Perfection is an elusive thing. And apparently a rather obsessive thing. North American culture is rather obsessed with perfection, or at least the appearance of perfection. No doubt this is why Photoshop is now a household word.
I find it ironic that in this culture of ‘instant’ and ’I want it now’, that we will take so much time time and energy over our public displays. Social networking is slipping more and more towards the visual world, and part of that is the thousand different visual enhancement tools out there. Digital photos cleaned and preened and filtered and shifted and phased to just present that perfect look to capture that surreal moment of living.
Look at me doing this wonderful thing in such a perfect way. Are you jealous yet?
I being the single, plain, ordinary, regular, chubby, old dude have been obsessing over my online dating profile. Yes tired of the exciting evening and weekend single life of dish washing, laundry and dinner for one I have ventured into the online love fest.
This is not easy – even when one is a svelte catlike example of prime manhood like myself. Well maybe I am not catlike, or svelte. Or prime. But I am an example of manhood on the prowl. Well maybe no prowling either. More of an ambling shuffle really.
So do I stick with honesty in my profile? Early morning wake-up snapshot of my best face in the mirror? Or late evening rumbled look of a well-lived life and evening stubble? Do I go “don’t give a damn”, or “hey I love myself as I am – so take me as I am.” Honesty or facade?
This seems like fishing. Perhaps this is why one dating site is called Plenty of Fish. Work out the lure, the bait, set the hook, and OH MY! Whoa would you look at the fillet on that one! Except, if it is anything like real fishing I somehow end up with the snags and bottom feeders, and no game fish at all.
And so back to the photo. Do I go realism or fantasy? I am a computer guy so I can digitally enhance my assets with no problem at all – a little nip and tuck here. A stretch there. A layer there. And look at that lovely package all wrapped up as the gift that keeps on giving.
So anyway several months later and this is my success rate: Out of all contact attempts. ZERO replies. Chirp. Chirp. Hmmm. I apparently ain’t got it. It rather sucks on the old ego to get the big old goose egg of LOVE. Now I understand the tennis use of the word…
I was careful with my wording no “experienced man of the world seeks active energetic companion for wild adventures in exploring the physical and intellectual world…” opening tagline. I went more sublime and zen-like to capture my thoughtful caring nature. Apparently, that approach has no cache.
Now I know nothing about online dating and I can guess that women that are online – especially the ones that have posted reasonably lovely pictures of themselves are flooded with messages. Men clamoring “pick me, pick me, and I will rock your world!” In all that din I have no chance. The reality is I won’t rock anyone’s world. Never have and never will. I will never change anyone’s world – and I have no desire to do so. I’m looking for an adult relationship of mutual respect and understanding. The sad reality of being human is I have no god-like powers of any kind to make anybody happy. We each decide to be happy, or mad, or sad as suits the moment and our inner dialogue.
This is perhaps the danger of being more mature and trying to date. The accumulated wisdom of time has mellowed passion to a constant flow – neither too much or too little. I won’t thrill you with obsessive compulsive devotion, and I won’t bore you with ongoing distracted inner melodrama.
Really, I am looking for someone to exchange words with – thoughtful conversation and ideas and feelings. Some one to nestle with on the couch and review the day behind, and the dreams ahead. Unfortunately, there is no drama in any of that wanting desire. It is simply the human connect to with another.
Maybe I just need to accept that from here on forward my life is solo. My bed will remain empty. My heart will grow cold. No more lovers for my arms. Only my memories of youthful desire and hunger, reminisced now in blogs and over that occasional coffee out with friends.
Conversations that begin “Remember when…” and trail off into lingering inner silence, and the nodding of heads.
Ahhh Perfection indeed – I have been in perfections fleeting embrace. And then had to slip from bed and take part in the less perfect moments of living an ordinary life. Always thinking that perfection would be back that night with a smile, soft words and a gentle touch.
Apparently, perfection simply has other plans.