Winter seemed to disappear, suddenly. The temperatures rose with such intensity to record breaking heights in March, bringing bikini clad UVM students to North Beach before Parks and Recreation had prepared the toilets to open for the season. Ethel had filled a void and we were settling in to a daily routine of breakfast, lunch and dinner, followed by very, very long walks. My encounters with men were either cursory, in passing, or purely platonic. It was becoming clear that I would have to cast a wider net, as the social opportunities to meet anyone who was around my age, someone who was well enough to stand on his own two feet and also interested and available to form new relationships, were few and far between.
I had seen the ads for MATCH.COM on TV. Giggling couples, obviously infatuated with each other, holding hands and staring into each others adoring eyes, all extolling the virtues of MATCH.COM. I forget exactly what particular incident triggered my decision to sign up, joining legions of the lovelorn, the divorced, the widowed, the never married, all desperately hoping that the internet would lead them to find that illusive one and only to fill their unmet needs and desires. I never, ever thought I would sink to such devices to meet people. But then again, I never lived in Vermont and was never “retired” before either.
Deciding how to present myself, which photos to use, how not to lie, but yet put my best foot forward so to speak, did not take long. I’m not one to ruminate over such things. The one thing I didn’t do was post cute pictures of me with my adorable granddaughters. Wouldn’t want to give some pervert out there the idea that if he was interested in me he might have an opportunity to have them too. Besides, my daughter would be furious. I haven’t told her about this yet, she is very cautious and is against revealing information about yourself – online or anywhere else for that matter - as it may come back to haunt you. I on the other hand have taken the open book approach.
I have been a member/user now for about a month. My main criteria when they (probably some software algorithm) send me my daily “matches” is some evidence of self-awareness, intelligence and humor. These elements seem to be in short supply. Most of the over 60 guys are trying to present themselves as rascally rogues. They ALL say they are way younger in appearance than their age would suggest. (After having met 2 such candidates I’d say they are delusional.) Also, the description “athletic and toned” is WAY over used.
My initial subscription to this service was for 6 months. I’m beginning to find the reading of these profiles of the lovelorn depressing. Less than depressing, just boring (except for the 65 year old who featured a close-up photo of his belly button to prove he was in deed, “athletic and toned”). This week, a big jazz festival is being hosted in town. I think I’ll skip checking in with MATCH.COM and just wander down to Main Street and see who I bump into. I’ve always been lucky that way in the past. No reason why my luck should run out now.