Sunday, December 26, 2010

Evidence that some Internet daters might be of the desperate variety

It seems a lot of non-Internet daters view us as a generally desperate lot. While desperate correspondence is delivered to my inbox on an almost daily basis, those I’ve met with in real life are generally out to have an interesting time, or a sexy time, or a whatever time. Very few take anything too seriously. Even the pursuit of getting it in, and getting out is a halfhearted one.

As an experiential scholar of Internet dating, it is my privilege to report that two recent dates have drawn my attention to the fact that the desperate population on Internet dating sites lives and breathes amongst us. Proof:

Despite having bid my friend from Christmas eve adieu with an unequivocal rejection, he spent his holiday thinking up things to text me. Beginning with the rooster’s crow  at 7:29 am, he wanted to know if I got home safely. His courteous inquiry deserved response, so I thanked him for a lovely evening in strict this-is-the-last-you’ll-hear-from-me fashion.

This was followed up with a hopeful expression of meeting up again, with me, a woman who had 12 hours prior stated the following verbatim: “I am not feeling attracted to you.”

I assume he feared his note lacked the necessity for response, since I did not offer one, so he qualified his expression with a direct question: “are you free tonight?” Any answer to this question would be a waste of thumb muscle when dealing with someone who operates on a no-means-yes schema.

Finally, I am not a fan of the “my parents create awkward situations for me” line of jokes that seem so popular with the kids these days, so when he resorted to this in his next text, my eyes rolled hard. Basically I feel that if two people who you just happened to live with for two decades still have the power embarrass or surprise you, then you are the joke.  However, his text reported that his father announced an advantageous relationship with the drug Viagra. I thought to myself that rather being made to feel awkward by this comment from Dad, perhaps he should take note. While this isn't really ha-ha funny, it is funny nonetheless.

P.S. I think his unsolicited kissing gave me the case of acute viral rhinopharyngitis I am battling now with OJ.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas eve with an atheist

I had a Christmas eve drink last night with a West Village, sport-watcher, in-finance man. This is the sort of resume I would normally gloss over, but the enthusiasm of his cover letter was noteworthy, and I called him in for an interview.

What I could of, and perhaps should have done instead:



As with 80% of the men I've gone out with, his choice of venue was within stumble distance of his apartment. And like all the others, the man will end the post-boozy night with startled mention of the proximity, like it's a coincidence. "Hey, you know what? I'm just around the corner if you wanna...." Before continuing my narrative, I will kill the suspense to say that his use of this universal "secret" weapon of the ya ya brotherhood was a failure.

I did not run out the door when he asked me for a second date with a specific time and place five minutes into date one. I was merely thrown off by the unconventional approach and declined, stating I was busy.

Nor did I run out the door 20 minutes later when he invited me to his family's Christmas party in the Bronx. I actually accepted. The foodie in me and the Margaret Mead in me do not decline invitations to Puerto Rican yuletide feasts in far flung boroughs.

Nor did I run out the door when the conversation turned to children, and he wondered without sarcasm whether I would like to have three of his. Nor when he said his self-titled first son would bear the suffix "III." All this amused me greatly.

However...

His emphatic declarations that I am "smoking hot" were beginning to be followed up with unsolicited and overbearing kisses, and like delivery contractions, were coming at increasingly short intervals. While annoying displays, these were not necessary deal breakers. His fate was sealed however at the nature of his aforementioned stumble-distance bedmate bid. Through warped logic, the 37-year old spoke as though a girl would find comfort in the assurance that nocturnal operations would be limited to cuddling in the face of decreased blood circulation to a certain somewhere in his advanced age.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Still crazy single after all this year


It was nearly a year ago that the Online Dater’s Club was conceived, as I licked my blizzard-time romance wounds over beers with friends doing likewise, discussing the prospect of collectively joining Match.Com and other dating websites. Despite our promises made over a drunken toast, only half of my snow-weary companions followed through that day, while the other half managed to work things out with their current companions from real life, evading this fate.

In the space of 12 months, the way I’ve described my relationship with Internet dating has evolved from anthropological study, to hobby, to actual tool for meeting potential life partners. In other words, I’m a lot less embarrassed now to be doing what I’m doing. While the original intent of this blog was to offer my friends a corner to discuss their dating exploits in a club-like atmosphere, it quickly became apparent that it was a solo mission. However, the act of online dating has made extraordinary strides in social acceptability in the space of a year, and I have become not so lonely in this universe as more of my single friends than I had ever thought possible have taken what I once referred to as “a headline plunge into the masochistic abyss”.

Still, I can’t believe it’s been a year since I sat on the couch with my mother, evading the smoking question on my JDate profile while she watched over my shoulder and put away her freshly used credit card to buy me the potential to go on dates with guys whose last names bear the suffix Stein. As evidenced by her enthusiasm that evening, I imagine her dream for me resembles this tableau:



Unlike many of its contemporaries, ODC had no defined goal, just a vague interest on my part to deliver my thoughts on a modern form of courtship with experiential research as my fodder. While its true the consistency of my writing here has faltered as I've become employed, gone out with dates with men from real life, and have had the opportunity to reach a wider audience, I remain loyal to the forum where it all began.

Whether single and clicking buttons on websites to express interest in other humans, or romantically attached in that superior way of yours to someone met in the real world, I want to thank all my readers . It was you who I thought of and held dear to my heart when on the very worst dates of my life.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What's the deal with dating?

Elaine: Maybe I should just get married.
Jerry: Dating is really starting to get embarrassing isn't it?
Elaine: I know. You know, whenever I'm on a date I feel people can tell.
Jerry: People on dates shouldn't even be allowed out in public.
Elaine: You can say that again.

Too bad these guys don't exist in a world where you can make a date of watching old Seinfeld episodes.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

The other Facebook movie

There is another Facebook movie out right now called “Catfish.” Well not really a Facebook movie so much as a cautionary tale to anyone who uses the Internet for pursuits of the heart. I won’t delve into many of the details because one of things I hate most in the world are spoilers of narratives, I can say however that this movie will get anyone thinking about the nature of modern communication, and the relationship between our virtual and our actual selves.

I can also say that all the guys in the movies were really sextable.

For more information:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chaperone is French for no one is getting laid tonight

My friend asked me to join him and a new OkCupid lady friend last night for a drink. He left us alone to go to the rest room about a minute after she and I shook hands, so for lack of anything else to say, I was compelled to let her know that 1) I am aware they met on the Internet, and 2) I am cool with that.

He expressed in advance a solid interest in the girl so it was great that things only got thoroughly awkward twice. Once during his impassioned defense of Hitler’s intellectual capacity, and once during her sincere expression of disappointment on finding out that his profile’s most romantic claims (i.e. interest in cloud gazing) are examples of a comedic device known as sarcasm.

Two thoroughly awkward moments in one hour is an excellent track record and it is my understanding that they are hanging out right now.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Living for this shit

I am having an online date blogger’s wet dream right now. There is an online date in progress taking place two tables away from me in a Washington, DC coffee shop quiet enough that I can track the progress of this date.

I hope that the woman’s recent hip surgery and use of cane does not prevent them from having sexual relations in the very near future. Their body language at first made me skeptical that such a thing could happen for these two. She began the date with a conversationally dominant focus on her hip replacement surgery, her subsequent physical therapy and her pilates class. The poor guy had trouble contributing to the airwaves and I felt his disinterest in his crossed arms. Only brief mention was made of his career in the secret service. I guess she is taking the secret portion to heart.

In the last 10 minutes they’ve been laughing their heads off on this Monday afternoon, and even though she is back on the topic of her cortisone shots, he now has his chin in his hands and is gazing into her eyes.


Did she just say “hip-a-thon”?

To answer your most obvious query, yes they are middle aged as they are not discussing what can go right with coolness, but rather what can go wrong with the laterally projecting prominence of the pelvis or pelvic region from the waist to the thigh.


I feel bad for them that they are about to unknowingly hit the big time on the Online Dater’s Club, reaching a readership that has recently skyrocketed into daily double digits, but given their advanced age, they may only vaguely know what a blog is.

Since we are benefiting from their existence, lets all hold a silent god or god-free prayer (whatever floats your boat) that these two shall find love right in front of them with the Internet to thank.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

More of a Princeton girl myself

A new dating service, DateHarvardSQ matches Harvard men with "discerning" paying female customers. Apparently founders Beri Meric and Philipp Triebel believe there are enough Harvard fetishists the world over who will pay $20 monthly to avoid use search engines on those "more cumbersome dating sites." They are right. It can be very tiring to do all that work yourself. All that typing of the word "Harvard" into a search field, all that hitting enter. No wonder those other sites are free.

If the planet Earth is still a reasonable place to inhabit, the best these entrepreneurs should hope for is a Mark Zuckerberg to come steal their shitty idea and turn it into a not shitty one, so that in ten years time Hollywood will dramatize the injustice using visually palatable actors.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Do

In my last post I discussed how to create an online date profile. I hope my readership got enough from that lesson to at least get started on their own path toward a rewarding lifestyle of nervous anticipation, indignity, subjection to scrutiny, awkward socialization, horror when considering what your mother would think if she could see you now, and shame in the aftermath. I feared however that the last post might have been too negative, and with its litany of dont’s it failed to take into account that with every don’t comes a do.

That being said, for my second lesson, I will delve into the difficult task of of crafting successful correspondence with fellow online daters with a list of dos.


1. Do remember that this person doesn’t actually know you. Any sense of entitlement regarding the nature of their response, and whether you will get one at all is misguided.
2. Do employ the “wink” mechanism ubiquitous on dating websites. Especially if you’ve nothing interesting to say.
3. Do try to to take a humorous tone if the mood strikes. But not if the other person lists “saving the world” in the “what I’m doing with my life” category.
4. Do be aware of how many times you’ve attempted to contact a single person. You will look like a nut case if you follow up your unheeded communications with, well, anything.
5. Do use the chat mechanism to instant message people you are into if - you are a loser with few social skills, have a sexual addiction, or are an aggressive ass wipe.
6. Do make plans to meet up early and often. Attention spans are short and the shelf life of 21st century conversation is inversely proportional to the shelf life of 21st century food.

And now for a brief video on correspondence.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Don't you forget about me and my don'ts

Today I auditioned to be an SAT prep instructor with Kaplan. This involved presenting a five-minute how-to on a non-academic subject. While I chose a topic I could sound knowledgeable on - the principles of budget-making - drawing up a budget is not something I have ever actually done in the "real world."

Something I have done in the real world is create an online date profile. So in honor of the exercise, I'm going teach you my class, how to create an excellent online date profile employeeing a series of don'ts and breaking a profile down into 4 major categories.

Username:
Don't use your real name. There are some freaks out there.
Don't do anything akin to IWANTTOF*$KBITCHES, unless you're a gay man and being sarcastic.
Don't be shy of puns.They have a low fail rate on making the grade in the adorability index

Stats:
Don't lie egregiously as you have only yourself to blame when your date is annoyed with you for making them take the train an hour to meet you and you were a non starter cause you are actually fat.
Don't tell the truth. No one else is.
Don't disclose your salary unless you are a gross douche bag.

Personal Essay:
Don't assume Internet people want to put up with you like your memoir writing workshop class does.
Don't fuck up grammar.
Don't tell me you are sarcastic. Show me.

Photos:
Don't be holding babies with no context provided.
Don't be old.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dating under the influence of being broke

Dating while destitute is a complicated social maneuver. I've perused the Internet for "dating on a shoestring" ideas, but the articles tend to focus on activities for long time partners, and are not realistic for people engaged in a series of first dates. It would be hard for example to finesse the suggestion of sitting in the park by a hot dog vendor that takes food stamps. For one thing, first dates involve alcohol. They just do. (While I've discussed the merits of sober dating before, for me this is a periodic occurrence, and notable for its infrequency like Comets named Halley.) For another thing, it's not too prudent to go meeting Internet people in parks unless it is day time. And sunlight, with its awkwardness heightening properties, is not always a welcome friend on a first date. Lastly, (and Miss Manners has devoted entire chapters to this particular subject in her special hood edition) etiquette dictates that use of government assistance like Electronic Benefits Transfer for the purchase of food and drink on dates is to be avoided prior to date 3. One could try this though:

Poor lover impresses his woman on a dinner date, without breaking the bank.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lonely Hearts Book Club Bandwagon

The following news piece from the WSJ, You're Reading that Too? Marry Me has just come across my desk. Apparently there is a new dating website, Alikewise, that matches members on the basis of literature preferences. While I commend the founders for keeping the service free (just like libraries!), I am skeptical of the merits of such a matching system. Don't get me wrong. I love books and shit. This much is evident to all I encounter by the precise manner in which I express my counter cultural aesthetic:

But not every asshole who enjoys blathering about why David Foster Wallace was correct in considering lobsters via extensive footnoting will enjoy one another's company. In fact, when confronted with their true selves, most men run away screaming. And for the other kind of lover of literature, the shy kind, such a site is a dangerous opportunity for them to even further avoid interactions with other humans in public spaces like bookstores and libraries.

And now for a third kind of reader, the perfect kind:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

SAT Analogy Prep

If fat people in real life look like average people in their profile pictures, then fat people in their profile pictures are...?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A fatty makes new friends

The work schedule that kept me busy on nights and weekends and my flirtation with dating a person from real life spared me the horrors of the creepy world of OkCupid for a spell. I find myself less bold now. To have strange encounters with a strange person I will see once seems to require a social muscle set that has atrophied. This is a good thing however. This muscles-of-a-human-male-graph illustrates the way this social muscle set became overdeveloped before the hiatus:


As you can see I am a bit disgusted by the excess. Disgusted or not however, nostalgia has me using the site to a degree. At first I was discouraged by the quality of the individuals contacting me, but over the past few days I've been extremely popular with a highly diverse group of nearsighted, Jewish intellectual New York natives in their mid-20s. But would they like me in real life? Like a friend at work who lied about his weight to an online pen pal, I am pictured 12 pounds lighter than I am today. The ever expanding Online Daterette herby declares September to be Anorexia Appreciation Month. All proceeds will be devoted to the Online Date Profile Accuracy Project.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hey you

My away pseudo boyfriend or whatever he is has been keeping in touch with me pretty regularly and I welcome all his calls, but he's apparently not reading my Online Date Club blog where I talk about how I am mad at him.

I have a forgiving spirit. Especially for people whom I like like.

How a lady looks when talking to men she like likes.

P.S. hey guy, if you have read this and you're just choosing to remain silent, that doesn't suprrise me and that's cool too.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Very Happy Labor Day

I have three days left of census work before America is counted and I will be on permanent Labor Day. Celebrating in this manner is a rather frightening prospect in a city where a taco can run you $10 if you are not careful. So what will I do? I will file for unemployment benefits and for food stamps. I will still however be desirous of wining and dining in a manner that the government does not have the means to assist me with. This leaves me with one option. Going on dates. While I have found the modern man happy to go dutch at bill time, until I get a job, I will be scouring the OkCupid profiles for gentleman sporting monocles, slicked mustaches, and traveling by penny farthing.


Mmmhhhmmmm...steak dinner

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

When Irony Is Cruel

In my last post, I mentioned that my current relationship exists only because of the long-distance factor of his real relationship. Ironically we are now apart too. This makes me think our relationship is not one anymore. Or at least at-risk. To emphasize these concerns, my paramour left NYC impromptu style. Already on the road, he informed via text message that he had peaced. Then dead Ann Landers turned in her grave. Then I had dinner with my ex-boyfriend. Not for any related reason, he was just in town.

So now what? Well, he was cheerful on the phone and said the departure is just for a bit until a job presents itself here. The job market is bad however. Also I'm kind of mad. Call me old-fashioned but I am into farewell ceremony. If I were a celebrity, the tabloids would have a hard-on for the parade of material I would be on the verge of giving them, for I am feeling very single and romantically carefree right now and I like to pose for photos.

I feel pretty bummed out, like one does when they realize they lost their favorite sweater because they got too drunk, and now they have to go to a store that has a lot of crap in it to find a new one. Hi OkCupid, I am back.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Brooklyn has been counted, now I am back

I've got great news for lovers of my love life. My job with the Department of Commerce, U.S. Census 2010 will be ending in the near-term, giving me more time for dates, more time for their documentation, and (here is where you come in,) more blog. Congratulations to all of you.

What does this mean? Basically more gory details about my new gentleman friend and our interactions delivered here. As you may recall, I once posted daily. You have this sort of frequency to look forward to. I know you, the reader, relish gory details, and thus I apologize to you for my overt omission and over-all vagueness to-date on this particular battle front. My vagueness with regards to my current relationship can be explained in short, by said gentleman's continued attachment to a second gentlewoman, who is currently engaged in humanitarian pursuits on a different continent. One gentleman, two gentlewomen, renders neither him nor me gentle at all. Many tears over my many fears continue to be shed.

Those reading this with a stake in my integrity and/or personal happiness will be horrified by the above information. I urge you to recall what it means to be in love. Please take these intangibly expressed feelings manifested in reckless abandon into consideration before expressing your condemnation below.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dating Tips and Wisdom of the Day:

1. Plan your break up in advance so you can be cool, calm, and collected. But -
2. - breaking up is no easy task to accomplish. Particularly if the impetus for your break up is something like "principles" and you are not a principled person. So -
3. - when you fail to stand by the principles you only thought you had, you may as well make a day of it. Go to a museum with the person you are still dating, and their ex. All the while -
4. - laugh, laugh, laugh. It feels good. So good you should know that -
5. - just inside R Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, there is a giant fish bowl of protective measures and thoughtfully, a fish bowl of friction reduction measures as well.
6. Thanks NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Also...

I always feel a looming threat that on this blog I will sound like Carrie Bradshaw if I'm not too careful. An aesthetic which I despise. (Sorry ladies, gay men and weird straight men who like Sex and the City). Please write me hate mail if this is even vaguely the case.

Monday, August 9, 2010

While I was logged off...

Let me tell you a story about a girl in love with online dating. With a smile on her face she would religiously check her dating inboxes late at night. With joy in her heart she would peruse the hotties search engine of OkCupid endlessly. Without frustration she would take impressively extensive train rides to meet men in far flung corners of Brooklyn. I was that girl. Now that love is gone as it was in real life where I found a person I like well enough to date. That my involvement with him is in a technically open relationship context, does not make my relationship with online dating any less stale. I am bored by the idea of even logging in.

What am I doing with my time instead? Probably making out with said person, going out with said person, sharing secrets with said person. All the things an online dater hopes to do with a stellar someone from cyberspace. This begs the question of why the open nature of the relationship? I will not delve into the depths of this depravity, suffice it to say, I can check whatever inboxes I want with a clean conscience, should I at some point find myself motivated.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

You Talkin' to Me?

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this before, but I'm going to preface the following by saying that the profiles that I write for these websites are amazing works of comedic art. So when a guy wrote me on OkCupid today who despite an obvious effort, was not particularly clever, I was, as always, indignant. His profile was a similar story. When lame comedy arrives in my inbox, I wish to say to these people, "you have the nerve to address me with this?" Well of course this is only true if the person isn't particularly hot. If someone is hot, they can be a lot more dumb.

Confused? Reference this powerful visual aid designed to deepen one's understanding of how my brain works. The blue line represents ntohing. The red line is on an exponential curve and is The Hotness Index to Dumbness Tolerated Quotient:

All in jest, all in jest. Dumbness is not hot! Spread the word kids.

Anyway I checked this lame guy's profile, to see whether I could forgive him his faults. This is when things got really bad. In one photo, he blotted out all the faces of his friends. Not sure if this was to respect their collective privacy or more a product of an instinctual knowledge that in order to mate, he will need to hide his friends, who despite their blurred out faces I could still tell were more attractive than him.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday night is a fine time to blog about meeting losers from the Internet

On this Saturday night I am not quickly blogging these words to you while the hottie I am out with is in the bathroom, but rather, I am happily in my childhood home in suburban Maryland, away from the manifestations of my hubris.


"There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we do not know we don’t know."

—United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld


I know that the above quote from the former Secretary of Defense sounds convoluted (known known) so I, as current Secretary of Defense Mechanisms, will shed some light on what he meant, using the battlefield of my love as an illustrative tool.

  • A known known is that dating strangers from the Internet provided me with nearly hassle free romantic anonymity for six simple months.
  • A known unknown is the extent and nature of the complications that shall result from my failure to stick to the original blueprint.
  • An unknown unknown is ???
Show me the someone who can wrap their head around that last one and I will date that wise knows-it's-not-a-know-it-all. Also, if that someone can use a hammer and is taller than me and/or owns a ladder, they will be promoted to Secretary of Interior Design.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Up where they walk, up where they run, up where they give you their real name

Given that the population of Brooklyn alone exceeds that of DC by five-fold, it's surprising that the apparent user base of OkCupid in BK has not delivered much in the way of motivation for me to keep on keepin' on. Traveling an hour on a subway for a date that doesn't contain a modicum of joy is a failure at life itself. Sigh. It is true. All the best people to go on 1-3 dates with, trade briefly halfhearted text communications for pipe dream future plans, then forget about, are not online, but out there. Like Ariel, the Little Mermaid, I've been to the surface and have returned with worldly knowledge and dissatisfaction in my heart and mind.

As for the title and primary subject of this blog, the word "Online" has fallen into a certain amount of obsolescence in my personal life, as my offline dating club bears more fruit. I yield to you as I would to a paternal authority, shaking in my boots at your possible disapproval. Can this blog be emancipated from a life in the sea of online creepers and dorks?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Grill my dinner at the same time you grill me on where I went to college

The long weekend that gives a nod to the nation's birth is again a satisfyingly consumptive time. Eight hours of manila folders and dreaming of barbecues at my standard rate of pay and three hours spent in the company of a teetotaler brought to you by OkCupid did not deter from a weekend packed with typical Fourth thrills. Vistas, slutty striped dresses rendered thematic, and fireworks literal and metaphorical. To the Americans who took a pause from the hullabaloo to check this site, I want to thank you for making the ODC a component of your celebratory measures and for your pledge of allegiance to what happens here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My name is Online Daterette and I am an online dating-aholic

I wouldn't have noticed more than a casual affection for online dating if I wasn't experiencing acute withdrawal symptoms. These days my work hours limit me to an online date once every week or two.

Lung enthusiasts will be happy to note that I am not curing the shakes with $10 packs of taxed to the max cigarettes alone. Instead I have found my true passion being replaced with a slew of casual romantic encounters with fellow census workers. Alas, there is no substitute for a wink in one's inbox or an awkward handshake on a specified street corner.

Let's get this country counted fast so I can proceed with my normal operations ASAP!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Nice to meet you

Sometimes when I am going about my business and pleasure around town I believe I am spotting Internet dates in progress. Internet dating is for me something of a hobby and I want to cast the couple a knowing glance. If it appears to be going poorly I empathize, and if it appears to be going well, I silently applaud them for finding each other and hope their success stems from a mutual disinterest in being interesting.

Internet dates follow one of several body language formulas. I have had a lot of firsthand practice at this sport and can recognize the gamut of these scenarios from across a medium-sized room. While I can't share all the secrets right here, I will say that for practitioners and bystanders alike, spotting this type of social interaction has a long and storied history that began with the traditional blind date. From the comfort of one's couch, it is possible to hone blind date-spotting skills with a proper regimen of related television programming. I trained of course on the stupendous and one and only "Blind Date", hosted by the inimitable Roger Lodge and produced by NBC. Please note that in real life, blind daters will not have bubbles surrounding their heads filled with snarky commentary about the proceedings. This is merely a Hollywood trick.

And for all my readers in 2nd grade and below, I want to dispel an important myth. A blind date does not mean that the people on the date are blind.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I can't handle the truth

I have an online dating conundrum. I have outgrown the weight I claim to be in my profile. Dishonest proclamations by Internet people is an issue I've treated on here as a reprehensible, and sadly expected practice. It pains me to know that I am now no better than those dreamboats who turned out to be losers in real life. I was hoping to quickly ease my way back into honesty, but the pizza and deli sandwiches in this city have proven very delicious. I worry that editing my profile to reflect the ramifications of love for these bread and cheese concoctions is akin to throwing out the skinny clothing I long to wear along these hip streets. I won't do it. But I will study the lessons from this guy who can apparently exist in NYC and not get fat:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My what regular sized pupils you have!

My new work schedule has made evening dating a near impossibility. I don't know why this has taken me so many months to figure out, but meeting for lunch before work is an amazing thing. I recommend it to everyone who works from 3:30-midnight five nights a week. Yesterday I had lunch with an Internet pen pal two hours before I had to be at work. The forced deadline for a date's termination provides a comfortable and non-awkward exit strategy for a skittish dater. The experience was also notable in that not one drop of alcohol was consumed by either my date or myself. In fact we went so far as to conclude the date by mildly caffeinating ourselves. Confronted by the obvious benefits of avoiding a profound reduction of inhibitions when hanging out romantically with someone new, I learned I don't need liquor to have a good time with strangers from the Internet. As for the daylight: the better to see you with my dear.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Read a book!

Yes that's right kids. One more benefit to literacy has been discovered! How it works: take a book to a bar. Sit alone. Look absorbed. Wait. There will be two kinds of people running up to you. One kind thinks you may be sad and lonely. They tend to be annoying. The other kind attempts to engage you in discussing the content of the book. They have the potential to be okay.

A small local study conducted in Brooklyn NY proves that reading in bars will vastly improve your chances of making out with strangers. One study participant's positive results came in the form of a half-Jewish lightweight boxer who had never even heard of the word "blog."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Falling off the hobby horse

Despite the exciting news that I won a certain essay contest and can soon be found in another more high profile online location, I have to a degree lost interest in online dating as a hobby. This is not a philosophical issue. I maintain a firm belief that internet dating, while not always fun, is always interesting. It's just that I am the type of person who eventually tires of all hobbies for a spell, no matter how fulfilling. Those who are following my long-term progress as a human may recall that in 1997 I was ready to throw in the towel on flute-tooting, but at my mother's insistence, I continued to live in the realm of band nerd-dome for at least 4 more years.

So expect more blog posts from moi. Also one thing I am immune from burning out on, is shameless self-promotion, which is nearly all what online dating is. And what more exciting an audience than that of internet strangers, which bears the promise of meetings to mutually discover whether there was truth in advertising. Not fun. Interesting.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Guess who is back?

Fear not my little chickpeas, my long absence is not an indication that I returned from the Holy Land with a husband and an attendant lack of motivation to blog. I did not even in the biblical sense, "know" anyone in the land of Israel. My time there was as barren as the Negev Desert. This is not to say there were no intrigues. I learned however several days into the journey that the objects of my intrigue had girlfriends. This was a total bummer because according to my understanding, part of my birthright as an American Jewess is to make out with a hottie whilst in Israel.

I would demand a refund but the program was free. Also I got to ride a camel.

In any case, it's back to the old fashioned Internet for dating. Stay tuned for more humiliating experiences brought to you by OkCupid.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Good night JDate

This week, I received an email from my mother titled "I canceled your Jdate subscription." She writes:

"now you can use the website to browse only. hope you are not upset but you did not seem too excited about j date and I dont want to continue to pay for it. hope you are not brokenhearted but you will have to find fodder for your blog elsewhere."

Mom was pissed at Jdate for their auto renewal policy. Apparently they'd been charging her for the last several months without her okay. Her interactions with customer service were not pleasant and involved requesting to speak to managerial level staff. A few weeks ago, I submitted a writing sample to a Jdate blog competition on the theme of my mother's undying support and encouragement of my meeting strange Jewish men from the Internet. If the billing department ever takes lunch with the blog department, and they get to discussing my case, my nose will grow to a perfectly big size for Jdate. If I was still a member.

Though I used a lot of negative terminology to describe my experience with the site over the last few months, and was not sad to see my relationship with this particular web product expire, there was one mentionable casualty as a result of this event. The day before my mother ended my membership, I was contacted by a man displaying potential. But that happens to me like 10 times a day on OkCupid. So no great loss.

As for meeting men who are specifically Jewish, I am going to Israel next week on an organized group trip. Ten days on a sweaty bus with 30 of them, may have me running scared back into the arms of lapsed Catholics.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Consider this post the sounding of an alarm

I have lost my magic touch in picking decent strangers to meet in bars. For whatever reason, be it desperation, poor judgment, or coincidental fluke, I have had a string of regrettable dates of late. I've grown so lackadaisical in my choices for companions that instead of enjoyable nights on the town, I am again and again engaged in trying social situations.

A dating solider wounded psychologically, I question my will to continue putting myself through these battles.

When you know in the first moment your date will not meet the industry standard definition of success, why is that moment not the appropriate moment to cut out?

Admittedly, I can be confused for stretches of five to ten minutes at a time regarding what I feel about the evening I am having and the person I am with. I don’t know what is the way to be, and what is the thing to say. When I do finally manage to cut out, I do so without deft. I suffer empathetic pangs of grief for my companions victimized by the mixed signals I know I am so capable of giving.

At least I think I might feel bad.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

No, no, it's okay, I'd rather get mugged and raped

When your date offers to walk you home and you forcefully decline, preferring to take your chances with the bad guys in the street, you are on an awful date. The extent of tonight's awfulness was particularly disappointing because this man, living less than a football field's length away from my home, possessed extraordinary geographic convenience that appeals very much to the extraordinarily lazy like myself. Also tonight's awfulness makes me more and more sure that those times when one does find something that is pretty good, that that is pretty great, and one should be pretty careful not to let those somethings slip through the cracks.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Meal Plan

I realized I have been finding myself most attracted to the online profiles of those who cook either “passionately” or professionally, or some combination thereof. Through personal experience I learned that dating a cook has some major benefits. Basically I just want a man to feed me. My pal L. and I learned at the Museum of Sex that this desire, when taken to an extreme, is a documented fetish.


Well hopefully I won’t get to that point. My desire to remain thin and beautiful trumps any desire to be fed. Perhaps I should convince myself I would really like a drill sergeant or plastic surgeon boyfriend.

There are a lot of kitchen workers in New York City but the special variety I take notice of are those who according to some parental standard, are “wasting” the bachelor’s degree they attained from a reputable four-year accredited university. They are the type to game the system and use their unemployment benefits toward world travel that they cloak under the banner of “culinary research.” They are taking well-shot photos of the food they make, and posting them to social networking sites, ripe for public commentary. They are ceaselessly describing the details of the ingredients and techniques used in the meals’ preparation to anyone who will listen to them at the dinner parties they throw to which I am invited.

Monday, April 12, 2010

There's no place like home (page)

Saturday I went on a surprise date with a person met without the aid of computer technology. It was a surprise even to me, the inviter because only at the last crucial moment did I have the gumption to do the inviting. I nearly aborted mission when I realized I had to ask this guy to hang out with me in front of an audience called my coworkers. I assume my fellowship of Census administrative clerks knew what was going on since I’ve never invited anyone anywhere during the two arduous weeks since my return to office life. Also I think they were all witness to the hearts floating out of my head all day.

In any case, the young man accepted and we spent the afternoon and evening together. Since our match potential was not quantified by a percentage system on a dating website, we were left to discover our compatibility on our own over the course of the afternoon. It had all the elements of a romantic encounter. In a park we drank gin out of Styrofoam cups and spontaneously recited a Robert Frost poem at sunset. Despite ample opportunity, he didn’t even go so far as to touch my kneecap or anything. Meeting people in real life is hard. I am going to retreat to my online operations where everything makes sense…

Monday, April 5, 2010

Why is a first date different from all other nights?

What I’ve offered my readers has been altogether a too-gloomy treatment of dating. I am a hedonist. I am obviously enjoying myself. For those who saw my calendar, they know it was a busy week for Club Online Dating. Three human males. One weekend. Sounds like a tag line for a romantic comedy film I would like to be the protagonist of.

One date that was supposed to go down this week was with a guy who is notable on a few fronts. We spotted and wrote each other simultaneously. In real life or online, if you are a romantic, that’s the stuff. Also, this happened five weeks ago, and we still have never met in real life. Considering I’ve met 13 people in 18 weeks, that is a rather long prelude. All this aside, I have been made suddenly disinterested by him. Was it something he said? Why yes. He casually suggested that we meet for the first time on my couch to watch a movie and eat Chinese food.

For this I present to you, Two Questions for first dates.

Why is a first date different from all other nights?

Why on the first date do we wait at least a few hours before inviting people from the Internet to our home?
Why on the first date do we prefer conversation over audiovidual entertainment?

Loyal readers may remember the cataloguing of situations I have put myself in that were potentially dangerous. Something about those instances did not give me the heebie-jeebies. I remember an article my mom read once 10 years ago that said heebie-jeebies are a good thing to pay attention to because it is connected to our survival instincts.

And now a new feature:

Dating Hint of the Day: do not say in your profile you are good at making sarcastic remarks. This is sincerely a sure sign you are not.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Memorandum

On the side bar of the Online Daters' Club, I have installed a calendar for more efficient tracking of Club operations. Please bear in mind that the formality associated with the calendar system, is designed with your benefit in mind.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Facebook Private Eye: Quiet As a Mouse Click

One of the most excellently amazing fun aspects of the Internet age as it relates to dating is that your friends can investigate your suitors from the comfort of their own computer terminals. Take off your trench coats and sunglasses; there is no specialized espionage training necessary. Never is such investigation more convenient than if a friend belongs to the same online dating service as you. Today a friend and I traded the OkCupid profile names of boys we have gone out with and liked. It had the giddy feel of middle school dance chatter, and since we are in the same dating pool it may have also been an implicit marking of territory.

They do not call this the Online Daters’ Club for nothing. And by “they” I suppose I mean “I”.

For those not on OkCupid, there is always investigation in the form of Facebook. After you pass the two-date mark with a gentleman from an online dating site, a budding Facebook friendship is formed. Curiosity seekers called ex-boyfriends use this social networking tool to check stats like the suitor’s hotness relative to their own, and the number of FB friends they might have in common.

Speaking of exes, the one tacitly referred to above would like me to find happiness, or, given the nature of his self-involvement, would find happiness in taking credit for me finding happiness. He referred an acquaintance of his to me. I’m not sure what the fella’s intentions were or are, but he interestingly enough, despite our friend in common, wrote to me over a communication tool loaded with meaning called OkCupid. I remain uncertain if this should count in the "dates attended" tally to the right, but last night we had a beer.

Has Person 1 gone on a date recently?

I have found myself employed by U.S. Census 2010 full-time + in an office that is absolutely window-free and comes with none of the standard Internet surfing privileges afforded to the typical white collar worker. Party over. The census operates nearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and on my first shift, I worked until precisely 3:45 am with nary a google mail thread to distract me from productivity.


Me and my coworkers crunching data so that you count, or whatever.

While I have been careful not to let the alarming reduction of free time compromise my ability to go on dates, I have struggled to find the time to write about the experiences. An unfortunate backlog for a particular unmarried, single, white female residing in state 36, County 047 has occurred.

But this is not a blog about excuses about not blogging about dating, but rather a blog about dating. So with no further ado it is my pleasure to inform my readership what has transpired romantically since my last report: Thanks to the mysterious algorithmic calculations of OkCupid’s, I met someone I was inspired to see again. I believe there is a possibility I will break my two-date record with strangers from the Internet and perhaps see him a third time.

Which begs the question - when is a stranger from the Internet no longer a stranger?

On our first date, I took a leap of faith that he was not a dismemberer of just-raped human flesh and allowed him to pick me up in his car and drive me off to a remote location called Staten Island so we could simultaneously discover what it is they do in the forgotten borough. As you may have ascertained by the existence of this post, my inclinations regarding his non-murderer status were entirely correct! Additionally we were compatible in other ways and had a simply marvelous time feeling culturally superior (in a refreshingly not pretentious manner) to the entire island.

Staten Island scene

Then we came back to Brooklyn and went bowling.

His knowledge of the Online Daters’ Club is a testament to his cool-cattitude. I feel confident that the degree of his fondness for me, (an unknown), is immaterial to his support of the continued existence of this blog in its present form.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A's To Your Q's


As promised, I am providing you with the answers to your burning questions you've so patiently waited for.

Q: Had any luck with Match.Com?
A: If you call a one-night stand followed by a very awkward date to a douche baggy bar surrounded by hockey enthusiasts success, then yes, Match.com was a magical experience.

Q: How many times have you had a touchdown by meeting a person on these sites? Operation el spank-o?
A: What refreshing avoidance of baseball metaphor in the realm of human sexual experience. I don't really know much about American football, so I hope this makes sense. Two touchdowns, one first down that lead to a fumble.

Q: What is the best concert you have ever been to?
A: When I was a younger woman, Haitian hip hop hottie Wyclef Jean included me in his act by bringing me on stage in order to freestyle about the tightness of my pants.
Drinks before going to the show - $12. Concert tickets - $25. The thrill of wondering if you are going to lose your virginity to Wyclef on a tour bus - Not priceless exactly as I include this as part of the non-itemized $25 entry fee.

Q: If you could be a spokesperson for any online dating site, which one would you choose?
A: Funny you should ask, I am submitting some work to JDate as we speak to be their next big blogger! Keep your fingers crossed on my success in this endeavor. In other national spokesperson news, my comedic partner and I are applying to be the next Lady Liberties for Liberty Tax Service.

Q: I am dealing with a very sensitive issue. I'm recently engaged (let's call my fiancée "Rahim" for the sake of anonymity). With so many fish in the sea, as your most recent blog declares, how do I really know that "Rahim" is the one?
A: That is precisely my point m'dear. There is no "one." There are many ones. So long as he's one of those ones, and a cutie patootie to boot, you may as well get a tax break to honor it.

Q: What should I do if I want to be like you when I grow up?
A: Eat lots of oatmeal. It's good for your heart. Watch 1990s sitcoms revolving around the lives of sexually promiscuous 20 and 30-somethings residing in Manhattan. Take chill pills every day.

Q: What are your top fashion dos and don'ts for a first date?
A: Do, wear deodorant under at least one arm and clear your nostrils of debris. Don't wear any item of clothing you don't feel completely comfortable in. To be sexy, you must feel sexy.

Q: What did you think of PlentyOfFish.com's heavy-handed product placement in the new Lady Gaga & Beyonce video for Telephone?
A: I was only able to watch the first 3 minutes and 19 seconds of this 9-minute video before my ADD kicked in and am not familiar with said product placement. However I do support artists supporting online dating products.

That being said, I think I've answered all the questions our ADD-afflicted generation can handle. I invite baby boomers and medicated Generation X and Y-ers to keep reading.

Q: Where did you think you would be in ten years, when you were 16?
A: According to a 10th grade health class project that involved such predictions, I thought I would be married to the dreamboat boyfriend I met on my first Peace Corps tour and would be finishing up an environmental law degree at Berkeley that would later lead to a Nobel Peace Prize. I did not think I would be collecting unemployment checks and going on dates with guys from the Internet that vaguely resemble my 16-year old self.

Q: Do you have any sworn mortal enemies?
A: My mortal enemies are probably aware of their status and do not need reminding on such a well-read blog.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Melting Snowflakes

My bff, V, is not a supporter of the snowflake theory, at least not as it relates to the inhabitants of New York City. She has lived in Brooklyn for two years and says that no matter who you meet, they are “a dime a dozen,” contending that every "type" possibly imagined not only exists here, but in large quantities. This rather pessimistic view of the human experience is anathema to that of our childhoods; that touchy-feely-Barney-the-dinosaur attitude that “everyone is special”

On hipster main street Bedford Ave in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, this guy wearing a major brand's signature briefs, and albeit little else, is neither weird nor special:



And neither is this gal. Her chest pain was for naught:


And frankly I'm afraid, this blog post is not that special either. You've heard it all before. I live in a land where the more special you try to be, the less you succeed. Irony. (Not that kind, but the actual kind in this case.)

So if there are dozens of denizens of every type in NYC, that means there are dozens meeting my exact specifications. And to be had for a dime! I wonder if I ought not be a bit choosier.

...And finally readers, here is a last call for questions on dating, love, making out, relationships, and whatever else floats your boats. I do encourage you to ask. In my next post, all answers shall be revealed.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Invitational

I have become since the launch of this blog a tireless champion of online dating and a destroyer of the taboos associated with this modern method of romance. I also toot the horn of OkCupid so often that I should go pro and look into compensation for my endorsement of their (amazing) product.

Because I so openly discuss my sex-life, my occasional love-life, and my awkward-conversation-with-strangers-life, there is a mythology that I am something of an expert in all the above matters. I am not one to shy away from accolades. In fact I welcome positive attention in all its many forms. So if you have any questions, about anything at all I invite you to ask away. Please use the comments section below. I will answer in the order in which they are asked.

Dr. Ruth and I have more in common than just amazingly overt correction of vision

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What is this salty discharge?

Whoa! So I am actually, uh, like offended by something a stranger from the Internet has said to me. With regards to what neighborhood I live in, I present the following one-liner response:

“Bushwick might as well be DC to me. Can't get there from Cobble Hill.”

I actually felt a little pang when I read that. I know, I know, allowing for sensations of sadness/happiness is diametrically opposed to my entire online dating philosophy. And I never even met this guy or anything. I don’t know where that emotional response came from, but given the amount of snubs I have delivered, I suppose this sort of thing was my karmic due.

“Can’t” get there. Haha. Asshole.

Wanting to know what “Can’t” means, I ran a Google map search and learned that it would take 45 minutes via train or bus to travel from his neighborhood to mine. I guess I live my life under the assumption that I am compelling enough to travel 45 minutes for on a method of transport that allows you to read at the same time.

In DC, I would have ruled out anyone north and west of the zoo, or outside of the district line. But that was not due to inaccessibility or length of travel time really, but rather a product of my geographic-based prejudgment of them and their probable douche bag-ness.

I think Elaine Benes once dumped a guy because she didn't want to have to switch trains more than once to see someone. So maybe there's a lot I need to learn about dating in a megapolis. But in the mean time, let's move on from that unpleasant business and get to the point of this blog post.

I had my first NYC date. Once again my Internet-based impressions of my Internet date did not match the reality confronting me. He was not frat-boy or hippie-like and had some funny things to say. I found the evening to be pleasant enough, and he, brimming with ideas for activities for us to participate in together, seems enthusiastic about seeing me again. I am unsure of my desire to make out with him though and you can’t just meet up with people unless you want to make out with them. This much I know is certain.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Opp. NYC Date 1

The other day I was feeling exceptional fondness for the idea of perhaps getting hitched and knocked up one day. Brooklyn will do it to you with all the attractive well-preserved 30-something couples that are accompanied by stylish and charming little miniatures of themselves playing bocce ball in McCarren Park, etc. Looks quite blissful in these beautiful spring afternoons. I must remind myself there is a one-in-two chance of a tearful aftermath five years down the line that is more involved than the whose-books-are-whose conversation I already have experience with.

Tonight I have my first New York City Internet date with a guy that has expressed commitment toward showing me some kind of cool time here that involves making new friends. My priority at this juncture is obviously kids my own age, not actual kids. Tonight's date struck me on the phone as a Jewish fratty-hippie type, for those of whom that description means something. I am not sure if this is exactly the alley I want to travel, but I need to get my feet wet in the online dating scene here.

So I'm going on a date tonight. So what? Don’t envy me, as I told a friend of mine who is romantically attached, and doing her laundry alone tonight, “You could be single and going on dates with strangers from the Internet too.”

Monday, March 8, 2010

Die Jdate membership, die

Today I learned that I have Internet dating to thank for my living situation. My predecessor was quickly engaged after three months of courtship to her OkCupid boyfriend. Ah winter hibernation love. For the sake of this blog, you should all hope my bedroom is not haunted by an itch to marry strangers from the Internet prematurely

Well one site we can all be assured I won’t meet any future husbands on is JDate. Thank you to my mother again for membership funding, but a waste of money I would like to reiterate. Everyone on Jdate, even the ones who I find physically attractive, and pictured in cool sweaters, argue socially conservatively principles with me, nitpicking at me for the few and far between glimmers of leftiness I display in my otherwise apolitical profile. Their ideology is tinged with snottiness and their presumption that I seek the approval of a stranger from the Internet is gross.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Online Date Bloggers Without Borders

I apologize to my readership for the delay between blog posts. As it turns out, preparing for a move is distracting and time consuming. First there is the partying, then there is the packing and then there is shipping of yourself off to a new land.

Eager to get back into the swing of things so far as this blog is concerned, my first night as a resident of New York City was spent in part trolling the Internet for strangers to meet. Sounds pretty lame but I am tired, have a big weekend with kids I know in real life to look forward to, and as it just so happens, love Internet dating very much. Furthermore, if real life mimics the Internet experience in this geographic space, I will fall in love several times a minute here in New York.

...and now for something completely different:

Several friends of mine have said they are "not ready" for Internet dating. As though joining an online dating site is both waving a white flag, and part of their sad inevitable future. As a proud Internet dater I advise these individuals to put their foolish, misplaced pride aside.

P.S. do you guys all think I'm a loser for using the Internet to meet strangers?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Oh no you didn'

With regards to ill suited strangers making contact with fellow members on dating websites, a famous online date blogger once asked, "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?"

I now present you with a more urban example of the what-the-f-are-you-thinking factor with regards to misplaced interest in me. A man who is hoping "chill wit" me this coming Friday lists the following as his interests:

1. GOD
2. MY FAMILY
3. MY [CENSORED] BROTHAZ
4. MY FRIENDZ
5. GIRLZ
6. MY SPLIFF

(The censored portion was a combination of letters and numbers that I can only conclude are the identity of a fraternity or gang.)

Truth be told, I am also a fan of 2, 4, 5, and 6, though I suspect our shared interest in these topics would not keep a conversation, were it to take place, afloat.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My! People come and go so quickly here

Alas, some of the dreamboats with whom I had engaging correspondence with several weeks prior, and/or shared mutual winks with, have vanished into thin air. I click on their username, gaze longingly at our over 90% compatibility statistics posted still before my eyes, and am only met with a cruelly cheerful message from OkCupid:

"Sorry, We don’t have a user by that name! Now would be a great time to see who's online and send a random user a nice note."

Curses upon the ephemeral nature of usage of Internet dating websites amongst the dreamboat community!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Up up and away

I spent my weekend apartment hunting in my almost new city, New York City. Given the extraordinarily low ratio of people I’ve made out with: people at-large, relative to my current city, you may imagine an aspect of refreshing newness in every breath for me there. I have to say that despite the odds in the bigness of the Big Apple, I ran into several such friends. No stress, there are charms in these encounters as well.

I still don't have an apartment.

Despite the results generated by the poll I conducted a bit ago, I have changed the nature of my Internet dating practices these past few weeks. (Sorry by the way for the ultimately undemocratic nature of the vote) I am engaged in exclusively electronic correspondence with New York residents and look forward to resuming my online romantic pursuits “offline” (as they refer in this online world, to the world that is real.) Seriously though, Internet dating is fun much of the time, and it is with some regret that I’m on a (self-imposed notwithstanding) vacation from it. The psychoanalysts among you will interpret this vacation perhaps as proof that I am not just online dating for the purposes of writing a blog. Sigh, you’ve caught me red-handed.

Monday, February 15, 2010

This blog is so vain, it probably knows that I'm blogging about it

The reading from the blog at The Fridge DC last night went off without a hitch. No one booed me and I even got some laughs of the appropriately timed variety. The problem with letting me get on a stage though is that it winds me up and makes me attention hungry. Today I wore a miniskirt with pantyhose and took a long walk through the ice and snow. Given the recent conditions, female human legs were an unanticipated sight, especially shocking for those who don’t have access to this kind of thing at home. Attention hunger aside, the sum verbalization of non-creepy appreciation for my exposure was a testament to the public service nature of my deed.

Speaking of public service, I apologize to those readers who liken my reportage from the front-lines of the online dating battlefield to the work of NPR, as this post has very little to do with the appointed topic of the blog, but is rather largely self-referential commentary on the rising success of the blog.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Spreading Valentine Cheer to zip codes in Brooklyn

I changed my location on OkCupid to reflect my soon-to-be home, Brooklyn. To my great joy I am no longer getting messages from do-gooders, but rather from peeps with good 'dos. And en masse because I must be appearing a lot in some fresh meat filters. Thank you to OkCupid for pulling me back from the ledge on this St. Valentines Day.

Fans, if you’d like to hear me speak on the subjects covered in this blog, I am doing so tonight at the art space known as The Fridge, in Eastern Market. Rear Alley - 516 8th Street SE. The show begins at 8 pm with the adorable duo, The Sweater Set performing. There’s a $10 cover, a chocolate fountain, and a cash bar.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Casual encounters

My date with the young man Thursday night was a satisfactory experience. While I love a good debate, on dates I like conversations to be like "yes, yes, yes, I agree that Woody Allen's wife being his daughter is a non-issue," etc. for three hours. That is what occurred.

I was mistaken, he was not fresh off the college boat, but rather still currently enrolled(!) Yet, his age and relative inexperience were not manifested in any overtly collegiate manner. Appropriately enough, I met him on the campus of my own undergraduate experience, and for our date, we had drinks at two of my youthful haunts.

While on the street, a passing stranger pointed at my Internet stranger and asked me if I love him. I told him we'd only just met. The passing stranger encouraged me to give it time. With two and a half weeks left in DC, I'm afraid the Internet stranger will be just a passing stranger too.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

May-December in February

I am going on a date with a very young man this week, because despite my advancing years, the men I find attractive stay the same age. I teeter on the edge of social unacceptability with this fresh off the college boat boy of 22 years. I eye my 27th birthday cautiously.

Me now: Me soon enough:
All I can hope for is that my mental maturity dampens my interest in these nubile bodies before my physical maturity dampens their interest in me. This particular lad claims to have an old soul. Old soul is fine, so long as his blood flows young.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

“You’re ruining my blog”

On the probability of rekindling lost love, one popular cinematic representation of a misogynistic singleton from early 90’s LA said to another: “Somehow they don't come back until you really don't care anymore.”

Somehow, sometimes, the beautiful babies don’t wait long enough before returning.

Inclement weather and the attendant hibernation we enter, do funny things to our romantic inclinations. There is no way that the recent loss of my motivation to meet and write about strangers from the Internet was spurred by a waning interest in the topic at hand. Dates, and the dating daters that go on them, have remained continual sources of intrigue for me since I prematurely hit puberty in 1992. The spoiler here has arrived in the form of a recent shift from Cold War to lukewarm relations with a certain someone of a once special nature.


Will someone for Christ's sake please take me on a trip to Vegas?

In three weeks I am moving to another city where online dating will still be present and said special man friend will not. As storm part II rears its ugly head, I cuddle up with my OkCupid inbox, which is incidentally, blowing up. Unless of course he reads this post and cares to comment.

Suggested comment:

"Oh wait, stop dating losers from the Internet, let’s get married one day like our psychic palm-reading friend yesterday predicted we would."

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Another Important Survey

Not that my faith in online dating is strong enough that I think this is truly a legitimate concern, but suppose I met the love of my life in the next month? I’ve encountered a new set of hotties in the last few days, and if I schedule enough dates with them, it is not impossible. In addition to saying goodbye to my friends and family and home of eight years, I would also have to leave the stud muffin behind here in this city, right during the throes of our honeymoon. That would be an annoying outcome.

Which means I have a conundrum that I am going to let you the readers figure out for me.

Choose your own favorite online dating blogger’s adventure:

Does she...

A) ...Refrain from Internet dating until she is on new soil and dedicate the next few weeks to more mature activities like job applications...
B) ...Throw herself headlong into dates with absurd choices, like people who list John Mayer under “what’s in my ipod right now”...
C)...Practice status quo by arranging dates with only potentially hyper-literate dreamboats, running the risk of saying bye-bye to Woody Allen in Adrien Brody’s body...

Please vote in the comments section below my darlings.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Brief notes from my vacation

Sometimes my non-online life is compelling enough that I can go several days in a row without going on any online dates, responding to any of the notes I receive from strangers, or thinking much about the subject of meeting strangers online. Such a vacation happened this weekend. I apologize to any avid readers of the Online Dater's Club for my popularity. Having prefaced with this, I am sure you are all wondering what kind of weekend I had. I would love to tell you, but I think I would like to retain some shreds of dignity as a private citizen. Online birds and bees activity, despite its modern nature, has become ironically in my case, a celebration of the traditional date. Real life is not quite that, and this blog is a family establishment.

Speaking of real life, the two biggest fans of this blog seem to be the two ex-boyfriends with whom I socialize. I can't wait to meet the next future enthusiast of my documentation of how I fill the void in my life caused by their eventual, inevitable absence.

And on the subject of blogs, today I showed my grandfather how to set up his own. "Awwww," said the public.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm sorry but we had many qualified applicants...

One of the many statistics OkCupid displays in a user’s profile is how often they reply when other users message them. One of the latest emails to hit my inbox was prefaced like a college applicant’s reach school essay. “I see that you only reply selectively but…” It feels swell to be the m-f-ing Harvard University of online dating…(well to be honest I may be more like a Swarthmore or a Cornell.)

Perhaps it was a subconscious effort to give the blog some pizazz or perhaps it was poor judgment, but tonight I gave a reach applicant a shot. While acute social awkwardness can be forgiven in certain contexts, tonight’s date did not meet the criteria for a pass. His brand of awkward, which was extreme to say the least, was not amusing, calculated, charming or accompanied by genius. The date clocked in at an hour and half long, which was all I could muster. Alternately bored and depressed, I was always polite.

Needless to say I survived and am here to tell you the tale. Huzzah. Unfortunately one manifestation of his awkwardness was the inability to gauge my disinterest which means I have a pending rejection letter to author.

Also, he had chopped off all his hair since the photos were taken. Deceit.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Little Ol' Me

Tomorrow night I’m going on a date with a hippie. It’ll be just like 1998, when that was my type. Except now I’ll actually be going on a date versus just wanting very much to go on one.

If his profile mirrors reality, I will be having drinks with my 15-year-old self’s wet dream. Since 26-year-old self goes on too many dates as it is, and no longer appreciates restrictive diets and patchouli aroma with the same fervor, I wish I could send this vegan artist with long hair back in time to take little pent up teen me on a date instead.

Monday, January 25, 2010

In Vino Veritas

A customer at the coffee shop told me he tried Internet dating once; via eHarmony, he arranged a day trip with a woman to a winery. Perhaps Karma was frowning on the ambitious day-long nature of this date. When he picked her up that morning, it became clear that she had misrepresented her weight by at least fifty pounds. Not only this, she had in their online communications said she was Christian, like him, but on the date itself was suddenly a practicing Jew wanting to know if converting for her was one day inside the realm of possibility.

Was he on Candid Camera?

No one has played such tricks with me. I'll have Internet dating skeptics out there know that everyone I've gone out with has looked like their photos to a degree to which there have been no alarms and no surprises, (save for one scenario where I met an epic beard of Amish proportions that was not pictured). I have not been surprised greatly by other kinds of falsehoods either. No one has asked me to convert, no one has asked me to enjoy Dave Matthews Band, no one has harvested my kidneys.

I wonder whether anyone has been surprised or alarmed by my appearance or personality. One guy said my photos made my glasses seem much, much bigger than in actuality.(Speaking of which, I have a hankering for a radically different style of frames. Watch out world, you're going to see my face again.)

Lies or no lies, there are things not conveyed in a profile which can be hidden turnoffs, rendering match ups that sound like magic on paper untenable in real life. Fans of the Online Dater's Club have something to be thankful for - despite meeting several prospects of a potentially magical nature, I am still here at your blogging service.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Luckily for you, I am a masochist with love for small talk over alcoholic beverages

I both love and hate universally those other souls in this online dating subculture I’ve joined. In the vein of Climbing Mt. Everest or taking a Polar Bear plunge, I respect us for our headlong pursuit into the masochistic abyss. The courage we employ in our shameless pursuit of happiness is not to be scoffed at, for there is no more vulnerable social activity than that of the blind date. Compounded with the attendant stigmas associated with online dating, we put ourselves casually on the line, in just such a manner, in no other social context. For that, I feel a sense of kinship with these people. My people.

To be honest, I detect in myself traces of contempt for us all as well. I assume nothing flattering about anyone’s motivations for using an Internet dating site to meet people. I bear a pervading guilty-of-loser-ness-until-proven-innocent stance for everyone I encounter in this world. So amongst the criteria I use to implicitly evaluate profiles are the person’s motivations for being there. I myself do not know what mine are. I said it was for the creation of this blog, but time and again I’ve been criticized for my failure to adequately document my experiences.

So for what purpose have I found myself on three dates this week? Was I having fun? Am I eager to go on another date any time soon? Did you the reader get anything sufficient out of my sacrifice?

After sharing an unfortunate anecdote with a friend, he encouraged me to address the topic here with my readers. To make my suffering worthwhile, I have agreed.

After a date with a gentleman earlier this week went not too terribly, it ended with categorically un-fun kissing, which I ended due to its failure to inspire. Rather than cutting his losses and going our separate ways, said date was very rudely defensive with me the next day, framing me as sociopath, and demanding a full explanation. Though I could in good spirit offer no more of an explanation except to say it felt kind of like this:


...he would not buy lack of chemistry as an excuse and pursued the matter incessantly via instant messaging and a series of emails ranging from outbursts, to apologies for outbursts, over the course of 36 hours. While I am not a sociopath, and profusely apologized for the sequence of events that left him feeling self-conscious and hurt, I was affronted by his lack of self-respect and wished nothing more than for him to drop the matter.

After this experience, I was weary, and again ready to quit this blog for a hazard-free one that involves cooking all of Rachel Ray's 30 minute recipes, but I had a bagel date lined up for the next day, which renewed my passion for meeting strangers on the Internet.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Another day, another date

We postponed the afternoon bagel date by several hours and opted to ingest our carbohydrates in liquid form. Shocking.

In retrospect:
  1. Oops I did it again, I told another Internet date about this blog. An unfortunate pattern that occurs: They first wonder aloud if the date they are on is a sham. Then they are un-trusting of my insistence that their identity will not be detectable to the reading public.
  2. Because I don't inform my online companions that I am moving, it is awkward when friends encountered during dates inquire about the particulars of my NYC apartment search.
  3. I am fatigued by wondering what new people are thinking about me.
  4. I am fatigued by evaluating what I am thinking about new people.
  5. No matter how poised and self-assured the individual, introducing your Internet dates to your boss, your ex-boyfriend, and several besties, is likely an overwhelming way to conduct a first date.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A non-fictional account of my yesterday night

In the interest of not being the next James Frey, I am going to have to disappoint you all with truth. My date last night was not some major ideological battle with a prepster who is on a mission to widen my pants and reduce the size of my glasses. He was very accepting of my actual existence and our engaging discussion revealed that our similarities were far greater than our differences. I suppose I suspected all along that this banal turn of events would be the case, nevertheless, several times throughout the date, I lamented to myself how this easygoing compatibility would ruin the narrative arc of my blog.

I suppose there is a lesson in this that we should have been aware of all along. Our online selves are not ourselves. Though maybe I could do more research in this regard and see Avatar on an upcoming date.

Speaking of upcoming dates – I have one tomorrow with a former member of a band that people have actually heard of. This will involve bagel consumption and might be my first non-alcoholic first date activity since 1999.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

All your friends have cold faces

Tomorrow I go on a date with a member of the square community with whom I’ve had exclusively antagonistic communications. He was immediately condescending toward me and I have unabashedly responded in kind. This character, who grew up on the more privileged side of the privileged town I grew up in, is angling for a Georgetown bar for the big date. I think he is testing me and I will grin like Shakespeare's Act V Kate, and go anywhere Petruchio asks me to.

“Your revolution is over. Condolences. The bums have lost,” he says to me.



When defending one’s choice to live unconventionally, it is important to understand that much of these contrarians’ feelings of superiority rest on the premise that your tastes in clothes, books, music, and geographic locale are not borne of genuine preference or philosophy, but rather are in bed with the singular goal of being “cool.”

Paraphrased excerpts from said conversation with said square:

Square: All your friends have beards.
Me: It’s winter. All your friends have cold faces.

Square: You just hate the suburbs because that is a cool thing to hate.
Me: Nah, I don’t like needing a car to get to the premier Italian restaurant in town, Olive Garden.

Square: Regarding your sexual orientation, has it afforded you all sorts of invitations from couples you are friends with?
Me: Just forget it. You are out of your element.

Stay tuned to see how closely the date recaps this post.

Monday, January 18, 2010

SWF seeks OCD intern for ODC blog

On my date last night with my friend from Jimmy V’s, we managed to find things to flap our yaps about for a solid four-and-a-half hours. (I would love to be a person in a restaurant listening in on one of my dates. I shamelessly find myself terribly interesting.) Of course, he will soon be reading these words because this yap don’t know how not to flap and now he is aware of the URL to this blog. While this was poor form and perhaps outside the parameters of a more intelligent undercover blogger, it felt completely appropriate to discuss the Online Dater's Club with him as one of the topics we covered extensively on our Internet date was Internet dates. He’s been on “millions” of such meetings and had some insightful commentary about this business. For example, OkCupid used to be a lot more brutal even and members on the home page were greeted with the text "welcome loser." But He digs the online scene and I am proud of him for having such a loose definition of fun.

Not that I'm not having fun. The past few days I’ve felt very validated as a human. For some reason my inboxes have been blowing up uncontrollably. On the other hand this is stressing me out. It is hard enough being social in real life with people from real life, and on the Internet with people from my real life, but now I am also some kind of belle of the ball material with people from the Internet on the Internet, and with people from the Internet in real life. It is a struggle to keep it all straight and I am thinking I must convince accredited educational institutions to accept a student’s secretarial internship with me for a social sciences credit.

In a parallel universe where the Online Dater's Club gets an intern, desired applicants would be organized, proficient with the Microsoft Office Suite, and empathetic to the (albeit limited in scope and size) emotional roller coaster I ride as an online date blogger.