Alrighty. So here is the latest in a long line of deep irritations with the whole internet dating thing.
And let me begin by saying, before you write in, I'm thrilled you met your fabulous boyfriend on Match.com, and couldn't be happier that your Cousin Sheila just married some guy she hooked up with on Chemistry.com. I'm just saying that in the seven years since my divorce I have now been on, wait for it....47 first dates based on online meetings.
Only two of these generated second dates.
I’m still single, so you know how those turned out.
This is not a good ratio in terms of time-management. I have essentially given up on the whole thing; it is too expensive, too subjective, and too time-consuming. I have been on first dates with guys who were 20 years older than they claimed, 50 pounds heavier than their pictures, and who were, whether they know it consciously or not, gay. Not effete or mincing. Just, um, never even peek at my cleavage, never had a girlfriend longer than six months even though you are in your forties, we-seem-to-both-be-distracted-by-the-same-hot-waiter GAY. Nothing wrong with being gay, a huge percentage of my favorite people are same-sex oriented, just, um, don't pretend you want to date me!
I have been on dates with guys who have been less employed, less racially-tolerant, less intelligent, and less divorced than they would have led me to believe. This doesn’t even take into account the endless e-mails with guys who never pull the trigger on the actual first date…and you know what? I’m awesome at e-mail. I’m witty. I’m creative. I FUCKING WRITE FOR A LIVING, and I’m tired of giving it away for free and then having the recipient disappear into the ether.
In spite of the numerous online-dating indignities I have suffered, I do, however, keep a profile posted on JDate, because I am single and Jewish and if we believe Elijah may come back, maybe he'll be cute and looking for a girlfriend. I do not pay for a subscription because it is $35 freaking dollars a month and I'd rather keep that in my cocktail budget, thank you.
On JDate, if someone sends you an e-mail, you have to be a subscriber in order to A) see who it is and 2) read it. This means that if you aren't paying them the monthly fee, you have no idea if 1) it is some guy who has tried four times to convince you to go out with him or B) your future husband. So my policy is to wait for someone to write, pay the toll, and deal with the financial consequences in the spirit of hope.
Besides, I only get a nibble about two to three times a year on JDate, so it is actually more cost effective this way.Yesterday I was informed that I had mail. I paid my $35 (SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE? $35? Without lube?) and checked it out. It was from a guy whose profile I had seen before, and frankly, hadn't been much impressed. Not unattractive, but not necessarily my particular flavor. Not inarticulate in his narrative, but didn't spark as particularly interesting in a way that made me tingly either. However, I know it is hard to reach out to a stranger, and his profile hadn't been awful, so I forged ahead with an open mind.Here was his e-mail:
Hey-- I read your profile and you really sound great, but I just can't understand how it can be that you can not make coffee. Good coffee is so easy to make! Maybe I could teach you how and then you would be perfect in every way? Josh
(In case you haven't gleaned, I mention that I cannot make a decent cup of joe in my profile.)
Okay. Not terribly original, but not totally inane either. I've been trying to be more open-minded about guys lately, I work at home lord love me, and am starting to be tempted to set things on fire so that Firemen will come over, I should give him a chance.
Josh-I know, the coffee thing is really embarrassing, especially for a gourmet chef. So obviously you are a Master Barrista, anything else I should know about you? Stacey
To which he replied:
Hey Stacey-Sorry, I was just interested in the coffee thing. I didn't mean to flirt. I apologise for being a jerk. Josh
He did not apologize for being a bad speller.
$35 for this?
Josh- Small note....this is JDate. The whole 'date' part of that title seems to generically imply that one would be here to, um, meet other single like-minded individuals for, well, DATING purposes. If you have a particular interest in offering coffee making lessons, I suggest Craigslist or the Reader Classifieds.
Or at least lead with "I'm not attempting to get to know you in any way, just wanted to offer to teach you how to make coffee." Doesn't make you a jerk, just sort of puzzling. Well, you might be a jerk. I don't know anything about you except you can apparently not only make coffee, but are willing to share that knowledge with others. I'll leave acknowledgement of your jerkiness up to you.
One other thing: Many people do not keep up a subscription to JDate, but allow their profiles to be seen. When someone gets an e-mail, they do have to pay at least a one-month $35 fee to read said e-mail and respond. If you tend to only have sporadic messages, often skipping two or three months at a time, it is still more cost-effective than maintaining the year-round expense.I share this only to say that, again, on a DATING site, you might want to think in advance whether your humanitarian coffee-making aid might be worth $35 to someone who might be here in an honest effort to meet potential suitors.
You know, just a thought.
I mean, really.
If you have a nightmare or two yourself....feel free to share with the class.