People, I signed up for Plenty of Fish again. I know, I am such a glutton for punishment! Why do I do this to myself? I'll tell you why. YOU! I hear it all the damn time, how people met their spouses or soul mates online. And I thought, hey, that could happen to me, right? Maybe I'll actually meet someone who won't send me running for a galaxy far, far away.
Alas, me? I'm the eternal optimist. And when I say optimist, I mean magical thinker. And when I say magical thinker, I mean ridiculously hopeful sap.
Anyway, within an hour of signing on to POF, my inbox filled up. You might think that would be a good thing, but not so much. I like to say I'm discriminating, but really I'm just picky. For a lot of these guys, there's a reason they're still single that has nothing to do with being picky.
I promise you, I'm a serious fan of men and all their uncomplicated charm. But on a dating site, you have three chances to get attention. (1) Your profile. Your self-authored sales pitch. (2) Messages. They're your calling cards, so make them count. (3) Your best, real, recent photo. The real you—hopefully, you from the front, side, back, and shirtless. Heh, totally kidding. Not. (Have you seen Spartacus on Starz? Fan me down.)
So of all the messages in my inbox and all the profiles I reviewed, only two or three really caught my eye. The others . . . Well, you tell me:
1. Mr. I Sat Out Language Arts. Go ahead, call me elitist, but when your one chance to hook me in a profile looks like this:
ladies i dont know want to email pingpong forever just sea if weget along dont drag it out cuz mytime is valable you know it lol what about coffee or a beer instead and then?
. . . and then I'm gonna have to pass.2. Mr. Socially Awkward. Those inbox messages I mentioned? Oy. Filled—FILLED—with single-line stuff like this:
- Hey you and me match. I hope you want to meet me. Write me back.
- I like your profile. Your special. But you have to have things in common I know.
- I am an acquired taste. A mix of little boy, dominate male, artist, poet, intellectual, and mechanic with a dash of essentricistism thrown in.
- Hi pretty lady, how's your evening going? Fine I hope.
- What am I living for, if not for you?
- Your pretty. LOL. But seriously.
3. Mr. Love Me for What's Inside. Dude. That won't be a problem, IF I see merit in your profile and IF you show your photo, which is actually #1 in the whole "Pick me!" process. This is the guy who sends you a two-line email about how pretty he thinks you are, but lets a blank blue square be your window into his soul. Why so afraid to reveal yourself? Call me shallow, but I don't buy prime rib I can't see.
4. Mr. I'm Embarrassed about How I've Let Myself Go. Ancient photos of you do NOTHING to tell me who you are now. Same goes for a photo of you taken from across the Continental Divide, where I can't tell if you're a man or a mailbox.
5. Mr. Heavy Petter. Just as useless is the heavy-handed use of your dog(s) photos. I don't care how sweet and lovable your schnauzer is, I'm not going to date him, and he can't sway me to date you.
Plenty of fish in the sea? Depends on if we're counting all the ones ya gotta throw back. (sigh) Now are you feeling my pain? Ladies? It's all your fault.
P.S. I should mention, I'm not perfect either. I went all Chatty Cathy on a guy, which was outrageously out of character for me. Obviously.