Warning – the following blog post is wrought with reverse sexism. It’s a joke, people. Please don’t comment about how I’m setting women’s rights back.
Recently, I’ve had a bit of a bug problem. Gross, huh? Well – it’s all fixed now, but when I was texting my landlord about it, I was joking with her that she could either call an exterminator or, …find me a man. A man who will kill bugs for me.
* Swoon *
Well, I’m still waiting on the man (thanks a LOT, Glenda… geez…what do I even pay you rent for?), but we did get to talking about how many dates you’d have to go on to be able to ask for such favors. I propose that a girl should be able to ask for such things on date 1… as part of the sizing-up process. You see… there’s lots of different methods for disposing of 6 and 8-legged creatures (yes, yes, I know spiders aren’t technically insects… You can spare me the science lesson on thoraxes and such… but if they’re an abomination (which spiders CLEARLY are), they count toward my thesis…and they need to die), and the way a man kills them tells you tons about him.
1. The “Squash and Scram” –
This is the guy who rides in on his noble steed, who bravely vanquishes the befouled beast, and then leaves you to …clean up the guts?
Where is the chilvalry? Where is the sacrifice? The guts clean-up is the worst part. Nay – it is the essential part. It’s that “fashion a giant mitt of paper towels to mop up all manner of pest entrails and juice, whilst fighting back the bile creeping up your throat” moment that begs for a big strong man who will smash it, and conceal all evidence.
That’s the stuff of fairy tales.
2. The “ ‘If you Love it, Set it Free’ Bug Hippy” –
We all know these people.
They take that whole “why he wouldn’t even hurt a fly” thing WAY too seriously.
They’re the ones tenderly corralling the 4-foot cockroach into your good Tupperware (which now has to be burned), only then to liberate it from it’s human home-shaped prison, back into the wild where mother nature intended.
The only catch-and-release program happening in my home, is the one for the guy who won’t actually kill the bug. ‘Cause I know what happens….. that bug, once emancipated, goes and tells all its horrid little friends about the mean lady who was scowling and rolling her eyes while the knight in shining armor rescued it from its certain death…. And then they conspire to come and get me in the night.
Yup…I’m fairly certain I have my finger on the pulse of the bug community and this is exactly how it goes down. Town meetings, assembling a quorum, grabbing their tiny pitchforks and storming the castle of my bedroom to call down their reign of terror. So – if you’re going to set it free… you might as well just keep walking. Your alleged mercy is my impending doom.
3. The “Girly-Girl Trapped in a Man’s Body”
(if it wasn’t already anti-feminist before…buckle up)
Look – I want a man who kills a bug like it’s built into his DNA. …Like it’s no big deal or better yet, like he enjoys protecting me from the multi-legged menaces. I don’t want someone to cower or whimper or scream like a girl while performing bug murder. (I’m not making it up – I’ve had two significant men in my life who would literally scream while taking care of an unwanted critter).
75% of the bug killing’s purpose is to actually exterminate the invaders.
The other 25% is to display his bravery, so I’ll practically faint with adoration.
I’m being silly, but there’s something to this… I’ve watched as friends of mine handily kill and dispose of a bug and I find my insides getting all squishy with desire. Recently a friend killed a spider outside my house and I think I may have audibly moaned. Yup. That happened.
So, if he winces and eeks in fear, I’m still glad for the insect death, but I’m not going to pounce on him for a smooch either.
4. The “Half-Hearted Warrior”
This is the guy who doesn’t really get what the big deal is.
You’ll find out who these men are when faced with the bugs who get away…
you know – one of those “I just saw him, but I don’t know where he went” moments.
Guys – we want a man who will go on the hunt – for LOVE! I mean… er… for the bug. If you say, “well, I don’t see it now…” and sit down on the couch expecting my affection to resume at the same level where we left off… you are sadly mistaken.
See, the importance of my happiness to you is directly correlated to how long and how hard you’ll search to end the little devil’s life. Will you move a couch? Will you look under a bed? Will you lie in wait for the creature to think he’s bested you and leave his hiding place, only to suffer your wrath? Now THAT’s romance.
I could go on, but I think we get the idea.
There are a few things you have to experience with a significant other – to truly know whether it’s a good fit. Dance with ‘em, play Monopoly, have them meet your parents, and maybe most importantly …see if/how they’ll kill bugs for you.
Look…this life is hard. If I can find some small measure of solace in the strong arms of a bug killing man… is that too much to ask?
Kill bugs. Kill ‘em good. Clean ‘em up, and come back to claim your reward. Rrrrrr….
Let’s take a trip to the jerk store. Every town has at least one (Houston has 14)…and there you can find all manner of misogynists, scoundrels, miscreants and generically rude persons. They come in every size, color and breed. In the last month, I’ve had the distinct displeasure of dealing with 3 different brands – and I’m here to share my tale with you.
First…and back by popular demand…. (and also, because of a rogue text…) – Mr. McSmarmy!
For those of you just now joining our show…back in May of this year, I gave my number to a guy online who hit me up for what I can only assume was casual sex (he offered, never having met me, to bring a bottle of wine to my house at 11:30 at night on a Tuesday). When I refused, he said some pretty nasty things. All the details can be found here:
So… I MAY have accidentally sent a text that was intended for a friend, to this guy. And when I say “may,” I mean that, much to my own shock and dismay, I did, in fact, send it. They have the same first name, and I didn’t have either of their last names in my phone (not to fear, the situation has been remedied). But before I realized my mistake, McSmarmy was texting me – “who is this?” Still thinking it was my unsmarmy friend, I played along with what I thought was a string of joking texts. Argh…before long he was calling and I realized, to my horror, what I had done. I apologized profusely and got off the phone, but – as you may have guessed – it sparked an interest with him again and he began texting…. again.
The texting continued from there. I reminded him of how horrible he had been to me in our last round of texts, and he (much to my surprise) apologized, saying he had been in a terrible place then and wasn’t himself, and that he was truly sorry. He asked if he could make it up to me.
Now,… if I didn’t write a blog about these things, I would’ve kindly declined the offer, but… as you all know… I’m wont to bait these situations to see what will come of them. Additionally, he’s a chef at a new popular restaurant near me and I thought I might get a free meal for a girlfriend and myself out of it. So, I told him I might stop by that weekend and say hi. More texts followed where he tried to convince me to meet up with him for a drink, but I was busy with other things and couldn’t.
In LESS than two days, he was already SO frustrated with the fact that I hadn’t met up with him, that he wrote me the “dear John” text. Ha! What?? Two days? This guy is unbelievable.
I’d like to say that’s the last we’ll see of McSmarmy, but… I have a sneaking suspicion that he’ll make at least one more appearance…
One can only hope, right? 😉
The next flavor of jerkitude is the guy who wants to see ALL the goodies ahead of time before ever meeting a woman. It’s trés classy.
You’ll know you’ve found one of these gems when you start texting and he asks you for more photos. Now, if you only have one or two pictures on your profile, this is a perfectly fair request, but I have 15 photos up there – some close-up, some full-body shots, …so there should be no question of what I look like. So, it’s always a red flag to me when a guy asks for more. Still… not EVERY guy who presents a red flag is actually a dirtbag, so sometimes I’ll oblige.
I’d like to present to you exhibit A – a string of e-mails between me and one such particular jerk… just by way of example.
Here’s the backstory – we met online. He’s handsome, intelligent and funny. He’s an orthopedic surgeon in Houston’s med center and we share a lot of similar interests: guitar, wine, comedy, etc. So, you can see why I’d be so surprised to find he’s THIS shallow. Read on.
Before we begin – two caveats:
a. This is NC17 stuff, so if you’re reading this with younger audiences (not that I can picture a world in which a pre-teen would have ANY interest in my blog, but still…), you may want to censor first.
b. Yes – I baited this guy. I did it for you… you’re welcome.
First, let me give credit to my friend Tyler, who supplied me with the line of reasoning that if you’re looking for 100% outer beauty, you’re probably going to find just that…and only that. Good stuff.
But…yeah. And lest you think this is an anomalous situation, you’re sorely mistaken. This stuff happens all the time in the dating world. It’s a wonder any of the nice ones even make it to the point of falling in love, when we’ve had to wade through the waters of 100% loser to get there.
The final sort of sot we’ll study today – is the no-show. Yup – having a problem with commitment would be a monumental understatement with these guys. They’re the ones who talk a big game (“Oh my goodness, you’re adorable – I can’t WAIT to meet you!”) and then, when the time comes to put their bodies where their texts are… they’re MIA.
Yup – I’m referring to being stood up.
Left at the altar of first date blues…
Abandoned on the street corner of hope and disillusion…
(alright…enough of the sappy poetic restatements. Everyone knows what it means to be stood up.)
It happened to me for the first time a couple weeks ago. This guy initiated contact with me through an online site. We exchanged some e-mails and then went to texting. He was witty and sweet. He even canceled a meeting to be able to make it to the time/place we agreed on.
Then, I arrived… and he never showed. I texted once…didn’t hear back (until almost midnight that night…. our date was at 5:30).
Here’s what I don’t get. Why wouldn’t you just send a simple tiny text saying, “I’m not going to be able to make it after all.” Or even, “I’ve changed my mind. I don’t think we’d make a good match, so there’s no point in meeting.” What? Too harsh? Really? Worse than forcing me to take my fully-dolled-up self to a bar and sit there like an idiot searching all over for a guy who’s never coming? I realize I may be a bit too traditional, but when you say you’re going to meet someone, you’ve made a promise. You’ve obligated yourself, for better or for worse, to the intention of your words. So, to simply not show up is such a black mark on your character… it’s essentially telling the other person, “Not only can I not be relied on, but I don’t even care about people enough to respect their time and spare their feelings.”
I WILL say this, though. If you’re GOING to be stood up – the place to do it is the Tasting Room at CityCentre, Houston. Here’s how it went down:
My deliciously adorable bartender, Cody (who’s now practically my BFF…ok, he doesn’t know that, hey… … I’ll wear him down in time… but, I’m getting ahead of myself) – Cody chatted me up while I waited and talked about the unfortunate woes of online dating. He poured me some pity wine and then handed me over to the equally charming Angel (yes…that’s his name. No he’s not literally an angel. Though… he DID keep pouring me wine and calling me “Preciosa,” so… not really that far off I suppose) who took care of me for a while after that. Between these two graciously urbane (and did I mention handsome? and funny?) men tag-teaming, I had ample conversation partners – undoubtedly more interesting than my would-be date, and I made friends to keep! Also, because I followed my own rule about the date being ‘drinks only,’ I wasn’t forced to sit all alone at a table for 2 – I could perch myself at the bar with a lovely Chenin Blanc / Riesling blend and two of Houston’s sweetest guys keeping me company. Not a bad date after all.
When I finally did hear from McPromise-Breaker (hmmm…doesn’t flow like “McSmarmy”…I’ll work on it), he was apologetic, but not enough. I think the level of displayed remorse should be commensurate with the transgression and he seemed only mildly upset that he “wasn’t able to make it.” He said he “really did want to see me again,” and would I consider it? Once again, if I didn’t have hordes of followers around the world waiting with bated breath for every riveting post, I would have just said no. I’m not going to waste my time/anticipation/blind hope on someone who has proved unworthy of those things. But… for the sake of good literature (or… self-indulgent drivel… whichever you deem this), I said I would. Give him another chance, that is. He thanked me and said we’d talk about the details the next day.
This is like one of those questions on the SAT where you have to decipher the pattern and fill in the next number/shape/what-have-you. Can you figure out what happened next?
(in her best cheesy talk-show host voice) “That’s RIGHT! You’ve done it! You guessed correctly. She NEVER heard from him again. Step right this way to claim your fabulous prize!”
Yup. Nada. Nunca.
What GIVES? If he knew he wasn’t going to try to make it work that second time, why even bother contacting me at ALL about the first-date faux pas? Maybe this guy gets off knowing he builds up hope only to disappoint…? Is that a THING? I’ll need to check my DSM-IV to be sure…
In any event… you now have a sampling of Houston jerkocity.
Perhaps instead of continuing to hope that “the one” is still out there, I should just take up a life of daytime drinking, putting a seed of bitterness in my children and obscene reclusivity? I’ve got quite a collection of pajamas that need wearing and I’m WAY behind on my Sudoku puzzles. Does anyone know of a good deal on cats?
Alright… if you’re just now joining us, we’re returning once again to the real-life chronicles of Sarah’s dating life. In this episode of our “THAT Guy” series, we’re exploring the world of those men who feel the strong need to preach to you.
(Let the record show that I actually already have a lot of preachers in my life, thanks… my dad, both my bosses, and the pastor of my church – all excellent at their jobs).
But these are men who, without having even had ONE date or ONE meeting with me, take it upon themselves to wax eloquent about deep life issues and then take issue with me when I either
a. disagree, or
b. ask them to ease up off the heavy stuff
The first of these happened after we had texted a little bit here and there about likes/dislikes, music, etc. Then, we had a lovely phone conversation one night on my way home from a dinner.
The next morning, he texted: “So…are you dating a lot of guys right now?” And, since we hadn’t yet met and I wasn’t sure I wanted to tip my hand just yet (though, I wasn’t, in fact, dating ANYone), I texted back, “I don’t date and tell…” He freaked.
Next thing you know he was giving me an enormous diatribe (all via text) about how he’s a one-woman kind of guy and not interested at all in people who “play games” and that he didn’t want to talk any more with me since I was acting like an immature child. Me. I was the one being immature.
You know…it would be one thing if we had had a couple in-person interactions and I could size up whether I thought this was going somewhere… but… dude – we’d only texted and chatted! Did he want a friggin’ promise ring? Sheesh…
Next guy…oh – this gets rich. I’m gonna have to copy and paste some of this because otherwise you’d think I was making it up.
I met him on the eHarm. We exchanged those first few steps they walk you through – questions, etc. and then he sent an eHarmony eMail… and oh how he waxed… He went right into his views on the “end times.” (Always an excellent choice in making a woman swoon).
Ok – first of all – I’m assuming (hoping!) that my readers aren’t homogenous when it comes to matters of spirituality, and most certainly we hold differing ideas on the “end of the world” or what happens when you die. But…is that really what you jump into before you’ve even met someone?? He wasn’t just declaring himself to be a Christian. Oh no… he was goin’ all kinds of post-millenial rapture and tribulation-talk on me. (Let me just say that I don’t really feel like starting a discussion on all of these views/theologies…they concern me a LOT less than the way I live my life NOW).
But the thing is, this “discussion” was entirely unbidden. It just appeared in my inbox one morning. Here’s a snippet (and believe me when I say this is a TINY portion of the whole thing…it was, apparentley, his magnum opus on all things eschatalogical):
“Clearly you can talk to any preacher today and realize we are living in the end times… In my honest opinion we are merely waiting for the revealing of the anti-christ. I don’t believe in the rapture plainly for the reason that it is typically not God’s signature to “rescue” you but to bring you thru the trials and tribulations. …
In addition to that the supposed Rapture is in direct competition with the Tribulation Saints in Revelation. The Tribulation Saints take part in the first Resurrection. There is no way a rapture can take place because of this. The Rapture is built on the notion that they (the church) skip the tribulation all together.”
On and on it went. My eyes got wider and wider. Here is how I responded:
Wow…do you send this level of eschatalogical
pontification to all the girls who pique your
interest? I gotta say, while it sparks a desire for
conversation, it’s also a little heavy and …well….
dogmatically off-putting… I’m just being honest over
He wasn’t pleased. He came back with:
“It does a good job of weeding out the herd.
Because if you can’t handle this aspect of my character, you can’t handle me.
I’m ok with that. Go big or go home is what I always say”
Fair enough. I mean…if he needs someone who’s going to stroke his theologically eager ego, I’m not that girl. I dig that he’s thought it through…I like a thinker. But, baby steps, rapture-man!
Wow…this blog post is getting long…I’ve apparently run into a lot of these guys. Am I alone? Am I a magnet for dogma bullies?
The next guy wanted to talk about my philosophies on disciplining my children and…how I would feel about him disciplining my children. Yup. You read that correctly. A man I hadn’t yet met – wanting to talk about my children and how he would or wouldn’t be allowed to “correct” them. Yikes. If you ever want a sure-fire way to turn-OFF this single mama… talk in a creepy way that makes me think you can’t wait to get your closed-minded hands on my children. You think I’m exaggerating? Nay. Read on:
• What are your views about punishing a child for misbehaving? How do you enforce rules and boundaries? What would you allow a significant other to do to enforce these boundaries?
Spare the rod spoil the child. [Oh goodness… never a good way to BEGIN this discussion…]
A child should be disciplined so they learn and understand right from wrong. However, there are many ways to accomplish this and not just spanking. Spanking is a tool just like anything else.
Timeout only policy will not accomplish much when the child gets older. The man is the head of the household. [Hi, non sequitor… how are you today?]
Psychology: Use timeouts more effectively. The punishment must fit the crime. [“Psychology,” huh? Did he read that I actually have a Master’s Degree in this? Not that it takes “psychology” to know this one. Every parent worth his/her salt knows you fit the punishment to the crime. C’mon, dude…parenting 101.]
Put child in timeout to make them think and you regain a level head. The threat of an additional punishment more than the timeout can really put a cap on bad behavior. If a spanking is the most logical form of action then you have to follow thru with it. A threat with no follow thru and the child will learn what buttons to push and you will lose the authority you have.
Getting them to think about the wrong they did… a younger child could be punished by making them write by hand what they did wrong and they won’t do it any more 500 times or whatever.
[Or whatever? A small child can hardly write her name, let alone transcribe the transgression 500 times. 500?!? Is this guy for real?? ]
Obviously this would have a less effect on an older child. Repetition can be a good teacher for the behavior you want. It can also help with penmanship, punctuation etc.
Mix it up. The psychology to punishment is the dread of what you’re going to have to do to get out of it. The waiting for the actual punishment can be the actual punishment itself, but you never let on to this up front.
In our latter years many of these things will become points of jokes and laughter. Kids never forget these things even though you might.
A. I don’t think you and I will ‘laugh’ about any of this…not only is it not particularly funny, but there won’t BE an “our.”
B. I know this will come as a shock to many of you, but… this guy doesn’t even HAVE children!! (Insert discouraged sigh…)
When I responded to him:
this is way TOO MUCH.
I mean…dude – we haven’t even met for a drink
and some light laughter yet!? Technically speaking,
I agree with you on probably 85% of what you’re saying,
but something about having you wax knowledgeable about
child-rearing, presents a red-flag to me about you.
I enjoyed your profile, but… this isn’t the way I want to get
to know someone…over talk of childrens’ punishments?
He wrote back:
First off, a relationship starting out with kids involved is a red flag to me. I mean what’s fair is fair right?
Clearly if this is too much, you’re not serious about it and that’s ok for you, but not for me ok? I didn’t come here to meet someone for a drink. If I wanted to bar hop I could do that on my own, I don’t need a service for that.
So, that brings me to the last and final (for now) gem in this category. The guy who “broke up” with me by text …even though we’d never met.
He got us spinning our wheels talking about church (what’s wrong with it, what’s great about it, etc.), and at one point, he actually texted: “Are you saying I let the devil tell me how to live my life?” Um…. como? I didn’t even know what he meant!! I’ll spare you the explanations of who believed what (though, the quick gist of my stance is this: the church is majorly flawed and full of hypocrites, but nevertheless, God loves it…just the same way he loves us in our messy-ness).
I tried to backpedal and assure him that I hadn’t been talking about the devil at ALL! But, he was done – angry that I didn’t agree with him and then texted a whole break-up paragraph! For rizzle, y’all. All about how we had a good run, but that he couldn’t “deal” with me anymore and…”best of luck.”
Ha! What?? I texted back, “Fine… I want my stuff.” He didn’t get it.
Of course he didn’t. They never do!
All the energy that could be spent on a decent sense of humor was being allocated to his self-righteousness.
SO… interspersed throughout my broadly judgmental musings on dating, I thought I’d include some personal accounts of particular men (names will be changed…. obvi) or archetypes of men. I’ve asked some friends to help contribute to this sub-series, so we should get quite the smattering of dates gone wrong, awkward text strings and uncomfortable online connections.
In that vein, welcome to the “THAT Guy” collection – take one. I thought I’d start us off with one that I’ve encountered several times. Yes – several. Sigh…
Let me set the scene first by saying that I’ve learned the guys you meet online don’t like to write back and forth using the dating site’s cheesy e-mail system for long – they’d prefer to talk or text. And you know what? I’m cool with that! So, I’ll give my number out pretty liberally… I mean…what’s the harm in that?
So usually it’ll start off with him shooting me an innocuous text to put himself on my radar (and my phone). We’ll text some easy-going stuff back and forth for a couple of minutes – you know: what part of town do you live in; where do you like to eat; etc. I use this opportunity to display my sparkling literary wit.
And after some flirty & introductory text banter, I’d expect that what SHOULD come next, is either a phone call where we can get to know each other a little better, or a simple invitation to hang out sometime in the near future. This doesn’t need to be a full-on DATE – just a chance to see each other and continue the process of exploration.
But, oh… no…. it’s SO not that simple. Here’s what’s happened to me multiple times – [enter McSmarmy, stage left].
We text for a few minutes, then there’s a break and I don’t hear from him for a few hours.
Cut to 11:30 that night. A text comes in from McSmarmy….
wait….. you know what? Why don’t I just type out the ACTUAL text string for you so you can draw your own conclusions. And yes – this REALLY happened. I’ve only removed expletives. And, (naturally), added in my own personal running commentary in italics. (I mean… c’mon…. did you expect anything less?)
Scene: It’s 11:30 at night on a Tuesday – I’m in my owl pajamas and fuzzy socks, in bed playing Words-With-Friends while my two sweet children are fast asleep in the room right next to mine.
McSmarmy: Hey cutie. Whatcha doin? “Cutie?” We’ve never met… how does he know I’m cute? I mean… I am… I’m adorable. But still…. it’s presumptuous and annoying…
Me: Hey there. Just headin’ off to bed.
McS: Cool. So, what part of town do you live in?
Me: I’m in the Heights. You?
McS: I’m in Montrose…we’re close. We should meet up and hang out soon
Me: That sounds great!
McS: How about now?
Me: You’re joking, right?
McS: No! Where do you live?
Me: …..um…… Dude, I haven’t even MET you yet…?
McS: That’s why I want to come over silly! I’ll bring a bottle of wine and we’ll hang out. Apparently “hang out” now means “late night booty call.” Keep it classy, Houston…
Me: Wine? Man, …I’m in BED! It’s a “school night,” my children are asleep in the room next to me, and…. did I mention I’ve never met you?
McS: C’mon. You’ll have fun. I promise. To continue with the code language, ‘fun’ must now mean ‘have an orgasm.’ Which…even if I WAS interested (which I wasn’t)…. let’s be honest – the kind of guy who’s barking up THIS tree at this time… isn’t exactly instilling confidence in me that he’s a generous lover… I’m just sayin’….
Me: in an attempt to diffuse this awkward situation with humor AND to let him know that the problem here (aside from the inconvenience) is me being protective and smart and not wanting to put myself in a potentially dangerous situation… Great. Will you be bringing your OWN set of torture devices or are you just planning on being extemporaneous with whatever you find here?
McS: Oh, are you going all prude on me?
Me: If “prude” means smart…then… I guess so!
McS: And you wonder why you’re single. audible gasp on my end. This is my life now…
Me: Wow…. Well, Judgy McJudgerson… I guess if wanting a guy to buy me a glass of wine in public first is old-fashioned, then… call me Single Mama on the Prairie.
McS: I know exactly who you are. You’re that princess-y girl who wants every guy to kiss your [butt]. I’m not that guy.
Me: nothing. I didn’t text back. I was done.
McS: I mean, I’m offering you a good time, not proposing marriage. And I’m not a dangerous creeper (really? REALLY?)
McS: This is the problem with women like you – you’re all “I want to find a man,” and then when one comes along, (so…he classifies himself as a MAN….interesting), you act all bi***y and [I can’t type out the rest of what he said…there aren’t enough symbols on my keyboard to cover all the colorful language…but you get the point.)
So – yeah. And, lest you think I was done with that guy… he texted me the next morning: “Morning, meanie.”
Yup. Yeah. Uh huh.
And, sadly, this isn’t the only time this has happened! At least 3 other guys have asked to come over or for me to come to their place, sight unseen. Is this what dating has come to? I don’t even get to be wined and dined a TEENSY bit? Are all the singles in their 30’s that are left out there, only looking for non-committal sex? And I could write a whole other post (perhaps I shall!) on guys who take you out ONCE, but because you don’t put-out on that first date (which I NEVER will), won’t ask you out again. Crazy.
So – I wait. And hope…. that there are still a few good ones left… heck, I only need one. JUuuuuust one (insert Anjelah Johnson’s voice from her bit on nail salons here). Is that too much to ask?