Monday, May 13, 2013

"I've made a huge mistake." - The OKCupid Blowoff

I finally did it. I went on my first online date ever. If Martha Stewart can survive prison, go on Match.com AND bake a cake, while doing it too? Well damnit, so can I.

Algorithm match-makers, make me a match!

I've had an OKCupid profile on and off again for the past few years. I'm what you would call a lurker - I like to troll anonymously. I mostly reactivate my account after a major breakup or when I'm going through a dry spell. This particular date was the result of a long dry spell. We're talking Moses trekking through the desert kind-of dry spell. I was hungry - starving, desperate for anything at this point. Hell, 'The Donner Party' wasn't as hungry as I was.

There comes a point on every first date where you hit your inevitable first 'red flag'. Red flags are non-negotiables. Or as Liz Lemon would call them, 'deal-breakers'. It can range from making a terrible racist joke to something like 'he just took a fry off my plate without asking'. Remember Joey's deal breaker?


My first red flag was immediate. I agreed to meet up for a drink in Santa Monica during the middle of the day (no dinner - you need a quick exit just in case). According to our OKCupid match score - we were 88% compatible. I've always been an average student, so to score above-average right off the bat gave me a glimmer of false hope.

He was fifteen minutes late. I started to get nervous, what if it was just like the scene in "You've Got Mail" where Tom Hanks sees Meg Ryan through the window and realizes that it's the woman he's hated this entire time and turns around? I sent him a tentative text asking his current coordinates. I received a frantic text from him; he thought our date was the next day. He asked me to wait there and he would immediately jump in the next cab available.

Okay, so he's a little late, big deal, minute red flag. You have to understand, I've been trekking through the singleton desert for a long time. My life consumed of instant Netflix and boxed wine. The only male interaction I've had in Los Angeles so far was being yelled at for cutting in his lane.  I seriously debated yelling my phone number back at him out my window too. So, I sat my ass down without shame, slurped a second beer down and continued waiting.

When he finally sauntered in, we gave each other the initial 'once-over' to see if everything was in order. No visible weapons or chloroform rag in sight. As he settled in, our conversation steered to online dating. He casually said that out of all the other girls he's met from OKCupid, I "looked just like my profile picture". I asked if he got 'Catfished' by the other girls and he simply shrugged and said, "they were a little bigger than they said they were". RED FLAG #2! Abort, abort! I eyed him suspiciously and asked what were the other reasons, surely he was not that shallow. He said, "one girl was crazy, but so far, you don't seem that crazy." DEAL-BREAKER. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a guy claims girls are crazy. I quickly flagged down the bartender and eyed the time on my iPhone. I had another episode of Law & Order and a six-pack of donuts waiting for me back home, I didn't need this.

Suddenly, the little voice of reason which I thought I had killed from years of excessive drinking came alive in my head.

Voice of Reason: You're being too hard on him. No wonder you're single! You're too cynical when it comes to dating.
Me: Logical part of my brain? I can't believe you're still alive!
Voice of Reason: I know, I'm like Wolverine, I regenerate myself no matter how many times you try to destroy me.
Me: So what do I do now?
Voice of Reason: Ask an interesting question! Come on, make this date fun!

I hate ice-breaker questions, but I was willing to try. I turned to my date and asked what quirks he had. He cocked his head to the side while he thought about it. Then came the mother of all red-flags: "I've never eaten a salad or vegetable my entire life. For 25 years." And he was proud of it.

I looked up into the bar mirror to see my jaw dropped. No way. No way! It was impossible. Not a single green bean? Carrot? Freaking broccoli?


Screw Martha Stewart! And screw you, brain! There was no way I could kiss the mouth of a man who didn't know what lettuce tasted like. I love the idea of Ron Swanson, but good god - it's just not right. He's like one of those people that don't like the taste of water. WATER!

Now, I'm not the healthiest person alive. Complaining at the gym is my favorite activity.  I've been known to eat an entire tub of cool whip in one sitting before, but even I know when my body is crying out for a salad.

I walked out and dejectedly made my way to my car. As I arrived in front of my car, I received one final red-flag from the universe to top off my first online date: a $65 parking ticket from the city of Santa Monica.

I wasn't hungry anymore. I didn't want the special of the day or to pay the entrance fee to the buffet  - no thank you.

I've lost my appetite.

2 comments:

  1. This is hilarious-- picky/weird eaters would definitely be a deal breaker for me too. although my brother in law doesn't eat vegetables AT ALL and he and my sister-in-law are happy so maybe there's a way to make it work. I always said that if a guy didn't eat oysters, he wasn't for me.

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  2. > I asked if he got 'Catfished' by the other girls and he simply shrugged and said, "they were a little bigger than they said they were". RED FLAG #2!

    So it's perfectly ok to post pictures taken from carefully chosen angles/photoshopped/whatever that make you look less fat than you actually are? I'd say he's completely right to take issue with that. It's extremely dishonest, and furthermore is dishonesty before the two people have even met. It also betrays a pretty high level of insecurity.

    Forget dishonesty and insecurity; it's not even a good idea for the person doing it. You're not going to overcome any negative thoughts about your physical appearance with your charming personality and scintillating intellect when his first impression of you is "she lied about what she looks like".

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