Tuesday, May 11, 2010

50 First Dates

Okay, maybe I haven't hit 50 yet, but it must be getting close. I can't remember them all anymore, so that must mean something. Something bad.

For a guy who said he would never try Internet Dating, I have tried the Hell out of it. And there have been stories, from Drunk Russian to Broadway (Date to cabbie: "You can drop him at the T station and then take me home." Shrewd way of telling me I wasn't getting any.) to "I Love You" Text, I have compiled quite a list. And here I remain, single. And this has very little to do with me being too picky or whatever. Honestly, some of them never called me back, so that ain't my bad. But still, I can't say that I've learned a whole lot from all this, except to be less trusting of people than I was before. And the fact that I am not terribly heart-broken or depressed by all of this, but I am really, really annoyed. Going on first dates in annoying. That's why we do all this in the first place. We want to find someone we can hang out with so we don't have to do this anymore. It's not paying for dinners and going to decent restaurants that bugs me, either. It's the constant getting-to-know-you conversations that try my patience. Can you blame me? It's like every night is the first day of school.

A friend of mine was recently comparing a job interview to a first date, and I realized why I had held onto the same job for ten years. I'm not quite sure what it is, really, but obviously some personality quirk is coming through and keeping people far away. These are people who are contacting me, too, and then once we go out, maybe dinner, maybe a few drinks, and then, y'know, yada-yada-yada, I never see them again. Okay well, not the Seinfeld version of Yada-Yada-Yada. That would be okay, really.

While I have always had a hard time pinpointing my own flaws, I have recently begun taking some inventory. Flaw #1 may in fact be that I can't pinpoint my own flaws. I also know that I am cynical, self-deprecating and rather shallow. But I don't see these are things people can pick up on a first date, while I am on my best behavior. No, I believe the real flaw is in the system. The real flaw is that Internet Dating makes us all shallow. We date by trading card and we expect people to live up to high expectations. It's the way it works. I don't blame people for not settling if I don't set their world on fire (I would never settle, so why should they?), but in the end, sometimes a spark isn't enough.

Sometimes, you need to fan the flame.

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