I expect a bright-eyed, broad-shouldered stud to stroll into my church on Sunday morning and become enraptured with my singing voice and chubby stage presence. He will insist on taking me to lunch where we will discuss our love of classic rock and meat-filled pastries. He will want me to go to his house (that sits proudly on an acre of land with a pool in the back) and watch the Sunday Law & Order marathon and drink gin & tonics for the rest of the afternoon.
This fella has not showed up yet.
I would like to be standing behind a roughneck wearing dirty work boots in the grocery store checkout line. He’ll notice me when he’s reaching for the peanut butter cups. He’ll see that my buggy is filled with all the components of chicken & dumplings and ask, “What time is dinner?” I’ll be able to see his dimples as he grins to wink at me. When I extend my hand to shake his and tell him the name that will make his heart swoon for years to come, I will see the wedding band shining so brightly, I have to avert my eyes and attempt to contain an audible sigh of disappointment.
I would even settle for, “I could hear you laughing two blocks away but I really dig your black t-shirt and cowboy boots. Is that a Purple Haze you’re drinking? Would you like a shot of Tequila?”
These things have not happened.
My singleness doesn't openly plague me. I'm not desperate to be with someone to avoid being alone. But I think I've met every single man in this town and not too many new ones are moving in. Turns out, there aren't so many fish in my pond after age 26. Slim pickins. (Hello, Deville!)
I have always been opposed to online dating; I want this to happen the old fashioned way (see examples above). The old fashioned way is just not panning out, so after much "encouragement" from friends and co-workers, I gave in. I now have an active 6 month membership to an online date service...and this is a whole different ball game. A spit-ball game. I don't like it at all, but I'm in. I've paid the money and am having a frightful time so I thought I'd write about it. If you're currently involved with such an online service, you will certainly laugh and cry and hurl with me. If you are not, consider this your warning.
When the online dating rage began years ago, I saw a talk show episode featuring couples who’d found love through cyberspace. My only memory from the program is of a very attractive couple: slim, well-groomed, successful, all smiles. And twitches. That’s right, folks. Twitches. The pretty lady sat patting the knee of her handsome beau as his eyes twitched uncontrollably the entire show. I remember thinking, “Well, I bet she didn’t see that online.”
You can say that you aren’t shallow or superficial, but when you meet someone in person – in real life – you see stuff like that immediately. You see broken teeth, lazy eyes, enormous face moles, dandruff. You hear lisps, stutters, excessive burping. You smell body odor, overwhelming cologne, bad breath. At which point – in real life – you can assess your degree of immediate shallowness based on other varying factors (their personality, your present loneliness, length of time since your last affectionate interaction, etc.). At the start of an online relationship, obviously, all of those things are invisible. The normal order of relationship development is reversed. This can get messy quickly and lead to unintentional head-games and crushed egos.I've only been on a few dates so far, but the actual dates are only a portion of this process. However, the dates are what make the best stories. So as I make a mess of my mental health, I will attempt to rebuild my ego by telling funny stories about my unfortunate dating run.
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