Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Now for Some Good

Following my post on bad messages received on OkCupid, here are examples of good messages, many of which I responded to. Even when the message is good, though, there are plenty of issues that can arise within the men’s profiles. A great profile can counteract a weak message, but that weak message has to be inoffensive enough for me to click through to the profile.

And with that, here is a representative sample of good messages I received, followed by commentary. Note that most end with the person's actual name, which humanizes the online identity behind the message, and all but one reference something I indicate that I like in my profile. The more integrated or indirect the reference, the more successful the message.
subject: Sure.

You're right: the only way to talk is over a drink.

When you say "stinky cheese", are you only thinking of blues? When I was in Amsterdam a few months ago, it was ok that you can walk into a store and buy pot, but what I really liked was that you can walk into a store and buy raw milk Epoisses.

This message grabbed me mainly because of the mention of Epoisses, which is my absolute favorite cheese. Furthermore, it’s an obscure cheese, and he is aware that the sale of raw milk cheeses is heavily restricted in the U.S. These facts tell me that he’s probably somewhat of a foodie, which is a good match for me. He also shows by example, rather than simply stating, that he’s a traveler. This guy turned out to be “The Bone.”
subject: Hello!

Not that I place any real faith in OkCupid's matching system, but finding someone on *any* list here who can carry on an interesting/intelligent conversation has (at least for me) been about as productive as trying to order my lunch by blindly hurling a watermelon at a menu board tacked to the side of a taco truck.
The image conjured of blindly hurling a watermelon at a menu board on a taco truck is too golden to pass up this message.
subject: So, for our fifth date ...

... would you like to join me for a hot chocolate at Bittersweet on Fillmore?

Short and sweet, and it plays on my love for chocolate, which I mention in my OkC profile. (In regards to the subject, my profile states that I hate first dates and that I’d like to pretend that our first date is actually our fifth date.) This gentleman turned out to be “Bitterbore.”
subject: drink me


I moved up to the Mission and there are about a million bars within 5 blocks. Let's go grab a drink some time.

I'll even front you an embarrassing story: when I was 3 I spent all night tying hundreds of ropes all over the kitchen from one side to the other, so no one but little short people like me could weave through the spiderweb. Somehow I flooded the kitchen with two inches of water. My folks found me sitting triumphantly on top of the refrigerator.

Horrible subject line. However, I like that he shares a story up front, which shows a willingness to be open and friendly, and the story is pretty adorable. (My profile also mentions that our "fifth" date should be rife with embarrassing stories.)
subject: 4sq [my name, redacted]

Haha no way, are you the same [my name, redacted] that I keep seeing as mayor of places on 4sq?! Off the top of my head I seem to recall places like Philz and Monks Kettle.

The internets, amazing :)

The internets truly are amazing! It shows some level of insight that he drew a connection between my OkCupid username, my OkC profile, and the places of which I’ve been the FourSquare mayor. All that’s lacking in this message is something actionable, e.g., a question about me or a date request.
subject: Let's insult each other.

PS - Do you respect wood?
The rest of this guy’s message, which I won't waste anyone's time with, is crap. At first glance, the Post Script might also seem crass. However, it is, in fact, a classic Larry David line, and as I mention in my OkC profile, I’m a huge LD fan. It brightened up my day so much just to recollect that episode and to specifically recall LD, in all his glory, asking this question that I overlooked the other crap in this message and clicked through to the guy's profile.

1 comment:

  1. A friend of mine started dating a new girl a few months ago. She seemed cool but I hadn't quite gotten to know her yet.

    The two of them were looking for change to feed the parking meter one day when my friend dropped a couple of coins on the ground.

    Without missing a beat, she looked up and said "Do you respect quarters?" In one fell swoop, she proved herself worthy... and beyond.