So I got Bob rejected from E-Harmony.
Initially it wasn’t a planned incident, just an everyday Tuesday task to set him up with yet another dating service. Somewhere, somehow, in some god-forsaken corner of the late-night television world, Bob had managed to see an E-Harmony ad.
And he started licking his chops.
I always wonder what he envisions as his future dates on these sites. Does he believe one day they will burp up stunning silver-haired vixens ready to overlook his Bob-osity? Does he think that the women of the internet ignore charm and just cling to the first man who takes the time to send a private message? Does he really think that photo of him in a navy suit lecturing a bored-looking crowd is the best one to have online?
I think he believes that some sort of hottie is going to see past the age, the hubris and the tendency to act like an Alzheimer’s patient in a psychotic rage. She will be a good thirty years younger than him (still old enough to be my mom, shudder) and fit and love his potbelly and the jokes he makes that more creepify you into nervous laughter than create the real thing. This woman will become his bed-mate, his love slave and…ok now I feel like vomiting, so I’m going to stop with the whole guessing game.
Still, my bastard brain had to have one more comment: I wonder if Bob dreams of enacting the real-life ‘Fifty Shades of VERY Grey.’
Ok, now I’m ill. Sick in the head, and ill.
Anyways, Bob sends me off to once again put his dating profile up on yet another website, and I get ready to do the old copy and paste job Sunny taught me from when he added LA Singles to JDate. But oh no, E-Harmony doesn’t play that way.
I am no rookie to internet dating. In fact, I’ve had an OkCupid profile for going on ten years now. It probably speaks worlds about the net dating scene that I’ve gotten three dates and all of them were creepers. It also probably says something about me that I’ve left a net dating profile up for ten years and only had three dates. I believe that’s because my profile makes jokes about clubbing baby seals and refers to the apocalypse at least once. This may be as bloodcurdling as a Bob joke, but I know my profile picture is better–even if I am wearing a goth-style trench coat.
Still, there’s a few people I’ve known who have had success at dating on the interwebs. My darling sister met the love of her life on the web back when people had to pay per minute on AOL. I think when it was ten cents a minute to chat with your online paramour, people probably did less trolling and more plans to meet each other in central locations. It was also probably a nerd love-fest as signing on to chatrooms took a series of data inputs that nowadays are reserved for cracking spy computers and paying auto insurance bills online.
Then there’s an old acquaintance of mine, we’ll call him Neat. Neat watched all sorts of gory horror movies, alien attacks, ghost stories, nothing fazed him except for midgets. Online dating allows for a certain, well, flexibility with one’s photos. I see Neat off to his date, looking rather dapper in a suit and tie, and really excited about his gorgeous-looking brunette.
An hour later, I get a call from Neat, who is whispering into the phone. “Hey, you there?”
“Yeah, what’s up? Aren’t you supposed to be on a date?”
“Yeah,” he says, “I am, but it’s no good.” The fear is now becoming evident in his voice.
“Republican or hairy pits?”
“Midget,” he says. At this point, I start laughing, because though I am not scared of midgets, I know even the sight of their hands terrifies Neat. Being a PC person, he has lived a life of avoidance, and manages to be polite even when slightly frozen in horror over an approaching midget, because if left alone they will almost always pass by.
“Where are you?”
“Bathroom,” he says in a hoarse whisper, “I think I can make it out of the window.”
Knowing this particular restaurant, I know Neat cannot escape. His ass was way too large, the window far too small, and the height of the drop pretty much assured to ruin the suit.
“You should tell her you’re leaving,” I say, more because I want to imagine his unnerved stuttering rather than feeling sorry for the gal, “It’s only decent to excuse yourself before running for the hills.”
“I don’t know if I can do that,” he says.
Neat eventually dashed out through the kitchen. I’m sure the midget at some point met a lovely match, possibly someone with a few less irrational fears over small people. Neat went on to marry a stripper he met on OkCupid. I guess if you want to fall in love with a stripper, the current internet is the place to be.
Now my asshole brain is thinking about Bob finding a senior stripper. I wonder if aged strippers can still climb the pole, or just wander out and let drop their Maidenform. This is my karma for telling a midget story.
So back to E-Harmony, it is the long-term relationship of all dating sites. Know those horrific multiple choice questionnaires you get when applying to Home Depot or Taco Bell that are designed to weed out Serial Killers and Pedophiles? Well E-Harmony has the mother of all of them. It’s a beast and it takes forever, which is why most online daters won’t even bother going for the free trial when it takes three damned hours just to get past the censorship board.
The one thing I guess must be true about all E-Harmony users is they are very very very desperate to avoid any kind of real-world dating. That and they have three damned hours to spend proving they don’t mutilate, eat and clothe in clown make-up any of their dates.
So now I am faced with two options in signing Bob up for E-Harmony. I can either try and fill the form out with him, which means three hours of Bob leaning over my shoulder in the computer lab, taking long pauses to think, and creeping out the general public as I attempt not to stab him to death with an unraveled paperclip.
Then there’s Option B: I simply fill out the form with what I think Bob would say.
I decide on Option B, which is all good and well, but the Bob-eroni decides this is a perfect time to start yelling at me about an email. “I TOLD you to send it to GEORGE!” he yells, not realizing the future of his E-Harmony success is now in my hands, “NOT EDDIE!”
Eddie is his son, George is his brother, and Bob mixes their names up all the time and sends golf balls to his son and family heirlooms to his slightly estranged brother. I guess in the end his brother must be fond of him.
I let it pass and head downstairs for the E-Harmony questionnaire extraordinaire. It’s obnoxious, annoying, endless, and as I get to the fourth page of questions, I start thinking back to Bob yelling, his endless and flustered yelling.
#48: Do you react well to sudden changes in situation?
Looking at it, I think of Bob and any change he has ever faced. Then there’s the ‘Not at All’ option on the form. I click it.
#76: Do you get frustrated easily?
Oh boy, does he! I ‘Definitely Agree’.
#437: Would you consider yourself attractive?
No. Just. No.
Suddenly I’m whipping through these questions with a sense of glee, an air of euphoria. I am a truly unique experience at this time. I am answering a dating survey honestly. Never in the history of dating has anyone ever been so exactingly honest. And while I praise Bob’s strong points–because he certainly is a man of his convictions (#573)–I also allow transparency for his faults. I mean, he certainly has a hard time admitting he is wrong (#2332).
In the end, I finally click ‘submit’, whirl about in my chair and see the result of an open and honest evaluation of Bob’s date-ability.
“We are sorry, but you are considered incompatible with any of our matches.” E-Harmony rejection at its finest, followed by a personality profile that listed his ‘Stability’ factor as ‘Very Low’.
I printed it out, trying to think of anything to explain the rejection. Bob deals with rejection as well as he deals with bananas–he questions it endlessly. Unless I had printed evidence that E-Harmony would never-ever-ever want him for some sensible non-Bob reason, I would be calling E-Harmony and begging them for another go at the Questionnaire from Hell.
So I went to the most reliable source I know: Google. I figured E-Harmony rejected gays and had that lawsuit, so some nutjob had to add Jews to it, and Bob claims to be a Jew and…Oh hey, lookit that, an article stating E-Harmony rejects Jews. Thank you Google gods, thank you for more unreliable info.
I print the article and that’s that. Until of course, E-Harmony charges Bob’s card.
“What are these E-Harmony charges?” Bob asks, “Are we on E-Harmony? Print me out the ladies on E-Harmony.”
“You aren’t on E-Harmony, Bob, they rejected you,” I say, suddenly wishing a plague on E-Harmony’s billing department. A particularly nasty one with snakes and roaches and seeping genital warts.
“I need you to get to the bottom of this,” Bob says. Little does he know I am the bottom of this. I am the Benedict Arnold to his online dating plans. I am the knife in the back. I am, Batman…wait, no, I’m not actually executing justice so I guess I am, Disgruntled Employee.
E-Harmony has all sorts of joy in hand for me when I call. See they can’t make anything simple or easy, even removing fraudulent charges. No, they have to be the turd in the gears of my whole vigilante/disgruntlement operation. “We’re going to need to speak to the person who is on the account,” the call center lady says. I plead a bit, but these twenty-somethings won’t risk a precious air-conditioned job that’s busy putting a dent in their liberal arts education loans. Especially with the new college graduates chomping at the bit for an entry-level gig at the hub of all online dating.
I realize I might actually lose my job over this. Especially if they get into specifics about his rejection. I mean, Bob will have it there on paper my evaluation of every part of his personality. I don’t feel guilty, but man do I feel caught.
Bob is on the phone a long time and my stomach attempts to digest itself out of sheer fear of unemployment. He doesn’t seem upset, but then his face rarely shows emotion unless he yells. I try to read body language, but I get even more queasy from watching his body. Finally, I see a toothy grin and walk in to catch the last of his conversation.
“So we’ll just cancel out that charge,” he’s saying, leaning back and looking proud. He winks at me, and for a second I think my goose is still cooked, but he follows this up with, “And you’ll give me your number and we’ll be out on a date soon?”
Ah, Bob, hitting on the twenty-something E-Harmony gal. Will your awkward humor never cease? In that moment, I’m sure a stamp went on his file, “Permanent Reject”. The call center kid hung up on him, Bob looked back at me and said, ‘Well, I got my money back.”
At the end of the day, that really is all that matters to him. Hence why I put ‘Strongly Agree’ on #5369: Money is more important than family.