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A Few of My Favorite Things: Openers Online June 14, 2010

Posted by anoddphrase in Favorite Things, Ones and Zeroes (Online Dating), Picking Up.
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What’re the first things you notice when you meet someone?  The things that make up that first impression?  Clothing, facial expressions, tone of voice, attitude, posture.  These are all things that key into social cues for people.

Online—we don’t have as many of them.

We’ve got CAPS, chat slang (lol/brb/idk), smileys (:-p/<3), and of course, the dots (…).  And everyone’s got their own online chat tone.  How fast you reply to someone means something, pregnant pauses can still be pregnant—or they can mean that your internet connection has died.

But still, the question remains: if you want to make a good impression (especially if you’ve never met someone before—and you want to preserve your naked time odds), how do you do it?

So here are the basic components of a good opener online: (1) light internet stalking, (2) be interested/interesting, and (3) keep it short and sweet.  By #1, I mean, take a look at the person’s profile (Facebook, OkCupid, etc.) and find out their interests.  Does the person share an interest with you?  Something cool?  That leads us to #2—be interesting/interested.  Talk about that interest.  Then, ASK A QUESTION—yes, you.  Because if you just say something interesting, the person might think, oh, that’s interesting, but… I don’t really have anything to say to that except Lol, and that’s just not a good way to start a conversation online. You should also remember to mention what it is that you like about the particular interest that you’re talking about.  That brings us to #3, do all of this in a line.  Maybe two.  It leaves the other person wanting more, and indicates interest without coming off as stalkerish-creepy.

Think of an opener as like the beginning of a meaty (like prime rib steak) conversation.

Good examples:

[Sea monsters on profile.]

  • “Sea monsters, huh?  Have you ever seen that Godzilla movie where the monster comes out of the water and then proceeds to kill tourists whose mouths move and no sound comes out of their mouths?  I just love that movie.”

[Picture of a girl jumping out of a plane with a parachute.]

  • “Why would you jump out of a perfectly good plane?  That’s what my shirt says.  How many jumps have you done?”

[Picture of a cat in the profile + HP references]

  • “Did you know that your cat looks like a doppelganger for McGonagall’s Animagus form?  Yeah, that was an uber geeky question.  But it’s awesome and true.”

[Mention of sushi]

  • “The concept of raw fish has always freaked me out—but I LOVE IT!  I’m on the fence about wasabi, though—it’s like sinus medication, but my tongue won’t stop burning just at the thought.  What’s your favorite sushi roll/restaurant in town?”

[Mention of travel]

  • “Travel… brings to mind squat-toilets and hand-sanitizer for me.  But maybe that’s because I keep traveling to places with a lot of the first and a lot of need for the second.  What countries/places have you traveled to?”

[Question stem of most interesting thing you have to say.]

  • “Hmmm, the most interesting thing I have to say is that I once accidently put on two belts and didn’t notice for an entire hour…I’m sorry, that was terrible wasn’t it?”

[Mention of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog.]

  • “So what’s your favorite song from Sing Along Blog?  Mine was the one by NPH in the laundromat.  Wait, was that all of them?”

Bad examples:

  • “Hey Baby” (anything that has the word ‘baby’ in it is usually bad)
  • “sexy” (anything that has the word ‘sexy’ in it is usually bad)
  • “hot” (in the context of “You’re hot” is also bad—if context is “Venezuela sounds hot and humid—the mosquitos are probably the size of dogs”, you’re fine)
  • “Hey, how you doin’?”
  • “What’s up?”
  • “I like your profile.”
  • “Hey, let me know if you want to talk sometime.”
  • Take a look-see at the OkCupid blog post about this subject for more info.

A Few of My Favorite Things

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Ones and Zeroes (Online Dating): A Numbers Game June 10, 2010

Posted by flomped in Dating, Love, Men (Martians), Ones and Zeroes (Online Dating).
1 comment so far

Women are terrifying—and that’s really a pretty massive obstacle facing a lot of men like myself.  I was at a grocery store the other day and saw a really cute girl walking the aisles, she smiled at me and I started thinking, “Man, if only I was the kind of guy who capitalized on this kind of thing.”  I’m not completely hopeless or anything, but it takes a really confident kind of guy to approach a woman out of nowhere and start a conversation…

“Hey, you shop for dairy products?  I shop for dairy products!  Want to go somewhere to talk about dairy products and possibly make out?”

My opener wouldn’t necessarily be that bad, but even if I was charming, thought up a decent opener, and said everything a man in my position ought to, I still figure I have, at best, about a 1 in 10 chance of getting a date out of it.

This is really one of the bigger problems with dating.  I imagine that women must have a complementary problem where 9 out of 10 guys hitting on them are dull, obnoxious, or at the very least not charming enough to warrant flirting with.  (A’s comment: Not all women, just the more outgoing ones.) I’m sure there’s some strategy for improving those ratios, but it seems like a much easier way alternative solution is to just ask out more people.

Well, that only works if you actually have more people to ask out.  A lot of people make fun of speed dating for its two-minute sessions of forced awkwardness and its definitive whiff of desperation, but it does demonstrate that an approach to dating built on volume appeals out of sheer utility.

What would really be great would be something that gave the same volume without the weirdness.  Well, that may be available–with online dating.

I started using online dating sites after I felt like nothing else was working.  The anecdote I mentioned earlier was not only true, but pretty common.  I see pretty girls all the time, but I’ve always found approaching strangers to be unbelievably difficult.

This is where online dating can really shine–it makes it slightly more feasible to approach strangers.  It doesn’t make it more successful, but it makes the approach much more feasible.

For all the bells and whistles of matching algorithms and personality quizzes, online dating gives you what the internet does best: it gives you volume; lots and lots of people to message in the hopes that 1 in 10 odds now leads to solid results.  A dating site hands you nice guys a long list of ladies ready to be messaged, and hands girls an even longer list of guys in the hope that 1 out of the 100 messaging them is a decent match.  (OKCupid runs a blog, OKTrends, in which they catalogue, among other things, the fact that there are a lot more guys than girls surfing for dates on the web).  Also, it gives everyone a guarantee that the people on the list are at least potentially open to dating.

But is there a downside to all this volume?  For a guy to have any success with a dating site, he’ll have to message as many people as possible in the hope that some of them respond.  It’s an unreliable process, and it means that when he finally does start seeing a girl, it’s someone who’s only the result of an elimination process.

I originally went through several months of online dating without getting any responses, but when it rained it poured.  Out of nowhere, I eventually got a whole rush of favorable responses, which led to some successful flirting and 3 dates with 3 different girls in the space of as many days.  I imagine a lot of guys would be asking for high fives, but I actually felt uncomfortable about the whole experience.

It’s hard going out with a girl when I’m only considering her as 1 of 3 possible women to evaluate against each other.  Even worse, it makes it hard to settle on one when you know there’s a still huge list available to message…all in all the set up was starting to feel weird and creepy.  Internet creepy.

Strangely enough, I found myself hoping that my later dates would fail just so that I had an opportunity to thin down the list of potential women.

Of course, I’ve never had much experience with regular dating, so maybe this is just what comes with all dating and the big numbers in online dating just illustrates it more clearly.  Maybe online dating is just what it took to push me into the experience of dating, and the weirdness I’m associating with volume and numbers is really just my reaction to how weird ALL dating is.  (A’s: True that, man.) If that’s the case, then I really should just push through this awkwardness and try to develop a tolerance for it, right?

But maybe the difficulty connecting to people is an asset.  Meeting strangers is a difficult experience, especially when you know you’ll be sizing each other up as romantic prospects.  Some forced emotional distance helps take the edge off.  Plus, if you spend enough time with someone, you’re going to connect with them regardless of how awkwardly you met.  (A’s: Or the shared awkwardness will just make your connection that much stronger.  Awkward turtles of a feather flocking together.)

Well, whatever the ultimate significance, I can say that I’ve met people I otherwise wouldn’t, and that alone is enough to call my first forays in the online dating world to be a net success so far.

My stories with internet dating are not over yet, though.  I’m only scratching the surface of the experience as a whole.  So, you can expect to hear more bits and pieces of my experience in the future.

Next time: dealing with the awkwardness that comes with online communication.

http://xkcd.com/99/

**(For reference, I use two online dating sites, okcupid.com and plentyoffish.com.  OK Cupid is better, if you ask me, but both are free and I recommend using both.)

June 2, 2010

Posted by anoddphrase in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

running through waves.

 

 

 

like f   l o   a   t i  n   g

 

              un der

                        water

 

  a   foot

              below

                          the   surface.

 

 

 

                                                            no   sounds

 

                                    but    the     wash     of       water

 

 

                                                                                           trickling

 

                                                                                                                  (waves   r  Olling

                                                                                                                          through    my ears)

 

 

the light above blurred

   indistinguishable

but for    the undulating

                                    glimmers

 

                                                like sequins

                                                  on the scales   of a   rainbow  fish    or   mermaid

 

 

floating

                        dream-like

 

                                                through an ocean 

                                                                                    of muted    calm

                                                                                                                        and numb feeling

 

drifting.

 

 

everything moves so slowly

as if through a

                                    drugged

                                                            opium-haze

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                        and   I can’t get out.

I can’t wake up.

 

                                                            I cannot move.

 

 

 

 

 

it is like standing on a beach

 and moving my limbs through water

     trying to run,

                        but the tide

                                    the white foam

                                 wave break

            holds me

                        back

pulls me

   down

 

resists   my   every move.

The Dr. Horrible Syndrome (Horribly Nice Guys) May 21, 2010

Posted by flomped in Dating, Love, Men (Martians), Relationships.
31 comments

Nice guys really do finish last, and single guys around the world find this principle as confusing as they find it frustrating.  So frustrating in fact that many of them go to the dark side.

Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is a perfect example of this.  Dr. Horrible is an aspiring supervillain (Dr. Horrible) trying to reach the big leagues of villainy in the hope that he can improve the world and impress the girl of his dreams, Penny.  Dr. Horrible came to be as a result of a very common process:

——————————
Step 1: Perpetually Single

A budding Dr. Horrible grows up wishing for but failing to start romantic relationships.  He’s probably shy and not very charming and falls into the “only a friend” category too often (see Ladder Theory).  Or maybe his standards for women are too high.  Whatever the reason, though, a Dr. Horrible develops a pattern of being perpetually single.

These reasons for being perpetually single may be why he’s paralyzed and unable to talk to the girl in Step 4.

Step 2: They All Suck….

Dr. Horrible starts to identify his target gender as the problem.  The problem can’t be him, he’s a nice guy!  So it must be some vast flaw with the other gender and how they only pick out jerks, etc.  He resents women and he resents the men they fall for.

In Whedon’s Dr. Horrible, the whole world adores Captain Hammer, Horrible’s nemesis and a handsome alpha-male jerk (see Darcy Syndrome), to Horrible’s constant dismay

Step 3: …Except For Her

Dr. Horrible is still lonely, so he picks out a specific girl who he thinks is “different”.  She may be more compassionate (volunteering at soup kitchens), friendly to him in a kind way (talking to him when no one else does), or maybe she just offered to hold a door for him—it doesn’t take much because no matter how bitter Horribles may get, they still want to believe that there’s someone out there for him, and it’s only natural to find a reason to justify developing a crush.

The chosen girl will then be put on a pedestal by Horrible who convinces himself that she’s perfect.  And that he’d be perfect for her too, since he clearly loves her so much, even though he hasn’t actually gotten to know her in any real way.

Dr. Horrible’s love for Penny is the perfect example of this: he sings elaborate ballads about Penny being his one and only: “I’m the guy to make it real/ The feelings you’re afraid to feel”…all based entirely on the fact that he sees her regularly at a Laundromat.  And never talks to her.

Step 4: Indirect Pursuit

Dr. Horrible will only ever pursue his crush indirectly.  A Horrible is so emotionally invested in his crush that his feelings for her paralyze him, and his natural shyness can only make things worse.  Asking her out, or even talking to her, would risk rejection (or the crush’s inevitable falling from the pedestal).  So, instead, he goes after her indirectly: coming up with elaborate plans to impress her and fixates on how great things will get when they actually get together.

There’s a scene in Dr. Horrible where the doc is enacting part of his master plan to impress Penny. Penny approaches him, asking him to sign a petition.  Dr. Horrible has the perfect chance to start talking to her and break the ice, but instead pushes his dream girl aside in favor of executing an elaborate plan to impress her.

Step 5: Falling Off the Pedestal

Dr. Horrible eventually loses his chance with his dream girl, probably because: (A) he asks her out and gets rejected (in lieu of not ever really having spoken to her or having made his intentions known), or (B) she gets together with a different guy before he has a chance to make his move.

He’ll take this badly, because he not only lost his dream girl, but she had the nerve not to recognize (from his silent, longing looks) how much he cared about her!

When his depression blows over and he only gets more bitter about everything, return to Step 2 and repeat ad nauseam.

It’ll only get worse from here on out, because the more bitter and nasty he gets, the less appealing he is, and the less appealing he is the more he projects his negative feelings onto others.

Whedon’s Horrible acts like he’s been personally betrayed when Penny starts dating Captain Hammer, despite the fact that he never before asked her out, or in fact even spoke to her in a significant way.   He says, “There’s darkness everywhere and Penny doesn’t seem to care that soon the dark in me is all that will remain.”  So, he essentially transfers the blame for his inability to make a move as her fault for “not caring”.

——————————
Guys like this often think of themselves as nice guys.  Dr. Horrible’s touching love song to Penny seems sweet in a romantic comedy kind of way: he’s emotional, he’s sincere, and he obviously has a high opinion of her.

So what’s the problem?

Well, putting a girl on a pedestal might seem nice in theory, but when Dr. Horribles idolize a girl, they aren’t really in love with her—they’re in love with the perfect girl ideal that they want her to be.  They haven’t necessarily taken the time to get to know her—who she really is.  And they may not be happy with what they find if they keep their expectations so high.  It also isn’t fair to expect a girl to be responsible for fixing Horribles’ busted view of women, and she isn’t going to want to try.

No matter how much Whedon’s Dr. Horrible is painted the sincere underdog, you can’t help but wonder what exactly Penny is supposed to find attractive about him when his only personality traits are crushing despair about everything, a creepy obsession, and a meek inability to act on his crush.

It’s only natural to feel that the only way to overcome complete feelings of hopelessness is to nurture the idea that there is a girl who is different than the others.  If every other girl rejects you, then a girl would have to be different from them to go out with you…right?

Well, it doesn’t work like that, and, empathy aside, if guys want to pull themselves out of singledom, the first step has to be understanding what’s going wrong with themselves.  Dr. Horribles have to pull themselves out of their heads, take the girl off the pedestal and act on their feelings.  They just have to talk to the girl, and actually get to know who she really is.  And do so before she ends up with the other guy.

My advice: try buying her a frozen yogurt.  The ladies love the frozen yogurt.

Term of the Day

Dr. Horrible [Dok-tor] [Hor-rib-bul]
– noun

Someone who compensates for bitterness over past romantic failures by putting an individual on a pedestal as his/her perfect romantic mate.

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April 20, 2010

Posted by anoddphrase in Uncategorized.
2 comments

the fog and the shadows —  on the loam

 

 

 

     like the shadow of my soul

            my reflection in the mirror

            our halves are identical in reverse

 

if I stare at you in the water

            you are    me   

                                                         r     e           f  r  a    c t    e      d

 

 

I often feel as  if

                 your silence

 

 

                                                                                    is like the right hand gesturing alone

      without the left

.

a   sound

   in a room

without    an

 

 

                                    echo.

                                                                                                                        yet,   sometimes

                                                                                                I     look at you

                                                                                                            and feel   like

                                                                                                                                    Alice.

                                                                        into  the looking  G(l)a  s   s

                                                                                    a    d-is-co-nn-e—ct

between   you(r)

          movement(s)

                        a   nd

                                                mine….

 

                                                                                                like the right  –not talking to the—

 

     —left.

 

 

                                                                                                                           and left alone.

                                                                                                                        the  right does

                                                                                                                                    feel

                                                                                                    .. bereft.

 

                         but  when the (sun)

                        hits   a   certain .pt.

                        in the west   ‘ s   hor izon

                               s   h     a   do    ws       l e   n    g   t  h     e    n

  time  deepens

and

          the heat   leaves  t he   e arth en l  oa  -m

    t o  hover

               with   (t) he

                        moist  – end

                        a  i     r

 

to   crea (t)  e                                   y

            a               m   -i- s t

                                    s     mok     e

                                                               s    -c-    r   e –e–    n.

 

                                                                                                                        opa q ue.

                                                                                                                 inciting   wistful-  ness.

 

 

 

 

filled,

            sometimes,

    with   the   lonely  c r y-ing

of a      of a    coyot                 ’s   -yip

                                    -e

 

 

                (a  fox- cat)

                        [  wiley ,

                               cagey ,

                            and   shy… ]]

            in the    distanc   -e.

March 18, 2010

Posted by anoddphrase in Uncategorized.
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the Sun.

 

 

      like the
sun,   my face turns to you

 

                                                every
time you walk in            a room.

 

 

 

my skin tingles,   and

       feels,    like 
a rock

      in the sun….  warmed 
.

 

my heart doth not beat faster

            it beats
STRONGER.

      Steadier.

 

calmer,  like
listening to waves,

            on an ocean

     beating back

the tides

and that

        pesky

                    sand

                                on
the beach.

 

 

                                                                                                            but
you,      like the sun

 

 

                                                                                                                        beat ever onwards,

                                                                                                                   assiduously,

                                                                                                                  tirelessly,

                                                                                                                 without rest

                                                                                                                 you make ‘em

       sweat,

 

(it turns me on,
but)

 

you make me tired,   just
lookin’ at

          you, kid

 

    ,  i worry

                        that
like Ozymandias

 

                                                            that
king of kings

                                                ,
all dressed in St. Patty’s day greens,

                                                   ,that   man
behind the curtain,

                                                                (that   
man

                                                            (without
a home)

                                                          in a castle : in a city

                                                      ,   his love far, 
far   away….   )

 

 

                                                                   that
you,  too, shall end up alone.

Darcy Syndrome March 22, 2009

Posted by flightdeparting in Love, Relationships, Women (Venutians).
Tags: , , , , ,
5 comments
The Mythical Pretend Asshole

Mr. Darcy

In high school I had a huge crush on this girl named Lisa.  She was tall, gorgeous, and most importantly intellectual.  She consumed books like candy, wove words like a needle and thread, and had me wrapped around her finger.  So when she told me to promise her that I’d read Pride and Prejudice, I couldn’t refuse.  She loved this book and always had it close to her heart so I assumed that it’d give me some insight into her mind, and hey, maybe a way into her pants.  But when I started reading it, all I could think of was, “How can anyone like this bullsh*t?”

I would only begin to understand this a few years down the road.

Almost every woman I’ve ever met has loved Pride and Prejudice.  Could it be the Victorian elegance?  The luxurious culture?  The fancy balls?  Nay, it’s Mr. Darcy. For those of you who are (thankfully) unfamiliar, Mr. Darcy is the book’s primary love interest.

Essentially the storyline goes like this: Mr. Darcy meets Liz.  Mr. Darcy is a dick to Liz.  Liz is pissed off by Mr. Darcy but is still intrigued.  Mr. Darcy continues to be a dick to Liz.  Liz ensnares Mr. Darcy with her feminine wiles.  Mr. Darcy reveals his true side and is actually a lovely, caring, nice guy and his dick personality was actually a protective facade.

Sound familiar?  It should.  It’s the same storyline for every chick flick ever made.  Pride and Prejudice is the ancestral origin of the modern romantic comedy.  And for good reason.  Mr. Darcy is the embodiment of the ultimate female fantasy.

Women always complain that there are no nice guys out there.  But of course, this isn’t the case.  [A: Most women know this, but most women also have the Cleopatra Complex–we’re queens of denial.] There are lots of them, it’s just that women prefer someone of a more inconsiderate nature.  Women ultimately want to change an a**hole into a nice guy through their relationship.  In a way, it’s a badge of honor.  If a woman does manage to find the softer side of a dickish personality (no pun intended), she’s done something that no other female has been able to do.  And people ask why the a**hats always get the girls.  The bad boys are their challenge to overcome.  The nice guys are supposed to be the end result — not the starting point.

Here’s the problem, though: Mr. Darcy doesn’t exist.  An a**hole is an a**hole is an a**hole.  Sure, maybe he used to be a nice guy, but now he’s an inconsiderate douche.  Guys don’t start out like this, nor do they spontaneously transform into dicks.  It’s a slow process of realization that leads them to learn that the nice guys really do finish last.  And when they realize that being an a**hole does help them gain the interest of women, there’s no turning him back to the nice guy.  It’s a one-way process.

So what now?  Are women doomed to forever be with either the nonchalant asshole or the undesirable nice guy?  No.  It’s just a matter of balance.  We all have a level of toleration for asinine behavior.  You just have to find the guy who has just enough of it not to be the pushover nice guy and still not be a full blown a**hole.  Happy hunting!

Term of the Day

Darcy Syndrome [dar-see] [sin-drome]
– noun

1. Wherein a woman mistakenly believes that she can change a man with a**hole-like behavior into a considerate gentleman

A Few of My Favorite Things: First Date Convos March 21, 2009

Posted by anoddphrase in Favorite Things.
Tags: ,
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We all know that awkward first date moment…  That moment when you’ve gotten past the “Where are you from?” and the “What do you do for a living?“.  That moment when you haven’t quite gotten to the point in the evening when it’s appropriate for you to ask, “Can you take off your pants and do it already?“.

Yeah, that moment.

Well, for all you awkward nuts out there (I’m usually included in that crowd), here are a list of favorite topics of conversation that we’ve come up with that can help you move on from that moment so that the subsequent Take Off the Pants Moment is more fun–and possibly more likely to happen:

  • “What do you like to do in your free time?”–accompanied by your complementary: “I like to jump off of planes and risk my life dodging cars on my bike.” (Or whatever it is you like to do in your free time.)
  • “What’s the most exciting place you’ve ever been? (And whuh-y?)”
  • “Tell me your favorite scar story. (And I’ll tell you mine.)”
  • “What’re your favorite authors/movies?” (On this one, you have to promise to withhold judgment ’till after sex.)
  • “What’s your favorite word?”– Mine, for the moment, is ‘loquacious’.  It just sounds yummy.
  • “What’s your favorite part of your body?” (And let them know that penis or vagina is overdone.)
  • “What’s your least favorite part of your body?” (And if they say penis or vagina, run.)
  • “What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had?” Do not ask if you are of weak constitution.
  • “Rocks?  Paper?  Scissors?”  Make an argument for which one’s your favorite and why.
  • “If you were stranded on a desert island, what four things would you bring?” (If they say Kevin Bacon as one of them, take off your pants then and there.)
  • “What occupation did you want to be when you were seven?”  My little brother wanted to be a bunny rabbit–I wanted to be a vet.  Every little girl wants to be a vet, so I always mention the little brother.  (Note: this goes for all the people who wanted to be a vet at age seven, pick something else to say.  Or at least tell them that you figured out puppies dying were not your thing.)
  • “How do they land the Mars Rover?”


Once you’ve exhausted this topic list, the night is over.  It’s last call.  It’s naked time–so stop paying attention to all that talking and start paying attention to unbuttoning those pants.

A Few of My Favorite Things

A Few of My Favorite Things

The Honeymoon Complex March 20, 2009

Posted by anoddphrase in Love, Relationships, Sex.
Tags: ,
1 comment so far

When I was a young and innocent girl, one winter, I discovered my first, true love.  We met at night, a prequel meeting to drunken boxing at a party (I know, so romantic).  We flirted.  He asked me out.  Unfortunately, for me, this first, true love–or boyfriend at the very least–lived in a land far away.

Alas, my plight was that my new boyfriend was in college.  I was in high school at the time and the idea of a college boyfriend seemed alluring, forbidden, mature.  He was also a fireman and had amazing abs.  But moving on from salivation, I quickly realized his college was over 8 hours away.  That for me, as a young lover with no driver’s license at the time, was hard.

But we saw each other every couple of months, over break, for a special weekend–and we talked ALL the time over IM (instant message), the phone, hell, he even became a regular reader of my personal blog at the time (talk about devotion).  To me, he seemed like the perfect boyfriend.  Attentive, romantic, he’d say all the right things at all the right times, whenever he saw me he’d bring chocolates, I’d write him poetry (I know–don’t bother saying it), we’d help each other concentrate on our studies.  And finally, six months later, our patient and distant love paid off.  Summer came and we were together at last.  He was from my hometown and we started spending all of our time together.

It took me about a month to realize there were so many problems in our relationship… so many problems I had with him.

So many problems that I hadn’t noticed over the phone or IM or the brief moments that we snatched together and snuggled on our ‘honeymoon’ trips to see one another.  I won’t go in depth about my problems with him–it’s not really fair, since he hasn’t really got the chance to defend himself here.  But to summarize, I realized that we didn’t really have anything to talk about.  We had almost nothing in common.

Furthermore, I realized that I would’ve figured this out mere weeks (or even days) into our relationship if I had dated him in person, instead of through the internet, through the phone, and through distance.  Because of the distance, I was allowed to romanticize his silence at my chatterings of things he had no interest in.  The moments we got to see each other we were always in great moods–it was like taking a romantic vacation away from our lives.  But when we started spending every day with one another.  I realized just how much we didn’t mesh.  Our relationship had been conceived in a romantic ideal, in a honeymoon that we gave ourselves whenever we saw one another–it wouldn’t, and didn’t, survive the banality of the every day.

Now, I’m not knocking online relationships.  Hell, I’m not even knocking long-distance relationships.  I’m just saying they’re not for me, and that’s what I learned here.  I think all of those things can occur and depending on your personality and your needs from a relationship, they can even thrive.  I know people who have had years’ worth of long-distance and internet relationships.  And that really works for them.

My grandmother and grandfather, for instance, were married for more than fifty years–and they started their relationship by letter-writing during World War II.  They got married and my grandfather pretty much shipped out again.  Then, after the war, my grandmother worked as an obstetrician, delivering babies all through the night, while my grandfather worked through the day as a technician.  They rarely saw each other most of the time.  After that, my grandmother immigrated to Canada by herself because she was unable to gain visas for my mother and her siblings–so all in all, my grandmother and grandfather spent most of their relationship apart.  My mother told me that her earliest memories are of her father waiting in line at a public telephone to call long-distance from Taiwan to Canada and that he’d written down everything he wanted to say, because it was too precious a phone call to waste not knowing what to say.  Now that my grandfather is dead, my grandmother often jokes that she doesn’t feel like he’s gone–she just feels like she’s waiting to be with him again, like all the rest of their relationship (romantic, I know).

What I learned about myself, comparing my experience to my grandparents’, is that I really can’t stand not knowing someone’s everyday self.  I need the farts (oh, yes, that darling aspect of all our closest relationships), the bad moods, the good moods, the ignoring for computer time moods, the cooking, the cleaning, the shouting.  I need all of that for a relationship to work with me.  I need a relationship that is grounded in the everyday for me to survive not killing the person I’m with because I can’t stand their bad habits.  For me, at least, there’s a comfort in the familiar and it helps me if their bad habits slowly chip away at my awareness–I just stop noticing it after a while.   And I’m able to focus and appreciate the person’s ability to be there for me when I need them to be.

But that’s just me.  And I realize that a good relationship and good communication can come in more ways than one.

So the lessons, I think, we’ve got from this analysis are:

1) Again, with the Know Thyself stuff.  But really, relationships are all about knowing who you are and what you want and need.
2) Don’t knock it before you’ve tried it (unless it’s something you know you really can’t deal with it).  Because even though the Honeymoon Complex didn’t work out for me, it could work out for you.  And the experience allowed me to learn more about myself.  Plus, the sex is great.

Term of the Day

Honeymoon Complex [ˈhə-nē-mün ˈkäm-pleks]
-noun
1. A product of long-distance or internet romantic relationships whereupon a couple feel euphoric or romantically idealistic upon seeing one another for only short periods of time.

Seinfeld is to Men, what Carrie (and Sex in the City) is to Women March 19, 2009

Posted by anoddphrase in Love, Men (Martians), Relationships, Women (Venutians).
Tags: , ,
2 comments

Y’know that episode in Seinfeld about the ‘jimmy legs’ or the leg twitching at night?  Okay, if you don’t, it goes something like: Kramer (one of the funny, awkward characters) enjoys sleeping with this woman, Emily, but he doesn’t actually enjoy SLEEPING with her.  The show shows him unable to sleep all night in the same bed as her because her leg twitches.  Kramer goes to his friend Elaine talking about his problem.  The sex is GREAT, but the sleeping, not so much.  Elaine tells him to talk to Emily about it.  He does and a reluctant Emily agrees to try sleeping in their separate apartment beds.  Kramer does the next night (awkwardly jumping out of bed immediately after sex), comfortably settling into his own bed, only to think neurotically that a neighbor jiggling his doorknob at night is the infamous cat burglar–and he is unable to sleep again.  The next night, he asks Emily if they can go back on their agreement, because of the cat burglar–Emily refuses.  She’s had much better sleep without him, too.  She says he screams a little in his sleep.

Hilarious, right?  No wonder Seinfeld went on for so long.  But I tell this story to my boyfriend one night when we’re grabbing dessert in a little pastry place down the street and he thinks it’s amazing (never having watched Seinfeld before).  I can see the realization dawning on his face: that this is something that probably sums up our two-year relationship for him.

According to him, I don’t just twitch in my sleep–I run a marathon in my sleep.  Kicking, rolling, pouncing, punching.  Supposedly, I’ve woken him up, not once, but several times by rolling and hitting him square in the face with a whack of my elbow.  You think, it’s funny, right?  Because I have almost no memory of this, passing out again supposedly immediately after apologizing.  But, I think, after several months of this, it becomes drastically less funny.  At least for my poor boyfriend who sleeps next to me every night in a queen-sized bed at 6’2″, 190 lbs.  For a girl who’s only 5’2″ and 115 lbs, it’s pretty hilarious to say that I can defend my side of the bed in sleep quite sufficiently, but the queen-sized bed barely fits the boyfriend when he’s alone.

And so.  The epiphany that has hit almost every male in America hit him then.  The comedy, Seinfeld, sums up almost every heterosexual man’s view on relationships.

I know the heterosexual women that are reading this entry are thinking: seriously?  That’s what sums up relationships to guys?  Yes, the show about nothing.  That, I think, is what sums up hetero-mens’ view on relationships.  Here’s the equation:

Sex + the quirks that come with relationships = Seinfeld = hetero men.

Now, women, we’re thinking, Jesus Christ, really?  Our lives are so much more complicated than that.  Because, our equation looks more like:

Shoes + make-up + bags + pantyhose (or no pantyhose? do I look like a tramp when I don’t wear pantyhose??…) + hair + hair product + shampoo + perfume + a subscription to Vogue  + a subscription to Times magazine (because men are attracted by looks but stay because of our looks and intelligence) + yoga classes + to smoke or not to smoke (it looks sexy, but god, those wrinkles) + are we getting wrinkles? + should I shave my legs tonight? + is it skanky to do the deed on the first date? + what deed? what base? + ….

Need I go on?  It’s pretty much an endless soup of questions and problems for women when it comes to relationship.

How Women View Relationships = Sex and the City.  To see more on this, you should go out and rent Sex and the City (all of the seasons) on Netflix or from Blockbuster.  Because there’s simply too much to talk about in that show.  It’s simply the contrast of how most men view relationships (as pretty simple, pretty quirky) versus how most women view relationships.

So the lessons we have from this are:

1) Women are complicated.  We just are.  We have a lot going on.  Men, please just understand.  Take that step back when you know you’re about to say something crazy (like “Dear Lord, you are crazy, woman…”) and just let it go.  It will help you in the long run.
2) Men… view relationships simply.  At least the heterosexual men that I know.  They just do.  Ladies, let’s just take that same step back and try to understand that, too.  Though, frankly–you got me.

Terms of the Day

Seinfeld [sīnfěld]
– proper noun, television show
1. A school of thought as to how men view relationships simply and with amusing, anecdotal-worthy quirks.
Carrie [ka-rē] / Sex and the City [sěks-nd-st]
– proper noun, television show
1. A school of thought as to how women view relationships neurotically, obsessively, and on HBO.

[Frankie’s Comments: I would say Entourage is S&C for men, but this seems to be more fitting than I thought.]

Kramer v. Carrie?

Kramer v. Carrie?