After a while, I got tired of explaining, over and over again, how journalists come up with story ideas—by going on online dates, of course!
I am, as the Jerome Kern tune goes, old-fashioned, even though I’m 26, and I like old-fashioned girls.
If I could bend the world into another reality, I would mold it after Woody Allen’s great musical comedy But I can’t, so last summer I joined Ok Cupid, the online dating site.
I’d made an account one sad evening a few years ago, but the process of scrolling through mildly pornographic photos of women I didn’t know felt voyeuristic. This time around, however, I was tired of being alone, and the possibility of meeting a lady offline seemed unlikely, even in New York, where women outnumber men—but also especially in New York, where everyone seems so guarded and preoccupied.
When I’d completed my new online profile, I sent it over to a female friend for vetting. A lack of interest on her part, a lack of interest on mine. As the search continued, I’d come home each night to my computer and spend hours scrolling through the vast sea of faces.
Add an inch to your height, she said, and put a few female writers in your list of favorite authors. Then I got to work, sending out messages to a slew of women. There were lots of aspiring actors and lots of people in PR, and most of them, I learned from their profiles, were seriously into men who “don’t take themselves too seriously,” which is an idea that I object to. After a few months, I’d gotten used to the unwritten rules of messaging—never introduce yourself with a “What’s up?