My wife of 20 years died and after it was time to re-enter life, I found that almost everyone now uses dating-on-line sites instead of the old fashioned way of meeting first.
I read through the profiles and found someone who appeared, on paper, to be perfect. She was a flight attendant, cultured, with several talented children, well-spoken and attractive. We starting writing then calling and things seemed marvelous, except she lived in a different city, but she seemed such a winner, I chose to fly to meet her.
I was new to internet dating, so had previously met in coffee shops, which was quite awkward and a terrible way to actually get to know someone. She insisted our first meeting to be at a fancy restaurant of her choice, which I accepted gladly, as I had missed the fun of having someone with whom to share a nice restaurant.
Somewhat to my surprise she was 40-60 minutes late, but it worked out well for me, as I was able to get to be friends with the bartender, the owner and his wife, even the violin player. Everyone was holding their breath to see how it worked out for us, and if she would actually come. She did finally arrive and was stunning. The owner gave us the finest table, with rose petals strewn, and the violinist really made it a special, wonderful evening.
She was flirty but said she was rather shy and not to expect intimacy until we knew each other well, which was fine with me, as it was the way I was raised, too.
I was surprised when I saw her apartment. (I didn’t realize that divorced women usually lost the nice house they lived in, but retained their beautiful furniture, now housed in a shabby apartment.) The inside of the apartment was elegantly decorated, the outside was somewhat grim, but she explained that’s what a divorced woman with two kids could afford, which made sense to me.
Several weeks later she flew to see me, and I was truly excited, wondering if she would become my next wife. I took her to My favorite spots, my restaurants where I was known, but was horrified at the way she treated the wait staff and even the owners of the places I took her….snapping her fingers to the owner and saying things like, “Boy, bring me some ice water.” This red flag confused me, and I literally went to each of the places the next day, alone, to apologize for her behavior. It got too much to take her out in public, so I told her I would cook her a nice dinner, as I like to cook. I cooked a fine meal, then she insisted we eat outside, which made no sense, as it was over 100 degrees outside and muggy as could be, but I had given up trying to reason with her, so sat sweating in the hot sun with the food going bad.
I was very surprised when she got a phone call from her similarly financially-distressed best girlfriend, who wanted to make plans to go on vacation for a week with her the next week. I became more surprised when they decided on Vegas and the most expensive resort in Vegas. When she got off the phone, I asked, confused, how she could afford such a lavish vacation when she was having troubles even paying her utility bills. She smiled and said, “Well, you see how beautiful I am, right? I get all dressed up, then go stand in the lobby of the Resort next to the VIP check-in desk. It doesn’t take long before a checking-in man will ask me if I’m with anyone, then I end up spending the week with him, meaning I get free room, fancy meals, entertainment, and I try to push them into taking me to the finest stores and jewelry shops. Why, last month I was able to pawn the jewelry I got for over $10,000.00”
My jaw dropped. I was literally dating one of the girls your Mom always told me about. Though I had said nothing, she saw my face and got livid. She disappeared into the house and came out somewhat slurred. I spent an anxious night awake on the sofa, awaiting her plane in the morning, for fear in her out-of-control state she might do harm to my pets. In the morning I tried to be as cheerful as possible as I sped to the airport, and let her out at the curb, saying it was fun. I trembled as I drove home and didn’t date again for a long time. 0619-12