Full (Or At Least, Skin-Deep) Disclosure
During one of my flings with online personal ads, a woman responded to my profile, leading to an exchange of several emails. Things were looking promising when I received an unexpected note from her asking,
How would you describe your looks? The reason I ask is because the photos that you have in your profile are not particularly revealing. In [the photo with you in] sunglasses you look hidden. That middle picture looks entirely different from the other two, especially your nose. I can tell that you are good shape, however.
This was not quite the warm and fuzzy missive I had anticipated. I did have enough experience with the online dating email mambo by this time to recognize a no-win situation when it whacked me on the head a couple of times. Regardless of how cleverly I worded my response, any protestations of my fatal attractiveness would inevitably end in the same common final path which, stripped to fundamentals, would resolve to something like this:
I am good-looking.
In retrospect, I’m surprised (and a tad disappointed) that I wrote back only with the standard “It ain’t me, babe” note (too much residual nice guy superego I guess), because it did occur to me that her interest in my physical appearance (not to mention her barely masked accusation that I somehow cheated on the pix) did implicitly grant me reciprocal permission to ask her about my areas of interest that weren’t sufficiently elaborated in her profile. I was thinking of something along the lines of
Dear Ms Dater-Rater,
I appreciate your straightforwardness in cutting directly to those issues most important to you. I’m happy to respond to your requests and to take this chance to similarly clarify some points of my own.
A description of my appearance provided by a total stranger and the especially unflattering photo from my Illinois Drivers License are enclosed. I hope you find this satisfactory.
For my part, I notice that you have a sexy enough double entendre as part of your profile, but this is not as revealing as I would prefer since your actual sexual practices, as sublimated into the joke, are ambiguous. Knowing now of your respect for candor, I feel comfortable in asking that you please forward to me a complete description of your basic sexual habits (frequency and duration of intercourse, number of orgasms per episode of intercourse, etc.), as well as any area of expertise, proficiencies with specialized equipment, and your preferences within the advanced practices (AKA kinky) category.
If it’s not too much trouble, could you also send notarized affidavits from all your sexual partners of the past three years attesting to the veracity of your descriptions? Oh, I almost forgot — I’ll need a few photos of you naked and, if you have them handy, photos or videos of you actually having sex. If you don’t have any of the latter readily available, videos of you masturbating will do. I just need a rough idea of your range and capacity.
Ah, an opportunity lost.
Instead, I sent a message pointing out that, although my mother thinks I’m quite handsome, I didn’t see any reason to (1) hope that she (my correspondent) would share that conviction or (2) continue our nascent courtship.
She, in turn, emailed a pseudo-apologetic explanation that
My friends have repeatedly described me as “forthright” which I trust is a euphemism for “blunt and tactless.”
Of course, my immediate thought was, “Well, OK then; as long as you’re habitually blunt and tactless, I embrace your constructive criticism and am filled with gratitude for our interaction — even if my nose forever keeps us apart.”
Anyway, I don’t believe that I can take her statement at face value. I mean, what are the chances of her actually having friends?
By the time this was over, I found it not only ironic but paradoxically comforting that she actually used the classic dump-the-(DrH)guy line. Now say it with me:
I hope we can still be friends.
You betcha. With friends like that, …