Friday, December 14, 2012

50 First Dates: Collected Online Dating Tips

I have been asked to collect all my online dating tips and put them into one document. Here they are. As my perpetual singleness persists, there may be addenda to this list. Enjoy:
  1. It is already implied that you do not want to go out with creepers, stalkers, chauvinists, jerks, abusers, psychos, etc. You don’t have to write it in all caps and/or with 7 exclamation points that you DON’T want to hear from them. I have yet to see a woman say, “What I’m looking for is a neo-nazi sexist pig with mommy issues. I expect to get beaten to the brink of death for serving soup slightly too hot, and if we break up, I still want you to break into my house and masturbate in a pool of your own tears while you watch me sleep. Bed wetting a plus.”
    1. Corollary 2.1: Writing such statements will never help you avoid creepers, et al. People like this tend not to self-identify. The culprit audience will not read your profile and say, “Aw shucks. I guess onto the next profile”. Furthermore, I highly doubt there is a profile where the person would write, “Hi, I’m a roofer, I love animals, and I was once arrested for going to my ex-girlfriend’s wedding, teabagging her wedding cake, and then force feeding it to her”.
  2. Try to avoid saying that you are fun-loving, and describe what you think is fun. There is no person who does not like fun, but it is a matter of what two people think is fun. Saying you like to go hiking in the summertime sounds like fun to me, but saying you like to search for evidence that the President is a closet homosexual Islamo-Kenyan fascist communist does not. If you do not describe what you think is fun, how will anyone know?
  3. If you start out your summary saying, “I don’t know about this ‘online’ thing”, or, “I think these dating sites are creepy, but I’ll give it a try”, then every connection you make online will likely fail, because what you are subliminally saying is that you think any guy on here is desperate and creepy. Though far from the truth, you will only meet the desperate, creepy ones, since you repelled the ones with good head on their shoulders with your first sentence.
  4. If you take umbrage with what someone says in his profile, then CLICK TO ANOTHER PROFILE. E-mailing him to attempt to berate him may result in him writing you back and responding point-for-point to what you said...that is, after he’s deciphered your message from text talk and grammar vomit.
    1. Corollary 1.1: Should you violate Tip #1, your whining over the verbosity of your recipient’s responses to your inanity is invalid.
    2. Corollary 1.2: Keep in mind that every trolling keystroke you send may be collected and shared with his friends and/or put into his blog, a “chronicle of nonsense” if you will, so that all may laugh at the inanity of your missives.
  5. You state that you prefer black men on your profile. You met me, and you were disappointed, because I “wasn’t what you expected”. That is because (1) you didn’t really read my profile, and (2) you don’t actually like black men. You like n****rs. I am a black man, not a n****r. Just be honest on your profile, and state that you prefer n****rs.
    1. Corollary 5.1: It is very possible that this rule applies to other people of colour and ethnicities.
    2. Corollary 5.2: Can’t tell if you like black men or n****rs? Peruse your profile for telltale signs. Do you know all the lyrics to every Lil’ Wayne song? Does the last movie you saw have a black man in a fat suit and drag? When referring to your ex, do you often use the term, “baby daddy” instead of “child’s father”? Did you use the term “hood”, but you weren’t talking about the cloth head covering attached to a shirt? If you said yes to any of these, you most likely prefer n****rs.
  6. If you go out with someone, and whilst on the date you make out with someone who is NOT your date, you do not get to be upset if he (1) leaves early without you or (2) doesn’t call you back. Also, you cannot blame your lack of success on “these stupid internet sites”.
  7. Dude...no, seriously. You’re a dude. It says on my profile, “interested in women”, so what made you think I would want to talk to you? If I DID reply and politely reminded you in my interest of only women, you saying, “You don’t know what you’re missing”, is definitely not going to change my mind. You should probably go after men who are interested in MEN.
  8. Choose your words carefully. When you say, “I’m pretty laid back”, I read, “I’m boring as s*** and will rarely do anything intellectually stimulating”. When you say, “I never know what to write here”, I read, “I am almost as imaginative as a wet rag”. When you say, “I like everything except rap music”, I read, “I’m not racist enough to be blatantly offensive, but I am racist enough to call the cops on your brown friends if I don’t know them”.
    1. Corollary 8.1: If you say, “...everything but country”, I read, “I either don’t like white people, or I am too doped up on sh**ty pop music to listen to anything beyond what the radio tells me”.
  9. Your screen name may be a cute derivative of your favourite pet’s name, but if you couple that with you gushing over your “little schmoopy-schmoop” 4 times in the same summary that is supposed to be about YOU, it’s just not cute. I want to talk to you, not your cat...actually, after reading so much about Baron von Cuddlesworth so much, I feel he and I could probably go out for a drink. You stay home.
  10. If you wouldn’t do it in real life, don’t do it in cyberspace. Would you walk up to some stranger in a coffee shop and just wink at them? How many people have you approached and said noting, but you instead poked them? Come on! Use your words!
    1. Corollary 10.1: If you actually DO wink at and poke strangers in public, you may want to re-think your ice-breaking strategies.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I'm Sorry Ms. Jackson, I Want to Help


It’s no secret that I was born pretty poor. From what I remember, I think my mom had a job, but she had to leave when she suddnely was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. S*** just went downhill after that. We moved from the Albany, NY area to a TINY village called Oppenheim, NY in Fulton County. I was also the only black kid in the COUNTY. When you’re 5, that’s cool, because to every white person in 1983/4, you look just like Arnold Drummond, or Webster. Either one. In a sea of white rural people, you look like every black person ever. This hypothesis was proven when a few years later, when I looked like MC Hammer. WTF. But I digress...It wasn’t all ethnic likeness attribution going on in Oppenheim. There was also a LOT of racism. Once I was bully victim age, it didn’t stop. It didn’t help that I was a whiny little cry baby, and that I liked things like Star Wars and Legos. The abuse was daily. Even adults got in on the action. One particular one did some things he really shouldn’t have, but I’m about 20 psychiatrist couches away from expounding on that, so just know it wasn’t good.

In 1991, and my mom decided we move to Baltimore. I thought this was a great idea, but after having been in Fulton County for 9 years, I went from being the only black kid in the school to the only white kid in the school. Also, I still liked Star Wars. I dropped the Legos for Star Trek. I started high school in one of the worst schools in Baltimore. It had metal detectors in it BEFORE Columbine. Bars were on the windows before bars on school windows were cool. I was eaten alive. I was only there for one month, thank goodness. I transferred to Baltimore City College, the third oldest high school in America, and one of the best public schools in the state. I thought, “Yes! Somewhere I can be me!”...NOPE! Apparently my fellow nerds had a hierarchy too, and I was still worm bait, because I was new, and I was STILL the only white kid in the school. No matter, I still managed to gain friends, get relatively good grades, and somewhat stay under the radar after the first year. I just kept reading and drawing and building my portfolio that I would eventually present to the Maryland Institute, College of Art (MICA) to study to be a graphic designer with my own gallery.

At home, we struggled. We were never too far above the poverty line my entire life. There were many isolated power outtages throughout my life, even in Baltimore. My mom had a few jobs, but got laid off a few times as well. The safety net in which we moochers lavish naked in a bed of food stamps and entitlements a la “American Beauty” was a lot holier than what people think, and we fell through the net holes a few times. Being poor in school is not a good thing, so I covered up that fact as much as I could...

...Until finally it got REALLY difficult to cover it up. One day in the beginning of my senior year, I was pulled out of my trigonometry class (my FAVOURITE class) to head to the office. My mother was there to pick me up. When we got to the car, she explained that we had been evicted from our home. I have no idea what she said after, “We’ve been evicted, and we need to...”, but I know we went to an office (Social Security? Section 8?), and we sat for a long time to talk to someone in a suit who didn’t want his job, given his attitude. Maybe that was his defence for the giant snake of somber people wrapping around the waiting area who suddenly get violently belligerent when their numbers are called. We then shuffled to another office to talk to someone else with another bi-polar snake waiting to attack. In every office, there was a somber serpent, likely in a similar situation as us, waiting to strike. The whole time, I thought, “I just want to go back to class.” And why not? It’s not like I have a home. School is my home now.

We finally got to what was our house early evening. Let me tell you, there is nothing like seeing your ENTIRE life on display on the lawn and curb getting poached by the vultures in the area. Every book, tape, magazine. I saw my achievements, my failures, my “works-in-progress”; most of my music was gone. All the hip-hop music on which I had caught up after having been in the black hole (white hole?) of Oppenheim was gone. All that was left was the music from my past that I buried under a box in my closet...lots of Def Leopard and Warrant. Don’t you f***ing judge me. All my comics were gone. All my art instruction books were gone. All my drawings were strewn about and/or destroyed. The evictors were not nearly as careful with my drafting table as I would have been. It definitely is not supposed to be in three pieces. Goodbye, MICA. I didn’t pick up a drawing utensil for nearly 10 years after that. “Why the f*** didn’t she just let me stay in school?”

We stayed on some friends’ couches following collecting what the scavengers didn’t. I had half my wardobe and some shoes. Luckily, that day was my Tupac day, my music collection consisted of his body of work up to “Thug Life, Vol 1”. Days went by, and I all I did was go to school and work. We shifted around from couch to shelter to couch, and all I did was do my work. We got swindled by some people out of what little money we had, so that exacerbated things a little, but I didn’t care. School and work. College application time. Since we were so poor, fees were waved for most. I applied to local ones, and got into all of them. I chose the one who would give me a free ride based on academics (Morgan Pride). Let me tell you, it is really hard to fill out applications when you don’t have a permanent address. When I got to college, though, I had an address: my dorm. Mom was still going from shelter to shelter. No one at school knew my situation. I was living off re-selling books and book vouchers. When summer came, I HAD to get into internships that would house me. FINALLY, after being on a waiting list for nearly 2 years, a Section 8 house was made available for us. FINALLY, I had a permanent address, though by then, Morgan State was my home. Life was still not easy. We were still dirt poor. Grades kind of suffered due to the stress of it all and having to work two or three jobs whilst going to school, but it finally paid off when I got a job immediately after college, and I found out I was getting paid more than my white colleague straight out of college. Who would have figured?

So here I am. This may explain why I’m so f***ed up in the head (well, that and my wife having a white baby), but it doesn’t explain why I would divulged this to you and anyone who fat-fingered their Google search for Chronicles of Narnia. There is a group called StoryCorps. They record people’s stories, and it goes into the Library of Congress archives. One day, they told the story of Tierra Jackson and John Horan. She is a woman in college who grew up in Chicago, and due to some bad circumstances, would up homeless in high school. She still soldiered on. She is still struggling, though she does have a roof over her head, but s*** is still not sweet. She is me 17 years ago, except I was ashamed to tell my story. I called StoryCorps to see if I could help in any way. When I didn’t hear anything, started a Fundly account to collect money and send to pay her bills and/or tuition. Finally, I did hear directly from her. StoryCorps gave her my information. We discussed the Fundly account, and then she forwarded my info to John Horan, her former dean. He got me in contact with Evan Westerfield. He told me of the inception of the Tierra Jackson Scholarship Fund. Now, I know where/how to help. Now, please help me.

No one was around to help me, except the social safety net, which needs a LOT of improvements. Ms. Jackson doesn’t deserve the troubles I had. Getting to college doesn’t mean you’ve made it. It just means you’re on a path. I want everyone to donate what they can to my Tierra Jackson Fundly Account, and all that money will go straight to the Tierra Jackson Scholarship Fund. If you thought about giving me a late Chanukah gift, do this. I don’t care if it’s $25 or $5. As of this blog, we’re at nearly $2,600, and that’s without me plugging this. Let’s go for $7,000: $6,000 for a semester tuition, and another $1,000 for those expensive-ass books. Hell, if we beat the goal, That would make me even happier.

So to recap, here’s what I want you to do:


Happy Whatever Holiday You Celebrate.

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