Okay, Cupid: a story in three parts.

Before I had even an inkling that I’d ever meet men on the Internet, I joined a once-pointless site called OKCupid.  This must have been in high school. The entire site was built on personality quizzes you could then post on your blog or e-mail to your friends, who could take the quizzes themselves.

Three AmigosFriends would (supposedly) share their answers; giggling hysteria ensued.

There was a question from one of those quizzes that has stuck in my mind all these years later, a two-parter:

“Do you have crusty bangs?”
“Are you a crusty bang?”

I had no idea what either of these meant. Still don’t, come to think of it. But I’m pretty sure I answered no to both. Giggling hysteria ensued.

 

Years later, after two failed stints on Match.com — I barely recouped my membership fees, which is kind of the point anyway, isn’t it? — I was living in Queens, bored with my social life, and resurrected my profile.

I met an opera singer, and I fell hard. He had an exotic name and shiny, curly black hair. He had a big apartment in Sunnyside, and the ringtone on his flip phone was the Looney Tunes theme song. He sang so loudly in the shower that the one time I did spend the night with him, I couldn’t fall back asleep when he got up early to get ready for an audition.

Just before I left for Christmas at home, we stayed up all night drinking wine with his friends at a holiday party. We got lost navigating the side streets to LaGuardia, and I was out of breath and still a little drunk when I found my seat on the airplane just before takeoff.

I was in heaven.

Then, one night shortly after New Year’s, after a Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers concert in the Village, he broke up with me as we drove across the bridge back to Queens.

It had been only a few weeks, and I wasn’t ready to sleep with him.

Teary hysteria ensued.

 

The few friends I have left in New York spot him in a concert program or around the city every so often and have threatened to do terrible things to him on my behalf. Which makes me smile.

But I swore off online dating.

(Unless you count Yelp as a dating service. But that, of course, is another story for another day.)

 

And then. Far too shortly after the Knight and I split for the last time, mostly to pass the time, I created a new account on OKCupid and perfunctorily built my profile. I think I copied my interests from Facebook — I’ve carefully curated them over the past five years — and entered the bare minimum of characters for each field. Wrote something snarky about requiring a tall man who knows how to write a sentence, then uploaded some photos knowing it’s all anyone looks at there anyway.

Then I closed the window and waited. Because I’m not about to go trolling for men on a website. I’ll let the trolls come to me, I thought, I’m a magnet for them anyway. (Trolls, y’all. Not men. Come on.)

But OKCupid has my e-mail address, and they use it often. Every couple of days, I get a message with my “quiver matches,” three guys the site thinks I’ll like based on the questions I’ve answered. I have to wonder what types of men I’d be matched with based on my answers to the crusty bangs questions. And whether my answers would change now.

So. Anyway.

The quiver: Late last week, a mildly foxy man caught my eye. (Be still my heart, only 34!) But then I saw the first sentences of his profile:

Greetings Earth Female,

Now that Osama Bin Laden is dead I feel it’s safe to enter the world of online dating again.

 

Earth. Female.

I called the intern over to read the rest of the profile with me (yes, I do appropriate things at work) and prepared to mock this man mercilessly until something better came along.

And mock I did — the first words of his self-description are featherless and bipedal — until I realized my laughter was suddenly tinged less with derision and more with something akin to fondness. As I read, I was simultaneously interested, terrified and more enthusiastic at the prospect of getting back into dating than ever before.

On paper, he is hilarious and frighteningly smart and a little pretentious, but on our “IM date” (gag) Friday night it was pretty easy to see the layers of insecurity just below the smartass veneer

Every profile ends with “You should message me if…” Mine ends with predictable snark. His ends with “…you like the zoo.”

How nice. I thought to myself, I’ve never been to the zoo here.

Tonight, I have a date. The first date I’ve had with a stranger since the breakup. We’re not going to the zoo; we’re having drinks. I recognize the possibility that he could be horrific. I have had awful dates before with men I’ve met online.

If that’s the case, I will have no less than a fantastic story for my blog, which I will from here on out attempt to censor far less. Because I don’t care anymore. (I miss ranting. [And if you’re thinking, Dear god, this is censored?, you should probably just leave.])

But if he’s not horrific, maybe I’ll find out whether there are giraffes in Chicago. Or tigers.

More giggling hysteria in store? Stay tuned.

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31 Responses to “Okay, Cupid: a story in three parts.”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    You know he’s
    featherless and bipedal. That’s a good start.

  2. MsShanBo Says:

    Good luck, Paige! May the banter be sharp, the drinks be strong and he actually be as tall as he states on his profile (we leggy girls gotta stick together)!

    • paigeworthy Says:

      Amen — and we’ll see if he’s actually “fit,” too. I will certainly deliver
      on the “curvy.”

      • Dyslexic Palindrome Says:

        Maybe if you quit self medicating with all that alcohol, you’d have only enjoyable curves instead of  sickening round-abouts and disorienting off ramps. Then again, self loathing is the perhaps only practical solution when everyone else is so very, very disappointed with you.
        Sadly, Midwestern sensibility or “passive aggressiveness” as its truly known wont allow people to tell you what they really think of you.  Lucky for you, Im not from the Midwest. Perhaps youre simply just not listening? Perhaps you should join the cast of drunken Generation-X reality show, so the some sleazy Hollywood type could perpetuate a stereotypically new personality for you. It couldnt be any worse than the current one, right? Naivety is adorable in a six year old child, but it quickly becomes ignorance and arrogance after you leave the comfort of the High School nest.

    • Brian D Says:

      hey….short guys are ok too….

      😉

      • paigeworthy Says:

        Not for me, darlin’! Love you.

      • Dyslexic Palindrome Says:

        There are tall, intelligent men out there too…. but they simply wont put up with your pedantic nature, no matter how well you wrtie. 

      • paigeworthy Says:

         I don’t think “pedantic” is the word you’re looking for, but thanks for stopping by to berate me anyway.

      • Dyslexic Palindrome Says:

        Perhaps you should  contact your Alma Mater and ask for a refund? Maybe you should return to Kansas, Dorothy? Maybe words only have one unique meaning there, but out here in civilization…. well, we try not to stifle education and creativity.  Feel free to consult the Oxford English or Merriam Webster for a definition if you doubt my work. (FYI, Oxford English is NOT a place, nor is Merriam Webster a person. I thought I might save you some time.)

        pedantic: unimaginative, pedestrian. 

        Shocking, I realize to see a word have more than one illustrious meaning….
         
        As for finding someone to put up with your “pedantic” or ambivalent behavior, might I suggest a robot, zombie or perhaps a Muppet/puppet of some sort?  They seem fairly passive and/or lacking in the aggressive, adversarial mannerism that conflict with you as a whole.  (Some on would refer to it as potentially an educated opinion or freewill, but who am I to judge?) 
        Besides, if you could find a Muppet to love you…. well, they have a hand up their ass constantly. Your shallow, frivolous and insipid behavior would be nothing but rug burn in comparison.

      • paigeworthy Says:

        Unless it is, in which case…that doesn’t really seem like something you’d have to put up with. 

  3. Helena Says:

    I met Will on OKCupid. Our first conversation was about hummus.

  4. Ray P Says:

    “featherless and bipedal” — I get bipedal. “Featherless”? Either I have to read older posts or there’s something I’m not getting here.

  5. Ray P Says:

    oh, and good luck tonight! have fun!

  6. Sara Yood Says:

    I’ve had two dates so far – neither outstanding or miserable. (At least miserable would give me a good story…)

  7. Parissa Behnia Says:

    Interestingly, I met my hubby online but couldn’t begin to tell you how or where. I turned him down multiple times because, as he was living in LA, he was geographically undesirable to me and I didn’t think it worth the time, effort or energy to sort out the distance or the time zone. He did wear me down after about 7 months… The rest is history.

    Long story short: I applaud your willingness to try — if only for the voyeuristic pleasure of those who enjoy your writing!

  8. Wardell Says:

    Good Luck! 🙂

  9. Heidi Stock Says:

    Sending good vibes your way for Friday. Especially, if he is horrific, that you will know it quickly and find a way to keep it brief. Otherwise, YOU MIGHT GET TO SEE GIRAFFES! I LOVE GIRAFFES!!!

  10. Ashley Miller Says:

    Yay! Good luck sweetie!

    Remember, “I don’t want to take walk. I don’t want to look at animals…”

  11. wafelenbak Says:

    Good luck Paige! I actually know a lot of people who have had great luck with the OKC. As for myself…if you happen to meet a very handsome 38 year old who has a cat, claims to be Catholic and is trying to quit smoking…well, just move swiftly in the other direction.

  12. Claire Bidwell Smith Says:

    I can’t wait for more.

  13. Holly Says:

    I like this very much.

  14. Never mind the why and wherefore.* Says:

    […] feel immensely awkward even referring to because, of course, the Flightless Bipedal managed to find my post about it before we went out — he wrote me an e-mail that was mostly very sweet but ended with this: I […]

  15. MFB Says:

    Oof, I remember the opera singer. Douche.  

    Secondly, “quiver” is one of those icky words for me (like “moist” is for many women). Whyyyy, OkCupid, why? I know, I know, the arrow metaphor was clearly just too good to pass up, but dang. Shudder.

    And lastly… what’s with the haters? Calm thyself and focus on spreading the love, not wordy derision. Haven’t you heard the world is ending?

    Good luck, PW. Hope to hear Parts II & III before the aforementioned apocalypse 😉

  16. Kari Tietjen Says:

    Just now reading this, but it intrigued me. I’ve had mild success with OKCupid in the past 6 months. I dated a boy I met in December for about 3 months, and fell hard. It ended just as quickly, and hurt like hell.

    Now, a month into a new relationship with a boy I met the same way is going fantastic. Once again, I’m falling hard, but he is truly amazing. 

    However, to my point: I think that using the website allows your to bypass all the “fluff” of first meeting a person. You both know if you’re looking for a relationship, so you’re able to talk about the things that are important to you, and what your deal-breakers are on the first date. It makes it easier to find a person that is right for you, because bad first dates are just that, first dates. There are no bad second dates. Anyways, I am a supporter of online dating sites (even after some BAD experiences), and would encourage you to keep at it (although it’s very possible this date worked out, I haven’t read on!). 

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