One Line Dating From a Remote Location
After I got over the trauma of filling out the dating profile, I began to get excited again. Now I can actually take a look at some of the guys – my only purpose for being here in the first place. I familiarize myself with how the site works for a minute or two, then start clicking dropdown menus. This should be fun!
First it has me pick gender from a list titled "I am a…" I select female. The next one is "I am looking for a…"I select male but I do think it’s very nice they haven't excluded anyone's preferences.
Next I come across two dropdowns from which I’m supposed to pick an age range: "40 to 55"(or whatever ages suit my taste). It takes a long time to make this selection. For me, age, race, appearance, etc., are completely meaningless. I really couldn't care less. No, you're wrong, I'm no beauty queen but that doesn't always translate to "I’m extremely homely and therefore can’t afford to be picky." I just don't care about such things. Honestly.
Much to my distress, I feel obligated to pick what I assume will be the age range of the men who might be interested in me. It’s always prudent to put your chips on the table where the odds are in your favor. First off, I absolutely hate to assume ANYTHING. Secondly, with several speed bumps on the road (three females for every male on the site, my isolated location, my age, and, yes, my looks), I’ll have to be careful not to eliminate even the remotest possibilities. I decide I can always widen the pool later, so I move to the next dropdown list
After I click it, I experience an eerie sense of déjà vu. I’m still suffering from the shell shock I got filling out the original profile. When I see the choices, I feel like hitting the ground and covering my head. It’s that dreaded "SEEKING" menu again: "Hang out," "Activities partner," "Talk and email."
Sure, I'd love to, but I was really kinda hoping for a date. What is it about this company calling itself a dating service that it can’t work out why I’m here?
"Long term." For years, girls have been told that we must walk a tightrope. If we let a guy know too soon that we’re looking for forever, we’ll scare him off. Count on it - long term for us means bye-bye for him. Now this blanket-blank computer wants me to sabotage myself by handing a man I’ve yet to meet an engraved card that blurts: "Have wedding dress, will travel."
I'm totally unconvinced that letting this particular cat out of the bag this early – I mean, geeeze, we haven’t even met yet! - is a good idea.
"Other relationship." I’ve continued to ponder the meaning of this and I’m still sure it’s something a bit…shall we say, too spicy for my tastes.
"Intimate Encounter." So spicy it gives me indigestion just reading the words.
"Friends" and "Dating." Damn it to hell! The one-choice-only trick. A man wrote this program, I’m sure of it. No woman would ever see a contradiction in marking both and wanting both.
I pick "Friends." Forced into therapy after my "filling out the profile" ordeal, I remember my counselor suggesting “first things first,” so it seems to be the only logical choice.
My next box lets me sort by "Newest User" or "Last Visit." Well, let me see. Anyone who was just here must still be single and actively looking. Good place to start. On the other hand, I begin to worry that it might mean he’s been on here a long time but is STILL unattached and more than a little desperate at this point. More important – why hasn’t he found someone yet?
"Newest users." This I like. If I hurry, maybe I can get his attention before anybody else does. But what if he's on here because he broke up with the ex half-an-hour ago and is a man on the rebound? Mercy, I’ve only been out of therapy for a week! I really don't need something that will make me sign up for the ‘18 Months, 25% Off’ special I saw on my therapist’s bulletin board.
I'm letting the old fear of "dropdowns" cloud my thinking. I do as I was instructed by the shrink and close my eyes, visualizing a calm, empty beach on a warm sunny day. I take deep breaths at regular intervals. I start at my head and try to relax each muscle….
Y’know, this really does work. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....
I make up my mind to do exactly the opposite of what I would normally do. Why not? I can do anything. After all, I filled out a dating profile and lived to tell about it. I pick "newest users," but fear tickles the back of my brain and I wish they'd chosen any word besides "users." I shoo the irritating thought away. I know that's not what they mean and if I ever get far enough along to meet someone in person, I’m gonna be able to tell if he's high. (Didn’t grow up in the 70's for nothin’.)
The last thing I have to plug in is my location. For a lot of people, this is the much anticipated moment, that great reveal when they finally get to look at a mindboggling array of possible love connections. (This particular dating service brags of hundreds of thousands of members, so there really must be plenty of fish in the sea.)
Sadly, for me, this is not the case. I set the dropdown to a 25-mile radius. My click returns this answer: No results. I set it to 50. No results.
And then I set it to 100 miles from my home. Jackpot! There are a whopping four of them. A veritable feast. Heavens, how will I ever choose?
The first one looks 14 although his profile claims he’s 26. He starts out: MUST LOVE Wii!!! (I rack my brain. It’s some kind of video game, isn't it?) No matter. Even his stated age is younger than my son's and though age doesn't matter to me, I’m pretty sure our entertainment choices aren’t going to mesh.
At my next click, I’m being stared at by the glaring face of a guy who looks like I imagine an angry ax murderer to look. His profile title says, “Woman, I'm talking to you. Pay attention!” Why anyone would upload a gruesome picture is beyond my comprehension but, as I said, I’m not one to care about appearances and I’m sure the title’s a joke. I love humor so I click to read more. Hmm, 50. Right age range. That's a good start. Underneath his title are these lines. Nothing more. They read: “The only thing worse than a male chauvinist pig is a woman who won't do what she's told. I'm the man of the house and I aim to keep it that way. If you can't do as you’re told, don't write back.”
I'm thinking, “He ain’t catchin’ flies with this bait and, seeing how he still may be able to breed, it's a damned lucky thing.” (I also remind myself that sometimes only a very fine line divides a humorist from a psychopath.)
The next guy doesn't show up in his pic very well but I don't care. He has all the right things going for him. Then my eye strays down to what he’s written. It says “How do you like Kansas?” I scroll down some more. Where‘s the rest of the email? Is there a punch line here somewhere? No? Really? Okay, then - I guess it'll be easy to dominate the conversation with this bright bulb.
The last fellow of the four is good looking, he's smiling, he seems like he might be a reasonable choice. My hopes are high; it's looking like my last chance for love - within a hundred miles, anyway.
He's 6'1. NICE! He has black hair and brown eyes. Fine! His kids are grown. Better all the time. He’s just two years older than me, so we should have something in common. He smokes. (Thank God, he won't mind that I do). Religion other. Gosh, he sounds perfect! I read his profile. He seem sweet, and his likes are similar to mine. Wonderful. But that nagging little voice in my brain is asking, “So what's the catch?” I smother it with a big helping of positive thinking. Great! Let’s give this one a shot.
I write to him, answer his questions, ask him a few. Not long after hitting the send button, he pops up on the IM. We chat. It’s going well. He’s nice, he shares the conversation, he participates. He is intelligent and funny. Wow. This could really work out. He asks all the right questions, doesn't get too personal too quick. All in all, very comfortable. We agree we’ll do this again. I feel 16. I want to put on an old album and dance. Maybe I'll draw hearts with his name in them. Giggle.
Bringing you up to “date”:
I spent the last couple of weeks talking with my super guy. Everything was going really well. Then one day, I hear the phone drop from his hand and hit the ground, hard, followed instantly by an enraged female screeching like a banshee in the background. “You son of a bitchh! Are you talking to another one of your Internet hussies?”
Damn and crap. Doesn’t it just figure? Turns out there really are married guys stupid enough to troll the World Wide Web for dates – and apparently while their wives are in the house.
Guess it's back to the pond for me. I'm going to have to buy a boat now, though, ‘cause it’s all fished out from the shore.