A Rand-y Date


When I first started using OKCupid it was because they had a feature that allowed me to change the profile of another user I was looking at and submit it for their approval. I would entertain the idea that I was wittier than some of my lovelorn cohorts and mess around with the sections that I deemed dull. That is the kind of arrogance and asinine classlessness you should read into the following story. Over the years (yes YEARS) that I have been on OKCupid my attempts at wit have given way to laziness, and of late I have just been using their Quickmatch feature*. So color me shocked when out of the blue, a girl who’s profile I had not given the obligatory 4 or 5 stars, messaged me.

For women that are not on OKCupid I must point out that it wouldn’t matter if you were unattractive, and had a yearning for a world run by Nazis, you would still be inundated with about a dozen messages a day, so for someone to read my profile and like it enough to make the first move… Well this person either really gets my pretentious internet persona, or…

Part I: The screening process

Friend: You need to do a better job of screening.
Me: why the fuck would I do that?
The following is an illustration of PRECISELY why I would (read: should) “do that”:
Her first message was… cheeky?
So let’s ignore the obvious 69 joke, and the clearly sex-starved implications that go along with it, and skip straight to the fact that of all the words that she could have abbreviated, she abbreviated with. Seriously?! However, the message was not enough of a deterrent, and after a brief weather-related delay, we agreed to meet at a nearby bar.

Having long subscribed to the philosophy that alcohol is a social lubricant, and there is no such thing as too much lube, I go off to meet my date having imbibed a rather unsettling quantity of Jim Beam. As I gallantly stride (read: stumble) to the bar, I suddenly realize I know almost nothing about this lady. I haven’t even bothered to look into her profile. I whip out my phone and proceed to rectify this situation. My inebriated gait, and relative proximity to our meeting spot gives me ample time to look over the finer points I had missed (read: ignored) on first glance. What I see is… rather alarming.

Her first choice of book makes me shudder to realize that what I had previously deemed as “a rather unsettling quantity of Jim Beam” was not going to be nearly enough. Even more puzzling was the fact that she not only misspelled Chuck Palahniuk, and rather than Google it (like I just did) put in an “(sp?),” but she spelled his first name CHUNK!   

I stare in abject disbelief at the phone screen before pocketing it, and entering the bar.

Part II: In the Beginning…

Having been unpleasantly surprised by her profile, I am hoping that the actual human interaction will start off on a high note. Something to bring some much-needed levity to this debacle: 

“As I get older,” I begin, “I find it more difficult to find people willing to go out for a drink at 11pm on a Monday. So, thanks for proving that my friends are all lame.”
“Yeah,” she replies, ignoring my smile “I guess only us desperate losers who haven’t found anyone to settle down with yet are willing to do that.”

Levity blown.

Instantly more parts of her profile start popping into my mind:

How is that even an option for that question?!
My condom is gonna need a condom…

Like finding the missing pieces to a jigsaw puzzle of a turd, I finally begin to see the full, unnerving, picture. With nothing left to lose, and no particular necessity to keep it civil, I delve into her “beliefs.”

“So you’re a conservative?” I ask nonchalantly.
“Oh, is that a problem?” she responds with a bit of animosity in her tone.
“No…” I reply before being abruptly cut off.
“I’m not religious, or anything. I don’t really even believe in a god” She continues, despite my puzzled expression. “I just think both are necessary.”

Clearly we have shifted to an even darker secret. Something she assumed I had gleaned from her profile, but had clearly missed. I need to figure out what this nugget of info is before shifting to the leviathan that is Ayn Rand, but a bathroom break would only buy me a limited amount of time… unless… well I’m almost certainly not sleeping with her regardless…

“I have to poo, I’ll be back in a few.”

4 minutes which also left me with 5 solid bathroom minutes to get to level 111 in Candy Crush later I had my answer:

Teach the controversy? 
I walk out bewildered, and at a loss for words. I was prepared to argue that Rand was a psychopath who brutally murdered her antagonists in a book to make an insane and insulting point. I was not prepared to argue this.

“Are you ok?” she says, as I sit down.
“Creationism? Really?” I reply unable to contain the look of disgust creeping onto my face.
“I mean, I don’t believe in it, I just believe children should be presented with a choice.” She states casually.
“Between reality, and fiction?” I muttered under my breath while flagging the bartender down for another round.

Part III: Eat the Poor

Having for the most part avoided causing a scene in a bar I frequent, I decide we had reached the point in the evening when it is time to delve into the heavy arsenal. Quickly approaching a level of drunkenness that is both unappealing and inconducive to my ability to explain how much of an asshat Ayn Rand really was, I swivel around on my chair to face my victim, and…

“So your favorite book… ‘s Atlas Shrugged?” I slur.
“Yes, I think her characters are amazing.” she blurts out enthusiastically.
“BULLSHIT!” I bellow. “Her characters are one dimensional, all of her villains are the kind you expect to see in a 1920s silent movie about bank heists.”
“Maybe, but her protagonists are brilliantly depicted, with a lot of depth.”
“NO! They are just all beautiful people.” I snort. “That is how you know the difference between a good character and an evil one in her stupid book, all the Atlas’s are spitting images of the Hitler youth while all the other characters vary in degree of ugliness comparative to how complicit they are in the downfall of the society…”

I’m pretty sure what I said is not nearly (read: at all) that well phrased. However the point does manage to get across, and soon she is agreeing with me that not only were the characters looks integral to what role they played, but that Ayn Rand was, at least slightly, psychotic.

The barback begins to collect the Bicardi spill mats, and the bartender is doing last call. I order one last whiskey, as my date continues to extol the virtues of Rand, rebuffing my previous points only slightly in her own Randian fantasy. I interject again stating that “Rand had a simplistic world view that can best be described under the Gordon Gecko moniker ‘Greed is Good.'” She insists that I am simplifying and that in fact her message was that the “common good, and the personal good are never mutually exclusive.”

As I reach the end of my final drink, with her explanation having veered entirely off course and into the argument that the poor “bring it on themselves.” I finally begin to tune out.

Between the Randian bullshit, the over eagerness to be married with kids, and the desire to have creationism taught in schools I can see why this person (especially in Cambridge, MA) had to forcefully pursue dates. I begin to feel sorry for her. She isn’t my type, and her belief system is entirely fucked, but she isn’t inherently evil. In that moment I think, “Maybe I could look past her personality, seeing her only as a fairly attractive yoga student who had drunk just enough to find me attractive and not abrasive.” I realize that if I play it right I could still get sex out of this giant mess…

“Do you want to…” I begin, only to realize she was in mid sentence.
“… she was a Guru in that way. Way ahead of her time.” she finished.

*A brief note on Quickmatch. Quickmatch is designed to quickly and easily rate the person’s profile. It also generally means that I will not look past the picture part of the potential match unless she finds me appealing too. It might be shallow, but I am struggling to find time to read books from my reading list two years I ago, and I highly doubt that your profile is as pithy as Infinite Jest.

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