It seems all my friends are trawling these days on dating sites and I have a lot of chum to chew about. I’ve vowed that if I ever have a single life, I will never go out to sea. Take Bob, by far the best fisherman out there and my gf’s ex. She left, he wasn’t ready, and with a broken heart, a heavy dose of sexual rejection, he did exactly what men do to heal—they fish the sea of women. He’s not into the catch and release program and he’s floundered the last month with at least a dozen fish, some still on ice, in his walk-in-cooler. I know he’s not exaggerating; my cousin, an experienced fisherman has told me many times the lure can be a phone call, a cheap dinner and a bottle of wine. “Dawn,” he said, “there are so many women out there!”
So when Bob showed me his line and hook, and made his cast, I had no doubt they’d feast on his bait. He listed his income in the 99% that most of us 1%er’s despise yet covet and then characterized himself as loving, generous and out for a long term relationship with a woman who could travel the world with him and visit exotic places. They swarmed.
Bob responded, and with a heavy heart telling them he was still in love with his scornful wife and terribly lonely. Men, he cast the perfect line. This wounded guppy created the perfect feeding ground for bottom dwellers. Woman #1 responds. He tells me she is self-made, a professional gambler, living with her aged parents, who she lovingly tends to and runs an internet business on EBay. I’m sitting right there when she sends him a picture of her at that moment in her panties. A Black lace piece of dental floss. I look down at my crotch imagining what my husband might think if I sent him my shot, right at that moment—jockey microfiber granny panties. I tuck away the idea of doing something fun for David and went back to Bob’s plight. Hi mind was wound in the Black lace but my logical prefrontal cortex was screaming. So I translate: Compulsive gambler, lost so much money she has to live her parents basement and sell her garage sale finds to fill her gas tank. I add that she might be selling her used underwear.”
“But she doesn’t drink,” he retorts.
“Oh,” I say, “she’s a recovering alcoholic too.”
A week later he tells me I was right. His revelation came after he found himself eating alone in the casino dining room and after she swiped the tip off the table for “just one more game.” The evening was topped off with wild sex after she beat him at strip poker and out of a couple hundred dollars. “How did that happen?” I asked.
“Every time I lost a piece of clothing I had to pay her fifty dollars.”
By now he’s got a new one on the line. “She’s really down to earth,” he tells me. He describes her life: She doesn’t care about money— which was a revelation after her near-death experience, after the bus hit her, and after the state took her four kids when she woke from the three month coma, couldn’t recall her own name but had to start again by working in a soup kitchen and living in a studio.
“How old is she?” I ask.
He responded but all I processed was “still fertile.”
“Did you use a condom?” I asked.
“Oh my God,” he said. “I never thought about that.”
Somehow my mind conjured up the predatory image. Nothing more juicy than a fat wallet and a desperate man.
“Bob, it’s like the food chain. You think your landing plenty of fish but they have to feed too.”
As the weeks went by Bob got tired of his expedition. “It’s like a full time job,” he told me. “Depressing as hell.”
He turned the iPod towards me so I could read it.
All the right words were there; Attractive, divorced, financially secure, wanted honest long term relationship, loved to travel to exotic places. . . .”
He scrolled up to the photo. It was his ex.