It’s Dorian Gray
In reverse: you aged and yet
Your photo stayed young
It’s happened to most of us at one point or another, especially those of us who’ve chosen to embrace our inner slut during the Internet Age. We see a suggestive pseudonym, a few compelling statistics, perhaps a blurb of some kind or another, and a photo. (I hope you all at least insist on a photo these days. These aren’t the early nineties for god’s sake!) It always amazes me that there are men out there who think they can get away with fudging the basic parts of this kind of rudimentary advertising. I suppose what really amazes me is the thought that there might be other men who fall for this bait and switch, who might see that guy at the door and not feel swindled. Or at the very least, not call their bluff and withhold the nookie.
Granted, I think there’s room for a little flexibility depending on what you’re really after at any given moment. I’ve been willing to overlook a little fibbing or the use of slightly misleading imagery if a guy was still attractive in person. It’s the nature of the business to put your best face forward, and I imagine it’s a slippery slope once you tell that first fib. I have a friend, for example, who dated a guy for years without confessing he was ten years older than this guy, and not five years younger. But he had the good skin and the limber body to inhabit the lie. I have more than once encountered guys who thought they could show a ten-year-old photo of themselves and assume I wouldn’t mind getting pawed by the cryptkeeper hands I eventually saw. When faced with such blatant, artless dishonesty, I’m too annoyed to even stick around (or play host) for small talk.
I’m often attracted to older guys, so it’s not a matter of age discrimination. But I like honesty. And the confidence that honesty requires. After years of trying my luck with personal ads (of both the reputable and tawdry kinds), I’ve lost a lot of faith in men’s ability to be upfront about what they have to offer, so I’ve learned to read those many little photos much more critically. Getting a good photo is much easier now than it was when I was more of a catch myself, thanks to the availability of scanners and digital cameras, which makes it even easier to assume that you can make a few key judgements about books from their covers.
A few of the guidelines that I’ve learned (the hard way) to follow over the years:
Never trust a blurry photo. If he can’t find anything that shows the details, than he’s probably trying to hide them.
That gets a little harder if a guy thinks his crappy cameraphone photo is good enough, but if he thinks that than his standards may be low in other matters as well, and so he can’t be trusted.
Even still, a crappy cameraphone picture has a very different quality of crappiness than a blurry scan of an old print or even an old digital photo. Learn to spot the differences if you want to give a guy that extra benefit of the doubt.
A young-looking guy doesn’t necessarily look like a young guy. He may look good, but it’s a different kind of good. If there’s any discrepancy between the photo and the age given, assume the worst. Either one could be a fib.
Look at where that arm is placed, or that unusual posture. There’s something flabby in Denmark.
And this is one you can only do if you’ve been around the block for a long time: if he’s still using the same picture for a couple of years, then chances are it’s been around for a couple more. At the very least, it’s probably not too accurate. If he’s still so damned handsome, then why can’t he ask someone with one of those fancy new little robot cameras to take another shot?
A little imagination, with a dash of loneliness and horniness, can make us see what we want to see, or read what we want to read. We fill in the details with what we hope to discover, and that’s where the trouble starts. We wouldn’t be silly romantic fools if we didn’t hope for the best, but we have to draw the line somewhere. I draw the line at that washed-out old wedding photo a guy shows when he’s trying to talk his way into my pants. Show a little effort, at least, before I waste the subway fare.