Buyer Beware

How hard can this be?

I was 50 at the time, divorced, a grandmother, sufficiently attractive, degreed with a career, and alone with a cat. To be sure, the cat was a great companion and we seemed to have a fair amount in common, including sleeping in late, but he was still a cat.

I stared at the empty box on the computer screen: PROFILE. Complete at least 200 words. Sigh.

I taught English. How hard can this be?

The screen stared back at me. Evidently, this was going to take a bit more thought.

Two weeks later, profile complete with words waxing poetic, photos uploaded and a month-long membership fully paid, I pushed the ‘make my profile visible’ button.

And waited.

The first email was in the inbox by the next morning. Prince Charming? Already? Could this actually work?

The profile photo was of an elderly, extremely rotund gentleman. Eighty years old and morbidly obese. He lived in a trailer park and was charmed by my profile and writing style. He wanted me to move in with him, clean his home, do his laundry, cook his meals and edit his 900-page autobiography.

In return, I’d get sex.

I printed his email and tacked it above my computer. It was a harbinger of things to come.

The next email was a marginal improvement: a man in his mid-seventies who lived alone on a mountaintop in the middle of 200 desolate acres in the Midwest. Would I join him?

I crawled back into bed and curled up under the covers with the cat.

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