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Most of what I wrote about myself in the Nerve personals was untrue.

I won't say that what I wrote was "lies" because that's a little harsh and if I've learned one thing from my time with online personals it's that although truth be told, I've never really understood that expression. Online dating is one of those things nobody wants to admit to a natural proclivity for, or being an old hand at—like being an old hand at urine samples—and yet they are very much a form unto themselves, a species of fiction, really, wherein wannabe Romeos dash off lightly fictionalized, Gatsbyesque versions of themselves in a tone halfway between come-hither foxiness and plangent entreaty, as if forever posed in some doorway, blowing smoke rings and delivering unrehearsed zingers, before disappearing into the night to work in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.

I am grounded yet prone to flights of fancy and / or midnight cupcake hunts.

Plus, by my own logic, that would make Instead, I filled out the questionnaire myself, trying to keep smart-alecktry to a minimum while gently hinting at the deep ridiculousness any reasonable man of my accomplishments would feel in this position.

"Most Humbling Moment: "filling out this questionnaire." "Hobbies & Interests." What kind of person has hobbies and interests?

I think that road trips can be a transcendental experience, if unplanned. The only place anyone really seemed to tell the truth was in the "What I Am Looking For" section, which was supposed to be the place where you outlined your ideal mate but more often turned into the place to rag on your last boyfriend.

When I say "let's pack our bags and move to a farmhouse in Tuscany" I want someone who will reach for the closet and start packing. The key, it seemed to me upon first entering this strange alternative universe of spontaneous road-trips and brightly colored pasta, where coy exteriors belied deep reserves of untapped silliness and nobody is ever allowed to plan for anything, ever, seemed to lie in those all-important conjunctions "yet," and "but." Thus armed, the author could advance an admirable trait (groundedness), then, spotting the possible negative connotations of that trait (dullness), pivot onto its opposite (fanciful), in an act of triangulation that would bring tears to the eyes of Bill Clinton himself, then launch into a series of Whitmanesque paradoxes: Everyone seemed to be "easygoing" and "down-to-earth" and liked to "laugh a lot," mostly at themselves. It was basically the elephant's graveyard of the whole site, the place your last relationship went to die, amid a rattle of old peeves and niggles. Reading that, I leapt back from the screen as if stung. No man self-identifies as an asshole and the ones that do are precisely the sort who would respond to a dog-whistle like that.

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