I used to think that Internet dating was something computer nerds did in their taped-at-the-nose, horn-rimmed glasses. But then I became single and realized there was a whole other world out there I didn't realize.
It wasn't that meeting girls in bars wasn't successful. I met plenty of girls in bars but they all seemed to be suffering from the disease. I'm not sure of the name, but it affects both the eyes and their ears. For example, I walk up to a girl and politely say:
"It's a good thing that I have my library card. Why? Because I'm totally checking you out."
Then she rolls her eyes and turns away like she can't hear me. I hear it's a common disease.
So I decided that maybe I would take a different approach after a friend told me to try Internet dating. It's not just for nerds anymore.
For those not familiar with the world of Internet dating, it is just like applying for a job. The first thing you do is fill out a bunch of questions about yourself.
-- Are you single?
"Yes, why else would I be on here."
-- Do you want children?
"Depends on how high the bids go."
-- How would you describe your body?
"From across a dimly lit room I look like a Greek god."
Once you answer the questions about yourself you then tell your prospective suitors what you are looking for in your date. When you are young and look good you know exactly what you want. Your mate needs to be hot, rich and, well, hot. As you get older, your standards start to lower. So it was easy saying what I was looking for.
Then you post a photo of yourself. At least it is supposed to be of yourself. This is where the whole Internet dating things gets tricky. To me all my photos look the same so I added a couple of recent ones and moved on.
Not everyone does that. First you have the people who post pictures from 10 years and 50 pounds ago. I realize I'm not Ken so Barbie probably wants nothing to do with me. So looks aren't the top thing on my agenda. But the last thing I want to do is show up for a date expecting a pretty young woman and get Betty White instead.
Then there is my biggest pet peeve, the chin-up pics. For some reason, people think shooting a picture of themselves from the chin up is hiding the fact they are overweight. I hate to tell people but running a picture from the chin up just proves to most that you are hiding something. And if you are hiding your looks, what else will you hide?
But people hide plenty, because it is all a game. And once your profile is completed you can start playing the game. You can see applications and they can see yours and decide to make contact. The computer even helps with this, giving you what they think are good matches.
I personally think the computer blindly throws darts at profiles when giving you matches. Not that I may not get along with the 55-year old grandmother who lives three states away and doesn't have a car, but that's the best there is?
When the computer failed me, I'm forced to find my own match. I didn't sign up for that, or maybe I did. Unfortunately making contact with a person online isn't any easier than it is at a bar. First I had to change my approach and come up with some new lines.
"Hey, I wanted you to know you are like a booger and I picked you first. Wanna chat?"
The great thing about the computer is you don't seem to run into those with the eye and ear disease. What you do run into are those with a faulty computer. So many times you send a message like that and they don't respond. It's a wonder that computer technicians ever get any sleep.
But when a girl answers back and a conversation starts that's when the real fun begins. You can find out everything you want to know and plenty you don't.
"Yeah, I stabbed my ex-husband and spent a few months in jail but I learned a lot from it. Next time I aim for the heart."
"No, I don't have a job. It's hard for me to work since I've had my license revoked after my fifth DWI."
"Nice to meet you. I can't wait to get married. I want five kids and a huge wedding and big house with a white picket fence."
And so it goes. But it never fails. Once you have almost given up, you hear from somebody who seems to be a match.
"There is nothing I like more than hanging out on a Saturday night, watching college football. Well that is after golfing all day."
Ding, ding, ding.
And then you meet.
"Did I forget to mention that tattoo on my neck?"
"Why yes you did."
"Yeah, I should update my photos."
If they do look like they claim, then you have the awkward first date silence. Unlike a regular first date, when you talk about things to get to know each other, you have already done that online.
"So you said you like romantic comedies?"
"Yes, I told you that the other day. Don't you pay attention?"
Still, among all the former felons and those looking for a family yesterday I have met quite a few really great people who, like me, are just looking for a nice person to spend time with. Many of whom I am still friends with today.
But still I continue looking and isn't that half the fun? But maybe I will leave the computer dating to the computer geeks and go back to the old-fashioned way that used to work so well in grade school.
Do you like me? Check yes or no.
Ah, if only it was that simple.
David can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @djenkie74.