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It would have been easy to burnish the truth, but she presented herself honestly, from her age (57) and hobbies ("dancing, rock collecting") to her financial status ("self sufficient").
The picture — outdoor photo, big smile — was real, and recent.
"It is kind of a strange way to meet people," she wrote, "but it's not as cold as hanging around the produce department at the Kroger's." She also mentioned the deception she'd already encountered on previous dates — "lots of false advertising or 'bait and switch' folks," she wrote.
"It is amazing what people will do without conscience.
And her pitch was straightforward: Looking for a life partner …
successful, spiritually minded, intelligent, good sense of humor, enjoys dancing and travelling. In those first weeks, she exchanged messages and a few calls with men, and even met some for coffee or lunch.
The restaurant is a white painted weatherboard, simple but well-kept, set on the edge of a lake, separated from it by an expansive deck, dotted (not packed) with tables and comfortable chairs….
And she was full of questions, about him and about online dating in general.
She resolved to be pickier, only contacting men who were closely matched — 90 percent or more, as determined by the algorithm pulling the strings behind her online search. Back in college, she'd studied computer science and psychology, and she considered herself pretty tech-savvy.
She had a website for her business, was on Facebook, carried a smartphone.
The photo showed a trim, silver-haired man of 61 with a salt-and-pepper beard and Wayfarer-style shades. And something else: He was a "100% match." Whoever he was, the computer had decided he was the one. Then, this message appeared when she logged on to her account. Thank you so much for the email and I am really sorry for the delay in reply, I don't come on here often, smiles ...
I really like your profile and I like what I have gotten to know about you so far.