Okay, OKAY, Cupid – Sheesh.

I received a message from one of my stalkers whose messages go directly to my spam folder on my phone. I somehow managed to open it in my sleep and it startled me wide awake when I saw it: “I left Minnesota.” Did I believe it? No. Because when I scrolled back further in the spam folder, I saw various messages from him desperately trying numerous tactics to get my attention. “Oh, hey, the sky is blue, so I thought of you.” Yeah, buddy, nice try.

I haven’t logged onto OKCupid since March, so it took me a few tries to get the right username/password combo. I finally got in and found this jackass’s profile, made sure he was still blocked, then tried to figure out if he truly left the state, but everything looked the same. So I really can’t tell. That means I’m going to be looking over my shoulder for a while still. His “I won’t take no for an answer” attitude has gone on for almost a full year now.

While I was on, I decided to block the profile of the most recent ex, since he also has stalking tendencies – he admitted that he was still trying to “get” a friend to love him after five years of friendship and one failed date and that she was “the woman of his dreams.” The birthday gift to me was what he had told me he was going to give to her, which was a box he had picked out from a thrift store and write out qualities he liked about her on index cards he placed inside the box like a treasure chest. On one hand it was touching, but on the other hand it hurt – it made me realize there wasn’t anything special about me as far as he was concerned, but rather I was just fulfilling some romanticized role he had created in a fantasy. It also explained why he referred to me in the third person when we talked to each other. I was an object. I could barely get him to stop using a fake accent he had concocted when we were being intimate and not silly. I can only imagine the lies he is telling everyone about why I chose to end the relationship, but now I have to worry about him showing up at my sister’s workplace across the street, or hovering around my apartment’s entrance door and slipping in and then trying to SHOW ME how even though he tried to conceal a big part of his life from me and lie about the rest of it, he was going to swoop in on his white horse and save me.

I was logged on for all of seven minutes at about 3:32 a.m., and I guess that was enough to ring the fresh meat dinner bell. Immediately I got a few messages, including the usual with no punctuation: “Hi”, “Hi how are you” “Hi” “hi” “hi how you” and then one saying, “Wow! You are gorgeous! Do you want my phone number?”

I can’t handle the bullshit yet. The littlest nope:
LittlestNope

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Pat, I’d Like to Solve the Puzzle — Patient Worthy

One Thursday night, I was completely emotionally wiped out. There was something that went down in my family and I spent that evening on the phone and in tears. I’m not going to go into detail; I feel like it’s not my story to tell. I had as much pep as a wrung-out washcloth. I…

via Pat, I’d Like to Solve the Puzzle — Patient Worthy

But I’m A Nice Guy

I have grown to dread this self-proclamation: “But I’m a nice guy.” In fact, I have grown to develop a specific distaste for OKCupid profiles that are like “Niceguy4U” and “niceguy69” and “goodguy98787.”

Why? Well, if someone has to keep telling others that he is “nice” or “good,” it’s likely he’s not. The key is to get past the words and watch the actions. 

For about a week I was chatting back and forth with a guy who claimed he wanted a real relationship. His screen name was something like “Love4You” – red flag right there. We messaged for a few days and then he asked if we could text, so I agreed and gave him my phone number. Then he asked if we could get on the phone, so we chatted that way. He told me it was really great to talk to me, and that he felt at ease with me, and that thinking about me and our conversation made him smile. I thought he was really friendly and enjoyed our conversation too.

We made a date for last Saturday, but it fell through because he had to have work done on his truck. He suggested we make a date for the next Saturday. Between that afternoon and this evening, we spoke on the phone a few times, and we texted multiple times each day. Mr. Nice Guy said that he wasn’t interested in sexting at all. I told him that I thought that was refreshing. I also told him – multiple times – that I don’t want to talk about anything like that until after we met, because it puts unrealistic expectations on us when we do meet for the first time. He agreed and told me he was much more interested in sharing his life with someone – specifically, me – and he was already talking future plans, like what he was going to cook for me and where we could go, even with my physical challenges.

Again, through all of this, Mr. Nice Guy repeatedly told me that he liked my sense of humor and that he smiled when he thought of me. He told me that I had a very positive attitude. I told him that I was looking forward to our date on Saturday. He said he was too, that he thought we’d have a great time.

Another red flag: On Tuesday (Super Tuesday for voting!), I got a message from Mr. Nice Guy saying, “Can we meet Sunday instead of Saturday? Busy day.” I told him that would work for me, and he thanked me. This was the second time in less than a week that he changed the date.

We had gotten into the habit of saying good night every night. On this particular night, I told him sweet dreams, and asked him what he would like to dream about that night. Mr. Nice Guy answered, “You.” I said, “Thank you. Where would you like to go in your dream?” He said, “In my dream with you?” I said, “Yes. Pick a place and we’ll go there. I’ll see you in your dreams.” He said, “In bed.”

I didn’t see this right away because I was still trying to change for bed as well as wash my face and brush and floss, so he noticed the big pause and said, “Too direct?” When I saw his messages, I said, “Didn’t we say we weren’t going to go there at this point?” He said, “Yes very sorry.” I said, “I just don’t want to jump the gun.” Mr. Nice Guy said, “That sounds good to me. Falling asleep” and he ended his text with a very enthusiastic smiley face. The trouble is, he didn’t go to bed. OKCupid showed him logged into the system until 9:40 pm, later than our interaction. That reeks of looking for a piece of ass, in my book.

The next evening I sent Mr. Nice Guy a text greeting him by name and asked him how his day was. He answered, “Very busy. Had a 5 minute lunch. Stayed 45 minutes on overtime. Gonna get much more busy.” And then he said, “Good night” – at 7:45 pm. You bet your sweet ass he was logged on for a few more hours on OKCupid.

Then at 6:05 pm tonight, I got a message that said, “I met someone. Good luck in your seach” (bad spelling included).  How did I respond? “Nice.” How did I want to respond? “You’re a dick” would have been appropo; so would have “You’re a fraud.” I mean, for someone turning 50 in a month, you would think he would have the manners and integrity to be truthful with me and call me instead of texting this ridiculous made-up story. I am pretty sure that’s why he’s still single.

I have his number and messages blocked on my phone and I blocked him from seeing my profile or messaging me on OKC. However, I can still see his, and he was logged on for three and a half hours this evening. With as quickly as he wanted to move to chatting on the phone, Mr. Nice Guy’s claim that he met someone is obviously false because he’s still trying to hook up with someone.

A couple things could be happening here:

1) Mr. Nice Guy really does just want sex and is not interested in a relationship;
2) Mr. Nice Guy is still married;
3) Mr. Nice Guy is embarrassed that I turned him down;
4) Mr. Nice Guy is pissed that I turned him down.

Whatever the reason, that’s one less man-child for me to raise. Mr. Nice Guy isn’t so nice after all.

 

A Step In The Right Direction

There’s a little release party going on for Barbie, and it signals a change in awareness and acceptance. Hooray for that! All of those years of articles explaining that Barbie’s measurements would leave her on all fours with missing ribs to account for her mind-blowing tiny waist have finally been heard. Barbie will come in petite, tall and curvy, as well as different hair colors and skin tones to be a more realistic reflection of our American society.

http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/01/28/meet-barbie-in-her-new-forms-petite-tall-curvy/

I quite like Quartz in general for human interest stories, including the Barbie makeover. Here is their take on it (and incidentally, whomever dressed Barbie in the first shot should be shot, because the cutesy tank top says “Be Your Self,” with no hyphen to indicate that it should be “yourself,” as in, one word with a hard return between syllables):

Curvy, petite, and tall Barbies will do nothing to empower our girls

I think they may have felt a little pressure and saw true competition from the Lammily doll, which was created through a crowd funding site and is now going into large-scale production. The Lamilly has far more realistic measurements, flat feet and honorable career outfits. I hope that the “new” Barbie doesn’t push the Lammily out of the market. Options must be celebrated, and small businesses supported. It shouldn’t take crowd funding to get a sensible role model to girls and boys for mass consumption. Every little message we send out into the universe regarding women’s bodies, who owns them and who has a right to dictate what they should look like makes a difference in how children create their own values. Why not embrace inclusive standards rather than exclusive? (BTW, some of the pics on the Lammily site depict girls reflecting on periods – something you’ll never see Barbie doing, but every female with a functioning uterus and ovaries goes through. Why not make it a safe and open topic?)

http://lammily.com/

Just as a side note, I happened to access my blocked call list today because I had to add another solicitor in my phone (they always find a way to get around the “Do Not Call” government list), and I noticed that Nashville called yesterday. That was the first time in three weeks. I guess he got tired of being milked for money by the fake profile Russian and Chinese “girls.” He’s going to keep singing the same song about how he’s never broken up with anyone, and he just doesn’t understand what’s going on. Sure ya do, Nashville. You got caught jerking off. Here, I’ll get you a Barbie doll…………

The Dog Days of Dating

I’ve got two accounts going, one on OKCupid and one on Match. After making one acquaintance and laughing about my crazy exchanges, it really drove home the fact that I am likely expecting too much from one and too little from the other (Match is supposedly where the more serious people go to look for love). So I changed the first line of my OKCupid profile to say, “I’m not looking for a hookup.” I also removed some items and added some more to dumb it down. For instance, my introductory paragraph has bullet points and includes, “I’m a feminist. This includes the concept that no means no” and “I don’t believe in organized religion.” Further down for the section that starts with, “I spend a lot of time thinking about” I finished it with “equality, healthcare, social justice, cats and dogs and why I can’t have them, and how much I want pizza.” Lastly, in the section that begins with, “You should message me if” I entered “- You are a non-smoker (of all things); – You really are single, not looking for a third in your threesome or looking for someone “discreet” so you can cheat on your wife. C’mon, it’s NOT complicated – you just wanna catch you some strange, let’s call it what it is; – We live in the same country. Please, no penis pictures. Seriously.”

So the first message I get after my revisions is from a guy with one photo where he looks like a total mouth breather, 34:
Him: How are you doing today? I would love to talk with you more. You are very beautiful by the way 🙂
Me: Hi, thanks. What would you like to chat about? What style of literature do you normally read?
Him: I read all sorts of books. What are you doing today?
Me: Today is laundry. If you are going to say “Let’s do something,” I have to warn you – I can only be upright for about 30 minutes, tops. We could probably do a high five on the sidewalk. 🙂
Him: Why only upright for 30 min?
Me: Super rare brain disease.
Him: Well we could have fun lying down? Lol
Me: Nope, not looking for a hookup. That was just a line about wanting to chat, huh?
Him: Why no sex
Me: Am I just here on this earth to fulfill every man’s fantasy and whim? No. You want to stick your dick in me without treating me like a fellow human being with value. I’m not interested. After that he blocked me. I am just going to assume it’s because he’s trying to stop himself from making the same stupid mistake again because he won’t remember soliciting me for exactly the same thing I specifically said I didn’t want.

Man, 50, lives 80 miles away:
Him: you want to take me out to lunch your treat
Me: Aerosmith, “Dream On.” It’s my song gift to you.
I blocked him. I didn’t have the energy to educate him on how to score.

Man, 39, local:
Him: Wow…..you are absolutely gorgeouz!! I wish I was your type.
Me: Thanks. So why aren’t you my type? Would you be mean to me, or try to send me inappropriate pictures? Or rub your cats in my face and send me into anaphylactic shock? (He has a couple.)
Him: None of the above…I’d actually treat u like a queen….but I’m sure my cats would cause an issue……hence..not ur type??
Me: Yeah – I looooove cats (and dogs), but have to take four meds and only hang out for two hours, tops. Maybe in my next life I can have pets. 😦 So best wishes to you in your search!
Him: Well….I could always,come over…undress and.hang out. No cat then. 🙂
Me: Would it surprise you to know that’s not the first time I’ve heard that offer?
Him: No….but I’m sure I’m not gonna be the first you say yes to though…
Me: Well, that got weird.
Him: Lol….how so?
Me: It’s never fun to be on the receiving end of implied sluttery.
Him: Oh…no…I was implying the opposite my dear. That you have yet to accept an offer…
Although I’d dig being the first….
After 8 hours:
Guess not
I didn’t bother responding. How would you respond if he acted the exact same way he claimed he wasn’t acting? It boggles the mind.

Kid, 26, 80 miles away:
Him: Hi you’re sexy
(I’m marginally impressed that he knows the proper usage of “you’re” but not enough to reply)

Man, 48, local:
Him (obvious copy and paste without reading anything about me): I am a single father, a bit shy at first. New to the dating scene. I actually look forward to just meeting and getting to know someone, I want that someone to enjoy my company as much as I enjoy theirs. I do not like to play games, I like honest and sincere people Have a blessed Day…
Me: Hi, honesty and sincerity are great. Is your work winding down for the winter, or do you stay busy with projects?
Him: am off work for Now … How Are you doing ? would you like to txt me .. i don’t get don’t the site that much ….. what’s your name Beautiful
Me (cringing at being called “Beautiful” – not at all sincere – and the “blessed day” already rubbed me wrong): I’ve had a few stalkers, not comfortable with immediately giving out my cell.
Him: I understand How you feel … i can see you real an honest and open minded woman … and that what i want in my woman … what do you like doing sweet woman
With only 45% of our answers being marginally close and 70% flat-out enemies, I am going to let him pass me by.

Then I got a message from a man, 30, and in the U.K., and I immediately went on high alert:
Him: hello how are you today?
Me: I’m okay, how are you?
Him: im doing well thank you
just back home from work
i ve had a long day
Me: Ah, you’re working late!
Him: a little bit but have u seen that im living in england and im just having a trip soon to MN and lookining for friends and maybe more….
Me (really, really frustrated at this point): Ah. I’m not open to a hookup or a long distance romance. I’ve got a lot going on with my health right now.
Him: what are u looking for in here ?
Me: I’m looking for a long term relationship. What about you?
Him: im same really just its not easy o meet the right one
After this, I decided to put away my baseball bat before I smashed my computer to bits and give him a chance. We actually had decent conversation and it seems like he is sincere, but obviously I don’t know him at all, so I’m still on guard.

Man, 38, Philadelphia:
Him: hi how r u
Me: I’m fine.
Him: Don’t let the distance fool u I get to fly for free
Me: So, whose photo are you using for this site?
Crickets. I did a reverse Google image search and found that he had downloaded some photos from a bodybuilder’s site who was in the UK competing at the same time we were chatting.

Lastly, I got a message from someone that I knew 24 years ago. My gut reaction was to say “CRAP!!!!” because I’ve never lived in a city long enough to have my past come back to me like that. Now that I’m back in my old stomping grounds, I have to reconcile concepts like my family being fully aware of my dating life, and for previously-known people to find me again. I asked this guy about what his experience has been on OKCupid, and he said he’s had bad luck. I commiserated with him and told him that a lot of guys were just approaching me for sex, and he said he was getting the same thing from the ladies. (Really???? Man, I have a hard time believing that. I mean there’s always going to be the ones who have been married for 20 years and want some action, but I don’t think that’s all of us. Maybe I’m naiive.) He told me that not all men were just looking for sex. I then reminded him that he messaged me out of the blue about 2 years ago on Facebook to tell me that he was horny after we hadn’t talked for 20 years. His reaction was, “Oh, sorry about that – I must have been a little drunk.”

The quest continues!

 

 

The Broad Squad

CutBanana

The internet is a fantastic invention and I don’t know what I would do without it in my life at this point. I use it to search for rare health cases and symptoms like mine. I use it to communicate with my friends around the world. I watch movies and TV shows via four different streaming services while my laptop is propped over me at a tilt. I’m talking to you stranger dangers, for Pete’s sake.

One of the first ways the internet was initially used for “evil” was that producers and distributors suddenly realized how they could reach a much larger audience to pander their porn.

Another is that it is super, super easy to create a profile and an entire backstory for a person that is not at all based in truth.

Hulu has every episode for the show “Catfish: The TV Show,” produced and distributed by MTV. I was a fan of the movie, and now that I have loads of time on my hands, I am watching that show like I’m loading it up on an IV leading directly to my veins. The movie “Catfish” was made because a guy in his mid-20’s, Nev (pronounced “neev”) started an online romance with a woman long distance, and his brother and their friend taped the progress of his relationship. He is a good looking guy (dark hair and eyes, strong jaw, lovely constant 5 o’clock shadow), and the woman he thought he was talking to was gorgeous with caramel-colored hair and big turquoise eyes. Thought. Nev was crushed and confused when his journey that ended with him meeting this mystery person face-to-face. This is not how he imagined his fairy-tale story would end. Turns out the woman was a middle-aged housewife with special-needs kids who wanted to momentarily escape from her life.

Now Nev’s mission is to help others facing the same dilemma. People write to him because they have been carrying on long distance internet romances with someone who they aren’t sure is being truthful about their appearance, their job, their marital status, their gender, their location, their offspring, their names…you get the idea. “Catfish” is no longer a subject – it’s also a verb.

So, have you been catfished?

Internet dating sucks. I’ve said it many times and I’m sure I will again. At the very least, people don’t like to post their recent pictures, usually because their weight has changed from when they were 17. I get it – I would rather people see me at my best too. I actually haven’t taken any pictures of myself for the past few years because bed rest has not been kind. But I have never lied about my marital or relationship status, the city where I live, my age, my name, my gender, or any other item you can dream up. I don’t tell men up front that I’m bald, but those same men also don’t tell me if they have a 4″ dick that is bent at a right angle.

A good friend I’ll call Svetlana is still braving internet dating, and I am presenting you with just one of her stories with her permission. She had closed down a profile after feeling disgusted and defeated by the men who approached her, but she stayed in touch with a few, including one I’ll call Fernando. Up to this point she has not met him. Fernando had finally asked her out on a date, but Svetlana hadn’t had a chance to accept or decline; instead, she received this message:

Hello Svetlana, I am the girlfriend of Fernando and I don’t think you know anything about it. Since July I live in Germany. 10 days ago I came to his sister’s home in Skokie to visit him for a week, just yesterday I came home. I had seen in his phone and the text messages that he sent to you (unfortunately you are not the only one with who he communicate, at the same day another woman probably from Brasil because it was in Portugese language got from him a love message the same words that he said to me words that he said to me a lot of time, I know that because my friend translated it)…so sad because at that time I was with him, what he would do is ruthless,phony and disrespect. He used me just for his advantage and benefits, he needs european passport to stay legally in Europe and after that study in Amsterdam. He asked me to marry him, now I understand that he wanted just passport and then just cold bloody leave me for another woman. Now I know that he is just liar and cheater, he promised me never to hurt me because my ex boyfriend did it and he knew whats happened in the past to me. I am very angry, disappointed and upset what he did to me, everybody helped and like him cause he looks as innocent and lyal person but he is not like that…unfortunately not! I release my self from him. Why I send you this message? because I want to warn you, no woman deserves this pain. He promised me not to dating you when we stay together but I don’t want to share my life with somebody like him. So enjoy his company.”

First and foremost, Svetlana felt like this took a lot of courage for this woman to reach out to her and warn her. Svetlana has done the same thing when she has discovered men who have been lying and cheating, but sadly, she has had vitriol thrown back at her – other women calling her a slut, whore, desperate, and any other derogatory name you can think of. Second, she responded to the woman and thanked her for warning her, because she wanted nothing to do with men who conduct themselves in this manner. Third, she felt immense relief because this woman did not treat her badly, especially since she had not knowingly become one of many other women he was working on.

How would you react if someone contacted you to warn you that the person with whom you were conversing with or in a relationship with was being duplicitous or dishonest? Would you listen to them rationally, or would you call them names and try to shame them for telling the truth?

Svetlana suggested that she could send a message to Fernando saying, “You think you’re so clever, don’t you?” But really, I thought it would leave much less room for him to wiggle out of if she asked him when he’s planning on moving and who he is going to marry in order to get the proper passport. She did and then blocked him.

My wish is that women would stop buying into this theory and practice that we should compete against each other for the attention of men. Every woman Svetlana warned should have thanked her and cut off all ties to the liars rather than turn against her. I would love to start up a Broad Squad, where we take the time to research things like marital status, number of offspring, jobs, cities, etc., using our favorite tool, the internet (because I can’t very well drive around in disguise and take pictures). Then we warn each other. Then we believe what the other women are saying with proof to back it up. Look, I know we don’t want to think the man who is sticking his dick in us and saying very pretty words could possibly be saying the same to other women, but it’s time for the women to stop hating other women for the lying that men do. And it’s time for men to change their internal recordings from “that bitch messed up my plan, now I have to find new victims” to “I’m sorry, and I will never be a shit again.” Really, wouldn’t we all be happier if we were trying to be our best selves?