Today a friend shared that OKCupid has been acquired by Match.com, a site they had rightly lampooned as being essentially a waste of time. Fear not; as of this blog, they’re tweeting that they’ll still be free.
I used to love OKCupid, but then one day several years ago I was out with my laptop and wanted a profile picture for my new Facebook acount. I went by OKC to grab that one–and immediately got hit by a drive-by, Virtumonde–the one causing those pop-ups pretending to be Windows security alerts; fortunately easy to scrub since it’s probably the biggest PITA out there. (These people are as gods to the Internet, having saved my desktop from an even bigger menace literally right before I was about to reformat.) I panicked and *never* went back.
But when the news above came up, I was curious, so I Googled “OKCupid virus.” Apparently the nice folks at OKC had found and squashed it right away; it’s not their fault their advertisers are such sheeping scum that descriptions fail. What intrigues me is that I’d actually never done this before; never tried to fix the essential problem of “hey, this isn’t fun any more.” (We all know I’m all about the fun.)
Part of this was that this was the first virus I’d ever had, and I reacted as though it were cancer. (The nervous should not follow that link if they’re weak of tummy.
For a while, I was really bummed and self-pitying. I’m that drag on the market: the middle-aged divorcee. Being unnecessarily cynical, I had more or less decided that all the worthwhile men had already been snapped up. Worse in many ways is that I don’t tend to act my age, and on average my friends are at least ten years younger than I am. (Part of this is that raising a bright teenager who shares many of my interests shows me new shiny things.) OKCupid seemed my only hope. (Help me, Obi-wan Kenobi!)
How did I get to this place of desperately hoping that the Internet would fulfill my life in every possible way? Simple enough: One day, a friend sent me a link to one of those amusing quizzes, and I poked around for several hours.
I signed up. What the hell? I was (and am) intrigued by their algorithm, which indeed pulls up interesting people with whom you might actually consider being on the same planet. I wrote an embarrassingly gushy message to the very first hit–something like 80%ish–not realizing that it wasn’t that uncommon. (To be fair, it was within the first five minutes of logging on, and I was heavily drugged from a very bad head cold.) Later, I discovered that a number of attractive young men in Italy have a weakness for tattoos.
I also got the usual responses, like the time that even before I could get through my no-thank-you, he changed his profile picture to . . . well, let’s just say that when I blocked him and added that the bodily part was actually particularly unattractive as such went, I was telling the truth. And the one who takes the biscuit was the man whose correspondence followed these steps:
1: A fairly normal letter commenting that I seemed to be cooler than most PhDs
2: A fairly explicit letter requesting immediate contact
3: A letter scathingly telling me that I was just like the other PhDs (and that this doctor-ness was in some way part of My Problem)
I can only guess that this man was assuaging his incredibly high rejection rate as a human being. What amuses me is that he is apparently unaware that he is smacked on the nose by anybody with a high IQ.
Then there was the guy who had Asperger’s, and whose perseveration was drawing erotic comics. He was charming, if a little weird, and I try to be broadminded, despite having a PhD. His pouncing on me whenever I logged on, day or night, was annoying at best, as my reflexes for hitting “unavailable” are presumably poor. But I tried to be nice. Finally, (having Asperger’s) he shared that his natural style was essentially to appear as “love” when it was merely “like,” and moreover, he commented while talking of an ex-lover that he found stretchmarks revolting. (Two kids over here, ladies and gentlemen. Man up.) Oh dear. For all I know, he’s still stalking my long-dead profile.
So the nice people running Virtumonde not only wanted my $19.95 to rid my computer of things like their virus, they crushed my hopes and dreams.
But something odd happened. Perhaps because this last chance was denied, I faded from the misery of “I’ll-never-find-anybody” to . . . “Whatever.” Contrary to mythology, this has not immediately brought suitors to my door–but I don’t care. My daughter has gone from actively discouraging any Mommy-competition, to nudging me to look about me; but I don’t care. Just don’t care. Used to. Used to care a lot. Don’t care anymore.
The way I’ve structured my life, I’m quite content, even happy; and I strongly suspect that a boyfriend would sorta get in my way. Which is terrible, but there it is. I can only hope and trust that if said boyfriend should ever weasel his way in, I would be fond enough of him to not mind. But from this end, I’m kind of doubtful.
The only thing I really miss is being snuggled.
What annoys me is that our Noah’s Ark culture puts singlehood into three categories: a) still looking but undiscovered, b) celibate clergy, and c) loser. I find underneath my satisfaction a tiny sadness that this part of life has been denied me, but I do wonder how much of that is because of Option C. Is it just that the grapes are sour?
Don’t know. And, really, as a practical daily matter, I just don’t care. I’m just glad I got from “Nobody wants me,” to “OKI’mSingle.”