This past weekend, Texas Belle came down from Cleveland. It is always a flurry of talk and activity when she is here. We made a Target run for the best new beauty finds under $10, per an Allure magazine segment she watched on the Today Show. While I needlepointed, Texas Belle untangled all of her balls of yarn with Thing 3. We ate comfort food and drank vodka (just a little). We spent a lot of time thinking about her word for 2015, a word I hope she reveals soon. Sunday night we went to relaxation yoga with my not-so-favorite yoga instructor. As friends, we push each other to be better people. All good!
On Monday morning we signed her up for on an internet dating service. As a happily married woman, this was quite a revelation to me, seeing the underbelly of new age dating, scrolling through and screening the potential matches. Texas Belle had marked Christian on her profile, said she only drank a drink a week (which in her case is true), and posted a gorgeous photo of herself. The potentially matching men were in the right age range and, per the algorithmic calculations, were in the right demographic. We just had to sift them out. Texas Belle is a strikingly beautiful woman so she had a lot of men drooling. A rule was established between us that Texas Belle’s neighbor has to screen each man who makes it past date 3. Any man who makes it past date 7 has to drive to Columbus, endure an interrogation by me, and undergo Mr. Understanding’s litmus test. A tall order, for sure, the reasons for which might be detailed when Texas Belle is off the dating market, reasons I am refraining from detailing right now.
Then on Monday afternoon, I went to Thing 3’s parent teacher conferences and ran into her German teacher from last year. I had heard she was dating and made the mistake of asking her about it. Nope. She then went on to detail her history of dating on eHarmony, Match.com, and ChristianMingle. No results. She did have a coffee date with one man during which she let him ramble about all his insecurities and left it at that. Anne Lamott’s essay on internet dating sprang immediately to mind. This made me sad.
And then I came home and saw a card Thing 3 had designed for me in her own fancy calligraphy font. She had penned in a phrase my Grandma Susie always said to me, “Pretty is as pretty does.” Next to it, inked in a different direction, was the Scriptural reference for 1 Samuel 16:7.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
This Valentine’s Day, if you are happily married, thank your lucky stars. If you are married and your love tank is on empty, go buy the book The Five Love Languages, if you haven’t already, and go on a single friend’s dating website and see what you are not missing. I cannot stress how grim the dating pool is if you are over forty – men posting selfies taken in their cars. (Really? It was too hard to get out of the car and have someone else take the photo? Egads!) If you are single, try a new approach to sifting out the potential mates by looking at the heart. Avoid the box that says “instant chemistry” and tick the one that says you can wait for the chemistry to develop. At best you might find a spouse and at worst you might end up with a friend.
This post is dedicated to Mr. Understanding who is the light of my life and Texas Belle who WILL one day find hers.