Tag Archives: reality

The Spectre of Online Dating

It’s a new age of dating. I get that. I may not be all that comfortable with it, but I get it.

We’re in an era where I could Skype with that special someone over many, many miles. I’m horrible (mildly put) at long-distance relationships (LDRs) though. People need to be physically present in my life, or I have a tendency to… misplace… their existence. That’s not meant in a malicious way, rather I can focus on subjects so intensely I get distracted from the world around me.

Truth be told, making an online profile is the worst part of the ordeal. It’s a real chore, too. I have a hard enough time writing stories, let alone non-fiction. The non-fiction is just as odd. I’m odd, and my base model personality makes women nervous. There’s an American saying that goes along with my bad luck: shit happens. At least, that’s what Americans tend to think.

The bigger problem is that I’m way too honest. With dating, I’ve noticed over the years, there’s an element of deception. An overstated job title here, a stuffed bra there, and we’ve got two people who are now the romantic equivalent of used car salesmen. I’d only wish they’d dress the part. I haven’t seen a seersucker suit in years. What’s it gonna take to get you in this car today, gorgeous? *finger guns*

A few years ago, I braved OK Cupid for a valiant 6-month effort, until I found out all the people interested were simply looking for a male nanny to help raise their kid(s). Yes, I’m no longer 20 years old, but you’re transparent madam. I know you’d undermine me every step of the way. There was also the epiphany of me maintaining the account solely for the quizzes and questions. Hey! I like knowing I would be an oak, if I were a tree or my spirit animal’s a three-toed sloth. It’s entertaining. Thank you.

So, I ditched that.

On a particularly emotionally-wrenching Tuesday night, I tried putting myself through eHarmony. It was half-hearted, and I hate the use of children in their commercials*, but I wasn’t going to have hilarity and hijinks with Tinder. I went through the sliding scale of personality questions, and before I finished I got to the “about me” section. The part I dread. I always feel obligated to write this phony-baloney spiel about how I like long walks at dinner and candle-lit beaches. Then my mind spat out the description as only a love-weary Nate could:

Hey, I’m Nate. I’m not rich, nor do I look good in spandex. I’m a 34 year-old single guy who is going on 85. I’m sure you’re the model of poise, too. I hold lengthy conversations with myself, because it’s the best conversation I can find on most days. The small town I live in doesn’t hold academics or pop culture in the same regard as I do. Thus I’m often left reading in bars or coffee shops, instead of discussing riveting topics such as NASCAR or college football. I’ve taken to calling it handegg, after seeing an online argument for such, but many people aren’t on the handegg train yet. Also, sometimes I act like a New York City cabbie on the road and think Frisky Dingo was a better grown-up cartoon than Archer.

I’m not looking for a super heroine. Although, if you wanted to dress up for Comicon, I’d help you find the costume. I’m sure you have as many flaws as I do, but are probably too embarrassed to be forthright with them. I understand. However, I know it was you who farted when you tried blaming it on your pets. Liar, liar, pants on fire. After scarfing a bowl of chili like that, mine would be too.

I’m looking for a woman who doesn’t feel like society requires her to shave her legs. I know I don’t. You shave your legs, if it makes you feel better. I shave my face because I like it. If you want to walk around like Alice the Goon, I’m happy to aid and abet that too.

I stopped to reread what I had wrote in a stream of consciousness. It was riddled with so much genuine feeling, it felt good to get it out. However, after so many years of watching people date, I knew it wouldn’t get the time of day. I stopped typing and exited the window. That’s still way too heavy for me.

I don’t know. I’m probably better off being single.

***********

* – The latest commercial stars the founder and his granddaughter. The whole commercial is forced, and gives off a feel of exploitation that I was never fond of. It’s the same feeling when school children are roped into selling magazine subscriptions. It all reeks of pandering.

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Southern Gentry

Gentle breezes rocked the willow on the southern side of the pond. It was Sunday evening, and so far, a mild night on the plantation. Spanish moss made a quiet life on the branches of the magnolia tree next to Katherine. She stood for a good five minutes examining the intimate details of the tree, how it grew up, and what it became. There were so many different stories being told on that large plot of land, yet none of them were uniquely identifiable to her at the moment. A whip-poor-will nearby was the only thing she could hear.

Kate was full of romantic ideas ever since she was little. The mansion appealed to her girlish fantasies in the best of ways, and she dreamed of her new life in it. Her slight frame wouldn’t allow for anything too adventurous, but the mind found it fit to climb trees and otherwise make up stories that didn’t exist. For example, the magnolia became a heroic figure in her mind, saving as much moss as it could from a watery grave.

A swan paddled past the small footbridge made for garden excursions. It reminded her of Monet, and thankfully, not Kincade. It would lose the refined dignity she cultivated for her imaginary Southern gentry otherwise. These people were to have taste and an eye for aesthetic living.

“It’s a shame this old place was neglected for so long,” she thought. “With a little work though, it could be as glamorous as it once was.” Kate was enamored with antiquated, Southern high society. The pomp and circumstance were enough to set her fantasies in motion for hours. Her parents merely thought it was from watching Gone with the Wind too many times. What surprises were in store for them, when she got the courage to tell them she had bought a plantation and set the wheels in motion for renovations.

She fancied her wedding here. There would be the reception hall and the ballroom. Finally, to think of a formal occasion worth remembering! Her family, while well meaning, was never much for “living” as she put it. They either lacked the will, the imagination, or both on social events. No one was much for seeing anyone else, let alone talking to them. How it would be so different, now that she was grown and in control! “Longing hearts could only stand so much longing,” she was reciting Margaret Mitchell again (as she did frequently) and dreamed of slowly nurturing the socialite within her back to health. She wanted to be a belle in the worst way.

It was all coming together. The daydream lasted forever, and she let herself wander off the path into an area she hadn’t seen before. It was still a recent purchase, and there was much to explore. It would take her months to fully navigate the entire plot.

The dale wasn’t very big, only visible when looking straight at it. There was no doubt it was from human intervention though. Heavy rain made the red clay melt and shift like toothpaste left in a sink basin. Care was needed to enter the opening of the area, but a nearby oak tree made for a superior hand rest. It was more a matter of preoccupation that led to what happened next.

Kate tripped over a small rock, and she wasn’t terribly surprised at her absentmindedness. The night had provided its typical tint on the land, but the moon was as full as it could be. Plenty of light was available to navigate through the clearing. With as much dignity as she could muster, as practice made perfect, she slowly collected herself from her tumble. This obstruction would just not do! What would the doctors and debutantes think of such a poorly kept patio?

Next to her feet laid a dingy, white stone slightly higher than the ground. It looked more like a paver than anything else. “Ugh! This will all have to be repaved. What material did they use on this anyway?” Her right foot moved the stone out of its resting place, and she examined it more closely. There was writing on it.

Squinting, she made out “Eli.” She picked up another one: “Esther.” “Oh great, they had a pet cemetery,” she said with more than a bit of disappointment. What a morbid thought, having to dispose of the remains of animals long since dead. Kate supposed it was the price she had to pay for such a piece of American history. On such a note, she started on her way back to the garden path only to be stopped by another sight. An object lay close to another “paver.” At first, it looked like a gnarled branch, but was too short and intact to be such. Kate picked it up to view it in the moonlight; it was a femur, a human one. Kate soon came to realize the real price paid to be Southern gentry.

© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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