When I was 29, and single, dating went like this: See a guy at a party, make eye contact, if he walks up chat a bit, find out some stuff (who his favorite band is, if he likes the Coen Brother’s films, if he had ever bothered to finish undergrad), make out, start dating. Just like that. I didn’t care about getting married, so I didn’t care if we got serious. Nobody I met had kids (or rarely had), no one had relaxed into a job they once hated. We just wanted to be hot for each other and have some things in common. Bonus if we liked each other’s friends.
Sigh… doesn’t that sound nice? Now at 39, and single, dating goes like this: See a guy at a party, avoid eye contact until I get some basic info from a mutual friend, ask if he is over 33 (my new cut-off age), make sure he has a job, find out if he has a good relationship with his ex and takes good care of his kids, then, if the intel is good, hope like hell that he has at least heard of some of the music I like. Maybe go out on a date. However, once on this date, there will be lists to go over. Nobody sane prints them up and brings them along. You just run through them. Do you want more kids? How amicable/horrible was your seperation/divorce? Why have you never married? Are you a dog person? Do you need/want to marry again? Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Get past the list, and then you can make out.
I will admit now, and if you know me this isn’t news, to having dated several 29-year-olds in my 39th year. Honestly, it was not in the least bit purposeful. (I was shocked that they were genuinely interested. I kept asking if they knew how old I was. Today’s 29-year-olds are very open minded.) They just showed up, and it was fun to talk about music and movies and make out. And maybe if the right 29-year-old came around and had his shit together, well I guess it could happen…
It didn’t happen. It has been a year since the split. I really think it would be nice to have a boyfriend. So, I decided I should date someone my own age. But where are these guys? I don’t know! I keep my eyes peeled, I swear. I am not going to meet anyone at work. I am not meeting them at New World Brewery or at Rex. They don’t seem to shop at my Publix.
I went on Match.com to browse. You have to create a profile to peek at everyone, so I did. Now, I did this months ago, but gave up quickly. If one more guy with a member name including the words “stallion,” “pirate,” or the numbers “007” winked at me I was going to chuck my mac. These guys were not cute, they were not funny, and they often claimed to be seeking mermaids. I swear. Additionally, they frequently referred to themselves as “jilted” but requested that I not be “bitter.” They posted pictures of themselves from prom, on the tops of cliffs, and with lots of girls. Mostly, though, they almost all had a pic of their pets. I went out with one guy who is a nice guy, and we are friends now. He only had one picture, just of himself.
But a couple of weeks ago, in a fit of boredom I went back on. I recreated my profile, and a cute guy winked at me. You can’t wink back unless you join, so I did a three day free trial. I winked back. He emailed. So did a bunch of other guys. I considered his email and two others as having potential. One misunderstood my profile and thought I wanted to date younger guys (he was 32, I think). We cleared that up, and his method for asking me out was to email me that we “might as well go get a drink.” Um, thanks for the enthusiasm, but, no, we might as well not. One down. The second guy had kind of a fun profile, but his email was nearly as long as this blog, kind of crazy and overzealous, and he requested that I give him some feedback on some articles he had written (he included links). Two down. The original winker sent reasonable emails, that included nicely complimentary statements and a request to talk. Like, on the phone. Ok. Now we were getting somewhere.
But that is as far as we get. There has only been one date, and I try not to kiss and tell on the web. If it doesn’t go well, it could make for a funny follow up (no names, of course). If it does go well, honestly, that could be funny too. We’ll just have to see.
Or, I could rent a mermaid suit, go back on the site, and really see what I can reel in…