Do I dare go back?
A few years ago, I ventured into the world of internet dating, both through Yahoo personal ads and Matchmaker.com. I have friends who met their spouses on Match.com, and those ads for eHarmony sure sound good, but my experiences were generally a little less successful. I did meet some nice guys, but there are a lot of strange people online too. Frankly, I just don't have the energy any more to go out on that many bad first dates. I can't tell you how many times I thought to myself "damn, I could be home on the couch watching tv with the dogs right now . . ." The date that finally put me over the top was the following:
"Bob" seemed like a nice enough fellow. From what I knew, he was divorced, with 2 grown kids, 40-ish, geographically desirable, reasonably successful, self-employed, active etc. We exchanged emails and photos, and decided to meet at a place near the beach for a drink one evening. The night before, we spoke on the phone, and he casually said to me - "I told you I'm an amputee, right?" Me - "ummm, no, how did you lose your limb?" Him - "On the day I was discharged from the army during the Vietnam war, I was driving with a friend and rolled my VW, and they had to amputate my leg." Me - doing some quick math - "Well, unless you were discharged from the army when you were 6, you're a bit older than you claim." Him - laughing - "oh yeah, I find that women in their 30's don't want to meet someone in his '50s, so I carve a few years off my age."
Needless to say, this date was not getting off on the right foot (pun intended), but I figured he would be easy to spot at the bar. We met for a drink the next evening and here are some of the highlights - the photo he'd emailed me was about 15 years old. He was indeed missing a leg, and walked on crutches. This made it difficult for him to grab my ass as we walked through the restaurant, but he managed. Better yet, although he'd been sober for 15 years, now that he was single and mingling, he'd started drinking again. He suggested our next date should be a day at the beach, but I could never figure out how to transport him across the sand on crutches. We didn't go out again.
These days, I figure if I'm meant to meet someone, it will be on the golf course, on an expedition, while hiking, or just generally doing something I enjoy. But every once in awhile I wonder if Mr. Right is just an email away . . .