Betrayed

After reading the news that the online dating site “Ashley Madison” was hacked, my initial thoughts focused on security. Doesn’t it feel like we are living through an epidemic of profound hacking? Internationally, banks, governments, businesses, and now dating sites have been compromised. Is nothing safe? Is nothing sacred? I heard myself breathe that deep “Here-we-go-again!” sigh. But it quickly dawned on me; this is less an issue of online security and one of online stupidity.

Ashley Madison is a site for cheaters. Hackers hold the detailed information including names, sexual fantasies and who-linked-up-with-whom for some 37 million individuals, er, idiots world-wide. “Idiots” is a strong word. The question for me is this: Why would 37 million cheaters or cheater-wannabes search online for a partner to have an affair? Is it because we all know and trust that the internet is such a safe place?

Let’s put the numbers in perspective. In the U.S., over 36 million folks watched the Oscars this year. On Memorial Day, 37 million drivers hit the road. It’s the number of roughly the population of all of California, the most populous state in the nation. Staggeringly, 37 million people internationally would trust their most private information, secrets and desires to a Web site, knowing that they can’t even bank, work, or shop at Target without their data being stolen. Go figure!

We really do have big problems.

Kathy Galgano

July 20, 2015

Online Dating a/k/a “So, You Wanna Date?”

A few friends of mine and I were chatting over dinner the other night. Several told the group their experiences in the online dating scene. After many stories, laughs, a couple of bottles of wine and a round of hugs, I walked to my car silently cheering that I am happily married. Thank God I don’t have to handle the online dating angst; I don’t think I could do it!

For starters, my friends exclaimed that people in the dating pool absolutely do respond to their profiles and bios. Nine times out of ten, they told me, interested persons write scintillating missives such as: “Are you interested in me?” and “Do you want to date?”

Wait a minute. “Do you want to date?” This is the response you get to the bio that you took great pains to write after engaging in months of deep soul-searching? What, are we in first grade? The best conversation starter a person looking for love can wrap his or her little typing fingers around is, “Let’s go out.”? This is the way to woo a potential special someone? Now, perhaps I’m wrong, but I thought the point of posting a little bio is to provide discerning souls an opportunity to see if there is a commonality of interests. Does the profile author show a sense of humor? Is exercise, or music, or movies or travel important to this person? Do they like books? It doesn’t seem to be that difficult. How can individuals looking to share their life with someone be so bereft of the gift of gab that they can’t respond to any of these points? It’s not like they’re showing up at somebody’s doorstep with flowers for crying out loud.

Or perhaps these responders’ MO is a blanket reply; it’s easy to “Control ‘V’” a “Do you want to date?” one-liner and see where that lands you. I suppose there are calculated odds as to how many of these missives a person looking for a date needs to send out to garner a response. Think of all the time saved when you don’t have to read the bios! Just click on one, reply with your zinger, and move on to the next. It’s not a strategy that embraces discernment, but maybe it will work for a night at the movies, someday. Plus there’s no rejection. Maybe one of my friends should add, “I like to calculate the odds!” on a bio. It might lead to an interesting conversation. Well, whether or not one of my friends might want to start a conversation with anyone who chooses to honor her with a first grade sentence is another thing.

But it wasn’t just the replies to the biographies that got us going. The biggest roars came when people started to open up and state their own personal desires that would make for perfect relationships — but didn’t have the guts to state. Over more laughter, a list of non-negotiables began to appear.

I’m looking forward to sharing a glass of wine with my Sweetie who loves being handy in the kitchen! In fact, I hope my Sweetie is so handy in the kitchen that I’ll never have to step in that room again.

I’m looking forward to wrapping my arms around my special someone who embraces invigorating winter mornings and enthusiastically plunges into the morning chill to collect the paper from a snowy lawn and lovingly scrape ice off both our cars.

I’m looking forward to spending quality time with my true love, a good-natured and caring soul who is not afraid to apply a prescription medicinal cream to my dog’s backside.

I’m looking forward to living my life with my soul mate, that loving someone who is adept at unclogging relationships and toilets.

Kathy Galgano

January 24, 2015