Unhooked Generation – The Book

Originally published in my MySpace Blog, 2/10/2008.

Unhooked Generation by Jillian Straus

The woman that wrote the book was not a clinical psychologist; she was only a woman in her 30’s wondering why it seemed so much more difficult for people in our generation to find lasting love.  She traveled to different locations around the U.S. to interview random people that responded to her ads posted in free newspapers and Craigslist.  Some points really hit home for me.

1.  Do you make a list?  I know a man who has listed 42 qualities his future partner must have.  I even have a list myself, though it doesn’t go up to 42:  must pay his own bills and not try to steal my money; must bathe at least daily; must brush teeth 1+ times a day; must be nice to me.  Some standards are reasonable, I think, and some absolutely no one can live up to.  I don’t even think I can list 42 qualities about myself, so how do I know if I fit that manifest my friend created?  Oh, and once you have your grocery list made, then you can go shopping on eHarmony or Match or Plenty of Fish to make your selection.  Like a piece of meat.  What ends up happening is that we reject everything, which leads to….

2.  Why suffer?  If I don’t like something, or if it isn’t working for me, why not just cut it off and be done with it instead of beating myself up trying to make it work?  Relationships ARE work.  Or at least they require effort.  Expecting for things to just fall into place is unrealistic, and bailing is the easy way out.  I have absolutely been quick to jump ship but can honestly say that I’ve never regretted doing so.  I just don’t put up with any juvenile bullshit anymore.  Of course, the “why suffer” mentality is one of the main reasons that couples get divorced; think about it:  how many marriages do you know about that have lasted for less than a year?  I can think of 7 of my friends right at this moment.  Is it that they’re picking the wrong partners, or just giving up too easily?

3.   Fear of making the wrong choice:  let’s talk about the guy with the 42 requirements again.  He repeatedly says that he never wants to commit, because what if the next person that comes along is a better match for him?  He’ll never, ever be happy, I guarantee you that.

4.  Never allowing yourself to connect because you are afraid to fail at marriage.  Wow, this is a big one – I have always said that if I’m crazy enough to get married, it will be only once.  Half of the interviewees said they were afraid of failing by not living up to the seemingly seamless relationship their parents have, or failing by turning out just like their divorced parents.  I’m afraid of the second one myself.  No one goes into a relationship thinking that it’s going to fail, but it’s another thing to think that you’re not even going to allow someone to get close so there is no opportunity to fail.

5.  Losing our gender identities.  Yes, women’s lib was a blessing, I will bang the drum about that one all day long.  It’s what allows me to be a single woman in my 30’s [now 40’s] with a career and the ability to stand on my own.  But……..I could really use a mate who knows how to work on cars.  And by the way, can he also like going to art museums, and cry at mushy movies too?  But I don’t want him to open the freaking door for me, I have two arms and two legs and can manage on my own.  But can he still pay for dinner, because he’s the man?  I can say that I want a really strong, stoic man who can build a house but still tear up over “Love, Actually”, but how realistic is that?  It’s a bunch of mixed messages that lead to misunderstanding because one person gets pissed off that the other one didn’t pick up the check.  It is every man for himself, I tell ya – because there are no boundaries on the gender roles anymore.  Better brush up on your communication skills.

6.  Technology.  How easy is it to erase someone from your cell phone, and therefore your life?  How easy is it to send e-mails and instant messages, but never talk on the phone or see each other face to face?  We’re definitely disconnected and our spelling skills are becoming atrocious – because we are lazy.  And scared.

This is one of the few relationship/self-help books that I’ve read from cover to cover – usually I get bored pretty easily or can’t relate to what the message is.  This one is fascinating because I have so many single friends, just like me, wondering what in the hell is going on.  If you recognize any of these factors within yourself, this may be an interesting read for you too.
[Disclaimer: Since it’s now 10 years old, some references are going to be outdated, but the ideas are still relevant.]

 

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No. Oh, Wait…Oh, That’s a Definite No.

Of course it’s been a while since I’ve logged on to OKCupid, but there are some guys who don’t pay attention to that and just like my pictures or check out my profile without looking at the last time I’ve logged in. I will admit that even I’ve been excited about a profile and then noticed too late that it’s been a month or three since the guy has logged in, signaling either 1) He found someone, or 2) He gave up, or 3) He’s in jail. I got a little notification in my email with a note from the guy saying, “I do have a German shepherd and a Siamese – otherwise I’m clean- list-wise”

I’ve heard this before. I logged in. We were a whopping 43% of a match. I looked over his profile, and the very first thing I saw is that he’s Christian, and it’s somewhat important. What did I specify in my profile? I won’t date someone who participates in organized religion. Why not? Because I’m not waiting to be saved or led or subjugated. I can lead a morally upright life without religion. I can lead a spiritually aware life without religion.

Some other tidbits from his profile: He admits he drinks regularly (at least 4-5 nights a week), he really, really wants to fuck anything that moves, and he’s a Dom. A little more from his questions: He doesn’t want women to have “too high self-esteem; he wants to date a slut; he would prefer to date only in his race; jealousy is healthy; he could be in an open relationship; he’s just looking for sex for the next few months.”

I started with the easiest one, and replied that we wouldn’t be a match because he has listed himself as a Christian and that it’s important to him.

His response: Really? I’m a barely attending Lutheran with doubts. And what is with intolerant people on all sides of the spectrum- Good luck with your godless utopia
Me: Since your profile says that you’re Christian and you’re getting pissy that I pointed it out, I’d say it’s pretty important to you. And since you’re offended that I don’t believe in organized religion, I’d say we’re not a match.

I didn’t even have to take it any further than that because he blocked me and so I blocked him (sometimes these jackwads come back later when they are drunk and looking for spank bank material). But really, he’s “questioning” his faith because he really, really wants to fuck around and he doesn’t want to feel guilty about it. It was such a weak insult to throw at me – “godless utopia”??? That’s only a horror to someone who believes it’s the worst kind of hell a soul can suffer. If he wasn’t strong in his faith, he wouldn’t have written it. I guarantee you he’s still trying to work out how to give himself blow jobs.

Sleeping Single In A Single Bed

On Monday I finally had my bed delivered. It is an honest-to-goodness hospital bed complete with handrails and a hand control to raise and lower the head and foot areas. I actually got it because I’m in bed so much that I am wearing through my traditional mattresses in a matter of months and I’ve gotten a few bedsores. I was afraid that it was going to be super noisy – both the motor and the mattress itself – but the motor is completely silent and the mattress doesn’t crinkle at all (and maybe it helps that I folded up my foam topper from my queen mattress to add to the cushion of this one).

So of course my friends already suggested that things could get kinky with the handrails and the adjustable bed. Like I didn’t already think that. This shit was made for tying.

I had a few _______ exchanges on OKCupid (you can fill in your own adjectives). The first was from the guy from this post where we didn’t get very far before it got weird.

Him: Long time no hear.
Me: When we were trading messages, you said, “I just need to what hours are better for you.” (I presume you meant to say “I just need to know what hours are better for you.”) I told you that I don’t have a set schedule and that I wouldn’t be logging on the next day. You replied and said, “I’ll have some free time tomorrow, Chelsea.” I repeated myself and said that I wouldn’t be signing in and indicated why so that you would understand I was not simply ignoring you. Then you admonished me for telling you that I wouldn’t be logging in, saying, “You don’t have to alert me when you’re signing on.”

From this short exchange, my takeaway is that you are looking for someone to correct so that you feel intellectually superior. It doesn’t sound appealing to me, but maybe it’s your kink. Be happy, or be right, but you can’t be both.

Him: It was really so people know that I’m not a small-minded misogynist who is afraid of an intelligent woman. Sorry if you felt admonished. I should have been paying closer attention while messaging you.

Me: I wish you luck in finding someone who can capture your attention.

(At this point I blocked him.)

Then I got a message from a screen name that didn’t ring a bell. I saw the email first, and the message said, “Will you ever forgive me?” I logged on to see if I could figure it out. There were two messages. “Will you ever forgive me?” and “I hope I hear back from you…”

I looked at the profile picture. I recognized it as a picture a guy used for a profile and I met him a year ago, but the picture was nothing at all what he looked like. I actually did a reverse image lookup of him before we met but I couldn’t find the picture anywhere else so I still don’t know where he got it from, but it absolutely, positively is not him. He also has a home in France and before we were able to meet up for our date I asked him to take a few pictures from his rooftop, which he did. I did a reverse lookup and didn’t get any “hits,” so again, I had to take him for his word. But after our first date and his very enthusiastic insistence that he wanted to see me again the next day, he completely disappeared. You know, for the next YEAR. And then he comes back with this. No explanation, no apology. So this is how I replied:

Oh, do you mean about using a picture that is not a true representation of you, and then disappearing completely? Nope. You are free, petit cochon. (Note: “petit cochon” is French for “little pig.”)

I didn’t realize it but there has been a message in my inbox for four days now, but OKCupid didn’t send me a notification. It says:

I’m JOHN LOPES im here to date a woman that will make me happy till the end of life you can kindly reach me on my facebook i’d JOHN FILLIP LOPEZ……..or you can add me on my email adress johnfilliplopez23@gmail.com ……….you can also text me on my number …. 3155064755

And then immediately below it is a warning from OKCupid:
Never transfer funds to someone you met on the Internet and keep your conversations safely on OkCupid.

So kids, when you see this message, just know whomever is running this profile is from a foreign country and is running a scam. They like to post photos as military personnel (like this one did) and then quickly shift to a story about how their “work laptop” stopped working and they are in tears because they can’t work and they need money and can’t you send money? They are crying their eyes out, honey baby sweetie. Oh, and I like how this dude can’t decide how to spell his last name – Lopes or Lopez.

There’s a lot of weirdness rolling around right now. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything at the moment, so I’m perfectly fine flying solo with my new little ugly bed.

 

Can’t Find What You’re Looking For? Try The Thesaurus!

This was cute. Normally I’m not a fan of the Copy-and-Paste-Monster, because clearly the man is sending out hundreds of messages and just waiting to see who responds, but this guy either didn’t ask a friend for a second opinion before he started sending his out en masse or he had great confidence in his writing skills. Whatever the reason, enjoy:

Hello hope this finds you well!
I wanted to take a moment of your time and introduce myself, my name is J++++++n.
I have read your profile and really liked what you said concise and interesting.
Anyways you seem like a very interesting person to me and I would enjoy getting to know you better. Check my profile and hopefully there’s something that will interest you and if so, and you are interestead feel free to write me back.
Have a great day.

(Just as a reminder, this is what my profile says:
*******I’M ALLERGIC TO:********

– Hookups, FWB, DTF
– Threesomes, foursomes or moresomes
– All animals furred or feathered (even “hypoallergenic” animals), though I love them
– Misogynistic behavior
– Lame excuses
– Cheaters, liars, thieves
– Poor dental hygiene
– Conspiracy theorists
– Stalkers
– Contemporary country music, rap, hip hop
– Republicans
– Being called “cutie”
– Organized religion or prayer

What I’m doing with my life: Writing articles regarding rare and chronic diseases, trying to find the joy in life with new restrictions. Seriously – there is no way “arrow root pudding” is a real dessert!

I spend a lot of time thinking about: the fact that no one wanted to share a deep, dark secret, so OKC took that question away.

You should contact me if:
– You practice kindness and wit.
– You strive to live an authentic life.
– You are not addicted to beverages or chemicals.
– You are a non-smoker (of all things) and don’t use chew/snuff (ever).
– We live in the same country; my preference is to connect with someone in the same metro area because I dislike long distance relationships.
– You understand that no means no.
– You know and use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation.
– You would like me to proofread your profile for grammar, spelling and punctuation errors.
_____________________________________________________________

You would think that with just the basics, there would be at least a few things to chat about, even if it’s “Why can’t I snort coke off your tits?” – if you remember, that’s a gem from a previous OKCupid guy. Anyway, I would be interested to know why the guy doesn’t know any other term to use besides interested because there’s a whole world of knowledge out there on Thesaurus.com.)

********Fun fact:  In the time it took to sign on and copy my profile to this post, 23 guys looked at my OKCupid profile! Dangit, there’s going to be more material soon, I can just feel it. Breaking hearts and taking screen names……

‘Scuse Me, Are You The Lady With Some Honesty?

A week ago I received a message from a guy on OKCupid who seemed pretty sane. What I mean by this is that he typed complete sentences that included all of the proper punctuation, he didn’t call me “sweetie,” “honey,” “dear,” or “beautiful,” and he didn’t simply say “Hi.” He did tell me right off the bat that I had a lot of negatives in my profile (as in, “Don’t send me dick pics”) so it was hard for him to get a true sense of my personality.

I wrote him back and thanked him for contacting me. I told him that I wrote my profile in that manner because in the past, it never mattered what I wrote – every guy who contacted me wanted to get right down to showing me his penis, so I had to immediately make my personal boundaries known.

I also told him that I wasn’t really in top form for dating for the time being; my time and attitude are both being consumed by medical stuff and I am not the best company right now. His response was, “Hey, I understand on both fronts – it’s gotta be pretty frustrating to be a woman on this site and fighting off all the trash, and if you have stuff going on that is too much to deal with, I won’t take it personally if I don’t hear from you again.”

I wrote back and said, “Hey, thanks for understanding! I don’t want to be one of your “stories” because of the stuff I have going on, so I think it’s best if I take a time out right now.” So…crickets. He’s being a gentleman and taking no to mean no at face value, which I appreciate to no end. It’s times like these when I really, really feel cheated about the body I currently dwell in.

From another guy an hour ago: “Hello! I love the profile. Very Intelligent way to let people know you are a no-nonsense, straight forward woman, who know what she wants. And I like that.” However, he’s a holy-rollin’ Christian and I’m not at all attracted to him physically, so I’m going to have to thank him and turn him down gently. I’m going to stay on hiatus for now.

And I just saw someone from the town where my mom’s business is located. There’s only 1,000 people in that town on a good day, about 80 miles from here, and I can’t figure out if I know him…I’m afraid to click on his profile. I guarantee you he’s a Trump humper and we’d have nothing in common anyway, but it creeps me out that I’m back to being in the same state as the place that I ran away from two decades ago and I’m going to keep running into people I know exactly in the same manner.

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

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.

 

Dude, You’re Stepping On My Personal Space

I wrote this article for Patient Worthy on February 14th; since that day I got daily (sometimes twice daily) texts from this guy saying, “Good morning cutie” or “sweet dreams cutie.” The most recent ones – because he still won’t stop – say “Just got to my hotel” and “How are you?” For the life of me, I can’t figure out why he would bait me with the hotel remark because that one really came out of the blue. I haven’t traded texts with him since February 10th. Was the hotel text his clumsy attempt at a booty call? Or was it not intended for me, and instead should have gone to whomever was playing the part of his dirty little secret?

Dude, just…stop.

Boundary Waters and Dating Boundaries

‘Scuse Me, My Kitty Would Like to Get Stoned

My ears perked up when I heard that this was a real product being marketed. They calmed down again when I realized that since Minnesota has the strictest laws in the country regarding medical marijuana that it’s likely I won’t get my hands on any until maybe a decade from now.

The problem: I have horrific abdominal pains because I’m having an allergic and autoimmune reaction to the drainage catheter of my shunt. I’ve had this pain since July 11, 2011, the day my very first shunt was implanted. The neurosurgeon saw the inflammation with his own eyes during one of my subsequent surgeries.

If it’s a good day, I can’t bear to have my abdomen pressed on. The last time my PCP prodded my abdomen, I had tears leaking out of my eyes – and not because I am conjuring the pain up. I also have issues with using the bathroom no matter what is coming out of me. I can only tell you that it feels as if someone has inserted a knife into any and all of my openings and is waving it around like it’s a #1 fan hand at a football game. If it’s a really bad day I also have waves of pain rolling over me. One time I was crossing the street to go back to my apartment and my sister was helping me carry a few items, and she heard me gasp as if I witnessed a really bad accident. Nope. I just was suddenly overtaken by the stabbing pains. And there’s just no way for me to predict when I’m going to get hit by an 11 pain (because according to Spinal Tap, that’s the loudest). Could be because I’m breathing.

The solution? I’ve been told I will not be given opioids because they would just mask the pain. (My answer is always yes, please, I would like to not have the pain.) Tylenol, Advil and naproxen sodium are child’s play. I’ve also been put on various anti-depressants and gabapentin. I’ve tried ice or heat. I’ve tried stretching out my hips. Meditation is probably good for something, but so far has not made me feel better about having the stabbing pains.

This product is being marketed for women with pelvic pain that is the result of endometriosis and/or menstrual cramps. I wouldn’t even have to consume something, just insert that capsule like a suppository for the kitty and then lie back and let it do its thing. If it can work for those issues, why can’t it work for my stabby-stabby pains? Maybe I wouldn’t dread going to the bathroom too. Sexual relations? I would say hell yes, it probably will give new meanings to “420-friendly” and “Netflix ‘n chill.” I can just see the Craigslist ad now: “Fun lady with a great sense of humor looking for my partner in crime to experiment with my totally legal 420 vaginal inserts. Bring some Funyuns, just in case.”
http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2016/02/vaginal-marijuana-menstrual-cramps-really-work.html

 

We’ve Got a Live One Here

Just as a reminder, this is the very first few lines of my slimmed-down, to-the-point profile:

*******I’M ALLERGIC TO:********

– Hookups, FWB, DTF

Got a message from a guy with a picture of a cigarette hanging out of his mouth.
Him: Interested in something casual?
Me: In the first line of my profile, I said I’m not into FWB or DTF.
Him:  Okay. I just found you attractive and wanted to make sure I wasn’t an exception. I will leave you alone.

Did you catch that? I’m not sure if he thought he could be the exception because he found me attractive (is it too much to ask that every man who wants to bang me finds me at least moderately attractive?), or if he thought waving his penis as bait was going to change my mind, because so many men don’t think to do that?

This also seems to be a case of, “Oh, you don’t really mean ‘no.’ I mean, there’s no way you could actually know what you want, because you haven’t met my penis yet.”