A new hope

As 2013 began, I was in a relatively long term relationship. A few months into the year, it had ended. There was no fight or event that led to it. It really came down to two people who simply were too different from one another, and the relationship had run its course. It had very good qualities, and good memories. However, it had peaked already, and was on the downward slide. Again, there were no bad feelings or anything.

When it ended, I was convinced my best days were behind me. I know that I don’t turn heads when I’m walking down the street. Unless they’re trying to get a second look at my brightly colored shoes. I’m 48 years old, not much of a social butterfly, so the prospects of meeting and attracting someone new seemed highly unlikely, at best.

In searching for the right word to describe my motivation for what I was to do next, I felt desperation was not the word. More like…resignation. I never have been into the bar scene. I am not going to go church-hopping to meet someone. I’ve avoided singles groups like the plague. So what’s a guy to do?

Yeah…the internet.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was not optimistic at all. If anything, I had hoped it might build some confidence in me to at least be open to meeting someone and starting all over from scratch with the getting-to-know-you phase. My original time frame was one month. I’ll do this for 30 days, and before my subscription would renew, I’d cancel and at least be able to say ‘I tried’. For the first three weeks of that month, I refused to post a picture of myself. It was bad enough, in my mind, that I was even doing this. If anyone I knew actually saw and recognized my picture, I would be mortified. But when you don’t post a picture, people assume such horrible things about the person on the other side of the faceless profile.

With a week or so left in my 30 day tire-kicking period, I reluctantly posted a picture. Suddenly I started drawing some interest. However, not really from anyone in whom I found interest. On the other hand, there was some momentum in my experience. But then, my month was about to expire. What should I do?

Okay…one more month.

One day, just out of curiosity to explore some of the features of the site, I went to the tab that allows you to browse new pictures of profiles that had been posted within the last day or two. In your profile, you’re able to choose the distance radius in which you’d like your “match” to live. It could be 50 miles, it could be 100, 300, or even “anywhere”. I think I set mine to 100. But when looking in this photo section, it was pictures that were posted by people from anywhere and everywhere. That’s when I came across this picture.

IMG_0513I thought she was VERY cute, so I clicked on the picture to take a look at her profile. That’s when I saw the bad news.

She lives in Rhode Island.

Really? Could she be any further away and still be in the United States???

Discouraged by the setback, I decided to read her profile anyway. In doing so, I found myself smiling, even laughing at what she wrote. It was just oozing with personality. She was brilliantly funny. But in the humor, there was substance. It wasn’t as if she weren’t taking this whole thing seriously, but she also wasn’t taking it so seriously that she sounded like everyone else.

Hmmm, should I send her an email just to say hello?

That’s when I read the following words: “Only New Englanders need apply”.

Rejected before I even had a chance to introduce myself.

In the spirit of, well, I have nothing to lose, I sent an email anyway. I had no expectation that I’d get a reply. I’m a continent away. Plus, she’s beautiful, so I’m sure her inbox is stuffed with would-be suitors. But I at least wanted to compliment her and thank her for putting a smile on my face with her creative and insightful profile. I sent it off, and figured that would be that.

Because I had no expectation of a response, I cannot tell you how long it was before I was notified of a message in my inbox. But it was the same day. Yes, she did write me back! Still, expectations were low. She was probably only responding to say thanks for the compliments.

In her response, she mentioned that it was her “first full day” on the site. Then she went on to say that she was, “surprised by the number of responses” she was getting.

Hey, at least I was lucky enough to get a personal response. But there was no way I had any chance to get to know her when I’m so geographically challenged, and she has a plethora of emails to sort through of hopeful guys. I didn’t have a chance.

But she ended her email by saying this: “I’m Sarah-Jane, btw…nice to *meet you!”

This is where things got really interesting. My mom, who passed away in 2009, was also named Sarah. My mom’s middle name? Jane. If that weren’t enough, I noticed that she ended her email with enthusiasm.

She left it open-ended…with an exclamation point!

We exchanged a number of emails over the next 90 minutes. Then it got to the point where I had to leave the house, and she needed to do some other things, herself. But in her last email of the exchange, she said, “I’d love to hear from you again…”

And she did.

to be continued…

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