And the Sign Says, “Crazy Cat Ladies Need Not Apply”

Hello my fine-feathered frangipanes and welcome to Mailbag Monday. Today’s episode hits rather close to home — soo much so I had to take a few steps back and ask myself: Can I honestly check my ego at the door and keep true to the code of journalistic objectivity?

Final answer: Not a shot in hell! So, on your mark, get set, and Go-Go-Gadget extreme personal bias —

Dear Nerdy Romantic,

What the F is up with single women and cats? I’ve heard of conscription. But is there an unwritten catscription that says any unmarried woman over the age of 26 must adopt a feline and name it something corny like Dumbledorable or Miss Kitty Fantastico?

Seriously — did I miss the memo? Can cats cure cancer or regenerate the ozone layer, because from where I’m sitting, their entire lives consist of eating, sleeping, shitting, and walking all over their delusional lovestruck owners.

Yours,

Sourpuss

My Dear Sweet Sourpuss —

You do realize of course that asking ME (see Poppycock’s Corner) to defend your dig on single-women-and-cats is like asking a homeless person to break a $20. But I can tell you are genuinely befuddled. And so I feel it my duty to at least try and show you another side of the story.

First of all, we don’t “name” our cats. The day we bring them home, we toss them a ball of yarn for which they use to spell out their human handles in string.

As for, “What the F is up with single women and cats?” — I don’t know. What the F is up with hippies and hula hoops; with nouveau douchers and spirit guides; with Nick Nolte and Hawaiian shirts; with hard-core runners and toe shoes; with Eddie Murphy and soul patches; with hipsters and triglycerides; with mandudes and Axe body spray; with dude-itarians and X-box; with ALL dudes in general everywhere and LOAD SOCKS????

The fact is — most of us who haven’t yet achieved a Bruddha-like state of non-attachment — tend to look outward to fill that which is missing within.

And of all attachments out there, the furry felid has always been a world-class resistance-buster. Since the beginning of ever, cats have been exalted for their mystic powers; they were revered by the Egyptian pharaohs, and story has it — the Prophet Muhammad adored his cat Muezza show much, he cut off his own sleeve rather than wake him from sleeping on his arm.

Practically speaking, cats keep our feet and ears warm. They eat roaches and spiders. And in some cases, they even kill demonic, sword-wielding pixie trolls that try and hold our noses when we sleep:

cat's eye

CAT’S EYE

Sure, Sourpuss. I will be the first to admit:  Kitty love can very easily take a sharp turn from laser stick to broomstick. One of my all-time favorite comedians Demetri Martin designed this hilarious line-chart below that illustrates how — at some point — a girl’s cuteness is futile against the time she talks about her cat.
demetri martin

But make no mistake. All ladies who are “crazy” about their cat(s) are NOT Crazy Cat Ladies — categories A and B respectively. There is a very clear fe-LINE between the TWO. And never shall the twain meet.

  • Category A
  • Category B

Simplest measure:

A: Has 1-3 cats, tops

B: Lost count 2 years ago

*************

A: Wears cute Etsy-bought shirts with the occasional, cat-screen-printed graphic.

B: Wears a terry-cloth bathrobe and gardening Crocs

**************

A: Hair is done-up in a neat bob or sweet do
B: Hair is matted and knotted from constant paw kneading

***************

A: Cat sleeps on the bed with her at night
B: Cats sleep on the bed while she sleeps on a waterproof mattress pad on the kitchen floor

***************
A: While out with friends, she devotes 10 minutes to cat-related convo, tops
B: She hasn’t joined her group of friends since the intervention circle 10 months ago.

***************
A: Grocery cart: Fresh veggies, fruits, grains, meats AND a week’s worth of organic cat food
B: Grocery cart: A giant crate of bulk cat food and bottled water… ONLY!

**************
A: Occasional dander-induced sneeze

B: Regularly coughs up a hairball

***************

A: While kissing, she might try and love-bite your upper lip
B: She doesn’t kiss. She shows affection by nudging your nose with her nose

***************

A: She maintains personal hygiene with regular baths and showers
B: She avoids all high-water-pressure scenarios as they scare the kitties

****************

A: While driving to the vet, she places cat in travel-carrier on the seat next to her
B: Her license was suspended after a string of 911 calls reporting a blue sedan swerving down the highway with several cats walking across the dashboard.

*****************

A: Sees a stray cat family with a new litter of kittens on the street — Calls a kill-free animal shelter to pick them up
B: Lures kittens away from their mom with cans of tuna fish to add to her brood

*****************

A: Cradles her friend’s newborn baby boy and rocks him to sleep
B: Tries to hold her friends newborn by the nape of his neck

*****************

A: Takes a spot of cream with her morning coffee
B: Drinks 5 glasses of warm milk a day

*****************

A: At the beach — She tinkles in the ocean
B: At beach — She pees on the shore and kicks a fresh pile of sand over the spot to cover it

*****************

A: She sees one rat in her house and immediately calls pest control
B: She intentionally goes to the pet stores and buys out the snake-feed rats to keep her cats happy

******************

A: She goes to IKEA and buys cute cat toys along with her BORGSJO bookshelves
B: She goes to IKEA and asks customer service if she can just buy the empty cardboard BOXES that the furniture comes in

******************

A: Car bumper sticker reads: “I HEART (CAT PIC)”
B: Car bumper sticker reads: “My child’s poop gave your child a brain parasite.”

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Nerdy Romantic’s Online Dating Dictionary

In honor of Honey Boo-Boo — virtual “High Six’s” for everyone!

Mailbag Monday has arrived.

Dear Nerdy Romantic,

This particular situation has happened 3 times now in the last year: I meet a guy online. His relationship status reads “Separated.” We exchange several emails in which he flat out says he and his ex are ‘totes over.’ They just haven’t filed the paperwork yet because (said one guy) ‘it’s too freaking expensive to get a divorce right now’ — OR — (said another) ‘they’re trying to ease their children into the transition.’

Then we meet in person and in the middle of our date, the truth comes out: he stills lives with his wife and they continue to carry on a sexual relationship.

When did online dating become the game “Bullshit” — the guy puts down a card and I have to guess whether he’s lying or not?

Sincerely,
a Sucker Born

Okay “Sucker.” I will give you exactly 5 seconds to feel sorry for yourself. (Bum)

rockyAnd then, you’re going to tear off your pity pajamas. (Bum-BUM-bum)

rockyAND put on that iconic matching grey sweatsuit and black ski cap. (BUM-BUM-BUM-bum-bum-bum)

rockyTraining Is In Session. And you — my little light-weight — are now armed with the ultimate secret weapon: An Online Dating Dictionary. My own personal Sexicon compiled after months of sweat, blood and tears decoding the words and images in guys’ online dating profiles.

Breathe it, live it, be it. And in the end, you will be “crapping thunder” and going all 15 rounds with Apollo “King of Sting” Creed himself.

Nerdy Romantic’s Online Dating Dictionary

(This is a “LIVING” reference guide; meaning, it is ALWAYS open to new submissions.)

— “Numbers” —

(Favorite time of day) 4:20: TRANSLATION — The only jewelry I will ever give you is a pot-smoke-ring.

(Height) 5’5″ & below: TRANSLATION — True to form.(P.S. Peter Dinklage is all manaliciousness!)

5’11”: TRANSLATION — 5’6″ to 5’9″. You’re not fooling anyone

6′ & over: TRANSLATION — Tall glass o’ water.

35 & older male; seeking women between the ages of 18 and 24; no education: TRANSLATION — Strip-Club Owner.

(Income) $150,000 & above, yet on OK Cupid: TRANSLATION — Not denominated in “US” Dollars, but rather in “Zimbabwean” Dollars.

— “A” —

Actor in a lot of “indie” projects: TRANSLATION — In L.A., I worked the Craft Service table on movie sets.

Auto technician: TRANSLATION — Grease monkey

Avante Gartist: TRANSLATION — I use my monthly, mental-health benefit checks to buy macaroni-noodle supplies, etch-a-sketches, and tiny toe-nail clippers to prune the bonsai tree growing out of my bathtub.

— “B” —

(In profile picture) Bushy Gray Beard: Translation — If the guy is neither Kenny Rogers, Santa Claus, or the Gorton Fisherman, then he is definitely trying to hide something beneath his beard; most likely, a second family.

(Looking for a woman who is) Beautiful on the inside and out: TRANSLATION — She must have Donna Reid’s brain and Gisele Bundchen’s body.

(I like) Bipedal forward propulsion: TRANSLATION — I am Rain Man

(Favorite movie) Black Swan: TRANSLATION — Favorite movie: “Wild Things,” which I’m watching right now on my laptop for the 33rd time as I fill this section out on my iPhone.

Brooklyn is my favorite place on the entire planet: TRANSLATION — I lived in Williamsburg for 6 months before the city did to my ‘too-cool-for-school’ attitude what a Dementor does to a wizard’s soul.

— “C” —

Raised Catholic but not religious: TRANSLATION — The guilt rendered after 15 years of Sunday school is burnt so deeply into my subconscious that every second of sexual gratification I feel is forever marred by paranoia, remorse, and the insatiable need to shower.

(Favorite author) Chuck Palahniuk: TRANSLATION — I am a Dude-Brah. I have man-parts. I eat meat. Grunt.

(Profession) Comedian: TRANSLATION — “Take a good look at my face, you’ll see my smile looks out of place, look a little closer it’s easy to trace”, the track-marks of my intravenous drug use.

Condom Chomper: TRANSLATION — Child, a.k.a. I’ve had a vasectomy and will never reverse it no matter how much you beg.

(Profession) Creative-Marking executive: TRANSLATION — I wrap my car in advertisements for money.

— “D” —

(In pictures I’m wearing) Deck shoes and Drinking “Black & Tan” beer: TRANSLATION — I am a Jagbomb.

(Profile is filled with) Dos Equis Man quotes: TRANSLATION — I’m the Most Uninteresting Man in the World.

Drama-Free zone: TRANSLATION — My last girlfriend shot me with a poisoned dart gun because her virtual Small World cockapoo told her to.

Drinks:

  • ‘No Way’: TRANSLATION — Only on special occasions like Christmas, a spaceship shuttle launch, or Tuesdays.
  • ‘Occasionally’: TRANSLATION — I am the King of Karaoke
  • ‘Regularly’: TRANSLATION — I woke up the other day on a park bench with my bicycle chained to my ankle, spooning a homeless man named Mr. Snuffleupagus.

— “E” —

(Last read) The Economist: TRANSLATION — I believe a highly accommodative Federal Reserve monetary policy is the solution to stimulating job growth, and the last thing I read was “Playboy.”

ESTP: Meyers-Briggs personality type. TRANSLATION — Expecting Stupid Test (gets me in your) Pants

(Profession) Experimental Musician: TRANSLATION– I play the ukulele in a Klezmer-Bauhaus cover band. We are big in Azerbaijan.

— “F” —

(Likes) Face paint and Faygo: TRANSLATION– I’m just a Juggalo.

(Favorite movie) Fight Club: TRANSLATION — No shit Sherlock.

— “G” —

(Last read) Garden & Gun Magazine: TRANSLATION — Last read “Playboy.”

(Likes) Goblin cider (and/or Butter Beer): TRANSLATION — I will want to role play with you

— “H” —

I HATE filling out these things: TRANSLATION — I just want to get laid but the girls on Craigslist personals are all whackadoos whose driver’s licenses have been revoked.  

(Profession) Health & Wealth Instructor: TRANSLATION — I flunked out of graduate school. No PHD in psychology? No Problem. I received my Life Coach certification after completing a 5-day intensive online course.

— “I” —

ICP: TRANSLATION — Insane Clown Posse

— “J” —

(Prefers) Jewish women: TRANSLATION — I really, really, really, really hope the rumors are true because I can NOT take another Baptist blue-baller.

— “K” —

Kid at heart: TRANSLATION — Man child

(Have) Kids? NO: TRANSLATION —

  • Don’t have kids
  • Technically YES but a court-ruled Protective Order ensures my ex-wife has full custody
  • Technically NO; my ex-girlfriend is only 5 months along

— “L” —

(Profession) Lighting engineer: TRANSLATION — I do the laser star-fields at Burning Man, man.

LOOKS are not important; it’s a woman’s personality and good nature that matters: TRANSLATION — Not being attractive is a total deal-breaker.

— “M” —

(Favorite movies) The Matrix, When Nietzsche Wept, They Kill Horses Don’t They: TRANSLATION — I’m a philosophy major. Stick with me, and you’ll be flying in Zone 4 Style. (See: “Higher Education”)

MENSA member: TRANSLATION — I memorize SNAPPLE Real Facts. Did you know the average human will eat an average of 8 spiders while sleeping? I did.

(Profession) Merchant Marine fisherman: TRANSLATION — I once killed a man just to watch him die.

— “N” —

(Last read) National Geographic: TRANSLATION — I smell of pine, know how to communicate with humpback whales, and the last thing I read was “Playboy.”

— “O” —

Open marriage: TRANSLATION — My wife thinks I spend my Saturdays at Bible Study group

— “P” —

(#1 thing I can’t live without) PBR: TRANSLATION: I should be in AA

(Profession) Pet masseuse: TRANSLATION — I flunked out of veterinary school for selling horse tranquilizers on the black market.

No PICTURE in profile: TRANSLATION — I’m either married or look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Plushopheliast: TRANSLATION — I only have sex while wearing a furry koala costume.

His PROFILE name includes any of the following words:

sex, salami, Mr. Johnson, doggie style, hot beef stick, pound the punanni, God’s gift, funbags, chief, wong4u.

TRANSLATION — His penis is the size of a Gherkin

(Favorite movie) Princess Bride: TRANSLATION — This is actually my ex’s favorite movie, whom I will never get over, and whose beauty and grace will haunt me like the Tell Tale Heart until I gratefully die.

(Profession) Puppeteer: TRANSLATION — I am a control freak

PUSH the limits of my body and mind: TRANSLATION — I am into erotic asphyxiation.

— “R” —

(I enjoy) Rainy days in bookstores: TRANSLATION — I really, really, really need to get laid

(Profession) Repels off tall buildings: TRANSLATION — Skyscraper window cleaner

— “S” —

(I have a) Sarcastic sense of humor that is often misinterpreted: TRANSLATION — I am a complete dick

Separated: TRANSLATION — I am actively seeking a new partner to replace my current girlfriend/wife while SHE is at home needle-pointing me and our pet Yorke matching wool sweaters for winter.

(Profile picture) Shirtless mirror shot with cellphone: TRANSLATION — I’m hoping my rippling abs and bulging biceps detract from the fact that my voice is as high as a pre-pubescent school girl at a Justin Bieber concert.

Smokes:

  • “No Way”: TRANSLATION — Pot doesn’t count
  • “Occasionally“: TRANSLATION — Only when I drink, which is hardly Never.
  • “Regularly“: TRANSLATION — I breathe through a hole in my throat

— “V” —

Vegan: TRANSLATION — I am a documentary film maker. I’m always hungry. I think I’ll make a movie about being a hungry vegan.

 

— “Y” —

(Newest interest) Yoga: TRANSLATION — I’m really hoping to nail this Tantric thing down come winter.

 

The “WE”-totaler’s Dilemma

Hello my patient and loyal readers. It’s time to remove your jaw-clenching dental guards because the deferred episode of “Mailbag Monday” has arrived. So, let’s not waste another nanosecond on hooey:

Dear Nerdy Romantic,

About 2 months ago I started seeing a guy I met on a popular online dating site. I really like him and think this could be something really special…but for one tiny problem:

In my previous relationships, I’ve been a bit of a “Desperate Debbie.” I go from zero-to-breaking-the-sound-barrier in 60 seconds and within a week I’m buying matching bath towels with our monogrammed initials.

But this time, I’m trying to ease back and get some perspective. It helps (or hurts?) that he requires a good deal of space; i.e. we get together twice or 3-times a week. This is totally unchartered territory and I have no clue how to navigate the time we don’t see each other. Do I call just to check in? I guess my question is — how do you ensure distance makes the heart grow fonder instead of just becoming distance?

Wow, okay. This is a doozy. But it helps that there really is only 1, single solitary place to start answering:

barney“Sharing Is Caring” chants that lovable, Prozac-snorting purple dinosaur Barney. Sure, good, fine. But what his Play-Doh-eating fan base is too young to realize is this:

When you grow up — i.e. start using your “woo-woos” and “fee-fees” for realzies — sharing can also become SCARING the crap out of someone and sending them running for the hills with no forwarding address.

It’s a fine line. And I have to wonder whether you (the self-proclaimed former “Desperate Debbie”) have in fact been on the wrong side of it — OR — whether you’ve just been with the wrong person. The distinction is this:

Door Number 1:

You’ve realized after a life of heart-doodling-around-last-name-sharing that your need to infiltrate every pore of your lover’s existence is rooted in some negative pattern of childhood abandonment that if continued, will either:

  1. Do to any potentially healthy relationship what a blaring siren does to a baking soufflé, or —–
  2. Trap you in a creepy, interconnected, ever-churning cycle of codependency that is the stuff of certain horror movies:

flowers in the atticIt’s safe to say the children of Christopher and Corrine Dollanganger — Cathy, Chris, Carrie, & Corey — would have preferred if their parents had gone to a few Al-Anon meetings.

Door Number 2:

You’re trying to change who you are, fundamentally, to fit who think the other person wants.

Because here’s the thing: There is no shortage of “WE” seeking men out there. Guys whose very dream is a sentence-finishing, bar-of-soap-sharing, iPhone calendar synching, peeing with the door open, pet name giving, kiss-blowing and “I miss you already” saying when you walk into a different room in the same house LADY.

This we-lationship could totally work, So Long As both parties are into it. And then, it becomes this two-minds-melding-into-one symbiosis. Like an angler fish and a bio-luminescence: the glowing organism lures pray straight into the sharp-toothed fish’s mouth, and in return, the fish provides a steady stable home for the bio to live on.

(Enter “Finding Nemo” heart sigh here)

PERSONALLY, I’d rather put my head in the direct path of 2 charging rams than be in that kind of we-lationship — but that’s just me.

This is you we’re talking about. Now, IF — after all of this — you are still sure of your choice in Door Number 1, then let’s walk through it:

You are entering the life of a “WE”-totaler. Cold. Turkey. No more binge-linking your names into one. In this world, Renee Zellweger doesn’t say “You complete me,” to Jerry Maguire. She says, “You complement me, in all my independent desires and separate interests.”  

It’s not about the QUANTITY of time you spend together, but rather the quality. About being comfortable in your own skin and in your own space — AS well as when those spaces converge.

I can’t remember where I heard this story. I think it was in grade school, while learning to distinguish between the different geometric shapes. But I think about it in terms of what I consider to be a balanced relationship. Here goes my greatly paraphrased version:

Sitting at the edge of a steep cliff, there is this giant, multi-sided, rhomboid-like mis-shape; all points askew and asymmetric angles struggling to organize themselves in such a way that the piece as a whole can get to the bottom of the hill. But no matter how hard it reconfigures itself, the shape won’t budge. Finally, it gets so angry and frustrated, that it breaks apart into 2 perfectly rounded circles. Looking at each other from across the cliff side, the 2 circles delightedly roll down the hill together, side by side.

In the end, no matter what kind of relationship you’re in, remember this: “That which is for you, will not pass you.”

“Higher” Education, as in 30,000 feet up in the air “high”

airplaneToday’s regularly scheduled “Mailbag Monday” has been postponed for the end of the week due to a brief sabbatical in south Florida. But just to prove that even though my physical person goes away on vacation doesn’t mean the gold lame (accent over the e) jumpsuit wearing Richard Simmons of my mind ceases to sweat its balls off.

In fact, it was in the airport itself where the inspiration for today’s post struck me. So, without further ado —

I, in my wander-lusting heart of hearts, love to see the world — whether the destination be an exotic country 4000 miles across the planet OR an unexplored city 400 miles across the border.

But by dental dam if I don’t hate, hate, hate the process of actually getting to those places.

Seriously, I hate airplane travel more than Thanksgiving Tofurkey AND bad tippers AND Toddlers & Tiaras. As a germaphobe and bad-lighting-a-phobe and general people-phobe, you can imagine why being herded into a linoleum feedlot of recycled air and public diaper changes and human Petri dishes could send me breathing into a paper bag. But on this recent trip, I peeled back that sweet Vidalia onion of neurosis and discovered a whole new layer of discontent underneath —–

Airplane travel — from arrival to departure — is a microcosm for the entire college experience — from enrollment to graduation — as an English major. (read: Bachelor of Fine (f)Arts)

BECAUSE you’re in for a bumpy metaphor:

Freshman Year/ARRIVAL

First day of orientation. You show up all Pollyanna bright eyes and eager — 4 hours ahead of schedule.  There is a tearful familial send off. Then, on your own now, you walk up to the registrar’s desk/CHECK-IN COUNTER and get your dorm/SEAT assignment. In the year/HOUR that follows:

You just “take-it-all-in.” You peruse the airport art and read the historical placards in their entirety. You stop in at a cute cafe, order a hot chocolate with whip cream, and pull out your battered, dog-eared copy of the ubiquitous literary tome “The Pound Era.” You then go to airport Brookstone and – still having daddy foot your finances – splurge on a $99 chiropractical neck pillow AND travel-sized Foosball table to play with all the new friends you’re definitely going to make next year.

Sophomore Year/SECURITY CHECKPOINT:

(A.K.A. Your first sexual experience)

You stand in a long line with your ID out of its holder. You show it to a bouncer/SECURITY GUARD and are ushered through to the local open-mic dive bar/BACKSCATTER FULL BODY SCAN MACHINE. The guy/TSA OFFICER is fully clothed but can see you in all your naked glory.

You hold your hands over your head for exactly 1-2-3 SECONDS and it’s over. You walk out, rush to put your shoes back on, and gather your belongings before causing a 20-person pileup on the rapidly moving conveyor belt of virgin English majors waiting to get plucked by their very own Heathcliff.

Junior Year/DEPARTURE TERMINAL:

By year/HOUR 3, “Little House on the Prairie” English major life has become “Brokedown Palace.” Since arriving, you’ve somehow managed to lose a few articles of clothing, including your travel Foosball table balls. You’re hungry again, but now – without daddy footing your finances – your dietary standards have dropped alongside your GPA: You grab a pancake scrambler from the pop-up Krystal, toss  the 40-pound “Pound Era” opus in one of those Smart-Pack compacting trash cans, and replace it with US Weekly and Star.

Senior Year/ BOARDING:

Year/HOUR 4: Boarding. The “ZONES” represent the ability of various majors to acquire gainful employment after graduation.

  • First Class, Platinum Preferred: Pre-med, Pre-law, Pharmacy, Business
  • Zone 1: Management, Computer/Web Design, Engineering, Architecture
  • Zone 2: Linguistics, Speech Therapy, Psychology, Forestry
  • Zone 3: Music, Dance, Broadcast Journalism, Theater
  • Zone 4 — YOU: Creative Writing, Studio Art, Philosophy, Anything with the word “Theory” in it, and all “Independents.” **** This also happens to be the part of the airplane most likely to be torn asunder and incinerated in a crash.

As an English major, you are in the very last row of the airplane, right by the bathrooms. 34 B: You wedge yourself between 2, 300-pound Tweedledee Dee and Tweedledum-looking brothers who smell of burnt coffee grounds and boiled cabbage.

You use your remaining line of AMEX credit to keep the on-board Bacardi’s coming, pop a Xanax, and fall asleep drooling on “Dee’s” shoulder.

Graduation/LANDING:

Unlike the tear-soaked sendoff leading to freshman year, now nobody is there to greet you. You claim your baggage and find the airport transit station.  You get on the subway. One stop in, a schizophrenic homeless man wearing a “I Heart Zack Morris” sweatshirt and holding a mason jar of his own piss sits down right next to you.

You stare at a poster hanging on the wall of the train: It’s a smiling woman who is a “Real Life” graduate of trade school “X.” Underneath it reads “From classroom to boardroom, find the job of your dreams.”

What you don’t know then is — as an English major — the only place you will have a framed picture of yourself is on the “Employee of the Month” board in the coffee shop break room where you will work for the next 5 years before opting to use your writing skills to bang out copy for a financial forecasting firm.

“In Your Eye” — from Say Nothing

Happy Friday everyone! Today I wanted to spice things up with a little musical number. And, in keeping with the theme of online dating sites being Passive Aggressive Playgrounds (See: “F View”) — this ditty is about the ultimate DSM of mental disorders:  the Match.com “Wink.”

the screamMy song is titled “In Your Eye,” based tightly on Peter Gabriel’s iconic hit — made famous by Lloyd Dobler’s boombox serenade in Say Anything. My version is for the real-life, “WINKING” wanker, chain-yanker internet match known as Say Nothing.

Plus, I needed an excuse to sit around watching John Cusack movie clips all afternoon.

What I would give for a bouncing sing-along-ball…..

F View

I’d like to interrupt today’s episode of Mailbag Monday for a very important PSA:

For the love of Kris Kristofferson, I finally have proof that earth veered off its axis some time ago and has been spinning at a faster-than-normal rate ever since, thus forcing time to progress at a supersonic speed.

Proof being: I just received a check in the mail for a music review I completed earlier this month. The check was dated: 9/5/2010.

Okay. Now, back to our regularly scheduled program:

Dear Nerdy Romantic,

I just got out of a long-term relationship. And by “long-term” I mean the last time I was single, Pluto was still considered a legitimate planet. So, on the insistence of my older sister, I joined Match.com to re-acclimate to the life of a bachelorette. Being totally new to the online dating world, I have a question: If a person has “viewed” my profile on several occasions, but has never made actual contact, is it fair game for me to open the lines of communication?

Sincerely,

Lost in Cyberspace

To “Lost in Cyberspace” — the short answer to your question is Hell to the No.

But who am I to take short cuts when there’s a perfectly long winded response waiting to get lost in. 3-2-1 AND Lift off:

In all honesty, there was a time in the far distant past of 2011, when online dating sites like Match.com were actually good at what they claimed to do. I really believe the 100-plus clams you had to fork over for a 6-month subscription actually went toward the food and living costs of a 5-member think tank holed up in a white, windowless research facility somewhere in the sacred regions of the Himalayas.

This Stephen Hawking-esque brain trust was paid to sit around listening to Barry White records, playing the flugelhorn, and devising a sophisticated scientific algorithm that pairs compatible online profiles together.

But that was long ago, a B.K.**  time of innocence and hope. Yes, it was in these glory days that the “Guided” steps to communication on Match.com were used for just that… communicating.

(**B.K. denotes the calendar era Before Kristen: When K-Stew reached into Rob-Pat’s chiseled chest and pulled his still-beating heart out with her bare, adulterous hands)

But since then, Match.com has gone the way of most things that decline in quality as they rise in popularity. Nowadays, I’m pretty sure the $100 member fees go toward retaining the site’s class-action lawyer.

saul goodman

Better Call Saul

Oh yes, dear readers. I actually had one guy “View” my profile several times over a 2-week period, without so much as a wink. Finally, I get an email from him that reads as follows:

[Sad Face Emoticon] Wow! I really thought we had a connection. I guess I was wrong. I hope you find what you’re looking for.”

To which I should’ve replied: “ARE YOU SMOKING BATH SALTS?!!”

Seriously, Match has this new feature called STIR events, in which paying members are invited to crawl out of their virtual caves and convene at a local bar to meet other members face-to-face. If they behaved in person how they do online, it would be like Samuel Beckett’s theater of the absurd:

Act One:

Guy (dressed in all black. Face painted blue)

Girl (dressed in all blue. Face painted red)

Guy: Stares at girl, looks away. Stares at girl, looks away. Stares at girl, looks away. Stares at girl, looks away. Stares at girl, looks away.  This goes on for 30 straight minutes without interruption.

******

Act Two:

Guy: Winks at girl at bar

Girl: Winks back at guy

Guy: Smiles at girl

Girl: Smiles back at guy. Proceeds to walk over to guy and introduce herself.

Guy: Turns back away and completely ignores girl.

Chorus shouts: “I say what I mean. I don’t mean what I say.”

All said, I am resigned to think that anyone who “Views” my profile repeatedly over a course of many weeks without making contact does so because they are either —

  • A)     A serial killer
  • B)    The guy from Memento
  • C)    Their 1st, 2nd, etc… choices have failed to respond to their actual emails, so they’re sifting through the dregs of the other matches, trying to psych themselves into thinking maybe the more they look, the better I’ll seem, all the while hoping upon hope that their real favorites are just away on vacation and haven’t had a chance to check their inbox.

Ultimately, Match.com (and its online dating brethren) has essentially become the Passive Aggressive Playground — raucous, confounding times had by all on these fun-filled diversions:

  • Monkey Around-With-Your-Emotions Bars
  • Mood Swing Set
  • See-No-Seesaw.
  • Imbalance Beam
  • Wink-en Logs

Bottom Line: You won’t see the Old Spice Man “viewing” or “winking”at someone’s online profile as he repels off the side of an ice-capped mountain straight behind the wheel of a runaway speed boat, onto a jungle shore where he wrestles a giant panther to the ground, and then falls gently onto a 1000-thread count, rose-petal covered bed smelling of grit, daring, and the sea after a storm.

So “Lost in Cyberspace,” to make a short story long, I say to you this: Only respond to matches who send an email, or at the very least, follow-up their winks with actual contact.

If you wanna be my Lover, you gotta get with my Friends — or do you? (Take 2)

(Continued from “Lover” (Take 1) )

All personal anecdotal dysfunction aside, it’s totally natural to be protective of a brand-new relationship. In the beginning, they’re like the perfect Cosby sweater: snugly, soft, not-wooly or itchy, and miraculously comfortable for ALL seasons including summer.

bill cosby sweaterIn the beginning, it’s just you and him. Sitting on the head of your newly hatched union keeping it safe and warm, and feeding it regurgitated worms out of your strong beak. You don’t want to push it out of the nest too soon, lest it be swooped up in the razor-sharp talons of a passing vulture.

vulture

Going public: It means you no longer see him through your eyes only. There’s now a whole new set of piercing peering pupils that can spot all the red flags you were previously blind to in your incubation:

  • The track marks on his arm
  • The uncanny resemblance to a high school classmate your friend knew, only back then HE was a she dating the captain of the football team.
  • The fact that he followed your other friend to the bathroom and asked her if she wanted to grab drinks sometime.

Then there’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: i.e. his personality completely changes in social situations. Or, parts of his character as yet unknown to you are now revealed: For example:

Your friends bring up politics — a subject you 2 had yet to tap what with all the other “tapping”  going on — AND he with straight face says something like,

“It doesn’t matter who wins the 2012 Presidential election because in a year, I’ll be happily living on the moon as part of Newt Gingrich’s lunar colony.”

Okay. So there’s a lot at stake here. But in the end, you have to ask yourself:

If a relationship exists in the holed-up sex den, and no one is around to hear it, does it really exist? Historically speaking, couples that subsist in isolation don’t end happily:

Adam and Eve, the Mosquito Coast, Open Water

So, I’ve created a checklist for newlybeds. Once you can cross off all the milestones, you are READY to make your grand debut as a couple:

  1. Had 2 home-cooked meals and 1 Sunday brunch
  2. You’ve had “the talk” — thus establishing that you are no longer ACTIVE on your online dating accounts and/or have changed your Facebook relationship status to (at least) “spoken for.”
  3. He’s left at least 2 legitimate belongings at your house.
  4. You’ve gone shopping for food, and NOT in a regular grocery store; At a Farmer’s Market!
  5. When he’s on the phone with you and a friend/workmate interrupts him, he says to them: “Yes. I’m talking to herrrr! Shut up!!! You’re sooo stupid.” — VERSUS — He says to You: “Hey Bra. I gotta bounce.”
  6. When you go shopping on your own, you find yourself wandering into the men section and playing “Dress-A-Doll” in your head:  He = doll; clothes = paper outfits.
  7. When you talk about him, the pitch of your voice causes coyotes to hold their ears.
  8. You’ve called in “sick” at least 1 time to play hooky with him.
  9. If he lives in a gated apartment complex, he has given you the security code — VERSUS — he meets you at the door each time and lets you in.
  10. He knows where you keep your bottle opener AND can pretty much find his way around your kitchen
  11. (Courtesy of theirreverentcouponer) — You’ve had sex at least 10 times.
  12. You’ve had sex in at least 1 other position besides missionary
  13. You have your own personal Mii avatar on his Wii bowling players menu

If you wanna be My Lover, You Gotta Get with My Friends — or do you? (Take 1)

I hope everyone had a wet and wild Labor Day — you know, the international holiday that celebrates the closing of public pools. And of course, welcome to Mailbag Monday (read: Tuesday). Let us not tarry.

Dear Nerdy Romantic,

I’ve been seeing a guy for about 1 month now and so far, it’s just been he and I hanging out together – on our own. I don’t know about his buddies, but MY friends are chomping at the bit to meet him. How long do you think is an appropriate time for the official “boyfriend” coming out party?

Ah yes, the age-old question of when to merge friends with boyfriend. Believe me, the PROS of NOT introducing your man to your mates far outweigh the CONS: (See list)

new boyfriendAs a matter of fact, I once dated a guy for over a year before introducing him to someone else. And that somebody was my landlady who required his presence to co-sign the lease on our house.

Granted, he and I kept very different schedules:

  • I went to bed at 10 pm to get a proper 8 hours of sleep before waking for my 9 to 5 corporate office job.
  • He kept the hours of an incubus, a.k.a he was a musician who stayed up till dawn watching Jonestown, the Jim Jones documentary and stapling egg crates to the ceiling.

We also had very different lifestyles:

  • I love the outdoors, hiking in nature AND running in the park, all the while eating a healthy, all organic diet of fresh greens, fruits, and free-range meats.
  • He maintained his washboard abs on the 3 “C’s” rock-star regimen: Crystal meth, Chain-smoking, and hepatitis C.

And we definitely had very different views about life:

  • I tried to see the bright side of most things, the underlying lesson in a challenge, the beauty in the banal, and magic in the seeming mundane.
  • He believed from the harrowing moment we are all wombjacked, every second on is just a micro-death of our innocence until we emit our very last breath and finally do die, utterly alone. Basically, he didn’t so much see the glass as half empty, as there NOT being a glass there to begin with.

Okay, so we were utterly, painfully ill matched. Like Platoon vs. Pippy Longstocking ill matched.

Like a jellybean jar vs. the Bell Jar — ill matched.

Frankly, he and I had ONE single, solitary thing in common: A combustible physical chemistry that could split atoms. But what nobody ever tells you is — “mind-blowing” sex (by its very definition) renders the mind, the objective analytical capacity of one’s brain, inoperative.

(To Be Continued…)

Whole Foods HOT-TIE Bar

Tonight, I had an eye-opening experience in the hot bar section of Whole Foods. Here’s the play-by-play:

8 pm:  I assume my regular Friday night position: Right hand shoveling $20 worth of vegan Mac-n-cheese and fried tofu cubes into the re-purposed-from-elephant-poop-take-out-container held by my left hand. I look up and see this very attractive guy heading in my direction with an expression of great purpose on his face.*

*Footnote: Normally, this would describe the billy-club-carrying store security guard coming over to order me to stop sampling the food before I buy it…

But, seeing as this guy is clearly a civilian with no outwardly apparent disfigurements, I carefully start to remove my own concealed weapon from its holster — aka, my deadly smile!

As he gets closer, however, I notice he’s looking a little too far to the left to be focused on me, unless he has a lazy eye, which by no means is a deal-breaker by the way.

8:07: Guy stands 1 inch away, with his back to me AND his face…

TO the cute blonde on his other side.

So, I add another consolatory spoonful of Mac-n-cheese atop my organic (read: “healthy) mountain of food, slip my deadly smile back into its holster, and LUCKY ME proceed to overhear the happy new couple’s entire conversation. It goes as follows:

  • 8:08.1, Guy: “Hey, my name is Sam. What’s your name?”
  • 8:08.2, Girl: “Hey, I’m Amanda.”
  • 8:08.3, Sam: “Cool Amanda. Do you have a boyfriend?”
  • 8:08.4, Amanda: “Oh, um, hee hee, uh, yeah. Yeah I do actually.”
  • 8:08.7, Sam:  “That sucks-and-a-half.  See ya, never.”  (Leaves)

8:09: Amanda (formerly of “Samanda”) turns to me with a vexed air and says,

“Wow! Did you just hear that? That guy was sooooo rude.”

To which I simply nod and shrug my shoulders in sympathetic wonder at the nerve of some people WHILE on the INSIDE, where my true voice lives, I am really emitting a high-pitched vitriol that sends dogs and bats cowering into the darkness. It goes as follows:

“First of all, it wasn’t ‘That Guy’; it was ‘Sam,’ or have you already forgotten. And secondly, no actually, if anyone’s the dillweed in this scenario, it’s you. Everyone knows that getting your dinner from the Whole Foods hot bar on a Friday night is a universal sign of singledom. To do so AND be in a relationship is a great offense and shall be perceived as one by any unsuspecting man/woman misled by such distortion.”

Seriously, though, in all seriousness I’m being serious. There are few (maybe NONE) exceptions to this unwritten code. Forget Whole Foods for a second and the fact remains:

If your FRIDAY night dinner involves a sneeze guard and is bought “BY THE POUND” — You Are Single.

Caveat 1: You are an ER surgeon – in which case you’d be wearing scrubs.

Caveat 2: You are in the middle of moving – in which case you’d be wearing dirt/paint covered sweatpants and a ratty t-shirt.

Neither of which exception applies here, as Amanda was dressed to the six’s in skinny jeans, an Urban Outfitters looking top, and black leather riding boots.

In the end, what Amanda did is not just a snow job, it’s also selfish. It’s like an airplane crashing onto a deserted island, and 2 weeks into the grisly ordeal, the fat guy who had to buy 2 seats just to be able to fly licks the very last plate of remaining food clean while everyone else watches on in starved horror.

CUE: Lord of the Flies, “‘Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!'”

Understand: While there may be an infinite resupply of warm dishes for the Whole Foods hot bar, the already slim pickings at the “Hottie” bar of eligible singles is dwindling at a famine-fearing rate.

To do my small part in reducing the number of future incidents of spoken-for-people-infiltrating-single-people-territory — I’ve created an easy, user-friendly guide to the Universal Signs of Singledom in Women & Men.

single people chart

  • Woman: Unplucked unibrow, chin hair
  • Man: Listening to Nickelback (see also, Creed)
  • Woman: Knitting circles
  • Man: Having bookshelves in your home made out of cinder-blocks/milk crates
  • Woman: Cat fur on your clothes
  • Man: Having a liger avatar in Furcadia that you use to dreamweave and huggle
  • Woman: Having a chinchilla avatar in “(see above)”
  • Man: Using a chip-clip to hold up your sweatpants
  • Woman: Keeping any kind of Entenmann’s Danish/coffee cake in your house when your grandmother is NOT visiting.
  • Man/Woman: Buying your toilet paper at the nearby 711/convenience store
  • Man/Woman: Not having a cellphone on your person
  • Man/Woman: Unmanicured “bush”
  • Woman: Having a strip of “Sticky Paws” (adhesive tape used to prevent cats from peeing on your furniture) stuck to the bottom of your shoes.
**** Editor’s Update: I just came across this article in the September 11, 2012 Gawker. It features the following picture of the Chicago Teachers Union protestors and writes:
“Civility has disappeared in Chicago Teachers Union protests. Truly. Making fun of the mayor’s mother, declare him worse than Hitler, plant evident that he’s having an extramarital affair. But calling him a Nickelback fan? Unacceptable.”
rahm emanuel. Great minds… and all that!

Mailbag Monday: Seren-DUPE-ity

mailbagWelcome to Mailbag Monday. This week’s topic has to do with staying on the right side of the searching-single-lady morality line. 3, 2, 1, and action:

Dear Nerdy Romantic,

“Is it unethical to cause a minor traffic accident in an attempt to meet the really cute guy in the truck behind you?”

This is a prime example of what I like to call Seren-DUPE-ity — a situation in which every step to meeting a guy is pre-designed and plotted by you. He along with friends, family, future offspring, and whomever else you had to pay off along the way — however — know the experience as FATE.

It was, as they say, “in the cards” …. EXCEPT that you stacked the deck.

It was, as they say, “destiny” EXCEPT that you snuck up behind Cupid as he was preening his wing feathers, knocked him out cold, stole his bow, and shot an arrow “straight through your lover’s heart” all by your lonesome.

oh no you di'intNow, I had to be really careful not to answer this reader’s question too soon. My knee jerk response was,

“Girlll! You gotta check your head before you wreck his flat-bed.”

But, then I thought about it some more and considered all the possible crazy acts of manipulation a woman could do to snag the man of her (lucid) dreams. Many hours and countless disturbing Google images of sexually cannibalistic black-widow spiders eating the heads off their male lovers later — here’s what I came up with:

Commence: Dance of Chart Joy

  • X axis: Act of manipulation
  • Y axis: Correlating degree of cray-cray

* Color blocking coincides with Department of Homeland Security threat levels

** Full definition of each act of manipulation beneath chart

*** Click on chart for larger image

Mis-FAKE-N Identity: Good, clean, taradiddling. Goes like:

  • You spot a cute guy in the Large Breed dog-food section of the grocery store. You walk up to him and say,

“Brock [or any other macho-sounding guy’s name] is that you? Oh my God! It’s been so long. What are you doing in [your city]?”

  • Not Brock:

“The bad news is: I’m not Brock. The good news is: I would love to have dinner with you tomorrow night after I get done tagging sharks.”

*****************

Amelie: Like the movie, this involves adorable, doe-eyed acts of winsome capers. Probably includes any of the following accessories:

  • Bottle rockets, a trail of bread crumbs, garden gnomes, a Dutch windmill, decoder rings, 2 Speak-&-Spells, and one old curmudgeon neighbor made of glass.

*****************

Brake Slam: (THE ORIGINAL ACT IN QUESTION)

  • You’re stuck in non-moving “Carmageddon” like traffic. Little old-ladies with walkers strapped to the backs of giant land sloths pass you by in mocking laughter. In your rear-view mirror, you see that the guy in the truck directly behind you is uber-hot. So, at the next 3-inch roll forward, you tap on your brakes. His front bumper crushes your license plate and takes out a taillight, or 2.
  • You get out. He gets out. You smile. He smiles. You exchange insurance information and phone numbers.
  • You get back in your car. Your phone rings. It’s him. You spend the remaining 3 “rush” hours sharing your life stories and planning the details of your “second date” (the 1st of many inside jokes!)

******************

Nanny 1: Goes like:

  • He’s a handsome widow left to raise his angelic 3-year old daughter on his own.
  • You answer his ad for a live-in “domestic assistant.”
  • 1 healing year later, you have managed to restore the beauty of his home, and also repair the hole in his heart.

******************

Roofie 1: You slip a date-rape drug into his drink and take him home to “make love.”

******************

Stalkholm Syndrome:  Goes like:

  • Abduct him from the parking garage at his work
  • Hold him hostage in your IKEA-built, GORM storage solution wine cellar
  • Several months pass. He fully processes all 5 emotional stages of captivity.
  • You are no longer his prison guard; You are his salvation

*******************

Roofie 2: 9 months after slipping him a mickie, you knock on his door and introduce him to his newborn son/daughter.

*******************

Nanny 2:

  • He’s a happily married man with 2 young kids.
  • You answer his ad for a live-in “domestic assistant.”
  • 1 week later, you cut the brake lines to his wife’s car.

*******************

Bunny stew: Fatal Attraction.

The End

So, in the grand scheme (ing) of things, the reader’s act of seren-DUPE-ity really isn’t that bad. Is it the “right” side of the searching-single-lady morality line? Well, on the chart, it sits just above the “WILY” category of cray-cray.

Threat level: “Low” to “Guarded.”

If green/blue means GO for you, then I say GO — and be sure to invite me to the wedding… OR character testimony at the civil court lawsuit, as the case may be.