thats the thing about the internet dating.
its so easy to fall for the okey-doke.
for days and weeks you are strung along thinking you are talking to prince charming
and then your first face to face meet comes and he looks more like
the hind end of prince charming’s horse
and he’s brought his own saddle
and wants you to use it.
there is no way of knowing beforehand if the photographs they put up are from 15 years or 15lbs ago.
“so, you’re on a local football team?”
…a fantasy football team
“what! you made $85,000 this year?”
…in credit card debt.
“yeah, i agree a bungalow is more than enough space for two”
…yourself and your mother.
anything can happen. anything can be fraudulent. but you’re already internet dating so you have no choice but to be hopeful.
and so, you arrive– pressed, polished, primped.
(pathetic? no. its the way of the future. sally forth*.)
you are poised on the bar stool with your good side to the room and your nonchalant face on.
waiting and anticipating and
can’t figure out (until it is much muchmuch too late)
why this balding beer bellied yahoo, clutching that sad bunch of bodega roses is standing
in front of you (looking hopeful)
blocking your view of the restaurant door.
(is he really wearing tevas?)
no matter how short you manage to make the night it is always, always too long.
better (or worse) than the photo fraud perpetrators are the disappearing acts.
these heartbreak houdini’s come from nowhere– never appeared in your matchsearch before and then blammo you’ve got an inbox full of the cleverest of one-liners, the most meaningful email messages and a e-heart full of goo.
“what? you’ve got a head full of hair and a real job that you love AND tattoos AND a dog AND you like skydiving AND listen to rachmaninoff AND wu tang clan AND [insert hyperbole ad nauseum]?”
…nope. he’s the real deal.
one fine day
you wake up, check your personal emails, your work emails, and then (finally, phew!)
the dating site emails – looking for, nay expecting some
sweet e-nothings from this man of your internet fantasies and irl dreams…
and that’s exactly what you got:
as in exactly nothing.
no log of page visits,
no insightful journal entries about politics and pop culture,
no tasteful shirtless photo on a foreign beach,
none of all the things that tipped you over into e-heart with him
nothing to even prove that he existed at all.
nothing but the hilarious and introspective and wry and perfect 13 printed pages long email chain
(better than first date small talk any day)
now seemingly sent from an anonymous paramour because this one is just …
eharmonious match forfeit.
but, you are resigned and determined to be hopeful. you are already internet dating after all. you keep your eye on the prize of one day writing your own email testimonial complete with photos of you and your beau kayaking or posing in front of yosemite. you sally forth; culling new batches of matches. composing more insightful emails. crossing your fingers.
like that one kid playing musical chairs that would sit on every other chair – music stopped or not.
… maybe now?
sometimes, in the schoolyard game of internet dating (as with musical chairs and life)
you end up on your ass.
*or cathy, lol. i bet she would have internet dated.