This was an email I recently received from one of the forty five online dating sites I subscribe to: “Your dating profile has been viewed 2861 times.” Seriously now, this was supposed to make me feel good??? Knowing that out of 2861 men who looked at my profile, only two found me reasonably attractive enough to “wink,” knowing that I was an obvious disappointment to the other 2859 viewers, it’s no wonder that my confidence is at an all time low.
One evening, over a few gin and tonics, I was complaining to a group of friends (married friends, mind you) that the only man who’d shown any interest in me since I’d joined a particular dating site two months earlier, was a guy named “Shrek” (and yes, there was a strong resemblance.) My friends explained that I needed to take a more “pro-active” approach to online dating. “Go ahead, Megan, don’t wait for the man to wink at you– be bold, be daring; men like women who know what they want. You make the first move. You wink at them first.” What did I know? Okay, three gin and tonics later, I was ready. I sat down at the computer and with the heavy alcoholic breath of my four friends curling the small hairs on my neck, we searched, scrolling through dozens of profiles. The headlines glared at me–scary words from scary men, expressing sentiments like: Not into Head Games, No Gold Diggers, I Don’t Like Liars, If You Can’t be True– Then I Ain’t for You, My Ex Wife is a Nasty Bi**h….the list went on and on, all written in bold, caps and/or italics–the written equivalent of screaming at the top of one’s lungs. I realized, here was the refuse heap for hundreds of men– burned, broken, bitter and damaged goods–excellent, I thought– just like me!
The five of us continued to “prowl” the profiles–now, I’ll be honest, the photo is not the first thing I check out when I’m prowling a dating site–it’s the spelling. I can’t date someone who can’t spell. I know, I know, my sister tells me that I’m a spelling snob and I will never find a boyfriend because this pet peeve of mine most assuredly eliminates 99.99% of the world’s population. I know, but I just can’t see myself with someone whose profile reads: Night in Shineing Armour Seeks Damsle in Disdress (not dat-dress, dis-dress.) Your in for a treat… Let’s just say, when I read that “eye past” on that bachelor.
At last, one profile finally caught my eye–hmmm, I detected no confusion with his use of the words: there, they’re and their. Two, too and to were also in order. He lived locally (unlike “Sunshine State Ken,” a welder from Tampa, who felt strongly that the distance between Florida and Virginia was no reason not to explore the possibility of chemistry between us. I agreed and replied, asking Sunshine State Ken if he wanted to meet for lunch that day…for some reason, I never heard back from him.) Anyway, as my eyes glanced up toward the photo of the good speller, I saw he was reasonably attractive….hmmmm–wait, what the? There was one minor problem with his profile picture–he was wearing a beanie–a beanie with a propeller on the top. “Hey,” my friends scolded, “Don’t be so judgmental.” “Megan, look at it this way–he’s got a great sense of humor, right?” “Wink at him and send him an email right now, before he gets away.” So, I did exactly what my misguided friends suggested; I took a large gulp of my gin and tonic and set to work writing an email to ‘Propeller Beanie, Good Spelling Guy’–before he was snatched up by someone else. My goal was to send something witty, yet coquettish, showing interest, but not desperation. My email went something like this: “Hi! I read your profile and aside from the beanie, I think we have a lot in common. Want to chat?” I should have listened to my gut–It was against my better judgment to be the “first responder,” but there I was with four friends squeezing my right index finger until I swore I’d press the ‘send’ button. What could I do? I pressed the ‘send’ button.
Within three minutes, I received a response from ‘Propeller Beanie, Good Spelling Guy.’ My friends cleared their throats, preparing for their “I Told You So’s.” The reply was short and to the point. It said, “No thnx.” That was it. “No thnx.” …I was rejected by a man wearing a freaking propeller beanie. Was this an omen of things to come?