Wow...I don't know how I could possibly top any of those stories, but I've had a few close encounters of the strange kind. I will say that I don't miss dating at all. Sure, you get to meet some interesting people...but the downside is that you get to meet some interesting people.

Expand full comment

I don't have any date-from-hell stories, strangely enough (well, maybe half of one). I do have some observations, the first of which is possibly sexist.

When I was a grad student (17+ years ago now) you would see various couplings in the department, several of which led to marriages that (for all I know) are still intact. Here's the (possibly) sexist part: Men are attracted to younger women because they are biologically keyed to seek out baby factories, while women are attracted to *successful* men b/c they want strong providers & baby makers. But (back to my story) what qualifies as "success" varies with time and context. In the philosophy department, "success" is academic standing. And sure enough it was -- almost! -- universally the case that the women were attracted to men who were ahead of them in the program. (The one exception -- hence the "almost" -- was a woman with what I perceived as some pretty focused power/dominance issues.)

(By the bye, I quickly came to the conclusion that academics dating other academics, except as a casual thing, was a REALLY bad idea. Because someone is going to be the "tinker," but the other person is going to be the "tinker's wife." The academic who is more advanced in the program will be the one who finishes first and goes out on the job market (the tinker), while the other is still a grad student working to finish (the tinker's wife.) What happens when the tinker gets a job (typically a temporary position, a 1-year replacement, somewhere on the other side of the country? How does the tinker's wife finish (almost invariably) *HER* degree?)

The second story, more personal, is the pointlessness of me dating. Age appropriate people where I live are almost universally neo-fascist Christian dominionists who believe "God the father, the son, and the Holy spirit" means Trump, Don Jr., and Ivanka. I'd sooner scoop out my own eyes with a soup ladle. If I lived in a major metro area with a strong Left inclination in its political leaning (like Chicago, say, or DMV), it would at least be mathematically possible to find someone. But for context, understand that it is mathematically possible I'll be struck by lightning this year; One chance in about 1,220,000 (I had cause to look that number up a while back.)

Oh, the "one-half"? Woman told me over the dating site that she wouldn't get together with anyone from Philosophy. We met for coffee anyway, pleasant enough. But she emailed me again saying there was no way she'd date someone from Philosophy. Given that she was age appropriate, I'm pretty sure what ever bad experience she'd had was not with a grad student, which meant it was a professor (and they're all married.)

Expand full comment