How to Win at Online Mating

snapchat“Did you hear about Cheryl, Charles?”

“I did hear about Cheryl, Bill. The poor girl.”

“We should do something for her.”

“What did you have in mind?”

“I think the best thing for a trampled heart is to get right back on that horse, mixed metaphors be damned.”

“I agree, Bill. Life is too short to sit around and mope. But you and I certainly make no fitting mates for a lady like Cheryl, ha ha.”

“Banish the thought, Charles, banish the thought – and idiomatic malapropism be damned.”

“You have something else in mind.”

“I do, Charles. Online dating. There’s no quicker way to order up a relationship, as easy as a new DVD on Amazon. It’s as easy as apple pie, and reputable, these websites: they guarantee love!”

“A love guarantee. What a golden age we live in.”

“Because of her emotional state – despondency, Charles – I think it would be best if we took it upon ourselves to make her profile for her, and then just present her with the eligible bachelors she has to choose from.”

“Like a special New Year’s present.”

“I’ve had the internet form open this whole time, on the laptop in front of us.”

“So that’s what we’ve been looking at.”

“What’s the first thing we should say to describe her?”

“I don’t know, what’s standard procedure for these things? How about ‘compassionate’? I think that’s big.”

“That’s a thought, Charles, that’s a thought, but think about it. What do you really mean when you say you are compassionate? What does that imply?”

“That you care for fellow man, you have a heart.”

“Certainly, but if you’re describing yourself, it’s in ways that set you apart from others – particular descriptors, see. For compassionate to be a particular descriptor of you, you’d have to be above the par: someone who always stops to hug the beggars on the street and listen to their hard-luck tales, someone who volunteers at soup-kitchens every weekend, someone whose life is built around humanitarian work on a consistent basis.”

“Yes, I see what you mean, Bill. I’d certainly admire such a person but I don’t know if they’d be a good fit for what I’m actually looking for in a relationship, or what most people are.”

“No, and everyone gives bums a dime sometimes, or goes to a nice fundraiser or what have you – why, my childhood church made us volunteer as teenagers all the time, but kids just go because it’s something grown-ups tell them to do and they don’t have the volition to really think for themselves.”

“When people describe themselves as compassionate, you’re saying, Bill, what they really mean is they’re as compassionate, averagely, as the next person – as in, not an inhuman monster devoid of compassion abnormally. Just normal-level compassionate.”

“But that’s a gimme. Most people are willing to give you that one, assume it of you, just out of hand. It’s meaningless.”

“Yes, I see. Well, what about spiritual? We could say she’s spiritual. That’s a little less common.”

“A little less common, Charles, yes, I can see that, but no less bland – it means nothing. What do you picture when you think of someone who says they’re ‘spiritual’? It’s an insult, really. At least if someone says they’re religious, you know they’re adhering to a firmly held tradition of some kind with discipline. If someone says they’re un-religious, or atheistic, you know they have the will to follow something like science or humanism even in opposition to a popular belief group. If what you mean is you believe in some kind of possible grander power while eschewing corrupt human-organized religion structure, you educate yourself on the issue enough to say you’re agnostic or deist or some such.”

“Yes, you’re right, whereas someone ‘spiritual’ just calls up an image of that mom from the Bling Ring: a vapid, weak-willed kind of Laws of Attraction New-Age woman-child who lets her children rob from Paris Hilton.”

“Someone who reads books about wall paint color hues’ influence on chakra, and pays their fortune teller medium 500 dollars to cleanse their aura crystals every month.”

Gullible is what you’re saying, Bill.”

“’I Lack Empirical Thinking Skills,’ is what you could put, Charles, in lieu of ‘spiritual,’ I am saying.”

“What about ‘Family-Oriented,’ Bill, as a good descriptor for the profile? That seems devoid of bias. She loves her family.”

“Do we know that, though? Do we know she really orients herself around her family?”

“Ah, it could be the same problem as compassionate, you are saying. Either you are claiming to be above and beyond the majority of people, in terms of family love, which is kind of horrible of you, to believe, or you’re simply expressing you love your family as much as the average person, which means nothing.”

“Which isn’t even considering, what if you suffered some kind of family abuse or neglect, or even without getting so dramatic, if your family simply were kind of dicks – like, ordinary dicks, without what could be called abuse or neglect, but still not very likable, and that is no fault of your own. Why should we punish someone whose family didn’t care for them very much?”

“They could be family-oriented as in wanting a family of their own.”

“Which, isn’t it okay to not want that? But even so, I’d say most people do – it’s a simple biological imperative.”

“Bill, a theme of people believing basic behaviors of human beings somehow convey their own personality seems to be emerging. Like, ordinary things that everyone has through no virtue or vice being used as a way to convey oneself, as if a rat described itself as ‘small’ or ‘furry,’ like, ‘I am a small and furry rat,’ because it has the same qualities as every other rat.”

“’Fun-loving’ just means whore. Can we accept that off the bat?”

“I’d say we can, Bill.”

“Male or female. ‘Fun-loving’ = ‘I’m a whore.’ Because who thinks that’s a real information point there? ‘What do you like to do?’ ‘I like to have fun.’ ‘Oh, do you? I don’t. I’m a nihilist.’ Most people aren’t nihilists.”

“I guess the idea is their type of fun isn’t something lame people like to have, but they aren’t saying what type it is, is the problem. It’s like saying, ‘I enjoy doing enjoyable things,’ I suppose, Bill.”

“It’s implied they like to drink and sleep around, Charles, but someone who likes to read and sip espresso also likes to have fun, and they would say something like, ‘I like to read and sip espresso.’”

“Because it’s understood that’s not what people mean when they just say ‘fun.’”

“So these people should say, ‘I like to drink and sleep around.”

“That is the implication.”

“It’s image crafting, Charles. It’s tone and style. Giving the appearance of who you really are by how you say or avoid saying who you really are rather than actually saying it. And trying to appraise others by that appearance and facade.”

“Layers, Bill.”

“The entire system then becomes, for the intelligent person, a series of shibboleths, intended to attract and identify a similar-minded person through a series of subtle references and tonal inclinations.”

“Layers within layers.”

“The ultimate goal of the curtains and signals being to flag down a union that feels as if it was founded on some kind of subliminal, private understanding, a giant in-joke, when in fact marriage and unions are as much products of physiological drive and situational pragmatics: when the human feels it is time to pair or the right place to settle into the next phase of life.”

“A vast and exposing philosophical truth, Bill. A chilling and lonely perspective that makes us feel small.”

“Yes. A truth that makes us appear naked as simultaneous animal and machine, vulnerable to a version of ourselves we considered only a deep and buried influence: the version susceptible to primal biological clocks and irresistible impulses of procreation and social tribe behavior.”

“A reality seen only peripherally and in retrospect, with a measure of embarrassment, from whatever position we have in looking at ourselves, Bill.”

“I think we’re almost done with this profile.”

“Cheryl is going to have a great crack at these eligible bachelors.”

“Be the flame, don’t be the moth, Charles.”

“I am the lightning bug!”

New Profile Created!
NAME: Cheryl Robbins.
DESCRIPTION: 
32-26-34
End of profile.
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