Come On, Team America

Original Post Date August 28, 2013 at 11:46 AM

How can an author date when she works in solitude? Use an online dating site, of course! This is part one of a two part observation on dating in the digital age.

I toil daily at refining my manuscript for your future enjoyment. Hours and hours on the computer, who has time to socialize? But the reality of it is, too much seclusion can negatively impact the quality of your art, unless you intend to pull a Secret Window.

So I decided, okay, let’s consider our options here. Nightclubs? The whole Skrillex, Deadmau5 movement literally makes me want to rip my head apart. How does one dance to bandsaw passing through corrugated metal? No go there. Pubs are cool, but I’m not that much of a drinker anymore. In the last two years, I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight. I shouldn’t drink more than two Guinnesses…Guinnei?…in one outing. So that’s out too.

I crowdsourced my friends for their experiences with dating sites. They warned, it is like a second job. The girls had their opinions, but everyone said the same thing: you don’t know if it’ll work unless you try it. So I did. I invested in a 3 month membership, starting Father’s Day weekend, naturally, as it’s the one time of year men with children are reminded of their status with women. I launched my profile and let it sail the uncharted waters.

For the statisticians in the room, here’s the figures: for the 71 days my profile was live, it was viewed 2090 times. Of those instances, I received 86 personal acknowledgments. From those 86, I went on six dates. For the demographers in the room, here’s your variables on the dates: age range 40-57, median age 42. Five Americans, one National (European). There’s your quantitative data.

Qualitative was eye-opening. I figured by engaging more established members of society I could avoid the gawky, vacuous, perverse expressions of the guys I messed around with prior to joining the dating site. I also figured, because they’re advanced in their professions, and most had children in their teens and 20s, these guys are more confident than the lower minded guys who are just gunning for you to touch their peapod.

With a large, pained sigh I announce that touch my peapod! is a universal truth. It occupies the mind of the fisherman, the attorney, the janitor, the engineer, the city administrator. Touch my peapod! Chris Rock was so right.

I can’t be upset with these guys, because they have plenty of women at their fingertips who are on that touch my peapod! as well (Think about a peapod. Closed peapod. Open peapod. Yup, you got it. You’re welcome). I went out with an associate a few months ago and was horrified to watch her straddle the first man who acknowledged her and let him grope her breasts. We were less than an hour into our evening. How am I supposed to look appealing next to that?

My problem was, I was using this dating site as a conduit towards similarly educated, similarly inspired, similarly driven individuals of the opposite sex. Silly me.

Want specifics? Click on:

 

A Seabee and a Folksinger Get In A Fight

Original Post Date September 04, 2013 at 11:53 AM

This is part two of a two part observation on dating in the digital age. Von throws caution in the wind, only to get regret tossed back.

DinaGoldsteinFallenPrincesses
Credit: Dina Goldstein, Fallen Princesses

oliveoylWhile online dating offers an organized approach to matchmaking, ya gotta be spontaneous every once in a while! After all, it’s called a leap of faith, not a hushed tip toe of faith. “M”’s profile described him as a musician. Seemed real chill. So I thought, let me accept his random invitation to hang out. I asked, where to? He said, let me get back to you on that. I want to make it reallyspecial.

He chose Ringside Cafe at 7pm. A quarter til, I sent the obligatory ‘on my way’ message. I’m cutting across 22nd Ave N towards 4th when I get this text: meet at 730? I respond, sure. Already en route, I continue towards the venue and park. He sends another text. Make it 8pm? I offer to reschedule the date. He insists, no, I’ll be there, we’ll have a great time. Fine.

You remember my two beer an outing rule?

It’s 720 and I find a pocket at the bar. I order Guinness Number One.

“Oh great, this one’s gonna talk my ear off,” a voice beside me teases to one of the bartenders. I look over at the red nosed, barrel chested man introduced as “D” working down a lager. Another text from M: waiting on a cab. I share with D I’m waiting on my date. He gives me a look that is best described as salacious.

A familiar face approached my left. I gave M an embrace and noticed his blue eyes were black. He wore a cheesy grin across his face. I scanned his chosen ensemble for the evening: flip flops, cargo shorts, ironic T-shirt. Argh. D makes an offhanded comment about my date finally arriving. M orders a beer and I order Guinness Number Two.

M and I enter into an exchange about music. I feel a tap against my right shoulder. D suggested I order food while the kitchen was open. Thanks for the heads up? I turn back to my date, and his face was demonic. I ask if he’s okay, and he shifted back to stoner angelic, saying no, nothing’s wrong, you hungry? You wanna eat? Anything you want honey.

As soon as M left for the restroom, D launched into colorful commentary. Damn girl! You had to walk in here with that dress on. How’s that date going? I’m retired Navy. I’m a Seabee, you know what that means? I was in Afghanistan. I’ma give you my number and we’re gonna go out. Not if you’re wearing that dress, don’t think we’re leaving the house!

With D, it’s not touch my peapod. It’s here’s my peapod.

With impressive timing, the house band segued into “Ain’t That Lonely Yet.” I sang along and caught M smiling towards me, but his eyes were over my shoulder. I ‘m compelled to look over at what M’s scowling at, and realized D’s talking to him. I catch D emphasizing, I’ve been to war, buddy, I’ve seen some ish.

M, would you like to move?

No honey. I’m fine.

M stopped listening to the band a while ago. He stopped being on a date a while ago. He was clearly needing D to make one more comment so they could go at it. I decided to let the dogs bark, and ordered Guinness Number Three.

Argh.