Four Magic Words: “Just Let Me Know”

We all know about the missing sock phenomenon. Pre-wash, all sock pairs are present and accounted for. Then, post-wash, 1 sometimes more ankle grazers go missing, inexplicably lost into the laundered abyss.

This is a story of the missing Cock phenomenon. See if you can relate:

Macgyver

After a few flirty emails, you and your online match finally decide to meet in person. You arrive at a local café at 6 pm, prime casual hour. He walks in. You spot each other immediately. You can’t hide your relief that for once, he actually resembles the guy in his profile pictures. He smiles wide. You smile wide. The date takes off like a paper airplane on the moon.

Hours pass in engrossing, uninterrupted conversation. No awkward pauses. No forced topics on favorite music and movies. You talk about your dreams and passions. You share intimate stories of childhood pets dying in your arms after 15 years of unconditional love. Then, practical jokes played on friends and family. The exchange is like the perfect mix tape, pensive songs followed by poppy beats, back down then up, Thom Yorke to Tom Petty, somber… sweet… silly.

6 pm somehow turns into midnight. The café staff starts stacking chairs on tables. He says he doesn’t want the date to be over. You agree. He settles the bill. You go on a walk through the city, quieted by its quiet, as comfortable in silence as you were steeped in chatter. At last, you both agree the night that has already ended must end. He walks you to your car. You embrace. He says he can’t wait to do this again. You agree, and drive home wearing a huge, shit-eating grin and eyes glazed over by the haze of a long-forgotten hope.

Then, tomorrow passes into 3 days into 5. Not a word. Not a cricket chirping. The kind of silence that devours a dense forest right before a demon presence falls upon it. And in that time, you apply FOUR kinds of logic to the experience:

  • Psychological: (In hindsight, this is definitely the most cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs of all lines of thinking.)

Sounds like: Clearly, he’s terrified by how strong his feelings are for me. He’s intimidated by my winning combination of wit, warmth, and charm. He’s in total anguish by the fact that he has found his dream girl but isn’t yet the man he knows I deserve to have.

  • Mechanical:

Sounds like:  My phone must be broken. I can dial out, but clearly for some reason, nobody can dial in to my number. I’m going to call all of my friends and ask them to ring me back as a test. (Note: If it does work, then obviously his particular carrier is not compatible with mine.)

  • Physical:

Sounds like: Oh dear god! He’s been hit by a Mack Truck/ Space debris/ sniper/ Rogue Wave on his way home from picking me up a bouquet of flowers for our next date.

  • Metaphysical: (aka, the XY-Files)

Sounds like: Por dios! He has fallen through a tear in the space-time continuum and is now forever trapped in a parallel universe for which our lives will never intersect again.

And/or: I imagined our whole encounter while immersed in some hallucinatory Fugue state/ sleepwalking fantasy. In this case, I return to the place I dreamt we met, where the employees recount the still-talked-about night I sat down in a booth and engaged in a rapturous conversation with myself for 6 hours.

4 stages later and you’re still out of one’s fruit tree because in the end, there is no reasonable explanation for the post-amazing-date-blow off. It’s making you unglued which only further feeds into the stereotype that all women are emotional freaky-deaks. To which I say:

That 80’s movie where Harrison Ford goes into the shower only to come out and find his wife missing from INSIDE the hotel room isn’t called “Even Steven” or “Cool as a Cucumber.” It’s called “FRANTIC!” because sudden, inexplicable disappearance is un-fucking-nerving.

 So, here’s what happened.

In the afterglow turned blow of yet another one of these missing cock experiences, I called my stepmother to gripe and moan. And all of a sudden, she had this brilliant idea for how to get the closure I so desperately needed.  Don’t call him. Don’t email him. Simply text him FOUR specific words: “JUST LET ME KNOW.”

Just Let Me Know: So simple yet so profound. Not aggressive. Not accusatory. Just one human being asking another human being to do the decent thing: Just let me know if you’ve had a change of heart, a change of address, a change of sex.

And 9 times out of 10, the response is immediate. Days, maybe weeks of crushing, ambiguous silence stopped dead in its tracks. And yes, 9 times out of 10, it is exactly what you expect it to be: He has had a change of heart. But seeing those words after simply imagining them – while it may sting at first – makes it possible to finally let go and move on.

So ladies — from Obi Won Kenobi (i.e. my step-mom) – “USE THE FOUR WORDS, THE FOUR WORDS WILL SET YOU FREE.”

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Return to Sender, Again

There is no one on this planet who can say what I want to say with more heart and chutzpah than the pint-sized country chanteuse Brenda Lee:

I AM sorry, soooo very, genuinely sorry for dropping the blog ball with zero — NAY negative zero to the basquillionth power — tact and grace.

I am pond scum.

I am the dillweed douchetard who walks away at the last minute in the falling exercise of those trust-building classes.

trustfallIf I was to attempt to make an excuse, which I wouldn’t dare insult you with, but let’s just say — for arguments sake — that the “Another Earth” me version quantum leaped down here to this planet with a defense:

SHE would probably try and play the holiday card.

SHE would explain that this time of year is the ultimate creative succubus. “The horror! The horror!” of the holidays SHE would affect, saying how Heart of Darkness need not take place on a ravaged steamer choking down the cannibalistic Congo River. It need only occur in the Christmas music looping, cluster-fucked shopping malls on Black Friday.

(Why’s it gotta be “Black” Friday?)

SHE would spell it out, plain & simple. Every year, between Nov 1 and Jan 2, she walks through the chestnuts-roasting-on-an-open FIRE of 5 Holy Daze Stages:

  • Consumerism: Reason and restraint go Buy-Buy. Standing outside her own body, she watches in horror as she karate chops a soccer mom in the shoulder over a pair of retro Croc mules as if they were the last drop anti-serum in a viral outbreak.
  • Consumption: Serving size: 2 SLEEVES (also known as “1 box”) of Trader Joe’s Choco-Vanilla O’s.
  • Family communion: Self-explanatory, which leads to
  • Childhood regression: Mouth guard so as not to swallow tongue during fits
  • Total Catatonic Shock: think, Awakenings, pre-awakening.

Really (and I’m not being biased at all here) SHE does make some really good points.

So, if you can find it in your heart to forgive ME, then let’s not waste another nanosecond. Sit back, relax, slip into something a little more comfortable, and join me for another Mailbag Monday:

****

Dear Nerdy Romantic,

I’m just going to throw out a few numbers here:

14: Months I’ve been a subscriber to Match.com

23: Guys I ended up having amazing, online “relations” with. Meaning: long, intense, deeply personal emails exchanged by both parties.

0: Of those same guys — after arranging to meet — I was actually attracted to.

For the love of all that is holy, why does this keep happening? How can intense email chemistry fall completely flat in person?

Frustratingly,

Another Mr. ‘Write’ goes wrong

Oh and Girl. The virtual sound of your suffering makes me want to jump through the computer screen Twilight Zone (the movie) style — minus the demonic cartoon and girl with no mouth — and give you a giant bear hug.

twilightzonecartoonHear me when I say: You Are NOT Alone. This very situation has befallen me and yours so many times I finally gave it a name —

Ani-MAIL Magnetism (an’ i mal / mag’ne tiz’em)

n. the experience of having acute cyber fireworks with your online dating match; but no actual “fire” whatsoever upon meeting.

It always starts off the same. Shy yet hopeful, I would walk onto that cyber stage and take my place in the Electronic Slide line dance:

You can’t see it, it’s electronic.

You gotta feel it, it’s electronic

Boogie woogie woogie woo.

Two grapevine winks and a quick email message turnaround later AND boom! I’m sucked into this second life alter-reality. I’m wearing a diaper at my computer desk and sucking down Power Bar Gel Blasts so as not to break the steady stream of instant messaging.

Seriously, in one case, I hadn’t been that excited to check my “mailbox” on the hour every hour since I was 7 years old and entered a sweepstakes contest for a walk-on role on The Great Space Coaster to meet Baxter the rainbow clown.

baxterclownThen the highly anticipated meet cute came: 7 pm at our mutually favorite restaurant, being that we agreed on virtually everything. We pull into the parking lot at the same time. Shut engines off. Makeup mirror checks. Get out. (I made sure to wear flats so as to optimize leaping-into-his-wide-open-arms-potential)

But instead, when we finally do make contact, it’s the most awkward, miss lips kiss nose, pull-away-too-fast side hug shamble.

As for the rest of the evening — every attempt at conversation takes off like a summertime moth… straight into one of those high-powered electric bug zappers:

SNAP. CRACKLE. FLOP

Which brings us to the “Why does this keep happening” portion of our program. I’ll show you my theories if you show me yours:

1. The Rom-com Fallacy:

youvegotmailFact: In the real world, you do not find 2 beautiful, charismatic, engaging, and mentally sound people home alone, lying in bed on a Friday night unless they’ve just had wisdom teeth surgery.

NOR are those people captured in a split-screen shot with GIRL on one side, balancing a pint of Rum Raisin Soy Dream in her lap as she types to GUY, on the other side, balancing a pint of Cherry Garcia in his lap typing back.

2. The Cyrano Effect:

Let’s face it. Communicating online is akin to having a built-in Cyrano De Bergerac. Wikipedia, IMDb, thesaurus.com — they all feed you the wittiest, funniest, and on point lines so that REALLY, you wind up search engining your way into being the perfect soul mate.

Case in personal point: When one guy sent me this beautifully worded description of the greatest moment of his life — SEEING Tony Hawk do a helipop on a half-pipe — my very first thought was —

“How the heck can Stephen Hawking get on a skateboard?”

But something told me to Google T. Hawk first before writing back. So, I was able to save face just long enough to meet in person AND find out he considers Four Loco to be a perfectly legitimate energy drink.

3. Time + imagination = disaster.

Online dating is a lot like online shopping. Let’s say you order a dress. Every day that passes in between, you go back and zoom in on that dress. You fantasize about what shoes and jewelry you’re going to wear with it; you picture yourself in it, hair up, hair down, to the side. You track its order, double check its status, and count down the hours until you can finally debut it.

And then, 7-10 business days later, it arrives. You tear open the box, pull it out, and throw it on ONLY to discover it makes you look like a walking potato sack.

Time is a dangerous thing. It allows you to form this image of a person, pieced together from their online profile pics AND a well-crafted email voice. You thought you would be meeting a silver-haired fox/tall drink of water —

Only to come face to face with Larry King in a Sippy Cup.

My advice: Cut the email exchange down to the bare essentials. Name, phone number, place & time you want to meet in person. Go DIRECTLY to the store. Put on the dress. And find out right away if it fits.

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.”

“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.

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.

As You Wiiiiiiiiiiiishhh… (Dear John… Part Deux)

Over the last few days, I’ve received several (okay, 2 to be exact) requests for “real-life” examples of the first-date-dud “Dear John” letter from my previous post.

Well, in the 3 enduring words from the farm boy-turned-pirate we all know and (true) love:

Here is the original template:

To _____,

Start off with a neutral compliment regarding his/her choice of outfit, restaurant, movie (date activity in general), and/or personal hygiene, etc…

Quick transition into but, however, even still, shockingly l I do not see us being romantically compatible. Further explanation is up to you.

(Do NOT suggest being friends. That will only leave the door open to hope. You must kill hope.)

Express luck in their future dating endeavors so as re-establish the complete and total massacre of hope.

Sincerely,

Proper Name (no nicknames. Too familiar. Gives hope a fighting chance)

___________________________________________________________________________

And, now for the actual letters:

(1)

To ___

I’m so glad you suggested the new coffee shop near Piedmont Park for our first date.

When you said you were “close to your family,” however, I didn’t realize that meant your mother would be joining us. Too much, too early, I’m afraid.

I hope you and Gladys find that perfect partner soon AND please tell her to send me that delicious sounding Kugel recipe first chance she gets.

Nicole

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

(2)

To ____

Can I just say “WOW!?” That is literally the first time I’ve ever seen a bicycle with beer koozies welded to the handle bars!

When you said you were a “people person,” I didn’t realize, however, that meant you were a 45 year old man with 3 room/Steely Dan cover band-mates. A bit crowded for me, I’m afraid.

Best of luck in your romantic future,

Nicole

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

(3)

To ____,

I won’t beat around the bush. I didn’t realize that online picture of you dressed up as a warlock was NOT for Halloween.

I’m so flattered that you and your coven have chosen me as your “fourth” to “call the corners.”

But, as the ole’ Groucho Marx saying goes, “I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as its member.”

Many happy Solstices,

Nicole

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

(4)

To ____,

Thank you for opening my eyes to the disturbing amount of uneaten food that gets tossed in our city trash cans everyday.

I also didn’t realize when you said you were an “outdoorsy” guy — that meant you lived in the park and slept on an inflatable playground bounce house.

I hate squirrels. This will never work,

Nicole

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

(5)

To _____,

High praises for getting us a table at Woodfire Grill. I’ve wanted to eat there for years!

However, I completely lost my appetite when I realized the “FBI agent” part of your profile meant “Firm Believer In Christ” who thinks that I, as a Jewish person, am fated to burn in the fiery pits of hell lest I give my soul over to the Messiah.

Hey jacktard. They call us the “Chosen” people for a reason.

Mazel Tov,

Nicole

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

(6)

To _____,

So, by “great listener,” you really mean, “loves the sound of my own voice.”

Good luck with that,

Nicole  

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

(7)

To _____

You had me at your Ed Hardy t-shirt.

And then you lost me when — as I was ordering the chocolate mousse cake for dessert — you said Penelope Cruz used to be a “hot hottie” before she had a baby.

But don’t worry. I know it was only your teensy weensy eensy dick talking.

Nicole

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

(8)

To _____,

Lovely cologne you wore last night. What was that intoxicating aroma? Cedar Nettles?

Anyway, when you said you were “an adventurous guy who thinks outside the box” — I didn’t know that meant you liked to pee on women during sex.

This is a judgment-free zone, but I myself am more of a separation of church and state kind of gal — if you get my drift.

You should really try OK Cupid,

Nicole

Peeing Calvin

Dear John… or Joe, or Jack, or whatever your name is,

Sorry for the Mailbag Monday delay, folks. I had a dear friend come into town last night and instead of opening up my digital post box to answer your burning questions…

I opened a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon and babbled on about how Walter White of Breaking Bad has done to my moral compass what a Pit Bull does to a peanut butter Kong Stuff’N toy. Thank AND You for that.

kong stuff'nSo, now that I’m back on track, let’s begin:

Dear Nerdy Romantic,

“I started an account with a popular online dating site a few months ago. So far, so… blah! Several dates but no chemistry, at least from where I was sitting. But each time, the man sent me a follow-up email or text to schedule our next date. I never returned the messages, and eventually he (they) got the picture and stopped contacting me. Is this a totally douche bag thing to do?”

Make no mistake: This is NOT the “Just Let Me Know” debate of 2012 all over again. The 2 scenarios couldn’t be more different. Basically, the “JLMK” (trademark pending!) post was about a date that without question knocked the socks off, rumpled the locks on both parties involved. There were 4 eyes smizing, 4 pupils dilating, 4 legs shifting ever closer under 1 table shrinking, 5 hours passing like 5 minutes, and 2 sets of shoulders bobbing from 2 laughs blending into 1 synchronized blissed-out buzz.

What we’re talking about here is the first date dud. No sparks. No chemistry. No connection. The conversation falls flatter than matzah bread, and as you sit there watching the other person’s mouth move up and down, the muffled voice inside your own head cries out:

“Dear God when is this hostage crisis going to end so I can go home, tear off this pair of tummy taming Spanx, slip into my red flannel footsie pajamas, open a family size bag of Pirates Booty, and fall asleep watching ‘Legends of the Fall’ for the 15th time?”

So — is it REALLY necessary to let that person know that said first date was also the last?

To which I say, YES! To not do so is the luxury of likee alone. But I have been the LIKER. Oh yes, I have been the liker. Totally oblivious to the mushroom-cloud-sized-signs that HE is not into me: The incessant shifting in his seat; the regular “Wow! Look at the time” remarks when it was only 1:30… in the afternoon; the sudden emergency-have-to-leave-now- phone call; the snoring…

And yet I still drove home all googly-eyed, humming the Partridge Family’s “I think I Love you,” and wondering if when push comes to shove, will I really stick to my promise to keep my last name.

WHAT I WOULD HAVE GIVEN right then and there for someone to have walked me up that hilltop of delusion and tell me to “look at the bunnies” while putting a cap right in the back of my foolish fantasy.

So now, immediately after any first-date flop, I send an obligatory email: short, simple, straightforward. No room for doubt “Dear John,” for the sake of decency, non-douchebaggery, and future match.KARMA.

Basic template below:

To _____,

Start off with a neutral compliment regarding his/her choice of outfit, restaurant, movie (date activity in general), and/or personal hygiene, etc…

Quick transition into but, however, even still, shockingly I do not see us being romantically compatible. Further explanation is up to you.

(Do NOT suggest being friends. That will only leave the door open to hope. You must kill hope.)

Express luck in his/her future dating endeavors so as re-establish the complete and total massacre of hope.

Sincerely,

Proper name (no nicknames. Too familiar. Gives hope a fighting chance)

Text in the City Part 2

Gratefully, I’m not alone. This IM-tercourse is a growing phenomenon in our cyberspace replacing real physical space culture. Urban Dictionary.com now defines the hookup that literally has to be hooked up to a cell phone charger as a “Textationship.”

textationshipNot surprisingly, at the 2-week no-face-time itch, my coworker also decided to end things with Balki — who, as it turns out, really is “Mr. Big” in this “Text in the City.” To wit: A short time after kicking Balki to the virtual curb, my coworker ran into a friend at a party who described meeting an all-too-familiar “great guy” — one who sends hilarious texts but can never seem to get together in person. (Hint: It was Balki)

So, Balki the cell-phone boyfriend, you smooth keypad operator, if you’re out there in the world wide webosphere, this is my homage to our 2-week textationship. Thanks for the MEME-ories!

(The creation of this video would not be possible without the help of the following:

Video Technician: Ohki Komoto

Director of photography: http://theirreverentcouponer.tumblr.com/

Music: Sigur Ros “Hoppipolla”

Cat: Poppycock Artemis Schmute the III)