Ahhhhhh... I love it when it's been so long since I've blogged that so much has changed and I no longer care about what I was originally planning to blog about. No matter. 'Tis a duty (is 'tis an abbreviation of 'it is?' And should I blatantly be declaring my lack of knowledge on the matter when I could oh-so-easily look it up myself?)
Anyway, last time I clocked out, I was sharing with the whole wide world how I've used the Internet to find man friends. Which after fishing around a bit on other blogs/storyboards/profiles, turns out to not even be a big shocker anymore. Ok, it is and isn't, but either way, it will most likely always be perceived as the mockable option. Like living with your parents into your mid- twenties. Wait, that gives me an idea... (Note to self: future blog post about a subject I'm sure has already been talked about, re-talked about, and then overdone, overkilled, over-and-out. But that's the joy of a year-and-a-half absence from "the real world." Everything is still new and nothing is off limits. In theory).
So... online dating part II, eh? I want to talk about SOOOO many other things instead. Like my big move up to Washington. Or wanting to visit friends who live farther away than I'm used to and being too poor to do anything about it. But damn-flabbit, I made a commitment, and I'd always turn 3 shades of pissed when investigators on the mish didn't follow through with theirs. How can I become my own worst enemy in my own hour of need?
In a nutshell, an online dating profile might be like my favorite type of profile- the criminal profile. One of my all-time favorite shows EVER is Law and Order: SVU (dun dun, dun dun duh dun dun- der nerrrrrrh!) There's also the myriad of other shows, such as Criminal minds, CSI, Psych, Covert Affairs, The Closer, etc. (some of these I watch, some I don't), that use the whodunit and why formula for figuring out the inner workings of their Un-Sub (which I finally found out means "Unknown Subject," or in other words, your antagonist). And that's online love for ya. Lots of Un-Subs whose motives you have to figure out and determine whether or not they're killers. After my many browsings, these are some of the profiles I've managed to identify. This just proves what I've know all along- that I am soooo ready to be Olivia Benson's partner. Is she not the coolest of all female television protagonists? I purposely digress. Again.
1). The Auto-Biographer- Ok, we get it- You're a REALLY in-depth individual. You're not just into watching endless t.v. shows on Netflix next to an empty bag of Funyons (how'd it GET that way?). You like deep conversations. Like, really deep. And when the website of your choosing (Plentyoffish, OkCupid, Match.com, eHarmony, etc.) allows you several boxes for self description, you fill them all. Completely. Each is a separate island and short-long novel in and of itself. I once spent 20 minutes reading some guy's profile, no joke. And while that may be more my fault than his, I feel like the idiom "short but sweet" exists for a reason. The worst part is, I actually feel like I know you after all the energy I spent reading about you, which in reality seems like saying I "know" [insert celebrity name here] because I follow all their tweets, like, everyday. Essentially, even though I rarely believe less is more, I do believe the LESS you explain, the MORE I have to learn and to ask about if we ever meet in person.
2). The Cocky Ass- We get it- you're too cool to be on these sites, and you're just "bored" and want to "see what's out there." Right. I say this too. But at least I have the good sense not to spend quality ME space explaining that. Just get over it already- you weren't too cool for school, and you certainly aren't above screen love. Even if your picture is 95% more appealing than all the other ones I've seen in the last half hour. This category also applies to the dudes who like to add a big, long list of exclusionary conditions of what they will/won't accept from their online femme friend. Let's get one thing straight- some things are definitely deal breakers (I don't feel the need to list them). However, don't close doors before you've even seen what's behind them. You're laundry list of dos/do nots might discourage someone really great from coming knocking, simply because they don't want to waste time figuring out which key opens the many locks you've put into place.
3). The Imagineer- Speaking of appealing images... maybe we don't all have them. The biggest online joke is that what you see isn't always what you get.
But no one is fooled by the pics that only show you from your neck up. Or that you mysteriously have a hat on in every photo. As my good friend Hannah Montana sings, "Nobody's perfect." I may not want to see a close-up of the two hairs that still have squatter's rights on your head. But if you're honest about how you look now, it'll save us both some disappointment in the long run. Because rest assured, if I can't identify you if and when the real life meeting takes place, you can bet I'll break into a long run- away from YOU!
4). The Word Painter- 'Hey Sexy.' 'What up, babe?' 'You're hot, post more pics, please.' There's a right and a wrong way to start a conversation with someone. These aren't even profiles I'm mocking at the moment, so pardon the deviation, but man- nothing sucks more than someone who can't think of an original question/comment/observation to send to my inbox. You're not being charged per word, folks. If first impressions count in a real, face-to-face scenario, imagine how that's magnified when you can't even see the person! Use your words, people!
5). The Derek Downer- This guy's worse than number two. For me, the only thing more annoying than a Cocky Ass is an Eeyore- the Sad Ass. You know the type- they make you uncomfortable because they are the ones who say the male equivalent of "does this dress make me look fat?" I swear, for all the grief women get, men are just as bad. I've never had so many guys tell me how not attractive they are. Great. Well, let me just send you my number, cuz I'd love to hear more about that. I've told many of them and I'm saying it now- make me believe YOU are responsible for bringing sexy back. Even if you just get me to think you were one of the extras in the music video, I'll take it. We can't all be Timberlakes. But that's the magical part- we're not all looking for J.T.'s. Some of us go for the Timbalands, Kingstons and Pitbulls... (perfect time to make an "International Love" joke, courtesy of Mr. Worldwide himself).
6). The T.M.I. Guy- This real winner of a man match differs from number one mainly through sheer brassy audacity. I don't need to know how many times you were cheated on. Or all your deepest, darkest fears. "So... you're only on here for casual sex, you say?" That's promising. "You've been a real mess ever since [insert family member here] died, huh?" I especially love it when you give a guy your number and he feels the need to tell you that it's his first time... getting a girl's number. Do us females a favor and keep this type of information buried deep, deep inside. So deep, you might even forget about it yourself.
So there you have it. Just like all the best Facebook relationships, "it's complicated," more so than I'm willing to detail. It's no easy feat translating everything good/enjoyable/realistic about yourself onto a two-dimensional screen page. It's really an art in and of itself. I can't think of any of my friends who have tried it, myself not excluded, who hasn't at least confided in and asked the opinion of another person in perfecting their online presence. But I guess that's the good news- that behind these two-way computer connections are real people, with real potential. And really, isn't that what keeps us coming back for more?
Update: As of now, I've given this whole Internet dating thing a break. Of course, time and hormones have a way of roping us back in, even when we swear we've had enough. (Isn't it great how I switch to the all-inclusive 'we' pronoun when it's convenient for me)? My real problem isn't online anyway- it's my curse. I've realized that any time I'm about to head out and move away (to college, to my Washington D.C. internship, before my mission, and NOW, right before moving to Washington), is when guys I've know for awhile FINALLY find the courage to admit to me (or to a third party who will then relate to me) that they find my Sweeney ways to be alluring. Or in layman's terms, they like me. I feel so delightfully elementary school right now. But maybe my sad/funny excuse for a love life would make for a decent Disney princess plot line. But they'll have to come up with the ending of how to break the curse. I'm out of ideas. And for the moment, that's fine by me. But no matter what, I know I will- sorry... I know 'we' will all live _____________ever after." The End.
Smiles and such,