Sunday, February 24, 2013

Confession 5: Spark Notes

Tell us what your perfect first date would be!
Well that is a crazy question. It depends on the persona I wish to give off! Some options might be:
The Bachelorette Date: Pick me up on the roof of my apartment building in a helicopter. Fly me around the city showing me breathtaking views of Atlanta at night. Land at some restaurant that has been rented out for the night and sweep me off my feet by being completely compatible with me and give me a red rose at the end of the night which is of course a symbol that we are meant to be…
The Worldly Date: Take me to a concert or festival in a park where we sit on a blanket and drink wine. Dance like we don’t care and even join in with the crazy hula hoop people that are at every music festival. Give me a flower that you pick at the end of the night showing me that we are completely in sync and already know each other’s souls and of course that we are meant to be…
The Sporty Date: Take me to a local sporting event. Have amazing seats that I would never be able to get. Buy me a foam finger, hot dog, and beers. We get on the kiss cam which is completely embarrassing, but maybe a little cute. At the end of the night give me the little hat that our shared ice cream came in showing me that we are completely for each other because of our mutual love for sports and that we are meant to be…
Wow. I don’t know why I don’t have more first dates.

                My monsoon and margarita date went really well.  Louis and I had a lot to talk about and he didn’t seem to mind the leaves stuck to my legs or my crazy rain hair. We hit it off and by Friday he was asking me out on date two. I was really excited; I had never been on a second date before! And then I remembered… I had never been on a second date before! What was I doing? Was it going to be worse? Was it going to be different?! What were the expectations on a second date?! What if we didn’t have anything left to talk about because we had talked about everything on the first date?!
Louis asked me to go to a comedy show with him on Saturday night. I was really excited about it, but I was also freaking out. Humor is a really personal thing and what if we didn’t think the same thing was funny? I was going to have to practice my fake laughing. Well miracle of miracles that date went well too!! I wasn’t just getting good at emailing and texting, I was getting good at in person contact too! I was a lean, mean, dating machine!
This blog is called “Confessions of a Dateaholic”. We’re here to talk about my dates, not my relationships. Louis was important in my next steps in becoming a dateaholic though so I don’t want to short change the 2 months that we spent together. I have decided to write the next portion of this blog post in Spark Note style complete with a character list, chapter summaries, chapter analysis and summaries. Not only can you learn about my relationship, you can have a nostalgic high school moment. You’re welcome.
Character List
Amanda- The author of this blog, she is a young woman from Florida, just trying to meet people in the big city of Atlanta. She can be terribly awkward at times, but this seems to interest most of the people around her.
Louis- Amanda’s first online dating encounter. He seems interested and he and Amanda get along well.

Summary and Analysis
Chapter 1
NASCAR: That’s right. I just said NASCAR. Louis invited me to go with him Labor Day weekend to watch a race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The weekend would entail sleeping on a converted school bus, meeting his friends, watching my first NASCAR race, and spending three entire days with each other. The people watching was the best I have ever seen, the bus had air conditioning, and his friends were great. On top of all that it was a giant tailgate AND you could bring beer into the race!! Maybe these NASCAR fans have something here…

Analysis: I sleep a lot. I hadn’t really noticed until this trip when it was pointed out the number of naps I took, including during the races (They’re 300 laps! Can you blame me?!) and earned the nickname Grandma Jean. I am a teacher, I have to be up early, its hard work, sorry I’m not sorry that I enjoy a good nap.  Louis’ friends were awesome and I seemed to make a good impression on them. We can all agree that it’s best if you get along with the friends of the guy that you’re seeing. Point- Amanda.
Chapter 2
Family: As it has been stated, my family lives in Florida. Louis’ family lives in the Atlanta area. It wasn’t long into our dating that he asked me to go with him to meet his Mom at her house on a Sunday. On top of that stress he told me to bring my bathing suit, just in case. Ummm are you kidding me?! I have to meet your Mom for the first time AND you’re going to see me for the first time in my BATHING SUIT?! Are you trying to send me into full on panic attack?! Men don’t understand the bathing suit anxiety and luckily I didn’t have to worry about it, because we didn’t end up going swimming. Dodged that bullet. I met his Mom, Dad, and younger brother that afternoon and it seemed to go really well! We can all agree that it’s best if you get along with the family of the guy you’re seeing. Point- Amanda.
My sister came into town and Louis had the chance to meet her and they also hit off. We made plans to drive down to Gainesville for a UF football game so he could meet the rest of my family.
Analysis: If you bring a girl to meet your parents, you’re probably dating. If she gets along with them, that’s probably a good sign.  If you make plans to meet her parents and are planning on traveling to get there, you are probably dating.
Chapter 3
DTR: DTR stands for Define The Relationship and is used to talk about that ever important talk you have with the person you are dating to see if you should define it into something more concrete, like “you are my boyfriend and I am not seeing anyone else”. DTR is super important in online dating. It is a tricky conversation in any relationship and even trickier when the person could potentially be being sent 24 “New Matches” a day by  I tried being the cool chick and didn’t push to DTR what Louis and I had. I am so cool and laid back that I didn’t need to DTR.  Instead I took things like, meeting his parents, going on weekend trips, spending all weekend together, and planning to drive to Gainesville to meet my family to mean that we were in a relationship. Silly me!
Analysis: NEVER think you are cool enough to not need to DTR.
Chapter 4
The End: I didn’t do well in chemistry in high school. I passed, but barely and with a lot of help from after school study sessions. I didn’t know that 7 years later this would come back to haunt me. The first lesson I learned the night it all ended was that when I drink I get brave. Not good. Asking questions about matches past is never going to bring you anywhere you really want to go, as hard as your alcohol fogged brain tries to convince you otherwise. I should have known when I asked “So how many girls did you take out before me?” that it would lead to opening a can of worms that I didn’t want to open.
The second lesson I learned was that men and women see things very differently. Duh, I know. It was made crystal clear to me this night however as soon as the fateful question was out of my mouth. I was the only one he told me…. But he had been talking to other girls. In fact, he had just told a girl only a week ago that he couldn’t talk to her anymore because he wanted to see me exclusively. Hold. The. Phone. A week ago?! Is this supposed to be making me feel better because I am about to stab a bitch right about now! He was so casual about the whole thing and I was starting to reach full on bat shit crazy mode.
The third lesson I learned was that you should never cook someone breakfast if you had a fight and haven’t DTR'd. I was so busy still trying to be cool and nonchalant about DTR that I MISSED ALL THE SIGNS THAT CAME MY WAY! I made him breakfast and when I finally got the courage to DTR with Louis he dropped the zinger on me. “We just don’t have chemistry”. Oh. I’m sorry. You didn’t know this before breakfast?! Throw it up now! And because he wasn’t done with the zingers he shot this one at me too, “I really like you. We should still be friends”. Sure. Sounds great. Not.
Analysis: Pay attention in chemistry and don’t make breakfast before you DTR.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Confession 4: Monsoons and Margaritas

Members who post pictures are a zillion times more likely to get winked at then those who don’t. Post your pictures today to increase your chances of being winked at!!
Well duuuh they’re more likely. I mean getting virtually hit on is one thing when you can see the person. Seriously, what are you trying to hide buddy by not posting a picture??
Alright… time to choose a picture.
Hhhmmm… This one? Nope. Too long ago. This one? Nope. I look a little chunky. This one? Nooo… my hair isn’t that length or that blonde anymore… Ah! I need to find at least one picture that correctly displays all of my likes and awesomeness in 1 single glance…
OK, this one of me at the Eiffel Tower says that I love to travel and that I am worldly, the one of me skiing says I’m athletic and worldly, and the one of me in the sunflower patch shows that I am carefree … and worldly. Perfect! Glance away boys!

                We have established that I am prone to emotional freak outs and that I am awkward. The awkwardness is a character trait that I will never ever grow out of, but I will tell you that my emotional freak outs became less frequent as I found my groove in the internet dating scene. Louis and I emailed back and forth for about a week and my responses became lengthier, more in depth, and didn’t take me over 4 hours to compose. I was pretty proud of myself! Maybe I was the bad ass diva I always knew I was! Well, when you virtually wink at a guy, he’s probably going to email you. And if he emails you and you email him back and he emails you back and you email him back, etc. etc… chances are he’s probably going to ask you out on a date. Enter in more emotional freaking out.
                Just when I had become comfortable with the emailing, I had to enter into another unknown and even scarier world of texting. I find texting between my friends to be awkward and daunting at times and now I was expected to text this man that I had never spoken to, laid eyes on, or had any dealings with… without the help or filter of Match.  I take back what I said before about not being grateful for their help! I still need them! Don’t push me out of the nest yet, I’m not ready to fly on my own!  You’d think the man was asking me to run away with him to Vegas instead of setting up a casual first date with him for all the freaking out I was doing.
                Here’s my beef with texting, #1. It’s too instantaneous. Texting doesn’t give you time to think about your responses like emailing does. People expect you to respond quicker, because who doesn’t have their phone with them at all times? Which brings about  #2. The wait time. You can’t respond right away because then it looks like you have your phone with you all the time. You can’t wait too long, because people have their phones with them all the time and it’s just rude to leave someone hanging. You have to find that magic time that says “Hey! I’m in the 21st century and own a cell phone, but I am not one of those crazy people that doesn’t ever let go of their phone, but I respect your time enough to respond in a timely manner that is considerate to you.” #3. Your text needs to be short and sweet, but not lacking emotion. The perfect length of a text says, “Hey! I am a busy person so my texts don’t get too much of my time, but they get enough of my time to be able to write you a concise, yet containing the appropriate amount of emotion text.” Piece of cake.
 Writing texts is like emails on crack. I have this terrible problem of sending texts that are really just my stream of thought… in writing. Scary. Here’s an example:
OH hey! Mexican sounds great, but only if you want to… I am down for whatever. I can do Thursday too, but really I am free any day this week… not that I’m a loser or anything haha… Just let me know when and where. Looking forward to it, but only if you are!
Like I said, scary.
                Anyway, after we had set up the date through texting, Thursday night at a local Mexican restaurant near my apartment, I had to wait around for almost a week. A WHOLE week for me to over analyze and you guessed it, freak out. This week was awkward because we had left the emailing world in the dust, but I didn’t feel like we were quite at the place to be texting every day. We were in online dating purgatory. Do I text him? Will that be creepy? Probably, but we talked every day for a week and now we don’t talk! He’s going to forget about me… He’s going to back out of our date because he won’t remember why we decided to go on it in the first place because we are in the awkward place between emailing, texting, and meeting!! Did I mention that I freak out a lot?
                On Wednesday, while talking to one of my male friends, he convinced me (or rather he just said whatever to make me shut up about the whole dang thing) to text Louis casually. It went something like this:
Hey! It’s been a crazy week so I’m definitely looking forward to that margarita tomorrow night!
Safe, right? Well when he didn’t text me back after about 5 minutes (and believe me I was counting the minutes) I started to hyperventilate. Ohhmygoshohmygoshohmygosh…. How could you have told me to text him?! Why did I listen to you? I don’t care that I’m a big girl and I can make my own decisions… YOU talked me into it! I should have kept quiet. We aren’t close enough yet for me to send casual texts!!! After he sent back his reply: Definitely. Me too I calmed down a bit. The date was still on.
Thursday (cue somewhat scary and foreboding music):
7:00 am- 4:00 pm: Work I didn’t think about my date all day… yah right!
4:00 - 5:00 pm: Traffic I hate, hate, hate Atlanta traffic
5:00- 5:30 pm: Shower
5:30-5:45 pm: Apply lotions, potions, and serums to face and hair
5:45 pm: Glance out window No no no… those are not dark rain clouds I see. I don’t care if it’s August and rainy season, I specifically ordered no rain for tonight!! It’s ok, it hasn’t started raining yet… there is still hope…
5:50- 6:05 pm: Blow dry hair Oh my gosh!! It’s raining!! NO! It’s OK. I’ll check the weather channel. It’s probably just a quick little rain…
6:10- 6:20 pm: Frantically check for radar and forecast.  It doesn’t say it’s supposed to be raining! What the heck. I mean really weather people… lets update this mess.
6:20- 6:45 pm: Straighten Hair. OK, really?! It’s like a freaking hurricane. The wind is blowing and it’s coming down in buckets. WHHYYYY MEEEEEEE?!?!
6:45-6:50 pm: Check again. Have you updated yet, because really all you have to do is look out your window to see the MONSOON happening right now. Alright, it says it should be done raining at 7 ish which will be OK because then I won’t be too early for my date. Fashionably late is sooo mysterious. Perfect.
6:50- 7:00 pm: Makeup. It’s still raining. I am going to have a word to say to those weather people.
7:00-7:05 pm: Stare out window and try using Jedi mind tricks to make the rain stop. Stopstopstopstop. I command you to stop raining! Cease!! MMMMMMMM aaannnnddd CUT!!
7:10: Resign myself to the fact that it’s not going to stop. I guess I need to practice my Jedi force. Better get my rain jacket. UGH.
                As I am driving to the restaurant, it starts to let up and the torrential down pour becomes a light drizzle (I should also mention that I park in a parking garage so I didn’t have to get wet going to my car, a point in my favor).  I mentioned before that the restaurant is close to my house, it’s 5 minutes at the most. I am thankful that the rain has let up and that I might be able to sneak inside without getting too wet. I arrive at the restaurant and drive through the tiniest parking lot ever. There are literally 8 spots and they are all taken. As I circle the lot a spot opens up and I race to get there, but I am beat out by a girl in a Prius (I do not wish to make any further comment on this. I will just say that I deducted the point I got earlier for the parking garage). I give up and decide to park on the street. The nearest spot on the street is about 3 blocks away.
                As I parallel park into what seems to be the only parking spot left on this side of Atlanta it starts to rain harder, of course. While I am walking it keeps raining harder so I have to start running. My Rainbow flip flops are no match for the river I am now running in and so I take them off and start to sprint towards the restaurant. I splash through a puddle that is more like a small lake, bound up to the front door, swing it open and hurl myself inside. I let out a whoosh of air in relief and realize that most of the restaurant is staring at me, but who can blame them? My hair is coming out of my hood in wild pieces, the bottom of my dress is soaked, and pieces of leaves are stuck to my legs.  I look like some kind of crazy amazon woman in a pink dress and anorak jacket that embarrassingly says my name across the left side.   I glance around and see a guy sitting at a table looking at me expectantly. I put my head down and walk quickly to his table.
Yah. Amanda?
Yes… oh my gosh, you’ll never believe what I just went through…

Monday, December 17, 2012

Confession 3: You've Got Mail!

My Preferred Match:  
Height: 5’5”-12’ That seems reasonable… and keeps my options open.
Weight: …  This question…
Hair: No Preference Putting “no preference” for all of these things makes me sound some kind of desperate…
Eyes: uummm That he has them?? Do people really have preferences for this?
Job: Doctor, Lawyer, CEO, President  Also very reasonable. Maybe this isn’t so hard.

                I thought I had a total emotional freak out over The Wink and to be fair, I did lose my marbles for about 5 seconds (or a whole minute, but who’s counting??).  Well that was before I started getting and answering emails from my potential suitors.  The Wink was my safe zone because I didn’t have to use any words. For those of you that don’t know me all that well, I will explain the sitch we’ve got goin’ on here.
                I’m awkward. I don’t mean to be and I have learned to accept it, as have most of my friends and family. My 17 year old sister still finds it hard to deal with, but that’s a different blog.  My awkwardness could almost be seen as funny or endearing, but this takes a little time and you need to get to know me.  The online dating world is all about first impressions, which is hard enough in person… let alone through a non-verbal, piece of machinery hooked up to a web site that FORCES YOU TO BE THE MOST AWKWARD FORM OF YOURSELF!!! So if I am awkward in person/real life, online dating takes that and multiplies it by about a KAJILLION (which is definitely a real number).
                Rewind back to me and my current predicament. The men I have so carefully picked out and “winked” at have deemed me to be “wink worthy” as well and have decided to not only “wink” back, but have also decided to start a conversation with me. This is a natural progression of things, but it does little to soothe the absolute panic going on in my head.  How am I supposed to be witty, coy, mysterious, but not closed off, sexy, but not a hooker, not awkward, and alluring in AN EMAIL?! It’s pretty much next to impossible. I sat and stared at the computer screen with the read out of my email for what seemed like hours. I would find other things to do, leave the room and come back to check and see if some mysterious online fairy godmother had come and answered my email for me. No luck. I’m pretty sure my roommate, bless her, was absolutely sick of me asking “how does this sound??”. What I would have said to me, “It sounds exactly the same as the last 987 drafts you just read me… moron”.  Some of you might be saying, “Well at least you have the chance to delete and start over, that has to help with your awkwardness!” Wrong! It amplifies it! I’m forced to over analyze my every thought and word. This makes me nervous and causes me to try to be “funny” which only makes me more awkward. As my panic rises so does my awkwardness causing the perfect storm of online dating me and awkward me to collide and make a monster awkward human being trying to make a great first impression on an online dating website, through an email. Not pretty.
                Match does this little thing to try and help you get through writing your emails. They give you “tips”. While it is very nice of them to try and help those unfortunately awkward late bloomers out there, I’m here to say that it made me want to pull my hair out, hard to believe I know. They had me thinking about so many different things…. Don’t put too many exclamation points, Don’t use smileys, talk about yourself but not too much, seem interested in his life and ask questions, but not too many you don’t want to seem overeager… My inner email battle looked something like this:
                Hi! My name is Amanda! Oh shoot… too many exclamation points. DELETE
Hi. My name is Amanda. What’s yours? Well that’s a dumb question… he’ll probably tell me anyway and who just says Hi.? Creepers. That’s who. DELETE
So, how are you? WHAT?! No. DELETE
Hi, I’m Amanda. I guess you already know everything about me from my profile… haha! OK. 1. That’s just sad if that’s everything. 2. Why are you laughing?! 3. You didn’t ask him a question… you’re supposed to ask him a question! DELETE
Hi! I’m Amanda and this whole online dating thing is making me have ulcers because crazily enough I’m on here because I’m so dang awkward in real life that I scare men away. So naturally I thought I would be less awkward online and be able to give off the vibe of super confident, sexy Amanda that only lives behind the closed door of my bathroom shower radio world.  AAAAHHHH!!! DELETE!!!
After many hours of battle and countless re-dos and re-reads I had my “perfect email”. While it probably didn’t win any awards and it would never be used as an example for Match’s perfect email , it was a reply and sometimes that’s all you can ask for.
Email from LS445: Hi I’m Louis. How long have you lived in Atlanta?
Email from AJB747: Hi! I’m Amanda. I’ve lived in Atlanta since May. How long have you lived here?
Pure genius my friends. Pure genius.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Confession 2: Winking and all that it implies

Disclaimer: I am in no way putting down or speaking ill of the online dating scene… I am a part of it and simply want to share some of my stories. You never know, I may just meet my “match” while writing this blog!
In 1,000 words or less write in this box your hobbies and something that makes you you!
Awesome… 1,000 words. I am so interesting; I will use up at least 999 of them.
I am a teacher Darn it, that is my life in a nutshell.
I love reading I’ll say I enjoy the classics, but really I prefer a trashy romance.
 I graduated from The University of Florida in 2011 with my Masters in Elementary Education
That’s right bitches! Go Gators!
That’s got to be at least 50 words… 22 shoot.
I love going to the beach and dancing. I bet no one else will put the beach; I didn’t put long walks on the beach so it’s not cliché at all! And it doesn’t matter that most of my dancing is done in my car.
If you want to know more you’ll just have to ask me :)  YES!! That makes me look mysterious and it will make them talk to me. GENIUS.

AAhhh the making of the online dating profile. I guess to be fair; no one said it would be easy. Honestly though, you’d think talking about yourself in great detail would be a piece of cake. I struggled for at least an hour on what to say to 1. Make myself standout without 2. Sounding completely cheesy, sketchy, or awkward. Not an easy feat my friends. In any case, after I slapped together what was a completely alluring and non-awkward (2 things that have never been used to describe me) profile I closed my laptop with a guilty “click!” and darted my eyes around the room. Had I really just made an online profile?? Was I honestly going to go out on a date with a strange man in a strange city? Not likely!
So, I did what made the most sense and entered into a state of denial about online dating. I ignored the first wave of guys emailing me, “viewing my profile”, and commenting on my photos. I stuck my nose in the air at all of them. “What pathetic men!” I thought, “Online dating… really?!” Facepalm… I had created an online profile so I online dated. Get over yourself Amanda, plus I had PAID for this. A teacher’s salary does not let good money go to waste and so I began to explore…
Enter: The Wink. As I began to view other’s profiles I became more intrigued. There were even a few that I may have “liked” ...had we been on Facebook.  This was though! How was I going to let these men know that I may have been interested in their online dating persona? The Wink. That’s how. My favorite part is that it isn’t just any wink, it’s a FREE wink. Remember the earlier mention of my teacher salary? Well this is every teacher’s dream… FREE. Never mind the fact that I have to pay a monthly membership, it says FREE next to it so I was getting every drop of FREE out of it.
After I whittled down the men that I deemed to be “wink worthy” I began to get nervous about what The Wink actually meant. Did it mean I wanted to have dinner? Make out? Booty Call? Date seriously? Get married? I researched this answer but none of the FAQs even came to close to answering my burning question. Was I really the first one to think of the implications that a virtual wink could mean?! Aren’t there thousands of other females on this sight over analyzing every virtual step they take?! Who even winks in real life?! What does it look like when he “receives” my wink?! Am I winking now or is that just a twitch I have developed from thinking too much about ONLINE WINKING?!
 After I went clinically insane and came back to planet Earth, I picked 1 guy who I would send The Wink too… I took a deep breath, poised my finger over the button, and clicked….
Congratulations! Your Free Wink has been sent! Now he knows you’re interested!
What a lucky dude.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Confession 1: Why me, why match, why now

Name: Amanda Darn it I wish my name was something like... Olive or Antoinette or Symphony...
Age: 25 Quarter life crisis?
Height: 5'4" Not too tall, but not too short... right?!
Weight:... Average Because average says so much about that terribly intrusive question that no girl should ever have to answer, even on an online dating profile.
Most interesting thing about me that will totally make you want to date me just by reading this: I love reading, listening to music, and wine. This totally makes me look cultured and mysterious and intersting.
Confession: I am a dateaholic

     When I made the big move from Ft. Myers to Atlanta in May I had no intentions of entering into the wild world of dating services. I am what my mother lovingly refers to as "a late bloomer" and dating was never one of my weekend hobbies. At the ripe age of 24 I had had 1 boyfriend for about a week in high school. Not what you'd exactly call a great resume. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to date lots of boys... but seeing as I "bloomed" at around 23 none of them really wanted to date me.
     Why did I decide to take the plunge and join match? This big step in my life was brought on by a lonely Friday night, a TV commercial, a glass of wine, and my open laptop.
      I have started this blog to share my adventures, sketchy encounters, laughs, and general spiral into what I have now become: A Dateaholic.