Letitia, Uncovered

Posted on April 6, 2012

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Back in 1999, a year that occurred in the last century, back before youtube, the iPod, and the no-contact jacket, my friend Susan and I decided to start a speed dating company.  We did this because:

1. We had no experience of starting a business of any kind

2. We had no experience of speed dating

3. Our qualification was that we were single

We had simply heard about a Jewish group that was created by a rabbi as a way for young Jewish singles to meet each other.  Sixty Minutes featured them and people who saw the show told us about it. So, based on no knowledge and no research, and only second-hand information, we decided to start a company.

We decided our company would be non-denominational and would cater to singles over age 50. Our first order of business was to sign up participants.  In order to get women, we went into a dark, soundproof closet and whispered the word “speed dating.” Within minutes, the word got out and woman were sending us emails, calling us, and camping out on our doorsteps.

Men were a bit different.  They were a challenge, much the same way that climbing Machu Picchu would be considered a challenge if you were running a high fever, blindfolded, wearing stiletto heels and walking backward.

But we had the internet at our disposal.  We hatched a brilliant plan.  We “created” a fake woman on an online dating site, a woman who would be guaranteed to elicit a ton of male responses.  We would then respond to them, admit the woman was fake, but then tell them about speed dating and sign them up.

And so Letitia was born: a twenty-something who was tall, had long dark hair, a killer body, very large buoyant breasts, was into tantric sex, and seriously wanted to date men over 50.  I think we also threw in that she had a great job, loved to travel, blah, blah blah.  When we were finished, we sat back, looked at what we had created and laughed ourselves sick.

“Maybe we should amend some of these things,” Susan said.  “No one would believe this stuff.”

“I know,” I said.  “Oh wait, someone just contacted Letitia.  Unbelievable.  Oh, there’s another. Yikes.  Another one.”

The emails started pouring in

“You sound like the woman I’ve been waiting for.”

“You sound so literate, so cultured.  Would you like to meet?”

“We have so much in common.  When can I meet you?”

Susan and I couldn’t believe what we had started.  We began to respond immediately to the now landslide of emails we were getting.  We explained that Letitia was fake and that we simply wanted to get men for speed dating.  This is what we got back:

“I know you are real.  Please answer.”

“I’m not interested in speed dating, but I want to meet Letitia.”

“Where does Letitia live?”

“You people are odious. Let Letitia speak for herself.”

“Are you Letitia?  I know you are.”

It didn’t matter what we said.  The emails kept coming.  The more we denied Letitia’s existence, the more men sought her out.  We finally had to shut Letitia down. There are probably men who are still checking the site to see if Letitia will come back.  And, I have to admit, even I, myself, think of her every now and then.  Ah, what fun she could have had.

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