A month after I asked the father of my children to move out, I answered a nagging curiosity to explore the world of online dating. I know, bad idea, but I had friends who had tried it so it seemed reasonable, viable and benign. And my calloused heart was in need of a small dose of adult attention & flirty flattery. Plus, I was limited for time so this venue gave me the space and time required to filter for perv’s and pinpoint brains like the true sapiosexual I am.
So I opened Pandora’s Box and reluctantly walked into the virtual meat market of online dating. Not surprisingly, it didn’t take long for the meat to go rancid, but my social experiment did reveal some interesting results. Upon passing go I was immediately bombarded by men eager like rabid, pacing carnivore monkeys who gave true meaning to the words tactless & distasteful with their bare chests and wife-beater-selfies taken in the dimming light of roadside motel 6 bathrooms like they were interviewing for a Dateline expose of Back Page. I’m not flattering myself here. That’s the beast; not unlike the real-life bar scene. I waded through dozens of cheesy cat call introductions, hardly passable for any form of colloquial English. Men who evidently had not read my profile and likely didn’t know how to read real well at all, certainly not beyond the middle school grade level, drunken bathroom stall chicken scratches or craigslist personal ads with a $5 dollar budget, insulted me when I politely turned them down. But the light at the end of this death roll dating scene tunnel was somebody completely unsuspected.
Before I was able to finalize my profile, I came across a man, let’s call him Dwight, appearance-wise, he wasn’t my so-called “type,” but he was witty and articulate, kind, down to earth, creative, not at all pushy, and, the best part, he was very funny, and I really needed a good laugh. I remained guarded at first but, as I have always been a good judge of character, I soon found Dwight to be a clear exception to online dating rules. He was unapologetically himself, eccentric and proud. Our worldview was on par. He had outstanding taste in music. He was a single dad, so we related on that very fundamental level as well. He had his son full-time, spent Sundays with his grandma, did handstands in the park over his lunch break, enjoyed going to grown-up roller skating on Friday night and loved kittens. My type.
Not long after our flirtations began, I found my mind randomly drifting off to think about canoodling with him. This sudden longing was completely unsuspected and somewhat undesired. I felt like a school girl on a seesaw surrounded by classmates; like a virgin in the wake of a convulsing shower head; like a fat kid who gets an extra chicken nugget free of charge. My yearning shocked the hooty outta me but indeed I was tickled.
After years of emotional vacancy and next to zero marital intimacy, I suddenly felt sexy. So sexy, in fact, that I was inclined to flaunt my once-perfectly-firm, perky and alert bosoms turned child-rearing-milk-boxes reassembling something more akin to bean bags or raisins at amateur night at the local strip club. Yeah, and not because it’s classy, no classy it most certainly isn’t but it was raw and self-assured like I was feeling.
Like dry humping in grade school, I thought online dating would provide a protective barrier to safeguard my tender, emotionally vacant heart and conscience decision to spend the remainder of my days as a contented single mother of two. Well, oops, I was wrong about that. Turns out I want more. Plus, I completely forgot, I just suck at following conventional wisdom about dating. I usually say too much, unpack my crazy too soon, and forgo the advice of family and friends to keep my options open by practicing the multiple crush theory. I just stink at dating. Loathe it.
Ultimately, Dwight and I remain friends. Perhaps that’s not the happy ending you were looking for but considering the online dating selection, I’d say it’s not too shabby. I have since returned to casually peruse, swiping left a lot, but very occasionally seeing somebody that has potential. Let’s just hope that if I spy a fine man and sharp mind before me in real time, I remember all the rules that apply to real-time human interaction. Let’s hope I don’t try sideswiping him into my pre-approved queue in a bewildering act of virtual meets actual, toppling over him onto the grocery store floor a la America’s funniest video or side checking him on the roller skating circuit in full awkward glory. The jury is still out. Stay tuned.