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It has generally been rote and fruitless, with occasional flurries of excitement, but for someone who makes their living with words, I've had a weirdly difficult time wooing dudes with them.
Still, the day after I turned 40, I decided to fire up an old profile and see what happened.
I had time, and if someone wanted to get up in my grill about having kids eventually, well, my mom had me when she was 38 and I turned out mostly okay. Summers, who is 54, is firmly in favor of skimming a few years off one's age, though always coming correct with current photos.
But now I'm encountering divorcees and mid-life crises and men who themselves lie about their ages and cheekily confess, "Haha, just hoping you'd be so charmed by the time you clicked that it wouldn't matter! Like me, she straddles the digital divide; we remember a time before DOS, but not a lot of dating without the accompanying click and beep of a modem.
My clock didn't begin ticking louder when I turned 40, but the echo of her boots on the floor did.
Before now, the single men I wanted to date weren't interested in nubile twenty-somethings — at least not exclusively — and even in my mid-thirties competition from younger women didn't concern me.
Not so much even that I was single, but that I and what that implied. There are plenty of things I simply do not give a single solitary fuck about when it comes to what women my age are supposed to be doing. Just as there are movies on Netflix you might never stumble across in your bleary-eyed scrolling, there are plenty of people you might never see through some whim of programming code.
Moreover, there's the human factor; it's much easier to reject someone arbitrarily than it is to make an exception.
Michael also prefers older women though I assume he wouldn't kick a younger woman out of his bed for eating crackers."Since I was about 17, I've always found something alluring about 'older' women," he wrote me.
How dare they reject me before I could reject them! Whether they were the ancient ads I helped beta test as an intern or the old standby OKCupid, I'd invest time and energy into meeting men I wouldn't otherwise come across in my day-to-day life (read: freelancing at home, usually pantless).
Eventually, I'd get fed up with the banality of it all, hide my profile or delete the app.
I'd taken a break from dating after a quick but hot liaison with a punk I'd met at a Damned concert petered out, but I wanted to, you know, put the vibes out there into the universe.
As I waded through Ok Cupid's endless questions and block of text, I imagined the countless men of New York City setting their age filters to 35 or, gasp, 39, and I wondered if it was true that anyone who didn't accept me as I am isn't worth knowing.