So, I’m living here in Pennsylvania, I don’t know anyone outside my community and dating within the community is frowned upon (and anyway, the four guys in my age range – say, 26 to 40 or so – are: not single, not single, not single, not friendly). I check out the craigslist personals and hit upon an interesting prospect. He’s written one of those “This is the most honest personal ad you’ll ever read” ads (internet daters, you know the type, right?). Well, they’re a cliche, but I always fall for them – he’s willing to be vulnerable! I can tell him all the horrible things about me and get them out of the way and he’ll fall in love with me for my insouciant spirit!
I wrote back in kind, outlining all the things that one might find difficult about me – in a terribly charming way, of course. Here’s a sample of what I included:
- I live in a Quaker community. That’s weird, right? But charming-weird, not freaky-weird. I’m exploring my soul! That’s a good thing!
- I’m fat. ‘Nuff said.
- I struggle with depression, had a breakdown in grad school, am better now. It’s made me more reflective, more thoughtful, more determined to live beautifully.
- I’m an introvert and I have a hard time getting close to people.
- Sarcasm goes right over my head. Like, seriously. I don’t know why this is. I’m a smart person. I make other people laugh. But I’m just so damned gullible; I’ll ask you if I can borrow a pen, you’ll say no, sarcastically, because DUH, of course I can borrow a pen, why would anyone say no to that? and I’ll walk away dejectedly. The upside to this is that I’m totally earnest, and I actually think that’s a good thing. I’m sincere.
- I love politics but I’ve recently realized, much to my surprise, since I went to public policy grad school on the assumption that the opposite was true, that I don’t really like to debate politics. I mostly like chewing the fat with people who agree with me; I’m happier on a campaign than doing the compromise of policy work.
- I snore.
Here’s what he writes back:
I have no issues with larger women.
Great! We’re off to a good start.
I don’t think we’d get along well. Number one, I never capitalize the word god, because I don’t believe there is only one. I am far from religious. You mentioned you love politics but have a problem talking to people who disagree with you. Well, a healthy debate is good for the soul. But if you’re too closed to see someone else’s side, or why they think the way they do, that’s unfortunate. I voted for Obama, and campaigned for his election. And I’m thrilled he won. Who did you vote for, McCain? Being from MN and living in Quakertown, do you have a problem with black people? I sure don’t.
Um, whoa! I guess I neglected to tell him that I’m a way-left liberal, that it’s Republicans that I don’t really want to talk politics with (sorry, Republicans! I still love you, but let’s talk about dinner or something else instead, ok?), that I worked for Obama organizing rural voters in Virginia, that the photo I sent him was from the spontaneous election-night party outside the White House after Obama was elected.
Oh, and? Maybe he should quick google Minnesota and Quakers before he makes racist assumptions about them; both are progressive, home to stereotypically do-gooder liberal folk. Minnesota, for example, has elected the only Muslim to serve in Congress. Quakers were among the first abolitionists.
Being introverted does not make one opposed to companionship or letting someone into our hearts. It simply means we enjoy time alone, and need it, to recharge. I don’t think the word introverted can accurately describe you, from your description of yourself.
Oh. I guess I’m wrong about myself. Thanks for showing me the light.
I understand depression, and have written a lot about it, but I am not depressed. I don’t think we have that area in common, either. I don’t let myself get down to the point of incapacity. I’m a firm believer in the motto whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
OK, now I’m mad. His turn of phrase – “I don’t let myself get down…” – pisses me off. As though all you needed to do to avoid depression was buck up, be a man. Feh.
Kind of odd that sarcasm goes right over your head, even 12 year olds can clearly get when someone’s being sarcastic.
Huh. Apparently I made him mad, too. Why else would be slip in this little jab? Why, actually, did he respond at all, since we were so obviously not meant to be?
He closes with:
I’m sure you’re a cool person but you’re not what I’m looking for.
Now that’s just disingenuous. If I’m really racist, weak-hearted and stupid, I wouldn’t be a terrible cool person, would I?
Ah, no need to get in a huff. I should have known better, anyway. The “I’m so honest” type is right up there with the “Nice Guy” type – they’re insincerely swathing themselves in simplistic understandings of what they imagine women want. What do you want to bet that when he doesn’t get many responses he’ll chalk it up to the snobbery of women?
Bah! Who needs ’em, anyway? Maybe I’ll just stay tucked up in my community and forget about dating for a while longer.