The Hazards of Online Dating In a Suburban City

Am I the Samantha Jones of suburbia? No... not exactly... but I do love a good cosmo.

“Does this mean you’re officially the Samantha Jones of Westchester?”

If only she was referring to that time a Vanity Fair editor told me I was a young Kim Cattrall!

Instead, that was my best friend’s response to an email — the exclamation point to a series of stories — referencing an awkward encounter in an elevator with an artist my gallery recently decided to represent.

“That would imply I’ve slept with every unmarried man in suburbia,” I replied. “I haven’t slept with them — I’ve just met them on OkCupid.”

Donnie’s email was the last in a string of run-ins with local guys the world of WWW dating suggested I fall in love with. When I had been matched with a good-looking artist who recently moved into the neighborhood, I was obviously tickled pink. Even better, he happened to be a sculptor and I happened to be coordinating a sculpture exhibition. The opportunity to meddle in both business and pleasure could not be missed, and so I sent an introductory email — a rare act of self-pimping.

Immediately upon hitting send, I forgot I’d ever read his profile.

And then, this week, my guest curator announced the addition of a new artist to the roster for our summer exhibition. A meeting and tour of our space was scheduled. The artist made his appearance.

“Gosh, he looks familiar!” I thought as I attempted the requisite pleasantries in the elevator (it’s so good to have you on board! The exhibition really needs your aesthetic… etc).

"Gosh! Why does he look like I'm about to steal his wallet?!" Yea, it was an awkward elevator moment

“Gosh! He looks like he’s afraid I might steal his wallet.”

The next day — the email came with all the answers.

“I recognized you from OkCupid. Sorry, I saw your message but I’m seeing someone. I’d be happy to go for a hike or meet for coffee as friends some time.”

As uncomfortable as it was reading that email in the office, my real-life encounter with Donnie was the least awkward of all similar encounters. Sean was the nice real estate agent I eventually began exchanging text messages with. We found each other during my job’s peak season and I was frequently cancelling our scheduled rendez-vous. Eventually, the inevitable happened — we met standing in line at Starbucks. He was less than cordial.

Thanks to online dating, I can no longer buy coffee from the Starbucks across the street from my office, go to the movie theater a block away or order tostones from the Puetro Rican restaurant around the corner. All of these places are frequented by the men I’ve either asked out, been asked out by or been on a date with. Westchester is not a small county, but the number of single men under the age of 40… well, that is a relatively small number, and apparently, they all know my name.

“I guess it’s better to be the Samantha Jones of suburbia than a Desperate Housewife.”

Only a best friend could say something like that and live to order another cup of coffee.

I guess when it comes to suburban dating, it's better to be a Samantha Jones than a Desperate Housewife... for now...

One thought on “The Hazards of Online Dating In a Suburban City

  1. Genevieve

    I had the same experience dating in a small town, only half the men I was matched to we’re in my department. The other half meant I couldn’t go to the book store, one of the better bars, or my favorite cafe. I ended up ignoring the last one and going anyway.

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