Brenda Changes Her Profile
“Don’t be discouraged, Brenda. It’s a numbers game. You know how many men I’ve dated so far.”
Brenda was text messaging her best friend who was at a retreat in an Ashram in India. “I know,” Brenda typed, “That’s what’s so discouraging.”
“Change your profile often,” Campbell messaged back.
“OK. Are there any cute guys at the Ashram?” Brenda texted.
“Lots. But I can’t talk to them. Silent retreat!”
“Spread out your energy zones to him.”
That was the end of their conversation. Maybe Campbell had a point. Something was wrong with her profile; she was attracting the wrong kind of men.
The phone rang. It was her friend Kimmy. She and Kimmy had met in graduate school, they were both in the same crime-literature course.
“How’s it going?” Kimmy asked her over the phone.
Brenda told her that she’d been working for the last two hours on her profile. “This is worse than writing my novel. I hate talking about myself.”
“Don’t waste your time with words,” Kimmy said. “Guys don’t read profiles. They’re just interested in what you look like. Write anything. But don’t forget to mention that you like cooking.”
“I hate cooking.”
“Not relevant,” said Kimmy.
“But what if he asks me to cook him a meal?’
“If you ever get to that point you can just tell him that you’re in a dry spell. That perhaps going to a few nice restaurants might inspire you again. And put on a kitten-ish photo of yourself. Trust me.”
Brenda was skeptical about Kimmy’s advice, especially about the part that guys didn’t really read the profiles. She decided to experiment and see for herself by placing a ridiculous profile. Along she also posted a photo of herself. Her long, platinum blonde hair fell across a face radiant with coquetry. Her smile showed two rows of perfect white teeth. “The kind of face,” a man had once told you, “you want to kiss.”
Brenda was a fast typist. Years ago, when she was bored with staying home while her husband was at work and her son was at day care she had taken a secretarial course. Now her fingers raced along the keyboard as she wrote this.
Neurotic Woman Seeks Hunk
Brenda then thought of her most undeveloped characteristics and wrote them in her profile
- I do not like to socialize. I am uncomfortable with most people. When in a social situation I will want to leave soon. If you want to stay I will likely tell you that we have to go and I will feel bad about that for days after and apologize to you until you are fed up.
- I do not have a wide range of interests. I rarely have opinions about politics, economics or the stock market. I have a difficult time expressing my ideas and so will often refrain from doing so. You might find me boring.
- If I like you and I do not feel that it is mutual I will engage in all kinds of irrational behavior. I might even stalk you.
She posted her profile and went to bed. The next day she had more than a hundred responses. Some even said they were madly in love with her; others proposed to her. Where would she find the time to get back to all these e-mails? She called Kim.
“What did your by-line say?” Kimmy asked her.
“Neurotic Woman Seeks Hunk.”
Kimmy laughed. “All they focused on was probably the word hunk.”
“What am I going to do?” asked Brenda, “This is going to take me forever to answer. I don’t have time. I need to be working on my novel.””
“Don’t worry,” Kimmy said. “Ignore all of them. Then see who contacts you again and decide if you want to get back to them. Guys get turned on by women who ignore them. It’s an ego thing.”
So she did just that. But in the meantime Brenda’s conscience started to work its way to the forefront of her brain. It was stupid for guys to say they were madly in love with her. Why would she want to be with a guy who was only interested in her photo and not her as a person? She went back to her profile and wrote. Sorry guys but I am too afraid of rejection so I am taking my profile off. Good luck.
She then wrote a more normal one. In this profile she went by the name Satin and Pearls because she wanted to show the sexy, sensuous, feminine part of herself. She only got three responses to this name. One from a Spurting Dan; another from Willy Stud and a third from Legalregal. The first two she blocked. She e-mailed the third fellow and said, “What area of the legal field are you in?” A legitimate question, she thought.
He refused to answer her question. You would think that she had asked him to give her his bank account number or his criminal record. Why put a name like that on if he didn’t want to be questioned about it?
“What’s your phone number?” he instant messaged her.
Now fair is fair, Brenda thought. She had posted a photo of herself even though it was blurry and not as attractive as the last one so as not to be recognized by the guys who had responded to her neurotic profile.
“I’d like to see a photo of you. Can you send one please?” she messaged back. It was one thing for a man to tell her that he always got compliments on how handsome he was and another to see for herself. This made her think of adding something else to her message and typed in “a recent photo,” for she’d had the unfortunate experience of meeting men who’d posted photos where they were ten and fifteen years younger. One guy even had his high school picture posted and he was in his fifties.
Legalregal messaged back, “I don’t know how to send my photo. I’m having lots of problems downloading it.”
Brenda wasn’t fooled. She wrote back , “Well, you have my photo and I’ve told you quite a bit about myself on my profile. More more details about myself than you have offered. Why don’t you give your phone number instead? Fair trade.”
She didn’t get an answer from him so she wrote him this little note: Somehow I imagine you writing me from a prison cell (is that your legal link?) with the only phone being the one you’ve got to stand in line to use, with no incoming calls.
She felt like a Nazi sergeant writing this but sometimes you had to be that way. Sometimes life made it so that you were called upon to teach someone a lesson.
He wrote back saying , “I don’t need rehab sweetheart. Do you?”
Brenda blocked him. It was becoming a habit with her.