Alyssa, girl to girl, let’s talk.
You went on what is essentially an Internet-facilitated, near-blind date. You say everybody’s doing it, and you admit you’ve heard of some pretty crazy horror stories. So have I. But you know what? Yours doesn’t measure up. Not even a little.
Let me summarize what happened. You went on a date with somebody who wasn’t a good match for you. You probably said something like, “Hi, my name’s Alyssa. I blog for Gizmodo.” He heard, I am a tech blogger, which means I am also a geek and not going to run away when you admit you are a geek too. Then he told you he’s the world-champion Magic: The Gathering player, which frankly, is pretty geek-impressive. Your response was to tell the entire Internet how horrible he is…for being a geek. (Note: This link originally went to the Gizmodo post. It now goes to an screenshot on imgur of the post. It is still, however, not Bereznak’s original post, which has been edited.)
Do you see how ridiculous that is? I’m guessing you don’t. The italicized disclaimer that was added to the top of the post much later doesn’t excuse it either. “Judging people on shallow stuff is human nature,” it says. We can debate whether that’s true or not, but even if we go your way and say that it is, should you be proud of it? That disclaimer says, “Yup, I’m shallow. Not only is that OK, but it’s my right to be shallow, and I’m proud of it!”
Since you’re a single woman, for some guy, somewhere in your past, you probably had a deal breaker. Did you put that in your OK Cupid profile, as you insist Jon should have done with his championship title? Let’s review what you considered the series of deal breakers in this date. Feel free to compare with anything a guy has disliked about you.
Strike one: He “still” plays Magic. Ohs noes! The horror! I haven’t played Magic since high school, but it just wasn’t my favorite game. I do, however, have quite a collection of Steve Jackson and Looney Labs games, not to mention a library of RPG books. Too bad they’ll keep me from finding a date. No, wait. There are other nice, geeky, non-judgemental people in the world, and I married one. Now we play those games with our kids.
Strike two: He said, “I’m preparing for a tournament this weekend.” You probably won’t be cheering him on, will you? I’m glad he’ll be able to concentrate without your bitter face hanging over him.
Strike three: “I’ve met all my best friends through Magic.” You obviously don’t know this, but gaming is a great way to meet friends. When you’re playing games, you actually get to talk to one another. When was the last time you had a deep conversation during a Brad Pitt movie? Maybe you should try dating more gamers. I would way rather have a conversation with one of them than the “ordinary finance guy” you thought you were getting.
Alyssa, I take consolation in two things from this tale. One, Jon Finkel was saved from you. Two, when guys take your advice and Google your name before a date, they’ll turn up this post and see why they should cancel.
Jon Finkel, I don’t really know anything about you, except that you’re single and spend a lot of time playing Magic. And that’s cool. You keep right on doing it. That goes the same for all the other non-champion Jon Finkel geeks in the world. For every one of you, there’s a non-Alyssa out there who will be the mana for your spells.