Story 2 – Part 8

After his less than successful attempts at finding a relationship with a younger woman, Dennis decided that maybe this online dating thing may be the answer.

So he signed on to a free site and started building his ‘profile’. “Young at heart”, “Active and vigorous”, “Enjoying the company of attractive women”. Easy enough to describe himself. Now for a picture. He tried with his cell phone, but that little camera made him look so old and tired, not like the face he was every day in the mirror.

Digging through a drawer of old photos he came across one. The day he had received an award from work, at a very fancy dinner. There he was in a hired tuxedo, looking very good. He took it to the photo and print shop and had it scanned and put onto a CD. The he edited it, cropping out his hands holding the award, and realised he looked very good in it. For a second he wondered if it was right to put in such an old photo, but he thought, women like to see a man well dressed.

He did not disclose his true age as the web page gave options such as “well matured”.

Then he started browsing, looking for women he could fancy. He selected 5 on the first day and sent each of them a message, saying how much he liked their picture and that they sounded very interesting.

To his chagrin, only 2 of them answered his message. One to say she was exploring another option at present. The other seemed open to his chatting to her.

Within a few days he and Elaine were talking on the phone and both wanted to meet. She suggested a coffee shop in a centre he didn’t really know.

That morning he shaved and dressed with great care. Now he was going to meet a lovely woman and have some fun.

By 10 he was sitting as he promised, near the door, waiting for her.

There were several people already having morning coffee there. A young couple holding hands, three older women having a very animated conversation. An elderly couple with a young boy.

Twice the door opened, the first time was to let in an older woman who looked almost frail as she walked in and sat down at the table near him, Then another, younger, woman came in. He smiled at her, wondering just how different she could be from her online photograph. But she ignored him and walked over to the elderly couple and the boy.

By 11.30 he had had two cups of coffee and his bladder was reminding him it had a limited capacity. No sign of Elaine. So he paid and left.

When he got home at about midday, there was a message from Elaine. She write “I sat and waited and waited, but you didn’t come. Why did you lead me on and then disappoint me.”

He wrote back “Elaine I sat there for an hour and a half. The only woman who came in alone is a lot older than you, my dear.”

No reply for a while, then another message “So you were that old grouchy looking man sitting near me. You lied in your photo.”

He never heard from her again.

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