Well aren't you excited. It's Why I'm Single Saturday already. Here's one from the online dating days:
The man mall. The woman warehouse. I had shopped online for months and my self imposed deadline for finding love or signing off had arrived. I had met some interesting people, but if I had to experience one more meet and greet over coffee or cabernet only to realize I had to tell another that this just didn't work for me, or worse, he told me, well, I just couldn't handle it.
I couldn't help making a final cruise around the site, grinning at my favorites, who had their own favorite someone elses, who in turn had their favorites, to make sure I hadn't missed my dream date.
And there was The Guy: Cute, looked happy, and he had written a book! So what if he lived a couple of states away? If we fell in love it wouldn't matter. We would move anyway, to the country, where we would spend our days writing, breaking only to glance adoringly at each other. Just like that Chevy Chase movie where they move to the sticks and he struggles to write even though he's already a writer, and she's not a writer but gets inspired by a squirrel or something and whips out a best seller.
I sent him an email, saying only "You. Me. Writers' group."
We spent months getting to know each other through emails. We sent each other writing prompts and shared our creative processes. We shared parenting and ex- spouse stories. We sent each other updated photos of ourselves, our homes, and even kids and pets. He had a current photo of me and liked me anyway. Winner winner.
The time to meet in person finally arrived. I was excited but not really nervous, as I was comfortable with The Guy. He would drive to my home and we would just hang out like old married folks with nothing to stress over. I realized that even after months of emails, I didn't know much about his book and reminded him to bring me a copy.
My friend Jack, whom I had met on the same site months before, insisted that I give him this guy's full name and phone number in case I disappeared. Said you can't be too safe.
The Guy arrived, looking just as expected. As we settled on the couch to have a drink and plot dinner plans, he offered up his book, with the inscription:
Remember, it's just a story.
The title gave away that the book is about online dating. Just as I started fanning through, looking for an interesting part to comment on, the lights went out. Not all of the lights, not even all lights in the living room. Just the lights in the area we were in. Certainly just a power surge, even though this had never happened before.
The Guy said writing the book really helped him to release the anger he'd built up during his marriage.
Fortunately, we soon went to dinner, where I discovered that communicating online is writing, not talking. The Guy was so shy that he hardly spoke at all. He had no suggestions, no preferences, no opinions.
Jack kept making annoying datus interruptus calls to my cell until I answered and assured him that The Guy was not a sociopath.
Behaving like a gentleman, T. G. made the long drive home that same night. I had absolutely no idea how he felt about me or global warming or brands of beer, but he seemed nice enough. I snuggled into bed and read his book.
The book is about a man who responded to his horribly abusive marriage by meeting women online who reminded him of the wife, lying to them about who he is, and then meeting, torturing and brutally murdering them. The plot was good really, with plenty of twists, but the parts about slicing womens' breasts off, or cutting them open as you might to dress a deer, just didn't do much for me.
A low-budget self published tale, the horrific grammar and punctuation made the whole story especially frightening for me. I had learned enough about The Guy, through his emails (if he was telling the truth) to know that this story mirrored his life in many ways.
The protagonist thought the first killing would be enough to free him from his tortured past. The Guy thought writing one book had healed him. The protagonist found that he had to continue the killing to find relief.
I couldn't handle the thought of a sequel.
This dating chapter had to end, and I was happy to sign off and leave my "matches" to the other single ladies.