From the Sublime to the Ridonkulous
This past August, Sally suddenly realized that it had been like 5 or 6 years since she had had a legitimate date. Oh, there had been a few setups, wherein friends would invite their single, eligible male friends over to a Super Bowl party. Problem was, these men spent the party actually watching the Super Bowl instead of flirting with Sally. No loss, they were all lame anyway in that “I was a frat boy in college, I work at a hedge fund, I have no life outside of work, the only current event I’m capable of talking intelligently about is Howard Stern’s move to Sirius” kind of way.
The dearth of dates has less to do with lack of trying and more with me spending my workday sitting in my office like a veal trying to look very busy and important, and my nights lounging on the big sofa doing the New York Times Crossword puzzle while watching back-to-back episodes of Law & Order (secretly hoping to catch ones featuring Detective Mike Logan). Fed-up with this sloth of epic proportions, I did what any single New Yorker would do to find people with whom to embark on some semblance of a social life: I went online.
I should be vehemently anti the online dating sites. I think the odds of finding the love of your life floating around in cyberspace are as abysmal as the odds of Britney and Kevin staying married for 50 years. Since its inception, the internet has affected how we live our lives in myriad ways, often for the better. On the flip side, the internet is also an unparalleled breeding ground for the biggest freaks on the planet, many of whom have posted their profiles on Match.com. The guy looking for his soulmate? Married, and looking to cheat. The guy who loves animals? A “Furry” (see Vanity Fair, March 2001). The guy who’s good on paper? Bad in bed.
Unfortunately, the chances of me meeting someone appropriate while going about living my life as I do aren’t exactly overwhelming either, now that I’m in my thirties. Face it: high school and college are usually where people find their partners, if not for any other reason than it’s a numbers game. Shooting fish in a barrel, if you will. If you haven’t hooked up with someone by the end of university, your chances of doing so get exponentially smaller as the years progress. So I reluctantly turned to my self-imposed last resort, and chose a dating site that had a little more going on for it in terms of quality of people than some of the others out there.
And over the past couple months I’m happy to say I’ve had some pretty good dates. I like the guys, they seem to like me. Whether we’re a love match is still up in the air, but I can’t complain: I’ve been treated pretty darn nicely across the board. For one thing, on every date the guys paid. This makes me very happy because as Little Miss Old School, I firmly believe in dating rituals that were slightly more popular during the Eisenhower administration.
New Yorkers have a particular fondness for dating via something I like to call the “One Drink Drive-by”. You go to a watering hole with low lighting and preferably no DJ, you have the safe drink, if the person doesn’t seem like a lunatic and you can actually hold a conversation with them without wanting to impale yourself or them with a cocktail toothpick, the drive-by usually progresses to a second, more conventional date like dinner or a movie. This is a more than acceptable arrangement to me, in that you’re never really sure what you’ve gotten yourself into when you first meet a person, and a 1 ½ hour time limit is good ammunition for potential disasters. So imagine my surprise when my last night’s date - date #1 mind you - started off with not the drive-by, but dinner. And not at just any random place, either. Blue Water Grill.
At first I thought, “Cha-ching!” and then I thought “Oh God, what if this guy’s a total bore?” This immediately became a moot point when I remembered that he possesses a Green Card, a fact which automatically renders him an interesting date. Then I thought about the fact that he doesn’t know me. For all he knows I could be a complete maniac: someone, say, who orders chicken in one of the best seafood restaurants on the planet. I know I’m a good date, smiling a lot, asking more questions than a reporter for the Post and actually appearing interested at the responses. But he doesn’t know that – he’s just kissing it up to God with no greater concerns than possibility of me showing up weighing 400 lbs. or sporting a gaping wound.
As it turns out, it was a lovely dinner. No problem conversation-wise, and he promptly made date #2 as the cab dropped me off at my apartment. Old School, grown up. Me likey. So we’ll see what he has in store for the second date. Maybe I can cajole him into Per Se. Meantime, I do believe I should revise my thoughts about the online dating thing: it’s not so bad.