Like all good things, it started with a snafu.
I was sitting at my computer, bored, browsing profiles, drinking my first cup of coffee when a chat window from the personals popped open.
“Hi,” the message read. I looked at the picture of the person sending the greeting. It was a woman’s. Oh, Lord, I thought, another lonely-heart. I was about to write back to let her know about her misfiring finger when she wrote back, “Sorry!”
Out of curiosity, I clicked on the profile’s picture to see who the woman was. I was doubly surprised. Not only was she beautiful, her reading choices were impressive: Steinbeck, Nabokov, Dickens, Garcia Marquez. Her description was funny, without a trace of self-deprecation. We had similar interests in the kind of men we’re looking for. She is fifty-two. She had impeccable punctuation. And her idea of sexy was indeed sexy.
No worries, I replied. Trust me, your profile is confusing me and almost makes me want to reconsider what I’m looking for.
She LOL-ed back. “Any luck?” she inquired.
I’m batting about as good as you are right now, I replied.
“Too bad. Same here” she said, and wished me luck.
I went back to my browsing. There was no need to continue the conversation, and I was not about to get myself entangled in something I couldn’t finish. While I looked at profile after profile of potential coffee dates, none of the matches compared to the woman’s profile. Why, I wondered, is everyone here so uninteresting? It’s like I’m looking at an army of clones. Isn’t there anyone original, or substantive, any more?
“Have a good day,” the woman chimed in again. I couldn’t help laughing now. She was gutsy, at the very least, and had a sense of humor about her trigger finger.
What are you doing today? I wrote back. It’s beautiful and neither one of us should be indoors.
“Nothing,” she wrote back. “Walk.”
We met on Lincoln Road, in Miami Beach. Busy. Popular. Neutral. It was her idea and her neighborhood. I recognized her immediately from her photos. She was shorter than I imagined. She had not lied about herself on her profile; I just didn’t read it carefully enough. She looked like Penelope Cruz (from the Almodovar days), long brown hair falling over her shoulders, brown eyes that reflected the sun, and lips that should have been on an ad for lip gloss. She didn’t wear make-up, nor did she need to. She had dark, smooth skin most women would pay for.
She smiled and shook my hand firmly when I introduced myself. Her face was very expressive. She handled herself with confidence. She wore a turquoise skirt that seemed almost too long on her with a white top that flattered her figure. She didn’t seem embarrassed at us meeting. Rather, she treated it as another one of those things that happen in Miami and one later find himself telling friends about.
After a quick chit-chat while we waited for our order, we decided to sit outside. This was an odd situation for both of us. We had decided not to call it a date. Instead, we were “meeting” as two fellow single folk who suddenly find themselves in an odd situation trying to make the best of it. Read More