Updated: 6/14/2018 – I’ve mellowed out a lot since I wrote this post and decided to rewrite it a bit in a less harsher tone.
I’m at that point in my life where the dating pool consists of 20-somethings who think a 5 to 10 year difference in age makes me old enough to be their father rather than a potential mate, while the rest have all played the merry-go-round of relationships/marriages which failed for whatever reason, and are now free to date again. Suddenly the guy they rejected back in school because he failed to make the upper tier caste system of social status and coolness has now become a hot item in the single mom’s dating commodity market.
I’ve seen this a lot, and the language these single moms use to describe the guy they end up with is alarming, phrases along the line of “he’s a reasonable choice now; he’s not perfect but he’ll do; I’m not really in love with him, but he’s a decent person,” and so on.
There’s only one reasonable way to respond to sentiment like this:
Another practical reason I avoid single moms is that I’ve never been married, and I’ve never had kids either. Single moms though have obviously already been through their share of relationships along with all the experiences of being a parent too. If I wanted to get seriously involved with a single mom, I’d have to forgo the dream of having a wife where we spend time together before kids, then slowly grow together as parents from the very beginning. Instead, I’d have to hit the ground running and learn how to be a fatherly image to kids that are not mine, despite having absolutely no experience whatsoever of being a dad. Kids, who more likely than not would resent me and my presence for not being their real dad. It’s not a road I’d want to go down on.
And just to add insult to injury, a lot of single moms don’t want to have more children, so I don’t even get the benefit of fathering kids of my own. So I’m tasked with caring and draining my financial resources for a family that I have no blood ties with, with a wife who would likely have no time for me because she has her kids to think about. My whole life would revolve around the fruit of another man’s loins. Errr, no thanks.
This is not to say that there aren’t great single moms out there. I’m sure there are a few left, including friends who regularly follow my blog. So when I say I don’t want to date single moms, it’s because there are very practical and very crucial reasons for doing so, having more to do with the dangerous times we live in than with any particular single mom. In other words, it’s not personal.
The reality of it is, the courts are stacked in favor of women to the point that if you get involved with a single mom and the relationship doesn’t work out, you can still be on the hook for child support and losing much of your wealth and assets to sponsor kids that aren’t yours. There’s also no escaping the issue that just by being a single mom it’s a major strike against them: they know their “market value” has gone down as a result of it, so they’re forced to relax their standards. That’s why it’s more likely that they’ll see you as someone they’re settling for and not someone who would truly be the love of their life. It’s awful.
More daunting is the fact that as a women’s N count (the number of sexual partners she’s had) goes up, the less likely subsequent relationships will work out. In fact just a count of 2 drastically reduces the odds of a successful marriage.
Dating a single mom is like Russian Roulette then, except instead of one bullet in six chambers, there are FIVE. Do you really want to play those odds? I don’t.
Admittedly, the risks are mitigated to some extent once the kids are grown, and that’s the only time I would reconsider getting involved with a single mom. If all her kids are over 18 and the threat of child support is no longer a factor, there might be a better possibility of things working out. But it’s hard to avoid the reality that if you weren’t her first pick, it’s very likely you wouldn’t have been her second, third, fourth or fifth pick either.
It’s a shame watching single moms who want to date me get offended when I decline. They fail to understand what a risky proposition that is for men today, and that inability to see things from our perspective is another strike against them. A single mom worth her weight in gold would understand the world we live in now, how the legal system is completely stacked against men, making relationships especially with single mothers such a risky prospect that a sizable population of men are opting out altogether on marriage and remaining bachelors. She’ll understand that if she can’t marry or get involved with a man out of true love, then she shouldn’t get involved at all.
The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share his inner experiences he is forced to walk alone. – A.W. Tozer
You may now commence with rabid jealousy and envy. 🙂
Just taking a trip down memory lane. Loved how my Instagram turned out here:
Love this orchestral rendition of one of my favorite songs of all time:
When I started the new year I was hoping for a fresh start with blogging, namely by using a platform that would take care of all the technical craziness of hosting, design and otherwise maintaining a a stable blogging platform for me, that way I could finally focus all my energy on my true craft: writing and annoying people.
I thought Squarespace would be that blogging platform, where things would just… WORK, ya know? No more manual SEO analysis and weird optimization hacks or fighting with bloated plugins, or chasing down threads in WordPress forums to fix a bug, or reintroducing code into my theme that the WP developers decided we didn’t need that of course I desperately needed.
I would spend days and weeks tinkering under the hood just to keep my blog functional and online, and when I finally had things just right (at least in the 5 minutes of peace I enjoyed before WP released another update that broke everything), I had no energy left to blog. I was a zombie.
Squarespace gave me hope by offering an all in one solution, starting with taking care of all the hosting backend (and thus ensuring that I’ll never have to deal with frantic emails from my host claiming I’m using too many resources because one of my plugins basically blew up their server.) Then secondly by allowing me to design my own theme, albeit one that would be limited to the rigid structure of their templates. They had a small selection too, but fortunately their tumblelog template was aesthetically pleasing enough and had most of what I needed (with some moderate custom CSS tweaking involved.) Finally their posting editor provided a few clear advantages over WordPress’s editor, namely with their use of blocks. Each block has a unique trait (from simple text to video and image blocks) that could be resized and aligned effortlessly. No having to switch back and forth between HTML and WYSIWYG to get things juuuuust right like I had to do with WordPress. Images in a post were a breeze to add and edit, and not just images, but blocks of almost every flavor that could be added and adjusted in almost every imaginable way.
This was it, baby. Sure there were some limits (such as their editor offering no way to change your font colors) but these were limits I could deal with. I was content to live in a walled garden so long as everything worked properly and made sense. I could at long last, write in peace.
And that’s when the wheels started to fall off.
That was the kind of error I’d receive when I simply wanted to delete a post. Wait, it gets better.
I was starting to notice other annoyances too. Things I always took for granted in WordPress but were conspicuously absent in Squarespace. Like the lack of a Preview button. The way it was designed, I couldn’t even right click on a post in my dashboard and open it up in a new tab so I could at least go back and forth between editing and then checking the changes. Really?
There was also no “edit” link on individual posts either. If I wanted to edit a post, instead of clicking on a simple link available on the same page like I could in WordPress, I had to go back to my Squarespace dashboard and do a KEYWORD SEARCH FOR THE SAME POST. And there’s no sorting or filtering option available. At all.
You can’t even batch edit or delete posts, so God help you if you have a category of 100 or so posts you want to get rid of. You’re gonna have to delete them one at a time, using keyword searches.
Oh, and if you decide you want to undelete a post, forget it. No trash can here. You delete it, you ain’t getting it back. Ever.
Even more grating, if you use a custom domain, the little Squarespace widget overlayed on your site where you can make changes to your design or click to access your dashboard doesn’t show up. As a result of this I was perpetually surfing between my domain and *.squarespace.com in clumsy and awkward fashion. And also, if you happen to use Disqus for your comments, comments don’t show up in Squarespace’s native domain either. (I could not for the life of me figure out why I couldn’t find a particular Disqus comment until I realized I was surfing the wrong domain. Oy.)
Oh by the way, SS’s native comments will not export to Disqus (or vice versa), so if you ever decide to switch from one to the other, they go bye bye.
Even changing/adding meta data in a post was getting irksome (like setting tags and categories.) I would add a category, and yet once I was done the popup window to add categories still wouldn’t go away. Because there’s no dropdown menu I had to remember to click away to some other part of the screen to get rid of these popups. And it didn’t always work either. Sometimes it STAYED there, blocking part of my writing screen, to which the only thing I could do was save the post, leave the page, and then come back again. FAIL.
Squarespace provides social sharing options which I thought would be great, except they don’t stay switched on when you want to use them. You have to manually switch them on, every single time you write a post. Every… single… time…
Even worse, the Tumblr sharing core dumps your ENTIRE post onto your Tumblr page. There’s no option to have Squarespace simply push a link of the post (and maybe an excerpt) to your Tumblr site. Seriously?
Oh, and here’s another minor and yet BAFFLING omission: you can’t customize your links to include nofollow tags, or set them to open in new windows either. Well… you could, but it requires placing most of your content inside a CODE block, which of course strips out all styling and formatting, so you’re now required to brush up on your HTML and re-add all the formatting you need, by hand. Yes, really.
There were also certain things about their image formatting that really made no sense from an SEO perspective, especially given their market is supposedly heavily geared towards artists and visual designers. Specifically I’m referring to their practice of consolidating captions with ALT tags. When I captioned a photo for example, I usually made commentary that doesn’t always describe what the photo is all about (which is part of the point of why you’d use an ALT tag instead.) And yet SS consolidates the two.
Let me explain to you why that sucks: In order to ensure my images get the best possible ranking in Google Image searches, my captions now have to be written as an accurate description of what’s in an image, instead of just being able to write any old thing I wanted. For example, I post a picture of a tree. I now have to write in the caption:
“This is a picture of a tree.”
Now, the reader sees that and he’s thinking, “I’m not blind moron, I know it’s a picture of a tree.”
BUT, if I had the ability to edit the caption and ALT separately (like I could always do in WordPress,) I could instead post the same picture, and write in the caption:
“This is one of my favorite places on earth!”
And then for the ALT tag (which the reader never sees, unless he’s disabled showing images in his browser for some reason) I can write an accurate description of the picture, which a Googlebot will then happily gobble up and give me a nice warm cuddle of search engine wubs.
It’s a little thing, and yet it achieves so much. Captions allow me to tell the reader what I’m thinking or provide commentary that the image inspires, while ALT allows me to give the search engines what they need to properly index these images.
And yet Squarespace combines the two. Why? Because shut up, that’s why.
Then there’s the iPad/iPhone app. Which at first glance seems polished and simple enough, until you decide you want to add photos, and you realize you can’t add them inline; they can only be added to the end of a post. If I had 5 photos I wanted to add, I couldn’t place them anywhere I pleased like I could with my Blogsy app (and even WordPress’s own subpar iOS apps.) So I’d write this post on my iPad, and all the 5 photos would show up in an awkward column after the content, and no, I can’t even caption them either.
Oh and that reminds me, they’ve also completely dropped all MetaBlogAPI support too. In other words, you cannot use any third party client to access your SS content, period. It’s their dashboard and their apps or the highway. Which I might have been fine with, if the quality of their interface didn’t already suck the mooseballs of rancid death to begin with.
The last straw though had to be the bookmarklet. At first it was the saving grace: Anywhere I surfed, with one click I could immediately comment on an article I was reading, upload images and type quick and dirty posts straight to my Squarespace blog. It was faster and easier to use than WordPress’s Press This bookmarklet, and for me it was the solution I needed: Let it all be about blogging rather than trying to fix everything that was wrong with my site. Sure, SS had a LOT of flaws, but they weren’t things I could control anyway, so let me just focus on blogging and maybe who knows, the rest will take care of itself.
And then my bookmarklet broke.
Suddenly, every time I clicked on it, all I’d get was a blank window.
… … … …
Now, if there was ONE thing I absolutely NEEDED Squarespace to deliver on, it would be to spare me the agony of diving into WordPress forums for hours, days and maybe even weeks on end, hoping I’d find some kind hearted WP guru to help me fix something that had gone horribly wrong with my blog.
Instead, I knew if something went wrong on Squarespace, they HAD to fix it, since it does after all affect ALL their customers, and they’d lose business if they didn’t.
I opened up a support ticket, and to their credit they answered in minutes and let me know they were aware of the issue and that the developers were working on it.
I sat back and breathed a sigh of relief, knowing for once I didn’t have to bear the burden of fixing something that goes wrong with my site, and that it was merely just a matter of waiting until Squarespace addressed and fixed the problem. They’ve got top men working on it after all. Top. Men.
THREE WEEKS. IT TOOK THEM THREE WEEKS TO FIX THIS $%&@*(@ BOOKMARKLET.
This bookmarklet played such a huge role in reducing my blogging workflow that I was blogging on almost a daily basis… and then it breaks, and STAYS broken for WEEKS.
So what happened? Of course I didn’t blog for weeks either. Just kind of threw my hands up in defeat and went on a Netflix marathon binge so I could forget about the world for a while.
But eventually, they finally fix it right? Except it breaks, AGAIN, not TWO DAYS LATER after they fix it. As far as I know at the time of this writing it’s probably STILL broken.
My Lord, what did I get myself into?
It made me think, if they let something like that languish for weeks without a fix, what else was broken that I DIDN’T know about?
Reading from their little known service update blog (now defunct, likely so people won’t notice how buggy their platform really is), I would venture to say, A LOT.
The hard truth was that I had given up too much control over my site and I wasn’t getting back enough in return. They get a lot of feedback in their forums, but because there’s no roadmap it’s anyone’s guess if they’re even bothering to listen to what their customers are saying. I’ve sent feedback to support myself, which they always respond along the lines of “We’ll send this to our developers for consideration.” Which pretty much means, “We’ll fix or address this issue sometime between now and never.”
So… it was back to WordPress. My long lost love. Only this time I took great care to minimize my plugin usage and go with a professionally designed theme framework that I could get support on if I had issues. And you know what? It’s SO much better now. It really is. I feel like I’ve finally become a man and can at long last write like one too.
While scribbling naughty things about Squarespace on bathroom walls that is.
Oh, and here’s some irony for you: when I went to delete my website entirely from Squarespace after I moved everything back to WordPress, of course the dashboard crashed yet again with another error message. It was almost… poetic.
So long Squarespace. May our paths NEVER cross again.
Shortly after I began my IT career 40 years ago, a pioneering study was released that showed a significant productivity drop if a computer-based system took longer than two seconds to respond to user input. That two-second limit was the gold standard (or at least a target) for many years. Developers of client-server and web-based applications somehow lost sight of that standard – possibly related to the network latency that practically guaranteed significantly longer waits. This study seems to confirm what we old dinosaurs have known for decades.
You know how long it takes for my work computer to respond when I add a single data form? FIFTEEN SECONDS. No wonder I never get any work done.