Let me get a few things out of the way first:
I generally don’t like reality shows. I’ve watched a season or two of “Survivor” and “American Idol” but they’re basically the same stuff year after year. Having said that I absolutely love “Bar Rescue”. I feel that the vast majority of “reality” shows are just camera rolling while people fight in the hopes of parlaying their appearance into an entertainment career. Frankly, I have enough conflict in my life that I don’t need to see that of other people. Then of course, there’s the question of whether or not reality television is more scripted than sitcoms and dramas. My feelings about reality and the state of our society in general can best be summed up by this quote I once heard: “In the past, we used to watch TV to escape reality. Now, we watch TV to experience reality”.
The Auteur is a big fan of Bravo’s phenomenally popular “…Housewives…” shows. With the exception of “New Jersey” series, I don’t really pay much attention to these either. However, one night I caught an ad for “The Online Dating Rituals of the American Male”. Since I perceive myself to be something of a men’s advocate, i thought it would be remiss of me if I didn’t give this show at least a passing glance.
I think that Bravo envisions itself as an upscale version of Lifetime. The so called “men” i see on this channel are either at best hard-core metro-sexuals and at worst relentlessly flamboyant homosexuals who make David Alan Grier and Damon Wayans’ characters from the old “Men on Movies” skit from In Living Color look relatively macho in comparison. In any case, virtually all of the men I see on this channel are nothing like real-life guys.
The series premiere of “Online Dating Rituals of the american Male focuses on Marcus, a 36 year-old divorcee who’s looking for his future wife and Alex a 27 year old self-described “Texas boy looking to get laid”- perpetuating the stereotype of the delusional ego-maniacal douchebag.
Some observations from episode 1:
- These guys seem a litte more down-to-earth that most of the people on Bravo shows.
- The show illustrates the real-life concerns that come with online dating: Is her on-line profile a reflection of their real-life self? Trying to extract information, such as their age.
- Alex is talking about his penis on the first date. Classy.
- the show’s bumpers are statistics about on-line dating; the first being “80% of online daters lie about their height, weight or age on their profiles.
- in an interesting twist, the show included a text message exchanges involve the people featured on the show – both the guys and their dates.
- we see a little but from the point of view of Marcus’s date. She thinks they’re going out again. Alex’s date has no such intentions.
- Marcus gets a text message from a perspective date while he’s at work. This is what I will say about on-line dating. People who are online want to date and it seems a lot easier than going out and picking people up the old-fashioned way.
- A therapist describes Alex as a “wanker”. the show takes us through his various dates. God, this guy’s a pig; and he’s obsessed with on-line dating.
- Marcus dates a girl with whom he was scored as 10% compatible. He’s looking for quality.
- The show drives home the theme that anything is possible with on-line dating.
- Marcus has another date that is an absolute train-wreck.
- Alex has a date with a woman who is out of his league. He needs to stop grabbing butts on the first date. Somehow, she is receptive to this.
- I didn’t want to like this show but 30 minutes into the 44 minute episode, i had already decided I would probably watch it again.
Out of respect to our budding relationship, I decided to cancel my match membership a few weeks back. I was able to cancel my membership online, without needing to speak to an actual customer care rep.
Fast forward to earlier this week: I got an e-mail from match stating that my account had been re-instated; despite the fact that I had not been on the site once since I cancelled the account. This time, I decided to call customer care and speak to an actual human being.
When I called, their care rep was nice enough. She asked if I enjoyed my time on match. I explained to her that I actually met someone and was very happy with the entire match.com experience. At this point, my biggest concern was getting charged again for a service that I was not longer using. When I asked the rep how my account could have gone active again, she speculated ” maybe you accidentally re-logged into the account”. This left me a little dumbfounded, but she was helping me so I didn’t complain.
Fast forward again to yesterday: I get another email stating that my account had be re-instated. However this time, it is followed by another e-mail telling me that my username, e-mail address and date of birth have all changed.
Now, when I got the original e-mail earlier in the week, I informed The Auteur about it – in the event that the same thing happened to her once she cancelled. I forwarded her this new e-mail and asked her to look “me” up. After searching, she informs me that, according to match.com, i a no longer a 39 year old man seeking woman. On the contrary, I am now a 38 year old woman seeking men – all within time it takes to make a few key strokes. As match’s customer care line was closed for the night, I had to wait until Friday morning in the hopes that I could undo any damage my online identity might have incurred at this hands of this hacker.
To their credit, match’s customer care staff was great. I explained the situation to the first operator I spoke with, she immediately got me over to their “corporate care” team, where I was informed that the account would revert to it’s pre-hack appearance status within 24 hours. (it took less than 12). Furthermore, not only none of my financial information had been compromised, but I was also being refunded my full 3 month subscription fees.
As far as I can tell, the only damage done to my match.com username the 2 e-mails and 1 wink that were picked up…by guys…that were apparently picked up during the hacking. Naturally, match would not tell me what had happened, so I can only speculate. Having worked in customer care myself, I think it was an internal thing. I suspect someone in the company – maybe even the first operator I talked about the first reactivation, saw a closed/inactive account that was paid up for two more months and decided they wanted a free ride. To be honest, this pales in comparison to some of the things I’ve heard of people trying at my last customer service/call center job.
In the aftermath of all this, I went ahead and changed ALL , my various online passwords – mostly just for peace of mind if nothing else. In terms of tech savvy, I think I fall somewhere in the middle of the proverbial pack – more than some; a lot less than others. But my list of suspects in this incident is short; and as far as I can tell this is an open and shut case.
The Auteur came out to my neck of the woods last night for a little birthday celebration. We hung at one of those upscale multiplexes that are in vogue right now; spent way-too much money at their in-house glorified burger joint and didn’t even bother seeing a movie. I knew when I first saw her last night that I wasn’t going to want to say goodbye until morning. Needless to say, we ended up spending the night together.
17 years ago, I was amazed at how quickly I fell for the STBX. Things moved pretty quickly there, but my relationship with The Auteur has been like a bolt of lightning in comparison.
Wednesday, the Auteur and I were speaking (as we had been every night this week) and we were half jokingly / half seriously talking about getting together on Thursday or Friday (before our planned Saturday date) – kind of a preemptive strike if you will.
Thursday she suggests we meet up after she drops off her daughter for the weekend. Naturally, I agreed. This is my story (cue Law & Order boom-boom)
We met at this small micro brewery and watched the Michigan-Kansas State game. We were having a good time talking and watching the game except the bar was closing at 11 PM (yes, on a Friday) so we ended up at a local Chili’s until they kicked us out at 12:30. With her car safely parked in at micro-brewery, I suggested we could hang out at my sister’s apartment (she was at my parents’ house for the weekend and had given me the key assuming I would be crashing there). Off we went.
We hung out for a bit before we started to fool around. And around. And around. We went further than I have ever gone – physically – on a first date. But like everything else with The Auteur so far, it just felt right.
As corny as this may sound, she makes me feel like a man – something haven’t felt in a LONG time. She makes me feel like I’m strong, like I’m desirable. She’s definitely girly-er than the STBX is/was, which is something I appreciate – both for it’s newness and the sense of normalcy is creates.
They say that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably IS too good to be true. So far, I have no indication of that from a woman I’ve been talking to from match.com that I will refer to as “the auteur” – for reasons that will become clear soon enough.
I think i saw her before she saw me. She has this great picture on her profile page where she’s wearing glasses. For a better appreciation of my – and most guys’ – glasses fixation, please refer to my fellow blogger Smooth Reentry’s take on eyeglasses.
We have been e-mailing back and forth for the last few days, and traded phone numbers last night. I told her i’d call her today (Monday actually). Normally I’d say I was moving way too fast, but i just have a feeling.
Maybe i should wait till i meet her face-to-face before getting too gaga over her. Before my date with The Boss on Saturday night, we did not speak on the phone – we only texted and e-mailed.
We made a few calls back and forth tonight; combined we spoke for well over 4 hours. I would not have believed it was that long if i didn’t see it for myself.
We made plans to get together this Saturday evening. The only drawback I see to The Auteur so far is that we live so far from each other. It would, literally, take me less time to driver to the next state than it would to get to her place. The cool thing is that we both agreed to meet each other roughly half-way between her place and mine. To make things even better, she suggested we at least get some dinner – spend a little more time together to make it worth both of our while. I certainly can’t complain about that!
- Auteur Theory (jillianbrodner.wordpress.com)