My friend and I finish our coffee, and make plans to go to the movies and get together on Christmas, like we used to. When I get home, there’s not much going on at work, so I pay OKCupid a visit. I had tried eHarmony a few months before, because I figured the price tag would eliminate the riffraff – which turned out to include me when I discovered how much it actually cost. OKCupid is free, so I sign up and upload the one photo taken of me in the last year that I like. I fill out the profile basics, then start answering the questions that will match me with that special someone. As I type and click, little alerts flash up in the corner, letting me know people are checking me out.
By the time I’ve finished, I have 15 messages. Several of them begin, hey beautiful, while others opt for the more subdued, hey pretty.
Some of these men seem to be very familiar with me, opening with hey dear, hey babe, hello sweets.
I don’t mind the messages’ presumptuousness as much as I mind the poor grammar that is their unifying feature.
I start reading the accumulated messages and checking the profiles, and immediately wonder if I’ve checked a wrong box somewhere – the first one is from Washington, D.C., which seems like Washington State but isn’t. I could see how you could mix the two up if you’d never been to the United States.
The next message is from someone whose profile states he is from Chicago, which is marginally closer to Washington State. The sender says his name is Duran, and though I’m tempted to ask if he’s named after the 80’s band or the bad guy from Barbarella, I don’t. He’s Dutch, he claims.
I never make the same mistake twice. I reply: My ex-husband is Dutch, too, and I don’t live anywhere near Chicago. Good luck.
He replies quickly. You seems like he must have treated you so bad..May be he does not respect the custom?
May be. I consider writing a reply, then running it through google translate into a foreign language or two, and then back again, but decide against it. There were so many other options in my inbox: Guys from Virginia, West Virginia, Texas, California, Ohio, Texas, Texas, and Florida. I mentally calculate travel times, by plane and by car.
I was looking for a date, and I got a geography quiz.