Monday, July 24, 2006

Ah, romance.

Dating in New York. Perhaps the most perilous endeavor, save perhaps apartment hunting, one can undertake in this city. Actually, it's a lot like apartment hunting: there seem to be literally millions of available units in all varieties everywhere you look, but when it's time to jump ship from one unit to another? Good luck finding one that isn't already taken, too small, hideous or too goddamn costly.
Where was I? Oh yeah, dating. So my therapist and I, we've been working on my various issues for a good 9 months now, and uh, we're trying to birth a new, better me. (Or whatever. This post began with such trite promise. Sigh. Onward.) We worked out the things that would make me a happier, more adjusted human being. Apparently, they involve getting a new job and having lots more sex. Or, who am I kidding, any sex at all.
Oh, mommy, if you're still here, this is where you should stop reading. Loveyouthanks.
So I've started, as you know, Internets dating. It's impossible for me to meet anyone appropriate at work, given my limited interaction with anyone who isn't short, married with kids, or already a royal pain in my ass. And Match sent me that three-day trial email, you know. I kinda got suckered in. Shortly thereafter, thanks to the wise counsel of a few of you ladies, I also joined Nerve. You know, just for shits and giggles.
Lots of shits. No giggles. (Okay, a few giggles) God in heaven. I don't think anything has so strongly put me off the idea of dating as actually fucking doing it.
Let's start with the emails, shall we?
I will admit, nothing has even come close to the level of illiterate drivel I get on Myspace, and for that, I am a teensy, eensy, weensy bit grateful. No wait, Myspace is free. I'm paying for this shit. I take it back. I'm just bitter.
On Match, I've gotten the usual one-liners: "Hi. How R U?" Just dandy. Want to send me something that demonstrates that you a) can spell and b) have bothered to read my profile? Or: "You are very beautiful here is my number call me sometimes." Slow your roll, babydoll. You have no photo and practically nothing in your description. Why in the HELL would I do that? Seriously? Then there was the email from the delightful New Jersey boy, flexing his wee muscles in wifebeaters and jeans in his photos, which read, simply: "I am free this Friday. I will allow you to take me to dinner." Suh-mooth. Wow. How can I resist game like that?
Nerve has been much less interesting. I mean, aside from the fact that there are just fewer people, there are fewer under 40 who seem to have any interest in yours truly. At least, of those with a real, silver or gold membership. I'm not paying for Nerve, so I pretty much have to wait to be "chosen." I keep meaning to subscribe, but then I remember all the luck I've had so far and pretty much think, "fuck that." I don't even have good email stories from Nerve. They've mostly been on the, "I liked your pics and profile, let's chat/IM/have coffee" variety.  And seriously, all but one have come from a "single" man over 40. WTF. No, really, what the fuck. Do I draw the perpetual bachelor/cheater to me? (An aside: Have you seen the BBC show " Manchild" ? Oh my god. The horror. It's kind of funny, and really, Anthony Head is pretty sexy--you know you were all giddy too when on Buffy it turned out he was married to Phina--but these characters are such prats. I digress.)
Which is all to say, no luck so far. It's been a bit over a month, I believe, and I have now been on...two dates. Both, bizarrely, older Australian men. That I cannot explain. One was from Nerve. After emailing a bazillion times back and forth, we arranged a "pre-date" meeting, involving coffee, apparently to ensure the other wasn't "crazy." I suggested the coffee and a walkabout--public spaces, easy escapes--and got myself a theater ticket as a failsafe escape plan. But when I arrived, his escape plan was even better.
He had picked up groceries on the way over.
Yes, groceries. Undoubtedly, nothing was perishable, but what a lovely fallback if things went quickly to shit. You just say, "Well, I have to get these home." I had to respect the man a little for that. We got coffee and chatted for a bit over an hour. No spark, nothing special. So I was surprised when, at the end of our little "pre-date," he suggested we have dinner in Jackson Heights. "Yeah, if you like cooking it'll be great, we can go and get you some spices and stuff while we're out there." And then gave me a really unexpected hug and kiss (on the cheek, thank god, because I didn't see that shit coming at all and might have injured him otherwise--I take my personal space very, very seriously.) to send me off. I was even more surprised when, after his response to my thanks email a few days later, he said "Let's do something this week, call you later" and I never heard from him again. *Shrugs*
I don't mind if there's nothing there, man, really, I don't. It would take a few dates for me to make up my mind about a complete stranger anyway, unless he was clearly a sociopath of some sort. You can just say, "Well, thanks. Good luck." You need not fabricate elaborate follow-up date itineraries, really. *eyeroll*
Aussie #2 was a bit younger (only in his late thirties), much taller (not a good scene, I've realized, having now been embraced by two men over 6 feet. I know I say I like tall men, but the tallest I have ever dated was about 5'10" in Jordans, okay?) and had red hair. I love red hair. And he was well traveled and delightfully literate, it seemed. And willing to commit to an actual film and coffee right out of the gate. I figured, we'd at least have something to talk about.
We saw Water. Perhaps the most depressing film in Deepa Mehta's trilogy. Not a good start when your date has to surreptitiously wipe tears from his cheeks when the house lights come up. I pretended not to notice. Then coffee and snacks at a diner. General conversation. Pleasant, no gaps. Still no spark, but I figured, he was interesting enough to see movies with, and seemed nice. I'd have gone out with him again, if just for that. We ended with an awkward dance, me extending my hand for a shake with him, arms outstretched for a hug, and then the reverse, before settling on a loose hug. (Space, damnit! Space!) Again, I got a, "let's do this again sometime," before never hearing from him again. Okay, not true, he did email me. But he took such pains to avoid implying the possibility of a second date that it would have been better if I had never heard from him again.
Apparently, I appear to be either too nice or too fragile to "handle" lack of interest. Which is funny, because in both of these cases, I didn't even suggest a repeat. *eyeroll*
So anyway, Nerve vs. Match--0:0. And I'm really not looking forward to more dates, but by god, I've paid for another two months of Match, apparently, so I'm going to press on.
I'm pretty sure there's a basic economics principle that renders my thinking entirely stupid and wrongheaded...but whatever. I need something to blog about.


At 7/24/2006 06:32:00 PM, Blogger maryann said...

i got suckered into a 2-month subscription with match when they sent me a 3-day free trial too. i met one really nice person (tho we had no spark), met another gal indirectly through match (she saw my profile but hadn't pursued me b/c she originally thought me too young), and met another nice woman that ended in an abrupt halt in e-mails.

oh yeah, and a bunch of crazies too.

match ended up not helping me in the long run; i ended up dating a friend i'd known for years. :)

at any rate, good luck! i hear all the time about people finding their soulmates online (i even actually know a couple of these people), so there is hope! good luck!

At 7/25/2006 10:46:00 AM, Blogger QuietlyGoingMad said...

I never had luck with Match--everyone on there wants kids-geez. Little luck with Nerve (springstreet). My best opps. came from Craigslist (i know, weird) and the Chicago Reader. Now, obviously the Reader will do you no damn good in NY, but I'd assume there's something similar to it...

At 7/25/2006 01:53:00 PM, Blogger The Soviet said...

i want to be your myspace friend!



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