Monday, May 23, 2011

Don't Filter Me! Oh, wait. Yes, please.

I feel like I keep starting these blog posts out with apologies. I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while. Long story short:

Cinco de Mayo river trip + long work weeks + traveling out of state for work + getting sick = delayed blog posts.

But I'm back and ready to enlighten you lovely readers on my wonderful world that is online dating. I'm not sure if it's so much "enlightenment" as it is pure "entertainment" or "self-deprecation," but anyhow... I'm glad you enjoy it!


So where did I leave off?

Oh, right. The cop was a no go. You can read all about that in the previous post(s).

A week or so went by before I had any quality "bites." (I just watched that Tosh.0 video about sharks eating sharks, so I guess the lingo is on the brain...)

But then, an email came in my "filtered" inbox...

Let me take a minute to explain the beauty of "filters" in the world. The email system for Match isn't the best thing in the world, but it does have its benefits. For example, this last month or so, I was receiving at least 5 emails a day. That doesn't sound like a lot, but when you don't check them very often, it can really add up. And when I would devote time to checking them, they read a lot like this:

"Hey u look gud. What up. Hit me up if u like my pics. We should hang."

As tempted as I was just to email him back and mess with him (I'd use four syllable words, of course -- it's the small things in life), I hit delete.

My email inbox would get flooded, I'd receive pointless notifications and I'd spend minutes sifting through poorly written, incoherent messages before maybe -- just maybe -- landing on something significant.

Enter the magic of "filters."

Now, as great as those filters are, they (unfortunately) don't have an automatic "delete idiot" checkbox or "delete due to poor grammar" option.

But here's what filters they do have:

I can limit my messages received to people who have my preferred education level. Bachelor's degree? Check. Graduate degree? Hellooooo there. PhD? Um... you're a perpetual student and probably a stoner. Only kidding. But seriously. Why are you 40 and still in school? Time for a big boy job.

Auditioning for world's tallest man? Need not apply. Five inches shorter than me? Well... like they say, I'm sure there's someone for everyone. I was actually pretty stingy about this one, and as you'll find out soon, I did end up going on a date with someone who was originally in my "filtered" mail because of his height. Or lack thereof. So... filters are more like pre-screening options. You don't have to stick to them, but they're good guidelines.

This one is tricky. While you have total control over how young or old to set your filters, some really great emails come in and then you feel bad for putting them in the "filtered" category (since, you know, age is just a number). However, this does take care of the 47-year-old divorcee who wants a quick fix to help raise his three rugrats and do his laundry. I was pretty generous with my age limit settings, but stingier with height. Go figure.

Okay. So back to the filtered email. I hate to admit that the email in question was automatically delivered to my filtered box because of his height. (If he ever reads this, I sincerely apologize.) But the good news is that it was witty and clever enough to work its way out of the filtered category and into my main inbox. Basically, he got my attention.

Right upfront, he mentioned where he was from (born and raised, I mean... not the town we're both currently living in.) Normally that wouldn't have garnered much of a response from me, but I was intrigued because we shared the same hometown. I don't find that very often since I come from a pretty small area, so I decided to reply.

Granted, it took me a week to do so. I'd like to say I did it on purpose to make him sweat, but honestly, I was loaded down with work and couldn't find a good time.

Once I hit "reply," we played a series of what I like to call email-interview-ping-pong. The short version went something like this:

Him: What's your favorite flower, movie and color? How do you handle stressful situations? What's your favorite book? Favorite food? (And on and on...)

Me: Answer. Answer. Answer. Answer. [pause to breathe]. Answer. Answer. (Ask the same questions...)

Replying to his emails were fun, but wow, did it take it out of me. He asked at least 10-15 questions per email, and I noticed that his style was slightly reminiscent of interview questions.

Me: These emails are turning into novels. I feel like this is an interview session!

Him: I know, but I enjoy getting to know a person really well first. And besides, if you want the job, you've got to interview for it, right? :)

I will say that kind of took me by surprise. Sure, I'd heard that before. Dating is a lot like interviewing. Or interviewing is a lot like dating. Either way, I was usually too exhausted from work to answer a 500 word email.

So it wasn't long after that we moved to the phone. (Was that his plan all along? Wear me down, long email after long email only to get my digits...?)

He was good natured and funny, but there were times where I'd say (what I thought was) a really funny joke, and he a) either wouldn't get it or b) slightly laugh, but reference the completely wrong thing, thereby negating the joke in the first place.

Now, if you know me, you know sense of humor is a must. And not just any humor. Clever, witty banter to be specific. The wittier the better. I even have it written in my online profile I'm so adamant about it. Jim from the Office comes to mind. You know, something out of the ordinary humor bin.

But the phone conversations lasted hours, so I took that to be a good sign and continued onward and upward.

Besides, it was too early to knock him off the chart for humor, but I did wonder how it would play out in person since I'm a huge believer that more is said when things aren't being said...

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