Well now here’s an interesting dilemma: I can’t handle rejection. And I’m not talking about being rejected. I’m talking about being the rejecter. I’m fifteen days into my match.com experience and in just two weeks, I’ve gone from “winking” at every Tom, Dick and Harry on the Eastern Seaboard to sending half a dozen “No thank you” emails every day.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Who told you to wink at every Tom, Dick and Harry on the Eastern Seaboard?” You’re also thinking, “It’s better to send ‘No thank you’ emails than to receive them.”
But here is where you’re wrong.
A little known fact about Yours Truly is that I’ve ended every relationship I’ve ever been in. This might seem like something to be proud of— better to kill than be killed, better to dump than be dumped— but it’s not. Because when you’re the one who decides to call it quits, you get the usual break up drama plus the guilt, the confusion and the nagging feeling that maybe, just maybe, you’ve made the wrong decision.
I’d love for somebody to dump me someday. This way, once I’ve gone through the crying, the throwing up, the not eating and finally the over eating, I can just get on to the final phase: anger. And anger leaves no room for confusion, guilt and second guessing. Anger is great. Anger is productive. Anger inspires tire slashing and man bashing and all sorts of fun things.
At least this is what I’m inclined to think. Having never had the privilege, I’m not entirely sure.
The first time a total “ug” winked me (and for the term “ug” I must thank my younger brother), I panicked. What are you supposed to do when a total “ug” winks at you? I scrolled through his pictures, thinking maybe his third or fourth photographs wouldn’t be so hideous, but they were. Now what?
I spent the next five minutes berating myself for being so shallow. Maybe Mr. Ug is a really nice guy, once you get past the fact that he’s approximately 400 pounds and bald. And if I’m to reject him outright, based on his appearance, I’ll never know!
In a fit of self righteousness, I click the “reply” button but then I stop myself. What’s the point of trying to fall for an “ug” when I know for a fact that his lifestyle choices won’t mesh with mine? He could be a really nice guy, but I’d spend the rest of my life bugging him to get up, come hiking, go dancing, stop drinking so much soda and for God’s sakes, no more Pringles before dinner!
If love, however, is being able to accept someone for the Pringles lover they are, I don’t think I’m going to fall in love on this particular occasion.
So what now?
Do I say I’m busy? Do I tell him the truth, sugar coated in euphemisms about lifestyle choices and my love of hiking? Or do I just ignore him and hope he’ll go away?
I try to put myself in his shoes (do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and all that jazz). I decide that I don’t want to just ignore him and hope he’ll go away because then, if he’s anything like me, he’ll be sitting at his computer for the next week and a half wondering, “Hmm, I winked at that girl but she never winked back. Maybe she didn’t get my wink. Maybe—I know!—I’ll wink at her again!” And although I’ve yet to make the fatal mistake of the second unsolicited wink, I’ve been on the receiving end of several such winks, and they’re completely dreadful.
I run through several possible white lies (I’ve recently joined a convent, I’ve recently become a lesbian, or, last but not least, I’ve recently joined a convent and become a lesbian) but professional break up artist that I am, I know that white lies are a very, very bad idea.
Fortunately, Match.com saves you the trouble. I recently discovered a “Say ‘No, thanks’” tab in within my personal online dating inbox—a “Say ‘No, thanks’” tab with three possible rejections to pick from!
Option #1: “Thanks for writing to me but I just met someone and want to see where it goes.” (This, unfortunately, would be a white lie so far as Pringles Man is concerned).
Option #2: “Thanks for writing to me but I just met someone, not online, and want to see where it goes.” (Also a white lie, sadly).
Option #3: “Thanks for writing but unfortunately we’re just not a good match. Good luck in your search!” Perfect! I highlight Option #3 from the drop down menu (yes, there’s a drop down menu of one-liner rejections on Match.com) and hit send.
If only real-life rejections came with a drop down menu—then tire slashing and man bashing might cease to exist!—but this, I suppose, is the beauty of online dating.