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This article on the wisdom of women who marry for money, especially in New York City's current economic climate, is interesting reading but there's something very weird about it. The author never acknowledges the existence of children.

That's pretty bizarre when talking about women's lives. And not just her own.

The weirdest part is that she says "women leave the workforce for long streches" and never once mentions why women do that. You may be thinking "well, yes, because it's obvious," but she goes on to say:

"The solution: don't leave the workforce."

... Without ever acknowledging that this means either not having children, or letting somebody else raise them. Day care from day one. This is unacceptable to a lot of people. But if you blink and miss it, her argument seems perfectly sensible. Those irrational womenfolk, leaving the workforce for "long stretches" just to play beer pong!

She recommends that New York women stay in the workforce and date "starving artists." Is she recommending that the menfolk raise the kids? Maybe, but who knows? It's a central issue in most women's lives but it's never even mentioned in the article.
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What does a 37 year old woman look like?

Damned if I know.

What does a 37 year old man look like? Well, like me, I guess. But I've surprised quite a few people with that information. Without ever meaning to. (*)

And the Internets are no help. Well... at least the portion of the Internets in which people don't wear pants. Dirrrty pictures of the laydeez are always of younger women, unless they are expressly aimed at "mature" or "MILF" fetishists, in which case they tend to be in their mid-forties or older.

All this makes things tricky for those of us who happen to be single, in our thirties and freakishly willing to date our age peers. Hey, I kinda enjoy the company of someone who understands some of the same cultural references.

And yes, I have the good fortune to know a lot of remarkable folks younger than myself. But we all know those younger people are going to become more interesting as they get older...right? Right. Besides, they almost always harbor ambitions I've already accomplished, and you can't grow up twice.

But as I said, it's really very difficult to tell how old anybody is anymore. So I have a new plan, one that takes advantage of the aforementioned cultural references.

When I meet an attractive woman of indeterminate age, I'll just drop a random reference to Happy Days or the A-Team or, better yet, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. The kids aren't exactly chomping at the bit to watch that one on DVD (although, surprisingly, it is available). It was a show of its time... we all watched it, but man oh day did it suck.

Edit: apparently Those Darn Kids were watching the A-Team too, at age nine; it was high school fare for us. I need more obscure stuff!

[Whistles "Learnin' the Facts Of Life"]

(*) Though I must admit it would be a lot more obvious if I stopped shaving my head! But my skull was always meant for it— I wish I'd tried it much earlier.
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On dating the atheist male. Funny and insightful. Thanks for the link, sis.

I don't really represent that remark, though, not exactly. My parents have known more about my religious views than they ever wanted to know since I was eight years old, and I'm long since over Christmas-bashing.
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Randy P., founder of, has jumped in on my earlier post about that site and its design issues (especially the Windows-only, Outlook-and-AOL-only "friend finder" feature). So go check out that post again to see his comment and my response.

Evidently they are in the midst of a redesign, the first in several years. So if you're interested in influencing the future of a do-gooder-oriented site with a good fundamental concept, now might be a fine time to chime in... constructively, of course.
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I make fun of lame personal ads a lot, so I thought I'd do the opposite for a change: this ad is great.

Totally not the girl for me, but that's one of the great things about the ad— after reading it, I know that, but wish I had a suitable male single friend to throw at her.
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A friend is on, a social networking slash dating site centered on political issues (okay, liberal political issues— if you're any further "right" than a typical Habitat for Humanity member, it's probably not for you). So I checked it out. Annnd...

It's a good idea, if a bit thin on details. Unfortunately, their "friend finder"— a key piece to get the ball rolling— requires Windows.

WTF? Does Facebook's friend finder require Windows, or any particular OS? Of course not! It's a web application. It goes out and talks to gmail and whoever and gets your stuff. It doesn't need to be a Windows application.

I hate to think that someone got paid to completely misconceive of how this problem should be solved and now care2 is stuck with that "solution" and wondering why all those Mac people (likely candidates to join, I'll bet) are mad at them.


Edited to add: okay, so they might be thinking "we need access to their Outlook address book," which is valid if the user uses Outlook or another local email client. But this is a lot less common than it used to be, especially for personal use. Also, it's not hard to walk people through exporting contacts from Outlook. And in fact Facebook offers to do exactly that.
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No, I haven't been dumped recently, thank you for asking. Just feeling creative today.
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The New Republic reports that east coast metro areas have a distinct surplus of women, and west coast metros the other way round. Pretty graph behind the link.

Poor dears. Must console.

But how do gay and lesbian populations figure in? Nobody knows. And what does all this mean in percentage terms? Nobody's bothering to mention.

Ganked from [ profile] noisefootprint.
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Hee. So true.

Missing at least a dimension or two, though.

(Attribution unknown)


Nov. 12th, 2007 08:17 pm
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Assume a... point guy and gal... no, a spherical guy and gal... hmm, neither is appealing.

Let's try again.

Assume Raggedy Ann and Reggedy Andy, all grown up.

Further assume they are heterosexual and more or less typical in this regard. If you have preexisting fantasies involving Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy, pls substitute Dick and Jane, and vice versa.

Don Juan and Doña Juanita. At standard temperature and pressure. Mkay? Good.


When Raggedy Ann posts her profile to a dating site, she will get zillions of responses. When Raggedy Andy posts his profile to the same dating site, he will get almost no responses. However, they will receive approximately the same number of responses that don't make them want to tear their own eyeballs out.


Post to LJ, see if people agree with me or not.
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Another plug for my favorite dating site, but this time with an operator's manual. Folks have been half-trying it and expressing disappointment with the results. Thing is, it's just as lame as any other if you don't use it right:

1. Sign up

2. Write a fun profile which does not mention beaches, being "equally comfortable in a brooks brothers suit or a pair of blue jeans," your nieces and nephews, or "THE ONE." If you have no actual interests to talk about, go get some, try this again in a year

3. Upload some decent photos

4. Click "improve matches" and answer about 200 of the silly questions. Really. Until you do this, you will not get interesting matches. This is why they call it "improve matches."

Important: many interesting people have marked some of the questions "very important" or "mandatory." Those people are not going to pop up until you have answered a decent number of questions. And it's fun, so you may as well.

5. Click "view matches"

6. Be pleasantly surprised

If you don't use it properly, you get the same "ugh another generic request for a threesome with two jerks in Cleveland" email you would get on any other lame-ass dating site. If you do use it properly, you will still get that email, because there's a certain level of cosmic dumbass radiation out there. But you will also meet some good peeps.
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(Also sent to

KUOW, let's cut the small talk here.

I live far, far away. We broke up ages ago. I'm not coming back.

It was good, but I'm over it.

KUOW, you need to move on too! Lots of actual Puget Sound residents would love to hear from a charming radio station like yourself. So don't waste your resources on a guy like me. I'm no good for you. Please tell yourself that. Often.

The pleas for money are especially embarrassing. For both of us. But mostly for you.

My address is:


I'm trusting you to delete this from your mailing database. Please, no more sad little valentines.

Love, of the "please don't call me" variety, and at a distance -

Tom Boutell
boutell: (Default) has implemented a "Dead To Me" button. It doesn't mean you won't get any actual messages sent by that person. It simply means that you won't see your cousin, best friend, ex-wife, boss, or that chyck who blew you off for a second date come up in your search results for the 50,000th time.

I asked for exactly this feature three years ago. But hey, I'll take it now!

The label "Dead To Me" might seem confusing, but okcupid has always been an irreverent site, which is part of its charm. And it's become more useful as a place to look for drinking buddies as well as potential dates. For those of you who make a distinction.
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Someone on my friendslist, who shall remain anonymous, asked in a locked post for some advice on how to break up with their significant other. I gave them way, way too much advice, realized it, laughed at myself, and decided to turn it into a plain ol' post instead.

This is based on good and bad experiences on both sides of the fence. And I'm not claiming that I get it right every time myself. Ohh, if only.

Dumpster's Tipsheet

So you're in an ongoing romantic and/or physical relationship (*) with a good person who treats you well. Good for you.

Alas, you want out. You're sure about that. And the dump-ee hasn't done anything horrible to deserve it.

So: now what? These are some suggestions on how to get from here to there:

1. Get it done. Sooner rather than later. 90% of class credit for this part.

2. No ambiguity. Tell them it's over. Do not budge on this point. It's really over, it's o-v-e-r. And as the dump-er, do not offer them a scaled-back relationship that still involves sex, such as a friends-with-benefits situation or similar. They are in a vulnerable place and will agree to something that's not right for them.

3. Don't do it when they are stuck spending any additional time with you that day/weekend/whatever. Don't even ask them if they want you to stay. They will say yes because they want you to stay in the relationship. But they really need you to leave the room (or get off the phone) so they can call up a good friend and go out and get smashed and rag on you for a couple hours and come to terms with it. This is one reason why I'm not sure the phone is really such a terrible choice.

You should leave even if they do ask you to stay and continue with some planned activity (not to be confused with running out on the actual breakup conversation).

4. You can't meet all of the above requirements via text messaging, IM or any other non-immediate or unreliable medium. So do it in person - or on the phone, if you have been comfortable having important conversations in the past. The phone has a lot of advantages with regard to #3 above.

However, if you are totally incapable of getting this done in person or on the phone, then an email or a letter... while not really acceptable... is infinitely better than not getting the job done. As long as you're sure it won't wind up in their spam folder, that is.

You may not, however, pat yourself on the back afterwards. Especially if you don't at least try to get it done in person or by phone.

5. Hear them out, but don't get dragged into reconsidering. Absent some radically new information.

6. Don't talk about how hard it is for you. Yes, it is hard for you. But asking them to sympathize with you at this moment is selfish. Call a friend if you need that. Also, the dumpee will just fixate on your alleged misery and want to know why you're dumping them if it's so darn hard for you.

7. Do not offer to stay friends unless you're 100% sure you actually want it. As in, actually still seeing and interacting with that person on a regular basis and giving them some of your time and energy. For reals. If not, "I'm sure I'll see you around" is much more honest.

In my circle, people usually do mean it when they decide to do the "we'll still be friends" thing. So it causes a lot of irritation and a sense of being dumped twice when the occasional twerp plays this line insincerely.

8. If you do decide to remain friends, seek out opportunities to interact with that person in social situations involving other people. The more the better. Avoid quasi-dates. The other person will sit there thinking "I had a pastrami sandwich, and this is bread with mayo on it, and I miss my pastrami." Hilarity will not ensue.

If you get any flak for dating and flirting in those situations after the first week or two, make it crystal-clear that this is unacceptable. If they can't handle it, well, they don't have to hang around you.

Sometimes a little consideration here is reasonable when you share a zillion mutual friends and the relationship was a long-lasting one. But if you do decide to show some, make it clear it's not going to last forever. Say, a month or two... tops. Life. Goes. On.

This does not mean you should make out on the next barstool over, say, two days later.

9. Pointing new men/women in their direction - after a decent interval, and only if you've pursued the friendship - can be all right if they are really comfortable with that. But be sure the dump-ee has truly come to terms with your new non-romantic relationship first.

You need to be able to flirt with somebody else in their presence. And that probably helps them to get the hint, too. But you don't really need to set them up with somebody new. You just want to do that because it makes you feel better. So if it's not really right for them, you're not really being nice.

This probably reads a lot like a "how to fire someone" list. They are very similar.

(*) Boyfriend, girlfriend, not using those terms but dating exclusively for a significant period of time... any relationship, really, in which you know the other party has reasonable expectations of communication on your part. I'm not talking about how to get rid of someone after one date. Though it might be appropriate after one wildly successful date that wasn't clearly advertised as a one-night stand. So hey, apply this advice whenever your gut tells you it's appropriate to take the matter seriously.

On the other end of the spectrum, if you're ending a marriage or similarly committed allegedly-lifelong relationship, you're going to need more than a livejournal post's worth of advice.
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I recently discovered I'm still persona grata with someone I made an unwelcome pass at a little ways back. Nice feeling. I'm always pleasantly surprised when the world doesn't end.

But of course, as Dan Savage recently told one of his readers (the rest of the column is racy, duh, he's a sex advice columnist):

All unwelcome advances are made by assholes, COTJ, while all welcome advances are made by non-assholes. But since it is the reaction of the advanced-upon that determines asshole status (i.e., if she wants to fuck you then you're not an asshole) and since you can't know if an advance is unwelcome until after you've made it, you have to risk sounding like an asshole or you'll never get laid. No one ever gets laid without sounding like an asshole every once in a while. So are you an asshole? There's only one way to find out: Hit on her. Be respectful and upbeat about it, and do it at an appropriate moment (after-work drinks?), and wait until she's no longer employed at the place where you work, particularly if she works under you. But you're going to have to risk sounding like an asshole, COTJ, or you'll never get laid.

... And I would add: with any luck, the person you've made an unwanted pass at is savvy enough to understand this and take the compliment for what it is. Provided you don't do it every three minutes. Or camp out in the lobby of her apartment building. Or carve his name into your left buttock with a spork. Then go around wearing assless chaps. Or... well, you get the idea.

Hey, Going There may be scary, but it beats halfway pimpin'.
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Whipsmart brazen hussy wanted. The ideal applicant:
  • Is a female lady type person of the opposite sex
  • Lives within the Philadelphia city limits
  • Doesn't want additional children (*)
  • Dances salsa, or would like to learn
  • Dances, generally
  • Can tolerate acoustic guitar
  • Can and will make time for the right person
  • Is passionate about something
  • Has interests beyond work, booze (**), and television
  • Shares a need for time and space in which to pursue said interests
  • Bikes, walks, jogs, etc.
  • Camps
  • Possesses vigor & joie de vivre
  • Starts trouble
  • Appreciates irony and sarcasm, but not to the point of soullessness
  • Kicks ass in spite of everything
  • Swears like a sailor (sailors encouraged to apply)
  • Envisions someday welcoming the use of the four-letter "L" word by the right person
  • Totally wants to rip my pants off
  • Roller skates a plus

Exceptions to some of the above may be considered for outstanding applicants.

Resumes may be submitted in Word, OpenOffice or... who am I kidding? Let's skip to the interview.

As our citywide talent search is still ongoing, temp. pos. still avail.

(*) Children already in the applicant's life are awesome. Vague fantasies of adopting another kid when the applicant is 50 are also totally okay.

(**) Homebrewers and beer snobs, however, are quite welcome.

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