Okay, Cupid, Alright Already

Online dating is a thing people do. I have yet to personally do it, because my love style tends to go something like: meet random person making acerbic jokes about American racial politics; fall into deep soul-macerating love; lose all sense of self and world; have visited upon me the devastation that yea indeed was loosed upon Sodom and Gomorrah; rinse, and repeat. But now is the late autumn of our discontent (sweater season!) and an appropriate time to break out of the cycle of SWUG and into the strange erotic marketplace of OkCupid. Hop on the kvetchmobile, folks—things are about to get a little winey.

Vella White Zinfandel

(free; left in my room from a pregame)

Yeah, so, not quite sure what to write here. But I’ll give it a shot.

Hi! I’m Vella. Not Vel, Vellie, whatever you want to call me. Vella. It rhymes with Bella, like the one from “Twilight.”

I’m sweet, some say too sweet, but I don’t think life should have to be so serious.

My friends say that I’m fun to be around and I definitely help them unwind, though if you have too much of me, I can get pretty intense. I’ve been known to make people dizzy on an empty stomach 😉

I’m white, but down for all sorts of pairings! Particularly goat cheese or a nice cod.

I’m great chilled, but also definitely can be enjoyed a little hotter. On a typical Friday night, you can find me at a big party getting lots of people drunk or at home with the ladies snuggling over Netflix.

I’ll read anything by Junot Díaz.

The most personal thing I’m willing to admit: Honestly, I feel a little constrained sometimes. I guess I’m looking for someone to take me out of the box?

If that sounds cool to you, message me. I promise I don’t have much bite.

I’m also pretty juicy 😉

Bodega Norton Malbec

(Definitely above my price range, but why buy alcohol when you have friends who throw snobby parties?)

This is a soulful red with cinnamon notes that make it taste expensive. I sip it lying on the floor with my roommates, paging through my informationless and photoless OkCupid profile in alternating waves of wine tipsiness and deep emotional paralysis.

Message!

“I like your username a whole lot, and I like bi girls… so why no information?”

That thing you just did, dudeman, 26, from Tel Aviv. That’s why. That is why I have offered no information. That is why humanity is on the Acela quiet car to Shitville. What a piece of work is normative male socialization: It instills in humans the ability to hit on a pictureless profile with literally no information but a note on orientation and a username that references Italian food. Where is the “filter out heteropatriarchy” button on this thing again?

Me: I feel like cool men haven’t been approaching me lately. Am I not pretty?

Roommate: Your whole schtick is being gay. What part of this isn’t making sense to you?

Me: Oh, yeah. [Shakes fist forebodingly in air like rueful supervillain.] Curse you, Havelock Ellis!

At this point, I am submerged in a self-indulgent Bodega Norton Malbec bath of high-quality existential and erotic anguish. Taste of cherry.

Casillero del Diablo Pinot Noir

(Someone left this in our room once; why venture out into the cold to Trader Joe’s when I can finagle wine for free?)

Another day, another evening sipping Pinot Noir (wet; nicely acidic) and staring at my still-empty OkCupid profile. Online dating feels like wandering through the aisles of Trader Joe’s looking for the perfect wine. Do I want something light and a little tingly, or more complex and substantial? What am I willing to expend? Also, inordinate numbers of adorable lesbians. The point is that OkCupid is the logical conclusion of sexual late capitalism. But it’s also cool—if you’re a lonely Pinot Noir and your local vineyards just aren’t down for your fruitiness, the online dating store offers actual human connection and the knowledge that you are not the only weirdo in town. I am jerked from my Profound Reverie by a call from my roommate, who has ingested intoxicants a bit stronger than Casillero del Diablo and is in need of an escort home. I power walk to her rescue. Because she is in no state to sleep alone, she stays the night in my bed: She and her intoxication and I and my violent heart all lapped in seas of somewhat tannic Pinot Noir. This too is love.

This post originally appeared at The Harvard Crimson

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