The meanderings of a recovering ex-expat with the occasional identity crisis
After ending a lackluster, long-term relationship early last year, I’ve finally managed to shake off the leftover ennui and get back “onto my horse” and re-join the dating world…Even if that horse usually turns out to be a pack mule with a limp, a circus-performing orangutan, or a kid’s beat-up wagon with a squeaky wheel that’s about to fall off.
Every morning I sift through the *matches* that are sent to me by an online dating website. I assume that, since I honestly answered the 10 million questions on the dating website I would be matched with someone from the same solar system.
Instead, I am matched with men whose greatest passions are Diet Coke and, “I’ll tell ya later, gator.” Men, who list their dogs as their “greatest inspiration”, as it was Fido who taught them how to open their hearts and love. From online dating, I’ve learned about jobs I didn’t even know existed – Yard Leader, Inspector of Your Heart, Guitar String, and Sexxxpert.
Every time I look at these matches, I think about what in my profile would have led the search engine to give me these men as potential matches. And every time I ponder this question I wish I could’ve just been born a very invasive ground cover that nobody wants in his yard, but can’t get rid of.
As I was lamenting to my friend Karl, he reminded me that many, many years ago, I had tried my hand at speed dating, thinking that that’s what would turn my dating life around. But afterwards I was so disgusted, I gave him my notes about the date. Here is what he wrote word for word:
Susan tried her hand at speed dating the other night. Basically, speed dating involves sitting down with a bunch of opposite sex candidates. You interview each other for about 6 minutes and then at the end of the night you pick who you liked. They pick who they liked. If you match up, contact information is revealed, and, well, the rest is magical, baby, magical.
Speed dating is all based on a theory of human attraction that says despite the commonly held belief that it takes time to fall in love with the love of your life, everything we need to know about a life mate person can be sussed out in 6 minutes flat.
Curiously these speed dating things are very popular with women and not so popular with men despite the fact internet dating services seem to be stacked with men 10 to 1. These things plain scare men. I think the reason is because men really do, deep down, have fragile egos. Women don’t have to be the alpha chick but a man’s ego is based around the usually incorrect idea he is the one true alpha male in the bunch. So that men are asked to lay their alpha maleness on the line, subject it to tests and hard radiation, there’s a certain finality and abruptness about these kinds of things. Rejection cannot be soft shoed or explained away (“Well, she was probably a lesbian.” “Women don’t like nice guys and the fact that my breath always smells like baloney should not factor into it.”)
Susan told me the thing was set up like an Estrogen Movenpick Marche . The women all had their own little stations and then men all moved from table to table.
Susan sent me her notes on the male prospects with no explanation or comment. I post the rather cryptic list here. YES, I imagine, indicates she liked him.
1 John Boeing Engineer, Istanbul YES
2 NO SHOW
3 Dave R. Arrogant
4 Patrick Fanatical Biker??
5 Kevin No job? Drums, Sing. Parent
6 Dave Boeing Supplies, mousy
7 John P Org Devel. Peace Corps, Eyes YES
8 Reed ?????
9 Ric Army guy, div. Hispanic, hot bod! Climbs waterfalls ???
10 Tim Techie, Portland Native, shirt YES
11 Stephen Car Dealer, Slimy, Plast. Surg?
12 Brian Architect, Doors in China, Friends in Malaysia, Eff. YES
I’m intrigued by Reed 8′s multiple question marks. Given Stephen 11 is a car dealer I interpret “Plast. Surg?” as an indication that Susan suspects he had plastic surgery versus he’s a plastic surgeon in his spare time. Brian 12 has friends in Malaysia although Susan doesn’t. Not sure at this juncture how that’s a positive.
I think I would have picked #2 simply because he had the wisdom not to show up.
Speaking with Susan briefly this morning she did not seem overly impressed by the candidates. I think because of the kind of rejection inherent in this kind of thing, it becomes self filtering. You either get really arrogant guys who are single for a reason (smelly, mean, and no reason to be arrogant), or guys who are totally clueless about all social convention (yeah, another hot prospect). Tilting towards the latter, Susan did seem to think most of the men were Boeing engineers.
Of the women, she noted, “There were some blonde bitter women there with sagging flesh and unhappy lives. You know the kind.”
The men, she felt, were rather stiff. That’s to be expected. Fear of unanimous rejection by all women present can make a man tense up a bit. Susan has been around the block enough not to be put off by that. What kind of threw her for a loop though is some of the men brought cue cards. I’m surprised some didn’t bring their own “Applause” sign.
“One guy talked about sushi for 6 minutes and then finished up by noting he doesn’t like raw fish.”
What the men might have written down about Susan:
John: Big Tits
Dave R.: Big tits but I need bigger
Patrick: Big tits she could press against me on the back of my bike
Kevin: Big tits but since I live at home she better have her own place.
Dave: Big breasted women don’t like me
John P: Big tits, beautiful like the mountains around Andean village where I helped dig a well.
Reed: Big tits?????
Ric: Hot big tits
Tim: Bit tits
Brian: Big tits for a Chinese or Malaysian woman
No show: Wonder if any of the women there had big tits?
Karl is single, relatively-sane, and lives in Toronto, Ontario. When he’s not blogging about my dating exploits he is gainfully-employed and likes to bake (using an oven in the kitchen, that is). You can read more of his stuff at www.yrad.com.