Oh, the curiosity of online dating. Dating is so different from 35 years ago, when I would go out with someone after getting to know him due to similar circumstances (in the same organization, working together for a while, that sort of thing). It’s different when your 52, instead of 20. EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT…even how I feel about it. All of it is different.
And…there’s landmines around which one must tread carefully. But the scammer types, the ones who are trying to do whatever it is they’re trying to do…they’re so stinkin’ obvious about it…to me, at least. Talking talking, flurry of emails full of compliments and WOW YOU’R SO INTERESTING… and gradually get more personal and sweeter and start in with the endearments like “oh sweetheart, you seem to be exactly what I’m wanting” and “Oh this is amazing I hope I don’t do anything to screw this up” and yet, there’s no real personal information there.
Oh! You’re a contractor? What’s your current job? Answered with a flurry of vague “have to go talk to my workers now I’ll get back with you later”
The most recent one…he had to go to Dubai (it’s always Dubai…) for a final job… Because Dubai is going to hire a private contractor to build a bridge and road…and he will be there 2 weeks because that’s how long it takes…
DO I LOOK STUPID TO YOU?
His final email said something along the lines of “Oh darling, would you please UPS me some sunscreen and cookies because I don’t have anything to eat and everything is in Arabic here”
ummmmmmmmm. no. But I will google a bunch of pharmacies in Dubai that carry everything in English so go get your own damn cookies. Asshole.
But no! What about the one in a nearby town? He seems nice! But still vague. And strangely, the town of about 5000, where his business is apparently based, has no record of his existence…sooo….hmmmmmm…I wrote him a terse letter as well, telling him that unless he could provide compelling evidence he actually exists as he says he does, he can take a short step off a tall cliff.
But…what about the most recent one? We talked on the phone and he asked “so, how’s the online dating thing going?” And I told him. And he said
OK! Here’s my address, you have my phone number, my cars are (this) and (that) and if you want to send your sons over to check me out I’d be happy to have them. You see, (he said) I am a retired police officer, and have dealt with scammers and their mess, so I want you to be comfortable with me.
Then he said the “widow” word on my status was a magnet for those types. I reassured him that even though I am a widow, I am competent and well-armed. (HA!) as well as fairly smart. I have not given away any really personal information except my phone number to him and Moneybags (who I scared off with a brief discussion of the arsenal). He doesn’t even know my last name or address yet.
Well that’s certainly refreshing. We’re still going to meet in a public place for coffee, though.
So why did I give him my number? I had an epiphany. First of all, he gave me his number first. And email address. I still felt cagey about it all. Then, #4 came home and said he got a girl’s number at a party. That marinated in my brain for a bit and I thought OH!…that’s how it’s done! And this guy gave me his number and I essentially called him a “stalker until proven otherwise” which is kind of rude, really.
So I sent him a text message, apologizing for responding weird, and said he could call me. Which he did, and we talked for about an hour. Which was really nice. So, we’re going to meet for coffee, or a coke, or something…next Saturday. And he didn’t say a single thing about dumping his girlfriend because she hit menopause, so he’s already one up on Moneybags from the other day.
So for now, we’ll see if we can be friends, since he’s not a contractor on his way to Dubai.
At this point, the online dating thing has become a psychological exercise. I wish I were working on a PhD and could make this some sort of dissertation because it’s kind of fun, since my boundaries are thick.