I'd like to offer a few tips about vegetarian and left wing dating sites, especially to my fellow vegans.
Credit card in hand, you're ready to open yourself up to the universe of online dating. Almost immediately you get hit with a really low blow: years ago, before this great thing -- the internet -- came along, when you had your back turned, somebody married you! Bummer! This typical rookie mistake can be remedied by not putting your picture on your ad and writing text that ranges from vague to barefaced lies and (a personal favorite) listing several cities that you live in and jet between. Just keep it a little consistent and plausible -- don't put "Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Big Bone Lick, Kentucky."
Conversely, if you really are single, you can capture the feeling of having an affair by forgetting what and how much you've told several people. You get the lies and finagling and maybe even the guilt but without any of the sex! Online dating involves very little "meeting" in the 20th century sense. It's mostly about something I've always been really lousy at -- typing.
Now you are ready. Here are the basic rules:
If they say they take in no food at all or only water, they might be vegan. If they say they are vegan it means they eat dairy. If they say they eat dairy it means they eat sea creatures. If they say they eat fish it means they eat anything. If they say they are "almost vegetarian" it means they slaughter animals like Buffalo Bill and Ray Kroc. If they say they eat a "balanced diet" it means that twenty minutes into the first phone call they will reveal a troubling history of cannibalism. And don't forget the "doorway" rule: "I'm a vegan -- except when I'm out of the house."
Believe it or not, fellow vegans, many people on veggie dating sites have never scoured food labels for "calcium caseinate." Many of the folks on veg dating sites are there just like they are on every other dating site whether it's match.com or blooddrinkingsingles4u.com. They want to meet somebody, anybody. Even troublesome vegans. That's how hard up people are out there.
Here are some key phrases, decoded, from personal ads.
"Must be okay with dog sleeping on bed." Dog is never a Pekinese. Dog is always the size of a llama.
"Not much of a partyer." Les White Flours du Mal. White bread. A human freakbat who can't locate the beat in "Mambo No. 5."
"I want to live off-grid." A rugged imaginary individualist quitter, too alienated to join others in overthrowing capitalism. Believes capitalism will leave him/her alone even though Arctic Circle polar bears, with DDT in their livers, strongly disagree. Has a pocketful of flip social change: "Heads, I love the earth -- tails, I hate people." Computer and internet OK till the beloved turns up.
"I believe in two people working on the relationship." Neither a round hole nor a square peg, he/she is of undetermined, shape-shifting geometry and you'll soon discover you're now working an extra job.
"Love me, love my llamas." Could we liberate those llamas, say, back to the Andes?
"Seeking the last piece of the puzzle." The beloved won't be making any changes or sacrifices to make this relationship work -- you will. And bet your life, if you have one, it still won't work. Usually preceded by: "I have a great job, great family, great friends, great llamas."
"I'm into Native American spirituality." A no-sweat lodge just down the road from the casinos and gas rigs. A beautiful refuge of smoke and mirrors where the Pasty Tribe goes to feel good about buying dead animals from the grocery. AKA the Clan of the Weak Asses. Also: A Lick and a Prayer.
"I recycle." See also: "I brush my teeth." Fun fact: The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition and the Basel Action Network say that 80% of material dropped off by Americans at community recycling events is exported overseas. Chinese children strip out the guts of junked computers from America and the chromium, tin and barium goes straight into the rivers. Requiring American recycling companies to dispose of e-waste safely is treasonous because it cuts into profits. Now you wouldn't want to be a traitor to capitalism, wouldja? Wouldja... punk?
"Me: Degreed professional, web designer, life coach, artist, old soul, loves to travel, fit, active, attractive, small business owner (chakra grooming service). You: financially stable, unencumbered by debt, children, cacti and any other living thing. No cancer! No whiners! Must be willing to relocate to Alpha Centauri. You're probably a Libra (no Capricorns!) I'm very busy. Don't despair if I don't get back right away. Namaste." A lifetime membership.
"I'm the kind of person who thinks outside the box." What the bloody hell are you talking about? If I find out what that box is, and where it is, you're going back in it.
"Great body." Agreed, but what sick bastard grafted that head onto it?
"Green." Common sense from the 1960s, probably traceable back to Ben Franklin. Little points of light in the darkness that have flourished into little points of light in the darkness of the new millennium. Mostly meaningless individual acts on the consumption end of capitalism where there's scant impact rather than the production end, possible only under socialism, where impacts would be gigantic. Scrupulously, safely and sadly within the bounds of capitalist plunder, murder, injustice, insanity and waste.
Contrast "green" and "new age" with what might be called the bloody "red" of the "dark" ages. Events like the Boston Tea Party, the French Revolution and the Battle of Gettysburg aren't really popular with the "centered" and spiritual among us because these discordant events weren't win-win situations. After all, property rights and "space" were violated, perfectly good organic tea was wastefully dumped in a harbor, brothers killed each others' inner child at Gettysburg and some people in France had their mind/body integration sharply (hopefully) curtailed. With the advantage of "behindsight" (seeing the world through American capitalism's reactionary ass), it's obvious that these grunts and losers weren't very evolved or enlightened. And they probably weren't "financially stable" either. Maybe there's a lesson there.
Now get happy and get typing!
published 1/29/2007 at dissidentvoice.org