Tag Archives: women

Diving into Valentine’s Day Wild Blue Yonder of Cyberspace Dating

skydiver; TdZ pond 003Not too many years ago, spurred on by Valentine’s Day energy and excitement, I joined several online dating services.

A year later, instead of answering another computer match, I wrote in my journal, “The Dimensions of Combatibility List, Points 1 – 29, by Mike Andberg.”  The entry that day went something like this: 

 Tuesday.    From my online dating experiment, I’m even more cynical about women and compatibility than ever. Tired of reading ridiculous “match” profiles dating services have sent me, I’m writing this list to help clarify, without a doubt, the things I never want to experience in a “match” again, or, in other words, the kind of woman who:

1.)  Expresses love as the desire to “snuggle with my sig, my very special sum1.”
2.)  Wants “to do it ALL in life – sell real estate, too.”
3.)  Has “adorable kids living at home who are twenty-five and twenty-seven.”
4.)  Has “adorable kids living at home who are twenty-five and twenty-seven” and she’s forty-one.
5.)  Writes, “Still want to see everything – Indochina, Sri Lanka, South Africa – maybe you too?”
6.)  Has any part of her hair poofed.
7.)  Has big teeth, then tries to compensate with lots of poofs.
8.)  Actually considers ice-skating to be TV sports programming.
9.)  Says she already feels she’s known me forever and that it’s obviously from a past life.

 Not to mention a woman whose:

10.)  Perfect online man “will complement me in every way. If that’s you – LET ME KNOW!!!”
11.)  Every written sentence ends in an exclamation point.
12.)  Favorite month is “winter.”
13.)  Secret treasure is the magazine rack at the grocery check-out.
14.)  Best online photo is with her dog, and it’s a toss-up which I’d rather get close to.
15.)  Coffee table magazines are “Le Courier,” “The Economist” and “The Guardian.”
16.)  Every outfit must have rhinestones on it.
17.)  Toenails resemble fish scales. Or rhinestones.

Then there are the characteristics I have already experienced without help of online services about a woman who:  

18.)  Thinks a newborn baby is cuter than a puppy.
19.)  Wears hair rollers to the mall that day “to look good for everyone at the party tonight.”
20.)  Says, “No way!” to smoking, but lights up at the very whiff of Jagermeister.
21.)  Says she can eat hotter chili than anyone and downs it with a fifty dollar bottle of wine.
22.)  Demands diet colas but downs every Goober before the movie previews even start.
23.)  Reacts with “Hm-m-m” after every line in the movie.
24.)  Sneaks syrup to the dinner table.
25.)  Has more pets in her house than usable sharp knives.
26.)  Gets back at me by re-setting the car seat adjustments to fit Orson Wells.
27.)  Talks so much I review TV Guide in my head to survive.  
28.)  Likes to sleep in sky-diver positions.
29.)  Likes to sleep in sky-diver positions with all her pets.

Writing this list is SO cathartic. I’m taking a hefty gulp from an Old Fashioned to toast my accomplishment.

Wednesday.    The buzz has worn off. I feel like a schmuck. Sure, my list represents many real losers I’ve met. But let’s face it. Someone who says those things about women doesn’t deserve a date. I’m bound to show up on every “What Kind of Man to Absolutely NOT Date” list written by women all over online America.

Thursday    How on Earth does anybody live happily with one person every day for the entirety of a lifetime? I want to know, but it’s unfathomable to me how. It’ll take the rest of my life to answer that question. I guess I’ll just navigate life by myself in the meantime.

Friday    Wait a minute. Remember “Loaded and Looking,” “Real Women Have Curves,” and “Fun Waiting to be Had ?”  Dude – SO much more could be worse than navigating life by your damn self for a while.


The excerpt above is from the chapter titled “Girls” in my memoir Maybe Boomer.


Filed under The Daily Thought

Being Benjamin: “The Graduate” – Then and Now (an ode to Mike Nichols)

At the end of the film, “The Graduate,” Benjamin Braddock and Elaine Robinson are running for their lives. Darting into a Santa Barbara municipal bus, barely escaping their parents’ contempt and wrath, Benjamin and Elaine are on their way to living their own lives. Yes! Good for them. They made it. And “The Graduate” will end on a happy note.

But wait. Their jubilant smiles have disappeared. Sitting alone together at the back of the bus, they’re not even talking to each other either. Fade out? Roll credits? The film’s over? What? And who is this Mike Nichols guy?

Mike Nichols was one of the new, young Hollywood directors springing up in the sixties. “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” his directorial debut in 1966, presented controversial social issues rarely seen in Hollywood films then. The following year, “The Graduate” was released on December 21, 1967 – forty-seven years ago today. Sadly, on November 19 of this year, Mike Nichols passed away at 83.

Because of Mike Nichols and the power of “The Graduate,” I saw life through a close-up lens, one that expanded a view of the world I desperately needed at the time. Watching “The Graduate” this week brought back that same hyper-impressionable Mike Andberg, the half-person who, more than anything, wanted to be anyone but himself. Sad, but true. Such is the power of film and how it can be used as a benchmark in life, for better or for worse. I had no idea at the time how Mike Nichols – through his lead character, Benjamin Braddock – would influence me in so many ways.

About to be a freshman at Maryland University, I couldn’t wait to look like Benjamin strolling around campus in a brown corduroy sport coat (just as Benjamin did at Berkeley for what seemed like the entire second half of the film. Hmmm, not a bad way to live life – to stroll, to wander, to drift.) Sadly, I wore baby blue tee shirts under my open corduroy coat, blowing away any sex appeal the jacket may have initiated.

My next goal was finding just the right shades to look like Benjamin. Shopping all over College Park was worth the effort getting my hands on a pair of large, dark-rimmed sunglasses (that really looked nothing like Benjamin’s, nor did I look any more like Benjamin when putting the spectacles on). Wearing them at night was cool, too – perhaps the best pay-off. That’s what Benjamin did.

Since Benjamin shunned the bar scene, so would I. I, like him, preferred to spend my Saturday nights gazing for hours into space, out the window, or through an aquarium, all to the introspective sounds of Simon and Garkunkel’s “Parsely, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” playing in the background.

Being part of the So Cal beatnik scene one day could be cool for me to join, but I’d seen how Benjamin tuned out the hipster crowd at the hamburger drive-in by rolling his ragtop down so he could eat alone with Elaine. That’s what I really wanted – an Elaine. Beautiful girls, beautiful dates, beautiful never-ending campus life. Benjamin (played by Dustin Hoffman) had a big nose; so did I. Benjamin got women; so would I.

Benjamin was a master of casual, deadpan reactions. He even yawned after his big kiss with Elaine. How cool and suave that act was, as if an attitude of “not really needing it (love)” turned women on! To him, marriage was a game. To him, his parent’s marriage was a wreck; Elaine’s was a wreck; in fact, my parent’s marriage was a wreck. It’s best to play it easy with love. And whatever you do, don’t do what your parent’s did.

So, here it is, many years later, and I’ve never married. I’ve also discovered treating women in an unemotional, casual, even-headed and deadpan way never really worked. Neither did it keep me from feeling deep pain when rejected. Even though I eventually dropped use of corduroy coats by day and shades by night, I wonder now how many years I felt far too comfortable as the man who inspired the coat idea in the first place.

I also wonder what took me so long to pay attention to the positive sparks ignited by “The Graduate” – my desire to go west and get away from my native east coast security; to feel the excitement of Hollywood; to experience the warmth of Southern California; to explore the San Francisco area bridges – all images of places introduced to me in the film. Yet, I waited until my forty-third year to go to film school. Forty-fifth to see Hollywood and Southern California. It wasn’t until this September I visited San Francisco and beautiful lower northern California for the first time. In part, this is what became of me.

As for Benjamin and Elaine, one wonders what became of them. Much older and wiser now, I say they probably became just like their conventional, values-depleted, money-oriented parents. Perhaps that was Nichols’ view, too (who, like many things, was far ahead of me in seeing this scenario). Mike Nichols was a visionary and great director.

I’m a film devote and helluva DVD spinner.

I guess I can live with that Mike.



Filed under Blog, Remember This?

Planet “Customer” and the Black Friday Universe

guy in Cat texting alone 002Sale sign SKINNYTo all salespeople working today, here are my Top Ten Black Friday Customers to Avoid (assembled from many years serving terms in men’s clothing, grocery, garden and thrift store work).

  1. The “Do you work here?’’ greeters.
    To whom I dream of answering back with, “No, I’m only wearing this bright purple shirt with my name tag on it because I’m auditioning for the next Barney.”
  2. People who walk around with squinty eyes and nose, often with mouths slightly ajar.
    These are often the analyzer types, ones who’ll scrutinize the quality of a product and ask me six hundred questions a six-year-old could answer. They have the sense of humor of a six-year-old and always come in when you’re in a hurry.
  3. The “measurer.”
    This is the person who comes armed with a tape measure and measures every item in the store to see if it will fit in their home. Despite the tape measure, and all my muscle, the piece of furniture they just bought will not fit in their car.
  4. Gum chewers.
    Probably just more unattractive than dangerous, their odd unsociable habit is off-putting. If in public, I’d merely run away, but today I have to listen to what  these people think is a sense of humor and their annoying bubble-popping.
  5. Women with fancy, jewel-studded glasses.
    They’re usually vain and ask me to do something extra to make themselves feel pampered and served. Even ones with costume jewelry-studded glasses expect the same sales service since they think I’m too dumb to recognize costume jewelry. This goes for men who wear knock-off brands to look more Italian and bold.
  6. The “ponderer.”
    This person, man or woman, stares at a sales item so long, it melts under the heated scrutiny. But I usually like “the ponderer” types. They need no help. Sometimes, however, they will ask to scrutinize all sales restrictions, layaway plan and refund policy and ruin everything. Beware.
  7. The old English Lady.
    With slow speech, well thought-out words, and clean, conservative wardrobe, this woman intimidates me.  Any helpful suggestions I make will get slammed back over the net as inaccurate and smacking of Yankee bias.
  8. The “Across the room yellers.”
    These people begin every sales experience with, “Excuse me, excuse me?,” as in, “I want attention now because I’m the most important person on Earth.” Humor must be used in dealing with them. I often turn slowly around with evil eye and give them a big, “Ye-e-e-e-e-e-s-s-s-s-s-s-s?” They never think it’s funny, though.
  9. The constant “Bargainer” to get a lower price.
    “The price on the tag is smeared and confusing.” “There’s no price at all, but last week it was two dollars.” “It’s dirty and was on the floor.” “But I just heard you give the customer before me a discount.” These are the same people who eventually pay with a hundred dollar bill or American Express card.
  10. People with spittle on their lips.
    The average sales transaction between salesman and customer is two feet, eight inches. That’s way too close for comfort with these people.

Thank goodness Black Friday happens only once a year.

So far.

Good luck, salespeople.

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