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.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's Friday night and the world of online losers has just gotten paid

If you log into an online dating site on a Friday during the last business hour of the day you are going to get deluged with instant messages. Being rather unemployed, I am not judging, but I wonder how those with profiles suggesting 9-5 jobs would feel if their bosses caught them attempting to scrounge up a date during their final company hour of the week.

Not everyone is looking for a Friday night date specifically though. During this witching hour, I got an IM from a past-her-prime desperado in a far-flung region of the planet called Texas wanting to “chat or just trade pictures,” and an IM from a guy who looked just like a real boy but talked just like a cyber bot. Since I’ve thus far met such a fine group of individuals through my exploits, I was wondering if the trash heap of the online dating universe was mere myth. It's not.

Trash heap aside I also yesterday afternoon set up a tentative date with a man on Jdate via the instant messaging device provided there. He offended me with his attempt to reduce me into a cultural stereotype, and alarmed me with his attempt to move me to the suburbs after we have our babies together, but he seemed exactly like the type of guy my mother would have me marry if she had her way. He was okay when informed he has her to thank for the pending pleasure of my company as I am only agreeing to the date in honor of her forthcoming credit card charge, which has thus far proven to be a great misuse of funds.

The Jdate guy comes from this dust and to this dust he would like to return

Friday, January 15, 2010

The information you requested is below

Let me start by saying that last night was a fun date. Kids. Fun – there you go an adjective. A detail if you will.

When you meet up with a stranger from the Internet, there is that awkward moment where you are unsure that the person in front of you and the person whose thumbnail image you’ve been viewing over the past few days are one and the same. So I always approach timidly with the sexy introduction of – “hi are you uh…. are you - so and so?” and for two seconds I worry my heart out that it is not my date and that this non-date knows that I am asking because they somehow resemble the stranger from the Internet I am meeting. This nightmarish scenario was not played out last night.

All conversations with Internet people take a bit to ease into. There is initial concern always that the other party is disappointed somehow with your actual person-hood. And then there is the matter of what to talk about. Well, we did fine there. First we got into some heavy metaphysical business. It was an intriguing discussion of much intellectual merit.

And then…we generally just partay-ed. You know what I’m saying. Partay! We as a team befriended the northern Columbia Heights bar fly community, developing the same breed of camaraderie with these people as that of the over eager pack of college freshman.Extensively optimistic promises to be bffs with them were made around the outside heat lamp and I think we agreed to a pipe dream brunch with them on Sunday.

But this was an interesting turn of events. Suddenly it made us the old friends, and these other strangers the actual strangers.

Speaking of giant casts of characters - one of the new bffs is this real life tv star!

Internet dating is fun. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Say my name, say my name (just not my online one)

I would like to make an appeal to readers out there aware of my true identity. Should you happen to see me in public with an individual you do not know, it is likely I am on a Internet date with a stranger. For obvious reasons, please refrain from using the following type of language within earshot of stranger:
  • Gosh you are such a darn good writer, I'm really enjoying your blog about online dating exploits.
  • Wow this date you blogged about earlier today looks like human trash. Just the type of person I would suspect to find on OkCupid.
  • Wow this date you blogged about earlier today is babe-a-licious. There's no way this person would have asked you out if they met you in real life.
These guys feel good about the exclusive club they are in and so can you

Speaking of such matters, tonight I attend an event I shall refer to as, Female 1 Date 1. I am going to use the shorthand F1 Date1 so as not to continually rub this in the face of parties interested in my living a lifestyle involving the one day completely natural production of small humans.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sweating the small stuff

As a broadminded freethinker, who practices cultural relativism, I believe anyone should be allowed to wear any kind of pants they want and listen to any records they think are groovy. But lets not mince words when it comes to the devastating toll aesthetic discrepancies can have on the viability of a romance.

There are some handsome guys on here who are curing feline AIDS and mentoring underprivileged youth with autism that take moments out of their busy days to wink at me. I am flattered by their attention, and I think, hey - this guy. But then they have to do something like be wearing Dockers in one of their photos. I’m not trying to sound like, or be a stupid jerk but could you imagine? Once a guy put Dave Matthews Band on to get me in the mood, and with that music playing I was physically unable to proceed because, well…. I don’t feel like I need to justify myself. I can only proceed when I can proceed. He turned the music off and everything worked out fine, which means there remains hope should they remove their pants.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Face time

I just went to a popular karaoke night where I discovered the following:
  1. When I see hot faces, I am frustrated by there being no button I can click to discover whether the person attached to the hot face is into girls, what their favorite things to do on a first date are, and whether they might perchance want to make out with me.
  2. Rather than simply being able to enjoy an old bald heavyset gentleman’s quite lovely performance of “Nights in White Satin,” I am instead envisioning the following composition in a text box to the right of his face: “I am usually a shy guy but I am surprisingly good at karaoke, lol."
  3. I am in general, burned out on looking at people’s faces

Monday, January 11, 2010

Would you please give me pointers on this blog post? not

I wish I could share with you the promised particulars of Internet date night, but the stranger diagnosed himself with a debilitating common cold 2.5 hours before show time. The truth or falseness of his affliction is not something I’ve devoted much thought to.

But evidently there are some who would prefer to actually put genuine stock into what happens with Internet people they have not yet met. On J date, a cry for help comes from a guy seeking profile advice from the very girls who didn't respond to him over the past few weeks. I informed him respectfully that it was he and not his profile that was the problem in our case. Then I indulged myself in giving him a few pointers. Jdate is very pro-procreative. If I had a time machine, I would have used it to discover whether any asshole babies are brought forth into this universe due to my consultation before I gave the advice.

(Just kidding about the title of this blog post. I enjoy your pointers. For real. Keep 'em coming.)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

When worlds collide

I knew that in a town of this size, with a scene of even smaller proportions there was a possibility of the following happening, yet it threw me for a loop in any case. Last night I was having a normal night out with humans I know from my daily experiences, when all of a sudden – oh, hey who is that guy - am I at home using my computer and wearing 3D glasses or am I looking at an online pen pal face-to-face?

These two courted via snail mail and were wedded after a penpal-ship called WWII was over.

This particular pen pal comes from OkCupid, and we had for several days carried on a casual flirtation. He sees me and it is evident we are both unsure of protocol in this unique situation. We are in a small venue (Jimmy Valentine's, appropriately titled Lonely Hearts Club) and not saying hi would be infinitely more awkward than saying hi. He comes over and apologizes for approaching, but what else could or would we do?

He is cute in real life, which is not a huge surprise as I examine the posted photos of all potential suitors carefully to ensure that I am not looking at photogenic flukes and that they retain their attractiveness from a variety of camera angles.

Alas, it is awkward. Our friends are present, the music is loud and we can’t hear the compulsory small talk generally reserved for planned dates. Compulsory small talk in a small scene is unavoidable. I flee this land mine and run into another in the form of a semi-estranged ex. I contemplate how I’ve rendered this town unlivable for myself as I head for the bar and ask for a stiff drink.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Can you please remind me your name?

Tomorrow I attend an as of yet unplanned experience that I will refer to in the system of nomenclature I've developed: Male 4, Date 1. My darling readers, you have been patient long enough. After this date, I will satiate your curious appetites with all the notable specifics.

Beyond keeping you interested in the blog, the logging of the date details will serve a practical purpose for me, the prolific Online Daterette who has a tendency to confuse the complex thoughts, desires, professions, and life stories of the many humans I am constantly juggling. For example, it was incorrect of me to ask Male 3 on Date 2 if he, as a vegetarian was okay with the menu options of an Irish pub, when on Date 1 we shared a beef dish. Alas it was Male 2 who made us leave a restaurant with delicious food on the coldest night of the year because he was "experimenting" with vegetarianism. While this was a benign error, it alerted me to faux pas potential of irreparable proportions.

Prolific daters with a penchant for the style of mix-ups aforementioned

I now ordain this blog an encyclopedia of dates for future avoidance of seeming like an inattentive asshole.

Friday, January 8, 2010

An entrepreneurial venture presents itself

A friend mentioned she could use my advice when writing her online dating profile. My initial reaction was alarm. I don’t want to help my friends falsely advertise themselves! Their dates will be mislead to believe they are getting involved with some kind of wise guy. But we worked out these concerns and worked out her profile to retain her authentic voice (sans the inclusion of a Jane Austen love fest which I was able to convince her was a no no).

Seem like there is some business potential here. While I won’t be charging any of my friends for this service, if there are any strangers out there who would like some assistance, be in touch. I charge $25 for the online date profile of your dreams and you will retain all intellectual property rights on my amazing thoughts. Not a bad deal!

Speaking of profiles and their analysis, OkCupid has a one-to-five star system of rating fellow members. Well I just rated a bevy of individuals and realized that I gave a guy simply wearing a NASA t-shirt a higher rating than a guy who works for NASA. The NASA employee was hot and like could potentially be sent to outer space, which is really hot but he listed Robin Williams as his favorite stand-up comedian. Untenable.

World's sexiest space cadet

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Where da hotties at?

An online date is a meeting with a perfect stranger for, above all, mutual evaluation and scrutiny. Over the past two weeks, I have signed myself up for this experience multiple times in rapid succession. My Date 2 with Male 3 was particularly demoralizing and I returned to the drawing board feeling that I'd exhausted all possibilities for encountering hotties in the online universe.

I was ready to throw in the towel on the Online Dater’s Club and come up with a new blog that no one will read, but something in me decided to give it one more shot. For my persistence I was rewarded richly.

So where are da hotties at? OkCupid of course. I don’t have any pending dates as you can see from the sidebar action tracking this, but give me 24 hours or so. I have a few penpals.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Healthier Homonym

Ways in which dates the fruit are healthier than dates the activity:

The Fruit: assists digestion
The Activity: may cause stomachache

The Fruit: maintains healthy nervous system
The Activity: makes healthy system nervous

The Fruit: counters sexual weakness
The Activity: highlights sexual weakness

The Fruit: easy to prepare and enjoy
The Activity: difficult to prepare for, no guarantee of enjoyment

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

All right I confess

A concerned reader just told me that the public would like more about what goes on during my dates. I will admit that I have been purposely vague with you thus far, unsure how much detail was ethically appropriate to include. I had hoped you wouldn’t notice, but you have. So I thank my reader for the feedback. If it is details that you want, it is details that I hope to provide for you.

That being said, this evening I will be in a museum that contains art with the gentleman who inspired me to write a teenage diary entry the other day. Following the obligatory cultural portion of the evening we will likely put ourselves at ease with the consumption of alcoholic beverages in a quantity exceeding Centers for Disease Control recommendations. If all goes well, I will periodically during the date have fantasies about things like one day enrolling our hyper intelligent children in inner city public schools to make a political point. If all goes poorly I will be content enough with the knowledge that the format of this blog is safe for the time being.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A new frontier

The expiration date on my membership looms overhead and in anticipation of saying goodbye to the service (despite it yielding me one very good date) I have signed up for OkCupid. I have finally found the online dating service of my dreams. Its interface is extremely attractive. It’s clever, and it makes me laugh.It understands where I am coming from, and asks me intelligent questions about myself. But unfortunately I am experiencing online date profile writing fatigue. I can only inform the cyberspace public that I am an interesting person so many times before I start to find myself dull.

Despite the scant information I have thus far provided on OkCupid, a few gents have contacted me. Though none were carrying firearms in their photos, all of them had major strikes working against them. One has lived 192% as long as me, one is a friend I have known for 15% of my life merely wanting to say “hey” in a new e-fashion, and one guy bored me over the Cupid chat mechanism 100% of the time we were communicating.

Despite these setbacks, I am enjoying the literally thousands of questionnaires on the site designed to help one find their perfect match. For example, according to the "Commonly Confused Words Test" I am an “English Genius,” and their Politics Test has labeled me a socialist. Hopefully illiterate capitalists will heed this information before deliberately closing and opening the eyelids of one eye to convey a message of a sexual nature to me.

Don't even think about it Goldilockses

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Puerile confessions to my web log

Dear Blog,

Sometimes online dating can be so wonderful that one feels compelled to relate to their blog as though it is their pre-adolescent diary. This is such a time. Oh Blog, he was so cute and nice and had a neat sweater on. I could go on, with gushy and dorky sentiment, but I may have like liked my date so much that I mentioned the existence of you to him. So just in case he was born after 1979 and is therefore capable of doing two minutes of internet research to discover the metaphorical keys to you, this modern day diary, I refrain.

The Online Dater