I Do Countdown: 60 Days
Ladies, this is how you find the man of your dreams.
1. You wait until your husband cheats on you and you break up.
2. When Renzo Rosati, the ad salesman at the Minden Times, wants to show you something on the computer, you should look. Yes, it's kind of weird because he's a co-worker but he's only concerned that you're middle-aged in a small town, all alone, with no prospects except a long, lonely life with a couple of cats. Renzo, dear, sweet Renzo, showed me the wonders of lavalife. It is what led me directly to FUN, FUN, FUN and, ultimately, to the man of my dreams.
There are all kinds of internet dating sites. I tried a few. Didn't like plentyoffish at all. It confused me. Seemed kind of lame and goofy. And I never talked to anybody that turned my crank. I didn't think much of yahoo personals, either, and only went on one date and it was terrible. The conversations are, frankly, lame, but I do give them credit for perserverance. Five years later and they're still e-mailing my matches for the week. Ooooh, if you're THAT kind of girl (or guy) there are a few risqué sites on the web but I'm not going to talk to you about them because my mother visits here. Although, Mom, if you want to know more, I can e-mail you some links. There's even a website for married people who are looking to cheat. But that's not my style and hopefully not yours, either.
Lavalife was perfect. For the better part of a year, it provided me with more entertainment, more dates, more excitement and more fun than I had ever experienced. When my marriage ended, I felt like nobody would ever want me again. I felt fat and ugly and worthless.
Little did I know, there's a whole world of good men out there who don't see that about me at all.
In short order I discovered that I was a worthwhile human being; a funny, sociable person; a sexy woman (sorry, Mom); someone who was suddenly unbelievably popular.
I could have a date on almost every night of the week if I wanted.
And I did. Sometimes. Not always... a girl does need some sleep once in a while.
I was never looking for someone special. I kept my eyes and my heart open to new experiences.
One of the complaints I hear from other women who have tried online dating is that they can't meet Mr. Right. They have specific ideas on who they want to date.
Well, you know, with that kind of attitude, they are going to be pretty darn lonely.
If you have an open mind, you will meet some pretty cool people.
There was this one guy who was really smart and really interesting. I was dying to meet him. When it came time to setting up the meet, however, he said this: "You don't want to meet me."
I said, yeah, I do.
"No, you don't. I'm poor. I have no job. And I have no teeth."
Allrightey, then. I always pride myself on not judging people by their appearance and even though I was a little put off by the teeth announcement I said to myself, "Self, you sure would be a hypocrite if you judged this guy on the basis of his pocketbook and his teeth." Since I wasn't searching for anyone particularly special (as in a new husband), I went to meet him.
He was great! A seriously great guy. So interesting. We got together several times and always had a good time.
Yes, I met a few creeps. But on the whole, I just met people like myself. Lonely people looking for some companionship.
3. Have an excellent photo taken of yourself for this venture. This one guy I dated had the worst photo (even worse than my Dave's, but I'll get to that). He complained that the wasn't getting much action from his lava profile. I explained that his picture sucked. Big time. Being a photographer and all, I volunteered to take a decent photo of him. I gave him some good lighting, made sure the camera was in focus and his eyes weren't crossed. He posted it and the next thing I knew, I was history because he was off meeting a whole new round of lovely ladies.
4. Never take a photo to improve someone's lava profile.
5. Don't post a photo of yourself when you were 16 or 20. Make it current. Smile. But don't go for glamour. Yes, a glamourous photo of a super model will bring men in droves to your profile, but when they actually meet you in person and see you're a middle-aged frumpy housewife with wrinkles and age spots they might be, I don't know, just a tad disappointed. Also, be brave and exciting in your profile. You're selling yourself - be your own best agent! You only live once!
6. When the man of your dreams comes knocking, you won't know right away that he's the man of your dreams.
I was just having a good time that summer, not looking for anyone or anything other than a date on Saturday nights. And then, out of a clear blue sky, came a message on lava from a guy who was interested in me.
He sent his picture. It was a really horrible picture. He was standing about a mile away, at dusk, silhouetted by an open field. I had to squint to make sure there actually was a guy in the photo.
We passed a few messages back and forth on lava, then exchanged e-mails and starting chatting on messenger. The first thing we did was tell our first names and he started laughing when he found out my name was Cathy.
"That's my ex's name," he wrote. "LOL."
Dave had many nice qualities but he was a slooooooooow typist. While he was composing a sentence, I was able to go make coffee, check my mail, go to the bathroom, wash my hair, learn a new language... well, you get the idea.
I thought he sounded nice. In fact, his slogan on lava was "Nice guys finish last." I thought, awwww, what a sad thing to say.
We talked for quite a while about our sad stories. His separation. My separation. Our hard times. But we also talked about good times. I learned that we both like our ice cream smushed in bowl. I learned that he loves to dance. I learned that he has an honest soul.
We talked on the phone after that (and was pleasantly surprised that he talks much faster than he types), and then decided to meet.
He drove a long way to see me; almost two hours. This was a shy guy, by the way. Someone who rarely travelled away from the small town he grew up in.
He was so nervous about the trip, that he packed a sleeping bag in the trunk of his car, just in case I threw him out.
Like that would happen.
He got in the door and we made small talk for a moment. (By the way, you shouldn't meet strangers at your home. This is not a good idea. Do as I say and not as I do, OK?) I invited him in and offered him a drink. He said he had some vodka coolers in the car and offered to go get them. "OK," I said.
A few minutes he arrived back on my doorstep, coolers in hand.
"That was your big opportunity to leave," I said.
He laughed. "Nah," he said. "Why would I do that?"
It's been almost five years since we met in November 2005. And he hasn't left yet. We've been together practically every weekend since that one. We bought a house together. We share everything together. And since he proposed this past Valentine's Day, we have every intention of spending the rest of our lives together.
If that's not a happy story, I don't know what is.
Help me count down to my wedding day! Send me anecdotes from your wedding day! Or how you met the person of your dreams. Or how you hated being a bridesmaid... whatever! And send me a photo, too. Either a wedding photo or an anniversary photo or that darned bridesmaid dress. What I want to do is share your happiness, spread it around.
If you want to send a special message of love to someone anywhere in the world, do it here!
If you want to post a happy anniversary message, do it here!
If you want to propose to someone on line, well by all means, do it here!
Send your stuff to me at Love Central.