Dear Alyssa Bereznak

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On this particular planet that most of us find ourselves living a day-to-day kind of life on, I find that there are layers upon layers of social norms to adhere to and social stigmas to avoid.  For much of my life, I have unwittingly failed at adhering to any kind of social norm, which has consequently left me with a kind of ineptitude in avoiding social stigmas.  For instance, did you know that online dating was looked down upon?  Apparently it’s embarrassing.  Here I thought that meeting someone in a venue completely disconnected from any kind of physicality, and therefore a place where you would have to actually get to know one another, would be generally regarded as a good idea.  I mean, God forbid getting to know someone on a purely intellectual level! What does personality really say about a potential dating partner, anyway?

Apparently it says less than a man with his hand on his back pocket willing to fork over copious amounts of cash to pay for whatever insanely priced drink a girl asks for… just so she’ll bat her glittered eyes at him one more time.

Such was my ignorance to any of these circumstances, that I signed up for a dating website on purpose.  Yes, on purpose.  No one suggested it to me.  I didn’t do it as a joke.  I didn’t hide it from anyone.  I went on OkCupid one day, filled in the register box and quickly filled out an awkward profile for myself.  I merely wanted to meet and talk to new people.  I wasn’t even drunk.

Now, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get my fair amount of decidedly “creeper” status messages from men who were either supremely desperate, or supremely scary, but it wasn’t overwhelming.  To be honest, most of the messages I received were very polite and even, in a lot of cases, intelligently written.  Now, what conclusion can I draw from this? Sadly, that, for some reason or another, friendly and intelligent men are being overlooked IRL. Creepy men are also being overlooked, as it turns out, but I feel less sorry for them.

Out of a grand total of three days on the website, I had spoken to a few very well spoken men including a law student, a medical student, a volunteer who worked with children, a legal secretary… and then, finally, a teacher with a masters degree in engineering.  They all made me laugh, they were all friendly, and I enjoyed talking to each of them in their own way.  I can’t imagine having met anyone nicer or smarter in a bar or at a club any more than I can imagine falling in love with the guy being cheered on for his amazing beer pong skills.

Of course, of course… you always run a risk.  I admit I would be remiss if I conveniently ignored the possibility that “John the Medical Student” was actually “Big-Dog the Escaped Convict”, but the risk is there with anyone regardless of how you met them.  People don’t need a computer screen to hide behind or to lie to you.  Having said that, I am also kind of an accepting person.  Admittedly, serious jail time would probably be a deal breaker for me, but finding out an awesome, intelligent, and funny guy is… I don’t know, say, a gamer, perhaps?  I don’t see a problem.

I don’t even see a reason why this would be a problem.

There I go, though, with my inability to avoid social stigmas.  Did you know there was a stigma attached to online gaming, to gaming in general? No? Then you’re probably like me, and don’t feel the need to label someone a “nerd” or be put off by a person just because they have a hobby that doesn’t necessarily involve tubes of alcohol and glow sticks.  Not that I’m saying the two preclude each other, but then I’m not a gamer.

I do, however, date one.  Proudly.  He’s a teacher with a masters degree in engineering.  His name is Boyfriend Scott.

Yes, Internet.  I went on an online dating website called OkCupid, got to know a guy completely based off of his ability to write emails (very well, might I add), and didn’t find out until after I met him how important gaming was in his life… and I’m completely in love with him.  As far as I’m concerned, gaming is just one more facet of his personality that makes him who he is, and he’s a truly amazing man.  Also, playing games is pretty damn fun.

If this is a social stigma, I don’t want to be a norm.  I’ll leave that to judgmental Gizmodo editors.

Single judgmental Gizmodo editors.

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