Rejected by eHarmony from an unknown man in Dubuque, IA:
I am a unique individual: I like financial security, excellent health, enjoying all that life has to offer, and giving my sweetie roses**.
Other things I enjoy: time off; cash windfalls; free swag; getting away with things; lying when it's convenient; being waited on; traveling on somebody else's frequent flier miles; fart jokes at times that are very inopportune for you; making you pay for drinks; hitting on your friends and pretending it's all in fun; having no responsibilities; not growing old despite the passage of time (me: a very young 52); ignoring you to watch football, because I just love football; ignoring you to watch random sports I don't even care about, such as skeleton luge and slopestyle skiing; promising to accompany you to church and then backing out at the last minute, every single time; eating, eating well, eating very well, eating very well without having to help clean up (in ascending order). I am fond of being accorded high status for no reason and when people tell me I'm handsome; people sucking up to me; people mistaking me for someone famous; heroin without consequences (impossible, and did I ever find that out); co-worker underlings acting deferential because they're frightened of my power and my intermittent capricious ruthlessness. Winning. Especially undeservedly.
What my friends say about me: that I am scintillating, brilliant, corruscating, incisive, charming, beloved, strong, infinitely bold, passionate and deeply spiritual. Actually I don't know what the heck they say about me because most of them live in other cities and we hardly ever see each other any more, and we talk "once a year" which is actually more like once every three to five years. But enough about me!
You: you should look like Amanda Holden but not be quite so old, even though the real Amanda Holden is ten years younger that my fake age (the one I'm lying about which is five years less than my real age)—but don't forget, you must agree to look like Amanda Holden looks now when you get to be the age she is now. Before I go to the hassle of meeting you in person, you must agree to marry me eventually if I want. You should also agree to go away quietly if that turns out to be what I want. Total commitment, true loyalty, and complete honesty on your part are a must.
My approximate appearance. If I were a little younger. And a little thinner. And had a little more hair on my head. And a little less on my upper body. And a better tan. What? What makes you think I
pirated this picture off the Internet?
I am very buff and fit. Oh wait, that was 25 years ago. My memory of once having been fit, however, exerts a powerful influence over my self-image now, even though I have not worked out since Clinton was President and the only way I could run fast is if I were being chased by a criminal or a large animal that was trying to kill me—which would be self-defeating, since running hard at my age would cause me to experience a massive heart event and die anyway. Or at least enter a vegetative state. Which, come to think of it, would probably mimic my general energy level fairly closely. My appearance now does not bother me—I'm still thin from in here, and I find it easy to ignore my added weight. So it should not bother you. I cannot however ignore excess weight on you, because I can see you—so you must be, and agree to stay, fit and trim.
So I guess what I'm saying is that my ideal mate should enjoy exercising alone.
You should earn at least $75,000 a year—that would make our combined income as a couple $100,000 a year, which I consider a comfortable level. So I am generously thinking of both of us with this requirement.
In short, am the kind of person who likes perfect weather, tropical island getaways, carefree fun, beautiful music, being adored by domestic pets, and being happy. I like to laugh—and really, how many human beings can say that?
Oh, and yes, I can tolerate walking on beaches as well as candlelight. So as you can plainly see, I'm perfect for you.
• • •
The foregoing is fiction. Any resemblances to anyone's real eHarmony profile are completely coincidental.
Happy [cynical, satrical***] Valentine's Day!
**Exactly once per relationship
***And also the real, sincere, heartfelt kind, if and where applicable
Original contents copyright 2014 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
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Featured Comments from:
Burton Randol: "I remember, as a bracing antidote to the usual personal ads, a 1999 Valentine's Day article in the New York Times that contrasted the British approach, as represented by actual postings in the Personal Ads section of the London Review of Books, with counterparts from the New York Review of Books. Excerpts from some of the (real) British ones:
Sixty-seven-year-old disaffiliated flaneur picking my toothless way through the urban sprawl, self-destructive, sliding towards pathos, jacked up on Viagra and on the lookout for a contortionist....
Why, oh why, oh why?...47-year-old male serving life sentence in Scottish academia. Respondents must know absolutely nothing about Byron or Shelley and loathe the thought of reading Wordsworth and Keats. Blake is a concessionary 'maybe' only.
Illiterate old bastard with not a single book in sight seeks someone to read poetry and wash away the interminable cynicism that comes with reading this magazine. Must harbor profound hatred of Tuscany.
A hopeful young student of Freud/Is looking for fun unalloyed/She's fresh, free and flirty/And loves to talk dirty/About dreams she's especially enjoyed.
"Here's the article."
Jim Witkowski: "Oh! I thought you were writing about me!"
Anonymous: "Funny story from me time. Last year, when Peter Turnley's book was offered, I ordered a copy and recall that it was suggested (if not by you, then by commenters) that it would make a good Valentine's day gift. Some time later, I reactivated a profile on a dating site and (skipping skipping skipping) tonight I'm taking my wonderful girlfriend to a nice dinner at a restaurant of her choosing, where I will be giving her the copy of French Kiss, and I will serenade her. FWIW, both of our profiles were oddly not like the satiric version you wrote, and in fact would have scared off many women (in the case of mine)."