After a lifetime of poking into the cobwebby, secret corners of the human heart, Sigmund Freud had this to say about women: “The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is ‘What does a woman want?’”
Too bad he died before he and I could explore this question over cups of coffee at Café Central in Vienna. I’d have some answers for him. Pretty simple ones at that.
Respect, for starters. That’s for sure what I want.
Being useful. Blame my parents for that one. The Angel Ella and Edward buried deep into my soul the belief that I better justify my existence on this planet by making life better.
Love. The intimate kind. Where the person who loves you reads your heart merely by a glance in your eyes. I’ve experienced that twice; the Angel Ella and my ex-husband, Alan.
But, if Doctor Freud and I were to have that talk today, I’d tell him that what I truly, truly want right now, at this vixen divorcee stage of my life, is much less complex than respect, usefulness and intimate love.
I want a playmate.
Sounds like that should be easy to find, doesn’t it?
What I want is that confidant, handy guy who can reach into the tool belt hanging around his hips and pull out just the right screwdriver. He’d use it to loosen the chastity belt that’s been locked on my loins for too long.
I thought I found him my second week of internet dating. His interests included collecting first editions, reading about history, dancing and yoga. His photos showed a lean, smiling, gray-haired man carrying a backpack in the Canadian Rockies.
That’s the guy, I thought.
We exchanged emails. Okay, so he made a grammatical blunder or two. But, he didn’t say anything absurd, like asking me for a photo of me in a bikini (See Internet Dating: First Contact). “So what if he’s not an intellectual giant,” I thought. “He looks fun.”
Looks can be deceiving.
Dennis was scared of meeting me. While he wasn’t actually shaking in his boots when I spotted him outside of the restaurant, he was pacing up and down in front of the door. I paused before crossing the street to join him and thought, “Where’s that sturdy, confidant guy standing on the edge of the Canadian glacier? This guy’s shrunk into himself, looking nervously at his watch every few seconds. I’m two minutes late and he’s a wreck.”
I approached him slowly and calmly, as if I were approaching a wounded animal caught in a trap. Despite that and my warmest smile and sweetest voice, he flinched when I said, “Hi Dennis. I’m Georgia.”
Then he said, “The hostess has our name, said it’d be about a 20-minute wait. Let’s go to the bar. I need a drink.”
I thought, “Great, Mr. Fix It is undone by meeting little old, mature middle-aged me. It’s not like I’m some little sex kitten who’s going to wind him around her finger and leave him weak, gasping for more.”
Well, actually, as it turns out, in his eyes that’s what I am and that’s what I did.
As I settled onto the bar stool beside him, I thought, “Look, Georgia, it’s Friday night, you’re hungry, you’ve got nothing else planned tonight. You might as well get through this graciously and give this guy a good time.”
I outdid myself. By the time the hostess escorted us to our table, his jitters were gone. His spine was straight. His eye contact was good. He smiled at me and said, “You’re kind of fun.”
Okay, I’m kind of fun. He’s ruggedly handsome. My optimism returned. I could almost see the screwdriver peeking out of his back pocket.
After ordering our dinner, I concentrated on probing into his career in the banking industry, as he alluded to it in his profile. We all like to talk about ourselves, right? Seemed like a good way to get him to relax even more.
Turns out Dennis’ banking career consists of relieving people of property for which they can no longer pay.
He’s a repo man. The guy who drives off in your car after you’ve missed three consecutive payments.
I learned quite a bit about the repo business that night. Although he was my first repo man, and I pride myself on being open to new experiences, this conversation was not loosening the screws on my chastity belt. Besides, he was looking less ruggedly handsome as he leaned over the table, cupping his hands to his mouth as if he were about to deliver a state secret.
“You’re kind of hot,” he said.
That was another first for me. No man who knows me would ever call me hot. I guess I should be resigned, by now, to experiencing a plethora of firsts as a vixen divorcee.
He paid for dinner, which I have been told by more experienced internet daters is quite a compliment. Then he insisted on walking me to my car.
Just before I could slide into the safe, known and friendly security of my own vehicle, he beamed, said, “You sure don’t look anywhere near your age,” pulled me to him and moved in for a kiss, heading right for my lips. I turned my head, so he settled for a peck on my cheek and a firm squeeze.
I found an email from him waiting in my inbox the next morning. He’d sent it at midnight.
Georgia, how about if we get together Thursday night? I know a great place for swing dancing. Bet you’re a great dancer. Dennis.
Thanks for the compliment. I bet you’d be fun to dance with, too. However, if you think back over our conversation last night, you’ll remember that we talked about you and your interests most of the night. That was because I’m sure that what I would like to talk about would have bored you. Thanks for the dinner. Good luck finding the right match. Georgia
This was about it for my foré into internet dating. A few more weeks of plowing through the photos and profiles that showed up daily in my inbox. A few more dates with men with neither the depth to hold my intellectual interest nor the spark to arouse my sexual interest.
Statistics tell me that after introductions by friends, the next most frequent way to meet a romantic partner these days is through the internet. Apparently, I’m out of step with the world around me.
But, please, tell me about your experiences with this world, if you’ve had them. Has it worked for you? What did I do wrong?