Sunday, September 16, 2012

"Good News: We've Found You a Match! Bad News: It's Your Stinkin' Ex!"

A dear friend of mine recently signed up for an online dating service. “Look Who We Found For You!”, the subject line proudly proclaimed. And who should it be but her lying ex-husband! Yes, none other than the doofus she'd been trying to turn into a faint memory, right there on her computer. 

Is this the Universe’s idea of a sick joke? What are the sheer astronomical odds of being thrown together with someone you’ve already been (badly) matched with? I told my friend, Lightning obviously does strike twice, so go buy a lottery ticket in case it strikes a third time as a big payout. In the meantime, try to find a way to reach into the screen and bitch slap him into next week.

Think it can’t get worse? Think again.

My friend's jaw dropped when she saw that her ex had profiled himself as the “56-year-old CEO of my own business.” 'Couple of minor problems there: first off, he's actually 67, okay? And the “business” has been defunct for ten years, having been bankrupted by his careless overspending. Let's take a look at one of his extravagant indulgences, shall we? Here it is: a trip to Thailand with the woman who broke up the marriage - all on the company dime. Lovely. Looks like they had a good time, judging from the picture he posted of the two of them smiling for the camera. Say "Cheesy!"

In fact, he posted a lot of pictures of his much slimmer, less gray self, many from as far back as 13-1/2 years ago. How do I know the precise date? Easy: he left the time stamps on them. This one could come straight out of "Deceit for Dummies": when lying about your age - or anything, really - the first thing you do is get rid of the evidence. 

But that's not all. What else do we have for her, Johnny?

The dating service provided a complete-the-sentence self-description for anyone who may need some prompting. The sentence began, “In my spare time, I like to _________”; he filled in, “Think about the universe.” When I heard that, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I have no doubt Mr. Sincerity considers himself to be a Thinker of Deep Thoughts. And, really, when I knew him, he did spend a lot of time staring at the ceiling, spacing out. Of course, spaciness can always be covered up with a classic come-on like, “Single man ISO woman who likes cuddling in front of the fire”: he doesn’t have to specify how many hours he actually spends gazing at stuff burning. Or whether he even has a fireplace.

Truth is, none of us has any way of being certain that someone is who he says he is. A bit of cropping here, a touch-up from Photo Shop there, and bada-boom-bada-bing: say hello to the New Guy, same as the Old Guy. I'm paraphrasing "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who, but in this case, the more appropriate song would be "Who Are You?" Because with guys like these, you really wanna know.

I won't give up, though. If the dating service can match up a divorced couple against outrageous odds, they can find a nice guy for me. 

However, I will definitely be checking the pictures for anything that looks remotely aged or airbrushed

It will give me something to do while I wait for that bitch slap through the screen technology to be invented.