Finding love apparently involves math. This is probably why I’m single.
According to OkCupid, the dating site I joined out of desperation and feel sort of embarrassed about discussing here although that is not stopping me which just goes to show that I apparently have no filter when it comes to airing my dirty laundry on the interweb, I am highly compatible with Rachel, the girl with questionable morals who robbed me of the opportunity to ditch her by dumping me first.
It seems I am a 91 percent match with a philanderer who has a penchant for popping pills and irresponsibly swilling the sauce. Very high five.
Also? She doesn’t even have cats, you guys.
OkCupid boasts a powerful method for matching users based on a series of questions and complex algorithms. I would go into more detail, but I have no idea what an algorithm is because I quit arithmetic after Algebra II in high school and went on to major in journalism in college, which required me to take only one statistics class and it was taught by a very pregnant professor who spent most of the semester having us calculate the probability of her first baby being born a boy.
As usual, when I don’t understand something, or want to know more about a topic, or upon reading about an incurable respiratory disease in an obituary at work and then feeling a little feverish become concerned I’ve contracted an illness whose only known treatment is a lung transplant (Hi, Hamman-Rich Syndrome), I turn to Wikipedia. Because Wikipedia is wise. And worldly. And completely written by anonymous web collaborators with no formal training known as Wikipedians. That’s how I know it’s all true. It’s basically the tribal elder of the 21st century. That’s probably why it’s name sounds vaguely Native American. This is all covered more in-depth by Kevin Costner in “Dances with Wolves.”
Wikipedia tells me there’s something called a Big O notation in the analysis of algorithms. And that’s where my research started and stopped, because a Big O is exactly what I’m looking for.
Although at this point I’d settle for a Small O. Or a Fair-to-Middling O. Or a mildly attractive woman with a subscription to O magazine who wants to snuggle with me and my cats and gush about how insanely adorable Nate Berkus is.
I concede that I’ve clearly underestimated math’s powers. Maybe I’ve been wrong about math all along. I mean, *obviously*, I’ve been wrong about math all along. I’m working with sixth-grade skills at best. I just never factored in an O of any kind into my equation. Because I don’t know how to factor equations.
But then I started to wonder why algorithms add up – or divide or carry the one or whatever algorithms do – to Rachel being 91 percent perfect for me. I thought I’d better take a closer look at my online profile to figure out where I’d gone amiss. Or rather, not gone amiss, as the case may be.
Then I noticed this:
Apparently algorithms think I’m a 97 percent match for myself.
I may totally suck at math, but even I know that just doesn’t compute, because I am *totally* not my type. Long red hair? Glasses? Radiant personality? No thank you.
Because when I was a kid, I was obsessed with “The Sound of Music” and watched our video taped from TV on a constant loop until it wore out in certain spots and now as an adult – who’s maybe listening and humming along to the movie in the background as I type this – base all my opinions of beauty and elegance and the effectiveness of training children with shiny dog whistles on the way a blond-haired, blue-eyed, nun-to-be Julie Andrews acted on the silver screen in 1965.
Try as I might, I just can’t seem to von Trapp a lady like that.
So I’m left to perpetually ponder: How do you solve a problem like Maria?
And did the sisters at the abbey try algorithms?