Illustration: Kagan McLeod
Something has happened to the prune. I don't know why, I don't know how, I only know that I was at the supermarket one fine morning, minding my own business, when suddenly I came face to face with "the sun-dried plum."
I will tell you right now that I'm a fan of the prune—particularly when it's in Danish form—but the prune was clearly not selling. For the prune to turn heads (not to mention meet a nice guy, move to the suburbs, and have a couple of baby prunes) it needed a fresh marketing strategy. Which brings us to today's subject: the online dating profile.
I've got a number of brilliant, beautiful, frank, funny friends, all capable of remarkable things, but writing an enticing online profile does not seem to be one of them. That's where I come in. Some people offer their services in soup kitchens, some volunteer to shampoo crude oil off of sad, gooey pelicans; I rewrite online dating profiles.
It all started when my pal Paula asked me to figure out why she wasn't getting a response to her JDate ad. I didn't have to read beyond her opening sentence—"I like the library!"—to know why. All the exclamation points in the world couldn't save that line. "But I was being honest," Paula groaned. "Why can't I find somebody who gets that?"
What I get is that we all want to be loved for exactly who we are. But surely there's a juicier way to bring up your literary fetish. "Dewey Decimal? You bet we do!"
It wasn't long before news that I'd taken Paula's profile from drab to fab spread far and wide (okay, a couple of people in Brooklyn heard). Soon I was averaging 3.5 profile punch-ups a week. I've seen the dumb, the dull, and the klutzy; the bitter, the brazen, and the too cute by half. I've studied strangers on the Web and friends at my kitchen table, and here's what I've learned:
Next: "Lunch meat makes me wheeze uncontrollably and break into hives the size of Ping-Pong balls—but I probably wouldn't lead with this information"