In the year when Kosovo declared its independence, China cracked down on protesting Tibetan Monks, Beijing hosted the Olympic Games and Barack Obama was busy running for President, I was calculating the odds of my dying alone.
Not that I mind being alone, hell, I’m about the only person on the planet that actually enjoys my company after the bloom has fallen from the rose. But there was this odd, hollow feeling in the center of my chest, something I had never experienced before. I believe you humans call it loneliness.
The cure was obvious, I’d have to make an effort to meet another living being on purpose, but because I am me and I have never ever ever been known to do things the easy way—ha! like there’s an easy way—I decided to turn the process into a social experiment to find out if women were actually attracted to intellect—yes, I’m presuming to possess an adequate level of intelligence—or if they were just as shallow as they claimed men to be. So, I joined a free online dating site.
I began a campaign I called BABASIOTAAM, which was short for Blogging About Befriending Absolute Strangers In Order To Attract A Mate, where I posted outrageous and fictitious stories as bait to reel in enquiring minds and open up a line of communication. This might sound a bit odd to you but it actually worked, the problem was my stories (all presented as facts) attracted both women and men who would then debate my postings until they erupted into flame wars, so I eventually abandoned the project.
But in the midst of my botched brilliant idea to attract a mate, I did actually manage to go on a few dates—or at least meet up with a few women in the flesh. The first was SxxQit10 who responded to my initial post on how sometimes the media can implant racist notions unbeknownst to consumers:
SxxQit10: Credit given for recognizing the thoughts as irrational and wrong. There are an awful lot of people with the same thoughts who think they’re perfectly rational and acceptable. Sad world we live in. Wanna chat? PM me.
Since that post, we had exchanged a few emails, nothing steamy, no cybering or anything of that nature, mostly icebreaker chitchat. Then she stepped up her game by IMing me.
SxxQit10: Hi! Do you have time to chat?
Me: Sure, I was just answering your email.
SxxQit10: Great. Thanks for writing by the way. You’re bold. 🙂 I like that.
Me: What’s the sense in joining the site if you don’t attempt to make a new connection?
SxxQit10: Oh you might be surprised! Are you new to this?
Me: The online thing? Yeah, pretty new to it. The worst you could have said was “Get lost!” I’m thick-skinned
SxxQit10: 🙂 I’m one of the polite ones. I believe in responding politely and staying human. Sorry if you’ve recently been through something unpleasant.
Me: Nothing recent.
SxxQit10: Oh good for you! Most guys jump on here within days of the end of their relationship. You were smart to wait. To me, that’s a real indication of character. If you can’t be alone, you’ll become too dependent and that’s not healthy for a relationship. Anyway, I’m not going to preach! 😉 You’re a smart guy and know all this stuff I’m sure.
Me: Fortunately, I enjoy my own company. So, has this online worked out for you?
SxxQit10: Well it has worked and not worked. It’s been ok. I’ve met some wonderful men on here who have become friends. I’m also on several others and they’re all about the same.
Me: Don’t knock friends, they’re a rare commodity these days.
SxxQit10: Oh gosh, I never do! There’s a guy I met on here who I have to say is one of my best friends. Two actually.
Me: So, what stops these guys from being “the right one” I mean, if you believe in that sort of thing.
SxxQit10: I do believe in it. Geeze… let’s see. Where do I begin? Duncan lives in South Carolina. That about sums that up! LOL Jerry is a bit new to the dating scene and is more interested in sowing some oats (my humble opinion). His wife cheated on him and he’s really enjoying being the single bachelor. We had the option of being “friends with benefits” I suppose, but I can’t do that. I get too emotionally involved and that’s a big set up for heartache.
Me: I didn’t mean to get too personal, I’m just inquisitive by nature. Please feel free to tell me to mind my own business at any time.
SxxQit10: That’s funny. I was just going to apologize for going too deep. I have a tendency to do that. I ask LOTS of questions too but I’m an open book. No secrets and if I didn’t want to talk about something I’d be honest about it. You can ask me anything you like. 🙂
Me: Good, we share that. If I ever cross a line, just let me know. Guaranteed, it was unintentional.
SxxQit10: I promise and likewise, OK?
Me: So, since you only seem to find friends online, do you venture out into the real world dating scene?
SxxQit10: Real world dating scene? Is there one? Ha. I only know of bars I guess but I’m not a bar-going type per se. Then there’s the workplace, but at this point, it’s a dry well.
Me: While I can appreciate a good pub with friends, it isn’t the ideal place to find a mate. So, what do you do with your time when you’re not out finding peace in massage therapy or busting a gut at a Marx Brother flick?
SxxQit10: Hmmmmm… I do love movies. I read, I write, I play with my son, I belong to a theatre workshop in NYC and we’re trying to get something going. I love to walk in the woods, take photos, live music and theater when I can. I’m currently up for a new job in NYC. If I land that, I’ll be moving a tad bit closer for commuting purposes and upgrading my life a bit.
Me: I was about to ask you about the theatre group. Good luck with the job. If you do produce something and if it’s local, let me know. I support the arts, naturally.
SxxQit10: I sure will and thanks! You know I have to say 95% match is unheard of. I don’t know what it means (after all I agree with you about those awards, complete bs). Have you filled out a lot of tests or something?
Me: No, I haven’t done the tests yet (still new to this) but I plan on it.
SxxQit10: You can look at my tests and click on a link to any of those if you fancy them.
Me: I guess if I’m going to do this, might as well go whole hog. Tests, journals and the like.
SxxQit10: I’ve stayed away from the journal for some reason. Not sure why.
Me: I’m surprised, open book like yourself.
SxxQit10: I guess I don’t want random people in my head. It’s crowded enough in there already!!! And most men probably wouldn’t like what I said on there and that would ruin my already sketchy chances!
Me: Not even room for one more?
SxxQit10: There’s always room for one more! LOL
Me: Good. The sound of knocking you hear is me. Open the door at your convenience.
SxxQit10: Enter! That reminds me of The Sunshine Boys. Come in, and ENTER!
Me: Sunshine Boys? You really do like movies!
SxxQit10: Like you have NO idea.
Me: You and I are going to be friends for life, as long as movies exist.
SxxQit10: Fantastic! I’ve been desperate for a good movie-buddy! Where are you from originally?
Me: Manhattan born and bred. Lived in all five boroughs, currently residing in Staten Island. Ick.
SxxQit10: Why there then. BTW – grew up in Hell’s Kitchen myself. Been in NJ since 1989.
Me: Moved to Staten Island because that’s where the job is. Ferry commuting was a pain.
SxxQit10: Ah. I believe it. What’s the job?
Me: I work for a tattoo company, creating and licensing tattoo artwork.
SxxQit10: How many do you have personally?
Me: Not a one. It’s my job, not my lifestyle.
SxxQit10: Whoa. Would you care if I had one?
Me: Not at all. Do you?
SxxQit10: Yes, a map of postwar Europe across my entire back… just kidding…
Me: Awww, that would have rocked!
SxxQit10: ROFL You are funny.
Me: Nope, you’re just an easy crowd.
SxxQit10: I have two. A Celtic heart about the size of a plum at the base of my neck and a small dragonfly on my shoulder.
Me: You also referenced dragonflies in your profile. Any significance?
SxxQit10: The dragonfly is very important to me. It was my spiritual totem during the hardest part of my life. My divorce. If you believe in that sort of thing. I’m a very spiritual but don’t subscribe to any religion. I’m very open to all things. There’s a cool story to all that, but I’ll save it for another time.
Me: Sigh. Typical woman. Always holding out on the good stuff.
SxxQit10: Oh no!
Me: Oh yes
SxxQit10: Gosh, I’d hoped you’d never say those words about me! Nothing typical about me. But I guess I’m wrong… sigh… sob…
Me: Dry your tears, youngling. You can still grow from this…
SxxQit10: The story is better in person anyway.
Me: Sounds like an invitation
SxxQit10: I guess it is. Interested?
SxxQit10: Ok then. I have to ask this… please don’t be a freak. Not sure I can take another unsuspected freakshow. 😉
Me: “Freak”… hmmm. No, not a freak. But like yourself, not typical. And it doesn’t have to be immediate. You can suss me out a bit before a real-life meeting.
SxxQit10: That’s OK. We can’t be expected to tolerate the typical in a friendship or potential relationship. And that’s very cool of you to say. Already tells me you’re not a freak.
Me: Ask me all those questions that the Feds use to flush out lunatics.
SxxQit10: I don’t know any of them? What are they? Do you floss? LOL Do you wear your underwear on your head?
Me: Did you ever pull the wings off flies as a kid?
SxxQit10: Oh right!
Me: Only when I’m drunk, does that count?
SxxQit10: Ha. No. It doesn’t count. I don’t think I ever did that. But… I might have held a magnifying glass on an ant or two.
Me: Whew! Good…I’m still in the running. You burned ants? Murderer!
SxxQit10: : ( I know. Why are kids so cruel? To animals, each other… I don’t get it. Just pushing the boundaries of right and wrong I suppose.
Me: Actually, I rolled ants into my Silly Putty ball thinking I could open it up and retrieve them later.
SxxQit10: I love it! Silly Putty! Wasn’t that the best?
Me: I loved Silly Putty.
SxxQit10: I have an 8-year-old son.
Me: I was just about to ask.
SxxQit10: He lives primarily with his Dad and Stepmom about 5 miles from me. I have him 2 days a week and alternate weekends.
Me: Is he happy?
SxxQit10: He seems extremely happy and well adjusted.
Me: It’s a sign. Good. Are you happy? With the arrangement, I mean.
SxxQit10: I was separated almost 6 years ago. There’s a big story, well, not big but emotional story about how things fell out, but all in all I am happy with things. As long as Charlie (my son) is thriving and happy. That’s all that matters. He’s a bright, beautiful child. I think he may be a writer someday.
Me: Excellent. The world needs more writers. Well, you seem very fortunate. I’m happy for you. Thanks. I feel fortunate.
SxxQit10: Have you noticed we’ve answered most all of our questions with the same answer?
Me: I’m sure that once I start answering more questions, the algorithm is going to affect my Match percentages, but yes, our basic questions are on track with one another. And I’m glad. It convinced you to chat with me this afternoon.
SxxQit10: I don’t think it convinced me, but I’m pretty amazed. It’s unusual.
Me: Hopefully, I’ve made a new friend.
SxxQit10: You definitely have! : )
Me: Even though you’re probably one of those freaks you mentioned earlier (which is fine, but please don’t be a 65-year-old man toying with people on the internet). Ick, that thought gives me the chills
SxxQit10: Hysterical. Just FYI. My pics are current (the one with my hair in my hands is about a year old) and my information is perfectly honest. I could never lead with a lie. So my advice to you (to assist you on this online dating roller coaster) is to get a couple more pictures up (a full length or close) and complete the rest of your description. It will help you land lots of chicks! 😉 and… Call me Irving. Bahahahahahah!
Me: Yeah, that’s me the “lots-of-chicks” magnet.
SxxQit10: Well, why wouldn’t you be?
Me: I knew it! Irv the perv! Ha! That’s going to be your pet name from now on. No one will know why!
Me: Oh, you know it! I am Irv for as long as I know you!
SxxQit10: So why don’t you think you’re a chick magnet?
Me: I grow on people. I’m the type you have to get to know.
SxxQit10: Like fungus?
SxxQit10: : ) Damn. I have a mold allergy. Are you shy? You don’t seem so.
Me: You’ll get a little sneezy at first but it’ll run its course and you’ll adapt to me in time. I’m an ok kind of fungus.
SxxQit10: Cool. Do you have a spiritual practice of any kind? Meditation, etc. I’m just curious, reading your profile again. Your talk of “ego” made me ask.
Me: Sometimes I’m shy, sometimes I’m not.
SxxQit10: I understand. Do you get out a lot?
Me: I am not religious by any stretch of the imagination. I do love theology, though, especially the apocypha and psuedepigrapha… as far as spirituality… I am open to there being a force in the Universe.
SxxQit10: Same here. Exactly.
Me: I’ve started going out socially last year.
SxxQit10: How was it?
Me: Interesting, but nothing to write home about. Mostly wine-tastings (I’m a beer guy) and movies, a few dinners here and there.
SxxQit10: Well, we’re going to change that. I don’t mean me necessarily, but I can help you. I’m almost an expert on women and relationships… after all, I’m a woman and have been in a few relationships! What’s your favorite beer?
Me: Dogfish Head IPA 120
SxxQit10: I’m a wine-chick. Wine and tequila, but I stay away from tequila now…
SxxQit10: Ah Dogfish Head, yes…
Me: Oh, tequilla bad…I see.
SxxQit10: Yeah, Tequila… makes me do things…
Me: Underwear on the head!
SxxQit10: More like no shirt in the street…
Me: You absolutely rock.
SxxQit10: It was a long time ago. It was very late and there wasn’t anyone else around… REALLY!!! And yes, I do absolutely rock.
Me: Shirtless Irv!
SxxQit10: That’s great!
Me: Irvs Gone Wild! I’d buy that video.
SxxQit10: I’m in the editing room now. Oh, did I mention I used to edit video for a living?
Me: Really? Why’d you give it up?
SxxQit10: I gave it up to be a full-time Mom, but that got sidetracked. It’s another long story for a face to face. There’s a lot to you isn’t there? You’re complex and deep aren’t you?
Me: Deep as a puddle
SxxQit10: Pish Tosh, I don’t believe it!
Me: I’m humble and lovable.
SxxQit10: That’s ok, you’re not boasting but I was asking. Why are you lovable? Your opinion matters!
Me: I don’t know. Can you find yourself lovable?
SxxQit10: Maybe after too many long nights alone in the woods…
Me: with tequilla
SxxQit10: Ha Ha!
Me: Shirtless With The Wolves
SxxQit10: I’m cracking up.
Me: So, what keeps you in on a Saturday afternoon? Why aren’t you out breaking hearts?
SxxQit10: I am, but I can do it remotely. Or remotely do it? Ummmm. I’m writing. I rarely get a free Saturday and I’ve been trying to get this play past my block/wall/stuck-point. I’m never on this site for more than 5 mins at a time and how long have we been at this today?
Me: An hour at least. Am I keeping you from writing?
SxxQit10: Actually no. I signed on here to take a break but never expected it to last this long!
Me: Well, I’m flattered.
SxxQit10: Are you a sports fan at all?
Me: Fan? No. I watch a bit of boxing and UFC and the occasional rugby match, but not a diehard fan. You?
SxxQit10: I go back and forth. Rugby, now that I would watch. You seem to have a more than average European sensibility. Is that true? I grew up a diehard Yankee fan but watching baseball bores me unless you’re at the game. I like watching football, but I never seem to have the time. I’d rather play sports than watch them.
Me: Last time I was at a baseball game, I was 4, rooting for the Mets. I am a bit of an Anglophile (I devour a lot of Brit telly and film)
SxxQit10: I like that about you.
Me: A friend has a British ISP so I get to watch a great deal of Telly when the BBC posts them.
SxxQit10: BBC is the best. I knew that when I was twelve or was it 8?
Me: There was a Scottish sitcom called “Still Game” that was hilarious. Developing an ear for the language was fun.
SxxQit10: Yay, Scots!
Me: Yay, Scots, indeed! Every year I watch the Hogmanay celebration
SxxQit10: I love my Scottish heritage. I’ve always wanted to go. I got close, made it to London and Dublin, but couldn’t get to Scotland! : (
Me: So, Miss Play-Writer’s-Block, what’s your play about?
SxxQit10: Sad people, alcoholics, judgment, facades, you know… it’s children’s theatre.
Me: Alcoholic kids? I’m in! One ticket, please!
SxxQit10: It’s about a bar in Clifton, NJ and the regulars who are well… regular. It’s an examination of that lifestyle and the relationships that extend from that.
Me: Sounds simple enough. Where are you stuck at?
SxxQit10: Um… I always get stuck at the end of the “first act” not literally separated by acts, but more the first large chunk. And last night or recently…? I came up with a plan to scale that wall. A big decision about the dynamic that takes the piece in a new direction, but a good one.
Me: Need help? I don’t profess to be great, but I could offer assistance… maybe. Or not. Your call
SxxQit10: That’s OK. I’m really shy about my writing. I appreciate the offer tho!
Me: Fine. Didn’t mean to intrude.
SxxQit10: You didn’t!
Me: Rejected. Unloved. Unwanted.
SxxQit10: I really am shy about my writing. I didn’t even show anyone for 10 years!
Me: Fine, offer up whatever excuse you have to.
SxxQit10: Question: everybody on this site lies about their weight, so how much weight would you like to lose. I’ve got about 20 to lose.
Me: 20’s a good target for me. 30 and I’d be a Greek God!
SxxQit10: Which Greek God?
Me: The fat one. Porkulus.
SxxQit10: ROFL! That is funny. Good one. Man, I like your humor.
Me: Nope, you’re an easy crowd.
SxxQit10: No but see, I’m really not!
Me: Then thank you for lowering your standards for the sake of this chat. Humble! That’s me.
SxxQit10: More like Humbug! 😉
Me: Used to pluck the wings off humbugs when I was a kid. Callback!
SxxQit10: I thought that was handbags? or handsaw? Anyway, now I’m on a real tangent~
Me: I don’t do handbags, sweetie…I carry a murse.
SxxQit10: Murse?!!!! Hahahahah! I need some tea.
Me: I fellow tea drinker…nice.
SxxQit10: Would you mind if I excused myself for a min or two? You can tell me more about your life story if you like. At least tell me what kind of writing you do?
Me: Sure, go do your thing.
SxxQit10: Thanks, back!
Me: Well, about the only things I haven’t written (read as: Completed) are a play and a novel.
SxxQit10: So what are you waiting for?
Me: I used to write and publish my own comic books (don’t laugh, it’s a mode of storytelling)
SxxQit10: Don’t they call them graphic novels?
Me: Yeah, now they’re graphic novels, when I did them they were comics.
SxxQit10: OK, so comic books, writer, shy, loves the BBC, movies… I’m painting a picture here.
Me: I also write short stories, some of which have been published
SxxQit10: Are these science fiction stories perhaps????
Me: Now I write screenplays, some of which I self-direct and other that I submit into competitions.
SxxQit10: Very cool!
Me: Some are science fiction. most are speculative fiction.
SxxQit10: Speculative Fiction? Like Neal Stephenson? Is that what you’d call him? Dunno.
Me: Yes, and Harlan Ellison and the like.
SxxQit10: So… are you impressed???
Me: By you? When I first read your profile. Stop fishing for compliments.
SxxQit10: You already know me so well! So you must know who Eddie Izzard is, right?
Me: Yes, I know Eddie Izzard, in fact, he was recently in the BBC TV remake of Day of the Triffids.
SxxQit10: Really? I’m a big fan of EI. How often do you get into the city?
Me: Usually whenever there’s an event, but I’m always open for traveling. I don’t hang in Staten Island.
SxxQit10: Would you be up for meeting for tea on Sunday?
Me: Sure, why not?
Me: Wait, are you sure I’m not a freak?
SxxQit10: No, I’m not, but this is the only way I’ll know for sure.
Me: Risk taker… nice.
SxxQit10: My theatre group starts at 5: 30. I can come in anytime before that. Not so much risk taker as incurable curious nature.
Me: Name a time and place that’s convenient for you.
SxxQit10: tea… tea… um… how is The Russian Tea Room? Just kidding. Are you a Starbucks hater?
Me: No love, no hate. We can do it.
SxxQit10: I think there’s one around times square (huh, ya think?) that would be good for me and easy for you to get to.
Me: Don’t worry about me. What’s good for you?
SxxQit10: That is good for me. (see above) What time is good for you?
Me: I’m open. You’re the one with time constraints.
SxxQit10: Let’s say 1? Does that work for you?
Me: Sure. 1:00pm in the general vicinity of Times Square
SxxQit10: I know there is one on 42nd closer to 8th than 7th and on the north side of the street, but I think there is also one on 43rd and 8th. Either one is fine. Wow – that’s tomorrow, isn’t it?
Me: It doesn’t have to be tomorrow, Missy Rushy-Pants
SxxQit10: Yes it does. Monday my carriage turns back into a pumpkin
Me: I’ll help you roll the pumpkin back to your house, Cinders.
SxxQit10: No. I’d much rather it be sooner than later. Am I rushing you? We don’t have to if you’re at all uncomfortable.
Me: I understand. Inspect the goods, see if it’s worth your time.
SxxQit10: No. That’s not it really.
Me: You writers are all alike.
SxxQit10: I think it might dictate the direction of our friendship, but you already are worth my time, silly.
Me: That’s what they all say.
SxxQit10: Who’s “they”?
Me: Them. You. You know.
SxxQit10: The infamous them.
Me: The rest of the planet.
SxxQit10: Well, that’s not us.
Me: So Irv, in order to facilitate this brush-off meeting, do you want my phone number or is that too forward? I don’t want to send you screaming.
SxxQit10: Oh you’re funny. Yes, let’s exchange phone numbers in case the train breaks down or some other thing. I don’t scream usually. I’m human.
SxxQit10: You always have the option of screaming and running yourself.
Me: I’m far too polite for that
SxxQit10: OK then we’ll both be stuck there desperately wanting to run, but not being able to because we’re both so damned polite! Nice. Funny.
Me: Nah, it’ll be fine. We can walk and chat and it’ll be fine.
SxxQit10: I think we’ve been chatting for almost 3 hours. That’s crazy. I could continue but I should get back to the play.
Me: Not a problem. I don’t want to keep you from work.
SxxQit10: Can I call you later?
Me: Sure, anytime.
SxxQit10: OK. Maybe after dinner time?
Me: Fine. I’ll be looking forward to it.
SxxQit10: Me too. Talk to you later then?
Me: Sounds like a plan. Now go write your play so you can show me the completed first act, shy writer.
Sure enough, ‘round about dinner time, the young lady calls and we proceed to engage in another three-plus hour conversation about absolutely nothing. She was a bit more skilled in the game than I was. For every two bits of useless topics or jokes, she’d ask a question to size me up. Did I have hair? How many children by how many different women? How much do you drink? Do you have a temper? Can you solve Goldbach’s conjecture? Okay, maybe not the last one, but she had her list prepared, and I didn’t call her on it. I suppose a woman meeting an internet stranger has to be cautious.
Come the day of the flesh meet and long story short… there was no chemistry. Politeness. Light conversation. And that was all she wrote. Guess algorithms can’t match everything, huh?
Other uneventful dates included an actual rocket scientist obsessed with blueberries and the Frazier TV show, a nature hiker who loved squirrels just a bit too much and a Mensa member who constantly tried to downplay her intelligence because of her mother’s deep-rooted conditioning.
Unlucky at blogging, unlucky at love, as the saying goes.
©2008 & 2019 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys