I’ve been friends with Karen for a long time. We’re about the same age, we are both homeowners, we consider ourselves successful career women, we both lead independent lives, and we both like antiquing and Cosmos. We like where we are in life.
But every two years or so when we forget how much we enjoy our independent lives, we go on eHarmony or Match or some such site and inevitably both have the same results. This is in no way a man-bashing story – we like men – it’s just a story about Adventures In On-Line Dating. It starts like this.
One of Us: I think I’m joining such and such dating site.
The Other: Really? Don’t you remember? Everybody is old but lies about it. And it’s the same people all the time.
One of Us: I know, but maybe there’s someone new who is honest. Besides, such-and-such just met so-and-so and seem to be working out.
The Other: It’s a waste of time.
One of Us: You’re right.
The Other: It’s dumb.
One of Us: True that. I don’t know what I was thinking.
The Other: Okay, so call me when you join and we’ll look at their pictures?
One of Us: Right. See you Thursday.
We got together Thursday at my kitchen table. The site gives you Hundreds of Perfect Matches, so you need to set up some solid elimination factors with solid reasons behind them. As hostess for this round, I did that before we went through the list. If you were a potential suitor, in my book you could be eliminated at first glance for these reasons.
- You took a selfie in the bathroom mirror and we can see your phone. (An indication that you have no friends to take your photo.)
- You are posing with your shirt off. (Just no. Put that away.)
- You are wearing a baseball cap at dinner which is not in a ball park. (You are either bald – so what, or you have no manners – which is a big deal.)
- You are lying in your bed with the dog under the covers. (No further explanation needed.)
- You are standing next to a hanging deer or kneeling with a great big fish in your hands.(I have no plans to gut anything.)
- You posted your 1973 high school picture. (We all looked good 40-some years ago.)
- You live more than 20 minutes away. (If I invite you to join me in a glass a wine, you need to get here before I fall asleep.)
Well, that wiped out 85% of the pool right there. Karen reminded me that with the remaining 15% we’d have to deduct at least 3” from their given high-school height, and add at least another 4 years to their ages. We were exhausted after the preliminary round. Further, the whole thing is a long, drawn out ordeal that sucks up your time when you could be doing other activities like pulling weeds, folding towels, or reading a book. It is painful, but we try to encourage one another to finish the process.
With that in mind, the next step at some point would be to begin typing messages back and forth to someone you chose to contact or who contacted you and appeared to have friends, was wearing a shirt, lived within wine distance, etc. My short correspondence:
Potential: Hi, I’m Michael! I loved your picture!! I’m looking for someone I can bring home to my two adult sons who live with me! I want someone I can snuggle with who will be my lifetime companion! What do you want in a relationship?!! What are you looking for?!!
Me: Umm. Wowee…I’m really just looking for someone to help me take the cover off the pool….
Michael: Hahahahahaha! You’re a kidder, I can tell!! When can we get together?!!
Me: Oh, well…we can’t, sorry. I just noticed that you’re outside my 20-minute wine radius.
Michael: Oh. They say love has no limits, but I guess they were lying.
I know many of you have met the love of your life on line, but I think my tolerance for serial dating expired a long time ago. So many other things to do – I have a business to run, people to see, contracts to sign, wine to drink, grandkids to play with, and books to write. There’s not a lot of extra time I want to forfeit.
You know how that goes, though. In a couple of years either Karen or I will come up with the brilliant idea of testing out online dating. By that time it’ll be her turn to host and we’ll be reporting from her kitchen table. Check back in 2019 for the surprising results!