Saturday, July 3

(my rip-off of Harper's Index)

  • Number of possible gunshot noises heard from my house today: 2

  • Percent of my housemates known to think or have thought that the possible gunshot noises are in fact cars back firing: 66%

  • Number of days ahead of July 4th people are lighting fireworks in my neighborhood: 2

  • Number of my friends who know my middle name is holder: 4, approximately

  • Number of mistakes I made on my date last week: at least 5

It seems like a long time since last weekend, when I had my long-awaited first date wangled via the internet. I got on The Onion's personals to try to meet some girls this summer while I'm in San Francisco. (When do I make the switch from calling females girls? When I'm 30 do I start saying women? When they're 30, I start calling them women?) In general, I meet so few girls I really like and go on so few dates that I figured if I wanted to go on any at all this summer, I had best make some systematic effort toward that end. But first I had to get over my feeling that internet dating is for people who are desperate or have some kind of abnormality that stops them from finding partners the old-fashioned way, in person. I started asking everyone I felt comfortable asking if they'd ever used one of those services, or known someone who had, and what had happened. I didn't find that many people that had, but they had generally positive things to say about it, so I figured why not?

So I "winked" at this girl, which just sends a message to person winked at (heretofore referred to as the winkee) saying that someone (heretofore referred to as the winker) has winked at he or she. Usually she, I'm guessing, as the patterns of normal dating seem to apply on the internet too, with men tending to be persuers and winkers, women choosers and winkees. Winking is free. A person (noter) can also send a personal note to the other (notee). It's all very reminiscent of passing notes in junior high.

So, as I was saying, I winked at this girl along with about 5 others, and only this one wrote back. We talked on the phone a couple times for almost an hour each time, and she seemed eminently datable. We went out last Saturday, and it was OK, but not the best date ever. We found a good amount of stuff to talk about, but we didn't really click. I kissed her at the end of the date, and that was pretty good, and when we finished kissing, she said, "Thanks." I'm not sure for what, though. She said she wanted to go out again soon. But then a couple days later, before I'd called her, she emailed and said she wasn't romantically interested in me, and apologized for not saying that on the date.

Some things I did wrong:
1. didn't ask her enough about herself
2. talked too much about my sordid past with drugs
3. talked too much about Buddhism
4. didn't ask her what she wanted to do at the end of the date
5. didn't show her I was attracted to her with my body language

The last thing would come naturally, I guess, if I'd been *really* attracted to her, which I wasn't. But I hate coercion and have a hands-off approach to people in general, which in a first encounter could come off different from how I think it does. I should finish reading this book I bought to help me with job interviews, First Impressions.


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