Ok, it’s time to wrap this one up.
My subscription to certainlyspinster.com has finally run out and we’re up to our last lesson.
One bright and clear morning in South Florida, I got an email from certainlyspinster.com.
Certainlyspinster.com: We found a new match for you! Dougfunnieismyhomeboy is 25 years old and lives in Delray! Dougfunnieismyhomeboy won’t know how to quit you!
Me: Quotes from Brokeback Mountain? That’s where we are now, certainlyspinster? Really?
I logged onto the site and fell head over feet when I read this guy’s profile. He likes Blackadder, he listens to Ingrid Michaelson and freshlyground, his favorite book is “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and he goes to church every Sunday.
I swooned over him, reader. I freakin’ swooned.
Then I read his profile and my dream life with him in which I become a writer ingrained within the literary canon, we buy a spacious 4-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, adopt 4 children, and summer in Milan came crashing down.
What was it in his profile that made me take a sledgehammer to my imagination?
This: “After a couple months of soul-searching, I finally know what I’m looking for in a girl. I’m ready to commit and put in the time and effort needed to make a relationship work. If you’re willing to take the good along with the bad and take a leap of faith, send me an email.”
Key phrases in those sentences:
1 ) Soul searching
I joined certainlyspinster when I was feeling depressed, lonely, and ready to kill the next person that changed their status on facebook to “in a relationship.”
2 ) Know what I’m looking for
Do you know what I’m looking for in a guy, reader? I sure don’t.
3 ) I’m ready to commit
That guy’s profile was perfect. He’s the guy I wish I could randomly meet in a coffee shop. He’s the guy I day-dream about. He’s the guy I realized is too good for me because I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I WANT!
Despite my complaining, my bellyaching, my bemoaning of my single state and the lack of grace and tact that people exhibit in regards to it, I’m probably better off on my own. As it stand, the “it” being me, I’m tangled. Tangled in what, you ask? School, myself, work, myself, my blog, myself, my writing, myself, life in general, and myself. I’m just a bit caught up in myself. Primarily because I have no clue what I’m looking for in a boyfriend. Let’s not even bring the word “husband” into this equation because it will lead to a crying and gnashing of teeth and there are so few perfect molars in the world that it would be a pity to damage mine.
See what I mean about being caught up in myself?
Dating is not for the weak kneed or faint of heart, clubs to which I am a card-carrying member. I tend to fall in like easily and frequently and then wonder why I get hurt. Now, some may cry out in horror when they read this, but here’s why I and many other people tend to get hurt: we don’t really care about the other person.
Take a moment to curse my life and start constructing a voodoo doll in my image.
Are you done?
Ok, so here’s why I believe that it’s our own fault we get hurt in relationships.
Actually, I shall shy away from “we” and say “I”.
This way I won’t be pelted with wet garbage.
8 times out of 10, I enter the “I like you” stage completely consumed with how the guy makes me feel. He makes me laugh; therefore, I like him. He always encourages me; therefore, I like him. He has eyes that can poke a hole in my pissed mist 100% of the time; therefore, I like him. No matter what, it’s always about what HE does for ME. I’m at the center of the “I like you” stage. I don’t really care about him, otherwise, my “I like you” stage would look something more like this.
He’s trustworthy and follows through with his commitments; therefore, I like him. He’s ambitious; therefore, I like him. He’s kind to others and doesn’t get angry very easily; therefore, I like him. He pays more attention to others than he does himself; therefore, I like him. He’s speaks well of other people even when he doesn’t necessarily like them; therefore, I like him.
If you take the time to get to know someone, they’ll tell you exactly who they are without saying a word.
And in a relationship, shouldn’t the other person be your focus rather than you?
The couples I’ve known to make it are 100% focused, committed, and devoted to the other person. Their list of important people looks something like this:
1 ) My spouse
2 ) My family
3 ) My job
4-99) Other things I don’t have room to list
This is what my list looks like:
Do you see the difference?
It’s quite sad.
What I’m trying to say, is the same thing I’ve said in the past, dear reader; I don’t think I’m ready. Why on earth I have to learn this lesson every couple of months is beyond me. You think it would have sunken in by now, but I’ve got a head as hard as adamantium and the emotional depth of a box of hair, so c’est la vie. This time next year I’ll probably be treading the same ground in new shoes with a wider vocabulary.
Grad school has done wonders for my vernacular.
Maybe one day, I’ll learn this lesson good and proper and never struggle with this again. Maybe one day, I’ll meet someone who makes me want to chuck myself out my number 1 spot and then we’ll get married and have those 4 kids I mentioned earlier.
And I’ll become a writer whose work is instilled within the literary canon.
So obviously that day is not tomorrow.
Either way, I’ll keep you informed.
Lesson 10: A little self-evaluation goes a long way.
Me: Oh I got an email from certainlyspinster.com!
Jenny: Another 40-year-old?
Tesia: Open it!
Me: This one is actually really good. He’s a basketball coach and he’s only 26. Kudos certainlyspinster.com.
Jenny: He’s kind of cute. You guys go to the same school!
Me: Went to the same school. He graduated, see?
Tesia: He’s a Catholic though, Gyasi.
Me: Well, that could pose a bit of a problem later.
Jenny: But he likes rock climbing and he reads.
Me: I’m a Baptist.
Jenny: He’s educated and likes Cuban food!
Me: And he’s a Catholic.
Jenny: He lives nearby.
Me: My faith is really important to me.
Jenny: He’s got a steady job.
Me: One of us would have to convert.
Me: Catholics and Baptists have radically different beliefs. I may have to let this one go.
Jenny: You know you’re not getting any younger.
Lesson 9: Realize that you’re picky and never open emails in front of friends.
Certainlyspinster.com has a nifty feature which shows you who’s been looking at your profile.
Because this is me we’re talking about, my profile was visited by roughly 5-6 50-year-old men per day.
I tell you, that does wonders for the self-esteem.
You can also browse new members in your areas, which of course, I did whenever I needed a quick shot of confidence. Seriously, being hit on by men old enough to be your father takes a toll on you. Just knowing that there are single men in their twenties out there was a pick me up. Bad choice of words, I know.
However, I was always careful when I viewed a profile because certainlyspinster lets you see who’s viewing you profile. You always know who’s looking at you, which is creepy in it’s own unique way. Despite my caution, this would sometimes happen.
Me: Stantheman55 just viewed my profile. Hmm, well, let’s see who Stantheman55 is…(checks profile) Oh so the 55 stood for your age. Ok, Stantheman55, nice to know you.
Certainlyspinster.com: Someone sent you an e-card!
Stantheman55’s e-card: I saw that you looked at my profile. Want to chat?
Me: Um, no thank you.
Mind you, I would have to go back onto his profile to reject him, which would lead to this:
Stantheman55: See anything you like on my profile?
Me: No, no.
Stantheman55: But you looked at it twice.
Me: That’s why I said, “No, no.”
Certainlyspinster: Someone just sent you an e-card.
Me: Not again.
Da Illest Negro’s e-card: How you doin’, shorty?
Lesson 8: Desperation, like body odor, is obvious.
When I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to meet the love of my life on certainlyspinster.com, I started to have more fun on the thing.
Especially when I realized that it was blog fodder.
How could I NOT write about some of the stuff that happened on that site?
That would be shooting myself in the creative foot.
I actually began to look forward to my certainlyspinster.com emails because that meant that laughter would soon be had by all. Of course, I forwarded the emails to a few people. People like Rachel, Ariel, Tesia, Joanna, Kira, Meredith, Kenley and Kelly may have gotten one, and possibly EB. Really I sent them to just a few of my nearest and dearest.
It’s not like I’m a gossip or anything.
Anyway, here’s another sampling of the wonderful (ahem) men I encountered on certainlyspinster.com.
Me: Ok, certainlyspinster, who have you to offer me today?
Certainlyspinster.com: We found a new match for you! Spedsaidfred183 is 23 years old and lives in Boynton Beach, Florida. You never know, Spedsaidfred could make your heart go on!
Me: Certainlyspinster, can we talk about the movie clichés? I feel like you could do better. Can I write for you? I’m well-educated, I could throw down some Shakespeare and Browning. I’m a Nietzsche Ninja!
(ten minutes later)
Me: Note to self: copyright “Nietzsche Ninja.”
Spedsaidfred183’s profile: “Normally, I’m a really fun and outgoing guy who loves kayaking, mountain climbing, and soccer.”
Me: Wow, he sounds really fun – wait, what does he mean by “normally”?
Spedsaidfred181’s profile: “I’m going through a really difficult time right now in my personal life. I just got out of a five-year relationship with a woman I really thought I was going to marry.”
Me: Please, Jesus, give me the strength to stop reading this…
Spedsaidfred183’s profile: “We broke up about six months ago and my friends think it’s time I started dating again, but I’m not really sure if I’m even into that scene anymore. I thought this might be a good way to get my toes wet without diving in and breaking my neck at a bottom.”
Me: Well, that’s a pretty picture.
Spedsaidfred183’s profile: “Message me if you’re not looking for something too serious because I’m tapped out and don’t know how much I have left in my heart to give.”
Me: Sweetie, you need a cookie and snuggie. Normally, I don’t advocate the use of snuggies, but you, my friend, could use a snuggie.
Lesson 7: Dating sites are not live journals; don’t play Tickle Me Emo when you write your profile.
I didn’t mean to have such a long gap between lessons, but a neck cramp, excessive fatigue, and He-Man knocking out the wireless connection kept me from updating the blog.
Please forgive me.
Now, here’s what happened on Day 11 of my online dating adventure:
(email notification beeps on Chitty-chitty-bang-bang the iTouch)
Me: I have mail! Crap, it’s from certainlyspinster.com.
Certainlyspinster.com: We have a new match for you! blameitontherain44 is 25 years old and lives in Pompano Beach, FL! blameitontherain44 could have you at hello!
Me: Really, certainlyspinster? Movie clichés? Alright let’s see this poor man.
(logs onto certainlyspinster.com)
Me: Ok, ok what is blameitontherain44 into? (reads profile) “I’m a really interesting guy who enjoys being unique.” How do you enjoy being unique? Let me not go there…movies. What type of movies do you like?
blameitontherain44’s profile: “Movies these days are so overrated”
Me: Does that mean you like Golden Age Hollywood movies?
blameitontherain44’s profile: “In my opinion, people are way too focused on celebrities and high-tech explosions. They don’t know the meaning of a good script.”
Me: So, wait, you don’t like movies? Music?
blameitontherain44’s profile: “The music business is run by posers. I’m not really into music.”
Me: Do you at least like books? Tell me you like books, blameitontherain44!
blamitontherain44’s profile: “Literature is only for snot nosed intellectuals who have no idea what a hard day’s work means.”
blameitontherain44’s profile: “Why read when you can actually do something with your life?”
Me: Does that mean you like going out?
blameitontherain44’s profile: “My idea of the perfect date is staying at home and browsing the internet. I don’t really like going outside.”
Me: Am I being Punk’d? Where’s Ashton Kutcher?
(email notification beeps on Chitty-chitty-bang-bang the iTouch)
Me: Screw you, certainlyspinster! Screw you!
Lesson 6: You are not being Punk’d. These people actually exist and they enjoy being unique.
An alternative title for this post would be “How I Finally Got Rid of Da Illest Negro.”
After having him fill up my inbox with inquiries, smiles, and questions, I finally decided to give Da Illest Negro what he wanted: a reply.
However, in addition to being a Christian I also moonlight as the Bride of Beelzebub and that was the side the took over as I fashioned my response.
Question: What kind of food do you like?
Answer: Fried horse and curried gibblets.
Question: If you were a genre of music, what genre would you be?
Answer: Heavy metal reggae. My favorite album is “Rasta Death March” by The Spiked Kingstonians.
Question: First date?
Answer: Milking water moccasins. If it’s got fangs I can milk it.
Question: Favorite animal?
Answer: A Zorse or a Liger.
Question: What’s your favorite hobby?
Answer: Floatin’ along the bayou with my cousin/half-brother, Jedidiah in that raft we made when we were fourteen.
I have yet to hear from Da Illest Negro
Lesson 5: Always have an exit strategy.
It was day eighteen of my online dating adventure and I had not found one suitable match.
That’s a lie.
I had found people who were suitable for those without ridiculous standards and pipe dreams.
Remember the brief and all-consuming bout of depression that started this online dating shenanigan? Well, that brief and all-consuming bout was now sleeping on my couch like an unwelcome house guest scratching its crotch and eating my Dannon yogurt. I’ve very fond of Dannon yogurt so if you touch my yogurt, I will break your face. Other milk products I have no problems sharing, but the yogurt is off-limits.
This could be why I’m still single.
Anyway, I was getting pretty upset that certainlyspinster.com wasn’t working for me. I couldn’t get a date in the real world and now I was failing in the online one? That’s probably a signal that you should start buying cats, naming them “Mr. Muffinboots”, and calling them your babies. Although, I’ve decided to be crazy reptile lady instead of crazy cat lady even though I feel anything with scales should be a shoes.
Crazy cat lady has been done.
Crazy reptile lady? Well, that’s an entirely new frontier.
Since I had not been able to find someone in eighteen days of online dating and twenty-three years of life, I started to question myself. My inflated ego rapidly deflated and I started to think, “Maybe I am hideous and my personality is offensive…crap.”
Nursing a carton of Dannon strawberry yogurt by my lonesome, I started listening to my Miserable Girl mix.
My Miserable Girl mix never helps to alleviate my foul mood; it only exacerbates the thing until I’m singing Celine Dion’s “All By Myself” at the top of my lungs.
“DON’T WANNA BE ALL BY MYSELF!!!!!!! ANYMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRREEE!!!!! DON’T WANNA LIVE BY MYSELF BY MYSELF ANYMORE!!!!!!!”
And then I start watching contemporary dance routines on youtube.
I stayed in my Miserable Girl mood for about two days before I got an email from certainlyspinster.com informing me that someone had sent me a message. Because I had been eating yogurt by the cowfull, I had to log on to my account from Chitty-chitty-bang-bang the iTouch to check it out. My ankles were swollen from all the dairy.
This message was from wgibson21 and it said, “I’m a great guy wit gud moral. Want to chat?”
To this message I replied, “BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Just one! Just one ‘gud’ moral, wgibson21? Can I pick which one? BAHAHAHA!!!”
Once again, I may be too judgmental for online dating.
But despite that I’m still awesome.
Lesson 4: Some dating sites know how to work reverse psychology.
Lesson 4a: Only indulge in Celine Dion when you’re happy.
I was about two weeks into my membership with certainlyspinster.com when something miraculous happened.
I logged on to the site and found a new match waiting for me in my inbox.
At this point in time, I was starting to learn the lessons that online dating had to teach me, so I approached this new match with a glass of lemonchello and a shot of self-esteem. When I clicked on soccerdude’s profile, I found a kindly chap with a love of Arsenal and Manchester City. I happen to like Arsenal. I prefer Manchester United, but you can’t win them all.
“Huh, ok so we share a similar hobby.”
Soccerdude lived in my area, attended church nearby, and was working on his master’s. He enjoyed the outdoors, was well-read, and enjoyed a good comedy.
“Yes, but does he like Indian food?”
Soccerdude listed Indian food as one of his favorites. He also liked Japanese and Cuban. The rice would overfloweth in our house. The curry would run rampant.
His profile was sweet, sincere, and to the point. He knew exactly what he was looking for in a girl and wasn’t afraid to spell it out. I can appreciate directness in a man. Certainlyspinster.com had put on its big girl pants and gotten to work! They had found a great guy for me! Soccerdude and I even went to the same college!
Soccerdude and I went to the same college?
That was when I hit the brakes on my giddy train. My school was fairly small and even if you didn’t know everyone by name, you knew them by face. I decided to check out Soccerdude’s picture.
I definitely knew him.
We definitely had classes together.
He definitely dated one of my friends.
He also never said two words to me while they were dating.
It’s nice to know I’m compatible with people who have absolutely no interest in me.
Does wonders for the self-esteem.
“You fail yet again, certainlyspinster.com. Why do I keep coming back to you? Another message? NO! I do NOT want to talk to you Da Illest Negro!”
Lesson 3: Some people are like a bad case of herpes; they just won’t go away.
I waited about four days before I logged back on to certainlyspinster.com
During that time they had sent me about six emails with new matches to check out.
Not wanting to seem desperate (laugh all you want), I decided to put off checking them for a few days.
When I finally did, I discovered why people take to the drink.
Here was some of the PG dialogue I uttered while checking my matches:
“Oh, you’re twenty-six, you’re a mechanic, that’s ni-wait, you’re divorced and you’ve got three kids? How…when? When did you have time in your twenty-six years of life to have three kids and get divorced? I haven’t had time to make babies and end a marriage in twenty-three years of life.”
“Yeah, there must be something wrong with me. Other people are already on their second marriages and I haven’t even gotten to my first yet. CRAP!”
“Wait, do I really want to be a sequel wife?”
“Didn’t I say that I didn’t want to be matched with divorced people?” Certainlyspinster.com, I am not pleased with you.”
“Da Illest Negro, I’m not interested. Please refrain from messaging me in the future.”
“NO! NO! NO! NO! You are forty-five years old and you have two kids that appear to be my age. Why on earth would you think that we’re a good match? Take your geriatric AARP card-carrying member behind over to maturesingles.com and leave me the heck alone.”
“I think I’m too judgmental for online dating.”
Lesson 2: Take every online dating match with a grain of salt…and if possible a shot of lemonchello.