In Which I Risk Alienating You Forever

Cal: Okay, okay, it doesn’t matter if you’re ugly as f***, or you’re ugly as s***. It’s about talking to women, and I know how to do that because I observe, because I am a novelist.
Andy Stitzer: What? You never told me that before.
Cal: That’s because I’m not an arrogant prick, Andy.


Let’s talk about how judgmental I am. Or observant, depending on your take of the situation (I like you already, People Who Think I’m Just Overly Observant). has made me come face-to-face with something I already sort-of grapple with on a daily basis- the snap judgment.

I’m not proud of this aspect of my personality. Nobody, including me, likes to think that they can be sized up completely based on a few random observations. It can make me catty and mean. It can make me WRONG. Oh, so wrong. So wrong that I want to crawl into a hole somewhere and be comforted by no one but my wrongness.

Usually, though, I happen to be right. And those moments of rightness just spur me on. And so, the cycle continues.


Last night, I posed a question to my Facebook page. Namely, is it wrong to dismiss a guy you’ve been talking to because of his frequent use/misuse of LOL. And exclamation points.

Out of roughly fifteen comments, half of them said “Yes” and the other half said “Ditch him. LOL!” (Basically. I worded the question wrong so I spent thirty minutes deciphering what the “Yes” and “No’s” meant) And now I’m more unsure than ever.


Other things that have made me want to run in the other direction, in the week that I’ve been doing this online dating exercise:

– A hefty guy who goes on and on about how he wants a “healthy” girl. Technically, I’m an extremely healthy size 9. Technically, he is NOT. Is it wrong to say, “See ya”?

– Writes sonnets. Plays guitar. Would play guitar TO ME.

– Badly worded sentences, makes me think English might be his second language. Then see “born and raised in Illinois.” Some people are just not word-happy. Is that so wrong? (Yes. No. I don’t know. My head hurts.)

– Doesn’t watch TV. Is that really that big of a deal? (Yes. Oh God. WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT ME?)

– Is young and divorced. I really didn’t know what to make of this one.


I don’t even know where to leave this post. Except to say that the list goes on and on. And I know we joke about “dealbreakers” but what if we’re too dealbreaker-happy? What if I’m too dealbreaker-happy, so worried about another classic case of Fruit Blindness?

Oh, help. Help, help, help.

— One thing I’m not unsure about- Dear Straight Men, if you are on a dating site like this, do NOT take a picture of yourself with your camera in a darkened room. You ALL look like murderers. I don’t care if your mom is on the couch in the corner, cuddling puppies with a rainbow shooting out of her face. You look like you want to eat my insides with an oaky Chianti. —



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5 Responses to In Which I Risk Alienating You Forever

  1. hollie g says:

    Keep in mind that even if a guy IS a legitimate good guy with the right stats, it’s going to be hard to find one who can *communicate* that via a profile or email banter. You’re just being set up to screen out guys in the online dating world. So don’t be too hard on yourself or poor guys who have no idea how to flirt in person, forget about online. And I always think about how my 5′ 6″ fiance would never have gotten through my height screener on hehe.

    but DO RUN AWAY from any guitar-toting dude who has a sonnet in his pocket! And No TV is just ridiculous… there’s “opposites attract” and then there’s “this guy will absolutely not understand any of my jokes”

  2. Judi says:

    All excellent points. Especially the last one. I think I made three different TV-related references in this post ALONE. Clearly that last one is, in fact, a dealbreaker.

  3. Amber says:

    1) No TV is a lie. He is just trying to sound more interesting. My silly little husband tells everyone he never watches TV which is sort of true except he forgets that he donates 1/3 of all his free time to his XBox… I tell everyone I don’t watch TV which is sort of true except I spend all my free time watching TV on DVD ha ha!
    2) You are right to turn away a sonnet singing guitar toting guy period
    3) You can’t date the guy who can’t write because you are a writer — it just doesnt mix
    4) Skip the chubby guy – if you aren’t attracted to him in the beginning you will NEVER be attracted to him — I learned that the hard way by sticking with it for five years before finally giving that up.
    5) Young divorced guy – I think that only matters if he has kids — which also only matters if its an issue for you.

  4. Julie says:

    if you read a lot and watch a lot of TV, then you need someone who likes the same. The chubby guy looking for a healthy girl probably needs someone to mommy him to death in order to get in shape. As for the young divrocee, I’m going to defend that one (mainly because I too made a lapse in judgment in my very early 20s): sometimes, people get married too young. The only thing it says about them is that they are more romantic than they are practical, and I bet that bodes well. After all, what long term relationship couldn’t use a bit more romance? Plus it means they got their start marriage out of the way!

  5. Kari says:

    Oh, this is why I started and stopped online searching for love in the same week, years ago. I can’t think of anybody who comes out looking good based on a random list of characteristics that have anything to do with being human, and it’s too tempting to dismiss strangers based on foibles we’re willing to overlook in people we already know and love. If you’re able to look past them up front, more power to you.

    TV seems pretty non-negotiable, though.

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