BOULEVARDER (“Confessions of an On-Line Datist”)

Her photograph makes her look good, sexy almost, but I doubt her published age; like me she probably deducts about ten years. We seniors need some latitude with the truth. I read her Profile…

Divorced; children living away from home; non-smoker; social drinker; 5’-5” and 110 lbs; slim to average; blonde; green eyes. Works part-time, loves travel and dancing, and most kinds of music.

Do these Profiles get written by a computer from a template? Let me guess; she likes walking on the beach, snuggling up in front of a fire during a rainstorm, Paris, and wine tasting (or is it visiting museums this year?)

Let’s look at her requirements: “Must not be married” …okay. “Must not be looking for sex, or to just hang out, or to have only an email friendship”… okay. What’s this? “Must love her Schnauzer; it’s a package deal.” I guess I am okay with this, I have no idea what they taste like when cooked.

Should I respond? I consult my small, blue notebook, and start a new page. Can’t go to my favorite wine bar, chances of meeting some of my previous one-night stands.

I’ll use the photo that conceals my double chin, and the text that pretends I am an outdoors man with great sporting abilities. Later when my somewhat decrepit performance is revealed I usually say, “I hurt my knee playing Blow Football.” As they seldom press for more information I do not explain that Blow Football is a table-top game involving a table tennis ball and two opponents blowing through drinking straws to propel the ball.

I remind myself that the most effective thing a man can do to attract women is to appear rich. Some women frankly express this in their Profiles, by writing, “Must be affluent, and very generous.”

To be gallant I’ll go to a rendezvous in my ‘dates’ hometown; less chance of being recognized there by former girlfriends.

I’m right on time. Punctuality is the ‘Courtesy of Princes.’ This haggard crone cannot be her, she must have sent her mother. We air-kiss and order some wine. Now for the interrogation; all her questions seem to do with a time-line… how long have you lived here, when did you retire, how long have you been single? I can almost see her calculations as she adds these numbers to verify my age and general truthfulness.

I no longer give my encapsulated biography— this is not a job interview; so I talk about my current interests, and let her ramble. Finally, I decide that I would like to see her again provided she is not too prudish. We seem to be very relaxed together; it’s a good time to test the waters.

“Did I mention that my specialty is full-body deep-tissue massage?” She looks uncertain. “Oh, I observe all the professional restrictions: no spanking, no handcuffs, no body cavity searches; but I do not honor any ‘No Fly Zones’. I keep a strict face to show gravitas, and wait.

Her eyes narrow, cheeks flush, lips compress. No, this gal is not worth cutting out of the herd. We finish cordially with a peck on the cheek.

Back to the little Blue Book for some notes. This is important, in my early days I contacted a gal who told me with some acidity that we had already met, and asked if she had made so little impression, now I make copious notes.

This time it was easy; I put an X by her name and wrote, “Good conversationalist, appears rather shop-worn, companionable, but not likely to become emotionally intimate, or to give out.

She never offered to make a small contribution to the cost of the evening, nor to offer any thanks; this is a red flag ― it is not about money, but it is the acid test to reveal if is she more likely to be a Princess rather than a Partner.

I need to send off a few emails, and delete the non-replies to last weeks’ missives. Batting average? One reply in six. How to get attention? I’ll try brevity with a little humor, and implications of future exotic activities.

Wait: what did number Seventy One say? I leaf back through my notes; ah! “I’m looking for a man who is rich and generous, who makes me laugh, and is good at fixing things around the house.” I had written back that I was a millionaire comedian whose hobby was fixing domestic appliances. She has not responded.

I reflected on past dates. Where had I gone wrong? One gal, Sarah, had survived five dates, a record for me, and when we played Crazy Golf I suggested we have a wager; if I won…she would give me a Lap Dance and if she won… I would give her a giant Hickey on her inner thigh; but just to make it interesting the winner would also get five dollars from the loser. That was our last date, and I still scratch my head for a reason why my phone calls were not accepted.

I turn to another entry; Vickie, who regaled me with how busy and satisfying her life was with visits to the gym six times a week, art classes in pottery and watercolor painting, visits to her grand-kids, and acting as a Docent for the Art Museum. I responded that her life looked like a jigsaw puzzle with all the activities being interlocking pieces, but leaving one small jagged hole in the center. What is that missing piece she asked? It is a man I replied, but he must be exactly that shape so that he fits in without disturbing any of the other pieces.

I added; I’m not that man. I expect to give up some of my customary things in order to blend a little with my companion, and I would expect the same in return, but you don’t seem prepared to give-and-take. So to quote what Rhet Butler said to Scarlet O’Hara, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Vickie had the last word of course, “You just don’t understand women.”

“Oh but I do,” I replied, “they want a man who can give them a life of luxury and financial security, and all he need do for this privilege is to cater to her every wish.”

“Very cynical, and what does a man want?”

“Total domination: mental, emotional, and physical.”

“So dating is hopeless, we are too far opposed?”

“No, there are perfect unions, for example when a sadist meets a masochist.”

I turn to another page; for Joanne, a more recent date. She made an accusation, which I pretended to misunderstand, and I replied, “Madam, you do me too much honor, my libido may be up to it, but my physical equipment would be sorely inadequate.”

“What are you talking about”, she said?

“You said I was a serial rapist”

“No, I said I thought you were a serial datist.”

I log on to my dating site. What’s this; a message that my paid subscription has expired, but several nubile, full breasted young woman were clamoring to contact me.

No. I give up. A nice afternoon-nap, and then my latest Streaming Video downloaded onto my big screen television — suddenly they seem very enticing.


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