Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Hope I Have Enough Change To Get The King-Size

August 17, 2010
 
One of the best things that ever happened to me was meeting my friend, Nancy. She is the kind of friend that makes me believe in something bigger than myself as I often feel someone handpicked her and placed her in my life at just the right time and for all the right reasons. I could write an entire blog on how inspiring she has been for me – and I just might – however for this particular occasion, I’m simply going to pull a piece of her life out to share.

Nancy and I used to work together in Long Beach, California and for a short time, when Eric and I broke up, I stayed with her until I found my own place. Some of the greatest news I’ve ever received was late last year when she told me that she and her husband were moving to Las Vegas. It is rare for me to love my friends’ significant others in the same way that I love my friends… for some reason, I end up just playing nice but never think they are good enough… but Greg is the best and I am delighted about the fact that I can truly call him a friend of mine as well.

Here is a brief synopsis of their story.

Years ago, while working together and after a run of failed relationships, Nancy told me she was going to go ahead and give the online dating route a try. I was surprised by this as online dating was somewhat new and I think it still had the association at that time of being the kind of thing that only those who had trouble meeting people would do – or also for those that had abnormal growths sprouting from different parts of their body. But Nancy was a great catch – beautiful, intelligent, successful, strong, confident and very capable of meeting and associating with people in the “normal” dating world. However, she said that she felt she had exhausted her current resources and figured that it certainly wouldn’t hurt to see what might become of this fairly new way of potentially meeting the man of her dreams. She decided to commit herself to the most basic package of three months and give it her all. If she didn’t see any significant results after that, she would move on to something else.

She spent hours preparing her online profile, being very deliberate about answering the questions that the site provided so that there would be no confusion about who she was or what she was looking for. She was extremely thorough and selected photos that best expressed who she was and how she felt about herself. I believe she left the typical narcissistic “phone-in-the-mirror-wearing-a-bathing-suit-with-a-ridiculous-amount-of-make-up” picture for other users to post. After a few days of completing what ended up being an extremely accurate depiction of her personality and expectations, she posted her profile and went to work.

We had a lot of fun over the next few months looking at her different options and what they had to offer. We started referring to people as statistics instead of just names (i.e. “so have you heard back from Jason, 35, Carpenter from Laguna Beach or are you still communicating with Kevin, 33, Consultant from Tustin?”). As promised, she put forth all the effort she said she was going to and I remember one weekend where she literally had five dates lined up between coffees, lunches and dinners. We would get together after her dates and discuss each guy and all of his qualities, both positive and negative. I would always insist on knowing what kind of car they drove as I could almost always categorize the kind of life the two of them would have based on said automobile. We had a lot of laughs but she was also taking her dates very seriously and I admired her, once again, for her unbending tenacity.

After three months, however, Nancy was exhausted. She had met lots and lots of “nice” men, but no one had blew her mind and she couldn’t see herself being serious with any of the men she had gone out with (thank goodness Mr. Tomato Red Volkswagen Beetle didn’t make the cut). Her time trial was coming to an end and although I think she was probably disappointed that she wasn’t able to make anything happen, she was happy for the experience.

On her last weekend of her subscription, she received a communication request from someone new. Greg, 35, Architect from Santa Monica (or something close to that) had asked her if she would be interested in getting together. Nancy looked at his profile and while she was intrigued, she had already resigned herself to the fact that the online dating thing was not going to be her path to Mr. Right and politely declined saying that her three months was up and that she wasn’t going to be online anymore after that weekend. However, Greg persisted, saying that he would really like at least one opportunity to meet her before she decides to give it up for good. She teetered back and forth a little bit but in the end she decided what the hell, might as well give it one last attempt.

Just a couple years later, I attended Greg and Nancy’s beautiful wedding.


As you probably recognize, online dating has gotten to be very popular this day and age. It’s very consistent with the way we are all connecting through the Internet on a daily basis anyway. I rarely talk on the phone anymore now that text messaging has become available and with MySpace, Facebook and Twitter continuing to be among the top visited websites on a daily basis, it’s obvious that this is the preferred method of communication in 2010. Given these new developments, I think it’s safe to say that online dating is not just for the mongoloids anymore.

Nancy and Greg are not the only success story I know and almost everyone these days has a friend or co-worker or family member that has found love on a dating site. While I think there are still some people out there who have a negative association when they think of online dating, it’s positive reputation is getting stronger every day with more and more people finding out that their chances of meeting someone online are just as good, if not better, than trying their luck at yet another Happy Hour.

I’ve always found dating to be like using a vending machine. What are you hungry for? Are you feeling like peanuts and caramel or are you convinced that dark chocolate with almonds is the one for you. Perhaps you like the excitement of salt and vinegar or want to give spicy salsa ranch a shot. You put your money in, make your selection and if you don’t like it, you can try again. I guess what I like about the online aspect is that it seems to expedite this process. Online dating is like using the brand new, state of the art vending machines that assures you that the snack you select is not going to get stuck in the coils, causing you to put more money in and pay double for something that you end up not liking or you get two of the same thing back to back when you didn’t really need or like the first one to begin with.

The other thing I like so much about the idea of online dating is that, when done honestly and with good intentions, it is a very positive way of applying the Law of Attraction. You see, I subscribe to the idea that Like Attracts Like, therefore, if one can complete an online profile in the same way Nancy did, with all of their true expectations laid out as well as an honest representation of their own character and personality, it seems very likely that a person will attract exactly what they are putting forth.

This was a really long way of saying that I went on a date last night with a guy I met online. And while I haven’t yet committed myself to online dating quite the way Nancy did, I am interested to see what I might be able to attract with this now very common method of personal interaction. I’m not new to online dating – I tried it a few years ago when I first moved to Las Vegas. However, I didn’t have much luck as I was attracting men just like me (go figure) and I was still very lost and very righteous at the time. Try having a pleasant dinner with a righteous yet confused man… not exactly a fast track to the wedding chapel.

However, I really like the person I’ve started to settle into and even though I’m not yet ready to go on five dates in a weekend to find my other half, I am certainly ready to start attracting different options into my life. And as it turns out, the person I met and went out with last night just quit smoking, rarely drinks, doesn’t gamble, has no interest in drugs and is not a playboy. Coincidence? Those who know me best know that I think not. And while I’m not ready to call it anything else than just talking at this point, the first bite of this particular snack was a pretty good one and different than the candy bars I’ve been eating.

Besides, I figure at the very least, anything I can do to be just a little more like Nancy is perfectly fine by me.
 

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