Yes, I met my husband on the Internet, which really isn’t as creepy as it sounds.
My reasoning at the time was simple. Most of my friends were already coupled-off, and bars have never really been my favorite place. My old go-to of meeting people at work wasn’t working either, although I did amass quite the collection of work-boyfriends — but they were all either too short, too young, too catholic, too skinny, not remotely interested, or too Indian.*
*That sounds racist — let me clarify: the Indian only wanted to marry an Indian girl. He was too skinny anyway, so I got over it.
Anyway — I had tried online dating once before, and I knew it wasn’t too scary, as long as you don’t do anything stupid, like give someone your home address on your first date (…which I totally did. But he married me, so it ended up OK.)
Plus, every relationship I’d ever had that started “the old fashioned way” ended badly. Sure, there were a few long-term stints in there, and some happy memories… but they didn’t end in holy matrimony. No, they ended in tears and heartbreak, and occasionally throwing things. So, I figured, what the hell, let’s meet some strangers from the safety of my sofa.
It’s the sort of thing you either love, or you hate. I think it’s really easy — it lets you screen out all the crazies from the start. You want kids, don’t smoke, and like to travel? Awesome — you can narrow down the search right off the bat.
I’m a big fan. Can you tell?
So, naturally, single friends and relatives of mine who are considering giving it a go come to me for advice. Regularly.
A few days ago, I had the following conversation with my best friend Matt, who’s been dating online for awhile (so he knows all the rules), but was considering going out with someone after barely talking to them in advance, after meeting them via an iPhone app.*
*He was worried it would be too “craigslisty,” and I agreed, and then we started talking about the Craigslist Killer, which is how we ended up here:
“I mean, I think it’ll be ok. He doesn’t look crazy.”
“What are you basing this on?”
“He definitely doesn’t have murderer eyes. Like, his eyes don’t look like the eyes of a murderer.”
“Yeah, I got that the first time. So you’re saying he doesn’t look like Charlie Manson?”
“Right, no Charlie Manson or Jeffrey Dahmer.”
“Actually, Jeffrey Dahmer was attractive. That’s why people went home with him.” **
“What?! No he wasn’t.”
“Yes, he was! Google him!”
(Thanks to the magic of iPhones, we both start frantically Googling Jeffrey Dahmer, and I find him first)
“Ok, don’t look at the mugshot with the mustache, because he does look crazy — but that’s because he was already caught. Look at the rest.”
“… You’re right. I’d sleep with him.”
Also, while I was looking for his picture, I found this:
… which is hilarious. Also, am I the only one who hates Ryan Seacrest?
Anyway. I think I made Matt nervous. I’m usually the one who tells him to go out and make out with strangers, so I don’t think he was anticipating my concerns for his safety.
I told him he should know his date’s full name. And, you know, where he works or something, before meeting him somewhere for a drink. Just in case he has a penchant for murder, or cannibalism, etc.
“Just tell him you’d be more comfortable meeting him for a drink if you knew a little more about him.”
“Ok, I can do that.”
“And if you explain why you want to know his last name, and he doesn’t want to tell you, I feel like that’s a red flag. A red flag that screams, ‘I want to eat your spleen.’”
We also agreed that when he goes on the date with the stranger, he should periodically check in with me.*
“I’ll text you.”
“But he could kill you, steal your phone and then text me.”
“But how would he know to text you?”
“He’ll just text everyone. ‘Hi, it’s Matt. I’m alive! xoxo.’”
*He went on the date. I received a text message, complete with secret code (because all bffs should have a secret code word), to let me know he was alive and well.
**Why do I know Jeffrey Dahmer was attractive? At some point in my youth — my mother was lecturing me about the importance of avoiding strangers, etc. and used Ted Bundy as an example. She said he was good looking, and if she had seen him somewhere with his arm or his leg in a cast she totally would have tried to help him, and gotten into his car. This horrified me. Also, as a result, if you look injured, I will ignore you, and let you struggle opening that door, or getting that sofa into the back of your creepy van.
Also, I’ve had an odd fascination with serial killers since I was 14 and saw Copycat, which scared the bejesus out of me. I like to know what I’m up against.
Thankfully, fat girls don’t usually have to worry, because we’re really hard to lift out of a car trunk.