Perceptions: Online Dating

“Why is he on a dating site? Have you met him? Does he look like this?” Laughing Sharon reached for her smart phone only to have Gwen move it out of reach. Natural light streamed through the picture window in the break room. The small room was filled with appliances, a small two slot toaster, medium size fridge, which was always packed to capacity with leftover food, half bottles of 1 liter soda or juice, and supermarket plastic bags. The circular table although pushed against the wall took up most of the space in the room. A large white electric stove with oven, microwave, and a large stainless steel sink took up the rest of the available space in the room. Overhead small cupboards and floor to ceiling long cabinets also lined the small room. The two women sat close together. Sharon could smell Gwen’s overpowering perfume mixed with the smell of their lunches.

“I haven’t met him yet; but do you think he really looks like that?” Sharon asked skeptically.

“How tall is he?”

“His profile says 6 feet 2 inches, but men lie all the time about their height.” Women lie about their age, but for some ridiculous reason men lie about their height. I mean it’s not like you won’t know that they are nowhere near 6 feet when you see them in person. Why do men continually do that?

“He does look tall.”

Sharon laughs, “You can’t even see how tall he is. The picture just shows his upper body.” Gwen is right about his attributes, if it really was him. Gwen was also right about questioning why he’s on a dating sight. Ha! Who am I to question anyone’s validity about anything? Maybe he’s like me, damaged goods. I really don’t think of myself as damaged goods, do I? How do I get Gwen away from this line of questioning?

“And what an upper body he’s showing off. God, the man is hot!”

“Yeah, he’s okay.” I promised myself not to date anymore white men. One was way more than enough. God I wished she’d just shut up about him already. Yes, his short blond spiky hair looks great on him and his scruffy unshaven jaw brings out his ruggedness. His features are very arresting especially his hazel eyes and plump lips, but I’m way pass dating handsome white guys. “I promised myself not to date any more white men.”

“What’s wrong with white men? Then again, I think you can break that rule if all white guys looked like him. What’s his name?” Gwen inquired still looking intently at the picture as if she was trying to engrave the image into her blond head. Gwen carried a slim built and was beyond average height. She was always looking for tall men, but all the guys attracted to her were of average height. Her search for the perfect tall guy was a running joke around the school. Her looks: almond shaped blue eyes, perky nose, and wide Julia Roberts’ mouth could only hold her dates for one or two dinners.

“Marcus Johnson.” Sharon wondered why she had showed Gwen the picture. Maybe it was a case of insanity, but who knew that Gwen would have a hang up about looks.

“Marcus Johnson? You sure that name isn’t made up? It sounds false, plus he doesn’t look like a Johnson. Just look at him. He’s blond, muscular, tanned, and gorgeous!”

“Looks aren’t everything.” Shit! What was her problem? Sharon wanted to take back her phone and delete the photograph.

Smiles sarcastically, “Says a beautiful woman.”

Surprised Sharon said indignantly, “I’m not beautiful!”

“You do have a mirror right? Come on, I hate when beautiful women don’t acknowledge their beauty. It’s not vain to know your assets and flaunt them. Hey, if I looked like you, I would be having the time of my life.”

Didn’t Gwen have a mirror? She had those legs that women would kill for without the six inch heels to mar the perfection. All her height was in her legs. “You really think I should respond.” I will not respond to that man, his photo and all emails will be deleted from my phone as soon as I get back to my classroom.

“Okay, I’m not going to acknowledge that you’ve changed the subject. Yes I think you should contact him. What’s wrong with two gorgeous people hanging out together?”

“It’s been years since I’ve dated.”

“Okay, so I’m assuming you’ve had some sort of bad experience. Don’t make the mistake so many women make— don’t tarnish every guy with the same brush? Girl, if I did that I would probably become a lesbian. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I love men too much to give them up.”

“You are so sick.” Can we get off this topic already? I hate when single women get preachy. Don’t preach to me when you’re still single. Obviously you haven’t figured it out yet otherwise you would be married or at least in a stable or permanent relationship.

“Don’t get me wrong,” said Gwen, “I won’t date a guy with negative energy or bad character, but I don’t think the color of someone’s skin defines a person. You know what I mean? For instance take Dr. Livingston.” Sharon shuddered at the thought. No thank you. Gwen paused before she continued, “He’s great with men, but he treats us women like we have no brain, only boobs. Do you ever notice how he doesn’t look us in the eye?” Sharon turned away to stare toward the break room door. Have I ever, thought Sharon? “Well, I don’t think he knows that my eyes are blue. He’s so busy looking at my breasts to notice that I have eyes.”

“He does that to you as well?” asked Sharon astonished. Do we really need to talk about Dr. Livingston? Blah blah blah… I wish she would shut up already. Dr. Livingston was one man Sharon didn’t want to meet in a dark alley. Dr. Livingston seemed like a nice guy; but there was something about his green steady eyes. They never blinked. He reminded Sharon of someone from her past. Someone she hoped never to see again. Dr. Livingston had replaced Mr. Howard after many years as a school Principal. Who would’ve thought that Mr. Howard was a pedophile; but the police had found pornography on his home computer after some kid said Mr. Howard touched him inappropriately. Mr. Howard swore that he was innocent, but no one believed him least of all Sharon. She had been in a similar situation where she was abused, and no one believed her; at least this time the kid won.

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