Sunday, July 25, 2010

Creepsters Need Not Apply

I have taken the terrifying plunge back into the world of internet dating.

I say "back into" because maybe a year or so ago I tried it out, only to wind up terrified after some guy friended me on the dating site, facebooked me, and IMed me all within five minutes of finding my profile - despite the fact that the dating site I was using didn't list my last name, e-mail address, or screen name. It didn't help that it was midnight. And I was sitting alone in my room. In the dark.

When I told him I was no longer interested in online dating (a decision made the second I got his IM) and refused to answer any of his questions he basically responded with the internet equivalent of stomping his foot, pouting, and running off in a huff. It was something along the lines of "Well, good luck finding anyone decent any other way," but in a funny color font and without as much punctuation.

I finally decided to give it another try after realizing just how long my dating dry spell has been going on and how I really don't meet anyone out in the real world. I don't go to bars, I've never randomly struck up a conversation with a cute guy in a coffee shop, and no one has attempted to hit on me while I'm choosing between melons at the grocery store (though that could be because I've never bought a melon in my life). Most of the time I find guys who try to talk to me out of nowhere to be kind of creepy. I'd say I was just being paranoid or picky, but I genuinely think these guys are creepy! And friends who've been with me at the time tend to agree!

A lot of the creepy come-ons came while I was working as a barista. There was the homeless guy who gave me a Pez dispenser the day after Halloween (literally - a stranger giving me candy). The guy who thought that acting like he was kind of stupid would get him girls - first he asked me if I could help figure out the SD card he'd just bought for his phone. Then he started coming up to the counter any time a cute girl was ordering a drink and asking her if she knew how to spell a certain word. By the third time he'd come up to ask how to spell "hippopotamus" or something like that, I was on to his game and started running into the back room pretending I had something important to take care of. One older guy in a bad toupee once told me I had beautiful skin. Skin?! My skin?! That has go to be one of the creepiest parts of the anatomy you could possibly choose to compliment someone on. Saying "You have beautiful skin," to a total stranger just sounds like it's about to be followed by "I think I'd like to wear it some day."

I guess there are creepy guys no matter where you look. Which is why tonight when two hours after I posted my dating profile I received a message from a man in his fifties wearing sunglasses and impossibly bad toupee in his photo and commenting on how near each other we lived, I had to simply fight my gag reflex, make sure the door was securely locked, and move on to the next.

Friday, July 23, 2010


So I'm sitting at my desk finishing the bagel I was having for breakfast and one of my coworkers walks by going, "Those bagels, they're gonna getcha." Seriously, woman I barely know, you're going to act like one of those scary TV movie moms who gives their kid an eating disorder by saying things like, "Oh, you're having ice cream? Y'know, that'll go straight to your hips"?

Then just now as I'm typing this email I get called into the head of HR's office who says, "You've been coming in late, recently?" to which I respond, "Um, have I? I didn't think so. Maybe 8:32 instead of 8:30."

"Oh, okay, well (the head boss lady) wanted me to talk to you about it."

Maybe I should invest in a cushion for my desk so when I start slamming my head against the table I don't actually injure myself.

...It's going to be one of those days. Again.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


This was originally a comment in response to my former roommate/best friend Jennifer's blog post entitled Sour Cherries, but it got really long. I decided instead of hijacking her blog, I'd actually use my own, for once! My response may have wandered into something else by the end, but so what? It's my blog, I'll do what I want. :-P

I was responding to her question, "How do you deal with regret?"

I have the urge to make a Jew joke about feeling regret, but I'm not sure if that's really a stereotype about my people or if I just automatically assume all negative emotions are associated with my religion/culture/genes/whatever.

Regret is a strange emotion. It's this weird mixture of sadness, disappointment, sometimes anger, with a few other random ingredients mixed in. It comes in all sizes and shapes, works in all sorts of situations. There are small regrets that pass quickly, like regretting that giant piece of cake you had for dessert. There are regrets that are slightly dulled, things that won't bother you years later because they simply don't matter anymore, like wearing a stupid outfit or getting a bad haircut. There are regrets over not doing something and regrets over taking a risk that went wrong. Honestly, I'm not sure which is worse.

Then there's the kind of regret that's hard to get away from and sometimes stays with you forever. I know I have plenty of regrets when I think about my grandparents who've passed away. I regret not spending more time with my grandfather when he was sick and the fact that I sometimes resented having to go visit him (I was 17, it's practically required to resent most things at that age). I regret not learning more about his childhood and his family, not getting to know him as an adult instead of as a little girl. I regret the times I acted like an absolute brat in front of him while growing up.

I regret the fact that my grandmother spent the last years of her life in a nursing home, a place I found terrifying - and I wasn't even the one losing my memories and proper use of my body.

There's not much that can make regrets like that go away. My grandparents are gone and as time travel is a risky (and impossible) business, I have no way to go back and fix things.

The one thing that has ever made me feel even the slightest bit better about these regrets is this realization: My grandpa and grandma probably wouldn't hold these things against me. I once asked my parents if they thought my grandfather saw me as a brat, and though they may be biased and simply wanting to make me feel better, their response was a quick and decisive, "Absolutely not, he adored you." I believe them.

If you're very, very lucky, you have people who love you so much that even when you disappoint them or let them down, their feelings for you don't change or go away. I still remember the last thing my grandfather telling me in a small moment of clarity shortly before he died was that he'd always have time to tell me he loved me. There was not anger over small indiscretions, just love. When my grandmother could no longer remember my name or how exactly I was related to her, she still recognized me as someone she cared for and who cared for her in return, not as some terrible guard keeping her in a terrible place. When you look at the big picture, if you're lucky and you work hard at it, maybe regret winds up being a very small part of life, and is squashed down and hidden by all the good parts and the happy memories.

At least, I hope that's how it works.