Total Perspective Vortex
What really happened to Trillian? Theories abound, but you can see what she's really been up to on this blog. If you're looking for white mice, depressed robots, or the occasional Pan Galactic Gargleblaster you might be better served here:

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<

Trillian McMillian
Trillian McMillian
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Women, The Internet and You: Tips for Men Who Use Online Dating Sites
Part I, Your Profile and Email

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?

"50 First Dates"

Don't just sit there angry and ranting, do something constructive.
In the words of Patti Smith (all hail Sister Patti): People have the power.
Contact your elected officials.

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
Find Federal Officials
Enter ZIP Code:

or Search by State

Find State Officials
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or Search by State

Contact The Media
Enter ZIP Code:

or Search by State

Words are cool.
The English language is complex, stupid, illogical, confounding, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating.
Every now and then a word presents itself that typifies all the maddeningly gorgeousness of language. They're the words that give you pause for thought. "Who came up with that word? That's an interesting string of letters." Their beauty doesn't lie in their definition (although that can play a role). It's also not in their onomatopoeia, though that, too, can play a role. Their beauty is in the way their letters combine - the visual poetry of words - and/or the way they sound when spoken. We talk a lot about music we like to hear and art we like to see, so let's all hail the unsung heroes of communication, poetry and life: Words.
Here are some I like. (Not because of their definition.)



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11/17/13 12/1/13 - 12/8/13 12/15/13 - 12/22/13 12/29/13 - 1/5/14 6/29/14 - 7/6/14 9/14/14 - 9/21/14 9/21/14 - 9/28/14 10/12/14 - 10/19/14 11/23/14 - 11/30/14 12/7/14 - 12/14/14 12/28/14 - 1/4/15 1/25/15 - 2/1/15 2/8/15 - 2/15/15 2/22/15 - 3/1/15 3/8/15 - 3/15/15 3/15/15 - 3/22/15 3/22/15 - 3/29/15 4/12/15 - 4/19/15 4/19/15 - 4/26/15 5/3/15 - 5/10/15 5/17/15 - 5/24/15 5/24/15 - 5/31/15 6/14/15 - 6/21/15 6/28/15 - 7/5/15 7/5/15 - 7/12/15 7/19/15 - 7/26/15 8/16/15 - 8/23/15 11/6/16 - 11/13/16 6/24/18 - 7/1/18

Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

Void, Of Course: Eliminating Expectations and Emotions for a Better Way of Life

200i: iPodyssey

Macs Are from Venus, Windows is from Mars Can a relationship survive across platform barriers?
Jerking Off

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, There Was a Really Bad Movie

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

Good Thing She's Not in a Good Mood Very Often (We Knew it Wouldn't Last)

What Do I Have to Do to Put You in this Car Today?

Of Mice and Me (Killer Cat Strikes in Local Woman's Apartment)

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

It is my Cultureth
...and it would suit-eth me kindly to speak-eth in such mannered tongue


It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You
Blogging a Legacy for Future Generations

Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

Come on Out of that Doghouse! It's a Sunshine Day!

"...I had no idea our CEO is actually Paula Abdul in disguise."

Lap Dance of the Cripple

Of Muppets and American Idols
"I said happier place, not crappier place!"

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

Trillian Visits the Village of the Damned, Takes Drugs, Becomes Delusional and Blogs Her Brains Out

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

Striptease for Spiders: A PETA Charity Event (People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids)

What's Up with Trillian and the Richard Branson Worship?

"Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!"

Mail Trillian here

Trillian's Guide to the Galaxy gives 5 stars to these places in the Universe:
So much more than fun with fonts, this is a daily dose of visual poetry set against a backdrop of historical trivia. (C'mon, how can you not love a site that notes Wolfman Jack's birthday?!)


Alliance for the Great Lakes

Hot, so cool, so cool we're hot.

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

Coolest Jewelry in the Universe here (trust Trillian, she knows)

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras

The Beachwood Reporter is better than not all, but most sex.

Hey! Why not check out some great art and illustration while you're here? Please? It won't hurt and it's free.


Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto


Get Fuzzy Now!
If you're not getting fuzzy, you should be. All hail Darby Conley. Yes, he's part of the Syndicate. But he's cool.

Who or what is HWNMNBS: (He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken) Trillian's ex-fiancé. "Issues? What issues?"

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

< chicago blogs >

Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Smart Girls
(A Trillian de-composition, to the tune of Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys)

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Smart girls ain’t easy to love and they’re above playing games
And they’d rather read a book than subvert themselves
Kafka, Beethoven and foreign movies
And each night alone with her cat
And they won’t understand her and she won’t die young
She’ll probably just wither away

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

A smart girl loves creaky old libraries and lively debates
Exploring the world and art and witty reparteé
Men who don’t know her won’t like her and those who do
Sometimes won’t know how to take her
She’s rarely wrong but in desperation will play dumb
Because men hate that she’s always right

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Life(?) of Trillian

Thursday, February 08, 2007  
Well, this is a new page in the downward spiral of my life: I am officially homeless as of April 1.

My building going condo has consumed much of my life and mail for the past few weeks. Almost every day there's a notice or addendum sent by my building management, the leasing office or the management company. Most of these notices and addendums involve fees and additional rent increases for those of us who are contemplating opting to stay another year while the building transitions to condo. Along with the already insanely high rent increase, there are to be additional monthly fees to those of us who cannot or don't want to buy a condo in the building. Us low life renters are being price gouged out of our homes and displaced onto the streets. There's an elderly woman who lives down the hall from me. She can't afford to stay and certainly has no interest in buying a condo. It's like -1258 degrees in Chicago right now. Not exactly the sort of weather elderly people should be out enduring. But, she, like the rest of us, has to find a new place to live. Now. So, out she goes in the cold and ice to find a home.

Because our building's going condo.

But hey, our benevolent management company is telling us this before we renew our leases for another year so we know what we're getting into by signing for another year. They're so nice. So considerate. The building manager reminded me that I do have a choice, I don't have to stay, they told me the building is going condo, they gave us all plenty of warning and time to make arrangements, they're keeping us informed of all the updates and fees and increases, they're being very "fair."

Yes. Yes. Of course they are.


I have until March 31 to find a place to live. And pay the affiliated moving expenses.

I have no idea how I’m going to do this.

It’s February 8. I have 51 days to find a place to live and come up with the money to move and pay the deposits etc. involved with moving. That’s four paychecks. Four paychecks which are already spent on rent for my compartment until the 31st and the rest of my growing medical expenses.

So, I’m looking at storage units to stash the few possessions I feel I can afford to hang onto and surveying friends about the feasibility of the Furry Creature and I roosting on a couch or in a spare bedroom.

Homeless. Wow. I didn’t see that one coming.

10:23 AM

Wednesday, February 07, 2007  

Men. Weird. The saga continues…
More weirdness...last night I got an email from a man who apparently (I hope) lives 6,000 miles away from me. He's also considerably younger. My profile clearly states I do not want a man that young or that far away from me. And yet he wrote me starting out with, I know I'm not what you're looking for (so why then, are you taking up space in my in box? I always wonder when men do this) but I am sure if you give me a chance we can overcome the distance and age barriers. (ah, that's why: ego) He went on to tell me how successful he is, how much money he has, where he's traveled, how many and what kinds of cars/motorcycles/jetskis he owns (yes, he's apparently quite accomplished for such young years) and that because of these things I should put aside my age and distance parameters and consider him the object of my affections.

Why I didn't just hit delete I do not know. I usually just delete these emails without a second thought. But this time I was apparently feeling more patient and congenial about this issue so I wrote a polite, short, "Thanks but no thanks" response. And this morning I was greeted with two lenghty emails berating me, calling me a "typical selfish stupid ugly American bitch" and telling me I should have died in 9/11.

Okaaaaaaay. Gosh, buddy, rejection hurts, I know, it's really painful, but you knew it was a very, very long shot that I'd be even remotely interested in you and I was decent and polite enough to tell you I wasn't interested instead of doing what any other woman would do: Ignore you. I don't think that calls for a death wish. You apparently didn't think I was an ugly selfish American bitch when you saw and read my profile and were moved to writing me...

I continued to read the emails because I was contemplating forwarding them to the site administrator as abuse. Get this: After the scathing criticism of me and all Americans (mind you, he approached me knowing full well I live in Chicago and didn't seem to have a problem with Americans when he sent that first email) after long, long winded criticism and judgment filled taunts clearly fueled by immaturity and rejection, he had the stupidity or nerve to make yet another play for my affections.

His closing statement was, I am certain we can reach an understanding. We should talk and then you can see what a great catch I am and how much you need me in your life. One night with me will melt away all your uptight tensions.

I'm not kidding. The man called me ugly, told me I should have died in 9/11 and then propositioned me. What was he thinking? Did he honestly think I'd respond with, "Ooooooh, baby, death wish talk and insults really turn me on...?"

I forwarded the emails to the site administrator as abuse. I received this response, "We suggest you block this member from further contacting you. However because his emails do not specifically make a threat to you we will not be terminating his account."

So I terminated mine. Any site which allows behavior like this to continue, allows men "like him" to subscribe after they've been reported as being threatening, volatile and violent, is not a site on which I want to mingle. I don't go to scary biker bars to mingle and meet men, so why would I go to a dating site where men "like him" are allowed to hurl that sort of crap at women?

See what I mean? One bad apple can ruin the whole orchard, or even the entire type of fruit. What was I saying about bananas?

Okay guys, maybe some of you read the case studies and think, “whoa, I’m not like that, I’d never do that, those guys are weird. Trill’s meeting some bad ones. There are plenty of us who aren’t that way. Sure, I like sex, but I want a real relationship, too. And I don’t make a habit of trying to pick up women by insulting them or puking on them. That is weird and I’m not that way and neither are my friends. Well. Most of them.”

And I fully agree. And those of you who want a relationship have probably taken the time and made the efforts to find a real relationship. And are in one with a very appreciative woman. Yay you.

Or maybe, like me, you just can’t find the right woman, the one with that special “chemistry” and all the other attributes on your checklist.

There are a lot of lonely people. There are a lot of people who are alone, not necessarily lonely, but, alone and not by choice.

Life can really suck and nothing epitomizes and emphasizes that more than being single for long stretches of time. You make a full life for yourself, work hard at your career, spend time with family and friends, volunteer, pursue interests and hobbies, take classes, and don’t sit around dwelling on your singleness. Except, well, when you go home, alone, to an empty place, an empty living room, and an empty bed. Then your singleness forces itself on you, makes you notice it. And yes, sometimes, usually between midnight and 3 AM, your singleness makes you dwell on this “situation” and what you can do to change it. And that causes you to review and evaluate people you’ve met, dated, wanted to date, or the type of person you’d like to meet and date. And you think: “What I’m looking for in a date and relationship isn’t so wacky, I’m not demanding or too picky or even weird. How can it be possible that I can’t meet someone who likes me and is looking for the same things? I’m not terribly unique or special, there must be millions of people who would like me and I would like in return. How can I be single, alone and unable to meet just one of these people?”

Or. Well. Maybe I am the only one whose thoughts go along those lines at 1:30 AM.

But I kind of doubt it.

The proliferation of dating sites and the money being made in the dating industry (including: websites, books, talk shows, singles bars, movies and therapists) indicates there are a lot of lonely people trying to find just one person to share their life, share laughs and have shoulders to cry on, not necessarily Hallmark quality romance, just a good, solid, caring, respectful, trusting relationship with someone.

I often think, “There’s something really wrong with me,” or, “I must be more particular than I think I am,” or, “Maybe I’ve been dealt a hand of solitaire instead of Hearts and I should just assume my game is Solitaire.”

I’m guessing it’s a combination of all three. I never used to try to “figure it out.” I just thought, “hey, when the timing’s right, I’ll meet someone, the right sort of person for me.” And then, without much effort or thought, I met a couple good guys and even almost married one of them.

And then: Nothing. Zip. Nadda. And, you know, no big deal, I needed time to mourn, time to heal, time to get my head around what the heck happened and how I would recover from it, time to learn how to function without the man I trusted to always be there for me. I worked hard on all that. It was/is a process, not an event. But still, I’m alone. Still nothing, zip, nadda.

I have a friend who got divorced last year. The last few years of their marriage were quite difficult. The divorce was unpleasant. But necessary. She said she took a lot of comfort in knowing that I was there for her and she wasn’t alone and that we could be single together. She didn’t want to date or even think about men. You think I’m jaded, cynical, pessimistic and at times morbid regarding love? Lemme tell ya, I was swutting Mary Sunshine compared to this woman. She just wanted time to mourn the death of her marriage and heal some of the wounds. No one understands that better than me, so, you know, I’m here for you pal. And I admit, there was a selfish appeal to that idea. If the marriage had to fail, then, after accepting and dealing with that, the upside is that I would have a single friend with whom I could pal around. We went out exactly twice in four weeks. The second time we went out she met a guy. He just walked right up to us and started talking to her. Just like that. They spent about an hour talking. He asked her out on a date. She accepted. They started dating. She never had time for me because of her new guy, yadda yadda yadda they’re getting married. Huh? What? That was a heck of a mourning and healing process. And no, I don’t think it’s a rebound thing or a desperation thing. They really like and love each other. They have a lot of fun together and seem to have the sort of relationship most of us would hold up as, well, good.

I’m really, really happy for her, of course I am. I haven’t seen her this happy, this content, this confident and enthusiastic in, well, ever. And that’s a really, really good thing.

But here’s the question: Why her and not me? She’s pretty, yes, side by side she’s absolutely way more attractive than I am. Okay, sure, there’s that. We’ve covered that territory. Looks do matter. A lot. And in this side by side comparison of course that is the difference between us. But. Still. Assuming there are millions of us single people “out there” sooner or later someone, anyone, is bound to find me, well, not attractive, but at least not repulsive, and interesting and nice enough to not only talk to me but also ask me out, and then ask me out again, and again and form a relationship. Yes?


Apparently not.

And apparently a lot of other people are like me in this respect. The dating industry would not be a mega million dollar cash cow if everyone except me were happily coupled up.

But that mega million dollar industry isn’t working. At least not for those of us trying to meet someone. Which makes it work great for the industry, the more of us there are, and the longer we’re single, the more profit they make from us.

Dating sites can work. I’ve seen it happen right before my eyes. I personally, in real life, know people who met their spouses/affianced via an online dating site. I’ve had loads of email from people encouraging me to keep at it because it worked for them. These are normal, well adjusted people who have friends and family and jobs and activities which do not involve a computer. They wrote good profiles, targeted their searches to people well suited to them, didn’t offend anyone, didn’t accept offers from people who were clearly not “right” for them and voila! they found their “perfect match.”

And then there’s me. And all the others like me. The rest of us. We do exactly what they do, we keep a positive and optimistic attitude, we get loads of winks and emails from loads of people, some of them even “normal” people, but nothing develops. Except a headache and more insecurities about ourselves because the overwhelming majority of people who contact us fall into the “weird” or “creepy” or “out on parole in a few months” categories. The people we’re interested in are not interested in us.

I saw that dilemma and vowed I would change my “standards.” I thought maybe I was aiming too high. Maybe the men I was interested in would never be interested in me so I needed to develop interests in different types of men. Which, for me, was a little difficult because in all honesty I’ve never been that picky. If a guy is within a few years of my age, expresses an interest in something other than sex, is able to communicate via written and spoken word, isn’t selling real estate (or a pyramid scheme) and lives within 40 miles of me, I’m game for meeting him. But still, something wasn’t working, so, I soldiered on and vowed to go out with anyone who asked. Well. You know, within reason. I’m lonely but I’m not stupid. Or gullible. I want a relationship, but not so much that I’ll accept a bad relationship. I’m not that desperate.

But maybe I should be. Maybe desperation is the key. My divorced and now engaged friend wasn’t “desperate” for a man or relationship. Yet. There was an air of desperation about her. She’d been through a bad couple of years. She was defiantly, head held high, presenting herself to the world as someone “not looking.” But in spite of that there was a vulnerability to her. She’d been worn down to raw nerves during the demise of her marriage. It showed in her cynicism and “bitchy” attitude. But there was also a pleading to be understood. She’d been misunderstood for a long time. She was desperate for validation in a lot of aspects. She was lacking confidence. This was not a cognitive realization on her part, but, you know, it’s just, well, true. And then a guy walks into a bar, yadda yadda yadda, she’s getting married to a great guy.

Most of us single people staunchly deny that we’re desperate. We deny it because we honestly do not think we are desperate. Desperate sounds so negative, so, desperate. We’re intelligent, professional, well-adjusted, normal, nice, confident people. We’re not desperate.

Or are we?

Why would I, me, resort not only to online dating, but vow to go out with any viable man who asks me? I’m a well educated, intelligent, creative, professional, charming in my own special way, kind, considerate, giving, thoughtful, polite, well traveled woman with a very full, active, rich life. I live in a major urban area where statistically there are plenty of similar single people. Why on earth would I need to even consider online dating or self-help books or drugs to help me sleep because the loneliness catches up with me at night and makes it impossible for me to sleep?

Well, for starters I don’t come wrapped in an attractive package.

Still, plenty of unattractive people find partners. And heck, once you get past the ugly exterior the rest is pretty darned, well, you know, decent. For the moment let’s put that issue to the side.

Given the above factors there is simply no rational reason as to why I am single. Men claim they want exactly the factors and traits I posses. And yet: Nothing. Zip. Nadda.

And it’s not just me. A lot of women, many of them very attractive, too, are in my exact situation.

Why? There are simply more women than there are men.

So the strong message, by sheer statistics, that men get is: "Women are at a statistical disadvantage. Go ahead, be weird, be a jerk, be shallow, callous, rude, and picky. There are way more of them than there are of you so the odds are stacked strongly in your favor." Many men know these stats and use them. They feel that if a woman wants to date a man she’s going to have to accept his weirdness. If she doesn’t, there’s another woman (lots of women, actually) who’s just a little more lonely and eager to accept the weirdness. Basically, the message “out there” is that eventually women will get worn down and desperate enough to tolerate less than admirable behavior. And so: The weirdness continues, thrives and grows.

There are simply not enough men to go around for every woman to have one. (I’m of course excluding the factor of the non-heterosexual male and female population, that’s a whole other bunch of statistics aiding and abetting the dating and loneliness issues. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it is a factor in the dating game.)

So yes, by virtue of population statistics, women, as a gender, are desperate.

And my theory is that this is contributing to the weird behavior in men.

“Don’t like me puking on you, insulting you, groping you, arguing with you or treating you badly? Fine. No big deal to me. I have statistics on my side, I’ll find a woman who will tolerate me just the way I am and you will be alone. Don’t you watch Dr. Phil or Maury? Loads of women are perfectly willing to put up with complete crap and weirdness for the sake of having a man. Deal with it or die alone.”

The sad fact is that extreme attitude is not an exaggeration or the cynical ranting of a jaded spinster. It’s true. Stats don’t lie. Many of us women are simply not going to have men. Period. Evolution, baby.

What I find sad and disturbing is that the women who are getting left behind in the process of evolution are the intelligent, creative, professional, well-adjusted women, the very women we, as a species, should want in the gene pool to pave the way down the path of forward evolution.

If you’re one of a handful of people who saw Idiocracy you know what I mean.

Why would men, with statistics on their side, willingly choose women who do not posses the qualities needed for advancement of the species? That’s a conundrum I find supremely interesting.

Over and over, men choose the comely but IQ challenged Daphnes over the less attractive but supremely more capable Velmas. Sure, biology propels men to spread their seed, and their seeds are not exactly working in concert with their brains so they go for the first women they see, and those are the attractive women. The women who stand out in sea of women.

But why don’t their brains play a factor in this? Why aren’t men more selective in terms of qualities beyond physical appearance? Why don't they react the same way to a woman solving a difficult brain challenging problem as they do to a Playboy centerfold? It can’t be good for evolution to design one gender of a species to be so heavily reliant on physical beauty of the opposite gender. Men say they want intelligent women, and I think most of them truly do. But, heh heh, as I so often hear, “hey, there has to be physical attraction, too.” As long as that brain is packed behind a pretty face and smokin’ body, then yes, intelligence is sexy. But IQ alone won’t get a girl a man.

After being likened to an Autistic person, I decided to get to the bottom of this. I asked everyone, people I know, people I don’t know, lots of people, if they thought it was possible for me to find a man or if I should just throw in the towel and get used to the idea that I am not one of the women who will be getting a man. For the most part my friends rallied to my side and said the entire male population is crazy and weird if they aren’t beating my door down to date me. Yeah, well, I have some really good friends. And many of them tend to be on the romantic side who want to hang onto the notion that there’s someone for everyone. And I also got lots of advice.

I am still in shock over the huge, HUGE disparity between the sexes. Almost straight down the line the advice given was split into issues of appearance and issues of personality. Guess which gender gave out the most advice on appearance? You might think girl to girl talk would leave me with a lot of women letting me in on their beauty secrets. Wrong. Dead wrong. Guys doled out more beauty and fashion advice than an entire year subscription to Allure. Most of it was contradictory from guy to guy, but almost all of it was appearance or sex related.

  • Don’t cut your hair short.
  • Cut your hair short and sassy.
  • Dye your hair blond.
  • Dye your hair brown.
  • Wear high heels. (This subject came up several times. Heels have an almost universal appeal.)
  • Wear short skirts.
  • Wear flattering jeans. (I’m not sure if this guy meant that a lot of women with nice figures wear unflattering jeans, or if he is mistakenly blaming jeans for the physical shortcomings of women.)
  • Wear stylish clothes AND NO PONY TAILS! Men like grown-up stylish women. Kelly Clarkson looked like a skanky hag and now she’s hot. Style, style, style. (Money, money, money. I always wonder if men have any clue how much “stylish” clothes cost. And then I wonder if they’re willing to bank roll a shopping trip for those “stylish” clothes. And then I assume the answer is “no.” And then I think, “once again, Barbie’s to blame: She comes packaged with a stylish wardrobe and accessories. Apparently men think that’s just how women are: We come pre-packaged with stylish clothes and accessories ready for them to play with us and take us out and show us off in our ‘stylish’ clothes.” Interesting to note that apparently all one needs to do to transform from “skanky hag” to “hot” is to throw a lot of money and a team of trained professionals at the situation. Note to self: Find thousands of dollars. Spend those dollars on “stylish” clothes and hair and makeup. Get man.)
  • Have a great, white, straight, toothpaste commercial smile.
  • Wear lip gloss.
  • Don’t wear lip gloss. (Some guys apparently love the look but hate kissing gooey mouths.)
  • Wear sexy lingerie.
  • Wear low cut and tight tops.
  • Wear make up.
  • Don’t wear make up.
  • Wear perfume.
  • Don’t wear cheap perfume that stinks and tastes bad on your neck.
  • Don’t wear fake nails.
  • Go to the gym every day.
  • Get liposuction.
  • If you don’t have boobs, get implants.
  • Don’t get fake boobs.
  • Wax your snatch but don't tell us about it. We know it hurts but we like the way it looks and we don't want to feel guilty about liking it.
    Go to a good spa once a month and get the works so your skin and body are soft and wrinkle free without acne and hair.
    (Okay, um, are you footing the bill for that? Oh wait, that’s right, we’re supposed to find thousands of dollars to spend on Kelly Clarkson-esque transformations which would include monthly or even weekly trips to the spa and salon. Of course we’ll need to fit this in between gym time and oh yeah, our jobs.)
  • Talk dirty.
  • Don’t talk about sex unless it’s naughty or flirty talk. We don’t care about your ovaries. We’d prefer to not even know they exist. (That’s an actual quote from a very surprising source. I had no idea this guy was so, um, well, you know, that way. He’s always seemed kind of metrosexual sensitive to me. Shows you what I know.)
  • Put out on the first date. (Interestingly, no one, not even one woman, said, “Don’t put out on a first date.” Either they think I should grab whatever I can get or this is just a universally accepted truism)
  • Let him make the first first move so you know he’s into you, but after the first first move initiate sex. A lot. (Apparently us womenfolk are supposed to wait for a guy to give us the green light by coming onto us and establishing domination and hierarchy, after that we’re supposed to anticipate and attend to his every need.)
  • Learn how to give good blow jobs and give them often. (Dude, we all know this, it really doesn’t need to be stated, but thanks.)
  • Get in really good shape so you can do a lot of positions.

Thanks guys! Sarcastic notes aside, really, thank you for sharing.

Now let’s hear from the ladies.

  • Eye contact. If he won’t look you in the eyes you don’t want him.
  • Smile at him. Works every time. If he’s not interested he won’t smile back at you. If he’s interested this lets him know you’re open to his advances and he’ll smile back and probably talk to you.
  • Get a dog. Guys love dogs.
  • Flirt, just straight up flirt, even if it seems obnoxious and stupid, guys want sex and if you don’t flirt they don’t think of you that way. It’s hard to do this without playing dumb, but if you really want a man…
  • Go to sporting events or sports bars. That’s where the boys are.
  • Find out what he likes to do and where he goes on weekends and then go there so you “coincidentally” run into him. (Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I can’t believe I know someone who ascribes to this juvenile behavior.)
  • Talk to him. If he ignores you or answers with one word or picks a fight, he’s not interested. If he starts telling you about his boss and the football match he’s into you.
  • Talk to him about his work.
  • Be happy, even if you don’t feel happy. Smile, smile, smile. Take medication, drugs, booze, whatever it takes to make you appear to be happy and not full of complications and drama or sorrow. Men just do not want to deal with anything negative when they’re not at work.That’s why big smile rah rah bimbos are so attractive to men. Those girls give the appearance of being fun and uncomplicated and men are drawn to them like moths to a flame.
  • Laugh at his jokes or at least acknowledge that he has a sense of humor.
  • Don't talk baby talk unless you really are stupid, easy and gorgeous and wearing lingerie accentuating your gorgeousness.
  • Do or say whatever you have to say to make him feel special and different and worthy. If you’re in line at the grocery ask him about something he’s buying, let him be an authority even if it’s an authority on Doritos. Compliment his coat or shoes. Single guys usually buy those things themselves and your compliment will validate his taste and confidence. Tread carefully complimenting ties, shirts, sweaters, watches, socks and underwear. There’s a high likelihood another woman, including his mother, bought these items for him. If it was a girlfriend you’ll be reminding him of her, if it was his mother you’ll embarrass him. (Ooooooh, good advice. I’ve definitely learned this lesson the hard way.)
  • Talk about your parents and your cat. If he listens and doesn’t get that blank out of body expression on his face and offers real feedback then you know he’s truly interested in you.
  • Listen to him. Look for clues about his personality in how he says what he says and make sure he listens to you. Really listens to you and really understands you.
  • Get interested in his interests. Show him you care about what he cares about.
    Make sure he knows you have interests and activities. He can then think about participating in these activities with you or will be relieved to know you have a life outside work and your relationships and that he’ll have some free time to do whatever he likes to do with his mates without you nagging him to spend every free moment with you.
  • See how he treats everyone – especially people like waitresses and clerks. If he acts superior and bothered by them, stay away. If he’s way too nice to them, he’s trying too hard to make a good impression and could be overcompensating for his actual bad people skills. Or he might be interested in them instead of you.
  • If he’s frequently defensive and argumentative and has to dominate the conversation stay away from him.
  • Make sure he likes your friends and family and is respectful to your parents.
    Find out everything you can about his dating history and past relationships. See how he talks about his ex girlfriends. If he says mean or spiteful things about them, stay away.
  • Unless it’s a quick one or two night no holds barred fling, save the freaky bedroom stuff for later. It’ll intimidate and scare them if you throw this at them right away.
  • Just be yourself. If that’s not good enough for him he’s not good enough for you. (That bit of age-old platitude wisdom from my best friend, by the way, so maybe not the best advice in terms of developing an action plan. Just being myself has always been good enough for her, she likes me for me. Finding a man, a dating kind of man, who feels the same way is obviously the challenge here. If just being myself was all I needed to do I wouldn’t be in this situation. I’m good at being myself, but being myself has left me by myself. My friend agrees that while this is good advice it comes off trite and condescending to most of us in my situation.)

Well, there you have it. I assumed there would be general themes among men and women, but I certainly didn’t expect it to be this blazingly obvious and this blazingly divided by gender.

What I find interesting is not just what they said, but how they expressed it. The men wrote short, almost abrupt, quick, definitive, straight to the point, command responses telling me exactly what to do to attract a man. Very few wrote more than one sentence. The women wrote more involved, sprawling conceptual ideas with more words and more sentences about how to hang onto a man once you’ve attracted him. Sentences containing not only advice on actions regarding feelings, but also on how to react or respond after following that advice.

Just observing and reporting.

1:35 PM

Monday, February 05, 2007  
Men are weird. There. I said it. I hate that I said it. I hate that I think it. I hate that this is even a topic of consideration. But. Men. Are. Weird. Yes. Women are weird, too. For every example of weird male behavior I know there is a female counterpart.

So really, I guess I should rephrase the statement: Women think men are weird. And not just this woman. Lots of women think men are weird. I’ve been a holdout among my gender. I refused to pin a label on an entire gender of people simply because a few of them behave oddly. But I’ve met a lot of men in the past few years. Apart from a few who somehow slipped through the weird brewing process, they’re weird. And no, my focus group did not consist solely of men met on online dating sites. I’m talking about the whole big bunch of men I’ve met online and in real life. Including men I haven’t personally met but either observed in action or heard about via other women.

I've got a few case studies to present. A few not-so-good men, specific men who represent types of men I've met online and in real life. In many cases the real weirdness asserts itself in the form of sex. Which almost overwhelmingly makes me conclude the pursuit of sex makes men do weird things. And I do not mean endearingly cute weird things. Or rash and cold sweats weird things. I mean just really odd, illogical, stupid, weird behavior. Take sex out of the equation and many of these guys are probably capable of being decent men, or at least less weird men. But unfortunately men and sex go together like brain and dead.

Nothing new or insightful there, the fact that men are ruled by their sexual organs was established a long time ago. It's just, well, you know, we, most of us, at least us womenfolk, have been trying to give men the benefit of the doubt. We don't really want you to all be ultra sensitive to the point of annoying metro-asexuals, but, we've been hoping you've evolved and become enlightened enough to at least be aware of our capacities beyond sex.

We, ha ha, silly us, we've been under the apparently misguided impression that some of you actually want us to possess, and respect us for, qualities other than our looks and abilities in bed. I know, I know, who's weirder? Men, or women who think crazy thoughts like that?

And therein lies the root cause of womens' perceived weirdness among men. Basically, we're operating on two completely incompatible platforms. We all know successful relationships consist of give and take. Acceptance and respect. Support and understanding. Love and trust.

What finally dawned on me is that while both sexes understand these fundamental relationship principles, we're using the same words and ideas to describe very different things.

How did I hit upon this insightful theory? Ancient Chinese secret... I was with a guy in a Chinese restaurant. We had a very odd conversation. We were both trying really hard to get along, we wanted things to go well and we'd been polite, but, not exactly hitting it off, either. It was odd. We shared a lot of interests and outlooks, but somehow we just weren't in sync. The transcript of the conversation would read as if we had a lot in common and were getting along great, but the reality is that something just wasn't right. The fortune cookies arrived. I got the usual pithy nonfortune cookie doling out some stupid platitude soon to be a Successories poster. I scoffed, "Aw, c'mon, fortune cookie people, quit slacking on the job and tell me something useful." The guy quickly jumped in with the "in bed" trick. Okay, yes, tee hee, that old stand-by usually brings at least a smile to my lips.

And then, suddenly it dawned on me: Even though we'd been talking about the same concepts and outlooks, we had very different motivations and desired outcomes. One fortune cookie, two people. One wants insight and advice, the other wants an easy laugh and sex.

Eureka. All this time, all these years...all the disappointments and confusion, and it all comes down to semantics. I say I need acceptance in a relationship and I mean nonjudgmental understanding of who I am, as a person, and acceptance of that being. Men say they need acceptance in a relationship and they mean nonjudgmental approval of their fetish, kinks or hasty release in bed. I say I need time to establish trust to feel comfortable in the relationship and I mean he needs to prove that he wants me for something other than sex and that he'll be there for me through thick and thin. He says he needs time to establish trust to feel comfortable in the relationship and he means he needs proof that I'll acknowledge the safety word and stop whipping him when he mumbles it through the ball gag and that I won't post the photos of him in women's undergarments online. Or tell his friends that he cried at the end of Charlotte's Web. Or that he even saw Charlotte's Web.

When women think and wax philosophical about relationships and their components - give, take, acceptance, respect, support, understanding, love, trust - we're thinking in terms of emotions, intellect and soul. Men think about the exact same components, but in terms of sex. So there's this huge misunderstanding right from the get go.

A couple has a conversation about what they want in a relationship. They use the same words so they think they're a good match. Turns out they're talking about two very different things. And yes, of course this is a generalization. I know lots of enlightened men who are capable of thinking about things other than sex. But. Put them in front of a woman they're attracted to and, while they may like and respect her for her intellect, quick wit or charm, he's still thinking/hoping/wondering if he's going to get some from her. Meanwhile the woman is sitting there thinking/hoping/wondering if he likes foreign films and cats.

Okay, maybe nothing terribly new or anything that will change the course of nature and history. But if you’ve been having communication issues and can’t get to the bottom of the problem because you both say you want the same things, you might want to investigate to see if this is the problem.

Looking back over some of the men I’ve met I can see where this may have been an issue. Which caused me to review many of the men I’ve met and realize: Sex was an issue, but not quite in the misunderstood capacity as outlined above. No, the sex issues here were more confusing and contradictory and add fuel to my: Men are Weird fire.

Case #1
Larry, Larry Quite Contrary
I hated this guy. At the time I was trying really hard to like him. Why? Because he is intelligent and at times very funny. But that constant contrary attitude, the argument for the sake of arguing, the need to be “different” just for the sake of being “different” just wore me out and got on my nerves. In a big way. He wasn’t different at all. He’s just a contrary, rabble rousing jerk. The guy picked fights with me, literally picked fights, over everything. Yes. Everything. Especially insignificant stuff. And I’m not labeling him a jerk just because he didn’t agree with me, I’m labeling him a jerk because he is a jerk. When I finally played his own game and rescinded and earlier comment I made to him, over which he vehemently argued with me, he then switched “opinions” and started fighting for the view I had earlier presented. Jerk. Fighting for the sake of an argument. It’s apparently his communication style. I’m getting a headache just thinking about him. He’s a bully.

Basically, he disagreed with everything I said. Yes, literally, everything. And yet, he kept calling. He wanted to get together for dinner and drinks. He said he really liked me. I cannot even imagine what it would have been like to go out with this guy. “Where would you like to have dinner?” he’d ask. I’d say, “How about that Thai place in your neighborhood?” He’d bark at me, “Are you crazy? That place sucks!” “oh. Okay. Well, you choose a place then.” And so it would go. Yeh. That would be a fun date. That would be a great relationship.

But get this: The guy called several times after I refused to see him and had the nerve to suggest a weekend away, a fling at his brother’s cabin in the remote Wisconsin woods. I’m not kidding. Some of you may be saying, “Can’t blame the guy for trying…” I’m guessing those of you saying that are men. Take the creepy “fling” and “remote” location out the equation and it’s still weird. In all our conversations all he ever did was argue with me and try to demean and belittle me – bully me – by taking an opposite point of view just for the sake of playing argumentative pundit. And he thinks I’m going to in any way find this attractive? That I would want to have sex with him? Can you even imagine what that would be like? There would literally be no pleasing the guy.

But that’s not the point – why in the world would he even want to have sex with me? He argues every word I say, he can’t possibly like me, and he flat out told me he wasn’t that attracted to me, so why? Why repeatedly call? Why send email after email offering to help me “release some stress?” What the…? Eliminating the stress having a conversation with this guy causes would require a lot more that a roll in the sack. Yet he somehow completely misses the point that he’s an arrogant, bullying, argumentative jerk and thinks a) sex will make everything okay and b) that I would want to have sex with him. Am I the only one who finds this weird?

One of my friends actually tried to come to his defense by giving him credit of doubt. Theorizing that he only knows how to argue, that he can only communicate by debating, that he’s clearly insecure, and maybe after some therapy he might be a great guy.

I’m guessing right now sympathetic women are thinking in terms of emotional growth and maturity. And men are thinking, “in bed” at the end of my friend’s optimistic appraisal. To me it’s just weird. Contradictory (which in his case is a way of life so not exactly weird) and weird.

Case #2
We met via a friend. He wasn’t that into me. Okay, he was totally not into me. He wouldn’t let it go at that. He insulted and berated me and threw out a long list of criticisms and ways “women like me” need to change. Among other things, he called me a waste of time and a waste of air and suggested I consider the options the Catholic church has for “women like me.” I never got a definition of “women like me” but I did find consolation that by his broad generalizations there must be a lot of “women like me.” Hey, I’m alone but not alone in my plight. That’s always good for some reassurance on the therapist’s couch or in the quiet lonely dark hours between midnight and dawn.

Right. So. Clearly that date wasn’t going to go anywhere good. Whatever, dude, good luck trying to find that perfect woman. Don’t trip over those unrealistic ideals of yours, as high and mighty as you are that fall will be long and it will hurt a lot when you land. Yadda yadda yadda, a few weeks ago he told our mutual friend that he’d like to see me again.

Okay, some of you are thinking, “awwwwww, he’s learned his lesson and wants to see you again. That’s cute. He’s still a jerk, but that’s kind of cute.” I’m guessing that response is coming from the female audience. While the male population is probably thinking, “in bed.” And guys, you’re right.

My friend set up an ambush “date” of sorts, wherein several of us met for drinks after work. And what do you know, he just happened to be there. And what do you know, there was an empty seat right next to him. And what do you know, he stared at my boobs and repeatedly put his hand in my crotch. Yes. Really. Just like that. He never apologized or even alluded to the time we went on a “date” and he insulted and hurt me. Badly. He just jumped right in and “went for it.”

Why? Why would a guy do this? Why would anyone not actually being filmed on a dating “reality” show do this?

Because he’s weird. Very, very weird. His sudden change of interest in me, especially an apparently sexual change of interest in me, does not automatically make me forget or forgive his behavior and comments to me on that “date.”

I finally switched seats with someone just to get out of his reach. And no, it doesn’t make me “feel better” knowing someone is willing and ready to have sex with me. No. It doesn’t. It offends and insults me. The weird aspect of this is not his sexual advances, but that they came after really mean and harsh uncalled for criticism.

And what’s even more weird is his presumption that I’m totally willing to just give in to his advances as if that date wherein he insulted and criticized me never happened. Lecherous jerk. Whatever. Weirdo.

Case #3
This one, well, this one left me contemplating the virtues of a life spent in a convent. Sure, there are a lot of drawbacks and oh yeah, you need to actually believe in God and devote your life to blind faith, but, you know, other than that, there are some positive aspects. I mean, at the very least you don’t go on a first date and have a guy barf on you.

Over the course of this dating push I’ve met a lot of men. A lot of them turned out to be immature in a lot of ways. A lot of them turned out to be shallow, arrogant jerks. A lot of them turned out to be pouty spoiled boys. A lot of them turned out to be cruel, callous, cads. I thought I’d seen, heard and experienced it all. And then I met Barf Boy. He is the embodiment of all those characteristics. Barf Boy and I emailed quite a bit and eventually made the leap to phone conversation. Which went really well. So well that we agreed to meet for drinks.

No. My expectations weren’t high, because, well, let’s face it, I’m skeptical by nature and the past few years have given me a very realistic (cynical) edge to my outlook. They say they’re great and that I’m everything they want in a woman. I say: Show me the money. You gotta do more than talk the talk with me. If you don’t walk the walk and put your money where your mouth is, I’m not playing that game. Anyone can say the right words. But very few people actually back them up with appropriate behavior. So, you know, I wasn’t thinking this guy would be The One or even a One. I was a little hopeful that we might have a nice time chatting because to this point we seemed to be on the same wavelength on a lot of levels which matter. Unfortunately we didn’t discuss puking on a first date. Now I know to broach that topic of conversation before agreeing to meet a man. “Have you ever puked on a woman? Have you done so on a first date? Even if you haven’t actually puked on a woman, do you condone and accept this behavior?” will now be in my lineup of questions I ask prospective dates.

Thanks to this guy I’ll also now ask prospective dates if they will be flying solo on the first date or will have a wingman in tow, or, perhaps, the entire squadron.

Yes. I show up at the designated meeting place at the appointed time. I see a large group of people at a table. One of them climbs over the group and approaches me. He looks vaguely familiar. Someone from work? A friend of a friend? Who is this person emerging from a large group and heading my way with a big smile of recognition? And further, how embarrassing, I’m here to meet a guy I met online, once I figure out who this person is I’m going to have to make polite excuses and then have them watch my date unfold. It’ll be awkward because my date might think I’ve brought all these people along to check him out.

Or. Perhaps my date has brought them along to check out me. Yep, the guy looked familiar because he was my date. My date who’d obviously been drinking for a while. With his friends. Who were all there as a pre-date party. Apparently this guy is very involved with his friends. They do everything together. Even go on first dates together. And apparently all their other dates. They travel as a group. They date as a group. I wouldn’t be even slightly surprised to learn they have sex as a group. Some of them are related by blood (brothers/sisters), others are old friends, and others are boyfriends/girlfriends/spouses of the core group who’ve now been sucked in by the group. Everyone in the group dresses similarly and wears the same hairstyles. (Sport team jerseys, jeans, urban hiking boots on both the men and women, hair cut short and styled “messy” for the guys, modified and highlighted “Rachels” for the girls) Okay. Well. You know. Hail hail, the gang’s all here, and if I’m going to date this guy apparently I better get used to all of these people being an integral part of our relationship. In fairness to them, they all seemed nice enough, these aren’t bad people, but, um, this is a first date. Is it too much to ask for a little privacy and space to get to know each other without being watched and judged by an entire squadron of wingmen?

Well. The group aspect doesn’t really matter. Because shortly after I joined the group a few more pitchers of beer were ordered. Judging by the staleness of the smell of beer clinging to my date, they’d already finished off several pitchers prior to my arrival.

And apparently several orders of cheddar fries. This is not a guess on my part. It’s not a guess because within exactly 15 minutes of my arrival, my date threw up on me. Well, his best friend was caught in the main line of fire and his best friend’s wife also caught some of the vomit, and to be fair it was just on a portion of my sleeve. But. Yes. He threw up on me.

One of his group mates followed me into the ladies room and insisted that he doesn’t “usually” do this and he’s a really nice guy and he really likes me and I shouldn’t judge him by that first impression. Oh. Okay. Sure. I’ll pretend he never puked on me. And I’ll try to pretend he didn’t bring an entire squadron of wingmen on a first date. But I’m going to have a hard time letting go of the fact that he’s clearly got a drinking “issue.” After I cleaned up in the ladies room I left. As I walked by the table I noticed my date had also been cleaned up and had returned to the table. He was propped up in the corner with that “I just puked cheddar fries all over everyone but I don’t care because I’m still so drunk I’m almost passed out” look on his face.

And no! None of that is what compelled me to think, “Men are weird!” Nope, at that point I just thought he was an immature jerk with socialization issues and a drinking problem.

I didn’t think he was weird until the next day when he called to enthuse about how much fun he had and how he couldn’t wait to go out again.

I’m not kidding.

No apology. No humility. No humbleness. No “I know this is a long shot but could you find it in your heart to give me another chance?” Nope, none of those pesky social conventions which manners dictate in this type of situation. Nope, just a complete lack of recognition that he was a drunk jerk who brought an entire crew of people on a first date and then puked on me.

He had a good time? All 15 minutes I was there were fun for him? How could he even remember I was there, distill me out of the sea of faces and conversation taking place at the table just before he barfed up his beer and cheddar fries? He had fun???!

Men = Presumptuous, arrogant jerks at this point.

He still wasn’t registering on the weird-o-meter.

But as he persisted and persisted and persisted in asking me out again, he had the nerve, the complete and utter nerve, to say, “We talked more than an hour on the phone last week so that counts as a date, we went out last night, so Friday will be our third date, and you know what that means! C’mon Trill, let’s have our “third date” (wink wink nudge nudge voice) as soon as possible. I had so much fun I can’t wait to see you again, especially since this will be our “third date.”"

Um, right. I don't think so.

Case #4
Compliments Will Get You Everywhere
So, this guy seemed nice. Really nice. When we talked on the phone he had a sort of laid back intelligence about him. Easy going, easy conversationalist. Maybe a little too laid back in some respects, verging on lazy, but, you know, nice. Intelligent. What more could a girl want?

Well, for starters a girl could want a man who doesn’t compare her looks to that of a person with a serious mental illness. Unless of course the girl happens to have that mental illness, but even then stating the obvious or hinting at the less obvious, is not recommended on a first date. Or any date. No one wants to be reminded of their imperfections on a date. Most of us are acutely aware of our imperfections, the obvious and less obvious of our shortcomings plague us daily. We do not need anyone to call attention to them or remind us of them. We work hard to overcome our imperfections and we’d like to be recognized for the positive aspects of our personalities and looks instead of the negative qualities.

I’ve had a lot of insults hurled at me in my lifetime. A lot. I could write the Bible on being teased. I have thick skin. I can handle most of the insults and walk away with head held high, even though my heart and self esteem fall several notches with each blow. I learned early in life to accept the negative feelings and get past the hurt and subsequent doubt insults can cause. Accentuate the positive and all that.

But since HWNMNBS broke up me with solely because of my looks, and gave me detailed lists as to exactly what was wrong with my physicality and how that if he couldn’t “get past” my flaws certainly no one else could, I have had difficulty getting past the hurt. I'm more sensitive. And I don't mean by random insults or remarks. I mean there are some frayed nerves which won't heal and they're exposed. Every now and then the cumulative damage combined with zero positive reinforcement makes those nerves ache. And the doubts plague me daily. Especially when I don’t exactly have a trail of men vying for my affections. Especially when I have been further insulted on many dates by many men. This just proves HWNMNBS was right. If he couldn’t get past my looks, how can I expect anyone else to be able to overcome my imperfections? HWNMNBS tried, he tried because he wanted to focus on the positive aspects of me. But in the end the positive aspects weren’t enough. So. Yes, I have some baggage in this area. Baggage, or, a harsh mirror of truth? Tomato, tomahto. I learned a lot from that experience, I continue to learn from it. Overall I learned that being a good, honest, caring, intelligent, kind, supportive, loving person is not enough. Giving trust and respect doesn't frost the cake. If you lack in physical beauty you are simply not worthy of real affection, respect and love of men. And no, at first I didn't paint the whole gender with the HWNMNBS brush. But as time cruelly marches on, and I am increasingly rejected and alone, it becomes more obvious that he was right. If he couldn't do it, no one can.

One thing that has come from this is that once I was hurt so badly by someone I loved and trusted so completely that I pledged to spend my life as his wife, the insults and abuse from other men is meaningless and insignificant. For some reason they want to hurt me, insult me, embarrass me, shame me, mock me, something, anything to make them feel superior and make sure that I go home hating and doubting myself. But they don’t know, they have no idea how their insults pale in insignificance compared to what I’ve endured as a result of losing the man I loved so dearly because he didn’t find me attractive enough. Nothing, no one can hurt me that badly. so these Johnny-Come-Latelies with their stupid little remarks and jokes and insults mean nothing to me. I just add them to the pile. More kindling for the "good-bye cruel world" suicide note.

But. I have to give this new guy credit. He took a new and different approach and opened a new vein of untapped self esteem issues.

We agreed to meet for dinner. Because our conversations had gone so well, a full blown dinner date seemed like a great idea. We’d had such extensive conversations it seemed natural and even necessary to have a full dinner date for our first date. Pregnant or awkward pauses seemed impossible for us. We might not be right for each other, but we could talk. That’s nice. You know. That’s a good thing. A nice change of pace.

Twenty minutes into dinner he was leaning back comfortably in his chair and said, they way you might say, “your hair is long and brown,” “how severe is your Asperger Syndrome?" If you are unfamiliar with Asperger Syndrome the short explanation is that it’s a “high functioning” form of autism. Grant you, there are times, yes, that I feel like I have a mental illness, especially regarding words and their assault on me. But. Mr. Suave here was not alluding to my vocabulary or word traits. No, he said I looked either mildly autistic or full blow Asperger.

What do you say to a guy who says you look deformed and mentally disabled?

I mean, okay, maybe I do, maybe he’s right, okay, fine, but, um, we’re on a first date, here. The guy was all smiling all charming and pleasant as if he'd just bestowed me with a terrific compliment. The sort of compliment a guy gives when he's spreading it on real thick in hopes of getting laid.

I thought maybe, surely, he must be kidding. I giggled a very insecure and uncomfortable giggle. I don't like that sort of humor. There's nothing funny about mental illness.

I just went very quiet, let him do all the talking, kept my order to a side salad and got the heck out of there as soon as possible.

Okay, fine, got through that date. There’s one for the books. Geeze. I mean, I know I’m not pretty, I know I have more bad days than good ones these days, but c’mon, autistic? And no disrespect to Autistic people, really, of course not. In my past I've worked hands on at Special Olympics and I can personally attest to and vouch for the beauty to be found in not only the character but also the physical appearance of the mentally challenged. But I don’t happen to actually be, you know, Autistic. So even though I consider it an honor to be held among these incredible people, I'm actually, you know, not one of them. All pondering of experiments like Autistic, Like Me aside, this is both an insult to me and to the truly Asperger afflicted.

But the fact that he likened my appearance to an autistic person isn’t even the weird part of this guy.

The weird part is that he emailed me later that night and said what a great time he had.

The weirder part is that he called the next day and wanted to take me out again. He said he thought he just started scratching the surface and couldn’t wait to get deeper into my head. He said he wanted to help me. Yes. Help me.

Um. Thanks. But. I think you’ve “helped” enough already.

He persisted. “Trillian, we could be really good together. I can tell you need the right sort of man to release you from your head. You can trust me, let me release you from yourself. I’m different, Trill, I understand you, I know there’s a lot more to you than what shows on the surface. I’m not into looks. Different personalities turn me on.”


I hung up on him.

Mental disabilities can be overcome. In bed.

Cripes. Where do I find these guys?? Online? Well. Not this one. Nope, this one is a friend of a friend. Came highly recommended by my friend’s brother. A person I have heretofore found to have a great knowledge of history, good taste in music and a sincere kindness.

Weird. Just. Weird. The guy “compliments” a woman by telling her she looks autistic and then wants to “release her” from herself.

Still think men aren’t weird? Still think it’s unfair to make sweeping generalizations about an entire gender? Still think I just haven’t met “the right one?”

Yeah, maybe. But in the sea of weirdness and jerks I’m starting to doubt “the right one” exists.

Maybe I should just forget about establishing a real and meaningful relationship and just get as much sex as I can while I am still able to attract a few men. Mind you, not many men, not men I’m actually interested in, and most of them are weird jerks, but still, there are a few men who, with enough booze in them, are willing to have sex with me. So maybe I should just go that route. Other women have. I always wondered about “those” women. I always assumed it was self esteem or a hyper libido or drugs or alcohol or something else driving them into bed with these guys.

Now I think I’m starting to understand what these women learned: Men are all weird and all they really want is sex anyway, we’re never going to meet on any real plane of understanding, so cut to the chase, get yourself good and liquored up, it’ll numb the pain of your pride and self esteem shattering, give ‘em what they want and just do ‘em when you get the chance. One of them might bother to stick around and then you’ve got yourself a boyfriend.

And that’s so easy. So incredibly easy. Even for someone who looks like me. I get offers daily. Several offers. Here’s today’s offer. Who could resist this charming bit of flirtation?
Whats up im good looking im looking for a friend not a girlfriend just somebody to sex me from time to time i'm pretty cool and if your up to it email me

I know it’s difficult to understand, but I haven’t yet jumped at this offer. I know, I know, no wonder I can’t find a man and think men are weird. What do I expect when I don’t leap at this kind of opportunity?

Well, for starters, my profile clearly, in bold, states that I am looking for a long term relationship. Secondly, in the text of my profile I clearly, in bold, so it’s easy for all men to see, even if they’re just skimming for key words, that I am not interested in one night stands, married men or players. I spell it right out that men who fall into those (and other) categories will not get a response from me.

And yet, they write. They wink. They persist and persist and start to get scary with their emails to the point that I have to block them.

Guys, the cool thing about online dating is that we can spell it all out for you. Read our profile and you can learn a lot about us. It’s a great way to cut through the preliminary cat and mouse question and answer period. Unless you’re set up by a friend or relative who knows a lot about the girl and what she’s looking for in a man it can take several dates to find out this kind of information. How many of you have met a great girl, gone out with her two or three times only to discover, after you’re already falling for this girl, that she isn’t looking for a serious relationship, doesn’t want children and has six cats and an ex-husband up for parole next year? Had you met her online, assuming she was honest in her profile, you would know: She has cats, she isn’t looking for anything serious and is divorced. Forewarned is forearmed my friends.

But unfortunately a lot of you guys are giving this process a bad name. You see a girl online whom you find attractive. Or you actually bother to read her profile and like one or two things about her. Never mind that she clearly states many qualities you don’t like, or is looking for many qualities you do not possess. You go right ahead and email her anyway. Sure, she’s looking for a long term relationship but, hey, who could resist a few hours in the sack with you? It’d be the best time she’ll find online, it’d be good for her and hey, you’re honest, you’re telling her you don’t want anything serious so no one’s getting hurt, right?

Wrong. By contacting a woman who is clearly not looking for the same things as you, you are wasting her time and energy and giving her a more reasons to add to her list of why she will stop using online dating sites before she meets a few good men, or even just one. Thanks for blowing it for the guy she could have met, the guy who was perfect for her and the guy she was hoping to meet. Nice work, asshole.

Yes, of course we “expect” some of this sort of attention when we post our profiles. Of course we do. But. We don’t expect a constant barrage of this sort of thing. And your email could be the one that breaks that camel’s back. Trust me and my years of experience with online dating: You are not the first guy to email her with a salacious request or offer. However, you may be the last, because she may say, “That’s it! I’ve had it with these egomaniacal jerks who don’t pay attention to what I wrote in my profile! I quit this whole thing, it’s a pointless waste of time because all the wrong men contact me for all the wrong reasons!” It’s not just the one email, it’s the steady drip which makes us grow to resent you as a group. One bad apple boys, can spoil the whole lot. An entire peck of bad apples makes us think the orchard is in need of serious pruning and will make us start contemplating entirely different types of fruit. Bananas are nice. And high in potassium. Who needs an orchard full of bad apples when you can have one healthy, firm banana and all that potassium?

The commonality, the tie that binds all these men together in weirdness, is that they say these things, and behave these ways...and yet, still, they fully expect to get laid. Weirder still, they expect to get laid not in spite of their words or behavior, but because of it.

Weird men. Very, very weird men. And the women who deal with them. Women who are lonely and just want one decent guy. Heck, forget decent, we just want one man. It's becoming clear the answer to the question of differences which cause so much anguish between genders may very well be: In bed.

3:23 PM

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