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Facebook: Boys and Girls play differently

Danny & Alex on the See-Saw

Danny & Alex on the See-Saw (Photo credit: leekelleher)

In the title of this piece I use the terms boys and girls; but what I am really talking about is men and women.  Something about Facebook etiquette though makes me think of a school playground, so the title seems appropriate.  What is Facebook etiquette?  I don’t think any of us know yet, as social media is a relatively new forum.  It has been my experience that men and women behave completely differently on social media. As a performer I meet a lot of people and I used to friend just about anyone within reason.   I have learned the hard way that I can’t be so open.  Out of my 2700 friends, and I could have many more if I wasn’t so picky, the vast majority of negative activity has come from men.   I have had to deal with the following:

  • The Semi-Stalker – A male user who will comment on nearly everything, including completely mundane posts.  A true semi-stalker is someone who doesn’t know me well and who I may have met for an instant or is just someone I share multiple mutual friends.  Yet this virtual stranger will become fascinated by everything I post.  Most of the time, these men are in a relationship or married which makes their behavior even more unsettling.  I can’t help but picture them at their computer ready to pounce on my latest update.  Their behavior is unnerving and most Semi-Stalkers end up getting kicked off my page.
  • The Full on Cyber Stalker – A male user who goes beyond the realm of Facebook to harass me.  I have had several men exhibit stalking behavior engaging negatively on this blog, my twitter account and in my regular email.  The worst was someone who did all three and even set up two fake OKCupid profiles to torment me.  I had mutual friends with this person, he lived in New York City and was also a performer.  I thought he would be OK, but he got so crazy he resorted to threats of physical violence.  My crime:  I had kicked him off my page when he made a sexually explicit comment on my wall in a political discussion.  At the time it happened I foolishly told him why I was deleting him in angry email.   Now I simply delete/block without comment.  The less I engage the stalker the better.
  • The I want to tell you Missy –  I’ll post anything political and a man will respond with an extremely long diatribe.  Most posts from unfamiliar men are condescending and include disrespectful language.  They act as if I don’t know what I am talking about, haven’t bothered to do research or am acting purely from emotion.  These men obviously don’t know me well, and I don’t think they have ever been published anywhere.  Everything I have written for the Huffington Post goes through an editorial process.  If I use a stat or fact I have to include a hyperlink in my article to a non-biased a source.  I am not exactly a lightweight and this isn’t my first time at the political discourse rodeo.  I never started a fight with them, and I never posted on their wall.  I don’t see the point in getting into it with someone who is diametrically opposed to me politically.  The discussion is going to go nowhere, and will end up being a huge waste of time.  So to my more Libertarian, Republican or conspiracy theory friends I usually just leave well enough alone.  Everyone can post whatever they want.  I don’t have to engage in a Facebook war with them because I don’t agree with their point of view, instead I just ignore their rants.  Although I have kicked people off for posting racist articles or absolute nonsense.   I get plenty of detractors and would be critics on my Huffington post articles and on this blog.  I don’t need it on my personal facebook page.
  • The Negative Commenter – Again usually a man who I don’t know well, maybe I met them at a comedy show…I don’t know.  They will just post something negative for reasons unknown to me. Recently I was really frustrated with my memoir and I posted something along the lines of “man this is hard”.  Some guy I barely knew felt the need to write “First World Problems” as a comment.  I thought it was inappropriate especially since I didn’t know him well and he knows nothing about my life.  I quietly deleted the comment and he un-friended me.  I was happy he saved me the trouble.
  • The Pervert – I don’t feel like I need to describe this one, but I haven’t had a woman give me a problem like this yet.
  • The Bully – I once posted “Congratulations to SAG-AFTRA on our historic merger“.  This seemingly innocuous post ended in a comedian I knew calling me a cunt.  He then got on my wall with an alter-ego profile to try to keep fighting.  Again, I had no history with this man other than doing a paid show for him once.  We had mutual friends.  He had posted anti-union sentiments on my wall in the past and I had politely told him to stop saying something like “Look I come from two unionized parents and I am in two unions you aren’t going to change my mind please stop” he persisted.
  • The Scolder – No matter what I post, including things as controversial as “Being self-employed is difficult” the Scolder will point out to me that I’m being too negative. They are ALMOST ALWAYS men I barely know.  No one is always chipper and happy all of the time, and some people like to vent.  I would never dream of making some sort of judgment like that to a person I barely know.  It seems to me like just another way to put me in my place.

Are Facebook pages free speech zones?  I don’t think so.  Should people post long drawn out political rants on other people’s pages?  I would say no.  If they start the fight, they should expect to finish it.  But why start it in the first place.  In any given year I kick off dozens of men from my Facebook page, sometimes two or three in a day.  In contrast I have kicked off exactly one woman, and in her case she was doing all of her aggressive behavior via private message.  She was not posting anything on my wall. In my experience when women engage in political discussion they are ironically less likely to get emotional.  They don’t talk to me in a condescending manner and they certainly don’t call me a cunt.  To put it simply.

It’s not that all of my male friends on Facebook cause problems for me, but nearly all the problems I have on Facebook involve men.

I can’t twist my reality to conform to a politically correct narrative where men and women act the same.  I enjoy political discourse  and have plenty of close friends who don’t always agree with me.  I don’t mind getting in real debate, but that is rarely what happens.   I have male Facebook friends who constantly post inflammatory things and I don’t see them getting the same types of reactions.  But I will admit, I don’t know what a typical male goes through. Would men also post repeatedly on the wall of a man they barely knew?   I would love to hear men’s opinions on this.  Do men who barely know you pick political fights with you?  Is this a problem?  Do men engage in the same type of abusive behavior such as stalking, harassment and negative posts with other men?  Do women do it to men? I would never dream of engaging someone I didn’t know well in political discussion especially when I can tell they are already extremely passionate about their point of view.  I would never take the fight to someone else on a personal page like that.  Why do they feel the need to take it to mine?  As I have said to many  of my male ranters, ask yourself this question.

“When was the last time Juliet Jeske posted on my wall?”

The answer would be never….so please knock it off.

Dating in NYC: The Snob

English: Engraving on wood by W. M. Thackeray ...

English: Engraving on wood by W. M. Thackeray himself, for the first edition od The Book of Snobs. Chapter XVIII, “Party-giving snobs” . Mr Snob and Miss Smith Français : Illustration du chapitre XVIII “Party-giving snobs” de l’édition originale du Livre des snobs par l’auteur. Gravure sur bois. Mr Snob parle avec Miss Smith.(page 69) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have all been on a date with a person like this.  No matter what you say, or what you have accomplished in life, to a snob, it won’t be good enough.  Who is the snob?  And why are there so many of them in New York City.  I am going to use a male example here as that is my personal experience, but I know that this category especially has no gender specific qualifications.  The snob can also just as easily be a woman as a man.

The Snob

  • Any Age
  • Profession – Something high-profile – they have done press, interviews, written books, etc.
  • Advanced Degrees or Ivy League degrees
  • Enjoy hobbies and sports average Americans know nothing about – i.e. Squash, Polo, Sailing
  • Few live in Brooklyn or Queens and if they do this fact is a source of embarrassment  (Park Slope exception)
  • They have well-connected friends, constantly name drop
  • Brag about accomplishments
  • Blather on about expensive travel all over the world
  • Best paired with other snobs

A typical date with a snob will feel more like a job interview than anything romantic or fun.  They will judge where you live, what you do for a living, your background, where you grew up, the amount you have traveled and even your ethnicity.  Some snobs like the idea of “trolling”: going out with someone they believe far beneath them.  You have to watch out, because a snob will never really respect you or what you do.  You might just be another eccentric accessory he can show off to his friends.

Probably the biggest indicator of acceptance by a snob is education.  According to the most recent census, the percentage of Americans with college degrees is at an all time high of 30%.  So even though you may have had to work two jobs while getting your diploma and might have had to resort to a combination of college loans, the Pell grant and scholarships to go to school none of this will impress the snob.  If you don’t at least have a masters degree, or some type of ivy league affiliation you are simply not good enough.  Even though with a BA you are still doing better than 2/3 of the general population.

One snob that I had the displeasure of going out boasted of the extremely prestigious school of Oxford on his dating profile and his Facebook page.  Although in reality, he had only gone to Oxford for one year before he dropped out of a masters program.  His BA from an Ivy League institution and perfect grade point average is not enough, so he brags about a school he couldn’t hack.

I had another date where the man kept grilling me over my “life plan”.  I tried my best to answer him but other than working on my memoir and getting on stage as much as possible I don’t really have specific life goals.  Perhaps I should, but most of my energy is spent just trying to survive each month.  The whole experience just made me feel like I was defending my life, and every choice that I had made up until that point.  Never mind that I just went through a devastating divorce, have worked in an artistic profession for the past decade, and come from a blue-collar background.  This person ignored the success of this blog, the press that I have done for my articles on the Huffington Post and the huge body of work I have done on stage.  Needless to say the date made me feel crushed and about an inch tall.

Why are so many men like this in New York City?  My bet it is just insecurity on their part.  They may have worked extremely hard for all that they have accomplished and worry that if they date anyone beneath their status that it will somehow lower theirs.  What they fail to realize is that most of us work extremely hard at what we do, but we don’t all come from privileged or even middle class backgrounds.  Race, gender and socioeconomic factors are all at work against many of us, despite out best efforts.  The workforce is not exactly an even playing field.

A snob also might believe that their advanced degrees and their overflowing bookcases actually make them a superior person, someone society should value greater than a humble janitor or preschool teacher.  No one will ever live up to their standard, because they don’t live up to their own.  A snob is most critical of themselves than they are anyone else.  Their projection of arrogance towards you is just a symptom of their own feelings of inadequacy.  A person who was truly happy with their lives would never waste energy looking down on others.

Snobs exist everywhere but are especially a problem in New York City because of the many elite colleges on this little island, and the cultural and financial makeup of its residents.  As the city attracts the best and brightest many view significant others as an extension of what they have accomplished.  It is not enough to a snob that you are intelligent, well read, beautiful, young, creative, in amazing shape, have a great sense of humor, have a kind heart, or an open-mind. In addition to any number of positive qualities you must also have a résumé that rivals theirs.

So if you see the signs of someone who doesn’t think you are good enough for them…BOLT.  Try to find the inner strength to get up and walk out.  Point out to this person that they are being a jerk.  I can’t write how many times I have wanted to tell one of these jokers off and haven’t.   No person is better than any other, the distinction only lives inside their mind.  Don’t put up with it, just get back on that saddle and try to find someone who will appreciate you for all that you are.  The snob can sit and wait for Mr. or Mrs. Perfect.

 

Life After Divorce: A Change in Perspective

...Hope...

…Hope… (Photo credit: ĐāżŦ {mostly absent})

I don’t normally write this type of post, I usually try to have a point before I write.  Some of these come right out of me while others take days even weeks before I am happy with them.  But the past few weeks have been so strange, painful and weird I felt I had to share.

As most of my regular readers know I have worked on a book for the past few months, a memoir about being married to a gay clown.  The project has been so overwhelming that I have avoided socializing, looking for a permanent job and even cut back on performances.  The book has completely kicked my ass.  I am not going to go into too many details for a number of reasons, but a couple of weeks ago I got some bad news about my book.  So I have taken a mental hiatus from it to give myself a break, and to eventually re-group.  Needless to say it was difficult news to get and a huge blow, as the book and my writing are one of the few things giving me hope lately.

And also in the past month a few things reminded me how terrible I still am at dealing with the opposite sex and dating.  To protect the privacy of others I won’t get to too many details but its been a rough few weeks.  In one incident I was fairly humiliated and mortified but I immediately picked myself back up, dusted myself off and refused to show any sign of being hurt.

Since my divorce, I have lost a lot of confidence when it comes to dating.  I tend to over think everything and misread pretty much every signal out there.   I just keep falling flat on my face, and it isn’t a lot of fun.   To add to my bad mojo, earlier this week some random person posted a fairly nasty, personal, direct attack towards me on this blog.  Ironically he picked my most popular post of the week and said something along the following.

No one cares what you have to say, you are a narcissist, get over yourself, you are still a nerd this blog is crap.

I am pretty sure I know who wrote it, but I won’t go into any more detail because why fuel that fire?   But calling me a narcissist is an easy shot as I am a performer who usually gets on stage with nothing more than a microphone.  It does take a certain type of personality to do that kind of work.  I also have a website, a youtube channel and this blog, all named after myself.  I just thought it would be better branding to keep everything the same, there was no more thought put into that decision.  So guilty as charged I guess, but a true narcissist can never admit they are wrong, and I admit I screw up all the time.  So that is a bit off, and I also tend to hide out in my bat cave doing nothing but writing this blog, or working on my book.  The whole transition from performer to writer has made me far more introverted.  I am not exactly walking around screaming “look at me!” when I don’t leave my apartment for days on end.   As far as “getting over myself” the person in question has no idea what he is talking about.  The following is all true and I openly admit it about my life

  • I make next to no money, I scrape by every single month.
  • I live in a horrible neighborhood and I have to rent out my living room as a second bedroom to afford rent.
  • I don’t really have much of a performing career –  I perform around NYC but for very little money, and despite repeated attempts I can’t seem to land an agent.
  • I have trust and bonding issues so dating has been next to impossible.
  • Even though I worked in my ex-husband’s profession for about nine years, the entertainment agents who used to hire me – stopped hiring me after the split
  • I work as a human prop – background extra in film and television – a mostly dead-end job that is completely unreliable.
  • I tried to get a “real” job for months and registered with about 10 employment agencies and got exactly one interview, which I couldn’t make, and it was for a temp job.
  • I am from a working class background – Many things from paying for college to pursuing a career in the arts have been much more difficult for me as a result.

That is my reality.  I am hardly kidding myself.  But since I have had so much success with my writing, my hope is that it will pull me out of this mess.  In fact I know it will, I am just not sure exactly how it is going to work out.  And to the person who has nothing better to do with his life than to troll the internet and make direct personal attacks against me…well…I don’t even think I need to comment…it is fairly pathetic, especially when the person remains anonymous.  We all have enemies, but I usually just try to avoid mine.

So given all of that I should have been down…and a few years ago I would have sunk into a depressed state…and I did have a couple of bad days.  But since I discovered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) I decided I wasn’t going down that road.  I told myself that all of this was a sign from the universe that something completely positive was about to happen. I just keep focusing on the positive, and then the strangest thing happened.

I check my blog every single day, just to see how it is doing and at around 9 am, it showed that I had already had about 200 readers. For my blog those are crazy numbers so I went to investigate where it was coming from.  Someone on the Straight Spouse Network had decided to post one of my older articles, On Being a Straight Spouse – Broken Memories and it was exploding.  As the day went on more and more people were reading it, and the positive comments started pouring in.  As I read through them I started to cry, because they were all so heart-felt and it proved to me that there is a purpose to this blog and to my life.

Meanwhile I posted another article to the Huffington Post, I didn’t think it would get picked up as the Chick-Fil-A story is a few days old but to my amazement they printed it and it is doing extremely well.  So on top of the glowing comments I got on my old blog piece, I was getting a ton of crazy twitter and facebook attacks on my “Chick-Fil-A Do you really want to run your company on Biblical Values?” article.  And I have long since gotten used to attacks from strangers, I don’t even remotely sweat it, but it did make my day quite interesting to say the least.  When the dust settled I had a total of 806 readers on this blog for the entire day, my second highest day to date.  And it still isn’t completely over as I already have over 200 for today and it is still climbing.

The negative energy was somehow turned positive and everything lined up to remind me that there is a point to what I am doing here.  Even though I have performed since I was 11 years old, at no time in my performance career have I gotten this type of feedback.  The universe is telling me something…still not sure how I am going to steer my life back on a better path but I am headed in the right direction.  Thank you.  I am truly humbled by the wonderful comments I get, and to any straight spouse reading this blog…HANG IN THEREYOU ARE NOT ALONE!  Much love.

Is Living a Life in The Closet a Victimless Crime?

A wall closet in a residential house in the Un...

A wall closet in a residential house in the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently wrote a piece on the John Travolta sex scandal.   What surprised me more than anything were the comments condemning me for having disdain for “The Closet“.   I am not shocked by any comment as  I get all sorts of negative comments, some vicious, some personal attacks and some that are just downright baffling.  It really takes all kinds in the comment section of a Huffington Post piece! 🙂  In most examples people just project their own agenda or perspective on to my articles no matter what I have written.  In some cases they even put words into my mouth, or proclaim that I am making blanket statements when I am not.

But the comments that really floored me were in defense of a life lived inside “The Closet”.   One commenter got so worked up he referred to me as a bigot.  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary a bigot is the following

Bigot – a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

I guess he might be right to a point, as I don’t really like liars.  I don’t know if I would say I treat them with hatred and intolerance, but I think adults are accountable for their actions.  If someone wants to hide their sexual orientation, it’s their right, but the minute they mislead someone else to keep their secret – they tend to lose my sympathy.

My critic didn’t mention anything about gay men and women marrying straight partners under false pretenses.  He was more upset that I had dared to say I had disdain for “The Closet”.  He claimed since I was openly criticizing those who choose to live a secret life, I was adding yet another stigma for gay men and women.  It was difficult to wrap my brain around this logic.  For instance if a gay man is living as a straight man, he has to lie to pretty much everyone in his life to keep up the illusion.  I also not sure what kind of intimate relationships a closeted person could have, if they tell no one about their sexual orientation.

In my piece I never advocated for forcibly “outing” anyone.  I mainly stated repeatedly that it is a shame that anyone would have to live in that personal hell.   And by hiding their true nature, closeted homosexuals are hurting the gay rights movement at large, to quote the late gay rights advocate Harvey Milk

Gay brothers and sisters,… You must come out. Come out… to your parents… I know that it is hard and will hurt them but think about how they will hurt you in the voting booth! Come out to your relatives… come out to your friends… if indeed they are your friends. Come out to your neighbors… to your fellow workers… to the people who work where you eat and shop… come out only to the people you know, and who know you. Not to anyone else. But once and for all, break down the myths, destroy the lies and distortions. For your sake. For their sake. For the sake of the youngsters who are becoming scared by the votes from Dade to Eugene. – source wikiquote

If every homosexual were out and proud, the harassment and discrimination would lessen, because nearly everyone would discover they have a close friend, co-worker, neighbor even family member who is gay.   If every homosexual were out and proud it would be obvious to everyone in the straight community that there are gays and lesbians in every facet of our lives, every occupation, every race, every religion and every socioeconomic level.

Many compare the civil rights movement to the current struggle for gay rights.  The obvious difference being that a black man or woman cannot pretend they are white.  They cannot for a moment hide their skin color.   They cannot simply marry a white person and try to pass as Caucasian.  They can’t live a sham life and then decide to live as black on the weekends, or go to black bars under an assumed name.   They can’t log onto a black website and to try to find other blacks to hang out with and secretly be black when it is convenient for them.  So although the struggles for racial equality and sexual orientation equality are similar that difference is pretty fundamental.  In fact, if gays had no option of hiding, would their movement be further along by now?  It is difficult to say as there are so many other factors that contribute to homophobia, but most other oppressed groups do not have the same form of “Closet” in which to hide.

Of course “The Closet” is subjective.  A gay person could tell their close friends but not their co-workers.  Or they could tell most of their family but maybe not announce it to their 92-year-old grandmother.   Of course not all aspects of a person’s personal life have to be so public, but any intimate partner should not be misled.

There are also examples of people who simply live their lives blatant and in the open but without ever really coming out and announcing their sexual orientation.  I can think of any number of celebrities that have lived with a same-sex partner, never declaring their orientation but never using a straight person as a cover.  It is as if they are in the closet but with the door open, everyone pretty much knows they are gay but they don’t make an issue out of it.  I know this frustrates some in the gay movement, as they want as many public figures as possible “out and proud”.  I understand their frustration, but for me as long as a gay person isn’t using someone to hide their orientation, I don’t see the problem.   In fact by living a quiet and tranquil life they are reinforcing the idea that being gay is simply another way of being human, and that gay relationships are sometimes just as boring and mundane as straight ones.

If you are gay, and you feel like there is no way to be honest with your family and friends, you truly have my sympathy.  But you might be surprised, as they may not react as negatively as you think.  Public attitudes towards homosexuality have gotten much more positive in recent years, and the trend is towards total acceptance for the entire GLTBQ community.  Hopefully with time, same-sex marriage will be legal in all 50 states, and anti-gay discrimination laws will be universal.   Regardless, if you are gay and feel the need to hide, please don’t fraudulently get another person wrapped up into your life.   Some mixed orientation marriages are happy and healthy, but almost always when they are based on honesty and open communication.

In an ideal world, anyone’s sexual orientation could remain private without controversy.  A child could openly talk about their two mommies at school and no one would think to call the principal in protest.  Two men could live in a quiet suburb and raise an adopted child without causing anyone concern.  A young gay teen could proudly take a same-sex partner to a dance without it making the local news.

I am not gay, but my life was nearly ruined by “The Closet”.  Damaged from my experience I will probably carry those scars for the rest of my life.   So anyone advocating for a life hidden safely inside a lie, I would say this.  A life in “The Closet” yeilds unintended consequences.  And if some gays remain in hiding, who is going to stand up to the bullying, the harassment, the discrimination and hate?  A life lived in fear and shame is no way to live.   If gay men and women want true equality, they can start by first burning that closet door down forever and never hiding again.  And doesn’t everyone want an intimate partner they can have a larger part of their family and social group?  Anyone living in “The Closet” can’t fully express their love for a same sex partner, in the same way that heterosexual could, and that’s tragic.

As a straight spouse I choose to not hide my past, in fact it is all over the internet.  Anyone can find my story and ridicule me for it, or maybe not ask me out on a second date because they just can’t handle it,or send me crazy angry emails.  By making my story so public,  I get some grief, but I would rather live my live in truth than try to hide my past in shame.

Happy New Year and Thank You!

I started this blog about a year ago.  I named it after myself because some fellow comedians told me that I should have a blog.   I didn’t think to give it any other name other than my own.  It had absolutely no focus whatsoever, I actually felt silly posting anything.  Then while I was in therapy for my depression my Italian therapist left for a vacation and like a typical European her trip lasted about five weeks.  She told me to write out my issues and problems while she was gone, she didn’t tell me to broadcast my struggles publicly on a blog.   I started blogging mainly about my dating mishaps and to my surprise this blog slowly became popular.  I was always shocked when total strangers were commenting on posts, and even more floored when I found people were searching for things like

“Juliet Jeske Dating Blog”

Then on the advice of another blogger Carolyn Castiglia, I re-wrote and submitted my most popular post to the Huffington Post.  The post blew up all over the internet and has changed my life and this blog.   On it’s most popular day I had 492 readers, and since then I have anywhere from 20 to 300 readers in a given day.  I am not sure why I have sudden peaks in readers but this blog never fails to surprise me.  Since I started this blog, it has been read a total of 15,648 times.

I just wanted to thank all of my regular readers.  I never really considered myself a writer.  I wrote this blog because it helped me exorcise the demons in my head and work out the frustrations about dating after a divorce.   I don’t know if I will continue to write articles that will keep you guys entertained and interested, but I will do my best to keep it going.  I am going to go through some of my older blog posts to re-work some of my older entries.  I might re-post some of them and feature them on Facebook or twitter, my apologizes if you have already read them.

I will add that one of the amazing things about this whole experience is that it has given me hope.  And I didn’t have a lot of hope when my life fell apart 2 1/2 years ago.  And the amazing thing about hope is that even though I haven’t made a dime off of any of this success yet, the feedback and motivation that I have gotten from the online community has completely changed my life.  I want to get up in the morning now.   I no longer see my future as a black cloud of nothingness but as shifting shades of gray with light peeking out at me through the cracks.  I may not get a book deal and even if I do, my book may not make money.  I am fully aware of the realities and difficulties of the publishing industry so I have very realistic expectations.  But the support of my regular readers and the feedback of so many strangers in the virtual world have transformed me.  I have more faith in myself now than I think I have ever had in my entire life, and it was all due to the worst thing that has ever happened to me.  Funny how life works isn’t it?

May we all have a wonderful and productive 2012.  And thank you again, your support means the world to me! 🙂

Juliet Jeske

 

Dating in NYC: How to self-sabotage a date

English: (ship) half-submerged and sinking.

English: (ship) half-submerged and sinking. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyway this is meant as self-deprecating humor.  I am after all a comedian.  I am a lousy dater because for my entire adult life I have been a serial monogamist so I really don’t know how to do the date thing.  I talk to much, I reveal too much, and I am too hyper…but I am hardly nasty and I have heard so many stories from both genders of people being extremely mean or shallow on these dates…so please anyone reading this…the piece was meant as satire, self-parody…don’t take it so seriously!  YIKES! 

Dating is not marriage, dating is one big job interview after another.  Marriage is trying to keep the job you have had for years already have interesting and exciting.  Going from a long-term marriage to the dating pool is rough, I have no idea what I am doing, but I do know when a date is clearly not going to work out.  And to avoid having “the talk” with some guy I barely know, I tend to instead self-sabotage the whole endeavor.   The “talk” is the short brief chat about why I don’t think we are compatible as a romantic couple.  I don’t like getting “the talk” from a man who isn’t interested in me, and I hate giving it.  Since I date mostly men I meet online, it is a total crap-shoot.  I can’t really tell much from a profile, and I have no idea if I will end up having any type of connection with the person.  Most of the time I don’t, and that is not their fault, but merely the nature of the beast.  I don’t get offended or upset when I can tell a man is not viewing me as a potential match.  It is the meeting of two total strangers, it is rare when sparks fly.

I don’t really understand what makes attraction work, but I do know that on a few dates I wanted to crawl over the table and start making out with a guy I had just met.  I didn’t publicly make-out with a total stranger, but in the two times that I have felt that right away, I ended up briefly dating those men.   The two suitors looked nothing alike and had totally different personalities, I can’t explain why both of them were appealing to me, but there it is.  When the initial attraction is not there and the conversation is forced or awkward, then it is time to have “the talk” or resort to self-sabotage.

There are generally two methods of self-sabotaging a date.  The first I call the super clingy needy crazy girl, sometimes the super clingy needy girl act can backfire, and it also makes you look crazier.

  • Talk about marriage immediately
  • Talk about babies immediately, wanting to have babies, your friends babies etc. anything about babies
  • Discuss with your date things that you will do in the far future, things like “I can’t wait to hang with you at Christmas!”
  • Ask way too many super personal questions right off the bat, such as “How many women have you slept with?”, or “How many girlfriends have you had?”
  • Talk about how much you love the man’s neighborhood and would love to live there

The dark torpedo – my preferred method and honestly I do this a bit subconsciously when I don’t even mean to go there.

  • Go on and on about my divorce
  • Talk about being on medication for my clinical depression due to my divorce
  • Ramble on about every ex-boyfriend I have had, or my ex-husband
  • Don’t ask the man any personal questions about himself
  • Discuss politics, history, world wars or something incredibly dark or horrible
  • Lament on all of my family drama and dysfunction
  • Say things like “I really shouldn’t be dating anyone right now”

The torpedo of darkness usually works, and the sad thing is that it sort of comes on me automatically.  It isn’t that I have a master plan and want to be mean, I just don’t watch my bad habits if I am not really into a guy.  And if he isn’t getting the hint I tend to lay it on even thicker.  I would rather have him think that I am broken and not available than to think it is something about him that I don’t like.  Because usually I don’t know why I am not attracted to the guy, I couldn’t tell you if you put a gun to my head.  It is just a quality that can’t be explained, but if it is not there, then it is not there.   I know I have gone through the opposite myself.

Some of my worst dating stories involve the following

  • A date who got noticeably offended and disgusted when I revealed I was from Missouri
  • Another man who bitched about an ex-girlfriend from….20 years ago.
  • A date who said his ex-wife was a bitch in the first five minutes
  • A date who proclaimed  “I don’t get emotionally attached” and then kept trying to steer the conversation to sex
  • A date who told me how much he missed his ex and hoped they would get back together
  • A man who openly told me he wanted to date a friend of mine – and yes this did happen.

If you are stuck in a situation where you think a guy is a decent fellow but you don’t really feel the urge to take the relationship further, use this as a simple guide to drive him away.  So far it has worked every time.  I accidentally learned these techniques from having one horrible date after another and trying to date too soon after I got divorced.   And if you meet a guy you actually want to see again, I strongly suggest you avoid doing any of the above, because you really want to look your best and not like a crazy clingy woman or a dark cloud of doom.

Weekend Sunrise Interview – Dating After Divorce in a City of Sluts

Below is a clip from an interview I did on Morning Sunrise, Australia‘s #1 Breakfast talk show.  It is their equivalent of the Today Show or so I am told.  They interviewed me based on my Huffington Blog post “Dating After Divorce in a City of Sluts”

The link to the article is here.  It was ridiculously popular having something like 7,000 people “like” it on Facebook and 1400 comments.  I am an unknown, unsigned comedian so the whole thing has been mind-blowing.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/juliet-jeske/dating-after-divorce-in-a_b_944133.html

So they didn’t tell me beforehand that they were going to even mention my ex-husband’s homosexuality.  That was a complete shock to me, they also veered from the script.  I have dealt with the press before so I wasn’t really shocked by that.  The saddest thing is that the interviewer actually says

“In your book”

When in reality it was just one article, no book.  Although I am currently trying to make that happen.  I have no idea how to do it, but I am looking into it.  If I end up getting published you know I am telling everyone on the planet.  🙂

My working title for my book is “Dating in a City of Sluts” or something like that.  I never thought I would write a book in a million years but since I have gotten so much overwhelming positive feedback to go for it, I thought I would give a shot!

City of Sluts the Aftermath

So this whole thing has been insane. If you haven’t yet read the original blog post here is the link.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/juliet-jeske/dating-after-divorce-in-a_b_944133.html#comments

I had been writing this blog for a while and it was slowly but surely becoming more and more popular. On the advice of a friend, I decided to take my most popular post and submit it to the divorce section of the Huffington Post. I had been published numerous times in the comedy section but always in the form of satire videos. This was my first attempt at getting anything I had written published online or elsewhere.

I had no idea of the insane amount of popularity the post would generate. I didn’t know the editor beforehand, and she took a couple of days to get back to me. She thought the article was well written and she liked my voice, so she decided to run it as the lead story for labor day weekend. I don’t think either one of us had any idea that it would cause such a fervor.

Most of the feedback that I have gotten has been positive, and my twitter account went from about 260 followers to over 650 in a matter of a couple of days and is still climbing. The article got picked up by a number of news sources on the internet and the readers kept rising. Right now the story has been favorited almost 5,000 times on Facebook and has over a thousand comments. I have received personal email, subscribers to this blog, fans added to my youtube account, and fans added to my facebook account.

The criticism has been so diverse I have to break it down in sections. I find it stunning that so many people had such different reactions to the piece.

  • I hate men
  • I hate women
  • I hate sex
  • I am misrepresenting polyamorous people – I honestly don’t know much about the lifestyle but I really don’t have a problem with people who are openly polyamorous 
  • I should move to another city
  • Several people have told me they have the exact same problem in their city
  • I am somehow Christian or pro-Christian – I am staunchly non-religious and identify as agnostic
  • I am fat or unattractive – I am 5’7″ and a size 4, I am nowhere near fat, unattractive is in the eye of the beholder I guess but I am not even close to being overweight.
  • I should have stayed married – Well my husband was gay so that wasn’t going to happen
  • I was somehow spoiled by my ex-husband and now I am bitter – that is so far off the mark it isn’t funny.
  • I am whiny and negative – Well I guess but if it was an article that just stated how happy I was I doubt anyone would have read it.
  • I have had numerous people give me dating advice – some good, some crazy
  • I need to lower my standards and date older men, younger men, or less attractive men
  • I have also had several men ask me out, or want to start a correspondence with me online
  • I should love myself more
  • I am attracting the wrong kind of men because of something I am doing
  • I deserve to be alone because I am a bitch
  • But I have gotten a tremendous amount of people saying they are going through the exact same thing, and that they completely agree with me!!!!!!!

I obviously struck a nerve or it wouldn’t have caused so many people to respond.  My general response to anyone who gets seriously worked up over this article or anything else that I write is this…

Write your own blog and try to submit it somewhere and see what happens.

I only glance through the comment section as there is no way I could or would want to read all of them, so it is honestly wasted energy on anyone making a comment.  But I do find it hysterical how people literally project their own agenda on to a fairly straight forward article.

I basically say, I don’t like feeling pressured to have sex with  a virtual stranger, and that if people like that behavior and it works for them then great!  I also point out that both men and women and people of all sexual orientations engage in promiscuous behavior.   I never say my way is better than another choice, nor do I tell people how to live.  But that doesn’t stop the comments.

So thank you to all of the people who have supported the article, and to my detractors well there is no such thing as bad publicity so keep it up!  HA!!! 🙂  Oh and if anyone knows of any PAID writing assignments send them my way!  HA!!!  I am an unpaid blogger for the Huffington Post, I am not a reporter, I am not a published author.  I make very little money as a performer, but I do perform all over New York city.  Since leaving my husband my income has been devastated as I used to work with him, so I am just looking for a place to land.  Will write for food!  HA! 🙂

Huffington Post Readers – Some Questions Answered

So I didn’t want to get into it with the article that I just posted on the Huffington Post, but I am so tired of all of the “blame the victim” comments in regards to my divorce.  Maybe 5% of the readers will end up at my website and then actually go to this blog, but I still want to print this as the Huffington Post doesn’t let me respond to comments.

I plan to take this post down in the next couple of days, as it really doesn’t serve much of a purpose but I would like to clarify one thing before everyone jumps down my throat about how I should have stuck around and tried to make my marriage work.  First off, you don’t know much about me and you don’t anything about my marriage, so it is extremely presumptuous for you or anyone to tell me what I should have or should not have done regarding my divorce.  But I have the absolute best reason to have terminated the marriage.  Drum roll please….

My husband was a closeted homosexual.  I had no idea and he was in denial when we got married, and after nine years together I found hard evidence to the fact and left him.  We are on good terms, all things considered, and he lives openly as a gay man now.  He is much happier living as a gay man, but it has been hard on both of us for obvious reasons.

So to the strangers who feel compelled to lecture me on “giving up on my marriage”…you don’t know enough about my situation to tell me that.   And I mean that with the deepest sincerity.  If the hell that I have been through for the past two years has taught me anything it is to be less judgmental of other people’s divorces.  Because no one ever really knows what goes on in another person’s marriage, and I am living proof of a marriage that most people deemed as ideal, was in reality a total fraud.

Dating in NYC – A city of SLUTS

New York City

New York City (Photo credit: kaysha)

 

This is the earlier version of a post that I submitted to the Huffington Post.  So it might seem familiar to you if you read the shorter more streamlined version.  I just wanted to point that out in case anyone was confused.  Basically after I wrote this one, and got overwhelmingly positive feedback from it I was encouraged to submit to HuffPo.  Although I have posted in the comedy section before the divorce editor did not know me from Adam, and I didn’t even know if they would publish me much less feature me.  So to any bloggers out there who want more traffic and a larger audience, just do what I did, and you might get lucky.  I love how the internet has a level of democratization to it.   You don’t have to go to an expensive Ivy league school or know the right people…anyone can self-publish!  So do it!  I had to cut this post in half, as the Huffington Post suggests 500-800 words, this was something like 1600.  🙂

 

It seems since I left my husband I have been unable to do a number of things, I won’t list them all here, but the most frustrating lost skill is the ability to date.  That is, date anyone for any significant length of time.   Admittedly it is a bit of a problem because I am out of practice as I was with my husband for a total of nine years.  And after nine years together in a committed relationship I have extreme difficulty navigating the nuanced dance that is dating.    One can not be too direct, overly eager, needy, desperate, clingy, emotional, commitment pressuring, or baby daddy seeking.  And at the same time not be too cold, aloof, bitchy, mean, shallow, negative or distant.  And never shit talk an ex in front of anyone, or even talk about an ex in any capacity, even if the past nine years of your life was living and working with him!!!!   Then there are the crazy games of when to text, email or call, when not to get back to a person and when to answer immediately, when to act interested and disinterested and when to completely blow them off in the hopes that they will come running back after you have ignored them a while.  The last tactic being one I absolutely loathe as it goes against everything about me.   As a person who is by nature very direct and to the point, dating is a mystery wrapped in an enigma to me.

 

I am also straight edge in that I don’t drink alcohol often and I do absolutely no drugs.  Now mind you I hang out with a bunch of artistic types so this can really make life difficult for me, as the majority of my friends use at least one if not more substances on a regular basis.   I am not judging anyone, and I have no problem with my friends that are regular pot users or heavy drinkers.  I am perfectly comfortable for the most part hanging with my friends, but it can make me a less than attractive partner in some eyes because of my drug and alcohol-free lifestyle.  Add to that my vegetarian diet of over 20 years and my two cats, and for some that is just too many deal breakers to handle for many men.

 

But the most distressing behavior that I really can’t justify or figure out in New York is the casual sex hook up mating habits that I frankly have no desire to engage in.  Yes, I know I get on stage and joke and tell a blue streak of obscenities and adult themed humor, but in my personal life I am a committed relationship type of gal.  I make no illusions to being anything but this, and I do not judge others for their behavior.  If a poly amorous life of multiple lovers works for a person, then I say go for it.   Or if a string of emotionally detached one-night stands with perfect strangers is what makes a person happy then great.  But I know there are others like me that aren’t wired this way, and seek something more substantial and with some level of greater commitment both emotionally and sexually.  I have a myriad of friends who complain all the time

 

“I am not slutty enough for this city”. 

 

And I can relate.

 

I have made failed attempts at living a Sex in the City style life of hooking up with partners for something casual, and every time I have tried it the results have been disastrous.   I either am disgusted by the man, or the man won’t stop calling.  I had one man who kept calling me for months afterward, another who rudely told me about his other women, and yes there is a polite way to handle this, and yet another who had what I would call a mild breakdown in my apartment about how he couldn’t handle the “gray area”.  So I realized, I am not this person, I need to be true to myself so I went back to my serious relationship commitment roots.   But no matter how much I keep trying to go for a traditional path, the hook-up scenario keeps rearing its ugly head.

 

Just the other night an attractive man was coming on to me HARD.  He was so obnoxious and obvious about it that a bunch of my friends noticed and even some of his friends were trying to set us up.  But I had never met this man in my life and to be quite honest his overly aggressive approach was off-putting.  He was also over a decade younger than me and was a bit of a jock.  Not exactly the brainy nerdy guys that I normally find much more compelling.  I like a man who can intellectually stimulate me, plus pretty boy jocks tend to get women easily, and as I always say….

 

He who gets the pussy easily, does not treat the pussy well.

 

And that tends to be true.   So I was mildly deflecting his advances when a much younger and age appropriate woman arrived on the scene.  Eventually Mr. Meathead instantly moved on to her, I had no idea if she knew the show he was putting on in front of me or how aggressive he had been.  Would it have mattered to her?  I doubt it.  She was young, she hadn’t learned some basics about men yet.  That any guy who is that attractive and that aggressive towards women is not what you would call relationship material.  And maybe to her credit that wasn’t what she was looking for anyway.  I couldn’t care less.  I knew I wasn’t going to sleep with him or do anything else with him that evening so if she wanted the pretty boy jock she could have him.  And part of my ego was stroked anyway in that he approached me first, and I was 16 years her senior.  So for bragging rights, at least I have that!  She went up to him.  He went up to me!  I have to take what I can get!  HA!  The same girl was chatting up another male friend of mine earlier in the night.  So much so that I thought they might be dating.  Little did I know, it seemed she may have been looking for whatever was the best option available that evening.  Or maybe she just met her future husband last night.  I don’t really care.   Whatever works for her!!

 

I find this all the time when dating.  It is just sort of expected by many that you start the physical part of the relationship first, and then see if either partner wants to continue after you have had sex.  Sort of a try before you buy situation.  Sex before emotional attachment, sex before any form of relationship, sex before everything.  Or  what I like to call how to be treated like something in between a booty call and a girlfriend.   And as a person who doesn’t like being treated poorly, these setups are not usually to my liking.

 

  • The guy will call or text when he wants to hookup but that is about it.
  • You are supposed to be on call to wait for the opportunity and then run to see him
  • Don’t reveal too much about yourself, but listen to him complain about his trials and tribulations
  • Don’t expect commitment, or exclusivity
  • Don’t expect any emotional bonding
  • Don’t expect much effort on his part to impress you, or make you feel like you are important in his life.

 

Not exactly what I call fun, but again everyone is different and for some people this situation is ideal.   What I find frustrating is that if you really want to get to know a guy first before having sex with him, it seems like there is no end to the women who will jump into bed with them.   And this isn’t to say that only men do this, as women engage in the same behavior.  But I didn’t think that in order to try to have a healthy sustained relationship with a person I am supposed to have sex with them hours or even minutes after meeting them.  It seems more like long-term relationship suicide.   Sure the sexual relationship might be great at first, but sex doesn’t really hold much together as far as compatibility in concerned.  Sex is usually the mortar between the bricks but the bricks have to line up or the whole thing collapses.

 

I know there a plenty of men and women who are frustrated like myself out there.   I hear it all the time from my friends, sometimes they think the fast life of hookups and one-night stands, friends-with-benefits, or fuck-buddies is working for them.  But they soon grow tired of it and want something steady with one person.  But what are we supposed to do when everyone around us seems to be whoring it up?   If a guy can so easily get no-strings attached sex, and then never see the woman again if he chooses, then why would they try for anything else?  And when a man is tired of the hook-ups himself, how does he then make the transition to getting to know a woman when he has been hooking-up for years?  Of course the same goes for women, and people of all sexual orientations and persuasions.    When do you decide to stop and settle down?  And when you do settle down, then what?

 

And in the online dating field, I will occasionally get a man from out-of-town send me an email announcing he will be in New York city in a couple of weeks and would love to “have coffee” with me.  As if “having coffee” has turned into the ultimate euphemism for anonymous sex with a stranger.  Funny how drinking a hot caffeinated beverage is somehow the equivalent of sex with no strings.    Again I am sure some women will go for it, but what kind of women? How likely are they to look like their actual photo? Or not be a total psycho?  Or not be a scam artist?  I bet some men have tried these arrangements only to wake up in a strange hotel room hours later missing their computer, their wallet and anything else of value.

 

Is it survival of the sluttiest?  I have friends that are in committed relationships and seem happy and most of them didn’t meet by having sex with total strangers.   There are no real rules with relationships and sometimes sleeping with a someone you barely know leads to years of coupled bliss.  This city doesn’t make things easy and I have trust issues on top of everything due to my divorce.  I ask myself this question almost daily…

 

Do I have to change who I fundamentally am as a person in order to survive the dating scene in New York city?

 

I keep answering, no, but I am not so sure how much longer I can live like this.