Adventures in Online Dating: Chapter Eight REFLECTION
It occurs to me that the narrative voice of the nervous, first-time, online dater has become more interesting to me than the actual prospect of any of this becoming real. As in, I could write forever in the voice and never get and date and still feel pretty damn good. This, of course, could have been predicted. I am a writer first and foremost, so you know that’s where I’m going to go when it comes to analyzing and re-creating this experience on the page.
It also occurs to me that the online dating is a distraction from the pain of the here and now. As in, I don’t have to deal with the fact that there are all these beautiful people coming and going at the craft school because my mind is too busy somewhere else, online, theoretically finding a Match.
Furthermore, it occurs to me that the no matter who/how/when a Match is found, that the greatest challenge could quite possibly be bridging the gap between two lives. It’s hard to imagine fitting someone else into my life right now that’s not already in one of the circles of artists, writers, or community members that I know. Things are just so enmeshed here. Then again…if it’s the right person, the two circles of each of our individual existences should come together neatly like a Venn Diagram, right?
My friend sends me an email: “If you think it’s making you more crazy, quit. Only do things that are good to you right now. If it’s making you feel stressed instead of happy, fuck it. Get out. You need to only be good to you. Okay? You’re not committed to any of that shit. It’s like the ice cream-a pint that will make you happy and won’t make you feel too bad. A half-gallon will make you want to throw up. Is this a half gallon of ice cream?”
Oh yes, this could become the gallon of ice cream. It’s like there’s no breathing room from it. I check my email and there are seven New Matches in the morning. I wish eHarmony didn’t notify you by email, so you could just check your eHarmony “My Matches” page when you felt compelled to deal with it all. Instead, it’s there waiting, everytime I check my email. I ignore the messages and decide I don’t want to deal with them now. I’ll deal with it later. It’s like looking at the ice cream and then putting it back into the freezer.
Finally, it occurs to me that I don’t have to be slave to the narrative voice. It’s fascinating to me, an experiment, really. And by writing rapidly I was trying to re-create the frantic nature that online dating can take on. I was also trying to re-create events as close to real-time as possible and yesterday, I about had a TKO from the speed of it all. Talk about free-writing. Yeesh.
Onward, to another day. And yes, I’m still going to continue this narrative. It’s too fun not too. But I’m not going to check my email messages from eHarmony every time they send me one. I’ll notice them, and then I’ll leave the in the freezer until I’m ready.