"Hey, I know that I'm really young, but hear me out before you judge me on my age. I'm an old soul -- outdoorsy, love The Beatles, enjoy reading in my free time. Check out my profile and get back to me if you're interested. Hopefully my age won't be a factor."
So, this all sounds completely harmless, and ladies, let's be honest: he had me at good grammar/mechanics and he sounds like a nice guy...until I click on over to his profile to discover he's 22, living at home with his mother, doesn't have a car, and describes his personality as 'class clown'. The worst part is if I choose not to engage in conversation, I'll probably receive a form of guilt or hate mail a couple days later. If you're some guys, the message doesn't have time to get cold before the accusatory mail sending ensues. And buddy, this English teacher is going to answer that hate mail with a metaphor you probably won't understand, so save yourself the embarrassment.
"what up gurl? my name joe and i think ur cute so yeah this thing says you require 50 characters or more bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb ha!"
"hey gurl. u don know what ur missin u think u 2 gud for dis? whatever. u should get back 2 me. i have tats and peircings (yes, misspelled of course) and u might lyke dat. im sumthin different"
"i c how you are. nice guys lyke me don win. all yall want the bad guys. your makin a mistake bc your in control of your own happyness."
"Joe, hateful badgering is not exactly the way to garner support from someone like me. I thought my silence the first two times you messaged me would be enough to get you the clue, but since you wanted to engage in conversation, here you are: the next time you want to insult someone sarcastically, use appropriate grammar and your point might be more well received. You should have said "you're missing out," as 'your' is the possessive form of the word. Furthermore, when you add -ness to a word ending in 'y,' you typically drop the 'y' and add 'i.' So now that we've had this grammar lesson, go fishing in another, less grammatically aware pond because this fish isn't interested."
"Hey. I'm Bratwurst. Yeah, I know...strange name, but it's a great conversation starter. Any how, my friends call me Hollywood, so you can too. So, any luck on here? I bet you get crazy messages all the time."
"Hi, I'm Daniel. I teach high school in Metro and coach ball on the side. I moved here eight years ago just to have a change of pace, and I love Nashville. It's cool that you're an English teacher, but it makes me a little nervous about my grammar...I'll try to be careful! Anyway, your pictures are really fun, and if you're as bold and confident as your profile suggests, I'd like to know more about you. Hope to hear from you soon. ~Daniel
"Daniel, so nice to "meet" you! So what do you teach? I have primarily juniors and freshmen, and I'm busy with student council and prom. Was born and raised here in TN, save two years when I moved for graduate school to Ohio. No worries about your writing -- I try not to be on duty all the time. It's nice to get a message from someone with the ability to construct coherent sentences. Well, hope to hear back. Maybe we can get coffee or ice cream sometime." ~Ashley :)
Grr. Square one. See, that's the problem. You finally get a bite from what appears to be the normal in the pond, but then your hook gets all bent or something. Let's just say I have a decent bite on the line, but I'm continuing to fish. Can't settle for the first fun fish that swims along, but can't throw him back too soon, either.
The moral of this story: if you're online dating, you have to go in with a good sense of humor and little expectation regarding the communication aspect of the site. Most folks send one-word correspondence that doesn't amount to much, and the ones who are intelligent and genuinely willing to meet you are few and far between. Dating is a game of patience, and I think after years of being impatient in many ways, I'm finally learning a few lessons. Have fun, be safe, and don't get too serious too fast. A happy, single you is the best start, and making friends before you consider making things more serious is a close second. "Normal" is impossible to find, but I've met a couple folks who appreciate my variety of weird, and anyone who can do that is a good apple in my book :)