People have been lying about themselves in personal ads since the dawn of personal ads. Regular readers quickly learn to convert ad data into real-life measures: Men who say they are 6’ tall are really 5’-9.5”. Women who say they are in their early thirties are really 41. “Adventure seekers” are basement-dwelling gamers who hope to luck into a three-way someday. “Executives” are deadbeat dads selling Amway out of the trunk of their car. It’s the same game wherever you go, and everyone knows it.
So it’s not terribly shocking that a 46-year-old married man responded to a woman’s personal ad on Craig’s List, claiming to be 39 and divorced. It’s so not-shocking it could almost be a headline from The Onion. What’s shocking is that the 46-year-old, married Congressional Representative Christopher Lee responded to a personal ad on Craig’s List, claiming to be a 39-year-old divorced lobbyist. What’s baffling is that he used his real name, responded from his publicized personal email address, and sent a cheesecake picture of himself! Dude! You couldn’t make up a false name to go with all that false information?
I offer four theories on why he made such a bonehead move:
- The failure of the staff and regulars at his corner Starbucks to make a fuss every morning led him to assume he would never be recognized.
- He was hoping she’d mistake him for Christopher Lee the actor.
- He has been with his wife for more than 15 years, and is unaware that women these days conduct internet searches on the names of any prospective dates.
- He is fully aware of the Power of Google and planned for the Craig’s List lady to discover his real identity!
In any case, it appears that Rep. Lee nurtured the fantasy of leading a double life. Respected politician/family man by day, debonair single power broker by night. Unfortunately, the stupid topless self-portrait indicates he doesn’t actually know any debonair, single power brokers (does anyone?). (Also, how many cellphone pictures do you think he took of himself before he decided that was the one to send out to prospective paramours?)
The good news: now that his Craig's List activity has gone public, there’s a fair chance that Chris’s aspirations of being a divorced lobbyist will come true!