Now I’ve got them running away, retreating to anonymity. Encountering the likes of me may be an insufferable hurdle on the quest for Mr. Right.
When you’re single a long, long, long, long time, there’s a tendency to revert to adolescent self-hate when a wooing goes awry.
What’s wrong with me?!
Well, during the teen years, it was more like, WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?!!! Nowadays I abhor multiple exclamation marks and I’m saving the all caps for my pending lottery win.
So what brought on this latest orbital disaster in which the whole world revolves around me? Well, earlier this week, I received a courtesy email from Plenty of Fish, my online dating sludge pit. (Scary thought: My relationship with POF may be longer than any actual dating relationship.) The email header stated, Kimono40 wants to meet you!
Well, golly. How lovely.
I repressed any thoughts about why the guy chose to identify himself with a kimono and clicked on the link. Three smiling photos of a guy with a little beard growth stared back at me. (Face-saving fact for later: I recall clicking “No” recently when POF asked if I wanted to meet him. The plaid shirt in the main profile pic had the wrong color tones and the face looked bloated. Yeah, sometimes I’m as deep as the cast of “Seinfeld”.) He looked particularly attractive in the middle shot so I clicked on the full profile.
Master’s degree, 10-year prior relationship, has a car. Jackpot! (It’s a sludge pit, I remind you. And to all those environmentally conscious cyclists and mass transit commuters, I salute you. But, should a relationship evolve, I don’t want to sit on the handlebars as we zip down to the convenience store for a midnight Häagen-Dazs run.)
That email notification came on Tuesday. Life was too hectic to send a message that would make any sense so I waited until Saturday morning to contemplate a reply. Rereading the profile, his quirkiness stood out. And I like quirky. The man said he likes nature walks (a dating profile staple) and talks to the trees (What?! Oh, in a spiritual kind of way. Sure.). He also tossed in a reference to Mary Poppins. Daring!
I had to respond. (Mary Poppins does it for me every time.)
I fired off a quick message and then went on with the rest of my day, doing everything and anything to avoid mowing the lawn. (At one point, I lost my dog in the wild savannah, but the calls of his trusty broccoli squeak toy guided the little guy back to safety.)
By Saturday evening, I’d received no reply. (Not exactly out of the ordinary for my messages, but I had a hunch about this guy.) It was the Victory Day weekend. I told myself he had probably gone camping. Somewhere remote. Lots of trees to get to know.
Still no email Sunday morning. Definitely camping. Or holed up with friends in a log cabin, secretly mourning the fallen timber. But in the “Viewed Me” section of Plenty of Fish his plaid shirted mug shot had vanished.
Can you block someone from ever seeing your profile again? Curiosity got the better of me so I signed out and did an anonymous search, specifically pinpointing his age. Nothing.
Kimono40 had left the pond.
And that’s where we get back to everything revolving around me. Sure, his sudden departure could be a mere coincidence, happening within a day of me sending him a message, but, more likely, I caused it. What ever happened to just ignoring and/or deleting the “offending” message? But, no,...I’d induced horror, disgust, nausea. Somewhere in a wooded area he’d retreated to Pray the Gay Away. Maybe the repulsion from seeing my message wasn’t the sole cause, but I was the final straw.
It is possible that he found someone else and, feeling good about their potential, deleted his profile. It is possible he decided to become a Catholic priest. It is possible he created the profile while housed in some Ex-Gay fortress and the powers that be discovered his internet transgressions and he is now confined to solitary in a room plastered with posters of Pamela Anderson and the always-hot Betty White. (He probably had to unfollow Ellen Degeneres on Twitter, too.) It is even possible that, at the very moment I sent my message, he was calling it quits to POF, realizing nothing good can ever be dredged up from a sludge pond.
Still, I may very well have sent him running. This comes only two weeks after a guy stood me up. All that “it gets better” banter? Seems there’s a teeny tiny asterisk, excepting the likes of me.
Oh, do relax. I’m not disheartened by this at all. We never met. I invested fifty words, maybe sixty—a tome by POF standards, but a succinct “hello” for me. If I did drive away a guy from Plenty of Fish, I’m amused. At least I made an impression!
It makes me want to send someone else a message. Will he too flee the fish tank? When will the site demand that I leave? Or is there a point when I’ll be the lone goldfish, swimming around in algae-laden fishbowl?
Time to invest in a deep sea diver statue. I’ll take whatever company I can get.
And I can’t shake the urge to download “Mary Poppins”, maybe even plan a Julie Andrews marathon. Sadly, life’s come to that.