RSTLN E – The Every Woman Profile

Remember the end of Wheel of Fortune? Choose 5 consonants and a vowel? For years everyone would choose the most common letters as their selection (RSTLN E). If you chose something different you were really rogue. Several years ago the producers finally decided to just give the contestants those letters and let them pick 6 more.

I have been single now for several months after 17 years of marriage. During that time I have reacquainted myself with online dating. After the first couple of weeks of checking out profiles some startling patterns started emerging. A month in I discovered I could write almost every woman’s profile in a couple of paragraphs. It occurred to me that these things are the RSTLN E of online dating. Ladies, this is my public service announcement that you should spend your valuable profile space on things that make you unique, not things that are common to almost everyone. If the following profile sounds like you then, well, make some changes. You’re not differentiating yourself.



I love to travel, especially to the beach or to different locations in Europe. I love getting dolled up for a night on the town or being casual with jeans and flips flops and grilling out at home. I love all types of music and enjoy attending music festivals. I like to try hole in the wall places and new restaurants. I love anything outdoors and enjoy hiking. I love a good glass of wine. I have a rewarding career and love what I do. I am financially independent. I have (?) kids and they are my first loves. I have great friends and love spending time with my family. My friends would say I’m funny (witty and sarcastic), loyal, and giving. I’m very happy and I am at a wonderful point in my life. I am just looking for a wonderful man to share it with.


I am looking for a partner in crime. He should be confident but not arrogant, loyal, honest, and thoughtful. He must be sincere and genuine and be a family man. You must not take yourself too seriously and be able to make me laugh. You also have to be passionate and intelligent. Chemistry is very important to me. Anything can be fun with the right person! Bonus points if you’re sensitive and manly and chivalrous.

I love it when you cancel on me

No, seriously. I absolutely love it when you cancel on me! I don’t care whether you are canceling lunch, a meeting, a golf game, or anything else. I don’t get bathed in the giddy/happy endorphins like dopamine very often but when you free up my time by telling me “you can’t make it” I get a huge adrenaline rush. There is really no better feeling than a guiltless way of getting part of my life back.

I don’t care if you are someone I love or a friend or a business associate. My future self always hates my past self for making plans with you. I made a commitment at some point and it sounded like a good idea because I wouldn’t have to deal with the consequences of that decision until some time in the future. Now that the future is here I don’t want to do whatever it is. Most of the time I don’t want to do it even if it’s something I enjoy – because well – everything is such a damn hassle. I’d much rather sit home reading a book.

Want to make me happy? Call and tell me somethings come up. I really won’t care. I don’t need an excuse or an apology. In fact, you can bet your ass I am silently celebrating and getting ready to let out a raucous “Hell Yeah!” as soon as we get off the phone. So don’t feel bad. If you’re a good friend you’ll make plans with me and then cancel them just to make me happy. So the next time your lack of thoughtfulness and planning requires that you cancel our plans just know I love you for it.

I know you are but what am I?

I’m a philosopher. I’m a beer drinker. I’m a nudist. No.

I’m a joker. I’m a smoker. I’m a midnight toker. No.

I’m an atheist. I’m a minimalist. I’m an existentialist. No.

I’m Stiffler’s Mom. I’m Ragnar Lothbrok. I’m Carl Spackler. No.

As you read each of those labels you no doubt associated each of them with something from your own experience and knowledge. You’re interpretation of what those labels mean is entirely subjective.

As intelligent as we humans like to think we are, we have an extremely difficult time processing the deluge of sensory information that hits us every second of every day. In order to more efficiently process that information we’ve had to evolve into creatures that categorize things and use “blink” intuition, lest we end up mauled by the oft-cited saber tooth tiger. While this ability generally serves us well in survival it wreaks all sorts of social havoc.

To categorize something or label it is to put it into a group. That group then comes with a ready made list of attributes and descriptors that may or may not be accurate for all members of that group. Your list of attributes for some label may be entirely different from someone else’s.

The use of language in any form by definition has to limit its scope to the use of a word which may or may not be 100% representative of the thing it is being written or spoken about. It is merely an inexact representation based on someone’s experience and processing of that thing. {Poorly written but I will stick with it.}

Therein lies the problem with describing ourselves using labels on a blog, in a resume, or elsewhere. My interpretation of the label may be entirely different from your own. You cannot experience me as a person with all the labels simultaneously. You have to piece together an opinion based on your knowledge of the generally accepted attributes of each of those labels.

Let’s try a little experiment. When I say BEER DRINKER, what image comes to mind? (Please share yours in the comments if you so choose. This could be fun.)

Beer Drinker: That redneck guy who has Pabst Blue Ribbon and Wheaties for breakfast. His favorite thing to say is, “Hey, it’s Natturday! Let’s have a Natty Light.” He’s probably crushed a beer or two on his head…or on his girlfriend’s. All his stories start with, “Ya’ll ain’t gonna believe this shit.”

Beer Drinker: That douchey fellow in Whole Foods, wearing a periwinkle button down,  who hand selects 6 different craft beers to put in his little take home cardboard holder. He makes special trips to buy “Growlers” because the type of beer he likes doesn’t come in a case of bottles or cans. He refers to Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Lite, Coors Light and all forms of non-craft beer as “that yellow piss.”

Beer Drinker (Me/Mine): I like beer. Mostly I drink whatever is cold and light. I don’t define myself by what type of beer I drink. I just like the taste of some better than others. I don’t harbor ill will towards you for liking something else. Some days I drink craft. Some days I drink Coors Light. I like beer better than wine and spirits though I drink both on occasion. Side note: it only takes a couple of nips of good ole North Georgia moonshine to destroy what’s left of your gut biome (first time I’ve been able to work that into a blog post). If you need that replaced then sip away.

The point I am trying to make is this – if you choose to label yourself or others please understand that those labels come with all sorts of baggage and interpretations. Be careful.  I will leave you with this.

Jeff’s Rules for Labeling Yourself

  • If you can avoid labeling yourself. Do that. Be mysterious.
  • If you can’t spell a label, don’t use it. (Wine connoisseur? Sesquipedalian?) GMAFB.
  • If you don’t like the generally accepted attributes associated with a label, don’t use it.
  • Your opinion of what a label means doesn’t matter. Only everyone else’s. You are only using labels to describe yourself to them – they will interpret.

Now please fill up the comments with funny interpretations of BEER DRINKER.

To speak or not to speak?

When you’re in an open space with a group of strangers, a party for instance, and there is a pause in the conversation it is referred to as an “awkward silence.” When you get on an elevator everyone is quiet and usually staring down at the floor (or their phone). Any sound on an elevator is awkward and typically uncomfortable for most people. This dichotomy has always puzzled me. Why is silence preferred in one awkward situation and frowned upon in another?

I am introverted by nature and not usually the boisterous one who will jump into small talk with any old stranger. However, for some reason I find it extremely entertaining to be the one who causes awkward stress on elevators. It’s as if my alter ego knows the pain of speaking out will last only a few minutes – the length of time until everyone on the elevator exits and parts to go their separate ways.

So how does this manifest itself? Most of the time my attempts to discomfort people are humorous in nature. A few examples:

Scene 1
Stranger: “I see you on the elevator almost every day. What do you do for a living?”
Me: “I am a professional clown fighter. I know 43 ways to kill a clown.”

Scene 2
Goofy woman in all yellow dress enters elevator. She “accidentally” hits 4 floors of buttons between us and the lobby.
Goofy Woman: “Oh! I’m so sorry. Please don’t kill me.”
Me: “I only kill people I am going to eat, and I don’t like bananas.”

Scene 3
Woman enters elevator wearing Michigan State T-Shirt. She turns around and the back reads “Today is game day at Michigan State”
Me: “Who are they playing?”
Her: “What?”
Me: “No, who?”
Her: “What?”
Me: “Second Base”

Other times I intentionally try to creep people out by appearing serious.

Scene 4
In a very crowded, full elevator…
Me: “I bet you’re all wondering why I’ve gathered you here today?”

Scene 5
Ever notice how no one wants to make eye contact on the elevator?
When I am the last to get on an elevator and it is packed I like to stand with my back to the doors and look at everyone…and see how many I can make eye contact with. Sometimes, if ones looks up and sees me, I will put my finger to my mouth in the common “shhhhh” motion.

Scene 6
Once again, crowded elevator, everyone looking at ground or staring at phone.
I pickup my phone and act like I am speaking to someone.
Me: “No! The doctor says it’s not contagious unless you are within a couple of feet of me.”

And that, my friends is how an introvert entertains himself. Truth be told, many times we all end up laughing and acknowledging the awkwardness of it all. There are, however, a few folks who will avoid getting on the elevator with me at the office.

If you’re curious and want to hear about more of these always unplanned incidents I share them on my weekly newsletter – under the heading “Jeff’s Fun on Elevators“.