Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Mailbox Full of Men

A recently reanimated woman signed onto an online match service to see what she could see. Let's be honest here, she is me. And I'm not looking for a lot, really.

Why? I enjoy the company of men, very much, especially if we have core interests in common. I thrive on good conversation and have that with my friends, yet I do miss having a companionable man in my life. So, while I'm used to and like living alone and have trouble even imagining living with someone or marrying again, I've decided to see what connections the net can bring me. Dating in a small town, especially for a woman of a certain age, isn't very likely to bring great results. We all pretty much know each other and most people are already married or matched. Before I moved out here I heard a radio piece about this very town, on NPR, where one person interviewed said: "Every single person here has dated everyone else already and they're in line to go around again." Funny? Not so much. I knew then if I wanted a mate I'd better move to a bigger town. But I didn't want a mate. So I moved here. Right now, though, in one important way I'm like most of the guys in my online dating service mailbox: I miss the cuddling and conversations that come with a long term meaningful relationship. So why not give this internet thing another try? It can't hurt to be optimistic and try, right?

The most endearing thing I've seen in some of these profiles is the answer to the question: "Who is the most influential person in your life?" Variations of this same answer have come up now and then: "My wonderful wife. We were married 37 years." This melts me every time. Who wouldn't be drawn to a guy who loved his wife and was married that long to her? I consider raising the top of the age range I've requested to find more widowers. Though I am divorced and haven't had a successful partner-relationship in my life, wouldn't I have a better shot with someone who had?

Opposites attract? When you're a woman of a certain age it's amazing how many potential matches you can close after just reading a line or two. Say the first line is: "The one thing X is most passionate about - great cars, motorcycles, diving." And say the last line is: "X typically spends his time - cleaning the car, eating barbecued wings, maybe a movie." Say the woman of a certain age is most passionate about: "the arts." And say the woman of a certain age drives a '97 bottom-of-the-line Toyota Corolla that might be dark green and definitely always has a dirty dog blanket over the back seat. And she's a vegetarian. And she would like to live at her local movie theater and just rent out her house. Match closed.

Adventure Guy. This guy is articulate, interesting in the thoughtfulness and maturity of his answers to profile questions. So, I'm attracted immediately. Most of his photos show him to be far more fit than I am, which normally would be enough to close the match. I wonder how old the pictures are - but I try to take people at their word so I'll assume these reflect, at least, who he sees himself as: kayaking the Sea of Cortez; strapped into something that appears to be a very pricey backpack...or is it climbing gear? Reality check. This guy is five years younger than me and he's into adventure. I did white water open canoe slalom racing for 13 years to challenge myself (and because I thought it was good for my marriage), and I will step onto a stage to act or sing but I honestly do not like adventure if it involves speed or bodily risk. Match closed.

The Berkeley Guy. On the surface you'd think this would be a great match for me. His first passion: couple dancing. He does it twice a week. The couple dancing, I mean. I've always wanted to learn to dance. He loves cultural activities and puts live theater high on his list. I love theater. So why did I skim this match and close it in less than a minute? He's too perfect. Not for me; for himself. The man is already in love. And he realizes how fortunate he is to have himself, just as wonderful and enlightened as he is. And he wishes more people would see how great he is and how much he wants them to just be happy, too. Match closed.

The Regular Guy. He's not saying much in his profile except that he appreciates and loves his family and friends and that's the most important thing in his life. Occupation: Construction. He doesn't give me a lot to go on here, so we might not have much in common. No indication of interests or activities. But his most influential person? "My late wife taught me how to love and be a good person." Match open.

1 comment:

  1. I'm really enjoying your writing, Deb. And will stay tuned to see what happens with this new adventure!