Excerpt from "Absintence to Zoloft" (chapter "The eHarmony Chronicles")

Hello, ladies and germs...I come bearing gifts. Okay, a gift. At the suggestion of my editor Charlie -- geez, I never thought I'd ever use the term "my editor" in my entire life! -- I am posting just a smidgen of an excerpt from my book-in-progress, "Abstinence to Zoloft". The following is from the chapter called "The eHarmony Chronicles". Enjoy and please, please leave feedback, positive or negative. Post in the comment section, text me, email me, Facebook me, anything. I love hearing what everyone thinks and I take all suggestions seriously! Without further ado...

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To those unaccustomed to online dating websites, it’s a lot like laying lobster traps: you set the bait, go to sleep or eat or drink a beer, and just wait. Then you go back the next morning and see what good fortune has waiting for you. This, my friends, was my immediate take on internet dating.

I decided to throw my proverbial trap into the ocean. All I had to figure out was which ocean I was going to ultimately set sail on. I surely wasn’t going to use something as simple as the Yahoo! personals. As a
shegetz, JDate was out of the question. I heard Chemistry.com’s online personality test took only slightly longer than it takes to get a double major in Chemical Engineering and Latin at Princeton. SugarDaddie.com rejected my online application. It was down to the über* site Match.com and the ever-growing-in-popularity eHarmony. Basically it was a coin-flip between the two. I ultimately chose eHarmony for two reasons: I had a crush on one of the girls in the commercials and I was truly intrigued by their “scientifically-based” matching through “29 Dimensions™ of personality.” Fate and luck hadn’t done me any favors in the dating world thus far, so why not give science a chance, right?

So I signed up, dropped my credit card down for a one-month trial membership, took their personality test, filled out my profile and posted up the best photos I could come find that didn't make me look like I belonged on "To Catch a Predator." Within six hours, I was reading the profiles of nine different women. Lobster poaching was in full season!
To be honest, this initial crop of females never had a chance. They were my little beta testers for online dating. I had no idea what to expect and I was hoping to familiarize myself on the site using these women as my guinea pigs. Since you know the women on these sites are (hopefully) single and looking, and you can garner enough info in their profile to concoct thoughtful-sounding, relevant questions (“Do you enjoy working with meth addicts?”), getting an initial positive response isn’t too hard for most men who a) aren’t sexual predators, b) don’t look like Eric Stoltz in Mask and c) have a couple of brain cells available to craft innocuous emails. And the negative responses? I believe Winston Churchill said it best with “When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite.” Unless you counter one of the relatively few sadistically polite women who insist on responding to your note with a “you seem nice but you are definitely not my type”, you might forget that you even emailed the chick. You’re being rejected and you don’t know why or care! For those who appreciate the difference, that’s a benefit.

For a hopeless romantic like myself, there’s the draw of the serendipity of have a stranger drop into your life via your email inbox at any moment and freely stoke your internal flame of faith that you won’t die alone in an apartment with mustard-colored shag carpeting and a dozen cats. In addition, there are those photos of real – sometimes – women who are looking for love just like you. These women exist! And can be contacted! Instantly, in fact! Unlike the thousands of women I would see every day walk right past me, these were legitimately attainable prospects of love who, at the very basic least, were telling you they too were single and available. And quite possibly so hard up that they may jump on you.

Okay, before you judge, let me make this point abundantly clear: I wasn’t on eHarmony with the intent of getting laid. I mean, admittedly, I sometimes worked my way down the thumbnail photos on my computer screen thinking, “I could have sex with you, or you, not you, or you, definitely you, or…” Oh, who am I kidding. It was more like "You could be the mother of my children, or you, or you, not you, definitely you, or..." But I digress...
I'm sure for some online dating can be an efficient vehicle for serial sex but I’m not that guy. Ask anyone I've known to describe me and “sexual” is not a word that will land in any top-twenty lists. Hell, I used to think a one-night stand was something you could purchase at IKEA. I’ve never used a horse tranquilizer on a woman before. My number of sexual partners can still be counted on Mordecai Brown’s right hand. Using eHarmony to get some action just wasn’t even the slightest of a motive.

Plus, it wasn’t like I was looking to find a girl who was looking to get horizontal immediately herself. I was looking for the transformational Virgin Mary who just happened to be instinctually a vixen in bed**.

*What’s up with the annoying frequency of people using the word “über” these days? Didn’t we beat the Krauts in ’45?
**I'm still accepting applications for this position.

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