Dark & Sinful: Not ready to Mingle


When Grandma tells me, again, to get on Christian Mingle, she says she’s got the whole church praying on it. Not about it. On it. Like they’re on top of it. “Onward, Christian Soldiers” marching-on-to-war on top of it. They’ll get it done by prayer or pew or Wednesday night Bible study in the multipurpose room of a southside Chicago Baptist church.

I don’t know how I feel about online dating. Haven’t tried it. I know some successful stories: My friend married the woman he met on eHarmony. But then there’s my friend who met a man who showed up to a coffee date looking about 15 years older than he did in his profile picture. And he was wearing a plaid driver’s cap.

My mom found a 58-year-old on blackpeoplemeet. She said, in person, he could have been Frederick Douglass’ grandfather.

It’s not that I think there’s anything wrong with online dating; but, the idea of waiting for someone to check out my profile and send me a message, or however it works, scares me. Regular email stresses me out. Waiting for Likes on a Facebook status stresses me out. Probably a sign that I’ve got more than enough Internet going on. (And probably a sign of mo’ better problems, too.)

Making a dating profile scares me. I’m pretty sure I know what to include and what not to include. Yes: Say something about how my TV automatically turns on ESPN every time I press the power button. No: Don’t say anything about the psychotropic drugs.

Still, I have a hard enough time writing bios for literary magazines.

Do I just let this go until conversations with Grandma about Christian Mingle turn into conversations about OurTime? Grandma just wants to see you walk down the aisle before she goes onto glory. She’s a crafty Christian. She knows speaking about herself in the third person gets me every time.

My therapist says I should try meeting people in person, sans Internet: Get more involved in stuff where you’re likely to meet people with the characteristics you want.

What do I want? Must love animals. Funny. Someone who’s at least 5'9". (For real, though: Where are the guys who are 6'0" like me?)
What should I do? Chill at the dog park and wait for someone to crack a joke while standing up tall after fetching his Rottweiler’s tennis ball?
Sounds like effort.

I know Grandma is just trying to help. I know a lot of friends and family think my dating growth got stunted somewhere in my 20s. I am at the age where friends are having a second child. Some of my friends have been married and divorced and remarried.

More power to them. I’m 34. Don’t want kids.

Everyone says I’ll change my mind.

When I called Grandma on Sunday to wish her Happy Easter, like a good granddaughter should, she asked about Christian Mingle. I told her I haven’t ever opened the site. I told her I’ve got to get right with God.

Apparently the church is praying on that, too. I picture a bunch of old black women, rocking the coifs unwrapped from little pink rollers set the night before, sitting around the potluck table, looking at that one last deviled egg, the one starting to get a little gross and crusty beneath the paprika on top, thinking someone will eventually have the guts to pick it up and eat it. 

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