Imagine the surprise! I can't even fathom marrying someone I'd never met. I wonder if women cheated back then like they do now on the computer dating sites. Of course men do it, too. I'm talking about posting a photo taken years and pounds ago.
See, times haven't changed quite as much as we believe. Instead of wagon trains west, now technology has provided us with different methods of mating. Prior to the computer, mail order magazines, showing mainly women from undeveloped countries looking for a better life were a much-used option. Now, a large number of "dating" sites have cropped up on the Internet. Some claim to match you with your soul mate and screen the membership, while others are clearly more interested in garnering membership fees and could care less about anything else. I know of what I speak.
I wrote a book based on my sister's experience with a computer dating site. Like some women in the old west who were single, divorced or widowed, she turned to a new and promising way to help find that certain someone. What happened wasn't pleasant, and I offered Embezzled Love as a warning. Here's the blurb and an excerpt:
They advertise on television—“find your true love; we’ll match you with the person of your dreams.” Their irritating spam clogs your computer inbox—"free tonight? Let’s chat.” You can turn the channel or hit the ‘trash’ button, but the promises still linger in your mind. Is it any wonder divorced and lonely, Cassie Fremont, signed up for an on-line dating service? What later shocked her was cost of the ticket for a ride on the roller coaster from hell.
Cassie awoke to an unusual sound outside. She rolled over to wake Evan only to find him gone - strange that he would get up so early on a Saturday morning. With a wide yawn, she forced herself to leave the warmth of her bed and get up and walk to the window to investigate. She pushed the curtain aside and peered out. The bright ascending sun blinded her momentarily, but once her eyes adjusted she saw a small tractor - a bobcat she believed they were called. Evan stood with three men and watched another dig gaping holes in her beautiful lawn. “Oh my God,” she spontaneously shouted, pushing the window open. “What are you doing?” Her words went unnoticed, covered by the roar of the lawn-eating monster.
She rushed to her closet, pulled her robe from its hook, and shoved her arms through the sleeves while stuffing her feet into her fuzzy slippers. Her soles barely touched the stairs as she flew down to stop the destruction before it got too far.
She burst out the back door. “Evan, what’s going on?”
“Hi, baby girl, sorry we woke you, but we wanted to get an early start.”
She barely heard him over the din of the tractor, and felt uneasy under the watchful stares of the strangers in her yard. She raised her voice to be heard. “Can I speak to you inside for a moment?”
Evan craned his neck toward her to hear. “What?”
“Inside, I need to speak to you inside,” she yelled.
Evan followed her into the house. When he tried to wrap his arms around her in a morning embrace, she pushed him away. “What the hell are you doing to my yard?”
He looked surprised. “I’m making some improvements.”
“How do you figure that digging a huge hole in my beautiful lawn is an improvement? Evan, I love my back yard.”
He reached for her hand. “Babe, if you love it now you’re gonna go crazy for it when I’m done. I’m putting in a big fish pond, complete with all the plants and a foot bridge.”
“Because, your home is going to be the showplace for our business - I need clients to be able to view my work. When I’m done, you won’t believe it’s the same yard.”
Cassie slowly shook her head in disbelief. “That’s what I’m afraid of.”
“Don’t worry. I promise it will be a thing of beauty. You trust me don’t you?”
“I guess I have to at this point.” She pictured her once beautiful sod. “By the way, who are those guys?”
“Some of Stan’s extras. I hired them for the weekend.” Evan said with excitement. “You don’t mind putting up a little front money do you? I don’t have enough cash to pay all three of them.”
“Well … I guess I can handle it. How much do they get an hour?”
“Mexican labor is cheap, even in
. I promised them six dollars.” California
“I’ll have to get dressed and get to the bank before . I don’t have enough cash on me. Do you have any other surprises I should know about? Swimming pools, tennis courts, riding stables?”
Evan laughed. “Nope, just a great big pond that we can load with lots of Japanese Koi.”
“Aren’t those expensive fish?”
“Nothing’s too good for my baby. Besides, I ordered a new credit card for the business to get us started. It should be here any day now.”
There are still Mail Order Brides, today. As in the catalogs, most are from underdeveloped countries or places where women have little value. There are documented cases of disappointed grooms or brides that have resulted in murder. So, think about the risks before you jump headlong into something that may not turn out as happily as you expect. Yes, I know there are happy-ever-after cases out there, but what are you willing to risk in hopes of becoming one?
If you'd like to read more, visit Wikipedia. It has some interesting facts and figures.