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I’ve been trying to pick up my mood, but I’ve been hampered by the fact that I have absolutely no idea how to do that.  I’ve been bumbling around like the Barney Fife of breakups.  Much to my everlasting chagrin, I thought I’d try posting a profile on a couple of dating sites.  I’m not really interested in starting a new relationship, even if I weren’t still in love with the Ex – two months in France and my plans to pull up stakes and move to a new city (probably in a new part of the country) makes it foolish in the extreme.  I did think that the mere possibility of meeting someone new might make me look to my emotional future, instead of to my emotional past.  Again, foolish in the extreme.

I suspect that much like intelligence and test scores, personalities fall out on some sort of bell curve; by and large, most people are relatively…well, let’s say vanilla.  And then there are the rest of us.  Once you separate those who are truly troubled, the rest of us are, for lack of a better phrase, mildly eccentric.  The thing is, we don’t see what the rest of the world finds so strange.  Eventually we get that people find us different, but we don’t get what the fuss is all about.  To my mind, I’m pretty damn normal.  Sometimes I’ll make a joke about how I’m wacky, but as far as I can see, I’m just a touch nerdy and maybe a little highly-strung.  I’ve never really fit in most places, although I’ve been lucky enough to find people who get me.  (People probably find them weird too, but I don’t see that either.)  What I’m getting at is that these dating sites are designed for the majority.  I’ve looked through the men on these sites (the machinery of these sites has not done well by me – scientific, my ass), and they’ve suffered in comparison to the Ex.  There were signs that these guys weren’t for me.  Suspect taste in literature, for one.  This might be some of my intellectual snobbery coming out, but there is a practical side – if I’m spending a good portion of my life studying Voltaire, Proust, Foucault; is a man who thinks The DaVinci Code is great literature really going to be happy with me?  I have serious doubts.  Another red flag is the desperate cry of “I’m a nice guy!”  I can guarantee that I am not spending my time with jerks – I have come too far in life to put up with that crap.  But really, if the best you can offer – if your “I’ve got 50 words or less to sell my strengths” pitch is only that you’re a “nice guy,” I’m here to tell you, I’m going to need more than that.  Related to that is the whiny undercurrent of some of these “nice guys.”  They seem to be under the impression that women are rejecting them because we are hypocritical about our desire for “nice guys.”  This whiny undercurrent seems a little misogynistic to me.  Third is slipshod grammar and spelling.  Now, I feel the need to qualify this.  It isn’t just snobbery at play.  As a student of linguistics, I really do believe that non-standard varieties of a language are just as valid as a standard.  That said, if you don’t believe that people judge you on how you present yourself, you are either naive or deluded.  Considering that you are putting a profile online to get people interested, one would think that you would do your best to put the best version of yourself out there.  So why wouldn’t you capitalize the pronoun “I” or run spell-check?  The fact that these men don’t bother leads me to extrapolate that they won’t bother about anything else.  Remembering your birthday?  Too much trouble.

If it seems judgemental, well it is.  Sure, I’m not in the market for a husband; I’m not really even in the market for a relationship.  However, acting as if I am unworthy of being choosy is really an insult to me and everyone who cares about me.  If I felt one of my friends was selling themselves short like that, I would try to talk some sense into them.  And you can bet that the men are no less judgemental.  In fact, they seem to be deeming me not worth a second look for whatever reason.  And this is where the ridiculousness blossoms.  That I am being rejected by men I have rejected is both ironic and, in the deep, dark petty corners of my soul, humiliating.  Compounded with the the harsh truth that I am still in love with my ex-boyfriend, this whole exercise has been a bust of colossal proportions.  Has my mood improved?  No.  Am I speeding up the healing process?  Obviously not.  Should I stop this crackpot scheme?  Immediately, if not sooner.

So this is what I did.  I went to the sites and deleted my profiles.  Each site felt that I was making a mistake, and in one instance, felt that my only road to happiness was theirs.  Each site tried to offer me a chance to come to my senses and keep my profile up.  Are you sure? they asked.

Yeah, believe me, I’m sure.

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