As I copped to a post or two ago -- I've gone back to the online dating thing. I'm not sure exactly why I still feel it carries such a stigma -- everyone's doing it, etc etc, but it still feels like I've been assigned to the remedial male-female relationships course.
It shouldn't, sure. Having gone out with a fair amount of girls met both on- and off-line over the past couple of years, the average attractiveness/intelligence is probably pretty similar.
And it really is tougher than hell to meet people here, especially when (like me) you're relatively quiet. Once upon a time, I went through a spate of picking girls up at grocery stores or Borders, enough to garner a sort of reputation for it, right when that wellspring completely dried up. The problems there are of my own making; if I'm going grocery shopping or book shopping, I'm generally dressed in a manner that suggests I list "beachcomber" as my primary occupation. Unshaven and wearing flip-flops doesn't score with the intellectual girl-next-door types I like.
The bar scene doesn't work well either, which is a pity, since I spend most of my time in such establishments. I have a near-unfailing ability to pick out the girl who's married, a lesbian, or seventeen years old, or all three, or none but pretending. Even beyond that, if it's loud, I get irritable and crotchety; if it's quiet and I can rely on my conversational skills, well, I'll have been drinking, which doesn't lead anywhere good. I went through a (much-maligned) period of talking about hockey when stuck for a subject -- one female friend of mine suggested I'd be better off talking about Japanese tentacle porn. Recently, on St. Patrick's Day, I changed tacks and gave an impromptu lecture about the new Palestinian government -- which worked, surprisingly, but I don't really think the "Hamas Gambit" is one to rely upon long-term.
So it's back to the web. I remarked to a friend last night that I've already gone through the usual three stages: 1 - "Shit, I can't believe I'm doing this," 2 - "Hey, there's lots of cute, intelligent girls here!" and 3 - "Another e-mail? Why can't a man get some peace?" So in a matter of weeks, I'll be dropping it again, and then complaining about being single, as the whole stupid cycle begins anew.
(Post title taken from a Victim's Family album. Other things I hate to admit: that I remember the discography of a band I never remotely cared about, but I forget why I went to the grocery store as soon as I enter the front door)