So, it’s been about a year and a half since I wrote a post for this blog. I decided recently to come back to it. It’s a nice place to get my thoughts onto paper (metaphorically speaking) and out of my brain. After all, the modern equivalent of a private diary is a public blog, right? While a strong argument can be made for that being a symptom of a culture increasingly more self-obsessed, egotistical and grandiose, I like to see it as a shift away from generations of repression, guilt and shame to one of expression and acceptance. Admittedly, there’s no proof that’s where we’re headed, but evolution is an ugly process. An antelope didn’t wake up one day as a giraffe. On the other hand, pandas probably used to be more like real bears and now they’re a species who can only eat one plant in the whole world and have given up on reproduction. So, we’ll have to see in future ages of our civilization how this all turns out.
Full disclosure: I have either a common cold variant with bronchitis or the Black Death. Not sure yet. So if my writing style isn’t up to its usual level (whatever that may be) it’s because the cold hands of the reaper are clutching my neck and slowly dragging me kicking and screaming (well, gurgling) into that dark night.
So, today I want to talk about an intractable war zone. A place of nightmares where people hurt each other in any way possible just for the sense of power that comes with extinguishing another human being’s sense of pride in themselves. A place full of those lost sheep called humans trying to find their way to happiness through a constant stream of horror and pain. Racism and sexism abound. Emotional abuse to sex crimes. A war with a staggering cost in basic human dignity. I’m talking about OKCupid!
And all online dating services. And real life dating. And any interaction between people who are looking for a companion in this world and those whose primary goal in life is suffering, either in themselves or others, or a distinction so blurry there’s really no way to know anymore. Dating is what separates us from the animals who have a more they-didn’t-run-fast-enough method to procreation. It’s just the romantic subsection of the social contract that says that it is everyone’s right to choose their own companionship (platonic, familial – once old enough to leave home, romantic, sexual, etc.) by their own standards. Simple, right?
In the time I’ve been gone, I fell madly in love with a sweet, affectionate and all around wonderful woman. Then I realized she was actually cold, distant and incapable of real commitment and dumped her. Then we got back together because our love was an unstoppable force that could heal all wounds and break through all barriers in its way. Then she left me when a better financial situation came along. Then she wanted to be friends again. Then I dumped her again because she couldn’t even be nice to me as a friend and I was still in love with her, so being friends was more painful than cutting her out of my life entirely. Then I took her back again because she said some really nice things and her dreams of wealth and success away from me had been dashed on the merciless rocks of reality. I mean, really, what’s self-respect worth in comparison to compliments? Not much for me apparently.
So, we finally broke up completely. For good this time. I swear. If you’re reading this, please come back to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *long raking sobs* But I digress, I’m totally over her. Seinfeld once said that breakups were like tipping over a vending machine. You don’t get it on the first push, you have to rock it back and forth a few times before it finally falls over. Haha, as the first time I’ve ever been in love, I was not prepared for it.
But I decided to take her last piece of advice from breakup #2. She said “You need to find some cute, sweet, loving woman who would treat you better than I did.” Wow, that rings in my head as much as it did then. I was still trying to sugar coat everything with her, even after we broke up and she was still living in my house because she had no where to go, so I gave some generic “Don’t say that, you were awesome, champ,” kind of statement that was so devoid of any substance that it was actually more insulting even though I had wanted so bad to cheer her up.
The honest truth: I still love her. I’m not in love with her anymore though. She stabbed our trust in the back so many times that no matter how hard I tried in the third reincarnation of our love, I couldn’t manage to rekindle that flame. Also, I don’t mean to paint a picture of her being the malign entity bent on the destruction of our love and I as a saint. I did plenty to mess up the relationship, especially my constant “If I pretend this is all fine with me, the problems will go away” attitude. She has a million great qualities and I still have faith that in time her heart will heal and she will find that person that she can truly be herself with.
She never meant to hurt me and she was going through a rough time in her life, so she had her reasons. That being said our love was like a faulty heater. Even if you like the warmth it gives off and even if you know it doesn’t mean to keep setting fire to your home, there’s only so many unexpected fires you can make excuses for before you realize it’s the wrong heater or the wrong home or you bring out the worst in it or this metaphor just starts dissolving even before it’s out of the gate.
As with all things in my life, Andrew Bird summarized it for me:
“I had nothing to say on Christmas day when you threw all your clothes in the snow.
When you burnt your hair and you knocked over chairs, I just tried to stay out of your way.
But when you fell asleep with blood on your teeth, I got in my car and drove away.” –So Much Wine, Merry Christmas by Andrew Bird (written by Rennie and Brett Sparks of the Handsome Family)
The “Fell asleep with blood on your teeth” line is the best poetic metaphor ever, in my opinion, for when someone says something truly awful to you that just breaks your heart and they don’t even notice.
Oh, and Bob Dylan:
“I tried you twice, you can’t be nice
I’m gonna have to put you down for awhile.” –Huck’s Tune by Bob Dylan
Following the advice of my own heart and my heart’s last caretaker, I’ve set out on the great adventure of dating. As usual, it turned out my heart was an asshole that just can’t leave things be when giving advice.
Anyone who has participated in online dating knows what I’m talking about. The basic idea involves putting a picture of yourself on a website that everyone will judge like a slab of meat. If you’re like me, you can also put together a written profile summarizing everything you are and ever will be to judgmental and occasionally psychopathic strangers, even though it’s been statistically proven to not matter because people have already decided based on your picture whether you’re worth a damn. If you have the chiseled features of a Greek God given mortal flesh and rogue-ish charm of Ryan Gosling, like myself, that’s not a problem, but if you’re a flabby 5′ 5″ guy with no fashion sense, like my actual self, you’re screwed.
Who found out people only care about pictures on a site designed to create deep emotional connections? Ironically, it was OKCupid creator Christian Rudder (I love that name, by the way, and I’m praying that his siblings are named Jewish Map, Muslim Compass, Buddhist Signpost, etc.)
Part of the article indicates that in a blind dating experiment, when they revealed everyone’s pictures – after the participants had been engaging in drastically more conversation and agreements to meet – 2200 conversations ended abruptly. In other words, 2200 people were having fun until they saw who was making them happy. Moreover, regardless of looks, the matches determined by the site’s algorithm without the hindrance of photo evidence had good real life dates. In fact, women who went out with guys they rated more handsome had a more negative time than the reverse. Can’t say I’m surprised. Not that I haven’t met ridiculously good looking people who weren’t nice too, but my experiences have been far askew from that in 99% of cases. There’s nothing I loath more than someone whose ridiculously good looking, but also kind, intelligent and successful. You get to pick two of those at most, people!
Still not convinced online dating is for you? Did I mention that people are inherently racist too? Yep, according to Christian Rudder (I can’t stop saying it!) their customer base supports interracial relationships by a margin of 96% to 4%, but rarely if ever consider someone outside their race to date. Now that opens up a debate all of its own. Is it racist if you simply don’t want to date a person from another race without actually being against it conceptually? I mean in a post racism world I guess none of us would think twice about it, but as many people point out it can be more of a cultural thing. Less in common, more culture shock with each other’s families. It’s not Thanksgiving until someone has to explain to grandma why people don’t use [insert slur for your significant other’s race here] anymore.
Hell, I got called the N word in the parking lot of a 7-11 when I was like 12 years old and I’m Conan O’Brien white. I find it kind of surprising that racism still exists. I mean how many times have I been told by Republicans that there’s no more racism, just reverse racism? Also, wouldn’t reverse racism be racial acceptance? Think about it, old dumb white men, think about it.
Interesting anecdote in that story that racial tension decreased and interracial interaction increased the night of Obama’s election, then racism went to an all-time high as his approval plummeted. So, good going Obama, how dare you disappoint everyone on behalf of your whole race. Huh… I wonder if judging an entire people by your opinion of an individual could be construed as some kind of bigotry? Guess we’ll have to study that next. So if Hillary wins and is unpopular, can we all agree to dial women’s rights back to, at least, the Madmen era? I mean that’s what the presidency is now, right, a way to objectively judge whole swaths of the population? I just hope we never have another unpopular white guy in the office. That would suck for my kind.
So, ignoring the rampant sexism and racism for a moment, if you’re a guy most of your experiences on OKC and online dating sites will be getting ignored, people messaging a couple times and then never talking to you again for completely unclear reasons, or people turning out to be bots/scammers. There are whole forums full of guys asking why women just stop messaging and never give so much as a “Hey, I’m sorry, but I don’t think we’re right for each other.” If you’re a woman, you’re probably getting a hundred messages a day (most of which constructed of one word or syllable), men threatening to kill you and rape you for giving a simple “Hey, I’m sorry, but I don’t think we’re right for each other.” And for both genders, mountains of lies. Textual lies. Photographic lies. Financial lies. Philosophical lies. So, there’s a really good reason why women just stop writing altogether rather than just end it simply. It can be a little confusing.
As someone who has a thickly layered human brain on top of his primordial animal brain and never considers homicide or assault as a means to get a second date (or anything for that matter), I can see why other men like myself are so confused by this strange non-confrontational method of ending a conversation. I’ve never NOT told someone I wasn’t going to talk to them again. Usually wished us both luck. But, no one on the dating sites has ever threatened to rape me before, so I tend to have a cheerier outlook on these pre-relationship, no investment, pseudo-breakups. Yet as someone who was repeatedly threatened at my job by people much larger and stronger than myself with varying degrees of bodily harm up to and including death, I also know how frightening it can be.
What do people see when they look at the dating world? Frigid, demanding women who don’t know what they want? Sex obsessed, shallow, emotionless men who know what they want and will do anything to get it no matter how amoral? A world divided by gender? Seems so.
What do I see when I look at the dating world? People in pain. People with scars. People who desperately want something good to come into their lives even if they don’t know what that is. That’s something I can relate to. And when I say “desperate” I’m not referring to the stereotypical sad image of some “loser” trying and failing constantly to get a date. I mean the yearning that all human beings feel for happiness and companionship in all its forms. We all want to be loved. The only shame I see is in pretending otherwise. Wanting love and being desperate are two distinct things.
I see people who are so sick of being rejected. Never being spotted. When I fell in love that was one of the best parts. Someone had seen me. I had waited so long and pretty much given up hope in a woman not just looking right past me to the “better” guy standing nearby. I looked into her eyes and saw the adoration I was feeling for her and it made me feel confident in myself in a way I had never felt before. Wherever I went, I could feel the comforting tug of that lifeline around my heart. I knew that somewhere out there was a wonderful person who cared about me.
I see people sick of being alone. Never getting to intimately share their little victories in life, their dreams, their good luck, their inner musings and secrets with another person. Never having someone there to pick them up after their defeats, to comfort them from their nightmares, to laugh together at their bad luck, and forgive them for their failings. Those terrible and perfect moments when your lover tells you something that’s so hard for them to get out that they cry and you couldn’t feel closer to another person without being them. When they whisper some secret thought in your ear they know you won’t judge them for. When two people spend a day in each other’s arms sharing funny stories and laughing.
Life is so hard and it’s that much harder alone. And it’s so amazing it sucks to not get to share it. Friendships go a long way, but there’s always that craving for more.
My first real coffee date from OKC ended with the woman apologizing to me that she wasn’t ready to be out with men because of a fairly recent trauma she didn’t talk about. I felt like maybe she needed someone to sympathize with her, so I told her about my own issues with men growing up and that hard to shake fear, but that you can get over it with time and convinced her to talk to her mother and best friends about it and/or seek counseling, because sometimes in life there’s obstacles we just can’t beat on our own and there’s no shame in it. I wished her luck and made sure she knew that there were obviously no hard feelings about it.
I’ll be lying though if I didn’t say it did hurt a bit. Not the rejection. It was a coffee date after all. That’s just that little sting of human vanity that reminds you that not every single person in the world will adore you for being so clearly awesome and special. We all have it, but part of being an adult is floating past it gracefully. But it dredged things up in regards to the issues she was dealing with. At the time, it was much closer to my breakup with my girlfriend, who herself had been the victim of extreme abuse as a child, unimaginably worse than my own. As if I needed one more lesson about how common these issues have been.
A few dates with other people later I started going out with a really intelligent, well-read and artistic single mother. I really started enjoying her company, but weird little warning flags started coming up. Strange arguments about stuff that shouldn’t have mattered. Like she started talking about her favorite charities and causes one night, which were all feminist and eventually I added, thinking I was staying on the same topic of human suffering and attempts to alleviate it, that I had just read this article about a guy who had been rounded up as a child in Africa and forced to be a child soldier on heroin and spent the first half of his life participating in brainwashed mass murderer and now has devoted his life to peace. She got really pissed and pointed out that women there probably had it worse. I said I wasn’t trying to make the opposite point or devalue the suffering of anyone else in the world, I just found it a really hopeful article on the same subject and wanted to share. That was one of numerous bizarre rants.
She even once outright demanded to know if I was a feminist and I answered that I was a humanist. The only values by which I determine tolerance is behavior and the only values by which I determine acceptance is character, which has nothing to do with genitals or hormones or masculinity/femininity. I’ve known people of every gender, even a few of the newer ones, and their personality is what determined my like/dislike for them with no strong deviation along gender party lines. That answer pissed her off.
She only opened up when she was drunk, which is a quality I generally don’t like. She also wanted me to make all the decisions on everything with no input. She would switch from really flirty and friendly, to aloof and seemingly disappointed. Always seemed like she was waiting for something, but her body language was stand-offish so I kept my distance. Our conversations just faded away.
Later I saw a new version of her Craigslist ad that added onto the original that she was looking for a strong (ouch), dominant (why does someone have to be the boss with two adults?), masculine (ouch) and tall guy (really ouch) and a guy who knows that “No doesn’t always mean no and sometimes a girl just doesn’t know what she wants.” Whoa. As soon as I read that I was so glad I dodged that crazy bullet. Who says that!? First off, easy way to get yourself killed and leave your kid orphaned in the worst and dumbest possible manner. Second, like any more of these internet creeps need one more piece of “proof” that their spiraling madness is justified. It’s like feeding the bears. Even if you don’t get yourself mauled, you’re setting others up in the future. Third, I now understood her overcompensation for women’s rights. She doesn’t respect herself as a woman in the least. Again, I have to assume that she must have also been abused as a child or at least had terrible role models.
One woman answered a CL post of mine looking for a long-term relationship and we shared an email each and then she invited me to a nearby town to a sleazy motel in the middle of the night in the heroin district of said town. She ended the email with “P.S. I don’t think you’re that type of guy, but just in case you are, I’m not going to pay you to do this.” I’m a male prostitute seeking a long-term relationship? I poured over my post to figure out if I accidentally used some sort of gigolo code word. But therein lies the problem, I don’t know what that code would be because of my not being a gigolo in the first place! Then I realized she was just kidding, so I wrote back “LMAO, that’s hilarious. You had me going there for a while. There sure are a lot of creeps out there.” And I never heard back. She wasn’t kidding. I see that now.
As with all wars, we have two sides that feel hurt and they’re turning that pain into anger and that anger into aggression. Each person has so much that weighs them down out there on the open romantic meat market of human branding corporations known as online dating. Write a profile that makes you seem fun and mature, wise and down to earth, successful and humble, sexy and reserved, confident and accepting. Take a picture that captures your inner beauty while showing off your tits (for both men and women, just a matter of fat to muscle ratio) because no one cares.
Check your reproductive organs to determine whether you should be tall, tanned, athletic, confident and rich, or short, feminine, thin, sexy and demure. But even that won’t work. You just spent weeks in the gym and starving yourself to look beautiful for your society and it turns out the person you like the most on the site wanted someone big and curvy. Get eating you damn twig! Oh wait, now that you’ve put on the weight they succumbed to societal pressure and had plastic surgery and now they can’t be seen with someone who let themselves go.
I ironically did get turned down by a woman who I thought was awesome – we were a 96% match – because I was too skinny. The only other person I’ve ever seen who even knows who the singer Simon Joyner is. We had so much in common. LOL, years of being self-conscious about my love handles and now I’m self-conscious about how skinny I am! Dating can give you psychological complexes you didn’t think you could get LOL.
One woman I tried to date in real life had major ambivalence because she had met my ex when we were still together and thought she was much prettier. The honest truth is that I found them equally attractive. Both might even find that insulting because they couldn’t be more different. Maybe it’s an Asperger’s thing. If I like someone’s personality and a romantic interest develops, I so far have never had a problem finding them attractive. People sometimes think I mean I convince myself they’re attractive. It’s very organic. I like the person in the body, so I like the body.
The thing that this woman would probably have been shocked by is that while all her life she had been thinking “I wish I looked like the other women…” my ex was saying the same thing to herself. She had just about everything this woman wanted and envied, and yet she always saw herself as incomplete and blemished. The secret is that most women I’ve met, regardless of how others perceive them, are thinking “I wish I looked like the other women…” There are no “other women.”
Guys don’t show it for the most part because we’re trained early on that confidence slumping over into arrogance is manly, but trust me, anybody who is a guy who admitted it to themselves or a woman who managed to crack that shell on their boyfriend, can say that men are just as insecure. Insecurity is a basic part of human life.
Insecurity in life can be a positive evolutionary trait. That sense that the status quo is never quite good enough so we never totally adapt to one environment/way of life and risk easy extinction like those ridiculously adorable and doomed pandas mentioned before. But in our personal lives it does way more harm than good. That little voice always making you ask yourself “Am I really good enough for any of this stuff I want/have?”
The part that saddens me the most is that our society is so sick from the collective weight of this individual problem. These men, likely most of which if not all are victims of abuse themselves, who threaten women with harm to make themselves feel powerful. Women who keep hurting themselves because it’s the only feeling they’ve ever known. And these people who are so hurt that they can’t shake off enough of that scar tissue to make a meaningful connection with someone else.
So, again like a war, everyone who fights in it loses. As soon as you use sex or love or affection or kindness as a tool or a weapon, you’re adrift. And it’s easy to end up that way. In my opinion, at least, I think when we carve away all the stereotypes I’ve mentioned here and all that have gone unsaid, when we take out all those dubious and questionable differences, the real reason men and women don’t get along has nothing to do with some in-born hormonal coding, which multicultural studies have shown again and again to be almost entirely learned as opposed to natural, the real reason men and women don’t along is history – personal and social.
If you’re a straight man, whose the biggest candidate to break your heart? If you’re a straight woman, whose the biggest candidate to have broken your heart? The older we get, the more fractures our hearts and minds have from these events. Relationships that went purely terrible from the beginning. Ones that started off amazing and ended in tragedy. Ones that dragged on far beyond their expiration date until nothing remained but cold disregard.
As for gay people, I haven’t conducted enough interviews yet to get that side of the story. I’m trying to imagine if I was gay how I would feel getting turned down by other dudes all the time. It would be hard for guys to say things like “Turned me down? Definitely a lesbian.”
They did a few tests over the years where they would call in a group of people of wide backgrounds, and have a psychologist write out a description of each of them just by looking at them. Then they hand it over to them and ask if it was accurate. Overwhelmingly people will say that it describes them very well and are happy with it. But the truth is each of their descriptions was just a copy and they were all exactly the same. First scientists thought it was just positive points, but it turns out people all have the same fears of their negatives as well. Even certain past experiences occur in the vast majority of the species.
For instance, almost everyone at some point as a young child had an experience where they killed an animal because of peer pressure and felt extreme guilt over it. That one doesn’t apply to me though, so there are outliers to that as in all things. I was reverent of death by the time I was 4 and by 8 I was a French existentialist philosopher and all photographs taken of me turned to black and white. My best friend once described picturing me as a little kid wearing all black, with a beret and chain smoking while talking about the decay of the material universe. I’m way less morbid now, but honestly it’s a part of me I like a lot. My morbid streak always reminds me of that cute little kid lecturing adults about the statistical risks associated with [anything someone was doing while I was present.]
So my advice to all the other fellow romantic pilgrims? Love everyone. Not physically you damn pervs, that’s a good way to get a social disease. Get your dirty minds out of the gutter, I have that gutter reserved for my brain. But love them for who they are even if that’s not someone you want to know. Forgive the women who don’t message you back because they don’t want to be threatened again. Forgive the guys out there who clearly have no clue how to talk to women (that doesn’t include said threatening psychos – the term “people” doesn’t apply to their ilk).
Forgive each other for all the things other men and other women have done to you over your life, because we can’t judge the bulk of us by the actions of the few of us, no matter how heinous those acts may have been. The guilt should rest with the guilty.
Even forgive yourselves for the scars you can’t shake even as you go out looking again. You can spend your whole life trying to build or rebuild the perfect person and you’ll always leave this world incomplete and likely missing some really key components. That’s why we have pets, friends, family and lovers, because together we make a complete organism. Separately we’re just a single cell in the Petri dish.
A while back there was a comic that shows all too perfectly how I see the world as it exists and how it could be.
It’s easy for us to judge. We all do it. And we’ll all keep doing it, but the least we can do is be aware of that flaw and try our best to be kind to our fellow human beings. Defeating the hordes of truly vile and hateful people requires three things:
1. We all stand up to it: Men for women and women for men, straights for gays and gays for straights, and so on. If you see abuse, speak up. If you see victimization, stand with them. If you see someone hurt, help them. It’s the basic mandate of a decent society. One of the biggest regrets of my life was witnessing domestic violence as a teenager at a neighbor’s house and doing nothing about it. I heard the husband beat his wife and children on several occasions, but my family felt that saying something might bring violence against us. Maybe it would have. But anyone whose ever been trapped in that dark place with a monster like that knows that the worst part isn’t the monster. The most heartbreaking part is when you can’t escape on your own and no one comes to help, day after day. Besides, when did doing nothing ever keep us from getting hurt?
2. Being good to each other: If we don’t treat our fellows with the respect, dignity and love that we want for ourselves, then we’ll end up being the thing we’re most afraid of.
3. Raise our children to know the real difference between men and women: Which is what exactly? Yeah, some obvious physical ones, but what are the differences in our psyches? Do men want sex and women want love? Do men dominate and women submit? Is being a man supporting your family? Is being a woman cleaning up after your family? Do men take life and women replace it? Is there any difference between men and women you can think of that you’ve never met someone of the “wrong” gender exhibit? Perhaps ideas like masculinity and femininity are antiquated and pointless divisions that serve only to divide us and give us another chance to alienate ourselves from one another, not just with the opposite sex, but within our own, as to who is “normal” and who isn’t.
When I was a little kid and just reaching that age where I got really interested in girls, I realized quickly what was expected of me as a boy. I learned that when you talk about girls to other boys, you talk about how pretty they are or how much they like you. I shouldn’t talk about such terribly unmanly desires like love and commitment. Yet another negative experience with my own gender at an early age where I felt ashamed because while I thought about sex as much as any male in puberty (at that age a guy’s brain is basically divided half and half for sex and food with a tiny slice in the middle for higher reasoning) I also dreamed about finding someone to be my companion in all the other aspects of life. Someone who would stay at my side and me at theirs. The same sappy romantic drivel I’m still in to today.
My ex and I talked a lot about our childhoods and that universal human feeling of not quite belonging. All through her life, she was told how to think and what to feel and what was appropriate for her. A good Christian wife doesn’t question her husband. She doesn’t have opinions in opposition to her husband. She is property. That’s how she lived. That’s how she started to see herself.
Then, for one brief time in this life, we had each other and got to see what it was like to be our truest selves without judgment. For a time anyway, haha. But she opened my world for me. I didn’t know there was anything left to see out there and she showed me a door I never knew was there. I think and I hope I did the same thing for her. She said it was the first time in her life she felt like she was good enough for the person she was with and didn’t have to ask for basic human rights. It was a forgone conclusion I would do what I could to make her happy, whether that was being her partner in crime, her confidant or just that reason to come home.
So here’s to all those people who swooped in and saved us. The generous benefactor when you had no money. The person who sheltered you when you had no where to go. The person who fought the monsters with you. The person who threw their arms around you when you were a pariah. And, on a personal note, to the woman that showed me that love wasn’t an intellectual concept that can be read and put back on a shelf! I don’t know if we’ll ever find love again, but at least we have a general description now. That should narrow the search down at least.
To all the men and women in the dating world, remember that the only reason any of us get angry is because we’re hurt and scared. We have perfectly good reasons to be angry, but if that’s all we ever let ourselves feel, then what’s the point of looking for someone else? That anger will just poison everyone we meet. Facebook recently experimented with its viewers by altering the news feed. When they displayed all good news, people were really nice to each other. Words like “love” and “nice” increased. When they made it more negative, people fought more.
I’ll end this in the words of Christian Rudder, who said about the internet and his own site:
“I do wish people exercised more humanity…”
Or, for all those judgmental assholes ruining everyone else’s fun with your impossible standards and mean spirited replies to other people’s potentially genuine interest in you:
“ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!?!?!?!?!?!” -Russell Crowe in Gladiator
P.S. After such a long rant, I forgot to mention that I haven’t really had any negative responses beyond disappointment. So far people were nice or silent (the next best thing to nice), but as usual my liberal bleeding heart has a sump pump hooked to a vast ocean of concern for internet people I don’t know suffering from traumas that may not have happened to them LOL.
P.P.S. Based on what you see here, try to guess whether I’m the kind of person who writes too much or too little on dating site profiles and IMs. Just making up for lost time.