I don’t like being alone.
There is a certain pathetic feeling to it.
Especially going to restaurants. The hostess is pulling out menus as you approach the counter, and when you say, “Table for one,” she glances behind you as if to say, “Are you sure?” while she quickly stuffs the unneeded menus back under the counter.
Going to movies isn’t much better. The couples come in and ask if the seat beside you is saved, and when you say, “No, I’m alone,” the lady gets this sad look while the guy just kind of huffs as if to say, “No wonder, loser.” There is one great advantage to being alone, however — it’s cheap!
It’s been 10 years since my divorce. Not a messy divorce, but one that was in the making for 15 years before. I thought that after a couple of years I would recover and be able to see if there would possibly be someone else out there. That other “fish in the sea” my mom had told me about as a broken-hearted teenager.
Two years came and went.
Then five, seven, and now 10 years and no fish on my hook. Heck, for that matter, the bait hasn’t even had a nibble … not sure what that means, but you get the point.
So at the encouragement of some friends and to the dismay of my daughter, I signed up for one of those dating sites. One that is supposed to be for people like me with strong Christian faith and values. Tepidly, I filled out the profile trying to be open and vulnerable with a mixture of charm and humor. I found some pictures that didn’t make me look like some kind of a demented person and proceeded into the world of cyber dating.
My friend who had experience with this type of thing told me that I could expect a lot of feedback but he warned me against getting to involved via emails back and forth. He stated I needed to get to a point of a phone conversation as quickly as possible as a person’s voice would convey a lot more about the person than emails ever will. Good advice — I thought.
It happened as I had been warned. A lot of hits on my profile. Smiley faces with … I’d like you to smile back if you like … canned responses. I think I heard from every cellmate at the women’s penitentiary at Leavenworth — I quickly reset my profile preferences.
One gal responded in such a way that I had to respond back. I pulled up her profile and the pictures were warm and real with a mixture of posed and just life-happening type of photos. Her profile summary was incredible, focusing on her family, kids and grandkids, her likes and dislikes, and of course her faith. A widow, so she had lived the pain and hurt that many hadn’t lived. Yet through it all, she was positive, strong, and filled with an unwavering faith in her Lord and Savior. I didn’t have to read her profile to know that though — I could see it in her eyes and smile.
We emailed back and forth for about four days. All seemed to be going well and so taking the advice of my friend I sent her my cell number and told her that if she was comfortable with it I’d like to set up a time to talk. Her response was positive, stating, “I don’t scare that easily.” So we set up a time for her to call me the next day. I began to have a funny feeling. I know I had felt it before but couldn’t immediately put my finger on it. Then it hit me — it was a tinge of feeling in love. Silly, right? A meager four days of emails and pictures.
Obviously, it was just my imagination of the possibilities that might be right in front of me. Yet, all the movies of the guy finding his true love after a lifetime of searching came to life in my mind and I began to smile … a lot!
Watching the news before heading to bed, I decided to check my email on my laptop. There was an email from this gal. I think the distance between us is too great. God Bless. I was stunned. Cognitive reasoning would suggest that this is a normal ending to these types of relationships, and I had always told myself that the likelihood of finding someone in one of these cyber bars was remote, so I had geared my expectations accordingly.
Yet, here I was heartbroken. For this gal had tugged ever so slightly on my heart and I felt once again alone. I immediately responded to her email offering apologies for possibly coming on too strong or for saying stupid things (I had previously warned her about that). Willing to back off a little for the opportunity to try again in a day or so. I sent the email only to have a system error message pop up, “The person you are sending this email to has blocked your profile.”
I did what every strong and independent male would do.
I’ve grown used to being alone. Not sure if that is good or bad. However, I will always remember this love of my life. OK that’s a little strong, but for a brief four days, I had a spark that I hadn’t had for a long time.
I have added her name to my list of people I want to see and talk to in heaven. I don’t need to know her reasons for cutting me off. But I wish I had a chance to thank her for the four days of not feeling alone.
Table for one, please!
Randy Gerig lives in northeastern Indiana and is the Chief Financial Officer of a large non-profit Senior Retirement Community with locations throughout the United States. His strong Christian faith keeps him involved in church and Bible study groups where, as he says, ‘life is lived out.’ He is a prolific writer of short stories that focus on the eclectic side of life and its connectivity to Scripture and biblical truths. Randy is a divorced father of three incredible adult children, Jonathan, David and Rachel, all who reside in the Pacific northwest.