|Jinny has been very ill and is currently undergoing rehabilitation in a Bangor facility so she will not be writing her article for awhile. She is making excellent progress and hopes to be able to return to writing her column in the near future... Adele.
I recently received an opportunity for a temporary membership in a very well known online dating service. They don't call it a dating service, of course, which would sound far too pathetic and desperate for a company that claims to be able to help you find your soul mate. Marketing is everything, after all. I was fully intending to ignore it, but my kids, who believe that my life would be vastly improved by the entry of some man into it, insisted that I give it a try, so, in order to shut them up, I did.
The first thing they tell you is that you have to fill out this very lengthy questionnaire, so that they can determine the most intimate details of your personality. I am skeptical about anyone being able to do this via a questionnaire, but I diligently applied myself to answering all the questions.
All the questions that are supposed to tell them everything there is to know about you are answerable only by checking one of five boxes that are labeled: Never, Hardly Ever, Sometimes, Most of the Time, and, Always. So, if they ask you a question like, "I like to read books..." you have to answer it by checking one of the above boxes. They also have questions like, "People would say that I am funny," or "People would say that I am sensitive." These questions require a simple yes or no answer.
First of all, how the heck do I know what people would say? I know what I would like them to say, but that may have no bearing whatsoever on what they might actually say. I may think that people would say that I am hysterically funny, but for all I know they would say that I think I'm funny but I'm actually a deadly bore. If they want to know what other people might say about me they should ask them.
It is my experience that people will generally answer these kinds of questions in a manner that will shed the best possible light upon themselves and confirm their dynamic personalities and all around wonderfulness. I have known hundreds of people who thought they were funny and weren't, or who thought they were kind and thoughtful and were in fact, completely self-absorbed and oblivious to the needs of others. So when you get to the question that asks, "People would say that I am selfish", who is going to answer that question with a yes?
The questions went on in this vein for what felt like 100 pages. About half way through it I was sick of myself and could only imagine that everyone reading it would find me equally nauseating. There is supposed to be some kind of computerized analysis that they perform using your answers to these endless questions. I wonder who programmed it? Whoever it was, would people say that they know what they are doing?
The analysis is based on your answers forming some sort of pattern. After I had filled the whole thing out, and just so you know, I was completely honest in my answers, I got a message that informed me that there was some confusion regarding some of my answers. How confusing could it be? I only had the five acceptable boxes to check and the yes and no. I was informed that I would get my analysis in my e-mail the next day. What's up with that? I was bemused and somewhat surprised. Did I cause the computer to seize up or something?
I had a similar problem once when I took a personality test during a seminar on a job. It asked a bunch of questions which were supposed to establish whether you were one of four types of personalities. The idea was that if you answered the majority of the questions a certain way, it would classify you as a certain personality type. There were 30 people in the room and it worked great for all of them - except me. My answers put me equally in all four personality types. The instructor suggested that I was possibly a schizophrenic. My coworkers went around for weeks afterward calling me "Sybil" like the famous character in the book about multiple personalities.
The day after I had filled out the soul mate questionnaire, I received an e-mail apologizing for the delay and asking me to write a short description of myself. They gave me about four lines in which to do this. Good thing I'm a simple girl. I then received another e-mail informing me that there were no prospective matches for me at this time. I think that I may be the first person in history to have this happen. I decided that it either made me extraordinarily well-rounded or a complete freak. I opted for well-rounded.
About three or four days letter I received yet another e-mail titled, "We found a match for you, Adele!" They seemed as surprised as I was. It turned out that the gentleman in question was a physicist in Canada. That sounded cool. I went to the site to read more about him. This is where all the "personalities" go into more depth about themselves. They answer questions that are supposed to be more deep and meaningful. One of them was, "What has been the most important influence in your life?" Here was his answer:
"The most important influence in my life was my wonderful ex-wife, who taught me more about what is important than anyone else."
Alrighty then, just what every woman wants, a guy who is still in love with his ex-wife. Mr Canadian physicist was out.
I received a few more e-mails with a few more pathetic attempts at matching me up with my soul mate, but I definitely got the impression that they considered me a hopeless case. Finally, they just gave up on me.
I am back to my original position on the likelihood of ever meeting my soul mate, that there is someone for everyone - except me. That's my personality theory and I'm sticking to it.