Monday, February 25, 2013

Meet Cute.

Warning: Falling in love may result in babies.

Have you heard of "Meet Cute?" It's the cute story of how you met your significant other. It sounds like "Meat Cube" to me.

I'd like to thank Erin at Musings of a Madwoman for letting me know about this new Internet slang. I like to be in the know of all things linguistic.

Do you know the story of how I meat cubed my husband?

I found him on I love online dating. It's just like catalog shopping. For example, you could go to J.Crew and select a cashmere sweater in Eolian Harp blue, then go on and select an attorney in Tall, Dark and Handsome!

As my son would say, "Easy. Peasey. Lemon squeezey."

All kidding aside, when I found my Cute Meet on I had been on the service for five or six months with no action. I hadn't met anyone. I wasn't interested. Nothing was going anywhere. My heart wasn't in it, to be honest.

But then I decided I needed to get over it. I needed to get out. So I made a solemn vow to my girlfriends that I would find someone cute and meet him live and in person within the next week. As God as my witness. And then I raised my staff towards the heavens, lightening and thunderbolts surged forth from the sky and connected with my mighty staff.

I went on Match that night and clicked through pages and pages of faces all wanting to be my next boyfriend. Just kidding. As an unwed mother of a one-year-old child, I didn't think my chances were too good. Yet one cute face did stop me in my tracks and so I read his profile. He was smart. He could construct sentences. He didn't make any grammatical errors. And he was hot so I did the unthinkable.

I "winked" at him.

I know. So embarrassing.

If you've never online dated, a "wink" is a digital wink. You press a little smiley face button and it sends a message to that person that "So-and-So has winked at you!" Basically it's a spineless way of trying to strike up a conversation.

I never initiate dating with men. I don't call. I don't text. I don't make eye contact in a bar. I am the tall girl standing by the wall staring at my feet, probably turning red if I think you're cute. It's a wonder I've ever dated at all.

So the wink is significant. It shows you how serious I was about going on a date within the next seven days. I had to take desperate measures because I was on without a profile picture. This is certain death in the dating world. If you don't have a picture, chances are you're going to have to either email someone or wink at them.

Though I had no profile picture, what I did have was an incredibly witty and charming profile page. I figure if I couldn't entice the denizens of men into my lady lair with an enticing photo, I could at least woo them with my words. I wrote something off the wall and batty. As crazy as a loon. I wrote the anti-profile whereupon I listed what I was looking for in a man in the most outrageous and ridiculous fashion.

One of the things I mentioned I was looking for in a perspective mate was someone who was "Mean to old ladies." I emphasized the importance of this quality and how it was basically a deal-breaker for me. It's sort of amazing I didn't attract serial killers, to be honest.

My future-husband emailed back right away.

"You are a smart ass. I like that."

When I read those words, my heart beat a little faster. This is how you romance me. He then proceeded to tell me in great detail about his unbridled hatred for old ladies.

"Why just today I splayed an old-blue hair and her cane across the sidewalk."

It was like corresponding with Don Juan with this one. How could I not fall in love?

The emails sailed back and forth and I don't think either one of us got much done over the next few days of trying to outdo one another. We told all our most outrageous stories. We riffed off each other's verbal tags. I laughed so hard I cried while reading his words. We spoke on the phone and I laughed under the covers in my bed while my son slept in a port-a-crib nearby.

My future-husband asked me out sight unseen.

He never saw a picture of me but had to meet me. I think we both felt like we'd met our best friend. And to this day I really believe he liked me for me. For the essence of who I was on paper. After he asked me out, I did finally send him a picture. Mainly so he would recognize me when we met. Also so he could back out if he wanted.

What I didn't know was that he printed that photo out and kept it in his wallet. Which reminds me of when my mother found a photo of herself in my step-father's wallet after he died. She'd never known that he carried a picture of her with him everywhere he went.

When we finally went on a date, I met my future husband at a wine bar in a local downtown area. I walked through the door and kind of hung there uncertainly, as I am wont to do. I scanned the bar trying to find the face I winked at online. Then he turned around. He was in his suit and tie. The white collars of his shirt were stark against his dark skin. He stood up and I watched him as he walked towards me. We shook hands and it was evident we were both nervous and overly polite.

But I felt butterflies.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Crowdsourcing Bathroom Etiquette

Imagine you enter a public restroom. There are three stalls. The one furthest to the left is a handicapped stall. The center and right stalls are regular stalls. However the far right stall is occupied.

Which stall do you choose?

Some of you will say, "Choose the furthest stall to the left because sitting right next to someone in another stall when there is another stall open is freaky and weird."

Others of you will be quick to point out: "Taking a handicapped stall when there is an open stall is rude!"

Hence we are left with two undesirable outcomes. You are either freakish or rude. You're either creepin' in on someone's personal space or you hate handicapped people.

Don't even try to tell me the answer is simple. It is not. Oh trust, me I have done the research. I have inquired into it many times, over many seasons of my life, and the answer is ever changing, ever divisive — a veritable moving target of manners. There is no one right answer. It's chicken-or-the-egg in its elusiveness.

But I'm asking you now. Just between us. Which one would you choose? Do not answer lightly. You will be judged. You will be summed up and categorized. Your fellow commenters will narrow their eyes and look at you differently after this. That's not even including the silent hundreds who will look on without comment ... oh but you can rest assured they will look on with judgment. Hot, angry judgement. If they could strike at you with Heaven's thunderbolts, they would, dear stall-chooser, they would indeed.

I can't believe you chose that stall.

So which one is it? I need to know.