By Joan Taylor
Contributing columnist
It all started with a daughter trying to be helpful. I am not sure if she was tired of late night calls from her mother – after all who do you call when you have just killed a spider the size of a pony that was lounging in your bathtub – or fear that someday I would move in with her.
I am talking about online dating websites.
My daughter went to one of the “safe” free websites and set up a profile for her Mom. I, of course, discovered this when I went to read my e-mails the next day.
I was horrified.
She — having known me since birth — had filled in most of the basic questions and loaded a fairly flattering photo of me. (by my standards). My location wasn’t specific, and it claimed I was looking for friendship. I decided to have some fun and see what happened.
After all, the ads on TV claim instant romance and world travel . . . Every man seems to look like Paul Newman and every woman Raquel Welch.
There are a few rules to this new world dating. No profanity, and for men, no photo’s of you and your sports car.
Since you choose the gender you prefer to get responses from, you never see the profiles of other women. I am wondering if all these other ladies are posting glamour shots from the 80’s or pin up girl shots?
A few of the gentlemen did sneak pictures of the occasional Corvette or Mercedes into the background of their pictures. So, like high school, the fancy car seems to draw attention.
So you wait.
Sure enough a notice pops up in your e-mails. Someone has visited your profile and is sending you a message.
Luckily the message goes to the dating site. You sign in and read your mail. You need to be careful though. With the wrong computer setting, it can tell possible Romeo’s you are on line and will chat.
No thanks I am just window shopping.
The first responses are usually from the ones who have been members for quite a while. I guess in the jungle fresh prey is evident. Most of these guys were nice looking and were promising dinner dancing and “buying you gifts.” Ok that is a little odd, but whatever.
Most of them were also located on the east or west coast. Long distance, well . . . . no thanks. Not my thing.
I noticed several from the zip code I live in. I even recognized one of them at the local grocery store. The face was the same, however, the cut off sweat pants and grungy t-shirt were kind of disheartening.
I did correspond with a man in Iowa for a while. Not too sure of his intentions. He kept asking if I liked to do laundry. We parted ways, and I blocked him from contacting me.
I think my favorite of all was a fellow who stated very plainly what he was looking for. “I want a woman with at least 200 acres that she owns outright. She needs to have a couple of horses, be able to ride and shoot a gun, and be willing to live off the grid.” I hope he found his life partner in all the glamour and glitz.
After about a year I turned the notifications for this web site off.
The process seemed a lot like hiring someone for a job. The applicants had a tendency to overstate qualifications, and possibly intentions.
I decided I am good the way I am.
I have my hobbies, my pets and a great family. I explained to my daughter if I got tired of my life I would join a real interest group and make new friends.
I do think however my daughter is still worried I may come to live with her someday.
If you think online romance is your thing, try it.
Be careful and be honest. Your soul mate may be right on the other side of Cupids arrow.