Last week I came across a great blog (please do your homework, I reposted it but if not read here) about being twenty something and single, and the realisation that it may be something to do with us rather than the men available. Too picky? Not sure.
This weekend, fuelled with a few bottles of wine and a good old moan, my single friend and I decided to sign up to a dating website. After all, the TV aerial is broken so we couldn’t watch anything, and we thought it might prove to be amusing. And it has been interesting to say the least.
And I’ve decided to tell you all about it. Its good fun, a little bit like going on ASOS on payday. Man shopping! ‘Nope, nope, hell no, looks like he has a girlfriend…. in the boot of his car, nope, hello! hmmm, nope.’
Firstly, thanks to Karen there is a fantastic metric for screening men, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’ve used hers. I have adjusted slightly to fit my requirements (she’s from Canada so I had to research some of her references), but it’s something every single girl should print off and put on the fridge. I mean we ALL could do with remembering that a Santa Claus beard is a total deal breaker.
The Screening Process (courtesy of Karen)
Requirements for Potential Prospects
1. A pulse: Regular breathing= 5 points, Comatose= 3 points, Dead= 0 points, Heavy breathing= Disqualified
2. A personality: Engaging= 5 points, Boring as a sack of wet bricks= 2 points, Doorknob= 0 points, Weird= -3 points, Douche= Disqualified
3. Hygiene: Clean= 5 points, Unclean= 0 points, Funky odours= Disqualified.
4. Toilet trained: Independent of personal potty tasks= 5 points, Significant knowledge on how to flush a toilet= 5 points, Avid player of pee games such as `Ready, Aim, Fire`and Àll pee, no see’= 0 points.
5. Sense of humor: Russell Brand (Mr Katy Perry)= 5 points, Michael MacIntyre= 4 points, Steve Carell (from The Office)= 3 points, Mr. Bean (from your childhood)= 1 point, Charlie Sheen (from rehab)= 0 points, Jim Carrey (excommunicated from the leprechaun community)= Disqualified
6. Dress Code: Nice Clothes= 5 points, Clean clothes= 5 points, Hobo Chic= 3 points, Hawaiian Shirts= 1 point, Rapper Wannabe= 0 points, Falling pants= Disqualified.
7. Personal Habits: Cooking= 5 points, Cleaning up after oneself= 4 points, Adequate knowledge of using a phone to order a pizza or to call 911= 3 points, Drinking straight out of a milk carton= 2 points, Avid believer in leaving the toilet seat up= 0 points
8. Crisis Management: Able to handle a crisis= 5 points, Unable to handle a crisis= 0 points, This girl is crazy= disqualified.
9. Beards: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (sexy stubble, 1o Things I Hate About You)= 5 points, Jake Gyllenhaal (groomed beard)= 4 points, Brad Pitt (unkempt hobo beard)= 3 points, Jesus (biblical beard)= 2 points, Santa Claus (unacceptable)= 0 points
10. Attraction: I’m attracted to you= 5 points, I’m not attracted to you= 0 points, You are Ryan Reynolds= Directly pass GO, collect your million points and win the game. In fact, you don’t even need to go to GO. Its fine love.
Fine Print: Need a minimum of a million points to qualify. A long interview process consisting of awkward dates ensues if you pass the screening.
So back to my story. I know a lot of people who have had success on dating sites, and see it like a bar full of single people. This is not the case. Single or not, men go on dating sites. But let’s pretend that it is like going out on a night out and being in an environment where everyone is upfront and single. (if you want to read a hilarious blog about internet dating and douchebag men, head on over to Brooke and McKenzie, my new favourites and my inspiration to tell this story).
We signed up. We filled in all the sections, half-heartedly I might add, with me listing my likes as “Wine. Cheese. Wine and cheese.” (this one’s for you Jules!!) and each added a photo, going off to get more wine. In the time we did so, the inboxes filled up with emails. If you are looking for a boost to your self-esteem, sign up to a free dating website; it’s like a shot of wheatgrass on a hangover. We couldn’t go to the toilet for fear that the email inbox would increase to over five pages and we would lose a James Marsden look-alike in the midst of all the shite. On one occasion it happened and my friend looked at me, scared and said “I don’t think I can cope!” More wine.
But don’t expect it to be plain sailing from the inbox ego boost. We quickly established a quick fire get rid of the crazies metric (which should also be stuck to the fridge). If we had gone with our initial thought that we would politely respond to each email we would have been sacrificing our life to the computer.
1) If someone writes you an email titled “hay” it goes straight to the bin. There is nothing wrong with a) spelling hey correctly if that is the route you will go down, or b) and preferably, putting something more exciting.
2) “How heavy is a polar bear?” I fell for this the first time. Guy 1 got a reply. “Enough to break the ice!” Lord. Add it to the metric, if you see this joke, bin the email.
3) “Fit”. “Gorgeous”. “Sexy” If any or all of these three words come through, accompanied by NOTHING ELSE! they get binned. How are you supposed to start a meaningful conversation from that?
4) If the email is from a person with no head, only their t-shirt pulled up to reveal a rippling torso, they go in the bin. As we all know, I am a massive fan of a buff body, but I am also not the type of girl who would post a headless photo of myself in my bra. It’s not what one does! (Note. This has been the hardest of the metric points. If I see a six-pack that I would break my finger poking, it is something hard to walk away from. I have overcome this by flicking to my Ryan Reynolds screen saver. Thank God for Ryan!)
5) As with #1, if someone spells ‘gorgeous’ ‘gawjus’, a little piece of me dies. It’s like when you sneeze and someone says bless you and you say thank you. Apparently this is bad, and if you don’t clap, you are the key suspect in a fairy’s demise. Or something.
6) If they ask me why I haven’t got a boyfriend. There is no easy answer. Because I moved out of living in a house in the country with my ex because I wanted to murder him for not picking up his pants? Because I attract men who are married, engaged, total douchebags or all of the above? Because the guy who was the closest thing I have had recently to a boyfriend is a thirty something workaholic? Because I am insane? Not sure any of these are socially acceptable.
That’s the do not pass go rationale. After that, it’s an entire minefield, but collectively we anticipate that 95% of emails didn’t get a reply. I got the guilt about this for a time but as my friend pointed out, if you respond to someone who looks like a serial killer and/or can’t spell, you are only encouraging them. I don’t think that is admissible in court, but OK.
Some snippets of conversation:
“In all his photos his friends are smiling and he has vampire eyes!” Delete.
“I think he might be responsible for the death of his Gran” Delete.
“He looks like Eminem.” “Do you like Eminem?” “No I think he looks like a chavvy oik” Delete.
“You only like him because he is mixed race and you like that. He said ‘gawjus!” Half-hearted delete.
It’s now nearly a week on, and what have I learnt? (It’s like writing a science experiment!) I have learnt that Karen is right. I am picky. I get bored easily and annoyed quickly. If someone doesn’t ask me a question, I don’t reply. After all, I’m not trying to force a conversation with someone I don’t know.
There are a great deal of nutters in the world. I refuse to repeat a great deal of the content provided, as my mother often reads this, but some of the tamer ones:
- Pitbull advised me to “grab somebody sexy and tell them hey, so hey” aaah! You will never get anywhere near grabbing me.
- “Send me a picture of your feet!” I loved this. No “hi”, no warm up, just a podiatry request.
- “Hey gawjus, I fink you are the girl I am supposed to marry. I read your profile and I fink I love you. Let’s meet up.” From one dodgy photo and a few lines of text? Surprised you can read….. This one actually added a point to the metric.
- “If a man in a big red suit comes and puts you in a sack, don’t worry, I asked for you for Christmas”. Vomit. If a fat old man tries to put me in a sack he will be administered with a sharp kick in the general groin region and an ear bending so terrible that he will regret ever attempting to grant Christmas wishes.
But on the upside, I have learnt a lot about myself. All that matters to me is that someone gets that I am always dry, regularly sarcastic and often a little bit odd in my humour, and have the correct personality to be the same. During this scientific experiment I have :
- Awkwardly seen someone who I shared a drunken snog with on a night out at Christmas.
- Noticed that a once good friend of mine was now single and contacted him to offer a chat if needed (who says Facebook keeps us in touch?!) PURELY PLATONICALLY.
- Given my number to two people. This yes, makes me picky. But bonus to the people who made it to this round!
And thus are my findings. In conclusion (they always round it up with a conclusion, don’t they?!) I feel there is nothing wrong with being picky (my granddad would TOTALLY agree. He hates all our boyfriends, deeming they are not good enough for his princesses). It might mean you end up dead being eaten by alsatians before someone sends an ambulance, but I think I would rather that than be romantically attached to a man who has a foot fetish, takes his advice from a rapper who looks like he had a stroke, and cannot spell. I’ll keep you posted if anymore classic, must-be-shared emails come through. Until then I will remain reporting from the field. Over and out!
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