Okay, I’ll admit it…I’m out of practice. I’m single and I haven’t dated in a long time. So what does a gal do when she decides she’d like to have a man in her life? She goes shopping, that’s what. She finds a user-friendly internet match site, sets up a profile that’s harder to fill out than a mortgage application, wades through hundreds (possibly thousands) of profiles on men who all start to sound the same after a while, and then she bites her nails as she waits for someone to send a “flirt” or a “smile”.
When no one flirts, she goes back through all those profiles, picks one out, and sends a flirt of her own. So far, so good. Maybe the first flirt gets a hit, maybe it doesn’t. If the guy even bothers to pick up his e-mail, he will go to her profile and take a look. If he likes what he sees, he might flirt back. Now, I’ve found that liking what he sees isn’t always a guarantee that the guy will send a flirt. I’ve noticed a couple of guys who seem to go in and look at my profile regularly…like it was the sports section in the Sunday paper. But they’ve never flirted. One of the regulars did finally flirt recently and when I asked why it took so long, he said he kept forgetting. Now, that’s flattering…and he’s certainly one I’m going to be looking forward to hearing from soon. Yeah.
Then there’s the guy who sends a flirt, three cards, and forwards his profile twice in a half hour span…like I’ve got nothing better to do than sit at my keyboard waiting with baited breath for Mr. Right to happen by. This guy brings a whole different set of baggage into this internet relationship…and there’s a good chance that he hasn’t bothered to put a picture out on his profile. Can we guess why? I must admit that I have no earthly idea. This has happened to me twice…one turned out to be an average looking man, completely acceptable…the other (when the picture finally showed up) was freaking gorgeous. So it wouldn’t appear that it has anything to do with looks…so I gotta figure, once again…maybe he just forgot???
Now, this last experience is the one that takes the cake and the one that almost sent me screaming into the closet to lie in a fetal position in a dark corner behind a big pile of shoes. I get this flirt…I return a nice e-mail…he asks if we can exchange e-mail off of the match site. I’m okay with it because it saves me having to log on and I’ve got a nonsense yahoo account that isn’t tied back to anyone I know. So I give him the address…he sends me a message that would make Clint Eastwood cry. It tells about how he’s lost his son in a car accident and a year later, he loses his wife to an incurable cancer. I’m feeling really, really bad for this guy. Life has not been fair. And oh, by the way, he’s also got an “evil” brother that he must refuse to have anything to do with, even though it breaks his heart. But he’s picked up the pieces to his broken life, moved a few times (to and from places like Long Beach, CA or Long Island, NY) and now he’s moved to Baltimore and is searching for his soul mate…the woman who can heal his broken heart. He even goes so far as to ask…are you that woman?
If there had been a ref on the field at this game, there would’ve been red flags everywhere. But not me…oh no, I’m clueless. In fact, I’m so destroyed by the horrible fate that’s been dealt this poor soul that I’m crying a puddle on my keyboard and my brain is frozen…no words. I’m a writer and I’m so crushed for this guy that I can’t think of a single thing to say. So I hunt and peck around searching for something that makes sense and I finally manage to string a few sad sentences together. Then I go straight to bed because I’m so traumatized by this poor guy’s fate.
The next morning, the alarm goes off bright and early. I stumble out of bed, get dressed, brush my teeth, and log on to see if I have mail. I do…one from the poor guy with the devil’s own luck and one from another guy who’d also asked a couple of days before to chat off of the match site. I open the new guy’s e-mail first because I’m afraid of bad news from the first guy. So I begin to read and what do I find? He also has lost a son…and a wife a year later to another horrible disease. And, as luck would have it, he too has an “evil” brother and has been forced to move away from his demons. Only, this guy was a bit more creative…he moved to places like Long Beach, Texas or Long Island, Mexico. Who knew? Who knew there was a Long Island in Mexico too?
Think these situations sound too similar to be true? Well, you’d be right. These two letters came from two (apparently) different men…different profiles, different names, different cities, different e-mail addresses, different pictures…two seemingly different men, both with the same sad story. In fact, their lives had paralleled each other so closely that both messages (although slightly different) contained exactly the same spelling error, in addition to numerous grammatical and punctuation errors. It was a really sucky letter. Now, either they both came from the same man…a man stupid enough to send the same letter from two different names to the same woman within a twelve hour period or there’s a website out there somewhere with letters that someone is promising can’t fail to get you laid.
How sad is that? How pathetic do you have to be to copy a made-up letter relating such tragic events and use it to dupe another human being in the hopes of scoring one day. God forbid any of us ever get that desperate! It’s no wonder half the world is jaded and the other half is screwed up…with predators like this walking around.
So…you might ask…am I giving up on the internet dating thing? No, I’m not. Because I’ve also found some pretty nice people out there. In fact, I recently ran across an endangered species…a guy who says he actually opens doors for ladies, walks on the traffic side when strolling down the street, and gives his jacket to a lady when she’s cold…and I think he just might be for real. Be still, my heart!
No, I’m not giving up because I’m one of those incurable romantics. I believe in people. I believe most people will do the right thing and I believe there’s someone out there for each of us. Someone who will love you no matter what your flaws are, no matter where you came from or what mistakes you made in your youth. Someone you can’t walk away from…someone who will set your brain on fire. I believe in love.