From the ages of eighteen to twenty-nine, the assessment of your situation after a breakup (once the initial shock subsides) is invariably: "fuck 'em! I'm still young, and there's plenty of other people out there!" From thirty onwards, it becomes: "fuck 'em! I'm still...and, well, there's plenty of...huh."
I'm not young enough to hook up with girls at college parties or goth clubs anymore. (Not that I ever really did, but for a while it was possible.) All of the women in whom I had an inchoate interest during my twenties now have husbands, children, and/or homesteads they guard with shotguns. When I visit bars, the only thing I can comfortably talk about is the music and how much I hate it. Basically, I have no idea how to meet people at this point in my life.
So I signed up for OkCupid. It's funny how the most reasonable solution to a problem can sometimes also be the most harebrained.
I can't say I have much confidence in the service so far. It seems facile to imagine that the likelihood of occurrence for something so mysterious and complex as personal chemistry can be determined by feeding two peoples' survey questions to a computer and checking off the similarities—especially when some of the questions are so...well, questionable. Here, I'll give you some examples.
How long ago was your profile pic taken?
- Two years ago.
- Five years ago.
- Ten years ago.
- I have no idea who that person is.
Are looks important to you?
- Yes, incredibly important.
- Yes, extremely important.
- Yes, absolutely important.
- Yes, but only the other person's.
We're gonna level with you: all two thousand "Personality" questions are designed for the purpose of fitting you into one of five boxes. Let's just save some time and give you the opportunity to choose your box for yourself.
- Artsy person (hipster).
- Sciencey person (standoffish).
- Party person (WOOOO!!).
- Professional person (unctuous yuppie).
- I like TV (dipstick).
Which of these words best describes you?
Are you racist?
- No, just antisemitic.
Come on. Aren't you just a teensy bit racist? You can be honest with us.
- I said yes.
- Okay, yes, but only passively, and it always comes out in a socially acceptable form.
What will you do if somebody actually looks at your profile and sends you a message?
- Act interested and immediately scare them away.
- Play it cool and watch my act backfire.
- Exchange messages for a few weeks. Observe as one more opportunity for love and happiness slowly recedes with yet another effort at conversation coming to nothing.
- Wait, what does "ovoviviparous" mean?
Which of these is sexiest to you?
- Cartoon animals.
- Cloying nihilism.
- The word "moist."
Are you ready for sixty consecutive questions about S&M?
- Only sixty?
- On second thought, I think I'll try ChristianMingle.
You can save the lives of all fifty people on the train by redirecting it to a track where a blind and deaf person is standing. What do you do?
- Switch the track. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
- Let the train go. I couldn't make the choice to kill an innocent human being.
- Let the train go. Maybe the blind person will date me.
- Switch the track. Maybe the train will date me.
Concupiscent is to amorous as...
- Mountebank is to duplicitous.
- Meretricious is to specious.
- Lambent is to umbriferous.
- What the hell is your problem?
Did you sign up for OkCupid just to find someone to have sex with?
I'll ask again: did you sign up for OkCupid just to find someone to have sex with?
- I said no!