Who signed me up for Match.com?

I am single. If it were possible to be varying degrees of single, I would consider myself to be very single. Solitary confinement? Boom, nailed it.

I’m not bragging. It actually gets really frustrating that it’s socially acceptable for people to judge my success solely on my answer to their question of, “So are you seeing anyone?” but it’s not socially acceptable for me to yell about my other accomplishments and make them sit in a corner to think about what they’ve done.

If you’re in a stable relationship at the end of college, good for you! You’re seen as a healthy and functioning adult, capable of making well-thought decisions and providing for your future. If you’re single, people ask what you plan to do next year and look like they expect you to talk about your dreams of moving to Albania to juggle chainsaws and Yorkshire terriers on a tightrope in the nude.

I tried to find a picture, I really did.

Being a single almost-college grad is one of the sharpest of double-edged swords, because being single means one of two things, and both are your fault. One choice is that you’ve simply foregone the attainment of a significant other. Whether you were focused on schoolwork, shy to the bar scene, or just never seemed to find the right guy (or girl — I shouldn’t assume guys and lesbians don’t have this problem, too), a relationship just never happened. This means you aren’t looking hard enough. Love isn’t going to just come to you if you’re not willing to get out there, and while you’re at it, you should also really do something about your hair. No one will like you if you look like you don’t care.

The alternative is that you so want to be in a relationship that you will frantically try everything to find someone, trick yourself into dangerously lowering your standards, and can be found crying with your friends and some Franzia that you’ll wind up as one of those old ladies with hundreds of cats. If this is the case, you are hinging all of your happiness on whether or not you’re in a relationship, and are probably suffering from some serious self-esteem issues. Have you thought about focusing on something else, like maybe a job?

Basically, if you’re single and cool with it, you’re sloppy and unmotivated, but if you’re single and looking, you’re desperate and unbalanced. Never mind the fact that you have the rest of your life ahead of you and are in the throes of the most exciting years you have to live, this isn’t really about you anyway. It’s about being socially acceptable so people don’t feel uncomfortable when they talk to you at holiday parties and try to figure out if you’re alone because you’re a pariah.

Which brings me to my point.

Someone whose identity is presently unknown (to me) created a Match.com profile for me earlier this year. I have nothing against Match.com. I get that online dating is legitimate place to meet people, and I know people who met their spouses on Match.com. It’s a good site. I just didn’t sign up for it.

I didn’t actually realize what had happened at first. I started getting e-mails and deleted them without even looking at the subject lines, figuring someone who knows me probably had signed up and entered in e-mail addresses of people they thought might be interested, like a recommendation reward program or something. The e-mails started getting pretty frequent so I finally opened one to go through the unsubscribe process, which is when I realized the e-mails were specifically coming for me.

Join now and become hideously crippled!

It’s a fairly good practical joke actually, I’m not mad about that. The problem I’m having is that I don’t have the password, and whoever set it up designated a different e-mail address than mine for lost passwords sent to be sent to. So I can’t get in to change the settings, and I keep getting semi-creepy e-mails saying things like “Seven men have checked you out this week!” or “He’s interested! Find out who he is!” Worse than that are the user names of these guys. They’re always weird things like “WinkMaster101” or “TenacityFTW” or “Citadel_Stud”. Now I’m sure these are all very nice young men, but of all the possible noun and verb combinations in the English language, could someone please explain why those are supposed to make them more attractive to women?

Furthermore, if this whole thing is less of a “ha-ha-you-should-see-your-face!” prank and more of a “ha-ha-but-seriously-do-something-before-you-die-alone!” prank, I should mention that some of these e-mails come with pictures of the men you think I should be dating. This begs the question, would you really prefer me to be at social events with this guy than to come alone?

THIS GUY.

Call me what you will — picky, lazy, stuck-up, early-onset spinster, whatever — I am perfectly content with how I’m doing. Would it be nice to have company? Yes, but in the meantime I seem to be holding down the fort just fine.

And if you’re really struggling with things to ask me about the next time we run into each other, I really won’t be offended if you just start talking about yourself. We both know what the alternative is.

Also, will someone please give me the password? I just want the e-mails to stop.

A good analogy is as hard to find as something that’s really hard to find

I consider myself a bit of a grammar snob. This may come as a bit of a shock, and I’m sure that I’ll get plenty of people pointing out numerous grammatical mistakes I’ve made in past posts, disregarding both that most posts were written on caffeine highs and that you should really get a better hobby.

"A comma? Ha! nOOb!"

My point for all of this is that I find humor in horrific grammatical fails. Slightly less nerdy, I also find humor in terrible written works. See, I don’t feel bad laughing at people who write terribly, because people who have such a poor grasp on the language they’ve been speaking their entire lives deserve to be laughed at. I don’t laugh at the broken English as a second language folks, because they’re making an effort, and English is hard.

No, I laugh at the high school students too lazy to think of  proper sentence structure, and the young business school grads too arrogant for spell check on their resumes, and the hordes of adolescent girls who tHiNk tht tHeY r waY 2 kEwL 2 b tYpiNG liEk 4 skEwl stUFf on teH inTeRNetZ.

I wish I was kidding, but people actually talk like that online.

Dramatization.

I digress. No one expects good grammar from the internet, particularly if that bit of internet is inhabited by teenagers. One might expect to find decent grammar in, say an English classroom. After all, it’s the molding ground of young minds, the medium through which creative geniuses like Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Dostoevsky come alive, where a passion for writing will spring up and surge forth like a storm pushing through a dam!

Just kidding.

Every year, English teachers from across the USA can submit their collections of actual analogies, similies, and metaphors found in high school essays, excerpts of which are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country. Below is a compilation of some of my favorites. Please to enjoy.

  1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
  2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
  3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
  4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
  5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
  6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
  7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
  8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.
  9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.
  10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
  11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30
  12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
  13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
  14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
  15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.
  16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
  17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.
  18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.
  19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
  20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
  21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
  22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
  23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
  24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.
  25.  He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
  26. She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again.
  27. Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.
  28. Bob was as perplexed as a hacker who means to access T:flw.quid55328.comaaakk/ch@ung but gets T:flw.quidaaakk/ch@ung by mistake.
  29. Waiting for information, he kept his ear to the grindstone.
  30. The thunder was ominous-sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play.
  31. America’s soft power has been ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm.
  32. Throughout, both men were mesmerizingly fierce and yet imperturbably calm. At crucial points they were like gladiators playing chess.
  33. I went right to the problem, like a whole bottle of aspirin taped to someone’s forehead.
  34. The dominoes fell like a house of cards put together by someone with the shakes.
  35. The toddlers looked at each other as if they had just been told their mutual funds had taken a complete nosedive.
  36. She was a couch potato in the gravy boat of life, flopping dejectedly on the sofa.
  37. It will take a big tractor to plow the fertile fields of his mind.
  38. Her date was pleasant enough, but she knew that if her life was a movie this guy would be buried in the credits as something like “Second Tall Man.”
  39. The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the Dr. on a Dr Pepper can.
  40. The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola crayon.
  41. Her lips felt thick, cold and wet, like a big mouth bass in the depth of winter solstice.
  42. His teeth rattled like that equipment that construction workers use on the road.
  43. After being shot, Jackson danced along the dark path like Blackbeard with his wooden leg on fire.
  44. Tears welled in her eyes like a well.
  45. Her eyes lit up like headlights with a 300lb mule deer caught in them, which was pretty surprising since she was such a dim bulb between the ears.

Suddenly I’m questioning my decision to never become a teacher.

2011: Year of the Blog

2011 is finally over, and I’ve got to say I’m exhausted. It’s been a crazy busy year.

2011 was the year of study abroad! Living in Ireland for five months and running into all sorts of shenanigans (possible Irish pun intended). 2011 was the year of new experiences and cultures!

Culture!

2011 was the year I traveled to eleven different countries and took thousands of pictures of architecture and historic sites and breathtaking landscapes…and a quite a few shenanigans (domestic as well as international).

2011 was the year of the 5K. I finally joined the ranks of the nut jobs I’m related to who run farther than most people would drive in a month, and I’m actually having fun. Stay tuned for 2012, year of the 10K.

2011 was the year I was introduced to corporate America, in a manner of speaking. Interning at a Fortune 500 company put me in a cubicle for a 40 hour work week (an adjustment from nannying), but something tells me that Katy Perry concerts and team scavenger hunts won’t be a staple in my adult work life.

Nor booze cruises.

2011 was the year of family. With my parents spending 10 days with me in Ireland, my brother living at home after he came home from Kenya, my grandma spending a few weeks with us before and after her trip to Africa, and me visiting my aunts and cousins near Chicago, it was also the year of fractured family vacations.

2011 was the year of the upgraded cabin. New siding, new deck, same people and beer. OK, it’s not much of an upgrade, but does a cabin really need to be upgraded?

I don't think so.

2011 was the year of the Miracle Mile, a senior homecoming tradition where we start drinking at 7:00am. The cultural significance behind this is that it’s homecoming, and we start drinking at 7:00am.

2011 was the beginning of my senior year, my induction to Neighbor Nights, and an amazing time with great friends.

2011 was the year when reality started to set in, and I discovered I might actually be turning into an adult. And that I’m OK with that. I learned so much from so many different sources this year, and I can’t say I’ve regretted a single second of it.

2011 was the year I kept all of you up to date with whatever it is I do with my life on a day-to-day basis. 2011 is the year I started blogging, but more importantly, 2011 is the year you started reading.

Happy 2012, everybody.