Online dating is never what you expect
| In a world where people are searching for their “soul mates” and technology is literally at your fingertips twenty-four hours a day, it's no surprise internet dating has become the phenomenon of the twenty-first century. However, today I will tell you a story that perhaps will make you think twice before uploading that picture and pouring your heart out in a profile.
What is ironic about this tale is I actually knew both prospective daters. We all have several different social groups we run in, and I'm no different. I knew both were single, and it never occurred to me to introduce them. In fact, the thought of them bumping into each other on the street made me laugh hysterically, because I could envision their expressions of disdain.
Anyway to the story . . . .
My friend from high school, Edi, is a self-proclaimed witch. I don’t mean like a I’m-having-a-bad-day-get-out-of-my-way-pmsing-witch or a I’m-playing-around-with-the-goth-thing-witch. Edi is a witch. She does spells, curses, brews - the whole nine yards. She wears dark make-up, resents authority, claims she’s been on earth for 314 years, and has a pet duck that apparently once was her brother, Nate. (Now that’s a long story I don’t quite remember all the details of, because I had a few too many shots of tequila.)
Next, let me introduce you to Mark. Mark's my brother-in-law. He is a by-the-book detective and hard-core conservative. In his opinion, Ronald Reagan should be inducted into sainthood; he doesn’t understand why women aren’t still like June Cleaver, and is a complete and utter neat freak. He’s hilarious to tease, because he doesn’t get it until about five minutes later, but he's a good guy.
How these two found each other even on a dating site still confuses me, but they did. The stars were apparently lined up right - or wrong. They talked for three hours that first, fateful night. I actually went back and read the archives of their conversation, because I just couldn’t understand this connection. I thought someone had to be lying, which is often the case as people hide behind the computer. But what happened was another common computer glitch - miscommunication. As Edi was talking about witchcraft, Mark thought she was being sarcastic, and visa-versa when Mark brought up how he didn’t see why people felt the need to let animals in the house and contaminate everything. So you see, they were both laughing and having a good time, but were completely, unknowingly lost in the conversation.
They decided to meet for drinks after work the next evening. Neither could see any reason to prolong this meeting; after all there was clearly a connection.
The time ticked slowly by for both of them as anticipation and excitement increased throughout the day. They texted several times, flirting and joking, setting the mood for the date. Mark called his mother and informed her of this wonderful woman he was about to meet. Edi talked non-stop to her brother Nate, the duck, about how she finally found someone who accepted her.
Edi arrived at the bar first, requesting outside seating since they didn’t allow ducks inside. She normally would have been perturbed by the absurdity of such rules, but knowing Mark would be there any minute kept her mood giddy.
When a man dressed in a three-piece suit approached with a somewhat hesitant look on his face, she immediately hissed for him to get away that the seat at her table was taken. He jumped back either at her hissing or because Nate began quacking. Usually a man of calm demeanor, he was momentarily unnerved.
Regaining his composure and remembering his oath to his mother as a young teenager to always be a gentleman, he introduced himself as Mark. Edi was not quite as skilled at hiding her disappointment.
“You’re a suit!” It was the ultimate insult in her book, a compliment in Mark’s.
They sat in silence, other than the occasional duck quack (apparently Nate was amused). Neither sipped their drink; the word chugged is more appropriate.
In her mind Edi plotted a spell, not on Mark, but on the makers of the dating website. Mark was thinking it’s okay to be the single, fun Uncle Mark for the rest of his life. Nate the Duck wondered how long he could survive out of water.
Uncharacteristically, Mark started to chuckle. Edi immediately went on the defense.
“What?” she snapped.
“You have a duck on a leash,” he laughed even harder.
Not one who liked to be laughed at, Edi did the one thing she knew would make him quit laughing. She leaned over and kissed Mark. The world stopped spinning, the duck stopped quacking. Sparks flew for both parties. When the embrace broke neither could believe what they felt.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is how I became a bridesmaid at the wedding of a witch and a detective with a duck as the best man.
(WC - 824)