For nearly three decades, I was married to an intelligent, educated man with a great sense of humor. He played the odd April Fools' prank and he once totally fabricated a tale of starring in his high school's production of "Man of La Mancha." But, as far as I know, he wasn't crazy.
Since our breakup, I've attempted to find a partner with whom to enjoy Montana's fantastic music scene and nearby hiking trails. Easy-peasy, I thought. But when you're a single woman over 50 in a young college town, Slim Pickens isn't just the name of a character actor in a lot of old Westerns.
As advised, I put up a standard profile on a variety of online dating sites, hoping to find a compatible partner. I wasn't 100 percent confident I'd find my soul-mate needle in this small western haystack, but for someone starting over again after 30 years, I was reasonably optimistic. Over the next few months, I read a dozen profiles of "writers" who unfailingly misused "your" and "you're," and I learned that, more often than not, "athletic and fit" meant a sizeable belly and a secret smoking habit. Hey, no one's perfect. But I didn't expect to attract crazy like a magnet.
With a certain amount of pride, three men revealed their remarkable ability to stop time using their minds. What are the odds? Rejecting these timelords, I accepted that perhaps I was off to a rough start, but, really, how much worse could it get?
Good things come to those who wait: I soon met a gentleman who could write and spell. Our rapid-fire email exchanges were a real hoot, and I sensed a frisson of attraction. Fully prepared to witness his ability to stop time, I was knocked for a loop by his firsthand account of extraterrestrial abduction. Worse, he followed this revelation with an MRI-photo documenting his alien implant, which was both scary and a disturbing violation of his protected health information. What if SETI was monitoring his Gmail account? Or mine? I kept an eye out for a shiny, black Ford Crown Victoria in my neighborhood for weeks.
I decided to step away from online dating for good. Another year passed in the harsh Montana sunlight. My crow's feet developed crow's-feet. One winter day, it was so cold that I broke my hand reaching into my car to grab a water bottle. Not long after the cast came off, my foot slipped while I was carrying a raft out of the Blackfoot River and I slammed my hip into concrete. Laying on the couch while recovering from this injury, I could hear swarms of angry yellowjackets building condos in the eaves of my house, and every trip outside to seek acupuncture and CBD oil became a game of Russian roulette. Montana was trying to kill me.
Alone in bed early one August morning, I was awakened by an annoying buzzing sound. I threw off the covers and stumbled over to close the window. It seemed awfully early for my neighbor to be sanding his deck. Still hearing that irritating buzz, I reluctantly flicked the light switch on and glared around my bedroom. Aha! The sound was coming from something nestled in the locked drawer of my nightstand—something dusty and seriously underutilized. Glory be. The universe speaks in mysterious ways. But when it speaks, I listen. I am Woman, hear me roar.
I had gone so long without sex that I'd almost forgotten about it, but this reaffirming experience prompted me to remember—and once again desire—the feel of strong arms around my body and luscious lips on the back of my neck. A few days after that, I saw some really fine eye-candy while watching "Bodyguard" on Netflix. Thank you, Richard Madden. So, I cautiously gave online dating one last shot.
I wrote a succinct but appealing profile, uploaded a diverse array of my best photos, and cast my net far and wide. Warily checking my inbox, I found a "like" from a tall, handsome, adventurous man who has written extensively about his up-close and personal experiences with Sasquatches, both domestic and international.
"Don't ever go hiking alone," he advised me in our first email exchange. "You never know what's lurking out there in the bushes. It could be a Gigantopithecus."
I'm not a bit worried. My dog is big enough to scare off even a Gigantopithecus—unless this evolutionary remnant has developed crossbow technology.
I can afford to be choosy. Because, for someone with my particular talent, there is an untapped field of potential suitors—manly, bearded men who are deeply immersed in the science and unearthly energy of crop circles. I'm aiming for one with broad shoulders and an English accent. I'm sure our inevitable meeting is just around the corner. Excuse me while I change my preferred geographic range to global.