Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Oh no, I've said too much... I've had enough

For years, on various dating websites, I've been hearing from a computer geek, Sparky, who lives out of town. He invariably starts his posts with the phrase "I saw your profile and I just had to write" and gets markedly odder from there.

I've always blown him off because he sounded too oddball, but I'm really trying hard to be openminded and willing to meet a broad variety of men, and he didn't seem petty or mean-spirited, just kind of weird. So the most recent time Sparky contacted me, I responded in a friendly manner. He actually sounded pretty normal this time:

I saw your ad and I just had to write. My name is Sparky, and I am a mature, self -confident man who works as a LAN Manager for a global company . Previously, I was working on national projects for another company so I was not around much and did not have a lot of spare time to myself, but now things are different and I finally have some spare time to myself. I guess you can say that I am a spontaneous type of person and enjoy trying new things and meeting new people. I am extremely introspective, spiritual, and reflective. I am goal oriented and try to win when ever possible. I have also lived in Philadelphia as well as Columbus Ohio. How I landed in Columbus Ohio is a long story, to long to going into, but it was a great experience living in the Midwest.

I am interested in outdoor sports including sailing in the summer and skiing in the winter. I like to finish the day by delving into my creative side by cooking a gourmet meal for special friends and family.

When the spirit moves you let me know more about yourself.

Doesn't sound too bad, does he? Sparky sent me his phone number, which I called but got no answer; I emailed him to let him know and he said, "Sorry but believe it or not I gave you the wrong number." With a sinking feeling, I believed it.

I should have given up then. I wanted to. But, still trying to be openminded, I called him tonight. It was a mistake. Apparently if you keep your mind too wide open, your brains fall out. My gut impression of him was right -- he's very weird.

I've only just met the guy. The first thing he starts talking about -- and talks for five minutes without interruption -- is how much his boss the micro-manager annoys him and the other employees, how this job is a real step down for him professionally, how much he misses his previous job working for the state, how he's tried to get another state job at a lower salary and rank, etc., etc., etc. Granted, I asked how things were going at work, and I kind of knew he wasn't entirely happy there, but I didn't expect such a tirade.

Note to guys trying to make a good first impression on a woman: Don't tell her how much you hate your job, it's beneath you, and you feel like your career is stagnating. This does not inspire confidence or admiration. Pity, yes; disdain, probably; annoyance, you betcha.

I finally broke in and said it sounded like things were really bothering him, and had he considered talking to anyone about it. He spun off another tirade about the injustices unleashed upon him and the IT team by management and how he'd complained to HR without recourse. Taking a leap, I told him it might really help him to talk with a therapist about the situation, because it really seemed to be bothering him -- and that expressing all of this negative personal information was not the best way to embark upon a friendship or romance. I don't know if he really took in what I said, but I had to make my escape.

Sparky made me wonder about how I present myself to others. I've talked to fellow students and acquaintances about my experiences with the internship department. They've always seemed to listen and sympathize. But they're mostly social work students; we're trained to listen well.

Maybe I should take a lesson from Sparky and, to be fair, my mother, who a few weeks ago at my niece's birthday party suggested I not share every internship frustration of mine with a guest's mommy, who is also a social work student. Maybe I should kvetch a whole lot less about my lot in life. Because it really wasn't attractive in Sparky. At all.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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