Friday, July 09, 2004

The Book of Online Dating
The last thumbnail I dated looked like a frog. But who minds a frog when after 20 years I'd been married to a coyote? Frogs have the potential of becoming princes, once a person overcomes their initial adversion to them, while coyotes just howl at you every night.

My frog did not become a prince, although there is a good possibility he may yet become another's. While our time together lasted for but a brief eight months, we did manage to help each other get through the initial downslide of mutual relationships, he from some psycho, and I from a husband who loved me in all the wrong ways, at least to my way of loving. But what did I expect? At the bottom of a slippery slope is just a bunch of mud.

So after taking yet another oath of celibacy not that I'd ever broken it, I pushed aside my membership from the online dating world. Instead, I decided to meet people in the old-fashioned way, that is, in real life. Once I made this decision, I knew things would really start happening for me; I'd begin bumping into potential dating partners in the elevator, on the street, standing just behind me in line for coffee. It was simple, just a question of belief, might I go so far as to call it faith. My desire and openness for a healthy relationship would simply translate into other areas of my life, which is why after several months, I found myself signing up for another dating service. Only this time, I didn't hurry.

Now before I typed the numbers of my credit card and pressed the Return button, I began to hone my profile. Call it a marketing resume, a single point of contact that could make or break my abililty to realize a social life.

"Gorgeous brunnette with a figure you could die for, at least I do several times a week in the gym," I began, "is fluent in several tongues in several colors that she swaps out for different occasions, is looking to meet someone who enjoys watching tomatoes grow at the Alameda County Fair."

"That should do it," I said to myself, and posted my erstwhile notice with a flourish of a keystroke. I wasn't a paying member yet. My half-baked profile would come up, of course, in searches and I could even send an initial icebreaker with some canned expression of interest like "Hello, there tiger," or "You're an Errol Drool and a Half;" but I couldn't receive email and my description was floating around in the electronic ether without a photograph, which nine out of 10 times is an admission of some kind of guilt.

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