Tonight my wife and I were watching TV, and though my attention wanders during the commercial breaks, I caught the tail end of an ad for a dating site: FarmersOnly.com. "What was that?" I said. "It must be a joke," my wife said. But it's real. From their web site:
We exist because, the way we see it, there are basically two groups in America. Group one revolves around four dollar cups of coffee, taxi cabs, blue suits, and getting ahead at all costs in the corporate world... Group two enjoys blue skies, living free and at peace in wide open spaces, raising animals, and appreciating nature. This group makes up America's Heartland – the slice of America with good old fashioned traditional values, values that were never lost by the farmers of our country. These values have also been preserved by the cowboys and cowgirls who still live on the edge, nature lovers who don’t take the outdoors for granted even though it is free, and horse lovers, ag students, and other animal lovers.
Okay... And that reminded me of all the other dating sites I've seen advertised on TV, such as EHarmony (the word "smarmy" comes immediately to mind) and ChristianMingle (Slogan: Find God's match for you. Cool; I didn't expect God to have His own Web site for unmarried people).
But suppose I weren't satisfied with an ordinary, run-of-the-mill dating site. (Let's also assume we're in an alternate universe in which I'm not happily married.) What else is there?
I have a scientific turn of mind. Hypothetically speaking, I could go to Sciconnect.com:
Why are we here? The world is a crowded Petri dish, and yet for those of an intellectual bent who happen to be single, it's not easy, especially past university age, to find that certain microbe for a great symbiotic relationship. Enter Science Connection.
I hope it doesn't damage my masculine reputation if I say, "Eew."
Looking elsewhere, I might think about my other interests. I've always been a fan of Star Trek. There's trekpassions.com:
Grok!? Feel like you are always wearing a red shirt in your relationships? In Pon Farr? Whether you are just looking for like-minded friends, someone fun to attend a Sci Fi convention with, or maybe something more, Trek Passions is here for you.
Reverse full thrusters!
Lately I've been reading books about vampires. Remarkably, there's a Web site for that: vampiresocial.com. Unfortunately, in my favorite vampire stories, the entire point is to kill the vampires. So that's out, too.
And then we get really specialized, to the point where a glance at the name of the site and a snippet of text from the front page is enough.
wealthymen.com: Hey guys, are you a gentleman with a great career and make over 85K/yr ? Do you want to meet beautiful and interesting women?
Writing grammatical English is clearly not a requirement.
equestriansingles.com: Critically acclaimed as the classiest online equestrian community...
Two's company, but four?
theatlasphere.com: Ayn Rand's novels are more than just "a good read"; they inspire us to become better human beings. The values dramatized in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged — the values of reason, independence, hard work, and personal integrity, among others — provide the framework for a unique moral vision, one which can be profoundly inspiring.
The "among other" values are explicated in one of Rand's most famous books, The Virtue of Selfishness. But what's a good relationship without challenges?
The name kind of speaks for itself.
Oh, well. There's always the short-lived OS matchmaking service I put together a few years ago... Back to the real world.