Depth and OkCupid

Their love affair was typical of their generation. He professed his
love often with statements like “never forget, I love you madly” while
she silently suffered his facial hair experiments; cataloging them for
the opening scene of a Judd Aptow movie that would never be filmed.
She couldn’t remember whether he was from Texas or Oklahoma but didn’t
think it made much of a difference to her ideas of his childhood. He
played football in a small town because it was expected of him. He
suffered under the oppression of Mythos of the American West’s
Masculinity. For years he languished in that frat boy culture hoping
to be able to be the soft and sensitive man she thought of him as
today.

He was similarly enchanted with his renderings of her past. She was
from old New York, back when the bums pissed on kids walking to
school. Kids whose parents, like Bob and Jane, thought that 10 years
old was old enough to ride the subway alone. She wasn’t a latch key
kid, she was the child of the generation X urban pioneers. The kind of
Connecticut boarding school graduates who weren’t opposed to the
literal nanny state of their childhoods but still found something
viscerally appealing about living in the neighborhood next to wear the
artist lived.

The more he thought about her childhood the more we realized that,
even though she never said anything about it, she was probably really
close to her Haitian nanny. He wondered if that was why she felt so
compelled to work in the rougher black neighborhoods of the city. Did
her relationship Ms. Jean make her feel some how connected to black
community?

The more he thought about it the more he felt a longing to know more
about her. He listened politely as she talked about her day and how
Hakim, the boy in her class that she loves, wrote her a poem that
reminded her of her mother. He half listened while he combed through
her text messages to see if they had ever mentioned her family or
childhood. As she began to open up about her parents divorce and how
she had to live with the Black family down the street for a summer
because of her parents fighting he began to get that sickening
familiar feeling that their text messages were nothing but banal. “Did
he really even know this girl?” he thought as he read through their
last e-mail exchange ignoring her almost teary eyed explanations of
learning of her mother’s infidelity.

He was so upset by the realization of the shallowness of their
relationship that he barely remembered to interrupt her sobbing to
mumble an excuse about needing to use the restroom. He slipped out
into the bathroom and closed the door behind him trying to pretend
like he actually had to use the bathroom. Instead he got the ipad he
kept in between back issues of the economist that were laying on the
floor for occasions just like this. He brought up google and typed
“Fancy” yet only pictures of Martha Stewart and former first ladies
came up. He laughed at himself for forgetting that Fancy was just a
nickname. He stopped laughing when he couldn’t remember her actual
name.

He checked facebook before realizing that she had changed her name so
that her students couldn’t find her. He tried checking her wall to see
what her mom called her before realizing that her mother and taken to
calling her fancy on Facebook in order to seem more relevant to her
daughter. He considered various other options including confirming to
the corporate junkie mindset and getting a linkedin account and
suffering through pictures of employees of the public school system
until he say her picture but didn’t think this was important enough to
compromise his morals for.

He remembered slightly that before they had begun talking in person
they had had more in depth conversations of Okcupid. He vaguely
remembered that her user name referenced the book from which her
literary minded parents got her name. He logged back on to okcupid and
tried to focus his mind as much as possible. He loved his girlfriend
too much to let himself get distracted by all the updates of single
Bi-Sexual Chicagoans and straight girls in Elmhurst in open
relationships.

With much difficulty he politely turned down offers to chat from
several girls with X’s in their name who were probably men anyways. He
found her quasi de-activated profile, the type that begins ***I Am Now
Seeing Someone. I Will Probably Not Be Checking The Site Often***
Her user name was Reviving__86. He couldn’t remember what book that
was from and so went to her “You Message Me If” page to see if she
mentioned anything about her username but no luck. He knew the novel
or at least the author was probably listed under the favorites section
but the corrosive mix of realizing he knew so little about his
girlfriend of six months and the tantalizing faces under the “You
might also like” section of the website dissolved his resolve to find
her name.

Instead he began reading messages from single Bi-Sexual Chicagoans and
straight girls from Elmhurst in open relationships. Deciding if being
Bi-Sexual meant they wouldn’t get offended when they checked other
girls out and if Fancy would ever consider an open relationship. He
figured it was worth a shot considering that as a straight upper
middle class white liberal she desperately needed something trendy to
identify with. He imagined that if he found the right girl he might be
able to convince her to start an open relationship.

Meanwhile, she talked her mom about how Ophelia was the perfect name
for her. Her boyfriend was Hamlet, torn between being the sensitive
thoughtful man she knew he was. The kind of man who could listen to
her emotional trouble’s and be supportive. And the emotionally shunted
man they idealized in Kansas or Nebraska or where ever he was from.
Her mother tried to say she shouldn’t wait for him to be the man he is
in her mind. Yet Fancy kept explaining that oh, at least in the movies
and on the blogs she reads, love hurts. Not everyone can be perfect
like her and Bob. She just doesn’t understand love in the digital age.

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