I met my fiance on eHarmony in 2008. He had been on it for about four weeks when we connected, but I had been going at it for a year and a half. After my mom died in 2006, I briefly dated a very nice guy who was totally wrong for me. When I ended that farce, I figured I had to do something serious to find someone to be in my life. A friend suggested Black People Meet because she had gotten a lot of dates that way, and “they love big women on BPM!” I figured I could do a lot worse than to spend time being wooed by dudes who liked big women.
Within hours of putting up my profile on BPM, I was getting bombarded by men named “SugarMackDaddy2000” and “BigChocoPoppa.” They all wanted to do things like rub my feet, cook my eggs, and strip for me. Most of them wanted to strip for me actually, and that was just not a turn on, so after the last message featuring a guy in satin shorts cradling a teddy bear between his thighs came in, I checked out and sprinted for eHarmony.
I had done the personality profile on a lark once but never completed my profile. This time, I propped up my credit card and went all in. Within a few days, I was connected to a photographer. We chatted for about a week, then made a date for lunch. It went well, and we made a second date for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He gave me his website URL, so I could check out his work. Imagine my surprise when I discovered he wasn’t very good. Except that at the bottom of the webpage, there was a double super secret link, and it led to a page full of beautiful, artistic, well-crafted nudes. Hmmm…can’t photograph a beach, but give him a nipple, and he’s Ansel Adams? Trouble. Indeed, it was. When we met at the Met, he followed me around like a stalker, lurking just over my shoulder, then mocking all the art I favored. I ended that nightmare at the Temple of Dendur.
The next guy showed up a year later, after months and months of IT specialists from some town in California that bills itself as the Garlic Capital of the World. This one was a ski instructor who had broken his leg and was trolling eHarmony for friends while he was laid up. We chatted a lot and had great conversations. We were days away from talking on the phone when he admitted that he was moving from Colorado to Nevada to live with another woman he was chatting with on eHarmony. Her name was Bonnie, and he was pretty sure it wouldn’t work out, but he didn’t have anything to lose, so why not? Yeah, I was pretty sick of internet dating at that point.
I was just about to give up on the humiliation of eHarmony when I met Peter. We had our first conversation two days before Valentine’s Day, our first date two days after. We made plans to meet in Grand Central because he said he had a fantasy of us meeting under the clock at the info booth in the main concourse. He got there first, and as I approached him from a distance, my first thought was, “Great, apparently ‘not my type’ is my type.” He was not a feast for the eyes: his pants were too short, he had a big tummy, his hair was thinning, and he was wearing a messenger bag like a messenger. But he was reading a book in a crowded train station, and I thought that was kind of sweet. He took me out for a steak dinner, which I loved, then instead of my getting the train home, I decided we should get dessert and sit outside to wait for the lunar eclipse that was coming that night. We got cheese pie from Juniors because we’d never heard of cheese pie, then went up Park Avenue, sat next to a car dealership with a llama in the window, ate pie and waited for the moon to change colors. It was freezing cold and delightful, and he was funny and warm.