I have recently reentered the world of online dating, and let me be perfectly clear. It sucks. Big time. Here’s an example. I just got an alert that “Imtheone4u” had commented on my picture. Exciting, right? So I clicked on the “see your comment” button and here’s what it said: “whoops, sorry, clicked on you by mistake, but nope. Good luck.” Seriously???
You may wonder why I embark on this exercise if I find it so painful. So do I. But about once a year or so, I get frustrated with my single status. As independent as I am, I would truthfully love to find a lovely gentleman to share my life with. And that’s hard. Even back in California, my dating life wasn’t exactly active. So imagine the challenge in Massachusetts, where I probably know less than 100 people collectively, and most of them are people I work with. The dating pool is tiny, and then add age, shape, my preferences, their preferences, and the chance that we will meet by fate or accident or at the hardware store and recognize our kindred spirits. It ain’t happening. And I’ll say it. I’m lonely, not just for any old companion, but for the right companion, that elusive unicorn of a person who can get me, and who I get.
And while online dating is, well, awful, it is where people today are meeting each other. I have several friends who have met their spouse, or their longtime partner, online. I even have close friends who met each other on Craigslist! And while no one would ever predict this would be the source of landing a quality relationship, these two wonderful people are perfectly matched, married and now with an adorable child to boot. It works. For some.
Like I said, about once a year I give it a whirl. I’ve tried J-Date (too Jewish), EHarmony (too complicated), OK Cupid (too scummy) and now I’m back on Match. I’ve connected with a few guys to the point of exchanging calls and texts. One time I actually made a real life date with an online prince, only to have him never show up at our meeting spot (unless, as I’ve always feared, he did show up, saw me, and left).
I’m not a man hater or basher by any means. I love guys! I have lovely older brothers, for instance, so I know there are great guys out there. Some of my best friends are men! But I am puzzled by the behavior of these online dudes. For starters, there’s the whole picture issue. I have 4 pictures of myself posted, all recent, all very fair representations of exactly what I look like, for good or bad. Guys seem to go two ways with this. Either they have one unfocused fuzzy long shot of themselves, where you can barely see them, or they have upwards of ten pics, several including other women, at least one by their car, frequently there seems to be a sailboat involved. I’m thinking they see this as their opportunity to chronicle their lifestyle, rather than just showing us what they look like.
Do looks matter? Yes. They do to me. I’m not saying it’s the only factor, of course not, but when you’re catalog shopping, as it were, the visual counts. I read the profiles, to be sure, every word, but if there’s only one picture and it’s so blurry I can’t make out the facial features, you’re out. And if in one of your ten pictures you’re shirtless and another one you’re standing next to your Beemer or Camaro with a smug look on your face, out!
The profiles are dicey too. Too short and I assume they just don’t really care. Too long, and they start revealing some crazy shit you don’t really want to know about another person, unless and until, you are really committed. For instance, your online profile may not be the place to share you are still hung up on your ex-wife but super horny (truth!), or that you want to be treated like a little boy (more truth and really, just ugh).
Maybe I’m too picky? Maybe this online thing just isn’t for me. I’m giving myself three months this time, and we’ll see. Maybe (keeping optimistic) two months from now I’ll be writing about falling in love. Because I’m hopefully optimistic. But I’m even more hopefully optimistic that I’ll have met him at the hardware store, my beautiful unicorn of a man, and we will live and love happily ever after.
The end, for now
First of all, let’s talk about Summer. Right now, we’re just about halfway through. 48 days until Fall (I googled it). And I…freaking…cannot…wait. I HATE summer. Hate it. Hate the heat. Hate the humidity. Hate waking up every morning, already, and this is super gross, already damp. Like, from sweat. DISGUSTING. And do not, do not even get me started on my hair. Or what used to be my hair and is now just a frizzy appendage sprouting from my damp face.
Here in the great Northeast, we have been experiencing an extended period of high heat and humidity. I feel as if I have not been physically comfortable for a month. My theory is that I suffer more than most in this area. I don’t think you can take a physical system accustomed as it were for a half century to dry arid heat and plop them into the never ending humidity vortex and not expect a full blown literal, figurative, physical and psychological meltdown. I have melted.
And I think it has a detrimental impact on my personality. Just last night I was watching Frozen, for about the 94th time. And that annoying snowman Olaf was singing his big number “In Summer.” And the thought came fleetingly into my mind that if Olaf was in the room at that moment, I would punch him in the face so hard, his carrot nose would come out the other side.
Okay, lament, whine, complaint, snowmanicidal violence, over. You get it. I shall never speak of it again. Or at least not for a few minutes. But, bright side, 48 days away is the best season of them all! Fall! And I’ve got a front row, adorable sweater clad, pumpkin tea spiced, seat at the most glorious leaf changing show around. So, there’s that to look forward to.
Here’s another reason this summer in particular has sucked. My sweet Daisy Petals crossed the rainbow bridge. In other words, she died. It’s astounding that a tiny little dog can leave such a vast cavern of emptiness in her wake. I keep walking in to rooms expecting her to be there. And it’s not like it was completely unexpected. She was 15 years old. That’s 105 years in people years. But it was sudden and it was shocking and it hurt like a bullet to my soul. And in spite of being a passionate and possibly dramatic type, I also come from that line of “suck it up and walk it off” people, so I just sort of stuck a bandage on the gaping hole in my heart and went about my business and that may or may not have been the best way to process grief. But it was the only way I knew.
And so, there’ve been challenges. But before you get too concerned and send worried messages, let me remind you who you’re dealing with here. You can never keep me down for too long, I would just so much rather be happy than unhappy. So when life gets hot and hard, or frankly stays hot and hard, I look to the things that bring me joy. Like a stolen day at the beach. A “ladies who lunch brunch” with a friend. Finally finding reasonably decent Mexican food nearby. Laughing, and laughing and laughing with my forever friends and family. It’s not all and always good, but it’s pretty damn good, and I’ll take it.
I guess my point is, we don’t always have easy lives. Not me, not you. Hard things happen. Sad things happen. And everyone has their own way of coping. Or not. But in general, life goes on. And we have a choice, or at least I believe we have a choice, and I choose to exercise it. So I’m going to try like hell to stay cool and happy and focus on the good, not the bad. Like Fall. It’s only 48 days away.
The end, for now