As the Todd Seavey Incident circulates its way through the tubes, Stacy McCain points out the grievous mistake Seavey made before he ever went off on his ex-girlfriend during that C-Span panel discussion:
Join the French Foreign Legion or a convent or throw yourself off a bridge, but don’t ever post a personal ad. Or answer one.
It’s creepy and/or desperate and/or delusional.
If you are single and have trouble meeting people in real life, who are you going to meet via a personal ad, except other people who have trouble meeting people in real life?
And what kind of people have trouble meeting people in real life? Losers, that’s who.
Here’s where the delusional part comes in: These are losers trying to convince themselves (and other people) that they’re not actually losers. They suffer from the delusion that they’re undiscovered winners.
All the losing they’ve done? Just a streak of bad luck. People (that is to say, people who actually know them) don’t recognize their true wonderfulness, and so they figure they’ll have better luck impressing complete strangers who don’t know what total losers they actually are.
I’m trying to decide whether this seems unduly harsh. In general, I’m persuaded that at some point, interpersonal chemistry can actually trump the perception of loserdom, though real-life examples of same, especially in my real life, are vanishingly few.
Besides, there are lots of factors contributing to having “trouble meeting people” other than lack of desirability. Scheduling is one: if I work my fingers to the bone, and I do, it’s hardly surprising that I don’t meet any bony-fingers fans. And while I’m not overly shy — instead of clamming up in the canonical fashion, I speak up and promptly piss away 30 IQ points — I’ve known people who might well be perfectly charming but who couldn’t break the ice if you spotted them two flamethrowers and a pickax. It’s easier to dismiss them as “losers,” I suppose.
And if Frank farging Sinatra can be faced with the possibility of the French Foreign Legion, what chance do the rest of us have?