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Monday, 30 April 2012

Beauty or the Beast?

What people find “attractive” is really interesting to me.  My son, “Lyle” is in a band.  As part of his persona he's adopted the “grunge” look complete with small plugs in his earlobes and tattoos.  He has ink on both arms, but so far just one full sleeve.  He’s a very good looking guy, so I just don’t “get it”. 
I guess there’s a market out there, because CG’s gorgeous daughter, “Jasmine” has a thing for tattooed “band guys”, and is planning a few tats herself.  I don't have a problem with tattoos per-se, I have one myself, but it's hidden during my regular day to day life. I guess I just grew up when they weren't part of the professional landscape.  Thankfully the stigma attached to wearing that sort of embellishment has lifted somewhat. 
Recently, Lyle joined a dating site.  I don’t get that either.  I mean, when you’re in your early 20’s everyone in that age bracket is naturally looking to hook up.  For a raisin like me, internet dating makes sense because you work at the same place, you see the same friends, and you just don’t have the chance to meet “fresh” people.  When you’re 21, even driving down the street is an opportunity to meet someone new.
I must admit, I find it amusing hearing my kid discuss the pitfalls and advantages of internet dating.  For CG and me, admitting we met online seems to get more validity with kids than people our age.    They still seem to see internet dating as a place for losers and freaks, unless of course, they're single too…
Ok, I totally admit, it IS a place for losers and freaks, because both CG and I met our fair share...(remember "Smell your underwear" guy?) but it's also an avenue for people like him and me.  Average people, who don’t have other opportunities to meet people. 
It’s interesting to hear the difference between dating online at 48 and my son’s experiences at 21.  I was looking for someone who was ready to welcome a partner into his life.  Not just a sex partner.  For my son, I’m not sure the goal is quite the same.  Listening to him talk, I guess dating is pretty much like it was when I was 21, just with different “tools”… and that word can be taken any way you like! 
Lyle’s criteria for approaching or responding to someone online are a little different than mine were too.  I admit, I looked at the photos attached to the messages I received, and weeded out the “OMG that is SO not happening in this lifetime” guys, but as long as he wasn’t a complete troll I read the profile to see if there was any common ground there.    Lyle's process is pretty simple.   “I just look for all the “hot girls” and then I message them.  I don’t even READ the profile.”  
CG and I were amused to hear Lyle outline his experiences.  He was telling us he’d had responses from women as old as 35.  His response, "Eeew!"  CG told him he should expand his horizons and just flag those women as "Not long term" prospects, but told him there could be some real advantages to that scenario.  I think Lyle was astounded to hear guys of 35 had approached ME several times online, and shocked to hear women of 67 had approached CG!  Those scenarios don't happen to be our thing.  You know?  There are some really good things that come with age.  Yes, you have to deal with saggy skin, and the loss of your close vision, but you also get a pretty clear picture of yourself and what you want. 
For example, I know no matter how smokin’ hot he was, things could never work with a guy who doesn’t know the difference between “then” and “than”.  I need a guy who knows how to use his brain.  Dumb and pretty just becomes dumb to me after a while.    
Conversely, there has to be something physically attractive enough about a person to make you want to go past being buddies, and trust me, a man doesn't have to be 35 to pull that off.  I have been very fortunate to have found someone I find incredibly attractive both ways.

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