The Wonders of Online Dating, Part One – The Profile

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Several years ago I was convinced by a friend to fill out an online dating profile. She had done it and was convinced that it was the best way to meet potential suitors. “It’ll be fun,” she said.” I was skeptical. After several glasses of wine, if my memory serves correctly, we found ourselves in my backyard with an old clay flower pot, performing some sort of ritual that one of my “new age” friends had suggested whereby we wrote a list of things we desired in a relationship then lit them on fire sending them out into the universe to be manifested. There was some dancing around like Stevie Nicks with our wine glasses that we added, just for good measure. By this time my reservations where beginning to disappear, along with a second bottle of wine, and I agreed to give it a whirl.

I selected a nondescript user name and then was directed to come up with a one-sentence header to grab attention. We began by viewing available profiles and having another glass of wine. They ranged from the dull and unimaginative “Hi” to the desperate, “Can you make me love again?” (Yikes!) And things like this:

I am seeking for true love. Could that be you?” (Uh, probably not). “Looking for Drama Free. No Games!” (This tells me all I need to know). “Likes Pina Coladas and taking walks the Rain” (Really?) and at least one of these on every page, “Live. Love. Laugh” (Make it stop).

As you can see, my search was not at all helpful and should have been a clue to the dating experience I was headed for with this venue, but I soldiered on. According to the dating gurus at OK Cupid I needed something catchy and perhaps mysterious that would make potential dates want to dig deeper, so I wrote, “A post menopausal woman of mystery and power whose power is only exceeded by her mystery.” Okay, I think that’s mysterious enough…moving on.

They asked me about things I liked, so I told them about my love of animals of all kinds, especially dogs. I opined on about Miss Kitty, my old roommate’s pet that kept trying to kill me and how I didn’t think she was really responsible for her actions given her psychological state which no doubt developed from living in a college frat house during her developmental years. I admitted to listening to self-help CD’s while driving in the car and also singing, very loudly to Beach Boys songs or getting lost in the mystic with Van Morrison causing me, at times, to forget where I was. My driving skills sometimes suffer as a result.

Listing things I was good at was the next task. ‘Procrastination’ topped that list because I’m really good at it. “What do you spend time thinking about?” they asked. So I wrote down many of the things that I think about on a daily basis like, “Where I put my shoes, keys, the T.V. remote, that thing I just had in my hand two minutes ago.” “Will my phone battery last until I get home?” “Etiquette.” Things I shouldn’t have said but did.” “Do I have food stuck in my teeth? “I am a bad or a good person.” “I am too old to accomplish everything that I want to?” “Gray nail polish.”

Finish this statement,”was the next command “You should message me if…” Quoting Lucille Ball, I wrote, “I’m not shooting for perfection in a relationship. Basically I’m just looking for a mammal.” In hindsight, maybe I should have been more specific here.

Then I added my photo which is designed to be shown in a circle. Somehow it zoomed in too close showing only the left side of my nose and my left eye. You could vaguely see the left upturned corner of my mouth making me appear to be a crazed lunatic or perhaps just feeble-minded. I tried, but my attempts to correct this only made it worse. I figured, “What the heck. It just makes me more mysterious right?” I hit “submit.”

I was quite flattered when I got my first “flirt” within minutes of posting my profile. I had become quite full of myself by the time I had five notifications from interested suitors. How exciting! My ego quickly deflated after opening the flirts and looking over my potential suitors. Let’s just say that momentarily I thought that I had perchance mistakenly, signed up on some sort of prison dating site or a glitch had occurred causing me to be re-directed to the local psychiatric hospital.

You look really beautiful :)” he wrote, “Also you have this long dark hairs which adds spices to your crispy Beauty.” Obviously English was not his strong suit, and although I’m sure he was trying to be complimentary, I decided to pass, messaged him back that I didn’t think we were a good match and wished him luck.

The next message was from someone named ‘SexmusheenSam’ who included phrases in his profile such as, “i want sumone who is pretie” or “i like lots afekshun.” In response to his offer for a meeting I replied, “Based on the content of your online profile, I’m guessing that literacy is not one of the characteristics that we share.” Declining his offer I wished him luck. I immediately felt guilty for being so smarmy. It was the wine talking, and once I hit ‘send’ I couldn’t take it back, but really fellas, the attractiveness of proper grammar and spelling cannot be overstated. If you need to, get someone to help you.

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There were others who messaged that sounded promising and I did go out on a few dates so there is more to tell, but it will have to wait until another time as I have a new message from “packnheat114.” Who knows? He could be the one, although I kind of doubt it.

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What Time is it?

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I woke up this morning and the sun was up. “Oh no,” I thought, “This is not good.” I immediately panicked, “What time is it? I am going to be late for work. A frantic search through the house turned up my cell phone which displayed the time as 7:30 a.m. “Crap,” I thought, “I have to call the school to tell them I’m going to be late. Oh, this is awful. I feel so stupid. Why didn’t I set the alarm? Why had my phone not woken me up? I fumbled around with my phone for what seemed like an eternity and finally was able to dial Amazonia, it rang and rang. Where is everybody…will somebody please answer the phone? Damn, I ‘ll try back later. I have to get dressed….Wait, what day is this? It’s Monday right?……or could it be Sunday?” I really did not know. I had to get my laptop out and sign on to Chrome to see the date… it said 1/8/2017. This information was not really very helpful because I still did not know what day of the week it was. Ultimately, I went to the calendar to look for January 8th. It was Sunday. “Okay and this is the right calendar?” “Yes, 2017.” “Well okay then. I’m good.”
You see this is why I drag myself out of bed an hour earlier than most people do in the morning. Because I need to just sit on the couch with my coffee for at least 30 minutes before attempting to function in the world at any level. I wake up in an altered state of consciousness that makes my brain incapable of forming thoughts based on the real world. The only thing that seems to snap me out of this state is a gallon or two of really strong coffee and the passing of time. Until I am transported back to reality I cannot be held responsible for acts that may occur while I am under its dark influences.

Driving on ice

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Backing out of my driveway on the ice I realized that although I had applied the brake, my car was not stopping. A quick look in my rear view mirror revealed a line of bumper to bumper cars backed up on Ashland and I was heading straight for them with alarming speed. I managed to turn the wheel and slid into my yard just short of colliding with the side of a white Chevy Cruze. The face of the lady driving the Cruze went from horror to relief and I averted the urge to soil my britches.

One of my front tires caught the grass in my yard and stopped us, thank goodness. From there I was able to spin my tires for a while and catch some more grass, finally lurching up into my yard. I looked around. I sure as heck was not going to back up onto my driveway again. I saw my only choice was to drive through my yard. When I got to the edge of my yard and the start of my cranky neighbor’s yard I stopped and thought for a minute. I could see the side street right there. It was just a short jaunt across her small yard to the other side. I decided to go for it, something I regretted almost instantly. Ben said, “What are you doing? Don’t drive in her yard,” he says as we are driving through her yard. “Whoa, she’s going to be pissed,” he said, My reply, “She won’t even know.” At which time I turned around and looked…there were two big, painfully obvious, tire tracks running right through the middle of her yard.

I went ahead and dropped Ben off at work and worried all the way home that she would see them before I could get home and destroy the evidence. I just got back in the house after using my leaf rake to rake all the grass from my yard and all across hers to hide my blunder. I’m sure I looked like someone with a mental disorder out in the yard in 29 degrees in the freezing rain raking the grass like a lunatic, but I had to hurry. It was getting dark and I was afraid that any moment she might catch me in her yard…with the rake. Then I would have to explain and I didn’t want to explain. I don’t think she will ever know. However, I may still get a phone call…fingers crossed.

I Got the Death Stare at Target

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This kid in Target just made the loudest armpit farts I’ve ever heard, and much to the chagrin of his mother, I couldn’t stop laughing. Clearly I was not in control of myself, but I just couldn’t help it. All the live long day I have to be unyielding with my steely eyed teacher stare in the face of this type of self expression. The “Teacher Evil Eye” is a necessity for maintaining some semblance of decorum in my classroom. It’s nice for a change not to be the one in charge of maintaining order. However, I think his mother wanted to beat me up. She has perfected her own version of the “Death Stare” which she aimed in my direction, complete with the pursed lips and clinched jaw. Sorry, Mom.

I am not a Chinese ballerina

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I’m watching a clip of the China Ballet perform Swan Lake…acrobat-style. They are amazing. The prince has lifted the Swan Queen into the air and she is now standing on his upper arm which means he is supporting her entire body weight with only his pectoral muscles, and on an outstretched arm too. This makes me feel very out of shape and lumpy as I can’t even support the weight of the coffee pot as it fills with water.

Then, as if that’s not enough, she stands atop his head on one toe as he spins around. I would hate to think of the shape that poor man’s neck would be in if he had to hold me on his head. I do believe I weigh significantly more than one of the tiny Chinese ballerinas.

This reminds me of a time when I was cheer leading in high school and my spirit bunny, Wade Hampton tried to lift me up to sit me on his shoulders during a pep rally. Instead of landing on his shoulders I came down on top of his head, right there in front of God and everybody. Mortified, I tried to clandestinely slide down onto his shoulders which I managed to do, but not before dragging the whole enchilada of my clammy hindquarters across his poor, handsome, high school boy face. I can still see the image of him like it was yesterday, with my skirt over his head, trying to breathe while he struggled to remove it so he could see where he was going and not suffocate or choke to death, but still trying not to drop me on the floor at the same time. Wade was a real gentleman that way. Sorry Wade. I still feel bad. His neck was probably never the same after that, not to mention his psyche.

The Drive of Shame

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And at the end of the day I have yet another exploit that can be entered onto the ever growing list of bonehead moves I have made in my life…

Today I got lost trying to find the park in Savannah where the homecoming parade would start and I could join my fellow teachers in the festivities. I saw something that looked like a park way off to my left so with my attention diverted elsewhere, I wasn’t paying much attention to where I actually was. I took a left turn heading up the hill and immediately regretted it when I realized that I had just turned right into the middle of the parade route. Even though most streets had been blocked off by police vehicles I managed to find the only spot they missed.

So here I am sitting in the middle of the street looking like Wile E. Coyote right after he sees the anvil and realizes it’s too late. I knew I was trapped and there was no going back. I had to take the drive of shame. There were literally hundreds of people lining the streets and staring at the big donkey in the rusty old Toyota driving the wrong way up the parade route just minutes before the parade was scheduled to start. It was the longest one block drive before I could turn off onto a side street. The only thing that made me feel better was seeing Mitzi Clearly pointing at me and laughing as if to say, “Of course…if someone is going to end up in a predicament like this it would be you.” Thanks Mitzi for lightening the mood because I just wanted to crawl into a hole and hide.

The Appeal of Mrs. Peel

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When I was young my mother used to tell me that I could be anything I wanted to be if I wanted it bad enough and I took her seriously when I was five. Just like kids today, I was highly influenced by the things I saw on TV. I remember trying to twitch my nose like Samantha on the show “Bewitched” to see if I could get things to float to me through the air. When it didn’t work I was disappointed, but was sure if I just practiced I could pull it off.

Then there was my brother Greg, also influenced by the boob tube,’ who one afternoon after watching an old “Batman” episode involving The Penguin, climbed up on our roof with an umbrella, opened it up and jumped. He was quite surprised when he did not just float to the ground like Burgess Meredith did on TV. Fortunately we lived in a one story ranch-style house so the distance between the roof and the ground was not so great that an emergency room visit was warranted. I still tease him about what a stupid move that was and then he promptly reminds me that I once ate some “mud pie” expecting it to taste like chocolate. It did not…taste like chocolate. He will also remind me of the time I ate a bowl of grass so I could be like my horse…who ate grass. I still have an unhealthy relationship with food even today, but I have given up bowls of grass and mud pies for things like donuts and Cheetos.

My real ambition however, was to be a secret agent spy like Emma Peel on The Avengers. Her self confidence combined with superior fighting skills, intelligence, and a contemporary fashion sense were to me, the ultimate. Those black leather jumpsuits she wore with the little high heeled boots were the epitome of sophistication and allure. Even though there was never a spouse in the picture, she was known as “Mrs. Peel” because the story was that her husband had gone missing while flying somewhere over the Amazon. For some reason even at my young age this too, sounded appealing…married, but not really. She and her suave partner Johnathan Steed, also unattached, stealthily traveled around England righting wrongs and serving up justice. I can still remember the intro…

“Extraordinary crimes against the people and the state, have to be avenged by agents extraordinary. Two such people are John Steed, top professional, and his partner Emma Peel, talented amateur. Otherwise known as The Avengers.”

During this voice-over, Steed pours two drinks from the wine bottle and Mrs Peel replaces her gun in her boot. They clink glasses and depart together. Fade to black and then the opening titles proper begin. It was magical. I never did develop her superior fighting skills and if someone so much as raises their voice at me I have to fight back the tears, and the fashion sense? Don’t ask, however those of you who know me won’t even have to guess at the answer to that one.

Yes, I’m afraid that the hours and hours of watching television as a youngster had a profound effect on my psyche. Sometimes, even today, I will twirl around and around imaging what it would feel like if I really did turn into Wonder Woman.