I’m having the suckiest day ever. First, my father, aka Mr. Grumpy Pants, calls to say his nurse just walked out on him. Likely story. I rush home to pack only to walk in on my husband getting it on with his younger, skanky secretary. Unfortunately, my quick weekend trip home to fix Dad’s problems turns into a stay of a few weeks. Luckily, I’ve got Danny, the neighbor boy I had a crush on when I was a dorky, braces-wearing, nose-buried-in-a-book teenager, and a brand-spanking new blog to keep my mind off things. Before I know it, I’m writing product reviews of vibrators and getting questioned by a store rent-a-cop at the world’s worst date ever. All while trying to figure out how to take things with Danny to the next level. Not to complicate things or anything but my boss decides to give me an ultimatum – come back in four weeks or don’t come back at all. How in the world did my life get so complicated?
My best friend decided it would be just an absolutely awesome idea to sign me up for Internet dating. In fact, it was such a great idea that she went ahead and signed me up without my knowledge. The sneaky woman even managed to download the dating app on my phone without me realizing it. The woman is determined that I have some rebound sex or at least make sure my cheating ex thinks I’ve moved on. I must be crazy, because I agreed to her demands – although I reserved the right to skip the rebound sex. Internet dating isn’t for the faint of heart. I came up with a few rules for picking dates and since I don’t want anyone to have to suffer through the dates of Hell I’ve been on, I’ve decided to share my knowledge.
1. Avoid cougar hunters. In addition to cougars, who have managed to give all single older women a bad name, there are actually men out there on the hunt for cougars. Who knew? I didn’t and that’s why I’m warning you. If a man is looking for a woman between the ages of 35 and 50 and his profile pictures makes him look younger than 30, watch out! Although if you are older and want to take a young stallion out for a ride, have at it! Who am I to judge?
2. Always wear a sexy bra. I’m not just talking about when you think you may be getting lucky. You never know when you’re going to end up topless at a diner full of elderly patrons and a hot date! Don’t compound the embarrassment by wearing an ugly bra that should have been thrown away ages ago or – better yet – never purchased. To be on the safe side, stick to wearing nice undergarments at all times. Probably a good rule in general.
3. Choose your dining location carefully. Deciding where to meet a date for a meal is a tricky endeavor not unlike picking your way through a mine field. Because I live in New York City, but I’m doing the dating thing in the Midwest, I worry that my penchant for trendy will turn off the somewhat conservative Midwestern men. It’s important to communicate with your date before the actual even occurs so that you’re on the same page. I made the mistake of not clarifying with one of my dates and ended up at a vegan restaurant, which is not me – at all. Not that there’s anything wrong with vegans. I love the planet just as much as the next green minded recycler, but there’s no need to shove your beliefs down other people’s throats.
4. Manage expectations. I don’t expect a man to open the door for me or even pick up the bill at the restaurant. I’m not burning my bras, but I’m definitely a believer in equal rights and feminism. That doesn’t mean that a man can just throw common courtesy out of the window. If someone falls, you help them up – whether you’re a man, woman, or purple alien.
Dating’s hard. Internet dating is like trying to take the SATs without a pencil – naked.
About the Author
I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Woman. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage every once in a while to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MREs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. Another job change, this time from lawyer to B&B owner and I was again fed up and ready to scream I quit, which is incredibly difficult when you own the business. Thus, I shut the B&B during the week and in the off-season and started writing. Several books later I find myself in Istanbul writing full-time.
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