Finding Love Online (And Elsewhere)

Zenobia Silas-Carson

Somewhere in my late fifties, I suddenly noticed that I was still single. You know, it just popped up at me one day and I thought “Gee, I have not dated since…..” then I dated this physical education teacher. We won’t go into that bad choice.

Oh, I have been married before. In fact, I have traveled down the aisle of matrimony twice.

The first trip, I was seventeen and so in love that my eyes were crossing! I convinced my parents that lest they give permission I might just draw my last breath like some heroine in a Shakespearean play. I was a child, wanting to marry my childhood sweetheart. I look back and find that to be hilarious. Where were my parent’s backbone? They should have locked me in my room and allowed me to swoon and sulk until I was thirty!

The two of them, newly divorced, looked upon their precocious daughter with sad eyes and asked, “Are you sure about this?” “Do you want to give up your art and writing and freedom to marry him?” and when they said, “him” they shifted their eyes to my boyfriend and did everything they could not to spit and pronounce a curse on his entire family.  He  had a strong grip on my heart. I was officially his “girl” and now, he wanted me to be his wife. He was a bad boy but simmered down long enough to marry me. I was breathlessly in love. My parents relented and signed me over to this man-boy who was nineteen.

I busied myself being non-interested in happy pronouncements by friends as they sailed off to college in brand new cars provided by their parents.  I tried convincing them that having a baby crawling on the floor, and one screaming from its crib, was far more exciting than some silly courses in a stuffy class of higher learning.

I had to cover the kitchen shelves with yellow contact paper, and fix four AM breakfasts for my husband who worked hard at everything but our marriage. “You’re always pregnant” he accused, and justified his weekly weekend trips to parts unknown. We were a well kept family, but the divorce bubble hanging over our heads finally popped and we parted ways.

I subscribed to the popular, “I do not need a man to raise children. I can do this by myself”.  My children  rolled their eyes and as if to say, “This semi-woman has not even finished high school..

We are doomed!

I did the thing solo for many years, but at age thirty five, declared out loud to no one, that I was going to get myself a husband. I was muddling my way through motherhood. Each child became an experiment. I had no one to bounce my ideas off, and no one to agree to which discipline fit best and besides, I was outnumbered! I needed another adult to balance me out. Besides, I was lonely.

I found I could not travel in the circles with single doctors and lawyers. Seems they needed to have wives with degrees and goals higher than knowing the sale prices of butter and interests that went beyond helping someone with homework or what the latest song, record or dance was. I was still a kid. I did marry again, to a man who brought such sadness to my family that I vowed, “never again”.  I went back to school, claimed a career or two and for a while, I was okay.

I wrapped myself in motherhood and did not come up for air until I was in my fifties.

Twenty plus years had changed the face of dating completely. I had no idea what people did or talked about or what one expected of new “friends” so to speak. A friend suggested that I look into dating on the Internet. Right away, I ran into several sites that nearly guaranteed that true love would find it’s way to you in no time at all.

I joined a few at a time, thinking the pickings might be plentiful.  I chose my best photos. I paid what seemed like small fees and know what?  I visited the sites each day, and all I heard were crickets and I think I saw tumbleweeds run across my home screen.

What was I doing wrong? I was always honest. I also am original and authentic. I happen to know that only so many people can walk on the beach, watch the moonlight, have quiet candle-lit dinners and engage in happy conversation 24/7. No one was interested in that. I seemed too real.

Reality began hitting when I met a few, (not in person) who were totally attached to their last marriage or relationship and droned on and on about them, but there was a scattering of those who were interesting and kind. No one wanted to leave their comfort zone and that went for my female friends who were also trolling the companionship aisles. I thought I might talk to my peers and find out what the holdup could be.

I began asking people, “What do you really want?”  None of us looks like the silver haired cuties that grace the sites for older people who seek dating partners. Have you seen these people frolicking in the sand and walking hand in hand into the sunset?  They look like tanned, fit and slim young people dressed up in white wigs. They are glowing and showing off their abs. Come on!

We have to be realistic. People have had hip and knee replacements. Dentures and Depends are big items as well as waning interests in many things. I would think we might like to meet people who are not naturally upset about every little thing. I met one man who is heated up about politics every day. Our conversations consisted of his saying, “I’m going to say this one thing and then I’ll let you talk”.  That ended before it began.


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