Numerous romantic dates have opened up the opportunity for me to have a potential love interest, but I have chosen to remain alone rather than be with the wrong person. Another reason I am still single is due to the lack of decent men:
PART ONE: I had not had much luck on previous visits to internet dating sites, but my girlfriends decided to rejoin me in an attempt to find my soul mate! During the signing up stage my friends kept calling out ideas for my profile name, but we struggled to find one that felt right, that is, until I said, ANYTHING WILL DO – which was swiftly chosen (probably not a good start to my endeavor to find love).
After being on the site for a couple of weeks with no luck at all, I was about to cancel my subscription when a new member called Charles caught my eye. For starters he was rather good looking in a demure kind of way. Furthermore, he was a widower, which automatically pulled at my heartstrings. He was an American engineer and I would find out later that he was an only child and when he was five years old his mother had died in childbirth. His father was now in a home suffering from Alzheimer’s. Of course, you can imagine how attracted to him I was at this stage – it was as if our lives were meant to meet. Both of us had no families – maybe we could become one together?
Alarm bells should have rung when Charles told me that he wanted to get to know me for a while on line. I should have insisted we talk on the phone, but I figured that he was nervous after not dating since his wife’s death six years prior. To cut a long story short, Charles and I emailed for a few weeks before deciding to meet one Sunday night. I pruned and preened myself ready for the big date but woke Sunday morning to an email that informed me that he “had to fly to London for an important business meeting.” Great, I had waxed my legs for nothing.
Charles didn’t email me for a few days because in his words he “had spent time in hospital after falling off a horse.” Oh that’s right, falling off horses is an everyday occurrence in London! I know I should have been on to him by now, but I couldn’t help but hold the tinniest bit of hope that all of this was true – well you can ride in Hyde Park! Charles added that he wouldn’t be returning to New Zealand for a few days because he had to come home via Nigeria in relation to his engineering work. But when he emailed me a week later informing me that he had been mugged by Africans and hit over a head with a rifle butt I started to seriously doubt his story.
Sure enough, a few days later he rang me with an accent that I can only describe as Nigerian attempting to be American but sounding Irish. Yes, he wanted money - $1700 US. I played along with his game but when the money didn’t arrive Charles rang and left a concerned message hoping I was alright. I wanted to email him the next day saying, “Sorry I didn’t make it to the bank, but I fell off a horse and then got mugged by an African who hit me over the head with a gun.” But friends warned me not to aggravate him, just in case he had contacts here, so I simply replied, “Do not contact me again – you know why.”
I have since learned that ‘Nigerian Romance Scammers’ are a new problem in a country that already has a reputation for being corrupt. But I have to be careful not to tar all of Nigeria’s inhabitants with the same brush.
PART TWO: After feeling humiliated and angry that for a time I had been sucked in by this heartless criminal I decided to take control of the situation and alert the authorities. But I was soon to discover that no-one seemed to care; the police were not interested and the dating site also showed little interest. This made me furious. So I decided to contact the media and shortly after spent three hours with a journalist and film crew depicting my story. Now, I must admit, I felt a little hesitant in baring my soul on National television, after all I was a mother of two young boys and my eldest Marco, was not very impressed that his mother’s love life was soon to be public knowledge. But I felt strongly about the fact that women out there needed to be warned because out of the hundreds of women these scammers contact there is bound to be at least one who trustingly gives her money to these vultures.
During the filming process I decided to approach another scammer (I am a great detective and noticed that they always left NO spaces between commas & fullstops!). This time I had fun with it. I re-invented myself as a multi-millionairess who owned 3 houses around the world. I was a famous artist who donated works to charitable organizations! It is amazing how easy it is to be anyone you want to be when you are sitting behind a computer screen.
I dreaded the airing of the show because I feared that I might be made to look like some pathetic and desperate female, but I am happy to report that apart from a wide angle shot that revealed a few too many tummy rolls, I came across alright!
I have definitely finished with internet dating - might give speed dating a go!