Friday, March 03, 2006

Meeting people offline - part I

First of all, you should read this article about online meetings; when you're done -or if you have read it already or if you think you can handle online meetings very well- you may read on.

You've been chatting with your virtual friend for a while, days, months or years even and finally you have an opportunity to meet him/her in person. You've been enjoying your conversations so much, you've even talked on the phone and you're thinking this meeting is going to be great and you're already planning the next one. Then it happens, you two meet. **laughing** **laughing again** **can't help but laugh** ok ok...

Now first of all, you're surprised to see how different this person looks from his pictures or even from how he/she looked on web cam! You're discovering all the not so flattering details of his/her face or body. Still, it's the same great person, and you have a great time. Well... maybe not.

So far, I've "met" hundreds of people online, I've stayed in touch with dozens and I've met two in person, yes only two so far. -I don't count this one person I only exchanged greetings with-. If every thing had gone as planned, I should have met a total of six people, two Haitians, three Pakistanis, and one German.
Did they live up to my expectations? Not all of them. My expectations were probably too high!

I'll start with one meeting that didn't happen.

I came across a website called SingleMe, I liked the look of the site, and the registration was free. I filled out my profile and that was it; they did suggest a few people they thought I would be interested in but frankly, no, I wasn't interested at all. Like most of those sites, you can't contact a person unless you have a premium membership which I didn't have. But you could show interest to someone but that's another story...

I was contacted by a total of three people, two Haitians, one living in California (USA), one living in Port-au-Prince (Haiti) and a Canadian living in somewhere in Canada. The first person sent me a simple message to which I answered. He's a Haitian physician who came back to the country after having spent many years abroad. We had this amazing e-correspondence. There were days when we wrote twice to each-other, and I'm not talking about four-lined messages no no no, I'm talking about long missives.

Email exchanges went on for some time until he gave me his phone number...he was having problems with his ISP and staying in touch through the internet was not easy. Some of the messages I sent him were even returned. So I did one thing that would determine the future of our "relationship", I called him. Just as he answered, I knew I did not want to talk to him for too long. Yes, it was that bad! There was something about his voice, about his tone, about his carelessness... He talked endlessly about himself telling details that had no importance and didn't even take the time to ask about me! Oh! I'm not kidding, he really did not ask me about myself, nothing, he was just too busy telling me the insignificant details of his evening, I was so bored.... I couldn't even cut him! I was trapped. Still, somehow he found me interesting (!) and wanted to meet me.

This happened over a year ago and until this day we have not met. He did suggest we took lunch together but I did not feel comfortable with the idea. He stopped writing me and I have "lost" his numbers.

I wrote the other Haitian once or maybe twice but I knew ever since I saw his pictures that I was not interested in writing him but I forced myself to do so thinking "no do not ignore him because his Haitian or because his hair is long or because you don't like his style ..." But eventually I stopped writing him and he did not insist.

As for the Canadian I don't remember whether I even wrote him once. His English was "funny", strange, and he looked really scary in his picture, he was standing looking straight at the camera with his arms spread apart at about ten centimeters from his body. He really looked scary like he was about to attack someone. His words did not help reassure me so I decided it was better not to answer him. I couldn't believe those people contacted me even though I did not put a picture in my profile. I ultimately closed my account on SingleMe, I really had no use for it.

Next time I'll tell you about one meeting that did happen.



Valerie said...

I've had a couple online meetings, and one very special one, that lead me to my love.

Marguerite Jasmin said...

hey Valery,
I think that's sweet, I just saw your blog.
Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

Sudhu said...

Very interesting Post.. :D. Would that be SingleMe as in Single Me out.. sorry bad one!

I do not understand your anxiousness to meet people online in the virtual world. Why not look for people in the real world itself. Your disappointments (if we can call them) are basically because of your expectations from the person. Lets not get into philosophy, I could use an e-pal who mails me regularly and you've already seen my Half-monty pic ;)...

Just kidding.. Cant wait to read the sequel to this post.

Anonymous said...

How did know it was safe to meet people in this fashion?

Anonymous said...

That's so nice, Valerie but what about caution?

Anonymous said...

Hey is someone out there that wants to have a conversation about dating this way? It is not wrong but I am somewhat leary about it.

Marguerite Jasmin said...

Hi Skay thanks for the email. And yes, first and foremost I do recommend caution.