As is well-documented, I internet date. On one website, while giving responses in the "Random Questions" portion I came upon the following query: "In casual conversations, are you more forthcoming with detail of your sex life or your financial situation?" I blinked, as it struck me as a somewhat odd question for a dating website, but they did tell me that the whole section was random, so I responded. "I'm pretty open about either," I typed, "especially if one of those topics can lead to something humorous. Sadly, both usually can."
I'm nothing if not honest.
I know I complain a lot about my love life on this blog. Hell, I complain a lot about life, period, on this blog. But every once in a while there occurs a confluence of events so kick-you-in-the-crotch fantastic, it really makes me believe that heaven is probably just a comedy club, where whatever higher power you happen to believe in is headlining for eternity. Or maybe they all just rotate. Didn't like Buddha's set about wanting to compete on The Biggest Loser: Divinities? Just you wait, Jesus kills every night with his bit about getting out a stain that was wine and is now blood. Then, during intermission, the assemblage gets to stare down at the chaos they have wrought on this mortal plane.
That chaos came to a head for me a few nights ago on a little website I like to call Gay Harmony. Now you might know this website by it's real name, compatiblepartners.net, but as I have discussed before, I don't like that name, hence: Gay Harmony. I've been on Gay Harmony for quite a while now. I signed up for a 6-month free trial membership, and then paid for a month of service, both of which yielded nothing except the worst date of my life (Carrots! Coupons!) and the realization that if I keep slamming my face against a brick wall, eventually my looks are going to suffer. So I decided that I needed to take some time away from internet dating, a cleanse if you will, and see if (despite all evidence of personal history to the contrary) I might be able to find a date without the assistance of the interwebs.
Now, for those of you that haven't been internet dating (I'm looking at you, Mom), Gay Harmony is a website that doesn't allow one person to take a step in their "Guided Communication" process until the other person has also completed the step prior. While I understand their point in this, I find it infuriating. Sitting there, in limbo, while some moron I don't even know twiddles his thumbs and is too lazy to answer three short questions makes me want to chew nails. So, what does one do, when one has completed Step 3, and is waiting for the other person to do so as well? One drinks heavily, and then one "Nudges" the tardy party (yeah, I said it). The nudge doesn't actually accomplish anything other than to alert the other person that there is waiting going on.
So once I decided to leave the website, I started nudging people like it was my job. If I could have sent them a nudge with a message saying "Shit or get off the pot" I happily would have. Of course, all of my nudging was for naught. The expiration date came and went with nary a response to all of my efforts, and thus I was free of the internet dating world. Or so I thought.
Not a week after my membership expired, I got an e-mail from Gay Harmony. "We thought you would like to know," they helpfully wrote, "that you have received a communication from Jeffrey!" Jeffrey is one of the men that I had been waiting to actually DO something for about 4 weeks. Immediately I thought to myself "Self, get it together. You are free of this website, do not allow yourself to get sucked back in." However, despite this excellent advice, I remained torn. What if this worked out really well? After all, we had already gone through numerous steps together, there must be something there, right? Three days passed with me in a constant wrestling match with myself over what to do...I'm not good at letting things go, you see.
Finally, on the third day, I had had enough. I couldn't take not knowing any longer, so I got out my credit card and I signed onto the website. One painful, online transaction later and I was all set, with a renewed membership promising to bring me 30 more days of fruitlesss searching, or as the website calls it "new members every day." I quickly went to my new messages, and looked for the message that had cost so much debate...I will now transpose it for you here, in it's entirety:
"Hope you had a good holiday. Thanx for the nudge."
First of all, "thanx." THANX!?!? I mean, really. It's not easier to type an "x" than it is to type "ks." I say this with complete assurance, because everytime I go to type "thanx," I accidentally type it the other way first. What am I saying, "the other way;" the RIGHT way. The way the word is actually SPELLED. I mean, it wasn't even an abbreviation "thx," or "tnx," or Christ, even "thnx." No time was saved by typing "thanx," nor was there any kind of good impression given by it. All "thanx" says is that the person who typed it is either a) lazy, b) stupid or c) lazy and stupid.
Second of all, this is what took the better part of a month to compose? Did you send that on to all of your friends to make sure that it was leaving a good impression? For Pete's sake, the man is a singer/songwriter, he should at least have a general grasp on, you know, WORDS. It's not like I'm talking about some home-schooled IT professional who has the social graces of an adobe brick. And, yes, I have been on some dates with those people, and may I just say: I go prepared to be the loquacious one in the room. This man is an artist...he should not be sending me a two sentence, 10-word e-mail; he should know better.
And finally, is there any more clear way of just passing the buck? Apparently, he didn't feel like actually taking 5 minutes to compose an e-mail that might actually, oh I don't know, ask a goddamn question or start any kind of intelligent conversation. Instead, he'll just rattle something off, and then put the onus on me to respond. And in that response I can either follow his lead and say "Holiday was good. Your e-mail sux," or I can be this "bigger person" that people keep telling me about and actually try to invest effort into this thing I've already invested money into.
I think it's needless to say that at this point, I was livid. I was beside myself. I was actually sitting next to myself, and yelling at myself "THIS IS BULLSHIT!" and I was yelling back "I KNOW!!" Luckily, I had the presence of mind to step away from the computer before composing my reply. Otherwise, I probably would have written back "Seriously? You owe me $60." Instead, I wrote a brief, and yet quite brilliant message in which I a) responded to his unspoken question about the holidays, b) asked a question that he could respond to and c) managed to not even once make fun of him for writing "thanx."
But really, just one little delinquint correspondent on Gay Harmony does not a blog post make. Not to worry, more ridiculousness to come. The very next morning, I awoke from a quasi-restful slumber, rubbed my eyes and turned on the computer to check my e-mail. And in my e-mail box I had, would you believe it, another e-mail from Gay Harmony! "You have a new match," they excitedly informed me, "Sign on now and get to know him!" And really at this point, I should have known better. But, embodying the triumph of hope over experience, I blindly clicked the link and was immediately greeted with a profile for Dr. Big.
Who's Dr. Big? Oh, I'll just refer you to my You Put the Pride in the Coconut post from July of last year for backstory, but suffice it to say we all have exes, and then we all have Exes. Dr. Big is an Ex of the first degree. He's the uber-Ex. He graduated summa cum laude from Ex University. We're in a good place right now, but let me tell you, I did not need to be greeted by his profile at 7 am; a profile, it's worth noting, where he claims to be 34, says he's looking for a relationship and looks as good on paper as he ever did.
First of all, baby, you ain't 34. And if you're lying about your age, you're really probably not ready to be in a relationship, because if you DO meet someone that you connect with, you're going to have to somehow clear up the whole being 5 years older than you originally claimed thing. And frankly, I have no issue dating someone who's 39, but I would have a large fucking issue dating someone who lied to me for no reason; I'm guessing I'm not alone in that. And finally, WTF Gay Harmony!? Are there no other gay men in New York City?? For the love of George Michael, I don't live in fucking Tulsa!
Of course, the other side of this issue is that I really can't deny that they probably do have some rhyme and reason to their matching, as opposed to simply randomly pairing like zip codes with like genitalia. I don't think anyone can deny that Dr. Big and I certainly possess a large amount of...spark. But that's the limit for me. I'm done with Gay Harmony when this month is over.
Right after I finish communicating with Jeffrey. Hey, you never know.