Not OK, Cupid

Not OK, Cupid

So, my OkCupid addiction. Let’s discuss.

My emotional stock in that site has become a problem. It’s like I’m on the hot seat, losing miserably in the game of Who Wants to Be a Happily Married Gay Man? and OkCupid has become my final lifeline. Phone a Friend? No thanks, I’ll just browse the profiles of all the single gay men in the tri-state area between the ages of 21 and 35 who have master’s degrees and are at least five-foot-ten!

And that’s my final answer.

If you’re unfamiliar with OkCupid, then you’re probably happily coupled and I therefore hate you. But I’ll give a brief description anyways.

An online dating service for hip, young people, the design of OkCupid is quite aesthetically pleasing — hues of royal blue and hot pink provide a pleasant backdrop for the endless supply of profile bricks filled with smiles, vital statistics, and the fleeting hope for a future that doesn’t involve being a cat lady.

When you have a new message, the menu bar atop the page turns pink. If your inbox is empty, the menu bar remains in its normal state of icy cold blue… kind of like my heart.

The problem with this coding? Nothing, unless you consider the fact that the color pink has now taken on Oprah-levels of significance in my life. I associate it with validation, self-worth, and the distant notion that maybe — just maybe — I’m not obese. Pink makes me feel good.

And blue? Fuck blue. What once was my favorite color is now fraught with undertones of rejection, unworthiness, and feelings of impending doom.

Another destructive helpful feature is that OkCupid kindly informs users when you were last online. While I appreciate this tremendously in my stalking efforts, I find it disconcerting that random visitors to my profile know that I was desperately seeking a husband at approximately six o’clock this morning when I should have been getting ready for work.

More often than not, outside of working hours (without which, I’d be completely hopeless), my profile photo has a translucent and mildly condescending Online Now stamp framing its lower half. This includes right now, as the site retains such a firm grip on my balls that I can’t even blog about its firm grip on my balls without still tabbing over and clicking “refresh” every fifteen minutes.

I’m not saying that OkCupid has led me to spend enough time staring into my computer screen to develop severe eyestrain and a chronic twitch… but that’s kind of exactly what I’m saying.

The eye twitch started bothering me at work, so I called my ophthalmologist and he was all, “Oh, just drink tonic water and put a tea bag on it!” and I was like, “Weird advice, but okay… Cupid.”

As it turns out, my eye doctor is a genius. The quinine in the tonic water relaxes my eye muscles just enough to make them stop throbbing, which in turn quells my fear that I’m in the throes of some kind of originating-in-the-eye death attack. It’s magical.

But now I have another problem.

Cinchonism — a pathological condition that is purely caused by ingesting too much quinine.

In short, my search for love has caused me to hate the color blue, develop an eye twitch, and now contract a disease with symptoms ranging from deafness to anaphylactic shock.

Here’s how I diagnosed myself: all the quinine I was drinking led me to curiously Google “overdose of quinine,” at which point I found a real disease and proceeded to flip the fuck out at my desk for five minutes until thinking things like, wait, I don’t have any symptoms, maybe I’m fine, until realizing that it was time to check my OkCupid inbox and that I could figure out if I was dying of a quinine overdose later, and then the menu bar was blue and I burst into tears over the fact that I HAVE CINCHONISM!!! (If it were pink I would have been fine.)

Except I don’t have cinchonism.

Wikipedia and I are pretty sure that the real trajectory of the disease is something like malaria -> high doses of straight-up quinine -> cinchonism. As opposed to my experience, which was simply desperation -> OkCupid -> eye twitch -> tonic water.

Still, I can’t help but wonder if this is all God’s way of telling me to stop trying so damn hard.

Maybe I should just sit back, like so many other people are capable of doing, and let life do the work. Maybe I should try being a normal, content, self-fulfilled person. Maybe then — when I’m not trying to force it into existence — love will finally come along and bite me in the ass.

Or the eye. TC Mark

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