Updated Dec, 24th 2012
Here is my third draft. I tried to make up the stakes from my first draft by talking about how desperate I am to meet men now that I'm in Panama.
In this third draft I include more thoughts about how I might actually consider dating Elllis and try to show my thought process in flirting with this idea. I could have probably written more here but am lacking further creativity.
Third Draft: Update on My Love Life
Six months ago I made a huge life change and moved to Panama. Not only do I not know anyone here and have trouble with the language, but at age 39, I live with my parents. This does nothing, nada to inspire romance. If I felt 100% single in San Francisco, I feel 120% single in Panama, like a bona fide *soltera* -- a label I have to claim each time I go to the doctor, complete official paperwork or register for a rewards card at stores like Novey and Do-It-Center.
In an attempt to use my resources, however, I decide to browse Badoo.com, an online dating site. Immediately I think it’s awful.
Never have I browsed a site where men post pics of actors or other celebrities as themselves with such frequency. Like playing Whack-a-Mole, I report abusers to site administrators and block the likes of Johnny Depp, Nelson Mandela (interesting choice), Matthew McConaughey, and other handsome men standing in place of men who ostensibly want to meet women, but just not as themselves.
Sadly, even though they’re fake, these photos are better to browse that many of the real pics of supposedly eligible men, most of whom have round faces and even rounder bellies, the product of too much rice, platanos y cerveza. They all look like my uncle – not a handsome man. I spend one evening showing pics to a friend who was equally horrified by photos that look like mug shots, pics taken in such alluring places as the public restroom and practically every other pic of a guy holding either a beer or a shotgun. I have very little confidence in finding a mate on this site.
So I sign up.
I’m curious and, of course, desperate so I pay the fee to elevate my freemium searching to premium. Now I’m able to search for men who speak English, are actually single (rather than *taken* or *in an open relationship*) and have a college degree. One guy’s pic stands out so I take the bait and check out his profile. He’s a gym rat with an 8-pack on display in each of his 6 profile pics. Kind of hot.
About an hour later, he sends me a chat; he probably noticed that I viewed his profile. Here is my conversation with Ellis – not his real name.
Ellis — 10:03 AM
Laura — 10:10 AM
Hola. Como estas?
Ellis — 10:12 AM
Bien gracias y tu
Laura — 10:20 AM
Muy bien. Parece que te gusta ir al gimnasio. Yo tambien pero no tanto como tu.
[Great. Looks like you like to go to the gym. I do, too, but not as much as you.]
He responds by telling me he works out compulsively. He also states that he’s “preso.” I’m not familiar with this word so I jump on Google Translate. Really? I read the translation twice and decide to get confirmation.
Laura — 10:30 AM
Mi espanol no es muy bueno. Que significa “estoy preso?”
[My Spanish isn’t very good. What does “estoy preso” mean?]
Ellis — 06:36 PM
Estoy en la cárcel
[I am in prison.]
Yep, he’s chatting with me from jail. Immediately I begin to wonder what he did to land himself there. Did he kill someone? No, he couldn’t have done that. I’m sure murderers don’t have online dating privileges, do they? He probably did something less serious or even silly – like removing the “do not remove under penalty of law” tag from his mattress. I mean, he was decent enough to tell me he was in prison right off the bat. How bad of a person can he be? He's probably not a bad person, just did a bad thing. Maybe he's a nice guy, just misunderstood. And maybe there are some upsides to dating Ellis while he's in prison.
1. I will always know where he is.
2. He will certainly appreciate me.
3. He can’t possibly fall short of my expectations.
4. If he gets out of line, I can speed-dial the warden.
5. He does have an 8-pack.
But since I know Mom will freak out if I date Ellis, I resist responding to his message. Another guy initiates a chat with me on the site. He’s cute! Fingers crossed this guy can go on a date in public and court me in a way that doesn’t include conjugal visits.