My Adventures in (Trying) Online Dating Part 2

I was pleasantly surprised by how many people liked the first blog post on online dating, so I thought I would add a part two.  I think this is an issue that many people can relate to, so here I go…again!

I think there are many mistakes that people make when trying the whole online dating thing.  One thing in particular that turned me off was when a potential suitor would not even take the time to put together a coherent or interesting first message.  If you’re first message to me is “U r hot” or just “Hey,” then you’re probably not going to be hearing back from me.  Why?  Well, I’m going to feel like you couldn’t take the time to actually try to peak my interest, so why should I take time to get to know you?  Also, if you cannot force yourself to be literate when reaching out to me, that probably won’t make me swoon, either.  Sorry, I like my men well educated, thank you very much!  You should take the time to write a real message that mentions the other person’s profile.  If there’s a common interest, make sure they know that!  If there’s something you really connected with, mention it!

Another turn off or mistake is trying to get personal information from someone.  Sorry, no one needs a potential stalker or identify thief on her hands!  There’s a reason why I didn’t have my first name or full last name on my profile.  If you ask me where I live, I’m going to be ridiculously vague and name a town somewhat near the one where I really live.  Ask me where I work, and I’ll respond “In the San Gabriel Valley,” and that’s as specific as I’m going to get.  For those who don’t know, that encompasses several towns.  Yes, I’ve seriously had guys try to find out where I live, work, etc.  A friend of mine actually had a guy repeatedly try to get her last name from her.  He would end every single message with a request for her last name.  When she wouldn’t give him the information, he got angry and started cussing her out.   Be patient.  If a relationship ends up developing, you’ll find out what you need or want to know. 

Also, you should really never lie about what you’re like.  Just be authentic.  That should go without saying, but it doesn’t!  If you say you’re a musician, than I expect you to, like, actually be a musician who plays gigs and things like that. Simply having a picture of yourself with a guitar and calling yourself a musician when you only occasionally play just doesn’t cut it.  If you claim to be a gentleman in your profile and then proposition me during our 1st or 2nd conversations, you’re a dirty rotten liar who has now wasted both of our time.  Be honest!  That is the only way you’ll find who you’re really looking for. 

In addition to that, if I say on my profile that I am a certain way and I want a certain type of guy or relationship, then please take that for fact.  Don’t reach out to me, or any other woman, who you are obviously not a match for.  Again, it’s a total waste of time.  Just keep searching for one who matches your criteria and for whom you’re a match for hers.  Sure, it may take time, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.

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My Adventures in (Trying) Online Dating

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Sometimes, you have experiences so annoying, so horrifying, so disturbing, etcetera, that the only thing to do is….make fun of it.  That’s how I currently feel about my recent return to the world of online dating websites.  I decided about a month ago to try a new site recommended to me by a co-worker (who I’m thinking of thanking in a way she probably won’t appreciate).  Here is just a glimpse into this often disconcerting world.

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Okay, first of all are the profile pictures.  There are a couple things here that I just simply do not comprehend!  Number one would be profile pictures where the man is not smiling, or worse yet, is scowling!  The point is supposed to be that your picture attracts someone, correct?  Why would you want to make yourself look all together unapproachable, intimidating, and downright scary?  It does not make any sense to me whatsoever. 

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The other thing that I came to hate about profile pictures are the shirtless bathroom pictures.  As Emma Stone says in Crazy, Stupid, Love “It’s like you’re photo shopped or something!” Why?  Because you probably are (side note:  my pictures may have me in makeup, but there isn’t even a filter being used!  I’m cute and adorable all on my own, and I’m sure you are, too).  This is the guy equivalent of the duck face pictures so many girls and women are fond of.  No one over the age of 15 thinks either are cute.  Trust.  Also, I have been watching way too much Catfish lately to believe that that’s even really you.  Sorry, but Nev has made me a little bit paranoid, and for this I love him with all my heart.  Also, you look like a douchebag when you do that because no one, I repeat no one, wants to see your bathroom before even meeting you.  Trust me on this one.

Okay, what else did I find out during my adventures?  Well, some people are really pushy about a wide variety of things.  When you message a woman saying you want to get together that night, you’re a jerk for two reasons:  one, you should actually, like, message her for a while before meeting up.  You know, make her feel more comfortable and less like she’s going to meet the heir apparent to Norman Bates.  Second, you’re assuming she has no plans.  When that message is sent on a Friday or Saturday, this is even more offensive.  If you message someone once or twice and she doesn’t respond, then she is probably not that into you.  Move on.  Plenty of other fish in the sea! Oh, and one last thing. If we’re messaging back and forth, and I don’t respond for a day or so because, you know, I do have a life, don’t flip out. Don’t throw a virtual temper tantrum. Talk about a turn off!

In addition to that, guess what, guys?  Most women probably won’t be turned on, flattered, etcetera when you message her for x-rated pictures during your SECOND conversation.  If I was the type to do that, WHICH I AM NOT (because, duh, you’re going to show that to your homies, and I know that), I would probably at least want a steak dinner, first.  I mean, seriously.

Finally, if you are simply looking for sex, it’s your life, and it’s cool.  It’s not what I’m looking for, but, hey, too each his or her own.  However, maybe you don’t put on your profile that you’re looking for a long term relationship.  Maybe you choose the option that says “Hooking Up” or “Dating, but nothing serious.”  That way, neither of us waste our precious time!  Win, win.

That all being said, I have closed down my profile, and I could not feel more at peace.

Edit: This time around, I did not actually meet any of these “gentleman.” All of this was based on messaging, texting, and talking on the phone.

My Summer with NKOTB

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This summer, New Kids on the Block hit the road with Boys II Men and 98 Degrees to bring us The Package Tour, and WHAT a package it was. I was able to attend 2 of the stops on the tour: Los Angeles and Anaheim, with my friend and fellow Blockhead, Michelle. In all honesty, we had an amazing experience.

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First of all, I want to note that NKOTB still brings an amazing amount of energy to their shows. You can’t help but feel that when you’re a part of the audience. Genuine enthusiasm emanated from the stage the entire two hours that they played. For those who may have any doubts, yes, the vocals and dance moves are all still there—although, I’m thinking there are move pelvic thrusts, crotch grabbing, and showing off of the abs than there used to be. Vocally, Joey McIntyre still kills it on Please Don’t Go Girl, and Jordan Knight shines in I’ll Be Lovin’ You (Forever). Donnie Wahlberg gets into the act by rocking it during Cover Girl. One moment I particularly loved was when Jonathan Knight, who has been very honest about his issues with anxiety, shone during his solo in Survive You.

Second of all, they definitely seem to still love what they’re doing after 25 years. I left feeling as those these “Kids,” who are now men in their early to mid-40’s, could teach today’s young performers a thing or two about having passion on stage. Also, they seem to really understand the connection that exists between a band and their fans. They realize that the comeback they are experiencing would not have happened without the support of their fans, and the fans can see that.

Here is the set list from the tour, which was a mix of songs from their new album, 10, and old fan favorites.

We Own Tonight

Block Party

Summertime

The Right Stuff

The Whisper (blended with “Shout” at the end)

Survive You

Didn’t I Blow Your Mind

Valentine Girl

If You Go Away

Please Don’t Go Girl

Remix (I Like The)

Single

Baby I Believe In You

I Remember When (this seems to have replaced the previous two songs)

I’ll Be There

Tender Love

Click Click Click

Faith (George Michael Cover, Joey on lead vocals)

Kiss (Price Cover, Jordan on lead vocals), followed by short clip of Sexy and I Know It (LMFAO cover)

Hot In Here (Nelly cover)

Dirty Dancing

We Found Love (Rihanna cover, some shows only)

Step By Step

Cover Girl

Games (The guys film the crowd while Icona Pop’s “I Love It” plays)

Tonight I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)

Hangin’ Tough (with Dropkick Murphys’ “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” and Queen’s “We Will Rock You”)

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters to hit theaters this month!

If you’re a lover of YA literature, which I am, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about the month of August!  Not one, but TWO movies are coming out that are based on popular and addictive books. Percy Jackson:  Sea of Monsters and Mortal Instruments:  City of Bones are scheduled to be released this month–to the fangirl delight of millions worldwide.

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Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters is based on the second novel in Rick Riordan’s modern day Greek Mythology series.  Starring Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Douglas Smith, Brandon T. Smith, Stanley Tucci, and Nathan Fillion, the story follows Percy and his friends as they attempt to find the legendary Golden Fleece.  Camp Half Blood is in peril, and only the Golden Fleece can protect the demi-gods from various monsters intent on destroying them.  However, it turns out that one of their own may be leading the charge against them, which only serves to complicate their mission. 

Riordan’s series has delighted readers worldwide, and the first film did respectfully well at the box office.  From the trailers and leaked scenes, it seems like this one has nothing but potential.  Oh, and did I mention that Nathan Fillion (of Firefly and Castle fame) is playing the God Hermes?  That alone is reason to shell out $11 to see the film.  The cast has been busy promoting the film at Comic Con, advanced screenings, mall events, and so on…as if the fans needed any extra encouragement.

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The Mortal Instruments:  City of Bones, starring Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Kevin Zegers, Jonathan Rhys Myers, and Lena Headley, is based on the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series.  In this first installment, Clary Fray discovers that there is more to the world than she could have possibly imagined.  She learns that there are demons in the world, and the Nephilim, descendants of Angels, are charged with protecting “mundanes” from the evil the demons would spread.  Clary soon discovers that she may not be as mundane as she once believed.

As with the cast of Sea of Monsters, Clare and the cast have been pounding the pavement to promote the film.  Having attended book signings, Comic Con, mall events, etc, they have managed to make an already enthusiastic fan based salivate even more at the thought of this unique and amazing world coming to life.

Why I am For Marriage Equality

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The Supreme Court’s historic ruling, which overturned the law blocking federal recognition of same-sex marriages and all but struck down California’s Prop 8, has had me really thinking about why I am adamantly in favor of allowing same sex marriage. 

First of all, when it gets down to it, nowadays, marriage is more of a legal agreement and commitment between two people.  It essentially means things such as their finances are now one, their property is communal, etc.  They also have certain other rights, such as the ability to be on one another’s health insurance, visit in the hospital, and so on.  All of these things are extremely important, and, when you get down to it, they all have to do with the law and various legal rights. 

Many people want to believe that religion has a major role in marriage, but that is ONLY if people choose to have religion, and subsequently the church, enter into things.  However, this does not need to be the case.  I know of two different couples who got married by the Justice of the Peace in a courtroom. They never had a rabbi, priest, or any other person of the cloth marry them, and they never had a ceremony in a church, temple, or any other place of worship.  They did, however, have pretty awesome parties after the fact.  I would also like to point out that a church ceremony, in and of its self, does not officially marry you.  You must have obtained a marriage license from the courts first.  Therefore, religious beliefs simply cannot dictate something like marriage that is more closely tied in with laws than religion.

Since I mentioned religion, I would also like to point out here that this country has a very deliberate separation of Church and State that the Founding Fathers specifically put into place so that religion would not dictate the laws of our country.  Therefore, the religious beliefs that some people hold, and have a right to hold, do not get to influence our laws, no matter how much they would like them to.  Since there is no state sanction religion, no particular religion should have the right to determine what the laws of our nation will be.  As it is, within the same religion, many Christians do not agree on the issue of same sex marriage.  I know of some who are vehemently opposed and some who are strongly in favor.

Second of all, in this day in age, no one should be treated like a second class citizen, and that’s what we have been doing to gay people for far too long.  Why should two consenting adults be denied the rights I previously mentioned?  When you start denying one group of people rights that a majority of others have that is when you walk into the murky waters of discrimination, which is something our country has a sordid history of. 

Think about this:  there was a point in very recent history where we, as a country, told African-Americans and other people of color that they could not use the same bathrooms, water fountains, schools, etc as the rest of us could.  They were unfairly segregated and treated as an inferior minority.  That’s why we had the Civil Rights Movement.  Low and behold:  here we are again, wanting to tell one group of people that they are somehow inferior and not worthy of the same basic rights the rest of us enjoy.

Finally, I also do not believe that allowing same sex marriage is going to lead to things like state sanction polygamy, incestual marriages, man-animal marriages, or any like that.  To suggest such a thing is what they would call in a college level Logic class either 1) a logical fallacy, or 2) a leap of logic.  Allowing 2 people of the same sex is not like allowing the other things I mentioned.  No one who has argued for gay marriage has tried to suggest that marriage be opened to anyone and anything desired.  They have only argued that TWO CONSENT ADULTS be allowed to be married.  That.  Is.  All.

Our Celebrity Obsessed Culture

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Today, the film The Bling Ring, which stars Emma Watson and Leslie Mann and is based on the Vanity Fair article by Nancy Jo Sales, hits theaters nationwide.  It is based on the now infamous string of crimes dubbed The Bling Ring.  A group of teenagers staged several home invasions that targeted celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, and Orlando Bloom.  The robberies occurred back in 2010 and were a result of the teens, which included Nick Prugo, Rachel Lee, and Alexis Neiers seemingly being obsessed with all things celebrity.  They used information from the celebs own social networking accounts to determine when homes would be unoccupied, and then proceeded to steal the celebs personal possessions.  One of the many questions that Sales original article, which has since been expanded into a non-fiction book, and Sophia Copulla’s movie asks is what in our society has caused some people to become so fixated on the lives of celebrities and their own potential to possibly become a celebrity?

Social Media

Social Media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, have given fans unprecedented access to the lives of their favorite celebrities.  Celebs use these medias to connect with their fans, promote projects, and so on.  However, a downside may be that it can create a feeling of there being a relationship between fan and celeb that simply doesn’t exist.  The fact of the matter is, just because a celebrity like What Not to Wear’s Clinton Kelley or True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten replies or favorites my tweets does not make them my friend.  My, how I wish it did, but it does not.  Some fans may develop a tendency to read something into this that just isn’t there.  They may start to feel a connection with the celebrity that is, more or less, entirely one sided. 

Another downside of social media may also be that fans begin to feel that they have the right to know all about the private lives of our favorite celebrities.  While it can be argued that certain celebs, like Kim Kardashian, court this attention, many do prefer to keep their private lives private.  Unfortunately, fans have developed the idea that they deserve this information and have a right to it.  This can potentially lead to other issues, such as paparazzi’s stalking certain celebrities for that “money shot.”  It all goes back to that feeling of connection that develops when fans have such immediate virtual access to celebs.

Reality Television

Let’s face it:  reality television has made “celebrities” (and I use that term loosely) of people who arguably never deserved that kind of attention.  Like social media, it has served to make some people feel as though they have a front row seat to the lives of these reality television stars.  Again, the desire to know everything about these new breed of celebs can turn into an obsessive need to know everything about the celebs’ personal lives.  It turns in to a type of vicarious thrill. Sure, most fans do not take the extra step of breaking into their homes and stealing personal property.  However, it is also not particularly healthy that viewers are tuning in and giving the Kardashians, Real Housewives, etc an audience for their inanity.

It is also not healthy because it causes viewers to believe, perhaps rightfully, that they can become famous for essentially nothing, or, worse yet, seriously negative behavior!  Take the afore mentioned Bling Ring thieves.  Their names are now well known.  Neiers was the star of the E! reality show “Pretty Wild.” Was it because she had something to offer up to the world? Nope. Was she particularly talented? Not that I could tell (and I cannot believe I just admitted to having watched it). It was because she and her family were “characters.” I believe the only real claim to fame there was that Neier’s mother and friend had both posed for Playboy. Being on television undoubtedly fed into their negative behaviors and desire to be seen as “celebrities” in their own right. Once someone has that, it seems that it would be a very hard thing to give up.

Why New Kids on the Block Still Rock My World and Make Me Smile

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My name is Caitlin.  I am 32.  I still love New Kids on the Block.  The confessional part of this blog is now done.

My love of New Kids on the Block goes back to elementary school.  They were the first band I ever truly fell in love with on my own.  I remember trying to decide if I was more of a Joey Joe or Jordan girl.  At some point, I guess I must have decided on Jordan, because I remember that he was the one whose doll I owned.  I gave that doll a haircut, by the way, because I never could back Jordan’s hair tail.  I remember falling asleep upon my official New Kids on the Block sheets in the 4th grade.  Oh, and one of the best Christmas presents I ever received were the Step by Step and Hangin’ Tough VHS tapes! 

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In January of 1994, when I was 12 years old, my family bought our very first CD player, and I remember that the first CD I ever owned was New Kids on the Block’s Face the Music.  Admittedly, by this point, many of my peers had abandoned our beloved New Kids, which I thought was tragic. Nevertheless, I remained true to the Kids, and convinced by parents to allow me to attend my first concert ever:  It was the New Kids on the Block Face the Music tour at the Palace Theater in Los Angeles.   I. Was. In. Heaven.  I was surrounded by my people.  After the show, I drafted many a letter to Seventeen Magazine to try to convince them to stop making fun of my boys!  I argued that the crowd at the show PROVED they were still relevant.

Flash forward to 2010. The Kids were Men now, but they were back and rocking once more. Sadly, I had missed the previous tour for The Block for some reason that I cannot recall, and I’m sure I’d be ashamed of if I could. However, a friend of mine from High School won 10th row tickets to the NKOTBSB show at the Staples Center, and I begged to be her +1.  We had the most amazing time I think I have ever had at a concert before or since (sorry to all my musician friends….I’m just keeping it real here).  We danced as though we were back in the 5th grade again.  We shrieked and screamed our heads off during the show, and blasted the NKOTBSB CD in her car afterwards.  Ever since, we still recall that as one of the best nights either of us could ever remember having.

All this has gotten me wondering:  What is it about the music that still speaks to those of us who loved them decades ago?  Perhaps it reminds us of a time when we were younger, and things were simpler.  It could also be the infectious melodies and harmonies that we can’t help but sing along with—for me, it’s usually very loud, in my car, ignoring the looks I’m getting from others.  Also, I’m going to be honest:  they still make my heart melt.  I will say though, now that I’m older, I’m finding myself a Donnie girl, which is interesting.  I’m not sure what that says about me and a possible tendency towards bad boys.

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At any rate, I shall be with that very same friend who rocked out with me 3 years ago when NKOTB comes to the Staples Center July 5 for the Package Tourth.  My only regret is that I’m a broke public school teacher, so the Meet and Greet packages were a bit out of my reach.  However, I am choosing to believe that the dream I had last night, where I met all the boys—er, men—will one day come true!