Archive for the ‘Scary Stuff’ Category

It’s not so easy to discern the genuine article from a lie online, those looking for a shag and those looking for a wife. Profiles can sound similar. Sporty male looking for adventurous girl. How do I know? Well, I tried it. A friend persuaded me to join up. Match.com promised the highest matchmaking results and said they would help me find my one true love. He had some recent success and four couples in his group had met online. One couple swore their undying love and would soon marry. How bad could it be? There used to be a stigma attached. This appeared to no longer exist. How was I not aware that everyone was online dating? I soon found out.

After signing up and getting overly excited at the prospect of browsing some hunky profiles, I realised I would also have to send a wink or an email to let the person know I was interested. It was hard to figure out. A person can look good online but not match up in reality. I decided not to lie about my age and uploaded an up-to-date smiley faced photo. A male friend on match told me to say I was two years younger. His theory was that a woman over 30 would be winked at or emailed less. “Why?” I asked. “Because you want to have babies” he said. No, I don’t. I really don’t. Not right now. Apparently it doesn’t matter. Men my age would search for a woman aged 20 – 30. I would be put in this ‘32 year old wants babies’ box. I quickly changed my profile to read ‘a young 32’.

I got some hits. Winks and emails followed. I felt quite high and did my own search. A few winks and emails were sent. Musicguy told me he was looking for a dirty girl. I told him I washed on a daily basis. He decided I was too clean for him. Taxi96 sounded promising when he threw in some Dylan Moran quotes. I had mentioned on my profile that he was my favourite comedian. He seemed interested but must have changed his mind as I never heard from him again. Was it something I typed? I pondered this as I laughed my head off at the Dylan Moran quotes. This happened frequently. As if buoyed by an ego boost of flirting, some are too afraid to take the next step. kidcoop told me he was taking baby steps and loved the banter but had not worked up the courage to meet someone for a drink. It appeared there were a lot of people online looking but not actually meeting up in person.

Online Dating Horror Stories

Another friend suggested speed dating next. I thought why not. In person, there are cues. Body language, speech and that secret ingredient chemistry all have a part to play in attraction. With online dating, you are guessing. Off we went to a paid speed dating event. It started out well. There were lots of candle lit booths with a number at each table. I was number 13. I sat down and tried not to think about it. With four minutes to ask lots of questions and figure out if you would like to meet this person again, the pressure was on. I fired so many questions at one guy that he forgot to ask me a single one. Guess he didn’t have much to go on when he was ticking those boxes. I decided to take it down a notch. One guy moaned about the fact that the women didn’t have to change seats. Another guy told me he quit his banking job because he had to teach his £100k a year boss how to cut and paste. I felt like telling him, as an Irish person, we know how stupid bankers are.

The event was fun and relaxed. We made new friends. The outcome was a meal and drinks with our new found speed dating friends. Speed dating now showed promise above and beyond what online had to offer. It was so much better in person. I told everyone to sign up. The boxes were ticked and the day arrived to all meet up. One girl didn’t show up. Two guys and two girls left. One guy left halfway during the night to go to a ceilidh. Or so we believed. I found out later from guy left behind that his friend was not what he appeared to be. He had just broken up with his wife and was looking for sex only. Ceilidh was code for meeting up with a potential shag. We both drowned our sorrows and called all men bastards in the process. Last guy left without a number.

The next speed dating event was free. First guy to approach for a chat before it all kicked off was a homeless, drug taking khat guy from Inverness. His friend, also staying in the Salvation Army, came from Somalia. I hoped they wouldn’t be in my group. Not due to their situation but due to the fact that they would pause for a few minutes mid-conversation and then speak again. I got another drink and a friend to rescue us. Turned out, I wasn’t so lucky. Inverness guy was in my speed dating group. Sitting opposite me, I was given a question by the organiser. To break the ice. I felt like telling her the ice was well and truly broken. The question was “Do you like to kiss with a peck on the lips or French kiss?” I asked. He responded by leaning in and reaching his hands to cup my face and said “Why don’t you find out?” I declined. He turned his face to the side and ignored me. I decided that I didn’t have to look at the side of his face for four minutes and went to the loo. He walked out.

Speed Dating Hell

I didn’t go back for more. The girls seemed so much hotter than the guys. I couldn’t figure it out. This was my experience and the cynical part in me says try both but leave if it doesn’t work for you. It doesn’t work for everyone. You need to have patience, a good filter and a wing person to back you up. There were some nice guys. One of the speed daters sent me a letter saying he had ticked my box but I didn’t fancy him. You have to meet a lot of guys to filter out the right one for you. In the end, I picked up the courage to ask a guy I fancied in a pub for his number. He gave it to me. We met up. He texted. We went on another date. The old fashioned way. To be continued…

Scary Times

Posted: July 20, 2011 in History Stuff, Scary Stuff
Tags: , , ,

  I remember watching my first horror movie “The Shining” when I was seven.  I was forbidden to do so.  Mam said “If I catch you turning on that telly, you’re in big trouble!”.  She closed the bedroom door and went down the stairs.  I listened for the bang of the sitting room door, jumped out of bed and turned on the telly.  It was an old black and white TV with twisty knobs that made a loud click when you switched it on.  I watched, wide eyed and glued to the screen.  I was terrified but I couldn’t stop watching.  One ear on the movie and the other listening out for a footstep on our creaky stairs.  On hearing the tell-tale creak, I would jump up, turn off the telly and then hide under the covers.  Pretending to be asleep.  Breathing like a baby off the ads on the telly.  Gentle and even.  I’d hear the bedroom door slowly open.  My heart was pounding in my chest.  I was doubly scared.  Scared of the little boy in the movie shouting red rum over and over again and scared of getting into big trouble.  I did not sleep a wink.  So I don’t know what possessed me to go into the House of Horrors near my hostel in Florence…

Off with their Hand

Turns out, it wasn’t so scary after all… Only if you lived back in medieval times… Times were tough.  Hygiene was lax and disease spread quickly.  Crime was rampant.  Punishment severe.  Hanging if caught swearing, thieving or committing sodomy.  If you were lucky, you got your hand chopped off instead.  Burnt closed.  They would then wave your hand to the public.  That would put you off robbing an apple or two… There were smells everywhere.  Body odour mingling with rotten fish, emptied innards, gone off food and urine thrown in the streets.  It makes Naples look clean in comparison.  Food stands were for the wealthy and the poor survived on grains i.e. cereal and bread.  Even more shocking… Potatoes and Chocolate didn’t exist back then.  America brought them over in the 16th century.  Thank feck…

Dodgy Teeth

You still had bad teeth though… Poor nutrition and lack of hygiene.  I thought it was only chocolate and coke that caused them to rot and fall out of your head.  The solutions were drastic.  You had your teeth removed by a pincher with no pain relief.  You only had a 40 year lifespan and probably had most of your teeth gone by then.  That’s if you survived that long…  The black rat also came over on a ship.  He brought “The Black Death” with him.  The plague killed indiscriminately.  It didn’t matter if you were poor or wealthy.  It was mostly the poor classes that died due to lack of hygiene.  They were blamed for it.  Doctors came up with unusual remedies to try and cure the wealthy sick e.g. venom of scorpions, saffron and deer antlers…Quacks… They didn’t know it was the rat though.  Brothers abandoned brothers.  I’m sure sisters did too… No-one felt safe… Other diseases struck.  Glad I didn’t live back then.  Especially ‘cos there were no spuds, chocolate or pain relief…Scary times…

Close up Time