The meanderings of a recovering ex-expat with the occasional identity crisis
From time to time, when I attend a friend’s wedding, or catch reruns of romantic comedies starring a younger Meg Ryan, who still had control over her facial movements, I get the warm fuzzies and fantasize about what it’s like to have a relationship with a nice, normal guy. This propels me to socialize with men whom I would usually have no contact with, other than telling them while parked at a stoplight, that my windshields are very clean, and I don’t have any change, but thanks all the same.
Another fallout of the warm fuzzies is online dating. Online dating is a voyeuristic way to meet people we may never want to come across in our normal daily lives. How else would we learn that Iluv69 doesn’t own a stitch of clothing for his upper body, because all of his photos show him naked from the waist up, wrestling with what looks like a Lochness Monster of a fish in Alaska, making a pie from a few twigs and some poisonous-looking berries in the Amazonian rainforest, or tending to malaria victims in sub-Saharan Africa?
Most online profiles come across as too-good-to-be-true and exaggerations abound. The most common lies are about height, weight and age. A fifty-year-old man posts a picture of himself from ten years ago and wonders why the twenty-five-year old woman he met online, who is now sitting across from him, looks more like she’s forty five and requires reading glasses when perusing the menu.
Many profiles have a similar structure: the first part is usually a personal introduction. Second section is about the type of person the profile author hopes to meet. It’s also a known fact that most people, regardless of their shortcomings, prefer to meet a partner who’s intelligent, attractive, humorous, and talented – The Whole Enchilada. As a result, the writer also tries to convey this in his/her writing, with varying degrees of success.
Whether you’re new to online dating or are a seasoned pro, my next few posts will guide you along the slippery downward slope of online dating.
These posts are designed to help you–
During the selection phase:
1. Determine whether the profile author is bipolar, manic-depressive, depressed, without the mania, manic, without the depression, OCD, or just plain stupid.
2. Wade through the boggy morass of men, who post pictures of themselves posing with yachts/sports cars/McMansions and find out if they are squatting in the mansions, have stolen the vehicles, or have suspended licenses due to a previous incident involving some pornographic movies and a goat.
3. Not be turned off by sixty-year-old men with online screen names, such as AVeryOralRoberts and ThePleasuredomeGnome.
During the communication phase:
1. Overcome your fears by initiating contact. Independent, double-blind and double-blind date studies with a group of female orangutangs and a busload of Shriners on their way to the Vegas Strip irrefutably show that women who first make contact with men online will have as much success in landing the man of their dreams, as I will have in winning a game of golf against Tiger Woods with nothing but a walking stick and a jar of Vaseline.
2. Determine your deal breakers. This is something you will have hopefully figured out prior to going online, but meeting men online may trigger other deal breakers you may not have thought about previously. I’m not just talking about something so straightforward as, I will not date a man who talks incessantly about his love for pork, when you are a practicing vegetarian. I’m referring to those men who have watched Babe over thirty times and go through five boxes of Kleenex in the process.
3. Know when the FYI becomes TMI. Telling a potential beau that you have a two-year old daughter is fine. Telling him that you had originally thought she was just some bad Mexican food you had at a taco stand after a weekend drug binge in Tijuana is not.
The first meeting:
1. Decide where to meet, what to wear, who should pay, and what self-defense weapons to leave at home.
Where to meet? Butch’s Gun Shop.
What to wear? Something conservative, but seductive, like anti-embolism stockings in a fishnet pattern.
Who should pay? Hopefully, not his wife.
What weapon to leave at home? Your hand gun. Butch’s has a wide selection of new and used hand guns at very reasonable prices and provides a free latte and wifi with every purchase.
2. Come up with topics of conversation for those awkward moments:
a/ How long has he been out of/how long will it take him to get to prison.
b/ Where the hell is that pervasive garbage smell coming from.
c/ How many Arbys are there within a five-mile radius of his house.
3. Prepare yourself, if he:
a/ Starts sobbing uncontrollably on your shoulder, because you actually showed up and are really a woman.
b/ Keeps calling you, Mamma (fill in your name here).
c/ Frequently checks under the table to see (i) if you have a prosthetic leg; (ii) if your conversation’s being bugged; or, (iii) if you have kept your pants on (because he hasn’t).
Other Important Topics We’ll Touch On:
1. How long should the initial date be?
Answer: As long as you can stand it, without suffering irreversible brain damage. Usually between ten and thirty seconds.
2. Should I sleep with him on the first date?
Answer: Only if you haven’t fallen asleep already.
3. My date’s embarrassing me by laughing like a hyena, talking loudly about his past sexual conquests, and asking me for my measurements. What should I do?
Answer: You have that stun gun in your purse – one of my “Ten Essentials for your First Sarcastic Date”. If you don’t have that, the chair you’re sitting on will work just as well.
4. Why is it that every guy I meet falls short of his great online profile? What can I do about this?
Answer: Dunno the answer to that one, but you can write a sarcastic blog about online dating.
**If you want to learn more about Why Men Lie, head on over to my friend Karl’s OKCupcast at http://www.yrad.com/ok/#okc5, where I will be the experimental subject of a not-so-distant future podcast.**