It has long been known to me that the people in the Parrot Head subculture are, for the most part, complete lunatics. I don’t mean this as an insensitive, sweeping generalization, but the simple act of stating that I don’t like Jimmy Buffet and deride his legion of Parrot Head superfans will likely result in extreme hate mail. In the real world, telling a Parrot Head that ‘I don’t get it’ usually results in a two-hour diatribe from said Head rife with words like “cheeseburger” (of course) “salt”, “tequila”, “paradise”, “margaritaville” and such.
I can’t say the word “such” anymore without thinking about Miss Teen SC’s and such as.
So when checking my eHarmony matches last week, imagine my abject horror as I was confronted face-to-monitor with an actual, literal Parrot Head. It was a man with a live parrot perched on his shoulder in not only his main profile picture but in various action, or lifestyle, shots in his amazing gallery of photos. My first though was “are you kidding me, eHarmony?” and my second thought was “this can’t possibly work for him” and then I started to wonder if I was being too narrow-minded. Maybe parrot man isn’t so bad? He likes to ride his bike, stroll along the beach, hike mountain trails, enjoy drinks on a sunny patio, go on boating excursions, albeit with the parrot in tow, or on shoulder, as it were. Those all seem like fun things to do, but then I’d have to put up with that parrot and the stares and whispers, so I did the only sensible thing I could think of; I closed the match and wished him well in his quest for booty.
Pirate’s booty, that is.
The fact that we were matched made me wonder about the famed “29 dimensions of compatibility” algorithm that eHarmony uses to match its members. Instead of spending hours wondering why they would match me with someone who seems so off-base for me, I spent hours wondering if all I am missing in my life is a parrot on my own shoulder. You know, maybe this guy has the secret to life and it just happens to be a bird, perched on my shoulder, crapping on my back. Do I have an inner parrot? I could take it to the gym with me, it would be an interesting conversation topic at work. We could get frozen yogurt together. I’d easily get out of all sorts of boring social situations because people would think I’m nuts and graciously excuse me, we’d have some sort of jaunty theme song and I could start talking like a pirate. These are all pluses. Argh!
But the reality is, I’m in the “everyone else” camp. I don’t like margaritas, I like mojitos. So, no matter what our dimensions of compatibility happen to be, the parrot will keep me at bay forever. Kudos to him for putting it out there, though. Can you imagine going through the whole email process and finally meeting in person only to discover the parrot on his shoulder over coffee? How do you bring that one up? “Do you know there’s a parrot on your shoulder?” I think they make a salve for that.
After hours of analyzing the hows and whys of being matched with Parrot Head, and ultimately closing the ill-fated match, I remembered that I have a young female customer who shops in my store from time to time with a parrot on her shoulder. I think hers is actually a cockatoo but it’s still a parrot. This only proves that there is someone out there for everyone and I only wish I could find a way to introduce Mr. Parrot to Ms. Cockatoo and let nature take its course. I was telling this story to a friend the other day and he said “maybe the parrots will love each other, too.” Ha! Two matches, one proverbial stone!
Meanwhile, thanks to a slew of similarly crazy matches, I reset my matching preferences to “no parrots” among other things and I did actually meet someone on eHarmony that I genuinely like. Don’t get any crazy ideas, we’re just talking. And I haven’t yet told him about the Hurdy Gurdy Monkey that goes everywhere with me.