My laptop doesn’t have antennae, but that was me each time I saw a new email from “Dwayne” my new Goodreads “friend” and erotica connoisseur. Well, I typically keep my blouse buttoned up because it’s getting cold around here and I have enough health problems.

I thought it was cruel to make you wait too long to see what happened between Creepy Tom Jones Look-Alike and his innocent naive idiot Goodreads target (me).

When last we left the ping-pong emails, I asked “Dwayne” how he found me among the 11 million members of Goodreads.

At 5:12 he responds:

ii did a search and liked your picture 
well if you dont like erotica, you probably won’t like me

Whoo boy. It was clear he didn’t even look at the books I had read. Wasn’t this a site for book readers? This guy was trawling gravatars and using “erotica” as a code word for “sex,” which I suppose it is. He found my gravatar, saw my blonde bangs and blues eyes and thought I was just another blue-eyed blonde desperately seeking anonymous S.E.X. and a good book to read afterwards.

Book clubs are so passe. I’m into book tubs, the perfect end to an evening of “Dwayne” time on Goodreads, don’t you think?

Perhaps I should have ended it there, but I was raised to be polite. I never hung up on anyone…on purpose. (I can’t be responsible for Vonage and their propensity to drop calls.)

I responded:

Not only am I old-fashioned, I’m old. Almost 55 to be exact. And I’m married [not technically, but what’s a little lying between cyber-stalkers and victims?]. Given the situation, should I unfriend you or should you unfriend me? See how old-fashioned I am? I don’t even know the proper protocol. [My motto: always be nice to creepsters who could ruin your life in ways I can’t even begin to imagine.]

I may be a “newb” as my son called me, but I know enough about the internet to know that people aren’t always who they represent themselves to be and they can find you even if you don’t give out personal information. I’ve seen The Net with Sandra Bullock.

His last response to me was at 5:42:

you should if you want to
wow married and you look hott for 55
i had a few older lovers who were married
but do what you feel best doing

That’s when I knew for sure he wanted more than just my mind.

And it wasn’t for my excellent balancing skills or fashion sense, either.

Here’s what I learned from my experience:

  1. If you are looking to “hook up” in cyberspace, don’t limit yourself to traditional dating sites. Craft sites, home improvement sites, food sites–imagine the possibilities!
  2. If you’re not looking to “hook up” in cyberspace, pick a gravatar that is scary and make up a profile that reads like you’re the dangerous one.
  3. If you don’t know what cyberspace “hooking up” really means, and if you are still using the term “cyberspace,” have a long talk with one of you kids.
  4. The internet is like an ocean. There are guppies like me and there are sharks like “Dwayne.”  To survive you need a savvy and/or a take-no-prisoners personality. Since I have neither, I’m totally sunk…or belly-up.

I filed a complaint with Goodreads, but they haven’t gotten back to me. “Dwayne” is no longer my “friend.” He unfriended me before I could unfriend him. So much for me doing what I feel is best. Is it strange that I feel a little rejected right now? Maybe if I imagine him as pukoid loser sitting in front of his computer all day in his messy apartment I’ll get over my feelings of being dumped.

Yeah. I feel better now.

Now I’m left with a decision. What should I do to prevent this kind of thing from happening again? Here’s here I need your help.

I await your response. My future writing and your future reading depend on it! No pressure…

What? Is she saying what I think she’s saying? We must do something to keep this sweet child at Our beck and call.