For unknown reasons, it popped in my head tonight that I should post about my dating experiences in New York and how I met Mark.
Mark and I met....(drum roll) on the internet!
Yes, we met on a dating site. Internet dating is common now, and I know many serious couples (some married) who met this very way. It's a handy method for busy professionals to meet available people when they've exhausted all else.
I'd done the internet thing a couple times without any terrible experiences. Some entertaining stories (that will have to come another time), but nothing utterly horrifying. I'd given up hope a couple years ago, and two women I hung out would go on internet dates intermittently, to get out of their comfort zones.
Lucy lived in the East Village, Brit lived in Williamsburg and I lived on the Upper West Side. Of the three, I was the most petite and the most shy. We'd meet up in bars and I was essentially the unglamorous, ugly step-sister of the bunch. Guys would sidle up to us and pretty much push me out of the way (well, practically).
Lucy was a fun, pretty, sweet administrative assistant at a large bank. She's one of the only bloggers I've ever met. She single-handedly ushered me back into internet dating. Lucy insisted that I date anyone who responded to my ad.
'Old ones, young ones, fat ones, skinny ones, bald ones, hairy ones...' she said. The point was to get out there, to make the world seem bigger, and by doing that, change my self image. Once that happened, she reasoned, I was bound to meet someone.
To humor dear Lucy, I went through the motions. I spent a couple nights dreaming up my ad. I kept is short and sweet and slightly playful, which Lucy recomended.
I took a picture of myself, and I followed her protocol. Almost. I didn't lie about my age (she did. She was 32 and advertised herself as 26). And I couldn't help but weed out a couple guys (here is where I get struck by a lightning bolt for being slightly picky). But I was still relatively open-minded about emails I received, much more open-minded than I had been in the past.
Since internet dating wasn't entirely new to me, I wasn't too nervous. I was slightly curious about who was out there, but I was beyond jaded. I knew the city. I knew the guys out there. Who could I possibly meet? Anyone who really wanted an honest relationship, rather than just a fling? The most I expected was some entertainment. A few funny stories, some drinks, maybe a dinner. That's about it.
Within a couple weeks of putting up my ad, I went on four dates within the span of five days. The last date was with Mark. More on that later. I was tremendously lucky. Beyond lucky.
The time eventually came, however, to tell my parents how Mark and I met. We'd been seeing each other seriously for several months, and one night while talking to my mom on the phone, I thought it was time.
'So Mom, I wanted to tell you how Mark and I met.'
'Oh yeah?' She sounded expectant. I could tell she was holding her breath.
'Well, we met on the internet.'
'What? The internet?'
'Yeah, Mom. There are these dating sites where people place ads. I placed an ad.'
'I didn't see your ad.'
Apparently Mom thought I blitzed the internet with emails titled 'Please Date Me!!' with my mug, stats and contact info.
Photo by myself in Brooklyn.
More on dating in New York, later.