What a Long Strange Trip, Part 3

After the twenty-nine levels of compatability failed, I let a friend talk me into trying more specialized sites.  And there are many: single parents, pet lovers, Christians, married people, trophy wives … you name it, there is a dating site for them alone.  I did some research and chose two sites, one for each predictor the others neglected: size and race.

The first site is all about helping black folks find one another.  That seems so clear, implies a certain outcome.  I do not, in actual fact, date only black men.  Vlad isn’t black.  Neither The Morphine Man, nor several other former paramours.  But the fact that I am black was hampering the process, so I signed up … and the first thing I saw was one white man after another. I will admit to a fair amount of confusion. But behind all the non-black people on the site, there are plenty of — surprise! — black people.

I think the most interesting thing I’ve found on these sites is that removing the issue doesn’t remove the issue.¹

On the fat ladies site, the men are — one should feel safe assuming — into fat ladies.  And they are, but the truth of that doesn’t in any way affect the concurrent truth that many are fatphobic.  “You need to show a full-length photo,” one man’s profile says. “If you don’t, then I have to assume you’re fat.”  Um, what? Trust me, sir, that any woman signing up on the Meet Fat Ladies site is fat.  Trust me.  What he means, probably, is that some level of fat is too fat for him.  But I’m sorry, don’t come to Fatland and then be all prejudiced against the fatties.

Another man worries about meeting women larger than a size 14.  Seriously?  Let’s just be clear: a woman who is a size 14 is. not. fat.  She’s not even anywhere near being fat.  A man hoping to meet small women needs to figure himself out and stop wasting my fat girl time.  Please, people.

Things are much worse on the black site.  From reading their profiles, it is clear that many black men have ugly and unfortunate beliefs about black women.  “Don’t bother responding if you have more than two kids,” says one.  Another makes clear that his ideal woman can’t have more than $3,000 in personal debt.  Many others say they don’t want their woman to be loud, angry, uneducated, trampy, domineering, demanding, dealing with baby-father bother² … 

What is that?  How can it be that so many black men think so little of black women?  I’m not really that naive, but I’m disgusted and disheartened all the same.  If you’re a man who’s looking to meet a black woman or a big woman, how are you served by posting a profile that is insulting to the women you hope to meet?  And excuse my bluntness, guys, but if you’re a raggedy-looking, broke-down man whose profile pictures look like you took them the morning after a three-day drunk, how dare you say even one disparaging thing about me.

I am supremely troubled and angered by this crap.  The prejudice against fat women bothers me, but most men on that site wax rhapsodic about the joys of “loving large.”  The anti-black woman bullshit coming from men who should prize black women above all others … that hurts.  I know many of the places it’s coming from, but it burns me.

Happily, not all of the men on these sites are rude and prejudiced.  Some have made it past the initial does-he-warrant-a-date screen.  A couple have even managed to rate a second date … And yes, I’m going to string you along and talk about them in another post!

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¹ This might be an important takeaway for the folks behind the new Huck Finn: erasing the printed evidence of racism doesn’t erase the fact of racism.  Hello

² And this from men with their own exes and children in tow.  I heard from a guy who’s never been married but has strewn nine children across the world … and he had the nerve to say he didn’t want any baby-daddy business.

Misfire on Engines 1, 2, 3, …

“I’m looking for someone to complete me.”

“At your age, you can’t waste any time.  You have to be serious right from the start.  Instead, you act like you’re 20 years old.”

“I never kiss anyone that I don’t plan to have a long term relationship with.”

“I have a friend who wants to meet you …  I guess that’s my way of saying I’m not interested.”

“What’s your dress size?”

“Oh, I guess you’ve got trust issues.”

“I’m afraid to talk to you.”

“You’ll have to correct my English.  I speak Ebonics.”

“What are you wearing right now?”

“The way you are, I bet it would be something like two months before we have sex.”

(Guess again.)

And that’s just a partial list.

My Life as a Cougar

No, this isn’t some poignant tale from my Swedish childhood.¹  This is me struggling with the weird reality of going out with a guy young enough to be my son.  You know, dealing with the discovery that I am a “cougar.”²

Ok, so I’ve said it.  I’ve said both “it”s — I’ve gone on dates with someone who isn’t AC, and that not-AC someone is ridiculously young.  Take a moment to denounce me if you like.

Done?  I’m not sure I am, but let’s continue.

We’ll call the little whippersnapper I’ve been talking to Tarik.  On our third date I made the mistake of asking his age.  I knew he was young.  Even in the dark dance club where we met, it was clear I was the senior partner in our couple.  It’s just that I had convinced myself ours was a single-digit age gap.  Yeah, not so much.

I am finding this May-December thing decidedly icky.  And I’m surprised by how much it bothers me.  I don’t know if Tarik ever had any kind of boyfriend potential, but I do know that learning his age chilled my interest.  How annoying that I care.  Why do I care?  After all, AC is younger than I am, too.  Ok, only by two years.  We’re practically separated at birth compared to me and Tarik.  But really, what’s the big deal?  A man “of a certain age” dating a woman in her 20s would be envied and admired — ok, maybe not by everyone, but by many.  But when it’s an older woman and a younger man, suddenly there’s something animal and creepy going on:³

Shall I photoshop my face in there?

Again, what’s the big deal?  According to this handy chart I found on the internets, Tarik’s in my half-plus-seven dating range:

Mercifully, I will be saving myself from having to agonize over this too much longer.  It seems that my little trip to Cougar Town is going to be a short one.  Tarik is mostly irking the mess out of me these days, and is about to get that final goodbye.  I just wish I could figure out whether or not he’d irk me half as much if he weren’t half my age.

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¹ Tell me you never saw that movie.  What’s Netflix for, friends?

² Oh, so many issues with this use of “cougar.”  I suppose it’s better than “cradle robber,” but what is it really supposed to be saying?  And, while we’re figuring stuff out, how is it that I’m finding myself in this category?

³ Check out The Gender Blender Blog for a good articulation of some of my problems with this whole cougar business.

“10 magical words to make a man love me”

I like checking the search terms that lead people to this blog.  I continue to be shocked and angered by the volume of racist searches that drop people on my doorstep (“why are blacks like animals?” “nigger animals” “why black people act nasty” …).  At the same time, I am pleasantly surprsied by how many people search for me specifically (“girlgriot kin blog” shows up a lot).

And then there are curious searches such as the one that makes the title of this post: 10 magical words to make a man love me.  It is both utterly ridiculous and completely sad all at once.  And how does it lead anyone to me?  Well, Google sent this searcher to one of the posts I wrote when I thought my friend Kenrick had died.  The connection? I added the wonderful Inuit poem “Magic Words” to that post.

Poor searcher.  What a disappointment my post must have been.  But no fear.  There were plenty of other worthy search results: an ebook that promises to teach readers how to make anyone fall in love with them, an article detailing the four big signs that will help you gauge whether or not your boyfriend loves you, and any number of articles on how to win back an ex you still love. Oy.

If only there were ten magic words, right?  How easy things would be.  I started writing this post earlier today and was headed in a whole other, sillier direction.  But tonight I came home to a teary phone call from a friend telling me that her husband has left her.  Her husband of nearly twenty years.

I want those ten words right now.  I have other words I’m thinking I’d like to say to him, but she is hurting, she is still in love and wanting to find a way back to being a couple with this man, so I want those ten magic words, want to give them to her right now, tonight, want her to find the secret that will bring him home.

Saw this one coming …

How foolish and funny is this:

1930s Marital Scale

You can take a 100-question husband or wife quiz (so fair-minded!).  I originally took the quiz about year ago and scored a 34, making me a “Poor” 1930s wife.  Yeah.  I took it again today …

-16

As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)

Take the test!

Quel surprise!  Clearly in a year I’ve come a little more into my own.   No 1930s husbands for me, thank you!

But what about 2009 husbands?  Is this quiz an indication of how ornery and set in my ways I am, how little I would be able to adapt to life as a wife?  Perhaps I should have AC take this quiz and see what kind of 1930s husband he would be.  Then we could compare results and decide if it could possibly make any sense for us to be married.

Yes, that’s right, using mindless internet quizzes to make major life decisions.  Exactly.