Monthly Archives: September 2012

Pictures Please!! Online Dating

Pictures, Please!!
For God’s sake this is the 21st century, and unless we are blind, we want to see what the other person looks like. I don’t think you can even call that shallow any more. It’s realistic. Who doesn’t want to see a potential date? If you can find someone who actually says they don’t care; stay away, because if they’re not lying, they’re crazy. So put up a photo, or don’t bother with this whole online dating thing. Seriously.

Make it a good one. If you’re going to post a fuzzy, low resolution photo, then don’t bother. That’s aggravating. And while you are at it, post more than one. Give me an idea of what you look like now, and very recently. (Tip: Skip the rest of this paragraph if my being blunt is going to offend you. God! I wouldn’t want that!) It drives me nuts to see a sexy lady in the first image on her Profile, and my reaction is, hey, she looks great for forty! And as I go through the pictures, in each one, she gets older, and fatter, and greyer! Look, I was a young Adonis in my twenties:

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I was thin! I had muscles! I had hair! But I do not look like that now, and it doesn’t matter to anyone who wants to date me now, what I looked like that many years ago! Get with the program people!! Pictures, good pictures, recent pictures, plenty of pictures.

Picture Pet Peeves. Please don’t post a picture where you’ve cropped out your ex-husband or old boyfriend. These pictures always look just like a photo where someone has cropped out their ex-husband or old boyfriend. Sometimes your ex-husband’s head or arm is still in the picture. Jeez. You can do better than that.

And please!! I am BEGGING here. PLEASE don’t post any pictures of your pets! If I see another picture of a Pekinese with your socks in his mouth, or a woman lying in the grass with her Doberman, or a woman with mussed hair, her face dripping with sweat, standing with pride and a very satisfied look next to her horse, I am going to scream! I don’t have to love your pets, okay? They’re pets! It’s a dog! Save it for YouTube. Please.

This post was extracted from my original post on Online Dating-that one was about Lying, and this is really a different topic…

Sent from my iPad

Waterfalls and Pitfalls in Profiles – more on Online Dating

Waterfalls and Pitfalls in Profiles
Once you start shopping around on a dating site and reading profiles, you start to draw conclusions. Such as: they all sound the same. I don’t shop the male profiles, so I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m pretty confident it’s an equivalent scenario for you gals. Women, they like long walks on a beach, candlelit dinners at a fine restaurant, snuggling by firelight, and a man who is a complete gentleman. Well of course. But no guy is going to get excited about a woman who writes that. Especially when there are so many profiles that say exactly the same thing. So the guy is going to look at the pictures (which I’ve already discussed), or look for profiles that are different.

The next step up—the “my friends tell me I’m interesting” profile. These are all the same too, the adjectives change but the story’s the same. “People tell me I’m interesting, fun, easygoing, lighthearted, and energetic.” Okay. That’s what they tell you, so you are like a million other women, but what do you think you are?

Move up to the ones who tell you. This level has potential. These ladies make no qualms about other people. They tell us who they are. “I’m fun, exciting, love a good meal and interesting conversation. I like to play sports, but hate watching football. Breakfast is my favorite meal, especially with someone I’m just getting to know. (Wink.)” I vote for these ladies. A cliche is a cliche is a cliche. But who can resist a pornographic cliche? Still, we’re not done. We still have to talk about the profiles that go over the top. Way over.

Usually these are women around my age. They’ve been married; they’ve loved and lost; they’ve had kids, they’ve raised families; and they’ve had time to find themselves. Yes, and in profiles, they’ve decided for some reason, they want to talk about all the great risk-taking adventures they’ve had. Cliff-jumping in Aruba, white-water rafting in South America, scuba diving in the shark infested waters of the Australian Great Barrier reef, underground cave tubing in Iran, riding a barrel over Victoria Falls, and of course the old standby, not just sky-diving but for the really risk-taking, BASE jumping, preferably off some enormous cliff in Montana or Idaho in a flying wingsuit, or into a huge open-mouthed cavern in Central America through an enormous cloud of giant fruit bats, like an episode of Nature. I even had one “match” with a photo of herself standing on the wing of a small plane in a flightsuit a-la-Amelia Earhart, with the statement that she really wanted a guy with a pilot’s license, so they could fly off together-because life on earth with gravity-bound mortals is so droll sometimes. I had a -vision of a couple of big sea birds, winging out over the ocean with no land visible on the horizon. Have fun kids.

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What’s wrong with this picture? I’m sorry. I don’t find the idea of dating a female Indiana Jones particularly romantic or attractive. What are these women saying? To me it sounds like, “Hey! I’m different. I’m no home body. You’re not gonna tie me down! I’m wild and free! I risk my life and do exciting things and I don’t need a man to do them with!!” Which is great if you’re not a man. The trouble here is that men generally take serious risk-taking adventures either alone, or with other men. There’s the whole manly tradition of the man bringing home the mastodon meat after a long dangerous hunt, of returning from war or some other fantastic journey (think Odysseus). We want to go do stuff, and then come home to the hearth and hero’s welcome. I know Penelope had a helluva time without that lunkhead around for twenty years, but I’m just sayin’. How many men want to play a good game of tackle football with their wives? How many guys think, “Shit, I’m gonna see if I can climb Everest without killing myself or getting any limbs amputated from frostbite, and I’d like you to come along and risk your youth and beauty with me!!”

This idea that your potential spouse/mate/partner is going to not only find your adventures attractive, but is going to want to share them with you, ignores or overlooks the truth that much of life, and many of its great moments, are solo excursions. As a man, I know it is true for me. I propose naively that this is also true for women. I LOVE to share new things with someone I care about, but I also know there is an unfathomable and exquisite pleasure from risk-taking adventures that derives from the unique sense of accomplishment that is NEVER a team accomplishment. Whether it’s rappelling down a cliff face you have climbed, racing a dirt bike up the sandy loam of a desert arroyo, or jumping into a glacier fed pool from the top of a waterfall, this is something you do alone, because even if you are with friends or lovers, even if you are holding hands when you jump, when you get to the bottom you don’t say, “Hey, I could never have done it without you!!” It is YOU that does it. And that’s at the heart of these adventures, probably because they remind us of the ultimate and irrevocably solo adventure, death.

I can see having a relationship, being close to someone, and having common interests and sharing new and exciting experiences. But like great sex, these adventures would be the product of the relationship, not the reason for it. I love Paris; who wouldn’t? I love nature. Let’s explore together when we know we actually like each other, have some chemistry, a common understanding, enjoy being with each other, and can carry a conversation. If we can have those things together, the remaining catalog of life’s adventures could be endless.

Surf School in Costa Rica

July 22, 2012

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In the air
Since there is no cellular capability in my iPhone, and no Wi Fi on the plane for my iPad, I am out of touch with the Inkernet, and the rest of the electronic world for the first time in recent memory. Even at 5000 feet in the cow town backwoods of Elko, there is at least spotty cellular. Not here.

So, a chance to write.

I’m out of my element. This place is paradise. But another day or two, and I’ll be more laid back. It is really…not sure what the best word is. Primitive. We have some of the amenities – like Internet. But there is no phone service unless I walk to the cafe down the road. Speaking of the roads, they are almost impassable – rutted dirt – most people here ride dirt bikes or quads to get around. We are surrounded by jungle, with the beach just a bit down the road. The hotel is a loose affiliation of relatively new buildings constructed of stone or stucco with tin or tile roofs. Between them and the small pool and lounging deck is the bar/restaurant, wood pole construction in classic “tiki-bar” style, essentially open on three of four sides. There are paths around the lush gardens leading to a few private tables, to the laundry and office, and to the board rack and shower – I don’t think this is actual rain forest here, but it is tropical. I’ve heard but not seen interesting birds except hummingbirds. There are howler monkeys and iguanas, and sea turtles, also which I have not yet seen. Many of the surfing teachers have dogs, and they are accepted as part of the community.

Speaking of which, it’s been a long time since I have been around a community of surfers. I forgot how odd they are. The men are all beautiful, absolutely ripped, almost invariably with thick shaggy hair – depending on ethnicity, they are blond, or they have dark hair bleached by the sun. If they are of a background that gives them the right kind of hair, they have pony tails or dreadlocks. If they are old, they look young. A few, I think the older men, have short or shaved hair like mine. Most are tattooed, some extensively. They are all relaxed, comfortable with their bodies, part of nature, at ease in the moment.

The women are a bit harder to characterize, but they seem to fall into two classes: those who surf “inside” and those who go “outside”. “Inside” is in the foam, after the big waves break, closer to shore. That’s where the novices learn the basics, or play if they never graduate to the big waves. I rank these girls in the same group as those who don’t surf at all, but who are definitely part of the scene. The women who go “outside” are pretty much accepted with the experienced male surfers. Though I’m not sure, I think you can pick them out – at the beach because they are carrying boards-away from the beach, because they stand tall and straight, and have confidence, and talk with the men about what the men talk about – the waves, the tide, the ride, because they know, as the men know, that they love the water, and there is nothing else that is so important, no love that matters more, than the next wave, the next long ride.

This is the heart of the surfer. They love life, they are in the flow, they live in the moment, it is about the experience, their experience, and not about thought, past, or memory, or anyone else.

Hang Ten,

—Christo

Sent from my iPad

Lying and the Age Thing – Online Dating

Okay
I took the leap and signed up for the online dating services. Does that mean I am really “ready” to meet women on the Internet and go out? After a few days of this, it means I’m ready to stop looking at pictures and profiles and meet real people face to face. Or even, just meet them on Facetime and have a two-way conversation.

Lying and the Age Thing:
When I told a friend that I doubted any younger woman would want to date a fifty-five year old man, he suggested, “Lie about your age. Everybody does on those sites anyway.” Really? Well, I’m not lying, I’m just dealing with the consequences…it just doesn’t seem right to start out a potential relationship based on a falsehood. You could fudge it like a woman in one profile – She came up in a search as “40 year old”, but in her profile she said, “Actually, I’m fourty-four, but I wanted to get in the search range”, (for an age I’m NOT, she could have added.) Is that lying or not? I’m lying to the search engine you’re using, but I’m not really lying to you. Right.

Most people would lie to tell you they are younger, non? And many do. There are puh-lenty of ladies who say they are fourty, but when you look at the pictures you think, NO WAY is she fourty! In fact, I saw a “fifty year old” that I swear must be sixty-five. And if she’s not, she must have lived one helluva hard life. I mean, we are all sensitive about our age, and getting old, and looking old. But let’s just deal with it. Shit, when I see myself in the mirror, I see a guy with a full head of hair, but I know to most people I am bald. And my face—I know I have some scars and “laugh lines” that would make you think I’m Mr. Happy, but I never think of myself as having a “hard” face like James Woods, but I probably do. I have a face with character. Denial is a powerful, and sometimes wonderful thing. But when it comes to the online dating game, the truth will out sooner or later. Why fake it up front and annoy people??

But why would you claim to be OLDER? I’m talking about really attractive, even hot, young women who list their age as 35 or 40. And there is just no way. These girls are in their twenties. Have you figured it out yet? Because I think the answer is that they are gold diggers looking to hook an older man who has enough sense to say he is interested in a woman in her thirties. Look at these girls’ profiles. To me the giveaway is that they are interested in a man between fourty and sixty-five, i.e. old enough to have money, young enough to give it to a young girl. When you look at the other match requirements it’s no preference, no preference, no preference. And if they reveal their income, it’s a pittance. Their description often reads like gobbledy gook from a Russian immigrant wannabe. “I’m pretty girl, good cook, make you happy in nice big house in USA.” Jeez. This is true more of Match.com, the MySpace of dating services, than of eHarmony. And there is more dreck the lower you go down the quality of these services. It’s like porn, you see these sexy girls, but it’s fake, or if they are real, you can’t have them, unless you buy them. After awhile I feel dirty looking at the profiles and I don’t want to see them any more.

Sent from my iPad