I feel like one of those horses that is great out of the gate but not much for stamina. (Insert joke here). I started off my love career like a rocket. In the seventh grade, I danced all night with Michelle A. Well, it really was more of a rocking back and forth than dancing but I was touching a girl and she wasn't running away because she thought I was about to snap her bra strap. We danced all night. And on the last song I even dipped her without dropping her on her head—to the applause of most of the crowd. We were voted 'Best Couple.' The award came with a huge Hershey's Candy Bar.
I knew I was in love. I could feel it in the nervous energy that would make me shake just thinking about Michelle. I remember sitting in my room and listening to love songs on my walkman dreaming of Michelle as Mrs. Michelle Chance. The combination of her first name and my last name was something I wrote in various styles of penmanship on my trapper keeper. This of course was discovered by my classmates and was added into the Chance humiliation hall of fame. Looking back I realize that even then I was a fool for love, and a fool and his love will soon part.
Flash-forward a year and it was time for the Eighth Grade Dance. Expectations were pretty high. I think there was a pool on if I would get to first base or not. I had a plan, not to talk Michelle into an illicit but passion-filled kiss behind the bleachers— but to get her to fall deeply in love with me. She was smart (future valedictorian), popular, and beautiful with that great 80's poof of hair and leg warmers that went on for miles.
During the dance I stepped away from the Hawaiian punch and asked Melissa R. to go with me to the cloakroom and point out which jacket was Michelle's. After Melissa left—I think a little bit sad that I didn't try to feel her up—I slipped a black velvet box into Michelle's pocket. When I got back to the dance, Michelle was waiting for me; the couple’s dance was about to begin. The song was “Take my Breath Away” by Berlin, the one that was featured in a spit-filled sex scene on Top Gun. A scene that would give me a lot of trouble later in life during a situation that involved a woman’s chin, my drool, and the worst sound you can hear the first time you are together, hysterical laughter. But that is a story for another time.
The song was a perfect way to describe how I was feeling about Michelle, which I told her at the time: "Michelle, this song is a perfect way to describe how I am feeling about you." I think she giggled. I remind you that it would be another four years before she became valedictorian. We were voted best couple…again. But if you think I was going to use my built up capital on a good night kiss, you underestimate me, my hormones, and her mother’s icy stare. I knew come Monday morning some things were going to happen—and that kissing would only be part of it.
And Monday morning came. Lucky for me it was picture day so I got to wear my best striped shirt with my favorite skinny leather tie. I put a little extra Groom & Clean in my hair, and stole a squirt of my Dad's Aqua Velva. Looking good, smelling good, and in an hour —when Michelle and I went to the library or, as we called it then, The Love Shack—I was going to be feeling pretty damn good.
I got off yellow bus number 5 and walked into school. A crowd of girls was sitting there waiting for me. A huge smile swept across my face, as I thought word had already gotten out of what a great boyfriend I would make, and the girls were lining up. Melissa R. and her posse of Chanceabees surrounded me. They were shouting my name and asking if I had given Michelle a pair of earrings.
"Ladies, ladies, those where 100% cubic Zirconium earrings."
Well, the girls all got pretty quiet for a moment. I was sure was they were in awe of my generous nature. Then Melissa spoke up in a tone that was downright mocking, "You Jackass. She doesn't even have her ears pierced!" Two points for Melissa.
Needless to say Michelle and I never did make it to the Love Shack, never kissed, and--although I am sure she was in love with me—the massive middle school pressures of gossip, jokes, and hallway taunts ended our brief but passion-filled affair.
The point of this story wasn't about how much of a fool I made of myself. The point is that for love I would always be willing to go past the point of fool.
Flash forward 20 years, a lot of partners, a few loves, and an embarrassing case of the clap: I am still a fool for love. But I’m not having much success finding anyone that is interested in watching me make one of myself.
Enter in internet dating.
For about fifty bucks a month I get to look at thousands of women that live in the Seattle area while not having to suck in my slight spare tire or change out of my bathrobe. If I think they are hot, and if the interests and hobbies that they rarely do match the interests and hobbies that I rarely do, I can send them a wink. Or if I really want to put the effort into it, an email.
Gone are the days of telling the hot girl in the grocery store that I always squeeze the melons in order to make sure they are ripe. Or the days of telling the girl in the over-sized Harvard sweatshirt at the laundry mat that her underwear would look great on the bedroom floor. Now it's all about how hot your profile picture is, and if you have any cool action pics, like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro , skiing a black diamond run in Vale, or standing on top of the pyramids. Then there is your short story about who you are, what you’re about, and what things you’re looking for in a partner. Although nobody is completely honest: I am 34 and only a social drinker or I really don’t care about money and if you make any. It is really important to be mostly honest: I like kittens, puppies, and long walks on the beach. But not desperate: I am lonely, feeling a bit randy, and really just want a girlfriend I can cling to.
So without further ado here is my profile from Match.com:
The above picture links to the full profile, just click. Any advice, please feel free to share but, dear reader, please remember I am a man, therefore sensitive and fragile so try not to cut me too deep. That means you, too, Alice!