"I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I write and I understand." - Chinese proverb

Friday, September 30, 2011


So here I am, an eharmony newbie.  Thank heavens I had that profile written up, or I'd have no idea what the hell to put down.  Although, as you can see, eharmony guides you.  And their commercials (you know, the guy with the big teeth and icky fake smile) brag about the dozens of "points" eharmony uses to match their couples.  Well, I don't know about this.  They keep sending me potential matches who smoke (I asked for non-smokers), who live in Pennsylvania or other parts (I told them within 75 miles, please), and short guys (I'd really, really like a guy as tall as I am, at least, petty as it sounds). 

I finally said the hell with eharmony.  They kept "nudging" me to put up a photo (and they still are), even though they firmly deny access to a photo of a potential match unless you're a paying member.  I felt like I was in a vacuum here...it's as if a friend of mine on the telephone says "here, talk to my cousin Joe for a minute" and I have absolutely no idea who Joe is, what he looks like or what the hell I should say to him.  And bear in mind that I am not a very visual person to begin with.  So eharmony lets you get just so far -- tantalizingly far -- and then pulls the plug on you.  And to think you could miss out on the love of your life, your soul mate, a kindred spirit with whom you will live happily -- no, blissfully -- for the rest of your life just because you won't cough up a little dinero.  Well, so be it.  That's the way the ball bounces.

Then someone tells me about plentyoffish.  A free site!!  I like the name, I can tell you that.  I figure, I'll give it a shot.  Once more the profile talk, and this time I do upload a pic, one of me meeting some wonderful rescue animals at a friend's house.  It's a warm and sweet and silly photo and yep, it does show that I ain't no size 2, but truth in advertising, as they say.  And cool, there's an almost immediate message in my inbox!!!  "Just stopped by to say hello [or something like that]," the guy says, "I figured there was something interesting behind that smile."  I thought that was a lovely message and I told the guy so (his name was John).  I check John's profile.  He's a nice-looking guy around my age, graying hair, one picture shows him in a room full of bookshelves, one is an outdoor pic by the ocean.  John lives in downstate New York, just far enough away.  I think jeez -- can it really be this easy??  Shortly thereafter I get this letter in my email:

Dearest Laurie,

Thank you for indicating an interest in me and given me the doubt of communication. Let me start by introducing myself properly to you. My name is John. I was married for 25 years; I lost my wife to cancer of the lungs 5yrs ago... I  have 1 sister who is 5years older than me and we are very close. I love to spend holidays with her. I have a daughter and she is just 12years old. She means the world to me.

I really do not work for any firm in particular all I do is freelance practice, by this I mean that I work for any firm or company that needs my services in a consultancy capacity. So it would amount to limiting my chances if I were to work for any particular company. The latitude and longitude of freedom that I enjoy  is not quantifiable I most confess. What do you do? Which schools did attend your self, I hope you don’t mind my asking. Kindly tell me anything about yourself, you think would interest me.

I am new to this dating stuff but i have no choice than to do it, instead of going to the bar and hang around with some bottles of bear. I have not fond anyone on the  dating sites but  lack of time and availability I use them. Please understand, if anything progress with you and I, I fully intend to remove myself from the site.  Trust is a huge part of relationship and I want trust from both of us My father told me many years ago, to treat a woman with respect and act like a God Fearing man. Am ready to love again. I believe with chemistry between two people love will only blossom. I love to cook romantic dinners for the woman in my life. Give her sensual massages every night to make her tingle all over. Just a thought, "a burden share by two is half a burden, but a joy shared by two is twice the joy."I am the type of person who can enjoy just about everything and anything. Make the best out of every given situation and this includes anywhere. Relationships take a 50/50 give and take.  So if we are soul mates, nothing can keep us apart.  Are you ready to find out? I am a one woman man , and I would expect the woman to be the same way also.

Favorite color - White and blue. Favorite Music - I enjoy almost all music. Especially dance music, Blues, country music holding hands while dancing. I enjoy staying physically fit, setting a good example is important. Making improvements and just keeping it nice. Enjoy outdoor activities (Boating, Fishing, Snowmobiles, Camping, Biking, and Golfing) I also like pets. I have an English bulldog. Do you like pets?

[Okay, I have to interject here...did it slip his mind that my photo was one of me surrounded by dogs, several of whom were trying to French-kiss me?  Hmm.]

My fantasies Is Love, because it is a noble act of self-giving, offering trust, faith, and loyalty. The more you love, the more you lose a part of yourself, yet you don't become less of who you are; you end up being complete with your loved ones. Eager to know you is something I could hope for and would be a great pleasure getting to meet you in person for a cup of coffee someday if we plan this well. I do not smoke or use drugs. I do not like going to bar. Drinking can be nice but don't like hanging around a bunch of drunks in a bar. I do not like crowds or places where there are lots of people. Well... Hmm some parties or festivals are nice sometimes. I do not have any piercings or tattoos on my body. No particular reason. Kind of permanent, you know. Ha ha I might like a picture of an eagle or something on my arm one day I might not like it a week after. You know what I mean.

I am interested in giving you a chance of communication... I hope I have not bored you or put you to sleep with my long letter. That's me in a nutshell; I will be honest and tell you what is on my mind. So I am leaving this back in your hands... Till i wait to hear from you. Take Good care of yourself and Please accept my (Red roseRed roseRed rose) for a blessed and peaceful day.


Okay, I think we can tell this guy is not originally from the United States.  That's interesting.  And the cooking is huge...who cares if it's "romantic?"  I don't cook, so let him!  (I don't dance or like country music either, but, you can't have everything.  He can dance and listen to country music with my mother if he wants.)  The "Dearest" part, that worries me a little.  Remember now, I am footloose and fancy-free.  You don't call somebody "Dearest"  in my little world, especially if you don't know him, and the sensual massage part?  Well, I am no prude, but does that have to figure in so soon?  And what the hell does he do for a living again?  Nevertheless I think this is promising.  I read the letter to my neighbor Bonnie.  She thinks he sounds lonely, and he might be a good catch.  I go ahead and write back and fill him in a little more on Ms. Wonderful (me).  Then I get this email:

Dearest Laurie,

What and interesting message from you this lovely morning. Thank  for your response and for giving me the doubt of communication. I do sincerely appreciate your commitment to our intended friendship and I am optimistic that you will find me caring and deserving enough to be your beau.

I am honestly beginning to see both of us making a wonderful pair and the excitement is almost driving me crazy. You can not believe that you are the by-product of my fantasy, I could tell this fact from your choice of response, and I believe now that we are communicating directly by email that you will justify my faith in you as time goes on, as I promise to do same.  
Do you have Windows Live Messenger? If yes what is your screen name so we can open a line of conversation together as i believe we get to know each other through chatting and sharing emails together or what do you think?

When is your birthday? Mine is May 27th.  I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible...


Okay, John, you already told me your birthday was May 27th... but that I can easily overlook.  I'm getting kind of uneasy about the "excitement" driving him "crazy"  though.  And I am a "by-product" of his "fantasy?"  And he uses the word "beau."  Whoa dude.  Slow down.  Really.  I write back.

Calm down John! (lol) No, I don't have Windows Live Messenger, but I do have a Facebook account, and I'd be happy to have you as a Facebook Friend if you have an account too -- just let me know.

My birthday (yes, I know yours -- remember, I said my mom and best girlfriend were the same as yours?) is January 26th.  I'm an Aquarius.

John, you write sort of "old world" style -- I'm betting you were born overseas or spent lots of time in Europe as a child?


I am originally from Paulskirche, Frankfurt, Germany. I don't have a face book account because i don't like it, you can try and get an account with windows live messenger so we can begin our conversation. what do you think?


Okay John.  I don't mind giving Windows Live Messenger a shot, so I sign up for it and let him know.  I then get this email -- the subject line is "Lean On Me."

Dearest Laurie, 

I reach out my hand
With no question why
Give you my shoulder to lean
On me, please rely

In your worries I'll share
Endeavor till the end
Keep your fears at bay
I'm your true friend

I'll show you I care
Every step of the way
That you can depend 
On my love every day


Um...I am puzzled.  Is this supposed to be good poetry which he's showing me he can write?  I feel a little nauseous.  John is really starting to look icky to me.  I mean, he doesn't know me from a ball of string, and not only am I his "dearest," he's declaring his eternal love here.  Time to slow this bad boy down a little.  It comes to me that I literally have to write a "Dear John" letter.   But maybe this will help him out for the next time he contacts someone from a dating site because the poor man is either clueless or slimy.  One or the other.  I give him the benefit of the doubt.  But on the chance he's slimy, I pretty much don't want anything more to do with him.  I've heard too many stories about women hooking up with these weirdos only to find them moving in bag and baggage, causing general havoc and providing a generally unhappy experience all around.  Ain't worth it.  I try to make my letter polite, complimentary and encouraging (although I stop short of the "it isn't you, it's me" thread).

Hi [notice no "Dearest"] Laurie,

I am highly sorry if you think am trying to rush you into anything but am not doing that, just telling you my mind based on what we have share together since we meet even we have not communicate through instant chat or phone but i have feelings and i don't hide it that is why i  shared it. I have always tried my best to catch you online so we can chat but i don't know the best time to meet you online. Kindly let me know the time you will be online so i can wait online for you as i believe the more conversation and emails we share together will have something to do in our intended friendship.... How has been your day? My favorite color is BLUE and you?


Why is he throwing this favorite color stuff in again?  Does he think it will put me at ease, making a casual remark like this?  In any case, I already told him my favorite color.   Several emails ago.  That's it John, we are finished.  I am a teensy bit scared of you, dude.  I block John from sending me emails and I get the hell out of Windows Messenger.  I check my inbox at plentyoffish.   His messages are gone; his profile is gone.  Looks like John has moved on.  Is he a player, or is his heart truly broken?  I will never know.  I find that I don't care too much (for shame), since two new guys have messaged me.  One of them is truly gorgeous, a sculptor, living in Fairfield County.  He wants to know where I live (I didn't put my town down; my address is listed as "A Small Town, Connecticut)."  We exchange a few sentences and I find out he works with metal.  Intriguing.  Another guy, Howard, who lives in NYC but goes to Florida for the winter (be still my heart) wants to take me out to lunch when he gets back here.  He likes full-figured women.   

Then I get the "wants to meet you" messages.  Pretty promising, some of them, I think; I go ahead and "wants to meet you" back to a handful.  Um...I'm waiting; nothing.  What the hell?  I send a message to the sculptor: "How are you tonight, metal man?"  Nothing.  I send a message to Howard and give him my email address.  He gives me his.  I notice he's interested in seeing national parks in the U.S.; I email him and tell him about my dream trip a few years ago to Yosemite.  But I hear nothing more from our Howard.  Did he get cold feet?  Or was he leading me on?  Should I ask him, or is that needy?  This is not so different from hanging out at the local meat market (bar) in my twenties (just without the tequila). 

Plentyoffish also clues you in on who visited you and looked at your profile.  Oh-kay...I am not feeling good about this, plentyoffish, I am feeling rather scorned, in fact.  There's a ton of guys who visited, but didn't leave a message.  They all seem to have Harleys and bad grammar.  (That doesn't necessarily disqualify them.)

Every so often plentyoffish sends me matches in my email.  Sometimes I look; sometimes I don't.  Frankly the whole thing just bewilders me.  Just for the heck of it I Google online dating and get a bunch of hits: men who like big women (good lord, really?), men who like animals (if he doesn't it will never work), Christian men (interestingly no pagans or atheists represented), men who want firm commitments.  I even see a few guys from around my hometown (but no, none who are a good fit with yours truly).  

I think maybe I should check out match.com, since they seem to be the elder statesman of dating sites, and maybe they know something eharmony and plentyoffish don't.  (In fact, match.com does work really well at times; just read this story by my Facebook Friend and fellow blogger Gretchen: http://eat-more-carbs.blogspot.com/2008/07/it-was-love-at-first-wink.html)  I am not ruling out online dating, no sirree, but I really don't have the dough to endlessly promote myself, month after month.  Times are hard and money is tight, though my neighbor Bonnie notes that it "might be a good investment, Laurie."  And she is very serious.  Meanwhile, if you know of any eligible guys, let me know; my number's in the book and I'm not gettin' any younger.


  1. Hah! I thought he sounded weird with the second email...just remember you have to strike out a few times before you find a winner:)

  2. Hi Laurie Isabella, nice name.
    I'm laughing my head off about this entree. You see I've forwarded it on to my girlfriend Julie. She's a Canadian too in Vancouver, B.C. She's on plentyoffish, and the stories she tells me OMG.
    You are funny Laurie. Now this John........... NOT!!!
    Thank you for coming to see me while my mom was in HOSPICE. She's in heaven now, at peace.
    Have a great week,

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