During my weekend posting spree (well, I reverted back to Instagram Sunday) I mentioned both the book "I Love Dick" and formerly having an online dating profile. The profile came to mind because I was considering creating a new one against my better judgment. Oh, and "I Love Dick" is so, so good. I have not been reading fast despite it being infinitely readable because then it will be over.

It's about stalking and obsession really, my wheelhouse, with an added joy and excitement because it's being told by a woman about to turn 40 and is a joint project of sorts with her husband who's two decades older. It's also very funny and well, genius.

I'd forgotten that I like arty things. Sometimes I regret not going to a serious university and then I remember that was a different time. It made sense. The book takes place in 1994, the year I graduated art school. It's written as a series of letters (not sent at this point in the book, at least) to a media theorist named Dick (who we know after the fact is Dick Hebdige–and yes, I read, or at least tried to read "Subculture: The Meaning of Style" at some point in the late '80s. I recall not knowing what hegemony meant and it was a more intellectual book than I was prepared for). Faxing also plays a prominent role.

During the time period I'm currently at in the book, December 1994, I was doing a temp job with my sister in a warehouse where we sat on folding chairs in a big circle with other temps and opened envelopes containing Microsoft surveys and tossed them into a pile on the floor inside the ring. We were both fired right before Christmas, for bad attitudes, I guess, even though I'd say I have a much worse attitude now than then.

Now, I'm becoming obsessed the author Chris Kraus. (I've also been having comma conflict. I used to always put one between a descriptor like author and a name and now I'm seeing that's less done. I know I'm a comma over-user.)

The first profile I clicked on Okcupid after rejoining mentioned the reading of "I Love Dick" so I assumed it was a sign or maybe that everyone was reading it for unknown reasons. Just to check, I keyword searched Chris Kraus on all men ages 28-52 within 50 miles of 11372 and this was the only profile containing those words. This profile opened with a lament that photos are the only thing that really seem to matter (no shit) and that no one reads profiles. This is exactly the type of thing someone who only looks at the photos himself would say. (Ugh, would you offset himself with commas? That's my gut instinct.) Despite not being flat-out handsome, I could tell this was an image conscious person. There were clues like living in Manhattan (I predict in five years the Brooklyn shift will be final and Manhattan will be considered hip) and a fashion brand name drop. So, I "liked" this person because who cares anymore. A like triggers an email notification with a thumbnail photo. This person never visited my profile because that's also seeable (unless you pay to be invisible, which isn't out of the realm of possibility but probably not). He wouldn't even know we're the only two people listing "I Love Dick" in our profiles because my picture didn't meet his standards.

Shared interests are meaningless in the scheme of things, though. I've always gone out with men who are absolutely nothing like me and share few likes. I might end up hating somebody who liked all the same things.

I kind of think Tinder is more monstrous, but I'd forgotten about the Okcupid endless cycle of the people you like never liking you back and never liking back the people who like you. Being ignored in this manner might be enough to push one into compiling messages that if sent could be read as stalking.

I'm not compiling any messages.

One thought on “Profiles

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