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This Week

Perspectives

Chris Jepson

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I’m privy to a small universe of women who use the Internet to date. I have first-hand tales of constant Weinerisms. Gentle reader, it is not uncommon for men and women to email images of their junk. Really. The question reasonably asked is, “When is it time (appropriate) to email the person you don’t know or just met photographs of Mr. Johnson or Miss Prissy?” In color, of course, and in various, uh, stages of, m-mmm, exhilaration.

“Oh, look, girls! Another johnson towel hook! How novel. Too bad it’s a tea towel!”

What causes more shrinkage than cold water? Words.

Online dating is not for the timid. Women subtract weight; men subtract years. That’s a generality. But I know two men who shaved years off their biographies. A decade here, a decade there. Ten pounds here, 10 more pounds here. A biography and a photo. We’re meat with a story.

Life is unfair and nowhere is that more apparent than when God dished out looks. Regardless, I would tell anyone serious about dating online to invest in professionally taken, flattering headshots, a full-body candid (playing tennis) if you are fit, and an honest biography.

At some point in this exchange (email, texting, a Tweet or two), actual communication begins. I was asked what I would do to separate the wheat from the chaff. That is a problem. I was going to say that is more of a challenge for women than men, but I suppose it all depends on what you’re looking for.

I said I would use books (What do you regularly read?) as one way to cut to the chase. You really cannot lie (for long) about what you read. Besides, it’s sooo subjective.

If a respondent gets back to you that Ayn Rand floats his boat and he actually has a “Who Is John Galt?” sticker on the back bumper of his 1967 Ford Ranchero (turquoise no less), you know one of two things. Either he encountered Ayn Rand when he was 16 and, sadly, never matured, or he recently fell off the turnip truck, joined the Republican Party, has taken to ingesting Tea Parteee Kool-Aid, and has bought the nonsense that Ayn Rand’s Objectivism is more than what it is — simplistic, infantile banalities. You let the Michele Bachmanns of the world have that special catch.

Because the bus makes more stops. I’m of the opinion that there are seven people out there for everyone. So if you have to toss one back, sobeit.

It’s no different for my gay friends. While having a tender heart-to-heart just last week — on finding true, everlasting love on the Internet — my comrade in conversation said that her recent Internet “find” might come with some specific baggage: depression. I said, “Nobody wants a rehab!”

No rehabs! Some folks like projects, but I am not so inclined. All of the women I know looking for men (or women) have already had their fill of “failed” relationships, disappointments, if you will. They want the next go-around to be easy. Or at least easier. Better, richer, more soulful, supportive or affectionate, whatever it is that has you putting yourself out there.

Putting yourself out there? There’s Anthony Weiner’s way. Meat.

Not much nuance there. And, what is it you seek?

Something that’ll support a beach towel? And a reader! Better.