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From novels to OkCupid essays, this guy can write it all.
Right now, acclaimed novelist Dave Eggers is looking at your dating profile. And he is not impressed. Dave Eggers would not message you with a profile like that. Not a chance.
Dave Eggers, you see, is a connoisseur of digital self-presentations designed to facilitate romantic courtship. When he’s not busy farting out books with titles that would make even Godspeed You! Black Emperor cringe, Dave Eggers is counseling his fans on how to make themselves more attractive to the assorted brain-dead goons on OkCupid and Tinder.
Most recently, Dave Eggers dispensed his highly sought-after advice on the subject at a National Independent Bookstore Day event in San Francisco. He said that dating profiles ought to be specific, avoid clichés, open with a hook, and end on a zinger. And if “be less generic” seems like a pretty generic tip, then that is your failing, not Dave Eggers’. After all, Dave Eggers is married to novelist Vendela Vida, so he knows whereof he fucking speaks.
Look, are you going to sit there and tell me Dave Eggers doesn’t know how to get you laid? That’s a goddamn laugh and a half. Dave Eggers is the original pickup artist—Mystery plagiarized most of his shit from A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Dave Eggers is such a player, he’s asking some stranger to Kickstart his bankrupt publishing house a cool $750 for the chance to email with known jackass Nick Hornby, and somebody probably will.
Ultimately, Dave Eggers doesn’t care either way what profile photos you use. He’s just trying to help you out, bro. And the funny thing is, he’s too polite to tell you what’s really wrong with your profile: that “volunteering my time at the local chapter of 826 National, a nonprofit dedicated to tutoring kids in creative writing, co-founded by Dave Eggers” doesn’t appear anywhere under your “Interests.” Kind of sad that you don’t have a grasp on this basic stuff.
You barely deserve the insights of a Dave Eggers, anyway. You probably couldn’t handle his simplest articulations of the human experience. You’re basically an undateable blob, and Dave Eggers knows it. So why is he sitting there, day after day, tirelessly analyzing all the hideous flaws and faux pas that mar your profile page? Because he cares, you dumb ingrate.
That’s the kind of guy Dave Eggers is. Dave Eggers wants you all to find love, even if it costs him his own. “Come to bed, Dave Eggers,” Vendela Vida calls. “Not now,” says Dave Eggers. “Someone on eHarmony wrote that they enjoy traveling, but they didn’t say exactly where.” He sips from his glass of sparkling water and gazes out the window a moment—only briefly. The city is full of unrealized love, Dave Eggers thinks, and I’m but a single literary mage.
Ah, well. No sense being melancholy about it. The tragic dance of life and loneliness must play on, long into the night. Long after the world of Dave Eggers—the sum of those many majestic sentences—becomes the shadow of a ghost of a faded memory. But till then he shall not rest. There are tellingly bitter quips about exes. There are annoyingly coy answers to questions about sexual kinks. There is no end to this parade of imperfection.
And something must be done.
Photo via Admiral Moody/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'