To initiate or not

Or, rather, how to initiate.

So, initially, this blog was going to be titled “Tinderified.” I liked how it felt like the word terrified because that’s how I was feeling about diving in. it also implies a complacency. Like we are zombified to Tinder. Like we are adjusted to this norm of dating.

I’m now somewhere in between. Somewhere between anxious over doing this online dating thing and somewhat numbed to it.

Being pansexual means that I am open to dating anyone I find attractive that is willing to give dating a solid go. But that also means that my energy may shift at times and one type of person may feel ‘safer’ or more ‘right’ at any given time during that search (once I settle in with someone, it’s all about them, no matter what). Recently, I have been solely dating people who identify as either cis or trans women. For those of you on Tinder, I’m sure you know that the options are not high in number, so I decided to click the “men and women” search option.

And I was promptly reminded of why I have had the ‘women only’ box checked.

“Brains and beauty? Meow.”

Um. Are you fucking kidding me? Does that work on anyone? Anyone who I would mildly respect?

(And for those of you furries out there, I am not stomping on you. Because this was definitely not a furry. So I’m not trying to be offensive to you.)

“Women only” could not get reselected fast enough.

Ok, I’m not saying women are perfect. But I haven’t had that shitty of a line from a woman. Ever.

But…what is the right way to open communication? IS there a right way?

Personally, unless they open with the beauty and brains comment, I’m really game to chat back with anyone who initiates. Because initiating takes some cajones.

I used to get super offended and annoyed when someone would just say “hey,” but I got over that kinda fast once I realized there’s not too much that is going to really grab my attention. At this point, I tend to stick with a simple “hey,” or send a smiley face. Everything else feels kinda corny and banal. One woman sent a “Hey! Thanks for liking my profile too J” a while ago, and I feel like that’s another great way to lead off.

One way that I used to try was this: “Hi there! So I never know how to start these things…but here are three random facts about me: 1. … 2. … 3. …” I used to think it was brilliant until I realized how awkward and lame it made me sound. Like…don’t start with pointing out this is an awkward process. Just dive in. Plus, people never seemed to know what to do with a lot of information.

So, now it’s a “Hey! :)”

But I have had some other pretty memorable first messages:

“Assuming that you talk to the horses, and assuming that they talk back and you translate for them, one question: do you use the same voice for all horses, or do they each get different voices? I once rode a horse who talked like Queen Elizabeth, at least until he tried to dump me in the ocean.”

This was great for many reasons: it was witty, it hit upon the fact that I mentioned that I ride horses so I knew they were paying attention, and if they turned out to actually believe they talked to horses, the date would be amazing fodder for this blog.

“Hi, Jon here but where’s here? That is the question or is it the answer…..”

Uh…wtf?

Then there are the indecipherable ones: “I was going to be the best practices in the world of crime and offline for a silent and a half of the world and I have to go :)”

Winning: “I see that thirst for life in your smile! So do you live out in the country?”

Losing: “Hi there. You’re cute. How are you?”

And then there’s the forward, but at least blurts out what they are looking for person: “I’m just gonna be upfront and say I’m not looking for something serious right now. Would you be interested in drinks and casual sex?”

I guess a lot of these are just me being overly judgy. But first impressions are hard to shake. Personally, I usually get a vibe of whether or not I want to meet someone when I look at their profile, so unless they really eff up the intro, I’m already wanting to meet them. The rest of the initiation fails remind me to keep my filter going…and to keep looking.

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Geography much?!

Ok. So. If you’re going to try to pick someone up…dear god please have a fucking clue of where places are. Especially with respect to what is a state or a city. And not the obscure ones. The common ones. I would never ask anyone to know where my hometown is. But I expect some basic level of knowledge as to major cities (I mean come on—sports teams alone should teach many the basics of where shit is).

Think I’m being overly judgy and mean?

Well. Probably. Usually.

But.

Then there’s this.

A few weeks after moving to the west coast, I went to a local bar to mingle with the locals and start meeting people. I soon realized that it was a little awkward to just go up to people at the bar and insert myself into the conversations, so I ordered a few drinks and tried to look friendly (and this was before the days of smartphones, so I literally could just sit there and pretend to watch the baseball game on the tv above the bar). Eventually, a really cute guy approached with a smile and struck up a conversation. Hellllloooo McDreamy.

But. Wait. Dammit. He’s a wingman.

Sigh.

He set up his friend perfectly. He was an ace at his job. His friend? Ball dropper of all ball droppers. He quickly realized he was out of his comfort zone when he discovered I have a graduate degree in molecular science and was in the process of returning to grad school for another degree (he sold jet skis…which I hate). But he doggedly tried to stick the landing anyway. I attempted to be friendly, and told him a bit about my life, which involved graduate school in SE Virginia, some moving around, and a few years of a big-girl career in Boston. He scrambled to keep the conversation moving forward…and really wiped out when he asked,

“So what part of Boston is Virginia in?”

I shit you not. I was speechless. I asked him to repeat the question, desperately hoping he would think about what he was saying and trying to give him an out. And he repeated himself.

What part of Boston is Virginia in?

Ok buddy, I tried. His wingman heard the question get repeated and literally facepalmed. All I could do was stammer out, “well, the city of Boston is about six sates away from the commonwealth of Virginia.” (Yes, I was a douche about it and said commonwealth instead of state. Technically that’s correct. And I was feeling extra douchy and extra not like helping him out.)

His defense? “My geography isn’t so good—the east coast has so much more complexity than the west coast.”

Sorry dude, you just fail.

I paid my tab and left. I am still wary of that bar. And think of this situation every single time I hang out there or bike by it.

And I’m not alone in people fucking up geography that badly.

One friend was living in DC trying to take a peaceful ride home on the Metro when a dude, who repeatedly talked about how he was a Harvard grad, decided to prove juuuuust how smart he was. He asked her where she was from, and she replied “Minnesota.”

His response? “Oh cool—that’s east of Wisconsin.”

Her reply? “Um. No. I promise you, it’s west of it.” And he went on to insist that his Harvard-educated dumb ass knew that the state where she is from is in a different location than it actually is.

He was such a wad about it that she finally got off the Metro a few stops early, waited until the train left the station, and re-entered to finish her ride home. Because paying twice for the Metro was So Much Better than that individual knowing remotely where she lived, or her putting up with his idiocy for any longer.

The moral of these interactions?

Trust the person who is from the place you are trying to have some knowledge about. And know some fucking basics about your country before you open your mouth. Or else you, too, may end up in a blog post (and probably Facebook).

But…then again, as with all of the eyeroll worthy interactions, I am ok with their existence because, at the end of the day, they are pretty entertaining.

The worst pick-up line. Ever. EVER.

Ok, so, that title probably has your expectations set pretty high. I promise, I will not disappoint. And this will not be a super long post so you can get right to the punch line.

But first. The scene needs to be set.

I was at a close friend’s wedding. Ok, well, I was in the wedding. Which is always hard when you’re single. But it was a beautiful day, a perfect day to watch two dear friends get hitched. The ceremony was at a local city park and the reception was on the rooftop of their apartment building. It was such a love-filled day, and everyone there was over the moon happy for these two. During the reception, I sat down with one of the other bridesmaids to nom on some potluck goodness, and her date and another guy joined us. The other guy wasn’t exactly who I wanted to be sitting near, but I figured that if he earned an invite, he probably had something going for him other than his faux-hawk, ripped cargo cutoffs, and beater under a short sleeve button up.

Ok, so you have the image?

He pointed out that I was the only single girl at the wedding, and a bridesmaid ta boot. I started drinking a bit more. He said he had something to ask me, so I looked up and the next thing I knew, he cupped my face in his hands and leaned in. I was feeling a bit panicked that he was going to kiss me, and in retrospect, I wish that was all he did. Instead, he pulled me in close, and whispered in my ear,

Can I touch you where you pee from?”

I screeched and flailed…and flailed and screeched some more.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!

Now, I am usually the one to crack off a filthy joke and watch people squirm, but this was beyond a line and a limit for even me.

Instead of smacking him, which to this day I can’t believe I didn’t do, I asked if that line had ever worked (I recovered fairly quickly and was kinda curious).

He winked in the grossest I’m-a-future-pedophile way and said, “we’ll see later.”

Spoiler alert: he did not find out.

I later found out that he had done a classic wedding crash, and was not at all invited or welcome there. He also had a gun on him. So fucking classy. I also proceeded to drink tequila like it was water and called the bride a guy during my speech (in front of the groom’s Mormon family. I am so happy this couple is still friends with me.).

But the even more magic part? Right as I let out my first screech and flail, the wedding photographer whirled around and snapped a picture. It features prominently in the bride and groom’s photo book from their special day so we all can remember that glorious moment in my life and be simultaneously squeamish and amused.

I could say that I am so annoyed that this happened. But…in the grand scheme of things, it was hilarious.

And I will never lose at the worst pick up line contest. Ever. EVER.