Relationship Ramblings

Testing the Water and Drowning in the Dating Pool

I did the online dating thing years ago. I hated it. I hated the idea marketing myself to find a date.

As it turns out, I’m not the only one who feels that way.

The other night, I came across Al DeLuise’s blog post on HuffPost Post50, Testing the Water in the Dating Pool.

I couldn’t stop laughing. I also couldn’t help but to give the female counterpoint to his musings about online dating and writing a personal ad.

Online dating — God’s way of saying, “You are such a lazy loser you can’t even pick up drunken women in bars …”

I used to think it was society’s way of saying, “Oh, how sad. She’s desperate. She can’t get a man to notice her. She must either be ugly as fuck or some kind of batshit crazy loon.”

If I have to go on another first date and say, “I’m a computer programmer, and what do you do?” I’m going to rip my lips off and spit on them. Can you spit without lips? Maybe not …

In the few years I dipped in and out of the online dating pool, I had two very different jobs. My first a sales clerk at an upscale department store when I was first divorced. It didn’t seem to impress the intelligent and professional guys I wanted to date. Then I finally convinced an editor that my mind had not turned to mush in the eight years I was a married stay-at-home mom and got back to being newspaper reporter. I loved being back in my professional element as much as it seemed to scare the shit out of a lot of men. As soon as I told a few what I did for a living, they emailed back and said, “You’re out of my league.” I suppose I would have had better luck finding a man if I had some kind of traditional female professional job like a teacher or nurse where I made enough money to adequately support myself my kids AND not be some kind of perceived intellectual threat.

…I begin to compile my online dating profile, the profile that will tell the world exactly who I am. The profile that proclaims, “I look good in a tuxedo, but feel just as comfortable in jeans.” For women it would be the obligatory “little black dress or jeans.” Apparently, people who are happily dating attend only Cotillions or the rodeo, there is nothing in between. God forbid I wear a pair of Dockers and a sweater — I’ll most certainly die alone.

In the time I was doing the online dating thing, I could count the number of times I wore a little black dress on one hand … and still had fingers left over. And I’ve never been much of a jeans gal. I could never find a pair that fit comfortably. I was more of a khakis kind of girl, but khakis didn’t sound all that sexy and alluring. I just stuck with, “I’m just as comfortable wearing a business suit as I am my casual clothes.” It really didn’t matter what I wore. Most men don’t care what a woman wears although a few asked what kind of panties I was wearing, what my bra size was, or if I had a nude picture.

There is a list of questions that will define me. Do I drink? Do I smoke? No, of course not, I write with cigarette dangling between scotch-soaked lips (lips that I haven’t contemplated ripping off yet — but I will).

I once spent hours filling out an eHarmony questionnaire only to have it tell me that I was unmatchable. I called customer service to ask if there was a problem with its computer system. I was assured there was no problem with their matching system but with me. I was told their ability to match me with any man in a metropolitan area of four million people was limited because I smoked. She suggested that I quit smoking, change that answer in my dating profile, and then they would gladly take my $29.95 a month. I said, “No thanks,” and wondered how many closet smokers there were on that site.

What are my likes? … Moonlight. How can anyone not like moonlight (unless you’re a werewolf)? Long walks on the beach (really going out on a limb with that one). Skinny dipping (at my age?). Apparently, on dating websites there are thousands upon thousands of non-werewolf-like-people walking naked along some moonlit beach. Why wasn’t I invited?

You know how many times in my life I had been on a beach to go skinny dipping at night? Once. Want to know why it was only once? Because of the effect 70-degree water has on a certain part of a male anatomy. Let’s say it was a fantasy that was proved to be a fallacy, probably right up there with all those men on eHarmony who said they didn’t smoke.

What are my dislikes? … Drinking, as I pour another scotch. Why not tell the truth.

I probably should have taken up drinking after having gone on a dozen or so first and last dates with men who weren’t quite so truthful about things like living in a house (their parents’), their cars (Alfa Romeo, Town Car … each that were about ten or fifteen years old and were repaired in one way or another with duct tape), their ages (a few rounded down by five or ten years), or hair color (well, at least at one time they had brown or blonde hair).

Dislikes? Really attractive people with money who don’t have to sit in the dark writing these stupid profiles hoping against hope that no one at work, at church or in their family will see just how pathetic they are.

Dislikes? Those really cute blonde nurses with bright shiny smiles who left notes two weeks after putting up their profile saying that they weren’t taking any more messages from men because they already found a fantastic guy.

How do I look? Well, based on what I’ve read on the Internet, there are no overweight people on dating sites. I can be ‘toned,’ ‘athletic,’ ‘slender’ or, if I want to feel like I’m being honest with myself, I ‘carry a few extra pounds.’ Really? Five pounds is a few extra pounds, losing small children in your shadow is downright fat. When Pluto envy’s your size, you need to exercise.

I tried getting around this by honestly saying that I was fifteen pounds over perfect. Apparently, fifteen pounds over perfect sometimes got a reply of, “Sorry, I’m not into BBW’s,” even from guys that were five feet, eight inches tall, and weighed 225 pounds.

Religion? I won’t even answer that question. No good comes from any acknowledgment of Religion. I do believe in God, and I believe that she hates me right now.

Politics? This is a land mine. If I’m a Democrat I’m too liberal and will destroy this country from the inside out. If I’m a Republican then I’m too conservative and I’ll destroy this country from the outside in. If I’m Middle-of-the-Road then I’m too much of a lightweight to know exactly how I want to destroy this country. I’ll leave it blank.

I avoided delving into these subjects, too, although I once met a guy who had the courage to bring both up topics on a first meeting. Our conversation really opened up when we both discovered we were agnostic liberals. The catch: we lived 60 miles away from each other; too far east and west to make a relationship happen.

… Kids? Yes, three. With that, do you know how many times I’ve heard, “If you meet a woman who has three kids you would be like the Brady Bunch!”? As if I aspire to mirror my life to a ’70s sitcom that expounds loud shirts and very bad hair. The only problem is, in real life, I won’t live in a really nice house with an awesome staircase that is perfect for those Christmas pictures that I won’t be sending out each year. I won’t have a smart-alecky housekeeper with a butcher for a boyfriend who could get me a nice discount on roast beef and steaks. My kids won’t be having contests in the living room, building a huge house of cards to see who is better, the boys or the girls. Then when my daughter’s bracelet inadvertently knocks down that huge house of cards, losing the contest and thus labeling the girls as inferior to the boys, it won’t end happily in thirty minutes. However, it may end after the thirty years of therapy required to restore her self-esteem.

I never dated a man I met online long enough to even contemplate The Brady Bunch fantasy, although I once met a guy who started talking about “our relationship” on our first … and last … date.

So this is who I am now: A Tuxedo-shedding, skinny-dipping, non-werewolf-turning, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Adonis that even my mirror would not recognize. Still not done, though, I have to post a picture. Fortunately for me, I know exactly which one to post. A few years back my sister took a picture of me at a family picnic. I was toned, tan and just had my teeth whitened. Even standing right there, people looking at the photo didn’t realize it was me. Perfect … as much as I am trying to build my perfect match, I will jump all over that first email I receive even if she’s a five-foot-tall, black- haired, brown-eyed, middle-of-the-road atheist who walks with a limp.

I have to admit that I was very honest about how I portrayed myself and I never intentionally jumped all over an email from a man who was honest about living at home with his parents or driving a beater of a car, or not so honest about his age or hair color.

My profile is now ready to go. As I stand on the edge, I wonder how long it will be before I take a breath and dive head first into the deep end of the dating pool.

If I were looking to date someone and if Mr. DeLuise lived nearby, I would definitely would be intrigued by an uncensored personal ad that he could have placed.