Thursday, May 5, 2011

"I'll Have One Extramarital Affair. To Go, Please."

So Easter weekend was a big deal for me.  After prepping and studying, discussing and debating, praying and kneeling/standing/sitting for nine months, I officially became a member of the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil on Saturday. It was a beautiful ceremony where almost fifty of us fulfilled our goals of becoming full members of the church.  For me, it was a thirty year (almost to the day) journey.  I was truly moved by the Mass, felt very connected to the folks who had been on this journey with me and was pretty proud of myself for sticking to the classes and commitments that were totally voluntary from the first moment.

Throughout the course of our nine-month class, I became very comfortable and in touch with my spiritual side.  I'm not breaking out into tongues or anything, but I have come to realize that this particular element of who I am needs and should be a part of my life on a daily basis.  This deeper connection came with a deeper responsibility for my own actions, words and thoughts.  The thoughts being the hardest of those three to restrain (and retrain!), quite frankly, but I digress.  I started looking at things less in respect to what I wanted or needed at the moment and what was for the greater good of my life as a whole.

Heavy, right?  I know.  Granted, I didn't get there overnight.  And although it may sound like I've tightened the grip on my social life, I think, in a lot of ways, I've done quite the opposite.  I've been surrounded by people who respect my faith for so many  months that, I think, that giving this respect to others has become second nature.  Just because you don't believe the same things I do doesn't make you less than me.  My faith requires that I treat you the same way I would if you agreed with me down to the letter.  I'm straying from the point, but...  well, you get the point.  I'm very much in touch with Spiritual Melanie.

Fear not... this post is not going to take a hard left turn from my usual topic of discussion, but I needed to give you some background.  Don't lose your shirt, I'll move out of the warm fuzzies now.

So, on the Monday after Easter I had the day off.  I was riding around town with my friend who also had the day off.  We were chatting as we headed out to a local liquor store for some non-mainstream beer to go with hot dogs and baked beans.  Suddenly I heard that ever familiar ping of my phone alerting me to an email.  I glanced down and saw that it was one of those PlentyofFish messages that I somehow manage to continue generating although I can't tell you the last time I voluntarily logged in to the site.

The pursuer's screenname included the name of his city and because it was relatively close to my own in Atlanta terms (and because I know it's just a matter of time before I stumble across someone I know in real life on an online dating site), I opened his profile.  No photograph (strike 1), but I kept reading.  And would soon find out why.  He was in my age range (32...which seemed so old just a few years ago!), did in fact live in the city that he listed in his screenname and wasn't single.  Wait...what?  He's not single?  He's not single and he's not looking.  Um... huh?  He didn't disclose whether or not he had or wanted children, what his religion was, whether or not he owned a car (PofF is weird.  Would I deny the man of my dreams contact with me because he doesn't own transportation?  That must be the 21st century standard for true love:  "must own a car."), or any identifiable information.  Perplexing.  So, I opened his message.

What I found can be nothing less than a true challenge to all of those convictions and determinations that I mentioned above, the ultimate challenge to Spiritual Melanie.  Beyond Spiritual Melanie, this was a supreme trial of exactly the type of girl I am.  Well, it was a challenge until I got to his last line, which made the decision pretty easy, but I'll tell you the story before I jump to the conclusion.

This gentleman explained that he found my profile enticing (nice) and he was captivated by my photograph (same one I use for my profile on here, are you captivated?  Pull your eyes away from it for a second and finish reading this post.  It'll still be there when you're done. Thanks.).  He quickly followed this eloquent and flattering compliments with another explanation, stating in no uncertain terms the type of interaction with me he so sought.  He got right to the point.  We would ask no questions about each other's personal lives; we would meet in a public location where we could assess whether or not we were attracted to each other off-line (I hadn't even seen a picture to know what he looked like online, which we all know can be deceptive on its own!).  If we felt so inclined upon making eye contact, we could begin a purely physical relationship, meeting weekly or on a more regularly basis if either of us wanted. Perhaps, he continued, having dinner together every now and then in a discreet restaurant.  He shared that he was just looking for someone to have fun with and have absolutely no strings attached.

Who does this?!  Who creates an online dating profile in complete pursuit of sex without even disguising it like Mr. Too Many Words did?  Maybe I should give him some credit... I have been griping about rampant dishonesty in online dating over the past year. This person is obviously hiding something (most probably an innocent, completely faithful and devoted wife and caretaker of his three children who all look exactly like him, who provides a loving, warm home and three homemade meals a day, while vacuuming in pearls) but obviously very trusting that I would just go along with this charade and all his "wills" and "won'ts" simply for the thrill of it?  Hopefully for whoever he's able to reel into this scheme it is a "thrill."  Based on my initial shock, if this is prevalent than I have simply managed to escape it up until Easter Monday.  Coincidence?  Maybe...

As a girl who has been on the sidelines of the game for a while now, Old Melanie may have been tempted by such an offer.  Probably only if I knew that the situation was not based on infidelity, which is doubtful in this particular instance, but you know what I mean?  The excitement and drama of behaving outside of the norms and having a whole life lived behind the scenes. I've never had an easy time of meeting new people outside of college, high school and work, so I might have been tempted to see what walking on the wild side felt like for a few minutes.  But, New Melanie wants more than that, I quickly determined.  And remembered.  Way more than that.  Wants and deserves. Out of sheer curiosity, I finished reading Mr. Affair's email and maintained my maturity and understanding that again, the whole world doesn't fall within the same parameters of belief and ethics as I do, until I got to his last line.  "I am disease free," he stated, "and expect you to be too."

Oh, how I was tempted to write back to him with a laundry list of the itchiness, redness, bumps and sores that cover my entire body and how I'm so contagious people have been known to contract my rare, life threatening petri dish nightmare just from standing next to me.  But, I resisted.  When I reach the point in this  whole dating debacle where I feel the need to tell complete strangers that I am, in fact, disease free, please stop me.  Resign me to the fact that I will live a long and happy life even if it is alone with ten cats and I become the creepy old lady of the neighborhood who people only know exists because the stack of cat food cans outside my door never ceases to increase in height.  I will hold you responsible for this important task.

10 comments:

  1. Gotta love the married ones. Plentyoffish is the best!!

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  2. Maybe that's why he didn't include a picture in his profile. He didn't want his wife to find out.

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  3. @Neurotic, that or he's a Special Agent. I'm going with wife, though. @Glimspe, PlentyofFish is the best at providing me with amazing blog material... and that's about it! LOL

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  4. Wow. That's all I can say about this one.

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  5. @Kassia, it never ceases to amaze me. Never.

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  6. Maybe I've just been online (and offline) dating too long, but sadly, the only thing that surprises me about your story is that you haven't come across such a character sooner! Glad you could keep your sense of humor and your faith! =)

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  7. Congratulations on joining the Catholic church! I myself am Catholic and it's beautiful around Easter to see all the new people being baptized and welcomed into the church!

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  8. Thanks, Jenny... it's kind of reassuring to know that I'm not the only one that seems to be a Freak Magnet in the online dating world. Thank you, Wonderful! It's been such a joyful experience over the last year, and it truly was beautiful to be a part of the Vigil Mass. The Catholic Church is very much a welcoming family!

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  9. Congrats on joining the Church!

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