June 9, 2008
Once upon a time, I naively thought websites such as MySpace and Facebook were social networking tools, means in which to stay connected to old friends and find new ones. My experienced self now understands that these websites exist for the sole purposes of stalking ex-boyfriends, the new whores they go out with and potential dates. Now, while this sounds gratifying, it’s mostly a big fat letdown that will make you feel even shittier than before you started the stalking. Let me expound.
Last week I was at a show. Before the band started, two guys approached me and my friends with a lame pickup line and proceeded to chat us up. Now, I’m usually fairly antisocial, but I had nearly a bottle of wine in my tummy from chugging out in the parking lot 20 minutes earlier, so I gave these guys a chance. After the show, one of them asked for my number. I gave it to him, but only because I wanted to be the first one between me and my ex-boyfriend to go on a date since our breakup (at least to my knowledge. If I find out he really went to see Flight of the Conchords with Margo the Slut, I will drive up to San Francisco and hang his precious beagle from a noose with spikes on it).
So this guy, we’ll call him Steven, calls me three days later. Standard guy protocol. We set up a coffee date for the upcoming week. We don’t know where to meet, so he asks for my e-mail to send me a list of possible options. When I receive said e-mail, I am struck with a wonderful idea. His name was too common to search for on MySpace or Facebook, but his e-mail address…that’s prime stalking info. Giddy, I went straight to MySpace and found my gold mine. Yes, it was there I learned that this person I was to meet on a coffee date is 30 years old, loves the TV show “Titus,” and has several photos of superheroes with his own face pasted over theirs. That was only the beginning.
As I read the MySpace-on-crack profile (you know the type, takes five minutes to load, crazy videos and pictures everywhere, one million artists listed under “music”), I came to an important conclusion: Through the art of online stalking, I would be able to accurately predict the outcome of any future dates I was to go on, and if I so chose, alter their courses. For instance, I knew Steven within the first two minutes of looking at his page. I felt his little heart bleeding when he wrote, “Girls always say they want guys like me, but that never turns out to be the case. I’m loyal, trustworthy, witty, friendly, and love to cuddle.” Yes, Steven, you may love to cuddle, but please don’t reveal that until maybe you’re married. I felt the eyes of fellow film class students roll as I watched the fake sitcom pilot he created and starred in, the premise of which was two brothers (“from a different mother,” as we are informed), one white, one black, getting into drug-related shenanigans. Original, I know. I saw him swooning over coffee as I told him I loved the comedy trio Stella, the TV show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and the fact that I want to be a writer just like him. We had extremely similar taste in music and books and both loved our parents. Despite this, I knew he was awful for me. He was overzealous, ambitious, and suffered from overall trying-too-hard syndrome. I loathed the pedestal he placed himself on through comments such as, “I’m the funniest person I know,” and “If you are the kind of person who buys and returns things often, you’re not the one for me,” or the ever-popular, “You may not be perfect, but with me at your side, we can come damn near.”
I did not want to go on this date anymore, because basically, the date would go like this: I would arrive. He would think I was cute. I would apologize for being late, because I’m always late, and he would buy me a coffee. We would sit and drink, chat about the weather outside. Things would segue into his move from Texas to LA, then my move from San Francisco to Orange County. Normally I would avoid questions regarding my move, i.e. “I just got out of a four-year relationship,” but this time, special circumstances and all, I would definitely get that out in an attempt to turn him off. Next, we would discuss interests. Shortly after I reveal I love X-Men and playing Rock Band, he falls deeply in love. At some predetermined time, my mother would call me on my cell phone. I would feign embarrassment, but answer, and subsequently deliver an Oscar-worthy performance consisting of lines like, “I’m so sorry! I forgot I have to take my brother to the dentist today. Just when we were getting along so well!” He would be so disappointed I would almost feel bad — almost. We would walk to our cars, him asking about a second date, me agreeing, but fully intending to utterly and completely ignore him from that point on.
I went on the date anyway, just because I couldn’t bear to stand up this weirdo who had sent me about three e-mails and ten text messages in four days’ time. It happened, thanks to StalkSpace, exactly as I described, with one major deviation I hadn’t planned for: After I had already given him a hug goodbye (forever), he followed me and, as I was getting into my car, leaned down and tried to kiss me. On the mouth. Unabashedly. As if he thought I wanted it too.
I gave him the cheek, of course, and peeled out so fast that my tires actually made the burning rubber noise.
Thank you, StalkSpace and Stalkbook. You are my two best friends. Never again will I ignore your glaring truths about potential daters.
I am in serious trouble if this is what dating is going to be like.