Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Introduction to Online Dating

            Out of curiosity, low self esteem, and a glimmer of hope, I signed up for JDate.   Refusing to pay to meet people (I was in a sorority and play in intramural leagues) I started by keeping my membership at arm’s length.  Eighteen unreadable J-Mails later, my insatiable curiosity triumphed and I submitted my credit card information for the opportunity to see what eligible young Jews were vying for my attention.  What a disappointment. 
As I have since discovered, girls join JDate by choice, as an extra social outlet; they question the sanctity of meeting men at the bar, want to find guys openly ready for a relationship, or are simply coming to terms with the fact that it is increasingly difficult to meet guys organically.  The men on JDate, however, seem to end up there for less flattering reasons.  They tend to be socially awkward, heading toward desperate, and there comes that moment during each first date when the women discover just why each guy was forced into online dating.
            Though not an athlete myself, I have always been aware of the discrepancies that occur between real height and roster height within the sports world.  What I did not realize was that dating qualified as a sport.  A few JDates and many conversations with friends later, I reached the steadfast conclusion that the average JDate guy lies about his height by three inches.  Now, of course, I take that into account when I check the only four things I care to read on a person’s profile: age, hometown, occupation, and “height.”  Mostly, I am baffled by men’s delusion that we, as women and humans with eyes, will not only discover that they live with Snow White, but then also, of course, that they are liars.  If I can see the top of your head, you’re not 5’8.  It’s pretty simple.
The second JDater I agreed to meet was one of these guys.  It was harder to tell at first, as he was already seated at the table when I arrived late, or promptly on Jew-time, but as soon as he stood up to go find the bathroom, it was clear.  We had drinks and appetizers and a fun but what I’m guessing to be inappropriate conversation as I’m pretty sure the word “jizz” was used more than a few times.
He offered to drive me home and I considered the fact that, if necessary, my body weight would be enough to detain him, so I accepted.  Walking out of the bar, he informed me he was a little too drunk to drive and asked if we could wait a bit.  I said I would just take a cab, but he insisted and I didn’t want to insult him.
We got to his car in a desolate garage, he turned on the radio, and we sat there.  I fidgeted, changing the stations and twirling my rings.
“Why are you being so awkward?”  
“Because I’m sitting in an abandoned garage with a stranger I met online.  This is not me being awkward; this is universally sketchy.”
“Fine.  Do you want to go walk around, then?”
I didn’t. 
We headed toward the elevator.  I walked briskly in front of him, but as I stepped up onto the curb, I heard a crunch and felt his hands grab my hips as he fell forward.  Catching my balance (and his) I turned around only to discover he had stubbed his toe, sliced it open, and was profusely bleeding.  I laughed – my natural reaction when anybody gets hurt.  Then reality hit.  I don’t do blood.  I don’t like my own blood, I dislike it from people I know, and I certainly cannot stand the idea of a stranger’s blood near my skin.  Goodbye dreams of medical school.
Walking to a drug store so he could clean up, I found myself having to continually sidle away from him and his bloody toe.  Once at the drug store, he was aggressively trying to stop the bleeding when his fraternity brother walked in to find me standing in the corner cringing and giggling as I watched my date’s blood refuse to clot.  It was a pleasure, and not at all uncomfortable, to meet him. 
My date rinsed his hands in the sink and reached for my lower back in an attempt to chivalrously lead me back outside.  I contorted my body to avoid the touch and put some extra inches between us.  He tried again.             
“I’m sorry…I really don’t like blood.”
“I washed my hands.”
“No you didn’t.  I watched you.  There was no soap.”
Frustrated, he tried to take a step closer and I took one away.  We Two Stepped all the way back to his car and he finally dropped me off at my apartment.  As he pulled over to let me out, I thanked him for the drinks.
“Would it be okay if I kissed you right now?”
“I’m sorry, but I’m really creeped out by blood.”
“I won’t touch you with my hands.”
“I can’t.”
I got out of the car before he had a chance to say or do anything else. 

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