The Mask

by JeremySpoke under Single Life

I am writing on the following topic because I have exhausted all interesting topics, and if I continue with exponentially more boring posts about myself, I will divulge into a five paragraph post about the most effective way to eliminate back hair (laser removal).

Before I found out about JDate®, meeting women online was a lot more difficult, and dangerous. I was in the tepid water that was America Online®. Please keep in mind that AOL® has claimed to be a lot of things, but ‘dating site’ has never been one of them. It was a mecca when I was first introduced to the internet. It had magical ‘Channels’ that allowed you to, for example, order a pizza online while simultaneously listening to music! I know! This was unbelievable. This was 1997.

By 2003, I still had an AOL account because I think my mom forgot to cancel our subscription. After a break-up, I turned to AOL on late nights when I couldn’t sleep. I went to what sounded like trustworthy chat rooms like ‘BBW in Texas’ and ‘One Night Stands’. My innocent mind had, for some reason, thought that BBW stood for Boisterous Black Women, and I was totally into that. For some reason, chat rooms always seemed infinitely more entertaining at 3 am. This time also coincides with the time that the shadiest people on earth were also in these rooms.

I found one of these women, and we chatted for several months. She lived in the same city as I did, and we agreed to meet. However, she decided to come visit my dorm days before our meeting date. This particular afternoon also happened to coincide with a time that I was experiencing an allergic reaction to my Clearasil® pads. Remember Clearasil? Gosh this post is so nostalgic.

So my face had broken out in red spots, which was, ironically, what Clearasil claimed to cure. These red spots, though, were more like itchy hives. I had forgotten that I had them on my face when I answered my door. When I opened it, what I saw in front of me was a horrified young woman pretending to not notice the welts on my face. “Hi there!”, I said. This began one of my top ten most awkward three hours of my life.

We walked around campus, and she kept a good distance from me. After lunch, we went up to my room to watch a movie. My roommate was still asleep and we sat on the bed because I didn’t have a couch. After the movie ended, she darted for the door and did not say a word. That was one of the worst dates of my life.

My Last College Party

by JeremySpoke under Single Life

I walked by the door, smiling and waving to all of the strangers inside.  There were d****bags everywhere.  I was honestly aghast at all of them.  From the kids playing beer pong in front of me, to the kids pouring Four Loko into plastic cups, to the kids outside on the balcony vomiting, they were everywhere.  I felt like an elder statesman in my polo shirt and khaki pants.  “Do not continue drinking alcohol, young woman vomiting over the ledge!” I wanted to say.  “Do not continuously dribble this basketball onto the floor, there are people living below you!”  “Please stop looking like a professional call-girl, young woman.”

There were so many judgments that were in need of permeating these young children’s heads.  Is this what college looked like when I was there?  Certainly not!  We were civilized.  The women of our time didn’t look like prostitutes!  The police eventually came.  I wanted to yell out, “Police!  Shut this down at once!” but I couldn’t because I would probably be arrested if I tried to explain to them that I was 27 and visiting my little sister.  Instead, I was relegated to the back room with my sister, my friend, and a group of other children.  I casually asked if anybody else was interested in smoking crystal meth, and got a lot of faces of shock.  I’m just kidding, kids. Lighten up, or you will be doing crystal meth in less than ten years in your parents’ garage.

At the end of the night, one of these kids decided to win my sister’s favor by rambling to me how pretty he thinks she is.  “So, does your sister only date Jewish guys?” he asks me.  It was at that exact moment that I decided to steal this kid’s cell phone charger.  I didn’t decide to do this all at once.  I had earlier realized that I had left my phone charger in another city, and this kid’s apartment had a phone charger that perfectly fit my phone.  I was skittish at first, but his drunken ramblings made it clear that I was destined for a life of crime.


Cramming For Dates

by RollingStone9862 under Relationships

Remember back in college when you were taking a bunch of classes for your major, and during the course of the semester all of the information would begin to mesh together and overwhelm your fragile college brain? Sure we all had friends or acquaintances who were conscientious students and constantly reviewed all of the material for their classes so they could keep it all neatly compartmentalized in their heads, but for many people that is the college ideal not the reality. So what did the rest of us less diligent students do to combat our apathy and earn respectable or, at the very least, passing grades: We crammed. The night before a big exam we stayed up all night trying to jam as much information on a particular subject into our brains as was humanly possible in an attempt to overcome the fact that we had neglected to truly learn the material.

The other night, while I was driving to grab drinks with a woman I had met on JDate, I realized that I was drawing a blank of much of the information she had told me about herself during the course of our previous email correspondence. Part of the problem was that information from my other conversations with women on JDate had blended together in my head with this one and unfortunately, as I drove to meet her, I could no longer properly discern which facts, characteristics and stories were uniquely hers. Since I have been active on JDate for a while now I have gone out on enough first dates to not panic in the face of such self-inflicted adversity, and realized that I would be fine if I just went with the natural flow of conversation, and didn’t ask too many questions I should probably already know the answer to.

The date ended up going well, and thankfully I was able to avoid repeating any questions or telling any stories that had already come up in our emailing. On my way home after dropping her off I was honestly a little bothered by the fact that I couldn’t remember many facts from our previous email conversation, and that I was confusing it with others I was currently having with other women on JDate. Even though I don’t believe that this situation means I’m a bad person I have been trying to think of a way to avoid this type of situation from reoccurring in the future, and after pondering that question for the rest of the night I ended up thinking of only one viable solution, which did take me back to my college days, that I should skim through recent emails (or cram) before I go out on dates in the future.

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Forefathers and Foremothers

by JeremySpoke under JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

JDate is a privilege, and one that you a few to use.  Our mothers and fathers probably didn’t have this tool at their disposal when they chose their spouse, whom together gave birth to you.  If they had something like JDate, they probably would have found someone that was better for them.  As a result, they would have produced someone like you, only better.  You have no idea how much better you could have been.  Though they can’t re-produce you, you can still make the world a better place by using this site to find the perfect mate.

Say your parents met while in college, because they probably did.  When courting one another, they did not have an “About Me” that they could read before meeting.  Instead of being able to read “Physical Info,” they had to actually look at each other in person while simultaneously assessing their compatibility.  This is nearly impossible to do.  They had to simply assume that their opposite had a similar “Ideal Relationship” and that their “Past Relationships” taught them valuable life lessons that they would take with them to the next relationship.  Who knew what the other person’s “Perfect First Date” was like?  Maybe they had no “Perfect First Date” because they were yet to go on it.

Their first conversation probably took place in person.  This can be very intimidating and awkward.  A first conversation can potentially make or break a relationship.  On JDate, you can think about what to say before typing it in.  This removes mistakes caused by nervousness and being ‘in the moment.’  People can talk to people that they would never approach in real life.  It is much easier to approach women/men while in the comfort of solitude than in the stress-inducing real world.  If the conversation doesn’t work out, instead of having to sit through the rest of lunch awkwardly, you can simply close the IM box after saying goodbye.

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by JeremySpoke under Single Life

I have lived my entire adult life under the auspices that everyone I know (and don’t know) feels that I owe them something.  This started, as stated, around the time I was eighteen.  I did not feel psychologically ready for college, though I knew it was the expectations of many for me to attend.  Though I know now it would have been beneficial for everyone involved if I didn’t go straight to college, I feel that that is where the majority of my guilt originates.  My parents were putting a lot of money and expectations on the premise that I would go to college and do well in every aspect.  ‘Every aspect’ basically means that I would have a wife and child by the time I was/am 27.

My road toward marriage-hood, fatherhood, and the absence of both hit its first barricade before my first day of classes.  I had a nervous breakdown in the hallway of Dobie.  Dobie was the dorm where my parents first met.  My first dorm room in Dobie was in the same suite as my mom’s dorm during her freshman yeah.  Dobie is also an overpriced prison that thrives on providing facilities that promote social ineptness as well as athletic prowess (to get to the lobby, you have to walk up 45 steps.  If you live on floors two through four, you are expected to take the stairs up again, in order to decongest the elevators.)

So while I was struggling through my first year of school, my parents were not only paying for my tuition, schoolbooks, room & board, and my meal plan, they were also giving me plenty of spending money.  I felt immensely guilty that they were paying for this, but at the same time I never thanked them.  I just blindly went forward.  I think because of this guilt, I was very prone to apologizing to everybody (but my parents) that I was around.  For example, I would repeatedly say “I’m sorry” to a friend who treated me to dinner on my birthday, while Mom and Dad got nothing.

My apologizing got so out of control, I got a small tattoo on the top of my arm that said “I’m sorry.”  It was partly a joke and partly a plea to the tattoo gods to get me to stop apologizing.  Though I still feel enormously guilty because of what my parents have done (or given) to me, I don’t overuse the ‘I’m sorry’ to friends and everyone else in my life; but the tattoo remains.  Tattoos are permanent.  Nobody tells you that when the artists are giving it to you; yet they seem like such trustworthy people.

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Is the Drawer Half Open or Half Closed?

by GemsFromJen under JBloggers,Relationships,Single Life

A few years ago I ended a long-term relationship. One of my biggest complaints about this guy was his lack of follow-through.  He had a habit of starting something and getting very close to finishing whatever was started, but without fail, he rarely completed anything. For instance, I can recall his graduation from college: it was an exciting day, a day of accomplishment and the ultimate follow-through. We had a small party and his job search began.  However, he failed to have one class transferred from community college and never bothered to take the initiative to transfer the class.  He was able to walk in his graduation ceremony, but never received his degree. Hence, he never actually did graduate from college. All he had to do was pick up a phone and have a transcript sent from one school to another.

I remember one of my biggest complaints about this particular guy was his habit of opening a drawer and almost completely closing it.  Almost is the key word here. The drawers that he had opened were always left open. There were many times the drawer looked closed, but upon closer inspection, the drawer was ajar.   Not once can I remember a drawer being closed completely.  This got me thinking, can a drawer be a metaphor for who a person is?

My drawers in my bedroom are always closed. However, they aren’t always neat and tidy. On the outside it appears as if everything is in its place, but once the inside reveals itself, there is a chance the items inside the drawer will be in a state of disarray.  Is this who I really am? At times, absolutely! I tend to appear “put together,” but I have so much on my plate that at times I am a mess.  I’m not so sure I want this to be my metaphor for who I am.  I think one of my projects this week will be to begin to organize my drawers.

Mixed Signals

by GemsFromJen under Date Night,JBloggers,Relationships

Dear Gems from Jen,

I have been seeing my older brother’s friend for about two weeks now. We hit it off at my birthday party and he got my number. He asked me out on a date a few days later and we went out that week. We had a great first date and both agreed we wanted to see each other again. We made plans for a second date, but the day arrived and he ended up canceling, saying his friend broke up with his girlfriend and wanted to hang out. This was the first mixed signal.

He ended up contacting me two days later and we went out the following day. We went to the movies and he held my hand throughout and after we went back to his house. Everything went great again. We didn’t make plans for the next date, but I figured we would at some point. My brother’s girlfriend knows him really well so she said to throw him a bone, because he has never been in a serious relationship and needs some encouragement. Usually, I wouldn’t initiate contact with a guy, but I thought it would be okay in this case. So I asked him what he was doing on Saturday night. He said he was going out with a friend from work. I told him I was going to a party and we exchanged texts for a little while. Then I asked him “Will I see you this week?” and he replied after 20 minutes saying “We will see what my schedule is like.”

What does this all mean? I am leaving in about two weeks to do an internship in Vancouver and I will be gone for about four weeks. I am in my last semester in college and will be graduating in May, so I will only be home every few weeks until I finish school. He graduated a few years ago and is living and working in the neighboring town.
Is he afraid of getting too involved since I am leaving? Or is he just not that interested?



Dear Mixed Signals.

After reading your question, I can really only come to one conclusion; actions always speak louder than words. With that said, remember this is brand new, nothing serious, you are leaving town for a bit, and my guess is you want something a bit more serious than he really sounds willing to commit to. My suggestion is to stop over-thinking this and do not put all of your eggs in one basket.  I understand the two of you hit it off and that is wonderful!  However, there are plenty of other guys to hit it off with as well. If you are not receiving the direct signals you appear to want, then find someone who is willing to be straightforward and commit to getting to know you. If you sense that he is not that interested don’t waste your time trying to get him interested. That tactic tends to backfire for most of us. College is usually a great time to explore all of your possibilities, so use this time to your advantage and get to know all types of people. If this guy calls and wants to go out again by all means go out with him, but keep in mind he is not the last guy on Earth, just someone you hit it off with for a few hours.

Gems from Jen

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