Contrary to what you may believe, I didn’t leave Match.com because the only guys “winking” at me clearly hadn't read my profile – that, or they didn’t believe me when I said I wasn’t looking for someone in their 50s with kids and cats and a house in the suburbs. The ones that really made me laugh were the ones that were also 5’8”.
Honestly, though, I probably could have suffered through another month of that. I probably could have also endured another month of e-mailing with potential matches, wondering when the heck he was going to ask for my number or try to set up a date.
Yes, I could have endured all of that and so much more had I never stumbled upon the Jerk’s profile.
The Jerk, I really wish I had a better name for him, but I don’t, he is simply a jerk, is an acquaintance of mine – a friend of a friend of another friend that I see out occasionally and after he leaves I ask the friend – why the hell do you put up with him? She just shrugs her shoulders and says she doesn’t know. The Jerk is tall, with dark hair and dark skin (thanks, I'm sure to a tanning salon membership). He has an impressive job and I even thought he was good looking, once upon a time.
Then he opened his mouth.
The Jerk knows more about everything than everybody. The Jerk once argued with me about trends in pocketbooks. Women’s pocketbooks. He thought he knew more about women’s pocketbooks than me.
The Jerk loves pointing out the designers he is wearing – even when it is obvious by the little guy on the horse stitched on the breast of the shirt.
The Jerk also likes to name drop. Mind you, we live in Philadelphia, so you can only imagine the names he is dropping. Most days I don’t know the people he is talking about and I make a point of asking him, “who?” His other favorite thing to do is just say a person’s first name. “Oh, yeah, I was at this party with Chase and Jen.” Umm, yeah, sure you were.
And then one day, I log onto Match.com and see that The Jerk viewed my profile.
At first I didn’t recognize him – his profile shot has more scenery than face in it. So I clicked on his screen name and then through his photos. And since I was already there and since Match.com was going to tell him I was there, I figured what the heck, let’s read what he has to say. I really wish I hadn’t.
By the end of the profile I was nauseated. Not by what he said, but by all the stuff he didn’t say. Where was the line about only dating “women” in their early 20s because they “aim to please” and come with significantly less baggage? Or the stories about dropping hundreds of dollars on bottles of vodka to skip the line at a club in South Beach. What about the fact that one of his favorite things is to pause during sex to check himself out in one of the many mirrors set up around his room (or so I heard).
None of that was there. Instead it was all “enjoying good food and checking out new restaurants in the city,” and “hanging out with friends at the shore,” and “watching foreign films and reading the classics.” He listed his favorite book as The Fountainhead. I could taste vomit as I realized if I didn’t know better, I would probably e-mail this guy. I would probably spend 20, maybe even 30 minutes working on something clever and cute and charming but not crazy or over-telling to send him and then would obsessively check my e-mail and Match.com account to see if he returned my e-mail or viewed my profile again.
And down the rabbit hole my mind went. All of these guys that I'm e-mailing, every last one of them could be just like the Jerk. Well, maybe not just like him – I have to believe he is one of a kind. But they all could be really cool and funny and interesting online, but complete weirdos in real life. No body is going to list their bad traits. I didn’t include the fact that I like the smell of my own hair, except on most Sundays when I tend to not wash it and I write a blog about my life so if you go on a date with me chances are my 27 readers are going to hear all about it. So what is hiding behind their profile smiles and list of favorite hot spots?
I know that there are just as many fakes and phonies in the real world – but here it is easier to see through them. I knew the Jerk was, well, a jerk, after only listening to him for 15 minutes. In Match.com world, it could have been a month (or more) before I figured that out. And I’m paying for that time, where as in the real world, I got a free drink out of it.