Monday, October 11, 2010
My Friends Think I'm Gorgeous...But 'Computer Says No...'
So while I was alternatively hibernating or bleating away about my pitiful existence this summer, to anyone who had the patience of a saint to listen, two of my girlfriends came up with a plan.
It wasn’t a particularly brilliant, inspired or original plan, but they succeeded in getting my attention regardless.
“What you need,” they declared knowingly, “is to be wined and dined a little. You need to get out more. Let your hair down. Have fun!”
More specifically, I needed to be wined / dined and to expend a little flirtatious energy with men who had the looks of Pierce Brosnan, the assets of Richard Branson and a Phd in cunnilingus/multiple female orgasm. “Any sane, single man would give his right arm for the chance to go out with you!” my loyal friends assured me. “You’re going to have men queueing up for the chance to take you out to some fancy, schmancy restaurant! C’mon, your confidence could do with a little boost and it’s not like you have anything better to do, is it? What have you got to lose?”
Sounded like a good plan to me. Sign me up! I said. Now, where’s the catch?
There’s the catch. Need I say more?
I wasn’t particularly convinced that a man with the combined attributes of Pierce / Richard / Sting (?!) was going to be advertising himself willingly on Match.com. I’d had the impression that Match.com was purely a euphamism for Freeshag.com...(“well, what’s the problem with that?” said one friend, “after all, it’s about time you had your pipes serviced.”)
When I expressed these concerns to my two girlfriends they duly ran roughshod over my scepticism....”No, No, No - there’s plenty of fantastic, eligible men on Match...look, here’s a photo of one on a boat!” they assured me fervently....and started to write my profile.
And that, my dear friends, is how my first foray into t’internet dating began.
Oh well, I thought a little dubiously, at least it will provide some entertaining blogging fodder if nothing else.
In a matter of days I had created a dating pseudonym, written a half-hearted profile and posted a few pics, including this photograph.
This is, I have to be honest, the most flattering photograph I have probably ever had taken in my whole life (wedding pictures included). It is a miracle of modern digital technology. It caught me in a split micro-second before my facial features morphed back to their typical frown or gormless gaze. Even my most closest friends will attest that unintentional gurning is one of my foremost specialities.
This is going to have all the hot, rich men responding in droves, I thought. No matter that I won’t possibly be able to recreate that look in person - this is the land of false advertising. And anyway, I am going to divert their attention with my effervescent, vivacious personality and pernacious wit! It’s going to be great!
Now if there was ever one activity designed to well and truly knock my confidence to rock bottom levels this summer - it was my experience with Match.com.
Oh to be sure - I did get a fair number of winks. And even a number of emails. All of whom from men with the combined attributes of Homer Simpson (couch potatoes), Jabba the Hutt (“Weebles wobble...but they don’t fall down”), John Merrick (aesthetically challenged), the Hunchback of Notre Dame (a few handbells short of a full set), the Yorkshire Ripper (serial killer style facial hair) and Sarah Palin (gun toting global ingoramus).
It appeared that the likes of Pierce / Richard / Sting hadn’t yet tracked down my profile, so I decided to give them a helping hand and shoot out a few winks and sardonic, amusing emails of my own.
Which were all IGNORED.
Not one response. Nada. Zip. Zilch. And I know they went on to read my profile and take a look The Most Ridiculously Flattering Photo Of Me Ever Taken, because I checked.
Now to say my self-esteem was in tatters prior to this experience is to put it mildly. And after? Well, it was well and truly incinerated.
Well here is proof positive, I mused. My destiny is a relationship with an overweight, hairy, ugly man who sits on his couch all day cleaning his guns, picking at his beard while agreeing with the latest Glen Beck rants. Either that or I am going to be alone FOREVER. Way to go in cheering me up, girls.
Of course, beggars can’t be choosers, as the saying goes, so I did venture out on four first dates.
The less said about those the better.
Surprise, surprise, there were no fancy dinners in exclusive restaurants. I made an effort to make myself look presentable, only to find each man turn up in baggy, ill-fitting cargo shorts, T shirts, that looked as though they had slept in them, and flip flops. I’m not sure what impression they were aiming to make with that ensemble, but it definitely wasn’t one of, ‘I made a little effort before coming out to meet you tonight’. Of course, looks aren’t everything. I may be shallow, but not that shallow. However, I have to confess I have spent more entertaining hours in the company of my friend’s British Bulldog Louie...and at least with him I am guaranteed of less slobber during the goodnight kiss.
What a spectacular waste of time. And more to the point, what a spectacular waste of $75. Do you realise how many cheap bottles of plonk I could have purchased with that money, to keep me company during my long summer of sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself? Quite a few, I can tell you that for nothing. Particularly if I had limited my spending to the 3-buck-chuck shelf at Trader Joe’s.
Let’s hope this is not a sign of things to come when I am back on British shores. Surely the dating world can’t be as cruel back at home? I guess on that front, I will just have to wait and see.
In the meantime I will continue to reassure myself that I have, in fact, meet a very interesting guy and no, he does not have the looks of Pierce, the assets of Richard (although potentially he could have a Phd in ‘satisfying women on the sexual front’...).
He is a good friend of Subversive Mum and I met him the first time last Xmas, then again at Easter while on holiday in the UK and most recently while visiting SM at her new home in Brooklyn.
He’s a Brit. Older than me. Shorter than me. Possibly not the least bit interested in me. But I like him. I can’t quite put my finger on where the attraction lies - all I know is that the instant I met him, I liked him. I wanted to spend time with him. We are so very different yet have umpteen things in common.
Maybe he’s going to be a very good friend once I move home. But maybe, it could be something more. Only time will tell.
It might take a while....but I’ll keep you posted.