Well, then. Maybe. Perhaps not.
I’ve put no pressure on myself with that promise in a title, have I?
Online dating….wow. I’m registered with one of those services that claims they’re in for the long haul. Meaningful relationships. True compatibility. The sort that has a grinning over-tanned spokes-person-pseudo-doctor asking us: that’s what’s important right? Something more solid than a match up that acknowledges attraction? Right. Sure. And I am, in fact, an alien-cloned Russian dowager countess in disguise.
The problem I’ve encountered is that the sites that DO run more ‘casual’ motifs are overstocked…with baseball hat wearing, receded hair-lined, HR reps trying to recapture the glory days of Frat binges. Or, in almost equal population density, unwashed looking male skanks with enough gel in their hair–UNDER the baseball caps, if you please–to unstick a locomotive.
Now, I did not date in high school. I had a boyfriend for two weeks at summer camp–whose kissing technique involved pushing my teeth down my throat–and went out once with a very handsome guy who explained that he was gay and needed to date once in a while because the christian and compassionate catholic gentlemen at his high school would beat him up for openly following his sexual orientation. That was it.
So, as tenuous as it may be, On-line dating has given me some options that I’ve never had–like power. I’ve turned down as many matches if not more than those who turned my ‘profile’ away. Of the half dozen dates I’ve gone on, or so, I think I’m one or two ahead in being the first to decide I didn’t want to continue. Not to mention that in my thirties, I can say for the first time: I’ve dated. It can be fun. It’s nice.
Really, though, ‘nice’ is about as powerful a word as ‘beige’.
And yes, generally the guys willing to invest time or money in the match-up service I employ will invest enough time in rediscovering sinks, clean faces, and even deign to mention if they’ve ever read a book. Or an instruction pamphlet. I’m afraid the receding hair-line population is alive and well-represented. And while some few men can make having less hair irrelevant, most of them are not on this service.
And yes, I do think it gives me a shot at finding someone who wants commitment and monogamy and is willing to say honest things to get them–and that’s what I want–but I also want sex. I enjoy sex. I don’t know if I am very good at it, but I like it. It’s lovely. I miss it. I sometimes see so many blurbs about true compatibility with this ‘stellar’ service that I wonder: are they suggesting I’m a not-as-good-as I can be sort of person if I also want sex? Is it significant that the only thing guys say on their profile that hints at a similar interest is some sort of code-and-catch phrase: “I want to have fun?” And that I never even see THAT on sample women’s profiles?
So here are some dialogues I have experienced in past, before my wonderful husband and the present. I submit them as part of my matching and evaluation process. Or some of them.
1. Ok, yes I said religion is very important to me, but they did not make a space to clearly designate Pagan or UU, so if religion is very important to you, in what way does that play out? Oh. You’re a deeply conservative splinter-evangelist who lives 20 miles down a logging road and you want four more kids–to round up the whole number to 12. Oh. You know, buddy, I’m not even trying to be flippant when I say this, but you want to just stop with my profile. No sense in giving somebody who seems a very nice and devout guy ulcers. Or giving me hostile conniptions when you refuse to let your kids learn about birth control for health issues other than contraception.
2. Hm. You like Ted Nugent/random rapper who preaches ‘hos and guns and usin’ guns to keep the hos where they belong? (In the interest of full spectrum frustrations). And you’re the single parent of a boy? And you listen to and praise and endorse their theories about women and politics that were surely crapped from the flames of Mordor–sharing them WITH your kid–your male kid??? That’s the end of the question…I just, don’t, even….oh my….
3. You are demanding a woman who fits “the obvious standards” (Damn near actual words) of attractiveness–but you’re built like a woodchuck; do you see any contradiction in this?
4. Do you perhaps, want a woodchuck…oh wait. no; you want Faith Hill. Doesn’t seem like much of an argument that she’s not (publicly, I concede) into woodchucks? OHHH. You got kicked out of the den this spring for not pulling your own weight….the female woodchucks wanted their version of Brad Pitt-chuck…GOTCHA
5. You’re a weight lifter. WOW. Can you bench-press me…?….Oh. well, oddly BECAUSE the answer is yes, then, Nope; I am not the person to help you through ‘roid withdrawal.
6. Do you really, actually think you look 42 in that picture? Vincent Price could have pulled that off in his eighties. When he was guest-staring on. The Frikkin. Muppets. You can’t.
7. What did you do with your neck? Seriously–that thing that’s supposed to be under the thing shaped like a basketball…oh forget it.
8. Oh. You’re closing my match because I didn’t post a picture. But….you haven’t posted a picture. As a psychologist, do you see any conflict of expectations there?
9. Yes I’m in school. Pursuing Ministry. No I am not (____insert name of denomination that will not ordain women here_____) No I will not cancel my plan to attend the Planned Parenthood rally because your corporate buddies think I’m a hippie. Just like my profile says, In school. Pursuing ministry. Oh, what’s my question? Good point:
Did you READ my profile? ….back up question: can you, in fact, read??
10. OK, let’s see here…You are five years younger than I am. Or perhaps eight. Will that be ridiculous? Let’s examine the visual and textual source evidence…yeah. You like parties, hip-hop, and, hmm…apparently, particularly if this picture with the surfer haircut, baggy running shorts to the knees and pimples is accurate, then you are 19. Either that, or you are still, in actuality, a fetus.
I’m not trying to claim that the physical recreation thing is paramount for me. There’s a reason that even if I wasn’t nauseated at the idea of picking a guy up at a bar I would not know HOW to accomplish that if the world was at stake. It doesn’t work for me. So until I walk into a random bastion of brainy geekhood where I might meet a great guy (which is how I met Steve, although the mold was broken after whoever made him)…Yes. I’ll pick from a list of these oh so helpful form questions….such as:
1. Are you a kind person? (No, I am Darthis Sauron, High Chief Concubine to His Meanness, Lord Scrod, Emperor of Deathville. )
2. When home alone at night do you generally read, watch tv, talk on the phone or clean? (to make stalking me easier?)
3.describe your personal style…(I thought appearances were not primary…?)
See if we just brought back the big cattle-fair and group sacrifices from pre-christian Europe this would be so much more fun…