It is with exhaustion and annoyance that I submit this letter of cancellation, effective yesterday, July 4, 2010.
From Halloween to Independence Day, my membership proved to be a Holiday on Haldol. For more than one of the fellows I’ve met via your site, it was literally a Holiday on Ice. As in meth. Or a Holiday on Beer, quaffed in the shower, pre shave and shampoo.
Ah, the match.com pharmacopeia. Recreational, therapeutic, big fat dealbreakers all: “I injected methamphetamine for ten years.” “Cocaine was my life.” “I am a marijuana addict.” “The truth is that I’m bipolar, and I take Lithium, among other things.” “Yeah, Xanax.” “You never tried E? You’re shitting me!”
I’m not talking properly-prescribed Prozac or Concerta or even an ambient, inadvertent whiff of something Snoop Dogg at a music festival. It’s the big guns and the huge problems. The things people self medicate over. And their methods of self medication.
And the alcohol. Don’t get me started on the alcohol.
Over half of the guys who contacted me on match over a nine-month period had one trait in common, besides gonads. They were addicts. Some were in recovery. Not all. A few were in cold turkey mode at the time of the first — and only — date.
I went through a period of meeting addict after addict. I identified them pretty quickly. That’s the redeeming part of the whole experience: match as proving ground for everything you’ve worked on in therapy. For me, it was gold, a virtual Hazelden of red flag identification practice. The smell of alcohol on a guy at 11 AM. A patchwork of drained glasses on a table, alongside my half-full Cosmo.
In my dating past, pre-match and early in my match tenure, I’d overlook a lot. Rude to waiters? Refuse to throw out your own cup in a cafe? Weirdly rigid (“No bitters for my bitters-and-water? Forget it!”)? Odd controlling crap (“Why are you here first? You said you’d call me when you were on your way!”)? Oh, if you were New York Jewish, or went to Stanford, or knew DeLillo’s work almost as well I did, I’d see your red flags, sure. But I’d blur my eyes. For a smart girl, not the brightest thing to do. Not a good practice.
Each addict I met on match honed my flag patrol skills. At Christmastime there was a former tweaker/local politico, who, a propos of not very much, got proctological on me in a parking structure. “I think you need to be dominated.” He’d come on hot and heavy prior to his attempted (and failed) digital exam. Got very intense even before meeting me. Hyperfocused, obsessive, begging to meet before the lunch date.
This lack of modulation, I have learned, is something addicts do. Even the clean and sober. They’re all Id. Zero filter. Maybe it’s the personality disorder, the Axis-II, in them. “Bad protoplasm,” my psychiatrist friend Noreen would say. If I’d heard Political Tweaker talk that way today, I’d never have met him. For a pecan-gorgonzola salad or anything else.
Now, match.com, I see the question forming on your cold sore-strewn lips: If the Wannabe Buttmaster didn’t drive you to resign from me, what in freaking hell did?
An addict, charismatic, less than two years sober. His first email to me? “I love you.” Okay, impulsive and inappropriate and weird, and would have netted instant deletion had his profile not offered other attractions. His second email included this gem:
“hmmm, sitting with you in a cafe, smelling your loins on my mustache from a long night of yodeling in the canyon.”
Time of his first message to me on match website: 11:25 AM. Time of “I Love You”: 12:58 PM. Time of mention of my “loins”: 3:38 PM.
Yodeling? I’m not going there.
As Joan Didion and Robin Morgan and Robert Graves all wrote, “Goodbye to all that.”