I’ve been on several dating sites, to say the least. Each one seems to have its own personality or set of personalities. This is a broad statement and it’s meant in the way that African American women have large butts or small people are bad drivers (and people from NJ but that’s another story) is a broad statement, not meaning every single person has that characteristic but a large swath of those people might so it’s not so much racist or smallist as a general observation. So the following statements are not date-ist just more of an observation.
First a caveat applied: I can’t speak for the women’s side on any of this, so aside from being snotty I’m also being slightly misandristic but it’s my blog.
So just to name a few:
Plenty of Fish really seems to be about the bottom feeders. I don’t know why, because it’s free? Unsure. And while I like catfish it’s more of the breaded and fried on a plate variety than sitting across the table from.
Match feels like they keep recycling the same folks over and over from their database even though those people are now married, dead, moved away or otherwise unavailable. There’s the bunch are guys in a back room of Nigeria parading as contractors out at sea on an oil rig. They call you ‘dear’ a lot, ask immediately for your private email, have a child, the mother is a) dead b) abandoned them c) otherwise not in the picture with no explanation. They are always good looking but not over the top. They are god fearing – and that’s always a red flag because I’m marked as an atheist, why would you contact me? – and while their initial profile is amazing the follow up emails have a bunch of typos or bad grammar, supposedly excused because while they grew up in the US they are originally from somewhere else. They say things like “I live in the Park Avenue area” which if you’re a New Yorker you know isn’t an area at all.
JDate seems to be a lot of short angry men living with their moms and no that isn’t an anti-Semitic dig, it’s just what is there. Like the term Mammoni for Italian guys doesn’t mean you don’t like pizza, just means some guys still can’t do their laundry. Same thing. The one guy I met on JDate wasn’t jewish. He was a tall sexy photographer who wouldn’t ever show me the top of his head. EVER. You follow what ‘ever’ means? And what’s funny is that that wasn’t even a deal breaker, he actually gave me the heave-ho. Maybe I have an ugly part in my hair. He ended up with some woman in lower Fairfield county. Just statistically speaking, she’s probably not jewish either.
OkCupid is a lot of artists. Poor artists. Struggling artists. I don’t know how that happens. Does one guy at a gallery say to his friend at a gallery, Hey I’m on this site…..and 4 other people at the gallery overhear and so on and so on?
There’s millionairematch and aside from the fact that every 50 year old guy on that site is looking for someone in their 20s or 30s I also happen to know for a fact at least 2 of the guys do not merit that moniker. One is in jail, so that’s pretty much a non-starter and it’s not for white collar fraud so he has no swiss bank account waiting for him when he gets out. Don’t ask me how I know, just trust me on this. He was on a month ago. I’m not really sure how that’s possible because I’m guessing, and only guessing here, that jails don’t have internet access and if they do there’s a time limitation and if there is time to get online anyone with any sense wouldn’t spend it trolling for women you can’t possibly meet. But I guess someone with that kind of sense might not be in jail anyway, so there’s that.
The other guy I dated briefly once from another site. Might have been CraigsList actually. I needed arm candy for a party – sue me. Nice guy. Computer tech head. Probably makes about 90K a year. You’d have to add a lot of zeros to get what would even be construed as close to millionaire, so I’m just sayin’. There is a ‘worth’ check box and plenty of guys check it at 200,000 so I suppose as far as in dating sites go the whole honesty thing with who you are and who you represent yourself to be millionaire match isn’t any more lying, stupid or overtly shallow than the rest of them. But watch out for the guy in jail. He hasn’t killed anyone but he’s not really available for a drink.
Now apparently there are sites for religions, married people (or used to be…), “friend finders” and I’m sure a host of others I can’t imagine and likely don’t want to. But I do have a few suggestions.
I think there should be a Beard.com. Not for the hipsters who all seem to have facial hair ala mid-eastern religions, I’m talking about gay men posing as not gay men and frankly, failing miserably at it.
I feel as though there should be a site like that or I think I need to change my perfume. Maybe there’s something about it attracts gay men. First there was the guy with the weasel named Fluffy Bottom. Then the guy who was lawyer turned pastry chef and was deceptively good in bed but squeaked like a girl at a basketball game. There was the car salesman who couldn’t keep his hands from a-fluttering, the estate jeweler who was deceptive because there was the question if his Australian accent adding to my confusion, the guy with two sons who spent time singing at the Duplex and just recently the guy whose every text ended with 3 kissing lips, 5 pink flowers of unknown description and four rose icons and that was before we even met. Over drinks he admired my sweater, my earrings, and said “You. Are. Adooorrrable.” a few times too many (eg. once) followed by a string of over the top icons the next day. If we had met on beard.com I could have at least brought along a spare sweater and an extra pair of earrings to share.
And how about honesty.com instead of here’s a picture of me when I was 30 pounds ago/20 years ago/less crazy eyed from a stressful divorce ago.
I have a friend who’s recently put on some weight and while trying to get it off has launched into the world of hefty people dating. Why shouldn’t there be an “I’m trying to lose a few” site? I’m not sure if it was an actual site or a subcategory listing. She said however, not everyone who’s on it are heavy but it’s for people who like heavy people regardless of their own size. Kind of like my guy on Jdate, not of the faith but eager to participate with those who are.
But what she found in this group seems to have in common is certain cultures, latinos and African Americans in particular. I Love Big Butts wasn’t written by a white guy, after all. She also noticed the cat calling on the streets came from this group. I haven’t been cat called since my last feline died and she said she hadn’t either for a while because she figured she was too big but in fact, my friends, au contraire! When she put on the last 20 pounds the cat calls came in slews! It’s not that she wasn’t too big it’s that she wasn’t big ENOUGH! Men like a flat ass or a big ass but not much in between apparently. Alas for the rest of us.
I knew someone in her 70s who said someone should write a book about the day the whistling on the street stops. Like the day the music died. I think New York has become a calmer less crude sort of place than the 80s – pros and cons – but it’s also very likely I have aged my way out of the cat calling, sexist, disgusting comments age bracket and damn…..I kind of miss it. What day DID that all stop? I don’t think I can blame Guiliani for this one. On the flip side, while I haven’t had a cat call in a while but I do get people stopping me on the street to tell me how thin I am. I recently had someone ask if I was a ballerina. Yeah, a really old, pigeon toed, klutzy ballerina. No fella, sorry, just a regular anorexic, is there a good cat call for that?
I’m also thinking Blind.com would be great. I mean talk about really seeing the inside of someone instead of the outside. All these guys – well not all but some who think they are pulling the proverbial wool over your proverbial eyes – say they don’t care what you look like but want a woman who’s beautiful on the inside. I’m pretty sure cruising through the website they aren’t looking at your soul. Let’s take Tinder for example, swipe left for reject, right to chat. Let’s not fool ourselves, it’s a quick look at a face, maybe a few pictures, and if you’re lucky there’s a 3 line blurb. In other words, it’s like looking down the rail of a bar and saying “I’ll go talk to that guy. He’s cute.”
But think of the benefits of meeting someone where you didn’t have to put on makeup or change your outfit for every date. Frankly, I do that anyway. I have a couple of dating outfits and you can wear them every day of the week if you have a different date every night because who’s going to know? So long as you don’t go to the same bar. And frankly, even that. Who cares what the bar tender thinks. If you’re there every night with a different guy I’m pretty sure they’ve got other thoughts running through their head about you than ‘Gee, that nice girl has on the same sweater.’ It’s probably more along the lines of ‘Is that chick in here AGAIN with another guy? Is she turning tricks or just really unlucky?’
One downside of when you’re dating is you have to look at yourself. Not in an introspective way, but literally. In the mirror. You have to see who that other person is going to see. You have to put on make up to make sure that they see what you want them to see and not what you don’t want them to see. Also known as all the things you see. It means taking a long hard look at yourself, not at your life or who you’ve become or all those other things you are supposed to take a long hard look at some point, but take a long hard look at the creases on your forehead, the sinewy-ness of your neck, the small lines that weren’t around your lips 3 days ago. What I’m saying here is the important things. Not all that zen stuff that you know matters at the end of the day, but all the superficial stuff on which someone will make a snap judgment about you over a hopefully dimly lit martini and not over an unfortunately neon lit cup of coffee.
And it’s not like once you’re seeing someone you can show up with curlers and a runny nose over the breakfast table – I mean who wears curlers any more? But once you’re more settled into a relationship the initial judgments, the initial looking and assessing is over. The crow’s feet when someone smiles can be endearing once you’re in like/love/something in between with them. At a first glance it can feels more like, gosh, this person reminds me of Aunt Susan. If you’re sitting around on a Saturday night watching a movie and making dinner you don’t feel so much the need to put on the makeup, or not at least whole hog. Maybe just a touch of eyeliner and something one step up from your yoga pants. No need for the whole dating outfit because frankly he’s seen that already.
And so long as I’m insulting people with disabilities, how about Deaf.com I took sign language. It’s a beautiful thing, quiet, concise, real. There’s no mincing of words. If you’re short and fat you get described as short and fat. Why? Because you’re short and fat and it’s easier to sign those 2 things than spell out your whole name, Rebecca Amelia. The conversations would be so great because there’s not a whole lot of nuance and all that, gee, was that a double entendre or did he really mean it? One of my favorite New Yorker cartoons is a woman saying, “I once mistakenly thought I was dating someone for a whole month because I couldn’t tell his texts were sarcastic.” That would sort of be less of a factor.
That being said I’m not proposing a “[name your support group] dot com. It feels too open for trickery and here’s why.
I had a friend once who had a very retarded son. That’s not being non-PC, retarded means slow. This kid was beyond that so frankly the term retarded is being kind. His poor neurological system had been mis-wired. A very sweet child but a mess in that regard. (If you’re tsking your tongue, give me a break. I’m not insulting anyone here, like I did with the heavy folks and the jews, I’m just stating the facts.) Anyway, his dad suggested I go to support meeting for parents with disabled children because I could find a good man there who, by dint of life experience, would be patient and caring and kind. I don’t know. It just feels icky, you know? I’ve heard of people going to AA to pick up partners, when they themselves have no drinking problems, because they will find someone who isn’t drunk. Or has the self awareness to get help. Or is a cheap date. I know we all do things to represent ourselves which maybe isn’t a 100% real, like wearing heels to appear taller. Or dying our hair so no one sees we’re really gray. Botox, fancy watches, fibbing about loving camping or ice fishing and hoping to god we’re just out of town when the prospect of that trip comes around. But actually pretending to be seeking help for drinking when you’re thinking ‘god, when is this over I want a glass of wine with dinner’, how would you even explain that? I’ve fallen off the wagon already? And what possibly could you say to explain being at a support group for disabled children? Five dates in, you know, I have something to tell you, my cat actually ISN’T autistic? At what point would you say, gee, you know honey, I was lying. Let’s build a life relationship where the first thing I did to meet you was lie. Not peel a few inches off my height but really really really lie, somewhere far far farther out than the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. I may be crazy but I don’t think it bodes well.
I remember back in the day, pre internet, there were health clubs. When they first started to take off people complained they weren’t really for working out but seemed to have replaced bars for picking people up. Frankly, I applaud that. Imagine a place where people aren’t stuffing something into their gobs, are doing something good for themselves, even if it’s only having carrot sticks at the juice bar, and you could actually speak with someone face to face right of the bat. Now of course at the gym everyone is plugged into their headsets; you even have to tap the fat guy on the shoulder to point out that he is trying to lift a 50 pound weight over his head while stepping on your big toe. No one speaks, let alone trades phone numbers. I miss the old days. Maybe someone could start gymrat.com and people could arrange to work out together, although if I remember correctly, that’s similar to how Adult Friend Finder started out and what they found was what people wanted to do together was …… well you could call it working out…… But I have faith in the system.
The way kids were all excited because they could speak a text into a phone which would type it out and send it and the other person would get the text and would speak to them and then they could speak back and it would type out text and the other person could hear it …… it’s called a telephone!!! come around full circle. I am sure there will at some point be a site where people speak and meet and actually see each other face to face again. It’ll be called dating.