Sunday, February 28, 2010

The E Files--Part 3: The Matches Come Rolling In

Previously on the E Files, Agent Mattie had completed her disguise and was now a part of the alien online dating community. Now as one of them, she had to wait until the leader, an abstract machine, had found her matches, a typical custom of the species. Let's see what the leader has uncovered for Agent Mattie:

Now that I completed my profile, I let eHarmony work it's magic and do all the heavy lifting to bring me my potential future significant others. At first, I only got three. Wow, out of the thousands of people on there, there's only three for me? Apparently I'm really difficult to be compatible with.

But then, as the weekend progressed I got 6 or 7 matches a day. I'll admit, it was kind of exciting to see I had new matches. It was fun. Some of them seemed okay, some seemed interesting, others were misspelled (therefore I couldn't stand it), and most were downright hilarious (both intentional and unintentional).

Because I'm sure you'd get real bored real fast, I won't share every detail of every profile of matches I received. After all, you didn't sing up for it, I did, so it's my job to go through all the dreck to find you the real hilarious gems. Like this one: Eharmony asks, What is one thing you are most passionate about? This guy (who actually lives pretty darn close to me, so I'm not saying who or where exactly) replies "I am most passionate about women who are physically attractive and easy-going..." (and then adds that the most important thing he is looking for in a person is "that she is physically attractive, kind, and easy-going, all equally important." Really dude, that's what you're most passionate about? Then he goes on to add he's also passionate about "a hobby I have of editing and cleaning up rated R movies." Ok, that's it. I can't do it. You are definitely not my match.

Another guy was really passionate about the things he's passionate about. He used an exclamation point after the end of every sentence. He even went so far as to CAPITALIZE several WORDS! Ok, calm down. Another guy basically wrote his entire green eco-friendly agenda as his passion. Got it, you want to save the world one florescent bulb at a time. (Same guy wrote his best friends knew he came to college young. What are you trying to subtly say, huh?) Another wrote that he wanted me to know that he "originally is from France. I moved to the States when I was 13." Is this supposed to impress me? Because, really it's just coming off as pretentious.

On to the next set! Then one guy, who seemed really artsy and into theater, claimed that his best friends know that he used to be "addicted to parking illegally?". Ummmm Ok. Didn't know that was something you could be addicted to and is it because you loved the thrill of being a criminal? I don't know, I just thought it was something really weird he put that he was trying to be funny with, but instead it was just odd. Another person said (when saying what he does in his free time) "And I'm not ashamed to admit it, I love to watch TV and movies when I'm at home." Is watching TV and movies a thing to be shameful about? Isn't that what most of the American public does? Also similar, a guy wrote that he still used the terms boyfriend and girlfriend no matter how out of date his friends say they are. Since when is the term boyfriend and girlfriend out of date? I must have missed the memo.

I do admire the honesty of some, like this guy who said he is "passionate and loving even though on the surface [he] seems hard, cold, and uncaring." (He was in the military... it makes sense, but I'm sure its tough to get past that hard, cold, uncaring exterior.) This same person said: "I am a fortress that very few will ever be allowed inside. You might one day be given access. But understand that the things you don't know about me could fill the Grand Canyon." Wow, dude. Nevermind, I think I might just move on then...

I thought it was funny when they didn't understand or answer the questions correctly. Like, for instance, the question was what is the first thing people notice about you? The guy answered, "I always notice someone's smile. It really expresses their personality." Ummm, not the answer I was looking for. Then there was another person when asked who is the most influential person in your life answered, "leaders of the church." All of them? You can't just pick one? To the same question another wrote, "Does God count?" Yes, I'll give you that one, but just this once. In the spot asking what other information that he wants you to know, one put, "of course." Kind of in the same vein, another just babbled on, trying to cover his tracks: "I haven't always possessed a desire for learning about the scriptures, and spiritual things; I mean, I always was to a certain degree, because I'm a deep thinker and it's always been on my mind. But, since my mission I've really come to have a hunger for things found within the word of God. Sounds cheesy to say, but hey, I'm trying to be honest here." (This same person also had a passion for video games and how they tell a story and he wanted to do it as a career. No thanks, pal.) One guy remarked he couldn't live without "the girl of his dreams!!!" Ummm seems like he's been living okay so far.

There were several mistakes and typos going on in these profiles, and for the most part I could forgive most of them because I understand that no one is perfect and sometimes you mistype things. However, there are a few things that were unforgivable, like with "JOnathan." Ok, maybe his name is really spelled that way, or he was trying to emphasize his nickname, but for some reason I highly doubt it. If you can't even type your name right, things are not going to work out well between us. (eHarmony tried to help out by saying that both JOnathan and I were a Cancer which is something we could talk about! Oh goody!!!) Then there was another one who wrote: "I must say the freinds who I have chosen to be around me. They are always freindly and want me to go after my dreams." Once, I could probably let it go, but twice??? No way my friend. No. (This guy had several other mistakes too, like "esay" (for easy) "somtimes" and he didn't even capitalize his name.)

What I thought was funny was what a few guys said was their "Occupation." Like JOnathan, who claimed his occupation was an "Engineer in Education." What exactly does that mean? He's learning to be an engineer? He's engineering education? Then there was another one who said: "I will explain when asked" Ummm, are you a spy? Or are you unemployed? What is there to explain? Then there was another guy who said "I have a good, solid career." Oh yeah? so solid you can't say what it is you do?

Then there were a few guys who were actually pretty funny, intentionally. Like one who said he wished more people would notice "that I'm a really thoughtful and sensitive guy, then again what guy makes that apparent?" Hmmm very true. One guy said he couldn't live without Rosco his mule (which is a tossup between intentional humor and unintentional). Another said that he wished more people noticed his "really beautiful hazel colored eyes." To the same question, another said "how absolutely devoted I am and the cute, fun, and sweet ways I show it. :)" The same person said "One time my family went on a trip to some sort of park or animal reserve and an elk came and licked our window!! Seriously!! I have the craziest adventures!" LOL... ok, if you say so. Another said that people notice "how nice I am. Sometimes I think it is a curse." Curse niceness! There was one guy in particular that made me laugh the most, and his I'll share with you in its entirety (click to enlarge):

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The E Files--Part 2: Setting Up My Profile

Last time on E Files, Agent Mattie was entering an alien, unknown world of online dating, and her first task was to pass the grueling entrance exam to appear like the aliens themselves. It's only by pretending to be one of them that Agent Mattie can really learn more about their mating rituals. The next step, now that Agent Mattie was in, was to make herself a profile, to be included as part of the alien community:

Luckily some of my profile was filled out when I took that test. But then, it asked me to include some more info and answer more questions, you know to make sure I really was invested and putting myself out there. Since the profile is basically my advertisement to the world, I had to make sure it looked good, but at the same time was me.

This was hard to do. At least on Facebook, for example, I can really be me because I'm talking with friends and family and putting up links and photos so you get the sense of how I am. With my eHarmony profile, I tried to be me as much as I could, but I didn't want to lay it all out at the beginning or else they wouldn't want to get to know me, right?

So I did my best trying to explain myself in the limited space I was given, answering the questions as truthfully as I could, but at the same time putting my style and personality in the writing. I think what I came up with was pretty good (click to enlarge):
My profile lets people know I'm fun, religious, family-oriented, smart, funny, and ready for a challenge.

Now, all I had to do was wait.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The E(harmony) (Pro)Files--Part 1: The Personality Test

As some of you may recall, I received an email on Valentine's Day weekend advertising that eHarmony was free for 5 days. Well, not really. I misread it, and it was really free communication for 5 days. But, I thought, what the heck. I was curious, and I figured I'll sign up and see what happens. If anything, I'd get some pretty entertaining material like a friend of mine had.

The first step of setting up an eHarmony profile is taking the personality test that helps eHarmony's algorithm match you up with the most compatible people for you. You know, they match on "29 dimensions of deep compatibility." Now that I've taken this test, I think it's a load of crap. Maybe it's just me, but some of these questions were ridiculous:

1. "True or False: My house is often cleaner when I have company coming over."
Ummm... don't most people clean when they know someone's coming? Pretty sure I don't know anyone who says, "Company's coming! Quick make a mess!"

2. "True or False: I generally want to come out ahead."
Doesn't everyone? I really don't want to be matched with someone who wants to come out behind because he clearly has no ambition or goals.

Then, there were preference questions, and I felt a little odd answering a few of them. For example, it asked me what race I would prefer to be matched up with. I felt a little racist putting "Caucasian," but honestly, I don't see myself with a little Chinese man. So, to make up for my glaring racism, I put that it wasn't that important to me that this guy should be white.

There were, however, a few things that I said were really important to me, like the fact that I wanted to be matched with another LDS person (or at least one that claimed to be) and someone that didn't smoke or drink at all. However, eHarmony, I guess, felt like I was being too restrictive on the drinking one and told me this:
Sorry, eHarmony, I don't care how many more matches I'll get if I say I'm okay with someone drinking once a week or more; there's a reason why I have it set that way in the first place!

Anyway, so I finally manage to get through the compatibility/personality test after a couple hours. No, seriously, it took forever. There were 10 freaking sections. I felt like I was going through an extensive background check/vetting process, or an intense employment application or something. I had to take several breaks just cause I couldn't stand staring at the screen and answering questions anymore. It was crazy, but I had completed the test and was signed up to be a member of the eHarmony community.

The next step was setting up my profile...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Brief Interruption for an Announcement

I know I said in my last post that the next few posts were going to be my adventures in the world of online dating. But, I had a blog-worthy announcement that merited an interruption of said series.

Today is Ash Wednesday, (no that's not my announcement)and although most of you (and really even me) don't care about this, it marks the start of Lent. Well I don't observe Lent (which mostly entails giving something up for the days between now and Easter), never have, but I decided that this year it coincided nicely with my decision to be healthier.

So, for the first time in my life, I decided to "observe Lent" in the fact that I will give up something for a month. What is it?


That's right folks, I've decided to give up sweets for a month (although my Catholic friend says Lent is actually 46/47 days and you can cheat on Sundays, but I'm going to do it my way). I'm not exactly doing it in the spirit you're supposed to for Lent, but I figured, if other people in the world can give up something during Lent for the sake of the Lord, then I can too.

Yeah, I'm praying I last more than a week.

*And now back to your regularly scheduled posts.*

Sunday, February 14, 2010

As we near the end of that Hallmark holiday...

Quick, send out those Chinese New Year cards while you still can! It's ending soon.

Oh yeah, there was another holiday today as well, Valentine's Day or Single's Awareness Day, whatever the case may be. I actually wasn't too upset this year being without a significant other on this most ridiculous of holidays (after 23 years, it's the norm). I hung out with my friends, ate chocolate, and for the most part avoided the sappy-ness of the seasonal sections of stores. Although, I, unfortunately, was unable to avoid the cheesy human interest/Valentine's Day mentions during the pairs figure skating of the Olympics.

However, in a moment of weakness, and really pure curiosity, I decided to act on an email I received; I filled out an eHarmony profile. Yeah, I did. I received an email saying it was free for 5 days (I found out later that it was just free communication for 5 days, not a free membership.) and decided, why not? I've always wondered what fun entertaining things I'd find on here, and thought I'd try it.

I've always been weary of online dating; something about having to tell your children that you met their father online just isn't something I've ever wanted to have to do. I've known plenty of people that are perfectly happy and some even married having first met online. It's helpful and works out great for some people, but I just don't think I'm one of those. So, me signing up for eHarmony is for pure entertainment and experimental purposes, not that I actually want to meet (or even talk to) any of these guys.

So, the next few series of blog posts will be my experiences, adventures, and observations about the brave new world of online dating. Oh, it's going to be fun.

In other news, Happy President's Day tomorrow!