Marketing companies and media conglomerates are building files on us based on our internet usage. They put us into demographics within demographics, trying to target us with the most effective, useful and influential advertisements. They’ve tracked everything I’ve ever purchased drunk, the types of videos I watch after work and the music I listen to when I’m sad. They pretty much know everything there is to know about me. If that is the case, I have a more intimate relationship with Gerald from marketing than I do with any woman I’ll ever meet.
If that is the case, I should quit all dating apps right now, stop trying to find someone to complete me and just go find Gerald out at Google Headquarters in Silicon Valley, California. I should march right into his cubicle, get down on my knees and apologize for all the time I’ve wasted dating women. It’s been him all along: this pudgy, balding, 39-year-old from Idaho. He knows my most intimate secrets. He’s seen me at my most vulnerable. No woman could ever even possibly know what he knows. Gerald is the greatest romantic partner I’ve never had.
When he is caught off guard by my sudden arrival, I’ll show him all the research I’ve done on him. I’ll give him DVD copies of all the movies he saw last summer by digging ticket stubs out of his garbage. I’ll show him all the poems I wrote emulating the styles from books he skimmed at Barnes and Noble. I’ll show him the pictures I took of him while he slept in his condo. When he takes a step back, I’ll recite to him the horoscope I read about people born in March, which will evoke great pride since he was born on March 17.
Then I’ll stand up and take Gerald’s hands, looking directly into his eyes. He’s already pressed the button for security a hundred times and we haven’t even left the first minute of our new relationship. I’ll take this pudgy, balding, 39 year-old from Idaho by the collar and tell him we’re made for each other. He’ll realize that we’re perfect for each other. He’ll realize that we have a love more intimate than Romeo and Juliet if they were superglued together. After all, we know everything there is to know about each other. He’ll abandon his wife and kids for this lankey college writer with severe depression.
Then, in twenty years, when it’s our anniversary and our kids have gone off to college, we’ll hold each other in a hotel room, perched just above a tropical getaway to the view of a setting sun, and he’ll feel completely assured that he made the right choice. Then I’ll be able to finally breathe out all the worry of being alone in the world because Gerald is out there learning everything there is to know about me. If you’re reading this now, Gerald, I want you to know that the only thing keeping our love at bay is time. Every day you learn more about me through my webcam, cell phone, TV, microwave and my Tomagochi from Middle School, is a day in which our souls become further bonded. And, once you know enough about me, my soul will be forever bound to yours.
Ready or not, Gerald. Here I come.