Looking for Love in All the Wrong URLs
By Anonymous Guest Blogger (aka, A Well-Shod Tartlett Who Shall Remain Nameless Because There Is Such A Thing As Google)
My life has been good lately. I’ve got a job I enjoy, with co-workers I can not only stand to be around but actually like. I have a nice home, a loving family, more shoes than any sane person needs and good friends who are almost as crazy as I am...and none of the really bad singers made it to the last round of American Idol. Even my writing has been going well. All in all I am as happy as I have ever been.
Clearly, it was time to screw this up.
I had been thinking about trying the online dating thing for a while. Some of my friends had great luck with it, including one couple who are getting married this summer.
“You should try it,” they told me. “It’s easy! It’s fun! It’s eternal love and happiness for $24.95 a month!”
I signed up for one of the recommended services last week--we’ll call it d-Larmony. This particular site requires its users to complete a long personality test with questions like, “On a scale of 1-7, rate how much you agree with the following statement: ‘When I am in a relationship, I like to have total control of my partner’s actions, thoughts and personal hygiene choices.'” Then their magic voodoo program uses your answers to either plumb the depths of your very soul or slap together a bunch of generalizations, depending on your perspective, reaches into the database, pulls up other people who answered the same questions (opposite sex only--the fine folks at d-Larmony don’t swing that way) and says, basically, that you should marry one or possibly all of them.
You are expected to contact these people and so I, being the modern, liberated woman that I am, don’t. I wait for them to contact me because I know, from a hard lesson learned over time and culminating in me taking a teddy bear as my date to the prom, that even modern, liberated guys really aren’t into that kind of thing.
So I wait. And wait. And a couple of them make contact (I’ll get to that in a minute), but most of them don’t, presenting me with an entire list of people who took one look at my picture and said, “nah."
I have not been taking this very well.
My self-image, which had recently stabilized at "pretty okay," plummeted. Convinced it was my weight that was the problem, I contracted a forty-eight hour case of anorexia, which ended abruptly when I discovered I had some of those lemon cookies from Trader Joe’s. I switched my photographs on a regular basis, each time sure that the one previously posted made me look like the dowdiest person in the history of dowdiness. After three days of nonstop self-torture I realized that I needed moral support, so I sent an email to my friend Mary.
"Tell me I’m not ugly," I begged. "Lie if you have to." She very kindly obliged, pointing out that not only am I cute, I also have a nice rack (although I couldn’t help but notice that she didn’t say I’m not fat).
Of course, I immediately rejected the idea that the lack of interest was because of my height, my job or the fact that I listed as the "things I can’t live without," air, water, Tivo and food, in that order. Because even if those things might have been factors, I knew in my heart that if I was a stone-cold hottie none of them would matter.
Making it even worse was the fact that these guys were not exactly the stuff young girls’ dreams are made of. I’ll admit, before I started this deeply misguided quest I entertained some optimistic fantasies about my future e-boyfriend. I’m not asking for much--we’re not talking a young Pierce Brosnan here--just some sweet-faced boy who could give my sadly underused hormones a workout. Okay, and maybe he could be tall and somewhat athletic without being completely obsessed, and smart but not a know-it-all, and think I was pretty and funny and brilliant. Is that too much to ask?
Apparently, yes. I have seen the harsh light of reality, and it has some really unfortunate facial hair.
And let’s not even get into how many of them list The Da Vinci Code as their favorite book.
(I realize that someone reading the preceding paragraphs might come to the conclusion that I am a shallow hypocrite. To which I say, “Well, yeah. And your point is?” But in my defense I should point out that I have responded to every guy who has contacted me, regardless of height, weight, or knowledge of the difference between "they’re" and "there." However, I did end up closing a match with a guy--who I could tell was looking for someone who was not me--when one of his questions was “What do you find attractive?” and in order to answer honestly I would have had to say “the opposite of you.”)
Of course, there is the possibility, however dim and distant, that I have just gotten off to a rough start. Perhaps in the weeks to come I will encounter attractive and interesting people who are also attracted to and interested in me. And we will hit it off great and maybe even interact in a way that doesn’t involve typing, and I will laugh and shake my head when I think back to all the anxiety I put myself through.
Or perhaps I am about to learn, in excruciating detail, exactly how many jerks and losers there are in the greater Bay Area, and I will spend the rest of my life in a dimly-lit room with a bag over my head, eating celery sticks.
Either way, I’ve got a non-refundable six-month membership, so whatever this is going to be, it isn’t over yet.