Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bucket O' Fish or, Do You Have Yahoo IM?

 My girlfriend finally convinced me to start the “online dating thing” through a site I like to call “Bucket o’ Fish.” (See below for ADDENDUM.) This name makes me laugh out loud, the kind of guffaw that is deeply embarrassing, especially when I’m sitting alone, or just walking down the street thinking about it.   I picture desperate men standing over a large tank of water with loaded rifles, ready to shoot anything that moves.  The guffaw is a clue that I am not in the right frame of mind and probably should not be doing this online dating thing, but she convinced me to do it. Well, technically, her date with a nice guy convinced me, that and the no-return-texts from…well, let’s just skip over that little tidbit of information, shall we? Besides, what’s the “right frame of mind” look like, anyway? 
Probably I would feel differently if my two-day old online dating experiment wasn’t quite so hysterically funny.  I mean, within seconds of posting my pics and profile, I got an IM from someone I’ll call CreepyDude7 who said, “You are GORGEOUS!  Do you have Yahoo IM?”  There was no picture and of course I didn’t respond, because really, what were we going to talk about while he, um, types with one hand? Exactly.  That’s what I thought, too. 

My friend tells me I shouldn’t be so cynical, that they are insecure and human, and just want to talk, and that yes, some of them are lazy…blah blah blah.  And she tells me “internet and speed dating, it’s the way it is now, that’s the way of this century.” Ugh.  Personally, I don’t like this century. I like the one where, for example, people ate real food and used cast iron pans to cook it in. The one in which they spoke to you in full sentences, and looked you in the eye. The one in which they punctuated sentences and spelled out whole words, and where men opened doors for ladies and tucked in their shirts.  The one in which things were good for you and lasted a while.  (Hey, maybe I should say THAT about the kind of man I want…ha ha ha ha ha).

The whole idea of online dating fills me with dread and a deep sense of ickyness (and now, loud, hysterical laughter).  Thing is, I tried it several years ago – the first time was shortly after my divorce six and a half years ago, and well, why beat around the bush?  E-Harmony rejected me. Their little computer program decided I wasn’t ready for a relationship, which, truthfully? Like, no shit.   I was a mess.  I was like six months out of a difficult and painfully sad marriage, I was needy and selfish and mad.  But I felt I was just doing my civic duty, trying to date.  Many moons later, I tried again with a different site, but took my profile down after two days because I felt too exposed.  But now I have a blog, which you are reading, and I’m on Facebook and only recently closed my page to the whole world (long story), and now that my business is pretty much out on the street, this online dating thing doesn’t feel so weird anymore, at least not in terms of being exposed.  I couldn’t care less what you think of me, in other words. I am immune to your opinion. 
But, I am still approaching this online dating thing with a sense of civic duty. So, OK, maybe that’s not the best way to approach this, but shouldn’t middle-aged single women who are not deeply hideous with super-full lives enter the online fray and “put themselves out there?”  I have my doubts.  Look how much time it’s already taken, just to write this!

“Your world is so small,” I’m told, “step out of your comfort zone. At least practice dating.”   Well, maybe I LIKE my comfort zone.  Maybe I’m supposed to be alone.  Maybe I WANT to be alone.  Maybe these online dudes are really kind of, well, kind of pathetic and creepy, and yes, I should have compassion for them, but mmmm, I don’t.    Man up, boys…say something other than “Hi!”  And “Wooowwwww, great smile!”  This last was “said” by an overly buff, fitness-trainer black guy with a woweee smile of his own and very large yet oddly-shaped pecs.  I did not respond.  
 Today, my girlfriend (aka The Convincer) and I go back and forth via email about protocol, and I’m complaining about these men who cannot spell.  I write to her:  

“OK, so wut kills me is whon they can't spel and everythen is all rong on the screne and they thing its ok any ways and jest hit sind. 

“I don't know how long I can do this,” I tell her.  “LOL and LMAO and not to mention ROTFLMAO.”

She says, “ROTF?”   I tell her what it means (you can Google it).   She tells me I need to lose my cynicism and I ask why.  I mean, did anyone IM HER within seconds of her signing up to tell her how GORGEOUS she is?  He didn’t even read the first sentence of my profile (do they ever, ever read any of it?).  I tell her I embedded my name in it, in case a polite man decided to actually read the profile and then say something like, “Hi Suzanne.  How are you? I noticed you like….blah blah blah.” Or grown-up, getting-to-know-you words to that effect.   I say to her, Is that too much to ask?  I don’t think so. A little effort wouldn’t hurt.   A little care and thoughtfulness in how you approach me would be nice.  No china-shop bulls, please.  Sidle up to me, approach me gently but firmly, don’t just flail around.  It’s ugly and embarrassing.   I live with teen boys (and a pile of their friends) and get enough of that at home.  I want to ask them, are you trying to get to know someone new, or are you just killing time?  I suspect it’s the latter and they are just…well…just shooting at anything that moves. 
Yeah, she’s right.  I'm cynical.  
I send her this: 

“'s a perfect example of what I'm talking about.  Guy's got a pic of himself (nearly normal looking guy) with an ugly, stove-in couch in the background, crappy carpeting and nothing on the walls.  This is the message I get from him in my inbox:

Hi! You have a VERY SEXXY LOOK! wanna talk somtime?

I am laughing so hard I am nearly crying because, really? This is what you got?  LOL and OMG.”

And also, no, no, I don’t want to talk to you somtime (sic).  I want to go study and do my homework and have a real conversation about real things.…in the real world, where it all really happens.

ADDENDUM:   OK...big sigh of relief. Two days after I posted, I deleted my online profile thing, because it was like, ewww, ick and oh God get me out of here. Ugh.  I'd rather be alone than be....gawked at by CreepyDudes and propositioned by 25 year olds.  For real.  OK, so it was a little flattering, I admit,, no thanks.  


1 comment:

  1. online dating would be interesting at the least , im glad I dont have to. I do believe people are thrust into our lives and if we are paying attention we may find they are for our companionship. I trust that more than some online antics. Just got to keep them eyes and heart open for that special someone.