I've just met the worst person in the world. Well, OK, I didn't meet him, I just did a phone interview with him, and frankly I didn't think he was that bad.
Atlanta bachelor, John Fitzgerald Page was dubbed "The Worst Person in the World" after sending what many believe was a nasty narcissistic email to a woman who rejected him on Match.com.
The back-story - seen everywhere from CNN to Dr. Phil - is that a woman electronically 'winked' at Page's dating profile. Page, age 35, then introduced himself via an email extolling his many virtues including his Ivy League education, and the fact that he "lives in a 31-story high rise condominium."
The woman responded with a polite no thanks, saying, "Thanks for writing to me, but unfortunately, we're just not a good match. Good luck in your search!"
Page, aghast that any woman - much less one who made the first move - would reject such a fine specimen, responded with his now infamous email, directly quoted below:
"I think you forgot how this works. You hit on me, and therefore have to impress ME and pass MY criteria and standards - not vice versa. So next time you meet a guy of my caliber, instead of trying to turn it around, just get to the gym!
"I will even give you one free training session, so you don't blow it with the next 8.9 on Hot or Not, Ivy League grad, Mensa member, can bench/squat/leg press over 1200 lbs., has had lunch with the Secretary of Defense, has an MBA from the top school in the country, lives in a Buckhead high rise, drives a Beemer convertible, has been in 14 major motion pictures, was in Jezebel's Best dressed, etc. Oh, that is right, there aren't any more of those!"
The woman, who chooses to remain anonymous, forwarded Page's email to several of her friends. And thus an Internet villain was born. Page became the whipping boy for the "men are shallow jerks" movement as women everywhere took great pleasure in publicly trashing him.
It would be easy to write him off as just another testosterone loaded egomaniac. But as I watched him being raked over the coals by the all-female audience on the Dr. Phil show, I actually felt kind of sorry for the man.
Here the poor guy has been busting his buns trying to be all the things women say they want - educated, accomplished, in-shape, fancy car, dashing wardrobe - and women across America are furious because he bragged about it. I felt the maternal urge to call him up and give him a nice little lesson on how he might better present himself to the female population.
So I did.
I contacted him via his modeling/acting site, www.johnfitzgeraldpage.com, convinced that if a wise, caring, mature woman showed him the error of his ways, he could become the gentleman I just knew he was capable of being.
I may have been overly optimistic about my ability to change the thinking of a 35-year-old man. But, I have to say; talking with Page reaffirmed my belief that behind every braggart is simply someone who wants to be loved.
Page was understandably defensive during our call, continuing to tout his stellar accomplishments. However, near the end, when I asked him what his hopes were for love he said, "I want someone who wants me for me, not just someone who wants me to support them."
Kind of ironic, isn't it?
A guy tries to present all the exterior trappings he's been told that women want, in the hopes of finding someone who doesn't actually care about them.
John Page isn't the worst person in the world. He's just another mixed up human bungling down the road of love.
Lisa Earle McLeod is a nationally syndicated columnist and the author of "Forget Perfect" and "Finding Grace When You Can't Even Find Clean Underwear." Contact her at www.ForgetPerfect.com.