Thursday, June 30, 2011

Playing the %s

I often berate old flames for checking back in with me after the fact, especially those who dumped me.  Having no patience and mocking them for being alone on a holiday and getting either nostalgic (or horny) or regretful.

Well, that was me today. Facing a solo holiday weekend (which I'm actually looking forward to, mind you) and slightly curious, there I was after work ... back-checking the old flames who still have OKCupid profiles.

Yes, many of them still have profiles.  Yes, I'm being flamingly mildly hypocritical.

OKC "matches" folks based on many factors, but most specifically by age, location, and "match percentage." This is reached when respondents answer anywhere from 20 to 2000 questions on all manner of topics, ranking each question's relative importance. Through an algorithm that I cannot summarize in more than 25 sentences, OKC takes the results of:

1.  Your answer, compared with
2.  How you’d like someone else to answer, and
3.  How important the question is to you.

Your answers are then compared to everyone else's on the site and when you look at a profile, the resulting match percentage supposedly summarizes how much your and that profiler's answers made each other happy. "Friend" and "enemy" percentages are also gleaned .... a calculation that, even after a thorough scouring of both Google and the OKC website, I don't see explained.

Anyway, it was fun to revisit how I matched up with some of the more memorable men I've encountered. No surprise to see who tops the list (and why my heart still breaks a little every day).

86% Match / 78% Friend / 21% Enemy

But even those I had either spectacular flame-outs or fizzlings with were uniformly positively ranked:

Sunday-Night Man: 
79 M / 67 F / 27 E
The Almost-Date
79 M / 73 F / 30 E
Young Politican from Brooklyn: 
76 M / 71 F / 27 E
Mr. Reach The Beach Relay: 
72 M / 77 F / 25 E

Likewise, I knew immediately that these were not going to be possible, which also bore out:

Mr. Craigslist: 
51 M / 59 F / 38 E
36 M / 51 F / 54 E

Besides, they're all now in the past.

Since I'm feeling on the feisty side this weekend anyway, I decided to search for some high-% men, write them, and point out that we're perfect for one other. See what happens. In a test run a few minutes ago, I came up with some starting data by searching the pool of:

1.  Guys who like girls
2.  Aged 35 to 45
3. who live within 25 miles of Boston and
4.  have been online in the last month,
5. who show a photo and
6. are single.

I found:

My Best Friend: 
Age 39, Watertown
81 M / 94 F / 10 E
The most private thing I’m willing to admit:
I have a crush on Michelle Obama...

My Worst Enemy: 
Age 36, Boston
28 M / 33 F / 90 E
The most private thing I’m willing to admit:
i love desperate house wife

Perfect Match: 
40, Somerville
94 M / 88 F / 15 E
The most private thing I’m willing to admit:
I'm not nearly as serious as this profile makes me sound.

Hmm.  While it should follow that I need to now write my Best Friend and Perfect Match to beg for our imminent togetherness(es), I should also note that above-mentioned Perfect Match is someone I already took the initiative to contact back in February ... and who never replied.

Hmm indeed.  Wonder if it is worth trying again.


Brian said...

Came across your blog googling "Boston area sore throat". After reading some of your adventures, I can say with authority that you are now trying to google "Boston area sore throat" to see if your blog really comes up, but I assure you it does (as long as you sort the results as "most recent"). Any hoo... I never believed in dating sites until I read your entries. Your New Yorker article inspires me to get involved since I don't sound like the typical Man. Thanks for that. -"First Time Long Time"

Karin said...


The question of the hour is, actually, why are YOU googling "Boston area sore throat."

But if you aren't the typical Man, thanks for that. They are few and far between.

Anonymous said...


Well since you asked I will kindly respond:

It really sounds worse than it is, I haven't been sick for years and thought I was invincible, but I guess I am a mere mortal who is vulnerable. I guess I shouldn;t swap spit with a stranger at a bar even if she's drinking a Guiness. Lesson learned. But maybe, just maybe it was as simple as yelling too loud the other night screaming at the live band playing an 80's cover. It's a mystery that Google certainly will not answer for me and I guess I was foolish to think answers could be found from some algorithym thought up in a MIT lab at 4am years ago.

I just wish I could get over this stupid throat codition. I can't even talk it so bad. This might be an asset this weekend. Here;s to keeping it positive. Best, Brian

Karin said...


5 words: hot tea, honey, lemon, rest.

It'll come back.

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected, Google did find me what I needed. Sweet!