Tag Archives: crazy

Ms. Boyfriend Trainer

Julie over at French Toast sent me this link a while back, and I thought that it accurately/ironically illustrates the Parisian idea of a functional relationship.  The link takes you to an online game called The Boyfriend Trainer, in which the player, presumably a female, is supposed to train her boyfriend to be the perfect companion by implementing a negative reinforcement scheme — punishing him for undesirable behaviors.

The game is divided into four different stages:

  • Player must slap boyfriend if he even so much as glances amorously at another female.
  • Player must taser boyfriend if he leaves clutter on the floor of the house.
  • Player must whack boyfriend with racket if he hogs the remote or drinks wine instead of juice.
  • Player must strangle boyfriend with a pre-tied noose/leash if he drives too fast or attempts to change the radio station.

And voilà… the perfect boyfriend.

And voilà… the ultimate parisian relationship.

Minus the taser.  I don’t think that civilians can legally buy those here.

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Mr. Louvre Lurker

Every first Sunday of the month, museums all over Paris open their doors, free of charge, to the public.  And on one such Sunday at the Louvre, I was checking out the decorative arts section when I noticed that the one other guy in the room with me was kind of cute.

I thought no more of him until I realized, five rooms later, that he was still there.

Was he following me?  Should I be creeped out?

I decided that I would not be creeped out and that I’d give him the benefit of the doubt since he was “kind of cute”.  (Yes, I know, I’m superficial and I’m okay with it.)

However, I wanted to make sure that he was following ME, and not just following the prescribed route through the ceramics section and reading the captions in the tapestry rooms at the exact same rate as me.

So I decided to conduct a test.

I abruptly left the Objets d’Art section, went up several escalators, and traversed the length of the wing to get to the French Paintings section.  When I checked behind me, he was still there!

Yay!  He totally digs me.  I wasn’t imagining things!

But then I thought to myself, why hasn’t he made a move?

Pansy-ass french man.

He eventually ran out of time, since the museum staff herded the crowds out the door at closing time.  No surprise, but we “magically” ended up in the same metro train car.

Yet he still hadn’t sacked up to chat me up.

I was fed up with his pansy-ass pansiness, so I decided to be ballsy.

I wrote my number on the back of my ballet ticket from the night before, and I handed it to him as I was getting out at my stop.  I blasted him with my most winning smile and pranced away — my heart beating wildly from the adrenaline rush of doing something so ballsy.

Now you’re probably thinking, this story sounds like a fantastic when-we-first-met story that happily married couples have.

Yeah.  Right.  Come on, stuff like that doesn’t happen in the world of Manshopping in Paris.

Things went awry when we arranged a date.  It was the date the launched my illustrious full-time career of painful dating in Paris.

He had this high-pitched voice and barely-above-a-whisper mumble, which I found unbearable and impossible to understand.  But most importantly, his personality was just flat.  If I stared long enough, I could swear that he was actually one-dimensional.

My boredom was so severe that I’m scared that it may have caused some brain hemorrhaging at the time.

The worst of it was that I couldn’t seem to get out of the date!  He managed to cling to me all the way from the restaurant to my door (it was a 40 minute walk!), and the whole experience was very unpleasant, to put it mildly.

The next day I told him that it wasn’t going to work for us romantically.  In other words, I told him to bugger off and leave me alone.

And a normal guy would have, right?

But of course, I’m incapable of finding a normal parisian man to date.

He wouldn’t stop asking me out.

He asked me out to dinner to introduce me to his friends.

He asked me to accompany him to work functions.

Three months later, when he moved to India, he sent me weekly updates and demanded to know why I wasn’t responding.

Three months after that, when he moved back to France, he continued to pester me.

And now, two and a half years later, gmail is still filtering his emails directly into my trash bin.

Apparently this guy has nobody else to bother except some random woman who gave him her number on the metro two and half years ago.

I have concluded that he has no friends.

Of course, out of all the men in Paris, I picked THIS winner to hit on.

And I’ve been saying “Next!” for the past two and a half years.

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Ms. Fading Failure

Oh boy.  “The Fade.”

The infamous Fade has been a staple of human dating rituals since… gosh, it doesn’t really matter.  You know what I’m talking about.  Boy meets girl.  Boy goes on date(s) with girl.  Boy realizes that he is not into girl.  Boy doesn’t call girl.  Girl may attempt contact with boy.  Boy ignores and fades into nothing.  Girl eats caramels and moves on.  The end.

I’ve been faded many a time in my life.  I’ve even done some fading myself.  The Fade is an established social convention indicating at least one party’s lack of interest in the other.

However, I’m not sure that all Parisian men are as familiar with the Fade as we are in the anglophone dating world.

I have attempted, on multiple occasions, to fade my way out of undesirable entanglements here.  According to past experiences on American soil, this should have gone off without a hitch.

But, of course, upon arrival in Paris, hitches abounded, and the most illustrative example is someone to whom I refer as Mr. Gym Stalker.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mr. Gym Stalker worked the front desk at my gym.  While I didn’t pay much attention to the front desk staff at the time, my gym buddy, the Irish Parisienne, pointed out to me that Mr. Gym Stalker had developed a little crush on me.

I laughed it off and just continued along my merry little way.

But one day, as I was on my way out, he summoned me over and told me that he needed to ask me about something.

Mr. G.S. : “I noticed that you don’t come here as often as you used to.”

Man-shopper : “Yeah, I moved.  I only work out here if I’m in the neighborhood.  I go to a different location now.”

Mr. G.S. : “Here’s the thing.  I’ve been working here for two years now, and I can’t work out here anymore because people recognize me while I’m working out, assume that I’m on duty, and bother me.”

Man-shopper : “Uhhh, okay….”

Mr. G.S. : “It’s really difficult for me to motivate myself to work out at other locations, so I was wondering if you’d like to work out sometime at the location that you go to now.  Planning to meet up with people motivates me more than if I were to just go by myself.”

Man-shopper : “Oh, ok, gym buddies are cool.  Well, I go to spin class, you’re welcome to join me.”

And I thought that’d be it.  I didn’t think that it would be a big deal, since I didn’t intend on returning to this gym location anymore.  My move was finally official, and it was no longer convenient for me to trek out there.  So, in my mind, this wasn’t a date, and I didn’t give him my number.  This was just a… a nothing.

But then the phone calls started.

I had that gym’s phone number programmed into my phone, and I noticed that the gym would be calling me everyday, but nobody ever left a message.  I didn’t bother call back, as I figured that if the gym had official business with me, they’d leave a message.

After a few weeks of this, I began to get lots of calls from a mobile number that I didn’t recognize, and sometimes from a masked phone number.  Again, I don’t answer or return calls unless I know the number or if I’m expecting a call.  These calls were really starting to concern me, as they would occur at least several times per day, sometimes as late as 11 at night.

I decided to approach this matter as if the caller were an undesirable and clueless suitor.  I figured, the Fade should work eventually, right?  I’ll just sit tight and be unresponsive until he gets the point and goes away.

A couple of months later of these persistent phone calls, I began to think that my phone was possessed.  Who the hell would keep calling me like this without leaving a message??

I lived in fear of my phone.

I turned off its ringer.

One fateful day — my birthday, actually — I get a text message from the mystery mobile number.

“Hi, I just wanted to wish you a happy 27th birthday.  All the best, Mr. G.C.”

So let’s recap the horribleness of this situation:

Mr. G.C. pulled my mobile number from the gym’s client files and proceeded to harass me for months without leaving a voicemail.

Mr. G.C. then pulled MY BIRTHDAY from my file and used the number acquired by inappropriate channels in order to harass me further.

My Fade failed miserably.

It had nothing to do with my technique.  It is physically impossible to botch a Fade.  Non-response is the easiest cop-out thing to do in the world.

But some creeptastic, stalkerish, dodgy Parisian men simply refuse to be Faded.

However, this is not to say that the Fade doesn’t have its uses on the Parisian scene.  Even if the Fade fails miserably as a suitor-ditching technique, it is, however, a great way to determine whether one needs to consider taking out a restraining order.

Don’t Say Hello by Simone Grant
Fade To Black by The Urban Dater
The Fade by Miss Melisa Mae
You Say Fade? I Say Cop-Out by Women Are From Mars
To Fade or Not to Fade by Jess Downey
Eyes Open By Totally Tyler
Fading Into the Shadows by Miss Taylor Cast
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover by F*cking in Brooklyn
Da Fade, Ladies and Gentlemen, by Thank You For Your Sex™

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Mssrs. Gym Casanova

While I was tidying the other day, I found my old workout notebook, in which I also scrawled some of the more memorable lines that men have fed me at the gym.  My long-time readers may remember that I spend big chunks of my life at the gym.  And since I signed up over a year ago, I’ve had plenty of time to observe the kind of barbarism that is somehow accepted as civilized human behavior at a parisian gym.

I picked out some of my “favorites” and added a few recent gems in order to present to you, dear readers, the Gym Casanova Hall of Infamy:

In the lobby:

  • “Hey, girl, you don’t need to work out.  Don’t go upstairs to work out.  Stay here in the lobby with me and I’ll give you a workout.”
  • “Don’t see many of ‘your people’ in here.”

In the free weights room :

  • “Hey, little girl, are you lost?”
  • “Aren’t you afraid of turning into a man?”
  • “You must be in here to find a man, no?”

In the weight machines area :

  • “Will you marry me?  Oh, not YOU.  I don’t like asians.  I was talking to the girl behind you.”
  • “Are you lesbian?”

In the stretching area:

  • “Women shouldn’t do push-ups.”
  • “Do you give thai massages?  You’re thai, right?”

In the cardio area:

  • “You know, a lady is not supposed to sweat like that.”
  • “Finished already?  <as he looks me up and down>  Don’t you think that you need to burn a few more calories?”

From the mouth of a mean trainer:

  • “You’ve gotten fat over the holidays.  Looks like I have my work cut out for me.”

  • “You look terrible today.”  (For the record, I thought that I looked pretty good, dammit.)
  • <pinches the area of my back right above my butt>  “Got to trim this down!”  (Ever since then, I’ve been terrified about back fat.)

I love working out.

But goddamn it, I hate going to the gym in Paris.

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Mssrs. Greatest Hits

This post is dedicated entirely to the assclownery, tooldouchery, and general rudeness that men have thrown at me over the past few years of my expatriate adventure.  It’s unclear whether they wanted to get into my pants, offend me, or just wanted a laugh, but that is hardly the point.  The point is that they just don’t know how to treat a lady.

I’m not going to commentate much here, as these little sound bytes speak for themselves.  Below I have compiled the worst opening overtures from complete strangers.  Off the street…  At the gym…  At the bar… In the supermarket…

  • “Are you a lesbian?  I assumed that you were because of your arms.”
  • “How much?”
  • “You are eating SO MUCH.”
  • “I’m in a band.”
  • “It’s not ladylike to order beer.”
  • “You sound unattractive.”
  • <pointing to my beer>  “You’re actually going to drink THAT??”
  • “Hey!  You!  Chinese girl!”
  • “Soooo…. yes or no?”  <eyebrow wiggle>
  • “You’re Lucy Liu!”
  • “Hey!  Whore!”
  • “You know, it’s pathetic to sit by yourself.”
  • “Hey!  Yoo hoo!  Oy!  Hey!  Hey!  Hey!  HEY!  HEY YOU!  OVER HERE!  COME OVER HERE!!!  What the…  YOU FUCKING WHORE!!!!”
  • With my back to them, guys have tugged my hair so that I will turn around.
  • Guys have thrown stuff (water bottles, orange peels, wads of paper…) at me in order to get my attention.
  • One guy ran up to me and screamed in my face.

Whatever happened to “Excuse me”, “Hi”, and “Hello”?

Anyone in the United States want to offer me a job?  I can start immediately.

 

P.S.  To the guy who spit on me : how dare you?!

P.P.S.  To the guy on the metro who licked me : EW.

P.P.P.S.  To the guy who tried to slap my face : I will find you.  I will kill you.

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Mr. Normal

Bueller?…  Bueller?… Bueller?

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Mr. Hostility

Every once in a while, some ballsy guy who comes across my blog will work up the nerve to ask me, whom some have called the Man-chopper, to go out with him.  At first, my policy could be summed up with: “Why the hell not?”  I figured, worst case scenario, I’ll have blog-worthy material, so this could be a fun exercise.

But ever since the big box of crazy that was Mr. Hostility, I’ve had to revise this approach.

It all started out harmlessly enough.  Mr. Hostility read my blog, emailed me to ask me out for a drink, and I agreed.  In retrospect, I should have found it odd that even though he wrote, “I just read a few of your blog entries,” he didn’t compliment my blog in any way, nor did he tell me that he found my blog hilarious.

Let’s face it.  I AM hilarious.  I am obviously vain.  And the least that any reader can do is acknowledge these facts of life and stroke my ego a bit before asking me out.

That definitely should have been a red flag, but I was so young and naïve then.

So I met him for a drink.

Mr. Hostility vs. standard No. 2 pencil

Strike 1

The guy looked like a stick insect.  Except skinnier.  I remember thinking that the width of his leg was disturbingly comparable to my arm.  The illustration to the right is an accurate, to-scale representation of  his skinniness vs. the thickness of an actual pencil.

Strike 2

The guy smoked what appeared to be a whole packet of cigarettes… in less than two hours.  It’s one thing if he had smoked a couple throughout the entirety of the date, but, as a non-smoker, this excessive smoking just didn’t sit well with me.

Strike 3

The guy was as dull as… Good god, he was so dull that I can’t even think of anything that could come close to being as dull as him.  He lacked a sense of humor, to the extent that he — brace yourself, folks — took my blog seriously.  Hand to God, the guy told me that he didn’t really enjoy my blog and criticized me about some its finer social points, to which he took great offense.  Basically, the Man-shopping train left the station, arrived on the other side of the continent, and left Mr. Hostility standing on the platform with his trousers around his ankles.

I tweeted an abbreviated version of these three strikes that evening when I got home.

The next day, during my lunchtime gym session, I received the following text from him while I was on the treadmill:

Sticky insect is your mother, you fat, repulsive Asian cow.

I laughed so hard that I nearly fell off the treadmill.  It was such a close call that I haven’t been on a treadmill since.

His reaction was so out of proportion to everything that I thought that it was a joke.  An hilarious joke.  But then I remembered that Mr. Hostility didn’t know how to joke.

So I realized, wow, this man may be a little unhinged.

I mean, come on.  He knew that he was asking out a blogger.  He knew that he was potential blog fodder.  He knew how merciless I can be.  Transparency was never an issue, as my dating life, personality and, dare I say, scathing wit, are here on the internet for all to see.

Yet he clearly thought that he was so spectacularly awesome that he would have been THE ONE with whom I would fall madly in love and abandon my man-chomping ways.

So Mr. Hostility clearly didn’t take it so well that, in less than 140 characters, I managed to sum up everything that displeased me about him.  Frankly, for those of you who witnessed that tweet, you can probably attest to the fact that it really was the nicest that I’ve ever been to any of my dates.  140 characters doesn’t give me much room to be truly bitchy.

What a big baby.

Oops.  I mean, what a skinny baby.

Skinny, hostile baby.

I said it then, and I’ll say it again…

… Next!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

P.S. Big shout-out to my buddy, Alex, who found a MacPaint program for me to play with.  We have Alex to thank for the rock-tastic drawing skills showcased in the above representation of Mr. Hostility.  If all goes well, I hope to be showing you more of my unparalleled artisitic talent in the future.

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Mr. Craigslist

Every once in while, a suitor arrives from the most random places.  Today’s idiot du jour first came to my attention when I received a random text out of the blue from an unfamiliar number.  To be perfectly frank, when I first read his text, the shock and panic that raced through my brain made my heart plunge through my big mess of internal organs and go “kerplunk” somewhere alongside my fallopian tubes.

I’ve reproduced the entirety of my interactions with Mr. Craigslist below, word for word, including his misspellings.  The transcript speaks for itself, so I’ll make no further introduction.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

19:13

hi

Are you man shopper ?

Man-shopper’s brain: Oh FUCK.

One of my past dates has discovered my blog.  My evil ways are finally catching up to me.

Oh FUCKityFUUCK.  What am I going to do??  I haven’t had time to draw up a plan of action for this scenario?  Will he be mean to me?

Wait, I’m brutal on my blog.  He’s probably curled up in fetal position in a mental institution somewhere because he read my write-up on his courtship skills.

Oh god, I could be in trouble.

Man-shopper’s phone: Who is this?

19:14

Seen you’re add on CL

Man-shopper’s brain: Shit.  I know that Ryan likes to joke about posting an advert in my name in the Craigslist personals section.  I can’t believe that she actually went through with it.  I swear, I’m going to kill her and steal her dog.

19:17

You said it’s hard to date a french boy can’t figure why: you’re pretty !!!

Man-shopper’s brain: I hate when people spout this kind of drivel.  Pretty girls who are also intelligent are single because they have the good sense to be discerning.  Just because we’re pretty doesn’t mean that we’ll date any dumb shit that asks us out.

Wait, Ryan would NEVER give some creep my phone number.  So who in bloody hell is this fool?

Man-shopper’s phone: Who is this??

19:18

Clement from paris

Man-shopper’s brain: Like that’s supposed to mean something to me?

Idiot.

(Side note: As it turns out, this guy came across my blog when I used my WordPress account to post pictures and descriptions of some items that I was selling on Craigslist.  Needless to say, I’m never going to do that again.)

19:23

Could be nice to meet you

Man-shopper’s brain: I’d rather eat glass.

Man-shopper’s phone: Hah. Send me a CV and a picture, and we’ll see.

19:41

Any email adress ?

Man-shopper’s brain: I’m totally going to regret doing this…

Man-shopper’s phone: manshopping.blog@gmail.com

19:44

What is your name young lady ?

Man-shopper’s brain: Umm… no.  Just… NO.

19:50

I sent a pic

Man-shopper’s brain: Wow.  I didn’t think that he’d actually take me seriously.  Let’s take a look at his picture… AAHHHH!  MY EYES!!!!  MY EYES ARE BURNING!  OH GOD CLOSE THE WINDOW AND MAKE IT STOP!

Maybe that’s too mean.  But he still looks like a creep.  I shudder.

20:05

Did you receive it ?

Man-shopper’s brain: Jesus.  The word “desperate” doesn’t even begin to cover it.

21: 16

Oui ?

Man-shopper’s brain: What the fuck?

21:26

Did you try to call me ?

Man-shopper’s brain: What. The. FUCK.

If I grew an extra hand, which reached around the back of my chair to open my purse, retrieve my phone, and dial his number while my two primary hands were using a knife and fork to cut through my confit de canard and potatoes… then perhaps calling him may have been possible.

But even then… NO.

What a sad, pathetic little creep.

21:40

Good evening beauty

Man-shopper’s brain: Dude, if a brain could vomit…

Monday, 17 May 2010

9:36

Bonjour beauté

Man-shopper’s brain: Has this shite ever worked on anyone?!

He really needs to have his head checked out.  Either that, or have it put through a blender.  At least blending his brain to bits would be an improvement on the current arrangement of his brain cells.

23:15

This time, instead of a text, I got this in my EMAIL inbox.  Are you ready for some MAJOR COURTSHIP?  Are you sure?  OK, here it is:

good evening…

Man-shopper’s brain: You’ve got to be kidding me.

23:42

And now we’re back to texting. This time, he breaks out the big guns:

Good nite

Man-shopper’s brain: GOOD GOD.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

As you may have noticed from this transcript, Man-shopper’s phone was noticeably silent after a certain point.  Mr. Craigslist sent all these messages of his own accord, unprovoked by any encouragement on my part.

Furthermore, the man is, by all accounts, a colossal asstard.

He never even sent me his CV.  I wasn’t joking, dammit.  A girl’s got to have some sort of screening process for Craigslist creeps that accost her via text.

I wish that I could say more, but that pretty much sums it up.

NEXT!

Oh.  And one more thing.

Clément, if you’re reading this, go away.

No, really.  Leave me alone.

Forever.

Thank you.

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Mr. Crazy

I went on a date with Mr. Crazy a couple of weeks ago, and it did not go well.  He actually contributed some of the lines from my post about Mr. Asian Fetish.  He also tried to follow me home despite my protests, and I had to flee in heels and squeeze through closing metro doors in order to get away from him.

So, obviously, not a good date.

I shot off a quick email when I got home, saying what roughly translates into:  “We both know that we aren’t compatible and that this isn’t going to work out, so I wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors.”

I thought that the matter was closed and that I would never hear from him again.

Wrong.

His text ten minutes later seemed to imply that he had either ignored my previous message or had not received it:

“I am so happy to have finally met you.  I think that you’re super cute and really cool.”

I double-checked my sent mail.

Yup.  Sent.  So what was the deal?  Just in case, I sent my shut-down email again via text.

Mr. Crazy just refused to get the point.  Here are all the messages that he sent me afterward, in the order that I received them:

  • “Just wanted to say hey.  I hope that you are doing well and that you slept well last night ;)”  (The winky face made the whole message seem a little creepy…)
  • “You’re no longer speaking to me?  I didn’t please you, is that it?”  (I replied, “No.  You did not please me.  Leave me alone.”)
  • “I hope that you had a good weekend.  How are you?”  (At this point, I was beginning to think that this guy may be mentally unhinged.)
  • “Hello, how are you doing?  Why are you not talking to your boyfriend anymore?”  (Boyfriend?!  Oh god, Houston, we have a big-ass problem.)
  • “You have totally disappeared.”  (This was sent two minutes after the previous message when I didn’t respond.)
  • “Come baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!”  (Seriously.  He actually wrote, “reviensssssssssssss”)
  • “When am I seeing you again?”  (What?!)
  • “I don’t understand.  Are you dumping me?”  (Wow.)
  • “I really thought that we had something beautiful.  I don’t know why you’re mad at me, but how about I come over and we work it out?  Where do you live?”  (Eek.)

I went on one date with this guy.

ONE date.

I suppose that it could be worse.  Statistically speaking, I was bound to run into a nutjob at some point during this online dating experiment.

At least I’m alive, right?

But if my body is found beaten to death and floating in the Seine later, you’ll know who did it…

NEXT!

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