situational introvert

now playing: shane nicholson, “the best day of the year”

fellas…you wanna quick tip from your ol’ buddy tom on how to bring your ego down to a manageable size?

stop by the online personal ads. seriously.

today, before i left for lunch, i stopped over at and had a look around – i did a search for women ages 32-40 looking for men who were non-smokers and leaned liberal in their political beliefs…because, frankly, these are my only real criteria. the politics can be negotiated to a certain extent, but the smoking things’ a dealbreaker for me. i didn’t enter any criteria for body type or build or any of that bullshit, or hair color or whatever…i just wanted to take a swing through and see what was out there.

i’m not really sure what it was that prompted me to, even – unless it was an afterthought brought on by last night’s conversation with wendy before bed (possible), or maybe i’m just starting to feel curious about what else might be out there (understandable, but ill-advised)…or perhaps i just like to be reminded every now and then just how pathetic it’s possible to feel.

with the exception of a small handful of the women who’ve taken the time to write very well-written ads that actually give the reader some insight into who they are and what they expect, so, so many of them were identical…so much so that i was starting to think that the same woman wrote them all. seriously. i was starting to think that perhaps some lonely, 74-year old woman in northern berks county was writing these ads for all these other women in absentia, having placed an ad offering her ad-writing services in the penny pincher or something like that….

the most interesting thing i remember reading was one woman (a Leo) who called herself a “situational introvert” – that struck a chord with me. i like that phrase. i might have to borrow it sometime.

but some of them pointed out to me the degree to which i definitely do not have my shit together.

33 and 34 year old women who make over $70K a year, discussing their favorite mediterranean vacation spots, their fabulous jobs…and they all want “a man who knows what he wants and whos’ willing to go after it…someone with a sense of humor…a man whos’ secure and confident and who loves his work but also loves to play, too…“…and of course, there’s the ever present “vital statistics” portion of the ad, too…the part where they spell out just how young or old you can be, how tall or short…and the “build” guideline, which invariably reads slim, average, athletic and not much else….

now, look – i know as well as anyone that men are probably the more shallow of the sexes, when it comes to holding physical appearance up to so much scrutiny…and i didn’t necessarily get the impression that a majority of them were overtly obvious about it when they wrote out their wishlists. the thing i did find interesting was how many of them (especially the ones in the age group i ran the search for) seemed to be adamant about their requirement that their potential mate be childless…that struck me as interesting…because a healthy percentage of the women who turned up in this age bracket had been previously married, and a lot of them had children. it makes for some interesting speculation to ask oneself how realistic it is on their behalf to expect to find a man of the same age who didn’t have paternal ties.

the whole experience, though, got me to thinking what i’d put in an ad if i was going to create a profile and throw it up there for the scrutiny of the masses – would i do as it seems so many have and string together a list of what good qualities i could muster in a description, or would it be best to be honest about who i am and see what that would attract?

something like this:

“overly sensitive tortured-artist personality whose age and waist size hang dangerously and precariously close to being the same number….still renting after having soured on the homeowner experience…drives a twenty year old volkswagen van and has become a case-study in automotive co-dependency…works the occasional 50 hour workweek if he happens to take a weekday off, thus making it almost impossible to plan around schedule or rely on his presence at times…. musician/computer geek/workaholic/parental chauffeur, seeks an independent woman who can glean a lot from a little – who might have to make do for days at a time on IM’s and phone calls, participate in sporadic roadside bailouts when said volkswagen van has sufficiently lulled him to distraction, negotiate relationships with children from previous marriage who can be as moody as he can at times, and who can anticipate which version of me might be coming in the door on a given night and adjust accordingly, depending on mood…”

i’m sure i’d have to be a little more detailed, but that’s what i think i’m gonna go with if i decide to go that route.

strangely seductive scenario, i know…i’m gonna be beatin’ the babes off with a stick, man.

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