Years ago – between husbands and before online dating – I tried my luck at the personal ads. I met a couple of tolerable fellows but there was no chemistry so the bunsen burner was snuffed out quickly. The most memorable date, however, was with a guy I’ll call “Gil”. We arranged to meet at a restaurant.
During our meal, Gil was in a fidget-frenzy. He kept lining up his cutlery, rearranging our water glasses, his napkin, my side plate. He squared off the menu to the edge of the table. As a conversationalist, the adjective “frantic” comes to mind. Even though all signals screamed “bail!”, our date included plans to attend a jazz concert afterwards, so I figured I could endure the slightly unhinged Gil for another few hours.
He offered to drive to the theatre. And that’s when just odd morphed to spectacularly disturbing. The seats of his car – actually, every interior surface – was covered in red terrycloth. Worse –stained red terrycloth.
Inexplicably, I did get in the car. Gil slipped into the driver’s seat, turned and grabbed a loose towel off the back seat. I watched gob-smacked as he wrapped it round his neck, then tucked it into his collar – it kind of looked like a pleated lobster bib. He reached in front of me – now in the passenger seat, sizing up door handle and locks for an impending escape – and opened the glove compartment. He extracted an apple and started to chomp noisily – and wetly – on it. Gil wiped his mouth with his ample towel bib. I must have been gawking; he explained he always liked “something sweet” after dinner. He winked.
Gil, the apple was a minor horror when compared to your indecent gesture and verry scarry terry.
I don’t remember how I extricated myself from the rest of the date, but I bolted from the car, leaving Lobster Gil happily gnawing on his apple. To this day, show me a red towel and like a bull, I’ll have no choice but to gore you.
I am reflecting on this – with a shudder – as I read this news bulletin: “Vancouver women are ranked the pickiest daters in Canada.”
Apparently, there are more people online dating in Vancouver than anywhere else in the world, but that doesn’t translate to the guys getting the girls. According to a survey from an online dating site, Vancouver men have the hardest time getting a date through online sites.
For Vancouver’s single ladies, it’s all about screening.
Which brings me to a wonderful friend of mine who’s fun, fabulous and 50+. She decided to try her luck with Plenty of Fish (POF), one of Canada’s largest free online dating sites. She completed the “Relationship Chemistry Predictor”, which, claims POF, measures five dimensions of personality needed to build a “long lasting stable relationship.” My personal favourite dimension is what POF calls “easygoingness”. I didn’t know this was a word, never mind a personality trait.
After answering all the profile questions, she waited while the system, using its top-secret, patented algorithm, mined its “extensive databank” to yield suitable matches that “a user will most likely date and maybe marry!”
So far, POF has reeled in a boatload of bupkis.
Looking at the responses to her ad, there are just so many questions, including: (1) doesn’t your computer have spellcheck? What the hell is a tree strump? (2) Are you illiterate? “You will know everything about me when we met.” Huh? How is this time travel possible? And (3) Why did you make no effort to post a decent picture of yourself? Mr. “The Darker the Berry, the Sweeter the Fruit”, I’m talking to you: is posing in your dirty galley kitchen with the open door to the john behind you, wearing a soiled wife-beater, you at your most charming? If so, there’s faint hope of “romantic walks along the beach”, Sea Slug.
Three of the POF “love matches” selected for my smart, eloquent gal-pal are exceptionally comical. I could not possibly make these any funnier than they are in the hopeful suitors’ own words…
This seductive narrative from Match #1:
Always smile even during bad days. I like piano bars, dine and dancing or intimate parties with friends and family, I am basically a family guy with a touch of night boddy.
You will know everything about me when we met. For fun I most likely get together with friends, go for a drink and chat, dancing or just diner with some live music pick or camping on summer. On our First Date I want to find a woman to be her man for company, the perfect friend and perhaps lover or maybe even live partner. This could happen anywhere but must likely in a nice restaurant with delicious dinner some wine romantic set up and some music for dancing, long conversation good communication, connection and relaxed atmosphere. I like to sing.
Ahh, good thing he likes to sing. And agreed, “long conversation good communication” is definitely easier with a live partner.
Match #2 provided a lengthy list of his interests, but these ones popped:
– walking barefoot for weeks
– holding you close camping for months on the most beautiful beach
– space ship maker
– magic maker
– rent free living
– teaching small children how to fall down mountains
– drumming around the fire for hours
– creating love kitchens
– snow flakes
Walking barefoot for weeks? Camping for months? What are you, unemployed? Oh, yeah, see “rent free living”.
Match #3 eschewed lists for this more prosaic pitch:
We meet at a great free trade Cafe…
Fall absolutely instantly, in love, with each other.
I talk you, into leaving the city.
And travel, with me, to the great, Haida Gwaii.
Build a beautiful house, out of a 700 year old, tree strump.
Make clothes, out of leaves…
Roll around tree strumps and wonder why?
The rain, that fell last night… made me fall in love with you.
As my friend put it, “You, want me, to, live, in, a 700, year old, strump and wear, leaves for, clothes? If I end up rolling around tree strumps I’ll tell you why – I’ve had a serious stroke.
Any surprise these catches are still single?
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