Day 78: my OKCupid profile


I am an ambiguous figure. I am not being evasive. That’s a statement of plain fact.

What I’m Doing With My Life

Mostly blogging in an effort to distract from the gnawing emptiness in my soul. Also have sorted out sock drawer in manner described by Marie Kondo, who says that if you ball your socks up they “are always in a state of tension.” Enough people are already aggravated with me, I don’t want to annoy my socks on top of everything else.

I’m Really Good At

Hiding in plain sight; slicing bread; making my psychiatrist laugh; finding valuable objects on the ground (so far I’ve found—on three separate occasions—two $100 dollar bills, and one Macbook Air. I kept the cash but not the Macbook Air) .

The First Things People Notice

The first thing they notice is either that I am a duck or that I am a rabbit. Depending on which of these they notice first, the second thing they notice is either that I am a rabbit or that I am a duck. The third thing they notice is that I bear an uncanny resemblance to the seventeenth-century poet John Milton. The fourth thing they notice is that I am either Australian or South African. The fifth thing they notice is that I become tetchy when my accent is mis-identified.

Favorite books, movies, music, shows, food

Book: reading’s not really my bag

Movie: Back To the Future

Music: “Medical Jones.” It’s an original song by my daughter about this cat. The cat’s name is “Medical Jones.” Honestly, once it’s in your head, you cannot stop singing it! [1]

Shows: Punch and Judy

Food: gluten

The Six Things I Could Never Do Without

Hmm. I’m trying to remember what a “Thing” is. Is it an object that only becomes visible when it’s dysfunctional? Like a dirty window? Let’s say that’s one then. What else. A sieve without any holes? No … wait, that would just be a bowl, wouldn’t it? Don’t count that one. Huh. This is way harder than I thought it was going to be. Let me approach this another way: the six things from eighteenth-century literature that I could never do without! Robinson Crusoe’s earthenware pot! Sophia’s muff! Pamela’s round-eared cap! The rock that Samuel Johnson kicked to refute Bishop Berkeley! Belinda’s deadly bodkin! And, last but not least, the enormous helmet that crushes Conrad in The Castle of Otranto! Hurrah!

I Spend A Lot Of Time Thinking About

… what it would feel like to be dashed to pieces by an enormous helmet; whether I am a “new spinster” or just an old spinster.

Typical Friday Night

Babysitting for my husband while he’s out on the town.

Most Private Thing I’m Willing to Admit

My PhD is actually from the University of Phoenix, not Harvard.

Message Me If

You have the answer to these three riddles:

What is born each night and dies each dawn?

What flickers red and warm like a flame, but is not fire?

What is ice which gives you fire and which your fire freezes still more?

If you would like an answer to your message, in addition please answer the following bonus riddle:

What is it that women most desire?


1853 engraving based on 1667 miniature by Faithorne

1853 engraving based on 1667 miniature by Faithorne

Oh wait, I just read OKCupid’s policy on photos. They stipulate that “you must appear in the photo!” a rule they insist upon so “that you will see real people, and they will see the real you.” I would just like to say that I think that this is a terribly misguided rule. I’m not sure I want to see real people, and I definitely don’t want them to see the real me! Not that there is a “real me”! (see David Hume, Gilbert Ryle, &c.)

Oh fine, here’s a “real” picture:

another wittgenstein duck-rabbit

Now, full disclosure: I am naked in this picture, which is against OKCupid’s profile-picture rules. But, I’d argue that it’s OK because you can’t see my torso, just my face. So I think I’m done! Now I’m just going to lie back and wait for the messages from my (few and unfit) suitors to start rolling in …


[1] I’m updating this post to include this footnote. I have this feeling that footnotes are against OKCupid policy but I’ll just have to risk it. The update is because I realized upon reflection that it was unfairly tantalizing of me to rave about this song without telling you the words so that you can sing it to yourself. The lyrics are:

Medical Jones, Medical Jones,

Medical, Medical, Medical Jones.

Medical Jones, Medical Jones,

This is the story of Medical Jones.


That’s it! It’s pretty easy to pick up. As for the tune, I’d give you the score, but unfortunately I don’t how to write music. But the beauty of this song is that it’s not really about the tune. Honestly, you can use almost any tune without any injury to the song. Enjoy!


4 thoughts on “Day 78: my OKCupid profile

    • Marissa, given that we both have awesome new haircuts (mine, frankly, is not as awesome as yours, but that cut would never work for my hair), now, in my opinion, NEITHER of us looks like John Milton. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t continue to walk around channeling the spirit of absolute self-belief that doubtless accompanied the man who decided to REWRITE THE BIBLE.

  1. martinus scriblerus says:

    Honestly, will you be more disappointed if this profile wins you suitors, or if it does not? Or like the Dane (not that one, the other one), will you regret both?

    Between the two Gawains, expect courteyse; hope for sovereyntee.

    • Well, THIS profile is not going to win me any suitors, because I only posted it here (I don’t actually have an OKCupid account, or whatever you call it), and if I call up in my mind all of this blog’s readers, I believe that my only SINGLE readers are heterosexual women. So, possibly I may win further recruits to the spinster hippy commune that SJ and Leah have been pressuring me to start (of course they would only be able to join if some terrible terrible accident were to befall their wonderful husbands …), but that’s all.

      Moving on: obviously, Hamlet is the Alpha Dane. But the first person who came to mind when you referred to “the other” Dane was Lars Von Trier. Seriously. I drew a blank on other literary Danes. Luckily, I discovered that Wikipedia has this awesome page specifically devoted to “fictional Danes,” which for some reason makes me laugh. Here it is: (N.B. one aspect I find weird about this page is that it lists SOME of but not ALL of the characters from Hamlet. Is that because the unmentioned ones are not fictional or not Danish? What about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? How can you have a page about FICTIONAL DANES and leave them out?)

      So when I perused this page of fictional Danes, I immediately realized you must be talking about Beowulf. But I don’t get the reference because (wait for it!) I have never read Beowulf. (I don’t feel TOO embarrassed to admit I haven’t read it because it’s not in my field. I do NOT not want to get into a discussion of texts I have not read in my field. Even though I have tenure now (hurrah!), I think that would be mortifying. I would slaughter all the other English professors in that game “Humiliation” that David Lodge devises in one of his novels).

      What’s funny to me now is just how strenuously I have avoided reading Beowulf. I have a feeling that it was even one of the books that was on my general exam at Harvard (Eric, do you remember?) but I definitely didn’t read it. I don’t even know what the plot is. I know only in the vaguest way that “Beowulf” is the name of a character.

      Interestingly, I think of all the people who read this, it will be Marissa, the Chicana / Chicano lit. professor who is going to be most aghast that I have not read Beowulf. If someone can convince me that it’s worth reading, I might give it a try, but, as I said, books aren’t really my bag …

      … except that I DO love Gawain! Boy, have I read Gawain (remember all those mornings of translation, Liz?). So I got your Gawain reference. “Expect courteyse; hope for sovereyntee.” Nice one, Martin!!

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