Within a few moments, though, it dawned on me what I was looking at.
In 2009, a photographer friend, Jenny, had snapped some photos of us around the house for her portfolio.
At first, being an inadvertent star of an online dating ad campaign seemed hilarious, and I reveled in the joke, posting screenshots on Facebook and dominating the proverbial water cooler at my workplace, the .
But the ads continued to run through the fall and winter, and gradually they came to haunt me.
The online dating service they promoted, once obscure, now seemed to have sprouted the world’s most intractable Internet campaign.
Looking at the website over the shoulder of my boss, I’d spy Patrick, seemingly the happiest, most single guy amid other happy, supposedly single guys.
Acquaintances and friends sent concerned emails and Facebook messages.
Even more troubling was the notion that pictures of Patrick and me were floating around the ether, out of our grasp and susceptible to any insult or manipulation.For example, Jenny hadn’t taken many solo shots of us.In order to slot our faces into separate grids of smiling men and women, the dating service may have had to snip a happy-together image in half. What else could a stock-agency client do to my picture?Last June, my morning routine was interrupted by a series of texts from a friend, showing a pair of screen shots that were at first incomprehensible.In one, under the headline “Better Singles, Better Dates,” my boyfriend Patrick’s smiling face hovered in the bottom row of a “Patrick,” I yelped, “look at this.” As we huddled over the phone, another image popped up—another grid of faces, but this time all women.All the way on the left, in the second row, was mine.