I have never online dated before. It’s not that I’m a raving success at dating and don’t need to meet new people. It’s that I spent seven years in two long-term relationships and before that Al Gore hadn’t invented OK Cupid yet. The last 16 months, minus some tiny minor flings, have been a solo mission. After the last disaster, I needed to screw my head on right before I set out to spend time with another human.
But, oh God. The online dating profile.
You would think that since I spend so much time on the internet, and writing about myself no less, that this would be easy. Just be clever, not too bitter-sounding, breezy, fun and tack up a few pictures taken at flattering angles in gentle lighting. Then wait for the dates to roll in.
But I am perpetually frozen by the profile questions. Do I play flirty? Funny? Girly and sincere? Ambitious, loyal and responsible?
And how would I deftly deal with an obvious no-go? I’ve accepted plenty of dates to be polite in the past. But with online strangers? Ew. But I don’t want to be mean.
In an attempt to blurt out all of things I shouldn’t say and get it out of my system, my anti-profile.
I used to be hardcore, but I grew up. Now I’m much more… softcore? No, that’s not it. But I have a job, and pay my bills, and eat my vegetables. I think about writing a lot. I write less than I should. I beat myself up about not writing as much as I think I should. Winter weather makes me sad. Like this snow that is falling when it’s practically April- that makes me want to leave town immediately. Also, I want to have a baby and in my mid-30’s, so you should probably run away screaming from me.
What I’m doing with my life:
Right now? Clinging to my stable job for dear life. Hiding inside until the snow goes away. Putting off a project for work that is overdue. Surfing Twitter and Facebook while playing countless rounds of Words With Friends. Piling up receipts to submit to work. Booking more work travel for next month. Thinking about happy hour in a way that would make most people seek counseling.
I’m really good at:
Procrastination. Revising resumes and applications for other people. Figuring out subways in cities I’ve never been before. Standardized tests. Making collard greens. Understanding people with really thick accents. Quoting poems I read in high school. Ignoring my laundry until it’s urgent. Diffusing angry political debates between my Facebook friends so they stay friends with me. Brainstorming. Befriending gay men. Googling.
The first things people usually notice about me:
The red hair usually comes first. Then the sarcasm. Or the giant bag.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music and food:
Books: Always dangerous. I read. A lot. I loved The Poisonwood Bible. And Flannery O’Connor and Tennessee Williams. Which all add up to a weird Southern gothic lady. Oh and T.S. Eliot. The End by Salvatore Scibona was brilliant. The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow. Oh God, I’ll just put Bridget Jones’ Diary.
Movies: I should say something artsy here like indie or foreign films, which I do enjoy. But I also like Reese Witherspoon in just about anything. I watch a lot of really bad horror movies too. I can quote Reality Bites word for blessed word. And I liked Secretary a lot, but you can’t say that or people think you want to be spanked.
Shows: I can’t say that I don’t have cable. I might as well say that I’m Amish. What I actually watch on Hulu and Netflix: House, Bones, Law and Order SVU, Pretty Little Liars, Dexter, Dr. Who, Veronica Mars, and Teen Mom. And a bunch of documentaries on artists, voodoo, and the Catholic Church’s secrets.
Music: Kill me now. I am so uncool and unknowledgable about music. Even the stuff that I like, I couldn’t name who sings it. This is the first date question that always does me in. People think that people who can’t name their favorite genre are freaks. “I like a little bit of everything,” is a total cop-out. I’m totally human and have a soul. Can’t you just play your favorite songs for me? Do I have to have an opinion about everything?
Food: Mexican. Which is NOT Mad Mex or Chili’s. People think it is, but it is not. Dear Date, please do not take me to Mad Mex for Mexican. I will smile, but inside I will die a little. Also, I only like their margaritas. So, I guess if you want to get me drunk, take me there.
I’m also a big fan of Indian. And sushi. And Thai. Soul food. Seafood, but I wimp out about eating it when I’m too far inland. It seems strange.
Chinese food belongs in a delivery container, but I love it at home.
I’m not a food snob or “foodie,” but I can appreciate a nice meal every now and then. I know next to nothing about wine unless it comes in a box. Then, I prefer Franzia, the Chillable Red.
The six things I could never do with out:
Diet coke, pens, paper, taxis, takeout, books. and my iPhone.
I spend a lot of time thinking about:
What makes something funny. Words that should rhyme. Whether I have exact change for the bus. If my phone battery will last until I get home. Etiquette. Things I shouldn’t have said but did. Buying a car. Writing that I should be doing. Things to add to my to-do list. Whether I am a bad or a good person. Whether I am too old to accomplish everything that I want to. Gray nailpolish.
On a typical Friday night I am:
Heading home from work, taking a nap, then meeting my gay best friend at a gay bar for drinks. Almost every week.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit:
God, I blog about my life. I tweet. I tumblr. It’s almost all out there. I’ve avoided nude digital photos so far, so I guess that’s something privacy-wise.
Someone different enough to be interesting, but not so different that I could never bring you home to Mom.
You should message me if:
You’ve read at least one book in the last six months (any genre). You are funny, but not in a telling jokes kind of way. You like your mom. You are not unemployed, a drummer, an actor, a soldier, a cop, willingly unmedicated for your mental illness, recently incarcerated, bigoted, addicted to booze or drugs, or looking for someone to cook your dinner every night and do all the housework. If you are kind, witty, and smart, that would be swell. If you can amuse yourself while I write, that’s a plus. Please don’t be very skinny. And I have a weird thing about noses- I just can’t deal with funky ones.
If you’ll take out the trash without being reminded, that will suffice.