Online dating is wrought with frustrations. You like someone and swipe right on their profile, but they do not swipe right on yours. Perhaps you both swipe right and begin texting, but then for some reason, the texting stops.
The one thing that rarely happens, at least in my case, is that the woman will like me first.
Brenda was an exception, which should have caused suspicion, but then again, miracles do happen.
At 52 years young, Brenda was in the age range of women that I would prefer to date, and she does have a great smile. So, I responded. However, it isn’t easy to start a conversation through a dating site app, so we decided to share phone numbers to text each other. Brenda didn’t waste any time sending the first text message.
A couple of smiling photos are usually required to make sure the person on the dating app is the same person you are texting. These photos are also important because of their spontaneity; selfies are not usually photoshopped.
Of course, if a person asks for a photo, then they are obliged to reciprocate, and Brenda made sure to position the camera in such a way as to capture what she thinks will be her bestselling asset.
The dance is delicate, and getting enough information without giving too much information to a stranger is challenging. The quest is to see if you both like the same foods, entertainment, and recreation activities is important. Location is also essential, whether or not you are a 5-minute or 45-minute drive from each other.
As it turned out, Brenda’s location was something I missed in her profile, showing that she lives in Fontana, California, a three-hour drive from Las Vegas.
As I said, the “getting-to-know-you” part is important and usually lasts a few days to a week or two before you start divulging more revealing details about yourself. But it did not take long for Brenda to get right to the point and began by playing the sympathy card with her sad story.
“Hun,” that one word is such a turn-off. In fact, it disturbed me so much that I missed a vital clue about her in that exchange. See if you can pick it up, and later in the story, I will tell you what it is, at the time of my discovery.
I didn’t really have time time to analyze the previous text because her next message was quite to the point and an effort on her part to move this process along. It took me a short time to compose my answer, and I decided it was time to hit the brakes a bit and slow this train down.
We had only been chatting for three days, and she wants to know my plans. I didn’t expect to hear from her after my reply, but I was wrong.
After I complained about being woken up in the middle of the night and losing sleep, the only comment she could make was, “Oh okay.”
It is hard to tell from the screenshot, but after I did not reply to her unconcerned answer, she decided to show interest in what I was doing. The little motherly concern was a nice touch at the end, but that “hun” word still rubbed was wrong.
However, I must say, she was persistent, and over the next few days, I was greeted with a cheerful “Good Morning” and a “Good Night” at the end of the day. On the sixth day, she turned up the heat.
She followed up the text with a couple of photos to keep me interested.
Again, the next couple of days consisted of a lot of small talk, the weather, and my dog, Mocha, being afraid of the fireworks that kids in the neighborhood have been shooting off just before the July 4th holiday.
It has now been a little over a week, and Brenda has hung in there. I will admit to being a bit suspicious but flattered by the attention of this woman. Then once again, she tried to pin me down. We had come this far, so I decided that I would turn up the heat myself, play a little offense, and see where this is going.
But, as you will see, she once again tried to pin me down. So I decided to call her bluff and see if she would either back off or call my hand.
Brenda was not jumping at the chance to drive to Barstow but instead talked about patience, discipline, love, and harmony. Over the past couple of years, I have had dozens of these types of emails from potential online matches who stress that age and distance don’t matter to two people in love. However, the English and grammar are usually far from perfect, and you can tell the other person is not from this country. Brenda’s English was not perfect but not too bad and quite average for many Americans.
So, I decided to try once again to see how far I could push this situation with a very particular concept of my idea of a relationship.
However, even after my discouraging text about how a long-distance relationship would not work, she came back swinging and once again tried turning up the heat.
BOOM, there they were, the jugs to beat all jugs. It was the money shot that would melt my heart and win me over.
However, little did she know that I am extremely turn-off by big boobs and Grand Canyon size cleavage. My reply of “Wow” was not, as she thought, of appreciation, but that of shock and surprise. Disgust aside, let the game play on. I replied with another come-on and she volleyed with a verbal tease.
But she did check her schedule and two days later asked me for a little help to make our meeting happen.
The fact that I said I was struggling with my bills didn’t bother her too much, and with the mention of an IRA, she was on with her game.
But the more I began to dig, the more she began to fall apart.
I now had her on the run and she began to scramble.
Brenda was now in a corner and I was not sure how she would respond. Then, moments later, she sent a photo of a woman’s hand holding a California driver’s license. I have blown it up for clarity.
The internet is a wonderful thing; three quick five minutes searches of the California DMV, Google Maps, and her name told me everything that I needed to know.
First was the 2015 obituary notice for a Brenda Roberson who lived in Fontana, close to the same age, hair color, and facial features.
California drivers’ licenses are issued for a five-year period and expire on the birthday
Her name was listed wrong as the last name (LN) is listed on top and the first name (FN) is listed on the bottom
Newport Ave is a short residential street in Fontana with only ten houses, but the addresses start at 8806 and end at 8897
The zip code for Fontana is 92335
When cornered, never admit guilt.
When the facts are not in your favor, put the blame on someone else.
And that was the end of the conversation, she didn’t respond again.
By the way, this is about the time that I discovered the missed clue early on in the text messaging. I did a little calculation regarding her supposed age of 52 and the fact that she said she moved to California with her husband 36 years earlier, which meant that she married at the age of 16 or younger.
At this point, if this were a movie, Humphry Bogart, dressed in his signature trench coat and fedora, would take a long drag on his cigarette, toss it to the ground, turn, and walk into the darkness as the credits rolled across the screen.