Modern dating services puzzle the living daylights out of me. No matter how hard I ponder the concept, I cannot understand why anyone would utilize such services, but it remains a zillion dollar industry.
I suppose I was very fortunate in my life, so I shouldn’t use my own history as a typical example, but at least let us start there. My wife and I met in college and the short story goes something like this. I wanted to meet a young lady who did not know I was alive. A friend told me she had a part in a university production of Macbeth, so I figured if I could land a part I might meet her.
Now, I am no actor. I had never been in a play, and had no interest. Nevertheless, I tried out and landed a part as a soldier. The object of my affection was one of the witches, whom I did get to meet. We went on one date, had nothing in common, and I was stuck doing nine more shows.
In any event, the witch had a sister for whom I had no attraction, but she was a real sweetheart and we became friends. The sister was a sorority girl, so I got to meet all of her sisters from time to time. One of those sisters was my wife.
I knew little about my wife, except she was always happy. It mattered not if the weather was awful, exams were around the corner, or wild dogs were roaming the campus. She never changed her mood.
One day, about a year later, I was walking to class in September. I was daydreaming because I had just broken up with a girl I dated all summer, and it looked like I would miss the week-long festivities scheduled for Homecoming week at the university. As I walked across campus, I bumped into my wife who was traveling in the same direction. It was the first time in a year I noticed she was not smiling. We walked a while and she never said a word, so I asked her if something was wrong. She smiled and indicated that she would be staying home for the festivities, having just split with her boyfriend.
Now, one must remember that all Italians are supposed to be suave and romantic, so I should have fallen into that category. However, something must have been awry in my gene pool. As we got to a fork in the pathway, we said our goodbyes, and she headed right and I went left. I remember walking about fifty feet when (sharp as I am) it hit me. So I conjured up all that animal magnetism and smooth romantic vocabulary that was second nature to me, turned around and called her name. When she looked back at me, those beautifully tantalizing words flowed smoothly from my lips, which no woman could ignore. I still remember them verbatim: “Hey Carol. I have absolutely nobody on the planet to go to Homecoming with. Do you want to go with me?” I don’t know to this day why she agreed.
To get to the point, that meeting was fortuitous, but I certainly did not dazzle her with my footwork. We had a great time all week, and continued to date thereafter. Three years later, we were married.
So what was it that cemented the relationship? My good looks and satin voice? I don’t think so. I always wanted to look like Elvis, with a voice like Dean Martin, but Nature refused the accommodation. Was it my dynamic personality? Every friend I ever had told me that wasn’t it. She was perfect and never lost her smile, but I am not the type to base a future upon looks, a nice smile, or superficial qualities. Who knows, but love is a strange phenomenon.
Yet today, the process we went through seems to have disappeared. Now, young people meet through social networks. They date by throwing a bunch of statistics into a profile and joining a dating service. How does that work? “Oh, you like horses? Let’s get married.” Or, “You have a terrific Facebook photo. We must be soul mates.”
I don’t get it. Before plans are made to spend the rest of one’s life committed to another person, it seems logical to know more than looks, criminal history, and employment possibilities. I know these services often work, but they would frighten the starch out of me. Young people are getting married two months after they meet (and divorced ten months later).
We appear to be raising our children to believe the whirlwind romances they watch on TV are reality. I believe that is nonsense, so I say this:
Ladies, when the bare-chested guy rides in on horseback and rescues you, thank him, and take your time. The odds today are that he is more interested in the horse.
Gentlemen, get real. She looks great on TV, but some of that stuff melts in the sun.