Donna Chang. Meet Joe Mingsberg.

Spring has sprung and tis the season for spring cleaning.  With the warm sunny weather and everyone coming out of hibernation, it seems like the perfect time to swap out the old and replace it with something new and in season.  People are looking to get out of the house or escape from work which is ideal for meeting new people and starting new relationships.  In the spirit of spring cleaning, I have cleared out some lingering baggage and (potentially) toxic relationships and made room for a fresh start and some sanity.   Goodbye bad habits.  Hello happy life!

In my attempt to add positivity to my life, I have decided to be more open minded, particularly when it comes to meeting new people.  I’m still not going to just date anyone, but I can put a little more effort into getting to know someone before I make snap decisions about their personality.   With the nice weather came an influx of messages from potential suitors.  Despite my best efforts to be open minded, I found something wrong with almost every single person, their profile, or their message.  Here is a sample of what I encountered:

  1. I got a message from “NiceBunz”.  The message was deleted by the time I finished reading his user name.
  2. I got a message from ESLSuperstar (He is a 3rd grade ESL teacher, way to take the one good aspect about yourself and turn it into a narcissistic user name).  His message read, “Hi.  What’s your AIM/YIM/SKYPE/Gchat sns?”  Would you like my social security number as well?  I figured he works with kids so he can’t be that bad.  Wrong!  Here are a few things I noticed within the first few seconds of reading his profile:  He believes in gender equality, “I wouldn’t say I’m an old fashioned guy except in one sense: When we make a date, I expect it to be kept.  I expect to see you at the time and place we agreed upon.  I prefer the woman be submissive in the relationship.  Bonus points for gourmet chefs.”  What do I get if I also happen to be a professional housekeeper and launderer?  His rant about his ultra progressive views and expectations of relationships continued, “If you’re not serious about meeting within a few days, then don’t waste my time.  I’m not interested in hearing about how you won’t give me your number because you’ve had “bad experiences” in the past.  If you’re serious about making a date, you’ll have no problem giving me your number the first time we talk.  NO exceptions!“.  If that didn’t seal the deal…this did.  When asked, “Assume you have a homosexual friend who is the same gender as you.  Would you be uncomfortable if they hugged you?“.  He chose, “Only if it was more than friendly” and to prove his heterosexuality he added a response underneath, “I don’t have gay friends since I don’t hang out in that circle.”  ESLDouche deleted.
  3. I went ahead and saved the best for last.  I got a message from a guy with the name Joe Mingsberg.  He didn’t have a picture, which would usually be an automatic delete, but he explained that he had just joined the site and his picture was still being approved.  I checked out his profile and it seemed pretty good.  He is 32 from NYC. He is an accountant by day and comedic writer by night.  His favorite food/meal is a bagel and schmear and he LOVES Woody Allen’s schtick.  I didn’t know if he was exaggerating the cliches because he was Jewish or he was just all about the Jewish stereotypes.  I responded to his message with the usual details that are included in an introductory conversation.  I noticed in his profile that his friends call him a Lactard (a nickname for a person with lactose intolerance) and told him I got called that in sleep away camp.  He responded with, “Oy!  The curse of the Jewish stomach!”.  I fully pictured this guy to be a Hassid from Brooklyn with a Yiddish accent coming off his shift from B & H.  I didn’t respond back.  The next morning I woke up and saw I had a new message from a different suitor.  When I went to my message inbox I noticed that Joe Mingsberg had a picture and when I looked I did a double take. photo

I got reverse Donna Chang’d.  This guy was just like the character Donna Chang from an episode of Seinfeld.  Before they saw what she looked like she came across as an Asian woman due to her name, words of wisdom, reference to Confucius, and pronouncing L’s like R’s.  Mingsberg did the same exact thing!  He portrayed himself as a Jew in every sense.  It didn’t say anywhere that he was actually Jewish but the Yiddish and all the Jewish stereotypes were pointing to YES.  Did they change his last name from Ming to Mingsberg so they could sound more Jewish?  As curious as I was to meet this guy in person, I already had great material from him and I decided to quit while I was ahead.

So much for my fresh start.  I can only control myself so I am going to continue on my journey for positive experiences.  But with the good comes the bad and if this is the worst of it, I am ok with that.  Plus, I had the Chang experience.  Anything is worth that.

Thank you Larry David for writing that character and inadvertently making this online dating fiasco a hilarious story.

Until next time.

-Bev

Stalking Is The New Black

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Stalking is the new black.  Everyone’s doing it!  Why?  Because it’s extremely convenient thanks to the Internet.  Between websites like Facebook, Google, Linked In, and dating sites, a total stranger can know intimate details about your life.

The web allows us to get information at the touch of a button, which has many benefits.  It’s really helpful for employment, for example.  Whether it’s applying for a job online, posting your resume or CV on a site, or using a contact’s profile to find out their job history, interests, and some personal background.  If you are savvy you can apply this knowledge to find common ground and use that in your communication or approach.  The same can be said for dating.  Let’s say your friend wants to set you up or you are talking to someone of interest online, you can look that person up immediately by going to Facebook or Google.  Having a little bit more insight about a person is never a bad idea and eases your nerves and hesitation.

But on the flip side, this instant access is a lazy stalker’s dream.  Stalking used to involve intelligence, motivation, preparation, and movement of some sort.  Now, any Tom, Dick, or Harry within reach of a computer can find information about your family, location, employment, friends, interests, and the list goes on.  Put in the wrong hands this can be very dangerous as well as a pain in the ass.  Unfortunately I have had the pleasure of dealing with a semi-stalker.

I received a Facebook message from some guy who knew two random people I am “friends” with on the site.  I’m not sure if he thought I was blind or stupid but he pointed out that we had two friends in common.  I am a nice person so I answered but the only appropriate response I could think of was, “Cool”.  After about 10 minutes I get another message, “You’re really beautiful.  Do you have a boyfriend?”  I figured I’m single and this isn’t SO different from online dating so I told him I was not dating at the moment.  BIG MISTAKE.  He proceeded to ask when we were going to go on a date.  One thing I learned from social work is that you need to set boundaries and expectations right away in any relationship.  So I replied that I am single but not looking for anything serious.  He said of course but then proceeded to joke about how he wanted to marry me, more than once.  It made me a little uncomfortable but I figured he was just joking.

His picture was a headshot so I wanted to see what he really looked like.  I went to his profile but it was blocked.  I “friended” him and he would not accept.  I’m thinking why does some guy who wants to date me not want me to see what he looks like?  Maybe because someone who asks you out over Facebook is usually a creep.  But, as I pointed out in an earlier post about men’s low self esteem, He’s Just Not That Into You…Or Himself, he was just extremely insecure.  He told me how he was a few pounds bigger than his picture and didn’t want me to see him until he lost weight, so he wanted to wait for two weeks.  Was this guy taking Jack’s magic beans?  You’re still going to be heavier in two weeks.  His irrational thinking on top of his creepiness should have deterred me but I was lonely and trying to be open minded.  Also, he owned a chain of well-known supermarkets, that will remain nameless, and said he worked on the corporate end.  I figured he has a good job, isn’t completely poor which was different for me, and maybe his pictures were worse than he was in person.  So we decided to hang out as friends so there was no pressure.

The meet up was very relaxed and we just talked, had a beer, and other herbal refreshments.  At first he seemed funny but then he began to brag about how much money he had and his apartment on the Upper West side and then all of a sudden got really intense and he started to cry.  I don’t mean a tear, like a full fledge meltdown.  Being a social worker, I am always apt to try and help someone through a tough time so I sat and spoke to him for hours about his life problems.  He went on about how much he loves his mother and misses her and no girl will ever live up to her (she’s still alive), how he has no friends, trust issues, and is extremely sensitive…everything you want to share with someone you just met.  He was able to self soothe and calm down as I checked my watch repeatedly.  I broke up the party and said I had to go and he asked if I wanted to hang out again.  I wasn’t feeling this guy but he obviously didn’t deal well with rejection and I didn’t want to do that to him or unleash a psychopath on myself.  I was upfront and told him I would go but I didn’t think our relationship could go beyond a friendship and he said he’d be happy to have another friend.  Maybe since he didn’t have any friends he didn’t know what that meant.

A few weeks later, I was extremely stressed and busy as I was producing a pilot.  I would receive a text everyday from him, some disturbing message like “Hey Wifey”, “Can you get me a job?” (what happened to your fancy apartment and supermarket chain), and “I really wish I was with you right now”.  I hung out with him that weekend to get him off my back.  We went to dinner and I paid for my portion and didn’t hold his hand or kiss him when he made those attempts.  I’m not sure how I could have been more clear that I was not interested.  I was home and in bed at 11:00 PM on a Saturday night.  That’s obviously not the sign of a great date (if that’s what he thought it was).  I didn’t contact him after that since we were getting close to the shooting date.  He would hound me every day through Facebook, Text, Email, et cetera and I didn’t get back to him immediately because I was working 24/7.  I then get a ridiculous email from him saying, “You are such a tease.  You’re just like every other Jappy girl in New York City”.  Instead of just ignoring him and leaving it, I felt I had to defend myself.

A)     I am not a Jap.

B)    I don’t live in New York City.

C)    I could not have been more straight-forward about only wanting to be friends.

I explained to him that I don’t have time right now for anyone including myself.  I was working like crazy and barely had slept.  And then pointed out that if he was a friend or ever wanted to be in a relationship then he had to support people in their work.  This was my dream becoming a reality and some guy who I met on Facebook a week before was not going to change that.  He then said, “Well I thought I was part of that dream.  You lead me on so much”.  WOW.  How could you be part of my dream?  I just met you, explicitly said that I was not looking for a relationship, and warded off attempts to become intimate.  Look for the signs buddy.  They were all there.  Sorry you don’t have a job and have some major ADHD along with a debilitating emotional problem.

But I took the high road and said I was sorry he felt that way but I did nothing wrong and he can’t be mad at me for concentrating on work.  He then pointed out that I went out a few nights before.  That’s when it got a little freaky.  Someone had posted pictures from a birthday I went to a few weeks earlier and since he was stalking my profile he immediately assumed I had gone out and was just avoiding him.  He had good foresight but that was not the case at the moment.  He then threatened to hurt himself because of people like me.  Called me a bunch of names including a “harlot” and deactivated his account.  About a week later I get a message from him being like, “Hey what’s up Wifey?”.  I did not respond.  He continued to contact me until a month later FINALLY getting the hint.

I am starting to see why Sting and The Police wrote so many songs about stalkers.  I’ll Be Watching You and Don’t Stand So Close To Me have a whole new meaning.  Like Hansel, I don’t really listen to Sting’s music but the fact that he understands my experience, I respect him.  I’d like to see the relationship between Sting fans and the occurrence of restraining orders filed against them.  My bet is they would have a positive relationship.

Lesson learned.  Never again will I befriend or meet someone in person from Facebook unless I knew he/she prior to the Friend request.  Or date someone that wants to marry their mother.  Either way I’m done dealing with psychos.

Maybe if Supermarket Boy been an old school stalker he wouldn’t have the weight problem that may have caused the extreme emotional issues.  He was going to be a psycho either way but at least he could have been a healthy and fit psycho.  Just because you are a creep doesn’t mean you have to totally give up!  Sidenote: He wore sweatpants the first time I met him.

In the spirit of stalking, I need to head into the city since one of my favorite actresses is in the same part of Mexico.  Dee Reynolds, I’m coming for ya!  But don’t worry, I’m an active and harmless stalker.  I’ll just follow you, buy you drinks and take your picture…the honorable way of stalking.

-Bev

He’s Just Not That Into Himself…A Guide to Men’s Overcompensation

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There is a misconception that women are the insecure gender. Yes, girls criticize themselves and are socialized to believe if we’re not supermodels then we’re not attractive or perfect just the way we are. But what about men? No one ever discusses the insecurities that plague men because if a guy shows weakness he’s looked down upon or called a pussy. By no means do I want a guy who is crying all the time but being in touch with your feelings is not a bad thing! How can you be secure if you are not honest with how you feel about yourself?  The answer is NOT all men are secure.

I didn’t conduct an experiment with a control group but my exposure to men has lead me to this conclusion.  Since I began online dating again, I’ve noticed that most of the guys I am talking to have something in common, low self esteem.  However, it would not appear that way to the naked eye.  Many come off as cocky and overcompensate whether it’s how much money they have or how far along in their career they believe they are.  But it’s those little comments and gestures that blow their poker face.

Let me give you a clear example:

I was talking to this guy, we’ll call him Peter Griffin (explanation to follow), and he immediately asked me if I liked his pictures.  Peter had actually contacted me on another site a few years back and used the same pictures so I knew these were not recent.  There was the first hint of deception.  The old picture.  This will probably come up in every post but, come on, if you don’t look like your picture then don’t post it!  Then he asked me if I look like my pictures.  He pressed this topic for a while as I reassured him I wasn’t a 56 year old man pleasuring himself at the public library computer.  He kept talking about how we were both really good looking people (and pointed out how people tell him he’s handsome all the time).  He then pat himself on the back for his sexual prowess.  Peter noted quite a few times how long he could go for yet he hadn’t asked for my name yet.  I agreed to go out with him because he lives close and has a Labradoodle (as do I).  I thought, if nothing else, I would have another friend at the dog park.

The date.  Peter Griffin took me to a cafe that was cute but more so for meeting an old friend for coffee.  This was Saturday night and the nicest meal they had on the menu was a burger and fries.  But he was classy, he brought champagne, Korbel, and had it chilling for my arrival.  As I expected, he did not look like his pictures.  Coincidently his first question was, “So, do I look like my pics?”.  What am I supposed to say?  No, you have less hair, are 50 pounds heavier, and might be batting for the other team.  Then he went on to tell me about his new exercise regimen and low carb diet (he offered me some dieting tips…yup), what he had for lunch, what he has for lunch on a regular work day, and how he already feels lighter and more energetic.  Peter didn’t forget to mention the amazing apartment he has and how much money it costs, the new cars he gets every year (from a Hassidic family in Brooklyn?), and how he’s a “musician”.  FYI, owning a guitar and singing along with the radio does not make you a musician.

I hate goodbyes but this one I was looking forward to.  As we’re walking out he offers to drive me to my apartment since he thoughtfully picked a place that was closer to his apartment.  Unfortunately I don’t live in a city that you can just hail a cab so I decided to take him up on his offer…among other things.  He said he had to go into his apartment to get his keys.  He showed off his mediocre apartment, okay the view was amazing but this was nothing compared to what he made it seem.  He kept trying to show me his room and his king sized bed.  As deeply impressed as I was by his ability to furnish an apartment, I wasn’t that interested and wanted to get home.  I asked to use the bathroom and when I came out he called to me from his bedroom.  I walked in to find him laying on his bed naked (Castanza portrait-esq).  I was speechless, not because of his ballsy assumption that I’d want to have sex with him but that he looked so much like Peter Griffin from that episode of Family Guy where Peter’s bones disintegrate and he’s just a huge blob of fat.  I swear, the resemblance was uncanny!  He started to stretch and flex his leg to show off his assets.  He actually said, “Come feel.  I’m all muscle” and I couldn’t help but think “Under which layer of skin and fat?”.  I have nothing against overweight people but the way this guy spoke of himself you would think you were on a date with David Beckham, not the complete opposite.  As much as I enjoy awkward moments, this one needed to end.

But the journey continued.  I asked if he minded taking me home because I wasn’t feeling well, AKA was nauseous from the mental image of his naked body ingrained in my memory.  So he gets his clothes and brings them to the bathroom to dress (because being naked was ok but seeing him dress was off limits).  Then he was telling me how handy he is around the apartment and how he installed everything himself.  I inquired about the ceiling fan that was hanging from a wire and was one door slam away from crashing to the ground.  He conveniently didn’t work on that one. Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, we get to the car and he puts on Nickelback and starts belting out “Never made it as a wise man, couldn’t cut it as a poor man stealing”.  I was embarrassed for him.  It was mostly his pride in liking bands like Nickelback and knowing every lyric to the songs as well as the key changes.  It didn’t stop there- he informed me that he just learned how to play this gem on the guitar!  Because hearing you play it will make it sound better, right?

Peter Griffin was just a walking contradiction. This guy had cajones!  Not only did he strip naked and try to seduce me but I was able to call him out on every lie and exaggeration that came out of his mouth.  To me he screamed insecure!  In an attempt to overcompensate for his shortcomings he came off as self conscious of his appearance, his finances, his masculinity, sexual capacity, and his musical ability (or lack there of).  Note that this behavior is typical for people with low self esteem.  Masking it with a facade only goes so far.  Your true nature will always show as it did in the Family Guy episode with the real Peter Griffin and now with the fake Peter Griffin, case in point.

To the nervous daters out there, you are not alone.  No one is completely secure but the more you confront these insecurities the better chance you have of overcoming them.  Don’t let these over confident personalities fool you.  Just because issues may not be visible right away doesn’t mean they don’t exist.  Like a braless girl in a see through shirt, you might be covered in fabric but we can still see your nipples.

Do: Live a naked life.  Be honest with yourself and your feelings.

Don’t: Actually get naked…especially as a surprise after the first date.  That’s one jack we don’t need popping out of the box.

A toast to living naked because eventually you will have to strip and bare all.

Stay Tuned!

-Bev