Her New Year’s resolution was to try Online Dating.
He was freshly divorced and carefully crafted a Match.com profile. Within one hour, she contacted him. The spoke on the phone for one hour and clicked. Kismet.
He invited her to meet him at the San Francisco’s famed Absinthe for drinks. He recognized her immediately, she smiled broadly as she walked towards him.
He stood up when she approached and kissed her on the cheek. They both ordered the signature cocktail: French 75’s – Champagne, gin and Brandied cherries. The tempting pomme frites followed. Next, a dozen oysters on the half shell.
Conversation flowed easily. They decided to stay for dinner. They have been inseparable ever since. That was over two years ago.
Melinda got her courage up – and studied Craigslist Bay Area Single Men 50 looking for Single Women 50.
Cal, the artist, caught her eye. He wrote well – seemed smart, so she sent him an email. That evening, he wrote back. The note was light-hearted. They exchanged four emails before he suggested they speak on the phone and he sent his Berkeley phone number.
Fortified by the email exchange, she called him and they fell into easy conversation. He mentioned he had an art show at a local café and his passion was painting. Cool. They spoke on the phone for 20-minutes before she said, “Let’s meet for coffee.” They agreed to meet at the famous, singles, meeting spot, Peet’s on Fourth Street in Berkeley. A date!
Melinda went back to inspect his photo. The photo was taken from afar- he was her height. He looked fine.
The next day, she drove to Berkeley, arrived early, bought a cup of coffee and scored two seats outside. And then she waited. Every single man that walked by caught her attention. She knew Cal was tall with dark hair. A little after 11 AM, a man in faded, baggy jeans, a baseball hat and sunglasses approached her table. He said, “Are you waiting for someone?” It took her a minute to realize this was her date. Her first thought was, “Is this Candid Camera?”
The man standing across from her was wearing tattered clothing, dirty, old running shoes, and a stained, denim jacket. He had a two-day stubble- or a really bad five o’clock shadow and stringy hair. He didn’t really look like his picture, did he? She had a preconceived image of a much more handsome man. Cal was an artist, right?
He sat down and started talking. Melinda remained stunned by his appearance. She couldn’t help but notice how down-and-out he looked. Was she simply shallow and hypercritical? They chatted for fifteen minutes before he mentioned needing to get something out of his car, which was across the street. He pointed to an old, beat-up, dirty van. That was the pièce de résistance.
She did a quick analysis of the situation and knew full well they were not match. Not remotely.
Dramatically, she looked at her watch and told him- she had to go. She said she was happy to meet him – she wished him well saying, “I’ve got to run. Thanks, I don’t think we are a match. Good luck.”
As she climbed into her immaculate, old Honda, she repeated, “No, no, no.”
She re-examined his Craigslist ad- and the blurry photo of the guy in the t-shirt with stringy hair and all the noted subtle clues about starving artist and hardship.
The Take Away? Indeed, picture is worth a thousand words, read the fine print and take the time to ask questions – get to know someone over the phone. First.