Can’t Put Lipstick on This Pig


A recent analysis by Wired Magazine of the online dating sites, and OkCupid revealed that men who use the pronoun “whom” in their profiles have a 31% higher response rate.

Indeed. Let it not be said that online love seekers are not discriminating when it comes to proper pronoun use. In my experience, such grammarians have been more scarce than hen’s teeth. On a related note, the same survey said the profile pics that garner the most inquiries are the ones in which people flash a toothy grin.

Not a good look when one has few teeth. Having recently abandoned OurGeezers-dot-com, a brief foray into the “50+ dating site” for which I paid and then promptly bailed (not even bothering to get my money back because the torrent of toxic dissatisfaction I would heap on some hapless quality control person at a call center in Boise would reduce my karmic quotient to minus-zero) I would say that many of the men featured on “Our Time” would have a better time if they kept their mouths shut when lacking dentures or diction.

If not an English teacher or a dental hygienist, what they could really use is Profile Polish. I read about this service on Huff Po recently. Here’s the headline on their home page:

Online dating shouldn’t suck, but often it does.

I couldn’t agree more. To help take some of the suckiness out of it, a person can contract with Lisa to help buff up their bio. Lisa describes herself as a 20-something freelance writer, editor, and serial online dater with an eye for marketing people. For a nominal fee, Lisa will makeover your dating profile. She says, “don’t worry—it will still be you, just a better-sounding, better-looking version of you. I’ll help your profile sound more like who you really are and get you the response you’ve been longing for!” With her vast life experience I’m sure Lisa can reach into the core of your soul and give birth to a profile that will have suitors clamoring to pork you AND take you home to meet the family.

I wonder though, if there are some turds she simply cannot polish, some lost causes she simply cannot save. St. Jude she ain’t. Take, for example, Lure_U_In. He very well could be out of scope. He was certainly out of my league, in a deficit way. At one point in time, Lure_U_In was one of my Top 5 Matches, back when I used to go fishing on Match. To this day I remain mystified over what keywords generated this match made in hell.

Hello all u ladies,
I’m a pipe fitter working the night shift at a power plant in Illinois. I’m an honest guy lookin’ for an honest woman, who isn’t a game player. I smoke and drink daily. (At least he drinks !) I rarely exercise and my favorite store is Lowe’s and my favorite TV show is CSI.

And then, there was Strong Arms For a Tired Back, which featured a blonde guy wearing a wife beater sportin’ a mullet, with a cigarette in one hand a Miller Lite in the other, with the receiver to a red Princess phone wedged between his ear and his neck, which meant the photo was either 30 years old or he still lives with his mom. On the plus side, he was “low maintenance with zero baggage.” Well, that’s something I guess.

But, you know, I really have to hand it to these guys for being honest. Gotta represent. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if everybody just leveled with each other on these profiles? Here’s how mine would go, if I was really brave.

SWF, driven, generally cute after the puffiness subsides around 8:30 A.M.
Semi-proficient multi-tasker, with unpaid debts and dreams of literary greatness. Liberal in her politics, child rearing, interpretation of tax deductions, grace periods and dog obedience.

A two-time loser, four-time mom, remains civil with her two ex-husbands, more so with the first, but then, he has a salt-water pool. A dawdler, it takes her twenty minutes to gather her shit before leaving for any social engagement. Often returns home for her phone. Chronic clothes changer. Sleeps with her dogs. Paints over pedicures past their prime.

Exercise primarily consists of carrying her gym bag to the car and back in the house, with infrequent stops at the gym. She embellishes stories, diminishes the number of former boyfriends.

A minimalist, she delights in simple things — the creak of wooden floors in her 86-year-old house, where she can be overheard laughing at newspaper ads to fix creaky floors. She finds splendor in water droplets clinging to the holly berries on the tree outside her bedroom window, the way steam rises from her fresh poured coffee, circling in the morning sun straining through dingy windows, ignored, due to her obsession with writing, instead of cleaning. Frequently spotted staring at the sky. Her heart swells at the sound of the slamming carport door, signaling one of her far flung younguns come home. A good cook, a pretty good catch, all in all, for damaged goods.

Even if someone were to read my long-ass, albeit honest, profile, as it turns out, this typing could all be for naught. New York Times tech writer Jenna Wortham recently wrote in her Bits column, that increasingly online soul mate searchers are looking for love in all the social media places. Ain’t nothing like the real thing of Facebook and Instagram, to provide a broader milieu of a person’s life. The thought is that social media calls bullshit on dating site claims to be an avid hiker, biker, wine aficionado, dog lover, Peace Corps volunteer, musician, fine diner, concert goer, walks-by-the-beach and crackling fireplace lover if there is nary a photograph on your Facebook page or Instagram site to document these keywords for success. It’s hard to fabricate what simply does not exist, proving perhaps, that a picture is worth a thousand whoms.

What does this photo say about my priorities?

What does this photo say about my priorities?



About Jean Ellen Whatley

Writer. Dreamer. Sometimes schemer. Journalist/memoirist/observer and sometimes constructive irritant. Prisoner of demon muses. Mother to four humans and two dogs. In my spare time, I delete phone numbers of former boyfriends.

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  1. Linda O'Connell says:

    You know what they say, Believe half of what you see and less of what you hear. Those match ’em ups are one of two things, embellished or not. Either way you win some, you lose some. Sending good vibes.

  2. What does that photo say about your priorities? It says they’re spot on. ;)

    And if I was batting for that team, I would make a play for you–you’re THAT great of a catch.

    (By the way, thanks so much for coming to the book signing earlier this week. You look maaahvelous!)

  3. Your priorities are in all the right places.

  4. You hit the nail on the head here. When I was doing online dating about a year ago, I was alarmed by how many guys profiles started with, “I’m an easy-going, laid back guy…” I swear, it was like 80%. Ugh don’t even get me started on the lack of grammar. Maybe like other more conventional ways of meeting people, timing is a HUGE part of the equation. I randomly, somehow, found my current boyfriend that way in the end- about two weeks before my subscription was up, go figure. But I think that was more chance than anything. Either way, my dog still takes precedence in my bed (most of the time.) Haha.

    • Hey Jess,
      Funny you mention the easy, laid back deal. I realized of late, I don’t necessarily want to be with someone who is “easy-going, laid back,” it’s code for unambitious or as my momma used to say, “trifling.”
      Onward and here’s to more occasions to boot the dogs out of the bedroom for a spell.