Ok... so even when people have obviously lost it, I secretely consider their thoughts and so-called "good advice"... In this case I figured I should give the dating sites another chance, after all I don't want to end up an opiniated and angry spinster who has no concern for anyone else! However, it had to be for free. Not a local one, because I cannot deal with people from my own country. I also cannot deal with people calling me on the phone and coming too close too soon. Ultimately, I want out of my country because I'm choking on Finnishness. Explaining why would require another post, I feel.
First, I tried Sweden. I'm Finnish-Swedish, for the simple reason that Finland was a part of Sweden for a long time and the coastal areas close to the motherland tend to have a lot of Swedish-speaking population. This is a reason I don't feel very comfortable with the Finnish culture and its language, which requires the activation of a whole different area of the brain. It's arduous, in other words.
Every site is different and not so obviuos to figure out. In this case it seemed that I had a free account for three days. Ok. After two days I had 500 views and a few letters. One guy seemed (judging by his profile) like the walking image of myself - wow, a spiritual guy with an interest in cats and all things beautiful! Nonetheless, he showed no true interest in me and was exceptionally aloof. Well, truth to say I'd call his approach quite assertive, even. "Are you going to be the way you think you are or how I find you? I would like to hear your non-mainstream ideas on spirituality". That was all, for starters. No kind or encouraging words. No looking at my artwork. After a couple of strange mail exchanges where I felt like talking to a wall I asked if he really wants to know me. No, in fact he didn't think we would be a match, our pace was obviously different. No courteous goodbyes or anything. Keep it simple, I suppose. Another guy wrote only a line or two and stretched his wooooords. In a second mail he did that and then told himself, oh, stop being siiiilllllyyyyy. He explained: you sooo remind me of Mark L, it's so cuuuute. Mark L is a Finnish-Swedish, somewhat annoying gay TV reporter who made it in Sweden while keeping his typical Finnish-Swedish accent. Great. I feel so uplifted! Then we had the desperate guy, the one who wanted to give me eeeeeverything. Love, love and more love. He was 68. That's, what? 26 years my senior. There was also the cultural guy, the one who had been in Finland and knew about life over here. He said that some foreigner had written an article called "Dreaming in Finland". Very poignantly he pointed out, that in Finland, you do indeed get to do a lot of dreaming... He had gone blind but who cares? I looked his profile up and found that he was... 68. Breathe deeply... Then of course I shouldn't leave out the one who noticed he didn't fit my age requirement since he was 59 but proclaimed; "Here in the mediterranean area where I stay a lot age really is of no consequence at all". That was naturally just a selection. There were some normal letters as well but among other things I have no intention of learning folkdance. My conclusion: A few Swedish men may have some trouble knowing how to approach a woman in a way that is not A MAJOR TURN OFF! Maybe that's the cost of equality. I also get the feeling I've had before: most of them think I'm way too far away. Funny, huh? Now American optimism seems rather alluring again.
I also found some rather dead-looking site that I joined for free, and late in the evening still tried a third one that someone suggested. This one seemed hip and succesful. 100 % free. Alright! Men from all over the world! Woohoo! Heart sinking when I realize that they absolutely have to see me run off with someone in my OWN AREA. And when that doesn't work, my OWN COUNTRY. Turns out that looking for anyone anywhere else is as arduous as finding likeminded people on Twitter. What's up with this? Well, I did get a nice and perfectly civilized letter from a someone in a country I also consider moving to, so it didn't start that bad. It probably started off with more flare than it continued, but at least someone showed interest... My heart sinking again, though, as I find that my art is not making much of an impression. Well, that's one of my checking points anyway.
The following day when I'd gotten up, my laptop was beeping, and turned out someone was IM'ing me. Oh, alright, an American in our capital city. Have to say, I got caught unawares and could only think of the next thing to write. So there I was, writing away an hour of my life. Only to suddenly hit the inevitable question; do I have erotic fantasies and how do I pursue them. My answer is that I demand to know what his intentions are; be honest! Of course I already knew. He says: "phone, be right back". Yeah right... after a while IM was off. Classical, just as I've heard it being told. I'm trying not to be upset but I realize that I truly resent someone trying to push me when I have explicitly asked for dates and not any funny business. I am also upset that I wasted an hour of my life on this creep! Later I did find a way of blocking such requests and for that I am grateful.
How funny that I get to see other people trying to manipulate and confuse me in order to get something they want from me while all this is going on. I must have done some horrible things karma wise to be obliged to witness people's odder aspects to this extent. I try and maintain my cool and not give in. I also witness an orthopedist preventing a crazy Egyptian doctor from chopping off a piece of my foot that should under no circumstances be damaged because there is nothing to work with after a previous surgery. I sweat, cry and wonder what on earth is going on? Am I being saved here even though it was done in the usual rather patronizing manner, "from above". So many are attempting to appear all-knowing and me - a sad case of un-knowing, if one were to read the script.
By this time I'm a little upset and aware that once again, the dating business is stressing me, it's no joke, and I could do without that kind of stress. I know I don't fit the dream image of most guys out there. So what do I do? Sit back and wait for the Universe to take care of it all, or try and forge my own destiny? In the first case, it's obvious that the Universe will have trouble guiding anyone to little Finland to look for me. In the second case, it's obvious that I will be wasting my time and spending hours of frustration and disappointment to no avail.
When in doubt, leave out? No, when in doubt, go for the middle path. That's what I always say, and strangely, it still stands. It's about the only spiritual thesis that still does. I'll continue to leave my little ginger bread crumbs in the forest and see if Hansel will find me. If he doesn't, then I guess it wasn't meant to be.
Artwork: "Loose Promises", handmade collage on paper by author, all rights reserved 2008