mercredi, décembre 28, 2011

Lament of the over-educated single female

I have a thing for online guys who write me and say "hi" or "hello" as a way of introducing themselves to me.

Not a good thing, either.

Generally, I suspect that they are incapable of carrying on an intelligent conversation.

O.K., I've said it. In that one sentence is wrapped up a host of bias: classism, elitism, and other, more subtle-isms that I choose not to share with you right now.

Thus far, there is only one man who didn't fulfill my expectations in that regard -- and he was totally new to the dating scene. I was his trial run.

I was just a little bored yesterday (plus, it was raining, so I couldn't escape to the savanna and pace like a lion).

No more excuses for my bad behavior.

A man contacted me yesterday, his only introduction one word.

And then, the inevitable "Is there room in the bathtub for me?"

That's the second line that will most accurately predict whether someone has an ounce of creativity in his soul.

I didn't answer that one. Instead, I responded "good afternoon." Just enough. Just to see what I'd get back.

"How are u"?

"Fine" I wrote him. "And you?"

Well, you can see where this is going. No-where, if that can be said to be a place.

"I'd be better if I was with you" came the fast answer.

At that point, I was done toying. "You don't know me. You just know what I appear to be" I wrote him back.

Ouch. There I was, taking out my frustration on a poor schlub who just happened to want to chat with me.

It's hard, to be honest, being an educated woman in an online dating environment. First of all, you have to keep reminding yourself that lots of people hate writing, despise it and fear it with a deadly passion.

Which doesn't mean they are stupid. It could mean almost anything.

And then, if there is enough possibility to begin a dialogue, than you have to figure out what is safe to say. Can you discuss politics? Can you talk about previous relationships? What about religion?

Hopefully by then you have moved on to phone chats. All of those, except for the rare birds who are fluent in online conversation, or programmed to "get" each other's wacky ironies, are dangerous territories.

As the novelist Margaret Drabble (sister to A.S. Byatt) wrote once, one of the legacies of an education is to have all sorts of quotes rattling around in your head (often the attribution is forgotten).

It's delicious to be able to share those with someone.

Is it necessary? Well, I wrestle with that often. Maybe it's a luxury. Maybe I'm too fussy. Maybe it's better to trade quotes.

Then where do I draw the line?

I have no idea.

All I know is that, yesterday, I should have drawn it at "hello."

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