Friday, November 9, 2012

The "E" is for Evil

So, my Gmail account is a beast.  I've been using it since time began and have peppered the landscape with my email address.  From coupons to e-newsletters to fantasy football updates, I get barraged, like the rest of world, with messages that I will probably never read and will sit in my inbox taking up space until I delete them months from now.  A few years ago, I decided that it was high time I utilized some filters and created folders to automatically sort my emails as they arrived.  Like electronic postal elves.  I created one for e-newsletters thinking that someday in the distant future, I'd have time to sit down and catch up, learning all about the exciting happenings of various internet entities.

Yesterday, I noticed that my e-newsletters folder was rather large, home to over 2,000 emails.  For some reason, my Type A personality immediately creates a sense of panic in me when an inbox is at a seemingly insurmountable number.  Maybe I'm a bit OCD about it, but either I have to read them all or delete them all and start fresh.  Having this ridiculous figure looming over my head was daunting.  I opened the folder.

At the top of the list, and for reasons unknown to me, sat a shiny new e-newsletter from none other than my dear friends at eHarmony.  Now, keep in mind, Singletons and Marrieds, not only have I been off the market now for almost nine months, I have not had a eHarmony account in at least a year and a half.  Probably more than that.  I'm too lazy to look back through my previous posts to find out, but let's just say it's been a long time. Lest you forgot in that time gap, eHarmony is one of the most expensive online dating services on the planet (sometimes charging around $60 a month).  This girl lived by the mantra that her frugality outweighed her need for companionship, especially since most of the time I wasn't getting enough free dinners dates to justify the monthly subscription.  So, why am I still on their distribution list?  Well, knowing what I know about e-marketing, I probably missed a teeny, tiny, little check box when I cancelled my subscription all those years ago, and eHarmony has been patiently waiting in the shadows to strike at the heart of my implied loneliness with some awesome discounted rate.

Sorry, Charlie.

So, why are we talking about this e-newsletter?  The title captured me.  Again, based on my e-marketing knowledge and experience, I know that the subject line is critical.  If you don't grab the reader in that little box with something appealing, you are doomed to the delete button.  So, when eHarmony opened our dialog with "The Top Eight Reasons Men Fall Out of Love," something happened in my brain.  'You need to know this, Melanie,' it said.  I nodded as if hypnotized.  I do need to know this.  So, open it, I did.  I followed the link to the online article (someone in their marketing department giggled as their click through rate went up, I know it) and convinced myself that eHarmony was a valuable source of knowledge for my relative dating inexperience.  I needed to safeguard my relationship from potential pitfalls, and eHarmony was the only place that could help.  Save me, Neil Clark Warren, you're my only hope.

After reading the article, and scouring every word for relevance, (and questioning some of their photo choices), I have decided that eHarmony is evil.  Evil, evil, evil.  Okay, maybe not the entire website (I know several of my readers have found the love of their lives via eHarmony).  So, let's say their writers are evil.  Everything they listed in their article were "duh" pointers.  If you're in a relationship and you don't know that your man will feel unloved if he doesn't feel like you support him or that he'll change the way he looks at you if you always meet him at the door with negativity, then you shouldn't be in a relationship.  These monumental insights were joined by other top secret information such as women who are high maintenance, couples who are incompatible, relationships that started on a one-night-stand and haven't connected beyond the bedroom, women who don't admire their men, ladies who are all business (bills, bills, bills), and moms who never cross back into wife territory all contributing as factors to why men fall out of love.  According to eHarmony writers.  

Maybe this article would be helpful if you were say, sixteen years old and had just entered the dating world... and had been raised by a pack of wolves.  I am convinced that eHarmony somehow wants to inspire a sense of doom in people.  Although I haven't quite figured out how they know which ones of us are currently in relationships and don't need their "services," I'm sure they have their wicked ways.  Once they have their victims in sight, they strike like a cobra, hoping you'll question things at home and maybe, just maybe, need them and their $60 membership fee and 425-question (not exaggerating) questionnaire (that you can't retake ever again even if you hypothetically initially filled it out ten years ago while slightly intoxicated at a college party, asking your friends for help with the answers).

Not happening, Dr. Warren.  You can keep your questionnaire and your levels of compatibility.  Stop emailing me.  I'm out.  Better yet, keep 'em coming.  They make great blog material.

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