This ad is so long. It is so very, very long. I would normally file this sort of ad under “Too Long, Didn’t Read” but fortunately I pressed on and continued to skim it. And skimming it made me realize I had to actually read it and then, of course, I had to share it with you.
On first skim this ad may seem normal to you, or as normal as a personal ad on Craigslist can seem. He’s reasonably fit, appears to have all of his teeth, is gainfully (self) employed, demonstrates appropriate use of the conventions of EAE. Hell, there’s even a picture of him holding a baby and looking reasonably comfortable doing so! Really what else could you want from a partner?
Read on, my friend. Read on…
Matt, The Prince of Darkness says: “Apologies in advance for the Wall of Text–here is a bullet-point summary:
- I’m child-free, non-religious and the picture of physical health.
- I have a lot of different interests and have run a successful business since 2003
- I want to focus my life on myself, my partner and the people who are close to us
- Awesome adventures are nearly always better with a companion
- Please don’t be intimidated by my post. It’s OK if you feel like you still have some growing to do–I know I do! (Could you hold my hair, please? I need to barf.)
If you like what you see and what you read, write me and perhaps we can meet up for coffee/tea/billiards/happy hour sometime soon. Or tonight! A note: if I come across as arrogant here, it’s only because I’m clumsily trying to compensate for the insecurities I have when it comes to putting myself out there to total strangers (“I’m sorry I come off as being full of myself. You see I’m just insecure. Do you feel sorry for me yet? No? Keep reading” That’s what I heard, anyway.). No one who knows me would ever describe me as arrogant and my lack of confidence vanishes as soon as I believe I have someone’s interest… (Pardon me while I punch myself in the face.)
My name is Matt. I am freshly 30, happy, healthy, and independent. I live in Seattle and have had my own place for nearly eight years. I’m on the verge of buying property. I own and operate a successful business that I started over a decade ago. I like to think that I am a self-made man and have earned each accomplishment that I achieve through hard work, smarts, and a certain measure of stubbornness. I am drugs, disease, and drama-free. I do not smoke and only drink socially and in moderation. I make excellent coffee and enjoy tea.
Please don’t give me a hard time about the shirtless photo–I’m trying something new because I know physical attraction is important. (If you think a shirtless photo is going to make the difference in finding Ms. Right, you really need to stop and reexamine this whole thing. Just stop.) I used to be a little pudgy and have come a long way over several years to get where I am. I work out 2-4 times per week, so I am in great shape–being healthy is really important to me. I am vegetarian about 2/3 of the time, but I love a delicious burger at Jak’s Grill as much as the next person. I love all manner of ethnic food and am passionate about new experiences (Every time someone says they are “passionate about new experiences” I roll my eyes sooo hard I genuinely fear they will become stuck. This is fluff. It’s the “I’m enthusiastic, innovative, and analytical” of a cover letter. Simply put, it’s the bullshit you add because you think it’s what people want to read, when really you’re just another shmuck trying to get a job, or in this case a woman.) . I have a creative side with too many hobbies and interests–I tend to perpetually drift from one thing to another and then circle back around at some point. I am intensely and equally cerebral, physical, and emotional (More bullshit fluff. Hold on to your eyeballs. That’s not the worst of it.). I have a strange attraction to trekking on mountains and glaciers. I love to make people laugh, and always try to be there for my friends when they need me. I love live shows, happy hour, karaoke, cinema, cycling, hiking, photography, and writing–among many other things (Keyword, keyword, keyword, keyword….One of these is bound to snag someone. Anyone…?). I have relatively few dislikes (Of course you do. More like you have relatively few people touching your wang.).
In the last year I have: climbed several mountains; earned my second degree black belt; made it through the horrors of a family member suffering from addiction; moved my business into our first office space; tried my hand at surfing; successfully grown tomatoes on my patio in Seattle; helped my parents move to their new ranch in Eastern Washington; reorganized and restructured my company; lived on a tropical island for a month; cooked creme brulee from scratch; prepared a house to be sold; renewed my love for cycling and even been offered paid gigs as a result of my recreational photography. (Can’t. Withstand. Much. More. Of. This. Please. Stop. For the love of all that is good have mercy on us.)
Also, I learned the proper use of semicolons to form a list 🙂
(By now you are probably wondering if this is ever going to end. It is not. This is the Dante’s Inferno of personal ads. This is where you end up after you round the final corner of the 9th circle of suffering. You thought you would come face to face with Satan, but no. It is actually Matt waiting for you there. And Matt is going to tell you about himself. And you are going to sit there for all eternity listening, because this is hell.)
My primary professional goal in the next two years is to get my business to the point where I don’t need to “work for a living”. I have four full-time employees who I pay a salary and benefits, but I want to make myself obsolete–to delegate myself out of a job while retaining a decent monthly income from the business. Why, you ask? My family never had the means to travel for vacations and I have lived my entire life in the Pacific Northwest. I love Seattle and the area, but I want to explore the world a bit. If you have an entire book in front of you, why read only one page? I dream of travelling perpetually, or at least for several months at a time–pursuing my love of photography and writing while I do so. Ideally, I would be able to live abroad, staying in one place for a couple months to get a feel for it before moving on. Even more ideally, I would do all of these things with my partner.
(Could none of this be saved for, I don’t know, a date? What are you going to talk about once you actually meet someone? You have shared your struggles, accomplishments, hopes, and dreams. It’s as if we have already been in a relationship, become tired of one another, and broken up. And we’ve never met!)
January 1st was the beginning of a test–the “milk run” for this dream, if you will. (Oh…? Tell me more…Thought no one.) At 9am New Year’s Day, I hopped on a plane and left Seattle to spend an entire month hiking, swimming, camping, exploring and unwinding in Kauai with my best friend. It was the most incredible experience of my life. Even better, the business continued to operate and my employees handled things well during my absence. (That’s flippin fantastic.)
Given meeting and falling in love with the right person, I’d be open to a more stationary life–if that is what my partner and I desired together. Whether it is to travel the world with the love of my life or live the metropolitan dream, I intend to retire from my current business endeavor in the next couple years to take on other pursuits. I could see myself continuing to work remotely a few hours each day, or perhaps starting/purchasing another business or two (I’m intrigued by the prospect of running a cafe) and living in a nice place with a great view. Although I enjoy growing my own herbs, peppers, tomatoes and such, I feel like a house with a yard would be too much work and stress for a single person to handle on their own but, admittedly, I have not spent a ton of time thinking about it. Being single has been my current reality for some time, so that is the framework I will work within. (It’s really important you put your future home preferences right out there. That can really make or break a relationship. I mean I would put it right up there with religious beliefs and desire to have children. Top of the list. No really. Stop laughing.)
In terms of life goals? I don’t want to live in a mansion, drive a Ferrari, or become a billionaire. I don’t want hordes of children. I’d rather be able to live comfortably, do the things I love to do, travel, stay healthy, and focus on myself and my partner–instead of scrambling to “get more, get mine, and get mine first”. I’ll want to have enough free time and energy to exercise and further develop my love of cooking and photography. To me, the sharing of good food and wine are fundamentally intimate acts that I enjoy with my friends and my partner.
Being a bit of an introvert, I am the kind of guy who prefers to focus his energy and attentions on a small group of people who are close to him. I’m not some playboy who has 2,000 friends on Facebook, goes to parties four nights a week, and dates a half-dozen women at a time. It might be fun to live that kind of lifestyle for a month, but I’d be completely drained by the end of it!
An important note: I do not want to spend my life, my time, my energy, my attention, and my resources on raising children. I love and appreciate kids, but I want to devote those energies to my own life, my own passions, and my partner. I’d much rather live a life free to travel, to come and go as we please, to do the things we want to do–when we want to do them. A “family of two”, if you will. I’m perfectly comfortable being “Uncle Matt” to my friends’ children–my nephews are awesome. (So we went from not having “hordes” of children to not having children at all. That picture of him with the baby is a blatant bait and switch. Notice how he has slipped this tidbit in towards the middle. People tend to read the beginning and end most closely.)
Which leads me to the person I’m looking for (Enough about him. Let’s talk about you…two-thirds of the way through this novel.). I’m looking for a woman in her 20’s. This woman is a non-smoker, does not use drugs, and drinks in moderation. She’s also a bit of a foodie and enjoys trying new things. She isn’t a vegetarian (flexible?), but eating healthy is important to her. Ideally, she doesn’t have any serious allergies. She’s active and fit. She’s a good conversationalist who has a lot of ideas about a lot of things, and she spends her time reading, exploring, and learning rather than wiling away the hours watching reality TV. That said, she is a fan of particularly solid shows and loves a good movie. She dreams of a lifestyle similar to the one I’ve described above. She’s bright, fun and has a strong sense of self-worth.
She’s short–under 5’6? I get butterflies in my stomach when I see her–“like at first sight” is really important to me, but it’s also just a prerequisite for the rest of who you are as a person. Intimacy, affection, and physical pleasure are all very important things to myself and my ideal partner–both giving and receiving. She knows–or is coming to realize–that life is ten percent what happens to you, and ninety percent how you perceive it, react to it, and what you do with it (Now you may have been going through that laundry list excitedly checking qualities off…”I’m short, I’m in my twenties, I do not wile away my day watching reality TV and I AM a fan of particularly solid shows, etc, etc… but then you got to this last part and realized you are 11% what happens to you and 89% what you do with it. Well that’s just not good enough, Buttercup. NEXT!)
I have a good idea of what I want in life, and who I want to share it with (Enough about you. Back to him. What are you some kind of attention whore? This is Matt’s show. Write your own damn ad..). I’ve worked hard to be a good person and to get where I am in my career, my smarts, and my athleticism. I have my own flaws. If I’m upset or hurt, I tend to withdraw and become quiet. I always chew food equally on each side of my mouth, and try to step on cracks in the sidewalk equally with either foot (I feel very strongly this information should have been in the first paragraph of this autobiography.). I’ve had insecurities about my physical attractiveness for most of my life. Right now, I spend way too much time on my business–meeting the kind of person I’m looking for would be a perfect excuse to work less. I can occasionally be indecisive about small things. I think too much before acting (No!). I struggle with bouts of depression over my being single for so long. I am someone who needs intimacy and it has been difficult feeling undesired despite the fact that I know I am a smart, funny and attractive person. I have a hard time resisting the free samples at Trader Joe’s and Costco (You know, I was all in until this. His disgusting lack of self control appalls me.).
I can make some promises before we even meet. You will never have to fear physical, emotional, or verbal abuse or violence from me–I have known people who have suffered these things and how it has affected their lives. That said, I’m still down for a little aggressive play if you enjoy that kind of thing. I will never become a drug addict or alcoholic–my own family has been through this tragedy and it is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. I will never become so complacent that I neglect my body and let myself go–I’ve seen this happen to way too many folks. Everything in moderation.
I’ve been head-over-heels in unreasoning, all-consuming love. I have had short and long-term relationships, and I have been through my share of breakups. I’m a real person with real feelings and real hopes. I’ve fallen asleep with my heart thrilled and singing, but also after having spent the evening crying my eyes out in an emotional meltdown. I’ve had my heart broken more than once, and broken other hearts more than once. I have had bumps, bruises, and cuts along the way–all learning experiences that I feel make me a better person and partner. I’m not looking to get married right away–even though I’m open to meeting that person (Am I the only one who is surprised to learn Matt is open to marriage? I mean…whoa. Way to throw a curveball at us. Did not see that coming. Right… Matt it is so painfully obvious that you are going to jump on the first thing that stands still long enough and never let go that it makes me want to cry a little. Not for you. But for the poor, unsuspecting woman you land on.).
If you made it all the way through my ad, great! Ideally, what I’ve said here is exciting and it resonates with who you are, the things you enjoy, and the goals you have in life. This may all seem pretty intimidating, but I actually am a really easy-going guy (No. Easy going people do not develop a detailed spec sheet for their future partner. Sorry.). Write me back, tell me a little about yourself–and attach a few photos that clearly show your face. I was gracious enough to provide a variety of photos–fair play and reciprocation are important to myself and to my ideal partner.
Perhaps you are this woman. Perhaps you know her–a friend, a relative, a neighbor, a coworker. All I know is that I haven’t found her yet. In my absolute ideal world, I’d be at my favorite coffee shop and would look up from my book–practically toppling out of my chair as I caught the eye of the love of my life, who happened to be sitting a couple tables over. She’d express frustration over her laptop and I’d bump over a couple chairs and introduce myself. The start of a beautiful relationship (Fairly certain that’s a scene out of some crappy romantic-comedy and not actually reality.).
But the internet will do just fine if it helps me find the kind of person I’m looking for.
If you write me and I don’t respond to you within a couple days, I’m either unbelievably busy (as I sometimes get), or I’m not interested. It’s nothing personal (Normally I’d be with you on this statement. But normally people do not write a novel for their personal ad. I‘m sorry, but if someone reads this fucking bullshit ad and then emails you expressing interest, the very least you could do is respond telling them “Thanks, but no thanks”. Am I wrong?).
If we aren’t a match but you liked my post, let me know! Constructive criticism is appreciated, too 🙂
(Is criticism still considered constructive if it’s to punch yourself in the face until you stop being such a self absorbed prick and then punch yourself a few more times for good measure?)
There you have it. This post is dedicated to Narcissist Awareness. Share it with those you care about.