Wednesday, September 02, 2009


I’m very nearly 27 years old. This means that it’s either time to bite it in style, like Jimi, Janice and Jim, or else delve once again into the world of online dating. There are no in-betweens. I refuse to believe that the future holds anything for me besides a year of indiscretion and the poor decision making of a rock star, or else growing up entirely. Like, joint checking account grown up. Like, grown up to the point where I both understand and have to pay property taxes.

The sad fact of my life is that my guitar skills begin and end with the Beatles’ “I’ve Just Seen a Face,” so I signed up for eHarmony. Though still unwilling to pay for their service, I have been perusing my matches with all the gravity of…well, actually, with all the gravity of a porn star playing a librarian in something titled, like, Stacked Girls Do it Write. I put on my very convincing serious face and evaluate each match on very serious criteria, the kind you reserve for choosing a life partner, like: use of emoticons (veto), unconvincing enthusiasm for outdoor activities (you live in Astoria and work in IT—you cannot possibly hike that much, you liar, veto), insincere sincerity (yes, everyone really wants to write about how thankful they are for their family and their health while trolling for poon, suck it, veto), improper use of the apostrophe (“its” and “it’s” are not interchangeable, dipshit, veto), lack of any humor whatsoever (you’re internet dating, for Christ’s sake, crack a goddamn joke, veto), making jokes that ring creepy (“IM REALLY A WOMANLOL,” veto), veiled chauvinism (“I just want a girl I can take care of who keeps herself nice,” fuck you, veto) , and, with unexpected frequency, listing Freakonomics as their last book read (shit came out in 2007 and has been an airport read ever since, and you’re explaining the premise like it’s Gravity’s Rainbow? Veto, veto, veto, veto and veto).

And then asphyxiating in my own vomit rises ever so slightly in appeal.

I do this every year around my birthday—note celebrity accomplishments achieved by my age (Billie Holliday had already recorded “God Bless the Child”), feel insecure, and then ruminate on my lack of forward momentum, particularly in my love live. My overall momentum is more like the Wonkavator. During my 26th year on this planet I’ve checked only the weirdest of things off the Before You Die list. I taught myself how to make bagels. I’ve received an invitation to and attended a Fashion Week show despite wearing hand-me-down flannel to the event. I’ve gone alone to a country where I don’t speak the language and enjoyed it. I became normal-sized. I wore a two-piece bathing suit in public. I’ve been in a bar fight. I’ve learned to roll a decent cigarette. I made out on top of a van painted like an American flag. I’ve made out with a member of a band I like (note: those who know, you shut up). Perhaps best of all, my teenage idol told me (and the internet at large) I remind her a lot of her. Those are big checks. First boyfriend? Twenty-six years unchecked and going strong.

I’m not actually bummed about it, nor am I truly using eHarmony towards this end. In fact, the world has my permission to kick me in the teeth if I ever do, for a range of reasons that span from their gay bias to the unappealing odor of desperation to Neil Clark Warren’s horseface. It’s just that the adding of another candle on my mental cake always sounds the “Oh, come on already!” alarm. Really? No takers, yet? Huh. It’s not that I haven’t progressed either. Kind of. I’ve gone from zilch to successfully going on a few dates with the same dudes, but also discovered a knack for making them disappear, Houdini-style, after that. Like, abracadon’tanwermytextallofasudden! I mean, that’s sort of moving in the right direction? Or maybe it’s just Wonkavatoring crossways and longways and diagonalways around the Boyfriend Room altogether. Who knows?

So yeah, the point here is that I’m almost 27. For my birthday, I’d like either a giant frosted mall cookie cake or blind dates with your devastatingly attractive friends. Either way, I’m aiming to have it all figured out by 28, which I will ring in either drowning in a bathtub in Paris or with a Jane Austen-style coupled-up finale.

Although if you do make it to 28, you've got to spend the next five years worrying about Mama Cass-ing at 33. Which is really, really not a good look.


Blogger Rube Goldberg/Mike McComb said...

Happy approaching birthday!

As for the online dating approach, have you checked out It takes all those interenet quizzes (which Skittle flavor are you), mixes them with questions about you and your ideal other, and comes up with a reasonable matching algorithm. It has a significant nerd following (attractive nerds) and I've had reasonable success with it. It's also free and has a sense of humor, which makes it a bit more fun.

4:25 PM  
Blogger My brainbox cells said...

Little secret.. e-harmony isn't so bad!

Hope you are well.

1:02 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

YES. YES Freakonomics as a dealbreaker.

I tried explaining to my good friend, who gets great joy in coming over and clicking "close match" on my computer for me why Freakonomics was an automatic veto (that and being a trader- i live in chicago).
She didn't get it- "sarah, you were an econ major. that's a good thing! you have a similar interest!"

no. no no no no no.
no, no no. no no.

(i somehow found you on twitter. i think you're clever)

if you could write more about internet dating (i also greatly, greatly related to your okc story) my life would a lot fuller :D
thanks much!

11:02 PM  

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