Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Cupidity

Read this first:
Plenty of Fishies, Only One Benjy

I bungled the economics. First, an analogy: Apple offers more than 700,000 apps in the App Store. Google Play now has over 500,000, but when I first got my smartphone there were less than 100,000 Android apps. Some people may have been swayed by that discrepancy, but since the average subscriber only uses 50 apps, that level of variety doesn’t matter.

OkCupid online dating
The online dating site Plenty of Fish has more users than all other free sites combined, and despite two female friends proclaiming OkCupid better, I was swayed by the 20 million vertebrates. But I can only date one at a time (five at most if I was a machine a la my friend, C-Smoke). I made the switch after realizing OkCupid is overwhelmingly better.

OkCupid also tugged at my sense of efficiency: a small fraction of my messaged cupids replied. This became frustrating and seemed a waste of time. Then I considered the alternative: spending hours and money at a bar without any real interaction, while competing with more noticeable and outgoing males.

However, saying these are “real interactions” is a stretch. I saw this as a surprisingly fun game to get more cupid response. I found research on what kind of message, and profile photo and content, leads to increased responses. Much like so many aspects of life, I had to sell myself. It wasn’t all fake, though: I still refused to relinquish my silliness. Cupids may have found me odd but I recently stopped caring what others think, a path illustrated years ago by my careless friend, Zeke. In fact, my sarcasm led one cupid to call me “a moron and rude,” after which I explained that I had just made a joke related to her job description, and meant no disrespect. She apologized, assuming I was another creeper she often received inquiries from. I must be the least creepy of the creepy bunch.

American Cancer Society Cure by Design in Washington, DCOnce consistent conversation or a personal meeting ensued, all fakeness ended. I figured my personality—or at least my Vietnamese custom-fit dress shirts—was the best salesman I had. It worked enough to land a date for tomorrow night’s Cure by Design charity fashion show, an American Cancer Society event, where I will be a “model.” That reminds me to apologize for not offering that date via this blog, as I had previously suggested. I know some elderlies were dying to go.

I had mentioned this event to my cupid before specifying, “So, the models are all survivors…”

“…Oh,” she said, in the precise inflection I expected. But she was not dissuaded. I would have been disappointed if she had been, but not upset because, as I learned rock-climbing weeks ago, I will never feel the need to justify myself again. Some others won’t accept parts of me, which I accept.

Last year’s Cure by Design was a blast, and tomorrow’s promises to be cupidly so. I really hope my cupid agrees, but if not, then back to the fishless sea I shall go.