Tag Archives: dating

Fungible People [RDP]

What a coincidence that fungible is one of the prompts for today… I was ruminating (moo!) on the concept last night, using a lot of words and metaphors, but never coming up with this one. Fungible is always used with things like money and oil, not people ~ but why can’t it be used with people?

One of the reasons I’m becoming more introverted with age is due to my feeling that so many people view others as interchangeable objects. And I dislike this obviously. I had the sense as a young mom that other moms were my “friends” only because it was convenient. Once it stopped being convenient, the friendship dissolved. Example: I thought I was close friends with R, and we did many fun things together with our kids, but then she needed someone for a carpool and I couldn’t do it, so she asked A, who could. I literally never heard from R again. I was easily switched out with another person. Fungible.

I find it interesting that almost all my Facebook “friends” have disappeared since my exit. I basically have the same friends I had pre-FB ~ a handful of writers and meatspace peeps. Those FB connections were a pile of meaningless fluff, nothing to any of us, and only a way for Mark Z and the advertisers to rake in bucks. Since I’m not special, I’ll presume to say it’s the same for everyone. Just so you know.

After my divorce, I had the silly idea that divorced men would also be looking for the right person, not wanting to make another mistake late in life, etc. But this is mostly not true. They are looking for anyone who vaguely fits into a mental cutout they have labeled “girlfriend” (or “hookup” as the case may be). Anyone who fits will do, and if she leaves, he’ll easily replace her with another, or try to. We’re all fungible.

More and more, I only enjoy interacting with my family (and a few close friends): as the mom, I’m not fungible. No one can take my place. No one has ever replaced my mother. I still think about her every day. ❤️

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Communication Breakdown [rantish]

[Continuing my Led Zeppelin theme in honor of my friend Joe the Troll, who is the only one who notices these things.]

Today’s prompt contact took me back to my dating site days aka the Valium years. It was always tricky to decide about first contact. Some men like it when a woman approaches them (just like in “real life,” for those who pretend the internet isn’t real). These men say it takes the guesswork out of deciding who to approach and how, along with eliminating the fear of rejection. I was rejected many times, but I didn’t care.

This is something I fail to understand about men (along with every otter thing). Why is it bad to be rejected upfront? Then you can easily move on without having invested anything but a few seconds. Sure, being rejected later hurts, but that’s not what I’m talking about now. I’m talking about the constant complaining about getting told no (or silence) after one hello.

Okay. After making initial contact and establishing some minimal threshold of mutual interest, most reasonable people would chitchat a bit in the site’s message program. But here’s the tricky part: “a bit” can mean different things. Some men think 30 seconds is enough chatting; if you don’t cough up your phone number after that they accuse you of being a phony. Other men will chat a line or two for days or weeks and never want to move to the phone. I have a term for them: “married.”

Alrighty. Say two people have successfully navigated first contact, initial chats, the phone convo, and even a first meet (gawd forbid we call that coffee thingie a “date” because this is utterly terrifying to some dudes)… now what? Well, I’ll tell you! It gets even trickier.

You have to decide how often to contact your person and how to respond to any contact from them. Say they text you one afternoon a few days after Coffee Thingie: “Hey, how’s it going?” What should you do now? So many options!

1. You don’t like them and never want to see them again, so you:

a. ignore them totally (ghost).
b. say “hey” like 3 days later hoping they’ll get the hint.
c. explain in methodical detail how much they suck, attaching a spreadsheet.
d. say “hi, nice to have met you, but we’re not a match… have a great life, bye!”

2. You really like them and want to have their baby, so you:

a. immediately reply with a long gushing text about how that was the best coffee you ever had and put lots of emojis; then before they reply again send 17 more texts about various things including photos of your pets and grandparents.
b. say “hey” like 3 days later with a smiley.
c. say “hey” immediately without a smiley.
d. wait a couple hours and suggest a plan to get together again.

What if you’re unsure? Like maybe Coffee Thingie wasn’t enough time to determine whether you really liked the dude or not? Back in the Dayz of Olde, this would have been fine because dating was all about getting together repeatedly to determine compatibility. But that’s not what people expect now. When a woman tells a man that she wants to see him again after Coffee Thingie, most men from dating sites take this as a de facto admission that she’s wildly attracted to him and proceed accordingly.

This is a major reason why I am done with dating sites. Besides having to filter out all the liars and idiots and Nazis, etc. Some circles overlap obviously.

Stats up the WaZOO

I can’t keep pace with many of the new bloggers I’ve discovered this year, but even though I don’t match their prodigious daily output, I’m certainly happy to have them in my feed. Such a fab variety of creative writings and so many diverse POVs! Love that. Lots of these peeps talk about their stats and I don’t pay much attention to mine, except to occasionally whine that no one has bought any of my books lately so why do I even bother yada then I get over it.

This morning I decided to check my actual bloggeroo stats and I took screenshots so I could share. I figured hey now what would my blogfans like to do on a nice weekend… beach, BBQ, hike, bike, garden… ? Nahhh. They’ll wanna peruse my stats.

First, not counting this poast, I have a grand total of 519 poasted poasts since I began this blog on March 25, 2011 with a cupcake. I have deleted a lot of poasts, mostly complaints about dating sites/men because I thought, ha ha, I might meet a new man, and I wouldn’t want him to see all that bitching, since of course he’d read my blog cover to cover yet wouldn’t know a thing about the Wayback Machine: Dating Logic 🙄. Thank gawd that’s over. There are months of little to no activity when I was busy moving or getting divorced. I also used to spend much of my free social media time on Facebook, but I quit there this March because #facebooksucks. Since then, I’ve been blogging much more, yayyy.

Second, I have 1,045 total comments, as follows.

Many bloggers have a higher hit ratio of likes, but I am pleased with this.

My most commented-on poast, by far, remains The Duke vs. the Secretary (which is also my most-viewed poast, natch), from way back in June 2011.

Third, commenters. This, my friends, is where things may get a little bit hairy. Are you ready for some drama? Buckle up! Year after year, when I poast the stats WordPress gives me on their Happy New Year’s card, Roy wins top commenter. It’s just the Way Things Are. But right now, in the doldrums of August, lil Miss PJ has snuck up on Roy and edged him out of the top spot! ZOMG!

(By “top” I mean second, obviously. I’m always Numero Uno.)

Don’t panic, Roy! There’s still enough time before the end of the year for you to regain your title. Hell, it’s anyone’s game really. Just comment your hearts 💕 out, folks! It’s not too late!

Btw, I think it’s only fair to mention that Stan was my very first commenter, back on the cupcake poast we discussed several paras ago. You’re all still with me, right? Good. There may be a quiz after.

Finally, I will finish up with the observation that my topics of noodling, fun, and whatever have the most views, which are basically the topics about nothing. Give the people what they want, I always say.

Actually I never say that. I simply enjoy going on and on and on about absolutely nothing. And I would keep doing it even sans validation. But validation is a lovely thing. See? Kbai. More later!

PS: Forgot to mention that I’m following 510 blogs (this constantly increases), and have 333 WordPress followers. I have other followers not on WP ~ email, twitter, and just regular peeps. Love you all, mwah! Kbai for reals.

Comfy > Sexy

I wasted a pile of money on uncomfortable clothes, lingerie, and shoes during my dating years in an attempt to look sexy. Dunno if I ever achieved this look (here I am still single, so probably not), but for sure I was uncomfortable in many ways, most notably cold. Generally, I’d end up throwing a giant fluffy sweater over my “sexy” outfit anyway, thereby ruining whatever appeal it may have had. I get cold easily.

Now, I just wear comfortable clothing. I don’t like tight stuff, and I’m way past my mini days. I like loose, flowing material, layers, and plain colors that can be combined in various ways. My shoes have lowish heels, both to avoid back pain and also in hopes of tripping less. Jury is out on the latter. I have lots of cardigans for when I’m chilly, but they no longer ruin the sexiness of my outfit, since there was none to begin with.

I love that I’m dressing to please no one but myself, and I wish I had always done so. Spending loads of money in hopes of pleasing some man was all a big waste. I don’t even color my hair anymore because who cares?! Certainly not my kitteh. Pffft.

Barbara Double D [dating story]

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I met a man named Ozzy. We’re calling him this because he’s originally from Australia, or so he said. You never know with guys from dating sites, since they tend to lie about everything. He lived in NorCal and was working here, in SoCal, and was (allegedly) separated from his wife. I didn’t care at the time that he wasn’t divorced yet because I wasn’t either. He was very sympathetic regarding the recent death of my mom, which drew me to him.

For our first meeting/date, he took me to a very nice Japanese restarant, where we had a long, leisurely sushi and sake lunch. (Back then, I loved sushi and also drank alcohol.) It sure beat the boring Starbucks meets favored by the majority of men on dating sites. We kissed afterward and it was very fireworky. He also enjoyed writing and sent me a sexy story starring us and included a special pasta dish similar to spaghetti carbonara but named for me.

Ozzy and I began dating/sleeping together. He was fun and cute and had a nice place provided by his employer (I had a child at home and didn’t bring dates over). We had agreed at the start to be monogamous and deactivate our dating profiles, but for whatever reason I didn’t trust him. And I wasn’t even that cynical yet, but I simply didn’t.

So, I reurned to the same site where we met, but instead of reactivating my profile to spy on Ozzy (which he would see and then deny doing anything, except accuse me of still being active too… stalemate), I created a new, spoof profile. I named her BarbaraDD and stole a photo of a blurry blonde off the web. I made her profile very different from mine: outgoing saleswoman with implants, loves to travel, likes watching football, wants to keep things casual. I made deliberate spelling errors, though that was difficult. Barbara viewed Ozzy’s profile and said “hey how are u” ~ something I’d never do in a million years. Of course he responded because he hadn’t deactivated.

Naturally, Barbara also received 90 kajillion messages from other men, pretty much every man on the site. She ignored all of them and focused only on chatting with Ozzy. She said outrageous things, like she wanted to come to him right after she had unprotected sex with another man, and he said that would be great. Ughhh. Then he sent Barbara the sexy story, changing the names, including the recipe to Pasta Barbara.

I was so mad! Obviously Ozzy sent that stupid story to all his women.

Barbara told him the story was incredible and made her want to meet him right away, but she’d lost her phone. Could he just meet her tonight at this bar in Newport Beach at 8:00? Of course he agreed.

At 8:00, BarbaraDD deleted her account. I blocked Ozzy and never spoke to him again. Dunno if he figured it out.

Ch-ch-changes

I just downloaded the WordPress app and so far it seems fabulous! They’ve really improved it since I tried it a zillion years ago. It takes a lot of motivation for me to deviate from my habits, so this is a big deal, blogging from an app. Truth be told, I’m a bit resistant to apps in general, misliking the idea of cluttering up my phone with icons. Why can’t I just use my browser? But this WP app is very nice. Very nice indeed. Of course, now I’ll need to d/l more apps to even out the row, but never mind that.

My motivation is partly due to the fact that blogging from a phone browser is rather clunky, and while I have a semi-solution in my old Kindle Fire, it’s still imperfect. (Hard to access media from there.) Also, I like using one device. I already have a sweet Kindle for reading and the Fire is pure backup, which I like to keep at home.

Isn’t this fascinating? I thought my fans would be enthralled with an OCD data dump.

I’m feeling good about all the things I’ve abandoned along the path toward enlightenment, or death, whichever comes first ~ husbands, real estate, dating sites, Facebook, fiction writing, and thigh highs. Thank gawd I never have to wear stupid thigh highs again! What a dumb invention.

Oh, and sushi. Blech!

Regarding Writer’s Block

Jenga

Dusty commented about WB in my last poast. It’s true that I can’t seem to sit down and force myself to write the things I believe I “should” write, such as the next short story in my epic collection of long connected stories, or even finish one of Anna’s hot romances I’ve left in limbo. But that doesn’t mean I can’t write anything ~ in fact, I’ve been blogging a ton (have actually deleted several ridiculously verbose and pointlessly rambling poasts in the last several weeks before I hit publish), emailing a bunch, and tweeting a twitload. I have even poemed a bit. It’s just the fiction I’m not into any longer and thus have given it up.*

Fiction writing feels like regression. Maybe that’s a lazy copout, but it’s how I feel right now. Writing fiction was an escape from bad times in my life, and my life is no longer bad. I don’t need an escape into a fantasy world of make-believe characters I focus on instead of my own situation. Unlike poetry, which stimulates my love for language, wordplay, and brief, intense emotional exploration, writing fiction feels hollow and fake. (This doesn’t apply to fiction reading at all, which I still love. Or movies dur!)

Writing about real events, however ~ slightly enhanced for entertainment value ~ such as the “dating stories,” is still a lot of fun for me. I was going to write about my trip to the wilds of Los Angeles last Tuesday, the crazy Bentley who tailgated me (a freaking Bentley!), the trippy sidewalks, my adorable granddaughter (I’m a grandmother now, if you didn’t know), etc., but there wasn’t any outstandingly funny moment to regale y’all with, and I’m all about the regaling.

[Just had to delete some amusing nonsense about regal and regaling because the words aren’t related. Dictionaries are our friends! But eccentric comes from outside the circle of normal, which was the WOTD yesterday, and since I can’t sleep in this heat even with a Valium and it’s now tomorrow, that word is definitely appropriate.]

Now, at this point you may be wondering if this poast isn’t one of those ridic rambles that should go into the trash heap… no! First, this is an experiment to see if it’s easier to blog from my old Kindle, since it’s larger than my phone and has a more finger-friendly keyboard. Second, it allows open tabs to be visible at the top, like a puter, which is helpful for switching back and forth when looking stuff up while blogging. Third, it’s difficult to create links when blogging by phone (have not tried the WordPress app) ~ basically have to write them down on a piece of paper and type them in again like a cavewoman. But on my Kindle I can copy and paste like a normal person. However, there is one issue: my bitmojis! I only have access to media already uploaded to WP, no new bitmojis or photos on my phone, since this thing isn’t connected to my phone. Of course, I could save this as a draft and then reopen it on my phone, where all my pics are. But that is not exactly an efficient, streamlined operation, is it now?

I put the previously used Jenga blocks up top, meh. Other solutions were: (1) use a previous bitmoji that didn’t really go with this poast; (2) use an ugly stock WP photo of blocks; or (3) begin some complicated process of installing an app on my phone that will give my Kindle access to photos, but it is 3am and I don’t wannu.

There is a rumor going around I might be getting a Mac, which will render all this angsting obsolete, but in the meantime… the blog abides.

*One of my friends said he learned in a yoga class recently that stress damages the brain and is potentially one of the leading causes of dementia. So, this just proves I’m on the right track giving up stressful things like dating, Facebook, fiction writing, etc. If only I could give up driving, that would be AWESOME!

Oh, now I have to stick on all the tags that will allegedly attract zillions of readers to this poast. Bwahahaha!

No Coffee for You! [dating story]

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I had lunch with a good friend today. I chose the place this time ~ Greenleaf Chopshop in Costa Mesa SOCO. There are loads of delicious healthy offerings on the menu and we both ordered the same thing: 1/2 Greek salad with steak on top and iced tea. We sat outside and ate/chatted for two hours. It was wonderful! But that’s not what I came to tell you about tonight.

As I parked, I remembered I had a date here ~ not at Greenleaf, but at a coffee shop inside the mall. This was toward the end of my dating career when I had decided eff everything I’m just going to meet whoever sounds halfway reasonable. My “thinking” was that all my lists and requirements had gotten me nowhere, so maybe I’d abandon them and meet men who were attracted to my profile. That had to mean something, I figured. Of course I googled them first. I mean duh.

Anyway, this guy ~ let’s call him Soupy ~ had messaged me on whatever site. He wouldn’t have been someone I chose. First, he had a bunch of facial hair, which generally is not something I’m attracted to (some exceptions). Second, he was allegedly changing jobs, so his messages were sporadic, which can be a red flag indicating a man is attached. (They set up excuses in advance to give reasons why they’re unavailable.) Third, he wanted to meet for coffee (boring/cheap) but insisted we go to this particular coffee place because he was fussy about coffee (annoying).

However! He was smart and funny, so I decided… la la, who cares? Nothing is working out ~ why not have a cup of coffee with the dude? Don’t be so picky! What’s the worst that could happen? I have bad coffee?

Well, actually. I had no coffee.

I thought this was amusing. I found Soupy, who looked nothing like his pics (older), but since he was the only beardy guy sitting alone at a table I figured it must be him. I are a brainiac! He had already ordered his own coffee and almost finished it. Didn’t stand up or offer to get me any. I sat down. We chatted for an hour or so and it was a good convo, but not once did he ask me if I wanted coffee. I assumed I was supposed to get my own, and I didn’t really feel like it, so I didn’t.

We left, went to our cars, no hugs, no discussion of another meeting, etc. I didn’t hear from him, so I texted him a day or so later telling him I had enjoyed meeting him, since that was true and one of my male friends had told me that some men expect women to do this or else they think they shouldn’t follow up (not sure about this, but okay). Soupy said he felt the same and we’d have to get together again. Then… nothing. I didn’t follow up further because I’m not chasing anyone.

It’s been a while since I met Soupy, and since I didn’t care about him to begin with, I don’t remember many details ~ age, kids, doggie, etc. Dunno any of that. But I definitely remember we met for coffee one evening and I didn’t have any coffee. I did return to the little mall soon thereafter (gahd forbid there is an unexplored mall within my territory) to check out the otter stores… and I stopped for coffee at the coffee shop on my own.

It sucked.

Still the Same [dating story]

Haven’t poasted one of these in a while, eh? Don’t worry, there are more. That’s a threat and a promise. Better keep checking in. 😉

As always, names are changed to protect the guilty.

This particular story is an example, as if one is necessary, that people don’t change. My vast amount of experience haz taught me very little, but I finally glommed onto that nugget. It’s not 100%, but it’s damned close. If someone does a thing once, chances are good that is who they are. There are exceptions due to extenuating circumstances, but they’re rare enough that we can feel safe using this rule of thumb. Well, I can. Do what you will.

Early into my dating adventures I met a man on OKCupid I clicked with. Let’s call him Bob (for Bob Seger’s song “Still the Same“). Bob was handsome and intelligent. He lived in Los Angeles, but unlike every other man in L.A., he didn’t freak out about the distance and driving on the 405 to meet me. In fact, he approached me on the site. Also, unlike most guys, Bob enjoyed texting and emailing. We exchanged loads of messages without him bugging me for the first phone call. Finally, we did chat on the phone and it went really well. But he confessed something: he wasn’t actually divorced, not even legally separated (though “emotionally” he had been for ages, natch), and he hadn’t even moved out of the house he owned with his wife cuz their finances were “complicated” bla de bla. If I had a dollar for every one of these guys, I could buy a house. Well, maybe a condo. Okay a steak dinner for two. At Morton’s!

I told Bob that I was legally divorced and not interested in dating a married man (BTDT, didn’t get a tee shirt). He understood, but said we should meet anyway “just to see.” I didn’t want to see. What was there to see? I didn’t care how much chemistry we might have over lunch ~ why did that matter? He was still married; he hadn’t even filed papers yet. He said that was imminent, as soon as his wife would cooperate on the money things. Sure. I got that. I said when this happened, and he had his own place, we could haz lunch. We kept interacting online and via text because we had built up a good rapport. But finally he faded away, as they do.

Jump to a year and half later. I was back on OKC. And… so was Bob! At first, I was happy to see him. He had a new screen name and photo. I thought maybe he had divorced and all was cool ~ I remembered our great rapport in writing and got my hopes up for a mo. We began to chat. And… guess what? He had become entangled in an almost identical situation! He was divorced. He had bought a new place. And now he had a new girlfriend living with him, they weren’t happy, and he was already on dating sites behind her back. Ughhh! WTF? Why would he do such a stupid thing to himself?

Because people do what they do. They can’t help it. They don’t change. Except for me: I gave up dating sites and am an exception to my own rule. You can take that to the casino.

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My Trophy Life

For a long time, I thought I was doing online dating incorrectly and that’s why I was always so unhappy about it. Whenever I’d poast about it here, that feeling would be reinforced by all the (well-meaning) advice I received. I’ve deleted most of those poasts because they and their comments annoyed me in retrospect. After five and a half years of online dating (including some breaks), I gave it up for good around a year ago. As it turns out, I wasn’t doing it wrong ~ it’s just wrong for me and many others like me. Millions of people. Not talking about the creepy process of selecting our dates by specs like we buy a TV off Amazon, though that’s horrible enough. Not even talking about the brutal way we reject people because they have a scratch and we think we deserve a flawless model no matter how imperfect we are ourselves, nope. Talking about this:

Last year, Match.com released a volunteer-based study on recent dating trends. Although the survey wasn’t scientific, the results were revealing. Almost one in six singles (15%) reported feeling addicted to the online process of looking for a date. Millennials were 125% more likely to say they feel addicted to dating. Men were 97% more likely to feel addicted to dating than women, but 54% of women felt more burned out by the process. [Source]

It’s addicting for people who get addicted to things, and that’s a lot of people, myself included. Hell, I just became briefly addicted to Spider Solitaire after Windows 10 updated itself and installed it on my machine. OOH WHAT’S THIS? Must play game. I played 135 games. In less than a week. They sent me a notice that I’d flipped over 10,000 cards and I got very excited. It was a gold trophy. SHINY! Got a few more goodies. Then I thought wtf am I doing? I’m supposed to be writing a novel, hello. So, I deleted the entire app from my laptop.

Every time I joined a dating site I told myself I’d just be chill and let things unfold. But that isn’t my way. It’s just not. I had to check out the profile of every man in my area who fit my criteria. I had to try to figure out why someone rejected me if they viewed me and didn’t say hello. I’d make up my own stories about each one. I overanalyzed every chat. If a man criticized me in some way or was drive-by mean, I took it personally. It was hard to shrug that off. On and on. And these were the guys I never even met!

But people with OCD are particularly susceptible to spending too much time fussing over stuff in general (obviously), and for whatever reason technology tends to exacerbate that tendency. Online dating is like a game, isn’t it? Or a job hunt. We are driven to “win” or to achieve a goal, whatever that means to the individual, and we keep playing, clicking, swiping, liking, checking, turning over cards, whatever, until we get that shiny trophy. And then what? Well. There’s a question for another day.

In the meantime, here’s a study from 2016 that links addiction to mobile devices with depression and anxiety. Again, it’s more relevant for people who already have issues with OCD in the first place. An online dating site is that perfectly irresistible magic mix of toxic elements coming together for someone prone to anxiety. Definitely not a safe place for someone like me, which I always suspected. I wasn’t doing anything wrong, except for joining to begin with! Those sites fed my existing problems and that’s why I became miserable while dealing with them.

It wasn’t me; it was them. This last year has been so much better since I gave up online dating, and even better still in the last two months since I left Facebook and Instagram. Onward to more shiny goodness!

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