OkC Message Mad-Lib


I've been on OkCupid for six weeks now, and I've managed two whole first dates. (The fine fellow who ghosted on our second date eventually sent me an e-mail explaining that he'd had to go to Livonia for a slight work emergency and hadn't been checking his phone carefully. I hereby welcome you all to use the phrase 'I had a slight work emergency in Livonia' as a universal Get Out of Jail Free card.)

Clearly, I am on dating fire. I mean, two dates in six weeks? Hey--stop laughing! I'm kind of serious. To the theory of dating that holds that I'm "supposed to be" heading out on the town multiple times a week, I say, "Back off, bitchez! Two dates with new people in six weeks is my version of speed dating." (Ok, fine. I would never call anyone a bitch in a derogatory manner, and I would probably not actually tell anyone to back off, either. That last sentence is totally something I would say, though.)

A friend of mine was expressing admiration for my OkC Chronicles--which, let's be serious, OkC should clearly be paying me to feature on their site, although whether as incentive or warning remains uncertain--and said I should write a 'Sex and the City' for Midwestern intelligentsia. I don't think "Someday Maybe Smooches in a Mid-Sized Town" has quite the same cultural cache, but who am I to disappoint? If a big-name publishing company wants to give me a generous advance on the odds that I'll stay single long enough to generate a truly epic collection, I'd say they were putting their money on the right horse. Have their people call my people.

Fortunately, I started teaching again this week, so there's small chance that this sudden rush of romance will surge wildly out of control. I do have a date set up for Monday night (tacos! the food of luuuuuuv!), but most of my OkC interactions are still happening via messages these days. This led to an awesome conversation with some fellow philosophers at a recent conference, which in turn has served as the inspiration for this particular post: ideal social scripts for OkC messaging as expressed in their most natural form: the Mad-Lib.

Why does the world need an OkC message Mad-Lib? If that's honestly a question that you feel requires an answer, you probably got married in your early 20s and/or had a childhood devoid of fun. The world needs this particular Mad-Lib because in the six whole weeks I have spent on OkC, it has become clear to me that there are only two types of messages that anyone is sending, and I think it is only fair to provide the script for the second type so everyone is officially on the same page.

Type One: "Hi."

Variations on this message include but are not limited to the following: "Hey!", "Hello", "Hi there", and my personal favorite: "Heyyy". All of these messages mean one and only one thing: "WE CAN HAS SEXY TIMES, YASSS?" "Heyyy" is my favorite because it has the additional implicature of "Those sexy times will be immediate, frequent, and freaky. Or, you know, whatever I can get. I will settle for anything. Like, literally anything."

Type Two: The Message Mad-Lib

Initial message: "Hey! It's ____(adverb)____ ____(positive adjective)____ that you're into ____(verb)____ing. I'm more into ____(verb)____ing myself, but I sometimes dabble in ____(adventure verb)____ing, too. It's so ____(adverb)____ ____(adjective)____, you know? ____(verbal expression of amusement)____. Anyway! Based on your profile pics, you seem like a ____(adjective)____, ____(adjective)____ kind of ____(synonym for 'person')____, and I'd love to ____(verb)____ with you sometime. Check out my profile, and let me know if you ever want to ____(verb)____."

Response: "Hey, ____(OkC username)____! Thanks for your ____(adjective)____ message. I ____(adverb)____ ____(evaluative verb)____ the interest. It's kind of a ____(adjective)____ time for me right now, so I'm not sure I'm up for ____(verb)____ing any time soon, but I do enjoy a ____(adjective)____ ____(beverage)____ with a ____(adjective)____ ____(food)____. What kind of ____(beverage)____ and ____(food)____ do you like? And where's your favorite place to ____(verb)____ those things? ____(awkward attempt at innuendo)____. ____(verbal expression of amusement)____. Hope you're having a ____(positive adjective)____ day! _____(emoticon)____"

Reply: "____(verbal expression of amusement)____. You are ____(adverb)____ ____(personality characteristic)____, and I ____(intensifier)____ ____(evaluative attitude)____ that. ____(conversation-ender or phone number)____."

Ok! Now that you've got the script, turn to the person/people closest to you and give it a shot!! I promise I'll post the best versions people send me at the beginning of my next post. I gotta go now: the Fitness Model who is "soon becoming an Underwear Model" and who is "really into metaphysics" may not have responded to the message I sent him in return telling him that I'm a philosophy professor who's also into metaphysics, but he did say originally to message him if I was "FULL OF PASSION!!!!", so I think it's time to pull out my secret weapon and reveal that I am something of an expert on medieval theories of the passions.

Until next time I remain,
Virtually Yours


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Written by Christina Van Dyke
the academic world
philosophy professor at a liberal arts college, writing about medieval views on the afterlife, gendered eating, and the perils of on-line dating.

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