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OK Why am I doing this
Dispatches from New York

The only thing I want to do is go to brunch with a lady. Why is that so hard? Ok wait – go to lunch with an ATTRACTIVE lady who isn’t cloying or desperate or strange. Maybe that’s hard, at least via the internet.

For those of you who haven’t yet experienced it, OKCupid is absolutely terrible. Nearly everyone you meet on it will be either flaky or creepy or alternating rapidly between the two in manic cycles. Many just give up and fill their profiles with completely nonsensical crap like imaginary quotes or song lyrics. I messaged someone last Saturday night who opened her profile with the lyrics to the themesong for Disney’s The Gummy Bears. Yes, I was drunk. I actually got a response as she was also drunk but I mean really where are things going to go from “damn you for getting that song stuck in my head?”

Of the many little games this website makes you do, my least favorite is one wherein you get to rate people – potential matches are asked to do the same and if the two of you rate eachother mutually high it’s supposed to tell you. This is some seriously Chuck Woolery shit here that seems more prone to waste time than get dates. Anyway, I wouldn’t know how it alerts you as it hasn’t happened to me yet. What HAS happened was the first and only real time I’ve sat down and rated people I skipped 2/3 of them. I had been giving people 3 stars (just under the threshold for alerting them and just above the threshold for my guilt) but began skipping people after I found a profile for a sad sack of a person whose every word oozed self deprecation and couldn’t bring herself to smile for a single picture.

In other news, guess who was the only person to message me this weekend?

In the end this website, like NYC, is filled with attractive interesting people who want absolutely nothing to do with you. There is nothing more New York than very meticulously writing a dating website profile then never messaging anyone or responding to anyone else’s messages.

The following is the end of my profile:

Message Me If:
Honestly, I don’t really know. Reaching out to someone on the internet is strange. I picture it like we’re sitting at opposite ends of a small table shuffling cards, somewhere between Tarot reader and 3 Card Monte dealer but focused only on ourselves. Maybe one of us will gain the courage to reach across and pick a card, any card, or maybe we won’t. We each know that chances are high that we’ll choose wrong and the other the other simply leave, the only trace of their being there an indifference that hangs in the air like an upwind paper mill.

The point of this, such as one exists, is to say that despite appearances this website isn’t any less random than the real world. Probably even more so given there’s really no way to “act casual” on the internet. In a bar I can show the part of me I think you would want to see while here we’re all just trying different faces to see which one works, shuffling them like the aforementioned deck of meaningless cards.

Like anything else in the world though, it’s never the cards that matter – it’s the picture they form once they’re arranged. You and I (whoever you may be) are more than just our jobs, hobbies, and favorite bars but no one knows themselves well enough to draw someone anything but a bad caricature. So we make compromises, and I tell you I don’t have a favorite bar because you don’t ask a mother to name their favorite child and you probably fill your profile with meaningless things like lyrics to cartoon themesongs.

And now, because I can:

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Comment

Yr annoyed because yr single and on the prowl and under 30 with an over 30 mentality.

I swear, there’s people with soul here. Just stay away from the hipster twits you think are cute.

— jes · Aug 16, 08:54 PM · #

Dial back the calculated irony and crank up the grrrr.

— chris · Aug 16, 09:18 PM · #

How does one, especially a dude, “grrr” on a dating website?

john · Aug 16, 09:36 PM · #

John, ya gotta be dashing and daring, courageous and caring….and maybe you need some GB Juice!

— RBP · Aug 16, 11:05 PM · #

Ok, two things here.

1) I have sat across a diner booth table from John and watched a young and Insanely Hot Waitress practically THROW herself at him (at one point a second waitress come over to our table and the two of them actually briefly fought over him), only to be callously rejected. Now he’s in New York City, where the male/female ratio is something like 30/70, and he’s resorting to dating websites?

2) Is OKCupid paying this site advertising fees? Because if not they sure should be … This is the second feature in as many months.

alesh · Aug 17, 12:40 AM · #

hopefully the rest of your profile is more interesting. the end reads, “why you should message me: honestly i don’t know… something about cards, blabbedyblahblah.” also, the clown is terrifying! no wonder the self deprecating sad sack was the only one who messaged you. you sound like you don’t really take it seriously, so obviously you’re not going to find someone who does. hence the gummy bears lyrics (damn. now it’s stuck in my head!).
more grrr.

— hillary · Aug 17, 12:41 AM · #

That website is NOT filled with interesting people. Also, I believe that I am the only good-looking person on the site. (http://theheatlightning.com/2010/06/15/okcupid-declares-liz-tracy-good-looking-)

I kid, but I really do think OKCupid is for horny perverts and moments of desperation.

EAT · Aug 17, 12:52 AM · #

John just get out, and get off that dating site….there’s enough hipsters to go around.

— Liz F · Aug 17, 01:28 AM · #

I think everyone’s trying to offer you their sympathy and support. Sad.

Hillary, that’s John Wayne Gacy, who shares not only his first name, but also his predilection for perversion and young boys with John S.

EAT · Aug 17, 01:41 AM · #

Hillary – I made a long list of reasons that follows the above. I just cut it out when I posted it here.
Alesh – I’m pretty sure you’re talking about the girl at Allen’s Diner? The one who lied about being 18 and who’s manager looked ready to kill her and/or anyone in the room.

John · Aug 17, 07:44 AM · #

How does one, especially a dude, “grrr” on a dating website?

It’s all in the photo, my friend. You need to smolder. I picture you in a big-collared shirt with a velvet background, looking up at the camera from beneath a brooding brow.

Aaron Curtis · Aug 17, 12:05 PM · #

Yeah, that’s the one.

I agree with Aaron re the pic. EV -1.3 on that Nikon D50, I’d say.

alesh · Aug 17, 07:52 PM · #

If I went on a date with you expecting you to look like John Wayne Gacy in all his clown garb glory, I would be seriously disappointed. You look nothing like him! It’s the equivalent of me using a photo for my profile of Natalie Portman doing something that I would never do, like picking daisies in a field. It’s just not fair.

Hillary Bell · Aug 22, 02:44 PM · #

Look,

it is what you want it to be. You can get your pipi wet or you can just glance around at various bitches. Plus there’s everything in between.

So getcha pipi wet, son.

Dat Roro Kid · Aug 25, 04:49 PM · #

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