I'm in that exciting and wonderful hallway of possibilities between not settling and dying alone. Our grandparents just didn't have the pressures that we do. Sure, they had to put food on the table, but they didn't have to Instagram, tweet & Vine it. Speaking of which, people who like all your photos on Instagram but never ask you out must have some real "instamacy" issues. I'm pointing the biggest finger at you, me. I'm the worst insta-offender of all. I'm the kind of insta-stalker who's really just a commitment-phobe in a serial like-aholic's clothing.
Our grandparents didn't have to go on the Internet to try to meet a date to have said food with, either. It seems like all they had to do was glance across the church aisle at Bernie McMatthew's son and I guess he looked good enough to have nine kids with, so a few egg creams later, he traded two chickens for her hand in marriage and a family was born. Or something like that, you get the idea -- I'm paraphrasing here. The point is, I used to think I loved Internet dating, but then I realized I just loved drinking fancy wine that someone else was financing. What I've learned from all of this is that if people ever look familiar to you it's probably because you know them from a past life -- and by past life, I mean a blackout.
I just don't think single people are coming together for the making of nine beautiful children any more so much as they are for the making of nine beautiful Instagrammed food photos. Whether you're Instagramming your sexual casualty of the week or your food, they're both notches on the romance belt. In terms of baby photos being yesteryear's benchmark of mating success, "Look what/ who I'm eating" is the new "Look what my genes produced!"
Trying to lock down an Internet date can be supes annoying. There are so many things that can go wrong. For instance, they could live on the west side. I used to be in a long distance relationship, but how can you expect something to last when I live in Los Angeles and you live in Culver City? The only way I could do an LDR again is if it comes with a complimentary transpo plan -- we're talking flight from Burbank airport to LAX with shuttle service into the west side. And no shared service vans, please - they make, like, eight stops and someone always smells like mothballs. When I was in that LDR and we had an argument, I'd have to drive home on like, four freeways after four or five cocktails and that is just not safe. Speaking of which, I've personally never dated anyone who's told me I have a drinking problem. For very long. The point is, there are no victims; only volunteers so not volunteering for an LDR is what safety looks like today. No bros in different area codes.
Of course, rules are made to be promptly abandoned just like exercise equipment so here's the series of messages that occurred last time I agreed to go on a date with a seemingly charming west-sider via OKCupid:
ABC: Hi I'm AlwaysBeClosing but you can call me ABC Nice profile. Classic. And, yes, I am slightly out of your age range, but so what. I am a hoot and you can't put a number on that now can you? Plus I make enough money to distract us both from numbers. Anyway, Ms. Mockery, please take a look at my profile and let me know if you're interested. I know I am.
MELINDA: Cool, looks good.
ABC: I have a helicopter tour of a property in Malibu but will be landing at the roof on the CNN building in Hollywood tonight. How about this place close to CNN bldg? What is your phone number?
MELINDA: Sorry, I don't give my number out to strangers, had a really bad experience once where a Guy Googled me and went nuts. I'll just see you at the restaurant.
(10 minutes later)
Oops, I'm so sorry but I will need to re-schedule. A work thing just came up.
ABC: Mel, no phone contact, changing dates. It shouldn't take a genius to know you have pissed me off. Nope. Forget it. I am a serious, well-educated, well-financed, well-traveled, successful person. I do not have time to keep making appointments with someone only to have them continue to make last minute changes, not call and put my schedule through contortions like this. Your 'change of plans' affects my whole chain of people I have a $20 million dollar deal closing this week and I am strategic in my planning and picked this restaurant because someone just gave me a coupon for it; I make choices for a reason, not at random. You may simply be too random, and disrespectful of others time to be worth dealing with. And thanks for reminding me why it is best not to try and date beneath my station. Just too many irresponsible, fucked up wannabes in this town. In short, this is the most stupid and convoluted attempt at a meeting I have ever had. If you treat people with this kind of desultory behavior, why would anyone want a date with you?
MELINDA: I truly wish you happiness & prosperity in all areas of your life. I hope you find all of the love that you could ever hope to have with the kind of gals who'd be impressed by a guy who simultaneously brags about his billions and uses a coupon to date.
ABC: C U Next Tuesday! BTW, the 'coupon' was a gift from someone who wanted me to try their restaurant. And it's 'millions' not 'billions.' And I wasn't bragging; I was stating a fact. Sorry if you cannot handle success. Sorry you never finished school. Maybe they would have taught you some manners and a sense of unselfishness.
MELINDA: Next time you whip out the travel photos of all the places you've been, ask yourself why you're alone in all of them.
It may surprise you to know that we didn't end up going out. It really is a shame A) that OKCupid didn't require a breathalyzer test before I responded to these messages and B) that this date never happened because I think I could've Instagrammed some really quality food photos with this guy.
A) Do you feel that liking multiple photos on someone's Instagram is a valid first move and/ or means that you're in a relationship with them?
B) Do you think it's OK to answer OKCupid correspondence after a few cocktails?
C) Does distance in dating appeal to you except when you actually have to drive long distances?
***If you answered yes to any of these you may be a dysfunctional dater.
Dysfunctional Dates of the week:
Creator, writer, producer of ABC's hit comedy "How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)" Claudia Lonow (@ClaudiaLonow): "I'd have to say my favorite date was with 'Improv Waiter In Red T Shirt,' especially since I kept the shirt."
Writer Duncan Birmingham (@Duncanbirm): "I had a great date with an out of towner I'd met at a wedding. The night soured when I realized who she was in town visiting: me."
Comedian, actress, host Suzanne Whang (@suzannewhang, suzannewhang.com) "On my worst date, the guy was on top of me during sex and working so hard that drool and sweat from his face landed in my mouth."
Comedian Jordan Firstman (@JTFirstman) "Went home w/ a guy after a party & next morning he said he didn't have a phone number & the only way to contact him was through Instagram. On his iPhone."
Comedian Julia Lillis (@Julialillis) "Match.com date on why he was out with me: "I usually only date model types but thought I'd try something different."
Presenter, writer Ant Simpson (@AntSimpson) "I made a reference to 9/11, she started to cry and told me off because her uncle had died that day. Of natural causes. In Sydney Australia."
To have your worst/ oddest/ most dysfunctional dates featured in this column just email or tweet them @melindahill with hashtag #DD, under 140 characters por favor.
Photo credit: Screen grabs of Taylor Negron & Melinda Hill from the series Romantic Encounters.