Sweeter- Part IV

THIS IS A WORK OF ORIGINAL FICTION

It will be serialized over the next several days…the ending will be marked in the classic styling…
THE END

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Username: ElephantInk

Age: 34

Relationship Status: Single, never been married

Employment: Self employed

Education: Bachelor’s degree, University of Alabama

Interests: Travel, movies, music, college football (Roll Tide!), technology

Now that I’ve settled on an area to put down roots, I’d like to share my life with someone. I’m not really interested in a casual dating situation, but, of course, I know a new relationship will start out that way. I don’t want to rush into anything, but I wanted to be up front about desiring sincere commitment. I’m not really into ‘hooking up,’ and my previous online experiences led me to believe a lot of folks who use these sites are into that. This 3000 character-limited text box asks me to describe myself. I guess I think I’m a nice guy. (Not really for me to make that call though). Except when the Tide loses, I probably get a little irrationally grouchy. I work from home most of the time, and I like ‘home,’ but I love going to new places: new restaurant to try new food, new park to walk around outside, foreign country with a totally different culture…all of that. It’s probably from spending a bunch of time at home alone. I’m kind of a tech nerd. There is one human being at my house, but eight interactive wireless devices. (I know. It’s kinda nuts.) Text box also says to detail ‘what I’m looking for,’ and I suppose that means to specify physical and personality and social traits I want in a potential girlfriend/future wife, but there really aren’t many specifics for me to outline. I’d like her to be kind. I’d like her to be smart, but not make me feel stupid. I’d like her to care about herself, and me, and other people. I’d like her to be honest. And I guess I’d like her to not find me offensive. Ideally, she’ll share (or at least tolerate) my interests and be willing to learn new things and grow with me. I’d be thrilled to learn new things and grow with the right person. That’s about it. Well under the 3000 character mark. That’s surprising. Thought I’d be cutting words. ??? Too late to add ‘dazzling eyes’ and ‘laughs at new posts of The Oatmeal, even if they’re gross and contain a bunch profanity (or maybe because they’re gross and contain a bunch of profanity)?’ Nope. It still didn’t cut me off. So yeah…those things too.

“I like him. I can’t believe you needed an assist on this. He seems like a good man. That’s what we’re looking for, right? And he’s cute. Bonus! And you meet all his ‘requirements.’ He doesn’t even have that many, but he picked the right ones. For the love of Marge and Homer, message him right now!” Sarah playfully demanded. “Seriously. What’s stopping you? Something is.”

“I’m afraid once he reads my profile, maybe he’ll be turned off.” Leanne rolled her eyes and then turned to Sarah with a wary gaze.

“Then he’s the wrong dude. Simple as that. Not everybody on here, even a guy that seems pretty cool, is gonna be ‘right.’ In fact, if you want to be all Disney Princess, and I know you do, there’s really only one right guy. Don’t keep hammering once you find out the peg’s square. Start over. Look for a round one. It’s okay to do that. Don’t settle. That’s what happened with Doucheface. I realize I’m heavily biased, but there’s no such thing as ‘good enough’ for my friend Leanne. There’s only ‘right.’ I don’t think a guy looking for a kind, honest woman, that professes he’d be thrilled to learn and grow with a person would be intimidated by you. But if he is…like I said, try again.”

The pizza guy knocked on Leanne’s apartment door, and after he was paid (and handsomely tipped), the two friends settled in at the kitchen table and ate directly from the box. “Then I’m afraid I’ll go out with him, and fall for him immediately, and he’ll get freaked out by needles and kidney specialist appointments every three weeks.”

“Damn Kyle Jenner. Seriously. He’s tainting all your views on all the other guys out there.”

“I think Mark’s a good guy. I know good guys exist.”

“Yes. But you can love Mark and David Smith and Jason Webber, and feel confident in their ‘goodness’ because they’re all happily married to other women, and you aren’t ever going to prospectively date them. Kyle’s set you up to totally distrust anybody new. Not that I don’t completely get it. I do. Really. It just sucks.”

“Tell me about it.” Homer and Marge both flattened themselves on the carpet directly outside the kitchen and looked up at Leanne and Sarah with pathetic, hungry eyes. “No pizza. You’ll get gas,” Leanne scolded them. They both tried making themselves flatter at her chastisement, but it didn’t stop the distant begging. “What do you really think of this guy?”

“Without meeting him, based on his tiny paragraph and his picture, I think he’s got potential. I wanna like him. And I think he’d probably give the bozos pizza under the table when you weren’t lookin’,” Sarah kidded. “You should give him a shot.”

***

To: ElephantInk

From: CandiedLioness

Subject: Hello

I’ve never contacted someone on a dating site before, so I hope this doesn’t sound canned or goofy, but I read your profile, and I’m intrigued, so this is what I’m supposed to do. Right? I’m new at this and pretty nervous about it, so I’ll just leave it at this awkward message, and hope you look at what I have up to see, and that you write back. Soon. Ish. Soonish. Oh my, signing off before this gets worse.

AH!

Leanne

***

Leanne sat at her desk, burnishing the edge of the wood with her right middle finger, waiting on Sarah’s return text.

SW: Well, shit, Leanne!!! Open it!!! What the hell is wrong with you?! Bah!!

LJ: I’m afraid of what it says.

SW: He wrote you back! Duh! He’s interested. No reason to feel nervous about OPENING THE DAMN EMAIL. Good Lord. Open. It. 😛

As Leanne formulated a further defensive response, she got another text alert.

SW: I said open it!!!

Leanne guffawed out loud, making the other two members of the small non-profit office staff look up at her quizzically, and then hurriedly hushed herself. “Sarah…she’s ridiculous…” she thought to herself. But it did give her the momentum to open ElephantInk’s reply.

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