Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Date Alyssa Bereznak

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If you’re in this room, you won’t be getting a second date with Alyssa Bereznak. Photo CC BY-NC-SA by Isma Monfort

Alyssa, girl to girl, let’s talk.

You went on what is essentially an Internet-facilitated, near-blind date. You say everybody’s doing it, and you admit you’ve heard of some pretty crazy horror stories. So have I. But you know what? Yours doesn’t measure up. Not even a little.

Let me summarize what happened. You went on a date with somebody who wasn’t a good match for you. You probably said something like, “Hi, my name’s Alyssa. I blog for Gizmodo.” He heard, I am a tech blogger, which means I am also a geek and not going to run away when you admit you are a geek too. Then he told you he’s the world-champion Magic: The Gathering player, which frankly, is pretty geek-impressive. Your response was to tell the entire Internet how horrible he is…for being a geek. (Note: This link originally went to the Gizmodo post. It now goes to an screenshot on imgur of the post. It is still, however, not Bereznak’s original post, which has been edited.)

Do you see how ridiculous that is? I’m guessing you don’t. The italicized disclaimer that was added to the top of the post much later doesn’t excuse it either. “Judging people on shallow stuff is human nature,” it says. We can debate whether that’s true or not, but even if we go your way and say that it is, should you be proud of it? That disclaimer says, “Yup, I’m shallow. Not only is that OK, but it’s my right to be shallow, and I’m proud of it!”

Since you’re a single woman, for some guy, somewhere in your past, you probably had a deal breaker. Did you put that in your OK Cupid profile, as you insist Jon should have done with his championship title? Let’s review what you considered the series of deal breakers in this date. Feel free to compare with anything a guy has disliked about you.

Strike one: He “still” plays Magic. Ohs noes! The horror! I haven’t played Magic since high school, but it just wasn’t my favorite game. I do, however, have quite a collection of Steve Jackson and Looney Labs games, not to mention a library of RPG books. Too bad they’ll keep me from finding a date. No, wait. There are other nice, geeky, non-judgemental people in the world, and I married one. Now we play those games with our kids.

Strike two: He said, “I’m preparing for a tournament this weekend.” You probably won’t be cheering him on, will you? I’m glad he’ll be able to concentrate without your bitter face hanging over him.

Strike three: “I’ve met all my best friends through Magic.” You obviously don’t know this, but gaming is a great way to meet friends. When you’re playing games, you actually get to talk to one another. When was the last time you had a deep conversation during a Brad Pitt movie? Maybe you should try dating more gamers. I would way rather have a conversation with one of them than the “ordinary finance guy” you thought you were getting.

Alyssa, I take consolation in two things from this tale. One, Jon Finkel was saved from you. Two, when guys take your advice and Google your name before a date, they’ll turn up this post and see why they should cancel.

Jon Finkel, I don’t really know anything about you, except that you’re single and spend a lot of time playing Magic. And that’s cool. You keep right on doing it. That goes the same for all the other non-champion Jon Finkel geeks in the world. For every one of you, there’s a non-Alyssa out there who will be the mana for your spells.

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104 thoughts on “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Date Alyssa Bereznak

  1. She’s one to talk. Criticizing someone else’s hobbies when she admits at the very beginning of her entry that her OKCupid profile was a result of a night of drunkenness. I love how she goes on to insult him on twitter by referring to him abstractly as a “dweeb”. Geek as a positive connotation has gained significant traction in the last decade. Dweeb, not so much. Her loss, and based on his responses I’ve read, he deserves a woman a lot better than that. If I could give him advice directly though, I’d definitely have to say not to wave the white flag on OKCupid, that’s how I met my wife. One of our weekends together in the first couple of months was me hanging out while she was the one dressed up as a dark elf in Japanese armor wielding a foam katana. That was almost 7 years ago, been married for 5, have an almost two-year old son (who already loves to roll dice, watch dragons, and look at daddy’s D&D collection, among other things), and another little one arriving toward the beginning of March.

  2. When I read Alyssa’s post, I was pretty ticked off but I’ve met a few dozen Alyssas online dating. They all have enough baggage to fill an airplane, are tired of getting hit on by total strangers and their last 2-5 guys that they met are jerks so even when they find a guy who speaks to them respectfully and treats them well they look for a reason to sabotage it. Hers was coming out and saying “He’s a Magic playing geek”! If I was a betting man I would say the common denominator is her. I’m sure Jon liked the online pub she gave him and has long since moved on from her kiddie pool to a woman who can handle her baggage.

  3. A) Jon Finkel is super hot
    B) the fact he’s so incredibly good at a card game would not have turned me off, rather it would have impressed me. a guy bragging about how much beer he can chug is a turn off. A man doing something he enjoys and that he is good at (and is completely harmless)? AWESOME!
    C) this woman is a shallow bitch

    If I ever get a date with a Jon Finkel type of guy I’ll consider it a awesome date. 😛

  4. heh, maybe im incredibly lucky but i have had much better luck 😛
    hell on my first date with this girl from okcupid, i ended up showing her into a games workshop and she walked out with the island of blood starter kit!

    though i guess girls who respond might have some inkling that im a nerd b/c im studying engineering lol..

  5. If it weren’t for those last two paragraphs (in the screenshot) I would’ve read reasonably well.

    Even moreso if it had been rounded off “so I didn’t meet my match this time but here is hoping”.

  6. When I read the post I stumbled upon: “Strike one, two and three”. She complains he still plays Magic? BITCH, YOU WERE THE ONE THAT BROUGHT THAT UP!

  7. Well, by now the White Knight has been summoned to the battlefield…

    Personally I found this guys article incredibly patronizing. Especially the way he calls women who dared to criticize Alyssa Bereznak “Uncle Toms” And the humongous generalizations about geeks in general (who apparently can never, ever be female).

    Its a pity he could not filter out the good points from the crap.

  8. I used to play MTG. I actually have the Finkel vs. Garfield set.
    My wife has been a talent manager in the past, so I have the enviable position of being able to talk about good-looking people and making comparisons and can have discussions with my wife about how relatively good looking people are.
    Two generalizations that are entirely shallow by me:
    1. Mr. Finkel is at least 1.5 steps in attractiveness higher than Alyssa.
    2. Ruth, the author, is also better looking than Alyssa.

  9. If I were in Alyssa’s position, I am not sure I would have gone out on a second date. You see, as she describe him, I don’t think Jon and I would have much in common. Jon might be wealthy and famous but she saw past that to his interested, likes, hobbies, etc. and compared them against hers and decided it wasn’t a match. How often to girls get accused of being gold diggers? Seems like Alyssa had an opportunity to be like that and decided against it. Good for her.

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