Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Spring Break Research Experiment...

Ok guys, I've got a brand new experiment I'm doing during spring break...and this has got to be one of the most outlandish things I've done in quite a while.

Let's go back a couple of weeks.  My pal Raj, the sweet, darling man he is, has just been haranguing me to get out and date.  Haley is also on a mission to get me out of the house as well.  They're just on a mission to get me hooked up with someone and my answer is always undeniably, "No."  I have no want, need or desire to date.

Try this...on two consecutive nights, An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle were playing on television.  For all of the gals out there, you will nod your head in agreement that An Affair to Remember is the ultimate chick flick.  I sat on vent with Amy and KP doing the ooh's and eek's that go along with watching the movie...ok here, try this.  Rita Wilson summed it up perfectly in Sleepless in Seattle...

Of course, men just don't get it.  They're not genetically wired to understand it at all, that's why you get this "guy's response" to it...

After trying in vain to explain the whole mystery of An Affair to Remember to KP, the man just did. not. get it. Instead, he talked about how he and his sons cried at the season finale of a reality cooking show.  Really?  Is that the extent that men go emotionally?  Sufficed to say, my Dad cries at the schmaltzy chick flicks.  I can only think that it's because he's so secure in who he is, he doesn't care...ok, or more to the point, until now, most of the world didn't know he did it.  However, it doesn't remotely begin to explain modern man's inability to be emotionally available.  Which brings me to the point...if men aren't emotionally available, why in hell would I want to date one of them?  If they can't bring themselves to sit in front of a classic film like An Affair to Remember why in hell would I want to be around them?  To a man, watching An Affair to Remember is the movie equivalent of carrying a Victoria's Secret bag around in the mall.  One chauvinistic a-hole I know once told me that a man carrying a Victoria's Secret bag was a "man-card violation."  Please, it just says you went and picked up something for the special woman in your life.  But I digress.

After the whole dual-day, double feature of An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle, I decided to undertake an experiment.  After all, it's Spring Break for me, and besides cleaning the house, doing laundry and playing WoW, what the hell else do I have to do?  Not a lot.  So, after the horror of Stoney's last weekend, I decided to spend the week on an online dating site, research the topic and relay the experience as a great series of blog posts and while I'm at it, getting a few laughs.  Now, let's be clear, I have no intention whatsoever about going on a date with ANYONE.  I'm doing this for topic fodder, nothing more.  Online friends I have by the dozens, we share great times playing video games together, I'm all about that, but finding a date online?  Um....that would be NO.

So, here's what has happened so far:  I looked at tons of online dating sites, eHarmony,, a whole list of them, but settled on one with an outlandish name.  Truthfully, I can't use eHarmony because I was honest on my questionnaire for them and got rejected because I'm not divorced yet, so I had to go with something else.  Now, I'm not going to say which site because I don't want y'all pawing around or tampering with my research, but I will say that it's filled with people.  Just for the sake of true quantitative and qualitative research, I got myself a free trial membership, filled out the questionnaire honestly, constructed my profile, uploaded a picture and so forth so I could get the entire experience and could see what this whole online dating thing was about, and oh, one day in, I already have stories to tell.  LOL.

Remember a couple of posts ago I talked about Sheila Kelly's character "Debbie Hunt" in the film Singles and how she says, "Desperation, it's the world's worst cologne"?  Well, I have to say, I've had a scream laughing my head off at the guys who are messaging me on this site!  They're reeking of desperation.

As a part of the experiment, I'm going to be showing you VERBATIM what has been sent to me, capitalization errors, poor spelling and so forth...

Some of the more memorable messages I've gotten have been:
  1. With the message title, "student?" A 48 year-old man sent this:  "I'm good st givining lessons ?"
    To which I almost replied "L2 Spell?"  (Which means "learn to spell.")

    It was followed by me getting really close to telling him, "Type with your fingers, not your fists, because we know what you're doing with them," but I just left that spelling challenged man to his own demise with no response.

  2. With the message title "fortune favors the bold ." A 55 year-old man from Manitoba sent this message: "Darlin: Do you belly dance ?"
    To which I replied, "No, I don't."
    He comes back with this...hold onto yourself:
    "Well then, how about topless bingo?"
    To which I replied, "Topless bingo?  Really?   Sorry, but that's not even remotely close to my realm of interests."

    Personally, I think that dirty old fart should have a ruler smacked across his knuckles really hard.  I have a feeling if I'd have told him he deserved a ruler across the knuckles, he would have gotten excited.  He gave me such an eww vibe that I put him on ignore.  Dirty mashers.  What's worse, he's a Canadian... EWWWWWWW!  The whole Canadian thing should have told me volumes right there. LOL.  They grow some serious freaks up north, trust me I was married to one for 10 years.

  3. The next one reminded me of the Liam Neeson film Taken.  If you've not seen Taken, you should because it's the female equivalent of Fatal Attraction.  It's enough to scare the willies out of you and ensure you never travel alone.

    I had a 37 year-old man tell me, without even conversing with him, the first message he sends right out of the gate, is that he would be happy to fly me to San Diego and pay for all of my expenses just to hang out for the weekend.  Ok, that made me check the locks on my doors.  Call me paranoid, but I have the distinct feeling that I wouldn't have come back from that trip.

  4. The next fella just got an OMG....try this, he wrote, "Are you in any way sexually submissive for the right man in a healthy relationship?"

    With that one, I just screamed in terror.  It was a direct flashback of the ex.  The ex was a freak, and where is he now?  Selling insurance and living in his girlfriend's parent's basement.  Need I say more?

  5. Then came a hearty case of facepalming...a 47 year-old man who paged me on the site's instant messenger and who made sure he mentioned he was of Jamaican descent about five times. LOL.  If you could have seen the guy's picture, you would have not doubted for a second that he was of non-European origin.  I decided, for the sake of research, to humor the guy, after all, I chat lots with my pals in WoW, so I'm used to having a typed conversation...but, wouldn't you know it, not but five minutes into the conversation...the question popped up that asked me if, oh hell, I can't write exactly what he said on my blog, it's just too damned dirty...let's just put it this way, he asked me if I was my own battery operated boyfriend.  My jaw hung open for a good solid minute where my mouth was cursing to the effect that it was none of his business, but replied, "Whoa, not even remotely comfortable answering that question.  Thanks for the chat, bye," and slammed shut the window so fast it even made my head swim.

  6. But, let's finish out the list with the one that is by far the worst...a message from a 39 year-old guy in California...a singular line in an IM window that read...
    "Do you date married men?"

    Oy veh!  I am the WRONG person to ask that question!!!
    I replied, "No I don't.  I threw my ex out after I found him at his girlfriends apartment."
    Yeah, there was nothing but silence after that.  Personally, I almost asked him what was wrong with asking his wife out on a was mixed with the overwhelming desire to punch him in the face.  LOL.  Oh, he came so close to incurring my wrath, but no, I kept my words kind, gentle and tasteful even though I did want to verbally break my foot off in his ass.  LOL.  
Wow, the freaks that are out there!  And that's just one day!  Talk about emotional unavailability combined with no manners THEN combined with no tact!  Did their mothers not teach them manners or how to act around a woman?  However, I will go this one for you, it was the nicest of all of them...After the adventure at Stoney's, since I'm doing research anyway, I decided to find out where all of the people my age hang out here in Vegas, so I wrote a local guy and asked him, he simply replied,

"My advise to you would be to be yourself and explore and experiance all the many many places we have out here until you find that one that you walk into and you feel you'v been there before :)"  Yeah, he couldn't spell either, but at least his reply was kind and not freakish.

Before I started chatting with #5, I called Haley and got her voice mail, she called me back just in time to be on the phone with me during the B.O.B. incident.  All she said was "O.M.G."  While she was giving me the OMG, I was doubled over in laughter about the whole experience.  I mean really, some of this is just funny.  Some parts are scary, others are just sad.

But, give me kudos, at least this is an interesting way to spend my spring break, doing sociological research on the world of online dating.  Heck, this could even be put under practicing my market research skills for IMC class.

Here's some preliminary conclusions...I've made the right decision, I'm not dating.  Online matchmaking services are a crap shoot.  It reminded me about what Craig Ferguson said about the internet...that "it's like riding in a car, people feel like they have a protective barrier around them so they can be as asinine as they want because no one is going to come over to their house with a motorcycle chain and shove it up their ass."

1 comment:

  1. Too funny Sheri, props to you for giving it a shot, and btw, i watched both show's you mentioned and had no prob's with it, but again, you have an aweful tendancy to question and query me late at night after a long day of work expecting me to give you the answer you seek. Sorry hun, sometimes asking someone constantly if they are sensitive or caring about drama's and "chick flicks" tends to deflat interest. Talking straight is great, but sometimes you need to listen to reactions to see whether that subject would be best brought up at another time :). <3 KP