Posted Wed, 03/25/09
Over the past year or so, I've received my fair share of sleazy messages from men and the occasional woman via My Space and Tagged.
I've stopped using Tagged because it is more like an online meat market than a safe social environment. I originally joined because my 80-year-old aunt invited me, but I'm certain she did not realize the sleazy extent of Tagged communications.
The sordid bazaar within My Space has slowed down considerably, which I'm thankful for. Of the handful of men I have met in person within the last two years, all of them have turned out to be losers. I blame myself actually, because what did I expect from online contact in the first place? Admittedly, I have only met four different men in very public surroundings, but I knew almost from the get-go with each one that it was a mistake and that I was wasting my time.
The other day I received a very pleasant and non-lunging note from a man my age who lives nearby and likes the outdoor life. While I have no intention of meeting another stranger in a public setting for the time being, I still wrote back to the man and tried to explain where my life is at right now:
You sound like a very nice man but I read your profile and I'm not sure what you could possibly find interesting about me. I don't like the outdoors or camping in any way shape or form, in fact I detest the heat, insects, bees, hunting, fishing, et al. One of the many advantages to being older is I know what I like and don't like at this stage of my life because I've tried it before.
I live a very quiet life by preference. I did the crazy route in my twenties and thirties, and it's just nor for me. I'd rather stay home than go out, writing, reading or watching a good movie. I enjoy cooking on occasion, but don't like the expectation from someone that being in the kitchen or cleaning up is "my job" on a daily basis. Maybe that's why none of my three marriages worked out, but all of it was probably for the best. I'm happier, and I'm sure they are happier.
Another aspect about me that doesn't thrill most men is my devotion to my career. It is very time consuming and solitary, but I love it. I have put it aside for men in the past because they resented it, which was a mistake. I won't put my work on hold for anyone ever again, which is in part the result of getting older as well. I don't want to waste anymore time with dramatic relationships and emotional upheaval, or giving up a large part of myself just to make someone else happy while my own life flashes by unfulfilled.
I wish men and women could just accept each other as they are, but it never works that way, does it? It's a shame, but in my experience it seems to be the norm.
I think being honest up front is the best thing; it is something I try to do in all aspects of my life. You sound like a very down-to-earth and decent person with a lot to give to the right woman.
Hopefully we can be friends, but if not I wish you only the best.
It basically sums up how I truly feel at this stage of my life, without being angry, bitter or full of recriminations. There's really nothing to be bitter about, actually, as I am content to be on my own more so than any other time in my life.
The man in question agreed with me, and thanked me for my honesty. As I told him, being friends would be nice but if not I wish him all the best.
One of the best aspects of growing older is the comfort of knowing exactly what I want in life without the typical dither I experienced in my twenties or even thirties.
As the old saying goes: I wish I knew then what I know now…
*POSTSCRIPT: Deborah has since deleted her "Tagged" page after receiving repeated messages and/or tweaks from men that she felt were offensive.