Mar 1, 2007

When I first got my computer, I was so excited. I used the big giant idiot card they send you to hook everything up, and still had to refer to it over and over. I just knew when I plugged it in and turned it on, it was going to blow up. It had a whole 9GB of storage space. Boy, did they see me coming. Anyway, I turned it on, and it worked.

It came with a six-month free ISP, so I got online in about two hours. I was on the world wide web, the internet, that vast unknown space full of information, ideas, and useful tools to make me a more productive citizen. Ok....

The first thing I got was this stupid looking purple gorilla that danced all over the screen. I don't know how I got it, but I did, and it cost 19.95 a month. I tried to delete the little fucker, but he wouln't go away. I called the company, about 20 times, and I finally got instructions on how to remove it. And the cost.

Then I discovered the instant messenger. I became obsessed with it. I spent hours talking and flirting with God knows who, but they all said they were handsome and single. I didn't get out much, what can I say? When I had my dad settled for the night, I ran to the computer, and started chatting away. I made up provocative screen names, and attracted a lot of attention.
I actually placed a personal add on Yahoo.

Then I discovered message boards. One of them was for women, and it was mostly visited by men. Sometimes I wonder if I was posting messages on a board that was read by only one person with a lot of screen names. We argued extensively about whether women should be kept in the home, where they belonged, or other stupid topics.

I met three guys online. I mean I actually met them in person. One in particular, we'll call him turtle neck, because he didn't have a neck at all. How this is possible I don't know, but it was true for him. He told me that many women thought he was attractive, and I learned a big, huge, enormous lesson. Do not give out your phone number. He called me about five times a day, even though I told him not to. I agreed to meet him, so we met at the IGA parking lot, a very romantic place. I took one look at this guy, pale, flabby, and with no neck, and thought, Oh my God! I have to get away from this guy. I told him, (oh, this is great), that I didn't feel any chemistry. Let's say he expressed his disbelief loudly, and thoroughly, saying I could at least give him a chance. Then he said the words that inevitably I knew he would say: You ain't no prize yourself!! Well, I already knew that, but at least I had a neck! So, I did what any good caring American woman would do, I locked my doors and drove off like a bat out of hell.

I thought I had learned my lesson. I really did. But, I started chatting with an older gentleman who told me he was in his late 50's. He was so sweet, sent me beautiful ecards, and told me all about his life, which all turned out to be true. His name was Charlie. He even sent me an enormous bouquet of roses for valentines day at work. Everyone was so curious, and I was just carried away. I agreed to meet him for coffee at Shoney's. (I lived large back then, only the finest restaurants for me, and cost was nothing.) I was nervous, and walked in, and standing there, in Bermuda shorts, tube socks, and a fanny pack, was an elderly man about 75 years old. I know he was 75 because he told me. He said he lied about his age because he was young at heart, still full of vigor, but was afraid I wouldn't show up.

Evidently he decided then and there I was the woman for him. And here I am thinking, again, how in the world do I get myself in these messes? He seemed like a genuinely nice person, but he would have made a better father than a boyfriend. He talked and talked and talked, and I just sat there in shock. Finally, I found an excuse to leave.

Then the emails started. He sent me about 20 emails a day. He wanted us to get together. I told my brother about it, and he said, "Does he have money?" My brother has always looked out for my best interests. "Well," he said, "At 75, he could just pop off any time..." Had he been a millionaire, I couldn't see it happening. Well, maybe, no, no, I wouldn't have.

I tried to discourage him. I really did. But I didn't want to hurt his feelings. His pursuit continued, and I ended up giving him my phone number, again. Then he called and sent emails. He wanted to meet my brother and sister. I said ok. Don't ask me why, I don't know. Maybe I was missing my father, or liked the attention, no matter how irritating it was. So, he came to my house, and visited with my brother and sister-in-law. My brother thought he was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I wanted to slap him. A few days later, he came out while I was at work, and cut my grass. And when I say cut my grass, I mean cut my grass. There was nothing left but dirt.

I think I snapped. I called him, and told him to never come out without an invitation from me. I told him I had bipolar disorder and could go crazy at any time. He said we could work it out. I told him I was schizophrenic, and he said we could work it out. I told him I would keep seeing other men, he said that would be problem, but we could work it out, and then I said the magic words. The words I had been avoiding. "Charlie, your just too old for me." Then the flood-gates opened, and with great anger, but with dignity, he told me what he thought of me. How I had led him on, how I had promised him my love, (when?), how I wasn't a prize either, (why does this keep coming up?) but finally it was over.

I do not chat anymore, or post personal ads. I suggest you don't either, unless its with a relative, or a priest. And every time, that stupid commercial comes on, telling you how wonderful it is to meet your soul mate, I break loose with a stream of obscenities that would make a hardened criminal blush.


BRUNO said...

Compare it to the old Cracker-Jacks commercial jingle---"Candy-coated pop-corn, peanuts and a prize, THAT'S what you get with Cracker-Jacks!"

I'm not a prize, either! I'll just consider myself a "consolation door-gift for attendance", in a "no-deposit, no-return, non-recyclable carton!" (Be careful and don't trip over me on the way out!)

The Future Was Yesterday said...

I think your "road" was one we all traveled to one extent or another, and I think that cartoon was the most honest thing I've seen today!:)

No said...

um..I think I'd skip the priest thing too...

I'm just sayin'

I'm blog whoring today..yes, yet again, another blog...

just me said...

I guess I'm one of those things when get when you open a new checking account. It looks ok, but what is it, exactly?

Future, glad to make you happy. PS, I'm the one on the left.

No, You're right. Priests carry their own kind of sex appeal. Instead of priests, I guess the next best chat buddy would be Jesus. But I always get that message, 'Jesus appears to be offline at the moment, but he will get your message when he logs on....'

Anne said...

You're hilarious! And those weirdos have got a lot of nerve hoping for "prizes."

Willowtree said...

I can't for the life of me understand why anyone (particularly a woman) would agree to meet someone (particularly a guy) from the net.

I just enjoy having a bit of fun to while away the hours, I don't want to add an element of risk. Hell, it's bad enough that No knows where my blog is! btw she has history with a priest.

Willowtree said...

Oh, while I think of it...It seems to be a common thread that whenever internet people meet in real life and one is rejected, they seem to hit the 'nasty' button immediately. That may have something to do with why they are looking on the internet in the first place.

Spadoman said...

Internet "seeking" is definately a problem. I've seen many forums and chat rooms that were nothing but trouble.

Blogging is a bit different. You get to know people by what they write. It is over time. Comments, in public, make people trust, and in my opinion, what's not to trust?

We make friends. When one or the other, (or both) go overboard and get caught up in their feelings, then someone might get hurt. If it isn't one of the players, it might be a spouse or the children, whatever the case may be.

I've done this. I got caught up in the great feeling a good friend gave me in the comments section and in e-mails, I was a good friend right back. Who started it? Who knows. It was give and take and we both gave and took. After a while, someone got hurt. Actually, we both did at some level. But I'm not ashamed. I am just a human being with feelings to share.

Some of us "are" who we say we are. We wear our feelings on our sleeves. We believe in human nature and trust in people. I'll take that risk because I believe that by not trusting and living life believing everyone is a liar would not be a good way to see life.

That's my take on it. I never went into anything trying to hurt anyone. I risked my own heart by not thinking and letting raw emotion be my guide.
I made a mistake. I walk forward from here.

Peace to all.

Mary said...

The cartoon is the best. I certainly see the potential for all kinds of trouble meeting someone online.

Anne said...

I've always been very suspicious of dating websites or personal ads. But then again I've had my share of "regular" relationships that didn't work out too. What's the use of saying mean things to the other person, stalking them or otherwise making a fool of yourself? That just prolongs your own suffering. I believe there's someone for everyone out there. It's just hard sorting through all those who are a "wrong fit."

just me said...

Spadoman, we're a lot alike in that we want to believe that all people are worthy and mean what they say. It means getting hurt, but that's the risk in every relationship.

Willowtree, most people wouldn't take that risk, but you would be surprised how many do, like me.

Anne, it has been my experience that there really isn't someone out there for everyone, i.e. a soulmate. The best we can do is find someone who we love and cherish, and get along with, and take it from there. I hope I'm wrong.

No said...

I had the opposite problem. The experience I had meeting this online friend in person was much, much better than I thought it would be. I was expecting the worst, and got the best. Who wouldda thought?

No said...

Those priests, on the other hand....

Well, no comment!