Reality Check, Please

Dear Dategirl,I'm a 32-year-old, recently single, cute, sweet girl who is a sucker for a funny, smart guy who appreciates 30 Rock and Mad Men. I have an online crush on a guy I've never met. I know him from a message board and I read his blog. He's very funny, and we have a mutual friend.However, I don't want to get the mutual friend involved because I want to do this myself. (This way, if I get rejected, she'll never know about it—she's not a close friend, more of an acquaintance.) I was thinking of sending him a message on Facebook, but I really don't know what to say. He has no idea who I am. We seem to have the same interests, so I know we would get along, but I also know it's all about chemistry. And one more thing: I live in Boston, and he lives in New York City. I know it's crazy, but I really want to meet this guy, because he seems fascinating and I want to see if there's anything there.What should I do? How do I let him know that I'm interested in him without seeming a) desperate, b) creepy, c) stalkerish, or d) all of the above?—Cyber-Crushing in Beantown

You've obviously never tried online dating, because if you had you'd realize there's often a cavernous gulch between someone's online personality and the truth of the situation.I'm not trying to talk you out of contacting this guy—far from it. But the fact that you like the same two extremely popular TV shows does not the basis for a relationship make. In fact, I can't think of anyone who doesn't like 30 Rock or The Don Draper Lubrication Hour. Furthermore, even if you were into something slightly more obscure, like Paraguayan slasher flicks, that's no guarantee you're going to want him anywhere near your girlie parts once you confront the reality that is he.That said, go ahead and contact him through Facebook. What do you have to lose? Don't get all freaky, just tell him you enjoy his writing (cite a specific example) and ask him a question about something he's written. Everyone loves a compliment, after all.What you shouldn't do is tell him you think you're in love with him. Just open up a line of communication and see if he's interested in following up.Meanwhile, try meeting men in your own city. The distance between NYC and Boston isn't insurmountable, but getting fixated on someone far away is sometimes just a distraction from dealing with reality.I've gotten several letters recently along the lines of this next one, and I'm going to run it as is—so copy editor, step off:I read that you never give fellow columnist advice because that leads to trouble. I have been writing for many years statrting with poetry and through the years found site to write in and received payment, but my desire is to become an advice columnist. I did it for a while without payment and no real questions were ask. Where else could I like to receive that dream job? Thank you for your time.—Stacey

The first thing you must do is crack open the Strunk & White and learn yourself some basic grammar facts. Nobody's going to want advice from someone who can't even get her tenses right. And I'm sure my editor is laughing at me right now, because I've certainly been known to mangle the English language on occasion, but that's why a copy editor goes over my stuff before it's

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