Dating, these days

A couple of weeks ago, I started to feel like I was never going to date again. That I was going to be single forever. So I did what I always do when that feeling strikes, I placed an ad in the “Women Seeking Men” section of Craigslist. I will be the first one to admit that Craigslist isn’t he greatest place to look for people to date these days, so swamped has it become with guys (mostly) just looking for a fast, easy hookup. But it’s simple and free, and typically pretty immediate in it’s ability to deliver responses, so I went with it.

The first time I dating through Craigslist was back in the summer of 2004, just a month or so after my last relationship ended. It was that period that led my friend Cindy and me to determine that there were never more than five single men dating in the city of Philadelphia at any one time. We came to this conclusion because every time I would give her the name of someone I was talking to from Craigslist, she would reply with a comment along the lines of, “he may seem to be smart and a good writer, but he’s 32, works at a bank and lives with his parents in New Jersey*” because she too had talked to this person during her travels through the list as well. This happened at least three times (although he was not always 32 and living with his parents in New Jersey. There variations on the theme). I went on some good dates that summer, as well as a couple choice stinkers. I did not meet anyone for the long term, but it was a good exercise in getting back into the world of dating, after spending almost two years conveniently coupled.

The ad I posted was a series of questions, my attempt to be mildly funny while also attracting responses from guys who I might actually be interested in. My favorite question was, “When you eat a Tastykake, do you eat it ironically or seriously?” This question comes from a time last summer when I was at an outdoor concert with a couple of friends and one of the friend’s boyfriend. We stopped at Wawa on the way to the show to get hoagies and snacks for the day, and the boyfriend bought a Tastykake for dessert. Only he did it with no humor, no irony, no recognition for the fact that the process of eating a Tastykake in your 30’s has to be infused with just the slightest bit of the ridiculous.**

My point in all of this is that the ad resulted in a date this week. I was nervous as I walked towards the bar where we planned to meet, worried that this was going to be another dud, that I was going to be sitting there wishing myself onto my couch with a good book. But life is sometimes surprising, and this was one of those times. Because I had a good time. I would even go so far as to say terrific. We sat and talk for two and a half hours about music, families, politics, history, books and the racial/class stratification in this country. At the end of the date, I said simply, “This was really fun” and genuinely meant it.

I have no idea where this is going to go, if it has any sort of legs, or if the next time I see him I’ll have nothing left to say. But I will always be appreciative of the date, because it helped me remember why people do it. Because up until last Tuesday night, I really had forgotten.

*Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that situation.

**I am in no way impugning Tastykakes, I have a deep and abiding fondness for the Butterscotch Krimpet.

0 thoughts on “Dating, these days

  1. Ellen

    Good Luck! We all need to have a few nice dates every now and again.

    I’m playing the EHarmony game right now – not too successfully, but we’ll see what happens…

  2. Reis

    Ah, dating. It’s quite a scary experience and i’m thankful that i’m young (?) enough to be more niave about it.

    I’ve never been the kind of guy to want to go on a blind date or go up to “that hot girl over there”. I usually get to know girls through friends and find it much easier if you get to know the person within a “social circle” first. It sometimes doesn’t pay off though, as it’s hard making new friends.

    But recently, for me at least, it has paid off and i went on a date on friday with a girl i’ve been seeing (met through friends) and had a really nice time.

    I hope something comes from your dating experience and good luck 🙂

  3. aasmodeus

    I’m with Reis 100% (sans me being young).

    He said everything I was going to say, it’s almost like Reis is my alternate persona.

    Which he isn’t.

    Much joy to you, and may you find plenty of interest in your newly met co-habitant of this planet.

  4. howard

    How dare you brand the serious Tastykake consumer with your own preconceptions of almost-middle-aged snack food etiquette!

    Just when I thought people were finally growing more tolerant…

  5. Ellen

    Hey (speaking of ironic snack cake eating) – does anyone else have a special way they always eat their tastykakes – Like I always save my jellyballs in the jelly krimpets and likewise w/ the butterscotch topping on the butterscotch krimpets?

    That’s probably just my messed up thing…

  6. Marisa

    Howard, if I’ve offended your tastykake sensibilities, I am deeply sorry.

    Ellen, when I eat Butterscotch Krimpets (an occasion that comes very rarely), I need to make sure that the frosting lasts through every bite of cake. It’s slightly compulsive, but there you go, so am I.

  7. name withheld

    Another Tastykake Confession:
    I have been eating Tastykakes since 1953 and I always eat around the kake and save the little jellyballs to eat separately. It’s just the right thing to do.

  8. Melissa

    Glad your date went well. Dating can sort of suck, but when you have a good one, well, it’s pretty nice. 🙂 And whatever happened with that guy who attempted to pick you up in your comments section? It must have been about 3 or 4 months ago. I visited his site and he sounded nice and relatively normal. Just wondering…Anybody else remember that guy?

    And by the way, I eat Tastykakes with great seriousness. It’s a big decision, choosing the Butterscotch Krimpets over the Coconut Junior over the Kreme Filled Coffee Cakes. Heavy stuff, potentially life-altering if you ask me. 😉

  9. Marisa

    I remember that guy. I actually tried to email him, but the email bounced back, and I didn’t have a whole lot invested, so I just let it slide. I am very impressed that you remember that!

  10. Devon

    I love you Marisa! I remember the summer of the Craigslist random dates!
    Its great to hear you are still in the game. You inspire me!


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