Sunday, July 02, 2006

Internet Dating, Part I

Editor’s Note: This was written well before I met the Crazy Like Me Correspondent. None of the comments apply even remotely to her.

People living in the Washington area don’t need anyone to tell them how busy they are. High-stress jobs and traffic consume more potential leisure time than anyone cares to think about. Creating a social life from this chaos of obligations is always a challenge. This is the primary reason for the rise in Internet dating.

Internet dating provides an opportunity to deal with various aspects of the female personality in a compressed time. Instead of meeting and dating women over a period of months, you can encounter dozens in a day, and may actually communicate through email or chat with several in the course of a week.

Notice that I didn't say if this was good or bad. I prefer to take the Zen approach and say that it is not good or bad, it just is. It is certainly educational.

Before I get into full rant here, let’s get the disclaimers out of the way. I am well into my second divorce, which carries with it the implication of damaged goods. I am forty-five years old, so approximately half the women on the planet will consider me a pathetic old lecher if I even ask them where to find the Metamucil. I have never been mistaken for Mel Gibson. (I’m considerably taller.) My sense of humor is not for the faint of heart.

I am also a guy, with the base tendencies guys have. Everyone knows what those are. Some will be discussed here, some won’t. Suffice to sat that the women with whom I have been dealing should assume I have these tendencies.

I’m not going to get all New Age and start talking about Mars and Venus. It’s not that complicated, and there are copyright issues I’d rather nor deal with. I also don’t want anyone to think I’m being misogynistic. I’m being as honest and forthright as I can, from my perspective, which is the only one I can have and is, therefore, the only one that counts in my little corner of The Big Picture.

It is widely assumed that women are deeper and more sincere than men. This idea must have come from their ability to bear children, which supposedly gives them insight into the meaning of life and our place in it, as well as the cosmic and supernatural forces that guide our pitiful existence, regardless of our feeble attempts to exercise some control. Lots of people think that.

They’re wrong. Women are just as shallow as men. They’re just shallow about different things.

I realize I am throwing away any chance I have of being a guest on “Oprah,” or “The View.” I’ll get over it. I’d prefer a shot at Jim Rome’s show or “Win Ben Stein’s Money.”

Probably the favorite piece of evidence thrown in men’s faces by women who wish to establish themselves as superior life forms is our predilection for sports. We like to play sports, we like to watch sports, and we like to talk about sports. Sports occupy a major part of our attention. Maybe not as much as sex, but it’s close.

Women have loftier things on their minds and will not sully their gray matter with such base concerns. Life as we know it would change fundamentally if women were to adjust their thinking and worry about sports, even a little. Entire nations, especially this one, would see their economies shrivel and die should the female population waver even an inch from their ramrod-straight focus on what rules their world. Men have sports. Women have shopping.

Don’t laugh, the parallels are too tight. Men love to play sports, women love to shop. Men watch sports on television, women have gobs of cable channels devoted to nothing but shopping. Men will talk about sports all hours of the day. Women will talk about shopping the same way. You don’t think so? Tell me you’re never heard the following conversation, or one just like it.

“Where did you get that blouse?”

“Do you like it? I got it at Bloomingdale’s.”

“What did you pay for it?”

“It was only forty-five dollars.” (Note: I have no idea what any article of women’s clothing costs, and I don’t want to know. I picked a number at random, and I don’t want to hear about it if I’m off by several orders of magnitude.)

“You know, I saw one a lot like it at Nordstrom’s, but it was sixty-five dollars.”

“I know. I think the one at Nordstrom’s was a little nicer, but not twenty dollars nicer. Feel this material. The thread count can’t be that much different.”

“Speaking of thread count, did you see the sheets on sale at Hecht’s? They were a hundred twenty count and were on sale.”

“No! Get out! How long is the sale good for?” And on and on.

How is this different, or any more elevated, than a manly discussion of why A-Rod may hit thirty points higher than I-Rod, but I-Rod plays a tougher position and is therefore a more valuable player? It’s not. It’s even lower, because they’re talking about a blouse, and we’re talking about baseball. Millions of people will not be thrown into paroxysms of joy or despair if she misses the last sheets at Hecht’s, but they will if Bill Buckner lets an easy ground ball roll through his legs to lose the World Series.


Anonymous said...

Dear boy... your knowledge of sheets is pathetic. A thread count of one hundred and twenty barely qualifies as a shop towel. You couldn't give away those sheets.

Other than that, I take no issue with what you said!

Me = female

The Home Office said...

Dear You=Female. Thank you for setting me straight, for two reasons. One, because now I know. And two, I'm so glad I didn't know without being told. I'm as secure in my masculinity as the next guy, but knowing too much about thread counts is what's known as a telling detail. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but a twice-divorced man has already had enough emasculations for one life.