29 November 2010

you say 'esparagus', i hit the delete key

Oh the humanity!

Why such a claim, you may ask?

Online dating. Otherwise known as "the attempt to".

Profile after profile, I become more disheartened. I have come to accept decade old photographs, run-on sentences, and violent misuse and comprehension of the dear little apostrophe. However, the list of things that drive me batty is growing. Two items have particularly spun me up lately - the clear avoidance of SPELL CHECK and the Holy Rollers.

While not all of us are editors, maybe slept through basic high school English class, we all have that little red squiggly line that alerts us when a word is misspelled on our computer screen. Even if you are color blind and cannot see the flaming red color, we all know the simple visual cue for a possible spelling error. So when writing to attract a potential mate, why do these men fail to right-click and correct the error? Case in point - when answering a question about food that was despised as a child but enjoyed now, the answer was "esparagus" (sic). Just typing that word hurts. Asparagus! Asparagus!

If dreadful spelling weren't enough, there has been a rising in the number of Holy Roller profiles. I cannot read another sentence stating, "I am a God-fearing man who wants to meet a God-fearing woman", I may very well become a nun. It is great that these men believe or even claim to believe, but that is their sole defining attribute and there has got to be more than that to a man I want to meet. I certainly don't believe these men would be rather open to my belief system that is a beautiful mosaic of truths I have found throughout my life. These Holy Rolling men's profiles are very black and white on the religious stuff and while many facets of my life contain black and white views, my religious side is many different shades of gray.

So I continue to read a handful of profiles daily. I have shifted my focus on the entertainment value and attempting to remain hopeful that one day soon, I will go out on a date or two. Not a lifetime commitment, but a spark of jolly good fun for a little while.

16 November 2010

a new season

It is almost a week since I have returned from my North Africa adventure. I celebrated my 36th birthday in Djerba, Tunisia. The Med, the Sahara, and everything in between. It was a magnificent country and yet another experience that left a long-last mark on my being.

The people, the landscape, the way of life, it all captivated me to a level I did not anticipate. The more I travel, the more I see (and I have seen an awful lot for my age), the more the world make sense in some weird way. We, as humans, are all alike, regardless of our race, creed, religion, or sex. Language doesn't serve as a barrier to communication; a smile does more than words.

During this trip, I thought about my old traveling companion (now dead), Helen constantly. I was reminded of our last trip to Cambodia. During that time, American travellers were a rarity but the few small lessons Helen taught me were like a tape on repeat in my mind during Tunisia. Things I learned from Helen:
  • Smile. Always smile.
  • Wave, especially at children as they need to know that travellers are capable of kindness.
  • Always, always say hello; preferable in their language, but when in doubt a good old fashioned 'hello' works.
The compassion Helen instilled in me is something I am eternally grateful for. I had so many wonderful encounters and subsequent memories because I faithfully followed Helen's guidance. While I miss Helen greatly, it felt wonderful to have her still encircling me on my latest holiday.