Do I look Stupid? guy keeps messaging me.

As a, ahem, best-selling author, I’m supposed to maintain a media presence. I think my publishers take this to mean I spend my time telling  people on the internet to read my book. In reality, it means I can hang out on various social websites and still convince myself I’m working.

One interesting thing I’ve found is that any site where there is a dating element,  a woman who is over fifty seems to be the attraction for a certain type of man.

He’s always handsome, always white, prosperous, athletic. He usually has photos of himself addressing a business conference whose name is just out of focus. There will be photos of him in a suit, and perhaps some of him in a luxury car or taking part in an expensive sport. His profile will say that he believes in true love, is searching for his soul mate and wants to shower the right woman in love and luxury.

And for some reason, he’s fascinated by me. My smile blows him away. My gentle  spirit and loving nature (don’t laugh) shine through my photos. He thinks I am the woman who will heal his wounded spirit and make him part of a family again. He has been living in heartbreak ever since his wife died of cancer or an auto accident, leaving behind a beautiful daughter. There is always a beautiful daughter. Sometimes the wife had cancer but still died in an auto accident.

He says “auto accident” even if he’s claiming to be English.

He wants to know if I’m married, if I’m a good God-fearing woman, if I love children.

By contrast, the real men on those sites tell me I look hot, and would I like a photo of their cock? Or be interested in some cyber sex? Or even the real thing?

The grieving widower is an interesting creature. While local men call me Babe, Hot stuff, Sexy or Gorgeous, he always calls me Pretty. As in, “hello pretty, tell me about you.” In spite of his advanced degree and high profile job as a journalist or engineer or occasionally as a US Air Force general, his English is lacking a little something. Like punctuation. And fluency. He uses phrases like, “I look forward to reading from you.”

The tragic widower wants to get to know me better, but thinks we should move to facebook where we can chat more comfortably. Or by email. Or skype. He’s not particularly interested in my phone number, but really wants to know my facebook details. Nothing to do with the fact that facebook knows virtually everything about me, from full name to date of birth to where I live and who my friends are.

I do wonder if I didn’t laugh at his attempts to get into my virtual knickers, how far it would go? Identity theft is pretty much a given, considering how keen is he on getting my facebook, email and skype details. But if I were fascinated by that handsome face and the prospect of being a step-mother to the beautiful daughter (nothing can go wrong there, right?) would I find myself paying for his transport costs?

The thing is, I don’t mind the scammers having a go. But do they have to be so insultingly obvious about it? As soon as I see, “Hello pretty,” I know the auto accident and the beautiful daughter can’t be far behind. Next time, lads, put a bit of effort into it.


About Eileen Gormley

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