“Hi, How Are You?”

So¬†a couple of you¬†have asked whether I plan on keeping you¬†up to date on my “adventures” with¬†the online dating Web site I joined a month ago.

I said unless I had something funny to write about, I wasn’t planning on chronicling it too much.

I’m not sure if what I’m about to write counts as being¬†“funny”, rather than¬†a peeve I’ve developed while using the site (which, as of lately, isn’t very much, due to my intense work schedule).

As with most of these sites,¬†if someone’s interested, they’ll¬†send me¬†a message, via the site’s e-mail service.

But in my experience so far (with two exceptions), the first e-mail consists of the following:

“Hi how are you?”

That’s it.

Possibly a variation or two.

But that’s generally the entire message.

I usually try to send more than a line in response. ‘Cause I’m a talker. That’s what I do.

But sometimes I’m just tempted to write back, “Fine, how are you?” And then just stop.

I don’t MIND if someone starts their conversation with, “Hi, how are you? My name is _____.” But at least add a few mores lines or somethin‘.

One guy that wrote me actually said, “I noticed that we have some of the same things in common …” And then he asked me a couple of questions.

THAT impressed me.¬† That’s PROBABLY how you’re supposed to do things on that site. I dunno. But THAT makes me want to¬†write back to that person, to offer more information, y’know? And I did.

But others – to me, it seems – apparently need a bit of work.

I exchanged numbers with one guy I talked to, based on a Hi-how-are-you e-mail.  A day or so later, while walking to work, I heard my phone beep. The guy had sent me a text.

“Hello,”¬†he wrote. Period.

After making fun of him out loud, I wrote him back. “Hi,” I texted. “How are you?”

“I am fines,” he wrote. (Not a typo.)

After a deep breath and rolling my eyes, I texted back, “So, what’s up?”

“Nothing,” he responded. “What are you doing?”

“Going to work,” was my short reply.

“Ok then,” he responded. And that was the end of THAT conversation. To be fair, we did talk later that¬†week, but only because¬†I ended up calling first, just to avoid¬†any more¬†four-word texts.

Another time,¬†guy¬†wrote me a message while I was logged onto the Web site.¬†His first e-mail was¬†“Hi how are you?” as his first e-mail. I looked at his profile and crinkled my nose. But I decided to give it the old college try.

And Lord KNOWS I tried my best to get a conversation going.

By the third exchange, he was all like, “Give me your MSN please.” Just like that. All he offered up¬†in conversation was that¬†he was about to go to bed, because he had to work the next day.

Needless to say, I responded to his MSN request by asking, “How about e-mail instead?” He never wrote me back. (Which is fine¬†by me. Aggressive little man.)

Look, I’m not looking for poetry or a¬† life story in the first e-mail.

But I don’t think I’m being completely unreasonable when I say¬†it WOULD be nice if besides an opening line, there were another two or three lines to go with it, because I’d¬†be more likely to engage in¬†conversation …¬†possibly more.

I also realize that, if it bothers me so much, I can just ignore these one-line messages.  

But¬†I’m still at the stage where – at least until I meet them – I’d like to give¬†them a chance.¬†

And hey –¬†perhaps¬†in real life these guys¬†are actually very¬†talkative.¬†

But if¬†I’m doing most of the work in a conversation where only typing is involved¬†…

Am I wrong in thinking¬†I’ll be the one doing the work in¬†a face-to-face¬†conversation?

Unexpected E-Mails

You know it’s the holidays when you get e-mails¬†from people¬†you haven’t heard from in months – perhaps even years.

I got two e-mails last Saturday.

The first was from a friend of mine¬†who’s just gotten back from travelling around Southeast Asia for the last several months.

I used to have the hugest crush on him, and when I found out he didn’t feel the same way, it hurt. (The summer does strange things to my brain and my ego, seriously.) But it was for the best, as it always is, and I’m totally fine.

He’s in town¬†for the next weeks until he takes off to his next destination: workin’ out west¬†to earn some money for business school.

The other e-mail I received threw me for a bit of a loop.

In the early days of this blog, there was a dude whom I referred to only as Shakespeare. To me, he emanated weird vibes from the start.

As the story goes, the burgeoning acquaintanceship¬†got way too weird for me, so I cut him off. I blocked him on my IM list, I didn’t e-mail him. Nothing. The last e-mail I got from him – which I responded to – was at least a year ago, I think.

Until today.

The e-mail was short and full of holiday greetings, along with the line, “I hope you still remember me.” (Unfortunately, I was thinking.)

It took a few days – plus some counsel from a friend of mine – before I brought myself to e-mail a reply, in the spirit of the season.

If I don’t sound sincere about it, it’s because part of me is extremely wary.

I mean, I pretty much eliminated contact with him for a reason.

And¬†with everything I’m trying to straighten out career-wise and otherwise, and all the good friends I DO have – who DON’T make me feel weird –¬†I don’t particularly feel charitable about expending time and energy on someone I found I couldn’t be myself around, who made me put my guard up¬†because of the way he or she¬†acted around¬†me.¬†¬† Know what I mean?

Perhaps I’m not being fair. But that’s just how I feel.

How do I know that what’s¬†in the past, is simply¬†that?