Single White Nerd: An Open Letter to ‘S’
a blogumn by Michael Kass
While most self-respecting nerds out there settled in to get lost in the byzantine twists and turns of Lost’s final episode (which, from what I could tell from the screams of frustration coming from my neighbor’s apartment, was a bit less than satisfying), I went through my cell-phone looking through old text messages hoping to find some inspiration for today’s blog. This is because I am a winner.
Inspiration struck at 2 AM. But it’s not a blog. It’s an open letter to someone I met online and went out with once. She was a not-unattractive woman in her early 40s. We can file this one under “reasons not to meet people through an online dating site.” I think we can all learn from the experience. At least I can. Please enjoy:
“Just 1 more thing. Yknow, u don’t have nearly enough going for u in the dating arena to pull this kind of arrogant bullshit. You’re short and bald and don’t seem to make a lot of money. And you’re definitely not as smart as I initially pegged u.”
I’m still not sure what I did to elicit such grammatically questionable animosity. We went out once. The date went fine. At the end of it, I let loose my stock line for all dates that go ‘fine:’ “It was great meeting you, thanks for taking the time to come out. Take care.” There was no implication of desire to spend more time together in a romantic way. And yet you called the next day. And emailed. And texted. Finally, as I’m sure you remember, I wrote what I felt was an even-handed, mature, and genteel message:
“Thank you so much, but to be honest I’m not interested in pursuing a dating relationship with you. Take care and good luck out there!”
In retrospect, it may have been a little rude, but nothing egregious. Certainly nothing that would inspire your vicious response.
But, S, I’m not writing today to rehash the past or question your motives. No, today I’m writing to give you a bit of advice: When you want to insult someone–I mean truly hurt them and make them question their value–don’t limit yourself to surface observations. To take your text message as an example:
“You’re short and bald.” Well, yes I am. I’ve been short my entire life and bald, or balding, for over half of it. I’ve read more sociological studies with fancy charts ‘n graphs than I can name that tell me exactly how this handicaps me in the dating and professional arenas. You’re not going to make me feel bad by pointing out the obvious. It’s like trying to insult someone by pointing out what they’re wearing. “You’re wearing a plaid shirt.” See? Not terribly hurtful unless the person was forced to wear the plaid shirt and associates something terrible with plaid. Besides, I must have something going for me, because you totally wanted to go out with me again. So there. Ha.
“You don’t seem to make a lot of money.” Nope, sure don’t. Also I drive an unsexy, dinged up car. What are you getting at?
“You’re definitely not as smart as I initially pegged u.” Well I don’t know how smart you initially pegged me, so I’m not quite sure how to respond. If you thought my brain boosted me up to the genius level and are now implying that I’m merely slightly above average in intelligence. . .well, cool. I’ll take that. If you’re implying that I’m a moron, I’ll take that, too.
The point here is that you need to dig a bit deeper. Go for the guts. Call your target a failure, tell him that he’s doomed to a life of loneliness, despair, and bad poetry on Saturday nights. Look him straight in the eye and tell him that he’s a worthless eyesore, a pimple on the vast face of the world not even significant enough to be popped. Dress in something sexy and say “you’re not getting any of these goodies, Mister.”
Maybe not that last one. It might just inspire fits of giggling.
S., I hope that this is helpful and that you’re able to apply this advice and really get in touch with your inner vicious demon-woman from hell. I wish you nothing but the best out there in dating-land and hope that you’ve found someone worthy of your company.
The Single White Nerd