Monday, May 27, 2013

Getting Rejected

I've been on for about a week now, and I'm already thinking that I should a) stop shaving my legs; b) stop working out and start eating whatever I want, which means I'll start by falling head first into a box of chocolates; c) shave my head and use the money that I save on hair products to buy books with titles like I HATE MEN.

On, if someone contacts you, you can click on "No thanks", and the website will send him a "not interested" e-mail. I've already gotten five of those "not interested" e-mails. I've also sent e-mails to dozens of guys, but almost all of them haven't responded.

It makes me think that maybe a) at age 32, I really AM too old; b) I should get plastic surgery to make myself look more attractive, except then I'd be able to tell people, "Nothing on my face is real"; c) I'm going to be single forever, so maybe I should adopt a bunch of dogs right now so I can become the crazy dog lady (I can't be the crazy cat lady, because I'm allergic to cats and then I'd be the dead crazy cat lady).

Yes, I've been contacted by guys on every day. (Most of them "wink" at me, because apparently it's too much effort to send e-mails. I dislike winks, because then the pressure is on me to figure out what to say in the first e-mail.) Like the sixty-year old man who apparently doesn't think it'd be awkward at all to date someone who's almost thirty years younger than him. Or the fifty-three year old who specified in his profile that he only wants to date women in their twenties and thirties. Or the Asian guy who described himself as the "Orient Express" and invited women to "take a ride". Or the guy with three chins who described himself as "athletic and toned" and specified in his profile that he only wants to date "slender" women.

It's discouraging, to say the least. Why am I only attractive to much older men and guys who make inappropriate jokes about sex? Every time I get another "wink" or an e-mail, I cringe, because I know that whoever e-mailed me is most likely someone I would never want to date. And almost every single time, I'm right.

It's not like my standards are too high. I didn't just e-mail the "perfect 10s." If a guy looked remotely attractive, I sent him a brief e-mail to introduce myself and ask him a couple questions. But even a guy I didn't think was that cute sent me a "not interested" email.

And my criteria isn't just based on looks either, though I will admit that physical attractiveness is a factor. I don't think it's so wrong to want to be physically attracted to the people that you date. But it's also based on what the guys write in their profiles. There was one good-looking guy that I didn't e-mail because he hardly wrote anything about himself in his profile. He only wrote two sentences in his "summary", and he didn't include any other information. It made me think that he was either just really lazy or was just on the site for one thing, and it wasn't a relationship.

There are other guys who wrote things in their profiles that made me laugh out loud, so I e-mailed them, even if they weren't guys I normally would have noticed. Others mentioned having read my favorite books, so I e-mailed them too. But still nothing.

It makes me feel sad. I reread my profile and looked in the mirror and tried to figure out what was it about me that was so unattractive. I don't think I'm ugly, but a week with almost no positive responses from the guys I e-mailed made me think that I am.

I say "almost" because one guy did respond. We've exchanged a couple e-mails so far, and he seems nice enough. A part of me can't help thinking that he'll be like several of the guys I dated, the ones I liked but who didn't like me back. I can't help thinking that he'll show up for our date, take one look at me, and then make an excuse so that he can leave early (that did happen to me on a date once, and it was awful). 

I'm going to keep trying for a few weeks, at least. But if it doesn't work out with that guy and I keep getting rejected by other guys on, I'm not going to stick it out for the entire three months of my paid membership. Then I'm going to sign up for a membership with If THAT doesn't work out, then I'm going to go to the hair stylist and tell her that I want the "Kojak" look.

What about you? How do you deal with rejection? Do you think it's better to send a "not interested" e-mail or to just not respond at all?

Side note: Here's a hilarious video I found online that cheered me up a little. All teachers should be like the one in this video.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Back to the Dating Board...Again

After months of putting it off, I recently joined I feel nervous about the prospect of dating again, irritated that at age 32, I'm apparently "too old" to be dateable, hopeful that I'll find a guy who doesn't flirt with other women in front of me (yes, that did happen to me on a date), and tempted to just give up on finding Mr. Right and stock up on a bunch of ice cream.

Even though it's not quite summer yet and I'm not yet done with school, I figure that now is a good a time as any to start dating again. I decided against okcupid, since there are way too many guys on that site looking for "casual encounters" and "activity partners". (Yes, you can actually specify that that is what you are looking for on okcupid.) Also, fellow blogger Theresa Milstein sent me a video on my thirty-second birthday. It's by someone named Elaine Moran and it's a parody of Taylor Swift's song "22"; this song is called "32" and it basically describes my life (except subtract all the wine she's drinking and replace it with coffee). Even though I loved the video (thanks for sending it to me, Theresa!), it made me realize that I have to be proactive if I want my life to change.

Eharmony was out, because it was too expensive and when I was a member, there were too many guys on that site who didn't include any pictures in their profiles. I'm not completely superficial, but looks do matter to some extent; I don't want to cringe and run in the opposite direction if my date tries to kiss me. I liked, but I decided to try again (I tried it four years ago), partly because a lot of people are on that site. So I figured, why not?

I included several recent pictures of myself in my profile, and I wrote a description of myself in the same way that I write blog posts. That is, I tried to make it sound funny and witty, in the hopes that guys would read it and think, "Wow, she sounds MUCH more interesting than all those other girls who look like swimsuit models. I should e-mail her."

I've only been on the site a couple days, but one thing that really bugs me is the issue of age. I've been contacted by several guys already, but most of them are in their late forties and fifties. I'm willing to date someone who's ten years older, but not older than that; I'd prefer to date someone in his thirties, like me, because then we'd probably have more in common. I'd also like to tell guys that if they're going to lie about their age in their profiles, they probably shouldn't claim to be twenty years younger than they look, because they aren't fooling anyone.

Another thing that bothers me is that a lot of of the guys in their thirties and forties on that site only want to date significantly younger women. I can understand how guys in their twenties prefer to date women who are close to their own age. But I saw a profile of one thirty-five-year old guy who wrote that his ideal match is between the ages of 18-28. So even though I'm only three years younger than him, apparently, I'm still too old for him.

Twenty-eight is the popular cutoff age for a lot of the guys on that site, including the guys in their thirties. What's interesting (and irritating) is that the guys are willing to date women who are twenty years younger than them, but they aren't willing to date women who are two years younger (or older) than them. And to that I say, "Good luck with getting someone that young to date you, because most women in their late teens and early twenties think that anyone over the age of twenty-five is old." (I teach college students, and I remember what it was like to be an eighteen year old girl, so I know that it's true.)

Why is it that so many men want to date younger women? It can't just be because they want to start families, because women in their thirties are still capable of having children. What's more, there are a lot of thirtysomething women, including me, who still want to have families.

There are many women out there who want to date younger men (although often it seems like people are more critical of the women who date younger men than the men who date younger women). But I am not one of them. I think it'd be okay to date someone who was four or five years younger, but I feel like a twenty-two year old guy would be going through all these things that I already experienced a decade ago. I'm not saying it's wrong to want to date someone younger, and there are many successful, loving relationships out there with significant age differences. But I do think it's unfair that no matter what else I have to offer someone, my age is an automatic barrier to many men.

But I'll keep trying, at least for now. I signed up for a three-month membership with match. If this website doesn't work, I'll try, which I haven't tried before. I really do want to get married and have children someday, though I didn't put that on my profile. That'd be like taking pictures of myself trying on bridal gowns and posting them in my profile, which would make a lot of guys cringe and run in the opposite direction.

Wish me luck.

What about you? Why do you think some men and women want to date younger people? Have you ever dated anyone who was significantly older/younger?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Small Town Girl

Even though I've lived in Chicago for a long time now, I think I'll always be a small town girl at heart. It's been fourteen years since I graduated from high school, which means it'll be only six more years until my twenty-year class reunion. (That makes me feel old. But then again, watching a One Direction music video makes me feel old too.)

I don't really keep in touch with anyone from high school anymore. I suppose I could reconnect with old classmates and friends if I joined Facebook, but seeing as how I have an obsessive personality, Facebook would probably prevent me from ever leaving my apartment again. If and when there is a reunion, I'm not sure I'll go. The thing about growing up in a small town is that everyone knows everything about each other, and I'd really rather not spend an evening listening to people reminisce about the top ten times I embarrassed myself.

Also, I feel ashamed that it's taken me so long to complete my PhD, and I'm still not there yet. I always thought that I'd have my act together by the time I was in my thirties, but I'm still figuring everything out.

There are some things I miss about living in a small town and being a teenager, though.

I miss going to the movies with my friends on Saturday nights.

I don't miss the parties that only the football players and cheerleaders were invited to, which meant that less than half a dozen people in the class (including me) didn't get to go. (I was a cheerleader in junior high but not in high school, partly because I once accidentally caused a pyramid of cheerleaders to collapse.)

I miss the peace and quiet, especially now that a new neighbor has moved into my building and is an aspiring musician. I say "aspiring musician" because he apparently only knows three chords on the piano, which he keeps playing over and over again for hours every night while he sings (off-key) at the top of his lungs. I'm half-tempted to steal his keyboard, take a picture of it, and then slip a note under his door that says, "If you want to see your keyboard again, buy a pair of headphones. Otherwise, your keyboard will be sleeping with the fishes."

I don't miss the gossip that people would spread about each other, because it was nearly impossible to keep secrets in a small town.

I miss the familiarity, where I could take a walk around the neighborhood, go to the store, or visit the public library and inevitably run into several people that I knew.

I don't miss the cliques that formed in the first grade and more or less stayed intact through senior year of high school.

I miss eating pizza and hamburgers with my friends after we went to the movies.

I don't miss the Salisbury steak and corn dogs we ate for lunch in the high school cafeteria.

I miss being able to spend money on fun things like CDs and concert tickets instead of sensible things like rent and groceries.

I don't miss working in a supermarket, where I routinely had to tell customers to put their shirts back on if they wanted to continue shopping in the store. 

I miss the sense of optimism and hope I had for the future, back when I believed anything was possible.

I don't miss the people who made me feel bad because I didn't have a boyfriend, because I read and studied most of the time, and because I kept getting hit by the ball every time I tried to play sports. One thing that I like about being an "adult" is that I can be "different" and not have to worry about the most popular kids in school judging me. 

If I could talk to my teenaged self, I'd tell her that it's not the end of the world if you don't have a boyfriend, even if it seems like all your other friends have boyfriends and like to spend hours telling you about them. I'd tell her that it's okay if you don't go to prom, because there are so many other things in your life that you'll have to look forward to. I'd tell her that high school doesn't last forever, and eventually you will be free of it.

What about you? What do you miss/not miss about high school and your hometown? If you already had a reunion, did you go? If you haven't had one yet, will you go if there is one?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Liebster Award and Trivia about Me

1. I would never write that I like to take long walks on the beach in my online dating profile, because there's nothing romantic about the possibility of getting stung by a jellyfish or getting attacked by a shark.

2. I could never get plastic surgery, because even though some people get it and still look natural, I'm afraid that I'll end up looking like Joan Rivers.

3. If there were no cute guys with big muscles at my gym, I'd suddenly feel a lot less motivated to exercise.

4. I'm willing to spend a lot of time working, but there are days where I'm not willing to spend more than a few (or any) seconds brushing my hair.

5. I'd be willing to eat more vegetables if they could be covered with chocolate and still taste good.

6. I don't know how to put on makeup without looking like I put it on during a blackout.

7. I don't understand why Law and Order and 30 Rock got cancelled but Storage Wars and American Hoggers keep getting renewed.

(Side note: I was supposed to come up with eleven facts about myself, but my eyes are tired from watching a bunch of Youtube videos of standup comedians and bloopers from The Office. Another fact about me: I procrastinate too much.)

Fellow blogger Nicki Elson gave me the Liebster Award. Thanks Nicki!

She also said that people who receive this award have to write down eleven facts about themselves and then answer her questions. Here are her questions and my responses:
1. Les Mis or Sweeney Todd? Neither. I like Grease, because there aren't any cannibals or rebels in it.

2.  If you were a comic book superhero, what would your name be? Super Neurotic Workaholic

3. What are the toppings on your dream hamburger? Onions. After I eat the burger, I'd go and breathe on all the annoying people.

4. What city do you most want to visit? New York

5. Favorite city that you have visited: Barcelona

6. Which Disney character is most like you? None, but the Sesame Street characters that are most like me are Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch, because I love cookies and I'd be a lot less grouchy if my loud neighbors would move away.

7. Would you rather write a book that's a best-seller or a book that's highly acclaimed? I should say I'd prefer one that the critics like, but I also want a lot of money so that I can buy a lot of cookies.

8. What's your biggest pet peeve when it comes to grammatical mistakes in a published book? Spelling errors.

9. If you could live permanently in any decade, what would it be? This decade, except I'd pass a law that makes it illegal for people to use their cell phones excessively, so that the cell phones would somehow throw water ballons at them every time they start talking on their phones during movies or texting during class.

10. Who's your favorite fictional romantic couple? Why is it that I immediately thought of Oedipus, who married Jocasta, not knowing that she was actually his mother? Freud would probably have a field day with that one.

Now I'm supposed to pass the award to other bloggers and have them list eleven facts about themselves and answer questions. If I nominate you and you don't respond, no biggie. It's not like I'll morph into Oscar the Grouch or breathe onions on you. And you can still have the award even if you don't answer the questions, but you can't tag me back.

Here are my questions:
1. What's your favorite cancelled television show?
2. Which show do you wish would get cancelled?
3. If you could meet any author, who would it be?
4. If you could relive high school, would you?
5. Why would you want/not want to relive high school?
6. If you could meet the characters of any book, which book would it be?
7. What do you like best about writing/blogging?
8. How would you like to spend your summer vacation? 

Here are the bloggers I'm passing the award to (I didn't pick eleven partly because I realized that at least half the bloggers I follow no longer blog.)
1. Livia at Leave it to Livia
2. Peggy Eddleman at Will Write for Cookies
3. Misha Gericke at Taking Charge of My Life
4. New York Cliche
5. Deniz Bevan at The Girdle of Melian
6. Emily R. King
7. Annalisa Crawford at Wake up, eat, write, sleep

I know I was supposed to come up with more questions, but those were all I could come up with. Also, I want to watch Dwight Schrute freak out on Youtube a few more times.

Even if I didn't tag you, I'm interested in hearing your responses to any of my or Nicki's questions. For example, who's your favorite fictional romantic couple? If you could meet the characters of any book, which book would it be?