Today I thought it would be a good idea to practice some real-world application of my new dating project, so I tried to flirt with the butcher while ordering fresh fish and some nice lean cuts of meat because I'm currently wearing Halloween on my ass (and that's really not beneficial to this experiment).
So I made some eye contact, I chatted about fish fillets in a witty and delightful manner I smiled and lowered my voice a decibel. I questioned him about de-boning as if my very world depended upon his response.
Of course, had the butcher been moderately more attractive, my attempts to make contact would run more along the lines of:
Butcher: Can I help you? Ma'am? Are you all right? You're sweating quite a lot and staring at me in an unnerving manner. Ma'am? Where are you going? You left your cart!
And bonus points, I was wearing my glasses from middle school (which are way more comfortable than my hipster glasses but make me about as attractive as June Shannon), and generally any time I encounter a member of the male species while wearing my ugly glasses I'm more inclined to slink creepily into a corner and write sad poems in Sharpie on my forearm than try and converse.
Did he ask for my number? No. Damn glasses. But I did learn that fillet cuts already come without the bone which is knowledge I can take to the grave.
Sigh. He didn't even give me a discount like the butcher across town who notices when I cut my hair.
But it's a start. Adjusting to human contact is probably the first step in being a successful dater. After I've got a few dates under my belt, I will try some more real-world application experiments.
This feels especially important because I realized today I'm still getting in the last trickles of merchandise I bought on my break-up online shopping spree. You know, the kind where you drink so much wine you fall asleep with your Visa in your hand and when you wake up with a start at 4 am you realize you've ordered a bunch of child labor-made jewelry from China and six large pizzas.
So while the earrings in the mailbox were a nice surprise, I realized today I spent the entirety of the money I had been putting aside so we could move in together on bronze owl necklaces and knee-high boots cobbled together by weeping six-year-olds. So while my new boots look fantastic with skinny jeans, something about that says, not a healthy coping mechanism.
Then, since the break up is fresh in your mind everything you encounter begins reminding you of it, and suddenly the commercial about toaster pastries is making you think, my God, I made the biggest mistake of my life. And I think I would apply my frosting in the shape of a cow.
Thank God I still saved the e-mail from Thing Two where he gently suggests I try Paxil to control my rage and calls me emotionally needy which was somehow intended to reunite us believe it or not. That e-mail has saved me a lot of drunk texts.
So it didn't take long to get messages. Apparently a moderately attractive woman on a free dating site is about as rare as finding a rich guy on a free dating site. I'm categorizing them as follows:
1) The Brief Compliment: Real examples:
-"Holy cow... you are a goddess."
-"I love your hair."
-"you hae a really cute smile how's it going"
-"you're very gorgeous."
You get the idea. And while these are nice, and make me feel pretty good about myself even though I'm sitting in sweatpants with my hair up playing fetch with the cat, I generally just respond "thank you" or ignore it entirely.
2) The Salutation:
-"Hi how are you"
Ok... I mean, they're polite. Cool. "I'm good, thanks" is my general response, if I bother.
If they're a 3/5 stars or above, I add,"You?"
3) The Over-Share: A quick note of interest in me followed by a bombardment of information regarding their relationship goals.
-"Hey, my name is DUDE. You seem like a pretty cool person. I am a fun, outgoing guy who loves laughing, smiling and just enjoying everything life has to offer. I would like to chat and see where it takes us. Message me if you're interested. :)"
Well, at least he used the correct "you're." Generally I avoid responses to these, unless the guy is attractive.
4) The Bold Statement:
-"we should cuddle."
-"Let's get a drink sometime."
5) The Profile Reference: Taking the time to actually look over what you mentioned in your dating profile rather than just checking out your pictures? Novel. These messages are the ones I almost always respond to. Generally they're not brilliant, but the witty ones get extra points. This is my favorite one so far:
-"I have good news. According to okcupid, we have only a 5% chance of hating each other. Pretty good right?! I'd take those odds any day of the week. Unfortunately, I'm not genuine, well-spoken, thoughtful, or an animal-lover. In fact, my favorite hobby is drop-kicking puppies and kittens. But the percentages don't lie! 5% chance, right? :) You seem like you'd be fun to be around which I like (no Debbie-downers here) and you come off as being pretty adorable. What would it take to overcome your hatred of dating? 'Cuz I gotta know what I'm up against in terms of convincing you to consider suffering through an awkward, uncomfortable conversation with me ;)"
6) The Just Plain Weird:
-"I think you should know something. I'm not like other guys. Let me explain. I was born as a result of the twisted sexual appetite of my now deceased mother. Her love for steed was unsurpassed. While many man appreciate whores, my mother preferred horse."
Much, much more followed. His profile picture was a dude with a horse mask. At least I'm assuming it was a dude.
I responded back, "Thank you for sharing this touching story with me." Horseman immediately replied back that I am a breath a fresh air, and while this was only a joke profile, he'd be interested in getting to know me... unless I had been more into him as a horse, and that was cool.
-"Hi, I'm really good with animals, want to know a secret about how to get animals?"
I was sure that had to be some kind of trap. I'm pretty confident I remember questions that were phrased like this when I was a child always resulted in my getting bitch-slapped by my older brother. But, no. It's just a poor, weird guy, even more awkward than myself. His next message asked me if I knew how to report a girl for talking to him, because he wasn't interested in the girl who had messaged him and didn't want to hurt her feelings.
I told him rather than report her to the site as harassing him, maybe he could just block her, or better yet, ignore her. If he stopped replying to her messages, she would get the hint.
I then stopped replying to his messages.
So, am I learning anything so far? Actually, maybe. I originally went into this swearing I wouldn't talk to anyone who wasn't relatively attractive. Call me shallow but if I don't want to bang you this probably isn't going to go anywhere. But after sifting through the many, many, horrible messages I got, I went back to the ones that were funny, sweet, or contained minimal spelling errors, and responded.
My first date is set for Friday.