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It Was Love --or Rather, Obsession--at First Site

April 05, 2001|CHRISTINE FREY |

It was vanity at its worst.

Only a few hours after posting my photograph on, I returned to the site for the third time in a single night to check my rating.

With each visit, it had increased by one-tenth of a point--7.3, 7.4, 7.5--and I hoped the trend would continue.

I didn't really expect to be told that I was hot. I subjected myself to the scrutiny of strangers purely as a journalistic experiment, not to affirm--or disabuse--my notions about my looks. But after checking out the competition--from the badly bleached and too tanned to the shirtless sprouting chest hair--I knew I couldn't be just a solid 7.

I was better looking than that.

"Cute girl, great smile, low ratings," one man wrote me. "You deserve a 10."

I couldn't have agreed with him more.

Within the first day of posting my picture, I received a half-dozen messages from men who thought they saw something special in my smile. Personally, I think it was just the alcohol from the birthday party where the photograph was taken.

Most were simply bad pickup lines, encouraging me to contact the sender. One example: "I'm not sure, but I think I have seen you in Oklahoma. Just let me know if you are from there."

I'm not.

While such flirtations--as pathetic as they might be--were flattering at first, they quickly lost their charm once I discovered who sent them. One admirer was my father's age. Worse, his rating was a full point higher than mine. To make things even, I rated his photograph--and gave him a 1.

Some visitors to the site apparently decided to do the same to me. After I received 300 votes, my 7.5 fell--7.4, 7.3, 7.2--and I repeatedly returned to the site to check my score, hoping that this trend would not continue. At 312 votes, my rating leveled off.

I was a solid 7.

But I knew I was better looking than that. I picked another site and posted my photograph again.

It was vanity at its worst.


Christine Frey is a freelance writer.

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