Sunday, August 19, 2012

Beyond the Sea

So you've decided to make a profile on Plenty of Fish!

Very good! You join millions, nay, billions of subscribers in your quest for easy never-call-again-sex true love on the Internet. But before we start discussing favorite movies and picking favorite extremely public meeting spaces, let's take a moment to talk about what you can expect from here on in.

You Are Not Interesting
Wait! We're not calling you disinteresting! After all, very few people are actively disinteresting human beings--and if you were among that elite, boring 1%, you'd certainly be at least sort of interesting by virtue of being so disinteresting!

But no, as you type in your information, you realize that while you're by no means boring, you're by no means interesting. You're That Guy. That guy with a wacky name for the latte he buys at Starbucks three times a week. You're not James Bond Interesting. Not even Trevelyan interesting. Which is what every person you look at is looking for.

So you do the only thing you can do.

You're Going to Lie
Rationalization here is key. "I spent some time at Cornell!" Sure, you never studied there. But you looked at the place, right? You ate in the cafeteria before you fled New York. Should I have stayed there? you wonder on your sleepless nights. Don't worry! Your mystery date wonders the same thing about her "Vasser attendance!"

Coyly suggest (based on a $1 online donation) that you are deeply concerned with the plight of Lake Michigan. Use your boycott of the (dozens of miles away) Chick-Fil-A as a self-righteous bludgeon. Discuss your sexploits with the dismissive air of someone who's seen it all before. And on that subject...

Even restricted to its linguistic context, the word "intercourse" relates so thoroughly to Plenty of Fish interactions that an Evangelical Debate student would fan herself and ask for a towel.  But you will blink at this concept like a mirage in a desert. 

Of course you pretend your experience gap means nothing. You fill the sex questions with confident proclamations, say yes to kinks you didn't even know were kinks (wait, people tickle each other?), place yourself as the Lothar to all Lotharios, and it all holds up until the moment you message someone more experienced than you, and then...

Meeting People is Super Awkward, Like You Have no Idea
This section was originally titled Oh, Wow! because that's what you'll think!!! as you look over a chat log three pages deep and realize you've got nothing, absolutely nothing, in common with the person you're meeting. No worries! He or she or zhe will think the same thing while hyperventilating through a ride toward you on the El!

Really, even getting to the desperate hookup first date is a miracle you should be proud of. Think about it: if you met a stranger at a party, how would you get to know each other? Discussion of interests in popular culture, books, foodstuffs, or local family history. Thanks to the magic of your Plenty of Fish profile, you already know all of that! Look at the first date's detail void as an opportunity to curate new common ground. Doesn't s/h/zhe hate valet parking? You sure do!

But For Reals
Holy shit, Online Dating is the greatest and worst invention in the modern day. Most of this post is just hyperbole, but the profile-to-messaging thing kills me: hey, we have already read and listed everything we could say about ourselves to each other, but uh...what are you into? You present the best possible version of yourself through multiple revisions of your profile, then realize you have to back up that fake-you in conversation and either nail it or panic. And what do you do?

You nail it. Like me. I'm a hammer. I'm the hammer. And this blog not the hammer.

There's a cost-benefit ratio I calculate every time the neighborhood stray cat shoots past our front door. The moment the rats in the alley camp in our back yard, the ratio will finally be in my favor.

Come, rats, come. Come to your doom. It's for a higher purpose.
Jess, like me, is the youngest in her family. Unlike me, she has no older brothers (staggered by year and thus like a series of video game bosses). So this competition for deliciousness is new to her.

The poor lucky fool.

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