I used to smugly joke with my (now ex) husband that we were better off staying together than having to deal with middle-aged dating. Well the joke’s on me because now that’s exactly what I’m doing. Since I tend to be a semi-shut in, surrounded by married mom and dad couples of my kids friends, who don’t tend to include me as a random third person Not a shock. Plus I don’t really get the opportunity that often to say, hang out in a bar or go out dancing. So, on the suggestion of every (married) person in the free world, looking to vicariously relive through me their dating glory days, I put up a couple of profiles on online dating sites. (All now down).
I took the time to write witty, engaging profiles. I posted current, flattering pictures that weren’t misleading. I tried to keep it upbeat but specific with what I was and wasn’t looking for. Witty headline? Check. Complete profile? Check. Someone who wasn’t looking to get married and start a new family? Check and check. Really, I thought that last part would be like chumming the water. I felt pretty good about sitting back and waiting for some emails from respectable men looking for a respectable woman. Apparently I was high.
Not only aren’t most of the men contacting me respectable, they barely seem literate. Now, I’m fully clothed in all my photos. There’s not an ounce of sketchy. I’ve written that I’ve gone to college and graduate school, used to be a teacher and am now a writer. You’d think this would maybe encourage a potential mate or date to put their best emailing foot forward. You’d be wrong. I’ve lost track of how many emails I’ve gotten saying, simply, “Heyyyyyyyyyy.” I want to respond with “Hooooooooo! Hip hop hooray!” or “…is for horses with an “a”.” Sometimes, for shits and giggles, I’ll respond with a benign “Hey back.” This seems to stump them, as I guess they were excepting me to be swept off my feet at their first half-assed attempt.
An equally ridiculous email involves simply asking “What’s up?” Um, nothin’. What’s up with you? I really have no idea where to go with this. I have had some men who compliment me off the bat, liking my eyes (which do photograph quite well as a vivid green) or my smile. That’s always flattering of course. I’ll thank them, and sometimes a bit of back and forth happens. But then the fuckery starts. Every. Time. (Note: This is where my Mom should stop reading, or anyone else who doesn’t want to hear grossness applied to my life).
Emails turn sometimes to phone calls and texting. And texting turns to off color requests for sexual romps. Seriously. My most recent encounter, with a guy I met offline, but in line, at Starbucks, quickly turned into a text conversation in which he wanted me to listen to him “pleasure himself” on the phone. When I asked him if this technique often worked for him he said he guessed not and that women were too uptight. Not me specifically. All women. This is a screencap of a “conversation” we had that was the beginning of the end.
He’s grey, I’m blue:
Attention, men: Knock that shit off. No woman you’d want to meet your mom, or even your distant cousin twice removed in Canada, wants to listen to you jack off on the phone. Especially a woman you’ve never met in person. I mean, COME ON. Please also don’t ask me before our first date what kind of underwear I have on. I have kids so, no, you can’t come over to her place for a hook up after they are asleep. Don’t ask me to send you pictures of what I’m wearing to bed because, (a) it’s rude and (b) it’s probably nothing you’d want to see. I know you all think we sit around in negligees and thongs, or sleep naked with our kids in the house. We don’t. We wear t-shirts and mismatched bottoms, flannel if it’s cold. I love the question, texted, “So, what are you wearing?” My standard answer is always “clothes.”
I know I risk sounding fuddy duddy-ish by asking if chivalry is really dead. Maybe it has just died of embarrassment. But apparently it’s a multi-generational issue, as evidenced by one of my very favorite clips from one of my very favorite movies, for modern teens, Easy A. (I know, can you stand the irony?)
So, seriously guys. You don’t need to show up with flowers but you also can’t woo me by sending a picture of your junk partially covered by a bouquet either. Once we’ve met, maybe over coffee, then drinks and more, go ahead and ask about my underwear. Discover my favorite position through experimenting, not texting. And for the love of God just knock all that other shit off.