Thursday, September 02, 2010

Online dating - the saga begins

Day One

While filling out the required profile information, I notice that some options are quite limited.

Apparently I can only choose “I prefer not to say” on the drop down box labeled “Do you want children?” That’s not an option under the labels of smoking, drinking, height, body type, or religion. And frankly I find it disheartening that my options to choose from under body type are only thin, athletic, a few extra pounds, and Big and Tall. None of those describe me adequately at all. I debate on whether to email the company and suggest the choices “voluptuous” and/or “how you doin’”, but ultimately decide that there’s just no time for that.

It takes me the better part of an hour to write the three small paragraphs that make up the “about me” section because I keep changing my mind about what to say. I decide against using quotes from Wedding Crashers at the bottom, hit save and move on to picture selection. This is where it gets tricky. I don’t really have many pictures that A) look good (I’m not very photogenic and only manage to take one decent picture every blue moon), B) don’t show cleavage, and C) don’t show me engaged in drunken revelry.

I eventually decide on four pictures total, only one of which was taken while sober, but at least my makeup seemed to be holding up ok. The cleavage turns out to be largely unavoidable. Pun intended.

I go ahead and save all of the work I’ve done so I can get a basic overview of what it will look like. I can edit later.

There are three messages in my inbox already. I have no idea how that’s possible. Either these men have lightening fast fingers or this website is very sneaky and publishes as you’re writing. I don’t think I approve of either of those choices, but I click on the first mail anyway.

It’s from a nice looking guy with a shaved head that looks to be about my age. But even though I have a particular fondness for shaved heads, I recognize the cocky, “this is my come hither you lucky woman”, face immediately. I laugh. When I read the one line message, I laugh even harder. “u wanna have sum fun”.

Oh dear. Not even two hours into this and I’m being harassed by the illiterate. No, I don’t think I do want to have “sum” fun. I’ve never much liked numbers. Although, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you a lesson when you so very clearly asked for one: You – Brain + Creepy Come Hither Face = Never Going to Happen.

The second message is from someone named Matt (with a bunch of numbers behind his name all alluding to his, I assume, favorite sexual position – one which I myself have never been very fond of due to concentration issues etc.) who doesn’t have a picture. It says, “Hey girl you lookin’ good”.

Aside from the fact that our sexual preferences may not be found on the same page of the Kama sutra, there’s one other issue. Terrible though it may sound, I have no intention of getting involved or meeting up with someone that won’t display their picture. As I said in my recent I-can’t-believe-I’m-about-to-do-this-shit post, there’s a possibility that the creepy SpongeBob is lurking. And however farfetched it may seem to you, I wouldn’t even take that risk with your body, let alone mine. I am perfectly capable of putting lotion on my own skin, thank you very much. Yes, Matt, I believe I picked those pictures specifically because I was lookin’ good. Unfortunately I cannot return the compliment. Your blank square is...a nice shade of grey.

The third email is from a man, captured in profile, leaning casually against the side of a car. He’s wearing a blazer with jeans – a look I’m quite fond of, knowing how hard it is to pull off without looking sloppy or pretentious. It’s very ‘That sexy college professor I always wanted to see privately after class’ esque. “We are almost neighbors”, his message says. “P.S. – Cute pics.” Intrigued by both the picture and his claim of closeness (no one is ever my “almost neighbor”), I click the link to his profile to investigate.

He lives one town over, very close indeed, and after looking at two profiles that nearly sent me into a serious rant on the abuse of the English language, punctuation, and the sad state of our educational system, his is a breath of fresh air. Witty, informative, the correct use of “there”, and not one single “um” to be found. The only misgiving I have, so far, is his age – 39.

I’m certainly not a trophy 20 something woman and I have 4 feet of (visible) baggage. What would a divorced, 39 year old man that doesn’t have or want kids, want with me? Probably sex, I think, but I decide to message him back anyway. At least he can spell. Standards – the only form of birth control that’s free and self deprecating.

We are soon involved in prolific back and forth emails – he plays the piano, is a transplant from another state, and gets my sense of humor right away. (I’m not all straight forward vagina jokes, you know.) I’m genuinely interested in what he has to say, which doesn’t happen as often as it should, even with people I know. (No, I don’t mean you Aunt Christie. You’re very interesting, of course.)

We promise to contact each other again soon, as it is now getting late and someone is whining about not being able to use her laptop for hours. (That’s you, Aunt Christie.) And so ends my slightly successful first day of being a complete failure at meeting men the normal way – by bar hopping.

Day Two

I immediately begin giggling when I see the picture attached to my newest contact. He’s an Asian man, standing in a bathroom wearing black jockey shorts and nothing else. And while he’s certainly attractive, I vowed long ago to never take a man seriously when there’s a toilet in the background of a half naked picture. After all, Myspace was so five years ago.

After a few moments of deliberation, I decide to respond to his message anyway. How do I expect to get any material if I keep avoiding all the crazies? His message says, “Hey hey there beautiful. How are you doing?” And I respond with, “I’m well, thank you. How are you?”

“I am alright. I think I just mess up my shoulder at the gym. Hahahaha oh well. Anyway, what are u up to?”

“That sucks”, I reply. “Nothing much, just on my way home from work.”

“Cool, what do u do? Nice, now u can hang out with me.”

Hang out with you? Your pecs are clearly larger than your IQ if you think three unimpressive sentences is going to get you anywhere.

The afternoon continues to go downhill when I receive a message from Paul, whose profile states that one of his interests is “God”. Paul has chipmunk teeth.

“hey whats up? my name is paul i’m single i love sports, the great outdoors and having a good time.i’m a straight forward type of guy who is honest, loyal, respectful, caring and someone u can trust no matter what. i hope to hear from u soon so we can talk. do you have a facebook or myspace?”

Sigh. Paul, my love, haven’t you heard of capital letters? Not only that, Paul, but are you aware that you copy and pasted that entire spiel from your profile, aside from the last line, into this message? No? Have you heard of the word “effort”, Paul? What about “vagina”?

I decide to see just how far being at least semi honest, like some of my readers suggested, would get me with Paul.

“Hi. I like some sports and the great outdoors are, I suppose, alright as long as that doesn’t include camping. I’m straight forward and honest as well. I do indeed have a facebook and a myspace, but I prefer not to share them with people I haven’t yet met. I do hope that doesn’t sound harsh, but obviously, being a straight forward person yourself, you must value that in others. I’m sure you understand. However, I wouldn’t be opposed to messaging through here for the time being.”

Paul, as it turns out, did not understand.

I contemplate adding “not God” as an interest under my profile, but quickly change my mind after a small flashback of Christian, jeep sex. I must remember to keep my options open.

Later

I’m lying across my bed, reading, when I receive a new message. I’ve already had several after Paul that don’t bear mentioning (Except the one from a man that looks suspiciously like a friend of my father’s. Eww.) and I’ve become rather cranky.

I glance at my phone, half heartedly stab the open button and let out a heavy sigh when I see the picture. “What do you want, piggy?”

Just as immediately, I start laughing at how utterly horrible I’ve become in a span of only two days. I’m simultaneously amused and horrified with myself.

So this, I think, is online dating. As far as I can tell, the only differences between this and the real thing are that I’m not wearing any beer goggles and applying makeup is optional. Apparently, all you really need to be accepted is an orifice and a keyboard.

23 comments:

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Hey maybe an older man might be just what you need, at least for a while. Maybe it'll be refreshing having someone smart, sexy and with a touch more maturity when it matters. Or not. I guess you'll find out! :) I don't envy you though. Sifting through the debris...

Baglady said...

Love it. I can think of no betta way to have sum fun.

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

I actually think him being 39 is a plus. Older guys are awesome, they're done with the bullshit, they're experienced...

Plus, 39s not that old, you know. Some of us are not so far from 39, and trust me, it still feels like 27.

Didactic Pirate said...

I want to say that the professor vibe could have potential. (At least compare to the other douchenozzles that you've described so far.) My wife claims that's what made her decide to go out on a second date with me.

Still: Remember that I plan on screening all of your suitors. I don't trust any of them.

Wild Celtic said...

Amazing post. I admire your natural eloquence! :) A great read, indeed.

JUST ME said...

oh lord. Online dating.

Cannot WAIT to hear who looks like their picture, and who DOESN'T. ;)

Ed said...

I'll be 36 this year, but I feel 18.

I just don't think like an 18 year old anymore.

Give the 39 y/o a shot.

Kristine said...

Oh, I'm a fan of 39, too! Though, the leaning-against-a-car deal is kinda canceling out other cool factors, I feel. Good luck. If nothing else, at least you've got some steady blog material?

Shruthi said...

This was a post I was waiting for... sum fun indeed! :)

kate said...

*sigh* Online dating...that shit is amazing. I did it for a little while a few years ago and clearly stated that I was interested in people who lived in my city who were in their twenties, unmarried and without children.

Within the week, I had about a dozen messages from old guys in their 50's who were divorced with children that were nearly my age who all lived somewhere out in the middle of nowhere-bumblefuck-Missouri.

Needless to say, it did not go well.

Sara said...

I don't think I can say enough how much of a crush I have on your writing.

BugginWord said...

I have BOTH of those things! Accept me. ACCEPT ME!

I had both those things in high school, too. That didn't wort out well, either.

Tony said...

That Asian fellow in the jockeys next to the toilet? That was me.

Kidding. Or am I...?

I always wanted to date an older woman. I remember the one time I came close to dating an older woman a couple years ago...she was almost 30 (if you're 20 years old, then that's like a fifty year age difference). Long story short, I think she only talked to me because she wanted someone to babysit her kid for her.

My conclusion?

Give the older fella a chance. But be sure to carry a whistle. For the love of God, carry a whistle.

Sarah P said...

THANK YOU. That's exactly my issue with that position.

Library girl said...

Sounds like you got a fair bit of interest there and at least one potentially non-douchebag. Give the old guy a break (getting old is in our genes after all) - he was probably married out of high school to a complete bitch and he'll bend over backwards to make you happy because he hates being on his own. Trust me. I know.

NWO said...

Ha!! I love: "How do I expect to get any material if I keep avoiding all the crazies?" That's my approach to everyone I meet!

sunchaser said...

That was fun reading. I will be waiting eagerly to read the next episode :).
39 seems to be interesting but that pose leaning on the car raises an eyebrow. Why leaning and not firmly standing. And why a car? :).
What makes was it by the way? :)

Molly Malone said...

Hysterical! Hang in there - wait until you start getting really obscene messages - it will be a test of your gag reflex :)

Rusty Hoe said...

Man I get behind in my blog reading and I miss out on so much. There needs to be a drop down option of "why yes I am a crazy mofo", to save you some time in sorting out the crazies from the not so crazies. Though in support of blog fodder the occasional date with a toilet residing, jocks wearing, Asian dude may be worth it. Just keep one hand on the pepper spray at all times.

Must now read other missed posts.

BrightenedBoy said...

I've never done this and would be kind of scared of it. It just seems so awkward.

BrightenedBoy said...

P.S.

The 39-year-old sounds promising, though!

Jenny DB said...

OMG soooo good :-) I hope my bf sticks around cuz i NEVEr want to do this. Best part:
No, I don’t think I do want to have “sum” fun. I’ve never much liked numbers. Although, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you a lesson when you so very clearly asked for one: You – Brain + Creepy Come Hither Face = Never Going to Happen.

lisa_in_lic said...

This was a wonderful read. Thank you for sharing. I actually encountered the online dating world back in 2006 where I just happen to meet my future hubby...we officially became engaged in September this year.
I enjoyed your post because I could so relate to all of your encounters. Initially I saw my fiance's profile but didn't think to email him first. However, once he emailed me I thought to give him a chance...he seemed like a rather nice guy. Well, needless to say, four years later here we are, engaged.
I just want to tell you to hang in there...online dating is not as bad as it seems. It works for some of us.
Again, thanks for sharing.