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Maybe when I’m 30 …

Bob Kessler | Friday, April 3, 2009

This week the April Fool’s Day jinks were very high amongst me and my friends. My roommate (fellow Observer columnist Brad Blomstrom) awoke to find thousands of post-it notes stuck to his car. Another friend found fish swimming in her bathtub, while some others participated in the traditional ‘RA fake busts some freshmen drinking beer hoax’. However, the worst joke of all the jokes was saved for me as some yet to be determined friends of mine signed me up for eHarmony.com.

While I admit that this joke is hilarious (as I am incredibly open about my troubles with the ladies), I believe that it is in poor taste. It isn’t really a problem that my inbox has become cluttered with information from Dr. Neil Clark Warren asking me to fill out a survey to determine my 27 levels of compatibility; the real problem is that I will invariably let down all the probably wonderful ladies who will be matched with me on the deepest of levels.

I can’t begin to imagine how excited Victoria (age 20, On the Hudson, NY) or Jennifer (age 22, Pembroke Pines, FL) will be when they find out that they are perfectly compatible with me, Observer Columnist Bob Kessler, concerned citizen and organ donor. This excitement will eventually fade away to intense disappointment when they realize that I am not going to contact them. It will be like when seven seconds were put back on the clock in 2005 against USC. Going from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows would create an emotional roller coaster that puts Cedar Point to shame.

To put things in perspective for the underclassmen who do not have the memory of that fateful October 15th ingrained in their memory; I hadn’t experienced anything quite like that moment until this past Wednesday when I was psyched out of my mind to go to Cheers Lounge only to get there and find that it was full to capacity with underage football players and my sister’s sophomore friends.

(Why can’t the underclassmen just stick to bars like CJs and Oyster, and let us seasoned veterans enjoy the Lounge? At least they’ll never touch our Finnegan’s!!) But I digress.

The problem isn’t that I will let down women like Joelle (age 21, Meherrin, VA) and Tiffany (21, Antigo, WI), the real problem is that they are all far too young to be utilizing eHarmony as a serious means to meet people. Using eHarmony at such a young age can’t merely be labeled as fail, because a person who uses such a site before the age of 30 has actually given up on their life. Using online dating services this soon is like using the Warp zones in Super Mario Bros. While they can help you more quickly move to a later stage of your life, they also take away all of the experiences you could have in the intervening years (or worlds). Isn’t there value to all of these experiences?

It would be like if in round two Rocky had said, “You know what, I don’t think I stand a chance with Apollo. I’m just gonna lay down on the mat and take the knockout.” What would our world today be like if that had happened? Would Carl Weathers have still made hilarious cameos in Arrested Development? Would Taxi Driver have won Best Picture in 1976? Would Brian Kenny have ever been seen on the big screen? Would the Cold War still be going on? How many experiences have been made possible by Rocky trying his best and going the distance?

Twenty-somethings have many opportunities to meet future spouses. Weddings, tattoo removal doctor’s offices and World of Warcraft raids are all places that would make great stories to tell future children. There is also the chance that you meet the love of your life at any bar anywhere. I’d much rather spend my less awesome years telling people that I met my wife at a bar when I was 28 than telling them that I was matched with my wife online when I was 22.

So I’d like to apologize to Brittany (21, Portland), Stephanie (21, Kalamazoo), Kimberlyn (23, Eugene, MO) and all of the other women who I have been matched with on eHarmony.com. While you may be content to phone it in, I’ll add using eHarmony to the top of my list of things not to do before I turn 30, and go out and live my life.

The list: seriously consider using eHarmony.com; get a hotel room when I visit my parents; stay in on New Year’s Eve; go to a high school reunion; tuck in a t-shirt; watch Letterman and SNL in successive nights; talk about the good ole days like they have ended; use Facebook to ‘reconnect’ with people; use the word ‘kid’ to talk about professional athletes; watch any hour-long CBS show.

Bob Kessler is a senior majoring in political science and economics. You can contact him at rkessler@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.