I did a little on-line dating back in the day, pre-marriage. Post-divorce, I’ve resisted going that route again, but lately have trolled a few sites, toying with the idea. I find one I like, and even go so far as to begin filling out a trial entry form, when I hit a wall…
You’d think that my having been a writer since pre-school would help, but no! Each time I try to fill in that oh-so-important paragraph where you try to convince the multitude of prospects that there’s any reason for them to go out with you—I get stymied. I can’t for the life of me imagine what might make me a hot prospect. So after a few abortive attempts, I give up, depressed.
Then I get My Brilliant Idea. I will ask a number of my female friends to come up with one sentence that describes me, and use quotations culled from their responses as the text for that “please consider me” paragraph. I pick twenty friends to poll, briefly cheered by the fact that I have twenty female friends (which means, despite recent evidence to the contrary, I can’t be completely repellent to the opposite sex) and send out my e-mail request. The first real answer I get is freaking genius. Carol writes: "Billy Mernit is the kind of guy who will actually want to listen to you (ie: he's genuinely curious). He might even understand you (ie: he's genuinely bright).”
I’m floored by this, since it strikes me as being precisely What A Woman Wants To Hear From A Man, yet I never would have thought of penning this, myself. I write back to thank Carol. She responds that her line is unduly manipulative unless it’s true. “So don't make me party to something you don't deliver, Slick,” she writes. “Now go make someone happy.” I e-mail back a “yes, ma’m,” feeling properly chastened.
Still, I think I’m off to a good start (famous last words). Though I wonder: is it really possible for a meet that transpires via an on-line matchmaking service to be genuinely “romantic?” And: does a first encounter have to be “romantic” to engender romance, or is that another Only In The Movies myth?