June 11, 2006

You're nobody till somebody loves you.

"You're nobody till somebody loves you." This lyric's been around for ages. It seems reminding us single people that we may as well kill ourselves is not only timeless, it's popular.

There must be lots of nobodies out there. But how do we find each other? It's not like we go around advertising: "Hey, I'm nobody. Want to talk to me?"
Being nobody means you don't have a lot of options. It's hard to meet other nobodies because we never go out. If I do have a soul mate, which seems unlikely, he's someone I'll see on the subway and just as I'm about to talk to him, he'll get off. Or we'll be seated next to each other on a plane and become close just as the pilot says there's engine trouble, and we crash.

My soul mate is probably home right now, thinking he should go out but not doing anything about it. Either that or he's marrying someone else because I changed my mind at the last minute and never went to the dinner party I promised I'd go to. And that night he sat next to my replacement, who he found only mildly attractive, but thought, "I'm never going to meet anyone better than this," and asked for her number. Because my soul mate, like me, makes mistakes.

Speaking of mistakes, I went to an online dating site to see what all the fuss was about. But I quickly discovered you have to invest a lot of energy filling out forms. I told Liza I don't have time for that. "What do you mean? You have nothing but time," she said. There was a questionnaire for what sort of man I was looking for, _and two questions into it I lost interest. Though I almost put on the form: "The type of guy I'm looking for is someone who would never be reading this form."

There was also a section where I had to write a profile, and when it asked how I would describe myself, I clicked off. I could have put "impatient and lazy" or "nobody", but I didn't see that winning me a lot of dates.

Liza has been with online dating for a while and has become very discouraged. As a sexy, slim 38-year-old woman, she gets, on average, one or two responses per week.
She was curious to see what it's like for the men out there and filled out the form pretending to be a guy. Only, she didn't want to attract too much attention so she checked "unemployed", "bald" and "extra extra large". She got 10 responses within 24 hours. What does this show? Aside from the fact that women are much less choosy, it _reveals that there are a lot more women desperate to be somebody.

But I'm not even sure I want to be somebody. It seems like a lot of work. Being nobody is much easier. You don't have to do anything to make yourself appealing because expectations are pretty low. But being somebody - that's pressure. Being nobody, there's nothing to lose. Of course, if another nobody were to come along, I would be thrilled. But then I would wonder: do two nobodies make a somebody? If so, which one of us gets to be it?

And what happens if somebody loves you and leaves you? Does that mean you were nobody, then somebody, then nobody again?

The only thing worse than being nobody is being a former somebody.