Under normal circumstances I never would have typed my full name along with other personal information, chosen a screenname, and joined ChristianCafe.com, an online dating site. But with all those reasons working together to conspire against me I couldn't help myself. All of the girls at church were doing it. And although their searches yielded less than stellar results, I figured, "why the hell not?" Did I mention it was three in the morning.
Within seconds of registering I received a confirmation email.
Step 1: Complete Your Profile
Q:"What are you looking for in a mate?"
A: I'll know it when I see it
Q: "What role does your faith play in your life?"
A: God's my homie!
Q: "What are some of your hobbies and interests?"
A: Boys and shopping
Step 2: Add a picture - picture must be approved by site before it becomes visible to members.
I'm thinking this picture might not pass inspection . So I'll go with this one. Nothing says wholesome Christian chick like Sesame Street.
Step 3: Sit back and wait for the men to flock.
Easy peasy. Or maybe not. The first two days of the two week trial were uneventful. My profile received several views, but no winks, instant messages, or "hey baby, will you marry me" emails. I'm not into the online dating thing (it's too structured for me. I hate knowing a man's intentions up front), but I was kind of disappointed. I get hit on all the time on non dating websites (social networking is NOT dating so myspace doesn't count), so I was expecting guys to see the fro and the smile then fall in love. Not that I was looking for love or anything of the sort. But somewhere in the back of my mind I kept thinking that maybe, just maybe someone great would sort of find me and we'd sort of hit it off and just when I least expected it I'd be in a sort of quasi relationship with the man of my dreams.
I wanted to make the most of my two week trial. So I went back and edited my profile. I lengethened my answers and tried to temper my wry, sarcastic wit (which Christian guys apparently aren't into) with some straightforwardness (is that a word?). I quoted my favorite scripture (Deuteronomy 6:4), gave a brief description of why my last "relationship" didn't work (he's an asshole), and delved into my love of tap dance and tae kwon do. Satisfied that I had given an accurate, slightly humorous, and detailed account of myself I sat back and waited for the magic to happen.
Well not quite sat back. More like checked my account every 10 minutes to see if I got any hits. Sure enough my profile views increased. And several hours later I received my first message. It was from an overweight 60 something female in my area looking for pen pals. Not quite what I was looking for, but possibly a springboard to better possibilities, no? Better came in the form of an emaciated 40 year old from Sweden who saw my profile and immediately wanted to explore a serious relationship. That little thing called the Atlantic Ocean didn't deter him at all.
When I first signed up for ChristianCafe I promised myself that I would NOT utilize the site's search function to find attractive, eligible men in my area to stalk...umm, I mean contact. I was only using the free trial for experimental purposes and I have a very firm "no trolling for men" policy. Promises are meant to be broken. Looking through the profiles of every 24-34 year old man in the Great Lakes region over 5'10 with a picture, I quickly realized that not searching would've yielded the same results.
By Day 5 I was completely baffled as to why anyone would pay to be a member of that site. I'd received numerous messages from men with bad teeth and no command of the English language.
"Hi. You look nice womn. I very much like too meet yu. I from Nigeria and now life in France. Call so we get married. Love you, Jasper."
The rare men who actually could get his subject and verbs to agree were still a hot ass mess.
"Hi. My name is John. I'm 34 and work for the Department of Corrections in Macon, GA. I enjoy long walks, candlelit dinners, and reading poetry by the fire. I like your profile. If you'd like to email me we can get to know each other via email for exactly 2 weeks. If at the end of two weeks things go smoothly, we shall proceed to talking on the phone. Then we will spend quality time together as just friends to see if we are compatible. Within six months we should be engaged. The wedding will be six months later. Can't wait to hear from you."
Like I said, I have issues with clearly stated intentions.
By day 10 I'd pretty much lost any hope of success. Then something interesting happened. Late one evening while I was surfing the net to get my mind off the fact that the Alcoholic West Indian wasn't speaking to me, I received an instant message.
"Hi! I like your profile. Write back if you want to chat."
It wasn't clever nor witty, but it was in readable English and didn't contain a marriage proposal so it was good enough for me. I wrote back. Something short, polite, and marginally flirtatious. During four days of correspondence I found out that he worked in the Navy and was currently at sea, enjoyed cooking, and was looking forward to hitting dry land. Unfortunately he didn't look enough like Denzel for me to ignore the fact that he was in his mid forties. His time was up when my free trial ended.
ChristianCafe didn't want me to go. They plied me with emails of special discounts and notifications that my profile was still being viewed by wonderful men who could only contact me if I paid CC $90.95 for a three month membership. And for a second, the wheels in my head turned and a little voice said I could be missing an opportunity with a man who really wanted to get to know me but couldn't because I'm not a ChristianCafe member. Then I remembered that that man was probably 5'6" with less than stellar oral hygeine who rode a moped to his job herding goats in the hills of Norway. There's not a good enough reason in the world to make me sign up for that.