Friday, August 5, 2011

The Experiment

Having tried most avenues of online dating, I decided to conduct an experiment (out of boredom, out of a desire for a laugh, but certainly, no, not out out of desperation.....).

I won't keep you in suspense; I posted an ad on Craiglist.

It was a random Thursday night and I found myself with a few hours to kill before my house guest arrived for the long weekend. I was bored. I was spectacularly single. Why not see what happens?! What have I got to lose?! How many times have I heard that sentence when it comes to dating? Loads. But it's true - so I did!

Here's what I posted:

Subject: You can bring me home to mom, but only if we ever get out of bed - 31 (Sunnyside)

Wanted: a smart, funny, male who wants to go out and explore this amazing city of ours.

You: amazing, fun, smart, will play Clue with me and then watch The Princess Bride, willing to be my baking taste tester and thinks the Red Panda might be the cutest animal in the zoo. That, or a lemur.


1) I tend to like sports that involve my childhood. This really involves anything having to do with snow, since I grew up in Buffalo. I love skiing, watching hockey and have been known to try a little Nancy Kerrigan action every once in a while.
2) I find that I'm comfortable in most every environment.
3) I can talk to anyone, any time. Literally.
4) I often get men who tell me they dont know how I'm single and female friends that tell me if they were lesbians they'd be trying to get up on it.
5) My mom is Buffalonian, but my Dad is Canadian. I'm a half breed.
6) I have a really good sense of smell, and at night my super sonic hearing kicks in.
7) Five is my lucky number, and green my favorite color.
8) I love to drive and go on roadtrips (and have never been in a reported accident)
9) I travel for work, and lovelovelove it.
10) I'd love to have a medium sized dog someday, but I'd like to have a yard for him/her to play in.
11) Wherever I travel, I buy a Christmas ornament. I like decorating the tree and remembering all the places I've been.
12) I am horrible at Scrabble. I love words and etymology but get beaten on Words with Friends constantly. My ego can take it.
13) I am single, never been married nor do I have children but I would like to no longer be single and one day get married and have children.
14) I know how to cook, but am a kick ass baker who thinks having dinner prepared for me is incredibly sexy.
15) I have two brothers; they're my bookends.
16) I'm a south paw.
17) I've lived in Orlando (summer at Disney), Rome (semester abroad) and Belfast (masters program), aaaaaand now I live here.
18) I think AC might be man's greatest invention
19) I like hockey more than any other sport, but to be completely truthful, its because it doesn't last that long.
20) I am the worst bowler ever. But just like karaoke, I'll give it a go anyway.
21) I'm fun. And funny.
22) I recently rediscovered a love of skiing - I really need to go more often.
23) I have incredibly soft skin.
24) I might be the least judgmental person you ever meet.
25) I've never gotten busy in the backseat of a car.

Wanna hang out? Tell me about *you*! :)

I would also like to add that I decided to get a little frisky because I have a theory about my lack of quality response on OKC. While I truly believe that my profile is pretty much on the mark with my personality, it lacks any overt sexuality. Perhaps I'll explore this in a different post, but I feel like when online dating, that as a female, you have to exude some sexuality in order to get a higher rate of response. Okay, I digress, back to the post.

I received 27 responses in two hours. Here are some gems:

I'm cool and really tall. That's all you need to know : )

I'll taste your pie!
#25. How about the front seat?
In traffic x

I know you want to be told about me. But after reading that list of things you posted... I have to ask 2 questions; 1. Are you real? and 2. Why are you single? They say if something is too good to be true, it usually is. What really caught my eye is that you are a kick ass baker. Having dinner ready for you is more than sexy, it's mandatory. Cooking is my passion (baking included). It might seem selfish of me to want to know to more about you without divulging info about me. Maybe you'll answer this email, I'd be more than happy to tell you all about me, but I'm way more interested in learning more about you.

I actually live right next to Sunnyside and have never been.
I am in Williamsburg and drive and would love an excuse to go to your neighborhood.
I am 32, a lawyer, over 6 feet tall, smart, sarcastic & funny.
Lets chat some more, I got a new car recently and am really thinking about the line about making out in the backseat :)

That last car comment seemed to get the most attention. A LOT of guys were interested in making #25 happen for me. How generous of them! The rest were pretty generic, some were blatantly solicitousness for some NSA action and then there were two gems. Two, honest to goodness gems. Which resulted in DATES. Craigslist was the best idea I'd had in forever! (Well, at least I thought so at the time....) <---foreshadowing alert!!

I replied to quite a few and eliminated most based on their pictures. The reasons ran the gamut of geriatric, slob, only including their torso in the picture (nice pecks dude!), creepy, next Craigslist killer, to just plain not interested.

The two gems I received deserve their own posts (to follow, clearly).

One night on Craigslist resulted in more action than match, eharmony and OKC put together. But, alas, quantity is not quality.


Seems like a random mix of ingredients that might make you go, whaaa? But it's bangin' and has potential to be amazing. So trust me, try it, just like my Craigslist ad - you might be surprised at what you get!

Tater Tot Casserole

1 lb Hamburger, brown with chopped onion. Place hamburger/onion mix in a greased casserole.
Mix 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup and 1/2 can of milk. Pour over hamburger. Top with 1/2 package of Tater Tots (or more.) Bake at 350 for approximately 1 hour (til bubbling and tater tots are browned.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Not Quite Spicy Enough...

Low Sodium Taco Dude (LSTD) didn’t have a lot in the plus category before we actually met up for our date. He and I met on OKC back in November. He wooed me with discussions of Buffalo chicken wings, a topic I can probably talk about for longer than I should. After a few weeks of chatting online I told him that I wasn’t really interested in having a penpal. He agreed, not looking for a penpal. Awesome! Yay! But then he never pulled the trigger and asked me out.

So, um, if you don’t want to meet up, then wtf are we doing here? Since the timing was dead center in the holiday season, I decided to give him until the beginning of January to let his testes descend and find the balls to ask me out. He never did, so I just stopped responding. I know you could argue that I could have asked him out too, but honestly, as a female I want to be asked on the date. I feel that if he had actually had enough desire to see me, then he would have made plans to do so. So, I said next!

Fast forward to last month when I get an OKC AND gmail message from him. He was inquiring on whether I had recently taken the N train because he thought he saw me….no, sir, you did not. Good opener, though! For whatever reason I decided to give this dude another chance and *I* asked him if he wanted to meet up a few days later. We made plans to meet at 7p at a bar in his neighborhood. Around 645 he text saying that he was running about 10-15 minute late.

7:10p: I’m texting my friends trying to occupy myself

7:15p: I’m texting my friends that he has yet to arrive

7:20p: I’m texting my friends asking how long I have to wait before leaving

7:25p: I’m texting my friends saying this is bullshit and I’m ready to leave

7:27p: He texts me asking where the bar is

7:30p: I’m about to just leave because who arrives 30 minutes late and doesn’t even bother to look up where the bar is??

Color me not impressed. He rolled up 30 minutes late dressed in what can only be described as an outfit that was purchased in 1997. What am I trying to communicate? This dude wasn’t making an effort and to me, that’s pretty lame.

I somehow managed to survive around 2 and one half hours with him where I learned the highlight of his weekend was making low sodium tacos and going to bed by 9p. If that’s his idea of a rocking good time, him and I are not going to have a whole lot to talk about. When I tried to discuss the amazingness that is travel, he told me about his recent trip to Pittsburgh. Having never have visited Pittsburgh, I inquired as to what one would see while traveling there. He told me about a sandwich he had eaten. Now, I dont know enough about Pittsburgh to know whether there is *really* nothing to do besides eat sandwiches, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that LSTD was probably the problem, and NOT Pittsburgh.

LSTD wanted to go out again. I did not. Upon further examination, I have deciphered why the men I date once have such an opposing view of how the evening goes. He thought it went well enough to want to see me again. I wanted him to lose my number. Let me translate what happened.

me: So, do anything fun this weekend?

LSTD: oh…yeah…I made tacos! I made low sodium tacos!


what I'm thinking: really? REALLY? THAT’S what you did on a Friday night?!

here’s what I’m actually saying with my chin on my hand, leaning forward to communicate interest: oh really? I LOVE tacos! Mexican is my favorite!

And therein lies my main issue. I feign interested when I should be trying to escape through the bathroom window. I did, however, excuse myself to go the bathroom and flag down our waitress asking for her to deliver the check.

I know this isn’t a baking recipe, but it just seems fitting.

Should you desire to make LST for yourself, here’s how it’s done:


1 tablespoon Chili Powder
2 teaspoons Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Ground Oregano


Mix all ingredients together. But don’t rub your eyes because you’ll be in pure misery, just like I felt like on my date.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Lessons for men learned from online dating

As you already know, your fearless Dating with a Dash-ers are no strangers to online dating (see Exhibit A, Exhibit B and Exhibit C offered by Emily). We know the sweet highs of sucking face with someone 6 years your junior and the spiral of depression inducing lows of foot fetishism that OkCupid is infamous for. It’s with this experience, that the ever-modest Gentleman X brings you, his loyal and oft ignored (sorry!) readers, the first annual “Lessons for men learned from online dating.”

Lessons for men learned from online dating

Lesson #1: Cast a wide net. For the purpose of this story I sent 50 messages to 50 different girls on OkCupid. Each was a personalized message of about 2 paragraphs, demonstrating that I had read her profile and asking questions for her to respond to. Of those 50 girls here’s how it broke down:

This means that out of 50 personalized messages, I got 2 dates, exchanged messages with 5 girls who just stopped responding after 1-2 exchanges, and 10 girls looked at my profile but elected not to respond. A staggering 24 girls (almost half!) took no action whatsoever, and didn’t as much as look at my profile.

The lesson in all this: message absolutely anyone you think is remotely attractive/appealing in personality because you won’t even get a chance to make an impression with more than half the girls you message.

Lesson #2: Girls get a ton of messages, so make yours count. Since I refuse to admit the lack of response has any correlation to my own shortcomings, there needs to be serious investigation as to why this number is so low. The most obvious conclusion is that my profile is somehow lacking. With that in mind, I asked Mandy and another female friend who is on OkCupid to review. After thorough inspection, it passed both tests with NO suggested edits, with one friend even saying “You seem great in it! I’d date you.” Profile inadequacies were quickly ruled out.

If not the profile then what is responsible for the girls’ inaction? There was only one way to find out. To thoroughly understand the female experience on OkCupid, my roommates and I created a female profile on OkCupid. We used only photos that did not show a face and very basic interests that we think the average girl is interested in (read: multiple references to Zumba and shows on Bravo!). The results were staggering. Within TEN minutes of creation, we got 8 messages from interested men. Two hours after activation, we had 25. All of this without even showing a face. For all these guys knew, she looked like Eric Stoltz in Mask under that blonde hair. The only conclusion we could draw from this is that every girl gets an insane volume of messages and that to break through the clutter you have to be good. Clearly, I don’t know what that entails, but my suggestions are don’t misspell, use emoticons, or mention any weird fetishes. Or do none of that and am still average a 4% success rate like me.

Lesson #3: Like anywhere in life, there are crazy girls on OkCupid and there are incredible girls on OkCupid. Undoubtedly, two of the most confusing interactions I’ve had with girls have come from OkCupid. Both got to the 2-3 date limit, and both ended at the suggestion of the girl. One because of cited “baggage issues” and the other because she “wanted something casual and going on more than 2 dates with me would send the wrong impression.” If any of you female readers can shed some light on what those mean, please leave them in the comments. Because as a man, I’m going to chalk them both up to “she’s just not that into you, man” and write their names legibly in the crazy/unable to maturely express herself column.

Conversely, I’ve met some really intelligent, beautiful and ambitious girls on OkCupid. One even ended up as my girlfriend (albeit for only 4 months). In these situations, I felt no chemistry, generally wasn’t interested or thought we weren’t all that compatible after all. Though, to my credit, every girl was given what I thought to be a mature and honest explanation in all three situations.

OkCupid is like any bar, grocery store, or women’s penitentiary; there are some really crazy girls on it and some awesome ones. Guys, it’s in your best interest to try not to like the crazy ones, but we all know that’s a lot easier said than done.

I could continue for hours on the other lessons I’ve learned from it but Mandy says I’ve gotten to have a wittily tied in recipe to share. So without further ado, I bring you an easy to make, French chocolate cake that is perfect for any date. The lesson in this one is much easier to learn then all the ones above. Girls just love chocolate cake and think a man that can cook is attractive.

Molten Chocolate Cake


3 eggs

3 egg yolks

4 ½ tbsp. flour, heaped

¾ cup sugar

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

4 oz. butter


1. Cut chocolate into small pieces. Do the same for the butter.

2. Melt chocolate and butter together in a double boiler (i.e. grab an oven mitt, a Pyrex glass bowl and small pot of a little less than equal size of boiling hot water and melt the chocolate in the glass bowl, as it sits just barely in the water)

3. Beat whole eggs and yolks with sugar added for 12 minutes (you can take that hand mixer your mom got you when you went away to college that you’ve never used and prop it up on a small box so you don’t have to hold for all that time)

4. When the chocolate and butter mixture is melted, combine with eggs, yolks and sugar (make sure to add chocolate to eggs and not the reverse)

5. Add flour and mix batter well

6. Place butter in well-buttered and floured ramekins (or cupcake tins you get at the grocery store hanging from racks slightly above eye level) and bake for 12 minutes in a 400° preheated oven (Make sure you don’t overcook it, the center is supposed to be melted)

7. Serve with vanilla ice cream (get Haagen-Dazs or something expensive like that cause it matters with this)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Updated: Where I’ve been and the lessons I’ve learned

Talk about being lax in keeping this up to date! I can’t speak for Gentleman X or my lovely friend Mandy (because they have their own tales to tell), but I can keep you up to date on what’s been going on for me the last nine months.

Dating wise I have been on the following: OkCupid and Eharmony as well as being predominantly occupied by a certain male of the species (mentioned in this post )

As it would turn out, that was not nearly the end of that story line. There was quite a bit of back and forth and escalation of that relationship (and please note that I’m using relationship little “r” and not Relationship, because he was certainly never my BF). We were enjoying each other’s company, and I’ll let you fill in blanks of that one. This continued until October-ish when the aforementioned male met someone else and actually started officially dating her.

So that sucked.

What did I learn here? I learned that spending time with someone you work with (and thankfully we never actually worked together, because that would have made all of this THAT much worse) outside the work place, in a non-work form, really comes back to bite you in the ass when you don’t particularly want to see them on a day to day basis. Going to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee all of the sudden becomes a game of subterfuge. Cue the Mission Impossible theme music because I was skulking around corners hoping to not run into him.

Okay, it wasn’t that bad but it wasn’t awesome either. I wasn’t avoiding him because I was some sort of scorned female; I was avoiding him because I was PISSED. There was a lot that was said and I could elaborate at length, but I’ll just give you this one gem. While pointing to a car nearby, he commented, “You’re like this car. There’s nothing wrong with it; it just doesn’t have a sunroof….”

Color Me Mad for the worst analogy ever, but I couldn’t blame him for not feeling “it”.

Besides the “don’t dip your stick in the company ink” lesson, I also learned that timing is a bitch and sometimes it’s just not going to work.

So, truly, for the first time in almost two years, this dude isn’t in my orbit.

Let the dating commence.

Update: As an addendum to this post, I wanted to add that the three paragraph recount of what transpired is only one side of the coin. One can clearly not sum up an entirety of a situation in three paragraphs without omitting copious amounts of details. I do not mean to say, dear reader, that you're too thick to have assumed this on your own, I merely want to do due diligence in saying this is not a full story, and it's only my side. The End.


Boiling Water (we're going to start at the basics here people)

Find a pot (read: boy)

Fill it with water (read: go on a date)

Turn up the heat (read: let chemistry do its thing)

Watch it boil :)