What’s My Date?

To be fair, the emails improved. A few friendships grew out of failed dates and a couple relationships actually evolved. My heart was broken more than once, although, like most breaks, time is a miraculous healer.

But, for the most part, online dating throws you right back into junior high and feeling miserable about being rejected by people you wouldn’t want in your life anyway.

It starts filled with anticipation.



Expectations can deflate pretty quickly.

Despite TV ads to the contrary, the initial date ritual, sitting across a table from a stranger, can be a daunting experience even when fueled with the obligatory Starbucks. One date defined this exercise as The Interview where he decides whether or not to ask the woman out on an actual date.

Works for me.

Humans aren’t all that complicated. Both men and women pretty much know within a few minutes if there’s a connection. If not, it’s a question of how to get through the next thirty minutes.

I play a game, “What’s My Date?”

The BlowHard talks non-stop about his life. When we were working, the BH talked about career; in retirement, the topic is the daily routine.

He usually begins by leaning back in the chair, eyes contemplating some distant environment and, in a monotone and excruciating detail, begins his recital.

Everyday, I make the same lunch. I take two slices of whole wheat bread, a little mayo and Dijon mustard and then pile on the deli sliced turkey, thin sliced Swiss cheese, sliced tomato and torn iceberg lettuce…

oh, and how DO you slice the tomato?

25 more minutes…and his monologue concludes with Well, I really don’t think we have anything in common. Actually, I can’t seem to meet any interesting women online.

Really? Really? How would you know? I didn’t say ten words.

The IJWGL (I Just Wanna Get Laid) is often a pillar of the community, an advocate of family values and all good things (if you don’t believe me on this, goggle Ashley Madison). Starbucks is replaced with a wine bar, the first clue of what may come.

The conversation is light, free flowing and filled with laughter. There’s lots of friendly touching and wine flows freely for him even though I’m still nursing most of my first glass.

Wait for it, wait for it…

And then, leaning across the table, his hand gentle on top of mine, eyes glassy, grin somewhat crooked and words slightly slurred, the moment is ripe.

Waiting, waiting…

It’s been a while. I just wanna get laid.

Uh huh.

He was a recluse, living off the grid, and my first experience with A Man with No Boundaries. We met for dinner following a few emails and phone calls. He sounded normal and, my bad, I neglected to ask about the grid and recluse factor.

Dinner was excellent and the conversation a bit awkward but workable for a first date.

Mid-conversation, he leaned over, looked deep into my eyes, put his hand on my stomach and asked, How do you really feel about that?

Yuck. Yuck, Yuck, Yuck.

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.