by carolw2112, gansevoort, NY

I was 56, recently divorced after 33 years of marriage and trying my hand at the new and exciting world of internet dating. I had several local gentlemen respond and I decided to at least meet them all. One, a 63-year old man named Tommy, posted a nice photo and seemed quite articulate. I was cautious though and decided to get a good sense of the man before setting up any dates. We emailed back and forth for several weeks. He seemed very anxious to meet me and I decided why not and set a date and time to rendezvous at a local Ruby Tuesdays for dinner. Soon I began to receive emails with large attachments which turned out to be photographs, photographs of Tommy and all the dogs he ever owned, photographs of Tommy as a young (very handsome) man, photographs of Tommy’s parents, his first wife, and so on. He wrote me long, long letters telling me everything he knew about himself. I began to doubt my decision to meet but thought perhaps he being as new to the dating scene again as I, he was just being awkward and over-zealous.

Meeting day came and I was nervous. It was only the second time I’d met a stranger this way. I arrived at the restaurant on time but Tommy wasn’t there. I went in and got a table, requesting a seat positioned where I could see the mall area outside the entrance. He was 15 minutes late and I was close to making a decision to leave when I spotted him lingering in the mall hallway. I left the table and went to greet him and nervously identify myself. The restaurant hostess booth was 5 feet away, with several waitresses gathered to connect with patrons. I approached him and he held out his hand to shake mine. I reached forth my hand, connected, and nearly lost it. He had palmed a buzzer! I dropped his hand like the snake it was and jumped back, shaken and embarrassed. “I wanted to make an impression,” he said. He did. Needless to say, that relationship went nowhere.