Online dating? SURPRISE!

I figure now is a good time to lighten things up for a change. So, here I go, sharing a bit on my personal experiences in living the single life. We have been covered under with reports, hypothetical theories and even a few fanatical ideas on just what really took place in the murder of Caylee Anthony. Did her mother murder her? Did she drown in a pool? What’cha say we have an injection of humor today? I think you just MAY reap a laugh or two, and perhaps even learn a lesson on how not to do “single”:

When I was 17 years old, I walked to get my high school diploma with an engagement ring on my left hand, and married later that year at the age of 18 (barely!). Boy, was I clueless. It was not something I realized or recognized at the time, but in retrospect, I was an innocent, gullible little girl who believed in Cinderella, Prince Charming and happily ever after. Wrong!

After a 16-year marriage filled with abuse and domestic violence, divorce followed. I all too soon jumped right back into the cesspool, er, the holy bonds of matrimony. I married a gorgeous hunk of male meat who was 11 years my junior. Cougar scores! The game didn’t last long. I knew we weren’t going into overtime when I got a call at work one day from Mr. Dreamy’s other wife. Seems he decided to travel to visit family in another state one week, and while there, he married another woman.

It was easy to make the choice to become single and remain that way for a very long time – like 17 years long time. For the first 13 of those years I did not date, I did not so much as kiss a man (You think it was easy?). I hid in my work and in my church. I fantasized every time a gloriously attractive religiously fulfilled man came along that he was the one. Only thing was, every time I had this divine revelation from Heaven, nobody bothered to inform the potential future husband. I might have been older than that 18-year-old bride, but I was still the same naïve confused blonde. After all, it’s natural, and goes all the way to the roots. It was a systemic problem, perhaps?

After 13 years I decided to jump back into the dating pool. Only thing is, I forgot I never learned to swim. First action was to buy and read (and re-read) Dr. Phil’s book, Love Smart. He dedicates one entire chapter to internet dating, and it is filled with invaluable advice on safety, wisdom, etc. Well, I pretty well got it memorized and could almost repeat it by rote and verse. I joined a singles dating site, and off I went, casting my net into the sea of the ones that got away.

Within a few weeks I had a bite! He was a widower, and it turned out he lived within 1 mile of me. That was creepy, sort of, but then I thought it could be a convenience if things went well. We e-mailed a couple of times, then talked on the phone. Always use your cell phone. If you have a landline, it’s not a good idea. Stalkers could find you. At least, I think that’s what Dr. Phil said, so I went with it.

During the first phone call he shared with me his wife’s death was a tragic one, and a medical malpractice lawsuit was in the works. He also wanted me to meet his children and grandchildren. He also wanted me to come over for drinks and dinner around his pool, just the two of us, for a romantic evening. I reminded him, over and over (and over) we had not even met and that Dr. Phil says you have to meet in public first. He asked me to dinner, and I accepted. He told me what time he’d pick me up, and I told him I’d drive my own car and meet him at the restaurant (Dr. Phil, again!).

The night came for dinner, and I drove to the Italian restaurant. As we were having our salad, he brought it back up – “Carolyn, you know I mentioned there was something I wanted to share with you about my wife’s death, right?”

“Uh, yeah.” I figured he was going to draw on my legal expertise in the probate area of law. I could not give him legal advice, but I could surely recommend a good attorney.

“Well, Carolyn, you recall I told you there is a medical malpractice case involved?”

Okay, no, he needed a personal injury attorney, but I had worked in that area, too, so I could recommend practitioners in that specialty, as well. I was concentrating on not crying when he opened up to share about his trauma. I did not want my makeup to run. Nothing worse than looking like a raccoon on your first date with someone!

“Well, Carolyn, you see, my wife has not been buried yet. She’s still in the morgue at the hospital. We’re waiting for the autopsy results.”

Oh my god! I am on a date with a guy whose wife is on ice down the street? This was as bad as it could get, right? Nope! It got worse.

“Well, Carolyn, we are having the wake next week, and I’d be honored if you would accompany me.”

Let me get this straight. I am in the middle of dinner with a widower whose deceased wife is in a locker in the basement of the hospital, and he just invited me to be his date to her funeral? This had to be a joke. I was being punked, right? Where was the hidden camera? Was Ashton Kucher going to jump out, laughing maniacally?

Then there was the next fish. They say a picture is worth a thousand words? His profile photo was great. He was hot! He was so kind, too, over the phone. We talked long distance for several weeks before deciding to meet halfway on a Saturday for lunch. We lived 100 miles apart. I arrived at the restaurant first. There I sat, in my snazzy red Corvette, its top down, watching with the eyes of an eagle for this divine package to appear. I saw a big older model sedan drive up. Its color was two-tone: faded blue and bondo. There was smoke pouring from the muffler. I had to maintain a mode of decorum, so I casually glanced into the rearview mirror as he approached. He was not much taller than me (I, by the way, am barely five feet tall). His thighs were much larger than mine (uh, nevermind, they were really big). He walked over, leaned onto the door of my car and smiled. It was quickly apparent he was missing something – one of his front teeth. Then he said, “Hey there. I hope you’re not disappointed. That picture online is almost 8 years old.”

We had a nice enough day, but there would be no more contact. Both he and the Vette eventually became a part of my history. There was still a lot of work to be done on my emotional wellbeing!
* Portions printed with permission:
Orange Blossom Wishes: Child Molested, Woman Abused – Her Victorious Journey to Freedom
iUniverse 2008

Listen to Carolyn’s interview with Cynthia Brennen, on “Help, Hope & Healing.” Visit her Everyday Health blog, Emotional Wellbeing, or her website at

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