I wrote this piece about online dating when I was single and neck deep in the process. On re-reading I realise what a depressing experience it was for me. Others who love it may disagree (either way please feel free to share!). This is the first of a few experiences I wanted to share.
I’ve opted for a café, midday on Sunday. It’s small and dark, the scent of coffee heavy in the air. This is the last one, no more after this. If he turns out to be a freak then I’m out of here. No pleasantries, no delay. It will mean my faith is finally spent, leaving me on the edge, the precipice of eternal singledom.
I’ve concluded that it’s a scam, a monthly subscription prised from your bank account. You are drawn in by an overzealous blurb; a website claiming to have hundreds of great people just waiting, ready and eager to make a connection. It’s heralded as the only way to meet someone now. We are living in barren realms, an island divided between the paired and undesirable. It’s like the counties Ireland cannot have. Attached but denied, a middle finger stuck up from across the border.
This scam is of course compounded by the stories. The tales of success from people you know to those that everyone else has heard of; the Chinese whispers of successful pairings. With dedication and hard work they found the love of their life in the maze of profiles. What follows is sun drenched holidays, co-habitation, the exchange of rings and birthing plans.
Now I can’t say there aren’t men, toting blurry photos and bland descriptions. But the real men, the fleshy ones that get past the shade of spell check are such a disappointment. A collection of thieves, frauds and opportunists that for the sake of all woman are better off staying behind that keyboard, chained to the very desk they type from.
At least that’s my story; the ones I’ve had the misfortune to pick.
To get to grips with this new world I decided to talk online, have the safety of at least a conversation before meeting. His moniker was 6 foot 4 and ‘The Secretary’ was his favourite film. Really I should have known better.
He asked what I thought of the film. I took my time, pointed out the artistic merits, acting and cast. My response was a comprehensive mini review constructed in less than two minutes. On hitting send I was proud. At the top of the box it showed he was typing.
So, have you ever dressed up?
The question was confusing, a leap from what I had sent. But I persevered; didn’t everyone say it wasn’t meant to be easy?
I dressed up as a schoolgirl once for a friend’s 30th. It was in an old church in Wicklow, one last party before it was going to be torn down.
Okay this was better.
Well, it was beautiful. Some of the stained glass windows were still intact, the altar was a bit worn and the arches were crumbling, but majestic.
He interrupted before I had a chance to finish.
Not that, the outfit. Describe the outfit.
I brushed it off, put it down to flirtation. That must be his sense of humour. Then he demanded questions like a petulant child. I stuck to easy subjects; sport, films and books. Then it was his turn or so he insisted.
So what’s your best asset besides your eyes?
My sparkling wit!
A connection of sorts finally.
But I mean physically.
I have no idea.
How can you not know?
It’s not really something I’ve thought about. Why what’s yours?
Anything to move the conversation away from me.
Good for you!
I seem to get lots of compliments on it.
Words abandoned me, refused their use for such purposes.
So what size are you?
What does that matter?
Just wondering, I can’t tell from your picture.
Slim I’d say. Petite I guess.
I wasn’t sure where this was going, but knew it was nowhere good.
And is that everywhere?
The question was just strange. Was he looking for women with oversized hands or an ample arse? I let the cursor blink. Then it came.
You look like a 36D. Am I right? ☺
Next time it’s the nervous one….