Sean’s ad was a diversion from the lot. He was neither a submissive looking for a house cleaning gig nor a dominate in need of a “naughty little girl” to bend over his knee. There were no pictures of enlarged genitals, offers for “free oral sex” (do such men really exist?), suggestions to meet in a Midtown hotel room, or claims of being stuck in a loveless marriage. Instead, his ad was well-written and showed some thought and intelligence.
Within the hour of replying to his ad, we were engaged in a serious game of e-mail tag, racking up nearly 20 exchanges that first day alone. I was quickly sucked in and with each passing exchanged I became more endeared to this charming software engineer who cooked, owned a house and had great one-liners. At last, I thought, I found a semi-normal, 40-something, college-educated, church-going Catholic.
At many points during the exchange I pushed to move the conversation away from our screens to the phone, but there was always some obstacle. (“Can’t talk at work.” “Fighting a bad cold.”) I probably would have ended it sooner if our correspondence didn’t occur on work time and I was entertained. Also, a quick background check confirmed he was indeed not married.
Finally, after 5 work days of intense e-mail activity we passed the 100-e-mail mark and he agreed to a “phoner.” He was a little anxious on the phone and eager to impress, which is somewhat expected when online daters are forced to confront reality. Still, there was never any hint that he wanted to meet, though in his e-mails he suggested many different venues for dates.
After an hour of effortless chit chat, my online friend quipped: “Wow, this is great. Let’s talk tomorrow [Saturday] night. Call me around 9:00.”
“Uh, I’m really more into meeting face-to-face.”
“Hey,” he said, sounding surprise. I don’t think we should rush this. I think we should let this thing unfold naturally.”
My gut response: “What an effing, colossal waste of time.” Instead, I reverted to my Catholic-school roots, politely ended the conversation and ignored his e-mail that came several days later inquiring whose was “it” in our game of online tag.