I registered. With only several clicks of a button, my identity moved into a whole new realm – the world of the virtual. A conjured up name, some sporadically chosen pictures, randomly picked statements that try to conjure up who I am. Yes - I have an rsvp profile. I am now a virtual dater.
It took so long for me to break through the boundary of moving my love life online but now that I have taken the leap of faith it feels like I was always a member of the world wide web of love and flirtation. Like any social networking device, once it takes its hold it is almost impossible to escape the grasp. You are hooked. An addict. A fucking junkie.
I wonder how I got sucked in so easily. It is not the quality of the candidates that drives my fingers to type these four letters into the search engine time and time again. No.. its certainly not the quality. An example? Here you go..
My first hit was a man who quite clearly fell outside the age range that I had specifically specified. He was in his late forties and wore a beard to his belly like a Ned Kelly fanclub member. His blue wifebeater had seen the blaze of the sun, his belly had held many a beer. Yet, his words … well… they were beautiful.
He had written a poem. His words drew images of blossoming flowers and freshly set dew, of bright blue skies and warm winds, love and passion and booming hearts. And then as soon as the poem stopped, the reality struck.
‘I have no teeth’, he said. ‘If you think that means I am a bad person then you can fuck off’.
Now, I pride myself in being open minded. Appearances don’t mean much to me and, in fact, I purposely avoid the beautiful, the bronze, the buff. And yet, in spite of my moral high ground, I am not sure how I feel about a toothless, bearded, singlet-wearing bogan. I just don’t think I could ever go ‘there’ and I am not sure that I want to or should even have to. Oh the guilt I must carry for realising my own prejudgments! So what that he could only eat mushy peas and mashed potato. Should this really affect the way his words move me?
So as I press the ‘Im sorry but I do not think it would work between us’ button, I sigh. Oh evil world of deletion and rejection, am I ready for you? It seems I am… Since rejecting candidate number 1, I have become the queen of the delete button. Every day I end up deleting deleting deleting. With internet dating, you become ruthless. Likes snuggling on the couch? Delete. Wears a tiger beer singlet in his photo? Delete. Mentions his love for the ‘mighty Saints’? Delete. Any reason to delete and my finger twitches..
Do not fear, world. I am keeping my promise to you. I shall continue my search for love. In spite of the many deletions, I have held onto one, one that has virtually captured me. A boy who lives on the Peninsula, who loves getting muddy at festivals, surfs waves and camps out in his van, sports a 50s haircut, wants to travel to the wild parts of the planet and …. who… electronically kissed me back ..