Prior to my separation and subsequent divorce, the last time I’d had a first date was in 2000.
You know, way back before Twitter, Facebook, and pretty much every other thing that could have documented the foibles of my youth. Praise Jesus.
So, when I decided to head back into the foray, I was pretty clueless how dating worked in the modern world. Are bars still a thing? Is Tinder as skeevy as it sounds? Am I going to end up a lonely, old spinster with 50 cats?
I started out like any good nerd would by doing massive amounts of research. I Googled things like, “Online dating etiquette,” “pros and cons of dating websites,” and “how to text while dating.”
The articles I found were as useless as tits on a snake, to use my mother’s vernacular. It was chock full of tips like, “Tell a friend before you meet with someone you met online,” or, “Keep conversation light and don’t overwhelm someone with too many texts.”
No shit, Sherlock. I may be out of practice when it comes to dating, but it doesn’t mean I lost all of my street sense and social skills. I am a divorced woman, not a shut-in.
At my core, I am an introvert. I like spending time on my couch with my dogs and a glass of wine. I think that’s what appealed to me about online dating. You can wear yoga pants, meet cute boys, and never leave your home. It’s a chocolate dipped piece of nirvana wrapped in rainbow unicorn poop.
Alas, I found out that online date is not as easy as it seems. First, you have to give yourself a screen name. I haven’t had to do something like that since my AOL Instant Messenger days when I was PoohBear 79. I certainly couldn’t use that now. It was already taken. No, it wasn’t. I checked.
I agonized over this, trying to find something that summed up who I was as a person, but didn’t make me sound like a mega dork. Pretty sure I failed, because after I created my profile, I realized most people just used their initials or first name with some numbers after it. Where was the creativity, dammit?!?!?
The name really comes in second to the photos. I searched all of mine and had a hard time finding:
- Any of me
- Me without my kids
- Me without my ex
- Me wearing makeup, and something other than a tired expression because I have two kids and don’t sleep anymore
I ended up with random selfies (making me look like a narcissistic twat), a few with sunglasses on (so you have no clue if I’m a hideous troll beast or not), and one my mom took of me on vacation (but, you look so pretty in front of that lion!). At least they were taken in the last year and I wasn’t pregnant in any of them. I call that a victory.
Once I started typing up my profile, I realized that I hate taking about myself, and have no idea what to say even if I did enjoy talking about myself. Which I don’t. Frankly, I’d rather roll naked on a hill teeming with fire ants.
One of the questions was about the last book I read. Do I say something smart, like The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand? Or, am I honest and say it was Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan? Or, am I REALLY honest and say it was Surprises According to Humphrey because I’m in a book club with my kid and that’s what he’s reading?
I vacillate between wanting to show how smart I think I am, but yet not come off as too smart and dorky. Although, I really like the dorky part of myself. My favorite TV show is Doctor Who, but do you hit someone with that right away? Won’t they think you’re going to kidnap them in a TARDIS you’ve built yourself and make them cosplay as the 10th Doctor and Donna at Comic-Con?
(Although, seriously. How cool would that be?)
It’s hard to decide who you’re going to be. I know most people would say, “Just be yourself.” But, sometimes, it’s hard to be yourself. I am putting myself out there for the first time in over a decade and I feel very aware of every flaw, and finer point, of my being.
I am a mixed bag of smart, dorky, caring, weird, and wonderful. While I love my couch, I also love the idea of going out into the real world with someone who is a lot like me. And, if he thinks bowties are cool, then that’s a bonus.