I went into hoarder mode shopping for men on “OK Cupid” and “Plenty of Fish.” I answered messages from anyone who seemed interesting and reached out to anyone who had “liked my profile” whose profile I also liked. I was averaging about two dates or initial “meet ups” a day three or four days a week for several months. It was kind of like clearance shopping.
I was also sleeping either four or nine hours a night. Nothing in between. When I couldn’t sleep I fall into the abyss of the OK Cupid Question Mill which claims to match people by their answers. These quasi-inane questions spiral on. Hypnotized by the changing screens, I’d check off one box. And the next one appeared. Do I want a relationship for one night, months, years or a lifetime? Do I primarily want love or sex? What type(s) of sex? Am I a cat person or dog person? Could I deal with a drug user? Some one who carries a gun? Do I support Satan or God? Hillary or Ron Paul?
So, I uploaded my professional photos for my future life as a published writer and the messages start coming in. Since I’m an unemployed slacker with writer’s block, I’d answer them. The guys writing to me were also on-line, so they’d often answer really quickly. Apparently, we were all slackers. And I was having these multiple flirty conversations. It’s like Facebook, but you don’t know who your friends are or who might turn up.
My wish list was for someone smart but not arrogant, successful, low maintenance, fabulous sense of humor, no kids, crazy about me, lives near-by, tidy but not too anal, aka Prince Charming with a lovely, well-appointed castle. Probably not going to happen without putting together my own Frankenstein monster, but I don’t know what to make him out of.
I’d compromised on my ex, aka “Mr. Crankypants,” to the point where I’d wanted to kill him. I’d been bowled over by his uber high-end, bohemian lifestyle. A life I could slot myself into, and maybe still afford designer tennis shoes. But he turned out to be a mewling infant stuffed into the body of a crotchety sixty-seven year old. Had I not spent the past thirty-two years of my life with my late husband (and senior prom date), I would have seen the signs, i.e. incessant whining. I moved on, a bit more embittered then when I’d started.
Since I’d never really dated in my formative years, my dates often seemed surreal. Like I was watching some one else interacting with these guys, saying clever things, nodding empathetically. I just wasn’t sure who I was in this picture. I didn’t expect to find another soulmate. And if I did, I might be too sleep deprived to recognize him. Maybe he’d recognize me.
My life became a sick experiment in performance art dating. I’ll talk to, and possibly meet anyone who sounded nice and/or cool. And who was willing to meet within a fifteen mile radius in daytime at a public place. . I had never talked to this many new people in one day.
On the other hand, it was a pointless thing to do. I should probably (still) get a job. It’s pretty sick to stay on-line all day because I like receiving compliments from men I’ll never meet. Or texting with strange guys when I need a writing break. One cute chef, ten years my junior, said that about 85 percent of the people he’d met on-line were fake and dishonest. I think that’s what he meant; English wasn’t his first language.
Real people live with the person that they love and spend their nights with. Fake people like me troll the internet talking to strangers. I’ve was e-mailing with a tattooed polygamist who looks like Bluto from Popeye. And a sophisticated, successful author. And an Israeli engineer. And a Berkeley massage therapist. And a professional comedian.
And I realized this was a budding addiction. I had fun stories to tell. I looked put together. ( I did sets of matched outfits, “Garanimals” for for adult sleep-deprived). I was having adventures and figuring out public transit. I was “getting out there,” generic advice foisted upon the bereaved by those who do not want to spend time with them. And kind of disintegrating into a different kind of loneliness plus a misplaced Holly Golightly complex.
I went off-line, on and off, for a while before abandoning my dating sites. I did not find Prince Charming. I did throw my I-Phone at the wall when I was juggling too many people. Am I the only recovering internet dating addict out there? If you like this post, please share and/or follow. It is sooooo boring out here in blogger land.