Anyone who's dipped their toes into the murky waters of the on-line dating scene will sprint away from the tide after learning that while there are plenty of fish in the sea, there are also plenty of nets. While learning about how the seamy underbelly of electronic dating is really manipulated, this investigative journalist found himself expelled from Match.com after going deep undercover into the popular Internet dating service.
I enrolled at Match.com using the pen name of "MrMarvelous" to judge the waters for myself. After blowing off an entire day's work perusing the women within 100 miles of my zip code, seven major metropolises and all of the neighborhoods I've ever lived, it became readily apparent that of the 40 million single men and women who subscribe to on-line dating services, most are looking for the same thing and their profiles all read the same (read my previous article here). So, to leverage myself against my male competitors and attract more than my fair share of the lovelier sex, I decided to create the following original member profile to flaunt my rapier wit. After all, isn't that what women want: a man with a sense of humor?
Tom Selleck Look-a-like In Search of Love
I enjoy interesting outdoor activities like sneaking up on bears and startling skunks. I like doing things in dark, damp places and would like to find someone who enjoys the same. I love the ocean and dream of opening a five-star skin care clinic at the trendy Paranur Gandhi Leprosy Colony in Hawaii. Like my parole officer, I feel that if you find the right vocation, your job and your hobbies become one in the same.
I work as a telemarketer for a cemetery. Calling people at dinner time to discuss their immediate plans after death has helped me immensely with the online dating scene. After working at "Plots 'R Us" for six months, I've developed a thick enough skin to allow me to work through all of the hate mail and death threats that I've accumulated at Match.com.
I was born the only Jewish boy in a home full of Mormon women. Plagued by daily beatings at the hand of my 7-year old sister, I struck out on my own at the age of 43, in search of my father: the only gay Karate Instructor I've ever known. My mother told me that I was conceived in the back seat of a 1943 Peugeot station wagon on her prom night. Since that time, I've become inexplicably drawn to used car salesmen and the smell of cheap upholstery.
I was baptized as a Buddhist, circumcised by a freelance Mohel and spent the first 10 years of my life sequestered in a Catholic confessional, so I consider myself religious but not spiritual. My sect believes in reverse re-incarnation: that mankind has already lived their best days in the distant past. Each time we are re-born, we return one rung lower on the ladder of life. Eventually, after returning enough times, we end up as a chewed piece of gum, stuck on the bottom of someone's shoe only to be scraped off on the curb.
Favorite hot spots:
I'm generally not a "club" person, but sometimes I'll dress up in my best leisure suit and hit the disco circuit; pretty tough since discos went out in the 1970's. I love traveling and will often stow away in cargo containers aboard trans-pacific freighters. The accommodations aren't great but I've met a lot of wonderful people and have become fluent in 15 dialects of Tagalog.
Since I've been paroled, life has been about taking advantage of all of the things I could never have while sharing a cell with three women: my own bar of soap, sharp objects, a mirror, keeping a whole pack of cigarettes to myself, being able to fall asleep without screaming, being stabilized on my medications, a new tattoo every week with a clean needle and unfettered access to the general public.
Although I love to read, since the lobotomy I haven't been able to tackle anything much longer than 10 words before I start to hyperventilate. I generally stick to reading the instructions on Preparation H boxes or the search warrants that inevitably come every week. Someday, I'd like to tackle a great American novel; something like "Curious George and the Pizza", "Is Your Mama a Llama?" or "The Frog and the Toad Are Friends."
About me and what I'm looking for:
My therapist tells me that I'm a mystery wrapped in an enema. I've been told that I'm good looking, sexy, have great legs, am fun to be with and an exceptional wit. But that might have been just to get me to eat my peas.
I spend most of my time outdoors and love to travel. Not having a place to live will do that to you. I love exercise and enjoy a good chase from the police on a warm summer evening. My special lady has to be tall, smart, athletic and of good child-rearing stock, as I intend to have a ten or fifteen kids once I get off of the anti-depressants.
I was raised by my grandparents: devout polygamists who practiced celibacy. My grandmothers used to tell me that I could be anything in life I wanted to be as long I made decisions with my "big" head instead of my "little" head.
I'm looking for the kind of woman who knows how to take care of me: the kind of lady who doesn't mind getting up in the middle of the night to adjust my IV drip or change my diaper. I need a woman who likes to cuddle and hold me after my panic attacks. I'm a great conversationalist and most of the time I can form whole sentences despite the Thorazin. I like sitting by the fire sharing a good bottle of wine with my special lady. Over the years, I've amassed quite a collection of screw top wines from all over the world. I also like to think of myself as quite a good cook. In the Rocky Mountains, we have a lot of road kill during the spring, so I've become something of a connoisseur when it comes to preparing wild game.
They say that the majority of successful relationships begin in the workplace. Although I've had passionate relationships with the UPS driver, the Xerox repair person, three of the security guards, fourteen temps, all of the cleaning women and half of the secretaries, I still haven't found "the one". Having exhausted all of my workplace options, I'm turning to Match.com to meet that special someone.
I have exceptionally high standards with the women that I allow into my life. They have to be either smart, dull, funny, lifeless, passionate, cold, humorless, wealthy, poor, athletic, sedentary, slim, fat, beautiful, plain, wealthy, broke, healthy, infirm, generous, cinchy, self-centered, older, young, well-traveled, self-absorbed or have just about any other quality that a man looks for in a woman; as long as they're alive, warm and breathing.
I'm not into games, so please do not email me or send me winks unless you enclose a minimum of 12 autographed 8 X 12, professionally prepared, high resolution color photographs, can type a minimum of 150 words per minute with 90% accuracy and you're ready to have kids right away.
1. You will not post on the Service, or transmit to other Members, any defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, obscene, profane, offensive, sexually oriented, threatening, harassing, racially offensive, or illegal material
2. You will not provide inaccurate, misleading or false information to the Company or to any other Member
3. You understand and agree that Match.com may review and delete any content, messages, double-blind emails, photos or profiles
4. You will not impersonate any person or entity
5. All information provided must be accurate and current
Point two is what got me into trouble. Well, actually it was all of themâ€¦
After submitting my profile, I received a computer generated email that stated:
Thank you for submitting your profile to Match.com.
Unfortunately, we are unable to approve it at this time. Please submit another profile or alter the text you previously sent by following these steps:
â€¢ All information provided must be accurate and current
â€¢ Must be in English
â€¢ You must be single or separated from your spouse
â€¢ Do not include detailed personal information (i.e.: your full name, street address, contact information, date of birth, etc.) to help protect your online anonymity
â€¢ Do not include any language which could be considered defamatory or offensive in any way (i.e.: sexually explicit, promotes racism, references to inflicting bodily harm to yourself or others, etc.)
Normally, I wouldn't have a problem adhering to their guidelines if I hadn't already been duped by hundreds of women who described themselves as "Athletic and toned" who earn "$75,000-$150,000", "Don't smoke", only have "One or two drinks" and "Have one strategically placed tattoo." These, of course, are actually over the hill, chain-smoking, alcoholic dishrags on welfare. But, the Match.com Police don't seem to be knocking on their doors. Noooo...
Once you've been expelled by Match.com, it's almost impossible to subscribe to any other on-line dating service. Word gets around fast. In my quest to find Ms. Right, I've had to resort to inventing dozens of other original screen names. But, fortunately I've been able to re-use my member profile.
So, the moral of the story is, "Don't mess with Match.com" or you too may find yourself banished from the singles on the Internet. A terrible, terrible fateâ€¦