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“Where’s Waldo?” A Single Woman’s On-Line Dating Saga

Perusing my local Barnes & Nobel bookstore, I held in my hands a copy of “Where’s Waldo: The Fantastic Journey”

Pouring over the colorful, eye-boggling pages I began to consider how much this book reminded me of my on-line dating experience.  Themed pages of giants, warriors, vampires, firefighters, farmers, & monks, all strangely representing various personality types of men I’d encountered along my cyber quest for love.  Though it’s been a few years, I vividly recalled a cast of conspicuously curious internet characters.

~Giants: men who were bigger than life or at least thought they were, who roared about themselves ad nauseum while looking down on others. 

~Warriors: men addicted to battles, trouble following them down every path. {In laymen’s terms they are referred to as “bad boys”.}   

~Vampires: Nocturnal males who prey on women, suck the life out of them, then move on to their next victim.    

~Firefighters:  Men who show up at the first sign of a flame but leave behind a scene of smouldering ashes.  

~Farmers: down-to-earth fellows, steady, reliable, yet slower than a John Deere in July and about as exciting as watching wheat grow.

~Monks: Tender, spiritual, non-verbal, funny dressers.

Each page displayed hundreds of near-identical characters with varying degrees of colorful clutter and debris surrounding them to further distract seekers from finding the One they sought.  Of course, Waldo was on every page but so deeply entrenched among a visual cacophony, the challenge was to find him among the bewildering frenzy of aberrations without curling up in the fetal position whimpering something incomprehensible.

The caption across the top of this literary treasure read, “Have you found Waldo yet?” And across the bottom, “Now with EYE BOGGLING EXTRAS!”

Indeed, my on-line dating experience unfolded much like pages in this Waldo compilation.  Promises to mingle with Christians, find bliss with my perfect match or  fall in love with my soul mate belied the fine print, common sense warnings that I most likely must stave off  hundreds…in my case thousands…of modern day giants, warriors, vampires, firefighters, farmers, & monks.  After countless hours, weeks, months spent looking for the “significant other” equivalent of a needle in a haystack, the Fantastic Journey was no longer quite so, well, fantastic. 

Those “eye-boggling extras”?  In my experience, they included photos of men flanked by Harleys, hound dogs, horses & hunting rifles, in addition to pictures of matches in costumes–from Superman to Shaquille O’Neal- and more than one fella sporting pumps and lipstick.  {Thankfully, the self-proclaimed nudist only posted pics of himself from the neck up.}

Photos were only the tip of the e-romance iceberg.  The biggest problem with on-lines daters, in my estimation is that most singles rush to fill out their profile while uneducated about and unrecovered from their previous relationship failures.  They haven’t invested in learning from their mistakes in an effort to move toward wholeness.  Whether newly divorced, recently widowed, or even single for years, many bring their trunk filled with unhealed wounds, self-exonerating blame, unrealistic expectations and unfulfilled fantasies into cyber space with them.  Unresolved issues clutter emotional landscapes, much like Waldo-type debris littering the pages of our story.

As singles, attracting quality people into our lives can prove a significant challenge.  Perhaps the best place to start is with our own trunks, unpacking the stuff we’ve been carrying around for years, embracing the call to health in mind, body & spirit, and working to become quality people ourselves.   Then, rather than searching for Waldo amidst a sea of frightening caricatures, we might actually discover there’s a truly fascinating individual smiling at us over the top of an inspirational anthology. 

Replacing the flamboyant children’s book on the shelf, I inquired of a store employee where I might find the self-help section.

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5 responses to ““Where’s Waldo?” A Single Woman’s On-Line Dating Saga

  1. Great Posting!

    I wish it would have come with a consumer warning though. Something like:

    “Warning the material in this posting should not be viewed immediately before a church service or any other somber activity. Readers have reported uncontrollable giggling, snickers and laughter several hours after reading this. Reader discretion is advised”.

    I was so discouraged that Engineers didn’t make your list, I went to Barns and Noble myself. Imagine my surprise when the sales attendant took me to an entire self improvement section that didn’t have anything to do with numbers, equations, IT certifications, or programming languages. I would encourage your readers go to Barns and Noble, wander into the engineering section and convince the people you find there to put away their calculators and follow you to the other self improvement section. The computer applications you all use every day won’t improve until the engineers improve their human interface.

    I am looking forward to next month.

    Mark

  2. @Mark, Glad you enjoyed the posting. Was that you I heard snickering in church?

    As for the absence of engineers…I’ve never seen a “Where’s Waldo” book in black & white!

    Thanks for being a loyal reader…and a GOOD Sport!

  3. You. Nailed. It.
    I really didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Okay, I laughed.
    Thanks for being brave enough to share this stuff. I’m letting it serve as a warning to me going forward.

  4. Very Interesting blog, Di. Humorous, too, except for the part about firefighters. I thought you said I was a perfect gentleman. I hope things are good for you. We should catch up sometime.

  5. Poor fireman #19. His ego must be crushed. I had to laugh ! Never went out with a firefighter but I can see your point. Krs

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