Online Dating Sites and Other Lies
29 Dimensions of what?
It was two years ago, this January that I took a leap and signed my best friend, whom I will call Melissa, up for a well-known online dating service. She was approaching 50 years old and just getting out of a long term relationship for the 7th time, with the same man! Yes she is the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Her long term addiction to this man whom her other friends and I refer to as a cheap, emotionally draining airbag was really starting to wear on all of us--especially me but lacking any male friends who were dating material for Melissa, I decided using technology to find someone for her was the answer.
It is true when we women reach a certain age, the male dating pool gets less and less. Women who are starved for companionship find their selves lowering their expectations down so low that even the homeless guy who mutters to himself seems like a possible catch!
Christmas Gift: A subscription to a Dating Service Site
Melissa was not offended by my signing her up, not at all. As she opened the envelope to the card, she laughed and said "Ah you know me too well.....this is perfect and it fits!"
Regardless of the outcome of this venture, it was clear we were going to have lots of laughs thinking up snarky answers to the seemingly endless questions of your past, present and future.
Melissa was spending the weekend of New Year's so she arrived early the day before to complete the application process. Excited we sat down at the computer and set about to find Mr. Right and his 29 dimensions of compatibility with my life-long friend.
Profile Pictures and Tell us a Bit about Yourself
Before getting on to the site to do the narrative part of her profile, I sat Melissa down and took some "glam" shots. One full body to show off her recently reconfigured, figure and another close up to show her ageless face without the typical road maps displayed on other 50 year old faces. I took about 10 shots which Melissa scrutinized with a magnifying glass. "I don't like the way this one makes my neck look like a turkey" or "This one makes me look like a ghost, I need some color", finally after literally an hour picking apart each photograph she arrived at one that looked natural and passing. Word to the wise, do not look too long or you will find fault with each and every photograph of yourself.
We uploaded the photo into Melissa profile and set about answering the 100 plus questions. It was not a simple task. Some required deep thought. Some questions appear to be "trick" questions. Too much thought and we found the questions impossible to answer, not enough thought and our answers appeared trite and we sounded flaky. I say "we" cause I was helping and felt invested in the process of finding Mr. Right for my BFF.
A lot of the questions seemed just plain pointless. "Do you prefer to sleep on your back or your side?" "Do you sleep in pajamas or in the nude?"
After two hours, yes two hours and a bottle of Shiraz, we finished the profile questions and it was on to writing a brief summary about yourself. Tell us a little about yourself and make it witty. Oh....no pressure. We wrote that "brief summary" at least 10 times. Each time we read it out loud and it sounded boring. Melissa wrote: "I like to travel up the coast, enjoy wine tasting, long walks on the beach, good conversations....blah blah" Doesn't everyone say this? A fortune could be made writing profiles for others on dating sites. Somehow we managed to come up with a passing summary after we condensed it from its original ten pages down to a single paragraph.
The summary and 100 plus questions completed. The profile pic uploaded and we finally pressed "enter". Suddenly pops up a couple of pages with possible matches of men whom this particular service calls the "29 Dimensions of Compatibility" mumbo jumbo that are matches for my friend. really?
These are my "Matches?"
There were 50 so-called available men who matched Melissa's personality, but the trouble was, half of them were in the wrong age group 65-80 years old! This is not exactly what we signed up for. These guys looked more like they were trolling for a free nursemaid not a future wife! Not to be rude, but Melissa gets paid as a nurse and she was hoping for a man at least in her age bracket with a decade or more of active living left in them.
Besides the geriatric list of men, the majority of the age-appropriate men were not geographically desirable--they did not even live in the same state. We made it clear we did not want to consider any potential mate outside of the 50 mile radius of Melissa's hometown.
After excluding the old guys and the out of area guys, we were left with about 3 men. One posed with his pet snake--NO, Melissa has a phobia of all things slimy and crawly. Then there was the overly ink'd guy with bulging muscles (the kind prison inmates get) and was obviously in his early 30's, what was he doing in this group? We eliminated him based on his "just plain scary" looks.
We were left with "Jerry" he lived in the same town as Melissa. He was pilot, had his own plane, loved to dance, enjoyed good books (he even read some of the same books Melissa had read) and he was a widow with grown children. He looked like Rock Hudson except straight, although Rock looked straight even after we all learned he was gay. Anyway, "Jerry" seemed a catch.
We quickly sent Jerry a "tickle" which is like a Facebook "poke". Sort of a flirty, non-committal way to reach out to someone you do not know but let them know you are interested. To our surprise, Jerry responded immediately. He gave Melissa a "hug" stating he liked her profile picture.
All that New Year's weekend Jerry sent Melissa emails, they discussed his love of flying and dancing. They discussed the books they read. They had mutual acquaintances. Still, with all the back and forth banter via emails, Jerry did not make any advances to talking "live" via cell phone nor did he suggest meeting in person.
The weekend ended and the new year started. Melissa left for her home and on to whatever the new year would offer.
Let's Meet Up or..........Not
A week passed and I did not hear from Melissa. Curiosity was killing me. Had Jerry continued to send emails? Did he finally call?
I gave Melissa a ring and said "Well? What is the latest?" Seems Jerry had gone cold. No emails in a couple of days from him. Melissa was perplexed. Was he dating someone else? Was he emailing with other ladies? Finally we decide Melissa should send Jerry a "tickle" and see if he responds.
Melissa sent the tickle to Jerry and 15 minutes later Jerry responded with an email. Apparently Jerry had been busy. Even though he was semi-retired, he still worked teaching new pilots how to fly. With the new year, lots of people were given holiday gift certificates for private flying lessons, so Jerry's calendar had booked up rather fast shortly after the beginning of the year.
Melissa called me in a frantic state, "Should I be forward and invite him to coffee, what should I do?" We discussed it in detail for over an hour finally coming up with an innocent sounding way to approach Jerry. Melissa would email Jerry and say she had been given a gift card for Starbucks and suggest meeting at the small airport where Jerry keeps his plane. After carefully wording the email so as not to sound too pushy, forward or basically scare old Jerry off, we arrived at the perfect sounding email and hit "send".
A day or two passed and no response. We discussed several scenarios. Was he just not interested? Is he a player? Is Jerry juggling several other women he had met on this site and just too busy? Is he just a jerk?
Finally day three Jerry responded and "YES" he would love to meet up but he suggested some other place, off site of the airport. Was that a red flag? Did Jerry not want anyone he knows seeing him with Melissa? Jerry claimed his cronies at the airport might spy on him as he was with Melissa and felt a less intrusive place would be a local coffee shop near the airport but away from inquiring minds.
The date was set to take place at Norm's Coffee Shop. They would met at 7:00 PM on the following Tuesday. All day Melissa was a nervous wreck. She rushed home from her work at a busy doctor's office, pulled off her scrubs and quickly showered, did her hair, make-up applied, contact lenses in and a spot of perfume. Scrubbed, polished and smelling great, she was off to the coffee shop.
Melissa found a bench outside the shop to sit. She timed her arrival to just short of 5 minutes before the planned time. She sat on the bench trying to look relaxed and nonchalant as she looked at her iphone.
Soon it became 7:00 PM. Then 7 turned into 15 minutes past 7 PM. Then it was 7:30 PM, then 8:00 PM finally the hostess at the coffee shop asked Melissa if she would like to be taken to a table. "No thank you, I think I've been stood up" said Melissa as she gathered her wits and walked to her car.
What the hell was this?
When I spoke to Melissa the next day I was still excited with the anticipation of learning if my friend had finally found her soul mate; and not knowing what had happened since I did not hear from her that night, as I was assuming she was having too much fun and when she finally was able to say "He didn't show up" it took her saying it three times before I fully comprehended "DID NOT SHOW UP!".
I wanted to hunt the creep down. I wanted to scream at him "what is wrong with you?" "Why would you do that to someone?" "Just how old are you?" Real men, real people do not act in that manner. Real people have the guts to at least call and say you cannot make it! Melissa did not want to contact Jerry ever again. She did not want to know what his excuse was, she just wanted to remove her profile, cancel the account and pretend she NEVER signed up for any dating service. I did what she asked and the next day, closed the account.
Melissa is still looking for her someone. She had a brief lapse and returned for an 8th time to her airbag boyfriend which, of course, resulted in yet another break up with him. I want to thank the infamous "Jerry" for shattering my best friend's confidence and making her think "maybe the only one for me is my abusive, no-class boyfriend" but I knew Melissa would come around again eventually and take what is left of her self-esteem and dump the loser again.
We will never know why Jerry, a man who was allegedly a trained pilot, a father and supposedly mature person would have been such a flake.
Not knowing the reason why a grown man would not have at least the common courtesy to call someone who is waiting to let them know he was not going to show, only leads to speculations. Maybe he wasn't a widow? Maybe he was married? Maybe he already found his mate with the 29 dimensions of compatibility ? Maybe he got cold feet? Maybe he died of a massive heart attack while getting ready?
Maybe he was just a jerk, yep I am pretty certain that was it. A jerk with 29 dimensions of lies.