Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I don't make any secret of the fact that J and I met though eHarmony but I have to say, I hate telling people that. Not because I have any issues about online dating - I just think the eHarmony TV ads are so irritatingly cheesy that I would hate for anyone to think that the success of my and J's relationship is in any way a reflection of meeting through eHarmony versus some other online site. I've gone on countless first dates with guys I met on and personals and I can honestly say that I never really felt there was any difference in the "quality" or compatibility of the guys I met there versus those I met on eHarmony (on average). If anything, I always worried that eHarmony's process, which requires you go through several steps online before meeting in person, sort of diminished the excitement that might have been there if I'd just met the guy sooner. That is, I think that knowing too much about someone before you meet in person can actually be a detriment - a lot of the fun of dating is finding out what you have in common with someone in person, over time. I met a lot of guys who were smart and interesting and there were some who I thought I'd probably be more interested in if I'd met them under different circumstances, like through friends, where I'd have to get to know them 'from scratch'. I'm not sure why I think it matters but I do.

Of course, having met J online, I'm now tempted to put more emphasis on "chemistry". Simone Grant just wrote a post about chemistry, wondering whether it has to be there from the start or can develop after meeting, and it's got me thinking. I've always sort of thought that "chemistry" is over-rated, and I still think it's not particularly healthy for people to believe that they will just "know" when they meet the right person. Some of the guys I have fallen for hardest have been guys who started out as friends and I never would have imagined dating them at the beginning. But on the other hand, I did know right away that J was different from the other guys I had met online, largely because there were several points during our first date when I found myself wondering what it would be like to kiss him. He was the first/only guy I've ever met online where those thoughts went through my head.* And I think that with online dating, it is important that chemistry is there from the beginning because if it isn't, it's unlikely it will develop eventually, since the only thing bringing you together is dating and you'll constantly be looking for that chemistry (as opposed to getting to know someone outside the dating context, which is what happened with the guys I mentioned earlier, where we were friends and then things developed into something more).

At any rate, I don't really know why I was attracted to J and not to the many other guys I met who were just as nice, funny, etc. but I know it wasn't because eHarmony's extensive questionnaire and personality-matching system somehow knew we were right for each other. I think us working out has a lot more to do with me finally being in the right "place" in my life...

*Of course, we also met for drinks (which led to dinner and more drinks) whereas most of my other first dates had been coffee and I always find myself more attracted to guys when I'm a little tipsy - I like to tell him that we might never have made it past the first date if he hadn't gotten me liquored up, which he thinks is bizarre because he didn't even try to kiss me that night. But the point is that I wanted him to kiss me that night.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What does it mean to be married?

On Dating Advice (Almost) Daily, Terry responds to a reader who really wants to get married:
Just because you're attracting men who are willing to do everything with you except make it legal doesn't mean all men reject the idea of marriage (not by a long shot). The next time someone refuses to marry you but suggests you bear his children, just say, "No, thank you. I want to get married, and I'm going to hold out for a man who wants to get married and spend the rest of his life with me."

Then walk away.

In the meantime, picture yourself being married, not to some clown who asked you to give birth to his children, but to a man who treasures you and makes your happiness a priority.

What would this marriage look like? Feel like? Taste like? Sound like? Smell like?
Now, I have no problem with the Law of Attraction [my personal M.O. for life includes thinking a LOT about what I do and don't want so if the things I want then happen, who am I to say that it wasn't the 'Law of Attraction' at work?]. But I keep wondering: if that woman actually sits down and tries to picture herself married, does that picture really look different than a committed, lifetime relationship that isn't called 'marriage'?

This isn't a trivial question - it's one I've been asking myself a lot. I have always said that I really don't care about being married, largely because I know a heck of a lot of couples who are in lifetime relationships but who aren't legally married (interestingly, all straight couples). What I do care about is being with someone who is committed to me and our relationship, and by that, I mean someone who fully expects to spend his life with me and is willing to do the work necessary to make sure we stay happy together.

But of course, one has to be careful what one asks for (btw, this should be in huge letters on the front of books about the Law of Attraction!). My relationship with J is pretty much exactly what I'm always said I wanted, right down to the fact that he does not want to get married. It's not a commitment thing - he says he is committed to us, wants to grow old with me, and I believe him. For him, it's a political thing - he's super-libertarian and he doesn't think the government has any business being involved in marriage in any way. He actually has no problem with a wedding (which is good, because I want one, but that's the subject of another post) or being married by a minister, if I were religious (which I'm not), but I don't think we will ever be married in the eyes of the State. And I think I'm OK with that. But once in a while, I'm not sure. And then I start wondering why I'm not sure (did I mention I think a LOT about what I want?) - how would being married be any different than not being married? Am I just reacting to society's expectations? And let me be clear that by 'society', I do mean the nebulous world 'out there' since there isn't a single person who I care about personally that would ever ask me "why aren't you and J married yet?" or the equivalent. But it's hard to fight the subtle matrimania that seeps into every aspect of our lives.

This will surely be a theme I return to a lot, especially with some big weddings coming up this spring. As always, I welcome your thoughts...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A few things I think are awesome...

I recently discovered the blog 1000 Awesome Things and it is, well, awesome. I can't necessarily relate to every single thing but there are a couple that really, truly can only be described as awesome (two of my favorites: #714 Changing the channel during a commercial break and then flipping back just as the show's coming back on, and #986 When you pull up to a red light and the guy in front of you nudges up a bit so you can make a right turn). Anyway, there were a couple things that happened this week that made me want to add these to the list:
- Craigslist. I've used Craigslist a bunch of times to get rid of random stuff - it's really amazing what people will take off your hands if you list it under free stuff. But this week takes the cake because someone just came and picked up a couple sets of vertical blinds that I took out of a room I'm remodeling. What's particularly amazing to me is that one of those was 91.5 inches wide. I don't know if the guy actually has a window that size, or he figures it's close enough (or he doesn't realize it can't be shortened) but I just have to say, I'm psyched that I didn't have to figure out how to put that thing in my garbage can.
- Ebay. I've never really been a huge eBay person but I got it in my head that I want a Wii (long story there) and I swear, every single store in San Diego that might possibly carry them is sold out. But I went on eBay and not only was I able to buy one but the total cost for the package I bought (with an extra controller and games) was cheaper than if I'd bought it at Best Buy, Fry's or any of the other places I looked. Yeah, I have to wait a week to get it but that's still sooner that I could have gotten it otherwise.
- Southwest. I know that some people hate Southwest's cattle call boarding but since they started their numeric boarding system, I love it. I set an alarm on my phone to remind me when it's 24 hours before my flight and then I check in online so I've never not been in the A group. But the best thing is that unlike every other airline I've ever flown, Southwest doesn't charge you anything to change or even cancel your flight (other than any difference in fare). If you cancel, they don't refund your money (you get a credit toward a future flight) but they don't charge you $100 extra either.

What awesome things have you encountered lately?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Quirkyalone Day!

I've said before that I love Valentine's Day - basically, I love any day that gives me an excuse to eat chocolate and candy without guilt! Ironically, I think I like it more when single than when coupled. When I was single, I could just eat my candy, send silly cards to friends and enjoy feelin' the love. As part of a couple, Valentine's Day seems to create all kinds of weird expectations. J and I both think it's no big deal but somehow, even if we agree on that, not acknowledging the day at all seems weird.

But rather than spend even more energy feeling weird about it, I thought I'd go in a different direction and remind everyone that today is also National Donor Day. According to the OrganDonor website:
  • As of February 1, 2010, there were 105,525 people waiting for an organ for transplant.
  • Approximately 35,000 children and adults in our country have life-threatening blood diseases that could be treated by a marrow/blood stem cell or cord blood transplant.
  • Every two seconds someone in America needs blood, more than 39,000 units each day, according to the American Red Cross.
If you go to their website, you can get lots of information about how and where to donate organs, blood, blood marrow or stem cells. Show some love!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A new start

When I first started this blog, I thought it would be a place where I would share random thoughts about life and the world, but I particularly wanted to focus on my life as a happily-single thirty-something woman, since that is a perspective that I think could stand to be heard more in this society. The only problem is that ever since I went from being happily-single to happily-coupled, I've felt somewhat conflicted about writing here. I know I've been hesitant to write about certain things connected to my relationship because it feels sort of like a 'betrayal' of my single self, like the fact that I'm happy now somehow diminishes how happy I was then. Actually, to be more accurate, what bugs me is the idea that other people might think that.

But I've decided that I need to just get over myself. I'm still me, and I think I still have an interesting perspective to share, partly because I've gone from being a Quirkyalone to being part of a couple that is most definitely Quirkytogether. I want to tell people about my relationship because I was happily single and this relationship wouldn't be what it is if I hadn't been.

So I'm hoping to get back to what I had originally wanted, to simply write about whatever strikes me - a quirkyeconomist - as worth writing about. I certainly hope that whatever that is will be interesting to other people. I also wanted to warn anyone who has been following this blog for any amount of time that my posts in the future may be even more random and disjointed than in the past but also, hopefully, more regular...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Letter from Satan

By now, most people have probably heard about Pat Robertson's stupid-ass comments about the Haitians making a deal with the devil. But a friend just forwarded me a link to what has to be the most awesome letter-to-the-editor ever written - it's from 'Satan', to Pat Robertson, and you just have to go read it. Almost as good was Keith Olbermann's 'Quick Comment' about Robertson's comments (and similarly inane comments by Rush Limbaugh):

I'm not sure what possesses people to make the kinds of comments that Robertson and Limbaugh have made but I hope that Christians and conservatives everywhere are embarrassed for them.