The Search Bar

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Vain or Reasonable?

*This is one of those late-night posts that I don't have a filter for. Language will be a bit harsh in some spots. Don't read on if it offends, you've been warned.*

I'm stuck in a conundrum. I'm on two online dating sites (surprise!) and both are producing daily hits, but only one is giving me any sort of messaging responses. Now, I don't mind batting .500 here, but I would much rather the first site give me messages than the second site.

The reason being that, on the first site, I'm able to fully explain myself (in other words, no word limit, which means I get to go into detail) and I think I'm much better on that one than on the other one. There is one, significant difference between the two write ups because of this: I can go further into detail on my "ideal match" on site one than on site two.

You know me so you know that on site one I totally delved into the qualities I wanted in my ideal match. I limited it to three (be proud of me) but I went into heavy detail on those three qualities. The last of those qualities is the one I think is the deal breaker. I want someone who takes care of themselves. Here's what I wrote:

Thirdly, someone who takes care of their bodies. I know a lot of people like to ignore the "body is a temple" thing but I've discovered over the last two years how true that is. I want someone who is committed to taking care of their bodies and not just have it devolve over time. I want us to be together for as long as we can be. We can't control when we die but we can control how we live ... so we should live well.

When I wrote it, I felt like I was being honest. I still feel that way now. I want that in my ideal match. As I reference in there, I have discovered how much a difference a well-taken care of body can be in life. I'm living proof of the difference. I used to require at least nine hours of sleep to be functional when I was fat. Now, I can operate pretty decently on six and I can't sleep longer than nine hours if I tried.

Here's what I'm thinking with this, though: I'm thinking this sounds vain and completely shallow, like I'm just a guy who wants a hot chick with model looks, a nice rack and the ability to be my future trophy wife.

Okay, maybe it doesn't come off that badly but I can't sit there and pretend that it doesn't matter to me. It does. I'm looking at things from a long-term standpoint and I hate to tell you, but human beings are habitual creatures. It is likely that if you're knocking down sodas and pizzas now that you'll be doing the same thing five years from now.

That in mind, is it too much to ask for a person who takes care of themselves? I don't want to get involved with someone and watch their physical health devolve over time because they're not putting any effort into taking care of themselves.

This is a problem across multiple generations, mine included. We get stuck in the mindset that just because our bodies can take the abuse now that it'll take that same abuse in the future. I'm sorry to say, that's not true. I'm also living proof of that. For years I kept to the same eating habits and figured my metabolism would kick in and I'd shed all the pounds, just like I'd seen happen to some of my friends.

As we all know, that never happened. It was a myth, a self-delusion.

Is it so bad that I want a girl who takes care of herself?

I don't think so. I'm not asking for all-star looks or for a girl to be the tiniest waist on the block. Body=temple is not a hard concept. It's a true concept in my experience.

But this past weekend I was told by my not-date date (just as confusing as it sounds) that I should focus more on the present. Which, of course, I rallied against but I was coming down from a caffeine high of epic proportions (epic, I'm serious) and my ability to defend myself was not very good.

Maybe I do get stuck thinking about the future too much but the future is unwritten. Because of this, I can make it whatever I want ... the present is much harder to change.

Yet, I'm sitting here stuck in a conundrum because I can see where my point can be seen as incredibly vain. I'm judging others based on what I've done and I've observed and that's bull shit. My experiences are mine and are likely never to be repeated by another. But it's all I have to judge and I honestly believe if I can do it, others can.

Moreover, I was rejected for years based on appearance as a close friend pointed out very recently. I was the fat guy. I was dismissed by that alone. And for years I resented that, hated that and accepted that as the reality of my life.

Then I changed it. Now, standing on the other side of the fence, I can see why I was rejected ... at least using my own thought processes, anyway. I was a horrible long-term prospect. If dating is supposed to be testing the waters and finding out if there's a possibility that the person you are dating is someone you could spend the rest of your life with ... well, I failed that test out of the gate, didn't I?

Who wants to be with an overweight, overwhelmed, tired and lazy fat-ass? I can't imagine any girls who want that. I can't imagine anyone who wants that.

Is it wrong to want my ideal match to be healthy?

Worse yet, is it wrong to discount a person based on whether they're healthy looking or not?

I'm not sure. The argument has been made that a person's personality, their soul, is what you fall in love with. The body ages and breaks down, it fades away. I was a proponent for years of this argument.

I now find myself thinking I was wrong, at least in part. Yes, the soul of a person is important, but shouldn't the way they take care of themselves also be important? How do you weigh the importance of one against the other?

I don't know. Hence my conundrum, and hence why I'm stuck in this perpetual circle of back and forth. I think it comes down to the tastes of the person, of the individual and my tastes are a jumbled mess.

I'm a 25 year-old male. I've been told very recently that 25 year-old males are pretty much universally regarded as complete scumbags. I'm not one of them, according to what I've been told, but I understand why. It's so easy to get sucked in by the physical attractiveness of a girl.

I mean, a hot chick is a hot chick. The male in me realizes this and naturally demands I make a play for the hot chick. Because she's hot. And maybe she's even red-headed, thusly locking it in that I MUST make a play for her.

But the rest of me flat out denies that. There are more things at play here. What's her interests? What's her faith like? Is she a nice person or a complete bitch? Is she screwing like a bunny in heat or is she a virgin?

There are a lot of questions to consider. This is probably why I freeze up and do nothing, but nothing is fine. Nothing is great. At least with me doing nothing it can only result in nothing.

So, yeah, my tastes are a mess. I'm not sure what I should feel here and I don't want to get into the mindset that, if the girl I like isn't healthy looking, that I can change her. Because that's a bad mindset to get into. I can't change another human being. Nope. They have to make the choice to do it themselves and they need to do it for themselves, not for me or others.

It's a nasty little trap to get caught in. So, yeah, being overweight and unhealthy is fixable. I fixed it. I know others who have fixed it. But I don't want to get involved with someone thinking that I can change things.

If I get attached to that kind of idea I won't give it up. I'm a stubborn SOB.

So ... my question is, is my want in my ideal match to take care of her body vain? Is it reasonable? Does it put girls on the defensive (self-conscious feelings probably play a role)? Am I just over-thinking this?

Chime in and let me know. I'm confused. As always, any and all comment are welcome. 

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

This is How I Bar Hop

So, last night (Saturday) I went bar hopping with a buddy. As we all know by this point (or should know) I am not a bar person. At all. Ever. I have never been to a bar. I've never been bar hopping. This was all new to me and, admittedly, I was excited by it. New experiences are exciting by their nature.

I threw on my sexy clothes (otherwise known as the stuff I bought at Kohls that everyone said looked good on me), hopped into my buddy's car, and we took off. Our first bar was a bust. We didn't have any drinks at it because it was ... well, it was filled with a bunch of country boys watching football.

We hit the next bar. It had a much wider variety of patrons (there were actual good looking girls there, in other words) but they had a band playing. The band was playing country. Neither of us were particularly enthused with the musical choice so we left and hit our third bar.

This place was decent enough and we actually bought some beer (Bud Light). I don't drink beer. I've never had any Bud Light before, so I gave it a shot. I got the lowdown on the rules of bar hopping (taking in a drink at every bar is a rule but we kinda broke that early on, apparently). We drifted outside to the empty deck to talk to some girls.

Well, women. Older women. They looked like girls from behind. I quickly zoned off and watched one of the college football games while my buddy quizzed the ladies on where the good times were on a Saturday night. He finished his beer in quick order.

I took three sips of mine. Small sips. It was comical to see how he had downed his glass and mine was still very full-looking.

We left there and hit up another bar. This place had some class, had a dance floor, and even managed to have some decent music. Unfortunately, the bar patrons were also quite older. Like on-social-security-older. They could dance but I was afraid they would literally break a leg if they fell.

We had a shot (a cherry bomb I believe) and it was good. It hit me pretty fast but he was still fine. He was an old pro at this. We left out of there and hit up his favorite bar, which was having a Zombie party. Most people weren't dressed up as zombies, but we jumped in there. This would be the bar where we spent most of the night.

I was pretty buzzed at this point and decided to go for drunk. Since it was my first bar hopping experience and I didn't have to be at work till 1PM (which wasn't nearly enough time to recover in retrospect) I had me an Alabama Slammer (that I had never heard of before), and we started playing pool with a couple.

Pool + booze = fun. I was a bit rusty at first but we managed to pull out the first game. I proceeded to knock back (slowly) two more glasses of something (I don't know what it was, but it was good). My favorite tidbit from this was the phrase the woman we were playing pool with used.

When she found out that, at 25, this was my first bar and bar hopping experience, she said, "Where have you been? 25 was my prime!" I could only smile at that. She met her husband in a bar, seven years prior, and was of the opinion that bars were just as valid a place to meet future spouses as anywhere else.

I don't know if I agree with her. The bar scene is ... different. Strange. I was standing there between turns and sipping my drinks taking notes. On one hand, for the more extroverted people, the bar scene seems to be great fun.

I had running commentary going on in my head thanks to one of my characters (she's an animal at bars ... literally) and she was having a great time. Yes, it's insane, but hear me (or her) out. There was dancing, drinking, laughter, booze, and a good time to be had. What was the issue?

I was glad to have the pool table and a drink. Otherwise, I would have been aimless and lost. Once we got done playing pool with the couple we started our own game at another pool table. My buddy went off to go get some change while I was left there, by my lonesome, to sip on my mystery drink.

This is when I was relentlessly hit on for a solid five minutes by a drunk woman who was at least in her mid-30s and was tanned so unnaturally brown I thought she was a brown sugar-cinnamon pop tart. She stood there, hung all over me, and quizzed me on my pool playing skills.

There wasn't enough booze in the world, people. Not. Enough.

But it was entertaining as she kept trying to get me to talk longer than a few sentences and I kept not. After a few minutes she went back over to her table with her friends and my buddy came back. We played pool. I was initially sure he sent her over but he claimed not to and I believed him.

So, we played. He left again to go get another drink. She kept shooting me glances and, when he left, she came over, grabbed the cue ball, and dropped it into her bra. She juggled it around in there for a few seconds (the lines write themselves here. One could say she "racked" them up) before dropping it back onto the table and shooting me a look.

I only smirked and shrugged.

She sauntered back off to her table and threw up her hands in frustration at her friends, who were laughing at her (or me or us both).

We continued playing pool for another round before we left that bar.

We hit up the third bar real quick to check what was going on there. We came across a chick dressed in a skintight zebra or white tiger suit. We weren't sure which. She had a tail. Whatever the case was, we exited out of there rather quickly and hit up one more bar before the night was out.

I had a Mike's Hard Lemonade. It was quite good, and we dished on preferences as far as girls were concerned.

We hit up Taco Bell (old staple) before we ended the night and then I came home to pass out. Which I promptly did.

Overall, the experience was enjoyable but not my cup of tea.

I'm disappointed that my severe state of drunkenness didn't result in any more memorable stories. Or any more memorable actions. Part of me had hoped that with the alcohol in my system I would be able to not really care about everything else. I'm not talking about merely life concerns, but my own personal standards.

I have been called a principled person in the past. I am, and always will be, one stubborn SOB. Large amounts of booze doesn't change that. It makes me more easily entertained and willing to play along, but I didn't do anything radically different. Presented with the opportunity to do something different and radical I did virtually the same.

I measured things. I observed. I watched. I listened. I learned.

I came away from the bar hopping experience pleased at how much great material I'll be able to use for my writing in the future. It was filled with sights and sounds that I'll be able to use to write. But from a strictly personal standpoint, the experience was good for the company and good for some fun.

But it was expensive. It was a waste of time, honestly, and I would have been better off buying a bottle of wine. Which I will always be better off doing, I think.

Bottom line: I don't think I'll be bar hopping very often in the future. If at all, really. I'd like to say I had a revelation and totally bought in to "25 was my prime!" but I didn't.

I suck at bar hopping. I'm just as lame there as I am anywhere else. This isn't a statement made with a frown, but rather one made with a smirk. At least I know for sure, now. Maybe it'll be different with more people or different people or at different locations.

But I'd rather share a bottle of wine with a friend and bitch/moan/snark/ect than go bar hopping. It's not me. Sure, it gave me an excuse to get dressed up and feel like someone with a social life but ... I don't know, I'm not that person.

I discovered some new drinks. Had some interesting experiences and ended a night with Taco Bell. It was nostalgic, in a sense (especially the Taco Bell). But I suck at social and this pretty much proved it once and for all. Even with significant amounts of booze I still played to my core programming.

Which seems unchangeable or very difficult to change. Whatever the case, it's time to look into other avenues (which I'm working on, trust me. I have leads. Just need to get a few pieces in place).

Stay tuned and thanks for reading, as always.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ruminations on Online Dating

So, a few days back, I joined an online dating site. First, let me state how pissed I was that it had come to this. Online dating seems like admitting failure and, frankly, feels like it is failure. Failure to be brave enough to be social or failure at succeeding. It sucked but I joined.

I was quite surprised to find how easy it was to get lost in it. I mean, it's really easy. So, a few days later, here are my observations on things so far.

1. It's not about failure

Immediately upon joining and filling out my profile (which required 1000 words and I blew that out of the water by a lot), I started browsing around. Some of the profiles were really, really poorly written. All right, a lot of them were, but the one thing that almost all had in common was that the online dating things was new for them. It was a different way to approach things.

I have felt, and still kinda feel, that online dating is a sure sign of weakness and a complete waste of time. What great romances started with an IM chat? The hopeless romantic in me, the old school, hates this. But the pragmatic side of me is grasping at straws. Short of some sort of intervention via drugs, therapy, God, or a combination of all three, I'm not going to be able to unfreeze around pretty women.

Not unless I know them. I know plenty of pretty women and I'm friends with quite a few of them. But they're not someone I'm pursuing romantically (most are already taken) and so there's no threat of rejection there. I don't freeze around them.

I think the approach a close friend of mine suggested at least a year ago (if not two) was right ... said suggestion being that I should consider online dating because I'm more comfortable with a keyboard than across a coffee table from a pretty face, at least in the 'get to know you' stage.

2. Myspace sluts are here

We all remember the Myspace sluts. Those girls that were there only for the sex and the good time and their pictures left little to be imagined. Those girls are back. It's sad, really, as a lot of them are quite pretty but their profiles are poorly written (even my poorly written standards) and they pretty much scream 'let's screw!'.

3. The match questions are really concerned about sex .... all kinds of sex

The many, many, match questions you can answer about sex range from "Are you a virgin?" to "What kind of anal sex would you prefer?"

Seriously. It's that bad. And it gets worse, but I'll spare you. I've stated multiple times that I'm a virgin and shall remain so till marriage. The site's various questions are really slanted towards sex, though, which leads me to believe hookups are very common here.

Just like in college, apparently.

4. Writing quality varies in extremes

Some of the profiles are actually quite well-written. Some of them are horrors to the eyes that make me want to unleash a hellstorm on whomever wrote it because, damn, you're in you 20s! Can't you spend a little time and effort fixing it up? Get someone with better writing skills to edit it for you?

The profiles that are well-written are gems. Being well-written is a big plus.

5. So few Trek fans

The various women I've looked at and messaged are not Trek fans. Doctor Who fans, but not Trek. I like Who, don't get me wrong, but I love Trek. I have yet to find one who is a Trek fan and doesn't have some sort of dealbreaker otherwise.

That's all the ruminations I have so far. I'll let you guys know more of my thoughts when I have them. Thanks for reading, folks.