Don't Take It Personally


Cyber dating: Writing that tricky profile could be fun.


I watch way too many romantic comedies. But I love them. The boy always gets the girl, the dialogue is deeply heartfelt and letter perfect and everyone lives in great apartments they obviously can’t afford. I wish I could stop watching them but I can’t. I think I might have a problem.  There is no 12 step program for this, I’ve checked. But if there were, I’d qualify by saying “Hi. My name is, and I’m a romantic comedy addict. I am powerless over the belief that Prince Charming is on his way and probably just got held up in traffic”.
Predictably, I cry at the end of every one of these movies because love has won the day like it’s friggin’ supposed to and that really chokes me up. But as happy and gratified as I am for the fictional characters I have grown to understand and love, in under two hours, the tears I shed are more a product of self pity than altruistic joy. Why, oh why, I ask the universe, isn’t that me falling in love with an irascible yet genuinely adorable man with perpetual five-o’clock shadow and a strong-yet-tender heart? When oh when will my prince come to call? Really, the question I should be asking myself is: Why do I still believe he’s out there?
In real life you don’t see the curve balls coming and you have no clue if you’ll hit a home run or strike out when it’s your turn at bat. You do your best, make your judgment calls and play it as it lays. In real life, you don’t have the luxury of watching it all unfold from the balcony, objective and rational; knowing that if the movie started at 7:00, all will be right with the world by 9:15 at the latest. With a sure thing like that, is it so surprising that I want to dive head first into the celluloid land of happy endings and love everlasting?
If you really think about it, cyber dating is a lot like the movies. You get to sit back, relax and totally immerse yourself in the lives of two-dimensional characters. Who are they, what do they have to say and where will the plot take you when you join their legions? You wonder while taking advantage of the free trial period that suckers you in. What ever happened to plain old fashioned chemistry; meeting men face to face like I did once upon a time in my pre-divorce days? Has it really come to this? You ask trying in vain to make sense of your pathetic love life. Asking these questions is fruitless. It’s like trying to understand infinity or the reason why the piercing roar of a Harley is louder than the human ear was meant to withstand.
I will admit that cyber cruising has its plusses. I can peruse men from the comfort of my couch in my PJ’s while sporting a moustache and goatee made entirely of depilatory cream. And I can actually afford the wine I’m drinking. I just wish there wasn’t so much work involved in setting up the profile. And I wish I knew which tact to take when writing the darn thing. Should I be myself: clever and witty, intelligent and urbane? Should I wax poetic about walks on the beach and fireside chats? Or should I just try to sound like a normal person who won’t scare away potential dates in under thirty seconds? You can melt a block of Velveeta in that amount of time, which is a pathetic standard against which to measure my chances, but that’s probably the time frame in which I have to work. Cyber daters, I have discovered, will not necessarily be on the lookout for substance; it’s all about whether or not you take a good picture. So maybe it doesn’t really matter what I say. Maybe I should just throw caution to the wind and say what I really mean. Because after all, I am getting too old to play games and I think a posting like the following would definitely separate the men from the boys.
I am a once burned but not shy divorcee. You love dogs, hate to witness injustice and your teeth are all your own. You meet me for the first time wearing socks that match and clothes that don’t look like they were rescued from the hamper in the nick of time (or so you think). You can complete a sentence, put two and two together and man do you make me laugh. Nobody calls you Bubba, Tad or Junior (I live in the South; feel free to substitute any regional nickname here that you find equally offensive) and you are tall enough to ride this ride. Without asking, you understand my every thought, wish and desire and know how to fulfill every one. You eat quiche, are not overly obsessed with sports and you’re not afraid to ask for directions. And you are a really good kisser.
If this sounds like you, I will be thoroughly amazed that you are real, alive and reading this posting. Call me. Immediately! But please be prepared to show me three forms of picture I.D. so I know that you are for real.