To give you an idea (in case you've never been through this whole process yourself), I've decided to summarize some real ads I saw in each stage of my life that Facebook has had a window into.
So, here's what adds look like when you are a single guy:
- "Hot Christian Singles! — oops. I guess I missed the memo.
- "Best Clubs and Bars In Columbus For Meeting Women" — if I'm single, then clearly what I'm most interested in is going out to bars and clubs. If I recall, when I was single, I felt lonely and out of place in clubs and bars with lots of attractive women: it was never my definition of a fun time. There were too many beautiful women, and none of them ever wanted to talk to me.
- "Learn To Dance: Impress The Ladies!" — okay, so in case you decide to go out to the club, you should be aware that Facebook already knows you only know the "Stupid White Boy Dance," that your last attempt at dancing was to Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again," and that it was just as pretty as it sounds. You are a basket case in the club, man: get that fixed so you can get some.
- "Guaranteed Pickup Lines!" — this made me wonder: what precisely is the guarantee? If it doesn't work, do they get you a hooker? Can I ask for my compensation in cash instead of herpes?
Here's what they look like when you are a guy in a relationship:
- "Panty-Of-The-Month Club" — because being in a relationship is all about the lacy things - this advert suggested that you "check her size" prior to ordering via a brief panty raid.
- "Engagement Rings: Buy The Right One The First Time From Our Extensive Online Selection!" — you know, the best place to get a diamond is some online Facebook advert, where you never get to see the diamond until it shows up on your doorstep. "Honest, honey: I thought 'CZ' meant it was mined in the Czech Republic!"
- "Buy Her A Diamond: That'll Finally Shut Her Up!" — because if you ask her to marry you, she'll never talk to you again. Seriously? Let's put aside the blatant sexism for just a moment and ask a logical question of an illogical statement: if you had a girlfriend you wanted to "shut up," why would you want to marry her? Unless, of course, this was a new take on the old "diamonds are forever" DeBeers slogan: "Diamonds: they get you a blowjob." Let me go plunk down two months' salary for that.
If you are an engaged guy, it's all about spending lots of money:
- "Find the Perfect Wedding Site!" — this had a picture with a bride and groom in front of the Washington Monument. I just didn't get it. But hey, renting out the Washington Monument is a great way to help dig the country out of debt, one over-spending couple at a time!
- "Best Officiant Rates: $400 and up!" — man, we stiffed Seamus. I think they meant "$400 and under," but I didn't bother to click on the link to find out more.
- "Ten Things You Must Have For Your Wedding!" — because no wedding is complete without $300 centerpieces, a horse-and-carriage, and platinum rings. "October is the new June," don't you know.
- "Surprise Her On That Special Night!" — call me "vanilla," but I like to think that surprises should be "out of the way" before the wedding night. This was advertising lingerie, and since Facebook knows I'm male, I wonder if it was suggesting I buy it for her, or I buy it to wear for her. . . I can tell you, that's a surprise that needs to be brought up before the vows are taken.
- "Bridal Flowers and Boutineers: Best Prices On Exotic And Erotic Flowers Anywhere!" — when I think about the flowers I want at my wedding, I always think, "What's the most erotic thing I can put on my new father-in-law's lapel?"
- "Best Best Man Toasts" — because I can't trust the lovely lady I picked as my best man to figure it out for herself, I should buy one of theirs! Alternatively, they may also expect me, as the groom, to toast myself with my newly-purchased toast. . . talk about gauche.
- "Lindsay Madden Photography: New York Wedding Photographer Available For Service World-Wide!" — because my budget surely included flying the photographer, putting her up in a hotel, feeding her for the weekend, and transporting her around Columbus. Yep.
If you are a married man, suddenly the cheery, optomistic tone that once was shifts dramatically:
- "Your Marriage Savior: Save your marriage, stop your divorce and re-ignite true passion!" — Because two months is more than enough to start the downward spiral. This one has seriously been the most often displayed ad on my Facebook since we updated our status to "married."
- "Meet Mature Single Women!" — because if you're married, you must be looking for something better
- "3 Foods Never To Eat!" — Because "married" = "fat"
- "Infertility Center of Saint Louis" — Because if I didn't start the marriage with kids, I'll never be able to have them without intervention
So, as long as you're not married, it's all trying to get laid and panty raids and expensive-yet-unseen diamonds, along with a healthy dose of misogyny. Once you get married, though, look out: it's all about keeping your life from falling apart, cheating on your spouse with desperate older women, worrying about how you'll never fit in a bathing suit again, and ensuring your genetic fitness through the miracle of birth-through-science.
I'm so happy that Facebook tells us how to feel about ourselves!
Also: Cheers to my two-month anniversary with a beautiful bride!