Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tiny Bits of Nonsense: June 2015

Here is the June 2015 edition of "Tiny Bits of Nonsense," featuring 10 of my tweets for the month:
Other bits of nonsense:
May 2015

"Back to the Future" Edition
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
Valentine's Day Edition
January 2015
December 2014
Holiday Season Edition
November 2014
Thanksgiving Edition
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014

April 2014
March 2014

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Coming Up Short In The Romance Department

What is it that a woman wants in a man? I wonder. I wonder a lot, actually, since I'm now in my mid-30s and am still single.

I've tried online dating. Match, OKCupid, eHarmony...I used all three. And I've quit them all, because ultimately I found them to be frustrating. I didn't feel any closer to finding my perfect match because of them. If anything, I was feeling farther away from finding my perfect match.

I've written about my experiences with online dating before. I will say, though, that there was one particular aspect that bothered me so much that I was compelled to cancel my accounts on all of the aforementioned sites in short order: 

Women and their prejudice against short men.

Of course, not all women are prejudiced against short men. But the majority of those I encountered on Match et al. were. They specifically stated that they were only interested in men who are 5'10" or taller. In many cases, 6' or taller.

In the interest of full disclosure: I'm not 5'10" or taller. I'm 5'6", or three and a half inches shorter than the average American male. So obviously, I had reason to be disappointed with any woman who was unwilling to give me a shot because of my stature. 

If nothing else, it really limited the pool of women I could choose from on the dating sites. If I'm paying a website $19.99/month for its dating services, it should come with the expectation that if I wink at a woman who's 5'9", she'll at least consider winking back.

It's puzzling to me that so many women can be so short-sighted when it comes to romance. Ladies, indulge me as I make a case for myself and all of the other single and small men out there:

* You're selling yourself short by not dating short men. I'm not saying you can't have a height preference. But to assume that there's not one short man in the world with whom you could possibly have a deep, emotional and lasting connection? That's a tough sell.

Three years ago, I disliked Lana Del Rey's music. I listened to "Video Games" and saw her on SNL, and was not impressed. I completely wrote her off.

And then I found myself on a flight that offered several musical selections on its entertainment system, including her first album. Keeping an open mind, and with our arrival not scheduled for another two hours, I listened to it, and was pleasantly surprised. I really, really enjoyed it. I've been a fan ever since. I just saw Lana Del Rey in concert last week. She's completely changed the way I think about summertime sadness this time of year.

* It's hypocritical of you to not date short men. This mostly applies to women who are petite but choose not to be involved with men who are equally as petite. Remember those women I mentioned earlier, who would only date someone who is 5'10" or taller? A healthy number of them were 5'4" or shorter. 

Let's discuss this rationally, shall we? If, for some reason, short men were to take the same approach and ignore short women, then no one who is below-average height would ever date again. And then what? All short people would be lonely for the rest of their lives. A depressing thought, no? Actually, it sounds like a great premise for a reality show on some cable network.

A female friend once told me she doesn't want to date a man who's shorter than her because, "I don't want to look down on him." I quickly pointed out, "With that mentality you are looking down on him." Figuratively as well as literally, you see.

* "Short" talk is relative. You may think I'm short because I'm 5'6", but 600 years ago I would have been a giant at my height. 

Even now, my height is considered average in countries including China, the Phillippines and Uruguay. I'm pretty much a stud over there, by your standards.

* Short men can do certain things better than tall men. For example, if you drop something on a bus and it rolls underneath your seat, who would you trust to retrieve it for you as quickly as possible? The guy who's 6'? I don't think so.

I'm going to revisit my childhood for another example. When I performed the V-sit reach in high school gym class as part of the Physical Fitness Test, I absolutely crushed it. I was able to extend my entire hand past my toes, with room to spare, thanks to my short legs. The taller male students couldn't even reach their toes. Chew on that for a second.

* There are many short men, past and present, who have achieved greatness. Tom Cruise, Seth Green, Gary Coleman. Not only did Napoleon rule France with an iron fist, he also inspired a dessert, a complex and a character in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. How many tall men can you say that about?

My favorite basketball player as a kid was Muggsy Bogues. He was 5'3" but tallied more than 6,800 points and 6,700 assists -- more in either category than 7'6" Shawn Bradley, a top NBA draft pick while Muggsy was in the league. Muggsy had more rebounds and blocks, too. (I don't have time to verify that, but I'm fairly certain it's accurate.) Whose career would you rather have?

Ladies, next time you come across the profile of a short man on OKCupid or Match, ask yourself: Do I really want to pass up the chance to date someone who could be the next Napoleon or Muggsy Bogues?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Eight-Year-Old Me: Not Adorable?

I just changed my Facebook profile picture because, according to my family, no respectable woman would be interested in me if she were to see the old one.

I thought the photo was adorable, myself. It was taken when I was eight years old. In the picture, I'm wearing a grey sweatshirt with graphics of a checkered flag and some sort of "USA" logo on it. Presumably, the shirt promoted a racing event, but I couldn't tell you which one. Or why I even wore the shirt -- I wasn't a fan of auto racing then, and I'm not one now.

Sadly, the shirt is no longer in my possession, but I hope it found a nice home at a Goodwill store somewhere.

My younger self is also sporting double-bridged glasses. Remember, it was unfashionable to wear glasses back in the 1980s, but I was committed to seeing well at a very early age.

Really, what makes the photo so precious, from my perspective, is my hairdo at the time. It's thick, it's lustrous, and it sticks straight up toward the ceiling. I had the Cosmo Kramer look before Cosmo Kramer existed on TV. I'm kind of proud of that.

I chose it as my Facebook profile picture for three reasons: 1) I'm a private person and I generally don't share photos of myself online (which is why you don't see the Shane/Kramer pic here); 2) I have a self-deprecating sense of humor -- I like to poke fun at myself, and it's rather easy to poke fun at eight-year-old Shane (it's like I'm bullying myself!); and 3) I really do believe it's a cute pic, and that I was even more loveable then than I am now.

My family strongly disputes the latter point. They don't find the photo to be adorable at all. They find it to be absurd at best and, at worst, a major obstacle to finding love.

"Why did you post that picture on Facebook?" they asked me. "You look ridiculous in it."

Keep in mind, these are the same people who snapped this picture and thought enough of it to display it in a photo album for the past 27 years.

"How could anyone not like eight-year-old me?" I reasoned. "Looking at myself, I just want to give myself a big hug!"

"Shane, no woman wants to be with a man who has a goofy photo of himself as a child as his Facebook profile picture," they countered.

Is that really true, though? I know women ask for a lot in a partner -- good looks, job security, a sense of humor -- but I didn't realize that an appealing Facebook profile photo is also a requirement. 

I'll tell you this much: If a woman were to demand to see my Facebook profile picture on a first date -- like she's a TSA agent checking my driver's license to ensure I'm legit -- I'd walk right out on her. I'd have nothing to prove to her, and neither would eight-year-old Shane.

I polled my Facebook friends to gauge the validity of my family's theory, that women would be turned off by the photo. One longtime acquaintance -- female -- mostly disagreed, writing, "Perhaps some girls [wouldn't be interested in me after seeing the picture] but would you be interested in those boring girls anyway? Cool chicks dig Kramer hair."

Another, male friend openly wondered whether I was using Facebook to pick up women.

As I mentioned at the top, I succumbed to family pressure and changed my profile picture to a more current photo. We'll see what kind of effect it has on my romantic life going forward.

In the meantime, I hope my family doesn't find out my Twitter profile picture is of a pedestrian signal.

Adapting To My Friends

The aging process isn't as bad as I thought it would be. Granted, I'm only 34, and I'm certain the worst is still yet to come. Even so, I'm feeling good at my age. In some ways, my life is easier because I'm older.

For example: I'm much more tired now than I was when I was in my early to mid-20s, when I wouldn't turn in for the night until 2 or 3 a.m. Nowadays, I'm lucky if I can keep my eyes open after 10 p.m. My energy level just isn't what it once was.

And I'm grateful for that. Fatigue is an asset, as far as I'm concerned. I can't tell you how many times this year I've used fatigue as an excuse to back out of plans. "You're going to see Pitch Perfect 2 tonight? That sounds great. What time is the screening? Oh, 8:15 p.m.? I don't know. Fandango says the movie is one hour and 55 minutes long. Add in the trailers at the beginning, and all of those credits at the end...I wouldn't return home until 11. That's too late for me. I'm sorry."

(With all due respect to Pitch Perfect 2, which I'm sure is a fine movie, I'm not a fan of musicals. I haven't seen Pitch Perfect, I will not see Pitch Perfect 2, and I have no plans to see the just-announced Pitch Perfect 3. Having said that, I have an excellent idea for a Pitch Perfect sequel: The Bellas compete against the children from the Kidz Bop music videos.)

There's a reason why I need more sleep in my life now. I have a physical need for rest, this is true, but I'm also adapting to my surroundings.

You know how chameleons change color in response to their environment? That's how I view sleep: a mechanism that allows me to, say, escape a screening of a movie that doesn't interest me. It's my body's way of telling me, "Shane, you don't want to see Pitch Perfect 2? I can get you out of this. Just leave it to me."

If I may speak honestly for a moment: my friends become more boring with each passing year. Their lives have become too different. Spouses, kids, Pitch Perfect movies...where's the fun in any of this? Where's my incentive to continue to spend time with these people?

I tire myself out just thinking about this. I need to lay down for a little while.