The Seven Stages of Preconceiving

Although I have only been whoring my wares, rotisserie WAG on Brownlow Medal turnstile style for a month now (if you’re from the UK, look up our football awards ceremony called the Brownlows where the girlfriends of the players stood on a rotating podium to be judged- classy), I’ve really had my ups and down. I’ve had lots of feelings, you guyz!! Online Mating websites are like having a real relationship with heaps of people, simultaneously but without any of the benefits. So, like being in a long distance relationship then. One polyamorous, sexually unsatifying long-distance relationship. I think in my most honest moments I’d assumed it would go something like this:

  1. Put up profile photo
  2. Whilst filling in profile page details, my inbox would be inundated with offers of marriage and consensual on the car boot sex.
  3. I’d shake my head with demure humility, and continue to fill out this application form of love; all the delicate nuances that makes me me. *spews into someone else’s handbag*
  4. 17 days later, when I’d sifted through the final quill written love letter (an hilarious fireman with a penchant for the Pixies and boardgames, I recall) I’d make my decision as to whom I’d write back to.
  5. After all of them immediately reply, I’d go on a series of amazing dates of all shapes and sizes (Flashmobbing in Trafalgar Square, to a quiet night on a boat restaurant in Embankment…of which I’d inevitably have to get off as I spend the night trying to not bring up my slowly undulating meal…he totally understands though. What a(n imaginary) gentleman!
  6. I’d have some casual flings with some, and then a month or two later, realise that the guy I’d been friends with and super attracted to felt the same way, and we hire a Goodies type tandem bike, ride into the sunset and make jokes about how we’ll have to find one of our single friends to come with us next time. *clinks glasses of apple cider, high fives, and makes out*

That’s what I really thought it would be like. It’s not. It’s more like a funeral, or rather the seven stages of grieving in reverse. So I’ve made my own list:

1. Excitement – this is by far the best part of the online mating process. This is the stage filled with hope and possibility; filled with meticulous word choice, so you sound buoyant but “chilled.” Like you might use the phrase “YOLO” in real life, but somehow coming out of your mouth it sounds inspiring. You wonder who will be interested in you and how they feel about a girl with IBS (that’s second date talk, though.)

2. Obsession – this is the part where you try not to act like a stalker. Except you are. All the time. That’s what this is designed for. To trawl the pages of endless strangers’ profiles. Telling your friends that you’re being really open minded about the process, but in reality judging everyone on there like you’re a pageant Mum from Toddlers and Tiaras. (See my first blog entry).  You can see who has visited your page, they can see when you have visited theirs, which makes it all the more painful when your messages have been opened but not replied to. Cue: Bridesmaids on DVD and a 3 Meat & Rice Curry Combo…in bed. The most humiliating part of course is the Rogan Josh stains on the pillow the next morning.

3. Confusion – this is the part where you slowly figure out the reality of what you’ve signed up for. Oh cool! The same old shit! Except it’s costs money! Yayser! That sounds like a sweeeeeet deal. Next month I’ve decided to get creative and instead of investing in a dating website I’m just going to start making accessories out of my cash. A broach made out of soldered £1 coins. A shawl weaved out of £20 notes and rejection. It’s the rejection that makes them stick good.

4. Depression – this is part where you invent time travel and revisit your piece of shit teenage self. It’s like an episode of “This is Your Life!” I walk in and see all my old friends:

“Oh my god! Anxiety? Sexual insecurity? Is that you? Wow, you haven’t changed a bit. And don’t tell me…is that? Yup, it’s the Importance of looking like others fairy, even though I’ve got a nose like a Commedia Dellarte mask (quote from an ex-boyfriend). You guys! I didn’t even know you were still around. Let’s have a reunion. I just wish my old friend alcoholism could be here as well.”

5. Anger – This is where you listen to a LOT of Destiny’s Child. You start swearing at your laptop screen and giving it a bit of “I don’t need you anyway.” Like you’ve been cheated on. By a photo. On a computer.

I’d look at profiles I’d *liked* and they hadn’t *liked* back. Or worse– I’d *liked*, they’d *liked* back, I’d sent a message, they never messaged back. OR WORSE mid conversation (like 4-17 messages back and forth) and then they stop. Inexplicably. Out of the blue. You scour your messages in case you’d written the words “fundamentalist doucher” or “massive Nickleback fan.” Or the absolute worst; the guys that are interested in you. Because they’re usually the ones who say the weirdest shit. I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems that 98% of the dudes actually interested in me write things that makes me wonder if they have a child lock on their keyboard, whether they’re allowed to have furniture with sharp edges, or if they have ever worn an adult nappy just because “it seems logical.”

6. Stoical Perseverance – this is the part where you stop acting like you’re on Maury Povich and realise that there are no short answers. That the right person will come along, when they’re meant to, if they’re meant to at all. And then you have an Oprah moment, and you pretend you’re talking to Gayle. That you are an awesome person, with a reasonable body; you’re lots of fun, and just as stupid. And realistically, that you’re quite happy being single. So you just keep plodding on on the ole’ website and if something happens cool. If not…

7. Start a blog.

IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE AT EDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL, FEEL FREE TO MAKE A DONATION TO MY CHARITY* HERE. IN RETURN I WILL TELL JOKES FOR AN HOUR.

*I AM MY CHARITY

 

SAME CHICK, DIFFERENT DAY

Same Chick, Different DaY

On the homepage, of the particular online dating website I’m putting my rapidly declining Australian dollars into, is a small gallery of faces. Faces, like me, who are desperate to prove that they are the best. Faces that say “hey guys, I’m easy going and funny and just happened to have been snapped at my most beautiful, most relaxed moment – HOLLA!” It’s like a ‘best of’ for loneliness. I don’t know how you get on the homepage gallery, but then again I don’t know how to get the “Official” blue tick on twitter or how to part my hair properly. (I haven’t included that in my profile – am I actively lying?) But there is one lady who has figured it out. And I see her every time I log on.

She’s been there for two weeks. Every day I go to the website (don’t judge me! Writing can be boring), centre-stage is the same thousand mile stare looking back at me suggesting I’ve done something wrong with my face, by the fact that I am not on there.

Now I’m sure the word ‘jealousy’ is popping into people’s minds. Sure: she’s 24 and hasn’t had the onslaught of disappointment and intermittent insomnia that will eventually befall her with time. Actually, she looks like one of those people that says, “I don’t really get hangovers.” She has an avalanche of hair and she is bubbly. That’s how I would describe her picture: down-to-earth and bubbly. But it’s not her age or beauty that bothers me. It’s rules, goddammit!

There has to be some kind of system! Some kind of rotation!

Something I have included on my profile is that I’m more competitive than I’d like to admit. A simple example of this is that I had an ex-boyfriend one day spontaneously take me to a golf range. I was so excited. What a great idea! I used to hit golf balls with Dad as a kid in the park, so this would be a lovely stroll down memory lane. Well I took 3 swings down memory lane and realised I was actually on struggle street. Then I was the Mayor of This is Bullshit town. Then I quit politics all together and sat in the car. Granted, that was a long time ago, but I think the sentiment of that sporting tantrum still lingers within. So when I see ALL the faces on this wall change every couple of days, except for Pantene Penny I lose my cool, triple bogey style.

Side note: WHO NEEDS TO DO ONLINE DATING AT AGE 24? You’re still in your “I can drink my standards away” phase. I have no such luxury. When I leave a bar I am as sober as I was when I went in. There’s no “maybe I can see past the double dragon shirt. There’s no “he’s probably sweaty because he’s been dancing…with his mates…mime bumming them…while he’s wearing a nurse’s dress.” And certainly no, “I’ll worry about the fact that he’s doing a public dick hamburger in the morning.” I have to deal with everything then and there, so online dating places are for people like me.

You become almost accustomed to the people you like the most not looking at your profile back. You become hardened to it. It’s actually really good practice for walking the streets of London. You smile. They stare through you. Life imitating…life. But when someone gets a hold of a virtual step-ladder and they’re not letting the grogans have a borrow? Well that I just cannot abide. I don’t care how many chestnut farms it looks like your family owns.

So I want one of two things to change:

a)    that Martha Stewart goes back to her own page and bakes some humble pie there
or
b)   she reads this blog and helps a sister out.

Stand by for results.

YOU CAN TOTALLY SEE ME LIVE AT THE EDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL 2013. I MAY HAVE HAD A DATE BY THEN. BUT, LET’S FACE IT PROBABLY NOT.

FELICITY WARD. IRREGARDLESS
10PM – DAIRY ROOM (UP NEAR THE PURPLE COW, OFF BRISTO SQUARE)
BOOK HERE

 

 

THAT SH*T CRAY

There’s been a lot uneventful experiences in my world of online dating: a “like” here, a “like” and no “like” back there (this one is very popular at the moment). But there was one incident worth writing about. I call him Cray Cray. I’m not sure if that’s his birth name, but for purposes of anonymity and the fact that I don’t know what his real name is, he, from here on end, will be Cray Cray. So let me set the scene –

It’s midnight. I’m lying on the couch and full from some very average pasta I’ve cooked. I think I got a bit experimental with supermarket anchovies and some left over herbs. Penne al Hardtoswallow. I spilt most of it down the front of my shirt anyway. My gross motor skills must play some serious part in how skinny I am. I just can’t get the damn food to my mouth! But I digress.

I’m in front of the tv watching something very intellectual like Teen Mom., and before you get all pernickety at the spelling of “Mom” that’s how it’s written – it’s an American show. So my phone does that weird, alien “whaow” as I receive an email. I’m in another time zone so I assume it’s an Aussie email. It’s not. It’s from the online dating site that has stolen a month’s worth of British Sterling from me.

I open it. And it’s a message. Not just a “like”, a message. Well, I must be *pretty* impressive to skip the first step. The first line is short. Casual. Relaxed. I’m looking at it on my phone and I’m groggy because it’s late and something to do with carbs.

So I click on the link and open his profile. I can’t really make out his picture because of the size of the screen. Because I’m lying on my back, I drop the phone into my eyesocket. I swear at the phone, as if it’s done it on purpose then look at this guy’s picture again, only this time squinting, and holding it at a distance, like a pissed person trying to drive home. This happens approximately every 3-4 hours of my life, but most often when I wake up. I should rename it: iSocket.

I reckon I’ll worry about the response in the morning. I don’t want to start something sexy, and anyway, I’ve got a black eye to nurse.

Cut to: half an hour later. There’s another “whaow.” It’s him. Again. Uh-oh.

At this point it’s probably important to tell you that on this website you can see if someone has opened a message you’ve sent, when they were last online and if you look close enough, whether they’re a double fan of lobster. By which I mean, Cray Cray. I clearly didn’t have my Lobster goggles on so I overlooked the fact that this guy was about to get Greek tragedy on me.

I could only read the opening line within the context of the email, which read:

wow so you find me not good looking enough to respond.

As if I’m going to leave that hanging. I opened the message and it continued:

Didnt think youd be like that but i guess i was wrong

Whoah. Whoah. Whoah. Everyone calm the fuck down!

Now I have preserved that to read exactly as it did on the page and you will know what blew me away the most about those two lines. You guessed it– NO GODDAMNED PUNCTUATION OR ENOUGH CAPITALS! Come on, guys. Basics. Don’t get me started on the structure of that first sentence. It’s like a half inverted double negative. In diving terms that’s a 6.3 degree of difficulty, resulting in a bellyflop.

A very close friend gave me some excellent advice – never have an argument after midnight; it can always wait until the morning. In fairness, this was very one sided, like I’d just walked into a crying family’s house and they all turned to me and yelled, “How could you?” after just having taken the bins out. So I thought, “Don’t get into this now.”

In the morning, I gave the courtesy of reply –

Hello. You sent your message after midnight. I was going to sleep and I didn’t think it appropriate to start a conversation then. Now I don’t think we should continue one.

No hard feelings, but please don’t contact me again.

Thank you.

Clear. To the point. I thought he may have woken up under shame blanket, so I didn’t go to town. Let’s get on with our day- BUT WAIT! 5 minutes later, yup, “Whoaw.” Email. It’s Bette Middler’s character from Beaches Cray Cray Bloom.

yeah right. you are a rude shallow person. you managed to read my message and look at my pics at such a late hour.

Hiow rude to judge only on looks and then be rude and lie about it

I think you missed out a line mate: “You always do this!” *Runs into the bathroom and slams the door*

I mean, I genuinely don’t know how this got to fever-bitch so quickly. Moreso, how did he get an ‘i’ into the word ‘how’? That takes innovation. I suppose when you’re rage typing, just hate-fucking that keyboard with your tips, it’s hard to stay focused on one vowel at a time.

So as you can imagine, I blocked him. I don’t know if he can ‘see’ that on my profile, or hiow that eventuates. (Easy when you try!)

I should add here, this will not be a common thing- writing about specific interactions that I have with people, that is. I felt compelled to write about this particular guy because it seemed so extreme and completely out of line. I do respect the privacy of 99.99999% of the people I interact with. Hopefully this is such an isolated occurrence that the next update will be the “Man, dating is boring and arduous and I’m considering a Nunnery.”

Until next time gumboots, Ward Out.

YOU CAN TOTALLY SEE ME LIVE AT THE EDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL 2013. I MAY HAVE HAD A DATE BY THEN. BUT, LET’S FACE IT PROBABLY NOT.

FELICITY WARD. IRREGARDLESS
10PM – DAIRY ROOM (UP NEAR THE PURPLE COW, OFF BRISTO SQUARE)
BOOK HERE

 

OH NO! IT’S AN AVALANCHE!

Hello again,

Well it seems I’ve attracted some unwarranted attention. No, no, not from an avalanche of eligible bachelors that have been cast under my bewitching spell of arrogance and tracksuits. No Siree, Bob! I have been contacted by another site that thought I might be interested in, wait for it, A SUGAR DADDY. It is a dating website for, and I quote, “Rich Men and Hot Women.”

This single invitation has generated so many questions:

The obvious one: how did they know? No, I’m joking. I have never understood the Sugar Daddy concept. On top of the fact that I think IT’S GROSS, there is no amount of money that could buy me a partner. I’m not trying to be humble (that would be out of character).  Think about it: What if they had a whistling nostril? What if they said “Yeah, baby, yeah!” Austin Powers style, all the time? What if they used crystal deodorant?

I am currently writing this on the train and there is B.O. thinly veiled by the smell of crystal deodorant. And somehow, over time, it has only become stronger, not weaker, like some post-match soccer ghost is rubbing its armpit in my face. There is no amount of money that would make me tolerate that if I didn’t love the shit out of someone. We all have our faults, (sometimes I walk around with my eyes closed to see how long I can trust in my sense of balance) but I want to see past those flaws because I have sincere feelings for someone, then over time I can resent them because of familiarity and the fact that we’ve settled on eating dinner in front of the TV, not because THEY PAID FOR MY STUFF. And I’m no rich woman. I lick the inside of the yoghurt lid so as to get all of the value, but I earn enough so that I can be financially self-sufficient. I don’t want to be owned by someone, or have someone own my things. I worked hard to pay for my series of Spice Girls stickers and Beverly Hills 90210 badges, thank you very much. (That last one is a lie. They were a gift last year, from my mother. I’m 32. )

Second question: how does a sugar daddy work? Do they just buy you stuff or do you ask for specifics? It all seems so poorly thought out to me. Assuming they buy the stuff for you, what if they have terrible taste? Let’s paint a hideous stereotype:

There’s a sweaty, grossly overweight man with a comb-over, whitened/enlarged teeth, cosmic orange tan, strangling his way into some Speedos, ornamented with a lot, I mean A LOT of semi-precious stones and gold jewellery, and he is eating a 24 piece bucket of KFC chicken. No refresher towelettes. He is your sugar daddy, okay?*

Is this the man I want to have buy me things? I’ve never worn dangly earrings by the pool (my immune system closed over every piercing I’ve ever had) and I have no interest in being Vagazzled, but I feel like both of these things would be thrown my way in the first 2 weeks. How do you broach that conversation?

“Listen, Jerry, you’re a real swell dude, and I appreciate the gifts…ah you have some chicken grease on your face…anyway, as I was saying, I was wondering if we could tone back the gaud, and maybe focus on some more practical gifts?”

“You mean like a fish pedicure?”

“…I’m not sure we’re on the same page here.”

Third question: if you do request things, how does that take place? A weekly meeting? A shopping list? During sex? Oh god. Feral. I just had a spew. I’m sorry if you did too. I’m just saying, how do you ask for infomercial Box  Set of 101 Soft Rock Classics from a man that wears a blackhead strip to bed? It’s a tricky convo to initiate.

Lastly: the invitation said that all photos and profiles are censored and discerned by the website. And it actually states, you don’t have to be rich to join. That means you have to be hot to join. What if you’re not hot enough? What a blow to the old self-esteem. I’m not hot enough for a sugar daddy? I’m not hot enough for The Colonel and his 12 secret herbs and spices? Man, dating is hard enough, let alone realising that I’m not good enough for people I’m embarrassed for.

I’ll be interested to see if and more invites come flowing through. No doubt, I’ll keep you posted.

Peace out.

*I’m not saying that any one of these traits, or even this combo of traits is always disgusting and I apologise to anyone who looks like this or feels like they are being portrayed in a bad light because of their physical appearance. To be fair though, at least get a serviette.

ONLINE MATING

As a new person to online mating I have quickly learnt things. Nothing that I should have to take on board, of course…all the things that other people (ie some dudes) should maybe take note of. The thing is, writing a description of yourself, without sounding like a massive tool, is hard; like calculating gradients, or opening plastic packaging on scissors. But it’s worth it, right? That’s why we’re here – to try to show our best selves. We can learn about the endless, delightful neuroses when we meet for coffee! (NB: wash your hands thoroughly beforehand, and if you touch my right shoulder remember to touch my left one as well.) So here are some handy hints from the unsuccessful guide of Felicity –

1)   Try to avoid clichés. These include – a picture of you at a music festival, a picture of you acculturating in Thailand, a picture of you snow boarding on an Alp. All great things, but if you spend 5minutes (or 4 hours, depending how thoroughly you are scouring) you will see that every Tom, Prick and Don’tMarry has a picture that looks very the same as yours. Why not try the picture of you at Devonshire Tea, getting intrusive surgery, or that one of you suffering an emotional hangover having thrown your new Mac at the wall as you realise all the music you’ve ever bought is on “The Cloud” and you can’t remember your password.

2)   Clichés, Part Deux: Try to keep “a passion for cinema and music and travel” as economically written as possible. I know it has to be written; I put it in too. I’ll assume you’re a sociopath if you don’t. But don’t bang on about it.

What else can you do that I don’t know about? Can you do the splits without crying? Can you dismantle a pram without aggressively shaking it at some point? If you’ve walked out on a family BBQ because backyard cricket “got too real” I want to know about it. God’s in the details.

3)   Don’t start with ‘well I guess this is the part where I write about myself eh?’ Or ‘My friends say that I can’t leave this part blank’ Or ‘Hmmm, what to say about me…’

You know what guys? Sort your shit out before you take to the keyboard. All that ‘hilarious’ thinking you’re doing on the page, which you want me to read as ‘quirky’ and ‘vulnerable’ and ‘self-reflective’ comes across as ‘no real sense of humour’, ‘disingenuous’ and ‘may not be able to lift me up while we have sex’. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but that’s what I’m taking away from the piece. I’m a little person, it shouldn’t be too much to ask.

4)   Don’t include pictures of you and hot bitches you once dated. It stinks of insecurity. Reverse psychology and playing hard to get have no place on a dating website. In fact, they’re designed so that single people (not always) can avoid that bullshit. Don’t worry; I’m sure you’ve dated in the past, and if you haven’t, I’m not going to hold that against you. But putting in pictures of you and two, drunk chicks fawning all over you don’t float my boat. If anything, they make me want to ignore the boat and see which other boats might be more seaworthy.

5)   Don’t include pictures of you and hot bitches. This is not a typo. I’ve just seen it so many times that I feel it needs reiterating.

6)   I get it; you’ve done a marathon. For every sensible picture of you plastered in a tuxedo at your mate’s wedding is a hero shot of you breaking the finishing line with your arms in the air. BTDubs: Sneaking in the charity’s name? Very clever. But bad news; I hate joggers, so you are just a jogger that likes it for heaps longer than usual. Buh bow.

7)   Pictures of your dilated pupils, wearing metallic face paint and a fluorescent headband gives me a pretty clear idea as to your recreational hobbies. Please keep these photos in; my ‘dickometer’ isn’t as sharp as it used to be.

8)   Put your real height. If I’m shallow enough that a minimum height is necessary, and you want to see if you can negotiate around that with personality, you don’t have a very high opinion of yourself (no pun intended). You should be with a woman who loves you for who you are; I am not that woman. I am a paradoxical feminist who has held onto an archaic, irrelevant, sexist dogma that the man should be taller than the woman. It’s the only weird tradition that I hold onto. No, I have no idea why. Possibly because all the men I have dated have been quite tall so I think kissing without painfully craning your neck to be weird and unnatural. If other women/men combos don’t adhere to this, I applaud you. You’re the normal ones. This really is not you, it’s me.

9)   In your “what you’re looking for” section don’t put the names of other women. It says, “what you’re looking for” not “looking at”. We all have a physical type we’re attracted to, and sometimes a celebrity will personify that type. Great. I’m glad you’ve learnt that about yourself – now stick it in your wank bank, where it will have a nurturing home and tell me what you want in my brain or personality. You’re going to know whether you like my face/body when you look at my photos, and if you’re not into it, then you won’t contact me – mission accomplished.

10) Avoid pictures of you wearing a hat at any cost, and DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT USE THAT FOR YOUR PROFILE PICTURE. Hats say three things: I bought this on holidays and am trying to work it uncomfortably into my everyday life, I participate in detective role-playing games at the weekends or I’m bald. I gots no problem with a bald dude, but I want to know what I’m walking into. And for our vacationing brothers – a fedora is a bold choice for anyone to be photographed in so I’m going to assume you’re either super confident or super deluded. Will I be curious enough to find out the answer? Prolly not.

11) Don’t mention your sister too much. I’ve seen a lot of sister chat. I really like that you’re close to your sister, that you get along with and respect women, but sometimes I get the feeling she’s gonna be on our first date. Strangely, the hovering judgement of a sibling is not a turn on, so try to keep it to a single mention.

12) Call me cray cray, but maybe don’t write that you kept the animals at the recent end of your long-term relationship. Not joking: I’ve seen photos of custody cats more than three times. Why is this helpful to anyone? This is the Good Ship Fresh Start! We all have baggage, but most of us are at least standing in front of the bulging cupboard doors we have crammed it into. Can’t you at least pretend that this is not a bandaid to get you to the next D & M about Connie’s favourite box set?

So these are just my guidelines, not hard and fast rules. In fact given that I’ve not been on a single date in the weeks that I’ve been online (I won’t call it online dating until I’ve been on one) maybe don’t listen to anything I’ve said at all.

It’s courageous stuff putting yourself out there in the first place, and I wish people more luck than I have had in giving it a red, hot go!

 

Sexy Goggle Face