Writing left handed

A New Challenge for the Big Five-Oh

50th birthdayLast week I received a Facebook message from a public radio producer in Canada.  It’s contents?  Well, to be honest, it took me a good ten minutes to get past the words “read your blog” and “want to interview you.”  (Not that I’m completely self-absorbed and obsessed with blogging or anything…)

I did, however, eventually read the rest of the note.  Turns out, the CBC (that’s Canadian Broadcasting Company for all you Philistines out there— myself included) does a show called “DTNO” (short for “Definitely Not The Opera”) in they which explore a different themes each week.

They explore these themes through first-person stories, which is where I come in.  This week’s theme is all about how “keeping track” of things helps (or hinders) our ability to stay “on track.”

In other words (the words of the producer, to be specific): I read that you use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of your dating life.  What’s up with that?

So yeah, I had my first pre-interview interview last week; whether or not my story will be deemed “interesting” enough to hit the airwaves remains to be determined.

In preparing for my pre-interview interview, however, I had an epiphany.   I took a good look at my spreadsheet and two thirds of the way down the page—around the 49th row— it hit me.

My next date is going to be a milestone.

A rather big milestone.

The sort of milestone that most people celebrate with “Over-the-hill” balloons and tacky greeting cards, except, as you’ve probably gathered by now, I’m not “most people.”

And so, I’m going to celebrate my 50th date with a new challenge.  A dating challenge—a GREAT DATE challenge, if you will, in which I’m going to invite the eligible bachelors of Match.com, eHarmony and Plenty of Fish to come up with something that will blow my first 49 dates out of the water.

Because how often does a girl celebrate her 50th date?  (Hopefully only once.)

I know it sounds crazy but at the advice of a co-worker, I’ve decided to spend the next week (which just so happens to be my spring break) re-doing all of my online dating profiles.  No more discretion regarding my blog, my dating habits or the number of men I’ve dated since turning 25 last August.  No more holding back on the types of things I think guys won’t want to hear.  No more trying to be the prettiest, wittiest thing to hit Match.com.  Just me, exactly as I am, for better or worse.

I expect most guys will take one look at my “new-and-improved” profile and head straight for the hills, shaking their heads and mumbling, “Who the f*ck does this chick think she is?”  It does, after all, take a certain degree of self-esteem to propose what I’m proposing and I imagine most men will probably click right on through to their next prospects, hoping to find someone a bit less egocentric eccentric.

But that’s fine by me, because I tend to crash and burn with guys who take themselves too seriously.  The way I see it, I’ll get a number of X-rated responses from the creepsters over at Plenty of Fish (proposing God- knows-what for my 50th date), a few mediocre “guided communications” from the pansies over at eHarmony and maybe, if I’m lucky, a message (or two) from a fellow Match-dot-comer who’s not afraid to rise to the challenge.

Because all men love a good challenge, right?

(And no, that little double entendre was not intentional but at the risk of sounding like a Viagra commercial, I’m going to leave it in.  It is Monday after all…)

14 Responses to “A New Challenge for the Big Five-Oh”

  1. Zak

    I think you should put exactly what you feel like in your blog. In case you didn’t read it, I had my advice to women (from a male’s perspective) on what to write, and how to be “you,” here: http://slowdownson.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/things-girls-should-say-and-do-in-their-profiles/ and the things girl probably shouldn’t say here: http://slowdownson.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/things-girls-say-in-their-profiles/

    While I’m at it, what’s on your spreadsheet? When I first started (just after you), I recall reading about you using a spreadsheet, so I thought it was an great idea and decided to do my own. I’m curious how they compare.

    Unfortunately my memory isn’t good enough to go back and collect some “statistics” about things I now care about (a link to their profile, what they were looking for: dating, long term, etc, and some other stuff), but otherwise my spreadsheet has key elements such as date #, name, education, profession, blog-name, age, how they looked compared to expectations and the date/day of the actual date, as well as the site I met them on.

    • Kat Richter

      Yeah, I read your post about profiles when it first came out 🙂 My spreadsheet is actually pretty basic: the number, the blog name (ie. Date #4 or The Bovary Reading Bachelor), the real name and the location of each date. I’ve recently added columns for profession and age but I can’t remember all of the ages, unfortunately. I was hoping to “calculate” what age works best for me!

      • micah

        Oh, this makes more sense to me now. There is an introspective component to it. I also see how it would be helpful to have the alias straight for blog writing. I keep a journal and this looks similar to your version of that. From the way I originally read in context, it sounded more like something of a lookup table because you can’t remember anything about the person.

  2. micah

    I think keeping a spreadsheet is a dumb idea. How can you possibly connect with anything about a *real* person when you cant even remember the interaction well enough that you need a spreadsheet? You’re not trying to run a business, you’re trying to get to know someone. It just feels too calculated and takes all the spirit of adventure out of the equation.

    I mean, if you want to use your dates a tax write off, by all means, keep a spreadsheet! But, by the sounds of it though, you don’t pay a whole lot on dates these days.


  3. mydatingprescription

    Kat, are you trying to hit a certain number or are you keeping track of the numbers until you meet someone worth quitting the blog for? I got dropped in in the middle and haven’t gone back yet to read where you started.

    Micah, I recognize that the human factor can’t be calculated in a spreadsheet, but when online dating sites use databases to match people, it sort of makes sense to track it yourself. I too have a data table that I’ve constructed. I might even post a few scatterplots on my blog just for fun. The one regarding height would be interesting.

    Zak, I’m going to go check out your blog right now.

    • Zak


      I think Kat – like me – is just trying to go until she finds the right someone. And then you can blog about that person.

    • Kat Richter

      The latter– I’m keeping track ’til I find someone for whom I’m willing give up the “experiment.” Initially, I wanted to date 30 guys in 3 months but I don’t have a specific “goal” in terms of numbers anymore. I give you credit for attempting to date ONE HUNDRED men, because to be honest I’m feeling pretty darn maxed out at 25!

  4. Landlord

    “are you keeping track of the numbers until you meet someone worth quitting the blog for”

    Keeping my fingers crossed!!!!


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