Monday, September 27, 2010

A Social Experiment, Pt 3: What I learned

Sometime in the next few days, I will be writing emails to the few guys with whom I have been corresponding and then closing my profile on okcupid. It was an interesting experiment. As will all good experiments, I need to have some sort of conclusion. (Pay no attention to the fact that I didn't follow the other steps of good experimentation. I use what I need as it suits me.) So here's what I learned from this two week experiment:

1) There are a lot of freaks out there. Seriously. That sounds mean, but I really wonder what people are like in real life after talking to them online. I try not to judge, but...well...

2) America has a terrible literacy problem. It's a huge problem if I can't even tell what point you're trying to get across in your profile. I am such a spelling and grammar nazi, I automatically leave a profile where there are multiple spelling and punctuation errors. I'm not talking about the occasional missed letter or misspelling. I'm talking about reading a profile that sounds like it was written by a middle schooler. Ridiculous.

3) People lie. Or are super hypocritical. I tried the whole "putting myself out there" thing and messaged several guys who talked about their faith in their profile. It didn't go well. As in...they didn't respond. And not once did I use the "I think we should get married" line. ;) I guess I had hoped that guys who were strong in their faith might look beyond outward appearance. Wrong.

4) I have no desire to meet someone on a website. Not right now anyway. A couple of the guys I was messaging with wanted to meet me. And I didn't want to. At all. It made me anxious. Not sure why.

5) I have a lot of other stuff to work on before I can fully devote myself to looking for Mr. Right. I want to become more healthy, physically and spiritually. That way, when I find someone, I won't settle. I will know what I deserve, and I will be able to be fully "in" a relationship. Hard to explain. I also want to make more connections outside of work. I love my work buddies, but I'm really excited about the prospect of making friends through church, or by taking community ed classes. So many possibilities.

So yeah. Sorry this wasn't as amusing as the other entries about my experiment, but I actually learned a lot about myself during it. Did I give it a fair chance? Maybe not. Will I try again someday? Maybe. But for now I'm going to go out and experience real life and real people. I'm going to stop searching for Mr. Right and live my life as fully as possible. And that's a promise ;)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Social Experiment, Pt 2: The People

First of all, I want to thank those of you who commented or messaged about internet dating. Trust and believe, I know that internet dating can and does work. I know several people living out their happily ever afters after meeting on the internet. I'm just not sure it's for me. For many reasons.

Reason number one? I attract the creepers. I'm not joking. I give you three examples below, three of the first to message me on the site. I couldn't make this stuff up.

1) Wolfman
I cannot describe the message this man sent to me, so I will just share it with you. The only reason I do this is because I know for a fact that he copied and pasted this same message to at least one other person, and I would guess several more, so I'm sure he wouldn't mind if I copied and pasted it here.

you know, when i saw your pic, i exclaimed, "countach." in the piedmontese dialect, it's the verbal equivalent of a wolf whistle. it means, "oh wow...amazing." it's usually uttered, when a man sees a woman of exceptional beauty, such as yourself.

Yes. I asked him what "piedmontese" is, and he said it's an area of Italy, and that Italian men used to yell it at his mother and it used to make him mad, but now he understands. Yup. He started a chat with me. I didn't follow his line of thinking, but bascially he told me that he quit college because a friend showed up in a lambourghini, which told him he needed to take more chances. I don't know. That's all.

2) Romeo
This one is kind of typical of a lot of messagers. Romeo wasted no time with pesky "get to know you" questions. He went right in for the, "I'm looking for someone to spend the rest of my life with and I think it's you." Or something along those lines. I asked him why, and he said that he is a loving and caring guy and he would treat me better than anyone else. What more could I want, right?

3) Zombie
Zombie was extra-special, so I saved him for last. He started out by simply saying, "You're cute. I want to get to know you better." Oh, I should mention that the reason I call him Zombie is because he has possibly the worst profile picture he could have selected. It looks like someone just said, "Hey you!" and he was like, "Huh?" Plus, his eyes are glowing. Like I said, it started out innocently enough. He asked about my writing, and said he was sort of a writer. As in, he wrote 3 pages in 2 years. That's fine though, we all work at different paces, right? So I asked him what sort of writing he did. Horror. Okay, interesting. So what made him decide to write horror stories? Well, you see, that's a fascinating story. See, he was working at Dairy Queen when it came to him. He thought of all sorts of ways people could die at Dairy Queen. Aaand, that's where I exited.

You'd think that's the end, right? Ha. He messaged me again. I started asking questions about his weekend and stuff, thought it was safer ground. He told me he was going to a cousin's wedding but wasn't looking forward to it because his family is the devil. Another pause from me. How am I supposed to respond to that? He responds again by asking the question I LOVE..."so why are you single?" I gave some cliche answer, and then figured turnabout was fair play and asked him the same thing. His answer? "Because women are blind." Nice. He did a fabulous Eeyore impression, woe is me, girls don't understand how awesome I am, etc etc. There was more, but I just lost interest in sharing it.

So, there you have it. A couple of semi-normal guys have messaged me, and I have had some enjoyable conversations. Still not sure how long I will stay on. My ADHD is kicking in. Plus, my heart isn't in it. We'll see though ;)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Social Experiment, Pt 1

This week I embarked on a social experiement of sorts. I mean, I majored in psychology and minored in sociology in college, so obviously human nature fascinates me. So. I joined Yup. I've heard good things about the site, and a couple of my friends have gotten dates off it, so I though, hey, what the heck? I mean, my sister and brother-in-law met through the internet. (Okay okay, before I get in BIG trouble, I should clarify...they did not meet ON the internet. Their friends did. And when their friends met, they went along. And ka-boom. They lived happily ever after. The end.) While I know good things can happen on internet dating, I'm pretty sure it's not for me. I joined a "penpal" site in college and got wedding proposals from the Middle East. I did a free sign up at eHarmony once, and it was more stress than it was worth. Plus, it's a great way to get rejected 10 times a day. And last year (?) sometime I tried I don't want to talk about it... Long story short, my time on these sites < 2 weeks typically.

It has already been a fairly entertaining experiment. Just perusing the site is very educational. Therefore I decided to discuss it in at least two installments, maybe more, depending on how long I last. In this first chapter, we'll cover simple do's and don't's of creating a profile. From my perspective. Because I know what's best. ;)

- Write about yourself in the boxes. It's not "funny" or "cute" to say things like, "If you really want to know, you'll ask me."

- Use spellcheck. Please. And as much correct punctuation as you can. Typos happen, but it's not really helpful if a profile isn't coherent.

- Post decent pictures of yourself. Ones where you can see your face. Maybe smile. Maybe even post ones where you've washed your hair recently.

- Come up with something more clever in a message than, "You're cute." Actually read the profile of the person you're messaging and comment on something they've said.

- Use "text speak" to creat your profile. It gets really annoying to try to read.

- Post pictures of yourself cuddling with members of the opposite sex. Somehow it sends the wrong message on a dating site.

- Post pictures of yourself taking pictures of yourself in the bathroom mirror with your shirt off. Just...don't. (This is mostly aimed at guys, but it would probably be a bad idea for girls too ;))

- Talk about how stupid or blind the opposite sex is in your first messages. Bitterness is not sexy.

- Say in the first message that you are desperate to meet someone and you think it's the person you're messaging. Again. Not really attractive.


I could go on, I'm sure. But those are the basics. It shouldn't be rocket science, but you'd be surprised! That's it for now. Stay tuned in the next few days to hear about some of the charmers I've already met on the site. You won't want to miss it!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

When I grow up

I have many dreams. And not just the kind that happen when you sleep. Although, I do have lots of those. The other day I fell asleep and dreamt I was in Egypt. I want to go to Egypt someday. That would be awesome. Anyway, that's not the point of this blog. The point, my friends, is that I still don't know what I want to be. I never quite grew out of the dreaming stages of childhood, where you really really want to be President just because then everyone has to do what you tell them. Even after four years of college, two years of grad school, and two years in the working world, I still have lots of plans for my future. And, you lucky readers, I am going to list just a few of them Just. For. YOU. You're welcome.

ROCK STAR: I love to sing. I can play the tambourine too. And probably the maracas, though I haven't tried those as much. I really want to learn to play my guitar better (it's red), and it would be awesome if I could hone my piano skills as well. I want to spend all my time just singing and singing and dancing and being adored by crowds of screaming fans. Except when I want them to leave me alone. Then they will.

AUTHOR: I really am still working on writing a few different novels, one that is fairly close to completion. If I could get published, it would be totally awesome. I would love to quit my job and just spend all my time in my head, creating characters and storylines and bringing joy to my millions of readers worldwide. I would buy a lake cabin where I would do a lot of my writing. My desk would be in front of a giant picture window overlooking the lake. And I could sleep in every day and write late into the night. I would probably have to do book signings and such, which would make my hands hurt, but if I could make myself ambidextrous, it would be a little better.

TEACHER: I like kids, especially when they're sweet. I would have the best kids in the entire world. And my classroom would be full of sparkles and rainbows. My reading corner would be cloud-themed, so the kids would feel like they were reading in an oasis. And I could read there after school until the janitor would come and give me strange looks. I still miss my after school kids.

PHOTOGRAPHER: I like to take pictures. Especially of the sky and other pretty things, like people. I often get taunted for how many pictures I take. If I became a famous photographer, I could have shows all over the world, and then I could send postcards to the people who made fun of me, and the postcards would say, "What now???" and the people would be all, "Aww, I wish I hadn't made fun of her, she sure showed me." Yeah.

TRAVEL WRITER: I want to travel. A lot. So many places to see! People to meet! Since I can't afford to travel, I will become a travel writer so that I will get paid to visit places. I will stay in the nicest hotels and do the most fun things any given location can offer. And then I'll write about it in witty, charming articles, because I am witty and charming. If I'm really good, maybe I'll get my own show, and they can follow me on my adventures. I think I would need a co-host for a show though, because I work best playing off other people.

CRUISE ENTERTAINMENT STAFF: It would be like being a camp couselor, except for adults and on water. I actually considered applying to work on a Disney Cruise one summer, but I was too chicken. I used to want to be a singer on a cruise ship, but it seems like a pretty thankless job, and everyone loves the entertainment staff. I'm really super fun, so we would have the best staff ever. And I could give discounts on cruises to my friends and family and take other ones where I could have fun. It would be awesome.

REALITY TV STAR/TALK SHOW HOST/RADIO HOST: I would be really good at entertaining people. If it was my job to be entertaining, I would be a kajillionaire. Then I would buy a plane so I could travel.

Well, that's the short list. Any of those would be awesome. What would you like to be?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fair Daze

As the days are getting colder, and I begin to find crunchy leaves to step on, I can't help but wonder where summer went. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE fall. It's my favorite season. All the vibrant colors, the cooler temperatures, the smell of burning leaves in the air...I absolutely love it. In fact, I'm such a girl that I've planned out a fall-themed wedding. Yeah, sad, I know, but happy at the same time, since it has to do with fall.

But I digress.

The summer seemed to disappear fast, and while I didn't get to take an actual vacation, I did get the opportunity to go to the Iowa and Minnesota State Fairs. I'm not sure what it is about state fairs, but I love them. There's so much to see, and everyone is always so happy. Kids are excited and you see the patiently amused (and sometimes panicked) faces of parents trailing after kids hopping from one exhibit to the next like rabid squirrels. There are any number of different smells as you walk down the road, from crazy fried food to fresh baked cookies to the sweet smell of manure. ;)

I usually go to the fair with my family. This year I went to the Iowa State Fair with my parents and my brother's family, and to the Minnesota State Fair with just my parents. My mom and I usually break off from the group, since we tend find staring at animals for extended amounts of time slightly boring. This year my mom helped me in my quest to find many things on a stick. It was awesome.

Part of the reason my mom and I end up going off alone is because my dad gets very focused on what he's doing. My dad LOVES fairs. He could probably go every day the fair is going and never get bored. He judged at both state fairs, which he also loves. And I love that fairs make him so happy. The problem is, when you go to a fair with my dad, you spend a lot of time waiting for him or looking for him. We can be walking through a building and suddenly he's not there. Usually he's stopped at some other booth. Then we have two options. We can either wait for him or keep going. Chances are, it will end up the same way either way we go. We'll still lose him. It's inevitible. If we take our eyes off him for a second, he will be gone. Next year I'm planting a GPS chip on him. At least he wore an orange cap this year. Made it easier to spot him...sometimes. You think I get distracted...phew...

Anyway. I'm already looking forward to going to the fair(s) next year again. I'm also looking forwad to lots of good things coming this fall. Did I mention I love fall?