Post-divorce, ten years ago, I needed to prove to myself that I was still loveable. Being a good, Catholic girl, well, at least the Catholic part is true, I signed on to a Christian online dating service. Rigorously honest, I listed my challenges as well as my attributes, added a picture and into cyber space I flew.
The following day, I had a response from a fairly attractive man of my age who lived about an hour away (let’s call him Bane for reasons that will be clear). We chatted for several hours and then he broke the news to me. It seemed that Bane would be travelling to South Africa for six months on business and our ‘relationship’ would have to continue via the internet. Damn! Well, a guy on the computer was certainly better than no guy at all and why in the world would I, should I, be fantasising about love at this point in time?
We chatted often, averaging several hours per day and eventually he began calling me. He explained that he had ‘business phone account’ and I hadn’t any reason to think otherwise. I giggled like a pig-tailed school girl, said, “Oh, you’re so sweet,” an obscene amount of times and even found myself with a heart all a-flutter.
Approximately one month into my ‘affair,’ if you will, Bane called from a hospital room where he had been taken after collapsing. He had left his health insurance card in the states and wouldn’t be treated without a monetary deposit. “Of course I will pay you back. I’m a Christian!” he implored. Yes, yes, I sent him money. Days later and with Bane on the mend, we resumed where we had left off. “The cheque was in the mail,” you see. Shall I continue on with this moronically foolish tale? Oh well, I’ve already taken red paint and written ‘IDIOT’ on my forehead. “Love is blind,” they say. I don’t know who ‘they’ are but damn, ‘they’ are correct.
My almost adult son and my friends pleaded with me to see the light. “You don’t understand!” I would retort. “He’s fallen on hard times and he WILL reimburse me.” Need I say that altogether I ‘lent’ Bane $1,500.00? He needed clothing for the warm, humid weather. He needed vaccinations against Tsetse flies, etc. MY man was not going to fall ill from Malaria if I had any way to prevent that. He was not prepared for his African sojourn and I understood that.
Of course, the obvious question was, “Where is YOUR money and why can’t you access it?” Do you know that never crossed my mind as I continued to be his pawn? Dear Lord, what was I thinking? Had my senses turned to pig slop? Could I truly have been that desperate for masculine attention? Yes AND yes.
This all came to a head when a friend contacted the dating website. It seems that Bane had recently been banned after many complaints. At least I wasn’t alone in my dementia and my embarrassment.
I know now;
I’m a sucker for a needy man.
Bane was in the U.S. all along.
I’m a hopeless romantic.
Bane was a con artist that scammed women as his means of income.
I’m a product of, ‘live and learn’.
AND, the Tsetse fly is not responsible for Malaria!