Christmas Day was a distant memory and Lorraine had recovered from the “bag full of skinned squirrel episode” (except in an occasional bad dream, where the bloody animal started moving and snarled and snapped at her…). January was drawing to a close and Valentine’s Day was approaching. Lorraine hated Valentine’s Day. It reminded her that she was still single after all this time. And to make matters worse, she had quite a few friends who were getting married this spring. One of her friends was just separated, not even divorced yet, and she had already met a guy and they were engaged and planning a big wedding for June. Tacky! She had been divorced for years and years and there wasn’t a new husband in sight.
Maybe it was time to get serious about…. again. Lorraine fixed herself a cup of Earl Grey tea in a beautiful Rose Medallion cup and saucer she had recently bought from a store in the Cherry Street courtyard shops. It was beautiful and fragile! It was so thin that it was translucent. She had already been at work serving her office duty at the realty office and had taken Suki for a good walk. Now she could pave the way for a romantic future for herself. She lit a scented candle from Chifferobe to create atmosphere.
She sat down at the computer and logged onto Match. She scrolled through the collection of men’s profiles that met her parameters. They had to be within 100 miles of Black Mountain, be between 40 and 70, and have an income of between $60,000 and $80,000 a year. There were some men who fit the bill, but it seemed that all of them were looking for women under 40. What idiots! Didn’t they know those young girls didn’t even know who the Beatles were? What would they possibly have in common?
She “winked” at a man with gorgeous flowing blonde hair and a deep tan. He loved sailing and had a sailboat he kept in the Bahamas.  There was little hope she would hear back from him, though. You could tell by looking at him that he was trolling for a young piece of arm candy.
She looked at her message board and her heart fluttered when she saw that a man from Hendersonville was interested in her. She clicked on his page anther heart sank. Lorraine saw a fat, bald man who squinted into the sun in front of a modest ranch-style house in a dull yard. His head looked like an albino jack-o-lantern. His profile explained that he was a former fighter pilot   who had seen much action in Vietnam, that he liked to “party,” and that he was looking for a woman who loved hunting.
“Honestly!” she thought. “Why in the world would he be interested in me?” Still, I should be polite, she thought. She resented it when she showed interest in a guy on Match and he didn’t respond to her at all, so she wrote pumpkin head a nice note.
Dear John,
Thank you so much for your kind note on Match. I appreciate your thoughtfulness in sending me a “wink”,but I must say, I don’t think we would be much of a match. We seem to have very different interests and values, and the picture in your profile showing your den wall covered with guns sent shivers down my spine. Not my cup of tea at all. And I don’t hunt.
She finished the cold tea in the bottom of her cup and put on exercise clothes. In spite of her good intentions over the holidays, she had not lost weight. In fact she had gained seven pounds and was self-conscious about the enlarging roll of fat around her once-svelte midriff. She had made a resolution to exercise more and had signed up for a series of classes at Black Mountain Pilates. Kathryn would help her get fit and tighten her core.
She couldn’t make a man fall in love with her, but she could make herself lose some weight, and maybe a man would follow.
She put on her coat to walk down the hill to the Pilates studio and reasoned that with all the calories she burned up going up and down the hill and doing all those uncomfortable exercises, she deserved a small portion of Kilwin’s ice cream after the class.