Partner Searching vs. Job Hunting – The Pinnacle of Mind-Reading and Insecurity

Finding a good date. Finding a good job. Okay so they are both complete torture.

During the past year, I was searching for another full-time job, other than the one I had, but the extra special time came during the last 3 months where I was officially an unemployed, crap excuse for a human being (yes, it says so on my taxes) and I’m here to tell you that it is definitely worse than being single. HOWEVER – online dating and job searching are so similar – and in ways I would have never thought prior to this experience.

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A real life Tinder profile. I promise.

I am job.

The greatness that is Mrs. Doubtfire

Self-representation on paper (online) and in-person are obviously sucky parts of both activities. No one likes to fill out the dreaded profiles / resumes / applications and conduct an endless search for perfection (unless she is a sadist), but that is a pleasure compared to other aspects of the process…

You feel crazy and stupid at all times. No matter what.

Whether it was the recruiter who called and e-mailed me about my application, but then never got back to me when I returned her call, or the potential manager who suggested we have a phone interview at a certain date and time and didn’t show up, I blamed myself. I must’ve misread text in black and white and actual messages saying that they wanted to talk to me, right?

Everyone ignores you.

Literally, all the time. They only called or e-mailed me with five minutes to spare about something highly important when I was in the shower, out socializing in a very loud place or even worse – waiting in a very quiet place, where phone use was prohibited. I also enjoyed showing up for two different, supposedly real-life interviews in which I was given the wrong floor or in one case, the completely wrong building to go to. Trying to be confident and focused (and not sweating profusely, in utter exhaustion / confusion) at that point is quite challenging.

Eye contact is probably worse than eye surgery.

And I’ve had both in the past year! And I’m mortified by eyeballs in general! Get jealous! And I’m not even referring to the job interviews where I was finally invited to enter the tangible office space to have a conversation with a real person. I’m referring to the modern Skype / Facetime / Google Hangout interview where I looked either too eager or completely insane at all times. I remember thinking that I wish I couldn’t see what I looked like while talking – it was horrifying. It’s like having to look at the face of a creepy guy who thought he was entertaining. Yuck.

You get judged.

And quite often you don’t know what you are getting judged for. It could be your crappy small talk about the weather, or the way you described your last meal was somehow offensive…WHO KNOWS? Not me. I definitely had that same kind of “WTF did I just say?” feeling during many blind dates, after either having someone laugh at me when I wasn’t trying to be funny or just nod along when I asked a question. Super comfortable.

People advise you to “enjoy the downtime” / “playing the field”

It’s like the people who have been married since they were toddlers explaining their plight of wanting to know what it feels like to be alone on a holiday…Ummm…I’m not going to enjoy being single and I’m not going to enjoy being unemployed. Unless I had zero desire to associate with other human beings while being independently wealthy and free to travel the world, I don’t see how that’s possible.

No follow-up, unless you have zero interest whatsoever.

I think that heading speaks for itself. Just a reminder that the people that I never wanted to interact with ever again in my life have always tried to stay in contact and “be friends.” This has included unbalanced stalkers, people with more time on their hands than I have (not sure how that’s possible) and people who think I have money to give them. It has never included a recruiter, headhunter or potential manager.

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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 went 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.

What Planet Do You Live on? Part 3 – Some Profile Photos and Concerns

Sent to me by a friend in disbelief – here’s a Tinder profile for someone that seems to be more demanding of his dates than anyone I have ever witnessed before. Just decoding his use of emojis to represent what is acceptable in his world is exhausting. But really … who isn’t currently “obsessed with indigenous South American culture”?

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My mom had a blouse like this in the late 60s. I know this because she kept it over the years and I got to wear it as part of my costume for a fiesta-themed birthday party in the 3rd grade. Now this guy on Match has it – in all of its masculine sexy glory. I know you’re turned on…take a minute:

senorita shirt match guy

And then check out this guy’s screen name. The sad thing is he will probably find his future wife with it:

fantastic-screenname

I don’t understand…well I don’t understand most of what I see on dating sites…but I really don’t understand people who have profiles that aren’t filled out. They typically will message me (and plenty of other women who really enjoy having their time wasted by a series of “I’m too busy to fill this out”s when they really mean they are brainless and / creepier than your normal online dater and can’t string together some photos and a bio). If they do send a message first (because they somehow have the time to do that), it will say “Hi, how are you?” or something even shorter than that. I guess it’s all part of this “Pussy Affluenza” affliction that many single men are suffering from these days. So…little…effort…

Yet, this guys’s only online photo had to take a little diligence to put together:

profile under construction

So, what do we think? Is he just tragically ugly and too shy to share his appearance? Is he not single? Is he a criminal who harvests the organs of online daters who doesn’t want his photo out there? I’ll let you be the judge, since I’m obviously just here to make fun of him.

What Planet Do You Live On?

Look at the incredible way that Marilyn Manson Junior has introduced himself into my heart!

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And I was excited to see that this gentleman is so free with his bodily functions that he uses a photo to demonstrate that on Tinder:

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But then I considered going out with him:

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(I’m not even sure what his message said – I was laughing too hard at his main photo).

But most importantly, do you guys think I should take advantage of this offer?

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We can “even get coffee”!! Jackpot.

Tales of the Tinder: “Tinderella” and Paranoia

Being a modern lady, I believe that it is my duty to try out the latest platform for singles to meet. For those of you who are not familiar with it, Tinder is an app that connects your Facebook “About Me” section along with your Facebook photos to create a geo-tagged profile page for you. Once a profile is created, you can search for people by gender, age and distance from you. Two people will not be able to communicate with each other until they both choose to like each other or “swipe right” on each other’s profiles. More questions? Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure I will cover every detail at some point.

A few notes on Tinder for the paranoid / non-single / “happily married”:

– Um, no Facebook doesn’t tell everyone that you’re a loser searching online for dates

– It’s really not that interesting – and works pretty much like every other online dating site – meaning you still have to filter out the crazies. Yet, for some reason – everyone I know is dying to check it out like it’s a new toy that they want to play with – how did that happen?

– In my opinion, it is solely based on photos, and I’m okay with that. Those who are on it and complain about that factor should use another site or app. The people who argue against the “superficial” nature of Tinder are most likely the same people who say they “hate talking about themselves” in their written profiles and direct users to “just ask if you want to know anything else” on other sites.

– It is for people who are looking to hook up or date! If you have a profile on there, don’t tell me you are just “peeking around.” More on those winners in a bit..

This eye-opening video was sent to me by a co-worker who claimed that, as a blogger that writes about dating, it is my duty to view, share and emphasize the fact that, in general, like EVERY OTHER ONLINE DATING SITE, men certainly do view Tinder differently than women:

Like I said: filter out the crazies. More to come!

I’m no Annie, but you’re no Tony Micelli: My Very First Online Blind Date

Anyone remember when there were no profile pictures available on dating sites, and that was kind of okay, because the Interwebs and everything it could possibly offer was very new? During that infancy, I went on one blind date with someone I met in some sort of single chat room…or something. I honestly don’t remember how we started talking, but we did and it was a great learning experience, so stop judging me.

Brian was a very new officer for the NYPD and I believe he had just graduated from the academy within the same year that we met. We spoke on the phone and decided to meet near my temp job at the time and go to the movies. ‘Cause…you know…a dark movie theater is a great place to get to know a stranger.

I remember getting out of work and being extremely attentive to every guy with brown hair and eyes who looked to be in my age range. I didn’t really know what Brian looked like other than hair and eye color, and that he was “built.” I must’ve looked really intense as I walked down the cold streets of the city toward our meeting spot, because a pretty attractive guy walked up to me smiling and I said, “Brian?” and he responded, “Nope.” WEIRD – was I imagining him walking up to me or was he just nuts? “Okay, sorry,” I sputtered awkwardly, as I kept walking.

I arrived at the front of the movie theater and there he was. George Costanza. He certainly had brown eyes and hair, but I had never seen someone who looked more like Jason Alexander to date. He was a little shorter, with bigger man-boobs. And he was definitely fit but the bulging chest muscles (aforementioned “man-boobs” were made of muscle) didn’t match up with anything else on his body. And I’m sorry but I’ve never found George to be attractive. With permanently crinkled eyes behind round glasses and a slight separation of his thin pasty lips, he confirmed that he was, indeed, Brian. Great.

After getting tickets for our movie, we went to a café to pass some time before it started. I specifically remember Brian telling me that since I told him my hair was very curly and reddish-brown, he thought I would resemble orphan Annie. He was disappointed that I didn’t resemble her, and he made that very clear. I apologized for not having short cheddar cheese-colored curls and causing such disillusionment, which didn’t seem to make either of us any more comfortable.

aileen-quinn-little-orphan-annie

Brian’s dream date. How creepy.

Photo Credit: http://i1.wp.com/pgoaamericanprofile2.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/aileen-quinn-little-orphan-annie.jpg

We sat at the café, and thumbs up to Brian, who was bitter about my lack of banana curls, yet still attempted to make conversation. Each time he did this, his thin lips separated with a smacking sound and foam developed on the corners of his mouth. If that detail doesn’t turn you on, think about a body builder alternating his pec twitching to show off a unique physique. I specifically remember Tony Danza (aka: Tony Micelli) doing this on “Who’s the Boss” once in a while. To summarize, I was on my first ever online blind date and he looked like George Costanza enduring a mild seizure. I believe he thought he looked like a buff Italian guy like Tony Micelli who had the right to judge my appearance…but I’m only speculating.

A little while later, Brian and I sat in the movie theater and made some more small talk. It was during this time that Brian confessed that some of his buddies at the (police) academy mentioned that he somewhat resembles George Costanza.

No shit. I didn’t think you “resembled” him. I thought you literally were him.

But I didn’t say that. I feigned surprise and giggled a little bit and we moved forward.

Beyond the fact that I spent my very first online blind date with a Seinfeld caricature with a freakishly big chest and mouth foam, I have to also say that Patch Adams might be one of the worst movies of all time.

So it was a success all around.

Brian (posing with Judith Light):

micelli and costanza mix

Photo Credits: http://www.ivillage.com/hottest-tv-dads/1-a-531543; http://replygif.net/thumbnail/243.gif