*A divorced 40-year old woman decides to try her hand at Internet dating. She is nervous, curious, hopeful and optimistic. Excited. Here is her first-ever profile:
“Hello Gentlemen! I can’t believe I’m doing this. :) I never considered this a viable way to meet someone, but my girlfriend is engaged to a great guy she met on this site and encouraged me to try it, so here I am!
“I’m not good at talking about myself but I am told that I am attractive with a smile that lights up the room. I’ve also been told I look younger than my forty years (wow—still weird to say that number). I work in the insurance industry. Sounds boring, but I find helping customers fulfilling. I don’t have kids but greatly enjoy the company of my many nieces and nephews.
In my spare time, I love movies, hiking and walks on the beach at sunset (no, really!). I love exclusive restaurants, but I’m equally comfortable eating off one of those food trucks. I can do jeans or the little black dress and everything in between. I enjoy some sports (Go Cowboys!) and I’m up for attending a game or watching it on TV.
I don’t get to church as much as I used to, but I enjoy the fellowship and the music. I’m more spiritual than anything else.
What am I seeking here? My soul-mate, my knight in shining armor, the man who completes me. A tall order, but I know you’re out there. I had a good enough marriage that I believe the second time around will be even better.
We are all attracted to the physical, but I am more interested in who you are inside, not what you have or who you know. Just be intelligent, sincere, kind, have a sense of humor and be ready for a relationship with a woman ready to give her all to the right man. I like to hold hands. Can we hold hands? Please be a good kisser!
All my photos are current, except for the one where I’m in the cap and gown. I am excited about this new journey, and look forward to hearing from you! (SMILE!)”
Six months of online dating later, that same woman has “updated” her profile:
“I can’t believe I’m still on this thing. Keeping this profile here is testament to my faith in mankind and my willingness to prove to my girlfriend that not ALL men you meet online are lyin’ ass DOGS like her ex-fiance (PROVE HER WRONG, GUYS).
Before going any further, I’d like to make a few things clear. I WILL NOT RESPOND IF YOU DON’T HAVE A PHOTO. A lot of you guys have contacted me with no photo and expect dialogue. WTF??? You see MY photos. It’s only fair that I see yours. NO PHOTO, NO RESPONSE.
If you cannot construct a coherent sentence, and you know the truth (not TROOF) about whether you can or not, please don’t contact me. You don’t have to be “hooked on phonics,” but some of y’all are ALLERGIC to the word. If you say TEEF when referring to my smile, then please stay away.
Don’t contact me with “’Sup?”
BE LOCAL. By that, I don’t just mean the United States of America. I mean be IN MY CITY or just a few miles outside of it. If you live in another country, particularly NIGERIA or SOMALIA, don’t bother, I’m not falling for any more scams.
If you want to talk on the phone or email back and forth for WEEKS AND MONTHS BEFORE MEETING, I’m not that girl. If you want to meet IMMEDIATELY, that won’t work for me, either.
NO PRISONERS or SUSPECTS awaiting TRIAL DATES.
Please don’t say you look like THE ROCK or BRAD PITT, or “KINDA FAVOR IDRIS ELBA,” when you know you don’t. I’m going to see you when you send photos. By the way, old photos are okay ONLY IF YOU CAN BE RECOGNIZED AS BEING THE PERSON IN THAT PHOTO THIRTY YEARS FROM THE TIME IT WAS TAKEN. WTF.
PLEASE BE AT LEAST FIVE FEET TALL. Just a preference.
Kids are okay, but if you have baby mama drama, DON’T BRING IT HERE.
Nothing personal, but no longer will I be answering profile responses WHILE A CIRCUS IS IN TOWN. I can’t prove it, but there just seems to be a correlation….
I realize the economy is messed up, but if you don’t have a JOB, maybe you should LOG OFF and START LOOKING FOR ONE? If you work in LAW ENFORCEMENT I will consider, but only if you NEVER SHOT ANYBODY OR USED THE CHOKE HOLD.
I’m sorry, but if you don’t have a CAR, please, WALK ON BY. If you have a car that tends to break down, PLEASE HAVE AAA. I’m NEVER again helping a man (You know who you are) push a car off the freeway. If you have to rent a car, fine, but DON’T ASK TO USE MY CREDIT CARDS TO DO IT.
If we meet, I don’t mind going dutch. But PLEASE BRING YOUR WALLET. I’M TIRED OF MEN SAYING THEY “FORGOT” THEIRS.
If you are living with your mother, STOP READING THIS. If your mother is living with YOU, THAT’S THE SAME THING. STOP READING THIS.
I’m nobody’s cougar, so please be at least 35.
I can appreciate a man who knows his way around some pots and pans, but if your idea of cooking is METH, then THIS KITCHEN IS CLOSED. If your concept of a “green thumb” is growing marijuana, understand that EVE HAS LEFT THE GARDEN.
PLEASE DON’T REQUEST ANY “SEXY” PHOTOS FROM ME. That cap and gown photo is as “sexy” as I’ll be getting online. Oh, yeah–DON’T SEND ME PICS OF YOUR BARE CHEST OR PENIS. Again, W.T.F.
If you’re just looking for sex, go to the next profile. If you’re looking for a HOOK-UP or a FREAK OUT, keep it movin.’ Not into FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS. If you are looking for someone to join you and your girlfriend in bed, THREE’S A CROWD.
NO SERIAL KILLERS, CROSS DRESSERS, CHEATERS OR REPUBLICANS.
A couple tattoos are fine, but I’m not looking to date THE ILLUSTRATED MAN. No tattoos of the names of past wives or girlfriends.
MINTY FRESH LISTERINE. Just putting it out there.
Please, no men just out of a relationship. REBOUNDS ARE FOR BASKETBALL.
If you speak absolutely NO English, then, read my hand–that’s international sign language for NO. If you’re unsure of your sexuality, work that out. If you are looking to use me to help you get your CITIZENSHIP, you best RUN FOR THE BORDER.
If you are a religious fanatic, GOD HELP YOU. I can’t.
But if you’ve read this far and you’re NOT MARRIED, NOT HYGIENE-CHALLENGED, NOT LOOKING FOR A SLAVE or somebody to PEE on you and don’t think FOX is REAL NEWS, then please get in touch and GET ME OFF THIS DAMN SITE.
I am excited about this new journey, and I look forward to hearing from you! (SMILE!)”
And, of course, somewhere, after anxiously reading her profile, a three-eyed parolee with a gold tooth who stands 5’1 and turned 35 twenty-four hours earlier, armed with an old mug shot and living in his late model Lexus parked down by the river, is going, “YES!!”
Steven Ivory, journalist and author of the essay collection Fool In Love (Simon & Schuster), has covered popular culture for magazines, newspapers, radio and TV for more than 30 years. Respond to him via [email protected]