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