I’ve been using OkCupid since 2008. If you don’t use that site, you don’t know how it works, but it like, totally encourages you to stick around. It’s like an aggressive version of those little creatures popping up behind Sarah in Labrynth, “Should you need us…” Only it’s like “Listen, we’re really happy that you’re off the market, but if you delete your profile you can never use the same username and all the hard work that went into creating this stunning profile will be lost, so how about you just click the “Disable” button. Then, if things don’t work out, you can just pick up where you left off.”
And over the years, I’ve become protective of that profile. I love my username. That profile is one of my finest works, always evolving. That profile gets me so many messages that I’ve never been at a loss for anything to do. If I’m bored, I just make my way down the list and find someone who’s not busy right then. Bad or good, that profile has been a huge chunk of my self-esteem for years.
“Don’t forget to text me when the race is over so I know you’re not smashed to bits.”
Yesterday, as the hours ticked by and I hadn’t heard from him, I realized that if there was an accident, I wouldn’t know about it. He races bicycle for a living. I don’t know how to say that. He’s a pro-bike guy. A professional racist? He goes out on these big races with a team and they race and they get hurt and all of a sudden I feel like I’m in Jerry MacGuire and I am watching a football game and my husband Cuba Gooding Jr. gets smashed into by other football guys and I don’t know if he’s going to get up and dance around. Only I can’t watch *his* race on tv. Or can I? I dunno. Never checked the channels for this kind of stuff.
In the past, when I’ve met someone on OkCupid and I really like-like them, I’ve changed my status to “Seeing Someone”. This is a thing you can do. You can say “Seeing Someone” and that you’re only looking for new friends. Or you can say “Seeing Someone” and if you say you’re looking for casual sex or dating, that shows up to other people as “Available”. So, I’d change it, as a gesture, as a way to say “Look, I think you’re pretty great.” A few times I even disabled that profile. That was when things were really going full-steam. Like, when Josh and I moved in together. Or when K and I started dating. Hell, I didn’t even disable my profile when Lee moved across the ocean to live with me.
We lay in bed one night trying to figure out what we’re going to hate about each other. He’s gone a lot. We both have a bit of the crazy in us. I post about my personal life on every imaginable platform. He’s fairly private. This is a thing I usually do by myself. Whenever I feel especially drawn to a person, I start to think of the things that won’t work about it. “He dresses like a dweeb.” “I already can’t stand the way he chews.” “He dances. I hate that.” It’s not a thing I try to do. I’m just the kind of person who thinks long-term about everything. I worry it into the ground.
But now that worry is replaced by a new worry. I’m terrified that now that I’ve met him, something will take him away. One of my co-workers got hit by a car on his bike Friday night. There were 618 bicycle riding deaths in America in 2010. Remember when Nicholas Cage became a human so he could hang out with Meg Ryan and then they are super happy? What takes her out? That’s right. She’s riding a bike and gets hit by a truck. Bikes are death-traps.
I woke up because I had a dream he was telling me goodbye in the morning. I woke up smiling. What a twit. That keeps happening to me. My face hurts from smiling. I keep staring off into space, thinking of him, looking like someone just plunged me full of morphine. My friends are downright sick of my infatuation phase.
I opened OkCupid, gazed at a few of the faces of people who’d sent me messages. No interest. I clicked on my settings, got to the disable profile page. They let you do this thing where you can tell them why you’re going. You can tell them who you met on their site. They say this improved their matching abilities. I guess that makes sense based on the numbers system they use. And I entered his name, and was about to hit that disable button. Then I thought better of it and hit “Delete”.
Now I’m waiting for the hours to pass, the text message to come, and reading too many articles about bicycle deaths. Everyone loves in their own way.