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Monday, November 26, 2007

Urban Couples, Or, How I Met Mark

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.

Well, almost.

Photo by myself in Brooklyn.
More on dating in New York, later.


Carrie Smith said...

Happy Tuesday morning...

I have an award for you :0)


kitty said...

oh my gosh, carrie. how sweet!

Thank you!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

I love that photo you took. Good on Lucy for pushing you to get out there. I am not a huge fan of internet dating myself, but it's funny how it's pretty much the way people seem to meet in New York. I was contemplating giving the internet thing another try when I happened to met teetotal Tel Aviv in a bar in Union Square and he asked me out. So far so good ;-)

Jenn said...

Hmmm... You're mom might be onto something. People do it with billboards, why not pop-up ads?

I found your site through NaBloPoMo and I really enjoy it.

mama's got moxie said...

you brave, brave soul... :) four dates in five days with guys from the internet!! i don't think i could ever do it. well, actually, i can't do it now because i'm married and i don't think my husband would go for the whole internet dating thing. ;) butyou know what i mean...

anyway, your mom's response was so cute!

Frances said...

Hi Kitty,
Thanks for stopping by my blog.
It's always so cool to meet a fellow NYC blogger.
I see you took pics at Union Square too.
I am so going to that Ethiopian restaurant.
Take care,

Tammy said...

I met my hubby at a pub. His ex-girlfriend used to work with my sister so she knew him and while we were at the pub she introduced us. We became friends first and then things moved on from there. I have never actually knew anybody that met someone on the net. Now I do!

I have a Blog Buddies Award for you :o)

Just Jinny said...

Can't wait to read...the rest of the story.

And in case I missed it..which I might have..I'm just scanning your blog having just found it...how is Louie?

kitty said...

I love hearing how people meet. It's always so surprising.

like fish meeting tel aviv in a bar, yet he doesn't drink. How funny? And people say you can't meet anyone in bars, but it's not true at all.

so many people do the internet thing, when it was kind of taboo several years ago. Funny how things change so quickly.

Thanks for the award, Tammy!

kitty said...

oh, and Frances, and anyone else who's interested in Meskerem...

Try the veggie combo and add a meat dish. You get the most variety and it's reasonable.

And the tim tim salad is delicious - raw tomatoes, onions, oil, salt, pepper, all on a lip-smacking pancake.