It hasn't been a successful journey thus far.
For every one nice, sweet, funny message I've gotten from a cute guy I'd consider having coffee with, I've gotten about twenty vulgar, offensive, and grammatically incorrect ones from penises without faces that I'd consider taking restraining orders out on. I don't know what it is about sitting behind a keyboard (and a digital camera) that makes people lose every single one of their inhibitions.
Seriously, as I was typing that last paragraph from my table at a local coffee shop, a man walked by and I thought, "Oh, I've definitely seen your genitals on the internet."
I'm troubled by the complete lack of effort put forth when trying to elicit sex. Is it really too much to ask that you compliment my eyes, smile, or haircut (or any combination of the three) before moving on to the boot knockin' portion of your pitch?
And you expect me to make the trip to you?! I've been out of toilet paper for two weeks, I'm almost out of paper towels, and I don't have a Plan C...and that hasn't been enough for me to make the five minute drive to Wal-Mart. I'm certainly not putting on shoes for your lazy ass.
As obnoxious as that message was though, at least he got to the point and asked what he wanted. Nothing drives me crazier than getting a message that just says, "hi." What that says to me is that you want to talk to me, but you'd really prefer if I did all of the work for it.
I'm not even going to dignify that with a response, Tarzan.
Possibly my favorite message that I've ever received came on a Saturday morning last November. It was the day of Friendsgiving., and I was in the middle of my annual sage related meltdown when I heard my phone chirp with the arrival of a new message.
I searched my profile for anything pointing to why I was being perceived to be a working girl, but it just wasn't there. Maybe too many references to my love for Glee, which at the time of creating this profile was apparently a big enough part of my life that it warranted three mentions (and I wonder why I'm still single). Not once did I mention that I was "needing some help" or "running a legitimate massage business," and even if I was a prostitute, I certainly wouldn't be willing to make outcalls.
It would be a lie to say that I didn't briefly consider responding just to see exactly what kind of services $100 would require. My actual thought process went something like,
"Well, what if he's just like a foot fetishist or something and he just wants to take pictures of my toes or whatever? I could do that. My toes are adorable. Yeah...but what if he wanted to lick my toes? No...that's gross...that's the line. But maybe for $200? I wonder if we'd just do it in the Cabela's parking lot?"
I mean...I've got bills to pay.
So you can see why I'd recently begun to feel like I'd seen it all. I quit trying to work up intelligent responses, and usually just deleted the offending message on sight. I did have some fun with one guy who seemed to have a limited knowledge of English. I repeated every message he sent to me, exactly as he sent it to me. He started out confused, moved on to angry, then to really angry, and after about thirty messages I'm pretty sure he was convinced that his messages were somehow bouncing back to him, and he was considering lodging a formal complaint against the site itself.
A few weeks ago, however, I received something new. Something I really wasn't prepared to handle.
Okay, we'll get to the rest in a second, but are you kidding me with, "I am not a robot."?! I wasn't afraid you were a robot...but I am now! Don't you think that, "I am not a robot." would be the first thing that a robot would say if trying to convince me that he wasn't in fact a robot?!
Thanks for those Terminator nightmares, f#%!er.
My first thought was of course that this is some sort of scam, but my second thought was, "Remember that time you choked on a piece of chicken alone in your apartment, and you had to decide between continuing to try to dislodge it or putting on cuter underwear (for when your body is discovered) before you lost consciousness? Maybe it's time to meet someone?"
So I responded letting him know that I was pretty sure it was a scam (and I was iffy about him being a cyborg), but I was willing to give it a try, and I gave him my email address.
He responded almost immediately with an official looking email with his company name (which I Googled, and it looked legit). He included pictures of a super hot guy who apparently loves books, and movies, and his family, and who also has a job in finance...business, corporate, fiscal, collateral, economics (some title filled with words that don't mean anything to me, but probably mean that he's loaded).
I was in love.
Of course I said that I'd be thrilled to be set up with this person and immediately began planning the outfit I'd wear for our first date.
Andreas, our matchmaker, responded that he'd pass my information along, but first he needed to double check that I had been truthful in my online profile.
Now, it's not that I was lying intentionally, but this was a site called Manhunt. I really wasn't expecting anything from it, and I kept the profile open more out of habit than anything. I hadn't updated it in two years. I have had a minor freak out about turning 28, but it's not something I'm hiding, and sure the pictures were kind of old, but I don't look that different. Still, I was feeling really self conscious about what this would look like from an outsider's perspective.
So, like a puppy who had just been smacked on the nose with a newspaper, I sent my response with my real age and with a few updated pictures. Andreas's response came back shortly after that letting me know he'd be passing along my information. He told me that I should expect to hear from my potential new husband within the next days, and he ended his message by saying, "I hope you check your email often!"
And check my email often, I did. I was a man possessed. For days I was pulling my phone out every four minutes hitting that obnoxious swirling refresh button, desperate for the first contact from the new love of my life. I waited.
A week went by, and I'd heard nothing. In fact, in that week, I didn't receive a single email that wasn't a Facebook notification, from a pharmaceutical company offering pills to compensate for a problem that I promise I do not have, or one of the daily messages FarmersOnly.com, which I'd jokingly signed up for on an especially drunken night out with Beth and Travis. I'm not kidding, every single day FarmersOnly.com sends me an email filled with potential matches, and it's almost like they understand that I'm gay, but also kinda just think I haven't met the right girl. Each email is filled with pictures of rugged looking guys pledging allegiance to their John Deere's or quoting overwrought country lyrics, but they also sneak in at least one pretty little country girl in daisy dukes and a pink straw cowboy hat, almost as if to say, "We're completely fine with your 'alternative lifestyle,' but do you think maybe it could be just a phase?"
I'd moved on entirely from the man that I was pretty sure was the love of my life just a week before, when I received another email, from a new matchmaker, Nick, "Just a reminder, We've passed your information along to our client, you should be hearing from him any day now!"
I started really thinking through the situation at this point. I hadn't stopped to consider previously why exactly I had been chosen as a match for this person. My profile was in no way a detailed description of who I was or what I was looking for. What sort of guidelines are these matchmakers using to pair up their clients? Also, my "match" was from Minneapolis, an hour and a half away. You honestly couldn't find someone suited that also lived near this dude?!
Basically, I'd been contacted by someone who's job it was to browse dick on the internet (something I've been doing for free for years), so long as he picked a random out every now and then and sent his contact information to his client. And speaking of this client, what kind of person is paying someone to browse dick on the internet for him. How is it that this system exists?! And, more importantly, how do I make it my job?!
Another week passed without any further contact, but at this point I didn't have any expectations that it would. I ended up meeting a guy completely organically, he's sweet, cute, and smart. I don't think anything will come of it, but it was a nice reminder that meeting someone doesn't need to be such hard work. If I just relax and let it happen. I felt more relaxed about being single than I have in a long time.
Until I checked my email...
He included two pictures of a slightly nerdy, but totally gorgeous, blonde man with a killer haircut.
I think he's the one, you guys...