Another in a series of readers who insist we run their profiles through the Inspecting Cupid microscope.
User basics: Female, 18, Taurus, not-too-serious Catholic, has dogs, and dabbles in Italian
First impression: Warm, friendly, inviting — and brave enough to give her first name in her self-summary. I usually don’t give out that information until the third date, but I’m a bit cautious, if not completely paranoid. Our subject smiles in every single one of her pictures, though at times looks somewhat noncommittal about it, as though she’s pretending to enjoy a really boring anecdote about grocery shopping.
Dogs make excellent fuzzy blankets: (My self-summary) “i’m [____], im a freshman psych major at montclair state. i play violin & a little keyboard. i’m an art minor, i like to paint, draw and sculpt. i’m a creative person, so art in all forms is really important to me. i believe in positive energy and good vibes. i love yoga and meditation, its a big part of my life. i like to shop, and paint my nails, and do a couple of other stereotypical “girl” things. i have two dogs and i love them, and i wish i had a cat. i love big sweaters and fuzzy blankets. cuddling is essential. i have a blog, you can check it out here [link provided] if you want. i just like to be myself and have fun. no apologies.”
Analysis: There are two types of people on the internet — those who will share their first name and blog url without ever having met you, and those who are terribly afraid of strangers tracking them down and stealing their kidneys while they sleep. It’s hard to tell if people in the former category are trusting, naive, or both, but there is something welcoming about those types, no matter how ill-advised their sharing may be.
“Creative” is one of those words that gives me hives so bad that I have to crawl into my full-body moisturizing suit for at least two hours before I’m able to rejoin the human race. It’s also redundant if one gives adequate supporting details, which our subject does. Once she tells us she plays violin and enjoys painting, drawing and sculpting, we know she’s creative, and we’re ready to move on and hear about her love of all things fuzzy.
My next tattoo is going to be the words “NO APOLOGIES” spread across my clavicles, because that is some real gangster shit.
I’ve never met anyone who actually knows what a speech pathologist does: (What I’m doing with my life) “going to school for psychology, eventually i want to be a speech pathologist, or a clinical psychologist. i’m not sure yet.”
How does one get good at tanning?: (I’m really good at) “psychology, finding cute shoes, painting, talking, music, blogging, having fun, texting, tanning, making people laugh, having a fun time.”
Analysis: There’s a saying in Japanese: 能ある鷹は爪を隠す. [No aru taka wa tsume o kakusu.] What it means is “the talented hawk hides its talons.” Nowhere is this more applicable than to people who are true masters of psychology. When I was 18, and knew I was obsessed with how humans think and behave, I told everyone. Result? Completely changed the way people acted around me, thereby undermining whatever psychological edge I thought that I had. A true master, however, will never let subjects know they are being watched, and so long as you broadcast that you’re “good at psychology” — an odd phrase, to be sure — people will always be performing for you, consciously or subconsciously.
More generally, our subject’s answer feels a bit like she’s over-betting the pot — listing eleven things when three or four would do. However, it’s not as though she’s listing things such as “open heart surgery,” “triathlons,” or “poker,” areas where expertise takes thousands of hours of work to achieve (in which case she’d come off as excessively boastful). This response is simply enthusiasm run amok, which is minimally offensive, if that.
Dear OKCupid — let’s abandon this prompt. Please?: (The first things people usually notice about me) “you tell me?”
Analysis: The first thing I noticed about you is that you ended what seems to be a declarative statement with a question mark? (Also, the “you tell me” answer to this question just begs stupid guys to write stupid things about parts of your body.)
My least favorite punctuation mark is the apostrophe: (Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food)
“music; classical music, favorite composers are bartok and saint-saëns. i listen to a variety of things; lady gaga, bon iver, nicki minaj, bela fleck, one direction, the beatles, air dubai, the maine, grouplove, adele, foster the people, the kooks, mumford & sons, neon trees, radiohead and a lot more.
books; i read often. i like to articles on psych, and anything else that catches my interest. the perks of being a wallflower, blink, sold, go ask alice, girl interrupted, eat pray love, crank, burned, impulse, identical, glass, and more.
tv and films; i love horror movies, whether its a psychological thriller or just mindless murdering and lots of zombies. on tv, i watch rupauls drag race, its always sunny in philadelphia, the office, big bang theory, and friends.
food; my favorite food is pasta, my family is italian so its been my favorite forever. a couple other random favorites are green tea, tomatoes, apples, raspberries and red velvet cake.”
Analysis: The overlap between people who like Always Sunny and Big Bang Theory is about three people, but those sorts of surprises are to be expected from someone who namechecks my boys Bartok and Saint-Saëns off the bat — well done. I hope one day, however, the word “random” resumes its intended function, rather than what it’s become in the last ten years.
(Speaking of the last ten years, I’m thrilled that Perks of Being a Wallflower, a book I loved back in 2000, is still hanging out in the zeitgeist).
And what could be better than mindless murdering and zombies?
Welcome to the Jersey Shore, Mr. Jobs: (The six things I could never do without) “iphone, the beach, high heels, macbook, green tea, a tan”
Sometime between lunch and dinner: (I spend a lot of time thinking about) “art, shoes, psychology, fashion, school, fate, music, the ocean, strangers, colors, love, ideas for paintings, yoga, when do i have time for a nap.”
Analysis: The prefix “psych-” appears seven times in this profile, in case you stopped counting earlier.
I want you to think for a moment about this list, and then choose one entry you feel stands out from the rest. Got it? Good.
That word is “strangers,” right? The rest of the ideas listed are fairly commonplace, and I’m sure if you scraped 100 randomly selected profiles of women aged 18-22, you’d find most of those words appear at least five times. “Strangers,” though? Love it. That tells me everything that the seven instances of “psych” before did, but in a more engaging and specific way. Of course you think about strangers. That’s what psychology is.*
(*NB: I know that’s not exactly what psychology is, but it’s certainly close enough.)
But whatever, indeed — it’s in your favorites list!: (The most private thing I’m willing to admit) “I’m obsessed with RuPaul’s Drag Race. // Actually, that’s no secret, but whatever.”
Pandora’s Box called — it wanted to thank you for opening it: (You should message me if) “you’re nice, you want to chat, you’re fun, or just for no reason at all.”
Analysis: If the “you tell me” response from the “first things people notice” prompt didn’t do it, the “no reason at all” here is going to unearth some of the craziest people the internet has to offer. Men are mostly stupid animals, and if you give them carte blanche — on the internet of all places — they are going to take that carte blanche, piss on it, then light it on fire. They’re like pyromaniacal dogs with opposable thumbs and no conscience. Be prepared.
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Final thoughts: Aside from needing some consolidation, this is a perfectly respectable profile for a young college student, one who has a strong sense of self, but is still deciding what it is she cares about most (besides, you know, psychology). She comes off as a tad chatty and over-eager, but, as noted above, this seems more the result of enthusiasm than an indomitable ego. We wish her the best of luck, both in finding a good man and in acquiring a cat.