Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I Reject You

So recently a number of my friends have been saying things like “are you dating anyone?” Or “What about you, Helen, are you seeing anyone?” To which I reply, “are you joking?” Then they blink at me, wide-eyed and cartoon-like “what? Why not?” “Because I’m fat,” I say. “Oh, that doesn’t matter,” they say. Mind you the people who are telling me this are thin and attractive. Their next line is always “have you tried online dating?” Now it’s me who looks at them wide-eyed and blinking? “Are you mad?” I say. “What?” they say, “Everyone does it now.” “I’m FAT, ” I say. “That doesn’t matter,” they say. Again, thin, beautiful people telling me it doesn’t matter. Last week three different people told me I should try online dating.

Maybe they were on to something. Why not give it a shot? Sure, my friend, M, cautioned me by showing me the photo she had saved to her phone of the man a dating site had said was her perfect match. He was so incredibly unattractive that someone actually thought the picture must have been PhotoShopped to look so bad. Still, there is the off chance David Tennant has dumped his baby mama and is currently trolling eHarmony for a fat girl from the States (can you say green card?) in which case I'm in! And if no one responds to my profile, well then I can answer honestly when people ask me if I’ve tried online dating and say “yes, I have. No one picked me.” Because that, of course, is what happens when you’re fat. No one picks you. My thin, attractive friends tell me I have a pretty face. “Doesn’t matter,” I say. A man will pick a thin girl who looks like she’s been repeatedly hit in the face with a shovel over a fat girl with a pretty face every time. Trust me. I know this to be a fact. My friend J actually said to me once: “I met a girl. She’s butt ugly. She looks like she’s been repeatedly hit in the face with a shovel, but she has a good body so I’ll probably call her.”

So, in spite of M's caution, I spent the better part of my day filling out the preposterous million question profile on eHarmony. Am I vivacious? I asked my friends. Should I call myself “somewhat” attractive? What are four words you would pick to describe me? What are five things I cannot live without? (Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, small batch Bourbon, Champagne and coffee--hey at least one wasn't alcohol,right?) Speaking of booze, the questionnaire wanted to know how often I drink. Does several times per week make me seem like a raging alcoholic? I wonder if there are people out there looking for a fat drunk woman who watches Doctor Who? OMG. After writing that sentence I realize I wouldn’t date me either. Anyway, I completed my profile, uploaded a picture of me holding a glass of wine (because honestly, that’s what I look like most of the time) and waited. Not for long as it turned out. Apparently, I had thirteen new matches right away!

Wow! This was exciting! Until I looked at them. These guys made M’s perfect match look like a Calvin Klein model. Seriously. I’m not joking. Not only were these guys all way older than I am (that’s what I get for saying I like wine and travel, I guess), but they were all extraordinarily unattractive. Now before you tell me how shallow I am let me say this. I am female. Therefore, I am often attracted to men who do not fit in the standard “good looking” category. If a guy is smart and funny and even reasonably okay looking, I’m capable of developing a crush on him. If he’s a bit nerdy, it’s entirely likely I will. I am not overly concerned with looks. Once again, I am fat so being overly concerned with looks would be hypocritical at best. Plus, like most women I know, I'm more concerned with personality. What I’m saying here is that even though my standards are fairly low, these guys were even lower. Of course the very best part of this story is that not one of these fair fellows has tried to contact me. That’s right. I have been rejected by thirteen of the most heinously unattractive men in Los Angeles. I’ll bet at least one of them has saved my picture to his phone and is, even now, telling his friends “can you believe eHarmony said this horror show was my perfect match?”