I have Online Dating Disorder. Kind of like ADD only with an O and instead of Ritalin it’s Chardonnay for meds. As a busy parent, online dating seemed like a good idea at first. You know, water boiling on the stove, filing your nails, talking with your girlfriend on the phone, all the while scanning the online profiles on Lavalife or Plentyoffish for something that doesn’t make you exclaim out loud: Oh.My.God. It was downloadable men–what a fab idea! Like shopping online, only instead of a purse size you were thinking about, oh well, nevermind that, but over time a few things began to become painfully clear to me.
Such as, when a guy recently wrote to me on one of these sites saying, “It’s been three years, do you think you can go out with me yet?” I realized for sure I had ODD. What was wrong with me? These were perfectly nice people. Why couldn’t I commit to seeing any of them? Hadn’t I met some lovely people over the years through online dating? Yes. But…
I might want to watch a subtitled foreign movie this weekend. Maybe an Italian movie. With some Italian wine and oh and I know, some creamy Tuscany inspired pasta you know the kind that gives you an extra set of hips? Or maybe it’s a personal issue, as in I might have gray roots in which case I have to stay home and dye my hair. Or I think my stubble might show through my nylons. Or my laundry is spilling out of my laundry basket and I need to change the kitty litter. Or oh look! the weather vane is pointed southwest, in which case, I simply can’t go out as, well, I just never go out when its pointed that way.
You get the picture.I’ve become the Howard Hughes of the dating world.
Neurotically avoidant. But can you blame me? Recently, I was bravely giving it another chance, talking back and forth with a fellow about all things intellectual and I thought, well, this is a good sign, he hasn’t asked to see a naked picture of me yet. Then lo and behold we go from talking about how sad it is that Christopher Hitchens got cancer to ‘So Margaret, tell me the naughtiest thought you’ve had lately.’ Oh, do you mean as in how long can I park in this loading zone and pick up my prescription from my doctor and not get a ticket? Like that kind of naughty?
Or perhaps its the endless sexual innuendos that I am maced with the second I go online that have contributed to my disorder? As in, ‘what exactly were you thinking about in your profile picture? Your smile looks really devilish’. Well, Mr. Online Personality, I was thinking about the weird sound my car makes when I lurch out of first gear and then nearly stall in a busy intersection. Does that do it for you? Because that is actually what I was thinking about. But we know they really want to hear: ‘I was thinking of you tearing off my clothes, maybe in public, because I am that wanton‘.
Pour Chardonnay. Insert movie. Break off slab of dark Denman Island chocolate. Repeat.
The truth is, I never wanted to be one of those mom’s you see in movies, you know the kind, with the chenille bedspread type robe on, smoking a Players filter, a 40 pounder of Jack Daniels on the table, maybe some leftover Poker chips scattered around, screaming at her kid to get her boyfriend another bologna sandwich? No. I wanted my son to be proud of me. Always. So having a Lazy Suzie of boyfriends wouldn’t make for such a great lineage of memorable male figures in his life so I’ve tried to keep my dating to a dull minimum unless I was serious about someone. So, he sees me go out, and sees me come in, usually with a funny story, or phrase that surmises the experience, as in ‘he called my shoes Big Girl Shoes’ or something of that ilk. And with that he knows that the Disorder is back in full swing for a long while.
I am owning my disorder. I know it can’t be helped. Modern medicine simply doesn’t have a cure. I’m sorry to you good guys I’m avoiding in my need to avoid all the bad eggs. Maybe you can reach me by smoke signals or telegraph, you know, the old fashioned way, so I know you are the real thing.
(Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/with/1482848501/)