A slow day, or: Online Dating In Four Words:

The horror! The horror!

Kiva and I were in the unit yesterday. Both patients had gone off to have obscure tests of one sort or another done, and things were slow. She asked how my love life was.


"Have you thought about finding a man here at work?"

When I recovered sufficiently, I pointed out that, as a nurse, you are not around men most of the time, unless they're not neurologically intact, and that's sort of a requirement for me, thanks.

"What about online dating?" she asked.

Now, Kiva's not from here. Her marriage, as is usual where she's from, was arranged. Over the last twenty years and two kids, it's grown into the sort of partnership that gives arranged marriage a good name. But, as you might expect, she's a little clueless when it comes to the reality of being a forty-year-old woman in the online dating world.

Without a word, I punched up Match dot com.

Kiva watched me enter my pertinent information, then peered over my shoulder excitedly.

"Gracious, there are a lot of pictures of tongues."

I scrolled down the page.

"Oooo! This one looks good! He's thirty-seven, and....wait. No, he works at Wal-Mart. And he's married? And looking for a slave girl?"

I continued scrolling.

"What about....oh, no. You aren't part of a couple."

Still scrolling.

"What on earth does that mean?" she asked at one point. I wasn't brave enough to tell her.

"He looks nice" she said, "Really strange, but nice."

Except, at fifty, he wanted a woman no older than twenty-three.

Finally, Kiva found somebody she figured was perfect for me. He could punctuate, knew the difference between "they're" and "their" and "your" and "you're", and was single, looking for a single woman, and wasn't possessed of any of the stranger fetishes.

"Except he's nineteen," I said, "and looking for a cougar."

"Perhaps you can tell him that two of your cats equals one big one" Kiva said.

I didn't have the heart to tell her what "cougar" really meant.