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Swiping for Love by Teresa Gauthier

Swipe left….. Swipe right….find the love of your life!  Easy right?  But what if you got it mixed up?

“You know Marta, I think you are very brave doing online dating, I just don’t think I could do it if anything happened to my John. But tell me, who’s the latest?”  

“Look Lou, I didn’t drive three hours to update you on my love life, or lack of one, I should say. I drove up to beautiful Bellingham to see your dream retirement home and honestly for that homemade pasta that you promised me.”  

“Nonsense Marta. Now as soon as I pop this cork, you will pull up that app and show me how it works.” Marta had already pulled up the site on her phone when Lou handed her a glass. They looked together at the profiles that came up.

“My goodness, it’s like shopping! That guy is holding the most humongous fish…” Marta interrupted Lou, “ Not interested. Swipe right. I am done looking at guys who post fishing and motorcycle pictures”.

“Now some of these profiles sound intriguing and what does sapiosexual mean?” Marta giggled, “Oh let’s not go there, just swipe right on that one.  I am ready for the new man of my dreams. After all, I already had one man of my dreams, until he had the very bad manners to die…” Marta sighed. “But seriously, I do think I could fall in love again if I could just find the new love of my life. I know you don’t understand the online dating thing, but it seems to be the best option in today’s world. None of my friends, including you, by the way, know any eligible men who are not totally decrepit.”

“I get it, Marta. So what criteria are you using? What would your new perfect or close to perfect guy look like?”  

“Tall, and handsome! Ha! Okay, at my age, scratch tall…hmm scratch handsome…so that leaves me not ugly and at least taller than me and I’m 5 '4. I look to see that he is educated, exercises, wants a relationship, and has some sort of faith. He can’t smoke or take marijuana. Hair and a nice smile are a plus and the frosting is a romantic opening line that melts my heart…oh and no more long-distance romances”. Marta grins, “What the heck.  I can dream, right? I am just putting that out to the universe!”

“Marta, the universe will find you the right guy. It is a shame though that it’s so hard to just meet someone in your own hood. Serendipity, that’s what’s needed!”

“Funny you should say that. I saw a guy the other day at the Department of Licensing. I was there to renew my car tabs and I saw this attractive, really attractive tall man who was clean-shaven, had nice gray hair, and was well dressed. He was smiling at me and I guess I smiled back. He was waiting for a particular agent and I was in and out really quickly….darn that DOL customer service! Anyway, there was something about him and I wanted to linger to meet him, but there was just no opportunity. I remember thinking that I would remember his face and who knows maybe if it’s meant to be, we would see each other again.”

“Oh, you mean like this one?” Marta peers over Lou’s shoulder and draws in her breath. Lou continues, “What a smile and those eyes! He’s retired, wants to travel, doesn’t smoke or take marijuana, socially drinks, is looking for a relationship,….and he goes by he/him!” Lou chuckled and continued to scroll through the profile. Then she said, “Oh wait, seriously, this one’s good. Henley lives in Olalla and that is close to you.  He’s got a great name and is so unusual.  Look at what he wrote: “I do think I could fall in love again if I could just find the new love of my life!”

Marta took the phone in her own hand and scrolled, taking a long look at the profile. “Lou, you will think I am whacked, but that’s the guy!”

“The guy?”

“Yeah, the DOL guy. I swear it's him!”

“Ok, now I have goosebumps. Talk about luck!”

“Lou, I am swiping left now!”    

Suddenly, Marta flopped down on the floor and gave a loud groan. Lou raced to her, “Marta, what is wrong?”

“I am so stupid, what was I thinking? I got it mixed up. Swipe right means you are interested, not left ... Oh my…I have just traded in Mr. Right for sapiosexual Mr. Wrong!!”

“Are you sure?  Let me goog… Damn. Uh, can you go back and change your mind?”

“No,” sighed Marta. I only use the free app and can’t return on swipes.  It’s too late.”  She ruefully handed Lou her glass, saying, “Win some and lose some! Surely the universe just saved me from meeting an ax murderer!”

Lou clinked Marta’s glass, “That’s the spirit! Cheers, and guess what? It’s pasta time!”


Marta drove south along the I-5 corridor, pleased that the traffic was reasonable.  She had lots of time to think and she had finally stopped chiding herself for what she called her directionally challenged swiping. She was approaching the Narrows Bridge when a line of sirens and lights appeared out of nowhere behind her. She pulled quickly over, her heart thumping. There were four Tacoma police vehicles that raced past her. She had no idea where they were headed and it wasn’t until the next day that she saw a posting on the internet that at least eight police vehicles had responded to a bloody domestic incident in Olalla. The names of the victims were not released but the escaped convict, Mark Henley had been arrested.

Marta looked at the home page of her phone and uninstalled the dating app.  She went for a long drive and stopped at Arco to buy a lottery ticket.

Swiping for Love by Teresa Gauthier
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