An airplane flight contains within it all the worst parts of dating/relationships without ANY of the perks.
In the last couple of days, I’ve been in the following situations – and no, these weren’t dates. With the luck I’ve been having lately, I can see how they’d sound awfully similar, but…no. Had they been, at the very least I could’ve escaped with my Early Dismissal Program. But as it was, I was stuck – enduring all the most disadvantageous pieces of monogamy with none of the sweet reward.
I sat next to one gentleman who apparently didn’t “believe” in deodorant and kept insisting on reaching up and over me to adjust his air vent. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, his breath smelled like a series of dry heaves, viciously invading my olfactory space. Yummy.
Then, there was the guy who “needed something from his pocket,” and as he fished around in a pair of pants inexplicably squeezed onto his portly shape, his fingers uncomfortably caressed and harassed my hip and thigh. Nice.
On the next flight was a girl who played her music annoyingly loudly, but her angry facial expressions, front neck tattoo and multiple facial piercings made me nervous to confront her about it. And I ended my aviation adventure with the man next to me snoring in my ear. Now, I’m not up on the etiquette in this situation, but if we were in a relationship, you can bet your sweet bippy I’d be (lovingly, of course) elbowing him in the ribs to roll over and hush.
When you fly, you’re forced into close quarters with all kinds of miserable humanity, and without so much as a possibility of a snuggle or a kiss. I’ve sat closer, smelled more Axe cologne and Walgreens hair gel, felt more skin-to-skin contact and heard more heavy breathing in my latest flying mates than I have in all of my most recent dates. So…why not parlay this inevitably awkward situation into an opportunity? Here’s what I’d like to see happen:
Speed Dating flights.
Yup. If I have to suffer the travails of proximity to these lower life forms, then I say we turn it on its head and make it work FOR me. And other singles. But, mostly me.
It’s a perfect set-up. You already have the environment to cultivate relationship building and getting to know each other. All that would need to happen is someone to come in and organize the existing chaos. I’m happy to be that girl. So, be sure your seat backs are in their upright position and any pessimism is stowed away… Here’s how it’ll work:
You’d pay a small extra fee to be put on a Speed Dating Flight. Of course, flights would be segregated by ages – 20-somethings, 30-somethings and so on. We’ll use planes with the two seats on either side of the aisle layout and put the women in the window seats. Men will sit on the aisle and every 5 minutes, your friendly airline host will come over the loud speaker and instruct the men to move. Every man will move back ONE row and sit in the seat behind where he just was. And the two guys in the back will come to the front row.
This is everything you want in speed dating AND air travel. Think about it:
- No crying babies or annoying preteens.
- No having to guess if that cute guy you’ve been tracking stalking ’noticing’ since gate E5 is, in fact, on the market or not. So WHAT if he got a whole wheat bagel and a yogurt/fruit parfait at “Taste of Atlanta,” he’s sporting a dreamy MacPro in a weathered leather satchel, and you definitely heard hand-washing after he used the restroom…he COULD still be taken.
- There’s already a bartender/server coming around bringing you drinks and snacks. It may not be wine flights from Crü, but a CranApple/Diet Sprite combo, served in a tiny cup filled mostly with ice, can really help take the edge off.
- You get to devote time to dating that doesn’t take away from your life. You’re multi-tasking with a necessary domestic trip, so you have nothing to lose. If none of the guys work out, you’ve at least passed the time in an entertaining way, en route to PowerPoint presentations and stale Chai lattes.
- You already have a seat-back tray table to use for jotting down notes.
- You have built in conversational material as you ask each other about where you’re flying and why. If that runs stale in the first minute, you’ve got in-flight Sudoku puzzles and SkyMall to peruse together. You can even feel free to use the Crossword at the back of the airline magazine to determine his intelligence level. “No, I’m sorry ‘Tate,’ but 3-down’s four-letter “therefore” is not “Eggo.” Thanks for stopping by.
- If you ARE seated next to a loser, don’t despair! He’s moving in less than 5 minutes!
Ultimately, we’re just killing two birds with one mechanical bird. You’ve got to fly to Newark for business ANYWAY… so why not rack up a few dates and digits as you soar to your destination?
And you know the airlines would have a heyday with this idea. Maybe they’ll even offer incentive programs where, for every name/number you request, you earn valuable frequent flyer reward points! I’m just spitballing here, but this idea has got some teeth. I can hear the flight attendants now…(and please – for the love of all that is literarily snarky – please read the following in a subtle, yet noticeably nasal and personally detached internal voice):
“Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome aboard flight 5683, with service to engaging banter, and continued service to true love. Be certain you have stowed all sensitive topics under the seat in front of you. Heavier conversations about exes and lists of dealbreakers should be placed in the overhead bin, and please do not delve into them as emotions may shift in flight. All narcissistic, self-absorbed discussion should now be turned off as it may interfere with your partner’s internal relational navigation systems.
If you are seated in a speed-dating seat, you must be able to demonstrate a modicum of cleverness and charm, without causing harm to yourself or others. Men acting like teenage boys may not sit in a dating seat. If you are seated in a dating seat and do not meet these requirements, please notify a flight attendant at this time.
Cellular phones and other approved electronic devices may only be used to settle playful bets or show photos of your adorable dog/cat/child/ferret/prize-winning okra. Smoking is not allowed on any flight or in any situation where you think you MAY give/receive a smooch.
To fasten your image in your current partner’s mind, place the most witty banter firmly into her memory, using interesting stories and clever jokes/entendres. To release, simply use crude boy humor. For your safety, we require that you not use words like “booyah” or “boobies.” Federal regulations require you to never discuss body part sizes or try out cheesy come-on lines.
We appreciate your business. We know you have options for your airline dating needs, so we thank you for choosing Affection Airlines.”
Since so many of you have asked my advice on how to make your profiles REALLY ‘pop,’ I thought I’d dispense some more of my color commentary on all things profiles, including a continued look at what’s hot right now, so you can stay on trend. Here’s what’s new and in vogue.
1. Headless shots. You REALLY don’t want to give the whole cow away right from the get-go, you feel me? So – keep the intrigue alive by eradicating any hope a viewer has of seeing what you truly look like. After all, beauty is within, right?
If you can’t eliminate the head altogether, at the VERY least, tuck your chin, stand far back from the mirror
or hide in the shadows – very Phantom of the Opera-esque.
2. Glamour, glamour, glamour. Set yourself apart by taking it old-school glamour shot.
Don’t be afraid to go full-tilt here and sport a fauxhawk, a mullet or some zipper earrings.
If you get in a pinch – maybe your local mall doesn’t HAVE a glamour shot studio anymore (as if…) – one fallback idea is to post your prom photo. Don’t worry at ALL that it’s extraordinarily outdated. That only adds to the excitement.
And, no QUESTION he gets extra points for matching the vest, tie, boutonniere, her dress and corsage. Whew! LOOOtta pink.
3. Be purposely enigmatic in your writing style. Now, there is a fine line between coming across as stupid or uneducated and simply mysterious and cryptic. I think these examples will really shine a light on that perfect balance:
You’ll note this guy’s poetic artistry and use of expressive phrasing like, “after you know what it was he a man,”
and “help create the bomb I need to play on people’s spirits.”
This guy – THIS GUY gets it.
He knows just how to craft his philosophical musings in such a way as to make women scratch their heads in that “I’m SO intrigued!” sort of way. Niiiice…
Here’s another in this vein:
He thinks women ‘or’ the best thing God ‘every’ made. See what he did there? Do you see the genius? He could have gone so many other orthodox (read: boring) routes. He COULD have just actually written about himself in the section designated for talking about yourself. He COULD have simply used traditional words like “are” and “ever,” but he really mixed it up by going “or” and “every.” He COULD have, under “Perfect Match,” said “someone who can give as much love as I give,” but no – he chose to go with the artsy “igove.” Brilliant.
4. Mug shots. Mug shots are ALL the rage this season. If you have an actual mug shot from a recent booking, that’s best, but if not, feel free to improvise and create the illusion of one. Posing with an angry face in front of fence posts or any corrugated backdrop/structure can drive home the criminal-chic look.
5. Show the ladies what you USED to look like in your glory days – you know, the 70’s – when you were peaking. Including photos from 40 years ago will not only show how much you’ve aged and wrinkled up (and who doesn’t love that), but it demonstrates a range of “looks.” These are two photos from the same profile, to make my point:
6. Get artsy. Photos of you in everyday life are so passe. Play with new and exciting backgrounds and effects.
You can also use photoshop or other manipulative software to superimpose your photo into optimal shots like this one:
7. Opt for zero punctuation. It’s just getting in the way of the art of your written word. Punctuation is so yesterday.
8. Change the perspective. Think outside the box here – why choose a regular right-side-up shot, when you can take it to the side? This forces the viewer to have to bend her neck uncomfortably to the side, giving her a horrible strained muscle, putting her RIGHT where you want her – at your mercy to step in like a sideways knight in shining armor and rub the crick out. Well-played, sideways man. Well-played.
9. Show the ladies what you’re capable of “bagging.” This works especially well if you’re old and leathery. Photos of you with a sexy 20-something model by your side really send a positive message about who you are and what you want. If you are lucky enough to get a shot in a parking lot with an 8-wheeler unloading its wares, …double score.
10. Use photos of random objects or scenes that have nothing to do with you or your lifestyle.
This is not my caption. This is how it was listed on this guy’s profile.
I guess it’s not every day that you see a parrot (macaw? I never know…) perched on a handicapped parking sign, so, I mean – this guy really had no choice BUT to post this. It was just the right thing to do.
Once again – not making this stuff up – this guy really did have this as one of his profile photos. But you know WHAT? That’s great. It let’s me know a few things: a. he has a foot fetish. Fair enough. b. He spells ‘probably’ the alternative way – such an independent thinker. THIS is the kind of innovation you need to make your profile stand out.
11. One last trick that should bring the women running…
Superimposing interesting text over your photos. Check it:
He’s got the front, folks. And now everyone knows it. VERY classy move.
He’s started the conversation FOR you! This guy is a real go-getter. Admirable.
Well – these aren’t ALL the tricks at your disposal, but it’s certainly enough to get you started on the right track.
Trust me – go fishing with these lures, and you’ll be reeling in the women in NO time. Would I lie?
I love the way the men on dating sites so easily list their ‘demands.’ And, as you may have suspected, when I say “love,” I mean that I find it insanely annoying…
It’s one thing to list the things you enjoy…in hopes that the girl you find may like some of them. It’s even ok to list a few deal-breakers. I mean, heck…we all have ‘em. But why do men expect that the girl they want to find, is going to love all the things they do? I mean… I don’t expect to find a guy that wants to Zumba with me, and then sip veggie smoothies from Jamba Juice whilst watching Gossip Girl, and then hunker down in bed playing Words-With-Friends. (But, …to be clear…if I FOUND that guy… and he was straight….I’d lock that junk DOWN).
Women don’t do this. We definitely have our expectations of the kind of person we want… but our “list of demands” has to do more with character and relational style than hobbies or interests. I, for one, am not holding my breath that I’m going to find a guy who wants to go shopping at Sephora with me – spritz all the new scents, try the latest lipgloss colors, and search for the perfect blush brush. That’s what I have my best friend for. And there are certainly activities that I love, and would love to find a guy who wanted to enjoy them with me, but……I don’t make them dealbreakers. I would love to find a guy who will throw me around the dance floor… but this isn’t a condition of dating or loving someone! And I’ve come to terms with the fact that – that may be something I just do with girlfriends – and I’m ok with that!
Not the men I’ve run across on the online scene…
I’m considering just starting my profile with this disclaimer…I really think it’ll bring the men running:
“I don’t like camping, sports, hunting, video games or dogs. I have zero problem with my significant other liking/doing/having these things – and I may even join in from time to time if he is gracious about it. But, don’t make it a condition of dating me… cause you’ll be missing out. 😉
I really think that starting out on such a positive note will be well-received. After all, all the men say they want an honest woman, right?
Here are some of the annoying or even tacky expectations I’ve run across:
1. “I love to camp, and my girl needs to love it to.” (aside: if there are quotes, then, yes, I’m literally quoting a profile. But then, I would’ve used the correct “too,” so maybe you already knew that) – a lot of women like being with a man who loves to camp, but we don’t particularly enjoy sleeping on the ground and having to hike to use the potty…
I would bet that, of all the girls who actually DO enjoy camping, if you were to take cute boys out of the mix, 90% of them would be out.
I like Jim Gaffigan’s take on camping –
And it’s not that I’m a total princess. I mean – I sweat! Hello, I Zumba, I go out salsa dancing and 2-stepping. I can get dirty… I’ll dig in the sand, or wade through seaweedy water at the beach with my kiddos. But when it comes to sleeping – I want my bed. And my climate control. And my flushable, clean, doesn’t-smell-like-toxic-waste toilet that’s a mere 8 steps away… is that so wrong? (OK, …in all fairness… I suppose I AM a princess…. moving on…)
2. Sports lovers who want their potential partner to love them as much as they do.
Men – these girls are out there. There are 4 of ‘em.
Otherwise, we’re at varying degrees on the continuum from
“enjoy sports from time to time but don’t want to have to suffer through daily games during any given season”
“endure it only because we love you.”
For my part… I’m on the “endure” end… so that alone apparently makes me an ill-fitting candidate for a lot of men…
I also don’t want to watch ESPN as they talk ABOUT the game we just watched (read: that I was already forced to endure…). You know how LONG these things are to begin with? In the time it takes something-something-team to play all the innings, quarters or what-have-you, I could’ve had a massage, facial, man-pedi, had lunch with a friend, done my taxes and brewed my own beer.
Now – I WILL gladly snuggle up with someone as he watches the game – but don’t expect me to participate in any fashion. I’m not gonna scream at that ‘awesome play!’ or jump up and down yelling at the TV, “C’mon, ref! Are you blind??” And if you turn to me and say, “Oh my GOSH, did you SEE that?” I’ll want so badly to know what you’re talking about because I care about you, but the truth is, I was probably staring off into the space just to the left of the TV contemplating what shoes would go with those new earrings I just found at the cutest little shop…. The best scenario you can hope for would be me sitting next to you, on my laptop with the earbuds in, plowing through a season of Drop Dead Diva or something equally ‘other’ from sports. Can we make that work? I propose that we can.
– “Must love dogs. Non-negotiable.” (Again…direct quote)
You know how many men have something akin to this phrase in their profile? Do I get to say the same thing about my animal of choice? “Chinchilla lovers only. I’m very firm on this.”
I mean… it’s not like just because I’m not a dog person, I’m gonna slowly poison theirs.
Well…I mean… not unless it’s a yapper.
Or a licker.
Or smells gross.
Or jumps up and puts holes in my clothes….
Ok, now that I think about it…. It would be SO simple to just leave the back door open… No, no… that would be wrong.
Oh, settle… I’m joking. I am neutral on dogs. I don’t love them. I don’t hate them. My ex had a sweet (wild, but sweet) dog who was kind enough to keep my feet warm in the winter when I’d be watching movies in his let’s-make-the-inside-feel-as-cold-as-the-outside-winter-air house. I even fed his dog for him from time to time (okay, I think it was twice), or let him out, or went on walks with him (again…this was just to be with the cute boy, but still…that counts, …right?). I guess I just don’t want to be in charge of a dog. If I can be part of the guy’s life and co-exist with the animals…isn’t that enough? Do I HAVE to be friends with them? Doesn’t seem fair to make this a condition for love.
3. Gym Rats who expect their partner to work out as much as they do. I LOVE working out, but I don’t want to feel like the affections of a man are resting on how many times I made it to the gym in a given week. Also – I do not want to do P90X or Crossfit…for whatever that’s worth. Every time I hear a guy proselytize about those, I feel like I’m getting the Amway or Pampered Chef speech. “I’d love to tell you about some exciting opportunities in the fitness world!” Oy…
Side note on this one… There are a large number of men who specify that they want a woman who is skinny or fit…and go to great lengths to make it clear that they aren’t interested in imperfect bodies. You know…if that’s what you want… fine! But, saying it makes you sound douchey and shallow. All you have to do is look at the pictures and you’ll know if she’s a match for you. That’s why we HAVE profile pictures! So you can choose to communicate with the people YOU find attractive!
I actually read one profile where the guy wrote, “Looks are really important to me. If you even think you might be overweight, you probably are …so don’t contact me.” Keep it classy, Match.com…
Another guy made plans with me. Full-on plans – with times, location, and everything. We were flirting/texting back and forth for a while the day of our planned meeting, and then he texted,
“Are you fit?”
This guy had already presumably seen my photos on my profile and I have several H2T pics on there (head to toe – full length) – specifically so that these guys can see what they’d be getting into – no false advertising here. I’ve come to terms with my situation. I’ve had two kids, I love food… I’m a curvy woman. But I also work out hard several times a week, and go dancing. I’m in pretty good shape…under these curves… So – how was I supposed to answer this? The very fact that he texted it was discouraging – because it was information…
information about his priorities (or the fact that he’d just skimmed my profile and not even looked at the photos?).
I texted back, “Well, I’ve had two kiddos, but I also workout 3-4 times a week, so I’m in decent shape. Here’s a photo from a week ago” and I attached a very recent picture of me.
He texted back something along the lines of that being acceptable…blah blah… the end gist of it is this:
…he never showed.
Yup. A real gentleman.
(And then guys are genuinely surprised when women are self-conscious about our looks/shapes….)
I haven’t even covered hunting or video-games….but for the sake of your time – I’ll save those for another juncture.
If you’re looking for a partner who loves to camp, hunt, do P90X with you every day, loves sports and who will take care of your dogs…you’re barking up the wrong tree. (see what I did there?) In fact, you may just want to date your best guy friend…in which case, we have a whole other sorta roadblock on our hands…ahem…
But, if you’re looking for someone who has an equal number of interests of her own that she won’t require you to adopt, but is fun, smart and sassy…. I think I know of JUST the girl.