Daily Me
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Good and Happy Things

April 17, 2003 - 9:14 p.m.

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Last Five Entries:
The Party's Over
July 11, 2004
The Next Day
2004-03-31
My Nervous Breakdown
2004-03-30
True Confessions: My Life as a Female Impersonator
March 15, 2004
Bite Me
February 29, 2004

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I have to admit something. I'm a heterosexual man. Not that I can prove that I'm heterosexual. There's nothing that one could look to in recent years to confirm that, yeah, Daily Me is heterosexual. But deep down inside, I think I am, so I'm going to assert here that I am a heterosexual man.

But for a heterosexual man- and let's assume for the sake of argument that I am a heterosexual man- for a heterosexual man, Spring is a glorious time of year. Because the weather gets warm, and women start wearing their shorts, their tank-tops, their cut-off shirts, their sandals. They paint their toenails. All of these things are very good things.

And these things manifest wonderfully on a college campus. Most college students- and I'm focused on the women- don't have to worry about suits and conservative dresses for work. They can spend the day in their springtime casual wear. And this is a very happy thing.

Then I think to myself, is admiring from afar all there is to it? But then, I really can't admire from afar, I'd be staring, and that's rude. Whether a woman considers a man's gaze flattering or creepy often depends on how handsome the man is. I would fall into the creepy category, so actually I end up averting my eyes a lot.

The women all seem so young to me too. And they are young I suppose- eighteen, nineteen, twenty- that's probably half of them, right? But those are adult ages. And there is only one conclusion that can be drawn when I start seeing adults as young- I must be old.

Many women are of course walking campus hand-in-hand with their boyfriends (usually boyfriends), enjoying springtime together, enjoying a stage in their lives together that precedes responsibility. If I ever had that stage in my life, I probably wouldn't be so screwed up. In many ways, some things never change- I envied those boyfriends when I was an undergraduate so many years ago, and I envy them today. And there's more to envy.

Maybe I envy the women with their girlfriends too, but now we're getting to Psychotherapy Land.

The point of the matter is that Spring comes, bringing the warm weather. The warm weather causes women to wear clothes that highlight their physical attractiveness. And physically attractive women remind me that my romantic life has been dismal. You see, I can't just leave a good and happy thing well enough alone.

I may try the internet personal ads yet again. They haven't been successful for me in the past. Well, that depends on the point at which you are measuring success. I can write a personal ad that will get responses. From what I've gathered in talking to others who have used personal ads, men often have trouble getting responses, either to their ads, or to their responses to women's ads. I think, however, that my success in getting responses is less of a matter of the cream rising to the top, than the sludge falling to the bottom.

Warning: Gross generalizations to follow.

A man who writes in complete sentences, proof-reads for spelling, and posts a picture (no matter how ugly he thinks he actually looks) has just moved ahead of ninety percent of the pack.

Good: If you share some of these interests, I look forward to hearing from you.

Bad: if u like what i writed i like to meat you

Why do I post a picture? Well, if there is no picture, she's going to assume that I have something to hide, and she's going to use her imagination to picture how I look. As bad as I look, her imagination is worse.

One fine point to increase response rate is for the man to write for what he is looking in a woman. As it turns out, this does not limit reponses.

Ad: I like piña coladas, and getting caught in the rain.

Response: I don't handle alcohol well and I catch cold easily. Even so, would you like to take a chance on me?

One easy way I make myself seem smart is to include a fews words with a tilde or an accent mark on my résumé.

Another fine point- and I can't emphasize this enough- is to avoid sounding desperate and needy. A man needs to write as if he's just peachy fuzzy keen with his life whether he meets someone or not.

Good: Leave a note, and if it sounds like we might have fun together, I'll give you a call.

Bad: Please respond to me before my Paxil prescription runs out. I'll write back right away because I check my inbox every two minutes.

So getting the responses to my ad is not a problem. Then there's an exchange of e-mail phase. Again, I do well here. Much of the same advice carries through this stage. Writing in complete sentences, proof-reading for spelling. (That wasn't a complete sentence but this isn't a personal ad.) Another point- this is important- is that I actually respond specifically to what the woman may write. Women seem to like this. It gives the illusion that I have listened to her.

E-mail: As it turns out, my ex was keeping a young philly on the side.

Reply: I like horses.

Next comes the phone conversation. Again, I do well. I think that the key is to listen to what the woman says, and say something that seems to suggest that I actually listened to her.

Her: I'm sorry, talking on the phone like this is a little weird, you know?

Him: Oh, I know. And speaking of weird, you should see my collection of Barbie doll heads.

Her: [laughing] You're funny.

Him: Um ... right ... because that was a JOKE. Of course.

So up until this point, I do well. I can pass myself off as intelligent, witty, and sensitive. On paper, I'm boyfriend material. On paper, I am big-time Mr. Personality.

Wait a minute, you may be thinking to yourself. I've been reading this diary, and you're a whiny, self-pitying, confused about his gender-identity jerk who doesn't care about anything except himself. I resent that. I care about my cat, too. Anyway, in the personal ads mode, I clean myself up and put my best side forward.

Anyway. Then we get to the date, and it's a continuation of before. Some intelligent conversation, some witty things said. But there is some point at which a pleasant exchange becomes more meaningful, more special. And I never reach that point, or identify that point. That spark of romance never happens. And at the end of the date, I can always tell- she had a nice time, but not really nice enough that she wants to do it again. And, with one exception in my personals dating experience, the first date is also the last date.

This exception sounds promising, you may think. You are so very optimistic. No, it was worse than the one-date-only deals, but that's another diary entry sometime.

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