Email? Viagra? Spam? Or What’s In Your Inbox These Days?

j0321185 I must have stumbled onto the wrong web site and posted a comment and left my email address because my inbox is filled with the most interesting and annoying subject lines these days.

I love it that I’ve not been on eHarmony for over a year and they still keep sending me mail saying that someone or another is interested.  I also get newsletters from them still.  The latest?  “Dating:  Why Age Is An Asset?” As if I really want to read the latest spin designed to make lonely old people like me feel like they really have a chance at this love thing so late in the game.  Okay, wait.  Maybe we do, but I’m not sure eHarmony’s the one to help me out with that.  Especially since, when I was paying them to set me up on dates, they kept matching me with people in places I couldn’t get to for a mid-week barbecue, let alone for a month long holiday.

Match.com is the same.  I took my profile down there and haven’t been active for nearly a year and I still get emails that say, “He’s interested in you!” or “Check your messages now before they are gone!” or “You’ve got mail!”  Big fat hairy deal.  The last few guys I met on there, while nice enough, turned out to be completely emotionally unavailable for one reason or another.

Those are the more normal subject lines in my emails.  Those and the ones from the college universities trying to tempt me to accumulate big debt in return for a piece of paper that allows me to put some letters behind my name in my email signature.  The bizarre ones are the ones that read like this:

Meet Wives For Affairs

or

Search for Cheating Wives

I am so not into that! 

The ones that crack me up are the ones that want me to try Viagra.  I am also, for obvious reasons, not into that.

I also have some fun stuff in my inbox too.

For example:

j0309694 Creative Ways to Make Pretty Cutout Cookies

Now there’s a new item to burn and mutilate with my penchant for culinary flair.

Crowd Pleasing Favorites: Holiday Casseroles

Yes, this I must look into but, again, you’ll be reading about the latest disaster here I’m sure.  I’ll try to remember to post pictures.

In all that stuff in my inbox today, I got this fun little thing from a new online acquaintance.  I don’t usually do these and post them on my blog, but I actually love answering questions like this.  The challenge is, of course, to answer them as truthfully as possible but as creatively as possible too.  I am not sure I met the creativity requirement but I had fun.

1. Have you ever thought it would be fun to jump on a train (as is slows down) and ride wherever it goes?

Only if the ride includes hot showers, meals and a roundtrip ticket with plenty of spending money on the journey.

2. Where would you like to go if you could go anywhere?

It used to be Australia.  I still want to go there, but that destination has been pushed down the list a bit.  I still want to go to somewhere in the south Pacific and stay in one of those over-the-water bungalows for, at least, two weeks.  I know that’s a honeymoon destination and since “honeymoon” isn’t happening to me anytime soon, if ever, then I’m probably just setting myself up for a whole host of feelings I don’t need to feel.  Even so, I still want to go, and I want to spend the time snorkeling, sunbathing, swimming, drinking, writing, and taking pictures…not necessarily in that order.

3. Have you ever thought of being a gypsy?

No, this one didn’t make my top five career choices.  Probably because gypsies (at least according to the folklore) have to be good at three things: dancing, singing and stealing.  I can do none of these things well.

4. Can you smile in the direst of situations?

I can.  I can even crack a joke in the direst of situations.  That doesn’t always go over so well. 

5. Do you like animals (of the 4 legged variety)?

Yes, yes I do.  While I would be content to have no pets, I ended up with three.  I have a dog which in spite of her lack of training is the best dog ever.  I’ve tried to get rid of her.  I can’t do it.  JPEG Image (14588)I won’t do it.  I need her to accompany me on my walks at night.  I recently acquired two cool cats rather unexpectedly and I am finding that I love these felines.  They are kittens and they are hysterical.  And my poor dog, she’s so sweet.  She is curious about them, but not adversarial.  She doesn’t fuss when they camp on her doggie bed.  The cats sleep around.  Sometimes they’ll be in my bed, sometimes in one of the kids’ beds.  Sometimes on the floor in front of the fire.  I could write several posts just about the antics of these beloved animals of mine. 

6. Do you like your job?

As opposed to what?  Not liking it or being independently wealthy and never having to work a day in my life?  I’ll let you figure out which one I’d really prefer.  But yes, as a “job” (I don’t see it as that, though), it is one of the best possible for me.  In fact, it was in my top five career choices. I do love it. 

7. If you could do anything for a ‘job’, what would it be?

Well, if I had to do anything else, I’d pick J.K. Rowling’s or any published successful author’s lot in life.  Crack out a few good books, get movie deals on the bunch and set myself and my kids up for life.  Till that happens, I’m keeping my other job!  😀

8. What type of music do you listen to the most?

During school year, during the week, silence whenever possible because I have so much constant noise in my day.  During the weekends, its a fairly eclectic mix of genres.  Mostly adult alternative though, or instrumental jazz and classical.

9. What is your favorite color?

Mostly blue (but only sapphire or periwinkle or navy).  I’m not a blue-green or turquoise kind of girl.  I like reds in the wine, merlot, burgundy tones too.

10. Do you believe that things happen for a reason?

Yes.  I’m not a big believer in “chance”.  I do think that some things appear to be chance but upon further investigation or maybe after the fact, it becomes apparent that things worked together for a larger purpose. 

 

11. When are you most productive (Morning, Day, Night)?

I’m least productive right after lunch and in the afternoons.  I’m most productive in the mornings or from 8-10 at night.

 

12. What would you be doing if you had nothing else to do?

I never have nothing else to do and am incredibly good at amusing myself, keeping my mind occupied and myself busy, but ifP6230019 I were to ever get to this place, I’d probably work on some improvement around the house, write a story or read a book…not in that order, of course…or go soak in the hot tub for a few and contemplate the future of the universe.

 

 

13. Would you consider yourself a positive person?

Yes, I tend to be hopeful and not a complainer.  I do have my down moments, but they never last long.  I am definitely not a happy clappy good morning person though.

14. Have you ever been in a play or done any acting?

Yes, yes I have.  I usually play the crazy lady, the shrew or some comedic role.  This is something I’d like to pick back up when my children are older.  Community theatre calls.

 

15. Are you in awe of the world around you?

I am.  I just had a conversation P6230057with a friend today whose sister-in-law is battling leukemia.  She was telling me of the bone marrow transplant her sister-in-law will need and of the struggles she’s encountered.  It doesn’t take much to realize what amazing knowledge and technology we have at our disposal these days.  It doesn’t take much to be inspired by the incredible spirit and determination of a mother fighting for her life and remaining positive through it all.  It doesn’t take much to be incredibly grateful for your own good health and all the many other things you so often take for granted after hearing stories like this.

16. Do you like to go on road trips?

Oh yes!  They are very fun!  But I don’t like them when I haven’t enough money and the car breaks down in the middle of the Arizona desert.  Yeah, it happened to me.  It wasn’t fun.  I had another occurrence where a moving van broke down on me in the middle of a California desert somewhere.  That wasn’t fun either.  But…read my bucket list.  I someday want to rent an R.V. and travel the U.S. Serious road trip!

17, Would you consider yourself an outdoorsy person?

Only in the summer.  In the winter…I am outdoorsy but only if I have enough of the right kind of clothes to keep me warm and a reliable 4×4!

18. How many siblings do you have?

This number is undetermined because the actual data on how many of said siblings are currently disowning me is uncertain.  Just kidding.  I have five. Three brothers, two sisters. 

19. What is your favorite time of the year?

There are two favorite times of the year for me.  The first is that last day of the school year when I lock my doors for the last time and head home for summer break. This is a wonderful time of year knowing that the next morning and the next and the next I am more in control of my time and schedule and can come and go as I please day after day after day. It is the most wonderful feeling.

The other time of the year is autumn, early to mid-October, before Halloween.  This is the time of the year when the leaves are turning their brightest colors and the cold weather is threatening every morning and evening but is still a few weeks off.  I love this time of year. 

20. What time is it right now??

It is time for me to finish this post and head to bed.  10:14 p.m.  I do still have to work tomorrow and my cough seems to be returning and the body aches as well.  I need my rest.  I can’t afford the luxury and certainly don’t want to be sick again right before or during the holidays.

 

83607-YuleLog I’ve told you what is in my inbox that I find annoying, irritating or interesting.  I shared my response to a fun invitation to dialogue that ended up in my inbox.  I haven’t shared what I’d really like to find in my inbox. 

Here it is:

Because it is that time of year, and because temperatures in my area are creating no small amount of concern about freezing pipes and chilly atmospheres, I am thinking that what The Wild Mind needs is a nice, solid, long burning Yule Log for her fireplace.

What’s in your inbox these days?  What(Who) do you wish you’d find there?

Match Games

I’ve admitted before that I used to be an online dating junkie of sorts.  I was.  Note the use of the past tense here.  Shortly before my divorce was final and for some months after it was final, I decided, out of boredom and curiosity, to find out if dating in 40+ World was as dismal as I’d always thoguht it would be and as horrifying as I heard it was. 

It was both as bad as I thought and the horror stories were real.  I did meet many of what I call NGBs (Nice Guys, But….).  I met many men who were real jerks and after about a year of this exhausting, disappointing and discouraging routine, I gave it up.  That was sometime last summer.  I took my profiles down and cancelled all memberships and took the summer off.

Sometime around August, near the end of August, I decided to put my profile up on a free site, just out of curiosity.  I also put my profile up and paid for one month at my favorite paid dating site (NOT eHarmony –villains!).  I do not know why I did this.  It was just as I was heading back to school for the fall and the worst possible time for me to even think about dating.  Well, I got enough interest from decent people this time around to last me for six more months of something to do besides be alone on the weekends when my kids are at their dads.  During this time I actually had two almost relationships, meaning they started out great and almost took off, but didn’t.   I recently took my profiles down off all sites after The Beau mentioned he wanted to date exclusively.  I was okay with this anyway since I was pretty much tired of the whole  Online Meetup thing anyway.   Now that The Beau made his grand exit, I am not going to go restore my profiles.  At least, I didn’t think I would.

Friday, night, my daughter and I spent the night together.  She had taken a few minutes and was playing with her toys in her room and I was checking out my blog stats and emails  from all three of my admiring fans.  My phone buzzed.  I noted a text from my friend and colleague, a 36 y.o. single mother of two. 

“I just checked my Yahoo account and the father of one of my students is one of my matches,” the text read.

“Cool!” I texted back.  It took me hours to get that much texted. Before I could hit send she pinged me back with “He’s really hot and very nice too.  His son was in my class last year too.” 

“Really, cool.  Here’s one you should check out on Match.”  I told her and gave her the username of someone I knew who I think is totally hot.  Sadly, he lives too far away.  She looked him up and texted me back, “LOL!! He’s got 4 children! Shouldn’t already be out?” 

“Nope.  The kids are the easy part,” I clumsily texted back.  Before I could hit “send” on that message, she was texting me back with “The parent is on Match.  Look up his user.”  She gave me his user and School Dad was indeed cute.  I suggested she get our mutual friend who happens to be this guy’s neighbor to introduce us. 

“LMAO!  Threesome, nice!” she responded. Then she texted me back saying “Oh my you have to go look up ______________!”  and she gave me another user to look up. 

“Why?”  I texted back.

“Because he’s HOT!” she texted me. 

Now, I really did not want to go on Match and begin looking.  I’d only gone there to look at the one profile a friend of mine had asked me to check out for him as he began his dating adventures.  He’s hot!  If he doesn’t get great dates with lots of pretty 30-something’s there is just something wrong with female America.  But still, I was a bit of a junkie and curiosity got the best of me. 

It was at this point I texted her back saying, ” Okay, I’ll play.  But we have to both agree to blog about the experience afterward.”

“Deal” came the lightning fast response.  I pulled up the user name of the guy she gave me and there was a man in his mid 50’s with a mowhawk and tattoos head to toe.  He looked a bit like Ray Bradbury’s Illustrated Man.  I choked on my wine as his profile loaded.  Surprisingly, the man was very well written and apparently had two degrees in Art and History. 

“Well, the Mohawk guy at least had the sense enough to get someone to write his profile for him,”  I quipped.  I did a quick search for men ages 39-49 in our area.  Sixteen measly pages loaded.  I texted her about it.  “I bet I’ve dated them all too,”  I added. Scrolling quickly through them I noted that I had indeed either dated most of the men or decided against dating them.  I then sent her the name of someone whose picture seriously looked like George Clooney, Jr.  and whose highest age for a match was 42, effectively cancelling me out. 

“He’s way HOT!”  she texted me.  Then she sent me the name of another candidate, once again far too young for me but just right for her.  We went at it like this for about ten minutes with her getting off ten texts to my feeble one.  Then I got a swift idea.  “Hey!”  I texted.  “Give me a random Portland zip code”.  She did.  I searched within 75 miles of the zip code using the same ages I’d used for my local area.  32+ pages loaded.  I groaned.   I texted her my results. 

“LMAO!”  came the reply.

“LMAO?  It’s not funny!  I’m living in the freaking wrong part of the state!”

“ROFLMAO!”  was all she texted back.

I scrolled through about 4 pages of wonderfully available and attractive, professional, well-written, educated, well-adjusted, non-redneck men, just my age and finally just gave up.  It was torture.

A few minutes later, my fun search texting whatever banter with my friend ended as she had to deal with her kids and I, now completely depressed about the likelihood of romance ever striking in my podunk neck of the woods, had to go have fun with my own daughter.

The next morning I got up and, as though possessed by demons, I created a profile on Match, but did not subscribe.  Why did I do this?  Stupid, foolish, woman that I am!

This morning, I checked my email and in less than 24 hours I have 40 views, 7 messages and some number of winks.  I logged on to Match and, of course, since I am not a subscriber I cannot see who emailed me but I can view the profiles of those who simply winked.  I now really like it when men wink!  Match has a design flaw here.  They should let you at least see who messaged you, but not see what they said.  It might make us desperate sorts feel even more desperate and then we’ll part with our hard earned cash and subscribe. 

Not me though.  I’d have to wait till payday anyway and judging from the winks I got, there’s just nothing new in my hometown.   I really am so living in the wrong place right now at least where romance is concerned.  Doesn’t anybody out there listen to something besides the Jugg Sisters and the Stetson Brothers?  Oh, and you’ll love this.  Turns out Mohawk Man, you know, the Illustrated Man, is one of the ones who winked at me.  Wait till my friend gets wind of that!!!!!

Online Dating? Proceed! But With Caution.

I first started online dating over a year ago before my divorce was even final.  Well, my final hearing was set for the last week of November and I think I put my first profile up sometime in October.  I did this mostly as a distraction.  The final days spent counting down till you are legally, officially and finally divorced can be a bit stressful.

I started out on Cupid.com, stayed there a month then switched over to Match.com where I was on for a few months.  Of course, I tried eHarmoney for three months (was completely disappointed and felt thoroughly ripped off) and then I went to a free dating site, where I’ve had my profile up off and on over the last six months or so.  I did take about a three month break over the summer. 

I’ve had a good amount of success on each dating site I’ve been on.  I attribute this to a decent picture and a well written profile…mostly to a decent picture.  I haven’t lacked for dates and I’ve met some really wonderful people along the way.  I haven’t met Mr. Right, yet, but that doesn’t mean the dating sites have failed.  It just means that the person who fits me best hasn’t crossed my path quite yet.  But, like I said, I have met some really wonderful people and made some good friends.  

I’ve learned some things to do and not to do along the way.  More about that later in another post.  What I want to share today, I stumbled over in my typical fashion.  I started out reading one of my favorite blogs on my blogroll, clicked on a blog link from their blogroll, clicked on another link from that blog and so until I ended up here at the blog of The Fraud Czar.

If you are at all into online dating.  You might want to check this out.  It is written by Jacob Solorotoff and he was/is head of Match.com’s fraud prevention efforts.  While I’ve never experienced the kind of thing The Fraud Czar mentions, I think it is important for people to be aware of what goes on.

Like I said, when I was doing the online dating sites, I got a lot of interest and a lot of mail.  I quickly learned that I couldn’t possibly respond to all the mail I received so I had to have one way of sifting.  I early on decided that I would not respond to anyone without what I considered a reasonable picture.  I also would not engage in conversation with anyone who couldn’t communicate well in print. 

I think this second self imposed screen may have saved me a great deal of time and angst.  Of course, since my demographics don’t add up to me being a real great candidate for a scam, I’m probably pretty safe too.  Even so, it is good to move carefully and cautiously in the world of online dating.