I am now married and rarely blog. Back in the day, though: I would write about dates, but in general terms, and I'd try to be fair. For example, I wouldn't describe a man's appearance, occupation, name, etc...but I would say if he was boorish, said something bizarre and/or inappropriate ("You'd be cuter if you were Jewish"), or something funny happened. I'd also say if I was the bad date that night. Say, if I was in a bad mood, or I'd had too much to drink and face-planted into the side of a taxi. It's all fair game.
Thanks for this. I think that by omitting crucial details like name and appearance, you were protecting your dates from much of the potential hurt that could theoretically arise in a situation like this.
Did anyone ever recognize themselves or others through your posts?
She does focus a little too much on him being a geek, but I think she probably would have been able to get past that had he not bought tickets for a show based on Jeffrey Dahmer's life for their first date. That's weird. I still play tabletop D&D, I'm a gamer, Magic was after my time but I respect it as a big part of modern geek culture, but that's WEIRD. Especially for a first date. I know this guy is getting a lot of support from Reddit and other corners of the geek world, but seriously, fellas, taking a woman on your first date to a show about a serial killer? Not unless you already know she's into serial killers or true crime stories.
First of all: I think you totally misread the post. Unless I'm missing something the size of a train, he did not -actually- take her to see a play about Jeffrey Dahmer. She was equating being a Magic gamer with being a goat cheese freak obsessed with serial killers. She was saying they were the same. Did you read the whole post?
Second of all: Everyone knows that seeing a show about Jeffrey Dahmer would be an excellent first date. (I wrote my undergrad thesis on cannibals, but I cannot be alone here, right?)
I was going to begin with a disclaimer explaining that I am, possibly, too old for this question. Instead, I'm cutting straight to the chase: We know pretty much everything anyone ever needs to know about Alyssa Bereznak. Karma isn't going to be pretty.
It is interesting, isn't it, that in a post written entirely about a Magic champion, the person we learn most about it the person who wrote it.
One of my favorite time wasters online is The Oatmeal. I saw this cartoon the other day, and naturally I thought of you, Cupcake!
What I'm going to comment on is not the content at all, which I clearly love for its use of the term "rumpy pumpy," but rather the way that the scroll bar is really what makes the joke. Because only the first panel is visible when you click on the page, you have to scroll down to see the second panel, which words as a punchline. It's like flipping a page in a book, or a comedian taking one final beat. Lovely.
I take exception to one of the inscriptions on your statue on the National Mall. The inscription says, "I am a drum major for online manners, memes and must-see video." I think it makes you sound arrogant. I know you're not really like that, though.
I'm female and do online dating on OkCupid and while I don't blog, I love Facebook. I think that if you are going to blog or otherwise post publicly about a date, you should really have the other person's permission, and if you don't you should not give out anything identifiable. I don't think it's fair and I hate how mean sprited and mocking people can be in blogs and in general on the Internet. Add dating into the mix and it really is a mess. I would never sign up for the WaPo Date Lab because of how often there are really snotty on-line comments about the daters. The Gizmodo blogger is everything I hate about the Internet and blogs, this practice of tearing other people (or things) down to get more hits on a blog, etc. I'm glad the guy handled it so well and hope he does find someone great as a result. I can't imagine too many guys doing something similiar, as the blogger (I don't want to use her name to give her more hits) which is a relief. I do share funny dating stories with my friends in conversation, but only talk about dates in general terms in my FB posts. And if I were to start blogging or Tweeting about dating, I wouldn't try and humilate anyone, even if they did stick their hand up my skirt within the first 15 minutes of the first (and only) date, which did happen.
Okay, the hand-up-the-skirt line makes me wonder, though: Are there any circumstances in which you -would- thin kit was acceptable to share first and last names? Assuming that there was no chance to you being arrested for libel or otherwise harmed?
Would you, for example, post the name of someone who you saw slip a drug into your drink? Someone who launched into a racist tirade? Someone who drove you past his ex girlfriend's/boyfriend's house and threw eggs at it?
When does the dating public have a right to know?
Loved the article. In my pre-hurricane shopping spree I found the will power to stock up on fruit and high protein things like tuna and peanut butter. I get cabin fever when I'm forced to stay inside, so I figured I didn't need to add sugar crashes or indigestion to the list. Except now I'm eating 3 bananas a day trying to finish them before they go bad...
I am eating Oreos.
He is cute!! Send him to DC, Ill date him and he can keep playing Magic. Everyone has something that they like that can be considered nerdy by someone else. For example, I love doing puzzles - I always have one going on my table. But that doesnt mean that its all I do all day, every day and its all I can talk about. I hope that no one has dumped me for it - or it wasnt the reason for not asking about a second date. Maybe she was just bummed that the second date didnt go well and wanted to get some revenge...
What is your opinion on 3D puzzles? I find them unchallenging in the wrong ways and challenging in the wrong ways. I disapprove.
Has your chat always been titled Manners in the Live Q&A's list? If so, this confirms my suspicions.
I have no idea.
What were your suspicions?! That I am secretly polite?
I dunno, Monica. I wrote mine on Jane Austen and Mansfield Park...
But you would still want to come to a play about Jeffrey Dahmer, right? Right?
I hope the inscription ends with GSTQ.
It's the truncated ending to so many Martin Luther King Jr. quotes, and nobody ever knew.
If you're a professional blogger, you have very little grounds to dis someone for being a semi-professional gamer.
Throwing this out to everyone: If she were not a professional blogger, would have change the issue for you?
After all, the only reason we even know about this story is because she posted it on a very popular geek blog -- she has a platform, and presumedly realized that the post would result in his quite public humilation.
What if, however, she were just a kindergarten teacher or a botanist who blogged on the side. Would that change your feelings about this story?
Disregarding the blog issues, how rude of a woman to be so judgmental and disdainful of someone else's hobby, basically equating what some consider an adolescent pasttime with a serial killer. My mother had never picked up a comic book before meeting my father, having been told by her mother that they rotted the brains of idiots. 26 years later, my parents are blissfully, nerdfully married, and they have 3 fireproof tupperware containers of comic books in the basement. To judge someone so harshly on a first date - without detailing any negative qualities beyond "he's really geeky" - makes me hope he doesn't ask for a second date. As for the vaguer internet protocol, I think it is to be expected that people will discuss their private lives in very public forums, though I do believe it is better to be vague and permitted than specific and surprising. As for why a tech blog posted some woman's diatribe against fans of a certain card game (who, quite likely, have a presence among Gizmodo's readership), they probably thought it would grab attention, regardless of its relevance.
New follow up question:
What's the most un-you think you have ever tried as result of a relationship? And did you end up enjoying it?
I am so glad he's being a baller about this, because honestly, this sounds like my worse nightmare. You go on a date with someone, you should expect he or she will talk to their friends about it, not say, the entire internet. With first and last name included. I feel the same way about date blogs as I do about any type of gossip. If there is a high probability that these comments will get back to the person in question, don't do it. Fame of a person does make a difference, but there's a difference between internet-famous and actually famous. Internet-famous usually involves one particular circle of the internet and generally does not overlap with a wider community. All that being said, I do agree with her larger point. Random things will turn people off, and not every date has to be an opportunity for personal growth and reflection.
Oh, but I bet she is reflecting on an awful lot these days.
Re: this being your worst nightmare. Has anyone ever had their dating or relationship history shared online, or in an otherwise public way?
Should we delve into dating humiliations right here?
I think this was a pretty big over-reaction to learning that someone's hobby is fantasy-based card game. If he tortured animals or stole candy from babies that's one thing, but having dinner with someone who spends their free time in a nerdy way does not equal horrific experience. Signed- a woman who is gainfully employed and contributes to society but spends a few hours a week playing Japanese role playing video games.
Any games that are awesome enough for you to share with the class?
Swing dancing. He loved it. I cannot dance like that. At all. He tried to teach me. Hopeless.
Were you wearing a 1940's inspired dress? It makes everything so much easier.
freeze them! really! put them in smoothies. or just eat them frozen. it's a great treat, and is almost like having some indulgent ice cream, but it's healthy for you!
For a minute I thought this was in response to the "what hobby have you taken up for a date" question, and that your answer was "eating frozen bananas." But now I see.
Previous Poster: You can also wait a few days and make banana bread, which is best when bananas get brown and mushy.
the woman should be really embarrassed by her behavior. From what I understand, she wrote this without his consent. Doesn't she have someone at Gizmodo to talk her out of really dumb ideas on company time? Plus, I would imagine that the target audience of Gizmodo is some pretty geeky guys. Making fun of geeks does not seem like a good idea. Heck, he could sue Gizmodo for the emotional distress, etc. this has caused him. Lucky for her it sounds like he's a lot classier than she and Gizmodo are.
For the record, he seems to be taking this in stride. He's getting lots of love in the blogosphere, and taking the time to respond to well-wishers on Twitter. I posted that he was going to be a topic of this chat, and he responded that he liked my bicycle (which I am pictured with). High class all the way.
I'm unclear. Doesn't Gizmodo have at least one editor? Are these "writers" posting any unpleasant thing they wish?
Well. As an item, the posting was provocative, thematic, and touched a lot of nerves. So journalistically, maybe it was successful.
I understand that there are many different types of nerds (i.e. comic book nerds, LOTR nerds, etc), but I feel like Ms. Bereznak's nerd barometer is a bit off, or at least a bit arbitrary. She's a self-described nerd who writes for a tech blog, but people who play fantasy card games are too nerdy for her? Is playing World of Warcraft acceptable? What about collecting action figures? I guess I'm just wondering where she draws her nerdiness line.
This is an excellent broader question that I shall now present.
Do people have their own nerdiness lines? ("I will play this but not this. I will read this but not this.")
The "nerd" term has become so overused as to nearly be meaningless now.
NO! But yes, that would've made it a LOT more fun. Like something out of "The Notebook" or...whatever.
Absolutely. You need to dress like you've just wandered off the set of A League of Their Own, the off-field scenes, and go try it again.
To up the ante, a high school friend I had a crush on back in the day changed his status from "Married" to "Single" today on facebook, along with "I am finally unburdened. What a waste of a few years." SO glad I dodged that bullet.
He did actually take her to a show about serial killers - which I think is odd for a first date... "But before I could dig deeper, we had to go. Jon had bought us tickets for a one-man show based on serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's life story. It was not a particularly romantic evening."
Oh, okay, I breezed right past that.
So it was not her cup of tea. I might argue, however, that such an activity is exactly appropriate for a first date, because it's going to show you your prospective romantic partner thinks, "Wow, this is weird and wonderful!" or thinks, "I am afraid of you." Your reaction to an extreme activity is going to tell you a lot about a person, no? Much more than dinner and a movie. Think how many unnecessary second dates could have been avoided if more people would just put it out there on the first one.
Where is this one person show about Jeffrey Dahmer playing and how does one get tickets?
I think this discussion is screaming for a link to the Funny or Die clip where the younger blonde from "30 Rock" (the assistant, not Jane Krakowski) is on a first date with a guy and outgeeks him. I'll go look for the link, but maybe your producer will be faster on the draw.
I am my own producer and pretty buried -- so if anyone finds it...
I will watch Star Wars. I will not dress up like Leia in the bronze bikini and go to Star Wars conventions. I like LOTR--but I'm not going to start speaking in Elvish.
You mentioned it was on cannibals. Were these outcast, social deviant cannibals? Or Papua New Guinea-style cannibals?
These were literary cannibals, depicted by Herman Melville, Tennessee Williams, Daniel Defoe, and the writers of People magazine as they covered the Jeffery Dahmer trial.
She is a horrible horrible person. Imagine the roles were reversed, and it was a guy, who blogged about his date with the vapid beauty pageant contestant, the vacuous sorority girl, the self-absorbed career woman, the crazy cat lady, or any of a dozen other cliched characters that really exist. The S-storm that the putative guy blogger would be receiving would be off the charts. What makes it right because it's a woman who's complaining about her stereotypical Magic/Dungeons & Dragons/Star Wars nerd?
I was actually going to ask if anyone thought that gender played a role in the way this story is being received, but I actually think that the lady blogger is receiving the same shoot-storm that a man would have.
I wouldn't want to post that publicly, even thought it would be good information for other women to have because then I would get comments about how I must have been dressed in such a way as to encourage, it, etc. I did consider alerting OKCupid about him, but didn't follow up, so I don't know if they would have done anything with that information. One of the examples (Would you, for example, post the name of someone who you saw slip a drug into your drink?) I would have called the cops about. I think the problem is that anything on-line can be twisted and I wouldn't want to put myself out there like that because poor behavior of others could still reflect poorly on you- as in, what about you attracted or was attracted to such a loser.
(And yes, I'd assumed that calling the cops would be your first step. I just wondered if there would also be others)
This was originally posted on the great '90s site Brunching Shuttlecocks - seems to be gone now, so this is a repost. Here is the OFFICIAL hierarchy in who gets to look down on whom, nerd-wise. Sadly, as I get older, I find myself fitting into more and more of these categories, but I will never reach the very bottom. Even I have my standards, you know.
Ooh, I can't wait to look at this in greater detail post-chat. And thank you for reminding me of Brunching Shuttlecocks, which did, indeed, used to be a marvelous site.
That Monica is also Judith Martin? I don't think so.
I WISH. Oh she is lovely and amazing, and just just-so.
But note that she barely mentioned the Dahmer play as an excuse not to date him. Instead, her expected levels of revulsion were reversed from what we might logically expect. "So then we went to a play about Dahmer, and that was weird. ALSO, HE PLAYED CARDS, WHAT A SICK WEIRDO."
Amazing! I did not even notice this!
Actually, it was CollegeHumor.com, rather than Funny or Die. But my computer is not playing nice with the site right now.
Boo. We shall all Google this after the chat.
Mr. Finkel is ADORABLE. But he looks a little young for me (not to mention that I have a husband).
There have been several of these types of postings this chat. I will stick this one up there in case Mr. Finkel decides to stop by later, so he can witness the love bestowed upon him.
When my boyfriend and I first started dating we loved doing outdoorsey things together but we were limited by the fact that I couldn't swim. Not "I can sort of doggy paddle but I'm no Michael Phelps" but like having panic attacks in the water. He encouraged me to take swim lessons and I'm happy to report that a year later I'm now doing lap workouts in a 7 foot deep pool.
I've been following the shoot-storm too, and the guy has been FLOODED with offers from interested geek girls. This might be the best thing that's ever happened to him, Magic World Championship included.
If this comes out in a week that he paid a Gizmodo writer to date him and then rip on him so that he could reap the sympathy love...
I'm in atlanta, so dragon con is this weekend. And so I said to husband: do you know when the parade is this weekend? He was a little surprised! big geek that he is, I think he'd love to go, but never thought I would be the least bit interested. SO not true for the parade! I always see pictures, and they look like they are all having so much fun!!!
Take plenty of them and let us see them next week. Dragon Con sounds like a blast.
I cosign with an earlier commenter re: conventions -- I think that is where I draw my own nerd line. That is, any nerd endeavor is cool with me right up to the point where you book a trip to the E3/Anime/Star Trek/'Insert-Nerd-Endeavor-Here' convention.
Wheareas I will happily go to all sorts of conventions, but they are part of my "job" so I "have to."
It is the "best part of my job."
But before you freeze them dip them in chocolate sauce and roll in peanuts.
Oh. My. God. Yes.
Watching pro sports. I actually love it now and listen to sports radio on my way to work. I think this is what makes being in a relationship fun. I do stuff he likes and have learned to like those things or can at least be supportive of them. And he does the same for me. He was never into art, but has attended many an art show with me and even stayed up until 3:00 am helping me get ready for my own show.
Starring the blonde from 30 Rock http://www.themarysue.com/geek-girl-out-geeks-date/ Very, very funny!
Oh, from TheMarySue! I love that site.
Oops. I ate most of my 2 year old daughter's chocolate haul at Halloween last year. But I DO NOT torture animals.
Nah, that's just good parenting.
I'm pretty fluent in policy wonk, literature nerd, and music critiqery, so while sci-fi geek is not my native language, I speak it well enough to get by. And LOLcats is like Esperanto.
This is the best post of the chat. I am hereby giving you this award that I just made up. Let us be friends.
Hi--this isn't really an online question, but i am a bridesmaid in a wedding, i have known this person my whole life. i wasn't invited with a date and do not know her other friends. i emailed her asking why and if i could bring my boyfriend of 4 months and she never responded. she told me over gchat that she only wants people she knows at the wedding but would think on it. should i follow up with another email--haven't heard from her since.
Don't follow up. She was trying to get out of it in the G-chat conversation.
FWIW, it would have been nice if she had invited you with a date, but etiquette only requires inviting full couples if they are engaged, married, or live-ins. Especially as a member of the wedding party, you may end up being glad that you're date-free. The last time I was a bridesmaid, I went solo to the wedding and loved it. Not only did the bride need a lot of help that I would have felt guilty ditching my date to provide, but it also meant that she and I got to have a girly, dorky sleepover the night before the wedding.
I totally would if I had the body.
Man or woman?
The interesting thing about people who succeed in gaming environments is that they tend to be good business strategizers and managers of people. We discussed this at length in a management class I tool last year.
But please don't brag about this award on your next date.
Unless it is with me. "Oh, Cupcake, remember when you made up that award for me? That was awesome. You are awesome."
Many women who would never have been caught even talking to a nerd in high school are happy to marry them when they become millionaires in the tech sector.
And many guys who felt the same way are happy to change their minds when the girl takes off her glasses and is suddenly Rachel Leigh Cook.
I am female and use OK Cupid, as far as I can tell 75-80% of the male users on there are techy (as am I, maybe that skews what I see). I would be surprised if they didn't game in some fashion. What was she expecting?? BTW, I play World of Warcraft and certainly hope that nobody uses that as the basis for judging me... I think if someone on the dating site is threatening (drugs in drinks question) then all bets are off, namewise. Annoying, geeky, not a good date, leave the names out.
Why? If they would be so shallow as to dump you for being a puzzle-o-holic, then you don't want another date with them, do you? My now husband was really into an online multiplayer computer game when we first started dating. I thought it was a little odd, but I wasn't going to dump him for it. Just like he didn't dump me for being into crochet and beading crafts. But if he had, then he wasn't the person that was going to make me happy in the end anyway.
Before blogging about people on dates. Otherwise you're just oversharing. And if you feel the need to warn people about someone publicly, then I think it has to be a situation you'd be comfortable filing a police report on. You never look good ripping on people in public whether it's on a blog, Date Lab, or published novel.
So that means I can friend you on FB?
I like this juxtaposition of topics. Someone reading this would think Jeffrey Dahmer dipped bodies into chocolate and roled peanuts onto them.
This post made me consider removing the impromptu best post award that I just granted, but I do not go back on my word.
I am also afraid that these chat topics may cause newcombers to decide never to come back.
Just go and have fun. As Hax would say: can't you just go and support your friend for a few hours? talk with people? you'll be fine.
Aha! You *ARE* Judith Martin!
No, I just read her books. And creepily stroke the handwritten note she left at my desk once while visiting the Post.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that conventions don't sound like fun (except the gun ones, those are probably frightening). But I guess I'd be afraid of some backlash from siblings, friends, co-workers, etc. It's probably related to the post-traumatic nerd stress from high school and still coming to grips with my own nerdiness.
We all have to take our own path. It's a process.
So my point still stands. It was the combo of being thrown for a loop about him being passionate about M:TG and having to go to a show about serial killers. It's like finding out your date is super passionate about fantasy football and then...having to go to a show about serial killers. It's not really a stellar first impression.
I'm trying to translate this analogy into a situation that would cause an equal amount of revulsion. The closest I have been able to come up with is,
"It's like finding out your date was super passionate about breast implants, then having to go big game hunting for elephants."
It is possible that this date would cause me to blog.
Remember, you will probably be seated with the bridal party and your boyfriend will be seated away from you for most of the night with people he doesn't know. I don't know about your boyfriend, but mine would hate this and I would owe him big-time (as in, Leia-bikini levels of owing).
I think that women will never understand the power of the Leia bikini.
Fried butter? Not sure if that's better then the Dahmer.
Fried butter definitely intrigues me.
Then they are judging us too harshly. If this is their first date with us, they need to get to know us better.
WE DO NOT ALWAYS TALK ABOUT SERIAL KILLERS.
That's okay, I just wanted to use "Aha!" like some old-timey detective. Did I mention that board games (including Clue) are (one of) my secret geeky things that women blog about after our dates....?
Wait, do I know who this is?
Remember, while it is wonderful if a bride and groom are thinking of their guests as they plan the celebration that is their wedding, Miss Manners herself states that it is not in good form for guests to expect a plus one. The wedding is a celebration for the actual family and friends of the bride and groom, not their family, family hangers on, friends, and friends of friends.
Miss Manners herself could not have said it better. Unless you are literally cutting and pasting Miss Manners, which you might be.
Wouldn't it melt?
This is why we need to try it. All of us.
I used to walk around laughing at people who dressed up and went to Star Trek or Star Wars conventions....what pathetic geeks. Then, Harry Potter came into my life. I no longer judge; I learned to appreciate people taking pictures of me from their cars as I happily trounced down the street and rode the bus in my full Hogwarts gear the night of the 7.2 premiere. I had the anti-nerd/geek avada kedavra'd out of me...
I'm just going to post a few more of these because I think they're fun.
I'm a computer programmer. I mean, that's stereotypical nerd all around, right? Yet I developed nerdiness lines on dress (I don't wear those black t-shirts with the white lettering that say something nerdy), activities (simple strategy games I find fun, complex games loose me fast), and interests. And while I'm out of the dating game now, I had nerdiness lines in who I would find interesting as a potential partner also - but I would have never blogged about it!
that pointed out that this guy plays cards. It may be a card game that not everyone knows how to play - Magic the Gathering isn't Go Fish - but it is still a card game. isn't fan fiction awfully similar to all those Greeks who spent all their time filling in the back story of Homer. Same with the writers who did the same for the Arthur stories. I mean the quality varies as does the quality of the source material, but "The Trojan Women" is fan fiction.
Who cares? I used to go the Ren Fest every year. The first time I thought all the dressed up people looked weird. Then in later years I felt weird that I wasn't dressing up. I started wearing nymph horns. The next time I go it's going to be all out costume.
i know that i am not entitled to a date, but this girl has been crazy. i threw her bridal shower, i went to las vegas, oh and the wedding is in boston. they are only inviting people they know, even excluding spouses if they don't know them. i am so mad, i almost want to drop outta the wedding. not sure how i am going to be fake happy the day of the wedding.
Ah, okay, so the issue is not that you need to know whether to email her again about bringing your boyfriend, but rather that you feel like she has been a bridezilla, and that you deserve a morsel of happiness (bringing boyfriend) after investing a lot in her dream. Why didn't you say so?
Unfortunately, at this point you are stuck. Best thing to do is go, take full advantage of an open bar, and eat multiple slices of cake. You can re-evaluate after the wedding whether you still want to be friends with her.
If your boyfriend wants to come along (does he?) and has the vacation time, then you could extend your trip for a few days and hang out with him on non-wedding related activities.
But you shouldn't press the date issue. One rudeness can't cancel out another.
Also, for their wedding gift: Might I suggest two tickets to a one-man play about the life of Jeffrey Dahmer?
I think the butter's frozen hard first, before being breaded and deep-fried.
So many of life's important questions get answered in this chat.
Unfortunately, that's all the time we have for this week. We'll be back next week. Will we talk about serial killers? Only if you are lucky.