked me out, but now that he has insulted me and pointed out that I should be lucky someone of his caliber would deign to express interest in me, I better show up for some vodka sodas because he's probably right?"

Not that it ever working would change my approach or anything. But I'm straight up fascinated by the idea of any other process beyond "Hi, you seem interesting. Do we both interest each other? If so, cool, let's see where it goes. If not, no worries, not everyone is for everyone! Good luck!"

Edit: @ohmy - I don't think dudes get crazy messages like women-folk do on OKC. I mean, obviously, women being just regular human beings, there are plenty of crazy ones on there, just as there are plenty of crazy dudes, but luckily (haha "luckily" for men, it is actually not lucky but a horrible thing) "Crazy" for dudes seems more likely to mean "aggressive/arrogant", and "crazy" for ladies seems more likely to be other ways which, while a bummer, are not really that big of a hassle for dudes the way aggro-dudes are for ladies.

area@twitter

@redheaded&crazy I have been dogsitting the past few days and I admit that I've been casually casting my eyes about at the dog park. (In between picking up poop. Which may be the fatal flaw in this plan.)

alannaofdoom

@lalaladododo ...is that supposed to be a 'neg'? Swing and a miss, dude, try again.

Also, @redheaded&crazy, I know the convo has moved on but I am still stuck on "Triumph of the Will". Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Dude, put down the thesaurus, and stop cribbing your answers from "100 Influential Movies" or whatever.

ETA: now I'm wondering, which would be a worse answer: "Triumph of the Will" or "Birth of a Nation"?

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@leon s
Rebecca Gilman's Boy Gets Girl explores this at some length, though perhaps at a more severe level than you are imagining.

redheaded&crazy

@leon s I'm fascinated by it too because, if somebody stops responding to me or stops texting me ... for me, it's an ego-protecting thing too. Slow fade, got it, no need for the outright rejection! I do realize that being the gender that is expected to do less initiating I experience this on a far smaller scale. But in my response to dude I was like "why not message other girls? that's what I do when guys stop responding to me (happens frequently)" because the behaviour really flummoxed me. And then he went on to be even weirder and shittier and more aggressive.

Sometimes I try to engage with dudes, not to "teach them a lesson" (kind of presumptuous) but just to be like "what you're doing isn't working for me, take a hint?" (is that still presumptuous?). But a lot of the time it would probably be a better decision for me not to engage at all? Not that I'm at fault for their responses, but me responding contributes to it.

For example dibs dude, he actually responded in a fairly charming way to my "no" response. So I was like "hey ... if you feel that way (think my profile is so attractive/charming/whatever) why wouldn't you say something more than just dibs? Dude, I cannot be dibbsed. COME ON!"

and then it ... spiralled downwards from there, but anyway.

But weirdly it seems to me like the continued aggressive responses are an ego-saving measure in their own right. It wouldn't work for me/I don't really get it but that's kind of the impression I get. Like guys who call girls ugly when they get turned down. Something about cognitive dissonance. I don't even know.

Champagne and potato chips

@leon s Not to get super "I took one Women's Studies course in college and here is what I have retained from it," but....
I think this is the main problem/vicious circle coming from society's insistence that women owe it to the men around them to look pretty, but if women look pretty enough to attract a man, they owe them affection in return. There have been a slew of articles lately about how women who want to move up the corporate ladder are expected to wear more makeup, etc., which suggests that maximizing her attractiveness is still a prerequisite for success even in fields where beauty should be irrelevant (not acting, modeling).
But there is an insidious attitude still that by making herself look attractive and inviting the male gaze, a woman is implicitly giving the man permission access to her body, visually and otherwise. I think some of the aggression in these encounters comes from men's subconscious view that the woman is rescinding a permission that the man feels has already been given through the medium of attractiveness, or even rejecting a reaction that men feel is "forced" from them.
I am not sure if any of this makes sense, but the more scary, aggressive reactions I've gotten from men that I rejected had this weird undercurrent of owing, that since I had somehow, unintentionally prompted them to attraction, it was my job to resolve the situation and if I did not, they were the aggrieved party who had been promised something and not received it.

Sunny Schomaker

@Emmanuelle Cunt That's been my experience. Although most recently, I've gotten boilerplate messages so generic I can't even be bothered to delete them.

iceberg

@redheaded&crazy please never stop turning threads into All About My Dating Escapades

parallel-lines

@leon s I think it's a way of trying to regain power--someone's hurt you and you can hurt them in an immediate way with very little investment (since you're probably never going to meet them, they rejected you!). Just like those dudes on the street who sexually harass women and when they're rebuffed/ignored, scream, "You're not that great any way!"

As for women emailing dudes, I'm sure there's the crazies but what always got to me was just straight up, uninvited sexual harassment. Dudes saying things so lewd and upsetting and feeling they could do that to women - few of these dudes would ever have the balls to act that way in real life - it feels really violating after a while. I'm sure dudes get some weird messages but I've gotten straight up rape fantasies before, it's so fucked up.

Judith Slutler

@redheaded&crazy

NOO I JUST WROTE A GIANT COMMENT AND IT GOT EATEN :(

ohmy

@leon s That's what I figured about okc messages. Though some guy wrote on his profile under You Should Message Me- "you don't have photos of yourself topless in a mirror." So apparently some girls post topless photos? I feel like is the same sort of crazy train as the agressive dudes.

There is such a seedy underbelly of okc, bordering on craigslist territory.

lisma

@leon s my ultimate passive aggressive message was from a dude who went on and on about how how I hadn't given him any material to work with because my profile was "practically blank." He then said that he knew I probably got a lot of messages because I'm "cute and breathing, which is all men really care about." (Men, alway just one attractive girl away from necrophilia!) And that he was interested but that the ball was now in my court but I should message him either way because then he would get closure. In his mind, our brief/non-existent relationship warranted closure. DELETE.

leonstj

@Champagne and potato chips - I think the "owing something" and "deflecting hurt" experiences make total sense.

I guess I just was only thinking of it in a like, efficiency maximizing sort of way - if a woman rejects you, you are unlike to gain an increase in your probability of becoming part of a happy relationship by responding negatively, so your efforts are best spent on finding new women to speak to who are potentially more suitable romantic matches.

As I type that, it dawns on me that I'm freakishly robotic about some things, which is probably why I'm on a dating website in the first place.

ETA: Obviously it's dickish and shouldn't be done even if it DID somehow help increase a guy's chances of getting laid / finding a loving partner, cuz the ends don't really justify the means. What I'm saying isn't "don't be a dick because it's not going to be helpful" but "My stupid robot brain can't even comprehend why people would be heinous in a situation where they can't even expect to gain from it - not that it's cool to be heinous ever, but at least I *get it* with things like burglary, where there's an obvious gain from being horrible."

Melusina

@redheaded&crazy Someone needs to take away that man's access to Thesaurus.com.

redheaded&crazy

@Melusina seriously.

Alsoooo there is a certain element of "don't feed the trolls" which I know I kind of covered with "I contribute to this by responding" but, at some point this guy must have known it wasn't going to work but even after I didn't respond to his last message he decides to send me an even more inflammatory message? Obviously just trying to get a rise/response out of me.

The concept of searching out negative attention like that is pretty foreign to me ... but then again admittedly I am attracted to some arrogance (although at least these days I recognize it/recognize that it's not the best signifier for healthy relationships)

iceberg

@Champagne and potato chips "I had somehow, unintentionally prompted them to attraction, it was my job to resolve the situation and if I did not, they were the aggrieved party who had been promised something and not received it."

oh my goddd we are all doomed let's move to the moon. sorry this just spoke to me so hard! recalling when I used to get street harassed on the daily.

Ellie

For what it's worth, I'm a girl who is REALLY bad at being rejected (though I don't do online dating, and if I did, I would never, ever, ever message someone a second time after not getting a reply, or continue to press for reasons for disinterest) - I'm just referring to IRL situations like where someone I've been hooking up with mostly doesn't reply to my messages but I keep trying anyway because it occasionally leads to a hookup, or maybe I declare my affections to someone a second time after he has politely declined. It's not that I can't tell what's going on, it's that I don't have enough will power not to keep trying. So I think that might be going on with these dudes but with an even lower threshold because of the lower stakes.

MrComment

@ohmy I'm pretty sure the "you don't have photos of yourself topless in a mirror." is a joke. A lot of women have that in their profiles to filter out certain types of guys.

Lu2
Lu2

What are "hoildays"? (see category tag)

purefog

@Lu2
Brooklynese for "hurl-days."

Lu2
Lu2

@purefog HA! :D

garli

Is there any city that doesn't blow for dating? Like, "Yeah, Boston is a great place to meet fun men"?

Amphora

@garli Minneapolis, for instance, is MUCH less socially competitive than NYC. Meeting a guy means more than getting his resume in other cities.

Amphora

@Amphora And no you can't stop me from knocking NYC every chance I get! it's a nice place but I hated living there.

whizz_dumb

@garli You mean my string of dating disappointments that reached the point of getting thoroughly (almost traumatically) grossed out is still relevant and worth complaining about even though it happened nearly 3,000 miles outside New York City?

garli

@whizz_dumb Yes, complain away.

No I mean like everywhere I've ever lived it's like THIS PLACE SUCKS TO DATE BECAUSE OF X. And usually it's true. The only conclusion is that dating sucks.

whizz_dumb

@garli It was gross enough that I might be asexual for a while. Like 6 months or so, maybe a month or two. At least a week. Maybe I'll meet somebody the opposite of gross tonight and I'll be fixed.

Pygmalion

@garli Just a heads up, Boston is a terrible place to meet acceptable men / a great place to meet terrible men (take your pick).

Is it all cities? Because I'm trying to get out of here but I don't want to get my hopes up that other cities are better than this for dating.

zamboni

@garli The worst elements of my personality are CONVINCED that 1) there is such a city and 2) NO ONE WHO LIVES THERE WILL TELL US ABOUT IT.

garli

@Pygmalion Oh, heh there is no danger of me moving to Boston or meeting men there. I'm married and live on the other side of the country but the dating scene HERE is gross and terrifying and I am glad to be out of it. It's a pretty standard topic of conversation, so I'm just curious if there's a place that doesn't suck.

I guessed Boston because it's got a young population and probably new people move there all the time.

WaityKatie

@zamboni It's on the west coast, right? Everyone's always saying there's more men on the west coast.

redheaded&crazy

@WaityKatie Oh yeah, I think it's Whistler (BC)! I believe in Whistler. Whistler you better be a single man mecca of glory. I'm banking on it.

Lily Rowan

@Pygmalion I think partly it's all cities, partly because different places are good for different people. I had a conversation recently with a guy who was saying he was a better catch in NYC than he is in Boston, but I am definitely a better catch in Boston.

WaityKatie

@Lily Rowan Yeah, you know, I complained a lot about my craptacular dates when I lived in DC, but at least I could get dates there. But here in NYC I'm just a gigantic old undateable whale. Le sigh. Need to escaaaaape....

ptthhhbbbbt

@garli I'm probably partial because I met my husband there, but I really liked dating in Austin. The population is skewed on the younger side, it's a lot more mellow than the east coast, and even if your date sucks you're probably someplace with some pretty good live music and/ or tacos.

Chesty LaRue

@redheaded&crazy Also Fort McMurray has a lot of young people. And money. And days off.

garli

@garli Ooo, my bestie met her partner in Austin and I super love him. Two data points!

oh! valencia

@Chesty LaRue and juiceboxes!

MilesofMountains

@Chesty LaRue Noooo dating in the north is terrible. Dating in northern BC was worse than dating anywhere else I've lived.

Ottawa, though. I've had two friends tell me dating is so good in Ottawa.

Chesty LaRue

@MilesofMountains The dating part is easy. The "not dating a juicebox" is hard.

Decca

Here's the best Valentine's Day story I've read: An Eyeball and a Dozen Roses.

anachronistique

@Decca Thank you so much for linking to that, it's been the best part of my day so far.

parallel-lines

JDATE, I have provided you with ONE THOUSAND AMERICAN DOLLARS, billable at a rate of over two hundred hours of "dating" (work rendered in various allotments over time with additional fees render in form of "going dutch"). I demand you provide one (1) man of suitable size, stature and employment (non labor-intensive) for usage in marital activities (the scope of which are yet still to be determined). Please provide said man, assumption that his services rendered have been paid in full by aforementioned fees, to a RED LOBSTER at 20:00 HRS on FEBRUARY 14. Man should be in possession of RED ROSES, 12 LONG STEM, NON-NEGOTIABLE, arriving in business casual dress with a functional credit card for payment of food services.

C_Webb

@parallel-lines A non-Jewish friend of mine made a J-Date profile with the headline "Shiksas are for practice." Immediately broke the internet.

stonefruit

@parallel-lines er - maybe not Red Lobster for a JDate match.

parallel-lines

@stonefruit HAHAHAHAHA--OOPS!

(ps: I'm a welder)

stonefruit

@parallel-lines LOL I didn't think people like you existed on JDate!

UGH please everyone know that I am kidding, not all Jewish ladies are classist hose-beasts.

parallel-lines

@stonefruit Jesus was a Jewish carpenter and he seemed like a solid dude (tho, let's be honest, totally broke and his friends were kinda weird but WINE AMIRITE?!), what's wrong with a Jewish welder?!

Amphora

The best landlord bonding experience I ever had was when I helped my divorced-with-grown-kids landlady respond to her JDate messages. The Older Generation is much more nervous about being judged for online dating (it's okay! really! it's a great way to meet shut-ins like my husband!)

iceberg

@Amphora I read this as "landlord boning experience" at first, which would have been a very different story ;)

Ellie

Oh my god! That first story articulated my problem with OKCupid! That it's only "OK." That is such a perfect insight. It characterizes the site and what I hate about it so perfectly.

WaityKatie

@Ellie I've been calling it "Just-ok cupid" for a while, and I really hope this catches on now! (although, since trying it in NYC, it's more like self-esteem-crushing cupid, blergh.)

martinipie

@WaityKatie Seriously, I had this realization as well....why isn't it called AWESOMECUPID or YAYCUPID or GREATCUPID? But literally all of my OKC dates were...okay, so I guess they're not falsely advertising!

WaityKatie

@martinipie It is possibly the most accurately named website out there.

Inkling

@Ellie
I always read it like "Okaaay, Cupid, your turn now." I like y'all's interpretation better.

ohmy

relevant okcupid story from this weekend:
I went to the movies near my house. They have a bar, so roomie and I showed up early. As I'm waiting to get my drink I sort of look around the room and catch the eye of a dude....who I realize is a guy I blew off on okcupid. And he totally knew it was me. Then roomie stood at the table next to his. He moved tables so fast. At the time it was awkward, the next morning it seemed more hilarious.

Poor dude. Sorry I wasn't interested in you and you messaged me a million times.

WaityKatie

@ohmy I had a strange, creepy-looking dude come up to me in a starbucks once a few years ago and tell me that he saw me on match.com, and that he wrote me a message but I never responded. What is a person supposed to say to that? (I didn't have any memory of this guy either, but judging from his overall creepitude he was probably telling the truth that I ignored his message.) OH, and another time I went out with a guy from...nerve.com I think? And we met up with his roommate, who later told the guy that he had ALSO written me on the site and I ignored him. Ahhhhh internet dating, so horrible. (Now that I am over 35 I don't get very many messges to ignore, so PROBLEM SOLVED.)

ohmy

@WaityKatie One of my friends went on a date last week and when a bunch of us looked at the profile another friend was like "oh, I went on a date with him a few months ago!" I live in the 3rd largest city in the country but somehow it all overlaps.

I'd rather just not respond to dudes than go on one terribly awkward date and have to reject them after. If I know I'm not attracted to you from a message/profile, then it feels less hurtful to lead the dude on.

lasso tabasco

@ohmy THIS is why I won't do OKC! I live in one of those mid-sized Midwestern capitals where EVERYONE goes to the same five restaurants and ten bars on Saturday nights, and the men who aren't already married (ugh, the Midwest)are all the brothers of ex-boyfriends or the friends of the ex-boyfriends or the friends of the friend's exboyfriends. They are everywhere. whyyyyyyyyyyy.

WaityKatie

@lasso tabasco Although, I live in NYC, and my coworker (one of 10 who works in the sub-office I'm in) showed up as one of my OKC matches. So it might not be the midwestern mid-sized city's fault! (it is the fault of the internet, like most things.)

lasso tabasco

@WaityKatie Damn the internet!

Blushingflwr

@ohmy I had a dude come up to me at an event and basically get me to recreate my profile photo (at the time it was me looking down a bit and so he put something for me to look at) and then was like "I knew it! You're Blushingflower" and I was a little creeped out, even though I had actually replied to this guy (but in an informative way, not an interested way).

ohmy

@WaityKatie I had a coworker come up as well. So awkward. I'm secretly praying he never goes on okcupid.

Urwelt

@WaityKatie I have have seen multiple coworkers. I have randomly run into five separate guys I went out with at later dates. One guy I went out with later started dating a girl who cheated on him with another guy I went out with from OKC. It's insane.

Mae
Mae

I was a little annoyed by this part of the piece on JDate:

"My second boyfriend was a welder. Now, when I read this on JDate I thought it was a joke, the way men write under profession, “clown school” or for birthplace, “another planet.” I LOLed, it was so funny. (I’d never seen a blue-collar person on JDate.) When he called his voice was sexy and raspy and I didn’t realize it was because he’d pulled an all-night welding shift, and by the time I realized he actually was a welder it was too late because I’d already accepted a date."

The existence of blue collar people is hilarious, lol. /sarcasm.

.abbey

@Mae i thought this was... bizarre. as if being a welder is literally as joke worthy as being... an alien? and then she's like "i know it's taboo! BUT I'LL SAY IT! it didn't work because of class differences!". i was like, nah pretty sure you're just kind of an asshole.

Decca

@Mae Yeah, this rubbed me up the wrong way as well. Saying 'by the time I realized he actually was a welder it was too late' makes her sound like an asshole.

Mae
Mae

@Decca Yep.

H.E. Ladypants

@Decca If you substitute "vampire" for "welder" it makes the story much more interesting.

whizz_dumb

@Mae Only a little annoyed? Being a welder makes you more date-able in my book.

Ellie

@Mae I didn't like that either, at all. This is probably just as bad but in the other direction, but I feel like a) I never in a million years would have thought something like that would be a joke - like, seriously, who do you think does welding? What the fuck? b) I feel like that would make someone more interesting to me because it's a much rarer profession to come across than "grad student" or "financial analyst" which is basically everyone else I hear about on dating sites.

Bittersweet

@Decca It also makes her seem really clueless. Skilled welders are in high demand now, as manufacturing moves back to the U.S. from overseas, and they can make some serious coin.

(I don't mean to imply that salary is the only thing you should be judging when going on dates, but if she's putting down welders because of some antiquated notion that what they do isn't valued or valuable, then she's just a big honkin' idiot.)

teaandcakeordeath

@H.E. Ladypants
"My second boyfriend was a vampire. Now, when I read this on JDate I thought it was a joke, the way men write under profession, “clown school” or for birthplace, “another planet.” I LOLed, it was so funny. (I’d never seen a velvet-collar person on JDate.) When he called his voice was sexy and raspy and I didn’t realize it was because he’d pulled an all-night feeding shift, and by the time I realized he actually was a vampire it was too late because he'd already devoured my soul."

hands_down

@Mae A good friend once told me that my relationship with a guy didn't work out because "he didn't go to college." Farewell, good friend!

fabel

@.abbey oh, wow. She literally, actually says that--I thought maybe you were snarkily re-interpreting her overall reaction to his profession. But she really says that. Wow.

C_Webb

@Ellie I TRIED TO LIKE YOUR COMMENT AND DELETED ONE OF YOUR LIKES INSTEAD! I AM SORRY! ALL THE LIKES.

leonstj

@Mae - She is also extra-dumb, because, in my experience, being a dude who has been a blue-collar guy and now an office-dude...

Blue-collar dude is just better at dating. There is something about working all day with your hands that makes you just appreciate human interactions (from talking to...not talking) so much more.

So much of blue-collar work leaves you "alone in your head" that you end up with like, a rich set of inner thoughts you're ready to discuss - most of the best convos of my life have been with blue-collar people after long shifts, when they start talking about some shit they've been mulling over for 8 hours.

Just thinking about it now has me nostalgic. I wish I could call in sick to work any day I have a date and just be a carpenter for 8 hours beforehand.

Judith Slutler

@Mae Ummm I only wish my boyfriend could weld! Oh the welded things I would own if I were dating a welder.

Lisa Frank

@Ellie Financial analyst is actually code for vampire.

whizz_dumb

@leon s Very good point. Thinking about it, I do have a lot to talk about after a long day of working at a construction site. After 8 hours of sitting staring at a screen and technical writing, I'm tapped out and probably less interesting to be around.

Lu2
Lu2

@Mae I wonder if what she really meant was a joke on the stereotype that Jewish men are not "handy"--that they're more the lawyer/doctor/office worker type and not rugged craftsmen. Since she's Jewish, she gets to make that (not too imaginative) joke. But the "too late" part makes me doubt that, unless she meant, "I was already into him by the time I realized I was operating on the wrong assumption."

sunflowernut

@C_Webb Yeah that part really confused me. Welding is manly and sexy! And they can make a lot of money! Just because it's technically blue collar, it doesn't have to mean anything. That being said, once I went out with a welder I met on OKCupid (just because he was a welder! and an artist!) he turned out to be a major creep. He texted me every few months for the next year, even after I specifically told him I didn't want to date him.

Mae
Mae

@Lu2 Yeah, I think the fact that she's all "too late, I'd already messaged him" outs her as just an asshole.

leonstj

@whizz_dumb - I think for dudes who have a progressive mindset but were still raised in this culture, it also simplifies some of the masculinity issues dudes face. Like, in my family, men cooked, cleaned and grocery shopped and watched the kids if the wives wanted to go bowling or to a pottery class with their friends - they were equal partners in the domestic labor, I never once heard a father, grandfather, or uncle say "That's the womans work!" as anything other than a joke as he was mopping or baking.

There's still a lot of societal pressure - and even pressure from women we date - for men to still be "Masculine" and "Manly". Like, even though I would self-identify as a "feminist", I still want to be "A Real Man" in relationships - but in a good, pleasant to both parties, enjoyable way.

Having a part of your life, as a dude, where you do traditionally masculine shit makes it easy to not really think about the whole thing.

Plus, when you finish a physical demanding day, there is a real rush of, I dunno, maybe testosterone? Like, you just feel really rugged and MAN-ish, in a way that like, feels very good.

WaityKatie

@Mae Well, except that she went on to date him for a year. I don't think it's totally ridiculous to say that a relationship didn't work out because of no common interests, although saying it's because he's a welder is nonsensical, but maybe that was an attempted shorthand for that? I'd take a welder who goes home at night and reads books over a "finance guy" any day (in my experience many of them are functionally illiterate sociopaths). But a welder who's really into sports and having a family (not my jam)? No thanks, not because he's "not good enough" for me, but because we would have nothing to talk about and no common values.

Ellie

@C_Webb It's ok! Whatever deletion did not show up on my computer.

I once did make a really bonehead remark along these lines to some guy I was talking to at a party (whom I thought was kind of flirting with me even though he had a girlfriend not at the party and I was there for the host of the party). He was a plumber and upon hearing this I immediately responded excitedly that I had always found it a really interesting profession (true) and that it's totally what I would pick if I were going to go into - and he cut me off and said "A trade?" and I felt like a jerk. I had been about to say "Something that actually made money" but I still felt bad because of implying that, like, choosing "a trade" at random was some whimsical thing. Plumbers can make bank though. My parents have this super cool female plumber with her own business.

queenofbithynia

@sunflowernut Welding is manly

Did Jennifer Beals live and die in vain??

(Sexy, I'll give you.)

WaityKatie

@Ellie Too bad you're not a lawyer (assuming you aren't). Then you could have told him that and gotten a look of pity rather than resentment. ("I always thought being a plumber would be what I would have done if I hadn't decided to throw my life away on this meaningless and debt-ridden profession instead...")

whizz_dumb

@leon s AGREED! After that 12-hour grueling day of work, there is definitely a second wind (usually after a shower-beer) that is noticeable, I get in this crazy good mood for how tired and crabby I should be. Testosterone is a good guess (surprised I'm not balding faster). Also, my step-dad & mom / step-mom & dad definitely shared chores very equally. My step-dad had a saw mill and looks like a lumber jack while being very progressive. Dad has his manly hobbies. Manly feminist is an identifier I can embrace so easily.

queenofbithynia

@leon s Having a part of your life, as a dude, where you do traditionally masculine shit makes it easy to not really think about the whole thing.

Plus, when you finish a physical demanding day, there is a real rush of, I dunno, maybe testosterone? Like, you just feel really rugged and MAN-ish, in a way that like, feels very good.

I mean...how do you think this kind of atmosphere of masculine ownership of their livelihoods feels to women in the trades? I ask as a semi-serious question, since I am not one.

whizz_dumb

@queenofbithynia I would guess that a hard day of work in the trades also results in feelings of pride and accomplishment for women, maybe even more-so than men. Testosterone shmestosterone.

leonstj

@queenofbithynia - I'm not sure about the testosterone thing - that I meant as a purely physiological response, where I can speak to how I feel, which has been corroborated by a lot of other dudes I've spoken to who feel the same (basically, all dudes I know & have spoken of feel way more ready to get physical w/ a lady after a long day of hard labor, is what I was getting at).

I, not too surprisingly, don't know many women who've done a lot of manual labor. And I think I should point out, I'm very much being dumb and blurring the lines between trades/blue-collar/and manual labor - I think a PM on a construction site who gets to keep his button-up clean probably has a day a lot more like me, even if he moved up in the ranks from being a tradesman to being management. So I'm speaking mostly, in the "manliness" thing, about physical labor within trades.

That said, I can think of two women who I've done manual labor along side. One was a lesbian to whom I was related, who had a history of doing traditionally "male" work, and the other was a girlfriend of one of the guys on a crew, who was filling in an open role for unskilled labor for a couple months - not just straight, but more on the femme side, not someone who would have been called a tomboy at all.

Their responses to the day were a lot like the guys. They'd go home, get a shower, and if we all met up for beer, they'd have the same special type of swagger only labor can give you that the men would (which is, I learned from observing the coworkers ladyfriend, a not at all unattractive trait in a woman). It didn't make the youngish straight gf who was filling in any more 'butch', and it didn't make the lesbian relative any different than her usual non-traditional in too many ways to some up here gender-norm confirming or rejecting mix than she was when she worked jobs which were less burdened with gender-role stuff.

Dude who's girlfriend worked the job with us, when teased by the guys about "his girl" doing "man's work" (I know. I'm defending manual labor, but some things haven't really changed much) would joke that...um...it positively impacted her libido in the same way I'm saying it does for guys. That might still be testosterone related.

For both, there was the same psychological feeling of accomplishment of "God damn, I DID SOMETHING today" that a man gets out of work with ones hands, and while it was never discussed, I would imagine that a woman, often told in so many subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) ways that men can do things they can't, probably got a little bit of "Eat that, society, women CAN TOO fuckin' do it," swagger and pride. I hope so, anyhow, cuz that sort of positive feeling is how things will really change.

emmycantbemeeko

@Mae

Also note, these men would rather "join the military *during wartime* than have a conversation about The Relationship." Because of course joining the military during wartime is the craziest, most hyperbolic thing she can think of! Really, who *does that*? Volunteer military service: almost as wacky as being a welder!

God the entire piece set my teeth on edge.

Judith Slutler

@leon s I agree with this. I'm the opposite of a handywoman but I love manual labor especially in the garden, it's just so fantastic to dig big holes and cart dirt around in wheelbarrows and stuff. Same deal with the physically tiring aspects of say, waiting tables. It's satisfying and relaxing to come home and be ACTUALLY TIRED.

queenofbithynia

@leon s OK, well...I have no particular bone to pick with anything you just said, but I wasn't asking how women in the trades feel after a hard day's physical work (like people, is what I figured, much like you say) but rather how they feel about the exclusionary attitude that the trades are a man-space for men to feel manly about; that women's hands are connected to their brains in a different way then men's are, or something, such that you only speak for yourself and other men in this context as if you don't want to run the risk of being wrong about women's pride in their work, as if that were a real possibility.

I acknowledge that my weak efforts not to come off like a confrontational dick in the comments section lead me to overcompensate in the direction of not being very clear about what I'm getting at, though, because I know that they do. and how!

I think that this: "the same psychological feeling of accomplishment of "God damn, I DID SOMETHING today" that a man gets out of work with ones hands" --

is a piece of non-sense along the lines of "the feeling of sedated satisfaction a woman feels when she devours an entire turkey carcass" or "the feeling of despair a woman feels when she sees her house burn down with all her possessions inside" -- like, gendering a universal human experience in a way that is weird.

My very small experience of women in physical professions is that they have a lot of (sadly one-directional) loyalty towards and defensiveness about their brother workers because there's so much classism around people assuming that blue-collar men are more sexist than white-collar men. As a woman who works in an office, I am pretty positive that assumption is false; however, despite the glass ceiling and all, I never feel like people actually forget that women do work in offices.

leonstj

@queenofbithynia - I apologize for not answering your question more directly - reading back, it's on me, not you, that I didn't address it right.

I mention the pride in the work as happening for women not in order to add gender to what I agree is a universal feeling, but to add context to the second part of what I'm saying in that sentence - I know that they felt the same pride as I did in the work, what I don't know (because I was too young and too foolish when around it to know that this was a valid thing worth talking about) whether they had differing reactions to the work, because of the traditional male domination of the field. I apologize if I made it seem like "when ladies did the man work, they got the man pride" - I didn't at all mean it that way.

I agree with you a lot on the class thing - in my life, around blue-collar families, the gay men and women I knew identified more strongly (or perhaps only vocally?) with the class than with gender - but I was lucky enough to grow up around open minded people near a major city with a vibrant gay culture, so the economic realities of life as a laborer could be more determining that who one was attracted to.

What I would say is, I do apologize most profusely if, when saying that "As a man, I like manual labor because it makes me feel manly" I am saying "Therefore, women shouldn't do it because it is manly." What I suppose would be more accurate to say is "While I reject the notion that any activities inherently belong to one gender, there is still a really deep part of me which can never fully jettison the gender ideas I was raised with. While I logically don't agree with them, coming to terms with that emotionally is extremely difficult. For me, personally, manual labor gives me a way to take part in a masculinity I so looked up to as a little boy, but reject in many ways as an adult, without holding women down - it's a personal manliness, but hopefully one which isn't still there for the next generation."

More than anything, though, I really want to say thank you for responding so kindly and in depth to what I said. One of the things I love about commenting here is realizing that, even when meaning well, little things in how I approach the world can be revealed through what seemed to me like an innocuous turn of phrase. Thank you for being one of the people who makes me question that - I know it's nobody's job but their own to improve how they see the world and treat others, but comments like yours do really help me do that job for myself.

DeeDeeSkates

@Mae If we're not done talking about how off-putting parts of the first piece were, the whole "you know who I'd have a one-night stand with? Someone named SHAQUILLE" sent serious side-eye in her direction (from my direction). It seemed to be contrasted with people she'd actually want to marry, too, which increased the unpleasantness. Maybe this author was single so long because of how blithely offensive she could be to just about anyone!

teaandcakeordeath

Dating doesnt really work. Can we come up with some other system?
3 month romantic leases?
Artificial 'meet cutes'?

H.E. Ladypants

That last story, you guys. It made the whole thing worth it.

.abbey

i just got a message on facebook from a guy i haven't spoken to in five years saying "are you free on valentine's day? or better yet now?". yes - why delay! we've wasted so much time already!

Lu2
Lu2

@.abbey --Awesome! Tell him how flattered you are to know that he's been thinking of you nonstop for the last five years, and how much you're looking forward to a super-special date designed to win you back. ;-)

wee_ramekin

@.abbey Hahahaha, I read your post as a serious post at first and I was like "No! Do goooooooo! He wants to scalp you and use your skullskin as a dishraaaaaaaag!".

.abbey

@wee_ramekin i think he really does! i just got a message from my best childhood friend saying he has been hovering on her road and calling to her house looking for me - i don't even live on that continent any more! LOCK UP YOUR CHILDREN

Kira-Lynn@twitter

Ugh, I OkCupid is a fucking nightmare.

I am really over it in the city in which I live, but I just went on vacation to visit my parents and so I was checking out people who live there. I guess because I was fresh meat I got a SLEW of messages and they were all the worst. I try to adjust my profile a lot - it used to be long and serious, I am trying to make it more short and fun, etc.
But basically guys don't read it. Ever. At all. No matter what. And ALL the queer women I see on there complain of the same thing.

So it is not that all guys on OkCupid are bad. I know cool guys that use it. But it is a nightmare because using it means basically experiencing way more creepiness than just going to a fucking bar.

"I started going to singles bars because I tired of the online dating scene."

WaityKatie

@Kira-Lynn@twitter The problem now is though, good luck meeting anyone at a bar, because everyone's on their phones constantly (probably checking their online dating profiles) and won't even look up long enough for casual eye contact. Ugh.

redheaded&crazy

@WaityKatie UGH IS RIGHT.

redheaded&crazy

although I completely suck at meeting people at bars anyway because I do not know how to initiate conversations with strangers one, and when strangers initiate conversation with me I assume they are the worst person and deserve my scorn two.

I just can't figure out what isn't working for me!

WaityKatie

@redheaded&crazy Whenever a stranger smiles at me, I usually assume they must be looking at someone behind me or something. Or that there is something hilarious about my outfit/hair/face.

redheaded&crazy

@WaityKatie Stranger waves at me. I turn around to look behind me then look back with "who, me?" confusion on my face. Stranger says "yes, you."

I'm sooo smoooooth.

Faintly Macabre

@redheaded&crazy Was it like this?

OMG ARE YOU MOLLY RINGWALD?

redheaded&crazy

@Faintly Macabre oh my god NO because dude was not nearly that adorable, and I fucking wish I was molly ringwald in my dreams!

klemay

"I was the guy you went out with when the guy you really cared about had broken your heart."

Someone get this guy a fedora. He seems like a Nice Guy.

stonefruit

@klemay YEP!

Actually I went on an OKCupid date a few months ago with a fedora guy, and after arriving 10-15 minutes late, within the first ten minutes of our conversation, he shared his views on how women who were harassed on public transport were probably asking for it and needed to be more off-putting.

I gave him a second chance, for reasons I still don't quite grasp, and he was 15 minutes late again. I suspect this is something from The Game/PUA bullshit. There was no third date.

large__marge

@stonefruit I once went out with a guy from Plentyoffish (AVOID AVOID AVOID IT IS THE LITERAL WORST) who spent the evening trying to convince me that women had it better in the Middle Ages because knights were so chivalrous to everyone!

I stalked him on facebook shortly after and he turned out to be a giant Tea Partier. Dodged a bullet on that one, big time.

whizz_dumb

@large__marge My buddy described it, "OKCupid is for all the hip normal people, Plenty of Fish is where all the freaks are at." I think OkC is taking freaks now though. It actually costs money and I'm no longer in my twenties, but I'm going to bars more often--again.

alannaofdoom

@large__marge - I cannot avoid parsing that name as "plenty offish" which... sounds accurate?

Ellie

@large__marge I signed up for Plenty of Fish over the previous weekend and deleted my account immediately. I was admittedly looking for freaks but not that kind. Also it is indistinguishable from a spam site.

Pyxis

@large__marge Oh God those guys who want to be knights! They are the worst! One of them that I dated was writing a story about himself (on myspace no less) as a "little knight" who was trying to find his "princess". When I finally broke up with him, my princess character in his story turned into a witch who wanted "a prince who had no battle experience rather than a humble country knight" like him.

Lu2
Lu2

@klemay --One of the biggest douchebags I know (well, not anymore) is a Fedora Guy. He's not a Nice Guy, but damn if he doesn't go anywhere without that (slightly undersized) fedora perched on top of his stupid head.

anachronistique

I just sent out valentines and I have a ton left over if people want some. (No guarantee that they will get there by Thursday.) Mailing addresses can be sent to my username at gmail dot com!

large__marge

My highest matches on okcupid so far have been a brony and a self-professed Anglophile in a top hat.

Nutmeg

This one time I went on an OKCupid date with a woman who, when I asked her out again, said, "Sorry, I realized I'm actually straight!" LADIES quit playing games with my heart

Pyxis

@Nutmeg Before you tear us AAPPPAARRRTTT!!!

Noelle O'Donnell

Kinda off topic but I have a question about something that's been bothering me for awhile.
When you guys go on a first date with somebody, do you guys shake hands or hug when first meeting?
I'm not a touchy feely person towards those I don't know well and I'm constantly put off by people who hug right off the bat and then feel like an asshole because I obviously did not enjoy it/was stiff and awkward.

redheaded&crazy

@Noelle O'Donnell I think if you wanted to stave off the hug, you could put your hand out as you're approaching person.

I don't really care whether people hug/shake my hand/kiss me on the cheek/both cheeks if in montreal okay now i'm confused/three kisses in other places as I recall that's even more confusing

... er anyway. My point was, I don't care about that, but I do find it awkward when you get to the end of the second date and I don't want to even hug you goodbye, that's not a good sign. That is awkward.

Noelle O'Donnell

@redheaded&crazy
I'll hug at the end. It's the "I've never met you before, why are you touching me, this is too familiar for my liking" issue that's causing weirdness. I did the put out hand thing once, and the dude just pulled me in for a hug.
Starting to realize maybe this is a problem because I live in the South?

And yes, the three kisses?! My parents lived in Belgium for a bit and so.much.kissing.

kellyography

@Noelle O'Donnell I shake hands, or preferably, I am already seated somewhere and just gesture for them to sit down. I am not a person who even holds hands before I really like someone. If someone goes in for the cheek kiss upon meeting, I say, "whoa there." If, at the end of the date, I am not repulsed by the person, I hug them.

Lily Rowan

@kellyography Ditto. Ideally no touching to greet the first time.

garli

@Noelle O'Donnell I'm not a hugger in general so I'd just say "Sorry, I'm not a big hugger" If your date has a problem with it, it was never meant to be.

whizz_dumb

@Noelle O'Donnell Denying a handshake and then forcing a hug seems kind-of dickish to me.

WaityKatie

@Noelle O'Donnell My experience has generally been handshake at the beginning of the date, hug at the end. (unless it's one of those dates where you have sex at the end, I guess...)

Ellie

@Noelle O'Donnell I would shake hands. I really like shaking hands with people though. It makes me feel like a grownup.

On a totally different note, unrelated to first dates, at which it would be unwelcome, I LOVE the Euro kiss and wish more people did it here.

whizz_dumb

@WaityKatie It goes from hug to sex a lot quicker as we get older.

redheaded&crazy

@whizz_dumb I know this is kind of meant to be a joke (okay I think it's kind of meant to be a joke) but this is exactly a concern I have about dating older guys! I just feel like dudes in their 30s have ~expectations~ about what is going to happen at the end of date #1. and that stresses me out. and then I can't relax. stupid first dates.

whizz_dumb

@redheaded&crazy Shit. That is an unintended reaction. I, personally, never expect anything, that's why it's called "getting lucky". Wait I take that back, on first dates I specifically expect not to have sex that night.

WaityKatie

@redheaded&crazy Eh, I dunno, any guy who has such expectations probably isn't worth worrying about. I wouldn't say the majority of dudes in their 30's or otherwise have such an expectation. Maybe "guys on the internet" in general do, though!

redheaded&crazy

@WaityKatie ahh yeahhh this is probably a typical case of my neuroses coming to play. I guess it's just me worrying about how I would deal with it, if it did. Although I've been pretty good these days about being like "so you wanna hang out? you wanna grab a drink? that's cool, but if those are code for sex, no thank you." and then there are no misunderstandings.

skyslang

Here's why online dating sucks: it makes dating WORK. About three sentences in to that first essay I wanted to scream: it's your personal life! Relax and have fun!

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