Wednesday, September 1


Alright, so a friend of mine was checking out the wide range of online matrimonial sites currently available for us lucky singletons to check out. Not for any possibilities you understand (well none that he'd admit to anyway), but he likes to check them out every now and then to see what the "scene", as it were, was like. In this particular survey he found that not much had changed.

Firstly, it seemed that plagiarism was rife in the world of Internet Personal Ads. Not only was every candidate outgoing, they were also funny, intelligent and a really good friend - you know, someone you could rely on in times of need. A fair few also stated Islam/Hinduism/Sikhism/Etc "as their strength". "Hell", my friend declared, "I'd immediately snap up someone who admitted that they were insular, stubborn and preferred to watch Eastenders than going out for a meal - at least I'd know they were honest!". Yup, Internet personals have overtaken School Progress Reports as the de facto standard of identikit personal profiling.

Secondly, it seemed that the publicist that they all use (my friend reckons there can only be one of them - two, tops) may not have had the pleasure of a basic school education. He even suggested that English may not be their first language. A bit harsh (I mean it's not like his English is particularly fantastic) but on the other hand you gotta wonder how seriously you should regard an individual who a) uses text language, b) struggles to correctly place "there", "their" and "they're", c) can't be bothered to use a simple spellcheck or take a minute to proofread their profile before publishing, or d) uses the subject pronoun in "Tom and I" instead of the object in "Tom and me". Alright, perhaps the last one can be forgiven. But the point still stands. A little care, people - I mean there's an artistic display of personality and everything, but there's also laziness and a lack of basic decent presentation.

My friend also commented on the poor souls whose profiles were posted not by themselves, but instead by a relative - like the brother who tells us that he can't explain why his sister cant find a husband (you know, since she has a fantastic personality and is ok looking and everything). Little does he know she's been dating her current boyfriend for ages now and doesn't actually want interfering families discussing her lack of a love life online. Or perhaps it was the case that the brother/mother/whoever cant see past their rose tinted spectacles...

So no, he (my friend) wasn't impressed. Of course I had to take him to task (as I do) - he was hardly being fair after all. "They're not all like that, fool" I claimed, while showing him the plenty of normal, professional, genuinely funny yet classy girls (who even had pictures which of course we didn't look at seeing as we're good Muslim boys - and besides, it's not like cared what they look like) available on the site. So what exactly was wrong with them? Does the way in which you discovered a person really have that much of an effect on how you would consider them? I suggested that, if so, it was probably an issue he had rather than anyone he was investigating.

I explained that I had a friend who is due to marry someone she met online (although admittedly not via a matrimonial site) and that I knew a fair few normal people who considered it perfectly acceptable (although these all seem to be single women in their thirties. hmm). So what exactly was the problem, friend?

"You're just looking for an excuse not to proceed..." I accused. Personally, I think that he was scared of becoming "one of them" who, perhaps irrationally, are seen as desperate loners who cant get a partner in a more traditional manner (whatever that is nowadays - I mean is a personal ad any less clinical, romantic or random than an introduction? Perhaps not). Which is totally untrue of course - if anything these boys and girls are braver than my friend was - after all they took the next step and posted a profile rather than remain safe in the anonymity of being just a critical browser. They're the ones who put their neck on the line despite, in all probability, having the same irrational fear that my friend had. I explained to him that the facts that he was a) browsing and, it later transpired, b) considering signing up and posting his own profile, proved that there were people as normal as him (which in retrospect may not have been the best point to make) pursuing a relationship in this way. And of course that he didn't have to make it the exclusive manner in which he found a partner - this just happened to be another option which may or may not pay off dividends.

So yes, I convinced him (with very little effort to be honest) to take that leap and disregard his bogus fear and sign up. And he had his profile ready ("slim, funny, out-bloody-going") and had filled in all the other requirements and various other options that would make life easier for whomever did the searching. And he was about to press the submit button when he suddenly found the (grammatically incorrect and replete with spelling errors) profile of someone he knew... Which for some reason managed to reaffirm his original stance regarding the people who used these sites - possibly because this particular person was still single.

"Hmmm" he said, "Maybe this isn't such a good idea after all. Yeh, perhaps ill hold off signing up right now..."


  1. Anonymous00:16

    "Tom and I" is gramatically correct, depending on the context of the sentence. As is "Tom and me". Never heard of "me and Tom" being given a pass, however.

  2. Anonymous06:20

    "Tom and I" is gramatically correct, depending on the context of the sentence. As is "Tom and me". Never heard of "me and Tom" being given a pass, however.