Dipping our toes in

Online dating profiles are like herpes, more people have them than you think. (I do not have herpes—just an example.) I was having lunch with some girlfriends in Fort Greene the other day when I revealed my dirty little secret of online dating. I paused, expecting to hear gasps, giggles, and teasing but I didn’t get any of that. In fact, their reactions were almost annoyingly underwhelming and accepting.

One friend, a gorgeous Swedish dancer, revealed that she was dating someone she met on Match.com and had several successful dates on the site before settling on her current beau. Another reminded me that our friend Sarah, a blond English babe, who was still dating the guy she met on OKCupid in the fall. “Hate to break it to you, but online dating isn’t as taboo as you think.”

Okay, so I’m being a wimp and granny and me are not pioneers of Internet love. I showed the dancer friend my profile and only then did the mocking begin. “Could you be any more vague and mysterious?” she asked. “No wonder you’re only getting messages from douche bags.”

After meeting with the girls I called Granny, hoping to impart some of the positive dating vibes on her. I got on JDate and started looking at her suitors, “You’re really stressin’ me out kid. Read me their profiles, I’m gonna relax on my terrace.”

Being that Granny is basically computer illiterate I went through her admirers while she sat on her lounge chair and turned her nose up at all of them. “This guy is 74, from New York, has 3 kids, loves golf and going to the movies, he’s a Taurus—” I began before she cut me off.

“Taurus? No way. Taurus and Sagittarius—not a good match,” she said.

“What? Since when do you follow horoscopes? What do you even know about star signs?” I asked.

“Oy, trust me. A friend told me. Or maybe it was Pisces and Sagittarius? Let’s hear another.”

“Okay, this guy is 80—” I started again.

“80? No way. How am I gonna go on a date with an 80 year old? He’s probably blind, half-way dead, and in need of nurse not a date.”

Granny is 75, definitely a young 75, but for some reason a man who is five years ahead of her is out of the question. Her standards are even higher than mine. I continued going through the list as she shot down one after another.  “Big eater? He must be a real heffer”, “Never married? Psychopath”, “Likes to salsa dance? Yeah right, he’s 78, I bet he can barely walk”.

As cringe worthy as it feels for me to be online I think I need to be more sensitive to Granny. This process is so foreign to any romantic experience that she is familiar with. Facebook (or as Granny refers to it as, “that book with all the faces”) is really only a step away from this process of scoping out people to date. Unfortunately, Granny doesn’t have Facebook so it’ll take more time to warm her up to the site.

“Let’s do yours, I wanna hear what all the schmaltzy schmucks have to say to you,” she said.

I read her one from a 32 year-old music producer who loves “a home cooked meal”. She cackled, “Oy, you can’t cook if your life depended on it. Write back, ‘I don’t make dinner, I make reservations.’”

Although she is right, he didn’t seem appealing enough for a face-to-face interaction. I read another from an Irish guy who was new to New York. “Irish? Oh no, you can’t date him. He’s a big drinker, probably an alcoholic. You know, the Irish have that drinking gene.” I didn’t know, but I went with it.

I clicked on a photo of a handsome man, “He’s from Chicago, family and friends are important to him, likes playing basketball, he was a marine—”

“Well he’s not Jewish then,” she cut me off.

“First off, how would you know that? Second off, why does that matter?” I asked.

“It doesn’t matter, I’m just sayin’ what Jewish marines do you know?”

I actually don’t know any marines either way, nor do I care if a guy is Jewish but I decided to carry on down the list regardless. The messages and profiles, albeit entertaining were not captivating enough to deem response-worthy.

I’ve decided to take my friend’s advice and be slightly more revealing in our profiles. When we got off the phone I went back to Granny’s JDate, and jazzed it up a bit. In addition to her love of biscotti and cappuccino I added traveling and theater. I also added a picture of her with my mom, my sisters, and me, that way the JDaters can get a better idea of the line of ladies she produced.

I went back to my profile and sprinkled some more informative details. Then, under the tab “You should message me if…” I added, “You are not creepy or topless in your profile pic.”

Slowly but surely we will get the hang of this. I have to admit, I’m getting kind of excited to go on an actual date, and even though Granny won’t own up to it I know she is too. I downloaded the Iphone app for OKCupid, I’m prepared to be more proactive. Come on fellas!

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