By Rachel Birdsell
I realized the other day that for the past 13 years the only dating I’ve done has been via online dating sites. In that time, I’ve had horrible dates and also some of the best dates of my life. Some even ended up in relationships. But, they obviously didn’t last.
So, now I’m 45 and am single again. After much contemplation and time to heal from the last relationship, I’ve decided that I’m ready to date again. While I may know I’m ready to date, the thought of putting another ad on a dating site has about as much appeal as having a tonsillectomy performed by way of my bumhole. After sweating through the arduous task of writing a profile, I’d have to take approximately 1,352 pictures of myself to get four or five that don’t make me look like a direct descendent of Quasimodo. After finishing the profile, I’d sit and wait for Mr. Wonderful to show up in my inbox. Or I could take action and peruse the ads myself. After discouraging hours of flipping through profiles where the good ones are rare and the majority have the appeal of a sucked orange, I’d finally send some emails and hope the men I’d written were at least somewhat like their profile, and their photos weren’t from 80 pounds ago.
Then the true horror would begin: the horror of having to meet these men and attempt to get to know them. This terrifying endeavor is also known as dating. What if I had repeats of some of the worst dates of my life? Like the one where after a perfectly lovely dinner, back at my apartment, apropos of nothing, this guy decided he wanted to show me his tattoo, and dropped every piece of attire he had on from the waist down, sat down on the sofa and said, “Sorry it’s so small.” Sadly, he wasn’t talking about his tattoo. Or how about the date where a man asked if he could kiss my feet, which wouldn’t have been nearly as strange had he already kissed other parts of my anatomy?
You’re probably wondering why I’m even thinking about dating if it seems so unappealing, and the answer is simple: I like to be coupled. The problem is that while I want a partner, I don’t want to have to date to find him. I don’t want to have to filter through online profiles, and endure date after date. I don’t want family and friends to start setting me up with Frank in accounting. I just want Mr. Wonderful to show up at my front door one day. The reason he’s at the front door doesn’t matter unless he’s handing out religious tracts, or is covered in blood asking me to hide him from the police. So, there you have it, Mr. Wonderful. If you’re around my age, smart, funny, have more shoes than you do guns, and tend to lean left politically, please show up at my front door and we’ll go for coffee. Sorry, but pants are not optional.
Rachel Birdsell is a freelance writer, artist and semi-professional cat wrangler. You can drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.