Monday, June 26, 2006

Monkey Man and The Information Superhighway

By the time I encountered Monkey Man, the first wave of digital cameras had flooded the market, and most internet dating sites had adapted their approach accordingly. Many sites had banners proclaiming: “People with pictures get noticed!”, or words to that effect. Accordingly, in a short time, a majority of clients were posting photos of themselves that were displayed prominently at the top of their profiles. Most sites provided the option of posting a Primary Photo as well as a number of Additional Photos, but it was the Primary Photo that was immediately visible when anyone clicked on a profile…the Primary Photo was the first visual impression that others had of you.

Currently, there are all sorts of guidelines and rules on what sorts of photos can be posted on internet dating sites. In addition, every photo that’s posted on all dating sites that I know of must be approved by someone at the site. But that wasn’t always the case, and judging by some of the photos I saw posted in those early days, I’m not sure anyone was even reviewing them. And so it was with Monkey Man…

When Monkey Man first wrote me, I confess I sent him my generic reply in which I thanked him for writing me but said I didn’t think we’d be a good match, without ever looking at his profile. I don’t remember the reason, but something he’d said in his original letter had convinced me I wouldn’t be interested in him. Of course, his handle wasn’t Monkey Man. His handle was something very innocuous, like “Bill 961″. Shortly after sending him on his way, I received a letter back from him, thanking me for taking the time to acknowledge his letter, and asking,
“Will you look at my profile and tell me what you think is wrong with it?”

“Sure,” I thought, “I can do that.” I’d done this for a number of guys I’d turned down. It had always involved reading through their profiles. Usually they just needed a few tips on polishing their answers to the questionnaire, and sometimes they just needed to complete the questionnaire.

I clicked on Monkey Man’s profile.
Immediately, before even beginning to read his answers, I saw the problem. In his Primary Photo, he was holding this…monkey.
Or maybe it was a chimp.
I dunno, but I do know…it was a big, hairy, primate, and she had her arms and legs wrapped around Monkey Man’s torso, in a tight embrace. I say “she”, because as if the embrace weren’t enough, this hairy primate was wearing a ruffled little print dress.
And lipstick.
And both she and Monkey Man were squinting into the sun, and smiling into the camera lens, like they were any other Happy Couple.

It was entirely too easy to imagine that, right after the picture was taken, she'd looked into Monkey Man's eyes and tried to ask, "When will I see you again?"

I skimmed his profile, and saw no explanation for the bizarre photo. That made it even more…bizarre. He hadn’t posted any Additional Photos, but under “Other Things I’d Like You to Know About Me”, he said that his favorite drink was a banana dairquiri.


I immediately wrote him,
“It’s your Primary Photo. That pic has gotta go! It’s sorta creepy, so most women won’t like it, and you won’t like the ones who do.”

“But why?” he wrote back. “I LIKE that pic!” He offered no explanation of when/where it was taken, but I did establish that the monkey didn’t live with him.

“Trust me on this,” I wrote.
“Remove that pic, and put another one in its place, and see if it makes a difference.”

He agreed to try it.

A couple of days later, I clicked on his profile. The picture of him and the monkey was gone, replaced by…a pic of him holding a fish.

A BIG fish.

Oh well. I knew that somewhere in cyberspace, there was certainly a photo of a woman whose Primary Photo was a glamour shot of her, holding a small dog named Precious, with a bow in it’s hair. And I knew it was possible that she and Monkey Man might be a perfect match for each other…and with a little bit of luck and a lot of fortitude, they might even find each other…

and they’d probably both love banana daiquiris.


Tammy said...

LOL I think he missed the point!


Paul said...

Hey, that wasn't a print dress, it was pais--oooops. Nevermind.

TJ said...

Og Judi......I am rolling! I needed this laugh and thank you! This is just flat hilarious and belongs front page story of a Readers Digest! Still laughing!!!!
Love to you,

Lisa :-] said...

Wonderful story, Judi. Though I'm not single and haven't been for m-a-n-y years, I love these little gems... :-]

V said...

Hey, that`s Mia Farrow`s Mom!!

dreaminglily said...

lol Wow... I'm just glad to know it was JUST a monkey... Could have been holding something a lot worse... lol

I did see one on some AOL profile from god knows when of a guy holding his blow up doll, like they were sitting together watching TV.... I bet he got a ton of chicks for that lol

Thanks for the laugh lol