There comes a time in the life of every dating website membership when you decide to narrow down your options or they decide to narrow themselves down for you, or sometimes a little of both. I’m pretty much at that point with both of my memberships right now, so I was sort of surprised about a week ago when the notification in my inbox told me I had mail at one of them.
Intrigued, I clicked on the link. The mail, it turned out, was from a white-haired guy between the ages of 55 and 60, who lives in Hawaii. He was certainly dashing-looking, but I have to say my first thought was, Seriously? 60 and in Hawaii?
Then I read the email. The subject line said, “TIP.” The body of the letter said, “CREST WHITE STRIPS.” That was all.
I used to be the kind of person who took absolutely every little thing personally–even the things you wouldn’t think were possible to take personally–and usually I would cry or get defensive about them at some point, or cry while getting defensive. Within the last six months, mercifully, God and I have been working hard on that (well, and mostly God kindly answered a really serious prayer about it), so that now, even if I might still take personally more stuff than necessary, it’s not as personally, and I hardly ever cry about it anymore. Thus, although the email took me aback, I rolled my eyes at it and then, instead of replying to the sender with a long and detailed description about how White Strips make me gag and then sick, I simply deleted it.
Clearly though, since I am writing a blog post about it more than a week later, I’m still thinking about it. Here are some of the things I’m thinking:
Are my teeth that bad? Okay, so I drink coffee and tea on a regular basis, and red wine on an occasional basis, so it’s pretty much impossible that my teeth would be naturally pristinely white. Yes, I guess I’ll come right out and say it–they’re yellow. There was a while where my mom was also getting on my case about whitening my teeth. Was this another instance of her being (gasp!) right? On the other hand, I still have all of my teeth, and they’re in very good shape. (Yes, I do have an artificial one, but the real one got knocked out when I was seven, so are we really going to quibble? And a note about that one. If I were able to use white strips without becoming ill, the fake tooth would remain yellow, and then I would have this nice glaring fake tooth for you to look at when I smiled. How would you like that?) On the third hand, I was going to talk to some friends about this at a party the other night and then noticed that both of them had very white teeth. They probably use Crest White Strips. I know they Zumba. I suddenly felt very frumpy and decided . . . not to tell them this story.
Is this why I don’t get more “winks” and “sparks” and “messages”? Here I thought it was because I described my personality type as “intense.” Really. Are guys looking at my profile and saying, “Well, she’d be okay but she’s intense and she has yellow teeth”? Maybe they’re all more polite than Mr. White-Haired Hawaii. He probably thought he was doing me a favour. Was he? I don’t know, but even though random Starbucks customers used to come up to me and say, “You have such a great smile,” and the guys who do make contact on these sites regularly say, “I love your smile,” somehow because I got one email from one guy approaching elderly, on the other side of the world, whose sole insight about me consisted of being able to divine from three small photos that my teeth might not be as white as Julia Roberts’, I feel like I have this major flaw to overcome which is limiting all of my romantic options. It’s overflowing into how I feel about the rest of my appearance.
It’s getting into my subconscious, too. I recently had a conversation with a friend about ideals. “Well yeah,” he said, “Everybody has ideals. I mean, every Christian guy wants a supermodel who loves Jesus and will crank out as many children as he wants, but I’ve never met anybody like that. Everybody has a dark underbelly. You just have to decide what kind of dark underbelly you can live with, and they have to decide if they can live with your dark underbelly.” He said the word underbelly so many times in the same sentence that it started to make me uncomfortable (underbelly makes me think of dragons, and belly just sounds kind of risque to me, and is there such thing as an overbelly?). Also, they do? All of them? I was not a fan of what he said about supermodels.
I’m pretty sure he was trying to say that no one person embodies every trait that a person thinks they want in a mate, but what my subconscious did with that conversation (and Crest White Strips, probably) was give me a dream last night that I was dating some guy I’ve never seen before (and trust I shall not see again) who made it a point to tell me on a daily basis that really he thought I was ugly but that my personality was okay and he probably wasn’t going to do any better.
To top it all off, this week I also got an offer from Trubates for