When I decided to blog every day this month, I asked the people who've liked my Facebook page* what I should write about. The one topic, other than vaginas, that comes up every time I ask that question is dating, and specifically my 10 Dates, 10 Men™ project. Oh, yeah, that one. The one I started almost two years ago that has been a total bust, and I'm not talking about boobs.
Let's just say I didn't get very far down the number line, and I absolutely will write about 1-of-10 this month, because I promised I would. And why not give credit to the man who broke the camel's back.
But not tonight. Tonight I will confess that I talk about dating and the utter exhausting, depressing futility of it all for a woman my age. And I read about dating, which is even more depressing. I've even joined a couple of dating sites, but only enough to look. I haven't posted any photos, nor have I created a titillating description of myself on a profile page. (Anybody want to take a stab at that for me? I'll print the best one as a guest blog post.)
I do receive an email several times a week from one dating site that shows me photos of five age-appropriate men who live in my area whom they've selected for me. As if the 1-of-10 story wasn't discouraging enough, these emails have persuaded me to just get a dog.
Listen, I realize it's all kinds of bitchy to criticize anybody who's gone so far as to post photos and blurbs about themselves, but for fuck's sake! Most of these guys aren't even trying! In addition to their bizarre attempts at humor (?) and their out-of-focus, distorted photos of themselves beside their post-divorce Harleys or in their bathrooms, or what looks like their 40-year-old graduation photos, some of these guys obviously didn't consult their children before they chose their names.
So, I'm going to give a short lesson just for the guys on naming yourself on a dating website.
Feel free to use your name in combination with numbers. Someone will certainly have already used your name 382 times before you get up the courage to create an account. That's OK. Use your name with the year of your birth or the day or even the one the site generates. Who gives a shit? Don't use your dog's name though, or that of any pet. Nobody gives a shit about your pets.
If you don't want to use your name, an occupation is fine. Lawyer973 wouldn't turn anybody off. Although krogerbagger2 probably would. I personally think all work is honest work, but consider putting your best foot forward in your name choice.
That's about it. Use some combination of your name or your occupation. Hobbies ... maybe. It will certainly narrow your options if you choose suduko79 or fleamarket 253 or golf837. Maybe you don't want to lead with the reason you're divorced.
These I culled from the 50 or so emails I've kept to remind myself why 10 Dates, 10 Men™ was probably an idea that's right up there with getting a root canal or changing a tire on the side of the road in the middle of the night.
Then again, neither of those comparisons work, because both of those things are necessary. Dating is not. Given my experiences in the past, while it might be fun for a minute, it's probably not desirable in the end, because the fun always seems to end in an extended stay at the crazyland motel.
I would like to continue my lessons on what guys should not do on a dating website with a lesson on photos, but I'm conflicted. While some of these guys are just begging me to mock their photos, I don't really want to mock them. It's not easy to put yourself out there, and even though some of them are creepy, unrealistic 60-year-olds who want to date women in their 20's, I'd hate for someone to pull my photo out of the thousands on the internet dating highway and use it as an example of what not to do.
What do you think? Does it matter? Is it fair game to yoink terrible dating website photos and use them as examples? I've certainly seen it done enough for crueler reasons, and these guys would fail so hard on Tinder. I don't know. Help me out here.
As for 10 Dates, 10 Men™ .... heavy sigh. I'm going to write more about that later, although the reason I haven't is because I'm sure I'll sound bitter when I'm really brutally honest. I'll just say dating is much harder and more complicated now than it was in high school, and I can't even claim that much experience. I'll take any advice I can get though.
Feel free to leave such advice or any further thoughts on names in the comments below. Comments are coin for bloggers.
* You too can like the Reticulated Writer Facebook page. Just click that button on the right side of the page. I only need 12 more likers to hit 200, which is a tiny number for many bloggers, but an exciting milestone for me.