Friday, January 12, 2007

Internet Dating: The Costco of Romance


The holiday season is upon us and we know what that means - it's time to go shopping! And let's all just take a moment to be honest. When we're out purchasing presents for those on our mandatory gift-giving list, we're really just buying useless crap we'd enjoy. So, what do you really want this year? Love? Romance? A quick piece of hot ass? The future Mr. or Mrs.?

Thanks to the convenience of the World Wide Web, you can shop for gadgets to enlarge your penis, prescription medicines, toasters, stuffed animals and Mr. or Ms. Right (Now). Keeping with the theme of holiday honesty, we can all admit that we've done a little shopping through personal ads on the 'net. It's okay. It's not 1986 anymore. Everybody's doing it - even married folks.

To assist with your holiday shopping, I'll provide some helpful hints on the joys of internet dating in a three part series. At this point, there may be some concern as to my expertise in this field. Fear not. I've had more internet dates than a $2 crack whore has given back alley **** jobs. You're in safe hands.

As this is the season of unrealistic expectations, the unrelenting feeling that you somehow just don't measure up and WHY the f**k is your family so screwed up, I'll focus on the websites that cater to "normal" people. You do want to be normal, don't you?

The Merchandise
Mr. or Ms. No Picture: They'll tell you they don't have a photo because they want to protect their privacy. Usually, they're concerned about "stalkers" or their bosses finding out. Sometimes, they're even "kind of famous." Don't believe any of this hype. It's all code for: I'm married; I live with my significant other and s/he has access to the computer; or I'm butt-fucking ugly.

I'm Not Willing to Settle: Every time I see an ad shouting this sentiment, I can hear Lucy saying, "I just want what's coming to me" on A Charlie Brown Christmas. But really, these well-intentioned folks aren't riddled with a sense of entitlement. They have simply lost the ability to deal with people as flawed creatures. More than likely, they have been in the personal ad game for a long, long time. As a result, they want a composite partner made up of pieces of various people they've dated. They will kick you out the door if you don't hold your fork correctly, because they have no real interest in the sometimes unpleasant reality of getting to know someone. They've yet to discover that reality is far more entertaining than fantasy.

Don't, Don't, Don't: Lesbians and straight men, listen up. If you're looking for a quick piece of ass from troubled women with serious self-esteem issues, find an ad riddled with bitter language where every sentence begins with "don't." These women will bitch about how evil men or dykes are, how they won't put out on a first date (a sure sign you will, in fact, get laid), and how you had better treat them properly if you want to be in their world. What she's really doing here is raging against her poor choices. Remember kids, poor choices=easy ass.

I Am So Amazing: When I see these ads, I wonder how someone so phenomenal could be single. In the dating game, like attracts like. So, if you're fucking fabulous, you will likely attract someone equally fucking fabulous without a neon sign announcing your brilliance. Yet if you must boast about how amazing you are, chances are the real you is a little less ideal than the transcribed version. Remember kids, Confucius say, "The wise man need not say he's wise." Capiche?

New Name, Same Doofus: When I first moved to California five years ago, I found a niche site (don't worry, I'll cover niche and kink and freak sites in subsequent installments) to pimp my wares. I had lots of fun, interesting and sometimes horrifying dates. After I met my boyfriend and fell into new love bliss, I went back to see if any of the old players were still at it. Most of them were, but with new names. Remember, comparison shopping is important. If your item has been on the shelf for years, chances are it's defective.

The Discount Warehouses
Match.com: My old boss Jim found an adoring girl on Match.com. He was a physically unremarkable redneck complete with racist jokes who frequently asked me to peruse breast augmentation sites. His Match.com girlfriend had agreed to purchase new boobs, and he wanted my opinion on which set I thought would look best. His girlfriend was gorgeous, made twice his salary and was completely desperate for his affection and attention - enough to undergo surgery within three months of meeting him. Naturally, he dumped her and met a nice girl when he moved to Montana.

Now, whenever I visit Match.com, I see flashes of fake boobs and hear the theme song to Deliverance. (BTW - MATCH.COM's major shareholder? Is DR. PHIL!! ugh - Fighter)

Yahoo! Personals: I have only this to say to Yahoo! Personals - please adhere to truth in advertising and change your name to YaSkank! Personals. Thank you.

Eharmony.com: This site boasts that is has developed a system to match you with the most suitable partners who are truly interested in a long-term commitment. You can't do traditional shopping at Eharmony. It follows the patriarchal, fundamentalist Christian model that Father Knows Best and therefore you can't be trusted to view the products in the aisles. After completing their lengthy questionnaire and given a catalog of my suitable matches, I decided to contact the hottest guy on my list. He was totally committed to finding a relationship. So committed, in fact, that he was moving to the other side of the continent in a few weeks. His commitment to commitment was so fierce, he wondered if I wouldn't mind having some kinky sex, since one of the predetermined questions (step one in the contact process - you can't just send an email. Eharmony controls every aspect of what is exchanged, including at times the very verbiage sent) hinted that we both might be into it.

My next ideal Eharmony pick was tiny, emaciated dude with a mullet and huge glasses circa 1982 who expressed the need to share his feelings about 25 times in his profile. Oh yeah Daddy, that's just the perfect match for me.

Myspace.com: No, Myspace is not considered an official internet dating site. But let's face it; we've all done a little shopping while chatting with friends and "networking." Despite Rupert Murdoch's acquisition of yet another media outlet, Myspace continues to be a popular addiction. I constantly hear people talking about their Myspace profiles and taking ridiculous photos to post (including myself, of course). While I received nothing but "nice rack" emails from some of the nastiest muther f**kers on the planet, my friend Annie, who is the most "normal" person I know, used it to the best of her Type A abilities. After having no luck on JDate.com, Annie went shopping on Myspace for Jewish boys taller than 6'1" who lived in the Los Angeles area. She found one pretty boy who stood out and wrote him an email.

They're getting married next November. Proof positive that careful comparison shopping can reap great rewards.


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