that don’t impress me much

Ladies and gentlemen, with prior apologies to the gentlmen, I present to you a preliminary analysis of my first attempt at online dating. Admittedly my experience has improved ever so slightly since this was written and I will tell you how very soon.

The first gutsy thing I did when I turned 30 (quite literally, on the very night) was to have sex on the beach. There was not much thinking involved and not the slightest bit of regret. It didn’t cost me anything (except maybe the loss of modesty, should someone have spied and I think one man did), it was amusing, funny and well, for lack of a better word, just great; Starry skies, ocean breezes and the sound of crashing waves provided the perfect ambience. I felt special and I recommend it to anyone who is bold and up for a bit of fun.

The second gutsy thing I did was to sign up for online dating. Bet you didn’t see that coming.
There was a lot of thinking involved then, there still continues to be. A boring afternoon at work was the catalyst. It is not much fun*, I feel as special as a second pregnancy during the one-child policy era. It costs me a lot of money to know that men check out my profile and then walk away from it. I don’t recommend it to anyone unless they look like Gisele Bundchen but then again, if you did look like Gisele, why the fuck would you need to resort to online dating?

There was a lot of thinking involved then, there still continues to be.
People have been recommending online dating to me for a long time. And why wouldn’t they? I never meet anyone outside the environs of a nightclub and / or in broad daylight. I don’t really have any single male friends and my married friends have most certainly never made any effort to set me up. In fact, some have explicitly stated that the nice single men they know wouldn’t ever go for me. Lovely. (True story: a friend once said “he only dates good-looking girls”)

I didn’t try online dating because I was too chicken. I also feel like I am something of an acquired taste, like a blue cheese or a full-bodied red wine. Not that I am stinky and fat but hey I have those days too. Ergo, I am not the sort of girl you’d fall in love with after reading her profile (and by that I mean, glancing through her pictures). Of course my racial profile and my height do not help my case. At least not in Hong Kong.

A boring afternoon at work was the catalyst.
Boring afternoons at work have resulted in great things for me, the greatest of those things was this wondrous blog that has been a sturdy constant in an otherwise meandering and unpredictable life. But I digress. One particular afternoon, about a week after my birthday, I typed “Hong Kong online dating” onto google and one thing led to another and before you know it, I was one more cheery face on www.lovestruck.com (Tag line: Where busy people click”). I wrote a really sincere and somewhat funny narrative about how I was the geeky girl in pigtails that somehow turned out quite alright. My friends told me I sounded like a geek who had suddenly metamorphosed into a nympho. Okay, back to the drawing board.

It is not much fun, sometimes I feel as special as a second pregnancy during the one-child policy era.
On lovestruck, you have the option to wink at boys. I find this extremely cute and so I do wink and run away (I close the window swiftly cause I don’t want anyone to see, I am strange). After a few days of just winks, I mustered up the courage (and forked out the cash) to be able to send messages to boys. I always read their narratives carefully, I don’t bother with those that are uninteresting (no matter how cute the boys are) and I always write tongue-in-cheek messages that beg to be replied to. And yet reality has been far from it.

On the flip side, there are those that do write to me; their messages beg to be ignored. Here is an actual sampling.

“Are you single?”
What I want to reply: “No! I am married with 3 teenage kids. I thought this was a website for making car pool arrangements. Shit.”

“Hey what’s up”
What I want to reply: “Your eloquence and knowledge of punctuation is turning me on so much right now, I can barely type. So I won’t.”

Excerpt from a very long message: “In my free time I like to drink tea, wine, watch movies, go hiking , go to gym, discover new places in nature as well as experience new food (love vietnamese food, tried out diff chinese food, addicted to sushi and open to many others…(except indian! that will kill me )”
D’Oh! So close to being normal, yet so far!
What I want to reply: “I eat Indian food exclusively. I think we should see other people. Good luck with discovering new places in nature.”
(This guy claimed to be a teacher. I hope he doesn’t teach English. Also isn’t love too strong a word to be associated with tea? It’s fucking tea.)

It costs me a lot of money to know that men check out my profile and then walk away from it.
It costs me 300 HKD a month to have slightly-more-than-basic access, wink and send messages wantonly. The 6-month and 1-year plans are cheaper but I find it  embarrassing to sign up for either because of what it implies.

I don’t recommend it to anyone unless they look like Gisele Bundchen but then again, if you did look like Gisele, why the fuck would you need to resort to online dating?I find most of profiles rubbish. Don’t get me wrong, there is a slew of very cute men on this website. But several of them write tired, boring narratives and have delusions of grandeur. Most of them claim to be “sporty and fit”, they list “gym/keeping fit” as a hobby. They extol praises of Hong Kong; this is what I consider a “Captain Obvious” move, it’s a narrative about yourself not essay writing homework. They write that they are looking for fit girls. What is this obsession with being fit?! If going to the gym is a hobby, how boring is the rest of your existence? Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.

Many specify that they are looking for only Asian girls, some, only Western girls, I think I’d consider myself Western but I am not white. I treat the website like I would a job so if I don’t fit the bill, I do what women are always criticised of doing – I don’t apply.

Sidebar: Most men also exaggerate their attributes. Ahem. Some colleagues from work and I headed to a drinks thing hosted by the website a few weeks ago. With my elephant’s memory, I remembered many of them. My colleagues and I curiously looked up the profiles the following day and of course they had all added 3-4 inches of height and called themselves blond/dark blond when they were really brunet.
Note to men:
1. You are not all 6 feet tall, shocking, I know. Some of you are 5’10” or 5’11” and that’s okay. It is statistically impossible that there are no men 5’10”-5’11” tall.
2. Unless you’re demographically predisposed to being insanely tall (say if you’re Dutch or West African), the probability of you being 6’6” is lower than me growing black truffles in my kitchen sink.

*Who am I kidding? It is fun. At least writing this was fun and the dates promise to be fun too. More on that later.

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