The Pros of Online Dating

Online dating would look like it’s a horrible idea if you rely solely on my blog, and yet,  I still do it.  Well, I’m off again, but that’s another post one day. Truthfully, there has been a decent amount of personal growth for me through online dating.

Found my funny bone. 

Yes, I finally found the funny.  It can be entertaining to see what some men think is acceptable behavior.  I mean, just a suggestion, treat women like you would treat a co-worker until you meet in person and actually catch her vibe.  I mean, maybe she wants to be your fantasy, but it won’t happen if you offend her first.  And it’s a common request to get a selfie or two, but I’m going to assume you know your way around Instagram or Facebook enough to make me think you’re looking for free porn in a picture.  After my last request, that duck lip pose I always thought was silly is never going to be as innocent and stupid as I thought it was.  Just don’t ask for selfies.  Find them.  Stalk me in the way I want the world to.

There is value in meaningful communication.

Communication is best in person because there are nuanced microexpressions and body language you pick up on but don’t give voice to.  This is why psychotherapy only works in person with an exception made for occasional phone calls.  Human interaction requires humans to interact.  The point of meeting online is to get offline.

Something that I struggled with is my old fashioned sensibilities that never translate.  I mean, if you know someone’s sleeping patterns well enough to have no doubts when they’ll be up, it’s fine.  You are past that “getting to know you” phase.  I grew up knowing you don’t call too early or too late.  I typically wouldn’t call before 9 or 10 on weekends or after 10 at night, but that rule goes right out the window when you’re grown folks on cell phones.  This is not a bonus for you when I’m a light sleeper with my phone on in case my kids need me (they sometimes call when they can’t sleep at Dad’s) and you’re waking me up really late.  Those early morning texts, or late night (horny) texts annoy me more than endear me to you.

In the early days, I responded to every single solicitation for my attention.  It became exhausting, and taught me that I really am shallow and if I’m not attracted to a picture, the conversation really won’t matter.  I started to ignore people.

Yes, I’ve ghosted a person.  I won’t do it again.

At the end of one of my earliest relationships, I ghosted him.  We had a conversation that ended in a friendly way.  He was getting ready to fly out on a trip and we were making plans for when he returned home and I blocked him.  It was easier to be a chicken and not face my own feelings and just walk away. I didn’t explain that I liked him more than I was comfortable with because I couldn’t see a future with him in it.  I decided for us that we were done, repeating what was done to me in my marriage and ignoring the devastation I was inflicting, and knew too well.  I walked away, letting him figure out that I wasn’t interested because I couldn’t act like a grown ass woman and tell him.  A few months later, he called me from a number I didn’t recognize and I answered his call.  That felt worse.  As much as I wanted to cover my cowardice in the audacity of his actions, I was wrong.  He’s beautiful and tenacious, but he’s not the one for me.  Owning up to that and talking to him was hard, but the better choice.  He’s a really great guy.  Just not mine.

New friendships formed.

I have had a few meetings online that stayed online.  One man shared some of his secrets with me.  It wasn’t in his secrets but the way they made him who he is today that helped me decide we weren’t the right fit.   I’ve met a few of these.  Great pictures.  Interesting bios, but things weren’t going to work out.  They make good friends and I even help out with their dating profiles and offer advice until they keep talking about wanting sex and I stop encouraging a conversation.  I was talking to him as a friend Wednesday night when I had accepted a date from someone else.  We’re friends, and I’m not lying to anyone, so I told him about the date.  He told me not to overthink it and have fun.  I told him to get out of that self inflicted texting purgatory most dates eliminate themselves with.

I got home from the date feeling like it wasn’t a right fit.  I was almost laughing at how badly the conversation went, taking ownership of the fact that I wasn’t encouraging it at all and ignoring the fact that I was probably PMSing and he was suffering for it.

The next day, this same date was asking me out again, and another young man that had become a friend gave me a nudge.  He said I was too young and beautiful to not embrace having fun, and he pointed out that I made up my mind just like I had about his age (27 is too young).  He was right.  I went out with a determination to just have fun.  And I did.  He was right.

Too many choices and it was time to make one.

Online dating offers way too many options.  When I started my OKCupid profile last time, I received about a hundred likes a day.  That rate drops off after a while, and once it did, I received about 3 to 5 new emails a day.  Finding someone spontaneous enough to meet on my first kid free day was rare.  Especially if his first response wasn’t “sex tonight.” (No.  Just no.) This week alone, I was carrying on about 1o different conversations.  At one point it was 5 conversations at once.  I thought I couldn’t multitask, but I’m learning.  I think I liked the challenge of that more than the men.

New Year, new me, right? Only, transformation is an intentional moment to moment process.  I get to notice what I’m doing and decide how I want to show up differently. I decided to let go of the men I knew I didn’t want to keep around.  These were men that were texting and talking and keeping me company through my phone.  I realized it didn’t matter who was my first good morning text, my last good night text, or the sexy random moments of thoughtfulness texts throughout my day.  If you are the person on my mind, even without your attention, then you are the person that matters and it was time to let go of the chaff and let the wheat fall and do terrible things to my belly.  I started responding to their greetings with letting them go.   Here, I lied.  Some men needed to hear it was me.  Some needed to hear it was someone else.  In this, I did my best to offer what they needed to hear, and only one was told it was because I didn’t trust that he wasn’t catfishing me.

Owning up to my choices because the right choice is rarely the easy one.

Letting a man know you’re letting him go can be a mixed bag.  There are the ones that move on easily.  Those made me wonder if I should have held on because of his strength or if I ever mattered because of his nonchalance.  Curiosity is not a change of heart. There are those willing to fight for me.  They beg and plead and make me feel bad that I didn’t want to share a relationship with the same intensity that they were after.  Then there are some I’m happy to keep in friendship because that was the natural progression we were heading toward anyway. When you have 8 or 9 men offering you their attention but not their physical presence, you take it for granted that these are people, but I never really considered that these superficial interactions meant something to them.

I’ve told you, I’m not always nice, right?

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Online Dating and Younger Men: Cougar Madness

I’m comfortable with dating older men.  I love the softer look of salt and pepper hair, with gentle laugh lines around their eyes.  I don’t mind hairlines that step back or heads that are bald.  It’s a look I love.  I love natural hair.  Younger men are all about manscaping and I just don’t get it.

Unfortunately, most of the men my age that I meet online think I’m much younger, because in reality, for a lot of men my age, I’m just too old for them.

I’m often approached by younger men.  Men that are about 20 or 22 accept that I don’t date younger men.  They accept my answer and move on.  There are plenty of other women that would love the attention.

Christmas night I was hit with the realization that I wasn’t fully embracing the celebration.  I was sober all of Thanksgiving.  I’m not much of a drinker.  I was sober with my sister while making tamales in Torrance on Friday.  I was sober Saturday with family while I was driving my kids around.  Sunday I was primarily sober.  I went to a friend’s house and had a Smirnoff Ice with dinner, because I was driving home and I love my car.  Sunday night, I decided to have that Hot Buttered Rum I kept putting off.  I was sipping, crocheting a blanket and swiping on dating apps.  It sounds pathetic, but I was in a really happy place.  I had forgotten how much I loved making blankets and scarves until I watched my sister knitting beautiful blankets on Friday.  (I’m telling her she should sell them.  Wait for that shameless plug if she ever decides to.)

Sunday night there was a man 10 years my junior that wouldn’t accept my no.  After 25, they get a little ballsy.  They know what they want and understand persistence.  We talked a bit.

The next morning I was waiting for my ex to call to tell me to come get the boys.  I told him I’d come when the kids were up.  This 28 year old said good morning and asked me to join him for coffee.  I agreed.  Just like that. We met in Pasadena and ended up talking up until I got a call saying it was time to get my kids.  His cappuccino was gone and my blonde roast coffee was cold.

On Friday when I met someone else for coffee, we talked about life, work, careers, and divorce.  It’s something we both knew too much about.  We talked about Landmark and MITT.  We laughed and I really enjoyed his company.  We parted with a hug and I knew I would probably never see him again. There wasn’t a spark or even a longing for more than a hug.

Monday morning I arrived first and was surprised to see us driving the same car when he pulled in.  He paid for my coffee and our conversation kept drifting in all sorts of ways through life, careers, and world travel.  He comes from the middle east and he’s making the American Dream his, while caring for his parents.  For just long enough, I was able to ignore the math when thinking about how old he was when I gave birth to my firstborn 15 years ago.  I was able to ignore how creepy that felt.  We parted ways and I felt like I might be open to another date.

As the day became night and into today, the conversation is still flowing and I keep getting this instinctual gut punch that says no.  I’m still swiping and there is another man that is coming out to LA from the east coast at the end of the month.  I can already tell I’ll never meet him, but I can enjoy this for what it is.  He’s 27.  He has the emotional depth that I outgrew many years ago.

Both of them stand out from older men already.  It’s not the looks.  They’re handsome, but so are older men.  They’re sexual, and interested, but so are older men.  What sets them apart is how much I can’t connect with them.  I’m a straight shooter.  They reciprocate that.  They are looking to race into something and define it quickly.  They are trying to nail down my commitment to their superficial needs.  They want it physical and don’t know how to slow down from the need that drives them.  They want to see if we’ll be friends, and do I expect more of a relationship.  No matter how much I try to explain it, I can’t quite get them to understand that no woman wants to be treated like a discount hooker.

You get older and it’s more than physical needs. Both men and women need someone that understands and connects intellectually and emotionally.  One night of fun is one thing, but the person they want to share their mornings with needs to understand and support them and the younger men don’t seem to know how to be comfortable in exploring their passions outside of bed with me. The road map I follow means we linger for a long while in an intellectual bliss before I’m ready to move on from there.  I know what I’m capable of and it’s not a theory I need to test out at every opportunity.

Unfortunately, this same need in older men means they want to hold me down and claim me as a wife before we’ve ever met in person. That feels just as crazy and bad.  The older men are looking for a partner.  They understand when I need to step away to be a mother.  That might also just be the men.  I spent Christmas night with three grown men that were very hands on with their children and other’s children in a way that I needed to see.  It was so healing and hopeful to see these men feed and put those babies to sleep.  They parented their children and were willing to be chased and tickle, and horseplay.  It was far from the childhood my boys had and I went home so moved.  Maybe slightly tearful.  I get to find that one day.

The younger men don’t understand and their impatience stands out.  They ask if I like games like truth or dare, or if I would play video games with them. They don’t understand when I explain I don’t watch a lot of television or movies because I grew up with far less screen time than they did.  I don’t get bored without a television or movie on.  I can be content with a pen and paper or yarn and a crochet hook.  Or a book.  Those things build, rock and destroy worlds inside of them.

I’m reminding myself to not think of the age difference because it creeps me out, and I’m trying to be patient through the parts that aren’t right to enjoy how it feels to be so irresistible to these younger men.  They don’t mind the softer look of a mother’s body and I keep hearing that my mothering is what makes me hot. I’m trying to let that land. Trying.  I don’t think it’s about age, but I often come across men that feel all they have to offer is sexual or financial in nature when all I want is a deep and meaningful conversation.  That’s a gift of humanity so many feel they can’t take ownership of. And yet, we’re all just humans.

New Traditions After Divorce

It is a great Christmas to be me.  I’m really giving myself to the holidays as a single mom on my terms. When we hashed out custody, I was intentional with wanting Christmas Eve with my boys.  My family always celebrates Christmas Eve and I was able to start my celebrations with a first date at Catalina Coffee Company yesterday morning (beautiful blue eyes, amazing conversation, couldn’t look away from his dimples, didn’t feel an ounce of chemistry, great venue). I then enjoyed most of yesterday with one sister over several hours of making tamales yesterday. This morning  was alone with my boys at breakfast.  We had our private gift opening at home and then I enjoyed a day with my kids and ginormous family.  Right now I get to have a really appreciated quiet night alone.  (Although that hot buttered rum is calling me.) Tomorrow my adventures will continue with more family and friends.

I started my day with my boys at a Denny’s Christmas breakfast.  I hated making breakfast first thing in the morning.  I was never hungry and the kids were always picky.  I got to eat later in the morning, and I wasn’t the short order cook.  I don’t remember last year, but this year has been great. I explained to my boys the thoughts my last post inspired for me.  I explained that in asking what they want for Christmas and focusing only on that, I was teaching them to be takers without bothering to show them the joys of giving.  It was a stretch for me but I asked them if they wanted to go get a present for their Dad for Christmas.  The little one immediately said no.  The oldest said he was planning to draw him a picture, and my middle son hesitated the longest before saying no.  Maybe it was strange to imagine me footing the bill for him.  I then asked if they wanted to pick out a gift for their Grandparents and they were excited about that.

We walked around the CVS after expressing gratitude that we weren’t at Target when we drove by the Target parking lot on Christmas Eve. (We’re working on finding gratitude in everything.) The boys picked out house shoes for their Grandpa, and a blanket for their Grandma.  They wanted something to keep them warm and comfortable.  We wrapped it and when we arrived at Grandma’s house, for the first time they gave their grandparents a gift they picked out themselves.  It wasn’t something I picked.  It was something they chose and they got to experience the gratitude of their grandparents.  The look on my children’s face was all I needed in that moment.

I see where my children are growing and where I need to continue to guide them in so many ways and today was a humbling and encouraging lesson for me.  But it was a day of shifting traditions and seeing how it’s about learning and growing as a family.

Not only have I been teaching my boys to be takers, I was teaching them to live in scarcity, and keeping them from dreaming big.  My older two had modest wish lists.  My little one wanted a trampoline, but that was the most out of the box gift they came up with. Later in the day, Kid3 expressed wanting a Nintendo 3DS.  In the past that meant waiting for the next holiday or birthday.  I explained that I always want to give my kids what they want and we don’t have to wait for a holiday or for him to deserve it.  We just had to wait for when I could do it, but it would go on the whiteboard at home as a goal.  What I didn’t expect was that in my daily examples, I was teaching my oldest to be a martyr.

After breakfast and picking up their grandparent’s gifts, they came in the house and I told them they could open their presents.  In the past, it was always structured.  One present at a time, with all of us watching.  It always bothered me because it was a show of “look what I got you and show me you like it.” It shifted.  It wasn’t about the individual gifts but the overall feeling of getting them what they wanted and letting them know I listened to what they wanted and noticed the things they didn’t say. Today I told them to have at it.  They had the freedom to open their presents with their names on them and I stood back and enjoyed their excitement.  They were happy.  I exceeded their expectations.  Then they asked if I could get a duplicate for their Dad’s house.  I said we could wait until they’re back with me and see if they still need what they want.

At one point, Kid2 was fully hit with FOMO (fear of missing out) and wanted a game his brother asked for.  He raged.  He searched for a different game he lost a while back and he was in complete break down.  I had him come to me and I held him as he cried.  He sobbed.  He screamed.  Kid1 had started looking for the game on behalf of his brother and he decided to do all he could to support his brother . . . Including giving his brother the game I had just given him for Christmas in exchange for $10.  He later threw in his gummy bears as well (his absolute favorite candy). He sacrificed his joy for his brother.

Wow. I mean, this kid!  He’s mine.  He gets my good and my bad, and surprises me with things I didn’t know were possible.  I gave him a Christmas hug in parting and had him look me in the eye. I told him he doesn’t have to sacrifice himself because he matters.  I told him he can’t be a world changer if there’s nothing of him left to change the world.  Now I get to live that to give him that example.

Toward the end of the night, I got feedback that makes me want to address a couple of things.  I should clarify that the dates that look too good to be true are catfish, but there are really great men that are real.  Good morning, good night, and surprise sexy texts are a reality.  It’s super rare that I want to meet in person.  He has to be really special to get my time. If you don’t like what I write, you don’t have to follow or read it.  It’s a choice.  Stand by it or find a hobby.

The part that bothered me was it was suggested I was doing Christmas wrong because I was stepping away from a tradition I adopted but never called my own.  It made me doubt our celebrations long enough to ask my kids if they were happy.  They let me know they had a great day.  They had fun with our family.  The younger two even suggested wanting to go home with me and I melted at the hugs from Kid1. My sisters were a bit surprised at how much my Kid1 has grown.  Our day showed me my next goal and tonight I am having the evening I used to enjoy.  There might be a bit of booze. There will be some yarn work and maybe some reading.  I won’t be up all night setting the tree to look a certain way.  I didn’t have to bake cookies for Santa.  I love the life I get to live!

I didn’t have a traditional Christmas before I got married. We always gathered for Christmas and I think Christmas Eve became our tradition shifting in favor of our growing family.  We gather Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day we get to have our children and in-laws.  This year we had tri-tip, tamales, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, fresh fruit and veggies, and desserts.  Thai noodle soup was the highlight of my night.  It is a throwing together of our huge family and our smaller families.  At some point my brother started throwing dollar bills out for the kids in a “make it rain” dance they love.  It’s chaos, but it’s family. It’s my family.  Our traditions shift and grow, as do we, and I get to make this celebration my own in all of the best ways.

There was a terrific balance of my wants and my kids wants.  There is a give and take where we do what we like, and no one is forced into more than we want.  We went to Grandma’s house for me, and my introvert got to decide when we were done and leaving. My inner ambivert was happy with his timing. There was time with my family and time alone.  There will be space for friends and I’m shooting for solo explorations as well.  I don’t have to cook foods I won’t eat or feel like I have to do things I really don’t want to. This new life feels like freedom and it tastes like I want more.

Teaching My Child To Give

In my flustered push and pull through getting Christmas together for my kids, I was trying to see if I missed anything from my kid’s wish lists.  We were in the car and I asked my boys if there was anything else they wanted that they didn’t tell me about.  They’re getting better at telling me what they want.  For a while they were afraid to want anything.  At some point I made them feel like wanting things was a negative feeling.  At some point I taught them to function and live in scarcity, and I get to teach them to live abundantly as I learn it myself.

My oldest son looked timidly at me, then tried to tuck himself away shyly into his hands and shirt.  My 15 year old reminded me of a turtle.  I could see his fear and uncertainty, so I encouraged him to talk to me.  He told me about a friend of his that wasn’t expecting much for Christmas.  My son understood that his friend was living on very little income and he understood that because it has been our reality.  He asked if he could buy his friend a $40 game and pulled a little wad of cash out of his wallet to show me he needed my support.  I’ve been trying to teach them that they don’t need help.  They don’t need me to rescue them.  They could use my support though and I’m happy to offer it.  They can be supported through their journeys, and here he was, putting that lesson to work.  I asked what he was willing to do if I had said no.  He said he was prepared to ask his friends if they would work together.  I mean seriously? I get to raise this kid.  I get to be this young man’s mother.  That night we went to two Walmart’s and a Target.  We also survived Kid3’s meltdown.

We got home and with my support, he wrapped it himself.  Then I had a moment of fear and it became a lesson for my son, and a lesson to me.  My lesson was how my past so strongly influences my future.  For me to worry about a reaction I had received and given . . . my hang ups on gifts . . . I get to look at that.  I get to examine and change things.

In talking to my son, I realized my fear was about the many times I had given or received a gift and the emotions that go with that. It was about the times I received a gift that wasn’t what I would have wanted, but something the giver would have wanted, without any thought to who I am.  It’s more honest than polite people would ever admit.

I wasn’t always great at gift receiving.  Especially when it came to my Dad.  I was never satisfied with what he offered. He’s given me jewelry, and it was always large and not something I would ever choose to wear.  I would accept it and complain later.  I once asked for a keyboard so I could learn to play the piano.  It came several years later, and in my teenage selfishness, I couldn’t appreciate it until my ex gave it to one of his friends. Now I remember that not every Dad is around or generous, or half the man my Dad is.  His gifts are treasured.

When my boys were young, I would try to find gifts for them, and they would be more interested in the box, or smearing peanut butter and yogurt on walls, because sensory integration dysfunction is an adventure that way.

I remember one Mother’s Day I was so upset that I didn’t receive what I wanted.  It was a few years in a row of receiving less or other than I hoped for.  Honestly, I would have loved a solo hotel stay with a full Kindle and room service. I was very vocal about it too. But I was in my mood and pretty angry at my ex.  This was about seven or eight years into my marriage.  I remember being able to count off the ways I was disappointed until the day my son handed me a gift he made for me.  That was when I realized receiving a gift was about how much I could show the giver their thoughtfulness was appreciated and I really didn’t have to be so selfish.

So back to my really considerate son . . . Here he was, about to gift a present to a friend and I worried about his friend’s pride in terms of the gift.  I worried about it being something that wasn’t wanted, and I worried that my son’s generosity would become a source of pain for him. I will always want to protect him.

I told him to think of giving as the gift he was offering.  He told me about a game he had given to his brother that was lost and how angry he was.  I pointed out that once you give a gift, you stop worrying about what they’ll do with it.  You give a gift as an act of love.  You don’t worry about how it would be used or if it would be immediately discarded.

It’s too much to expect a gift to live the way you want it to and the greatest example is the life of a child.  I gave the world my kids and it’s hard to accept the world might abuse my children and it’s hard to accept that my kids won’t always behave the way I want them to. I get to send them out after caring for them the best way I know how, and I get to hope there is enough love to cover them.

As I explained to my son, giving is about giving and not how it’s received.  Once we give a gift, we don’t worry about how it’s received or what is done with it.  We find our joy in thinking of someone else. We think of how much they’ll like the gift because we’re not giving what we would want, but what they would appreciate and find useful.  However it’s received doesn’t matter as much as the love we put into giving it.

Then I told him to consider how much joy he found in thinking of his friend.  I told him to think of that and consider how much others enjoy giving to him.  I told him to accept gifts with that same feeling because of how great it feels to give.  We would want others to experience our joy in receiving.

 

 

 

New Year’s Resolution 2017!

I never make New Year’s Resolutions, but this is the year I will start.  It’s about continuing intentionally through my lifelong transformation.  It’s about finding my gift receipt and returning what I don’t need.

It’s been an eye opening few weeks.  I’ve been trying to be intentional in my self care.  It doesn’t always go well.  But I’m trying.  In the last few weeks at work and life jumping up to surprise me in creative and nasty ways, I have let my situation control how I feel and that is not something I want to do with my life.  In the last month or so, both my Dad and Step Dad have been hospitalized. I’ve noticed their choices and have been able to see something that made parts of myself fall into place and I’m shocked.

My early 70 something year old Dad was hospitalized a few days one week, got released, went to Vegas and came home, then ended up hospitalized again on something unrelated in the very next day.  He’s now planning an exercise regimen from his hospital bed.

My late 70 something year old Step Dad was hospitalized, nearly lost his life, then took the family to Knott’s Berry Farm within days of being released. Seriously.

I had Kid3 in 2006 and within a couple of weeks, spent a weekend walking around Sea World because my ex wanted to take the family.

Less than a month after being hospitalized a month, and having a c-section to deliver surrogate twins in 2012, I was walking around Legoland. I remember being in pain, still leaking from birth, and being miserable even while on serious pain meds both times.

What I did was for the sake of family, but it goes deeper.  I live on a property that has two houses on one lot.  For a while, my sister that is slowly going blind lived right behind my house.  I decided on the day after Christmas, I would put exterior lights up outside to help her see at night because the walkway between houses could be dark.  I climbed up a ladder and strung those lights up without someone to hand me lights, or hold the ladder while my ex stayed in bed watching something on television.

No sense of self preservation, right? No sense of self care or asking for help or suggesting that maybe, space and time to heal and recover would be a great idea.

For the first time in years, I have a New Year’s Resolution.  Self care will be a priority.  I won’t allow work, or family, or obligations to weigh so heavily on me that they control my ability to breathe in peace and feel restored by sunlight. I won’t get so angry that I indulge in road ragey moments of yelling at people that can’t hear me and probably have no idea I’m irked.  I will be in control of how I react and that means I will care for myself like I love myself because I do.

Anatomy of a Catfish, Day 9

The day I was expecting has finally arrived! I don’t need to feel like a cold harpy that couldn’t give a poor romantic the benefit of the doubt.  The man that has been trying to keep my attention has finally gotten to the point, and here I go, trolling my catfish.

Naughty Bloggess, I know. Someone should consider spanking me. Assuming I’m not creeped out . . . And I’m interested in his conversation . . . And dinner should happen.  Okay, maybe we should skip the spanking.  Apparently I’m asking for way too much.

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I thought the request would involve his phone.  The phone was what he kept complaining about, even though the flight home was something we talked about.  I just assumed he would say he didn’t have enough notice for the flight but he surprised me.

I could understand an account being frozen, but a damaged card still has usable numbers you can read or type into a website.  He’s a New Yorker/Californian/World Traveller, and he should know this. Right?

And if you can recall (I can), this job already paid him half of what he was expecting to get paid for the completion of the job.  Is it possible that with that kind of a payout on a job he flew to Brazil for with a team of about 10 . . . No one else could help him?

I offer a way out when I can. They never take it. The big request was almost anti-climactic, but this is where I start trolling him and I really have fun with it.  Because I’m not always a nice person, right?

If I were a nice person, I would just tell him the reality of what I’m doing on my blog.  But is that really a nice thing to do? To tell them we were playing a partnered game? I wouldn’t take out a loan for myself if I can avoid it because I think of the reality of paying it back.  If you can’t take out a loan at a bank, why should I trust you with my money.  People work at banks and get paid big bucks to make prudent decisions.  I should trust their lead, right?

Yesterday there were a few texts without his odd typos.  It’s like he forgot what he was supposed to be doing.  Commitment to your lies helps sell the story.  Me for example . . .

I am intentionally making myself into a very plump and delicious whale. Maybe I can drag this one out for another 9 days.  Not that I want to bore you with my shenanigans.  I just want to frustrate him. My Kid1 intends to send me the “dankest memes” so I can send those as my send off.  We’ve connected over our web shenanigans.

So it’s now day 10, and he’s been checking in with me more often and trying to see how I’m coming along with his request.  The point of this blog series was to tell you what to look for, so I won’t bother giving you the details of my debauchery and lies unless you really want them.

My reality is I’ve been catfished more often than I want to be.  I don’t bother sharing their pictures or other details because I’m sure most of them are fake.  There’s probably some innocent person out there that gives great massages, loves to cuddle and visit museums and has a really large brain and he has no idea his pictures are being used for someone’s income stream.

I had a job interview for a pharmaceutical company that wanted me to interview through Google Hangouts.  That was the first red flag.  Asking my sex, age, marital status and other illegal details was another.  They asked where I banked to see if they could set up direct deposit.

I met another man Saturday just after I lost my job.  He’s been offering to send me money.  He’s been asking for my checking account and routing numbers but doesn’t understand why I won’t trust him.  He almost seemed angry at my mistrust and gave many excuses as to why he can’t use Western Union, Paypal, Venmo or the Go Fund Me pages I set up when I was trying to take my leadership classes.

We reveal so much in passive conversation.  How old are you? I just had my birthday, when is yours?  Where do you live? Are we close? Are you still married?

No one needs to know where you bank or private details like your bank account.

A birth date can be used for verification.

No one needs your social security number unless they are reporting to the government.

You don’t need to lend money to a person that not even a bank would trust.  Seriously. Don’t take my word for it.  My kids collaborated so I could test their internet savvy.

According to Kid1:

You don’t give out your address, your age, social security number, credit card information, zip code, and never post a picture of your face in your profile. Use a fake name and fake age (because he’s not old enough to have a YouTube). Rule 34, if it exists, there’s a porn of it, don’t test it. Many of my friends have tested it.  I am unfortunately one of those people that tested it. People are very weird.  And there are many places you don’t go on the internet like 8Chan, 2Chan, 4Chan.  They’re all full of edgy people. They will find your internet IP and home address.  Just don’t go.

According to Kid2:

Don’t give out your info. No info at all, except my Nintendo friend code.

Kid3: Not your middle or last name.

Anatomy of a Catfish, Day 8

The weight of my reality gave way to the fact that I overthink everything and I’m really great at that.  And then my catfish was back to his normal  by late evening and it was easier to see clearly.

His typing errors made me believe he was just going to ask for a new phone.

Poor thing fell and hurt his phone.

It amazes me that he would seriously wait days until Christmas to try to book a flight.  There are movies made about those kinds of shenanigans.

I was thinking he was full of it, but clearly I am too, so I said he was sweet instead.

It would have been vengeance worthy if he had asked me to set my kids up for his fall too.  Seriously, who does this kind of thing?

At this point there was genuine suspense.  Was he going to try to show up? Was this part of his game?

What was the laugh? Was it that I wanted to analyze what he said? Was it about the fact that I could find a way to relate to his lies?

And there goes that phone again. Maybe he should do something about it.