Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Now Tell Me What's Your Sign? Always The Same Old Line...

So I've ventured into the world of online dating. Again. And before you ask, no nothing has happened to me and the girls. I'm not even looking for someone to date. Its a rather funny story, really, how this happened; and now that I've gone in, it seems like I am Alice down the rabbit hole, I can't seem to get out of it.

The other day we were joking about online dating sites. I was telling someone at work how long ago I signed up for an account on OK Cupid because our roommate at the time, Guitar Hero, had gotten one and I was not entirely comfortable with the idea of her bringing people to our house. So I got online to check things out. In the end, I ended up meeting Bobcat, who didn't take my very tongue in cheek profile seriously at all, and we became friends. It is through her that I met Oscelot, and the rest, as they say, is history.

It was while we were joking about the sites that Flyguy mentioned his roommate had an account on POF, which up until then I had never heard of, though everyone else had seemed to. He was laughing about the women that messaged his roomie, Nox, and how his replies were both hilarious and scathing. I was intrigued. In part because outside of seeing pictures of him, and Flyguy's anecdotes about their misadventures together, I know nothing of him. What I do know, though, is that he seems like a really cool guy- the kind I would like to hang out with. Flyguy seems impervious to my hinting that I was interested in meeting him, or perhaps, hindsight being 20/20, knows that Nox would have nothing to do with a shallow, boring thing like me. Either way, I wanted to look at this profile. So I signed up for an account.

In the last four days I have had nearly 50 messages from men in my area wanting to speak with me. I am astounded. In part because I originally set out to make my profile as boring as possible. I mean, when you can only read the first two lines about a person before viewing their profile, and they only mention a love of outdoors, gardening and hot tea and books, who would be interested? I wouldn't, if I were a guy....

The funny thing is, there seems to be some sort of market out there for women like me. That or the guys are simply looking at my picture and deciding to message me. It doesn't say a lot for them. I know I'm not ugly, but I am certainly not a knock out...it surprises me.

At the end of my profile, which I would like to say clearly states I am not looking for a boyfriend, I mention that if you actually do want to speak with me, you should tell me your first pet's name and what your favorite color is. To me, its a signal they made it all the way through my profile and know how to follow instructions. If I were actually looking, this would be something I would be interested in. I also, rather snarkily, mention that I have no use for people who don't know what an Oxford comma is, or how to use it.

Of the 50 or so that have messaged me, only five total have responded with answers to those questions. The rest of them were dull, pathetic, or both. I had one guy tell me his new favorite color was the color of my lips. I rolled my eyes. I  had one tell me that he hated going to botanical gardens, but he would pretend to like them if it made me happy. That made me feel both sorry for him and annoyed at the same time. One told me that he thought he could whip me in the batting cages (something I mentioned I would like to do on my first date) and I looked at his profile- he's a baseball coach. I almost sent him a message asking if he would correct my stance for me. Almost.

I had a 62 year old man looking for a "playmate and traveling companion" message me. I was astounded. I suppose there are women out there who would like a man like that- older, accomplished and looking for a younger lady to spoil...but to me, it seems wrong. I mean, he's older than my mother. That just seems weird. Then again, that may be my bias from relationships with people who are younger than me peeking through. He also sent me a "bottle of wine and chocolates" from his digital credit account, which I think is like farmville or something on FB. Kitten teased me he was spending good points on me, the very least I could do is respond. I felt like that would be unfair.

Several of the men messaging me were divorced. Quite a few of them have children. I wouldn't have bothered with them in real life either. Part of it is that I have old fashioned notions about marriage. Part of it is because I know they didn't read the part on my profile where I mention I am child-free. A few were drug users...who admits to that??? I wouldn't. But then, I will now, so maybe its not a huge difference and I just think it is.

Most of the messages were something along the line of "hey" or "Whatsup??" which, I swear, leaves me breathless as a pickup line. It truly does. My two favorites, though, I think, were the guy who told me I was "kinda cute" and the one who told me "Im a grammer natzi to, lolz, tho I don't know what an oxford comma is" Both times I rolled my eyes. Am I too scathing? Too picky? Maybe, maybe I am. Thank God and Goddess I am not a straight woman looking for an actual date...

Of all the people I've seen and heard from one, just one, seems like the kind of person I would like to talk to.I messaged him back and he seems like someone I would want to be friends with. I've heard nothing so far, so maybe I am far more boring than I appear to be.

You're curious, I'm sure, of whether I actually got in touch with Nox. I did find his profile. I also sent him a teasing message. His response was somewhat less than enthralling and more than abrasive. I sent him one in reply, and the last he sent me was made him sound like a downright asshole. It wasn't complimentary to either of us, to be frank. The funny thing is, its what I like about him. He's very real, very emotional and very forceful. If you know me at all you know that's the kind of person I find myself drawn to, for the most part. I'm at an impasse, though, because he seems to think I am some starstruck girl making a brave attempt at getting a guy to date her, which couldn't be farther from the truth. I've waffled over the idea of simply messaging him back and calling truce, telling him that I just wanted to meet him. But then, its that sort of contrivance, so like me and so unlike most people, that turns a lot of people like him off. Ah, well. It is what it is.

In the end, I think I shall simply delete the account. Its been entertaining, but dear lord, its discouraging. No wonder people are always talking about how hard it is to find a good person to date when they're past the age of 20 and single. I'm glad I'm not in that position.

I have learned, however, that I do know my own personality and my own preferences for people very well, even on paper. I think I'm able to distinguish what I want and what I don't want. Truly, I've discovered not a little bit of prejudice in me. It seems unfair, maybe, to have such a high standard. I mean, when someone sends me a message and pours their heart and life history out to a total stranger, that takes a lot of trust. Would it be fair, if I were really looking, to dismiss them out of hand simply because I think they scanned my profile, or were only interested in my looks? Maybe. But there you have it.

And I've found I am quite picky about the way a person looks too. I never realized it quite until now, but I surround myself almost exclusively with people I find beautiful. Now, maybe other people wouldn't agree with my assessment of my friends, but there isn't a single one I can look at and say I can't find attractive. And I don't do it on purpose! I truly don't. Then again, the personalities of all of my friends are beautiful too, and that makes them extra gorgeous in my eyes.

Oh, dear, the things you realize about yourself when you go on an internet dating site. You know, those lovely psychological tests that they make you take? I was fascinated by them. For example, POF tells me that:

Perhaps the defining feature that sets me apart from most people is the exceptionally high standards that I set for myself. As someone who exerts little control over my actions, I may find that I commit social blunders that might offend other people and get yourself in trouble. Indeed, it’s possible that I might be criticized periodically for being unreliable or unable to “stay within the lines.” Nonetheless, I may still experience many short-lived pleasures and never be thought of as boring.

As someone high in openness, I have a strong appreciation for beauty, both in art and nature. Indeed, it’s likely that I am easily absorbed in music and art, as well as natural phenomena. Another aspect of my openness is my emotional insight; that is, I probably have good access to and awareness of my own emotions.

How terribly boring. I am pretty sure I was able to tell someone all of those things about myself without taking a test to find it out. Although I will say that my relationship needs assessment pretty well said that I need a partner who is just like Kitten, so I suppose I can't argue too much, can I?

Then again, I'm a free spirit and thinker so maybe that's what I am supposed to do anyway.

Do you think this odd fascination with this site is indicative of something being seriously wrong with me? Everyone I know is amused by it, and I think my stories of my misadventures, such as they are, have been entertaining. But to not be able to walk away, not just yet...Yeah, there's probably something wrong with me.


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