“A story to me means a plot where there is some surprise. Because that is how life is - full of surprises.”
- Isaac Bashevis Singer -
(continuing from last time...)
At the start of February 2002 as I was waiting in a checkout line at a supermarket, the words ‘soul mate’ jumped out at me from a Valentine’s Day greeting card in the stationary section a few yards away. Mesmerized, I gave up my place in line and went to check it out. I picked up the card and as I read, my eyes filled with tears. It touched me deeply; so much so that for a fleeting moment I imagined my alter ego writing it and placing it there for me to discover. OHMYGOSH...did I write this? I smiled at my overactive and silly imagination.
Despite the fact that there was no one in my life at the time nor was I actively searching for anyone, I decided to buy the card. Because if someone had been in my life, someone extraordinarily special, this is the card that I would give to him. And for a moment, I believed it would happen. That extraordinary person - a soul mate - would arrive. When? How? Who? I didn’t know. But I was so sure of it at the time. And I was going to save this card for him. For the future.
A few weeks went by and spring rolled in. The days got longer and sunnier, and there was a lot of joyful, spring-feverish buzzing at work, particularly from co-worker and friend “C” who was enjoying the dating scene. Every now and then she’d talk about some new guy she'd met and how much fun she was having. “Where are you meeting all these guys?” I asked. She mentioned an online dating site I’d never heard of and when she saw the look of skepticism on my face, she said “You should try online dating. It’s fun.” I told her I had tried it on another site the year before and found it disappointing. “Well, you haven’t tried this one”, eternally optimistic “D” said. “Give it a shot, you have nothing to lose.”
At the end of March 2002, I decided - what the heck – I’ll take her advice and try this online stuff one last time. I ditched my old profile and wrote up a brand new one that depicted who I am and what I’m looking for. Here it is:
At some point I think we’ve all felt like we've spent our whole life believing that we're on the right track, only to discover that we're on the wrong train. Hopefully we find humor in that and change trains at the next station.
So who am I? Is it possible to describe one's self in words? At least if they allowed us to use paints or crayons, it would be more colorful and interesting. With no alternative, I’ll write a few words about me in black and white. I'm a little bit of everything all rolled into one. I'm easygoing, straightforward, compassionate, idealistic, intellectual and love a great sense of humor. I don't waste time playing games or living life on a merry go round. What you see is what you get; good, bad and other :)
Integrity, strength of character, honesty and chivalry are something that I value. I respect people who say what they mean and mean what they say. Does authenticity, sincerity, honor and dignity, the ability to laugh, compassion and thoughtfulness still live?
Are you able to stay calm in traffic jams, not tailgate, patiently let a pedestrian cross instead of aiming to kill them, respect a school zone, be nice to a clerk, open a door or give up your seat, think with your heart, travel through life without crushing anyone and even be able to say sorry? Are you also able to walk instead of drive, not care about trends or fashions, avoid self-help books from so-called experts, get silly instead of uptight, keep a good mood going, see more than just clouds in the sky, pass by a mirror without the need to look at yourself and miss a day of taking vitamins without being anxiety ridden? You are? Well...where the heck have you been?
I'm a simple girl seeking a simple guy; someone who takes things as they come, lets the kid in him out, has a zest for life, finds humor even in the darkest times and has an all around good-natured attitude. Someone who knows how to smile, each and every day.
(only locals with ‘profile’ photos please)
Then I waited. And the fiasco started all over again. The same dull, typical and uninspiring profiles showed up. It felt like everyone was just copying and pasting the same lines over and over and over again. Where was that individual that walked to the beat of his own drum? Where was the man that stood apart? Thought for himself? Didn’t follow the crowd? Or trends? That genuine and earthy individual? The one with a wonderful sense of humour and optimistic attitude? Sigh.
After only a month on this site, I was already tired of saying “thanks but no thanks”, tired of reading the repetitive profiles and tired of logging on each day just to sort through and get rid of messages and emails. So at the end of April 2002, I decided that I’d give it two more weeks and then I’d delete this account and move on. A few nights later, after I’d put my kids to bed, I logged onto the dating site and after sorting through and deleting messages and emails that were of no interest to me, yet again, I decided to check out the profiles and see if by some miracle someone interesting would pop up. Here we go...nothing...same faces...same old lines...big ego...stuff, stuff, stuff...sigh...I already said no thanks to you...yes, you’re successful...and a blowhard...just a few more days and this account goes bye-bye...buzz off married jerk...repetitive profiles…no I don’t want to ride in your new sports car...or boat...what part of no don't you understand...sigh...time to log off...oh...wait...WAIT... wait a minute! What...what is this? Ohmyflippinggosh...What. Is. This?
Yes, there was a new kid on the block. Who walked to the beat of his own drum. I laughed out loud and clapped my hands in delight as I read his profile. This was the needle in the haystack! And he was breathing new life into the monotonous online dating world.
Little did I know at the time that my own world was about to be rocked.
To be continued... (click here)