Home for the Holidays


So I'm *home* for the holidays if you can call this home. As my Mom and Dad don't don't live here anymore and as they actually live on opposite sides of the country I don't really have a home. In Japan divorce is still pretty rare(1), so it's very uncommon to meet someone that doesn't still have a *home* to visit and more often than not it's the home they grew up in.

It's a little strange being home temporarily. Things I want to do like say meet a woman seem like something I can't do since I'll be going back in a couple of weeks. Also, many of my friends are out traveling, in fact 3 of them visited me in Japan just before I came back. They are in Hong Kong at the moment.

Just for the heck of it I thought I'd check out Match.com, an internet dating service I've used in the past. I've tried to use it a little in Japan but of course it's not as popular over there being an English and U.S. based service. Anyway, I've probably mentioned this before but do people really do all the stuff they put down?

I like hiking, seeing the sunset from the summit of a tall mountain.

I'm into outdoor sports. Bike riding, rollerblading, anything outdoors

those are simple examples. Maybe I just don't know that many people but honestly, I can only think of a 2 or 3 people who have ever told me about hiking so seeing all these profiles with hiking in them makes me wonder, does that person really hike all the time or did they really only do it once in the last 3 years and are just trying to pad their profile? Same with all the other stuff.

I read it and think, "well, I'm not doing that kind of stuff weekly so therefore I'm not a match for them" but with so many people writing that kind of stuff in their profile and with that not seeming to match my real world experiences I can't help wonder if it's just padding.

Another is the number of people looking for someone athletic, fit, loves working out. Yes, I know I need to workout, it would be good for me, my health, my energy level (or so they say) etc. I'm not fat (5'10", 175) but I'm not *athletic*. But... especially in America with so many fat people, is this really that important to them? When I read that I immediately don't write. I think, "maybe, when I finally get around to working out regularly I'll consider responding to that kind of profile" and also that "I should start working out" but it also I wonder, is that really a requirement for so many people? Is it more of that wishful thinking, media influenced, "Mr. Right is perfect" kind of thing? Yes I know some people are looking for perfection but would have expected it to be 1 of 10 not 7 of 10.

Another issue is just discarding so many people on so little criteria. First there's the photo. With print personals there were generally no photos so it was left to what was in there ad. Now though, most internet personals allow for photos. This means that given 100 ads where 30 have photos and 70 do not, the 70 will get ignored. Mostly because the 30 that have photos draw my attention and after reading 10 to 15 profiles I get tired of looking so I stop before I get to the ones without photos.

But of course because there are photos the first thing people are judged on is their looks. Now, I do believe physical attraction is important even if I'm less picky than all my friends but I also know that I take very bad pictures. I don't think I have a single picture that represents me well at all. I personally think I come across much better in person so therefore I know in the back of my head the same is probably true of many of the women on Match.com, but, staring at 30 or 40 photos and seeing 3 or 4 strikingly beautiful women it sets me up to ignore quite a few of the rest. It's almost like you are forced to compare them all since they are all there on the same page or just a click away.

That also makes me wonder if I should go to a professional photo studio and try to get some glamour shots for my webpage / profile. I don't want something that doesn't look like me but I would like something that at least represented how I feel I look where as I said, none of the pictures of me on my webpage look like the real me to someone that doesn't already know me.

One idea that that spawned is that maybe I should put a video interview my webpage. It would be fun to make. Unfortunately I haven't gotten around to it....yet. Of course the only person that would watch it is my Mom 😉

Then, after the photos, the net allows long profiles. Where as a newspaper personal ad is limited to 4 short lines,

"SWM 36 looking for fun down to earth woman around same age into xxx, yyy, zzz".

The net, with these long profiles and tons of questionares, checkboxes etc makes it too easy to find one or two things that are not a match or trigger some kind of undesirable image and therefore I decide not to write that person. Now, you could argue I'm just saving time. If I was limited to 4 lines I'd have to meet all these people only to find that they are not a match. On the other hand, how many people would be a match except that I didn't contact because of something small thing.

Here's a just one example. On Match.com there is a section where you check turn ons/turn offs. If I read under "turn ons", "dancing" I generally don't write unless something else in the profile really attracts me. I've never really gotten comfortable with dancing. If it's important enough for her to have checked it maybe I'm not her type. If I read under "turn offs", "sarcasm" again I'm unlikely to write. That conjures up in my head a boring, stiff, picky person. But maybe that's not really what they mean.

A big one recently was "turn offs", "erotica". I think the problem is the definition of "erotica" is different for different people. I'm guessing the people that put that under "turn offs" read it and think "porn". I read it and think every and any love scene in any movie. Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in Top Gun. Brad Pitt and Claire ??? in Meet Joe Black. Leo and Kate in the car in Titanic. Basically the same scenes that make 90% of the women swoon. Therefore from my point of view they should like "erotica". So, if "erotica" is listed as a "turn off" then my image of that woman is that she finds romance, kissing, sex to be discusting. Who would want to write a woman like that? But is that really what "turn offs, erotica" means?

(1) whether or not the relationship is good.

Project S.A.N.T.A.