I have another confession. I’ve been shopping. …a lot. It’s not anything I need to go to a twelve step program over, but it’s new for me. You see, I’ve never been much of a shopper. If you’ve ever seen how I dress, this is not breaking news to anyone. But, I do know that feeling. You know the one you get when you are looking through the racks or you see it in the window and it starts screaming your name. You have no choice. You must try it on. And then, it fits like it was made exclusively for you. You have now been transformed into the hottest woman alive. At least, you feel that way. And hey, that’s really all that matters. Shopping can be magical. It is therapy. It is cathartic.
But, alas, this is not the shopping to which I speak. I am shopping for a man. And, you never even leave your cozy computer to do it. You can shop with your laptop or your smartphone. You can shop while at Starbucks, at the beach or even waiting to pick up your children. Almost anywhere you are, there are “singles waiting to meet you” just at the click of your mouse.
When the first of many friends suggested this intriguing option I nearly broke out in hives. Who me? Why would I need help meeting someone? Well sure, the population at work is 100% women and my children’s school is filled with beautiful married couples. But me?
My first year post divorce was truly the bad sushi theory. You know, the one where when you’ve eaten bad sushi and been violently ill and almost near death but somehow you miraculously survive. (Insert ‘Tequila’ as appropriate) Then, months later, one of your well meaning friends says ‘Hey lets go out for Sushi’ and you nearly vomit before the end of the sentence. Yeah, that was the first year or so. So, over time, slowly, the guttural memory dulls and Sushi seems mildly tempting and even yummy on occasion.
I got to the yummy stage and realized my friends were right. Not one single, attractive, intelligent man rang my doorbell asking me on a date. And, although I once thought I would happily live the remainder of my days as a single woman, I was missing something. I started shopping.
Idate.com is a strange and bewildering experience. You see, I’m the girl that was offended when people started to email each other instead of calling. My first texting experience made me frustrated at all the possible connotations. Does he mean I ‘want to see you’ now, or ‘I want to see you’ as in dating or what the heck does he really mean? Too much analysis. Today, I rarely call and I love to text, even with all the abbreviations for which I consult my 14 year old nephew. So you would think transitioning into the online dating arena would have been an easy leap with my hip, new technological savvy. Nope, it’s still a little creepy.
It’s like browsing through the racks. Too big, too small, not the right color, and Oh my I’ll need to try that one on. There’s the guys who need to show you their Harleys in their pictures, the shirtless Mathew McConoughy wannabes, and the guys who are “athletic and toned” but the picture shows an upper middle- aged guy sitting at his computer with a big gut and a cat on his shoulder. This is no time to shop the Clearance rack. There’s the 50 year old guys from exclusive neighborhoods who just happen to mention how uber wealthy they are and seek only women aged 21-29. Regardless of the variation, each one is seeking “the last first date” of their life. Their “soulmate” awaits them. Sometimes, you need to let the gag reflex pass as you hit the delete button. The upside is that every morning your email inbox is filled with men who tell you how incredible you are. You can get 10 ‘winks’ while you are still in your bathrobe and haven’t even brushed your hair yet. What a way to start your day.
So, you gather up a few cute ones and try each one on. The dressing room is often a coffee shop or a wine bar. The best part is that, unlike being setup by a friend, these candidates have been prefiltered. It’s like having your own set of Hindu parents who know all your faults and strong points and find someone close to perfectly matched to you. It also allows you to be superficial and you won’t hurt anyone’s feelings. If they’re too short or too heavy, there’s no explaining or excuses…delete.
So far, I have met only wonderful, pleasant, on occasion narcoleptic inducing, yet sweet men. Each ‘date’ has been fun and interesting. I just started this modern- aged dating weirdness but I need to confess, it is really fun. I will probably continue to browse the racks in search of the one that fits like he was custom designed for only me and makes me feel like the hottest woman alive. Although, I’m not even remotely confident that this is the way to meet “the one” or that he even exists. In the meantime, I will grab my latte, sign on and relearn how to enjoy life. Shopping anyone?
Retail therapy is the BEST!