Adventures in eDating

by Lorien E. Menhennett

For a long time, I’ve been skeptical of online dating. Even though one of my cousins met her husband that way, it just seemed weird to me. If I am a relatively attractive, relatively sane, relatively intelligent person, shouldn’t I be able to meet someone like-minded the old-fashioned way? In person, that is? Well, that doesn’t seem to be working. Especially since I’m at school most of the time, surrounded by undergraduate students who could practically be my children. (Not quite, but you get the idea.) So I’ve decided to give the online dating thing a go. It’s been … well … interesting. Let me explain.

I’ve had two dates so far, both of which were with guys who seemed pretty normal during our messaging and phone conversations. But during the first date, it seemed as though we spent half the time talking about this guy’s two greyhound dogs, and the other half talking about Renaissance literature. Especially Shakespeare. Now, don’t get me wrong. I like Shakespeare, probably more than the average person. Having been a high school literature textbook editor, I even worked on the lesson for Macbeth back when I was at McGraw-Hill. So I’m also probably more knowledgeable about Shakespeare than the average person. But that’s not what I want to talk about — for the majority of the time — on a first date! So that was a “no.”

While that first date was simply dull, the second was simply disastrous. Again, it appeared that this guy and I had quite a few things in common, and our online messages and texts had gone well. So we agreed to meet at a hip taco place for lunch last weekend. He arrived a few mintues before I did (I had trouble finding parking), so he texted me that he’d found us a table. When I got to the restaurant, I looked around for a single guy sitting at a table. I didn’t see any. So I texted him back, asking where he was sitting. Then I saw a guy stand up, and I recognized him from his photos. And I looked at where he is sitting. Seated next to him were a little boy and another guy! (His son and his best friend.) I froze for a second. I don’t know if my mouth literally dropped, but it just might well have. Now, answer me this: Who brings their elementary-school-age son, and their best guy friend, on a FIRST date? Bad form, and seriously bad parenting. Bringing your kid on a date like that is putting him through Internet dating, too, which can be traumatic. I’m not a parent, but if I were, I wouldn’t introduce my child to someone until I had established a stable relationship with him. And another bad sign: this guy was missing one of his canine teeth. I don’t consider myself a superficial person, but c’mon! Modern dentistry has come a loooong way in the last 100 years, so get it fixed, man! That’s simply not attractive, and does not exactly make a good first impression. So again, a “no.”

But I’m not losing hope. There are many fish in the Chicago sea (er, lake?), so anything could happen …