I was going to write a post about atonement yesterday, given that it was Yom Kippur, I probably could have come up with some hunger-induced profundity for the blog. But since I'm writing this today, things aren't going to be terribly profound. But there will be atonement.
It's almost three months since I came to Boston to start work at HBS, and I've done quite a bit since then. I had the college experience I had never ended up having while at Princeton (complete with a few things from Katy Perry's 'Last Friday Night'). I lived with total strangers off of craiglist (and survived--barely). I learned what it's like to have your dry cleaning bill deplete a solid portion of my salary (and for wine to deplete another good portion of it). I found out that I had celiac disease and began my entry into the world of gluten-free delights (and un-delights). I made a glorious return to papercrafts and put the rest of my funny money to buying fine paper and stamps.
But above all, the past three months have indoctrinated me with a life truth to surmount all truths: don't do okcupid. Ever. Not even as a joke. Run away. I can give you logical reasons for this or I can give you snippets of stories. I prefer snippets of stories.
My profile was active for about 2-2.5 months, and during this time, I went on an absurd number of dates, which KF laughed at me for calling "appointments." But that's pretty much exactly how I saw them. Okcupid seemed like a decent idea for a girl new to a city, hoping to explore the unexplored and make a couple new friends along the way. Sessions to help me start a new life. Little did I know that the majority of the people I saw took this site way more seriously for romance than I did.
I'd be lying if I said nothing happened between me and any of the boys (nope, not men) that I met through this website. And it wasn't all bad. July 11, if I recall correctly, was the last time I genuinely enjoyed okcupid. It was also before I had good friends in the RA community to tell me to quit while I was ahead and that things would get awful, fast. (Aside: KC, if you're reading this--the two of us dating never would have worked out, but you're cool guy. Respect).
By the end of August, things had gotten bad. One guy called me an indecent whore (despite the fact that his behavior would suggest that this was an exercise in self-description). Another, to whom I'd made impeccably clear in my behavior that I never wanted to see him again, stalked me to my blog and proceeded to send me passive-aggressive text messages about my blog content (which KYB helped me combat--a million thanks, love). I was kinda impressed since it was near-impossible to find on the internet and without mutual friends on facebook. Then again, the guy did work for a tech startup and might have been a competitive starcraft player for some time. (Who told me recently that I attract d-bags and weirdos? +9,000 to you on that. And another +9,000 if you can help me change that. +9,000 more if you can help me forget that whole evening.)
So okcupid can be really, really bad. But sometimes, it's also really, really funny.
I understand, especially given that one of my "dates" stalked me to my blog that this guy might do the same. But man, some things just need to be shared: this gentleman graduated from Berklee college of music in 2011 and currently performs with two bands: one an indie-folksy one, the other a death metal band. This prompted one of the best quotations at an HBS RA lunch to date from KH: "Wait...you can study death metal at Berklee?"
I saw this person a few times, and as I said, I went on these okcupid dates as an experience in meeting people who could show me the city, not out of effort to find a boyfriend. What I thought was going to be a strictly friendly situation seemed to change in tone after the second meeting, though I could have caught the tinges of one-sided romance in the first. After an email I sent in which I did the unsavory but necessary deed of defining the relationship (which, in my book, was none), I received an email in return from this guy that was amiable and would have been unobjectionable had it not included such phrases as "you warmed my heart to partnership again," "I like being led on by you," and last, but not least, "Werdz iz werds, duud."
When I shared this email with my good friend RPM, his reaction to "Werdz iz werds, duud" made me laugh too hard: "I long for death's sweet embrace, that it may take me from an earth in which this is said in response to a serious message, let alone at all."
Back to atonement. With that email representing the last of the contact I've had with anyone on that website, I think I've purged and washed myself clean of the horrors of okcupid, and I feel I've more than atoned for my emotional crimes and misdemeanors. At least the ones on the internet.
Until next week, when I'll be writing from Old Nassau --
Bonus!: Other gems from lunch that require some context and knowledge of the people speaking, but I'll do my best to provide the necessary accents:
VP (Italian, gorgeous, and wearing a black fur vest from Calypso, speaking in an effortlessly seductive accent): "In 'I want to break free' from Queen, I always thought he was saying 'my father-in-law,' and not 'I'm falling in love.' But it makes sense that you want to break free from your father-in-law, right?"
KF (Innocent looks aside, has a mild Chicago accent and a disturbingly deep love of rap music that betrays her blond hair and very white skin color): "I just thought Chris Brown in 'Look at me now' was getting printer paper when he says 'I'm gettin' paper.' They're rappers, so I thought, 'oh well, this is funny!' Why wouldn't they be getting printer paper?"