Monday, August 13, 2012

Introducing Gerald

I'm so excited tonight. You'll never guess what happened! OK. OK. I won't make you guess. I'm in love! Or at least I'm potentially in love. But in a relationship .... definitely in a relationship. And I didn't have to go on a single date .... not that I would have because I don't date, but that's another post.

But anyway, there are other ways to meet eligible men, and I've finally met the man of my dreams. And you'll never guess where. Don't worry. I won't make you guess. Facebook! Who knew that some people use Facebook as a .... well, I guess some sort of dating service, but I don't know anything about that really. I attribute this more to fate or Cupid or even Shakespeare.

I should go back to the beginning.

On July 12 I was clicking around on Facebook and ran across a message folder I'd never seen before titled "other." And in it I found several messages from men who were obviously attracted to me and willing to reach out in the name of friendship and romance in spite of their painfully poor English.

One wrote: "Hello, Good Day, It is my pleasure to write to you, I have been viewing ur profile and i was captivated by it. i will appreciate it if you can send to me ur yahoo or BB Pin so we can chat over and get to know each other better. Thank You And God Bless U."

Of course I would never respond to an invitation written by someone who uses "ur" instead of "your" and "U" instead of "you." As my friend Martini likes to say, my standards are quite high and there's nothing wrong with that. But God bless him too. I hope he finds someone who doesn't mind that he didn't finish the second grade.

Another one, which was so long I won't copy the entire message, started like this: "Hello pretty Lady ,how you doing, wow i like you picture on your wall on Facebook,i was in search for a friend on FB when i came accross your wall,it really look beautiful and i think i like you in person and i hope we can be friends am ... was born January 04 1959 and i live in Houston Texas am a single dad with two lovely kids both male and am fun loving love to live life the best stay cool i do understand we not friends but to be sincere if we don't meet strangers i don't think we have new friends my dear so i wii be glad to read from this beautyI am by nature kind, romantic, very affectionate, understanding and very passionate and in intimacy I enjoy giving and receiving affection, and am very open-minded and adventurous as well. I am a well-educated, working professional....." 

Again, my standards require that a man -- especially a well educated one such as this one -- who receives my affections at least have a passing relationship with the period -- as in the punctuation mark. Coherence comes in a close second. I was puzzled by his use of the hyphen in "well-educated," but not surprised that it was incorrect usage. I didn't know how to let him down easy, so I didn't respond.

And then I read the message from Gerald. Now, I will preface by saying it's not perfect, but I knew in my heart he could be molded and taught. It wasn't his punctuation that won me over but his ..... well, here. Just see for yourself. 

" look adorable, i would love to get to know you more better if you dont mind..hope to hear from you..Gerald."

Blurred to protect my baby's identity
How sweet is that? How cute is he?

I simply couldn't remember the last time a man told me I was adorable. And he looked adorable himself in his profile photo, which was unfortunately the only photo I could see ... In fact it seemed to be the only thing on his Facebook page.

I did what any red-blooded single woman would do: I jumped right on that hot stuff. I wrote back to him immediately: "Wow. I just realized this message was here. What is it you hope to accomplish when you send messages to women you don't know? Just curious."

Subtle, I thought, yet leaving the door open for honest discourse and even the possibility of wild, passionate love-making.

I may have then jumped the gun a little bit when I shared our budding romance on Facebook, but I feel like I can be honest here about the roller coaster I went on that night. I was just so excited and ready to get started with Gerald. (Forgive me, those of you who read this a month ago. I'm not copying my friends' comments; just my own.)

Reticula: 1:16am.  One man named Gerald didn't seem so bad. I messaged him back and said I liked his tie and the way he was standing akimbo in his photo.* I asked him if he wanted to play Draw Something so we could get to know each other better. You know, just to break the ice. I also suggested if he's really as interested in me as he seems to be, he learn to use apostrophes. And I sent him a link to Oatmeal ( I don't mean to get ahead of myself or anything, but don't be surprised if the next thing you see on your newsfeed from me is "in a relationship." I know. It's trendy, but this girl has big dreams.

Reticula: 1:27am. OK, I haven't heard back yet, but it's only been 10 minutes. I won't start to worry until at least half an hour has passed. I hope he likes kids.

Reticula: 1:28am. I'm trying to decide if I should call my mom and wake her up (she's not on FB) or just wait until morning. I dunno. It's an hour earlier in Iowa....

Reticula: 1:35am. Waiting is really hard. Maybe I'll try to find him on LinkedIn. I would be really disappointed if he had a MySpace, so I won't try to stalk him there. Twitter! I'll try Twitter too. A girl can't know too much about her new boyfriend, right?

Reticula: 1:38: I'm soon to be engaged to Gerald. He is the only man for me.

Reticula: 2:35: I found my soul mate in the "other" folder. My prince charming. My.....well, to be perfectly honest, he hasn't responded. I'm sure he's just busy though. I'll have a message when I get up in the morning.

Reticula: 10:06am: Sigh. I guess Gerald wasn't my soul mate after all. I sent him 15 messages and he hasn't responded yet. Men are so fickle.

What happened next is so hard to write about. If you could see me now, I have tears streaming down my face as I blindly search for the right keys on my keyboard. I've consumed countless boxes of wine waiting, missing him ..... wanting him. No, needing him. His tender lips on mine, his hands spanning the small of my back, and pressing against me his enormous .... All you need to know is that my heart yearned so hard for him I thought it would fucking shatter. I became obsessed and checked my Facebook other folder 700 times a day. Nothing. Eventually I changed my relationship status to "it's complicated."

But the story simply couldn't end this way. It couldn't -- not in a just world. And it didn't.

About 4:30 this morning, a message popped into my regular message box. I had just post-dated and published my post on the glass tank and was about to go to bed when I saw the little red number 1 up there on my toolbar. And you know who it was, don't you? Yes! It was the love of my life, Gerald (last name omitted to preserve his privacy).

Of course he hadn't forgotten about me. Here's what he wrote: 

"Smiles..what i hope to accomplish? anyway i don't send messages to women..I was searching for an old friend of mine when i came across your profile photo..I could not remove my eyes off you so i decided to send you a mail..Hope you are not angry about that..what i hope to accomplish between us is friendship..Hope to hear from you..Gerald."

Isn't that the sweetest thing you've ever seen? He could not remove his eyes off me! (I suspect English may not be his first language, but his intention is the important thing here, right?.)

It felt like a miracle: only one short month later he sent this sweet, smiley message to let me know he's still in love with me.

I changed my Facebook relationship status immediately to "in a relationship" and then called everyone in my family in Iowa to tell them they might need to start fattening up a hog for the wedding. Friendship first, then the hog roast. I hope Gerald isn't a vegetarian.

I haven't answered Gerald yet. He doesn't seem to be an impatient man. However I did open a betting pool with my closest friends to see who could guess the date he'll ask me to marry him I'll get the first request for a plane ticket or money. I know Gerald will be quite eager to meet in person so we can consummate further our friendship.

Want in? Guess the date and if you win ... well, you tell me. What should the prize be?

* I may have paraphrased my message to Gerald, but I only shared on Facebook what I wish I had written. Sorry.


  1. Fun post to read. I would guess somewhere very public like a zoo, or a restaurant for your safety. (It is the New Yorker in me...) All the best on your adventure

    1. Oh, it would have to be karaoke, Winnie. Might as well throw him the final exam right at the beginning, don't you think? I'm thinking maybe we'll start with a duet -- "Jackson" would be a good one....."We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout...." Perfect! ;-)

  2. Hilarious! I just recently found that "Other" folder as well! I wish I hadn't deleted all of the men (hahaha! that sounds so funny to me too!) in there, but I did. Alas, I have no idea if I, too, heard from Gerald.

    Great great post! :)

    1. Sue, it's almost as if you are implying that Gerald would cheat on me. We've been friends for a lot of years, but I really won't tolerate anybody questioning Gerald's devotion to me.

      (Thanks. :-) )

    2. I just have your back, my dear! And I must say, the ESL phrasing does seem familiar to me. But I'm sure it's not YOUR Gerald. I probably just have had a "Gerald" of my own somewhere in those messages....but on second thought,
      it was probably a Gregory or a Garrett.
      I should probably add that it's so OBVIOUS to me that Gerald is completely devoted to you!! COMPLETELY.

    3. I just wouldn't want Gerald to have to let you down, Sue. I'm really thinking of both of you. ;-)

  3. Dear Reticula, it is with greatest pleasure that I leave you a comment here on your blog, for ur blog post has made me laugh; and i wanted you to know that i think u and gerald sound like u will have a great relationship, because facebook is a great relationship starter--particularly if the relationship starts in the "other" folder; i think its a really good sign. Congratulations again to u and gerald, and sorry you didn't try to move forward with the well-educated, working professional...sounds like he could have been a Winner, too. With greatest sincerity, Auto.

    1. LOLOLOL I laughed so hard when I read this. When I share it with Gerald I know he will too.