Tag Archives: favouritethings

Just Ctrl C Ctrl V (part 2)

I’ve recently described the phenomenon of the well-crafted generic message that is posted to hundreds of girls at once, equivalent to flyering your neighbourhood with valentine’s cards.

There are many different approaches to constructing these messages, and I would like to highlight some of them.

Speaking to a large group of people yet achieving that everyone in the crowd feels uniquely addressed is a form of art, and a skill honed in expensive management classes and nights down the corner pub. One strategy that I previously discussed, is to keep the message very short and concise. This will intrigue the reader and make them hunger for more.

Today I will share a message with you that followed quite the opposite approach. The writer decided to reveal everything, and draw me in with full, honest disclosure. He discusses his employment details, his goals in life, his hopes for our relationship, and his medical history. He also alludes to sexual preferences. All in all, a self-summary that could not be more open. What else could a girl want?

But read for yourself.

Example B:

I am Egyptian man I work a lawyer and I have 25 years love life simple hope that Atovq through this site to find a Wife is shared by my life in the future and had a children and live in peace and I am open-minded and it is not none other bad, to search for Wife by sites the net and I hope you understand me

I’m good-hearted man looking for love do not look for the shape I’m looking for a good heart and a sense of fulfillment I am sincere and I hope to get to know a lot about you and your love of your life and future .. Surely I do not know what is possible in the future I am, a pair for you.
Obviously, you are so beautiful white heart Ok I’m raring to get to know you.
Do not leave me

I want to marry you, I did not unprotected sex never in my life I really need to get married and wish to marry a foreign girl Do you agree, and I admitted I did not never unprotected sex with any girl in my life

Full message, no edits. Life is that good.

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Deciding Between Two Men

Remember how I went out with N.? How it was all lovely and picture-perfect, but neither of us really felt a spark? Well, seeing as we’re nearing our one-year anniversary of that date (and haven’t really been in touch since) we decided to repeat last year’s performance and go to the same outdoor festival. Now, I’m still not really in the market for dates, but this seemed to be more a reminiscent outing than anything else- we had a fun time watching a movie last year, so why not do it again.

The organisation was very simple- after all, we’d done this date before. The only apparent problem was that on the day of the festival, it was raining like mad (what with it being August in London and all), and I couldn’t really see us sitting outside on the ground, huddling in the downpour, trying to keep the mud from seeping into our mats and blankets, all while balancing umbrellas,  trying to see the screen and eating sushi. I guess you can see my priorities here.

Either way, I proposed what I thought of as an excellent alternative to outdoor cinema: Prom 55. It has the same picknick+culture spirit as the original plan, but instead of in the rain, we’d sit in the Royal Albert Hall. I love opera, I love Handel, I love Handel operas- I was already completely sold on the idea. In a quick text, my date agreed and we settled where and when we’d meet.

I spent half the afternoon researching Rinaldo, reading synopsis and interpretations and pre-listening to important arias online. I was positively giddy when I arrived at our meeting point. Also because I was curious to meet N. again. But yeah, mostly for meeting R.

Our preprom queue banter quickly showed that N. hadn’t even realised he was going to a partially staged opera performance instead of an orchestral concert. His face twitched slightly when he asked “Oh, with singing and everything?”- which should have warned me. However, I was in my own little bubble of enthusiasm and just replied “Yes, it’s going to be amazing!” instead of picking up on his scepticism.

We got gallery tickets, and found space to sit near the bannisters about in the middle of the gallery. Excellent promming! We could see the entire stage, albeit through “prison bars” as my date charmingly put it, and I got even more excited.

I was enthralled from the first notes of the ouverture (go listen to it here). Prom 55 was the Glyndebourne 2011 production of R. by Georg Friedrich Handel, where the crusade age plot is reimagined as a revenge-fuelled school boy’s dream after he’s been bullied one time too many. Seeing as the original baroque opera’s plot is confusing at best, and racially, sexistically and religiously insensitive and bigotted at worst, I thought this was a clever choice(although on a whole the “transported in modern time through one thing or other” strategy isn’t my favourite staging tool) and overall for me, the transformation into a teenage fantasy worked for me.

Sadistic teachers, wise teachers, mean girls, luring synchronised swimmers, armies of bicycle riders and football playing boys- R. filled his dream with some too-well-loved stereotypes and cliches along with some very bright ideas. While the latex-clad Armida as teacher with cane and posse of St Trinian lookalikes felt a bit heavy-handed for me, I found the reimagining of the final battle scene of christians and muslims as a slow-motion football game that ended with R. scoring into the orchestra simply ingenious.

The orchestra of enlightenment was fantastic, and although I wasn’t entirely convinced by his harpsichord solos, I really liked Ottavio Dantone’s musical direction. The singers were spirited and lively, with Sonia Prina’s title role a special treat.

You can tell, I adored it from the first minute. Poor N. really didn’t. He hadn’t read the plot beforehand, and my hastily whispered 45 second introduction to a story along the lines of  “…and then A dresses up as B and her lover C falls in love with her in costume, so she plots revenge together with B’s lover D, who she has imprisoned earlier. Oh, and she’s a witch!” didn’t really enlighten him either.

The prom performance was not supertitled like most other foreign language opera performances (a decision I don’t understand), N. thus had hardly any chance to understand what was going on for the next two-and-a-half hours.We discussed our experiences in the first interval, and it became clear he had resigned to just listening and ignoring the plot completely. And although he was too polite to explicitly state it, it was quite obvious that baroque opera was not the music he would usually choose to listen to for an evening while sitting on the linoleum covered floor amidst a bunch of opera-fanatic strangers.

This essentially gave me a choice to either a) be a very nice person, suggest to leave during the interval and get some drinks instead and spend some more quality time with X. or b) resist the social clues, stay for the rest of the opera and spend some more quality time with R.

I went with b). Because I truly fell in love with R. I’ve been obsessively listening to the recording over and over again in the past days. I’ve imagined our future, how I’ll buy the DVD when it comes out and how I’m going to go to all future Glyndebourne proms. I couldn’t wait to tell my friends, and just writing it down now makes me smile.

N. took it very gracefully, and I promised him non-operatic drinks next week.

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The Other Side of the Fence

Someone asked me whether I was really always the one being asked out, always the one doing the picking, choosing and ditching.

In short: No.

But the main purpose of this blog was to entertain and spark some debate, and that’s easier to achieve (I think) with anecdotes of dates that I actually went on, than with the story of me waiting desperately for that one phonecall/text/facebook message from that one person. Which is a true story.

Yes, I get asked out, but not always by the right people, hence the funny anecdotes. And sometimes I wish I had the guts to ask someone out, but I don’t dare to or get really clear “don’t even bother” signals.

So really, I spend about half of my time on the other side of the fence. But this blog isn’t meant to be about emotional turmoil, but rather about social conventions regarding emotional turmoil, and so the stories are skewed in that direction.

That said, I did get asked out recently. Stay tuned.

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…My Favourite Things

Several of my friends have commented on how in this blog I seem to focus on the negative aspects of dating and on things that went wrong, even though I obviously enjoy it enough to keep going out with people. I can partly explain this bias by the fact that this is not meant as an exhaustive log of my love life, but rather as a creative outlet with the theme of dating. As rule violations give more food for thought than when everything is going smoothly, I find myself sticking to those. Also it is much easier to make entertaining stories out of bad dates, than out of good ones. I also want to avoid sounding too cheesy or starry-eyed.

Anyway, there’s always trying, so I’m going to give it a go and analyse “my favourite things”. These are like the counterpart to dealbreakers,  all the little features that turn a date from so-so to interesting (or from total disaster to ok).

I went out with a guy I had met online. We had exchanged the obligatory friendly messages vetting each other for obvious flaws, and upon not finding any agreed to meet in a pub. We had a few drinks, talked about current affairs, the golden era of Russian literature and particle physics, or whatever else came to the mind. Ok, I have no idea what we talked about. It wasn’t a horrible date, but not really much to write home or blog posts about either.

We left the pub, and on exiting I saw that he was wearing his sweater backwards. I had previously thought it was a crewneck, but there was a definite V-neckline in the back, showing that he was wearing it back-to-front. I pointed this out to him, and after checking the front of his sweater (and finding a tag) he replied, completely deadpan, “No, I’m not wearing it backwards.”. I didn’t want to insist, and he repeated firmly but with a slight grin “I think this is how it’s supposed to be worn.”. Then we just broke out in laughter.

It is really hard to explain, but somehow this random moment felt much more intimate than the three hours of conversation beforehand. He seemed to have picked up on it, because the short message I received afterwards referred to only two things: our fight about spearmint vs. peppermint gum (urm, I mean Dostoyevsky vs. Tolstoy) and the fact that backward sweaters were almost certainly becoming a hype for autumn/winter 2010.

I can’t really draw a rule from this or even sum it up clearly, but showing a little vulnerability or imperfection and glossing over it with charm and humour certainly is a good thing in my books.

So there it goes, a positive dating story. However, I still didn’t go on a second date with him. Although the message was cute, the date in itself was just too uninspiring.

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