By Skeptik Sinikian
Here’s a simple breakdown of what life in the Armenian online dating fast lane is like so far. This will serve as a recap of the events that have transpired over the course of the last few months. I decided to pose as a single available Armenian bachelor online on one of the dozens of websites set up to help Armenian singles meet. Here’s what I’ve found out so far.
You can register for a profile. That’s free. You can post your picture up. That’s also free. You can send "flirts" to other users. That is?free as well. So where’s the catch? When you actually try to contact someone from the website they try to pick your pocket. It’s information highway robbery! Dear friends–there is–indeed–a price to pay for love or companionship and as I discovered in my previous column–the price tag starts at around 60 dollars. So where does this leave my experiment? After all–I’m a man of simple means and not because I’m frugal by nature. It is due in large part to a bad relationship I had in college with a woman named Sallie (Last name Mae). Sallie and I parted ways eventually but not before I had borrowed a lot of money. Well–it turns out Sallie wanted all her money back PLUS interest–so here I am a working stiff–drinking "Two Buck Chuck" ($1.99 a bottle Charles Shaw wine for anyone who has never been to Trader Joe’s) and drinking straight coffee instead of them fancy lattes everyone is raving about.
I’ve been driven to such a point of frustration with this experiment that I’d need at least ten issues of Asbarez to get all of my thoughts out in the open. But I’ve decided to take a hiatus from my own experiment and cover some of the stories that people have emailed me over the course of the last three weeks. Here’s one of my favorites. As always–my opinions and commen’s will follow in brackets where it is appropriate. I apologize for anyone who’s going through Skeptik’s Political Commentary Withdrawal Syndrome. We’ll try to have something more Skeptik-esque next week.
A friend of mine recently met a 30 year old–apparently divorced Armenian male who is in the pharmaceutical business. He’s from Fresno but has relocated to a city in the Los Angeles area that is closer to the beach. Here is the story [you know you love gossip so keep reading]. They meet online and exchange flirts–emails–etc. [I guess some people have the money to waste on things like this?must be nice].
They meet in person and start dating for about a month. She goes out with him–his brother–and his girlfriend. Everything seems okay–right? [In general–when things seem like they’re going great after only a month of dating–you clearly don’t know much about dating and should slow the pace down a little]. She thinks that everything is totally "cool" [her words–not mine] because he was "totally into [her]," calling her and text messaging her like an Armenian teeny bopper with a new cellular phone–making plans to hang out–the whole nine yards. Just to make the ending of this story even creepier–he sends her cute notes a hundred times a day–wants to spend all of his free time with her–and even asks her to go to church with him [Church? Is that even considered a date? What do you do to follow up on that brilliant idea? Get "His" and "Hers" matching plots at Forest Lawn? Creep!] He goes from all this to completely stopping the phone calls. [Now–I don’t know this person–but my friend who told me the story–assured me she’s attractive–smart–and has a good head on her shoulders. Otherwise I’m with you on this one. I thought there was something weird about her too].
He ends up sending her a text message that says he’ll call her when he wakes up from his nap and never calls back [this is the all too familiar–the old I’m taking a nap trick]. Our innocent victim texts the creep the following Monday morning and still no response. She calls him that night and leaves a message. No response. Next day–same routine. Still nothing. The day after–she starts worrying and leaves ANOTHER message [hmmm?in my grandmother’s village in the old country they had a word for this kind of behavior ?it was called a HINT! But who am I to judge]. Apparently–this was completely out of character. Normally–this guy would text message her literally 2 minutes after seeing her. By the end of the third day–this girl starts freaking out [the Armenian mother personality took over I guess]. Finally–she blocks her number so it comes up private [only in the modern age of cell phones would this be possible? What did people do before blocking their phone number? I guess they just knocked on your door wearing a mask–paper bag or something over their heads]. She calls his cell and he answers–kind of disguising his voice a little bit. After she asks him how he is–our Don Juan responds with silence. Then hangs up. She calls back and it goes straight to voice mail. According to the victim in this story–"this is truly the most bizarre dating experience ever in my entire dating past." Le Fin–The End.
Just when you think you’ve met them all–along comes a slime ball like this guy. As the narrator of this story explains–"He was obsessed with me–then turned on a dime and disappeared."
Folks–this is just the tip of the iceberg. You wouldn’t believe what both men and women have been writing to me about dating. I feel like Sarah Jessica Parker’s character on "Sex in the City" (not that I watch the program or anything) and I’m glad all of this is out there. The best part of this whole experience is that it has opened my eyes to what Armenia’s go through to find that perfect match. After reading all these emails–each more disturbing–funny–or depressing than the next–the only perfect match I wanted was the one that I’d use to set myself on fire to avoid any similar misery.
Here’s the question I pose to everyone out there who indulges me by reading my mental dribbling every week. What would you do in this situation? How would you act differently? And finally–what do you think this guy’s real story was?
My money is on him being married and he was lying about being divorced. Then again–I’ve been known to be wrong before and when it comes to relationships. I’m about as clueless as a supermodel at a rocket scientist convention. So write to me at email@example.com because I want to hear your answers–theories–horror stories or even success stories.
Skeptik Sinikian is not a relationship counselor or a licensed therapist but if you buy him a fancy latte–he may just share his opinions with you free of charge. He can be reached at SkeptikSinikian@aol.com or at www.sinikian.blogspot.com