The Bet, A Love Story

The first time the Girl saw the Boy, she was five years old and he was the ripe old age of nine. It was at the dancing school where the Girl studied with her best friend, the Boy’s sister.

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Over the years the Boy and Girl would glimpse one another, usually at a dance recital. And when the Boy was much, much older he went off to serve his country overseas, and she didn’t see him at all.

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But the Boy returned home eventually and resumed his life of girls, friends and fun. The Girl thought nothing of this until one day, the Boy’s sister called her.

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“Would you do me a favor and go on a date with my stupid brother?”, she asked.

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“He made a bet with his even stupider friends that he could bring a different girl to the bar they hang out in every Saturday night for ten weeks. Well, dopey ran out of girls and he has one week left to win his dumb bet. He wanted to know if I had any friends I could fix him up with.” she explained.

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“All you have to do is show up with him at this bar so he can win his bet. If you pack an overnight bag then you can come back to our house and you and I will have a sleepover.”

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That sounded easy, thought the Girl, and it would be fun to spend the night with her girlfriend too. So, it shouldn’t be toooo bad. So she agreed, and plans were made.

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Years later, the Girl would say of that night, “When he picked me up and saw the overnight bag I packed he thought he was going to get lucky. Boy, was he ever wrong!” And the Boy would say, “She was so shy, she wouldn’t have said shit if she’d had a mouthful of it.”

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But something shined when they were together, so there was a second date, and a third, and even after they’d been married for many, many years and had become parents to four children and grandparents to nine, they still had “date night” on Saturday’s.

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When the Girl, my Mom, became ill, my Dad tended to her as best he could, still calling her his “Bride”. He guarded her fiercely, loved her always..for eight hard years. And when she passed on, my Dad was heartbroken, relieved that his Girl was no longer in pain, but still heartbroken at the loss of his soulmate.

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And we are all heartbroken with him over this loss, but we also know that their love story goes on in our lives and our children’s lives because we were taught to love, to love well and fully by the Girl and her Boy.

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(Love you Mom!)

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Will The Real Profile Picture, Please Stand Up

I ventured back on recently and found a profile that interested me. I clicked on the pics and found myself puzzled. The pics did not seem to match. The person looked completely different in both pics. In one, very appealing and in the other heavier with less hair and like a country bumpkin. I switched back and forth between the 2 pics and neither of them looked like the other. They represented two different people. It was sort of weird. I figured the uglier pic was the more accurate and moved on. Yes, I know, I know … that is very shallow. But, if there was no chemistry with at least the photo, I had little hope for the real thing. Sorry for being honest.

In yet another, I clicked on the 2 pics and in one photo the guy had a full head of hair. In the other, he was bald. Now, whereas I love a full head of hair on a guy, I am also attracted to bald men. So, not having hair was an issue. The issue is — which pic is accurate? Either you have hair or you don’t. This is pretty simple.

My friends joke that I need to update my pics. Yes I do. But, at least in all of them, my smile does not change much and I have my hair.

My advice to people is to make sure your pics reflect what you look like so there are no surprises when meeting in person or having to experience subsequent rejections. It will be easier on everyone involved. Trust me!!

Share any similar experiences where the reality differed from what was presented on the person’s profile.

It’s Date-cation Time!

My subscription has just run out and I’m going to wait a few weeks before renewing it because I need a short break, a Date-Cation. I’ve done this before. I always approach online dating with a positive attitude and freshly-pressed sense of humor, otherwise it can become a chore and also a bit depressing. So when online dating starts to feel stressful rather than fun, I find it useful to take a little break to recharge my batteries and maybe spend a Sunday afternoon or two reading a good book instead of endless dating profiles. It’s refreshing really.

I realized I needed this break last week when I sat down to answer a reply in my Match in-box and couldn’t think of a thing to write to this man…nothing…nada, and I can always come up with at least a sentence or two. The last time I knew I had dating burnout was when I found myself anticipating an online date, not because I wanted to meet the GUY, but because I knew I was going to bring my dinner leftoveers home with me and was really looking forward to having nice restaurant leftovers for the next day. That was a really BAD case of burnout.

So right now my profile is hidden and I have a great book loaded up in my Nook. I’ll read, go out with the girls, maybe pamper myself with a nice spa day too. And eventually I’ll start to feel as if I can write a coherent reply to a nice man’s email again. And when I can tell an online dating story to a friend which sounds charming and funny and not like a depressive lament, then I’ll know I’m ready to get back in the saddle again. It’s important to be in the right frame of mind and spirit for dating because mixed in with all the wacko’s and serial daters, there are nice men to be found online. These are the ones I seek out and they deserve to meet the best of me, not the burnt-out me.

…Aaaannnd, my nephew’s wedding is coming up and I have the slinkiest, sexiest (definitely NOT Aunt-Of-The-Groom) dress to wear, so I’ll have an awesome new pix to post too…:) Yes, I’ll be back with a BANG!


More Adventures In Agent Land

Writing it is the easy partMarian and I are members of the International Women’s Writing Guild (IWWG). Simply the best group for female writers, particularly if you write memoir. Since we like to describe LifeBytes as “mini-memoirs” about online dating, the IWWG is especially relevant to us. So each year we eagerly await their “Big Apple Conference”, which is held twice a year and features a day of writing workshops as well as a “Meet The Agents” event.

We enjoy the agent event as it gives us an opportunity to talk face to face with agents, hear their feedback, and then are able to continue to hone our book proposal and pitch. Notice I didn’t say “get agent representation”? Although it’s possible and certainly the goal of all the writers in attendance, we’ve found this to be harder to do than you’d expect.

Most often we find ourselves having to explain the concept of online dating rather than the book itself. I’m pretty convinced that agents don’t get out much. Not understand online dating?? Really?? So about a year and a half ago, we were thrilled beyond words to meet “Ann Thusiasm”, a west coast agent who actually GOT the concept of LifeBytes. We had about four minutes to pitch the book and as we started, her eyes lit up.

“Yes, this is a wonderful idea”, she trilled.

“I appeals mainly to women 25 – 60, but also has a market with single men,” I said.

“That’s PERFECT”. She was beaming. “You could offer a Book-Club edition too!!!!” She literally clapped her hands on that last comment.

We went on with our pitch. She was bobbing out of her seat. At one point she DID stand up and practically shout: “Send me the proposal!!” Women standing in line behind us were visibly impressed. Mariann and I were thrilled…finally, an agent who is not only interested in our property but is Chomping. At. The. Bit. to get her hands on it.

We left feeling happier and more confident that we had in months. We were getting an agent! At the end of the day, we stopped in the ladies room before heading out for a bite to eat and ran into Ann there. She remembered us too.

“Can’t wait to get your proposal!” Beaming smiles all around.

Later that week, we sent everything out in the mail, and waited, and waited, and waited. About a month and a half later, we sent her an email to follow up…no answer. We knew she’d gotten the proposal, we had a return receipt. Nothing. Crickets. No scratch that, even the crickets were silent.

Now, we know that oftentimes agents will only contact you if they’re interested. We don’t like that. We don’t agree with that behaviour (C’mon, how hard is it to send a quick email? Even a canned response is better than nothing.) But seriously, after she practically serenaded us with her own marching band (the one in her head, that only she can hear), we thought a short reply would have been appropriate.

Seriously, I think agents just need to get out and date online for a while.