The incredible (and true) story of Whitey McBrother

By Mir
June 8, 2006

As I mentioned in passing in this post, in the midst of the UNBRIDLED JOY of having a private pond right here in the house for my convenience, geeFlarmony got off its collective ass and sent me a match.

A match with a man who didn’t know if he was black or white, in fact. And so he was dubbed Whitey McBrother, based upon his picture (white) and his statistics (black).

And I knew, pretty much right from that fateful start with his conflicted self, that this wasn’t going to go anywhere. I probably should’ve just closed the match and moved on. But I was in need of some distraction. And some blog fodder. So… I proceeded with the match.

Buckle up, my darlings.

If you’re unfamiliar with how geeFlarmony works, you have to understand that it’s not like your typical dating site where Person1 sees Person2 and says, “Hey baby!” and you see where it goes from there. Oh no. They take you through “guided communication” so as to keep the number of people who end up out on dates with utter loons (and who subsequently decide to sue the service) to a minimum. Guided Communication is the grown-up version of Mother May I, only even less fun than when we were kids. (Seriously, wasn’t that like the least enjoyable game ever? Why play that instead of Red Light, Green Light? Or Red Rover, Red Rover? Apparently all the best children’s playground games involve some repetition.)

So. We both got the email saying we’d been matched, and we both got some cursory information on the other person. In his case, a photo was also displayed. My settings are such that people can’t see my picture until we’ve been through the guided process (tuck that tidbit away for later). After this initial stage, you move on to multiple-choice questions.

Yes. That’s right. Multiple-choice questions. There’s a list of questions from which you can choose five, I think, to send to the other person. And then they can choose from the offered answers. It’s an innocuous enough little exercise; you can’t really expect to know a person until you know whether they’d spend their evening at home 1) watching TV, 2) reading, 3) cleaning, or 4) talking on the phone. I base all of my important relationship assessments upon this sort of information.

Anyway, we got through the first step just fine. Whitey sent me some questions, I answered them. I sent him some questions, he answered them. Nothing to write home about. Ding! First Questions round completed!

Next is a sharing of “must have” and “can’t stand” items. These are things the user has chosen as part of the gazillion page profiling process. Again, geeFlarmony offers lists of items from which to choose. You get to have 10 must-have and 10 can’t-stand items, with the master list offering just about anything you might imagine a person would find important when approaching a relationship. This is a better chance, I think, to learn about what really makes the other person tick.

Me, I’ve got things like “spiritual acceptance” and “sense of humor” on my list of must-haves. Amongst the can’t-stands I have things like “poor hygiene” and “racist attitude.” (The irony of my prior selection of the “racist” choice was not lost on me as I forwarded my preferences to Whitey.) I sent my lists along, and his arrived in return.

Aaaaaaand that was when the fun began.

On his list of must-haves, he included this gem:

I must have a partner who is considered “very attractive” by most current standards.

Whitey, Whitey, Whitey.

I’ve mentioned here before that I am immediately put off by someone who makes physical appearance a priority. I just… don’t get it. Attraction happens in the brain. If you HAVE a brain, I think there’s no greater turn-on than ANOTHER FUNCTIONING BRAIN, regardless of the skull it resides in. Not that I don’t appreciate Johnny Depp as much as the next red-blooded female, you understand. But in general I care a lot more about what comes out of your mouth than what your mouth looks like.

So that was a problem.

Furthermore, at this point? I’ve seen his picture. And I guess that shallow is shallow is shallow, but if Whitey was a Johnny Depp lookalike I could maybe let it slide, just a little, that he wants someone who is smoking hot in kind. It’s not an excuse, but I guess I could tolerate it just a bit better.

Let’s just say that Whitey should not be asking for hot. Whitey should be grateful for what he gets. Ahem.

I keep reading, and I come across another gem:

I must have someone who is willing to explore our sexual desires with passion and understanding.

For the record, I don’t necessarily think this is a bad goal in a relationship (although I do think geeFlarmony’s wording is… awkward and weird). But to list it as a must-have right off the bat, particularly when there are a plethora of choices on the list which mean nearly the same thing but are less… well… hoochie-sounding… I wasn’t impressed.

But suddenly it was all clear. Whitey is looking for a bombshell fuckbuddy. And geeFlarmony sent him ME.


Oh, and there was one more great little bit. His career is listed as being in mental health. And on his list of can’t stands? People who are depressed.

At this point, I’m thinking that our pal Whitey is an enigma, wrapped up in AN ASSHOLE.

But Whitey was moving onward. Ding! End of the list-sharing round. On to Second Questions round, where you still select questions from a list, but the respondent gets to type in an answer rather than choose from predetermined choices. He immediately sent me three questions.

It was here that I made my critical error. I already knew it was game over, and the only thing keeping me from closing the match was my morbid curiosity about the picture/ethnicity discrepancy. I HAD TO ASK. And I figured I wouldn’t get a straight answer unless I appeared to be answering his questions in good faith. So when I sat down to “Describe an interest you have that you would truly hope your partner could share with you,” I answered honestly, though very briefly (so as to allow me space within the word limit to ask about his picture and give him a piece of my mind).

After my response to the question, I had enough room left over to add:

(This is unrelated but I have two things I must say: One, are you aware that you have a photo in which you certainly appear to be white, but your ethnicity is listed as African-American? Much cognitive dissonance happening over here. Two, I very nearly closed this match due to your “highly attractive” must-have. Not because I’m not (I mean, I seem to do okay), but I find that incredibly shallow. I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, but that’s where I’m at.)

I then proceeded to answer the other two questions and send off my answers. Though I fully expected him to close the match upon reading my needling.

Had I played this correctly, in response to “Describe an interest you have that you would truly hope your partner could share with you,” I would’ve spun a fine tale. “I find embalming very relaxing, and wish more people understood why it’s really a forgotten art.” Or “I believe in expressing my affection for my partner through ritual animal sacrifice.” Something like that.

Whitey didn’t respond quite as quickly, this time. But he did write back. He copied my tactic of using extra space in the question fields to go off-topic and address my concerns:

Thank you for pointing of the Africian American error I have corrected it and not sure how that happened. As far as handsome I put that down because thats what I hear and what people tell me. I am modest however and usually do not make things into a big deal.

Holy sloppy writing, Batman! From what I was able to decipher, here’s what I gathered:
1) He’s a moron.
2) Who said anything about handsome?
3) See 1.

Okay! But there was more, of course, because I’d sent him 3 questions, you see. One of the available questions is “What do you find physically attractive?” Normally I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass about what a potential mate finds physically attractive, and I certainly don’t care what Whitey finds attractive, but given his preference for A HOT MAMA I figured I’d ask.

I’ll let him speak for himself. It’s too good to paraphrase:

What I find physicallt attractive is a womans personality, its like you can’t judge a book by its cover. You have to look inside to see the real story. From there you know whether this person could be right for you. Physical attraction for me is, whether or person has a good sense of humor, is confident about themselves, is independent and can do things on their own, a person who is caring and warm and knows how to express those feelings and is not afraid to do so no matter who is around. The physical looks are just the icing on the cake. By the way do you have a picture of yourself you could share with me, I have not seen one, thank you

I think I peed myself. Allow me to paraphrase: Oh, really, what matters is what’s on the inside, like how on the inside I never made it past 3rd grade English. Looks are unimportant. Pinky swear. Um, can I see a picture of you?

Godspeed, Whitey. I’m sure there’s someone out there for you. As for me, I’d rather have a dozen cats. And I say that as someone who is allergic to cats. So. Um. Good luck!


  1. Cele

    Gosh I wish I’d open the comment section earlier, because I had comments. But what a third grade idiot…”oh oh oh” in my best Horshack impersonation… Maybe Geefartome has a board who just writes perverse answers and more perverse questions when they can’t find some one to match and don’t want to be sued for false advertising.

    I remember watching Adverage Joe where they tried to match Adam the wealthy shallow idiot with someone from Geefartonme, his decision was based totally on looks….for the entire show. I quit watching.

    Mir you will do much better on your own. But maybe we should make of list of places to avoid? hmmm?

  2. Marvo

    Wait. A person has to go through ALL of that just to get a date. Geez, I think it would be easier to pick up the local white pages, close your eyes, flip through the pages, and place your finger on a random phone number to get a date.

  3. Melissa

    I don’t know if I would have enough patience to go thru all that for a date. And NOT for Whitey McBrother. Jerk.

  4. Jenn

    This is how geeFlarmony matches people on their 29 levels of compatibility? Multiple choice answers?

    A partner who is attractive by current standards? Why not a partner who is attractive in, say, pioneer America standards, or Victorian England standards?

  5. Jen

    HA!! Mental health indeed. Physician, heal thyself.

  6. Bob

    Ready to give the disco another try?

  7. chris

    is one of your must haves a man who has a grasp of grammar?
    and I’ll say it again… where are all the good normal men?

  8. tori

    I’m so sad! I was hoping Whitey was going to turn out to be a great guy, just misunderstood. I had such high hopes for his story! I feel so let down…and I am not even the one trying (or not trying) to be set up with him!

  9. Peek

    Sounds like a name change is in order…. Whitey McStupid. Mind you, not that all of us out here don’t want you to find someone wonderful, but we do enjoy these stories.

    You certainly do have expectations, you want him to be literate too. Sheesh.

  10. Ashley

    Oh, you are too funny! I just wrote about my adventures at a standard dating site. I am so with you, sister! I have a better shot at picking up a guy at the deli counter in the local market. It blows my mind how many of them can’t write The King’s English! I have become an on-line dating snob.
    So, do you recommend eHarmony? It seemed like a whole lot of money for not much gain.

  11. Katie

    Spellccheck people! Grrr… I agree, Whitey is definitely a PASS!

  12. Katie

    And then my keyboard screws me over on my rant about spelling. I think I’ll go back to bed now.

  13. Kris

    Mir, you PAY them for this? No freakin’ way. I mean – I attract enough freaks in real life as it is. I don’t have to pay anybody to hook me up with freaks. LOL!

  14. alice

    Oh, Whitey. I seriously don’t understand what elSmarmery thought would be compatible between you two. Beyond his reluctance to review his writing for errors, beyond his inability to answer the questions you asked, there just doesn’t seem to be much there there.

    Sigh. My father and stepmother met through the paper personals ~11 years ago, and that’s always made me more of a believer in the idea of personals than most folks. However, when the ‘guided personals experience’ turns out to be something like this, I’m wondering what’s happened to this seemingly simple framework. They’re seriously twisted if this is the best match they can find for you. (But you knew you were too cool for them already.)

  15. Aimee

    HA! Oh no, Whitey. Just no. I will say, though, that nothing makes me laugh harder than people who are as sublimely un-self-aware as dear Whitey seems to be. That is high comedy.

  16. jonniker

    I truly admire your restraint in not telling him, in completely esoteric terms and obscure words so as to stump his twee little brain, exactly what kind of assmunch he is.

  17. Katie

    Oh Mir, the whole internet dating is crazy. I’ve posted to you before regarding my experiences on M* It never fails, the guys always want to see the picture early on. As for Whitey, well he seems like a moron. And you’d be better off with cats if that’s the kind of matches they send you.
    My mom divorced when my brother and I were young. Her solution (before the internet and internet dating were popular) was to go to a “parents without partners” gathering. It sounds as screwy now as it did then. I’m guessing that the place was full of Whitey’s.

    Good luck!

  18. diane

    Mir, do me a favor and buy a book by the name of “Turn Your Cablight On.”
    I am not usually one to recommend or even pick up dating books, but this one was given to me by a friend and it actually…WORKED. You can take it all with a grain of salt but the basic advice, I think, is very common sense. i.e., making yourself open to the right kind of person will attract the right kind of person.
    After reading the book I started on its “program” & within 2 weeks met the guy (at a coffeeshop) I’ve now been with for almost 3 months. Prior to reading the book, I would never have talked to him. He was wearing Northface gear from head to toe & was bald, and my former snobby self would have nothing to do with bald men.
    Hey, guess what? He’s one of the sweetest, most caring people I’ve met, and smart as can be.
    Buy. This. Book. You deserve better. Or e-mail me your P.O. Box & I’ll send you the book. Seriously!

  19. Amy-Go

    I’m sorry, I have to go get down on my knees and thank God profusely for introducing me to my husband when I was 17. I’ve never really been “out there” and I couldn’t be more grateful. Poor, poor Mir. You’re right, being the crazy cat lady would be better!

  20. Karen Rani

    You GOTTA go out with him. Just once. For the LOVE OF BLOGGING!

  21. Jenn2

    All I can say is thank God the pregnancy has already made me incontinent and I was well prepared to read your blog. I would have left a puddle!!!

    And for the record, it’s always the not-so-hot guys who expect a smokin’ hot chickie on their arm. Men never look in the mirror and say, “Woof. I need to workout, get my hair cut, buy some skin care products, etc.” Unless they’re playin’ for the other team.

  22. Gillian

    I think you could dig a bit more information from this paragraph.
    ‘is independent and can do things on their own…’ = You will provide financial support and not expect help around the house.
    ‘…knows how to express those feelings and is not afraid to do so no matter who is around’ = You are amenable to threesomes and small affectionate groups.

    Whitey is definitely a coal mine with a ‘Diamond Mine’ sign posted at the entrance.

  23. dad

    Karen R’s suggestion is not well founded. You seem to have plenty of blogterial without having to subject yourself to dating weirdos. He should use some his mental health experience to get in touch with his “non-cretin” side and you should use your writing experience to continue to make good people all over this great country snort coffee out their noses and pee in pants.

  24. InterstellarLass

    Having done the online dating thing myself, I can commiserate with you. geeFlarmony wasn’t what I used, but I have friends who’ve used it and they think it’s a pain. Computers can’t match you based on anything. The matches that work are the people that actually used the internet honestly, didn’t try to make themselves out to be something they weren’t, and were truly looking for someone. The rest are just creepy bozos.

  25. Kestralyn

    Y’know, Stephen Colbert is looking for a new black friend — maybe we should send Whitey McBrother his way! Stephen would eat him alive!

  26. Laura

    Oh, my. I feel for you. I can’t believe they thought a good match for a writer was a shallow, mostly illiterate nimcompoop.
    I have just now decided to take up a life of celibacy if my husband ever leaves me. The whole “mid-life dating scene” is just too much. (Besides, that’s what vibrators are for.And they don’t ever steal the covers or leave dirty socks on the table.)

  27. Snow

    Oh, Mir. Thank you. You have made me laugh when the dark curtain of PMS has been pulled over my universe, and that is indeed an exceedingly rare thing.

  28. shannon

    tee to the hee. poor whitey mcwhiterson. such a dolt and he’s oblivious to it all…

    thanks for giving me a giggle!

  29. Susan

    I think Whitey should get a blog. I find his writing quite compelling.

    Okay, no. But funny! And not in a good way.

  30. sumo

    Wow. I really hope you stick with geeFlarmony because it is comedy gold!

  31. Mary

    *I’d* rather you have a dozen cats, too! I know you deserve better than that brain dead nut job. I wish I lived closer; I’d love to play matchmaker!

    In the meantime, I’m rooting for you. Hope gFlarmony starts working out.

  32. Stefania Pomponi Butler/CityMama

    I agree with those above who think you should have gone on at least one date with Whitey…for the sake of the blog, of course. If this is his, uh, “approach” on eHarmony, I shudder to think how his interactions must be on other dating sites without all these “safety nets”…cuz you know he’s on ALL of them. Laughing into my coffee. Love starting my day out like this!

  33. Dawn

    Too funny! Except not, because this echos my dating site experiences. In just over a year, I was contacted by about a dozen men, several of whom could give Whitey a run for his money in the moron race.

    I actually met 4 of them and they were all odd in one way or another. One was just terminally boring; another’s last words to me on Christmas Eve 2005 were, “I’ll call you tomorrow.” (after three weeks of actually speaking to each other daily on the phone so I kind of believed him); another thought seeing me when he was in my town, whilst and at the same time having someone he sees “fairly regularly” in his hometown would be acceptable; and, the last ended it because his 26-YEAR OLD SON wasn’t ready to see dad date. Where are all the normal men? Seriously…

    Are we having fun yet?

  34. s@bd

    Get more matches! This is hysterical shit!!

    I mean … ahem … sorry about that pathetic match. I’m sure the right one is out there somewhere.

  35. the Mater

    ROTFLMAO Oh, you really fell for Mr. Touchy Feely’s pitch on TV too?! He just looks like someone’s kind old sugar daddy, doesn’t he? BEWARE!

    I took the plunge. And I was doing it from an older generation. I can tell you now: a) after a few hits, I had the entire multiple-choice section memorized b) older men are just as egotistical and illiterate as their younger counterparts c) the misspellings and misuse of grammar DROVE ME MAD!

    Over a year’s worth of geeFlarmony propaganda and I had one date – who turned out to be a con artist!

    I’d like to meet the TV pitchman so I could twist his knickers! The guy’s making millions …

    Join a book club or a community theatre – much better use of your brilliant, interesting and charming self!

    Too bad we can’t write off the money we squandered as a tax deduction!

  36. Ms. Cornelius

    FertheloveofMike, you have to do this again–

    Oh, sorry Selfish Minime took over there.

    Seriusly, that was whacko. This is why I will nevah date again. Should the Hub ever kick it, I will be alone with my books forevah.

    But you really turned a sow’s ear into a purse, there, though, so must give you loads of credit. I needed that laugh.

  37. Shiz

    He. Is. Stupid.


  38. Shiz

    PS – I think you should alsom try a non-geeFlarmony site, for some balance.

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