Dating In The Null Set

To say wading into the ocean that is the dating world at 46 years old differs from what it was like in my twenties is beyond an understatement. Hell, it’s different that it was even 5 years ago and the surf can be rough. Quite honestly, it’s almost unrecognizable and I feel like people have just forgotten how to interact with other humans or in the case of younger peeps, never learned to begin with. So in an effort to entertain, I’m going to give you some highlights of what it’s been like of recent, for me at least.

The most major difference as we all know is the advent and popularity of internet dating. Now, this is not my first rodeo when it comes to dating later in life nor with internet dating. And quite honestly, it’s become somewhat of a necessary evil. I mean, most other options aren’t any better if not worse. Looking for a long term partner in a bar? Of course it’s not impossible but the chances are slim it will work out. Dating at work? Yes your chances are better in finding an equal more aligned with who you are but when they don’t work out, it can get messy and awkward. Even though I’ve tripped over this same rock multiple times, I have never quite learned to not do this. Being set up by friends? Again, if it doesn’t work out, awkward city. Coffee shops? Never seems to work in my experience. So the options for finding a person who has some things in common with you and has similar goals in life is limited. And honestly, internet dating does get some of those common, repetitive questions out of the way. I do like being able to filter out people who smoke and want kids. Those things are just not for me and I’d rather spend time talking to a person about things we have in common than discussing those filter questions in person.

As already stated, this is not my first foray into internet dating. I did it a little over 5 years ago and it was vastly different and better. Back then, I interacted with many more “real” people and met a lot of very cool people. Don’t get me wrong, it still wasn’t perfect. I still had a couple of issues with people grossly lying about their age or who they were. And mind you, it was still nothing compared to what women have to unfortunately deal with regarding incels, men who feel they are owed something from women, or worse men who outright insult or stalk women. The stories I’ve heard make my skin absolutely crawl. The biggest difference today is the amount of fake profiles that I have encountered. That is why is used the term “real” a few sentences ago. When I first got back onto internet dating I was woefully unprepared for this. At first I could not actually figure out what was going on but quickly realized it and was kind of annoyed it wasn’t obvious to me from the start. I encountered these mostly on Plenty O Fish and OK Cupid and it quickly became easy to pick out these fake profiles. They would all have only one photo of a gorgeous, model-esque woman. They would have the most contradictory (and hilarious) information in their profiles such as “Education: High School. Profession: Surgeon”. Additionally, their self summaries are a quagmire of poor grammar and odd punctuation. To top it off, these fake profiles will actually contact you with short messages of “Hi” and “Hello there”. And if you responded, undoubtedly you would get a response with a link to another less then reputable dating site or porn site. Tinder, a dating app made more for your smart phone and relies mostly on pictures with very limited personal descriptions (in case you didn’t know or have been in a coma), was no less guilty of having these profiles. But instead of contacting you with a link or hiding behind a fake profile, they would have a picture directing you too said other website with some of the most hilarious names. Then there are the more simple yet still annoying things people do with their profiles. Some put pictures of them with other people so you can’t tell who the person is. Some put pictures of nature. I even had one use a picture of Bill Joel???  What the actual fuck?!? At the very least they are entertaining. However it is ultimately more annoying as it becomes a great wast of time and my actual interactions and discussions with real people is far far less that it was 5 years ago.

I’d like to say that the differences from the past stop at internet dating, but they don’t. Even when meeting people face to face, there has been a huge decline in the ability of others to just have a conversation. I recently went to a place in Ocean City, Maryland called Seacrets. It’s an iconic establishment in OCMD that has been there for at least 20 plus years. First off let me say the phrase “You can’t go home again” might be a bit trite but it’s 100% true. While I have many memorable memories of that place from my younger years, it was obvious from the moment I walked it that it’s just not my scene anymore. But I was there so I sat down at one of the bars and decided to imbibe and people watch for a while. Not long after I noticed a rather attractive woman sitting across from me. She was alone and looked close to my age so I sent over a drink. I really wasn’t looking for anything and just hoped for some good conversation. After the person sitting next to me left, she came over to talk. I’m not exaggerating when I said it was one of the most painful conversations I’ve had in my life. I was unprepared for how one sided it would be. I would ask a question, she would respond with one to three words then… nothing. There was not back and forth, there was not questions from her. If I did not engage the conversation there would have been radio silence. I just don’t get it. Do people not know how to have conversations anymore? I could understand if it was a twenty something year old, Bieber loving person but someone near my age? I politely removed myself from the situation saying I it was late and I had a 40 minute drive back to my place (both true) and thanked her for a nice evening of conversation (not so true). I   understand she may have had her reasons. I’m not discounting that. And what I wouldn’t give for a good conversation.

So, what’s next? Well, I’m going to keep some of a presence on a couple internet dating sites. Far more entertaining, I’m going to experience what speed dating is like come this August. I can only hope that it is at least as entertaining as the speed dating scene in the “40 Year Old Virgin” and I have something fun (or funny) to write about afterwards.

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RIP Onyx: A Tribute

It’s been too long since I’ve made a post to this blog and sadly it is one of a melancholy tone. I recently had to say farewell to my handsome, loving dog. Onyx, aka Mr. Onyx, aka Mr. Nose, aka Mr. Boo, aka Onyx the velcro dog, aka stink dog, aka the big, brown monster; While he went by many names, he had nothing but love and affection to give. I was beyond fortunate enough to be his human for 12 of his 15 years here. He was three years old when he came into my life and in addition to all the love he had, he was just the best dog in the world. He never chewed shoes or furniture, never got into the trash. He loved people of all ages and other animals alike. He was there for me during some very tough times. He could not have been a better dog. He lived a long life and I can only hope I made it comfortable for him and gave him enough love in return. Unfortunately, his hind legs and quality of life went downhill, slowly at first but then quickly over a couple of days. I had to help him along to the other side in the end. To say I miss him would be beyond an understatement. As the song in the below tribute is titled, I am indeed crestfallen in his absence. I know it will get better and I will be fine. Until then, please enjoy the video. Enjoy his beauty, how handsome he was, and how loving he was.

Why Ignoring Climate Scientists Is Illogical- An Analogy

If you are any one of the many people in this country who does not believe in climate change or the roughly 97% of scientists who support it, this article is for you. Before anyone gets in a huff and starts exclaiming “It’s my right to voice my opinion” let me start by saying, “Yes, you do have a right to your opinion”. You also have a right to be wrong, to have your opinion mocked, and to have your opinion challenged.

However, I’m not going to pepper you with facts and figures, graphs and charts. Chances are you will just dig your heels in even more being confronted with such evidence. No, instead, I’m going to present you with a simple analogy that many of you will have had first hand experience with.

When you get sick, have a chronic medical condition, or an exacerbation of a chronic medical condition, what do you do? You go to a health care provider of course. You go to a person who has the scientific and medical knowledge to treat your issue. And while you may go to your primary care provider when you feel sick and think you may have strep throat or pneumonia, if you have something more serious or rare, you see a health care provider that is a specialist like a cardiologist or nephrologist depending on the condition. A health care provider that has even more training and knowledge in a particular field of medicine.

A majority of health care providers agree on what causes disease and the best way to treat it today based on results from studies conducted via the Scientific Method. True, occasionally there will be slight differences of opinion between providers such as if treatment with medication is better than having a surgical procedure. In those instances you get a second opinion and you get that from another health care provider in the same field. And even in those instances, those providers usually still agree on the cause of your condition. They may or may not disagree on the treatment. You also would likely not side with the minority. If you were sitting in the ER and nine doctors said you had a heart attack and needed a stent and the tenth doctor said it was just heartburn, I highly doubt you would take prescription for Pepcid and go home. Finally, excluding patients with chronic conditions such as asthma, migraines, or congestive heart failure who know what their exacerbations feel like, you can’t just read WebMD and have an equivalent expertise to your health care provider.

What you don’t do (or shouldn’t be doing) is go to provider after provider after provider until you find one that gives you the answer you want hear. To see multiple clinicians until you get that unnecessary antibiotic for your common cold or told that you are sick when you aren’t, that’s either doctor shopping and bad medicine or a psychological issue.

What you also don’t do is seek care from a person who is not a health care provider. You would never go to a politician for your ingrown toenail. Even though your heart is a pump, you would not consult a mechanical engineer or plumber to fix it. It would never enter your mind to make an appointment with the CFO of a hospital to get your gallbladder removed. Despite working for the hospital, they deal in finances, not medicine.

So why in the world would you not believe the 97% of scientists whose job and expertise it is to study climate change? Why would you go outside of those experts, say with a politician or CEO of a fossil fuel company, to get your information on said topic? Why would you assume you know more than the scientists who have studied this for years? Why would you go with the 3% of scientists who disagree? It makes absolutely no sense. In doing so, you are doing the equivalent of doctor shopping. You don’t care what the actual facts are, you just want to find the person who will say your opinion is right and damn the facts. I hate to break it to you, that’s not how it works.