I know why I am not scoring with Internet dating, and it’s the same reason I don’t do well in job interviews. Quite simply, it’s the inherent lack of alcohol. I am a better person with vodka. Ask anyone.
Dead sober I am riddled with self-doubt and nervous jitters. One or two shots of Ketel One and I am confident, fun to be around, and – perhaps most important in this context – beautiful. Yes, it’s true. Alcohol makes me better looking. Beer bottle lenses work in the mirror too.
Every serious relationship I have been in was kindled in an alcohol-induced state. My first husband and I went to high school together. Years of smiling at each other in the halls and telling friends we liked each other did nothing to put a class ring on my finger. But two years after graduation we met again in a bar and it took only three or four beers to realize we were fated to be together.
Husband number two worked with me at a large New York ad agency and we rode the elevator together nearly every day for a year with not so much as a word exchanged. It took the company Christmas party and lots of – duh – alcohol before he was proclaiming his deep, unspoken admiration for me and I was confessing to think him the man with the cutest butt at the company. In Vodkian, the real language of love, that translates into I have found my soul mate.
The third and last stroll down the aisle would never have taken place if we had only served together on that event committee. It took the post-event committee celebration at… drum roll please… a bar, for us to get together.
So, please, all you people who say things like – “Well, it’s better than meeting men in bars,” when they’re speaking of Internet dating, are simply wrong. Another common phrase, usually uttered as justification for fixing me up with a single neighbor, widowed co-worker, or permanently single-for-a-reason relative, is: “The only kind of men you meet in bars are drunks.”
Yes, drunks: happy drunks, talky drunks, handsome drunks, lovable drunks. They seldom ask questions or make judgments. They tell me I am beautiful (because I AM), and we talk about silly things we have in common, like agreeing that Prince was more talented than Michael Jackson in the 80s. I remember each and every drunken encounter fondly, even if the best ones ended in a division of cookware.
Internet dating takes the fun, the spontaneity, and the alcohol out of a tried-and-true mating ritual that has served me well over the years. On an Internet date, you know too much about each other before you have that first coffee date. Coffee date! Caffeine has the opposite effect of alcohol. My nervousness turns into visible shaking which often makes them ask how long I have suffered from Parkinson’s disease. And caffeine ugli-fies as much as alcohol beautifies. How can you “check for chemistry,” as we say on-line, when the chemicals have been tampered with?
I love that spark of excitement I get when I’m sipping on my fourth cocktail and suddenly spot the most handsome man I have ever seen looking my way. I am beautiful, and I know it, so I confidently stare back, smile, and raise my glass in a flirty air-toast that says – “You can buy me the next drink, baby”.
He’s probably a Republican who hates cats, but all I care about at that moment is how we’re going to look together on the dance floor in the photo I will snap of us on my phone and send to all my friends to prove that I am “getting out there” and not sitting at home eating bon-bons. I can almost guarantee a union forged in a bar will last one, maybe two months before I even find out he doesn’t ski, lives with his mother, and hasn’t worked in years. My longest Internet “relationship” lasted 10 days. I’ve been in wonderful relationships with bar men I had nothing in common with for a month, a year… whatever amount of time it took for the chemistry to wear off and the restraining order to go into effect.
Chemistry lesson for today:
Decent looking, age-appropriate man + coffee + business setting = job interview.
Decent looking, age-appropriate man + alcohol + social setting = relationship.