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Match.com (An “essay” I wrote in 2006) in celebration of the single life.

Match.com (2006) by Chris Bower

I am single, have been for about 5 months, and I don’t want to get into the details of the break-up here, because they are embarrassing and awful,  so  I ‘ll just say this;  I made a lot of mistakes.

For the first month of being single, I behaved like a drunken ghost.

For the second, I behaved like a drunken sub-human.

For the third month, I didn’t behave at all, which basically means, I stayed home, watched TV and when I did go out, I stared at women like they were either drunken ghosts or drunken sub-humans.

For the fourth month, I thought I might consider dating again.  I didn’t feel subhuman or ghostly, just lonely.   I wanted company, but didn’t want to try.

For the 5th month, this month, I started to want to try, and I decided, instead of trying to meet people in person,  to go on a singles internet site and try to write a personal profile that was not existing only to lampoon the idiocy of this process.   For the first couple of days, I failed.  It was going to be great fun.  I thought people would appreciate being made fun of while they were looking seriously for people to talk to, people to love, people to love them, through their computer.

     This time though.  I thought this might be actually be a good thing, a strange thing that could be fun. I think I try to be all smart about things, think about things, and the truth is that I am not that smart, I’m actually quite stupid, and I sometimes forget that some women actually like men, and it’s ok for me to like women. 

So I went to Match.com, and paid something like 29 bucks to become a member for a month, just to see what happened. 

I am a 29 year old man  located in: Chicago, Illinois, United States   looking for:24 to 32-year old woman   within 50 miles of Chicago, Illinois, United States   relationships: Several committed relationships — but now single   my ethnicity: White / Caucasian   body type: About average, a few extra pounds   height:5’ 11” (180.3 cms)   sense of humor:Dry / Sarcastic:

   About me and who I’d like to date     I am 29 years old. I am a writer, who like most writers, teaches and works in the food business for money. I recently graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with my Masters. I spent quite a bit of time travelling, working various jobs, and working on writing projects. I, in the recent past (4 months) ended a wonderful but doomed 6 year relationship. That was the hardest thing I have ever done, and am just know starting to think about dating someone, but have no idea what to do, how to do it, because I feel like I’ve never done it before you know, talked to people this way, trying to gauge whether or not they like you, or god forbid, you like them. I am just looking to meet people, talk to people, and hopefully, I’ll meet some nice people, and it doesn’t matter right now, if it’s the person I am going to marry. I just want to meet people so I can have a good time and not be so serious when it’s not necessary to be serious.. Viewing the dating scene as simply upcoming torture is not really a good attitude, I think.

Then in typical asshole style, I think at this point, that  is a good idea to put down, using my little remaining characters, a little funny poem I wrote, you know, to have people get to know me, you know, better than by telling them.  I’ll spare you the poem, but believe me, it’s funny, a lot funnier than me and it brings up one my several arrogant insecurities. I think people like me more in print than they do in real life.

What I do for fun.

for fun:

I like to sleepwalk, both for fun and exercise. I enjoy reading and writing and putting on shows that are not always but sometimes related to sleepwalking. I enjoy making things with wheels so that I can roll them about without lifting them up.

favorite hot spots:

sushi, strange movies, quiet sad bars, strange plays, parks, drives to scary places, uncomfortably long walks,  Korean restaurants, Ireland, Belgium, Amazon, Pullman District

favorite things:

Books, writing poems and stories, strange food, making videos, lying around covered in blankets watching old movies and not eating food I find stuck to the blankets, because that would be disgusting.

last read:

Birds of America by Lorrie Moore. Read it before, went back to it again.

common interests:

Coffee and conversation, Cooking, Dining out, Movies/Videos, Museums and art, Performing arts, Playing cards

Lifestyle

exercise habits:

Exercise occasionally

daily diet:

Keep it healthy

smoke:

Often, occasional,Trying to quit

drink:

Often

job:

Artistic / Creative / Performance

income:

$25,001 to $35,000

My place:

Live with roommate(s)

have kids:

None

want kids:

Definitely

how many:

3

pets:

I have:

Cats

I don’t have, but like:

Dogs

I don’t like:

No Answer

Background/Values

ethnicity:

White / Caucasian

faith:

No Answer

education:

Graduate degree

languages:

English

politics:

Very Liberal

I sound ok, right, not a jerk, except for that poem part, that was pretty obnoxious, or was it, I don’t even know anymore.  I haven’t taken it down.  I get pretty insincere at points, but am I lying?  I hope that people will know that I am lying, not to impress them, but to show them that I have a sense of humor, but when I read other peoples profiles, they all seem sincere, nobody seems to bother making shit up, because what’s the point, right?  This is serious stuff, right?

For a week, I checked out my profile, got to see who looked at me, and quite a few people did.  There is a thing where you can, “Wink” at people, instead of sending them an e-mail.  I winked at a girl from Humboldt Park who liked going to the movies and plays. She had an obnoxious screen name, but she had a picture, she looked cute. What else am I supposed to do?  Be passive and act defeated on an internet dating site?  Am I going to sit back and act like I am at a singles bar, and assume that everyone but me is just here to fuck with me, not fuck me?  I didn’t post a picture, and I don’t know if I have the guts.  The last single site I joined, I posted a picture of myself wearing the dirtiest tuxedo shirt in the world.  I had my hair wet and was combed across my forehead. I made a face that made me look like I had just taken a shit in my pants and thought the sound it made was funny.

Nobody ever winked at me. The girl from Humboldt Park, she never wrote me back, never even acknowledged my wink, even though Match.com, suggests that it is better to say No Thanks then to say nothing at all.  They tell you this after you have been winked.

There is one more section in my profile which I have not covered.  It’s what I want out of my date

  hair: Dark brown   eyes: Any   height:4’ 10” (147.3 cms) to 8’ 0” (243.8 cms)   body type: Slender, About average, Athletic and toned   languages: Any   ethnicity: Any   faith: Any   education: Bachelors degree, Graduate degree   job: Artistic / Creative / Performance, Teacher / Professor, Legal, Student   income: Any   smoke: Occasionally, Trying to quit   drink: Social drinker, maybe one or two, often   relationships: Committed relationships but never married, Several committed relationships — but now single   have kids: None   want kids: Definitely   turn-ons: Flirting, Public displays of affection, Sarcasm, Brainiacs, Erotica, Thunderstorms   turn-offs:Dancing   perfect date:    No Answer 

After another week of no response, I discovered that it was possible to wink at yourself.  It was also possible to e-mail yourself, saying that you are interested.  The computer program does not catch this and inform you that you have just done the stupidest thing in the world; that you are paying money to flirt with yourself.

My first e-mail: “Hey cutie,  you didn’t post a picture, but I really liked your profile.  Do you like a little bit of Erotica with lots of thunderstorms like me or do you prefer just a sprinkle of thunderstorms on tops of lots of Erotica?  Let me know.”

My response:  “Picture is coming soon, I promise.  I really liked your profile too. I noticed that you also don’t have a picture. I don’t like dancing either; it’s a really big turn off, because I’m not able to do it well. I am not exactly sure what Erotica means, does that mean sexy books?  By thunderstorms, I just said that because I really like thunderstorms.  I don’t think I am actually turned on by them. I mean, I don’t get erections during them. Do you?”

A few days later, after a lot of thought, my second e-mail:  “I personally do not, but I guess how I can see why they could be desirable.  You know, holding someone while the sky is blasting away, it makes you feel necessary, even though you are certainly not.  What do you think about lightning?  They didn’t list that as an option to be turned on by.  I would have rather had lightning.  What about you?  Erotica, after some thought, does probably refer to sexy books, but I am not sure I have ever read a book that was just sexy.  I remember thinking that The Human Stain was kind of sexy?  Does that make me weird? “

A minute later, my response:  “Phillip Roth sexy?  Some people think so. Me? He writes about sex compulsion, torrid affairs with psychopaths, horrible yapping mothers cloying and destroying, improper semen storage. That’s compelling stuff, I think, but sexy, erotica, no way.  Lightning is not a turn on for me.  Having a bolt of electricity hit your belt buckle while you are about to undo your pants to piss into the 16th hole of a miniature golf course is not sexy, it’s tragic, but on the other hand, nothing turns me on quite like tragedy. I changed my mind.  I like you, think you’re funny, do you want to meet up?”

A week later, my third e-mail: “Still no picture huh?  I haven’t put mine up either. I don’t look like Phillip Roth or Woody Allen.  In fact, I am not even Jewish. Did you think I was?  I do want to meet you, but I’m afraid that I might not live up to what you want, you know, what you need. Sorry.”

A minute later, my response:  “What do you think I need? I just want to meet nice people that share my interests, like thunder and books and watching movies.  You like those things, I like those things.  Do you have a problem with my income?  The number of kids I want?  I have light brown hair, not dark like you like. Is that it? “

An hour later, my fourth e-mail:  “No, it’s not the hair, not the interests. I’m just a little annoyed with you because you admitted in your profile that you are about average, or carrying a few extra pounds, just like me, but when you described what you wanted, you said you wanted someone slender, athletic and toned, or about average,  What does that say about you?”

A minute later, my response: “ Grow the fuck up.  Only weirdoes want to date people who are fatter or as fat as them.  It doesn’t make me an asshole. Don’t be such a fucking baby.”

A minute later, I received my response and went to the Frequently Asked Questions section of Match.com and found the question, which I for the first time, was asking

Q.

How can I block another member from emailing me or winking at me?

A. Visit the member’s profile, and click the “Block from winks and emails” link below his or her photo. Then Click the red Block button.

I visited my profile, clicked the “Block from winks and e-mails” link below where my photo would have been.  Then I clicked the red Block button and it asked me, what the nature of the problem was.  I clicked on the things I was mad about…  They reviewed and granted my request and now, nobody winks. Nobody e-mails, and I have today, been informed by Match.com by e-mail, that my account was terminated because I, “provided material that exploits people under the age of 18 in a sexual or violent manner, “which I swear isn’t true, but I was mad, and hurt, and there’s no better way to hurt someone looking for love, then to accuse them of dealing with kiddie porn, especially violent, kiddie porn. I was hurt, embarrassed by the allegations, but I understood all sides, I just wished I had accused myself of: engaging in commercial activities and/or sales without our prior written consent such as contests, sweepstakes, barter, advertising, and pyramid schemes, because then I’d be not just be sleazy, but a sleazy businessman, which some women, find attractive.