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BOB | Age: 35

Q How did you meet your Internet date?

A I met her when she responded to the ad that I placed on Love@aol. She’s the only girl who responded to me. She responded to me because under the religion section in my profile I put something like “pagan Buddhist.” And she’s into sort of witchcraft…Wiccan. She wrote back to me and said, “Gee, you look really cool.”

Q Did she send you a photograph?

A Oh no, she did not send a photograph. And under the category where it says “body type” she put “normal.” The choices are normal, a little chubby, or gargantuan. She posted herself as normal.

Q How often did you exchange e-mails?

A Within a day or two we were writing daily. Until one time, I gave her my phone number and we started talking on the phone — you know, take it to the next step of intimacy.

Q How long did it take to get to the phone stage?

A Not long at all.

Q How long was your first phone conversation?

A At least an hour. We were both hungry, nippin’ at the cord line for a little love [laughs], squeeze some juice out of that sucker.

Q So it became more “real”?

A Yes, now she was a real person. [Laughs.] We called each other daily or every other day for a couple of weeks. Even when we went online, we would send each other instant messages. That felt kind of strange since she was only seven miles from my house. So I suggested that we meet.

Q How long did it take to go from meeting online to meeting in person?

A It was not long, maybe two weeks.

Q What was there about her that seemed different or special to the point of wanting to see her in person?

A [Laughs.] Well, first of all she was the only chick who answered my ad. [Much laughter.] And I remember I had been talking to another chick, whose picture I had seen online, and she was defiantly cute. She was a little younger, and this other chick was, like, “I’m a Gemini. I don’t think I get along with Scorpios,” yada yada. She seemed to be trying to talk her way out of it. But this other girl was just friendly, gregarious. She was just sharing herself a lot. And I think that’s what it was, a couple of lonely hearts.

Q Was her sharing about day-to-day life or a personal history lesson?

A A little of both. We were interested in similar things and we are both from the East Coast. You know, the “Oh, you like this or that, I do too” kind of thing — music mostly. We talked a lot along spiritual lines as well.

Q Was there a point where you could feel a yearning to see her IM [instant message] pop up when you went online?

A An instant boner? [Laughs.]

Q Something to that effect.

A Sure, it was nice.

Q Somehow she avoided the exchange of photos.

A She had no photo of me either; my ad had none.

Q So she was taking a big chance too.

A She was. But as it’s turned out, jumping ahead a bit, what we did actually have in common was our personalities, not really our looks. But I think it was the longing for a lover that got me interested in her personality.

Q What did you do for your first date?

A We went to see some music. We met at my place.

Q I am interested in how you felt right before she came.

A I was in a state of great expectation. But at the same time, I was slowly courting someone at school. So I was in a bit of a quandary about “Well, what if this girl who shows up from the love ad is really hot and we get hooked up; what am I going to do with this other woman?” So part of me was excited and hopeful, but there was also that fear, like, “Oh, if this works, then the other thing can’t happen”…so I was a little nervous before she came because I didn’t know what she looked like. And then she showed up at the front door. I felt a mixture of surprise, shock, and disappointment, ’cause she was pretty big, and I’m not. I’ve always kinda had, like, a personal ban on big chicks. I’ve never gone out with a big chick. So it hit that [makes noise like a buzzer] spot. I just stood there in a state of shock.

Q So how long did it take you to say a word?

A Not that long, and I was very kind with her. But I figured that she was picking up on my shock. But we hung out for a while and just talked, kinda like friends. We realized that we were just friends. I just hoped that she wasn’t going to ask for a kiss good night. [Laughs.]

Q So somehow between body language and vibe, you didn’t have to spell out the fact that this was not going to be a romantic thing.

A Yeah, I didn’t say that, though I did feel that she was a bit disappointed at the end of the night. Not overly so. And you know, I kinda felt like she had deceived me, to be honest with you. It’s clearly delineated in the format of the online form what kind of body you have — normal, heavy, skinny — but they use this really creative language, like hearty, stocky, Rubenesque. So I kinda felt like I didn’t really owe her an explanation. But I didn’t want to hurt her feelings; I mean, what am I going to say, “I don’t kiss fat chicks”? I try not to be an asshole like that.

Q When was your next contact?

A I called her, out of politeness ’cause that’s what’s expected, so there wasn’t this sort of silent rejection. I called her and we talked, but by that point the IMs on aol started to become a disturbance. I was like, “Oh, God, here she is again.”

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