Internet dating leaves me unnerved. Old photos and embellished profiles create people who don’t exist, while chatting it up with complete strangers feels unnatural and frankly dangerous. So you can imagine my dismay when my mom declared, “I’m ready to meet someone. I want to go on the computer.”
I hoped my response would be convicting, “What? Mom, you are surrounded by so many new people where you live. Why go looking for strangers on the Internet? It’s not safe.” I figured if the safety card didn’t work, my next move would be to highlight the practical issues — beginning with my mom’s ever-evolving, very limited computer skills. She would surely get confused and possibly lured by some crazy person. I had a convincing case. My position was clearly logical.
But love and logic aren’t always on the same page. After being married most of her life Mom was lonely and desired a companion. Since her husband’s passing last summer, she has slowly charted a new way of life as a single woman, immersing herself in daily activities at her retirement community, volunteering in the assisted living area, working at church mission events, and continuing to tap dance with the PrimeLife Follies to bring joy to local nursing home residents. Mom was a busy lady with a full life. But something was missing. Someone was missing.
Mom persisted with her Internet quest — she was not backing down. With reluctance and concern with her flying solo online, I decided to help. We started with Christian Mingle, which I assumed would be the safest option. It was — there was only one man in his 80’s in Indiana! The pickings were slim in the rest of the country, too. Since location was of prime importance — anyone outside of 10 miles would not be geographically desirable — the Christian Mingle tour ended soon after it began. Mom pressed on as I attempted to delay the next option, Match.com. She then confessed some shocking news — my sister had created Mom’s profile on Match a month earlier. She was officially “out there.” She just had no clue how to log on.
So our adventure on Match began. We signed in, finished her profile, uploaded a photo, and went over the basics. There were already emails waiting. An 83-year old man named Ed was interested and persistent. “Hi Lori, I emailed you last month and you did not respond to my emails? Ed.” Of course, she didn’t respond, Ed. Mom doesn’t even know how to log on yet! I moved her hand gently over the mouse, and we clicked on his profile together for further investigation. She adjusted her glasses and leaned forward with anticipation as her first match was unveiled, “Ball room dancing is one of my activities that I enjoy … Pro football is the sport I most enjoy watching. Water volleyball is the only sport that I play now…” A Colts fan who dances and plays water volleyball — it’s a match!
That was four months ago, and Mom and Ed are still going strong. They dance several times a week, enjoy shows at local theaters, and have already penciled in Colts games on their busy fall calendars — Ed has season tickets.
It’s never too late to find love. Just ask my mom. Her very first match online was indeed a match. It actually does work. And now, since Mom’s Match membership is active until September, I can use her account to check out some profiles. Guaranteed summer entertainment awaits!