It’s been ten days since I’ve been playing around on OkCupid; I can hardly believe it myself. Aside from writing about it on this blog, I haven’t told very many people about it because 1) believe it or not, I’m a very private person (I ask that this blog is neither linked to nor shared) and 2) I don’t usually give unsolicited information. Besides, it’s none of anyone’s business.
With that out of the way, I figured I should talk about the guys with whom I’ve been in contact over the past several days. I couldn’t really figure out a way to sort this list, so this is in order of sorta-preference…
Among the first to contact me was Daniel. A 20-year-old CMU graduate, he is actually one of the few who’ve managed to get and retain my attention. After a few days of chatting, it was decided that we should meet up and hang out. I noticed that we were both very shifty-eyed; I don’t know how much of that was intentional, but I admit that this is a (bad?) habit I’ve definitely developed upon moving here. Would I consider him as anything more than a friend? I feel like our age difference puts a barrier between us because my brain is constantly telling me “No” and I don’t see any other logical explanation for that. Because, when I look at it objectively, he’s interesting, intelligent, good conversation and good company, not to mention very good-looking. Yes, the boy is cute. He’s also got beautiful eyes and a great smile. Bonus: he thinks I’m cute, too.
Compatibility: 80% Match; 68% Friend; 20% Enemy
And then there is John, whose name I don’t actually know. I’ll probably get around to asking him some day, but for now I’ll just call him John. 28-year-old John and I connected with the help of Quickmatch, which asks users to rate one another on a scale of one to five stars. If two users rate each other four or more stars, they get a message and take it from there — if they decide they want to take it anywhere. John messaged me on July 22; the thread that he started has eighteen messages to date, each of them longer than the previous one. We seem to have a great deal of things in common and amuse each other a fair amount in our exchanges. His writing is genuine and lighthearted, much like that of someone who’s writing to his best pals. He started the trend of asking each other random questions, which really makes for interesting conversation. We only just decided to go drinking at some point; he’s one of three guys with whom I have yet to chat live.
Compatibility: 90% Match; 49% Friend; 8% Enemy
Keeping with the theme of long private messages instead of IMs, there is Chad, who entered the picture three days later than Daniel and John. Like me, he is 24 and seems to have a penchant for artsy things. His messages are long and carefully written, whether by nature or conscious effort (I’m banking on the former). Writing him makes me feel a bit melancholy, perhaps because we can relate on that particular level. He lives in Baltimore, so I don’t think we will be meeting in person any time soon.
Compatibility: 81% Match; 76% Friend; 18% Enemy
My third keyboard-pal is Trevor, a 26-year-old who can come off as bit pretentious in his writing but not overtly so. Perhaps a better word would be “proper” or “appropriate” — not to say that Chad isn’t proper and appropriate, but I feel as though conscious effort is put into Trevor’s messages to make them engaging, as opposed to Chad’s fluid, almost-stream-of-consciousness writing. That being said, he seems like a good conversationalist and I would not be surprised if he were excellent at networking. We exchanged numbers (as well as a few text messages) and are set to meet this upcoming Sunday at a diner.
Compatibility: 76% Match; 72% Friend; 24% Enemy
Raphael is 29 and introduced himself via private message before Chad and Trevor. We’ve exchanged several messages but none has been as long nor as thoughtful as my other exchanges. Our messages haven’t been particularly engaging or enthusiastic, but we will be meeting on Tuesday evening for tea and maybe food.
Compatibility: 86% Match; 44% Friend; 12% Enemy
These are most of the main guys — I’ve got more in stock but will write about them tomorrow when I feel I can get the right words together. Meanwhile, there are some “real-life” guys I’ve been neglecting…
I am no stranger to OkCupid; for a while, I’ve been going to that site to take random quizzes and, essentially, procrastinate. In recent months, I learned that people I knew were using it — or considering it — as a dating service.
I am no stranger to meeting strangers from the Internet; Yelp has played a major role in my social life over the past year, as I left my beloved Philadelphia and, with it, my social circle.
But I was on the fence about OkCupid. It’s not that I’m against the idea of online dating, but rather that I’m not currently looking to date. The idea of a date is too much pressure anyway; I prefer meeting up casually and just hanging out, with no intentions of starting anything romantic, and going with the flow. However, a close friend informed me just a few days ago that she had made up her mind and was going to give it a shot. She signed up, uploaded a picture, and immediately got a few messages. She claimed it was fun. My curiosity got the best of me, and off the fence I went. But half-way through the registration process, I got an error message: my e-mail address was already in use.
How could this be? When I received a password reminder in my inbox, I nearly shit my pants; I had completely forgotten about my account. Upon signing in, I saw that I had a couple of messages from 2006 (year during which I created the account), which I ignored, and absolutely zero information filled out — not even a profile picture. And still, a couple of guys messaged me. Goes to show how predatory and desperate guys can be.
I took the time to fill out my profile and put a picture up. It wasn’t long before various strangers were adding me to their favorites lists, IMing me, and filling up my inbox. My friend was right; this IS fun! The most interesting part is probably checking out my compatibility with other OkCupiders. There are three percentages: match, friendship, and enemy. These percentages fluctuate with each question that you answer; they have this funky matching algorithm and, well, it works its magic in the background. Aside from socially inept morons who asked me questions like “r u sexual?” and “can i have u”, I must say that most guys who contacted me seemed decent and functional. After chatting a good chunk of the night away, I signed off and went to sleep.
So, over the past few days, I’ve been messaging and IMing strangers, answering questions, and taking more quizzes.
Just this once, I will share some stats — just to give you an idea of how hectic it can get.
Sign-in date and time: July 21, 10:30pm
Current date and time: July 27, 2:15pm
In that time…
Guys who winked at me: 4
Guys who messaged me: 29
Guys who IMed me: 33
Of course, a few of them crossover. I browse the site with the IM feature turned off, mostly because of OkCupid’s horrible user interface. I hit it off with a number of those guys, and already have plans to hang out with them. As always, I’m happy about filling up my social calendar. Hey, gotta put the “fun” in funemployment, right?
Things are about to get really interesting… are you ready?
I realized, during my ride back from Philly to DC, that I’ve somehow developed the habit of holding my breath: I breathe in, hold it for about ten seconds, and exhale. I’m not sure when it started; I suddenly felt out of breath within ten minutes of the bus pulling away, and realized what I was doing shortly after.
I wonder if I have sleep apnea.
I could go on some random symbolism tangent, but I won’t. I’ve also found the only thing that can hold my attention for an hour and more with no interruptions: the landscape — the everchanging landscape before my eyes during a long ride. I think it’s because 1) it’s constantly changing (unless it’s in some rural area with vast stretches of farmland or grass fields — a sign of my undiagnosed A.D.D.?), and 2) it requires minimal to no concentration whatsoever. I could look at the landscape zipping by for hours and hours on end. I guess I could say the same for the sky, even though clouds go by much slower… after all, no two clouds are the same, right?
I woke up feeling really dejected today. I’m still feeling down, but I don’t know if it’s residual shittiness from this morning or if it’s from the awful Chinatown bus ride that I was subjected to (or subjected myself to?) earlier today.
A bad morning
Today, I woke up and realized that the seemingly harmless void in my life (lack of job, lack of love, and a general lack of direction) had become a supermassive black hole. While I’m not actually certain about the severity of this, it was enough to jerk me awake at 6:20am — a solid ten minutes before I was scheduled to get up. I don’t believe I’ve ever woken up feeling so emotionally confused, unmotivated, or indifferent.
A bad ride
Today, I peed in a plastic bag. The airplane-style toilet on the bus didn’t work; the red button used for flushing (it looked like one of those buttons that you slam on when there’s an emergency) didn’t work. Not only did water not come out when I pressed it, but the metal flap at the bottom of the toilet didn’t open either — I tested it prior to unzipping. Also, the handle on the inside of the door was missing. I asked the stranger sitting in the seat in front of me if he would please slam the door shut for me and let me out whenever I was done. My original plan was to empty my water bottle in a bag, double-bag it, pee in it à la doctor’s office, put the whole thing in another plastic bag, double-bag it, and throw it out. Instead, I emptied my water bottle in a bag, double-bagged it, realized that I would probably suck at aiming, threw out the bottle, cursed my lack of forethought — and now lack of water, peed in a plastic bag, double-bagged it, and threw it out. The stranger was kind enough to oblige and remain patient when I knocked on the door just a minute upon entering the reeking facility because we had just entered a tunnel… a really long tunnel (turning Pissland really, really dark). We shared a chuckle or two, and then, when it was all over, he offered me hand sanitizer.
Paired with this persistent bad energy, all that movement was nauseating; I didn’t throw up, but the rest of the ride proved to be extremely uncomfortable. We got to DC around 12:40pm — a little over six hours ago, and I’m still feeling sick.
On a lighter note, Lilly’s mother and grandmother are in town. I met her mom not too long ago; awfully pleasant woman. I’m really looking forward to seeing her grandmother again. What a sweet woman! I wanted to bring her a box of Naked Chocolate chocolates from Philly, but didn’t know if her health permitted chocolate consumption. When I go see her, I think I will get her flowers instead. Lilly’s spending the night and part of tomorrow at her grandmother’s. As for me, I have the apartment to myself. I think it’s better this way; I’m not feeling up to having any human presence around. You know how people tend to have a specific type of music they like to listen to whenever they’re in a certain mood? General consensus is that depressing music fits this type of funk that I’m in. But I don’t want to listen to music. When I’m down, I like to sit in silence and let the noise from the street seep in. I’m not sure if it helps me feel better so much as it helps me not feel worse; I really believe that listening to some band who’s making a shit-ton more money than I am would make me feel really, really awful while in this state. Seriously, people: what do you get from listening to someone who’s better off than you whine about how awful their life actually isn’t?
Maybe I’m just nearing that time of the month. Whatever the case may be, my one ray of sunlight on this icky day was the stranger who so graciously helped me on the bus. So, again, thank you. You’re really shining on.