How to successfully scare off potential mates.

Despite appearances to the contrary,
this, my friend Joe, is not a wanker.

Rich sent me this email which apparently has been making the rounds lately. Poor, besotted Joe meets the lovely Kate at a friend’s party and later sends her an email to invite her out for a coffee date. It’s a pretty banal situation, one that most of us have been in; you meet a cutie at a party or bar, you’re a little tipsy and convince yourself that s/he is "the one" and you make an ass of youself in the process:

Hello Kate,

It's joe - we met at Andrew's party.

I hope you don't mind me getting your e-mail address from the e-mail that Andy sent to us all; it is a bit sneaky of me.

It was wonderful to meet you on Saturday, and I wonder if you would consider meeting me for coffee sometime; maybe at the Tate Modern?
So far, so good. I’m willing to overlook the grammar (just barely) and even the slightly stalkerish behavior that stems from culling the original invite to find the email address of your destined-to-be beloved. The invitation, however, is flawless: a coffee shop is the perfect location for a low-key first date, and the suggestion of the Tate Modern shows a level of sophistication you don’t expect from drunken college students.*

Had Joe ended the email with a quick “Hope to hear from you soon!” I trust that even the inestimable Miss Manners would have little to complain about. Unfortunately, Joe has taken making an ass of one’s self to a whole new level:

OK. This is where my common sense is telling me to stop, keep it simple and positive joe.
This is where Joe (joe?) should have listened to the little voice in his head that says, “Stop Joe, you’re making an ass of yourself." Unfortunately for Kate, Joe seems to have other voices in his head, and he couldn’t concentrate for the din.

And the probability of me listening to that voice? Experience has taught me that it is not worth putting up a fight; I will end up giving in to the part of me that never wants to find itself shaking its head and muttering 'if only'

Hopefully he won’t be listening to the voices that tell him to kill.

This is the part where I throw caution to the wind; the part where I listen to my heart and remember that I should live my life as an exultation and revel in the opportunity to try; the part where I refuse to apologize for who I am; the part where I trust that the lady I met on Saturday night is, as I suspect, able to see sincerity where others would see clich.

Clich, I assume, is cliché. A word that still doesn’t fit within the context of the sentence, but can at least be found in most English language dictionaries.

Here’s a word of advice for the boys: women hate it when you make assumptions about us. It’s a common thing you all do, and you need to stop. You meet a girl, you like her, you project all kinds of thoughts and opinions and assume that we are capable of reading a stalker letter and seeing through to the “nice guy” that lurks beneath. Stop it. Seriously. If you ever want to get laid, try actually talking to a girl and finding out what she’s really like and then determining if you like who she is. When you create personalities for us (working under the assumption, apparently, that we have none of our own), you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment. You’ll eventually become one of those MRA fuckwits who blame women for all of their problems, because if we had only just been the people you want us to be, rather than who we are, you’d be happy. Save us all the headache, guys; no one likes an MRA fuckwit.

I am fortunate enough to have been able to collect a number of special memories. They are memories of moments that made any struggle leading up to them worthwhile. They are memories of moments when I am struck by something so beautiful, time stands still and all of the ugliness in the world ceases to exist.

Your smile is the freshest of my special memories.

I told Rich that “special memories” sounds like a euphemism for “masturbatory material.” Another word of advice for the guys in the room: if you must conjure images of women you’ve just met while jerking off, please have the common decency of not telling us that’s what you’re doing. You might think we are flattered to have a starring role in your favorite fantasy, but we’re actually creeped out by it.

Regardless of whether we see each other again, I will use it as I do my other special memories. I will call on it when I am disheartened or low. I will hold it in my heart when I need inspiration. I will keep it with me for moments when I need to find a smile of my own.

Dude, that’s some serious pressure on a poor girl! That’s like one step down from “The only thing that stops me from offing myself is knowing that you love me.” What if Kate’s having a bad day, Joe? Should she smile just for you, lest you never lift yourself up from your desperation? Kate is a real person, Joe, not some muse who’ll simper and smile so that you can be inspired. Fuck, I don’t even know Kate, and I’m pissed off for her!

I am unsure of all my motives for sharing this with you and, if I am honest, not ready to examine them too closely. However, I know that it makes me feel good to believe that maybe, if you are ever upset, knowing that I will be keeping your smile alive might help you through.

Oh for the love of Bill! First of all, if you’re not ready to examine your motives, Joe, don’t unload on the poor girl like she’s your therapist on call. Besides, I thought your motives were clear: email the hottie and get her to have a cuppa joe with Joe. Seems pretty clear cut to me. Apparently, though, there lurks beneath the innocent date invitation something more sinister, otherwise Joe wouldn’t be so conflicted. And Kate wouldn’t be so freaked out by the email that she had to forward it to the entire world—presumably to identify a possible culprit should she ever end up dead.

I still can’t get over the smile thing, though. I can imagine the situation right now: Kate is upset because she’s being email-stalked by some crazy kid she met at a party. She’s depressed and unable to smile, but takes comfort in the fact that Joe is “keeping [her] smile alive” while she's filling out the appropriate Personal Protection Order paperwork. Why, it’s almost as good as actually being happy because you’re not being hounded by a future-MRA fuckwit.

If you are half as intelligent and aware as I believe you to be, I am sure that you will find what I have written, in the very least, sweet.

If I am twice as lucky as I would dare to hope, you will find this note charming and agree to contact me and arrange a date.

And if you’re an evil bitch feminist like most women, you’ll call the cops.

Either way, I trust that your reply will be candid - you told me how much you value honesty.

Oh, her reply was candid all right. Forwarding Joe’s email with what could only have been “Check out this crazy kid who is stalking me just in case I end up dead,” is a pretty honest reaction.

One last thing, I promise that it is enormously rare for me to stray as far from sobriety as I managed on Saturday night.

I love this line. It's probably my favorite line in this entire pitiful, embarrassing email. Presumably, Joe and Kate felt some kind of connection at the party, but Kate felt the need to forward the email that he wrote while stone-cold sober to all of her friends. If I were Joe, I'd stick with drinking--it obviously works better for him.

Be safe. Joe

And this is what creeps me out the most! “Be safe,” Joe says…safe from what Joe? You’re the delusional fuck that’s sending her random stalker emails. Joe, you’re the one she needs to be kept safe from!

The British newspaper that published the letter has been inundated with comments in support of Joe. There is one of two possible reasons for this: either the Brits are so stiff-upper-lip emotionally repressed that they have bred out the ability to recognize sincere emotion (as opposed to clich), or I’ve lost the ability to determine when a Brit is joking. I still laugh at Rich’s jokes, though, so I’m thinking it’s not the latter.

So what is it, folks? Am I the evil bitch feminist, suspicious of even the most well-intentioned romantic overtures, or is Joe a crazy stalker deserving of public ridicule? And if I am an evil bitch feminist, you still love me, right?

*I have no idea how old Joe is, but his hamfisted use of really big words to sound impressive can only be the work of a college student.


annamaria at 11:38 AM

6 spoke


at Tuesday, August 01, 2006 8:57:00 AM Blogger Dane meets Simone said...

Of course I still love you!

at Tuesday, August 01, 2006 8:59:00 AM Blogger annamaria said...

Is that your passive agressive way of calling me an evil bitch? :)

at Wednesday, August 02, 2006 9:36:00 AM Blogger Kurt said...

the e-mail itself was funny. your running commentary made it hilarious.
i think he may have taken his pointers from the little creepy song by the Rightwous Brothers - (You're My) Soul and Inspiration then continued by Clay Aiken with Invisible.
Weird. Women sing songs about Coin Operated Boys, and men become stalkers....
BTW, what is an MRA?

at Wednesday, August 02, 2006 9:51:00 AM Blogger annamaria said...

Thanks, Kurt. Sometimes I feel as if I exist solely to amuse myself. Nice to know others enjoy the jokes. And you're right, that Clay Aiken song is creepy!

An MRA is a Men's Rights Advocate, usually typified by the belief that women are responsible for all of men's problems by agitating to be free and human and stuff. Oh, and that we're evil child-killing whores who have kids to trap men into loveless marriages so that we can steal their paychecks. (How's that for reasoning skills!) Check out the Fathers 4 Justice and get an idea of how unhinged these guys can get.

at Wednesday, August 02, 2006 11:34:00 AM Blogger Wake of the Flood said...

You mean all women aren't just gold diggin bimbos and that the feminist agenda isn't to emasculate all men and turn them into whipped little boys?

Your commentary was funny. But I was a little more sympathetic to the guy. I didn't attribute a stalkers mentality to him -- just stupidity and immaturity. As my wife and I would say, he's just so DeGrassi!

at Wednesday, August 02, 2006 2:22:00 PM Anonymous rich said...

You always make me laugh! :)


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