In 2007, I applied for a Rhodes Scholarship. Obviously, I was not selected (as evidenced by the fact that I’m not currently under consideration for a Nobel Prize) but I did manage to complete the application process. Considering that said process required eight letters of recommendation and approximately fifty four personal statements, I have always considered its completion a feat in and of itself— that is, until I signed up for eHarmony.
You know those commercials for online dating services of the non-eHarmony variety that say, “If you’re sick of eHarmony (or if you’ve aged seven years while attempting to complete your profile) come on over to Match.com?” Well, I am beginning to understand the genius behind this particular marketing campaign.
The sad thing is I like to write. I really feel for those poor bastards who can’t string a single sentence together. I bet there are loads of them all over the city, collapsed upon their desks from utter exhaustion crying, “I just wanted to get laid!”
I suppose that’s the one good thing about eHarmony. The sheer drudgery of the application process weeds out all of the would-be players (at least all of the would-be players who can’t write; I’ll have to keep an eye out for those who can because it is these men who have always comprised the greatest challenges to my sanity).
Nonetheless, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think eHarmony was a bit over the top. I know it’s great for finding your soul mate and all that jazz but I’m 25. I want to go back to London. I want to see the world. Unless my “soul mate” is willing to indulge my wanderlust (and my temperamental-writer tendencies), I don’t want to find him right now.
Perhaps I wouldn’t be feeling to snarky about the whole eHarmony application process if I knew how to type properly. A little known secret about Yours Truly is that I only type with two fingers. Granted, I type pretty fast for two fingers but I still think way faster than I can write, which means that by the time I get around to typing the first sentence of my response to the qustion, “What’s the one thing you’re most passionate about?” I’ve already composed an entire paragraph in my head, most of which I’ve forgotten by the time my index fingers have caught up.
The other thing I don’t like about eHarmony is that it forces you to go all psychoanalyst on yourself. Generally I like thinking (and talking) about myself (no, really?) but this forced introspectiveness makes me a bit squeamish. I’ve kept a journal since I was twelve. That’s thirteen years! I think I’m introspective enough, thank you very much. I really don’t want to answer “On a scale of 1-7, how satisfied are you about your physical appearance?” Especially because the answer to that question changes on an hourly basis…
But eHarmony is currently running a “free communication” event. And even thought everyone’s comments on Wednesday’s post got me thinking, “Hmmm… maybe I should wait until the new year to start dating again,” I figured it wouldn’t hurt to take a quick peek at the prospects.
The thing with eHarmony’s “free communication” event is that it’s just a ploy to reel you in. They let you do this wacky “guided communication” thing where you volley questions back and forth with your Potential Soul Mate for a few days and bombard you with subscription advertisements every three seconds.
“Not until New Years,” I kept telling myself. “Even if I can’t see his picture until I subscribe (and might therefore be corresponding with a total troll) I really don’t have time for this right now.”
(My preschoolers are performing The Nutcracker in exactly one week. Their costumes still aren’t finished, they have yet to learn the end of the waltz and I still can’t figure out how to “kill” the Rat King without inciting a total riot.)
But then Potential Soul Mate/Troll Number One sent me a personal message, the content of which I was unable to read sans subscription. Long story short, eHarmony’s “free communication” event is not for the faint at heart (or the weak willed, or the boy crazy). Eventually I caved, reached for my Visa card and purchased a six-month subscription, to the tune of $143.79.
And so it begins again…