Groucho Marx once famously quipped “I don’t care to belong to a club that would have me as a member.” I sort of feel the same way about online dating sites. There has got to be a better way to meet people, people. Sadly, mental telepathy does not work. Unless you know what I was just thinking, in which case, e-mail me.
I’ve recently begun… researching popular dating sites. Not because I need a date. Ho, no, no, no. I don’t need a date. I’m up to my man boobs in hot lady action. There’s an 85% chance of boobs forecast in my love life. I am the Mayor of Vagtown. No, this research is for you, for all of you. It’s a testament to my generosity of spirit I waded through these interweb love sewers in order to impart some sort of wisdom. Here’s the wisdom: dating sites blow.
Possibly, if I was in prison, an Alaskan crab fisherman or a morbidly obese shut-in so humongous I had to wash myself with a ShamWow stapled to a broom handle, I could see the value in such sites. But I’m not isolated, nor confined to a forklift. I don’t need a middleman brokering a get together between the potential woman of my dreams and my own abilities to self-sabotage and humiliate myself. I can do this sans an interweb intermediary.
This might or might not be a totally uninformed opinion. The extent of my research began and ended with me signing up for OK Cupid, and failing to finish my profile. Somewhere on OK Cupid, there’s a John DeVore in Queens floating about. I couldn’t even bring myself to pick a pseudonym, which just seemed like the first of many lies required to meet anyone. Do I call myself OptimusGandalf and admit from the get-go that I’m an alpha nerd? Do I overshare a little too much and pick EdgarAllanEeyore? Or do I just admit to being a smartass, pretentious creep and go for HumbertHumbert?
I tried to fill out the profile, but instead, it just filled me with a quiet rage. The self-summary section was baffling. It pushed me into an existential identity crisis. Who am I? Or more importantly, who am I when it comes to who I want someone else to think I am, so they will contact me, go out with me, and eventually touch my genitals. Am I sensitive guy, or a romantic, or sarcastic? Maybe I’m all three. I love long walks, going to see live indie bands, and wha-a-a-atever. I made sure to pepper everything with winking non-sequiturs and casual attempts at pop profundity. Then there was the section where I define myself by the books, movies, and music I listen to. My music list was a near impenetrable list of overly eclectic bands that reflect my excellent taste, punctuated by “and Genesis.” My movies were all ’80s flicks, foreign films, and David Lynch. By the time I go to books, and wrote “Pynchon,” I was in a full-fledged state of self-loathing.
And then I got to the super annoying question that asked about the first thing people notice about me, and all I could write was “my balls on their face.” Which was totally inappropriate, of course, and I gave up. I gave up, stared blankly at a wall, and ate two toaster waffles.
I do not need help in this department. Thank you very much. It’s like a masquerade party in the Twilight Zone: I take off my Brad Pitt mask just so I can reveal Sloth from “The Goonies.”
There are, no doubt, many of you who have met the love of your life via online dating sites. Good for you. Congratulations on basically winning the lottery. I firmly believe I have a better chance of getting a girlfriend dressed like Zeus, stopping women on the street, and bellowing, “Rut with me, mortal beauty, and feel thine mighty, fleshy thunder!” Not that I want a girlfriend. I just broke up with six the other day.
I can deal with the risks of love. The threat of heartbreak is what makes finding that one person who sparks your fuse so precious. But I have to be honest, the online dating thing freaked me out. It touched a nerve, and I’m flummoxed as to why. The only conclusion I could come up with was that, maybe, we deserved them. Perhaps online dating sites accurately reflect a generation of singles so entitled to instant happiness and acceptance, we flock to digital artifices that both feed and coddle our egos. Virtual environments where we can indiscriminately reject dishonest projections of identity, while simultaneously being insulated from the very rejection we dole out. A play land of false romantic promises, and deferred risk. A freaking solipsistic waste of time.
I don’t really know how to meet anyone anymore. Maybe I’ll open a 1970’s style single bar like the Regal Beagle in “Three’s Company.” I’ve heard tales of these places, where singles met to chat and hook up, devoid of modern day phalanxes of disinterested females and the pick-up predators these unfriendly cliques inspired. I will call it John DeVore’s Love Hut.
I’m not the type who demands you do as I say, not as I do. So for now, the only way I know how to meet anyone is to sit in my fourth floor walk up in Queens, stare blankly at walls, eat toaster waffles, and squeeze out telepathic “what’s ups.”