Thursday, December 31, 2009

The lackluster backdrop of online love

Milan Kundera discusses fortuitous love in his philosophical novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being. To Kundera, we must chide he who ignores life’s mysterious coincidences, because doing so, “thereby deprives his life of a dimension of beauty.” But in the world of online dating, there are no mysterious coincidences. There are databases with search engines and parameters. There is, as one Onion date of mine called it, “window shopping.”

Met online last week

Romantic notions of romance seem quaint and unfashionable these days. Not that online dating is a fashionable remedy. A friend of mine with a distinguished appearance has refused to include his photo on his OkCupid profile. He fears people from his real life, where he is a bit of a scenester, will instantly recognize him. But it’s like running into someone at Hard Rock CafĂ©, whether you’re gussying it up in irony, or for the sake of a blog, you are both there in that shit hole. And if you’re both gems, maybe that is all the fortuity your post-post modern hearts and minds can handle.

Happy 2010.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Local woman goes on date

I just went on what they call a "date." I am going to have to come clean with where I encountered this fella because it was not on Match, not on JDate and not in real life. I joined Onion Personals many moons before this blog was even a twinkle in my eye. I had even already met two nice gents through the site. If I'd have mentioned this bit from the start though, you would have been made aware that some of my reasons for hanging out with complete strangers from the Internet are pure and well-intentioned.

Onion Review: The HTML on the Onion Personals hasn't been updated since the Clinton administration, and while it is a less populated site than some of its rivals, its strength lies in the fact I am repulsed by the people who contact me on the Onion approximately one tenth as often as on the other sites.
A blooming onion

Onion Anecdote: The date and I can't find the onion we need for the meal we're preparing though he's convinced he had just bought one. I run to the store to get a new onion. Later, we sit on the porch and eat, and what do I see out in the yard but an onion. Musta fallen out of his bag. Weird huh, onion lost and regained. Onion featured prominently in narrative arc of date. Onion date. hello!

That was an old date that went well enough. Tonight's date went well, as well.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Jiminy Crickets don't lie fatty!

On the subject of profile photos, my friend Dave, a user notes that cropping can be clever, but needs to be consistent if it’s really going to trick people. He said, “I love the fatties that only show head-shots. Then their last one will be of below decks.”

But to what end? The best-case scenario a thunder thighs deceiver can hope for is a disappointed date. Be proud of your thunder thighs and avoid this embarrassing situation as the friendless do with their galleries of bathroom mirror self-portraiture.

Speaking of friends, many of mine are telling me I have inspired them to join the online dating scene. I would like to say right now that I take no responsibility if the manifestations of this widespread inspiration take the forms of STD contraction or loss of life.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Want kids: No Answer

These sites want you to indicate in your profile whether you want to make babies or not. I find the concept of saying one way or the other unsettling at this juncture. While I feel very thin today, and am not sure I could compromise that with a pregnancy, at the same time, I reflect on the dog that licked my hand in the park and wonder if he senses I have an underlying nurturing spirit. I wonder how keeping thin will fare as a priority of mine as I age. Then finally I wonder whether the dog was merely enjoying the salt on my fingers from my taco...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A proprietary eponym

JDate, due to the limited scope of its users, will never acquire the market dominance necessary to put it at the legal risk of becoming a genericized trademark. But it is worth noting that it can be a verb and two kinds of nouns.

Examples of Usage:
I was cool and detached about this whole JDating thing.
So I surprised myself when I experienced sudden nervousness in the final seconds that preceded JDate 1 this afternoon.
But I had nothing to worry about. My JDate was a nice kid.

Please: xerox this blog post. Please don't: use the printout as kleenex.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The best $90 she ever spent

Would you believe my mother's ambitions for project Jdate have nothing to do with this blog? For her it is a down-payment on a grandchild. "This will be the best $90 I ever spent," she said rubbing her hands together gleefully as she watched me create my profile. She smiled broadly as I sent my first note to a guy with a Jew-fro: "your hair is lovely."

gallery of jfros representing the 3 things I desire in a life partner: artistic, funny, fit

You see, ever since I shared my thoughts with her about sexuality being a spectrum, she has lived in fear I will settle down toward the other end of it. (Incidentally, neither Match nor JDate believe in spectrums(?!)). Me living in eternal bliss with a woman means less chance of a grandchild and comprehensive marriage benefits. Nightmare scenario.

I hope to put her investment toward good use so that when my partner and I go bankrupt, we may do so jointly.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Darndest Thing

It seems statistically impossible that a dozen guys in combat gear are writing, winking at, and hotlisting me (hotlisting is another way of showing one’s love in the online dating world). Yet it is so. Are there mystical forces at play here, encouraging these military men en masse to contact a left-wing Jew who makes exclusively weird remarks in her profile? If it is fate, fate sure has a funny sense of humor. One that resembles that of the producers of Blind Date.

Speaking of which, attentive readers of the Crunching of the Date-A feature on this blog, may have noticed that I have a pending social engagement with a gentleman who I have not yet observed 3-dimensionally. I was not in favor of engineering an episode that ends in awkward silence and crossed arms though. Instead, my aim is for that rare Blind Date experience that either make you say “Aw, how cute,” or “those two are going to make out for sure.”

I am thankful that there will not be a camera crew following us as there would be no guarantee that the material edited and thought bubbled, would make me seem as awesome as possible. R. Lodge would say "Can this Wall Street Exec take on the task of socializing with a socialist?"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The experiment is getting out of hand

My mother is not a bigot, but in the context of her daughter's romantic prospects, Jewish men are superior. After many offers of providing me with a small grant for a trial JDate profile, I have acknowledged a force within me I have long tried to suppress - (and at the risk of sounding like an Urban Outfitters t-shirt) I love Jewish boys.

Future hottie

Blessed are you oh JDate, ruler of the online world of Jewish dating, may it be your will that I should find Woody Allen in Adrien Brody's body.

Looks like I've got more Date-A to crunch.

And let us say, Amen.

"One should never direct people towards happiness, because happiness too is an idol of the market-place" - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

After receiving 1o mysterious emails from the community, I succumbed and paid $35 for a one month subscription. Whoever says that money cannot buy happiness has never shelled out cash to access an online date profile message inbox. These notes were full of love and praise for moi.

But alas all good things must come to an end.

Why happiness bought in this scenario was a merely fleeting sensation:

1. 70% of these gentleman reside in suburbs and exurbs, like moms and dads do.
2. A large number are pictured holding guns and wearing fatigues.
3. None appear to be in the running for love of my life.

So was it money wasted? Nope. I'm sure the next 30 days will yield many more cheap thrills.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What is this weird sensation?

Still on

Occasionally my heart does this weird skip of a beat thing when I see six figure salaries listed in these guy's profiles. Please don't condemn me. It is with trepidation and regret that I report this to the public. Truth be told, I am repulsed by the listing of your salary in your profile at all (well there are range brackets, but still.) It is gross and a half. Those of modest means can get away with it as a measure of weeding out individuals who would be bothered by destitution, (provided there are no intolerable elements of self-righteousness!)

I'm not exactly A.N.S. but fleeting flights of fancy have me imagine the fun activities one might participate in with that kind of dough.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Dreadful Mistake

My ex-boyfriend just informed me that he's heard Match.Com is the online dating service of choice "for philistines/douches" and that his current girlfriend was saying that OkCupid is "the hipster one." Thanks team.

I guess I made a dreadful mistake. Is there a term for when douche bags point at themselves for photo opportunities?

OkCupid is also free(ish, there are pay tiers but basic membership includes basic dating rights).

Herein lies the conundrum. I have these six unread emails on Match (I was able to read the seventh because it was sent from a super ultra to the max premium member whose account is so powerful that even pauper freegan online daters can read his correspondence at no additional charge.)


A) Do I assume I've got six full-fledged members of the db community trying to reach me and bail, never looking back?
B) Do I ask myself - "but what if?" and pay for one month of membership to access the <3 notes.

If at least 3 people take the poll, I will convey the results in a pie graph.

The Shortest Day of the Year

The thing about being an online dating blogger is that there are booby traps all day, every day that could thwart your future deals with publishing houses and well-respected independent film studios. A few examples of things to be wary of:

1. Parties and art openings full of interesting attractive people.
2. Dance situations where physical and/or eye contact is made
3. Casual dinners with your friends who have friends

Pictorial representation of a danger zone

The possibility of entering an emotionally, intellectually, and sexually fulfilling and healthy relationship with someone met in real life is too great. I won’t chance it tonight. Also, the Shortest Day of the year presents a perfect opportunity to contemplate dying alone.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Notes From the Winking World

Today marks Day Three of a membership so basic it doesn't include the privilege of reading the contents of my inbox. These love notes, (I have six such so far) will remain unanswered so long as I stubbornly avoid paying a subscription fee. I will succumb to a membership which allows me to read these carefully crafted solicitations only when my inbox reaches 10, as a present to myself for seeming desirable to this arbitrarily assigned number of strangers.

In the meantime, I can view who has expressed their desires via a "wink." A wink in the online dating world sends a similar message as one in real life, but is superior in clarity. The one who is winked at need not worry that the eye of the winker is merely afflicted by a foreign particle. has a feature called "Top matches selected just for you." Well the profiles they have chosen for me today would suggest they don't know me at all. I suppose I should be comforted by this proof that robot world domination is not anywhere on our horizon. Perhaps real live three-dimensional yentas who live and breathe still have a place in our society. Truly though, a yenta, aged but not necessarily wiser than an algorithm, might, like Match, also send me a sea of backwards baseball caps and declarations of being passionate about “life.” I wonder if these men should claim so broadly to be passionate about life, when their listed professions suggest that large portions of their day are dominated by spreadsheet usage.