About halfway through the experiment, I began to fear I would never lock down an actual eHarmony date. Even with the experiment’s rules locked firmly in place, I wasn’t even remotely attracted to a single earnest soul. Too pale, too old, too cheesy, too short, too far away. Where were all the easy-going, adventuresome guys next door??
I decided it might possibly be more fruitful in terms of narrative to stop hoping for Mr. Right and start searching for Mr. Very Very Wrong. I didn't have to look very far. eHarmony Lewis pinged my inbox with a request to skip straight to eH Mail. His profile reeked of hubris. We're talking photos on boats with busty babes, solo shots of his sweet, sweet ride, and pictures of him at the Playboy Mansion captioned, "Me at the Playboy Mansion".
DING DING DING.
A part of me I'm not very proud of secretly loves engaging in these conversations. Insecure guy leading with his wallet versus non-materialistic deconstructionist. Sort of the verbal equivalent to shooting fish in a barrel.
Here’s one special little snippet from our initial gag-inducing back-and-forth:
Him: “I live in a posh gated community with celebrity neighbors.”
Me: “Is that seriously how you describe where you live?”
Him: “Your message got cut off. I couldn’t read what you said. I’ll call you tomorrow.”
Oh, man. This is going to be a delight.
That night, I toss and turn through a series of terrifying nightmares involving creepy men/my impending [painful] death. I decide it might be a smart idea to review my messages with eHL. Every inch of my skin crawls at his frenetic fervor. Overly aware of the concept of stranger danger, I’ve been letting my friends know the who's, when's, and where's of each and every date, but I've never actually felt uneasy going into any of them. Until now. This Mr. Wrong thing suddenly doesn't seem like such a good idea.
eHL: Hi. Lewis from eHarmony. How are you? Is this a good time? :)
I figure if I don't reply, he'll probably get the hint.
eHL: Hi Stacie :) When are the best times for a phone chat? :)
Or not. Hm. Maybe I should reply? Tell him I'm not interested after all? I’m sort of uneasy at the thought of engaging any further, but maybe that will give him the closure he needs to back off. Before I get a chance to respond…
eHL: Hi. Left you a vm :) So…vintage shopping is one of your favorite pastimes? What era? :) Are you on LinkedIn? :)
I unconsciously read these messages in a high-pitched voice with a creepy, lingering cadence. OMG it's the voice from my nightmares. (And Silence of the Lambs.)
Also…am I on LinkedIn?? Definitely not engaging.
Sept 28: eHL: So as a freelancer, you’re probably more familiar with the whole healthcare thing than most W2 employess. What’s your take on the whole Obamacare thing?
eHL: Just curious :)
...Seriously? Just curious.
Thank you Jesus slash subconscious for kicking some common, try-harder-to-not-get-yourself-killed sense into me.
eHL: Oh per linkedin you know Janet. (Another model. Could have mentioned that on your eHarmony profile. There are quite a few living here at my apt complex. I can tell stories. Americas most smartest model. Pays better than freelance writing.)
eHL: Janet was involved in the absolute worst and probably weirdest on the job scandal I’ve ever run across – or so it is widely believed at a former employer.
eHL: You can guess some of the details (what could she have done?) but some would be stranger than any fiction
He found me on LinkedIn. Note to self: Remove last name from blog prior to embarking on future adventures in online dating.
"Could have mentioned that on your eHarmony profile." "Americas most smartest model." "What could she have done?"
I think the proper question might be, what have you done, and which weapon did you use to do it.
Is there, like, a police notification board where I can give 'em a little heads-up that I'm probably going to be murdered in my sleep?
eHL: Hi genius model. Ok get you don’t seem too interested. (Probably should close me out on eHarmony.) However I’m curious about the whole “gifted child” thing as my experience is that is mainly a middle class thing. 1% children go to elite private school (like my hs), they don’t call them “gifted” but they are often much more competitive and also offer more opportunities. I’ve also ran into other “gifted children”, eg educated in Cali.
"Ok get you don't seem too interested." Do you? Do you really? Is this like that time my message got "cut off" and you couldn't read what I said?
Also, how exactly does one close someone out on eHarms? Isn’t never responding to a single message enough anymore?
Seven months later…
ehL: Hi Ford model! Lewis from eharmony way back. Was going through my old eharmony contacts. Doesn’t look like you’re active on eharmony anymore, so thought I’d text you here instead. (Doesn’t look like I ever texted you?)
“Doesn’t look like I ever texted you”??? I just…how…I mean…come on, man…holy…everything.
eHL: Alternatively, this might be Jesus saying hi. (I recall per your blog you live a magically charmed life due to Jesus. This might be one of those moments. This might be Jesus reaching out to say “hi”. Although the Jesus in this case might be only the Hollywood Jesus known for sipping lattes at Starbucks, driving a Mercedes, and generally accepting the decadent western materialist lifestyle. He’s a very friendly guy and says hi to everyone.) Anyway I never got around to asking, what are you doing to that poor squirrel? :) Aren’t there laws against that? :)
eHL: How is Jesus treating you these days? (Did I mention he says “hi”)? :)
...It's a sloth. FOR HOLLYWOOD JESUS'S SAKE, it's a sloth.