Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Blind Dates and Secret Names

I was once advised by a friend to go on as many blind dates as possible. It would either prove to be really fun and turn into something, or it would be terrible and make a great story. I used this same reasoning with Match.com.
I got on Match.com because I wanted a distraction from my real life. New job, new city, new friends, and new roommates. It was all new and overwhelming and I just needed something completely different to suck me out of this emotional overload.
I discovered quickly that dating is not the answer. Going onto Match.com with the attitude of “it sounds fun” is probably the worst idea ever. I forgot how emotionally taxing dating is, so after the initial giggling at horrendous profiles, I realized my idea to use dating as a distraction from the real world was as preposterous as many of the likes, winks, and “JZboy is interested in you” emails I received.
I had a date within a week. While I was waiting to meet up with YoloDave  (not his real name) I was asked out by another gentleman on the street. That makes three consecutive times I’ve been asked out while waiting to go on a date with someone else. Because these are the only three times in history I’ve been asked out by a random stranger, there is something to be said about the aura emitted when you are getting ready to meet up with someone—but that’s an article for another day.
The date with YoloDave was enjoyable, even though he was almost an hour late. In a big city you can claim traffic as an excuse for just about anything so I let him off the hook. We said those tantalizing words, “next time” as we parted and I texted all my friends on the way home.
There was no next time. It might have had something to do with forgetting to text him back, but I’ll never know. Either way, it took one date for me to realize I did not need one emotionally taxing activity to distract me from an emotionally taxing life.
After that, I didn’t get on Match again and waited patiently for my membership to expire so I would stop receiving those annoying emails.
Here’s where Match.com’s auto renewal policy shows itself a demon in the night. I somehow missed the auto renewal rule, so when I was notified that my membership was renewed for another three months, I instantly called and asked for a refund.
I encountered terrible customer service. After telling the eighth person I spoke with, “I live in a big city with lots of single people. I have a blog and a (very small) twitter following, but I will use all of my resources to ruin your life if you don’t refund my money” I got nowhere.
For my final month with Match, I stubbornly refused to use the service, even though I had paid for it. That’ll show them, am I right?
A few days ago, however, I received a message from an interesting individual. Cheesy screen name aside, I decided to a respond. In order to speed things up I gave him my number right away and said, “I only have a week left on Match so let me know if you want to grab coffee or drinks. Peace.” (But I didn’t say, peace).
He texted me immediately and began with “Hey Kate.”
First thought through my head: Hell, no. Don’t be calling me, Kate. My friends can call me Kate. My family can call me Kate. Heck, even someone who’s only known me a few days can call me Kate. But don’t assume you can call me Kate when we ‘ve never even met.
Then I realized my masterfully brilliant screen name ZanyKate was the culprit here. I didn’t sign with my full name when I emailed him back—because I totally forgot about the whole incognito screen name thing. Seriously, Match should become a spy agency. It’d be a perfect cover. The hearts and smiley faces and single meet-ups would double as code and drop sites for secret information. Two smiley faces = I have the package. Three winks = the eagle has left the nest. It’s brilliant, really. About as brilliant as my code name, ZanyKate.
So my experience with Match.com had a beginning, a middle, and an end.
I’ll let you decide if you think of my experience fulfilled the promise of my friend’s advice about blind dates.

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