Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Adventures in e-Dating Part II - Hell Hath No Fury Like an Oprah Scorned

Previously -- I was lonely and bored, and rather than settle into a life of dedicated, bitter alcoholism, I decided to troll for women on the internet.

My new relationship lasted about a month. I'm not complaining; she's a sweet person, and we still talk regularly. We both realized that we weren't a good couple, so we both moved on with our lives.

But I returned to my original problem - no women. I thought about talking to some of the perfectly lovely women I see at the bookstores, but after the dreaded macing-in-the-Faulkner aisle incident, I felt a new approach was needed.

"Try!" a friend suggested. "That's how I made a lot of friends and ultimately wound up hanging out with you guys." A ringing endorsement, if I've ever heard one.

If Yahoo! personals are the Chevy Cavaliers of internet dating services - safe, generally reliable and rather boring, then is the Grand Am - bigger, prettier to look at, but it doesn't seem to work as well as you think it should.

And Match wasn't a total loss; I learned that I'm really big in the sticks. I received tons of e-mails from wild, hard-drinking women who live about 80 miles from St. Louis.

Now, I'm not a babysitter; a few drinks? Great! Happily social? Great! Falling down drunk every night and looking for someone to watch over you while you drink yourself into oblivion? Call a cab. I only drink alone.

That last sentence was a joke, by the way. The Lord is always with me. And the dog - she's there too. She counts, right?

And the three dates? One of them made it to the second date, when I made an important discovery: no matter how tempting it is; no matter how badly you want to say it, don't call a book "too Oprah book club."

Now, I probably should have thought a little before making such a comment, but I made it. So men, if you want to see a woman go from zero to pissed in no time flat, don't insult her father. Don't insult her mother; just insult Oprah. I guarantee, you won't be getting any sweet loving that night. You'll be lucky not to have a black eye.

I should also point out that it's rather odd when you stumble across a friend's profile on one of these services. What's the protocol? Do you mention it to her? Do you send her an e-mail just to say hello. I'm always reminded of that Southwest ad where the two women anser the personal ad only to find it's the nebbish guy from the next cube. I decided to leave well enough alone.

But after awhile, you can only read the same profiles so many times. You can send witty and funny e-mails only to receive no reply so many times. Connections that look good on paper mean little in the real world. So I withdrew from Match, and entered the summer with a song (albeit an angry one, but no angrier than usual) in my heart and the clouds in the sky.

Strangely enough though, I'm not bitter I did it. I pissed some money away, but I also learned a lot during my experience. As Annie pointed out in the comments section of the earlier entry on the topic, "Real people are much more fun." Which they are. There's only so much you can pick up on and see via a monitor and keyboard.

Of course, now I actually have to leave the house to meet some of these "real people".


Lime Girl said...

Do it, Brian. Leave the house and bring the dog. Girls love a boy with a dog.

Lime Girl said...

by the way, it's me Annie...aka Lime Girl

Anonymous said...

So far Brian I have heard 2 stories about E-Dating involving 2 different sites. Now I can not believe that Dr. Neal Clark Warren would lie about his site, and what about the parade of happy married couples they play on the radio, I mean they know each others names and have those great love stories. Love like that can't be scripted, the last Star Wars movie proved that. When do you stop blaming others and start wondering if it's you? ;) Aaron