I am fresh from a writer's conference and one of the instructors astutely pointed out that when a writer posts a new blog, it should be on a Friday... So I think, instead of the Wednesday/Sunday pattern that I was doing before, I'm going to switch to Thursday/Friday and Sunday/Monday each week. That way, you'll have some entertainment during the week as well as something waiting for you for each weekend.
In this scene, I am back from the much-loved and needed vacation on the beach, complete with a hot date. It's back to normal life for me, and that means it's time to make good on my promise to my friends and start Internet dating.
For the benefit of my wallet and my sanity, I had a dumb phone for most of the Great Recession. It didn’t receive emails, just texts and phone calls. The phone had no data plan, and I was thankful for that.
My email inbox, however, became sprinkled with messages and invites from the southeastern United States once my Date.com profile went free range.
Buddy from Alabama, whose profile pictures included him in a fishing boat with sweaty armpits, was one of the first who sent me a message. “Hey Jane, do you like country dancing?” he wrote. Hmm, well, I don’t like Alabama, I thought. Moving right along...
Someone who called himself Lone Wolf sent me some messages as well.
Hey Jane, you are a pretty senorita! Do you want to go salsa dancing with me in Winterville?
The only place to go salsa dancing in Winterville was a dance hall located in a strip mall on the highway that ran through town, with a low-lit parking lot where knife fights took place on a regular basis. No, I didn’t want to go salsa dancing in Winterville.
His profile picture showed a great-looking Hispanic man with well-toned arms. The back lighting on the biceps told me that it was a professional picture, one that the person behind the Lone Wolf persona probably ripped off an Internet site. Keep howling out into the wilderness, Lone Wolf. Maybe someone will answer, and then get to see what you really look like!
Next came the parade of Papa Smurf clones. New Town’s university had more than a few older bearded professors who were looking for the companionship of someone young enough to be their daughter. A few were widowers looking to find someone to help raise their kids. I found myself in their crosshairs more than once.
Most would send “winks” over to me, which I would ignore. However, there was one who sent messages to me, without any provocation or encouragement.
Email 1: Jane, hi, my name is Stanley. I live and work in New Town and have many of the same interests as you. Please get in touch if you’d like to meet up.
Email 2: Dear Jane, Since I haven’t heard from you, I don’t think I made a good enough case for myself in my earlier email. I understand I’m out of your age range but hope you will be open-minded and consider dating me. I have a long-standing career in New Town with the university and hope to retire here in the next 5 to 10 years. My living situation is stable, in fact my home is almost paid for, and I think I’d have a lot to offer a younger woman who enjoys having a career, being social, and taking in the natural beauty of this area by hiking, canoeing, etc. My children are grown and don’t live with me anymore, so I have lots of free time to spend with the right woman. Jane, please consider meeting up with me soon. I look forward to hearing from you.Well. That was a lot to consider. Could I date an old, bearded baby boomer whose kids were already out of the house? Could I go out with a guy who was my parents’ age who wasn’t David Bowie? It seemed unthinkable.