‘And Venus was her name’

Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus. And, as Lisa Lampanelli added, “Fags are from Uranus.”

Whatever parallel universe you came from, howdy. Want to get a latte at the spaceship down the street?

OK, so I’m frustrated. Overwhelmed, maybe, is the word. People aren’t kidding that you attract everything you think about, good or bad. But trying to find meaning in it all, or trying NOT to associate too much thought to what’s supposed to be fun, is my next challenge to overcome.

Back in the days when I started dating online (I took a long hiatus between these adventures), perhaps in the late 1990s/early 2000s, I was fairly horrified that the first exchange was always a phone number and a hookup spot. But, me being me, figured I wasn’t going to meet Prince Charming this way and hell, I was lonely, so what was the harm? And while I had fun (hehe, oh boy did I!), I realized something that made me stop.

And it was that I got lucky.

And not just in the sense you’re thinking.

I meant, I got LUCKY that none of these people turned out to be serial killers. Serial conversation killers, sure, but I wasn’t in it for that anyway. 🙂 I also got damned lucky that I didn’t walk away with a disease or am not still tied up somewhere that no one could find me. (I wasn’t a faithful user of the buddy system — why expose what you were REALLY doing?)

I sort of gave up on the online adventures shortly after I moved to D.C. a few years ago. Too many weirdos. I had better luck in Pittsburgh — sure, I saw one too many mullets during the course of my adventures, but I guess I had a bigger fan base up there.

So getting back in the pool again has been nothing short of purple-heart-caliber bravery on my part. I’ve advanced my career, I’ve become a better person — I’ve used my time off wisely. I’m learning how to care for myself more and VALUE my own time. More importantly, I expect others to value it as well.

And here I am again, getting myriad responses that range from empty to “hey let’s fuck.” And granted, it’s not like membership to these sites is screened — so I’m looking for people in particular cities and with jobs (amazing, that) and really placing a lot of emphasis on the “conversation” of it all.

I found myself getting frustrated with a few e-mails that basically say, “Hi, here’s how you can get in touch with me.” I guess I’ve done that enough times to know where THAT ends up. 😉 But in talking to someone who’s out there SENDING his number out into the void, it finally makes sense to me that this whole typing bullshit is for the birds … at least, according to the boys. Who has time?

And it’s true. I never log into my account. Because I promised someone a “proper” response when I had more time, and guess who’s never had time to craft one? Yep, yours truly.

Because a bunch of us are trolling the same trail (it’s a wonder we don’t end up running into each other online), some of the best advice I got from a real-life friend was to delete anyone’s message who talks about sex before you’ve met them.

My argument to that is, well, who DOESN’T? Not me, of course. (Grabs a halo for this photo op.) But I’m no idiot. Men aren’t on these sites to meet the loves of their lives. I mean, maybe some are. Or at least their next love, which is really why I’m there. But while I am no prude, I get squicked out when the first thing said to me has to do with meeting up in a public place … but NOT for coffee.

Now, don’t get me wrong. That can come later. 😉 I just would like to start knowing people’s full names before THAT becomes an option again!

My friend M. sends me awesome advice, and what I like about her is we are probably more open with each other online even though we live on opposite coasts. And she gave me one of those reality checks yesterday that I really needed. And it’s probably because she knew I was getting ready yet again to throw my caution to the wind and go get a confidence boost from the next naughty boy to send me a message that makes me blush.

But yeah, M reminds me about being confident and expectant. To stand by the car door and wait for them to open it. To wait by a door and let them have you go through first. She mentioned how many of her friends complain that their men don’t take them anywhere or buy them dinner or that they get lied to all the time. So, don’t accept it. Period.

I’ve gotten most of that down over the years. One lie, you’re out. The end, buh-bye. My sexual health is very important to me, and I don’t want to even entertain the notion that you’re inking up in someone else’s well when I’m stuck at work.

Expectation is a tricky thing, because I’ve waited for many people to let me walk ahead of them or take the first seat or even have my chair held for me. And that speaks to the fact that I might have been raised to be a lady, most of them seem to have been reared by beasts. Their mothers would be appalled at how they’re costing themselves the best women and are only attracting/keeping those who are willing to settle for their unimpressive shit.

On the other hand, because I’m not one to cast stones without hitting myself over the head with one when needed, because I’ve stopped expecting, I’ve stopped GETTING whatever it is that I’ve abandoned. I rush for my own door. I grab my own chair. I have money ready before the waiter even comes around with the bill.

The latter part comes from being so broke my whole life that I don’t like to go out without enough money to cover myself. I never wanted to be seen as a charity case, and it doesn’t matter that I date guys who make double and even triple my salary.

Of course, I was very hurt that they didn’t offer, not in the charity-case sense but in the “hey, I’ve had a really good time with you and would like to do this again” sense. Because I guarantee you, I almost never returned their calls.

If I’m going to spend my own money, damn it, I’m going to go do something I want to do instead.

Anyway, in my ongoing color commentary from the trenches from hell, we come out with these lessons: Don’t proposition someone before you’ve met them, but don’t assume that because they don’t want to participate in verbal foreplay through multiple messages before meeting that they won’t be worth meeting. Don’t give up your ideals, but maybe don’t expect to find people who embody them on a site where it feels like everyone’s looking to get laid, either.

I don’t know. I’m just trying to either get up the courage to respond to some of these types of messages, or maybe to get up the courage to delete them and start the search anew. But first, maybe I’ll call that one to whom I said I owe a proper hello — again, let’s reward the one that seems like he’s either trying to get it right … or he actually IS getting it right because that’s the kind of guy I might have actually dreamed up and does exist.

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