Internet dating for dummies… and me.

I believe in taking risks in life… because with big risks come big rewards. In fact, I was once told by someone that I am “ballsy.” My being “ballsy” is my mother’s least favorite quality about me. I just really hate the shaving associated with having balls…

So in 2010 I left an obscenely secure job managing a high volume retail store to work in a community based store that focused on stretchy black pants and having a really nice ass. My life was pretty fun. And when lululemon offered me the chance to manage their store in the Hamptons, I jumped faster than Lindsay Lohan on a cocaine fueled joyride.

And while the Hamptons is awesome in the summer (I met loads of famous people), it is a zombie ghost town in the winters. Pretty much the only things going on in the winter are lunatic hermit writing retreats and a shitload of drunk driving. In October, 35 people were arrested for drunk driving, which is approximately half of the winter population in East Hampton. And in addition to being arrested they are also publicly shamed by having their names published in the weekly police blotter (which out of sheer boredom is read with the ferocity of NYT financial section), lose their license, and therefore their ability to date me (I come from a long line of czech booze magnates… so clearly I won’t be the designated driver anytime soon). So it was starting to look like a lonely winter.

So, being the ballsy chick that I am, I decided to internet date. However, now that you know of my inebriated heritage, I should note that I was not entirely sober when I made the decision to sign up for eharmony. In fact, I was about 8 % sober since I decided that hydrating with wine after spin class while simultaneously counseling my sister through her latest dude drama via phone was a grand idea. I literally remember saying… “Hey, who drank my whole bottle of wine,” to my sister. Oops.

So I threw caution (and sobriety) to the wind and signed up for eharmony because I had heard they were the best for meeting quality people (and I think it was a free trial weekend when I signed up… that’s how they get you hooked). I then filled out the LONGEST EVER PERSONALITY SURVEY while wasted. It was seriously 45 minutes of the same question being asked over and over and over again. “What is your preferred dress style?” “What is the preferred style of dress for your partner?” “How important are looks to you on a scale of 1 to 10?”

Can’t you just ask if I am a preppy, shallow, WASP already? I need to open another bottle of wine.

But seriously, drunk or not the survey did make me think about what was actually important to me. And it worked because in the four months I was on the site I met three pretty hot dudes who weren’t totally insane (although none were entirely normal either). Turns out that if you put looks are 7 of importance on a 1 to 10 scale and that you personally work out everyday (which is true… drunk Erin is ballsy but not a liar) you will get hooked up with two triathletes who look like greek Gods when naked (It is also how I met RomCom… or as I have taken to calling him… Gigi’s current bitch). Both were perfect gentleman who made sure to tell me their last names and the places we were going to meet so that it was clear to my friends that they were not serial killers. I didn’t tell them that I wasn’t actually concerned about them being serial killers because serial killers don’t own Golden Retrievers (and both of them had pictures of themselves with their dogs on their profiles. As a note, having the requisite “dog pic” on your profile is a bonus if you want to get laid. It totally works. I had one too). So I dated eharmony man meat for three months… and it wasn’t too shabby.

And while it didn’t work out with Kyle (who moved to Seattle with his designer jeans, memory foam mattress, possible homosexuality, and his massive ego) or Michael (who still resides on Connecticut with his dog, his bipolar disorder, and his really unattractive sweater collection), it was a fun thing that everyone should do at some point. And not as a desperate, last chance, I can’t find anyone kind of thing.  I actually learned a lot about myself in the process. For example:

Looks matter… but not at the price of knowing the identity of the current Vice President.

When someone sensitively admits they are bipolar… regardless of current wine intake the correct response is never “Oh, your emails make a lot more sense now.”

Yoga class is not an appropriate first date if you want to boost a dudes self esteem.

Triathletes can in fact talk about bicycles for two hours. It will be the worst two hours of your life.

For the single folk, internet dating is a risk worth taking. Just bring along the pepper spray. Or a taser if it is legal in your state. Or maybe a rescue panther like in the Geico commercial.

So this one time… when I accidentally dated ex-Indian royalty…

I would consider myself an equal opportunity dater. I was not always this way… but I have learned over the years that the most magical people I have met in my life are always the people I least expect. This includes people of a non-romantic inclination as well. So a few years ago I started to throw out the previously mentioned “expectations” in order to open myself to new experiences and new people.

Don’t misinterpret… I still have standards when it comes to dating. I don’t go around dating every hobo I run into on the way to the mall. But if you are clean, witty, over 5’7”, and don’t have heinously crooked teeth (because there are some things a person who had braces AND headgear just can’t compromise on)… I will go out on a date with you.  What’s the worst that can happen?

This newfound stance on life has run me into some really interesting people. I met a pathological liar named Victoria who was on the US women’s hockey team, invented tin foil, and whose secret nickname among our friends is “Fakestoria.” But most recently it ran me into a very interesting gentleman. For the record, this does not mean interesting in a good way.

I live in an apartment complex that often throws silly little parties in the common building for holidays. These parties usually aren’t at all exciting (a funeral for a complete stranger would be more interesting), but for Valentine’s Day they went all out and had a cupcake bar. Have I mentioned that I LOVE cake?  Even more exciting was that they were providing FREE WINE! They were giving away WINE! Not even boxed WINE!! So when my friend Cat (who lives a few buildings over) mentioned this, I of course said that we must attend. So we go get our drink on in the lobby of the main building with 75 other lame-os who are there for the FREE WINE and catered Italian food.

I met my fabulously gay neighbors who had actually Pattisserie’d the cupcake bar. I immediately complimented the “frosting” to which the super gay one replied (in a very stereotypical voice), “It isn’t frosting, it’s mousse.” Well excuuuuuuse me. Is that also how you got your bouffant hair so large this evening?

It was also at this party that I met a tall Indian gentleman who had just seen the same TED talk as me (our clear conversation piece). So we exchanged names so that he could presumably find me on facebook and stalk me to make sure I was not a total wacko before asking me out. Because, as I am learning, “The Facebook Stalk” is now the first negotiated step of modern dating (more into modern dating in the next blog).

Despite that he didn’t look exactly like the Indian guy who was on Heros (which is a bummer for him because I would climb Sendhil Mamamurthy like a tree), he was handsome in a Clark Gable kind of way, but rather taciturn like Mr. Darcy. My newly opened mind screamed out “color me intrigued India!” So we went out on three dates…

And it turned out he was less like Mr. Darcy and more like a Sigmeund Freud.

All he talked about was sex. Despite that he grew up in India he apparently had a very liberal upbringing where his parents left sex books lying around for him and his brother to “discover” (in their massive mansion library since his family is ex-Indian royalty… as a side note) So on our third date, I called him out on the heinous amount of sex chat during dinner: And while I can’t recall my exact phrasing of this conversation, I am sure it was something classy like this:

“Um… India, I think you are starting to make the other restaurant patrons uncomfortable because you keep mentioning dental dams.”

To which he said “Sex just seems to be the universal topic, everyone understands it.”

Which is true from an anthropological standpoint but the six year old twins in the booth next to us don’t really need to be introduced to safe oral sex techniques quite yet. I’ll leave that to their parents. Plus, I am now a Brunette who watches TED talks (and having brown hair + TED talks automatically gets me an extra 20 IQ points right?)… so we can talk about something other than the childhood book that introduced you to the idea of double sided dildos (I didn’t even know those existed in the 70’s… hell… I hadn’t even thought about the concept until he mentioned it. And now I can’t get the unflattering visual out of my head. Now it’s in your head too… you’re welcome). I flat out told him that he just needed to get laid (because I am of course the master of diplomacy) and then the sex chat would be less… abrasive…frequent… assaulting… unrelenting.  However, I wasn’t going to volunteer myself to liberate his libido. I’d rather be torn apart by wild boars. I started to waver on whether or not I wanted to hang out with him because he just wasn’t that interesting. So at one point he sent me a movie clip to watch because he thought it paralleled my indecision to be involved with him/sleep with him (this will come back to haunt me).  I was supremely offended that he wanted to sleep me while using the guise of being a civilized human being (who is supposed to be refined and cultured dammit)!

And he was all over the place with what he wanted. For a while he said wanted to girlfriend, but couldn’t be bothered to have a relationship with their family. Then he seemed to think that married people shouldn’t live together because separate space is good.

So clearly, it is time to jump ship. I don’t even need a life raft. I will risk it.

So I back out gently and start to decline his invites.  I bail on one event specifically and give him the, “I just want to be friends speech.” But apparently I didn’t give him enough notice to cancel and he in turn gave me a very angry speech of:

“I don’t want to be friends with someone who disrespects my time.”

Yeah… I’m really sorry to disrespect your masturbation time.

However, I figure this anger will dissuade him from contacting me again. I thank my lucky stars that this weirdo is out of my life.

How mistaken I was. Apparently he couldn’t get it through his head that I didn’t want to sleep with him.  And he told me so… via facebook message (which is subsequently the last step of modern dating as well).

I now present to you the facebook messages that started the day after I bailed on his date and told him that I didn’t feel the same “spark” he did. Keep in mind these took place over about 24 hours. This is a direct transcript, I can’t even write shit this good:

India: And FYI, I don’t feel any spark. You can hookup drunk and regret it the next day as you walk home disheveled, or hookup sober and go home with breakfast, a smile, and your dignity intact. I’m after, and am offering, the latter. Or you can continue to drink alone with your dog.

Me: No thank you. But thanks for the offer. Have a nice evening.

India: Did you watch that scene from Summertime I sent you back in February? You’re like Jane Hudson, a hungry child who is offered ravioli but demands steak. You’re hungry, eat the ravioli. Not that hungry? We’re all that hungry. You’re almost 30, rather old to be an ingenue.

Me: So I took the high road last night and responded with tact. However, your insistence at contacting me with the intent to insult me is really rather rude so here are my real thoughts.

A. I am not hungry… I am clearly not as hungry as you. I can get sex from people who are not heinously boring anytime I want.

B. You claim to want many different things. But the reality is that you want a whore you don’t have to pay. Or a whore you can pay with baked goods. I will not be that for anyone.

But thank you for calling me old and sexually respressed. Turns out I was right to be offended all along. Now leave me the fuck alone.

End Transcript.

Turns out that even ex-royalty will try to guilt you into having sex with them (by comparing themselves and sex to food…and for the record… not sexy… Ravioli has never been sexy).

But at least I haven’t heard from him. I hope he moves out because otherwise this Labor Day party is going to be REEEEEEEAAAAALLLY awkward.

We like donuts too… do you want to have a threesome?

Ok to be fair… the conversation didn’t happen exactly in that format. But… the long and short of it is…

I was asked to be in a threesome. While at work. In front of co-workers. Awkward.

And just to clarify… I in fact DO NOT work in a strip club. I work for a high-ish end cosmetics company. But we are smart sales people, and we know that the key to selling product is to show you how it works… on your skin. Which means I will have to touch your arm… in a completely non-sexual way. Or so I thought.

It was a normal Sunday afternoon in my shop. I am wearing a  vintage knee length DVF black and white flowered cotton wrap dress that was my mother’s from the 80’s. I am only clarifying my attire for context of modesty.  I could instead phrase it as… I am usually dressed much sluttier at work.

It was around 5:30 p.m. and I had just finished letting a child throw a bath bomb in a tub of hot water. Maybe I was looking overly wistful from watching the joy of this adorable blond boy laugh loudly as the bubbles touched his fingers and this random couple watching picked up on that. But I highly doubt it as we were 30 minutes from closing the shop doors. And I guarantee I was tired. But then I saw a couple approach the massage bar shelving unit. And as my two co-workers were engaged in conversations with other customers, I walked over to the massage bar unit and this is the conversation that ensued:

Me: “Have you ever used the massage bars before?”

Girl of Couple: “No we haven’t” (as she is picking up a massage bar).

Me: “Well do you have any allergies?”

Girl: “Not that I know of.”

Me: “Well throw me your arm and I will show you how these work.” So I grab her arm and rub the bar up and down it like six times. Completely non-sexually.

I then proceed to give them the spiel about massage bars while rubbing the lotion into her arm.

Me: “Despite that we call them massage bars they are actually just a solid lotion. We like to make everything in solid form so that we can make them preservative free. They are blocks of cocoa and shea butter that are really moisturizing for your skin.” Blah Blah Blah. This is like the 40th arm massage I have given today. Not a big deal.

I then notice that the Dude of the couple is holding a dunkin donuts coffee and a donut bag (also nothing unusual as most New Englanders frequent their local dunkin donuts more than they visit the bathroom in their own home). So I comment on it with something ridiculous, per usual.

“Oh my God. Have you tried the new Oreo donuts? They are sooooo good. Did you get the filled donut? It is exactly like and oreo.” (For the record, if you want to break your Paleo diet for one thing, this donut should be it because they are magical).

Dude of couple: “Yeah, I had the regular one and she had the filled one (nodding at the girl whose arm is in my hand.”

Girl of couple: “It was a really good donut.”

Me: “Cool. Well feel your arm and smell you skin. If you decide you want one throw it in one of these compostable bags.” And I point to the bags.  Give them a quick smile. Then I wander away to go help someone else. About five minutes later I rang them up for a massage bar and they left the store. Totally normal. This type of interaction happens to me at least 10 times a day. Why? BECAUSE IT IS MY JOB!!!

Is anyone else out there in sales? Because this next part will make sense for you. You know when you connect with someone who you are working with? Not in a sexual way… but in a… you totally want to buy this product and I am genuinely glad that I got to help you find something awesome for you… kind of way. Like a… thanks for listening to me… you made me not hate my job in retail because you actually listened. I will probably give you an extra smile or an extra sample because of this connection.

I DIDN’T GET THAT AT ALL WITH THESE PEOPLE!! They were just some random couple that wandered in and out of my day. So I am not sure where along the way the communication that I gave them was misconstrued.

The evening then continued normally. We closed the doors at six and me and my two co-workers were closing the store. So when the phone rings at 6:15 I grab the phone expecting to tell someone that yes…. the providence mall does in fact close at 6:00 p.m. and we will re-open at 10:00 a.m. on Monday morning. And then this happens:

Me: “Thanks for calling, this is Erin how may I help you?”

Unknown female: “Hi. Did you ring me up for a massage bar about 45 minutes ago?”

Me: “I am unsure (again… massage bars fly out the door. I sold one to a guy from Ghost Hunters the other day). It could have been me.”

Unidentified female: “Well are you casher number 11?”

Me: “No, but that doesn’t matter. We ring under each other’s number occastionally. I am a tall brunette, wearing a black and white floral print dress (this dress also have sleeves… just to add to my modesty argument)? Regardless, what can I do for you?”

At this point I figure she is either having an allergic reaction to the massage bar… or I rang her up for something that cost $100 dollars rather than $10. Either way, I am pretty sure the conversation will not end pleasantly. Which is why I was surprised by this:

Unidentified female: “Yeah… your voice sounds familiar so it must be you. I was just calling because I was wondering if you go both ways.

Silence.

Silence.

More Silence.

Me: “Ummmm… I don’t. But thanks for the compliment.” My voice apparently didn’t even change tone.

Now identified arm massage girl: ” Oh okay. My boyfriend and I just thought you were really fun and really cute.”

Me: “Well thanks. Have a good night! Bye!” Again… tone not changing.

Slightly creepy arm massage patron: “Bye.”

I hang up the phone. My face apparently must have had a strange look upon it.

Co-worker: “Who was that.”

Me: “I think I was just propositioned to be in a threesome.”

While slightly awkward… my team and I just laughed it off. And the truth is actually this:

My 30th birthday is turning out to be the gift that keeps on giving. Because the reality is this couple was young. Younger than me. And they were attractive. So it really was a compliment because they weren’t a creepy video game obsessed couple who never leaves their basement. But who knew that things happened like this outside the strip club?

Although apparently just like in a strip club, I have to draw hard limits with my customers otherwise I might have to call the bouncer. So just as a rule of thumb… I came up with these general guidelines to remain professional:

Keep skirts no higher than your knee, Go nowhere below the belt, and keep all arm massages below the elbow. Just to be safe 🙂

What I would have titled this blog had I felt it were appropriate to use the word “fuck” in titles.

It would have been called…

“Your new girlfriend’s name is fucking stupid.”

But if I intend to become a literary genius (which I don’t), I must follow the rules. Dickens did not call his masterpiece, “Great Fucking Expectations” for a reason. It was probably his douchebag publisher’s choice… because Charlie does seem like someone who would use the word fuck regularly in his daily vernacular. Maybe not. Maybe Hemingway?

The internet is a dangerous thing. Especially when you are going through something as monumental as your 30th birthday. I debated getting a tattoo… something simple… like a fire breathing dragon on my back. I already dyed my hair dark so that was out. I could have had a nervous breakdown but I don’t know if my insurance covers overnight stays in the loony bin. So I decided to embrace thirty and finally act it. So since I am entering what I consider to be my first “Adult” decade, I decided to do the “adult thing” and give myself a mature birthday gift: the gift of letting go.

I should have just bought myself a pair of nice shoes… because it didn’t go quite as smoothly as I had planned.

A brief recap for you all: Last spring (of 2011… I blame the entire situation on me still being in my 20’s), I fell madly in love with someone. I typically don’t give my heart easily, but this one had me believing in love at first sight. Normally, the thought of love at first sight makes me want to vomit all over the floor. But for the five months we were involved, my life was a legit romantic comedy. After our first date (five hour first date… by the way), I hopped in the jitney to head back to East Hampton. I plopped myself in a window seat smiling from ear to ear and watched him walk away down 68th st. And before he crossed the street and out of view, I watched him turn on his heels and look back at me in the jitney, his hands in his pockets and beaming a smile that made me melt. Then he spun around on his heels, jumped up and clicked his heels together… and disappeared. It was that kind of love. That kind of romantic comedy.

Here, I’ll just give you my Louboutins to throw up on.

Then timing, baggage, angry family members, and numerous life circumstances got in the way. And my romantic comedy became a horror film. And a breakup ensued. And then came the self imposed purgatory/pining. And so after a year of purgatory, pining, and too much time looking pensive (I think RomCom owes me botox for my forehead lines), I decided when I hit 30 that it was time to let go.

But like all scorned ex-lovers, in order to forget one must first find out. I mean, you want to make sure they are ok, see if they have tragically died of some rogue STD, or married a really ugly stripper named Candy (because that would be justification/vindication).  And the internet leaves us capable of more stalking than we thought possible. I am no longer friends with RomCom on facebook… but private things aren’t so private with timeline and I was able to tell that he had recently friended someone who mysteriously had the same cover photo as him. Awwww… they both like fields covered in yellow flowers (insert more vomiting). Also, we have chatted via phone and text twice in the recent past, and he mentioned he was going to Alberta… twice. And who the hell would go to Alberta twice in two months if they weren’t getting ass while they were there. No offense to my maple flag friends up north, but take one visit to Alberta and you will understand why this is virtually impossible unless you like fly-fishing… A LOT.

So after a grand total of 86 seconds of stalking I found out that this girl is almost exactly like me. Except for she doesn’t eat meat and is a Cannuck. She has a blog where she talks about being a humor writer and a model. She interviews herself for her blog… which could be funny but it really just reads as “deperately wanting attention.” A vegan in leather pants. They could be pleather… but at least I am not a hypocrite. Also, friends don’t let friends wear pleather or leather pants (unless it is 1995 and you are on the TV show “Friends” and then you can wear leather pants). And since I found this self-marketing marvel a few weeks ago, I actually have been feeling better. Is this how letting go starts? Am I in the middle? Please tell me the end is near.

Thanks for listening. That was cathartic. And I am getting back to my roots and writing funny anecdotes about life. I used to write funny emails when I was in college. But now I can have my very own funny blog where I write things of substance a hilarity. Fair warning though… there will be no staged interview. No pictures of my modeling days. No cute Cosmo stories about how what’s in your purse defines you. Because I am not as desperate as…

Gigi.

I told you her name was fucking stupid.