Funky things happen when you start a post-divorce blog to launch writing and art into the world after living life in virtual anonymity for decades.
For example, there seem to be many men - especially in the Ukraine, and in ships in the middle of the ocean - who “want to be friendship,” with me.
Bless their hearts. I imagine them spending many hours cruising the internet cutting and pasting that phrase.
A simple “No thank you. I don’t know you,” seems to help them scuttle off to the next endearing soul.
A few are a bit more persistent. Some dude complimented the way I look. I responded: “That’s not really me. I have missing teeth and a wooden peg leg.” That did not deter him as he still asked if we could move to private email to chat. I laughed and didn’t respond.
The Twitter followers with profile pictures are the best. When I follow back in amusement, the giveaway is the private message immediately sent back that starts out, “Hello Dear” and is peppered with bad grammar.
“Please bear with me am just an old fashion man,Im…”
I roll my eyes, chuckle, and write back. “I don’t know what country you’re from, but you better hope that dude doesn’t figure out you’re using his photo for your fake account.”
This is followed by “said gentlemen” unfollowing and blocking me.
It’s quite amusing. There seem to be a lot of money grubbing prey-on-desperate-women dudes out there.
Thankfully, I’m not a desperate woman.
After almost two years of officially being a solo artist, friends have begun asking me: “So, are you dating?”
Nope, is my response.
“Why not?“ asked a friend. “You can just “swipe,” she said as she waved her finger over an imaginary phone.
I had no idea what she meant and my thoughts immediately went to that Dora the Explorer kid cartoon show with the fox, “Swiper, No Swiping!”
She, of course, was talking about a dating app.
I ain’t into dating sites and once referred to one as Matchbook.com in a conversation, so that will give you a clue about my knowledge of internet dating.
One social media site I use has tailored ads because I’m a solo artist now.
I got sick of clicking the “not relevant to me” on the dating site ads with the smiling, debonair looking man. It’s always the same dude. Hasn’t he found someone yet?
So, I changed my birth date to 1905, thinking there aren’t many dating sites for centenarians. And, I figure, I can put up with the adult diaper and walker ads, no problem.
But, my all time favorite so far, aside from the ever present “Nigerian Prince from Africa,” was from someone touting a “doctor” who could put a hex on my former spouse so he’d return. Considering it was my choice to divorce after an almost 20-year marriage, I found that most amusing.
Personally, I find all of this freaking hilarious. Sometimes it’s the small comedies of life that make it worth living.
However, scientifically, I muse on the sadness of it.
For every divorced woman like me who guffas each time I see these, there are many women who bite. I know this because statistically scam artists wouldn’t waste time sending these out unless someone is biting.
And, sadly it seems women of my age and status are prime targets.
I speculate that it is a lack of confidence by some women to feel comfortable in their own skin. Many women, divorced, widowed, alone, feel they need a man to validate their femininity and perhaps, their very existence.
Society teaches women that, in my opinion. I hope it’s changing.
Now, before you get your panties in a wad, I’m not bashing internet dating sites, relationships, soul mates, or any other ethereal conceptions a person may have. I think that’s all fine and dandy. I know some people who have found that wonderful person on a dating site.
Real, true, honest relationships, and love of any kind is wonderful.
I’m talking about the blinders folks wear to convince themselves to be in a relationship, even though their gut feeling, friends or family might tell them otherwise.
Having a true, honest, real relationship with yourself and your own needs are what keep you grounded. Confidence in yourself thwarts all the princes from Nigeria or even in your own town.
You are your own worst enemy if you don’t believe in yourself and your worth. If you don’t, then who will? It took me decades to realize this.
Sometimes you may feel alone, but who doesn’t? That’s the way life is. People in relationships even feel lonely. That’s not a reason to remain in a bad relationship or jump into them repeatedly.
My life has been pretty full lately, and I choose not to spend time cruising dating sites. It’s just not my thing.
Instead, I’ve been using my time to check personal goals off my list like painting, writing, travel, meeting people organically and having face to face conversations, decorating my home the way I want it, and getting rid of old stuff, like my marital mattress.
It’s quite liberating. Someday, I may find a dude to share life with me, but I ain’t gonna force it. Discovering the glories of life for myself, and my children is pretty dang cool.
But, I think I’m going to change my response about the dating thing from no to a yes. “I am dating someone!” I’ll start to respond. “They workout, like science, are quirky, write, and do funky art!”
Oh, yeah, that’s me. Maybe dating yourself is a great post-divorce experiment.
I never have to ask myself if I look fat in this dress. I can eat anywhere I want and not ask if I’m gluten-free or have any allergies. I don’t need to ask, “Hey baby what’s your sign” or try to impress myself because I already know what I like.
I can even make myself laugh.
Being alone doesn’t always have to mean you are lonely. Is it challenging? Yes. Can you do something about it? Yes.
Don’t be baited by the phishers or the fishing. Throw them back and catch the right one. Then take a picture of yourself with the big catch, even if that big catch is yourself.
(Enriching music: Respect Yourself, The Staple Singers; It’s Me, K.D. Lang and the Recliners)