ramble regarding romance day 2

August 10, 2004
So, like I said....today I need to consider strategies in the harsh world of dating, Internet and otherwise.

I think that the problem with "otherwise" is...well, it sounds really cool to meet people "out in the wild", and it can get urge you to get involved in some cool activities, but unless that future-beloved is willing to smack you in the face with a clue-by-four, you're going to miss them unless you're awfully alert. And if you're that alert, you're goint to seem annoying and needy and desperate, and that's a bad thing. The thing is, in the real world of interesting people, Murphy's Law of Dating ("she already has a boyfriend") holds sway.

So like I've been saying, it seems that rather than going and meeting interesting people and hoping they're single (and interested in not staying that way), it makes more sense to go where people already admit they're single, and looking, and then hope that they're interesting. It just seems like the odds are better. And I don't think Internet personals have the stigma they once might've at, say, the turn of the millennium or so.

So that means...I have to get good at the art of the Internet personal. And navigating the whole space. (And maybe try speed dating; when you're attached, it sounds like the coolest thing to be able to do, a neat competition, but when you have more of an active interest in the result, it's a bit more anxiety producing. (Anecdotally, one friend says that with speed dating for straight folk they have to balance the number of men and women and, unusual for most dating type services, the men are the limiting factor. I've gotten the impression that most other services, there are more men with their ears to the ground than women.))

So besides honing up my prose to make a good profile, and also whatever kind of initial contact notes people write, I need some good photos of me. Ideally, of course, the post makeover me. And there are dang few of those around.

So I had a coworker friend try taking some, but I wasn't really ecstatic about the results. It's all a bit of a forced setting. The first batch looked like mugshots or passport photos or something: (Click for larger)

I'm trying to decide if I look too...I dunno, broad across in that second photo. And then we had the "at the cubicle" series which was too backlit, and the middle one was a a bit-- shall we say, "foppish" looking

Of course, if I'm willing to throw in a pre-makeover picture, I have some "hey, I'm a fun geek!" options:

Part of the solution might be to go out with some friends to an interesting locale, just for the sake of making some better pictures of me. I dunno. Thoughts on which of these to use if it came to that? Thoughts on where to go to make entertaining photos? (Hell, I wonder what the hourly rate for that photojournalist-style wedding photographer we used is...or is that just way too much trying too hard?)

And any thoughts on what Internet place is best? Match.com seems to be a bit of a standard. Eharmony and that new "true" one (with those kinda creepy "we check to make sure they're not married or a felon so you can be safe!" popup ads) might be appealing to a certain kind of women at least.) Nerve/Onion/Salon personals (all interconnected I think) seem kind of hip. I've also heard of some successful matchups with Yahoo! personals...huh. And is it better to go with one, or a more scattershot approach? That seems exhausting, but heh...in the search for something like "the one", you worry about all the possibilities you're closing out by trying to stick with only a single site.

And real world options...I know one guy who met the love of his life at the MFA singles night. That's kind of cool in a way. And like I said, speed dating sounds like it would be entertaining to try once. Any other ideas? (I know, I know. "Take a class". "Join some groups". Etc etc...)

So let me know what you think. And don't worry, I don't think I'm going to have any more days of this kind of ramble any time soon...

Quote of the Moment
Love is like eating mushrooms--You never know if it's the right thing until it's too late.
Ira Gershwin. (via Bill...I'm always on the lookout for possible loveblender quotes...)

Toy of the Moment
Imagination is one of the prettiest interactive toys I've seen in a while.

Article of the Moment
Slate on "The Magic Shirt That Makes You Stronger" and weightlifters who are approaching the 1,000lb barrier for the Bench Press...without these new "Bench Shirts", they max out at about 713. But when you read what the shirt is, basically they're giving themselves a temporary exoskeleton. Seems like cheating to me! (But I wouldn't tell them that to their faces...)