Okay, so firstly, this post has nothing whatsoever to do with Oklahoma. Nor does it have anything to do with the US. Nor even travelling, for that matter—instead, it’s about yet another stupid idea that I had.
My great idea—pauses to groan and face-palm—was to try online dating. Oh, how I wish I were kidding. I mean, I get that it’s mainstream now, but still. Anyway, I wrote a post around 18 months ago called ‘Home‘, in which I said that I finally had room for someone else in my life. The thing is, I turn 30 in 6 months and 12 days, and I have never been in love. Not once! Not once ever!! I’m basically the set-up for a chic flick. Yuck! I haven’t even dated in nearly four years, which accumulated very quickly. Between being heart-broken for a disproportionately long time, then in Russia, and then in Australia (but knowing I was leaving again), it just sort of turned out that way: I was busy living my life, and in the meantime nearly half a decade passed. Haha. ‘Half a decade’.
At this point I should probably also highlight my deep and abiding cynicism. So I’m a cynic who wrote a fairy-tale. The thing is, in preparation for that I read around 50 romance novels (nauseating), and I’d been around the Russian cult of romantic-ness (as opposed to romanticism) for quite some time. It was all sort of easy after that: whenever I got stuck, I thought to myself ‘but what would a Russian want to happen?’ And believe me, I know all the cynicism-related clichés: “scratch a cynic, and you’ll find a disappointed romantic”. A google images search for cynicism came up with some pretty hilarious results:
I did also enjoy the George Lucas (of all people) quote: “If the boy and girl walk off into the sunset hand-in-hand in the last scene, it adds 10 million to the box office.” Eugh. But my perception of it all as a fairy-tale, something that resides exclusively in the realm of fiction, is probably slightly less hilarious than the 48 hours I managed to last on online dating. Yup: 48.
After my imposed single-hood of the last 4 years, I’ve put it on my to-do list that I have to try dating again this year. I have no idea why, really: entertainment? Variety? The potential for excruciatingly awkward stories? So, with my spirit of adventure firmly in hand (more on that in a minute), I bit the bullet and signed up to OkCupid, as the site I’d heard of the most. (At this point I should probably mention that I am stopping and shaking my head at at least every other sentence.) At least it’s a step above Tinder? When I used the abbreviation ‘okc’ to a friend, he thought I was talking about Oklahoma City’s football team—hence the otherwise rather random title.
Sign-up itself was fairly painless. Haha and they have so many questions to answer—it was strangely addictive, like all the personality quizzes that used to be on SparkQuizzes (?) during high school. They were also quite interesting insofar as clarifying my own opinions on things. However, once you’ve answered enough questions, it builds you a personality profile: and apparently my interests consist pretty much entirely of politics, math, sex, and adventures. Haha for a while there my ‘top attribute’ was adventurousness (let’s face it, no surprises), then ‘arrogant’ started creeping up (ditto), and then suddenly, out of nowhere, ‘thrifty’ leaped to the top. Thrifty. What kind of negative-connotation bull shit is that?! Hilarious.
Anyway, my stingey sex-addicted math-head self apparently wasn’t quite enough to scare people off, and responses started flooding in. And I use the word ‘flooded’ because I felt like I was drowning: the tide of diverse desperation was all just too much. Because while the cliché is that people will open with ‘tits or gtfo’, ‘hey wanna suk my dk bb’ (lol), or just insistent ‘hey’s, most people actually put a lot of thought into what they were writing me. I simply do not have time in my day to reply to tens and hundreds of people, and the fact that they’d thought about what they were writing made it more like I was rejecting them, personally. I did have a few more interesting opening messages, of course: I think my favourite was from a guy who was hoping to tie me up and take photos. He was really respectful about it, but seriously—as if I’m going to let some complete stranger tie me up! What happened to buying me a drink first?!
Next there was the ‘quick match’ feature, which while on a laptop isn’t unreasonable (it shows the guy’s self-introduction as well as photos), on my phone it brought out what I see as a pretty ugly side to myself. On the phone app, ‘quick match’ was more Tinder-esque: swipe left to reject, or swipe right to ‘like’. You couldn’t seem to access the person’s profile from that page, so instead you were judging entire human beings on their profile picture alone. How awful is that. In an effort to get through the hundreds that were stacking up, I found myself judging people on a purely superficial basis. It honestly just disgusted me. Incidentally, I only lasted around 12 hours with the phone app before uninstalling it because the constant notifications were so stressful: every time I’d see a message or a ‘like’ come through, I’d just think “oh, fuck off!”.
All in all, the whole thing made me feel like I was suffocating under the administrative workload, while bringing out these awful sides to myself. It’s like people were being objectified and commodified—it was soooo depressing, and I was in a funk over it most of the day. That’s right: less than 36 hours after signing up, it made me feel thoroughly down for around 12 hours (and continuing). I really don’t think online dating is for me. Haha onto the next project!
On another note, I’ve started doing a ‘Real Life Where’s Wally’, and will be posting the photos here (see menu) as well as on facebook, so that you can view the photos full-size.
Hmm, this post is a lot more depressing and a lot less hilarious than I anticipated. May follow-up experiences be awkward rather than agonising? Haha or perhaps I’ll just stick with being the Wicked Witch of the West, and doing whatever the hell I want 😉