Love In The Age Of Scruff, Part 2

.ig-b- { display: inline-block; } .ig-b- img { visibility: hidden; } .ig-b-:hover { background-position: 0 -60px; } .ig-b-:active { background-position: 0 -120px; } .ig-b-v-24 { width: 137px; height: 24px; background: url(// no-repeat 0 0; } @media only screen and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), only screen and (min--moz-device-pixel-ratio: 2), only screen and (-o-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2 / 1), only screen and (min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), only screen and (min-resolution: 192dpi), only screen and (min-resolution: 2dppx) { .ig-b-v-24 { background-image: url(//; background-size: 160px 178px; } }


“I have been holding this fart in from the day I met you, and now I’m ready to let it go.” When it all boils down, I’m really just looking for someone to say that to. There are a million and one different things that people on there are looking for, but that’s the common denominator. Whether it’s friends, or “workout buddies” (hahahaha who the hell are you kidding), or an eventual husband, we’re all looking for someone to get know on a comfortable level. Someone who we don’t have to worry anymore about holding in our farts around.

This occurred to me while I was in the grocery store, where most of my Deep Thoughts happen (hey, dawdling stranger, get the fuck out of the boxed wine aisle so I can get to My Preciousss). Being single for a couple years isn’t a big deal…unless you’re someone who loves to be in monogamous relationships, like me. Loading my cart up with cat litter and Juanita’s tortilla chips, I thought Maybe it’s the first impression. If I’m going to make Scruff the primary thing I use to meet guys, maybe I should work on my profile.

Let’s break this down one section at a time, shall we?

I am

Geek, Jock, Daddy. The choices here are frustratingly narrow, but maybe that’s just ’cause the human spectrum is so wide. I picked that I’m a Geek because of my obsession with Star Trek and sci fi in general. I picked that I’m a Daddy because I’m ancient and I like dating younger guys than me. And I picked Jock because I’m not but I like to trick guys who are actually in shape into dating me. Every time I think of going to the gym, I decide instead to work on my personality. I’m counting on my sense of humor to compensate for my lack of muscles.

from l. to r., friendly stranger, Michael James Schneider
from l. to r., friendly stranger, Michael James Schneider

I am into

Jocks, Muscle, Geeks, College (I really need to remove that), Daddy Chasers (no way that doesn’t sound creepy). Honestly, I’d love a smart Geek who’s younger than me and who can make me laugh. So I’m basically looking for a unicorn.

Open to

Friendships, Relationships, Dates, Networking. Yes, I want a relationship, but new friends are neat-o too. When I say “friendships” I don’t mean friends who I occasionally have sex with. I’m not built that way. BUT I’m also frustrated when people get all judge-y about other people’s sexual politics. Who am I, or you, to get all “Ew, open relationships” or “Hookups are gross” on anyone? If people love differently than you it has nothing to do with you, so kindly shut the fuck up.

Also, if you list that you’re open to networking and then accept my friend request on Facebook and then never interact with me, if we follow each other on Instagram and then you subtly unfollow me later, if you can’t muster anything more than one-word responses to my questions, you might be bad at networking, dummy. You don’t wants friends, you want fans. That’s gross.

from l. to r., young stranger, Old Man Schneider
from l. to r., young stranger, Old Man Schneider

What I do

Rock back and forth and cry and pet my cat on Saturday nights? Well, besides that. I take dorky photos on my days off. I run up to Seattle a lot to visit friends. I’m working on Part 2 of my book. I ride my bike constantly. Um, I’m boring but my social media implies that I’m amazing and exciting.

What I’m looking for

I’m looking for someone to say “I don’t take this app too seriously” as an excuse for rude behavior. I’m looking for someone to eagerly and constantly message me back and forth for a few days and then abruptly stop messaging me. I’m looking for emotionally unavailable guys whose red flags I’ll completely ignore. I’m lookin’ for a dude who knows how to take a blurry, inaccurate selfie while making a duckface…have I gone to HEAVEN?!

I’m looking for someone who won’t think it’s weird when I ask for pics of them wearing shorts. Legs are my Main Jam, shawty. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: if you have nice hairy calves, chances are I’ll ignore your personality flaws.

I am looking for someone who understands my occasional anxiety flare-ups. I am looking for someone who can fucking text me back in a reasonable fucking time frame. I am probably not looking for someone to reject me and then send me band recommendations. I am looking for someone who has done his goddamn homework on the inside, and knows what he’s ready and not ready for, and has the vocabulary and courage to say that out loud.

I am not looking for jockstrap photos of your lumpy butt.

from l. to r., horny stranger, hypocritical Michael James Schneider
from l. to r., horny stranger, hypocritical Michael James Schneider

Activities & Interests

I hike! I bike! I read! I write! I go to museums! I drink lots of coffee! I pretend my cat Ned understands it when I talk to him! I like how my new red shorts highlight the scabs on my legs!

Where I live

Duh. I live in Portland, Oregon, the most gorgeous city on the planet. It’s full of weird and wonderful people. Even the stray cats here are aggressively friendly. People in Portland talk about burritos the way people in Los Angeles talk about yoga.

from l. to r., harmless stranger, Michael James Schneider
from l. to r., harmless stranger, Michael James Schneider

Would you meet BLCKSMTH?

Newp. I mean, seriously, would I? With my one-liners, my zingers to other guys? Is it possible someone could have been offended by what I’ve said in the past? It’s easy to point the finger at someone else’s rude behavior, and quite another to look in the mirror and realize that maybe I’ve hurt someone’s feelings by my own actions. Yeah, I’m naturally a sarcastic and jokey guy in person, but that doesn’t always translate. Maybe the key in catching a guy that sticks around isn’t my profile, it’s my approach.

I gotta change it up quick though: some things it’s too late for. I’ll never have a 50th wedding anniversary with someone, maybe not even a 40th. At my age, I can’t help but feel the passage of the time not spent with him. That’s my lesson, my resolution: change up my approach quick. I’ll let you know how it goes. And who knows? I may just find the guy I can fart around for the rest of my life.

from l. to r., nice stranger, Michael "Asshole" Schneider
from l. to r., nice stranger, Michael “Asshole” Schneider



Oh. One more thing. This asshole:

This Asshole
This Asshole

I think anyone who follows the dating posts on BLCKSMTH is aware of my social media philosophy: treat people with respect online, the way you would want to be treated. Behave online the way you would behave in person with people. Simple, right? That’s probably why the guy above, who lives in Seattle, got my blood boiling. I complimented him on his hilarious profile pic, and he responded with a bitchy comment about mine. At this point, I still thought he was pulling my pigtails because he was feeling feisty, maybe he was just teasing me like I joke with other guys online. I respond with “haha”, send some silly pics of me and told him my name.

from l. to r., some asshole, some other asshole
from l. to r., some asshole, Michael James Schneider

After the above, he also dabbled in some more rude ageist and body-shaming comments which I didn’t screencap before I blocked the guy. I usually make it a big deal to protect guys’ anonymity, but fuck it. Jerks like the one above are the problem. This isn’t a harmless unsolicited dick pic, this isn’t a guy frustrated because he’s messaged you a bunch and you won’t respond. Dudes like the above are toxic. Play nice or go home, assholes. We have enough problems coming in from the outside to worry about attacking and shaming each other.

We’re all in this together, this crazy dating world. We have tools. We have intelligence, we have compassion. But we also don’t need to take shit. In older times, people would light fires, have special whistles, and other warnings when there was danger nearby. Here, now, we have social media.

I refuse to back down anymore. I refuse to think there is something broken about me, that my quirks and weirdness and imperfections are anything less than beautiful. And I refuse to stay silent when confronted with pricks who, instead of no response, or “sorry, not interested”, actually go out of their way to make someone feel shitty.

Let’s make assholes like this famous.


If you loved this, you’re a terrible person! Here’s Part 1 in this series, and here’s the next installment of this series. You’ll want to avoid eye contact with me later.

10 thoughts on “Love In The Age Of Scruff, Part 2”

  1. “…more pics is not…”

    I don’t know if I’m a snob or if I’ve just received an exemplary education, but even basic mastery of “is” and “are” never seemed that convoluted. Such a shame, too. After seeing those eyes light up with just a paper dick in his face, I had such high hopes.

    …or maybe it was the pedestrian and obligatory opening line. Translation? “I’m alive. I have sex. I’m extra, super clean.”

    But two negatives still make a positive, right?

    Don’t give up. Don’t settle.

  2. If it makes you feel any better, dating women is just as much a pain in the ass, only I have to filter out the “curious” straight ones first…I’m too old for that shit.

  3. Who is he calling unattractive? That asshole is unattractive. In many ways but I’m not impressed w/ his pic either. Keep going Mike! You’ll fart someday!

  4. As with every other post, you end with some cheap self-affirmation that will only be followed by yet another blog entry on why you’re broken, sad, lonely, etc. Instead of copying and pasting a good chunk of your dating profile (which left out your unchecked and biased preference for “masculine” men), you need to deal with the problems that your loneliness functions on. No calling yourself an artist when a retail job is your real bread and butter, no saying you’re an author when your platform consists of self-publishing an e-book through the Walmart of online shopping… Mike, you need to call yourself out because this shit is just ridiculous. I get it that you’re trying to make a better life for yourself in Portland, but it just looks like you’re taking a jagged little pill with every new hobby you announce, some panacea project that was supposed to make things better, but gets drowned out by your usual complaints. The world of Scruff that you immerse yourself in, both in real life and in the app, isn’t where you belong. Do what you love – but with real sentiment and focus – and continue to go on dates, but not with guys “that look like they have potential”. You’re a pretty good guy, Mike. Just make sure that you not only continue to work on your social life and career, but also on your character beyond having a good sense of humor ;-).

  5. Funny as usual…..your 40 yr old angst hardly showed!!! And am glad you outed that jerk…..what a JERK!!! Must have been raised by dysfunctional, no class, wolves…..

Add Your Voice