The Internet, Portland to Seattle

After a long, lonely winter in Portland, where I had been living alone for the first time in twenty-seven years, my friend Carolyn convinced me to try an online dating site.

“At the very least, you need to get laid,” she added delicately. “How long has it been, anyway? Eight, nine years?”

I posted a few pictures, wrote a profile, and nervously crossed my fingers. At fifty-three, what chances did I have? When the site was up, I marveled at the woman staring back it me. The profile looked surprisingly good—except for one error: my age had been listed as thirty-nine. Before I could correct the mistake, I received a response from a thirty-five-year-old man in Seattle. I immediately fired off an apology with my correct age.

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