This is part twenty-four of the Homey and Me Love Story.
“So…I did it.” I announced to Spunky.
“I made an online profile.”
“Yeah. The bishop told me I should do it.”
“Are you serious?”
“Yeah. I thought he was crazy at first.”
“Tell me about it.”
“But, even he admitted that the idea seemed crazy. He said the Spirit was prompting him to tell me this.”
“Wow. That’s interesting.”
“I know, right! Just my luck…I figure that it’s not like I’m going to be meeting a guy online, but it is good for me obedient just for obedience’s sake.”
“Wanna know the craziest part?”
“So…when I was about to create a profile, I was still feeling really skeptical, but I didn’t know what to do. So I kind of said a silent prayer that if any of the guys on the website seemed like freaks, then I wasn’t going to sign up.”
“So, when I click on to the site, guess whose profile shows up…Snoopy’s!”
“Are you serious? Maybe it’s like a sign.”
“You know, at first I wanted to think that, but really, I don’t think that it is a sign about me and Snoopy. Instead, seeing his profile just made me feel at peace about signing up online. I mean, Heavenly Father really answered my prayer. I know that Snoop is not a freak, but is a totally awesome dude. So, while there might be idiots online, I can see that there are also cool guys. It’s just like real life.”
After talking to Spunky, I had the same conversation with Freckles, Blythe, and pretty much anyone else that would listen. The next day, I had an email from Snoop. He mentioned that he forgot he even had a profile on the website I saw him on. Then he told me about a much better website: LDS Linkup. It was pretty much an LDS Facebook. I liked the idea of a social networking type of website rather than a dating website. So, I checked it out and signed up.
The whole ordeal seemed pretty anticlimactic at first. Almost all of my friends were online already. I already knew most of the people in the Philly area that were single. It wasn’t like I suddenly was exposed to new people, new Mormons, in the Philadelphia area. It seemed like everyone that was online was in Utah, Arizona, California, Colorado, etc.
Online LDS Dating
Making an online profile was kind of interesting to say the least. At first I felt guarded about my privacy, but that didn’t last long because I was getting into social media. I didn’t want to upload a picture because the idea of strangers seeing pictures of me was reminiscent of nails on a chalkboard. Yet, I realized that I wasn’t going to give a second of my time to a man’s profile that lacked a picture, so I uploaded a picture. I found a flattering yet accurate picture of myself. I think that I was standing in my kitchen making a dumb pose. I wanted to be pretty, but still slightly crazy…just so people knew what to expect.
Then came the profile questions. How I wanted to be snarky and cool. But I wasn’t sure how a stranger would take it. I also wanted to be vague, so as not to give up too much information about myself, but that was counter-productive. Oh the pressure of a profile! How do you accurately represent yourself when answering “What is your favorite book?”, “What do you do in your leisure time?”, or “What am I doing with my life?” (BAM!!!) I just answered honestly. (Desert Solitaire; Eat Hoagies; I have no idea.)
After filling out my profile, I started checking out my friends’ profiles. Some of their profiles were completely accurate compared to real life. Other profiles made me think, “Mike? This is Mike? Well then, who is the Mike that I know?”
For the most part, I didn’t invest a ton of time online. I didn’t write to men or people that I didn’t know. Every once in a while, I’d get an email from someone.
Hey…I like you’re profile picture. – MacTruck0123
You have two children? Sounds like we have a lot in common. I also have two kids…and I also enjoy subway sandwiches. My favorite book is the Book of Mormon. Would you be interested in getting to know one another? -Waytooeager
You’re a hottie and I’m hot. We should chat. -ultradbag
I won’t pretend that I didn’t love messages like these.
For me, the best part about the website was finding new bands. (follow me for a second…this is kind of important, I promise). When you fill out your profile with the “things you like” such as movies, bands, books, etc, you could then click on the band name and find other people who also like that band, etc.
Now, I really love music, and I love learning about new music. I was in a little bit of a funk. Earlier in the year I had been pleased with my purchase of Arcade Fire – Funeral, and had been obsessed with it for the better part of six months. But I needed something new. So, one day I clicked on “Arcade Fire” and it brought up a list of other people who also liked Arcade Fire.
I noticed the profile of a woman and several of the other bands that she liked were ones that I also liked, so I clicked onto her profile. She had a few bands listed that I hadn’t heard of. I also looked at her “wall” and noticed a comment that was intriguing by a dude named “Homey.” He also had a cute profile pic, so, I clicked on to his profile. You know exactly how this happens. click, click, click. It’s so easy to do.
Without a doubt, his was the best profile I came across. It was hilarious. What stood out most to me was how he answered the “I’m not interested in…” question… His response I’m not interested in skinheads or communists, unless you are a cancer survivor living the law of consecration*. hahaha. Homey didn’t have much else written on his profile, other than If you really want to get to know more about me, then read my blog.
Obviously, I clicked on that, too.
I scanned through his blog, but it was his post titled, Hasseling the Hoff – Artist or Engineer that really struck my eye. If you don’t want to read it for yourself, I’ll sum it up:
1. Germany’s greatest strength: engineering.
2. “The only conclusion I can draw on Hasselhoff’s musical popularity in Germany is that he is a musical engineer, not a musical artist. For those of you in America who have heard any of his music, you have probably cringed at the thought of Hasselhoff as an artist. I know this idea was hard for me to swallow. For some reason, I feel much better knowing that he is not an artist, but a musical engineer.” – Homey
3. “This CD is amazing. [Hasselhoff’s CD] At least the cover. Looks like he is standing on Kit’s hood, in the same outfit he wore when he actually was popular in the US back in 1986. His hair is feathered perfectly. And look at that stance…knees bent at just the right obtuse angles to drive those German engineer girls mad. The guitar looks about as unnatural in his hands as a t-shirt would look under that leather vest.” – Homey
4. Homey closed the blog with this statement: “So why do Germans love Hasselhoff? There are some things that those of us with refined musical taste will just never understand. I would vote for the fact that he has engineered his way into their hearts. Somehow. We need to commission someone to research the Science of Hasselhoff to find some answers. I, for one, am never going to understand it.”
Seriously, take a few seconds to read the blog post. It was funny.
So…I read this blog, and nearly laughed out loud when it reminded me of my own Germany/David Hasselhoff experience. In fact, upon reading the last paragraph, I realized that I had the answer to Homey’s question.
At first, I thought of commenting on the blog…but it felt weird to leave a narrative in the comments of his blog. I didn’t have anything funny to say. So, I went back to Homey’s profile, and chose to send him a message. It was an impulsive thing for me to do, but in my heart, I knew that he would truly appreciate the nugget of wisdom that I was going to impart.
So…I figured that I was already bored, and I might as well tell Homey the “truth” – since he seemed to be interested in it.
I just checked out your blog, and it’s quite thought provoking. (Read: I like it).
So – I just thought I’d give you some food for thought: last May I went to Germany to hang out with a friend. While there, they started singing a song: “Looking for Freedom.” They were singing in English, and I asked them what song they were singing.
“Looking for freedom,” they answered, very condescendingly – DUH. I was still puzzled, and they could tell because one explained, “You know – by David Hasselhoff.”
Then, I began to laugh out loud. I realized that IT’S TRUE – Germans DO ACTUALLY love David Hasselhoff. (I said that, too, and they were still looking at me like, “Duh…who DOESN’T love David Hasselhoff?”)
Immediately, I asked them why they loved David Hasselhoff so much. They were surprised, “Don’t Americans love him? … He’s American, after all.”
I said, “We love to make fun of him.” They laughed, but yeah…it was more or less a pity laugh. Then, one guy said (and I think that this is truly the key), well, He DOES have nice chest hair.
I re-read Homey’s blog and then my email, and laughed my head off as I pushed “send.”
Christmas, My Sister’s Wedding, and More Dating
Before I knew it, Christmas had arrived. December had been a crazy month because:
- December is always a crazy month
- I had totalled my car earlier in the month
- I had broken up with Roger for the 455th time. It was annoying. And I still liked him! I would still listen to Coldplay, and think that somehow he would miss me, and realize that he made a mistake, that he could never go on without me, that all along I was the one he wanted to find, that he drew a line and crossed it but I’d take him back, and that no one said it was easy…blech
- Even though I had broken up with Roger for the 455th time, and I thought I liked him, I also realized that I didn’t like him, I didn’t trust him, he wasn’t good for me, and whatever it was that I liked about him was a fiction/fantasy. I wanted to be in love, so I knew I needed to stop talking to Roger, listening to Coldplay, and instead just start dating other guys and being cool with independence.
- I didn’t have much money, but I wanted to provide a good Christmas for my children.
- My sister was getting married in Boston. I threw her a shower in PA, and I’d be traveling to Boston on the 26th.
And you get the idea…typical stuff, really.
Christmas was really great with just Tiger, Panda, and me. We had a humble and happy Christmas. I made Christmas dinner, and my mom, step-dad, and brother came over to my house. I can’t tell you how much I loved living in that little, crappy house. What it lacked in substance was made up with love. On Christmas night, I packed up my Jetta, and we left to Boston early in the morning on Dec. 26th.
Getting ready for my sister’s wedding was a whirlwind, and while there were some really funny stories, they don’t really have to do with this story, so maybe I’ll tell them later.
On my sister’s wedding day (December 29th), I was busy with being a sister to the bride. It was great. I was really happy for her. We stayed in a hotel in Boston, and then I drove us to the Boston temple for her wedding. After the wedding, we ate, took pictures, then prepared for the reception. My sister had a really nice wedding. The reception was at this historic mansion in Waltham, MA. We were able to relax and have fun at the reception.
Ever the…I don’t know what to call myself here…predator? Not sure…boy-crazy person?…whatever, I noticed that my sister’s photographer was pretty cute. She had mentioned that he was in her singles’ ward. I ended up talking to the dude, and we had exchanged phone numbers with the plan for me to go out with him the next night. All in all, it was a great night.
The next day (Dec 30), there was an ice/snow storm, so I spent most of my time at my dad’s house inside. It wasn’t the worst. After days of driving and preparing for the wedding, all of us just wanted to chill out. At some point during the day, I noticed that I had an email…from…Homey.
“That is quite an impressive story. I’m tempted now to go to Germany just to try to relive for myself what you went through. It had to be quite existential to be going through that. I mean, Hasselhoff? If I had to choose 1 country that would actually appreciate music by Hasselhoff, I would have picked the worst country in the world. Not sure how countries are ranked, but I would guess only 4th-world, uncivilized countries like Mongolia would be on the “Potential Hasselhoff Music Lovers” list. Wouldn’t you just think that Germany would be a little too refined for his style? But along with what your story illustrated, I think the whole point of all this “Germans love David Hasselhoff” hoopla is that we Americans have entirely given too much credit to the Germans. Apparently they are even much less refined than the rest of Europe and most of the rest of the world. (If you’re German, I apologize. Although this could be a starting ground for revolutionizing your country’s currently terrible musical taste.)
Thanks for sending along your experience…I’m honestly jealous. And impressed with how you handled the situation. BTW, how did you react when the guy said Well he DOES have nice chest hair …? I’m not sure what I would have done…maybe just cried.
The note was a nice highlight to a dreary day. I wasn’t sure what I thought of the whole situation, though. I mean, from the beginning, I knew that Homey lived in Mesa, and I really didn’t think anything of that. I just thought his blog was hilarious, and that he would like the story. I didn’t even really expect him to write me back. But he had written me back, and he had ended the email in a way that suggested that he might like for me to write him back.
In any case, I wasn’t worried. I was getting ready to go out on a date with the Photographer. Additionally, I had gotten a text from this guy Jack, who was wondering if I’d be available for New Year’s Eve (yes!). So…playing the field was beginning to feel kind of fun, and my field was in Pennsylvania (or Boston)…not Mesa, AZ.
I went on the date with the Photographer, which wasn’t all that bad, but it was revelatory. He was a nice guy, and he was asking me all kinds of questions that you’d expect to appear on a profile pic.
“What movie/tv character do you most identify with?” he asked.
“Uh…” I had no idea how to answer that. “Hmmm…”
“While you’re thinking, I’ll tell you mine.”
“Brad Pitt’s Character, Tristan, from The Legends of the Fall.”
“I love that movie. His character is awesome. Does this mean that you have killed a bear with your own hands? Pulled the heart out of a German? Are you going to go crazy or have you already gone crazy?” I asked. He answered seriously, and I was kind of disappointed that he didn’t seem in a joke-y mood.
“So…how about you?”
“I guess…I’m thinking that I’d probably have to say…Steve Urkell.” The photographer didn’t seem all that amused, but I was. I continued, “I’m relatively clutzy, and I love cheese.”
There was a pause that was getting kind of awkward, so in my most Urkell-y voice, I chimed in, “Oops…did I doooo thaaaaat????”
A few seconds later, I noticed that he had two Arrested Development by the T.V.
“Dude. I loooove this show.”
“Those belong to my roommate.”
“We should watch them.”
“I’m not really into it. My roommate is.”
(I realized that I wanted to be hanging out with his roommate).
The date progressed – getting more awkward by the minute. The guise of our date was that he would help me to start my own blog. I read his blog. Very, very serious. It was also quite uplifting. (I recognize that I have a very serious blog). I had nothing against his blog, but all I kept thinking was that I really wanted to be reading about David Hasselhoff, Goatees, or Loofahs.
On New Year’s Eve, my brother Chris and I drove home to PA. I went out with Jack and some other people from the singles ward in Philly. We played scrabble then, invariably, talked about the woes of dating life. Normal stuff.
Finally, I was back at work, and I saw my email from Homey again. I decided that, yes, I would write him back…
Well, first of all – yeah, I don’t think I’d really pick ANY country to like Hasselhoff’s music. Not even Alabama (okay, I know, I know, Alabama isn’t technically a country). I’m just saying…I agree with you completely. And having been to Germany, I would think that they were too refined. I mean – the Germans brought us Bach, Beethoven, NENA…
I have to explain more about the truly existential nature of this experience. For the entire trip, I was absolutely immersed in German culture. I was staying with a friend who is German. Additionally, I was attending a German wedding. The majority of my time was spent nodding my head and shrugging my shoulders. (Ich spreche kein Deutsch). And then, finally, a conversation in English…and it’s about – DAVID HASSELHOFF?!?!?! And it ISN’T an IRONIC conversation – it is a truly serious conversation about the Hoff. We were bridging cultures there. It was for real…
When this dude said the Chest hair remark, I just laughed and nodded my head. I was absolutely stunned. I couldn’t have imagined it. The Germans all laughed, too. But I know that we had totally different motives. Then they started talking in German again. I said a silent prayer of gratitude for such a blessed experience.
Oh – and no…I’m not German
And then, the next day, I found this in my inbox:
“Great point about Alabama…I have hoped for years that they would secede and just be their own country. Maybe Louisiana, too, cause every movie that I’ve seen that takes place in Lousisiana, the way pepole are portrayed it just sickens me to be from the same nation as they are. Ok, so maybe Waterboy is the only one I’ve seen that takes plasce there. Oh, and Joe Dirt had something in Louisiana, if I’m not mistaken. (For some strange reason, I think this isn’t giving you a fair representation of my movie taste…please believe me on that. There just aren’t any quality films done in Louisiana…)
Your Germany experience just amazes me. This is more than a ‘journal entry’ type experience…it’s almost worthy of its own web page. Maybe its own encyclopedia entry. If you paint, you should try to capture it on a large canvas w/oil. This is one of those events that could change lives…it must be shared somehow. I bet Pink Floyd’s pre-The Wall experience pales in comparison to this. It just strikes me as a very powerfully moving experience. Inspirational on so many levels. And it’s just plain hilarious. The more I learn about it, the harder I laugh. And the harder I laugh, the sadder I feel for Germany.
It’s not just about cultural difference, it’s about cultural disparities (not really sure what that means, but it sounds about right – just nod your head. Yes Homey.)
Btw, are you italian? The name Catania has me thinking yes. And which came first – you or the mission?
And I wrote him back:
“Okay…I’d have to say, about the whole Alabama seceding from the country thing – I may be mistaken, but I believe that they already tried that. It’s too bad that hindsight is 20/20 because now I think that we know better. 😉 Regardless, what you said was hilarious.
Oh – I wholheartedly agree with you on the Germany thing. I mean, I had kind of stored it in the back of my mind for a while. I don’t know why. I guess I just hadn’t had the right moment to share it all. No…maybe I think I was surpressing it. Either way, it is absolutely monumental, and now I’m going to start working on a musical score. Really, though…I’m glad that you’re laughing. And it’s not a problem to feel sad for Germany.
(Just don’t be sad to their faces).
I’m trying to think of a funny remark to your ps. But I can’t. Here’s the deal – my name is catania, and I happen to be Italian – but it is simply a happy coincidence. The scoop – my mom kind of sort of had me out of wedlock. I was adopted by another man (who is American with Irish heritage) when I was four. I don’t know my biological father, but what I DO know about him is that – he was a young Italian Stallion – Jack (his name) from Sicily. WOW. It gets better, too. My mom liked disco dancing with him. He was a Wild Turkey (as in the alcoholic beverage) distributor by day, and a Disco dancer by night. Truly, I come from blessed roots.
So yes…I’m Italian. Sicilian even.
I know Catania is a mission in Sicily, too. And one of my dreams: To go there and buy a tee-shirt.
Anyways…thanks for the note. You are very funny.
And I’ll include one final email from Homey, just for fun…
“Yet again, good point about Alabama. We should have let them go…
I will continue to be sad for Germany by laughing at them. ..maybe someday they’ll do more for the world than introduce the Jetta. [Reading this was hilarious to me because I owned a Jetta at the time and absolutely loved it!] Because I’m not counting “appreciation of Hasselhoff’s musical journeys” as a contribution to the world. On the other hand, I don’t much like Jettas either…so maybe Germany doesn’t have any contributions that come to mind.
I have found writing to be such an amazing and therapeutic means of expression…I never really wrote anything until the blog (except accounting reports…), but I really find it to have become an important part of my weeks. (even as trivial as my topics are… 😉 Enough of my sappiness.
Anyway, what part of PA do you live in? I livd in NJ for a year before moving to AZ almost 2 years ago. Drove through PA a couple of times…loved the green. While I was working in Manhattan, I knew a bunch of people who lived in PA and commuted into NYC everyday for work. That seemed crazy to me. Um…that’s all I have on PA…
Your name is really pretty. I have a soft spot for Italian names (no matter how they came to be… 🙂 Quite a story about your bio-father…wow is right. That would make a pretty good post. And an even better movie. 😉
I feel like I’m using too many ;)s right now…sorry, it must be late. Talk to you later
So…It was official. I had a cyber-crush.
*Law of Consecration – A lifestyle that Mormons believe will take place when Christ comes back to the Earth – the kind where everyone lives charitably and has all things equal. It is a “Zion” state – where there is no manner of division or inequality. It is easy to get this confused with Communism, but rather than having such a lifestyle mandated by the government, people give all they have and support one another because they have developed Charity, or the pure love of Christ.