Cracker by Damian Christie


Rate my Date

So a while back I signed up to an internet dating site.

And just like when someone walks in on you with your pants down and your teacher is giving you the cane and that would be not so bad except for the fact that you’re thirty-something now and your teacher had his license revoked over a decade a go, my protestations of “It’s not what it looks like” are probably going to be met with a degree of cynicism. In fact, anyone of my father’s age and general sense of humour would probably think they were being farrrrking hilarious and original by doing the little quote sign with their fingers and saying “Yeah Right”

Never Use the Phrase “Yeah Right”. It’s been ruined, and climate change deniers will all be drowning in their beachfront properties before it ever comes close to being an acceptable way of expressing disbelief. Kind of like what FRIENDS did to ‘Not’.

But whether you believe me or not, my ostensible reason for signing up was because I had a couple of friends on there, and wanted to find out how they pitched themselves. Just to see whether the same sort of euphemisms people employ when selling houses (i.e. DIY Dream = Crackden; Great Rental Opportunity = Crackden with Crackheads still living there) also apply when people are marketing themselves.

Take, for example, my friend who drinks so much that she crossed ‘borderline’ behind years ago and now a permanent resident (and soon to be voted the Mayoress) of Alcoholia. Sure enough, she’s ‘fun-loving’. Another, who’s biological clock is ticking so loud (if you get close enough she sounds like the stopwatch from 60 Minutes), reassures potential love-seekers that she’s “just looking for some fun, a good time, see what happens.” Not a complete lie I guess, if your definition of “some fun” is “choosing items for the wedding register”, “a good time” is “conception” and and “see what happens” only applies to which grammar zone to purchase a house in.

But those are my friends. Good at selling themselves.

One of these friends asked today whether I thought she should go out with a young man who’d replied to her profile. I sized him up. 26. Apparently earns $180,000, which while certainly possible, you’ve gotta be a little skeptical. People who earn $180,000 don’t try to pick up people they’ve never met by saying they earn $180,000 unless they have other issues (*cough* small dick *cough*). Under ‘politics’ he wrote “Glad that John Key has replaced Don Brash”. He’s certainly up with current affairs then, but I suspected my friend, who works for the Labour Party, might not quite find the over-dinner conversation to her liking. And he likes Tool. Nuff said. I gave my verdict and I trust she won’t take him up on his offer.

Anyway. So after signing up, I started getting emailed monthly ‘matches’ suiting my criteria. Scary stuff. Is there anyone who is really tempted by the thought of hooking up with a woman who selects the “Wants to have children within two years” option? Does it come with a free “Impregnate Me” t-shirt?

It might just be my age, but my ‘matches’ proffered nothing but a selection of women wanting to be pregnant, and now, thank you very much. Okay, so at least you probably know you’re going to get invited in at the end of the first date, but seriously? I’d be checking the condom for pinpricks.

Sure, it’s easy being a guy in that regard. No ticking clock, even if all the signs point to “not a young man anymore”. I can see the appeal in still fathering children when you’re old enough to have your grandchildren babysit them. Because your grandkids aren’t gonna let down pop-pop, now are they? But going on a first date with someone who can only let you know on the day, because she’s not quite sure exactly when she’s next ovulating? Does anyone not consider a first date with Ms Babies Within Two Years too much pressure? I’m asking a serious question here. Anyone?

Of course they’re not all like that. There are plenty of “fun-loving” guys and girls out there (glug glug glug), and I must say from time to time a tempting possibility comes along. So far I’ve resisted – I guess part of me still has a little bit of a hang-up answering the “so where did you two meet” with anything that ends in a “dot co dot en zed”.

If I do, I’ll tell you all about it, promise (that way I can later claim it was just a sociological experiment or journalistic enterprise). But for now it’s your turn. Have you been on internet dates? How did the person compare with their profile? How’d the date go? Anyone fall pregnant within two years? Anyone ask to do anything on a first date that would’ve been considered a punishment in Old Testament Times? Meet anyone with a third nipple? Stories please.

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