The Dating Game

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The Dating Game

The prompt I generated on JNW’s Prompt Generator was: “tender opportunity.” I hit the generator button again and got “repulsive industry,” When I saw both prompts together, a perfect topic came  to mind. These prompts, in tandem, seemed to describe the two sides of the online social-introduction industry perfectly, so I decided to try to use both prompts. Although this poem sounds a bit bitter, it is really meant tongue-in-cheek as the first phrase was tweaked a bit by the second. I’ve met some really nice guys in the past six years I’ve been on social sites, but just none where both of us wanted to make it permanent.

In the past couple of years, OKC has changed a lot and doesn’t seem to be the special place it once was. They’ve taken away journals, forums, awards, search engines and erased the first few years of information. I’ve pretty much replaced it with blogging, which seems to work better for really getting to know people and the focus has changed from searching for love in all the wrong places to forming real bonds with words, not faces. A few good friends have even followed me from OKC. You know who you are. Here is my little ditty on the subject of the two prompts mentioned above:

When I Joined OkCupid

I considered it to be
a tender opportunity.
Instead I fear it just became
a sort of endless dating game.

Crabby grandpas, lying spouses,
hermits shut up in their houses,
voyeurs looking for a thrill,
twenty-somethings with time to kill.

Men who say they want to talk
who, when asked questions, merely balk.
Whatever it claims to be,
It’s a repulsive industry

a place that doesn’t want to match us
but rather just to try to catch us
in a web of constant circulation–
a type of lovelorn masturbation.

Years later, I’ve made special friends
and yet the cycle never ends.
Though I’d like love with every fiber,
I fear my love life remains cyber.

 *

24 thoughts on “The Dating Game

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Thanks, Relax. I didn’t want it to be too severe and nearly cut a number of the lines, but it is all meant in fun. I do have a couple of blogging friends whom I met first on OKC and hope they realize they are the exceptions. How we do generalize. Well, how I do!

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  1. angloswiss

    I must have been living in a sheltered world, although I was busy bringing up 4 kids. Anyhow of course I had to see what is “OKcupid” I had never heard of it. There is even an OKcupid Switzerland. I liked your estimate poem-wise. Isn’t that prompt generator thought provoking?

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      It is. I’m so glad it has bolstered your interest in blogging. Nice to have a backup. I think I’ve now done every WP prompt as I’m sure you have, but now and then they throw a new one in so I always check.

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  2. Relax

    It scares me to use a random two-word generator — there was one of those back in the day for an MSN (Catholic) chat room’s screen name. Some didn’t make any sense to me, and “RancidPants” was definitely not the aura I wanted to project. Dead serious. I had to go with my own first choice of “SirRussellStover.” (I looked around the room that day, and saw the box of chocolates, and threw a “Sir” in front of the name, as I was tired of being flirted with! Unfortunately, everyone then thought I might be a priest. Can’t win!)

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Ha. If it was a site where you wanted to meet a man, putting a “Sir” in front of a male name was certainly not the way to go about it, but since you said chat room, it sounds like it was just to talk. I tried a few, but the conversation was so mundane and predictable. Not at all like blog comments, which I find very interesting. Guess it depends upon whom you choose to follow and what one comments upon.

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  3. Marilyn Armstrong

    Yes, about that “want to talk.” In my life, men who want to talk either (1) want to rant, lecture, or vent, or (2) watch a ball game. What don’t want is a conversation involving multiple voices, much less points of view. My beloved likes to air his feelings, but it’s not a conversation. It’s ventilation. It’s a guy thing.

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  4. lifelessons Post author

    To Marilyn: But my best guy friend ever is more fun to talk to than anyone else in my life. I’ve said before that he encourages a part of me that no one else in the world ever has–and he feels the same. He prides himself, however, in not being a typical man. He has a very strong feminine side as well, which is my favorite type of male.

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  5. Andrea R Huelsenbeck

    Wonderful poem. What a gifted poet you are, to take 2 randomly generated suggestions and pull together something that is coherent and expressive and delightful all at the same time. Nice work!

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Thanks, Andrea. I love the puzzle of figuring out how to make those silly combinations of words actually make sense. It makes the exercise fun. Thanks for your approval of the result!

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  6. Pingback: Do You Envy Me a Fresh Prompt? | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Oh. Flatterer! Actually, I’m fine at poetry readings where I can use a script, but I can’t memorize lines well and have a fear of forgetting them. I did fine ad-libbing in the classroom. Guess it is the stage that gets to me–only if I have to remember lines!

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