Because I am not a human being but merely a collection of New Year's tropes, I signed up for OkCupid last week, a day after I gave myself bangs. After spending too long thinking about names, I finally settled on fictional_kitchentool (only I use an actual kitchen tool in the name) and began on my journey to... something. We'll find out if this is going to lead to true love or just frustration.

In the short time since I joined the site, I have gone on two dates. You can skip to the last section if you just want the most entertaining bits but don't care about the actual dates.

Date #1

Date #1 was with a guy who calls himself randomguy_1234. (That's not a made-up name. The numbers are changed to protect his identity, but otherwise it's the same.) We were only a 60% match, but he wrote me a message asking about my username and suggesting that he had read at least the first paragraph of my profile and we talked about the Doctor Who Christmas special, so I thought I'd give him a chance. Since neither of us drink coffee, he suggested a tea place that I happen to love.

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Unbeknownst to him, I had no expectations for this date. In fact, I had decided to treat it as a "practice date," so that I could get my first first date out of the way with no pressure. The date filled this role quite nicely. I showed up 10-15 minutes early; randomguy_1234 showed up 5-10 minutes late (though he did text to say he would be a bit late). He seemed like a decent person, reasonably attractive, a law student, but there were a lot of awkward silences where neither of us quite knew what to say to the other person. He was also a "pragmatic libertarian" and noted several times that as a white male, he "doesn't get to have opinions on things" which, while heading in the right direction, carries a bit too much bitterness for my liking.

After an hour and a half, I made up dinner plans with my roommate and took the bus home. He messaged me asking what his chances of seeing me again were. I said not good. He responded, "Damn white male privilege." "Gets you every time," I said.

Date #2

I was very excited to see date #2's username pop up on my screen, as his name was a pun on Joss Whedon's name. He liked cooking and trying new food. One of his favorite movies is About Time, which my mom and sister made me watch over the holidays and which directly contributed to the aforementioned bangs. He made a Powerpuff Girls reference as we were texting to set up a date. He named his car Dr. Horrible. On paper, he was lovely, so I'm sure you can see where this is going.

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About half an hour before we were suppose to meet up this morning (yes, I did make him push it back half an hour because I was not getting up early enough to go on a date at 10am on a Sunday), he texted me saying he'd be about fifteen minutes late. That's fine; I hadn't even left the house yet.

Since I had some free time but my bus put me there at 10:30 anyway, I walked through the farmer's market. I bought Braeburn apples, which my neighborhood market didn't have this year. Even if nothing else went well, I told myself, it was still a good day.

Text from WhedonPun, 10:32: "Next train is 2 minutes. Good timing."

Text from WhedonPun, 10:44: "...I got on the wrong train."

Text from WhedonPun, 10:51: "OK I'm at [metro stop 10-15 minutes away]. Walking."

I practiced my French adjectives until he arrived at (judging by my tweets) 11:09. He promptly hugged me (?) and then I moved tables—since someone had sat down at the other side of the very small coffee table I was at with her laptop, which I thought could be awkward—while he got his drink.

The table I moved to was a small round one, with a bench/window seat on one side and a chair on the other. I sat on the bench so that I could people-watch the room over his shoulder. There was a woman doing some work at the table right next to us (in the chair seat).

WhedonPun came back upstairs with a javachip frappucino (?) and sat down. Next to me. On the bench seat. The woman next to us had to move her jacket and ended up moving across the room after five or ten minutes, presumably because having someone sit almost across from you and talk while you're trying to work is very distracting. I was forced to awkwardly sit sideways in order to look at him while the perfectly usable chair across the table remained empty. He didn't sit sideways but simply talked into the air, occasionally looking at me.

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I think this is the point at which I knew there would be no second date. For the next hour or two, we were perfectly interesting people who told stories back and forth without ever actually having a conversation. Then I made up a lunch plan with a friend and went home. I turned down a second date over text within twenty minutes.

The Rest

Some odds and ends from my inbox. This is in addition to the many "hey how r u :)" messages and other messages that were clearly copy/pasted. (I did get "Hello my name is Mike and I'd like to talk to you if that doesn't bother you," which I thought was at least a very polite copy/paste.)

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A short but meh message, which I responded to. He responded back around the time I went to bed. When I didn't respond by that afternoon, he sent "Hey there :)" and now I'm refusing to respond even though I'd initially intended to.

"I have a bit of a soft spot for nerdy girls." Good for you?

"Hey you're pretty cute, I'd like to explore the possibility of enhancing your life by means of exposure to my awesomeness." I'll pass.

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From ALegitKitchenAppliance (which made me smile): "Hiya. How do you feel about bread?" ALegitKitchenAppliance seems like he would be a great guy for someone who is not me. Specifically someone who can fully appreciate his deep deep love for Tumblr and the fact that Magic: The Gathering is one of the six things he cannot live without.

From a California guy, with whom I had briefly discussed the DC climate: "This winter is mild? Damn. Totally need to find someone to cuddle for when this ACTUALLY gets cold then ;)" Sit down.

A message from "a cheesy, pun-loving, feminist dork" who is definitely my father in the body of a 22-year-old. Same hair and everything. He is also "a swarm of hyper-intelligent bees trying to blend into your bipedal society." Cool story bro.

From yumyumcandy45 (different food and number, "yumyum" is original to him):

I don't do standard dates, where people go out for coffee, dinner, movies, or velociraptor sightseeing. However, if you're interested, how about we go out for Eggo waffles and race go-karts? After, depending on how we feel, we can grab frozen yogurt and avocados. Then, we can have a food fight with my pet lemur and feed him Nutella covered chicken nuggets. Lastly, we can look at my pogs and slammer collection,

If go-karts are below your standards, we can always go to IKEA, and grab Swedish meatballs!

You are trying too hard and I don't like you.

From a guy my age whose name isn't really mockable: "You look adorable, I would so adopt you. We'd fly kites on the beach and have catching the flag competitions with people"

*backs away slowly*

And my favorite, from a guy whose name is a stupid pun on the name of a rap metal band with an equally stupid name, and yes his picture is of his muscles and a guitar:

The twitter convo that follows that is pretty great, btw.

So that's my recap. In summary: Online dating is stupid and boring and I'm just going to hang out with you all instead. At least I got apples.

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ETA: Also, do guys think women don't know what a six-foot-tall man looks like? Because bro, if you're six feet then I'm Meryl Streep.