• Stacey Keith

Guilty pleasures

If Mason Hannigan from DREAM ON had a dating profile

Back when I was single, I did a fair amount of online dating. Can’t say all the guys I went out with were the Prince Charmings they described themselves to be (with straight faces) on their online dating profiles. But to be fair, I have what folks call a “strong personality”. What that boils down to is a mouth like a trucker, the restless curiosity of a toddler, and the mind of someone who stays up too late, drinks entirely too much coffee, and used to own a full-sized Bob’s Big Boy—you remember, the pudgy, grinning boy with soft-serve ice cream hair who held a hamburger aloft in perpetual invitation. I could always taste the irony.

Oh, and I write books with sex in them, so I guess there’s that, too.

Since then, I’ve taken a keen interest in other people’s business online dating profiles. Why? Because they perfectly reflect how we want to be seen, which is often in direct opposition to who we really are.

In a small Texas town like Cuervo, which happens to be the location for my contemporary romance, DREAM ON, dating apps aren’t necessary because folks there know everything there is to know about you, including the people you hook up with. Also, my hometown hero, NFL quarterback Mason Hannigan, never lacked for dates. Especially not on prom night, which was when all the trouble started.

But I couldn’t help but wonder … if Mason had dipped a toe in the waters of online dating, what would his dating profile look like? So I took it upon myself to track him down and ask.

Here’s what he told me.

Name: Mason Hannigan.

Age: 28.

Astrological Sign: Libra.

Favorite Movie: Friday Night Lights. Also Carrie (Spacek version)

Favorite Food: Tex-Mex or any good local chili cook-off, the hotter, the better.

Best Quality: The ability to laugh at myself. But I also give myself plenty to laugh at.

Best Feature: I haven’t broken my nose yet, which is kind of cool since I’m a quarterback and get beaten senseless every day out on the field.

One Thing I’m Passionate About: I live, eat, and breathe football. Before every home game in high school, I used to camp out the night before on the football field. I slept better that way, with the smell of the turf and the crickets sawing away in the dark. I would lay there imagining what might happen the next day, the roar of the crowd, the thrill of a touchdown—and the look on my dad’s face when somebody gave him a congratulatory slap on the back.

My Friends Describe Me As: Lame. Dorky. Awkward around women. All you have to do is ask them and they’ll tell you.

Three Things I Can’t Live Without:

1. Football. Obviously. I mean, come on. If I’m not playing it, I’m watching it.

2. I love cars, and might have about a dozen or so. You know the old saying about boys and their toys. Mine are a lot more expensive than they used to be.

3. I would never admit this to their faces, but I couldn’t live without my friends. They can be real jerks sometimes, but they keep me grounded. Some of them play the offensive line pretty well. But if you tell them I said that, I’ll just deny it.

The Most Important Thing I’m Looking for in a Woman: Real. She’s got to be 100% who she is, not one of these girls where you give her a salad and she pushes away the croutons. Some of the qualities I’m attracted to are: kindness, compassion, loyalty, gentleness. I’m a sucker for hometown girls. Do you think I could find somebody who will teach me how to roller-skate?