Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dating Deja Vu

Riddle me this... what is the memory span of an online dater?  Apparently, it's rather short. 

Okay, at this point, you could probably call me a seasoned online dater.  "Old, bitter and crotchety" might also come to mind, but I'm trying desperately to remain positive and for some reason, those words carried a negative connotation.  I've been online dating for the last (dear God) six years, on-again-off-again and would say that I've seen it all if I didn't know beyond a shadow of a doubt that some freak would come out of the PlentyofFish.com woodwork and prove me wrong.  My screenname and various versions of my headshot have been out there on the interwebs for years now, and I am well aware of the millions of people also taking a stab at finding love (or a reasonable facsimile) via electronic communication.  But, I seem to be caught lately in some strange online dating broken record...

Three times in the last three weeks I have received introductory messages from three different men that I had prolonged electronic communication with this time last year.  Three.  Two of them were even sent through the same online dating website from which they sent the original message, which should have popped up and alerted them that they'd previously messaged me.  And the other one is Mr. Nick@Nite. 

Usually, a girl would be flattered by such repeated interest.  A year later and he's still interested in talking to me?!  Wow.  My response?  Not impressed.  First, I'll both introduce you to Mr. Disney World and let you just as quickly say goodbye to him.  Then we'll get to Mr. Nick@Nite... again.  And then Mr. Doesn't Get the Hint, who you've also previously met.  Mr. Disney World sent me a message through PlentyofFish months ago.  I was in an online dating (ha... and real world dating) slump and even though I was not at all interested based on his photos and description, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and see what he had to offer.  I replied to his (first) introductory message with my usual courtesies; thanking him for his interest and his note and asking those nauseating "What do you do for a living?" and "How do you like to fill your free time?" conversation-starting questions.  He replied literally within seconds with a soliloquoy of how grateful he was that I replied and went on and on and on and on about how he never got anyone to reply to his messages and how much he'd like to take me out to say thank you.  (clears throat) Red flag.  Apparently still having some doubt to dole out, I wrote back.  I thanked him for asking me out and clearly stated that I'd like to chat a bit more before (if ever... didn't say that, but totally thought it) we met in person.  Again, within seconds, Mr. Disney World replied with an ever more exaggerated monologue of how blown away he was that I'd written him back and how ready he was to meet me....now.  I scanned his profile again in a desperate attempt to find some redeeming quality and stumbled upon no less than ten different photos of him in various locations in Disney World.  I know what you're thinking... Disney World is fun!  They have the Rainforest Cafe and Pleasure Island!  I know... but these pictures were not at Pleasure Island.  They were inside Minnie Mouse's house.  Her pink house.  And not one or two of them... about 90% of them.  And they weren't with a group of guys or with his nieces and nephews.  They were alone and he was playing with stuff...seriously.  Every single one of his photos was from Disney World.  And, at the risk of sounding materialistic, vain and cold, I'm going to share with you the real kicker.  In every photo, he was pouring with sweat and had food in his teeth... grinning like a cheshire cat (blatant and intentional Disney reference).I know that not every man interested in me is going to be GQ magazine quality, but everyone can choose the most flattering photos of themselves to post on their online profile.  Why would someone choose shots that included such unflattering and unattractive elements?!

Once I scolded myself intently for not having more closely examined his photos before replying to his introduction message, I decided that it might be time to let Mr. Disney World down softly.  Always gun-shy at the rejection, I beat around the bush for a couple more communications and then eventually told him that I didn't think we'd make a good match, although I was flattered by his interest.  And never heard from him again.  Until last week.  Currently sitting in my PlentyofFish inbox is a completely new introduction email from Mr. Disney World, as if we have never spoken before.  I'd cut him some slack if my profile wasn't exactly the same as it was those few months ago, even with the same profile picture.  Apparently he was so impressed with me that I completely wiped his memory clean, creating a sort of online dating amnesia experience.  Urgh.

Moving on.  Remember a couple of weeks ago when I told you that I was in another deja vu-like moment with a previous Man of Singledom?  Exactly one year ago, Mr. Nick@Nite found himself in the circle of men that would not stop texting me and would not move on to the next level of normal human interaction.  As a member of this group, he drifted off into the sunset after my proclaimation of being sick of never being able to get off of the texting carousel.  Although he actually asked me out twice, he never followed through with an actual calendar date for said ask-out and thankfully drifted out to sea as I recovered from carpal tunnel.  Literally... I had pain shooting up my arm for weeks.  Feel free to take a few minutes to read up on Mr. Nick@Nite's history by clicking his name on the right column.  I'll wait.  Caught up in real life pursuits, I quite honestly forgot about Mr. Nick@Nite's second introductory email, until I received an inbox message on Facebook from someone looking eerily similar.  Then I recognized his first name.  Of course, I didn't recognize his last name because we'd never exchanged them, so how did he find me?  His note simply said that he thinks I'm pretty and wants to talk to me.  I'm seriously considering writing back and asking if he means talk, as in speaking words or talk, as in texting me into a second bout of carpal tunnel.   Not again, Mr. Nick@Nite.  Not again.

And just today, I received a request to communicate from Mr. Doesn't Get the Hint.  This much older gentlemen has messaged me no less than six different times.  We've talked about this guy before (click here), he's formerly known as Mr. Monthly Visitor.  I've politely told him I'm not interested on several occasions (I'm thinking at least three times), no matter how many different screen names he uses or how many times he tells me the laundry list of foods he likes that I must also like, movies he likes that I must also like or the ridiculously strict Christian practices that I, as his future wife, must not only agree with but be more than willing to include in my day-to-day life.  Urgh!

Am I stuck in some strange broken record of online dating communication?!  Quite frankly, one of my coworkers told me today that once she decided to take an actual dating hiatus, she soon after met her future husband.   We did the whole "that's how it always happens" chit-chat, but I wonder if that twist of ironic fate actually works if you do it intentionally in hopes of instigating such a "coincidence."

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