Beginning in 2001, while in my fifties, I discovered online dating. What a great idea! No more meeting in bars. No more hoping in church. No more picking up hitchhikers.
I should have known better. If something so filled with complexity, chemistry, and paranoia is advertised as simple, cheap, and easy, then it’s probably a good time to run. But I didn’t.
I did think it was a good time to start. It wasn’t. I did believe I could handle it. I couldn’t. I did expect others to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. They didn’t.
But then, neither did I.
I fudged on my weight, embellished my talents, and photoshopped my profile picture, while expecting others to be forthright. Some who saw my profile pic even thought I was preaching from a pulpit. Little did they know it was a reflection of my shortlived career as a nightclub DJ, beer signs wiped clean by the geek squad.
Thirteen times in a row, a first date was the last date. They were nice. They were gracious. They were gone, often before dessert was served. Some said grace. Some really needed it. Some didn’t know what it was.
Some looked like their picture. Most didn’t. Some talked like they wrote. Many couldn’t. A few were conversational. A lot were not.
ME: Are we ready to order, or would you prefer I do it for us?
HER: Um, okay….
ME: You were really raised by apes, taught by monks, and baptized on Pork Chop Hill?
HER: Well, Yeah….
One online “date” sent me a camera she had packed in blueberries. No pictures. Just the camera. And the blueberries. Another sent a dated photo taken 20 years earlier. Yet another, whom I’d never met in person, sent a snapshot of herself wearing boots. Just boots.
I dated hairdressers, nurses, bureaucrats, and public speakers. Another was a minister. Still another was a truck driver. I thought we’d have a lot in common, that one. We didn’t. One was even a college professor, teaching Shakespeare, and we did have a lot in common. She was my long lost sister. (Just kidding!!!).
There were many lessons learned, from this experiment. When a potential mate says they’re just looking for adventure, they are. If their most important priority is the grandchildren, believe it. If they refer to the ‘former spouse’, then it’s neither!
For those of you considering online dating, here’s a few suggestions: If you’re willing to relocate, say so. If you’re not funny, don’t try. And for heaven’s sake, please don’t post a photo taken with a 1970’s polaroid camera! Oh, and while you’re at it, don’t brag about your ex, bring your mother on the date, (this actually happened once, at the The Home Of Throwed Rolls in Springfield, Missouri), or play text tag during dinner with your Facebook friends. After all, it could very well be the first day of the rest of your week!
Today’s Words To Live By: IT’S BETTER TO LIVE ON BORROWED TIME THAN CASH ADVANCES.