Welcome again to the annals of my adventures in the world of eDating. Before I begin, I would like to say that those of you who read these entries should feel free to enjoy my amusing anecdotes without feeling sorry for me in the least. Not all of my experiences have been bad...the bad ones are just funnier to write about. Besides, as I've mentioned before, I don't consider the good guys fair game. Speaking of which, while this guy is not someone I would date, as it turns out, he's not such a bad guy. For that reason, I actually asked his blessing to post this exchange with the caveat that I would remove any personal information that might identify him in any way. I really wanted to post this correspondence because it evolved in a way that I found interesting. In order to provide you with some background, I will begin with my online profile for Yahoo Personals, where he approached me. (Note: most of the initial details, like "Sense of Humor" and "Social Setting" are canned responses from which I chose as many as applied.)
Gender: Woman seeking a Man
Marital Status: Single - never married
Body Type: Fit
Height: 5' 7"
Ethnicity: Caucasian (white)
Sense of Humor: Friendly, Clever / Quick Witted, Dry / Sarcastic, Obscure
Social Setting: Shy at first, but warm up quickly, Home Body, Better in small groups, Comic Relief
TV Watching: News Junkie, Movies, Documentaries, Channel Hopper, TiVo is my best friend
Living Situation: Alone, With pets, Family and friends visit often
Have Kids: No
Want (more) kids: Yes
Education: College Grad
Employment Status: Full-time
Occupation: Entertainment / Media
Income: No Answer
Religion: Not Religious
Attend Services: Never
Political Views: Very liberal
Interests: Arts, Dancing, Family, Movies, Listening to Music, Outdoor Activities, Reading, Travel, Cooking, Computers / Internet, Television, Gardening, Crafts, Health/Fitness
I don't care what car U drive...
In My Own Words:
...but, I *do* care if you're cute, smart, funny, treat me with respect & get my jokes (CLUE: if you're thinking right now "tell me one," you most likely won't get them =-)
WHAT I LOVE: Music that makes my body move; all-out, heart-pounding, lung-burning workouts that flood me with endorphins; books that make me forget where I am; movies that make me cry, laugh and/or think; people who make the world a better place; my mind & its perpetual motion; meaning & the search for it; laughing out loud; talking to bright people; learning something new; finding money in an old pair of jeans; being madly in love with someone whose very essence is intrinsically magnificent to me, just as mine is to him; savoring a root-beer float once every six & a half years (keeps 'em fresh!)
ABOUT ME: I believe in the beauty & complexity of the universe & cherish my time here, but if you consider creationism or "intelligent design" a science, I'm sorry but we are not a match. I am a drama-free (though not passion-free) zone, as I've always felt fortunate and prefer to laugh at life's absurdities than cry of misfortune and play the victim. The full expression of my attention, energy & thoughts is a lovely force that can transform & enrich the lives of those around me. However, since I find myself & the world highly entertaining, getting my attention can be difficult...keeping it can be even harder...that is, unless you possess wit, are curious, intelligent and have a "good heart." Beyond that, I'm looking for someone with whom I feel safe to be my whole, magnificently flawed self. He needn't be without flaws, fears, doubts or weakness himself, but he must be willing to risk the discomfort of that journey...wherever it may lead. Come on...it'll be fun! =-)
ABOUT YOU WITH ME: We'll make each other laugh...even in difficult moments. We won't keep our opinions to ourselves, but we'll *never* have to wonder whose side the other is on. We'll be comfortable letting each other "do our own thing"...even when we're occupying the same space. We'll have each other's backs, even when we're facing each other. We'll inspire each other to be better people. When we look at each other, we'll know how lucky we are to be together, making it difficult to keep our hands off each other...and mostly we won't ;-)
PLACES I'VE BEEN: Italy—Venice, Rome, Milan, Florence, Pompeii, Naples; Belgium—Brussels, Bruges; England—London, Bath, Bristol; France—Cannes, Nice, Paris; Germany—Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt; Austria—Vienna, Salzburg; Canada—Toronto, Winnipeg, Montreal; Switzerland—Zürich, Genèva; various cities—Bangkok, Sydney, Warsaw, Dublin, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei, Budapest, Amsterdam, Tijuana ...& all over the US.
FINAL FACTOIDS ABOUT ME: Jane Austen is my 13th cousin, 6 times removed (whatever that means;-); Princes William & Henry are my 8th cousins (sadly, I never get invited over =-); Pres. Bush is my 10th cousin, once removed (NOTE: sorry, but if you like or voted for him or his father, we're NOT a match); I get most of my news from the NY Times & "the Daily Show;" I put myself through Columbia University in NYC; my middle name is Renée, after René Descartes. (My dad's a philosophy professor, so my brother & I were named after famous philosophers. I lucked out though...my brother's middle name is Erasmus.)
And here is our exchange. As usual, I've quoted exactly, including all spelling errors and typos. To be fair, I should mention that the only reason my responses aren't riddled with similar errors is that I'm a bit of an anal control freak when it comes to writing. I obsessively check anything I send out to ensure that as many errors as possible are removed before I hit "send."
On 11/18/2005 06:14 pm PST, "AnotherConservativeGuy" wrote:
Bummer! I thought WHAT A HOT BABE but then I read your profile.... I am not the true love you seak but you do seem like a nice woman and you are pretty. Just wanted you to know...
At this point, I had no way of knowing that he was another conservative guy rejecting me for my politics, but I thought it was worth finding out why someone who found me attractive would be put off by my profile. So, I responded with this:
On 11/19/2005 10:03 am PST, I wrote:
Thank you for the compliment; I'm sorry we're not a match. Out of curiosity, what specifically in my profile "bummed you out?" I'm always interested in how others perceive my profile. If you wouldn't mind, I'd love to know. Thanks!
On 11/19/2005 05:07 pm PST, "AnotherConservativeGuy" wrote:
Ok so your photos are good except for the 1/2 naked one. Get rid of it. It seems a little desperate and sleezy. Your face is really nice and your profile is great. I am conservative and I know most liberals are angry and super opinoinated. I wouldn't fit. My last girl friend was super liberal but it was well thought out and we got along great. You are not open to other ideas so i am sure you will find some flamming liberal who dosn't belive in god. Its just not me. Every thing else seems good.. I realllllly like your eyes...... I could look into them all night ...... Your ideas make me want to puke,....
Well, as you might imagine, upon receiving this response, I was simply giddy with anticipation, as I contemplated how savagely I was going to expose his idiocy here when I got
this reply from him. This exchange was turning out to be even better than the first ConservativeGuy! Not only was he being intolerant and judgmental but, in addition, this one was being overtly rude. At this point, I should also show you the pictures to which he refers, so that you can see what he's talking about.
My main picture is here on the left:
Admittedly, the picture of me on the right is a bit silly and cheesy. I like to think of it as my "Varga Girl" shot. I haven't taken his advice and deleted it from my profile. To be honest, I don't know if my unwillingness to do so is because I disagree with his characterization of the picture, or because I was born the kind of stubborn person who is inspired to contrary action when someone tells me what to do. Either way, it's up to stay for the time being.
Anyway, before I could post the exchange here, I had to respond to him in my most measured and reasonable tone...which is my way of being a condescending bitch while feigning civility. I did try to vary it a bit from what I said to the other ConservativeGuy, but there were some pretty good lines from that. Please excuse any repetition...I mean, why re-invent the wheel? So here is what I sent him:
On 11/21/2005 01:08 pm PST, I wrote:
Thank you so much for writing me back, as I found your reasons for thinking we wouldn't be a good match to be quite interesting...although, I have to say that your statement that my ideas make you "want to puke," seems quite angry and judgmental.
In reviewing my profile, the only two statements I could find that might be considered biased were, "if you consider creationism or "intelligent design" a science, I'm sorry but we are not a match"; and "Pres. Bush is my 10th cousin, once removed (NOTE: sorry, but if you like or voted for him or his father, we're NOT a match.)" Admittedly, the Bush quote quite clearly indicates that the man I seek is not a Republican, but it was meant to be funny rather than hostile in the context of admitting my distant and obscure relationship with the Bush family. As for the first statement about science, I assure you that many people who believe in God also believe in evolution; even more agree that the Earth was created in more than six days and that dinosaurs became extinct long before humans began roaming the planet.
Since these two statements and my self-identification as being "very liberal" are the only indications in my profile of my political ideas, I find it curious that you find all of my ideas so repulsive. Nonetheless, I thank you for your astute feedback. Without it, I never would have guessed that in my profile, I come off as a desperate, sleazy, angry, super-opinionated and closed-minded woman with a really nice face and attractive eyes, in search of a flaming liberal who doesn't believe in God.
I realize you responded to my question out of courtesy, and it is not my intention to pick a fight with you, however, since you have attacked my ideas based on presumptions about what "liberal" means to you, I want to leave you with a couple of specifics for the record. In general, I consider myself a "liberal," but my politics are not "liberal" down the line, as I take each issue as its own question, which you probably do as well. I find labels to be ambiguous at best and misleading at worst, especially considering the ways in which the meaning of these words continually evolves. I'm "conservative" when it comes to many economic issues, "liberal" on many social issues and "centrist" on various other issues. For instance, I strongly believe in a person's right to believe that the first woman was made from a man's rib, but I don't want my tax dollars to be spent on teaching that to children in our public science classrooms. I think it is more appropriate to teach the Bible in church sermons, Sunday school classes and in the home...which by the way are the places I learned about God growing up.
As for Republicans being "conservative," I'm not sure what that means anymore because the current administration and predominantly Republican congress doesn't seem fiscally conservative or responsible to me at all. In fact, one might say that they spend money like drunken sailors.
Well, if you've read this far, thank you for taking the time to read my response, and I hope you haven't puked =-) While I may be deluding myself, I hope that you are wrong that I am not open to ideas that are different from mine. Whenever I engage in public discourse, whether it's in someone's living room or here on this little slice of cyberspace, I think of myself as being a part of this giant forge in which we all heat, hammer and shape our thoughts. I believe in this process, even though most of the dents we each make in the communal metal are imperceptible.
I actively consume a variety of opinions each day from talk radio, friends & family, various blogs, newspapers, magazines and cable news shows. We live in an age where there are so many voices contributing to the public dialogue that it can sometimes seem like a meaningless cacophony, but, I consider this superfluity of opinion to be a quality problem that I'm happy to have. Furthermore, I am proud to live in a society that encourages such discourse. I don't agree with every opinion I read or hear, but each helps me to see an issue from a new perspective and helps me to test or temper my own.
Good luck in your search for a "match"!
Now all I had to do is sit back and wait for the reactionary response that I was sure he'd send. But, much to my surprise, he sent me this in reply instead:
On 11/21/2005 05:05 pm PST, "AnotherConservativeGuy" wrote:
<>That is the problem with e-mail sometimes what I meant isn't how it is taken. I assure you I am not in the least angry. I just was giving you a little ribbing. Your profile comments may come across as angry to others also, I assume you just don't want to have a relationship with some one who has a different world view. I can understand that. Except, I guess in reality I would say it isn't important what one believes just that they have thought it out and understand why they believe it.
<>I didn't say you came off as sleazy. It is that damn photo. It gives the wrong message. If I thought you were a sleaze I wouldn't have paused to write. Actually I find the other photos of you very attractive. You have deep eyes and what you wrote is very good.
<> I don't know you. I feel some honesty, (my opinion), should be taken as advice from someone who doesn't know ANYTHING about you and shouldn't be a reflection on your self image. You asked my perception was, not what the truth was.
<> It was a perception based on a very limited view. To be honest, now that I have been so rude and blunt, you have come back with a clarifying response that shows you are a well thought out woman with great depth of character. I feel terrible for being so rude. I just went back and read my e-mail.....Ouch that is an asshole e mail. Not the way I meant it.
<> You must understand cyber dating sites are not a good place to meet someone. One becomes grouped in with the rest of the people. I like to think this isn't true, but it has not been my experience. I think a better place to find companionship is doing what one loves to do. I personally have been trying to cancel my account but It seems difficult to do.
<> You know what, I just need to apologize. I jumped to several assumptions based on wrong perceptions. Thanks for writing me back.
Wow...maybe my expectations are low, but I was impressed that he acknowledged fault and apologized. Maybe we can just get along. Well, the apology was nice, but at this point, I faced a dilemma. I really wanted to write about this exchange, but ethically I was conflicted about exposing him to ridicule after he turned out to be a stand up guy. After spending some time over the Thanksgiving holiday thinking about it, I decided to just let him know I was going to write about it and give him the chance to ask me not to. Following is the note I sent to him:
On 12/03/2005 05:46 pm PST, I wrote:
Sorry it took me so long to write you back, but I got tied up with family responsibilities over the holiday week. I just wanted to say thank you for your last note to me. Most men wouldn't have taken the time to admit they had been less than chivalrous, as you have. I recently posted on my blog (noetical.blogs.com/noet_all/2005/09/why_i_dont_date.html) a similar exchange with another Republican I met online. I was less than charitable to him in my commentary regarding the exchange, as he lacked the manners that you clearly have shown in your most recent response. While it would have been highly entertaining to make fun of you on my blog, I'm happy to know that liberals and conservatives can be civil to each other. With your blessing, I would like to post this exchange from beginning to end in order to show the contrast with the other...proving to all my flaming liberal friends that not all conservatives are dolts =-) Of course I would take out your name and all of the personal details that identify you. Let me know.
In the meantime, good luck in your search...as you can see from my profile, I don't live in your city anyway. I originally changed my settings for your city, as I was on the verge of moving there for a new job, but things have changed and I've taken a new job here instead. I'm sure you will find a great conservative girl with beautiful eyes someday soon.
On 12/03/2005 06:23 pm PST, "AnotherConservativeGuy" wrote:
As I said at the begining of this exchange somewhere. My last girl friend was a very liberal american policy hateing, packistani. After talking to her I found we were closer in our ideas than we thought We just had different ideas on how to get there. Liberals think about conseritivesthe same as we think of them. Most Republicans are just a little bit less talkitive about It. I hear liberal say discusting things about George Bush all the time in public. Why is that? I understand there is a lot of hate toward him and his policies.... But why do they have to voice their opinion in public all the time? Maybe people could focus less on politics and more on being good people.
I also have to admit, although it is no excuse, I was pretty drunk when I wrote that ass hole letter to you. I am verry sorry again. I am sure you are a great woman. I am sure it is my loss you are not moving here.
As far as meeting a nice woman with pretty eyes..... Who knows... I won't hold my breath......
At the end of the day, I think this was a more interesting exchange than the other, because I gave this guy the opportunity to redeem himself. We're all human and, he's right, the inability to hear inflection in an email can make it an imperfect means of communication. While I still wouldn't date him, I'm glad not to hate him either. In the meantime, I should say I had a great time last night with a new guy I've been seeing. He's a flaming liberal who doesn't believe in God. Love that!