05 April 2017

Mr. Whimsy & A Spit Take

I'll bet you're wondering what happened with eHarmony. Well, I'm still on it, but I'm increasingly disappointed. After the initial wave of I'm-a-brand-new-user-so-super-popular messages, "smiles," and conversation-starter multiple choice questions, the gushing river of eHarmony has slowed to a trickle. Which is fine. What I learned from last year is that I need my dating app life to not overwhelm me. Getting a hit two or three times a week is more than plenty.

The problem is the nature of the hits. Actually, the problem is the nature of my matches overall. Because yes, once or twice a week I open up my profile, browse my new matches, and consider making the first move if I find someone appealing. I'm encountering two major problems. First, eHarmony's minimum distance radius for matching me is 30 miles. Which is massive. As discussed previously, I'm just not going to try to start a relationship with someone who lives in one of Chicago's distant suburbs. I sold my car, and I have no intention of moving to the suburbs. Even if it worked out, it's a recipe for disaster.

Second, I'm…just not attracted to 99% of my matches. And as previously stated, if it's not a "hell yeah," it's a "no." But we're not even on the fence here with whether I'm attracted to most of these guys. It's not a "maybe" or "sort of" or "well he looks good in this photo, just not the others." It's an "absolutely not."

So I'm plowing ahead with eHarmony at this point solely because my mother and I dropped a lot of cash on it. eHarmony does NOT stop charging you for your subscription just because you cancel your account. It's a commitment. In my case, a 6 month commitment. And one I'm already regretting. My mother is convinced I need to try match.com next. I'm convinced I need to get comfortable with the idea of being single for the rest of my life.

Meanwhile, having recovered from my trauma, I got back on Bumble for a little while. Which is how I encountered Mr. Whimsy.

Mr. Whimsy invited me out for a glass of wine, and managed to pick one of my favorite local spots by accident. Based on my new rules, you already know I found him physically appealing. So far so good.

But I'm pretty sure he's unemployed. I can't be sure because he never really directly answered that question. Here's what I do know: Mr. Whimsy has a tattoo sleeve but doesn't like tattoos on women. He was raised by his Catholic parents along with 8 siblings, all of whom were homeschooled. It is unclear whether he actually is a practicing Christian, despite his upbringing. Once he left home, he went to trade school to be an auto-mechanic. He "did the auto-mechanic thing" for a few years before deciding that it wasn't the right career for him. Not enough potential for growth or salary improvement, and he enjoyed it "more as a hobby" than a job.

So he joined the AirForce and went into IT to help "guarantee a better job once [he] got out."

"Oh? So do you work in IT now?"

"Well currently I'm living on the GI bill while planning to go back to school. I'm a little embarrassed about going back to school at my age, but after all, the military's going to pay for it."

"What are you planning to study?"


Cue spit-take.

Oh God no.

Don't say it. Don't. Say. It.

"I'm actually taking some classes at Second City right now, and it's really awesome."


Lemme esssplain something to those of you outside of Chicago. Everyone and his sister here is taking a class at Second City. Which is great. Good for you. I'm sure it's a lot of fun and maybe you're learning a lot about yourself, and meeting some really amazing people and artists. Except—

"I'm enjoying it so much I decided I want to pursue a career in acting." At age 30+. Having never studied acting or theatre or comedy before.

Don't get me wrong; obviously, having a BA in Theatre Arts and having spent the first several years of my adult life pursuing a career in acting, I'm all for following your passion.

Except that Mr. Whimsy isn't really passionate about the theatre. Nor does he necessarily have the background required for a successful career in the arts. Of course, it helps that he's a straight white man and not a woman, person of color, or homosexual. That will definitely give him a leg up if he decides to waltz into a community of people who have been performing and studying and perfecting their art since age 2 (unlike myself, having primarily started at age 15, with a little bit of background from age 11, which is one of the many, many reasons I was unlikely to ever have a "successful" acting career.).

No, Mr. Whimsy is not passionate for a centuries-old tradition used by the Greeks to solve political problems, the Romans to entertain the discontented populace, or, oh say, Shakespeare to tell the great stories of royalty, fools, and lovers. He's decided to be an actor because he took a class and is having fun, and he thinks he's a naturally gifted comedian and improvisation actor.

He's not interested in the history, in the work, in the beautiful art of story telling. He thinks he's funny and can get paid for it.

…as if we live in a culture that likes to pay actors. Good luck, Chuck.

You see, as much as I cheer for and support the actors and artists of the world, the ones who are committed, who are fighting the good fight—the ones who, unlike me, haven't sold out yet—I find it almost offensive to be sitting across from this man who thinks this is a way to impress me. Because he's just so naturally funny. He won't have to work and study and grow. He's already got what it takes. Having been struck by the whim to be an actor, well, what's stopping him?

You can bet your buttons I'm not interested in being dragged along for the ride.

So goodnight, Mr. Whimsy. Good luck with all that. I wonder what you'll have decided to be when you grow up next year.

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