What have I gotten from Internet dating? After wading through hundreds of responses and suffering dozens of achingly dull first dates, I have gotten some great (albeit truncated) sex, OK, sure. But more than anything it's brought quite a lot of heartache (yes, there really is a heart somewhere inside this tough woman exterior). When I asked The Pirate what it is about people who use the Internet for dating, he said, we're detached. I'd say that's putting it mildly, and am often tempted to describe this as withdrawal bordering on the sociopathic. My specialty, English-language Craigslist ads in both Berlin and Madrid, seemed to draw the oddest collection of misfits and chronically placeless ex-pats. Well, I always did like strange men.
My last ad was right about this time of year last year, and I am virtually certain I'll never place one again. But this time in Berlin, with my housing falling through and Craigslist being one of the easiest ways to pick up an easy short-term sublets, especially at odd times of the month, well, hmmm... my mouse strayed toward Men Seeking Women. What could it hurt to just check out what idiocies These Men were up to? I had an interesting exchange with a hair fetishist, and was all set for a sorely needed hair make-over, when he admitted he was married and his wife wouldn't approve (sigh). I nixed that, albeit reluctantly, and will have to drag myself into a Berlin hair salon for another hair massacre, unless I can hold out until I hit the U.S.
On a whim, I responded to a second ad awash in good old straightforward American crudity. I really have no idea why; other than a certain carpe diem sensibility, it didn't particularly appeal to me. I must have been ovulating. Or maybe there just comes a time when the thinking 40-something woman says to herself, I simply cannot play one single game more! So here I am once again in sexless Berlin having, well, sex. For hours and hours. Until the sun comes up and goes down again (which, it being Berlin near the winter solstice, is still an acceptable hour to lunch in Madrid)! And it's with someone who doesn't seem to think this means I will steal his soul for all time. Oh dear, oh dear, this is definitely throwing a monkey-wrench into the vehemency with which I repeat my daily mantra, "Madrid is my home, I live in Madrid," with the hopes that some day it will finally make it into my subconscious. Berlin, dark, wet and sad, a strange sightless sea creature masquerading as a siren, keeps calling my name.