All right all of you who responded so quickly to my blog on Match! I couldn’t believe how many of you were so interested or so in agreement with me. The interesting thing was most of my responders were women, but, then again, I don’t know why that surprises me.
I read somewhere that men spend a whole lot more time online on Match once they are members than women do. I wonder what they are doing all that time. I mean hours of time! Let’s face it, ladies; we do not trawl the profiles. I know that to be true. Most of us might look a little but basically many of us wait to be contacted by someone else. Hopefully an appropriate guy. So our online time is usually limited to responses to emails or perhaps a tentative rejoinder to someone we find attractive.
I had a bad thought during exercise class this morning. Maybe men who use Match for a while get addicted to the idea of so many available women out there who may be interested in them. Maybe even if they have someone interesting in their lives they are unable to resist the call of the internet and all those unexplored women. Maybe that happens to women as well. I know life seems rosier when there is more than one man interested in you.
So are we all living in a world where making a commitment to someone even for a trial period has become impossible? I wonder. There are so many people who are living alone and are terrified of abandonment and are desperate to find someone to be with. There are people who have no money and are desperate to find someone who does. There are people who are have no friends and would like to have a social life through someone else. There are happy people and sad people , lonely people and funny people. Basically all of what one finds in everyday life.
So some of you chickens out there asked how safe using Match was. Well, my answer is you have to rely a lot on your instinct , use Google to find out what you can, try to find someone in common you know, and never give out your real name and address until you are sure the guy is legit and you have faith in him. You can tell a lot from a voice, and from spending time on the phone listening to what he says, where he’s been in his life and what he believes in
So that’s all I have to say today about Match.com. I think it’s a valid tool in today’s world. I am just back from a great trip to New Orleans where I met a couple in their 70’s who met on Match 4 years ago and are happily married. So, you see, it can happen. I guess the trick is to find someone who really wants a partner and is willing to fill out their dance card with only one name for a while to see if it becomes permanent.
Yes, it may seem strange to married people that many are seeking love on Match.com, but it is very true in todays’ world of high tech compatibility. There are many young people on Match which is natural, but there are many older people as well. There are people from “good families” as well as hard working people who have little extra cash. There are doctors, lawyers, socialites, nurses and teachers: retirees as well as “still hard at work” people. I still don’t understand why married people are surprised to hear about their friends being on Match. I have been on Match and I have had success as well as disappointments yet I believe this type of dating is the way of the future.
Let’s face it, if you are single and want to find a partner it isn’t always easy. Your friends forget to keep looking for men for you and there are just so many ways to meet guys in today’s world. Match is a great way to see who is out there and it is easy to eliminate the wheat from the chaff. I have to admit, however, it presents a problem that I haven’t found an answer to and here it is.
Match informs people who check out your profile how active you have been on the site. There is a caption above each profile that states the hours, days or weeks since you have been logged on. Why is this important? Well, think about it this way. You meet a guy, see him a few times, begin to like him and when you go online to Match you see how recently active he has been. If you really like the guy it smarts to see he has been continually trolling since you began dating. If you find he is actively online it’s like hearing he was seen out with another woman from a friend. He might say in response to this, “Well you went online too!” and this would be true. So what do we have here? A public disclosure of online infidelity by both parties and it happens almost instantly.
I have no idea how to solve this issue because I am guilty as accused. If someone on Match winks at me, I am curious to see what that person is like. I am curious and easily flattered to a point. I like having online admirers but it doesn’t mean I want to meet them.
Sometimes it is nice to live in a Jane Austin world where one just continues to correspond and never actually meets the other person. I think what it boils down to is the lack of absolute trust in a relationship and the difficulty of finding this in todays’ world. In past generations people met their mates through their family or friends. In today’s world many of us have lost our “tribe” and with this loss come more of a sense of aloneness. I have met a few men on Match who seem to have no lives and are almost desperate to connect with a woman who will provide them with a life. I bet a number of men have found the same thing in women.
The solution would be for each party to resign from Match once they had found a relationship that seemed worth pursuing. For some reason this seems difficult to achieve. I may be the only woman who feels this way but I do believe this. I think it is a good sign that a guy is willing to forego Match in the hope that a relationship will work. It seems to be a sign of self-esteem. I am surprised at how unwilling Match members seem to be to do this and I wonder if it has to do with the fleeting nature of internet dating? Or worse, the fleeting nature of love.
I write about the romantic in life because that is what uplifts me. If that is what uplifts you as well then take a trip to the de Young Museum and see the Balenciaga exhibit. It will be well worth your while as there are many visions to dream on. I think I will go back a second time as I didn’t have the time to look at all the details of the gowns nor the names of the women who had worn them.
I am particularly fond of reading the names of the owners of the gowns. It allows one to imagine the life of Mrs. Eleanor deGuigne and to wonder how she ever squeezed herself into that tiny, wasp waisted gown. Did she never eat at all or perhaps not one bite for a period before having herself zipped up into this creation? And what did she think when she went out in the evening? Did she look into the mirror and say to herself how absolutely fabulous she looked? I wonder.
I wonder about that generation of exquisitely groomed ladies who spent a fortune on their wardrobe and lived such apparently glamorous lives. Were they conscious of how they were living or did they just live?
In the attic in our house in Connecticut there was a walk through closet which lead to my brother’s train room. My brother had polio when he was 7 or 8 and my parents bought him a full train set and put it all together on top of a specially made table in the attic. There were two bright red stools which sat at the head of the table where the controls were. I don’t really remember being able to get the trains to work often as by the time I could access the stools on my own, my brother was out of the house. The room was not on our permitted places list but we didn’t really care about that. I do remember sitting on one of the stools lost in my own train town world believing the train was taking all these families to interesting places and the families were laughing and enjoying the ride. The train always stopped obediently at the crossings marked with large black X’s and proceeded with caution when directed. The train world was a secret I kept from the rest of the household. Everyone seemed to have forgotten the train room just as the walk through closet was not a place often visited by other family members.
The walk through closet held the only remnants of our mother’s past life: a life we could only imagine as our world focused on my father’s family morning, noon and night. My mother appeared to have been born to parents who simply disappeared and reappeared only once or twice a year. In the walk through closet there were several dresses I loved to pull out and examine looking for clues as to who my mother was. My favorite of these dresses was an incredibly heavy and complicated Mexican wedding dress my mother had bought on her honeymoon in Acapulco. The dress was long and red and had many many tiny hooks in back which had to be hooked up one by one. God Forbid that you started incorrectly or you would have to begin all over again. From the age of 7 I would drag the wedding dress into the hallway and try it on. Initially I couldn’t button one hook but I shrugged into the puffy sleeves with their ridges of hard lace and held the skirt in my hands twirling it back and forth always slightly terrified someone would catch me dressing in a sacrament.
There was one more dress in the walk through closet that appeared in 1961 and it was a very lovely silk dress with an embroidered flower pattern and a small shrug made to be worn over the dress. This dress was history in the eyes of my mother. She had worn it to the White House and had danced with President Kennedy while wearing it. I tried this dress on as well. I tried it on and moved around within it feeling clumsy and bulky and that I wasn’t worthy of a dress that had gone to the White House.
Years later when I was organizing a coming out party for my daughter a large box arrived in the mail from Connecticut. When I opened it I found the White House dress with a note from my mother stating she hoped I would wear the dress to my daughter’s party. I was almost speechless and reverently removed the dress from the box exclaiming over the beauty of it. Later when I was trying it on I realized it would have to be altered in order for it to work for me as the dress was a little too short and a little too tight. Luckily I had a wonderful dressmaker who redesigned the dress and added a bit more color making it appropriate for 1988. I wore the dress to the party and danced all night and my parents were there to see my daughter become an elegant debutante.
Years passed and just before my parents sold the old house in Connecticut I went back to visit and climbed the stairs to the walk through closet now empty except for a few bent old wire coat hangers on the floor and some rick rack ribbon falling off the side of the shelf. I knelt on the floor and felt all the old feelings of awe and sadness and wonder and depression that fluctuated around my family in our childhood. I remembered the magic the closet had brought me and I remembered my mother’s comment years later about my redesign of her White House dress I was so proud of. “You ruined the dress! Just ruined it!
So back to Balenciaga…it’s worth a visit for those of us who lurked in closets as children as these clothes will never be made again. The skills and talents and materials do not exist. Gone like a puff of smoke from my train town village or the soft click of a closet door closing.