Sunday, March 20, 2011

What's in a name?

I'd like to say I know quite a few things.  If you asked me questions about classic literature or to quote a line from Scrubs, I could probably do it.  Though I believe there are many things that cannot be known with certainty (such as the nature of our existence), there are others that would really be helpful in certain situations.  For example, I have an afternoon coffee date today with a gentleman who I cannot remember the name of!! 

GASP!  How does this happen you ask?  Well, I deleted our previous conversations that held the name.  You see, we have been chatting online, back and forth, for some ungodly amount of time.  He had to leave the country for work (this sounds legit to me and not like he is a serial killer.  Though swingglers we do want to take precautions to weed out the weirdos as best we can).  Thinking we would never actually meet up, I just deleted our messages.  Now, we are meeting to have coffee and I have no idea how to greet him.  Maybe  a nice, "'m Stephanie!"  Yikes. 

The last time I did not know the name of the person I was going out with it ended disastrously.  I mean disastrously!!  I was a sophomore in college.  A friend of mine who had transferred to another area school set me up with a friend of hers.  She mentioned his name, but I could never fully remember it.  Thinking it would be no big deal to not really know much about him, I agreed to go on a date.  From the beginning things were a nightmare. 

Kyle, we'll call him (I still have no idea what his name was) picked me up 2 hours after he originally said.  Now, you might be thinking, "Maybe he hit traffic."  Yes, swingglers, this would be a possibility if we lived in an urban area at the time, but traffic was never an issue where we lived unless a heard of cows got out.  So he shows up and asks what I want to do.  I said anything sounds nice, but maybe we could see a movie.  He agreed, but wanted to grab dinner first.  I obliged and we headed out.  Not hungry because I had eaten an hour into my waiting for him, I sipped a diet coke while he ate and told me a sob story about how he had a negative balance in his bank account and hoped his card worked to pay for the food.  Not knowing how to respond, I made chit chat about his major.  He said and I quote, "I recently switched majors from History to PE."  I asked him why to which he replied, "I don't really like reading or books."  Yep, he was an idiot.  Unable to release myself from his grasp, the date continued with conversations about politics to which we did not agree on anything, how he intended to be the manager of a professional football team without reading, followed by him paying more attention to the sports on the television in the bar than me. 

Kyle and I then uncomfortably made our way to the movie theater.  He let me go first, so I bought my ticket and waited for him.  He tried to buy his ticket with his credit card, but at the time cash was still king.  I offered to take him to an ATM so he could withdrawal cash, but remember, he had a negative balance because someone "hijacked" his account.  Looking to me to pay for him, I simply asked the ticket holder if I could sell my ticket back.  She said yep and the date ended there.  That's right, I sold my movie ticket back.  Maybe I was too hard on him, but in that moment I thought, "Why should either of us have to suffer through anymore than we already have."  So,  I had him take me home.  Later I heard from my friend that he thought things went really well aside from me not kissing him good-bye.  Kyle or whatever your name is, please.

We will see how this no-name date goes today.  I figure I can't sell coffee back.  Win, Win.  Wish me luck!!       

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

If luck be a lady, then she ain't livin...

Growing up I always wanted to be a glamorous, graceful lady.  I wanted perfect manners, a beautiful "figure", great hair and style, to chew my food in tiny bites, a flirty laugh, men to fall at my feet because I was just so magnificent, and apparently to not have any fun.  I am not this person (which you've probably already figured out if you've been reading) and thank goodness for this.  I drink beer, like to use the word BALLS whenever possible, my laugh is intense, and I am devoid of grace as evidenced by my tendency to fall down.  I floss my teeth in front of the television, eat ice cream directly out of the tub, and love trash tv.  Though I can write these characteristics and interest with ease now, I haven't always possessed this acceptance of myself.  In fact, for a majority of my life I tried to fit myself into a mold of what I thought a "classy lady" was, coming up short each time.  I have always taken the road less traveled, but secretly wanted to take the highway everyone else did.  This has had a huge effect upon my dating life.  I have so desperately wanted to be in a relationship and find that special someone.  Instead of finding that someone who loves the me I love (thanks Carrie Bradshaw), I was trying to be someone I wasn't for people who weren't that great.

Not anymore, swingglers.  Thank the bejesus.  I've gone balls to the walls and am taking no prisoners.  I want someone who loves me for the slightly less graceful lady I am.  To do this, I am being ridiculous and it is awesome.  Seriously, it feels so freeing.  This is the one thing I love about online dating and I HATE online dating.  I can be and say whatever I want and who cares because, like my dad used to tell me, the dudes are like trains and if one doesn't respond or passes me by there is another one along soon.  You're probably asking, "Stephanie, what are earth are you doing to these poor men?"  Well I'm glad you asked because I'm going to tell you.

Yesterday was probably my most crazy written statement to a dude.  I recently read that to date someone hotter than you you have to rise above the standard messages that just say, "Hey, I liked your profile, so I thought I'd say hello" and really wow them by honing in on someone unique to their profile and comment on it.  Well, I didn't quite understand this assignment because I was looking at this one guys profile and I honed in on was his love for potatoes.  WHAT THE WHAT?!? Who hones in on that?  Me, I guess.  So I sent the following message:

"I just wanted to say hello. Also, you said your favorite food is potatoes, but the million dollar question is what is your favorite way they are prepared? I'm partial to scalloped. : ) Anyway, hope you are having a good day." 

ROFL!!!  This is so hilarious and freeing to me.  Of course he hasn't responded, but damn this made my day to send.  I just don't care anymore.  In my mind, if it was right between the two of us he would have responded.  I'm not saying I've totally lost control of reality, but I know me and I know what I need.  I need someone who will love my randomness.  If we can't even connect on basic levels, how are we going to make it when I trip for the hundredth time or fart when I laugh too hard.

The graceful lady I used to want to be would never have sent that message and that's ok because that isn't me.  I'm not that woman who is delicate and graceful.  I don't wait for the tannins to whatever they need to do before I drink wine and I don't say no to fried food.  I just am who I am and thank god for that.  I'm convinced I will find the person who loves me for this.  In the mean time I will live by the words Carrie Bradshaw gave us on the Season 2 season finale:   

Maybe some women aren't meant to be tamed. Maybe they need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with.-SATC

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Stephanie Swinggle Selects a Series of Stupid Suitors

A few years ago I decided it was time to get a dog.  I was really excited about the prospect of doing it and did all my research in order to make a good decision.  I lived in a big city at the time, so I knew I needed something small, potty trained, non-shedding, and good tempered.  I also knew I wanted to adopt a dog from a local shelter.  Every week, for about a month, I visited the pound looking among the adorable pooches, but never quite feeling like I'd met the "one".  Finally, after weeks of looking, I met Petey.  I remember that day like it was yesterday.  It was puppy day at the shelter.  The local visitors were captivated by the adorable little pooches who did not have a history and were just waiting for a home.  I browsed by them and they were cute, but not my dog.  I looked in a cage next to the puppies at a curly, white little dog cowering at the commotion from the puppy buzz.  I glanced at his information card the shelter provided and noticed all of the criteria I was looking for was selected.   Instantly, I knew he was my dog.  Petey was everything I was looking for in a furry companion.  He has been a great dog and we continue to be good pals.  Let me just say, I pick out a good dog.   

While I have stellar skills selecting a dog, I have terrible skills selecting a suitor.  Maybe it is because life is not like the pound.  You can have an idea or criteria for the type of person you are looking for, but there is no information card that checks off behaviors/skills/temperament based on previous observations.  Online dating offers some of this, but much like puppy hunting it takes time.  Unlike the pound, however, you can't just spend 30 minutes with your date say, "No thanks" and have him put back in his kennel.  Usually, you have to suffer through some sort of awkward encounter.  Boy, have I had a series of awkward encounters.

Last post you heard about my most recent adventure, but there have been a series of them.  Before Herman, there was Jake.  Jake was a 30-year-old program developer for an area company.  He loved programming and loved himself more.  This date was probably the worst out of all of them.  He was super tall (which was good for him because it made it easier to look down on people), super into himself, and super rude.  Right away, I knew we were not a good match.  He came in and instantly seemed uninterested.  That's cool.  Sometimes people just aren't a match.  He came in looking for puppies and found something sassier.  We started talking about our interests.  He droned on about only watching documentaries on Netflix.  I'm not talking about wanting to get a little culture documentaries, but I intentionally want to judge people for not watching these obscure documentaries, documentaries.  Doing an inner eye roll, I pretended to seem interested.  He then began asking where I went in the area and I told him.  He started talking to me about how he used to go to some of the places I mentioned, but since becoming a vegan had shunned all of it.  He followed this up with a discussion about the downfall America as a result of our obsession with consumerism to which I brilliantly said, "Oh, I guess you wouldn't like the fact that I attend Black Friday shopping at Walmart with my mom and sister each year."  Needless to say, he bolted soon after.

Then there was Mark.  Mark was sweet enough and we went out twice, but I'm pretty sure he was gay.
Before Mark was Kent.  Kent was an interesting one.  He worked for a group of attorneys in the area.  He was a nice guy, but strange.  First, I should have known we wouldn't be a match if not else for his annoyingly weak chin.  If you know me you know there are two things I can't stand in searching for a partner, a weak chin and someone who despises the television show Scrubs. (Ok, so maybe not only these two things, but if you don't even pass these criteria, forget about it.)  Anyway, he started the date upset because the place we originally were going to go was having a band night.  This of course messed up his outfit, which he intended for the first place and did not translate to our final meeting place.  Needless to say, I spent a majority of the date reassuring him that 1) The place we ended up was fine 2) His outfit was fine for the place we were in 3) It was ok he loved Star Trek.  The date also felt more like an interview.  At any minute in the date, I was sure he was going to ask me my strengths and weaknesses as his dating candidate.  Ugghh, oh well.

There have been many before these suitors and each of these men had strengths, but just weren't what I was looking for.  I sometimes think of how easy it was for me to figure out which dog was meant for me and I grow frustrated that I can't have the same luck in dating.  I mean, maybe there should be a facility where single people go where there are check boxes highlighting criteria.  Just kidding.  I do have to remember I spent months looking and comparing dogs.  The right one will come up eventually.  Until then, I will continue with my Selection of Stupid Suitors.