Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Bad Date . . . a nightmare from the past!

This was my first attempt at entering a writing contest back in September of 2007 . . . and it was voted first place . . . back in the days of Yahoo 360 blogs.  

The story is unfortunately a true story . . . one of my first adventures with online dating after becoming a widow . . . I would say this story took place in 2005.

Kelly Clarkson~The Trouble With Love Is

It was time to move on . . . after all, it had been over two years since my husband passed away. Since I was already online 24/7 as a full time eBay seller and a certifiable computer geek, my friends encouraged me to try computer dating.

Huh? How do you "date" on the computer? lol 

 Then the thought occurred to me that I make my living online, do my banking online, pay my bills online, order pizza for delivery online, learned out how to fix my toilet online . . . hmmmm why not make a love connection online? 

John and I made our connection through an "online dating service" and then corresponded through chat and phone. Since I'm so picky and don't want to waste my time on someone who I know I would not like, I asked a lot of questions, wanted to see lots of photos and am very up front about what I am looking for. In turn, I do the same and accentuate my flaws as I don't want to disappoint anyone or waste their time either. 

After corresponding for roughly three months, we decided to meet . . . I know it was a long time, but I wanted to be sure and I was scared to death to jump into the dating scene. Keep in mind I was married 22 years and had not been on a "date" in a very very long time . . . a babe in the woods . . . thrown out in the jungle to fend for myself and find a new love to share my life with. 

John seemed to be everything I was looking for in a new love . . . he wasn't into playing games, was ready to settle down, no children, no nagging ex-wife, didn't hate women . . . NO BAGGAGE . . . from his photos, I was very attracted to him, he had an awesome personality that blended well with mine . . . we could talk for hours on the phone and time would just fly by, we liked doing the same things . . . . awwww seemed like a match made in heaven . . . 

The meeting place was a coffee shop at the mall. So far everything is cool and awesome, I was so anticipating meeting the man of my dreams . . . John seemed to fit all the criteria. As I walked into the coffee shop, I took a quick glance around and thought to myself that I must be early . . . no John . . . another thought, he changed his mind about me and I've been stood up. 

 I walk all around the place and as I was deciding where to sit and order a cup of coffee, I hear a familiar voice calling my name. When I turned around I could not believe my eyes. 

 This was not the man I had been corresponding with . . . well . . . it was, but he was using photos that were at least 20 years old. The beautiful hair was barely there and the sparkling blue eyes were lined with crows feet that were not apparent in the photos. 

 hmmmmm my italian blood started boiling immediately . . . I was deceived and all of a sudden I felt like the most stupid and gullible woman in the world. I wanted to run . . . very fast. 

He led me to his table and I ordered a cup of coffee, trying to be polite to this man that otherwise had become a friend, but definitely NOT a love connection . . . even if age was not a factor . . . HE LIED TO ME. 

 Yeah, he saw the disappointment on my face, I wear my emotions on my face, always have, even though I was trying to be polite and not hurt his feelings. But damn it . . . didn't he deserve for his feelings to be hurt? He wasted three months of my life, making me think he was someone he is not, deceiving me. 

 He finally asked me if I was disappointed . . . in my sarcastic witty way, I answered his question with questions, "Didn't you think I would be? Didn't you hear a word that I said about myself and what I expect out of a relationship? FIRST THING IS HONESTY . . ." 

When he said "I thought that if we spent enough time without you seeing me that you would fall in love with me, the person that I am before meeting me." hmmmmm it occurred to me that he was calling me a shallow person, but hey, I know what I want and I'm honest about it. Needless to say, with that statement, I had enough . . . the man was actually just as gorgeous as those photos, it was him, only 20 years older. 

 Maybe I would have given him a chance since we did hit it off, but the lie disappointed me so badly that I had a difficult time making eye contact with him and could not remain friends with him. 

Rule #1 . . . if you plan on meeting someone online, don't lie if you don't want to see the look of disappointment when you meet the person who is anticipating something else entirely. 

Rule #2 . . . insist on seeing someone on webcam . . . at least that was one lesson learned . . . Three years later and more than a few disappointing experiences . . . I'm embracing my solitude . . . and enjoying it more every day.

Jumping back to present day . . . I have found that person I was searching for.  It took many years, but good things come to those who wait.  Not everyone you meet online is a bad person . . . I met the most wonderful person in the whole world on Twitter.  It is not all bad . . . you just have to be careful when dealing with other people online.

This story is one of the many nightmares I experienced in those days following becoming a widow, but in the end, I am so grateful I never gave up on trust and faith.



li said...

Glad you re-posted this, and the comments with it. I've had 1 or 2 good experiences with people on the internet, and quite a few horrible ones, including someone creating an entirely fake identity for themselves. It can be a wonderful tool and way to meet people, but you simply cannot be too careful, ever. Glad you found someone, BTW!

Gina Alfani said...

Thank you Li!

I still don't understanding the mentality of someone creating a fake identity or using old photos to make themselves seem younger. In the end, they will be found out. It doesn't make sense if they are sincerely trying to make a meaningful connection.

It is so important to be very careful when dealing with anyone online.

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