Monday, 12 September 2016

Desperate in Delvin

I bit the bullet.  I’m blaming my male cousins and brothers.  ‘Sure, you are still lovely Lucy.  Fellas would fancy you, especially now that you have learned how to plough a field’.  They give me tips for internet dating.  I’m horrified, ‘still lovely’.  They mean well, but I feel like an ageing horse, getting my teeth checked, to see if there is any life left in the old nag.  So before I declare myself fit for pasture, I did it.  I signed up for internet dating, on a whim, early one Sunday morning, after another weekend on my own with my mutt.   

But what to share? Oh gawd, the template is looking for a photograph.  Maybe I should upload a pic of my dog.  He’s better looking than me and it would show what an animal lover I am.  It’s times like this that a burka seems like an attractive form of dress.  I opt for a discreet photo, instagrammed to death. 

Then there is the small matter of my name.  With a name like Lucina, there isn’t much hiding.  Adding a simple ‘d’ could give me a disguise.  I opt for honesty. 

Then the much dreaded questionnaire - likes, dislikes, inspirations, the ‘tell us about you’ and ‘what you are looking for’.  I feel like giving up there and then and resigning myself to old age, with just me and my mutt.

A few credit card details later and I’m live.  Within minutes, I swear, minutes, guys send messages saying that they want to meet me.  All before 8.30am on a Sunday. I marvel at the wonder of technology.  I have almost planned my outfits and picked my restaurants.

The novelty doesn’t last long.  Desperate in Delvin*, 62 sends me a virtual wink and another.  And a few days later, another.

Kinky in Kinnegad, 72, sends me a message saying that he thinks I’m sexy.  I’d like to send him a virtual slap of a hangbag, but there isn’t such an icon.

Gorgeous in Galway, 31, is actually gorgeous and I wonder why the hell he is internet dating and more to the point, why he is looking at my profile.  I find it hard to believe that his intentions are honourable.

There’s lots of faceless men out there, like Unhappily Married in Urlingford, 38 who don’t upload photos and seen pushy about chatting, as if this opportunity is what I’ve waited all of my life for. 

The Teacher in Thurles, 37, also faceless, writes 'your lovely'. I reply, stating 'for a teacher, your spelling isn't the best'.  He doesn't know what I'm on about.  'You're', I prompt. We mutually agree to 'leave it'.

Ego in Ennis, 51, another of the faceless crew, insists that he has provided plenty of information about himself on his profile and that if I had read it properly, I would 'clearly see' that he would provide photos by email. Out of curiosity, I ask for pics, which he emails.  He has Donald Trump hair to match the inflated sense of himself presented in his profile.

Dapper in Dublin, 39, looks promising, but then says that we live too far away from each other for a date.  I try not to sound desperate and resist asking him to check the route on AA Routeplanner, like I already have.

Other fellas probably really should have taken a bit of advice on how to take selfies for the purposes of actually getting a date.  A lot of photos make them look like they came straight from Crimeline, with photos taken directly from their PC, showing double/treble chins off to their finest.  And do they not realise that I can see their socks and jocks on the radiator behind them?    

The questionnaires that the guys have completed start to bore me to death.  Who actually gives a monkey’s what their favourite meal is (but, FYI, a large proportion of men seem to prefer their mothers cooking, which is all well and good, but this isn’t a site for a replacement Irish Mammy)

Then there’s the guys who use way !!!!! too many !!!!! exclamation !!! marks !!!! to show what a fun !!!! guys they are !!!!  So, flipping !!!!!! hilarious !!!!

And don’t get me started on the guys WHO USE BLOCK CAPITALS.  It’s as hilarious as the exclamation marks, but IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING AT ME.

Or the ones that use text speak.  No, I don’t want 2 talk 2 U LOL ‘K?

And then there’s the LOL’s and ‘LMAO’, when it’s-just-not-funny. 

There are lots of lovely, genuine guys out there in cyber love land.  Some send lovely messages and mostly I send nice messages back, wishing them well, but saying that I’m not interested.  Some send messages back saying that mine was the nicest rejection they ever received.  They don’t know that I have had years of experience turning down people, as gently as I can, for grant applications.

I won’t be renewing my membership when it expires this week.  I’ll dust myself off and regroup.  But in the meantime, Maybe in Meath, 45 isn’t looking half bad.

*Names have been changed to protect the deluded

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