​​​​​​Because humor is funnier when you know it's true.

The movie date

Internet dating is a horror show; far from the magical experience Match.com promises. Men lie about everything from age to height, while posing shirtless with oversized dead fish.  

Of course, I am going on another internet date.

WaterSandman, aka Tom, invites me to the latest Die Hard movie with Bruce Willis (looking hot in his… 80’s?). Tom resembles his photos. I locate him right away. He is a tall, chubby man, with salt and pepper beard, and shaggy, uncombed hair. He is wearing a once white T-shirt with a faded Hawaiian print, ripped shorts, and flip-flops; ready to surf the waves (or clean the garage). In my jeans, black top, and Converse sneakers, I am overdressed. Tom is chatting with a young couple; the girl has a newborn baby bundled up in her arms.

I think, “That’s nice. My date is conversing with other Regal Theater patrons.” 

He sees me approach and exclaims with a smile, “Hi Marta, I am so glad you could join us!”

Confused, “Did he say ‘us’?”

Tom introduces “This is my 16-year old son Sean, his girlfriend Carmen, and my new grandson, Guillermo.”

Tom brought a teenaged couple and grandson on our date; a newborn that is going to see Die Hard. . .  Yippe-ki-yay, motherfucker.

I say nothing. He goes on. “Isn’t it wonderful? I am a grandpa!”

I find words “Ahhh, congratulations.”

Hugging the group like a mother hen he explains, “They live with me; we do EVERYTHING together!”

Taken aback I’m not sure what to think. This is obviously a generous, loving family man. But, “everything together” even a first date? Is that weird or supportive parenting? I drove to the end of Kendall. Tom is friendly and cute. I like Die Hard. I decide not to judge and stay. Hopefully, the baby will not cry in the time Bruce destroys planes, trains, automobiles, and rescues the city from bad guys. 

The young family sits on a bench while Tom and I quietly stand in the movie ticket line. I break the silence with the basics. “How long have you been on Match.com?”

Tom takes long to respond, then, with an insecure smile, “Eleven days.”

Fuck me; another Match virgin. First online dates are experiments; a way to break the ice. Once match virgins learn to work the system, why date one woman with so many a click away? It might not be that bad. Perhaps he’s had many non-cyber dates before tonight, so I persevere. “In your profile your marital status is ‘separated’, for how long?”

More silence. How hard are my questions?

He finally speaks, the big smile replaced by tears. “Eleven days. We were married for 25 years, high school sweethearts. She left me for my best friend. I love her so much.”

For the next two hours with my four dates, John McClane and computer geek Matt save the world from cyber-terrorism, I daydream of a future with Bruce Willis or Justin Long, the baby wails, and Tom sobs.

-Marta A. Oppenheimer

Marta A Oppenheimer is a twice divorced woman searching for love in Miami, the land of palm trees, hurricane warnings, and Kim Kardashian lookalikes. In between dates, Marta is a published writer, graphic artist, spoken word performer, and a non-profit animal rescue group volunteer.

Marta’s stories have appeared on Chicken Soup for the Soul, Miami Living Magazine, TrueHumor.com, Ariel Chart International Literary Journal, and performed on The Moth Miami StorySlam, Miami Book Fair, Lip Service Stories: True Stories Told Out Loud, Raw Storytelling: Live True Storytelling Show, and The Only in Miami Show on Jolt Radio. The short story, “Love in a Pumpkin”, became a short film and an Official Selection 2022 for the Havana Film Festival in New York City. You can read more about her romance perils at: thedatingdaysofmartao.com and on Facebook: facebook.com/thedatingdaysofmartao but keep in mind that dating after 40 is for the brave.