IM Message One (Neil and Sophia)
Sophia: (in Los Angeles) How’s the weather?
Neil: Tonight it is freezing.
Sophia: What are you wearing?
Neil: My leather coat.
Sophia: Don’t wear that. It’s too cold for a leather jacket. Wear that other coat.
Neil: The old one?
Neil: It think it may be too short on me now. Let me see. Later.
IM Message Two (Neil and Sophia)
Neil: I took a photo of the me in the coat. I’m sending it to you. How does it look?
Sophia: I can hardly see anything. Everything looks orange and dark. Can’t you photoshop it?
Neil: It will be faster for me to take another photo. Be back.
IM Message Three (Neil and Sophia)
Neil: I’m sending another photo. This one is special for you.
Sophia: Ha Ha. That’s cute!
Neil: I used Photoshop and combined two photos — a naked one and one with the overcoat! I stood in the exact same spot for both.
Sophia: What color is the coat?
Sophia: It looks orange in the photo.
Neil: It is the bad lighting. I tried to fix it in Photoshop, but it just washes everything out.
Sophia: It looks like your mother’s coat.
Neil: It is not my mother’s coat.
Sophia: What man wears an orange coat… other than a pimp?
Neil: Do you like the photo?
Sophia: It’s funny. You should post it on the blog.
Neil: Are you serious?
Sophia: Yeah, why not. You can’t see anything.
Neil: I’ll think about it. I don’t have anything for tomorrow anyway.
IM Message Four (Neil and Charming but Single)
Neil: Hey, C! What’s up?
Charming: Not much. Work really sucked today.
Charming: Because my boss…
(Fifteen minutes later — Why do women remember every little detail of their work day while men just answer, “Nothing”?)
Neil: Can I ask you a favor? I want to send you a photo. Tell me if you think it is OK to post.
Neil: It is a little risque.
Charming: You’re not sending me a photo of your penis, are you?
Neil: Why would I send you a photo of my penis?
Charming: You write about your penis.
Neil: I write about my penis. I don’t take photos of my penis.
Charming: Well, some men do.
Neil: You have men sending you photos of their penises?
Charming: Some guy from match.com just sent me one last week.
Neil: Why would he send you a photo of his penis? What are you going to do with it? Put the photo on your fridge?
Charming: I have no idea.
Neil: Believe me, I’m never going to send you a photo of my penis. Expecially when it is so cold.
Charming: You are an enlightened man. Please tell other men that sending a photo of your penis to someone you just meet on Match.com does not make you good dating material.
Neil: If you are going to send a woman something, it should be a photo of your bank account.
Charming: I just want a nice, normal guy.
Neil: I will pass the info on to the blogosphere.
(note: C is available and very charming. Men, I perfectly understand your love of your own penis. But please do not send any photos to a woman you are interested in. Let it be a mystery until the day of the big unveiling. Would you want her to send YOU an unrequested naked photo of herself? [uh, note — edit out that last sentence later])
Neil: Well, C, here’s my picture?
Charming: Oooh, cute!
Neil: Cute? It is supposed to be a little risque, not cute.
Charming: I find it cute. I like your little hat.
Neil: Can I post this on the blog?
Charming: Yes. Hot!
Neil: Do you like the coat?
Charming: Is it your mother’s?
Neil: It is NOT my mother’s!
Charming: It’s orange.
Neil: It’s gray.
Charming: So, is this what you are doing in New York? Taking naked photos of yourself?
Neil: Just one photo. To show how cold it is… in an artistic way.
Charming: Yeah, right.
Neil: Do you have any “artistic” photos of yourself you want to run by me?
Neil: OK, so thanks. Let me post it.
Charming: Wait, wait, wait… I haven’t finished telling you about my boss today.
Neil: Oh, yes… go on…
Charming: So, we’re at this conference, and I’m giving this presentation… and remember, I was working on this all weekend… and… my boss…
(As she told me about her day, I thought about the title of my first best-selling self-help book on male-female Venus-Mars relationships: Women Like to Chat, Men Like to Photograph Their Penis)
A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Neilochka Leaves His Apartment