Two Average American Singles Walk Into a Bar

I was going to post about something else today, but my brother’s girlfriend encouraged me to tell this story instead. I will post all of my best 80s rock band puns another time (just kidding…kind of).

The story is as such: I have a male friend who is having a hard time meeting a nice lady. He has tried nearly every online dating site, but has had no luck. He was ranting about this one day as we were walking back from the gym, so I started to suggest other places he could go to meet people. He’s a stand-up, so I said why not try an improv class? He said it’s too expensive. Okay, well, he likes to work out, how about the gym? He said girls don’t want to be hit on at the gym.

Which, of course, prompted me to say, “Where do you think girls want to get hit on?”

His response? “I don’t know…a bar?”

Dear men everywhere, if you ever find yourself with the ingenious idea that girls want to be hit on in bars, I would like for you to reach up and shatter that epiphanic light bulb before it gets too bright.

For many reasons, a bar might perhaps be the single worst place to try and meet anyone…because at an improv class, they’d just be having fun and would probably feel very open and full of good energy. At the gym, they might be on an endorphin high or flattered that someone took notice of their sweaty self. Women are not going into those places thinking, “Man, I really hope no one hits on me today.”

In fact, the only place they might walk into while thinking such a thought is a bar.

Whenever I go to a bar, it’s because I want to have some fun over a few drinks with friends and eat greasy food. Some people go to bars because they are looking for a one-night stand. If you don’t plan to go beyond the physical, it’s not necessarily a bad option. But a bar is not a place for meaningful connections to happen.

Here’s why:

  • The Setting—poor lighting and loud music. Combine that with the booze and you can think you went home with an author named Todd and then be woken up by the police in an apartment that isn’t his because it turns out he’s a robber named Tom. How do you know if you want to make it to a second date if you can’t even really see them or ask them how they feel about fish tacos? Fish taco feelings are easily the most imperative make-it-or-break-it topic when scouting suitors. You can find absolutely no common ground in a bar other than that you and your friends have nowhere else to go on a Saturday and you both kind of like beer.
  • Our Guards Are Up—If women go into the bar with the attitude that all of these douchebags are going to try to get them into bed, they are going to walk around with eagle eyes and iron shields. To the point where a guy could innocently bump into a girl and she’ll say, “Sorry, no. I’m just here with my friends.” One time, I went to a gay night at a bar with my friends and I ordered a glass of wine. A guy who was sitting near me asked what kind of wine I was drinking, and I automatically said, “Sorry, I have a boyfriend.” Then his boyfriend came up behind him and kissed him on the head and both just looked at me and laughed awkwardly. Even though I knew the entire time that, in all likelihood, he was just a friendly, gay man making conversation, I had to instinctually dagger him with a response. It’s The Bar Effect (trademark coming soon).
  • Alcohol—Some may argue that alcohol makes them feel more confident. That’s great for you. Alcohol does not have this effect on me. Sure, it makes me a little louder, a little more talkative, puts a little boogie in me, but alcohol does not do anything to improve my self-consciousness. Alcohol keeps me at my normal level of self-consciousness but makes me less able to filter it. And alcohol also makes that little voice in the back of your head that says, “Oh, yeah, do that. That will be soooooo funny,” a lot more prominent. So I do the thing and then everyone looks at me and says, “That was weird. Why did you do that?” And I very honestly reply, “I thought it would be funnyyyyyyyy,” but I’ve forgotten how to form consonants. And they go, “What?!” And then I start smelling my hair.

To all of you who think alcohol makes a good ice breaker, sit down and have a good, long think about how many people you’ve met who are more attractive when they’re drunk. Also, think about your desire to have your life-mate’s first impression of you be drunk you. I know that thought terrifies me. But I’m also sloppy and don’t get hit on much anywhere because I have mastered a facial expression combination between frightened and dismissive. Perhaps everything I’ve said so far should be disregarded.

Anyhow, for all of you looking for a mate out there, find someone who treats you like a Queen and will KISS you and bring you Guns ‘N Roses and let you call him Loverboy. And when he says, “I love you,” you can say, “U2.” (Well, there goes next week’s post.) Maybe you will find him in a bar, but remember that may muddle the advantage of common ground you can find elsewhere.

Also, I have this friend…

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If People Told the Truth on OKCupid

We see the plot line in nearly every TV show or Rom Com that mentions online dating: the main character or the person they’ve been paired with has either playfully or blatantly lied on their profile. Comedy ensues.

I’ve never really tried online dating (I can’t really see it working out well for me), so I can’t speak from experience, but I do know that something joked about this much must be grounded in some sort of reality. Ergo, I decided to look into the standard OKCupid profile and analyze what I would actually say vs. the cold, hard truth.

Whilst none of what I would say would be an outright, tawdry, deplorable lie, I can say that the truth would be…decorated, to say the least.

What I Probably Would Say

My Self-Summary

A little bit wordy and a little bit nerdy, I’m a low maintenance girl who likes to spend the night in ;).

What I’m Doing with My Life

I’m a publishing professional in NYC who spends her days finding innovative ways to introduce great literature to the public. On the side, I’m an aspiring novelist and humor writer.

I’m Really Good At

Zumba, mixology, trivia, and baking.

The First Things People Usually Notice About Me

My quick wit!

Favorite Books, Movies, Shows, Music, and Food

Books: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Huck Finn, Shakespeare. I could go on and on!

Movies: Things by Judd Apatow or things with a lot of explosions

Shows: Arrested Development, Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, Veronica Mars, Gilmore Girls

Music: I’m a rock ‘n roll gal. I love the Beatles, the Who, the White Stripes, and Matt Nathanson (I know, I know. One of these things is not like the others!).

Food: I’m not picky.

The Six Things I Could Never Do Without

  1. Books
  2. Laughter
  3. TV
  4. Music
  5. Running
  6. Friends and family

I Spend a Lot of Time Thinking About

Why people do the things they do and behave the way they behave, the future, complex philosophical questions such as why did the Sour Patch parents abandon their children, and prior to such a scarring incident, were they just sweet?

On a Typical Friday Night, I am

Kicking back with a pizza, a movie, and a glass of wine.

The Most Private Thing I’m Willing to Admit

I can’t really think of anything. I’m an open book!

I’m Looking For

Someone who will laugh through life with me.

You Should Message Me If

You want to. We’ll go from there.

Last Online: Online Now

Ethnicity: White

Height: 5’6”

Body Type: Fit

Diet: Eclectic

Smokes: No

Drinks: I enjoy a cocktail 😉

Drugs: Nah

Religion: Open to the Idea

Sign: Virgo

Education: Bachelors in Theatre

Job: Operations Management

Income: I live okay.

Children: None

Pets: None, but I love animals.

Speaks: English, French, Pig Latin

 The Truth

 My Self-Summary

I use words like “ergo.” And I don’t really like answering questions about myself.

What I’m Doing With My Life

Thinking about all of the things I’m not doing with my life.

I’m Really Good At

Puns, overthinking, sitting for long periods of time, Googling my problems.

The First Things People Usually Notice About Me

My resting bitch face.

Favorite Books, Movies, Shows, Music, and Food

Books: Things written for 15-year-olds.

Movies: When Harry Met Sally, Dirty Dancing, Grease 2, and other things overlooked by the Academy.

Shows: Things your parents watched.

Music: I know some songs by the Beatles, the Who, and the White Stripes.

Food: I eat anything but will still spend 15 minutes deliberating on what I should eat.

The Six Things I Couldn’t Live Without

  1. Food
  2. Water
  3. Shelter
  4. Clothing
  5. A brain
  6. Indoor plumbing is nice

I Spend a Lot of Time Thinking About

The histories of certain words and various punctuation marks, if I am truly as awkward as I feel, if it’s all gonna be okay.

On a Typical Friday Night, I Am

Avoiding life.

The Most Private Thing I’m Willing to Admit

 I have trust issues.

I’m Looking For

I don’t know, but I’m not entirely confident I’ll find it here.

You Should Message Me If

You also never know the right thing to say and make jokes at inopportune times. Then this just might work!

Last Online: Always

Ethnicity: The Whitest

Height: 5’5 and ½”

Body Type: Fit…ish

Diet: Never

Smokes: Asthma

Drinks: Alone

Drugs: Bad

Religion: Don’t be a dick to anyone

Sign: Virgo…and everything you’ve ever heard about Virgos applies.

Education: I have a lot of monologues memorized!

Job: I’m honestly not really sure what I do.

Income: Low

Children: None that I know of.

Pets: I can’t have a dog because I’d never be able to leave it.

Speaks: English, French, Quenyan Elvish

So I suppose this is one of those cases where a little embellishment never hurt. I, for one, am a big fan of theatrics, and see no problem with your profile being the program to your one-person show.

Any readers out there on OKCupid or other dating sites? Willing to share any entertaining stories about a less-than-truthful profile? Leave a comment!

My Brief, Yet Tumultuous Waltz with Tinder

I recently went through a bad break-up, and the few months leading up to it were so emotionally trying, that once it finally happened, I began to make weird, rash decisions. I cut and dyed my hair, I had an inter-office fling, and…I downloaded Tinder.

For those of you unfamiliar with this revolutionary app, Tinder is a way for you to make deep, profound connections with other singles in your area who are also looking for a long-term, meaningful commitment. The wild and wonderful thing about Tinder’s algorithms is that it makes this possible purely through photographs. By making a snap-judgment about someone’s looks (swiping right if you like them, swiping left if you don’t), you are able to narrow down your potential soul mates into a small, sparkling pool of possibilities. Talk about putting your faith in love at first sight! All you have to do from that point onward is sit and dream that one of the little fishies in your pool will also swipe right when your picture appears, and the two of you can swim off fin-in-fin, and you’ll have a romantic, beautiful love story to tell your grandchildren.

Or maybe it’s more of a venue for girls to be reassured that their looks are worthy of male affection and for guys to send dick pics as a token of said affection. But I’m more of a glass-half-full person myself.

So I sat on my bed with my phone in my shaking hands, waiting for the app to download. This may sound a bit exaggerated, but you have to understand that this was a big step for me. I was willingly subjecting myself to socializing with strangers. Strangers! My most great and terrible fear! The little icon finally transformed from a washed-out gray into an intimidating orange flame, and with a sigh, I clicked.

While other dating sites such as Match and eHarmony, from what I understand anyway, ask for many personal details in order to best match you up with someone, Tinder only requires your name, age, and location. Well, I knew all of those things! Didn’t even have to think twice about them. Thus far, this experiment was proving to be nice and easy.

And then, I had to pick out a photo.

I can maybe name three things I enjoy less than having my picture taken, so suffice it to say, this was a debilitating task for me. I saw myself as having three options:

  • A professional headshot. Definitely the best pictures of me in existence, but what on earth do they say about me as a human? Would I want to hang out with me if I saw a picture of me with my hair and makeup all neat, smiling robotically at the camera? Plus, let’s be honest, I don’t actually look like that. Those pictures are less about what I look like and more about the amazing things that some good lighting and some Photoshop can do.
  • A picture of me with my friends/doing something silly. This option certainly presented a bit more personality than number 1. I tend to take better pictures with my friends because I am more comfortable with them. The biggest problem here is that they won’t know which one is me and my friends are all better-looking. What if they actually swiped right for one of my friends and then I show up on the date and they are sorely disappointed and it turns out they brought some tar and feathers with them just incase? And then I get tarred and feathered and it would be the third worst first date I’ve ever had.
  • A picture of me by myself, whether it be posed or candid. This was pretty much never an option even though it technically was. When I am asked to pose for a picture by myself, my body enters a state of confusion that scientists have yet to figure out. My arms snap to my sides while my legs strangely remain hip-width apart, and my smile shows a tension one might also encounter when thoroughly brushing his or her teeth. Plus my eyes very clearly state, “I would rather be anywhere but here.” And all candid shots of me just illustrate that I do weird things with my face when I think no one is looking.

After much deliberation, I decided option 1 was the safest. This is Tinder after all.

Now for the fun part: the swiping. I admit I enjoyed it for a little while. I actually felt kind of cool while doing it, sitting nonchalantly on my bed with a glass of wine next to me, looking at pictures of cute guys. I felt like I could do this; like I could dive right back into the dating pool, no problem; like I could be the kind of person who meets up for some drinks and light flirting and be very casual about things.

And then a guy popped up who wasn’t my type at all, looks-wise. But he looked incredibly nice. He was sitting outside with his mom and a puppy in his arms, toothy grin shining through a tufty beard. And I sat and stared at my phone for an unreasonably long time trying to decide what to do about it. I mean, he was clearly family-oriented, liked animals, liked the outdoors: all great things. But I didn’t necessarily like the way he looked. At that moment, I wished everyone posted impersonal headshots with pretend smiles.

And, filled with crippling guilt, I swiped left.

I swear I could hear the sound of Taps playing softly in the background, mourning the loss of my integrity as swiping left became easier and easier. Soon, it was second nature. I found myself being able to adopt the casual attitude I so coveted, and it scared me. Gravely. I put my phone down and chugged the rest of my wine.

Then I heard that fateful ping.

A Tinder notification popped up on my home screen, “You have a message from Mike V.”

I remembered Mike. He had sandy blond hair and ripped abs. His picture was of him standing on the tip of a boat. He seemed dangerous and fun and that was exactly what I needed. I took a deep breath as I opened the app to reveal the message.

“Sup?”

At that, I was pummeled by nerves. He gave me absolutely nothing to work with. He didn’t even give me words. Was this a trap? What was I supposed to say? “Muffin”? Was it too early for food humor? How do I respond and seem coy, sexy, and interesting? “Oh, ya know, just a little tipsy, sitting on my bed in my PJs, hitting the Twin Peaks message boards, and crying a little bit.” Why should I even bother trying to be those things when the best he could do was, “Sup”?

I ultimately decided to ignore it for the time being. Better to make them wait after all, right? That’s how this works?

And then, a second message came from Kyle S.

“Hi Jillian!! How are you?!”

Whoa, hey now, buddy, that is too many exclamation points. While it was a big step-up from “Sup,” this guy already had way too much energy for me. Extraverts scare the shit out of me, with their smiles and their natural volume and their penchant for doing things. Kyle S. was giving me way too much while Mike V. gave me nothing at all. Will I ever find the delicate balance? Will I ever fall in love again? What if the guy with the puppy had sent me a nice message? What if he quoted Mel Brooks or Monty Python or Tolstoy or Chuck Norris and I swooned after him into happily ever after?

After roughly three hours of having the power of Tinder in my hands, I ultimately decided I wasn’t ready. I pressed the icon on my phone’s screen, and hit “Delete.”