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He wore a black shirt and white shorts. I wore a white shirt with black capris. We met at the beach concession stand, just as the Super-Harvest Blood Moon fully eclipsed. It was dark, but our white garments divulged our identities. He was Mr. 97%, the man whose answers to hundreds of questions on the online dating site OkCupid matched 97 percent of mine.
Earlier that day, he wrote that he would like to talk on the phone to get better acquainted. I suggested we could talk that night, but later hearing about the exciting celestial event occurring that night, proposed a meet-up at the beach instead. He agreed.
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Just before our rendezvous, he tells me a divorcing and depressed neighbor asked to watch half of the eclipse with him; he would meet me a little later for the full eclipse. I said, “Please feel free to invite him or her.” I’m open to meeting new people in my new community. Why not? Will it become a cosmic threesome?
He showed up alone, which I suppose is better for a first date. I was prepared: beach blanket, flashlight and bug spray. No telescope, but others gathered for the event were sharing theirs. It was a happening.
Theoretically, this could be heavenly romantic. Please, please … let it be heavenly romantic. I always dreamed I would find my special man on a beach.
As the evening progressed, I noticed Mr. 97% was doing 97 percent of the talking. So that’s what OkCupid’s statistic really indicates. Mr. 99%, the guy from the site I first connected with, talked 99 percent of the time; Mr. 97% talked 97 percent of the time. Should I be searching for Mr. 50%?
On paper, Mr. 97% was appealing. I liked what he wrote. He was educated and thoughtful. Although he was shorter than my preference and hair-challenged, I decided he was worth the investment of one date.
What I learned is the percentage game is truly only a game. Emails and phone calls give me an almost insignificant glimpse into compatibility. It turned out we had no chemistry, and neither of us could figure out why. It’s there, or it isn’t.
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Going forward, I hope to get face to face as quickly as possible. That’s the only real way to cut to the chase and know if I want to be chased.
Although the full eclipse made the night unusually dark, as the moon waxed and the clouds dissipated, I think I saw a glimpse of light.
“Enlighten up,” I consoled myself. Look before your heart leaps. Don’t be disappointed. There’s another Super Blood Moon full eclipse in 18 years. I should surely be in love by then.
Coming Oct. 15: Debunking one myth about online dating.
*Names and identifying information have been changed to protect privacy and security.
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