Monthly Archives: November 2015

Was Last Week National Asshat Week on OKC?

I don’t know why, but last week was a particularly bad week for my inbox.  Every now and then I think, “hey, maybe if I use the site more and send more messages, I’ll actually find someone decent who also wants to date me.”  I conveniently forget that when I’m more active, I also get more pointless messages and more obnoxious messages.  But this  exchange made me really disappointed in humanity.

SirBoringPants: Are you still not dead?

Me: Uh, what?

SirBoringPants: Apparenrly I messaged you a year ago and that was the last thing you said.

What, did you go through all the rounds and come up empty?  Why would you message me again?  Maybe he’s celebrating the most absurd anniversaries in the history of stupid celebrations?

Me:Yeah, that probably means we were having an unpleasant conversation

So, sometimes when I get really boring messages, I’ll respond.  Not because I think it will go anywhere, but because I’ve been told I’m being far too selective because I want a message that has, you know, content in it.  And I’m clearly not in a position to be picky.  Okay, no one says that last part, because it’s not socially acceptable to do so, but i’s pretty heavily implied.  Because despite any good qualities that I have, my being a 29 year old fat woman means I’m supposed to take what I can get.  At least, that’s what society, and a  guy who messaged me once, tell me.  Not even kidding.  After messaging me to tell me how beautiful I am and give me his number, when I said that I wasn’t interested in someone whose priority was my appearance, this jerkwad told me, “That’s ok because I’m prob the only one there will ever be that thinks that”.  Which…ew.  So sometimes I talk to the “hi”s.  And you know what?  They are, 99 times out of 100, exactly as boring as you would expect.  So this guy must’ve asked me how I was doing, and I must’ve answered that I wasn’t currently dead.

SirBoringPants: Actually I just asked how you were doing. Maybe you were having a bad night?

Me: Oh, no, that just means that I spent a lot of time writing a profile and that was all you could come up with.

I don’t know how many times I can go over this.  Unless you are looking for really shallow relationships, you need to actually make it clear that you read the other person’s profile when you message them.  Otherwise, it just looks like you sent the same message to 500 other people in the span of 10 minutes.  While I know that I’m not more unique than the next person, I do at least want the person I’m dating to see me that way.  Is it really asking too much that the guy write a sentence that both acknowledge a common interest and asks about you?  If you are genuinely interested, it’s not hard.

SirBoringPants:Oh well Goodluck with that attitude…

Not sure he’s in a position to assume that my attitude is the problematic one – he’s run through all of the women in one year and is circling back to the ones he didn’t get completely ignored by.

Me: Good luck not reading people’s profiles and wondering why people don’t respond!

SirBoringPants:I read your profile, that’s why I messaged you.

No, those two things don’t always have to follow one another.  Guys will message women because they like the picture. Or click on the profile, look at the rest of the pictures, and then send a message.  I’m sure some women do it, too. Messaging someone /= “I definitely read your profile”.

Me: Well, “how are you doing” gives no proof of that, so you look exactly like every other dude who can’t be bothered to read a profile.

Again, this just sounds like something you could shoot out to every attractive woman in a 25 mile radius with minimal effort.  Also, you have not met me.  Do you know how many rat’s asses you give about how I’m doing?  Zero.

SirBoringPants: Maybe you could send out a questionnaire when you get the first message. Or talk to them? I dunno crazy right?

Some day, a guy will respond by saying, “you know, you’re right. I hadn’t really been thinking about how to make my messages more individualized to the woman I’m sending them to.  Thanks for the tip!”  (Actually, I’ve gotten thanks when I give feedback in the past, and I have to say, it raises my opinion of the guy quite a bit).  But this was not that day. Naturally, I am the problem.  It’s not the person sending the message doing it wrong.  I’m doing it wrong by not taking the most mundane question and turning it into a riveting discussion about pet kangaroos.  Not that I’ve ever told a guy on the internet that I had a pet kangaroo.  Definitely never did that.

Me: See, if this person were meeting me in the real world, with no information, that would be one thing. But I have an entire profile’s worth of stuff to talk about. Your way requires me to do all the work, but you’re not giving me any reason to *want* to do that work. Why is it my job as the person *receiving* the message to be the interesting person?

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m obviously fascinating.  Oscar Wilde reads my blog and thinks, “Man, I need to get a life!” But sometimes that is too much pressure.  It’s unfair that I have to always bear the burden of brilliance.  If you’re the one trying to catch my attention, shouldn’t you…actually do something attention-catching?  Shouldn’t you tantalize me with your words? If a model showed up on a runway in wrinkled jeans and a plain white t-shirt, the designer wouldn’t walk out and tell the audience that they should “make that into fashion!  If you just asked questions and used your imagination, it would be amazing!”  No, fashion designer.  Do your job.

SirBoringPants: See, I figured you get the message check my profile and from there decide if I’m worth the time. That’s the way it’s been in the past.

…And here you still are on this website.  Desperate enough to message the same women who weren’t interested a year ago.  Maybe I should decide that he’s worth exactly as much time as he put into “how are you doin”.

Me: Again, putting the work…back on me. When your part of the work was a generic message you didn’t even bother to think about. Seems fair.

So I’ve been in relationships that were like this.  I don’t mind doing work.  I actually like a lot of it.  But I don’t want to be the only person doing said work – it should be a joint effort.  And I’ve been on that date.  Multiple times.  I drive home drained and then stare at the ceiling all night because I can’t sleep when I’m wondering how I could have made the date more interesting.  Because I tend to assume that I was the one dropping the ball.

SirBoringPants: I think that’s equal work I read your profile and you piqued my interest. You read my profile and then you decide? Is it really that hard? You come off as the lazy in that respect.

Okay, so how about this scenario.  I respond to “how are you doin” with “fine”.  Then what?  I did the bland thing, like you did.  There is no direction to go in.  The only way to fix this is to ask a question that actually starts a conversation.  Which, again, means I am doing the legwork of being interesting, or at least interested.  Which, in this case, I really am not.

Me: No, YOU come off as lazy. You couldn’t even bother to tell me what you found interesting in my profile. Since usually it’s some version of “I like how you look”, I need more to go on in that. Why is it that when *you* read *my* profile, you don’t have to do anything besides “hey” or something as boring, but *I* have to turn it into a conversation?

Seriously, it is my fault no matter what?  I don’t want to date the guy!

SirBoringPants: We’re just going in circles here.

Nah, I think you just realized that I have a point, and don’t want to admit it.  It’ll feel good, I promise.

Me: Trust me, I’ve had the conversation with the person who can’t be bothered to ask about anything interesting. It’s boring.

SirBoringPants: Yeah but you kind of came off as boorish though, maybe just don’t respond.

There it is again.  How I’m doing ALL THE THINGS wrong.

Me:You know what happens sometimes when women don’t respond?

A lesser version of When Women Refuse.  Google it if you’re not familiar.

SirBoringPants:What’s that. For the record I saw that coming haha

Not sure why this is funny to him?

Me: You get called a bitch, or racist, or get threatened with violence.

True story: about two days before this conversation, a guy messaged me three times before I had to explain that no response generally = not interested.  He then told me, “Fack you, racist”.  I didn’t know that in order to prove myself not racist, I have to be willing to date literally any guy who approaches me, despite having nothing in common, and finding the him to be awful.

SirBoringPants: So these hypothetical people who react like that to being ignored will respond well to you being rude?

Here’s when I get stabby.  First, they are hypothetical people?  No.  These are actual men who have messaged me.  Who have messaged my friends.  Who have messaged millions of other women.  They have the freedom to be cruel, disgusting, obscene, creepy, predatory, and abusive, but yeah, I’m the bad guy because I’m “rude.”  Screw.  That.

Me: Seriously? That’s your response? Not, “oh, it really sucks that you and other women have to deal with that”. No, but when I’m a little sassy, it’s rude.

SirBoringPants:I’m saying those people exist, so just avoid them entirely instead of messaging them at all. I think it is horrible that women get treated like that but it’s sad to say not surprising.

Ah, the backpedal.  No, you referred to them as “hypothetical”.  That very much implies that you do not think they exist. And that I am making them up, or preparing for a threat that doesn’t come about.  But you can brush it off with a “it’s not surprising”.  It must be nice to not have to worry about it happening to you.  Sure, on the internet, most of the time you won’t get someone who will stalk you in the real world, or get a chance to physically harm you.  At some point, though, being harassed by strange men on the internet because you aren’t giving them what you want eats away at your self esteem, your energy, your sanity, and, frankly, your empathy.  Dating gives me enough anxiety as it is.  I don’t want to have to worry about my mental safety, too.

Me: Dude, did you miss the part where when I ignore them, they message me anyway and say nasty things? This has happened to me several times. I’ve ignored messages. I’ve rejected politely. I get nasty responses 95% of the time, no matter how I respond. It seems only fair that I can respond however I see fit. 

This is kind of the crux of it for me.  Sure, I could not respond. I could take the abuse, block the guys, and move on.  I did some version of that for so many years of my life, while being bullied by nasty middle school girls, when being told by a boy on my bus that my legs were too hairy, when people assume that I can’t do something because I’m female/fat/was an English major/work in human services/insert other things about me that our culture has negative opinions about.  And honestly?  I’m tired of doing that.  I’m tired of being the bigger person.  Sometimes I want to just be angry at people who deserve it without being called a bitch or something worse.  I want people to get back the same shit sandwich that they give.  I don’t call people names or threaten them with violence,  I just shower them with snark and a big helping of The Way Things Are.  And as frustrating as it is to go through the same thing over and over, it feels good.  I’m finally standing up to one of the bullies, and on my own terms.  It can be incredibly freeing to decide that, you know what?  This one guy probably thinks I’m a big meanie bitchface jerkasaurus.  But it turns out, I don’t actually care what this one guy thinks.  I can stop feeling bad for telling someone off because they’re being an asshat.  Well, I can try, at least.

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Come on, OKC Dudes. You’re Better than This. I Hope.

So, because I’m a masochist, I pay for my OKC account.  Which means that I see whoever “liked” my profile.  This is actually one of the main reason I pay – I can find guys who maybe aren’t so confident about making approaches, but be more sure that I will get a response.  Seems like a win for everyone, no?  Well, most of the time, I still don’t get responses from those guys (are they just liking every profile they see?).  But I also end up looking at some of the incredibly incompatible profiles of people who’ve liked me.  Like this one.  Here’s his “message me if” section:

You are an honest genuine person looking to get to know who I am. You’re non judgemental and real. I’m not looking for random hook ups. If you can have fun, regardless if we’re out for the night or in playing a game just laughing or watching tv, then we’ll get along great.

Oh, and if you think you can convince me this online dating stuff is worth it. Seriously though, message if you think we have something in common and have actually taken the time to read about me.

Italics mine.  I’m not a big fan of any backhanded challenges in these sections, like “if you want to prove that women do message men”.  Please stop trying to trick people into messaging you just to prove how much of an asshat you are.

Is a woman who’s slept with 100 men a bad person?

Dude: Yes

Hmm.  This sounds totally non-judgmental!  And just to be clear, I’m not trying to say that everyone should try to sleep with that many people. I certainly haven’t, and never will.  It’s just not my jam.  And chances are that a guy I date would feel similarly.  But why must that mean that someone living their sex lives differently is automatically wrong, or bad?  If it’s all consensual, no one is being harmed, and I’m not personally involved, I can’t see why it’s even my business or place to judge.

If you were to get married, would you want your partner to change his or her last name to yours?

Dude: Yes

Ohhh.  I think I understand.  You want me to be non-judgmental, because you want to be able to make my choices for me. Cool.

Do you dress up for Halloween almost every year?

My answer of “Yes”  comes up in red.  Really?  That’s a thing your going to judge me for?  In that case, your answer of “no” allows me to judge you as “boring and generally not awesome”.

Are you more attracted to virgins?

Dude: yes

So much side-eye for this. What century is this?  This is a preference I see all over the place.  It’s one thing if you’re very religious, and you also plan to be a virgin until marriage.  Or maybe if you’re asexual and want to date someone who has no sexual experience (though really, as longer as the other person wanted to be ace from then on, I don’t see why it would matter).  But it’s often guys who either aren’t virgins themselves, or who wouldn’t be if they’d had the opportunity.  So they’re asking women to live up to a standard that they are unwilling to keep for themselves.

How frequently do you go out of your way to make others feel appreciated?

My answer of “way more than average” (there’s only a choice for average, below, and way above – nothing for slightly above) is in the red.  So..you claim to be looking for someone who is nice and kind (mentioned in other parts of your profile), just not…nicer and kinder than you are?

Do you attempt to conserve water, energy or other resources during your everyday life?

Again, my answer (Almost always) is in the red.  I’m sorry, you’re bothered by me conserving water?  How could this possibly affect you in any negative way?  This sounds, again, like you don’t like anyone who doesn’t do things the same way, or to the same degree, as you.

Reading profiles can be, for lack of a better phrase, a huge bummer.  Worse, this guy is a 95% match.  With 40 un-matched questions, of about 150 that we have both answered.  I know the questions are weighted, but I can’t see any system of weighting in which this makes sense.  Profiles like that throw my hackles up, but not as much as the conversations I’ve had lately.

TheMan: I love that you are into Nirvana. What are your favorite songs from them?

Okay, there isn’t anything wrong with this as a first message.  Music isn’t my favorite opening topic, but I’ll generally bit.  So I checked out more of the guy’s profile.

Me:Care to explain this answer: “Do you feel there are any circumstances in which a person is obligated to have sex with you?”

You: yes

This is about as dealbreakery of a question as you can get.  That, and the question that asks if you abuse animals.  They don’t just make me not want to date you, they make me wonder what illegal things you’ve done that you haven’t been caught for.
TheMan: I must’ve press the wrong question. I thought I answered that to no. Sorry!

TheMan:Still interested in talking?

TheMan:?

So he didn’t actually change his answer.  It’s still up like that.  Also, allow me some time to read your message before you message me question marks.

Me: I don’t think we’re looking for the same things.

Okay, I think the general population understands that this means: I don’t really want to date you, but I’m trying not to be a huge douchecanoe about it.  Most people do not actually want you to say, “no, I don’t want to talk to you because I find you hideous”.  Or “holy shitballs you’re stupid.  I can’t talk to you for one more second”.  Yet, it almost never stops there.  The willful ignorance is staggering.

TheMan:Like what? I want a long term relationship.

As if that is the only thing that would matter.  For Newton’s sake, Hitler was in a long term relationship.  Andrei Chikatilo a serial killer who is responsible for raping, murdering, and eating up to 100 women was married for 30 years.  Surely this isn’t the only standard I should be basing compatibility on?

TheMan:Just give me a chance.

Ugh, this is one of my least favorite phrases.  It just reeks of “I can’t take no for an answer”.  Which might work in sales, but it gets into gross and potentially illegal territory when it comes to dating.

Me: Dude.  That was a soft no, not an invitation to ask why.

Whenever I start off a response with “dude”, I’m exasperated.  There’s an implied “really?” after it.

TheMan: Well I’m standing up for myself. I thought women like that.

I…don’t even think this is a legit stereotype.  Also, not taking “no” for an answer when someone does not want to date you is NOT the same as you standing up for yourself.

TheMan: Also we have lots in common.

Yes, we are both human shaped, and have interests.  And like Nirvana.  Seems like enough for a marriage to me!

Me: But just in case: I don’t think it’s cool to call women “sluts”. I’m interested in politics, and would like to date someone who is also. I’m not particularly interested in sports. I think it’s gross that you mentioning women “playing games” in your profile – as if men here don’t play just as many games. I don’t find arrogance charming. I don’t think shoving a baseball bat up someone’s ass is an appropriate reaction to a rape joke on a t-shirt. I’d rather play games than get drunk. You also put a much bigger emphasis on sex than I do.

These are all things based on his profile and answers to questions.  But yeah, tons in common!  Except, you know, stuff I find important.

Me: I case none of that is enough, me saying, in other words, that I’m not interested, made you push harder, which makes me think you feel entitled to my attention. It’s not about sticking up for yourself. No one was picking on you or oppressing you. I merely don’t want to date you. That is not a time to push further. Accept a “no” gracefully, whatever form it comes in. And maybe stop thinking about women as a monolith who all like the same thing.

Is it obvious from this how tired I am of this kind of response?  I’ve never had a guy explain to me why he wasn’t interested in dating – and this includes friends or guys I’ve asked out in the real world.  I generally just say, “alrighty then”, seek clues for whether they want to actually stay friends, and then try not to be terribly embarrassed for asking in the first place.  I can’t think of many answers outside of “I’m gay” or “I’m already seeing someone” that would make me feel remotely better.  Maybe “you’re just too awesome, and I can’t handle it”.  I imagine that’s why most guys turn me down.  I mean, this amount of awesome is tough for the average person to deal with on a daily basis.

TheMan: Whatever. Your loss like everyone else’s on dating sites. So many high expectations. Just being a man. CyA!

I…what?  I didn’t realize that “respect for a no” was a high expectation.  Or that finding someone who shares my general political views and some interests were also high expectations.  Or not wanting someone to respond to a rape joke…with a rape simulation.  Yup.  These women with their high standards.

Me: Uh, no. Being pushy isn’t “being a man”. It’s being disrespectful.

This is a line of thinking I don’t understand, and that shoots up giant, light up, glittery red flags for me.  Trying to push someone into dating you is “being a man?”  What the what?  That is horrifying.  If you follow that to it’s logical conclusion, sexual assault and rape are just “men being men”.  Which, like “boys will be boys”, is another cliche that I loathe. Frankly, it’s incredibly insulting to boys and men to think that self control is just something that they don’t have.  As if no men are capable of taking no for an answer.  I guess none of the guys I’ve dated are real men. Gender is not an excuse for bad behavior.

TheMan:HA!

Me: That response makes me think you meant your answer to the obligation to have sex question. If you thinking being pushy is important to manhood…

What did he find funny about this?  I really can’t figure that out.  Does he genuinely think that respect is the antithesis of manliness?  Where is this awful message coming from?  Because I’ve got news for you – this guy?  Not alone in thinking this kind of thing.

TheMan: Just drop it would you.

TheMan: Glad I won.

Oh no you did not.  First of all, if you approach conversation as things you win or lose, you’re conversing wrong.  Second of all…is this his way of saying, “nah nah, I got the angry woman to shut up”?  It went of for a few more messages, but this is the note I need to end on.  This is the reaction when a guy asks why a woman doesn’t want to date him and she answers honestly.  And if would be one thing if this kind of conversation is rare, but I have it several times a week, if I’m getting messages daily.  Honestly, I frequently have to remind myself that I have male friends in the world who are not like this, and that the majority of men are probably not like this, because when I’m on the internet (and not just limited to OKC), it’s really, really hard to remember.

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