I'm wondering, alas, for the umpteenth time, if I do not have a problem connecting with others, specifically, on the romantic/intimate level. I'm not even sure what I mean by that, to tell the truth. Certainly I was married. I shared intimacy with my wife, despite the fact that the relationship itself came to naught, in the end. I'd ask the ex-wife about whether or not she'd agree with the first sentence of this paragraph but it would probably be a fruitless pursuit. She'd either decline to answer, or merely answer with a question such as, "What do you believe?" or else she'd say, "No," as a means of not answering while simultaneously deflecting the possibility of disagreement, or else she'd answer in a way that she believes would be "helpful" but least likely to cause any tension or unpleasant feelings between the two of us. I smile to consider that this is the woman I married, once upon a time. If you can't get the thorny truths from your ex-wife with whom can one consult? Answers to questions like this one, I suppose, are only really found in one of two ways: introspection and soul-searching or else by deed — our lives themselves are the prima facie answers to such questions — we are what we do. The problem with the latter answer is that our lives consist of a series of decisions made upon the basis of what actions will be good for us and likely to bear fruit, given our strengths and weaknesses. Saying that we live such answers is therefore circular reasoning. Of course, consultation with an advice dispenser presumes that one has some reason to believe the advice one is given is valid, or at least valid in one's own case. Again, this is circular.
I sent out an introductory note again on OkStupid on Wednesday. The last two I sent were on October 8 and the 14th, respectively. The first one was read (according to OkStupid) but deleted or otherwise ignored; I never heard back from her. The second started a short conversation, in two or three message exchanges, in which I was informed, at last, that the lady was a speaker of English only as a second language, and not fluently, and as such, would probably not be very compatible with a literary fellow such as myself. The funny thing there was that she had said hello in a message to me, first. What's up with that? You'd think she could have jumped to the same conclusion to which she eventually did after first checking out my profile, if she was inclined to doubt the compatibility on the grounds claimed. Was she just being nice? Did she chicken out? Did I say something that gave her the impression that I might be an axe-murderer? Her words:
My dear unfortunately English is my second language so playing with words and writing lengthy messages won't be my thing ... also I am a type of person who always honest with my self and others ... So regarding poetry I will need a man with a gun to my head to sit and read it ...
Wednesday's note is as yet unanswered, although the recipient has seen it and has been logged on to OkStupid a couple of times since receiving it. I know these new things about the last messages, whether they were read or not and whether or not the other person rated my profile average or above, because I got curious about what else OkStupid has to offer and shelled out a few dollars to join its "A-list," the premium membership. One of the benefits of a premium membership is being informed when someone has received a message sent to them. More pertinently, it is also being informed when someone else evaluates your profile as being higher than three stars out of a possible five, although it doesn't specify whether this person rated you four or five. At any rate, this most recent person was once intrigued enough by what she had apparently read to evaluate my profile as higher than three out of five. I'm wondering why she's declined, so far, to write back and at least tell me her first name.
So anyway, when I didn't receive anything back, I started speculating. My note was an attempt at humor. Good gravy, if dating isn't fun why would one indulge in it? Naturally, I've been second-guessing the note I wrote. It wasn't what I would consider long, but I guess, by the average man-on-the-street's standards, it wasn't short, either. It is rather longer than just a "Hi there," and the dry humor I was intending could have been misconstrued as pretentious use of language. When I read her page I was inspired to dry humor by her wit. She started it, launching her self-description with a subtle joke comparing the way dating site profiles or singles personal ads were written to descriptions of adoptable canines in advertisements printed by the local Humane Society. It made me laugh! I also confess that the joke did not register until a day later, when I read the page again. Until that time, the significance of the reference to men sending e-mails to the Humane Society puzzled me as being just some incongruous text. I knew she intended some sort of joke, but I wondered it had something to do with her giving out a fake e-mail address to potential dates who would have been aroused to inquiry by the description. Yeah, sometimes I can be just exactly that stupid. Anyway, here is how she opened her profile:
SINGLE WHITE FEMALE with sparkling blue eyes seeks male companionship. I'm a very good girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in a convertible with the wind in my face, camping and fishing trips and cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me.... e-mail me, I'll be waiting.....
Over 150 men just found themselves e-mailing the Humane Society after responding to the above.
Well, yeah, it's obvious what she means, in hindsight. I face-palmed, after I laughed. Maybe I was just distracted by her picture. She IS a pretty blonde gal with blue eyes. So, her wit and tone of her page, and the fact that she'd obviously seen something she liked in my profile, inspired me to write.
I don't know: too long, too much information, too chatty, too stilted, too eager, too, too, too... I know how this works on these sites; I do it too. You just decide that there is something that doesn't quite "click" with the person on the other end and reach for the old delete key. It's so easy to be selective, when dating is a risk and the pool of fish seems so huge. It's easy to think that snap-judgments we make about people are accurate. On the other hand, the lady also complains on her page:
I'm not finding anyone that follows through and actually wants to meet. Should I delete all this?Sheesh! If she'd just answer and tell me her first name, I'd ask her out, at least for a cup of coffee...but I suspect that she found my letter "too something-or-other" and now she's decided that she's not interested in pursuing a conversation. I don't know. Maybe it's early yet, and she's still debating. I can't say I fault her for that. I suppose I might try a friendly follow up, if I don't hear from her by Wednesday.
Probably there are those who would tell me that I am just not sending enough messages. This is no doubt true. No doubt that dating site pros would tell me that this is the reason I tend to put such anticipation into the results of one contact. I just find it difficult to write to multiple people at once. It seems somehow, impersonal or disingenuous, especially when doing so means that it is more difficult to focus on the individual with whom one is corresponding and to keep the details straight. "So, anyway, Vivian... er, Veronica... er Virginia..." who is it this afternoon? It is also true that I just have too much inertia to brave the unknown, get myself inspired to create an epistle, and write, especially when it feels like some sort of mass-mailing campaign. Ah well, I suppose it may also be true that my problem is not that I am lonely; it is that I am not lonely enough.