) be slowly roasted in a stew of his own fedoras, watched over by the legions of women who have to try to figure out why this person who ostensibly wants to date them just called them “pretty but not in an intimidating way.” 1.The Neg For the blissfully unacquainted, to “neg” someone is to basically insult her while pretending to compliment her. When a little message popped up in the bottom right-hand corner of my screen saying “Hello, tall girl,” I screamed. I say “around” because I deleted so many of them immediately (having them sit in my inbox felt contaminating) that I cannot report with scientific precision the exact count. I actually think it makes me decidedly un-special, because to many of the messages’ authors I was clearly no more than one more female-looking thing who might be intrigued by the dashing brevity of a message reading only “sup?
I say “apparently” because I wouldn’t have known this was the case had I not signed up for Ok Cupid along with Jenna, and later my other friend Rylee, and watched with horror as our inboxes filled up with a not insubstantial number of the very same messages from the very same users. Aside from the fact that I can’t imagine what one does to earn “kick ass” status as a son and a brother, this guy said he’d like for us to “get to know each other,” but then went on to describe only himself. Does he even care if I’m a kick-ass daughter and sister?? “Hello, so now I’m wondering how to entice a beautiful girl into responding to my email.I felt bad enough going online to date in the first place, but the influx of negs made me feel worse. But the desire to demean someone and the desire to date her are, I think, mutually exclusive. When this message came, and I was mildly flattered, it was only because my spirits were already broken. And then the three of us drove to West Virginia, where his profile said he lived (that’s right, he’s copy-pasting girls in other states), kidnapped him, carried him over our shoulders to a marble slab in a deserted forest clearing, and sacrificed his blood to the devil. He tried to tell us that we really were all good shit, but it was too late.3. It is my hope that by continually doing what I love to do, which is talking about myself, someone perfect will eventually just fall in love with me. But some part of me—the part that is familiar with social interactions and general guidelines of human conduct—recognizes that this is neither the most practical nor the most thoughtful way to get to know a person.It made me feel like I wasn’t a person, and I guess to the people sending the messages, I wasn’t. I could be wrong about that, though, because I’m just a woman. The Virus On some level I was prepared for the assholes, because I know enough people who’ve dated online to know that good manners and 10th-grade spelling abilities are underrepresented in the world I’d so reluctantly just joined. True, I still recognized it for the maniacal word vomit that it was, and true, I rolled my eyes so hard at “I know beauty. I didn’t respond, but I’m ashamed to admit that I kept that message because I thought it was really about me. The Cry for Help There must come a time, after you’ve been online dating for months or even years, when you feel your spirit leaving your body. You’ll still sign in and look at people’s profiles, just to pass the time, but you won’t think of them as humans any longer. Some part of me knows that what you are supposed to do when you want to get to know someone is ask him/her questions about him/herself, and not just because you hope you can then turn the conversation back around to you.A few precious gems were legitimately nice and pleasant, but their presence in my inbox was so minuscule as to hardly be noticeable. I think this is on the way out, but it’s lingering. I am interested in historical records on some of the most pressing matters of our time.If I didn’t have corrective contact lenses, I wouldn’t have even been able to see them. But whatever, you get my point.) These messages were like these little lifesavers thrown out to me, a person who was drowning in a cesspool of filth and sewage water, only to be just as quickly cast aside because, even though they were nice enough, relatively speaking, the guys who sent them were fifty-two years old or were self-described “fitness models” or went by the user name “Lets Fck Around.”Look, I know it isn’t easy out there for dudes, either. So guys have some pressure—they’re the ones who have to “make a move” and then just wait while my friends and I gasp and laugh and email each other the complete garbage they’ve just sent us. I am interested in the grouping and analysis of small disasters.Sometimes it’s just clear that you should have joined the convent like your third-grade teacher suggested. For the record, none of these messages garnered a response.