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!

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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

An Informative and Stimulating Guest Post: Cat Man Has Struck

Rejoice! I’m thrilled that one of my amazing friends has agreed to share one of her very own not-so-smitten dating stories and has allowed me to publish it here. While Beth lives across the country from me, her tale proves that crazy blind dates can occur anywhere, at any time:

The cool springtime air brushed against my face as I walked towards one of my favorite cafés in Minneapolis. He stood outside the door, looking around in anticipation of my arrival. He hadn’t seen me yet. We had connected through an online dating service and this wasn’t my first time meeting someone that way.

I typically did these first meetings during the day; and I always had plans immediately following, that would limit the amount of time we spent together straight away. Sound crazy? Trust me, it’s not.

He was tall, kind of cute and smiled big when he saw me stroll up. We said our hellos and he opened the door for me as we headed inside. So far, so good.

We tucked ourselves into a booth and made small talk as we studied the menu. He was soft spoken and seemed interested in what I had to say. As we ate, we learned we had some common ground. Cycling, photography, camping.

I wasn’t immediately attracted to him in an I-want-to-rip-your-clothes-off kind of way, but he was cute and nice. I know physical attraction can develop as you get to know someone, so I was willing to see him again.

He asked me out again a couple of days later and we met up at an art museum. Ten minutes into meandering around the galleries, things kept getting more and more uncomfortable. He didn’t get my sense of humor and I certainly didn’t get his. Conversation was forced and awkward.

As I was quietly figuring out my exit plan, we turned into another room and there was a photograph of a cat on display. He smiled and exclaimed how cute it was. I bit my tongue, hiding my irrational fear of felines. There was no point in revealing that anymore.
beth-cat-crop Proof of Beth’s comfort level with cats.

“I bought coloring books for my cats,” he continued to tell me. Did I hear him correctly? I was hesitant to ask. Coloring books for his… okay.

“Oh… they color?” was all I could think to say. For the next twenty minutes he talked about the psychology of cats and their need for creative stimulation and I had visions of what future dates with him might look like. Would he make me dress up like a cat? Would HE dress up as the cat? Then what would I be? A ball of yarn? For the love of all things, I didn’t want to find out. He had no clue that I was leading us back towards the lobby while pretending to look at art along the way.

“So, want to grab a bite?” he asked as we stood in the busy atrium. I’m either really good at hiding my disinterest or he was just that clueless. There was a large crowd gathering for an event at the museum and I was scanning the room for the door that led to the parking garage.

“Can I help you?” said a woman about my age. She smiled and the look in her eye told me she knew exactly the situation I was in.

“Parking garage?” I asked her quietly, my date totally oblivious to the exchange I was having with this woman. She winked and nodded her head in the direction of the door.

“Thank you,” I said softly, touching her arm and admiring her ink. She smiled and went on her way. I told the cat-man that I had a lot of work to do and needed to call it a night. We walked out to our cars, embraced in an awkward hug and I quickly got the hell out of there.

cat-man A portrait of Beth’s date from the museum…at least in her mind. http://www.halloweencostumes.com

I drove home, cautiously watching my tail.

Pun intended.

I hope that this dude has discovered kittywigs.com. It might be the perfect source of entertainment and comfort for him. And what’s up with the
cat-obsessed men out there? For more thoughts, stories and inspiration from Beth, you can visit her fantastic blog here: theawkwarddancer.com

Bathing Dominatrix Princess

I understand the strategy of “casting a wide net” in the online dating world and I’m sure it is successful for some. Sometimes I give the guys that send me the most asinine messages some credit for making the attempt. I suppose that is what I am doing by posting these messages.

E-mail from Dude 1 (who is 13 years younger than me, which is something that neither of us are interested in, according to our profiles):

Subject: have you ever thought about a relationship with…

Message: have you ever thought about a relationship with a guy where you are in charge and he follows what you tell him to do? I think it could be really fun and exciting. Let me know what you think :).

Well, no. No I haven’t. And I didn’t know that match.com was a guise for kinky dominatrix partnerships either.

E-mail from Dude 2:

Subject: Okay… here’s a question…

Message: Cold shower or hot bath?

What? Did I just waste 5 seconds of my day reading that?

Dominatrix Princess

Dominatrix Princess

http://www.deviantart.com/art/Lunar-Princess-Animated-Adoptable-338102504

E-mail from Dude 3 (if you read this guy’s entire e-mail, you are a better person than me):

Message:

Princess,

So basically, the way I look at it, three VERY important things will happen here that will shape the rest of our lives together:

1. You and I are going to get together for an incredibly fun, romantic and memorable weekend. That weekend will be absolutely CRUCIAL as this first meeting will show that this handsome, sexy, romantic, intelligent, athletic, sweet, kind, personable and family-oriented guy IS the right one for you (and vice versa).

2. After this weekend is complete, shortly thereafter, you and I are going to go on a terrific week long vacation somewhere (cruise, beach, etc). As hard as you and I have been working lately, we BOTH deserve it.

3. After #1 and #2 take place, we’re going to recreate the whole “Meet The Parents” series, as I plan on popping an AMAZING Tiffany ring on your finger and making you the happiest princess ever. It’s time we give our parents the grandkids they always wanted, be terrific parents on our end, and watch them grow into strong Jewish men/women.

Anything else we each do on our end, is a waste of our time my love. Hope you’re having a great week- mazeltov! 🙂

Matt

If I think too hard about the planet that these men live on – where messages like these are possibly enticing…it makes my head spin. I’m sure there are women answering them. And that’s the scariest part of it all.

Tales of the Regular

It was somewhat of a challenge to start having regular exchanges with Jay via okcupid.com. After we had introduced ourselves, there was maybe one more message between the two of us and then I didn’t hear back from him for about two months. When I had assumed that he had simply moved on to brighter pastures, he explained that he was having some health issues and apologized for disappearing. He seemed like a good guy with a solid personality and sense of humor. I liked his attractive face and shaved head in all of his well-displayed photos. At the time, he lived very close to where my apartment was, and actually had a good job and a car, which I liked as well.

So the somewhat flirtatious banter started again, and then carried over into actual phone calls. It was during our first phone conversation that I learned that Jay was in the beginning stages of a fairly serious health condition. I won’t get into specifics, but it is an illness that chooses its own timetable, and definitely one that can mess with someone’s emotional well-being. While he attempted to play down the effects it had had on his life thus far, I could tell that he was questioning a lot of aspects of his future. But he was online looking for a date and possibly a relationship, right? I decided to be the dynamic individual I had always suspected myself to be and give it a shot with someone who seemed like a great person. Being a relentless dreamer, I looked into my future with Jay and imagined myself the noble wife of an ill but admirable man, wheeling him around and constantly trying to keep him comfortable while, showing a brave face to the rest of the world. I’m a hero, obviously.

There have been very few first dates where the guy has picked me up from my residence in an actual vehicle that they own (imagine that!), but Jay was one of them. So I got door-to-door service for the time and resources used on this date. That’s good considering how it went.

Strike 1: Rude, secret smoker. He said on his profile that he didn’t smoke cigarettes but his car reeked of smoke from the second I opened the door. I smoked regularly for a number of years and probably wouldn’t have judged him if he was open about being a smoker from the beginning. The pack that nearly flew out of his glove box didn’t help his cause too much either. He also complained about “not being able to get around the area” or “get an easy parking spot.” He grew up and had been living about 20 minutes away from where we were at the time for his entire life. Within the first 5 minutes in his car, I found him to be a rude liar who shouldn’t have volunteered to drive. So things were going well.

amazing-race-russian-taxi-guy

An image of Jay shortly before (and after) our date.
Source: http://www.tvgasm.com/home/amazing-race-recap-rushin-russians.html/2

Strike 2: HOLY CRAP this guy is unapologetically racist. After grumbling about not being able to find his way around anywhere, and the lack of parking spaces, we got to the restaurant (within minutes) and he parked across the street (easy peasy). We saw an older Latino man in chef whites limping slowly across the street, clearly trying to do it quickly. It was obvious that the man worked at the restaurant he had just walked out of and I immediately felt bad for him. Jay said a rude remark about the guy’s limp.

When we were sitting inside the restaurant a few minutes later, Jay brought up the guy’s limp again, laughing. I looked at him with disgust, and asked him why the Mexican guy who works in a kitchen is amusing.

He said “Oh, I thought he was regular.”

Come again? “What’s regular?” I asked. I honestly had no idea what he was talking about. Did this dude not have appropriate bowel movements? Was he not a repetitive part of Jay’s life?

“You know,” he says, then puts his fingers in air quotes, “Caucasian.”

What the hell the guy’s race had to do with his occupation, his ethnicity or the reason it was funny that he had a limp – I have no idea. But I was completely baffled and started to think I was on a date with possibly one of the most ignorant people on the planet.

all-things-regular-x-new-era-59fifty-fitted-baseball-cap_1

Source: http://www.strictlyfitteds.com/blog/2011/02/regularolty-x-new-era%E3%80%8Call-things-regular%E3%80%8D59fifty-fitted-cap-2

And…

Strike 3: He said this: “Any girl that goes on an online dating site is looking to get laid or get married.”

How’s that for class?

Jay offered other gems such as his new pot-smoking strategies at the apartment he just moved into. He also stated that at the time of our date, he actually did not have a job, had no idea if he would ever work again and had no plans to figure out how to go about doing anything. Again, he had some health issues and was understandably shaken, but he had described a real job on his profile, so there was something else he had covered up. He obviously needed more time to work on his marijuana routine, but one would think a paycheck would be required for that sort of thing…

Now I don’t want you to faint from surprise, but I was thinking that this definitely wasn’t the guy for me.

After a wondrous dinner and ride back to my home, I got out of his smokestack – – um — car and quickly said thank you and goodbye. If I hurried inside, I would at least catch the second half of 20/20.

There’s Always Thumbelina

I was checking out a family friend’s Facebook photos one day and saw one with her and a good-looking guy smiling with their dogs. I knew she had been online dating for a bit so I inquired as to whether the guy in the photo was a new beau. Her eyes lit up. She said, “No, but I did meet him on J-Date! We have no chemistry, but we’ve become friends – you should go out with him!” A cute guy with a good job, who has and loves dogs? The next step was obviously to make the aforementioned family friend swear to me that nothing was overtly wrong with him. Once that was complete, we were in business.

His name was Adam and he gave me a call a few days later. He was great – very personable, and asked what I would like to eat on our upcoming dinner date. We chose a sushi restaurant in an area we could both get to fairly easily.

I was pretty nervous on my way to meet Adam in person. Rather than simply reading about and viewing some two-dimensional images, I had a real-life person vouching for him. I got all spruced up in jeans and a cute pair of boots with a small wedge heel on them. When asked, one of my roommates at the time that my appearance was acceptable, so I left, on my way to meet Adam.

We planned to meet in front of the restaurant which happened to be on the corner of two streets. From several feet away, I saw Adam’s cute face as he waited for me. Yet that cute face was attached to the body of a 10 year old boy. The (now familiar) alarms starting going off in my head, telling me that this guy was very VERY short but all I could do was smile as he turned in my direction and greet him once we were standing in front of one another. I consider myself a (relatively) very short person, which is why it was important to tell you what footwear I was wearing at the time. I specifically recall having to bend down to give Adam a hug. And from that point on, I was traumatized, but had to pretend that everything was fine (again).

Once we sat down, and I realized that Adam somehow didn’t require a highchair, we got along great. Well, that was until I ordered a glass of sake and he stuck with water. “Oh, you don’t drink alcohol?” I asked. He explained that he doesn’t really enjoy drinking, and never has. Obviously, I was wondering how that’s even possible internally, but on the outside, I kept the questions going. I asked if he goes out at all, to socialize, watch games, be around people – you know, perform recreational human activity as I see it – in some way. He said he does once in a while, but doesn’t really enjoy being at bars at all. He elaborated (if you want to call it that) by saying:

“Well I do go to them and I would go with you for a bit. But don’t worry I would be good once we got home.”

danglingfeet-bw

Excuse me? I didn’t understand what the hell he was talking about. He was a smart guy with a logical head on his shoulders until this subject came up. I was pretty sure he was telling me would be a great sex partner after going to a bar and not drinking – and was proud of that fact. All I could think of was munchkin foreplay and I got really disturbed.

I don’t think we hit another awkward topic during dinner after that, and Adam was nice enough to drive me home from the restaurant. Even with an SUV, he didn’t need pedal extensions. I know…I was surprised too.
And that was pretty much it. He was short and a little creepy even as a very sober little person, so I just wasn’t into him.

And I’m almost positive that that is the exact reason why he was very interested in me. I received a voicemail from him a day or two later that specifically said, “give me a call back when you get a chance, or I will call you later.” So I figured that since he said he would possibly call me again, I didn’t need to call him back. I thought that was logical.

Well, I never heard from Adam again but wow – my family friend was not very happy with me. During the next family get-together when I saw her, she demanded to know why I didn’t call him back. I explained my reasoning, and also expressed that I wasn’t really into him.

Her response (exclaimed not only in front of my mother and brother, but her parents and everyone’s small kids):

“YOU KNOW — NOT EVERYTHING IN LIFE IS ABOUT GETTING DRUNK AND SCREWING!!”

No?

Well, someone should have told Adam the second part – and maybe lowered her voice during this absurd exclamation around everyone’s parents. I ended up seeing Adam at the family friend’s wedding about a year later. Yes, he did ignore me, no – he certainly didn’t have a drink… and yes, his date was well over a foot taller than him. Good (albeit, slimy) job Thumbelina!

thumbelina

He Sells Tile

There are some dudes out there who I am 100% convinced have other people write their online dating profiles for them. Possibly female family members or empathetic friends…or maybe both. I vaguely remember striking up a conversation with a handsome blond-haired, blue-eyed beau on J-Date.com. Yes, you read that right. Light haired, blue-eyed Jewish guys are a rarity but they do exist. He had plenty of photos on his profile of him smiling at different events, and described himself and his life in a pleasant, detailed manner. An attractive human being with a personality and interests. I was sprung.

Now that I am thinking back on this experience, there are two things I need to point out:

1. If you are a regular reader of my posts, you know that I rarely forgot names. Well, this guy is the exception to that pattern. I have zero recollection of his name because he barely left an imprint on my memory.

2. This may have been the point in my online dating existence where I decided that a phone discussion was a requirement before actually meeting my potential love interest in person.

And so we carried on our conversation via text messages for a while and I got to know whats-his-face as a cool guy who was really sarcastic and had plenty to talk about. We had decided to meet for a drink at a bar that he chose and sounded perfectly fine to me.

And the bar was fine – extremely casual, and unassuming. I arrived first and sipped my fun beverages while I waited for the latest Man o’ my Dreams to show up. While I was looking down at my phone, or at the bartender, or the floor – basically anywhere but the stool next to me, my date showed up. There was no sign that he had actually walked into the bar and arranged himself next to me. I didn’t even notice that the door to the bar had even opened. He was just there all of the sudden.

Just imagine this scene for a second. I’m kind of nervous and waiting for someone to walk in and he literally materialized next to me – AND DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING.

So here is what I remember of the dialogue we did exchange:

Me: Hey there – I guess you are [my date’s name]. Nice to meet you in person (smiling, though having no idea what’s going to happen).
Him: (low mumbled voice). Hey. You too. (looks away)

And the struggled exchange continued like that for the entire time it took him to get a beer down and for me to basically inhale the drink he offered me. Each time I brought him to a topic, it always came back to his employment, and the same thing about his employment. I had known from his exciting profile that he was a tile salesman.

So when I brought up where I was from he said, “My office is in Brooklyn, where I sell tile from.”
“Working in sales can’t be easy,” I offered at one point, trying to see if he would maybe feel more comfortable when I gave him an opener about his favorite topic, and would talk a bit more. His response: “Well, my type of sales isn’t too bad. Everyone needs tile.”

Right.

Or when I said I would love to go back to Europe soon, he offered, “I’ve been to Italy – you know they are the tile capital of the world.”

Have you fallen asleep yet? I almost did. As I made a beeline for the train station to get home (which he didn’t walk me to), I kept asking myself who the heck wrote this guy’s profile.