Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Good

Some people have suggested that I was harsh in my last post... that I may have been quick to judge people who may be good matches for me, but who just don't happen to have good spelling or grammar skills.

But here's the thing: the way I see it, an online dating profile is essentially a job application of sorts - and, like a resume, it is responsible for first impressions. If I meet a guy at a bar I can base my first impression on his personality and looks and "je ne sais quoi", but when I "meet" someone online all I have to base my first impression on is his profile. If a guy can't be bothered to write more than three sentences to describe himself or to spell-check (especially after reading in my profile that that's something I value in a potential match), then I'm going to assume that he isn't all that serious about dating, which means that he is not going to be a good match for me.

Think I've set the bar impossibly high? Wondering what a good online response look like? It looks like this:

I'd like to think that I'm pretty well edumacated and am not a terabul speler. I'm a bit of a grammar dork myself. Am prone to the occasional mishap of a poorly constructed sentence with a dangling participle. ;)

or this...

If your interest is piqued, by all means...give me a shout back. And I think you have every right to be a grammar nerd. If people can't write 'you' in a message...what is the world coming to??? 

or this...

I just had to comment on your well-organized and laid out profile. It is very rare to see that on dating sites. People can't seem to spell or write well. Don't worry...I won't call you a nerd. Anyway, you sound like an interesting person. Write back if you'd like.

Ok, so those three all happen to have the theme of embracing and/or appreciating my nerdiness. But I guess that's kind of what I want from a potential date - a guy who reads through my profile, likes my quirkiness, and then takes the time to write and tell me so. Those are the guys who get a response from me. 

Of course, there are still always going to be the weirdos...
I am a sensitive guy who can help you heal from any emotional wounds you experienced growing up as a child. This is what usually bonds a couple because the other person opens doors that imprisoned them psychologically.

The adventure continues...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

New Online Site: not so gr8

I recently joined yet another online dating site, which has proven to be a great source of entertainment for me in the past week.

In the first few days after I joined, I received such charming messages as these*:

Hi how r u?? I read your profile and would love to get to know you. Wanna get to know me???

hey whats up i like to chat wit u some more hit me back if ud like to talk

These messages (and many others like them) made me cringe, so I eventually added this to the bottom of my profile:

You Should Message Me If...

... my profile looks interesting to you and you think we might hit it off.

... you're looking for something more serious than a casual relationship.

... you can successfully and consistently type the full word "you" (instead of "u") when you write to me (yup - I'm a grammar nerd).

One might think that such clear instructions might solve my problems, but alas...

why dont u answer me :(

hmmmm… let me think…

Subject: but 'you' requires more effert than 'u'

I have bad hands thats why i write 'u' sometimes. Hope you can forgive me.

(Scores points for creativity, but... no.)


I'm Chris

and you...r ADORABLE :)

(Not sure if that's supposed to be "you" "r" or "you're" but either way Chris, I can't bring myself to respond.)

And there are other spelling issues too:

Please be spontanious, passionet, happy, and an overall good person.


I am looking for someone that I would be attracted too that is fun and outgoing.

(Subtle error, but still…)

I am a 40 year old teacher/coach with impeccable grammer, haha. Anyways, you seem nice and I'd like to talk more if you would.

(Ummmm... Coach? Your "grammer" might be fine, but your spelling, notsomuch.)

Then there are the punctuation (or lack thereof) issues...

Hi.i don't know why.I keep looking at you pic..

you look interesting?

see you soon.

(Perhaps the most creatively punctuated message I've ever received.)

hey whats i like your profile alot and was wondering if you would like to talk sometime if your interested let me know talk to you later bye

(easily the least punctuated message I've ever received)

Or the combination disaster messages:

I know what you mean. And its funny, Ive thought of abreviations; like "U" instead of you. And Ive' thought, maybe if your really trying to meet someone. For a lasting relationship. Using the word "you" is more well appropriate. If your in a chat room talking to whoever-whoever? thats ok:) Just funny that u mentioned that. I wonder if other guys are as enlightened about that?....probubly not like u said.

( silence )

Or just the really strange messages:


Ok, Here are three sincere and fun topics for you from a true future friend and entertaining person in your neighborhood .... Massachusetts.

I will give you three interesting topics quickly ....

TOPIC ONE: I wrote this poem to a beautiful woman on here today because her profile gave me these feelings.

Feelings Of Spring

I Love The Beauty In your Eyes.

I Love The Vision Of your Mind.

I Love The Power Of Your Faith.

I Love The Innocence Of Your Youth.

I Love The Scent Of Your Body.

I Love The Passion In Your Heart.

I Love The Integrity Of Your Spirit.

I Love The Pleasure Of Your Touch.

TOPIC TWO: I am developing a Business Plan for a (DELETED) STARTUP Company where I am the CEO. So I study (DELETED) & (DELETED) & (DELETED) & (DELETED) these days.

TOPIC THREE: I was in a startup previously ... cashed out three Million ... took a few years off and spent it ...

.... so you can imagine how I feel now ....

.... like a goofball who spent 3 Million Dollars

having fun and enjoying life.

What kind of way to spend your life is that ;)

Write Me.


(Oh, Aaron. Though I do love a poem sent to me but written for another, I’m going to have to pass.)

Despite the evidence above, there are a few men who have managed to pass my difficult screening process. No dates yet, but stay tuned for more adventures…

* All messages above copied and pasted with no alterations to spelling or grammar. Names and identifying details have been changed, however.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Three Years Out

I remember this day so clearly. And the ones immediately following

I remember hearing that Carolyn's birthday celebration had been cancelled, and then hearing that it was because Rosalie was in the hospital. I remember going into the hospital on a Wednesday night - not just to volunteer as I usually did - but to visit my friends whose daughter had just been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Their lives changed forever with that diagnosis, and mine did too. No longer were the families I volunteered with strangers... there was now a family I knew and loved among them. 

I moved away from SF not long after Rosalie's diagnosis and surgery, but I see them every time I visit the Bay Area. And every time, I am amazed at the strength and determination of this incredible little girl and her equally incredible family members. I am touched by the closeness of Rosie and her sister. And I am inspired by the powerful love and encouragement of her parents. I feel honored to know them and to have shared in this journey even a little bit.

Sending much love to Rosie and her family on this anniversary. Keep up the good work, Rosie! We are all so very proud of you.