The September issue of Elle Magazine (“Our Biggest Fashion Issue Ever! 650+ pages of approximately 1200 models who, all together, weigh less than this magazine!”) has an article titled “The Evolution of Wooing,” in which it details how the art of wooing has changed from 1993-1913.
1993: The world is a cold, heartless place, where according to the letters, you actually meet and are rejected by chaps in person.”
Life in the Boomer Lane is onboard with this. She and Then Husband separated in 1992, and by 1993, she realized that life had become one big shrieking angst-filled trip back to junior high, when she was subjected, for the first time in her life, to the scrutiny of the opposite sex and the thought that perhaps her hair might doom her to a life of celibacy.
1994: The advent of email, that opens your life forever to the wonder of words on a screen.
LBL remembers 1994 well, primarily for being bilked out of over $2000 by a company that promised her that the love of her life was waiting for her in their catalogue of available men. He wasn’t and they went out of business and eventually reappeared under a new name. LBL made a personal commitment never to call a number taped to a utility pole.
1995: Match.com goes live, and you bravely create a profile saying you are looking for a “nice guy with a sense of humor” and receive 1,270 responses. In the first hour.
In addition to the 1,270 responses, LBL also receives emails and phone calls from every human being she has ever met, telling her that all 1,270 of these men are serial rapists/slashers and have bad breath and that she will be killed or worse if she spends one more minute trolling for men online.
1997: Wi-Fi is invented, making it possible for you to meet your future second husband at Starbucks in 2009.
LBL doesn’t frequent Starbucks, but she does meet men for coffee at the Metro 29 Diner, across the street from her office. She continues to do so until the manager calls the police, convinced LBL is a prostitute.
1998: Elle skips over this seminal (sometimes the English language hands you a gift) year in dating history, the invention of speed dating.
In 1999, LBL and her friend Susan start the first non-denominational speed dating group in the country. It is called Brief Encounters. LBL and Susan are responsible for countless people finding their one true love. LBL and Susan, themselves, find no one out of all the thousands of men they come in contact with. Men tell them they assume LBL and Susan are gay lovers. LBL and Susan consider dating each other.
2003: You are courted on MySpace by the lead singer of a band. It is tender. It is sweet. When you fly to see him perform in Ft Wayne, Indiana, you discover he is 15.
Back in 1999, LBL flies to someplace in Wisconsin that involves two planes and a two-hour drive from Duluth, MN. There she encounters an A frame in the middle of the woods. Her date, who she has been communicating with for the past couple months, tells her he built steps to the loft where the bed is, so she wouldn’t have to use a ladder. She thinks this might be love. Love ends after a second trip to his place, when he tells her he has had to return his new car mats because he ran out of money. LBL decides not to make a third trip to the A frame.
Elle continues until 2013. In the interval of years since 2004, when Facebook is invented, and 2006, when Twitter debuts, and 2007, when the iPhone takes over the world. In 2010 Skype makes it unnecessary to be in the same room with your partner in order to have sex. Both orgasms and entire relationships are created and dissolved in a matter of clicks, and eventually words, themselves, have no meaning. Words are so yesterday, when you can Instagram, Vine, or Snapchat. Now Tinder lets you scroll through a billion faces and instantly click accept or reject.
LBL has managed to avoid the last 10 years of technological mayhem. Now Husband finds her on Match.com in 2002. His profile presents a killer smile and the words “Me in kitchen.” LBL thinks he has written “Mein Kitchen” and for some reason thinks this is cute. They start dating in 2003, marry in 2006. Eleven years after meeting, both the killer smile and the attachment to the kitchen have lost none of their charm.