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Help Me Write My Next Book; Win Gratitude, Karma!

I need funny, bizarre blind date stories for a book that will come out next year. Tales with happy endings are welcome, but let’s face it, terrible dates usually make better stories. I’d especially like stories of dates set up by mutual friends, family or matchmaker, though great online-dating stories are welcome, too.

They can be short or long, however long it takes to tell the tale. (I’m guessing these will be stories you’ve told before.) I will change names and details to disguise you, and I will edit the writing, so don’t worry about polishing it. If you’d rather tell me the story over the phone than e-mail it, that’s fine too.

Please forward this call for submissions widely, along with my e-mail, letsmeet@virginiavitzthum.com.

Thank you, thank you, thank you

not how I’d choose to get into MOMA

but I might have snuck in there via this art piece — and so might you have, fellow online dater!

There I am, that dark pink balloon on the left.

i bet the racist remark got a date

fun from McSweeneys, thank you Karen!

more found poetry

reminds me of Everything Is Illuminated, but harder to trace back to any original sense.

Take this gem:

If you carry a little clean that reflects his personality, you will have seen as an open and sincere person. You can add a small charm to his appearance while carrying a pair of interesting slopes,

I cannot puzzle out “little clean” or “interesting slopes” — but I love them. The whole thing is wonderful.

Colonel Mustard in the chatroom with the…

makes sense somebody would use online dating in a murder mystery (and I get to use my too-little-used category tag!)

funnier if you’ve seen ads for match and true on myspace

young hipsters play on old-fashioned fears

participatory human pairing is SO prepostmodern

that I’m just going to tell the curators of this project that I’d like to be involved with an artist in Prague or maybe Brisbane without even knowing it. I think that would truly transcend any normative definition of “dating” and should win the competition.

my match, at least in Amazon’s Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

I wondered about meeting author-cute with Sean Thomas til I got to this description of his type:

Does the fact that he can now specifically select for slight, pixie-ish women with submissive personalities and resolutely middlebrow tastes mean that he necessarily should?

Strikes one, two, and three! Well, Sean, at least I’m unthreateningly poor.

“His arc is inevitable and no less gratifying…” Meaning what? He finds the middlebrow submissive pixie of his dreams? I guess the reviewer didn’t want to be a spoiler. When I was finishing my book, I WISH the arc had been inevitable! There’s too much good mixed in with the bad for that to be true. But in a memoir, you don’t have to be fair to the whole phenomenon I guess.

a 9-year-old already wrote this story

OK, this story from the LA Times is life imitating very youthful art.

I volunteer at this amazing children’s theatre and back in November-December I was one of 10 grown-ups paired with a kid to help them write short plays that then got staged at the Public Theatre with professional actors. So one of the kids, 9-year-old Wendell Flowers, wrote a great little musical about thwarted love between John and Rose, in which a mean bully sets up a website called Rose.com to make John think she is looking for boyfriends on the Internet.

All misunderstandings were cleared up by the final act in the closing song “Remember/Bullies.” It was a wonderful play, and even at nine, Wendell had the sophistication not to name a character “Valentine”!

“My” kid, Doris Alcantara, also wrote a play that had some online dating themes, about a poet who describes his perfect woman in a poem he drops in the woods, and then a park ranger very much fitting his description finds it and sings it as a song, and then sings about her dream guy’s qualities, and he walks up and they duet. It was so beautiful, like a little opera! I am embarrassed to admit that not until I’d written and we’d filmed OUR little YouTube opera did I realize, Oh my god, it’s Doris’s play with a sad ending.

It’s hard to be original.

nick hornby seeks she-Nick-Hornby

As a bit of a music geek myself, I kind of like this premise for an MTV dating show. To quote my book (look, don’t give me shit for self-quoting, it’s just that I already thought about how I want to put it) on the charms of sharing sensibilities: “Nothing feels lonelier than enthusing to someone who couldn’t care less, or wondering, “He thinks THAT’S great?” Plus there’s an appealing modesty to fans …. Fans are often shy about their strong feelings and refract them through gushing praise for a book or a mix tape of love songs. They’re grateful somebody shares their passion rather than demanding that a stranger inspire it.”

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