What Was Chemistry.com Thinking? Part I…

Chemistry.com has a drug problem. Specifically crack. I swear that every so often the matches they hook me up with could only be the result of some massive crack addiction.

Of course, there are great matches every so often and decent matches most of the time, but sometimes I get matched with someone who very clearly is not a good fit.

An example…

To be featured on these type of posts, the author of the profile has to be so dramatically unclear, so wildly hard to follow that I just scratch my head. And when I start scratching my head, blog posts come to me.

The profile below has been untouched. It’s exactly as it was in the wild.

Witness the geniusness…

“ready to travel and have fun

I am looking to be dated at first. non of this “hanging out”. I like the traditional courting in the begining.

I look forwrad to meeting someone who is open minded and looking for adventure and fun in there life. Some one who can be a good partner and we compliment eachother nicely.”

A dissection…

To be fair, I don’t know this girl. She is probably a wonderful person who loves dogs and children and ice cream cakes. But…

…where does she tell me anything about herself?

This profile is so hard to follow, so generic and so full of misspellings that it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the lack of proper capitalization. I realize that it’s popular to write in all lower case but that’s not what’s going on here.

This personal ad is the equivalent of

  • going into a really fancy steakhouse,
  • ordering their best filet and…
  • out comes a plastic tray (complete with plastic fork and knives) and one of this shitty Salsbury steaks you would eat while watching the A-Team as a kid.

In other words, no time and no effort was put into this description of self. If there was more than a few seconds’ thought given to it, I would be surprised.

Then there’s also the length of the personal ad. I’m sorry but I find it very hard to believe that 6 sentences could accurately describe anyone. People have much more going on than just 6 sentences.

But let’s go further…

“ready to travel and have fun”

Who among us is not ready to have fun? Is there anyone who would say proudly “I’m not ready to enjoy myself. I sit home at night, eating cucumber slices and crying to myself.”

And then we move to, “I am looking to be dated at first.”

As opposed to? Being admired from afar? Getting married after a date or two? Becoming a pickpocket in an Eastern European country? Buying fake mustaches from an unlicensed dealer?

Ostensibly the idea of going to a dating site is that you would like to go on a date. Radical. I know but still.

The final nugget is “I look forwrad to meeting someone who is open minded and looking for adventure and fun in there life. Some one who can be a good partner and we compliment eachother nicely.”

Let’s look past the mispelling or the odd combination or seperation of concepts. This is so non-specific. Again, not to belabor the point, but even humorless people would say they like fun. They might even be bold enough to say they like adventure.

And I think that about does it for this particular ad 😉

Acting On Bad Dating Advice…

In my experience, most of the really, truly terrible dating advice I’ve gotten has been from one particular group…

…older female family members. It just seems like, especially early on in my dating life, my Mom or my Aunt would give the worst dating advice possible.

Case in point: my Mom said,”If you want to meet a nice girl, go to ballroom dance classes.” Not a good idea. Not a good idea for dating at least. For stories of wingnuts, odd social expectations and irascible dance teachers however, it was a great idea.

Ballroom DanceThe dance begins…

The ballroom dance class at Moorpark College was taught by a vaguely hostile, slightly unbalanced dance teacher. She had been divorced many years ago and the scars of that seemed to color every interaction she had in the class and life in general.

The teacher…

She was also a little inept at managing her “classroom.” I was about 20 at the time of taking the class. Add or subtract a few years and you have the age ranges of most folks there. In other words, lots of energy and short attention spans made for talking while the dance teacher was giving her instructions. Different instructors have different methods for getting their class in-line. Hers was to simply yell really loud and in a really shrieky tone. She seemed to really take every conversion personally like it was a dagger to her heart.

Then there was her choice of music. Of course, there was some good stuff (Cab Calloway, Pennsylvania-Five-Six-Thousand) but the songs that I remember were “classics” like Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana,” a truly retched song that was played over and over and over and over again. And it gets worse. If we were dancing and we messed up a step, the teacher would stop “Copacabana” and have us start over. I estimate that over the course of the class I heard that damn song at least 150 times. Ugh.

The dancers…

And then there were the people in the dance class. The bold truth of ballroom dance is that men and women want dramatically different things from the class. Or at least they did in my class.

The men in the class want to meet women. (In fact, most activities that men do outside of work, showering, shaving and using the restroom are designed to meet women.) The women in the class wanted to dance. And that was it.

When you have such a dramatic difference in goals, misunderstandings are bound to happen. Inexperienced guys (like myself at the time) would see any basic friendliness on the part of girls in the class as a sign of interest and usually embarrass themselves by asking the girl out. That or they would talk themselves out of actually asking the girl for a date. But another issue was that the girl of every guys’ dreams was…

…one girl. The same girl in fact. In a scenario like the one below, a girl who was attractive in the non-ballroom-dance class world, was elevated to supermodel levels in ballroom dance class. And this girl, Abby, didn’t realize that she was the object of affection/lust for most of the guys in the class.

In fact, she really wasn’t present to many things. She was a bit of wingnut actually. A cult recuiter spotted Abby dancing by herself around the Moorpark College lawns and said to himself, “I’ve got a convert.” The next day she came into class, trying to convince every guy who found her lustworthy that this cult was the best thing since sliced bread.

Of course the imbalance of male attention didn’t sit well with the other girls in the class. There was a subtle hatred of Abby and a lack of understanding as why every girl but Abby was chop liver. It was palpable too. Men would lust after Abby when dancing with the other girls. They would not really pay attention to what their dance partner was saying, just stare creepily at Abby as she danced with someone else. Looking back, it was completely justifiable that the other girls were upset.

So what was the ballroom dance class in a nutshell? An upsettable dance teacher. Mixed intentions. Imbalance in affection. It was a mess. And so was the swing dancing scene that I used to be a part of after that.

You see, I really thought my Mom was giving me good advice so I kept pushing forward in this world. After two years driving to hell and gone for swing dancing events, I had gotten one girls’ phone number, gone on maybe one date and thoroughly frustrated myself.

Although I CAN dance, I really don’t like to all that much. And that’s mostly due to the nightmare of ballroom dance class.

Wonderful Nightmare: A Perfect Dating Analogy…

Dating is the most pleasurable torture you’ll ever experience. It’s like being waterboarded by a beautiful girl who’s giving a happy ending at the same time.

Patton Oswalt, one of America’s greatest comedians said it best, “Dating is a fun nightmare…it’s a nightmare and there’s boners involved.”

And that’s why my friend Erin and I have created this blog. To put it simply…we’re on the other end of the dating bell curve. We go on lots of dates. We’ve met lots of perspective matches. And we’ve read countless personal ads.

In short, we’re grizzled veterans of countless dating skirmishes. With all this experience, comes stories. Amazing stories. Stories of anti-semetic alcoholics. Stories of pot-smoking Republicans. And of course, stories of great connections. It’s all in this oddly flavored stew called dating.

So this blog will be a blog bouillabaisse cooked to the brim with anectodes, oddball personal ads, advice and hopefully, a realistic depiction of what’s it like to date successfully in today’s day and age.