Friday, November 6, 2009

Mea Culpa

I know, I know. It's been too long. And exactly what have I got to show for my lengthy absence? Bupkis. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

OK, well let's not get overly dramatic.

While I may not have spent the time as "fruitfully" as I might have hoped, I do return to the blogosphere with a renewed sense of purpose. Well, at least for tonight, that is!

So today's hot topic?

Ahem...Why in my opinion prest-o/change-o is an absolute no-go, or, in other words, why you should always look like the guy/girl in the picture.

That's right kids, I'm talking Internet dating and the extreme (sometimes painful, sometimes hilarious) shenanigans that go on when men and women put up profile photos that are not just out of date, but so out of date that they seem a miracle of science (or of science fiction or better yet of just pure fiction...shout out to all the Dorian Gray lovers out there).

Now lest you think I'm just having a rant, let me set the scene.

I made plans earlier in the week to meet up this evening with N, nice late-30s lad from the Manchester area, now making it in the big city as a high street solicitor. All good so far.

We'd exchanged a few emails and both felt ready to take the plunge. He asked me to suggest the location. So, in very unBritish, but very SoCal fashion, I picked a multi-level shopping complex (all steel, glass, and white marble) about equidistant between our respective homes, with the idea that we'd have our choice of over 15 different bars/restaurants and an opportunity for a little retail therapy if the mood struck. First stop--a quick dalliance at the Apple Store; second stop--on for a drink and a little get to know you better chit-chat.

So there I am at Shepherd's Bush tube station at 8pm (or thereabouts). If you know me, you'll know why I say "thereabouts"...always need that 15 minute grace period. Never longer, I promise!

Anyway, so I text my impending arrival and get a message back saying..."It's raining" (um, like every day lately), "so find me just inside the station near the maps and ticket windows." Easy peasy, I think, and head inside confidently upon arrival. Try to keep it very cool and casual, like I'm not meeting some random stranger for the first time. As I make my way over to the ticket counters, I see that there's just one set along the far left wall, and I wonder why he's not there?

Did we miss each other? Did he take a walk to one of the other exits to look out for me? No worries. Figure I'll stake out a nice spot and await his return when I realize that there's a kindly, but "oh-so-not-the-person-I-was-expecting-to-meet" guy in a dark blue suit trying to catch my eye. And then the realization dawns...slowly...that this is the guy.


The rest of the evening was fine, honestly. The shock of it all wore off quickly enough but the possibility of romance was dashed before it ever got started.

No matter what the context, no one likes to be on the receiving end of the "old bait and switch." And so I say, even if you aren't super confident about your looks, isn't it better to know that the person you're about to meet is genuinely attracted to you, that is the you you are now, not the you you were 10 years, 30 lbs and several lost follicles ago?

And believe me, I've dated all types, so I can honestly say, it's not that being older, somewhat paunchy and slightly balding means you don't fit into my attraction spectrum--just ask T, the 50-something Paul Giamatti look-alike that I went gaga for this past spring. (Or for that matter, ask Paul Giamatti himself, on whom I have been crushing for years.) It's just that I don't want to feel duped into making the connect.

Moral of the story: You just can't cheat chemistry.