"In My Own Words" is the last section we'll review of the Match profile. There is a 200 character minimum, and a 4,000 character maximum. (So between a handful of words to less than a thousand.)
It’s a tricky thing, this marketing of self. You don’t want to lie, but you want to make a good first impression. You don’t have to reveal EVERYTHING in your profile either, in the name of honesty. Using discretion is an art, apparently, and there are not as many artists represented online as one would hope. Some say so little, they must think a picture is worth a 1,000 words. Some put it all out there, in all its glory: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
As a teacher, after assigning an essay, how many times did I hear, "How long does it have to be?" Some of the guys must experience the anxiety of school all over again when they get to the section, "In My Own Words." Match requires they write at least 200 characters; that's numbers, letters, and punctuation. Take this guy, for example, who had a minimum to meet in his simple headline:
"i promise to entertain you if you promise to do likewise. wow, this thing requires a lot of letters before it will let us move on. i keep having to add more and more words to fill it up. sheesh, this is annoying :)"
He probably really hated the essay portion. I'm sure he's not alone, but there are some who take it on with enthusiasm and confidence.
There are creative souls out there, and this fellow had a hard time deciding which metaphor he wanted to use, so he started out selling himself as a car, and then, as a dog. The double entendre of his commands was not lost on me.
"One owner, low miles, soft lips, good tires, nice engine, fresh paint, stored in a COLD garage- turbo charged, dependable, loyal, and consistent."Great Bloodline, well behaved, very affectionate and kind, does not bark, responds nicely to commands, such as come, laydown, fetch and let's get down tonight. Occasionally chews on furniture-prefers earlobes. Is very devoted. Shares readily with anyone in need."If you regularly hit, kick, bite, yell or have hidden issues, he will not be a good fit in your home, he has already experienced this from his prior owner. Who has since moved far, far away."
A retired police officer had a well-organized essay, but taken out of context, one of his tips could make a girl nervous.
"DATING TIPGet his Drivers licence#, full name, plate#, text this to someone, then "Google him" before you meet in a public place of your choosing."
On second thought, in this day and age, maybe he makes a very good point. Obtaining this information might be a little awkward; that conversational segue would be challenging, at best.
As a writer, I can appreciate an author's voice, and this next guy does an excellent job of that. His profile picture showed him on horseback, just to set the scene for you.
"so here i are again,,i swear ,not sure why i even try,,but i
am ,,,you lookin for a good guy here i am ,,,you wanting
some un to ly to ya ,beat ya ,cheat on ya ,steal from ya ,,or
abuse yer belongins,,well keep going cuz that ain't me and
at the same time i won't tolerate the same things being done
to me n mine,,,but hey you wanna go have some fun out in
the hills give me a shout,,want to be wined and dined in thecity ?,i ain't yer man ,,I can cook better than any restaurant
and know what b in my food,,,I b pretty easy going
,,maybe too easy,as you wanna leave here you ain't gotta
jump the fence.just hold on a minute and i'll open the gate
fer ye,,,nice home and life to be had here for the right kinda
gal,with good ole down home views and values"
After a brief introduction of what one man was looking for, he concluded with the following question. (It's easy to see one thing his ex-wife did that troubled him.)
"Also, can you survive without a cell phone stuck to your hand?"
This next essay was longer than many. He's obviously smart, and
knows himself, and what he wants. There was something just a little disturbing as I was reading it, but maybe there is some woman out there who might think, "This is the man for me."
"Before getting started, let's discuss why you may want to
avoid me. If you are looking for that comfy, secure,
predictable life, stop right here and move on to the next
profile. I don't believe in home ownership, material
possessions or having a steady job working on someone
I would like to argue that while life is short, it is also too long to be homeless, and without life's comforts, and I think there's a lot to be said about having a steady job, especially since it provides a steady income. Oy vey. I couldn't help it; I had to see what else he had to say. I felt like I was getting an insider's look at one of Stephen King's characters. He continues:else's dream. Life is too short."
"I'll answer honestly and bluntly any of your questions, no
sense in wasting your time, giving you the answer that I
think you want to hear. That all being said, I am an
educated, world traveler with many useful skills and am
well mannered in all situations, well almost. But your
Mom might still freak out if you brought me home.
Since honesty is obviously very important to women, here
are some things you could honestly expect when climbing
-I believe in God. He has a plan for us and ours. I trust he
knows what is best.
-You believe in me. Or what's the point?
-I don't think like you do. Never will, so don't expect me
-I will never storm your secret garden, but I will always be
searching for the gate."
May I interrupt? Is a secret garden what I think it is? What an interesting choice of metaphors. At least he did not say what he was trying to say crudely.
"-I am hardwired to protect you. Without even thinking, I
will take a bullet for you. However, I would do so,
knowing that you're pulling a pistol out of your purse and
taking aim over my shoulder.
-Someday I will need to ask you to get your passport and
gear, we are going on a life adventure. If you can't go
without taking your Fido/Fluffy, please don't reply to this
profile. Oh, and if your butt can't fit into the co-pilot seat
of a Cessna 172, no need to reply."
Where could I try on a seat of a Cessna 172, for size? I'm assuming it's smaller than first class seating, and much smaller than coach. Yeah, I'm not sure we're a good match. His butt-size criteria is a little too specific to suit me. I'll let him continue.
"-I can fix anything. As an engineer, I actually know how
things work. I enjoy home remodeling and think nothing of
moving out a wall or changing a roof line. I love
One assumes he is a vagrant handyman, working on projects for others, as he already explained his disdain for home ownership.woodworking and do automechanics for fun.
-I don't hunt, play video games or watch professional
sports. Never saw the purpose. I do fish with my girls and
watch kid's sports.
-Expect to have days filled with strange foods, rain, dust,
mud, language barriers and no running water or cell phone
I have a feeling he's not referring to brief periods of interrupted utility services at the house during a storm, and having to eat a meal of cold leftovers or a sandwich. Um...
"-Expect to have my full attention and commitment
intimately. Exclusive of all others. If you make it through
this gauntlet, you deserve that. Absolutely no games
here!!-I do respect your need to visit family on special
occasions, but those boxes marked 'Christmas Stuff'....,
might as well sell those at a yard sale."
This guy has drawn a line in the sand. No Christmas decorations? Has he no soul? Already he's setting limits on who I can visit, and when. My anxiety grows.
"-Expect a strong passion of defending the defenseless.
Expect a calloused view on pets. If pets don't serve a
purpose, and few do, then they are consuming resources
better given to hungry children. A starving child or a
overweight cat, is there really a choice?
-I have no interest in impressing the Jones'. My drive is to
make a difference, my passion is to experience life."
And the line was crossed. NEXT...
While we realize most people on the dating websites are looking for a committed relationship, these essays should be viewed as a basic introduction. We can save the specifics for later, after a line of communication has been established, and after we know each other a little better. That being said, there are some who like to get into details a little too soon.
"you will come to my door wrapped in nothing but saran wrap, I'll come to the door with a bottle of wesson oil...."
There was more, much more, but I am trying to keep this blog at a PG-rating. As one of my friends said who read his profile, "At least he was honest in his profile to give the ladies a glimpse into his lifestyle."
One 73-year-old man who had sent me an email, expressing his interest in meeting me. While he was much older than my search criteria, I thought I'd give him benefit of the doubt, and see what he had to say. There was a little disclaimer at the end of his profile, suggesting he may not meet a woman’s search criteria because he was a convicted felon, but he was sure that his alleged victim would gladly give him a good reference. He would supply her phone number, if anyone were interested. How thoughtful, and very honest. People like him give criminals a good name. (And for the record, no, I did not take him up on his offer.)
I think I spent five days in my online lurking. It was entertaining, and it gave me something about which to write, but maybe I am just not ready.
Once again, I am reminded that there are much worse things than being single. My curiosity is cured, for now.