03. Low and Slow Profile
Is it surprising that after not committing to the temporary username I (not)finally chose, it took me something like ten days to complete the full match.com profile setup, something that every other normal person could get through in about an hour without interruption?…
Sure the questions in the first few sections were obvious, objective vital stats like, oh, say, height. And, you know, zip code.
(Ah, but don’t think I haven’t written a veritable dissertation about zip codes, area codes, and dating though. I have. One day when I am comfortable enough to wear glasses, no makeup, and my 3-days unwashed hair in a greasy, tangled bun affixed to my head with a ballpoint pen in front of you, I will expose that level of crazy.)
But as I got past those sections and into Background/Values and beyond, though many of the questions were multiple-choice, the answers weren’t so black and white. Literally. I didn’t know how to answer the ethnicity question. Technically, I’m Asian, but really? I’m just a very yellow white person.
Wait, are they even allowed to ask my ethnicity or infer sneakily by asking what languages I speak? What about my religion?! Flashbacks to college applications, affirmative action, and overly cautious conversations with HR. My Dad’s voice was booming over my internal PA system, something about Marriages & Acquisitions, negotiations, and long-term contracts. This isn’t corporate! This isn’t a job interview! Not everything is about being professionally and politically correct, Dad! Wait. Why was I having a dialogue with my Dad in my head while filling out an online dating profile?
I clicked my answers and ignored the “Tell Us More” boxes because whatever therapeutic outpouring about growing up oriental in a rich white suburb of Detroit wasn’t going to fit into a 250-word box.
The Lifestyle and Interests sections were easy, but it just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t somehow make them impossible. “How often do you exercise?” Easy. Never. But where’s that “Tell Us More” box now? Where can I tell you more about how I used run 6-8 miles 5 times a week, religiously for almost two years until I finally came to Jesus in my fake Lululemon pants, and accepted the fact that while I look like a doggamned petite supermodel, running is fucking stupid and boring and makes me into a hateful, cranky, lonely person? Why didn’t you put a free-form answer box for that one, huh?!
Good call, match.com. Good call.
This is where I began to wonder about not only the questions themselves, but everyone else’s answers. Does everyone else actually answer a question about exercise honestly? I mean how many guys out there going through this little um, “exercise,” claim that they exercise 3-4 times per week? Will I actually be able to find the guy who, like me, doesn’t waste time on things I hate doing, like exercising? Or worse, doesn’t talk about exercising? Because seriously, the one thing worse than actually working out is talking about how you need to work out. Or how much you love working out. Or how you *ahem* used to work out.
I was getting so worked up about not working out that I had to get up from my desk and you know, just stand there. Because I sure as hell wasn’t going to “run off” my frustration.
Something about choosing requirements “About My Date” in the next section brought out a subtle sense of self-hate gently folded in with paranoia. I felt racist with the choices I was making on ethnicity. But you know, some of my best friends are Asian! And why is there a “No Preference” option on the Salary Range requirement; more importantly, why is it already checked? Am I supposed to believe that “no salary preference” is the correct default option because the majority of women have no salary preference? And I’m in the gold digging minority of one who’d like to be with a man who has a real job with a real income so he can buy me a real dinner?!
The profile became one of the most mentally taxing, psychologically exhausting projects I had worked on in years. By the time I got to the final, most crucial section of the profile, I had been beaten into utter exhaustion by my own psychosis. I had nothing left, and match.com was doing the dating equivalent of the most dreaded job interview question in the world: “So, tell me about yourself.”
Isn’t that what I just spent the last ten days doing?!
The reality is, I had already been thinking about the final 4000 character maximum “essay” the whole time. If nothing else, the one thing I learned from college was how to pull three all-nighters in a row studying for an exam on nothing but coffee and fear. The other thing, was how to take a final exam. Skip to the end, read all the questions backwards, then start answering the questions in ascending order of difficulty, descending order of point value. By the time I had to “Describe Yourself and Your Ideal Match,” I had crafted a perfect description that tied into a single unifying theme through my entire profile, including a brilliant username.
Complete after ten agonizing days, my profile was a masterpiece. I ceremoniously clicked [send], leaned back in my chair and braced myself for the hundreds of guys that would be winking my way.
What You Missed and of Course, More to Come
Kings Road Cafe
I’ve been drinking coffee since I was a child.
Maybe not “drinking coffee” since I don’t know, I wouldn’t want anyone calling Child Services on my parents or something, but I do remember having teaspoonfuls of hot coffee stirred into my milk when I was little and absolutely loving it. Perhaps it was simply being allowed to have something that was “only for adults,” but I do believe it really was the coffee’s taste and flavor, since my favorite ice cream flavors as a kid were always in the coffee spectrum: Jamocha Almond Fudge, Turkish Coffee, and now, even though it’s a grocery store brand, I love the simplicity of Haagen-Dazs Coffee.
I started actually drinking coffee in high school. I became chemically dependent in college. There have been very few days since that I haven’t had at least one cup.
Based on that little bit of history, you would think that 30 some years later in a caffeinated culture, I would have a decently deep knowledge of coffee “stuff,” that I’d have the ability to taste the difference between countries of origin, roasts, brewing methods, and whatever other variables there are that I obviously don’t know, that I might be one of those (and I say this in the most loving way) “coffee snobs.”
I am a filthy whore for coffee.
If it’s brown, bitter, and caffeinated, I will drink it. An eleven dollar cup of coffee in a luxury hotel dining room? I’ll balk at the price, roll my eyes, but I’ll still drink it (slowly). A pack of “crystals” that instantly dissolve in hot water? I will think it’s a goddamned miracle of food science and drink it.
I drink it.
Kings Road Cafe roasts their own coffee beans in small batches. It is some of the darkest, strongest, bitterest coffee I have ever tasted. In fact, the first time I went to the cafe and tried it, I thought for the first time in my life, I had come across coffee that was virtually undrinkable. I don’t put anything in my coffee other than hope for morning salvation, so I could only tone down the intensity by pouring half of it out and diluting it with hot water. Even then, I had to take it in tiny sips. Over the course of about oh, say about six months of regularly drinking the coffee because I happened to be in the area in the morning *ahem*, I grew accustomed to the style.
There is nothing particularly special about the café, though it seems always to be crowded with anonymous neighborhood regulars and random celebrities who are not famous enough to know how or why you know them. The food is decent for breakfast and lunch, with chili poached eggs as the best thing on the menu. Though you wouldn’t go there for anything but the coffee, they do have the added beverage benefit of wine (specifically, mimosas) and beer. It’s situated on a corner, so it has two sidewalks’ worth of outdoor seating, which makes Kings Road a good place to waste time and people-watch.
It also makes Kings Road Cafe a good place for “coffee and conversation,” if you happen to choose that as a preferred date activity in the Lifestyle section of your match.com profile.
Kings Road Cafe
8361 Beverly Blvd (at Kings Rd)
Los Angeles, CA 90048