Dating JunkiePosted: August 3, 2011
I’m not sure if the outing I went on last night actually qualifies as a date. It was more like a lesson on online dating and a crash course in all the bizarre technology quirks of courting in 2011.
I met Robert at the bar of my choice. He was shorter than I expected, definitely shorter than he stated on his profile. As he went in for a double cheek kiss I, for some unknown reason, chose to extend my arm for an awkward handshake. As we took a seat at the bar he bashfully handed me two lottery tickets as an introductory present. It was a cute thought, but I lost.
“This is my first online date,” I blurted out. He nodded like he already knew.
“Yeah, I thought something was up from your profile and messages.”
“What was wrong with them?” I asked defensively.
“Well it was just weird that you had barely any info and then suggested getting a drink without more back and forth. Typically people friend each other on Facebook to get more a feel for the person, but yeah, you kind of went shotgun style.”
I’m not really a fan of Facebook. It makes me into a creepy stalker and I’m sketchy enough without the internet. Besides, “friending” an OKCupider and giving him access to all my revealing pictures and info to all my friends so he can see who we might know in common feels like unnecessary voyeuristic view for an internet stranger.
We started getting to know one in other with conversation, my preferred method of communication. He’s from the Midwest, works in production, and lives in Williamsburg.
Then I told my story, I think I came off equal parts conceited and self-deprecating.
“You talk a lot,” he said. I blushed, he’s probably right.
He then took out his phone and opened the OKCupid app. “Let’s see if we’re compatible,” he suggested. This felt like an odd activity but I went with it. He began to go down the list of questions we had answered when building our profiles to see where we lined up.
We differed on almost every answer until I cut him off. Robert’s OKCupid addiction is more severe then my own. While exiting the list he accidentally clicked on his messages, which revealed his large cache of OKCupid women and their internet interactions. By the looks of it, online dating is this guy’s part time job. The twinkle of pride I felt from his online winks, star rating, and messages was fading.
He switched gears with his phone and went into his photos to show me a fish he had caught over the weekend, then his nephew, then a sunset from Morocco. It was clear he wanted me to be impressed by his life so I suggested we just switch phones, flip through them and get a feel for each other.
In Robert’s phone I found many recent pictures of a pretty girl in bed that is most likely his girlfriend and far too many pictures of cats. He owns three. Both of these facts did not bode well for me.
While he went through my phone I saw his eyes light up with confusion, excitement, and wonder. My friends are highly attractive and we take silly pictures in fun places. He got far back into my photos, about two years back when he stumbled on the picture that I have for my OKCupid profile.
“You can’t have a pic of you from two years ago, that’s cheating,” he said.
I’m 24 not 46, I didn’t think it was a big deal but Robert wouldn’t let it go. “You need to put more photos of you and things that you like to do. Like travel ones or silly ones, maybe some arty sepia toned ones, you know?”
Eh, I didn’t really agree but I let him advise me until I took my phone back and decided that game was over. The phone swap is an accelerated way of getting to know someone, it’s better than Facebook because you don’t just see what the other person wants you to see, instead you get a full-on view of his or her day-to-day life. Not recommended for the bashful.
We decided to pick up and move to another bar where I ordered a habanera margarita. Unaware of how spicy the drink was, he copied my order. It was painful to watch him pretend to enjoy the drink as sweat brimmed on his forehead.
“So it sounds like you know a lot about OKCupid,” I said.
He then whipped out his trusty iPhone again and opened the app once more. “Do you know about the broadcast option?” By reading the terrified look in my eyes he had his answer, “You can post your location and see other people who are in close proximity to you.”
“Like the app where you can see all the sexual predators near your location?” I asked, joking.
“Exactly,” he said, not joking. He loaded it and the faces of some sassy ladies appeared.
To experiment we broadcasted that he was on an OKCupid date that was going terribly wrong and to have someone come save him. As he sat perusing his phone, mine rang. It was Granny.
“Oy, listen to this bullshit. This man emails me on Match, very flirty, tells me he’s gonna call me tonight and guess what? Nothing, absolutely nothing!” she vented.
“Granny, maybe you missed the call, or maybe he’s going to call tomorrow. But listen, I gotta go I’m still on the date.” I said.
“Oh hubba hubba! How’s it goin’? Is he cute? It’s pretty late, how late you gonna schlep this thing on for?”
“He’s nice, but short,” I rushed her off the phone and promised I’d call in the morning. Just as I hung up she rang again.
“Sorry, just needed to tell ya, he did call, that bastard did call. I just saw that I had missed it on the caller ID. Have fun with the fashrimpadicka,” she hung up.
I got back to the bar where there were still no bites on the broadcast and Robert sat trying to look smooth while sucking on ice cubes to cool his tongue from the spicy beverage.
Granny was right, it was getting late and I had no desire to learn any more about this man, his cats, or his OKCupid expertise.
He walked me out to my bicycle and asked for my number. I hesitated, I didn’t really want this phone addict to have my digits but in a weak moment I caved and forked it over. “Can I friend you on Facebook?” he asked.
“No thank you,” I said politely, as if declining a piece of a cookie.
As I mounted my bike he took a step forward to plant a kiss on me. While seated on my bike his head fell a good two inches below mine. I pushed on my pedal and rode forward before he had the chance to lay one on me. Kind of an asshole move on my part, but I’m not sure yet if I’m the kind of gal that kisses on her first internet date.
“Thanks for the drinks,” I yelled as I rode up the block.
When I woke up this morning my phone was bombarded by flirty text messages filled with emoticons and serious attempts at wit from Robert. He’s a nice guy but not nice enough for a second date. I can’t wait to hear Granny’s commentary on my night.