Saturday, July 10, 2004
Service: * * * *
Food: * * *
Ambience: * * * 1/2
Babe Count: * * * *
I'm a littttttttttttttle nervous. The woman who's on her way to meet me has only ever seen photos of me. Three photos, to be precise. And two self portraits. She's heard my voice on the phone, cos we've chatted. And she's seen my email style.
I've seen four photos of her. And that's really all I know.
She's my very first date from the Ananzi internet dating service I've signed up for. I've decided that I'm now over Jacqui, and I must move on with my life.
A buddy of mine showed me his profile on the service, and browsed through the gallery, showing me all of these babes. Hundreds of them. And a matching system that takes your preferences into account.
We have to see how well the matching system works. The software claims that M and I are around 97% compatible. (I'm keeping her real name and her online name anonymous, cos I haven't asked her permission yet to reveal those. But there's no reason for you to know her real details, so "M" will have to do.)
My phone rings. "Okay, Roy, I'm approaching the hotel foyer, but I can't see you."
I leap out of the couch, and walk into the open space. A tall woman, glasses, black hair, smart jacket is walking toward me. Matches the photo. It's M.
"Hullo!" I say.
"Hullo!" she says.
And we get on swimmingly. We make each other laugh. We talk about intimate things. We talk about how weird it is to try this internet dating thing. We talk about the odd dudes she's met. I tell her about the time I was forced to use James Small (a rugby player) in a Panasonic commercial, and he stood around for half a day with ad agency girls rubbing his chest while he sent the production assistant around the shoe shops of Sandton to get him the right pair of boots.
Somewhere in the middle of this, I ask the waitress if it's possible to wangle a free slice of chocolate cake. "No," she says, "There's a very complicated system, and we don't have access to the cakes. But what we have got is some tarts. Little ones that we are allowed to give our customers."
"You get a BIG tip tonight," I say.
She brings tea, and four little fruit tarts. Remarkable.
"I'm not going to have any," says M. "I baked blueberry muffins this afternoon. I NEVER bake!"
Next thing, it's 1:30am, and my contact lenses are glued to my eyelids, and it's time to go home.
"Yes, I'd definitely like to see you again," I say.
"Me too," she says.
It's hard to tell whether or not there's chemistry. There's so much pressure on a blind date of this sort. Probably a second date will tell, cos the ice has been broken, and we're both sure that the other one isn't a hag.
I've decided that I'm going to meet pretty much all of the people who I feel some kind of empathy for. Not everyone. But I'm not going to exclude people just cos they're not in my "profile preference range". Who knows what can happen? And who knows WHERE love lives? I dunno. As experienced as I am at having my heart broken, I STILL have no idea what the heck this stuff is all about.
Head for http://ananzi.matchmaker.co.za and sign up for free to be able to check profiles. I'm on as CoffeeShopSchmuck (predictably). If you want to communicate with any of your finds, you've got to pay a trivial subscription fee.
With internet dating, it's really not a matter of clicking with the person. It's more like a double click.