To POOL or not to POOL

With so many entertaining pieces of media dedicated to dating at large, it’s difficult to find some that are actually enjoyable. Which ones are worth talking about? Well, as POOL demonstrates, the answer is: “eh, not many.”

As it so happens, something else I am not so smitten with is my current employment. It is not stressful in any way. Quite the opposite actually. I have way too much time on my hands. Time that is often spent indulging in some entertainment like POOL.

So I spent a little over an hour the other day (clearly during work hours) watching the entire first season of POOL. That leads me to one of the positive qualities of this show. It’s short and you don’t need too much of an attention span to watch each 6 to 8 minute episode. They are basically short skits. I definitely give Mary Ashley and Chris Russell a ton of credit for their writing and acting. They also managed to get their creation distributed and available online. That’s a HUGE deal that even someone as low-on-the-totem-pole as myself understands. Huge props. Here’s the breakdown of the web series in my favorite brief and bulleted format:

Plot: It centers around three friends / roommates (two guys and a girl) who tell each other their dating stories.

What kept me watching:

– Excellent camera work and audio – like an expensively-produced show

– One of the male characters gives me an American Psycho vibe. I almost feel that he sees himself as Patrick Bateman. Disturbing, but the guy has good hair and a dominating personality.

– The more I watched, the more I cared about the characters. Even aforementioned American Psycho.

– Steph (played by Mary Ashley) finds a plot-related reason to show off her bare behind, more than once. That would be a win for anyone interested – as she does (generally speaking) have a very tight behind.

– Every time Steph has a date presented from a flashback, her two roommates are somehow in the scene as servers or employees of the date venue, which is pretty clever.

– Episode 5 features the best cat sweater of all time. While it is fashioned inside-out with no clear purpose, this might be the one solid reason you need to watch.

What caused me to lose interest and look at puppies on Instagram again:

– Most of the funny lines fall flat – I am not sure if it is because the dialogue is so ridiculous or there is no laugh-track. Maybe I still need encouragement to laugh at amusing parts of TV shows…so maybe that is just my own personal problem (one of the many).

– Why is everyone white? Not to bring up another racial argument, but the poor man’s Three’s Company inverse is not too realistic when you’re talking about New York City in this century.

– Way too many disgusting bodily function / human waste jokes. Like I didn’t have enough of those with every real-life roommate I’ve ever had.

Net-net: If you want some cheap laughs (and I do mean cheap – this stuff is FREE!), fill up an hour of your day with the entire first season.

If you made it through this entire post, you already have a bigger attention span than I do, so POOL will be easy to get through.

Shmalentine’s Day: You’ll Get Through It

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! Whether you are actually getting some fun attention today or want to scratch everyone’s eyeballs out, I just want you to know that you will get through it.

I once dated a guy I met on the magical land that is okcupid from late December until the beginning of February. He conveniently ended things with me over the phone by telling me he had met someone else who was 10 years younger than me, with whom he had a major connection. “It’s not fair to her to keep things going with you,” he told me. I was at my hair salon in the middle of getting my highlights done while he shared this amazing news with me. Running away in tears from the salon chair to the bathroom in a robe and foils all over my head was one of the less graceful moments of my life. “Not a big deal,” you say? “What does it have to do with Valentine’s Day?” you might ask. The same guy did have the wherewithal to hang out with me long enough to pass his strep throat along. So after I got my highlights perfected, I was able to go on antibiotics and lay in bed on Valentine’s Day while he swept his new young love off her feet.

There was another Valentine’s Day that I had been looking forward to for months several years before strep boy. I was actually in a relationship and couldn’t wait to go out for dinner and give each other cute gifts. I had only waited my entire life to experience that. You can imagine my excitement when I want back to my boyfriend’s apartment after dinner so he can give me my gift. We were sitting down and the next thing I knew, there was a Maglite on my lap. I looked up and heard the words, “you said you didn’t have a flashlight.” Well, he was right…and I still have that same sturdy flashlight to this day, thoughtful as it was.

Those are two mere examples of some great personal Valentine history. Stay strong, my fellow not-so-smitteners.

I promise you, it can always be worse.

Tender Pressure of the Holiday Season

It’s been well over half of a year since I posted anything to this award-winning platform, and for that I feel like a let-down. I never meant to ghost any readers or quietly fade away. The lack of posts is due to the fact that I have run out of my own dating stories. Lame, I know. With that, I have been contemplating different directions to steer this ship o’ bitterness over the past several months and have yet to decide on anything.

I have, however, listened to multiple online dating stories from friends that would entertain the masses. Maybe in the coming year, I can relay them back to my readers in an organized way that everyone can enjoy.

In the meantime, I have found some really interesting posts on the interwebs that explain to the world just how connected the end of December holidays are with the act of people looking for companionship / attention. Let me know if any of these amazing works of genius have truly made a difference in your lives the way they have for mine (<sarcasm font).

Here we have some info from Men’s Fitness, geared toward the minds of those with peni…or so they think. As a non-man, my #1 takeaway from this post is that single men should go to any and all holiday parties they can find in order to meet women. “It’s not a great idea to try to hook up with someone at your own corporate holiday party,” the writer points out. No shit!? If someone honestly avoids getting drunk and hooking up with a co-worker because of this post, I want to speak to them. From what I remember of my 20s, it was full of experiences like this and while I remained single, no real harm was done.

It’s also written by a female, for males…so the suggestion to go to “tree lightings, pop-up ice skating rinks, and holiday festivals” makes a lot of delusional sense.

I’m not sure if any of the videos on this page actually work, but I really enjoy the grammatically incorrect and misspelled pushes from yet another female writer to stay physical in one’s relationship. She says to “Spend time together. Make out.. A touch on the check, shoulder, tush. With a tender pressure. When you kiss, let your foreheads touch afterwards, which is a tender moment. Get close.” I feel icky. Uggh.

For those who are single and not attending pop-up ice rinks or drunkenly hoping for a relationship with a co-worker, just keep in mind that this is the time of year that dating sites and apps go insane to get you hooked. I personally notice a lot more TV commercials and online ads for “finding someone special when it counts.” So if you feel like no one else is vying for your attention, at least Tinder and Match.com are. “Advertisers are doing whatever they can to gain visibility and organic installs.” In plain English, this means that these companies are experts at taking advantage of holiday loneliness.

Additionally…and most importantly: I also have the cutest dog on the face of the planet that I’ve already exploited in numerous places. Why not here?

axel-foley-rug-smiles

Prince Charming Ain’t Here

This story is hilarious, and I’m glad the woman who experienced this was able to laugh about it. I’ve tried to find the exact words to tell clueless morons how ridiculous they are without looking like the proverbial “bitter single girl.” Never worked for me —

tinder

The things that people say behind the protection of an electronic screen, huh?

How about this amazing individual who took his introduction to my single female cousin as an invitation to make her a victim in a horror movie?

photoshopped skin dude

Are you still asking why online dating is not fun and a huge pain in the butt, as well as emotionally draining?!

Okay, fine – here’s another one that gave me a giggle. I sincerely hope it is real:

ex

More where that came from – stay tuned!

Wait…THIS is the Online Dating Ad That Offends People!?

I’ve been seeing flickers of this story in various social media posts today and I am not understanding the issue. Well, actually I do understand the issue but I think that those who have it are getting a bit…um…”extreme.”

bustle
Here’s the Match ad that is causing an uproar and the multiple commentaries around it:

http://www.bustle.com/articles/154435-matchs-ad-implying-freckles-are-imperfections-is-provoking-outrage

I would just like to say that I actually understand the point of it, I am not offended at all and I actually think it is kind of cute. I also really, really miss all the freckles I had as a kid. Freckles are not something to get overly PC about, people! And by the way, there are a lot of other problems in this world besides Match.com ads!

What about the creepy eHarmony guy who’s been invading my TV time for years? Or the fact that anyone who is not single believes that dating sites are solely for people looking for hook-ups? Or the infinite number of MARRIED MEN I’ve met on Tinder and Bumble?

The point: Times are tough, but a cute poster with freckles is not a cause for an uproar. Get over it.

The Man Who Feared Tomatoes

Sean traveled to Manhattan from the middle of the New Jersey suburbs to meet me for our first blind date at a little Italian restaurant that I had chosen. And I know I say this about so many other people, but Sean really and truly was (and maybe still is?) a good guy. It was definitely me who kept him away after our second date.

I’m certainly no foodie, but I like to pretend I know what is going on in the cooking world and am friends with people like this guy who have helped me hone my superficial interest in dining.

During our first date, I vaguely remember suggesting several different appetizers for us to share – including mozzarella cheese, stuffed mushrooms, and possibly something seafood-related. He looked at me like I was crazy for each suggestion, and I believe we ended up sharing an order of fried calamari. His entree was a fairly simple pasta dish and he ate it very slowly. As he examined every morsel that went into his mouth, I started to ask him about food that he actually enjoys. I mentioned different types of cuisines to see if he would have any sort of positive reaction:

Me: Mexican? Tacos? Burritos?

Shawn: (tongue sticks out, appalled) Oh man – definitely not.

Me: Any type of seafood, besides calamari?

Shawn: Ew, gross!

Me: Burgers?

Shawn: Yeah, that’s what I eat pretty much every day. But nothing on them.

Me: Not even condiments? Ketchup?

Shawn: ABSOLUTELY NO KETCHUP – I hate it. And nothing else.

Me: So just a plain burger on a bun…do you like cheese?

Shawn: Nope

Sean likes plain burgers, plain pasta and possibly some calamari (although I probably devoured that by myself).

At some point, he mentioned that he was a very simple “meat and potatoes kind of guy” so when he asked to see me again in Manhattan, I suggested Keens – a very well-known steakhouse that I had wanted to try for a long time. He seemed okay with Keens. He wasn’t over-the-moon like I was to be anywhere that was considered a classic. Yet he seemed content enough to order a steak. Like any nice meal, his steak had some random vegetables on it and I pointed out that the cherry tomatoes looked good. At that point I think he was really trying at that point to make me happy. He put the tiny tomato in his mouth and immediately spit it out. He was mortified. Flushed and tearing, shaking his head and sticking his tongue out, he glanced at me and I’m pretty sure I saw a little contempt in his eyes. I guess he wasn’t ready for a tomato.

Once I licked my plate clean of whatever I had been gratefully served, we exited the restaurant. Sean texted me later that night to let me know he had made it home (to the burbs) safely. I thanked him for a lovely time, and he said, “Yeah, I enjoyed it. But you made me eat a tomato.” It was like I committed murder and it was confusing to actually experience some guilt about something so ridiculously insignificant.

I have no idea why Sean asked me to hang out again. I had to turn him down. I love food too much for that sort of anxiety and trepidation to be repeated.

Misspellings, Maintenance Man and Mediocre Music

Have you heard of a dating app called “Once”? Well I was innocently listening to one of my NON-ad-free Pandora stations one day and it was advertised as the latest tool in online dating that involves a “custom matchmaker” and unique matches for each user on a daily basis. It seems that my counterpart – “Smitten” – likes to tout it. But she probably got paid for that.

I should have known that it wasn’t exactly a match after every single text message that Jason* sent my way had at least one horrible misspelling in it.

I should have also known that it wasn’t going to work out when I was telling him about my planned move to a new apartment. While he did live in the suburbs of New York City, I assumed he had a grasp on how human beings function. In fact, he did not. And both of these quotes came from him via text (and he wasn’t being sarcastic):

–“Wait, there’s a Home Depot in Manhattan?!? Why?”

–“I thought everyone that lived in the city had their own maintenance man.”

I didn’t know how to respond to each of those items without asking him if he was being serious several times. I also doubt that this guy ever left his house to go anywhere beside his local bowling alley or to find new items to shred with his Veggetti (both of which he texted about in misspelled words daily)

veggetti

But okay – he was attentive and was keeping our correspondence going so I continued to keep in touch. We planned to meet in the “big city” and I even continued to talk to him when he suggested we meet in the middle of Times Square. Yeah – I like torturing myself I guess.

Thankfully, we met for lunch at a place not located in Times Square and he spoke in person better than he texted, but of course, he didn’t really resemble the fit guy in his photos. I felt zero chemistry as we chatted over our meals and any semblance of a bond with Jason stopped short when Pandora (the music app mentioned above) came up. I innocently asked him who his favorite singer / band is.

“Shania Twain. Well…followed closely by Faith Hill.”

I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I was talking to a sassy 55 year old female in 1994.

Well, that wasn’t my response but I did snort and then ask him who he really listened to. He told me how many times he had seen each of them in concert, how much of their careers he had followed, Shania’s big “comeback”…and so forth. In pure Notsosmitten style, he was also extremely defensive of each singer and their extraordinary talents.

Everything following that topic was a blur, and when we parted ways, I went to Home Depot.

Shania-Twain-Faith-Hill-were-all-smiles

* Not his real name mainly because I can’t remember his real name and I’m kind of proud of that.