In an effort to stay off the online dating sites, my friend Susan decided to sell her condo, move into an apartment, furnish the entire apartment, and start hosting dinner parties. After awhile, though, she ran out of spaces to decorate and got sick of eating leftover salmon. She was forced to go revisit the Land of Perpetual Optimism to see what men had joined the site since her last visit.
First, she amended her profile to make it sound, in her words, less like “someone who lives on a gerbil wheel,” and to present herself, instead, as someone who might actually have time to spend with prospective suitors.
Next, she expanded the upward age parameter of suitable men. She had stopped at 65 before, but now pushed the limit to 80 (the site actually takes men up to 99, presumably forcing centenarians to lie about their age), but Susan was skeptical about anyone over 75.
The emails started, if not rolling in, at least walking in on artificial knees and hips. The following are the first two she received:
Just looking around the Virginia site — and couldn’t help but respond to your lovely profile. Up front I tell you that I am in a serious relationship — so I am not looking to meet you. BUT — had to read your profile –and we would be a perfect match — I am very much like you are. Maybe you have found that love of your life already — hope so — he will be a lucky man. My best to you. XXX
(Blogger’s note: In an effort to protect the writer’s identity, I have called him XXX. But, Don, you know who you are.)
Susan, because she has an uncanny ability to cut to the chase, asked “Why did he write to me if he is in a serious relationship?” She followed this with, “Should I write back?”
I told her she should. Here is my suggestion:
Dear Don, Thanks so much for putting your serious relationship at risk by going onto an online dating site so that you could find me. As I am only looking for men who are currently in serious relationships, I agree that we would, indeed, be a perfect match. The answer to your musing is that I have just joined the site two days ago, and, although I have several ardent suitors already, I usually wait at least five days to declare that someone is the love of my life. Call me a cock-teasing bitch if you must, but I find that five days is the minimal length of time I need to do a full financial and criminal background check on someone.
As you have no desire to meet me, this will not be necessary. I will simply take my laptop to bed with me and stare at your photo to within an inch of its life, imagining what could have been between us, in some other time and place. And, I will deny all knowledge of this communication, should your serious relationship ever get into your emails and go full-tilt boogie ballistic. Tell her she’s got a real gem on her hands and she shouldn’t complain about anything. My best to you. Susan
Next up: An email from a 78-year-old in PA wanting to know if Susan would relocate to one of his rental properties near him since he can’t leave …
Please visit www.guerrillaaging.wordpress.com for our latest post by Marjorie Signer. Marj’s life has taken her from Chicago’s middle class suburbs to life in an Indian ashram to another life in Washington DC. Along the way, she has been a newspaper journalist, a wife and mother, and a relentless advocate for women’s rights. In retirement, both her garden and her commitment to political change are thriving.