Testing The Water In The Dating Pool
Online dating — God’s way of saying, “You are such a lazy loser you can’t even pick up drunken women in bars. You know, I used to feel bad about not giving men the ability to have multiple orgasms, now I see you don’t deserve them.” God, you’ve got to love Him. Or Her. Yeah, probably Her, that would explain a lot.
Online dating — where we take the culmination of mankind’s technological advances that could be used to cure cancer, bring universal peace and allow for the expansion of truth and knowledge throughout the world, and instead use it to post pictures of ourselves and tell total strangers who we are.
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If I have to go on another first date and say, “I’m a computer programmer, and what do you do?” I’m going to rip my lips off and spit on them. Can you spit without lips? Maybe not. But I will do something, and it will be drastic, probably involving a litany of curses, some not heard since the Spanish Inquisition, and most certainly the pounding of fist to table. Woe befall the stray cat who crosses my path that day.
So I sit in the dark, absorbed in the light of the computer monitor, dressed in a sweatshirt and pants that are held together purely by my will not to be seen naked. Dressed this way, alone in the dark, cut off from human companionship, I begin to compile my online dating profile, the profile that will tell the world exactly who I am. The profile that proclaims, “I look good in a tuxedo, but feel just as comfortable in jeans.” For women it would be the obligatory “little black dress or jeans.” Apparently, people who are happily dating attend only Cotillions or the rodeo, there is nothing in between. God forbid I wear a pair of Dockers and a sweater — I’ll most certainly die alone.
There is a list of questions that will define me. Do I drink? Do I smoke? No, of course not, I write with cigarette dangling between scotch-soaked lips (lips that I haven’t contemplated ripping off yet — but I will). What are my likes? PBS, of course, otherwise I never watch TV. I love Shakespeare except I leave out the fact that the only Shakespeare I’ve ever read is the Classic Comics versions I had as a kid. Hamlet could kick some serious ass in those things. Other likes? Moonlight. How can anyone not like moonlight (unless you’re a werewolf)? Long walks on the beach (really going out on a limb with that one). Skinny dipping (at my age?). Apparently, on dating websites there are thousands upon thousands of non-werewolf-like-people walking naked along some moonlit beach. Why wasn’t I invited?
What are my dislikes? Smoking, of course, as I open another pack. Drinking, as I pour another scotch. Why not tell the truth. Dislikes? Really attractive people with money who don’t have to sit in the dark writing these stupid profiles hoping against hope that no one at work, at church or in their family will see just how pathetic they are.
How do I look? Well, based on what I’ve read on the Internet, there are no overweight people on dating sites. I can be ‘toned,’ ‘athletic,’ ‘slender’ or, if I want to feel like I’m being honest with myself, I ‘carry a few extra pounds.’ Really? Five pounds is a few extra pounds, losing small children in your shadow is downright fat. When Pluto envy’s your size, you need to exercise.
What about the rest of me? Eyes? Two, thank God, and they’re blue. Hair? Yes, as long as I have one single strand of hair, one lone survivor of the genetic Custer’s Last Stand that was fought on top of my head, I have hair. And it’s blonde.
Religion? I won’t even answer that question. No good comes from any acknowledgment of Religion. I do believe in God, and I believe that she hates me right now.
Politics? This is a land mine. If I’m a Democrat I’m too liberal and will destroy this country from the inside out. If I’m a Republican then I’m too conservative and I’ll destroy this country from the outside in. If I’m Middle-of-the-Road then I’m too much of a lightweight to know exactly how I want to destroy this country. I’ll leave it blank.
What is my current status? Divorced, which will translate to the women reading my profile as, ‘he can’t commit, his relationship was a failure, and it was probably all his fault.’
Kids? Yes, three. With that, do you know how many times I’ve heard, “If you meet a woman who has three kids you would be like the Brady Bunch!”? As if I aspire to mirror my life to a ‘70s sitcom that expounds loud shirts and very bad hair. The only problem is, in real life, I won’t live in a really nice house with an awesome staircase that is perfect for those Christmas pictures that I won’t be sending out each year. I won’t have a smart-alecky housekeeper with a butcher for a boyfriend who could get me a nice discount on roast beef and steaks. My kids won’t be having contests in the living room, building a huge house of cards to see who is better, the boys or the girls. Then when my daughter’s bracelet inadvertently knocks down that huge house of cards, losing the contest and thus labeling the girls as inferior to the boys, it won’t end happily in thirty minutes. However, it may end after the thirty years of therapy required to restore her self-esteem.
So this is who I am now: A Tuxedo-shedding, skinny-dipping, non-werewolf-turning, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Adonis that even my mirror would not recognize. Still not done, though, I have to post a picture. Fortunately for me, I know exactly which one to post. A few years back my sister took a picture of me at a family picnic. I was toned, tan and just had my teeth whitened. Even standing right there, people looking at the photo didn’t realize it was me. Perfect.
Even with picture safely uploaded, I am not done. Who is it I’m looking to meet? It becomes like a Build-A-Bear Workshop — I am now an online Dr. Frankenstein, selecting body parts to build the perfect mate. What color eyes? Blue. What color hair? Blonde. Body type? Athletic and Toned. Religion? Any. Politics? Land mine, again, I pick any. In truth, as much as I am trying to build my perfect match, I will jump all over that first email I receive even if she’s a five-foot-tall, black- haired, brown-eyed, middle-of-the-road atheist who walks with a limp.
My profile is now ready to go. As I stand on the edge, I wonder how long it will be before I take a breath and dive head first into the deep end of the dating pool.