LOOKING FOR LOVE IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES?

Resident Skeptik delves into the deep–dark world of Armenian online dating

BY SKEPTIK SINIKIAN

I’m not a smart man but I think I know what love is. I know that there are more kinds of love than a woman has pairs of black shoes. There’s love of country–the love of a spouse–or the love of a sibling or family member. For instance–the way you love your parents is not the way you love your favorite dish at your favorite restaurant. You’d take a bullet for your parents. You (hopefully) wouldn’t take a bullet for a plate of chee kufta. But whether you’re a rich man or poor man–educated or uneducated–almost everyone (I said ALMOST) falls in love at one point or another in their lifetime.

I’m bringing this issue up because lately–and I don’t know why–everyone around me is either getting engaged–married or falling in…dare I say it…love. I thought springtime was when love blossomed but I guess we Armenia’s are always late anyway. I think love is a beautiful concept but I think people should learn to love themselves and be comfortable with who they are before seeking validation from another human being. This is particularly important for Armenia’s. Of all the people in the world–you would be hard pressed to find a group that are bigger xenophiles (lovers of all things foreign) than Armenia’s. On top of everything else–they are also uncomfortable with themselves. I’m not a Buddhist but I believe in Buddha’s advice: "You–yourself–as much as anybody in the entire universe–deserve your love and affection." Armenia’s just can’t seem to love themselves unless it’s a dysfunctional type of love. When it comes to music at a banquet or dance–we’re ready to run and jump in the arms of that Arabic–Persian–or even…yes?Turkish seductress. When it comes to jewelry–clothes–food–whatever the case may be?Armenia’s place such high regard on all things foreign.

But when it comes down to it–to bringing someone home to mom and dad–90 % of Armenia’s are adamant that it is important to marry someone who is also Armenian. This makes perfect sense (sarcastic tone starts in 3?2?1) if you think about it. After all–you have to marry an Armenian–so your children can grow up Armenian–learn how to speak–read–and write Armenian and then only speak English to their friends and family and shake their "voreegs" to non-Armenian music every weekend! If anyone out there thinks that by marrying someone Armenian–you are able to ensure that your children or grandchildren will grow up Armenian–than I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I will sell you for only $20,000.

There are exceptions to every rule. There are Armenia’s who will marry other Armenia’s and find happiness but marrying a fellow Armenian isn’t the key to that happiness. The real key to happiness is finding someone who shares your beliefs and values. And if you value being Armenian and your spouse respects and cherishes your values–then you will have children who will learn about their cultural identity and grow up to be good people.

"What if she doesn’t want your children to learn Armenian?" countered my friend emphatically during one of our hypothetical scenario debates recently.

"What about it? I don’t even know any Armenian girls that can read or write Armenian fluently. Most of them think Hovhannes Toumanian is a car mechanic in Hollywood and wouldn’t be able to make pilaf and dolma if their lives depended on it," I responded sardonically.

A week after this exchange–I discovered that my friend had registered online with an Internet dating service. I hope it works for him and he finds "the one," that one girl out there who will be able to raise his children to be as materialistic as they can be and not know the difference between 301 AD and 450 AD but be able to spot the difference between an S-Class and C-Class Benzos from a mile away. But kudos to whoever came up with the idea to gather up all the insecure Armenia’s out there and bring them together on one website. I have to admit–my curiosity had been aroused. I had to find out more about this so-called "singles" website. I did a search on Google on "Armenian Singles" and came up with not just one–not two–but a whole group of websites all aimed at bringing Armenia’s together and helping them fall in love.

The first one I visited was "HyeSingles" (HS henceforth.) HS claims to be "Your Compatible Armenian Singles Community." Before I delved any further into the world of Armenian singles–I decided to look up their "success stories." My favorite was a comment by Armen with no last name. (We’ll try to use different names to protect the innocent). Armen wrote–"Thank you for being out there for me. I am not lonely anymore!" This made me wonder if this was some kind of joke. Can these really be Armenia’s posting success stories online? One person from Iran met her "hubbie" in the US and they are now married. I thought maybe these were fabricated stories until I came across a posting by "ArmenianCutie." It read as follows (I’ve inserted my own opinions in bold and in brackets where appropriate):

Hey–so like I was not sure [ten bucks says she’s from the San Fernando Valley–maybe even a Ferrahian grad] about this Internet dating thing and given the small size and talkatitive [who is this girl? Is she related to George W. Bush?] nature of the Armenian community [talkative? A blind date is talkative! The Armenian community makes the CIA look like a kindergarten game of telephone] I was apprehensive posting my profile–much less my picture but after some convincing from my younger sister (who coincidentally met her hubbie online) [like I care] I got up the nerve to go through with it. Well let me tell you–I not only was amazed at the number of emails I received–but at the quality of your members. [Nowhere else in the world will you find such a large collection of aging–balding men with German luxury cars who still live at home and wear more jewelry than their mother] Long story short I went on several dates before meeting my Armenian match so to speak.["so to speak" –translation: he didn’t drool–or drag his knuckles on the ground and didn’t think that it was okay to sleep with women who aren’t Armenian because its only practice for when you do marry a pure as the snow virgin] We’ve been dating for 4 months now and knock on wood [wow–I guess this is an actual Armenian testimonial–unless "knock on wood" means something else in non-Armenian circles–like "PLEASE SAVE ME FROM THIS ABOOSH. Oops–did I say aboosh? I hope no one cancels a subscription]–we are both extremely happy and appreciative to have found each other.

So I’ve decided to conduct an experiment. After all–Ralph Waldo Emerson said that "All life is an experiment." It starts with this issue and will last as long as it has to. Like Jacques Cousteau–I shall venture into the unknown–this Armenian online singles soiree–and see if it is indeed possible to meet normal people. The experiment will be the following. I will create anonymous profiles loosely based on actual single friends that I have (with their consent) and go fishing for a mate.

See you next week when we report from the world of the single–lonely–and looking.

Skeptik Sinikian is over 5 feet tall–enjoys TV sitcom theme songs–reading billboards–and brief sprints on the beach (he’s allergic to sand and sea salt). Anyone interested can contact him at skeptiksinikian@aol.com or visit his blog at www.sinikian.blogspot.com.

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