Stupid Cupid: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Maybe this says a whole lot about me, but this experiment had me excited as hell because I finally had the perfect excuse to try something I’d been curious about since I was 17.
I first learned about SeaCaptainDate.com when I was a senior in high school. I don’t remember if I had accidentally stumbled upon it or if one of my friends had shown me, but my life has never been the same ever since.
“No fucking way,” I said, scanning the front page of the site. “This has to be a joke.”
Emblazoned under the header is “FIND YOUR FIRST MATE.” Underneath that is the site’s manifesto.
“Sea Captain Date is the only place for Sea Captains to connect with men and women who share a love of the ocean. With thousands of Captains already online, SeaCaptainDate.com is THE destination for romance on the seven seas!”
There was even a testimonial video on the page, entitled “Caleb’s Story,” in which Caleb Jacobson (CuddleeBear13), resplendent in a fisherman sweater, captain hat and big bushy beard detailed how the site led him to true love with Sarah Gordon (MissTaco81).
“When you’re on a boat full of men all day, let’s just say you don’t get a chance to meet that many women,” Jacobson laments. “My mistress may be the sea, but the thing is, that’s just an expression. There ain’t really no sex involved.”
“Why settle for a boy with a car when you can have a man with a boat?” Gordon asked.
I laughed so hard I almost burst a blood vessel.
My first thought was, “No fucking way.” My second thought was, “Thousands? Thousands of sea captains?” How is that possible? Questions as plentiful as fish in the sea continued to pop up in 17-year-old me’s buzzing brain.
Is sea captain a burgeoning job market that I needed to look into? What exactly constitutes the title of ‘sea captain?’ If I had a blow-up rubber raft I could confidently call my own, does that count? Would my sea captain husband and I live on his boat for the rest of our lives? Do fish ever get thirsty?
This all read as a huge elaborate joke to me, but I was thrilled regardless of its authenticity that the site actually existed.
Sadly, the above questions were all to remain unanswered as I had more important things to do, such as pass multiple AP tests, graduate and get into a decent college. Also, how exactly do you play off signing up for a sea captain dating site as a cool, humorous thing to do to your teenage peers? Life went on, but this site occupied a quiet little space in the back of my mental roladex.
Four years and an acceptance into UCI later, I can proudly sit here and say that all of my accomplishments have culminated to this moment — the moment I could finally have a reason to sign up for an account on SeaCaptainDate.com.
Now renamed Captain-Date.com, the sign up process was fairly easy. The site asked for name, email, location, gender, looking for a male/female, age and all that other good stuff. Once I had confirmed my account, I logged in and to my surprise, was greeted with a MySpace-esque home page.
There was a bulletin board, a control center where you can view the friends you’ve added, your messages, birthdays, etc. To my disappointment, this looked a lot more like a highly outdated social media site than the place where I will meet my perfect salty dog.
The forums and chatrooms on the site were filled with nothing but spam messages and advertisements, so there was no way for me to find anyone to interact with on there.
Browsing the ‘matches’ section was also highly underwhelming. Many of the female accounts were clearly spam accounts, and the male accounts left a lot to be desired. Is it a rule for all men on the internet to be as repulsive as possible?
Charmers with the usernames UnderwaterCumFart, CaptainGaspasser and BigBoat69 graced the pages, just begging to be messaged. My personal favorite is AllHandsOnDick, a 22-year-old who beckoned girls to come and party on his dad’s boat. That’s cheating! You’re not a real sea captain! Is your dad single and ready to mingle?
I tried my luck messaging a few people who seemed normal, only one of which was wearing a sea captain-esque outfit in his profile picture. No response, to no one’s surprise. It seemed most if not all of the accounts on the site that weren’t spambots were made in jest. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m legitimately upset that the ‘thousands’ of sea captains the site claimed I could connect with weren’t there.
At the end of the week, I was pretty disappointed. This site had been a beacon of hope and amazement since I was 17 and yielded a quiet graveyard of jokesters and spammers.
But I will take this in stride, as I do most things in my life. It’s on to the next weird dating website — sorry mom. Also, any sea captains, meaning NOT bored rich boys slumming off their dad’s watery real estate, reading this article send a message! There’s a girl in California who’d love to get coffee with you.