Monday, September 23, 2013

Saving Myself For Miss Right: The Rob Adcox Story

Several months ago I pieced together a column regarding Internet dating sites and the pitfalls I encountered. Self-descriptions written by women who simply wanted to meet nice guys. I read through any number of them hoping to find someone potentially compatible to me.

One of my original motives was to prove to myself that I wasn't necessarily going to spend the unforeseen future alone. Sometime between now and 2041, when everyone on my floor is called to the day room for "Fun With Macramé" Thursday, I'd love to find the right woman, do the drop-my knee-to-the-floor-with-ring-in-box thing, look the fiancé hopeful right in her eye, and say, "damn it, I love you and I need someone to help wash the car and you're the one. Pucker up, baby."

Which, of course, is why I'm single. I'm deeply romantic unless I'm wearing my 1999 football jersey. Women want to know that they aren't entering a relationship with a guy who's incapable of romance, even though paying the electric bill and cleaning the litter box is highly appreciated by most women I've met in my fifty-five years.

And that, I believe, is why so many people peruse the dating sites. Sure, we meet our basic needs. Mortgage, furniture bills, and that nifty garden gnome you moved to the far end of the bushes once the paint began peeling. For those of us who are single, meeting needs isn't always sufficient.

And so we log on to to meet the perfect person -the very person who's going to come into our lives and make everything joyous- once we shell out the required $89.95 to implement our freedom from daily drudgery.

I did exactly that, minus the $89.95. I'm cheap when I have to be.

These sites often let you look over (Overlook?) any number of introductions. I kept my intro basic, thereby saving enough money for month's worth of gas and a bag of ketchup-flavored potato chips. "Single, attractive middle-aged guy seeks long-term relationship with the right woman. Must not smoke or live on a house boat" seemed like a good intro. "College grad with one year of graduate school under his belt. Currently seeking employment" was tempting, but some accountant out there would easily have read between the lines and updated her intro thus: "seeking single, attractive middle-aged guy whose debt-to-income ratio indicates sufficient solvency to purchase a houseboat. Must have baby blue eyes and be left-handed."

That's why I was initially surprised to see any number of responses to my own intro. The message alert in the upper right-hand corner announced that I had eighty-seven responses, and while I was allowed to read them I'd have to pay almost ninety bucks to respond.

Apparently, being fifty-five, left-handed, and having blue eyes, is a big deal. Brenda from Nitro, WV, thought so. "I have an SUV. Come and help me wash it. All we have to do beforehand is build a new chicken coop so this month's dinner will have a place to sleep." I was tempted to drive to Nitro to see what that looked like. Actually, I'm tempted to see what a town named Nitro looks like.

Another lady, whose love for psychology led her to respond to my intro, shares her experiences in the field: "Hi there! I'm Dreyma, and omg did you see the flap over Undifferentiated Schizophrenia on Dr. Phil?" Rob + Dreyma = null set.

I think my favorite response came about as a result of an error. I'm no fan of long-distance relationships, though I could certainly handle it if I were in love and my lady were far away in some exotic land like Uttar Pradesh or Scranton. I'm quite certain that I requested potential partners within one-hundred miles of Roanoke, Va. Reba, who wasn't informed of this, was thoughtful enough to let me know that she needs someone to help run her ostrich ranch in Shreveport, La.

"But not if (I'm) some 'pretty-boy' who's used to sleeping in until 5:30 AM. You've never had meat", she tells me, "until you've had ostrich meat. When I first began this business, I was weak. Now I can carry a water trough without even draining the water." (Note to self: refer this woman to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who need to shore up their defensive line this season.) Reba felt insulted by my lack of response to her ice-breaker, according to the thirty-seven messages she sent after reading my blurb. "Hi, I guess you didn't get my earlier message" was replaced soon after with, "Um, hello. I'm still here". When that finally morphed into "Listen: I'm talking to you", I phoned the police department in her town and asked for the SWAT team.

I've come to the conclusion that either I'm destined to be alone for the rest of my life or the woman who's right for me is still in her dressing room preparing for her entrance. If it's the latter, I'll wait and I'll be glad that I did.

I'll accept who she is fully.

Even if she lives on a houseboat.

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