Tuesday, July 13, 2004

The Book of Online Dating: 6
"Excuse me," I replied, and took a quick step backward to the edges of the terracotta tile where I looked at a group of pictures in black frames. They were all of architectural structures, steel beams heaped in various arrangements like pick-up sticks. The place was noisy with people putting in their order for some form of coffee.

Okay, so this wasn't this guy. He'd given me a funny look. I wondered what TigerTail101 would look like. He had described his body type as "thick" and I wasn't sure how that differed from "a few extra pounds."

I waited to make my connection, on the look-out for someone I knew from a 2x3 inch picture. This is really ridiculous, I thought,  how this online dating thing is making me put aside my notion of romantic love. Maybe that's something reserved for younger people, I sighed , whereas online dating services are like a Sears catalog of potential fits, narrowed down to a search criteria.
"Black pumps, half-inch heel. Actually, I really like those lime green numbers. They'll go with my new dress."
This was matchmaking. In my Internet reading, I've heard that in some parts of the Muslim world, Taliban aside, people do their spouse-hunting online and look at profiles not only of potential marriage partners, but also of their parents.

But how can we possibly do this through words? What about that certain je ne c'est quoi -- a downward cast of the eyes, for example, that makes a person irresistible? Or the way somebody laughs that makes you open up inside with endless blue sky?

Tell me, are education, income-level, and religion fundamentals that must first be acknowledged before any real dialog can happen? And how can you even know what the fundamentals are if you are a young person living in a Westernized country where those kinds of definitions tend to be so much more fluid? What is the difference between what people think they want at a certain age, and what we later come to find out we really need?

"You writergrll?" this man asked me. He spun me around and gave me a hug. "What'll you have?"

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