My name is Katie Harper and I am a widow. My husband died almost five years ago on Christmas Day when I was twenty seven. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Feel bad for me. Are you done? No. Well get over it!! I have. After almost five years of having only a pillow to sleep with, I have decided to venture into the treacherous waters of dating. I hated dating before I got married. Now, I’d like to kill it, roast it, and serve it for Sunday dinner.
I’m not big on going to a bar and trolling for a date. You have to like, take a shower and get dressed and act like you’re interested in Mr. Dirty Martini’s night elf druid World of Warcraft avatar. So I joined an online dating site. You can date in your pajamas! And if you don’t like someone you can just not respond to their “flirt”. There is no pressure! But, there’s a downside to the whole online dating thing. People are comfortable hiding behind their computer, eating Cheet-os in their underwear. A little too comfortable. A guy who, in a traditional dating scenario, wouldn’t have the balls to hold your hand on the first date, is totally OK whipping out his wenis to give you a taste of what’s to come. How do you not laugh when that happens? I laughed. I pointed and laughed. We haven’t chatted since. Oh well, trust me, it was no big loss.
You also have to be very careful of what you believe on these sites. According to most of the profiles I’ve read, the world is populated with men who are 6’4”, 220 lbs, well built, active billionaires who have gotten tired of the endless parade of women running through their bed and are really looking for that one woman they can take to Paris for a romantic dinner. They like to spend their time taking care of the elderly and desperately want a family. They are independently wealthy and need someone to travel the world with.
Let me translate this profile for you: Mr. Right is 6’4” when he straps on his six inch heels. He’s 220 well-built pounds of spare tire and man boobs. He actively plays multiple online, role-playing games where he is the well-respected billionaire prince of his very own kingdom. The parade of women running through his bed are all stashed under his mattress. Their names are Miss January, Miss February, Miss March, etc. He likes French cuisine--French fries and French toast are staples in his diet. He lives in his elderly mother’s basement and only wants children so he’ll have someone to hand his mint condition Star Wars action figure collection down to. “Independently wealthy” is code for “hasn’t worked in four years, but makes enough money to support his Little Debbie habit by mowing his neighbor’s lawn”. And yes, he is looking for someone to travel the world with. He just needs someone to pay for his ticket in to every Comicon on the planet. And just in case his profile didn’t entice you, he whips out his junk live via webcam.
Another pitfall of the online dating world is that you can say things in an email or chat that you’d never say in real life. The guy who has a hard time asking you if he can kiss you good night on a real date is the same guy who’s telling you he’d like to tie you up and eat Jell-O salad off your stomach in a chat. He’d never ask you to wear a maid’s costume on that ever important third date, but on your second chat he’s asking you to lick chocolate syrup off your breasts and describe the sensations of your “tongue on your fun bags” (direct quote). And when you say hell to the no, they act like you’re the prude. It’s not that you have dignity or are just not comfortable sending something out into the electronic universe that might embarrass you at a future parent teacher conference. In their opinion, you’re sexually repressed and they have been sent to you by the fates to pry open your chastity belt. And to prove it, they whip out their manhood.
Dating sucks. It sucks hard. And dating online seems to be the hardest. Maybe I’m not looking at this in the right light. Maybe I need to change my view of dating and my view of myself. Maybe I need to “embellish” my profile. “Former Victoria’s Secret super model looking for love. I am 5’10”, 110 lbs, 38-26-36, long blond hair, sparkling blue eyes, and flawless skin. I enjoy spending my Saturdays in front of the TV cheering on your favorite team. I like to clean and I hold a degree from the Culinary Institute of America. I enjoy long nights playing Halo with your friends and my greatest wish in life is to attend a Stars Wars convention dressed in Princes Leia’s bronze bikini. I look forward to meeting you. ;)” That little wink at the end is to tell everyone my profile is complete bullshit. Do you think it will help?
Katie Harper started writing when two people showed up in her head and wouldn't leave until she told their story. They had a party. Invited a few friends over. Now she spends her days doing the bidding of imaginary people. She lives in a city made for sin on the edge of a desert with her daughter, no pets, and enough lemon bundt cake to feed a refuge camp.