The internet. It’s disputably the most significant invention of all time. Endless information at our fingertips. Answers to whatever we need, whenever we need it. A venue to find true love. Social networking. Incredibly real games. Videos. Blogs. The ability to learn about a person without ever meeting them.
I went on a date a little while back. A blind date. I’ve always been hesitant to do things like that, but I trusted the person setting me up.
I met the girl at a restaurant. She was beautiful. She didn’t look crazy or weird. Maybe my hesitation to show up was ill-founded. We made small-talk for a few minutes until we were escorted to a table. Then…
“I have to admit, I’m a little star struck.” Oh, come on. I had hoped she didn’t know anything about me. I had been told she didn’t know anything about me.
“Please, no. Don’t be. I’m just another guy who happens to have a blog. Absolutely nothing special or different about me,” I said sincerely. I hate when people think I’m famous or something. It wouldn’t be so bad if I actually was, but I’m not and never will be.
She laughed, and we started to get to know each other. She was very pleasant. Down to earth. Awesome. Then…
“So, I have to admit something. I Googled you.” Uh oh. “It’s very interesting all of the things that have been written about you.” Uh oh. “I mean, not bad things, well mostly good things, but a lot of people have a lot of things to say about you.” Believe me. I know. She then went on to tell me all sorts of things she had read about me that I didn’t even know about myself, making sure to add that she was totally cool with all of it.
“I want the truth. How much time did you spend Googling me?” I laughed.
“Well, if I’m being honest, I got sucked in and spent a few hours.” She said it sheepishly. Caught red-handed.
I hate Google. “Google is awesome. It makes it so that I don’t have to do any work when I go on a date!” I pulled out my phone. “I think it’s only fair if I Google you for a minute.” We both laughed. I put my phone away.
“So, what was the craziest thing you read about me on your quest to make sure I wasn’t some psychopath crazy nutso?”
She thought for a moment. I could tell she already had something in mind but was trying to decide if she actually wanted to say it. I nudged her until she did. “There was this one guy who insisted that you don’t even write your blog, that, you know, there’s a bunch of people that write it or something.” Please don’t ask me if that’s true. “Is that true?”
“What do you think?”
“I don’t know. I mean, I wouldn’t care if it was true.”
Just then the waiter arrived with our food. Thank goodness. I turned to my date. “It’s not true, though a few people have accused me of that. Seems silly to me. Let’s talk about you for a while.”
I managed to keep the conversation off of me for a good ten minutes, and then…
“I can’t believe I’m on a date with Single Dad Laughing.”
“You’re not. You’re on a date with me. I’m nothing like Single Dad Laughing. I’m just a pretty face for all of those people who write the posts for my blog. They need a hot model with a cute son, that’s all.”
I once again steered the conversation into a different direction. This time it more or less stayed that way. After an hour or so, the novelty of “who I was” seemed to wear off and the date ended up better than great. We made a plan to meet again soon. We had each made a new friend.
As I hugged her goodbye at the end of the date, I said, “you know, you may be able to Google and read all sorts of things about me, but I can write whatever I want about you. I can make thousands of people believe anything I want about you.” At this point the Googling had actually become funny. A bit of an inside joke.
“Yeah right. It would be hard to write about me when you’re just the pretty face with a cute son.”
I laughed. “I guess the only way to prove that I write my own blog is to write all about you, and our exact conversation tonight.” She laughed back and dared me to do it.
So I did.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing