Monday, May 5, 2014

Caveat Emptor

I wasn't going to tell anyone about this--I wanted to keep the embarrassment factor to myself, hang onto a shred of pride--but now I'm so pissed, all that's out the window.

Allow me, dear readers, to tell you a story that begins last Friday, in the early evening as I'm walking the dogs to the mailbox...

My closest neighbor--the Englishman--and his partner were leaving Sunday on a holiday to France for three weeks.  We were discussing what, if anything, he wanted me to do whilst they were away. In the course of the conversation--too long to relate all the deets here--he quietly mentions that perhaps it's time I thought about getting out more, maybe meet some guys, go on a date or two. After I finished scoffing about meeting someone I could relate to in this part of the world, he told me about his experiences with, a dating service we all know from the happy, clever totally false couples advertised on the television.  I listen politely, then wish them a safe trip and move on.

Saturday morning.  Rainy, gloomy day, my book isn't interesting.  (And I am a perfect example of why this quote, "Idle hands are the Devil's playground" is apt, though in my case it should probably be idle head).

I decide to check out  Hey, they offer a free trial.  What can it hurt to look?

Seriously.  There are times I really shouldn't be unsupervised.

There is, of course, no such thing as free trial.  You can sign up, fill out the forms, but to look at anyone, check out the site, wander around, you must pay.  I debate, eat lunch, ponder, try to find a different book to read, but alas.  Eventually, curiosity pulls me back to the site.  I give in, and pay $68.87 for three months' worth of................

Holy crap.  What's this?

I have barely posted my first photo when this barrage of little chat boxes begin to fill my screen. Fourteen guys, swirling like mosquitoes, eager to talk to me.  I was so startled, I didn't quite know what to do at first, but before I responded to any of them, I clicked on each of their profiles...and what do I find?  Not a single guy matched the kind of man I wrote would interest me, plus nearly all of them were 10-15 years younger than me, which I found odd and disturbing.  Two professed undying love for me--based solely on my photo because my profile was only half done at this point.  Another told me he had to meet me in person immediately because he'd fallen instantly in love and I was his soul mate.  One demanded my phone number so he could hear my voice. Another kept referring to me as his Precious--and yeah, Golum came to mind in a very, very creepy way.

Then, out of the chaos came a man who was okay, and perhaps even normal.  Until he started to criticize my profile, began to instruct me in how I should have done it, what I should have written.  And let me just say here that I'm a long way from being a kid needing instructions or being told what to do by a moron perfect stranger, believe me.

This was one of the weirdest, most unsettling experiences I could have imagined.  No, that's not right, because never, not once, did I ever imagine something like this.

And you know what the very worst part was, peeps?

The level of desperation.  It oozed through my laptop, burned my eyes with their frantic words, made me so uneasy...and sad.  The sad, lonely guy version of Eleanor Rigby.  I expected to have some fun, maybe make a friend or two, but nothing prepared me for what I actually got.

So, I logged out and took the boys for a walk, my head reeling.  This was not what I wanted, not what I expected.  What the hell was I thinking?  What kind of shit are they shoveling on the television about these happy-sweet couples, because damn, nobody mentioned this circling sharks, feeding frenzy thing.

Later, after dinner and a calming glass of wine, I went back to, cancelled my subscription and breathed a sigh of relief, glad to have come away (mostly) unscathed.

And now we come to the pissed off part of my story...

This morning I wanted to check that my refund had appeared on my credit card.  It had not.  I gave it more time, it's Monday after all, but just before noon, I checked again and still nothing. So I decide to call and talk to an actual person just to make sure everything gets handled properly.

Twenty minutes on hold, I finally get a human, who unfortunately can't speak English. It took me several "I'm sorry. What now?" moments before I could understand his accent. And no, don't bother asking what country this guy called home; I'm truly clueless what part of the known world he could have originated from.

In any case, indecipherable language aside, the bottom line? doesn't give refunds.  No matter what I said, there was no budging on their "policy."  I won't bore you, dear readers, with my vitriol, my outraged comments, my opinion on their highly questionable policies.

I spent $68.87 for approximately two hours of membership and thirty minutes' worth of male desperation.  What a complete and total ripoff. I could have burned the frigging money in my backyard and gotten more out of it.

Just wait until my neighbor gets back from France...


  1. Not snickering. Not snickering. Not snickering, for that would be sadistic...

    That line from Singles springs to mind;

    "Desperation is the worst cologne..."

    During my five year stint without, a dear friend of mine suggested I take out a single's ad. After the urge to punch him in the throat-twice, in case I missed the first time-passed I said I wasn't that desperate. He kept on and I'd say it was a bad scene, but he'd not listen so I wrote down an idea for an ad on a napkin;

    Tall lanky bastard. Heretical Tibetan Buddhist seeks a female biped of the hominid genus. Must have opposable thumbs, understand the concept of fire, and be mentally and physically capable of more than eat, sleep, excrete, and fuck.

    Ah, the caustic aspect of youth. Reckon it's good that mellowed with age. My friend backed off of the Robbie-take-out-a-personal thingy. The punchline to this is more than one female friend said if they ever saw that they'd so respond just out of the creativity of it. Queer.

    Tell you what, my gift to you; with variation of course, I'll give you a dollar if you use that on some dating place. Fuck, I'll give you two...];p

    1. Are you kidding me??? I got 14 wackos being straight up...imagine what would happen if I stepped closer to the edge! Keep the change...for now. ;D

  2. I have 3 words....Dating is hard. Don't doubt online dating can't work. Trust me. It can. I say keep at it. The money's gone...maybe it's a sign. I say, re-activate!!

    1. I'll really have to think about it because it wasn't a positive experience. Still, thanks for the encouragement... ;D

  3. I think the fact that you tried this is admirable, and you should give yourself a pat on the back for being open to the possibility of meeting someone like this. Not too crazy about internet dating, as there are some serious wackos who use it, but there are alternatives. If you belong to a church you might see if they have any events for single adults; ours regularly hosts get-togethers (picnics, bowling, that sort of thing.) Even if you don't belong to the church they're often open to anyone who is interested in participating.

    More than anything don't let this negative experience close the door you've opened, or prompt you to weld it shut. There is more to the world than the internet. :)

    1. Thanks for your reassurance. I know there are many folks out there in the world who have found their ideal partner in this way. Maybe it's just not the right avenue for me. Figures, I finally get up the courage to do it, and it's an awful experience! ;D

  4. Oh boy!!! :( This is horrible - and I so know what you feel like. This is actually one of the reasons why I deleted my Facebook account, cause even guys I got to know in town being on events with friends would act up like that online - unbelievable and SO sad!! Do not give up on dating though. I also know people that met their spouse over an online dating platform, but it wouldn't be anything for me either. Keep doing what you love doing, the person that deserves being with you will cross your path when you least expect it. And do it on your own terms, it doesn't matter if others think it's about time.
    As for the money: I'd be so MAD!!!!! But who knows, it might be worth something that will reveal itself later.
    I hope you'll have a wonderful rest of the week nonetheless! :)

    1. Thanks for your kind words...and yes, it was beyond annoying about the money! In my heart I still believe the Universe provides, so I haven't given up yet... ;D