Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: dating (page 1 of 2)

The “Like Generation” in Dating

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I sometimes forget that I met my ex-wife Sophia online, not on a dating site, but on a long-vanished forum on LA Freenet, an experiment in free internet service in Los Angeles.

Our first conversation was about children’s books. I said my favorite was Curious George Goes to the Zoo.  She liked The Little Prince. Neither of us had read the other’s fave, so we agreed to go to the library to check out the competition.

A few days we emailed each other with the results.  She found Curious George “childish.” I found the Little Prince “pretentious and boring.” It was love at first sight.

Don’t laugh.  This is how it works in the movies.  Imagine Sarah Bullock, playing a conservationist with Greenpeace, pushing past the secretary to confront the CEO of the oil company which plans to drill off of Venice Beach, played by George Clooney.   She takes one look at him, and what do you know — this is the same guy she had sex with last night after meeting him at the bar in the Mexican café in Westwood!

Opposites attract in movies.   But what about in real life?

Personally, if I met some woman who was into rodeos, it might be fun to learn more about her passions.   I know we are all taught to be confident in our own beliefs and likes, but what ever happened to learning about new things?

Can I also say that I am a Democrat and Sophia was a Republican?   I wonder if we met in today’s angrier America whether we could even get past the first swipe.    Yes, our views were important, but love has not boundaries, right?

One of the most interesting developments in online dating today is the need to judge each other by the most superficial of things — our cultural interests. Perhaps it is the result of “swipe and meet” apps where there are no questionnaires like on E-Harmony, and the bios are the length of Twitter updates. When using an app like Tinder or Bagel Meets Coffee, we know nothing about the person’s moral or artistic character, even after a first date.  The best way to judge worthiness (other than looks and chemistry) is to grab information about their “likes,” much as we do on Facebook.   But these likes are not the old-fashioned “walks in the rain” and “pina coladas,” which are activities done as part of romantic rituals, but media-created products that are consumed, such as music and tv shows.  But what do these “likes” really say anything about us other than the fact we pushed a button?

One of my dates went completely downhill when I revealed that I never listened to NPR, as if my lack of radio-listening was a sign that I was a Tea Party member.  I asked another woman if she wanted to see a Broadway musical, and her response was “that she does NOT see musicals.” It was a confusing moment, because I wasn’t sure if she was rejecting me or had some terrible fear of actors belting out songs.

Maybe it is a New York thing, but there has been so much name-dropping on my dates, from alternative bands to Bjork exhibits, that I almost fear being banned from a dating site if I mention my love of ABBA or Curious George Goes to the Zoo.   Before dating, my biggest fear was that I would forget to shave.   Now, I feel like I need to read the right books.

“No, I’m sorry. I haven’t listened to “Serial” yet.   No, I haven’t read Dave Eggers yet.  But I do have a blog.”

“Like Mashable or TechCrunch?”

“No.  A personal blog.”

“What do you write about?”

“You know.   Usual stuff.   Like telling all my friends and the general public all about my dates.”

“Do you make any money doing this?”

“No.”

“Hmm.  I saw you went to film school.   I love movies.   I love Wes Anderson.  You see any good movies lately?”

“Well, last night I watched this movie on cable called “Quartet” about a bunch of elderly opera singers in a British nursing home. It was pretty good.”

“I don’t think we are a good match.”

Do you think common interests in music, TV shows, or movies is the best barometer of a good match? If I watch Duck Dynasty does that brand me as a Republican and Jon Stewart as a liberal, and does it matter what we CONSUME in the media?   Is this “like” mentality, even in dating, the fault of social media?

Admit One

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Well, I got through my first three months of online dating using two apps, Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel.  I had eleven first dates, three second dates, and one third date.  It was fun and I met a lot of great women.  But it was exhausting.  On one week, I arranged three dates on three consecutive nights.   I hated this overbooked schedule but everyone in New York City seems so busy with their lives,  that you come away feeling that if you don’t meet immediately, you will lose your chance to meet anyone, especially with a hundred other potential matches close to their swiping fingertips.

Today, I feel sad, not in an extreme way, but just enough for it to be a “go to bed and eat ice cream from the carton while country music plays on the radio” day.  There’s no reason to be sad.  I’m impressed with myself and how successful I was, considering I haven’t gone on a real online date, well… forever.   Best of all, I have a better idea of what I want.

I started out this enterprise with me selling myself to others,  handing out”admit one” tickets to hundreds of  women, trying to draw them into the carnival show.  But that’s not how dating works.   First comes the chaos of the carnival, and then, only when the dust settles and you find that special woman, do you hand out the one ticket that speaks directly from your heart,  the ticket that reads “admit one.”

Time to go back into the fray – I just made a new first date for Thursday night.

Wild and Crazy Dating Stories

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Conversation with my friend Craig, who I met in the street.

“Hey, Neil. How’s the online dating life?”

“It’s good. I’ve met some interesting women.”

“It must be wild. I’ve been reading the articles in the New York Times about all the crazy hookups on Tinder and sex with strangers?”

“That’s the media blowing things up to write salacious articles. They love to appeal to our fears about the internet.”

“I think it’s real. Did you see that video of the 89 year grandfather who fooled all these young women on Tinder? Their reactions will shock you!”

“That’s fake shit. A perfect example of the media using “hot topics” to get hits. I should know, I just wrote something titled “4 Lessons from My Month on Tinder,” which received more feedback than any post that I’ve written on my own personal blog this year. But the truth is, most people on these dating sites are just normal people looking for love.”

“Ha ha, yeah… you mean normal, single people wanting to bring their sexy back… with strangers! Come on, Neil, surely you must have encountered something wild so far?”

“Well, yesterday, I did get a Tinder offer to join a couple in a threesome.”

“Now, that’s more like it! What did you say?”

“I swiped no. I can barely handle one women. Who wants to also deal with her stupid husband?”

I thought when you said threesome, you meant two women.”

“No. It was a married couple. So far, no offers for threesomes with two women.”

“Anything else really wild and crazy?”

“Well, there was one woman who said that before we met for coffee she wanted to Skype.”

“Ooh, for sex talk?”

“No, quite the opposite. She gave me a third degree straight out of “Law and Order” – “Do you smoke? Do you drink? Do you use drugs? Do you ever play cards for money?” I started laughing, thinking she was joking, cleverly being ironic, but she wasn’t.”

“I asked you for a story that was wild and sexy, not crazy and sad.”

“Well, how about this – I found this interesting.  As I am swiping on Tinder – yes, no, yes, no – I come across a transgender person.”

“How did you know?”

“She said in the text under the photo. I am transgender.”

“OK.”

“And I know transgender issues are big now, with that terrific TV show, Transparent. And you know how I am all for LGBT rights, but when I actually encountered a transgender person on a dating site, it made me stop in my tracks. I felt a little hypocritical, because there was no way I was going to swipe right and say yes, no matter what she looked like. I’m just not ready for it on a personal level. I believe in it for society, but I’m not sure I am ready to overcome my own internal bias over what is “male” and what is “female.” I’m not sure I am ready to date someone who is transgender. I thought about writing about this in a blog post.”

“No way. Don’t write that blog post.”

“Why not?”

“Because it sounds like you are anti-transgender.”

“I’m not anti-transgender. I’m just being honest about confronting my own bias. Maybe in ten years I will be able to date a transgender person, but not now.”

“Don’t write the post. You still sound like you hate transgender people.”

“I don’t hate transgender people!”

“So, are you saying that if Bruce Jenner publicly says, I am a woman, operation and all, you still wouldn’t date him?”

“I wouldn’t date Bruce Jenner.”

“The Olympic champion? Someone who has been on the front of Wheaties?”

“I’m not interested in Bruce Jenner.”

“It’s almost un-American.”

“You would date Bruce Jenner?”

“Bruce Jenner – sure. If he is fully a woman. I mean, when I was growing up, there were two posters hanging in my bedroom — Farrah Fawcett Majors and Bruce Jenner. Enough said.”

“Anyway, online dating is interesting because it make you confront your own stereotypes, stuff that we are always so progressive about online but never have to actually confront. Do I like blonds or brunettes? Is she too fat or too skinny? Will I date a woman with three children? A black woman? An Arab woman?”

“You sound very judgmental.”

“I’m probably more open than a lot other people. One woman said she doesn’t date men outside of Manhattan, as if Queens is in another country!”

“So are there any definite NOs for you — other than transgender people? What about dating someone gay?”

“Why would I date someone gay?”

“I always thought you were bisexual.”

“Why would you think that? I’m not bisexual. I’m straight.”

“You’re always talking about Broadway musicals with your friend Danny. I thought you guys had something going on.”

“Danny is straight. He is married with two children. Just because we talk about Broadway musicals doesn’t mean that we are gay. That stereotype is so old.”

“Ok, I get it. The secret is safe with me.”

“But that reminds me of one funny story about gays on Tinder.”

“Ooh! Finally. As a supposed “humor” writer, you rarely tell any funny stories.”

“I told you about that article I wrote for that online magazine titled “4 Lessons From My Month on Tinder.”

“Yes.”

“After I handed it in, the editor asked me to take a photo of someone swiping Tinder on a screen. I said sure, always up for a photographic challenge. So I took a photo of my own hand swiping the screen of my tablet. She said she liked the photo, but since her readership was mostly female, it would be better if the hand was a feminine one, and not one covered with strands of dark hair, inherited from my Eastern European grandparents. So, I went back to my photography studio (AKA the kitchen table), held my hand at a certain angle, and adjusted the lighting so my hand would appear more “lady-like.” I then went into the Tinder app and temporarily changed my preference from men looking for women to men looking for men. I wanted to create a photo of a woman swiping YES to a hunky man.  The photo came out perfectly, but in my zeal for the perfect shot, I accidentally swiped too far, so said YES to this man looking for love. I switched my preferences back to “looking for women,” but all day I was worried about this mysterious NYC gay man. What if he swipes yes back to me? What would I tell him? Would I have to apologize and say that I am not gay and swiped on him by accident? Would he believe me? Would he think I am trying to not hurt his feelings? Would he be disappointed if he found me very attractive and here I was – crushing his dreams? Luckily, and also rather sadly, I never heard from him, so apparently he didn’t feel the same way about me that I accidentally felt about him. Even though I am not gay, it stung to be rejected. I thought about writing about this in a blog post.”

“No. Don’t write about this either. Maybe you should just stay off your blog for awhile.”

Dating Advice

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Female friend on dating:

“Think about her. What can you offer her? If she is a single mother, her children will come first. Can you be a good father figure? A role model? Can she look up to you as a man? Can you be patient and understanding, and appreciate her for her true self, and forgive her for any of her bad moods? Can you look into her eyes, and without words, tell her that she has someone she can always count on? Do you cuddle?”

Male friend on dating:

“Take your age, divide it in half, and add two. That’s who you should date. Not anyone your own age. Look at Mick Jagger. No one with children. Women with children have lost their sense of humor and if one of her kids gets a bad report card, she won’t be in the mood for sex. No one crazy. No one with a brother or father in the police force. Black women, Jewish women, Latina women all OK. No Italian women. From personal experience. Never use the word ‘cuddle.'”

The Importance of Sentence Structure in the “Date Question”

In some ways, I know less about “dating” now than I did in high school.  I never dated in high school, so obviously, being young and stupid, I naturally assumed I understood it all.  Now, after years of experience going bra-shopping with Sophia at Target and forgetting to buy flowers on Valentine’s Day, I understand the ramifications and complexities of every life decision, which can paralyze even the strongest of men.

This was my Facebook status update earlier —

“If you were a separated woman who lived on my block, and I asked you to go to the movies, would you assume that I am asking you out on a “date,” and what would you think are my “motivations?” Won’t this act forever change our current relationship? Why the hell am I asking YOU?”

I received several interesting responses.  Thank you, Facebook “friends” — some of who I know absolutely nothing about, but love you anyway — for your honest responses.  I wish I could go on a date with you.  But frankly, I would be too worried that you would write about the disastrous date on your blog, so forget about it.

The Facebook response that intrigued me the most came from Marie Angell, a singer from Houston, who indicated that asking a woman out on a date is primarily — about language.  As a writer, I love to think about the meaning of words.   Writing is about words.  Recently, I wrote a post that everything online is merely words.

So why can’t dating be seen as simple and controllable as being about words?!

This is what Marie wrote —

“Is this a date to you? If so, then you should say something along the lines of: I’d love to take you out–would you like to go to a movie on <date 3 days hence>.

If you just want to hang out as friends (for …now), you can say: I’m in the mood for a movie. How about you?”

So, in a nutshell, if a guy starts a sentence with “I’d love to…” he wants to get into the woman’s pants.  But if he says, “I’m in the mood…” he is saying that he hasn’t seen “The King’s Speech” yet, but hates going to the movies by himself.

Now, it is all clear.

Two Thoughts About Women

1.

Yesterday, I chatted with a guy on Facebook.  He was someone I didn’t know, but he seemed to know me.  He noticed that we had befriended many of the same bloggers.

“A lot of married women, right?!”  he joked.

“Yeah,” I said, not sure where his thought process was heading.

“Which of them do you think is the hottest?”

“The hottest?  I don’t know.  They’re all pretty nice.”

He gave me his opinion of someone’s “hotness.”  I wasn’t quite sure what this guy was comparing — the hotness of the profile photos, the writing, or their status updates?  I assumed he was talking about the photos, but hasn’t this guy ever heard of PHOTOSHOP?  I look better than George Clooney on my profile pic thanks to the fine folks at Adobe!

Is this how most normal guys talk to each other in private?  I didn’t even know this guy and we’re already rating women on their curves?

“Whooa… nice babe in the red!” he wrote to me.  He was looking at my blog.

I clicked onto my url because I wasn’t sure what he was talking about.

He was looking at the “poster” from the Blogger Arts and Crafts show.

“That’s Erin!” I scolded him.  “She’s a blogger I know.”

“She’s… hot…”

This annoyed the hell out of me, as if he was checking out the ass of my sister.

“Hey, she’s married and I don’t think she would appreciate us talking about her like a sex object.”

“OK, OK… whoa.   You call her a “hot babe” in your own post.”

“That’s different.” I replied.

“Why?”

Oooh, that was a good question.  The only thought that popped into my head was that if I am going to be sexist or inappropriate, I should do it to the person’s face, or at least read her blog first.

I remember once seeing a photo of a blogger friend in a tight t-shirt.   A few days later, we were chatting on IM.

“Susan, I have to tell you that you have great breasts!” I said.  “Your husband is so lucky!”

“Really?  Thanks!  LOL”

Was I wrong for saying that?  Of course I was.  Was I being honest in expressing myself to a friend?  Absolutely.   And notice how I mentioned HER HUSBAND, as if I was congratulating him as well.  My comment was not wrong or hateful.  In fact, it was all about beauty, family values and a celebration of their marriage!

But mark my words — if some guy took me aside at BlogHer and whispered, “Check out Susan’s tits!” I would punch him in the nose.  That is just rude.

2.

A relative died this weekend and my mother is going to Massachusetts on Monday to attend the funeral.  We had already bought tickets to a revival of “Pal Joey” tomorrow night at Studio 54, so now I had an extra ticket.

“Who should I ask?” I wondered.

A couple of weeks ago, I met a friend of a friend, a single woman.  I thought she might enjoy going to the show instead of my mother.  But just as I was about to contact her (I chose email rather than the phone, of course), the same fears and insecurities that have been plaguing me since junior high, when I had a secret love for Jane Goldfarb, came to surface.  This was a disappointment.  I was confident that years of marriage would have given me the inner strength to combat that age-old fear of the opposite sex, but it was exactly the same feeling that I remember — that fear of rejection, now mixed in with a new more-adult anxiety — the equally debilitating fear of success.  What if it goes WELL?!   What then?!

My intention is NOT to date this woman.  I just have an extra ticket.  But won’t she assume that I am asking her out on a date?  And what’s so wrong about that?  Should I remind her in the email that I am still married, and that I know she knows that I am still married?  Will she think I am a two-timing cheat?  What if she says no?  Will she feel uncomfortable with me if I meet her again at some party?  Should I just write in the email “Oh, I just happen to have an extra ticket…” to make it seem less than a date?  Or does that sound rude, like I really don’t give a crap and just asked her because she’s available?  How can I make this sound like it isn’t a date, but still give her the hint that I am asking her for a nice reason, and that I think she is smart and funny, yet I still looked at her ass that night, even though I shouldn’t have done that?  And you know what — I’m not even sure she’s doesn’t have a boyfriend.  Should that matter?  If we aren’t dating, what’s the big deal?  If some guy you just met called you up and asked you if you wanted to go to the theater, would you think it was a date?

I am now at McDonald’s writing this post.  I was going to title it something like “Wimping Out,” because I am deciding to call a male friend to go with me instead of driving myself crazy.

But you know what, I’m tired of portraying myself as wimpy in this blog.  I am not that wimpy.  I just have trouble making decisions sometimes because there are too many different scenarios playing out in my mind at once.  Maybe that is why I am good at Hollywood pitch meetings.  If a producer doesn’t like the guys driving a Corvette, — hey, they can drive a tractor instead!  But this type of creative thinking is BAD in real life.  It makes me too passive.  And what is the worst that can happen if I ask her?  She can say no.  I can French kiss her in the taxi cab on the way home?  She can fall madly in love with me and I tell her that I am still married and break her heart?    I can find her BORING and can’t wait to get home and go on Twitter?

F*ck you all.  Why am I always presenting myself as more fearful of life than I really am on this blog?  Am I doing it for your amusement?  Am I afraid that I would have a boring blog post if I actually enjoyed myself and only had positive stuff to write about.  And what do I care what you think?   This blog is not making me one cent, you social-climbing, self-absorbed…

OK, OK, calm down.  Don’t transfer your anger and frustration onto your readers.  They mean you no harm.  They like you.  Or at least they like “you” on the page — the one they think they know.  In reality, they are as weak as you, despite their bravado and their shiny happy blog headers.

And what about Sophia?  Is she going to mind if I invite this woman to the theater?  Why would she care?  F*ck it.  What’s it to her?  I’m doing anything wrong.  I’m asking one woman to go to one musical with me on a Monday night because my mother is going to a funeral in Massachusetts! What’s the f*cking big deal?!

OK, I’m leaving McDonald’s and going upstairs to email her.

I don’t want to ever hear anyone ever call me a wimp again.

Update:  She can’t make it tomorrow, so I am going with a gay male friend.

Age of Love

“Does age matter in love? Hi, welcome to NBC’s summer show Age of Love. I’m your host, Mark Conseulos. You may remember me as the hunky but safe Latino hearthrob, Mateo Santos, from “All My Children,” until I left the show with my annoying wife, Kelly Ripa, after she got a much better job as a talk show co-host and then, five years later, pulled some strings to get me this lame reality show hosting job.

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The Age of Love is an important show. It answers the age-old question — in the realm of romance — who is better — twenty-something women or forty-something women? We will learn this answer by creating a whole series of irrelevant gimmicks that will help some dumb bachelor eliminate a new woman each week in some new, embarrassing manner.

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Meet Mark Philippoussis, an uncharismatic, not very good-looking tennis pro, with an unpronounceable name, who has the difficult role of choosing the love of his life from the network’s cliched choices of unstable single women who are desperate enough to appear on a summer replacement TV show.

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Our bachelor, Mark, is in the thirties. Don’t get our bachelor, Mark, confused with me, Mark, the host, although it seems a little dumb that the two men on the same show should have the exact same name, making things unnecessarily complicated whenever someone says “Mark.”

Now, traditionally, men like to date women that are younger than they are, but is that the case anymore?

Does age really matter in love?

Watch Mark as he romances the various women and French kisses all of them. From which age group will he pick his true love (who he will then drop two weeks after the show like a moldy tomato)?

Should he go for the naive idiocy of the twenty-something girl or the bitter, frustrated neuroticism of the forty-something woman? The youthful blank gaze of the twenty-something or the wisdom of the forty-something, who has had twenty extra years experience having disappointing sex with complete strangers? The brainless athleticism of the the twenty-something or the “Oh, shit, do I have to get out of the chair” laissez faire laziness of the forty-something? The perky fake breasts, standing at attention, of the twenty-something or the perky fake breasts, standing at attention, of the forty-something?

In fact, is it me, but don’t ALL of the women seem exactly the same whatever the age — really, really STUPID. Did all of these women grow up living in the same condo in Marina del Rey?

Luckily, our bachelor has a clear vision of what he wants from the perfect woman, whatever her age. Like most men already know, the real question is — who gives better oral sex, the twenty-something or the forty-something?

Rich Man, Hot Babe

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I’ve never done speed dating before, but I know I would be good at it. I’m an immensely interesting person for one minute, and then I become a total bore, so with speed dating, I could capture a woman’s attention before she saw “the real me.” Also, since the woman finds it OK to interact with me for just one minute, I assume she won’t be rattled by my perennial problem of premature ejaculation. She’ll already be used to me making it through one minute, and then the conversation is over.

New York can be a tough place to meet someone, and speed dating is popular in the Big Apple. I was especially intrigued by this new form of speed dating that I read about on Zandria’s site.   The sponsors included New York Magazine and was titled the “Natural Selection Speed Date” — Rich Guys and Hot Girls.  The application requirements were very specific:

Men (solely based on wealth)

Salary:

  • Age 25 or below $200K +
  • Age 26-30 $300K +
  • Age 30+ $500K +
  • Invested Assets: $1 million +
  • Trust: $4 million +

*Men will be asked to provide documented proof

Ticket Price $500

Women (solely based on beauty)

  • 5 pictures will be submitted for judgment by celebrity Matchmaker Janis Spindel
  • Pictures are judged for beauty
  • No additional information will be accepted

Ticket Price $50

The first meet-up took place two weeks ago in a Upper East Side supper club. Now, if you’re expecting me to be all P.C. and all, and call this disgusting, I’m not. The company’s website makes a compelling case for this type of natural selection:

[Our company] is honoring the age old union of wealthy men and hot girls. Society has taught us to not publicly acknowledge the obvious – no longer dear friends. Women want money in a man, men want beauty in a woman – this is a factual force of nature. Women don’t ask “So, what does he do for a living?” because they’re interested in his personality and guys don’t ask “is she hot?” because they’re concerned with character. Guys know that money buys them the car, the house and the trophy wife. This genetic cleansing is how the wealthy stay beautiful.

My main problem is that the match-ups don’t adhere to true scientific testing. The qualifications for the men can be easily documented, but the choosing of the women seems as rigged as a Russian figure-skating event.

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First of all, is Ms. Spindel really that qualified to judge what I find beautiful?

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And does she just pick stereotypical-looking blonds like I might see on FOX drama as CIA agents? Where are the hot Asian chicks? Where are the slightly-eccentric looking redheads who you just know will show you a wild time? Look at the three women that Ms. Spindel considers beautiful.

#1 — Eh. Looks like my cousin Miriam.

#2 — Flat as a board and thinning hair.

#3 — She is OK, but has a pig nose. She also looks like she is very quiet when she has an orgasm.

Of course, if I were drunk and lonely and “American Idol” wasn’t on TV, I wouldn’t say no to any of these women saying, “Neilochka, let’s ****!” (this does not include Ms. Spindel, no offense… she just seems like she would be too aggressive). But are they THAT BEAUTIFUL? For five hundred bucks and opening up my bank records, I would expect more. I could easily come up with a list of BLOGGERS who are prettier than these women. Just go on Flickr, which is my new pornography.

I think many of my problems with Sophia are based on our total disregard for the rule of “Natural Selection.” After all she is beautiful, but I’m not rich. If the world worked perfectly, she would be with someone rich.

But alas, I’m not rich. Only beautiful. Why can’t I exploit my beauty as much as women? Maybe I was destined to be with a rich but ugly woman. After all, that still maintains the idea of natural selection. Are there any speed-dating services for rich, ugly women and beautiful, poor men? It’s the same principle of Natural Selection, just updated for the twenty-first century — I’m all for the equality of the sexes!

If a woman was really rich, I could deal with her being ugly. Hopefully, not THAT ugly. I mean it would bother me if she had warts all over her face. But then again, if she was rich… and let me feel her up while watching TV… hey, why not? It’s natural selection!

(Update: After reading some more about this, I’m beginning to think the speed-dating service was less a legitimate operation than a crass way to create some publicity through an actual speed-dating event. By creating a dating scenario as ugly as possible, they were able to get media attention from both the networks and bloggers like me. Now, they are in talks with VH1 about doing a show about this concept.  I look forward to seeing what advertisers want to get involved in a project that uses terms such as natural selection and genetic cleansing.  What fun!  So, I am now going to take out most of the links and names in hope of not giving them any more publicity)

The Blogosphere’s Valentine’s Day Emergency Hotline

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(photo by sudergal, on flickr)

The Valentine’s Day Emergency Hotline at mister_valentinesday (Yahoo IM)

Are you alone on Valentine’s Day? Is the only Valentine’s Day Card you received the one from the supermarket with a discount coupon for Dannon Yogurt? Did you lie to your fraternity brothers, saying you’re not going out on Valentine’s Day because you just HAVE to watch “American Idol” live? Did your husband forget to buy you one of those cutesy stuffed bears from CVS Pharmacy that plays “Love Me Do” when you press his tummy? Did you just find out that your girlfriend is having an affair with her Pilates instructor and you’re going to your pre-paid Valentine’s Day dinner at some fancy restaurant with your mother? Did your father never say “I Love You” enough when you were a child? Have you been going to therapy for more than fifteen years because of “commitment issues?” Are you a perv who just can’t get enough loving? Do you sometimes wish you had two wives, one blond and one brunette? Would you leave your husband for George Clooney… in a New York minute? Do you believe that what the world needs now is love, love, love?

It doesn’t matter if you are single, in a relationship, married, divorced, whatever — you still can yearn for more love. Can anyone have too much love? And Valentine’s Day just adds pressure to us all. You might hate it, but this supposedly romantic day is in your face for half of the month of February, like a red zit. You want to feel that certain glow, that special romantic feel you read about in books, but how? Hallmark Cards are so old-fashioned, and so corny. We live in a fast-paced world, and sometimes we require some care and tenderness NOW — WHEN WE WANT IT.

And now it is a possible… at least on Valentine’s Day. Through the combined efforts of internet technology and the generous time of regular bloggers like you, we are proud to introduce the Valentine’s Day Emergency Hotline. During February 14th, any time you are feeling the need for a little Valentine’s Day boost, just go to mister_valentinesday at Yahoo IM, and a real live Mr. Valentine and Ms. Valentine will give you some love. These are not recorded messages, like the type you would get if you tried to contact Microsoft or Verizon. These are real live people who want to make your Valentine’s Day extra special.

Feeling down because the woman at the next cubicle got a bouquet of 48 red roses, and you have NOTHING on your desk other than paperwork? Are you sad because that sexy English grad student doesn’t want to “be your valentine?” Are you just looking for a little extra romance in your life?

Go to the Valentine’s Day Emergency Hotline at mister_valentinesday (Yahoo IM) on February 14th and FEEL THE LOVE!

Special thanks to Buzzgirl, Hilly, Retropolitan, Mo, Girl and Dog, PocketCT, Teahouseblossom, Ms. Sizzle, Alissa, Atomic Bombshell, Journey to Blissville, and Jurgen Nation.

Hours of operation: Valentine’s Day — 9:00 AM EST/6:00 AM PST to 3:00 AM EST/12:00 MIDNIGHT PST

Anyone who wants to cover Europe, Asia, or any other time zones – E-mail me.

“But Are We Compatible?”

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I know how much you’ve enjoyed me turning my blog into a promotional tool. Unfortunately, this is the last day of the bidding, so next week I will back writing about the usual important issues that I normally blog about.

Many people have emailed me saying that they’d love to give money to V-Day, since it is such a worthy cause, but they are on the fence about going on a date with me. So many of you have been burned by going on bad dates with men who were completely WRONG for you. How can I assure you that our date with be fun? Who wants to BID good money to go on a crappy date? If only there was a way to SCIENTIFICALLY learn if you and I were compatible for this charity date.

Now, there is!

Thanks to the kind hearts of those at E-Harmoni, I have been licensed to use their official 5-point compatibility quiz. Take the quiz, then compare it to my answers. If we are compatible, you owe it YOURSELF to bid on me! Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet your soulmate!

E-HARMONI “FIVE POINT COMPATIBLILITY QUIZ”

Question 1: Do you enjoy eating food? Yes or No?

Question 2: Do you consider breathing a “necessity?” Yes or No?

Question 3: Would you rather make love on the beach or be tortured by Jack Bauer from the television show “24?”

Question 4: Does the sun set in the West? Yes or No.

Question 5: Which birthday gift would you prefer: A new widescreen TV or a piece of celery?

Neil’s answers: Yes, Yes, love on the beach, Yes, widescreen TV.

Thanks, E-Harmoni!

So, are we compatible? If at least 4 of your answers are the same as mine — you know what you must do!

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