For several years, I had an on-again, off-again relationship with internet dating. While the results were ultimately successful (as over a year-and-and-a-half with my partner-in-crime will testify), there were more than a few odd moments along the way. Sometimes the awkward moments were in public, others on a computer screen.
The latter was the case around Victoria Day weekend 2006. While cleaning out one of my email accounts, I found a transcript of a conversation on Messenger. Why email? I sent it to a couple of friends out of disbelief.
The tone of the conversation leads me to believe that I'd had an online chat with "Yeeha!" (the handle used in the transcript) at least once before. If so, I may not have noticed her odd way of "laughing" online, which was akin to the maniacal laughs found in any old J.M. DeMatteis/Keith Giffen issue of Justice League (though instead of "BWAHAHAHAHA!" she used "yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyeeehahahah!").
I knew I was in for an odd session early on and should have stopped quickly. You know when you feel like you're watching a slow car wreck and know you should divert your gaze but can't? This was one of those moments. I'm human. Sue me.
We started by asking how our long weekends went—she had braved crowds at the Eaton Centre and complained about shopping-obsessed people.
Me: anything else besides fighting the crowds downtown?
Yeeha!: haaaaaaaaaa nothing much. im just sick of all those shopping obsessed people who have nothing else to do. really. its like they are so made up and they are not even good looking. they are sooo obsessed. its like get a life hahaa...i dont care. i just look at them and im like god. give it up hahaha.
Me: though i could stand to toss out a few things in a goodwill bag
Yeeha!: dont you think they are obsessed though, people here? with dressing up. i think its so primitive.
Me (trying to be balanced): some are, some aren't
Yeeha!: yeah but a lot of people i find more people are then arent
The conversation soon switched to backgrounds - she was a music student who did her undergrad studies locally, then took further studies in an American city on Lake Erie known for its glassware (though she seemed to know nothing about that—trying to keep a conversation going about things specific to that city went nowhere). She began asking questions about how to date in Canada, during which it became apparent she was still affected by how her last attempt dissolved when the guy failed to acknowledge her after awhile...which is a hard place to be in. She even included the last note she sent to him.
Yeeha!: totally don't have any idea what's up with you. I guess you are not interested in whatever this is?... we are doing??....I just don't appreciate that you keep on ignoring me..and not telling me anything....anyhow whatever it is... maybe we can just be friends???... I like you as a person...BYE for now
She asked if it was OK, not too mean (though she did note "i'm happy I did the dumping ahhahaa") and carried on talking about it after she said she was sick about talking about it. Based on my next statement, either she had carried on about it at length in an earlier conversation, or I had been through so many similar situations, including a month-long dating spell that ended in silence a few weeks earlier, that I had grown very cynical/jaded about dating.
Yeeha!: im sick of this hahahaha
Me: if you're still going on about this the rest of the week, then my sick point will be reached
Yeeha!: hahahha. dont worry. ok i'll drop it. i just hate it when people confuse me. i hate being in that state
Me: i'll try to steer clear of that
Yeeha!: its better for me not to have them in my life then to think stupid stuff...why do Canadians lie so much hahahaha
Me: we're afraid to offend
Yeeha!: canadians are obsessed with politeness
Me: i apologize for things I don't even do! it's genetic!
Yeeha!: hahahahhahahah...mah whatever. usa people are better. they are nice but they have guts. Canadians pretend they are much nicer then they really are with Americans. at least you know where you stand with them.
Me: even if you want to strangle some of them sometimes :)
Yeeha!: no...i dont think so. I lived in usa for like 2 yrs and i have never had problems like i have had with people here. NEVER. nobody is so fake/phony. they tell you what they think and then you decide if you want to hang out with them or not and thats it.
Me: ah, we're both engaging in painting both sides of the border in broad strokes.
Yeeha!: hahahhaa. i dont know. i dont think canadians understand americans and vice versa. and none of them like you dont really know them cuz you never lived there.
At this point, I was tiring of the conversation, yet couldn't bring myself to simply close the window without notice. Had I been wise, I might tried a reasonable tack, such as agreeing to disagree, or saying "thanks for talking, but we're probably better off looking for others" and moved along.
Cue a provocative statement.
Me: nice high horse
Yeeha!: WHAT? i dont get what you just said.
Me: I am starting to catch a whiff of your feeling somewhat superior to everyone else...and I'm not sure how much I really like that
Yeeha!: me? whatever. typicall candian thinking. ha haaaaaaaaaa. paranoid. ok bye. i'm going now. thats why i dont fit into this country and i will never have a canadian boyfriend because all of you people are PARANOIDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD and too judgemental.
Me: funny, I've seen an awful lot of judgemental thoughts in your conversation...
Yeeha!: no. im not judgemental. i just talk like that. but i dont think like that about people. i just say my observations. but canadians are really paranoid. this whole country needs to grow up! Bye BYE!!!!!!!!!
With that, she stomped off. She never received my sendoff, inspired by a childhood car commercial: "so long, be seeing you, drive carefully please."