Is it my time to look for love at first site?
MY friend Alice is in love. When she told me I was pretty surprised as Alice wouldn't be the greatest looker ever and she's the wrong side of 40.
But she met this chap online and he has a full head of hair, his own teeth and even a sense of humour. I have to say I'm delighted for Alice, who hasn't really dated since her rather messy divorce a couple of years ago. Also, it gives other women hope that there are, indeed, men out there, even if they are lurking behind their PCs instead of being out and about in the real world.
"So tell me all about this site," I wanted to know more. I was intrigued. Maybe, just maybe, there might be somebody out there for me, too, and I could meet them without having to go into town and pay a babysitter. I wouldn't even have to wash my hair and put on make-up if I wanted to get chatted up. "Are there any weirdos on it?"
"There are of course," she said. "It's the internet after all. But you learn to filter out the pervs and the desperados pretty quickly. I mean, for example, I don't engage in chat with people who don't put a photo up because you wouldn't know who you were talking to. If you don't put a photo up most people wouldn't reply either as they like to see what they're getting."
"So, it's very looks based, then. Do you not think that's a bit shallow?"
But Alice didn't agree. As far as she was concerned, in real life you are judged on your looks and harsh as it may be, that was that.
"Anyway," she continued, "if they don't put up a photo you can take it as a given that they're married and just looking for a bit on the side. And besides, you wouldn't even buy a dress on eBay without seeing a photo of it first, so why would you meet somebody for a date without having a clue what they look like?"
"But they could have an old photo up which could be deceptive?"
"Many do," said Alice. "You have to be careful of the men who describe themselves as 'broad'. In my experience 'broad' is actually another word for 'overweight'.
I made a quick mental note of that. I was all excited now. To think that you could just log on and find instant love. I was initially a bit wary, though. Was it not a bit sad advertising yourself online?
"Of course not," Alice said adamantly. "You found your nanny online and she came to live with you. This is just looking for a date. Just put up your details and see what happens. You will be matched immediately with people who are similar to you. If someone is 100pc match, then that's your dream man."
So I went looking for a suitable photo of myself when I wasn't pregnant and I wasn't with other people, and once I found one I logged on. But as soon as I did I was shocked to see that my Uncle Larry was also on the site.
And even more shocked to discover we were 100pc matched!
Marisa is the author of the Secret Nanny Club