At this time, Anthony Weiner is in deep trouble for sextexting. Last year at this time, I’d never heard of sextexting or online dating. After fifteen years of living the single life and in my sixties, I was not expecting to find the love of my life. Been there, done that. Escaped when the love of my life turned out to be a frog. After the sixth love of my life again turned into a frog, I said no more. I would never marry again. I didn’t miss the dating scene or someone always around, telling me what to do or how to think. I seldom fantasized about Mr. Right. I’d rather write about betrayal, lies and murder.
It was while writing about life in the Sixties, and go-go dancing, and free and experimental sex that made me think that perhaps life was going by too fast and I was missing something.
After hearing about online dating services, I thought, why not give it a try. Couldn’t hurt. I wasn’t meeting anyone face to face, at least not right away. It seemed to be a safe diversion. So I put my profile on not just one but three services.
Francis Norman is the name he gave online. He said he was in his forties, a widower with a teenage daughter, had a home in West Palm Beach, Florida, lost his parents in a terrible airline accident while on vacation. He was an engineer presently working in West Africa. He sent me several pictures of himself and some with his daughter and friends. Just my type. Tall, dark and handsome. He hooked me right away, saying all the things a woman wants to hear. He couldn’t stop thinking about me, he said. Stayed up nights dreaming about me. Wanted me to be the mother his daughter needed.
He got me on instant messaging and we “talked” several times a day. He never let a day go by without getting online with me. He sent me poetry – sometimes a short poem to wake up to and other poems during the day. One day he got my address and a few days later I was greeting with a box of roses, with chocolate and a teddy bear. An identical box arrived the next day. We were talking love after only a week. I hadn’t had that much attention from a man since I was in my twenties and go-go dancing in Philadelphia! Writing about attraction and sex and murder at the same time reading and feeling the words from a online lover brought a new excitement to my life and it was a heady experience.
My writing critique group went ballistic when I blurted Iwas in love and planning to get married. They listened to the story and told me it was all a scam. They looked up his name under the appraisal office in West Palm Beach. He wasn’t listed. They googled his name. Not listed. Not known anywhere. They had me read about Nigerian romance scams online.
But Francis Norman’s words and the attention he gave me was like a drug. I don’t have an addictive personality. I don’t do drugs. When I drink, it’s one glass of whatever, and that’s my limit. I have no major cravings. But it was addicted to love – to him – or rather to his words and the feeling and the arousal that came with reading his words. As if I’d been without the water of life for fifteen years and now it was pouring into me, refreshing me like a waterfall and I couldn’t do without being constantly renewed.
When I read a good book, I get carried away to a different place. My emotions are attached. I laugh, I cry, I get aroused. Listen, I may be in my sixties, but emotionally I feel like I’m still in my twenties. My body still responds with stimulus and can feel everything the same as a twenty-year-old. I am known at times to even act foolishly and not listen to reason.
Not even when the voice in my head told me to cut him off, I couldn’t. Not even when he told me that his hotel had been burglarized and his money had been stolen and the robbers had hurt his precious daughter. She had broken her leg running from them. She had to be hospitalized. She was in terrible pain, but the doctor wanted money and he had lost everything. How could I help him and his dear daughter?
Deep inside I knew it was a lie, a scam. But I so wanted him to be real. I didn’t want to let go of the feeling I had for him, or admit that my belief in his words were all in my imagination.
First he hooked me with romance and promises of forever love. Then the hook tightened and became a noose around my neck.