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Opening Volley

Opening Volley


November 5, 2008. 1:45 p.m.

In the champagne-daydream hangover after the election of a young senator from Illinois, a small but dedicated editorial staff huddled together to put the finishing touches on the pilot edition of (614) Magazine, a version of which would be released five months later as our inaugural issue. Page One? Single in Cbus.

Our first-ever cover story seems inadvertently comical now, the results quaint in comparison to the current landscape, where not only do we date online—WE ARE ALWAYS ONLINE. We do everything but go to the bathroom online now.

At a time when iPhones seemed like Bond gadgets to all but the uniquely privileged (they had been out for roughly four months when we launched), how could we have known? As we tackle the topics of dating, romance, and love again a little more than six years later, it’s fun to go back and reminisce on a simpler time—and give ourselves a little shit along the way.

A sampling of our 2008 dating insight, via our editorial time capsule:

“The next time you’re alone with a friend ask him or her if they’ve ever done it. Online dating, I mean… If they haven’t, they’re either lying, or at least personally know a paying subscriber. Warning: asking questions like this in a public group is akin to asking who farted.

Hmm. Today, this reads like a 1960s etiquette guide for bored housewives:

“Do you use a worldwide service to immeasurably improve your statistical chances of finding someone who doesn’t go to the same three speakeasies as you?”

“My word, the gall! It’s called a PERSONAL computer!”

“Yes, I’ll admit it—I’m an online dater and cyberspace is the hottest pick-up joint I know…”

“I order gin fizzes and offer to take lasses to the moving-picture shows for a quarter. The broads love it, I tells ya!”

“It just seems a little creepy to me, meeting someone you don’t even know for a date or drinks…”

Meeting strangers while drunk in a bar, asking for a way to contact them later, showing up on their doorstep with flowers, and making forced awkward conversation while eating expensive food? Totally normal behavior. Finding that person online first to see if it’s worth your time? GET OUTTA HERE, WEIRDO.

“Speed dating is far more efficient than dating online.”

Sure, and Blockbuster will never go out of business…

I’m not immune, either. I was a member of that original team, a part-time comedian commissioned to write the original Parting Shot, a simple piece of genius in which I opine on a recent breakup and face the serious questions we all must ask ourselves when starting over:

“Now, there is no handbook, no etiquette for these times. Returning text messages [and] when or how to change MySpace pages accordingly have been sources of much stress.”

Yipes. It’s like someone let me publish ’tween fiction at the age 29. And yes, I was the very last person who wasn’t in a nü-metal band to stress over a MySpace page.

Pretty much EVERYTHING is different now. There was certainly no service comparable to Tinder, a bona fide modern phenomenon which has somehow given us a more sophisticated turn on the “Hot or Not” memes of the 2008 Internet. It also includes a GPS flair, so that when you tell the story of how you met, rather than just the bar you met in, you can draw it down to a precise latitude/longitude.

Of course, dating in any era is hardly precise. You can acquire a love interest in any manner you like, but you still have to function on the date, or potentially in a relationship.

Inside this issue, we check in on the current state of the romantic union in Columbus—from Tinder dates to polyamory to reviews of a movie about a man with a pornography addiction, directed by and starring that kid from Third Rock from the Sun—streamed on-demand over the Internet. We definitely didn’t have that in 2008.

We even included some good-old-fashioned advice for the date itself, a portion of the process we haven’t quite managed to relegate to that all-knowing cybersphere in the sky just yet…


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