The internet was invented by scientists who were concerned that the human race would become extinct if people just sat around all the time watching flickering images on their TV screens. Now, people sit around all the time watching flickering images on their computer screens, but can “hook up” with others through the miracle of internet dating!
Not everyone you meet on the internet is right for you, however. Take, for example, the former Nigerian government official who says he is sorry he could not make it to Applebee’s last Saturday night, could you please deposit $25,000 in his bank account, he will buy you the Grilled Chili-Lime Chicken Salad when he sees you this Friday after work. Do not trust a man who would use a two-entrees-for-the-price-of-one (some restrictions apply) coupon on the first date!
You need the assistance of an experienced navigator if you are to avoid crashing on internet dating sites, and lucky for you, Your Internet Dating Guide is here to help.
Dear Internet Dating Guide:
I responded to a profile on eDating.com for a man named “Lloyd” who teaches high school band and said he was a big jazz fan. Guide, I am 38 years old and getting a little desperate, so I told him I liked jazz too. With people dying every day around the world is that such a crime?
We met for lunch and he said “So you really like jazz?” and I said “Sure” and he said he would “burn” me a disc of his favorites and I said I’d really like that why don’t you come to dinner at my place and we can listen to it. He said okay, and Internet Dating Guide, I haven’t been so excited in years. I was expecting something soothing like Smooth Jazz 96.9, which I sometimes tune into by mistake when I am looking for swap meet announcements on the radio.
Anyway, I made my special mandarin orange ambrosia salad and was prepared for an evening of romance with Lloyd and met him at the door in a very clingy red cowl-neck sweater. He says here’s your disc, so I put it in my CD player expecting to set a sensuous mood when out of my Radio Shack speakers came a noise like domestic violence between two Missouri mules! I said “Oh, who is this Lloyd?” and he says it’s John Coltrane’s ‘Ascension’–do you like it?” I mean, what could I say? I’m not getting any younger, so I lied.
Well, Lloyd was a gentleman and left after he helped with the dishes and I said I was tired, but as soon as he was out the door I turned off the stereo and went searching for my two cats, Kitzi and Mitzi. Kitzi was hiding under the bed and Mitzi’s fur had fallen out in clumps.
Internet Dating Guide, I need a man in my life but I can’t live without my cats. Do you have any suggestions?
Barbara Jean Wehrli, Otterville, MO
Dear Barbara Jean:
In a recent Downbeat Magazine poll Kenny G’s “Most Romantic Melodies of All Time” was chosen as Album of the Year in the Lonely Women With Too Many Cats Category. Show Lloyd you, Kitzi and Mitzi have an ear for jazz too–domestic bliss awaits you!
Dear Internet Dating Advisor:
I recently met a man on the internet whom I will call “Ernie” because his full name is “Ernest” and I have trouble remembering aliases when I write in to advice columns. I was impressed with his profile–he is a small business owner who said he was very thrifty, and my first husband Warren pissed away his 401k at the dog track.
We were having a drink before dinner and I noticed that “Ernie” kept asking the bartender for more snacks, and when they said our table was ready I could tell he had been emptying the peanuts and party mix into his pockets, he looked like a squirrel getting ready for winter!
I sorta cooled on him after that, and when the check came I sure as hell had no intention of paying anything because I hate cheap people. “Ernie” takes a look at it and says “It’s $60, but you had white wine and I had beer so your share comes to $40 and mine is $20.” He puts down a twenty and three ones and I said “That’s not very polite of you” so he reaches into his pocket and pulls out some change. “That’s 15.5%” he says as if the tip was the problem.
I could see I wasn’t getting through to him so I put down fifty bucks and got up to leave, and he says “Aren’t you going to wait for your change?” and I said “You insensitive clod” or something like that and walked out of the restaurant and out of Ernie’s life, or so I hoped.
Internet Dating Advisor, Ernie has been pestering me with emails ever since, saying “What did I do wrong?” and so finally I told him he was not very chivalrous and should have paid the whole tab. He says he “begs to differ.” I’d be interested in your opinion, even though I don’t think I’ll ever see a penny out of Ernie.
Chloe Rice, White River Junction, Vermont
The first date is “Dutch” in internet dating protocols unless your partner plays “footsie” with you when the check comes. Ernie was doing you a favor by leaving future contact, on top of or under the table, up to you.
Dear Internet Dating Lady:
I recently replied to a man whose screen name was “Tom” on the partners4life! on-line dating service. His picture was quite handsome and his profile said he was in the entertainment business and many people had compared him to Tom Cruise, even though he was not a Scientologist.
Well, we met for lunch and I have to say “Tom” did not look at all like Tom Cruise, and when I said “You don’t look like a movie star” he got defensive and said “Television repair is an important part of the entertainment business, just ask anybody who owns one what they do when it’s on the fritz–Tom Cruise is no good to you then.”
My girlfriend tells me it is possible to alter one’s picture by something called “Photoshop.” Is this permitted under the rules of internet dating?
Sheree Pfeiffer, Buena Vista, California
We all contribute, in our own special way, to the universe of internet dating. I for one see no problem in making the world a better place by altering an unflattering photo of one’s self to make it more attractive, thereby reducing the number of homely faces that others have to look at.
Ms. Internet Dating Guide:
I recently took a woman named “Chloe” out after meeting her on the internet. When the check came she just sat there like a bump on a log and refused to pay for her share. I thought there was some kind of unwritten rule that you go Dutch on the first internet date. I am not Dutch, but I didn’t think that mattered.
Ernest Holcomb, Queeche, Vermont
Right you are, Ernie, although what is considered “Dutch” often depends on local folkways and customs. In an effort to promote uniformity the Association of On-Line Dating Service Providers adopted a Code of Ethics at its annual convention last summer, which states as follows in Article XI, sec. 4.2(a): “‘Dutch treat’ means a fifty-fifty split of food, alcohol and gratuity unless one person drives up to the restaurant in a really nice car and the other has to beg a guy with a tow truck to please give him/her another week to make last month’s payment.”
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “Take My Advice–I Wasn’t Using it Anyway.”