Sending Smiles

Dearest Rachel –

Well, it’s been done. I’ve created a profile, with Jan’s input and assistance, and it’s out there online for people to see. I don’t know how accurate it is, or whether I’ve shown too much or too little of my hand, but well… that’s how it is.

What’s also ‘how it is’ is the fact that, nowadays, you can’t be too careful about the other person. As much as I want to get started on the path to finding ‘Megumi’ (assuming she exists), the ‘rules of the road,’ even before I get ‘behind the wheel,’ so to speak, are a little daunting:

Item #1, “Don’t share any personal information…”, which is understandable, given that the possibility of scammers exist. But then, down at the bottom, is Item #2, “Getting to know someone requires a little digging…” That’s fair enough, but without information, how am I expected to do any digging? Which leads to Item #3, “Watch for potential inconsistencies.” Um, app? I think I’ve spotted one even before signing on. Or am I just being driven paranoid by all these caveats?

Look, I get that these are meant to keep me (and whoever I might make a connection with) safe – and for all intents and purposes, they’re perfectly reasonable recommendations – it’s just a little intimidating. It’s like those prescription commercials, where everyone’s gallivanting along in on a bright sunshiny day, while the voiceover recites an absolutely appalling list of potential side effects, up to and including death.

Anyway, it’s too late for regrets now. I’ve given the app certain personal info (like a credit card number), so I’m on the hook with them – or are they on the hook with me? – for the next six months.

I may have checked a few too many boxes with regard to interest; the first set of profiles can barely muster a 75% match. Maybe that’s good…? I don’t know.

Meanwhile, when I drill into the profiles, I’m confronted by the options below:

I can guess that the first icon refers to sending a message. I don’t think I’m ready to actually say something to anyone in particular yet – although I’ve read at least one profile from a woman who states categorically that she will not respond to anything but a thoughtful, non-generic message – none of this ‘sending a smile’ nonsense.

‘Sending a smile’? Is she talking about this third icon…? And I hover the mouse over it using the pad on my laptop, when suddenly… click! The icon actually disappears on that profile. Oh, crumbs, I did not mean to do that. Welp, you’ve sent your smile to her, boy, you’re gonna have to live with it now.

Well, it wasn’t as if I had any chance with her in any event.

What with this having happened, I’m actually terrified at this point about the possibility of clicking on the heart icon in the middle. I’m in no position to state that I like anyone here, let alone love them. It’s only been a couple of hours at this point, and I’ve nothing to work with but these self-descriptions (which, ironically enough for all the writing I’ve been doing to you for these past months, I kept as short and succinct as possible, as per the app’s safety recommendations). Admittedly, some of them are fairly lengthy and detailed – guess not everyone sticks to the safety rules, although I’ve yet to see so much as a last name here (although I did manage to look up one of the profiles elsewhere based on the company she describes herself as heading).

So for the moment, I’ve limited myself to sending these smiles, which I’m using as a form of bookmark for certain profiles that maybe… might result in responses? I really don’t know; there don’t seem to be rules for this sort of thing.

Or maybe I’m just overthinking the whole thing. Maybe I’m supposed to just send out smiles to everyone that matches up with my profile, and see what happens? I’m just paralyzed with indecision here.

I miss the days when I could just walk up to you in the cafeteria at breakfast, dressed head to toe in black denim and with my face painted white like Pierrot, and just say “hi” to you. At which point you would respond with something along the order of “aren’t you supposed to be silent?”

Yeah, good times. It was so much simpler then.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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