May 16th, 2012 § 10 Comments
If my life is a movie, I get that I'm the star, and the director and producer, but I'm pretty darn sure at this point that someone else wrote the script. Because this is not where I'm supposed to be, in an personal care aisle in a superstore looking at 18 shelf feet of choices of condoms.
The last time I had to buy condoms I was living in Ireland and there was, to my recollection, only one brand, three sizes. What the hell do we need so many sizes and colors and flavors and, for lack of a better word, styles? Who cares what color it is? "I don't look good in orange, so I guess I wouldn't look good with orange in me."
I know it's the right thing to do. I find myself single again at 47, wending my way through the internet dating scene, which is another film written by someone else. When I asked my doctor if I should still be on the pill, you know, in case I ever have sex again, she laughed out loud at me. So, without any serious concern about becoming a mom again at an advanced age, my only concern are germs.
I started looking for love on all the wrong websites almost a year ago. I've been to them all -- from JDate and Match.com, to Zoosk and eHarmony. I've done the free thing and the paying thing. I settled on OKCupid because it's free and seems to offer the best kind of matching, based on the answers users give to at least 25 and as many as 5,000 questions. You give your answers and the answers you'll accept from a potential mate. They even allow space to explain your choices, which can provide great insight into a person.
After all that experience, I wonder about these purported purveyors of true love. One site gave me matches which touted how we both love animals and going out for meals. Which is a rather common thing to have in common. If we both hated animals and restaurant dining, we'd be more more alike than just liking those two things.
It isn't just the dating sites themselves that are the problem. I don't understand why men of my age range -- say a 10 year spread from 42 to 52 -- are looking for women from 30 to a year younger than whatever age they are. Someone a dozen years younger is an acceptable match, but a couple years older isn't? And what about the guys who want a woman who looks good in a bikini? Or the single dads who want a woman who can leave town at the drop of a hat (because any custodial parent can do that, right?)? Today I read a profile of a man who wanted a woman who was fit, attractive, with a nice smile and sparkling eyes -- but he didn't have a photo of himself on his page.
I've been on a few dates -- one set up, a couple from OKCupid. It's not much different now than when I last did it a couple decades ago. How you find them is different, and there's less alcohol and fewer really late nights. And of course, there's a whole lot of choices to make if you decide to do the deed with someone new.
As I stood in that shopping aisle, mouth agape, I texted the Mean Lady -- she's a drummer and has toured Europe. For money. If anyone would know what condoms one should get, it would be her. She didn't get back to me in time so I got myself an assorted pack, complete with different colors. Hopefully without orange.