Online personal ads.
You’ve browsed them. Don’t lie. You might even have placed an ad of your own. You might have actually purchased credits to respond to someone else’s ad. Or maybe you get all fuck-the-man and try to sneak your email address into your profile once in awhile, hoping to subvert the system and meet someone cool in the process without actually spending money on the whole game. Not that I’ve ever done that or anything.
I used to have a profile up at Salon. I even met a few cool people that way, and acquired a few creepy stalker-ish sort of people. Some of them I’ve met in real life; some I haven’t yet. But I go through these phases of oh, I need to talk to someone new / wait, I’m not lame enough to post a personal ad / wait, I totally am exactly that lame / ooh, check this person out / nooo, that person is creepy and so on and so forth. Currently I had been in the “I’m not lame enough” phase, so it’s hidden. But then I started to get into the “I need new connections” phase again.
I hadn’t really done much with match.com but then I thought hey, if I’m going to do this whole thing I may as well do it with an eye toward meeting some new people to hang out with right around here, and salon doesn’t have many users who live here. So. I made my matchdotcom profile, and waited, and sent my little photo, and it got approved overnight.
Within literally an hour of the photo/profile getting approved, I had two emails as a result. Great, right?
No. Not great. Because one of them was from someone I already know.
But the thing is, his email doesn’t give any indication that he knows it’s me, but he HAS to know, doesn’t he? I mean, my picture is on the stupid thing. But it’s all generic, like “Hi, my name is GuyYouKnow, check out my profile and see what you think.”
Um. What I think is that I already know all this stuff, because I already know you. That’s what I think.
And in a weird way, I feel like I just got busted doing something incredibly lame, even though I shouldn’t, because obviously he had a profile and because people do this all the time, right? Right. But I’m still a freak. So I freaked out and went and made my profile “hidden” right away, but in the meantime, what in the hell do I do?
Do I respond? Should I be like “duh, it’s me?” Man. Eek.
Personal ads just got too personal.