Tuesday, January 5, 2010

a different approach

Since the guys on okcupid here seem to have some sort of dysfunction, I'm giving up on it. Seriously, I have a .1% return rate on my investment. I'm willing to concede that maybe part of it is me, what I say in my profile, but I can't believe that it's ALL me. That would be too depressing. It seems that people here use it as a means to say that they're trying to date, but really they're not actively dating. At some point, I intend to go to a pay site. I haven't decided which one yet. I suppose that I'm letting the need to decide stall my actually doing something, but I also am adjusting my budgets and need to see how that goes before I commit to any website that I have to subscribe to.

So, my approach at this point is good ol Craigslist. I posted elsewhere that I was having issues getting a posting at CL to not be flagged. Men here are apparently suspicious as well as lazy about dating. Or something. I don't know. Men must must get an awful lot of spam or auto-bot responses to ads they post. I've never gotten any of those, at least not obviously.

Here's the ad that I successfully posted yesterday:

(clearly this is not spam as I mention the Museum of Ephemerata and why in the world would spam pick up something that obscure?)

I've been challenged to go on 10 dates in January. That's a lot of dates. I haven't got a single one lined up yet and it's time to get cracking!

I'm turning this challenge into an opportunity to do things around town that I've never done before--like see the Museum of Ephemerata, the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture, go to the B-Scene at the Blanton, maybe take a duck tour. I could easily come up with some restaurants and bars I've never been to. I don't go to small gallery openings or special movie screenings as often as I'd like. I think it's too late for ice skating at Whole Foods, but I've also wanted to take dancing lessons.

What about you? Is there some place you've never gone that you've always wondered about, some romantic movie you secretly want to see, some cheesy tourist place you're curious about? Want to try cooking or art lessons but don't want to go alone?

This is about opening myself up to adventure and life and maybe, if I'm lucky, love somewhere down the road. For now it's just about meeting new people and just going out and having fun. There's a list of things I usually look for in men, but for now, I'm keeping that to myself. The list of requirements for this challenge is short. You must be:

-willing to actually meet in person, and soon, without a lot of emailing, this is about meeting people and doing things

-able to pay your own way (I do okay, but I can't pay for 10 dates in a month, let's go Dutch)

-open to possibility and adventure

All I expect from any one person is one date. No pressure or expectations for anything more. If more happens that would be awesome but totally a bonus.

You will meet, in return, a gal who is cute, fun, funny, intelligent, and charming. I dare you to find out if I'm telling the truth.

I've gotten about three dozen responses so far. And only one from a guy being a complete ass and telling me that I need to post this in casual encounters and no one is going to respond if I don't post a photo. Joke's on him...

Now, my challenge is to sort through those responses and figure out who I want to respond to and go out with. Some of them are no-brainers--the guys who immediately get the concept and respond positively, also showing their own intelligence and humor and throwing out specific suggestions of, "Let's do this!"

On Sunday afternoon, I'm going with a guy to see Mel Brooks' "History of the World". Done. Easy. I'm waiting to hear back from a guy who was really interested in the Museum of Ephemerata about whether he can go on Saturday. Two dates with different guys in one weekend? Crazy! By the end of the day I will likely have an ice-skating date for next week.

Some of the responses are clear "No"s. Like this one got a pic ? if you are in good shape, we can get it down to 9 pretty quick.. I'm not opposed to trading pictures of course, but really, "if you're in good shape"? Next.

Then there are some others that fall into a place where I feel less sure. Frankly, if I'd posted a more traditional ad, looking less for one time, let's have fun sort of dates, I'd reject them. The way I'm trying to approach this falls very much in line with when my therapist had me do speed-dating. I didn't want to go and I was pretty sure that I wouldn't find any guys that would interest me, but that was beside the point. The point was to go into it having as few preconceived notions as possible and practice putting my best dating self forward. In some ways, the latter was easier because none of the guys were attractive to me--I had to spend 7 minutes chatting with them anyway, no matter what!

So now I'm looking at longer periods of time spent with some guys I know nothing about. And interestingly, it's an easier stretch for me to make plans with guys that tell me minimal information and don't show a photo. I have no idea what my movie date looks like. I know his name, his age and that he has a job. A lot of guys have sent photos and that, in some cases, makes me hesitant--seeing someone and thinking that I won't feel any attraction to them and so why bother spending a couple of hours with them. I know that's the wrong approach and I'm going to try and work my way past that. But there are other things:

*age--normally, I would not be interested in dating a guy 13 years older than me. One of the best emails I got was from an older guy though. I think that would be a big impediment to me wanting to go any farther, but I should try it for one date, right?

*the guys who uses the word "kewl". I can't stand this. Especially when every other word is the actual word in real English. His email is great and he's excited about ice skating. But he uses the word "kewl". It hurts my brain to read that. But I should look past it for now, yes?

*the guy who responded to my post twice, once clearly intending to respond to another post. Both emails are exactly the same except for one sentence. This morning I find that he has his own post on the website, with the exact same body. He's a type of guy that I would not come across in most of my regular doings though and that's a place where I should overlook the inability to write personal emails, isn't it?

This has gotten long... I had a lot of thoughts to pour out though.


  1. I like that you're trying Craigslist and I'll definitely be curious to see how it goes!

    I'd probably reject the last of your possible rejects. Grammar and spelling is important to me and people who misspell things on purpose really annoy me! And I'd worry that the mass reply guy is just saying the same thing to everyone and not really reading people's ads.

    I'd go for the older guy though!

  2. of your rejects, I would probably reject #3. It's just lazy if he can't even write more than one original sentence to you. Just my opinion though.

  3. Reject #2 - You won't be texting or emailing on the date, right? Put it aside and go have fun with him. You never know.

    B doesn't always spell right and gets his you're your mixed up sometimes, but it doesn't make him a bad person AT ALL.