Looking for love online

Recently, I read an article in The New York Times about single women searching online for the perfect sperm. When I was a little girl, I learned about artificial insemination after actress Jodie Foster decided to have the procedure, but I figured that it was a time-consuming process which entailed going through hundreds of men's biographies until you found the perfect fit. Who could have imagined that in the year 2005, everything we could ever want would be a click and username away-from groceries to sperm? So why would it be such a stretch to think that I might find a guy to date on the Internet?

When I first moved to Boston to attend Emerson College, I knew that being a "non-traditional" student would pose many obstacles-non-traditional in the sense that I was about to turn 26 and was going to be living in the dorms. The first obstacle was adjusting to sharing a room with a 19-year-old girl. The next was the issue of meeting men my age. I had heard that Internet dating was big in cities, but I had no idea how big, or why it had become the new way for people to meet. At first, I frowned at the idea of creating a profile of myself for one of the numerous dating Web sites.

I would like to think that I am a pretty dynamic person who cannot be summed up with descriptions like "down to earth" or "fun." But honestly, what were my other choices? I wasn't about to go bar-hopping in search of Mr. Right-If-I'm-Drunk-Enough.

I had to give in or I would be forced to ask out the cutest 18-year-old and hope that he wouldn't accidentally call me "Mrs. Robinson" or worse, "Ma'am." Once I had resigned myself to the idea of Internet dating, I followed the advice of a friend who had had some success on www.craigslist.com after responding to some of the ads men had posted. Let's just say I don't take her advice anymore. You know a Web site is sketchy when you can find an apartment, sell your car, buy Red Sox tickets and look for a 'casual encounter' all at once. Most of the men I met, on other sites and went on dates with were presumably decent. One even lasted two months until I found out he was "just not that into me." (Which is also a helpful book, by the way.) I just couldn't win.

I began to curse the whole idea, so I took a break for a while. I even considered the possibility that I could pursue professors or other employees of the college. No one would ever find out-that is, until I tried to sign them into my dorm. It's been one year since I moved to Boston. I am now 27, still living in the dorm and yes, still single. It's pretty funny sometimes to think that my contemporaries are working 9-to-5 jobs and going to office parties while I'm being asked by my roomies to buy beer and come to the weekend keg parties.

If women can buy sperm online so that they can make sure their baby will have blue eyes, curly hair, good genes or what have you, then why would it be such a bad idea for me to search for my perfect match?

I am hopeful that someday, somewhere, someone will be coming down the dating sidewalk of cyberspace, notice my profile on www.Match.com, see my username and be so enamored by what they see and read that they take a chance and send me a wink.