What was I thinking?

I have been looking at houses online for ages. I get lots of messages from Zillow. I've "Favorited" many houses. I've visited tons of them, fallen deeply in love (The Hobbit House in Chester, VT!), and even had my heart broken ($4,000/year Association fees!!!???)

So you'd think that I'd be prepared for Online Dating, right? How different could it be....?

You're thinking "WHAT? Online Dating? Sandy?" Really - I never thought I'd try this.

Here's what happened...

My friend, Debbee, has been sharing her - often hilarious, sometimes, horrifying - stories about her dating efforts. My other friend, Laurie, and I had been coming up with all kinds of ideas for using Debbee's "material" - trading cards, comics... a game. But, in reality, I can't use someone else's experiences, only my own.

Two nights ago - very late at night - one link led to another and I found myself on a site for Single Parents. I had to enter some info and set up a basic account in order to see anything. OK - OK. I clicked around getting kind of disheartened and surprised by how many of the guys didn't even put a photo (and realized I hadn't put any photos up either) and they didn't fill in any info about themselves... what is the POINT?

So I entered in my description and what I was looking for (like I know - it's more of what I DON'T want in a person) and then finally figured out how to get some photos up too. I "Saved" a couple of guys and went to bed (around 3am!) feeling discouraged.

I had bad dreams about every guy I've ever dated or flirted with since my divorce and woke up composing a comic about the Three Stooges - Mo, Larry, and Curly. Yep - only three guys. Don't judge me. ;-)

So I still hate online dating, but I'm thinking "Hey - this could be just the material I need for the next batch of comics, right?" I've been missing The Fireman terribly, but now I need new material.

There were about 50 new messages from the SingleParents site! "Flirts", messages, photo Likes, etc. Clever company - you can't see or read any of that stuff unless you PAY.
Urrrgh. FINE - it's for research - I'll bite.

Aaaaaagh! No - not THOSE guys. Sigh - this is a great way to make yourself even MORE insecure. It's worse than Facebook. Some creepy guys had Liked each of my photos. The Messages said "Hi" and most of the guys had no photos or descriptions.

I was resolving to cancel and go back to my life... single. I'm fine with that. I don't need any of those guys. Shiver.

Spent the day trying to work. I sent "We Will Never Leave You" (the coloring/comic book) off to the printer and tried to do some more work on sorting the school sketch notes for an ebook. I kept thinking I should check the dating site - what if my one true soulmate was on there? And I kept looking out my window, wondering if the Fireman was home? Had he taken extra work days to avoid me? When had he painted his back wall?

I discovered I am much more efficient at getting things done when I use them as procrastination for the other stuff. I trimmed my weeds and mowed my entire lawn - including the four foot high weeds in the back yard. I did NOT think about the Fireman... except when I was cursing him and wondering if I could break into his barn and borrow his tractor.

That night, when Laurie came home, I told her about my bad luck with houses and men. We roasted some marshmallows over a candle (we do sugar instead of alcohol) and then explored the SingleParent site.

We looked through the Men that the program suggested - Iowa, seriously!!? How would that work out? We flipped quicker and quicker through the suggestions, sometimes screaming "OMG NO!!!" and laughing hysterically. I was redesigning the site in my head, and realizing that guys have NO clue what to post for photos or descriptions. Wow. If we couldn't even see the guy's face in the profile photo - GONE!

The number one photo that guys think will get a girl to click on them? A selfie taken of them sitting in their car, with a backwards baseball cap and mirrored sunglasses. Really? What are you hiding? We actually clicked through on a few - most had no other pictures. Or they were scary looking.

What - are you just sitting in traffic one day and decide - what the heck - I think I'll join an online dating service right now.

And then there are the guys - on SingleParent - who check off "Status - Never Married" followed by "Number of children - None" WHAT!? Either they don't understand the concept or they are pedophiles? Or, Laurie suggested, maybe they want kids, but not the baby part. I think she is just more forgiving than I am.

There is a LOT of comic material here - but I'm not sure I can draw it. I'll share some of the comments we made and you let me know if you think there is potential...

Sandy: I was just trying to close the frickin' window! Did I just email him?!"
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Laurie: Oh - he's widowed...
Sandy: ...unless he killed his wife.
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Laurie: This guy sounds sweet... he's looking for a "long and loving relationship..."
Sandy: Not that long, he's already 58!
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Sandy: What is THAT? A gun? A rocket launcher?
Laurie: No, it's a giant wrench - a giant socket wrench.
            Run! Run!
Sandy: So he's got a really big tool? Next...
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Man0001 (not his real name): "I like dressing up..."
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Sandy: Is he... hanging from a tree?
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Laurie: Sometimes you can figure out their real names from their code names...
           Gary, Keith, Kevin, Sparkie, Rick, John... no, no... just... no.
Laurie: This one's codename is "Sellabus"
Sandy: "Celibus"? Is that the opposite of a "Succubus"?
Laurie: WHAT?
Sandy: Well, if a Succubus is a women who.. um... seduces men...
          then a Celibus would be a man who... stays away from women...
Laurie: "Sellabus"! Like he's a car salesman or something!
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Sandy: Oh - this guys a Unicorn!
Laurie: Ummm... "Capricorn"
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Man0002: "...want to meet someone with well-behaved children..."
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Sandy: This guy looks like: (fill in from list below)...
          ... Doogie Howser
          ... Lou Ferrigno
          ... Hugh Jackman
          ... Kenny Rogers
          ... Santa Claus
          ... Gandhi
          ... Paul Newman (with a squished head)
          ... a big woodpecker
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Sandy: Aaaawwww... did you know they made tiny Harley Davidson
          helmets for tiny fluffy dogs?! Do I want a biker who dresses like his puppy?

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There are some general filters to help you find your perfect match - like "State" (although it gives you guys from as far as two hours in the opposite direction from your state's borders...) and "Age" (I put in "46-55" and got them as young as 35 and as old as 60). You can sort by Religion and Number of Kids. But I'd like filters for "Baseball Caps," "Hides Baldness," "Excavator Trucks," and "Earns less than my teenage son."

OK - I know I sound like a total snob - in all fairness - there were about 8 guys (out of the HUNDREDS we looked through) who I really liked. I particularly liked the Hugh Jackman guy who is in a band, and the "old" guy who says he's romantic, can build stuff, cooks, earns lots of money, and I think he has a Masters too. There was one guy with VERY nice biceps who we almost passed over until we saw all the great photos of him with his kids. And a cute black guy who was looking for a casual Friend - he had a picture of himself at a ComicCon! Hey! I'll be your friend!

Now I don't know if I should still cancel and go back to getting my work done without all these distractions... or...
I wish this worked more like Zillow! I want the details - heating system? When updated? Cost of living? What's the surrounding area like? If I change my mind, can I resell easily?

An Open House would be lovely...