Monday, May 08, 2006

Baby, You Can Drive My Car

Compelled by curiosity (and foolhardiness), I placed a free profile on a personals site.

Yes, dear readers, I hear your outcry! It’s far too soon to track down true love! This is the moment to spread my wings and soar without a suitcase full of compromise and connubial commitments! Still, I couldn’t resist testing the webby waters of Internet, uh, Love?

I went searching for a photo of myself, but too many included my spousal-departus… until I recalled these iMac images.



All of these were outright rejected, however, by my new relationship consultant (aka my bachelor brother) who insists that no one wants to court a cartoon, particularly a creepy-looking one.

But whenever I contemplate photos of myself, I wonder: “Is this me?” and I never seem to find an image that resembles “who” I am. In the end, I resorted to a recent, but rather theatrical photo (which feels no more like me than the cartoons!), and within moments, I attracted every tank-topped, tattooed biker within 50 miles, asking: “Wanna go for a ride?”

And then there was the 60ish man who wanted to retire with me to Hungary. And the 40ish man who asked (without any preliminaries) if I was gonna be free tomorrow. Free for what?! Perhaps he meant, “Will I be free from jail?” (Answer: yes). Perhaps he meant, “Will I be free from societal pressures?” (Answer: I'm working on it). But when I wrote back that I was free for cyber-communication only (nothing non-virtual just yet), he was no longer free for me.

One of the most striking comments I received came from a long-haired hippie (standing next to his sweetheart-I mean, motorcycle). In respect to my photo, he asked: “Why do you look so sad?”

Because I was sad, I realized, and after that, I pulled down my profile, ending (temporarily, at least) my premature excursion into the realm of online match-making.

I cannot say I learned much from my brief foray into this brave new world, but upon reading several profiles of men-seeking-women, I found age requirements / discrepancies disturbing. So many men above the age of 40 are only interested in meeting women below the age of 35. Chauvinist much?

And while some profiles seemed heartfelt, others were full of - shall we say? - downright absurdities.
  • “Everybody tells me I’m really handsome.” Gee, that’s handy info, especially with your photo right in front of me. At least, I know your modesty won’t blind me.
  • “My friends all say I’m a nice guy.” Hmm, would they really be your friends if they said you were a jerk?
  • “I only want normal girls.” Excuse me, Sir, but could you describe “normal” for me?
  • “I want a girl who’s both sexy and professional.” At the same time? Like, er, a prostitute?
  • “I want a girl who knows exactly who she is.” Okay, I get the idea here, but if this guy believes he knows exactly who he is, I think he’s in for a big surprise someday.
And all too predictably, too many men have photos with their cars! Well, next time I need to buy a car, I know exactly where to go.

However, I do admit that describing oneself (for romantic purposes) isn’t easy. When asked what I was seeking in a man, I found myself writing…

“Someone who enjoys questioning themselves as well as the world around them, and who shares a desire to communicate openly and honestly ... (Hmm, I don't suppose anyone requests cads or con-artists, do they?)”

Yes, go ahead, laugh at me. I laughed at myself!

31 repartee:

Blogger actonbell wrote...

A most interesting experiment! And I'm not laughing--if I were single, I'd be very curious to try it out. It's scary, though, to meet someone online, and I think a lot of people are just experimenting.
Guys who have their pictures taken with nice possessions like cars probably have self-esteem issues. They'd be more comfortable meeting women in drive-up bars, so they could just hide behind the nice upholstery.
I hope you're having a meaningful reverie time:)

5/08/2006 6:32 AM  
Blogger Sophia wrote...

Yes, dear readers, I hear your outcry! It’s far too soon to track down true love! This is the moment to spread my wings and soar without a suitcase full of compromise and connubial commitments!

I wonder how many people who give this kind of advice have actually had the courage to try it themselves. You know best what you need to do.

And for what it's worth, my favorite image is the one with the glasses!

5/08/2006 6:57 AM  
Blogger mysticgypsy wrote...

aww I agree with Sophia! The one with the glasses is cute! :)

Apparently a couple of those internet personal sites boast a good turn-out in terms of matrimony...I wonder if they keep statistics of the couples after their marriages...or if that would tell a different story. In any case, I suppose one will find true love where one is meant to find it.

My concern about online profiles tough is the trust factor. It is not that the people who are online are any less superficial (or not), as your comments point out, than those in real life. But it is easier to diguise one's self behind a computer screen and hurt the person on the other line with one's dishonesty.

aww I like what your own profile says, Frankengirl. I wonder if many people discerned the deep meaning! :).

5/08/2006 9:34 AM  
Blogger Sven wrote...

Great post. Proof that there is no "one way" to track down true love. As much as I believe your cartoon companion exists somewhere, I also believe there are plenty of "girls" out there who are saying to their computers, "Cool car, I should date that guy".


"And for what it's worth, my favorite image is the one with the glasses!"

Mine too.

Let me know if you run into this guy. He's trouble ;-)

5/08/2006 9:41 AM  
Blogger JLB wrote...

My eyes may have widened, but I did not cry out! :) In fact, FrankenGirl, I am familiar with a few instances of successfully executed "Internet Love." One of my girlfriends met a gentleman in a chatroom almost 10 years ago (it was probably a political discussion room), and they've been happily together ever since. Another woman I know met her love online, although I'm not certain of the venue, and they are now happily married. Furthermore, my partner and I have always used the internet as a way to maintain our friendship over long distances.

I don't think it's such a far stretch to venture out online, but I do believe that there's more than one way to skin the virtual cat. What's really cool about starting relationships online of any kind, it that you have an opportunity to get to know a person through their words, ideas, thoughts, and feelings first... something that many people in society rarely consider when looking only for the physical. Perhaps you will have more success getting to know people in other online communities besides those created exclusively for “the hook up.”

I recommend that if you do create another profile, go with the cartoon look, but create it using this tool:

The Mini-Mizer
http://www.reasonablyclever.com/mini/flash/minifig.swf

Also, if you really want a laugh, you have to read the flash fiction piece “Last Chance for Romance” by Diana Woods in the most recent issue of A Flasher’s Dozen [Vol. 1 No. 3 Spring 2006] . I’m STILL laughing!!! http://flashers-dozen.blogspot.com/

5/08/2006 10:01 AM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Hello, All!

ActonBell!

You’re right about the “scary” and “curious” aspect (who am I really talking to?) and I would caution all women not to use their real names, addresses etc. on public profiles.

“They'd be more comfortable meeting women in drive-up bars, so they could just hide behind the nice upholstery.”

Ha! I love this image of hiding behind nice upholstery! What a great way to state it - ;)

Sophia!

“I wonder how many people who give this kind of advice have actually had the courage to try it themselves.”

So true! I often wish I took my own advice more often - ;)

“You know best what you need to do.”

Thank you! I suspect I’ll be “feeling my way” a bit for a while, like wandering toward a glimmer of light in a wood (and stumbling over a stone here and there), searching for the clearing.

As for cartoon-me with my glasses, hehe! I kinda like that one, too, cause it reminds me of Daphne from Scooby Doo - :)

MysticGypsy!

As for online dating success…well, my brother recently divulged to me (secretly, as he doesn’t want our mum to know) that he found his current girlfriend online!

“My concern about online profiles tough is the trust factor… it is easier to disguise one's self behind a computer screen and hurt the person on the other line with one's dishonesty.”

Yes! And I suspect even the best of us cheat a bit. If we were to believe half these online profiles, there’s a wealth of “Perfect People” out there, when – in truth – we all have our share of quirks, etc.

In fact, there was a checklist of attributes to describe yourself and I wrote in the box: “Does anyone check-off ‘loner’ and ‘moody’ when hoping to find romance? Just asking.” - :P

“I like what your own profile says, Frankengirl. I wonder if many people discerned the deep meaning!

There was a visual artist from California who enjoyed my “cad” line, and reminded me that in theatre, literature and life, some women do appear to request cads (bad boys)!

Ah, you like the glasses look, too! Hmm… if/when I take more pics, I’ll have to wear them, and perhaps they’ll ward off any ruffians and hooligans!

Sven!

“I also believe there are plenty of "girls" out there who are saying to their computers,’ Cool car, I should date that guy.’”

Ah, how right you are! A few men, reading that I was a “fringe playwright” and assuming I made little money, boasted of their wealth to me, as if I’m seeking a sugar-daddy! Egads! Then again, I suppose some women are…!

Hey, I’m a HUGE fan of the Lidtwisters! (Okay, I would be if my bandwidth allowed it, hehe!)

JLB

“I am familiar with a few instances of successfully executed "Internet Love."

Yes! And my own brother seems to be one of them.

“What's really cool about starting relationships online of any kind, it that you have an opportunity to get to know a person through their words, ideas, thoughts, and feelings first... something that many people in society rarely consider when looking only for the physical.”

Yes, I found this concept really attracting, especially as I’m so fond of the written word, but I was surprised by how many seemed to want to rush into the non-virtual.

However, as you suggest, there are probably other online communities which attract a crowd less eager for the “hook-up” and more interested in building friendships…

Thanks for the cartoon tool, hehe! And I’ll have to check out that flash fiction piece – any and all laughter is highly welcome - :)

5/08/2006 11:23 AM  
Blogger Charlie wrote...

HAH! Here's a fringe play for you: Leisuresuit Larry Meets FrankenGirl

I actually feel sorry for the Lounge Lizard who addresses you as "Honey", "Babe", "Chick", or who says he is looking for "arm candy." A fireworks fiesta I would hate to miss!

. . . if this guy believes he knows exactly who he is . . .

On second thought, I'll leave this subject alone . . .

My favorite photo is #2 and #3 (I always have a backup favorite.) #3 instantly reminded me of Audrey Hepburn's jawline, eyes, and brows. Elegant, if you will.

So. How about a man of humility and excellent connections; someone along the line of Mr. Collins?

5/08/2006 12:53 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Admiral!

“Leisuresuit Larry Meets FrankenGirl"

Hehe, very fringy!

“A fireworks fiesta I would hate to miss!”

You betcha!!! Just take another glance a photo #1! (Gee whiz, I can’t understand why that’s no one’s favorite?!)

“So. How about a man of humility and excellent connections; someone along the line of Mr. Collins?”

Mr. Collins, heehee. Not if he comes with an unsufferable aunt! Ah, too much self-effacing humility, dear sir, is not always a good thing - :P

5/08/2006 1:26 PM  
Blogger Bored Dominatrix wrote...

My experiences on Friendster were enough to dissuade me from every trying to find love via an internet site devoted to that express purpose. But I will say that blogging has done wonders for increasing my circle of friends--and who knows? Maybe one day I'll meet some of these people in real life.

5/08/2006 1:35 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Holly!

I believe Friendster and MySpace are geared toward a younger crowd. I didn’t try Match.com (because it requires a subscription), but my brother had luck with that one. Yahoo personals seems fairly low-key and you can try for free. So you might want to try again (or not!!!). From my very short experience, though, it seems that you have to do a lot of weeding to find the right... er, plant - ;)

5/08/2006 2:02 PM  
Blogger Rhonda wrote...

It's never too soon for a good ego boost or to take a peek at what's out there. Only you know when you are "ready."

I had to laugh though because it reminds me of a post I made a while back called The Perfect Match

5/08/2006 2:49 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Rhonda, your post is hilarious! How funny and how true - ;) Thank you for the laugh.

And anyone considering online dating, please read it ASAP!

(and yes, you're right, I was just peeking...)

5/08/2006 3:36 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

* Ooops! Austen Correction: Lady Catherine de Bourg is Darcy’s aunt, not the aunt of Mr. Collins!

5/08/2006 3:53 PM  
Blogger Cristina wrote...

I liked your post. From what I've read before on the subject - and that doesn't amount to much, I'll say that - people either take it too seriously or too lightly. It's nice to read a sort of unbiased description. And after all it's just one more way of finding love.

The bad thing about online dating is that your kind of have to sell yourself while in real life for most people actions would do the talking. And who can speak about themselves without tripping on something or other? It's complicated.

(My favourite picture is the second from the right, the one with a touch of colour :))

5/08/2006 3:53 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Hi, Cristina!

“I'll say that - people either take it too seriously or too lightly.”

What an excellent observation!

And I’d advise (because I love giving advice I don’t take - :P) not to set one’s expectations too high, but just see what comes your way, knowing there will be Wickhams and Collins among the mix, but maybe a Wentworth or a Tilney will appear? - ;)

“The bad thing about online dating is that you kind of have to sell yourself while in real life for most people actions would do the talking.”

Yes, so true! Your profile is rather like a resume or marketing letter. And everybody lies, at least by omission. Although I do remember reading a profile or two that seemed far too candid!

:) Thanks for joining in, Cristina!

5/09/2006 9:00 AM  
Blogger Charlie wrote...

Yes, FG, Mr. Collins is indeed the "Lady's" lapdog.

And although I am on hiatus, I am compelled to comment that there is a serious case of Reality (capitalized) going around--as you yourself have noted.

5/09/2006 12:51 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

"there is a serious case of Reality (capitalized) going around"

Egads, it's spreading like a rash, Dr. Pooper!

May you have a happy and healthy hiatus and return to us safely from that ... Other Realm - :)

5/09/2006 1:37 PM  
Blogger St Jude wrote...

Ok so it is just another bar to be propped against. A virtual bar.

Love requires a huge leap of faith whether it be in the flesh or online.

Hell at least on line you don't have to get all dressed up and put the slappy on. You can sit at home in your jim jams, slurping on your favourite pickle juice.

See it as an experiment, I love experiments!

5/09/2006 4:08 PM  
Blogger Kyahgirl wrote...

Hi Frankengirl-I really enjoyed this post. Not laughing at all...in fact, I think you're a brave adventurer and you have the spirit of a scientist! Very good for looking into a different world.

I haven't done any on line dating (my husband is grateful) :-) but, I have been on-line a lot in the last few years, first with my perfume hobby and next with blogging. I've learned some interesting things.
One, by participating in the Makeupalley fragrance board (like a live chat room but better) you can get to know people and, eventually, when your instincts are atuned, you find that you can get a very real impression of who people are. I've met about 50 of my fragrance friends in real life now and my impressions of them have been very accurate. I've become real true blue friends with quite a few of them. You know when you 'just click'. A few posts lead to mail. Mail leads to more mail. Once you've met you want to keep talking. Next thing I know, I have 5 very dear friends, scattered around the country, who I keep in touch with by phone. Same sort of thing has happened with blogging but only more slowly.
When I went to Texas in March, I contacted a couple of bloggers I read and like and asked if they'd like to meet. It was awesome.

Now, you're probably thinking, 'what the heck does this have to do with online dating'?
Sorry to ramble so. The point I'm trying to make is that you can make real friends and meet very nice people on line. But it takes time. Through my perfume interest and blogging I've been interacting with people who don't have an ulterior motive to 'meet someone'. We've just found each other in cyberspace by interacting without artifice. If you're going through a dating site, it could be harder. People are more likely to try to project an image. But, with enough time and interaction you should still be able to suss out the 'real' folk from the fakers. You have to learn to trust your instincts.

If someone doesn't want to talk to you for awhile in cyberspace, they are not worth the time of day. Its your life, your happiness, your time, and your safety on the line so you have to do what feels right.

I liked the first two pictures by the way. You're a lovely woman!!

ok, I'm done blabbing. see what happens when I drink too much coffee? :-)

5/09/2006 5:30 PM  
Blogger Morwen wrote...

Your brother is mad, the pictures are awesome.

I did a horizontal flip of a photo of myself a few months ago - suddenly it looked like me! I always suspected that mirrors are the reason people often think photos of themselves don't look right.

5/09/2006 7:54 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

St. Jude!

I love your attitude!

“Hell at least on line you don't have to get all dressed up and put the slappy on. You can sit at home in your jim jams, slurping on your favourite pickle juice.”

Hehe! Yes, it IS rather comfy and cozy, and as a writer, I’m more than happy exchanging words rather than glances at a bar - ;)

“Love requires a huge leap of faith whether it be in the flesh or online.”

So true - there are no guarantees (or warrantees!).

Kyahgirl!

I’m so glad you shared your story about meeting and making friends online. It’s very heartening that you’ve had such a great experience.

“If you're going through a dating site, it could be harder. People are more likely to try to project an image. But, with enough time and interaction you should still be able to suss out the 'real' folk from the fakers.”

Yes, spin-doctoring, artifice (and absurdities!) will abound in dating sites, but as you say, I suspect time is key to "seeing" past the Profile to the Person.

Thanks for your kind and inspiring words - :)

Morwen!

Welcome - and Thanks!

“I did a horizontal flip of a photo of myself a few months ago - suddenly it looked like me!”

That is so cool! It’s interesting to me how we connect or disconnect with an image of ourselves. And what you say about mirrors is fascinating.

I'm going to have to do more experimentation now - ;)

5/09/2006 10:18 PM  
Blogger Panacea wrote...

ooh as far as favourite photos go, I love no.4 and obviously no.2 as everybody else on this comments section. I am rather mainstream when it comes to liking your pictures :)

I love the way you make online dating sound humourous in your post, however serious you're trying to be.

So many men above the age of 40 are only interested in meeting women below the age of 35. Chauvinist much? This is so true, I remember reading some dating adverts in a newspaper some years ago (umm..not because I was looking for people to date, it's just that dating ads are rather hilarious to read, as you have just found out yourself) and there were 50 year olds in there looking for 30 year old women. Yes, I was rather irritated.

Another thing people (ahem..men) kept on putting in their ads that annoyed me was 'looking for a fair skinned woman'. What maks this even more hypocriical was that these adverts were in an Indian newspaper, so they were all Indian men looking for fair skinned women. Seriously, who in their right mind would reply to these?

5/10/2006 3:11 AM  
Blogger Sophia wrote...

I found Morwen's comment so interesting. My sister has always recommended looking at photos of oneself "upside down and in a mirror" to get a more objective sense of how we look. I sometimes do this!

While we're on the subject, it's funny how we're "told" we shouldn't stare too long in the mirror or look too long at photos of ourselves when going through a pack. Why shouldn't we? We never get to see ourselves much from the outside looking in, so of course we'd be curious! (I guess we just shouldn't do it in front of others!)

5/10/2006 6:06 AM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Panacea!

You and your comrade have been missed!!! - :)

“dating ads are rather hilarious to read”

Yes, they certainly can be entertaining - and absolutely bizarre - ;)

“Another thing people (ahem..men) kept on putting in their ads that annoyed me was 'looking for a fair skinned woman'. What makes this even more hypocritical was that these adverts were in an Indian newspaper, so they were all Indian men looking for fair skinned women. Seriously, who in their right mind would reply to these?”

Ahem… yes! I think I just have to laugh at these obnoxious hypocrites and hope no one responds to them! Like “big” men who are ONLY seeking “thin” women. Ugh.

So nice to have your voice here again!

Sophia!

Yes, Morwen’s comment intrigues me as well.

“While we're on the subject, it's funny how we're "told" we shouldn't stare too long in the mirror or look too long at photos of ourselves when going through a pack. Why shouldn't we?”

Yes! Such a double-standard, isn’t it?! We’re judged by our looks, but we’re not supposed to reflect upon them?! I can’t bear when women are accused of vanity, and at the same time, they are expected to be beautiful.

In the end, loving our bodies, ourselves (yes, I think that’s a book) is important for our own well-being - :)

5/10/2006 11:32 AM  
Blogger Golgotha_Tramp wrote...

Hey there,

Late again, I feel like the white rabbit!

It's very funny that you look exactly how I imagined you to. I usually am very poor at creating mental images of people (although I don't help with my own I'm not blond nurse twins as my photo would lead you to believe.)

I say go for it, if you don't swing you'll never hit the ball! I've met loads of lovely people on the net (your good self included) and although I've never looked for love online I can't imagine that it's any worse or better then any other form of blind dating. Everyone lies when they're dating, you present the most polished version of yourself. Just like selling your house really, you tidy up, put a lick of paint on the doors, air our the spare room, stuff all the junk in the closet and waft the smell of fresh baked bread around. We know it's a lie, but we expect it.

5/11/2006 4:59 AM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Hi, Golgotha (aka White Rabbit)!

So happy to “see” you! You’ve been missed - :)

“It's very funny that you look exactly how I imagined you to.”

It’s interesting that you mention this. I hesitated putting up any images (even cartoon-ish ones) because I often enjoy the “mystery” of not knowing what “we” look like. The sense that - inside this realm - we are our words.

“Just like selling your house really, you tidy up, put a lick of paint on the doors, air our the spare room, stuff all the junk in the closet and waft the smell of fresh baked bread around.”

Hehe! Yes, so true! And thanks for the tip. If I end up selling my house, I’ll have to remember the scent of fresh baked bread! (‘course it’d be a nice charred stink if I baked so I’ll have to beg a friend to cook for me, hehe!)

Thanks for the encouragement!!!

5/11/2006 10:08 AM  
Blogger niTin wrote...

Let me post a comment before you leave for your hebdomadal-goblin-seeking-other realmy vacation.
I'll begin by quoting a song, which I thought of around halfway through the post, and I'm still humming.
"What the world needs now,
is love sweet love.
It's the only thing that's
there's just too little of."
Yesterday Google introduced something called google trends.(and this is relevant... sort of) It basically is about finding trends in internet usage and search. Who's searching for things like pancake recipes or things like worst music video and you can also browse by regions. Further, you can compare trends like comparison between pancake recipes and Angelina Jolie (people are predictably searching more for Angelina than for pancakes). It’s wildly addictive. Well point is, somewhere between all these searches I also compared love and sex; sadly sex rules.
So well about the post. I hate dating sites. They are just fundamentally flawed. Marriage (or at least long term relationship) is based upon trust and on honesty. Dating profiles rarely have any of them. I’m not trying to advice you, or admonish you or convert you. Just putting forth my opinions I hate’em and they just wouldn’t work.
Though there are plenty of other places online where you can find stable relationships. Two cases I remember are one at a conference of Indian Bloggers in Bombay. Only two people showed up, and they ended up getting married. The other; two people who used to play Warcraft (an online game) and met at the forum or something. And of course human nature and the basic tenet of life is that just when you form a firm belief, you find something that counters it. Like how I thought the Internet is killing relationships and I found this. *sigh*
“…no, not just for some, but everyone.”

5/12/2006 9:59 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Hi, niTin!

Sorry, I went other-realmy on you! And it’s going to suck me back in---nooo!

But first, thanks for your comment! Ah, yes, the world can always use a little more love - :)

“Well point is, somewhere between all these searches I also compared love and sex; sadly sex rules.”

Yes, sad, and even more sadly, not surprising. (So, you’re really into pancake recipes, huh? - :P)

“I hate dating sites. They are just fundamentally flawed. Marriage (or at least long term relationship) is based upon trust and on honesty. Dating profiles rarely have any of them.”

I agree with you - according to some sites, we live in a world of flawless, ageless, perfect people! But I also think people in bars aren’t necessarily honest or upfront. In the end, I imagine it’s the person, not the site or the location that truly matters.

I'm glad you mention the two cases - because I often think when people aren’t “looking,” that’s when they find - ;)

5/14/2006 9:07 PM  
Blogger Janet wrote...

The only constructive thing I can say about online dating and such is that if nothing else, they provide much inspiration for blog posts such as these.:)

5/17/2006 7:49 PM  
Blogger frankengirl wrote...

Hi, Janet! Yes, online dating definitely offers “food for thought.” Good to see you - :)

5/22/2006 10:10 AM  
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12/09/2009 12:41 AM  

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