7. Ryan FICO

7

Coming in at seventh place is the story of Ryan FICO. I’ve told the tale of a Tinder profile often discovered year after year. But for those who have not read the original post, follow the link to see the story.

So… We Swipe Again

“When I first started online dating in 2015, I had some pretty hard and fast rules regarding the profiles I would say “yes” or swipe right on. When it comes to photos specifically, I use some loosely guided rules to govern my interactions.

  • Shirtless photo? Pass.
  • Photo with a bunch of women? Pass.
  • Photo with kids? Pass.
  • No photo at all? Hard pass.

 

This one particular person had a profile photo that seemed incredibly arrogant.”

IMG_2388

 

Revisiting this story reminds me of some details I had previously neglected. When discussing why our conversation fell by the wayside (I cited his self-given list of flaws), I had mentioned that I didn’t even know what he looked like! It was then that he sent me a picture. It was a photo of him with his sister at her wedding. He even gave me a link to his YouTube channel offering strangers of the internet financial advice. Then it hit me… I had seen this very photo before. It was a deja vu moment that I couldn’t even cop to. Had I dropped off the planet because I just wasn’t attracted to the man behind the FICO score? It’s entirely possible. He wasn’t my type at all socially and the lack of physical attraction could have very well sealed the deal. I hope Ryan ultimately found what he was looking for.

8. Matt Not In AZ

8

Now we have entered the quarter final rounds. The top 8 will battle it out to be the saddest victor. Coming in at 8th place is Matt Not in AZ.

Let me give you some context for this story. It was October 2017 and I had recently gone through a breakup. I was visiting my friend Clara in northern California. Before heading her way, she convinced me to download Tinder again. You know… just for giggles. I wasn’t genuinely looking, I’ll be honest. But the potential to break my mind away from the thought of my previous relationship was tempting. So, I downloaded Tinder and began swiping.

Now, Tinder in my opinion is a game in its own right. But, the game we played was far more dangerous. One night while out on the town, we swapped phones to swipe for the other person. Clara and I are really close friends. But, although we have similar interests in food, movies and books, our taste in men has never been an area our interests overlapped. So this was going to be fun.

It probably did not help that we were out bar hopping. As fun as it sounds, I rarely recommending Tindering under the influence. Clara got several matches for me with conversations flowing shortly after. She is also an opportunist, though. So if a previous match sent a message, Clara had no qualms diving into a conversation with them either. Matt was one such conversation.

Just a friendly reminder that when the conversation doesn’t sound like my typical cadence, you can bet that Clara is responding.

IMG_7597

Tinder, might I add, is a location based dating app used to connect people based on geographic positioning. I must have matched with Matt prior to leaving for California since his distance was much, much further than the “within 20 miles” metric in my settings–a distance difference he clearly did not notice.

IMG_7598.png

Clara and I agreed– he had no business knowing where I was. All he needed to know was that his request was physically impossible.

IMG_7598-1.png

Not entirely sure how he jumped from getting Mexican food to spending the night… Let’s even say that I wasn’t completely turned off by the idea of meeting a stranger at 2:30am. Let’s go a step further to assume I am not repulsed and terrified by the idea of spending the night with said stranger. His request still does not grasp the fact that I am still not in Arizona!

IMG_7599.png

We did have quite a bit to drink that night. While walking the streets of the lively downtown, we ran into some of Clara’s coworkers who dragged us into a nearby dive bar. My first gin and tonic–heavy on the gin, light on the tonic– was served in a pint glass! And the drinks kept coming. Note the alcohol intake and still Clara had excellent grammar! Bravo!

IMG_7599-1.png

Alas, Matt still did not comprehend the fact that I was not in Arizona.

IMG_7600

Nobody says it better than Katarina Stratford in 10 Things I Hate About You. Her eye roll says it all. But, alas, I was not the one responding.

ZealousOddballAfricanparadiseflycatcher-small.gif

Instead, Clara gave him some pretty practical advice.

IMG_7602

Thunderbird School of Global Management was listed as Matt’s education on his profile.

IMG_7603.png

Ouch. His entire point was to defend his intelligence. Then, he uses the wrong homophones instead of “than” and “they’re” all in the same sentence.

IMG_7604

Oh good! Clara is just as sassy as I would have been! Excellent.

IMG_7605.png

What do you mean you “just noticed the distance”?? It was repeatedly pointed out to you in your quest to invite me over.

IMG_7606

Or perhaps both. I do not believe those two situations are mutually exclusive.

IMG_7607.png

Buddy… we had been asking ourselves the same. exact. thing.

IMG_7608.png

Clara is getting feisty at this point. She has had it with Matt and his perceived level of intelligence.

IMG_7609

Goodnight, Matt. And goodbye. Clearly.

9. Paypig

9.png

So… for number nine I had to do a bit of research. The conversation with Tommy did not last long. It was not full with witty quips and silly jabs. The research, and the proposition in general, is why Paypig made the cut for the top 16 bracket.

I don’t quite remember the conversation leading up to this point. It happened almost two years ago. And honestly, I had gratefully forgotten about these screenshots in general until siphoning through my old photos for the bracket. Here’s the conversation that followed:

IMG_8713.png

I have never heard of this kind of arrangement where there are “no [strings] attached whatsoever.” I cannot believe that it actually exists.

IMG_8714

Which is true. I am not particularly offended. I am just incredibly confused at the proposition.

IMG_8715.png

And with that suggestion, I Googled the term “paypigs.” The results were all about financial domination, indeed. A form of submission, the paypig will hand over financial control to their partner as a form of financial domination, or findom. Findom is internet slang defined by Wiktionary as “a form of erotic humiliation in which one person gives money and control of their finances to another.”

IMG_8716

I’ll admit, at the time of this conversation, I think I had the wrong idea about what a paypig actually is. I wouldn’t have been the submissive. Instead, he was asking me to be the one in control.

IMG_8717.png

The conversation ended with so many red flags. Why do you want to do this for someone? Who pays for a stranger’s life? And how on earth is that doing you a favor? From this guy’s perspective, he sees it as being useful to the girl. From my perspective, it feels like an exhausting second job. I have enough on my plate dealing with my own finances. I do not want to take control of someone else’s, too. Furthermore, I do not want to feel like I owe anyone for the financial investment they have now taken in my life. No thank you.

To read about someone’s actual account of her experience with a paypig, jump to Bolde. This internet subculture is beyond my own personal experience.

With that, we conclude the first round of elimination. Next up, is number eight.

10. Murdering Mormon

10

Up next in the top 16 countdown is number 10… The Murdering Mormon. I realize that this nickname is just as odd as it is unnerving. But, allow me to explain. If you have read some of my other posts, you know that I tend to start conversations with the same telling question: If you had to describe yourself using only one word, what would it be? I get answers like “driven”, “motivated”, “funny”, “exciting”… Usually adjectives that would entice further conversation. Rarely do I get nouns and even more rarely are they scary. But, along came Jacob…

IMG_7191.png

Hm. Interesting first impression.

IMG_7192.png

And alarmed I was. Who opens up a conversation with someone online and immediately jokes (or at least I hope it was a joke) about being a murderer? His response turned into the world’s worst segues.

IMG_7193.png

At this point I am incredibly confused. I am not Mormon, but I am friends with many. It just comes with the territory of growing up in Mesa, AZ. Is being Mormon good for him? Is it bad? Do I meet some really creepy murder checklist if I say yes? Is it worse if I say no? Either way, the thread of conversation is splitting awfully thin.

IMG_7194.png

He had a totally reasonable chance to explain his question. In fact, the connection with a mutual friend actually made sense. But he had to go and ruin it with the line “Good cause I don’t murder Mormons.” And that answered my earlier questions. Being Mormon would have kept me out of the line of danger. No was apparently the wrong answer if I wanted to keep my life. So, I guess that puts me back on the hit-list. And once again, in an attempt to change the topic, we are hit with a totally unnatural transition in conversation. I ignored the inquiry into my weekend and doubled-back to his murdering comments.

IMG_7194-2.png

 

I don’t have any doubts in my mind why this man was single.

IMG_7195-1.png

The mere fact that I am uncertain if he’s actually joking or just really disturbed should be telling. Perhaps if I had better survival instincts, I wouldn’t goad a potentially psychotic (let’s be fair, he self-described as a murderer before saying anything else) individual. But I cannot help it. My thoughts will be told, consequences be damned.

Once again, an excellent conversationalist. Knows when to transition in an out of topics seamlessly…

IMG_7195-e1544896754230.png

Perhaps I am beating a dead horse. Perhaps I should let it go. But I just cannot wrap my mind around the fact that this guy described himself as a murderer.

IMG_7195

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it could save the life of an unsuspecting internet dater.

IMG_7196.png

Ohhh okay. He is joking. Totally just messing around. Making a mockery of the fact that women are always needing to be vigilant. Alright. I can sort of get behind that. Maybe he is just not very socially aware.

Wait.

“Serial killers fascinate me” is definitely not how that explanation should have ended. At least he thinks they are evil?

IMG_7196-2.png

Texting typos aside, it’s true. If a girl thinks that someone is a murderer or serial killer, she certainly will not swipe right just to tempt fate. I went out with, and ended up in a good relationship with, a guy whose profile listed 10 things about him. Number 1 was “won’t murder you.” Alright, playful insight. Addressing the situation in a joking way. I totally get it. Beyond that though, the topic of whether he would murder me just never came up. Just the fact that someone has matched with you indicates they show at least a little bit of interest. Don’t start a conversation with something that will instantly create a barrier between you and the other person. Especially if you already know that this is a common concern of the weary online dater.

IMG_7198

Weird may have been boring, but I think I would have preferred that to the persistent thought of his murdering past. I never did risk my life to meet him in person. We would have never worked, anyway. There are too many differences between our schools of thought and brands of humor.

The search continues

11. Tony Stark

11.png

It has been a while since my last post, so I decided to get the ball rolling on the Top 16 worst experiences (as of the summer when the bracket was compiled). Coming in at number 11 is Mr. Tony Stark.

 

IMG_5075

 

All things considered, not bad. He clearly put some time and thought into his response. He carefully looked at my own profile and inserted some of my interests into his message. The rocket scientist/ businessman/ soccer star combo felt a bit like he was trying too hard. But, all in all, he seems nice.

Anyone who has done the online dating scene might tell you how easy it is to get lost in the sea of messages and profiles. I do, certainly, every time I foray into the world of online dating. For one reason or another, I chose not to respond to Lkng4MySoulmate. Maybe someone else at the time had caught my eye or perhaps I was already tired of the dating scene. I did not think much beyond reading the message and moving forward. Until…

img_50761.png

Note the time stamp. July 22 to July 30. He copy and pasted his message verbatim. Same cheesy self-deprecating joke. Same attempt to make an activity connection. Same awkward double-spacing between commas. It is not the first time a non-response on my end has resulted in a double text. They are, typically, a lot shorter though. Limited to “hey,” “hello,” and “will you marry me?” I chuckled a bit, but moved forward.

It wasn’t long before…

img_50771.png

Less patience this time around…

img_50781.png

And again…

img_50791.png

Fittingly published in a 1981 Narcotics Anonymous guide, the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Five identical messages spaced out over a short couple weeks definitely fits this definition.

It was at this point in my dating ventures where I was just tired of the game. Tired of the antics; tired of trying to make conversation; tired of finding little of interest to me. So, I decided to mix things up. I have reads many Buzzfeed articles of women who started responding to guys using only quotes from a movie or TV show or character. I jumped head first into my 24 hours using only quotes from 10 Things I Hate About You, a 1999 teen rom-com. (The resulting conversations will be featured in a later post). My sassy side just came out.

I finally responded to Mr. Tony Stark quoting the ever-ridiculous Ms. Perky, the guidance counselor.

IMG_5080

He seemed nice enough. But… at some point… you’ve got to cut your losses, bud. In my (sometimes very painful) own experience, no reply is indeed a response. Call it quits and keep fishing. We were, after all, using Plenty of Fish.

I don’t quite see the same charm in Lkng4MySoulmate as is portrayed in the big screen Tony Stark. I am sure it took a lot of persistence and gumption to become a “billionaire, playboy philanthropist” who moonlights as a metal-laden super hero. And trust me, Lking4MySoulmate definitely shared the persistent character trait. All in all, I hope he did find his soulmate–even if it took a few too many tries.

Next up is 10. Murdering Mormon.

 

 

12. Neville Lyingbottom

12

Number 12 is the standard catfish tale. His opening message was kind of cute. My profile often showcases my vast interest in Disney. Specifically, many photos display my love of going to Disneyland.

img_5526-1.png

So his proposition of going to one of my favorite places was well-played. But what he didn’t realize is that I am also an avid Harry Potter fan. Something about his photo just stood out to me… Like, for instance, that it portrayed one of the famous characters. Neville Longbottom.

It didn’t take long to find the original photo. Just moments and one Google search later, I came across the stolen image.

img_5527.png

All things considered, it was one of my easier detective moments. So, of course, I asked him about it.

img_5526-11.png

Excuse me?? He has the audacity to use a photo that is not an accurate depiction of himself AND he has no idea of whom the photo is? If you’re going to catfish, I would at least expect someone to choose a photo with little chance of being recognized. This isn’t the first time I have encountered a catfish profile. Many of the others choose to dig deep into the web to find a photo that is both attractive and difficult to uncover. One guy, who is the star of a separate and upcoming top 16 post, used a photo it took some major digging to uncover the true identity. It’s almost like Neville wasn’t even trying. Plus, I’m a little disappointed with his lack of Harry Potter knowledge in general.

He explained himself though.

img_5526-12.png

I do understand the military claim. But, it never stopped the guys I have met before. “Been down this road before” is putting it gently. It was a “pass” from me and the military-grade catfish. No thanks, Neville. On to the next…

13. Boring Ryan

13

Number thirteen…

Let me introduce you to Boring Ryan. There isn’t much to say about him, honestly. We didn’t get much into the “getting to know you phase.”

IMG_8646

Now let me clarify. From a very early age, I was told that “only boring people get bored.” The lady who said that was one of the most inspiring and influential teachers I know. Boredom can be incredibly productive, mind you. Boredom has a purpose. It puts our minds in a state of desire for new stimuli. Initial boredom can propel people to bring out their creativity and imagination. My only qualm is when people perpetually complain about being bored. Where is their drive for adventure? Why must they always look to someone else to fix their boredom? Why is your boredom only fixed through others entertaining you?

img_8647.png

 

I’m not above playful banter. But I know nothing about Ryan. I’ve never met him and we haven’t had any conversation of substance. He was not a fan of my observation.

IMG_8648

I grabbed the screen shot moments before he “unmatched” with my profile. Had I not been actively on my phone, I would have never seen his response at all. Honestly, his response doesn’t even deserve to be picked apart piece-by-piece. He does not know me well enough to assert I was “looking for something serious.” He never asked. I never said.

This is a subset of current dating culture, though. The kind where any small amount of possible rejection insights an explosive reaction that puts blame on the other party. I’m not sure whether he would have reacted similarly had this interaction been in person. But the fear that it might happen sits in the back of girls minds every time they get hit on in public, or catcalled, or even just approached by a stranger.

I stand by my original statement. He’s boring.

 

14. Bad Teacher

14

In fourteenth place… we have the Bad Teacher story brought to you by Andrew. It started as a normal conversation. Certainly nothing to write home about.

 

IMG_2390

Nothing out of the ordinary. Just regular small talk to wade into conversation intended to get to know someone.

img_2391.png

“Thanks.” I acknowledged the compliment. In general, this is something with which I tend to struggle. I don’t know how to take a compliment and in that regard I’ve always felt socially awkward. Perhaps it’s social programming or widely held societal standards or just my inherent awkwardness at times. But it’s there. So, I acknowledged the compliment and tried to move on.

 

img_23911.png

I wasn’t buying his story, but I wasn’t intending to call him out on it. I had barely started talking to the guy. Back then, when I first started the online dating venture, I wasn’t nearly as bold. Before I could even ask him clarifying details about that particularly ambitious line of work, Andrew once again redirected the conversation.

IMG_2391

It was at this point my sassy side started to shine through. In general, I think this type of conversation is frustrating. There are so many implications with the “hot teacher” archetype. Regardless of my students’ assessment of my appearance (by the way, gross and I don’t want to know), they learn. I am just as vivacious with speech in my classroom as I am online. I really don’t accept any nonsense in my class. But the implication that is perpetuated by the “hot teacher” role, especially when used to flirt here, is that a student may have a chance to be with that teacher. Absolutely unacceptable, unprofessional and uncalled-for. And so icky. My profession is my passion and my livelihood. It is not some sick, twisted fantasy.

IMG_2392

img_23921.png

And once again here, accept the compliment and move on. My frustration is building, though. I clearly am not engaging in this line of conversation. So, once again I try to pivot to a more appropriate topic.

IMG_2393

Yes! Okay! Now we have something in common. I love Game of Thrones– a show on which I could spend hours discussing. This will be perfect to expand our conversation.

img_23931.png

Annnnnnnd… there it is. Again. I grew up playing baseball (no, not softball–perhaps a rant for a different post). Three strikes and you’re out, buddy. It’s time to shut this down. Clearly he isn’t picking up the fact that this raunchy teacher-talk isn’t going to happen.

IMG_2393

Thanks, Andrew, for the conversation. Hopefully he learned at least one thing from this teacher: pick up better on social cues. On to the next…

 

15. No Chill Logan

15

In 15th place… No Chill Logan.

Logan has this name because he literally has no chill.

Logan, like many others, initiated contact by utilizing my love of mathematics. Typically, my profile always has a math quote from some professor. This accomplishes two tasks: 1) communicates my passion for mathematics and 2) scares away (some of) those who aren’t the brightest bulbs. Logan, however, was not dissuade by my passive assertion of my intellect.

no-chill-logan.png

All things considered, he probably would have been better off to just go for the pick-up line. Clearly there is one from Google buried in his opener. And pointing out that he “isn’t smart enough for it” wasn’t going to be doing him any favors. But, this is not why Logan made the cut in the tournament…

No, Logan made it to the Battle Royale of the top 16 because he has no chill. Note the time stamp on the Tinder message? 10:36pm.

I do not know what made Logan believe that responses to Tinder messages needed to be favorable and immediate. Somewhere in his mind, though, he believed that I should have responded to his message right away. Not even 12 hours later, he sent a follow up message… on a completely different dating app!

no chill logan 3

Seriously…? No wonder this lad is single. He has no chill and some control issues to say the least. I don’t appreciate guilt or negative communication being used against me to try to manipulate a conversation. I cannot imagine it works in his favor very often, either.

no-chill-logan-31.png

He apologized, in case you were wondering. And while I appreciate someone taking some ownership over their actions, I have no interest in associating with someone who instinctively jumps to hateful speech or manipulative tactics.

In fourteenth place is… Bad Teacher.