I don’t date. Even the idea of a free meal or a night out isn’t enough to lure me back into the dating world. Sure, I want a companion in my life but I don’t want to kiss a zillion frogs to find the one that MIGHT be a prince. In my experience dating requires too much effort with results that are hardly worth the extra thirty minutes spent to look your best.
Many, many people try – some succeed – to meet people though online dating. I have tried and failed. Then tried and failed again. I don’t know if it is me not putting enough effort into it or if it is the lack of men on the sites who show an interest in me. Either way my experiences in that arena have been less than stellar. Some have been quite memorable if only because years later I can laugh at the experience but more on that later.
I find online dating similar to shopping at the grocery store. Everyone puts their face and nickname on a label facing the aisle, their “About me:” information faces the back wall. Inside the can is the real person, their personality, hopes, dreams, family life, and so on. Potential mates wander the aisles looking at the labels – some pretty, some plain, some scary. If you’re lucky one will stop and take a longer look. Even luckier, they will take the can off the shelf and read the back label. Some will even go so far as to put the can in the cart. The potential mate takes a little bit of time to familiarize themselves with the cans in their cart, slowly weeding out those that are less appealing. Eventually, they may take one or two to the checkout counter – actually requesting a date. From there they open the can to find the prize inside. The problem is that most people never go beyond looking at the picture on the label.
It may never happen for me but I would rather meet someone in a more organic way, through friends or family, or that someone you know but have never really gotten to know well. After that, I want to get to know them, become friends, then potentially more. I don’t want to be looking through the internet dating supermarket. Is that so wrong? Am I old-fashioned in thinking people can still meet in the real world instead of online? Either way, I just can’t bring myself to once again label the can and put myself on the shelf.
If you’ve stayed this long you deserve a tale from my online dating hall of shame. This one is about GPS guy. GPS guy wasn’t too bad too look at; he even had a decent personality the few time we chatted on the phone or through e-mail. When he picked me up for the date he was excited. Not about me though - about being able to look for Geo-Caches all around my community. He spent some time on the computer looking for stashes, then programmed the good ‘ole GPS to tell him where to find these treasures. Always willing to try something new, I went along on this little adventure.
The first was across the street at the city building in a little monument. We couldn’t find it. Shucks. The second was at the cemetery. That’s right. The cemetery. My sense of adventure began to wane at the thought of people putting these caches in a cemetery. Hardly the proper place. The next one was in a neighborhood that I used to live in and knew well. My mistake was thinking I could give him the directions instead of relying on Ms. GPS. When I said turn right, Ms. GPS said, “In one mile, turn right.” To which I replied, “The next right turn is up over the mountain and down the other side” but hey, what do I know. I only live here. After a mile, and realizing Ms. Snooty –GPS was wrong he finally turned around. Keeping my mouth shut, we found the next cache site and spent several wasted minutes looking for nothing. It wasn’t there. The next site required following a dirt road up the mountain and hiking a little ways. Again I knew the exact place, but decided to keep my mouth shut. As we left the truck and began our little hike, I made yet another mistake. I began telling him how I would ride up there on my four-wheeler and once got stuck. He then proceeded to tell me all about how ATV riders ruin the terrain by littering and not following designated trails, and on and on and on. As he is ranting about the evil ATV riders, he was thrashing through a stand of scrub oak, pulling out branches, tossing them aside, and generally making a mess of the area. Finally, he found the cache, a small black plastic toolbox (litter, in my opinion) filled with nothing remotely interesting (a band-aid, notebook, action figure - litter in a box). My ATV riding brain was thinking, “Pot? Kettle?” I made less of an impact on my little four-wheeler.
After that the date was pretty much over. I didn't even get a free meal out of the deal. Needless to say, I never saw GPS guy/ATV hater again.