The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Friday, February 17, 2006
Online Dating: the Musical
I had a brainstorm today, after an online discussion about Online Dating. I’m going to write a musical about it. I was introduced to Online Dating back in the late ‘90’s, after a few years of being single. I was in my mid to late 30’s and became keenly aware that the eligible pool of men my age had dried up. They were all either married, gay, or not partner material. There were plenty of younger men who were interested, but, although they loved the physical aspects of a relationship, they couldn’t cope with the emotional ones and the fact that I was light-years ahead in terms of real life experience.

So, with the Internet becoming more and more popular, and with software becoming more “User Friendly,” I decided to try AOL’s online matchmaking service – a kind of browse-before-you-buy affair where you could search a database of potential love matches by age, location, and interests. In theory, like Marxism, a great idea. In reality, like Communism, filled with exaggerations, corruption, and downright lies. I did meet a couple of men who were decent, and one is a friend to this day, but most of them must have posted the one decent photo of themself in existence, where the light was just right that day and the moon was in the Seventh House of Virgo. They also must have misread the instructions when they signed up. They wrote down their wishlist regarding their own personalities, and not the truth about themselves.

They say that men lie about their height, and women lie about their age and/or weight. I can honestly say that both lie about everything. Not that I’ve ever lied about myself in my profile - ha. I figured, if my divorced single parent status was going to scare anyone off – better to get it over with early. But I met more psychos, weirdos, players, and egotistical men than I have ever met in my life. Maybe it was because of the age group. The 30 – 40 age range is an iffy one when it comes to men. If they aren’t married, you have to wonder, why? Are they super picky? Are they players? Commitment-phobes? Just plain quirky? The answer is ‘Yes.’

I had one yucky date after another. I thought I had entered Dating Hell. After a couple of years of one bizarre encounter after another, I fully resigned myself to Singledom Forever, which isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds, compared to Perpetual Bizarre Bad Dream Forever.

In Online Dating: The Musical, I picture our heroine. She’s just broken up with her long term boyfriend, and her girlfriends are pushing her to sign up for an online dating service. It’s a scene out of Grease. They’re singing and imagining a vast pool of hunky men who come parading by with offers of marriage and vacations to the South of France.

So, our heroine signs up for two online matchmaking services, and gets lots of replies. She lines up six dates. In the meantime, she totally overlooks the computer techie who comes out to her house to set up her Internet connection because he wears poplin shirts without a tie, and has a beard and glasses. He sings a lonely love song to her, like Tony sings about Maria when he becomes smitten with her in West Side Story.

Before each date, our heroine (who looks amazingly like yours truly) fantasizes about what a wonderful, handsome man he must be. He’ll be the perfect match a la Fiddler on the Roof. Each fantasy sequence will have a dance routine and chorus line, lots of color and spectacle.

And then she goes on her date and the house and stage lights dim. He’s odd. He’s quirky. He’s “a problem like Maria” the nun in The Sound of Music. Except not as likeable. He does nothing but talk about himself and his money, and then is critical of women because they're just after his money. Or she finds out that he sleeps with his dog and smells like his dog. Or he’s a wolf and he eyes her like a quail that he plans on bagging.

Undaunted, our heroine continues to experience this revolving door of fantasy versus reality, with the audience laughing and crying along with her, until, one day, the computer techie guy, the guy who shows up every week when her Internet connection goes down, brings her a new DVD burner and flat screen monitor. It’s then that the bells and whistles go off and they stroll off, arm in arm, singing to each other, like Belle and the Beast.

Irony of ironies, I eventually did meet my husband Dan online. But not through an online matchmaking service. He just saw my profile on AOL and decided to email me for the fun of it. He lived in Sydney, Australia, and I lived in the United States, so nothing could possibly come of it, right? Shheeeyeah!
posted by Melanie O. at 1:07 PM -
  • At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Don said…

    Hi Melanie,

    I like the heroe idea! Being a computer techie who is often overlooked (I assume), I do agree the internet has helped speed up the "inspection" process. I know an independent filmographer if you want to develop your Musical idea further but he's here in the states. It would be a timely idea.

  • At 2:57 PM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    Hi Don -

    Well, it would have to be a farcical comedy if my dating life was anything to go by. ;-)

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About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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