A few years ago, two very dear friends of mine got married, and as part of the wedding weekend festivities, they planned a Bride's-side vs. Groom's-side kickball game. They sent out a card a few weeks before the wedding, inviting family and close friends to participate. The front of the card featured a black-and-white vintage-looking drawing of a young woman kicking a ball, and floating above her was the the headline, "Know what's missing from most weddings?" The answer was printed on the inside. It said, simply, "Kickball."
At the time, I thought, "Awesome! What a fabulous idea! How fun will that be?!" It took until about five minutes into the game for me to remember something very important that probably should have occurred to me much earlier. Kickball is an organized sport. Never, under no circumstance, do I ever consider organized sports fun. It doesn't matter how many times people say, "Don't worry about it! You're among friends! It's just for fun!" I am tremendously uncoordinated and athletically under-confident, and even "Oh, it's just for fun!" games make me a ball of paranoid, nervously displaced energy. I do not do organized sports. End of story. That is all. And yet, I was lured and romanced into the whimsical idea of wedding-weekend kickball and actually thought, for more than just a brief moment, that I could overcome 30 years of being kinesthetically challenged and somehow enjoy a game like that. Ha. My team won, sure, but that had everything to do with my fellow teammates and nothing to do with me. My big contribution was getting pegged in the head with the ball by the bride's father, something that apparently remains a fun family anecdote to this day. Glad to be of service, I suppose.
I bring this up not because I want to talk some more about my athletic shortcomings, but because that story kind of sums up how I feel about my recent decision to put myself back in the matching database at meMarmony.
Yes, yes, I know. Don't even start with me. Guinness Girl wrote me a Match profile for a reason, and that reason was to get me on some other site instead of taking the easy way out and playing the ridiculous "guided communication" game with the trolls and the boring guys on meMarmony again. But see now, here's the thing. I actually sort of like that whole back-and-forth, ease-into-it-gradually meMarmony process. Some of you may not understand that, but some of you also like mushrooms on your pizza, so clearly this is not the only thing on which we don't see eye to eye.
meMarmony appeals to the lazy side of me (the side that wins out in probably nine out of ten scenarios in my life). With meMarmony, I'm not sitting there wading through pages and pages of profiles, then tweaking my search criteria to see how the results differ, trying to find someone worthy of contacting and then figuring out what to say in an e-mail to sound all clever and witty and interesting. That all takes time... time I'd apparently much rather spend reading blogs and knitting afghans and watching bad TV. So instead, I let the people at meMarmony be my personal shoppers, presenting me with a few matches at a time, as if to say, "What about these guys? Do you like any of these?" If not, I click that handy "Close" button and make them go away. If so, I have a few rounds of cursory Q&As and what-not before I actually have to think of something freeform to say.
I guess I've also gotten sucked into the mystery of the limited-access meMarmony database. Unlike Match and other sites, I can't see everyone who's out there before I sign on and pay for membership. Somehow there's always this hope that the smart, dreamy, hilarious guy who's meant for me is hidden somewhere in that database and will be delivered to me by surprise when I open my e-mail some day. Unfortunately, mystery and surprises are not always good. Sometimes, the contestants on "Let's Make a Deal" found a new car behind Door #3, but just as often it was a goat or a rusty tire iron as well. In this respect, meMarmony is no different from Match. There are a whole lot of rusty tire irons out there, so seeing four of them at a time rather than forty really isn't any less disheartening, I suppose.
It's probably not a good sign that I'm feeling so pessimistic a mere 49 hours after signing on to Dr. Warren's services again, but considering the crop of matches I've received thus far, I do think it is justified. I'll admit, though, that it's not just the matches that have me feeling a bit dejected. It's the lack of communication as well. I am trying to keep an open mind here, to not close a match immediately because he is geographically undesirable or isn't six feet tall or included "reruns of The Rockford Files" among the list of five things he can't live without. But with my last run on meMarmony, a good percentage of those "meh" guys clicked that "Start Communication" button and contacted me anyway. This time, not the case. Of the 19 matches Dr. Warren has sent me thus far, I have closed only three of them, and of those remaining 16, only one has clicked that button to say I might be worth getting to know. That one is cute and possibly interesting, but he's also 5'7" (Five-foot-seven! Could I really get used to that?) and lives in an area of the metro that I try to avoid at all costs, as going there makes me want to veer my car off into the median or ram it straight into a guard rail just to end the madness and suffering. Yet, he is the only one interested in me? I'll admit, my ego is a bit bruised.
I did make some changes to my profile before reposting it this week. My photos were a bit old, so despite the fact that three separate men referred the version of me in those pictures as "striking," I still thought it best to replace them with newer pics. My hair's a bit longer now; I've got new glasses; it seems only right to present a more accurate representation, I suppose. But is this me...
Really so much more hideous than this me...
...as to account for the difference in response? It's hard for me to be objective about this, so I'll leave it for you to judge, I suppose.
If I can't blame the photos, then the problem is my text, of course, as I made a few changes there as well. I thought I was adding some more personality, tweaking answers to give a bit more insight into who I am and what I like. But what I like includes NPR and public libraries, so I mentioned both of those. I claim to be embracing my nerdery, after all, and how better to attract a fellow nerd than to out myself as one as well? I fear this plan has backfired, however. Clearly the men of the Twin Cities aren't ready for a woman with a girl-crush on Sarah Vowell*. And maybe it's best not to mention that the thing supposedly "only my best friends know about me" is that I'm entirely more bothered than I should be by spelling errors and misused apostrophes on menus and commercial signage.**
It's all a crapshoot, I suppose. That seems to be my motto the past year. That diamond-in-the-rough could be hiding anywhere, regardless of where exactly I'm posting or just what my profile says. I promised you some stories, however, so for your entertainment, if nothing else, I hope the tide starts turning soon.
* I didn't actually use the phrase "girl crush," but I did call her my "nerd hero."
** Before you go criticizing this one, I'd like to note that I had this answer during Round 1 of meMarmony as well, and I got plenty of responses nonetheless.