Monday, April 03, 2006

Escapist Dating

If you turn on your radio these days for longer than 15 minutes at a stretch, or watch at least one TV commercial break -- any hour, any channel -- then you've no doubt heard the ads for a dating service that supposedly makes you answer a 2,675-question "personality" test before you dip your toe in the rippling pool of romance. This incredibly thorough test, we are told, is why this certain company's matchups are so well-made.

Well, I can't argue with the company's success, but a little birdie told me something the other day. That big, fancy questionnaire is just a marketing gimmick. I don't know this as fact, but from what I hear, the real survey that potential customers are asked to fill out is much shorter, and is supposedly based on the lyrics of a popular 1970s love song.

In a plain brown envelope left under my doormat, I was provided with a purloined copy of these alternate questions. And even though I'm already married and not in the market for a date, I'll answer the questions as if I were, just to give you an idea of how this thing works.


1. Do you like Pina Coladas? Haven't had one in 20 years, but I'd have to say...yes.

2. Do you like getting caught in the rain? First of all, please note that I have never dated waterfowl and don't intend to start now. Having said that, since "getting caught" implies being unprepared, I'd have to reply that it's all a question of logistics. Am I late for a meeting? Is it cold outside? Am I without a raincoat or umbrella? Is it during really bad weather, such as a lightning storm or hurricane? Am I buck naked? If the answer to any of those is "yes," then my answer is "no." Otherwise, sure, I'm game.

3. Are you not into yoga? Shouldn't that be, "Are you into yoga?" Awkward sentence structure. But, my answer is, yes and no. I think yoga's probably good for you, but the two or three yoga DVDs on my shelf remain unwatched.

4. Do you have half a brain? Whoa, the standards are high at this place. Half, as in 50 percent? I can answer without hesitation: I believe so.

5. Do you like making love at midnight? Time of day has never been a hindrance for me, unless I'm actually asleep at the time. the dunes of the cape? Well now, this changes things a bit. You mean, like in the sand in the pitch dark, out in public? Hmmm. Let me think about this. Sand in places sand shouldn't be. Pieces of broken shells poking my skin. Hungry crabs eyeing me like a dead fish. Globs of beach tar. Elderly couples out late at night with a flashlight and a metal detector, discovering us and then clutching at their wildly beeping pacemakers. I think my answer is...heck no. Now, leave the time and general location the same, but move us inside to a nice master suite overlooking the ocean, and you're on.

6. Are you not much into health food? Who taught these guys grammar? Again, I need more details. Are we talking wheat bread, yogurt and granola? Well, sure. Or are we talking dried sea slime, pine cones and otter cheese for breakfast? Then, no.

7. Are you into champagne? Apparently, the guys who wrote this really like to knock back the hooch. Maybe it helps them numb their gluteus maximi after all those crab bites. My answer is a conditional yes. If I'm at a New Year's Eve party, and free champagne is available, and doesn't come out of a can, I will sip a glass to help ring in the new. Otherwise, it's not my favorite beverage.

So, there it is, folks. If you're looking for one of those boring, traditional dates where you go eat dinner and see a movie, then this place probably isn't for you. But, if you're looking for half-witted members of the opposite sex who pig out on junk food and wander drunk around the beach naked until they spot a flabby but willing partner flailing around in a downpour, then give them a buzz.

Quotes of the Day:

Love is an exploding cigar we willingly smoke.

--Lynda Barry

I'm dating a woman now who, evidently, is unaware of it.

--Gary Shandling


Sublime said...

Hi Muley,

That is hilarious because I just heard that song on the way to work this

I found your blog doing the "Next Blog" thing at the top of the page.

Check my Q&A blog called "The Big Question" at . If you get time, come answer a few questions (I post a new one each day). It's cool to see all the answers from the diverse group of readers that visit.

Take care,


Lorri said...

Thank you so very much... I have had that song stuck in my head ever since I read this!

Jenn said...

Man, now I'm going to have that in my head all day!

skywriter said...

oh thank you for that. . could use a good chuckle about dating. ..I think it was Rita Rudner who said. . I've had so many blind dates, I should get a free dog."

Kristen said...

You are HILARIOUS. I was gasping for air just reading this.

What a trip!!

I never knew the lyrics to this song. Wow...what I've been missing...

beachtiglet said...

That was funny! My husband came upstairs from work to see what in the world I was doing, LOL!

BTW, you should move up in the ecosystem sometime soon.

Take care, Dana

EmmaSometimes said...

hey, those questions are catchy. They should make them into a song.

Nettie said...

So that's the song!

Muley said...

Thanks for all the great comments. Sorry I ended up putting that song in your head. I seriously didn't think about that side effect before I wrote the post. Hopefully by now you've been able to remove it from your mental turntables.

Muley said...

Lorri and Jenn: At least I didn't put a song in your heads like "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" by Leo Sayer. Whoops! Just did. Sorry.

Linda: I didn't know you'd been on blind dates. I was always too chicken. No, actually, I was never offered. I probably would have done it, as long as they had a "good personality."

Of course, the weird thing about this supoosedly romantic song is that both partners are blatantly CHEATING ON EACH OTHER. I think they deserve every grain of sand they get up their underwear.

Kristen: Get a paper bag and breathe deeply. That's it. Glad I could give you one more reason why the 1970s were such an important epoch in the history of mankind.

Beachtiglet: Considering your blog name, have you ever done any of that "Midnight, dunes on the cape" stuff yourself? Hmm?

Emma: That's so funny I forgot to laugh. I know you are, but what am I?