I was lucky that back in my OKCupid days, I only came into contact with a few creeps. The site was smaller back then, and I generally kept the “chat” function turned off (talking with strangers in real time makes me nervous), which probably helped keep the “WTF did that guy just do?!” numbers down. I realize, however, that these days creeps abound — which is why I am so very pleased that the dude seen here has offered forth his face as a way of dealing with them. All we know about this strange and mysterious man is that he’s ginger and that his last name is Middleditch — hence, what I’m now referring to as “the Middleditch face.”
In a post submitted to the Tumblr GTFO Cupid, the bearded fellow pictured below recounted what happened when he asked a female friend of his to join OKCupid for reconnaissance purposes. He had just joined himself, you see, and asked a pal if she’d be willing to help him figure out what kinds of messages guys tend to send gals on the site. Unsurprisingly, things got creepy fast. Feeling kind of guilty for subjecting his friend to the weirdness, he gave her a picture of himself making a bizarre face, telling her she could send it to anyone who made her creep-o-meter go off.
Here’s the picture:
Although it started as kind of a joke, the friend later reported that she had sent it to at least 20 guys, all of whom had — and I quote — “f*cked off immediately.” These unsuspecting creepsters had apparently thought one of three things:
- That she was a man.
- That she was “spoken for.”
- Or “WTF IS THAT I’M GETTING OUT OF HERE STAT.”
So given her level of success with the photo, he got an idea. He wrote:
“I’m interested to see if other women who are also having these troubles on the Internet, and are tired of dealing with them rationally… would be game to also send that pic of my face to unwanted admirers. My last name is Middleditch, so perhaps we can call it “Getting Ditched” (or MiddleDitched, I’m not that fussed).”
As the Daily Dot pointed out, there are both plenty of proponents and plenty of detractors of the Middleditch strategy; as of this writing, the post has tallied up almost 17,000 notes ranging from simple likes and reblogs to in-depth commentaries about it. Both sides of the issue are valid; I agree as much with the commenter who said, “This has to be one of the most fantastic public services for dating women the world over. I sincerely hope Mr. Middleditch considers posting a photo of himself, lifting his shirt and lolling his tongue for… us to send to guys who request titpics” as I do with the one who noted, “While this may prove amusing (hell, even I’m amused), I think there’s a possibility that it sends the wrong message. Personally, I’m not afraid to use the block feature.” I agree most, however, with the commenter who wrote this:
“I think we can all agree that you shouldn’t have to use a man’s face to get people to back the fuck off, but if you’re getting bothered, give it a try. If it makes you laugh, that’s a plus. If it makes them f*ck off, all the better.”
Mr. Middleditch? I salute you — for your acknowledgment of a problem that far too many people ignore, for your willingness to try to do something about it, and for your hilarity. If I were actively dating, believe you me, I would be freely Middleditching any and all creeps who came my way.