Cyber Connections Cafe\’

Real Stories of People Riding the Internet Wave

Archive for November, 2006

Was MIT the first place that started computer dating?

Posted by carron on November 28, 2006

Year: 1966

Aim: meet some smart guys

Technique:  The Computer!

 

Lounging in the common room, at

Wellesley
College, my friends and I were hanging out talking about the mixer that weekend at Harvard when a young guy from MIT strolled in and asked my friends and me if we’d be interested in a free computer dating service to connect us with guys from MIT and Harvard.  After our initial reservations, we’d never heard of anything like this, we decided it might be a fun, goofy thing to try and we accepted the forms he was handing around.  Each form was about four pages long and asked a series of questions ranging from basic information like name, age, height and religion to what we were studying, our interests, likes and dislikes.  Next to the questions was a scale of 1-5 on how strongly you liked or disliked something and another scale of 1-5 that rated how strongly you felt about a prospective partner needing to like or dislike the same thing.  You could, for instance, state that you were Jewish and only wanted to date someone else who was Jewish or that your prospective partner must be taller than you and like, say, opera.  You also had to rate yourself on a scale of 1-5 of how good looking you were physically and what level of handsomeness you required in a prospective partner!  It seemed as though you could customize your perfect partner.  We giggled over our choices, some of us rating ourselves as honestly as we could and other girls putting down a 5 on looks in the hopes of attracting lots of answers. It sounded like a lot of fun and we all looked forward to meet some wonderful guys from Harvard.  I have to admit we Wellesley girls preferred the Ivy league group, we all agreed that we would rather date a guy from Harvard than MIT.

 

These were exciting times and I couldn’t wait for the first call.  I had received a list of about 15 guys with their name and phone numbers but declined to call any of them, if they were interested, I figured, they should make the first call.  In the meantime, us girls got together and went over our lists.  Some people had a long list of names and others had just three or four names so we tried to work out what part of the forms had given us more or less guys on the list.  Was it how attractive we had rated ourselves, our interests or hobbies?  We couldn’t find any rhyme or reason to the lists. As we began to date the guys we came to the conclusion that none of the questionnaire had mattered except for our age and height!  All the guys were always older and taller but even major issues like religion had been ignored with some of the Jewish girls being connected with non-Jewish partners.  It didn’t really seem to make much sense.  We wondered what had been important to the guys except for age and height!

I had a number of calls and got together with two different guys from Harvard but was disappointed with the outcomes.  I spoke to others on the telephone but declined to meet them, disillusioned with the whole thing.  One guy from MIT called trying to get a date but I brushed him off saying I had to wash my hair that night and I was busy the following week.  The guy called back again and tried once more to get a date but I kept insisting I was too busy.  Eventually, in frustration, he complained “I’ve paid $5 to join this computer group so the least you could do is meet me and have a coffee!”  Reluctantly, and rather guiltily, I agreed to have one date and told him where I was housed at
Wellesley.  At least I wouldn’t have to go out of my way to meet the guy.  That Friday, at 6pm, the desk clerk called up to say I had a caller.  A “caller” meant a man was waiting as opposed to a “visitor” which would have meant a female friend.  I really didn’t want to meet this guy and I made no effort to do my hair or put on make up except for a quick swipe of lipstick, I wandered down the hall and peered over the banister to see what this unfortunate guy looked like, expecting some nerdy, pimply youth.  At the desk stood a young man with thick black hair and as he looked up a stunning pair of true blue eyes met mine.  Aaargh!  I want to run back to my room and do my hair, change my sweater, put on makeup and collect myself but he had already seen me and I had to continue down the stairs wondering how I could possibly have thought poorly of an MIT student.  He was gorgeous.  If there is such a thing as love at first sight then cupid had definitely struck me.

We went for coffee at the shop on campus and he completely charmed me and ended my computer dating career right then and there.  We were inseparable from then on and married five years later. 

Computer worked even back in 1966

 

 

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True colors didn’t show up online

Posted by Jeanette Juryea on November 17, 2006

I found this gem on Match.com.

 

Okay, I’m a little shallow. I look for the hot guys. And there’s certainly a lot to choose from on this site. Good-looking, young professionals, which suited me fine. I found one that looked nice. I winked at him. He winked back. So I gave him my email address and he IM’d me. We had a pleasant conversation – not too long because he had to go. But I wanted to get to know him better, so we IM’d again. He was very friendly online. I could tell he was slightly eccentric, but he was good looking and his IM’s didn’t give me the impression I was talking to a total alien. He was rather sweet. We chatted off and on for two weeks until I felt comfortable giving him my phone number.

 

We only spoke on the phone one time and he made me feel very comfortable so I took a chance and agreed to go out with him.

 

He said to dress up because we’re going somewhere very nice. He seemed excited so I had high expectations. And I dressed up!

 

He didn’t.

 

He showed up in old jeans with paint stains, a holey tee shirt with tree pictures. Steel-tip boots with paint and a baseball hat worn backwards. In hind site, I remembered his photo. It was a close up of only his face. But he had a nice smile and nice eyes. Now, seeing the total package, was a different story.

 

He arrived in his pick-up truck and pulled flowers out from under the bench seat. The flowers were a nice touch, but they actually appeared hand-picked and I worried whose garden they came from. He greeted me with a hug so I decided to give him a chance even though I was seriously over-dressed compared to him.

 

We went to a candlelit Italian restaurant in the Manyunk district of Philadelphia. I felt like everyone was staring at us. Mostly because of the way he was dressed – like he just came in from a paint job. He was very polite to me, but to the staff, he behaved like he was having beers in a bar with the guys. “There’s two of us and I want to be able to smoke!” he demanded. We got to our table and the waitress asked if we wanted a drink, and he belted, “Ugh! This is our first date. I could use a stiff one!”

 

We ordered our dinner and he complained about the prices. At first, we made polite conversation. Sometimes he would just make random and bizarre remarks – for example – he would ask me a question, I would answer and he would respond with something wacky like, “Sometimes I feel that we’re all just aliens on this planet.”

 

Soon, our topics became pretty deep – a little too deep for a first date, but by this time I may have been looking for faults. We discussed religious values, how our parents met and he informed me that his mother’s an alcoholic. He said that his deepest darkest ambitions in life come when he’s a little buzzed and he’s trying to evaluate his position in this world. I’m a psychology major and I’m used to people talking real deep thoughts with me so I wasn’t too surprised. Maybe he was intimidated and was trying too hard – trying to say intelligent things.

 

Then he did the craziest thing. He asked, “Do you mind if I smoke?” I said I don’t mind and I pulled out a cigarette.  But instead of a cigarette, he took out a baggie of tobacco and rolled his own cigarette right there at the table! (No – not pot – real cigarette tobacco! Pot would have been less weird and would have explained his behavior.) I was practically mortified. The whole restaurant was staring.  (Okay, so they rolls his own.  Even if that ‘s not strange, he could have rolled a few at home and put them in a cigarette case.)

 

Our dinner arrived and he rolled his baggie up and left it sit on the table during dinner. The waiter looked at it suspiciously, but thankfully said nothing. I excused myself to go to the bathroom to call my roommate to make sure she’d be home.  On the way there, the waiter pulled me aside. “Is that your brother?” he asked.  I explained that this was a blind date. “Oh, that explains it. You don’t seem like a good match.” (How ironic that he used that word.)  I asked him if there was anything he could do to speed up our departure. He said he would do his best.

 

I went back to the table and we finished dinner through more bizarre conversations. I was trying to be open minded, but I couldn’t help focusing on how weird he was and how uncomfortable he was making me and how oblivious he was to that fact. It seemed apparent to him that nothing was wrong.

 

He wanted dessert, but I talked him out of it. I suggested Ben & Jerry’s down the street (thinking we could eat cones on our walk back to the car to speed things up.) In Ben & Jerry’s, he finally took off his hat. His ear-length, died black, stick straight, yet fried hair made him look like Beaker from the Muppets. I forced back a giggle, and forever thought of him as my Muppet date. No wonder he tucked it under the hat. And no wonder his photo online was only of his face. His hair (and hat) were not shown.

 

When we got back to my apartment he asked to use my bathroom. I hesitated, but I also knew he drove an hour and a half for our date, so I allowed it. My roommate was home, which made me feel better. She and I waited in the kitchen while he was in the bathroom. We did not want to encourage him into the living room. I just wanted him gone. But, he wanted to hang out! “Come on. It’s early.” he said. I lied and said I had to get up early the next morning. He said we just got back from dinner. He planned on hanging out afterward – waddaya mean? That’s when he brought out the REAL weed. He offered me a bowl but I held firm and asked him to leave. My roommate had her cell phone in her hand in case he gave us trouble.

 

He kept saying “do I really have to go? I thought we could hang out.” When I got to the door, he asked if he could see me again. I made up an excuse. He gave me a hug and tried to kiss me. I pulled back. He said, “What, I drove an hour and a half and bought you dinner and dessert and you just push me out the door? That’s bullshit!” I asked him to go because he was making me uncomfortable. He swore and flipped me the bird and jumped in his truck and sped off.

 

My roommate and I stayed close to the phone the rest of the night, but I never heard from him again – luckily!

 I guess learned to spend the time chatting online more wisely. Get to know a person a little better – ask the right questions or pick the right topics. I don’t mean to take longer than 2 weeks. But, whenever we IM’d, our conversations were pretty short because I was usually at work. I wish I had used the time online to find out more about his personality. But maybe true colors only show up in person.

 

 

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A Girls Gotta Eat

Posted by Jeanette Juryea on November 17, 2006

A Girl’s Gotta Eat

 

Sure I have time to get out there and meet guys, but you kind of get tired of the same-old same-old from bars. Although it has its advantages. Once when I was in college, I went into a bar with $15 in my pocket, had about 7 drinks with 7 guys, and left with $25 in my pocket. (I don’t know how that happened. One of those unidentified drunken moments that I’ll never quite understand.)

 

Anyway, when I started my first job, everyone in the office raved about Match.com so I thought I’d give it a whirl. “A great place to find professional guys!” And they are mostly professionals who, at first, seemed like they were so busy with their jobs that they didn’t have time to get out there and meet girls. So they cut time by meeting online and then jumping right into the date. But later, I realized something different was going on.

 

As you review the profiles and pics, you wink at someone, or otherwise show interest, or they might do the same. And that gets the ball rolling. Then we’d talk online and, after we feel comfortable, we’d exchange phone numbers. And then after a phone call or two, we’d decide if we want to meet in person. We’d arrange a typical date – dinner, a picnic, a ball game – whatever seemed like fun.

 

Sometimes the guys are great and I would like to see them again. But they don’t seem interested in a second date. Sometimes they are interested in me, but I find them to be losers – or more commonly, egotistical maniacs who can’t stop talking about themselves. (For one date, the only time the guy seemed interested in any facts about me – was when he asked where I lived so he could pick me up.)

 

So it seems all I have are a whole lot of first dates and I started to think about my experiences and how the dates ended and what might have gone wrong. Then the light bulb went off in my head and it occurred to me the “I’m Dating” category really means “I’m looking for sex” – at least to the guys. And if I don’t give them sex, then they don’t ask for a second date. But that’s okay. I can play that game too. I’m in grad school now and I’m as broke as I ever was.  I get a lot of free meals out of these bozos. A girl’s gotta eat!

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