Okay, rather than continue to prove (and re-prove) how many of the profiles on OKCupid are fakes, I’m gonna get real. I’m gonna come clean about the sad reality of disappointing dates and awkward interactions. Because it isn’t only OKC’s fault. It’s mine.
Here’s one example of back-and-forthing gone awry:
Him: Aren’t you the bartender ?
Me: Ex bartender.
Him: Yes, I remember you invited interested parties to visit you at your gig. What are you doing now?
Me: Making hats and other costumery. Not much different, just no bar shifts at the moment. And you’re welcome to come watch me craft!
Him: Where do you craft?
Me: In my living room.
Him: Is it that entertaining to watch ?!
Me: No. It was a joke. Sadly, humor doesn’t translate very well online. You asked what I was doing now and I went with “doing” as inviting people to visit me while I’m working.
Him: Which part of the city do u live ?
Me: East Village. Near the bar I’d invited people to.
Him: As interesting a woman as you seem to be , I don’t drink and given the brewskis in your photos it looks like you like to party!
Me: Oh well. Heaven forbid you might get to know me and find out. Your decision.
Aaaaaaand, end of discussion. So why the hell was this guy emailing me to begin with? Those photos with “brewskis” didn’t miraculously appear. They were there from the get-go. I don’t post pictures of myself sitting on my couch NOT drinking. Or in the gym NOT drinking. Mind you, I’m a part-time alcoholic. But still. How horrible would it be to meet “an interesting woman,” if only as friends? Or to meet someone new? Does it NEED to be only for a long-term relationship? Asshole. SOBER asshole.
Here’s another communication fail. My “conversation” was prompted by info in the man’s profile:
Me: I’m up for meeting in person as soon as is reasonable, no endless email exchanges or (horrors!) phone calls or texts. That said, if you’re interested, I’ve now made the first move!
Him: Hi Abby,
Yeah, you’ve made your move, and I like a determined woman.
However, I have to tell you I’ve seen your profile a while ago and was mostly admiring the costumes and “tattoos”, and in the recent times have just stumbled on your profile over and over again while aimlessly wandering the wildernes that is OK Cupid, therefore I wasn’t actually aiming to contact you.
(Blame it on the tiny thumb avatars – way too small for my tired eyes – under the heading “You might like”…)
I was thinking I may be too “tame” for you, though we will never know that for a fact unless we try it out empirically, so – why not: I’m all for meeting and may have some time towards the end of this week, to be exact Friday night, Saturday during the day (before 5 pm, working the evening) and Sunday.
I’m up in Harlem, but we can meet wherever convenient for you, I like traveling…
Let me know.
Too tame for you? Meaning what? I managed to be polite and witty through a dinner with a Republican banker from Connecticut. I will assume you’re at least a BIT less “tame” than he was. (Is? He DID assure me that he’d been to Woodstock. Yes, the original Woodstock.) Anyway, yes, no way to know without meeting, though your lack of enthusiasm is a little contagious.
If you think you might actually be serious about meeting me — and as I say on my profile(s), the goal of enjoying each other’s company for an hour or two is lofty enough without worrying about “forever” and all that — get back to me. I haven’t been to the Garage Flea Market (24th/25th between 6th & 7th) so maybe we could stroll through? Grab a coffee before or after?
If any of that (meeting me, aiming for friendship initially, strolling through a flea market, coffee?) appeals, yeah, lemme know! This is decidedly an imperfect “system” but a means to an end, I suppose.
Him: Hi Abby,
You are spot-on on almost all points above.
Lack of enthusiasm is the right definition for it, though it’s not for you per se. So, I didn’t want to appear to be a creep – visiting your profile multiple times without contacting you – but I ended up being an asshole – telling you “meh – we might as well meet, but only if you insist”. You seem like a nice person and you deserve the right amount of interest. Which I did not show.
In my defense right now, it seems as if I’m in some kind of valley on the OK Cupid “valleys and peaks” path. So you may not believe me when I say “it’s not personal” – how could you? – but it isn’t, it’s just me not being particularly enthusiastic about anything…
And that is a wrong start, period, whether thinking of just now of forever, regardless.
P.S. When I said “tame”, I meant I’m not “plotting activities” all the time and all over the city and/or continent, though I’m not exactly the couch potato. (Woodstock..? I was otherwise engaged at the time, but had replayed it numerous times in my bedroom in the succeeding years, thanks to the triple LP I still have, though not recently…)
Me: Would it be that awful? Honestly? I’m an interesting person.
Honestly? He couldn’t even be bothered to see this through and meet me? And does this mean I should change my profile to say that I essentially sit on my ass waiting for some — ANY — human companionship? Does “planning things” make me so wild that no normal man could possibly imagine himself able to handle the enormous burden of entertaining me? Holy hell.
Yet another fail, on my part, to engage a fellow human. Again, I reached out, based on an interesting profile. What an idiot I am. He said on his profile that he’s in Vermont until April. So I thought I was safe in merely making contact.
Me: Hi there,
I decided not to be dissuaded by your “replies very selectively” rating or the fact that you’re not available for coffee or a beer (or wine, for you, if you prefer) in the (very) near future.
All that said, you sure do sound interesting. Sorry, I’m not usually one to gush but you would make a good TV show. Or Lifetime movie…Perhaps something on the Cooking Channel?
I’m hoping you’re experiencing enough boredom to spend more time than usual on this site and that you will, out of said boredom, respond.
Him: Good Morning Abby,
Depends on very near future. I am in Brooklyn till Saturday morning. Had to dash back to Brooklyn for a couple of days in between snow storms.
Me: Hmmm, does this mean you’re available for a coffee or beer? [Fuckin’ hussy.]
Him: Shoveling snow at my store right now. No plans for tonight or tomorrow afternoon at the moment. Subject to change. [Sounds positively RIVETING!]
Me: Yeah, no plans for tonight either, with all this “weather.” Let me know if you’d like to make a plan!
Him: Where in New York are you? [I always love this question. Like there’s a right and wrong answer? Friends tell me that people list themselves as living in “New York” when they are, in fact, living in New Jersey. Or worse!So I guess it’s not a completely ridiculous question.]
Me: East Village. [Which, one might’ve assumed, given the “EV” in my screen name. Perhaps not…]
Him: I can hop up there or nearby. I would love to have Chinese at Pings on Mott St.
Me: Tomorrow, perhaps?
Him: Lunch, coffee or hot chocolate?
Me: If you’re craving Ping’s, let’s do that! Hot chocolate for dessert?
Him: More Chinese food than Pings per say. Lunch I would pick a dim sum place.
Me: I’ll leave it up to you. I work for myself so I can do either lunch or dinner. And hot chocolate knows no hour.
[This exchange took place around noon, all in quick succession. When I hadn’t heard back from him by 10pm, I made other plans for lunch.]
Me: Looks like I can only do dinner tomorrow. Let me know if that works for you!
Sorry I have plans with my son, Maybe next time I am in town.
And that was that. Why bother telling me you’re in town? Then why bother telling me when you’re available? Only to become UN available? Why bother beginning to make plans at all? I guess that was my bad for not keeping me day wide open. Sigh.
Near-misses shouldn’t be anything to get stressed about but when you spend as much time at home, alone, as I have lately, it does have an effect. Sadly. Even worse are the dates I enjoy and the men I never hear from again.
A while back I went on a date with a guy who was super tall and the perfect age (a year or two older…perhaps not “ideal” by my “standards” but certainly “proper”). He showed a more-than-nodding acquaintance with the neighborhood and picked a place. He showed up on time, wearing black jeans and a motorcycle jacket. He suggested fancy cocktails, which were yummy, and ordered a selection of tasty tapas. Then he paid. Thus far, many points accumulated. Next? The invitation to go somewhere for an after dinner beer. Ding-ding! Off we strolled to Manitoba’s. More points. After not one, not two but three beers later (one round of which I insisted upon paying for), he said he needed to get going. We walked down Avenue B till my block and hugged goodbye, with smiles, “that was fun”s and “I’ll be in touch”s. I never heard from him again. Who’s to say it would’ve worked out. But add to all of his particulars that he’s a music producer and in a band. That his last girlfriend (who is deceased, not an “ex”) and I traveled in similar circles. That he gave up his East Village apartment for a family home at the beach (!!!) so, you know, I could offer him a place in the city and he could offer me a place at the beach (!!!). I was envisioning a bright future. But no. Nothing. Not even an invitation to see his band. Ah well.
I don’t post the good dates because, well, I don’t want to risk a guy reading about himself and ruining the chances of romance blooming. Which doesn’t mean I don’t go out and actually enjoy the company of men I meet online. I’ve had a few dates over the past few months that were really fun. The men were smart and engaging, our conversations stimulating and entertaining, the checks chivalrously paid. I’m not sure which is worse, never hearing from someone I was truly interested in seeing again or enjoying myself with a man I can’t imagine sleeping with. Either way, the disappointments have been adding up and I’ve considered retiring from the online dating world. But for now, I will post this and wait for the nasty comments, which have become as emotionally debilitating as the dates themselves.