A few years ago when I wasn’t having so much luck with traditional dating, I set up an online dating profile at the behest of some college friends who had themselves been quite lucky in love with a little help from the internet. I had been a long holdout to the practice because I really believe in the physical aspect of sexual chemistry and didn’t think there was enough of that you could get from reading someone’s self-congratulatory assessment of themself. But I convinced myself to try thinking, “What’s the worst that could happen? You get a free meal. You’re poor; do it.” And I did.
After flipping through myriad profiles I found someone that would seem to fit me (sarcastic, music minded, entertainment savvy, a little nerdy) well enough. He advertised himself as a little nerdy, work-focused, fan of The X-Files (I heart Duchovny), dry sense of humor and he wasn’t bad looking either. We chatted a little via email (just to make sure neither of us sent off a serial killer vibe) and decided we would meet for dinner midweek.
To say the meet-up was awkward is an understatement. We went to an Indian restaurant (which, no matter how much you love Indian food, turns out to be a first date no-no), which was empty of all people besides us and the wait staff. The CD of traditional music playing skipped so often that I began to wonder if scratching the disc was part of the native music production process. Everything from the drinks to the starters were a dribbling, colorfast mess threatening my pink dress. And then there was my date.
We’ll call him “Mike” not because I don’t want to call him out, but because frankly, I can’t remember his name. I almost missed him completely since he looked almost nothing like his profile picture. The promise of geek chic was met with, well, just geek. Mike wouldn’t have been the 5’10” advertised if he had been wearing my heels, which, for the purposes of this match, put my 5’6″ frame just over his eye level.
And sadly, while looks aren’t everything, there was more geek than chic staring back at me. However, Mike said on his profile that he was a video editor which boded well for the conversation since at the time I was writing movie reviews and managing a video store. Unfortunately, Mike didn’t edit the videos so much as he managed the IT systems that stored their digital files. Know how I found out about this? It was written on a stack of topic cards he’d brought with him. Topics including, among other things, “what were your parents like?”, “do you enjoy swimming?”, and “I have five cats; you?”.
I will say this for Mike: he wasn’t drinking so I can always hold out hope that he would have been a bit more interesting if he had been. As it was, there was a lot of silence between me, Mike, and the naan. I tried to be as polite as possible, but that may have been the worst date I’ve ever been on; first, last, or otherwise. It has since been the first and last internet date I’ve been on. I’ve picked up tennis partners, concert tickets, and even video editing software online, but I will never again look for a date there.