Saturday, August 28, 2010


So, here I am.  Finally at a place that feels more like moving forward than standing still.  Not long after I stepped on this campus back in February, I knew that God was leading me here.  Since then, I've been excited and nervous.  But I had no idea until I actually moved here how many reasons I had to be both of those.  If there are two things I've learned about the seminary experience so far, they are these:  it is going to be so very good, and it is going to be so very difficult.  When I say difficult, I am not speaking academically, though from the first class it was evident that it will be academically challenging.  What I am talking about more is emotionally.  There has already been such a range that I've experienced in the short two weeks that I have been here, and I expect to be put through the emotional ringer in my program.  But while that may seem at first sight to be a bad or negative thing, I anticipate that it will be beautiful.  I look forward to the continuing unfolding of my own story that began through counseling and community in Birmingham, and I look even more forward to the unveiling of who God is and how He wants me to be hands and feet.

Despite much richness, the past five years have been hard.  Hard things have happened, I've been in hard places, and in hard relationships.  I have been spiritually brittle.  It has been more difficult than I anticipated for me to step into this environment, surrounded by people who seem so much surer of all this than I am.  Having volumes of commentaries, and stories of successful ministries, and polished exteriors, and "praise Jesus" attitudes.  All of those things are wonderful, but that just isn't where I am coming from.  In orientation this week, one of the professors reminded us that competition has no place here.  This isn't a place where we are crawling over one another to get ahead, but rather a place where we thank God for each other's gifts and encourage our brothers and sisters on toward faithfulness.  After months of worry and a week of comparing myself to everyone I met, that was a refreshing, calming word.  I breathed a long sigh of relief, and cried right there in orientation.  If you know me, that is kind of a big deal.

All that to say, these three years are going to be full of beauty and heart ache.  Joy and sorrow.  Longing and fulfillment.  I am anxious to see what awaits.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


A friend of mine did this on her blog recently.  Due to my affinity for lists, I thought I'd do one myself.  Even though it is the epitome of everything hated about blogs.  Hey, I'm trying to procrastinate over here. 

Eighty-Four Things About Me:
  1. I believe.
  2. I love to sing.
  3. I twitch in my sleep.
  4. I am an ESFJ.
  5. I wish I could play the piano better.
  6. I am a vegetarian.
  7. I have metal plates in my face.
  8. I am lactose intolerant …
  9. … but I love cheese.
  10. I sleep in earplugs.  Every night.
  11. I am a redhead. Natural, thank you.
  12. I love red wine.
  13. My favorite food is fresh cherries in the summertime.
  14. I have dated someone that I met online.
  15. I am the younger of two children.
  16. I am usually mistaken for the older of two children.
  17. I just figured out how to wear my hair wavy within the past few years, and I do not miss my hair dryer.
  18. I am a relatively quick friend-maker.
  19. I want to be a counselor when I grow up.
  20. I don’t drink soda.
  21. I want to get married.
  22. The place I want to go most is Scotland.  Right now, at least.
  23. I love to read.
  24. I usually try to read too many books at once.
  25. I like to deal with issues between myself and others as quickly as possible, but I am not always good at it.
  26. Music is my first love.
  27. I cook.  People tell me I do it well.
  28. I write.  People tell me I do it well.
  29. I have what I like to call “Cinematic Amnesia.”   90% of the time, I don’t remember anything from movies.  Even ones I watched the day before.
  30. I was once a consultant for Arbonne.  I sucked at it.
  31. I would like to have a PhD.
  32. I am starting a Master's in Counseling in August 2010.
  33. Once I ate grilled cheese and tomato soup every night for three months.
  34. I am a grammatically correct texter.
  35. I don’t cry much.
  36. I need to lose 40 pounds to be at a “healthy weight.”  I think that might be bull.
  37. I want to adopt a child.
  38. Relationships are very, very important to me.
  39. I have a growing mistrust of men.
  40. I don’t want to mistrust men.
  41. I look like my mom.
  42. I am good at parallel parking.
  43. I don’t like to receive flowers from significant others.
  44. As of August 14, 2010, I will be living in St. Louis for at least three years.
  45. As of August 14, 2010, I will have moved seven times in under five years.
  46. I have only had two boyfriends in my life.
  47. I love hymns.
  48. I am independent.
  49. I like filling out forms.
  50. Sometimes I wear glasses that I don’t really need because I think they are cool.
  51. I don’t like to abbreviate.
  52. I wish I could write songs.
  53. I love to dance, but haven’t done it in quite a while.
  54. I listened exclusively to Christian contemporary music when in high school.  I consider it one of the biggest mistakes of my life.
  55. I take anti-depressants.  It is one of the best things I have ever done for my health.
  56. I will never, ever date online again.  Unless I am still single at forty.
  57. I love wearing cowboy boots.
  58. I didn’t like babies or dogs until I turned twenty-six.
  59. I like to spell out numbers.
  60. Writing in all caps or in all lower case really bothers me.
  61. I love seeing makeovers of all kinds.
  62. I hate being singled out for being single.
  63. Sometimes I say the f-word.
  64. I have been laid off from a job before.
  65. I want to pray more.
  66. I crave autumn.
  67. I came darn close to going to culinary school.  I don’t regret not going.
  68. I have a LOT of pet peeves that involve noises.
  69. I love beards.    
  70. Despite the fact that I am “forty pounds overweight ,”(see #36) I love to exercise and eat healthily.
  71. I like to make lists.
  72. I fall down quite a bit.
  73. I love aprons.  I have several.
  74. Sometimes I am rude to people who answer phones at utility companies.
  75. I hate football.  Most sports, really.
  76. I can’t do math in my head.  Even simple addition.
  77. I was once served Arbor Mist by a guy I was on a date with.
  78. I am severely afraid of bees.
  79. I think Reese’s Cups are manna from the Lord.
  80. I hate passive aggressiveness, but sometimes I am passive aggressive.
  81. I like going to bed really early.
  82. I don’t much care for babysitting, but will do it for people I love (I’m almost 30 for crying out loud!)
  83. I’d like to be able to take great photographs.
  84. I am a professional at "the ring check."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

in memory


I don't know if you can hear me from where you are.  I've never subscribed to a theology that supports a "looking down on me from heaven" sort of idea.  But there are so many things that I wanted to say to you.  Things that needed to be said to make things right with us. I am sorry that I was upset with you.  I didn't know what to do anymore.  I had tried to make you understand what I felt, but you were so persistent.  Stubborn.  If I could go back, I wouldn't have driven away so quickly and having said so little.  I would have been more patient.  More loving.  I would have been more grateful for you, and for what you did for me that day.  The flowers are beautiful, by the way.  They will always remind me of you.

Despite all that happened between us, you will always hold a special place in my heart.  I have never felt more loved and cherished by any other man.  You saw all of my crap, and you loved me.  You knew I didn't feel the way you did, and you loved me.  You never gave up, which made me crazy most of the time ... but it was flattering to have someone fight so fiercely for me.  Honestly, it makes me scared that it will never happen again.  But I will always know that someone saw me, and I thank you for that.

I love you and miss you, always.


Thursday, June 17, 2010


Sorry for the impersonal music posts, but these are songs that have meant a lot to me over the past few weeks. I am working up a post in my head of actual thoughts ... promise.

Sandra McCracken with Derek Webb, "Shelter"

In the arms of a good Father
You can go in the deep water
Where the questions we have left unspoken
Come out in the open

We will find shelter here

So I lay down what I cannot hold in my hands
Every sorrow and hope spinning out of control
But here I find sweet resolution
Comes in letting go

We will find shelter here
We will shelter here

When I look back I can see
When I am old I will remember these things
Like a mountain of stone
And the longing that makes me believe

There is a tree by the blue river
Where the shade stretches wide over
In this breaking we are hand and glove
So come with me my love

We will find shelter here
We will find shelter here
We will find shelter here

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

charging the grain truck

“In Matthew 10:7, Jesus instructed His disciples to tell people that ‘the kingdom of heaven is near.’ That means that ordinary folks like you and me could know the very presence of God in their daily lives through His Son, Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus, people could know the power of healing and deliverance from sin and sorrow. He was saying that when we are in His presence, all of God’s riches are available to us and that means the kingdom of heaven is a lot closer than we realize."

"A little earlier, Jesus spoke to some people who had followed Him to a mountainside. Here is the first blessing that He gave to them that day:
'Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)'"
"The kingdom of heaven. That’s where God the Father keeps His wealth and treasure. The kingdom of heaven is where we find grace and mercy. The kingdom of heaven is where hearts get mended and bodies get healed. The kingdom of heaven is where we dance in the arms of our Beloved. My heart longs for the peace and stillness of heaven being near. I want Jesus to take me by the hand and walk me right into the presence of God ... the kingdom of heaven. I want to be as close as I can get to God on this earth. Jesus says that that place - the arms of God, the presence of God, His nearness to us, the kingdom - is a blessing that comes to the poor in spirit."

"Blessed means that you and I have been approved by God. He is pleased. We are acting in a way that gives Him honor. We have truly found His heart in a matter. I deeply desire God’s blessing."

"Sometimes in the Bible poor means ‘without funds’ or ‘without the ability to acquire goods.’ Sometimes it means ‘poor for a season,’ like ‘I’m poor this week, but I’ll be okay once I get paid.’ In this case when Jesus said poor, He meant utterly destitute, poverty stricken, helpless. And so Jesus is saying,
'God approves of those who know poverty of spirit, and He
gives to them the fullness of His presence.'"
"But what is this ‘poverty of spirit’? What does it mean to be utterly destitute? It means we are wholly needy, flat-broke beggars with no resources available. It means that you and I have been honest with God and come to realize that we are without an ounce of hope if left to our own designs. This is desperate poverty."

"When we have tried to figure out life on our own. When we have wrestled in the dark with life’s biggest questions. When we have asked, ‘Is this all there is? Is this all I will ever be?’ When we have looked inside our souls and truly seen that there is nothing good there. When we have owned up to our sin and fessed up to our motives. When we have stumbled for the hundredth time with the habit or pattern we thought we had beaten. When we have yelled and cursed and screamed like a bratty little baby. When we’ve finally let the truth of our inside out, into the light comes the reality of poverty."

"When we have been completely vulnerable with God, we can admit that we have no assets to cling to. We don’t have a stash that will get us through. There are no favors to call in. We don’t have power or prestige or influence. We will surely starve to death if left to our own means. When there is real poverty in your soul, there is desperation."

"Picture in your mind the scene of starving people in a Third World country. Children are dying with swollen bellies from malnutrition. Disease is rampant. Day after day, the only task, the only important thing, is finding something to eat or drink. The people are desperate and without resources of their own."

"One day the trucks from a relief organization arrive with fresh water and bags of grain. How do the people respond? Do they stand politely in line with their cup for water and their bucket for grain? Do they politely ask, ‘May I have some water if it’s not too much trouble or if there’s any left?’ No way. These people are desperate. They are starving. They are hopeless without supplies. And so they charge of grain truck. They climb over one another to get to the food that will save them. No one who is starving is polite and orderly. When you are starving, you are desperate."

"Real poverty is not polite. It is determined to get the object of its need by whatever means necessary. When there is real poverty, there is desperation, and we cry out to be fed or we will surely die."

"God says that’s what it means to be poor in spirit. So desperate that we charge the grain truck. So hungry for him that we’ll do anything to get to Him. God says that He approves of those that have that kind of desperation. He gives to them the kingdom of heaven, the fullness of His riches, the peace of His presence, and a hope for the future."

"And so how do we get to God? Jesus says charge the grain truck. Take an honest look at your starving belly and realize that you cannot feed yourself. Do not stand politely in line and wait for some grain to fall to the ground. Use every means necessary to go after the only thing that will save you. Let the pain of your hunger and the truth of your circumstances force you to climb over every obstacle that stands between you and the grain truck that awaits you in God.”

-Angela Thomas, Do You Think I’m Beautiful?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

the best thing

Telling the difference between the worst thing and the best thing is simple. Make the lists (mental, or - if you're me - actual lists), weigh the pros and cons, and choose. But there are sometimes more ambiguous choices to be made - between good and best. And over the past few months, I've come to see that telling the difference between a good thing and the best thing is entirely, maddeningly more difficult. It is times like these that I wish God still utilized burning bushes, or his audible voice. Not that I am naive enough to think that hearing God's voice or seeing miracles would make me less likely to choose the worst thing. I am a notoriously bad chooser.

I was talking with a good friend last night who just had her second baby. We sat on her sofa while her usually busy two-year-old was napping, her newborn crying and pooping and nursing. I shared with her my dating woes, about the search for the "best thing" in that regard. That punch of excitement that hits you in the gut every time someone comes to mind, the nervous twittering that you just can't stop when you know you're about to see them. Though I know that eventually fades the more you know a person and become increasingly comfortable with them, shouldn't you start there? Is knowing that you'll be safe and cared for and loved enough without that initial fire? These are the questions I've been wrestling with, which - for now, at least - I've decided are answered with a "yes." I want it, need it even. My friend agreed, and seeing how I adore validation, that felt really good. She had that with her husband, and now that they are five years and two kids in, she appreciates the partnership she has with him. The fact that she doesn't have to ask him to help with the children, or cook dinner when she is too tired. He is her partner in this life. Maybe not what she expected to be the best thing, but such a beautiful gift from God.

As much as I long for love and companionship, I wonder if I don't equally long for the end of the ambiguity. The constant, nagging droan of the unsure and the not yet. Not only in love, but in life. I want my choices laid out before me, and for them to be the obvious choice of worst vs. best. I want to choose and know I've chosen wisely, and move on to the next thing. But I guess that would make life too robotic and sterile, not to mention cater to my impatience and greed. In the end, I serve a king who knows the best choice, and has already chosen it for me. And to that I say, "I believe, help my unbelief."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

a time to mourn, a time to dance

If you've been following this little blog of mine for a while, you know that I have had many ideas and hopes for my future, specifically regarding continuing my education. I have been out of undergrad for five years now ... I actually started writing this thing the day before my graduation. Has it really been five years? That is half of a decade! Kind of depressing.

After considering more options than I'd like to recount, I am finally doing something that feels right. Last week I found out that I have been accepted to Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis to get a Masters in Counseling. I could not be more excited, and I could not be more sad to leave this place that I've called home for the past five years. I love Birmingham. I love the South. It is going to be so, so hard to leave all of the life-giving, beautiful relationships that I have built here. It is going to be hard to leave a church that I love, and that I have invested so much time in - especially when we are in the midst of so much change. Part of me wants to be there to see what God does in our faith family.

But I am so excited about possibility. About learning more about the Word, how to relate to people in light of it, and how to counsel people with the truths of the gospel. I am looking forward to making new friendships, being a student again, and experiencing a new place. I am somewhat nervous about finding a church and diving into community with new people, but also looking forward to it, with all of it's challenges and joys.

If you're the praying type, I ask that you pray for me in this process. That I would trust God with all of the details of getting there and of paying for school, and that I would live the rest of my time here in Birmingham as best I can, soaking in the community that I have here and saying "goodbye for now" with grace and strength.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

chronicles of an online dater: volume six

Well, doesn't this fella sound interesting?

*The one thing jay is most passionate about: rodeo.
** His interests include "farming and riding hores fishing." His words.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

worth keeping

A couple of years ago, I stumbled upon The Everybodyfields - the duo of Sam Quinn and Jill Andrews. Their earthy, folk-country-rock style immediately sucked me in and I was hooked. I listened to Nothing is Okay on repeat for probably two months, and got to see them twice in concert - both phenomenal shows. Unfortunately, I discovered them near the end of their career as a band. They have both gone on to other projects, Jill striking out on her own, and Sam forming Sam Quinn and Japan Ten.

This is a video of one of my favorites of Jill's new music. She is a fantastic songwriter, and has an equally amazing voice. This song captures the beauty and tragedy of relationship.

Worth Keeping

Say you're tired
Say you're busy
You can lie to me
Should come easy
For you have been doing it
For a while

Look away when I'm talking
Please don't say what you're thinking
You have been thinking for a while
You have been thinking for a while

Take our hands out of your pockets and hold me
Turn your eyes round in their sockets so you can see
The way that I look at you
I am just a ray of sun you are daylight
I'm an early morning, you are a good night
And a prayer before I can go to sleep

When you could be straight ahead, you go sideways
When you're lying in your bed its a long way
From the place that you wanted to be

Grab a hold of anything that's worth keeping
From your house of flames that you should be leaving
Or stay and let it burn you down
Let it burn you down

Sunday, January 24, 2010

chronicles of an online dater: volume five

Well, friends ... it has been six months since my first volume of Chronicles of an Online Dater. That means my subscription to is officially over, and since I didn't follow their rules and communicate with enough fellas every month, I don't get the satisfaction guarantee free six month subscription. So, I didn't find love on Match. Big fat surprise. Don't get me wrong, I did meet some decent people, one of which I still hang out with who I am quite a fan of (on the friend level, which is a story that I chose not to tell here because it was too hard for me).

I never thought I'd say this, but I am tired of going on dates. Contrary to popular belief, dating is pretty awful. Well, its awful when you're not dating people that you want to be dating. I haven't historically been in the position of having to turn someone down, but the past few dates I've been on I've had to be that girl. I hate her. She is really bad at being the bearer of bad news, or maybe even at interacting with men in such a way that they know where they stand. Even when I try to be honest from the beginning, I feel like I'm bad at backing up my words. This is going to sound really arrogant, and I don't want it to, but I am just good with people and genuinely interested in them. That interest can come off as romantic interest, and that is frustrating. Trust me - you'd know if I was romantically interested. I am not afraid of affection.

Come to think of it, I am also slightly slutty. I'm no stranger to making out on first dates. Heck, I walked away from my last date with a freaking hickey like I was 16 years old (I was mortified, I might add ... looking like complete white trash is NOT my thing). And then I find myself in the position of being attracted to someone, but having no clue if I actually like them or not. We all know that can get complicated. Actually, that is how my last serious relationship started out, and it was a complete disaster. One would think I'd learn my lesson.

All that to say, Match being done is a huge relief for me right now. I am still on the Schmarm (eHarmony) for another couple of months, but the guys on there are just like the ones in real life ... they don't talk to me. So, no worries of finding true love there. Yes!

If you know me personally and I ever start talking crazy like I'm going to date online again, please slap me in my fool face.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mr. Jackson

If you haven't been to a Cracker Barrel in a while, you need to find the nearest one and check out the latest line of Alan Jackson paraphernalia made exclusively for CB. Here is a list of some of the things that you can get for your home as a daily reminder of your favorite country star ...

  1. A catch-all leather tray with Alan's signature in the center. Cause Alan needs a place for his keys when he gets home.
  2. A jacquard throw with Alan's face on it. Cause Alan gets cold, just like the rest of us.
  3. A leather wallet with Alan's signature on the outside. Cause Alan's got to have a place to store all of the cold, hard cash from the Alan Jackson Collection.
  4. An Alan Jackson toy 18-wheeler. Cause all that Alan Jackson merch has to get to Cracker Barrel somehow.
  5. A braided leather bracelet with a sliver clasp which - don't worry - has Alan's name on it. Cause Alan is bad ass and wears braided man bands.
  6. A cowboy hat ... just like the one Alan wears!
  7. A leather Alan Jackson cd case. Cause Alan needs a place to store all of his hits, like "Way Down Yonder on the Chattahoochee", and "I Don't Need the Booze (To Get a Buzz On)".
  8. Alan Jackson Spicy BBQ Sauce. Cause Alan likes it hot.
  9. And, my personal favorite ... an Alan Jackson scented candle. Smells like Stetson and sweat.
There's even more! What an amazing selection of Alan items. Now you can have him everywhere ... just like you like it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

the band has never been so cool

You've got self-respect, and a valve for your spit.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

chronicles of an online dater: volume four

Although it really isn't a great movie, there is a quote from He's Just Not That Into You that seems to encapsulate my experience with dating as I have known it the past couple of years. Drew Barrymore's character is talking to her coworkers after checking her online dating website, and says ...

“I had this guy leave me a voice mail at work, so I called him at home, and then he emailed me to my BlackBerry, and so I texted to his cell, and now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It’s exhausting.”

As evidenced by my last few posts on the subject, the guys that I have encountered through have been less than quality. For this reason, I decided to give eHarmony another go. Again, I said I wouldn't do it. But the other times I did it, it was for very short periods of time, so this time I bit the bullet and got a six-month subscription. Does this make me desparate? Oh, god ... it does, doesn't it? Sigh. Well, whatever it makes me, I did it. And there have been many more quality people there, but still the ones that want to communicate with me don't seem to be the types of men that I would be interested in if I met them in a coffee shop. I am trying to be very fair about it, and communicating with anyone whose profile seems interesting, regardless of physical appearance.

The thing that is depressing, and that made me think of the quote above, is that the ones that I really want to talk to close me out. eHarmony is a little brutal in this regard because there are some very straight forward reasons to check as to why you've closed the match. Options such as "Based on the statements in their profile, I am not interested in this match," and "I don't feel that the chemistry is there" (Really? Because you've never met me). But the one that you don't want to get is the dreaded "Other." Because in girl world that means, "Based on the pictures that I can see, I think you are ugly and fat." Trust me ... all girls think that when they get closed because of "Other." I've talked to lots of them.

So, there was one guy that seemed really interesting to me and was attractive in the way that I usually find men attractive (scruffy and unkempt), so I sent him the first set of questions. Yep. He closed me for "Other" reasons. Thanks, buddy. And way to feed into those male stereotypes. Need I remind you that you are on eHarmony? It seems that you wouldn't want to be so picky.

Not to have a pity party or anything, but this sucks! I wish that I could be completely content with what God has given me, but it just seems like if there is a time, that time is NOW. I will be 28 in nine days. People are getting married or into relationships all around me. My friends are having children. I'm having a hard time just staying afloat in my life, and it would be really nice to have someone to stand by my side and make decisions with.

Argh. So frustrating. Down with dating.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

chronicles of an online dater: volume three

This guy was a "match" for me. See if you can find what is wrong with this description of himself:

"I'm artistic, creative, funny, deep thinker, a genital man, caring, moralistic, down to earth, laid back, daring, friendly, outgoing, I work for what I want, not afraid to be honest, been in alot of areas so I been around alot of personalities, which I get along with most, has have my heart broken, been through alot, I learn from my mistakes, I've been an outlaw/rebel, the one in the middle or out on the stage, I believe I can take anything, love music, going out to new places, enjoying time with friends and family."

Ok, so there are a lot of things wrong ("a lot" is not one word, for one). But look closely. Don't see it? Let me help ...

"I'm artistic, creative, funny, deep thinker, a genital man, caring, moralistic, down to earth, laid back, daring, friendly, outgoing, I work for what I want, not afraid to be honest, been in alot of areas so I been around alot of personalities, which I get along with most, has have my heart broken, been through alot, I learn from my mistakes, I've been an outlaw/rebel, the one in the middle or out on the stage, I believe I can take anything, love music, going out to new places, enjoying time with friends and family."

That's right. He's a "genital" man. Profile FAIL! I thought about emailing him just to see if he knew how he had described himself, but that would rob so many other women of a good laugh.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

chronicles of an online dater: volume two

This is the actual "about me" section of a guy's profile who contacted me tonight:

"My lady needs a good hrt an a good sense of humor 2. I have a chld also. I am sngle fathr. So mus be ok with children. I am not lookn 4 a mom 4 my son. Nor am i lookn 4 a woman 2 take care of me. I jus want a good hnst woman who loves her man and is not afraid 2 show it."

I jus wnt a man who knws how 2 spel.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

chronicles of an online dater: volume one

Saying never is a dangerous thing. It has been my experience that never turns into I'd rather not, which turns into maybe one day, which turns into oh, what the heck. It is true of most things in my life. "I will never smoke a cigarette." "I will never say the Mother of All Curse Words." "I will never make out with a dude that I don't know." Done, done, and - unfortunately - done. Such has also been the case with me and online dating. While it has become more socially acceptable to date online, it can not be denied that it is still a bit strange. Don't get me wrong - it can be a great thing, and I know several people who have met spouses and significant others though such venues, I just never thought that it would be for me. And after round three of the experience, I am still not convinced.

It all started two years ago. I had once again been smitten with a guy who definitely wasn't smitten with me (I could write a sad, sad book about my experiences with unrequited love), confessed the feelings, and been shut down. Or ignored, actually. Deciding that liking real life guys wasn't quite working out, I signed up for eHarmony, but only for one month. I went on one date from that experience, driving three hours to meet a guy who thought it was okay to touch me relentlessly on the first date. (Seriously, if I don't know you it is not cool to give me back rubs all night, nor straddle me from behind on a bar stool at a concert). After that date, I vowed to never go on eHarmony again.

There's that word again: never. Of course, I signed up for it about a year later, again only for a month, this time getting no dates and discovering that the only reason I was being matched with these people was because we shared religious beliefs. In a round about way, at least. There was not a single match who would have snagged my interest had I met him in the ways that people normally meet. Their slogan must be, "You're a Christian ... He's a Christian ... Perfect match!" Not so much, eHarm.

Fast forward another year or so to present time, and I've once again given in to the curiosity. This time I have chosen Had I asked around before I joined, I might have discovered what I have found to be true - that it is eHarmony's Shady Cousin, and is used by many people as a hook-up tool. Nice. Just what I'm looking for. I will say that in the first month of my six-month subscription, I have been on more dates than I ever did with eHarmony. While they might not be the most exciting dates, I am at least hanging out with the opposite sex in a date-type setting. That makes me feel at least like I am moving forward and meeting new people, rather than wondering where the heck new guys are going to come from.

So far, out of the four guys I have gone out with, I would only go out with two of them again. Well, maybe two. One of them is either too busy or too disinterested to go on a third date. The other lives three hours away, which makes things a bit interesting. The first date I had was with a guy I had chatted with through the Match website for about twenty minutes, then met him for a drink the same night. The conversation was utterly painful, and he asked to kiss me on a crowded sidewalk outside of the bar after only two hours of talking. No thank you, sir. It will take more than one beer to make that a possibility. And probably not even then.

It seems that this website attracts men who fit into one of four categories: (1) The I just want to have fun's. (2) The I've been burned and think all women are crazy but I really need to get some's. (3) The I just got divorced's. (4) The I'm looking for a relationship but I am terrible at conversation's. There is a small fifth category, the I just might be normal's. But it is highly insignificant.

There are some very predictable things that these guys have on their profiles. For one, just about every one of them claims to be "Laid back and easy going." I guess that sounds better than, "I'm a bit of a high-strung, power-hungry control freak." Also, a lot of the guys "don't want any drama." Really? Because I absolutely thrive off of drama. I say, the more drama that I can have in a relationship, the better. By drama, do you mean, "I don't want a girl who wants to talk to me while I'm watching football"? Or maybe, "I don't want to talk about your feelings, so stop crying"? Good luck with your search, a-holes.

The absolute best thing that has happened to me on Match is that I've been contacted by a guy who is in prison. That's right. The slammer. The Big House. His picture is actually taken inside of the prison in his little prisoner outfit. Classy. And what sort of prison allows their inmates to date online? Shouldn't they be picking up trash on the side of the highway or something instead of picking up chicks online? Just sayin'.

I'm sure there will be more stories to tell in the next five months until my subscruption is up. If you have a story to share, I'd love to have some guest posts on the topic. Let me know if you'd like to contribute and make your own sad dating life a source of humor for someone else's day.