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E-Harmonize Somewhere Else
March 21, 2014 - Diane Laney Fitzpatrick
I probably have no business broaching this subject, since the last "first date" I was on was with a veterinarian in Coshocton, Ohio, in 1981. We went to a movie (On Golden Pond, I think) and then to eat (at a diner-type restaurant, where I got a tuna melt and fries, I think). So take my dating perspective with a grain of salt (Oh, yeah, I think the vet and I went out for margaritas, too). But that eHarmony guy has got. To. Go.
I'm all for the founders of companies being the on-air personality if they want to. I'm still upset with Men's Wearhouse over the ouster of George "I Gahrrantee It" Zimmer. His voice was that store. We walked into a restaurant once and heard his voice, and without even seeing his face, my husband turned to me and said, "That's the Men's Wearhouse guy." How many suit retailers can have their spokesman recognized by the blind? Yet he got canned as the face and voice of the company. While that's wrong, Neil Clark "Fall in Love For All the Right Reasons" Warren, founder of eHarmony has got. To. Go.
The guy's 78. The Mr. Rogers sweaters, the preacher's hair, the patient smile, none of it says, "I can hook you up." The nail in his coffin (oops) though, is the current TV commercial with a little girl with an adorable and/or obnoxious speech impediment and a Shirley Temple pout. She's telling her grandfather, who just happens to be the founder of the once-Christian online dating site, about her teacher who found a girlfriend on a different dating site. When she says the words "hot babes" and "dot com" a thousand needles go sticking into my ears.
I'm not a big fan of child actors, unless they're really, really bad. The kids who are decent actors are like tiny old people. They are inappropriately articulate and watching them is like looking at one of those soft-touch photos of little kids dressed in adult-sized tuxedos, top hats and 1920-style dresses. Just something not right about it. There are exceptions but Dakota Fanning isn't one of them. Even if she was playing a mentally challenged homeless kid, she was the most sophisticated actor on the screen. Just not right.
But back to this other child actor in the eHarmony commercial. I've got some questions for her teacher, like, Why does this little girl know the details of your new girlfriend, including where exactly on the Internet you found her? Were you taunting her with the fact that you found love and happiness on her grandpa's competitor? Or did you make the announcement to the whole class during Social Studies? The whole thing is a visit to the principal's office - with Benson and Stabler hovering in the corner - waiting to happen. Let's get that scene in the commercial, too. Neil Clark Warren is already in full-on Creepy, entering Dirty Old Man Who Insists on Sitting Between the Couple He Just Set Up. Add a classroom full of pigtails and cowlicks and dating as we know it will come to a halt.
To my single friends who are finding dates on eHarmony, hey, you do whatever it takes. I have no problem with the concept of Internet dating. It beats constantly looking around for potential mates when you're at work, school, church, shopping, parties, bars, and your kids' soccer games. Online dating sites compartmentalize that aspect of your life and prevent the constant trolling and flirting that make us seem so desperate.
But you're enabling Neil Clark Warren and his string of bad choices in advertising if you stick with eHarmony. Maybe try Match.com. I heard there's this teacher who found the love of his life over there.
Diane Laney Fitzpatrick is the author of "Home Sweet Homes: How Bundt Cakes, Bubble Wrap, and My Accent Helped Me Survive Nine Moves." Her "Just Humor Me" column runs here on her website at www.DianeLaneyFitzpatrick.com.
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