November 12, 2006

A Good Idea or Knot?

A co-worker introduced me to a new term the other day - knotting someone. When I asked what it meant, she went on to explain that it is a practice some people do now-a-days when they start dating. Being that I have been in four weddings, I am familiar with The Knot’s power over brides-to-be as the No. 1 source for all things wedding. Little, however, did I know that as a single woman I also should be turning to The Knot for advice.

It has become practice for some women - as proven by the fact it has created its own verb - to enter the name of a new guy they are dating to see if he is listed on The Knot. If he is, at least she gets the satisfaction of knowing she’ll never be registered for bath towels with this cheater. But if he is not, then chances are he is safe, right?

In this age of uncertainly and lightening quick Internet connections, maybe not. I think as a world we can all agree, that the invention of the Internet was more of a benefit to mankind than a deterrent of our progress as a civilization. But I don’t think single people everywhere could have predicted the ability it would have to shield us from heartache.

I don’t know a single person these days whom upon meeting someone new doesn’t Google them once learning the correct spelling of their first and last name. I’ve Googled every guy I’ve met probably since 2002. Usually the results are nothing terribly exciting. Things like quotes in articles, memberships in professional organizations or high school sports stats are most frequent. But it is the one time that I Google a guy to find a link to the FBI's Most Wanted list that I’ll pat myself on the back for being such a savvy, single gal… and then immediately erase his number from my cell phone.

Now my search usually stops at Googling, but if I wanted to take it further, I can think of at least a handful of other sites which might provide the most paranoid of girls a slight peace of mind. Dating can be rough. If the guy is married, engaged and/or a perpetual loser with a criminal history, these are things that might be helpful to know before accepting a second date.

For those who’ve been burned by a married man, there’s The Knot. Equally, the Yellow Pages can prove if he lives alone or, say, with a female with the same last name. For women who are repeatedly burned by players or your average douche bag, there’s Don’t Date Him. In a similar vein, try Women Savers for added peace of mind. For girls who want additional background info about likes, dislikes and numbers of female friends, there’s always Myspace and Friendster. Most everyone is on one of those sites these days. And for those who are incredibly paranoid, do not forget, it is mandatory for all sex offenders to register in their state. And yes, that info is online.

It is my hope that I would never have to resort to such extreme measures to get to know someone. I mean, whatever happened to just asking? Half the fun of meeting someone new is learning about their likes, dislikes and high school sports triumphs firsthand. It is no fun being able to recite the names of a guy’s closest friends before he has even told you about them. (This info is brought to you courtesy of Myspace’s “Top 8” feature.) But if it is impossible for a girl to get to that point without being certain her new interest is not currently engaged, she can always knot him.

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