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Rated: 18+ · Novel · Comedy · #1311896
Beginning of a "Bridget Jone's Diary" meets Cyber-Space Dating spoof. Hope it's fun!
You've Been Winked At
Chapter One

I'm not sure where my head was at the time. I suppose loneliness played a large role in the whole mess. And, after all, I had always been sort of straight-laced my whole life. Never had the personality to take a walk on the wild side. A definite character flaw, I know. So venturing out into the unknown reaches of cyber-space-dating was a departure from the norm for me.

I may have tried to rebel against my parents but I'm sure it only happened once or twice. My mother had installed radar on me and trying to get away with anything outside the rules would have been foolish. I was grounded once for six months. Exactly. To the day. I can't even remember what it was for, but I know I never tried it again.

Once, when I was completely hormonal and arguing with her (what WAS I thinking???), I ran upstairs, closed the bathroom door and cussed under my breath. The door flew open with a you are in such big trouble now bang; something Mom had perfected over the years with her five daughters. It had a tendency to scare the you know what out of you. I was glad I was already in the bathroom. Needless to say, I didn't cuss in front of my mother again until I was thirty-seven, despite the fact that she had been using damn, shit and hell in front of me since I was eighteen.

I didn't have sex until I was twenty-one. I spent my late teens and early twenties living like I was in Little House On The Prairie, instead of in the hippie-flower-child generation I was from. That free-spirit era when people lived in communes and passed out daisies to anyone who dared cross their paths. But I didn't want to have sex with just anyone, like so many of my friends were doing. I wanted it to mean something. What exactly, I'm not sure. I look back on those years and sometimes wish I had joined in. Had experiences that I wouldn't dream of having now. Tried things that I'd rather die before doing today at my age. It's funny how being over fifty can make you revert back to those years, even if it's just in your mind. Wondering what, or if, you would have done differently.

I know I would still get married to my ex. Not because the marriage was pure ecstasy. It was, in fact, a three year trip to hell. But I'd take that trip again, especially knowing it only lasted three years, to have my son. Seriously, that's the only part of my life I know for certain I wouldn't change. Having him. And like most divorced women, I spent those years raising him. Putting my personal life on hold, so to speak. 

I had a few short term relationships with men; only two resulting in hitting the sack or is it hitting the hay? Albeit...I just had a hard time trusting them. Experience showed what they said wasn't always what they meant. Now, I know that statement is usually reserved for describing the feminine gender, but it's a phrase that could easily be considered unisex for at least the past decade. Men have all been looking for an independent woman...who can easily be controlled. A woman who has a kind heart and is loving...who excels in pleasuring him while she receives the usual wham-bam-thank-you-madam; appreciatively, I might add. Someone who has a giving personality... diligently making sure his cleaning, cooking, and laundry are all done by the time he gets home from roaming all night with the...ah-hem...boys.

It had been ten years since my last attempt at trying to trust a man. With my son gone and my family all out of town, loneliness prevailed and at the age of fifty I decided to take a chance. Time to take a walk on the wild side. Who would it hurt anyway? Certainly not me. I'm made of brick. Or so I thought... 

Computers were still fairly new to me. I had only had mine for two years, but I spent enough time on it to know my way around online somewhat. At least, I knew how to search for sites I wanted to visit. So, finding dating services was rather a snap. I found ten, but only three allowed me to have a peek at what they had to offer, male-selection-wise, before I had to decide whether or not to join. They were all easy to navigate and had extensive lists, depending on your location, of interesting candidates.

It was trying to figure out which ones were reputable that I had a problem with. Watching TV one morning last year, I noticed one of the sites I put in my list was the service Regis and Kellie were using in a Valentine's Day promotion. (Or was it a promotion for marriages or weddings? I don't quite remember. Owell.) Of course, being human like so many consumers are, I decided if Regis and Kellie were using that service it must be on the up and up. Funny how it didn't occur to me that the service could be legit but the clientele might not be. Did I think the service would screen every person who signed up? Call them and ask, "Is everything you put on these forms truthful? 'Cause if it's not, we're going to have to..." What? Get the "Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!" squad after them? Who knows what I was thinking... 

I signed up that same day. Filled in page after page of forms, trying to be as honest as possible with the profile I was placing there. After all, I didn't want any surprises from the men I would meet, and I didn't want them to be misled either. Still there were sections on the forms that I had no idea how to answer. What color of eyes DID I want to look at? I had no idea. Does it matter nowadays, anyway? With colored contacts available, a person could have all ten eye colors in a box on their night stand. Too bad there wasn't a choice "All of the above" to pick. Instead I chose "Any." Boring! And after ten years with no sex, just how should a person answer the question, "What would be your ideal first date?" Let's see..."Assuming he has a lusciously large penis (or should I write Dick here?), I would expect hours of tantalizing foreplay, followed by a multitude of earth-shattering orgasms, all ending in one "Holy-Shit" climatic cum." I wrote, instead, "Coffee in a public place at noon, with a few laughs." After hours of prolonged agony, I hit the submit button and allowed my profile to be placed in cyber space for all the world to see. And then I started my search for Mr. Wonderful. 

I typed my idea of who Prince Charming is into the form, hit the search button and waited as the database looked for my perfect matches. Within minutes I was presented with fifty-two pages, ten per page, of all the single desperate men within a one hundred mile radius of my home. Was I not being picky enough in my request? How could there be five hundred and twenty eligible bachelors in my area and I had never run into any of them? I was sure I had looked under every rock I came across, where had all these men been hiding? Why hadn't they been snatched up already? As I started scrolling down the pages I soon saw why. 

Being the physical snob that I am, I only requested profiles that had photos submitted. Even though I, myself, had not submitted one. A girl can never be too careful, you know. (Wink! Wink!) I am not such a snob as to require a man to be drop-down-dead-gorgeous, after all Cary's gone now and no one can replace him, but neat in appearance should definitely be a prerequisite when choosing a photo you are using to impress those of the opposite sex. Nearly eighty percent of the men on this list had used either the photo taken during their arrest or the photo ID taken when they joined the underground militia. Clearly not the cream of the crop, but the pictures easily helped me narrow the field to a few semi-exceptional prospects. 

I chose approximately twenty-five possibilities and placed them in my favorites. I then started reading profiles. Pages and pages of profiles. My enthusiasm for trying to find the man of my dreams was waning. Elimination's became easier, however, as I continued to read. There seemed to be quite a few small hints in those profiles, some I had never thought about before, which made the process of annihilation, sorry...elimination, much quicker.

For instance, if a man said he was looking for women between the ages of thirty-five and fifty, I considered that to mean I would naturally be their last choice, or at the very least, dumped when the forty year old showed up.  Deleted. If his interests included "long walks on a moon lit beach", he was chopped. I mean, hello????, what man talks like that? His competitors who stated they enjoyed "long talks, curled up in front of a fire place with someone special" were also taken off the list. C'mon, guys! Try telling us what we want to hear, not what you think we want to hear. All I could picture was the word "Hi" being said and then hot, steamy, passionate sex with a dead bear's head looking down at me. Hmmmm...make it a crocheted afghan and maybe I'd keep this one. Nawww....

Did I mention I am also an intelligence snob? My IQ is pretty high and though I don't require a man to have the equivalent of mine, I do like knowing that he reads books that don't have characters named Dick, Jane or Spot. If a man's in his fifties and doesn't know the difference between stationary and stationery, he needs to go to a bar and meet a woman. Not type a profile that women can actually read! If he can't spell past the third grade, he doesn't need to think about curling up in front of a fire place on a bear skin rug next to this woman. Five more sent back out into cyber space. 

After five hours, I ended up with three men who sounded semi-real and came across as being pretty honest about who they were. I sent each of them a wink, the service's way of allowing you to let someone know you're interested. And then I waited. By evening my email box was full of winks and letters from interested parties. I started with the three I had winked at first.
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