Text in the City Part I

A few weeks ago I was carpooling with my office mate to work. She and I are both active in the match.community and so our hour-long commute regularly flies by with entertaining/horrifying tales of online profiles distorting reality:

  • By “middle age,” he meant that he knows who Methuselah was… personally.
  • By “separated” he meant his wife thinks he’s at a Bible study meeting.
  • By “male” he meant the “Crying Game,” only backwards.

But this time, instead of the usual “who let the circus sideshow out” grimace on my coworker’s face, she was, dare I say, smiling.

 “What’s with the grin?” I asked, dying of suspense.

To which she replied, “I actually think I may have met a really great guy.”

 “This, I have to hear.”

And so she went on to describe this super attractive, hilarious, intelligent, ambitious, did I mention hilarious 30-something man who truly seems to be the Honey to her Graham, the wig to her wam.

“This is so amazing. When are you guys going out next?” I pried.

“Well, that’s the thing,” she shifted. “We’ve never actually met in person. But we talk all the time; he texts me like 7 times a day just to check in and see how things are going.”

Suddenly, I felt as if I had been mowed down by the green goblin semi in Maximum Overdrive.

Maximum Overdrive

Green Goblin Semi

“What’s wrong,” she asked nervously.

“His name,” I hesitated. “His name doesn’t happen to be [Here I will use an alias to protect the innocent] Balki Bartokomous, does it?”

perfect strangers

Balki Bartokomous

She: “Yes!”

Me: “No.”

She: “Yes!!”

Me: “Nooooooooo!” (This went on for a while until I finally explained HOW I knew the WHO she was talking about)

A few months earlier, I too had met Balki Bartokomous on the same online dating site. I “winked.” He “winked” back. I emailed. He emailed back. We exchanged digits. And then, my cell phone lit up like the night sky on the Fourth of July.

It was like nothing I had ever known before. All hours of the day, a cute “Good Morning” prompt at 8AM, and a silly “Sleep Tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” at midnight — then in between, a steady stream of funny, engaging, entertaining, and affectionate bulletins. At first, the sound of my phone’s incoming message alert was like a sweet, chirping cartoon songbird flying into my window and tying yellow ribbons in my hair with its adorable cartoon beak.

But, after 2 weeks of him shirking every suggestion I made for us to actually meet in person with one apologetic “I have to work late” excuse after another — those melodic cartoon songbirds became the shrieking raven, nevermore.

As much as it hurt, I had to pull the plug on our unreal-ationship. Because after all the Carpal tunnel thumb cramps, and all the countless hours of him Wink Face Emoticoning sweet nothings in my ear, we would forever be but – WAIT FOR IT – “Perfect Strangers.”   

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