Match Game 2017
It's 2017, and my friends are here in AZ to snap me out of my funk. A clean house, new furniture and a couple other resets later and it's like I am alive again, rather than simply slaving away for dollars in between beers, car shows and those phone calls I live for.
Still, visits end, people go back home, kids don't come back home. One of the themes from the other weekend is that my married friends think I need a woman in my life. Okay. Probably right. But where? How? There is no one at work, really. I work with a bunch of lawyers and former lawyers, most of whom have egos as healthy, but evidently more inflated than mine.
One afternoon while shopping for scotch with Phid, the ladies decided I needed to be on match dot com to solve this minor dilemma. And, as women who have been married since before the internet was even invented, they would know how dating works in the 2017s at a granular level.
But, these people have had my back since I stopped [Ed.: or maybe "despite me"] being a complete dick around them, and have successful marriages to dudes who are basically my brothers, so maybe they were on to something. It's not like the last three women I found with a computer were crazy. Except, yeah, they kinda were. One "you will never meet my kids" and two "hide everything sharp" women later, I needed new minimums- new rules beyond beyond 1- alive, 2 - human, 3 - female.
Welcome to the party, rules 4 - not crazy, and 5 - not on drugs I can't pronounce or explain.
But back to Match. For shits and giggles and to prove a point to whoever originated this bright idea of me on the site, or maybe just to give myself a little clarity about what was real and what was me just hoping, I signed up and went live a week ago. Immediately the 20-something sex traffickers found me. Pass. Eye candy is nice but maybe I actually want to not have to hold up both halves of the conversation, and not think about where my wallet is. Or where the, uh, "booking coordinator" is lurking.
The next morning I was at work when the messages from an apparently real person started. They began with the usual benign stuff - blah, blah, blah. Then this:
Uh-oh. A polite no. Meet in real life before I even think about giving out my number. I have a friend with that rule, and suddenly her genius was unmistakeable.
Then it was "name the place and I'll meet you! Wherever!" Same friend always picks the place, gets there first and buys her own drink - home court, easy escape from the "there's no way" people. It's a single woman safety thing. But this chick is willing to drive 40 miles one way, to an unknown destination? To meet a couple pictures and some texts? What in the world?
So, my spider sense was in full tilt mode. Something was off. I stopped responding. The phone went gloriously dark and I was free to go have an adventure (that's a different story, and one I like a whole lot better).
Then today happened. More texts. trying to gently resuggest the meetup I thought I had shot down.
I suggested that I should just GTFO Match, because it sucks. She suggested I sucked for not saying no to a picture and some texts. It's probably true. Dating sucks enough in real life without the dog-in-the-shelter meat market of the internet. You're never quite sure what side of the fence you're on, buyer or seller. You can never quite tell if the person on the other side is quietly insane or secretly has rabies.
Ultimately, I think I am better off staying away from this universe of pretend communication and phony electronic relationships. I am better off with my fanciful hopes and people that I know because I met them. Learned that the hard way already.
Just yesterday, life reminded me why it's so much better in the three dimensional, tangible world. Even when soaked in spendy but delicious wine, and while taunted by a merciless clock, real and right here was so much better than a new text buddy pen pal or probable stalkers. Just being in the same room beats any sort of text dance.
So, new rule (#6): meet in person or it's not real. No getting hung up on it. No long drawn out electronic introductions. Meet, decide. Move forward or move on. The keyboard dance is so not worth the time it takes.*
POSTSCRIPT: Match account is dark. Stalker is blocked. I'll be doing things the old fashioned way tonight, i.e., sitting at home alone watching Love Boat reruns.
*As a substitute for initial meetings. I am a big fan of any means of staying connected to people who already matter.