Digital Slob
Curt Brandao

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Delete online dating
for Valentine’s

Sooner or later the past catches up with all of us, especially in the Digital Age. When we move our entire lives online, by definition that includes those pesky little secrets that, in previous generations, were buried deep in the dank corners of basements.

Digital info on the Internet may be susceptible to computer viruses, but it's forever immune to mold.

Therefore, while a Respectable Person might get caught saving love letters from an old flame in a shoebox, Digital Slobs find our past backwashing into our e-mail inboxes. Often, it arrives in the form of automated updates from online dating sites that we forgot to cancel, and pop up just as our significant others peer over our shoulder.

Jupiter Research estimates 40 million people visited online dating sites last year, separating those who enjoy long walks on the beach from those who prefer cozy warm fires. Some say such sorting and culling activity will reap $1 billion in revenue this year.

Of course, bachelorette spam hardly equals infidelity -- still, I promised my better half that I'd go on a seek-and-unsubscribe mission, severing all ties to temptation.

"Consider it your Valentine's Day present," I said. The stare back said I should keep the gift certificate to the day spa on the agenda as well.

Still, while snuffing out accounts that stretch back a decade, I reviewed my profiles. The following serves as a grim time-capsule of self-delusion that clearly explains my .000 batting average:

Match.com (1995): Grad-school grad seeking female. I'm just getting over a bad breakup, so nothing serious yet. Looking for a patient soul willing to be friends first, build trust and, with my therapist present, agree to put on a blonde wig, some horned-rimmed glasses, answer to the name "Samantha" and repeat "I'm sorry, Curt, I'm so, so sorry" over and over again until I reach closure.

And absolutely no cats.

Starmatch.com (1998): Single male Aquarius with Moon in Leo seeks partner to chart life's stellar opportunities. Searching the zodiac for an open-minded person who realizes you can't judge a book by its cover, that true love transcends rigid checklists or expectations.

Virgos, Scorpios, Capricorns and anyone born south of the Tropic of Cancer from 1967 to 1974 need not apply.

And if you have cats, please allow six weeks before we meet so I can resume my allergy-shot regimen.

Matchmaker.com (2002): Single male seeks quirky companion. I like flexible types, people who are just as comfortable in jeans and T-shirts as they are in suffocating, one-sided relationships.

My interests run the gamut, from the Travel Channel to the Do-It-Yourself Channel, from the Style Network to the Cartoon Network. I've even been known to venture well beyond Ch. 450 on occasion. Come with me -- together, who knows what we'll find!

And don't be surprised if you're so captivated by our engaging conversation that you lose all interest in going out. Seriously, don't even try to go out -- my deadbolt locks from the inside.

Sincerity practically oozes from my pores. At least I think that's sincerity (the lights in my bathroom are kinda dim). Still, you'll find no pretense with me.

Oh, and I love cats.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.
Also see www.digitalslob.com

Curt Brandao is the Star-Bulletin's production editor. Reach him at: cbrandao@starbulletin.com

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