Okay, Cupid, bring me a dream, Sandman style

Words by Nicole X

Published on May 31, 2013

Nicole is publishing weekly stories from her online dating journey on her website right here and for the rest of May we’ll be publishing weekly footnotes to her stories.

Three days ago I finished signing up to OkCupid. I’ve had it with Plenty of Fish. I concede that my friend was right when she said that POF is full of ‘psychopaths and punctuation abuse’.

I started signing up to OkCupid a few weeks ago but had trouble with the photo section. POF lets you upload any old grainy piece of crap but OkCupid requires serious mega pixels, so the shitty photos I’d pulled off Facebook for POF wouldn’t do.

I’m not much of a photo-taker. I own a camera but haven’t used it in a year. The only photos I could find were in a five-year-old album of an NZ ski trip. There are about fifty photos in the album and ten of them are of me. The best out of the ten capture me eating burgers, standing in the rain, injuring myself with a ski pole, and yelling at a kiwi bird in a cage. I look like a lunatic in every one. But I had to pick something. Eventually I settled on a photo of me standing by the lake in Queenstown. In it I’m wearing four layers of thick beige woollen clothing and squinting into the sun. So sexy.

The next bit of the application process is a whole bunch of questions. You would think
that this would be straight forward but it’s not. The questions are hard and weird. ‘Do you think,’ OkCupid wants to know, ‘that nuclear war would be an interesting thing or a bad thing? Explain your answer.’ Another question: ‘A right-handed glove turned inside out fits on which hand, right or left?’ How the fuck should I know? Then the site presents you with a series of numbers: ‘2, 6, 58, eleventy million. Which number out of the three options below comes next?’ It’s like filling out a passport application.

The last time I applied for a passport the government wanted to know if I had ever been involved in an act of genocide. What, I wanted to write.You want me to pay you hundreds of dollars and do your job for you? Aren’t you supposed to already know who the genocide guys are? You told me you’d put them all in jail. I figured that writing that on the form may have jeopardised my chances of smoking hashish in India so I just ticked the ‘no’ box.

OkCupid tells you that if you give truthful answers to all of its ten thousand questions you’ll have a better chance of getting matched with someone similar to you. It does not however, tell you that all of your answers will be public. Every psycho and douche bag will know that you don’t know the difference between right and left-handed gloves. They will know that you keep promises if and when it suits you. They will know that ‘stabbing’ and ‘arson’ are the first words that jump into your head when you’re asked to think about kittens.

Half an hour after signing up I got a message from a guy with a pony tail demanding to know if I’m some big joke. ‘How is it possible that you can hate cats and dogs,’ he said. ‘You’re lucky you like Black Books‘.

This was horrifying beyond belief. What else does he know about me? In a panic I wiped all my answers which had taken me three hours to finish. Despite this atrocity OkCupid has not punished me and has let me keep my account. I’ve even been lucky enough to get a message from someone calling himself TruthPerson. To see his profile picture you have to tilt your head to the left until it’s nearly flat on the keyboard because he obviously doesn’t understand technology, but the man wants to go out with me and he has some good advice: ‘If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story’.

I don’t know what that means but this is my last post for Stilts. The story continues on my blog and will hopefully be full of happy endings in the style of the best after-hours massage parlour.

Read all about Nicole exploring depression with Kasey Chambers right here.