Yes, I’m back. Back in the city. And back at the online dating grind. As predicted, more high hilarity has ensued and I haven’t even been on a date yet! (Well, technically I have been on a date. Last night I met up with someone I’d been emailing on OKCupid since last year. So that doesn’t really count. Or does it? More on that another time.) Anyway.
A few months before I left for the desert I joined SeniorPeopleMeet. I mean I signed up for it but didn’t pay, so I was only being “viewed.” I couldn’t respond to emails or communicate with members in any other fashion. I made a joke about it here. But a few days after I returned to civilization, I actually forked over the money for a month’s membership. And when I told friends about it they all groaned, “You aren’t a senior, Abby!” But I kind of am. I mean, it was getting a little ridiculous being “cruised” — and propositioned — by 20-somethings on OKCupid . Flattering as well, yes, but not exactly leading in the direction of forever. I thought, why not get on a site designed specifically for people at least a little bit older? Like, in my general age range… Well, holymotherofgod. It’s like a goddamn old folks’ home on there! Not to mention the lamest, corniest, clunkiest interface EVAR! I’d say don’t get me started but you know that’s exactly what you want! Okay, here goes!
One of the site’s most glaring glitches was evident on my “Who’s Viewed Me” page; men who had not only viewed me before but who had emailed me (or, more likely, “flirted”) were listed as “NEW!” with “1 view.” They can’t even seem to get that right. Not that it matters.
First off, the site offers canned “flirts,” much like OKCupid’s “winks.” They are incredibly trite and about as far some sincere as the internet is capable of conveying:
Feel free to send me a message ; ) – Yeah, why don’t YOU send ME a message? Instead of this stupid “flirt?”
I’m interested in you. Yup, interested and lazy.
I’d love to hear from you. Um, not gonna happen.
Great Photo. Care to chat sometime? Yeah, that last one makes me think there’s more money to be made by the site if everyone’s IMing away. I haven’t been brave enough — or stupid enough — to turn off my pop-up blocker and allow these fossils to “chat” with me!
I Like You! Hahahahah! Sounds like one of those little Valentines we used to swap in grade school. Which is pretty much the way the whole site feels. And, I’m assuming, the demographic they’re shootin’ for.
These “flirts” are all accompanied by cutesy-pooh emoticons, ie a smiley face with hearts as eyes. I was getting so many that I changed my profile to say: Also, no “flirts.” They’re generic and anonymous and irritating as HELL! If you can’t craft a personal message, don’t bother. I realize that because you’re on THIS site you may be a Luddite, but don’t let that hamper your ability to communicate. But does anyone pay any attention? Hell no. And most of those who did take the time to write a personal message asked what “Luddite” means. Sigh.
I’d also written PLEASE! If you don’t have a photo, don’t bother! It’s only fair. Yet the generic, canned flirts just keep on a’comin’! Grrrr! Faceless dudes all over the damn country emailing me flaming hearts. That’s another mark against the site: it doesn’t screen people for geographic location unless you’re doing the searching. In other words, it throws people at you with little regard to where you live.
A few days ago my inbox started blowing up. And I began to suspect the site of sending bots. Er, fake emails. I was getting “views” and “flirts” from dozens of men who had no photos, many of which didn’t even have a brief little blurb of introduction. “Ping” after “ping” from the black silhouette head, smiley face with heart-shaped eyes and screen names that appeared to have a strange same-ness: FRED45COOL and JIM69TX or SAM77SWIM. Those who did have a bit of their profile filled out were so generic that they sounded made up. With all my experience trying to sound like a “real person” back in my porn days, it isn’t difficult to recognize fictionalization. So many included the words “laid back” and “easy going” that everyone sounded tranquilized! Like I said, it does resemble a retirement community.
Of course, the names that do have photos and profiles are just plain alarming: CHUCKYHOT. Um, not. WILDBUTSAFE. I seriously doubt it. The wild part, I mean. COOLTUSH. Huh? The percentage of men who have the word “fun” in their screen name is also somewhat jarring. I realize I’m “old” and still “fun” but just because you can still get up and walk around doesn’t quite qualify you as “fun.” Or hot. Or wild.
Here are few of the most frightening examples (and my apologies to you, gentlemen, but I mean, c’mon):
This guy says he’s 50. Really? I mean, seriously? There is NO WAY!
And this guy is supposedly 51. Can’t that truly BE?
I suppose, at 56, this gentleman is more credible, but doesn’t it look like he’s a little used up? Or beaten down?
The bottom line is, do ANY of these guys look like they’d have anything in common with me? Be able to keep up with me? I included in my profile a brief, if slightly ballsy (and possibly offensive) caveat: “You’d better be a VERY young old person! I have never dated anyone older than me, at least not since before I got my driver’s license. I have an exciting life that I’d love to share but I don’t want it to kill anyone!” Why go on a date if the dude’s gonna keel over the next day?
Thus far I’ve had only one slightly unpleasant interaction. In a fit of disgust at yet another guy without a photo sending me a somewhat obnoxious email, I couldn’t stop myself from being a bit rude:
Subject: Dear Abby,
OmiGod, I just had to say that, start this massage no,I didn’t misspell it, (verbal massage) that way. Well I barely remembered what a luddite is(small l in Webster’s). I don’t send “flirts”; they are meaningless, should never have been born, only massage to be read, although I give great backrub. That is simply a given. For once you are going to be the “editoree” instead of the editor. And that, in my humble…….is o.k.
Webster’s….I know….AGAIN…. calls fem. for editor “editress”, you call that person an “editrix”. Do not fear, I shall be gentle, for who knows,this could be your very 1st time? But since that is highly improbable, I shall still be gentle because I am a gentle kind of a guy, and I like to play with the Language, craft my own words, am also a writer….Michael P.S. Old enough to be your father? Hardly. Being away at boarding school when I was 15 or so, I had yet to discover girls. Gosh, that is such a vulnerable admission. Will you be gentle too?….
Did you read the part of my profile that said no photo, no response? Guess not.
Ohhh, so short, so curt, so goodbye. [Sent twice!]
Ooops, think I sent that one twice, a mistake. In your world it doesn’t sound like any are made….or allowed to. I was,and am, going to add, sooo sarcastic….funny thing about sarcasm…. anyone can do it, be that way, even a mental midget
Hahahaah! Mental midget! Yup, that’s me!
There are, surprisingly, a few guys on the site who don’t look like Santa Claus, don’t live in West Virginia and are capable of stringing together a few sentences with the proper spelling and punctuation. I’m lining up dates with some of them. I’ll most certainly let you know how they go!