EsotericFrench (esotericfrench) wrote in okcupidlolz,

The Yelp forums return to haunt me

Welp, I just got a weird possibly-hitting-on-me message on Yelp. About drama that started and ended several years ago. So we have to go back that far.

Many moons ago - like 5 or 6 years ago, when I was still living in Boston, I was made Yelp "elite" - as though that means anything. I don't know if any of you know about Yelp's cliquish underbelly, or that it even has one. But elites get together for really awkward mixer events with Hello my name is name tags and sit around pretending like writing lots of Yelp reviews makes them cool or something when really everyone is jut there for free alcohol. I went a total of once because there happened to be free cupcakes (can you really blame me).

But yeah, if you want to see a juvenile snark and troll fest unparalleled anywhere else on the Internet, except perhaps for the comments in the now defunct OKCupid journals themselves, try the Yelp forums. It's not even geekery or Internet fuckery or anything. It's people trolling each other under their REAL NAMES with REAL PHOTOS in circles that might actually cause them to MEET IN PERSON over stupid shit that does not deserve trolling, like not knowing where there's a good Mexican restaurant or something. And there's a definite "I'm not cool anywhere else so I have to be very protective of my status here" vibe...

One of these women would send out private messages to other elites, whom she had never met in person or even really interacted with except for liking each others' restaurant reviews, "welcoming" them, even though she didn't work for Yelp, and she would invite people over to her house. And i would just be like ... no thank you, woman who gives her address to Internet strangers. But apparently a lot of them really did go hang out. Which tells you something about them...they need friends. Which, you know what, is fine. Really. And if they're forming a little community for themselves through Yelp that's great. But don't suddenly act like a jr. high clique that requires a password for entrance into the tree house, k? Because, if you're going to shine a light on yourselves like that, people are going to come to the truthful conclusion that you're kind of a bunch of losers. People like me.

Anyway, most of my Yelp forum posts, back when I made Yelp forum posts, involved trying to get recommendations for donors and venues for charity things I was organizing, and I would unsurprisingly get little to no response because people on Yelp are assholes. On two, count em two occasions, about a year apart, I wrote forum posts asking about good places to meet men. The first was a request about meeting men generally. The second was a request specifically about places to meet older dudes. I did that because I was really sick of dudes my own age who couldn't wipe their own asses, completely lacked sophistication, defined a night out on the town as binge drinking and expected sex on the first date. And as a 24-year-old my idea of "older dude" was like...32.

I don't view this as a repeat post - repeat posts on the same topic apparently violate some unwritten rule of the Yelp forums as developed by the self-appointed Yelp elite police. I also don't think I was obnoxious or detailed. It was literally just, "Hey where do you go around here to meet older dudes?" I also made a specific point of stating that this wasn't an invitation for guys to proposition me through Yelp (I dunno, maybe that made me seem presumptuous and arrogant, but I've also spent more than 5 minutes on the Internet so I knew this was kind of necessary, and it turns out that yes, yes it was). I may also have mentioned that I had seen a hot older dude at a sorta-club place in Boston, maybe linked to my review of it, where I mentioned (humorously - my Yelp reviews get upvoted precisely because they are intentionally funny, I talk about things like shit goblins) making eye contact with a super hot DILF.

AND HOLY SHIT. That second time half of people responded seriously with legit recommendations. Everyone else jumped on me like prowling hyenas. Some told me I had to get rid of my nose ring because it just screamed that I was immature. Some of them implied that I had psychological problems like daddy issues. Ronnie, the one who would invite random strangers from the Internet over to her house, told me that since I'd written other posts on this topic before I just came off as really desperate. Um. You invite random strangers from the internet to your house.

One chick, Alex, who is (or was at the time or something) apparently self-appointed queen of the Boston Yelp forums, really dug into me. She made a point of stating that in my user photo if I lost ten pounds and plucked my eye brows I'd look like Sacha Grey or however you spell it - not actually an insult, and apparently somewhat accurately since multiple dudes on OKC have messaged me to tell me I look like her. Of course, she's also a porn star. And though it's perhaps true that I look like her and not an insult, it illuminates a bit of where Alex was coming from and why I was getting some of the ire that I was ... one chick who had been mocking me commented or messaged at some point that she had gone to look at my user photos and didn't realize I was so beautiful. much of this is judging me as some kind of vapid skank or dumb bimbo or whatever? And related to the fact that I mentioned Whiskey Park, which is a wannabe night club that's actually just a big old pile of fail, though I acknowledged all this in my review? They were totally cherry picking...if people were digging through my reviews and my user photos and my past forum posts they should have seen a lot of content that showed I was in law school, involved in charity, and not the stupid little skank they were making me out to be.

Anyway, at some point I was just like, to those of you who are responding in earnest thanks keep it up, the rest of you guys cut it out, if I wanted psychological advice I'd consult a shrink, not Internet strangers. Of course, they didn't, and all the people who were attacking me personally and giving me unsolicited psychological advice just got more offended that, omigod, I wasn't taking them seriously, and it got even nastier. So eventually I was just like you know what, if this is the kind of crap I'm going to get when all I did was ask for bar and restaurant recommendations, I'm not going to follow this thread anymore and will never post to the Yelp forums ever again. And I never have.

But I kept getting private messages. I specifically said in my post, "this is not an invitation for people to hit on me on Yelp." And yet I think I got about 7 propositions by private message, including 2 that were for threesomes with older couples looking for younger women. Then one person eventually private messaged me to let me know that Alex had set up a fake forum post on Yelp making fun of me and told me that I should report them to Yelp and at that time I was like...isn't Alex like 34? Going out of her way to make fun of a 24-year-old on the Internet, who has had the maturity not to engage with her?

At least here at OKClolz we're venting about people doing legitimately nasty, sketchy shit to us and making our online dating attempts miserable, and we've always had a policy of being open to all legitimate posters and not trolling our own members. This Yelp shit made us look like the patron saints of maturity. So I decided not to waste my time and basically forgot about it, except on the rare occasion that I'm ever tempted to post a question to any of the Yelp forums or happen to glance at the old faded elite badges on my Yelp profile. Safe to say, I am no longer Yelp elite. And I'm kind of glad about that because having a Yelp elite badge is kind of like wearing a patch that calls you out as an all time Magic the Gathering master and implying that you the expect mainstream society to swoon.

FAST FORWARD TO LAST WEEK. It has been FIVE YEARS. I get this private message, titled "Older Guys in Boston" - I honestly don't know if it's related to my forum post - which has disappeared from my forum activity on my account profile because it's so old - or to my yelp review of that sorta-club I mentioned, wherein I mostly made fun of creepy older dudes who had been hitting on me and my friend but mentioned wishing I'd had an opportunity to talk to this one good-looking DILF I'd made eye-contact with before he left:

Just saw your older post about meeting older men and boston hangouts. [Club] in Boston is largely oriented towards college kids and heavier drinking. I have been there a few times. Yes, I am older, and i usually need to let the girl make the first move, even if it is eye contact, because of the issue you mentioned. for every girl that likes an older man, there is a girl that wants guys her age. I don't drink and have hardly ever met anyone at a bar. I prefer a place that is less loud, less pressured. Maybe a coffee shop, library, bus stop.. just anywhere in regular life. Looks like you have relocated to DC now. Hopefully it is better there! If you find a good place for younger and older to meet, let me know :)

OK because that's not creepy. This message is completely purposeless as it provides no serious recommendations, so I have to assume it's a pretext just to talk to me because he thinks I'm just all horny for older men and, whaddaya know! HE'S an older man! Meanwhile it's years old so for all he knows I'm married now or something, he knows I've moved, he has no user photo ... Meanwhile he's approaching me in a context in which there is no reason to believe I am open to advances as Yelp is not a dating site, I stated nowhere in my review that I'm looking for randos to message me on Yelp, and I specifically state in my forum post NOT to message me...

I seriously think that people read that forum post and thought I was acting out of some pathological need to date rich 50 year olds or something. And I must be willing to jump on any old dude who even gives me any attention whatsoever because I have daddy issues! So gee, let me message her 5 years after the fact from hundreds of miles away in the desperate hope that a woman in her 20s would be willing to stroke my ego by even speaking to me and that maybe I'll get a 20-something boob pic.

This definitely takes some of the edge off the fact that I'm turning 30 next year.
Tags: oldies, what?, yelp
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