eDating adVentures

On New Year’s Eve I performed my usual New-Year’s Eve ritual: I write down what I want to be rid of from the current year on one piece of paper. And then, on another piece of paper, I write what I want to bring into my life for the upcoming year. And then I burn them in a fire, searing them into some sort of covenant with the universe. This year I was using Taos Inn stationary from my room and the small outdoor fire (for smokers) in the front to burn them. It was 10 degrees out: thankfully not many were there to watch as I threw my Taos Inn wishes into the flames.

Taos Inn

I walked back into the main room (you do the burning thing as close to midnight as possible without interrupting the countdown/excessive drinking), and BINGO the universe granted one of my wishes: a gorgeous man was standing there, seemingly just for me. (Though it could have been the male to female ratio at the Taos Inn that night. Or the male to straight female ratio: the Dorothy Boys from Austin were playing.)

Dorothy Boys

Regrettably, at 5:00 am I had to turn back into a New Yorker and climb into my pumpkin-coach, aka Taos shuttle, complete with cracked windshield and zero heat, to get me on my long-ass trek to ABQ without leaving a boot, pump or strappy heel behind … but I did leave behind a lovely LA-hipster turned Taos-Buddhist … alone in a dark adobe room, on a dark mahogany bed lit only by the heat of a wood burning stove.

The hungover, frozen drive was 3 hours.

En flight, I and all other passengers seemed to be scratching out the usual Jan 1 vows on notebooks, napkins, the margins of the suduko page: less alcohol, fewer ATM fees, more time going to bed vs falling into bed, less top model/more runway, parenting sans imperfections, flossing, keeping the dog groomed and well maintained, keeping myself groomed and well maintained … and, for me, I added: dating. A concerted, serious attempt at one well-qualified date per month.

I arrived home to, well, my dog (my son was with friends), top model reruns and not a lot of project runway. So I started to tackle dating over flossing – both a pain, but with supposed positive long term results. I went online.

I’ve done the internet thing. Like Goldilocks, nothing ever seemed to be just right: Nerve is like an eBay sex-swap for the under 35, Match is full of over-35 policemen from Long Island/NJ with an occasional young banker who likes Broadway shows and walking on the beach. A new site, singleparentmeet.com, is just depressing – it’s an all html site (no membership fee) and only describes what the person looks like, as if you can’t get that from a photo.


And Runway was on, so I could watch that instead of Model. I was multi-tasking my New year’s vows … and just as Ian walked in the door JLING! an eHarmony ad came up.

We’re all influenced by TV advertising and it is fairly safe to say that younger people are even more influenced by TV advertising. For years now (or as long as they have been advertising) my son has bugged me every time, EVERY time Dr. Neil Clark Warren promises life-long love and eternal bliss vis a vis his personality profiling magic site with the living proof of real live couples gazing, hugging, caressing and hanging on each other … it’s enough to make every 16-year-old want that for his mom.

So it goes like this: you upload a photo. (I had a nice one from Christmas Eve.) You take this hour-long barrage of rankings, writings, surveys. The test seriously takes an hour. The exact same amount of time it takes runway to design 8 prom dresses.

Project Runway

And then they (the people behind the curtain) boil it down to 4 personality compatibility areas. After the test and the analysis and you’re drunk with Kool-Aid — you get matched. And as for “the match,” there is a by-the-book process for courting. They actually supervise it. No calling before the 5th email, no emails until the 3rd wink, etc. You have to agree to all of this first.

So I say SUBMIT to my son, the prom dresses, and Dr. Warren.

The test was odd, if not disturbing. More than a fair share of questions about if you do or do not let others control you or how you deal with anger and flaring tempers. And then the questions concerning how social and/or needy you are: if you like to be around people, if you have to be around people, if your life depends on being around people. Another site, nomoredates.com had A LOT of questions about if you think people are friends with others so they can use them/get something from them, if you think people date each other to get material possessions from them. The oddest question was if you did or did not think a crook should be able to keep the money they stole from someone if they were really clever about getting it. Maybe it should be renamed: nomoregolddigging.com.

So I got my free ePersonality profile. And for all intents and purposes I passed the test. In fact I got rave reviews, was even congratulated on how “rare” it was to find a personality who is “just as happy by oneself as he/she is with other people,” someone who has high standards for the self but is “not judgmental” of others, etc., etc. So expecting to be delivered right up the beanstalk to meet my perfect giant, I pressed the magic find-me-my eternal-mate button and bingo:

I was rejected.


I nearly blew my sip of wine out all over the counter. In fact I took a snapshot of the results (above). I laughed. I laughed and I called friends. This was a moment that had to be shared. Ian was horrified. His Mom is not marriageable, not eHarmony: she’s odd.

I tried logging back on to see if they just made a mistake. My user id and password didn’t work. I was not even on record.

So I said fuck it: I went on millionairematch.com.


I have a lunch date this Friday. With a guy in the Seaport who knows Fresh Salt and Jason (???).

I looked it up. Over 1 million people have been rejected from eHarmony. Mostly ‘cos eH is pro-marriage and pro-abstinence before marriage. And very religious. So I can just imagine my test going straight up to a giant shredder in the sky. Or I was climbing up the wrong metaphor. But, whatever … wishes, gowns, cinders and beanstalks. Here’s Christian’s dress that should have won that night.

more Runway

The best in 2008 for all.

16 responses to “eDating adVentures”

  1. lane says:

    well, S.

    I think a lot of us associated with this site would get rejected by Eharmony.

    As always, we’re rootin’ for you.

  2. Tim says:

    Screw eharmony. You don’t need their bother, what with hot dates falling in your lap like that. Maybe you should just trust in your burning-the-wishes ritual. Any time you want to conjure up a date, burn the wish.

  3. Dave says:

    I think a lot of us associated with this site would get rejected by Eharmony.

    Because you’re already married?

  4. brooke says:

    I’ve had my profile rejected by eHarmony or Match (forget which one). I didn’t even get to the matching process. Harmony my ass…

  5. slade says:

    Awww thanks Lane…and Dave, you’d be rejected cos’ they don’t allow gay people on it.
    Yeah they are assholes…

    I’ve decided that I should start my own dating site for interesting people over 35: eXPIRATION DATE

    Or maybe just offer a bounty? What would get you all; to line me us with someone? $10,000 to be paid on wedding date?

  6. slade says:

    You know, the thing about Dr. Warren and no premarital sex is profoundly disturbing on many levels. The “notion” that sexuality is not a part of getting to know soemone. As if it is not an integrtal part of both someone’s personality and how they interact with another, but more disturbing is that it relegates it to an inferior position within the marriage concept. Marriage accoridng to this idea is a heady. intellectual thing, sullied by sex?

    I know a lot of us grew up with this folly. but it just seems so bizarre now that i am pretty far away from it.

    What is marriage to these people? A service project, a mission, a duty?

  7. slade says:

    and sorry for the typos!!!

  8. Jen says:

    “Burn The Wish”. The next Spinal Tap album?

  9. Swells says:

    LOVE this post!! So many parts, and so interesting that I couldn’t help looking around to see more about eharmony. I found this interesting blog that reveals it’s linked to Focus on the Family!! and the writer send a letter telling them exactly how wrong s/he thinks that is, which is enjoyable.

    I haven’t tried it myself, but my cool e-dating friends swear by Salon.com for the best luck . . .

  10. Tim says:

    On Monday, the Whatsit is about eHarmony and on-line dating, and, lo, on Tuesday, the New York Times publishes an article about eHarmony and on-line dating. Well, well.

  11. Dave says:

    We are now the nation’s blog of record.

  12. PB says:

    excellent post Slade – and although I appreciate your great writing and insight into the e-dating world, Christian’s dress looked like a frosting flourish on a bad wedding cake – that sassy but spunky girl from NJ deserved better.

  13. AW says:

    Have meant all week to add a comment to say how much I enjoyed this post–and that I’m happy whenever you show up at TGW. The post also brought back memories of many really lousy dates. I had back to back blind dates a few years ago where the the first guy answered his cell phone 17 times during the course of our 2 1/2 hours together (the number sticks with me because I started counting after the 6th call); and a second date a few days later with a guy who figured that because I was in med school I would be interested in the details of his ulcerative colitis and “ileo-anal pull-through” surgery, including the color, caliber and number of his daily stools–and then was angry that I didn’t want to make out after dinner.

    Thanks, again, for the post.

  14. writermama says:

    Eek, eharmony! I had no idea. I am suprised because an atheist friend of ours is engaged to a guy she met on eharmony–a guy she slept with on the first date. Maybe she found a way to squeak through. Dunno. Speaking of Runway, I passed that little Christian (designer of the pictured brown dress) on Avenue A the day I got back from Utah. He was loud on his cell phone. It was such a New York moment.

  15. writermama says:

    And GREAT post, btw. Love your writing.

  16. T says:

    you know, i just read this aloud to a room full of drunks on a saturday night…and i looked closer at the shapshot of the “rejection” from eHarmony…only to discover that you actually weren’t rejected. you just had to be patient. did you read the fine print? or maybe you didn’t have your glasses with you. LOL!!!!