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A deep breath

23 Aug

Over the time that I’ve kept this blog, I’ve thought hard about dating, particularly in terms of its strategies and aftermath, and I’ve been able to distill my conclusions into a series of rules. Actually, I’ve thought about assembling them into a pamphlet and maybe handing them out to people who are even more romantically hapless than I am (on the rationale that sometimes you can learn more from serial failures than unqualified successes), but that’s a plan for later. In the meantime, ere is another rule about internet dating. Maybe it is too specific to my situation in order to be generally useful, but I’m including it anyway:

If you have a blog about internet dating, do not tell people you used to date that you have a blog about internet dating. This rule is especially true if you intend to blog about those people.

I have only about five or six people left to talk about. No doubt it has seemed as though there has been an unending stream of cyber-lady for me to wade through, occasionally stumbling and faceplanting, so that I can later come here and tell you about it. Actually, the sheer volume of romantic interaction has led a few people, strangers even*, to question the veracity of my accounts, as though it were not possible for me to have gone on so many dates in such a short period. Please bear in mind that the two factors involved here are the internet, which has an unlimited capacity for what I will obliquely call romance, and me, who has an unlimited capacity for failure. As unbelievable as it might seem, I haven’t even talked about all the dates I went on during this period. Some of them I don’t remember well enough to write about. Some of them just didn’t make very good stories. For every two people I’ve talked about here, there’s another who dropped off the radar. But of those five or six people, at least three and maybe four read this blog.

I am terrified.

Somehow I thought that it’d never get to this point. I just assumed that no one would read this, or that I’d get sick of it, or that it’d just peter out before I ended up backed against this particular wall.

It’s not that they are unaware of what I might potentially have to say. They were there, and so was I. It’s that disagreements over interpretation or differences in memory might lead to . . . um . . . well, I don’t know, really. Badness, let’s say. To use an analogy, it’s one thing to idly browse celebrity pictures in a tabloid while you’re waiting for the cashier to ring up your Funyuns, and it’s another entirely to deal with the paparazzi in a supermarket, only later to see your unflattering portrait (you, in sweatpants, holding a bag of Funyuns) appear in a cheap rag along with a similarly unflattering analysis of what that bag of snacks might be doing to your complexion.

What I’m saying is that they might get mad at me. Sometimes they get mad at me when they read what I have to say about other people, because they project themselves into the roles occupied by other people. Generally, I respond to that with an exasperated “I’m not talking about you.” Unfortunately for me, that no longer applies.

The people I have left to talk about, in roughly chronological order, are the girl from Columbus who almost wrecked her car, the girl from Kentucky who successfully wrecked her car, the girl from Tennessee who I scared away, the girl from Dayton who scared me away, the girl from Philadelphia who forgot to tell me she’d dumped me, and the girl from Cincinnati who I pushed away.

Well, here goes.

*I’m not on the twitter. A friend of mine—the most intimidating of the terrifying three or four readers, actually—mentioned a while ago that some tweetist cast aspersions on this blog. Apparently she’s a big deal in the Cincinnati twitter scene, which is a bit like being a big deal in the kiddie pool at Hilton Head, somewhere you can look out on the ocean and have some dim, toddler impression of the vastness of it. I asked my friend to “tell that twitterbitch to cram it in her tweet-hole.”

 
 

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  1. LOL

    August 23, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    This probably won’t count for much since I’m just Another Anonymous Person From the Internet, but I can vouch that everything Dan has typed here has actually happened. I know, because I heard about (almost) all these incidents right after they occurred.

    I’ve known Dan for more than a decade, and I can also attest to the inexplicable lifelong string of ridiculous occurrences which befall him. Basically, Dan’s biggest tragedy is that he HAS no big tragedy. Just a lot of little, silly ones.

    Cincinnati has a Twitter scene? Really? You’ll have to give me the details about that one personally sometime. Google ain’t turning up shit.

     
  2. Kate

    August 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Wait, you dated a girl from Philly? How did I not know this?

     
  3. *L*

    August 30, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Well, look at it this way, you *do* have a disclaimer on the website that some names have been changed, presumably to protect the innocent (or yourself from the not-so-innocent). If they want their version of the stories heard, they have a solid right to start their own blog. These are simply stories told from experiences on your end, through your eyes and interpretation – which is, by the way, goddamn funny and very entertaining.

    I certainly hope these discoveries by certain characters in your stories don’t impact how you write the new ones in the future. Personally, I always look forward to reading them. You’re a very gifted writer.

     
  4. Trixie

    September 1, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    I have to agree with *L*, you are a funny, talented writer which is why I always look forward to your updates. I know that it can be hard to hear what someone REALLY thinks of you, but I fail to see the merit in getting mad at someone because they have a different perspective than one’s own. Please don’t let misgivings influence how you tell the stories to come. You have remained dedicated to telling it how it happened, and you owe that much to your readers and yourself, like it or not :P

     
  5. Dan

    September 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I don’t really know much about the Twitter scene. I heard about it from Laura and Maria, so probably you could ask them. There are “tweet-ups,” I guess?

    You know the awkwardness that happens when two people from the internet meet each other? for the first time? Imagine a cocktail party made entirely of that.

     
  6. Dan

    September 2, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    I guess I didn’t tell you about it at the time. :) She moved to Cincinnati. I think she still lives here? I’m not sure.

    I ran into her at the Southgate house about a year ago, but we didn’t speak.

     
  7. Dan

    September 2, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    I do have a disclaimer. And, as we all know, disclaimers are universally effective at stopping your friends from hating you. :)

    Really, I’m comfortable with plenty of the subjects of my stories being crabby with me, since they’re mostly irrelevant to my life and they’ve completely earned the stories I tell about them. It’s just that crabbiness from my new subjects will, by and large, be more inconvenient.

    And thanks for the compliments. I’m trying to sell some short stories right now to people who will actually pay me for them. I’ll let everyone here know if that works out.

     
  8. Dan

    September 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I try not to let it influence the actual writing. I just cringe at the aftermath. :)

    Thanks for reading and for the encouragement. I’ll have the beginning of the story up in the next couple of days. If it’s at all reassuring, the delay isn’t because of any existential crises. It’s because I’ve been traveling for the last week, and I won’t be home until next week.

    Apparently, I am handsome and popular?

     
  9. *L*

    September 4, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    The short stories news is good to hear, it takes some serious brass cojones to go after doing what you love.

    And to paraphrase an old film classic, don’t break ‘em for nobody. ;-)

     
  10. Dan

    September 5, 2011 at 1:32 am

    Thanks. I appreciate it.

    I don’t have great hopes, but being actually paid for writing something would have a pleasant novelty to it.