A few months ago—before the shelter in place started, but not long before—I started watching The Expanse. This is an adaptation of the science fiction book series of the same name; the first season (mostly) follows the plot of the first book, Leviathan Wakes, which I read last year during my recovery from The Event. I say it “mostly” follows the plot of Leviathan Wakes because it includes characters and subplots I’ve never seen before, which is what’s making me a little reluctant to watch too much of the series just yet, because …
When adaptations are involved, I usually try to read the book before watching the adaptation, so that I can properly position the adaptation somewhere on “the book was better”* spectrum. (By this measure, The Expanse is pretty good.)
But I digress, because this is not a “Not A Review” of The Expanse. This is a closer look at one particular scene of one particular episode. In this episode, one of the main characters, a detective who lives in the interior of the asteroid Ceres, is trying to track down the whereabouts of a missing heiress named Julie. As part of his effort, he has gotten into her profile on what appears to be the outer space equivalent of Tinder, or whatever it is that folks in the dating pool use these days, and spends some time swiping left** on her potential matches. For instance, this fellow:
Now, being the sort of person who routinely pauses movies and shows when they purport to show programming code or commands so that I can go up and inspect it on-screen, I of course had to pause The Expanse and go read the details of the dating profiles. This was not easy. The text is small, and try as I might, I couldn’t capture an image where it was readable on the computer. But I could read it off the television, just barely.
MY SELF SUMMARY
I’m a born and bred native Seattle guy who lived an Arizona (something something something) I missed the changing seasons and the Pacific Northwest.
I find great satisfaction from the most ordinary things: (something something) each other on the deck in the quite early morning … good (something) brisk walk with the dog … and having great conversations in (something something) going and try to remember to have a positive outlook whatever (something something) it’s almost always possible.
I feel fortunate every day … and nicely seasoned by life’s (something something) wrinkles, though I (something) laugh crinkles.
In between speculating, swimming with the dolphins, and transcribing ancient scrolls in my spare time, I’ve been logging a lot of hours in my beloved profession lately with the goal of actually (something something something) someday and (something something) being able to afford both protein and (something).
LOOKING FOR LOVE
Recently read books include Lonesome Dove and Water for Elephants and (something something something).
My next big adventure? Portland food trucks!
I spend a lot of time thinking about
After that the text is even harder to read than it is up at the top, but you get the idea. For someone who presumably—like the missing Julie, and like the detective trying to find her—lives underground on an asteroid, Mr. Luv 4 Eva With U has a deck, seems to spend a lot of time in the Washington and Oregon region, swimming with dolphins, reading books that at the time the series takes place must be at least three hundred years old, and, if he works up the nerve, eating at Portland food trucks. Oh, and also, a lot of time thinking about … nothing? Hmm. This all makes him seem like he may have wandered in from this series:
But what’s a more likely dating profile for a “Belter” (the term in The Expanse for a native of the Solar System’s asteroid belt)? Let’s see what we can come up with.
MY SELF SUMMARY
I live in the tunnels on Ceres in an apartment about the size of a closet. This is inconvenient because the lack of gravity has made me very tall, so I bump my head a lot. When you see me, I may be wearing a padded hat. I have never seen the seasons and have never met a dog in person, although I’ve heard that they exist.
It’s almost always possible to have a positive outlook, except when water is being rationed or the air scrubbers have gotten clogged. Water is rationed and the air scrubbers are clogged nearly all the time.
LOOKING FOR LOVE
I’m too busy hustling to survive in this crapsack dystopia to read books much. But I watch a lot of videos. The last one I saw was some guy named Holden broadcasting about a conspiracy he had uncovered. It made me mad so I set some stuff on fire.
There are food trucks all over the place on Ceres. My next big adventure: Food that doesn’t come from a food truck.
I spend a lot of time thinking about being able to take a long shower and drink all the water I want.
There are a bunch more dating profiles that whisk by over the course of 15 seconds or so in The Expanse. I can sort of read them, but to be honest, trying to transcribe them just gives me a headache. Maybe someone with sharper eyes (or a sharper screen) than mine would like to give it a go …
Oh, I almost forgot! We have to include Julie’s profile. After all, she’s the one all these fellows are responding to, is she not?
MY SELF SUMMARY
“I don’t think it matters what we do on a first date and I am a big fan of simplicity, so a coffee and walk would be just fine.”
This is just one example of a profile that will stand out as different and arguably better than most other pages written by guys on the online dating sites. It has a strong unique beginning, interesting content, and a few questions at the end to help a woman start a response.
100% Italian, fun-loving, affectionate young lady who knows what it takes to make a relationship work. Tired of meeting BOYS who tell me what I want to hear, make and break promises, and aren’t ready for something serious. (This woman is voicing her opinion and shows her personality early on. Great move!)
LOOKING FOR LOVE
You: Modest, mature, exceptionally articulate, financially secure (“financially secure” is a bad move in a dating profile because it’s an immediate red flag to a guy that he might be dealing with a manipulative woman), knows how to treat a lady, ready for a long-term relationship (this would sound a bit too eager, even desperate, to most guys; first meet a guy, then decide what you want out of him please!), you mean what you say and say what you mean (that’s a good statement!).
I live on the East Coast and travel West every week for work. Living in California by myself four days a week gets lonely (this would make the reader believe that she’s not looking for anyone special but just someone to fill time with and (something something).)
I am looking for someone in this area to see what happens. Relocating for the right person is definitely an option. First date—not sure!
I am willing to entertain any reasonable offer 🙂 (Great (something) statement that shows personality and a sense of humor—you should have (something something) throughout her profile.
Wow, that’s quite the combination of boilerplate, kinda-sexist editorializing, you-go-girl cheerleading by … something? The fairy godmother of the dating service, perhaps? … and used-car sales pitch.
Must be a hell of a commute from Ceres to California every week though. No wonder she’s willing to relocate.
* This is usually, but not always, the case. Examples of movies I thought were as good as or better than the book include Jaws (of course), Watchmen (don’t tell Alan Moore), Ready Player One, and Stardust (not better, but different, and just as good). Of course, for every one of those, you have five or six dreadful pieces of crap like The Golden Compass.