“What’s your idea of a great first date?”
“Geesh, I don’t know.”
“Tracey. Come on,” she replied.
I sighed to myself.
Her next IM flashed up in my inbox. “Okay, just use this template: On a first date, I enjoy discussing _____ over _____ at _____.”
“I’m busy,” I replied.
“TRACEY. COME ON.”
“DO NOT ALL-CAPS ME.”
“YOU ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY.”
“No, YOU are driving ME crazy.”
“I’m coming over.”
“Omg. Please don’t.”
No response. She was already on her way.
No doubt about it. Lux was on a mission.
I’d recognized the look that morning when she’d appeared at my desk with an overly large coffee. Her hair was pulled back in a fierce ponytail and her eyes were gleaming brightly.
“What,” I’d said warily.
“So can I do your Match.com?”
I furrowed my brow. “I was just going to use the same profile for both.”
She bounced on her toes. “Come on, this will be fun for me!”
“I don’t know…”
“Okay,” I said, already defeated. Lux has been a great friend to me this past year, helping me get the blog together as well as many other things, so if she thought this would be fun for her, who was I to say no?
“Great!” she cried and then rolled over the exercise ball next to my desk and sat on it. “Pull it up.”
“Okay,” I said uncertainly.
As I’ve said, for someone who writes a pretty personal blog each week, I am incredibly shy about people reading my dating profile. For whatever reason, it feels too intimate for me. I’m not sure why.
“Okay,” she said slowly after she’d read through it. “So what did Thalia and Sean say?”
And I told her the brief comments they’d made after they’d read my profile at the previous Sunday’s brunch.
Which went something like this:
Sean: “It’s too utilitarian.”
Thalia: “It’s not conversational.”
Sean: “It sounds like you’re applying for a job.”
Thalia: “It doesn’t sound like your voice.”
Sean: “It’s basically listing what you don’t want.”
Thalia: “It’s well written. But you don’t sound like a person.”
Me: “Well. That’s pretty much exactly what I was NOT going for.”
Thalia had then patted my hand to comfort me.
“Hmm…,” Lux said and then took a sip of coffee. “They’re right. And also it’s too long. I did some research and the optimum length of a profile is 97 words and yours is clearly over 300. And also, look at this,” she said as she pointed to the screen. “In every paragraph, you put something negative.”
“It’s not negative,” I corrected. “It’s sarcastic humor.”
“It’s gone,” she said definitively.
“Oh,” I said. I was feeling anxious because I was supposed to be working on transitioning my team to the other assistants so I could start my new role, not going over the details of my online dating profile. I actually was really busy.
Lux stood up. “Send it to me and I’ll work on it.”
“You don’t have to do this…,” I said lamely.
“TRACEY,” she said. “I’m doing it.”
I’ll say this for Lux – when she gets an idea in her head, she is tenacious. Like more than tenacious. She’s like a dog with a bone.
Throughout the rest of the day, she sent me stats on how to optimize my profile, certain buzzwords I should use and helpful videos.
It was overwhelming.
By that afternoon, I was exhausted.
But she pressed on.
“How many times a week would you say you do yoga? It’s hugely popular in searches,” she’d message me.
“Hmm, well if we round up? I’d say zero.”
“What about running? That works too.”
“Okay, nevermind. You look like you do both and that’s all that matters, so we’ll just say 2x a week.”
“Did you watch that video I sent you on the woman who used data analysis in order to craft her profile?”
“Well. Clearly you’ve forgotten the message. Watch it again.”
“I’m really busy.”
“She’s married now with a daughter!”
“This is exciting!! Tomorrow, I’ll bring in my camera and we’ll do a photo-shoot! Do you have anything red? Red is very popular online.”
I put my head on my desk and didn’t respond.
A few minutes later she showed up. “Why aren’t you excited?” she asked.
I sighed. I felt strangely emotional about it all. “Because Lux,” I said, as I lifted my head. “I’m busy. And I’ve been doing this for eight years. With no results. I’m tired of it. I know it’s fun for you but-”
“Look,” she said and moved to the side of my desk. She sat down on the exercise ball and leaned towards me. She then said softly, “I know you’re burned out. I get it. That’s why I want to help you. Just let me ‘cheerleader’ it up for you. It’s going to be great. I promise. Please just keep an open mind.”
Her earnestness touched me.
“Okay,” I said.
The next day she brought in her camera and we did a series of photos of me in the area around our office. As I’ve mentioned, I hate to have my picture taken, but she was so encouraging and enthusiastic, saying, “You look great!” “These are fantastic!” “Beautiful!” that I was somewhat able to actually enjoy myself and relax.
After we returned to the office, she chose five pictures and applied some light Photoshop. I eventually chose the one I viewed as the lesser of all evils.
For the rest of the day, she did more research to enhance my profile and then sent me her revised version. “It’s just a rough draft…,” she messaged and I could sense a slight feeling of nervousness. Which is not like her. Which made it all the more endearing. “I hope you don’t hate it.”
I didn’t hate it. In fact, I loved it.
It was still me, except a better version of me. She’d kept in all my original points, (even my mention of Gordon Lightfoot, bless her heart) but the person she presented was more cheerful, more friendly, more approachable. It was me at my best. It was so amazing, I found myself wanting to aspire to be that person. I even found myself wanting to take up yoga.
So I cut and pasted it into my Match.com profile and uploaded her picture. I then hit ‘Save.”
“Here goes nothing!” I messaged her.
“Yay!!! Keep me posted on the results,” she replied.
Lux may have a new career calling.
Because in two days, I had over 100 responses.