Sunday, June 11, 2006

Dating Dilemma: Who's on Crack?

A conversation:

She: "So I let him pick him up--he was doing it really well, really respectfully--and I don't usually let guys pick me up on the street. We exchanged emails--I at first gave him a fake email, since I don't have any that don't have my last name, and I stupidly pointed out my building when he asked me if I lived around here. And so, a couple days later, I sent him an email, apologizing that the first address may have been inaccurate and suggesting that we get a drink. He replied, very quickly, that his email hasn't gone through and that a drink sound's great. S.O.U.N.D.apostrophe S. I didn't reply."

Me: "So what happened then?"

She: "He sent an email a couple of days later, just asking, How has your day been?--I didn't reply."

Me: (After much talk about how it's possible to be perfectly datable despite feral apostrophes) "I really think you should've at least told him. No, really: you aren't willing to date him because of his spelling. Because that's what happened, when it comes down to it, and he was doing fine up til then."

She: (some time later) "I should email him to explain. Maybe he's okay. Maybe it could work out between us."

Me: "It's been almost two weeks since you've not replied to his emails. If you explained at this point that you'd blown him off because you were holding his spelling against him, the only way he'd reply is if he had no self-respect. And you don't want a guy with no self-respect."

So, who's on crack? I think that plausible cases could be made for everyone.

22 Comments:

Blogger The Modesto Kid:

It is definitely your interlocutor that is on crack. (If "on crack" be taken to mean "absurdly pompous".) I don't see any normal reading of "on crack" that would apply to you (in this conversation anyways.)

6/12/2006 09:25:00 AM  
Anonymous John Thullen:

I would maintain that misspellings and "feral apostrophes" and such are a feature of e-mail as opposed to the old ways of communicating. I don't know why but that is the case for me. I can't see the mistakes.

Two thoughts. They eventually make a go of it. In which case, at some point, she will exhibit some accidental bad grammer or overuse semi-colons, or dangle a part of her ciple. It will be useful for the relationship for him to bite his tongue, or tongue's, as the case might be.

Second. They get married. Years later, he will commit a more egregious offense. She will note, either in passing conversation at loud volume in public, or worse, in legal documents, that the apostrophe was a fatal portent of his utter failure.

God, I'm glad dating is over for me. I'm so glad I'm now in the phase of my life when things I did or said decades ago have suddenly and stealthily reached heightened importance.

"I said that." I reply. Then I'm called "Buster", for some reason.

6/12/2006 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

Anacreon, surely you are not suggesting that you are not "hep" to the "slang" of today's young people, in which "on crack" connotes, quite amusingly, in a "black comedic" mode, a sort of "dérèglement de tous les sens," an orthogonal position vis-à-vis normal usage or convention?

Dating is a horror, just as you say, Thullen. Exciting, though: experience, at maximal vulnerability, social convention! navigate gender expectations! maintain dignity while searching for love from strangers! hold up your head, but don't have standards that are too high, of course!

6/12/2006 05:51:00 PM  
Anonymous eb:

Repeated use of the "air apostrophe", like repeated use of the "air quotation mark", whether feral or not, would probably be a deal breaker.

Perhaps my "standard"'s are to hi.

6/12/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous I don't pay:

She didn't have anywhere near enough evidence. Bad or cliched thinking would be much worse than this error, and if she's given to this judgement, trying to have an extended email exchange, to find out whether he could conduct him self in type, makes a kind of sense. Why, if I were looking for a lover now, I believe I would be using the internet in just that way, even with people whom I'd met IRL. So my guess is that the presumption against someone who tried to pick her up, even when he did it well and respectfully, set the bar too high. Pity.

6/12/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

I'm trying to find a way to make a "standard? don't you want to lay 'er?" joke funny (get it? standard, stand her? eh? eh?), and, well, the results speak for themselves.

I'll admit that persistantly wandering apo'strophe's' would probably prove a problem for me as well.

6/12/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

IDP: oh, absolutely. Most women I know give out emails, not phone numbers, to the more random men they meet. But a random from off the street is certainly going to be fighting an uphill battle for a while.

6/12/2006 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

So...no takers for debating my "the only guy who'd respond at this point would have no self-respect" assertion?

6/12/2006 10:46:00 PM  
Anonymous eb:

It depends on how the reply was phrased, which would depend on how the to-be-replied-to e-mail was phrased.

He would almost certainly have to turn her down, though.

6/12/2006 11:27:00 PM  
Anonymous John Thullen:

Yes, I suppose "persistently floating apos'trophe's" would be like a persistently wandering and disquieting lazy eye or maybe persistent bad breath.

As to the self-respect question, he could rent a airplane-borne banner to fly over her place of work with the message, "I'm y'ou'r's faults' and all" or "it could be wor'se, I could have irritable b'owel syndro'me''.

There was a Woody Allen movie (I forget which one) wherein the Allen character had a problem with a guy who kept starting his sentences with "Dj'you wanna go the beach?" and "Dj'you have a cigarette?".

I don't think that was just an apostrophe problem.

6/12/2006 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

I'm so glad you've already found a wife, John.

And...I'm still cracking up.

6/13/2006 12:42:00 AM  
Anonymous eb:

You wonder if anyone will debate your "no self-respect" point and I try to respond to it and...and...no debate.

If you take two weeks to respond, I will not answer.

6/13/2006 01:00:00 AM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

Well, I pretty much agree with you, if I understand you correctly: odds are that there's no way to salvage the situation that wouldn't require him to accept, a priori, a humbling beyond what is reasonable.

Now someone has to argue, without any knowledge of any of the facts in the case, that simply the direct honesty of a woman's admitting why she'd not replied earlier would be enticing enough for a man to try again to seduce her.

6/13/2006 02:06:00 AM  
Anonymous John Thullen:

"I'm so glad you've already found a wife, John."

Yeah, me too, considering I misspelled "grammar" in my first comment on this thread, and misquoted you in the second as well as misusing "a" for "an".

Actually, apostrophes are the least of my problems. Procrastinating on the kitchen remodel is what's killing me.

I was always enticed by direct honesty up front in women. Then, after three or so years of being curled up in a fetal position in my personal monastary, I would set out to find and seduce such women again, only to learn they had moved on to guys who split their infinitives from behind the driver's seats of those ugly Porsches.

Well, we're going on vacation to Glacier National Park, Vancouver, and Seattle for three weeks.

!S'e'e' y'a'.

6/13/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Anonymous John Thullen:

"Feral Apostrophe"

Good band name.

6/13/2006 09:51:00 AM  
Anonymous John Thullen:

"behind the driver's seats"????

They were backseat drivers. Which is tough in a Porsche.

6/13/2006 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous eb:

The problem is that, depending on [imagine blogger allows strikeouts in comments]his desperation[/ibasic] how her explanation was phrased, he could take the explanation as a sign of continued, if faint interest. But I suppose that's not the same thing as seeing her honesty as enticing. Some guys might be enticed by the idea of corrupting her [pause] grammer.

And I was mostly joking in my 2:00 am comment.

6/13/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

That's the debating spirit, eb! So a response to such an email would probably indicate either desperation or grammar-fifth-columnism. I'll take the split infinitive Porsches instead.

Have a great time in the North, Thullen! If you get a chance to buy handmade moccasins, never mind the expense and pick them up: they last for ever and ever.

6/13/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Gary Farber:

I'd have great trouble dating or taking a serious interest in someone who has trouble punctuating or writing decently.

I'd make something of an exception for a dyslexic, and I'm not making an Absolute Rule, mind, and neither am I talking about sporadic typos, which almost all of us make; I'm simply saying that someone who actually didn't know how to properly punctuate has a characteristic that would constantly get on my nerves, and it would take serious work for me to be able to get past it. It's doubtless doable in the right circumstances, but it would be a Thing for me.

"I would maintain that misspellings and 'feral apostrophes' and such are a feature of e-mail as opposed to the old ways of communicating."

I'm not even sure what you mean by this, John: that more people are careless in e-mail than when they typed or wrote by hand? Perhaps, but it's certainly something to be discouraged, if so, and I'm not even at all convinced it's so. What relevance such an observation would have for any given pair of individuals, even if it's true, I have no idea.

I sporadically read dating ads, and do nothing about them. What typically strikes me about them is that they clearly indicate to me that the writer is announcing that they have nothing original about them, no idea what a cliche is, and no ability to communicate interestingly.

The occasional exceptions stand out, of course.

But the point of writing "I like long walks on the beach, talking, and sitting by the fire; I am interesting and fun!!!" utterly escapes me, unless it means "I am completely banal; I hope you are, too!"

But I digress.

6/13/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Anonymous John Thullen:

"I'm not sure what you mean by this, John."

Well, Gary, we're obviously incompatible. That's it, I'm getting a restraining order, period.

Besides, you'd be driven crazy by my stutter and my alarming facial tics. Not to mention my habit of sitting bolt upright in bed every other Thursday night and howling the guitar solo to "Beat Me Daddy Eight To The Bar".

And then there is the Tourette's Syndrome, which oddly enough presents itself only in e-mail.

Yes, I screw up on the run in e-mail because I'm lazy and careless and then I obsess later about my mistakes. If I weren't so lazy 'd obsess WHILE I write the email, but then I wouldn't have the self-destructive warm feeling of procrastinating my obsession to the last moment.

Have a good few weeks ;) I need to go trim my nosehair, which would braid itself if I let it. I toss the braid over my hump in an alluring but convincingly wholesome way.

Leave already.

O.K.

6/13/2006 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger Ben Wolfson:

There was a Woody Allen movie (I forget which one) wherein the Allen character had a problem with a guy who kept starting his sentences with "Dj'you wanna go the beach?" and "Dj'you have a cigarette?".

Annie Hall.

6/13/2006 11:01:00 PM  
Anonymous silvana:

Oh god, your friend is me. I tend to get severely turned off by egregious mistakes, particularly of the apostrophic nature. It's a problem.

I tend to be most attracted to men who write brilliantly, and I can't turn this off, but I have decided that a good writer does not a good relationship make, and am trying to start being less rigid. For instance, my last boyfriend, who was a fantastic writer and had impeccable grammar and spelling, turned out to be totally wrong for me.

But I truly sympathize with your friend. Although it would probably take more than one mistake to do the damage.

6/15/2006 10:47:00 PM  

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