One new notification – You have received a message from MarieClaire.
I’ve been on Plenty of Fish more times than I care to admit over the years. I’ve created and deleted my account in as little as twenty four hours in a few cases.
The process is almost ritualistic to me now.
- Feel lonely.
- Realize that between work and working out, I place myself in exactly zero situations where I meet new people, let alone potential romantic partners.
- Remember that magical place on the internet where LOCAL SINGLES IN YOUR AREA are waiting with bated breath for my message.
- Create account.
- Hail Mary a few messages out into the digital nether.
- Get zero response.
- Feel rejected.
- Delete account.
- Wait three months.
- Feel lonely.
- Lather, rinse, repeat.
To put this in perspective for you, I’m turning twenty-six this year. When I made my first PoF profile, I had to lie and say I was eighteen, due to my late birthday. PoF for me is like that person that brings up the bile in the back of your throat, but you still can’t help but text after the third drink on a Tuesday. You know it’s bad for you, but curiosity always pulls you back.
Last week, I’d opened up my latest online incarnation, out there and ready to fish. I was debating deleting it again today when I got that notification while I was at work.
Two words: Hello hun
No punctuation. Hardly anything memorable.
I opened her profile.
I flipped through her pictures.
Okay, she’s not bad. Pretty, even. Tall. Blonde hair. Pale skin.
I delved further into her profile, and I still haven’t been able to get the rat in my mind to stop digging since.
Her profile was straightforward, no nonsense. She’d been in a serious car accident four years ago, spending a two years in a coma as a result. She said she was still recovering, but had a zest for life and could still walk with assistance.
First date: As I’m disabled my mother will have to come for a coffee first
I looked back through her pictures, and couldn’t stop the tears in the machine shop bathroom.
You could see she was a gorgeous girl before her endeavor, see that she was still a twenty-two year old woman with ambitions, desires, and needs. She had things to offer the world, despite – in spite – of her limitations.
That’s not why I cried.
I cried because I knew that I’m not a good enough person to weather the storm of another human’s problems that weren’t my own. I cried because I wasn’t complete enough to honestly say I could see past things beyond this poor woman’s control and give her the shot at love that I know I would want if I were in her shoes.
I cried because I disgusted myself.
I walked back out on the shop floor and haven’t stopped wondering what I’m really worth since.