I’d like to interrupt today’s episode of Mailbag Monday for a very important PSA:
For the love of Kris Kristofferson, I finally have proof that earth veered off its axis some time ago and has been spinning at a faster-than-normal rate ever since, thus forcing time to progress at a supersonic speed.
Proof being: I just received a check in the mail for a music review I completed earlier this month. The check was dated: 9/5/2010.
Okay. Now, back to our regularly scheduled program:
I just got out of a long-term relationship. And by “long-term” I mean the last time I was single, Pluto was still considered a legitimate planet. So, on the insistence of my older sister, I joined Match.com to re-acclimate to the life of a bachelorette. Being totally new to the online dating world, I have a question: If a person has “viewed” my profile on several occasions, but has never made actual contact, is it fair game for me to open the lines of communication?
Lost in Cyberspace
To “Lost in Cyberspace” — the short answer to your question is Hell to the No.
But who am I to take short cuts when there’s a perfectly long winded response waiting to get lost in. 3-2-1 AND Lift off:
In all honesty, there was a time in the far distant past of 2011, when online dating sites like Match.com were actually good at what they claimed to do. I really believe the 100-plus clams you had to fork over for a 6-month subscription actually went toward the food and living costs of a 5-member think tank holed up in a white, windowless research facility somewhere in the sacred regions of the Himalayas.
This Stephen Hawking-esque brain trust was paid to sit around listening to Barry White records, playing the flugelhorn, and devising a sophisticated scientific algorithm that pairs compatible online profiles together.
But that was long ago, a B.K.** time of innocence and hope. Yes, it was in these glory days that the “Guided” steps to communication on Match.com were used for just that… communicating.
(**B.K. denotes the calendar era Before Kristen: When K-Stew reached into Rob-Pat’s chiseled chest and pulled his still-beating heart out with her bare, adulterous hands)
But since then, Match.com has gone the way of most things that decline in quality as they rise in popularity. Nowadays, I’m pretty sure the $100 member fees go toward retaining the site’s class-action lawyer.
Oh yes, dear readers. I actually had one guy “View” my profile several times over a 2-week period, without so much as a wink. Finally, I get an email from him that reads as follows:
“[Sad Face Emoticon] Wow! I really thought we had a connection. I guess I was wrong. I hope you find what you’re looking for.”
To which I should’ve replied: “ARE YOU SMOKING BATH SALTS?!!”
Seriously, Match has this new feature called STIR events, in which paying members are invited to crawl out of their virtual caves and convene at a local bar to meet other members face-to-face. If they behaved in person how they do online, it would be like Samuel Beckett’s theater of the absurd:
Guy (dressed in all black. Face painted blue)
Girl (dressed in all blue. Face painted red)
Guy: Stares at girl, looks away. Stares at girl, looks away. Stares at girl, looks away. Stares at girl, looks away. Stares at girl, looks away. This goes on for 30 straight minutes without interruption.
Guy: Winks at girl at bar
Girl: Winks back at guy
Guy: Smiles at girl
Girl: Smiles back at guy. Proceeds to walk over to guy and introduce herself.
Guy: Turns back away and completely ignores girl.
Chorus shouts: “I say what I mean. I don’t mean what I say.”
All said, I am resigned to think that anyone who “Views” my profile repeatedly over a course of many weeks without making contact does so because they are either —
- A) A serial killer
- B) The guy from Memento
- C) Their 1st, 2nd, etc… choices have failed to respond to their actual emails, so they’re sifting through the dregs of the other matches, trying to psych themselves into thinking maybe the more they look, the better I’ll seem, all the while hoping upon hope that their real favorites are just away on vacation and haven’t had a chance to check their inbox.
Ultimately, Match.com (and its online dating brethren) has essentially become the Passive Aggressive Playground — raucous, confounding times had by all on these fun-filled diversions:
- Monkey Around-With-Your-Emotions Bars
- Mood Swing Set
- Imbalance Beam
- Wink-en Logs
Bottom Line: You won’t see the Old Spice Man “viewing” or “winking”at someone’s online profile as he repels off the side of an ice-capped mountain straight behind the wheel of a runaway speed boat, onto a jungle shore where he wrestles a giant panther to the ground, and then falls gently onto a 1000-thread count, rose-petal covered bed smelling of grit, daring, and the sea after a storm.
So “Lost in Cyberspace,” to make a short story long, I say to you this: Only respond to matches who send an email, or at the very least, follow-up their winks with actual contact.