Sometimes, You Gotta
I met my significant other through a personal ad on the internet. Why is it so embarrassing to admit, "We met over the internet"? I mean, with as hip and happening as we all are with today’s fast-paced, technology-driven lives, why should we feel that falling in love over the airwaves is only for geeks, desperate old maids or naive teenagers?
I’ve been single for…well, a long time. I did all the right things over the years to meet Mr. Right. I went to college at night, was active in my church, joined a community organization, became a soccer mom, "networked" at work-related events, attended plenty of wild and crazy parties and even went on a blind date or two organized by my "friends." (I question the validity of the term "friend" after one of those blind dates.) Still, no Mr. Right.
One New Year’s Eve a few years back, I was perched upon a bar stool with my one and only single woman friend sitting next to me. We were sipping White Zin and watching Dancing Santa wiggle his butt at us from across the bar. I have to tell you, Santa was only 18 inches tall, but there was something mildly erotic about his butt jutting back and forth to Elvis’ Blue Christmas.
But I digress. My friend and I were discussing the pitifulness of our current dateless situation. I mean, the two of us were out on New Year’s Eve with our married couple friends with no one to kiss at midnight. During the course of that conversation, my friend told me how she been visiting various personal web sites lately and was amazed at the wide variety of available men out on the internet. I was awestruck. Available men right there at my fingertips? No way.
Well, needless to say, I was up until dawn searching the large array of personal sites. I mean, it was like a virtual smorgasbord of men! All you had to do was fill in your specific requirements for your Mr. Right, and wah lah, there was a list of a never ending supply of men who matched your needs. My needs were simple. Taller than 5’10," more on the girthy side than the skinny side, great but unusual sense of humor and somewhat normal in a real loose sense. I quickly sent out 20 responses to ads and just waited for my knight and shining armor to appear in my email. What a way to start the new year!
Cutting through a full menu of daily emails that led to an assortment of entertaining phone calls, I finally went out on my first internet, personal ad date. He was a "nice" guy who I met at a local restaurant. Right away, my eyes met his and then traveled down to his slightly moth-eaten sweater. Dressing the part is not as important as what’s inside I reminded myself. To make a long story short, this was a one-date wonder that ended on a mutually, "Thanks for the great evening. I’ll write soon." Not a good start. One down, hundreds to go.
Over the next two years, I probably went out on 15 to 20 dates. The majority of them – "nice" guys who were maybe someone else’s Mr. Right - just not mine. Would I have proudly claimed that I met any of these men on the internet – no way. It would have been like compounding the fact that I couldn’t even find Mr. Right on the internet. God, was I a loser or what?
I kept my internet personal ad life mostly secret except for sharing the details with one of my sisters and a few close friends who were living vicariously through my perceived exciting social life. Occasionally I would run into an acquaintance when out on one my fun and romantic evenings, and I would try to blend into the wallpaper. I remember one particularly painful date.
I met Mr. Yucky Date Man (as he would later be known as) at a watering hole prior to journeying on to a play that his daughter had a minor part in. To say this date was like hell on earth would be like saying Gary Condit may have told some little white lies in the past.
This man was ugly. I’m talking seriously ugly. Coke bottle glasses, some kind of growth thing on the side of his nose, really slippery looking hair, frog lips and an annoying snorting-type noise that he emitted upon finding anything humorous…mostly his own really bad jokes. I actually tried to call my "one and only single friend" from my cell phone on the ride to the play to beg her to call me back with a contrived emergency to save me from this madness. No dice, she wasn’t home.
This date went from bad to worse. Upon entering the high school lunchroom (also known as the dressing room), I was immediately introduced to his daughter who resembled her father so strongly that I wanted to hug her just out of sympathy. We took our seats and immediately Mr. YDM put his big paw on top of my retreating digits.
Five minutes into the play, the man was sound asleep and sawing logs. Had he not had a death grip on my hand, I would have slipped out of my seat and ran for my life. My mind was racing, and I determined that the only way this date could get any worse is if I ran into someone I knew. You got it. During intermission, we ran into Spence (my hair stylist) and his wife. I couldn’t escape. I was forced to introduce Mr. YDM who promptly declared loudly in his nasally voice, "We met on the internet." Yippee. My private life had just hit the hair salon gossip mill.
Believe it or not, the evening finally did end. I once again tried to escape without the obligatory walk to the car and the ever so dangerous potential kiss. I assured him that I could get to my car on my own, but to no avail. Mr. YDM grasped my hand and off through the parking lot we wandered.
I had my keys in my hand to facilitate a quick and painless getaway, but once again, foiled. YDM had his spongy frog lips attached to my mouth in the blink of an eye. I swear as I drove away, he could see my rubbing me lips and screaming, "yuck, phooey, ughhhh, gross." I think it goes without saying that his "Dear Mr. Yucky Date Man" email was waiting in his email box before he ever got home.
Now you’d think after that experience, I’d have thrown in the towel and just filled in my on-line membership for the Lonely Losers Spinsters Club whose activities include sock darning socials, bus trips to homemade craft fairs and the annual seminar on More Great Chicken Broth Recipes. One more try, one more try…that was my battle cry.
Shortly after that experience, I actually met my Mr. Right. Where did I meet him you ask? Right here on the internet. He’s over 5’10," slightly girthy, funny as hell, equally as strange, and loosely normal though he’d deny it with his last breath.
I have to admit that at the beginning of our relationship, I shied away from telling anyone that I met him through the personal ads on the internet. I sort of evaded the question when presented to me, but I’m over that. When asked now where I met my man, I proudly proclaim, you can find love on the internet. You just have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince!
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